Sunday, October 21, 2018

Song of the Day: "Carried Away"

Don't act as if you weren't just wondering what Trouty Mouth was up to. Now you know, he's dropped his first name and released a song that would have been song of the summer if anyone had heard it.

But they didn't.

And here we are.

Song: "Carried Away"
Artist: Overstreet

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Song of the Day: "Come Smile With Me"

That feeling when you realize that you might actually love dreampop.

Song: "Come Smile With Me"
Artist: Sleepspent

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Song of the Day: "Woman"

You know what's weird? That Cat Power is releasing her tenth studio album and this is only the second time I've featured her music on my blog (and both times were collaborations with other musicians)?

No, that shit's pretty much normal.

It's that when I was reading her Wikipedia entry, about how Chan Marshall adopted the moniker Cat Power, I ran across the name--the very distinctive name--of one of my first friends in Georgia. He's an actor and musician.

As an actor, he's best known for a miniseries that has not yet been aired. That's weird too.

Song: "Woman"
Artist: Cat Power/Lana Del Ray

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Song of the Day: "Give A Little"

I learned of Maggie Rogers because she's going to be the musical guest on next week's SNL.

I like her.

Song: "Give A Little"
Artist; Maggie Rogers

Monday, October 15, 2018

Song of the Day: "Think I'm Still in Love With You"

If I've heard of, or heard Joyce Manor before today, I don't recall it. If you'd mentioned the name to me outside the context of the album review that prompted me to look them up, I would have assumed that was someone in the HR department at my last job.

Or the job before that.

Instead it's an indie band from Torrance, California. Fun fact: Torrance is about 35 miles from West Covina (CXG's final season begins tonight).

Joyce is often described as punk, but that can't be right. They sound pretty much on par with Foo Fighters (which I say with considerable respect).

Also this is from their fifth album. Where have I been this decade?

Song: "Think I'm Still in Love With You"
Artist: Joyce Manor

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Song of the Day: "Rings"

When I downloaded the new Pinegrove album, I was so taken by it that I made a point to recommend it to a couple of friends who I thought would dig the sound.

But I didn't think to post anything here. I must have seen something shiny.

Stupid shiny objects.

Skylight is a really good album. Check it out.

Song: "Rings"
Artist: Pinegrove

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Song of the Day: "Distracting Me"

Alex Lilly + someone's legs
Someone wrote that this song is "light but not slight." That's actually a great description for this art rock/chamber rock/post something (everything's post something) track.

In times past I might have likened her sound to St. Vincent and meant that derisively. Today I will do that with considerable respect. St. Vincent kicked ass live, and Lilly has real talent (she's currently touring as part of Beck's band, and has worked with The Bird and the Bee, along with acts I've never heard of [which doesn't mean there not any good and/or popular]).

Her solo debut 2% Milk comes out early next year. But since you're special, you can listen to the first single now.

You're welcome.

Song: "Distracting Me"
Artist: Alex Lilly

Friday, October 12, 2018

Song of the Day: "Get Out"

Apparently CHVRCHES released their third album this year. I guess I was distracted by something shiny.

Sounds like the album is solid. (Oh, like you didn't already know that...)

Song: "Get Out"

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Song of the Day: "Spinning"

The March Divide are from San Antonio, and came to my attention via some promoter that treats this blog like it's something worth sending promotional emails to.

And today, we're appreciative of that fact.

This track is totally catchy!

Song: "Spinning"
Artist: The March Divide

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Song of the Day: "Out of the Way"

Among this year\s Mercury Prize shortlist was Nadine Shah.

That is all.

Song: "Out of the Way"
Artist: Nadine Shah

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Song of the Day: "Trigger Bang"

My opinions on Lily Allen are probably not among the few fucks she might be giving these days (which is fair--I'm not super concerned with her opinions on me), but, much like Hillary Clinton, I really want her to be better. Better at what she does, better at what she represents.

Song: "Trigger Bang"
Artist: Lily Allen

Monday, October 8, 2018

Song of the Day: "What a Time to be Alive"

I came late to the Superchunk party, but I'm glad I got there.

I don't know if they're the best lens for the current fuck show, but they're certainly a good lens.

Song: "What a Time to be Alive"
Artist: Superchunk

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Song of the Day: "Desperate Man"

I'm posting this as I listen to this for the first time. I'll click "publish" before the song is over, so all bitchy commentary will be saved for end of the year stuff.

Song: "Desperate Man"
Artist: Eric Church

Friday, September 28, 2018

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Alan Ruck... in a role that will surprise you

Alan Ruck / Brett Kavanaugh
Coming this fall to, I don't know, let's say Starz, THE WORLD'S GREATEST GIRLS' BASKETBALL COACH AND CARPOOL DRIVING DAD: The Brett Kavanaugh Story.

He has daughters.

He coaches their basketball team.

He drives carpool.

He couldn't be guilty...

Song of the Day: "Holy Arp"

New music from The Crystal Method, where The Crystal Method is now a solo project (I guess they're down to just one Dust brother--not to be confused with The Dust Brothers).

And not to be confused with these DJ brothers.

By the way, Baskets is a pretty morose show--I'm loving it now.

Song: "Holy Arp"
Artist: The Chemical Brothers

Monday, September 24, 2018

Song of the Day: "Let Me Live"

It will seem like a complete non sequitur, but it's not, when I say that Macklemore is really, like, the worst. All you need to do is click this and listen to his collaboration with Rudimental from earlier this year. Commence eye rolls.

Macklemore: he makes 2014 music (which that 2018 song sounds like) bad.

Song: "Let Me Live"
Artist: Rudimental/Major Lazer/Anne-Marie/Mr Eazi

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Song of the Day: "I Love It"

Sometimes Kanye West impresses the hell out of me.

This is not one of those times.

Or this is too deep for me to get.

Song: "I Love It"
Artist: Kanye West/Lil Pump/Adele Givens

Friday, September 21, 2018

Song of the Day: "Gainesville"

We're coming up on the anniversary of Tom Petty's untimely death. Still not cool, 2017.

This is from a trove of unreleased music slated to come out in a big box set just in time for Christmas.

Song: "Gainesville"
Artist: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Song of the Day: "Heaven"

Charly Bliss ended up in my top 10 albums of 2017 with Guppy.  Whether the same girl power/power pop will hit the same end-of-year esteem remains to be seen.

It is a nice change from Drake.

