Saturday, March 31, 2007

Fabulous Ferndale- now with extra gay!

My little adopted hometown has just been named to The Advocate's list of best places to live for gays & lesbians. This is the second time I've seen Ferndale on such a list. Ferndale has long been known as the gay enclave of metro Detroit. I never gave much thought to why, since every town here seemed gay-friendly to me.

I grew up in the Appalachian mountains where, at least in the eighties and nineties, being queer was something you acknowledged at your peril. I didn't know a soul who was openly gay and even closeted folks were not out of danger. In high school my first boyfriend and I were run off the road and beaten up by a pickup truck full of epithet-spewing football players. Business owners in my hometown received threats based on the mere suspicion they were gay.

Homophobia wasn't just rampant in east Tennessee, it was the default mode of thought. If such a thing as a gay community existed it was deep underground. In the gay & lesbian student group I helped found at my university, most attendees were afraid to give their real names. The only other place to meet queers was at MCC, held at at a Unitarian church way out in the boonies. Being agnostic meant keeping mum about my beliefs but I went anyway. I even made a few queer friends, which seemed like the impossible dream. There was one gay bar in a 150 mile radius.

The metro Detroit gay bar rag currently lists 32 gay clubs. There are Pridefests, gay bowling and softball leagues, and a GLBT rights foundation. Gay and lesbian couples strolling downtown holding hands are not an uncommon sight in Oakland county. Throughout the region, the differences from my hometown are so pronounced it's easy to forget Ferndale is still a special case.

Upon reflection there are a lot of things I take for granted. We have openly gay members of city council. Downtown there's a huge gay & lesbian community center, a gay bar and a gay bookstore. (The lesbian bookstore relocated.) Chosen Books, a gay bookstore and mainstay of Royal Oak, is relocating to new digs a few blocks from our house. There must be quite a high concentration of GLBT folks to support all those queer businesses.

Right now I don't want the word to get out so much. Downturn in the local economy precipitated a drastic drop in rents. Now a much larger 3 or 4 bedroom house can be had for the same rent as our tiny two bedroom bungalow. I'd hate to see a massive influx of outside GLBT folks before we get a chance to upgrade our living quarters.

Friday, March 30, 2007

The last music widget I'll ever need. This week anyway.

MOG combines the best features of Pandora,, Guzzlefish and social networking sites. Once their software scans your music collection, their site will stream radio or video channels customized to your tastes. Over half the videos are live performances. You get a personal site where you can list your collection, recently played tracks, top albums, favorite artists, etc. You can meet people with similar tastes. And of course there's a blog widget, as seen on the right.

Edit- turns out MOG doesn't stream, it points you to posts from other members with audio and video by the artist. Or at least I think that's what it does. Since the site got BoingBoinged their servers are bogged down and nothing seems to work right.

HappyTech? Ha!

When I first bestowed my employer with that pseudonym on my blog the sentiment was sincere. Now it's purely sarcastic. It's hard to believe how much the atmosphere has changed. It's partly owing to a call volume at its lowest ever but chiefly because all recreational web surfing was banned. There's lots of small talk and forced joviality but it's more annoying than entertaining. These are people who have rarely gotten along so the sudden sociableness reeks of desperation. Anything to fill the deafening silence and pass the interminable hours until quitting time.

In an email about my upcoming review, the boss hinted he may relax the restriction but that could be wishful thinking. I have done a bit of emailing since no web monitoring is in place yet. Our network equipment is the oldest and cheapest crap imaginable so they don't even have the capability to track internet traffic. The solution from HQ was to send monitoring software that can be installed invisibly on our PCs. Knowing the boss, he'll probably never get around to it. It's a pointless exercise anyway. The guilty party is not dumb enough to look at porn here again. Even if he did there probably wouldn't be any consequences. So the no-surfing policy did nothing but destroy morale.

