Saturday, April 28, 2007

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each

Here's two clips from The Mermen, featuring the beautiful guitar work of Jim Thomas. I reviewed their album The Amazing California Health and Happiness Road Show, and interviewed Thomas, back in 2000.

I also named ...Health and Happiness Road Show one of the top albums I heard that year, saying,
A true artist, Thomas plays thoughtfully and with great craft and spirit...This is an album to fall in love with, this is an album to mediate on, and this is an album to restore your faith.

And you won't often see me say that about a guitar showcase.

If I've wetted your appetite enough, here's the first clip. It's live footage of the surf trio playing in a bar, in early 2001.

You may notice that footage is very simple, they just stand and play, and it's lovely.

In that interview I said,
Later in the conversation we discuss videos. [Thomas] doesn't want to make one. I agree with him. If your reaction to this music is anything like mine, it will be very strongly visual. Even acknowledging videos powerful say on the charts, this is music that you don't need a video for (always assuming any music "needs" a video, but that's another topic for another piece). You don't need a video coming in and saying this is the visual for this music.Or to put it another way, Thomas may want his record to sell, but not if it means he has to be on the cover half-naked a la Mariah Carey.

Then we have a live performance from a couple of months after the first. Some video production tricks have been added to this one, and they're actually completely cool (girl on girl fire dancing! Who do I know who enjoyed that?). But again, the brilliant guitar playing is all you need.

(h/t Jennifer Neil for giving me the idea of looking for Mermen live videos.)

You shiver; quiver, for that soft caress

Or "between this and yesterday's Tron clip, I think I finally found something else to post besides videos of my favorite post-post-punk groups." This is from Shock Treatment, the "sequel" to Rocky Horror with in some ways an even better soundtrack.

For those of you playing at home, yes, that weird blind German character who takes the second verse of the song is played by Barry Humphries, AKA Dame Edna Everage.

Keeping our eye on the ball

You remember Jessica Lynch. She's the former POW that the Bush administration tried to use to sell propaganda, until she tripped them up by telling the truth. She turned out to be a more genuinely remarkable person than we had any right to expect. The army's concocted spin made her out to be both more and less than she is.

Earlier this week she testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform hearing to separate fact from fiction. I don't know if you can call that being brave, but it's undoubtedly the opposite of being cowardly.

Here she is along with the brother of the former NFL star Pat Tillman who was killed in Iraq (And who the same administration treated us like naive children about).

Which brings us to my point. Jessica Lynch is a truth-teller, a genuinely remarkable and brave person.

She is also hotter than Nelly Furtado only wishes she could be.

(Nelly, "30 Rock"...I'm really hitting my pet hates today)

For those six other people (if that) who care

"Studio 60" will be returning to the air, that's good!

Not until the end of next month, that's bad.

Every show NBC has replaced "Studio 60" with has done even more poorly in the ratings. I don't know if that's good, but it isn't bad. (Neither is reading headlines like "Baldwin wants off "30 Rock." Karma, baby.)

Now "Studio 60" will be on Thursday nights at 10 p.m. like it was originally supposed to be, that's good!

It's due to come back the day after NBC announces its fall schedule. So even if 13 million new viewers suddenly show up, the decision as to whether or not it gets a second season will already have been taken. That's bad.

Still, "Studio 60" will be returning to the air. That's good. I've always tried to be honest about the things I think the show does not-so-well, but I remain a committed fan.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Well, but of course, or As quiz results go, I must say this is pretty dead-on

"What Classic Actress Are You?" - Results:

Marilyn Monroe. Everyone knows her, she is arguably the most recognizable figure in the 20th century.

Quiet, Shy, Unstable, Wistful, Lost

Even though you tend to be vulnerable and insecure, you are still able to give the appearance of being your vibrant, content self, downplaying your sadness. You struggle to express yourself and to break the facade for which everyone percieves you. You are also determined to prove yourself and show that your beauty is not only skin deep. Through it all, you just want to be rescued as you reach out for help, but remember that you have the super-human drive that can get you out and back on your feet

Take this quiz!

A contest with no prize.

If anyone gets the reference in the new blog description - that's the bit directly beneath the title - I will be absolutely amazed, so leave a quick comment if you do.

Have you seen the movie, "Tron?"

Want to? Got about three minutes? 'Cos this guy on YouTube's broken it down to its most prominent features, the soundtrack by Wendy Carlos (I'd have picked another track, but never mind) and the groundbreaking visuals.

You lose the acting, which is better than you might think, but you don't have to suffer through the more..."functional" elements of the script. Enjoy!