Song: "Heaven"
Artist: Charly Bliss

Monday, September 17, 2018

Song of the Day: "Nothing's Ever Wrong"

I have long had a bit of a crush on Jay Mohr, probably  when I caught his arms when he was on SNL as a rocker in a sleeveless flannel shirt during one of the cold opens. So it was something of a pleasant surprise to learn that Mohr goes the full Monty in the video for Logan Lynn's "Nothing's Ever Wrong."

Best comment on what might would surely be called  a "courageous" appearance: now I know what it's like to have sex with Mr. Incredible.

I'd totally hit that.

And I know he'd totally hit this back, because what straight man wouldn't have sex with a dumpy middle-aged dude who gets winded easily? Damn right.

Song: "Nothing's Ever Wrong"
Artist: Logan Lynn

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Song of the Day: "Here I Am"

I have no idea what's up with this new duet. Presumably it's from a soundtrack and it has the hallmarks of one of those songs that gets the 4th or 5th Oscar nomination slots; the songs that no one will remember (see also: that song from Beethoven, that song from Yes, Giorgio, others). The songs that make you think "oh, hey, it's the chick from Scandal, she's an Oscar nominee now" or "Melissa Manchester, there's a name that takes me back" or "I am too young to know who Kim Carnes is."

If you know more about the soundtrack, tell me about it in the comments.

Song: "Here I Am"
Artist: Dolly Parton/Sia

A Regular Reminder

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Song of the Day: "God is a Woman"

Man of God gropes singer of "God is a Woman"
Ariana Grande has an excess of talent and charm. This is good, as it will potentially mitigate a lack of self-awareness, or even the basic common sense not to wear hot pants to a funeral.

Don't wear hot pants to a funeral, unless the deceased has made it known that hot pants are acceptable.

With one simple exception: if the deceased was a colossal asshole then wear whatever the fuck you want.

Regardless of what Grande wore to the funeral, she did not give anyone permission to grope the fuck out of her.

And girl, get you a gay BFF over 40 to help you dress for the next funeral. Unless it's Trump's, then wear whatever the fuck you want. I know what I'm wearing...

Song: "God is a Woman"
Artist: Ariana Grande

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Song of the Day: "Come Back Barack"

The 2018 Emmy for Outstanding Music & Lyrics was awarded this past weekend during the 2 night "schmemmy" presentation; the award was one of 7 for Saturday Night Live in its 43rd season.

One of 7 so far (the show has 3 of the 8 contenders for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, and 2 of the 7 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series). Kenan Thompson is among the 7 men, his first nomination for acting, and he's among the 4 winners for "Come Back Barack," the very 90s R&B homage lamenting the loss of literacy from the oval office.

To learn more about the award winning song, read a book.

Song: "Come Back Barack"
Artist: Chance the Rapper/Kenan Thompson/Will Stephen/Eli Brueggemann

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Song of the Day: "Feels Like Summer"

The boys of summer
As summer starts to fade: the position of the sun in the sky is noticeably different these days, it's already dark at 8:30 p.m., the days are still sunny but the high temperatures are waning. In about a week Portland's 2 months of sunny, crisp autumn weather will begin (it's the best!).

All of that feeling is captured beautifully in the video for this song, the third fucking awesome single from Childish Gambino this year. 

Song: "Feels Like Summer"
Artist: Childish Gambino

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Song of the Day: "Kids"

This track came on Passport Approved and I disregarded the state's "distracted driving" law so I could Shazam it. I was pleased that Shazam found a result super quickly, since that means I can share it with y'all (there's no one reading this).

Song: "Kids"
Artist: Leoniden

Monday, August 27, 2018

Quote of the Day: Are You Fucking Kidding Me Edition

When John McCain ran for re-election to the Senate in 2016 (he'd already served 30 years in the Senate and 4 years in the House) he faced a primary challenger from the right. That's how things go since Obama got elected in 2008: the so-called Tea Party Patriots and similar far-right candidates challenged centrist or moderate Republicans—Congress members who may have cooperated with a Democrat on something, or voted for something that failed their philosophical standards test (mostly "does the Black guy want it? then vote 'no'"). McCain beat the fiercely pro-MAGA Kelli Ward 51.7% to 39.2%.

A 30-year incumbent with one of the most celebrated backstories in Congress should have beaten a former state senator with something closer to 90% of the vote (94% is the average for incumbents running for re-election and winning). One of her positions in 2016: McCain is old and will die in office. I, cough, have no idea how someone could suggest such a thing.

In 2017, Ward began to mount a primary challenge against Sen. Jeff Flake for this year's mid-term. Flake released a book in 2017 called Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle. Who says white people don't have a sense of humor?

Two things:
1) a book, in 2017? How retro.
2) Bwahahahahahahahaha "principle"

Flake's assumption that the suggestion that, perhaps, we might be a little more polite with each other in our political discourse, when taken in concert with a voting record that supported Trump 92% of the time, would endear him to moderate Republicans. ERROR 404: FILE NOT FOUND

Moderate Republicans... oops, I think I meant left-handed unicorns (they're easier to find).

Long story short, Flake is not running for re-election this year. Ward is.

And, when McCain's health status was announced last year, Ward not-at-all-opportunistically asserted that McCain should retire and that she should be named as his successor, which makes perfect sense if you don't think about. 

Naturally some people, idiots most likely, found her jockeying for a role seconds after significant news like that was announced to be a bit much. I'm sure if a man had done it there would have been only cheering and lap dances, but when a woman does it, she's uppity.

And so Ward began her campaign for Flake's seat last Friday, the same day the McCain family announced that John McCain was stopping treatment for his cancer. And someone on Ward's campaign staff found that just a bit too coincidental. And then foolishly shared that opinion on the interwebz where things will live forever. 

I think it's interesting how people say "it's interesting" as a passive aggressive way of asserting something they won't actually say straight out.

Kudos to Ward for having sufficiently high self-esteem to believe that the McCain family was thinking of her in the slightest at that time. Hell, they probably planned the whole cancer thing just to goad her into something like this.

And double-kudos to the supporters whose vacuous ass-kissing is undermined by the fact that this is all people seem to be talking about.

And in the midst of all the talking, in an attempt to assuage things, Kelli Ward, candidate AND MEDICAL DOCTOR, opted for a simile that even I have enough emotional maturity to know was the wrong thing to say. Not marginalizing or insulting people is like a cancer.

You know what else is like a cancer? Brain cancer, like the kind John McCain just died from.

Good times, noodle salad. I'm sure Ward will pull in at least 52% of the primary vote.

Song of the Day: "Right Now"

I do appreciate that Nick Jonas makes objectification super easy with selfies like this all over the interwebz.

