Archive for the ‘Music Moment’ Category

Take Two Tuesday — Per mi amico: Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day, “Happy birthdohs, Jonohs” edition with brief bookfoolery

July 19, 2011

This post originally appeared on July 19, 2010 at 5:05 pm. Congratulations on another trip around the sun to you, my good true friend, and I hope you have many more to come.

Happy birthday to the one and only Jonohs Danger Welchos!


Nolite te bastardes carborundum.

This encouragement is doubtless unnecessary because I doubt that you ever would. I’m sure you would talk the bastardes around to your point of view and you’d all have Fin du Monde and play Beatles Rock Band and they would vow never to carborundum again. I’m finishing Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter shortly and I’ll be starting next on my yearly Atwood. How nice to know this year when I re-read it that you will have just done so recently too. Last year I knew you, and was re-reading Handmaid’s Tale as always, and you had not read it yet. This time it will be different and I’ll know that I’m reading words that yet another of my friends has also enjoyed. See the interstitial power of the shared unconscious experience of reading? That’s impressive shit. If that is not impressive enough, I will buy you some sushi the next time we are both in town. But really, dude — the gift of reading. Come on. Be excellent.

But just in case you ever do feel down, remember that you are an awesome friendoh and I’m so glad to have gotten to be friends, and that I know great things are going to happen for you like in a perpetual motion engine powered by amazing karma for all your kindnesses and good humor to others.

And, of course, be prepared for whatever befalls you on this, the day of your birth —


A very recent addition to the pantheon of inside jokes via uglyxdutchling on the tumblr.

Hope you’re off work and having a great birthday, Mr. Welchos! But do try and hold it together.

I will be thinking of you!

Music Moment — Nicole Atkins, “Brooklyn’s on Fire!”

July 4, 2011

Portions of this post were originally published on September 26, 2009. And again on July 4, 2010. I’m phoning it in. What could be more American?

Happy Fourth of July to my fellow Americans, and, to those international friendohs from countries overseas to which our states once belonged as colonies — well, thanks for the memories. Days commemorating war always make me pray for peace. Here’s hoping that all nations can, in the words of the Beatles, come together. Also, twist and shout.

“Brooklyn’s on Fire!”, Nicole Atkins, Neptune City. 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!

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 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. I’m off topic. Back to this song.


Friday nights on the seventh floor
(FOURTH OF, JULY, BROOKLYN’S, ON FIRE)
Paper backs on the corner store
(FOURTH OF, JULY, BROOKLYN’S, ON FIRE)
Looking over the ledge,
the sidewalk traffic starts to spread


Summer’s begun across the Bay
And no bit of silence remains


Oh, Brooklyn’s on fire,
and fills July hearts with desire
Sleep will not come, until the morn
Cause tonight your memories are born
La dee da, la dee da


And the band’s not begun just yet
(FOURTH OF, JULY, BROOKLYN’S, ON FIRE)
Fifty names you’re bound to forget
(FOURTH OF, JULY, BROOKLYN’S, ON FIRE)
Black and blue on the lakes
Wear badges from happier days
Late in the night, in ’84
Walked in through the old out door


Oh, Brooklyn’s on fire,
and fills July hearts with desire
Sleep will not come, until the morn
Cause tonight your memories are born
La dee da, dee da, dee da


This would be my favorite movie if Cameron Diaz and Leonardo di Caprio hadn’t done their best to fuck it up. Bill the Butcher FOREVER.
(FOURTH OF, JULY, BROOKLYN’S, ON FIRE)
(FOURTH OF, JULY, BROOKLYN’S, ON FIRE)


I’m caught in the way,
of tears from much happier days
When we were young and unafraid,
of stupid mistakes that we made


Oh, Brooklyn’s on fire,
and fills July hearts with desire
Sleep will not come, until the morn
Cause tonight your memories are born
Ladeeda, la dee da, dee da, dee da, dee da

Nobody expects a ukulele!: Greta Garbo edition

July 1, 2011

Garbo strums.


Greta Garbo for “Torrent,” 1925.

Since my unexpected New Years’ acquisition of two of them, my uke playing is going swimmingly, not that you asked. I’d love to have the courage to be one of those people who records and accompanies herself covering songs with their ukulele on YouTube but I doubt I’ll ever follow through. Scrutiny of my physical self terrifies me. But I’ll tell the Internet all kinds of private shit about my emotions. Contradiiiictoryyy …

Music Moment: Cat Stevens, “Peace Train”

May 6, 2011

Cat Stevens — Peace Train

I’ve been smiling lately. I really have.


Photographed by Julie Lansom.

Now I’ve been happy lately,
thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be,
something good has begun


via.
Oh I’ve been smiling lately,
dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be,
some day it’s going to come


With Shelley Duvall, via.
Cause out on the edge of darkness,
there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country,
come take me home again


Now I’ve been smiling lately,
thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be,
something good has begun


Richard Hamilton.
Oh peace train sounding louder
Glide on the peace train
Come on now peace train
Yes, peace train holy roller


Everyone jump upon the peace train
Come on now peace train

A few weeks ago, I came home triumphantly wielding a near-mint Cat Stevens LP from a trip to a nearby touristy mountain town — only to see in going through my collection that at some point in the past I’d brought that exact record in pretty much the exact same condition.

My organization skills may be in the toilet, but the important thing is, I’m consistent.


via.

