May 30, 2005

Torr links to...

Revenge of the Shit

Have you read Rupaul's blog about getting a high colonic in his "lovin' oven"? It's hilarious and you should read it now.

On a related note, I am still jammin' on that Mariah Scarey CD. We belong together indeed!

May 29, 2005

Off topic: This week's guest star is

Jasmine Biller, who does not seem to like the festive party collar I bought her. Is this a lesson in anthropomorphizing our pets? What would the Dog Whisperer say?



Ain't she cute? Princess Underbite kind of looks like she is ready for Gay Pride doesn't she? Click to see practically lifesize versions of the pics

Review: Goldfrapp's Felt Mountain



A few months ago I received in the mail a special edition of Felt Mountain, the very first Goldfrapp CD from 2001. It's completely different from Black Cherry, but it has the same elegance and modernity. The influences here are primarily stuff like John Barry (James Bond music), Shirley Bassey ("Goldfinguhhh!"). Songs like Pilots On A Star are serene and beautiful. Total sex music (sweet calm sex, that is).

Horse Tears weaves a tinkly, errie ribbon into a generally romantic song that evokes 60's and 70's film scores. Note that this creepy element comes to life more prominently in the non-album Stare Mesto remix of Lovely Head which takes its inspiration from 70's Italian horror film music. Ubercool stuff!

The special edition is worth getting just for the fucking amazing version of ONJ's Physical - they make it into totally sleek night driving music. Goldfrapp cleverly asked Calexico to not only remix one song, but perform it on their own CD. Genius!

Felt Mountain is the perfect album for bedtime; it has none of crackly crunch of it's successor. It's the best aural I have had in a while. Hear samples of most of these tracks on this
Amazon link.

May 27, 2005

What I'm listening to...

Turin Brakes: Asleep With The Fireflies I keep wanting to call this "Asleep With Butterflies" because of the recent Tori Amos song. Turin Brakes is a great singles band. I LOVED their 2003 song Painkiller but I heard the CD and was left cold. This new track is similarly vibrant and the surprise here is a vaguely Hendrixian quality, it's subtle though - they haven't gone hard, they just weave in a little rocky-soulish-funkiness. You can hear the song in full via this link to Torr.

Oasis: Part Of The Queue In recent years I have much preferred Noel Gallagher's vocals to Liam's which now sort of grate on me. This is a great London-themed midtempo from their new CD, an album filled to the brim with ripoffs of other songs. They have never been so blatant. Listen to this one and others again courtesy of a
link provided by Torr.

Rascal Flatts: Bless The Broken Road What is with the double T? Anyway, it was robotic Carrie Underwood from American Idol that led me to this song, one of those tracks that is instantly familiar. I have at least 3 trolls reading this blog who like country music - girls who went honky tonk and you know who you are! Anyway, there isn't much to say about this song except that it's a very nice ballad, my momma will like it, and the lead singer of RF looks like Bette Midler.
Rascal Flatts site

Meanwhile, a few comments on recent pop press:

1) Surely Tom Cruise is on a manic high? Due to Scientology, he would never see a shrink or take meds for bipolar disorder, but I think that is what's wrong with him. Nothing excuses his comments on Brooke Shields medical situation. What a dick. I hope this is the start of a crash and burn. Sorry, but I do!


2) Did you see Courtney Love at the American Idol finale?
See here. She looked plumptious and healthy with her daughter. (BTW I do not like that bland Carrie chick at all. Mediocrity rules.)

3) If you have not seen the Anthony Lane review of the new Star Wars movie in the New Yorker, be sure to seek it out. The fans will be pissed! Here is a choice line: "I still fail to undertsand why I should have been expected to waste twenty-five years of my life following the progress of a beeping trashcan and a gay, gold-plated Jeeves." His take on Yoda is equally funny and mean: "You express yourself like a day-tripper with a dog-eared phrase book. 'I hope right you are.' Break me a fucking give."

Coldplay


Toronto 2005 Photo courtesy of fan at http://www.coldplaying.com/

The new Coldplay single "Speed Of Sound" is out and the Whackoff NJ correspondent reports that one of the b-sides "Things I Don't Understand" is better than the album track. I heard it last night and I agree. It's very propulsive with glorious multi-tracked harmonies. It's The Church mixed with New Order. Be sure to get it if you are a fan.

Here is an article / review of Coldplay:
The Guardian, article from May 22
The Guardian CD review

May 26, 2005

New Pernice Brothers!