The ban has also made me chafe more at minor annoyances. You'd never know we're a division of a large company from the way our office is run. I have to bring in dish sponges for our kitchen because the boss is too cheap to buy them. We're often out of paper towels for the same reason. Broken equipment doesn't get repaired or replaced. Recently we sat in a dim office for a couple of weeks because the boss was too busy/lazy/cheap to replace some burned out fluorescent tubes. Our building is in an isolated area where office and vehicle break-ins are not uncommon. The property is poorly maintained and you have to duck and dodge around overgrown trees to get up the walk to our door. My desk is twenty feet from the men's room.

Our business has fallen off considerably. The air is thick with tension. It felt the same way when I worked here several years ago in the months before the big layoff. People have been talking about looking for other jobs for a while now, but much more since the new rule. I updated my resume yesterday and started sending out applications.

I used to go out for lunch now and then but usually ate at my desk and web surfed. Since I can't do that anymore, I relish the chance to get away for an hour and decompress. Fortunately I have just the place for it only a couple of minutes away from the office. It's a three mile stretch of road dotted with ten or so parks, many of them overlooking a lake. Today I went to my favorite spot to eat lunch, enjoy the scenery and put things into perspective.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A sad day at HappyTech

I do technical support for a software firm. We're a tiny branch (eight employees) of a larger offshore company. My friends all know I love my job because I can spend a large part of my day web surfing, blogging, emailing, chatting, and so on. It's a dream job for a web junkie. Gordon Bennett, our boss, is the sort of hands-off manager who doesn't care how much we screw off so long as we get our work done. I'm not boasting when I say I get my work done with more skill, speed and accuracy than anyone else on the help desk; it's a fact. I'm a valuable employee. I get things done that no one else would do unless they were assigned, and only grudgingly then. I have also initiated policies that will save the company tens of thousands of dollars in the coming year. The boss has responded favorably and I'm up for a big raise soon.

But today everything I love about the job came crashing down around my ears. A large cache of porn was found on one of our little-used network drives this morning. No accusations were made but Gordon sent out an email decreeing all recreational web surfing is now forbidden. Headquarters has instituted measures to monitor all internet traffic, something we never had to deal with before. Big deal, you might think, so you can't spend all day at your job surfing the web, but you don't understand. We do have terribly busy spells periodically, but for the most part there is so much down time that the job would be nigh on unbearable without web surfing.

The whole situation was handled poorly. Gordon fired off his angry email without thinking and the guilty party immediately deleted the offending material. A smarter manager would have instituted monitoring unannounced and caught the culprit in the act. Then again maybe not, because they know who did it and he won't be punished. Irv is the pornmeister.

Irv started out as a regular help desk grunt like me but soon took on expanded roles in sales and training. He is the golden boy endeared to the higher-ups and beloved by our customers. Thanks to Gordon's laissez-faire management style, Irv has made himself indispensable to the company. He knows things no one else knows and performs functions no one else can. Bigger companies have safeguards against this sort of thing happening, but not us.

Our interactions are uniformly pleasant and cordial, but Irv has always bugged the shit out of me. For nearly a year, he had a habit of bumming several cigarettes from me every day. I think nothing of tossing a friend a few smokes, but come on. He smoked twice as much as me, and giving him a cigarette usually meant putting a customer on hold and digging out my backpack or going to the coat rack to fish them out of my jacket. It was hard not to get irritated, but Irv is a necessary resource on my job and I did not want to risk straining relations. Finally I just started leaving them on my desk. Once in a great while he would buy me a payback pack, always the wrong brand. Finally one day I told him to keep the proffered pack for himself since he always seemed to be out. He stopped bumming after that.

Then there was the milk. Since I drink a lot of it, I had a habit of keeping a gallon jug in the office fridge. Irv helped himself to my milk all the time and never bothered to replace it once. There's nothing like going to make your morning cereal and finding, once again, that someone has drunk the last of your milk. Great way to start the day, right? I never said a word to him about it, but I finally bought myself a bigger lunchbox so I could pack just enough milk for the day.

