Saturday, May 5, 2012

The big holiday weekend

Go time!!
This weekend is the Kentucky Derby, Cinco de Mayo and Casimir Pulaski Day. I knew the first 2 coincided this weekend thanks to Jimmy Fallon on the Twitterzes: Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo AND the Kentucky Derby! Or as stupid hats call it, “Go time!!”

When you think of music associated with the Kentucky Derby, nothing comes to mind. Well, nothing comes to my mind as I really have no context for the event aside from hats, mint juleps and horses. It's possible that bluegrass is appropriate as Kentucky is both the Bluegrass State and the site of the Kentucky Derby (what a lucky coincidence there, right?). But I didn't get there before I typed "musicians from Kentucky" into the Google and saw the name Steve Gorman right smack in my face, second name in the middle column, well above Tom T. Hall who is probably more associated with Kentucky than Steve, the former drummer for the Black Crowes (sorry, Black Crowes LLP) and one of the nicest dudes you can meet.

He's my original NCAA Hoops go-to guy (I probably disappointed him by picking Davidson and I just don't know it). Fun facts: he played basketing balls for Western Kentucky (which is ALSO in Kentucky) and now hosts Steve Gorman Sports! on The Game (102.5 FM in Nashville). First, kudos for including the exclamation point in the show title; second, how lucky that he and the show have the same name!!! (That joke doesn't get old does it?) Steve also won something at one of the MTV Rock & Jock Basketball games, and since there's no clear info online (internet fail!) I'll proclaim him the MVP, ahead of Tiffany Amber-Thiessen, Dean Cain and Flavor Flav.

I also learned the Steve has a new project with Joan Osborne and other people (a couple singer/songwriter types I'm unfamiliar with but in the future I will totally act like I've known of them forever, and "sometimes" there are various dudes from Widespread Panic, Georgia Satellites, Royal Court of China [not that you'd know who they are, but we played them 25 years ago, when I was 4], a Scorcher, and other Crowes whose last names aren't Robinson [you know, hired help]) called Trigger Hippy. Joan Osborne, ALSO from Kentucky.

And through this convoluted logic, here's Trigger Hippy covering Neil Young, in honor of the Derby. Is Kentucky in the south? Sure. It's south of something, right?

When looking for music in honor of Cinco de Mayo I thought "Richie Valens" so, naturally, here's Los Lobos -- this song was used in the opening credits of La Bamba and I really like it.

I discovered that it's also Casimir Pulaski Day because my dad sent me an ecard referencing the relatively obscure holiday. He probably doesn't know that Sufjan Stevens has a song with that title on Illinois, his second release in The 50 States Project (2 down, 48 to go). I'm pretty sure he doesn't know the song exists, let alone that it's about a dude whose wife died from cancer. Awkward. But hey, that's where I get it from! Some of it anyway. And in all honesty the card was funny and I didn't remember the specifics of the song until I re-listened to it this morning (I only remembered that it was pretty mopey).

Oh, and tonight's a super moon, another sign of the end of the world. Or so I've been told.

Song of the Day: "Bats"

I don't know much about Canadian alt-country musician Doug Paisley but I asssume he's related to Brad Paisley and that they're both distantly related to the 12th Earl of Paisley, an 18th century monarch credited with inventing silk-lined clothing.

I imagine them getting nice royalty checks every 20 years or so when paisley becomes fashionable again.

Other people might have resorted to searching for information about him online. Yawn. Say hi to them when you're waiting for your tables at the Olive Garden. Song: "Bats"
Artist: Doug Paisley

Let's have fun AND blog about it!

I need to check my biorhythms or try to figure out what I do that is so very appealing to all of these totally real human women that they email me constantly, often using the exact same verbiage.

Maybe they all took the same continuing education class on How to Meet Ruggedly Handsome Yet Charming Men -- it would explain why they are all hitting on me -- and they don't feel comfortable tailoring the example text because they don't want to risk screwing up their chance with me.

I can intimidate.

I think it's the steely blue eyes.

Friday, May 4, 2012

"Everything that's made is made to decay"

(h/t Diane)

The New Yorker  May 7, 2012
The cartoon says "I blame entropy" which could easily be something I say about my bedroom or cubicle. The title of this post is a lyric from a Sparklehorse song. The songwriter, Mark Linkous, committed suicide a little over 2 years ago.

