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Posted in Somebody's birthday, Something about the Beatles, Tour de France on July 22nd, 2010 by bill

[caption id="attachment_2609" align="alignnone" width="600" caption="Schleck and Contador by Monet"]Schleck and Contador by Monet Prozac For Sale, [/caption]

Today's writing is dedicated to George Clinton, the Benjamin Franklin of funk, who turns 70 today. For those of you keeping score at home, Prozac without prescription, Prozac dosage, that means he was born exactly 15 days after Ringo Starr in July 1940. Ringo and George (Clinton) share one essential quality, kjøpe Prozac på nett, köpa Prozac online, Prozac mg, which is that it's hard to think of them without feeling just a little bit happier. "With a Little Help from My Friends, get Prozac, Buy generic Prozac, " The Mothership Connection, "It Don't Come Easy, Prozac street price, Prozac canada, mexico, india, " Maggot Brain...we're glad these things exist, aren't we, Prozac from canada. Low dose Prozac, And its nice to know their creators are still walking the Earth. Love on ya, boys, Prozac For Sale.

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Schleck rode valiantly the whole way, buy generic Prozac, Where can i cheapest Prozac online, but he couldn't shed Contador, who has the legs of steel, purchase Prozac online no prescription. Order Prozac from United States pharmacy, They embraced at the finish line, and everything seemed warm and fuzzy, Prozac description, Prozac from canadian pharmacy, but my stomach was full of anger. It was all pretty anticlimactic, Prozac duration. Prozac maximum dosage, Nice to see Schleck take the stage win, but Contador remains 8 seconds ahead overall, online buying Prozac hcl, Prozac pictures, and unless Schleck pulls off a miraculous attack on the flats in Stage 18 or an equally miraculous performance in the Stage 19 time trial, that's all she wrote, Prozac use. Of course you never know...I guess Contador could have a major mechanical issue in the TT that costs him a minute or two; that would be poetic justice.

In the meantime, it's late it's late it's late, and I'm not sure that anyone's actually reading these things. So ta-ta for now, whoever you are.

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Diflucan For Sale

Posted in Dancing about architecture, Somebody's birthday on April 21st, 2010 by bill

iggyking south-park
Cartoon versions of Iggy Pop and Robert Smith. Diflucan For Sale, A couple of rock birthdays today: Iggy Pop turns 63 (!) and Robert Smith of the Cure, 51.

The continued existence of the man born James Osterberg as a living, Diflucan use, Online buying Diflucan hcl, breathing organism on planet Earth—along with those of his contemporaries Lou Reed and Keith Richards—must be considered something of a miracle. Consider this passage from Marc Spitz's Bowie describing Iggy's state in 1976:

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"Iggy was in such bad odor with the rest of L.A, Diflucan For Sale. that most of the dealers refused to let him into their apartments, Diflucan price, Purchase Diflucan online no prescription, " Nick Kent writes in his classic anthology The Dark Stuff. "He'd made such a mess of his life during the two years he'd been based in L.A, Diflucan blogs. Diflucan natural, that everyone had him written off as nothing more than a washed up loser...."

When he began to vomit fluid of unrecognizable origin and indescribable color, and with the police threatening to prosecute him for vagrancy, buy Diflucan online cod, Diflucan pics, he finally committed himself to the Neuropsychiatric Institute in L.A.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of self-destructive Iggy stories, and yet not only did he survive the 70s, Diflucan pictures, Diflucan dangers, in 2008 he inspired the following passage from Dan Kennedy's Rock On:

The unplugged so-called alternative metal songs have stopped being played, and the opening band has retreated, Diflucan samples, Diflucan no rx, maybe even a little earlier than planned, making me think they're probably decent men on some level, Diflucan coupon. Order Diflucan online overnight delivery no prescription, After about twenty minutes, the house lights go down, discount Diflucan, Buy Diflucan from mexico, the stage goes dark, some static and clamor as a guitar is plugged in by a shadowy figure, Diflucan images, Comprar en línea Diflucan, comprar Diflucan baratos, static for a second, a little feedback, Diflucan alternatives, Diflucan for sale, and then the first huge chords ring out and... Diflucan For Sale, JEEEEZUS.

