Monday, May 31, 2010

And Then There's Lissy

When I first heard Lissy Trullie, I wasn't quite sure if it was a guy with a high voice or a girl with a low voice.. It's the latter... Elizabeth 'Lissy' McChesney is a 26-year old singer-songwriter from DC.

She studied graphic design at Parsons, gravitated to New York's downtown rock scene, and paid her bills with jobs as diverse as model, dishwasher, janitor, and disc jockey.

This carrot-topped, possibly gay rocker has a stage presence to spare, and her material and production are a stripped-down sound with melodies that compliment her 'petite' vocal range...

Her EP, 'American Myth,' dropped in October, followed by a pair of singles. For today's Song of the Week, I've chosen the album track 'Money' which sounds like
one of those roots-Americana-hopping-boogie singles that adult rock stations add once in a blue moon for variety...

Here's 'Money' live in our nation's capital, her home town..

Lissy has her own great version of a song by last week's act, Hot Chip. Here she turns the electropop 'Ready For The Floor...' into something guitar-based and very different...

Single #1: "Bad Boy' live at the Rock N' Roll Hotel in DC...

Single #2: 'Self-Taught Learner', live, same venue...

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Through the tropical curtain... from a recent Miami business trip...

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Friday, May 28, 2010

JP lived in Queens for well over a decade and a half, like me.... His building there is actually a registered landmark....

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

We are having a nice vacation - Quelles bonnes vacances!

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Really Big Shoo

By the early 1970s rock music had permeated even programs for small children.
I wonder what Bruno will think of Lancelot Link and the Evolution Revolution, a band of chimps from Saturday morning television... One really nice touch is being introduced by a chimp Ed Sullivan... : - )

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Flowers Everywhere

really beautiful up on the High Line...

Here's a lovely vintage 1960s
video of 'The Rain, The Park & Other Things' a hippy-dippy flower-child tale that was a huge, huge hit for the Cowsills in 1967... This Rhode Island family group was the inspiration for the Partridge Family...

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Monday, May 24, 2010

My Brothers

Last month I saw the live show of Hot Chip, wonderfully dorky, quirky and talented electronic-alt-pop band from the UK... Their terrific new album, 'One Life Stand,' is their fourth, and is chock-full of great songs. I've passed over the single/title track in favor of the more melodic, anthemic 'Brothers.'

Hot Chip, while not actually gay, are extremely gay-friendly.. And they brainy nerds, another minority group I belong to...

Since I launched Song of the Week in September 2007, this is only the second band I've repeated! There will be a few more, since there are some essential groups with new material just too amazing to omit because they've appeared for. I lifted this for Vampire Weekend back at Christmas. I'll probably re-feature Spoon and New Pornographers sometime this summer...

Here's 'Brothers' live at Rock City in Nottingham...

Here's the lovely, strange video for the single, 'One Life Stand...' lovely idea... If I'd had this short version on mp3, I would have used it instead of 'Brothers' It is very melodic, without the 90 second disco opening of the album track...

From their 2006 second album, 'Over and Over,' a full-out valentine to hypnotic dance grooves...

From 2008, the charming 'Ready For the Floor'...

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Many Colors

Others are like diamonds... These colored pellets were on sale at the Rutgers/Cook College Ag Fair, and I think grow into something if you bring them home..

You know I can't resist pretty colors...

They send me back to my childhood somehow...

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Just The Facts, M'am...

I'm off for a week in Europe with my baby, a leisurely wander through Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris... For those who care, it's my 122nd foreign trip, and my 44th foreign vacation.. This will be my 32rd time in France, my 14th in France, and my 7th in Holland & Belgium. In contrast, JP will be seeing all these places for the first time, which is kind of exciting.. I'm now 50, by the way, so that's only 2.4 foreign trips per year....

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Friday, May 21, 2010

To Sir With Shout

Lulu is known here for her one big hit from 1967, the theme from the Sidney Poitier teacher flick 'To Sir With Love...'
But in England, where she's close to a legend, that particular song is nearly unknown. The hit Lulu's most identified with is a 1965 version of the Isley Brothers' 'Shout,' which most people my age and younger know from 'Animal House..' Otis Day & The Knights.. Here's Lulu...

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Jeans That Say 'L'Amour'

How I remember the radio commercials from 1979,
that disco summer I spent working in a Manhattan music warehouse, breaking my chops so to speak on young urban life...

That summer reminds me of Candi Staton for some reason. Here's a (mostly live) medley of from that soul/gospel/disco goddess...

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I Miss You!

Sorry about the spotty posting,
it's a heady cocktail of bad internet service, slow photo up-loads, and a full, busy work and professional life.. But I have so many great photos to post! One thing I'm not short on is inspiration. Look for great things ahead... Here I am Sunday up on the High Line...