I'm not sure if he was the "Cake by the Ocean" Jonas.

Or the Scream Queens Jonas.

Or the Goat Jonas.

Maybe all of them?

Robin Schulz is... a person (?)... a remixer, it seems. Full stop.

Song: "Right Now"
Artist: Nick Jonas/Robin Schulz

Like a Sleeveless Vest...

I'm not being overly pedantic when I point out that all chaps are ass-less (chaps with an ass are called pants); I'm being appropriately pedantic.

We've talked about this before...

You're welcome.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Song of the Day: "The Rover"

Interpol's sixth album, Marauder, was released on Friday. Their tour won't hit Portland until February of next year. Who the fuck knows if any of us will still be alive then...

Song: "The Rover"
Artist: Interpol

David Brooks Says "Fucking Assholes"

From HBO's John McCain: For Whom The Bell Tolls

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Knock, Knock, Knockin'...

By all accounts things are looking grim for John McCain.

A remotely-diplomatic person would probably skip writing a post like this, anticipating his passing. McCain will be celebrated as an American hero, benefiting from America's short-term memory span. He will be contrasted with Donald "I like people who weren't captured"/"Ouch, my bone spurs!" Trump: a 6" height difference, a career of service vs. self-serving, the diva move of the ACA repeal vote.

A little over 8 years ago I blogged about the primary challenge McCain was facing against a Tea Party challenger, goading him into more conservative positions. I thought it was irresponsible or narcissistic or short-sighted (or some combination) of him to run for re-election at 74, rather than for him to retire and transition the seat so Arizona doesn't suffer any lapse in representation.

And while he survived that entire term, actuarially speaking that sentiment was double in 2016.

So before you start the candlelight vigil, please read or reread "John McCain, Make-Believe Maverick" from Rolling Stone, October 2008. You'll understand why I felt like I needed to post this.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Song of the Day: "What Kind of World"

Dude from Thompson Twins has released his first solo album, and his first album of new material in 22 years (with his band Babble). I was taken with this, from an album review of Science Fiction, by David Medsker (as I hadn't quite picked up the similarities between "Lies" and "Low Rider"):
All of Bailey’s songwriting weapons are on display here, from the casual theft of a ‘70s California staple, a la the Twins song “Lies” lifting the bass line to “Low Rider” (in this song’s case, the victim is Santana’s “Oye Como Va”) to the Alannah Currie-esque backing vocals in the second line of the chorus, to that gargantuan wordless hook in the third line of the chorus. “Whoa whoa-oooo-whooooooooa!” That is vintage, none-more-Bailey right there.
Holy shit, Medsker's spot on there.

Song: "What Kind of World"
Artist: Tom Bailey

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Song of Day: "Apollo"

E's been pushing this track on me (I think) for a few days now.

So here we are... I've played right into his hands.

Song: "Apollo"
Artist: St. Paul and the Broken Bones

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Song of the Day: "Made For Now"

It seems like just yesterday when Clark and I went to see Janet Jackson in concert.

Actual date: August 30, 2011.

At the very least we went to Pickathon (August 2012, 104 degrees), and Frightened Rabbit in Eugene (October 2012). The Decemberists' "farewell" concert at Edgefield may have also been after Janet.

Hell, the only concert I can think of before Janet that Clark and I went to (here in Portland) was Indigo Girls in 2009.

Time flies.

Song: "Made For Now"
Artist: Janet Jackson

Friday, August 17, 2018

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Song of the Day: "Flaunt the Imperfection"

I've been into Work Drugs for at least 7 of the 8 years the band has been together. That the title track to their newest album is the name of a favorite from 30+ years ago is an interesting coincidence (unless it's not a boating accident).

Song: "Flaunt the Imperfection"
Artist: Work Drugs

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Song of the Day: "Autumn Love"

There's a big rush of new releases coming out which can only mean on thing: it's almost Jesus's birthday!!!!

Pass the pumpkin spice whatevers.

Song: "Autumn Love"
Artist: Death Cab for Cutie

Monday, August 13, 2018

Song of the Day: "Ganja Burn"

It's unusual for me to see Nicki Minaj as the sole artist credited on a song. She's pretty ubiquitous as a collaborator these days (which is why I say it's unusual for me to see her as the sole artist... duh).

This has got a charm to it.

Song: "Ganja Burn'
Artist: Nicki Minaj

Friday, August 3, 2018

Song of the Day: "Curse of the I-5 Corridor"

Neko harmonizes with Mark Lanegan, and I can never remember who he is.

Oh, right, him.

Song: "The Curse of the I-5 Corridor"
Artist: Neko Case/Mark Lanegan

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Song of the Day: "Movin' On"

Paul Weller's 14th album as a solo artist comes out in September. E thinks True Meanings will sound distinct, and different from the Mod Father oeuvre, in the way Confessions of a Pop Group differed for The Style Council.

I'm just shrugging cause all I know is I don't know shit these days.

Song: "Movin' On"
Artist: Paul Weller

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Song of the Day: "Cats and Dogs"

Best Coast are following one of the myriad paths I have for Liza to finally win a fucking Grammy: kids music. Think about it: Liza + Little Richard + Elton John + Ellen + Fred Schneider... gay parents (and possibly some str8 parents wanting to seem cool) would be all over that shit.

And that's who votes for the Grammys: gay parents (and str8 parents trying to seem cool).

It's a whole thing.

Song: "Cats and Dogs"
Artist: Best Coast

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Song of the Day: "Crack the Code"

During part of this song I might have characterized it as "Dawes does The National"--something that, on paper, would be compelling--but it falls apart based on insipid songwriting.

Is it possible to be aggressively insipid? Asking for a friend. 

Song: "Crack the Code"
Artist: Dawes

Monday, July 30, 2018

Awkward but True

Friend: Where's Clark these days?

Me: Well, a third of his ashes are in the trunk of my car.

Womp, womp.

(Technically it's a hatchback.)

Song of the Day: "I Don't Want"

Santigold made a mix tape.

I'm still not sure what that even is.

But good for her. Love her, and have for a good decade now!

Song: "I Don't Want"
Artist: Santigold

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Song of the Day: "It Can't Be Love Unless It Hurts"

Tracyanne Campbell from Camera Obscura, and Danny somebody who goes by the name Crybaby at times, team up for Tracyanne & Danny, an album of all Tupac covers.

Are you even paying attention?

I'll simply add that just because it hurts doesn't mean it's love. It could also just be the pain of knowing your own insignificance, or that you've burned your forehead with a butane torch. 