Get your bags together,
go bring your good friends too
Cause it’s getting nearer,
it soon will be with you


With Carly Simon, via.
Now come and join the living,
it’s not so far from you
And it’s getting nearer,
soon it will all be true


Now I’ve been crying lately,
thinking about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating,
why can’t we live in bliss

I’ve been trying to balance my recent heady busy-ness in the areas of work and returning to school with the activities I love, like country driving, taking pictures, listening to my records, and of course spending time with my mad rad friendohs.


via.

Cause out on the edge of darkness,
there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country,
come take me home again.

I don’t know by what trick or trends in behavior I’ve done it, but, despite recent roller coasters of emotion, anxiety, and obligation, I still just feel really happy and mellow about things in assessing the Spring, even accounting for the ups and downs.


via.

I have this optimistic and even confident feeling as I enter the Summer. Here’s hoping it sticks around. I feel like everything is beautiful.

In related news, did you know you could smoke banana peels? The brown spots talk about their dreams while they sizzle and pop. Fact.

(Not fact.)

Music Moment and Hot Man Bein’ Hot of the Day: The Song Remains the Same, Jim Carrey — “I Am the Walrus” edition

April 28, 2011

From the album In My Life, compiled by Sir George Martin, 1998, this is a shockingly good cover of the Beatles’ cryptic classic by a dude who holds a special place in my heart.

Jim Carrey — I Am the Walrus (Lennon/McCartney, 1967).

I do not care one whit about the Ace Ventura movies or Dumb and Dumber: I’ve never even seen them. That’s deliberately due to the fact that I really, really like everything else about Jim Carrey. I just think he’s an excellent, sensitive, even somewhat tragic human being. A real person.

Not long ago, someone started that old, “If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead–” question, and I immediately blurted out, “Jim Carrey!” Then I felt bad for not saying Jesus.

I guess I just want to see if I’m right about him. He seems like such a levelly cool guy.

Listen for Jim on both vox and keyboard in this cover.


I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.
See how they run like pigs from a gun, see how they fly.
I’m crying.

Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come.
Corporation tee-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday.
Man, you been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob.


Girls Like A Boy Who Plays Music.

Mister City Policeman sitting
Pretty little policemen in a row.
See how they fly like Lucy in the Sky, see how they run.
I’m crying, I’m crying.
I’m crying, I’m crying.

Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog’s eye.
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess,
Boy, you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob.



Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun.
If the sun don’t come, you get a tan
From standing in the English rain.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob g’goo goo g’joob.

Expert textpert choking smokers,
Don’t you think the joker laughs at you?
See how they smile like pigs in a sty,
See how they snied.
I’m crying.



Semolina pilchard, climbing up the Eiffel Tower.
Elementary penguin singing Hari Krishna.
Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob g’goo goo g’joob.

Goo goo g’joob g’goo goo g’joob g’goo…

And finally —

— because it’s extremely true. (I do not number among the nameless hordes of diehard Titanic haters, I simply disagree with many of the characters’ choices.)

Take Two Tuesday — Music Moment: Peter and Gordon, “World Without Love”

April 26, 2011

This post originally appeared on Nov 15, 2009 at 12:12 pm.

Peter and Gordon – World Without Love



Please lock me away
And don’t allow the day
Here inside, where I hide with my loneliness
I don’t care what they say, I won’t stay
In a world without love

Birds sing out of tune
And rain clouds hide the moon
I’m OK, here I stay with my loneliness
I don’t care what they say, I won’t stay
In a world without love

So I wait, and in a while
I will see my true love smile
She may come, I know not when
When she does, I’ll know
So baby until then

Lock me away
And don’t allow the day
Here inside, where I hide with my loneliness
I don’t care what they say, I won’t stay
In a world without love


(Please lock me away)
(And don't allow the day)
(Here inside, where I hide with my loneliness)
I don't care what they say, I won't stay
In a world without love

So I wait, and in a while
I will see my true love smile
She may come, I know not when
When she does, I’ll know
So baby until then

Lock me away
And don’t allow the day
Here inside, where I hide with my loneliness
I don’t care what they say, I won’t stay
In a world without love

I don’t care what they say, I won’t stay
In a world without love

edit: In the original post’s comments, superfly jam-master Steven Harris, a friend of the journal from Way Back, shared “Written by Paul McCartney. Peter, of Peter and Gordon, was Peter Asher, Jane Asher’s brother. Jane was Paul’s fiancee at the time.” Bombass connections. Never Forget!

edit 2.0: Unless the world without love has beer. I mean, let’s not get crazy, here, Peter and Gordon. Surely there are trade-offs.

12 Days of Highly Tolerable Holiday Movies: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

December 21, 2010

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Jeremiah S. Chechik, 1989).

The Griswold family’s plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.

Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters — Male Kalikimaka.

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day
That’s the island greeting that we send to you from the land where palm trees sway
Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun to shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii’s way to say Merry Christmas to you!

Randy Quaid said that he based a lot of Cousin Eddie’s mannerisms and delivery on a guy he knew growing up in Texas. Also, wearing the extremely obvious black dickie under his white sweater was Randy Quaid’s wife Evi’s idea.

