Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm the one that loves you, I'm the one you need

137. the Jackson 5 - "the Love You Save" (Motown, 1970)

Lyrically, the whole song hinges on Michael's first lines after the first chorus. Before them (or without them), the song is about how a girl (or girls) should be chaste, but no! You sneaky Jacksons, you, you don't want girls to save themselves period, you want them to save themselves for you! You shouldn't get with that dude, girl, cuz you'll seem kinda slutty, which totally won't happen if you get with me.

It's not that attractive of a sentiment, you know, but they're kids and, let's be serious, it's the performances and melody that are relevant here, not the lyrics. Song's like helicopter blades of sunshine.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I Want You Back

We're still kind of in shock over this MJ thing. So we decided to mourn tonight by getting real drunk, and we're gonna start our journey with this here MJ/J5 Power Hour I just made. The best minutes from 60 of Michael's songs: you know what to do with this.

Michael Jackson Power Hour (sendspace link)

Annie, are you okay?

138. Michael Jackson - "Smooth Criminal" (Epic, 1987)

I think this was my first Favorite Michael Jackson Song. I've had plenty over the years and I'm not actually sure what it is currently, but "Smooth Criminal" is def up there. When this became my first Favorite Michael Jackson Song I prolly hadn't even learned English yet (or was just learning it) and I was like four or five, so I wouldn't have known what a crescendo was anyways. It took me years to figure out what that word in the chorus was; I could've figured it out sooner, I think, but I was completely fine with just singing it phonetically. It's a very cool sounding word, whether you know what it means or not apparently. And then, well, this is one of the coolest videos ever. This is not "effortlessly cool." This obviously takes lots and lots of effort and is that much cooler for it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Now that there are ten (REALLY? TEN, ACADEMY? TEN?!) Oscar nominations for Best Picture, I humbly offer you, for your early consideration, a trailer for a movie that I have not yet seen. CAT LADIES. That's right. It's a documentary about crazy fucking cat ladies. I would like to see this yesterday please.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I'd work my body to the grave for you

139. Judy Henske - "Till The Real Thing Comes Along" (High Flying Bird, Elektra, 1964)

Judy Henske studied under comedy legend Lenny Bruce, has been dubbed Queen of the Beatniks, is one of Nick Cave's biggest influences, and after a relationship with Woody Allen, largely inspired the title character in Annie Hall, but you've never heard of her. You would swear by listening to her lounge singer voice that she's capable of going a full four minutes without a single breath. Warbling a baritone and whiskey-hoarse version "Wade in the Water," she even makes god sound dangerous - and a little bit sexy, not gonna lie. Those babies dressed in red? Sexy babies? I don't know, decide for yourself. Here's Judy singing "Wade in the Water" on the 1960s show Hootenanny Circus (1960s FTW):

And then for the penultimate win, in my opinion one of the greatest lounge songs ever to be written. The payoff comes at the end, when you're not quite sure whether or not the sound coming out of her voice is pleasant, or terrifying:

Judy will be playing a one-night-only show at the Largo cafe in Los Angeles on Saturday called JUDY HENSKE: NOW WITH BOOZE! and I have never wanted to go to California so badly in my life.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Once again a case of your feet in my Nikes

140. A Tribe Called Quest - "Buggin' Out" (from the Low End Thoery album, Jive, 1991)

So I went to Q-tip's party last Friday to flyer, but obviously I ended up listening to a lot of late 80s/early 90s hip-hop over the big Santos Party House system as well. Somebody played this and two obvious things that I haven't thought about in a minute crystallized beautifully. First, some of the best Tribe songs succeed despite Q-tip's rapping. He's okay at times, y'kno, but that first verse here, well, not the best. But, second, this song still bangs real hard because of the unbelievable production, with the single-minded, mind-destroying bassline leading the charge. It just all sounds so good. The ride cymbals that come in at the beginning of Tip's verse? Perfect. The weird echo at the beginning of the chorus? Beautiful. That faint "chik" sound that's there sometimes that I'm still not sure whether it's vocals or something else? Great, mysterious, subtle, odd. Everything here makes sense while not being so obvious as to be uninteresting.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Oooooh, oooh oooh oooh

141. Rocketship - "I Love You Like the Way I Used to Do" (from the A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness album, Slumberland Records, 1996)

