Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I saw Please Give tonight. Not going to go into detail here, but I did like it. It covers the awkwardness of women talking to other women pretty well, which is something I hadn't thought much about.

And a nice thing about seeing movies at the Avon is that they still use the hokey pre-show graphics from the early eighties. If I go to see a movie at one of the big chains, I make sure to go in late because I don't need to sit through ads--not trailers, but commercials--before the flick. But this is a different experience.

The world becomes a little less Kink-y

Sorry I'm a few days late on this, but RIP Pete Quaife of the Kinks. Let it be known that he was not just present when some of the world's most beautiful music was created, but he was vital in creating it.

Now I really shouldn't need an excuse to post this clip of "Sunny Afternoon." But it does show off one of his best basslines, and his laid back charm. As to the matching of these visuals with this lyric, I trust I don't have to explain the joke.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Borderline conscious Friday Random Ten

It;s kind of funny how after dozing off, you find your sense of time gyone. "Did I sleep through the night? In my clothes? What time is it? I hope it's not a weekday.

Oh, right. I just got home ten minutes ago."

1. Roy Orbison--Go Go Go
2. L'Attirail--Disco Tel-Aviv
3. M83--Waves, Waves, Waves
4. Tom Waits--Pasties & a G-String
5. Harry Nilsson--Coconut
6. Chris Isaak--Waiting
7. Pink Martini--Splendor in the Grass
8. Sharon Jnnes & the Dap Kings--I Learned the Hard Way
9. Lynn Anderson--Top of the World
10. Modern Jazz Quartet--Milano

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A fever for the flavor

Another interesting/amusing anthropology story: Our ancestors may have chowed down on hyenas at some point. Now for reasons mentioned near the end of the article, you'd have to be pretty hungry. Hyenas are scavengers, and not very selective ones. That could certainly effect both flavor and nutritional value. So if things got that desperate, the hyenas themselves may have been carrion. Yum.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Going buggy

Important tip for apartment dwellers: Wash dishes promptly. Especially in the summer. I've found that it really cuts down on the infestation factor.

Now in truth, cockroaches don't seem to be the thing to worry about. Roaches are like David Bowie in the 21st century. They make occasional appearances, but mostly stick to themselves. Ants, on the other hand, are like Bowie in the seventies. They're everywhere, they have more ideas than they know what to do with, and they're totally high on coke.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Swashbucklin' movie Saturday + Saturday Random Ten

Watched Scaramouche tonight. It's a very enjoyable flick from the early fifties. Part of that is that it doesn't take itself too seriously. Half the dialogue seems to be dick jokes they somehow got past the censors. And the acrobatic fencing is absolutely awesome.

A word about Stewart Granger. He bears some resemblance to Bruce Campbell, and may well be the man Campbell has spent his life trying to become. My only real complaint here is that he picks the wrong girl in the end. Well, he gets pushed by the right girl. But while spoiler is nothing to sneeze at in any circumstance, other spoiler is here in a class by herself.

Now, the music.

1. Sarah Vaughan--(I Love You And) Don't You Forget It
2. M83--Sister (Part 1)
2. TV On the Radio--A Method
4. The Velvet Underground--Beginning to See the Light
5. Lou Rawls--A Natural Man
6. Los Campesinos!--This Is a Flag. There Is No Wind.
7. Lynn Anderson--Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
8. The White Stripes--Jimmy the Exploder
9. Yuka Honda--Single Silver Bullet
10. Harry Nilsson--Miss Butter's Lament

That's right. Lou Reed and Lou Rawls, together again.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The collectibles market of 500 BC

I found some interest in this article, detailing discoveries that gravesites known scientifically as Really Really Old have been found with artifacts that could be called No Really, Like, Seriously Old.

"In the late Iron Age glass was the most common material for making pearls, and therefore glass pearls are often found in men's and women's graves from this period. The women wore the pearls in a cord around the neck and brought more pearls with them into the grave than men did. The discovery of the seven pearls made us assume that it was a woman's grave we investigated," Hemdorff says.

"But then we suddenly found a stone axe. It was in the same layer of soil as some of the pearls. The axe is from the Stone Age and more than a thousand years older than the pearls! It is a so-called greenstone axe. All the other indicators suggested that the cairn was from the Iron Age and belonged to a buried woman. So why was there an old axe from the Stone Age in the grave?," the archaeologist asks.

To clarify, the Iron Age in Northern Europe dates from about the sixth century BC. In places like India and Northern Africa it started much earlier. But we're definitely talking about items from the Stone Age being mixed in.

The researchers say that people back in the Iron Age had a conscious relationship to objects from earlier times that connected them to their past.

"People probably considered old objects as a heritage from their ancestors. Recycling of old burial mounds for new graves is an indication of this relationship. The idea was that the mounds were memories from a distant past, and written sources indicate that recycling of mounds had a double function. Apart from providing a grave for the dead they also legitimized property and rights. People asserted their control over an area by burying their family in a gravesite belonging to their ancestors," Thäte explains.

