Saturday, June 30, 2012

Song of the Day: "Co-Sign"

SWV, Sisters With Voices, return to the music world after a bit away... 15 years, but who's counting?

I Missed Us, their fifth album, brings the girls back in fine form.

Ryan Lochte
You know who else is back? Olympian Ryan Lochte (3 gold medals already) returns for the 2012 US Swimming Team. At least that's what the results as of Saturday night tell me.

If anything he'll swim 200 meter backstroke.

It sounds like Lochte and Michael Phelps were within inches of each other, in their Speedos, hearts pounding, blood pumping and, um... oh, hey, welcome back SWV.


Note: I was excited when I thought the song was "Cosine" as that would be math rock! Sigh.

Song: "Co-Sign"
Artist: SWV

Friday, June 29, 2012

Song of the Day: "Heartbeat"

I love this song: the mood, the style. So imagine the disappointing eye roll that certainly crossed my face when I read the band name.

It's JJAMZ, a "collective" (super group) whose members each contribute an initial to the band name, much like ABBA or KISS.

One J is a dude from Rilo Kiley and maybe also Bright Eyes, another J is a dude from Maroon 5, A is a dude from Phantom Planet, M is a dude, and Z is a dude from the Like, which possibly makes her a girl dude. It's not a gender specific word when I use it.

Because these are all peeps with a high level of musical credibility with me, I've stopped the eye rolls and embraced the acronyming. 

And you should too.

Now for no clear reason, here's  Tony Azevedo, team captain for the USA Olympic Men's Water Polo team. I'm pretty sure JJAMZ are all like huge Team USA fans in the watering polos. Always talking about it, never shutting up really.

Go to one of their gigs and you will see what I mean.

"Blah blah blah water polo." It's like you're there.

Song: "Heartbeat"
Artist: JJAMZ

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Song of the Day: "Burroughs"

Y'all already know that Thurston Moore and I go way back (here). I don't recall if we went to summer camp together or were mathletes around the same time or what, but we are so close it's like we finish each other's [beverages].

He turned me on to wide white belts, I suggested he ruin The Carpenters's "Superstar" -- we owe each other a lot.

So I was excited to hear that he was giving up on the excessively jangly minor chord progression that is the cliche Sonic Youth sound for something newer, something [pasta].

And that thing is Chelsea Light Moving: the moving company for only small moves, and also only in Chelsea because we don't have a van, just some handtrucks. And I'm sure you'll agree that this sound is completely unique and not a bit like Sonical Youth.

1 of the greatest
Simpsons quotes EVER
And when you hear it and bask in its uniquess, and think about my close friendship with Thursty (it's what I call him), you realize that only 1 person could complete the pretension trifecta (alongside me and Thursty): Edgar Rice Burroughs, the inventor of Tarzan and rice.

Did you know Thursty has over 4,000 ironic bowling shirts, all embroidered with the name "Earl" on them? It took him 2 whole weeks in Toledo to find that many!

OMG Toledo is the new Brooklyn! Get on that y'all!

I need coffee.

Song: "Burroughs"
Artist: Chelsea Light Moving (for only small moves and only in Chelsea)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Derek Jeter

Note: I started this on Tuesday, Jeter's actual birthday, but had to stop to meet someone before I could finish then SQUIRREL!

Does it just confuse the fuck out of you when I write about sports?
*Possible* Future Hall of Famer
How about now?

It'll actually get better.

But first a word about living legends. About 10 or 12 years ago a friend of a friend talked about going to see the Chicago Bulls play the Portland Trailmix so he could see Jordan play in person. Even an older Jordan, he said, deserved a little reverence.

 I hadn't ever considered Jordan, or even more generally the notion of the legendary actually being alive and working today. I'm not talking the iconic (a Cher or Liza) or super talented (your Stevie Nicks), but the Meryl Streeps and Martina Navritalovae and John Williamses and David Bowies of the world (David Bowie, born David Jones, also a cousin).

Back to Jeter: is Derek Jeter a living legend?

Oh, a quick side note: fuck the mother fucking New York Yankees who can all line up and suck my fucking dick one after another. I felt like I needed to get that out of the way. I am not a Yankees fan even though I don't actually care. Weird, right?

So, living legend, or merely super talented? Is Derek Jeter just a Liza Minella? Liza with a bat.

Actually I wouldn't be surprised to find out Jeter had a Grammy.

He doesn't. Then again, neither does Liza.

Jeter's stats in his actual profession, the bases ball, are amazing. I didn't even know Roberto Clemente gave an award. Many major league players don't get to play for 2 decades, let alone win 5 World Series (world=San Diego to Boston, Seattle to Miami, and 2 cities in Canada) rings or play in 12 All-Star games.

And you know he totally fucked Mariah Carey.

