Sunday, September 30, 2007
Last night I joined my friend Scott at Jimmy's 43 in the East Village to see a friend of his play in the Ukelele Cabaret. The show started at 7, but I arrived late, at 10:30, just in time for the Extreme Uke segment of the show, which turned out to be one of the most entertaining 3 hours in recent memory. The rules are-you gotta play the uke, you can play up to three songs, and there is a theme to each evening, this one was "back to School"
There were uke versions of Britney Spears, New Order (complete with beats from a boombox) The Kinks, Beach Boys, Queen. . A woman in her seventies sang one about how she loves boys AND girls, and a young band of hipsters sang one called Vagina ala mode.
My favorite, though, was Jamie Scandal (pictured), who performed a song about her enfatuation with Dirty Jobs (reality TV) Host Mike Rowe. She brought pink vinyl curtains to hang behind her, and buckets filled with tomatoes, green slime, and plastic containers filled with dirt, which she handed out to the audeince. She carefully instructed us to wait until the end of the song when she sings "I want to get dirty", and then pelt her first with tomatoes, then with slime, then dirt. The song was actually brilliant, and she had the nights coolest uke, made out of a cigar box. We did as instructed, Scott with Tomatoes and me with dirt, both on target.
The show ended with a 15 uke jam on their theme song "4 Strings or Fight", and I left inspired to buy a box of cigars and smoke them quickly.
I've attached one of my favorites from the night, a duo who performs 1920's French songs. This one translates "He Saw me Nude", about a woman bathing by moonlight who discovers a figure on the banks. I love most that the original French text includes the phrase "Super Nude".
Il Ma Vu Nue (He Saw Me Nude)
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Although he still has a lot to answer to for releasing Capeman, in my book Paul Simon is one of the most gifted singer/songwriters around. For the past week I have been listening to nothing but this song over and over and it gets better with each listen. Fleetwood Mac, Elliott Smith, Richie Havens, I hear all of these artists in this song.
When I ride my bike to work in the morning I turn left from Damen onto Madison just as the sun introduces itself to the city above the radio antennas of the Sears Tower. Just at that left turn, I start to break a sweat, working the pedals over and over, up in the saddle fighting against the wind and singing at the top of my lungs...
Peace like a river ran through the city/long past the midnight curfew we sat starry-eyed/we we're satisfied
(I hope that I'll never make it to work and I'll just spend the day riding, this song playing over and over)
You can beat us with wires/you can beat us with chains/you can run out your rules/but you can't outrun the history train
(I hope you enjoy this song as much as I have)
Four in the morning/I woke up from out of my dreams
Nowhere to go but back to sleep/But I'm reconciled
I'm going to be up for a while
I'm going to be up for a while
I'm going to be up for a while
Paul Simon "Peace Like a River"
Friday, September 28, 2007
BARNAUL, Russia - A Siberian woman who gave birth to her 12th child — doing more than her fair share to stem Russia’s population decline — was stunned to find that little Nadia weighed in at a massive 17 pounds, 1 ounce.
Nadia was delivered by Caesarean section in the local maternity hospital in the Altai region on September 17, joining eight sisters and three brothers, a local reporter said.
“We were all simply in shock,” said Nadia’s mother, Tatyana Barabanova, 43. “What did the father say? He couldn’t say a thing — he just stood there blinking.”
“I ate everything, we don’t have the money for special foods so I just ate potatoes, noodles and tomatoes,” she told the reporter, adding that all her previous babies had weighed more than 11 pounds.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
The five-month murder trial of legendary "Wall of Sound" producer Phil Spector ended in a mistrial today after the jury announced for the second time that it couldn't reach a verdict, split 10-2. He may be retried for second degree murder, but he may also walk. This guys been waving his gun in everyone's face (Leonard Cohen, Ronnie Spector,etc) for decades and it looks like he'll get to continue. Yippee!
Pistol Packin' Papa-Jimmie Rogers
I just finished "Tearing Down The Wall of Sound-The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector" and highly recommend it.
