February 28, 2005


I hope the press corps brought sugar cubes to feed to Hilary Swank.

I crown Sophie Okonedo as the dimpliest person on the planet. She rocked in Hotel Rwanda. The Royal We love her...

What an FDC!* Who does Xtina think she is fooling?

* fuckin' dumb cunt

That "nurse an Apple" joke was lame. Ice Princess Paltrow looks pretty good, I will give her that much.

Oscar Winner Pam Anderson brought her Golden Globe with her! She really disappeared into her role as Katharine Hepburn!

Look! It's Larry David's real beleaguered wife!

Julie says that there comes a time when a woman must choose between her ass and her face. Which one did Kelly Lynch choose?

Damita Jo is so gracious and loving to bring her little pug to special events, especially now that the little doggy has developed Down's Syndrome.

Shouldn't Bitchin' Gwen have received an Oscar for her totally rad 3-second appearance in The Aviator?

Look what the Colin Ferrell has to look forward to in 20 years: bloated excess!

I am sorry, but Brody is a rodent. A sleazy chain wearin' rodent, like from a Disney movie.

February 27, 2005

XO can't stay away from the sleeze

Crazed skank-ho scandal enthusiasts (aka Paris Hilton fans) should look at this post from PageSixSixSix. It's hilarious. Love how Madonna's CEO dude Guy Oseary comes across as a "sage" and this bit in which Needledick Durst tries to lure Paris to his crib with pillow talk:

"I'm smoking a joint thinking about you rubbing your soft hands on my head!"
Who is this silky beauty of a dog in a high-contrast, sepia-toned setting?


Note: I am taking a wee break from posting on here. Just not in the mood. I should have some new posts momentarily...

February 24, 2005

Debbie Harry pic #6



So fucking cool.

How blue are you?



From their website:

Wear a "How Blue Are You?" wristband in "red" states and "blue" to show your support for the democratic values that make our country great for all Americans.

Proceeds will go to the Democratic National Committee and the National Gulf War Resource Center, the leading organization providing advocacy and support for Gulf War veterans.

How Blue Are You was founded by four friends shortly after the 2004 election. Dismayed by the prospect of four more years of a Bush presidency and determined to keep the enthusiasm we felt volunteering for the Kerry campaign alive, we started How Blue Are You as a way for fellow Democrats and others to show solidarity and let the conservatives running our country know we respectfully disagree with their policies. Read more about HBAY

xolondon is wearing his blue band now. It's making his wrist sweaty...

Thanks to the Whackoff NJ correspondent for turning me onto this. Bleeding heart liberals fuck 'em up before they fuck us up! And while I am on it, you know what I think about the Pope. I won't say it out loud.

February 23, 2005

Let it be known that I am eating
clementines as a snack today, in multiples...


photo courtesy of this site

Viva la Kirsty MacColl



There are two deaths in music in the past ten years that really bother me, even years later. One is Jeff Buckley and the other is Kirsty MacColl. Her music was imbued with her spirit - sassy, adventurous and sweet. Anyway, fans of Kirsty need to clean house! Sell the old versions of your Kirsty CDs now because her remasters are coming out in the UK this week and next. Soon after will be a box set called From Croydon to Cuba: An Anthology
details

Both the remasters and the box set contain many unreleased songs. The first re-release is for my favorite, Titanic Days. It contains these extras (many of which are not on the box set): Angel (Piano), Fabulous Garden, King Kong, Dear John (recorded later by Eddi Reader), Miss Otis (live), Free World (live), Touch Me, Irish Cousin, Angel (Single, Stuart Crichton, Into The Light, Apollo 440 Remixes). details

Sounds of Kirsty (full songs courtesy of her website):
Titanic Days
In These Shoes?
My Affair
Soho Square
Fairytale Of New York (with The Pogues)


I am guessing this post will please some of my trolls who read this blog. You know who you are. These songs will absolutely put you in a good mood!

Kate Bush #7: Young Kate, so cute!



Don't you just love her? Wasn't she sweet here? Here are TEN songs for a Kate Bush mix. This is hard to whittle down into ten - can you?

