Saturday, February 27, 2016

Song of the Day: "Dear John"

Is it just me or are there fewer ballads out there? It could totally just be me.

Song: "Dear John"
Artist: Brandon Stansell

Friday, February 26, 2016

Song of the Day: "Quiet Corners and Empty Spaces"

Amazingly sweet pop perfection from The Jayhawks.

And just in time for spring!

Song: "Quiet Corners and Empty Spaces"
Artist: "The Jayhawks

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Trump 2016 Campaign Ads



Song of the Day: "The New Adam and Eve"

I am shocked by his language. "Leaving just you and I"... atrocious.

But kudos on the use of "fuck" as many times as he could without it seeming forced.

Also "it's Adam and Eve, not brunch with Tevin" -- that's hysterical if you're inside my brain right now.

Song: "The New Adam and Eve"
Artist: Simon Love

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Song of the Day: "Alive"

Sia Furler is the Diane Warren of shitty pop music popular pop music this decade. She's also a singer, notably the voice of Zero 7 and then as a solo artist (her "Breathe Me" accompanies the life and death of each member of the Fisher family in the final episode of Six Feet Under).

Also there's a wig.

Song: "Alive"
Artist: Sia

Monday, February 22, 2016

Black History Month: Karen Black

My ironic take on Black History Month is stolen from a Daily Show or Colbert Report (or similar) who included Karen Black in Trilogy of Terror among their "Blacks." Black worked with an impressive array of iconic filmmakers: Hitchcock, Altman, Coppola, John Schlesinger. She appeared in both Five Easy Pieces and Easy Rider, movies that I haven't seen and often confuse, mainly because they epitomize late 60s counterculture and have the word "easy" in the title. And also because of Black, I'm sure...

She earned an Oscar nomination for Five Easy Pieces, a Grammy nomination for her work on the soundtrack to Nashville and the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards for Supporting Actress for House of 1000 Corpses.

Today we look at Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, a mess of a movie from a mess of a play with an entirely too long title. I had no context for Robert Altman's directorial style and no sense of who Sandy Dennis was when watching it on Showtime. I knew it had Cher (one of her stepping stones to acting credibility) and Karen Black in a role that the GBLT (gay bacon, lettuce and tomato) audience should take interest in. Spoiler alert: she used to be a dude.

Spoiler alert: don't see the movie. It's a wreck.

Spoiler alert: I'm still not sure I understand Sandy Dennis's usefulness as an actress. Still, she was fantastic in Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf? which is probably why she won the Oscar. But this isn't about her.

The stage production of Five and Dime was one of Altman's first projects after the disaster of Popeye. He directed a film version with the Broadway cast in just a few weeks, using the original Broadway sets (to a stultifying degree) and releasing the movie through an independent distribution company after disappointing experiences with Popeye and HealtH. The movie had a very limited release before Showtime began airing it in 1983.

Did I mention it's a wreck? Altman would go on to direct the film version of Streamers after this, so whatever damage Popeye did wasn't easily repaired. Watch at your own risk.

Black History Month: Black Sheets of Rain

For Black Sheets of Rain, Bob Mould's second solo album, he reclaimed a harder sound; something akin to the edgier Hüsker Dü stuff.

Aside from "It's Too Late" the album is forgettable. Still, this song kicks ass.

Black History Month: "Black"

Picture it, Sicily Lawrenceville, late 1991 or early 1992, unemployed and depressed (thanks a lot George H. W. Bush), I'm reading a trade publication article about the improving economy. There's a quote from the founder and Chairman of the Board of a major research firm, saying they expect to hire 5 people in the year (in the year?) or immediately or something. Like the +5 is a slam dunk that should convey to everyone that this company is growing, no doubt, in 1992.

"Hire me" I think to myself before turning on thirtysomething reruns on Lifetime.

Jump forward: the part about FedExing my resume to them because What Color is Your Parachute? says it isn't overly done at that point; weaseling my way in for a meeting; the interviews at UT in Austin for grad school--well past the deadline and with no actual application filled in; seeing Billy Bragg perform in one side of a venue while the MBA student mixer was taking place in the other (ah, Austin, you really may have been the ideal city for me); my first Mardi Gras with Robin, talking to her dad and the luge or speed skating or some other thing I was terribly unknowledgeable about (Winter Olympics).

There's a real interview. There's a job offer. There's a relocation package that includes a weekend to look for an apartment. The entire weekend driving around Dallas is accompanied by Nirvana, U2, The Cure and especially Pearl Jam. And ESPECIALLY this song.

Moved out of that apartment after my 6-month lease was up. Kept the job about 4 years. Enjoyed Dallas but generally had this to say about it: "it's a nice place to live but I wouldn't want to visit."

It probably still is.

As for this song, Vedder says he borrowed liberally from American Music Club when writing the lyrics. Take that Mark Eitzel (aka Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky).