Ear Wormies

I know now that the Sam Phillips music from a little television show I like to call The Mighty Gilmoreans has at least two key doppelgängers. I know this because my brain keeps mashing them all together and playing them.

Examples follow:

For starters, if you’ve watched the show, these tunes are rather familiar:

My inner jukebox has matched this stuff with a little Beatles…

…and a bit of Traveling Wilburys…

All of the Hip-Hop Artists Eminem Namechecked

Thanks, rev.com

2 Live Crew, 2Pac, 3rd Bass, Alliance, Apache, Audio Two, Milk Dee, what up? Awesome Dre, the Beastie Boys, Big Daddy Kane, Big Pun, Big L, Biz Markie, The Notorious B.I.G, of course, Black Moon, The Boogiemonsters, Brand Nubian, Brother J from X Clan, Buckshot, Casual from Hieroglyphics, Chill Rob G, Chubb Rock, Chuck D, and Public Enemy. Cypress Hill, D-Nice, Dana Dane, De La Soul. Nah, I’m only playing with you. De La Soul. Did I say De La Soul? Def Jeff, Del the Funky Homosapien, DJ Quik, Dr. Dre, Dres from Black Sheep, LG, EPMD, The Fat Boys, Fat Joe, Fu-Schnickens, Gang Starr, Geto Boys, Heavy D, House of Pain, Ice Cube, Ice-T, The Intelligent Hoodlum, J.J. Fad, Jaz-O, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Justus, K-Solo, Kid ‘n Play. What’s happening right now? King Sun, King Tee, Kool G. Rap, Kool Moe Dee, KRS-One, Kwame, Lakim Shabazz, Large Professor, Leaders of the New School.

(05:06)
Man, where’d I just seen him? The one and only LL Cool J. Lord Finesse, Lords of the Underground, Mantronix, Masta Ace, MC Creed, MC Lyte, MC Shan, Melle Mel, Merciless Ameer, Mobb Deep, Monie Love, Nas, Newcleus, Onyx, Organized Confusion, OutKast, Andre 3000, Paris, [inaudible 00:05:46], Queen Latifah, Rakim, Redhead Kingpin, Pete Rock & CL Smooth.

(05:52)
I’m almost done. Redman. Redman, Roxanne Shante, Run DMC, [inaudible 00:06:00], Slick Rick and Doug E Fresh, Snoop Dogg, Souls of Mischief, Special Ed, Stetsasonic. Now I’m down to the S’s.

(06:15)
Super Legacy and Casanova One, The DOC, the Roots, Black Thought, The Skinny Boys, Tony D, Too Short, Treach and Naughty by Nature, Tribe Called Quest, UTFO, Udini, Wise Intelligent and the Poor Righteous Teachers, Wu-Tang Clan and Wiki.

It’s The Key That Unlocks Everything

HBO always seems to give me a reason to keep subscribing to my Spectrum Silver package. This month more than anything, I have been looking forward to season three of We’re Here, drag’s answer to Queer Eye. Season Two was unceremoniously halted by Covid. The season 3 premiere (which I missed! drat!) feels might topical in the wake of the Colorado Springs shootings.

Another good reason is that on a lazy Saturday afternoon, you can tune in for a broadcast of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Some thoughts.

~ I am weirdly sentimental for Duran Duran. Weirdly because they were really not my thing at the time. I mean, when you were 15 in the ’80s, sure, “Hungry Like The Wolf” struck a chord. But, generally, there was another subset in our class who followed them more avidly. But to hear Robert Downey Jr. gush about them was really something.

~ Same apparently goes for Eurythmics.

~ Janet Jackson coming out looking like a Control album cover bookend.

(The Grio noticed it too.)

~ This was quite a statement considering Control was the breakthrough for those she inducted, producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Lewis did the one thing I thought vital in his speech: He thanked Prince. “There’s no Time without the Purple One,” he said. And that’s the friggin’ truth.

~ Unpopular opinion time: There are far better rappers in the universe than Eminem. In my world, Chubb Rock would have been inducted. De La Soul. Maybe even Sage Francis. But I bet it’s a tough line for the Rock Hall to toe. Ten inductees out of more than 300 come out of hip-hop. Then again, we don’t see a boatload of doo-wop acts inducted regularly, either. Where do you draw the line on cross genres? I mean, Dolly Parton isn’t rock and roll either, and initially she demurred due to this, but her influence is unavoidable just due to her sheer greatness as an artist and as a public figure alone.

~ Update: I wrote the above point before I heard Em’s acceptance speech, in which he names about 100 of his influences in hip-hop, including Chubb Rock, including 3rd Bass, including De La Soul, including KRS-One, including Queen Latifa, including LL Cool J, including, including, including. It may have been the most gracious acceptance speech I have ever witnessed. It turns out that Eminem is a mensch.

