January 31, 2005

Chop chop


Bitchin' Gwen's hair fell out so she had to get her hair did in a different style. Try Peter Pan style.

In praise of: Vanity 6



Imagine if u're favorite artist were to record an album and just add different voices on2 it. Prince did this over and over in the 1980’s. He probably released 10 albums, within 2 or 3 years, using other artists and production pseudonyms like Jamie Starr and Joey Coco. The finest of these, with the exception of Sheila E’s debut, was the only record by Vanity 6.

Prince had wanted to call lead singer Denise Matthews "Vagina" but she demurred. Then they were briefly called Vanity and The Hookers, before they became Vanity 6 (the 6 in their name was rumored to be a nipple count). There were 3 girls: Vanity (the hot mixed-race tigress; now born-again), Susan Moonsie (the not-quite-as-hot “middle sister” who had a child/woman thing happening) and my fave, the rough-neck, bitched-out white lady named Brenda Bennett (sort of the Mick Mars figure of the group?).

The record, out in 1982, was lean with only 8 songs and no filler – or no bad filler. Prince wrote much of it with some contributions from the players, The Time. Most people don’t realize there were 4 singles from this album. Vanity 6, the album, would continue to sell MEGA if Prince remastered it. If I could link to these tracks, believe me I would.

Let’s review the songs, shall we?

1 Nasty Girl [5:10]
Their great classic with the nasty, dick-lovin' spoken word breakdown in the middle: "That's right, I can't control it / I need 7 inches or more / 2 night, I can no longer hold it / Get it up, get it up / I can't wait anymore!" This is one of the few tracks you can get on CD, via the Girl 6 soundtrack. Hear a
sample.

2 Wet Dream [4:12]
I would like 2 announce on the Internet that I, unlike some men, actually had a few of these as a kid and I remember them! Woohoo! TMI? I digress. "U're the star of my wet dream." More lyrics
here.

3 Drive Me Wild [2:31]
Post “Little Red Corvette” woman-as-car motif. U remember this because it was basically these lines over and over:
"C’mon baby do it / Drive me wild / Do it baby / Drive me wild."

4 He's So Dull
[2:32]
“He's so dull, still livin' with his mother" A precursor to No Scrubs doncha think? This was their anti-girl group number and their first single.

5 If a Girl Answers (Don't Hang Up) [5:34]
Another classic, this one is (I suspect) a fave of some of my readers. U know who u r. This one’s a "rap" in which Vanity calls her boyfriend’s house and spars with his mistress (played by Prince, all sped up and sounding like
LaWanda Page). Sample lyric: "There's 2 things we can't stand / One is a jive talk man / The other's a jive talk man / with no money.”

6 Make-Up [2:40]
Minimalist lyrics with this kicker: “If I wear a dress / He will never call / So I'll wear much less / I guess I'll wear my camisole.”

7 Bite the Beat [3:12]
Their new wave number! “It tastes like caviar.” Indeed! Sung by Brenda, the one who could really sing – she contributed to Sheila E’s debut album.

8 3 X 2 = 6 [5:24]
I don’t remember this one - do u? A ballad maybe...

Vanity 6 only completed one album. Vanity wigged out and left just before what would have been her big screen debut in Purple Rain. That part and the second CD ended up in the clutches of Apollonia, with Brenda and Susan still on board. Their record had some decent tracks (Sex Shooter and Blue Limousine), but it was nothing to write home about.*

Why is it that these sex goddess/bimbo types always become religious zealots later in life? Guilt? Rebellion against youth? Denise Matthews, reclaim the power and just accept Vanity as a part of your past. It was not all bad. The music you produced was wicked cool, fun, and funny, at least on that album. We need u. We want u.

*I also want 2 see Apollonia 6, Jill Jones and the BRILLIANT Family album on CD. The Family were the group, by the way, that first recorded Nothing Compares 2 U.


After Vanity left, she went on to make a few poor, dildo/vibrator-obsessed solo albums and had an undergound hit with a song called Pretty Mess that should have been covered by some sleaze, post-Monica Lewinsky: "You left such a pretty mess on my dress."

Details about
this album.

January 28, 2005

Various titbits

Living in a material world
Check out the opening page on Madonna.com for an 80's memory. Or should I say mammary?

David LaChapelle's Blind Item
The photographer, fresh from the slammer, is interviewed on Salon and has this blind item:

There was this one music video with such a spoiled pop star, just someone who had changed so much since when I first met them. Just being treated so ... [Pauses.] It was just bizarre, coming from a place where you have autonomy and you're working on this film, to be suddenly working with somebody who really is not that great of an artist, to put it bluntly, but who thinks that they're this great artist. And you have to humor them, "Yeah, you know, you're great."

Who might it be?! It would seem to be something recent, given the clues. Is it Joss Stone, Norah Jones, who?

Just because I want to
I will post Bree Walker's before and after plastic surgery shots. ha ha ha ha ha! That is so funny it makes me pee a little! Bree is the woman, by the way, who is a newscaster despite (or because of) having wonky hands. I really don't know why wonky hands would matter to a newscaster anyway? You may remember her from the 90's when there were less deformed people on Earth and this kind of thing was news. While you are looking, check out Rick Springfield. ha ha ha ha ha!

Ryan's baaaack

Mr. Parker Posey - I mean Ryan Adams - is releasing THREE ALBUMS in 2005! Here are the details:

29 produced by Ethan Johns
Jacksonville produced by Thomas Schick

and the first one out, on April 19:

Cold Roses by Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
DOUBLE CD produced by Thomas Schick

Ryan's website. I just hope he's washed his hair and had his teeth whitened this time around...


Thanks to my troll-in-the-field Jim C for alerting me!

