June 2006 Archives

The world's cuteness supply has been dangerously low recently. Fortunately, this has now been rectified.

There's been a late addition to the NaSoAlMo2005ery from Derik Stiller. (In answer to the occasionally asked question, am I going to run it again this year? Maybe. I'm leaning toward not.)

The weather in Portland has been grotesquely hot--I'm currently taking refuge in the basement with a small stack of Velvet Underground CDs and some reference materials--so naturally a couple of days ago Sarah and I took a trip to Sauvie Island, a gorgeous little island north of Portland proper, with a herbary and a bunch of pick-your-own places, and returned with way too many berries, as well as some herbs I've now re-potted and stuck next to our garden. One of them is a variety of mint that actually tastes like chocolate mint. I asked the guy who ran the herbary if he had wintergreen, and he looked at me as if I'd asked him about a limon tree. But I swear I've chewed wintergreen leaves! What was I actually chewing?

In the comics-blogging category, Greg Burgas tears Infinite Crisis so many new orifices there isn't actually anything left of it except orifices.

Karaoke tonight--very few people in the place, which gave me a chance to do a bunch of songs, including "Missionary Man," "Raspberry Beret" and "Fuck and Run." Sara M. came along and totally torched "Doll Parts." Somebody attempted "Against All Odds" and couldn't remember how any of it went, making her unique in Western Civ. Last week, I snuck in by myself and did "Annie, I'm Not Your Daddy" to mass bafflement. Was delighted to find, though, that the karaoke arrangement includes the best backing-vocal syllables of all time: "ono- ono- onomatopoeia! ono- ono- onomatopoeia!"

welding top hats out of banners

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No updates lately, because I've mostly been hunkering down and working on the book. S.'s hair continues to be curly, he continues to be adorable and adored, and he now has a vocabulary of roughly seven words ("bubble," "baby," "bye-bye," "ball," "bah!," "duck" and "cat"--I'm told "daddy" is in there too, but I haven't heard it yet, and here I was hoping that my Father's Day would be like that episode of The Simpsons).

All I want to listen to any more is lush old disco--now that I think I've finally fully internalized the Tom Moulton compilation on Soul Jazz, my favorite cooking music is Journey Into Paradise: The Larry Levan Story. (Last night: "red-cooked" daikon, and cold asparagus with a Korean sauce, both from my standby, Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, plus a hijiki/tofu thing Lisa had made.) And the song that stopped me in my tracks as I was trying to learn how to roll-cut daikon was Phreek's "Weekend," which I've heard plenty of times before but finally got. The Todd Terry Project's version of "Weekend" has been one of my favorite songs since I heard it in must've been 1987--that version is actually Class Action's cover of Phreek's song, with the instrumental track ripped away and not just reorchestrated but almost entirely reharmonized by Terry, and re-grafted on with the world's trebliest drum machine. (I heard Terry's version first, and when I heard Phreek's, I was initially baffled by the weird jazz chords in the "night and day I was patient" part.) (I actually always thought it'd be fun to play something based on Terry's arrangement with a live band, although it'd require a drummer willing to play nothing but lead snare.) But that Phreek version--it sounds like it's speeding up after the breakdown, but it's really not, it's just turning up the thermostat.

And after searching for, admittedly, not very long, I still can't find the name of Phreek's singer. Does anybody know? Her vocal on that song is a phenomenal dramatic performance--she starts out in concerned but generic soul-kitten mode, suggesting that the song is just about going out to dance and flirt, but by a couple of verses in, she's turned up her own thermostat, and matching the tone of the lyric, which is essentially "you're getting on my nerves, so I'm going out to get laid; don't wait up. Tomorrow night either."

Douglas vs. Bryan Lee O'Malley

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Of course he won! That's what I get for showing up to MoCCA wearing the same Katamari Damacy tee as the creator of Scott Pilgrim...

more bloggery

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As promised--yet another James Brown-related audioblog post, this one about the Famous Flames on their own, up at Soul Sides. Thank you, Oliver!

complete and utter history

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Now up on The Believer's site: "The Syncher, Not the Song," my history of the Numa Numa Dance. (Yes, this is a variation on my EMP paper.)

a little heads-up

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I've got three guest posts about odd James Brown productions going up this week at the excellent audio blog Moistworks--the first one is up already. And watch this space for a small related announcement.

receding pointillism

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Up now at Salon: my review of Alison Bechdel's graphic novel Fun Home, which is pretty much my favorite book I've read this year.

It's a depressing thing to cook for guests who don't show up--four people were supposed to come for brunch this morning, and none of them arrived (have since heard from two, who had a perfectly good excuse). I mean, more scrambled tofu with collard greens, brown basmati rice and raspberry-chipotle sauce for us, but still.

The Raconteurs' album is growing on me quickly, especially "Yellow Sun," which reminds me pleasantly of Uncle Wiggly.

Why I love Peaches: an advance copy of her new album arrived here yesterday, and it's called Impeach My Bush. Took me a good two hours to notice the "impeach"/"peach" connection, too.