MORRISSEY: LIVE IN SEATTLE

I am the son
And the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

The Smiths --
"How Soon Is Now?"


I have a very particular memory about this song. In the mid/late 80s, I was living in Chicago and frequented a very cool and laid-back neighborhood bar called Club 950. It was on Wrightwood near the DePaul campus and was as close to a “hang out” as I have ever had. I went to 950 because it was the place to go in town to hear alt/indie/retro music from the wonderful oddball DJs without having to deal with jerks and suburban drunks (at least not during the week). I could just go and listen. I became friends with Joe, one of the DJs, and he knew that The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now” was a favorite of mine. He often would put the 7-minute 12” single on his turntable within minutes of me getting there and I would smile towards his booth in the back of the club, set my drink and my purse down (nope, never stolen) and I would float over to the small dance floor, usually empty on the nights I would be there, and just move to the hypnotic, repetitive vibrato of the guitar by myself. I could just be that sound. For those few minutes, I felt somehow completely released, blissful and free and alone in the darkness.

There's a club if you'd like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home and you cry
And you want to die

When you say it's gonna happen "now"
Well when exactly do you mean?
See I've already waited too long
And all my hope is gone.


“How Soon Is Now” was very different from The Smiths’ usual work with its distinctive huge guitar sound. I wanted to like them more than I did at the time, because they were an interesting and intelligent group. I know exactly why I didn’t, though: Morrissey’s voice. I couldn’t get past the ‘80s Brit yelp of it, the unbalanced feel, and mostly that he seemed to write melodies that never went any further than five notes or so, just arranged slightly differently for each song, all in the same key. It is kind of a shame, because for what he lacked in vocal range, he more than made up for in very interesting lyrics: wry, raw, vulnerable, witty, emotional, open yet obscure at the same time. He is certainly completely unique; the angsty young man with a decided twist, almost aggressively depressed. Morrissey grew up in Manchester, a gray and frighteningly grim place that would depress the hell of out anyone, really. I remember visiting Manchester Polytechnic in the early ‘80s and thinking how it reminded me more of the Chicago projects than a school.

Fast forward 25 years or so. The Smiths broke up, and Morrissey carved out a very successful solo career with songs just as strong and memorable (although I do miss guitarist Johnny Marr). There is no doubt he is one of the major influences/icons of rock music, as much for his prickly and grand personality as his music. I think he has become a better singer over time – significantly stronger – and I have really enjoyed his last few releases too. Time for me and Stephen Patrick Morrissey to meet up again, this time live at the Paramount in Seattle last night.

If you read this blog or are acquainted with me, you might already know that I am determined. Determination came into play when I noticed right before I left the house last night, this:



“No cameras, search required.” AH, SHIT! Well, that won’t do, eh? I looked at my clothes for the evening. Too tight to stuff my leetle camera anywhere, which all of a sudden seemed bulky and uncooperative. But I would figure something, because that is what I do and I am just as prickly and grand as Morrissey in my own way. I knew I wasn’t going to get any outstanding photos from the Paramount balcony, BUT.

I will have you know that I walked two city blocks with my camera in the crotch of my black pencil jeans. I will also have you know that my walk was compromised for it, and that John Cleese would approve of my silly stride, and that I kept bursting out in laughter because of the absurdity of it. I was patted and probed upon entry, purse purged, passed, and hobbled my way to the ladies’ lounge to remove the BRICK from between my legs. Ahhhhhh. Better.

I stood in line to get a bottle of water to take into the theater, and the very nice bartendress informed me that just two minutes before showtime the Paramount staff was informed by Morrissey’s people that NO NOTHING was going into the venue – all drinks had to stay outside in the lobby. This is because of a recent concert incident in Liverpool, which caused Morrissey to end the concert cold:



I am hearing “NO BOTTLED WATER!!!!” in Joan Crawford’s voice. I do hope that one was spring-fed, anyway. I drank my water quickly, poured into a hastily-found plastic cup, and settled into my seat for the show.

After a short wait, Morrissey took the stage and he and his band roared into “This Charming Man” as the crowd stood and roared back in appreciation. His twisty humor was evident right away in the appearance and manner of his band – all dressed in identical jeans and black t-shirts, with the same haircut, with the same brisk, workmanlike precision throughout the show. They were very good, all excellent musicians. One got the idea a bit from that and the scurrying of the crew to attend to every last little tiny thing out of place – a misplaced cord, a spilled BOTTLE OF WATER by the drums, and I swear what appeared to me to be some rubber chickens thrown onstage but were in fact flowers – that the guy runs a tight ship. Yo ho ho.

It was a good show, a nice mix of solo and Smiths’ tunes. Standouts for me were “Teenage Dad,” “Is It Really So Strange,” and “Because of My Poor Education.” Moz spent the evening in good voice, wandering back and forth across the stage (he’s not really the dancing/rocking out kind of frontman), was unfailingly polite in repeatedly thanking the crowd, and seemed…yes…pleased! I would also note that he kept hiking up his jeans and would recommend a belt to solve this dilemma.

Security started buzzing around making people turn off even their cell phone cameras, so as I figured I didn’t get much, but I got SOMETHING for my camera-defiling actions:








At the end of the show, several men and women were joyfully compelled to jump up onstage to hug and kiss Morrissey. He reacted with good grace and tore his shirt off at the end of the show in possible appreciation. Some of the fans were escorted from the stage relatively politely, but then security started putting in the boot and some people started getting pretty roughed up in the front. I dunno, how threatening can a Morrissey fan be? Really? But then again, he is an icon whom many fans feel passionately about, spending hours and hours obsessing over his lyrics and persona, and one never knows. That kind of fan didn’t work out so well for Icon Lennon.

One may assume that it is a long way from being the skinny New York Dolls-obsessed brainy misfit from industrial England to the fit, 50-year-old Morrissey of today who commands such attention and love from a diverse and impeccably-rock-dressed Seattle crowd. It probably is and isn’t. I would think he will remain prickly, grand, dissatisfied, and too smart for his own good, despite fame, fortune, respect, and all that goes with it. Sometimes what goes with it is a standing ovation, and sometimes is it a plastic water bottle to the cranium.

Of course, when the opening tremors of “How Soon Is Now” were being played last night, I thought back to 950 and that feeling of being a skinny-ish Kinks-obsessed brainy misfit from rural Wisconsin, for a moment lost in something, swirling in noise and pulse and desire, that sound taking over your body and mind. I hope when I am 80 I am still hobbling around some urban street, sneaking a camera into a concert, and that music remains that strong in me, as I suspect it always will in Morrissey as well.

Thanks, Moz.

HOW TO NOT STUFF

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." -- William Morris (British designer and writer, 1834 - 1896)


I came across this quote around the same time I became a fan of the furniture and architecture from late 19th - early 20th Century Arts & Crafts movement. I loved the clean and simple lines, the warm woods, and the earthy tones associated with this style. I was tired of the starkness of '80s modern design -- everything black or white, Bauhaus chairs, and those awful Patrick Nagel art girls. I was nesting, and wanted something around me that felt more homey, grounded, permanent, timeless. Unfortunately, as I discovered, a lot of the old Craftsman bungalows were very dark and cramped, and the cool-looking furniture incredibly uncomfortable to sit on for more than a few minutes. Ah, well.