January 27, 2005

What I am lovin' this week

Ben Watt featuring Estelle: Pop A Cap In Yo Ass
Really innovative. Ironic title. Estelle’s spoken narrative (in a THICK accent) over a lean groove that you can tell is Ben Watt. Hear it (at bottom of page) and Read it

Doves: Black And White Town
Jangly, noisy return single. Supposedly one of the records of the year, even before January has ended. More council estate life (that's public housing, trolls) in the video.
See it

Magnetic Fields: I Thought You Were My Boyfriend
For the lovelorn or forlorn, this is a remix that I got on itunes. It’s hilarious because it’s the deep droll voice of Stephen Merritt, who I know most as a songwriter, in a Depeche Mode-ish environment. He should do a whole album of this! It's very fag moderne. Hear it at iTunes

Erasure: Lets Take One More Rocket To The Moon
Mid-tempo from their new CD Nightbird (is that Stevie Nicks reference?). Not much one can say about this: pedestrian lyrics, arrangement that could have been on their 1995 CD. Still, it adds up to sweetness and that is what I, the Bitched Out, need right now. Long live Andy Bell, I might add. Hear it

Josh Rouse: Streetlights

The other new song that leaked. A moody ballad with the hook like, While I wait for this record, which is so going to be the Record Of The Year (that's my Amazon Review Jim!), I am going back to listen to his early records. Hear it

Michael Buble: Home
I know. I know. Save the wheeze for last. I can't help it - this song channels the wankiest of Ronan Keating and mixes it up with a vaguely Procul Harum chorus about wanting to be home instead of in places like Paris and Rome. I think it goes like this: “Boo hooooo / I am blue / So alone / On my cellphone / Walking ahh-lone / On the Champs Elysees” No, not really. I dare to dig. Hear it

By the way, I did not like the Jimmy Somerville CD and am selling it now on Amazon.

We love dweebs

Kings Of Convenience, whose last CD, Riot On An Empty Street was favorite of 2004, has a fansite with live MP3s including some good covers (Cure, Tom Petty, etc). They will be appearing at IOTA in Arlington on Feb 5. We know they are cool because they are inviting the under-21 set to see their sound check, as this is a 21-and-over club. If you have not been to IOTA, it is tiny and intimate. I saw Divine Comedy there and it's the perfect setting for the hushed sounds of KOC.

January 26, 2005

Electric cooze



So... Debbie Gibson is posing for Playboy! What has the world come to? The best comment on the
Velvet Rope was this one:

I'm guessing it'll be similar to the Belinda Carlisle spread (no pun) which was decent enough for curious, aging Gen Xers, but not quite enough to go scrambling for the Kleenex box and Barry White 8-tracks.

The Culture of Charity, 2005

I don't care if Tears In Heaven was written for a dead toddler, the song SUCKS. (Hey, I have said much worse that is sending me to hell, so chill). Anyway, did you hear The Stars, whoever they might be, are recording this as a Charity Song for the tsunami victims? How fucking ridiculous and offensive. It'll be a big ol' wankfest where hypocritical rock stars show up in "subdued black and bling" and blather three words of the lyric in front of an Entertainment Tonight camera crew. There will be one of those unheeded Check Your Egos At The Door signs and plenty of "We are doing it for the children" blather. Yeah, Michael Jackson did it for the children too and look what happened! I for one do not need L'il Kim lecturing me on the necessity of philanthropy. Why doesn't she go over and give blowjobs to all the widowed men then?

To add insult to injury, Bitchin' Gwen is involved in this fiasco! For shame Gwendolyn, for shammmmme!

January 25, 2005

Let them eliminate each other.

This image was posted on a TRL Forum and I've been meaning to put it up here for days.

In praise of Stereogum

Stereogum is the source of all fab MP3s these days. Last week they gave us Josh Rouse. This week it's

Beck's Hell Yeah (I am not all over this like other people. Seems like a rehash to me.)
New Order's Krafty (Gee, who'd have known it was New Order!)
A Bright Eyes stream (Could that boy just go away? He is in EVERY magazine. He was taken off my list the minute he stuck his wick into Winona Ryder.)
Bjork's Triumph Of A Heart (Cat lovers note that her husband in this video is portrayed by a cat in wife-beater!)

Debbie Harry in Videodrome



"Take out your Swiss army knife and cut me heah... just a little"

So quotable! Watch Debbie here, in the insane 80's flick Videodrome, putting out a cigarette on her boob. Celeb trolls, please note her strange resemblance to Liz Hurley in that clip.

Below is the trailer...

FCC: The storm ain't over yet

If you are excited like Howard Stern about the resignation of FCC Chairmen and professional Republican patsy Michael Powell, don't get too excited. It is very likely that his replacement will be an even more obsessed "moral" advocate. The new CQ Weekly reports on one possible candidate:

Most feared by the entertainment business is the elevation of GOP Commissioner Kevin J. Martin; President Bush could make him chairman until 2006 without a Senate vote. “He’s way more of a firebrand than Powell when it comes to indecency,” one entertainment industry executive laments. “He’s more likely to add more rules that just enforce the ones already on the books.”...

Media lawyer Kathleen A. Kirby says that Martin and Democratic Commissioner Michael J. Copps have been the panel’s most strident critics of filth on the airwaves. “Powell himself wasn’t the driving force,” Kirby says. “He was under pressure from Congress, and had two vocal commissioners who were advocating a crackdown.” The FCC proposed $3.7 million in fines last year, up from $440,000 in 2003.


Please note Martin's resume, a shining example of political ugliness:

- Associate independent counsel under Ken Starr
- part of the Bush campaign’s 2000 election legal team in Florida
- Catherine Martin, his wife, served as the spokeswoman for Dick Cheney before becoming an economic adviser to the president

January 23, 2005

Storumus interruptus

Our so called blizzard wasn't so blizzardy. We got 4 inches and everyone knows I need 7 inches or more (I spot the musical reference!). It was pretty and did actually shut everything down at 2pm. It's okay, I'll bank a blizzard for a work day, not a Saturday! Today is bright, but super windy and 14 degrees, so the windchill is like minus 70. Methinks I will stay in again and play some tunes or something...

