Saturday, December 12, 2015

Friday, December 11, 2015

Song of the Day: "Who Can You Trust"

Holy shit!

The song from Spectre was a big yawn for me, but this homage to big Bond songs from last summer's Spy is fucking bad ass!

The singer, Ivy Levan, is a singer/actress/model while you can't even hold down one of those jobs. Sheesh.

I have no idea who wrote this bad ass song, but it is bad ass.



Song: "Who Can You Trust"
Artist: Ivy Levan

Song of the Day: "One Kind of Love"

Brian Wilson and Scott Bennett picked up a Golden Globe nomination for "One Kind of Love" from Love & Mercy, the biopic of Brian Wilson. Like most of this year's most acclaimed films, I have not seen it.

The song, which hearkens a bit toward "God Only Knows" with its orchestration (not a bad place to go, mind you), could earn Wilson an Oscar. UPDATE: no it can't; the Academy released a list of the 72 songs eligible for nominations and "One Kind of Love" was ruled ineligible.

I've long felt like it's "See You Again"'s award to lose this year, and still feeling that. A couple years after James Bond films got their first Original Song Oscar, The Fast & the Furious franchise could do the same.

Also it turns out the song from Ted 2 is eligible.



Song: "One Kind of Love"
Artist: Brian Wilson

Seasonal Selections: Married With Children's "You Better Watch Out"

Married With Children deserves a lot more credit than it gets. Rosanne gets credited as groundbreaking.
"Coming at the end of the Reagan era, the Conners were a revelation, a deft subversion of the Ozzy and Harrietstyle family dynamics that sitcoms tended to depict in t.v.’s first three decades. When viewers tuned in to watch Roseanne, Dan, and their family, they saw characters that looked and acted a lot more like a regular folks than any fictional family this side of the Evanses."--JD Holler at Kentucky Sports Radio
Note: because the Evanses were black they could never be perceived as being "like us" because as a nation, we, like Santa, are white. Ask Megyn Kelly.

Rosanne began its groundbreaking view of a real American family on October 18, 1988. Married With Children did the same thing beginning April 5, 1987. 

And I know what you're thinking, but they were white too!

The show was always over-the-top but it brought a refreshingly coarse humor to television. Do you remember Kate & Allie? My Two Dads? Full House! That was the ground MWC broke. And then 18 months later Rosanne showed up and got all the credit.

An important part of my esteem for the show was their second season Christmas episode with an O Henry-esque story. Al's work situation is more miserable than normal because the nearby new mall is taking all his customers. The new mall's Christmas promotion, including Santa skydiving into the mall's atrium with a backpack full of mall gift certificates, makes things worse somehow (it's been a lot of years, the specifics there aren't important). Then Santa's parachute fails to open, landing him in the Bundy's backyard. Rather than crush a group of neighbor kids Al dons the dead Santa's clothes to spread some cheer (it's okay, he's white so no one suspected a thing). Once the representative from the mall realizes he doesn't need to pay a penny to the Bundy's for the inconvenience of their day (which was still actionable in civil court) the Bundy's are left with a ruined Christmas. And a backpack filled with thousands of $10 gift certificates for the new mall.

Season Selections: "Santa Just is White"

The tidings of the season aren't always musical. Case in point: Megyn Kelly dropping some science on the masses.

Santa Claus = white man.

Obviously.

Also white? Jesus Christ.

That is just a known and settled historical fact. And if you don't know that you're probably not even smart enough to read this blog.

Happy Chaka Khan-ukah: The Fifth Night

Fifth night: "Higher Love" w/Steve Winwood
Hanukkah is a celebration of the Maccabees' famous underestimation of how much oil they had. Somehow thinking you have one night left when you really have over a week is a miracle. There should also be a holiday for the time you found drugs in your coat pocket or when a potentially embarrassing credit card authorization went through!

Realizing there's still pizza and ice cream even though when you checked the fridge earlier you thought it was empty!

Celebrate your poor attention to details! And the force of nature that is Chaka Khan, the Queen of Funk.

Chaka Khan-ukah fun fact #5: Her featured vocals on Steve Winwood's Record of the Year Grammy winner did not earn her a Grammy.

Happy Chaka Khan-ukah: The Fourth Night

Fourth Night: "I'll Be Good to You" w/Ray Charles

Hanukkah is a celebration of the Maccabees' famous underestimation of how much oil they had. Somehow thinking you have one night left when you really have over a week is a miracle. There should also be a holiday for the time you found drugs in your coat pocket or when a potentially embarrassing credit card authorization went through!

Realizing there's still pizza and ice cream even though when you checked the fridge earlier you thought it was empty!

Celebrate your poor attention to details! And the force of nature that is Chaka Khan, the Queen of Funk with some dude named Ray Charles. It's from Quincy Jones's Grammy-winning Album of the Year Back on the Block (I think that year's Grammys can be officially declared the worst).

Chaka Khan-ukah fun fact #4: Before she was a member of Rufus (later Rufus & Chaka Khan) she sang in Baby Huey & the Babysitters (later Goliath).

