Thursday, June 09, 2016

Barack Obama Holds a Koala Bear

This 2016 Election is anything but comforting, but take some comfort with this rendition of President Obama expertly providing a supportive arm to this adorable snuggle-worthy koala. This artwork is based on the G-20 summit meeting in Australia way back in 2014 and as you can see, diplomatic relations with the marsupials went as well as can be expected. Although I could not vote for our President again this week (this isn't some FDR situation, unfortunately), I felt secure, knowing my vote furthers the foundations of the Republic. Let us venture forth into the political vortex that will be the Primaries. I love you, Prez.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Campaign Songs for Candidates of Distinction in 2016

Every national election cycle, pop-stars are forced to emerge from their fancy recording studios to scream, "STOP PLAYING MY SONG AT YOUR HITLER RALLIES, ASSHOLE!" at some dumbass candidate who didn't ask permission to blast their songs at his Hitler rally. Or something to that effect.

In a big election, it's a given that Neil Young will have to drop whatever genius project he's beavering away at to keep Rockin' in the Free World out of the hands of some would-be despot. And  Pearl Jam often joins in, offering their two cents. And you don't want to make Pearl Jam mad. They're like a gang. A really nice gang, but unified. Ask permission, candidates or feel their wrath!

I'd like to offer to today's candidates my latent DJ'ing skills with this theoretical rally playlist. You're making grand entrances at this point, people (and narcissists). The right song is crucial. Especially you, Donald Trump, or I should say the Villainous Donald Trump. Every villain needs his proper entrance song as he swoops to the podium to make his (or her—let's be fair) bid as leader of the free world.

For Trump, that song is Denis Lear's Asshole (Uncensored Version). A no-brainer. Uncensored because La Donald is always uncensored and encourages his trolls to be the same, either by insults or fisticuffs.




And something for Trump's trolls to head-bang to while not pondering the dull process of public policy — cranked-out Ozzy Osbourne performing Crazy Train from within a giant football helmet at the Patriots' 2005 opener while Trump supporter Tom Brady struts about, making sure his balls are adequately deflated.




What's truly inherent in Trump's message? Yes, there's stupidity, evil and bigotry, but if I had to describe his personal essence in musical form, I'd bypass hyperbolic "we're not gonna take it" lunacy and boil it down to this—1980s muzak—representing the soulless and condoned greed at the heart of Trump's TV-personality. From Kmart, 1989, muzak to shop to and vote for.





Bernie Sanders is an old-school radical and I like the cut of his jib. This is another no-brainer —Woody Guthrie, This Land Is Your Land.




Modified to reflect aging hipsters and their ilk:




But there's a dark side to Bernie's followers, the Bernie Bros—what an embarrassing moniker. Get it together, Bernie Bros. You don't want to look back at your youth and have to admit, "Yup, I was a Bernie Bro. I attacked Clinton-ites like a crocodile going after a cute baby goat." That's no kind of legacy. We all want the United States to be cool, so be cool! Here's your song: Timmy Thomas' Why Can't We Live Together.




Now is the time to rock the vote and feel the Bern, so here's Creedence Clearwater Revival's Fortunate Son. Everyone dance around like the baby boomers of yore, pale hands raised in the air like you just don't care. The Sanders campaign message in musical form.





Clinton time! Hell, yeah, I'm going to go there: I Am Woman by Helen Reddy for Hillary Clinton—duh. I don't care if you think it's old or cheesy, this is a great anthem. Reddy had to market it herself (alongside her publicist husband) because radio stations wouldn't play it. As soon as she performed it on the day-time talk-show circuit, lady viewers called their local radio stations, requesting it en masse. Stuck-in-the-dinosaur-age music directors were forced to answer the call(s) and a huge hit was born. By a woman. Imagine that.




Clinton's alignment with big-money donors has tarnished her in the eyes of many Democrats. She works hard because she has to, but she could use some soul in her message. For Clinton supporters, I prescribe Bettye LaVette's cover of Ringo Starr's It Don't Come Easy.