I certainly wouldn't bet on any other Slumberland records appearing on this countdown, but sometimes even yr boy enjoys some sweet twee loving. The swirling guitars on this track set it apart and raise it well above the thousands of other 90s indie songs with the word "hug" in the lyrics.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Just like Ronnie sang

142. Eddie Money - "Take Me Home Tonight" (Columbia, 1986)

Forreal tho. The first billion times I heard this song I was either not paying attention or shitfaced. Only the last time (and actually only a few mornings after the last time) I belted it out at a party did I understand any of the words besides the title and "be my little baby". And you know wot? They could be complete gibberish and it wouldn't change my enjoyment of this song in the least. The titular lyric is one of the great hard rock/cheese hooks ever (Pecorino Romano hook). And it's very cool that Ronnie Spector sings the "be my little baby" part, yes. And her "oh oh oh oh"s in this song fall squarely, though I'm not sure how early, in the tradition that includes Rihanna/Dream's "eh eh eh"s.

Also, the ladder in the video. Is it there to help construct the set in the show or just so Eddie can leave his sax (somewhat precariously) hanging on it? Or is it there to take me to heaven, just like the chorus of this song? Probably not that last one, as we can see the top of it, but a boy can dream.

All night long

AY, have yourself a nice, relaxed half-hour of slooow, lush disco with this mix by YMD friends (and favs) Team Rojas.

Team Rojas - Before We Meet mix (zshare)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Two times

143. the Fugees - "Killing Me Softly" (Ruffhouse/Columbia, 1996)

If there's an idea I believe in wholeheartedly (and there might or might not be), it's context. Now, I know what you're thinking, "Maciej, that's stupid, how could one not believe in context, what would that even mean?" Yeah, I'm kind of being a dummy, let me start over.

It's not that I didn't like this song before this weekend, but I definitely ranked it no higher than third on any given list of Fugees singles. And then Friday I was in the basement of the Annex of all places and in between passing out flyers I sat down to have a quick beer and this jam came on and, in the red-lighted basement with a bunch of ladies and fellas singing it out loud. And suddenly there it was and the minimalism and Lauryn's voice made more sense than ever before.

So I guess what I mean is that I believe very strongly in the transformative power of an unexpected context on an already familiar piece of art. Kthxbye.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bourgy Awards Go

The fine folks at Bourgy have unleashed their Bourgy Awards, and if you love VH1 Reality as much as we do here at YMD, you prolly wanna go over and put in your two cents. So far, the above-pictured Ashley, she of the hilarious Kenyon Martinesque neck lips is, deservedly, doing quite well. She just has to get her own show eventually, right?

This is also an excuse to finally post the best animated GIF ever, which I found on Bougy a while ago and might as well be entitled "Appropriate Reaction to Boobs". Go on, Ray J.

Come over here, baby, and talk in the mic

144. Pulp - "This is Hardcore" (Island Records, 1998)

Let's not get all theoretical on a Friday, huh? Let's have a few beers. But seriously in this tale Young Jarvis (to differentiate the narrator from the author, y'see) imagines directing/starring in a little sex film with an actress he saw in some pictures back in the day (b-movies and genre pics, if the video is anything to go by, although, let's face it, I'd rather call them Pulp films at this point). So on the critical level, the song and video reinforce the idea that genre films (noirs, thrillers, musicals even) act most directly and viscerally on our psyche by extending the line from dem to pornography. On another level, it's just a damn sexy song. Also, the way Jarvis sings "I like your get up if you know what I mean" kills.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gimme one drink

145. the Rolling Stones - "Loving Cup" (from the Exile on Main St. album, Rolling Stones Records/Atlantic, 1972)

Out of my by no means expansive cooking repertoire, I'll def take these chicken tacos to double down on.

Ok, so start off by pre-heating your oven to 450 and getting two bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts onto a roasting pan or a rimmed baking sheet or whatevs. Cover them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and stick them in that oven. They'll roast for a while, depending on their size, I dunno, I'm not good with looking at the clock and such. They'll be golden on the outside and white all the way through. Now, you never like to cut into meat while it's cooking, but to be honest this thing is gonna have a sauce, so if some of the juices run out it's not the end of the world, cut in if you really need to check.