~ Worth the watch alone for frontman Rob Halford’s declaration: “I’m the gay guy in the band!”

“You see, that there is what heavy metal is all about,” he continued. “We call ourselves the heavy metal community, which is all-inclusive. So no matter what your sexual identity is, what you look like, the color of your skin, the faith that you believe in or don’t believe in, everybody’s welcome.”

~ Carly Simon’s induction was long overdue, and it’s a shame she could not appear. But grief is a heck of a drug (Simon lost both sisters last month to cancer.)

~ My father cannot differentiate Carly Simon from Carole King. I totally understand this.

~ Watching Springsteen and Mellencamp’s tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis brings to mind an obvious question: Why have Springsteen and Mellencamp never made an album?

~ I missed Halford’s duet with Dolly. Will have to catch this later. Oh. so it’s more of a supergroup deal. Wasn’t that cool.

I always kind of poo-poo the Rock Hall inductions (let’s induct the Mothers, already). But the broadcast of the event itself always gives me the feels.

Proposed sketch for SNL this week.

:: Jack Harlow is chilling at his apartment. There’s a knock at the door.::

Voice from outside: Mr. Arlsburgerhhh?

Jack Harlow: Who?

Voice from outside: Mrs. Johannesburrrr?

Jack Harlow: Who is it?

Voice from outside: Flowers.

Jack Harlow: Flowers for whom?

Voice from outside: HAVE YOU OR YOUR LOVED ONES LIVED OR SPENT TIME AT CAMP LEJUNE IN NORTH CAROLINA BETWEEN 1956 AND 1987?

Jack Harlow: Well, yes! ::opens door:

[Huge latex and foam-rubber shark head lunges through open door, chomps down on Jack Harlow’s head, and drags Jack Harlow out of the apartment, as Jaws attack music plays.]

The Good Fight

Weekends are weirdly abstract when your work shift is Sunday through Thursday, 9:30 p.m. to 6:15 a.m. as has been my experience since June. This particular weekend is no exception. I pretty much slept all of Friday, got out of bed, watched Real Time with Bill Maher, then went back to bed. I woke up about 6 a.m. Saturday and played with the cat. There are a few errands that might get done today and hopefully a lunch with Dad / phone call with Mom.

I wanted to mention that if you watch the television program The Good Fight and you’re enough of a fan to want to discuss the show online, there is a Facebook group for that. Unlike many Facebook groups, this bunch of fans seem to generate some smart discussion.

Spoiler alert. Spoiler alert. There might be some uh, spoilers.

Season 6 is two episodes in on its Paramount+ platform. It’s been a weird ride. They seem to be going for a disconnected vibe that flirts with feeling like the dream sequence from season 4, but there’s been no reveal, so it’s not a dream. As I posted in Fans of the Good Fight on Facebook:

I have not been in on the current season yet. The premiere did not fish me in so much. Ask me when I got fished in by the current season. Just ask me.

Christine Baranski on an elevator holding a sunflower singing from West Side Story.

I’m in.

So they’re doing something interesting on the show. There are protests in the streets all around, and some of the protesters are tossing fake grenades into the elevators. The first time this happens is episode 1, and all who are on the elevator react as one would expect. By episode 2, Eli Gold grabs the thing and hands it to the receptionist without any sense of danger, so these things are becoming quite normal. The grenades all have a message printed warning of escalated protests on 11/10.

Why 11/10? I think this can be explained in a seemingly unremarkable conversation in episode 2 between Diane Lockhart and Eli Gold. As I posted in the Facebook group:

It is interesting that the show is taking part in real time, apparently. In episode 2, Diane asks Eli what the date is, and Eli responds that it is September 15, which is the date episode 2 originally aired. November 10 is a Thursday, which means that episode will be available for streaming on the real November 10. Whatever they have in store for us, it’s probably going to happen in episode 10.

Noting also that November 10 is two days after Election Day. I think they might be setting us up for an art-imitates-life moment on The Good Fight.

Good Times Bad Times

I went from having the best shift in the world to the worst shift in the world, previously, evenings 3-midnight with Saturdays and Sundays off; now, overnights, 9:30 to 6 in the morning with Fridays and Saturdays off. Any other time of year it would be slight gradients more palatable, but in the summer, when it’s hot as balls out and the sun stares right at you right when you’re fixing to go to bed, and when there’s nothing on television worth a darn, well, I’ve spent this summer feeling mighty upside-down most of the time. It’s the kind of thing you can try to correct for and keep trying to correct for but that you can’t get straight. If I draw this shift next quarter, I can tell you I will have questions.

It is though a great opportunity to binge-watch television programs. I have watched Parenthood. I have watched Brothers and Sisters. I have watched Ally McBeal. I am now on season 3 of Better Call Saul. And I want to mention something about the third one there.