The Pernice Brothers have a new album out shortly with a great Sedaris-esque name: Discover a Lovelier You. You can hear songs from it here. If you want to go back onto iTunes look for their excellent 2003 song "Water Ban" as a nice sample.

Check out their website

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. I was uber-busy and now am on vacation. I will try to post something each day if I can.

The Irina Derevko Variety Hour


If I ever meet Lena Olin, assuming I don't pass out or go dry-mouthed, I will surely call her Irina Derevko and say something assinine like, "I love Irina Derevko! As a child I used to dress like Irina Dreveko! I stole Barbies and turned them into Irina Derevko!"

Pretty good Alias finale last night, despite the lawsuit-worthy theft of the 28 Days Later plot and look. I just wish that wan Nadia had been shredded limb by limb by the Russian zombies. So now the question is will Sydney end up in a hospital bed for say... 9 months? And will Michael Vaughan's actual name be...Ben?

PS: For Lost watchers, I literally got chills when those old men in the boat said they were taking the kid! Eeeeeesh!

May 25, 2005

"Here is where the sky is blue!"


An era has ended and I am very sad about it. Ismael Merchant of Merchant Ivory has died in London. He is responsible, along with James Ivory, for some of the best movies of the past 25 years, including Room With A View and Howard's End. Even the bad ones he produced have something that makes them worthy. At least we have one more coming soon, The White Countess, which was filming in Shanghai when I was there in November.

May 23, 2005

Review: Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, "Cold Roses"


Urgh. Why can't Ryan Adams release one perfect, concise album? It would improve his standing tenfold. He just doesn't learn from his mistakes. To be honest, I already sold this album for very close to what I paid for it. I may eventually regret it, but I burned the songs I liked best (see below). It's a double CD that doesn't need to be - it's not that long. Still, it has great packaging, like an old album from the 70's, and a cheap list price. What's not so hot is the amount of filler on Cold Roses.

There is some great stuff here - the single "Let It Ride" and the achy ballad "How Do You Keep Love Alive" (what will Parker say?!). One track, "Meadowlake Street," starts out simply and then build and builds to a beautiful wall of sound that gives me chills. "When Will You Come Back Home" sounds like it has been around for years and that's a good thing, in this case anyway. BUT please, there are quite a number of lame songs here, so I have decided to edit it into the Xolondon mix, which looks like this:

Ryan Adams And The Cardinals: Cold Roses

1. Magnolia Mountain
2. Let It Ride
3. Meadowlake Street
4. How Do You Keep Love Alive
5. Cold Roses
6. When Will You Come Back Home?
7. Now That You're Gone
8. Sweet Illusions
9. Blossom
10. Cherry Lane
11. Friends


See my review (below) of Ryan live in DC.

Review: Ryan Adams at the 9:30 Club, DC, Sat night.

Before I begin, these pics below are not my own. They are from two fans, smurik and jizzyp, on the Ryan message board. More pics here.

Ryan attacking his guitar for the right sound, 9:30 Club, 5/21/05

I was really worried that this show on Sunday night at the 9:30 Club was going to suck in a big way. Ryan's show the night before in Philly (details) was apparently one of the worst of his solo career. Angry crowd, angry artist. But his mama musta shook 'im by the ears because he was clearly on his best behavior. He referenced the Philly show several times saying, "We're still open for business, we're still cooking."

Ryan was well-behaved and engaged with the audience in a good way –charming in fact- the whole time. His banter was funny and not too much for my tastes, though I loved when his bandmate boomed “Mr. Adams you digress!” They set up this request box and did an amusing little "skit" to pull the request out. It turned out to be the sad ballad "Dear Chicago" which everyone wanted to hear. He performed it to the woman who requested it, on a stage that was dark except for a string of white Christmas lights wrapped around the mic stand. Really sweet.

His singing was amazing - it struck me the moment he opened his mouth. He is one of those singers, like Lindsey Buckingham, who has the ability to morph his voice into all sorts of sounds, but he sang very clearly for much of the set without histrionics or twangs or croaks that some artists use live and that he apparently used in Philly. The performances were brilliant (inlcuding a fave of mine "La Cienega Just Smiled". He is one of those guitarists who ends up in the corner of the stage on the floor wailing on his guitar, dragging it across the floor so he can get the appropriate feedback.

