Archive for the ‘The Song Remains the Same’ Category

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.)

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.

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.

Music Moment: The Song Remains the Same — Nina Simone, “I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl”

March 3, 2010

Nina covers Bessie Smith.

Nina Simone – I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl


I want a little sugar
in my bowl
I want a little sweetness
down in my soul
I could stand some lovin’
Oh so bad
I feel so funny and I feel so sad


I want a little steam
on my clothes
Maybe I can fix things up
so they’ll go
What’s the matter, Daddy,
Come on, save my soul
I need some sugar in my bowl
I ain’t foolin’
I want some sugar in my bowl


You been acting different
I’ve been told
Soothe me
I want some sugar in my bowl



I want some steam
on my clothes
Maybe I can fix things up so they’ll go
What’s the matter, Daddy,
Come on save my soul
I want some sugar in my bowl
I ain’t foolin’
I want some sugar – yeah – in my bowl.

A few weeks ago, the o.g. babydaddy treated me and the kidlet to lunch at the Soosh Gardino. He and his wife are mysteriously on the outs this month, I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’ve been trying to be neutral and supportive. They’re not living together any more, though, so I’m not sure what to make of it all.

I drafted her a friendly and supportive Valentine’s card and left it at a place where I knew she had a gig that night; a few days later she wrote me thanking me but then added some surprising stuff about “needing time as newlyweds.”

This was confusing to me because I had just talked to kidlet’s father the day prior and he said in no uncertain terms that he would only take her back to avoid living with his mother … then the next day he phoned and I asked if they had patched things up and he said sort of, but not really, then the following week he said they had certainly not, and were still living apart, so like I said, I am just staying out of it. Because I truly don’t know what’s going on.

I wish there was a way for me to wave a magic wand or wish on some special star and make things perfect for both of us, but I don’t have those kinds of means at my disposal, and I have never been much of a great shakes at relationship stuff.

Apparently neither has the o.g.b.d., for which I can vouch at least during our time together lo five years ago, and also because he asked me abruptly on our way to the Gardino, “Can I ask you something? It’s bad.” He is in the habit of blurting things out so I wasn’t as surprised as I would’ve been with someone normal. I said okay and he asked me, “What happened? With your marriage?”

My stomach lurched but as my kidlet’s father and knowing he wants to support her and be able to be a sounding board for her anxieties and dreams just the same as I do, so why would I not arm him with all information possible in order for him to succeed?, I felt like he deserved a specific reply and not my usual shrug or head shake. I answered as best I could without going in to too many details, but as directly as possible because the o.g.b.d. has a lot of tics and one of them is a strong dislike of roundabout bush-beating. I’ve always thought that was a fair bugaboo and done my best to respect it. I wound down my short explanation as we pulled in to the lot of the Soosh Gardino by saying:


Woman as banquet.

“You know how it is.” (he does) “Growing up, people like us don’t plan on someone loving us, because that means letting them know us. I thought I could let someone in and it didn’t work out. For right now, I’m just not interested even at all in trusting another person, not like that. The jury is out for me on the human race.” He made a tsking sound and started to shake his head, and I held up my hand and said, “Just for now. We’ll see. But maybe I was right, all those years; maybe I am supposed to just be alone.”


Still from Pierre le fou.

I had just parked and killed the engine so I was able to look him in the eye when he suddenly grabbed my hand. He said urgently, “No. Beth — don’t say that.” This is not a story about how I got back together with the o.g.b.d., or how there is still some unwritten chapter about us. I just realized that might be inferred.

That’s not at all the way of it. You don’t know him — everything he does is spontaneous, overemotional, and urgent. He can’t even brush his teeth without doing it slightly “off” like he is coming down off of heroin or flashing his eyes around like Rudolph Valentino. He’s an intense guy, that o.g.b.d. It was one of the things that attracted me so strongly to him when we were together: he is not like other people. He’s more vibrant. Like other people are watercolor and he is painted in oils.


Rudolph Valentino smoking a cigarette with probably much greater restraint than the o.g.b.d. might — less wild gesticulation and hair pulling — but the eyes are the same.

What this story is about is this: You are pretty low when your recently-split, moving-back-in-with-his-mother, hated-you-for-years ex feels sorry for you. I thought, “Wow. Maybe we are moving in to a new phase of our lives where he will be a good friend and confidante to me. That would be pretty unexpected and neat!”

