Music

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Fugue of "Oops, I Did It Again"

...or is it "Oops, I Did It Again" in fugue? Anyway, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! If he'd worn a lab coat, it would have had a cool hint of the Dharma Initiative orientation video about it, but it's still masterful.

Randomness

  • Color me impressed with All Girl Army. Jenny emailed me the announcement that the site is live, so I clicked over there. The contributors to the site are writing letters to themselves in the future, which is a great idea. In fact, I had a high school English teacher who assigned a letter to ourselves ten years in the future. She told us to turn them in in sealed, stamped envelopes with the address that would be most likely to serve as a permanent address. She promised to mail them to us. She didn't. You don't know how many times I've wanted to put her name here as a Google bomb. I've even halfway hoped that she had a good reason for not sending the letters, like a fire burned her house to the ground. The only thing I remember writing in the letter was "Re-read The Awakening." So I probably ought to get around to that soon. Anyway, check out All Girl Army.
  • I read this article on ethanol with interest, especially this part:

    Last year corn production topped 11 billion bushels — second only to 2004's record harvest. But many analysts doubt whether the scientists and farmers can keep up with the ethanol merchants.

    "By the middle of 2007, there will be a food fight between the livestock industry and this biofuels or ethanol industry," Mr. Basse, the economic forecaster, said. "As the corn price reaches up above $3 a bushel, the livestock industry will be forced to raise prices or reduce their herds. At that point the U.S. consumer will start to see rising food prices or food inflation."

    If that occurs, the battleground is likely to shift to some 35 million acres of land set aside under a 1985 program for conservation and to help prevent overproduction. Farmers are paid an annual subsidy averaging $48 an acre not to raise crops on the land. But the profit lure of ethanol could be great enough to push the acreage, much of it considered marginal, back into production.

    Huh. I know there are probably lots of technical and economic reasons this won't work (ethanol can be make more cheaply with sugar than with corn), but what about all that corn used to make the high-fructose corn syrup that's in everything, which may be contributing to the obesity epidemic? How about taking that corn syrup out of the ranch dressing and using that corn for ethanol? This way, maybe the livestock can still eat cheap corn, and the conservation reserve can continue to lay fallow. I wish the article had addressed that argument.

  • Check out Bill Benzon's essay about YouTube. Good stuff.
  • Songs about sad songs are annoying, and I want to put a stop to them. I mean, there's "So Sick" by LL Cool J feat. Ne-Yo, Elton John's "Sad Songs (Say So Much)," "There'll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)" by Billy Ocean, and "Another Sad Love Song" by Toni Braxton. When will it end?

Compilations of Yore

The other day, I heard "Black Coffee in Bed" by Squeeze on the radio, and ever since, I've been thinking about this compilation tape I used to listen to over and over again in college. I googled the song, as well as one other song I remember from the tape -- "Mirror in the Bathroom" by The English Beat -- and this blessed soul has created a discography of New Wave compilations. I was then able to identify my lovely tape:

Alterno-Daze: Origin Of The Species

1. Joe Jackson, Is She Really Going Out With Him?
2. Squeeze, Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)
3. Devo, Whip It
4. Ramones, Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
5. David Bowie, Love You Till Tuesday 1/2#
6. Madness, One Step Beyond
7. Marianne Faithfull, Broken English
8. The Beat, Mirror In The Bathroom
9. The Velvet Underground & Nico, I'm Waiting For The Man
10. The Troggs, Wild Thing
11. The Tubes, Don't Touch Me There
12. The Jam, Going Underground

I think I might have to buy it today. [Edited to add: D'oh! "Black Coffee in Bed" is not on that CD. It's on volume 2 -- Alterno-Daze: Survival Of The Fittest, which I also owned.]

Okay, not so bad, right? Well, there's another. Before retirement, my dad used to own a wholesale grocery business. They mostly sold to convenience stores, so they sold cigarettes in addition to groceries. As a result, tobacco distributors were always giving him tons of free stuff: t-shirts, duffel bags, and compilation tapes. I had a Newport "Alive with Pleasure!" tank top, a red satin Swisher Sweets jacket, and: remember Bucks Cigarettes? At the time, I had a Bucks t-shirt that said, "Buck the system," which I thought was cool.

