Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Down Boy (Live Letterman 7/28/07)
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are probably the coolest band on Earth at the moment. They even manage to ruffle Dave Letterman's fusty old feathers. I don't think Karen O's grin will ever lose it's charm, eternally straddling the borderline between elated and psychotic. Nick Zinner makes a lot of divine racket for one petite little goth boy.
Tiny Masters of Today: Radio Riot (Mute Irregulars)
1. They're from Brooklyn, New York.
2. Brother and sister duo: Ivan is 13, Ada is 11.
3. David Bowie says: "Used to be you had to be well into your teens to develop this kind of attitude. Genius."
4. Guests on album include Karen O (Yeahs Yeah Yeahs), Fred Schneider (B-52's), Gibby Haynes (Butthole Surfers), Kimya Dawson (Moldy Peaches). Devendra Banhart: Tonada Yanomaminista (XL)
1. He was hatched on Planet Texas in 1981 and raised in Venezuela, but now calls LA home.
2. His band, currently known as Power Mineral, renames themselves wherever they feel like it, and has previously been known as Fried Hummingbird, Hairy Fairy Band, Hairy Fairy and First Woman Millionaire, Las Putas Locas, Stoner Boner, and Bathhouse Of The Winds, among other names.
3. The new album hits on September 25.
Against Me! - White People For Peace (Sire)
1. Founded in 1997 by singer/guitarist Tom Gabel at age 17 as an acoustic solo act.
2. Accused unfairly of "selling out" by voracious fans after signing to Sire Records, much to the indifference of the band, who say they just want to reach as many people as they can.
3. New album, their third full-length, is a classic political punk masterpiece and was produced by the legendary Butch Vig (Nirvana, Garbage, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth).
4. "Protest Songs in a response to Military Aggression. Protest songs to try and stop the soldier's gun."
Beep Kitty: According to Plan (unreleased)
1. Best synth pop act in Walla Walla, Washington!
2. Brother and sister duo: Jeff and Elizabeth Knight.
3. So far, they've only released music on cassette format.
This undated photograph was found in a box of old photos and other ephemera in a junk shop in Kellogg. It's an actual photo, not a postcard as you might expect by looking at it. Amazingly, someone actually snapped this lurid tropical image. I want to escape there. The panorama is too perfect: the artificial blue of the water, the idyllic layout of the land, the island hut, the Polynesian princess sunning her legs while dolphins frolic. Those skies, however, are a little hazy and gray, like a gentle summer rain is about to come out and play, causing the sandy beaches to steam. I wade out to reach the shelter of the hut and an angry wee crab tries to claw my big toe. I climb inside and listen to the pitter-pat of the drops on the roof as I lay back in my papasan chair and sip my enormous Mai Tai. I paid one thin dime for this photo, which hangs on the wall at eye level next to my desk, but the mental mini-vacations are priceless. I return feeling creatively refreshed and ready to get back to work.
Short Short Story: The Rise and Fall of the Bloodthirsty Death Grip Potatoes of Lust
(I've been shuffling through some boxes trying to turn my spare room into an organized and functional space and came across some random things I wrote in High School, approximately 18 years ago. I remember this exercise, actually. Mr. Partington would give us three unrelated words and we had to include them in the first line of a story. Once the first line was written, we'd hand it to a classmate who would finish the story. I recognize the handwriting as that of my old friend Rebecca - now Rebecca McNeil, local actress and box-office queen. She wrote the first line, I finished it. The three words written at the top are "yellow", "dark", and "potatoes".)The Rise and Fall of the Bloodthirsty Death Grip Potatoes of Lust 1989
Up from the dark recesses of the playground, the potatoes began slithering around the yellow pole of the swing set of death. Little Bobbi, young and so innocent, felt a sudden sharp pain in her outer left thigh, four and a half inches above and one and a qaurter inches to the right of her knee. Forty seconds later, little Bobbi was dead. Finally.
The potatoes of despair. The bloodthirsty, death grip potatoes of lust. The Satanic potatoes of all that is bleak and black. The potatoes...of death!
