Monday, December 31, 2007

B's Pick: Favorite Album of 2007

As I told McCrank, I am hilariously not up to date when it comes to 2007 releases. Besides the fact that I don't know what came out when, I don't think really even kept up with new stuff this year, since I was away from the radio and pretty busy with this and that throughout. New Year's Resolution #375? Stop listening to the Specials' ST over and over and get on that new music! And not just the new Rancid B/C-sides release :p (here's where I scream: my GAWD I can't get enough of Rancid!)

I do however still want to do something, so here is my favorite album of the year, which is, and this should come as no surprise. . .


Tim Armstrong's A Poet's Life. Ignoring the sortakinda corny title, this is a great release. At first I wasn't so sure about it- "Into Action" was admittedly ridiculously energetic and catchy, but on my first listen, I figured it was just like the Bastards/Transplants releases- fabulous music with lotsa bragging. In general, I don't have a problem with that style, but at the same time I was very pleased, when I finally took the time to listen to the lyrics (during the commutes over the summer to work = downtown LA = Dodger Stadium = lotsa time in the car), to find that this was not the case. Rather, Tim gives us some surprisingly sweet love songs to girls and cities, a history lesson or two, and overall solid music and lyrics, including one of my favorite opening lines--"Wake up, you sonuvabitch," which is in the running for favorite Tim line, along with "fuck the motherfucken backstabbin cunts." (I actually wanna apologize for linking to the videos, I'm not too fond of them, or the obsession with the Threshold-y filter or whatever that is.) Most telling, though, is the fact that I am still listening to the record over and over again, and not just a few songs, but the whole fucken thing. Tracks on here consistently make it onto mixes, my gym/jogging playlist, and I even have it on my desktop for easy access in the morning while I get dressed. Even after listening to this thing a bazillion times (and I indeed have, the tracks are in my Top 25 with "bazillion" under the play count), it's still fresh, exciting, and ridiculously danceable, singalongable, and fun.

Runner-up was Patrick Wolf's The Magic Position-- dramatic and sweet and lovely, and a good example of how Wolf continues to refine and mature across albums.

I'm interested to hear others' favorites from this year, or if you posted a list on your blog-- lemme know :) I'll try to put together a link list; I'm gonna be pretty busy with the whole housecleaning before guests come thing, but if I can't do that before the new year, I'll still get one up. Retrospectives rock.

and and and-- I wanna take a sec and say thanks to everyone who has taken the time to stop by and lemme know how things are going, especially the pretty boys and girls who are always there for me blog-style both here and at your own awesomely awesome blogs-- you know who you are <3

Have a happy (and safe) New Year! I'll be watching the parade ("Bogaard’s Beijing Float of Shame") and the football games (uh, boo-hiss to USC, sorry guys) with my Hint of Lime chips. Happy New Year!

xoxo
b

Friday, December 28, 2007

back from outer space

Hey everyone!

Sorry about that sudden prolonged absence. I had a bazillion things planned to post before the 25th and none of it got done; I also had this great idea for the 12 days of Christmas and now I can't remember it. I do have an excuse starting from the 14th, when I had my first final: the final period continued til the 21st. I was gonna say that finals bitchslapped me, but in all honesty, finals kicked me in the shins, knocked me down, rubbed my face in mud, and ran off laughing, then I spent my first 2 days back home frantically Christmas shopping, or rather, driving around to do Christmas shopping.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that all are enjoying these random weird work days in between the 25th and New Year's. Music will be up soon, and I'm playing catch-up with responding to comments, so things are kinda all over the place right now. We should be back up and running again with a new post-Christmas layout, hopefully before the New Year, which is a lot closer than I realize. . .

xoxo
b

Friday, December 14, 2007

Gwen sez Oi to the World and, dude, Aren't Asians Great?

Good cover, Gwen's voice really suits the frantic nature of the song, though I prefer the original with the wacky opening and faux accent. I was never hugely into No Doubt, and I liked Gwen's solos stuff in the beginning until you couldn't get out of your house without hearing that banana song, plus the whole Harajuku girls things was just weird (in their contracts, they aren't allowed to speak English in public.
Then check MadTV's take on the Sweet Escape, rewritten as "Aren't Asians Great." Bobby Lee is, as always, fabulous, especially as Connie Chung, who makes an appearance here. I feel that MadTV is much funnier, more creative, and wilder than Sat Night Live, not only writer-wise but cast-wise; much more flexible and into the material. (It's been a long time since SNL's heyday.)


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Toy Dolls: Best of

Toy Dolls! The old link is dead is my logic but in all honesty it's an exercise in procrastination (and spreading the magic of music.) I'm not sure how to describe them. Funny? Cute? Check out the heavenly chorus in "My Girlfriend's Dad's a Vicar" or James Bond's hair secret in "James Bond Lives Down Our Street" or the ever-popular "Nellie the Elephant." Enjoy!

A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra

Little Frankie "Stool-pigeon" Sinatra refused to take off his Christmas wreath, insisting that he was the ghost of Christmas Present. As it was less than a month before Christmas, the sheriff of Bergen County let him keep it on.

Seeing as how yesterday was Ol Blue Eye's birthday, I thought it would be appropriate to post a Sinatra Christmas album.

But first, a big thanks to all for the feedback!-- I think I'll use Sharebee and perhaps post the additional URLs generated by Sharebee in the comments. And three cheers for the Bing Brigade (the Crosby Brigade?) We now all know kung-fu by default in support of Der Bingle- hellls yeah. Plus, the Big Christmas Stocking has exploded and there are now a few Crosby records over at Ken's! I have more Crosby albums at home, so I'll hopefully be posting those when I get back to sweet, warm Los Angeles. Who knew I'd ever understand that "California Dreamin" song?
Please see comments for additional links :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bing Crosby: Christmas Classics

The Latest Victims of the sayNA Santa hat treatment. [pic source]

Urgh. Ok, one of those days. Fell asleep at 11 last night and woke up at 3 really confused, so I was supposed to get up at 6 to start work, but I slept til 9. . . so I had a big write up planned up for this album and now I'm seeing it not coalesce at all. The same could be said for the portfolio pieces I'm trying to put together and my command of the English language. So here's the rundown.

