Thursday, December 5, 2013

Babu Forest

So this won't be funny to anyone but myself, Hubby and Bug, but I'm going to tell you all about it anyway. Just deal. Tis the season for all things Christmas (okay, and Hanukkah (or Chanukah?) and Kwanzaa too) so we've put up our tree, introduced Bug to hot chocolate (guess what, he loves it) and naturally,we've been watching all the traditional TV specials. Rudolph, Shrek the Halls (it's come on for several years in a row now so it counts as "traditional" in my book... plus it's funny,) and of course The Grinch! (And obvs Christmas Vacation is at the top of the list, but Bug can't watch that one quite yet..."Merry Christmas. Shitter was full.")

Sweet little Bug is mostly concerned with all of the "mad" characters, like the Abominable Snowman and the Grinch turning "happy" in the end, but I've also been trying to impress upon him the importance of learning the lyrics to all the songs so we can have family sing-a-longs! Oh, and also that Christmas isn't about getting stuff, it's about giving and being with loved ones and blah, blah, blah. Anyway, the songs. I haven't made too much progress on Rudolph, or Silver and Gold (ah, Burl Ives...sing me to sleeeeee...zzzzzzz) but Bug finds the Mr. Grinch song hilarious and the singing Who's down in Whoville quite delightful!

In fact, he's started singing the Who's Welcome Christmas song to himself sporadically. But Bug's version goes something like this: "Babu forest, Babu forest, welcome Babu please sit down..." I'm pretty sure these are not the actual Dr. Seuss lyrics (and yes, Dr. Seuss did pen the lyrics to all of the songs.) Now, like I said, this probably means nothing to most of you, but it provides an incredible mental image for those of us who are acquainted with Babu herself.

This is Babu.
Also, this. 

So, needless to say, envisioning an actual forest of Babus is, well, I can't say it's something I'd really like to encounter (I live with her and she's not always easy to be around) but to imagine it is really something. Just something.

So, Happy Whatever-It-Is-You-Celebrate! Now raise your eggnog and toast the "happy" Grinch as he prances around with his enlarged heart in Babu Forest. I'm sure he's having a wonderful time.

Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I'm The Epitomy Of Public Enemy

Nope, not actually quoting Public Enemy today. I randomly called my dog El Scorcho this morning and it's been non-stop Weezer ever since. 

Despite what this album did (or more accurately didn't) do commercially (unless you lived in Australia apparently,) Pinkerton remains hands down their best record to date. I'm pretty sure if I listened to it right now I'd still know every word and would still sing every harmony I ever wrote in my head to go along with it. Actually I think I've always been partial to Weezer mostly because Rivers Cuomo and I have the same vocal range. It's just fun to sing along! Many moons ago myself and a former band mate of mine actually did sing the entire album (several times through and really loudly) on a late night drive from Fayetteville to Little Rock, AR. Not that anyone cares, but I'm just sayin'. And since the album was released right around the time I left for college, understanding all of the Madame Butterfly references scattered throughout made me feel like I was in on some inside joke that my new Phish-loving college friends just couldn't, wouldn't and shouldn't get. Although actually they should have since they were all theatre majors. (And yes, spell check, that is the correct way to spell theatre.) Anyway, Weezer made me feel superior! Wait. Maybe that's not a good thing. But how many of you actually know who Cio-Cio San is? See. Superior. 

Moving on. 

Here's a fun factoid for you. The name of this song supposedly came from a packet of hot sauce from Del Taco called Del Scorcho. Yep.

And for you total Weezer nerds out there, there's also this. Oh yes. Unfortunately my library doesn't have it, which is too bad because that would've been a really good way to look busy for a few hours. Dang.

So, I don't remember this video because MTV apparently didn't play it very much since the song was a flop and there's no Buddy Holly-ish antics going on here. But here are some fun video factoids: Matt Sharp is wearing an FC Barcelona shirt, which some folks (Hubby!) should appreciate. (Hubby's Barcelona football shirt that was actually purchased in Barcelona is so covered with holes and stains that it really should be demoted from 'T-shirt' to 'dish rag,' but that's another story entirely.) Also in the first 15 seconds there's a neon sign that says "Weerez," but at the end it says "Weezer." Now, go stare at the pretty lights!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Please Don't Take Him Just Because You Can

Dare I do it? Dare I be so bold as to put a post on this totally insignificant spec of the Interwebs about the ultimate goddess (at least this week) of Crazy? Oh heck, why not. Miley Cyrus. I'm going there.

