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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Leave Joe Out of It.

So against my better judgement, I am watching the final presidential debate. I needed something to do while waiting for the Project Runway finale and since I couldn't find a rerun of the Rachel Zoe Project, I settled for the yammering of politicians. 
I should have picked up a book.

It was the same old stuff. The economy blah, blah, blah. And of course Joe came up. Sarah Palin loves to talk about Joe Six Pack and Obama has his own Joe in Biden so the wrinkled turkey necked artifact needed his own "Joe". Johnny referenced Joe the Plumber, a real man Obama met in Ohio this week, a billion times. Joe the Plumber, like Mr. Six Pack, is supposed to represent us regular Americans. It's a cartoonish yet folksy way to blanket characterize an entire group of people without ever actually having to be one of those people. It is insulting to have multi-millionaires paint our collective picture as factory working Coors swilling Billy Ray Cyrus fans. Sure they exist and God bless them but I ain't one of them. For future reference politicians, I'd like to be called Josie Chardonnay, thank you very much.

And poor Joe the Plumber. Little did he know a conversation with Barrack Obama would turn him into a poster child for Skeletor and the gun show goddess.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lynda Carter is Still My Hero

My childhood hero, Lynda Carter has been popping up all over the place lately. She did a gig in Atlantic City a few weeks back, she found a body floating in the Potomac River over the summer, and she's got a movie coming out soon. But the best thing I've heard from Wonder Woman appeared in Philadelphia magazine a couple of weeks ago.  Here's what she had to say about comparisons between Wonder Woman and Sarah Palin:

Okay, last question. I'm sure you've seen all the comparisons in the media and among Republicans of Sarah Palin to Wonder Woman. How do you feel about that?
Don’t get me started. She’s the anti-Wonder Woman. She’s judgmental and dictatorial, telling people how they’ve got to live their lives. And a superior religious self-righteousness ... that’s just not what Wonder Woman is about. Hillary Clinton is a lot more like Wonder Woman than Mrs. Palin. She did it all, didn’t she?

No one has the right to dictate, particularly in this country, to force your own personal views upon the populace — religious views. I think that is suppressive, oppressive, and anti-American. We are the loyal opposition. That’s the whole point of this country: freedom of speech, personal rights, personal freedom. Nor would Wonder Woman be the person to tell people how to live their lives. Worry about your own life! Worry about your own family! Don't be telling me what I want to do with mine.

I like John McCain. But this woman — it's anathema to me what she stands for. I think America should be very afraid. Very afraid. Separation of church and state is the one thing the creators of the Constitution did agree on — that it wasn’t to be a religious government. People should feel free to speak their minds about religion but not dictate it or put it into law.

What I don’t understand, honestly, is how anyone can even begin to say they know the mind of God. Who do they think they are? I think that’s ridiculous. I know what God is in my life. Now I am sure that she’s not all just that. But it’s enough to me. It’s enough for me to have a visceral reaction. And it makes me mad.

People need to speak up. Doesn’t mean that I’m godless. Doesn’t mean that I am a murderer. What I hate is this demonization of everybody but one position. You’re un-American because you’re against the war. It’s such bullshit. Fear. It’s really such a finite way of thinking about God to think that your measley little mind can know the mind of God. It’s a very little God that way. I think that God’s bigger. I don’t presume to know his mind. Or her mind.

I knew I wanted to be her when I grew up for reason. A reason other than the boots, that is.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Think Kristie Alley Said it Best When She said....

'Nuff Said.

Heather Forever

It's all over the news and the internet that Heather Locklear was arrested today for a DUI. There was no racial slurs or injured trees, just some sunglasses that she ran over. I say no harm no foul. Poor Heather has had a bitch of a couple of months. Her meds are out of wack and she has fallen on tough times. Let us remember the lovely Locklear as the woman who saved Spelling shows and not as the gal who took too much candy, shall we?

Just marvel as she poses as an exotic dancer on TJ Hooker! Or wonder at how La Locklear  takes a bitch slap! But mostly let's celebrate Heather the superslut boss. 
Heather, we've got your back. Besides, who among us hasn't popped the wrong pill at the wrong time?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fav 5 Songs of the Week

Here's the list of the songs I just can't get enough of this week. Enjoy!

1.) "Crazy"-Jem It has been a long three years since we've heard from Jem and this addictive track with it's electro-banjos and fizzy production proves it was worth the wait. 

2.)"Youthless"- Beck Sometimes Beck rocks my world and other times he wears me the fuck out. Thankfully, this song from Modern Guilt and recently heard on Grey's Anatomy is a thoughtfully written and artfully produced track. It's the funky Beck you love with a little more substance!

3.)"Acid Tongue", Jenny Lewis The title track from Jenny Lewis' second solo record is filled with sharp lyrics and cutting commentary we've come to expect from her. And her voice sounds heavenly.

4.) "Electric Feel", MGMT I am a little behind the curve on this band but recently  got on board big time. I've downloaded this song and listened to it a billion times.

5.) "The World Should Revole Around Me", Little Jackie For those of us who have been fans of Imani Coppola for years, we couldn't be happier that her new project has been so successful. She's still wry, witty, and blunt but now set to a funky retro beat. 

Britney's back. Kind of.

The new single, "Womanizer", by Britney Spears was released today riding the waves of the recent "she's not crazy anymore" PR spin that's been brewing for the last few months. I wasn't the worlds biggest fan of her last album but to each his own. I have always enjoyed Britney like one does roller rink nachos, it's great for what it is but compared to everything else it's just okay. So I was eager for a little pop escape and rushed over to her website to give it a listen.

The issue that Britney has had over the last couple of years, aside from forgetting her panties, has been the ability to evolve and change to stay ahead of the others in her genre. Sadly, "Womanizer" won't help her in that direction either. It's a bland, repetitive "you've done me wrong song" that sounds like it was picked from the Rhianna discard pile. The big head scratcher with this song is the lack of hook. Britney has never really possessed a strong point of view so she desperately needs great pop writers to create a character for her a la "Baby, One More Time" and "Toxic". In lieu of being catchy, the song chooses the borderline annoying route having the songbird repeat the title over and over until your ready to rip your ears off.
The other mystery here is the production quality. It sounds so rushed it's as if it was recorded in some one's garage yesterday and released today. Her vocals are typical Britney and in that sense the song succeeds. She purrs in all the right places and sells it. After all, critiquing the singing on a Britney song is as irrelevant as judging a soap opera on it's acting.

Still,  I find myself rooting for the girl. I want her to be back on top and think she has the stuff to do it and again it's a disappointment. The fundamental problem surrounding Britney, in my opinion, is her team. She needs to give smart and honest interviews. She needs to work with top notch songwriters and innovative producers. She needs to work with better stylists. Two of the first lessons in Madonna 101 are to surround yourself with talented people and show the fans a good time. "Womanizer" proves that although she might not be a train wreck anymore, she's far from graduating.

It's Friday Music Day!

Due to a crazy ass work schedule, I missed last Friday. So I am now here to make it up to you with some great music.

Like this booty shaker from Hercules and Love Affair.

