Saturday, February 18, 2012

Song of the Day: "We Are Young"

I first heard this on Teh Gleez (sic) and it wasn't served well by having Rachel Berry take the lead (wait, Rachel Berry or Rachel Barry?... according the inter-webz it's Berry with an "e" so I was right [so far as you know, and no, I didn't not just changed which spelling I put first).

I had no idea who the band or song was, and was really surprised to find Janelle Monae featured in the song (although to be perfectly frank, I needed the video to know where she was--much like Grace Jones [if that was Grace Jones] with Diddy Dirty-Laundry). For the record, the band is fun. Actually the period is part of the stylized spelling of the name, so I think that sentence should have read "the band is fun.." But that's just annoying. They are somehow related to Panic! at the Disco and Paramore (who I confuse with Evanescence for no reasonable reason) and are likely to be the Eve 6 of 2011.

Song: "We Are Young"
Artist: fun./Janelle Monae

R.I.P. Whitney

On the day of her funeral I wanted to post another song for Whitney (or 3). You've probably heard "I Will Always Love You" enough this week to pay for Dolly's next 3 surgeries (as the songwriter, she gets paid every time the song is played: on the radio, in a movie or TV show, or in a store [for reals]--the exceptions are personal copies and, presumably "mix tapes" are grandfathered in because who doesn't love mix tapes?!!), and I'm happy they gave her version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" (hey look, it has a hyphen) some suitable airplay as well (she made it cool to do, I think--while I didn't watch the Super Game or whatever event it preceded, I do remember Mike Hoffman telling me that people watching at his place all stood with their hands on their hearts, or something similarly schmaltzy).

So here are 3 of her lesser songs to celebrate the voice of the post-Barbra/pre-Celine era.

"One Moment in Time" won an Emmy for its 2 writers, neither of whom is John Williams (I was sure John Williams wrote the music for the song, but I was wrong--he only wrote the music for the 1988 Olympics thingy [fanfare?] that was also on the soundtrack [do Olympics have soundtracks?]) but 1 of whom is the father of Albert Hammond, Jr. of The Strokes (it's Albert Hammond, Sr.). I need to take a Music Theory class so I can explain the whole pomp of the chord progression, but circumstance keeps preventing me (yes that's a joke). It was produced by Narada Michael Walden, who really defined her early sound (and who is not dead, although I weirdly thought he was).

I used "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" in one of the promos for my Housemartins Freeform a million years ago (as the Housemartins were breaking up, its theme was appropriate). It's another collaboration with Narada Michael Walden as producer but it stays in minor chords (I think), so it's a big sad sound, not a big optimistic sound as before. It's from Whitney's second album, Whitney, which Marti Jones said she was considering as the title of her next album (this was back in 1987, when the joke would have been funny).

But we don't leave things on sad. We leave things with a big finale. The regular mix of "It's Not Right But It's Okay" won't do. For this, we need a megamix, or an extended mix by a premiere DJ. This song, and the remix of Deborah Cox's "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here" were ubiquitous in every gay club everywhere from late 1998 through, um, now. This could be the blueprint for background music in every sitcom scene taking place in a gay bar (over time, like 30 years, that might total 26). Also I love this song because a considerable part of Whitney's anger is predicated on the inability of a waiter to split a fucking check. Seriously, 6 people have dinner but only 2 on that receipt? Yes, all the time. Never mind, it's a quintessential "you done me wrong" dance hit, don't ask questions (like if you changed that stupid lock, why would you also need him to leave his key?... exactly).

Whitney won 6 Grammys and an Emmy. And she wore the exact same dress as Mariah Carey (on purpose) at the Oscars. Rest in peace dude.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Song of the Day: "Love Interruption"

A solo album and solo tour... that's not taking a day off now is it Jack White?

Wait, look, there's another person singing. What's the matter Jack White, couldn't sing your own backing vocals? (He probably actually did and she's only in the video.)

Song: "Love Interruption"
Artist: Jack White

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Resourcefulness thy name is Baxter

I'm about to do a project with streaming media, and decided it would be a good idea to confirm that people could see and hear streaming media first. And since I didn't want to use a 90 second video to do that, I decided I needed something that was short, had action and distinct sound. And was free. And not protected by copyrights.

Which is how Jackie & Matt's "kid" Baxter is now a part of my project. I sent Jackie the clip when I told her and when she played it Baxter wanted to know who the dog was. Where's the dog, I heard a dog, where's the dog.

Happy Birthday John Schlesinger

There was an awkward moment early on in my association with Dr. Botox, when he proclaimed himself a close friend of Schlesinger and I told the good doctor that his close friend had died a few months earlier. This was either late 2003 or early 2004 as Schlesinger died July 2003.

I think it was decided that Dr. Botox has been at sea, perhaps crossing the Atlantic. When that happens you lose track of which of your close friends have or haven't died. Or so I am led to believe.