1. Bing Crosby: best male vocalist in all of History. (Yeahh, don't argue. I'll fightcha. I know kung-fu.)
2. Bing Crobsy singing Christmas songs? He even makes Frosty the Snowman sound good. And I really don't like that song. So yeah, when it's called Christmas Classics, they really are.
"I used to tell (Sinatra) over and over," said Tommy Dorsey, "there's only one singer you ought to listen to and his name is Crosby. All that matters to him is the words, and that's the only thing that ought to for you too."
But don't take my and Tommy's word for it! Here's Christmas Classics with Bing Crosby. (Sorry, no Louis, I'll get some of his stuff up later. I liked the picture.) This is the olddd 10-track one that I have been listening since I was young-er.
p.s. What do you pretty holiday people think of using Sharebee? I like the idea of having an option, especially with the recently crazy inflated in-between download wait-times. Do people have trouble with it or does it usually work?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tom Waits does Christmas

And it's what you'd expect.

Tom Waits' stuff is amazing. Not only are his songs auditory Experiences (capital E), they're also like short stories, with rising and falling action, characters, and vibrant details-- the lyrics beg to be read along with the song so that you can catch everything.

Tis the season [updated]

It's always a lot of fun when common themes run through the blogging community, and this is definitely in full swing with the approach of the holidays. There's some great great great stuff out there, and I wanted to take a minnit to point y'all towards some highlights. This is by no means comprehensive and I'll be posting in this vein as the month goes on, but hopefully you'll find something exciting!

  • Giant Robot's Big Christmas Stocking;
  • Gimme Back My Head has last year's badass Advent Calendar up, and we're currently on Xmas Mix watch;
  • JustGoodTunes has an amazing array of Christmas music. I'd like to recommend A Gene Autry Christmas. (Autry's 1949 recording is an early definitive version of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," a song I actually don't really like along with "Frosty the Snowman." Oooh you Scrooge- bah!)
  • The Vintage Place's A Classic Christmas includes Judy Garland's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (written for the excellent film Meet Me in St Louis), some Crosby, Andrews Sisters, Rosemary Clooney, and other good stuff;
  • Regnyouth's Yulefinds;
  • Roggelstroe's Christmas gift to us is the ABC Shrek the Halls special. Okay, so I watched it and I liked it. I'm a closet Shrek fan (mostly of the 2nd two movies) and this Christmas special was pretty much what you'd expect. I know I linked to McNamara's snarky review, but I'd like to recommend it on different grounds: it's cute.
  • *New* The triumphant return of Adam of the amazingly creative Rebeldog Comics. He's got "a special Christmas Beatles mix for all [us] misfit toys out there"-- yup, that's you and me. So head over, cos where else are you gonna find the Beatles, the Grinch, and Yoko Ono all in one track + awesome album art?
And, of course, if any of you lovely holiday peoples have anything up that you would like to spread the word about, please do!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Fresh Prince Christmas Show in 3 Parts [Youtube]

This one isn't as good as the decorating one from the first season, so I'll be keeping an eye out for that. I'm not sure what season this is from. The family goes skiing and gets robbed. Best parts? When the kids are tied up, Will with the star on his head, and the little cousin still playing video games. KIDS today I sware!


I.


II.


III.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Bing 'n' Bowie

I'm surprised that it's taken me this long to bring Mr Bing Crosby (oh my I love Bing Crosby and this is my authority speaking: one of the greatest vocalists ever. And this is Artie Shaw: "The thing you have to understand about Bing Crosby is that he was the first hip white person born in the United States.") into the Christmas postings.

This is a classic odd couple scenario, with an adorably awkward set-up, some great self-aware cracks, and Bing's typical end comment ("Pretty thing, ininit?"). I only discovered it a few years ago so it's now my traditional Youtube search come December-- others out there will remember it coming out. Fans of each singer seem to like it and fans of both get way excited, so here it is, kick back and enjoy :)



Aaand, to ruin the mood but mostly fyi, the LATimes has a great rundown of the Facts Behind the CIA Tape Inquiry, so if you're interested but have like me just started to follow the events, it's a great place to start.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Happy Christmas (War is Over)


1980: John Lennon fatally shot by deranged fan
On this day in 1980, British musician John Lennon—who rose to fame with the Beatles and had a successful solo career—was murdered outside his home in the Dakota building in New York City, causing a global outpouring of grief.

It's taken me a long time to get into John Lennon's solo work, and even now I can't claim to be deeply into it. I've got the requisite The Very Best of, which I will be posting today, but beyond that and Plastic Ono Band, and the fact I do like listening to his stuff, I'm not doing the whole gotta get everything and listen to all of it thing. But, since Lennon was shot and killed on this day 27 years ago and since The Very Best of includes his "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)", which really is a nice song unless you're my dad who hates Yoko Ono's voice and picks it out from all the little kids who sound like Yoko Ono, I figured it was doubly appropriate. So take your pick; if you've got the first, you'll have the other, but the opposite might not be the case. Either way, enjoy!
And, as it's the year of its 40th Anniversary, here is. . .

Friday, December 07, 2007

Dec 7 1941

Oh snap, guys. I totally forgot it was Dec 7. Here's the trailer for Tora! Tora! Tora!-- great film, though another of those long weird old trailers :)

If you're interested in the racial aspect of the Pacific War, check out John Dower's excellent book War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War. Another very interesting book written by Saburo Ienaga, who caused quite a stir in Japan, is Pacific War, 1931-1945.