Or this sexy ditty by Bitter:Sweet. Click on "Sugar Mama".

Or how about this amazing number by Alanis?

Still not happy? 
Then how about this funk-tacular Sly & the Family Stone performance?

Now don't say I never gave you nothin'!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Non-News of the Week.

Clay Aiken is Gay!! New 90210 Actresses Are Too Skinny!! Sarah Pallin's Preacher is an Extremist Whack Job!!  Traffic in Los Angeles sucks!!!

Jeeze. These are the items flooding the Internet?!? It's not like there's a war going on or that the economy is in the crapper or anything. But just because I like to hear myself talk, I will give you my two cents on the aforementioned topics and then we will never speak of them again and I can go back to talking about important stuff like reality TV. 

Clay Aiken: Even if you have no gaydar whatsoever and the only gay celebrity you know is Tom Cruise, you had to see this one coming. His last album tanked, magically a baby appeared in his arms a few weeks back and all of the sudden he's pulling a Lance Bass on the cover of People Magazine. Well good for him and personally I feel vindicated. I made a joke about him in an article I wrote awhile back and a pack of angry Claymates attacked me and defended his heterosexuality. To those rabid fans I'd like to take you back to third grade by simply saying "Told ya!"

90210: Today's 90210 girls are yesterday's Kiera Knightly and the day before that's Calista Flockhart. Yawn. The real expose that should be going on here how skinny Hollywood men are. I mean I saw Freddy Prinze Jr awhile back and he looked like a toothpick holding an olive and don't even get me started on the male stars of a certain hospital show who all need a bag of  Del Taco STAT! Yet we never see guys on the cover of US Weekly. Hmm. Regardless, I think everybody needs to realize it's the industry and this town that creates the skinny standard and not the performers themselves. I say if we want to attack the younger cast of 90210, let's talk about how they cannot act and how awful their show is and leave it at that.

Sarah Pallin: I have stayed away from this topic because I do not want to give her any more praise, popularity, or press than she deserves. I have not and will not sit through any of her interviews. I refuse to read quotes by her. In short,  you will not find me waving a tube of lipstick in the air at her next speech. She's an animal murdering, environment killing, money grubbing, anti-woman tool so naturally she has a crazy preacher who wants to protect her from witches and does wacky healing ceremonies. I think religion and spirituality are extremely personal and should be kept out of the political arena entirely. Not voting for somebody based solely on their religous beliefs is silly. Especially, when there are so many other reasons not to vote for Sarah Pallin.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Livin' La Vida Leachman

As promised, I sat down to that televised equivalent of a bag of  cheese puffs known as Dancing with the Stars and let me just say I was blown away! Yes it's still a hokey, bloated train wreck but the contestants were very entertaining. 

My beloved Kim Kardashian looked stunning even though she danced rather poorly. She kept wondering why she was so unbalanced. Hmm, Kimmy. It could have anything to do with that enormous booty, could it? Anywho, the whole clan was there cheering her on and I hope she stays around.
Susan Lucci, on the other hand, was a total disappointment as she moved like the world's skinniest android. La Lucci, we love you but you need to visit In-N-Out while your in Los Angeles. Daily. Olympic volleyballer Misty May was also a letdown. I'm used to athletes dominating on this show but she kind of looked like stallion in a ball gown and danced like one too. 

My favorite performance of the night was that of Miss Cloris Leechman. Being 82 did not slow her down! She's still fiesty and hilarious. Sure, she's not gonna win the damn disco ball trophy but she will provide entertainment while she's around. In her first night, she sat on the judges laps, zinged one-liners, and jokingly blurted obscenities when she received her scores. Also, it should be noted that her body is AMAZING for an old gal. I've always loved her in things like The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Young Frankenstein so I'm not surprised she's just as funny in real life. 

In addition to Leechman, there's the "will Toni Braxton collapse?" factor, the Lacey from So You Think You Can Dance joining the cast as one of the pros, and the return of yummy Maks!
And just like that: I'm hooked. I always say to myself "Maybe I'll skip it this year". 5 million sequins and ten has-beens later, I'm mesmerized and on board for the entire season. 

Fall TV Report Part Two

Okay so this is the big week. The week where my beloved Betty returns, the week when my Amazing Race comes back to prove that "No, it's not overrated", and the week where I decide if I want to sit through that new Christian Slater show or not. 

I skipped tonight's Heroes premiere simply because I do not know what the hell is going on. Seriously. Last season confused me and I felt like I was missing something so instead I watched Marie Osmond faint on Dancing with the Stars. That at least made sense. I keep thinking if I have a season two marathon, I would be back in the game but then a show about Brooke Hogan buying a bikini comes on and all bets are off. So I don't have geek cred. Kill me.

Speaking of Dancing with the Stars, I did DVR that one and did not watch it. Listen, I know that ABC's corny has-been-fest is a shlocky hot mess but again I watch Brooke Hogan. What makes DWTS fun is the cast. If it has folks you care about ("Look, Kelly Taylor's doing the foxtrot!") then it's a hell of a ride, if not ( "Uhm is that guy from porn or an ABC soap?") it's no fun. Still, this cast looks promising what with Kim Kardashian, Susan Lucci, and Cloris Leachman mixing it up. So I'm on board regardless of how pathetic it is. 

Mostly, I have been enjoying early returners like Gossip Girl ( I know how many times a day can a mention this show?)and T:TSCC and summer holdouts like the FLAWLESS Mad Men. But the week is young my friends and I will be keeping watch of the latest, greatest, and silliest. So as they say in TV- Stay tuned!

Catherine is the New Alexis

Once upon a ruffled shoulder pad, if you wanted to name the resident beyatch on your nighttime drama, the name of choice would be Alexis. After all, it did wonders for Dynasty and soon everything from daytime soaps to big movies had villanesses named Alexis, Alex, or Alexandra.
Two decades and multiple fashion disasters later, the televixen name of choice has changed. Your new I-love-to-hate-her gal is now Catherine. Turns out the old school moniker of royalty is now the "it" name for royal bitches. 

Take Catherine Weaver played scrumptiously by Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles for example. Decked out in taliored monochromatic suits and a slicked out ponytail Manson's cyborg with a secret is my favorite evil Catherine since Katherine Hiegl. I know that was a cheap shot but necessary since we all  secretly love/hate her.

Elsewhere (and by that I mean on the CW), Catherine on Gossip Girl is actual royalty, even if it's just by marriage. In her short time terrorizing the Upper Eastside teens,  Duchess Catherine has already blackmailed a young girl, slept with said girl's crush, and macked out with her own stepson! Leave it to Central Park West and Twin Peaks alum Madchen Amick to give this cougarriffic Catherine some real claws. Joan would be proud.

And lastly, the first new Katherine (with a K!) that grabbed me last year was Katherine Mayfair of Desperate Housewives. I've already blogged about how fabulous Dana Delany is in this role but since she was ROBBED of an Emmy nomination, it's worth repeating. Ms. Mayfair is a secretive, controlling witch but it's her sadness and turmoil that makes her utterly compelling. Marc Cherry and company should be applauded for being ahead of the curve. 

