Thursday, October 29, 2009

Come Feel Me Tremble

Wherein a few quotes from the Paul Westerberg documentary and concert film

"This movie would not be possible without your illegal footage and photographs. Thank you." opening screen of "Come Feel Me Tremble

"I'm open to a good idea. But if a bad idea is more fun, then I'll do the bad idea for the sake of the moment."

One word descriptions of old albums:
Interviewer: Hootenanny?
Paul Westerberg: Theft.
Interviewer: Pleased to Meet Me?
Paul Westerberg: Frightened.
Interviewer: Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash?
Paul Westerberg: Fearless.
Interviewer: Don't Tell a Soul?
Paul Westerberg: Sad.
Interviewer: Let It Be?
Paul Westerberg: Drunk.
Interviewer: Stink?
Paul Westerberg: Says it all right there.
Interviewer: Tim?
Paul Westerberg: Coulda been.
Interviewer: All Shook Down?
Paul Westerberg: Um...hmm...

I shook John Lee Hooker's hand once. It was like shaking a cold fish. Like shaing a dead man's hand.

Once Kurt Cobain and I rode up in an elevator together. Neither one of us said a word to each other.
Guy in background: That's amazing, because I'd think he'd be dying to talk to you.

No...he was dying to be dying and I was dying to be somewhere else. We got off on the same floor and it's like he's in 516 and I'm in 517. It's like it was scripted -- both of us put our keys in, we fumble with them, go in and SLAM the door shut.


It's severe A.D.D. That's why the first take is always the best take and the second take is different because I don't remember what I did the first time. So, I don't memory is bad when it comes to stuff like that. Sober. Everyone always chalked it up to "too drunk to know" and it's like -- there was some review in Portland, "he was too wasted to play his own songs." Wasted? I just didn't remember the damn things, you know. Something caught my attention and my mind started to think about something else and I forgot I was on stage.

If I Knew You Were Comin', I'd've Baked a Cake

Wherein in All That Jazz Ann Reinking literally plays herself

Bob Fosse wants to cut a slow song (from All His Jazz: The Life And Death Of Bob Fosse):
When the composer played another slow song called "People," [Bob] Fosse mulled it over and hummed it to himself and asked the composer to play it once more and mulled it over some more, and finally he said, "Well, Jule, it's a beautiful song, no doubt about it. It's a very beautiful song." He [aused. "But I'm afraid we can't use it."

What do you mean, 'We can't use it?'" Styne asked, stunned, for he knew just how beautiful "People" was.

"Well, it just doesn't make any dramatic sense," Fosse said, "for Fanny to sing this song."

"Why the hell not?"

"Listen to the words," the director said reasonably, as if the words were really his reason for scuttling this extremely slow song.

"What's wrong with them. They're great words."

"Yes," Fosse said. "Bob Merrill wrote beautiful words for it, but what do they say? They talk about 'people who need people.' Fanny Brice isn't a person who needs people....She's a great star of the Folies and she's surrounded by people -- people on stage and people backstage. Then she has a family, she has a mother, and she has neighbors; she has all kinds of people at home. So she doesn't need people there either. She doesn't need people anywhere, Jule, that's why the song doesn't amke any dramatic sense. And that's why there's no point in her singing this song," he concluded hopefully.

Styne's eyes narrowed. He liked Fosse, he respected Fosse, he thought Fosse was doing great work on Funny Girl, but Fosse didn't know about songs while Styne was feeling very on top of things, still on a high after the brilliant Gypsy. "Listen, kid," the little songwriter said in icy and measured tones. He brought his dialogue down to one step above a whisper. "I'll tell you what the point of singing this song is. Do you want to know -- would you like to know what the point of singing this song is. Do you want to know -- would you like to know what the reason is for Barbra Streisand to sing "People?'"

"Yeah," Bob said, biting and loving it. "What's the reason?"

"The reason she is singing this song," Styne said calmly before raising his voice to a roof shaking shout: "IS BECAUSE THIS SONG IS GOING TO BE FUCKING NUMBER ONE ON THE HIT PARADE! THAT IS WHY SHE IS SINGING THE FUCKING SONG!"

