Thursday, November 22, 2018

Song of the Day: "GTFO"

Yesterday when I mentioned Mariah's Caution album being ever-so-slightly ahead of Blood Orange in their respective Metacrtic scores. I had no idea that Dev Hynes (the "Blood Orange" of Blood Orange) was a collaborator on Caution. Of course, I didn't even know Caution existed, so it makes sense that I wouldn't know particulars about it as well.

Since today is Thanksgiving, I will just say that I am Thankful that songs like this, and Dua Lupa's "IDGAF" are out there, ruining the lives of the employees of Andrews-McMeel Publishing.

Oh, yeah, it ain't over.

Song: "GTFO"
Artist: Mariah Carey

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Song of the Day: "Saint"

With Blood Orange's Negro Swan, Dev Hynes (who is, essentially, the band) makes it clear that he's every bit the singer/songwriter/producer/arranger/musician/artist that Sufjan Stevens, Justin Vernon, Beyoncé, or Jim James. The album's Metacritic score of 84 is solid, putting it somewhere between Mariah Carey's Caution and Ry Cooder's The Prodigal Son.

Apparently, Mariah has a solid album out... who knew?

Song: "Saint"
Artist: Blood Orange

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Gig Life

First, when you encounter the term "gig life" please read it in this voice.

Second, I was going to put a stylized version of "gig life" (did you read that in the aforementioned voice?) at the top of the post, based on the novel Push by Sapphire the typical tattoo for "thug life" but I feel like the Olde English font version is played out. I'm not a fan of the cursive version that seems to be second most pervasive. The bottom one is in a typeface called Top Secret.
And to prove that I gave this some diligence, here are some versions that I rejected.

Now if you're thinking "after all that, why didn't you put something at the top of this post," well, welcome to my world.

I confuse myself a lot.

What's my point?

Oh, right. Lately, I've been dabbling in a new gig to keep the drug money coming in: collecting scooters from around the city to charge overnight and release them early the next morning. There were at least 3 different companies involved in a pilot test with the city of Portland to determine whether or not to allow scooters to stay permanently.

I'd heard about how easy it was: an app tells you where the scooter is, just scan it, put it in your car, take it home, plug it in, then take it back out and place it at a designated spot, and earn $5 and up for each scooter. It would be a piece of cake.

A piece of really shitty cake.

Which, after I received 3 charging cords, became shitty cake AND a side of shitty ice cream, which is to say that I received a message that when I charge a scooter, I really should clean up the scooter too. When I had the first 2 scooters charging in my kitchen this didn't seem unreasonable because they were both pretty clean. Later I would become annoyed by both the condition of the scooters I was picking up, and the late in the deal nature of the request.

But it would seem like a small imposition when I was notified that while charging (and cleaning) the scooters, I should also be conducting a 7-point safety inspection on them. The inspection uses 2 different sized Allen wrenches (or hex keys), and at least one other tool that I've already forgotten. They also expected cleaning and charging, and the pay per charge did not increase.

I generally limited my pickup and release to the nearby University Park area. A couple of times I had to take scooters to the east side of I-5. Releases are supposed to happen between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. If you don't release before 7 a.m. you risk not being paid 100% of the stated amount (recently used scooters that the company had good GPS information on and that held 35% or more of their charge were $5, but the amount went as high as $20 for a scooter that had been offline a while, and was possibly at the bottom of the river).

On my way home one afternoon I found a $5 scooter out on the sidewalk with 100% charge. It was a few blocks off a main road, and it was not in a designated pickup area for someone renting the scooter. I put it in the car and drove it to a release spot. I cleaned it (well, I claimed to have cleaned it) and, since it was at 100%, I released it at 3 in the afternoon (which, you will agree, is before 7 a.m.).

I was paid $0.

Not because the scooter wasn't clean. Not because the scooter wasn't safety checked. Not because the scooter wasn't released before 7 a.m. Not because the scooter wasn't charged to 100%.

I was paid nothing because I only had the scooter for 15 minutes and I couldn't have charged it much during that time. It's like returning a rental car full but having them ding you because, well, I don't know. This analogy isn't holding up well since I'm on the other side of the rental.

The moral of the story: fuck Bird scooters.