Fashion Trends be Damned

Athleisure: it's a thing that is now a word in the dictionary. There's nothing I can do about today.

But this is a good opportunity to learn a more useful word: portmanteau. A portmanteau fuses 2 (or more?) words together. Spork (spoon and fork) and infomercial (informational commercial) are both good examples. I'm sure you can think of others, but go ahead and keep those to yourself. Athleisure is a fusion of athletic and leisure wear, and is the fanciest way I can think of to say sweats.

Of course not everyone uses that term. 
But Julie Igarashi, the vice president for global designs for Nike women’s training, who is presumably something of an expert in clothing worn for exercise, sees it differently. “We don’t use the terminology ‘athleisure’ at all,” she said. “It’s not in our vocabulary. We talk about ‘How do we layer silhouettes and colors and prints for the most holistic approach?’ But not that.”--NY Times
You may not find athleisure palatable, but it's far superior to "how do we layer silhouettes and colors and prints for the most holistic approach." That's awful.

That's not even the point of this post!!! 

The point of this post has to do with a highlighted analysis by business professionals who have put a lot of time, money and effort into determining that there's nowhere for the athleisure business to go but up! The actual analysis provides justification but you're not going to read it.

The fashion industry is built around a culture of enduring looks that never change, so this makes total sense. Sorry, I'm told that is not correct and that the fashion industry is just a series of trends and knock-offs which is why you don't see a lot of paisley or over-sized hip hop-style jeans like you once did. I'm sure their graphs looked much like this one.


It's Like That...



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Song of the Day: "Pedestrian at Best"

This week's Grammy nominations prompted the annual question "who the fuck is ______" and Courtney Barnett, nominated for Best New Artist is certainly eligible for that. So is fellow nominee James Bay, fellow nominee Sam Hunt and fellow nominee Tori Kelly. I guess what I'm saying is I'm old and have only heard of Meghan Trainor.

Barnett is Australian so there's part of the puzzle solved.



Song: "Pedestrian at Best"
Artist: Courtney Barnett

Song of the Day: "If Love Was Fair"

My review of others' "best of 2015" albums yields another delight. Ashley Madison Monroe is possibly a protege of Vince Gill, definitely a member of Pistol Annies (with Miranda Lambert and player to be named later) and totally the owner of a lot of mascara and/or eye liner.

Unless that was supplied for the make-up artist for every photo and video I've ever seen her in.

Cause this girl likes her eyes DONE UP.

As one does.



Song: "If Love Was Fair"
Artist: Ashley Monroe

Song of the Day: "Wherever Is Your Heart"

Brandi Carlisle's The Firecrotch Crotchwatcher The Firewatcher's Daughter is making some "best of 2015" lists and this track is a great indication of why. Sadly the album doesn't sustain this level of awesomeness, but it does rock (in a loose, comfortable way).



Song: "Wherever Is Your Heart"
Artist: Brandi Carlisle

Happy Chaka Khan-ukah: The Fourth Night


Hanukkah is a celebration of the Maccabees' famous underestimation of how much oil they had. Somehow thinking you have one night left when you really have over a week is a miracle. There should also be a holiday for the time you found drugs in your coat pocket or when a potentially embarrassing credit card authorization went through!

Realizing there's still pizza and ice cream even though when you checked the fridge earlier you thought it was empty!

Celebrate your poor attention to details! And the force of nature that is Chaka Khan, the Queen of Funk.

Chaka Khan-ukah fun fact #4: she's won 10 Grammy awards out of her 22 (so far) nominations.

Seasonal Selections: "Feliz Navidad"

Nothing more needs be said.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Song of the Day: "Spent Missing"

Respect to anyone who comes up with the band name Froyo Ma.

More respect when then can put some sweet cool jams together too.



Song: "Spent Missing"
Artist: Froyo Ma

Seasonal Selections: "Sister Winter"

Tracey Thorn covers Sufjan Stevens. It's a recipe that could have gone south quickly (emotionally south) but the outcome captures enough optimism to keep melancholy at bay.

Song of the Day: "The Trip"

Dave Rawlings Machine's Nashville Obsolete contains a mere 7 songs. The average song time is a robust 6:24 and most feature the wonderful Gillian Welch.

I think that's all you need to know.



Song: "The Trip"
Artist: Dave Rawlings Machine

Song of the Day: "Wesley's Theory"

As we approach year's end I figure I'll need to listen to Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly (Lamar is nominated for 11 Grammys including Album of the Year). Consider this my favorite Kendrick Lamar song (so far).

Back during the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation the 2 episodes I watched seemed to feature Wesley Crusher's tractor beam in really clumsy ways (if it's that obvious should it count as foresharowing?)... I'm assuming because of this.

Wesley's theory isn't about tractor beams. It's named for Wesley Snipes serving time for failure to pay taxes. It's about black men making money and then holding on to the money they make.



Song: "Wesley's Theory"
Artist: Kendrick Lamar/George Clinton/Thundercat

Happy Chaka Khan-ukah: The Third Night



Hanukkah is a celebration of the Maccabees' famous underestimation of how much oil they had. Somehow thinking you have one night left when you really have over a week is a miracle. There should also be a holiday for the time you found drugs in your coat pocket or when a potentially embarrassing credit card authorization went through!