Hmm, Bob Merrill...where have I heard that name before. Of course! In one of my favorite articles, Mark Steyn disagrees that Merill wrote "beautiful words." Let's look at The Worst Songwriter of All Time:
He composed, in case you hadn't guessed, on a child's toy xylophone. Between 1950 and 1955, it also cranked out "Where Will the Baby's Dimple Be?" "Mambo Italiano," and my personal favorite, "Oooh, Bang, Jiggily Jang." Even the singers don't like these songs. Rosemary Clooney, revisiting "Mambo Italiano" for a recent autobiographical album, explains in the liner notes how much she loathes all her early hits--"Come On-a My House" (Armenian novelty song), "Who Don Mon Man" (calypso novelty song), "Botch-a Me" (botched novelty song). But you have to admire Merrill's resourcefulness: Any old Alley opportunist can write a novelty Italian song ("That's Amore") or a novelty mambo song ("Papa Loves Mambo"), but to write a novelty song about Italians doing the mambo--that takes guts:

Hey, Mambo!Mambo Italiano ...Go, go, Joe!You mixed-up Siciliano

The guy who wrote that gets hammered from both ends. To those who love the great American standards, Merrill is the man who single-handedly produced the worst songs of the decade and so debauched the currency of mainstream Tin Pan Alley that it had no moral authority to resist rock 'n' roll. And, for baby-boom rockers, when all other musical, lyrical, and sociopolitical claims for the rock 'n' roll revolution have collapsed, the memory of growing up with the Bob Merrill songbook will always be justification enough.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Putting the hammer to the floor

Wherein hang on St Crhistopher on the passenger side

  1. T&A

  2. Sarah Palin

  3. Electric Light Orchestra. No, pretty sure they'd been around by then. Met in 1976, doesn't mean the band was formed in 1976. Beastie Boys.

  4. Io

  5. MLS

  6. Tom Waits -- I love that song. No idea what he's singing. Let us review:
    Well cutting through the cane break, rattling the sill
    Thunder that the rain makes when the shadow tops the hill
    Big light on the back street, hill to ever more
    Packing down the ladder with the hammer to the floor
    Here come the Big Black Mariah, here come the Big Black Mariah
    Here come the Big Black Mariah, I seen the big black Ford

  7. don't know, how about no retail liquor sales on Sundays. nope

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I often view conversations as threats

Wherein and sometimes as assaults

Typo ?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Comment of the week

Wherein just to watch it fry

I hate fish. I mean really, really hate fish. I don't like the look, the smell, I have advanced the proposition, dismissed by the so called intellectuals and gray beards of academia, that all of human evolution is a determined effort to get away from sea food.

This, of course, is heresy to many people. Seemingly normal, wholesome people who will try and convince me that fish come in a wide range of flavors, textures, tastes, and that by ruling anything coming out of water is inedible, I am depriving my self of profound gastronomic joy. These people are, of course, wrong. So I kind of relate to the 'I don't eat meat' thing. Even though I eat meat. Because things with legs aren't weird like fish.

I tried to punch a fish once. Turns out water resistance kind of makes that impossible. Just, you know, FYI. In case someone else wanted to punch a fish...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Jesse's list

Wherein the i is optional

From my iPod:
  • Jesse, Joan Armatrading
  • Jesse James, The Pogues
  • Jessie's Girl, Rick Springfield
  • Deficit (Jesse Helms), Bill Hicks
  • Why Won't Jesse Helms Just Hurry Up and Die?, MC Hawking

Not from my iPod:
  • Jesse, Julian Lennon
  • Jesse, Carly Simon
  • Jesse, Scott Walker
  • Jesse, Janis Ian
  • Dear Jessie, Madonna
  • Jessie, Joshua Kadison
  • Kim & Jessie, M83
  • Jesse James, recorded in 1924 by Bascom Lamar Lunsford, and subsequently by many artists, including Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, The Pogues, Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen
  • Jesse James Symphony" &"Jesse James Bolero", Prefab Sprout
  • Frank and Jesse James, Warren Zevon
  • Jesse James, Scarface
  • Jesus Christ and Jesse James, Christy Moore