Some good reading: this blogger's take on George Bush's we-are-going-to-invade-all-of-you-inaugural-speech. Hell, even all the people on the McLaughlin Group branded it a half-assed piece of Utopian bullshit. Who knew Dubya could sound so much like an idealistic liberal. It all comes back around, doesn't it?

January 21, 2005

A few tasty tidbits

1) DOLLYMANIA: I just found this great new interview with Dolly Parton in The Guardian .

2) MARIA LIKES THIS: Beware of the yellow snow. A new game for you here.

3) EVIL ANNA WINTOUR FUCKED BOB MARLEY: It's true, the shacked up for a week! Read about it on Page Six. A sample: "She looked utterly worn out from her exertions with the rasta legend, but denied to friends she'd spent the week in Marley's bed."

4) TSUNAMI DONATIONS: The Amazon Tsunami link is still up, but the donations are slowing down. It's now at $15,584,821.47 representing 189,667 payments.

5) COLDPLAY SOUNDS LIKE KRAFTWERK? Apparently so. Read it at NME.

6) C-LO PLUMPTIOUS SHOCKER. Well, I saw it coming. Goldenfiddle.com says "SOMEBODY GET THIS WOMAN SOME DRUGS!!!"



January 20, 2005

Inaugural Day Blues

On this dark day in American history (cue menacing music), I will seek solace in this quote from Dan Savage:

"The Republicans have the federal government–for now. But we’ve got Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York City (Bloomberg is a Republican in name only), and every college town in the country. We’re everywhere any sane person wants to be. Let them have the shitholes, the Oklahomas, Wyomings, and Alabamas. We’ll take Manhattan."

- Dan Savage, 2004

January 19, 2005

Kate Bush #5


Kate fending off Republican partygoers. Maybe.

Quote of the Week

Simon Cowell, on France:

"We (the British) have hated the French for years. Now you (the United States) have just joined the club. It makes you much more likable."

he said it here

Dolly Parton is 59 today



Can you believe that Dolly Parton is 59 today? Gee, I wonder how she does it? Doesn't matter, because Dolly is a goddess and a national treasure! My favorite Dolly songs are "Jolene" and "Here You Come Again" which I thought, when I was a tyke, was a song about Jesus called "He'll Come Again". The line "lookin' better than a body has a right to" seemed a wee bit out of place to me even then!

Like the timely picture? That's her outfit called "Shock and Awe."

MWC alums read this!

Not really worth the time of anyone else:

U. of Mary Washington Police Hunt Author of Missive
Police officers at the University of Mary Washington hope to track down the author of an e-mail message, sent to about 4,000 students, that berated "all liberals, atheists, God-haters, gays, Europeans and Democrats" on the Virginia college's campus.


UPDATE: There is also this crazy website about Billy Germelmen, if you knew him. He was a military type. Apparently he is having affairs, etc.


I told you I was pissy

(note - read previous post first if you have not seen it)

Let me take a moment to go off on Condoleeza Rice, who had it coming in her confirmation hearings. This partisan patsy has no business being promoted to Secretary of State. She openly acknowledged that she didn't do her (current) job when she let others take the fall for the uranium tube incident, saying she was "unaware" of things going on around her. Luckily for her, the Bush admin. has a policy of rewarding failure, but now Condi has to face the squad outside Penn Ave. She is directly responsible for making Iraq into a squirming petri dish of armed terrorists.

Barbara Boxer spoke from the collective "id" yesterday in this exchange:

BOXER: Now, you rolled out the idea and then you had to convince the people as you made your case with the president. And I personally believe -- this is my personal view -- that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell this war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth. And I don't say it lightly. And I'm going to go into the documents that show your statements and the facts at the time....

I am giving their [the soldiers'] families, as we all are here, all the support they want and need. But I also will not shrink from questioning a war that was not built on the truth.

Now, perhaps the most well-known statement you've made was the one about Saddam Hussein launching a nuclear weapon on America with the image of quote, quoting you, "a mushroom cloud." That image had to frighten every American into believing that Saddam Hussein was on the verge of annihilating them if he was not stopped.

RICE: Senator, I have to say that I have never, ever lost respect for the truth in the service of anything. It is not my nature. It is not my character. And I would hope that we can have this conversation and discuss what happened before and what went on before and what I said, without impugning my credibility or my integrity...

But, Senator Boxer, we went to war, not because of aluminum tubes. We went to war because this was the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a man against whom we had gone to war before, who threatened his neighbors, who threatened our interests, who was one of the world's most brutal dictators and it was high time to get rid of him. And I'm glad that we're rid of him.

Boxer made it personal, so it's okay that Condi snapped back - at least she's straying from the cutesy "Americans will believe everything is peaches if you say it" script she has been handed by Karl Rove. Concern over Condi's use of words to scare Americans is worth bringing up before she heads off to represent the U.S. overseas. Yesterday she called tsunami "a wonderful opportunity for us" to show our good, caring side. A wonderful opportunity? It isn't wonderful at all - timely, maybe - wonderful NOT SO MUCH.

The fact is that Condi is a disappointment; there is an innate something in me that expects more from her because of all she had to do to get to where she is. White men have to work hard too, no doubt about it, but they don't face the invisible sea of racism/sexism that Condi has probably swam against at various points in her life. One cannot imagine she has much power over men like Cheney, Wolfowitz and "Rimsfeld" - which suggests that nothing will change - with Powell gone it will only get worse.

January 18, 2005

Wayyy off topic: Darwin Awards

Let me be personal for a moment: I am feeling chafed by a lot of things this week. In fact, I am turning into a mighty cunt! I just saw something on the nightly news that said that 61% of Americans do not believe in the theory of evolution – they believe in Creationism. 61%!! That is fine, believe what you want, but do not fucking sue your fucking school district so you can shove your fucking scary, punitive psuedo-Christian Lord Jesus Savior (who is saving only you apparently) down my throat. I was raised in the church (albeit a liberal Episcopal one) and I believe (I think) in God – hell, I even believe in angels - but I am truly drained by these whiny-ass conservatives and fundamentalists complaining about their rights being trampled. Why don’t they start a new country? Break off! Secede! Because I am not moving. Not budging one fucking inch! That’s your method and now it’s mine too. This is the new democracy and the liberals are gonna fuck you up!