And Jessica Biel.

Who the fuck is Minka Kelly? Cause her too.

Actually his bedpost notches may be as impressive as his MLB stats.
And, AND, he's part of the inspiration for the Tony winning play Take Me Out.

The other inspiration was racist, homophobic hillbilly John Rocker.

Read an awesome story about him here (it's where I got the pic of Rocker, thus allowing me to objectify a dude who can't stand teh gayz [possibly a little too much can't standing, if you understand the implication, which means that he probably is secretly, totally, gay himself]).
John Rocker, gay?
Probably a little
Anyway, as a patron of the arts, I made a point of seeing the future Tony winner Take Me Out along with the future Tony winner Avenue Q (at its last off-Broadway performance before moving to Broadway, and Lisa was there, and Kelly of the prior post was there) on a trip to NYC about 9 years ago. 

Avenue Q features puppet nudity. Take Me Out features serious male nudity. Steve from Sex and the City: I've seen his penis. Dude looks good naked. Actually the whole cast was pretty impressive. That was probably a fun casting session.

Daniel Sunjata, nice penis
Anyway, the gist of Take Me Out is that this amazing, popular, mixed race (which I guess Jeter is) baseball player decides to comes out (as gay) while still playing baseball. But I only went because it won the Pulitzer Prize and not because all but 2 or 3 cast members were naked in multiple scenes. And the entire cast was men. Cause, you know, girls, ick.

While its only tangentially related to Jeter, it did allow me to post additional beefcake, imply John Rocker might be gay, and state, for the record, that Daniel Sunjata has a remarkable penis.

This sentence from Jeter's Wikipedia entry (here) is the best:
Sportswriters anticipate that Jeter will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame following his playing career.
Na wah! They really think he might make it to the Hall of Fame? Cause I think it's iffy.

Belated happy birthday dude! Rock on! And ROCKER on! (OMG I'm hysterical)

R.I.P. Rufus

2012 continues to suck.

We said goodbye to Rufus in a somewhat bittersweet way this afternoon.

The tale of Rufus has 2 sweet bookends. Early on when Kelly and Phaedie adopted him, Kelly told me Phaedie, then 3 or 4, was playing in the backyard when she her a ruckus and came out to find Rufus positively snarling at the gas company meter man who he the audacity to enter Phaedra's yard. Over the last 10 years this dog let kids of all shapes and sizes ride on him, pull his super curly tail, and otherwise torment him without evoking so much as a flinch or side eyes. But the 1 time he thought his little girl might be in danger, stand back.

Kelly told me this story and I said that was exactly what she wanted to happen.

Rufus has been in declining health of late. I'm worried about Midge, but Midge still has plenty of tail wags and trotting. Rufus was farther along.

This afternoon was the day. The vet who came to Kelly's house to help talked to Rufus for a while. He was ready, but he worried about Kelly trying to raise Phaedra alone.

Frankly I was a little offended he didn't think I'd try to pick up some of the slack, but this wasn't really about me.  An hour later he would literally shit on me.

Taking a cue from Clark who was thoughtful enough to get me the hell out of the house when it was Rebel's time, I suggested Phaedra take their friend Angela to show her where they would walk Rufus. This made it easier for Kelly, easier for everyone.

There was a sudden, palpable calm in the room the instant the second injection did its job. A strange serenity mixed in with all the sadness. I helped Kelly load him into the vet's car--Kelly's a strong gal, emotionally, physically. I had his back end. Yeah.

The vet saw a rose on one of the bushes calling out to go with Rufus. And so it did.

If you're at Last Thursday on Alberta tomorrow come see Phaedra perform with Joy Now. We're meeting up at Binks as early as 4:00 and we will have leis. For Rufus and the girls, a celebration of 10 great years of one great dog.

Rest in peace buddy.

Song of the Day; "Winter"

A rarely seen shirtless
male in Portland
Maps and Atlases from earlier in the year.

It's finally feeling like summer here in Portland, although I'm sure that's still subject to change. Notice the hastily taken photo on my trek across the river from this afternoon.

I know!

If you click the pic it embiggens, but that won't really help the picture quality.

Oh, and Maps and Atlases are also math rock.

Eventually I should shut up about the math rock.

Song: "Winter'
Artist: Maps and Atlases

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

R.I.P. Nora Ephron

We were just talking about Heartburn yesterday, on Carly Simon's birthday. Nora Ephron's semi-autobiographical novel about her marriage to Carl Bernstein (of the Bernstein Bears fame) was one of 2 pairings of Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson and spawned Carly Simon's mega-hit (on VH1 anyway), "Coming Around Again." But why am I tell you this, you were there.