After lunch, we went to a park and it turned out he’d been drinking sub rosa from a fifth of whiskey all day. I was kind of bummed that I’d thought we’d been doing so well and it might have not really been heartfelt on his half. Quelle surprise, I guess. I will never learn, it seems. I don’t want to sound pathetic, I just felt pretty stupid for thinking someone gave a crap about me.

I found this out when he took a hit out of the bottle in his pocket. In front of a bunch of kids. I said, “Um, no thanks, dude.” He said, “Oh, I know. I wasn’t offering. You’re driving.” He had me there: I was indeed driving. And it was a visit we were both in charge of. And he’d literally split from his wife the day before. And the day before happened to be Valentine’s. So I’m not going to judge or flip out unless it happens again. “Everybody gets one,” right, Spider-man on Family Guy?

The point is: Yep. Probably meant to be alone. At least for a good long while.

It’s lonely to want some sugar in the bowl, sure, but the trouble is it’s tough to tell the sugar from the rat poison. Better safe than sorry.

Music and Movie Moment: Mulholland Drive — Rebekah del Rio, “Llorando”

January 31, 2010

Rebekah Del Rio – Llorando (“Crying” cover, Mulholland Drive)

Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001). This track is a haunting, a capella, Spanish language cover by Rebekah Del Rio of the Roy Orbison song “Crying” (Orbison, Melson 1961). Some screencaps are from here, some are from here, and some are from TK on the lj. Some I took myself from the sneaksters who have managed to put a bit of this up on the youtube. Thanks to all sources.



Yo estaba bien
por un tiempo
volviendo a sonreír
I was all right
for a while
I could smile for awhile


Luego anoche te vi;
tu mano me tocó
y el saludo de tu voz
But I saw you last night,
you held my hand so tight
as you stopped to say hello


Y hablé muy bien
y tú sin saber
que he estado

Llorando por tu amor,
llorando por tu amor
Oh, you wished me well
You couldn’t tell
that I’ve been

Crying over you,
crying over you


Luego de tu adiós
sentí todo mi dolor
Sola y
llorando, llorando, llorando.
You said, “So long,”
left me standing all alone
Alone and
crying, crying, crying.


No es fácil de entender
que al verte otra vez
yo esté llorando.
It’s hard to understand
but the touch of your hand
Can start me crying.


Yo que pensé
que te olvidé
pero es verdad,
es la verdad
que te quiero aun más
mucho más que ayer
Dime tú que puedo hacer.
I thought that I
was over you,
but it’s true,
oh, so true
I love you even more
than I did before.
But darling, what can I do?

¿No me quieres ya?
Y siempre estaré

Llorando por tu amor
llorando por tu amor
For you don’t love me,
and I’ll always be

Crying over you
crying over you


Tu amor se llevó
todo mi corazón
Y quedo llorando, llorando, llorando

Llorando por tu amor
Yes, now you’re gone,
and from this moment on
I’ll be crying, crying, crying,


Crying over you

Purchase Mulholland Drive, a StudioCanal film, from amazon online or in person at some big, dreadful electronics discount store where they make their employees dress all alike and discourage self-expression while simultaneously crushing their professional ambitions and private dreams, or even someplace mind-numbingly similar but with a wider range of products to assuage your human misery at the altar of merciless soul-raping capitalism, Walmart or Target; whatever, I don’t care. I am just encouraging you to do this consumer bullshit so I don’t get sued. If it were up to me, David Lynch movies would be showing at most theaters everywhere always, so it’s tough for me to recommend virtually profitless small screen shenanigans. And by tough I mean I am going to go chew light bulbs now.

This movie will come up again, these are a really small handful of caps compared to the rest. I’ve just been blue and listening to this song a lot lately.

Music Moment — The Song Remains the Same: “Blue Christmas,” cover by Nicole Atkins, NSFW pictures by Ellen Von Unwerth feat. Ana Beatriz Barros

December 25, 2009

One of my favorite holiday songs brought to wonderfully creepy, multi-track resonant life by super-hot fave Nicole “lionface” Atkins.

Nicole Atkins – Blue Christmas


All photos from Ellen Von Unwerth featuring Ana Beatriz Barros. “Merry Me,” V Magazine Iss. #32 (2004).

“Blue Christmas,” music and lyrics by Jay W. Johnson and Billy Hays, 1947. The holiday rock ‘n roll classic was originally recorded by Ernest Tubb, 1948, charted by Elvis Presley in 1957 and again by the Beach Boys in 1964.