Even more exciting fact about Randy Quaid: He went to high school with Brent Spiner! (That’s Data, if you are not a dork and have one of those “lives,” or whatever you people call them. And if you are still lost, Data is a character on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and may I add that it is weird that you are even reading this blog because you are way too cool for this school. I assume you are here for soft-core porn and nothing more.)

John Hughes, departed King of the Eighties, wrote but did not direct this modern holiday classic, in which the star-crossed Griswold clan takes a stab at Christmas. He based the screenplay on a story he wrote for National Lampoon magazine in December, 1980.

That story, “Christmas ’59,” was his follow-up to “Christmas ’58,” his story from the previous year, on which National Lampoon’s Vacation was based. “Christmas ’59” is referenced in the movie when Clark goes up to the attic. As he goes through old tapes and reels, he passes a box that says “Xmas ’59.”



What are you looking at?

Oh, the silent majesty of a winter’s morn. The clean, cool chill of the holiday air. An asshole in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer.


You set standards that no family activity can live up to.

Wha– When have I ever done that?

Parties, weddings, anniversaries, funerals, holidays, vacations, graduations…


The scene where the cat bites on the Christmas lights cord and gets electrocuted was nearly cut from the movie. Prior to the first test screening. the studio execs wanted the scene taken out, fearing that it might offend some viewers, but producer Matty Simmons begged them to leave the scene in, and they eventually gave in to his request. After the first test screening, the test audience had scored the cat electrocution scene as the No. 1 favorite scene throughout the entire movie.

(the imdb)

I’m not the least surprised: test audiences are notoriously bloodthirsty.

I’m not sure from where they pull these twisted test audience members, but it’s a super-prevalent problem. As an example, it was a test audience who suggested that scene where the witch is drinking horse blood from a hollowed out hoof be left in My Little Pony: The Movie.

All the houses on the street in the Griswolds’ neighborhood are on the Warner Bros. backlot. The house in which the a-hole yuppies live is the Murtaugh house from the Lethal Weapon film series. The housefront in the home movie when Clark is upstairs in the attic was first used in Bewitched and then in the 1980’s in The New Gidget.


I am not a fan of defining gals by the dudes they’ve notched on their belts but I do bring it up if it’s as noteworthy as this case. Beverly D’Angelo has had a very, um, varied love life that includes marriage to a duke who is a descendant of Lorenzo de’Medici, Al Pacino, director Neil Jordan, and Anton Furst, who committed suicide after their separation. She’s got twins with Pacino and will be seen next year in Nailed, a David O. Russell picture also starring Jessica Biel, Kirstie Alley, Jon Stewart, Tracy Morgan, and Catherine Keener. Juts a bunch of super-cool funny guys. No big deal.

This was all brand-new news to me. I’m pretty surprised. I guess I did not know shit about Beverly D’Angelo.

The film is aired every Christmas night in Australia on the Nine Network. In America, it has a more tortured television history involving corporate games and censure. And let us not speak of the Cousin Eddie Island Adventure sequel.


Bethany is played by Mae Questel. The former mimic and vaudeville sensation is probably most famous for providing the squeaky voices of Olive Oyl and Betty Boop. This was her second to last role: she retired from show biz and died of complications related to Alzheimer’s in 1998.


As the unsinkable Clark Griswold of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” Chevy Chase survives a holiday season that would try Job’s patience. His dreams of “the most fun-filled old-fashioned family Christmas ever” soon give way to the realities of bulbs that won’t light and a pine that’s too big for the living room.

(Kempley, Rita. “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” December 1, 1989. The Washington Post.)



Never mind. Clark’s faith in family tradition is Rockwellian, his spirits up there with the mistletoe. When the yule log smolders and the turkey explodes, this avowed family man counts his blessings, such as they are.

(Ibid.)

Flashback Friday, New Years’ Resolution Reality Check #1 — Music Moment: Les Paul and Mary Ford, “Goofus”

December 10, 2010

This entry was originally posted on January 12, 2010 at 3:55 pm. It contains the second of my New Years’ Resolutions for 2010. Over the next several Flashback Fridays, I will be taking them out, dusting them off, and seeing how well I followed through. I do not anticipate it always being pleasant, but the truth can’t be.

Les Paul & Mary Ford – Goofus

This recording of “Goofus” (King-Harold-Kahn, 1930), one of my favorite songs, is just instrumental. It’s performed by legendary husband-wife duo Les Paul and Mary Ford (so, so, so much more on them another day).

The Paul-Ford version topped out at #21 on the Billboard chart on its release in the early Fall of 1950. The ensemble Paul and Ford had gathered is plucky and fun, although I have heard recordings from the ’30’s with saws and washboards which sort of put ukes and slides in the shade, but you work with what you got, and they did a great job re-popularizing a well-loved classic.

It really gets me that there was a time in this country when there was a) a set of songs that everyone knew, and b) a time when you picked up an instrument and sat down together and played, sometimes just as a family, but often as part of a larger community group. What happened? Radio killed the vaudeville star, but, moreover, the vaudeville star took group singalongs and skit shows down with him. No more public singing.

People just don’t do that often enough anymore, I think. I remember reading, quite a few years back, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (I consequently did not see the movie), and, in one of the super-tolerable parts, a character aged in her mid-70’s during the 1990’s was remarking on the emptiness of the sounds one hears walking the streets in the present day. She recalled being a child and teenager in the ’20’s and ’30’s, and how you could not so much as hang the laundry without hearing someone whistling or singing a street over or while walking past the yard.