He got out before everything got really shitty.

The Midge health update for Friday: we had a good day. Nothing especially great, no trips to the k-r-a-p (they know the word and get super excited if you say it) -- I'm walking on eggshells worrying about her. I'm starting to think that we should wrap things up while her days are still okay, because I can't bear the thought of fucking up the schedule and having her suffocate during the next attack. Enjoy your weekend!

They should have never let the girls vote

But since they did, at least Republicans have a plan to, once and for all, put Baby in a corner.


MCA by Terry Richardson

Fuck 2012.

Adam Yauch, MCA of Beastie Boys lost his battle with cancer earlier today. As part of the Beasties he won 3 Grammys and is an Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee this year.

Fuck cancer too.

Rest in peace dude.

Song of the Day: "Live to Rise"

The first new song from Soundgarden in, I don't know, let's say 12 years. 8? It's on the soundtrack to the Avengers movie, although would it have killed them to call it "Live to Assemble" or "Live to Avenge"?

But the combination of Soundgarden and Avengers gives me a chance to assemble these:
Avengers and Soundgarden assembled, no shirt, no shoes, no problem

Song: "Live to Rise"
Artist: Soundgarden

Look at that tail

This is Midge on Friday morning.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Midge health update for Thursday

Pineapple sherbet + painkillers = happy!
Today's lesson: pineapple sherbet is a great delivery mechanism for bitter tasting Tramadol.

The girl is having a pretty good day.

I'm really happy to write that which makes all the following so much worse.

The mobile vet came to visit today. She (the vet -- they let girls be vets too!) thinks Midge looks great and thinks Midge's problems around Christmas may have been a similar periocardal effusion that she managed to get over on her (Midge's) own.

We don't know for sure what caused the event(s) but sarcoma is the likely culprit. We're not going to subject her to chemotheraphy, or even surgery to create a periocardal window (which prevents fluid build up by creating a hole, duh).

The next attack probably will be fatal, could come in 2 hours or 2 months, and once an attack starts it will be too late to keep Midge from suffering.

We're going to start monitoring her breathing and see how it holds up.

Meanwhile, imagine trying to pick a day for euthanasia that maximizes your quality time but ensures your gal won't suffer. My quality time with her is not nearly as important as her not suffering.

Song of the Day: "Sweetest Thing"

Midge's new
summer haircut
Did The Rifles write this specifically for Midge? Probably not -- I'm pretty sure she hasn't met them personally, and I don't know that her particular feisty charms are easy to understand if she hasn't burrowed between your legs to get the best possible full body petting (it's called the "car wash" like a drive-through car wash, obvs). So I assume this is just a coincidence.

Or Midge has some covert relationship with an indie British band. OMG, what if it's more than just them? What if she's secretly carrying on with Keane or Kasabian? On noes, could she also be carrying on with Arcade Fire?

Kanye West?

Tim McGraw? Indignity!

I can't believe she's carrying on with Tim McGraw. Behind my back. It's such a betrayal.

I hope it's just a coincidence, for her sake.

And if you click the pic above you can check out her snazzy summer haircut -- it's in the shape of the Louisiana Purchase!!!

Song: "Sweetest Thing"
Artist: The Rifles

She's worth way more than 12 points!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Midge health update for Wednesday

A very stoned and very young Midge
The pretty princess was released from the hospital around noon. She had a pericardial effusion -- a build-up of fluid around her heart that was limiting her heart and her lungs. She collapsed because blood wasn't circulating to her hind quarters, and she was panting intensely because her lungs could only expand a small amount. Given her age, size, etc. the vet was pretty sure the fluid was a result of sarcoma: cancer in her heart and possibly already spread given how some of her other organs felt. For those of you playing along at home, cancer is what took Rebel, Robert Snider, my grandfather Joe Roberts, and most recently Herb. My aunt is fighting it. My uncle is fighting it. Now Midge.


The situation was grim and I almost decided to say goodbye rather than subject Midge to the drama and trauma of treatment. After six months of extended angst while Rebel went through chemotherapy, I'm not inclined to put Midge through that, especially if we are starting later than we did with Rebel. If the cancer is still there, the pericardial effusion will come back. What I hoped for, what I got, is a chance to bring Midge home for a few more good days. Maybe a week. But I'm not counting on it. It's probably selfish, just something I'm doing so I can get myself ready, but when I saw the happiness in her coming in to the lobby as she was released, I was elated.