Hounds Of Love
All The Love
Running Up That Hill
Cloudbusting
The Sensual World
Be Kind To My Mistakes
Experiment IV (12" mix)
Jig Of Life
This Woman's Work
Never Be Mine
A reminder that yesterday was the release date of what will be one of my top ten records of the year - this one is by Josh Rouse (see earlier post)

February 22, 2005

ohmigodImustbestopped!



I just ate, before 9:30 am, half a bag of cheap jellybeans, just like those shown above (except for the licorice ones, ick). Today is the day I will finally achieve full-throttle diabetes.

It's just like the Rufus song Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk (
sample):

If I should buy jellybeans
Have to eat them all in just one sitting
Everything it seems I like's a little bit sweeter
A little bit fatter
A little bit harmful for me

UPDATE: I finished the bag at like 2pm! They were just so plump and fresh, I could not resist. I liked how they felt when my teeth crunched through the hard shell to the soft gelatin part. Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Various tidbits


1) That's Shelby trying to sit on her master's lap. Link

2) Everything you want to know about the Paris Hilton hacking (not safe for work!). That is hot.

3) Have you tried Google Montage? It's cool! Go here and type in something like Kate Bush.

4) The new Jacques Lucont remix of "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers is out now and it sounds kind of New Orderish. Hear it at iTunes.

5) If you want to hear Wendy and Lisa remix of Gwen Stefani's own New Order song, "The Real Thing," go to this blog. It's very soothing and totally removes the New Order elements.

February 21, 2005

Excellent Rufus Wainwright interview in The Guardian this past weekend. Very juicy!

Garbage: Why Do You Love Me?



That is hot! Shirley's lookin' good in the new video by Garbage

UPDATE: Hear the new single in full via
Filter and read an article here.

pic courtesy of
Pink

Just say no.

I was just telling my musical protégé (at the "field office" in Whackoff NJ) that THE New UK Band is Bloc Party. They are everywhere THIS week, outta the blue, in London. I will not fall into this tender trap! I could be fooled by the wispy, Echo-y single “So Here We Are” but actually much of their music is loud and crunchy a la Green Day.

Last week I succumbed and bought the first (and last?) album by Thirteen Senses. This was my second Coldplay rip off in one week, following the arrival of the new Athlete CD. TS have a few lovely songs ("Into The Fire” and "The Salt Wound Routine") but is slight and derivative. The whole charade reminds me a bit of Geneva, if anyone remembers them. Nice band, but not nice enough to sustain for more than a CD or 2. I am already selling it on Amazon!

As for the aforementioned Athlete, believe the shitty reviews. This band has been hobbled! Castrated! "Wires" is beautiful - a major single, but the rest of the record is similarly downtempo, with nothing seems to come close to that track. What happened to all the joy of a song like "You’ve Got The Style" (about the "Bridish weather"!) - was that the one where they yelled "Chorus!" just before the…chorus? Now it’s all stolen Coldplay piano filigrees and moody lyrics. Embrace already did this (well) a few months ago. It's positively sad. It’s not up for sale yet, but it is in the ICU.

All this and I have not even touched Maximo Park, another hot band in the UK right now. Nevermind any of it, I'll wait until mid May for the new Turin Brakes single "Fishing For A Dream." I find them to be more of a singles band – I have owned and sold all their records (I’m ruthless that way), but "Painkiller" is one of the finest songs of the 00’s.

Remember this week’s best release is Josh Rouse’sNashville.” Also this week is Tori Amos (with a fucking seed packet included) and Patrick Wolf’s new “Wind In The Wires.” Reviews of Rouse and Wolf coming shortly.

Beck's new album cover


I haven't heard a lick of the record - have you?

February 19, 2005

Off-topic: Generation Kill, part 2

Some things I have learned about the military from Generation Kill:

1) The food packages –called MREs – are really nasty, Most soldiers skip the main course and just eat the extras, which include: Skittles, Tootsie Rolls, pop tarts, brownies, dry kool aid mix (eaten dry!). They call this scrounging for the goodies “ratfucking.” The Charms candies are considered bad luck by the Marines and they toss them out of their vehicles.