Ephron's best known, best loved pieces, her romantic comedies, her Harries, her Sallies, her Sleeplesses, they distract from her best work: Silkwood. We also wrote about that, back on Cher's birthday. But again, you were there.

Just watching the trailer again I get this overwhelming sense that if any of Nora's movies become a musical, it should be Silkwood. What, When Harry Met Sally? That's just so obvious. No one's expecting Silkwood: The Musical. That's how you get them.

You'll see Meg Ryan fake an orgasm 200 times over the next 24 hours, and that's a perfectly valid way to celebrate Ephron. It is a classic movie moment.

And I think Bewitched was treated too harshly. There's a lot it's lacking, but the general post modern approach, of a failing narcissistic actor rebooting Bewitched with a focus on Derwood is clever. Steve Carell as Uncle Arthur: genius. Michael Caine and Shirley Maclaine: fantastic. And Nicole Kidman has made much worse movies. Much much worse. This is way better than the Stepford Wives adaptation which Nora had nothing to do with.

Nora Ephron passed away due to complications from leukemia, but it's 2012, so it was going to be something. She was the Queen of Romantic Comedies. Rest in peace dude.

Your US Diving Team summary (the men anyway)

OMG you watched, right? You totes watched and you know, you must. How could you not?!

Many of the men discussed previously (or perviously as I may have typed before) made the US Olympic Diving team, the most impressive of which is that Troy Dumais is going to his fourth fucking Olympics. Dude is 32 and that means that he's been a competing Olympian for half his life. Watch him kick some ass here (I can't embed but his dives rock, although I find it a little tedious that Nancy Grace is one of the diving commentators).

While I... watch a lot of TV.

Dumais is only the second athlete to qualify for 4 Olympics (maybe from the US, maybe from the whole world, possibly just in diving, I'm not really into looking for the exact claim) -- the first is Greg Louganis (seen here, for no clear reason, in a bubble bath).

And because Jimmy Carter is History's Greatest Monster, surrendering all US Olympic Gold Medals from 1980 to the Russians Soviets, Louganis qualified for, but did not compete at, 1 of his 4 Olympics. So Troy would be breaking new ground for whatever qualifier limits him (for US Divers, US athletes, all Olympians).
One of these things is not like the others (click to embiggen)
Troy Dumais (3M springboard and synchronized springboard with Kristian Ipsen), David Boudia (platform and synchronized platform with Nick McCrory) and Nick McCrory (same as Boudia) dive in 2 events; with Kristian Ipsen (synchronized springboard with Dumais) and Christopher Colwill (3M springboard) round out the men's team.

Sadly no one took me up on my generous offer to stay at the house.


I assume there's a girl's team too. Wasn't really paying attention.

Song of the Day: "Greatest Hits"

Take the music from Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle with You" (you know you want to watch the scene again) and name check in a dozen classic album titles and you get new music from Mystery Jets.

Here's what they mention: The Lexicon of Love (ABC); Remain in Light (Talking Heads); It's a Shame About Ray (Lemonheads); Country Life (Roxy Music); No Need to Argue (The Cranberries); The Aeroplane Over the Sea (Neutral Milk Hotel); The Boy with the Arab Strap (Belle and Sebastian); Village Green (Kinks); Double Nickles on the Dime (Minutemen); Band on the Run (Paul McCartney and Wings); McCartney I (Paul McCartney); This Nation's Saving Grace (The Fall). I confused Country Life with Park Life, didn't remember that as The Cranberries album title and only knew The Fall because they mention Mark E. Smith specifically. How you'd do?

Oh and I probably should say something about The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society being the official title of that album, because it's Lee's favorite. Too blatant?

Song: "Greatest Hits"
Artist: Mystery Jets

Monday, June 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Carly Simon

She has Grammys, she has an Oscar, she thought my scarf was apricot but OMG it was ecru -- none of those things are important now that I've learned that Carly Simon has tips for fly-away hair on the youtubes.

How did I discover this? By googling "Carly Simon's hair through the years," operating under an assumption that, over the last few decades, Carly Simon may have had some very fashionable hair that may or may not require a lot of effort. Not this.

But now that I know about her blueberry breakfasts, I don't think I care that she wrote "You're So Vain" about me (that joke never gets old)... how do you walk onto a yacht anyway?

OMG who does she look like here? Like Suzanne Somers with her face squished on from the sides? A slightly insane Kathy Baker (not Kathy Bates)?

Anyway, 2 Grammys, an Oscar, but no Rock & Roll Hall of Fame love -- she is a girl and girl's don't get love from them. I know she's not exactly rock, but is it fair that her brother Paul is in there twice and she's not even in there at once? Exactly. She's every bit as worthy as Kenny Loggins, so if Kenny gets in before her, we're coming back to this.

