Monday, June 30, 2008

On my turntable: Blondie - Parallel Lines

The #1 success of "Heart of Glass" helped to propel punk into the mainstream. It's a bit ironic that it took a disco song to make this happen, but hey - whatever it takes. Parallel Lines (1978), the product of collaboration between NYC's Blondie and genius power-pop producer Mike Chapman, is one of those musical snapshots in history that is often emulated but never duplicated.

The current touring version of Blondie, with founding members Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, and Clem Burke, is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Parallel Lines this year with a tour, playing the legendary album in its entirety. There's also a re-vamped anniversary CD of the album, but I can't imagine that there's much improvement that can be done on the original. I'm sticking with my LP, thanks.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

On my turntable: Fleetwood Mac

Even though Rumours (1977) was the biggest album of Fleetwood Mac's career (and one of the biggest of all time by anyone), I think this album (released in '75) is every bit as good. I tend to look at the two as sister albums, sort of like Rubber Soul and Revolver -- they sit nicely with each other.

One significant difference between the two records is that Rumours was recorded during strenuous times for the band, when its two couples (Lindsey/Stevie & John/Christine) were splitting up. Another difference is that Rumours sold a bazillion copies, and this one didn't, although this album still went platinum & hit #1 on Billboard. Both are great summer records, IMHO.

Pride '08

Stickers from today's parade.

Update: I forgot to mention that yesterday was my mom's first Pride parade. It was very sweet to have her there with us, and she said she looks forward to going again next year. Go figure. I've learned not to question how this stuff happens, but to just accept it with gratitude.

2008: Top 10 Oldies of Qtr II

I'm sitting here listening to Dawn's New Ragtime Follies again (Leo says my days of listening to this album are numbered) and I realized that there are older songs that I discover (or re-discover) each quarter that don't make it into my "best of" list. With this in mind, I took a few minutes to assemble this Top 10 of my fave "new" old songs from the past 3 months:

1. The Cyrkle - "Don't Cry, No Fears, No Tears Comin' Your Way" (1966)
2. Dawn - "Who's In The Strawberry Patch With Sally" (1973)
3. Gladys Knight & The Pips - "I've Got To Use My Imagination" (1973)
4. Fleetwood Mac - "Hollywood (some other kind of town)" (1995)
5. The Dells - "I Can Sing a Rainbow / Love Is Blue" (1969)
6. Colin Blunstone - "Though You Are Far Away" (1971)
7. Elton John - "Please" (1995)
8. Billy Preston - "Outa-Space" (1972)
9. English Beat - "Save It For Later" (1982)
10. Andy & David Williams - "Say It Again" (2002)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

On my turntable: Belinda Carlisle - Runaway Horses

Around 10:30 this morning it started pouring outside, making me think of the song "Summer Rain", which I've not heard in a very long time. Hence why this album is playing now.

Here's the deal. I'm a huge Go-Go's fan. I was a member of their international fanclub, the whole deal. I wish I could be as big a fan of Belinda's solo career. Most of her solo work (the exception being 1993's fantastic Real) just seems so fake, contrived, and too focused on Belinda the sex kitten, especially if you remember Belinda's punk roots. Still, a few songs into Runaway Horses (1989) I'm thinking it's not so bad. Not so great either, but not awful.

Some bits of info about this album:
  • It was Belinda's 3rd solo album.
  • Before releasing her next solo LP Live Your Life Be Free (1991), Belinda would embark on a brief Go-Go's reunion tour in support of Go-Go's Greatest (1990).
  • The slide guitar solo on the album's first single, "Leave a Light On", is by an uncredited George Harrison, who also plays twelve-string on "Deep Deep Ocean".
  • Runaway Horses peaked on the Billboard 200 at #34. Belinda's previous album, Heaven On Earth, peaked at #13.
  • MCA Records released a whopping six singles from the album, with accompanying videos, within a year's time.
videos:
"Leave a Light On"
"La Luna"
"Runaway Horses"
"Summer Rain"
"Vision of You"
"We Want the Same Thing"

Friday, June 27, 2008

G.C. Murphy

I bought an old 45 tonight ("Mr. Jaws" by Dickie Goodman) that happened to have a price sticker on it from G.C. Murphy.

