PopCornucopia is all about free associative pop culture tidbits as they strike my fancy, just like kernels of corn exploding into fullness at a random and unpredictable pace. And of course, the cornucopia is the horn of plenty.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Miss Ponytail and the Darling of the Arctic Circle

I had a conversation the other day trying to explain the word "Mush!" as a rallying cry for sled dogs. And then I was watching this video which provides a use of "mush" in context for those interested parties. It also involves a little Sinatra-Suzuki exchange on identity and singing that is handled with a light touch, but certainly has a subtext about authenticity and entertainment.

Man, Pat Suzuki is so cool. Her beaming smile and powerful voice are irresistible. As a child of Flower Drum Song I'd like a poster of this magazine cover please:

Oh yeah and Suzuki's original version of this song kicks ass (I posted the film version here, and although I was raised with that rendition, I am starting to become even more smitten with Pat's edgier delivery) :

Watch I Enjoy Being A Girl Pat Suzuki in Music | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Although, WTF, why do the graphics for that vid end with a Maneki Neko? Just cuz she's JA? Ugh.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Naughty Nederlands:NSFW

In Hoofdstuk 14 van mijn Nederlands class multimedia CD, de intro muziek voor de luister oefenen was(translation--Dutch friends corrections, please: In Chapter 14 of my Dutch class CD the intro music for the listening exercises was ):

Prince-Sexy MF - Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

Did they think no one would notice where the music clip came from? When I first heard it I just sat at my computer guffawing to no end, flabbergasted.

You know what other tunes they ripped the instrumentals from to introduce conversations about people's occupations?

This. And this.

Heh. Oh learnin' the Dutch language, laff-a-minute.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Move your ass to the Pendergrass

Teddy Pendergrass just died on 13 January. When I found out from the internets, I sat in my room screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" for like five minutes straight.

Hands down one of my favorite soul singers ever, he has provided me with countless hours of aural pleasure. What I would have done to see Teddy live in his prime...Check out a lil' bit o' this concert from 1979 to see what an amazing performer he was (Yes, I rented and watched the entire DVD of this concert and lurved every second of it. I encourage you to do the same. C'mon he had the balls to wear a sequined shroud!!!!):


But it isn't just Teddy's rich baritone, or the way he can both smoothy caress and rough up the song in all the right places. Nor is it the sweet Philly soul orchestrations, or the ladies' man showmanship alone that makes Teddy Pendergrass so utterly, so superlatively, one of the greatest ever.

It was the cumulative effect of all those things certainly, but I would argue there's more to it. In fact, I believe Teddy Pendergrass, draped underneath a velvety cloak of sensuality, bore more deeply progressive ideas about the equality of love, and the wrenching nature of emotional pain. And the immaculate deftness with which he balanced desire and respect is unmatched. For that reason, not only does Teddy's music make you unleash your inner sex goddess, it does so in a way that allows you to feel zero shame about it. Here is one the his finest examples of his celebration of reciprocity:

His indomitable spirit really shines through in his vocal delivery and in his body, even as his body changed through paralysis. And indeed, I've written before about how Pendergrass is a great example of reimagining and expanding conceptions of the body and sexuality through musical expression. Fate would have it, in the accident that caused his paralysis, his passenger was a transsexual nightclub performer. Indeed, Teddy was a figure whose awareness about the performativity of the body was really keen and the company he kept even shows that.

And he just seemed like such a total sweetheart. Here's a great interview with him from NPR.

Many of his songs are about how people can inspire one another. No doubt he inspired many musicians. Name checked by Outkast, and sampled by a host of other hip hop artists (this joint is one of my old-school favorites, utilizing one of the best Teddy songs ever), legions adore Teddy P.

Whether you're an old fan or just learning about him through this post, turn off the lights, and turn on a little Teddy.

ETA: Here's a great obit from PopMatters on TP.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I stand corrected

So, Jonah Weiner, a journo for Slate decided to make commentary on Jay-Z's latest video.

Let me say, with regard to mining some of the possible references in that vid, I beat him to the punch. But shamefully, I did so in an erroneous manner. Apparently "On to the Next One" is directed by Sam Brown, NOT Anthony Mandler. I guess it's a pretty big oversight, but for some reason my google search didn't yield the proper directorial credit. Oops.

Well, thank god my blog is not supposed to be serious responsible journalism and its no so material to any argument that I was making aside from giving Mandler props.

Thanks for the clarification Mr. Weiner. I also liked your article about why Wes Anderson is soooooo f**ked up. I will probably still see Fantastic Mr. Fox anyway...

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I need to stop reading Vivian's yelp reviews!!!!!

They make me soooooooo homesick :(

But I can't help it. And her writing, lotsa LOL! Esp. the MUNI stories.

And it would appear she now has Yelp elite status. Congrats Viv! About effing time.

I mentioned her reviews before, but as I was re-reading them today, swells of love for SF crested in my heart. Check out her 100th review, a beguilingly crafted essay that captures so much of why the City by the Bay is so freaking special.

Ate it on my bike last night, my hindquarters in slush. My gloves are shredded and I need new ones. I am so done with snow and ice. Thank you Vivian (and home made pork mushroom jook--used this recipe for the base) for helping me cope with the stupid winter blahs.

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Gettin' a handle on Mandler

I have covered Antonioni and the music video before. But once again, he's connected with Amerie, and I'll throw a few others into the mix this time, just to make it interesting.

I have to say, I've been loving some tracks off her latest, In Love and War. E.g., Dangerous, More Than Love and The Flowers. She's still bringing the go-go beat hard! Yesssss.

And while its actually one of the lesser tracks on the album, the single Heard 'Em All has got a music vid whose director studied with Antonioni at USC film school, Anthony Mandler.

Mandler also directed this Jay-Z music vid, which is a more obvious homage to Antonioni's Zabriskie Point:

And in his latest vid for Jay-Z, the film school student in Mandler comes out in a little nod to the opening credits of the classic Japanese film Kwaidan, with of shots swirling liquid like Rorschachs:

Macabre indeed, with the skulls (oh hello Damien Hirst) being another ostensible link to the ghost story subject matter of Kwaidan. And there's a bit of the beat in there that sounds like some of the film score work from Toru Takemitsu (he did the soundtrack for Kwaidan). Probably not part of the inspiration, but the tinniness of it, the nearly unbearble percussive wall, the eerieness of its repetition seems parallel (maybe its all in my crazy head!). Whatevs. Takemitsu is pretty great. Deserves his own post, but anyway, check out this doccie on him that I just watched. The alternate spareness and cacophony of his music is where its magic lies.

Mandler's production company is also a tribute to the Jean-Pierre Melville/Jean Cocteau collab Les Enfants Terribles. Melville isn't my fave, but anyone who loves the author of Moby Dick and Alain Delon always wins brownie points.

And while I can't say I like everything he's done, the fact that Mandler provides a link between some of the crunk R & B/hip hop I love (like this Omarion jam) and some of the cinematic work that I love, means he's worth consideration.

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