You can listen to FDR's War Declaration on Dec 8, which includes the famous "a day that will live in infamy" as well as an outline, delivered with fantastic simplicity and effectiveness, of the Japanese advance across Asia-- though expansion had began waay back in the day, this was the start of what would be the GEACPS. (My prof, trying to describe the image that appears on the right of that link: "So we have an image that makes very rosy the idealized relationship of Japan, China, and the Manchu-- Manchukuo-- so you have the girl on the left, the girl-- is that a girl? Is the other one a girl? Um. . . anyway.") FDR's stark rhetoric at that part of the speech I think is incredibly evocative of the stunning speed and success of the Japanese expansion in the first six months of the war.

Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas

It seems that if you have an Ella Christmas album it's this one, but I hope this will be new to some. Actually, I take that back. Hopefully you've been listening to this for years and haven't been missing out on a thing, cos this record is fantastic. As compared to Ella's Christmas Album, the Swinging Christmas offers hElla a lot more room to have maneuver and have fun and consequently makes for a more vibrant and Ella-y record. Don't get me wrong, they're both great, but as David Sprague notes, the album was made in 1960, "at the peak of her interpretive powers," and the creativity, flexibility and general kickassability of E Fitzgerald is all there. And the cover is absolutely adorable.

More Bat Bitching from B

Hrrmm. Comment est-ce qu'on dit, I'm completely fucked! I have a French final oral today, which is hilarious because these classes definitely don't prepare you to speak on such topics as "France and Terrorism" and "Existentialism" or, as in my case, "The hagiography of Collaboration After the War in 5 Phases and how the Situation in Former Colonies in East Asia Denied the Two Most Important Aspects of the Collaboration Healing Process, Time and Flow of Information, as Seen in the Case of Vietnam," which, in fewer words is, "You dumbass it's your own fault you coulda talked about Sartre," nor does the class account for paralyzing stage fright/public speaking ineptitude, which, in my case, will not only make me completely forget how to par-lay fran-cais the moment I step in front of the class but will also make me forget how to talk English.

Uh, I Think the point of this, besides the usual bitching and procrastination and attempt to write more about myself than about poor awesome Ella up there, was to say that blogs are putting up absolutely fabulous Christmas posts, and you've probably been checking those all out, but if not, there's some really great stuff. I hope to put a few recommendations together, so stay tuned.

Same bat time. Same bat channel. Same bat thing.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Throne of Lies

Hey kids. Spectacularly fucked and totally pooped, so I'm just gonna post this clip, spread some holiday cheer, and go to bed to "get up early to work on my paper" (ie, continuously hit my snooze button until it's suddenly ten minutes before class).

The always awesome Ken left a gorgeous gift in the comments of the Advent Sunday post that I have been listening to non-stop, so do check that out, and take a look at the beautiful Christmas write-up he has over at his place. The gift, without giving away too much, is Breton Celtic music. How awesome is that!

Floodlit Footprint has a fab Ella Christmas album up, so take a look at that if Ella's your lady. I'll be posting a different Ella album hopefully soon.

And, uh, this is just funny and totally geeky and sorta immature. . . but you guys already knew that about me :p

So, hope your week is going well, the music will pick up again soon, and enjoy yet another clip from Elf.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Bad Brains S/T

So, I guess I bit off more than I could chew on Sunday, make that yesterday, too. Still working on stuff that I should have finished over the weekend, end of the year, everything's piled up! Oh no!

Here's a break from the Christmas music for some Bad Brains, the guys who invented hardcore, who I guess are called the Soul Brains now? (. . .) I'm not super-into hardcore, so if you're like me and you want a punkrock primer/hagiography besides your friend going "Hey, I remember that. Yeah, it was awesome," in reference to some show he/she/it might or might not have seen which just proves to you that he/she/it is way old because he/she/it goes, "Huh. That was before you were born. . .", check out American Hardcore, which is available in both film and book (AH: A Tribal History) form (I recommend the film, didn't make it through the book though it was interesting, I think it's cos I was on an airplane, kinda skipped around to the bands I like.)
For fans of hardcore, many would agree that the holy grail of the genre is Bad Brains' self-titled album, originally released back in 1982 as a cassette-only release on ROIR. The ensuing years after its initial release haven't dulled the album's fury and rage in the least, and it's still impressive how the band can switch gears from red-hot hardcore to cool reggae dubs in the blink of an eye [allmusic].
Here ya go! Enjoy :)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Advent Sunday & a pair of feckin' women's knickers!

Thought I'd pick something appropriately Advent-y (which I guess means priests, Advent calendars and jokes about football coaches who I don't know about though I guess the guy is with the Galaxy team now?) Hopefully I'll get some music up later in the day. I should say I can almost guarantee it, since I'll be working on a paper and we all know what that means. . . I will procrastinate like a motherfucker. But first I hafta finish reading about a scary Cambodian prison and Jesus as mother (maaad boobage in that article, man).

Saturday, December 01, 2007

BYO Split Series Vol 3: Rancid & NOFX

"No surprise here, it's a split decision, with the true winners being the listeners."

You all know about my deep and abiding love for norcal punkers Rancid, but I hafta admit that NOFX is a band that I have only peripherally liked, as in I like the stuff they played on the radio back when they played bands like that (which was way back with "Franco-Unamerican"). So- I will be remedying that as soon as my rapidshare limit expires (heh-hey).

Vol 3 of the BYO Split Series has Rancid and NOFX going at one another's songs and is produced, I believe, by Brett of Bad Religion. The NOFX boys do a good job of coming out of left field without losing the source material's sentiments, if it be genuine or satirical ("But that's nothing compared to the hilarious indignities visited upon "Radio." NOFX tarts it up in reggae rags, then insults it with a Jamaican accent so faux, it makes Miss Cleo sound convincing." Haha.). I'm guessing this is from Fat Mike. From the nofx site.
It was BYO's idea to do this thing, but it was Lint's idea to do each others songs, and that's what this thing is. Rancid doing 6 NOFX songs and NOFX doing 6 Rancid songs. I think it turned out pretty good. . . I didn't try to do Matt's bass riffs cuz they're too hard to figure out. We also changed a few chord progressions here and there cuz, why the hell not. We didn't change any lyrics though, well just a few by mistake. It's actually pretty hard to make out what Lint sings on Corazon de Oro. I gave it my best shot.
Besides that they bring their sound, which can never get old, to the NOFX tracks, I can't say much for Rancid's work since I'm not familiar with any of the original versions besides "Bob," so I'd love to hear what people think. But whatever way you lean, it's a very fun record, so if you haven't grabbed it yet and you like at least one of these groups, give it a try! (By the way, who is singing on "Don't Call Me White"? He sounds like a muppet. And everyone goes now, Bridget, you think everyone sounds like a muppet.)