My childhood hangout, Apache Plaza, had a G.C. Murphy as one of its anchor stores for almost twenty years. Like most discount and department stores they had a small "entertainment" section that sold a selection of LPs and the latest singles. Apache's Murphy store wasn't the only one in the state - I know there was one in the Midway area of St. Paul, but it's cool to think that this sticker might have come from one of my old haunts.

links o' interest:
www.GCMurphy.org
www.ApachePlaza.com

When does this nonsense stop?

Army Sergeant Darren Manzella, decorated for his years of service, including two tours of the Middle East, has been discharged for being gay. According to the Service Member's Legal Defense network:

"Manzella, 30, enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2002 and was twice deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While under fire on the streets of Baghdad, he provided medical care to his fellow soldiers, Iraqi National Guardsmen and civilians. He was awarded the Combat Medical Badge, and also received several other awards recognizing his courage and service."

How insulting and shameful. What the hell does sexual orientation have to do with anyone's ability to do their job? This shows unbelievable ignorance and stupidity on the part of the military. The U.S. is becoming the laughing stock of the world.

"That Lucky Old Sun" cover art



This will look mighty purty on LP, dontcha think?

I'm not sure if this is accurate, but according to Amazon.com, the release date for the vinyl version of TLOS is 8/18/08. The street date for the CD is listed as 9/2. Both can be pre-ordered now.

"What does this button do?"

So John McCain has admitted publicly that he doesn't know how to use a computer.

This means that there are people out there right now who are planning to vote for a man who doesn't know how to use a computer.

Please don't mistake my concern for snobbery. I know that there are plenty of people who still do not use computers, but someone running for president?? Come on. How does he read emails? How does a senator exist in 2008 without using a computer??

Just blame the gays

This video is a great response to those who continue insisting that equal rights will destroy the institution of marriage. It's very funny, too:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

On my turntable: Dawn's New Ragtime Follies

Following the unbelievable success of "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree", Dawn likely had some clout with their record company. So how do you follow such a big hit? The only obvious answer is to release a concept album of ragtime music. I imagine that most of the folks involved in the making of this record were coked out of their heads. Just a hunch.

The odd thing is, New Ragtime Follies (1973) is a really good album! It is cohesive, sincere, lavishly produced, and totally not what I expected when I brought it home from the record store tonight. I bought the album because my new favorite song is on it (that song being "Who's in the Strawberry Patch with Sally"), and because it was 50 cents. So far tonight I've listened to it twice, and it's time for another listen.

Victory?

Breaking news!

Gays in D.C. now have the right to own handguns. Did you think I was going to say "the right to marry?" No, gays still don't have equal marriage rights, but at least now they'll have legally obtained guns so they can shoot those who call them homos.

WTF. Guess it shows, once again, what's important in this country.

Top 10 fave B-52's albums

1. Cosmic Thing (1988)
2. Whammy! (1983)
3. Funplex (2008)
4. Bouncing off the Satellites (1986)
5. Time Capsule (1998 - pictured)
6. Wild Planet (1980)
7. The B-52's (1979)
8. Mesopotamia (EP)(1982)
9. Good Stuff (1992)
10. Party Mix (EP)(1981)

"Give Me Back My Man"


I didn't know there was an official video for this song (from 1980's Wild Planet) until this morning. The first thing that struck me while watching it was how beautiful Cindy Wilson is! The next thing I noticed was how it's a little odd to see Keith Strickland behind the drums, since he's been the band's guitarist now for 20 years. As I type this, right now, the B-52's are my favorite band.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Catholic pride

Leo and I attended an assembly of folks outside of Joan of Arc church tonight for a prayer service, not so much in protest, but to officially acknowledge this latest mistreatment of the LGBT community (see yesterday's post on this topic). There was a reasonably sized crowd, and even the mayor of Minneapolis said a few words.

On my turntable: Dynamic Sound (K-tel)

Here's a K-tel gem from '74, back when K-tel International was still located on Wilson Street in NE Minneapolis. It's an obscure collection of songs, with more "misses" than "hits", including two that are now among my favorites: "I've Got to Use My Imagination" by Gladys Knight & The Pips, and the fantastic "Who's in the Strawberry Patch With Sally" by Tony Orlando & Dawn. Worth the price of admission for these two songs alone.