2) They also constantly imbibe caffeine, dip, ephedra, and dry instant coffee crystals. Anything to stay awake.

3) The platoon commander even keeps an eye, like a parent, on his men’s bodily functions, checking to make sure they are drinking water, pissing and pissing clear. It’s also normal for marines to shit in front of each other on the side of the road – they have to do this or else risk going off alone and getting blown up by a landmine.

February 18, 2005

Darklings revolt!



Just heard the new Garbage song Why Do You Love Me - it's loud, crunchy and catchy with some serious heavy metal chords. This makes me excited for their record which I hope will be the usual combination of metallic crunch, pop music references, great lyrics and Shirley's mix of low, menacing vocals alternating with cooing babydoll vocals. This group is far better than their reputation - You Look So Fine (from v. 2.0) was Radiohead-worthy and Cherry Lips (from beautifulgarbage) was perhaps the most perfect pop song of the past 5 years.

I'll always buy their records, though I am seriously disturbed by the band's decision to hide much of their website behind a $20/year fee. I won't even link 'em! Fockers!

Why is Justin Timberlake an asshole?

Let me tell you now...


In the LA Weekly
interview I posted yesterday with Generation Kill writer Evan Wright, I noticed this appalling piece of information:

Were there repercussions for your unit after the articles were published?

When the articles came out, the Marines were severely punished for what they said to me, and one guy was kicked out of the battalion. They got into a lot of shit... even though they were getting punished and in trouble for all this, they didn’t knuckle under. It’s been my experience when I write about someone, and even though I always try to quote them accurately, they will often retract their quotes later on and say, "I didn’t say that, that’s bullshit." None of these guys retracted their quotes. None of them took back what they said. In the end.... they all stuck by the articles.

The Marines, they’re getting busted down. They put their lives on the line. They’re accused of cowardice for what they said in my articles. The one person who’s infuriated by my articles and is threatening all these horrific things is Justin Timberlake. Because one of the Marines dissed him. And Justin Timberlake’s people threatened all these horrible things because Corporal Person mocked Justin Timberlake’s musical abilities in the articles. It’s just a perfect comment on our culture.

February 17, 2005

Streaming...

The new House Of Love CD is quite nice and streaming here (thanks to the excellent Torr blog). I personally recommend track 2 "Gotta Be That Way." Their song "I Don't Know Why I Love You" was one of my favorites in college. Remember it? How nice to hear a group return from the dead with a record that doesn't sound like its trying too hard.

I don't know why I love you / Your face is a hammer in my head / I remember every word you said / I just don't know why I love you / I don't know why I care / I never even liked your hair

Ed Harcourt's lovely choral-like song "Loneliness" can be sampled on his site. I also liked his song "Born In The 70's" from this same record, so maybe it's worth getting. I ended up selling the last two.

Off-topic: Generation Kill, part 1



As I post this tonight, J-Lo’s mysterious illness has made the nightly news, I suppose because people want to think she is pregnant. Why do they care? I don’t, so I’ve decided to do some off-topic posts on a great book I am reading:
Generation Kill by Eric Wright (above). I became aware of this book when I read excellent excerpts in Rolling Stone and again when Martha Raddatz of ABC News recommended it last week at an event I attended.

This is hardcore how-can-they-allow-that-to-be-published stuff from a writer who was embedded with the Marine First Recon Battalion in the war- the guys who were the first into Iraq. This is the type of book I want to talk about with everyone, so I’ll put up some choice bits over the next few weeks as I read it. Let me start now:

One of the platoon commanders is a Dartmouth grad who says he thinks the ROTC should be at colleges, not to militarize the schools, but to
“liberalize the military.”

“I would love to have flown the plane that dropped the bomb on Japan,” says one twenty-year-old corporal.
“A couple dudes killed hundreds of thousands. That fucking rules! Yeah!”

When the author meets the marines for the first time in a mess tent, one of the young ones approaches to ask if it’s true that J-Lo is dead - the rumor had being going around the camp for a week. “Maybe she really did die,” the marine says, “But they’re not telling us to keep our morale up.”