A few complaints: what artist opens a show with a SIX unreleased tracks? It gets dull at best and it caters to those obnoxious fans in the crowd who scream for each new track as if he's playing "Come Pick Me Up." Puleez. And yes, his extreme ADHD lends to long pauses between songs, as if you're watching a sound check. Still, there was no drunken rage and no idiots screaming for Bryan Adams songs.

Here is a detailed review of the show from another attendee - just scroll down a bit on the thread.

Ryan playing the request, "Dear Chicago" to the fan who wanted to hear it.


Ryan looked unrecognizable to me in a plaid shirt, long dirty hair pulled back with a barrette on his forehead, low slung tight jeans and boots. Oh yeah, coke bottle glasses!

By the way, for anyone who was there, the whole bit in the beginning about it being "hawt" was Ryan's imitation of the Pat O'Brien tapes.

The setlist: Kiss Before I Go, The End (Jacksonville), What Sin, September, Peaceful Valley, Million Times Pain (title?), Magnolia Mountain, Let It Ride, Blossom, When Will You Come Back Home. 2nd set: Why Do They Leave, Winding Wheel, Oh My Sweet Carolina, To Be Young..., Shakedown On 9th, When The Stars Go Blue, La Cienega Just Smiled, Dear Chicago, Love Is Hell, Please Don't Let Me Go, I See Monsters.

Off-topic: A post for my actual friends

I have received a number of genius emails from actual friends of mine in the past week and I'd like to quote them. You can play a guessing game as to WHO said WHAT. One is very easy and one is pretty hard to guess.


Xolondon: (regarding the pastry picture above): Those pastries make me horny baby!
Friend A: I know - I could totally fuck the shit out of that pinwheel.

******
Friend B: I prefer men who appear to be a collection of boxes stacked on each other.

******

Friend C: Well...it was one year ago that I was being shat on by a Paris pigeon. Considering how my life/job is now...I'd give anything to be on that bench again, even splattered in feces.

May 20, 2005

Turin Brakes

Torr has some links to good new MP3s by Turin Brakes from their new JackInABox CD.

May 19, 2005

Off-topic: Spy-mommy returns

LENA OLIN'S GOT IT ALL!

I could literally create a whole blog devoted to the greatness of Lena Olin. She finally appeared again on Alias last night as Irina Derevko - what's the rumor? they gave L.O. a gold Caddy as a bonus? - and the show was immediately elevated by her presence. Her entrance, with the camera panning up her legs as she walked into a party, was worthy of her uber-lusciousness. The great picture above (click to blow it up) is from the moment after a passionate reunion with Jack Bristow, when he seals the kiss with a hole in her head. We watch as her smiling face sinks underwater, little air bubbles coming out of the gunshot wound! Of course, we now know (or think) it was a fake Irina and that the real one is ALIVE.

The question is: how long will Irina last? Because a two-episode appearance is like great sex once every 10 years: you spend the next 9 thinking about what you're missing.

Delicious pic courtesy of LenaOlin.net

May 17, 2005

JLo: Ten reasons to hate her. A fucktard primer.

The sad decline of Jennifer Lopez



1) After only 10 weeks, her phoned-it-in album called Rebirth is #78 on the Billboard Hot 100 (Hell, Aimee Mann is higher on the pop charts!).

2) Nor is she anywhere to be found in the top 50 singles. Even Fantasia is on that chart.

3) She wears every kind of slaughtered animal she can skin and staple onto the edges of her clothes. Not only that, she makes fur a centerpiece for her "fashion" line. We know the girls from the block have the money for furs, right?

4) Her hair (above)

5) Her rat husband, who you just know is gonna start controlling her even more once she loses her crown for good.

6) Her in-need-of-therapy ex is having a baby with a much nicer, more genuine and equally beautiful woman, Jennifer Garner.

7) She is not the draw for her new movie. Curiosity about Jane Fonda IS. Lopez comedies come out every other week and flop. She has chipped away at her early actor bona fides by choosing to become a conglomerate instead. Yes, she was good 6 years ago.

8) Her hair (below)

9) She has put in the dumper a documentary she feels depicts her as the bitty she is. This would not be news if it weren't for the fact she has wasted the time and talent of its director, the great DA Pennabaker, who did The War Room, Depeche Mode 101, Dylan's Don't Look Back and the recent gem Elaine Stritch At Liberty. What did she think she was getting when she signed on with him? Pennebaker's camera presents what it sees.

10) Her fans are unable to come up with any defense other than: Anonymous said: fuck you jlo is awesome.. dont diss her

Off topic: Fucked up, but funny

Meet Sugar Bush Squirrel...