David Singer is on vacation in Florida
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Here's the trailer:
And here's director Bill Kirkos (my childhood pal) interviewed on Chicago Tonight:
Monday, September 24, 2007
If you're in the bathroom stall, doing your thing, and you drop your executive-sized Blackberry and it goes clattering across the tile floor to the other side of the room (i.e. out of the stall) ... well i'm not gonna get it for you, ok?
You're on your own with that.
When I was 7 or so, I was obsessed with "Annie". I saw it on Broadway with the original cast, minus star Andrea McCardle. I think the Annie I saw might have been (then only pony-faced) Sarah Jessica Parker. McCardle, by the way, replaced Kristin Vigard, who played it a little too "nice" for the producers' liking, and was sacked after a week of rehearsals. It didn't crush her little 8 year old spirit though - Vigard went on to sing "Frank Mills" in the revival of Hair and later was the singing voice of Ileana Douglass' character in the terrific movie Grace of My Heart. She still has a beautiful voice, makes records, etc. Check out a song from the movie below.
McCardle was on the soundtrack, though, and she was a real belter. When I was 7, she and I had basically the same range. I would listen to the soundtrack over and over, fantasizing that they would re-mount it with a boy in the lead: "Albert: The Musical". This is not a joke. My showstopper was the melancholy "Maybe", which I still contend is an absolutely beautiful song, one of my all-time favorites.
And if you think that's gay, fuck you.
Andrea McCardle - "Maybe"
Kristin Vigard - "A Boat On The Sea"
Well into a six hour scotch soaked ipod DJ relay up at Gooseland this weekened, Bianchi broke out changes by Black Sabbath.Here is the swepties version
The Sweptaways version of Changes by Black Sabbath
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Marcia Brady aka Maureen McCormick Had Lesbian Sex With Jan!
(towards the end of this item there is a priceless comparing of 70s public standards to, uh, Nazi Germany.)
I thought it was old, old news that the Brady's were not as clean cut as their TV counterparts. I think one was gay and died of AIDS, Greg was banging Jan, and Jan was banging Peter, or something like that, but it seems that Marcia was really actually banging Jan. No way!
Maureen McCormick details her lesbian experiences with Jan (Eve Plumb) in her tell-all book which hits shelves in 2008.
A source told The National Enquirer, "The most explosive comments will be how the then-blonde, blue-eyed cutie developed a crush on Eve Plumb, which led to some sexual play. This book will certainly come as a shocker. While Maureen is not a lesbian, she reveals there were some sexual hijinks going on behind the scenes. It's bizarre because she played such a virginal character on the show."
If we knew back then what we know now, this could have possibly helped the Brady girls careers. Thank God for 2007 where naked pictures, cocaine and lesbian scandals actually raise your star-meter instead of lower it. The Brady Bunch days must have been such a bore, since they had to keep underage lesbian sex quiet, sounds kind of like Nazi Germany.
Not to mention if it were 2007 there would of been a tape, or at least some pictures we could have published.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Somehow, when I was like, 9, I acquired the 12" for Tim Curry's disco breakout hit (#91 on the charts!), "I Do The Rock". I didn't know him from Rocky Horror or anything, I just knew that this English dude knew a lot of words.
This song was co-written by Michael Kamen, who at the time was a Pink Floyd crony, but went on to write "Everything I Do" with Bryan Adams. He is now dead. Coincidence, or a just God?
Anyway, I still love it. You know how you know I'm gay? I know every word to this song.
Tim Curry - "I Do The Rock"
Thursday, September 20, 2007
This just in: Chromeo to work with Hall & Oates. For those in the know, this is a dream come true.
Prediction: Hits. Actual hits.
Please enjoy today's download of "So Sexy", Twista and R Kelly remixed by Chromeo.
"So Sexy" - Twista Featuring R Kelly (Chromeo Remix)
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
From Mark & Juli in Portland:
We have a new Vermeys!
Dalia Kathryn Vermeys was born on 9/18/07 at 9:33am. She weighs 7 lbs 11 oz and is 20.5 inches long. She arrived with brownish hair, but it looks like she'll eventually be more blonde. Is anyone surprised?
