October 30, 2004

She who loves bees



Tori Amos is releasing a new record on Feb 22. Here's a classic Tori quote from Billboard, which one imagines was delivered in a soft whisper with dramatic pauses and widening of the eyes:

The Beekeeper is musically inspired by the fact that the piano has realized that she has an organ," Amos says. "With my right hand on her organ and my left hand on her piano keys, I have been changed by the relationship between these two beautiful creatures, the Bosendorfer piano and the B3 Hammond organ.
click pic to enlarge

October 29, 2004

Moz Rocks The Vote!


Moz is urging people to vote for John Kerry. Not exactly a shocker is it?

Halloween Costume Idea #1: Sparky at Abu Ghraib


Isn't this just precious? Your child can dress as one of the most iconic images of the war. What would really be good is if someone else's little boy put on a Private's uniform and danced the Lynndie around this child. the link

Halloween Costume Idea #2: Retired Hooters Waitress!


This image (click to enlarge) frightened a colleague of mine who though it was real old ladies. I told him, "Do not be afraid - it's just pantyhose and fiberfill!"

October 28, 2004

Quote of the Week: George W. Bush

Here is a zinger from the Asshole In Chief, said yesterday, 10/27/04:

"A political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as your commander in chief."

How much more desperate can this man get? When John Kerry wins this election, history books will bring up that fine example of projection again and again...

Read the quote in a report here.

UPDATED at 10:15am: 100 Reasons to Get Rid of Bush, courtesy of The Nation: html or PDF

What I'm playin'

I have been saving a few to comment on:

Depeche Mode "Halo" (Goldfrapp's glorious remix) sample (MP3)
Take a good song and make it radically gorgeous. It is my opinion that Goldfrapp is a melding of Madonna and Bjork in one act...Alison Goldfrapp will seek world domination very soon.

Queen Latifah's version of "Lush Life" listen to a sample on this page
This was used years ago, according to the Doyanne, in "Living Out Loud" and it makes an appearance on her new jazzy Dana Owens CD. Played this one over and over yesterday at work....

Trashcan Sinatras "Trouble Sleeping" sample
Lyrical equivalent of a British murder mystery in a placid little town. Begins as trad folkie pop but turns into a late 60's Jimmy Webb (refer to Glen Campbell) homage.

and two I sadly cannot sample:
Seal "Love's Divine" Passengerz Radio Mix
A 2003 song -I just discovered this mellow remix. Lovely! Got it on itunes, which has almost everything Seal has ever recorded. Listen to this instead of his stupid new cover of "Walk On By."

Scissor Sisters "Mary" JunkieXL Radio Mix
Mellow yet urgent, eliminating the Floydian prog rock element of the original arrangement. The single is backed, btw, by their twangy acoustic version of Franz Ferdinand's new classic "Take Me Out" One hot band on top of another...

When we go shopping...

this is how Bitchin' Gwen looks.

Click to see a ginormous version of this picture

October 27, 2004

"Strong Titney!"



The photo above is the actual Mrs. Federline Greatest Hits cover. Who is managing this minge? Does her insanity extend to every aspect of her life and career? (I am not even touching the irony of her covering Bobby Brown) What's with the feathery fur and Phyllis Diller hair? Doesn't it look as if the body is not hers? She is far too sausagey to have a torso that long or legs like that. Strangely, her boobs look too small. That's a first! And please look at the shiny legs: is this actually a Barbie doll body?

Whatevah, homegirl, it don't matter. The far superior cover is the one created by the brilliant PopJustice, shown further down. That cover truly captures Titney Spears in this time, the September of her career...

Toxic.



WARNING: The Surgeon General of The United States has determined that listening to Ms. Spears may result in genital warts.

Guest review! Joanna sees Loretta!


It's my first Cameo Blogger, Joanna, with her picture and comments on the Loretta Lynn concert last week in Atlanta:

She was everything I knew she would be and 100x more!! It was so great!!! She was so funny and fabulous. Her assistant Tim makes all her dresses - she wore this fantastic "Loretta" dress - the same as the one on the Van Lear Rose album cover except in red.