So, like many of us middle aged folks with actual musical taste, I can safely say that I didn't know a thing about Miley until the infamous twerking incident on last month's VMAs. I don't even need to link the video. We've all seen it. But what's even more amazing is that apparently it was even worse than we thought. MTV had to edit almost everything she did, so what we did see was apparently considered tame. Oy vey. Anyway, I didn't grow up watching her and Billy Ray on whatever ridiculous show that was and I don't think I'd ever heard her sing anything before and if I did I wouldn't have known it was her anyway and if someone had told me I would have said "who?" or "stop talking" or "turn this awful shit down!" All that being said, the girl can actually sing. Too bad she spends so much time with her tongue hanging out of her mouth. As my voice teacher used to always say "you'll never be able to get into your head voice if you're straddling a wrecking ball in the buff with your tongue dangling around your ankles. Also, use your diaphragm."

Anyway, thanks to spending way too much time trolling Facebook on a regular basis, I was introduced to Miley in a whole new light. And, by Jehovah, she's wearing clothes! The "Backyard Sessions" took place in the summer of 2012 and feature Miley and her band playing some covers of her favorite songs. It's well done, the band sounds good (and they're cute!), the setting is lovely, and most importantly I discovered that Miley Cyrus is a singer. Who knew? There are several songs featured here that got great reviews, but the one that's sticking out for me is her cover of Jolene. It's hard to outdo the original by the fantabulous Dolly Parton (who, fun Friday factoid, just so happens to be Miss Miley's godmother!) but I think her raspy/crisp vocals do it justice. As my voice teacher used to always say "no one will care about you belting covers in your backyard unless you used to be Hannah Montana. Also, wrinkling your forehead won't help you hit the high notes."

Friday, August 30, 2013

What The World Needs Now

I'm taking on too much with this one, but literally the entire Burt Bacharach catalog is stuck in my head. Do you know how many songs that is??? Well, neither do I, but it's like hundreds and thousands and millions of tunes. The problem started when I caught a late night showing of (and by showing I mean I was channel surfing while on my fifth glass of wine and landed on) Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Odd that this movie would find itself mentioned in this here blog more than once, but as I have said previously, it was an oft-quoted source of hilarity for a bunch of stoned college freshman well beyond our freshman days. "Saucer of milk, table two...meaowrrr!" Anyway, so the soundtrack to this epic piece of filmography is all Bacharach, and he even has a cameo ("Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Burt Bacharach...") performing What The World Needs Now while playing piano on top of a double-decker bus. And ever since that moment I haven't been able to stop with the Bacharach madness. I created a Pandora station using his name and all hell broke loose! Dionne Warwick, The Carpenters, Elvis Costello, Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, fricking Herb Alpert and his Tijuana Brass Band...they are all playing a concert in my head! At the same damn time!! And I kind of like it!!!

But the best part of all of this was discovering A) I actually know almost all the lyrics to every one of his songs and I have no idea how or why. And B) Burt Bacharach's official website is called A House is Not a Homepage, which is brilliant. So in honor of that stroke of genius,  that was the song/video combo I was planning to go with, even though it's not really one of the ones that's been on autopilot in my brain lately. There were just too many performances and artists and songs to choose from, and let's face it, my attention span is not that great these days. Plus it was one of the few videos I could find that actually had him singing his own song. HOWEVER, that song is just too cheesy, even for yours truly, so I'm going with Ella doing I'll Never Fall in Love Again. Cause you really just cannot go wrong with Ella. But if you want to see Burt and Elvis and Austin Powers doing it, you have that option as well. You're welcome.

And let it be noted that the movie is still really effing funny. Even stone-cold sober. Well...OK I already outed myself with the wine comment above, but the point is that after all these years (16!?!) I was still laughing my face off at the same damn jokes. I think wine even came out of my nose once. True story. And great mental image, amiright?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Knee Deep In The Hoopla

People, it's been a busy summer. But don't fret. I'm determined to get back to the blogosphere as much as possible, starting now. I realize this makes all six of my readers ecstatic, so, you know, you're welcome. We've missed out on so much together over the past few months so let us not waste a minute more...

Starship. Not the Enterprise. The band. Which means, of course, that the earworm du jour is the Billboard No. 1 hit from 1985, We Built this City. I honestly can't tell you the last time I heard this song so how it got lodged in my brain is a mystery. But I think we're all glad that it did because now we can finally tease our hair and pull out our over-sized neon blazers (with shoulder pads, of course,) leg warmers, mini skirts and lace fingerless gloves, and start busting a move in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Thank God! Again, you're welcome.

So here's the interesting thing about this song. It was written by four people, none of whom was in the band Starship. So, first of all, it took FOUR PEOPLE to write this song. That alone is enough to give a person pause. Secondly, none of these people were from the U.S. (one was Elton John's long-time song-writing partner, Bernie Taupin) but the song makes references to only big American cities (as is so subtly shown in the video below.) And lastly, Mickey Thomas, the lead singer for Starship, is still touring (as Starship featuring Mickey Thomas...lame) and doing his really bad 80's-white-person-dance for crowds in such exotic locales as Shreveport, Louisiana and The Woodlands, Texas. I know, what a relief. As an aside, I am really good at 80's white-person-dancing and am happy to give a demo any time. Just holla.

