What’s better than posts about Sean Bean or Viggo Mortensen? A post about Sean Bean and Viggo Mortensen. Oh, my god, like, do you feel a little set up now? Don’t worry, I have not mismanaged your expectations: I, too, forgot until earlier today when I was unpacking a bunch of my stuff (twitch) that they were both in Lord of the Rings. I do not know how I forgot, but I did, and believe me, I apologize and vow to rectify that error. Sorry, I’ve got a lot on my mind. Either way? SCORE!
And, finally, reunited and it feels so good, first just sitting around getting high in front of blue walls or else casually tickling one another, and then at the Empire Awards, 2009, in some kind of folkloric greeting area (you know these types of things are just to make money, right? they are largely meaningless).
The person from whose site I am linking this picture without permission (I am a dick and I’m in a hurry!) claims that in this shot, what had happened was Viggo Mortensen stuck his hand up the back of Sean Bean’s shirt and tickled him. I don’t totally see evidence of that, but I’m not dismissing it out of hand. I’m okay with that being true. So we’ll see.
Interesting day on my hands, lots of irons in the fire, pleasure and business both to be tended to. Picking out flowers with Miss D now that some of the wedding details are settled down a bit, have to go to DMV later to register my car and get Californny plates now that Oregon is looking to be forever and firmly in the past (stomach lurch, eye twitch; ah, psychosoma, how I’ve missed you! but not). However, whatever happiness, anxieties, and mix therein the day brings me, I have the comfort of knowing it’s started out right: with an accordion.
I dropped kidlet off for kindergarten to find a little concert going on, complete with a bucket for change (seriously, could we please get a better budget for education in this country; we are teaching our children to busk for their hot lunches at this point) sitting at the feet of the smallest ones. They were playing “Hot Cross Buns” and I’m not afraid to say it, they seriously picked up some funk in there. Thanks, chitlins!
I was browsing recently dropped records and singles yesterday when thanks to a really cool well-timed tip from a groovy reader across the Atlantic (thanks o, henri!) I stumbled via recordstore.co.uk over the debut album of McIntosh Ross, The Great Lakes, and my breath was totally taken away. Holy cats, you guys! So amazing!
The Scottish husband-wife-duo of Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh have recorded together before, being longtime bandmates of the recently reunited Glasgow group Deacon Blue (Raintown, “Dignity,” “Wages Day”). As if they did not already have their hands full making landmark alternative music with that outfit, the pair also just released their first solo album September 28 (two days ago) and it is unbelievably beautiful. The music they wrote and recorded with Deacon Blue was mainly working class, alternative anthems about life in Glasgow and the like. The songs on this record, The Great Lakes, are just soaring and ethereal and purely, it seems, love songs to one another.
McIntosh Ross – All My Trust I Place In You
One day we’ll know
One day we’ll see
‘Til then we’ll walk
This video for me shows exactly why The Great Lakes is such a modest and beautiful record. What is most right and touching about the compositions on this LP is that these are not your we’re-young-and-hot, I-want-to-jump-you, Beyonce and Jay-Z smash hit sexytimes songs, either (no disrespect to hip-hop’s royal couple intended, I’m just saying they are new to the lovesong duet game, comparatively). This whole album is about enduring, longstanding love. Like this track, “Bluebell Wood,” and its repeated line, “Today’s the day we got married in June.” The haunting refrain sounds like an old folk song, and the way McIntosh glides her voice around it, it feels like you are hearing her call you across the moors, yet there is no mourning. It’s just … perfect.
McIntosh Ross – Bluebell Wood
Today’s the day we got married in June
All of the bluebells were out in the wood
We danced to our song
And stepped in the car
Drove under a blanket of stars
Today’s the day we got married in June
Simple words, a simple memory she is describing, yet it is somehow, in their hands, achingly poignant. Because it is …
I realized these Music Moment posts tend to run really long because I like music way too much, and can’t bear to only give you half the story on someone I think is really special, so click here to keep reading about wonderful McIntosh Ross and see more pictures, hear more music, and suchlike, because they are mind-blowing in their awesomeness… Continue reading, hear more music, and all of it!