This is some freaky stuff, but very amusing...

Note: Be sure to look at the Kelly's Pages links on the left side - she is the "mom" of this squirre! She's also known as the "Squirrel Whisperer" and is seen whooping it up with Oleg Cassini and Vanessa Redgrave among others. Also check out the Photo Galleries where you can purchase pictures like the fabulous High Chair. This website is even better than that little dog that has calendars.

Bad news: Kylie has cancer!



Poor Kylie! Kylie Minogue has breast cancer and is canceling the rest of her tour. She's young and in shape so, hopefully, all will be well. I can't imagine a world without Kylie, especially at the gym! Now Kylie is only 36, so all my trolls with tatas need to squeeze them carefully.

BBC report on Kylie's situation

Van Morrison out today

For those of you distraught with the Kylie news, be sure to listen to the new Van Morrison single called "Stranded" - it is classic Van and really... sweet, with tinkly piano and bittersweet lyrics. The kind of stuff he can create in his sleep, but that's okay. We like it that way. Wish I could find a place that has the full single online, so I could link it...

The album called Magic Time is out now worldwide.

Website info on the new CD (Amazon link there too)
iTunes link

UPDATE: VH1 is streaming the album as of May 17. Look for the blurb on him.

PS: Van has been doing live shows. I thought it would be interesting to post the set list from his March 17 show at The Supper Club in New York City: Inarticulate Speech of The Heart No.1, Have I Told You Lately, Cleaning Windows, Fame, In The Midnight, Back On Top, Don't Worry 'Bout A Thing, Brown Eyed Girl, Star Of The County Down, Jackie Wilson Said, That's Life, Stop Drinking, Precious Time, Baby What You Want Me To Do?, Help Me, Moondance, The Healing Game, All Work and No Play, Gloria.

May 15, 2005

Review: Mariah flies like a bird, XO burns in hell



Dear God,

I have a secret I need to confess to You. At night I shut my bedroom door, put on my headphones and jam the fuck out to The Emancipation of Mimi by your fallen angel, Mariah Carey. This record is HOT, I LOVE it and it is a source of self-disgust. In fact, dear God, I'm in a shame SPIRAL. What is happening to me? Can I be deprogrammed?

I have always liked certain Mariah songs (Dreamlover, Honey and The Roof to name three), but found her image to be embarrassing. She is a craven attention-seeker, with a freaky mix of babygirl and hooker. Totally needy, yes? However, in keeping with my belief that one should focus on the music, not the artist, I gave this CD a chance when I got it for free. Mariah has gone old school and there are some major gems, including Stay The Night, We Belong together and Your Girl. Mine Again and Circles are not only classic Mariah ballads, but they're great throwbacks to late 70's /early 80's smooth soul. Really! The gospel finale Fly Like A Bird is genius. I'm so deeply messed up over this, dear Lord, that I can now tolerate the kitten-squealing notes.

On the otherwise decent I Wish You Knew she pipes in screaming lambs (fans in Mimispeak) and a spoken bit where she enunciates the word "situation" in the most homegirl way she possibly muster. In fact, it's only when she gets all ghetto-diva-hip-hop on 3 or 4 songs, with rappers like Nelly and Twista (whatever THAT is) that she becomes frightening. Please! You just KNOW she can't even be bothered to use stairs like a normal person. I bet she rides the elevator between floors of her ritzy all-cream duplex, wearing a tiny, bling-encrusted tanktop, mini skirt and platform lucite heels.

So please God, grant me serenity and give me the strength to resist the pure evil of chanting "it's like dat yo, it's like dat yo!" as I go about Your business.

Listen to
album samples
Look at cheesy photos on her
website

On TV: Miss Marple is back


There are new Miss Marple mysteries on PBS' Mystery over the next month. There have been two so far with another two coming, inlcuding the start of a new one tonight called What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw (the final one is The Body In The Library and more are due next year). I like how they've produced these: loading them with famous Brit actors (so many that they killed off Derek Jacobi in the first hour!) and details not in the books. For instance, I am pretty sure Miss Marple was never seen reading Raymond Chandler's "Simple Art of Murder" and I know she did not have a back story involving an affair with a married soldier.

The woman playing Miss Marple (above) is a wee bit young in my opinion. She seems a bit contemporary compared to the other actors in this series, which is set in the 1950's (I think they were written as 1930s and 40s). She gives a kind of postmodern version of Jane Marple, working the cute old lady when she needs to and giving snarky looks at characters who treat her as anything less than she really is. The musical cues in her scenes are pretty funny as she goes sleuthing around.