One of the LP's more bizarre tracks is "Werewolf" by Five Man Electrical Band (best known for their hit "Signs"). The lyrics paint a story about two troubled parents who are piecing together evidence proving their son Billy is a werewolf. Awesome. Turns out Billy didn't sleep in his bed last night and the farmer down the road said some of his sheep's gone missing. To make matters worse, Mama saw Billy out on the hill last night screamin' at the moon. Yeah, that's always a bad sign. Papa decides it's time to grab the shotgun and kill the kid. Great stuff. You can listen to the track here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Super cool website of the week: GodHatesShrimp

Oh yeah - now we're talkin'.



The Bible is filled with things that are supposedly considered to be an "abomination" in the eyes of the Lord. According to some folks' interpretation, gays are one such abomination, but these same gay-haters usually pass over the section of scripture that says consuming shellfish is an abomination as well. Eat shrimp and go to hell, people. Eternal hellfire. The Bible says!

Spiritual violence

Our new archbishop has cancelled an annual LGBT pride prayer service at St. Joan of Arc because it supposedly contradicts Catholic teachings. This action is, unfortunately, in line with Nienstedt's homophobic position towards the gay community. I say bring it on. As much as it angers me, I'm up for a good fight.

Read more...

Monday, June 23, 2008

On my turntable: Paul & Linda McCartney - Ram

I'm going to stick my neck out and say that this album is a pop masterpiece. You heard me.

From what I've read, fans and critics weren't too kind to Ram when it was released in '71. Although I find this hard to believe, I have a couple of thoughts as to why Ram may have been dismissed at the time:
  • For the most part, folks didn't take too kindly to Linda, at least initially. Not only was she being blamed for breaking up the Beatles, but now she was receiving songwriting credit and 50% billing on Paul's records. And, to top it off, many fans believed she could not sing (I personally love what her voice added to the harmonies of Wings, which were an important part of the band's sound).
  • In the wake of George's incredible All Things Must Pass and John's edgy Plastic Ono Band, Paul had an image of being soft and uncool. In the vietnam era, with student protests and all of the turmoil of the times, Ram may have seemed like irrelevant fluff.
  • I think Paul was suing the other Beatles at the time, which could have painted him as the bad guy.
As I see it, Ram is packed with melody, harmony, and musically interesting song arrangements. In truth, it is a very sophisticated pop album, and certainly one of the happiest sounding records ever released by the McCartneys. The album's only US single, the ambitious "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey", took side 2 of Abbey Road and compressed it into a 3 minute car-radio classic. The song hit #1 on the Billboard charts and earned Paul the Grammy for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocals.

American Values

I've been watching the "news" networks a lot lately, but I think I've reached a breaking point. The major story, at least from what I can see, is gas prices. It's like we're getting an update on the average price every hour on the hour. Oh no - the average price went up a penny since this morning! More updates in 30 minutes. But I can't wait that long! How necessary is this? The only people who aren't already painfully aware of the high cost of gas are those who haven't driven past a gas station in the last week, and those people probably don't have cars.

You know what's a bigger problem?

THE WAR IN IRAQ.

You know what else?

THE FACT THAT BUSH AND CHENEY ARE CRIMINALS.


And yet, there's very little airtime given to these subjects. Oh, but wait -- Britney and Christina are feuding! That's important. The anchor on MSNBC actually said "Who are you more obsessed with? Britney or Christina?" WTF? The fact that anyone is obsessed with either of them is disturbing.

Oh and now they're back to talking about gas prices. Good.

"Meat-free Mondays"

Sir Paul McCartney, in a recent interview with trade mag The Grocer, suggested that people try 'meat-free Mondays' in order to reduce the environmental impacts of meat production. I think this is a great idea, as it's something simple that we can all do.

Press Association article

Top ten fave country artists

I saw this posted on someone else's blog, and figured I was up to the challenge. It's a challenge because I've never considered myself a country fan, but that doesn't necessarily mean I hate country music. What I do hate is the obnoxious, inflated Ford truck machismo bullshit of singers like Toby Keith. In the months after 9/11, artists like Keith were dressing up in the American flag and howling pro-America slogans that at times sounded like white-supremacist tirades: "I'm proud to be an American and I drive a truck and I drink beer (but not lite beer 'cause that's for sissies) and I like to shoot at things and all Muslims are terrorists and so are the Dixie Chicks! God bless the USA (or at least all the straight white people who speak English)!" You get the picture.

