Saturday, April 14, 2012

Holy shit

I did not take this and I've lost track of where I found it, sorry.

Unfortunately I can't find the tweet or retweet that contained this picture, but the the colors are the result of a solar flare (or Nibiru Clark, whatever).

Or there's a new Journey album.

Anyway, when you look up in the sky, and consider the billions upon billions of things that are out there, remember this: only people who believe in Jesus get to go to heaven.

Song of the Day: "Study in Blue"

Listening to Paul Weller's Sonik Kicks, I was aware that I was also thinking about how I would write about the album. Which song(s) to post, how to track his musical evolution. That's not really an enjoyable way to appreciate music.

But it's possible that I paid more attention to the album that way. The album covers a lot of musical styles with some abrupt shifts (or I got out of the car and forgot where I left off, one or the other, maybe both), but it all seems "Weller-ish" (but decidedly from his post-Jam life, which does kinda include the last 18 months of recordings with The Jam). When I first heard this track I thought "Paul Weller does art rock." I've since read a review calling this reggae dub.

I stand by art rock.

But you're free to listen and decide for yourself. You can either decide to agree with me and be right, or to disagree with me and be wrong. But it's your choice.

Song: "Study in Blue"
Artist: Paul Weller

R.I.P. Alice, Herb, Sandra

Let me preface this by asking that you not hear The Jim Carroll Band song "People Who Died" in your head as you read this. It is not appropriate, and I did not just force the song into your head with this preface the same way that signs warning you not to sit on the railing actually encourages people to try sitting on the railing... didn't happen.

Serious face.

Mrs. Jones if you're nasty
(and also if you're not)
My grandmother died last week. Alice "Nan" Jones (see, I'm related to everyone named Jones) passed away peacefully late last week. Because she had been in declining health, and because she was good about communicating her wishes, it was expected. It is sad, but it wasn't like a random shark attack or being trampled at a Black Friday sale, so emotionally it was easier to accept. Also I was traveling that day so there was Xanax and Long Island Iced Tea, that might have helped.

And I was able to visit with her last month when I was in Florida. That, combined with the Xanax and cocktails is my recommended way to cope with loss.

She was the spirit of gracious living in the family (just because it's a recessive trait in me doesn't mean it's not there) -- like Martha Stewart if Martha fretted a little too much about whether your cousins were making good choices with their lives. The grandparents in Sixteen Candles are a reasonable proxy for explaining how my grandparents differed from each other. Nan was a fantastic cook and made "complicated" (more than 3 steps is "complicated" to me) recipes, and, AND, she actually followed the recipe like it was a recipe and not just some vague set of directions that a cook should feel comfortable changing or omitting at the drop of a hat. Like a said, it's a recessive gene in me. Her signature dish, from our Hungarian heritage, is Chicken Paprikash. My other grandmother made hotdogs and hamburgers, much simpler recipes (but made with love, to be sure).

When you are 4 years old, it's difficult to appreciate Chicken Paprikash when there are hotdogs.

She will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery, alongside my grandfather. I don't think I'll wear a suit, only because, having done this 2 times in the summer, I know how muggy it can get. On the other hand, she was the spirit of gracious living in my life, and that would call for "looking nice."

Fuck. I think this means I'm wearing a suit.

Next up is Herb. A coworker of sorts for the past 6 years. Like Carlton the Doorman on Rhoda, he was just a voice, but a spirited, often lonely, voice. His diagnosis with cancer seems like just a couple days ago, but then his miraculous progress after the initial chemotherapy probably helps me forget the details. Or I saw something shiny.

We talked a week or so before he died. Generally 8 minutes of phone call is my limit, but it was so good to hear from him that we may have talked for like 12 minutes or more (much of it about Rocky & Bullwinkle, that might have helped me hang in there). Hearing that he passed last Friday floored me. Despite the fact that the man had just been fighting cancer, his loss felt sudden and unexpected. It might as well have a been a shark attack.

I'm still trying to process it.

