Archive | July, 2011

People Make the World Go Round

9 Jul

I’m a big fan of 70s Philly soul music and The Stylistics are one of my absolute favorite groups on my long list of artists I completely dig in this genre.   Their song “Betcha By Golly Wow” is of super importance in my life and I always would have assumed that that’s the one I’d choose to highlight here, but I should know better than to predict my own behavior.

I’ve had “People Make the World Go Round” in my head all day and hopefully you’ll have it in your head all day tomorrow.  It’s quite a song.  From their debut album in 1972, it goes after all members of the social strata – from garbage collectors to Wall Streeters.  “But that’s what makes world go round…” as they say.

Maybe I was thinking of it because I was in a sea of humanity today.  I went to see the life-changing Alexander McQueen show yet again.  The Met on a Saturday at a blockbuster show…yikes.  Then to The Highline – on a gorgeous weekend day.  More yikes.  Then, believe it or not, to a mall.  Oddly that was the place most devoid of people.  Throw in some restaurants and transportation and I’ve had more contact with people in this one day than I had all of last month.  And to top it all off, I was a magnet for every bad seed of a child today as well.
But none of it annoyed me in the least.  Well maybe one or two of the kids.  But nothing else.  It was just the world rotating perfectly on it’s axis.  People do make the world go round.
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The Final Frontier

8 Jul

As you are no doubt aware, the space shuttle program is set to end today.  The final shuttle may or may not blast off this morning as planned.  Right now NASA is saying that there is only a 30% chance it will lift-off, on time at least, due to the stormy environment.  I hate the end of eras in general and this seems particularly sad to me.  I know there will be future initiatives but its close still makes me a little uncomfortable.

There are about 450,000 songs that deal with space travel or the space age or any sort of related subject and I was tempted by at least 12 of them for today’s posting.  But ultimately, all I can think about is NASA and how strange today must feel for everyone there.

So even though this N.A.S.A. stands for North America South America, here’s “Strange Enough” (feat. Karen O., Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Fatlip).

Truth be told, if I hadn’t already featured The Carpenters on Margauxville, I would have had a bigger dilemma.  But I did, so I didn’t.  That said (are you following?), you MUST watch this video.  It is the second best video in all of space.  (First best video ever, here.)

Should I cross my fingers that the shuttle lifts-off at 11:26a or hope that the final run is delayed so that the ending isn’t really here?  Now that’s a dilemma.

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Oh Lucky Day

7 Jul

7.7.11.   This has got to be foolproof date for all things lucky!

I know all about luck.  A Sagittarius, I’m automatically prone to being lucky.  This is a very good thing because it offsets all the damage a Sagittarian gets into from clumsiness and tactlessness.  Being naturally lucky also makes it easy it quite easy to be an optimist.

When I hear the word “luck” my mind automatically goes to the ‘good’ side of it.  I find it curious when I come into contact with those who automatically go the ‘bad’ side of luck immediately.  I guess I’d make the worst blues singer.  This is, in fact, rather unlucky, since that would be the best genre for me since I can’t really sing.  But generally speaking, I’m happy to be an optimist.

But it is also true that in some cases, the unlucky ones have an allure. Of course it’s easier to stomach the “woe is me” types when they come packaged in sexiness.  (God knows a dose of sexy can make a lot of bad traits palatable…)

Chet Baker is the sexy black cloud.  So on 7.7.11 you are lucky enough to get one of my favorite unlucky songs: “Everything Happens To Me.”  Now go buy a lottery ticket.

Appalling

6 Jul


Today the New York Times sunk to an all-time low.  It was brought to my attention that they actually included the following sentence in rock critic Jane Scott’s obituary:

“A Victrola is something like an iPod, only larger.”

Honestly, I can barely fathom this.  At first I thought it was a joke, but who jokes in an obituary?  And it’s the New York Times, not Highlights for Children!  What’s next?  RCA’s dog, Nipper,  listening to an iPod?  I can’t even write more.  It’s too horrifying.

Here’s “Victrola” by Veruca Salt.  Or maybe it’s called “Large iPod,”… I forget.

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Va-Va-Voom!