This venue we went to is way out in the country on someone's farm. You park in the grass and sit on folding chairs on sawdust. It only seats about 500 people so there is not a bad seat. During the first three songs you are allowed to line up in the middle aisle and go up to the stage and take pics and give gifts to the artist. That's how we got the great pic of her.

She told people to call out what they wanted to hear and she played a lot of it. Of course she ended with "Coal Miner's Daughter". The best part was she was so conversational. You never felt like it was the same shtick you would hear at all her shows. She is such a hoot! I know I can't stop gushing but seriously, she was so amazing. She is 70 years old!! Saturday night was a dream realized for me. I just adore her and she did not disappoint.


"Portland, Oregon and sloe gin fizz, if that ain't love then tell me what is!" - Miss Loretta and Jack White

October 26, 2004

Rufus Gift Basket



Rufus Wainwright goodies:

14th Street Live at the Fillmore
From his
new DVD - note that Jeff Buckley's drummer Matt Johnson is in this.

I Don't Know What It Is Live at the Fillmore
on this Amazon
page midway down

Tracklist for Want Two and the DVD

Rufus interview on CNN, September 2003
High speed or Cheap-ass speed

yes, that IS Rufus above...

October 25, 2004

Bitchin' Gwen gets even with Gavin

by shaving her eyebrows

Not For Esther Haters


In 1992, when Madonna was at a bit of a fever pitch, she recorded this long and somewhat idiotic PSA urging people to vote. Before Esther was a PEL (Proper Enlgish Lady), she seemed to enjoy channeling her friend Debi Mazar's voice and mannerisms. If you watch this (about 8.4M), you'll see what I mean.

Most of it seems improvised - it's not exactly sharp. The only part I really laughed at is the end, when she goes to pick and outfit and says, "Ick no! That looks like something Cher would vote in."

File courtsey of Madonnalicious

Those divine Bavarians


The Divine Comedy have a new online EP you can download. I have used the service, 7 Doigital , a number of times with not too much drama. The Bavarian EP has 3 live orchestral songs: No One Knows, Three Sisters and Our Mutual Friend, all live. (the first one is a Queens Of The Stone Age cover, btw). Ya want it? It's about $4 and you can find it here.

I broke John Frusciante's nose in a fistfight.


John Frusciante has just released his fifth album this year, Inside Of Emptiness, with two more to follow. He has also turned into a raging geek, as you can see from the picture above. Do you think it is just a disguise? I wish that, once he finishes these special CDs, he would pick the best songs and record them properly. I would rather have one great album than six "eh" ones. He needs a proper follow-up to the amazing Shadows Collide With People - the first record I wrote about on this blog.

John's website

Ashleegate

You can watch/hear the fiasco here. So embarrassing. According to some people on the Velvet Rope, the fault probably lies with the drummer for pressing the wrong song on a "DAT" machine. That doesn't negate the fatc she was going to lipsync on SNL.

Best comment on the Velvet Rope about this (by "Tomars"): Y'know I can't help but feel a little sorry for her. This kinda stuff hits shallow/2-d people really hard

The biggest question is not about Ashlee Simpson (don't you hate that spelling?), who will be a distant memory in a few years. It's how SNL ended up at this point. Didn't they use dot have performers like Elvis Costello and Patti Smith? How have they sunk so low? One would assume it is the power of Ashlee's daddy/manager combined with a dire change in demographics and Lorne Michael's craven sell-out tendencies. Whatevah, it will probably be the only funny moment on SNL this year.


October 22, 2004

Do you have anything else you want to share, Gavin?


Poor Bitchin' Gwen. Hope she isn't too mad with Gavin for having a FIFTEEN YEAR OLD daughter? Maybe she should just come stay in Arlington? Anyhoo, here are the details of Love Angel Music Baby (that's LAMB to those in the know, like me)...

