Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday Random Ten on a Wintry, um, Saturday

Tonight while I was waiting to cross the street toward the Providence Place Mall, I heard singing behind me. A chick was singing, not too loud. Specifically, she was singing "I Get a Kick Out of You." More specifically, it was "I Get a Belt Out of You", as sung by Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles.

This is why I have no interest in moving to the country or the suburbs. You miss so much when you're not forced into proximity with your fellow humans.

1. David Bowie--Speed of Life
2. Bon Iver--Brackett, W9
3. The New Pornographers--All the Old Showstoppers
4. Sarah Vaughan--Intermezzo
5. Lou Rawls--See You When I Git There
6. Ladytron--Turn It On
7. Devo--Praying Hands
8. L'Attirail--Odeska
9. Regina Carter--Beau Regard
10. Roxy Music--Bitters End

Friday, January 29, 2010

Slight delay

Friday Random Ten will be Saturday Random Ten this week. That just works better. Am freshening up the database.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Good night Esmé

I do feel bad for JD Salinger in the photo seen at this link. By his own account he did like to write. What he didn't enjoy was being a public figure. To the extent he was able, he made the choice not to be one.

Does that mean there's a treasure trove of Salinger writing we'll finally be privy to in the coming years? Maybe. If not, he's still the creator of Holden Caulfield and the author of Nine Stories. His tab is paid in full.

What of the whats?

This is a band that came out of Boston during the New Wave era, and kind of disappeared then too. Had some good songs like this one, though. Especially interesting are A. what the guitarist is doing to get that Eastern sound and B. the lyrics, demonstrating that acid was alive and well in the early eighties.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ignorance is bliss (or at least a steady writing gig)

I haven't really blogged on Haiti, mainly on the basis of, what can you say? It's a horrific tragedy, with the number of people losing their lives running into the hundreds of thousands. It's not really something you can editorialize on.

Case in fucking point! The fact that this guy uses a picture where his eyes are closed is eerily on-point. (Link from Roger Ailes)

One more time for the World. Vodou is not Satanism. It's an indigenous spiritual tradition that overlaps with Christianity. And you might want more background in it than the laundromat showing Serpent and the Rainbow before you start bloviating.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The simple, humble Friday Random Ten

Sort of estimating the early parts of the list here. I know I heard the songs, if it was in this exact order is educated guesswork. I forgot the piece of paper on which I was keeping track, so, you know. And I know that's not an especially grave problem at this particular point in histroy. Just giving context.

1. Ry Cooder--Little Sister
2. Regina Carter--Sticks & Stones (Sticks)
3. Nancy Wilson--My One and Only Love
4. Yuka Honda--Schwaltz
5. Devo--Uncontrollable Urge
6. The New Pornographers--Myriad Harbour
7. The Bonzo Dog Band--Mr. Apollo
8. Hugo Winterhalter--Blue December
9. Talk Talk--Give It Up
10. Todd Rundgren--I Went to the Mirror

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Should talk to strangers more often (maybe)

Had a good talk while waiting for a bus home tonight. It was with a teacher, or at least she has been a teacher, and also worked in city planning. This was a woman with some interesting stories to tell. So I minded the long wait caused by RIPTA and the supermarket's unnecessary location change somewhat less.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Hm. Wonder how much ringside seats in the Australian grasslands are. These guys are more agile than they look.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dozing off Friday Random Ten

Pretty close to the losing consciousness f'real mark, so have to make this quick.

1. Talk Talk--Life's What You Make It
2. Devo--Mongoloid
3. Soul Coughing--Fully Retractable
4. Roxy Music--2HB
5. The Rolling Stones--Under My Thumb
6. The Beatles*--Julia
7. Todd Rundgren--Couldn't I Just Tell You
8. Squirrel Nut Zippers--Meant to Be
9. Yuka Honda--Driving Down By the Hudson River, We Saw the Blood Red Burning Sky
10. Nancy Wilson--Never Let Me Go

* Okay, really just John

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Crafty critters

The puppeteers here do some really incredible stuff. The middle act sort of makes me think of what a hot jazz club on the Island of Dr. Moreau might be like.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Caveman chic

If you're interested in vintage fashion and jewelry, then this discovery might perk you up. Good luck finding any of this stuff, though. Going to a thrift shop and saying, "Do you have anything from, say, 50 thousand years ago," might not be very productive.