But in the back of my head I heard distant feet

Or, 2,476 entries, and I haven't posted any Pet Shop Boys videos.

We must correct this at once.

Get well soon, Roger

Here's a sweet story about Roger Ebert attending his Overlooked Film Festival in Champaign on Wednesday, his first public appearance since surgery last summer. Elsewhere on Ebert's site, BTW, you can see that the follow-up to "I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie" is now available.

You can also see that title high atop my Amazon Wish list. I'm just saying is all.

(That's right, I just turned an expression of well-wishing for a man I admire into an proclamation of greed. Shame? No time for it. I am the '80s man.)

(And some money would go into Ebert's pocket, after all)

A stolen idea

In honor of National Poetry Month, Ahab at If I Ran The Zoo decided to share a favorite poem. He invited others to do the same in the comments there, but the poem I thought of is a little long so I thought I'd just make a post of it here.

I'm still going to excerpt it, BTW, because in its entirety it's four pages long. But here's a selected version of

What Nina Answered

HE: Just the two of us together,
Okay? We could go
Through the fresh and pleasant weather
In the cool glow

Of the blue morning, washed in
The wine of day...
When all the love-struck forest
Quivers, bleeds

From each branch; clear drops tremble,
Bright buds blow,
Everything opens and vibrates;
All things grow.
Madly in love with the country,
You sprinkle about
Like shining champagne bubbles
Your crazy laugh:

Laughing at me, and I'd be brutal
And I'd grab your hair
Like this-how beautiful,
Oh!-In the air
Just the two of us together,
Our voices joined,
Slowly we'd wander farther
Into the wood...

Then, like the girl in the fairy tale
You'd start to faint;
You'd tell me to carry you
With half a wink...

I'd carry you quivering
Beneath a tree;
A bird nearby is whistling:
"Who loves to lie with me..."
What things we'll see, my darling,
In those farms,
By those bright fires sparkling
In dark windowpanes!
I love you! Come! Come for
A beautiful walk!
You will come, won't you? What's more...

SHE: And be late for work?


If you have any favorite poems of your own you'd like to share, please feel free to do so either in your own blogs (but please let me know) or in the comments.

BTW, the reason that comic cover's there: There was a time when Shade was, IMO, one of the best, coolest and greatest comics around (it crashed and burned at the end, but that's not important right now).

Peter Milligan's writing was an influence on my own, and I realized in retrospect that the series had indirect connections with my own piece My Girlfriend's Boyfriend.

But that's not important right now either.

It's a series that predated Vertigo, but changed over to become part of that line. One of the best run of issues after the changeover was called "Season In Hell," inspired by but not based on Rimbaud's book, and that's how I discovered the writer.

The cover at left is part of that run. I thought it made for a nice touch.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

This is the most brilliant TV show I've ever seen in my life.

And one that makes me truly proud to American. What am I talking about? "Rad Girls," of course. What is it? It's a female version of MTV's "Jackass." That is to say, sexy girls doing stunts.

What kinds of stunts? How about...using a car bumper as a replacement for waxing strips in a bikini wax?

Yes, you read that right.

Or...bending over, flipping up their tennis skirts and letting a semi-pro women's player lob fast balls at their asses?

Now that's what I call a show. I don't care who you are, that's just good TV.

(The girls are from Santa Cruz, Calif, which for some of us explains everything.)

By the way, only about 50% of this post is ironic.

That's the damndest thing I've ever seen.

Ask yourself: Do I want to see video of republican idiot Michelle Malkin performing a cheerleading routine in full costume? If the answer is yes, click away. If no, scroll down to where you can see pictures of prettier, and more importantly smarter, people like Jennifer Aniston, Amber Benson and the Dixie Chicks.

You pays your money (well actually you don't, but if I could just direct your attention to that Amazon wish list link in my profile) and you makes your choice.

Is it me, or is this the ugliest tour logo you've ever seen in your life?

You'll remember the True Colors Tour, which supports the Human Rights Campaign. A worthy charity, to be sure, but I'm somewhat skeptical of the methods being used.

But on another topic, I've just seen the tour logo. You're telling me there was nobody involved in this entire tour that was gay enough to tell them that the logo looks like a feminine hygiene product box designed while on an acid trip?

Bush's Approval dropping quicker than Lindsay Lohan's pants

Bush Approval Rating Falls to 28%,
Lowest Level So Far, in Harris Poll

Unfortunately, Pelosi & Co. aren't doing much better. I'll always believe it's because they're not acting quickly enough to throw the pigs out.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

More beautiful women (oh, okay and one or two men for you womenfolk and any male gays who may be looking in) or, Ladies, ladies ladies

In my last post, I mentioned that Eva Amurri had been on People Magazine's "100 Most Beautiful People" list in 2003. This year's list, synchronistically enough, is out this week, and a few names were released last night.