1. What You Waiting For
Produced by Nellee Hooper; Co-written with Linda Perry
2. Rich Girl
featuring Eve Produced by Dr Dre
3. Hollaback Girl
Co-written and produced by The Neptunes
4. Cool
Co-written and produced by Dallas Austin
5. Bubble Pop Electric
Co-written and produced by Andre 3000 (Johnny Vulture)
6. Luxurious
Co-produced by Nellee Hooper and Tony Kanal; Co-written with Tony Kanal
7. Harajuku Girls
Co-written and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
8. Crash
Co-written and produced by Tony Kanal
9. Real Thing
Co-written with Linda Perry; Intro performed by Wendy and Lisa from Prince's
old band; Bass performed by Peter Hook from New Order; Backing Vocals from Bernard Sumner of New Order
10. Serious
Co-written and produced by Tony Kanal
11. Danger Zone
Produced by Nellee Hooper and Dallas Austin; Co-written with Linda Perry and
Dallas Austin
12. Long Way To Go
Co-written and performed by Andre 3000

The REAL Love Angel Music Baby


Our friend and colleague Cosette just had a baby that is so cute I may eat her if I get too close. Her name is as pretty as she is: Isabella. Click pic to enlarge

Words to live by

Lots of people post song lyrics on their blogs, so I am going to do that today too. It's a cool, overcast October day and these days always remind me of my friend Rudy Miller, who died at a young age in 1994. Rudy used to quote this song liberally. He was right that the stanza in white is genius, as is every line of "Hejira" by Joni Mitchell. This is one of the wisest songs ever written (and that's no hyperbole).

HEJIRA Joni Mitchell

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away

There's comfort in melancholy
When there's no need to explain
It's just as natural as the weather
In this moody sky today

In our possessive coupling
So much could not be expressed
So now I'm returning to myself
These things that you and I suppressed

I see something of myself in everyone
Just at this moment of the world
As snow gathers like bolts of lace
Waltzing on a ballroom girl

You know it never has been easy
Whether you do or you do not resign
Whether you travel the breadth of extremities
Or stick to some straighter line

Now here's a man and a woman sitting on a rock
They're either going to thaw out or freeze
Listen...strains of Benny Goodman
Coming thru' the snow and the pinewood trees

I'm porous with travel fever
But you know I'm so glad to be on my own
Still somehow the slightest touch of a stranger
Can set up trembling in my bones

I know - no one's going to show me everything
We all come and go unknown
Each so deep and superficial
Between the forceps and the stone

Well I looked at the granite markers
Those tributes to finality - to eternity
And then I looked at myself here
Chicken scratching for my immortality

In the church they light the candles
And the wax rolls down like tears
There's the hope and the hopelessness
I've witnessed thirty years

We're only particles of change I know, I know
Orbiting around the sun
But how can I have that point of view
When I'm always bound and tied to someone

White flags of winter chimneys
Waving truce against the moon
In the mirrors of a modern bank
From the window of a hotel room

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
Until love sucks me back that way

October 21, 2004

Who is it that gave you back your crown?



A few days ago I mentioned the new Bjork single Who Is It. Now you can see the kooky new video here. The treatment for this one seems to be: Bjork hooks up on a black sand beach with a gaggle of Teletubbies dressed as Pearly Kings. And, oh yeah, the remix will be performed by a bell choir.

God bless Bjork.

Isn't she the new Donna Summer?


Check out the Kelis video for Millionaire, her collaboration with Andre 3000. This is a GREAT song - was a favorite of mine in January.

October 20, 2004

Do you love bees

like I love bees? This is what it sounds like when one of your friends jumps reality and becomes a game character: here. click on Live Calls (Delta Version)

More about I Love Bees

Gwendolyn gets her a kid


Why is Bitchin' Gwen posing in such a fashion? Is she retaliating because she just found out that she is the stepmama of a fifteen year old model?

Off topic quote

From a professor I am dealing with in Nanjing China - he is teaching a class to the Chinese on the American electoral process.

"I'm finding this election is treating me just like the Red Sox treat their fans: give them just enough hope to break their hearts."

So what if I like pretty things



You've gotta hand it to Rufus Wainwright. The guy has got major cajones. His new CD (Want Two... want two what?) features him in DRAG on the cover. Or pre-Raphaelite drag.