We've attached a couple of pictures. She's just about the coolest thing ever. Mark was Juli's birthing partner and was with her from start to finish. We should be heading home Thursday.
Mark and Julianna
Ratzinger steps to Condi wit a quickness. Solid, Joey Rats!
The Name Game
1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car),
2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie),
Chocolate Pecan Sandie
3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name),
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal),
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born),
6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first),
7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink),
The Red Latte
8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers),
9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy),
Winter 1972 Bit-O-Honey
10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ),
11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter),
12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower).
13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree),
15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”),
The Cooking Tornado Tour
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
If you are familiar with the jazz composition "Take the A Train," then you know something about not only Duke Ellington, but also Billy "Sweet Pea" Strayhorn, its composer. Strayhorn joined Ellington's band in 1939, at the age of twenty-two. Ellington liked what he saw in Billy and took this shy, talented pianist under his wings. Neither one was sure what Strayhorn's function in the band would be, but their musical talents had attracted each other. By the end of the year Strayhorn had become essential to the Duke Ellington Band; arranging, composing, sitting-in at the piano. Billy made a rapid and almost complete assimilation of Ellington's style and technique. It was difficult to discern where one's style ended and the other's began. The results of the Ellington-Strayhorn collaboration brought much joy to the jazz world.
Strayhorn lived a tremendously productive life. He influenced many people that he met, and yet remained very modest and unassuming all the while. For a time he coached Lena Horne in classical music to broaden her knowledge and improve her style of singing. He toured the world with Ellington's band and for a brief time lived in Paris. Strayhorn's own music is internationally known and honored. It has been translated in French and Swedish.
Some of Strayhorn's compositions are: "Chelsea Bridge," "Day Dream," "Johnny Come Lately," "Rain-check, and "Clementine." The pieces most frequently played are Ellington's theme song, "Take the A Train" and Ellington's signatory, "Lotus Blossom".
What this doesn't say: Billy Strayhorn was an unmitigated genius who let Duke Ellington mentally abuse him for 40 years. I highly recommend the "American Masters" profile that is currently in rotation on a PBS station near you. The man could write (he wrote "Lush Life", for fuck's sake!), the man could play his ass off, the man was a giant.
Billy Strayhorn (solo) - "Take the 'A" Train".
Monday, September 17, 2007
Thank god someone else posted today. I was champing at the proverbial bit.
***Correction: the expression is "champing at the bit", not "chomping". Please accept my deepest and most sincere apology.
If I had heard this song at 13, I would have dropped out of school to start a band. Lucky for me, it wasn't until I was 22.
Pavement - "Box Elder"
Just click it.
Grilled Trout a la Yusa
2 whole trout cleaned and ready to cook (Whole Foods usually has them)
2 lemons, one cut in thin rounds
a bunch of dill
salt and pepper
a bit of olive oil
Score the skin of the trout so it doesn't curl as it cooks. Then place it skin side down and sprinkle with olive oil salt and pepper. With the fish open like a book, place the lemon slices and dill on the fish and then close them up. Now you're ready to head to the grill. So the fish doesn't stick, spray the grill top or fish grilling basket (if you have one) with cooking spray. Place the fish on the grill over a nice hot flame and let it cook for a couple of minutes on each side, it shouldn't take long. They'll turn crispy brown on the outside and stay tender and juicy on the inside. Plate them up and serve them with the rest of the lemon. Serve them with smashed red potatoes with garlic and parsley and maybe some fresh tomatoes. If dill isn't your thing I have another good trout recipe for you.
The next delightful menu option is one of my favorites, I call it Mira!Shreeemp!
a pound of big ass shrimp or prawns
lots of fresh garlic minced up
5 limes or more
red pepper flakes (I use smoked chipotle pepper flakes that Brendan and Andarte gave me)
salt and pepper
some olive oil
In a large bowl, mix together the peeled and deveined shrimp, lime juice, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and oil. Let it sit for a half hour to 40 minutes. After the shrimp have soaked up all the limey, spicy goodness, skewer them on nice metal skewers like the ones Tim's mom gave us for our wedding (or whatever skewers you can find). Take them out to the hot grill and cook them until the are a beautiful shade of coral. Make sure you don't over cook them! They shouldn't be rubbery or dry. A couple of minutes on each side should do. Serve them with Spanish rice or some potato and onion saute and a big salad.