I doubt many readers of this blog are big into Creationism. I would like to say I don’t want to offend anyone. But really, as I am surrounded on the streets of DC by spike-heeled, fur-wearing Republican zealots, I just don’t care this week. Expect more filth.

Rock and roll babe: Still hot



Tori Amos, from The Beekeeper artwork

Debbie Harry #5



"Lips close, then blossom like a rose"

I suspect this is early 1990's

When my gift unfurls...


"You are Lucky Lisp! You are destined to sit back and watch all others around you succeed in life. You long to be up there with them, but probably never will be. "


This is what the Morrissey Song Quiz told me - which Morrissey song are you?

This website comes courtesy of Varant!

January 17, 2005

Shake your moneymaker!


I highly recommend that anyone who likes Scissor Sisters get the new DVD "We Are Scissor Sisters and So Are You." I never realized how pretty and fabulous Ana Matronic is, or how she contributes vocally. Much of my fave song by them, "Filthy Gorgeous," is actually sung by Ana. I paid $10 for a DVD that has:

- A concert in Brighton, England
- 4 of their videos
- 2 documentaries (including footage of their earliest performances)
- Some funny menu backgrounds
- Jake reciting (by heart!) Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" in a park
- Appearance by Kylie, Simon LeBon and a very old looking Bono (who clearly has white hair under that color)
- Jake performing "Music Is The Victim" in nothing but a frequently falling towel
and of course...
- Jake nude and putting on a costume as the "egg"

You can take the boy out of go-go....

Some off-topic comments

George Bush
He gets inaugurated again this week and he’s fucking up the streets of DC with his Celebration Of (Imperial) Democracy! Isn’t it wartime? Wasn’t there a tsunami? Do we need to have a garish display of wealth and self-congratulation? Fortunately, for the Republican wives, the weather is COLD again, so they can bring out their minks. Maybe they can donate those coats so that DC can replenish its homeland security kitty, since the White House is making them use that to pay for inaugural security. Fuckers.

Meanwhile, the President will enter his new term with his head firmly lodged up his crapper. He is the only person in America to think everything is peachy. He’s laid out the election results and come to this offensive conclusion in the Sunday Post:

"We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections. The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me."

Golden Globes
Go Desperate Housewives! Even Nicollette Sheridan looked good! But I’d like to say I have no interest in the dreary movie by Clint Eastwood – the man just has to shit on paper and everybody runs to give him an award. I was also surprised the Closer awards, but whatever, I doubt that gang will make it to the podium at the Oscars. Which reminds me, I have heard the Julian McMahon (go Nip/Tuck!) is up for James Bond. Could be good, if a bit more of a Roger Moore kind of thing.

Concert of Hope
A somber suckfest (and not in the good way!). Annie Lennox looked and sounded great, but Madonna? Sheesh! "Imagine" is a good song that is overused (and not so perfect in theme for this). At this point, to pull it off well requires some kind of unique take or a really startling voice. Madonna's was not unique - it was workmanlike. Makeshift! When she's good she can be very moving, but this was more like a bad American Idol audition.

Iran
One final bit. Uber-journalist Seymore Hersh (who broke Abu Ghraib) is warning us that the Bush administration is planning to attack Iran next. Read it at CNN.

January 14, 2005

Josh Rouse deserves your precious time

How did I forget to put this on my favorite songs this week?

Josh Rouse "Winter In The Hamptons"
Absolutely sweeeeet the first time you play it. I defy you to say anything else because it's a cupcake of a song that you'll be singing along with in your car. You can hear it right now courtesy of Stereogum. They are right that it is vaguely Smithsy. This is the kind of thing Ryan Adams did so well in the past, but can't seem to pull off anymore.

A few comments about Mr. Rouse, who looks very much like the love child of Paul Rudd and Ellen DeGeneres. His last CD, 1972, was one of my favorites of 2003 and I cannot wait for the new one Nashville, due February 24th. Check out his website here. What do I notice?

1) There are TEN songs, thank you Jesus.
2) There is a song called "Middle School Frown" that I must hear stat!
3) The cover is so fab I want to buy the vinyl version.

I hope this post will turn someone else onto Josh. If you are doubtful, try to find his tracks "James" or "Comeback (Light Therapy)" from 1972 and you'll be converted. Here also is one other song from the new CD - this one a tinkly piece of loveliness called "Streetlights", delivered via a great blog called Scenestars (see their review of the disc) . These two new songs make me feel that he is an artist in the middle of one of those really fertile periods - he just keeps building. Lisa has loved him forever, but I was strangely not so into his old stuff.

If you haven't loved him before, you will start today...

Casey Spooner: Most Improved

Perhaps you may lovingly remember Casey from the interview where he said of Michael Stipe:
He could fuck the chrome off a bumper. He definitely fucked the shit out of me.
Casey before. He needed a lot of help and little diet:

Casey after. Although he's a bit of a fashionsita now, this is much better. ..