“One Last Tickle on the Ivorys,” St. Ebba’s Lunatic Asylum, by Christopher O’Donovan on the flickr.

The idea of that touched me very deeply, because it resonated. I have always liked music, and always known a little about the history of radio and the record industry, being a big vinyl guy, and I’m not saying even at all that radio itself massacred town talent shows, I think increasing materialism and isolationism happened to dovetail with that new mass media, and long story short: it should change back. We need more of that old way of doing things, especially now, when so many people have lost hope and there are young people growing up for whom there are no stories about uncles who sang Irish tenor or great-grandmothers that could play the spoons.

It’s always fun to find out what hidden talents your friends and neighbors have (unless those talents are taxidermy and soundproofing basements), and it brings communities closer together. I think I remember hearing that a song is like a prayer times two, or some such thing, and I believe it. Everything is better with music.


“I Wanna Be a Majorette,” by Eleanor Hardwick.

I used to perform in singing groups and church choirs, and even participated in competitive choral groups in High School. The older I’ve gotten, the more I have grown very shy about my singing, but why? Half of what I hear on the radio has been triple-processed and slickly produced, and who cares if someone hears me fall a little flat? The spirit and song in my heart that made me so happy, that urge to open my throat that I couldn’t repress, that hasn’t changed, so why do I let fear and modern ideals of social behavior fence me in?

Holy cow, I think I just found my second resolution of 2010: Make a joyful noise. Join me, y’all!


Reality Check: I did not do as well as I wanted on this one. I started sporadically singing in my friends’ “band practice” Rock Band video game nights, but I did not join my church choir, which was what I really wanted to do. Partly intimidation because the director is an old friend, partly feeling too busy (excuse). I guess where I feel I really failed is I did not keep that song in my heart that I felt when I had written this originally. I need to try to get that feeling back.

Take-two Tuesday and Music Moment — Liberated Negative Space o’ the day: “Ska! Ska! Ska! Reggae. Ska!” edition

August 24, 2010

I’m hustling to get things together to substitute tomorrow for an ill colleague (some might call her the illest of my fellow staff) and the Madness song “Baggy Trousers” came on. Reminded me of this Liberated Negative Space which originally appeared on Nov 27, 2009 at 8:48 am.


By ryrpizza on flickr.

“So, what kind of music do you listen to?”
“Mm. Sometimes reggae, but mainly ska. … Mainly ska.”



end original post

And, for the heck of it, here for your Music Moment playing pleasure is Madness, “Baggy Trousers” (Absolutely, Stiff Records, 1980).

Madness — Baggy Trousers

Madness were a 2 Tone second-wave ska band associated with the ska-and-reggae-infused-pop sound of the 1970’s and 80’s, a movement which lay lower and extended its roots more deeply than its little cousin, the more moshin’ third-wave ska-punk sound of the 1980’s and 90’s. I’m suggesting that the second-wave may not have charted as long or as widely and noisily as the later third-wave movement, but it was arguably of greater influence and import musically. Ya hear that, Mighty Mighty Bosstones? Kidding, dudes (they have been around since the early 80’s). To true ska fans, it has never and will never go out of fashion as a genre, so the question of waves becomes one entirely of preference, whether you are in to Mad Caddies or Mighty Bosstones; Pauline Black’s original work with The Selecter or inspired acts like early No Doubt. ‘Scuse me while I go throw on my checkered chucks and filch me some smokes down at the skate park. Catch you on the flip!

Music Moment and Movie Millisecond: Don’t say I never gave you anything and please do have a laugh

August 12, 2010

Sin City (Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, 2005). Jessica Alba portrays Nancy Callahan. Rescued from kidnap and rape in her youth by Detective John Hartigan (Bruce Willis), Nancy is now an exotic dancer at a divey downtown night spot guarded by my crowd-pleasing favorite character, Marv (Mickey Rourke).


Nancy as drawn by Miller in the original comics.

Things have been kind of heavy for me lately. Et tu? Seems like everyone I know is kind of down this week; guess Mars is in retrograde or some kind of similar jello salad. So I encourage you to hit “play” on the song below and watch in amazement as Nancy Callahan “dances it out” in the exact same beat at that there ol’ Kadie’s Club Pecos in fabulous Basin City, a sunny place for shady characters.

FIRST PLAY THIS:
Les Paul and Mary Ford — Goofus (1950).
THEN WATCH THIS:

Actually, it works with all kinds of songs, but “Goofus” is the one that struck an absurd and juvenile chord of laughter in me. If you’ve been feeling a little out of sorts today, please do have a laugh and promise to try and make some of your own fun.

RIP, Bruno Schleinstein (Bruno S.)

August 11, 2010

Nobody expects an accordion.

R.I.P. to Bruno S., aka Bruno Schleinstein. June 2, 1932 – August 11, 2010. May you never descend to a loch der vergessenheit.

Mr. S. was most famously featured in the Werner Herzog film Stroszek (1977), which was written expressly for him after his turn as the titular character in Herzog’s The Enigma of Kasper Hauser (1974). Herzog insisted on Schleinstein for both roles despite his total lack of acting experience. The character of Bruno Stroszek was broadly based on the real-life Bruno Schleinstein, insomuchas he was able to convey himself to Mr. Herzog, though Herzog reports he was suspicious and uncomfortable beneath the focus of the director’s attention.