Aside from the annoyances, there is much about Irv that never quite added up. Most of us talk openly about our families. Everyone knows about my partner and one coworker has met him. Irv is notoriously private. I always thought he was a closet case. I wasn't alone in this suspicion and you'd think so too if you met him. All the signs were there: the effeminate voice and fey mannerisms, the overgrooming and designer wardrobe, the secret girlfriend nobody ever saw even though she supposedly shuttled him to and from work daily. Irv was always saying he almost had enough money together for a car but it never quite happened. When he was needed offsite at a customer's business our office manager had to drive him. Curious, that. Why couldn't a man who wore Armani sweaters and Prada shoes to the office afford a car? He started out in a humble position but he's certainly making good money now. That's another thing- why did a guy with years of highly marketable programming experience take an entry-level tech support job? Basically Irv is a mystery wrapped in an enigma with a creamy riddle middle.

I didn't know the extent of his odd behavior until my help desk supervisor spilled the goods today after everyone else left. There were several occasions when Irv appeared to have stayed at the office all night. Often he has come in bleary-eyed and barely conscious. A substance abuse problem was suspected. Irv spends lots of time in his office with the door closed. Dawn, our office manager, has walked in a few times and caught him with NSFW material on his screen, but she waved it off as "boy stuff" and never told anyone. Then on a recent business trip Dawn brought along a girlfriend. On the plane they observed Irv watching porn on a company laptop and making no great effort to conceal it. Later, out of the blue he asked Dawn's friend what her favorite sexual positions were. Later still he hit on Dawn with remarks so filthy she won't repeat them. Dawn is far from a prude, in fact she has shared some pretty raunchy stories about herself, so I can't even imagine what he must have said.

It's a relative certainty the porn was Irv's, based on the inappropriate and bizarre behavior as well as the fact the rest of us would have neither the inclination nor the stupidity to save porn on an office PC. On a drive we all have access to, no less. But it makes no sense for him to do it either. He's an intelligent guy. It's almost as though he wanted to be caught. But since the whole incident was bungled by the boss there's no proof it was him. Even if they wanted to fire him they couldn't. Nobody else can do everything he does and losing him would be disastrous. Unless he trained his replacement first (and none of us wants the position) the company would fall apart without him

So now I'm stuck working ten feet away from this perv who ruined my perfect job, and I have to be nice to him.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Another blog widget

I'm trying out a new music service called Finetune, which gives you a button to stick on your blog so visitors can listen to your personalized radio stations. You build playlists of up to 45 tunes from their sizable music library. Normally widgets like this are the reason I avoid MySpace pages like the plague- too much visual and sound pollution- but in this case the music only starts if you want it to. That's it over there on the right. Go ahead, you know you want to click Play and be bowled over by my exquisite taste. There's also a Pandora-like function that lets you plug in an artist and get a station based on them, but it's really all about Howieland, isn't it?

Let me know if you tried it, how it worked and what you thought.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

the world is mud-luscious

This time of year always reminds me of a favorite poem.
In Just-

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and



balloonMan whistles

-- e. e. cummings

Friday, March 23, 2007

"You'll never hear one of us repeating gossip...

So you better be sure and listen close the first time." So sayeth the Hee Haw gals.

I'm usually not inclined to post such things but I couldn't resist this tidbit from The WOW Report:
While we were blogging we got an email that went something exactly like this: "I can't obviously confirm this, but my friends who are from St. Paul for years told me that Garrison Keillor is a closet fag who used to go out to bars back in the day." Thanks, tipster, that's what we like to hear.