So I had to think a while, but here's ten country artists I quite enjoy. Ranking them was another challenge, but here goes:

1. Patsy Cline
2. Rosanne Cash
3. Michael Nesmith & First National Band
4. Wynonna
5. Loretta Lynn
6. Emmylou Harris
7. Dolly Parton
8. Marie Osmond (she is a little bit country)
9. kd lang
10. Willie Nelson

Pride

It's Pride week
in the Twin Cities.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

and guns make us safer how?

If I offend anyone with what I'm about to say, please do not take it personally.

This afternoon around 5:30, at an annual neighborhood celebration that takes place less than a mile from our home, three people were hit by gunfire from a handgun. OK, you know what?

WE NEED FUCKING GUN CONTROL IN THIS COUNTRY.

If I hear one more hunter argue for his right to bear arms I might just go buy a gun and shoot him. Cheney style. Right in the face. Why? Because nobody hunts with a damn handgun. Handguns are made to kill people. There are gun advocates who insist that everyone should have a gun. They argue that if we all had guns we could defend ourselves better, and we'd have less violence. REALLY. So, if these three innocent people at the park today had guns then they wouldn't have been hit by those bullets?

Give me a fucking break.

band of the week: The English Beat

When I was a youngster in the early 80's, spending most of my Saturdays at the record store, I became (visually) familiar with the albums of The English Beat. I never bothered to buy or listen to any of their stuff until last week, when I picked up Wha'ppen (1981) and Special Beat Service (1982) for a buck apiece. What a nice surprise! These are both great albums (although I'm currently preferring SBS). I have very little ska in my collection, but I'm thinking I need to change that this summer. Riiight!

Here's the video for "Save It For Later", from Special Beat Service:

Look Through My Window

Mouldwise

Bob Mould blogged recently about getting older, and the distinction between regrets and missed opportunities. Right on, Bob:

"I've had plenty of missed opportunities. I've had lots of disappointments, mainly because I aim so high. Missed opportunities and disappointments should never be confused with regrets. Five years ago, I could not have imagined where I am standing in my life. It's all good; even my bad stuff is pretty good, compared to what some people have to endure. Music keeps me young, keeps me interested, keeps me active. I never take that for granted. Friends keep me grounded, but are wise enough to give me the room to fly when needed. I am wise enough to take flight, and in the end, I usually land at the right place."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Finer things...

My cousin posted a list of the "finer things in life" on her blog, asking that her readers to the same. So, without too much thought here are the first finer things that come to mind:
  • quiet mornings
  • a fresh pot of coffee
  • bunny kisses
  • cracking the seal on a brand new LP
  • the buzz on campus at the start of fall term
  • "back to school" supplies at Target
  • fresh sheets
  • bunny binkies
  • family & extended family
  • laughing so hard that no sound comes out
  • crispy hash browns
  • spending time with Leo
  • Honeycrisp apples

On my turntable: Bee Gees - One

I felt really old just now when I realized that this album, considered by many to be The Bee Gees' comeback album, is almost 20 years old.

I need to go lay my tired old bones down for a nap.


Videos:
"One" - live on Arsenio Hall, 1989
"Bodyguard"
"Ordinary Lives"

fundie conundrum?

I'm sure that I'm not the first to think of (or blog about) this, but it warrants discussion. It's no secret that the hardcore Christian extremists use abortion and gays as their key weapons against the liberals. This week's scientific discovery about the gay brain may finally put a lid on some of the arguments over whether gayness is a choice. However, if/when when sexual orientation becomes detectable from the womb (which isn't too far-fetched), do you think these wacko fundie churches will consider abortion as an acceptable option in cases where the fetus is identified as gay?

"Outa-Space"

I got this yesterday and can't stop grooving on it. The 70's were the golden era for funky instrumentals on the radio, and this here is one of 'em. This is the funky biz right here.

