Saturday, December 1, 2012

Song of the Day: "Roman Ruins"

Lovell House
Guest curator Lee did all my work for me today: "They sound like REM! They smoke! They drive a Vanagon! They're adorable! What more can you ask?"

A million dollars? Oh, that might have been rhetorical. Never mind.

LA's Line & Circle enthuse about the Lovell Health House (left; emphasis mine): "We find a lot of L.A.’s architecture inspiring, especially this Richard Neutra house in Los Feliz. It’s bright and forward-thinking, yet also surprisingly beautiful in its simplicity. There’s a lot of lessons about making music to be learned from this house."

That's all I've got.

Line & Circle "Roman Ruins" from Black/White Iris Music on Vimeo.

Song: "Roman Ruins"
Artist: Line & Circle

Friday, November 30, 2012

Old Navy to be the first ever sponsor of Burning Man

And here I thought it would be Pepsi.
Actually a parody, via Laughing Squid

A sign of good luck or a portent of doom

Or just a refraction of light off water?

Via someone's Facebook thingy
The morning commute was beautiful and sunny. There was a rainbow.

And OMG there was a ghost!!! In the upper right corner, a ghost.


Thanks for the reminder that I'm getting older Apple

iTunes 11 screenshot, click to embiggen and see the WTF small font
Maybe it's just me, but in an era where companies seem to be leveraging personal information willy-nilly (aka "big data"), you'd think companies would strive to be more transparent to avoid what I think is an inevitable backlash by consumers prompting a variety of ill-considered legislation that effectively does nothing... although even as I type that I realize they might be trying for that very thing, well played Apple. All of this seems eerily out of South Park.

Song of the Day: "Take Us Alive"

I don't recall how this new track from Stillwater OK's Other Lives crossed my path. Listening to it a few times this morning had me convinced that it wasn't via radio--the musical qualities that make me really dig it don't hold up well in a typical radio set. Subtle rhythms, ambient orchestrations, a slow build, this is coffee shop music, maybe a sex scene in an independent movie. Not radio. Unless it was and managed to catch my attention (always an iffy proposition, unless shirtless dudes or new electronics are involved).

So check it out in isolation. If you play it between "Call Me Maybe" and "Pound the Alarm" I doubt you'll remember it.

Mind the Gap, their recent EP, includes new remixes of older songs (by Thom Yorke [I know!]) and new tracks like this one... I know you were wondering.

Song: "Take Us Alive"
Artist: Other Lives

Today in sports: UK university rowing

The University of Warwick Boat Club, my favorite of all the UK rowing teams, has a new calendar for 2013 (I guess, maybe the 2014s are out). Watch the video here. Buy a print version here. And, best of all, follow them on Twitter @naked_rowers.

Your move colleges that are close enough to my home that I can drive there.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Girls can't be trusted with anything, it seems

We all knew this would happen with the whole suffrage thing: girls thinking they're as good as men. They're not, it's science. Apparently girls are now the sole reason that man don't want to get married. They're pretty much the reason I avoided it (no penis? fail!). Colbert takes it from here.

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Song of the Day: "Taking Down the Tree"

Previously, in the War on Christmas, Christians co-opted existing Pagan holidays focused on the winter solstice and made them about Jesus, going so far as to rebrand the evergreen boughs used to decorate for Saturnalia as a CHRISTMAS TREE (not a holiday tree, bitches). It's almost like Bill O'Reilly has no sense of actual history.

That couldn't be right though, could it?

Anyway, even the Pope is all "well, it may not be December 25th at all" (cause, you know, it's not addressed in the Bible, date-wise, but God did make it clear he wasn't thrilled with people decorating with trees [Jeremiah 10-1 to 10-5; Minestrone 2-4 to 2-7 (one of those is real)]). In Jesus of Nazareth -- The Infancy Narratives, a title that does not at all sound like it was developed by some book sales-focused editors, Pope Benedict 16 (I can read Roman numerals, but not everyone can, so I'm single-handed-ly going to move the world away from using them) attributes the error to a blunder by a sixth century monk and not a craven maneuver to annex new followers through crass appeal and confusion (much like Republicans did when they nominated Sarah Palin, trying to pick up Hillary supporters unhappy with the anti-colonial Kenyan who won the nomination with all his hopey/changey bullshit).

And then something else happened and now everyone is making Christmas albums. Did we talk about Scott Weiland's Christmas album? No? You got off easy. Who's jumping on the bandwagon this year? Rod Stewart, Lady Antebellum, Olivia Newton John & John Travolta, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton, an American Idol runner-up and others. One of those others is Tracey Thorn.


Between her and Sufjan, I'm hitting holiday music way too early for my own sanity.