Fans on his messageboard, who hysterically overanalyze everything, have smartly alluded to David Bowie's penchant for bold /shocking album covers and this one is in that vein. Did Rufus decide WalMart would not sell the record anyway, since it features a song about giving Jesus a blowjob? I saw the .jpg posted a few days ago and assumed a fan had done a mock cover with a famous painting, but noooo, this is actually the cover.

October 19, 2004

Who is it?



My favorite goony pixie of course. Bjork has a cool new minisite for her single Who Is It, which I LOVE LOVE LOVE. This song is perhaps the most accessible and Bjorkian of all the songs on her new Medulla CD - it's totally uplifting.

Jason took this photo that I love while he was in London for work. Can you believe it? London for WORK!? He is a freakin' librarian... I need to get in on this action. It's all too glamorous.

Off topic: "voting" begins

Look! It's Florida's electronic ballot!

Marc Almond hurt


Bad news yesterday that Marc Almond has been seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident. He was a passenger on a bike that was hit by a car in London and he went flying. He is last listed as stable, but who knows what that means?

Marc's career has actually been going really well. He consistently releases CDs and, while they are not perfect, all of the recent ones have had some real gems on them. Most people know him from "Tainted Love" - but his own writing is much better. Tenement Symphony is, in fact a masterpiece. Finding samples online for Marc is hard, though you can hear some of his latest incarnation as a Russian chanteuse.

I hope he recovers! More news from the Beeb. Marc has a great website and you can even write him a get well message here.

October 14, 2004

Off Topic: O'Reilly's going down (and not like he wanted)

I am beside myself with giddiness over the potential public embarrassment / downfall of Bill O'Reilly. Gawker.com has funny coverage and links here. A sample of one of Bill's phone calls to the woman (please, God, I will be a little angel for at least a week if you air this phone call in the media!):

I would take the other hand with the felafel (sic) thing and I would put it on your pussy.... just kind of a tease business..."

Note that he means loofah, not felafel! That last "business" phrase is so Bill O'Reilly; he so said that and he is going down...

In related news, sorta-not-quite, the Slate Election Scorecard is so close that I can't take it. This link may not hold - it could change from day to day - but you can find the Scorecard in the Campaign Tab on their navbar. Anyway, I'm going to have to be sedated that night...or just sit on the floor by the toilet waiting to puke from the tension.

Requisite Bitchin' Gwen photo


The week wouldn't be complete without a new picture our girl Gwendolyn.

Oh. Dear.


What are they thinking? Could this be any more 90's Ghetto?

American Music Club


I think I may be ovah Mark Eitzel, but I thought I'd post this anyway, if only to comment of the fugly situation with his sweater and belt - what is that belt buckled around? Anyway, American Music Club have a new CD. Is it More Of The Same? Probably, but I haven't bothered to play the MP3's on their webpage. Here is an article about their current CD and whatnot...

October 13, 2004

Check out the new song by Stars, one of my favorite groups. They have a new CD out in Canada, which took me completely by surprise (the CD, not Canada, which never took anyone by surpise!). Here is a link for a free download to the single "Ageless Beauty." More on the new album next week.

Warning: the download is exceedingly slow. I am on a warp speed network and a 2M file took 30 minutes. Maybe the indie label has a 28 modem or something!?

I'm so happy now, I can hardly stand...



Today I received my 20th Anniversary Deluxe edition of Lloyd Cole and The Commotions Rattlesnakes. 18 extra tracks and a fab booklet. It even has a sheath! I am a happy fan, even if I never really play the extras that much (doesn't that always happen?).

For those who follow Lloyd, the Commotions are reuniting as we blog in the UK for a few shows before they go back to their day jobs. The London show is Friday night: anyone up for a quick trip? (Jim C. is, one would guess) Here are a few tidbits:

  1. Interview from Dublin's Event Guide here
  2. Article from the Herald in Glasgow here
  3. LLoyd's fabulous new blog-centric website
  4. Samples of songs here
  5. The fact that I know who Lloyd is at all is because of she-goddess Laurie Usery Morrissey, who made me a mix tape 20 years ago. Credit where credit is due, Laurie was a very literate and au courant teen.

Please note my post of a few weeks ago with a very similar picture of a much younger Lloyd.

Off topic: Shelby at the pumpkin patch!