Slithering again across the cornfield, the potatoes found their way into the sunshiny Pleasantville, Ohio kitchen of Theodore and Betsy Jones. Later that evening, the Jones' gathered together on the patio for a sampling of Betsy's famous prizewinning potato salad.
She was truly one of the beautiful people, a rare wonderful creature whose positive outlook transcended the bullshit and set forth an attitude of acceptance and humanity. The absence of her outrageous, fabulous spirit leaves a giant hole in the fabric of our culture. There will never be another quite like her...
Update:Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog has stopped obsessing over Condi's hairdo long enough to post some fantastic Tammy Faye MP3's to download. Tammy may be long gone, but that delightfully grating caterwaul of a voice will reverberate forever.
Drop these bum-shakers at your next Summer hula and watch the hips fly!
M.I.A. - Boyz
What's in the water there in Miss Maya's home of Sri Lanka? Purple microdot? Her last album Arular was totally coconuts and from the sound of her new single, the next one will be totally pineapples. She spills Rum and Berry Blue Kool-Aid on her sampling unit until it glitches pure hot funk and ponders that eternal summertime quandary: "How many...boys there?"
Eartha Kitt & Bronksi Beat - Cha Cha Heels
I always loved that this high camp 1988 classic was written for Divine to sing but the poor dear dropped dead before they had a chance to record it. The lyrics were inspired by Divine's films as well, and I can envision his voice instead of Eartha's in my head singling lines like: "Going back to Boise / I'm itching for a fight / I'm looking for a lover who loves my dynamite." However, Eartha makes it all her own, complete with the requisite Catwoman purrs and snarls.
Cazwell - Watch My Mouth
Ex-New York club kid and best friend of extremely botoxy model/transexual Amanda Lepore, Cazwell claims to be America's first gay white-boy rapper. As unpromising as that might sound, Cazwell transcends the novelty and throws down some seriously catchy and terrific floor-fillers in classic NY style, drawing comparisons to Deee-lite and even Prince. Plus, he's so hot you could lick him.
I'm really not a regular pill popper, I swear. But I have something to confess: I love Hydrocodone. Love it, love it, love it. I've had a toothache creeping on lately and it finally broke through my pain threshold earlier this week. OMFG. Is there any pain as exquisite and unique as the pain caused by an ice cold beverage sloshing against raw, open dental nerves? I think not. Wednesday morning, after a sleepless night of bleary infomercials and warm salt water rinses I decided something must be done before the ache caused me to turn into a pain-grizzled gnome. The endless Tylenol doses were having about as much pain-relieving effect as Mike and Ikes, only crunchier and more bitter. I needed to cry on the shoulder of my good old friend Hydro. Hydro Codone. A visit to Mom's pharmacy only provided a temporary fix: I could only manage to finagle two out of her, but hey, at least they were 10's.
Sweet relief began to descend and I decided I should probably look toward a more long-term solution to my toothache. Being that I'm poor and uninsured, my first thought was to call the Dirne clinic. The receptionist told me to bring in my last two pay stubs, tax info from last year, a current utility bill, a photo ID, a recipe for seven-layer dip, a copy of US Weekly from 1997, and the college transcripts of my second cousin, twice removed. Oh, and also $25, which was going to be my total cost if I "qualified for assistance." They make you pay this before you even get an appointment, which is a completely backwards way of doing business, I think.
I gathered the necessary paperwork and drove like a stoned granny up to the clinic. When I arrived I was told I was a "Group 2", which meant that I was apparently poor enough to be seen. "Let's see," bubbled the receptionist in a California girl accent, "We have an opening, like, a two weeks from next Tuesday..." I mentally prepared myself to throw down a drama about how I'd simply die a death of pain by then, but she continued "...or right now." They'd had a cancellation and I happened to show up at the right moment.
As soon as I laid down in that oddly relaxing dental chair I realized that I'd been in such a hurry to visit Mom's Pharmacy earlier in the morn that I'd totally forgotten to brush my teeth. How embarrassing, to have a dentist mucking around in my filthy dirty maw, still ripe with last night's garlicky chicken and rice and blended with a subtle note of morning breath. I felt even worse since the dentist turned out to be an attractive and classy young lady who surely didn't deserve exposure to anything less than a perfectly minty mouth. Ah well, I have to think that at the Dirne Clinic for poor people, she's seen hairier tongues than mine.
