Oh Mickey, Heavy Mickey

Okay, okay, I’ll admit it. I bought the single “Mickey” by Toni Basil on 45 when it came out. Throw me in hipster jail.

But, one very nice thing came out of it. I had a habit of playing around with the speeds of the records I would play. And, lemme tell you, this single sounds absolutely kickass slowed down to 33 1/3. The drums are heavy. I mean, HEAVY.

And the song takes on this very intense homoerotic undercurrent. “I’ll take it like a man” indeed!

It’s really another song entirely, and I now present it to you, for being so special.

Oh Mickey, Heavy Mickey!


Cynomolgus Monkey

From time to time I’ll look up a word online – sometimes for the definition, the spelling, the pronunciation — or, occasionally, when I just want to hear an official-sounding reading of the word “ballsy”.

Here’s some sound files I saved off for some unknown reason, which I’ll share with you now.

01. ballsy
02. chomp
03. cretin
04. crunchy
05. cynomolgus monkey
06. dickey
07. exeunt
08. finagle
09. foosball – The guy is really having fun with this one.
10. garbanzo
11. homunculus – Ah, one of my favorite words. Unfortunately, it is difficult to drop in casual conversation.
12. party pooper – I would have put the emphasis on ‘party’ rather than ‘pooper’, but that’s just me.
13. peanut
14. prima ballerina
15. sangroid
16. stanch
17. supine
18. undulate
19. Uranus (“You’re in us”)
20. Uranus (“Your anus”)

If you work in an office setting:

1. Save off a whole bunch of these kinds of sound files
2. Turn up your computer speakers
3. Pop the files into your favorite music player
4. Hit shuffle/repeat
5. Take an early lunch

Warning: This may result in early termination or a solid pummeling.

As you may be already aware, there are people who take these online sound pronunciation files to the next level.

Visit Dictionaraoke.org to see people who string together these sound files into vocals for covers of their favorite pop songs.

Now you too can know what “Rock the Casbah” sounds like if crooned by a group of dweeby dictionary pronouncers.

Songs To Sing In A Crowded Elevator

Okay, to be more precise, snippets of songs to sing in an elevator. I’m not talking about singing a whole entire song in an elevator.

Oh, heavens no. I’m talking about blurting out a line or two from a song to briefly entertain the passengers. Sadly, Aerosmith’s “Love In An Elevator” did not make the cut, though I realize the appropriateness of it and all.

Without further ado, I present tiny sound samples of the song snippets I would sing…

1. “How you gonna get the money?!!”
The White Stripes, “Hello Operator” from their album De Stijl
Pretty much any single line in this song would work, but I’m partial to this one, as it poses a question to your fellow riders. How, indeed, *are* you gonna get the money?

2. “See Chameleon, lying there, in the sun!”
Slade, “Run Runaway” from their album Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply
Again, you’re attempting to attract the attention of your fellow riders. See it? See the chameleon? See it lying there, in the sun?

3. “Dead .. Beat .. Club!!”
The B-52’s, “Deadbeat Club” from their album Cosmic Thing
Honestly, pretty much any Fred Schneider vocal would be fine to use. I just happen to be partial to this one.

4. “The Thousandth And Tenth Day Of The Human Totem Pole”
Captain Beefheart, “The Thousandth And Tenth Day Of The Human Totem Pole” from Ice Cream For Crow
This is a nice one to spook people out with.

The Pixies, “Tame” from their album Doolittle
I don’t think I have the cojones to sing this in an elevator, but I give respect to anyone who does.

6. “Everybody’s crazy, even MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”
The Method Actors, “Halloween” from their album Little Figures
I could make this vocal line my cell phone ringtone I love it so much. Singing this will, similarly to 4 and 5, make people a little uncomfortable.

7. “Pussy pussy pussy marijuana!”
Brazilian Girls, “Pussy” from their album Brazilian Girls
If you sing this happily enough, everyone will smile and wish you to have a nice day.

8. “Has anybody seen the BRIIIDGE?!”
Led Zeppelin, “The Crunge” from their album Houses of the Holy
Without a doubt the worst single vocal line Robert Plant has ever produced. Singing this line will make everyone think you are a crack addict looking for a quick, easy way out of your hellish life.

9. “[Now] Tell the truth.”
Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” from their album Second Helping
Probably the least likely song bit I would sing in an elevator, unless someone happened to say the magic line “Does your conscience bother you?” I know they don’t say, “Now” in the line from the song but I can’t help it, dammit.

10. “The Longest Time”
Billy Joel, “The Longest Time”, from his album An Innocent Man
This, this, my friend, this is where you can prove your worth as a public singer. Start singing, and then point to other people in the elevator to join in with you. Extra points if you can get somebody to do the falsetto part. This is the Holy Grail of elevator singing, so go get it.

Coyote Now Free As Bird

Just so you don’t worry too much about l’il buddy…

Again, from the Chicago Sun Times:

April 5, 2007

“Sandwich lovers beware — the most famous non-cartoon coyote in America is back on the loose.