Still, you have to give Alexis her due. Because if an Alexis was unhappy with her writers she wouldn't whine about it to the press. She'd just have them fired. Or at least beat the hell out of them.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lady Business

So last night, Tina Fey won a ton of Emmys and I couldn't be happier. I've only seen a few episodes of 30 Rock but I have vowed to get my hands on dvds and watch them all before the new season starts. I promise.

 The woman is a comedic genius and SNL is a waste of space without her. She was also nominated for her stint as a guest host on SNL which coincidentally was the best episode they've had since she left. They kept showing a clip from the skit "Lady Business" that had me and my man snickering at just the thought of it. It's a parody of Lipstick Jungle/ Cashmere Mafia and hands down one of the funniest sketches they've ever done. 

Watch it here and enjoy!

Lipstick on a Pig? It's been done, honey.

Has the world ever needed Miss Piggy more than we do now?

There's talk of a new Muppet movie and holiday special and it can't happen soon enough for me. I know people say since his passing, Jim Henson's creatures just haven't been the same and I tend to agree.  But I'm remaining hopeful since the Muppets still take me to my "happy place". 

Plus, I could use a little dose of Miss Piggy's tough, diva attitude right about now. I have a short list of people she could karate chop and insult in that special way that only Miss Piggy could do. While I await her return, I've found some killer youtube clips of the diva in action to hold me over. Like this fabulous opening number from her television special, a comedy mash up of her on Top Model, her dancing at a disco with Christopher Reeve and Cheryl Ladd(!), and a classic moment from the Muppet Show.

Watching these clips makes you realize how good we had it as kids with the genius of Frank Oz and Jim Henson. Kids today(a phrase that automatically makes you sound really old) are stuck with the Jonas Brothers and That's so Raven. Hardly seems fair.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Running from The Hills!

I have little guilt when it comes to admitting my secret love of bad reality tv. I should, I suppose hang my head in shame but instead I wear my trash tv crown with pride and I'm all "I watched four hours of I Love New York. What?"
So it's a tad baffling that I've never gotten into The Hills on MTV. Trust me, it's not like I've drawn some line in the sand and said "watching strippers play mud football to win a date with Brett Michaels is one thing but phony LA fashion designers stabbing each other in the back is where I say enough is enough!" And on paper, it seems like the kind of thing that I should enjoy. Entertainment Weekly even declared it a "classic". So what's the deal?

First off, if I want to watch bad bottle blonds being bitchy in fake situations clearly set up by producers, then I'll turn on Young and the Restless. Secondly, Lauren Conrad kinda scares me. She seems like she could snap at any moment and her lack of charisma and likability support my psycho theory. Another reason, I don't watch is because I feel like I've seen the whole damn show already with all the non-stop media coverage and omnipresence of the cast on the red carpet. Dave and I have a joke that anytime we don't recognize a celebrity on TMZ it probably means they are from The Hills. Like this guy in the picture. Oh you don't know who he is either? Good so maybe I'm not the only one who doesn't watch this show. (Apparently, he's Brody Jenner and he's one of the stars, just fyi)

Mainly, though, my issue with The Hills is that it didn't grab in the beginning which is what needs to happen to get one hooked on reality tv. So unless someone out there wants to lend me the dvds, my life will go on "Hill-less". And that's probably a good thing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fall TV Report Part One

So I know the good stuff ( Ugly Betty, Dirty,Sexy,Money, Desperate Housewives, Nip/Tuck, Damages, Amazing Race, etc.) doesn't start for a few weeks but since I am a huge television whore I have been watching it all, darling. The results have ranged from fabulous to "please someone grab an automatic weapon". 
And here are they are:

90210- The most hyped show of the season is (surprise!) also the worst. Other than Shannen  Doehtry and the brilliant Jessica Walter, this steaming pile of cliched teen show refuse is a dated unintentionally campy mess. The acting is horrid and the writing is totally uninspired. Avoid it at all costs.

True Blood- HBO! Alan Ball! Anna Paquin! Should be brilliant, right? Far from it. The log ride accents and lame vampire portrayals bog down this show down. What should be a funny, fizzy, scary ride is more like being stuck in a busted Pinto in rush hour traffic.

Terminator:The Sarah Connor Chronicles- Faster moving and better written than season 1, this franchise series received a shot of insulin due to an icy performance by Garbage front woman Shirley Manson and exhilarated story lines. Watch it before the a-holes at Fox cancel it!

Gossip Girl- Okay, I'm exhausted from telling people how much fun this show is! But gosh darn it, I am a giver and I'll do it till I'm blue in the face. Hot NYC locales, the best clothes on TV, and a cast that you wanna make out with each and every one of them, Gossip Girl is the shit. Take a big whiff!

Privileged- This frothy, funny fairy-tale is the most fun I've had in front of ye ole boob tube in quite sometime. Think Enchanted meets the Hilton sisters without the sex tapes. For those of us missing Men in Trees, Privileged is the perfect antidote.

Fringe- There are two camps, traditionally, when it comes to JJ Abrams. You either dig his brand of self indulgent sci-fi or it makes you want to tear your corninas out. I fall somewhere in the middle. The first 45 minutes of Fringe was a bloated, ridiculous mess but the last half grabbed me. So I'll tune in until the pretense irritates me. Plus, I kinda missed Joshua Jackson!

My DVR will be working overtime but I will watch all the new shows even if it is simply to make fun of them and you'll be here reading every step of the way!

Simply Barbra!

Let it be known that yours truly has never been one of those gays who worships at the alter of Barbra Streisand. Maybe I'm too young. Maybe my heart belongs to Madonna and Cher and there's simply no room for one more diva. Whatever it is, I will never be like the license plate I recently saw on a Cadillac "BJS#1FAN" (that stands for Barbra Joan Striesand and the world tour backstage pass dangling from the rearview mirror confirmed it, so get your mind out of the gutter). Sure, I love Funny Girl and some of her seventies songs are amazing but her egomanical persona and preachiness have always rubbed me the wrong way.

So I was surprised when I stumbled upon her blog about John McCain/ Sarah Palin. She perfectly she nails the whole situation and manipulation.  Read it here.
Babs, a former Hillary supporter has now thrown her weight behind Obama and is performing tonight at a fundraiser in Beverly Hills. And I gotta give the old broad props for sticking to her guns and saying what she believes.

This, naturally, does not change the fact that I would rather eat tacks than watch The Mirror Has Two Faces nor does it make me want to blare her horrible duet with Celine Dion.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fav 5 Songs of the Week

1.) "Sincerely, Jane", Janelle Monae-As everybody already knows, I’m the world’s biggest skeptic when it comes to musical acts that the world buzzes about but every so often the buzz is deserved. Janelle Monae is such an artist. Watch, listen, and enjoy.

2.)"Me & Armini", Emiliana Torrini-Torrini’s last record was the heartbreaking minimal Fisherman’s Woman while her debut was riding the wave of electro that was popular at the time. So where’s a gal to go next? Well ,if this title track is any indication, she has melted both sounds and added a touch of dub and reggae. The end result is pure genius.

