Thursday, January 29, 2009

So pick a BC date, cuz you're history

229. Big Daddy Kane - "Ain't No Half Steppin" (Cold Chillin', 1988)
230. Dizzee Rascall - "Fix Up Look Sharp" (XL Recordings, 2003)
231. Jay-Z - "99 Problems" (Roc-a-Fella Records, 2004)

I've Got the White Rice, I Get on Down

My mom used to make something like this, and I thought I'd do it the other day. It's kind of like a rice pudding, except with no pudding to speak of. It's a good snack or dessert though, and a great way to use up some white rice.

Simply grab some cold, cooked white rice and a peeled apple, and mix something like 3 parts rice to 1 part grated apple. Then add a few dashes of cinnamon and a few tablespoons of sour cream and mix it all together. If it looks like it needs more sour cream, add more sour cream. It ain't rocket science, I assure you. Mine looked like this (and tasted delicious):

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

This kiss you give, it's never ever gonna fade away

232. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - "Enola Gay" (Dindisc, 1980)

Once in a while, a pretty little pop song about something absolutely horrible is what I'm right in the mood for. The dissonance between the way the synth and vocal melodies could scarcely be more lighthearted and the fact that it's about a terrible massacre is enough to make me at least slightly uncomfortable even when I'm enjoying it, especially when I start enjoying it for the melody so much that I momentarily forget the topic, and them am snapped back into reality by the lyric. It's a most wonderful piece of pop provocation, I think, and OMD bobbing along to it on Top of the Pops (below) is great.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I could write a longer more detailed post about the Reader but (and I apologize for the selfishness), I know I am going to have to be very upset about it come the Oscars in a few weeks and I would like to just forget it until then and save myself some aggravation.

(This might contain SPOILERS as certain things are only clumsily revealed midway through the movie, but I knew them weeks before watching the film and it's not very good anyways).

You might think the Reader would have something to say about reading. It does. It says "reading is important". It has perhaps even less to say about the Holocaust, which is one of the main reasons that it is such a terrible film. Winslet's Hannah is a very troubled character and we seem to be asked to develop some sort of sympathy for her because all of her problems stem from her illiteracy and her shame about being illiterate (and not at all from going above and beyond the call of duty to kill Jews). At one point in the film one of the two Jewish characters has a conversation with Ralph Fiennes (a grown up who had an affair with Hannah as a child). For one, she tells him to seek catharsis in the theater or in literature but not in the death camps. Later in the conversation she changes her tone from outrage at Fiennes (which nicely mirrored my outraged at this film) to a friendliness, seemingly granting him (if not his SS lover) a sort of absolution and catharsis. She adds a final note of self-congratulation to a shallow, stupid, offensive film that deserves no congratulation besides the fact that the shots are well-enough composed and the acting is fairly professional. Fuck this movie.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

If I had a heart I could love you

Run don't walk here to watch the video for "If I Had A Heart", the first single from the self-titled debut by Fever Ray (aka Karin from the Knife). The video is really, really great, as is the album, which you can buy in MP3 for only 9 bucks from Amazon (the physical copy will be out in March). It's a beautiful, haunting record; one that I definitely expect to be listening to a lot this year.

It's coming at me through the trees

233. The Futureheads - "Hounds of Love" (679 Recordings, 2005)
234. Kate Bush - "Hounds of Love" (EMI Records, 1986)
235. The Futureheads - "Le Garage" (from the self-titled LP, 679 Recordings, 2004)
236. The Futureheads - "Area" (679 Recordings, 2005)

Lest this list starts looking too much like me running away from the indie I listened to from the ages of like 17-20, let's talk about a band called the Futureheads. 2004 was an exciting time. John Kerry was about to be president. The Chicago Cubs were about to win the World Series. Life was good. It was at this wonderful time that I graduated high school and went off to study in the Bronx and started listening to all these excitable young bands from across the ocean. There was the Franz. There was the Bloc Party. There were the Libertines (yeesh). But nearest and dearest to my heart were the Futureheads. I think I saw them live five times in less than two years (oddly enough missing the tour on which they opened for Franz), starting with a weird showcase type show at the Canal Room, which me and the homeboy Edgar nervously walked into with our fake IDs. They were really great live, from the banter to the execution of the harmonies to the relentless speed and energy. I haven't seen the band since they put out their pretty ok second album and their disappointing third one, but don't worry boys, I still love ya.