Last one out turn off the lights, part deux

It's like déjà vu all over again:

Will The Last Person To Leave Detroit Please Turn Out The Lights?
March 21, 2007 8:59 AM

The city of Detroit is in a bad way. House are cheaper than cars. The city's neighborhoods are in decay. Families are leaving. Even "revived" areas are struggling. Entire portions of the city are starting to revert to prarie and ruins. Can the city be saved or is it time to give up on the Arsenal of Democracy?

via Metafilter

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Backyard roller coasters

Oklahoma resident Jeremy Reid has a website showcasing the Oklahoma Land Run, his backyard roller coaster. An engineering student who began the project in 1998, he documented the construction and testing with lots of great photography and video, and more footage of the finished ride can be seen here. The coaster is a beauty to behold and it looks like loads of fun. I have seen a few such projects over the years but nothing on this scale and never a full circuit woodie. Special thanks to Jeremy for allowing me to share his photos here.

Other homebrew coasters I've seen don't look quite as well thought out. As much as I crave the adrenaline rush, I'm not that keen on adding the risk of genuine bodily harm to my roller coaster experience. But some folks are happy to throw caution to the wind, and God bless 'em. Some of my favorite examples:

PVC pipe, rollerblade wheels, and no restraints whatsoever? Hop on, kids! (location unknown)

Blue Flash by John Ivers (Indiana)

So sweet it's almost worth the stitches! (location unknown)

Built by boy scouts (Denmark)

Timber: under construction (upstate New York)

Finally, a humorous guide for the intrepid DIYer.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Some of Garrison Keillor's best friends are gay

From his NPR website:

Ordinarily I don't like to use this space to talk about my newspaper column but the most recent column aroused such angry reactions that I thought I should reply. The column was done tongue-in-cheek, always a risky thing, and was meant to be funny, another risky thing these days, and two sentences about gay people lit a fire in some readers and sent them racing to their computers to fire off some jagged e-mails. That's okay. But the underlying cause of the trouble is rather simple.

I live in a small world — the world of entertainment, musicians, writers — in which gayness is as common as having brown eyes. Ever since I was in college, gay men and women have been friends, associates, heroes, adversaries, and in that small world, we talk openly and we kid each other and think nothing of it. But in the larger world, gayness is controversial. In almost every state, gay marriage would be voted down if put on a ballot. Gay men and women have been targeted by the right wing as a hot-button issue. And so gay people out in the larger world feel besieged to some degree. In the small world I live in, they feel accepted and cherished as individuals, but in the larger world they may feel like Types. My column spoke as we would speak in my small world and it was read by people in the larger world and thus the misunderstanding. And for that, I am sorry. Gay people who set out to be parents can be just as good parents as anybody else, and they know that, and so do I.

Given his past remarks, is anybody buying this? I'm not.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I'm so sad we had this time together

Carol Burnett is suing Family Guy for depicting her, in her Charwoman (mop lady) character, as a janitor at a porn shop. I'm interested in the outcome because I doubt she has a legal leg to stand on. Isn't parody protected against copyright infringement?

I always liked Carol so it bums me out to know she has no sense of humor about herself. She went on at length in her autobiography about how much she loved musical comedy and how she was living out her childhood dream by performing it. Family Guy may not be the most hilarious show on TV (especially since its resurrection) but its funniest moments are the musical comedy bits. Either Carol is not the tireless supporter anymore or bad plastic surgery is really expensive.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Luck o' the Irish

And I swore I'd never post cheesy memes...

Leprechaun Name

Your Leprechaun Name is
Moneybags O'Brien
Get Your Leprechaun Name at

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Folksy, homespun homophobia

I always thought Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion treaded the fine line between whimsy and humor without ever setting foot on either side. In fact, it used to be that I couldn't see or hear him without thinking of the Simpsons bit where Homer, bored by Keillor's allegedly droll musings, banged on his TV set and shouted, "Be funnier!" But thanks to his editorial on Salon today, now I'll always have these bon mots to remember him by:
"I grew up the child of a mixed-gender marriage that lasted until death parted them, and I could tell you about how good that is for children, and you could pay me whatever you think it's worth...