But William Morris' quote stayed with me and has served me well. I was doing exactly the same thing everyone else seemed to be doing: moving on up to the eastside, getting bigger and bigger houses just because my increasing STUFF had nowhere else to go. The minute I got some extra breathing room, my stuff bred and multiplied and suddenly somehow all those extra spaces were filled with more stuff. My stuff was yanking my chain, I realized. But I didn't know what to do about it, how to pare it all down. But Mr. Morris had already figured it out for me: two columns -- useful, beautiful. He kindly modified his statement to recognize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder; one man's ceramic tiger sculpture is another man's pellet gun target.

So I began first with becoming far more critical when out shopping. Nothing was coming into my clutter palace unless it had immediate and needed function or it was so beautiful that I could not not have it. Not something useful maybe someday, not something just cute or nice or clever or OK. Useful, beautiful. I walked away from an awful lot of stuff, and my wallet stayed fatter. I tried to use the same thought as I would do my yearly purge of stuff, and tried to be ruthless. If it didn't pass the useful/beautiful test, off to Goodwill or the annual neighborhood garage sale. Clothes, art, furniture, knick knacks, beware: you'd better make yourself busy around here or just charm the hell out of me.

It is just a good general rule, isn't it, and it can play upon itself so well. There is beauty in usefulness, usefulness in beauty, and you can apply it to far more than tangible things. Take on only those things that you need, really need, and the things that are lovely and make your heart feel light and free.

I have no doubt that Elvis' Jungle Room was both useful and beautiful to him, even though it probably would've have made William Morris cringe.

5:40AM

Imagine it is inky pre-dawn. Imagine you went to bed past 1AM. Imagine you are as dead to the world as a 500-lb. stone at the bottom of the ocean.

Now imagine a sound, the smallest little squeak. It could be the sound of the lightest breeze barely moving a door, causing a minuscule creak. It could be the sound of the tiniest toddler foot resting on a slightly-warped floorboard. It could be the sound of my own nose as I exhale. It is feathery and thin and floats along with the regular nighttime noises of the house and the birds and early cars outside.

I stir. The sound, incredibly subtle and ever-so-slightly drawn out, is repeated. I breathe in and out purposefully, to check if it is indeed my nose. It is not. Dazed in slubby unfocused half-sleep, my ears still wait for the sound to replicate again. It does, and my curiosity is stronger than my need for sleep.

I rise, and open my bedroom door to the hallway. The source of the bitty whine is revealed immediately in the large black mass that is Ellie the Newfoundland. As I open the door, her almost inaudible signal to me is replaced by a wild dash down the stairs to the back door. I follow and let her outside, where she proceeds to gratefully poop out Mount Rainier in our backyard.

Sometimes, it's good to be a light sleeper.

MARIANNE 2

From googleism.com, which promises "Googlism.com will find out what Google.com thinks of you, your friends or anything! Search for your name here..." These were my results, and I see this as an epic poem of of things that may be true. You never know.

marianne, googled

marianne is looking for a poem
marianne is so cold
marianne is de beste
marianne is planning on organizing traveling exhibits and a permanent collection/exhibit
marianne is a very quiet book
marianne is safe
marianne is a troublemaker and is deceitful
marianne is everywhere in france
marianne is a major talent
marianne is present everywhere in france and holds a place of honor in town halls and law courts
marianne is a very emotional girl
marianne is stuffed
marianne is criticized for her excess
marianne is a graduate of college misericordia
marianne is canada's best female swimmer
marianne is married and lives in welbourn with her husband peter and son
marianne is a member of the national association for female executives
marianne is a real estate professional with the beazley co
marianne is a spammer
marianne is pure temptation intelligent
marianne is short and doesn't look like she is
marianne is cross checking the gfoa and cpa society mailing lists
marianne is a graduate of the first radiology class of massasoit
marianne is one of the most fascinating persons i have ever met
marianne is beautifully drawn
marianne is in a
marianne is the newly appointed managing director and ceo at scandinature
marianne is a research assistant who joined the cryptosporidium genotyping project in october 1999
marianne is a customer relationship manager
marianne is wonderful
marianne is een echt nakomertje
marianne is an actress
marianne is de dochter van mia's verslaafde zus
marianne is involved in learning to use the course info course management system
marianne is married to markus
marianne is a successful actress with a happy marriage to a world
marianne is a partner with the sacramento
marianne is a true native of the woodlands area
marianne is a very beautiful young lady
marianne is the embodiment of the french republic
marianne is responsible for novatec's consulting and staffing services
marianne is aware of a vague anxiety
marianne is a former undefeated us theatre arts champion
marianne is a teacher
marianne is a well
marianne is a published writer of poetry
marianne is older and knows she will be difficult to adopt since she's not cute or pretty
marianne is the direct antithesis to emma thompson's cool and collected elinor
marianne is big every sense of the word
marianne is a model who always look forward to new modeling opportunities
marianne is also cofounder and director of asana training for the yoga teachers training institute on long island and director of the northport yoga center
marianne is in a group of 14 homeless children traveling with a guardian from new york to the midwest in 1878 in search of families to adopt them
marianne is pure temptation
marianne is a member of the british institute for allergy and environmental therapy back to top
marianne is happy to answer questions about herbal medicine
marianne is 26 and lives with her partner
marianne is active in numerous professional organizations
marianne is 24 jaar
marianne is a convert to the betty edward's method of right brain drawing
marianne is an experienced business adviser and holds a bachelor of commerce majoring in accounting and marketing
marianne is very intuitive and she's able to get to the core of the issue
marianne is de vrouwenorganisatie van de pvda
marianne is extremely disappointed by her expectation of being married to willoughby
marianne is now two
marianne is
marianne is cagey not sure how ito will react
marianne is a philosopher
marianne is an expert on nutrition as it relates to the aging process
marianne is a native of houston
marianne is struggling with her finances on a day
marianne is a winner and she knows how badly she and i want to win
marianne is currently employed on an esrc project entitled 'monetary policy
marianne is looking for a friend that is patient
marianne is organist for both the 9 and 11
marianne is a very bright girl and we talked
marianne is always right
marianne is never going to marry
marianne is a longtime friend of the centre for spirituality at work
marianne is one of mikes apartment girls
marianne is demanding that thomas give her ?lessons in life?
marianne is the nickname given to the feminine allegory of the republic
marianne is a certified image consultant with specialized training in makeup application
marianne is rescued in a rainstorm by mr
marianne is no longer working
marianne is more beautiful than ever
marianne is alive
marianne is by far the best artist among us so we put her in charge of graphics and layout
marianne is a knowledgeable trainer
marianne is passionate about the arts and believes they are threrapeutic for the boys.

BLOTTER 5

It's been a busy fall in Small Town, USA! Time for another police blotter review!

THINKING IS GOOD

Threat: Police arrested a 75-year-old Islander for harassing and threatening to kill a tow truck driver during an argument over the price that he was getting charged for towing his car to his house around 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 19 in the 5100 block of 90th Avenue S.E.