The stage lights are up full blast and Iggy Pop hits the stage like he's not going to stop running until he's at the back of the auditorium, Diflucan street price, Where to buy Diflucan, grabs the mic, and splits off across the stage to the side, australia, uk, us, usa. Buy Diflucan no prescription, A shirtless blur, a tornado of living, Diflucan mg, Online buying Diflucan, screaming, chiseled muscle-and-sinew proof that all of what they told you about growing up or aging is bullshit, order Diflucan from United States pharmacy. Ordering Diflucan online, Mike Watt, from the Minutemen and fIREHOSE, Diflucan from canadian pharmacy, is playing bass and looks as amazed as anyone in the crowd. His eyes are absolutely glued to Iggy, and Iggy is everywhere at once. He flies like a computer-animated god-beast deity in an unhinged and hijacked Lucas film, Diflucan For Sale. You suddenly realize every punk band you thought was blowing your mind back when you were sixteen was simply a cute little messenger delivering a wadded note to you from this man, wherever he might have been that night.

It goes on like that for awhile, and is worth checking out in its entirety; I just wanted to be sure to work in the Mike Watt reference. Anyway, Iggy, Jimmy, whatever you want to call him, is clearly made of some different material than the rest of us. He may outlive us all. Diflucan For Sale, When the aliens drop that special bomb keyed to human DNA patterns to wipe us out so they can take over the planet unopposed, they may find Iggy standing in the wreckage wondering what the hell happened to everybody.

Bob Smith, meanwhile, is a comparatively young 51, which seems hard to believe since the Cure have been around forever. He had barely turned 20 when the Cure's debut, Three Imaginary Boys, was released in 1979. The deluxe reissue of TIB released in 2004 contains a song of the same vintage called “I Want to Be Old,” which goes as follows:

I want to be old
And creek by the fire
I want to smell of rotting wood
It's all I desire
I want my joints to seize up
I want my legs to ache
I want my eyesight to fail
I want my skin to flake
To be old
I want to be old
I want false teeth
And not be able to chew
I want to be senile
A centigenarian fool
I want lots of wrinkles
Want my hearing to go
I want to be ignored
And I want to be slow
To be old
I want to be old

One wonders how he feels about that, now that he's getting up there.

Noticeably not appearing on this reissue is "Killing an Arab," the 1978 single that inspired the title of the Cure's first greatest hits album, Standing on a Beach. Due to some controversy over its title, "Killing an Arab" has been Trotskyishly erased from the Cure's catalog, and no longer appears on any in-print Cure album; this despite the fact that it is a fairly unmistakable homage to Albert Camus' existential classic The Stranger, and does not endorse the killing of anyone. I happen to be in possession of the original issue of the Boys Don't Cry CD, and I invite you to listen here and judge for yourself.

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Amy, Amy, Amy

Posted in Dancing about architecture, Somebody's birthday on September 14th, 2009 by bill
[caption id="attachment_672" align="alignnone" width="248" caption="Amy Winehouse, before all the trouble started."]Amy Winehouse, before all the trouble started.[/caption] Today is the 26th birthday of the aptly named Amy Winehouse. This seems worth mentioning because there's no guarantee she's going to have a 27th, hell-bent as she is on self-destructing at an early age like her foremother Janis Joplin. This would secure her eternal street cred but would be a tremendous waste of talent. Amy not only possesses a freakish singing voice that had her sounding like the second coming of Dinah Washington at age 20 (despite the handicap of her Britishness), she can write songs, too. She is listed as the sole composer of stellar tunes like "Rehab" and "You Know I'm No Good." I recently bought Amy's debut album, Frank, and was amazed to discover that she was actually pretty cute before she got heavily into drugs, tattoos, and excessive eye makeup. Truly, it's a shame on many levels. Maybe it's not too late. She could still pull out of it and end up living to a ripe old age, right? Right?

