Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Zsa Zsa

When Austin is in his most relaxed state he lounges with his back legs sprawled out behind him, at which point Leo and I point and say "Get a load of Zsa Zsa". Earlier today I walked past this box that Austin has been destroying over the past month, and I saw these cute little Zsa Zsa legs sticking out. The little guy must have been exhausted after all that tearing & shredding.

turntable art

If you liked it then you shoulda put a frame on it

Using a frame I got at the thrift store for a couple bucks, I framed one of my fave picture sleeves, which now hangs in our downstairs bathroom.

What I'm reading

10:38 AM

Cheri Oteri is a comic genius.

Monday, June 29, 2009

"Faces of Hate"

In my previous post I talked about the age-old hatred for gays that still thrives in this country. The following video was posted this morning at GoodAsYou.org. It shows "christians" displaying their love for all God's children at the 6/20 Sacramento Pride festivities.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

40 years.

Forty years ago it was commonplace for gays to get the shit kicked out of them by the police. "GAY" was considered a mental illness and a crime. If gays were physically assaulted on the street, in a club, or in the classroom, then they deserved it for being perverts. And who cares if a gay or lesbian person died from being beaten - the only good faggot is a dead faggot, right?

We've come a long way from this mentality of 40 years ago, but we need to remember that the evil that generated such hatred back then is still alive today in your Sally Kerns, your Michele Bachmanns, your Michael Savages, your self-proclaimed "Christians" who consistently act so totally un-Christlike.

Let's not lose focus of what matters. Stonewall taught us that we are powerful when we are united. WE ARE ALL ACTIVISTS when we COME OUT and celebrate all of who we are. It's a hard fight, and the struggle can get horribly tiresome, but we must continue. In the words of the immortal Gladys Knight and her Pips: "You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on!"

Happy Pride and much love to everyone!

(Stonewall Inn photo borrowed from Wikipedia)

On my turntable: Meet Andy & David Williams

Let me start by saying that I didn't have big hopes for this record. My doubts from the onset have less to do with the proven talents of Andy & David (the twin nephews of legendary crooner Andy Williams) than the Tiger Beat packaging of the album, and the "Produced by Jackie Mills" credit on the back. In the early 70's Jackie Mills was known for his work with teenybopper acts such as the Brady Kids and Davy Jones. His style is Vegas meets 16 magazine, very lightweight and easily digestible by preteens. I was right not to expect much out of this record, since it pretty much meets the Mills formula, although there are some pleasant songs (no sweat tho - the LP only cost me a buck).

I first knew of Andy & David from their appearance on The Partridge Family, in an episode (titled "Two for the Show") where the twin brothers each had a crush on Laurie. The episode concluded with Andy & David singing "Say It Again" in front of a "live" audience (a tune which was also recorded by Davy Jones on his Jackie Mills-produced album). The duo returned in the 80's as "The Williams Brothers" with a series of polished, primarily self-penned albums that proved they were much bigger than their stint as 70's bubblegum stars. In the 90's David came out as gay, breaking the hearts of all those young girls (and certainly some boys) who could actually tell him apart from his twin Andrew, and finally solving the age-old debate over which brother should date Laurie Partridge.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Jackson 5ive

I slept in today. I've spent the afternoon sluggishly moving around the house, due to the heat and to caffeine depletion. About an hour ago I made some coffee and started pulling out my J5 records, of which I snapped a pic (above).

When I was a freshman in college I got my hands on about a dozen Jackson 5ive LPs, which I played relentlessly. It was my introduction to the late 60's/early 70's Motown era. While I appreciate much of Michael's solo work (particularly 1978's Off The Wall), there's a special place I hold for the colorful work of the Jackson 5ive, records like Maybe Tomorrow, Skywriter, and the superfunky Get it Together.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

2009: Best of Quarter II

It's been an exciting three months for indie record stores, with the big success of Record Store Day '09, and then last week's first Vinyl Saturday. I don't know if this indicates any sort of trend, but it's worth noting that at least five of the songs on my list (titles listed below in bold) are available on 7" vinyl, which is pretty spiffy. Songs that are currently unavailable on vinyl (to the best of my knowledge) are marked below with an asterisk* (which means that the remaining 13 songs are all out there on vinyl!).

20. "Rich Girl" - Me First & the Gimme Gimmes
19. "Breakdown" - Black Gold
(a special shout out to my friend Chuck for this one!)
*18. "M.A.N.B.I.T.C.H." - Hottub
17. "Did You See Me Coming?" - Pet Shop Boys
*16. "I Could Break Your Heart Any Day of the Week" - Mandy Moore
*15. "Kind of a Girl" - Tinted Windows
*14. "Hurt Feelings" - Flight of the Conchords
*13. "One More Day" - The Humbugs
12. "Made In Japan" - Nancy Nova
11. "Complicated Shadows" - Elvis Costello
*10. "Big Mouf" - De La Soul
9. "I'm Sorry, Baby, But You Can't Stand In My Light Anymore"
- Bob Mould
*8. "Chocolate Box" - Prince w/Q-Tip
7. "Williams Blood" - Grace Jones
6. "Salt & Cherries (MC5)" - Wendy & Lisa
5. "Fuck You" - Lily Allen
4. "Beautiful" - Lemonheads
3. "Know Your Enemy" - Green Day
2. "'Cause I Sez So" - New York Dolls
1. "French Navy" - Camera Obscura

Psychedelic Shack

Here's a pic I took this morning on our back porch. I played around with the hues and the saturations and colors for a while, until I felt satisfied that it looked sufficiently groovy.

5:21 AM

Downtown Minneapolis skyline from our house.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Product Plug: So Delicious - Mocha Fudge

Earlier today I went to the co-op to pick up a few things (and to get out of the heat), and I could not resist the Mocha Fudge when I saw it was on special. This stuff is incredible, and 100% dairy free.

