12.27.2005

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
Coffee
Scotch
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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8 Comments:

Blogger Jenny said...

At some point last year Jeremy and I embarrassed ourselves in public singing excerpts from Death on Two Legs ("and now you can kiss my ass goodbye!"). The song was also one of the songs I included on by best songs to listen to on your iPod while walking list earlier this year. One day if I make a movie I totally want to include this song playing over a slow-motion scene of someone walking with an automatic weapon in hand. Yes

Speaking of movies I saw Me & You & Everyone We Know last week and was taken aback by its lack of story and point. The quirkiness is fun at first, but ultimately I felt there was nothing to hold onto. I didn't enjoy Happiness when I saw it a few years ago, but if I had to recommend one of the two films to someone, I'd definitely recommend Happiness over M&Y&EWK (it seemed to me like M&Y&EWK "borrows" a lot thematically from Happiness)

2:37 PM, December 27, 2005  
Blogger d said...

I bought the re-mastered cd of night at the opera for j & it has a "video" for death on two legs where mercury is wearing some kind of porno harlequin catsuit. yeah, I know. WOW is an understatement. we were trying to imagine jared wearing it.

you & I don't usually agree on the film front so I'm not particularly surprised that you don't care for the film. I hated happiness. (ha! that's funny to write.) I liked this one. true, the two films share the use of long pauses. & they both look at pedophilia. however, I don't think that topic is dealt with in the same manner at all.

as for plot, I don't really give a shit about that as much as I should. after all, two of my favorite movies have little in the way of conventional plot. one is about two unemployed actors who drink away their weekend, in town & country. the other is about a guy who makes giant television props whose ambivalence slowly starts making him insane. he also goes to the country at one point. not much else happens. I like quirk. & the country apparently.

3:05 PM, December 27, 2005  
Blogger Jenny said...

D, generally speaking I wouldn't say we disagree on the film front (do we?); the only film I can recall that we differ on is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (which I found highly overrated, over-the-top, and rather ineffectual). I feel sort of the same way about M&Y&EWK; it relies so heavily on Anderson/Solondz-esque characters whose lives intersect in the most "random" of ways and falls into all of the traps that indie movies often do. But, I did appreciate July's well-defined characters and colorful, sun-drenched landscapes.

As for plots -- and lack of -- I agree a plotless film can be tremendously effective (take Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise, a monument of static/plotlessness -- and one of my alltime favorite movies). But in the case of M&Y&EWK, it almost seems like July literally hit a writing block midway through the film; for ensemble pieces of quirk and random lives I'd take a PTA film anyday.

10:37 PM, December 27, 2005  
Blogger d said...

I ALWAYS disagree with you on films only I don't say nothing so I can run off into a corner with a crumpled up almost crying face.

YOU are a pta movie!

(runs off boo hoo-ing)

11:39 AM, December 28, 2005  
Blogger Jenny said...

D, I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

1:22 PM, December 30, 2005  
Blogger d said...

sorry, I don't take advice from people who don't share my taste in films. it's my nerves & I'll stress if I want to.

1:31 PM, December 30, 2005  
Blogger mary said...

pills? what? where? can I have some?

my point is, in a previous life I may have written a song that included the lyric "I'm not sorry / I'm just sorry for you." I still can't decide if that's incredibly lame or mildly funny. probably it would depend on the delivery.

ps. d, thanks for that drink recipe, it sounds yummy. lactaid + booze! yes!

8:08 PM, January 03, 2006  
Blogger Jenny said...

The pills line is directly from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

12:59 AM, January 04, 2006  

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