Saturday, December 17, 2016

Song of the Day: "Tearing Me Up"

I'm checking out some of the Grammy nominated music with which I'm unfamiliar. First up, Bob Moses's nomination for Best Dance Recording.

Dance? For reals? He's no Al Walser.

Song: "Tearing Me Up"
Artist: Bob Moses

Friday, December 16, 2016

Song of the Day: "Wicked"

The song is called "Wicked" because calling it "Wicked, Wicked, Wicked, Wicked, Wicked" would just be weird.

Song: "Wicked"
Artist: Future

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Seasonal Selections: The Ref

I was excited to see The Ref when it opened and was surprised it wasn't a bigger hit. At the very least they should have released it near Christmas and worked the Hollywood Foreign Press for some Golden Globe attention. The movie's cast includes Oscar, Emmy and Tony-winning actors, and Denis Leary.

The Ref

It's a Christmas movie the same way Die Hard is a Christmas movie; which is to say it's a Christmas movie.

At the time Kevin Spacey was not well known, but he was on my radar after he rocked Glengarry Glen Ross (okay, Alec Baldwin rocked it, Spacey just bested Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Ed Harris and other fine actors). Judy Davis had just lost an Oscar to Marisa Tomei (her second loss) but not yet picked up any of her Emmys. They are both fantastic actors and watching them spar is a gift no matter what the season.

Glynis Johns, Christine Baranski, BD Simmons and JK Wong are just icing on the cake. And Denis Leary is in the movie as well.

Ho ho, you hoes.

Me + Trump Inauguration = Perfect

If you listen to the lame stream media, you'd think that Donald Trump's inauguration team is struggling to secure big name performers for his inauguration. Obviously, that's wrong because, hello, Jackie Enchavo, winner of American Voice in 2014.

I feel like it's important for me to get a message through to Boris Epshteyn, a man totally at peace with his Semitic heritage and the Director of Communications for the Trump Inauguration Committee (a subsidiary of the Trump Organization).

That message? I am available to perform at the inauguration.

I'm offended that I haven't been asked, but I figure they assume I'm too busy.

Here's why I'm the perfect performer for the inauguration of Donald Trump:

  • I'm a white guy. When black guys perform they can sing the exact same song note for note with perfect pitch, the same way the song has been sung thousands of times in the past, but we all know, deep down, that there's something not real American about them and the song (even when it's the exact same song... especially when it's the exact same song). That's because they're secretly using Arabic symbols to keep time in the music. And women who perform, well you just can't trust them. When has a white guy ever fucked up? Never, that's when.
  • I have no aptitude for, nor experience with, this role. Based on the selection of Rick Perry, also a white guy, as Secretary of Oops, this means I meet the specifications.
  • I'm not going to pay a lot for this muffler. You're not either. We probably have no idea what the fair price for a new muffler is, but we both agree that paying a lot for one is for losers. I'm no loser, I'm a white guy. And since we agree on the muffler purchase thing, obviously, the inauguration too, am I right?
  • I am not stupid enough to eschew payment up front. Many people sue Donald Trump because he doesn't pay them for their work, but Trump explained that it's okay to not pay someone if you don't like the work that they did (and while American jurisprudence will tell you otherwise, I don't see American jurisprudence being inaugurated as president--also it's kind of weird that the savvy businessman would keep using shitty contractors [I keep using trusted providers over and over like an amateur]). But I promise not to sue for nonpayment because I will take my payment up front ($170,000 plus $250/day per diem plus first class non-stop airfare between Portland and a Washington DC airport--lodging not required as I will stay with Allison and Jared). It streamlines the whole process (USA Freedom Girls still waiting for their day in court... suckers).
  • I'm not going to be one of these sluts or bitches (the sluts being the women who have sex with Donald Trump; the bitches, the ones who don't) when it comes to Donald Trump. Chances are he won't hit on me, and if he does, I am prepared to do to him what he is going to do to this country: make it great it again. Like a sweaty, selfish boss.
  • I don't require a lot of special effects or wardrobe people or even musicians. I'll wear what I've got on (or maybe something clean) and I'll just sing along to whatever's on the 70s/80s/90s dentist office radio station: Elton, Shania, Michael Bolton, Mambo #5, Celine... yeah, I'll go there, I'll do the Celine stuff. And I won't try to rap.