Song: "It Can't Be Love Unless It Hurts"
Artist: Tracyanne & Danny

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Song of the Day: "Summertime"

There seems to be something slightly subversive about Childish Gambino releasing such a simple track on the heels of the song of the summer. It's on par with half a dozen of Drake's recent tracks, but given the sequence of its release, the song is jejune (and all the Drake tracks are too).

Think about that when you're high-fiving and low-fiving your bro at the volleyball game this summer.

Song: "Summertime"
Artist: Childish Gambino

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Song of the Day: "Crush"

I can't remember which of my friends in Canadia told me about Cigarettes After Sex (the band, not the act of smoking).

There's a 92% chance that it's a guy who looks really good naked, but that doesn't really narrow it down much from the pool of Canadians I know.

You know?

Song: "Crush"
Artist: Cigarettes After Sex

Monday, July 23, 2018

Song of the Day: "I'd Love If We Made It"

We're fucking in a car, shooting heroin
Saying controversial things just for the hell of it
Selling melanin and then suffocate the black men
Start with misdemeanors and we'll make a business out of them
And we can find out the information
Access all the applications that are hardening positions based on miscommunication
Oh! Fuck your feelings!
Truth is only hearsay!
We're just left to decay!
Modernity has failed us
Someone said that there needs to be some pretty serious punk rock emerging from this fucking nightmare of political stupidity and stupid politics. This is a good reminder that not all punk rock sounds like The Clash.

Song: "I'd Love It If We Made It"
Artist: The 1975

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Song of the Day: "I Feel Energy"

Dirty Projectors are doing a really great job of insinuating themselves into my musical fandom.


They are joined by Amber Mark, and here's who the fuck she is.

Song: "I Feel Energy"
Artist: Dirty Projectors/Amber Mark

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Song of the Day: "I Might Need Security"

I love Chance the Rapper--I think my dad would too, but not sure I'm gonna be able to get him to embrace a hip hop artist now that he's in his 70s.


Song: "I Might Need Security"
Artist: Chance the Rapper

Friday, July 20, 2018

Song of the Day: "Patricia"

I'm listening to High As Hope, the new Florence + the Machine, and totally digging it.

I'm hoping to see her/them with St. Vincent opening sometime later this summer and/or early autumn (but I think it's technically still summer).

Song: "Patricia"
Artist: Florence + the Machine

Oh... Damn... This is Good

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Song of the Day: "IDGAF"

Writing and recording a song to tell someone you don't give a fuck undermines the idea that you don't, actually, give a fuck.

Just a heads up.

Regardless, here's hoping that many a young ghey gets to dance to this cathartic-ly some time this year.

Song: "IDGAF"
Artist: Dua Lipa

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Song of the Day: "Lookin'"

Have they picked a song of the summer yet? Oh, probably.

Here's a nice contender for runner-up.

Song: "Lookin'"
Artist: Big Dipper

Monday, July 9, 2018

Song of the Day: "Girls Like You"

Who told what's his name he could wear a shirt?

Also, obviously girls like me. Everybody likes me. I'm fucking awesome.

Song: "Girls Like You"
Artist: Maroon 5/Cardi B

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Song of the Day: "Lights Down Low"

Whatever mediocrity you hear in the song is offset by MAX 's extended shirtless-ness in the video.


Song: "Lights Down Low"
Artist: MAX/gnash

Friday, July 6, 2018

Song of the Day: "One Rizla"

I asked "WTF is a Rizla" and look what I found.

New question: what's the dude got in his shorts? Is that a billy club?

Oh, the band is Shame... enjoy.

Song: "One Rizla"
Artist: Shame

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Song of the Day: "Apeshit"

WTF with all the Lambo references in rap? I don't get it. $200,000 for just one vehicle? I'd rather get 5 $30,000 vehicles, and keep the change (in case you're planning a present for me).

Kudos to The Carters for pulling this off, by the way (I'm sure my validation is what they were after).

Song: "Apeshit"
Artist: The Carters

Friday, June 15, 2018

Song of the Day: "I Wonder If I Take You Home"

Meshell Ndegeocello (nee Michelle Johnson) has an interesting body of work: in many ways it defies easy characterization; in other ways it's good, not great. Her biggest hit was a great cover with John Mellencamp (wisely they picked no one's favorite Van Morrison song and came up with a great version together).

Her new album Ventriloquism is a set of R&B/soul covers from the 80s and 90s. The list is interesting, the end result less so.

I suppose I should give her an A for effort, but "Don't Disturb This Groove" should have made for an easy cover.

Song: "I Wonder If I Take You Home"
Artist: Meshell Ndegeocello

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Song of the Day: "Hell or High Water"

Passenger makes lovely music even if I get overly confusing when I write about it. You've been warned.

Song: "Hell or High Water"
Artist: Passenger

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Song of the Day: "Not Quite"

Some dude who used to be in a band (maybe 30 Seconds to the Disco) tweeted this song and even though I don't know or care about him, I dig this.

Song: "Not Quite"
Artist: Kane Strang

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Song of the Day: "You Don't Walk Away From Love"

Of course you don't walk away from love, it would totally catch up with you. You've got to jump in a speeding getaway vehicle. And have a second car ready at a pre-arranged car change spot. Along with some disguises.


Song: "You Don't Walk Away From Love"
Artist: Peace

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Song of the Day: "Allocate"

Wharton Rob gets credit for introducing me to Damien Jurado back in the day (possibly 1994 oh shit, I was already in Portland when Water Ave. S came out in 1997). I'm still giving Rob credit even if the time line is dubious.

Which brings us to The Horizon Just Laughed, his 17th album in 21 years. That's a lot. Anyone can be forgiven for not knowing all 17 really well.

Song: "Allocate"
Artist: Damien Jurado

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Song of the Day: "Diane"

Holy shit this is a great song. How did this not make more year-end lists for 2017 (it was released in October last year, but it is going on my singles list for 2018, pretty much can guarantee that).

Cam's Wikipedia entry says she's written music for Miley Cyrus, and can I request the two of them do an album together? They would sing the shit out of some Dixie Chicks/Fleetwood Mac/Indigo Girls/Simon & Garfunkel covers.

Song: "Diane"
Artist: Cam

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Seamen Jokes Never Get Old


Did you ever have one of those days where you have to strip down to some gym shorts in order to climb your friends and coworkers to reach the top of an obelisk that's been covered in lard?
Me neither.

And yet many seamen do.

It's the Herndon Climb and you already know about it don't you?