What I am listening to this week

"Godhopping" Dogs Die In Hot Cars
Nice name for a band, eh? Love the piano on this XTC ripoff. What are the saying?
"So we go to all the traffic and children / live far away / on the back of a big bus all the way to Bombay / When they go I am with them / but it won't be long / Godhopping for good times / when everything starts to go wrong."
Thanks to Lisa for the tip!
Windows Low or Windows High

"Sleeps With Butterflies" Tori Amos
Although a wee bit AOR-lite, the lyrics and piano are quite nice. One assumes the weird stuff won't make it to radio. Link to samples or a full version via her website toriamos.com - go to the News section. Meanwhile, Tori will be signing her book "Piece By Piece" on Thursday, March 17, at the DC Barnes & Noble in Georgetown (3040 M Street, NW) at 7:30PM

"Danger Zone" Gwen Stefani
Could this have anything to do with Gavin and his secret lovechild?
Adopting all your history/ it’s hard being me too / Are your secrets where you left them? / Cause now your ghosts are mine as well / I think it’s time I met them and I think it’s time you tell / And you should have told me when you met me / all these things I should know?
Hear a sample on the Amazon page

"No One Can Hold A Candle To You" Morrissey
A recent b-side with a lovely chorus:
No one can hold a candle to you / When it comes down to virtue and truth / No one can hold a candle to you / And I dim next to you
Real Media sample

"In A Funny Way" Mercury Rev
My favorite video of the week: handpuppets never looked so cool. The song is very Echo or something, very 80's.
Windows High or Windows Low

Debbie #4: Up in your grill


From the Plastic Letters era

January 13, 2005

"Shit. Damn. Mutherfucker!"

D'Angelo just got arrested in Richmond - he has already been arrested before. He ain't lookin' too good. The days of videos starring his abs and pubes are ovah!

Courtney gets her Bean back

Courtney Love got her Heir back in her custody this week, which I am sure she's happy with. Doing my Armchair Analyst thing, I'd say her daughter is what keeps her alive. With each court date her face changes - what is the deal? It looks very odd here. Somebody needs to give her clothes that fit, for God's sake! Bring back the natural Courtney.

The Death of HFS

I am officially old. Yesterday WHFS died and everyone is in shock! It became the "El Zol" Spanish station (how obvious!) after 35 years of alternative. Mind you, I have not played HFS for several years - their recent idea of alternative was often Blink 182, which belies the very word alternative. This was the station where I first heard Tim Buckley (note that his son Jeff Buckley's song "Last Goodbye" was the final track played), Suzanne Vega (before she "lived on the second floor") and Winter Hours. Remember Bob Waugh, Weasle and Damian, the beloved DJ with the speech impediment? They even played NRBQ! Who actually listens to NRBQ!?

I read that the DJ's were told just one hour before it happened at noon, and then a chirpy Spanish voice came on the airwaves. Good God. What a crass world we live in.

Article from WaPo
Alternative to this sadness: WFUV in New York - this is much more like what HFS was in the 80's and you can listen online. It's Jim C's fave, for those who know him.

Michael Moore's Makevoer?

Did anyone else notice this?

Before

December 1, 2004
and after...

January 10, 2005

Meanwhile, he is going after the pharmaceuticals for his next movie!

January 12, 2005

2004: The Return of the 80's

I spent a lot of time describing music acts in 2004 as being derivative of (or paying homage to) earlier acts, mainly from the 1980's. I decided to make myself a mix of "coupled" songs. The first is the source and the second is the 2004 track. Does anyone else have any other ideas? Please note that the Gwen Stefani album is virtually a track by track imitation of her idols!

1 cherry coloured funk (cocteau twins)
2 wanderlust (delays)

3 reap the wild wind (ultravox)
4 your eyes only (keane)

5 leave this city (the sundays)
6 come undone (the honeymoon)
7 don't you want me (human league)
8 radio (client)

9 suddenly last summer (the motels)
10 cool (gwen stefani)

11 windows (missing persons)
12 danger zone (gwen stefani)

13 is there something i should know (duran duran)
14 midnight show (the killers)

15 mayor of simpleton (xtc)
16 godhopping (dogs die in hot cars)

17 honky cat (elton john)
18 better luck next time (scissor sisters)

19 why you treat me so bad (club nouveau)
20 serious (gwen stefani)

21 regret (new order)
22 the real thing (gwen stefani)

Kate Bush #4: She reminds him of his little lady...


"All yours, Babooshka, Babooshka, Babooshka-ya-ya!"

Off topic: English vs AmerEnglish

A conversation between my British cousin (who IS Bridget Jones) and I, after she said she had a cot in her (soon-to-be) baby's nursery:

XOLONDON: You can get lots of cool baby stuff for that room, but babies don't sleep on cots, silly girl- they use something called a "crib" and it's not what rappers call a "crib"!!

BANANA (the cousin's nickname): OF COURSE babies sleep in cots!!!!! I suspect we are probably talking about the same thing here and it's a language issue (i.e. you Yanks can't speak English!) They start off in a Moses basket for the first 2 or 3 months and then go onto the cot for a good year or two. SO THERE!

What can I say? You learn something everyday...

January 11, 2005

Debbie Does Kermie



Remember when appearing on The Muppet Show was a hip thing to do? I love this show! Below is a great clip of her singing The Rainbow Connection with Kermit... this is only one of the greatest songs of my youth!

Off topic: Al Sharpton's truth

During the Democratic primaries I thought Al Sharpton was interesting because he was so free to say whatever he wanted, thus forcing the other candidates to address issues they might not have wanted to address. Al himself is a bit of a kook, so I am not espousing him as a whole, just some of the things he says. Here is a recent quote. picked up by AP:

"I think George Bush manipulated a lot of religious feelings about marriage when the president has little or nothing to do with marriage," Sharpton said. The 2004 election was not the place for a moral debate, the New York Democrat said. "It was the place for a debate on Iraq, he's in charge of the military; health care, he's in charge of that; on Social Security, he's in charge of that," Sharpton said. "But we should not relinquish the morality of the church to the office of president. He has nothing to do with that."

January 10, 2005

2005: Uber-Poptasticness or Suckage?

Which songs from these records will be on my list next year? Which one of these records will suck royally?

Mercury Rev: Secret Migration (Jan 26). If it is anything like the epic "Nite And Fog" I will be happy.

Athlete: Tourist (Jan 31 UK) See my post on the lovely single Wires. If you dig Coldplay, you will like that song. They are not featuring a rockier sound by any means, which seems to happen often with second albums when naysayers have dismissed the band’s first work as too wussy. Athlete doesn't care.

