Saturday, September 26, 2015

Song of the Day: "My Father's Daughter"

Nick Lachey, slightly
related to this post
A year or 3 ago I caught a few episodes of The Sing-Off, a summer reality show/competition featuring acapella groups competing for, I don't know, a prize of some kind. Let's say cash.

I'm not sure why I watched initially. Possibly this.

Ben Folds was a judge. I really dig Ben. He was a great judge. But Jewel was the shit* as a judge! While Ben and the third judge (oh, he's a Boyz to Men dude) and hunky Nick Lachey would talk about the overall sound or harmony in general terms, Jewel was dropping terms like "recitative" and "transitional bridge" and, as far as I know, she used them correctly.

* A good thing.

So I'm excited that she dueted with Dolly and the song, while abundantly sentimental, is also not entirely awful. Thanks to Dolly.

Song: "My Father's Daughter"
Artist: Jewel/Dolly Parton

Friday, September 25, 2015

Song of the Day: "Take a Picture of This"

Don Henley "Take a Picture of This"
If you look closely at the text on the static image that is the visual for this "video" (song with visual image) you will see "harmony vocals: Michelle Branch, Sally Dworsky, Gale Mayes & Angela Primm" because, for all the vocal talent assisting Doug Henning Don Henley on Cass County, his alleged return to country music (Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard and Martina McBride are just a few) these four ladies are barely audible. I skeptical that all 4 of them actually showed up.

The album is full of Nashville and Nashville-adjacent players but ultimately it feels as authentically country as a distressed sherpa-lined denim jacket with leather accents.

Then I looked in the mirror and said "how the fuck would I know if this with authentically 'country' music?" I'm fairly certain the only consistent element of country music is that you're required to wear cowboy boots. I'm sure Henley has an $1,800 pair of fair trade hippo skin cowboy boots with high quality orthotic inserts, and I'm sure that qualifies.

So this album is exactly as country as you want it to be. Expect a Grammy nomination to be announced in December. Hopefully he'll lose to Kacey Musgraves for the delightful Pageant Material.  

And if you hear all 4 girl voices singing harmony please let me know where.

Song: "Take a Picture of This"
Artist: Don Henley

Here's My Air B&B Listing

Strangely this is the easiest way to get this to a friend.

N Portland twnhse, 2/1, practical - Houses for Rent

House in Portland, United States. 2 bedrooms, full kitchen w/washer & dryer, close to Expo Center, Hayden Island, downtown St. Johns; easy access to U of Portland or downtown. A great place if you'll be out and about a lot and have a car. It's not a sleek loft in the Pearl Dis... View all listings in Portland

Song of the Day: "The Shade"

It's always cool when you find cool people who are really into the stuff you are really into. So imagine my delight in learning that Lauren Graham (star of MYOB and the Gilmore Girls) directed this video from Metric (a band I am really into).

It's just like that.

Wonder why I don't indulge them with capitalization the way I do yesterday's artist...

Song: "The Shade"
Artist: Metric

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Song of the Day: "Clearest Blue"

When last I wrote about CHVRCHES I was still indulging their stylized spelling and capitalization. Will I like their "disappointing sophomore release*" enough to continue the indulgence?

* A common problem in commercial music when a band or artist puts the great songs that got it/him/her signed on the first album then are pressured into releasing a follow-up within 18 months regardless of whether they're/he's/she's ready)  There's are tons of exceptions but there's a reason it's a cliche. Also The Guardian calls the phenomenon DSAS (difficult second album syndrome).

So far they've maintained my interest and enjoyment.

Song: "Clearest Blue"

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I Don't Know What To Make Of This

Jezebel posted the findings of a "data dive" by the co-founder of OKCupid and the results may confuse you. They do me.

The post suggests that as women age, their preferred partner age does too; as men age, their preferred partner age remains the same... basically 20 years old. See below, it's damning evidence.
Click to embiggen, chart from me, data from Jezebel

My confusion is primarily driven by the title of the data charts included: a man's/woman's age vs. the age of the women/men who look best to him. In the discussion of the findings it frames this as the age a man/woman prefers to date.