I gotta believe that what fuels Hillary Clinton isn't merely political amplitude but pure bottomless yet very controlled anger. Anger at the man—all the assholes she's dealt with. Anger at the system, anger at her role within the system to get where she is today. Anger driving her on to the very top—right through the glass ceiling and beyond! For that secret fiery heart of Clinton, here's Joan Jett's Bad Reputation. So everyone  on the campaign trail can pogo and get their aggression out in a heart-healthy manner.




And what would the theme song for Election Year 2016 be if such a thing existed? Mudhoney's Here Comes Sickness will do nicely.



You better vote because I'm sick of our political sickness.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

No, no, no, not Prince - GIFs

Prince is gone. How can death be so cruel? Rest, sweet Prince. We will miss your jams, your style, your uncanny ability to appreciate and distill those that came before you and influenced your singular sound. Such heartbreak over our lost musical geniuses in 2016.

Prince wasn't your typical once-in-a-lifetime musical genius, but a control freak extraordinaire. It was part of his aesthetic. Over the years, I would enjoy finding Prince videos on the Internet just to see how long it would take for his long lace-ruffled arm to reach out and yank them off for violating copyright. He was all-powerful—a nattily styled wizard of sound. Those videos would usually be gone from the Internet anywhere from between 40 minutes to one day after discovery.

What control he had. And he kept releasing the tunes, chug, chug, chug, like Prince's musical factory of sound, all streaming from his head 24/7. No wonder he felt competitive with the Internet. He was so musically astute, he was like a human Internet. You could hear bits of everyone from the history of R&B, pop and rock in the Prince catalog, filtered through his lively mind. He was giving it out on his terms his entire career.

Thank you, Prince. We will miss you terribly.


Prince_purple-rain


Prince_giving-the-eye


Prince_attitude


Prince primps


Prince has left



I give this video two to three days to exist here. I just have to believe he can still yank it away at will.


Sunday, April 03, 2016

Songs With the Word "Trousers"

You can never have enough! Songs about trousers, that is.

Andy Stewart - Donald Where's Your Troosers? (with great Scottish Elvis impersonation - listen for it)




Madness - Baggy Trousers - Madness just wanted to have fun and it showed.




Nick Drake - Chime of the City Clock - Yes, trousers get a mention.




Depeche Mode - Never Let Me Down Again - a dark theme that nonetheless uses the word "trousers" very effectively.




Why trousers? Comedian Jay Foreman answers the question here:

Friday, March 25, 2016

GOP Karaoke - Sing-along Campaign Songs for 2016

I've never tried karaoke. I don't drink much and the thought of getting in front of a barroom full of people and singing while sober is completely terrifying to me. But that doesn't mean I'm not inspired by the idea of karaoke, particularly during this election year when anything goes and probably will. GOP karaoke - it makes about as much sense as anything we've seen on the U.S. political stage thus far.

With apologies to the great Pointer Sisters, here is Trump (Vote for Trump) sung to the tune of Jump (For My Love). This version wrote itself, or rather was written in his own words, so as you sing, you ARE Donald Trump. Doesn't that sound immersive? I hope that by the time you reach the bridge, you realize how completely insane you sound and come to your senses, but if not, at least someone might buy you a round at the bar. Or kick you out. We're so divided these days.

Here you go, with an instrumental to sing along to:



Trump (Vote For Trump)

I will
build a great wall
And nobody
builds walls
better than me
I’ll build them
very inexpensively
I will build a great wall
on our southern border
Oh baby!
They’re bringing drugs
They’re bringing crime
They’re rapists and some I assume are good people
And I’ll make Mexico pay
For that wall, wall, wall!