Adrian, the lost coyote that wandered into a Loop Quiznos sandwich shop Tuesday and settled into its bottled drink cooler for 45 minutes, was released in northwest suburban Barrington Hills Wednesday.

The little guy didn’t waste much time getting out of his cage, although his getaway was not exactly flawless.”


Loop Coyotes Love Quiznos!

From the Chicago Sun Times

“So a coyote walks into a Quiznos . . .

Sounds like the start of a joke.

It’s not — although dozens of downtown folks got a good laugh out of it Tuesday.

A male coyote really did wander into the Quiznos sandwich shop at Wabash and Adams — in the Loop! — just before 2 p.m. Tuesday. Workers had propped open the front door for the warm afternoon, and in sauntered the roughly 30-pound, 18-month-old wild animal.”


If You Needed Another Reason To Like The Watchmen

Occasionally, I’ll get a minor epiphany, where I’ll realize a cool facet about something (usually music/movies/pop culture stuff) that to my knowledge has not been remarked on by someone. So, here’s a first post trying to convey my geeky excitement about one of these occasions. Hopefully you get at least 1/3 the pleasure from it as I did.

First of all, if you haven’t read the Watchmen, read it.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way, a little background. I used to be big with the comic book collecting and reading, mostly of the superhero variety. I was more into Marvel stuff, Spider-Man mostly.

I stopped collecting comix in the mid-80’s. The last comics I bought were a DC mini-series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons called the Watchmen, which pretty made every other superhero comic look like a big pile of superpoo. The comic is incredibly dense, with many, many references, puns, intricate storylines, all that stuff. It’s an impressive piece of work.

Anyways, I had a hankering to reread it again recently, and didn’t have the original comics on hand. I was able to obtain a digital copy of it (basically a zipped-up file of jpegs) and in quickly flipping through the images suddenly realized something I had never noticed when I was reading the actual comic.

There is this part where Dr. Manhattan, a very powerful superhero, has his sense of time all messed up, and he starts acting a little goofy as if he is not in complete control of his own actions. So, by flipping through the digitized images of the comic I noticed that in two consecutive pages the artwork is completely different except for two images of Dr. Manhattan, which remain completely still…

This is something I doubt I would never have noticed had I not viewed the comic digitally. For God’s Sakes, look at Dr. Manhattan’s word balloons in the second detail. Even those are in the same position!

Once again I geekily bow to the feet of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

A Face In The Crowd

I recently saw Elia Kazan’s 1957 film A Face In The Crowd, starring Andy Griffith as a drunk in a county jail, who through a variety of circumstances quickly rises to a position of power, predominantly through his charismatic behavior on radio and television.

It was the first time I had seen the film, and it had a lot of interesting echoes given the current situation the world is in. I’d recommend you see it if you haven’t, and see it again if it’s been a while.

I thought the movie was very well-made. Andy Griffith had a great scenery-chewing role, and Walter Matthau gave a nice early career performance.

The film had a pretty strong political message, which I took it to be mostly an apprehension to the new media (television) coming down the pike, and how it could be used by a common rube to sway the masses of common American rubes and possibly ruin our country.

I know a little about the politics of director Elia Kazan — he considered himself liberal, but testified and named names in the HUAC hearings in the 50’s. This film –and don’t get me wrong, I liked it — seemed really threatened about the rise of some form of populism, that could spread virulently through the airwaves of television and radio.

This kind of grassroots populism never really took root, at least via the medium of television. The best example I can think of this is when Ross Perot spent millions of his own money booking airtime to show us pie charts. People were excited, but then it just sort of fell apart. What’s wrong with being excited? Isn’t it offensive to paint the involvement of everyday Americans as a threat, or something to be ridiculed?

From time to time I’ve seen the mainstream media belittle the involvement of the American people. I remember seeing a puff piece on the NBC news where it showed everyday Americans running for President. Tom Brokaw chuckled at the audacity of American citizens attempting to run for office. Don’t they know how the political process works?

Now, decades later, people are somewhat empowered by the rise of the Internet. I don’t want to paint an overly romantic picture about it, but there seem to be more options and a give-and-take, perhaps the faintest whiff of a new populism.

One thing that the film sort of glosses over, or doesn’t make much of, is that Andy Griffith’s character is being shaped by various people in power in order to further their own agenda. I remember reading a while back about how neocon George Schultz convinced Dubya to run for President. The two situations seem very similar, except for the fact that Dubya’s charisma seems a little forced and manufactured. For me, this is the big threat — unaccountable people pushing chess pieces on a board, outside the realm of a democracy. But, for Kazan, it’s the rubes.

Bees and Band Names

In case you weren’t aware, honey bees have been disappearing rapidly in the last year or so:

Colony Collapse Disorder [wikipedia.org]

Of course, the first thing that sprung to my mind was how “Colony Collapse Disorder” sounded like an indie or hardcore band name.

Here’s a few more bandnames, along with what I imagine they sound like:

Massive Bee Death
..sounds like..
The Rollins Band OR 10,000 Maniacs

No More Honey
..sounds like..
The Stranglers

Where Are The Honey Bees?
..sounds like..
Belle and Sebastian