2008: Best of Quarter II

20. "He's A Rocker" - The Vines
19. "Prisoners of Our Love" - Airfields
18. "Stunning" - Calpernia Addams
17. "All That I Know" - Collective Soul
16. "Mercy" - Duffy
15. "The Quickening" - Roger Joseph Manning, Jr.
14. "Go Away" - Elvis Costello & The Imposters
13. "Headcase" - The Fratellis
12. "Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)" - MIKA
11. "Stamp Your Feet" - Donna Summer
10. "Oh Yeah" - The Cliks
9. "Echo" - Cyndi Lauper
8. "Try It Again" - The Hives
7. "I'm Not a Kid Anymore" - Sloan
6. "Man-Sized Wreath" - R.E.M.
5. "i like it, i love it" - Lyrics Born
4. "4 Minutes" - Madonna & Justin
3. "That's Not My Name" - The Ting Tings
2. "Deviant Ingredient" - The B-52's
1. "Pork and Beans" - Weezer

Titles in green are all available in vinyl format.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

bun cam

I stepped into the kitchen to find Austin cleaning his face (which is wicked adorable), so I took a quick picture, after which he stopped and froze (as seen in 2nd pic).


If there were a thought balloon above his head in this pic it would read: "Did you ever get the feeling that you was being watched?"

on my list

So I'm watching Ellen, and James Blunt is on. Have I mentioned that I cannot stand James Blunt? I can't understand how he became so friggin' popular. He's like the new Air Supply. Just look at him. I'm not a violent person, but I sorta want to punch him.

There - I feel better.

Today's inspiration

(Purloined from GenEx's blog.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

On my turntable: Lyrics Born - Everywhere at Once

It seems like a very long time since I've been excited about a new hip hop album. Lyrics Born is a Japanese/African American artist (correction: he's half Japanese, half Italian. Thanks to the reader who pointed out this inaccuracy) who integrates old school funk, R&B, rock & hip hop into something that sounds new, which is no small feat considering that there's not much uncharted territory in hip hop these days (of course I'd love to be proven wrong on this). Standout tracks: "I Like It, I Love It", "Hott 2 Deff", "Do U Buy It?" The double LP comes with a free mp3 download of the full album.

Like Sgt. Pepper (1967), Everywhere at Once (2008) is a great example of an album that should be owned on vinyl, if just for the great cover art. I saw the CD at Target, and shook my head thinking about how much better the cover looks on 12x12.

LyricsBorn.com

8:32 am

Luscious Jackson - Natural Ingredients (1994)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

touchdown.



One of this afternoon's awesome thrift store acquisitions: four vintage University of Minnesota lowball glasses, at 60 cents each, featuring an old-school Goldy gopher on one side, and the Regents' crest on the other (I used soy milk to make things show up better in the pic. It was delicious).

Yesterday's protesters


This video speaks for itself, but I do want to point out a couple of things:
  • These hardcore gay-haters dedicate their lives to doing just what you see in the video. What kind of life is that? I am actually starting to feel a little sorry for them because everything they do is ruled by hate. I bet they get sick a lot from carrying all those toxins 24/7.
  • Watch for the fake counter-protester in the background at 2:10, shouting "Save the lobster! God Hates Shrimp Eaters!" This is the best part of the video. I laughed so hard that I wet and darn-near pooped myself.
  • At 2:37 the same woman shouts "God hates Long John Silvers!". Pure genius.

90's vinyl

So I'm looking at my LPs, trying to determine how many of them come from the 90's, the era when I was mainly buying CDs. As I expected, the pickin's were pretty slim, with 1996 represented best (10 LPs). The leanest year was 1992, with only one LP, Prince & The New Power Generation (love symbol). In '92 I was still working in music retail, so I probably got a lot of my CDs for free, which may explain why I wasn't buying records. Still, I want to fill in the gaps. What records are missing? After brainstorming, this is all I came up with:

TLC - Oooooohhh...On the TLC Tip
Neneh Cherry - Homebrew
Tears for Fears - Tears Roll Down
Wynonna Judd - Wynonna
Ringo Starr - Time Takes Time
R.E.M. - Automatic for the People
Ramones - Mondo Bizarro
Arrested Development - 3 years, 5 Months, & 2 Days in the Life of...
KISS - Revenge
Beastie Boys - Check Your Head
Lemonheads - It's A Shame About Ray
Stray Cats - Choo Choo Hot Fish
The Pharcyde - Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde

There are some gems that sadly, to my knowledge, have never been pressed on vinyl, such as the first Jeffrey Gaines album, and the B-52's Good Stuff.

