Friday, August 29, 2003
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
By the way, I will be at TNT on Tuesday, to see music trivia guru Rich Appel co-host with Caren. I'm really looking forward to that, as I think the two of them together are going to make for a very fun and challenging game. If you're not familiar with Rich or haven't read about him here before, he hosts the M-T Bowl, a music trivia contest that benefits charity, at the Sony Music Building twice a year. He also publishes the mammoth Hz So Good, a newsletter full of fun facts about rock radio from the 1950s to the present. To subscribe (free), e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, August 24, 2003
It was during the Beatles' first New York visit, when they were staying at the Plaza. H.D.'s aunt and uncle were on their honeymoon and happened to be staying at the hotel at the same time. They decided to try to meet the Beatles and, apparently, had little trouble. It helped that they were older and, as a honeymooning couple, less threatening than the screaming fans outside, plus the Beatles were lonely for ordinary human contact. (I've heard that the same loneliness is evident in the Maysles' documentary of that tour, though I've never seen it.)
As H.D. told it, her aunt and uncle were sitting with the Beatles in the group's hotel suite, when her aunt begged them to call H.D. The couple knew that their niece was every bit as much of a fan as the screamers outside.
So John called, and H.D., needless to say, was thunderstruck. Once she regained her wits, she ordered, "Put Ringo on the phone."
"Oh, you don't want to speak to him," said Lennon. "He's ugly."
"He is not!" shouted the indignant H.D., in her best sprout-girl Joisey accent. "He's better looking than you!"
Even Lennon knew when he was beaten. He handed the phone over to Ringo.
Saturday, August 23, 2003
Jonathan introduced me to a friend of his at the party who turned out to be a classical music liner-note writer. Said writer and I—yours truly having drunk a single glass of cabernet—almost immediately hatched a plan to dash out to the Virgin Megastore and each buy the other a CD for which the one of us had written the notes. And that's what we did.
It was so much fun. I live for moments like that. More than that, I believe that parties exist so that people can come up with the most preposterous excuse possible to leave. The better the party, the more preposterous the excuse has to be. This excuse was the most gloriously lunatic ever. And now I have a CD of modern classical music to enjoy. (The classical liner-note writer got Harry Nilsson.)
Friday, August 22, 2003
Thursday, August 21, 2003
Saturday, August 16, 2003
Overheard from the Women's Wear Daily finance editor, who may have meant it tongue-in-cheek:
"Bloomberg says to drink a lot of liquids."
Between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., as I walked from my office to my friend's apartment, braving a sea of people, there were a couple of spots where people were clustered around a radio. Inevitably, the newscaster was spouting:
"There are hordes of people on the streets..."
Thursday, August 14, 2003
Mark/My Words: Today a friend gave me the curious news that Mark Bacino, while performing at Pete's Candy Store last week, took time in between songs to read my review of his latest album to the audience. My friend said that Bacino didn't mention my name, but prefaced the reading with a "this is what they're saying about me" kind of line.
Rereading my review, I can see how its last line would make a good segue into a song: "Here's one the kids will like—it's got a good beat, and you can dance to it." But the fact that he would read it onstage is strange. It's not included among the raves on his press page. Perhaps I'm the only person who bothered to review the album, who didn't fall prostrate before its " sparkly, head-bobbing melodicism of classic mid-'60s pop," as RollingStone.com put it. Truth is, as I said in the review, I really liked a lot of the elements of the disc, but thought that Bacino's singing lacked sincerity.
I've always been harder on bands who come close-but-no-candy-cigarette to the kind of music I like, than on bands who miss the mark entirely. It's something I'm aware of, and something I've tried to moderate in recent years. But I do believe that, as long as a review describes the artist's music honestly and is not malicious, no press is bad press.
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
The film also introduced for me the Bing Crosby-Michael Nesmith connection. There's a scene near the beginning where Crosby has the beginnings of sideburns, and, I tell you, he looks for all the world like he's going to break into "Papa Gene's Blues." The line I was thinking of when I wrote the header is an outré quip that Crosby makes in a scene where he and Hope are performing in a talent contest, trying to do better than a monkey/organ-grinder act—Hope accompanying Crosby on accordion. Hope boasts about the great solo he's playing, and Crosby replies, "You could beat the monkey alone." Then Hope does a perfect double-take.
Saturday, August 9, 2003
Friday, August 8, 2003
[UPDATED] Was It By That All-Female '80s Metal Band—Twisted Knickers? Finally, a reader had the desired reaction to my "Brief Encounter" post: he laughed hard. Getting Rich Appel's laudatory e-mail was a relief after hearing from friends who were either disgusted by the post or just reacted however they normally would to a woman's writing about her underwear.
Rich, who puts out the wonderfully comprehensive radio-lovers' newsletter Hz So Good (free to subscribe—write him at email@example.com), added that the post "brought to mind a...trivia question. What was (or has been, to now, anyway) the only #1 song (in the U.S.) to mention 'panties' (not 'thongs')? Good luck." Well, I have had no luck at this one—all I can think of is Mason Williams's album cut "The Prince's Panties," which never even came out as a single. Readers? [We have a winner! See below.]
P.S. As Hz So Good readers know, Rich can be quite the witty headline writer when he puts his mind to it. His e-mail to me was headed, "Thongs for the memories."
P.P.S. Just thought of "Dedicated Follower of Fashion," but it wasn't Number One. Pooh.
UPDATE: The first reader response to this item happens to be the right one, from Roy Currlin: "Abracadabra." His impressive knowledge should be no surprise to anyone who remembers him from "Mouth Vs. Ear."
Wednesday, August 6, 2003
Said "poor guy" turns out to be the legendary Dan Ingram, and the sound bite is from the must-hear WABC Musicradio 77 Web site. Thanks, Michael!
I could buy panties from the mammoth Herald Square Victoria's Secret that I pass by every day on my way to and from work, but I'm boycotting that place, as I'm offended by its window display of lingerie-clad mannequins astride gargantuan Harley Davidsons. It's not only wrong to put something that trashy where thousands of kids can see it each day, it's also just plain gauche. The message is so obvious—why don't they just plop the mannequins, Hope for the Flowers-like, atop giant, pillar-like male organs? And that's probably coming, except that the canny Victoria's Secret marketing geniuses knew that men shopping with their girlfriends would be more drawn in by Harleys.
Instead, last night I tried another place a few doors down from my office, H&M, but no luck. It's very hard shopping for panties when you do not have a boyfriend and do not intend to have any physical intimacy outside a committed relationship. The store had a lot of lacy items that looked beautiful (save for an odd bra-and-panty set in black lace that was marred by hot-pink ribbons forming what looked like racing stripes). But I can't buy things like that just for myself. I find it too depressing to buy beautiful panties knowing that, by the time I'm close enough with my imagined future commited boyfriend to let him see them, their lace will be frayed, full of little balls that I can see even if others can't, etc.
So I scanned the racks for pretty cotton panties, like the extra-soft combed cotton, muted leopard-print numbers I got a few years back from, well, Victoria's Secret. Unfortunately, the "in" style now for cotton panties is man-style briefs. So man-style, in fact, that they're seamed to look as though they have a hole in the front, only they're cut in a decidedly unmanly bikini style. Great. Now, without having a boyfriend, I can look like I'm borrowing the underwear of my gay boyfriend. The search continues...
Tuesday, August 5, 2003
The telegram operator says, "That's only nine words. You're paying for up to ten. You can add another "ARF."
The dog says, "But that wouldn't make sense."