Rock me and roll me till I’m sick

Posted in Dancing about architecture, Somebody's birthday on July 29th, 2008 by bill
Mick%20Jagger%20dancing%20on%20stage-1.jpg
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). Update 5/15: The clip from Gilda Live has been wiped from the internet by the forces of the Long Plastic Hallway. I fail to see how that helps anybody, but whatever. Here's the SNL version instead:

Happy Birthday Libra Baby

Posted in Somebody's birthday on September 27th, 2007 by bill
180px-Libra2.jpg As a rational, educated modern person, I believe that astrology is utter and complete bullshit. Except, of course, as it applies to me. Every astrology column I read somehow contains 11 horoscopes that are a total waste of time and one that is strangely illuminating. That one is Libra, my sign and that of many of my friends. Again, it is my officially stated position that astrology is stupid. How can you be said to share an entire personality profile and predestined life path with one-twelfth of the human race, just because they were born at approximately the same time of the year as you? It's utterly ridiculous. And yet.... And yet I must admit that I am irresistably drawn to the symbolism of the scales, because I am driven to balance and to weigh everything — to take the contrary opinion in every situation, to double- and triple- and quadruple-think everything until I make myself crazy. And yet the following description I lifted from Wikipedia sounds awfully familiar:
The Libra person is said to be co-operative, sees both sides, open-minded, just, urbane, partnership oriented, avoids conflict, balanced, graceful, debative, idealistic, and equalitarian. They can sometimes also rationalize, be easily deterred, indecisive and lazy, and are also thought to be flirtatious, extravagant, frivolous, impatient, envious, aloof, and quarrelsome.
...although, to be honest, I quarrel with that. I am envious of no man! And yet this article by fellow Libran Tim Sullivan in today's Chronicle/SF Gate really struck a chord. An excerpt:
1. Philosophy: Libra sees both sides of everything.

Libra also sees both sides of seeing both sides of everything.

Libra is unhappy about seeing both sides of seeing both sides of everything.

Libra is happy to tell you this.

2. Politics: Libra is diplomatic, well balanced and appreciative.

Libra is indecisive, immovable and uncertain.

Libra has called for a confidential, closed-door meeting between both sides of Libra.

Libra believes we can work it out.

Libra also, as is well demonstrated here, likes to see Libra's name in print. Libra is fascinated with Libra's own idiosyncracies and internal contradictions to a really rather embarrassing degree. And when this time of year rolls around, Libra would like to be showered with gifts and attention, all the while protesting that you shouldn't have gone to the trouble. Because that is Libra's idea of a good time.

He Is Your Slice of Life

Posted in Somebody's birthday on July 31st, 2007 by bill
danielash.bmp
Appropriated from Burkhart Studios

Turning 50 today: one of my musical idols, Daniel Ash of Bauhaus/Tones on Tail/Love and Rockets fame. Although not what you could call a household name, Ash has had a long and illustrious career that lifts him up high into the pantheon, just one notch below his obvious role model, David Bowie. Bauhaus hit the scene in 1979 with "Bela Lugosi's Dead," a nine-minute-long slice of idiot-savant strangeness from a band that barely knew how to play. For its first half, "Bela" consists of Peter Murphy's moaning vocals riding a stuttering, bat-echo rhythm. The second half is all Daniel Ash and his effects pedals putting on a fireworks show. It's freaky, off-kilter, borderline ridiculous, and oddly charming. "Bela Lugosi's Dead" remains a much-beloved underground chestnut to this day; when I saw Bauhaus in 2005, they played it as an encore and people went nuts. Bauhaus released four albums and various singles after that, developing a signature sound that was a perplexing mixture of arty effeteness and metallic aggression. Ash increasingly added acoustic guitars to their music in later years, bringing a textural richness to such lovely numbers as "All We Ever Wanted Was Everything," "Kingdom's Coming," and especially "Slice of Life," which was his first and only lead vocal on a Bauhaus song. It's a curious footnote to the Bauhaus saga that Daniel Ash, who except for "Slice of Life" was limited to backing vocals, turned out to have a truly great and unique singing voice, at once sweet and smoky, not as powerful as Murphy's baritone but much more versatile. After the demise of Bauhaus he became the frontman of Tones on Tail, whose variation on the Bauhaus sound — equally dark but more electronic and less angular — blew a lot of minds in a short time. They made only one real album (Pop) before morphing into Love and Rockets with the departure of Glenn Campling and the return of Bauhaus bassist David J. Love and Rockets, in turn, mutated into a gen-u-wine pop band, adding elements of glam, psychedelia, and Beatley melodicism to the mix. They made several albums that stand high on my all-time list, including Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven, Express, and the self-titled album that finally put them on the charts with "So Alive." Showing an unexpected sense of humor, they sometimes appeared in costume as "The Bubblemen" (even releasing a Bubblemen EP in 1988), with Daniel Ash occasionally dressing in drag. The last time I saw Daniel, he was looking pretty butch, playing guitar for a reconstituted Bauhaus and sporting surprising biceps. Although known to be fond of motorcycles and recreational chemicals, he apparently intends to go on living, which is good. Maybe we'll get an L&R tour sometime before his 60th birthday. Perhaps my favorite Daniel Ash moment comes from a show at the Berkeley Community Theater circa 1989. The Lovely Rockets — who started off shaky as a live band but improved steadily over the years — had just played a scorching set. Never exactly raconteurs, they had said barely a word during the proceedings, but after it was over, Ash put down his guitar, adopted a Preslyish sneer, said "Never be an old fart!" and exited stage left. He's stayed true to his word, and we should all be so lucky.