Monday, June 16, 2008

On my turntable: Elton John - Love Songs

Love Songs (1995) is a very pleasant Elton compilation that spans the first 25 years of his career. I found this copy today in pristine shape for $6.

I'd like to dedicate this post to Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, who got married today in California.

I believe my feelings about today's California nuptials would be best expressed in the words of the song "True Love", by Sir Elton John and the lovely Miss Kiki Dee:

Gusto

Schlitz Brewing company has launched a brilliant campaign, bringing back the classic 60's Schlitz formula. Personally, I didn't know that the formula had ever changed, but that's besides the point. Now that I think of it, I'm not even sure if I ever tasted the classic 60's formula, seeing as I was a toddler at the time, but after seeing a Schlitz billboard earlier this week I really wanted one.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Farger?

A quickie in honor of father's day. This cracks me up:

Ventura vs. Buchanan

I don't know how I missed this one, but I think it's essential viewing. In this MSNBC clip, Jesse Ventura and Pat Buchanan discuss the new California marriage laws, and I gotta say that Jesse's point is far more concise and convincing (of course I'm biased on the issue). Buchanan is, oh how do I put this politely, a tool. It's also good to see a replay of the Ellen/McCain smackdown. Note how sheepish McCain is in the clip - he can't even look Ellen in the face.

today

Today is sad for our family, as it's the first father's day without our dad (regular readers will recall that he passed last December). It seems appropriate and necessary to give a shout out to my pops, who we miss terribly. Jimbo was an awesome guy who was devoted to his family. We're having lunch today with mom, and I'm sure we'll spend a fair amount of time sharing stories.

We love you, Dad.

On my turntable: Foreigner - Double Vision

If you were to mention this album to my brother or myself, two words would immediately come to mind: Almond Roca. When we attended Northeast Junior High, the music programs had students sell Almond Roca for fundraising, and if we sold enough Roca we could choose from a list of free LPs. My brother sold enough cans of the mysterious candy to get this LP, and I don't remember how many times he had to exchange it, but each copy skipped at the start of the first song ("Hot Blooded"). It was very annoying! What was also annoying was having to explain to strangers, at their doorstep, what the hell Almond Roca was, and why they should buy a tin.

I found this shiny copy of Double Vision (1978) yesterday for 50 cents, still in the original shrink. I'm impressed with how many of the songs I remember - my bro must have played this a lot when I was around. I'm pleased to report no skipping on this copy, even though I expected it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

$10,000 + nine months in prison

The LA Times have posted an informative Q&A on the ins & outs of the new marriage laws that will commence in California this coming Monday. According to the Times, same-sex couples of Wisconsin, (a state that amended their constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage), can face nine months in jail and a $10,000 fine if they go to California to get married.

WOW.

In other words, according to Wisconsin law, gay people are so morally corrupt that they must be thrown in jail if they actively pursue the same marriage rights as the morally superior straights. Imagine having to explain this on a job application:

Ever served jail time? If yes, please explain: Yes - I was incarcerated for marrying my life partner.

Also, if you are a California resident and in the military, getting married to your same-sex partner is considered grounds for dismissal. You can legally get married in your home state of California, but you will lose your job. Sucks for those military gays who have families to support, huh?

So, for some of us it looks like one step forward, two steps back. This shit makes me so angry that sometimes it feels like I'm going to self-combust.

On my turntable: Burt Bacharach - Make It Easy on Yourself

My love affair with the music of Bacharach has been brewing for the past ten years. I consider the "big 3" to be Bacharach, Brian Wilson, and McCartney -- I don't know if there's any other pop songwriters that are on the same level.

Love this album.

"I Like It, I Love It"

One of my fave songs from the new Lyrics Born LP, Everywhere At Once, which was released on vinyl this week.

12:03 am

We live in a home filled with candles, which the newer Catholic in me finds comforting. The former Lutheran in me worries that it's a fire hazard.

