Mostly Cloudy Day

Upcoming Album Releases
Jan. 18 Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared by Deerhunter
Mint by Alice Merton
The Unseen In Between by Steve Gunn
Remind Me Tomorrow by Sharon Van Etten (Atlantic review)
Heard It In A Past Life by Maggie Rogers (NPR feature)
Assume Form by James Blake
Jan. 25 Feral Roots by Rival Sons
Feb. 1 Gallipoli by Beirut
Encore by The Specials
Feb. 15 Triage by Methyl Ethel
March 8 There Will Be No Intermission by Amanda Palmer
April 26 In The End by The Cranberries (Rolling Stone article)

TV
Jan. 17 Grey’s Anatomy

Other Upcoming Events
Feb. 7 Michael Cohen to testify before Congressional committee.

Time to Answer Back

Dear editors everywhere: The letter “a” with an acute accent has an ALT code of 0225. This means if you go to your keyboard and press the “ALT” button and then press “0-2-2-5,” the symbol “á” will appear.

This is going to become important because Julián Castro has just announced that he is running for president.

Now, that leads to an obvious question: Why in the wide wide world of sports does the name Julián require the accent? Well, let’s see. His name ends in the letter “n.” This means that by regular rules of pronunciation in Spanish, the emphasis would be on the second to last syllable. So, without the accent, the man’s name is Ju-LEE-an. And that just doesn’t sound right.

I for one am glad that the name Julián Castro requires an accent because it’s not potentially bothersome enough to Trump voters for me that his last name is “Castro.”

I mean I say that tongue-in-cheek, but at the same time, I am struck by an overwhelming feeling that it’s important for the Democratic party to nominate a brown person and/or a female person in 2020.

Because I think that all of this needs to be answered.

All of this. You know, don’t you, that Trump’s first major platform plank was an attack on our neighbors south of Tejas, right? I mean, first he presented his erection about the crowd’s size. Then, he rattled through ISIS, China, and Japan. And then he laid the cornerstone:

When do we beat Mexico at the border? They’re laughing at us, at our stupidity. And now they are beating us economically. They are not our friend, believe me. But they’re killing us economically.

The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems.

Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

The first thing Trump attacked was our neighbors to the south. And he continued to be his Donald Trump self, bludgeoning people of color, people who speak Spanish, both, and women. He insulted Carly Fiorina’s appearance. He associated anchor Megyn Kelly with blood. He has repeatedly chased down Sen. Elizabeth Warren with an insult club called “Pocahontas.” He has separated children from their families and still maintains concentrations camps for those children, based solely on those peoples’ legitimate quest for asylum in the United States and because they are brown people. He said that a judge ruled against him due to the judge’s Mexican heritage. He referenced some nations as “shithole countries.” He pardoned Joe Arpaio. He made a major issue of American citizens, also known as “football players,” for legitimately protesting the state of race relations in the United States. He asked reporter April Ryan to establish a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus for him because she was a black woman who asked him about the Congressional Black Caucus.

And then there was Charlottesville. Remember Charlottesville? “On both sides?” Really?

As I think of the Democratic primary process and as talented, smart people begin to toss their hats in, I have to think at this point that we have a chance to answer all of this, a chance to clap back, a chance to raise a fist and to declare ENOUGH!

Yes, Julián Castro’s name requires an accent. So, I believe, does the Democratic nomination process.

After All

Did you ever get the feeling that music has gotten away from you? How many SNL musical guests have you watched and wondered when music became so irrelevant, so much flash, so much backing tape? Have yinz crazed a new record that isn’t Cardi B but that isn’t country music talked over snaps either?

Hi. Rob Baird here. I gotcha.

Seriously. Baird’s new album, After All, released today, is real music. Highly recommended.

Upcoming Album Releases
Jan. 18 Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared by Deerhunter
Mint by Alice Merton
The Unseen In Between by Steve Gunn
Remind Me Tomorrow by Sharon Van Etten
Jan. 25 Feral Roots by Rival Sons
Feb. 1 Gallipoli by Beirut
March 8 There Will Be No Intermission Amanda Palmer

TV
Jan. 17 Grey’s Anatomy

Other Upcoming Events
Feb. 7 Michael Cohen to testify before Congressional committee.

This Wins The Internet Today

(Replete with comments on Reddit)






Upcoming Album Releases
Jan. 11 After All by Rob Baird
You Tell Me
Jan. 18 Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared by Deerhunter
Mint by Alice Merton
The Unseen In Between by Steve Gunn
Remind Me Tomorrow by Sharon Van Etten
Jan. 25 Feral Roots by Rival Sons
Feb. 1 Gallipoli by Beirut
March 8 There Will Be No Intermission Amanda Palmer

Happy New Year 2019

I think the most astonishing thing about 2018 was that Childish Gambino dropped “This Is America” all the way back in May, and not much changed. I found that work to be so astonishing, so direct, so urgent that I half expected it to plunge a sword into the planet and cause a massive ripple of awareness planet-wide. But instead it dried up and blew away just like the Charles Atlas bully said, just like everything does.

It is 2019 now for 26 minutes, and I am watching the entertainment on the ABC. The first music I heard in 2019 was a live performance by somebody named Post Malone. There was no band, not even a group of stand-ins pretending to be a band, just him, just this guy saying these things into a microphone as if he’s singing. Now this other chick is on the TV lip-syncing something into a microphone. And the weird part to me is that all the kids in the audience know all the words to all of these songs, and they’re singing along like she’s singing “Free Bird.” Okay wait, I figured it out. The one on my TV right now is somebody named Camila Cabello, and she is singing her new hit single, “I’ll Never Be The Same.”