And in case you ever wondered (and I know you have) what the hell "Marconi plays the Mamba" means well I still really don't know. But Guglielmo Marconi is largely credited with having invented the radio. And a Mamba is a highly venomous snake. So, hopefully that clears everything up for you. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It Is Time For You To Laugh Instead Of Crying

Today we had one of those mornings. I was running late, Hubby was, uhm, "indisposed" (read "on the pooper") for an exceptionally long time, the dogs were barking non-stop at their own tails, and Bug was whining and crying about needing me to hold him, feed him and play race cars with him all at the same time, as I stood helpless, with nothing on but a towel dripping shower water all over everything. I still don't know what the hell Bug was on about, but almost immediately Stop Your Sobbing popped into my head and temporarily drowned out all the chaos. Thank you, Chrissie Hynde. Thank you.

So, I know this is a cover of a Kinks song (Ray Davies and Chrissie actually have a kid together) but, The Pretenders. Chrissie Hynde. There's so much to love here that I just don't know where to start. For one thing the Pretenders were one of the best rock shows I was ever lucky enough to see. And they played my hometown, no less! And with the B-52's. If you were there, you remember. We had fun. No doubt. As in, there was no doubt about the amount of fun being had, not as in Gwen Stefani. Anyway, I'm getting off topic here. My main point is that this lady rocks, her voice is hands down my favorite of any female rock/punk artist, and she's collaborated with just about everybody you can think of from Morrisey to Sheryl Crow, and Frank Sinatra to Bruce Willis. (Note to self: Check out the movie Rugrats Go Wild with Bug for a chance to see her voice an animated clouded leopard and duet with Willis.) Also she was on an episode of Friends. So, you know, she can check that one off the list.

But I think the best thing I learned about her today, even better than the fact that she once asked Sid Vicious to marry her so she could get a British work permit, or that she was actually attending Kent State during the shootings, or even that despite an ever-rotating list of band mates due to drug addictions and overdoses she kept the Pretenders band name alive, is her connection to Rush Limbaugh. Yep. So, apparently ole Rush had been using an unedited instrumental version of her song My City Was Gone for years until EMI caught wind of it and issued a cease and desist order. Eventually Chrissie heard of it to and decided that since her parents loved Rush Limbaugh's show that she didn't mind it's use. So for an annual payment fee of $100,000 Rush gets to use the song. And the $100,000? Yeah, Chrissie donates the lot to PETA. Ha! I don't know, maybe Rush is an animal lover too, but I seriously doubt he's even remotely vegetarian or has ever given any of his own dimes to such a loved-by-ultra-liberals-everywhere organization. Chrissie - 1, Rush - 0.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hit Me Like A Ray Of Sun

Well that was a long hiatus! You know, I've just been so darned busy going on vacations that I just haven't been able to find the time to write. And I know, dear readers, that this upsets you. But never fear! I'm back. So calm down. Let's get straight to business, shall we?

Over the past month there have been so many earworms worthy of discussion, but I am forcing myself to live in the moment and go with the one that's actually stuck in my head right now. Beyonce. Halo. It was on the radio this morning and now it's lodged in my brain like a jelly bean in a kid's nose. God, I hope Bug never gets a jelly bean stuck up his nose. I hate jelly beans. Anyway, I digress. The unfortunate thing about this song is that it's completely uninteresting. There's no scoop. I'm bored. Apparently there was some hype from Kelly Clarkson that one of her songs (Already Gone) had the same instrumentation and made it sound like she was ripping of Beyonce, but the problem here is that the two songs were written by the same person, so naturally they sound similar. Let this be a lesson, divas. Write your own damn music. Let Cyndi Lauper be your muse! She just made history by being the first woman to win a Tony for best original score (for Kinky Boots, which basically won everything...just in case you were wondering) without the help of a partner. Take that! She also performed True Colors during the In Memoriam section of the awards while accompanying herself on the dulcimer (which was actually pretty frickin cool.) And now I have True Colors stuck in my head...