So let's have a look at this baby.

In the number one spot is Drew Barrymore. Drew Barrymore is cute as a button, but I don't know if I'd put her at the top of any such list.

By the way, when it comes to words like beautiful Vs. cute, I subscribe to the theory put forth in this clip from NewsRadio featuring TPWFMA and Vicki Lewis.

Also on the list:

Eva Longoria. I don't get it.

"The three Jessicas" (Simpson, Alba and Biel). Besides the first name, what the three Jessicas all have in common is that I would, but I'd hate myself in the morning, you know, if we had to, what is the

Jennifer Garner. In the same category with Eva Longoria.

Nicole Kidman. There was a time when I used to say I felt completely unable to rate Kidman as an actress, because any time she was onscreen all I was thinking was "pretty..." That time has more-or-less passed, but there's no denying...

And as I have previously observed, there is something about Scarlett Johansson that makes me lose all my gentility and resort to tit jokes like an 11-year-old.

I'm sorry, but there truly doesn't seem to be anything I can do. Not if she will continue to wear dresses like that...

Jennifer Aniston. Well, come on.

As to that guy I promised you: One of the fellas on the list is George Clooney, and...

I would. I would right now.

Speaking of George, I've never understood what's supposed to be so hot about Jennifer Lopez...with the exception of her in Out Of Sight.

Halle Berry.
Don't believe I know the woman. Sweet, is she?

Julia Roberts. She's the voice of a spider. That's just creepy.

Carrie Underwood. I'd much rather Mary Stuart Masterson (below) were on the list. She's a dead ringer for Underwood anyway...only Masterson has more talent.

Some women apparently not prominently featured this year who would make it to my top 15: Eva Amurri, Anne Hathaway, Teri Polo (that pic is totally not "safe for work," that's why I'm not running it here), Phoebe Cates, Courtney Love, Paget Brewster, Courteney Cox and...

Jennifer Connelly (top), Amber Benson (bottom)...and I reckon I know a few people who'd like to see that...

, The Dixie Chicks,
Sarah Paulson (left), Lisa Edelstein (below). (For those of you who don't watch House, Ms. Edelstein is the woman nicely filling out the tight skirt and pink shirt in the photo above. The scruffysexycool fella to her right is Hugh Laurie, who I'm assuming is somewhere on my sex's half of People's list...)

...and Tara Reid.

You know what I don't get?

Eva Amurri is an actress, a model, and a very good-looking young woman.

In fact one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World," 2003, as you can see above. She is also the daughter of Susan Sarandon. Amurri's upcoming film reportedly contains a couple of sex scenes. She said to "Rush & Molloy" in the NY Daily News:

"In one of them, I got to wear a garter belt, which is my fantasy come true - ever since my prom dress."

Now, none of this is what I don't get. "Sex sells" is hardly the hottest news on the planet. No, what I don't get is that Rush & Molloy led the item by saying,

Susan Sarandon might be squirming in her seat during the flick "The Education of Charlie Banks" Friday at the Tribeca Film Fest.

Does anyone out there think Susan Sarandon is the kind of mother to be embarassed by her daughter's sex scene? If I were her I'd be more uncomfortable with the fact that the film is directed by big-hollow-dick swagger "Rock Star" Fred Durst.

You know, Fred Durst, from Limp Bizkit, the Black Oak Arkansas of the '90s.

I wouldn't let my daughter appear in a film he made, but that's just me.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Look at this.

Late in his life, in fact not long before he died, Sammy Davis Jr. was the subject of a tribute television special. Almost every living performer short of Joey Bishop with even the slightest connection to Davis participated, seriously, look at this cast list and tell me who's missing.

Sammy was seated in a special section right by the stage, so many of the performers addressed their remarks and/or performances directly to him. Including Frank Sinatra, who called him his brother.

But the moment that was one for the books came after Gregory Hines performed. Like Davis, Hines (who we would lose only 13 years later) was an award-winning, former child prodigy tap dancer and multi-talented performer; he idolized the older man. His performance has in it much of the talented pupil trying to please an old master.

Then Sammy, who I'll remind you again was very ill at the time-his legs were like matchsticks-reached for his tap shoes and took the stage. What followed was unbelivable.

The special is not available on video, but clips make it out as part of things like the Davis episode of Biography. I checked YouTube for it a few months ago but it wasn't up. Today, however, luck was with me. Look at this.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Anne Hathaway wearing nothing but a paper bag

I swear to god, the woman's trying to kill me.