3.) "Keeps Getting Better", Christina Aguilera-A great Chirstina Aguilera song is like a really good cheeseburger. It may not be good for you but it’s so damn tasty you could care less that it might clog you arteries. “Keeps Getting Better” is X-Tina at the peak of her powers with drizzled with Richard X-like production. Plus, any song that features the songbird howling “SUPER BITCH” is a must for your fall playlist. So Miss Aguilady, I’ll take the combo and go ahead and supersize it!

4.) "Designer Music", Lipps INC.- Sure everybody loves (or kinda hates) Funky Town but when it comes to Lipps Inc I’ll take Designer Music any day over that tired old party gem. It features the lyric “If Calvin says it’s smashin’, it’s got to be in fashion”, some very dramatic vocals and one of the best videos I’ve found in a long , long time!

5.) "Hooray! Hooray!", Boney M- Holy satin pantsuits! This silly Caribbean/funk ditty is like doing mushrooms on the Lido deck of the Love Boat and a perfect way to kick off your weekend. Hooray, indeed.

Have a lovely weekend. It's great to be back!

Vagina Rock

A few days ago, someone who does not know me very well innocently commented after hearing a few songs on my iPod that I listened to “some serious chick music”. For some reason, it annoyed me. Actually, I have several reasons to be annoyed with a statement like that.

First off it’s sexist. Had my iPod happen to play the David Bowie, The Clash, Cut Copy or Jamie Lidell that it does indeed posses, would I have been accused being a fan of “penis music”? I doubt it.
Secondly, I think it’s inaccurate. When I think of “chick music”, I think of plus-sized college gals listening to John Mayer while eating a pint of Cherry Garcia in their dorm room. Rest assured, I’m not her.
Lastly, I don’t like to be put in a box(pun intended, by the way). As a former record store employee and DJ, I like to think that I like all kinds of music regardless of the gender of the artist. In short, if it doesn’t suck, I’ll listen to it.

And yet there is truth in the statement. 95% of all the music I listen to just so happens to be by female artists. And no it’s not just because I’m gay although the term “gay music” also annoys me but I’ll save that rant for a rainy day or for whenever Jimmy Somerville releases a new album. Whichever comes first.

I guess female musicians from all genres appeal to me because I feel the message and I buy it unconditionally. From dance music and rock to jazz and pop, women in music speak to me. I think on some level because of the heart and struggle that inherently exists in the work. For example, when Billie Holiday sings Strange Fruit the power hits you directly in the gut. This song is not gender specific as it is about the horrors of racial violence but having a woman deliver the message makes it even more powerful.
Also, most male vocalists just don’t do it for me. Listening to a straight white man whine about a broken heart doesn’t stir up any emotion in me unless you're Elvis Costello and again that’s an entirely separate blog. In short, I’ll swing to Sinatra when I’m doing dishes but if I need to be lifted to another emotional plain, then Nina Simone will have to be present.

So yeah I love chick music, girl groups, and vagina rock. So what? It makes me proud that my nieces could be the next Chrissie Hyndes or Stevie Nicks or Bjorks if they wanted to be. I’ve learned to embrace my feminism as of late and thankfully it has a kick ass soundtrack.

Friday Music Day, The all girl edition!

With all this negativity surrounding a certain woman politician ,whom I refuse to address by name as I am deeply afraid of her, I have decided to dedicate this edition of Friday Music Day to the flawless females of music. After all there's a lot to celebrate. Shirley Manson kicked some ass this week on TV's Terminator, The Pretenders have a new record coming out, and Britney has been officially removed from the "kick her when she's down" list by winning a ton of MTV Awards. 

To get things started, let's give a shout out to rapper/producer/shit talker Princess Superstar. NYC's blonde goddess of electro-rap is truly a gal we can be proud of. She produces all of her own music and owns her own record label. She's vocal about gay and women's rights and she even has a song coming out with the legendary Grandmaster Flash in October. Enjoy this video for "Licky" and bow down to the Princess!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not Over but Over There

A wise woman once said "It's not over but it's over there". That genius was Carrie Fisher and it explains perfectly how I feel about yesterday, September 11th. Do I hurt like I did on that day? No. But are those feelings still lurking around a corner somewhere? Hell yes. Have I found a way to move past what I felt that day? Of course. But will I ever return to being the same hopeful person I once was? Hell no.

So that's where we all float. Between over it and over there. We carry the load of victims of Katrina on our backs like school kids with overstuffed backpacks. We shake our heads at video footage of the Tsunami. And we dread the month of September not just because crappy television shows that we never watched will somehow be returning but because we will be forced to remember a time where we saw the world around us crumble before our very eyes. Still, somehow we place it over there in a place where it hurts but it won't kill us.
I'm guilty of being the first person to shout out "I don't want to talk about it" or "It's too depressing" when that ugly date has shown it's face on my calendar for the last seven years. I have no shame when it comes to playing the "it's too painful card". This is a luxury, I know and a silly one at that. But it comes in handy when avoiding an event that is unsavory. 

Still, I needed something else to replace September 11th as the day chaos reigned supreme. And low and behold this year I got it. Yesterday, my friend  and coworker Mario from Mexico officially became a US citizen. He has worked his ass off for over five years to make this happen so when he told me  months ago that his ceremony was to be held on September 11th, I said "Oh god" instead of "congratulations!" or "good for you!" I was presented with the opportunity to make a bad day not just go over there but to  go away entirely and instead I let some silly numbers invoke negativity. 

Strangely enough, I woke up yesterday morning with a sense of peace and happiness. Truth be told, I did not remember it was September 11th until late in the day. I did remember early on that my friend was attending his citizenship ceremony. I was content in the morning and I did not run for the television screen to see what did or did not happen. I felt happy that my friend would soon be rewarded for all his hard work. Period.

So has my hurt regarding "that day" dissipated completely? No and I don't think it ever will. But is it almost done being "over there"? Definitely. 

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fav 5 Celebrity Relatives!

Maybe I was inspired by Memorial Day weekend as families gather together for barbeque's, maybe I was just thinking about my brother because today's his birthday or maybe I just needed a reason to post a video of Jackie Stallone eating jumbo shrimp. Whatever the reason, here's my Fav 5 Celebrity Relatives!

1.) La Toya Jackson: You might think that your wacked out uncle who used to belong to a cult and  now repos cars is the craziest family member anyone could ever have but you're wrong! La Toya Jackson wins that title by a landslide. From salacious tell-all books and nude photo shoots with reptiles, to an awful acting career and a vomit inducing music career, La Toya is the one to beat. So, as the lady herself says, "Roll up your sleeves and give me some respect!"

2.) Jackie Stallone: Rambo's mom is one big bucket of extra crispy crazy! Don't believe me? Well check out her appearance on the UK's Celebrity Big Brother. She looks like Ursula the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid. Except melted. And drunk. Like the lovely La Toya, Jackie also loves headbands as well as  wrestling, rapping, rumpology, and yes, jumbo shrimp. Mama Stallone is a mutha like no otha' and for that we should all be grateful.

