Archive for the ‘Nobody expects’ 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!

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 …

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.

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: 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: The Song Remains the Same — Five Iron Frenzied ukulele “Earth Angel” edition

November 19, 2009

Five Iron Frenzied – Earth Angel (acoustic uke cover)

I said several days ago that “Twilight Time” is my favorite song of all time, but another one that rates right up there for me is “Earth Angel,” charted by lots of folks but mainly famously done by the Penguins. If you cannot quite place it, it’s the song covered by Marvin Berry and the Starlighters in the Back to the Future movies, the one to which Marty’s parents, George McFly and Lorraine Baines, must dance together at the Enchantment Under the Sea ball in 1955 in order to ensure that Marty and his siblings exist in 1985.


“If you guys ever have kids, and one of them, when he’s eight years old, accidentally sets fire to the living room rug…”

The song had also cropped up not two years earlier in Superman III. Clark Kent (Christopher Reeve, R.I.P) and Lana Lang (Annette O’Toole*) dance to it at their reunion, because otherwise she would have to dance with her loser boyfriend. I think this is the best Superman movie for entertainment value, but basically nobody agrees with me other than the writers of Office Space.


*Fun fact: Annette O’Toole now plays Mrs. Kent, Clark’s adoptive mother, on “Smallville.”

This very beautiful, ethereal cover is by an 18-year-old ukulele aficionado on youtube who goes by the name “FiveIronFrenzied,” not to be confused with the Christian ska band Five Iron Frenzy.


Earth angel, earth angel
Will you be mine?
My darling dear
Love you all the time
I’m just a fool
A fool in love with you

Earth angel, earth angel
The one I adore
Love you forever and ever more
I’m just a fool
A fool in love with you


I fell for you and I knew
The vision of your loveliness
I hope and pray that someday
That I’ll be the vision of your happiness

Earth angel, earth angel
Please be mine
My darling dear
Love you all the time
I’m just a fool
A fool in love with you

I fell for you and I knew
The vision of your loveliness
I hope and pray that someday
That I’ll be the vision of your happiness

Earth angel, earth angel
Please be mine
My darling dear
Love you all the time
I’m just a fool
A fool in love with you

Music Moment: The Song Remains the Same, “God Only Knows” edition by wonderful Julia Nunes

November 10, 2009

Julia Nunes – God Only Knows (self-recorded ukulele cover)


I really, really love covers, and I’ve been sitting on that fantastic one up there, which I hope you’re listening to right now because it’s really cool and different, and I’d been wanting to stream it on here, so I decided to start featuring some of my favorite covers as Music Moments in themselves. This type will henceforth be known as The Song Remains the Same. The clever name is not my own, I took it from the title of a song, album, and movie by Led Zeppelin.

I’ve featured a few covers already, which I’m now going to go back and retcon by tagging them “The Song Remains the Same.” The term “retcon” is an abbreviation of “retroactive continuity.” It’s commonly used in comics when new conclusions or pieces of information are retroactively applied to established canonical events. An example would be the aftermath of DC’s Crises on Infinite Earths, when established characters such as Alexander Luthor, Jr., were “retconned” out of existence by the events. A retcon does not always undo previously established characters or events; retcons can also fill in missing details in a story’s background. The Wolverine line of the New X-Men comics are a good example — Logan was Weapon X, but Weapon I turned out to have been Captain America. I thought that kicked some fucking ass, myself.

By reading this far, you may have now accidentally learned two things. The Zeppelin thing and the comics bit. No need to thank me. I don’t just care about boobs and Batman. I am also a sensitive soul with a passion for education. God bless me.

Please enjoy this radical uke cover of the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows!” Nunes has a really cool, clear voice, and I am pretty sure she accompanies and harmonizes with herself using simple recording tricks, which is fun. If you are young but a fan of Love Actually, you may know the song from that. If you’re not a child, you may know the song from all over the place your whole life.

Sorry, I just find it wild when people don’t know songs I consider super-famous. At Paolo and Miss D’s wedding, I asked the very young and competent deejay to play “Tainted Love” and first he had me SPELL IT, then he was like, “Don’t have it, I can look for it, though, who sings that?” “Soft Cell,” I replied, totally still reeling in shock that a young person whose entire profession is playing music had never heard of “Tainted Love,” and he was like, “Is that a new group?” It was insane. I didn’t feel old, I just felt shocked, like he might be a space creature who was hiding inside the real deejay’s skin and trying to pass as an American. (Happens all the time.)

