Give a toast to now

Dear friends,

Christmas and 'cause, '05 edition:

1. 'Cause Navidad with Moms means catching up on films about animals, dancing assassins and snarky but sexy british police inspectors of a certain age.

Baby penguins are very cute. Antarctica not so cute. Mothers like baby penguins. These things are connected.

2. 'Cause trial and error is a good thing.

Speaking of Moms, she makes a mean Cola de Mono*. Below is a list of ingredients. (Don't worry, this is a holiday anomaly. I'm not a recipe person. I leave that to the professionals.)

Mrs. D's Cola de Mono, ingredients list

Milk (or Lactaid, if your tummy can't take it)
Sticks of cinnamon
Grated nutmeg
Sugar (or Splenda, if you can stand it)
Vanilla extract

You heat all the ingredients until the concoction boils, then you stick the results in the refrigerator until it chills. I don't know what the amounts are. Improvise! That's what I do to varying degrees of success. Go on, you can do it.

3. 'Cause charity is good. And if good music comes with it, even better.

Things I bought myself for X to the Mas because I am/was a weird only child and therefore prone to such idiocy:

The Broken Social Scene record (more on that shortly) which I had bits and pieces of but needed to own.

A ridiculously large almost rapper style necklace (not gold or platinum though, hence the almost) with a big "D" hanging from it in freakin' CROSS-STITCH.

The recent War Child collection, Help: A Day in the Life, on import featuring the new Radiohead song, I Want None of This, which falls neatly into the familiar, vaguely-threatening-whispers-on a-darkened-street territory that Mr. Yorke and Co. like to frequent. Hell yeah, I like it. It's gentle somehow despite the menace. Half the time I think Yorke is trying to tough-love himself, not the listener.

Song to seek:

I Want None of This/Radiohead (mp3)

Buy Help: A Day in the Life by Various Artists

4. 'Cause it's good to listen to your friend's recommendations.

Covers. The Monkey steals one kind. I collect the other. Somehow it works.

One of my favorite songs this year isn't a new one, but an oldie that he introduced me to: Death On Two Legs by Queen from A Night At The Opera. Apparently, Mr. Mercury wrote this vicious little song about their former manager and it's a corker ("Do you feel like suicide?" followed by helpful, multi-tracked "I think you should"s). Invective has never sounded so reasonable.

There's a new Queen tribute out called Killer Queen which has some truly terrifying, not in a good way, interpretations of various Queen classics. However, it also has a band I never thought much about**, Rooney, covering Death On Two Legs in a way that's thrillingly, astonishingly faithful to the original without sounding like a sub par copy***. If you want to hear some operatic high dudgeon, go find that cover or the fabulous original, STAT.

Songs to seek:

Death on Two Legs/Queen (mp3)

Death on Two Legs/Rooney (Sadly, my mp3 is un-postable. Happy hunting!)

Buy A Night at the Opera by Queen

5. 'Cause hipster ignorance is bliss.

Cognoscenti favorite Me and You and Everyone We Know is my kind of movie. It seems that I'm not the only one who thinks to make up impromptu eulogies for the goldfish of strangers. I don't know what liking this movie says about me but it can't be that I'm a hipster because I only scored a 1 on that Gawker Hipster Quiz that Contributor Bryan linked on his site.

It's true. I don't know anybody whose last name is one letter besides that guy from Interpol with the empty gun holster and that's only because he's Hispanic or half-Hispanic or something. I'd say sorry but I'm not sorry. And whoever can write a song with that refrain wins a special gift.

6. 'Cause starting ahead of time IS a good idea.

To those of you who haven't gotten my double live mixes. They're a'coming, I promise. I'm slow. At least some of them got out though.

7. 'Cause it's the end of the year and you know you want to celebrate.