What immediately set the Futureheads apart from their Brit contemporaries was their harmonies. Most of their songs give you like three different parts to sing along to, and, you know, variety is the spice of something or other, so that's awesome. Also, they're hilarious in their ability to sprinkle oddly affecting lyrics into what seems like breakneck absurdity, an ability I hold very dear (see Mclusky). "Le Garage" and "Area" are both geek out songs for me, the former probably stronger lyrically and melodically, the latter charging hard 100% to a blazing finish line somewhere on the horizon. The Futureheads' shining moment, however, was their cover of Kate Bush's indecision anthem (heh) "Hounds of Love", which they tweak by making the wordless hooks (which they add a few of) the centerpiece of the song. The "oh oh oh" part at 2:31 is the emotional high point of the song and, let's be serious, probably of my freshman year of college.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oscar nom nom nom nom nom

So, the proprietors of this here blog are somewhat obsessed with the annual Hollywood masturbation-fest that is the Academy Awards, so much so that my unemployed ass woke at 8 to watch the nominations on E! Obvi Slumdog Millionaire is gon win Best Picture, but hey, let's see who gets to compete for other shit.

8:27A - Holy shit, there's a show about six year old beauty pageant moms. This is scary.
8:29 - I mean, the moms aren't six years old. You know wot I mean. It's fucking early.
8:31 - FUCK IT'S BEN LYONS. Why the fuck did I wake up for Ben Lyons? Kill me. I am now cheering for the opposite of everything he says to happen.
8:35 - Word to the director of this program for switching cameras so as to confuse Ben Lyons, who apparently instantly forgot what actress he was watching in Changeling.
8:40 - Well this is all going rather quickly. Holy shit, best actress in a leading role is a giant mess. Kate Winslet for the Reader(!) and not Rev Road, and no Sally Hawkins, suck my dick Academy!
8:42 - Stephen Daldry and no Chris Nolan or Clint Eastwood the Reader is picking up noms despite terribly mixed reviews.
8:43 - Bolt instead of Waltz with Bashir for Animated, though Bashir gets the Foreign nom.
8:45 - The Academy totally didn't see the Kate Winslet episode of Extras.

God dammit, I dunno, maybe I'll like it, but I really didn't want to see the Reader, and now it looks like I'm going to have to. Benjamin Button, which of course is Ben Lyons' favorite movie of the year, the shit, got its 13 nominees, and if it wins for Eric Roth's terrible, terrible screenplay, I'm going to stab myself with a rusty knife. No Jenny Lumet for Best Original Screenplay makes me super sad, though I actually really like all the other nominees in that category (besides Frozer River, which I haven't seen but comes out DVD in a few weeks). We will have a comprehensive Oscar preview in the weeks before the show. Sorry, Dark Night fans. Go Milk.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Could you be...

237. The Artist Formerly Known as Prince - "Beautiful" (from the Beautiful Experience EP, NPG Records/Bellmark, 1994)

Yes, this is a house version of "the Most Beautiful Girl in the World", and yes, it is absolutely amazing. I ran across it just this morning thanks to Tuomas on this ILM thread and I already feel completely sure that science has again been correct in placing it here. The groove complements Prince's harmonies flawlessly. It's easy to fuck up a pop song in the effort to make it a dancefloor banger (see blogs, 2007-present), but man, I don't even know what else to say. This is the opposite of that. This makes me so happy.

Monday, January 19, 2009


New nose, new breasts, newly married...DEAD EYE. Look at Spencer, he looks like he just saw that wonkey for the first time. Maybe he already knows though. I bet they use the power of that wandering eyeball to spot camera lenses, photo ops, and blow.

238. The Pretenders - "Don't Get Me Wrong" (Sire Records, 1986)

I don't remember how old I was when I fell in love with Emma Peel from the 1960s British spy series The Avengers, but I was young. Like...six or seven young. There are many reasons. Played with a delicate but simultaneously overwhelming sexuality, Diana Rigg played arguably the best ass kicking heroine of all time. The producers of the show created the character based on a word association game: Sex Appeal, Man Appeal, M. Appeal...Emma Peel. Get it?

I know, right? Good god. Anyways, the show really shaped my childhood, and if I were to make an Oprah-esque list of my favorite things, it would top it every single time. So imagine my delight when my best friend's mother, a fellow Peel enthusiast, informed me that the British rock band The Pretenders had based one of their videos around my favorite TV show of all time. I don't know if it was the jumpsuit, the throwback to The Avengers or the sweet, poppy tune, but this song, and its video are completely reminiscent to me of innocent crushes, and ass kicking Brits. Maybe it's just me. Click here for a reference point, if you didn't understand anything I just said. But enjoy the video below.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

In our new feature Yes More Drama Presents: CHECK OUT THAT WONK, in each installment we bring you a celebrity with an unfortunately lopsided eyeball. Today, for your consideration, Paris Hilton. This picture was taken from TMZ's "Mother Plucker: Hollywood's Bushiest Eyebrows" feature today, but we at YMD are paying less attention to Hilton's "bush," and more to crazy wonkage. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