An unbelievably accomplished accordion player with a love of classic performance, Mr. Schleinstein was an abused child who spent much of his young life in mental institutions. When Herzog knew him, he was an weekend accordion player and forklift driver at a car manufacturers’. Mr. S. had recently quit smoking and drinking for health reasons.


via chainedandperfumed right here on the wordpress.

“Do you know who that is?” my friend Ingrid had asked me when she came by my family’s apartment one day late last spring. An old musician was seated before a rickety cardboard box below the window. He sang in a croaking voice on the empty sidewalk in the afternoon sunshine, his back toward the brick church across the street.

“That’s Bruno S.,” Ingrid said excitedly. She looked as if she had come across Marlene Dietrich, returned from the dead.

(“From Berlin’s Hole of Forgottenness, a Spell of Songs.” Kimmelmann, Michael. The New York Times. December 24, 2008.)


Recently, with Christmas coming, we dropped in to ask how he was doing. This is not a good season for people who are alone. He said he hated the Christmas markets around town, where “the gentlemen who go in come out like plucked chickens with all their feathers flying, and such beautiful colored feathers.” That’s how Bruno tends to talk. He makes up words and phrases or borrows them from old songs and gives them a twist. Liederbann: a spell of songs. Das Loch der vergessenheit: the hole of forgottenness. He says he transmits (durchgeben) his songs, he doesn’t sing them.

When the conversation turns to Mr. Herzog or to his mother or brother and sister, words tend to fail him, and he becomes distraught. Otherwise he’s mischievous, puckish, remote but always glad for the company.

(Ibid..)


Schleinstein says he transmits (German: durchgeben) his songs, he doesn’t sing them.

(the wiki)

What a lovely and expressive thought in terms of art and our relationship with the universe. When I write my nonfiction work, I like to describe the process as an archaelogist brushing and digging gently away at a vast skeleton, a fossil buried in the earth which only resembles sense as it takes shape. Once, I read in a philosophy book that a particular german philosopher’s translation of “this is the chair” was better expressed as “The chair gives itself to us.” Is this so and can anyone recall which philosopher? Because that blew my mind.

R.I.P. again to a true individual. Many happy returns to this earth, Mr. S.

Special thanks to @SashaGrey for bringing Bruno Schleinstein’s death today to my attention, ahead of news and wiki alerts. She’d heard it from Chris Campion. Please do give her a follow on the twitter: like the Transformers and all truly good things in life, there is more to the admirable, lovely and talented Ms. Grey than meets the eye.

edit: This was my original source for this entry. I came online this morning expecting to find more official notices, obits, etc, and none have turned up yet, so if it turns out to be a case of mistaken identity and Mr. S has not yet shuffled off the mortal coil, I will be the first to toast the fact that he’s still with us. Now I’m really looking forward to the chance he’s not yet passed. I’ll keep searching periodically and keep you posted.

edit, 8-12-10, around 5 pm PDT: Fuck, dudes. It looks like Bruno Schleinstein definitely is dead. The German Press Agency is reporting that he died of heart failure. Sorry for the king-sized cuss but I’d got my hopes up earlier today that it was one of those “rumors of my blah have been greatly blah” situations. R.I.P. to Mr. S. again. God bless him and everyone who is always themself no matter what.

Per mi amico: Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day, “Happy birthdohs, Jonohs” edition with brief bookfoolery

July 19, 2010

Happy birthday to the one and only Jonohs Danger Welchos!


Nolite te bastardes carborundum.

This encouragement is doubtless unnecessary because I doubt that you ever would. I’m sure you would talk the bastardes around to your point of view and you’d all have Fin du Monde and play Beatles Rock Band and they would vow never to carborundum again. I’m finishing Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter shortly and I’ll be starting next on my yearly Atwood. How nice to know this year when I re-read it that you will have just done so recently too. Last year I knew you, and was re-reading Handmaid’s Tale as always, and you had not read it yet. This time it will be different and I’ll know that I’m reading words that yet another of my friends has also enjoyed. See the interstitial power of the shared unconscious experience of reading? That’s impressive shit. If that is not impressive enough, I will buy you some sushi the next time we are both in town. But really, dude — the gift of reading. Come on. Be excellent.

But just in case you ever do feel down, remember that you are an awesome friendoh and I’m so glad to have gotten to be friends, and that I know great things are going to happen for you like in a perpetual motion engine powered by amazing karma for all your kindnesses and good humor to others.

And, of course, be prepared for whatever befalls you on this, the day of your birth —


A very recent addition to the pantheon of inside jokes via uglyxdutchling on the tumblr.

Hope you’re off work and having a great birthday, Mr. Welchos! But do try and hold it together.


The perils of leaping before looking (not that you would) via queerlines on the tumblr.

I will be thinking of you!

Batter uuup!: Joan Jett edition

July 16, 2010


via sapphoscloset, very cool queer style blog, check ’em out!

Vintage Joan Jett lookin’ all kinds of pimp and ready to hit that shit right out of the park.

Please remember that Joan still looks THIS GOOD:

That right there? Is what a motherfucking rock star looks like. Hell yes! I said goddamn, Joan Jett. Haters to the left.

So few words in this entry, so many king-size cusses.