I’ll have a blue Christmas without you
I’ll be so blue just thinking about you
Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Won’t be the same dear, if you’re not here with me


And when those blue snowflakes start falling
That’s when those blue memories start calling
You’ll be doing all right with your Christmas of white
But I’ll have a blue, blue Christmas


And when those blue snowflakes start falling
That’s when those blue memories start calling


You’ll be doing all right with your Christmas of white
But I’ll have a blue, blue Christmas


I’ll have a blue, blue *Christmas

* the girl can yodel like Wanda Jackson and Patsy, even. God, I love her.

Music Moment: The Song Remains the Same, The Donnas — “Drive My Car” edition

November 20, 2009

The Donnas – Drive My Car (Beatles cover)

All-girl rock band The Donnas covered the Beatles’ “Drive My Car” (McCartney, Lennon) for Razor and Tie’s 2005 tribute album This Bird Has Flown – A 40th Anniversary Tribute to the Beatles’ Rubber Soul.

In late 1999, I found their ragtag little POS website (oh, those halcyon early internet days of crummy block-text and midi’s on Angelfire and Tripod!). Intrigued that they were all the same age as me and hailed out of Palo Alto, I actually went ahead and bought the album The Donnas Get Skintight, my first over-the-internet music purchase. Some stupid fucker stole it out of my car in 2003, along with the original soundtrack to the Chita Rivera cast of Kiss of the Spiderwoman and Poe’s album Haunted, among several other albums in my little CD binder. I hope that dickhead is still enjoying them, but most likely he or she threw them away.


Oh, my god, they were BABIES! By extension, if they were all born when I was, then I was a baby too. Man. This brings back memories. I most definitely necked to this album.

I rebought Poe (actually am on my fourth copy now because I play it so much in my car while speeding over bumpy country roads and chainsmoking and screaming that it gets scratched up) and the musical, but, with the advent of mp3’s and suchlike, I have never felt the need to repurchase The Donnas. Sorry, girls! Hope this unpaid and unprovoked publicity makes up for my lackage!


Brett Anderson

Asked a girl what she wanted to be
She said baby, can’t you see
I wanna be famous, a star of the screen
But you can do something in between

Baby you can drive my car
Yes I’m gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I’ll love you


Allison Robertson

I told that girl that my prospects were good
she said baby, it’s understood
Working for peanuts is all very fine
But I can show you a better time

Baby you can drive my car
Yes I’m gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I’ll love you

Beep beep’m beep beep yeah


Maya Ford

Baby you can drive my car
Yes I’m gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I’ll love you

I told that girl I can start right away
When she said listen babe I got something to say
I got no car and it’s breaking my heart
But I’ve found a driver and that’s a start


Torry Castellano

Baby you can drive my car
Yes I’m gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I’ll love you

Beep beep’m beep beep yeah
Beep beep’m beep beep yeah
Beep beep’m beep beep yeah
Beep beep’m beep beep yeah

Yeah, so just in case you were wondering, that is what motherfuckin’ rock stars look like! Man, I need to go buy another one of their albums.

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, “Twilight Time,” by Los Cincos Latinos

November 16, 2009

Asking me to pick a favorite movie, band, or book is a task that will tie me in knots for hours. But asking me to pick a favorite song? Easy peasy, rice and cheesey! My favorite song of all time is “Twilight Time,” by the Platters. I have just under ten thousand covers (rough estimate), but this is one of my faves, by south of the border ’60’s act Los Cincos Latinos.

Los Cincos Latinos feat. Estela Raval – La Hora del Crepúsculo

In español, it is “La Hora del Crepúsculo.” Expect to hear many more covers of this number in the coming weeks.

Spanish lyrics which are totally different from the original Platters version by, to the best of my knowledge, the Cincos Latinos; shitty rough English translation all mine and I alone am to blame for dropped nuances, etc.


Cuando el sol enamorado la luna ve
Es un crepúsculo dorado la cita fiel
Y anuncia así que llega al fin al corazón
Callada la hora del amor

(When the sun, in love, sees the moon
It is the golden twilight of a fateful encounter
And it announces the intent
to still the heart in this, the hour of love
)


Cuando dos almas que se esperan
Se encuentran ya
En un anhelo de esperanza se unirán
Buscando siempre en el amor
La gran verdad
que debe traer felicidad

(When two souls in anticipation
Meet, already hoping to be united,
Having looked always for love:
The greatest truth
that should bring happiness
)

Y ya nunca el corazón
Jamás podrá latir sin ti, sin ti
Que si termina la ilusión,
Hoy dulce realidad por ti, por ti