3.)Jimmy Osmond: I really don't know what to say about the toothiest and youngest member of the Osmond clan. If Marie was a little bit country and Donnie was a little bit rock and roll, then Jimmy was what? A little bit scary? A little bit dorky? Like I said I'm at a loss so I'll let this clip from Fame do the talking.

4) Liz & Jean Sagal:  I loved Double Trouble, a sitcom about a pair of trouble making twins from 1984. I'm sure it's totally unwatchable now but as a kid I thought it was the bomb. Liz and Jean's more famous sister Katey Sagal went on to play Peg Bundy for a billion years and the twins went on to little else. Still, they were in Grease 2 and Howard the Duck so that's why they make the list.

5.)Hoku Ho: Don Ho's daughter had some minor hit songs like "Perfect Day" which was in Legally Blonde and commercials for JC Penny clearance sales. Gee, I didn't mean to make that sound so sad but looking at it now really depresses me. Well, she was also in a movie called Arizona Summer with Greg Evigan and Morgan Fairchild too. Okay I'm making things worse. But Hoko has a special place in my heart simply because of her name. I love it. I love saying it. If I was a Thundercat or ninja, I would yell "HOKU HO"  as my battle cry and then I'd kick some serious ass. 

Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mrs. Huxtable's Funky Little Secret.

I love hidden disco gems and I love television stars who sing (Joey Lawrence, anyone?). So imagine my delight when I stumbled upon Josephine Superstar by Phylicia Allen. 

Apparently, Mrs Huxtable threw her hat into the disco ring with this concept record that told the life story of Josephine Baker all set to a funky beat! No, I'm not making this up. There's a hilarious blog about it here if you don't believe me!
Phylicia was married to the original lead singer of The Village People, Victor Willis who wrote much of the tracks on the album. Released on the legendary disco label Casablanca Records in 1978, Josephine Superstar is a big bag of campy disco just waiting to be rediscovered! Sadly, I couldn't find clip of "Don't Cry Mommy" that features a children's choir (again, not kidding) but I think this little nugget will wet your appetite nicely.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Fav 5 Songs of the Week! Super Gay Edition!

It's Fav 5 time again, darlings. This homolicious list won't make you more gay than you already are but hopefully it makes you shake your ass.

1.) "Spotlight", Jennifer Hudson- What could be gayer than a song sung by the star of a hit musical? "Spotlight" invokes the soul sounds of retro R&B divas like Tina Turner and Phyllis Hyman with it's "ooh, ooh, ooh" backing vocals and smooth drumbeats. Fierce!

2.) "Give it to Me", Madonna- Since my review of her newest album, I've actually grown to really love some of the songs like "Give it to Me". Great for housecleaning and private dance parties.

3.) "Into the Nightlife", Cyndi Lauper- Taking a page from the Cher handbook, La Lauper's newest album is a big gay dance record. Working with Max Martin, Scrumfrog, and Basement Jaxx, Bring Ya to the Brink is an electro-filled goodie bag and this song is one of the best.

4.)"You Know Me Better", Roisin Murphy- I'm tired of telling people how amazing this album is but the world still doesn't listen so I guess I'll have to keep preaching. Hopefully, this single, the third from the brilliant Overpowered, will finally make the doubters take notice.

5.)"Cheap and Cheerful", The Kills- A fucking awesome track with great lyrics from one of the best bands in the world. What queer guy or gal wouldn't love The Kills' brand of in your face art-rock?

Have a gay ole weekend!


Saint Cyndi

It's hard for me to not get a little emotional when I talk about Cyndi Lauper. Seriously.  My history with the singer is a layered and deep one, child.

I was 11 years old when I rode my bike down to Peaches Records & Tapes (the real name of the chain, by the way) in Denver and bought my own copy of  She's So Unusual on vinyl. It was the first record I purchased with my own money that I earned from baby sitting. More than that, it was my record. It wasn't my sister's English Beat albums, that I was forbidden to touch unless supervised but this belonged to me. I listened to over and over again not just because it was the only one in my collection but because I genuinely loved it. I read the liner notes repeatedly and memorized every lyric to every song. Something about this crazy girl from Queens with the Betty Boop voice and Skittle colored hair just spoke to me. 

Cyndi was unafraid to be herself and relished being unique and different. Even crazier, the world embraced her for it! Looking back, it was clearly a message I needed to hear. I was a femmine kid with a high pitched voice and an awkward demeanor. I spent a lot of time feeling bad that I wasn't like other kids. On some level, I must have soaked up Cyndi's mission statement of individuality somewhere along the way. Performers like her, Boy George, and Debbie Harry weren't like everybody else and I strived to be cool and weird like them, not wanting to fit in. Cyndi and her contemporaries literally saved my life and I'm eternally grateful.

25 years later, Cyndi's message is more powerful than anyone would have ever imagined. Her True Colors Tour is in it's second year and bigger than ever. Her work for the Human Rights Campaign and her support for gay marriage is tireless and never ending. Cyndi is also regarded as an icon of modern feminism. She's still reinventing her sound as an artist (more on that later) and somehow remains relevant, puffy skirts and wacky hair notwithstanding. She continues to be honored by the music community as well as the gay community.

I can't be sure if Cyndi Lauper set out to provide hope to kids like me decades ago. And I don't know if she knows how important she is or if anybody else feels the same way. But, I do know this- if this was your intention Cyndi, then mission accomplished and thank you from the bottom of my big gay heart. 

Super Gay Friday Music Day!

Since I already posted a blog about Donna Summer, I decided to go titties to the wind and just do a super Gay edition of Friday Music Day! After all, June is Gay Pride month and yours truly is feeling all pink and fuzzy these days what with marriage finally being legal here in California.

What better way to get things started than a music video by NYC's The Dazzle Dancers? A club version of The Love Boat theme sung by what sounds like a German transsexual filled with glitter covered dancers is about the gayest thing I've ever seen. And this is coming from the guy who used to throw fashion shows for his My Little Ponies as a small child. 

So are The Dazzle Dancers frightening or fabulous? Personally, I think it's a little of both but you decide! 

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Toot! Toot! Ah. Beep, Beep!

After 17 years, Donna Summer, the queen of disco is back with her new album Crayons and you know what? It's not half bad. Sure, some of the tracks will magically transport you to gay bar happy hour filled with go-go dancers in banana hammocks and half priced vodka tonics but the woman is no dummy and she knows her audience. 

Surprisingly, Donna does some more "urban" sounding tracks that are pretty good. The first single "Stamp Your Feet" is a bumping warm weather anthem which although not terribly original manages to sound modern and catchy. Her voice sounds still sounds amazing and that was always her secret weapon.

Sure, the name Donna Summer is synonymous with poppers and platform shoes but it's her voice that always set her apart. She cowrote most of  new the record in addition to all of her previous songs, most of which were about prostitution.  Seriously, her contributions to music are worth noting and if Crayons helps get her a little more respect than I say good for her. 