One of these days I'm going to have to see it in person.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Song of the Day: "All the Stars"

Kendrick Lamar curated the soundtrack to Black Panther, and it stands as one more aspect of the project's success (critical praise? check; massive box office? check; a part of the zeitgeist? check; hit soundtrack? check). 

It's really kinda weird they didn't make the movie sooner. Like much, much sooner.

Also Kendrick Lamar isn't doing too badly for himself. Sure, his last 2 albums received the highest Metacritic scores for their respective years (2015's To Pimp a Butterfly with a Metacritic score of 96  and 2017's DAMN with a 95) but lost the Grammy for Album of the Year to Adele (Metacritic score of 75) and Bruno Mars (Metacritic score of 70), respectively. But he's at least won one Grammy (take that, Liza), and the Pulitzer Prize has him looking toward PEGOT. Of course he needs to win EOT...

Song: "All the Stars"
Artist: Kendrick Lamar/Sza

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Song of the Day: "Lottery"

There's a mildly amusing story that describes how I came to hear this song, but I'm not going to share it here because why should I start being amusing now?


Song: "Lottery"
Artist: Jade Bird

Found Wisdom

Friday, May 11, 2018

Song of the Day: "The Enlightenment"

It's fitting that this post, from Mastersystem, a side project of Scott Hutchison and his brother (both from Frightened Rabbit), along with dudes from Editors and Minor Victories, pushes down my obituary for Scott who ended his life this week. As angst-ridden and foreboding as his songs were with respect to his life, it's the fucking music that I connected with and loved. Love.

And even this rollicking big 90s angst fiesta is fucking awesome.

Vive Scott's music.

Song: "The Enlightenment"
Artist: Mastersystem

R.I.P. Scott Hutchison

"I'm away now. Thanks."--Scott

I saw a post on Twitter from the @frightenedrabbit account that expressed concern for Scott, who'd been missing a day or 2: "He may be in a fragile state and may not be making the best decisions for himself right now. Please could Scott or anyone with any information on his whereabouts please contact Police Scotland (101)." 

"This won't end well," I thought. That's actually a pretty standard thought, and one I apply to many situations in an almost prescient manner. 

Which is to say it doesn't end well if you embrace the orthodoxy that suicide is a bad outcome, which I'm not sure I do. Those who call someone who takes his/her own life (I'm struggling with a term that doesn't use a word like "victim" and went down a rabbit hole with respect to the academic study of suicide and the language around suicide) selfish do so with no real sense of understanding, and prioritize the loss felt by the family and friends over the pain endured by him/her (the suicide, if you will). I'm not convinced that suicide is never the answer. I didn't mention that to my friend who's been training as a therapist and was proud to have helped someone change their mind about taking his/her own life, when she shared that information with me the next morning at breakfast. 

Maybe later I'd suggest that she just prolonged someone's agony, but not that Saturday morning. 

What's my point? Oh, fuck, right, Scott is gone. 

If you do a search for "Frightened Rabbit" in the search box for my blog, you'll get over 20 results. If you search for "Paul Weller" you'll get dozens more, but then Paul Weller has been an important part of my life since 1982, while Frightened Rabbit only appeared on my radar in 2010. So per year they're pretty notable.

Also if you add in "Frighten the Rabbit" and "Frightened Rabbits" you'd find a few more near-misses. 

I've described Frightened Rabbit as a band seemingly grown in a lab for me to love: the bombastic percussion, the snarky and dark lyrics, the ample use of "fuck." What's not to love?

I've also described them as being suspiciously perfect, but let's put that aside.

Frightened Rabbit was the musical equivalent of the darkness I find so rewarding in Bojack Horseman. In "Floating in the Forth" Hutchison lays it all out: "Am I ready to leap? / Is there peace beneath / The roar of the Forth Road Bridge?”

The song ends with his proclamation that he'd save suicide for another year. His body was found on the banks of the Forth, just down river from the Forth Road Bridge. 

The man who wrote "Swim Until You Can't See Land" and "Die Like a Rich Boy" and "State Hospital." When it's this clear it doesn't really count as foreshadowing. 

That being said, when it happens to me it is totally unplanned (otherwise it might fuck up the insurance payout). 

Clark and I went to see the band in Eugene back in 2012. My blog posts make it clear that I was a bit dubious about that actually happening, and I can tell you the drive home the next morning was a bit rough, but OMFG we both really loved that show. They'd been selling out all their gigs in Portland, and Scott even lamented that their Portland shows tended to suck because they'd have way too much fun in town before going on. They were well-rested in Eugene. Tight. Clark didn't really know the music but the percussion reawakened the old drummer in him. 

This sucks but then life sucks. 

Rest in peace dude. Both of you.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Monday, May 7, 2018

Song of the Day: "Ashes"

Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes. Celine Dion + Deadpool = "Ashes" = aweSUM. Regular readers of this blog (as if) know I have a strange attachment to the hit songs from movies that have no connection whatsoever to their movies (Huey Lewis & the News "The Power of Love" from Back to the Future, which lost the Academy Award to fellow HSFMTHNCWTTM song, Lionel Richie's "Say You, Say Me" from White Nights). I figured that's what this song was with respect to Deadpool 2: Electric... No, Just 2?


It is "a part of the plot and the theme of the movie, instead of just being a fun music video to tease the release" according to the song's Wikipedia entry. Also the song has its own Wikipedia entry.

It doesn't seem like it was written explicitly for the movie, which might hurt its chances at an Oscar nomination (but other songs escaped that standard). Doesn't matter, I'm all in on this one!

Song: "Ashes"
Artist: Celine Dion

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Song of the Day: "Hunger"

I need to add Florence + the Machine to the musical bucket list.

And I need to pay attention to the concert date once I get a ticket.

Song: "Hunger"
Artist: Florence + the Machine

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Song of the Day: "Back Seat Driver (Spirit Guide)"

I am glad they're back. Seems like forever since "Long Nails."

Song: "Back Seat Driver (Spirit Guide)"
Artist: Bear Hands

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Song of the Day: "Nice for What"

Drake with some version of Lauryn Hill's "Ex Factor" as the music bed.  Weird.

Song: "Nice for What"
Artist: Drake

Monday, April 2, 2018

Song of the Day: "Space Cowboy"

A reviewer characterized Kacey Musgraves as writing kids' music for adults. I'm fine with that.