Realizing there's still pizza and ice cream even though when you checked the fridge earlier you thought it was empty!

Celebrate your poor attention to details! And the force of nature that is Chaka Khan, the Queen of Funk.

Chaka Khan-ukah fun fact #3: There is no one named Rufus in Rufus or Rufus & Chaka Khan.

Drunk Dial Awareness Day 2015

I’ve been talking crazy girl
I’m lucky that you picked up
Lucky that you stayed on
I need someone to put this weight on
It was a mere 4 years ago that the world stopped and heard the plaintive cry for help that was Drake's "Marvins Room" (note the lack of an apostrophe which I sometimes include despite how D stylizes that title). What is most awesome about the song is how awesome makes his sad life sound.



Drunk dial lesson: combine self-pity with product placement. If your ex- doesn't bite at the pity maybe he/she will want to talk about your travels or new car purchase.
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I've been up three daysAdderall and RedbullThis call is a mistakeThere’s something strong in this water bottle
JoJoe "remixed" the song with her own lyrical point of view on top of the spare music bed. It's more direct although I'm not sure it's direct enough to shut down future drunk dials.



Drunk dial lesson: the new boy/girlfriend is never off limits.
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Another shot of whiskey, can't stop looking at the door.Wishing you'd come sweepin' in the way you did before.And I wonder if I ever cross your mind.For me it happens all the time.
Musically this is a bad ass song. But as a drunk dial it's weak. It cedes all the power to the ex-. When things go to shit quickly again (and they will) there will be no getting around it being all your fault.


Drunk dial lesson: was the sex really that good?
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Hey, how're you feeling?Are you still the same?Don't you realize the things we did, and we did, were all for real?Not a dream
ELO went a bit existential with this effort, but there's not denying the majesty of it all. Bonus points for turning Buddy Holly's first single, "Blue Days, Black Nights" into vaguely cryptic lyrics here. Not sure if Ron Nyswaner pulled the title of his 2004 memoir from Holly or ELO, but I read the book and wanted to make sure I mentioned that here. That I read a book.


Drunk dial lesson: question the very essence of reality just to keep them on their feet.
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Operator, well could you help me place this call?Well, I can't read the number that you just gave meThere's something in my eyes, you know it happens every timeI think about a love that I thought would save me
Saving the best for last: Jim Croce's finely crafted story song from 1972. I have a distinct recollection of my mother telling me the song made her think of me. We were living in St. Pete. There was a radio in the bathroom. We were getting ready to go to work and/or school. There's so little I can remember about that time, that house. But I remember us talking about this song. Obviously she knew I'd blog about it 43 years later (a feat all the more remarkable given the fact that I'm only 34).


Drunk dial lesson: ideally you will work through your issues without the call getting through.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Happy Chaka Khan-ukah: The Second Night



Second night: "Never Miss the Water" w/Meshell Ndegeocello

Hanukkah is a celebration of the Maccabees' famous underestimation of how much oil they had. Somehow thinking you have one night left when you really have over a week is a miracle. There should also be a holiday for the time you found drugs in your coat pocket or when a potentially embarrassing credit card authorization went through!

Realizing there's still pizza and ice cream even though when you checked the fridge earlier you thought it was empty!

Celebrate your poor attention to details! And the force of nature that is Chaka Khan, the Queen of Funk. And here her sidekick Meshell Ndegeocello.

Chaka Khan-ukah fun fact #2: Chaka is the first R&B singer to include a rapper in one of her song ("I Feel for You"). Emphasis there is on R&B singer.

Song of the Day: "All Night Long"

The Mavericks return as Grammy nominees garnering a nod for Best Americana Album. Singer/songwriter Raul Malo picks up a second nomination in Best American Roots Song for writing this.



Song: "All Night Long"
Artist: The Mavericks

Sportsing 2015: Hirst Was First


Keegan Hirst plus one

Earlier this year Keegan Hirst became the first British rugby player to come out as gay.

I don't know if his boyfriend has yet or not.

Sports!

Song of the Day: "Go"

Chemical Brothers picked up a couple of Grammy nominations with their comeback album.

This is nominated for Best Dance Recording.



Song: "Go"
Artist: Chemical Brothers

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Happy Chaka Khan-ukah: The First Night

First night: "Do You Love What You Feel"
Hanukkah is a celebration of the Maccabees famous underestimation of how much oil they had. Somehow thinking you have one night left when you really have over a week is a miracle. There should also be a holiday for the time you found drugs in your coat pocket or when a potentially embarrassing credit card authorization went through!

Realizing there's still pizza and ice cream even though when you checked the fridge earlier you thought it was empty! 

Celebrate your poor attention to details! And the force of nature that is Chaka Khan, the Queen of Funk.

Chaka Khan-ukah fun fact #1: Her real given name at birth was Yvette Marie Stevens. (Her real name is Chaka Khan... there is no more real name than that.)