Dear Carrie Underwood,

First off, let me say I love you. I do. Your brand of country pop isn't exactly my cup of tea but you've got some killer pipes and you seem like a nice person which makes what I'm about to say all the more painful. 

Last night's outfit on the American Idol finale was the last straw. I've put up with your never ending love of dressy shorts and sparkly tops because you're a country star and your fashion rules are different from the rest of us.  But honey, forgetting your pants and draping yourself in Charmin Ultra Soft is where I draw the line. Less of a fashion statement and more of a cry for help, this ensemble actually made me sad. 
It brings a tear to my I when I think of a star like yourself being unable to find the right homosexual to make these choices for you. I emphasize the word "right" because assuming that one is a style guru just based on their sexual preference is foolish.  Just ask Paula Abdul, who surrounds herself with gays and still winds up looking like a cake topper at a quinceanera most of the time. A no-nonsense hip homo could have prevented this confounding stripper-meets-televangelist nightmare from ever happening.

 Also, it concerns me that the people around you aren't being honest with you. Is there no one in your life to look you in the eye and say "No, Carrie. That's hideous"? Everyone, famous or not, requires an inner circle of confidants to tell us no on a regular basis. Without folks like this, how would we ever know if we had spinach in our teeth or if our jeans made us look fat? Carrie, I'd be that person for you, no questions asked. Just say the word and I'll tell you to not wear a side ponytail with a dress that looks like a doily.  Not because I judge you but because I care.

In closing, I'd like to add that your not the only Idol in need of help, so don't feel bad. Poor Jordin Sparks looked like a Wurther's Original last night in her gold mumu and orange nail polish. And the less said about Fantasia's pink hair, the better. Even my beloved Kelly Clarkson has made some fashion belly flops. 
Point is, Carrie your gorgeous and you deserve better. Leave the toilet paper at home next time, remember to put on your pants, and you always have the red carpets at the Grammys or a billion country awards shows to redeem yourself. 

Love ya,


Friday, May 16, 2008

Fav 5 Songs of the Week

Here's this weeks "Fav 5". Be warned it's a happy bunch of songs.

1.) "You, Me, & the Bourgeoisie", The Submarines- In the spirit of my new found optimism, this track is head-bopping ditty with great vocals and lyrics by one of my favorite neighborhood bands.

2.) "The LSB", Make Model- A rebellious song with a hook by one of the cutest bands going.

3.) "Right as Rain", Adele- The latest in a string of 60's sounding divas from Great Britain, Adele knocks it out of the park with this saucy, sassy song.

4.) "Who's Gonna Sing", The Prototypes- How this super-fun French group escaped me back in 2006, I'll never know. But I'm thrilled I found this booty-shaking number. Listen for the fierce way she says "banjo". Priceless.

5.) "As Long As It's Not You", Astrid Swan- In need of some cynicism and bitterness, this deceptively catchy song did the trick nicely. Plus, the video is way clever!

No Country for Old Gay Men?

As a little kid, I spent my hours in the backseat of the family van listening to 8 track tapes of George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Marty Robbins. It was Colorado in the 1970's, so it was pretty much the law. My sister and I bitched and moaned about it but we didn't have a choice so we began to learn  and even sort of enjoy those songs. To this day, I can't remember if that van even had seat belts but you know I can remember all the lyrics to "Mama Tried" and "When Country Wasn't Cool". Other than an obsession with Dolly Parton and a love for Patsy Cline, those days were the extent of my country music education. 
In an effort to extend my knowledge of the genre, I decided to listen to Billboard's Hot Country Singles.
 Here's what I came up with:

Country was little shinier the last time I paid attention to it. Pretty people like Faith Hill and Shania Twain whose videos looked like perfume commercials were all the rage. Now it's cool again to be a little heavy set and not very attractive, well as long as your a man like James Otto who's "Just Got Started Loving You" is currently number 1. And the music is a little more basic too, shedding the gloss in favor of the old country sounds and subject matter. Honestly, I was expecting to hate a lot more than I did but it wasn't terrible. It's kind of bluesy without getting all Black Crows. The video is pretty ridiculous as it perpetuates the myth that fat white guys who look like Meatloaf can land a supermodel but all in all it's not too bad.

 Further proving that today's country music is very much a man's world, is "I'm Still A Guy" by Brad Paisely at number 2. A tongue-in-cheek ode to masculinity, this song unabashedly  exploits every country music cliche. Like "My eyebrows ain't plucked, there's a gun in my truck. Oh thank God, I'm still a guy". Given the fact that Paisley himself looks like a male model, the song could be interpreted as a "No really. I'm a badass even though I wore a sparkly shirt to the CMA's" defensive tactic. No matter he's hot and the song is destined to be a beer drinking classic for years to come. Personally, the lyrics were clever but I have trouble identifying with the "it rules to be a straight white dude" message.

Somebody in Nashville was really thinking when the went out searching for a cross between Avril Lavinge and Carrie Underwood. They hit the jackpot with Taylor Swift, the only woman in the top five with "Picture to Burn". Whoa. What a flaming pile of crap this song is! The ex-girlfriend scorned lyrics were done better in Underwood's "Before he Cheats" and the less said about her singing the better. Oh and her acting in the video is atrocious. This whole pre-packaged tween sensation thing has trickled over to country music and I fear the wrath of Tammy Wynette will envelope Nashville and suck the entire city into the depths of hell. Really. The song is that bad.

Elsewhere on the list was something with God in the title and something performed by a guys with blond highlights that I couldn't make it through so I assumed this little experiment of mine was pretty much over. But then I found "Love Don't Live Here" by Lady Antebellum. Sadly, it wasn't a ho-down version of the Rose Royce classic. From what I was able to gather from the video, this group is kind of like country's version of the Black Eyed Peas but without the scary ninja guy. The girl even has a Fergie-esque quality about her. The guys have hip hairstyles and perfectly trimmed beards. The song itself was pretty good. I don't know if I'd buy it but it did entice me to listen other songs by the group some of which I really enjoyed. 

So what did I learn? Well, country is no different than anything else in American pop culture right now. It's energy has been zapped by consumerism and it's creativity is hanging on to a thread due to over-saturation. But sifting through the mainstream garbage is rewarding and the messages of country music are still relevant, regardless of how silly they may seem. Granted, I'm not uploading any of these tunes on my Ipod but I can appreciate them for what they are. Most of them, anyway. Yeah I'm talking to you, Taylor Swift.

It's Either Friday Music Day or the End of the World.

Tornadoes, cyclones, earthquakes, Mel & Britney flying to Costa Rica together, and yours truly loving a Natasha Bedingfield song? What in the hell is going on?!?

Yes, it's true. I love Natasha Bedingfield's "Pocketful of Sunshine" and I'm not proud of myself. Previously, I've successfully avoided the singer and her uplifting "you go girl" type of anthems. In fact, "Unwritten" was one of those songs that was meant to be inspiring but the only thing it ever inspired me to do was bash my head up against a wall every time I heard it. And the freaking song would not go away! Just when you thought it was safe to take a leisurely stroll down the aisles of your local Rite-Aid, the darn song would seep out of the speakers like some oozing sore and ruin your whole experience. Nearly three years later, the plunking opening chords can still make me run for the hills.