You're no damn lover friend of mine

239. Michael Jackson - "Dangerous" (from the Dangerous LP, Epic Records, 1991)

When my friends and I talk about MJ, it's usually Off the Wall/Thriller MJ, so I just want to make sure right quick that we don't forget how great of a record Dangerous is. I'm in sort of an odd position with this album, as I was almost six when it came out and old enough to ask my parents to buy it for me (going over to my aunt's house and listening to her MJ records was one of my favorite things in the world as a youngin, before I moved to Chicago from Poland at age 5), but not old enough to really appreciate all that was going on with Michael Jackson at the time. This was a little less than two years before the charges, but well into the pet chimp, banned music video, plastic surgery stuff, and Mike seems suitably paranoid on many of the tracks, not least of all because of Teddy Riley's hard, new-jack swinging grooves.

The title track here is a long, largely spoken update of "Billie Jean"; Michael's relationship is destroyed by an evil woman and "lust's strange inhumanity", and he seems a lot more pissed off here than on "Billie Jean". Most impressive to me still, though, is the way that Michael whips in and out of choruses and verses both suddenly and effectively enough to break your neck (ex. "my baby walked out the door" at 3 minutes). The man had a gift.

Friday, January 16, 2009

For Your Consideration...

So here I am, 2am, watching the episode of Golden Girls where the gals stay up all night to help Rose kick her painkiller addiction (sidenote: was anyone paying attention to this in the 80s? This shit is for serious progressive) on Lifetime. I especially enjoy Lifetime for the ads for their original programming, such as Co-Ed Call Girl, Homeless to Harvard, and She's Too Young, among many others. But tonight, in between ads for that Sigourney Weaver "Oh No My Son Is Gay Oh No Now He's Dead And That's Even Worse" movie, I saw an original movie advertised that brought me to my knees. Have you ever seen Riding The Bus With My Sister? Or at least the Best-Of montage? If not, click here immediately.

In the classic tradition of that fine film, Lifetime brings us...PROFOUNDLY NORMAL. Kirstie "May Have Eaten Xenu" Alley and Delroy "STOP EATING MY SESAME CAKE" Lindo star as Donna Selby and Ricardo Thornton, two (yes) mentally challenged adults living in a long term care facility. They have known each other for most of their lives, and when the home they live in burns to the ground (not only am I not making this up, this is apparently based on a true story), they realize that they have always loved one another, and wish to raise a family together, which is expressly forbidden by Social Services. I could not possibly wait until 9pm EST tonight to watch this masterpiece, so obviously I watched the entire thing on YouTube, while writing this post. Allow me to share some highlights and screencaps with you.

How on earth Alley was overlooked for an Emmy, a Golden Globe, and fuck it, a Tony and an Oscar is light years beyond me. LOOK AT THIS ACTING:

And what you can't even see is that she's affecting a harsh Southern accent, whilst acting retarded! She even tries to ride the bus by herself to McDonald's, but forgets to get off and accidentally winds up in the wrong part of town. Charming montage ensues. CUTE!

In this screen capture, Donna and one of her friends are screaming the word "penis" at as loud as they can. She's totally the Carrie of her friends. Except, you know, fat.

"A night like this, a moon like that. Every monkey for 200 miles thinks he's Elvis Presley. PS, ever wonder what I did after Congo?" Seriosly though, he's not even acting retarded. Alley's going full-retard here, or perhaps even beyond, and he's supposed to be challenged but instead kind of sounds like Captain Wanta? Is Congo my favorite movie ever made? Yeah, maybe it is, what of it?

HAHAHAHA JUNIOR DICTIONARY. Ummm...after this clip I left off an awkward, painful to watch sex scene, which I'm pretty sure should have been left on the cutting room floor, followed by an flashback to a brutally graphic rape. So, uh, yeah, took a turn for the worse there.

WHEW,that's over. Now she's stumped trying to help her teenage son with his homework, because she's retarded, remember?? Wait. Son? Shit, that missing chapter may have contained some vital information. It appears he's also...a genius? That can't be right. He was also the blue Power Ranger for a while.

Home, sweet home. KIDDING! That's a hate crime.