Disorderly conduct: 1:09 a.m., 15 Lake Street. A 27-year-old Tacoma man, who was highly intoxicated, thought it would be a good idea to stand on Lake Street and lift his shirt at passing cars. After seeing him nearly get hit, a police officer attempted to escort him to the sidewalk. The man became agitated and took an aggressive stance and refused to be handcuffed.

Theft: Police picked up a woman detained by Marshall’s security for concealing items on her person, in a stroller, and in the backpacks of her two small children. According to the report, while reviewing video footage of the incident, Kamalie Gonzalez, 33, spontaneously stated, “I’m so stupid! I can’t believe I did this again! I’m on probation; their father doesn’t help me pay for anything”. Gonzalez was charged with felony retail theft.

MY GOD! HELL IN A HANDBASKET!


Burglary: The Sportsmen’s Club clubhouse was the victim of an overnight burglary. It appeared that a side door to the clubhouse had been forced open with a crow bar-type tool, which had dislodged the doorjamb from the door frame. A padlock securing a utility closet inside had also been cut. Nothing was discovered missing or out of place at the club. No suspects.

Theft: On Nov. 21 someone pried open a window on S.E. 272 place and stole items.

Damage: An office door was reported damaged at Dr. Martin Luther Church, 325 S. Main St., on Oct. 4.

According to the police report, a secretary came to work to find the door to her office kicked in. Nothing was discovered missing and the church safe was not compromised.

Burglary
: A resident called police to report a burglary to their garage.

Jody J. Vandenberg, 613 Westover St., told authorities that someone entered his garage and the two vehicles housed inside. Both the garage and vehicles were unlocked. The glove boxes of the vehicles were opened and the contents removed, but nothing of value was reported missing.

Theft: Flocks of flamingos were filched recently from several locations in the City.

According to the police report, the pink flamingos were used as a fundraiser for St. Jerome Church. There were five sets of six each and were taken from 506 W. Wisconsin Ave., 524 W. LaBelle Ave., 434 N. Lake Road, 213 Locust St., and 629 N. Lake Road, sometime between 10 p.m. on Nov. 5 and 10 a.m. on Nov. 7.

Theft: A ladder was stolen from the back yard of a house in the 1200 block of Scoville.

Theft: Someone stole a 16-year-old Buick from the 3100 block of Euclid.

CRIMINAL YESSING

Theft: Police were notified recently that five "vote no" signs regarding the dredging referendum were stolen in the city.

“HELLO, TIM? YOU STINK AND…TIM? IS YOUR STUPID PHONE DEAD?”


Theft: Police cited Timothy Gropp, 18, of Milwaukee, and a 17-year-old City of Oconomowoc girl Oct. 16 for retail theft from Walmart, 2863 Heritage Drive.

According to the report, Gropp stole a cell phone converter, cell phone charger and deodorant from the store. Gropp was stopped by store personnel but ran out of the store.

Police found him a short time later.

The value of the items was listed at about $33.

The girl acted as a lookout for Gropp, the report said.

OH, DEER

???: Hanover Police received a report that two dogs were chasing deer in the Hanover area. Officers investigated the incident, but the dogs were not found.

YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND MY ART, MAN


Graffiti: Police saw two males in dark clothing walking near 23rd and Harvey. When asked where they were headed, the two gave differing stories; they had no ID, and the names they gave were run through the system with negative results. One man— a 17-year-old from the 6600 block of 28th St—kept putting his hands in his pocket and playing with something, which turned out to a spray-can cap. His hands were also covered with fresh black, white and blue spray paint. The second man—a 17-year-old from the 1900 block of Oak Park—also had fresh paint on his hands. The first man told police they met up around 10 PM near “Halsted and the Orange Line” in order to “tag” along the train tracks.

Graffiti: A woman told police she saw a man spraying graffiti onto a garage in the 7000 block of 16th; another resident stated a man on a bicycle, yelling gang slogans and the phrase “Ghost Face!” had just left the area. Police found a man matching the witnesses’ description and bearing gold, still-wet, spray paint on both hands. Jesse Manrique, 18, of 2118 Wenonah, was charged with criminal damage to property.

Damage: A woman told police she was driving her SUV near 26th and Harvey when two males shot her vehicle with four pink paintballs, then ran away.

Graffiti: Graffiti in the 3825 block of Scoville could be read as encouragement for a distance runner: “F&*% You Hoe! [gang slogan] Run Up Hoe!”

YOUR FRIENDS SUCK


Theft: A woman in the 1900 block of Elmwood told police that, over Halloween weekend, she realized someone had entered her bedroom and stolen her jewelry. Coincidentally, the victim said, she had hosted a party for her friends on Halloween.

Theft: A man in the 1900 block of Grove told police he gave a dinner party during which some of his gold jewelry vanished. Reported stolen were a gold ring valued at $400; a a $400 gold bracelet; a two-carat diamond ring valued at $1,200; a pair of gold and diamond earrings valued at $1,150; and a class ring worth $500.

PEOPLE ARE UPSET AND ARE USING INDELICATE LANGUAGE

Assault: A police officer heard loud music pounding from an apartment near Wesley and Vacin and shined his spotlight on the window. A man’s voice called out “Shut that f^&*ing light off, you mother f&*#er!” When the cop identified himself as a Berwyn police officer, the voice allegedly replied, “I don’t give a f*&@ who you are! Turn that f*&@in light off,” and “F*&@ you. I don’t care who you are, I’ll listen to my music when I want to.” A man —appearing highly intoxicated—exited the apartment and approached the officer in a hostile manner while yelling obscenities. After a struggle, the officer handcuffed Fernando R. Razzino and brought him to the police station. He was charged with assault and resisting arrest.

Disorderly: Ticketing cops ruffled a traffic violator’s feathers when they mistook her for a man. A driver began to argue with a community service officer who was ticketing near Jefferson Elementary school in 7000 block of 16th St. A responding police officer overheard the driver yelling and dropping F-bombs “in a low voice”, so --observing that the driver had “short combed back hair and a visible mustache—told the ticketing cop “write this guy a local ordinance citation.” The driver, who turned out to be a 25 year old woman with two children in the back seat —yelled out the window, “I’m a girl!” She told the officers “I’m going to tell [your supervisors] that you called me a dyke!” The officers denied using that word. The driver, a resident of the 2600 block of Oak Park, yelled, “You’re lying!” and drove away.

CHUCKY, THE ANTI-GARBAGE DOG


Assault: A man told police he was taking out the trash in the 1900 block of Grove when he heard his downstairs neighbor’s voice ordering his dog to “sic ‘em.” The white pitbull, named “Chucky,bit him once in the leg above the ankle. Police brought the victim to MacNeal Hospital where he got seven stitches. Police records indicated Chucky had come to attention twice previously for biting someone else and for lack of registration.

And my favorite from this time around…

SATAN IS SURLY

DUI: Oct. 29, 12:55 a.m., 900 Fifth Street. While on scene at a hit and run, a police officer observed a male drive up and stagger out of his car to assist the officer in locating the involved parties. The 27-year-old Kirkland man was intoxicated and refused a blood alcohol test. He was arrested for DUI. The man identified himself as “The Devil” and was altogether uncooperative. He ultimately provided a blood alcohol sample of .145.