And yet here I am addicted to her new single. I've given in to it and it's sort of freeing, I suppose. So I like an unapologetic, upbeat pop song. So what?  It's got a great hook and it's perfect for warm weather. 
I'm sure when it's being used on a douche commercial six months from now, I'll regret ever admitting to loving it.  But for right now, I'll take comfort in it and all of it's sunny optimism. After all, the world is a pretty screwed up place right and we should all take the time to enjoy the silly little things around us that make us happy.
 Regardless of how shameful they are.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Everybody Else's Genius

High on a mountaintop of empty coffee cups and advanced copies of the latest Death Cab release, jaded music critics sit and wait for the next musical act to anoint “Genius of the Moment”. It's usually an "alternative" artist or group who causes such collective drooling that they stay "alternative" for about another 30 seconds. In other words, today’s Dangermouse was yesterday’s Radiohead and the day before that’s Patti Smith.

I’m always suspicious of such fanfare for several reasons. First off, time has proven when everybody loves somebody, I’m naturally put off. After all, the entire world thinks they’re amazing and in general, I just don’t trust what the entire world says. Secondly, by the time any artist has been zeroed in on by critics they usually already have a loyal following so the “critics darling” title always feels a little redundant. Mary J Blige is a good example of this. It took her having a drug problem to make the world stop and realize that she was a true musical icon even though her longtime fans recognized this with records like the brilliant My Life years ago. But my main problem with coronations such as these is ,that more often than not, they are awarded to artists I simply don’t get.

Take Radiohead for example. I think “Creep” is a classic and I was able to sink my teeth into Kid A but beyond that, I’m left feeling “Meh?”. Am I an idiot because I don’t run wild in the streets every time that Thom Yorke and company step into the studio? Maybe and I’m okay with that. In the end, I’d rather be a simpleton than listen to obtuse albums that drip with pretension and consist of little else.
Neil Young is another one who’s appeal utterly escapes me. Everybody from Emmylou Harris to Eddie Vedder and beyond have cited Young as one of the best singer/songwriters in American music so I feel like I should like him. Honestly, I even feel bad that I don’t like him but I just don’t. The weird Muppet-like vocals and dour arrangements are truly off putting to me. As a serious music fan, it troubles me that I’m clearly missing something where Young is concerned but do I feel compelled to dive face first into his entire back catalogue in hopes of enlightenment? No, not so much. While I’m coming out of the musical moron closet here, I might as well go for broke and mention that I also do not understand the never-ending adoration of Pink Floyd, The Who, Green Day, Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, Lucinda Williams or The Velvet Underground. If you’ve gasped and thrown your laptop out of sheer horror at this statement, I apologize. And if said statement renders me a fool who knows nothing about music in your eyes, then so be it.

On the bright side, I don’t really think these artist care if little old me doesn’t get their particular brand of genius. Everybody else already loves them so I’m sure they’ll survive if I don’t purchase their next album. After all, I’m just a guy who thinks Bjork’s Vespertine was a monumental record. And few people care that I believe that Tasty by Kelis is far better than anything that Justin Timberlake or Beyonce has ever produced. Obviously, I have let go of any dreams of being one of the chosen who gets to take their place on Music Snob Mountain. That being said, I'll take the free coffee and CDs if you're handing them out.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Where's Her Fucking Biopic?

If you only watched movies and never listened to music, then you would honestly believe that Tina Turner, Patsy Cline, June Carter Cash, Billie Holiday, and Loretta Lynne were the only female artists to ever exist in popular music. That's a bit of an exaggeration, true but it's not too far off from the reality. And no, Made-For-TV movies about Karen Carpenter and Dottie West do not count, so don't even go there. And while your at it save your "What about The Rose?" rebuttal for someone doesn't know that the brilliant Bette Midler film was only loosely based on Janis Joplin's life and not an actual biopic. 

So why the lack of love for the lives of women in music? It's not as if there's a shortage of material to draw from. Films about Stevie Nicks, Nina Simone, Tammy Wynette, or Ella Fitzgerald could be at least as interesting as those about Ray Charles or Buddy Holly. Proposed movies about The Go-Gos, Sarah Vaughn, and Aretha Franklin have never seen the light of day but I think it's high time to get the ball rolling.

In my mind, the life story of Pretenders lead singer Chrissie Hynde would be the perfect place to start. Think of the plot: Small town Ohio girl moves to London, works at Vivenne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren's clothing store SEX with members of punk bands like The Sex Pistols, starts her own band, has a daughter with Kinks lead singer Ray Davies, tops the charts even though a few of her bandmates die,  marries Simple Minds' front man Jim Kerr, starts shit as an animal rights activist, and moves to Brazil to find herself! Hynde's perseverance and unlikely hero status are the things great biographical films are made of. Chrissie herself has said her lyrics really tell the story of her life, so the movie could be packed with awesome Pretenders songs. Hell, it could even be a musical! I think Talk of the Town or Precious would make great titles. Brilliant, right? 

There you go Hollywood. Make it happen and your welcome, by the way. When your finished with that, call me. I have a fabulous idea for a Wendy O. Williams film but don't even think about asking for my Grace Jones pitch. I'm afraid you'd really screw that up.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This Place is SO Never Again. Or is it?

Donna Martin may have graduated but it turns out that Kelly Taylor never left West Beverly High.
 I just read this morning that Jennie Garth has singed on to do the CW's Beverly Hills 90210 spinoff reprising her role as  Kelly Taylor who's now a guidance counselor at her old high school. Sounds pretty terrible right?

Listen, I'm no hater of the original. In fact, I referenced the infamous rave episode on our way to a downtown nightclub just last night. And I was a fan of  Garth's back in the day. I even went to a signing of her workout tape at a Wal-Mart in Colorado, an event so shameful and tragic that few close to me even know of it's existence. I've seen nearly every episode of 90210 and a few of them are classics in my opinion. But a new version seems a little Peach Pitiful, if you ask me.

The CW already has a hot teen show in the brilliantly campy Gossip Girl so another high school drama seems a little pointless. And I'm worried that without the presence of Aaron Spelling, the show just won't have that same "gotta watch it" quality that only he could master. It's also worrisome that Rob Thomas, of Veronica Mars fame and writer of the new pilot has been replaced. Add to it the casting of Lori Laughlin and the weak premise and you've got yourself one big "9021-0h-Hell-No". 
I'm not too thrilled about Kelly as a guidance counselor either. I never really bought "nice Kelly". I always preferred the original bitchy version who never met a hot guy or velvet choker that she didn't like. Andrea Zuckerman would have been better suited for the job but I suppose she's retired by now and her hips wouldn't hold up during the strenuous shooting schedule.

All of my bitching aside, I'm sure I'll end up watching it out of curiosity. If it's fabulous then I'll be pleasantly surprised. If it sucks, then I'll have something to snicker at. Now if I could be guaranteed cameos by Kari Wuhrer and Cathy Dennis, I'd be on board faster than you can say 
"Mrs. Teasley"! 