PBS knows its viewers and you can tell this series was created with an American audience that wants to see a certain version of English countryside (not that it isn't really verdant green... it IS, even in winter). They are filmed with intense color: for instance, a bright green and yellow room with a woman in a red dress, etc. The town, St. Mary Mead, is impossibly cute (how many locations did it take to make it?!) and Miss Marple's house is a PAINFULLY sweet little thatched cottage with flowers climbing all over it. Pardon me while I make a pot of tea, luv.

Anyway, the schedule is here if you want to watch upcoming episodes. Should you be nutty Agatha Christie traditionalist, this series may set your face on fire, so beware. It even has lesbians! If you are a young hip Anglophile (like MYSELF) you will like it. And remember, the second hour is always better than the first.


More from the PSB Mystery site

May 14, 2005

The Emancipation of Immi



Imogen Heap is close to releasing her new solo album. I have heard 4 songs and Frou Frou fans are in for a treat - the music is just as melodic, the lyrics just as quirky and the arrangements are...ecstatic! If you haven't heard Goodnight And Go from the recent OC soundtrack (on iTunes), it's going to be one of my top songs of the year, one of Immi's best lyrics and one that I take more personally than most. My other favorite is Just For Now, a beautiful, slow midtempo with some impossibly high notes.

Imogen Heap's website
Immi's messageboard
Frou Frou's messageboard

Why'd you have to be so cute?
It's impossible to ignore you
Must you make me laugh so much?
It's bad enough we get along so well
Say goodnight and go...

One of these days
You'll miss your train, and come stay with me.
(It's always say goodnight and go)
We'll have drinks and talk about things,
And any excuse to stay awake with you.
You'd sleep here, I'd sleep there,
But then the heating may be down again.
(At my convenience)
We'd be good, we'd be great together
(Go!)

- Imogen Heap, Goodnight And Go

May 13, 2005

A year ago today...

I had just landed in London!



And here I am now, "sat" in my office, staring at the computer. The picture above is not mine - I borrowed it from some dude on the web - but it is truly what Kensington Gardens looked like when we were there. Below is a picture I posted before of our breakfast at The Orangery in Hyde Park. We liked that place so much, we went twice. Go and get yourself a Chelsea Bun. Now.



To any British readers of this blog: I love you, perhaps a little too much...

May 12, 2005

Last Days of Kurt Cobain: The Movie!





There is a new website for Last Days, the Gus Van Sant film that is sort of about Kurt Cobain. Michael Pitt, whose penis recently starred in a Bertolucci film, looks uber-Cobainish in the movie, even wearing a sweater (above) I think I have seen Cobain wearing in photos. With a cast like this (Pitt, Asia Argento and Lukas Hass) it's a wonder they didn't all OD during production. Note the presence (and potentially weak acting) of Kim Gordon in the preview trailer.

Movie Trailer

A couple of side notes:
1) Michael Pitt, one of the stars of the brilliant Hedwig movie, has a fansite called Pillow Lips!
2) Great pics from the movie
here
3) How long until a River Phoenix biopic?
Alison Goldfrapp is back and hot!


Orange alert: This is the biggest news of the year so far:

The new Goldfrapp album is called Supernature and it is out August 22. How can I wait that long? The single is "Ooh Lala" and it's due on August 8th. The press release says that the single is "sulky, sexual and a bit ambiguous" and "glam-noir." Alison describes as the video as "Eno era Roxy Music and old Top of the Pops." Bitchin'! The picture above is new and Alison has never looked so ready for love...

Thanks to Arjanwrites for getting all this first and loving Goldfrapp. More here from me on Goldfrapp.

May 11, 2005

ohmigod, I like the new Dave Matthews Band song! What is wrong with me? It's called American Baby and the video is linked here. It actually reminds me, especially the end bit, of early solo Sting.

Do you want to see my nipple?



Patrick Wolf's new single is the beautiful title track to Wind In The Wires, a U2-worthy song. Here is a link to the video - the images above are from it, which a fan rightly pointed out looks very similar to Bjork's Pagan Poetry video. Let's hope we don't have to witness Patrick get a needle through the nipple like Bjork!

Meanwhile you can hear Patrick perform live
via this link. The page takes awhile to load, but the performance is gorgeous, especially the first track, Teignmouth.