NATIONAL EATING DAY

I think we have it all wrong. If you wanted to have a day to think about being thankful for the things in your life, shouldn't you fast instead of gorge yourself? I mean, harvest schmarvest, no one is a farmer anymore and stuffing yourself until you are a bloated mess doesn't make you examine your blessings, it just sends you to the couch in a stupor or to the bathroom in regret. But no one is going to buy my idea. Hallmark is not going to get behind "Happy No Food And Thoughtful Meditation Day!" And now that I think of it, you can't really think about being grateful when you are overly hungry either. Never mind.

Thanksgiving is here once again, and once again I would rather eat cold cereal than spend all day cooking a big meal that everyone will either complain about in some way or eat two bites of and go play video games. F that. So today we went OUT, avoiding the cereal thing, to Salty's on Alki, a rather large and well-known joint in West Seattle for their Thanksgiving Buffet. Damn, these things are expensive. But look at the nice view!



The kids were very patient as we waited about 25 minutes. We had reservations, but they were a lil backed up. All the staff were very pleasant, I would note.



We finally got our table. Inexplicably, the children were given sacks of freshly-warm mini-donuts. This is not exactly what I would offer a child before a large meal, but hey, they were really tasty.



We commenced to nomming. Here's what we had to choose from!

Carved Turkey with Cranberry Sauce
Pepper-Crusted New York Strip with Au Jus & Creamy Horseradish
Clove-Studded Ham with Grilled Pineapple
Traditional Dutch Apple Stuffing, Vegetable Stuffing, Oyster Stuffing, Cornbread Stuffing, Tamale Stuffing
Blackened Salmon with Sesame Soy Dressing
Seafood Spanish Paella
Crispy Fried Seafood Assortment with House Tartar
Salty’s Famous Seafood Chowder Oysters on the Half Shell
Dungeness Crab
Peel & Eat Prawns
Clams & Mussels
Seafood Ceviche
Creamed Corn Casserole
Green Beans Amandine
Bourbon-Glazed Carrots
Brown Sugar-Roasted Spaghetti Squash
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Brown Sugar-Glazed Yams with Marshmallows
Macaroni & Cheese with Sausage
Caesar Salad, Waldorf Salad, Potato Salad. Pasta Salad. Ambrosia Salad. Tuscan Bread Salad
Giblet Gravy, Vegetable Gravy, Southern Sausage Gravy
Roasted Fall Vegetables
Pickled Vegetables
Salmon
Fruit, Meat & Cheese Tray
House-Made Scones, Lavosh, Assorted Bread & Rolls, Crusty Garlic Bread
Chocolate Fountain AND
25 Desserts by Pastry Chef James Gibson including: Pumpkin Pie, Grandma’s Old Fashioned Coconut Cake, Cranberry Pecan Pie, Cheesecake Brûlée




GAHHHHH! As I am all about the side dishes, I loaded my plate, ONCE, with mostly those, ordered a mango frozen drink thing and ate until I was only slightly overly-full.




MissSeven was most excited about the seafood, especially when she got to crack open the crab legs by herself. Mr11 was more excited about talking about stuff rather than eating.



One of the servers was dressed like a turkey and MissSeven dramatically begged me not to take her picture with him, giggling.



I finished my meal with a pineapple and a strawberry dipped in the chocolate fountain, a tiny piece of pumpkin cheesecake, and a lemon tart. I could not finish them.



My review? The food was OK. Not as bad as the QFC take-out Thanksgiving meal we had one year, but not as yummy as the Hyatt's buffet last year. There wasn't anything that made me swoon, but nothing that was inedible either. Just OK.

The best part of my Thanksgiving came this morning, when MissSeven showed me the "Thanksgiving games" she devised.

Game 1: Pin The Tail On The Pumpkin Pie:



Game 2: Guess What's On The Dinner Plate:



(answer: mashed potatoes, peas, and cut-up turkey)

Game 3: Design-A-Pig-Roast

The object is to make the pig as unusual as possible, with these extra pieces: an apple, false eyelashes, a dorsal fin, and a jagged knife.



Like any food was going to top that.

GOODNIGHT KEITH MOON

A wonderfully grim rock n' roll take on a children's classic.

Goodnight Keith Moon


ADAM LAMBERT IS A BIG FAT LIAR

I can't stand it. Does this kid actually think most entertainment consumers just got off the Victrola and we haven't seen his crap before??? He comes from a long line of mediocre talents who need to shore up their lack with the shiny sleazy gleam of shock value and media manipulation. He has a new album out, wants to drive sales as quickly as he can before people drop him and move onto another disposable pop half-talent, so controversy is the SURE WAY to do it. His gall is just stunningly large, similar to his sock-stuffed sparkly pants crotch.

Look at this smug asshole, talking on CBS the morning after his garbage display on the American Music Awards:


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Let me add my commentary:

RODRIGUEZ: Did you have any idea your performance at the AMA’s would ignite this fire storm?

LAMBERT: No clue. No clue at all. You know, I was really looking forward to it. I worked really hard with my dancers and my band for about two weeks putting that together. And I admit I did get carried away, but I don’t see anything wrong with it. I do see how people got offended and that was not my intention. My intention was just to interpret the lyrics of my song and have a good time up there.


RODRIGUEZ: Did you plan, when you were rehearsing, did you include those sexually charged moves in the rehearsal?

LAMBERT: Those kind of came from more of a impromptu place. No, those were not rehearsed. So, you know, I think ABC was taken a little by surprise. And that wasn’t my intention. I wasn’t being sneaky. It just – it got the most of me, I guess.


OH. REALLY. You are an owned corporate hack. Everything you SAY and everything you DO is OWNED and CONTROLLED by the American Idol franchise. There is no SPONTANEOUS. LIAR!

RODRIGUEZ: I think that people take issue with the fact that it – that it did happen on network television, where a lot of families were watching. As you know, you have tons of fans, especially children, who have followed you since Idol. Can you imagine their parents sitting down with them to watch the AMA’s and without warning, there you are, kissing another guy, simulating oral sex. Can you understand why they would be upset?

LAMBERT: Yeah, I suppose I can understand why they’re upset. And, you know, honestly, I – it didn’t cross my mind, children. It was almost 11:00, I didn’t – you know, it was a night time show, I was there in the audience full of mostly adults. And sometimes I forget, ‘oh, there’s a camera on.’ You know, I’m – I come from the theater. And I’m programmed to kind of look at who’s in the live audience and that’s kind of where I come from. And so I was looking out in the crowd and saw some of my favorite pop stars and thought, I want to do – I want to let loose. And it just kind of – it got the best of me. And I had a – I had a great time, unfortunately, there were people upset, but I think there were also people that really enjoyed it. So like Idol, I guess I have a tendency to divide people. Apples and oranges, you either like it or you don’t.

RODRIGUEZ: Now that you have had time to think about the children, your child fans, do you – do you feel that you need to apologize to them?

LAMBERT: I think it’s up to the parents to – to discern what their child’s watching on television.

RODRIGUEZ: Well, but they had no idea they were about to see something like that on network TV.