She fed me one of those white x-ray squares that you bite down on while they point a UFO at your face. While she waited for the image to develop, she turned me nearly upside down in the chair and started poking around. I wiggled in pain when she tapped the guilty tooth with the back of her little mirror tool. "Mnnnn...A-ha..." she mumbled, "that must be the one." "Ummmm..... yeah," I agreed, a little amazed that she had caused enough pain to cut through my Hydrocodone haze.
We examined the X-ray together. "Not good, not good at all" she sighed and pointed out the huge crevasse which was indeed a cavity. I'd been attacked by the Cavity Creeps - does anyone else remember that commercial? Anyways, she told me I could either have a root canal done on it or have it yanked. Unfortunately, the Dirne Clinic doesn't do root canals and if I wanted her to yank it, I'd have to come back two weeks from next Tuesday. She told me about some ghetto outfit in Plummer of all places that would do the root canal for significantly less than the usual $700-1200 they normally cost these days. Later, when I mentioned this to Colleen, she went pale: "No, no, no. Don't - I repeat - DO NOT go to the ghetto dental clinic in Plummer," and proceeded to tell me a horror story about her one trip there involving not enough anesthesia and being stuck in a K-hole or something like that. Yikes.
The Dirne clinic couldn't really do anything for me, but they were nice enough to send me on my way with a copy of my $25 X-ray, which I now have displayed proudly on my fridge. I had hoped to avoid it, but my next stop was the fabulous KMC Emergency Room. I am here to tell you that miracles can happen. I was in and out of there in approximately 20 minutes, narcotic and antibiotic prescriptions in hand. I sat for maybe 30 seconds in the waiting room before they called my name, told my sad story to the nurse, the doctor came in with my scripts ready to go and I was outta there. Honestly, I was a little dazed since I'd never seen or heard of anyone getting in and out of that place in less than 2 hours for any reason. At Walgreens, it took longer to fill my prescriptions than it actually took for me to do the ER thing. Wild.
So I still haven't decided if I'm going to beg Dr. Thompson (my regular dentist since I was 3 years old) to let me make payments on a root canal job or if I'm going to return to the Dirne and have it yanked on the cheap. Everyone says I should just have it pulled, since it's an obscure tooth that wouldn't be missed visually, but I kind of like it there. I'd miss it. Meanwhile, I've had the best couple of days floating around pain-free on my synthetic-opiate induced cloudy-cloud-cloud. Yesterday was my day off, and I decided to do a cleaning and reorganizing shwap on my house. Never have I enjoyed housework so much. I got tingles of joy just hoovering the carpets. A visit to St. Vincent de Paul was transcendent and sublime, all that dusty crap was full of magic and possibility. My day at work today has been fantastic - I'm chatty and helpful instead of burnt-out and cantankerous. People are delightful and engaging and my mundane work duties are suddenly fun challenges.
But alas, I've only a few of the little gems left and after that I'm forcing myself to tough it out. As much as I enjoy the freedom from pain and oh so pleasant side effects, I really don't have the time or money for a cute little drug addiction. If I had tons of spending cash, an Elvis doctor, and a liver of steel, I might be more inclined to really go for it. No wonder pill-popping celebrities like Matthew Perry and Nicole Richie end up with their junkie asses in rehab. Hydrocodone just takes the crappy edge of life and makes everything all sunshine and orange marmalade. Wheeeeee! What toothache?
I know quite a few Bobs (including my dad) and they all seem like fine people to me. Well, someone out there clearly has a Bob problem so severe that they'd commit a federal crime and deface a dollar bill with their anti-Bob message. Watch out Bobs, someone out wants to getcha.
Found at Safeway on 4th Street on July 10, when it was handed to me as change for my grocery purchase.