(And already my heart will always
Howl out without you, without you*
If this illusion were to end,
The sweet reality of now, of you, of you
)

Cuando el sol enamorado la luna ve
Es un crepúsculo dorado la cita fiel
Y anuncia así que llega al fin al corazón
Callada la hora del amor

(When the sun, in love, sees the moon
It is the golden twilight of a fateful encounter
And it announces the intent
to still the heart in this, the hour of love
)

Cuando el sol enamorado la luna ve
Es un crepúsculo dorado la cita fiel
Y anuncia así que llega al fin al corazón
Callada la hora del amor

(When the sun, in love, sees the moon
It is the golden twilight of a fateful encounter
And it announces the intent
to still the heart in this, the hour of love
)

(repeats again after instrumental interlude and key change)

*¡Ten cuidad! Do not be fooled by the romantic language characteristic of the double negative: the direct translation was, like, “my heart will always never bark without you,” or something, but the meaning was what I wrote … I think.

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 – Twiggy, “In My Life”

November 4, 2009

“It’s the Muppet Show! With our very special guest star, Twiggy!”

“The Muppet Show,” Season 1, Episode 21: Twiggy, aka Lesley Lawson, nee Lesley Hornby, sings “In My Life,” (Lennon/McCartney, 1965) with a very simple, beautifully arranged wind and string orchestra backing her. Original air date December 19, 1976.

The picture montage that accompanies Twiggy’s lovely cover of this wonderful song is surprisingly moving. She was an icon during a time when beautiful people actually cared about life beyond their own pretty noses: yeah, they were high as kites most of the time, but you know what? They really wanted to make this planet a better place, they dreamed big about equality and freedom, and not just record sales and cheap retail clothing lines and scoring points with the press.

The scenes evoked by the images in the montage and the people featured in them are even better when you consider how much more she could include in such a montage now, having continued to enrich the world with her acting, singing, modeling, and dancing (she has won Golden Globes, released hit albums, performed for charity, toured the world, the works).

Twiggy stayed a genuine Model Citizen, not only remaining active on the fashion, stage, screen, and music scenes, but also in continuing to care for others in word and deed. Visit Breakthrough Breast Cancer if you want to be cool like Twiggy, because if you are reading this and care about looking good, you clearly have some free time to be pretty on the inside, too.

Anyway. This video would be truly perfect, if only I could get rid of the bug in the bottom left (the transparent logo of the Mouse Who Sold the World). But on the bright side, dig her groovy still-mod eyelashes and stovepipe arms in that faboosh red tux, am I right?? Everything old is new again: she could step on stage today and rock that shit, and be perfectly in style.

Music Moment: “Dancing With Myself,” cover by Nouvelle Vague

October 27, 2009

Nouvelle Vague – Dancing With Myself
Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” cover by French collective Nouvelle Vauge with lead vox by Camille Dalmais, who I reckon we will see around these parts again, soon.

Oh, dancing with myself
Oh, dancing with myself
Well there’s nothing to lose
And there’s nothing to prove
I’ll be dancing with myself

If I looked all over the world
And there’s every type of girl
But your empty eyes
Seem to pass me by
Leave me dancing with myself

So let’s sink another drink
’cause it’ll give me time to think
If I had the chance
I’d ask the world to dance
And I’ll be dancing with myself

Oh, dancing with myself
Oh, dancing with myself
Well there’s nothing to lose
And there’s nothing to prove
I’ll be dancing with myself

Music Moment: Michael Bublé “Feeling Good” feat. va-voom orchestra and Bond girls! *with bonus NSFW Bridget Fonda because I can*

October 25, 2009

Michael Bublé – “Feeling Good” Official Music Video. Directed by Noble Jones. (Hot ladytimes begin at :36, for the impatient.)


Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don’t you
know
Butterflies all havin’ fun you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done
And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
For me

Stars when you shine you know how I feel
Scent of the pine you know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And I know how I feel

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good

Normally I am not the world’s biggest Michael Bublé guy, but this is a great cover of a song originally composed for the musical The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd and memorably recorded by special fave Nina Simone. That recording is especially great for me because they used it in 1993’s Point of No Return, remember, the action-thriller where Bridget Fonda played a cop-killing drug addict who is given the choice between the death penalty and being an assassin (happens all the time)? I most certainly do because it was the first thing I’d ever seen her in, and when I found out that on top of being a strawberry blonde with a rabbity grill and country grin à la Jodie Foster, she was also a freaking Fonda to boot, I kind of flipped out.