Tori Amos: The Beekeeper (Feb 22) You know, the album where her piano finds its organ, or something like that. I am sure I will blather on about this record before and after its release. One of the few artists I get excited by anymore, because it's always something new from Tori. Here is the tracklist:

Parasol / Sweet the Sting / The Power of Orange Knickers (duet with Damien Rice!) / Jamaica Inn / Barons of Suburbia / Sleeps with Butterflies (single) / General Joy / Mother Revolution / Ribbons Undone / Cars and Guitars / Witness / Original Sinsuality/ Ireland / The Beekeeper / Martha's Foolish Ginger / Hoochie Woman / Goodbye Pisces / Marys of the Sea / Toast

Everything But The Girl: Adapt Or Die (Spring) 14 remixes and not one new song. Apparently Tracey has a hundred kids (at least 3 now) and would rawther make them some tea and scones than lead red-eyed clubgoers home at 4am in black cabs. Also note that Ben Watt is releasing a new single in January with the British r’n’b singer Estelle. It is called – yes, I am serious – “Pop A Cap In Yo Ass.”

New Order Waiting For the Siren's Call (March 28) New single is called "Krafty."

Imogen Heap: Speak For Yourself (March or April) She -"Immi" - just did a sweet song, "Goodnight And Go," for The OC that you can buy in her site if you have PayPal. It's a good omen for what this solo album will sound like, which is actually not too far from Frou Frou's Details (the finest record of 2002!). The songlist is:

Headlock / Goodnight and Go / Have you got it in you? / Loose Ends / Hide and Seek / Clear the Area / Daylight / Robbery / The walk / Just for Now / I am in love with you / Closing In / The Moment I said it

REM: IRS reissues. (Spring) I don’t think there are a lot of extra tracks, but instead a DVD on each with various freebies. Warners is also releasing remasters, but who wants a fucking remaster of a lame Monster?

Doves: Some Cities (March 1) New single is called “Black & White Town” Listen to a sample of the single here.

Garbage: Bleed Like Me (April) 11 songs: Bad Boyfriend / Run Baby Run / Right Between The Eyes / Why Do You Love Me / Bleed Like Me / It's All Over But The Crying / Boys Wanna Fight / Sex Is Not The Enemy / Metal Heart / Why Don't You Come Over / Happy Home.


Other stuff I am interested in:

Beck is releasing a record sometime in the Spring, but he's been saying that for awhile.

Oasis is releasing something in May. We'll see. At least Noel is not running around saying "The next one will be better" like he usually does. Depeche Mode is also supposedly doing an album for Fall 2005.

Stereophonics Language, Sex, Violence, Other? (March 14). Has a single ("Dakota"), released on February 28. I know I won't like all of this, but they do great mid-tempo songs (see "Maybe Tomorrow") .

Kate Bush just sent a note to her fan club saying that her album is pretty much done and will be released in 2005. How long have we waited... 11 years? Not even a freaking Greatest Hits with an extra song during that time! Not even repackaged CDs ...

The Tears is a new band comprised of Bernard Butler and Brett Anderson, who finally kissed and made up. Will it be more songs about hip Londoners doing "A-class" drugs and glamorously going on the dole? That seems to be the breadth of poor Brett's experience.

Texas (April). Did not like one song on their last CD, but I will give them another chance.

Coldplay Can they live up to expectations? Produced by Danton Supple, song titles include: Square One / Talk / Till Kingdom Come / X&Y / What If / Tardest Part

Madonna is doing something now with Stuart Price (aka Jacques Lu Cont). This is a very good thing. She should have done her last album with him instead of one-note Mirwais. Vocoder be banned! The song titles are (rumor) "I Love New York", "Haunted" and "If You Were Here." Probably fake, but we'll see.

Fiona Apple has been shelved by bastard fuckhead label chiefs, but I demand its release now!

Maxwell -for the love of God, man, put down the weed and work. You are the love child/ emotional heir of Marvin Gaye and Kate Bush.

If it all gets too boring, maybe this will be the year I finally acquaint myself with Saint Etienne (link) and their 15 albums I know nothing about, but feel I should. Any hints on where to start? They too have a new record due out soon.

Boy George's Twin Farts Out A New CD


Boy George is releasing a new CD called "YUM YUM" under his pseudonym "The Twin." I think it sounds like crap, but what do I know? If you are a crack whore and would like to order this piece of shite, please do so at More Protein. Listen to a sample of one fucked up track, "Disco Ugly" and get an idea of the sound.

I'd like to add that his look is totally stolen from Leigh Bowery (see pic below) who is long dead and cannot sue BG's ass. It's one thing to write a tribute show to Bowery (Taboo). It's another thing entirely to co-opt his career. Does he deal in black money?

Truth is, I like Boy George - I am just not into this stuff and feeling cunty.


Here is the real Leigh Bowery...


Bitchin' Gwen, Corporate Spokesmodel


Just like Eva Longoria's character on Desperate Housewives, poor Gwendolyn has been reduced to shilling products at a friggin' trade show! The picture above depicts our kid standing with Celine-lookalike / HP CEO Carly Fiorina during Fiorina's speech at the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show on January 7 in tacky Vegas.

Meanwhile there are rumors that Gwen and Gavin have broken up. We'll see...if she'd rawwwther be at trade shows than lying around in bed with Gavin, it may be true...

Appreciating Depeche Mode


Classics: Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode.

Deepeachy Moddy. DM.

We spend a lot of time pondering
U2 as the Greatest Band of Our Time. I won't even comment on how REM briefly grabbed and dropped this "title." But Depeche Mode keeps on keepin' on; they've become elder rock statesman and their history brings them a certain gravitas. Their catalog of classics grows with each record, with our love for them growing at a faster rate than the music probably merits. As of now, they have not entered into the Rolling Stones-y phase where we praise each new record as a return to roots, but realize two years later that it's crappy (sorry M Stipe!).