But yeah, while the breasts are in the oven, you wanna melt a few tbsps of butter in a frying pan over medium-low heat and throw a chopped onion into it. Cook the onions until they're soft and then throw in 2/3 (or, I dunno, 5/7) of a big old can of chopped tomatoes (with the juice) and two chopped chipotle peppers with a bit of the adobo sauce they come oh so conveniently packed in. Stir together, season with salt and pepper and cook on low until the chicken is almost ready.

When the chicken is ready, take it out of the oven and let it rest for a few minutes while you get two forks out. Skin the breasts and get to shredding. Just get your forks in and pull them apart with the grain. This'll take a few minutes.

Just before you're ready to put the chicken in the sauce, throw into the sauce a little heavy cream. Basically you want the sauce to drop a shade, but still be recognizably red. Richness, yo. When that looks good, throw all the shredded chicken into the sauce and mix it together and voila.

Now, for the tortillas (corn fa sho). You can warm them up in the oven, that usually works fine for me. Obvi, you can also fry them as is traditional, but if you choose to do that, be sure to get the oil (a neutral oil is best, corn oil for example) real, real hot, so you can cook the tortillas for just a few seconds on each side and not just have them soaking, absorbing all the oil.

But yeah, put the chicken on the tortillas (kitchen tongs!) and enjoy, shit's real tasty.

EDIT: Ay, double up on the tortillas btw, and depending on breast size (the chicken's, not yrs) and how much you stuff yr tacos this should produce like 8-13 of them)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

And the winner is........

Here we are, the long road to determining the best of the best is finally at an end. Let's just get to it, yall.

#. "Episode Title" (number of points, number of votes, Enthusiasm Index)
10. "Pret-A-Poor-J" (35 pts, 5 votes, 7.00, 1 #1 vote)
9. "You've Got Yale!" (37 pts, 9 votes, 4.11)
8. "The Thin Line Between Chuck and Nate" (37 pts, 6 votes, 6.17, 1 #1 vote)
7. "The Serena Also Rises" (46 pts, 9 votes, 5.11, 1 #1 vote)
6. "Seder Anything" (54 pts, 9 votes, 6.00, 1 #1 vote)
5. "O Brother, Where Bart Thou?" (58 pts, 8 votes, 7.35, 2 #1 votes)
4. "The Blair Bitch Project" (59 pts, 7 votes, 8.43, 2 #1 votes)
3. "Remains of the J" (61 pts, 7 votes, 8.71, 2 #1 votes)
2. "There Might Be Blood" (63 pts, 10 votes, 6.3, 1 #1 vote)

and the runaway winner is......

1. "Blair Waldorf Must Pie!" (87 pts, 11 votes, 7.91, 3 #1 votes)

A triumph for "Blair Waldorf Must Pie!" as all opponents shudder in its wake. Thanks to the 16 wonderful souls who voted. Maybe I'll think of another stupid poll to bother yall with in the near future.

Yes More Drama

Results part treeeeeeeeeeeeee

Ayyo we back let's do this let's do this I'm a bit tipsy let's do this.

#. "Episode Title" (total score, number of votes, Enthusiasm Index)
20. "Never Been Marcused" (18 pts, 6 votes, 3.00, 1 #1 vote)
19. "Victor, Victrola" (19 pts, 5 votes, 3.80)
18. "the Magnificent Archibalds" (22 pts, 3 votes, 7.33)
16. "In the Realm of the Basses" (23 pts, 5 votes, 4.60) (tie)
16. "Much 'I Do' About Nothing" (23 pts, 5 votes, 4.60) (tie)
15. "Summer Kind of Wonderful" (27 pts, 5 votes, 5.40)
13. "the Wrath of Con" (28 pts, 6 votes, 4.67)
13. "Bad News Blair" (28 pts, 6 votes, 4.67, 1 #1 vote)
12. "The Wild Brunch" (30 pts, 4 votes, 7.50)
11. "Hi, Society" (33 pts, 8 votes, 4.13)

Wrap your heads around those "Never Been Marcused" stats! Two out of the three titles with commas are done! "Much 'I Do' About Nothing" is dispatched too early you cruel, cruel voters! Two ties omg! If you guys aren't watching Charm School your lives are not complete! Peckinpah reference sooo close to top 10!