A confession: I <3 Irish boys. I don't care if they are actually, legitimately from Ireland in their own generation or of some murky Irish extraction and descent — it's like I have a natural magnetic draw to them.
“My Mom, she’s from Ireland, coached tennis in Nigeria when she was a Missionary and turned me on to it when I was young.”
La la la, “from Ireland” la la la “turned on.” That’s what I heard. Heyo!
The first role in which I ever saw Donal Logue (that I knew of at the time) was as sexy genius mathematician Gunter Janek in the film Sneakers, who is first shown giving a lecture but later ends up banging a hot slavic blonde chick on a desk in grainy but glorious black and white. Wowee! I, too, flip for geeks, and did from the earliest age, so I hella dug that scene (I’m kind of a voyeur from way back; try to think of it as a charmingly quaint quality rather than a creepy one) and I am not ashamed to admit that it stuck with me for years. Here he is as Gunter Janek rocking a number theory lecture on codebreaking:
Well, dang, Amanda Palmer, I did not expect this entry to turn out like this when I began writing. I always thought you rated as talented and fun, but not always for me, but once I had to start pondering you, I began to wonder if it might be that you hit a little too close to home? So thanks?
Amanda Palmer – Runs in the Family
“With me, well, I’m well,
well, I mean, I’m in hell,
well, I still have my health,
at least that’s what they tell me.
If wellness is this,
what in hell’s name is sickness,
but business is business
and business runs in the family…”
Here is a link to the official video for this really excellent track from her LP Who Killed Amanda Palmer, available through Roadrunner Records and produced by Ben Folds (also the album art is by Neil Gaiman … because they are dating, which I cannot comprehend). I’m not crazy about the video, so I’m not embedding it here. I think her showy, fitful histrionics kind of rob the song of its natural jumpiness and make it almost less nerve-wracking.
Amanda began her career with the Dresden Dolls, about whom the wiki has this nugget to say which for me says it all:
The two describe their style as “Brechtian punk cabaret”, a phrase invented by Palmer because she was “terrified” that the press would invent a name that “would involve the word gothic.” The Dresden Dolls are part of an underground dark cabaret movement that started gaining momentum in the early 1990s.
Brecht, punk, cabaret — I find these to be overused words, I stigmatize them because they drip with deliberate intellect, I kind of sneer at them, okay? However, that’s hypocritical as hell because I used terms like “dark cabaret” yesterday in describing Annie. Or is it? I don’t know because the Dresden Dolls never struck the right notes for me personally. I found them too … pat in their spin, in their self-styling. I should have loved them, being a fan of weirdness and steampunk and tinkly music and frankly some also pretty dark shit, you know, wink wink SEXWISE, is what I mean! …
Looks like it’s you and me forever, Asia. Alone again, naturally.
“When I was getting ready to make my own film, I thought, ‘The only genre left that has never been explored creatively is pornography.’ Yes, there are very specific rules. But there’s still so much to tell, even so. My favorite thing about porno is that it’s real — I mean the sex is real. Porno moves me so much more than films like Gone With The Wind, because I am always reminded that these people on screen actually met, and this actually happened. No other kind of film can give you that feeling.” –Asia Argento
Are these words of wisdom? I’m not so sure, I think any kind of film, if it is well done, can give you that feeling. I have cried at commercials, imagining that they have happened, buying into the images I am being sold. I do not need to see hardcore penetration to believe someone is in love, someone is fucking. I can construct that aspect of the relationship in my imagination, given clever enough visual clues. It is all in the cinematic discourse.
Not everything requires nudity and verite.
Although, from Ms. Argento, I am not saying such hallmarks are unwelcome.