Under the old monogamous system, we didn't have the problem of apportioning Thanksgiving and Christmas among your mother and stepdad, your dad and his third wife, your mother-in-law and her boyfriend Hal, and your father-in-law and his boyfriend Chuck. Today, serial monogamy has stretched the extended family to the breaking point...

The country has come to accept stereotypical gay men -- sardonic fellows with fussy hair who live in over-decorated apartments with a striped sofa and a small weird dog and who worship campy performers and go in for flamboyance now and then themselves. If they want to be accepted as couples and daddies, however, the flamboyance may have to be brought under control. Parents are supposed to stand in back and not wear chartreuse pants and black polka-dot shirts. That's for the kids. It's their show."
Keillor has some lofty ideals but he's not exactly the poster boy for the "old monogamous system," as Towleroad points out:
"This is from a man known for dumping a Prairie Home Companion producer who had been his longtime lover in order to marry his second wife. That marriage failed when he was discovered to be having an affair with his Danish language teacher."
Dan Savage adds:
"Keillor has been married THREE TIMES. He has children from two of his marriages, children who presumably need a computer program to keep track of their step-siblings, half-siblings, and sprawling extended families, children that have to be apportioned out on Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
So maybe Keillor has deep, unresolved issues around that idyllic mixed-gender marriage he could never quite master himself. But what does he have against gay marriage? An earlier editorial in the Star Tribune, quoted here, provides a clue:
"I favor marriage between people whose body parts are not similar. I’m sorry, but same-sex marriage seems timid, an attempt to save on wardrobe and accessories."
I think I understand now. Why would you want to share with anyone when you're rocking this level of sartorial splendor?


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Prince: a videography

Following Prince's recent performance at the Super Bowl halftime show someone sent this complaint to the FCC:
"It was obscene to show Prince, a HOMOSEXUAL person through a sheet, as to show his siluette [sic] while his guitar showed a very phalic [sic] symbol coming from his below-midriff section. I am very offended and I would preffer [sic] not to have showed it to my 4 children who love football. One of them has hoped to be a quarterback and now he will turn out gay. I am actually considering to check him for HIV. Thanks CBS for turning my son GAY."
If the halftime show caused this much consternation, I can't help wondering how this concerned parent might have reacted to Prince's infamous 1991 MTV VMA performance in the yellow ass pants. Watch them both for yourself and let me know if you're suddenly feeling gay. Or, you know, gayer than usual.

I Wanna Be Your Lover (1979)

Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? (1979)

Uptown (1980)

Dirty Mind (1980)

Controversy (1981)

Sexuality (1981)

Automatic (1982)

1999 (1982)

When Doves Cry (1984)

Let's Go Crazy (1984)

Purple Rain (1984)

I Would Die 4 U/Baby I'm a Star with Sheila E. (live, 1985)

Raspberry Beret (1985)

A Love Bizarre with Sheila E. (1986)

Mountains (1986)

Kiss (1986)

live with Miles Davis (1987)

Housequake/If I Was Your Girlfriend (Sign O' the Times, 1987)

Alphabet Street (1988)

Erotic City/Housequake (Lovesexy tour, 1988)

Lovesexy/Glam Slam (Lovesexy tour, 1988)

Batdance (1989)

Scandalous (1989)

Gett Off (1991)

Gett Off (MTV Video Music Awards, 1991)

Sexy MF (1992)

The Most Beautiful Girl In The World (1995)

Endorphinmachine (1995)

The Holy River (Rosie O'Donnell Show, 1996)

The Greatest Romance Ever Sold (1999)

U Got the Look (Rave Un2 the Year 2000, 2000)

The Cross (Rave Un2 the Year 2000, 2000)

Whole Lotta Love (Live at the Aladdin Las Vegas, 2003)

Push & Pull with Nikka Costa (Live at the Aladdin Las Vegas, 2003)