Happy Birthday, Tootie!

I've been so busy entertaining my gal pal Vanessa who's here in LA celebrating her birthday, that I nearly forgot another important birthday. Kim Fields of Facts of Life fame turns 39 today. Yup, little Tootie is almost 40!
To celebrate, I was watching some of Kim's finer clips on YouTube and let me tell you they did not disappoint. 

First up, was a couple of songs. Who knew in addition to being a roller skating actress, Kim Fields was also an accomplished singer? "Dear Michael" is a syrupy ballad written about Michael Jackson and it's cute in a very 1983 kind of way. But the real gem here is "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not". It's about 4 minutes to long and definitely overstays it's welcome. Still, it has "guilty pleasure" written all over it and definitely worth the listen.

Next, I enjoyed some vintage Facts of Life clips. It's been a long time since I've seen this show and unlike Kim herself ,it did not age well. It's so melodramatic and the acting is hilarious. My favorite has to be this little nugget of goodness where Tootie and Natalie buy a bag full of bongs! It is so funny on so many levels. I totally forgot that the acting stylings of Charlotte Rae (Mrs. Garrett) were such a treasure to behold. The woman is completely over-the-top and seems like she's always on the brink of a mental meltdown (Example: Watch for the way she says the girl's name "Tumpy").  Oh and that writing! It's sheer genius. The kids are cute though and they deliver their lines sufficiently, in a very PSA meets school play kind of way. Plus, Kim looks adorable.

Finally, I suffered through some tedious Living Single clips which showcased Kim's comedic ability  but seriously had me wishing for my own bag full of bongs. Luckily, I found a performance from the Def Poetry Jam that was a tad more inspirational. True, Jill Scott has nothing to worry about but Ms. Fields does a good job and it's nice to see that she's still working.

 In closing, I'd just like to say Happy Birthday to Kim and Vanessa and all of my other strong, Taurus sisters out there. You kids definitely make my life more entertaining.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Fav 5 Songs of the Week

Once again, here's a little list of songs that I heart.

1.)"Black Cat", Ladytron- A dark, industiral flavored new single from the band that never stops amazing me. Also amazing- you can get it for free on their website!

2.)"Carnies", Martina Topley-Bird- So nice to have her back since I played her first album into the ground. "Carnies" is a fun little taste of new things to come.

3.)"We Won't Break", Zoot Woman- Another act whose presence has been missed, Zoot Woman comes back with a vengence with this dancey and defiant track. 

4.) "Kittin is High", Miss Kittin- More sexy, tongue in cheek dance music from the first lady of electro! It's a must for mixed tapes and tranny dance-offs alike.

5.) "Working Class Hero", Cyndi Lauper- This John Lennon cover isn't exactly Marianne Faithful. But Cyndi kills it, as usual and she looks awesome!

Enjoy your weekend!

For the Birds

I'm an animal lover but I just don't get birds. I don't. Sure they're beautiful when they fly and they're used to symbolize everything from God to automobiles. Whatever. They still kind of freak me out. I mean they have these weird beady eyes and they're always moving around like some meth addict looking for a VCR to reassemble. And being surrounded by birds is the most uncomfortable feeling in the world.  Like when I was eating coffee cake and reading the paper downtown LA Starbucks a few years ago and I looked up and my table was filled with dozens of tiny little birds just staring at me. Eww. I shrieked like a girl and nearly scalded my crouch with hot coffee.

 So songs about birds are even more baffling to me. For every one decent ditty about the winged creatures, there are like  40 really horrible ones. These songs inevitably feature rhymes about "fly,sky, high, cry, eye" and are usually meant to be uplifting. Instead they just end up sounding stupid or really campy.

Take for example, Like a Bird by Nelly Furtado. Please. Granted this song had it's moment in pop culture but have you heard it recently? Yeesh. It didn't age well and you realize that Furtado made a wise move by currently singing about "Promiscuous Girl's and the like. All this mumbo jumbo about not knowing where her home is and flying away would make anybody put on some booty shorts and hook-up with Timbaland.
 Worse yet is "White Dove" by The Scorpions. Yes, those Scorpions. Lyrics like "white dove fly with the wind" are bad enough but the children's choir in the middle is totally unforgivable.Oh yeah and there's this "I Wanna Know What Love Is"-type of solo that comes out of nowhere. However, lead singer Klaus Meine's thick German accent still makes me chuckle. 
 The funniest song about birds, in my book, has to be "Fly, Robin, Fly" by the Silver Convention. This repetitive disco jam is just goofy. Other than "up, up, up to the sky!" it consists solely of repeating the title and a porno baseline. I've often thought about performing this in karaoke just to drive people nuts but as you can tell from the video, I could never live up to such a riveting performance. 

Another winged guilty pleasure is Anne Murray's "Snowbird". Sounding like the bastard child of a Christmas song and something they'd play on a log ride, "Snowbird" was a dentist's office staple back in the day. And this dusty, chestnut just gets cornier with time. I'm not really sure if she's talking to an actual bird or using it as a metaphor but whatever the hell it is, it sure is funny!
Leave it to ABBA to knock  out the competition with "Eagle". There's all the Swedish sugar you'd expect from an ABBA jam plus it contains 40% more cliches than the other songs about birds! Not only do the ESL lyricists meet the requisite "fly, high, sky" quota but they manage to incorporate other aspects of nature like "Over mountains and forests and seas
and to go anywhere that I please."Nicely done, Benny & Bjorn but you're not the worst.

No, that honor goes to James Taylor and Carly Simon's "Mockingbird". This is the rare type of duet that really makes the listener wish they could have ears ripped off by a crazed seagull. Truthfully, this song could end up on other lists like "worst songs by white people pretending to have soul"  or "worst songs by couples who've since divorced. But I think it's also the worst bird song ever. Much like that fine feathered friend who sits outside your window and squawks endlessly, "Mockingbird" seems to go on forever and it's might make you crazy. I've had to hear it three times while writing this and I'm about to lose my shit.

I'm sure there's dozens more but all this bird talk is starting to wig me out. I mean, what if one them reads this, rallies the troops and wants more than just coffee cake this time?
 And I thought James Taylor's moustache was scary!

It's Friday Music Day, Bitch!

It's Music Day here at Bruised Peaches. Sorry I've been a tad buried this week. You know- life, work, guest coming in from out of town, and other mundane tasks to boring to even discuss. 

So to get the party started, I invite you to listen to this excellent Rick James track. After all, nothing kicks off your weekend like a spicy funk jam by a man who once burned a woman with his crack pipe. Seriously though, this song is far superior to some of his more well know hits and deserves new life. I'm not the only one to think this apparently, as Shivaree covered it on her last album. It's so easy to remember the crazy things about Rick James (like this lovely picture, which I'm sorry about by the way) that I often forget that he was an amazing producer and purveyor of infectious funk. His albums, in addition to the stellar work he did for Teena Marie  and the Mary Jane Girls dominated R&B in the early 80's and he's since been copied by nearly every producer under the sun. 

So Rick, I raise my glass (pipe?) and salute you!