Ladies and gentlemen, the handsome and talented Mr. Paul Rudd!
“It’s insane but it’s a great insane.” –Paul Rudd
“I was more interested in acting than just doing stand-up comedy. And then my interests in stand-up started getting really weird. I was into a very anti-comedian thing, a very, kind of, Andy Kaufman performance-art type thing, and I thought, “Well, if I were ever to do comedy, it would so not work, because it wouldn’t be funny.” [Laughs.] I think there are guys like Zack Galifianakis, I just think he’s like the best out there, so good. There are so many really good comedians, and I would never be as good as they are. It’s not my calling. What’s funny is, all the comics want to be musicians. Like Tom Waits or Elvis Costello. Same with actors. A lot of people say, “What’s the worst part about being an actor?” And the worst part is that you’re not a musician.” –Paul Rudd
“There’s a very specific thing you can do to get in magazines. I’m much happier to just show up and do the job. I haven’t taken the active approach to making myself a star. I haven’t been in a blockbuster.” –Paul Rudd
Annie Clark is a singer-songwriter who goes by the stage name of St. Vincent. Her first album, Marry Me, came out in 2007 and got her massive attention from peers and critics. Justly, I think. It’s very well-written and performed, but her follow-up, Actor, is the one that really blows me away. So I’m putting up tracks from both and encouraging you to buy both.
St. Vincent – What, Me, Worry?
“What, Me, Worry?” is probably my favorite song by her. It comes off of her first LP, Marry Me, which, like Actor, is available for purchase directly from her label, Beggars Group, in like, every format of music-listening known to man. (Okay, not eight-track. No one is PERFECT.) This song, like a lot of her work, starts out deceptively gamine and light-hearted, then transitions, taking a sudden dip into much deeper, more solemn and world-wise territory. She reminds me of Edith Piaf this way; always with these light and skippy chanteuses, there is this darker side, this sideshow act in a midnight cabaret lurking underneath the smile and the wink. The jazz hands can also be used for digging and scratching — sometimes even at your own face, you know?
Have I abused you, dear?
You have had it to here.
You say, “Love is just a blood match
to see who endures lash
after lash with panache.”
Here is a youtube video from Shoot the Player of her doing an improv quickie version of “What, Me, Worry?” in Sydney.
She knows the videographer it seems, and so she doesn’t really get down to business until around :50. So if you don’t want to hear a lot of “a and b” chitty chat where they will “c” us later, skip to that point.
“The way we present ourselves is a veneer, and beneath that, there are a lot more unpleasant things.” –Viggo Mortensen.
In addition to being an excellent actor, Viggo Mortensen is also a published poet, jazz musician who has released three CDs to favorable reviews, and a gifted painter whose provocative full-wall murals appear in A Perfect Murder, the 1998 adapatation of Hitchcock’s Dial “M” For Murder. Furthermore, your wife, girlfriend, mother, or sister would all leave you for him without a backward glance. Did you know?
According to the wiki, Viggo Mortensen has property near the seat of the teeny little county in the northwestern tip of the United States from which both sides of my family hail, but I have never seen him there even effing once. Total folklore. What gives, man? Next time you are in Bumfuck, Idaho, call a bitch.
“We all experience many freakish and unexpected events—you have to be open to suffering a little. The philosopher Schopenhauer talked about how out of the randomness, there is an apparent intention in the fate of an individual that can be glimpsed later on. When you are an old guy, you can look back, and maybe this rambling life has some through-line. Others can see it better sometimes. But when you glimpse it yourself, you see it more clearly than anyone.” –Viggo Mortensen
Y’all please excuse Viggo Mortensen while he blows ya mind.
You are all like, “These Music Moments with talented ladies are really great, E, but surely you do not only listen to female artists — when are you going to highlight a dude?” and I am all like, “Right now!”