There are also links to live performance MP3s in this
messageboard thread. They were pretty slow when I tried one.

Shelby Lynn


I’ll bet many of you have no idea that buried on the 2000 soundtrack to the Bridget Jones movie is one of the greatest pop songs ever recorded, and from an unlikely source. Shelby Lynne teamed up with uber-pop producer Glen Ballard to write and record “Killin’ Kind,” a loved-up, achin’-for-you tribute to great sixties hits. That song probably stands in the top 5 songs that make me happiest – it never fails, particularly in the last minutes of multi-tracked harmony bliss. It’s hard to believe, for me anyway, that Shelby Lynn has this song in her, but she did and it makes you wonder how many souls live in the one tiny woman.

I had previously seen her live, opening for someone else, and was fascinated by her I’ll-drink-you-under-the-table-and-then-I will-fuck-you-blue stage persona. Her banter was like a celebration of country roadhouse/Vegas cheese, but the music was really great live. She comes across a hard-livin’ woman and if you’ve read her tragic life story, you’ll know why. Her breakthrough 1999 CD I Am Shelby Lynn was impressive: a mix of Bonnie Raitt, Dusty Springfield and Elvis Presley. She covered so much ground in ten songs, it was like she’d put her whole life’s experience into that one disc. If I’d decided to embark on a cheesy afternoon-eight affair at a local Motel 6, this record would have been the soundtrack! Note how cheaply you can get this in Amazon Marketplace – quality is not a correlation to price on this one.

She followed up with the more pop-heavy Love, Shelby a record that was overproduced but still really great (and included “Killin” Kind” in the 10-song mix). The album was a flop, a fact I partially blame on the horrifying on-her-knees sex kitten cover that was totally wrong for her. Had there been a different cover and set of accompanying images, I think people would have taken it more seriously.

Then she disappeared, bobbed her hair, and returned with an album in 2003, Identity Crisis, that was recorded in her home. Spare little songs that, with the exception of “Telephone” and a few others, left me bored. The spark was gone: no soaring harmonies and no OTT passion. People even report that she was a mess on stage for the performances at that time. Shelby releases a new record called Suit Yourself on May 24 and you can check out the sampler and read about the album here. This one is also being described as spare, but I hope we get a little more of her trademark “gritty elegance” than we did last time around. I love that it has a song called “Iced Tea” –how Southern!

Shelby's website and watch a video about the making of the new CD.

Shelby’s sister Allison Moorer is supremely talented as well. Check her out. Speaking of CD covers, her image for the Hardest Part album is really beautiful.

May 10, 2005

Bitchin' Gwen makes a fashion boner...


Meanwhile, her crappy chant (it's not a song) is no. 1 on the charts!? That shit is bananas! And I hear Gwen is releasing some sort of LAMB part 2 CD this fall...

Off-topic again: For those who know British Bridget...


Jon, Louis and Bridget (with a shag!)

Way off-topic: Catshit investigations


I haven't posted much in the past few days because I was having Pet Drama at my house. Jasper (looking typically alarmed above), started throwing up on Sunday and couldn't seem to keep new food down. He behaved normally, so we didn't think anything of it until my roommate said something that made me remember I'd tied a piece of ribbon to my desk for him to play with and that ribbon was now missing! Could he have eaten an 18-inch ribbon? This is very dangerous for cats, so I barely slept on Sunday night and kept waking up to see if he was a) still alive and b) bleeding to death (hey, you know how your brain works at night).

I took him to the vet on Monday morning and $250 later we knew nothing for sure. They couldn't see a blockage on the x-rays, so Jasper went on a fast and last night had a tiny bit of special wet food - no vomiting, which is good. All seemed well this morning as I got ready for work. He drooled out the medicine I gave him and rolled around on the floor being needy. All normal.

A few minutes later we noticed him go into the catbox and then he came barreling out. When I went into the living room he was dragging his ass all around the carpet. Great. Roommate held him down and I used wet paper towels to gently pull at the gobs of poo stuck to his ass. I see ribbon, I said! Fortunately none of it was still inside him, as you can't pull on that. The roommate then said, "Maybe you should inspect it!" Yeah, maybe I should. So I set up a CSI lab with wet paper towels and picked apart the poo! Sure enough there was 18 inches of balled-up ribbon. How did he eat all this and how did it get through him in one mass?

Roommate is taking him to the vet this morning for a followup and I remain convinced that cat shit is still on my hands. Once that scent gets anywhere near you, it's hard to get rid of. You could slather my hands in fucking rose milk and I would just smell catshit-scented rose milk.