On my turntable: David Cassidy - Cherish

Something else we used to do when we were kids, on hot days like today, was go to the Northeast Public Library. We would spend hours at the air-conditioned library, where mom would get some deserved peace & quiet, and I would check out records and tapes, such as this one.

You can read more at my previous entry on this album, if you like.

3:42 PM

K-tel presents Super Hits of the Superstars (Volume Two)

Feh - I'm svitzing like a svitzer in this svitzer!

It's a scorcher in Minneapolis today, with an expected heat index of 106. It reminds me of when I was a kid, on days when it was too hot to do anything. My brother and I would lay next to a fan on a sheet spread out on the living room floor, where we would eat freeziepops and watch back-to-back episodes of Match Game and Tattletales. Here are a couple of clips for your viewing enjoyment:
Stay cool everybody!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Summer Solstice!

In looking for music to play tonight I was drawn to The Turtles. Of all the records that I bought last summer, it's my Turtles collection (pictured) that stands out most. It feels appropriate to kick off the first day of summer 2009 with some of last summer's most memorable tunes.

I hope you all have a memorable
summer filled with extra fanciness!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

10:05 PM

In our backyard.

Happy Vinyl Saturday!

Today is the first officially declared Vinyl Saturday. To celebrate this morning I went to one of my indies and got a limited edition (numbered 0098 out of 5000) 45 of Green Day's "Know Your Enemy"/"Hearts Collide" (pictured). Vinyl Saturdays will be recurring on the 3rd Saturday of every month, with vinyl exclusives available at your local record store!

Friday, June 19, 2009

On my turntable: New York Dolls - 'Cause I Sez So

'Cause I Sez So (2009) reunites a revamped New York Dolls (featuring the only surviving original members, David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain) with producer Todd Rundgren, who produced the band's first album thirty-six years ago. The outcome of the collaboration is quickly recognizable as the same legendary sound that played such a significant role in the punk-rock and glam movements of the 70's.

While the Dolls' 2006 comeback album, One Day it Will Please Us To Remember Even This, was a spirited effort, this new LP is much more focused and consistent. If the Dolls were never to make another record, 'Cause I Sez So would stand as a powerful bookend to a legendarily, albeit tragically flawed, career.

Here is a great live television performance of the album's title track:

kitsch kitchen

Tonight I was dusting the top of the fridge for the first time in a very long time, and it inspired me to snap some shots of our kitchen:
Of course Simon was supervising me the entire time.
His expression doesn't quite convey a sense of approval:

1:44 PM

U2: "Lemon"

9:25 AM

My stamp from last night's awesome Lemonheads show.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This week's project

Over the last couple of days I've been working on getting this room organized. It's ongoing and unfinished, but I like how it's shaping up.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Look through my window

Much needed rain.

"Vinyl Saturday" starts this Sat, 6/20!

Exciting news posted at the Collecting Vinyl Records blog:
After the success of Record Store Day in April, local record stores will now feature “Vinyl Saturdays” once a month. It's described as a “new monthly unveiling of limited special vinyl pieces, [and] an irresistible lure to your local indie record store, where treasures of all sorts are glittering on the shelves.”

The first Vinyl Saturday kicks off this Saturday, June 20, and features new releases (available exclusively on vinyl for now) from several major artists. Available this week is a batch of 7-inch vinyl singles: Wilco’s “You Never Know” and “Unlikely Japan;” Green Day’s “Know Your Enemy” and “Hearts Collide;” Scarlett Johansson and Pete Yorn’s “Relator” and “I Don’t Know What To Do;” and Modest Mouse’s “Autumn Beds” and “Whale Song.”

This is great news for the world of vinyl, the musician's support to this and other vinyl related promotions have been an overwhelming success. Hail Vinyl!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Record store geek on the local news

So last Friday when I was at the newly opened Shuga records, the local news caught me thumbing through LPs. Had I known I was actually going to be ON the news I would have sucked in my gut a bit. Vanity's a powerful thing. At least they got my good side :)

Note:
Video may take a few moments to load:

Austin's busy morning

Sunday, June 14, 2009

On my turntable: Goldie Hawn - Goldie

I got this little nugget of goodness at the thrift store this afternoon for 80 cents. I figured that even if it turned out to be the worst record ever made, for 80 cents it was worth a listen!

The truth is that Goldie (1972) is not the worst record ever made. In making this album, I'm sure Goldie had the best resources at her disposal. Names listed on the jacket include luminaries such as Dolly Parton & Porter Wagoner, Buck Owens, and the legendary Van Dyke Parks (of Beach Boys' SMiLE fame), who worked in A&R at Reprise at the time.

Goldie's tracks were recorded primarily in Nashville and Hollywood, and the results are a sunshiny country/folk mix. The album's weakest link (no huge surprise) is Goldie's occasionally shaky pitch, but it hardly detracts from the album's charm. Seriously - if Claudine Longet could make a career as a singer (oh sorry - chanteuse) then this album should have been nominated for a friggin' Grammy. Overall, it's a cute record that's worth picking up if you ever happen to see it.

Day trip

On Sundays, whenever possible, Leo and I visit my
mom for lunch. Here's some pics taken on today's trip:

Peter Criss, who always tags along in our back seat.

A Northeast Minneapolis landmark.

Nye's Polonaise Room, shot from our moving car.

Light switch in my childhood bedroom.
The decal was leftover from a plastic model car kit.

Mitzi, Mom's pooch.

The end.

12:23 AM

Austin.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Simon, may I kiss your snoots?

It's not easy getting a picture of Simon, since he wants to get close all the time. I thought this pic was a nice closeup of Simon's sweet shnozzle.