Aaaaaand two Blairs, two Little Js, and one Serena left, who gon be the queen? Who's got Yale? Are exclamation points the secret to winning the poll? Might there be blood at the top? Which title won this by 24 fucking points?

Tomorrow we shall know. (or later today depending on time zone).

Monday, June 8, 2009

Results part too (and a note about methodology)

First the note about methodology, more specifically about enthusiasm. I first saw the Enthusiasm Index on ILM, either in a breakdown of an ILM Poll or of Pazz and Jop results. It's a measure of just how excited the people that voted for a title were, on average, no matter the amount of votes (calculated simply by total score divided by number of votes).

So, there are two easy ways of doing a tiebreaker here, the number of votes, or the Enthusiasm Index. I'm gonna go ahead and reward things that a few people lurved ahead of titles a lot of people liked. YMD likes enthusiasm. Anyways, I'll stop boring you and give you some results. #s 32-21 go!

#. "Episode Title" (total score, number of votes, Enthusiasm Index)

32. "the Dark Knight" (3 pts, 1 vote, 3.00)
30. "It's a Wonderful Lie" (4 pts, 2 votes, 2.00) (tie)
30. "Chuck in Real Life" (4 pts, 2 votes, 2.00) (tie)
29. "School Lies" (4 pts, 1 vote, 4.00)
28. "Desperately Seeking Serena" (5 pts, 1 vote, 5.00)
27. "Bonfire of the Vanity" (6 pts, 2 votes, 3.00)
26. "Seventeen Candles" (7 pts, 1 vote, 7.00)
25. "Woman on the Verge" (9 pts, 3 votes, 3.00)
24. "Gone With the Will" (10 pts, 2 votes, 5.00)
23. "the Age of Dissonance" (11 pts, 4 votes, 2.75)
22. "New Haven Can Wait" (13 pts, 5 votes, 2.60)
21. "All About My Brother" (16 pts, 2 votes, 8.00)

aaaaand that's all ya get this morning. The one-vote wonders are dunn! Both Almodovar references have passed! Even Chuck's name wasn't able to lift a title that is a reference to this fucking thing! And yet still so many questions!

How many more points will Yale get than the city it's located in? How will the Blair titles fair against the younger, more raccoon-eyed Little J titles? How high can Star Trek's box-office success boost "the Wrath of Con"? Who in Christ's name decided to name an episode after an Orson Welles film that isn't even available on DVD in this country and how did it get into the top 20?

These questions and more answered tonight or possibly tomorrow morning. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Results part won

The votes are in and have been tallied, but we are going to tease this out over a few days, as custom demands. Today, we present the sad little episode titles that didn't manage even one vote on any of the 16 ballots we received:

- "Pilot" (thank you all)
- "Poison Ivy"
- "Dare Devil"
- "the Handmaiden's Tale"
- "Roman Holiday"
- "the Ex Files"
- "Carnal Knowledge"
- "The Grandfather"
- "Southern Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (Sorry Rock, forgot to count yr fake *** **** ballot)
- "Valley Girls" (punishment for being easily the worst episode ever?)
- "the Goodbye Gossip Girl"

Pity these unpopular children and await their luckier siblings tonite or tomorrow or something.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


There's only one day left to vote in the most epic poll in the history of polls (held by Yes More Drama. I suggest you do this mayn.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

People in motion

146. Scott McKenzie - "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers In Your Hair)" (CBS, 1967)

While retrospective idealization of the 60s as a golden age of culture falls somewhere between mosquito bites and Bennigan's (which apparently closed?) on my list of favorite things, I can still enjoy this silly little commercial for Monterrey Pop which seems to truly believe its own generation's hype so much that it even briefly throws in some LOL-sitar. All joshing aside, this John Phillips-penned number gets me every time I hear it. It starts with the main hook right away and keeps it moving correct. My favorite part is the chorus that comes in right after the bridge (round 1'47). John Phillips' guitar and Joe Osborn's bass on that one make a fairly repetitive chorus into something almost transcendent.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Something in the way you love me won't let me be

147. Madonna - "Borderline" (Sire, 1983)

Best intro since A Tale of Two Cities, and while that novel is totally sweet, I would choose this pop song over it any day. And this intro, which is one of the best ever, actually precedes a song that is (almost) as glorious as the intro is itself. If I don't hear this at least twice a week during the summer clouds start to form immediately on Monday morning.