The Purple One is causing yet another uproar in the music industry by giving away copies of his new album Planet Earth free with a UK newspaper. I have to admire his complete and utter disregard for an industry that has been cheating music artists and the general public for years. His UK label pulled his contract, and labels around the world are freaking out in fear that other artists will follow suit and start giving away albums left and right. It's a brilliant publicity stunt; he certainly doesn't need the scant money CD sales bring in these days, and he's a hero among his fans, who get his new album for free. Even better is the rumored news that ex-Revolution ladies Wendy & Lisa make some sort of return appearance on Planet Earth. Is the water warm enough? First single, "Guitar" has a nice fuzzy groove but offers nothing really earth-shattering. In fact, the melody line kept nagging at me: where have I heard this before. I realized it was another Prince song I was hearing in there, "Girls and Boys" from 1986's Parade album. Can he sue himself for plagiarism? Prolly not. Siouxsie: Into A Swan
If you head over to the website of Siouxsie's new label, W14, you'll be able to hear short previews of nearly every track on her forthcoming solo debut album, Mantaray, which will have every old goth's knickers in twist when it is set forth upon the world in August. Actually, it's a pretty raw sound for Sioux, a return to the harder sound of the early Banshees a bit with a touch of Marilyn Manson glam, and she's likely to pick up a whole new generation of fans. Early reports are that lyrically, she is more personally revealing than ever, and that the Ice Queen may finally be melting a bit. Her longtime Banshees and Creatures sidekick Budgie is nowhere to be found on Mantaray, sparking rumors among fans that they're also personally separated, which lends to the long held theory that they were just "beards" for each other, and that "Into a Swan" is Siouxsie's big "coming out" moment. I dunno about that, but the song itself is a delightfully brain crunching epic. Also, I have to say she is looking absolutely hotter than ever, not bad for a 50-year old punk.
Erasure: Sunday Girl (12"Mix)
Erasure might not always be at the top of the cool list, but I've been a fan since 1985, when "Oh L'Amour" made me swoop and swoon on the Club Mario's dance floor, and my love just grows stronger with each album. There was a mild rough patch during the Cowboy / Loveboat / Nightbird string of records where maybe the ideas were running a little thin, and the overall tone was on the depressing side, but even still, I loved them. The new album Light at the End of the World is a massive return to form, and to me the 2nd single "Sunday Girl" ranks up there with their best and biggest hits, a thumping, disco-riffic Abba-goes-Electro classic complete with octave bass lines and Andy Bell in full drama diva mode. The 12" mix differs only slightly from the version which opens the album but stretches it out a little, adding a few new sections that add just enough something special to make it a highly repeatable pop stomper.Swivek: Flirt
I've been wearing my record producer hat this week, having fun adding some keyboard lines to a track emailed over to me by Bradley aka Swivek. I always like using his tracks to do remixes and I've even recorded entire music tracks for him to sing atop, but this is our first "true" collaboration in a way. I think it turned out pretty swell, a nice and sassy summer pop ditty. I'm releasing the EP via my Flexible Records net label on this coming Tuesday, but here's a preview for y'all:
Things can sometimes get a little rough in my 55 gallon aquarium. Its occupants are mainly oscars, which are notoriously mean fish who enjoy a weekly feast of "feeder" goldfish. The bigger ones snap an entire goldfish in one bite, while the smaller ones prefer the more gruesome method of attacking and eating the goldfish's eyeballs, then gradually devouring the rest of the helpless creature community style. It took me awhile to get used to the raw carnage, but now it doesn't phase me at all.
I suppose it would be stretching reality a bit to say that each fish has their own personality, but since I decided to actually give them names, they've somehow become a little more dynamic to me. I decided to use a common theme for naming my fish. My favorite music artist ever is David Bowie, so that was the magic inspiration. Here's a little who's-who tour of the Making Flippy Floppy aquarium.
Lady Grinning Soul (Aladdin Sane LP, 1973) She's pre-historic, she's way into algae, and she's catty. Lady Grinning Soul is a giant plecostomus (Hypostomus punctatus) and at 15 inches long, she's the queen of the whole show. She isn't the most gorgeous gal on the block, but she makes up for her looks with ability to keep things clean, hoovering up bits of algae, fish poop, and half-eaten feeders. She's not one bit picky. She's a bit of a loner, most of the time she can be found enjoying the tickliness of the bubble area. She blends in well with her surroundings so well that sometimes when she moves suddenly, people are startled, thinking she was just a big rock. Her skin is like you'd imagine dinosaur skin, hard and thick and greyish brown, sorta spiky.