May 9, 2005

Music was the lamb that made a lion out of me.

-Esthero

May 5, 2005

Rob Thomas is the fifth horseman...

...of the apocalypse. I am here to issue a warning about his hideous new Target commerical, the one that has black and white images of him that look like a tacky old Olan Mills photo. The type of photo your parents had done of you at 4 years old, where your torso was floating as a small image inside your neck? The visuals are set to that nasty "I don't wanna be lonely no more" song, the most insidious Rob Thomas song since "Smooth" or...any other Matchbox 20 song. Everytime I see this commercial my face peels off and worms ooze out.

For any Matchbox fans, you need better taste. BUT I do like that "baby it's time to come home" song. Don't tell anyone.

Why the Bravery sucks

Because the lead singer Sam Endicott lies about his age, which is the most pussy-wussy thing a rocker dude can do. He has skimmed several years off - he graduated in 1992 from Georgetown Day School. That would make him about 32, not in his mid-twenties. I also don't like the increasingly rapid ascent these new ripoff 80's bands are making. It doesn't bode well for music (or for stupid Sam Endicott). The whole thing stinks of FAUX.

Did you know that The Strokes have not sold a million of either of their CDs? Interpol has not even got gold (500,000) on either of theirs. Talk about hype versus cash! How much was spent to promote these guys? Interestingly, Killers and Franz Ferdinand have already gone platinum. Read all about it in a recent Bravery story in New York Magazine. It's interesting even if, like me, you have no desire to follow the Bravery.

Meanwhile Oasis is slagging all these bands as a means of promoting their sure-to-be-shite new CD (try it here while the link lasts). The single called "Lyla" is atrocious and belongs in the crapper. This band really shot their load, so to speak, ten years ago. Just sayin'... UPDATE: I heard the record and it's not as terrible as I would have thought; it is also surprisingly midtempo. Try "Part Of The Queue" for a decent track.

Quote of the Week: Bono

Quote from Bono in the recent Vogue article on Edun (see earlier post):

"...the United States is number 20 on the list of richest countries in per capita giving to the poorest of the poor -- i.e., you're at the bottom of the class. And the reason no one knows that is you can always say you're giving more than anyone else, and you are giving more than anyone else, but not per capita. It's just because you're a bigger country. If we use Europe as a comparison to America, then you're in the dust. But the point is, in the end, America does have a clue about how to rid the world of extreme poverty."

Suddenly the wheels are in motion



A great movie soundtrack, doncha think? Magic, Suddenly (with Cliff Richard!), Suspended in Time, I'm Alive, All over the World, Xanadu. All genius pop songs! And yes, it is on iTunes.

May 4, 2005

Nibbly bits


As you can see above, my cat Lucinda is preparing for the new Star Wars movie.

BJORK: The recent Bjork singles for "Triumph Of A Heart" are pretty unbearable. I just got them because I have to have them all and they supports my assertion that Bjork has moved beyond her one-time commitment to pop music. She crossed the avant garde line. Medulla is not a terrible album, but it is extremely esoteric and difficult for my tastes. She was perfect on Homogenic and I hope she sticks to tunes next time (versus production).

JONI MITCHELL: She's released yet another cash cow collection called Songs From A Prairie Girl. She keeps trying to lure me in with fabulous art, especially on this one. The song list is better than the last two, but it still seems indulgent for me to buy, as I have virtually all of the tracks already. Here is a Rhino website (you may have to click on Launch E-card) and a Musictap review

SHAKIRA: The Latina Dick Cozy has a new CD called Oral Fixation, I kid you not. In her "La Tortura" video, Alejandro Sanz butt-bangs her overs a pile of tomatoes and a knife, she sounds like a man, and what she does with her boobs in the video is truly laughable. Just sayin'
Video: Windows High or Windows Low

NEW ORDER has the video for "Jetstream" online now - it's not my favorite song on the CD, but it features Ana Matronic of Scissor Sisters. Video: Windows High or Windows Low

AMERICAN IDOL is officially unbearable. I could not watch last night, they were so bad.

May 3, 2005

Where did I leave my arm?

Aimee Mann releases her new CD The Forgotten Arm today and it is one of her best in many years (don't let the concept album element deter you). You can stream it in FULL on Aimee's website. Full review soon...

The face of true happiness, twinned.