LAMBERT: Well, you know – and you know, just to play Devil’s advocate with you, Lady Gaga smashing whiskey bottles. Janet Jackson grabbing a male dancer’s crotch. Eminem talked about how Slim Shady has ‘17 rapes under his belt.’ There’s a lot of very adult material on the AMA’s this year and I know I wasn’t the only one. I’m not using that as an excuse and I don’t have any – I didn’t take any offense with those performers’ choices, I’m just saying I think it’s up to a parent to watch the television. It was almost 11:00 at night. If they’re concerned with certain material maybe Tivo it and preview it before you’re small child is watching it.

RODRIGUEZ: So you don’t feel that it’s your responsibility to – to issue an apology?

LAMBERT: I’m not a babysitter. I’m a performer.


OK, "PERFORMER." Keep on with your HUGE MASSIVE TRANSPARENT LIES. You weren't thinking it was 11PM and all your kiddie fans would be in bed. You weren't FORGETTING ABOUT THE CAMERA. You weren't all letting loose with your edgy self. You are just at the core a complete dork with makeup on who thinly screeches like a grade-z cross between Wayne Newton and Bon Scott. You and your corporation don't have any problem with feeding crass and ugly sexuality to children, even though you surely know down to the fractional percentage just how big that young audience is for you. Make a buck with your act, despite the fact that you are providing millions of kids with images they can't possibly process or understand as "impromptu interpretation of the song lyrics." You don't want to be a babysitter? Fuck off to Vegas where you belong then.

RODRIGUEZ: Do you think – because I know in the previous days you’ve said there’s a double standard when it comes to male performers. Why do you feel that way?

LAMBERT: I believe there’s a double standard. I think that if it had been a female pop performer doing the moves that were – that were on the stage, I don’t think there’d be nearly as much of an outrage at all. Like I said, there were other performers doing risque – I mean Janet Jackson crotch grab. I haven’t heard one peep about that.

RODRIGUEZ: Do you think it’s because you’re male or do you think it’s because you’re gay?

LAMBERT: Both. I think it’s a double whammy. I think it’s because I’m a gay male and I think people haven’t seen that before.

RODRIGUEZ: But I don’t think people have said specifically they were upset about the fact that you were – that you’re gay or that you were kissing a guy. Again, it was-

LAMBERT: I think some people were upset that I kissed a guy.

RODRIGUEZ: The venue is what I’ve heard the most. Is that not what you’ve heard?

LAMBERT: The what?

RODRIGUEZ: The venue, the fact that you did it at that time and on network TV.

LAMBERT: Yeah, I suppose that makes sense. Yeah, I mean, again, when I got up on stage, I don’t think about things like ‘oh, this is network television, what time is it, what children were watching?’ I just was in the moment, I just – you know.


It makes it all EVEN WORSE that you play the gay card here. I don't give a FLYING FUCK what you fuck. I don't care if it's you or Madonna, or Lady GagGag, or any of the number of other creeps out there: it all just adds to the scum. That crap isn't pushing the envelope of arty entertainment or making some kind of grand statement about discrimination or personal freedom. IT'S JUST CRAP.

RODRIGUEZ: If you had it to do over, would you do anything differently?

LAMBERT: I would sing it a little bit better. The adrenaline took – you know, took such hold of me that I went back and reviewed it went ‘well, that wasn’t my best vocal performance,’ but you know, no one’s perfect, so.

RODRIGUEZ: But you admit that you got carried away with the other stuff?

LAMBERT: Yeah. I mean, it was – it – you know, it got the best of me. I’m obviously learning. I mean this is – this was my first performance post Idol on television. The song, lyrically, is sexual. And I just was performing the lyrics of my song. And I think in the future I will probably make a little bit more of an effort to stay consistent with what I do during rehearsal to what I do during the show. That’s something that I’m learning now. And that way if anybody has any problems with what I’m doing it can be explored during rehearsal.

RODRIGUEZ: What is the image that you want America to have of Adam Lambert?

LAMBERT: Well, and I think that’s the funny thing, is that this is one song. This is one production number. This song on the album is one of the few songs that really explores risque, dangerous kind of edgy sexuality. There’s other songs on the album that are completely different. So for me, I hope that people don’t put me into a box saying ‘oh, he’s nasty and he’s going to be that way all the time.’ That was one performance.

RODRIGUEZ: Alright. And Adam, I know you’re going to stick around, perform two songs and take questions from the audience.

LAMBERT: Yeah. And parents, this is appropriate. I promise.

RODRIGUEZ: Alright. Good. Good to know because it is early.

LAMBERT: It is Early.

RODRIGUEZ: Adam Lambert, thank you.


Yeah, your voice did SUCK on the AMA's, but it always does. Every time you go for those high notes you stick your tongue out like a frog and my eardrums pop. What's truly nasty about you is that you are a LIAR and a SELFISH CORPORATE WHORE.

There you go. Any press is good press, right, buddy?

HA 20

(Driving home tonight with the kids, I am singing along to Muth Math's "Typical" on the car radio)

MissSeven: Oh, I've heard you sing that song before. I'm having a dayvah jew.

Mr11: You mean deja vu.

MissSeven: Oh...right, right. Dayvah jew is a holiday, right, Mom?

Me: HAHAHAHAHAHA!

ROCKTION

People Like Stuff. They like to have stuff and collect stuff and brag about their stuff. Stuff makes people feel more important. Sometimes people like to have stuff that used to be a celebrity's stuff. This makes them feel really extra good, like they can go into their dens and pretend they were once pals of the celebrity. When you are pals with a celebrity, you are clearly more important just by proximity. Some of their Celebrity Magic Dust rubs off on you, and you are more intelligent, cooler, and no longer have an offensive body odor problem and/or a lazy eye.

Some people like to spend their discretionary income on celebrity old stuff. Did you know you can pick up a vintage Corey Hart t-shirt for only $45? If you are saying "who the hell is Corey Hart?" this is a good sign. If you know who Corey Hart is and think you would pay the $45 for the shirt and wear it, you are either terribly knowingly camp or still have giant '80s hair and long pink press-on nails like in the movie "Working Girl." Anyway, every so often one of the big auction houses has a "rock n' roll memorabilia" bid fest, knowing that there's always someone out there with a fat wallet who wants to feel like Mr. Big Shit, or just hopes to get some kind of high sniffing the armpits of a leather jacket once worn by Slash.

The most recent of these auctions was held a couple days ago by Julien's Auctions: "The Music Icons and Steven Tyler Auctions" at The Hard Rock Cafe in New York City. Despite that oddly-worded description, the auction seems to have been quite a success, for even in these very-money-challenged times, people want their cool factor more than paying down their debt or eating regular meals. Let's play a game: I will show you a photo of some items from the sale, you estimate what it would be worth to you (not as an investment, just what you would pay for it for your own cool factor), and then I will tell you what it sold for. We'll learn something about ourselves, the nature of celebrity worship, whether Elvis Presley printed or wrote in cursive, and what it cost Madonna to get her nails done and her girl-stache waxed off. Here we go.

PRINCE'S CLOUD GUITAR
:

Hands down, Prince has always had the butt-ugliest guitars in music history, as well as the most hideous clothes. This guitar reminds me of a toilet brush that my step-grandma Harriet used to have in the '60s. Shudder. Value to me: $0.0.