Music Moment — Nicole Atkins, “Brooklyn’s on Fire!”

July 4, 2010

Portions of this post were originally published on September 26, 2009.

Happy Fourth of July to my fellow Americans, and, to those international friendohs from countries overseas to which our states once belonged as colonies — well, thanks for the memories. Days commemorating war always make me pray for peace. Here’s hoping that all nations can, in the words of the Beatles, come together. Also, twist and shout.

“Brooklyn’s on Fire!”, Nicole Atkins, Neptune City. 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!

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 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. I’m off topic. Back to this song.


Friday nights on the seventh floor
(FOURTH OF, JULY, BROOKLYN’S, ON FIRE)
Paper backs on the corner store
(FOURTH OF, JULY, BROOKLYN’S, ON FIRE)
Looking over the ledge,
the sidewalk traffic starts to spread


Summer’s begun across the Bay
And no bit of silence remains


Oh, Brooklyn’s on fire,
and fills July hearts with desire
Sleep will not come, until the morn
Cause tonight your memories are born
La dee da, la dee da


And the band’s not begun just yet
(FOURTH OF, JULY, BROOKLYN’S, ON FIRE)
Fifty names you’re bound to forget
(FOURTH OF, JULY, BROOKLYN’S, ON FIRE)
Black and blue on the lakes
Wear badges from happier days
Late in the night, in ’84
Walked in through the old out door


Oh, Brooklyn’s on fire,
and fills July hearts with desire
Sleep will not come, until the morn
Cause tonight your memories are born
La dee da, dee da, dee da


This would be my favorite movie if Cameron Diaz and Leonardo di Caprio hadn’t done their best to fuck it up. Bill the Butcher FOREVER.
(FOURTH OF, JULY, BROOKLYN’S, ON FIRE)
(FOURTH OF, JULY, BROOKLYN’S, ON FIRE)


I’m caught in the way,
of tears from much happier days
When we were young and unafraid,
of stupid mistakes that we made


Oh, Brooklyn’s on fire,
and fills July hearts with desire
Sleep will not come, until the morn
Cause tonight your memories are born
Ladeeda, la dee da, dee da, dee da, dee da

Music Moment: Nobody Expects a Ukulele! Adorable Kate Micucci redux feat. William H. Macy

July 2, 2010

Nobody expects a ukulele! Kate Micucci and William H. Macy sing “It’s Time to Get Laid” in uke-strumming duet-y glory. I said goddamn, Kate “Gooch” Micucci — you are just too big a bowl of awesomesauce to even take in.


Brain asplosions.

The short, sexually encouraging video was intended to promote Bart Got A Room (Brian Hecker, 2008), in which both Kate and Mr. Macy were featured. The movie also stars Cheryl Hines of Curb Your Enthusiasm and the gorgeously spatterfaced and at-long-last-legal-to-ply-with-long-islands Alia “Maeby” Shawkat (ow!) from Arrested Development and Whip It. Previously, I featured Kate singing “Screw You” in a duet with Ted from Scrubs. The cute-as-a-button comic genius is one half of the singing comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates — and I’m glad to add that youtube is chockful of her videos — and she is such a brain-asplodingly adorable uke hero that I may have to give her her own category, soon!

Bonus picture of Alia Shawkat for, um, … Science.


I have just blinded you. With Science.

You’re welcome.

William Blake Month: Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: “The Tigers of Wrath”

June 23, 2010


Berlin, Germany

The quote comes from “Proverbs of Hell,” a chapter in William Blake’s gnostic text The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

The book has been interpreted as an anticipation of Freudian and Jungian models of the mind, illustrating a struggle between a repressive superego and an amoral id. It has also been interpreted as an anticipation of Nietzsche’s theories* about the difference between slave morality and master morality.

(the wiki)

*cf: in particular Nietzsche’s camel – lion – child model of human thought and behavior as outlined in Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen / Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None (1883-1885).

Portions of this post appeared originally on December 5, 2009.

Tevee time and Music Moment: Coupl’a’ Unlikely G’s — That Bald Sweaty Lawyer and The Girl He’s Sweet on, “Screw You.”

June 21, 2010

Nobody expects a ukulele!


Brain-asplodin’ cuteness.

God bless you, Ted. God bless you, Scrubs.

My sister-in-law and I used to have a running telephone gag where because of its glorious syndicated ubiquity — you could watch blocked hours at a time of it during the afternoon if you switched channels at the right half-hour — we would talk as though Scrubs were a new show of which we’d scarcely just now heard. It would go about like this:

“Helloooo! What are you doing?”

“Helloooo! I’m watching this situation comedy set in a hospital.”

“Really? What is it called?”

“Hmm. Docs or Duds or something.”

“Is it Scrubs, maybe?”

“Yes! Scrubs.”

“I’ve heard of that! That seems interesting.”

“It is! It’s even funny. Two of the doctors I think like each other.”

“Do you think they will ever get together, and then break up, and then do it over and over and over?”

“I have no idea — it’s a total mystery!”

“Gosh! I think I would like that. When can I catch it?”

“I’m not sure. It doesn’t seem like it’s on very often.”


Miss you, Christer. Muah. ♥




The Scrubs screencaps in this post come from fyeahscrubs! on the tumblr. When all the “Fuck yeah” tumblrs started, I was skeptical, but I find them increasingly great and this particular one has such awesome caps that I can go on there when I’m down and come out practically crying from laughing so hard. “You seem unhappy. I like that.” Thanks!