She's been known to have sudden, unexplainable fits where she suddenly bolts into action, flipping and flopping wildly, practically shooting herself out of the tank and causing all the muck settled at the bottom to stir all up. It sounds crazy when she does it, a giant loud splash and a thunk when she hits her head on the tank. I think this is somehow her form of entertainment. If I sit by the tank long enough, she'll eventually notice and swim over to get a look at me with her beady little eyeball.
Iman. (Mrs. Bowie) The latest addition to the tank and the biggest of all the cichlids at about five inches in length. She's a Jack Dempsey (Archocentrus octofasciatus), a type of fish which was named after the notorious boxer because of their pissy attitudes and habit of bullying the other fish. Actually, Iman has been quite mellow so far. I really haven't seen her get cross with another fish. Maybe it's the fact that she doesn't have much seniority in the tank makes her less bitchy. She's gorgeous, though, which is the reason I brought her home from Duncan's Pet Store awhile back. It's hard to find fish for my tank that won't get eaten - at pet stores I mostly find just the little bitty cichlids that would become a casual snack as soon as they hit the water.
So when I saw Iman, all big and sassy with her lavender-gray body and phosphorescent blue and silver spots, I knew I had to have her. Sadly, I was told she was "under surveillance" and not currently for sale. I wondered what she had done to warrant direct observation, the little troublemaker. They told me they'd call me when she was done being punished. She came to her new home about a week later in a big plastic mayonnaise bucket, sliding into the tank with an enthusiastic plop. She's been cool as a sea cucumber ever since.
Ziggy Stardust - (The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders From Mars LP, 1972)
This guy is so glam, no other name would have fit the description quite as well. Ziggy Stardust is appropriately, a Fire Mouth (Thorichthys meeki) with really a really cool red underbelly and a shiny spot with a yellow edge. He was formerly the largest in the tank, but his 3 1/2 inches don't quite measure up to Iman. However he has been growing in leaps and bounds lately, as if he's trying to compete now that there's a bigger one than him around. For some reason, Ziggy is the only one won't touch the feeder fish when I get them. He's a pellet-arian, I guess.Blue Jean (Tonight LP, 1984) - This one is a Pearl of Tanzania (Labidochromis), and is electric blue under the special nature bulb half of the tank, with a glowing yellow fringe. Blue Jean isn't too big, but carries herself with a lot of poise. For some reason, her facial expression makes me think she's asking "Who?" all the time.
Silly Boy Blue (David Bowie LP, 1967) - This Pindani (Pseudotropheus socolofi) is a little duller blue color, with darker blue stripes that glow a bit when they feel like it. Silly Boy Blue has always been the shyest fish, choosing to hide mainly in the fake leaves of the plastic plant. This fish is also a survivor of a feline fishing endeavor last year. I walked in the room in the nick of time to see all three cats staring quizzically at Silly Boy Blue, who was laying helplessly on the on the living room carpet. At first, I thought one of them had dragged in a slug, because the poor thing had turned from brilliant blue to dull gray in the air. I realized it was a fish and immediately grabbed its tail fin and tossed it into the tank. It floated lifelessly for a minute, and just as I was assuming the worst, it started wriggling a bit, and eventually came back around to normal. I'm pretty sure the culprit was Kitty Face, the only one who's ever shown much interest in the tank. Fortunately for him, he hasn't tried fishing since.Joe the Lion (Heroes LP, 1977) - A cute little Kalingo (Nimbochromis livingstonii), named because of his cool Leopard Spot coloration. Unfortch, David Bowie never wrote any songs about leopards, so I had to go with a different large, carnivorous feline.
The others are cool too, but they don't really have amusing stories so I'll just run down the names: New Killer Star, Low, Red Money, Abdulmajid and then there are the surviving feeder goldfish that have managed to not be devoured by the bigger, meaner fish, who I collectively call (what else?) the Spiders from Mars.