Oh, my god, you guys: Mason Jennings. Mason Jennings. Sooo cool. Mason sang two Bob Dylan songs in the 2007 Bob Dylan biopic I’m Not There, “The Times They Are A-Changin’” and “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll.” He’s a big guy for cleaning the ocean, integrating conventions of pop writing with stripped-down folk and acoustic songs, inventing rustic characters as the voices for his music, and looking mighty, mighty fine doing all that.
“I wrote about how hard it is to be 34 and be a parent and sane and married and true and positive and yourself and a man and funny and a decent person and a not decent person and human and in love. I turned the music up so loud so often that my ears rang every night. I wrote about death, of course. I wrote about life. I wrote about pain and addiction. And I let it flow and left it raw. I worked fast and I let my heart lead.” –Mason Jennings, “Bio,” Official Website.
This is the title track from the album whose composition he’s describing in that quote, Blood of Man (available as of September 15, 2009, he advocates that you purchase it from iTunes, so I’d encourage you to go that route).
Blood of Man
Babies in jars, luxury cars
Seasons that don’t come true
Happiness waits outside the gates
Watching each thing we do
Ocean mother, ocean child,
Are you mine, or are you wild?
Are you calling for the blood of man?
And with the world comes misery
Comes jealousy and pain
And with new friends come enemies
The fortune brings the fame
And oh my dear confidant
(tell me how to feel)
Tell me how to feel
(tell me how you’ve been)
I’ve been overwhelmed
(overwhelmed by what)
By what lies up ahead
I love the lyrics to this song, they make me think of some of my dearest friendohs who, by putting my trust in them, teach me to put my trust in others, too.
I realized these Music Moment posts tend to run really long because I like music way too much, and can’t bear to only give you half the story on someone I think is really special, so click here to keep reading about Mason Jennings (and see more of his hotness!). More Mason songs, factoids and pictures after the jump.
Sean Bean as traitorous villain Alec Trevelyan, aka 006, aka Janus, with Pierce Brosnan as James “007″ Bond in 1995′s BAFTA nominated GoldenEye.
One more? Okay!
And, as a final thought, there is nothing like the whitehot, wild and wonderful sexy magic you feel when you hook it up with someone as batshit insane in the sack as yourself, am I right? Touching shit right here, I mean it. I think they are a sweet couple.
Another nugget of what is beginning to be daily NSFW advice from the lovely and talented Drew Barrymore, pussy magnet.
“I don’t think that life happens by sitting back and waiting. People hold their cards so tight to their chest. Life is short. Tell people you love them. What’s the worst that’s going to happen?” –Drew Barrymore
Well, offhand, blithe young Miss Barrymore, I would answer that the worst that is going to happen is that they will not love you back.
But she’s got me there: is that the end of the world? Only if you let it be, I guess. I suppose there are two responses, should they not want you in return: you can either throw yourself off a cliff over it, metaphorically, or you can keep moving forward and waiting until someone falls into step beside you, and start the whole thing all over again.
So, thanks again, Drew! She is always surprising me.
So a while back there was this meme going around on livejournal where it was a Thing to draw Batgirl. This is one of my favorites, drawn by Meaghan Quinn, who does the webcomic “Eat the Roses.” I think it’s really cute and fun. A lot of the sketches that came out of this meme were fun reinterpretations of the character, and I liked those too, but there was just something about this one that I thought was really well-composed, and captured the essence of the character in a new and unusual way without deliberately putting her in a different setting, outfit, or semi-nude situation as a prop to change the perspective. Do you know what I mean? She is recognizably herself, but in a fresh light:
…do you see? She seems young and kind of a little funky, a little slinkier and more confident than do-goody or ass-kicky, but also maybe slightly “Here goes nothin’!” about it, like it is her first or second night out on Gotham City’s rooftops and she’s about to tuck her hair behind her ears, pluck up her courage, and soar right offa that building. Does this make sense? Oh, god, I’m still talking.