Need I say more? Click to enlarge photo. Read more here.

WWBGD

What Would Bitchin' Gwen Do? She'd buy one of these Hifi bags that Lisa N. has been rockin' (now don't I sound like I should go into sales? I would finally be rich). Anyway, Lisa has one of the totes with The Clash's London Calling. If you get a custom-made one, by sending in albums of your choice, you can have two front covers.

Not sure if these are exactly copyright friendly, but that's not your problem right? Just you wait for these to show up in the little market section of US Magazine when fucking Ashlee Simpson starts running around with a Fugazi one because she is such a fucking punk. If I were to carry one, which I probably won't, it might have the above Grace Jones CD cover, which I put on the wall of my first apt.

October 12, 2004

Catching up with Titney...

Go Fug Yourself have topped themselves with another brilliant Titney Spears post...

Dancing on the valentine


Today Duran Duran releases Astronaut, which is technically their first new studio CD (with the original line-up) in 21 years! Since you most likely cannot celebrate by fucking a nubile body-painted girl on a long phallic yacht in the Mediterranean, perhaps you could sit in your cubicle and watch their "Astronaut" 10-minute electronic press kit? The rockin' Duran Duran Italy site has it - just scroll down a bit - they also provided the cool image seen above (click to enlarge, you dirty birds!).

Note that I take back what I said about Roger Taylor looking bad ("Ragged Roger"?) - he actually looks the best of all of them in this particular set of interviews. Samples of the album are now up at Amazon - check out the super-catchy title track, the mega-anthem "What Happens Tomorrow" and "Nice," which sounds like it was recorded for Ragged Tiger. "Bedroom Toys" is sucky and scary - must be one of the Nile Rodgers tracks.

Excellent Keane fan site


Keane fans should check out this Keane website. It has tons of articles, pictures and other goodies. For something fascinating, check out a very old version of This Is The Last Time. The video's dull, but the arrnagement is completely different. Broadband or 56 Modem Here also is the Somewhere Only We Know video, much better than the US version. Broadband or Modem

For Anne: Your very own Rock Hobbit!


Keane's Tom Chaplin

Stressed?

Maybe you should pop some bubble wrap.

October 8, 2004


It's only a few days until the new Duran Duran album. I can't find any samples online, but here is an article from Entertainment Weekly.

PS If you go to Getty Images and search on them, you will see some hideous photos! They have aged in a big way, particularly Roger Taylor. Where are the Nip/Tuck boys when you need them?

Review: Tom Baxter's Feather & Stone



I woke up at 5am and my blankets were up near my head, not just covering my head, but all pulled up, so my feet were exposed. ?! What happened? So at 5am I was awake and playing this Tom Baxter record one more time. If Jeff Buckley (JB) were alive today, I am not sure Tom Baxter (TB) would have been signed; he is the most Buckley-esque of all the post-Memphis-drowning clones and I will cast this review of Feather & Stone against JB. It can't be avoided.

Usually the vocal link to JB is a white boy who would sound comfortable singing Nina Simone, soulful on the low notes, but with an angelic range. In this case, it's not so much high notes as a certain tightness and gurgle in his voice that is pure JB. The lyrics and arrangements veer closer to Shawn Colvin or David Gray. Sweet songs like This Boy, The Moon & Me and All Comes True are jaunty and memorable, if a bit lacking in originality.

Don't Let Go, however, is off-putting in its JB wantonness, but the urgent piano arrangement is the saving grace (pun intended). The final ballad, Scorpio Boy, loses me with this hammy whispered opening line: "When I was young, my mama told me.."

Let me congratulate Baxter and his peoples for putting out a debut album with ten songs. Thank you! This record is consistent enough and brief enough that I am able to understand who he is, or is not, as it were. The 15-song CD is a peeve I lament over again and again on this blog. Feather & Stone isn't too much to absorb. This one is a UK only release, but you can get it for a better price on Amazon Marketplace (US).

Tom Baxter Song Sampler

October 7, 2004

This week in Bitchin' Gwen!



Look at your watch now!
You're still a super hot female!
You got your million dollar contract
And they're all waiting for your hot track!