But "look best" and "prefer to date" are different conceptually. Regardless of how lecherous men may be, I'm sure many of them will impose limits on how young or old a woman can be for him to "date" her... as opposed to fucking her (if OKCupid is a hook-up site then I'm sure every horned up straight dude using it includes the youngest age they have in his search, unless it's easier from a usability perspective to start at 20, which it may be).

Dating and fucking are vastly different things.

Why, I haven't gone on a date in over 10 years.

And you know I can't just leave this alone. Someone on the internet is wrong, part 808,215,903!!!

Here's the comment I'm attempting to leave at Jezebel:
I am very confused by the data and how they are being interpreted. Based on my quick review of OKCupid, nowhere are you asked the ages that look best to you. You are asked for a range of ages that serve as boundaries for your search. 
But it’s possible I missed that question or filter. And if I did, I apologize. If there is such a question or filter, I doubt that it accepts one age input as the response.

What I suspect is happening is the first age (always the youngest age) provided by each OKCupid user is the age used for analysis, which is a flawed approach. If it’s related to a specific single-age response OKCupid users gave, this analysis is fine, I just can’t find that question on OKCupid. 
Also there’s a bit of a leap from the title of the charts “age of the women/men who look best to him/her” and the findings as they are described (the ages men/women prefer to date). I’m struggling to rationalize what the data are actually saying and, as a gay dude who doesn’t date, I have no horse in this race at all except for wanting to better understand the data vs. the conclusions. And yes, I am just that much of a data geek.
I'll let you know if I get a response.

I Have No Idea What This Means, But It Looks Cool

Not all data visualization improves comprehension of the data (believe it or not). This video comes via Flowing Data and is based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's most recent estimates of US life expectancy.

It's actuarial!

The average American male lives to be 76 years, 5 months old, but I'm white, so probably a little longer.

Song of the Day: "I Wanna Fuck You Up"

I am on record as loving Missi Pyle. You might recognize her from such films as Gone Girl, Galaxy Quest, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, or my beloved Josie & the Pussycats; or such hit televisions shows as Friends, Frasier and Two and a Half Men (she played a white character on all 3 shows).

If your name is John you might know her from Boeing-Boeing (but you probably saw Mary McCormack).

She also does music and it's my love for her as an actress, and not any gratuitous use of language, that prompts me to select this as song of the day. To be honest, I like the sentiment more than the execution. Either way, Viva Missi!

Song: "I Wanna Fuck You Up"
Artist: Missi Pyle/Jenni Lee

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

By Whose Authority?

Despite what many "very special" episodes of Blossom suggest, people don't learn lessons and people don't change. People grow, mostly in their waist size, but that's not a reaction to empathy or knowledge or compassion, it's a reaction to our love for ranch dressing and deep fried food.

Kim Davis, warrior for Jesus (but ONLY on the issue of same-sex marriage) and future Executive Director of the Family Research Council (probably), appears determined to be more of a martyr to the cause than she already has been. Davis, as everyone already fucking knows, was released from jail September 8 with simple instructions from US District Judge David Bunning. The order said Davis “shall not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.”

You will never guess what happened.

Or maybe you will. Pro tip: I don't blog much and I really don't blog about people who do their fucking job.
"I'm good at my job"--Kim Davis to ABC News
You know who says shit like "I'm good at my job"? People who suck at their job. And people who don't fucking do their fucking job. And me, but I'm a worthy of a few blog posts so we won't go into any of that here.

Davis hasn't just been hiding away in her office failing to do her job. No, she's been actively fucking with the work that he staff, who apparently are good at their jobs, have been doing. And, AND, she's been gloating about it. According to Newsweek (which apparently still exists):
Davis "confiscated all the original forms, and provided a changed form which deletes all mentions of the County, fills in one of the blanks that would otherwise be the County with the Court’s styling, deletes her name, deletes all of the deputy clerk references, and in place of deputy clerk types in the name of Brian Mason, and has him initial rather than sign."--Newsweek, Sept. 22, 2015
She seems nice.

So the flaming godless liberals of the ACLU have stepped in and filed a brief asking Kim Davis to do her fucking job and also follow the fucking instructions of Judge Bunning (an appointee of George W. Bush ergo another flaming godless liberal like John Roberts). The meddling ACLU people, always ruining everything for everyone. I used to give them money but I haven't in a while. I should probably do that again. 