And in conclusion, Broken Social Scene. I would scrub the stables of Broken Social Scene. Also, I would willingly wear a baby blue satin jacket with "Broken Social Scene" written on the back while I do it. And mirrored shades. And a 'tache. Their self-titled record does all the things a record is supposed to. Make you think about possibilities, dance, feel elated, stare off into space, stick your hand out of a car window so it can dance, make you want to fuck like a cheetah or just sleep, your arm curled around the one you love as you fall into their quiet breathing; the car alarms becoming smaller and smaller particles of noise until they're gone...

If you didn't bother getting this record, go now and buy it.

Buy Broken Social Scene by Broken Social Scene

Love, D

*Literally "Monkey's Tail"

** No, I ain't feelin' the OC

***Queen fans, listen for the inside joke at the end.

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Down in the Underground You'll Find Someone True

Hello m'friends!

My supervisor is a waste of space. ^_^

God help me if I ever fell off a roof. This is what he’d say:

“Oh K-chan, try not to die, okay?”

I am sure in some universe he means well. But I find things get done ACTUALLY if I don't rely on him.

So I asked him to make a reservation for a pick up at Narita. Gave him a phone number and the date. Not that I couldn’t probably do it myself but I am completely busy and one less phone hassle would make my week less painful.

He laughed at me and said "K-chan, I don't believe such a thing exists.”

Try anyway you worthless twat.

In reality, I opted to respond in his language. “Well, be that as it may I am very busy right now so if it would not be inconvenient please call this number that doesn't exist for me, okay?”

He laughed again. He finds my Japanese as amusing as I find his English. Except I never laugh.

Kids are taking exams now so I am needed not so much. I have been playing El Jezel's Hidden Track fairly nonstop since I got it. George and Jess. I miss you.

At Shinada's house last night boozing and watching Japan MTV. They were doing a tribute to Number Girl, Japan's answer to the Pixies. Number Girl is now no longer but they helped start the Japanese underground scene. They recently released an obligatory "Greatest Hits and B Sides" album (forthcoming Christmas present to myself) so all the music stations are focusing on them.
"Hey! Number Girl!" I cried. The video to Cibbicoさん was playing. It looked like an episode of the Upright Citizens Brigade. The band members meandering high and dazed around Tokyo. Getting lost in hidden stairways and questionable establishments run by intimidating men. Collpasing in the middle of a busy intersection. Running in circles around Shibuya. Provoking stares. I was glued to the set like a kitty outside a tuna factory. Face against the glass, breathing heavy, misting up the pixels.

"Oh! You very underground!" Shinada remarked. "Even Japanese don't know them."
"Their loss, dude." Said I.
"OTAKU!”("You geek!")
"Yes." I make no arguments.
"We never listen this kind of music."
"Well, what DO you listen to?" I asked with genuine curiosity.
"Maroon 5. NSync. Mariah Carey."
Or Franz Ferdinand. Green Day. Ashley Simpson. Etc.

It's the same with movies. Japanese films are a sub-genre in their own country. Which is a real shame because a lot of them are awesome. Take Toyoda Toshiaki, a director from Osaka--a city reputed for yakuza. Not only does he have superb taste in actors but he also has a fine ear for music. Tell, not sell. I can thank his 2001 “gritty” high school drama Aoi Haru for introducing me to Thee Michelle Gun Elephant.

A few months back, I rented another of his films called 9 souls. A drama about 9 escaped convicts and their downward spirals. The film was moving, if a bit long (as reality is wont to be), but what got me was the music. No, I can't describe it in educated terms. I don't know a hook from a hack from a hock. All I know is that I watched that scene over and over again just for that song. The song shared the same title as the film (9souls) and was by a Japanese group called dip. It was a long song. About 7 minutes and ferocious. Kind of like Man in Gray's NiV at its peak. Minimal lyrics. Fine. The usual broken poetry of Japanese indies.

Hmmm. dip. I liked dip. But they were nowhere to be found.

I traveled to a bigger city and sought out the biggest electronic store in town. There I found the soundtrack to a cheesy Japanese comedy called ROKKAZU, about the start of the 80's punk scene in Japan. Based on a true story. Pompadours a-flyin. Music none too shabby.