BTW, I have revised my earlier theory about what happens to us when we die if we've been good. I no longer think we go into a never-ending shower with a 21-year-old Virgina Madsen.

Now I think we get into an ever-warm bed which we never have to leave and in which every time we wake up, this is the first thing we see:

You make your heaven, and I'll make mine.

ETA: In a sense, this is some kind of an accomplishment. This blog is now listed on the Anne Hathaway Home Page at Guilty Obsession. Under the label, "Anne Hathaway Obsessors." I don't know that this is entirely fair, I mean, I wouldn't say that I was obsessed with Anne Hathaway...

I mean, I do find her awfully sexy and all, and it is kind of unfair how insanely beautiful she is. But I'm also pleased to see her winning acclaim as an actress, and I wouldn't want you to think that I...that is, that I...ah...that I...

Eyes...those eyes...good lord in heaven almighty, those eyes...

Okay, but I'm not the least bit guilty about it.

Who do I root for in a case like this: The name of the place...Babylon 5

Sheryl Crow vs. Karl Rove

And now for something completely different

Just so you shouldn't think I only like synth-heavy, lyrically penetrating and smart sexually ambiguous (if not sexually repressed) mope-pop that treats women as people with whom to do anything but "do it till you're satisfied"...

I love this song, this album, and to a lesser extent this band. I consider them techno-pop at least as much as rock (no synths, but dig that slick, polished production), but I love them.

And it's not a pleasure I feel particuarly guilty about. They're stupid, they're fun and they're most definitely boys.

By the way, I haven't been able to get the hot blonde in the striped shirt who appears around the 4.05 mark in this video out of my head for almost 20 years. It's not because I want to discuss feminist theory with her.

It's because she symbolizes, in one split-second shot, the reason why every band was ever formed ever.

Oh, boy...

The University of Western Ontario's newspaper, the Gazette, is in trouble because of a "humorous" article published last April Fool's day. It seems that a (pseudonymously credited) writer decided that it would be great fun to "spoof" anti-sexual assualt events like "Take Back The Night" marches and "women's" plays like the Vagina Monologues.

The way he-I'm just guessing-did this was through such laff-inspiring conceits as postulating that a woman's vagina might take on a life of its own, "[crawl} from under [a] flowing white nightie, [steal] a loudspeaker and [go] on a rampage."

This is called fun. Oh, and the woman with the lively vagina turns out to have a name similar to that of a member of a women's group on campus.

Zuzu at Feministe is irked because of the various phobias and isms she believes the piece relies upon, as am I. But first of all, I'm dismayed because the piece is so , as Zuzu also puts it, "unfunny and confused."

Come on, guys, you're Canadians, for god's sake, you're from the land of SCTV.

(The show that gave us Libby Wolfson's "I'm Taking My Own Head, Screwing It On Right, and No Guy's Gonna Tell Me That It Aint." And other genuinely scathing, brilliant and funny satires of feminism at it's most self-righteous.)

This is the best you can do?

To make matters worse, these funnyboys have insured that no one will ever be likely to try satire at the paper again, including those who might be better at it.

...editor-in-chief Ian Van Den Hurk...says that the newspaper’s goal was to create satire...

Apparently the university has allowed Van Den Hurk to keep his position as editor-in-chief, but is working with him to “implement several changes for the next publishing year,” including a new study group that will take students’ concerns and suggestions when publishing each issue.
(From Feministing)

Nice work, boys. To paraphrase Spider-Man's slogan, with great power of the press comes great responsibility. Editors of student newspapers (and hell, real newspapers) ought to have that on a plaque over their layout desk.

Debbie Schlussel, Sen. Larry Craig, John McCain still employed

An adjunct professor was fired after leading a classroom discussion about the Virginia Tech shootings in which he pointed a marker at some students and said "pow."

The five-minute demonstration at Emmanuel College on Wednesday, two days after a student killed 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus, included a discussion of gun control, whether to respond to violence with violence, and the public's "celebration of victimhood," said the professor, Nicholas Winset.

During the demonstration, Winset pretended to shoot some students. Then one student pretended to shoot Winset to illustrate his point that the gunman might have been stopped had another student or faculty member been armed.

There's more if you can take it.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Random Flickr-blogging 3318

Just then, Sonya heard a cable snap.

Her mouth twitched.


"Elmo demands FOOD! Bring Elmo FOOD, so that that Elmo's power may GROW! Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!"


Eventually, they would return to their everyday lives, and never speak of this again.


This is one of the very best Joe Jackson songs

...which means it's the best of the best.