Santa's Comin'

Hey lovelies. I adore this movie. I didn't think I would, but I do. Happy start of December/freezing cold weather/start of finals- oh no!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Corelli: Christmas Concerto

Second round of Christmas music is some of the most beautiful music written, no matter what the season. Written (to sum it up) by Baroque Italian composer and violinist Arcangelo Corelli, Concerto grosso in G minor, op.6 no. 8, or the Christmas Concerto, as per the inscription on the manuscript (Fatto per la notte di Natale-- "made for the night of Christmas"), is not only a joy to play but a delight to listen to, lush without drama, at times as peaceful as a lullaby, at other times thrilling, and clocking in at only 15 minutes and, honestly, with never a dull moment.

The files come from a CD that also includes the Four Seasons (look to the right), but I have a feeling everybody who wants a copy of those has one. I'm pretty sick of 'em myself. Also, I think the second movement is part of the first track here. Or it might be completely missing and totally clueless. I just remember it as a lot of pages and our teacher threatening us encouraging us not to put down our instruments in between movements, even if we don't come in right away, or else the audience will clap and we'll be here all night.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Clip Night: Someone shot the sheriff

Soo, I'm sitting here on my ass trying to delay walking down to the printer. I said I was gonna go to sleep before 1 am. Ain't happening. Aaand the kid two doors down is smoking pot again! I have the heater on and the window open, which I think might be a sin.

So this clip is from a great show, Grounded for Life, about an Irish-American Catholic family living on Staten Island. The YouTube clip selection isn't too hot, but skip to about 1:51 and check out the Bob Marley jokes. Happy Monday :)


Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Vandals: Oi to the World!

Okay, so I contained myself til after Thanksgiving, and even after Black Friday, and now it is totally technically okay to start listening to Christmas music. I love Christmas music and I love Christmas (unlike the guy in "Hang Myself From the Tree"), especially now that it means that I will have finished finals, I get to go home and be fed, and all the other Christmas/return home stuff.

So-- we'll kick off the festivities with the Vandals' absolutely fab Christmas album, Oi to the World! I am not found of the Yobs cover, but the album in its entirety is a whole lotta fun. Highlights are, of course "Oi to the World", "Here I am Lord" featuring Joe Escalante's muppet voice, "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies", and the deliciously desperate and pissy "Nothing's Going to Ruin My Holiday." Enjoy!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

[for those who celebrate it]

Hey kids! Just wanted to make sure you have a fab Thankgiving. Nah, I'm orderin' y'all to, so have a great time, and make sure that this is vous! I usually preach moderation, just like the ancient Greeks, but it's Thanksgiving for chrissakes, and one of the greatest pleasures in life, besides mashed sweet potatoes, freshly made cranberry sauce, and a BBQ'd bird (very very important, none of that oven-baked roast-y thing) is-- pie.

Anyway, here's the original picture, I cropped it and took out the logo, though poor old Alan is still covered by the barcode. And I added the heart as I still have a big fucken crush on Kyle (though I heard he turned bad? I'm waiting for the tpbs of all that 52 stuff to come out. . . though the heart just makes him look like he loves turkey omg.)

So, Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the food and the football and that turducken thing.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Let My People Go

Wow! In a desperate attempt to stall working on a paper prospectus, I went post crazy! I think it's cos Thanksgiving Break is in sight. . . urgh. . . One more day. Luckily, three of my four classes were canceled. Does it mean anything that the President of our school (known as PrezBo) cancels his class on the Wed. before Thanksgiving? Does it mean, maybe, they should just declare that part of the holiday? I guess not. . . Urgh. I also have an MSG headache.

Anyway, as you all know, I adore The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and I'm pretty sure I've posted this before, but this is one of the classic scenes, from the first season, really from the whole series. Highlights, besides the obvious:
  • "But I didn't like the upholstery, so I took it back, Jack."
  • Fucker is singing "MacArthur Park"!
  • Aunt Vivian taking off the earrings.
  • "Your grandchildren are gonna need lawyers."

Billy Bragg & Wilco: Mermaid Avenue & Mermaid Avenue Vol II

Woody Guthrie's daughter has Billy Bragg and Wilco write music for lyrics left behind by Woody. What happens?

Although Tweedy was indifferent to [Billy Bragg's collaboration] offer, Bennett was enthused about recording songs of one of his idols. . . Bragg mostly recorded the politically-charged lyrics, while Tweedy preferred to record lyrics that showcased Guthrie as a "freak weirdo."

Tempers flared between Bragg and Wilco after the album was completed. Bennett believed that Bragg was overproducing his songs, a sharp contrast to Wilco's contributions. Bennett called Bragg about the possibility of remixing Bragg's songs, to which Bragg responded with "you make your record, and I'll make mine, fucker." Eventually Bragg sent copies of his recordings to Chicago for Bennett to remix, but Bragg refused to use the new mixes on the album. The two parties were unable to establish a promotional tour, and quarreled over royalties and guest musician fees. [wikipedia]
So while the production sounds like the Clash of the Titan Egos, the products are wonderful. Nora Guthrie requested that-
Rather than recreating Guthrie tunes, they should write as if they were collaborating with Woody, creating new, vital music for the lyrics. . . . The results are almost entirely a delight, mainly because all involved are faithful to Guthrie's rowdy spirit -- it's a reverent project that knows how to have fun. There are many minor, irresistible gems scattered throughout the album, and most of them come from Bragg. Where Wilco's fine contributions sound inextricably tied to the '90s, both for better and for worse, Bragg's music sounds contemporary while capturing Guthrie's folk traditions. [allmusic]
So- here are Volumes 1 & 2. Hilariously, my sister burned Mermaid Avenue onto the same CD as a Misfits album, and when you're listening to the CD in the car, it's like going from the motel jacuzzi to the motel pool, which, full of peeing kids and chlorine, is for some reason still real cold.