Favorite scene: Our plucky little indie band has been booked to entertain a crowd of scary yakuza gangsters and their scarier hoes. Courageously, they begin all a-tremble with a broken English slow dance called Mary Jane. The thugs seem to tolerate it and hit the floor with their hoes who methodically smack hands away from their asses.


Before the song can come to a lackluster end, the NEW guitarist--yeah, the mysterious character in black who wears sunglasses all the time and NEVER speaks--suddenly leaps in front of the vocalist and starts belting out a punk version of the song.

Now they're rockin! *thumbs up*

It was so fucking cheesy. See this film.

So I scored the soundtrack to ROKKAZU at the MEGA HUGE MIND BOGGLING electronics store in Niigata shi. Flipping through the "Indies" section, I noticed a CD cover that looked oddly familiar.

Isn't that...PIANOS? East Village Bar. Good cocktails. Home to the Whitest Kids You Know?

Why so it was.

I turned the CD over.

Oh...my god...it's DIPPPPPPP!*

They had played in NY just last summer. A picture of the band setting up in front of the establishment. They're in Tokyo now I suppose. All roads eventually lead to Tokyo.

I went home very very happy.

I am sorry I can't post samples yet. I intend to do that when I get home. Happy Holidays, guys!

*Name that quote

Songs to seek: Cibicco san/Number Girl, Teppu Suru Doku Natte/Number Girl, Manga Sick/Number Girl, Mary Jane/ROCKERS soundtrack, 9souls/dip

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yesterday where was I

dear friends,

it's been a week of really strange situational reversals, random but welcome visits &/or phone calls from old friends, furious mailing, online lurking on mp3 sites where I pillaged like the inner viking that I am, holiday shopping, looming transit strikes & sudden face cream overload. & the monkey cooked dinner. kinda. no matter, he just has to sit there looking at me with that "u crazy" look & I'm happy. mashed potatoes are not necessary.

- sudden face cream overload? that's right. I'm slathering the stuff on like there's no tomorrow, because despite the fact that I fall on the lighter end of the latin skin spectrum, this winter girl gets ashy like a wednesday. -

all of this means, of course, that I have been unable to really think about things to recommend. which doesn't mean I haven't been listening. I've been compiling xmas mixes for people (which they'll get AFTER the holidays, natch) & perusing my space like the total loser music junkie that I am. after the x & the mas, I will write coherently about those finds. & we'll have some fauxpagne. you'll tell me how pretty the stars are. I'll show you my massage degree from the university of guadalajara. it will be grand.

go see el jezel tonight at pianos for their record release party. not only will it be wunderbar because there will be so many quality drinkers/musicians in attendance but because jess jezel is the cutest lady in nyc, because george jezel provides the best between song patter EVAH, because dan jezel is that rarity; the ferociously precise drummer with excellent posture(?!)* & because their combined sounds are juicy & juteaux & jugoso in all languages, including esperanto. I hope to see you there Απόψε!

in the meantime, let me introduce you to the little monkey. I will now put him on "shuffle", the list below is what he sang. yes, I know. but it's not laziness, it's love. I recommend them all.

1. son of mustang ford/swervedriver
2. strawberry fields forever (demo)/the beatles
3. under pressure (live)/the flaming lips
4. since I've been loving you/led zeppelin
5. kick out the jams/mc5
6. walk you home/super furry animals
7. paradise/new order
8. ave maria/caetano veloso
9. 25 or 6 to 4/chicago
10. leather & lace/lee hazlewood
11. tattooed love boys/the pretenders
12. I wanna get in your pants/the cramps
13. some things last/beck
14. smooth operator/big daddy kane
15. the greatest/cat power
16. modern age (peel session)/the strokes
17. I've got something on my mind/the left banke
18. only this moment/royskopp
19. blues is my middle name/ray charles
20. well that was easy/franz ferdinand
21. stream running over (acoustic)/the apples in stereo
22. guilty cubicles/broken social scene
23. red weather/the duke spirit

love, d

* I'm serious. I double dare someone to run on stage & balance a copy of emily post's etiquette on dan's head. he'll kill you of course BUT before that happens, my point will have been proven.


nobody knows me as well as you do

dear friends,

because I am a softy, because it is monday, because I can't stop listening to depeche mode's shake the disease & I don't really know why (that last sentence has no actual bearing on what I'm about to say, I just threw it in there 'cause it's a fact! & it provides me with a title for this post,) I'd like to direct your attention to the following bulletin that was posted on my space by the band voxtrot.