Ugh! How depressing that J-Lo even made it into this book. Anyway, to read more:

LA Weekly
interview with Eric Wright (this is good)
Village Voice piece

Fischerspooner redux


Fischerspooner is so NOT the second coming. Take a listen to several tracks from their new Odyssey CD here. It sounds just like their first CD to me... not exactly bad, just dull. Maybe I should give it more listens? Please also note that much of it was produced by Mirwais, who ruined Madonna's track record. Reading Arjan's interview with Casey Spooner makes me want to give it a chance though.

The best celeb sighting...


NYC Fashion Week sighting: Miss Piggy slumming it with road-rager Lizzie Grubman

February 15, 2005

Patrick Wolf streaming album



Listen to Patrick Wolf's amazing new record Wind In the Wires via NME. Try "The Gypsy King" and "The Libertine" if you don't have much time. They also review it here.

Guest star: Shelby The Pug

Shelby The Pug recently went for a day trip to Carmel. Look at that face! See more pics here.

Fat J-lo?

Wouldn't this be a hoot?

February 14, 2005

Grammy's: Janet and her toy dog

Janet decided to bring her small black pug to the show, which I thought was super sweet.

Grammy's: Miss Loretta

The belle of the ball. I saw very little of the show, but she was a hoot when she won!

Grammy's: Miss Loretta and "Hack" White

I don't think it is prudent for Miss Loretta to be seen with Michael Jackson at this juncture, do you?

Grammy's: Diana Degarmo

Yes, baby turn a little to your right, yeah baby, you are growing up fine...

Grammy's: Melissa Etheridge

No snark. People loved her before and they love her even more now. Very brave.

Grammy's: Gwendolyn and Eve

Over here! The flames are getting closer!

Grammy's: Gavin DeGraw

Gavin is smiling because he plugged his finger in a dyke and saved a town.

Grammy's: J-Lo's Butt and her toy dog

I saw J-Lo on TV last night attempting to warble a song with her chihuahua. It was a weird domestic drama scene, like a Spanish soap opera on Telemundo.

Review: Tori Amos "The Beekeeper"



WARNING! DANGER TO NORMAL PEOPLE! This is a very detailed review for the few Tori fans who might see this blog. I have disected this new record like a teen girl with too much time on her hands for writing poetry and making godseyes.

I have been wrestling The Beekeeper, the new Tori Amos album, for a few weeks. It has 19 songs and does not even fit onto a CDR - I had to cut it by one song just to make a copy.

I'll start by saying up front that I intend to do a Harvey Weinstein and cut like 7 or 8 songs to make a decent CDR out of it! I should do that with Scarlet's Walk too, because I think when CDs are too long, the good songs get lost. There are just so many that you can't focus and the whole thing becomes a (midtempo) blur. Tori's too prolific and seems to be shoving what used to be b-sides onto these records, as if she said, in Torispeak, "The girls came to me and I couldn't kick them out!"

Unfortunately, some of the tracks I would cut are probably meant to be showpiece songs, like the soul gospel Witness. Crazy-womyn-Tori-chicks will dig it live, but I don't expect her albums to be doing the "live gospel" thing. In fact, I like none of the tracks where the organ takes a big role. Organs are tacky, faux soul! Like the sax, they should be used sparingly, like certain seasonings. Those songs also have a choir on them (sort of like Way Down on Pele) that's not bad, but the combo of choir/organ is overkill.

Right away, I'd skim off Sweet The Sting, General Joy and Cars And Guitars, the last being a good song with a strange, sibilant vocal - it's shhhlurred in an annoying way, with a weird gutteral voice. There's also some other bullshit, like the girly girl Jamaica Inn - how can you like a song that begins with the line "Can you patch my jeans, Peggy Ann?" ? WHO is called Peggy Ann anymore? I'd also dice the cheesy, if pretty, Original Sinsuality - it reeks of a b-side, especially with the punny title and trite Tori themes.

At first I hated the song done with It Boy Damien Rice, The Power of Orange Knickers, but if you can get through the first 4 lines, it's actually really pretty and develops well. She should have allowed him one solo line, though, as his voice sounds great singing her words.