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Marquis Act

The more I
learn about classic cinema, the more I realize what a casting coup it was for Bewitched to ensnare Agnes Moorehead, the four-time Oscar nominee character actress who my generation will only remember as Endora. As recently as last week, I saw her as the matriarch in the 1951 musical 'Showboat,' from the original 20s theater production that pretty much launched the American Broadway Musical as we know it.. At our party, our ambient video was colorized Season 1 Bewitched with French and (pictured here) German subtitles...

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Pop Pep Talk Bop

Today's upbeat exhortation of a song, 'Something Good Can Work,' comes courtesy of Two Door Cinema Club, a trio from Northern Ireland that's enamored of 80s electropop melody and production...

Formed in 2007, the group's name arose when one of them mispronounced the name of the local movie theater, Tudor Cinema...

As their performances & songcraft enthralled a growing throng of fans & critics, the trio left university and headed for the studio..

A string of strong singles preceded their debut, including today's SOTW and two others featured below. The album finally, Tourist History, dropped last month and it is a joy...

The dorky threesome consists of Alex Trimble (lead vocals & synths), Kevin Baird (bass & vocals), and Sam Halliday (guitar & vocals)..

Their charming video work is featured below..

Fire One: "Something Good Can Work" is close to irresistible..

Fire Two: "Undercover Marvyn..." The tempo gallops, bows, and gallops, winding and evolving over three minutes, with a nice muted rock guitar riff in the background..

Fire Three: "I Can Talk"... just as catchy, but more quirky & angular...

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Love Springs Eternal

Last night friends gathered here for our spring party, which also
celebrated our recent domestic partnership! More photos later today..

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

It's Very Sunny Here

"It's Very Sunny Here" is one of my favorite phrases to use randomly as a quirky non-sequitur...
It's taken from 'Go Hawaii,' a wonderful album of chill-out techno-pop by Casino Vs. Japan, which uses the delightful vocal samples of a preschooler riffing on a Hawaiian vacation...


Hawaii may, by the way, become the
next state to offer civil unions to same-sex couples... Wish I could say that about New York... For the moment, all we can get is a New York City Domestic Partnership, which we are celebrating with a party today...

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And Empty Arms

Hey all. What a week! Did I mention I'm taking Russian and German conversation lessons?
My German teacher is an Austrian NYU student named Badr, whose name means 'full moon' in Arabic. It always reminds me of the old Frank Sinatra classic, 'Full Moon and Empty Arms,' which was actually based on a Rachmaninoff concerto.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Brain Waves

Quelle busy week! So little time to pot...

I'm a MOTGOP (member of the group of people) that drink alterna-milk. Soy milk and almond milk, namely. It would seem that my digestive system prefers these to the normal, lactose variety..

I'm very fond of coral and all things maritime. JP, whose has carte blanche to redecorate our bedroom, may incorporate some sea element into the decor.. I wait with baited breath...

Saturday (tomorrow) late afternoon & evening is our Spring Party, where JP & I will also celebrate our recent domestic partnership, surrounded by good friends...

For your listening pleasure, Perry Como with Lena Horne..

and with Peggy Lee..

...and Dinah Shore...

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Filled With Glee

I'm well on the way to Gleek-dom, i.e., I've become a very big fan of the lovely, hilarious TV series 'Glee,' more on this later. It's an ebulliently gay-friendly program!

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Old Rari-TAN

The official Rutgers college song is 'On The Banks Of The Old Raritan,' written by Howard N. Fuller '74 (1874) when requested to do so by the Rutgers Glee Club... We crossed the Raritan, by bridge, at Highland Park last month when we visited our friends there for the day... Rutgers is where JP got the first of his Three Degrees...

Lo and behold, there is a Rutgers Sing-a-Long on YouTube...

And here's the winner of the YouTube contest of my own alma matter, Vassar College.... The object: convey the spirit of Vassar College today...

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Place To Be

Acres, Green....
JP with the piglet at the Rutgers/Cook College Ag Fair....

Surrealism on your set, circa 1966...

Enjoy a
color-era mini-sode from 1969, deep into Season 5....

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Die Happy, Die Smiling..

This week's song is a trippy-dippy club crawl by Maps, aka James Chapman of Northhampton, UK, who brews an alluring blend of shoe-gazing, electronica, and indie rock.

Maps' work is reminiscent of the great "Madchester" years 1989-1992 when Manchester briefly became the substance-infused intersection of club music and psychedelia and the hippest place on the planet.

Maps has brightened our wan planet over the past nine months with two delicious singles, both of which are in one breath off-putting and catchy, even anthemic. The second of these, 'Die Happy, Die Smiling,' is today's musical nugget...

Here's their previous single, no video but the audio is just o lovely... I hate record labels that disable the YouTube embedding and prevent me from posting videos I am trying to recommend. Which part of 'free publicity' don't they understand, I ask you?
But below this please find some bona fide Madchester classics...