"1. We've had to cancel the rest of the tour [Norfolk, VA/Chapel Hill, NC/Atlanta & Athens, GA] due to our van problems. Sorry to all of those who were planning on coming to see us, and thanks to those who have written nice and encouraging letters to us.

2. We'd like to announce a last minute show in Brooklyn at Magnetic Field. It's an effort to try to make some of the money back that we've lost on this tour, so we appreciate all who can make it!

Weds, December 14th @ Magnetic Field
doors @ 8pm, Voxtrot at 9pm / $5
97 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11201 (718) 834-0069

3. To top it all off, after all of the confusion with Houston and dates being changed, it seems as if we've been booted off of the December 17th show at Numbers. We'll try and make Houston happen again someday.

Thanks to everyone for being supportive!

I have a prior engagement on wednesday with those fantastic urban rascals, the unsacred hearts, at death disco (FREE!) so I cannot be there BUT should you not be attending da hearts show because you are too lazy to leave brooklyn, I urge you to at least go see voxtrot. why? because everyone needs good van karma, whether or not you're planning to go on tour any time soon.

love, d

ps: speaking of urban rascals, man in gray have finally updated their website. go lurk there. listen to music. send them cryptic messages about how much their music makes you think of mandarin marmelade with fangs. make yourself a cuppa while you do so. that's what I would do. trust me, it's a good way to ease yourself back into the working week. & I don't think they'll mind.

pps: in case you don't want to leave brooklyn on wednesday & you feel like something a bit more contemplative & well...free, then pack up your bandana & stick go check out the honeyed guitar & vocals of gabriel miller-phillips at sunny's bar in red hook.

ppps: on the other side of the rascal spectrum, those sweethearts of the rodeo, el jezel, are having their cd release this friday at piano's. even though I am too short to even be looked at by the bartenders at that particular venue, I shall be there, roaring like a christ-like lion. because I MUST get my little black paws on the first EVER el jezel release & since it's included in the ticket price a la prince/musicology, I definitely shall. (insert maniacal laughter)

bands to go see live this week: voxtrot, the unsacred hearts, gabriel miller-phillips, el jezel


Belle of the ball at least to me

Dear friends,

1. I was thinking about love-endeth cliches in songs, such as the whole 'see your face everywhere' thing, which, as anyone who is familiar with that particular dry-mouthed, stone in stomach feeling, is a POTENT cliche. There is one song that best exemplifies this slap in the face experience and that song is Bad Reputation by Freedy Johnston from the album This Perfect World. A glossy, melodic and yes, pretty, song which features a perfectly dry vocal performance by Johnston that pitches somewhere between hopeful and painfully self-aware. When Johnston's protagonist details what a low-level fuck up he is ("I couldn't have one conversation/if it wasn't for the lies, lies, lies"), the possibility of really bumping into that lost love, the fear of what they would think of you, years down the line still in this sorry state ("Do you want me now? Do you want me now?"), makes the listener feel a grim sort of pity. To misquote a friend's lyrics, this guy "hates himself a little bit more than everyone else" and he manages to sound as if he's got a crooked smile on his face that silently says that he is powerless to change anything about himself even though he knows exactly what's missing.

2. Damn ? & The Mysterians! It's their fault I loves me a circus meets condemned New England mental hospital organ line. This is why I adore Thunderbirds Are Now!'s My Girl is a Beard and its hyperactive keyboard explosiveness. This song always comes on hella loud on my speakers in a way that says wake the fuck up! Dance! Run! Whirl! NOW! And then I do a wicked frug to cut up the rug.