Song: "Space Cowboys"
Artist: Kacey Musgraves

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The National Review: "If You're Not Dead, You're Not Shit"

I fucking hate the partisan divide in this country. My concern that I'm living in a bubble led me to subscribe to National Review Online's daily newsletter which informs of the myriad ways that liberals/the left/the Kardashians hate America and want America to fail. I mention the Kardashians specifically because National Review's writers either consider them key thought leaders among the left that are worthy of writing about in every article, or they are a self-contained punchline to NR's readership, akin to Jay Leno's Monica Lewinsky jokes. Always salient!

This week, Joe Bissonnette (a Canadian, who comes from Canada [much like the right's Ted Cruz, who is also a Canadian who comes from Canada]) name checks the Kardashians twice in his piece "David Hogg: Oracle, or Useful Idiot?"
"Unlike the Kardashians, social media, gender studies, or anything sold by Starbucks, the Second Amendment is not some fraudulent circus scam designed to deceive, corrupt, and impoverish. Peace, order, and good government have had an amazingly long run in America, but they are fragile things, and the United States Constitution did not secure them by chance." Kardashians AND gender studies AND Starbucks?! If only he'd mentioned quinoa or renewable energy, he would have had BINGO.
He's alluding to the thoughtfully determined balance of power, and the series of checks each branch of government has on the others.

JK, he's totes about the guns and how guns are the most important aspect of the Constitution and how a world without guns would be the worst world because we'd all be victims to all the things that are bad. Guns are the only thing between us and oblivion.

Did you know that there have only been 35 kids and 6 adults killed in school shootings since 2013? Only 35!!! That's practically none and when you consider the fact that there are about 51 deaths from lightning strikes per year, really, the odds of dying in a school shooting is basically 1/6th of the odds of dying from a lightning strike which is logic too brilliant to ever contend with.

Sure, you might say that by going back just one month more into the past you would increase the number of dead by more than 50% (December 2012, Sandy Hook [totally a false flag thing by Obama as a run up to when he took all the guns]), but how would that help his argument? It wouldn't. 

Or you might say that the venue for mass shootings doesn't have to be schools. Something tells me these kids are eager to stop mass shootings even if they're at movie theaters, malls, or on the streets of Las Vegas. 

You might also say that maybe it's not just the death toll, but the compounded trauma from the injured and the PTSD for survivors and their families and a town forced to confront the awful reality, but that would be ignoring how towns are also traumatized when someone is killed by lightning, which, I'm sure they are to a certain extent, but it is entirely possible that they are processed with a different magnitude.

Okay, I went to fact check the dude's 51 deaths per year and that is just bullshit sloppy writing. That's a 30 year average but since we are only going back to 2013, the numbers average 26.2 per year. That just makes his point all the most relevent-er if you don't think about it. Sure the difference in odds got larger when we account for Sandy Hook but now they difference shrinks to smaller than it was when we cut the annual deaths in half--I'm helping!!!

Apparently the number of deaths per year from lightning strikes is a threshold for which anything less likely needs to shut the fuck up. Or within a multiplier of 10. Don't come for my guns. 

And if you're not dead, fuck you.

But the most interesting of the various reasons people are even talking about this staged shooting filled with paid crisis actors is that "everybody knows that schools are sociopathic, outdated, Industrial Revolution–era warehouses" full of angsty teenagers who, frankly, deserve to get shot up by a white male with a gun, apparently (I'm not sure of the logic that gets us here, but I'm sure "freedom" is part of it). 

Also there has never been a grizzly bear attack of an online classroom, Take that Wyoming schools.

The writer does mention this:
"A psych study a few years ago had a large random sample describe a facial expression in a picture. The vast majority of children and adults identified the facial expression as neutral or positive, while more that 70 percent of teens identified the facial expression as negative, hostile, and judgmental." 
And I'm just dying to know which group was actually correct (or if all grouops were wrong). He didn't source the alleged very real study. Which is a shame because in the very objective realm of drawing inferences from facial expressions, someone has to be 100% right and others have to be wrong.

Blah blah. 

Song of the Day: "Neighbors"

The thing about music is there's always going to be a fuckload of stuff you never even get to listen to because you don't get to hear them and if you're focused on discovery then you don't get to savor the stuff you love but either way, what I'm really saying is QUIT IT WITH THE FUCKING IMAGINE DRAGONS SHIT.



Song: "Neighbors"
Artist: Lucius

Pay No Attention

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Song of the Day: "Deadwood"

Remember when Toni Braxton was the shit?

I do, and sadly that means that I'm old.

Song: "Deadwood"
Artist: Toni Braxton

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Pitcher of the Day

Via cousin Lindsey (or is it Lindsay?)

I call it "Now that John Bolton is the National Security Adviser everything will be just fine."

Song of the Day: "Once in My Life"

The opening track from a recent Decemberists release.

Song: "Once in My Life"
Artist: The Decemberists

Friday, March 23, 2018

Song of the Day: "The First Penis I Saw"

I'm posting this so I don't forget about it at the end of the year, when it's list-making time.

It's ABBA-riffic!

Song: "The First Penis I Saw"
Artist: Donna Lynne Champlin

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Song of the Day: "Delicate"

I feel like the more self-aware Taylor Swift's music becomes, the less I'm inclined to like it. This begs the question, are Taylor's song a product of artificial intelligence and thus is Taylor an android?!!!

Asking for a friend.

Song: "Delicate"
Artist: Taylor Swift

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Song of the Day: "Make Me Feel"

The first single from Dirty Computer, Janelle Monae's third album, has Prince's fingerprints all over it. Except not all over it. He is not credited on the song, although Monae says Prince helped "create sounds" for the album, possibly in an "I am not paying your estate for this" kind of way.

Song: "Make Me Feel"
Artist: Janelle Monae

Friday, March 2, 2018

Song of the Day: "Dancing"

Kylie Minogue has somehow merged Music-era Madonna and Dolly Parton.

Good for her.

Song: "Dancing"
Artist: Kylie

Monday, February 26, 2018

Song of the Day: "I Don't Love You Anymore"

It's been a long time since I was instantly swept up by a song (okay, it happened 3 or 4 times in 2017, but still, it's awesome when it happens).

Song: "I Don't Love You Anymore"
Artist: Ricky Montgomery & the Honeysticks

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Song of the Day: "Pictures of Girls"

I'm sure Wallows would have called this song "Pictures of People" if they were woke.

Song: "Pictures of Girls"
Artist: Wallows

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Song of the Day: "How Simple"

I'm pretty sure I have the song name and the band name correctly noted, and not reversed.