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The usual Tuesday trivia answers

Wherein muffin is a funny word

  1. Hamster or other small rodent stupidly used as a pet

  2. WWF

  3. Captain and Tennille

  4. House. Did you ever notice that Hugh Laurie's American accent sounds exactly like Dr. Kelly Brackett from Emergency!?

  5. Chile

  6. pass

  7. based on some quick wiki research I'm going with "No scored music."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bonus trivia

Wherein hey television networks there is nothing we watch on Tuesday Friday Saturday or Sunday That is a bad job on your part

  1. In 1973 he won an Oscar for Best Director, a Tony for Best Director, and an Emmy for Outstanding Choreography.

  2. Just as Lisa and Bart watch "Itchy and Scratchy," the characters in what cartoon often watched another cartoon called "The Brown Hornet"?

  3. Name the Broadway musical: Labor strife in an Iowa factory.

  4. Name the Broadway musical: Based on the life of the son of Charlemagne.

  5. In 1989, this was Audrey Hepburn's last movie.

  6. Playing himself, Frank Sinatra's last movie role was in this 1984 film.

  7. If you worked for AT&T, or looked it up in the Microsoft Computer Dictionary, what POTS means.

  8. For electrical wiring, white is the neutral wire in the USA and Canada; in 2006 the UK changed the neutral wire to this color.

  9. The traditional chef's toque (hat) has 100 pleats, meant to represent what feat?

  10. This nonHispanic actress was presented with the 2002 Raúl Juliá Award for Excellence, for her efforts as the executive producer of ABC’s hit sitcom The George Lopez Show in helping to expand career openings for Hispanic talent in media and entertainment fields.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

DORFiest record ever

Wherein absolutely no contest

At one of the fake blog, the androgynously named Jody Rosen creates the The DORF Matrix: Towards a Theory of NPR's Taste in Black Music. At the end we're asked to answer "What is the DORFiest record ever made?" The answer, obviously, is Paul Simon's "Graceland." No contest. Perfect record for the NPR crowd by allowing them to feel musically enlightened without actually having to be exposed to new music.

Let's review:
Dead -- Paul's career. Pretty much stone cold worm food by then, "Graceland" resurrected him and he's spent the last 20 years wandering the earth as a zombie. Though with only four albums these last two decades, not a very productive zombie.

Old -- everyone on the album

Retro -- Paul Simon, Everly Brothers, Linda Ronstadt (who did not refuse to play Sun City), Chevy Chase in the video

Foreign -- Heavily borrowed music from and lightly featured the artists from multiple African countries, and a few of the more ethnically exotic locales of the Southern regions of the United States. Then represented the faint shell of what made the original music interesting as something revolutionary and new.

I offer this up as someone who enjoyed the album and never understood all the over praise for this entertaining trifle.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

USA first Concacaf country to qualify for 2010 World Cup

Wherein all this fookin rain is getting on my last fookin soggy nerve

  1. Supreme Court

  2. Feet

  3. no idea

  4. (1)The Simpsons (2) The Adventures of Urineman

  5. First thought was Chuck Darwin even though I was pretty sure he was born long before that. Upon reflection/googling, I was correct about the birth date and the answer is a different Chuck.

  6. no idea

  7. This was easy to solve by a quick reading of their wiki bios. Steven Colbert also shares this distinction.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wasted opportunity

Wherein Lima Ohio step it up and get in the game

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

69 69 69 69 69 69 69

Wherein Duuuuuuuude

  1. (a) An attitude of insouciant ennui (b) Kyoto treaty (c) Oprah's best life ever

  2. Heath Ledger and Patrick Swayze

  3. whales, etc....ummmm...cetaceans

  4. I never knew that

  5. Probably Europe, just don't ask me when

  6. 1999

  7. No idea, but this is fascinating: In 1942, the Government of Canada's Victory Loan Campaign staged a mock Nazi invasion of Winnipeg to increase awareness of the stakes of the war in Europe.[30] The very realistic invasion included Nazi aircraft and troops overwhelming Canadian forces within the city. Air raid sirens sounded and the city was blacked out. The event was covered by North American media and featured in the film "If Day".