3. But back to the pretty, Liz Janes has a crushed velvet, country-ish voice that circles round you and bewitches. Guitar, Guitar is a song that's over way too soon but its woozy bob and weave lingers way past its running time. The rest of her album, Done Gone Fire, is a collection of dusky dreamy lullabies with a spiritual bent. Highly recommended.

4. Rogue Wave is one guy with a guitar in a little room pressing record. Or at least Rogue Wave WAS one guy when Zach Rogue wrote and recorded Perfect which has a hook that burrows into your skull and refuses to leave because a) it sounds like a children's nursery rhyme (insidiously catchy!) and b) endlessly repeats the line "everything was perfect till you came along" (Creepy!).

Mr. Rogue now has a full band to flesh out his sound. Go check out Rogue Wave's album, Out of the Shadow.

5. I cannot stop listening to Symmetry by Mew (I've written about them before HERE.) a duet between Mew's lead singer and, according to the internet, a 13 year-old fan from Georgia they met in a chat room*, Symmetry is a wistful 'here endeth the love' song. It tugs at the sleeves with how tired and worn it sounds, tired in a packing up your things and moving out way. A sad little gem.

Love, D

PS If any of you out there have any interest in going to Northsix tonight to see The Subways (catchy punk rock made by good lookin' Brit youngsters. Hey! No hatin'. It's not their fault they're cute.) And Breakup Breakdown (their She Went Black is a morning fave, as is any song that has a "Na naah nana naah" duel with a lead guitar), let me know.

* If this is actually true, and not some weirdass pr ruse, I'm torn between thinking that is AWESOME (the fan part) and eh...disconcerting (the 13 year old girl in a chat room part). Color me suspicious. It must be all the court tv programming I get sucked into whenever I'm home sick with the flu.


Brother can you spare the time?

Greetings from the frozen cow fields of Niigata ken. This gaijin is avoiding work by drinking genmai cha and staring at the white snow cap of Mount Yoneyama. The weather is bitter here, the music is loud and conjunctions are consistently ignored.

Anyone in the mood for visuals can go here.

Oh what a shameless glutton this land has made me! I've been gorging myself on local discoveries, attacking films and literature, and rolling in wealth like the fiend I am. My only woe is that I have precious few moments to fully digest all I have access to. So I will steal this time like a bandit and share. (GilliamW00t)

But before I rave, I must bitch.

Tokyo Jihen's latest? Blah. Or rather just not my thing. I still appreciate the lingering fragments of Ringo's signature oddness, her juxtaposition of carnal lyrics set to a beat I would rather act silly to on roller skates. I miss her indie rock days. I doubt I will hear them again.

Moving on, I think my dear Communist has a thing for brothers. Can't put my finger on it but if there are male siblings involved, she will perk. One day she introduced me to the uber folksy phenomenon that is Hirakawachi Icchoume.

Or 平河地一丁目 This is actually the name of their old street address in Shizuoka.

They are wunderkinds of a kind and local to my suprise. They write their own songs, compose their own music, sell their own CDs and they're not even out of middle school. I hate them. No, I love them.

The younger brother, Naojiro, does most of the vocals. Ryunosuke writes most of the music. They have somehow managed to steer clear of Pop Jams, a Herculean feat for musicians in their age group. Naokun's voice is angelic if that word appeals to you and Ryukun's lyrics are appropriately emotional. If the younguns here have angst, they are not always permitted to express it honestly. When they do, at times it may seem overdone. Or maybe that is just the language barrier.

The boys don't seem to like Tokyo. Naokun's plaintive singing and Ryukun's even more plaintive lyrics give me the impression that Tokyo is not a place where actual things can be felt. In Shoujo少女 they reflect gently on a dim headed girl sitting on a veranda. Simple, sweet. If their aesthetic can be summed up in a word, I'd choose innocent.