Song: "How Simple"
Artist: Hop Along

2017 Albums List

25. Aimee Mann Mental Illness
24. Stars There Is No Love Under Fluorescent Light
23. Father John Misty Pure Comedy
22. Beck Colors
21. St. Vincent Masseducation
20. Fleet Foxes Crack-Up
19. Mount Eerie A Crow Looked At Me
18. St Etienne Home Counties
17. Margo Price All American Made
16. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings Soul of a Woman
15. Kelly Lee Owens Kelly Lee Owens
14. Haim Something To Tell You
13. The War on Drugs A Deeper Understanding
12. Mountain Goats Goths
11. Mark Eitzel Hey Mr. Ferryman
10. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit The Nashville Sound
8. Jens Lekman Life Will See You Now
7. Charly Bliss Guppy
6. Manchester Orchestra A Black Mile to the Surface
5. Hurray for the Riff Raff The Navigator
4. Sampha Process
3. The xx I See You
2. Lorde Melodrama
1. The National Sleep Well Beast

2017 Albums #5 to #1

5. Hurray for the Riff Raff The Navigator
4. Sampha Process
3. The xx I See You
2. Lorde Melodrama
1. The National Sleep Well Beast

2017 Albums #10 to #6

10. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit The Nashville Sound
8. Jens Lekman Life Will See You Now
7. Charly Bliss Guppy
6. Manchester Orchestra A Black Mile to the Surface

2017 Albums #15 to #11

15. Kelly Lee Owens Kelly Lee Owens
14. Haim Something To Tell You
13. The War on Drugs A Deeper Understanding
12. Mountain Goats Goths
11. Mark Eitzel Hey Mr. Ferryman

2017 Albums #20 to #16

20. Fleet Foxes Crack-Up
19. Mount Eerie A Crow Looked At Me
18. St. Etienne Home Counties
17. Margo Price All American Made
16. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings Soul of a Woman

2017 Albums: #25 to #21

25. Aimee Mann Mental Illness
24. Stars There Is No Love Under Fluorescent Light
23. Father John Misty Pure Comedy
22. Beck Colors
21. St. Vincent Masseducation

Monday, February 19, 2018

2017 Singles: #10 through #1

10. Gorillaz/Jehnny Beth "We Got The Power"
9. Judah & the Whale "Take It All Back 2.0"
8. Lorde “Green Light"
7. Miley Cyrus "Malibu"
6. Jens Lekman "What's That Perfume That You Wear?"
5. Childish Gambino "Redbone"
4. Haim "Want You Back"
3. The National "The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness"
2. The xx “On Hold”
1. Portugal. The Man “Feel It Still”

2017 Singles: #20 through #11

20. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit "Hope the High Road"
19. Hurray for the Riff Raff "Pa'lante"
18. Haim “Little of Your Love”
17. Slowdive "Star Roving"
16. Jens Lekman "How We Met, the Long Version"
15. Beck "Up All Night"
14. Ted Leo “The Little Smug Supper Club”
13. Mountain Goats "Rain in Soho"
12. Ke$ha/The Dap King Horns "Woman"
11. Hurray for the Riff Raff "Living in the City"

2017 Singles: #30 through #21

30. Sir Sly "High"
29. Courtney Barnett + Kurt Vile "Over Everything"
28. Walker Hayes "You Broke Up with Me"
27. The Shins "Australia"
26. Arcade Fire “Everything Now”
25. Hercules & Love Affair/Rouge Mary "Rejoice"
24. State of Sound "Heaven"
23. Drake "Passionfruit"
22. Charlie Bliss "Glitter"
21. Vance Joy "Lay It On Me"

2017 Singles: #40 through #31

40. Mountain Goats "Andrew Eldritch is Moving Back to Leeds"
39. Cloud Nothings "Enter Entirely"
38. Foster The People "Sit Next to Me"
37. Dirty Projectors/D∆WN "Cool Your Heart"
36. LCD Soundsystem "Tonite"
35. Saint Etienne "Dive"
34. Margo Price "Pay Gap"
33. Chris Stapleton "Either Way"
32. Carly Rae Jepsen "Cut to the Feeling"
31. Charli XVX "Boys"

2017 Singles: #50 through #41

50. Destroyer "Tinseltown Swimming in Blood"
49. The New Pornographers "High Ticket Attractions"
48. Ride "Cali"
47. Jay-Z "The Story of OJ"
46. Nine Inch Nails “Less Than”
45. The National “Day I Die”
44. The Killers "Run for Cover"
43. St. Vincent "Los Ageless"
42. Sufjan Stevens "Mystery of Love"
41. Lorde "Homemade Dynamite"

Monday, February 5, 2018

Song of the Day: "Rose-Colored Boy"

Apparently I have no idea who Paramore are...

Song: "Rose-Colored Boy"
Artist: Paramore

Musical Theater Therapy: "YMCA"

Disco did not go gentle into that good night. It took a triumphant last stand which only made things worse--it was then pushed down a large flight of stairs and its skull stomped on eventually succumbing to a variety of its injuries.

Things might have ended with less violence had the Village People not released Can't Stop The Music, the 1980 movie musical starring the VPs along with Oscar nominee (just not for this) Valerie Perrine, a rollerskating Steve Guttenberg and Olympic gold medal winner Bruce Jenner in his sole big-screen outing.

Fun fact: we here at Musical Theater Therapy did, in fact, stay at the YMCA. On our first visit to Seattle in 1995 we stayed at the downtown YMCA which offered a variety of inexpensive lodging options including private rooms with share baths (European style) for $44 a night. We came back to find the room an utter mess--we left the window open and pigeons came into the room, made a mess, then left. Also on Sunday night, October 8th, while trying to get to sleep before an early flight home, the city erupted in the sound of celebration. With our help, the Seattle Mariners beat the NY Other Teams and went to their first World Seriously Championships of ever. We did not see another human the entire time we were at the YMCA.

The song, while not explicitly a lie, is misleading. While you *can* do many things, there is no guarantee that you will do anything there.

Today's song is "YMCA"--a song about how, if you're down and out, you should seek comfort in brotherhood. Today's lesson is that you should do that, just make sure there's someone there before you spend a lot off effort.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Musical Theater Therapy: "Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)"

Speaking of Stephen Sondheim (and we were, just yesterday, duh, pay closer attention), here's his Oscar winning song from the hit movie (and I do mean hit, it was a really big hit) Dick Tracy. Remember when we were all gaga for primary colors and an original song score partially by Stephen Sondheim? Me neither because we are young Millenials here and have no idea who this schmoe hosting these awards (MTV VMAs?) is...

We remember when Madonna was out hitchhiking in no clothes because that was nudity before the internet existed. We were 2 years old then.