Good luck! Let me know if you need any help.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Today's download comes from Portland, Oregon's terrific band Blitzen Trapper. Their crazy psychedelic approach sounds to me like the Flaming Lips covering "Mississippi Queen". Which, in case you're curious, is a fucking major league cut.
Check out the title track from their debut LP, Wild Mountain Nation....
"Wild Mountain Nation" - Blitzen Trapper
"Mississippi Queen" - Mountain
Friday, September 14, 2007
Do you have that one thing you can think of to bring a smile to your face in any sitaution? I do, and its this Intonation spot that David recorded in all seriousness last year to help Intonation's 75 Hip Hop acts find an audience on the Southside.
This actually aired, probably also at 1:36 in the morning
Click here for Into Spot
Anyway, so I announce this rule, expecting some whining, but happily receive none. I continue on with my pronouncements (turn your #$%$* cell phone off, don't ask me for the notes from the class you missed because you were getting tattooed, etc).
About 5 minutes pass and one of the many blond haired/blue eyed students (it's Utah, people!) raises his hand and asks, with all possible earnestness, "Are we allowed to bring laptops into the classroom if they stay in our backpacks?"
I had to kindly explain to this well-meaning but deadly dense twentysomething that I do not, in fact, employ a security detail to examine the possessions of every student that enters the classroom. More importantly, I do not GIVE A FUCK if you show up with a christless MAINFRAME, I just don't want you reading Perez Hilton on it.
Well, there was an upside (see bold text below):
"According to reports on Austin360.com and the website of Austin network KXAN, a fire broke out in a trailer at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park this afternoon, injuring two people critically and wounding several seriously.
The blaze, which KXAN reports was caused by exploding propane tanks, consumed the structure around 2:30 p.m. (central time), sending a tall cloud of black smoke into the air. It apparently spread to other trailers and several portable toilets as well.
Pete Yorn's set on the nearby AT&T stage was suspended as fire trucks and rescue personnel rushed across the grounds. According to Austin360.com, Yorn resumed around 2:55 p.m. and emergency officials had the blaze under control by 3:10 p.m."
Gave an interview to Baltimore's Child Magazine on "Hot Infant Gifts"
Sat in on another recap of the Britney performance
Checked my gmail account 70 times
and visited some of my favorite sites - here they are:
Style Bytes This woman in Oslo has incredible fashion sense.
FourFour This LOL cat blog has a lot more to it. And I fucking love that cat.
Go Fug Yourself These women crack me up.
Okay, now it's time for lunch.
In Mineral Point, WI life moves at a pretty slow pace. In this old mining town, there are seven bars in less than 200 yards, three places to by the freshest cheese curds you've ever had and EVERYBODY knows EVERYBODY'S bidness. One of the greatest places here is the Mineral Point Operal House where the local film society runs pretty deece movies on Friday, Saturday & Sunday nights @ 7 PM sharp. For a workin' dad with two small children going to the movies is a luxury for me and when I'm producing shoots for Lands End I usally make the 2 hour r/t drive to Madison to get my art film on. Death at a Funeral which I saw on Tuesday night is highly recommended.
To make a long story short, my crew was all stoked to see the Bourne Ultimatum on Friday night (tonight) and while heading down the street to get some summer sausage I ran into Phil who runs the show at MPOH (so to speak) and he was getting ready to take down the Bourne poster and hang one for Superbad. I haven't seen Superbad, but I was way more pumped to see JB karate chop some fuckers in Tangiers than to watch some pudgy indie kids reference Coming to America.
Our conversation went like this:
Me: "Oh hey Phil, bummer about the Bourne Ultimatum, our crew was all psyched to come tomorrow night"
Phil: "Oh jeez, really?"
Me: "Yeah, you think if I could bring 10 people, you could show it to us tonight (Thursday)?"