5 Jul

Micheline Bernardini in the world's first bikini, 1946

I bet you didn’t realize what an important date July 5th played in your life.  Sixty-five years ago, the bikini was introduced, changing tan lines forever.   Oddly enough, two separate designers set to revolutionize the beach at the very same time, each one working on his version of the two-piece.

Jacques Heim named his the “atome,” after the teensy atom, and marketed it as “the world’s smallest bathing suit.”  But someone else – Louis Reard – managed to eclipse le atome with ‘bikini.’  It’s really quite amazing.  Reard wasn’t even a full-time designer.  He was a mechanical engineer whose hobbies including swimsuit design.  But while he and Heim had the same idea, Reard was a far better marketer.  His slogan? “Bikini — smaller than the smallest bathing suit in the world.”

And so, on July 5th, 1946, model Micheline Bernardini unleashed the first bikini to the world.   Damn all of them!  Just the other day as I stood in a three way mirror under florescent lights, I decided I’d like to bring back the bathing attire of the 1920s.  But that’s just me.

I have to believe that many a relationship has been started because of a teensy bikini.  And I’m equally sure that the vast majority of them end around Labor Day.  And here’s a great ode to the summer fling – “Summertime Girlfriend” by A.M. 60.  A.M. 60 was an infectious band fronted by Chris Root, who also had a great band before that (The Mosquitos) and has a different dreamy one now (Undersea Poem).  Since that’s three bands, I think I have license to use the other two in subsequent posts.

I’m a  big A.M. 60 fan.  I used an incredibly great song of theirs, “Just A Dream,” in a Schwinn commercial I produced last year.  You should buy it.  The song, not the bike.  Although the bikes are super nice too.

Okay, I need to go do some crunches.  It is bikini season after all.

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America, Fuck Yeah!

4 Jul

Happy July 4th everyone!

I love this holiday – and that’s really lucky because I also get to share one of my favorite songs on this very special day!  You might think I’m being ironic with “America Fuck Yeah” but you’d be wrong!  I adore the movie “Team America:  World Police” and this song is one of the main reasons.  Actually I love every single thing about the movie and every single thing about the song.

I have a dream that one day there will be Macy’s fireworks choreographed to this song.  America, when you blow out the candles on your birthday cake tonight, please wish for that.

Fuck yeah!

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Living in America

3 Jul

Available at Kmart

Happy Fourth of July Eve….or as I like to call it, July 3rd.  I had all intentions of posting yesterday but here’s what happened.

I got involved in watching the original “Gidget” film starring Sandra Dee and it wasn’t over till after midnight, so a July 2nd post was not to be.  “Gidget” is a mighty piece of American awesomeness and if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.  It’s as good/bad as you’d think, but Sandra Dee is so darn adorable that it’s hard not to love it.

The surfing is so fake.  I was also obsessed with trying to figure out why they’d always be surfing in a location that had a massive amount of rocks and trying to fathom how Gidget could get caught in the kelp to the point of almost dying (twice!), but I guess this isn’t the type of movie in which I should expect plausibility.

Today I finally went to see the utterly beautiful, majestic Terrence Malick movie, “Tree of Life,” and every time they showed the underwater scenes of kelp flowing in the sea I thought of Gidget.  Terrence Malick is my favorite director and I feel like I owe him a public apology for that, but this is just one of the many instances when I wish I had more control over my thoughts.  (Although it would be amazing – or as Gidget would say, ‘the ultimate!’ –  if that’s what he thought of too when he chose the kelp scenes….)
After the film, I went to Kmart.  I’m pretty in love with Target, as I’m sure most people are, but they didn’t have the Rit Dye that I so urgently needed.  And though Kmart makes my skin crawl, they did have the dye in stock.  Thank goodness I’m living in America this weekend – as opposed to NYC – and was able to visit both.
 And this brings me to today’s song:  “Living in America” by the one, the only, James Brown.  It was from “Rocky IV,” and you know you don’t get more American than the Rocky franchise.  So Happy July 4th Eve.  Please download the song above, but check out the video below too.  I can’t embed it, but it’s worth a jump over to YouTube.  It’s kind of priceless.
(P.S.  Not sure why I can’t format these paragraphs correctly today.  I’m not on my computer, but still…apologies.)