Musicology (2004)

live acoustic medley from MTV's Art of Musicology (2004)

Housequake/The Bird/The Glamorous Life

with Sheila E., Morris Day & Jerome Benton (NAACP Image Awards, 2005)

Te Amo Corazon (2006)

Black Sweat (2006)

Te Amo Corazon/Fury/Purple Rain/Let's Go Crazy (Brit Awards, 2006)

Don't Play Me (Webby Awards, 2006)

Super Bowl Halftime Part 1 (2007)

Super Bowl Halftime Part 2 (2007)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Join the Professionals

Sorry I was a bit late with my mix this month, jedzz, and hope you enjoy.

Cover art features a teenage Diane Lane in a still from Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains.

The songs:
1. Ravi Shankar - Anti-drug spot
2. The Spontaneous Generation - Up In My Mind
3. Owusu & Hannibal - Blue Jay
4. Ann Peebles - How Strong Is A Woman
5. Blossom Dearie - Just One Of Those Things
6. Dolly Parton - Travelin' Thru
7. The Cinematic Orchestra - Horizon (ft Niara Scarlett)
8. Duran Duran - The Chauffeur
9. Skunk Anansie - Rise Up
10. Ursula 1000 - Electrik Boogie
11. Audra Kubat - Georgia
12. Honeycut - The Day I Turned To Glass
13. Captain K. Verne - Don't Bogart That Joint, Marius
14. Minnie Riperton - Young Willing And Able
15. Koop - Whenever There Is You (ft Yukimi Nagano)
16. George Clinton & the P-Funk All-Stars - Sloppy Seconds
17. Brandon Wiard - Miss Michigan
18. David Bowie - I Would Be Your Slave
19. Squarepusher - Hello Meow
20. The Epoxies - Join The Professionals

The artists:
Ravi Shankar is a sitar virtuoso who raised awareness of Indian music in the western world through his association with the Beatles. This anti-drug PSA appears on the collection Psychedelic Promos & Radio Spots.

The Spontaneous Generation are an obscure 60's psychedelic rock band and information about them on the web is apparently nonexistent. "Up In My Mind" appears on the compilation Psychedelic States: Georgia in the '60's.

Owusu & Hannibal are a Danish duo who bring funk and soul influences to their electronic compositions. "Blue Jay" appears on their recent debut, Living With Owusu & Hannibal.

Ann Peebles is the gospel-rooted singer and songwriter whose powerful voice breathed new life into 70's Memphis soul. Her hit "I Can't Stand the Rain" was covered by Tina Turner and sampled by Missy Elliott. "How Strong Is A Woman" appeared on her 1972 album Straight From The Heart.

I discovered Blossom Dearie through this article about Schoolhouse Rock (she sang the Figure Eight song) and became a big fan. An accomplished jazz singer, songwriter and pianist since the 50's, she still performs regularly at a New York City cabaret. "Just One Of Those Things" is from her 1958 album Give Him the Ooh-La-la.

East Tennessee native (go on, homegirl!) Dolly Parton became a country music star in the 60's and crossed over into pop success in the 70's. She achieved international stardom, movie roles, a TV variety show and even her own theme park. She remains a relevant artist with recent albums exploring her bluegrass roots, now collected in a box set. The Oscar-nominated "Travelin' Thru" was featured on the soundtrack of the 2005 film Transamerica.

The Cinematic Orchestra are London-based electronic artists whose lush sound derives from diverse influences including jazz, trip-hop, and soundtrack music. "Horizon", featuring vocals by Xenomania singer Niara Scarlett, is the title track from their 2002 EP Horizon.

With their emphasis on style and their inscrutable faux-profound lyrics, Duran Duran were an easy punchline for music snobs in the 80's. I'll cop to teasing some Duran-obsessed friends back then, but lately I think their music holds up surprisingly well. I like "The Chauffeur", from the 1982 album Rio, in no small part because it was the impetus for one of the best music videos ever made (NSFW).