It's all good, but here are. . . Mermaid Avenue Highlights: "California Stars", "Christ for President", "Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key." Volume II Highlights: "All You Fascists", "Joe Dimaggio's Done It Again", "My Flying Saucer", and "Blood of the Lamb."
*Hey pretty boys n girls. I just realized NONE of the tracks are numbered. . . which means I haven't ever listened to either of them in order. Sorry about that!

Lars Frederiksen & the Bastards S/T

Speaking of Billy Bragg. . .



I don't think you need to be a working class hero to relate to this song; a good deal of the sentiments expressed can be applied each time the playing field is re-zeroed according to context. Blah blah. So here's Lars of Rancid doing that on his self-titled side-project 2001 release. Great album, not quite as solid or focused as the second release, but good production, classic Lars peacocking, and some great fist-pumping action. Enjoy!
My sister on the video:
[J]ust watched the lars vid and my first thought was lars is an awkward looking fellow, but then i realized its just bc his hair is the color of puke and he is glaring at the camera intensely the entire time while some other guys in it are looking a bit goofy.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

VA: Breakfast on Pluto ST

If I wasn't a transvestite terrorist, would you marry me?

Been meaning to post this for awhile, mostly because I've been to listening to a few songs on this thing like a fool. For those who haven't seen Neil Jordan's Breakfast On Pluto, I'd like to recommend it enthusiastically. It's a beautiful film (not just cos Cillian Murphy is beautiful, but oh boy is he; in the months before the Batman film came out, all I was focused on was Who is that man playing Crane omf?), a colorful fairytale that spans the '60s and the '70s, and despite the tragedy and brutality of the majority of the story, showcases a fantastic range of human emotions and relationships and a generosity of human nature. Liam Neeson is also in it, which is usually, but not always, a plus. I appreciate the gentle nature of the movie, and am glad Patrick McCabe himself was responsible for the about-face the film makes from the book. While I do love the book, it's a tough read, emotionally and at times reading-wise (what would that be, intellectually?). If you want to get into Patrick McCabe, I suggest starting with Mondo Desperado, his collection of short stories set in the town of Barntrosna.

The song selection is good, though I'm not into all the songs. My favorites, the ones I've been listening to, are "Sugar Baby Love" (yeah, yeah), "Children of the Revolution", "You're Breakin' My Heart", and "Breakfast on Pluto." The other songs, not so much, but I think it all depends on the person, so check out the tracklist, see if you like anything, and try it out. Also included are two of the songs that the band in the movie plays, with Gavin Friday and Cillian Murphy on vocals. I wish they had included Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth," so I've included it in the file.

COME ON

Okay, I love this song and all, but I'm sorry, but I hafta vote this the worst music video I've ever seen. I honestly can't sit through it. It makes me want to tear my hair out. I'd rather watch Rihanna recycle every print ad cliche while going "ay-ay-ay" (Posh Spice! Ballerina! James Bond! Dodge water like a deodorant commercial! French maid? Casino Dealer? Burlesque routine! Huh? At least she's not wearing overalls over NOTHING.)



Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Slackers: Better Late Than Never

Rounding out our trio of posts is the Slackers' 1996 debut, Better Late Than Never. I (heh-heh) haven't listened to this one as much as the other two, so I'm gonna defer to others for descriptions of the music (uh, so I can't find any reviews online. . . if anyone out there has any thoughts, love to hear them!). Significant is that-
The album was a notable debut for the band, paving the way for their eventual signing to Hell-Cat Records. It was also a significant departure from the Two Tone and garage rock influences of the band's early days, instead opting for a sound akin to the traditional ska acts of 1960s Jamaica [x].
In 2002 it was re-released with three extra tracks. Enjoy!

Friday, November 16, 2007

"Jack White, Bob Dylan Rework Hank Williams Lyrics"

Jack White, Bob Dylan Rework Hank Williams Lyrics [Pitchfork]:
Mr. Bob Dylan is spearheading an initiative to set some of country legend Hank Williams' "lost" lyrics to music. (By "lost" he means "essentially, the lyric sheets Hank died with in his briefcase.") And Jack White of the White Stripes is involved

.
. . . Suchyta hinted that Willie Nelson and Norah Jones may very well also contribute songs, and that Dylan "no doubt" recorded a tune for the project during the sessions for last year's excellent Modern Times. No word on just what the end result of all this will look like. . .
A little wary of this, but because it made me think of Wilco & Billy Bragg's amazing work on the 2 Mermaid Avenue albums when they "reworked" Woody Guthrie (as requested by his daughter), a little excited to see what will happen. So I guess the question is, will it be as good and as respectful of Hank as Wilco and Bragg managed to be to/of Woody? (I got way too lost in the prepositions in that sentence. . .) And will they avoid the type of bizarro line-up that in turn made all of us avoid that Strummerville thing?

The Slackers: The Question

I'm glad people are enjoying these posts! As always, thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts :) Next up is The Question. Tracks include "And I Wonder"; the sorta passive-aggressive fuck-off,-life anthem "Have the Time"; the sunny "Do You Know" complete with scruffy tra-la-la; the Laurel Aitken-esque? "Mountainside"; and the Rancid-flavored "The Mummy." Another excellent, meaty offering from the guys.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Slackers: Redlight


I figure I'll start with the most solid of the three, 1997's Redlight. Each song is fantastic. I realized this when I was going to list my favorite tracks and saw that that was pretty much all of them. But if you pressed me, I'd recommend starting with "Married Girl" then heading on over to "She Wants to Be Alone" and then, to mellow out and explore a darker sound, "Soldier." Enjoy!

