Saturday, April 28, 2012

I feel like if this were intelligent design it would happen more

Found on the Twitterz, not my original pic

Song of the Day: "Beetle in the Box"

I ran across this track on a sampler I downloaded free. After I decided I liked it I looked them up to discover that, duh, they're Scottish. I do like music from other countries, but I don't seem to dislike music from Scotland. For what it's worth.

The band is Admiral Fallow (not Admiral Radley). Tree Bursts in Snow, their second album, is out in May.

Song: "Beetle in the Box"
Artists: Admiral Fallow

Friday, April 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Sandy Dennis

It's been 20 years since she passed away, at age 54, from ovarian cancer. I'd almost forgotten who she was (also I was only, cough, 7 at the time). She's an Oscar and 2-time Tony winner which is impressive if you think about it (and also if you don't), but I can see her being somewhat polarizing.

Her technique was method acting and the output manifested in quirky, somewhat neurotic delivery of lines. It's not for everyone. But one thing's for sure: she's a much better actress than Cybill Shepherd. I am too.

Here's here screen test for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Hey look, she got the part (and won an Oscar).

I have a vague recollection of her in Four Seasons as the first wife of Len Cariou and the only other thing I really associate with her is the hot mess that is Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. I wonder if that fares better for an adult, but something tells me it doesn't.

Her Tony awards are for A Thousand Clowns and Any Wednesday, if you're wondering.

Happy birthday dude. Rest in peace.

Savor Portland and Portlanders

(h/t Erin)

Dude(s) made this for the thing that sold out. I totally get that you can lovingly craft a video for pretty much any place in the world and make something really elegant, but OMFG I love this city. All kinds of awesome here.

Song of the Day: "King of the World"

Another track from Swedish band First Aid Kit. This one features Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes and OMG-Conor-Oberst-is-so-Dreamy fame.

Song: "King of the World"
Artist: First Aid Kit/Conor Oberst

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Song of the Day: "Love Love Love"

Of Monsters and Men are from Iceland. FUN FACT: The mayor of Reykjavík, Jón Gnarr won't enter into a coalition government with anyone who hasn't seen HBO's The Wire.

This is a track from My Head is an Animal, their debut full length album.

Song: "Love Love Love"
Artist: Of Monsters and Men

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Song of the Day: "That's What's Up"

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes answer the age old question "what's up?" with the first single from their second album Here, due next month.

Edward Sharpe isn't a real person, btw. Neither is Catherine Wheel. Just a heads up.

Song: "That's What's Up"
Artist: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Song of the Day: "Jules and Jim"

I'm at the thing with those people so no time for much. Here's another track from the new Nada Surf.

Song: "Jules and Jim"
Artist: Nada Surf

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Jan Hooks

Immensely talented, and yet completely ignored these days (aside from 30 Rock, thanks Tina!).

Here's a clip from the decades old Tush show. Thank you inter-webz!!! (For details on why "I Am Woman" is actually teh awesum, go here.)

Oh and here's another clip.

And remember, there's no basement in the Alamo.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "Sex on the Regular"

Miniature Tigers are back with Mia Pharaoh, their third full album, and are opening for fun.

I, on the other hand, never left and am driving 2 coworkers from Philadelphia up to Mt. Hood. Take that Brooklyn indie pop bands!

Song: "Sex on the Regular"
Artist: Miniature Tigers

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I feel like I don't say it enough: George W. Bush is a war criminal

I know you guys love how I point that out. Remember how we got all upset over how Chris Brown beat the fuck out of Rihanna? Well just replace Rihanna with dozens of innocent captives and remember, Chris Brown at least was held accountable even in the least possible way (possibly because Rihanna is a bitch and was asking for it, not entirely clear). George W. Bush hasn't even pled guilty to a lesser charge yet. Oh, and remember all those "three strikes" laws that meant America was tough on crime? Bush should have spent life in prison for multiple felonies, but instead he was elected President. Who wouldn't want to have a beer with him instead of talkypants like Al Gore and John Kerry.

Anyway, this is more of that, so go read "How America Came to Torture Its Prisoners" by Larry Siems at Slate 
"Our highest government officials, up to and including President Bush, broke international and U.S. laws banning torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. Worse, they made their subordinates in the military and civilian intelligence services break those laws for them."--Siems
George W. Bush: war criminal, criminal against peace, deserter, "three strikes" felon, drunk, moron 
Dick Cheney: war criminal, criminal against peace, war profiteer
Donald Rumsfeld: war criminal
Robert Gates: war criminal
Colin Powell: war criminal
Condoleezza Rice: war criminal
John Ashcroft: war criminal
Alberto Gonzales: war criminal, idiot
Michael Mukasey: war criminal

Excellence in memes, LMFAO edition (part 1)

Memes can be impossibly stupid or incredibly teh awesum, often at the exact same time, but seldom are they distinguished enough to warrant time from me, a super important blogger.

Until now.

First up, people who enjoy flaunting their physiques while lip-synching to various degrees of skill to LMFAO's "I'm Sexy and I Know It" (FUN FACT: this is actually a different song than "Party Rock Anthem").

So, um, support the troops and watch the Olympics this summer!

And stop bullying!... That's a meme, right?

Song of the Day: "Radio Song"

If Becky and Chris ever do another "The Name Remains the Same" special they might consider pairing this track from Esperanza Spalding with R.E.M.'s 20-year old song (of the same name, not a cover, duh). Coincidentally both tracks open their respective albums (Radio Music Society, Out of Time) and otherwise I'm out of similarities.

