Just for the heck of it: Agnes Moorehead

Posted in Picture du jour on January 21st, 2007 by bill

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Just in case you doubted…

Posted in Dancing about architecture on January 15th, 2007 by bill

that Simon Cowell is a flaming jackass (and there’s no reason why you should, but still):

LOS ANGELES, Jan 11 (Reuters Life!) – Don’t expect to see Bob Dylan joining the celebrities on “American Idol” anytime soon.

One of the show’s judges, Simon Cowell, says he has never bought a Dylan record because he “bores me to tears.”

The British pop impresario says in the February issue of Playboy that he would “plug my ears and run in the other direction” if he were to see a 21-year-old Dylan singing “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

Cowell, 47, is not known for holding back when it comes to issuing verdicts on the wannabe stars who flock to the top-rated talent show. Last season, he said a female contestant was so fat that the stage should be enlarged, and he suggested that another hopeful should shave his beard and wear a dress.

On the other hand, he told Playboy that inaugural champ Kelly Clarkson is “a young Aretha Franklin,” and he much preferred her music to Dylan’s.

Possibly the geekiest thing I’ve ever seen

Posted in Whatever Else on January 12th, 2007 by bill

Sci-Fi Haiku

John Lennon orders tacos

Posted in Picture du jour, Something about the Beatles on January 11th, 2007 by bill

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Dancing with the Elders

Posted in Dancing about architecture on January 4th, 2007 by bill

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Today I’ve been listening to Matador Records’ deluxe reissue of the third—and arguably best—Pavement album, the aptly titled Wowee Zowee. I tend to have mixed feelings about these reissues, because of that voice in my head that says “Well here you are again, pinhead, paying good money for an album you already own.” But damn, you get a lot for your 14 bucks here. First off, Wowee Zowee itself, spiffy-sounding but still a riddle wrapped in an enigma all these years later. Then 32 bonus tracks, which is, you know, a lot of music. They’re not all gold (Soundz), but the perverse logic that guided Malkmus, Stairs and co. at the time dictated that they must bury their catchiest songs (“Easily Fooled,” “Give It a Day,” “Kris-Kraft”) on B-sides and EPs. Those are all here, along with a Schoolhouse Rock cover (“No More Kings”) and the mighty “Gangsters and Pranksters,” which contains the timeless couplet “Gangsters treat their ladies right/While pranksters curse their chickless plight.”

The whole thing comes wrapped up in a groovy package with an informative and nice-smelling booklet. My only complaint is that the back-cover cartoon with the wizard exclaiming “Pavement ist Rad!” is nowhere to be found here, and that’s just wrong.
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Aliens Buzz Chicago

Posted in Whatever Else on January 2nd, 2007 by bill

In a suspiciously underreported story, it appears that extraterrestrials were up to some shenanigans at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on November 7th. The following article from yesterday’s Chicago Tribune— which I am reproducing here in its entirety because I fear the Men in Black will make it disappear—describes a “mysterious elliptical-shaped craft” whose curious behavior was witnessed by numerous United Airlines employees.

Will 2007, the 60th anniversary of the Roswell Incident, be the year the aliens finally come out into the open? Probably not. But it’d be cooler if they did.
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The Return of Kelly Leak

Posted in Moving pictures on January 1st, 2007 by bill

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A young Jackie Earle Haley and (sigh) Tatum O’Neal.

I don’t necessarily want to take credit for the miraculous resurrection of Jackie Earle Haley. But. I would like to point out that I wrote a bit about Haley, more or less at random, back in July 2005. At the time, he was just beginning a comeback that has now become full-blown, with talk of an OscarRRR nomination for his role in Little Children. Probably just a coincidence, but can you say with full 100% confidence that all this would have happened if I hadn’t been moved by my viewing of Breaking Away to wonder what the hell ever happened to J.E.H.? No, you can’t. There are forces at work here larger than Jackie or myself.

For more info about the comeback, check out this article and the accompanying interview on SF Gate.