Saturday, February 28, 2009

Recessive gene

My oldest son is a red head ("ginger"), as was (before going grey) my father. This photo is from a new book by Jenny Wicks, "Root Ginger." Social reactions to such recessive genes are curious and often weirdly negative. As one participant says, "My mother's reaction to being told her first born was a ginger was to weep uncontrollably." I'll admit to some pangs of worry when BB emerged with ginger hair, as though he'd been born with a strike against him. Such an odd reaction.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Calvin & Hobbes / SRV

For Big Boy, who's a HUGE Calvin & Hobbes fan right now. A video featuring my favorite Stevie Ray Vaughn song. BB says, "I've seen that" for every slide.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Shemekia Copeland

A change of pace. Johnny Copeland's daughter.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Day in the Life of Abbey Road

Don't miss the guy who pulls down his pants about half way through.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bat for Lashes

Covering Bruce Springsteen.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Meat Puppets

The Puppets did a kind of meandering version of grunge back in the late 80's and early 90's (I saw them then). Some of their original songs, like this one, were covered by Nirvana. From Texas, they're now following the "cowpunk" way.

Friday, February 20, 2009

These Are Powers

Ghost-punk no wave.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Brian Jonestown Massacre

It's been a while since I posted a BJM song. Equal parts narco, pop, and just plain haunting, BJM still floats my boat. The slo-mo video is from Godard's "Bande à part"; the song, "The Devil May Care."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Another Nico Vega

Doing an acoustic turn.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nico Vega

Kinda wannabe badass, but a really good song.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Those Darlins

Indie twang trio, from Nashville I think.

Note the baritone ukulele, confirming again my sense that ukuleles are resurgent.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


We watched "Milk" last night, the story of the first gay elected official, Harvey Milk, in San Francisco. I was in 8th grade, I think, and living just north of SF when Milk and Mayor Moscone were assassinated, so I remember it well. What I was less aware of are the details of the gay movement at the time. I knew who Anita Bryant was, but not some of the details of the fight against the newly emboldened religious right. The second act of the movie is built around these details, especially the struggle against proposition 6, which would have banned gay teachers (imagine that witch hunt).

The strategy against proposition 6 was the right way to fight an anti-gay measure. They fought the proposition with visibillity: their slogan, "come out! come out! wherever you are!" The tepid opposition to proposition 8, the recent anti-gay marriage measure in California, could have taken some lessons from this strategy.

Sean Penn is brilliant in the movie, simply because I forgot I was watching Sean Penn. I'm not always a fan of the biopic, but I liked "Milk" more than I thought I would. I think I'd also been avoiding the movie because the assassinations were an example for me then of the senseless cruelty in the world. Their killer, ex-cop Dan White, got the minimum sentence with the "twinkie defense," and the long winter of the Reagan era followed shortly thereafter, not to mention AIDS/HIV. But what I took away most from the movie was the sense of elation in the mid seventies of the new power of being out of the closet.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Magnetic Fields' "The Book of Love"

"The Book of Love is long and boring,
No one can lift the damn thing.
It's full of charts and facts and figures,
And instructions for dancing."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In Praise of Fuck (and Shit)

The director Victor Solomon has cut together every bit of profanity in HBO's The Sopranos. It digs deep into the Germanic roots of the English language with a weird sort of beauty. This is about a third of the full cut, which can be found here. (This is how I talk when I can get away from the kids.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

TV on the Radio

Brooklyn-based experimental band, now getting lots of exposure (SNL and Colbert this week alone). This song is like a cross between Prince and Brian Eno.

AO figured out that the lead singer, Tunde Adebimpe, plays the groom in the movie "Rachel Getting Married," which we just saw. I highly recommend the movie, as much for the cool music (Robyn Hitchcock makes an appearance) as the family drama.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Five and Twenty Random Things Abovt Me

From Mike McPhaden, Shakespeare takes on the 25 Random Things About Me meme.

1 Sometimes I Feele so trapp’d by iambic pentameter... Does that make me a Freake?

2 I haue been Knowne to cry at Bear-baiting.

3 I am not uery ticklish. I am Not. So prithee, do not euen try. Waste. Of. Time.

4 I cannot keep Lice, and know not why.

5 Sometimes I thinke plays are all Talke, Talke Talke, and wish for a cart-chase scene. I tried one in The Merry Wives, but it looked like Shitte, so I cut it. The men playing the horses were so Pissed at me.

6 I once threw vp on a man's head, from a high Windowe. I was so fvcking Sicke that Daye.

7 I hate to wear a Ruff, for I haue such a pleasing Necke.

8 As a player, I am painful-slow to learn my part. Once whilst playing Edward I, I used the prompter so ouermuch that a groundling yell’d ~Stop interrupting, Will! And it was my Dadde. (Kydding!)

9 Sometimes when I am Stvck for a rhyme, I new-mint a Worde because I jvst want to get the Damned script ovt the fvcking doore.

10 I play the Flute yet poorly, but I can make any crumhorn beg for Mercy.

11 When I am happy I call Anne my Kicky-wicky. When I am cross I call her “Olde Fun Killer Hag-Ass.”

12 I keepe my Stashe hidden in our seconde best bedde. Shhh. Don’t tell the Fyve-Oh.

13 The people that loue my Wordes the best are always the most disappointed vpon meeting me. Is thisse List ouer yet?

14 On the topic of dating, my daughter Susanna loues to remind me: ~Jvliet was only thirteen! And I remind her that i) she was Italian, an impulsive race ii), she was actually played by a middle-aged Eunuch named Ned, and iii) she died. That always shvts her right vp.

15 I deteste it when the Low-Comedians improuise the scenes I writ them… becavse they always make them so mvch fvnnier.

16 I haue, on occasion, thovght abovt hiring a Boy to fixe my Latin.

17 When I was sixe, my Goode-Friend Charles brovght to Schoole a wood-cut of his mother, qvite naked. After that we called him Charles Nudie-Mummy, whiche did make him Crye.

18 I take my eggs ouer-medium. If I get them O’er-Easily, I tell my Porter, ~You may thinke this is what I ordered, but it’s snot. I thinke that one is a real Slap-A-Th’Knee.

19 I work ovt my calues thrice weekly, usvally three pyramid sets of Calf-Rises whilst holding a flagon of Meade. I knowe I should stretch afterwards, but it Bores me so I do it not.

20 As a boy in my Bed, I would shriek i’the night that Witches wovld come to eat me. My Mother (bless her) wovld smooth my Hair and whispr ~ Be not afear’d, the Witches onlie eat the Jews.

21 Whitsuntide has become so commercial.

22 Nobody euer forgets where they were the moment they heard that Thomas Kyd died. I was shopping for codpieces in West Cheape. I came ovt of the Change-room and the proprietress was i’tears. I said ~What is it, now?~Kyd is dead. There was a melancholy qviet, and then she said ~And that Piece is a mite too small on ye.

23 Euery time we do the Taming of the Shrew, some pvnter wants his Money backe, because we don’t actually show a shrew getting tamed.

24 I do not vnderstand all the Fvss over Currants. Sure, they are both sweet and Small, but must they bee added to EUERY FVCKING MEAL these days? Yestermonth, found I currants in a Tarte of Spinnedge. I meane come on, People. Seriovsly.

25 When I am feeling Melancholic, I console myselfe with the Knowledge that, aboue all else, I will be remembered for my Musick.