The Slackers


I've been noticing that there is a lack of attention given to The Slackers on the music blog-o-sphere rama-lama. . . ding dong thing. . ., or whatever the kids are calling it nowadays, so I'm gonna go ahead and post the 3 albums of theirs that I happen to have over the next few days. (Hopefully people will find something they like. I'm definitely passing on the favor of the kid who introduced them to me last year.) I'm *still* working on that paper, and waiting for the cheaper than dirt Japanese food place to open so I can order lunch. It's raining. I'll be getting these up over the weekend, prolly.

The Slackers are a well-known New York ska outfit, formed in Brooklyn in 1991 and headed by Vic Ruggiero (who has also done work with Rancid) and his easily recognizable voice. I am by no means a Slackers expert, but I've been lead to understand that the albums I have are some of the better ones. I haven't been able to get my hands on their newer stuff. From what I've been told "Married Girl" is one of their major tracks, and "Fried Chicken (Mary Mary)", another famous track, is only performed when they are in Brooklyn. Which makes me want to go see them; they seem like they'd be a great act. (And of course they're gonna be in NYC when I'm in LA for break.)
The Slackers [have] a solid feel for the Jamaican roots of the genre. The rythym [sic] section is extremely tight, with heavy bass, intricate drums and steady guitar. The horn section, including trumpet, trombone and saxophone will get you moving. If this isn't enough for you, I have saved the best for last. The funky Hammond B-3 organ is in full effect on this album and is truly a religious experience [acrudeboy]
The Slackers' "Have the Time." If you like this song, you'll easily like the rest of their stuff. Stay tuned :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Clip Night: "Well, Did You Evah?"

Dexter: Liz, you're in love with Connor aren't you?
Liz Imbrie: People ask the darnedest questions.
Dexter: Why don't you marry him?
Liz: I'm gonna pretend I didn't hear that.
Dexter: I said why don't you marry him?
Liz: He's still got a lot to learn. I don't want to get in his way for a while.
Dexter: Supposing some other girl comes along in the meantime.
Liz: I guess I'd just scratch her eyes out. Unless that is she was marrying someone else the next day.
Dexter: You're quite a girl Liz.
Liz: I don't know. I take nice pictures though.

Wednesday nights are one of my more busy nights, as I have to turn in "discussion questions" online that prove I did the reading. Which means I hafta go over the reading that I did indeed do and make sense of it. Was the Vietnam War a civil war according to the book we're reading? Well, according to the book we're reading. . . uh. . . lemme spend an hour checking.

Anyway, point was. . . something good. Point was I'm going to be trying not to slack off on posting and make sure I offer something that pops more often than not, so Clip night means that I'm so busy I'm trying to distract myself from the task at hand (discussion question and, oh yeah, paper due tomorrow. Have you started, B? Uh. . . well. . .) (I was gonna call it Youtube Night, but they ain't sponsoring me.)

This is a clip from High Society, a musical remake of The Philadelphia Story (which I have yet to see), and one of my favorite songs in general. Sinatra and Crosby doing Cole Porter's "Well, Did You Evah?" which Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop would go on to cover. Now, I might just be saying this because I am staunchly on the side of TEAM BING, but I think Frank suffers when put up against him vocally, in ease, sound, and carriage. The point though, is apart from that; keep an ear out for the banter and wit, and an eye out for the acting. Enjoy! (Celeste Holm, heads above Grace Kelly, and Frank also do a great number, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?")



You can also grab the mp3 from Any Major Dude With Half a Heart.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Stiff Little Fingers

I got to see these guys last night at the Highline Ballroom, which wasn't as big of a pain in the ass to get to as I had thought it would be. My first time there, and a pretty cool, relaxed place: ins-n-outs, no scanner, no bag searches (which I will remember for next time so I can get some pictures). Crime: $4 PBRs. That said, Jake and the guys were great! Even though the songs are noticeably slower than the album versions, there's still the same energy; the band is way into playing the music, which is vital for the crowd to be way into the music. Even the girl behind my friend ("Who are they? Are they from IRELAND? Awright! Cool!") was into the whole thing; I think SLF puts on a show somebody who has never heard their music can have fun at. I still don't like the new style of singing that has appeared on their recent releases, which was only showcased once, with "Strummerville" but how can you bitch about a song about Joe? Also had a new song, "Liar's Club." They encored with their version of "Doesn't Make It Alright," so I figured I'd upload the Complete Peel Sessions, which includes that track.

Hahaha, I was trying to remember where this file came from, and I just googled it and it seems that I got it from the ever-awesome Jim a long time ago. So as always, big huge thanks to Jim :]

Stiff Little Fingers: The Complete John Peel Sessions

*Oops, sorry guys. Track 15 should be "No Change."

Monday, November 05, 2007

Dino

So in that vein, I figured I'd post some Dean Martin, specifically, a best of- comp that was released in 2004. Enjoy!

The Rat Pack's razor-witted King of Cool['s]. . . sublime, preternatural indifference is both underscored and belied with dizzying regularity on this good 30-track overview of Martin's singing career. The breezy hits "That's Amore" and "Volare" underscored his public staying power when many counted him out in the face of a surging 1950s youth market. He repeated the feat again with trademark effortlessness a decade later to knock no less than the Beatles off the top of the charts with the unlikely, if inviting schmaltz of "Everybody Loves Somebody." Ever informed by his warm, deceptive vocal ease, Martin's rich signature tunes are well-represented here. But the collection also spans enough lovable kitsch ("Mambo Italiano," "Little Old Wine Drinker Me") and unabashed romantic yearning ("Innamorata," "Send Me the Pillow You Dream On") to deepen the compelling mystery of one of pop music's most enduring ciphers. [Jerry McCulley]

Movies: Ocean's Eleven, Born Yesterday

I finally saw the original Ocean's Eleven (1960, Rat Pack, y'know) and I hate to say it, but I didn't find that it was as amazing as I had hoped it would be. It was more serious than I anticipated, for one, and I feel that the last half hour after the caper could have been cut. I'm trying to figure out it if was put in for moral reasons. Angie Dickinson was completely dropped from the plot after she verbally bitch-slapped The Other Woman; this was disappointing because I had hoped to see a lot more of her. I hate to say it (again), but I think the remake improves on the original by streamlining it and ending right after the heist (I think that was my big sticking point.) The high point of the film was Shirley MacLaine as the spunky "tipsy girl," who gets a quick scene with Dean Martin, who in the following youtube clip, pretends to work at the Sahara in preparation for the heist.