Phil "10? That's more than we had all last weekend. Oh jeez, I don't know"
Me: "Yeah, I'll pay for 10 no matter what"
Phil: "Let me talk to Helen at the pharmacy and see if she can run the projector"
Well, not only did Helen run the projector, but she cooked up some sick corn, let us play with a gang of period costumes we found hanging in a closet, started the preview/commercial free movie when I gave her the thumbs up (!) and turned up the volume loud as fuck. The 10 of us cheered louder than a room full of bust-a-cappers during a Friday the 13th screening. By the way the original leather seats in the balcony have special holders underneath for your Stetson. If that ain't country, I'll kiss your ass.
"I just think it's interesting, you know, that this band is like so fucking good. Chris claims that French Kicks are better, but I'm not too sure about that. I had to walk like 68 blocks to Kurt's apartment, and I listened to this song like 140 times, and it's sort of amazing.
I gotta go. I have to go to New York in three days and I need to pick up my drycleaning."
Les Savy Fav "The Equestrian"
Glenn Tilbrook played drums? Who knew?
1. Is the set made up of a bunch of conceptual thumbs in the "thumbs up" position?
2. What's up with the popcorn shower during the intro?
3. Weren't there like 6 members of Squeeze at this point?
Maybe the drummer (Gilson Lavis) was sick, and Tilbrook was filling in? No matter what, enjoy some fine Pub Rock, but know that this lip-sync job is nowhere near as good as Adelstein's during freshman drama at Parker.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
So, I'll start with this.
I'd been saving a chinese restaurant fortune at my desk. It read:
"You are capable, competent, creative and careful."I kept it because it wanted it to be true.
And then today i got another one which appeared identical. Save for one key difference ...
"You are capable, competent, creative and careful.Damn.
The Henry Fonda Theatre: Last night we went to see Spoon. The notoriously 'this band is boring live' Spoon. The crew: Me, my wife, John Pick, and Lea, his friend who looks EXACTLY like Diane Petkoff of 'i kissed everybody you know' fame. We pushed towards the center of the floor--there is an amazing balcony AND and outdoor patio where they have a bar and project video off the stage onto a wall--to get the full 'this band is boring live' experience. As the weed kicked in, I was very encouraged by the pre-show songs banging us from the PA system: Jimmy Cliff 'harder they come' into The English Beat 'save it for later' followed by the Everly Brothers 'Walk Right Back.'
Then Spoon came out. They played some of my favs. The lights were really cool and they are clearly trying to be more exciting live. But they're not. They're boring live.
Love those records though.
Today's entry is by the terrific Austin band Okkervil River, who I have been trying to get you assholes to like.
This is Will Sheff, headmaster of Okkervil River. This picture looks like Jim Henson made a muppet of himself.
Billy and Paul: click the link below, then click where it says "Download Now". Call me when you get confused.
"You Can't Hold The Hand Of A Rock & Roll Man"
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
We started out with dinner at the Park Grill, where I had a Kobe burger, which I believe means the cow involved was acquitted of anal rape.
We filed in through the rather mellow crowd about 10 minutes before showtime and took our seats. Wilco started nice and slow, with a gentle "You Are My Face". The sound was pretty awful to start out with - I don't believe they turned the drum mics on until song 5. They played EVERYTHING you could imagine, going for over two hours including encores.
Unlike previous Wilco shows I've seen, the wankery was kept to a minimum, and even Nels Cline had his ambitions in perspective, though I believe he's worn the same red pants at every show I've seen. Tweedy (who has given his "psycho" beard a sabbatical) tried to get everyone clapping in time during an interminable "Spiders (Kidsmoke)", and seemd borderline miffed that we wouldn't keep it going. Memo to Jeff: that song sucks cocks in hell. Always has.
After a 5 song Being There/A.M. jam sesh, we filed out like orderly grownups. The Smurfit-Stone building had a deadpan "AIDS RUN" lit up on its diagonal face, which looked more like a warning to me. "AIDS! Run!"
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Click here for The Sweptaways Wuthering Heights
Click here for FEIST 1234