So vote
For Donald Trump
Vote me in!
I’m very rich
Vote!
If Ivanka weren’t my daughter
Perhaps I’d be dating her
Vote, vote for Donald Trump
Vote!
My fingers are long and beautiful
Vote me in!
As are various other parts of my body
Vote!
If Ivanka weren’t my daughter
Perhaps I’d be dating her
Vote, vote for Donald Trump

The point is
I can never be too greedy
My IQ is one of the highest
Don’t feel so stupid or insecure
It’s not your fault
Oh baby!
Lyin’ Ted Cruz just used a picture
Of Melania from a shoot in his ad
Be careful Lyin’ Ted
Or I will spill the beans on your wife!

So vote
For Donald Trump
Vote me in!
I’m very rich!
Vote!
If Ivanka weren’t my daughter
Perhaps I’d be dating her
Vote, vote for Donald Trump!
Vote!
My fingers are long and beautiful
As are various other parts of my body
Vote!
If Ivanka weren’t my daughter
Perhaps I’d be dating her
Vote, vote for Donald Trump

[bridge]:

Look at those hands
Are they small hands?
And Rubio referred to my hands
'If they’re small, something else must be small'
I guarantee you
There’s no problem
I guarantee!

Vote!
Vote me in!
If Ivanka weren’t my daughter
Perhaps I’d be dating her
Vote, vote for Donald Trump!
My fingers are long and beautiful
As are various other parts of my body
Vote me in!
I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody
and I wouldn't lose voters
Vote!

C’mon vote me in!
I need it!
Gimme Gimme!
Vote!
Vote me in!
Vote, vote for Donald Trump!



Let's not forget Ted Cruz. Or better yet, let's. *Groan,* that guy. I guess he should get a karaoke song too, but what a loser. The GOP deserves these terrible campaign songs.

Here's Ted Cruz, sung to the late, great Donna Summer's Bad Girls. I'll always love ya, Donna, and I apologize.



Ted Cruz

Toot toot
Hey, beep beep

Ted Cruz
Talk about a bad choice
Ted Cruz
What a bad, bad choice, yeah

Won’t vote for the violence against women act
Won’t support gay marriage
Even though Supreme Court ruled gay marriage is a right
States rights excuse for bigotry
Somehow worse than Trump

Is this the best
We can do?
These GOP front runners
Are full of poo

Ted Cruz
Talk about the bad choice
Ted Cruz
What a bad, bad choice, yeah

Won’t protect the environment
Doesn’t think climate change is a thing to fight
Yes to guns, no on universal health
Restrict a woman’s right to choose

Is this the best
We can do?
These GOP front runners
Are full of poooooooo

Ted Cruz, Ted Cruz
You’re such a shitty bad choice
beep beep, uh-huh
Ted Cruz, Ted Cruz
You’re such a shitty bad choice

Common Core is on your shit list
But your state textbooks are full of shit
You think you can bomb ISIS into the stone age
But that’s not how bombs work

Toot toot
Hey, beep beep
Hey Ted Cruz! Did you shut Congress down?
Ted Cruz! ‘Cause you didn’t get your way?
You can’t tantrum us back to the stone age
Planned Parenthood is here to stay

Hey Ted Cruz!
You’re Snidely Whiplash without the charm
A cartoon villain with cartoon ways
Hey Ted Cruz!
Can’t even beat Trump!
Good luck with that!

Ted Cruz
Talk about a bad choice
Ted Cruz
What a bad, bad choice

Thursday, March 24, 2016

She Mob - Mas o Menos

I'm working on some GOP karaoke—a sort of panicked sing-along project. What better way to absorb complete chaos-in-the-making but with a song?

Meanwhile, here's some She Mob from the last album, "Right in the Head." Mas o Menos is about a real person who had real impact on my real feelings. It's keeping it really real.


Friday, March 11, 2016

The GOP Poseidon Adventure (1972 and 2016)

The Poseidon Adventure was in my Netflix queue for unknowable reasons and when it showed up, I asked myself am I seriously going to spend two hours of my precious time on earth watching this Irwin Allen production? The answer, of course, is yes, a thousand times yes.