Incidental Findings: The Spokesman Review Oct. 9, 1951
Earlier this year, I posted some highlights from an old copy of the Spokesman-Review from September 1965. I finally have a follow up to this slowly ongoing series of old local papers. A few days ago, at a junk shop in Wallace, I came across a yellow, decaying copy of the SR dated Tuesday, October 9, 1951 for a measly dollar. Here's some interesting scans from the nearly 56-year-old artifact:
Incidental Findings: Don't you deserve a really GOOD spanking?
Mistress Melanie is quite an innovative business woman. Instead of traditional business cards, which everyone loses in the chaos of their purse or wallet, she decided to print her sales pitch on bright pink stickers (for some reason the scanner didn't pick up the neon quality of the pinkness). Clever. Thing is, when your business is being a 24-hour S&M dominatrix, you gotta be a little careful about where you stick 'em. You know you want it!
Found in the parking lot of Ming Wah Chinese Restaurant in downtown Spokane.
July 4th Video: Siouxsie & the Banshees: "Fireworks"
It's the friggin' 4th of July and I'm stuck at work pretty much all day. Actually, I'm kind of happy to be here, away from the crazy downtown traffic that has surely taken over my neighborhood. Plus, it's nice to sit in air conditioned comfort instead of 100 degree heat. I've got the AC maxed out to the point where people are coming in and saying "Brrrr..., where's my sweater?" Looking forward to classic BBQ fixings at Chez Mom after work and then party time at Chez Colleenie Weenie. Maybe I'll show up and make Deep Fried Pickles just to blow some minds...
Anyhoo, to celebrate the holiday, here's some of my favorite kind of "Fireworks"...
Say "Hi" to Shavarda Lott. This morning, she was smiling out at me from the front of the CDA Press Food section, her steely tongs holding forth a creation that could only come from the southern USA: Kool-Aid Pickles. Apparently, they are all the rage in the Mississippi Delta, along with their equally wrong hot cousin, the breaded and deep fried pickle. I've not tried either, but I feel compelled give them a taste after reading the accompanying Associated Press article all about this disturbingly enticing culinary trend. I've come up with recipes for both and they look so easy, even I should be able to pull it off. I plan on whipping up a batch of each this weekend, so stay tuned for taste-test results...
Fried dill pickles
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
4 large, crisp dill pickles, cut into 3/4-inch chips
In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the buttermilk mixture.
In a medium cast-iron skillet, heat about 2 inches of oil to 375 degrees. A few at a time, dip the pickle chips into the batter and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Set on paper towels to drain excess oil. Serve hot.
46-ounce (1 quart 14 ounces) jar whole dill pickles
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
2 packets red Kool-Aid (such as cherry flavored)
Drain and discard the juice from the pickle jar. Remove the pickles from the jar and cut each one in half lengthwise. Return the pickles to the jar and set aside.
In a large measuring cup, combine the sugar, water and Kool-aid. Mix until the sugar has completely dissolved. Pour enough of the liquid into the pickle jar to cover the pickles. Discard any excess.
Incidental Findings: E. - Mother, Wife, Prosecutor
Miss Erika must have quite the busy life, eh? How does she find time for all these different jobs and still manage to schedule in some interior decorating? Amazing! Most impressive of all is her ability to channel the mysterious "Spirit of H". What relation to Erika is the author, Mark? This looks like something a cheesy husband might come up with after at least 10 years of marriage, in a convoluted attempt to be romantic. Although, it's not really much for a love poem, in fact it's a little chilly in tone: "...with the deepest respect", it could have been written to her by her son, her brother, her uncle, her grandfather, or one of her many, many co-workers...
Found tucked inside a used copy of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" purchased at St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store in Cd'A.
(Update: After Dave posted this image on his Huckleberries Online today, some buzz killer mentioned that she actually knew who these folks were and they would be upset at the notion of it being posted online for the world to read. Darned small town, I guess. Well, I'm not that interested in pissing people off, although I do think they need to get a sense of humor. So I decided to obscure the names, which I guess I'll have to do from now on with my "incidental findings". Blah.)