I mean even this video is just, meh. It's soft and sweet, nothing really to say good or bad. Again, I'm bored. And I don't really get the parts where she's floating under water. But she do have a nice booty. Oh screw it, I'm going back on vacation.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I Bless The Rains Down In Africa

This video may have just made me hate this song. Which sucks, cause we are mere days (hours even!) away from being on the beach with all our beloved classic soft rock hits playing on a constant loop. Toto's Africa is like the first song I want to play when I get here:

I don't know why. We aren't going to be any closer to Africa than we are now, but it's not the song's subject matter that's important here. It's that damned synth solo that sounds like steel drums. It just assumes that you are staring at an ocean, fruity beverage in hand, drunken grin on your face. Right? But this video is full of nerdy librarians in big glasses. And yes, I realize I am myself a member of that particular tribe, but these guys take things a bit over the top. According to the band, this is what the song is about: "A white boy is trying to write a song on Africa, but since he's never been there, he can only tell what he's seen on TV or remembers in the past." What? First off, why is this dude writing a song about a place he's never been? (Hmmm, Toto?) And B) if he's never seen or done Africa, what past is he remembering from? No, let's not try to get too real here, Toto. You guys weren't making a statement or saving any African children with this one. It's just a nice song to pass out in the sun to. OK?

So, note to self, watch this once (because the part where the "white boy" has some sort of revelation after finding the one book on the shelf titled Africa is so redonkulous) and then never watch it again. Just close your eyes and listen...and drink...and make sure the tide isn't coming in before you nod off. And for a refresher course on appropriate and top-rated beach jams for Hubby, Bug and I, just revisit last year's pre-vacay post. Some things just don't need changin'.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I Have Watched You On The Shore

Yesterday Hubby found a surfboard.

This is important because for the past two weeks he's been telling me he was going to buy a surfboard. And then yesterday he just found one. On the side of the road. On his way to take Bug to school. Seriously? Seriously. He found a frickin' SURFBOARD. In downtown Atlanta. Where there is no surf. Are we all clear on this? Ok, good.

So in his excitement over said surfboard (ok, in all honesty it's a wakeboard, but surfboard sounds cooler to me) he began to hum (ok, in all honesty he was full out singing and then I joined in with my perfect harmony) The Beach Boys' Surfer Girl. Yep, there we sat on our front porch watching Bug play a wicked game of T-ball all by himself, randomly singing Surfer Girl for all our neighbors' listening pleasure. It was a moment, people. A really special moment.

And naturally this lovely tune is still stuck in my head this morning. It really is a pretty song in all of it's beachy, romantic simplicity. And I hadn't heard (let alone thought) about it in a very long time. Probably since I threw away my Beach Boys Greatest Hits cassette tape sometime back in the 90's after realizing that the only "cool" Beach Boys album allowed in the realm of Indie/Punk rock fandom was Pet Sounds. So I think it's about time I revisit the pre-marijuana influenced music of these guys! Hey, does anybody else remember that made for TV movie about the Beach Boys (that was also sometime back in the 90's?) No? Well I do. The scene where a supremely intoxicated and depressed Brian Wilson tries to drown himself in a pool was riveting. Just riveting.

Anyway, here's what the Boys have taught me today. A Woody (as sung about in Surfer Girl) is not just a character in Toy Story or a reference to, well, you know. It's this. Which is pretty cool, man.

Now, let's hit the damn beach already!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sundown All Around

In exactly two weeks we'll be heading to the beach. In my brain I am already there, so to celebrate my pre-vacation vacation, I played hooky yesterday and sat in the sun drinking cerveza and listening to my and Hubby's favorite beach jams. Granted I had to pretend the sound of the city bus going up and down the street was something akin to a crashing wave on the shore, but still, it was nice. And even though all I really wanted to do was listen to Toto's Africa on repeat for a few hours, I stumbled upon this little gem and decided it definitely needed to be added to the regular beach jams rotation. Sweet, sweet Belinda Carlisle with Circle in the Sand. I mean, it's about sand and the beach and also it's Belinda Carlisle so it works on several levels.

According to Wikipedia, there is absolutely nothing interesting about this song. Huh.

But if we're talking about Belinda then we have to mention the Go-Gos, and they can claim the fun factoid of being the first all girl band who wrote their own music and played their own instruments to have a No.1 hit record, Beauty and the Beat. Let's hear it for girl power and stuff! VAGINAS! Sorry.

Hey, remeber when Jane Wiedlin was on that show The Surreal Life? Yes? No?   ...   Well, I do.

So, you'll just have to pretend that the quality of this video is better. And is it just me or is she a bit overdressed for a beach stroll. Hubby, Bug and I could definitely give Belinda some pointers on the finer points of beach etiquette. Rule number one would definitely be something like: No Black Coats...or creepy abandoned crosses...or hard backed wooden chairs. I mean, come on girl, you're at the beach! Chillax!

Rule number two is: Always bring extra Doritos for the Donalds (that's seagulls to you land lubbers.)

Belinda Carlisle - Circle In The Sand by jpdc11

See you soon, Frank.