Anne Heche has died. She is in seven episodes of Ally McBeal. She plays Melanie West, a tourette’s-having cutie who for a moment is a romantic interest for the silly little man known as John Cage. She is delightful in it. I would enjoy watching outtakes of her working in rehearsal with Peter MacNicol. I know she did much more other work. It’s just I recently watched her in this. And this was an actor who lit up the screen. It is sad the context of her end, the firey car crash, the anoxic brain injury. She was my age almost exactly and born in a place I know too well, Aurora, Ohio, though she did not grow up there.

I will say this too about the show Ally McBeal: I found it more compelling now than I did then, mainly because I know more music. What TV show these days would suddenly break into a cover of “To Sir With Love?” Who does that? I don’t know what neighborhood in Boston Ally McBeal’s world is in, but I’d like to check it out sometime.

And Olivia Newton-John as well. It’s odd, if there is ever an earworm from this person for me, it’s “Hopelessly Devoted” from Grease. Then maybe the weird ’80s mainstay “Physical.” Then maybe “Magic” from Xanadu. It’s weird how a musical artist like that can seem so innocuous but can be so vital. If Linda Ronstadt ever goes, you’re gonna have to give me a day or two to process it.

Binging Better Call Saul is a great experience though. I was watching it when it first came out, but I think I lost interest trying to figure out what Mike Ehrmantraut was doing with that stupid battery and the tracker. I had to look it up on the internet this time, and I’m here to tell you, it’s pretty smart. Quite a crafty way for ol’ Mike to meet up with Gustavo Fring. That’s the beautiful thing about Vince Gilligan. He trusts you. In the Mike storylines, there is barely any dialogue. They want you to watch, to bear with a slowly-unfolding story, to cheerfully receive a story not told but shown. So much so that I had to go look up the thing with the tracker and why Mike was hooking up a AA battery to a radio. Okay, here’s what he was doing, ready?

Mike drives away from the location where he tried to kill Hector[b] and unsuccessfully checks his car for a tracking device. Certain he was followed, he completely dismantles the station wagon he was driving at a local junkyard but finds nothing. While looking at a sales display of gas caps, he has an epiphany and takes apart the one from the station wagon, where he finds a battery-operated tracker.

After finding the tracking device, Mike obtains an identical one from Dr. Caldera, studies its function, and discovers it remotely warns the operator when the battery runs low. He replaces the tracker in the gas cap of his sedan with the new one, drains the battery of the one he took from his sedan, and stays awake all night to watch the sedan. In the early morning, someone arrives to change the tracker on his sedan for one with a fresh battery. Because the man who replaced the tracker is actually carrying the one Mike placed on his car, Mike is able to follow him.

Do not mess with Mike. I’m just saying.

Meanwhile today is the day that Salman Rushdie got stabbed in the throat at Chappaqua of all places and the day that we all found out that Former Loser Preznit Carnage the Magnificent likely actually absconded with nucular documents. Can we impeach him yet? I mean, again?

Here’s a picture of my cat.

Parenthood, the soundtrack

I have been on a watching binge of the 2010 television series Parenthood. This is largely due to a recent urgent need to keep myself going through the night as my work shift has gone from my nice cushy evening shift to a shift that propels me to work from sunset to sunrise Sunday through Thursday. When on such a shift, boredom is a real creeper. It’s six seasons of wonderful family wholesome. Like Eight is Enough without the cheesy morality tales, and while we all love Betty Buckley, Bonnie Bedelia steams the joint up a bit more as the matriarchal Mrs. Braverman.

As music plays a vital role in this program (a central storyline is that the brothers Crosby and Whathisname run a recording studio together, but the show overall uses music to great effect), I half-thought about procuring a Spotify playlist based on the many eclectic tunes used throughout. Before making the effort, though, I thought I’d see if some other obsessive soul had previously done the work.

Runfaster19, you are the man. Person. Whatever. What a comprehensive playlist you created. Congratulations.

Spoiler: He Was Jacking Off

The Good Wife

Episode nine, season two, “Nine Hours.” Zach encounters Kalinda for the first time when she knocks on the door and he answers. She is wearing a purple leather coat and a black skirt. And the boots. Always the boots. He answers the door, as she is on her mobile phone. “You work with my mom?” She replies “yeah” and blasts right by him.

Later, Zach knocks on Alicia’s door and gestures his need for the bathroom. Alicia gestures come on through. As he goes into the bathroom, Zach’s eyes go all over Kalinda, head to toe.

After a few minutes, Zach is seen kind of stumbling out of the bathroom.

I wonder what Zach was doing in the bathroom. Oh, who am I kidding. I was 14 once. I know what Zach was doing in the bathroom.