Friday, October 18, 2013

STOP ME IF YOU THINK YOU'VE HEARD THESE QUOTES BEFORE:Morrissey's Autobiography is now available in the UK, and at least based on Vulture's selection of quotes, I'm still uncertain as to whether it's a memoir or whether it and the entire "Morrissey" project is a performance art experiment on the level of Jandek.
ANTHRACITE LINCOLN:  Go on and decide which of these ten endangered Pennsylvania historic artifacts is most in need of preservation.
IT'S TREE-SNOT REDUCTION. TRY HARDER, VERMONT:  Deadspin identifies, then ranks the signature foodstuff of each of the fifty states (and D.C.)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT I DON'T ENJOY INDIAN FOOD, I TOTALLY AGREE WITH THIS ARGUMENT:  Tyler Cowen explains why the fact that you had Indian food yesterday shouldn't preclude you from seeking it again today.
PAGING ROGER DE BRIS: Stephen Sondheim is revising Company for a possible Broadway production, with some key changes:
The biggest change in this new “Company” would be the central character of Bobby. Whereas he has always been a straight man struggling with commitment issues and multiple girlfriends, he has been reconceived by [Tony Award-winning director John Tiffany (“Once”)] as a gay man with commitment issues and multiple boyfriends. And some characters have had gender reversals; the character of Joanne, who sings “The Ladies Who Lunch” and was originally played by Elaine Stritch on Broadway, is being played by the Tony winner Alan Cumming (“Cabaret”) in Mr. Tiffany’s reading of the work at Roundabout this week.
IT'S BEEN SUCH A LONG TIME:In more thinking about the Rock Hall of Fame, isn't it kind of odd that Boston has never even made the long list for nomination?  Admittedly, their output after the debut album is scattered, but a 17x platinum debut, 5/6 albums having gone platinum in the US, 5 top 20 singles, and substantial influence on the rock scene would seem to be enough to make the ballot, right?  Does Wenner have some vendetta against them? 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

MIGHT AS WELL JUMP (INTO FEDERAL COURT): Alex Van Halen's ex-wife Kelly has been sued by the band, alleging that her potential use of the name "Kelly Van Halen" in connection with various goods and services infringes and dilutes the VAN HALEN trademarks.  Quickly reading the complaint, there seems to be a critical allegation missing--namely that Kelly is actually using the "Kelly Van Halen" mark for goods and services.  (Insert your own jokes about whether the VAN HALEN mark was irreparably diluted when they hired Gary Cherone below.)
START WRITING THE SCANDAL SKETCH NOW:  Perhaps in response to complaints about lack of diversity in recent hires, Kerry Washington will host SNL on November 2.  Washington is the first African-American female to host since Maya Rudolph in February 2012, and the first non-alum African-American female to host since Gabourey Sidibe in April 2010.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

MEET ME ANYPLACE OR ANYWHERE OR ANYTIME:  The 2014 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame include a number of first-time nominees: Nirvana, as expected, in its first year of eligibility, but also Linda Ronstadt (eligible 19 years, but never on the ballot before), Link Wray (28), The Zombies (24), Yes (19), Hall and Oates (16), Peter Gabriel (11, but already inducted as a member of Genesis), and The Replacements (7).

Rounding out the ballot are the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, LL Cool J, N.W.A., the Meters, and Cat Stevens.

[Among the excluded: The Smiths, The Cure, Kraftwerk, New Order, Sonic Youth, Warren Zevon, Bon Jovi, and every woman who played post-WWII non-country popular music not named Linda Ronstadt or in Chic.]

As always, we've got a Doodle ballot. Make your case here, and go vote there. It's so easy.
IF SEGER'S IN... The long-list ballot for this year's Rock Hall of Fame arrives this week, and the list of potential new nominees is here.  Obviously, Nirvana is a lead pipe cinch for induction in this first year of eligibility, but after that, it gets interesting--does Massive Attack make the cut to be the first electronica artist in?  Does Melissa Etheridge get in as much for political activism as for the music?  Does Morissey get in as a solo artist when The Smiths have never been nominated?  Does Phish get in?  Tracy Chapman?  Do the Traveling Wilburys get in, given than 4/6 members are already in for other work?  Much to discuss.
ALSO, IS IT FAIR TO SAY THAT WIZARD OF OZ IS SET IN KANSAS? Business Insider has an infographic and accompanying article purporting to identify the most famous book set in each of the fifty states.  Some are inarguable (Georgia gets Gone With The Wind, Alabama gets To Kill A Mockingbird), some are unfortunate, but probably accurate (Washington state gets Twilight), and some beg arguments (No Country For Old Men over Lonesome Dove for Texas?, Hotel New Hampshire rather than Owen Meany for New Hampshire?).  I'm sure you have opinions.

Monday, October 14, 2013

ALOTT5MA GRAMMAR RODEO HALL OF FAME:  I'm sorry I didn't learn of this April 2012 story until reading it in the new Green Bag Almanac & Reader of Useful and Entertaining Tidbits for Lawyers for the Year to Come and Exemplary Legal Writing from the Year Just Passed, as part of Bryan Garner's survey of The Year in Language & Writing, but it is a gem:
On that Sunday night, the parking prospects were slim, as they often are in [Park Slope]. Half an hour into his task, Mr. Vincent was still puttering along the streets with nary a parking spot in sight. Then suddenly before him there appeared a space right by his street, alongside Prospect Park. Mr. Vincent felt a burst of relief that soon gave way to trepidation after he caught sight of a sign. “No standing,” it read, “April to October.”

Mr. Vincent wondered what exactly that “to” meant, dithered for a bit, and then decided that it meant no parking until October began, which meant that that day, Oct. 2, was fair game.
YOU DO WITH MOGWAI WHAT YOUR SOCIETY HAS DONE WITH ALL OF NATURE'S GIFTS: Some regard him as a great visionary; others as a megalomaniac who wreaked havoc over the properties he conquered. Today, we pause to evaluate his legacy.

So, director/screenwriter Chris Columbus: more good (Home Alone, Goonies, Gremlins) than bad (the first two Harry Potter films, the film version of Rent, Home Alone 2, Mrs. Doubtfire, Bicentennial Man)?  Does Adventures in Babysitting tip the scales?
WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN'S GOING TO HAPPEN. JUST DON'T LET IT HAPPEN TO YOU: NBC's upcoming live production of The Sound of Music, starring Carrie Underwood, has added a few familiar names: Laura Benanti (Baroness Elsa Schrader), Christian Borle (Uncle Max!), and Audra MacDonald (Mother Abbess). Stephen Moyer was previously announced as The Captain, but since I don't watch True Blood I have no idea who he is.