She was bouncing, filled with energy; her tail wagging. "Let's go for a ride!" she seemed to enthuse.

I didn't imagine feeling so good just 12 hours earlier, after leaving her there for the night.

We headed home. Things were great -- I was so confident I thought I might get a full month of good days from her.

"And I am telling you,
I'm not going"
And then she did the same thing she did when I got all panicked around Christmas: she wouldn't get out of the car. No matter the bribe, she was staying in the backseat.

So I got in the backseat and hung out with her for a while until I was too weak from hunger, so I had David tag in while I ate lunch.

Finally I got bored and basically yanked her out (yes, previously I was concerned about her being comfortable and not subjected to lots of shit like that, but apparently my compassion has a limit [no, for reals]). When I put her down she walked like everything was fine, so it really was just Midge wanting attention.

Or she really likes the new Scion.

She's hanging out near me now, but around the corner where she can have her own space. The mobile vet is coming tomorrow to check on her and we'll discuss the logistics for a final goodbye, which is coming sooner than I want but that would probably be true 20 years from now if we both managed to stay alive as heads in jars, per the promise of Futurama.

Last night to calm her I yanked a dirty sock out from under my bed. I genuinely think it worked a little, but shortly thereafter she vomited on me. I'm sure that was a coincidence and not a statement about the aroma of my feet.

It's 7 p.m. on Wednesday and she's taken her pain medication and is resting comfortably in the entry way, because she likes to keep track of everyone's comings and goings. I feel like she's always looking for a better party which is silly because I'm so much fun all the time. Seriously.

No, seriously.

The pretty girl rocks

Midge is laughing at you
Midge got to spend Spring Break 2011 with her boyfriend Clark at a friend's beach house and Clark pronounced this Keri Hilson song Midge's theme song. Midge joined the show in 2003, as a skinny puppy named Nebraska. Daddy Lee dubbed her Midge after Barbara Bel Geddes's character in Vertigo -- I don't know if he intended her to be named as the easy-going sidekick as opposed to the dramatic lead (already cast: Rebel) or if it just works that way too. Except when fireworks come around, then she's all drama which she is allowed because fuck all y'all fireworks-shooting mother fuckers.

Song of the Day: "Good Girl"

This is a couple months old, but current mainstream country music is one of my musical blind spots, so get over yourself. Carrie Underwood may be enjoying the most success as far as American Idols go (some might argue for Ruben Studdard because of the weight loss and his close relationship with Jesus, but those people are idiots). I can only name those 2 plus Fantasia and Kelly Clarkson. Kelly's doing well but Carrie's outpacing her in terms of sales and awards. You probably actually know this already.

"I have owies"
I like that she went with such a quasi-80s hair metal band sound on this track. A review I read touted the album's diversity, but that's so standard for cross-over artists (see also: Beyonce, Tim McGraw [hey Tim]). Has she had a gay club dance hit yet? (The Round-Up doesn't count.)

This one is dedicated to Midge who is spending the night in the doggie hospital -- Midge was always a good (and happy) girl.

Song: "Good Girl" Artist: Carrie Underwood

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hello "Battle of the Bulge"

Song of the Day: "Chasing the Sun"

Despite my assurances that I am a tastemaker when it comes to music (and I am, I assure you -- would they let me have a blog if I wasn't?) not everyone loves every song I post. So I was really heartened that John, a snobby former college DJ in his own right, seems have embraced The Wanted's "Glad You Came (Love Theme for an Exhausted Bottom)" as a new favorite.

And because John takes music every bit as seriously as me, I can assure you that his enthusiasm for the song is based on its merits (it's totally tribal) and not the relative fuck-a-bility (fuck-able-ness?) of any one/combination/all of the bands members (who, yes, technically are all reasonably good looking young men, but that is a coincidence more than anything). And to prove that point, let's do double or nothing with a truly new song from The Wanted, from their EP called The Wanted which is The Wanted's US and Canadian debut release.

Some will be critical of the song, thinking is the exact same song. To that I say it's less tribal but certainly similar, and will make for a great mega-mix in 3 years when half the guys are touring mall openings in Russia, South Africa and Brazil.