Watched Born Yesterday (1950) after Ocean's Eleven, which I want to enthusiastically recommend. Fabulous cast-- William Holden, Judy Holliday, Broderick Crawford-- a lot of it carried by Holliday. Hilarious. (If you've ever wondered where Lina of Singin' in the Rain got her voice, it was from Jean Hagen's time as understudy to Judy Holliday during the Broadway run.) Here's the gin game from the movie; Judy Holliday adds a comedy to every move, from the handling of the cards to her focus on each of Billie's activities (stubbing out the cigarette). Broderick Crawford is excellent, too, growling and scowling.



Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Picked the creepiest song I had on the old HD; it's pretty hard to get through it without feeling a chill down your spine. Enjoy! I'm heading down to the Village Parade, so it should be fun. Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Bing Crosby & a cartoon that still disturbs me, as much as I love it :] Enjoy! I hope parents are still showing this version of "Sleepy Hollow" to their kids and scaring them.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My Rifle My Pony and Fuck that Amazon Marketplace guy

So I ordered the special edition Rio Bravo DVD weeks ago from Amazon Marketplace for what I think was a good deal, and when the cutoff delivery date finally came and me very much without the movie, I e-mailed the guy with a polite Where The Fuck Is My Rio Bravo DVD, and he promptly responded that he had sent it and thought it had arrived, but here's a full refund, which means he never sent it because who lets their shit get lost in the mail and offers up a full refund sans hysterics. While I'm glad it was all painless, I'm quite heartbroken that I don't have the DVD in my possession at this moment. I adore this movie, and when I went on today to check, the lowest marketplace price was $8 more than what I had originally paid. I'll wait it out, but oh man. Don't ever get between a girl and her John Wayne/Walter Brennan/Dean Martin movie. Anyway, here's a clip to make us all feel better.




How great is this picture?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Young Indy Countdown: The Last Crusade OST

It doesn't get much better than that.

Okay, we're wrapping up the countdown on the day Lucas finally releases Young Indy on DVD, though I'll be waiting a few days for amazon to get them out. . .

Last Crusade. What to say? This soundtrack is one of the most stirring Williams scores. The themes in this, the grail theme, the Jones themes, are all built around the same touching quality of warmth an that the film has as it explores the Sr/Jr relationship. There's a complexity in "Keeping up with the Joneses" as different themes are layered and explored that counts among Williams' best. The Nazi Theme used throughout, sometimes ominous, other times downright intimidating, and the Grail Theme is noble, with a gorgeous string component. The "Scherzo for Motorcycle & Orchestra" matches the excitement and humor of the corresponding scene, and "Belly of the Steel Beast" is rousing and exciting, tension driven by syncopation and fantastic brass/wind outbursts with sharp percussions. I only wish the CD had the parade music from the book burning ceremony.

Now, if only Sean Connery would stop being a bum and just make an appearance in the 4th film. " I like retirement too much to be a nice guy. I want everyone to remember me going out with a bang- with League of Extraordinary Gentlemen." (As much as a I am guilty of liking that film, I mean, come on. . .) Maybe it's a ploy, and he'll show up for a few minutes. . . and then it'll be the biggest surprise since we learned Vader was Luke's pop. And then all the newspaper reviews will spoil it for everyone. . . Wishful thinking. Enjoy the music.
"I nearly had a heart attack when I learned of Sean Connery's retirement. I'm dreaming up ways to kill off Connery's character in the franchise's fourth installment." (AFI Tribute to Sean Connery - George Lucas)
Oh man, I just figured out how Lucas is gonna squeeze more money out of me. Besides releasing all 4 Indy movies in a box set one day. I bet they're going to re-release the soundtracks in the months leading up to the movies. Ok. Here's what I say: ain't buying the Last Crusade soundtrack without the parade music. Ha! OH man. Good news is that John Williams IS confirmed for Indy 4.
Check out some good quality stills.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Young Indy Countdown: Temple of Doom OST

John Foster Dulles is my bitch.

Alrighty, the second installation in the Indiana Jones series. This was my favorite when I was a kid (now I don't really favor one, I love em all). I think I've watched it 15 to 20 times. . . I remember watching it at my parents' office when they had to work late. Over and over again.

I'm running off to a Morrissey show, so this is gonna be real quick. This soundtrack's a fun one: the crazy build-up in "Bug Tunnel & Death Trap," the spooky chimes and minor variations throughout, Short Round's theme, "Anything Goes" in unidentifiable Chinese, the love theme that takes what could be saccharine and matches it to the comic Willie-Indy chemistry even while maintaining an old fashioned love theme beauty. . . Enjoy!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Young Indy Countdown: Raiders of the Lost Ark OST

Ah, yet again, such heights of "comic" maturity.
Tied to a pole on the hill above, Indy thought:
OH SNAP. That's what happens when you mess wid th'MAN WID da HAT. BITCH.

This was one of the first CDs I remember buying, and I'm pretty sure the entry point to my hard core obsession with John Williams. It's an amazing score, from the playful "Basket Game" (*note that in the reference gag in Temple of Doom when Indy tries to pull out a gun that is not there, we get a few notes from the theme that recalls the epically epic (indeed) marketplace sword-vs-gun fight) to the rousing "Desert Chase." The Ark theme is truly awe-inspiring, and each little leitmotif and its variations function to tell the story, build tension, and bring the experience to a higher level. The Fucken Amazing "Airplane Fight", with the brassy accents and stress-inducing strings; you can practically follow the fight without actually seeing it! Listening to the score without images reinforces the power of Williams' music. Not only does it stand alone on its own as excellent composition, but the ability of the music to recall scenes and reactions to the film whilst listening to it reveals just how much the film itself, the excitement and romance and adventure, depend on the score.
Best Little Raiders moment?
a. Indy getting hit on the head with the mirror + longshot of boat to accompany his howl.
b. Belloq's trick fly
c. the coat hanger of doom
d. "It's a date. You eat 'em!"
e. other?