The fans seem to dislike the single, Sleep With Butterflies, which is radio lite (think Sarah McLachlan), but one of the few songs with a straightforward lyric, about lovers who can't commmit. All the images are of things that escape: balloons, kites, butterflies (or things that just go in circles, like merry-go-rounds). Once you figure this bit out - and I have just done the work for you! - the song comes into focus.

There are some epics here, in length and performance. The title song breaks the monotony with a more spacey, electronic vibe. It's filled with hidden, fleeting micro-melodies in the same way Yes Anastasia was. Barons of Suburbia mines the lonely-ladies territory of Joni Mitchell's Hissing Of Summer Lawns, but morphs into this female power/rage thing. She ends the song by caterwauling "She is risen!" - it's nutty and I pondered cutting this from my CDR, but I'll let "her" live. I DID kill Hoochie Woman and those same crazed Tori girls would lynch me for that. It's jaunty and funny but is still ungood.

Martha's Foolish Ginger is a very nice song with a vaguely martial beat, but the opening line betrays the laziness of the writing: "Take a walk down memory lane with me." If I'd written that line in college, there would have been some red ink on the page. I do like this song though, despite this trifle.

There are some 10,000 Oceans-ish songs on here: songs that are strong the first time you hear them - notably the final ballad, "Toast," a sad, saaaaad song to someone who has died (actually her brother). File it under the same wintry ballad category as Gold Dust or the more perfect Putting The Damage On. Another song, Ribbons Undone, is a sweet ballad clearly meant for her daughter. It reminds me that Tori could just cut loose and make melodies for the masses if she wanted to. This one isn't so obtuse and has some pretty images like "She's a rose in a lily's cloak."

What TBK is missing: a song like Taxi Ride (from the last record), an uptempo that's a little different in style for Tori. Something complex, but totally accessible and quickly thrilling. A song that keeps popping lines at you over time ("Even a glamorous bitch can be in need"). There's a few trakcs that are classic Tori including Parasol, Marys Of The Sea, and Goodbye Pisces, the latter a trip through "Little Earthquakes" imagery ("bull in a china shop" for one). It's nice - think Tear In Your Hand '05 - but it doesn't have any spikey urgency. It's just...tinkly.

In sum, The Beekeeper is just too much of everything, but not enough of the specific. Buy it and - it's an iTunes generation- burn your own version. Tori has self-produced her records in her little Cornish spaceship for years, and this has probably saved her from some trendy traps, but she needs to EDIT. Regardless, take what good music you can find in the world and remember to - I'll say this in Tori Speak - let the girls grow, so you can figure out which ones you like, which ones are cheap lays and which ones will grow up to be leaders.

February 12, 2005

Cameo appearance: Cassie!

Last weekend, just for kicks, Cassie My Dog Sister (my parent's dog) and I went riding in a car! Here is a picture of her on my lap. Isn't she sweet?


click to enlarge!
Jasper cannot go into the snow like Cassie, so he just sits at the window.

Josh Rouse keeps getting better


Josh Rouse got a divorce, moved from Nashville to Spain, and wrote an album called Nashville that isn't about Nashville. It's certainly not country, but more an extension of his last CD, 1972. What I have heard so far has been delish and even the normally snooty Independent gave him a good review. This is music for adults who are over the drama and bullshit they once clung to as a form of entertainment.

Links
Rykodisk has a nice sampler with the lovely (and jaunty) "Winter In the Hamptons" and 3 excerpts. Josh's website also has a 3-full-song sampler with one different song.

He will start touring the US in April.

February 10, 2005

Some pictures from the Brits!


Franz Ferdinand. Wouldn't this be lovely minus the Getty Images watermark?

Bitchin' Gwen. First she jumped the shark and now she is running away from it.

Keane. What is that white belt?! Anyway, he looks like one of those wax choirboy candles, doesn't he?

Little Britain. The two funniest men in England right now; wish they'd bring them back to BBC America again. More info.

Scissor Sisters. Jake knows how to make an entrance.

The Cryptkeeper. After all these years, Siouxsie is still keeping Revlon in business.

Feargal Sharkey. He's aged quite well, if you know who he is!

Dexy's Midnight Runners' Kevin Rowland. Freaky McFreakster.