For Iron Agers, one thousand years previous was still a long time. Most would have had lifespans in the--maybe--thirties. Yet they seem to have perceived a connection to that earlier time. Few people could really claim personal connection to anything in the 11th century now.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hey, you know what's funny?

Not fuckin' that!

That's a little one-and-a-half-liner I'm taking credit for unless someone else can prove they did it first.

The music and video stylings of Ray Stevens offer a perfect opening for this sentiment. Nathan Rabin has a pretty good takedown of the man who gave us "The Streak" and "Ahab the Arab", and some more recent songs that are supposed to be more serious in nature. Yeah.

If you could get through a minute of that, you've got one on me. The way his lips move is off-putting enough. Like the beard is supposed to shoulder the weight of the comedy.

Still, I'm feeling pretty good about this. That's because at first I thought, "This is sure a long way down from 'King of the Road'". But then I realized that "King of the Road" was Roger Miller, who's spent the last 18 years in Honky Tonk Heaven. His legacy remains safe.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fear not

I skipped over Friday Random Ten this past week. Thought about doing it Saturday, but didn't really have time. Should be back soon, though, and feeling refreshed.

Last night I was coming home from Downtown Prov and got caught in a fierce rainstorm. Didn't last, but it was pretty heavy. They were doing the Waterfire thing as I passed by the river. What the? How does water not put out fire? Oh well, wonders never cease.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wow. That looks like it sucks.

Jaime Weinman at Maclean's shows a preview of Tangled, which I think was once going to just be called "Rapunzel." And...
The thing about the trailer for Disney’s Tangled is that if you didn’t know that the film was completely focus-grouped within an inch of its life, you’d still guess from the trailer alone. The original idea, years ago, was to do a classic Disney fairy-tale story (Rapunzel was one of the few great fairy tales they’d never done) in 3-D animation. The movie went through director replacements, at least three titles, and revisions to make it more “boy friendly” — i.e. more like Shrek. And now what’s left is this.

I have a feeling the animation is a last-minute rushed replacement for something else they were planning, too. The facial expressions and movements are in the pit of the uncanny valley, especially for the "charming" "rogue". It's not traditionally cartoony, and it has a 3-D effect, but if you saw this guy walking in real 3D space, you'd probably turn your eyes in.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bow-wow-wow, yippy-yo yippy-ay

I'm not sure there's a lot to say about this, but it piqued my curiosity.

New York performance artist Laurie Anderson can claim her performance on the steps of Australia's Sydney Opera House was a howling success, as she played to an audience of dogs.

Hundreds of canines and their owners showed up at the famous site on Saturday morning for a 20-minute high-pitched performance, Music for Dogs, most of it inaudible to human ears.

"Yo!" Anderson yelled from behind her keyboard. "Beautiful work, dogs!"

Some of the dogs wagged their tails while others wailed. A few were not amused, barking frantically and lunging toward the stage with their owners in tow.

"[The dogs] were grooving," declared Anderson. "They were uninhibited."

Yeah, that's dogs for you.

Anderson is a gem, as ingratiating in her music as she is quirky. So I wanted to see how she carried off this project. And now you can too.

So what can I say, really? When you're audience is this happy, you must be doing something right.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Random Ten for a muggy Friday

It's the heat, and it's the humidity. We're getting a taste of the wet forehead time of year. Well, it'll pass, probably...

1. Modern Jazz Quartet--Delaunay's Dilemma
2. Harry Nilsson--Without Her
3. TV on the Radio--Province*
4. Stan Kenton & His Orchestra--Lover
5. Janis Joplin--Move Over
6. M83--By the Kiss
7. Roy Orbison--I Never Knew
8. Neko Case--Star Witness
9. Dinah Washington--Our Love Is Here to Stay
10. Tom Waits--Jitterbug Boy

* Featuring David Bowie, which does add a certain something.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Are you gonna crawl my way?

With the series rebooting and Tobey Maguire no doubt off playing a pint of vanilla ice cream or something, the search is on for a new Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Not surprisingly, all the known candidates have been more chest-shaving white boys.

Not surprisingly, but not inevitably either. A massive internet petition is pushing for comedian Donald Glover (Mystery Team, Community) to be considered for the role.

Not all, but a number of superhero movies are so lumbering and effect-heavy it hardly matters who plays what. If Glover is offered the role, he should demand that he be able to play at least one scene like the following (which I kind of needed an excuse to post.)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The "If I do it, it's cool" defense

Hypothetical: If I ever get wasted and break into my neighbor's apartment, and he gets pissy about it so I have to put an ax-blade through his head, I'm giving Jennifer Rubin a call. I assume she'll have my back.

Hat's off to Roy Edroso for scouting this shit out. But you knew it was out there, didn't you?