Listen to the kick-ass "What You Waiting For" (Windows Media)

This week on "When Fans Attack"

Should REM break up?

October 6, 2004

There isn't much music news that inspires me today. The REM album is so wan that I have decided not to buy it and just grab a few tracks on itunes. I felt the same way about the Client CDI crowed about awhile back. I ended up buying 5 songs, but skipping the CD itself.

I DO have one song recommendation: the new Supergrass single "Kiss Of Life" - a delicious Talking Heads homage that kicks some ass. Put it on in your car and you will feel very cool. Brief sample on this page.

In lieu of any music comments (and having very little to contribute regarding last night's debate), I will post a picture of something I would like to pop in my mouth right now:


This beauty was made by the Cupcake Cafe on 39th St in Manhattan, but I won't link to them because the cupcakes actually taste like bricks! You are better served going downtown and waiting in line at Magnolia Bakery. (link) You may stand in line behind Pharrel Williams or SJP, so that's no problem. For DC readers, I have found that CakeLove is not so lovely. They might try using ingredients with some flavor! In this town you are better served coming to my house for a sweet.

Rodney Dangerfeld joke

"I went to the proctologist. He stuck his finger in my mouth."

October 5, 2004

Return of the Manics


Reasons to lend Manic Street Preachers your ear:

1) They wrote one of the Top Ten Finest Songs of the 1990's, called "A Design For Life" - it opened with the line "Libraries gave us power." This song is the definition of sweeping.

2) We like underdogs. Manic Street Preachers should have died when their frontman disapperared, but they didn't and the songs just got better.

3) I personally don't love their albums, just key singles that are frequently doozies, not to mention some of the best titled songs in pop music:
Motorcycle Emptiness
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)
You Stole The Sun From My Heart
The Masses Against The Classes

Motown Junk
samples of each here

4) They have a new single called "The Love Of Richard Nixon" (see the video) and a new album called Lifeblood. Interestingly this one is supposed to be "elegaic" and calm.

5) They are Welsh and from Cardiff, a place of personal import to me! Read a great interview with MSP in The Guardian here.

In which XO falls in love


It's true that I am getting married and here is my lovely bride.

pic courtesy of World Of Wonder

October 4, 2004

Off-topic: Joan Collins recommends....


It's late in the evening and what is that noise you hear in your neighborhood in suburban Wyckoff (aka Whack-off), New Jersey? It's a hearty guffaw being belted by Joan Collins, who sits in her easy chair reading The Dick Cheney Code, a spoof of The DaVinci Code. Yes, the real Joan Collins loves this book: Joan Collins, subtly hip "mater" of Jim.

I had never heard of this book until today! Note that there are tons of cheap used copies in Amazon Marketplace. Just in time for the debate on Tuesday night, during which I hope Dickhead Cheney finally peels off the crooked mask to reveal an oozing, pustule-laden face of Lucifer. It would be so very South Park, wouldn't it?

October 1, 2004

A kissing competition


Morrissey is just about to release his new single, the many-times-aforementioned "Let Me Kiss You." Check out the 3 new b-sides on this sampler.

There are also 3 new songs on the upcoming re-release (with a "tacky badge"?) of You Are The Quarry. They are "Slum Mums", "I'm Playing Easy To Get" & "No One Can Hold A Candle To You." Once these are released you are talking about a second album's worth of tracks (12 total non-album tracks). Ahhh, to be a fan!

This version of the CD is coming out in the UK with a new cover and booklet and a DVD that probably won't play here (poppycock!) with these videos: "Irish Blood, English Heart", "First Of The Gang To Die" & "Let Me Kiss You (Live On Jools Holland)."


Meanwhile Fancy Nancy Sinatra releases her own version of "Let Me Kiss You." Take a gander at Nance with the Hives above! Her website also has pix of her with Ewan MacGregor and Huge Jackman in the news section. The new CD is out now and it is cool...low down cool. Let Me Kiss You remains my favorite. Hear some other samples now!

My heart is open Nancy
My heart is open to you

John Kerry Kicks Ass

Courtesy of Erika: VH1's Jesse Klein provided this blog during the debate and CNN published it here.