William Blake Month: Binding with briars my joys and desires

June 19, 2010


via

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.


In the ruins of St. Ebba’s Lunatic Asylum. Epsom, Surrey, England.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And ‘Thou shalt not’ writ over the door;
So I turn’d to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore,


Photographed by Ellen von Unwerth for her book Revenge.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And Priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars my joys and desires.

(William Blake, “The Garden of Love.”)

Binding with briars my joys and desires.

Who will take your dreams away?

Music Moment: There’s no tomorrow — The Mighty Hannibal, “Hymn No. 5”

June 16, 2010

If you skip the Music Moments normally … don’t skip this one. Banned from the airwaves and all-but-lost to obscurity, this song is one of the best Vietnam tell-it-like-it-is protest songs and one of the greatest soul singles I have heard in recent memory, period.

The Mighty Hannibal — “Hymn No. 5”


I wrote my baby from Vietnam
and this is what I said,

“I want to see you
(You know that)
I want to see you
I want to see you
(Yes I do, now)
Yes, I do.


via northern soul in the u.k.

“Sleeping in these foxholes
Hungry and cold
I had a dream last night

I dreamed I saw you
(You know that I)
I dreamed I saw you
(Yes, I did, yeah)
I dreamed I saw you
(Yeah, I want to say that I)
(I dreamed, a dream)
Yes, I did.”


I want somebody
to tell my mother
And go down yonder in Georgia
and tell my father
that I’m way over here
crawling in these trench-holes,
covered with blood,
but one thing that I know:


There’s no tomorrow,
There’s no tomorrow,
There’s no tomorrow —
they’ll bury me.


I want everybody
in the sound of my voice this evening
to help me sing this hymn number five.

I want you to moan one time.
(humming chorus)


Sometimes I wonder,
I wonder what was it that I did?
I tried to be a good father,
I did the best that I could.
And I wonder, who’s going to take care of my kids?
I’m a long way from home, children.

But I want the world to know
the one thing that I did.
I’m gone for good.


via American Ethnography: Vietnam Zippos.

“Hymn No. 5” was banned from stateside radio-play lickety-split for its “controversial” lyrics. I searched high and low on the internet for those incendiary, heartfelt lyrics, but no go. So, fuck you, censorious witchhunt world of the late 60’s and paranoid early 70’s played out across this present world wide web, because I’m not as lazy as you suppose — I’m typing them out myself. (see above.)


The protest in ’71. The largest of its kind.

From the infinitely worthy Soul Shack:

The Mighty Hannibal is one of those Soul artists that is wrongfully obscure. The world of popular music is filled with myth building, myths sometimes becoming truth, facts obscured. A handful of people these days remember Hannibal. The kind of people who like to hang out in dusty record shops, swap endless amounts of stories and usually useless little facts about obscure and forgotten Soul singers that are God’s gift only in our minds.

(“Platters That Matter: Hymn No. 5.” January 9, 2008.)


from photographer Declan McCullagh, “A dilapidated section of Hue’s citadel, site of major Vietnam War battle involving U.S. Marines and U.S. Army calvary regiments, slowly being rebuilt.”

Hannibal’s “Hymn No. 5” is in my opinion an exception. It is one of those few obscure Soul records that should be saved from forgetfulness. “Hymn No. 5” is both a record of rare beauty and relevance.

(Ibid.)



With the war in Iraq still taking young lives on a daily basis I feel it is important that art like this is remembered. It is through art that we understand the true atrocities of war. If we left it up to our politicians war would be narrowed down to one-liners and personal interest. The news may gives us the facts, photographers may give us the images, but art gives us the personal implications. A song like “Hymn No 5” allows us to feel what war means, allows us to forget the bullshit of the politicians, the confusing statistics scientists use, transcend the daily cold news and actually feel what war does to people. Art allows us to experience the very human consequence of war.

(Ibid.)

Quoted in full because I could not have articulated it as well. A thousand thanks.

The Mighty Hannibal was initially active in the West Coast soul scene, working with Johnny Otis (“Willie and the Hand Jive,” “Harlem Nocturne”) and Johnny “Guitar” Watson (“Gangster of Love”) before launching his own less-than-widely-known but well-appreciated solo career. Born James Timothy Shaw, the Mighty Hannibal grew up with his folks Corrie Bell and James Henry Shaw in Atlanta, GA and then eventually wung his way West. (Can we put a permanent ban on calling it “Hotlanta?” Can that be done?)


Vernon Jordan.

I mention Mr. Shaw’s family as a roundabout and oblique way of announcing that we are coming up on twenty-three years since the overdose/drowning death of AIDS-stricken early porn-and-free-speech crusader Althea Flynt. (Seems random. Bear with me because everything is related and everything is falling apart.) The Mighty Hannibal’s first cousin, the famous lawyer, civil rights crusader, and all-around controversial dude Vernon Jordan (pictured above) has a common bond with Althea’s husband, never-once-controversial-a-day-of-his-life-wink-wink, the paraplegic and litigious Hustler mastermind, Mr. Larry Flynt (pictured below): they have both survived assassination efforts by murderous racist fuckface Joseph Paul Franklin.