Not necessarily naieve, though. On Hirakawachi Icchoume, innocence is a well-preserved soul confection and not something they seem eager to be rid of. I rented this shock drama of a film called Neighbor 13, which was agonizingly realistic. Like a poorly edited Miike. It moved at a slug's pace. The suspense bordered on boredom. I hated it. As the credits rolled, I heard Nao-kun's voice and balked. はがれた夜 is difficult to translate. はがれた (HAGARETA) means "to become unstuck/undone" and 夜 (YORU) means "night". The lyrics contemplate strength and weakness and how to preserve the self when dealing with the two. This came out of a 12 year old.


I find traditional instruments sexy. Happily for me, the Yoshida Brothers 吉田兄弟 are too.  They're hot, they're young and they play shamisen as though it were a *insert guitar name here*. I prefer their more understated material such as a Hill with no Name 名も無き丘 and Sprouting 萌え. Their hit single Storm did not impress me. Add a techno beat and synthesizers and suddenly the foreigners pay attention? Boo, I say! It just sounds like video game BGM to me.

Like Hajime Chitose, the Yoshida Bros. are trying to reinterpret the ancient. I think they are good at it. Aesthetically, they do not require digital accoutrements or maybe I am just personally against such mergings.

I had more but that will have to wait for another post. I am sorry I can't provide samples yet. I am a retard with a MAC, a hopeless duo if ever there was one.

Songs to Seek: Tokyo/Hirakawachi Icchoume, Shoujo/Hirakawachi Icchoume, Hagareta Yoru/Hirakawachi Icchoume, Hill with no Name/Yoshida Brothers, Sprouting/Yoshida Brothers

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Stubble on the Chin of a Vicious Brute

I'm not sure where I got that initial song by the Men's Recovery Project. I thought it might have been Epitonic*, but they don't seem to have an entry there. Anyway, I've been listening to that song - "Sephardic Secrets" - on and off ever since. [UPDATE: found it.] Overall, it's a sort of a lofi-punk-electro-psychedelica. Niche almost to the point of novelty (like maybe the Moistboyz). But what kept me coming back was the outlandishly filthy guitar solo, which has a timbre that falls somewhere between Sepultura and the sound of the teacher's voice in Peanuts cartoons.

Since the Load Records site had only listed one album, I had been under the impression that their whole catalog was out of print. But then last Friday in Generation Records I ran across the 40-track, one-disc masterwork entitled The Very Best of the Men's Recovery Project.

It's a rare accomplishment for an album to give you such a strong sense of exploitation without you having the slightest idea what is being exploited or how. Following the lead of the 5RC website, I may be safe to say that any accurate statement about this band should be phrased in the form of a question. 5RC asks, "Comical? Responsible? Horrifying? Compelling?"

I would add, "Nihilistic? Anti-Imperialist? Misogynistic? Homophobic? Queer? Dada? Punk? Ween? Semitic? and Profane?"

The track entitled "Man Urinating, Laughter" is 25 seconds of just that.

Most Recommmended Tracks: "Stubble on the Chin of a Vicious Brute", "Smokeable Birth Control", "Manhole", "Vote Fraud on the Moon Base", "Get Your Dick Out Of My Food"

* Remember when Epitonic were still uploading music? Even as a historical resource, you can find out about tons of great bands through their magical, hypertextual, "If You Like ___, Then You Might Like..."-type network. And there were sample MP3's for, like, everybody.


Let's Go Upstairs & Read My Tarot Cards

I was naughty today. I purchased six CDs: Joy Division, B-52s, Donovan, U2, and the two Depeche Mode CDs I didn't own (until now). But at least five out of six of my CDs were on sale for an impressive $7.99 at Tower Records. That's right. But walk, don't run: The $7.99 sale extends intil early January, so you have plenty of time to figure out how you want to spend your rent/bills money. Besides, it's icy out there. If you run you might slip and break your neck.