Don't tell my dad but during one of his visits, like 8 or 9 years ago, he complained about the ACLU removing the some version of the Ten Commandments from a courthouse somewhere (let's say Oklahoma) and when I pointed out that most of the commandments aren't actually illegal we had an awkward lunch interrupted by a fund-raising call from the ACLU. I had them double my typical contribution that afternoon.* Pretty sure that was a sign from God.

Is it weird to anyone but me that Kim's Bible seems to lack Timothy 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. She has been usurping over men all this time (and some lesbians who are worth 3/5 of a male) and God didn't give her so much as a "tsk tsk" which means God's busy planning another round of hurricanes over gay marriage. 

What sticks in my head in this is Davis's use of the word "authority." While she's an elected official who has been given authority by the voters of Hootersville county, she only acknowledges God as having authority over her. It's kinda like when you confuse your boss with your employer (like maybe your employer is the Dress Barn but your boss is the Dress Barn customer) but chances are if either your employer OR your boss knew you weren't gonna do your fucking job you probably wouldn't have that fucking job to not do. Employers and bosses are dicks that way.

But who wields authority over the Deputy Clerks for her county?

Kim Davis. Did you think I was going to say "also God"? Cause if you did that's adorable, your silly assumptions of philosophical consistency. Nobody can make her do her fucking job but God, but she can thwart others from doing their fucking jobs all by herself. 

The system works. My estimate is that she'll return to jail so that her cumulative time will be between 10 and 14 days. She will then resign and start making appearances as a speaker earning $20,000 or more per appearance (more if she gets a fucking makeover and maybe shops at Kohl's or Sears for a nicer look). That's not a lot for most high profile speakers but it's in the neighborhood that Bristol Palin earned. And that's per engagement and not including per diem**, so she could certainly earn a nice chunk of change.

The catch is she'd actually have to do her fucking job to earn the money.

Sadly this reminds me of one of my favorite songs of all time. Wanna make me cry? Play this song outside for me on a sunny fall afternoon...
"Whose Authority?" -- Nada Surf

* Totally true. I left the living room and went upstairs to get my wallet so I could read him the credit card number (I say "him" because the caller was male).

** I couldn't find a video of Ben Affleck in Good Will Hunting, the scene where he's pretending to be Will at a job interview, saying per diem over and over. So pretend that's here.

Song of the Day: "Art Deco"

This review of the new Lana Del Rey album inspired today's sotd. "Del Rey makes music about hollowness and American ennui, and many of her lyrics are almost brazenly empty."

Pointing out that there was never any "there" there seems silly. And the fact that it seems silly means that we've grown to accept that from someone who continues to get paid to make music. I believe she's trying for some combination of Marianne Faithfull and Suzanne Vega but falling short. Really short.

Like OMG so dramatically short.

As stupid as "Tom's Diner" not even close to that short.

Or am I missing something?

Song: "Art Deco"
Artist: Lana Del Taco Rey

Monday, September 21, 2015

Happy Birthday Rebecca Jean "Becky!" LehSuch


How did this happen? It was like 3 months ago that we sat next to each other, via Jan, in Biology. God you were awful. And that Daryl Hall haircut... sheesh.

But then, like some kind of pathetic movie cliche we learned to endure each other and become, what's the word? Fiends. So here's some music that reminds me of knowing you in the 80s.

Crowded House, you told me I'd love them and I did.

True story.

R.E.M., there was a concert and somehow I went with Sandy.

True story.

Morrissey, okay this one is technically from that time in the early aughts when he just really wanted Moz to play Mexico.

And he did.

And then we continued to scream "play Mexico" as though he hadn't already done that.

True story.

Billy Bragg, OMG we were out until 4:30 with him and we went to work the next day and in retrospect that's what sick days are for.

Anyway, there are 3 similar but different ways that you admonish me by calling me "Richard!" The Emily Gilmore way, the Hyacinth Bucket way, and the Becky way. I'm not sure which one happens when.

True story.

Squeeze, actually that may have been the first concert we saw together but maybe not. Remembering things isn't one of my, whatcha call it... things.

But really this comes from explaining how to care for Slimer and this song is dutifully sung every time (yes EVERY TIME) I feed him. I'm sure he rolls his eyes every time he hears it from me.

True story.

Okay, happy birthday and shit.