Tracey covers "Hard Candy Christmas," a Dolly Parton song from the movie version of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas that I adore. Now if I can just get "We Need a Little Christmas" (from Mame) more exposure, my work will be done. But I opted for this track, a cover of Low, because it includes Green Gartersnake (possibly not his actual last name) from Scritti Politti. How's that for nostalgia this week: Dexys and Scritti Politti. And we're not even done (although I think we are).

Song: "Taking Down the Tree"
Artist: Tracey Thorne/Green Gartside

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Song of the Day: "She's Got a Wiggle"

Obscure reference
I was a little surprised to find Dexy's (no apostrophe?! ever!!!) Dexys Midnight Runners on MOJO's Top 20 Albums of 2012 list because, you know, they're Dexy's Dexys Midnight Runners. Do they even exist any more? (Spoiler alert: yes they do, but only since a 2003 reunion--my cynicism failed to account for the lucrative reunion tour.) Welcome back to relevance Mick Talbot!

MOJO ranks this between The Black Keys and Leonard Cohen as the fifth best album of 2012.

As the list is comprised of a lot of stuff I was unimpressed with, it's entirely possible the people at MOJO are just fucking with us. Also the band is called Dexys now (no apostrophe), so MOJO editors (if they exist) are sleeping on the job. 

Dammit, Dexys would have been a great name for a boutique research firm. Maybe Dexus.

I assume they will be at the Clark County Fair next summer, either performing or working as carnies.

Song: "She's Got a Wiggle"
Artist: Dexys

Baby Elephant Watch 2012!!!

One of the best things about living in a smaller city (or a really big small town, as Portland seems to be) is the tone of local news stories. I've seen live reports from outside a Target where a woman's purse was stolen out of her cart, and from a parking lot where someone had been hit up for money from someone with car problems only it was the exact same story from earlier in the week (apparently the beggar didn't recognize the beggee as a previous mark) and there was concern that some people asking for money might be scammers. I know. Why that didn't earn a Peabody is beyond me.

Vancouver WA's
Lance Bade
Bronze medal &
3-time Olympian
Still, it's wonderful that regional athletes get as much attention as non-regional gold medalists during the Olympics. Single trap skeet shooting, it's a thing.

UPDATE: Apparently there's trap and double trap, so while single trap is a thing, it's not called that thing, it's just called trap.

FUN FACT: Portland-area resident Lance Bade shares the world record in Olympic trap shooting, shooting 125 in a qualifying round. 7 others also share the record, so I'm guessing that's the highest possible score. If Bade is at all narcissistic he may run across this blog post and wonder WTF he has to do with baby elephants.

So the local news teams are LOVING the pending birth of an African elephant at the Oregon Zoo (my attempts to rebrand it as ZooOregon didn't pan out). After all, there have only been 28 elephant births at this zoo in the last 50 years. Yes, it's an every 2 years or so thing, amazing! [NOTE: Maybe they meant at all zoos in the country, but that's not what they said. But it's definitely been a few years since the last round of baby elephant watching.]

The real story is that they sell the babies to be turned into Ivory Soap, but no one ever reports on that. Where's Donald Trump when you need him? (Rhetorical question, no one ever needs Donald Trump.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Song of the Day: "Secret Days"

School of Seven Bells from an EP called Put Your Sad Down, a follow up to Ghostory from earlier this year. I'm confused too.

Song: "Secret Days"
Artist: School of Seven Bells

Monday, November 26, 2012

Song of the Day: "Salt"

Justin Paul Lewis comes my way via superior blogger You Ain't No Picasso. Go there for frequent, thoughtful live concert reviews.

Remain here if you enjoy watching me confuse We Are Scientists with Arctic Monkeys.

You are allowed to do both, by the way.

Song: "Salt"
Artist: Justin Paul Lewis

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Song of the Day: "Lumberjack Christmas/No One Can Save You From Christmases Past"

Instagram by Erin Leedy
Sufjan Stevens... I'm already exhausted just typing his name. The new album? A 58-song collection of holiday music, some original, some not (sigh).

Your move Jack White.

The tour supporting the new... collection... is titled “The Sirfjam Stephanapolous Christmas Sing-A-Long Seasonal Affective Disorder Spectacular Music Pageant Variety Show Disaster” so there's that.

See you at the Aladdin if we both happen to be there. I'd be parked in the back, away from the throng of hipster humanity, if that wasn't already clear from my general personality stuff.

Song: "Lumberjack Christmas/No One Can Save You From Christmases Past"
Artist: Sufjan Stevens

Song of the (Yester-)Day: "Deep Heat"

Apparently my life was such a whirlwind of entertaining and dog management that I missed my regular blogging window. Roller Trio, another Mercury Short Lister who didn't win, was 2012's jazz entry. And that's all I have to say about that.

Song: "Deep Heat"
Artist: Roller Trio