That out of the way, I would like to devote the rest of this post to the awe-inspiring ROD STEWART. NOT American Songbook Rod of the '00s; rather, sexy young Rod of the '70s and '80s. While I would like to claim I've been a fan since birth, it's simply not true. As a kid, I thought, like anyone, that the overplayed hits "Hot Legs" and "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" were just goofy novelties, and it probably wasn't until I was a teenager that I started really understanding these songs as the thoughtful meditations on all-night cocaine binges and promiscuous sex of the disco era that they are.

When Rod performed with The Faces, they enjoyed a hit song with the casual sex anthem "Stay With Me" (I uploaded the MP3 HERE just for you because I think this tune is so great, really terrific). Tell me you can listen to this song, which was co-written with Ron Wood (it's even trashier than the Stones' sleaziest songs), and refrain from pouring yourself into your skintight white leather pants and hitting the discotheques in search of an over-sexed redhead named Rita; Rod will even let you use his best cologne. I mean, Rod's sexily hoarse vocals and his yelps of "Guitar!!!" and "Get yourself home!" and "Sit down, get up, get out!" and "Whooo!" accompanied by alternating screechy/bluesy guitars is enough to make me want to drink a shot of tequila and yell "ROCK AND ROLL!" before falling to the floor in a messy heap. If you're not sassy enough to listen to the tune, at least read the lyrics HERE.

Moving on. From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, Rod was all over the radio/VH1 and MTV. In a few hours of listening/watching, you could probably catch old and new hits like "Reason to Believe," "Havin' a Party," "Forever Young," "Have I Told You Lately," "Some Guys Have All the Luck," "Infatuation," "Rhythm of My Heart," "The Motown Song," "This Old Heart of Mine," and Rod's cover of Tom Waits' "Downtown Train." (SEE ALL OF THE VIDEOS HERE and HERE).

This was probably about the time my inexplicable, short-term freakish obsession with Rod began.

I had all but forgotten about aforementioned freakish obsession until a few weeks ago when I saw Rod's video for "Young Turks" on VH1 Classics -- a song I have loved for a long time but hadn't seen the video since probably the late 1980s -- and then I realized that the reason for my adolescent obsession with Rod was likely because, in the early '80s, ROD STARTED MORPHING INTO SIMON LeBON'S DOPPELGANGER. Just watch the video for "Young Turks," and Rod's bleached, tousled hair and hand-snapping shuffle lend an awful lot of evidence to my Rod-Simon theory. While Rod, like the boys of Duran Duran, publicly expressed his love of gallivanting with models throughout his career, I imagine Rod, by the early 1980s, felt he was aging and needed to channel younger, hipper British musicians to retain his image. Just look at THIS PHOTO OF ROD, 1981; now check out THIS PHOTO OF SIMON from the same year. Or THIS PHOTO OF SIMON, from a year EARLIER than Rod's video. Coincidence??? DOUBTFUL.

I recently rediscovered another great Rod tune from the early '90s entitled "Lost in You," whose video features a sexed-up Rod who falls in love with one of the strippers who dances at the club where he bartends. The video, while sleazy, is given at least a smidgeon of class because it's shot in black and white (albeit probably to disguise Rod's graying hair and un-spring chicken looks).

I recommend: Rod Stewart, The Story So Far double-CD collection. Yeah, I own it, jealous?

[Also posted on Fireballs & Tsunami]


cause well I believe them all

dear friends,

I've a tendency to ramble. not today. it's a fact! #1: I love cats, it's a fact! #2: I am from chile, it's a fact! #3: I love weird ass concept albums. now the question is, how much will I enjoy the yeah yeah yeahs' new album or is this article merely an elaborate hipster prank dreamed up by spike jonze? if it is, damn you triple y's & your singer's famous boyfriend for toying with me! damn you to heeeeell!

love, d

ps interestingly "cocos" is chilean slang for testicles. I wonder if miss o is aware of this. (silent juvenile laughter, followed by whistling rendition of neil young's I am a child. end scene.)