I sure am glad I don’t have to like that shitty music. There’s enough good music that I don’t have to know all the words to Post Malone songs and Camila Cabello songs.

Well, nothing to do but toast with a shot of Jager and go to sleep. I gotta work tomorrow. Yes, that’s right. I’m one of the suckers working New Year’s Day. Woot.

He’s Such A Charmer Oh No

Buh-bye 2018

Zappadan 2018…Day 17. I Knew You’d Be Surprised

Zappadan always goes so fast.

I didn’t do as much here as I had thought I would. I haven’t in recent years. It’s difficult to blog about a single topic for 17 days straight and to do it with a new angle.

But, Zappadan these days is not so much about the blogging. I spent some time watching some really great kids doing some serious vlogging, and they managed to make it to pretty much every blessed night. I learned much from these vlog sessions and will probably revisit them. You should note that these two sometimes got chat from some weird old guy. They were extremely nice to their party crasher.

Lot of activity over at the @zappadan Twitter. And, I tried to document the activity over at zappadan.com. I will be adding more stuff and cleaning it up as I have time, and I think I’m going to try to blog over there year-round.

I like the Zappadan thing. It’s weird. But it makes me expand my appreciation. I ended up taking on a few more albums, including Sleep Dirt, which I managed to find on vinyl; The Roxy Performances, Chicago ’78, Little Dots, the Road Tapes albums, Finer Moments. All highly recommended listens, and all brand new to me this year.

And I think if I realized something about Frank this year, it’s that yeah, he was a great musician, a spouter of various wisdom, a brave stalwart versus authority’s fists, and just plain altogether an attitude.

I think the greatest thing about Zappa was that he was the ultimate music fan.

And I think that’s what makes Frank Zappa so undeniable to those of us who revere him.

Merry Zappadan.

Solo and The Favourite

I finally watched Solo: A Star Wars Story last night, and I’m utterly annoyed that I didn’t go see it in the theater. I had avoided it because

  1. General disappointment in the direction taken in The Last Jedi
  2. Not really feeling the need to have Han Solo’s background story fed to me with a spoon

That it was somewhat acclaimed critically but considered a failure at the box office didn’t help lure me, either. However, I watched the thing this past weekend, and it’s good! It hits your fan service bone just enough, it offers a fine story with familiar elements, and it manages to be a groovy heist pic as well. It’s so enjoyable, I’ve already made plans to watch it with Dear Old Dad this weekend. Yes, I shall watch it again.

We also managed to trek out to see The Favourite. This is a period piece in the court of Queen Anne, who ruled from 1702 to 1714. Here. I cribbed this bit of history from the Vox review (cuz Dad and I were wondering…):

Anne was queen when the Acts of Union were signed and England and Scotland were united to form Great Britain. She also ruled during the War of the Spanish Succession, and waged war with France in North America for control of the continent, in what would become known as Queen Anne’s War.

Not that this is what the film is about. No, The Favourite is a power struggle, and it is, above all, Breaking Bad set to Bach. Mr. Chips to Scarface. It incorporates ribald and often dark comedy and employs it effectively.

It also has a final scene that might be offputting. I’ve seen commented that the ending felt incomplete. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The symbolism used here isn’t hinting anything, and I’d like to take a moment to perhaps clarify.

Spoiler ahead. You’ve been warned. Don’t read any further if you don’t want to know how The Favourite ends.


Abigail in one moment feels buoyed, triumphant, powerful, and, sadly, cruel. She sets her foot upon one of the Queen’s rabbits, threatening its suffocation.

In a few moments, she finds herself kneeling beneath Queen Anne, providing her relief while the Queen is fully leaning upon Abigail. This is the last scene of the film. This is how it ends.

Many might find this ending unsettlingly murky. However, this ending offers a meaning I found to be crystal clear: Abigail is trapped. She is as trapped as one of the Queen’s rabbits and will similarly spend the rest of her life caged. Just as she held that bunny under her foot, she is to be held underfoot of the Queen. The power and the freedom she felt she’d achieved were illusory.

It’s bleak, but it’s all there.


Hope that helps.

Miley Cyrus Gets It

Last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live was surprising. It was you know, actually funny.

The cold open presented Trump in an “It’s A Wonderful Life” scenario. Matt Damon’s monologue was a great reflection from his early years trying to stay up late to watch SNL, a familiar memory. The first sketch was a well-crafted love letter to Monty Python’s “Upper Class Twit of the Year,” then a spot-on Christmas sketch. I’ll never understand how they can miss on all cylinders so often and then for an entire show get it completely right. But, suffice it to say, if you catch one episode this year, make it the one that aired on Dec. 15.

And I hate it when I like Miley Cyrus, but she was fabulous. Rare is the musical guest who eschews the backing tape, but Cyrus’ performances are clearly all hers. And especially touching was her version of “So This Is Christmas,” where near the end she brings the background vocals–which Lennon meant as the nut of the song–into the foreground. War is over, if you want it, war is over now. This, and realizing that Sean Ono Lennon is her accompanist, lends this performance some real gravitas.

And of course, guess what President Sippy-Cup is blathering on about on the Tweeter: Trump freaks out over SNL’s ‘unfair news coverage’ and threatens legal action (Raw Story)