I want to enthuse about Espy's (she's my neighbor [everyone in Portland is] so I call her Espy) music as an example of how Portland's lack of orthodoxy fosters creativity -- no one's too preoccupied with the lines, so no one cares when you color outside them. I think this is how Portland's been home to 3 recent Project Runway winners (2 of them deserving!) -- if you ever fly to Portland, look around at the gate and try to pick those who are going to visit Portland vs. those who are going home to Portland (socks with sandals and a lack of concern about matching colors are 2 easy clues). It's a small enough town that the keyboard player in the rock band gets to be the keyboard player with the country band Labor Day weekend because that keyboard player went to Burning Man. It's how you get a white Uhura and it is not at all racist.

It's also possible that she makes standard fare for jazz fusion and it only seems innovative because I don't get out much, the same way that one Russian restaurant I've ever been to served the best Russian food I've ever had.

Spalding says she wants to be judged on her musicianship and not her sex appeal to which I say done and done! And now you can judge too:

Song: "Radio Song"
Artist: Esperanza "Espy" Spalding

Happy Birthday Elizabeth 2: Electric Boogaloo

"Oh no, this can't be right"
I've long repeated (but can't claim origination) "a little nepotism goes a long way." That may be most evident with George W. Bush (war criminal, criminal against peace, drunk, idiot) and Zooey Deschanel (I'm fairly certain that, without her dad's prominence in the movie industry, she would be the most annoying manager of a Baby Gap anywhere). But sometimes people who have been given everything without any iota of merit, well, sometimes they do okay. Her Royal Highness Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Xavier Sarsparilla (E2 for short) is one of those exceptions. She is likely to pass Victoria's claim as Britain's longest reigning monarch (I think she needs 4 more years), and it's probably Charles's lot in life that she outlives him, cock blocking him from the throne. Or did he effectively opt out of consideration by marrying Camila? The British Royal Family is much like the college football Bowl Championship Series in that I know the names (Charles, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Andrew, FSU Seminoles), every now and then it's the only thing on TV, there are silly hats, and I pretty much don't care.

First King of the Angles
I object to the British Royals on the grounds that they're royals. The notion of royalty is that God decided one family was the best. In the case of the Windsors, it was Odin and, surprise surprise, Thor got the gig. You know, Loki was (is) a total dick, but he's still technically part of the royal lineage.

The fact that E2 worked in the (girl) military as a truck driver and mechanic is laudable. I mean, it's no Texas Air National Guard, but then she didn't abandon her post the minute drug testing became mandatory (oh, hey, I guess I should add deserter to my George W. Bush description since he went AWOL).

The perception that she's cold or aloof probably has more to do with the fact that she's the Queen of the WASPs (as opposed to, say, Brazil or Italy). And, much like my grandparents, she is a victim of the shifting morals of society: "oh, you're pregnant but not getting married and everyone's just okay with that?" While my grandmother could fret openly (although not in the presence of the subject because, you know, "manners"), HRHQE2 could not lest it  become tabloid fodder for weeks. Until Charles (or was it Andrew?), no one in her family had gotten divorced in quite some time, so cut her some slack on the whole judgmental thing.

She was thrust into a role she never requested, and from a cultural perspective being the Queen of England and the Whatnots is probably a lot more work than you'd think. You can't really take a vacation (they're more like "trips") and you don't get to vent your frustrations with a snarky blog or cloying Facebook updates. OMG, unless she totally does, like under the name Anne Hampton (no relation to the brilliant Ann Hampton Callaway [I thought the name was too clever for me to have come up with it on my own, and now you know who wrote and sings the theme from The Nanny]). OMG wouldn't it be awesome if, the same way we commoners post to Twitter with spoof accounts, the Queen posts to Twitter using the name of some loathsome woman she had terminated from the Social Secretary's office back in 1972 after "the hugging incident." She probably mockingly enthuses about concepts that are completely foreign to her, like coupons and waiting in line. Surprisingly, she likes Ricky Gervais (finds him rather handsome), thinks Jay Leno is tedious ("really, another Monica Lewinsky joke?") and the last album she really loved is, get this, Sugarland's Enjoy the Ride (she's way behind on music).

Or not. It's early.

I love the fact that Prince Harry is so totally obviously NOT Charles's son, and yet because they are the WASPiest of WASPs, that will never be discussed and thus Harry may well become King without being a direct descendant of Thor. Also OMG he (Harry) is hot. Now that he's over 18 he's hot.
"God save the Queen/'Cause tourists are money"--Sex Pistols
Because the monarchy represents a huge boon to the British economy there's strong support for maintaining it. And because I believe that everyone deserves and opportunity to fuck things up, I have a proposal for a revised monarchy, moving forward. Every 4 years a lottery for potential monarchs is held, and the winning ticket is crowned the new King or Queen with all other titles assigned based on family relations. During the 4 year period, that is your job including all the traditional obligations, but any family weddings or other events now become Royal whatevers which, you've got to admit, is better than forking over $46k for surf and turf/open bar for 300. There is as much dignity and also fucked-up-ed-ness in my family as in the Windsors; my mother would LOVE to swing a bottle of champagne at a ship provided she doesn't have to wait in line or stand for too long.

Until then, your majesty, happy birthday and rock on. See you on the Twitterz.

In the mode of Sonya

(h/t Sonya)