Others will say that should have had at least some shirtless dudes in it. Personally I find that idea as preposterous as the idea of a "tv room" -- a tv can go in any room, and there's always room for some or more shirtless dudes (even Schindler's List although I don't actually have a specific scene, but I'm pretty sure I could make it work).

And if you happen to be in Fort Lauderdale this week (or any week), check out the International Swimming Hall of Fame on Fort Lauderdale Beach (2 blocks south of Las Olas Boulevard between the Intracoastal  and A1A ["Beachfront Avenue!"]). You'll be glad you came.

Song of the Day: "Chasing the Sun"
Artist: The Wanted

Monday, April 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Cloris Leachman DFA

She has a Doctorate in Fine Arts and a Daytime Emmy. And she's #23 on TV Guide Network's list of something something women (take that Doris Roberts who, as I type this I realize, might actually be #21). And an Oscar and 8 regular Emmys.

And a line of clothing called Cloris (narcissistic, right). I guess she was following the Olsens there. Smart.

She also called her autobiography Cloris. Jesus, honey, get another word for things. Here she is talking about her book:

If I seem indifferent or bitchy toward her it's not genuine. I love all the MTM folks and their various offshoots (not as much as Bea Arthur, but a lot), and that includes Phyllis, Phyllis and the never-seen Lars. When I get my sitcom, The Rich Jones Show, it will have credits much like this:

I still haven't seen The Last Picture Show (her Oscar-winning performance)--probably my aversion to Cybill Shepherd--but here's a scene with DVD commentary that we can all enjoy:

So the coat was brown. Insightful.

Okay, going to bed. Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "Where is the Way?"

Icelandic band Ourlives release their US debut now (now-ish, maybe it's out, maybe it's coming soon) and if this track is any indication it's filled with some plaintive, shoe-gazey fun.

And yes, that totally is Leifur Kristinsson on lead vocals. Obvs!

Song: "Where is the Way?"
Artist: Ourlives

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Rod McKuen

Who is Rod McKuen? You may ask yourself this question metaphorically, challenged by the parameters typically used to define a person: is he a poet? songwriter? performer? or giant flaming bag of kitsch? You may also ask yourself this question literally, having no fucking clue who the hell he is. His reign as popular poet (he is one of America's best selling poets, how's that for a claim to fame) ended in the 70s, when we all switched over to disco and cocaine (good times).

I was inspired to do a post for him when I found out her wrote the (cough) classic "Seasons in the Sun" only to learn that he merely translated lyrics from Jacques Brel's "Le Moribond" (for fuller appreciation read this post at French Wendy's, near Piedmont Avenue and I-85).

Despite my hopes, he did not write "Lesbian Seagull."

He does have a writing credit on Madonna's "Drowned World/Substitute for Love" thanks to the power of publishing in the age of samples.

McKuen won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Recording, and received 2 Oscar nominations. Criticism of his poetry is called "uniformly vituperative" which means clearly hipsters haven't embraced him like they should. He's an easy target.

Happy birthday dude. Rock on.

Real shitty prize redux

As it was on this day last year, it's Leslie Jordan's birthday again this year. Here's my post from last year:

It's Leslie Jordan's birthday. There's so much to love in Sordid Lives that it defies description. I think my older sister has watched it more than 50 times at this point.

John and I saw his 1-man show, and he (Leslie, not John) won an Emmy as Beverly Leslie on Will & Grace. But if you haven't seen the movie of Sordid Lives, just watch that.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "Take You Higher"

Once again a totally good pop song has its credibility undermined by gratuitous beefcake. They probably could have gotten by via any other route, but coming from me you're going to instantly assume that the reason I like this song by... some band (Goodwill & Hook N Sling) simply due to this little piece of candy (in the words of James Woods).

The fact that I went out of my way to grab screenshots of his torso should in no way diminish my sincerity. This is a good song.

Now that I've made that point, damnnnnnnn, that boy is fine. I think we will register at Crate & Barrel.

Oh, and Goodwill is [possibly] an Australian band an Australian DJ/producer , and Hook N Sling is another Australia DJ/producer. 2 different DJs... wow.

Song: "Take You Higher" Artist: Goodwill & Hook N Sling