I've seen more of his movies than I realized, in part because I selectively forgot that he directed Madame Sousatzka and The Next Best Thing. Had fate been kind, Cold Comfort Farm would have been his swan song. "I saw something nasty in the woodshed!"... indeed.

Midnight Cowboy won him the Oscar and seems like it's his signature movie. And this is about all I have time for today. But I know that he's a favorite of Leland's, not that Lee has time to flesh out a birthday post (his light bulb situation is dire, and don't get me started on all the kitchens at the new place).

Happy birthday dude. Rest in peace.

Song of the Day: "We Will Commit Wolf Murder"

Of Montreal's Paralytic Stalks came out last week, flying under my radar for some reason. It's another outing for your SAT verbal skills, but I dig the funky drummer-ish percussion on this track.

Song: "We Will Commit Wolf Murder"
Artist: Of Montreal

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Song of the Day: "When I Write My Master's Thesis"

I was excited when I heard a snippet of this song sometime last week. "New Weakerthans!!!" I thought with heightened expectations, followed by something shiny.

Fucking squirrels.

So I was really stoked to find out, well, not quite new Weakerthans, just a solo effort from John K. Samson, the "Sting" of The Weakerthans (is that fair? could he be the Bono or Patti LaBelle of The Weakerthans?).

Oh, and I was amused to see The Weakerthans referred to as "punk." Canadian punk, the same way Avril Lavegne is punk, certainly. Remember to do the metric conversion and factor in politeness at like +40% minimum.

His solo album comes with a tour and that tour brings him to the Doug Fir April 2nd. While I'm apprehensive about a show in the claustrophobia-inducing (or so I'm told) basement, maybe on a Tuesday night, a venue filled with Canadians won't be the worst. Especially since that's Glee night and I probably won't go out.

But regardless of the labels and the politeness and the efficacy of the label "punk" I gotta say, I love this song the way I love The Weakerthans. Oh god, I hope he's not the P.D. Heaton of The Weakerthans...

Song: "When I Write My Master's Thesis"
Artist: John K. Samson

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Song of the Day: "Just Love Me"

One of my favorite tracks from last year was Icebird's "Going and Going. And Going" so here's another track for the duo -- a collaboration of RJD2 and Aaron Livingston. It lacks the shear awesomeness of GGG but it maintains a more-than-adequate funkifacation, you have to agree.

Song: "Just Love Me"
Artist: Icebird

Monday, February 13, 2012

Notes on The Grammys that I did not watch

Dear CBS, do not fucking delay awards shows--I am a built-in audience, and if I can read all the winners before the delayed start, you have lost me. Don't lose me. It's remarkably stupid of you to lose me.

Matt Parker-Stone and Trey Stone-Parker add "G" to their EGOT quest. They only lack an Oscar. Impressive if you think about it. They put the genius in evil geniuses.

UPDATE: Thanks to Erin, I can congratulate Scott Rudin, who shares the Grammy win with Matt and Trey (and others), and who completes his EGOT! Rudin produced the Emmy-winning documentary He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin' (which somehow managed to win an Oscar, an Emmy AND a Daytime Emmy, but not all for Rudin), and Best Picture Oscar winner No Country for Old Men, and he has 5 Tonys. Take that Liza.

Betty White adds a Grammy to her 5 Primetime and 1 (cough) Daytime Emmys.

Dan Wilson chalks up his second Grammy (nice work dude).

Foo Fighters won 4 Grammys? For reals?

So did Kanye, although he  shoulda won Album of the Year.

Chris Brown won his first Grammy, just a few short years after beating the living shit out of Rihanna. It's not any closer to EGOT than just the Grammy, but I feel like it can't be said enough, Chris Brown beat the living shit out of Rihanna.

Alison Krauss picked up another Grammy. She only had 26 prior to this win. She is the most awarded female, and the third or fourth most awarded person, and she only turned 40 last year.

Levon Helm picked up another Grammy and gives me an album to put on my library list. He beat Gillian Welch, whose album I like, but I will reserve judgment until I hear his album.

And Louis  C.K. adds a Grammy to his Emmy. I wouldn't be surprised to find him sneak in an Oscar for short film in the near future, he's got that kind of drive. Also there's another album for my library list.

Congratulations all, except possibly Chris Brown. Fucker. Oh, and Alison Krauss... take a year off, mmmkay?

Song of the Day: "Is This Love"

If only Corrine Bailey Rae had the presence of mind to beat the living shit out of Rhianna, she might have won more than just the 1 Grammy last night. I'm pretty sure that's what Adele did.

Song: "Is This Love"
Artist: Corinne Bailey Rae

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Song of the Day: "Biding My Time"

Aussies Busby Marou from their debut album--if this isn't a cover, it's got a nice timeless quality to it. Either way, they throw down a really nice sound.

Song: "Biding My Time"
Artist: Busby Marou