Anyway, one of my favorite compilation tapes ever was Benson & Hedges Spotlights the 70s. Deep down, I knew it was a terrible tape, so I never listened to it when any of my friends were around, but when I was alone, I played it on a loop. I don't remember all the songs that were on it, but here are a few, just to give you an idea:

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother -- The Hollies
Time in a Bottle -- Jim Croce
American Pie -- Don McLean
You've Made Me So Very Happy -- Blood, Sweat, & Tears
Listen to the Music -- Doobie Brothers

Edited to add another one I loved: Never Mind the Mainstream: The Best of MTV's 120 Minutes:

1. Orange Crush - R.E.M.
2. This Is Not A Love Song - Public Image Ltd.
3. Do You Remember Rock'N'Roll? - Ramones
4. Burning House Of Love - x
5. Stigmata - Ministry
6. Everyday Is Like Sunday - Morrissey
7. Head On - The Jesus And Mary Chain
8. The Killing Moon - Echo And The Bunnymen
9. Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
10. The Perfect Kiss - New Order
11. Personal Jesus - Depeche Mode
12. Birthday - The Sugarcubes
13. Could You Be The One? - Husker Du
14. We Care A Lot - Faith No More
15. Gone Daddy Gone - Violent Femmes
16. Eardrum Buzz - Wired

Friday Random Ten: I'm actually not embarrassed by any of these!

1. Heavy D -- Now That We've Found Love
2. Dire Straits -- Walk of Life
3. 99 Luft Problems -- Jay-Z and Nena (mashup)
4. California Love -- 2pac
5. I Get a Kick Out of You -- Dinah Washington and Cole Porter
6. Tennessee Flat Top Box -- Rosanne Cash
7. Strip -- Adam Ant
8. Devil May Care -- Diana Krall
9. Valse de Opelousas -- Geno Delafose
10. You've Been a Good Ole Wagon -- Bessie Smith

Magic 8-Ball Music Meme

Last seen at Slaves of Academe, the newest music meme: "Simple directions: use the shuffle function on your music player and see what you come up with in answer to the following questions."

How does the world see you?
Some Kinda Lover -- Apollonia 6

Will I have a happy life?
Now That We've Found Love -- Heavy D & the Boyz

What do my friends really think of me?
Poison -- Bell Biv DeVoe

Do people secretly lust after me?
California -- Joni Mitchell

How can I make myself happy?
Another Thing Comin' -- Judas Priest

What should I do with my life?
Shoot -- Sonic Youth

Will I ever have children?
I Don't Know Where I Stand -- Joni Mitchell

What is some good advice for me?
In My House -- Mary Jane Girls

How will I be remembered?
Dark Ships -- Cycle Sluts from Hell

What is my signature dancing song?
Always on Time -- Ja Rule feat. Ashanti

What do I think my current theme song is?
Chapel Hill -- Sonic Youth

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
Stand Back -- Stevie Nicks

What song will play at my funeral?
Baby Love Child -- Pizzicato Five

What type of men/women do you like?
Looks That Kill -- Mötley Crüe

What is my day going to be like?
Jamaican Ska -- Fishbone

Friday Random Ten

All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down -- Hank Williams Jr. [Yee-haw!]
Go Your Own Way -- Fleetwood Mac
Numb -- U2
The Girls Say -- Tralala
It Takes Two -- Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock [I can't believe this song won the poll. "Joy and Pain" is clearly the superior song.]
Gett Off -- Prince [Diamonds and Pearls was a high school classic.]
Heartbreaker -- Pat Benatar [I should do this song karaoke sometime.]
Mean Old Bed Bug Blues -- Bessie Smith
Gypsy -- Fleetwood Mac [It looks like I have a lot more Fleetwood Mac songs than I do.]
Someone -- Air Supply [sigh. Leaving the awful ones in builds character, right? It was part of an Ultimate Air Supply CD I got for the in-private guilty singalong pleasure -- "Making Love Out of Nothing at All," etc.]

Liveblogging the Oscars

7:42: We've hit the high point of the show already? It would seem so, because I can't imagine anything being better than that phenomenal performance by Dolly Parton. Wow! And am I the only person who was really happy to see Matt Dillon nominated for an Oscar, even though he didn't win?

7:46: Full disclosure: I haven't seen a single one of the movies nominated for anything this year, sigh. Also, sort of off-topic, but does anyone else look at all those Brokeback Mountain parodies all over the web and see them as "caricatures of containment," as some have referred to the cartoons of Andrea Dworkin in those flesh mags? Or is Brokeback Mountain helping to open everyone's eyes to sublimated homoeroticism in all kinds of films, as in that great montage they showed of clips from old Westerns? Cue The Celluloid Closet!

7:58: Re the biopic montage: I was a little surprised that Pollock wasn't in there; at least I didn't see it if it was.

9:27: I apparently don't think very much here warrants comment. That exchange between Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep introducing Robert Altman was just flawless, though. Two old pros.

10:27: Overall, no real surprises...except Best Picture! Whoa! I don't think anyone predicted that one, not that I read.

Earworm

In my head in a continuous loop, Young Jeezy's voice:

Every time I do it I do it for my hood
And every time I do it I do it for yo hood
And every time I do it I do it for they hood
It's understood I do it for the hood

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