The researchers found brightly-colored shell ornaments and the remains of several colorful pigments in a cave that would have been a few kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea 50 thousand years ago, in an area that is now southern Spain. At another site nearby, they found more shell ornaments and pigments. What's remarkable is that many of these objects predate the era when Neandertals and early homo sapiens lived together in Europe. That means the Neandertals independently hit upon the idea to create shell jewelry and pigments. Previously, it's been difficult to determine whether Neandertal ornaments were the result of cross-pollination between the immigrant human population and the native Neandertals.

On a more serious level, this is a very positive discovery. Art and decoration are seen with some reason as indicators of symbolic thinking. And many scientists looking at the past have claim-jumped every art artifact for modern humans. When they come from unambiguous Neandertal sites, they may be downgraded to purely functional objects. For the most part Steven Mithen does both these things in his nonetheless interesting book The Singing Neanderthals. If only we have art, therefore symbolic thinking is also ours alone, and thus language, science, and higher intellect are limited to our circle.

To point out the obvious, at one time in the not-too distant past, this "us" included only well-bred whites of Northern European stock. Old habits die hard.

We may be special, but the suggestion that another related-but-different race had innovations and accomplishments means that we're not alone at the top. Not in the big picture.

As with each of us individually, so with us as a race. We don't know how long exactly we'll exist on this planet. Understanding those who've been dismissed as an evolutionary dead end (which they may have been, but who isn't?) could increase the quality of our time.

Friday, January 8, 2010

For now, yes, Friday Random Ten

I've thought about doing a post on a couple of books I've read/am reading. Maybe this weekend. I think I've already been asleep for a few minutes tonight, so Ima go with that.

1. Radiohead--Sail to the Moon (Brush the Cobwebs of the Sky)
2. Roxy Music--Chance Meeting
3. Lou Rawls--A Natural Man
4. The Kinks--Days
5. Devo--Come Back Jonee
6. Ladytron--The Reason Why
7. Little Richard--Slippin' and Slidin' (Peepin' and Hidin')
8. Fiery Furnaces--Take Me Round Again
9. Nancy Wilson--The Very Thought of You
10. The Rolling Stones--Paint It Black

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Love wounds and mars

Why doesn't some dating service use this cartoon? They'd just need to add the caption, "Don't let this be you." And the great thing is you could interpret it as referring to him or her, and it's still effective.

The above cartoon is from Cyanide and Happiness, a webcomic that may make you laugh and may very much not.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The hell?

Blogger just ate my post. That hasn't happened since the bad old days when I was on 20six. I'm sure as hell not writing the whole thing again this time of night. God this sucks.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Saturday Random Ten like vanilla ice cream edition

Yup. Another big snowstorm, although I wasn't sure it was snowing until I left the house. Thing are a little tangled in terms of traffic and the like. By Monday it will be business as usual, for better and for worse.

1. The Beatles--Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
2. Little Richard--The Girl Can't Help It
3. Yo La Tengo--If It's True
4. Johnny Mathis--Warm and Tender
5. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings--Be Easy
6. Yuka Honda--Sometimes I Lay in Bed For Hours
7. Nellie McKay--It's a Pose
8. Talking Heads--Animals
9. The Fiery Furnaces--Drive to Dallas
10. Sarah Vaughan--Perdido

Friday, January 1, 2010

Soivice advisory

Saturday Random Ten this week. What with the year changing I kinda forgot it was Friday. Or something.

If you lived here you'd be in the future by now

Above is designer John Berkey's futuristic view of--apparently--Berkeley, California. Could do worse, I guess, than a complex of sports stadiums grafted onto the Sydney Opera House. I'm sure there's some dystopia going on here, or else getting the designer of the Death Star was kind of a waste. But it looks good, and traffic seems to be a little more flexible.