Skunk Anansie were a British metal band fronted by the charismatic Skin, who tackled issues of feminism, sexual identity, racism and religion with a singular ferocity in her lyrics. "Rise Up" appeared on their acclaimed 1995 debut, Paranoid and Sunburnt. The group disbanded in 2001 and Skin continues to record as a solo artist.

Ursula 1000 is Alex Gimeno, a Miami DJ who moved to New York to pursue a career as a producer. He's best known for cheeky excursions in lounge and exotica but "Electrik Booogie", from his 2005 release Here Comes Tomorrow, is a funny take on 80's electrofunk.

Audra Kubat is a Detroit-based folk singer and songwriter (and friend of a friend) whose work has earned comparisons to Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake. "Georgia" is from her 2003 album Million Year Old Sand.

is an indie electronic group who mix vintage synths, hip-hop loops, live strings and soulful vocals into a highly accessible sound, described by one critic as "the Bay area's own answer to Gnarls Barkley". "The Day I Turned To Glass" is the title cut from their 2006 debut album.

Captain K. Verne are three French DJs working a jazzy trip-hop vibe. That's all I know about them since all their sites are in (surprise) French. "Don't Bogart That Joint, Marius" appears on the 2006 compilation Cannabissimo: Electro.

Minnie Riperton was a Chicago soul singer with an incredible five octave range, best known for her hit "Lovin' You". Ripperton died of breast cancer at 31. "Young, Willing And Able" is from her 1977 album Stay In Love. Random fact: Saturday Night Live regular Maya Rudolph is Minnie's daughter.

Koop are a Swedish duo who craft sublime electronic jazz. "Whenever There Is You", featuring the dreamy vocals of Yukimi Nagano, appears on their 2006 album Koop Islands.

George Clinton & the P-Funk All Stars are a periodic reunion project comprised of members of from Parliament-Funkadelic. "Sloppy Seconds" is from their 1996 release T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M. (The Awesome Power of a Fully Operational Mothership).

Brandon Wiard is an Ypsilanti, Michigan-based singer-songwriter whose indie pop songs pair sardonic lyrics with catchy, hummable melodies. An old friend of mine plays drums in his band, The Saviors. "Miss Michigan" is from 2004's Painting a Burning Building.

David Bowie is the English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger and audio engineer whose pioneering, influential career spans more than four decades. He reinvented glam rock and explored electronic music, soul and dance pop. He even did a bit of acting. "I Would Be Your Slave" is from his 2002 release Heathen.

Squarepusher is English electronic artist Tom Jenkinson. Best known for his drum/drill-and-bass compositions, his tracks are heavily informed by jazz and musique concrète. "Hello Meow" appears on his 2006 release Hello Everything.

New wave and punk revivalists The Epoxies hail from Portland, Oregon. Their cover of "Join The Professionals" appeared on the compilation Dirtnap Across The Northwest.

"Join The Professionals", which satirizes an army recruitment slogan, figures prominently in the plot of my favorite 80's film, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains. The Stains are a talentless but image savvy teen girl punk band who steal the song from their tour mates. After a couple of live shows they they perform it for an unexpected cult following. By movie's end both the song and the band have morphed into glossy, MTV-ready versions of their former selves. Test audiences found the film too cynical so it never got a theatrical release. It gained a cult following through cable TV airings in the 80's and widely circulated bootlegs. I named this mix to celebrate the long-awaited DVD release announced in this excellent behind-the-scenes video.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Irresistible bitch

What if I told you there's a Prince tribute band led by a sassy brunette girl with an indeterminate European accent and an interesting approximation of Prince's wardrobe circa 1980? You'd want to see, right? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you I give you Pi-Elle and the Other World.

Nasty Girl

I Wanna Be Your Lover

It's Gonna Be Lonely