Rock’s Other Mick

Posted in Somebody's birthday on June 26th, 2007 by bill
mick_jones.jpg Mick Jones, back when everybody thought he was cool


Born today in 1955: Clash guitarist/vocalist Mick Jones. I feel badly for Mick, and not just because of his scarifying English teeth. Although he was co-leader of the Clash — once known as "The Only Band That Matters" and still untouchably hip 30 years after hitting the scene — history has cast him as McCartney to Joe Strummer's John Lennon. Conventional wisdom has it that Strummer was the band's conscience, standing firm in defense of punk-rock purity, while Jones was the sellout who craved pop success. And certainly it's true that "Train in Vain" and "Should I Stay or Should I Go" — two of the Clash's least political and (not coincidentally) most popular songs — were Mick's doing. On the other hand, when Jones was forced out after Combat Rock, Strummer's Clash proceeded to make the laughable Cut the Crap. So while the comparison may be apt, it's just as much a mistake to underestimate Jones's contribution to the Clash as it is to underestimate Paul's contribution to the Beatles. In this schematic Big Audio Dynamite is Wings, and that seems about right. Don Letts=Linda McCartney? Could be.) The Globe would be Band on the Run, No. 10 Upping Street would be Ram or somesuch...well, why get carried away with this thing. The point is, give Mick his propers today. A listening of London Calling wouldn't be a bad idea; but then again, it never is.

O Superwoman

Posted in Somebody's birthday on June 5th, 2007 by bill
ff_laurie_anderson_BW.jpg A rare shot of Laurie Anderson with a normal haircut.

Musician, performance artist, and all-around intimidating brainiac babe Laurie Anderson turns 60 today. That's right, 60. I found this hard to believe, but I double-checked and found it to be true. Yet more proof that Time Is Passing at an Alarming Rate. I've been a fan ever since I heard Mr. Heartbreak, released in 1984, which featured Anderson's trademark mix of cerebral detachment with strong senses of humor and melody. It also was my first exposure to the droll voice of William S. (Uncle Bill) Burroughs, who is heard intoning lines like "The sun's coming up like a big bald head" and "It's driving me crazy, it's driving me nuts." It was only later that I went back and listened to Anderson's debut and probably masterpiece, Big Science. Derived from her five-LP epic United States Live — which, a quarter-century later, I'm still scared of — this album propelled Anderson from avant-garde obscurity onto the pop charts. Viewing it at this remove, it's hard to see why. Not that Big Science isn't great; although strongly redolent of the 80s, it has not dated over the years so much as fermented. What's hard to understand is how it ever found a mainstream audience. "O Superman" — ethereal, arthymic, and over eight minutes long — somehow became a hit single. Could that happen today? You never know, but my inner old fogey (who sounds an awful lot like WSB) is muttering "I don't think so." I have to admit to not being hep to what Laurie is up to today. I only recently acquired her 1994 album Bright Red/Tightrope, so I'm running roughly a decade behind. There's still time to catch up, though, and hopefully time to see her live, which I regret not having done up to this point. In the meantime, please join me at 7:27 tonight for a synchronized listening of "Sharkey's Night" as — wait for it — the sun goes down like a big bald head.