Today's song is "Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)" and today's lesson is that Millenials will kill everyone and everything around them. Including us, I mean you, because we certainly are a Mlllenials ourselves.

Song of the Day: "Stand Up For Something"

This is Diane Warren's ninth Oscar nomination for Best Original Song. Randy Newman has two pity wins at this point, so, you know. Do the right thing AMPAS (the right thing, by the way, is to fix your fucked up judging process for Original Song).

And apparently this is NOT Alessia Cara (whose name I spelled right on the first try).

Song: "Stand Up For Something"
Artist: Andra Day/Common

Monday, January 22, 2018

Musical Theater Therapy: "Tonight"

Musical Theater Therapy celebrates one of those musical moments when all the pieces are set up on the game board. Today it's "Tonight" from the iconic (if certainly a bit overwrought) West Side Story, the movie musical about how some Greek and eastern Europeans got into it good with some western Europeans in a part of Manhattan that would soon become super gay.

If we learn one lesson from West Side Story, it's not to let prep school students like Stephen Sondheim write lyrics for gang members.

If we learn two lessons from West Side Story, it's that Marni Nixon is a bad-ass utility player.


Hash tag rest in piece.

Today's song is "Tonight" and today's lesson is the thing about prep school lyrics. Obvs.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Musical Theater Therapy: "Kiss Her Now"

We here at Musical Theater Therapy are well versed in the forgotten musical Dear World thanks to Broadway Genius John. He's useful like that.

He's also a bit impatient at our unwillingness to sit still and/or stay past intermission which is very likely related to some serious mental health issues we've been working through (or possibly ignoring) which is neither here nor there, it's just a thing, no follow-up questions please.

If you aren't well versed in the story of Dear World, here's the plot summary per Wikipedia: A corporation has discovered oil under the streets of Paris, directly under a bistro. The Countess Aurelia (known as The Madwoman of Chaillot) lives in the bistro's basement, driven mad because of a lost lover and reminiscing about her past. When the corporation decides to blow up the bistro to get the oil, a young executive, Julian, helps to foil the plan because he has fallen in love with Nina, the bistro's waitress. Aurelia lures the corporation executives to the underground in the sewer system.

It's based on Jean Giraudoux's play The Madwoman of Chaillot as adapted by Maurice Valency.

The show ran a brief 132 performances on Broadway and won 50% of its 2 Tony nominations. Today's song is "Kiss Her Now" sung by Angela Lansbury, Tony winner for Best Leading Actress in a Musical 1969 (plus 4 other Tonys). Today's lesson is not to wait to kiss her, dumb ass... kiss her now.

No, now!


And now you've missed your chance.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Musical Theater Therapy: "All I Care About"

In the Year of Jerry Orbach, how many Jerry Orbachs (or is it Jerries Orbach) is too many?

None. You can never have enough Jerries Orbach.

Today's Jerry Orbach is the Tony-losing Jerry Orbach from the musical Chicago. It ran a bit over 2 years during its first Broadway production and its revival has been running for more than 20 years (without a Jerry Orbach it's been running 10x as long).

The show lost all 11 of its Tony nominations. Probably because it was up against A Chorus Line (although there was no lead actor nominee from A Chorus Line, so really Jerry Orbach had no one to blame but himself).

Regardless, vive Jerry Orbach!

Vive Jerries Orbach!!!

Today's lesson? You can never have enough Jerries Orbach.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Musical Theater Therapy: "Please Mr. Kennedy"

Today's Musical Theater Therapy teams Poe Dameron with Kylo Ren and Justin Timberlake with one of the original songs from Inside Llewyn Davis. The 2013 Coen Brothers movie is loosely based on Dave Van Ronk, a folk singer who was such a mainstay of the Greenwich Village music scene that he was called the Mayor of MacDougal Street (MacDougal Street being in Greenwich Village or the whole thing makes no sense, amirite?).

The songs are diegetic, and performances were captured live either as characters were writing/rehearsing, recording or performing on stage. In this scene, Oscar Isaac (ace pilot for the Resistance Poe Dameron), Adam Driver (Darth Vader's grandson Kyle Ron, err, Rylo Ken doll, err, Kylo Ren), and Justin Timberlake (Sean Parker, founder of Napster [entirely different movie]) write and record "Please Mr. Kennedy," an homage to the novelty song "Mr. Custer."

The movie picked up Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Cinematography from the National Society of Film Critics, and won a few other accolades. It was nominated for a slew of awards, often losing to Gravity, Her, 12 Years a Slave, or American Hustle. Never saw it, but it seems like it would be good.

Today's song is "Please Mr. Kennedy" and today's lesson is that the power of music can bring even Resistance and First Order together in harmony.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Musical Theater Therapy: "Poor Unfortunate Souls"

Musical Theater Therapy still isn't sure what all the fuss is about with respect to "Poor Unfortunate Souls." We love The Little Mermaid, well, we love much of The Little Mermaid.

We love much of The Little Mermaid's music.

Hmmm, we might want to quit while we're ahead...

"Poor Unfortunate Souls" is from Disney's The Little Mermaid, based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale The Little Mermaid based on the novel Push by Sapphire. It's the clearest articulation of the recurring Disney motif that girls are nothing without a man, and the best way to get a man is to be pretty and stay out of his way (here it is literally to shut up and be pretty).

None of the boys' cartoons features a man who has to get the girl (they get the girl, to be clear, but that's just a lesser story line to them saving the village; or discovering their role as the true leader of Pride Rock; or to be a mofo (we edited our language) car, racing a bunch of other mofo cars, repeat as needed.

Surprisingly few Disney films pass the Bechdel Test. Those that do often involve "partial credit" or a liberal interpretation of the guidelines. When they pass cleanly it's because the villain is female.

All that being said, Rebel Wilson as Ursula in concert=awesome casting. Ursula is the only Disney character whose inspiration is a member of the opposite sex. Fun fact: Ursula is based on Winston Churchill*.

Today's song is "Poor Unfortunate Souls" and today's lesson is maybe limit the number of Disney movies you let your daughters watch. The patriarchy isn't going to destroy itself... although it's confusing as to what that's the case considering how inept and lecherous the patriarchy is. Seriously Matt Lauer, a remote door lock button under your desk?

Grab them by the pussy? That sounded like a 5th grader who had not actually had sex education yet.

That's the patriarchy, and it's not yet exploded in a burst of stupidity or slipped on a pool of urine from when everyone missed the toilet?

* No, Ursula is based on Divine who is, in turn, based on the novel Push by Sapphire.