I’m pretty high right now on Advil Cold and Sinus and I don’t know if any of this even makes sense. Not gonna lie.
Raspberries are my favorite fruit, possibly even my favorite food. They make me think of summer in my grandfather’s garden (my dad’s dad, Mike, never to be confused with the other one, who I call my mother’s father, period).
Don’t get the idea that was some recurrent thing I did in summers or in anytime, spend time with my grandfather in his garden; even though it is a special secret and sacred place in my memory, in actuality it was a place where I scarcely ever got to go, because my parents are vagabonds because they had this awesomely secure childhood in a small town and this strong sense of identity, so they can ramble from place to place, whereas I crave that exact type of feeling of belonging and having roots, and have never had it. I come closest where I live now, where I have chosen to carve out a little cave for myself, but I cannot ignore the fact that I am basically a person without a place I’m “From” when someone asks. If I have a memory of riding my trike, I have to stop and ask myself like, which mobile home park was that? Was that when we lived in the first or the second place in San Jose? There is no permanence, there is no consistency, until I was in my early teens and we moved to the Central Valley.
I get a shade of what it must be like for my parents, what it must be like to have an identity associated with a place, when we do on rare occasions visit family in Priest River. It’s weird to walk through a cemetery and realize how many dead people you’re related to because both sides of your family are from the same remote logging town in Northern Idaho. Honestly? I always buy newspapers from there and even bought a town anniversary book that had a history of it; I love it there. I suppose if I had grown up there I would have hated it, at least, that’s what I try to tell myself. Anyway, today my father sensed I was sick and maybe emotionally a little under the weather as well (awww, love that understatement), and he brought me some raspberries from the Raley’s.
I guess “home” is what you make it be; maybe it is more about people than about places or sights. Either way. Raspberries! Feeling that sparkly pop on my tongue is the best thing to happen to me in several days.
Nicole Atkins is someone I stumbled over last year or maybe the year before after hearing one of her songs in a commercial and googling adtunes for days to find it. She has a really great, unique sound. She calls her music pop-noir. She can find the creepy in anything, but then she has these deeply layered compositions topped by her sparkly vocals that can be really wracked and tortured and low or soaring and pure, depending on the mood of the moment… she’s wonderfully trained and talented, it’s really good stuff. Plus she’s pretty!
Look at that prettiness! She is a lion face, one of my favorite face types (all people look like an animal to me, or a blend of animals). I adore leonine women and I really love that she has a schnoz. It gives a woman character to have a big nose or a gap in her teeth, you know? It puts them that extra step past adorable into asymmetrically one of a kind, infinitely loveable. This goes for all of you. Love what you think are your flaws cause that’s probably the one part of you I seize on and fetishize most. Christy Anne, the bump in your nose and your monkey hands, I have rhapsodized about this to you at length before. Miss D, your little dark-auburn colored freckles across the bridge of your nose and under your eyes so when you smile your cheeks lift them up, Sarah-fina’s crazy long fingers and peanut toes, the wicked arch that Panda Eraser’s magnificent eyebrows take on right before she’s about to say something wonderfully filthy, the way the LBC snorts and her collarbones seize up for a second and are more prominent above her breasts right before she bursts into laughter… so endearing. I love you all! I’m off topic. Back to Nicole Atkins.
I like this video here because it is made by someone in Brooklyn who likes Nicole Atkins and the 4th of july and baseball and likely all manner of things on which we could sit around and agree all day. Thank you, stranger! Your video’s view count has been dramatically affected by me since I found this last month!
Oh, Brooklyn’s on fire!,
and fills July hearts with desire
Sleep will not come until the morn
Cause tonight your memories are born
–”Brooklyn’s on Fire!”, Nicole Atkins, Neptune City.
Nicole Atkins is compared to a lot of musicians who are associated with the so-called “Brill Building Sound”, a sound that includes a lot of my favorite artists of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, but —