The more I think about it, the more I feel like I'm the not just the performer this inauguration needs, I'm the one it deserves.

Also, and I can't stress this enough, white guy!

Song of the Day: "Lost Somebody"

A Tribe Called Quest picked a good time to release this album.

Song: "Lost Somebody"
Artist: A Tribe Called Quest

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Song of the Day: "I Need You"

This fucking year. Nick Cave is also enduring a brutal 2016. While recording Skeleton Tree, the 16th album for the Bad Seeds (or Nick Cave)--which was being filmed for a documentary, by the way--Cave's 15-year old son fell from a cliff and died.

Cave's learning the tragic news is preserved on film because how else can you intensify the anguish of losing a child?

The heartbreak got folded into the album, because how else can you make a Nick Cave album darker?

And it's received a ton of acclaim (which I don't think is a pity party), which is why I'm even listening to it (end of the year best albums list).

It's tempting to evaluate "Skeleton Tree" as an album about not only the cycle of loss, but mostly about a kind of numb acceptance. And now, what's left? Is life now pointless? Forever gutted of all dreams and possibility?--Chicago Tribune

Seriously, that spoke to me. Numb acceptance, ask for it by name.

A parent losing a child seems to be a motif (spoiler alert?) these days and it's one of the few things my mother explicitly forbids me/us (my sisters and, I'm guessing, the nephews, etc.) from doing.

Putting plastic flowers on her headstone is another thing she forbade--we're having her cremated to work around this one (no headstone).

There's only so much I can do. Also maybe she needs to hurry up to save us all a little hassle. Oh god that is exceptionally dark. Thank god no one reads this.

Song: "I Need You"
Artist: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Song of the Day: "I Can Only Stare"

I am on record as a slow-to-appreciate semi-fan of Sleigh Bells, but when Towleroad compares their new album to Spice Girls meets the Cocteau Twins I had to check it out. And now you have too.

Song: "I Can Only Stare"
Artist: Sleigh Bells

Monday, December 12, 2016

Song of the Day: "The Death of a Bachelor"

For the time being I find this Panic! At the Disco track charming. Check back with me in 6 to 8 weeks to see if I still do.

Song: "The Death of a Bachelor"
Artist: Panic! At the Disco

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Something Good From 2016: BoJack Horseman, Season 3

This year has been amazingly awful for me. I won't bother to enumerate, nor will I pretend there aren't still 2+ weeks to go. Since it's therapeutic to take stock of the good and bad things that I've experienced, I'm blogging a bit about things from 2016 that were good. This is the second post in that series and it's unintentionally also about a Netflix original.

This was the third season for BoJack Horseman, a show whose acclaim failed to motivate interest from me earlier, and it benefits considerably from my experiencing all 3 seasons back to back this year. I totally would have fallen in love with the show had I seen it in its first season, but seeing the last half of seasons 1 and then the season-long stories from seasons 2 and 3 in a binge gave me a much richer experience.

"Yes, BoJack Horseman is a searingly honest depiction of addiction, depression, and self-destructive behavior. But it's also a show about talking animals."--Jessie David Fox

"...a remarkable portrait of depression, delusion, and failure"--Matt Zoller Seitz

"You were born broken"--Beatrice Horseman

"...more heartbreaking than just about any drama on television"--Jen Chaney

"This may be the nitrous and bath salts talking, but I want to do some more nitrous and bath salts."--BoJack Horseman

"...allowing the most heartbreaking parts of life to leach into the genre that’s meant to soothe them."--Emily Nussbaum

" incredibly dark and surprisingly nuanced meditation on depression, fame, family and friendship."--Rudi Greenberg

"You know, it's funny; when you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags."--Wanda the Owl

"If you ever try to contact me or my family again, I will fucking kill you!"--Charlotte Moore

The animation is suffused with emotion. The themes recur in the same vicious cycles that play out in life. And the show balances the wacky skewering of pop culture with ruminations on failure and redemption--as a Libra I dig that.

Song of the Day: "Higher"

Shia Lebouef, naked and famousish
I'm glad this band, who I first heard on Passport Approved, turned out to have some skillz.

Song: "Higher"
Artist: The Naked and Famous