Sure, Sister of Night from Ultra could have been on the 1984 record -Martin beats certain themes dead - but who gives a fuck since "Sister of Night" is a really good song?

Can I reduce Depeche Mode to certain characteristics? The Lennon/McCartney diva war between Gore and Gahan. The now-inevitable collision of synth and guitar. An undead lead singer who went from schnozzy gay-wannabe geek to battered hardrock cliche to fresh faced rehab star. The dude ("Fletch"?) who just stands there doing nothing at a keyboard, while pondering stock options. Lyrics laden with words like night, stars, darkness, pain, and pleasure. Martin Gore's vaguely bitchy, very distant and very impish blond persona, prone to makeup and frills. The smooth vocals of Dave. The grizzled vocals of Dave. The quivering vibrato of Martin, who I think should sing more.

It could/should be argued that Violator is THE album of the 1990's. When Enjoy The Silence came out, I liked it, but now it's taken on an epic quality that is tied up in both my college experiences and a collective thread running through DM fans all over the world - it's "their song" (I am not a true enough fan to say "our song"). Oh my little girl, it just makes everyone happy!

Honestly - and oddly - this is a group I barely own on CD, because the CDs are not, as of this writing, available in remastered form. The originals sound muddy and faint, but the songs are still as fresh now as they were upon release.

Top 10 Plus One Depeche Mode Songs:

Somebody
Shake The Disease
Never Let Me Down Again
Nothing
Enjoy The Silence
World In My Eyes
I Feel You
Condemnation
The Things You Said
In Your Room (Butch Vig mix)
Home


These are not just ten songs I like. At various times I was utterly obsessed with each of these. I mean, how could you not swoon at the final minute of Never Let Me Down Again, with the "approaching army" synths and Martin's "See the stars they shine so bright" backing vocals? As with most songs, they are also reminiscent of periods of my life and people. When I hear these songs, the particular time period comes back for a fleeting, but really vivid, second - the same way certain smells affect us for an instant.

As a final note, Goldfrapp's recent re-working of Halo made that song better and it makes me wonder if Alison Goldfrapp is perhaps an heir to Martin and Dave's talent? Time will tell!

Links:
Depeche Mode official site
Depeche Mode fan site
HMV pages with samples:
#1 #2

January 8, 2005

Adam Ant in 2003



From the Royal College of Psychiatry website:

Adam is a keen supporter of the College's anti-stigma campaign and wants more famous people to talk openly about their experiences of mental health problems. Adam recently featured in a Channel 4 documentary in which he talks openly about his manic depression and being stalked. So please watch this space and support Adam in campaigning against discrimination and
stigma.
Poor Adam. Did you know he went crazy over the past few years? Has he had another bender since this picture? Methinks fame was just what his mind needed! Anyway, a strange ad, though the list of supporters on this site is a Who's Who of British Fabulousness (it includes Joanna Lumley, Mike Leigh and Ruby Wax!).

Debbie: Rockbird



From her Stephen Sprouse / Rockbird era in about 1985.

January 7, 2005

In praise of other shoes...

Apparently taking pictures of one's own shoes in Hyde Park is a trend! Who knew? Intrepid readers just sent me this photo of their feet. Can anyone guess whose shoes these are? See my original post.


This is what a wall of water looks like


A friend just sent me this strange and scary picture. Amazon's site has now collected $14,828,868.07 over 182,575 payments!

Donate here at Amazon
Miss Beazley and Laura Bush

"Barney, wanna see your sissie?"

That is a direct quote from Laura Bush yesterday. As I wrote before Christmas, the only tolerable member of the First Family is Barney the dog. The new Scottie puppy, Miss Beazley, has arrived, complete with little Scottie haircut. She is very sweet, innocent and bouncy, but I fear she will be forever corrupted by the Republican rhetoric being spewed around her perky-yet-impressionable ears.

What does Miss Beazley have to look forward to?
1) Dognapping at the hands of "evil terrorists" hellbent on "taking away our freedoms."
2) A mangy life on the streets of DC when Social Security is drained by Wall Street tycoons as she enters old age. She'll probably wind up in a Southeast pound.
3) Most disconcertingly, back alley abortion if she gets humped.

Long live Miss Beazley! May she teach her masters lessons of humility and kindness!

Watch the unedited video feed of this press extravaganza. You'll see bits of this on the news.

Subtle innuendo follows



Adam Ant's label is re-releasing his last three 80's records in March '05. The only one worth getting, IMO, is 1982's Friend Or Foe. This is the brilliant record with all the horns and sighs. It featured Friend Or Foe ("I want those who get to know me / To become admirers or my enemies") Desperate But Not Serious ("...console you with a big kiss on the lips /And on the back of the neck") and of course Goody Two Shoes ( "Put on a little makeup makeup!"). There are now 24 tracks on this CD, including an unreleased b-side called Good Sex Rumples The Clothing. Indeed. I will post a 2003 photo of Adam soon...

Hear
samples on HMV
Here is
more information from the official site

Debbie #2: Union Blue



An almost unrecognizable Debbie Harry
in the 1979 movie Union Blue.

January 6, 2005

Off topic: In praise of a shoe

No, I am not a fetishist... or I don't think I am. But as 2005 begins, I should celebrate my favorite shoes of all time - why not? - incredibly comfortable and bitchin' in design. They are on sale at Cole Hahn (the G Series) now. These strappy climber shoes made me very happy in '04 and this photo is the only one of "me" in England that I liked (the setting is Hyde Park). I have gotten more comments/questions about these shoes than any other thing I have ever worn. They look better without socks!


Kate #3: a pesky fly


Princess, what video is this from?

January 5, 2005

Alias kicked ass. "Last year sucked," said Vaughn. Yes, it did! I was surprised they killed Rick Yune so quickly though. He could have been the new Sark. If I don't see a dead body I never believe it though. I also don't believe that Irina put out a contract on Sydney.

PS: Like the new opening credits!

"My dimples are just back from vacation!"