SOLD FOR: $11,875.00


BUDDY HOLLY'S SOCIAL SECURITY CARD:

Worth it to try to sell to some poor guy trying to make a fake ID -- "Uh, "Mr. Holly," is it? I did not realize that you were Asian. Or alive. Please wait over there while I get the cavity search gloves and taser. Thank you." I'd pay 30 bucks to see that go down.



SOLD FOR: $1,875.00


THE BEATLES' SIGNATURES
:

All four Beatles made this out to one "June" and each gave her triple-X "kisses." I think June was a popular girl with the lads from Liverpool, oh yes I do. As an nod to her sultry charms and hopeful lack of disease, I'd pay a couple of hundred bucks.



SOLD FOR: $3,584.00


MADONNA'S BEAUTY MAINTENANCE CHECK
:

Let us now salute the sacrifices to art made by one Lydia Han, who cut the cuticles, dug out the toejam, and removed the unwanted body hair from hirsute Italian-American pop superstar Madonna. This unsung hero of rock and roll might have saved us from a god-knows-what sight. I'd pay fifty bucks for this because it makes me laugh.



SOLD FOR: $1,062.50


ELVIS PRESLEY'S NOTE
:

You didn't really think Elvis would write in cursive, did you? The King of Rock n' Roll doesn't even use lowercase letters, man. I wonder if the writing is slanted on the page because of how he held the pen, or if he was really high. I'd pay 30 bucks for it for the sunny yellow color; it would brighten up my office.



SOLD FOR: $6,250.00


We will finish with a short Michael Jackson selection from the Julien's sale.

MICHAEL JACKSON/ELIZABETH TAYLOR SIGNED PAINTING
:

Look at this. No, don't turn away, LOOK. Artist Leon Jones really should have put this on black velvet. If he had done so, I might have thrown like a 5 at it, but it's too scary to display anyway. I have children for chrissakes.



SOLD FOR: $8,750.00


MICHAEL JACKSON ORIGINAL MICKEY MOUSE "BAD" DRAWING:

As it turns out, Jackson was a fairly decent artist. That's nice. What disturbs me here is the idea that a grown man in 1998 is drawing a picture of a cartoon character dressed like himself in 1987. Psychologists would further note the use of the large capitals in Jackson's signature, and the arrow pointing towards his name as well as the starburst at the tail of the signature. Yeah, man, you were the King Of Pop, we get it. Worked out well for ya, eh? I would not pay anything for this because I don't like to feel creeped out. And I don't like Mickey Mouse anyway.



SOLD FOR: $56,250.00


MICHAEL JACKSON WHITE GLOVE FROM HISTORIC MOTOWN 25 PERFORMANCE
:

I remember watching Jackson on this show. Although I was not a fan of his music that he was making then, I like everyone else went "cool" when he did the moonwalk. But the glove thing? Just weird. I would pay ten bucks for it for MissSeven to use for dress up, although she would always be badgering me for the missing right glove.



SOLD FOR
:


I have just further discovered my own cool factor this morning. A Kinks show playbill I own and that is buried somewhere in a box in my garage is apparently worth $330. Oh yes, you read that right. Now you are all going to want to get your picture taken with me, I just know it.

PILL/GRIM

Once again the holiday season is here, and once again it puts me in a seriously crabby mood. I guess I did not make a successful transition from the childhood giddy thrill of consuming massive amounts of food and gifts to the adult leaden weight of thankless cooking tasks and paying for and wrapping endless plastic lead-infused toys from China. I could easily skip Thanksgiving and Christmas and miss it not one bit. The only thing I would really miss is gravy. Damn, I love gravy. But even gravy isn’t worth all the bother. It’s all thoroughly played out for yours truly, Batty Cracker.

But I am a parent, and my kids of course love the holidays because all they have to do is show up and try remember to say thank you as they rip apart shiny wrapping and try not to fight over the last piece of pumpkin pie. Sigh. Mr11 just finished a unit at his school about the Pilgrims, and today his class held a feast, parents invited. They were instructed to dress in an approximation of Pilgrimy clothes, to eat off wooden plates with spoons, and to try not to die of the plague (or whatever Pilgrims died of) during their lunch hour. We parents got to hear about their colonies while nomming on some reasonably Pilgrimy food.







After the feast, it was Kids vs. Parents in Pilgrim Trivia. It was a tough battle, and the kids won by one point. I believe one of the boys pointed at the losing adults and said “IN YOUR FACE! WOOO!” which I find not to be proper Pilgrim-speak at all, but then again, I cannot say for sure. After all, they rebelled against the Church Of England; they’ve got some ‘nads, those Separatist bastids.

I loaded up my leftover sweet potatoes and then decided to do what I often do when I am crabby and have a couple hours to burn: go shopping. Sadly, the calming sweet magic that is usually TJ Maxx for me did not occur, because the relentlessly cheery piped-in Christmas music irritated me further. MAKE IT STOP. SOMEONE. God. I didn’t even have the heart to buy a nice pair of dusty blue cords or that cool brown hat I liked that was still there. I did buy a very stylish firetruck red Miss Sixty hoodie that was 50% off, because I thought it was the right thing to do. It will replace the wooly hoodie I bought last year; that thing is itchy and hot in this damp weather. I found a soft brown track suit for my mom. I predict that she will say it is the softest thing she has ever felt. She’s one of those people who speaks in ever-grander superlatives. I’ve tried to call her on it, but she makes a pretty convincing counter-argument that she actually believes what she is currently saying. Go Mom.

More time to blow before I have to pick up the kids from school; might as well make the annual trek to Cost Plus. Parents know that Cost Plus is a great place to go for stocking stuffers. They have all kinds of weird little toys. MissSeven will be getting three tiny Guatemalan dolls in a little wooden box. It strikes me only now that it seems kind of coffin-ish. Well, she’d probably enjoy that. Mr11 will get a small blue plastic voice-changer megaphone, Couch Teen some odd imported foods like mushroom pate and lime-chili chocolate and some lemon candies packaged like peed-on snow crystals. It was a good haul.

Last stop was Barnes & Noble. I always like to give books for presents because Reading Is Fundamental and there are so many lovely ones to enjoy. As I am adding to my heavy green basket, my eye spies a big coffee table book on the ‘60s British Invasion, with a garish Union Jack cover, so I peruse it. Bah. It’s got crappy photo reproduction, weird artwork, and the only picture of the Kinks is of their first American LP cover. BAH. FAIL. I don’t buy it. My family instead will be getting funny books (The Onion’s “Our Dumb World,” the funniest book ever written, is marked down to $6.98, hardcover!), books with useless facts, books about cars, books about sports, and a pretty blue-and-green pop art looking journal for MissSeven with a cool sparkly pen to go with it. After I check out, I go to the in-house Starbucks and get my one annual Peppermint Mocha latte. The woman taking my order writes my name correctly on the cup, a small holiday miracle, but I only drink half of it. It’s too sweet for me now.

I pick up the kids, drive home, and MissSeven promptly presents me with a drawing she calls “El Turkey:”



I find some Christmas music I like (NSFW), and note that I will be eating leftover Pilgrim sweet potatoes for days.