Look for more Julia someday when I have lots and lots of time, because in case you don’t read the alt text by hovering your mouse over the pictures, I am going to surprise-marry her. I have super-stiff competition, though.

On Good Morning America (June 30, 2008) Molly Ringwald said that she took up the ukulele after seeing Julia Nunes on YouTube. “I’ve always wanted to play the ukulele, and she completely inspired me,” she said (the wiki).

Holy crap, I love Molly Ringwald. I can’t fight her. She was Frannie in The Stand! Man, this sucks! Julia, you creative minxy little twinkie, you are ripping my imaginary relationships apart. I’m off to strategize, I guess!

Music Moment: The Tom Fun Orchestra

October 20, 2009

Today I am all about dark, quirky, folksy Nova Scotia indie rockers The Tom Fun Orchestra. Don’t they look cute? And like real people.

The Tom Fun Orchestra – Tar Pond Tango

If you are in a mood for monotonous, predictable music that you can have on in the background while you do something mindless like drive in a large group of chatting people, or if you do not care with what music you fill your mind whatsoever, and despise creativity and creepiness and roots-style swampy fun, then this band is not for you at all. Skip this post, scroll down the page to BDSM Catwoman pics and keep listening to some godawful derivative unimaginative all-alike tripe like Coldplay. They’re your ears. But if you are a One for quirk and high times, read on!

Here is the UK MVA Best Animation-nominated video for the track “Bottom of the River,” directed by Alasdair Brotherston and Jock Mooney. Other nominees were Coldplay, Prodigy, Hauscha and Röyksopp. (For the unhappy record, Shynola won for Coldplay’s “Strawberry Swing,” which basically swept all categories. This is the explanation for my earlier left-field tall glass of Coldplay-haterade, although I admit I do most of the time generally dislike them.)

The video is entirely animated, very creative, spooky, and fun and well-suited for just-before-Halloween.


The Tom Fun Orchestra – Watchmaker
At first you think it’s a creepy stalker song, which I am not opposed to, but then it ends up being kind of a metaphor for God. I think, anyway. I mean, it’s a pretty obvious and heavyhanded symbolism right out of the gate just from choosing the loaded term “watchmaker,” in the opening lyrics so for once I can honestly say that I doubt I’m misinterpreting it.

The Tom Fun Orchestra – Last of the Curious Thieves

I’m going to try to let the wiki handle this one because I’m still not feeling totally my tippy toppy bestest. The Tom Fun Orchestra “combines elements of folk, roots, blues, rock and punk to create a sound that is at once familiar yet entirely unique” (wiki). I don’t know about the punk part but I am in no kind of mood to get in to that debate today.

To me, sounds like: the Pogues, Creedence, Tom Waits, Billy Childish, Dan Melchior, the Holmes Bros, Firewater, the Pierces, Blackbird Raum, Gogol Bordello, Squirrel Nut Zippers, the JOU, Flat Duo Jets, Nick Cave, Dropkick Murphys, Charlie Daniels Band. But not at all Arcade Fire or Broken Social Scene. I honestly don’t see where the wiki got that. Explain if it is something you hear and understand, I’m lost.

Getting long again. Happens so fast! Okay. So. Pretty much the rest of the album is streamed after the jumpy-jump, along with buying advice and more pics of the members of the band. Click here for pictures, music, and more from The Tom Fun Orchestra!

May you live in interesting times: a.m. accordion edition

September 30, 2009

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!

Let’s make this day happen!

It happens: accordion covers, they are a thing.

September 17, 2009

All-accordion cover, because why not, of Marianne Faithfull’s “Who Will Take My Dreams Away?,” composed by Angelo Badalamenti (may his death be delayed ten thousand years) and featured in City of Lost Children, starring Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sin City). Pretty much amazing.

L’oncle Irvin: Then the poor masterpiece became so crazed he believed a single tear drop could save him. And after committing many cruel deeds he died, never knowing what it was to dream. — La cité des enfants perdus.