Happy Birthday, Norma Jean

Posted in Somebody's birthday on June 1st, 2006 by bill
Norma Jean Mortenson, a.k.a. Marilyn Monroe, would have been 80 today. What can I possibly say about Marilyn that would be new? That she was the living embodiment of movie star sex appeal? That 44 years after her death, her image continues to evoke desperate yearning in any man with a pulse? That her short, tragic life should serve as a cautionary tale for every woman who's ever considered making a living off her beauty? Never mind all that; the look on this guy's face says it all: Marilyn Monroe - Hollywood Studio Magazine - 9-1970.jpg

Annual Report

Posted in Somebody's birthday on May 31st, 2006 by bill
Now that a year has passed since I started clogging up the Internet with my words and pictures, I've been reviewing the work (if you want to call it that) I've done so far. For the record, that's 183 entries (and 147 comments, only about a hundred of them from Cecil). Some updates and corrections: • Against all odds, Abe Vigoda remains alive. I know this because I have installed a Firefox status bar that keeps me continually abreast of Abe's well-being (in the broadest possible sense, i.e. whether he is alive or dead). You can get it for yourself here: http://www.vesterman.com/FirefoxExtensions/AbeVigodaStatus. • Last June 15, I predicted that the Lakers would trade Kobe Bryant after rehiring Phil Jackson. I could not have been more wrong. Not only did Kobe and Phil make it through the season together, they nearly upset the Phoenix Suns in the first round of this year's playoffs. I still think it would have been a good idea, but what the hell do I know? I'm a Warriors fan. • A Peanuts strip that I posted a while back disappeared due to whatever demons insert unwanted spaces into random HTML. It has now been restored, and you can view it here. • In my entry of June 27, 2005, I implied that the destruction of a dryer at the local laundromat was due to negligence. A subsequent discusssion with the manager revealed that the incident was in fact caused by a customer who tried to dry a down sleeping bag in the machine, which is something that you should never, ever do. The bag had a hole in it, some feathers got into the gas flames that heat the machine, and the rest is history. I'd like to apologize to the management of Bud's Suds, the employees, their families, and anyone else I may have offended with my ill-informed speculation. • The mural on the side of Dave's Coffee Shop has been painted over since I wrote about it. Which makes no goddamn sense, because the building's still not being used for anything. I hope the parties responsible are publicly flogged. • In one of my entries about Steve Martin, I said this: "The movie version of Shopgirl, starring the man himself, is coming out soon, and it is on this that I pin whatever slim hopes I have of Steve once again making a good film." I only recently got around to seeing Shopgirl, and it is a good film, although in a very different way from, say, The Jerk. It is sometimes funny but often melancholy, permeated with a sense of loss. Set in a burnished-looking LA, it could conceivably be viewed as a sort of sequel to LA Story, if you imagine that Steve's goofy weatherman character has matured and grown wealthy, but had his spirit crushed somewhere along the way—probably by the loss of Victoria Tennant. As in LA Story, Steve seems to be playing himself here, but this is a somber Steve who's given up on happy endings, at least for himself. • When I reviewed Martina Topley-Bird's album Anything, I was unaware that this domestic release is a truncated version with three fewer songs than Martina's UK album Quixotic. Why this was done is beyond me; two of the three songs are excellent, and there was plenty of room for them. Anything remains a good bang for the buck, but for the whole story it's worth seeking out the import. • I'm gonna have to go ahead and say that Spoon's album Gimme Fiction is better than I gave it credit for. I've kept coming back to it over the last few months, which means that it's the real thing. I'd like to apologize to Spoon, their families, Matador records, and anyone else who may have suffered because of the profound influence I wield over the record-buying public. • In re Blue Öyster Cult's Workshop of the Telescopes, I said this: "The first disc is a waste of time." Further listening has caused me to reconsider this rash statement; as So-Called Jeff pointed out, songs like "Stairway to the Stars" and "Career of Evil," while noticeably cowbell-deficient, are nothing to sneeze at. My conscience is now clear, so I can sleep soundly tonight and start making new mistakes tomorrow.