OH, SURE

Adam Lambert claims his man-on-man kiss on last night's American Music Awards happened "in the moment."

That was about as unplanned, spontaneous, and entertaining as that Buddhist monk who set himself on fire.

COLLEGE 2

The University of California Board of Regents have voted to implement a 32% increase in students fees and tuition in a two-stage process beginning in January 2010 and blooming to full financial fruition in the fall. This is making the students very unhappy, as you would imagine, and some of them went on an old-style protest, locking themselves in campus buildings and blocking traffics and such. More than a hundred people have been arrested, and the police have been using pepper spray, tasers, and whacking sticks on a few of the rowdier youth, or those who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Yet, I am guessing this is going to end up having little impact for all the current drama, which would kind of bum me out if I were a protester who missed showering for three days and then got a snootful of capsaicin.

Everyone can agree that 32% more is a pretty substantial grab into the wallet. But the bottom line is that public sympathy will be pretty minimal. Here’s why:

1. California doesn’t have any more money. For whatever tax collecting and structuring issues there are and university salary or program cuts that should be made, right now there’s no other immediate way to get more cash into the university system other than via its consumers. As we are seeing with the worldwide economic mess, too much wrong was left unaddressed for too long, and now there is a cost. No system is immune. Welcome to capitalism, kids, here’s your first economics class.


2. As it has always been, college education is an optional event and a privilege in the United States. No one is guaranteed higher education, and most people must make substantial sacrifices to be able to attend. If you cannot or will not pay the price to go to college, you don’t go. Do I think that’s smart for the ol’ U.S. of A.? Nope. A better-educated workforce is what is desperately needed in these times. But that’s not how it is. You pay to play, and you pay what they say, or you go a different way. Hey hey hey.


3. With millions of people out of work, millions more living from paycheck to paycheck, foreclosures, lack of basic health care, and a very expensive war going on, no one is going to cry too hard about California college tuition going from $7212 to $10,302. And notably, students with household incomes under $70K a year will not be assessed the additional fees at all.


4. This ain’t 1968, and these protests aren’t about civil rights, the draft, free speech, police brutality, or the corruption of government. It’s about money. Not quite as soul-stirring, eh?

It’s very unfortunate, all of it. College student loans crack the backs of many who struggle to pay them back over years and years. Higher education is almost always the best option to try to get a better job, but it’s no guarantee either; so many cannot find decent work now. And some hard-working and motivated students will feel they just can’t take any more on, and will drop out. It’s not fair and not right, but there is little in life that is. You just have to deal the best you can in the times you are living.

I understand how frustrated and angry the California students must be, and how they don’t just want to suck it up without a fight and without a voice. It’s a tough lesson to learn, but it’s up to each one of them to figure out what they are going to do now and to maybe step back a bit and get some perspective. Hell, I would just be thrilled as a student now to not have to worry about being sent to the Middle East against my will, that no one is bombing the Commons, and that the police are firing beanbags rather than bullets.

NO HO HO

This morning I went out to breakfast to Ruby’s Corporate Fake Diner, somewhat enjoying their mushy corned beef hash and intestine-destroying coffee. The rest of the patrons similarly seemed to quietly be enjoying their own mediocre food, including a middle-aged, poodle-permed, heavyset woman and her slumping gray-haired spouse sitting directly across from my table.

Suddenly, Old Fat Poodle Woman SCREAMED this at the top of her lungs:

SANTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WTF! went everyone in the restaurant. Apparently the mall Santa had popped into Ruby’s to circulate amongst the families for a bit, and OFPW lost her shit.

My mouth dropped open trying to figure this highly-unusual and deeply-inappropriate outburst in a suburban eatery. Was she a challenged person? Was she a lunatic? Was she whimsical? Apparently not. When Santa came by, she spoke to him: “Oh, did I embarrass you, Santa?”

Answer: OFPW was just an asshole.

She glanced over at me, I stared acid eyes into her as best I could, and watched her husband compress four more of his vertebrae as he no doubt was imagining himself on a sunny, sandy, blissfully serene and deserted tropical island, while Santa made mental note to ask for a raise.

HEY HO, TURN LEFT!

While driving this afternoon I was very happy to note that my directionals were perfectly timed to click along to the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop.”

I'M NOT LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE

I am still always so amazed how songwriters can compact such power into such a simple format. “I’m Not Like Everybody Else,” a song released by the Kinks in 1966, is certainly one of those. Ray Davies creates here in three minutes or so perhaps the definitive early pop postmodern/punk statement, snarling at a world of expectations he wants nothing to do with.



I won’t take all that they hand me down,
And make out a smile, though I wear a frown,
And I won’t take it all lying down,
‘cause once I get started I go to town.

‘cause I’m not like everybody else,
I’m not like everybody else,
I’m not like everybody else,
I’m not like everybody else.

And I don’t want to ball about like everybody else,
And I don’t want to live my life like everybody else,
And I won’t say that I’ve been fine like everybody else,
‘cause I’m not like everybody else,
I’m not like everybody else.

But darling, you know that I love you true,
Do anything that you want me to,
Confess all my sins like you want me to,
There’s one thing that I will say to you,
I’m not like everybody else,
I’m not like everybody else.

I’m not like everybody else,
I’m not like everybody else
And I don’t want to ball about like everybody else,
And I don’t want to live my life like everybody else,
And I won’t say that I’ve been fine like everybody else,
‘cause I’m not like everybody else,
I’m not like everybody else.

Like everybody else,
Like everybody else,
Like everybody else,
Like everybody else.

If you all want me to settle down,
Slow up and stop all my running round,
Do everything like you want me to,
There’s one thing that I will say to you,
I’m not like everybody else,
I’m not like everybody else.

I’m not like everybody else,
I’m not like everybody else.
And I don’t want to ball about like everybody else,
And I don’t want to live my life like everybody else,
And I won’t say that I’ve been fine like everybody else,
‘cause I’m not like everybody else,
I’m not like everybody else.

Like everybody else (like everybody else),
Like everybody else (like everybody else),
Like everybody else (like everybody else),
Like everybody else.


The sentiments aren’t novel – there has always been the angry young man – but the way he so plainly states that he’s just not going to do what you want him to means so much more than leather-jacketed greaseball misfit Johnny Rebel crashing his motorcycle over some dumb chick. Davies’ doesn’t want what came before, doesn’t want what’s being offered by the in-crowd now, and is thinking the future doesn’t look all that hot either. He’s going to go it alone, whether you like it or not.

It’s funny to think that this song easily could have escaped notice at all. Ray Davies originally intended this song to go to the Animals, and you can absolutely hear that in the writing down to the last detail; this would have been a perfect companion piece to “It’s My Life” and “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place,” both hits for the Animals in 1965. But for whatever reasons, the band didn’t take the song, and the Kinks ended up recording it. The lead vocals were given to Kinks’ lead guitarist and real-punk-about-town Dave Davies and results plopped on the B-side of the grand “Sunny Afternoon.” That A-side, of course, was a huge worldwide smash and the two songs’ antiheroes – one a burnt-out hedonist, one a defiant loner – landed on many, many little turntables of kids like me. This gave me something to think about. These guys didn’t want to hold your hand, or please please you; they were quite prepared to walk, knowing there was going to be a cost to that as well.