& DORK-o-RIFIC!

Young Indy Countdown

Okay, so as you might know I've been waiting for Lucas to release Young Indy on DVD for yeeaarrrs. I'm even sufficiently excited about this box set (vol 1 of 3) to shell out (at the amazon's very nice discount price + I had a gift certificate) a (few more than a) few bucks. Got it all pre-ordered last month. I'm holding out on Vol 2 til closer to the release date in the hopes that the price will drop. Vol 2 is when it starts getting really good. Cos we all had (have) crushes on Mr Sean Patrick Flannery (and who doesn't after seeing Boondock Saints, unless you're more the Norman Reedus type).

It's hard to 100% accept the Young Indy series in a canon/continuity that later includes the Harrison Ford Indy (River Phoenix is closer, who comes off as pretty ass-hole-ish but oh-so-Indy, versus the all around nice guy/indignant guy/<3 that Sean has goin), but as its own thing, each episode is amazing, like its own film, with some major stars, fabulous locations, and very fun & history-related plots. It's a lot of fun to see all the historical figures and to see Flannery's perpetually confused Indy Forrest-Gump'ing his way through the first fifth of the 20th century. Bottom line? I adore the Young Indy films/episodes. And I'm totally psyched about the documentaries that were made to complement the shows. I really do feel these eps have an educational value ( I learned who Bronislaw Malinowski was from the series. . . it's helped me a lot.) and I think the docs represent not only a great move but a good vision.

Though if George releases them next week with more features, bigger n better, and lost episodes and Young Indy party hats, I will make him curse the day he was born.

So I unfortunately don't have the tv show soundtrack (I guess one exists?) but I figured as a countdown to Tuesday's release date, I'd post the original 3 Indy soundtracks by the great John Williams. So those will be coming soon.

PRETTY!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Poor Susie.

[&]
Susie
: Do you have your line memorized for the nutrition play, Calvin?
Calvin
: I'm still learning it. Being an onion is a difficult role, you know. What are you?
Susie
: I'm "fat."
Calvin
: No, I mean in the play.
Susie
: Anyone ELSE want to say it?!?
Calvin
: Aackk! Understudy! Understudy!

Infuriating things this Saturday:
1) No lights on in the library, 2) weird yogurt I had for breakfast that I think mighta gone bad, 3) waiter at Chinese restaurant throwing my plate at me, 4) BOYS. Argh!
*My god Bridget, what fantastic heights of maturity you have reached. (I guess I could have made "boys are poop" as the title post. That would have reeally clinched it.)
**Of course that excludes all the pretty ones stopping by here.

Mix for you kiddo! Meant to be played on Shuffle, if you see sumthin you like.


Saw 30 Days of Night. Not sure what I thought of it. I enjoyed it; it wasn't as scary/engaging as I hoped, but then again, bad at all. Though it ain't Hard Candy (a movie I will never recommend to anyone not because it was bad but because it was omfjeezuuss!!!) Each time I see Josh Hartnett in a movie, I realize that he's a very good actor but has been stuck in not-so-great films. It looks like he's moving out of that, though. I learned once again to not drink beer during a movie because you miss the scariest part (your friends helpfully tell you afterwards) cos you had to pee. And the bathroom is on the second floor. Or the ground floor. Um, I've never figured out how to determine what floor you're on in this city.

I just realized how to make this post even girlier:
My shoes and earrings came! I love my shoes! I love shoes! On sale! . . . Take that feminism :) & Marx. When he was all like, oh, you'll buy two pairs of shoes and then capitalism will break dooown, he wasn't thinking about the ladies.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tommy Lee Jones!

"going into meltdown builds character"
-Declarative Dog

Jim has been kind enough to lend moral support as I panic my way through these two weeks of midterms (with but two bright spots on the horizon- 30 Days of Night on Saturday morning, and the Morrissey show on Monday evening which is doing more to ruin scheduling than anything. . .) But in the way of shiny things, I think this is suitably fucken awesome to distract anyone.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Absolution Instrumentals: Stop that singing!

(kinda morbid picture to look at whilst reading about whether the Soviet invasion or the bombs were more instrumental in ending the war. . . kinda morbid picture in general)

Sooo, almost in the same vein as yesterday's post, music-wise (almost almost not quite), here are the backing tracks to Muse's luvverly Absolution (sans vocals!), which I am listening to, as I mentioned the first time I posted these ever-so-long-ago, cos I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT CONCENTRATE OMF.

That's what happens when you're almost down to the wire. Shiny things start catching your eye ever-so-easily and you wikipedia people like Josephine Marcus. Then you hit the day of and you go "oh!" and "shit!" and "wot's the Konoe memorial?" and finally, as the exam is being handed out, "what class is this exam for?" (I promise, pretty ones, one more week of midterms, and the bitching will shift to a different topic.)

So. If you like Absolution, you'll have no problem with these. If you hate Matt Bellamy's voice but you like the uber-drama of Muse's instruments, you may have fun with this. Cutting the vocals reminds you how dense the music is, how over-the-top it is, and how fun it is.
So my neighbor is insisting that all I do is listen to techno. . . I'm not sure why? I listened to a lot of Rancid last night and a lot of fucking Romantic classical music. . . I guess that's kinda like techno. . . you know those Russians.

edit: Oh man, it's getting late. I just wikipedia'd "Pi-yu" instead of "Puyi." I'm not culturally insensitive. Wo hen lei. (Okay, it is kinda funny though, in a Shanghai Noon kind of way.)
 

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