I need arrange a happy hour in his honor. It should include Brazilian barbecue... I think that's what he was always going out for. You know me and the details. Maybe it was Banh Mi. Not Banh Mi, but that does sound good.

Sandra was my best friend's mom back in fourth and fifth grade. I mean, technically she was his mom the whole time, I think that was the time we were best friends. Since he was (is) an only child, I got to be his +1 on a variety of outings. In retrospect it was fucking awesome, I probably didn't appreciate nearly enough back then.

She was never like a mom to me, but she was like a close aunt or something. She taught me macrame. Maybe that's all I really need to say: she is the one who taught me macrame.

When I tallied up the body count of the last week in a conversation with Eric, he said we're getting to that age: first everyone's getting married, then everyone's having a kid, then everyone's parents die, and then, of course, everyone's moving to the suburbs and/or becoming a zombie. Scary when you think about it, the suburbs.

Actually Eric might have said you're not we're, so he might have called me old. Snap.

Rest in peace all of you.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Song of the Day: "The Reflection of You"

Bear in Heaven. They're from Brooklyn and I Love You, It's Cool is their fourth album. And it's either already out or probably will be eventually.

That's all I've got.

Oh, I think I wanted to say something about the Pet Shop Boys influence that is totally obvious early in the song but completely disappears (more New Order, but not even them) by the end that I changed my mind. So disregard this.

Song: "The Reflection of You"
Artist: Bear in Heaven

Happy Birthday Darrin

Darrin inaugurates the PDX gnome tradition and also
 don't have a flash on my camera phone, or something, sheesh
Because he's my boss, I don't want his first thought to be "why wasn't he working" so let's just power through this quickly.  We kick it off with the Avett Brothers:

Add a little Belle and Sebastian:

And conclude with The Decemberists:

Now was that so bad?

Happy birthday dude! Rock on.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Song of the Day: "I Fucked Up"

Madonna from MDNA. I paid for the album based on my enthusiasm over her re-teaming with William Orbit. There's not enough Orbit on the album, and my favorite track he worked on I've already features (the Golden Globe winning whatever that song was called).

I picked this track in part because it makes the Customer Service department at Andrews McMeel Publishing cry, and in part because it highlights the atrocious state of grammar today. Maybe that's because her 2 co-writers aren't native English speakers. But secretly I believe that this is just crap she pulled out of Lourdes's diary. It certainly could be the writing of a 16 year-old girl, as opposed to an entertainer with decades in the music industry.

Or not. It does make me appreciate Justin Vernon a little more this week. Happy Monday.

Song: "I Fucked Up"
Artist: Madonna

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Song of the Day: "Gun Has No Trigger"

Dirty Projectors.


Need I say more?

Song: "Gun Has No Trigger"
Artist: Dirty Projectors

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Song of the Day: "Easy Way Out"

This one's for Tamara who asked if I like any mainstream music. This is Gotye and if his "Somebody I Used to Know" isn't played all the time in Atlanta, I'll be surprised. I hear it all the time in the non-mainstream world, but I feel like I'm hearing him everywhere.

That's the thing about any one person's point of view. It's "normal" and everyone else is Abbie Normal. And she's a bitch.

Anyway, if you liked INXS check this out. Not that it sounds like INXS, just that it fits into that genre... And if you don't like it, I'll refund your money (once you fill the forms in triplicate).

Song: "Easy Way Out"
Artist: Gotye

Monday, April 9, 2012

Song of the Day: "Serpents"

Meanwhile this totally IS Sharon Von Etten, along with dudes from the National, dude from Wye Oak (girl dude) and other dudes from other thing.

And it's not The Gossip.

And it's also NOT Lana Del Rey. Except, maybe, philosophically, it kinda is.

Song: "Serpents"
Artist: Sharon Von Etten

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Song of the Day: "Perfect World"

New music from The Gossip and not, as I was led to believe, Sharon Von Etten.

Song: "Perfect World"
Artist: The Gossip