But I’m much better now. You know, playing it cool.

The movie is directed by Luc Besson, director of Nikita, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, and The 5th Element all CRAMAZING films, and former husband of model citizen Milla Jovovich, and also features the lovely and talented Gabriel Byrne (I still ❤ Irish boys). It's a can't-miss. I'm not even kidding.

Anyway, so love this song, which was the original purpose of this post. Add that fact to the video’s Bond-spy-mod-squad vibe, and I’m actually all kinds of into this!

Music Moment: Joan Baez sings Bob Dylan’s “With God On Our Side”

October 15, 2009

Joan Baez live in Stockholm, 1966, singing “With God On Our Side,” written by Bob Dylan.

In a many dark hour
I’ve been thinkin’ about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can’t think for you
You’ll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.

Copyright ©1963; renewed 1991 Special Rider Music

I don’t take the oversimplified path of belief that wars, conflicts, battles, whatever you want to call them are somehow problems with easy solutions (make peace or get ‘er done), from either side. But I wonder if God, able to take the long view and seeing the starvation, the disease, the murders and genocide which war involves, would agree? Then again, God’s relationship with humanity vis a vis the suffering of innocents has always been problematic at best. I am troubled. Weltzschmerz: sadness over the state of the world. I have it today.

Music Moment: Across the Universe (Beatles, Fiona, Rufus)

October 14, 2009

The lush cover of this track by Fiona Apple that appears on the soundtrack to Pleasantville is I think the most gorgeous version of this song ever recorded, so I’m starting things off with that one.

Fiona Apple – Across the Universe

I stumbled over the below picture a few weeks back on the blog chained and perfumed, and my first thought on reading the left column of the album liner notes was, “Wow, that is so awesome to see the lyrics written out like that!” I have always loved this song. Some of my most special personal moments of epiphany and individual soul-forging have taken place with just me, an open Spring road, and this song playing in the car.

Then I read the right column and all my hackles rose and I was sputtering barely intelligible stuff about tunafish sandwiches sucking and I essentially finally spat, “God, I hate you, Yoko Ono!” A confession: I am not a hater in the truest sense. I am terrible at hating; I typically lose track of what I am even angry about, and end up feeling that I am the jerk for not being more forgiving. But I have always had this barely rational hatred of a few people, a shortlist if you will, and at the top is that vile, pretentious and ambitious ruiner of friendships, the dread Yoko Ono; I was even Continue reading, hear more music, see gorgeous and rare video, and help me be less of a hater!

Music Moment: “Sugar Town”

October 6, 2009

I’m prepping to go to San Jose with Miss D to pick up her gown for the wedding which is Saturday, holy crap, so close. Quick Music Moment because I need to commit to doing these.

So since it was in my head anyway, I thought I’d try something new today by doing a song instead of a band. This catchy and pointless little ditty has had some strange staying power through the decades. This song has been in my head since a heartening conversation I had last night during which I thought, “That’s true: these troubles will not last,” which put the lyrics in my mind.

The song is “Sugar Town,” first recorded by the sultry and petitely blonde Miz Nancy Sinatra. Please enjoy this awesome youtube video of Nance, and dig that rather elaborate intro (it explains why she sits still on rocks and walks around pretty much the rest of the time: because they blew the budget on the damned hot air balloon and using nature as a set is free). Also that is quite the shiny wig. Anywhere, here she is singing the smash hit.

Recently the lovely and talented Miss Zooey Deschanel (also a personal fave from way back, I think for rather obvious reasons, evinced by photo) covered “Sugar Town” in 500 Days of Summer, which Special K and her German friend assured me is rad and is on my to-watch list.

Zooey Deschanel – Sugar Town

I read somewhere that she and the music coordinator were hoping for “These Boots Were Made For Walkin'” but that it was too expensive to get the rights. It’s a shame, because I would’ve liked to hear a genuine voice wrap around that one rather than that atrocious ear-rape released by that talentless Simpson chick not long back. The blonde who is divorced and has big jugs, not the redhead with the nose job who got married to the guyliner boy. Anywhere, that up there is the fantastic Miss Z’s take on “Sugar Town,” and with that I am mainly outie for the day! Love to all.

Music Moment: Amanda Palmer, Surprisingly More Thought-Provoking Than I Suspected

September 29, 2009

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! …

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 Amanda Palmer and my queer little problems with her. Continue reading, hear more music, and see a thought-provoking video, help me figure out what is going on in my addled mind!