Hey, who remembers the movie with Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson? Trick question, there are 2 Ironweed and Heartburn. This song is probably from one of those movies.

I thought I heard that she had crippling stage fright, but watching this video from 1972 and a later one from the 90s that doesn't seem the case. Maybe it was halitosis.

By the way, based on the wind and hair line in this live performance by a woman not apparently crippled by stage fright (making the halitosis seem more likely by the minute) I'm assuming the hair is real, and not just a long serious of wigs (the Ronald McDonald shit aside). We've already talked about this being the first Bond theme not to include the book/movie's title in the song title right? Yes, on Carole Bayer Sager's birthday, duh.

For some reason I thought this song was from Boys in the Trees, but it's not, it's from Come Upstairs (you're welcome).

Oh, and it's entirely possible that Chrissie Hynde attacked her at a Joni Mitchell concert in the 90s.
Some reports stated that a drunk and disorderly Hynde grabbed Simon around the neck and punched her, although Simon attempted to put these rumors to rest on her official website in 2002. Numerous witnesses, however, claim that Simon was, indeed, assaulted by Hynde.
Hate it when that happens.

I associate her with the AM radio of my youth (despite being 27, I've long had a fascination with decades older technology) and my mom's record collection, but her 1994 album Letters Never Sent was one I really loved. Here's another live performance... does Ian O'Malley grimace when she talks? Halitosis.

By the way, why does this woman not have an Emmy or Daytime Emmy nomination by now? Surely any production for Lifetime or Showtime or A&E or TBS would benefit greatly from her talents, whether starring Holly Hunter, Helen Hunt or Meredith Baxter Birney. Technically she didn't write this song from Swing Shift but I'm sure the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie she writes for will be just as good. Speaking of Swing Shift, on my first trip to Philadelphia we ended up in Wharton Rob's video store and there is a personal note of apology/disclaimer written by Jonathon Demme attached to the store's rental copy, declaring his edit of the film to be better than the one Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell got Warner Brothers to release. Whatever got us Ed Harris sitting down in a bath robe, I'm good with.

Hey, here's the gayest thing I will share about myself for today: in 1989 there was some non-trivial period of time, possibly a few weeks, maybe more, where you might have heard the soundtrack from Working Girl playing in my apartment in the morning when Mark and I were getting ready for work. As Mark is not around to rebut let's just say it was he who played it despite the fact that it was my album. Or go find Mark at the University of New Orleans where I hear he is a drunken professor or something (holy shit). Check out Carly's hair!!!

Are  you bored yet? Me too.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on! But beware crippling halitosis. Try a tongue scrapper.

Sonya has the best tips

Song of the Day: "Dearest One"

A few weeks, shit, over a month ago, I got an email from one of the PR types that treats the blog like it's more than just the early morning ramblings of a grouchy middle-aged dude, mentioning a band FROM SCOTLAND, and I filed it away without even listening to the band. It was a crazy time at work. I was in the middle of this super painful project and the report was almost done, OH WAIT, it's still NOT done!!!

And now I'm depressed.

Still, Scots.

The Imagineers were selected to perform on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, starring Craig Ferguson (what a lucky coincidence, you know what, never mind) and you can hear their song "Imagineer"in the video promoting the show's week in Scotland, it's here. I didn't know Michael Clarke Duncan was Scottish but Duncan is definitely a Scottish name. He must be one of those moors I keep hearing about.

Oh, what, that shit is funny, you're just groaning because you didn't think of it first. And if you don't get that joke, go learn what disambiguation means.

The video for this song was filmed in Glasgow which I am actively considering (or thinking of considering at least) going to in October. Roddy Frame announced three (3!!!) whole dates this year. 2 are at festivals during the Summer and a solo gig the last weekend in October -- this gives me time to renew my passport and not have to pretend to care about Inspiral Carpets ("um, I like 'Brim Full of Asha' a lot... oh"). 1 ticket to Roddy Frame: $32; airplane ticket to Scotland: $1,100; the fatal coronary suffered when re-entering the US and I just can't handle it when Customs wants to re-x-ray my CPAP: priceless.

Maybe I need to use my Trashcan Sinatras connections to work on some kind of a Trashcan, Teenage Fan Club, Roddy Frame tour of North America (or just Portland, cause fuck y'all). They can play at Leland's mansion (just don't touch the furniture, it cost more than your car [probably]).

Meanwhile this band is The Imagineers, learn more about them here. It was probably rude of me to write about 3 or 4 other acts instead of them, but here we are...

Song: "Dearest One"
Artist: The Imagineers

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Song of the Day: "Fineshrine"

My Saturday basically disappeared. Not even a song of the day. Weird.

I'm going to give myself the day off. I need more of those.

Here's something new from Purity Ring.

Song: "Fineshrine"
Artist: Purity Ring