For those who missed it or its Mad Magazine parody (how I initially absorbed its insanity), The Poseidon Adventure was ground zero for the genre known as the disaster epic. This is the genre that gave us Earthquake, burying Los Angeles in rubble, The Towering Inferno, about a towering inferno, Airport 1975, so fabulously parodied in Airport!, and perhaps the most beloved of all, Poseidon, the cruise ship tipped upside down by a rogue wave.

I'm guessing these movies were cathartic for an angry and traumatized public, who had survived the idealism and violence of the late 60s only to face a decade of rampant inflation, the ongoing tragedy of the Vietnam War and the criminal-President that was Richard Nixon. It was the perfect environment for mayhem, chaos and against-all-odds survival. Where a star-studded cast, featuring anyone from Paul Newman to Linda Blair to O.J. Simpson and everyone in between were pitted against brutal destruction for the length of two hours, getting sweatier and dirtier and more ground down in the process. These films also pushed some VFX boundaries. Who could forget the magic of Earthquake in Sensurround—the dawn of the age of subwoofers, which have dominated our movie-theater sound experiences ever since?

The Poseidon Adventure is special because it's a metaphor. Yes, that's right, a metaphor for the current GOP election cycle unfolding before our eyes. It's almost too real, as if the GOP is actually turning upside down and falling through its own Tiffany-glass ceiling, right into the laps of the MSNBC news team who can't stop giggling about it. And who or what is this rogue wave that has upset the ship? You know the answer. Let's examine the GOP figurative death toll, Poseidon Adventure style. That's (junk) entertainment!

And now:

The GOP Poseidon Adventure

Starring Gene Hackman as Ted Cruz.


 
Red Buttons as Martin Kasich.



This kid as Marco Rubio.

That's Eric Shea, ubiquitous 70s' kid actor

And featuring Ernest Borgnine as Chris Christie.



 Stella Stevens as Carly Fiorina.



This guy as Jeb Bush.



Waiting in the wings, Roddy McDowall as Rand Paul.



Leslie Nielsen as Mitt "Too Little Too Late" Romney.


And no one as Ben Carson because #PoseidonAdventureSoWhite


While Sanders and Clinton bide their time, watching the carnage unfold...



...and the liberal media sharpens their pencils in anticipation...

 

Relax, liberal media—we're just getting started.



The Grand Old Party's been pandering to the lowest common denominator for so long, they didn't see the an apocalypse of their own making on the horizon.



After years of paranoid storytime on Fox News and rabble-rousing tea-party histrionics, a rogue wave suddenly unleashes itself on the unsuspecting GOP Poseidon, en route to the White House.



The crew reacts by staring balefully into the near distance while tilting so far to the right it can never regain any semblance of balance.

"Hard left!" cries the Captain, but it's much too late

Now up is down and down is up and their only hope is for Ted Cruz to climb the Christmas tree ladder to salvation.



Alas, the Republican multitude is swallowed by the symbolic embodiment of hatred, paranoia and ignorance. No, not Satan—TRUMP.



Kasich beseeches Christie to form a coalition to oust their popular rival, but Christie has other ideas...



While Cruz forges on, for what? He says less government, but a little more regulation might have kept the ship from plowing into a tidal wave. It's all speculation at this point.



Hoping to split some votes, they invite Rubio along for the ride.



While Christie's would-be power alliance predictably backfires.



"Oh deary me!" cries Kasich. "And I courted the anti-abortion contingent so diligently too! All for naught."



Fiorina's advice to her cohorts: "See ya in the funny papers, boys!" and she's gone.



While Christie roasts in a hell of his own making...



Rubio asks "Wha- happen'?"



And an almost universally despised Cruz is left hanging.



The stunned, demoralized, hysterical and weeping right-wing can only hope there's a new dawn for the Grand Old Party.



Don't hold your breath.



Cue the music!