Oh, I didn't mention the awkwardness of wandering around residences late at night looking for scooters, often leaning against a house or in a carport, and how being white probably helped me from getting shot or having the police called on me. Nor did I mention how difficult it was to release the scooters because, while I would be at a designated spot, the app would tell me it couldn't be released until I was within 30 feet. Even when I was right fucking there. In the cold predawn morning, just trying to get my $5 per scooter (I had several that were $16, to be honest).

Which brings me to this season of South Park. I began season 22 of South Park, and season 13 of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia now that you mention it, really disliking the show.



But the animation in "The Scoots" episode of South Park had a rich Grinch quality to it (which is to say it paid homage to the Grinch and was very rich/high def [but rich seems more apt]). And since Mr. Garrison is rounding up scooters to get them out of the town, this seems sufficiently on topic for me to include some images.

This is not realistic. They are heavy-ish and awkward to carry
and always bang your fucking shins. Always.

South Park redeemed itself with the 2-part "Time to Get Cereal" and "Nobody Got Cereal?" episodes. IASIP partially redeemed a weak season with Mac's interpretive dance in "Mac Finds His Pride."

I'm glad they waited for Mac to be exceedingly ripped before he came out as gay since fat gay men are, cough, totally unrealistic.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Song of the Day: "Wintertime"

When Taylor Swift won the Grammy for Album of the Year for 1989, she triumphantly celebrated herself as the first woman to win a Grammy for Album of the Year twice. And she was, if you don't count Norah Jones, who won for Come Away With Me in 2003, and who shared a Grammy with Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell, John Legend, Leonard Cohen, Luciana Souza, Tina Turner, and Corinne Bailey Rae for River: The Joni Letters in 2008. She won her second 2 years before Taylor won her first.

Romper pointed out Norah's wins, and also noted that Lauryn Hill won Grammys for AOTY for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and for Santanna's Supernatural; and Allison Krauss won twice: Raising Sand, and O Brother, Where Art Thou? Hill was a producer* on Supernatural and has an AOTY Grammy for Supernatural, just like the other 12 producers, the 23 engineers, and the ~9 members of Santana.

Taylor's PR flack attempted to clarify that she was the first solo female performer to win 2, but if you look at the credits for Fearless, Colbie Caillat received an AOTY Grammy as a featured performer. So it shouldn't count for the same pedantic reason Norah's second shouldn't count.

Luckily for Taylor, Adele stepped up the very next year to do the precise thing her PR person tried to clarify Taylor into doing: 2 Album of the Year Grammys with only one female as the performer. All she had to do was beat Lemonade in one of those "why do we fucking care about the Grammys moments."

OMG what is my point?!!!! I forget. Here's a new collaboration between Norah Jones and Jeff Tweedy (who produces and plays on the track).

* Fun fact: Lauryn Hill is one of only 5 females nominated for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical in the 42 years it's been awarded; it took 15 years before the first female nominee (in 1990 Janet Jackson shared a nomination with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis), and the other 4 all happened in the 90s (Mariah Carey shared a nomination with Walter Afanasieff in 1992; Paula Cole became the first female nominated alone in 1998; and 1999 was crazy, with both Sheryl Crow and Lauryn Hill nominated individually).

Song: "Wintertime"
Artist: Norah Jones

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Song of the Day: "Didn't I"

Rod Stewart: first, he's still alive--he does 4 shows a week at Caser's Palace in Las Vegas (a high energy show, he runs through the audience and kicks soccer balls). Second, he's making new music (his "not great" country album was out in 2015 [he made my Top 50 singles for the album's best track], his 30th studio album (Blood Red Roses) was released in September, with most of the songs co-written by Stewart, and he's started work on his next album which he expects to release sometime in early 2020.

Hell, he's even got another kid on the way with his new wife, a 23 year-old model/actress from France. Just kidding, although who knows with him, his 8 kids range in age from 7 years to 55 years, and he's been married to the current wife for 11 years (that's a long time for Stewart, and also she's 47 years old, so, you know... reaching her sell by date).

I don't know who Bridget Cady is (she's one of his backup singers). If she's young enough maybe she can be his next baby mama. 

Song: "Didn't I"
Artist: Rod Stewart/Bridget Cady