Friday, June 13, 2008

hound

I'm a collector. It's a curse. One of the things that I collect is celebrity autographs, most of which are on display in our fancy kitchen. Some of the autographs I've obtained in person, which is always nervewracking because I feel like a pest. Some of the more rewarding autographs are those that arrive in the mail from celebs that I sent fan letters to. Here's a list of some of the kickass autographs I've collected over the years:

In person:
Cyndi Lauper
Queen Latifah
Rick Nielsen & Robin Zander (Cheap Trick)
Davy Jones
Peter Tork
Micky Dolenz
Susanna Hoffs
David Cassidy
Crowded House
The Knack
The Beach Boys

via mail or otherwise:
Wendy & Lisa
Judge Judy
Betty White
Julian Lennon
Sean Lennon
Yoko Ono
Donny Osmond
George Harrison
Shonen Knife
Billie Hayes (tv's Witchiepoo)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

On my turntable: Silver Sunshine

The self-titled Silver Sunshine (2004) is one of the LPs I picked up last weekend in Louisville, at a shop called the Book and Music Exchange. I know very little about this band, but the sticker on the front cover describes the band's music as "An explosion of color and sound for the senses". When I read this I was of course intrigued, since this sort of thing is my bag, baby. So I took a chance on the album, and I'm glad I did because it's very good.

So I'm thinking "great - a new band for me to like!" Yes and no. Turns out that the band, who are from San Diego, had some recent personnel changes, and then changed their name to Astra (www.astratheband.com). Hmm. May be worth checking out, but for now I'll be content with this groovy little collection.

Show me the way to Norway

As of yesterday, same-sex couples have equal marriage rights in Norway. As a Norwegian American, I do not have such rights (OK so I'm only part Norwegian, but you get my point). In America we have fundies who smugly proclaim that we all have the exact same marriage rights, meaning that we all have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex. Real mature.

Kudos to Norway for being evolved.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Look Through My Window

11:47 am. Wet.

flickr mosaic

I'm borrowing this from Kyle's blog. Seemed like a fun thing to do on a rainy Wednesday morning...

the concept:
1. type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
2. using only the first page of results, pick one image.
3. copy and paste each of the url’s for the images into big huge lab’s mosaic maker to create a mosaic of the picture answers.

the questions:

1. what is your first name?
2. what is your favorite food? right now?
3. what high school did you go to?
4. what is your favorite color?
5. who is your celebrity crush?
6. what is your favorite drink?
7. what is your dream vacation?
8. what is your favorite dessert?
9. what do you want to be when you grow up?
10. what do you love most in life?
11. what is one word that describes you?
12. what is your flickr name?

On my turntable: PM Dawn: Of the Heart, Of the Soul, and of the Cross: The Utopian Experience

By the summer of 1991, hip-hop had lost its innocence, as music industry charts were assaulted by the likes of MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice. At the same time, there were a handful of artists that were interested in taking the genre to another level, with often groundbreaking results. With this debut LP, PM Dawn created a soulful pop/hip-hop masterpiece with a really long title that still holds up 17 years later. Gorgeous.

Video:
"Reality Used to be a Friend of Mine"
"Set Adrift on Memory Bliss"
"Paper Doll"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Caption this!

(pic from RollingStone.com) This snap of Paul and Yoko was taken last week at one of Stella McCartney's fancy fashion shows. Anyone care to take a stab at what Paul is saying to Yoko here?

On my turntable: The Wackers - Shredder

I don't know much about about The Wackers, but stylistically I lump them in with other early 70's bands such as the Raspberries and Badfinger, with a bit of a blues orientation at times. Shredder (1973) is one of the LPs I snagged in Louisville last week (although since I'm still on my first listen, my opinions are not yet fully formed). I found the album while rushing my way through used LPs at a neat little record/head shop called Electric Ladyland. Seeing as it was only $2.99, and since I'd enjoyed the other Wackers LP in my collection (Wackering Heights, 1971), I figured it was worth the risk. So far, I find it a pleasant LP, one that I expect to play quite a bit this summer.

CNN: "Retailers giving vinyl records another spin"

A new article posted at CNN.com discusses the recent vinyl resurgence, noting that even Best Buy is carrying LPs again in some of their stores. Could Walmart and Target be next? Here are some interesting stats from the article:

"According to the Recording Industry Association of America, manufacturers' shipments of LPs jumped more than 36 percent from 2006 to 2007 to more than 1.3 million. Shipments of CDs dropped more than 17 percent during the same period to 511 million, as they lost some ground to digital formats."

CNN article