Saturday, October 03, 2009

From "The Sound of Building Coffins"

Wherein by Louis Maistros

One of the most fascinating -- lyrical and magical, filled with beauty and portent on every page -- books I've read in a long, long time. Get this book.

Short quote from chapter 1(you can read the full chapter here):
>Typhus Morningstar was only nine years old, but older of eye.

Old enough to have suffered some, but young enough to know there are easy solutions to most types of suffering; solutions not too difficult to grasp and quick enough to be done with if a person had half a mind to. Typhus often considered the possibility that when a boy or a girl reached a certain age of maturity (or reached a certain physical height) that simplicity itself became a thing not to be trusted. Pain for grownups is easy enough to feel -- their problem lies in the whys, hows and what-nows that always accompany such pain. Simple questions are bound to yield simple answers, but also; a thing too easy often feels like a trick. Typhus hoped never to reach the age (or height) of a person who could only trust the harder, more complex ways of handling life's trials.

Next one bits and pieces from chapter 14. This, about as well as anything, explains the book.
>Some folks turn away from God because he won't answer a peep when they ask him questions through diligent and heartfelt praying and such. He quiet as a mouse, that ol' God, when the prayers come out -- almost like he ain't there. Well, maybe, just maybe, that's on accounta God waiting on us to answer a few of his own questions first. Bet you never even thought of that, eh? [...]

Try and think about God before he made the world. Before he amde saints and the angels and the puppies and the gators and the babies and the mothers. When all he had to mess with was planets and stars and moons made out of cold dirt and hellfire. Try to think of God as just a regular fella in that situation.

Now then. I bet you thinking he was powerful lonely.

He warn't lonely, sister. No, ma'am, he didn't know to be lonely. Before you can get lonely you have to miss someone, and if you're all there is and ever was then you never get the chance to pine -- or imagine the pining.

But God's a smart feller and had plenty of time to think about all kinds of things out there in the universe all by himself with nothing to do except making stars and moons and swirlin' dirt. And I imagine somewhere down the line he mighta thought, "What if?" [...]

When a creature is so utterly alone in the universe, such a creature got no use for right and wrong, good and bad....So right and wrong never occurred to God just as wings never occur to catfish in a river.

But when God got to thinking about the possibility of maybe not being so alone, then the idea of right and wrong logically sprung to mind -- like the idea of wings might spring to the mind of a catfish plucked from the river and thrown up in the air. These earliest thoughts of morality didn't digest easily, though -- for God had no way of knowing what morality might mean except in theory. I suppose this notion might've seemed more interesting than stars and moons and swirlin' dirt, so he hunkered down to business and threw some flesh and blood into the mix.[...]

And this thing that he put into our hearts might've been our very reason for being -- the inner knowledge in each and every one of us about the difference between right and wrong. And the power to act on this knowledge in a meaningful way.

Y'see, little sister, God ain't a naturally moral being because he got no use for morality. It don't apply to his personal situation. But questions do arise and answers do beckon.[...]

God is learning from us, little sister. Giving us free will and waiting to see what we do with it. He don't give us no details, because the tellin' would taint the answers. He needs us to be straight up with him about this stuff. He don't even come right uot and admit to being there, don't even supply us with proof-positive of his very existence. Just give us enough smarts to recognize the possibility, then let us ponder it out on our own. Folks call that sort of pondering "faith." Nothing wrong with that becuase, truthfully, it don't make a licka difference.

The problem of morality is something that God is inclined to know about, but only learn from creatures with a need for it. So we must oblige. We've got to do our very best to show God what's right....

When I read this chapter I hear the actor Andre Braugher's voice in the part.