On Monday I skipped work to hang with my cool (and short) friends Noah (l) and Gabriel (r) at the National Zoo. They were thrilled to find that their lunch combo trays turned into little panda lunchboxes. My older friend explained that children have a serious affection for carrying any sort of box that holds items inside... they will not. let. go. of. them.





Quite frankly, I would much rather carry twins around on my hips, pretending they are my kids, than go to work. What we saw: an elephant get a bath, a camera-friendly giraffe, sleepy pandas, hideous lazy reptiles, strawberry blond monkeys, freakin' noisy gibbons, lions, tigers, no bears, a zebra or two, and a potentially-dead underwater hippo (hey, it's the National Zoo, what do you expect?). I also gawked at the very large amount of children and babies, a culture I am not used to!

click pics to see larger views

What I had for breakfast:

A Magnolia Bakery cupcake that Lisa brought me on the plane from NYC:

(along with my fiber, of course!)

May 2, 2005

More mini-reviews...

There are a zillion albums coming out, so I'd better review a few more recent releases:



New Order: Waiting For The Siren's Call

This record could have been a real stinker, but New Order wrote strong tunes and used a mix of good producers, old (Stephen Street, John Leckie) and new (Stuart "Jacques LuCont" Price). WFTSC is a great pop record. In past years, it seems like they tried (even with Electronic) to leap onto whatever the current trend was - that happens less so here. "Krafty," the single, is a grower with a lovely synth string accompaniment weaving in and out. My favorite is "Guilt Is A Useless Emotion," one of the Price songs that bears his dance-pop stamp...it's a perfect gym song. Love the weird slicing sound at the end! Most of the songs here have a nice instrumental section that allows them to breathe a bit. I'm not so fond of the new single "Jetstream" - which features Ana Matronic of Scissor Sisters - the "J-E-T" bit on the chorus is just silly. And yes, the lyrics on this record are generally crap. Bernard has written some good ones in the past ("Regret") but not here! Somehow they rose above it and made their best CD in years.

Favorite tracks: "Guilt Is A Useless Emotion" and "Krafty"




Bodies Without Organs: Prototype


Bodies Without Organs
, a Swedish pop group engineered in a gay lab, are not for the wimpy or fearful of full-on, butt-shaking, hair-flippin' Europop. If you are self-conciously hip and cannot release the inner club kid in yourself, go listen to Arcade Fire. This is sickly sweet pop, but the sugar-addicted boppers at PopJustice recognize quality when they hear it. My faves here are "Sunshine In The Rain," the one that namechecks all sorts of European cities and "Living In A Fantasy" a perfect summer single. Lyrically, it's the standard rhymes, but it's so fucking happy you can't help but like it. Now remember, it is hard to find: they are only big in Sweden and Russia! I ordered mine from Amazon Marketplace and it wasn't cheap. And remember, to quote another blogger, just because I do the go-go don't mean I'm a ho-ho!

Favorite track:
"Sunshine In The Rain"



Patrick Wolf: Wind In The Wires

Sometimes a new artist comes along who seems completely unmoved by the current trends in music - they do their own thing and that is what makes them great (and soon a whole bunch of imitators come along). Patrick Wolf is only about 22; agewise his peers are idiots like Jesse McCartney and that hair kid who "dates" Ashlee Simpson. There hasn't been anyone doing this kind of music in a long time. Here are some reasons to love Patrick Wolf's new album Wind In The Wires: First, ignore the babyfaced cover shot, a sort of disturbing teeny bop milky boy photo, and focus on the music. He straddles a line, vocally and visually, between an innocent young brainiac who has spent too much time indoors and a sort of gothpunk rentboy. Several songs seem to be the result of time spent alone on trains chugging through around English country and seaside, especially between London and Edinurgh on the "The Railway House" and then down to moody Cornwall on "Teignmouth." Patrick, thankfully, is prone to the same kind of caterwauling romantic drama that Sinead O'Connor favored on her debut. He's one of those singers who is able to let his vocals go astray at times - it's part of the allure. The whole record is pretty fearless, with its hitchhikers getting "raped on the roadside" and the spitting vocals on the Reznoresque "Tristan." That song, while crunchy, is also pretty melodic, mixing the guitars with some high end "information" (like bells). The title song even has a hitmaking bassline that reeks of U2, so he covers a lot of ground. Important thing to remember: Patrick wrote, arranged, played and produced the whole record HIMSELF at 21 years old.

Favorite tracks: "The Libertine" and "Wind In The Wires"