Rock me and roll me till I’m sick

Posted in Dancing about architecture, Somebody's birthday on July 29th, 2008 by bill

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Jake the Poacher from Withnail and I would have called this “prancing like a tit.”

It has only just come to my attention that this weekend marked the 65th birthday of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger (DOB 7/26/43), prompting all sorts of hi-larious headlines about how the Mickster is now eligible for a pension. So a tip of the hat to Sir Michael Philip Jagger, who certainly seems to be enjoying his life, although he hasn’t made a good album for either 27 or 32 years, depending on whom you ask (I personally give the benefit of the doubt to 1981′s Tattoo You).

I wanted to post something by way of tribute, and I don’t know how I could do better than the following Mick tribute by Gilda Radner. A bit of setup: A couple of times on Saturday Night Live Gilda did a character called Candy Slice, a dirty punk rocker loosely but clearly based on Patti Smith. She revived the character for her post-SNL Broadway show, which was subsequently released as a movie called Gilda Live, from which this clip is taken. The song she’s doing, “Gimme Mick,” is a fairly simplistic punkish number, but energetically played and with great lyrics. In case you want to sing along, the chorus goes like this:

Gimme Mick, gimme Mick
Baby’s hair, bulging eyes
Lips so thick
Are you woman, are you man?
I’m your biggest funked-up fan
So rock me and roll me till I’m sick

Keep an eye out for Paul Shaffer (as Candy’s drummer/enabler) and guitarist G.E. Smith, Gilda’s pre–Gene Wilder husband (better known as the grinning skull who led the SNL band from 1985 to 1995).

Two guys named Bill

Posted in Dancing about architecture, The sacred box on July 22nd, 2008 by bill

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The filename of the picture at the left,
for reasons I won’t go into here, is “william-shatner-kidney-stone.”

As fate would have it, one day recently the postman brought CDs by two guys named Bill: The Transformed Man by William (Bill to his friends) Shatner and The Best of Bill Withers (Bill to everybody, as far as I know).

Shatner, who is never far from my consciousness to begin with, has been especially on my mind lately because my beloved and I have become dangerously obsessed with the TV show Boston Legal. At one time I would have had a hard time publicly admitting this fact, because BL is after all a prime-time lawyer show, and what self-respecting pseudo-intellectual watches those? But honestly, this show couldn’t be more different from the CSIs and Law and Orders of the world: where they are ponderous and self-important, it is playful and self-aware; where they are stuffy and straight-laced, it is sexy and insouciant; where they revel in procedural details, it makes no pretense of realism whatsoever. Boston Legal is not the best show in the history of television, but it is among the most entertaining.
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I have so many good ideas

Posted in Whatever Else on July 18th, 2008 by bill

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And so many of them go unused. For instance, I think that someone should start a band that does electro-pop covers of old blues songs, and furthermore I think that this band should be called “Robot Johnson.”
That idea is free if you want it.

…and we’re back (again)

Posted in Whatever Else on July 17th, 2008 by bill

So last week it seemed the Great Silence had come to an end. Everything was up and running, I had some good momentum going, it was like a train on greased rails, and then…silence again.

It’s still unclear exactly what happened this time, but reports out of Mediajunkie HQ are implicating an Ethernet cable detached by a clumsy cleaning woman. And I think we all know how that makes me feel….

A Tony Danza Moment

Posted in Whatever Else on July 11th, 2008 by bill

A weird little moment on the way to work today: I was flipping around the radio and alighted for a moment on KFRC, which plays soothingly predictable rock and soul hits. Apparently today is “Aloha Friday,” and the chirpy DJ announced that he had a caller on the line: Tony Danza, who was listening online from LA and wanted to play the ukelele on the air. We were then treated to a brief—apparently improvised—ukelele tune from someone who may or may not have been Tony Danza, during which he transposed the station’s call letters to “KRFC.” The only thing that would have been stranger is if he would have played “Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza.”

Black Is Back

Posted in Dancing about architecture on July 10th, 2008 by bill

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I appropriated this image of Charles Thompson in Dublin from Diary of and Up and Coming Sociopath.

My town had a visitation last night from someone who, until recently, was thought to be long dead: Black Francis, rock star.

The circumstances of this happening were less than auspicious. It took place in a little hole-in-the-wall Oakland nightclub (the Uptown), on a weeknight, after all present had had their vitality drained by two underwhelming opening acts and long stretches of sweaty boredom in between. Some members of my party didn’t even stick around to see the headliner, and I can’t say as I blame them. I was questioning my own sanity when midnight came and went and there was still no sign of His Blackness. The sound check was dragging on interminably; a cadre of hipsters stood around the drum kit gesturing and nodding glumly, like doctors agreeing on a terminal diagnosis.
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Modern Life Is…

Posted in Dancing about architecture on July 9th, 2008 by bill

…for one thing, pretty weird sometimes. I was just reading an AP story headlined “Iran Test-Fires Nine Missiles, Warns It Will Retaliate.” Serious business, that, with ramifications that could affect the future of the entire world. But the Internet doesn’t know that; it just picks up on the word “Iran” and on the right side of the page I get a picture of a pretty Middle Eastern girl and the words “Meet Persian Singles Online.” Or maybe I’m not giving the Web enough credit…maybe there’s a subtle “make love, not war” message being sent by Skynet’s future ancestors.

I’m feeling very modern today, listening to Beck’s new album Modern Guilt, which I downloaded last night and transported into work on my memory stick. (Note to self: Someday record Ian Dury cover called “Hit Me with Your Memory Stick.”) So far I’m digging it. The first song for some reason reminds me of “You’re So Vain.”
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…and we’re back

Posted in Whatever Else on July 8th, 2008 by bill

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I support our firefighters. And yet there’s something about this photo that I find irresistibly hilarious. Three dollars to whoever can supply the knee-slapping caption that is eluding me.

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Well hello blogosphere! How have you been? Yes, you don’t need to tell me: It’s been much longer than a week. Circumstances have conspired to keep us apart for two whole months, and so much has happened that I scarcely know where to begin.

For instance, it appears that pretty much every part of California except for the block I live on is currently on fire. Every morning when I step outside to get my newspaper the air smells like a campground, and by mid-evening the sun has dwindled to a tiny orange dot because of all the smoke in the air. They say something like 1800 fires are burning in the state today, and you have to wonder how long that can go on before they start joining forces. I expect Arnold to come on TV any minute now and say: “I have some good news and bad news, Cal-ee-fornia. The good news is the number of fires has declined steeply from the high of 1800. The bad news is the entire state is now one big fire from Nevada to the Pacific Ocean.”
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