For the record, Franklin —and hell, no, I am not throwing up a link to his attention-seeking, Aryan Nations-loving, hopefully-daily-reamed-out butthole; if you want to know more, wiki his sick ass — has never been tried for either of their attempted murders, though he has confessed. He currently sits on Death Row in Missouri, a sentence for which he thanked his jury, assuring them that if they had not condemned him, he would only escape and keep killing in the name of race wars. Also he was a big fan of the Beltway Snipers, who took their cues from his methodology. He was probably pretty surprised when they turned out to be of a heritage he thought was going to Hell. In his face. So, yeah, that dickhead’s on Death Row now. Uh, good? I guess? Not sure that killing him is the solution, although I understand it will satisfy a need for vengeance (which they’ll call “closure” and I deeply understand why because of some of my own shit but it still sits uneasy with me) on the part of his victims’ families. But still. What the good Lord makes of all that is anyone’s guess.


You are all like, why is this a picture of Larry and Althea Flynt and not of Joseph Paul Franklin, and I am all like, “Because I don’t support pathological interest in killers. How about focusing on the people whose lives they interrupted? Go somewhere else if that’s what you want, you stupid, sick fuck, and I hope you never endure the type of loss it will apparently take to snap you out of your ignorant murderer-worshiping, celebrity-and-violence-driven stupor.” If you’re offended by all that, then PLEASE feel free never to return to this journal.

When you stack Franklin’s heinous crimes — which I am not happy to have even touched upon in this entry but I did want to bring the fact of Mr. Jordan’s and Mr. Shaw’s blood relationship to your attention as they are both forthright guys who are serious about civil rights and speaking the truth no matter how ugly it is — up against the subject of this song, hate piled upon hate … it is difficult to even understand where the good can come from on this earth. There is evil in the big picture just as much as the devil is in the details. Genocide and crime and blood and war on one another, which can only be against God’s plan? ought they must be?, stalk every continent. There’s no tomorrow.

Yikes. In reviewing this, I guess it seems that foul mood of earlier today has not yet passed. Super-sorry. Kickass song, though, right? And again, please do scope out the awesome Soul Shack.

Flashback Friday — Music Moment: Gilda Radner, “Let’s Talk Dirty to the Animals”

June 11, 2010

This entry was originally posted on November 3, 2009 at 3:57 pm. It’s been slightly altered, but not much.

Gilda Radner. Love. Patron saint. Heroine. Gar. I can’t talk about it.

Gilda as Roseanne Rosannadanna, the colorful news anchor with aggressive speech patterns.

If the name only faintly rings a bell for you, Gilda is the late great funny lady who was the queen of comedy in the early years of SNL. She was the first Not Quite Ready For Primetime player officially cast on the show. Noteworthy character creations that have had lasting cultural impact were Roseanne Rosannadanna and Emily Litella.


With Chevy Chase in her Emily “Nevermind” Litella character, who had comic malapropisms and bad hearing.

This Music Moment comes from her 1979 special “Gilda Live!,” a one-woman Broadway musical and comedy revue. Song starts around :35, because it was the opening number and she gets such a huge standing o that she can’t even calm people down enough to be heard until then.

A rooster says, “Good morning”
With a, “Cock-a-doodle-doo” – “Good morning!”
A horse’s neigh is just his way
Of saying, “How are you?”
A lion growls, “Hello!”
And owls ask “Why?” and “Where?” and “Who?”

May I suggest you get undressed
And show them your wazoo? – Ohhhh,


The animals, the animals,
Let’s talk dirty to the animals.
Fuck you, Mister Bunny.
Eat shit, Mister Bear.
If they don’t love it, they can shove it.
Frankly, I don’t care! – Ohhhhh,

The animals, the animals,
Let’s talk dirty to the animals.
Up yours, Mister Hippo!
Piss off, Mister Fox.
Go tell a chicken, “Suck my dick,” and
Give him chicken pox. – Ohhhhhh,

The animals, the animals,
Let’s talk dirty to the animals
From birds in the treetops
To snakes in the grass – But,
Never tell an alligator, “Bite my…” (No!)
Never tell an alligator, “Bite my…” (Yes!)

Never tell an alligator, “Bite my snatch!”


“I’m not so funny. Gilda was funny. I’m funny on camera sometimes. In life, once in a while. Once in a while. But she was funny.” — Gene Wilder

Official site of Gilda’s Club, a “community meeting place for people living with cancer, their families and friends. There are 22 open clubhouses and nine in development in North America. Gilda’s Club was founded by Joanna Bull, Gilda Radner’s cancer psychotherapist during the time she had cancer; Radner’s husband, Gene Wilder; and broadcaster Joel Siegel. … The organization takes its name from Radner’s comment that cancer gave her ‘membership to an elite club I’d rather not belong to’ ” (the wiki).

You can make financial donations into an earmarked fund so people have a place to stay while their loved ones are getting treated, or you could send blankets and books and toys for kids to play with in the waiting room. Maybe old ipods and stuff, even, actually. Or think about donating time and creativity. Draw a comic book, cross-stitch “I’m sorry your wife is going to be bald for a while” on a tea towel with a sad face; you know, do something Gilda would approve of. Think outside the box!


“It is so hard for us little human beings to accept this deal that we get. It’s really crazy, isn’t it? We get to live, then we have to die. What we put into every moment is all we have.” — Gilda.

There is hella dust in here right now.