I just remembered that Alias premieres tonight at 9 with a two-hour special. Julie tells me something major happens in the beginning. I think she got that from Kristen on E.


Debbie Harry



Because Debbie Harry is one of the coolest people in rock/pop (and because I feel like it), I'm going to be posting some rare pictures of her. Google Images makes this possible! This is from something called Crave - I think a play she did years ago.

January 4, 2005

Get Shite?


So is J-Lo's caca new song a personal statement? Not quite! Take a listen to her version of "Get Right" on AOL and then take a listen to Usher's unreleased song "Til The Night Get Old." Same song with different lyrics.

So the message here is cyncial: that Lopez gets the castoffs of hit albums. Gawd awful shit.

Oh Annie!


Annie Lennox just turned 50 years old! I happened across this photo (click for larger version), which was certainly not in my tourbook from her 2003 tour! Reports say she has been in the studio, so let's hope we hear something new from her in 2005...

Off topic: Gonorrhea Lectim

The Center for Disease Control has issued a warning about a new virulent strain of sexually transmitted disease. This disease is contracted through dangerous and high risk behavior. The disease is called Gonorrhea Lectim (pronounced "gonna re-elect him").

Many victims have contracted it after having been screwed for the past 4 years, in spite of having taken measures to protect themselves from this especially troublesome disease. Cognitive sequelae of individuals infected with Gonorrhea Lectim include, but are not limited to: Antisocial personality disorder traits; delusions of grandeur with a distinct messianic flavor; chronic mangling of the English language; extreme
cognitive dissonance; inability to incorporate new information; pronounced xenophobia; inability to accept responsibility for actions; exceptional cowardice masked by acts of misplaced bravado; uncontrolled facial smirking; ignorance of geography and history; tendencies toward creating evangelical theocracies; and a strong propensity for categorical, all-or nothing behavior. The disease is sweeping Washington. Naturalists and epidemiologists are amazed and baffled that this malignant disease originated only a few years ago in a Texas Bush.


Just a note that I did not write this and I don't know who did.

Various bits

George Michael has a new video for "Round Here" where you can see his fat stomach and big ass. I say that lovingly. Actually George is aging in the same bad way as Mel Holier Than Me Gibson. Regardless, this is a decent, mellow song, a memory of growing up in England. The video is the equivalent of me dragging my friends around showing them the places "where I lived." See it via Yahoo UK/Ireland (or via Arjan)

Janet Jackson gets a hilarious letter written to her from a fan on the Velvet Rope. I will quote the best bit:

I BEG OF YOU, STOP talking about what has been inside, around, on, or near your vagina, including but not limited to penises, packages, throbbing magic wands (large or otherwise), fingers (yours or otherwise), lips, noses, toes, fruit or any other phallic shaped object that could be used for sexual gratification. You must NEVER speak of this again. It’s just gotten nasty, okay? You’re a freak. WE GET IT! We love you. Let’s try something different now shall we?

Sheryl Crow will vomit up two albums this year. Goody. One of the CDs is an "artist" record, because Sheryl is under the mistaken impression that she is a writer on the lines of Mary Chapin Carpenter or Shawn Colvin. She is not.

Page Six Sixy Awards are out. I am still laughing about the email Pat O'Brien sent Shaun Robinson (of Access Hollywood) telling her she speaks like a "5-year-old gang member."

January 3, 2005

I detect a similarity between the cover of the new Scissor Sisters single (my fave "Filthy Gorgeous"!) and a certain southwestern artist...

Scissor Sisters


Georgia O'Keeffe

Wonky Wonka

Let me just quickly pop up the preview for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp (and, disturbingly, his teeth). It actually looks pretty faithful, but you tell me if Johnny has a mouthpiece?

Kate #2: With a kiss I'd pass the key


A variation on the cover of The Dreaming.

January 2, 2005

Athlete is back


I am actually bumping up a recent post about the new Athlete song "Wires," my first favorite of 2005. It's from the new Tourist, out on January 31 in the UK. You can sample the single here in the Audio section. Listen to the words and it's clearly a narrative of a loved one who is in the hospital - you've got wires coming out of your skin - I assume an emergency. It's wrenching! I particularly like the moment toward the end (not on the sample, sorry) where the music drops out briefly and it's just the vocal. Very moving - in fact, I cannot think of the last time I heard a single with this sort of subject matter.

The other new songs I have heard sound moodier and tinklier than the last record, which was such uplifiting music. I don't think they give a shit about being cool and that is what makes them cool. For people who don't know Athlete, go here and listen to the sample of "You've Got The Style" to get a sense of their super-British sound.

Sorry for the lame picture. Can't really see them, can you?

January 1, 2005

C-Lo: My clothes don't fit and I feel baaaaad todayyyyyyy!



Court's in court again. This dour picture is from her Dec 15 appearance. La Love is telling everyone that she is doing new music with Pugsly (Billy Corgan) and intends to record this album in a women's prison! See the story at NME.

Off topic: eating at Oyamel

If you live in or near DC and you want a great place to go, try Oyamel in (the newly hip)Crystal City. This new restaurant is owned by the Jaleo people and is like Jaleo in that it's tapas, but this time Mexican. We went last night for NYEve and it was fabulous. We had pomegranate margaritas (though I skipped the crushed worm/chili salt rim. ICK!) and about 8 plates, including tilapia tacos, carnitas, a pretty red/green salad of tomato and cactus, snapper and even desert of chocolate flannish thingy with mole sauce. Some of it sounded odd on the menu, but was delicious.

[Side note: Oyamel is a big, beautiful glowing gold atrium - very glam, though you won't look as good in there as you will look at (sic) Rosa Mexicano! I have not been there to taste the food yet, but it sure is purty. These pictures don't do Rosa Mexicano justice at night when it is dark and glowing blue.I don't have any pix of Oyamel.]

In typical DC fashion, Oyamel does not take reservations. Here is a WaPo page on it, though Tom Sietsama's review is a little better than the 2/4 stars would suggest.