Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
A queen of adventure, priestess of camp, princess of love
Because a guy who composed a song this toe-tappingly groovy is totally mournable:
I discovered the coolness of this tune when watching the eponymous film, Modesty Blaise. And as the opening credits rolled with this song, I kept scratching my head going, "Where have I heard this before?" Then it occurred to me, "Rock the House"!
Damon Albarn and Dan the Automator strike again. BTW, Gorillaz is dropping (or has dropped?) a new album, Plastic Beach. Think I gotta pick that one up...
Make sure you see the vintage classique of Modesty Blaise on film 'cuz Monica Vitti is oh-so-uh-may-zing. Plus, it's got totally whizzy technicolor splashiness and that fabulous '60 style ratcheted up a billion notches. Miss Monica's outfits are outrageously delicious. Yeah, it's weird and it makes no sense, but who cares? Thanks to Dankworth the whole score is slammin' too.
I heart this version of the title song as well:
Sunday, February 07, 2010
The Price is Right Whale
So y'all know that one of my favorite books is Moby Dick, right? Well whales rock and so of course I read this story in my newsfeed today about a new book that's coming out about whales that was inspired by John Waters. It's going on the shortlist of recently released books I want to read, which also includes Zadie Smith's new book of essays.
And then, I read this story on the collision of a whaling ship that was in the Mail & Guardian. By virtue of the names of the ships in question, some of the passages in this article sound downright surreal and laughable if read out of context (and, as a matter of fact, pretty giggle-inducing in context too).
Example #1: "The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has accused the harpoon ship Yushin Maru No.3 of intentionally slamming into its vessel the Bob Barker on Saturday."
Example #2: "Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research said the collision occurred as the Yushin Maru No.3 tried to avoid the Bob Barker which it said had moved dangerously close to throw projectiles containing foul-smelling butyric acid at it."
Example #3: " 'And I think now that we have them, unless they sink us, we're going to be able to shut down their whaling operations for the rest of their season,' he said from on board the Steve Irwin, which is heading to join the Bob Barker."
There's a ship named after the crocodile hunter? More importantly, there's a ship named after Bob Barker, former host of The Price is Right?
I grew up watching The Price is Right at my grandparents' house during school vacations. That theme song sure is groovy and extremely sample worthy:
Anyway, the newsfeed gift kept on giving, with mention on The Smoking Section of a new track called "Ms. Right" which pays homage to the Barker helmed show. TSS does drop some really crunk tracks for download, but damn do I get annoyed at their contradictory acknowledgement of objectification of women at the same time that they constantly feature softcore on the daily.
Then it occurred to me that in Moby Dick, an infitintely rich text is about an obsession with a whales, has several medidations on the RIGHT Whale (a cetological classification). Here's a small sample of Melville's genius from Chapter 75 "The Right Whale's Head--Contrasted View":
"...the Right Whale's head bears a rather inelegant resemblance to a gigantic galliot-toed shoe. Two hundred years ago an old Dutch voyager likened its shape to that of a shoemaker's last. And in this same last or shoe, that old woman of the nursery tale, with the swarming brood, might very comfortablty be lodged, she and all her progeny"
And I adore this little footnote in the chapter:
"This reminds us that the Right Whale really has a sort of whisker, or rather a moustache, consisting of a few scattered white hairs on the upper part of the outer end of the lower jaw. Sometimes these tufts impart a rather brigandish expression to his otherwise solemn countenance."
Lastly, " Can you catch the expression of the Sperm Whale's there? It is the same he died with, only some of the longer wrinkles in the forehead seem now faded away. I think his broad brow to be full of a prairie-like placidity, born of a speculative indifference as to death. But mark the other head's expression. See that amazing lower lip, pressed by accident against the vessel's side, so as firmly to embrace the jaw. Does not this whole head seem to speak of an enormous practical resolution in facing death? This Right Whale I take to have been a Stoic; the Sperm Whale, a Platonian, who might have taken up Spinoza in his latter years"
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
This week's earphone worthy for the hopeless romantic
Al Green's "I Wish You Were Here":
Next, are few versions of a couple of jazz standards that I am enamored with right about now:
"I Remember You" as done by the late great Nat King Cole:
And a lovely harp laden take on it by Bjork that was actually my first intro to the tune:
Anita O'Day doing Tenderly, with Oscar Peterson tickling the ivories (sample only).
Finally, going to throw you for a loop with a splash of PJ Harvey's sexily carnal headbanger "This is Love":
Really, cop that whole album Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea. It's an early oughties masterpiece. Sometimes you gotta push that lush orchestration aside and thrash it out, ya know?