So that B-side that could have gone to another band ended up becoming somewhat of the Kinks’ anthem, and that of their fans. But of course that very singular middle-finger statement changes somewhat over time, and you gain something more of a perspective. No one is all that detached or strong or unique or brave, and concessions are made, deals done, souls sold in small or big ways. No one can face down the world of expectations endlessly, and the temptation to stand with rather than apart is terribly, normally, predictably human.

Now, when Ray Davies turns his microphone towards a crowd with a slight smirk and has them all sing the chorus to “I’m Not Like Everybody Else,” their voices shouting in agreement, fists pumping in the air, the message is made terribly clear: no, look, you are all the same. There is something to the gesture that is very amusing but also serves to deflate and mock his own lyrics, himself, and his fans.

I don’t sing along when Ray does that. I just watch. It gives me something to think about.

YOU BELONG TO ME

New song and video time! This time I did I cover of my favorite Elvis Costello song, "You Belong To Me," from my favorite Elvis Costello and The Attractions album, This Year's Model. I love the nasty grungy weird mess of it; the sound of a filthy merry-go-round at a suspect carnival is my best verbal approximation.

Every good mess of a song deserves a good mess of a video, too!



Please to enjoy an analysis from The Disgraced Ghost Of Bruno Bettelheim (courtesy WN):
ja, vat ve have found here i sink you vill agree iz very interesting.

we see ze young woman, let uz call her "Barbie." innocent und pure, with
ze free hanging bosom. she iz you could zay symbolic of ze first woman,
untouched by ze corruption of the verld. zat iz until she
encounters "Ken." Ken is vearing clothes, becuz he iz ashamed of hiz nature und it iz thiz very shame that causes him to be so eazily distracted by ze lure of the camera. Ken seeks comfort in the superfizial glamor und wants it awl to himself. ve are happy to find however that Barbie iz nussing to be trifled with, ja. she makes short verk of Ken und sends him
packing back to hiz place of origin. I personally suzpect that that iz Berlin. i sink you know vat i mean by zat. cough

now we zee anozer drawn in, anozer is tempted by ze camera, anozer wantz zome of zat. but
zis time it iz von of Barbie’s own, a voman. but uz viewers ve should
recognize ze danger here, as zis voman appears to be part fish. she too
haz been corrupted by the ugly verld and she too vill try und fool ze
Barbie into beliving that zhe is adored und loved, but nussink is adored
und loved more by ze Ken und ze fish voman zen ze camera. und ze fish tries to take ze place of ze Barbie, but again! ve are so pleased to see zat as vulnerable az she is, Barbie is
no valk over. she vill not be pushed up und down und around forever. zo
ze fish voman too must also be banished. back to vatever radioactive puddle she crawled out of.

vell afta all zat the Barbie's spirit iz broken, ja. betrayed by ze male
und ze female, she iz now hardened and clozed for business. a stream of
lesser creatures try for ze Barbie, but she haz learned, nein, all zings
are suzpect. she pushes away. NEIN NEIN NEIN! za
Barbie says.

Barbie, like ze carrot, haz been buried und stuck in ze Schie├če. but ze
carrot cannot ztay stuck in ze muck for long! no, ze carrot must shake
loose of its dirt prison. it must be released und jus like ze carrot,
Barbie, once so very buried, has freed herzelf to vunce again be free
and open and vonderful.

zo, ve see ze struggle, und ve zee the overcoming and strength of ze
bright spirit within. it iz always zere, und ja, zere are others jus
like you. if you keep trying you might learn zomethin about yourself und
find vat you vere looking for all along. i sink there iz a vonderful
lesson in there for all of uz and it is my privilege to prezent to you
this video, recently unearthed and destined to be egzahmint in ze
classrooms of ze mind all over the verld for eons to come - Barbie und
Friends. enjoy!



The song will be up on iTunes and Amazon and all the other sale places soon. This cracks me up a whole lot.

Fun! Have it!

SEXY MANS

What is sex appeal? If I had the definitive, universal answer you may trust that I would attempt to form some kind of exploitative artist management agency or at least produce an infomercial hawking a book called "HEY! SEXY! I'M TALKING TO YOU! YES, YOU!: HOW TO BE ADMIRED BY A DISTURBING RANGE OF PEOPLE IN SIX EASY LESSONS!" People Like To Feel Attractive, usually, and most spend at least some part of their lives grooming and dressing and making kissy faces in their mirrors to try to make at least one poor sucker think they are hot. But what is sexy is far more than looks; it is personality and attitude and some kind of indefinable "it" factor that is probably a combination of pheromones, confidence, humor, and giving the impression that one might actually have sex rather than watch TV all night, eat buckets of Chunky Monkey ice cream and read People magazine.

Which brings me to People's annual "Sexiest Man Alive" pick for 2009. And no, I barely watch television and do not often indulge in ice cream. Jerks. Anyway, for the second time in this decade actor Johnny Depp is on the cover.



I am sorry, People, I am not once again feeling your choice here. Scrubby, goat-like facial hair, greased back Prince Valiant locks, and intentional nerd glasses don't do it for me. I mean, even when the guy was on "21 Jump Street" (no, I didn't watch that either, JERKS), he was cute, sure, but sexy? Nah, not to me. I dunno. He kinda seems to try too hard to be cool, what with the cigars and slobbering over Keith Richards and the skinny French girlfriend. Trying too hard negates sexy. You know what I mean. When I see some woman uncomfortably tottering around on nasty tall spiky sex shoes, I don't think "ooh, hot," I think, "she is going to fall down at some point." Falling off your sex shoes is not sexy, and trying too hard to be European when you are in fact from Kentucky is not sexy.

People Magazine's Other Sexy Mans For 2009 is as follows:

Ryan Reynolds: Never heard of him; looks entirely beige.


Jake Gyllenhaal: Cute face, hot bod; seems terribly nice but not sexy.


Bradley Cooper: DING DING DING DING! YASSSSS. Cute face, hot bod, and OWNS IT without (yet) seeming like a self-absorbed prat. That scene in "The Hangover" where he walks out in the all-black suit? Memorable. Heh.


Robert Downey, Jr.: I can see it. Not so much in this photo, though.


David Beckham: Someone who never smiles and has a wife who never seems to smile negates the sexy.


Gilles Marini: Don't know who he is, but fish lips surrounded by black stubble is not such a great look, IMHO. Nice bod, though.


Nick Cannon: Hawt, knows it a bit too much.


Adam Lambert: Oh, Christ.


John Cho: He seems...tiny.


Chris Daughtry: A regular dude making regular music is not all that appealing to me.


Jerry O'Connell: Definite possibilities there. His body looks quite nice after having twin daughters a year ago, don't you think?


John Legend: Handsome, but sort of cold. Would make a smokin' accountant.


Robert Pattinson: A child with a fur-face. No.


If I were an editor at People, I would annoy my fellow editors so much over the Sexiest Man Alive issue that I believe I would either get fired or get into an epic catfight, which would be incredibly sexy. But in the end, it is marvelous that we all think differently about what is sexy or most everyone by default would be doing the ice cream/TV/pop culture rag thing, not having sex, but maybe reading more blogs.