The best Madchester song ever, ever, ever. It's Happy Mondays with the arch wit and faux-sexual-menace of 'Step On..' featuring a lovely gospel-esque disco sample...

A great Madchester moment, that certainly inspired the above 'I Dream of Crystal...' It's The Farm with 'All Together Now... hippy dippy dippy doo...

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Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Great Pig Out

This is for you, Bruno! A sow & 14 piglets from this year's Rutgers-Cook College Agricultural Fair...

Meanwhile, over in the petting zoo... "That's where they go poopie..."

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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Feeding Frenzy

At the Rutgers/Cook College Ag Fair,
we saw a large letter of piglets show some 'herd mentality.' One piglet decided it needed to nurse... And then there were three... and six... and ten... and fourteen...

"I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. De Mille..."

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This Is Just Too Funny!

From Colbert Report - New Alpha Dog Of The Week...

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Alpha Dog of the Week - George Rekers
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

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Friday, May 07, 2010

I'm Helen Sinclair!

I'd forgotten
how hilarious Dianne Wiest was in this Oscar-winning role!

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Hit and Run!

At Ag Field Day, the Rutgers Cook Agricultural College annual Open House, we saw lactating sows,
but that was nothing compared to the destruction wrought by two hapless handymen in a pick-up truck.. In their wake, a dead, prematurely felled fluorescent lamppost...

I decided against photographing either the harried perpetrators or their license plate, as they sped away from their mishap like the proverbial bat out of Hades...

That's as good a cue as I'm going to get to post
Loleatta Holloway's soulful 1977 disco classic 'Hit & Run'...

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010


A week ago Saturday we visited our friends Cathy & Chris and their kids in Highland Park, in deepest Jersey. They're very good cooks, and Chris regaled us with a magnificent Louisiana Gumbo, with chicken, okra, and andouille sausages...

An hour or two earlier, the Gumbo was
still being cooked... The world 'gumbo' is believed to come from the Bantu (Angolan) word (ki)ngombo, meaning 'okra'... Gumbo is often considered Louisiana's greatest contribution to American cuisine..

chicken in several stages...

We still hadn't quite consumed 2 days worth of calories...
Hence, a Pecan Pie from desert. Pecan Pie is the highest and best form of liquid sugar in creation... Note to self: have one slice of Pecan Pie every six months.... Pecan pie is also from New Orleans, and is primarily a custard made of corn syrup and pecan nuts, sometimes with salt & vanilla, other times with spice and even bourbon...

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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Gay Bar on Prime Time American TV, Circa 1973...

From the telecast of the Broadway musical 'Applause,' starring Lauren Bacall, based on 'All About Eve..'
Margo Channing and Eve Harrington blow off her opening night party for an adventure on the gay side of the 70s-era Big Apple.. By the way, the All About Eve posted on my bathroom wall turns out to be Serbian, not Ukranian...

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Monday, May 03, 2010

It's A Wonderful Fyfe

Easy on the eyes, and terrific for the ears, Fyfe Dangerfield is a one talented dude!

This 29-year-old British musician & songwriter impressed many as the founder and driving force of avant-garde pop band Guillemots, but nothing could prepare us for the sheer melodic delight of his solo debut, 'Fly Yellow Moon.'

Mr. Dangerfield doesn't skimp on his production values either! Our Song of the Week, 'She Needs Me,' is full-blown 70s-era wall of sound with synths and horns and violins galore, plus tinkling ivories, recalling prime Electric Light Orchestra or Philadelphia-Freedom-era Elton...

Mr. Dangerfield's fyfe-dom includes 'absolute pitch', or 'perfect pitch,' the ability to recreate a given musical note without the benefit of an external reference!

Here's the burst of melody, rhythm, and blue-eyed-soulfulness that is our SOTW, 'She Needs Me...'

Here is his live preforming one of my favorite album tracks, 'Any Direction...'

Here's his breakthrough single as lead Guillemots, 'Trains to Brazil.'

And the Guillemots follow-up, 'Annie Let's Not Wait...' in 2006 on 'La Blogotheque'

And here's a live version of future solo single 'Faster Than The Setting Sun...'

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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Uncle Is A State Of Mind

And I've found my inner uncle with these two fine young lads, Karl & Bruno, from JP's inexhaustible universe of great things and good karma... Karl is proficient at frisbee & basketball, and holds a vast Pokemon card collection...

White chocolate rabbit shavings, echoes of Easter... White chocolate rabbits sure smell better than their biological counterparts...

They have a terrific basement, you can roller skate, shoot hoops, or ride your fire engine...

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Saturday, May 01, 2010

All About Art!

It's the original Ukranian film poster for 'All About Eve,'
restored to its glory of yore, and hung in our bathroom for your seated pleasure...

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