"I always liked swings." Last frame, and last line of the movie. I couldn't have made that up. Well, OK, I could have, I have a pretty funny imagination. Except in my version the swing would break and everyone involved in the production of this film would be sucked into something that looks a lot like the fiery abyss of HELL, like in that other, far superior Delroy Lindo film.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

People still unironically use the word "mongoloid"

Hey you dere! Interested in American race-relations? Like the moving pictures? Have a hankering for subtle portrayals of racism, attempts at progress, and competing ideas about history? Enjoy films with sweet titles? Well, this morning I finally saw a doc I've been looking forward to ever since I missed it in theaters like an idiot, Margaret Brown's the Order of Myths. The film follows Mobile, Alabama's Mardi Gras parade, the oldest such celebration in the country, and the two segregated societies that each have their kings, queens, parades, and traditions. I thought it was quite fascinating and, quite conveniently, it's available to stream instantly (even for Macs now!) on Netflix. Go to it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It was right after I lost my hand.

240. The Barbarians - "Moulty" (Joy, 1966)

Oh, you thought Rick Allen was the only one armed drummer? No sir!
Victor "Moulty" Moulton, of Barbarians pioneered the way for Def Leppard's Allen to continue making music, and later the greatest Behind the Music episode of all time. Most remembered for their hit "Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl?" Moulty and the Barbarians were a garage band that came out of Cape Cod in the early 60s. Their song "Moulty," is about Moulton's life and how he overcame the loss of his hand in an explosion when he was 14. I grew up listening to this song, and although relatively forgotten, it has a very catchy chorus with spoken dialogue in between where Moulty tells us his story. Plus, anyone from the Eastern seaboard will smile at Victor's fine Bostonian accent when "on" because "ahn," "for" becomes "fah" and "all" turns into "awl." It's really a song about staying true to yourself, perseverance, and PLAYING THE DRUMS WITH A FUCKING CLAW. In other words, it's freakin' killah, and comes in at number 240.

Monday, January 12, 2009

...stop following me round the jungle gym

241. Aesop Rock - "Daylight" (Definitive Jux, 2001)

A short guide to the often confusing lyrical stylings of one Ace Rizzle, focusing on the song "Daylight" (lyrics here).

- The line "the triple sixers lassos keep angels roped in the basement" refers to the infamous 1995 bondage scandal in which three Philadelphia 76ers (tall mormon Shawn Bradley, journeyman shooting guard Vernon Maxwell, and future angry bald man Scott Skiles) were found in a suburban Philly basement (out of the "Daylight") with 5 young ladies doing some rather unsavory things. The scandal forced Skiles to "take an early retirement" and come back as a head coach three years later. Ace refers to Skiles' coaching tenure with the Pheonix Suns in the last lines of the verse, rapping "This origami dream is beautiful/ but man those wings will never leave the ground/ without a feather and a lottery ticket, now settle down." "Origami" is a reference to the Suns' habit of folding in the playoffs, and the last line deals with the fact that, under Skiles, the Suns were never bad enough to miss the playoffs and therefore get a pick in the NBA Draft Lottery, which could have given them a superstar good enough to lead them to a title.

- The second verse is riddled with references to the films of Penelope Ann Miller, who had recently ended her three-year relationship with Aesop. Lines like "Sitting there licking log cabin in Charlie Chaplin waddle", "Dispatch a task of infested patch of city goblins", "maybe she didn't feel y'all shared any similar interests", and "pass it for some pagan thresh hold" put a depressing spin on some of the actress' famous roles, and the song's oft-quoted "Life's not a just call her a bitch cuz she won't let you get that pussy" section speaks directly to the Miss Miller's well publicized cat allergies.

- The chorus ("all I ever wanted was to pick apart the Day, put the pieces back together my way") concludes the song on a hopeful note, Aesop reveling in technological advances (such as CD burners and mp3s) that allow him to re-sequence his favorite album, Babyface's the Day, in an almost endless amount of configurations.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Tales of derring-do; bad and good luck tales

242. Jeff Pescetto/Mark Mueller - "DuckTales Theme" (???, 1987)

I have finally awoken from my post New Year's Eve slumber. Sorry for the delay, back for good, I promise.

(note: apparently this exists somewhere, but this post refers to the OG minute long TV theme)

Re-listening to Alphabeat's "Fascination" the other week for some reason reminded me of this song, which I guess has a similar beat. Now, I know, I know, why would this song be here if not for childhood cartoon nostalgia, and it wouldn't obviously, but that doesn't mean it's not a great theme song. First of all, the lyrics are all 100% classic. Rhyming "duck tales" with "tales of derring-do; bad and good luck tales" brings a huge smile to my face every time. The two lines before the first chorus are executed flawlessly as well. The fact the characters (and by extension you) "Might solve a mystery" is enticing enough, but then the synth horn comes to announce that, hell, you might even "rewrite history"! Well, that does the trick for me. DuckTales ("Awoo-ooh!"), here I come.

Friday, January 2, 2009

If there's a pie to eat, you can't stop me

243. Wiley - "Pies" (XL Recordings, 2004)

"Hungry! Starving! Wanna eat food!"

Bonus Full Song: