Thanks, again, Tim!
Baron Dave Romm
When Pigs Fly and weirder songs
By Baron Dave Romm
From a mention here on Bartcop-E, I picked up When Pigs Fly. (They sent me a copy. More and more people realize I'm world famous.) I am, I confess, mystified by their marketing strategy. They keep pushing it as a collection of novelty numbers; unusual covers by people who wouldn't otherwise be singing these songs. It isn't. Lots of people record other people's songs; that's common. I was expecting something weird, and with one or two exceptions the songs are pretty straightforward covers. I listened to the CD without reading the hoopla and kept thinking, "that's a poor Jackie Chan imitator... they could have gotten someone better to do Don Ho." Ah, but they really are singing; no celebrity impersonators here, for better or worse. Chan knows he isn't a good singer, and doesn't try very hard; Ani DeFranco does most of the work on Unforgettable. Don Ho singing Shock The Monkey would work in his lounge act. Etc. etc.
The flip side is: The CD is pretty good. The producers seem to be trying to reach the same market as Golden Throat, and I hope that's not going to work. Several of the covers are better than the originals. The Oak Ridge Boys do a really good version of Kansas' Carry On My Wayward Son, my favorite cut on the CD. The Fixx's version of These Boots Are Made for Walkin' is better than Nancy Sinatra's primal scream (not that it would be hard to be better...). Get It On (Bang A Gong) is rendered quite well by The Neanderthal Spongecake (a group of whom I've never heard but admire their name; perhaps even more than I admire the name of the original artist T. Rex.) Most of the other covers are okay, but no better than that. Devo doing their techno/electronic take on Neil Young's Ohio is interesting, but not better. Your mileage may vary, I suppose, but this is a good CD without actually being funny or conceptually interesting beyond the song listings.
I've reviewed cover CDs here and tribute albums (see above) any of which are stranger than these, but as long as When Pigs Fly is spending money pushing unusual artist/song pairings I'll mention individual songs from as yet unreviewed CDs. Country singer Willie Nelson joins Polka bandleader Jimmy Sturr for several cuts on Polka! All Night Long. I don't know which is the more unusual pairing: A polka band behind Nelson as he sings Big Ball In Cowtown or Nelson fronting for the polka Tavern In the Town. A good, unexpected CD.
I've never seen the movie Tokyo Pop, and have no desire to do so. Still, the soundtrack has some interesting covers. The thrash version of Home on the Range and the Japanese references in Blue Suede Shoes are good. I may get around to reviewing Birdsongs of the Mesozoic and related Erik Lindgren CDs, but for the nonce just let me mention their odd electronic instrumental covers of the themes to Rocky and Bullwinkle and The Simpsons. One of Erik's other projects is The Space Negros, and Dig Archology Vol. 1 has several oddities, including In A Gadda Da Vida, Back in the USSR and Little League (aka Take Me Out To the Ball Game).
Did you know that the theme to I Love Lucy has lyrics? Desi Arnaz sings up his hit. Similarly, Nichelle Nichols does a good verson of The Theme From Star Trek, with lyrics by Rodenberry. (More on this CD in coming weeks.) Mojo Nixon and the Toad Liquors does a verson of Mr. Grinch that's slimier than the original from the cartoon, but I can't seem to find anything but references to it on the net. Similarly, I feel moderately guilty talking about the covers on the Resident's Commercial Album because they're all bonus tracks not found on the vinyl and aren't listed on their website. Still, their version of Hit the Road Jack and It's a Man's Man's Man's World and Jailhouse Rock are not to be missed if you can find 'em.
Don't look up. You may get some porcine droppings in your eye.
Dave Romm is a conceptual artist with a radio show and a web site and a very weird CD collection. He reviews things at random for obscure web sites. You can read all his music recommendations from Bartcop-E here.
Woo Hoo --- Look Who's Back!!
Moose & Squirrel
In The Chaos Household
Had to dig out the kid's shorts & summer gear this morning. Looks like the weather is going to remain unusually warm for awhile.
Currently have 2 towers, 2 keyboards, 2 mouses (mice?), 2 phone cords, 1 phone line, and 1 monitor. Spent most of the afternoon sending myself files, and swapping cables.
Christmas break is over for the kid, and he's not too thrilled about going back to school. Reminded him that his teacher will still be on vacation this week, and that helped lower his anxiety level.
Sure good to have Moose & Squirrel back online!
Last Thursday, KCOP in LA opened their newscast with a story about Mark Mothersbaugh of 'Devo' admitting to subliminal suggestions in some of their work. This might have been a story last May (see: BartCop Entertainment - Saturday, 4 May, 2002), but, not in January, 2003. His admission was part of the hype for 'When Pigs Fly', which Baron Dave Romm then reviewed.
Since Baron Dave Romm is taking a well-deserved break, took the opportunity to re-run 'When Pigs Fly'.
Tonight, Monday, CBS starts the evening with a fresh 'King Of Queens', then a fresh 'Yes, Dear', followed by a fresh 'Raymond', then a fresh 'Still Standing', and wraps the night with a fresh 'CSI: Miami'.
Scheduled on a fresh Dave are Michael Caine and George Foreman.
Scheduled on a fresh Craiggers are Michael Chiklis, Bill Bellamy, and Maroon 5.
NBC has a fresh 'Fear Factor', a fresh 'Third Watch', and a fresh 'Crossing Jordan'.
On a RERUN Jay are Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Kelly Osbourne, Mekhi Phifer.
On a RERUN Conan are Martin Sheen, Donnie Wahlberg, Good Charlotte.
On a RERUN Carson Daly (from 6/24/02), are Tommy Davidson, Trey Anastasio.
Jay, Conan & Carson Daly - all reruns, all week.
ABC has no 'MNF', but a movie, 'Any Given Sunday'. The west coast will finally see 'Jeopardy' on Mondays, too.
The WB has a fresh '7th Heaven' and a fresh 'Everwood'.
Faux has a fresh 'Boston Pubic', and then the series premiere of 'Joe Millionaire', where they have lied to women to get them to play along, then mock them for 'entertainment'. Yuck.
UPN has a fresh 'The Parkers', then a fresh 'One On One', followed by a fresh 'Girlfriends', and then the series premiere of 'Abby'.
Check local PBS lisitings for 'Lance Loud! A Death In An American Family'.
Series pemiere of 'Cirque Du Soleil: Fire Within' on Bravo.
Fresh 'The Shield' on FX.
Anyone have any opinions?
(See below for addresses)
Indian folk artist Mahdevnath performs flame throwing during a show in Ahmadabad, India, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2003.
Photo by Siddharth Darshan Kumar
The Ghost of Rob Lowe?
Paul 'Pee-wee Herman' Reubens
Is Paul "Pee-wee Herman" Reubens being railroaded on child-porn charges? Harvey Levin, the executive producer of "Celebrity Justice," told CNN's Carol Lin that when L.A. police raided Reubens' home,
they seized 20,000 items - including his erotic art collection. "A lot of this [art] was 30, 40, 50, even 100 years old. Legal at the time, we're told, that it was made," Levin said.
More disturbing is that the prosecution's lead piece of evidence is a copy of the infamous, widely distributed "Rob Lowe" tape of Lowe and an underage girl having sex. "I talked to a friend of mine who is a producer for a cable news show, and he said, 'Oh, my God, I could get prosecuted, too, because I have one of those in my garage.' These things were everywhere, and the city attorney is using this," said a shocked Levin. "When you charge somebody with child pornography, you ruin their lives, and a lot of people should have their lives ruined. But when you think about using it for something like this, for the Rob Lowe videotape, it really is a little troubling."
Paul 'Pee-wee Herman' Reubens
North American Box Office
Following are the top 10 movies at the North American box office for the Jan. 3-5 weekend, according to studio estimates collected on Sunday by Reuters. Final data will be issued on Monday.
1 (1) The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers ........... $25.7 million
2 (2) Catch Me If You Can ....... $21.3 million
3 (3) Two Weeks Notice .......... $11.6 million
4 (4) Maid in Manhattan ......... $ 9.0 million
5(22) About Schmidt ............. $ 8.8 million
6 (5) Gangs of New York ......... $ 7.4 million
7 (6) Drumline .................. $ 5.6 million
8 (7) The Wild Thornberrys ...... $ 5.5 million
9(13) Chicago ................... $ 5.0 million
10 (8) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ... $ 4.6 million
Last weekend's position in parentheses.
Russian students Yulia Zhdanova, left, and Anton Chebonenko, carve an ice sculpture of a cat outside the Kremlin in Moscow, Monday Dec. 30, 2002. An ice sculpture festival is being held in Moscow.
Photo by Mikhail Metzel
Going Back to Acting
George Clooney's first directing experience was fun and invigorating, but he won't be going behind the camera again anytime soon.
"I won't be directing again for a while," Clooney said Saturday at a special screening of his new movie "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind." The screening kicked off the 14th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival.
"I have to go make a living somewhere," he said.
Clooney's directorial debut chronicles the secret life of "The Gong Show" host Chuck Barris, who claimed in his 1982 "unauthorized autobiography" that he was also a CIA hit man. Barris was also the creator of the television shows "The Dating Game" and "The Newlywed Game."
Reality Series To Debut
"The Surreal Life," a new WB reality series that houses six low-wattage celebrities together for 10 days in the dubious hope that, combined, they'll shoot off sparks. It debuts 9 p.m. EST Thursday.
The players are Corey Feldman ("The Goonies"); rapper-turned-reverend MC Hammer; Gabrielle Carteris ("Beverly Hills, 90210"); rocker Vince Neil of Motley Crue; Brande Roderick ("Baywatch Hawaii"); Emmanuel Lewis ("Webster"), and former "Survivor" contestant Jerri Manthey.
These are celebs with standards. Hammer and Lewis balk at eating sushi off a naked woman, deeming it unseemly and exploitive. Feldman demurs, too: He doesn't eat sushi. Roderick sneers at Manthey's admission to the house, citing her lack of artistic achievement.
For her part, Manthey gazes upon her oddball roommates and pronounces the scene very "twilight zone." Carteris deems it "this kind of living sitcom." You, the viewer, may supply your own label.
In The Kitchen With BartCop & Friends
Denies Feb. 14 Wedding
Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, in an interview with a Brazilian) newspaper, denied rumors she was going to marry actor Ben Affleck on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14.
"We don't know when the wedding will be. We need to sit down together and choose a date," Lopez said in an interview published Sunday in Rio de Janeiro newspaper Jornal do Brasil. The paper said the interview was conducted in a New York hotel but didn't say on what day.
The performer, whose single "Jenny From The Block" stands at No. 6 of this week's Billboard music chart, said she was doing everything to avoid the media hype around her engagement to Affleck.
"I've already been in relationships with other famous people, but I confess that it (the media attention) didn't even come close to the madness it is this time," she said.
Tokyo's Budokan Hall
Japanese calligraphers perform their brushstroke skills at a New Year calligraphy contest at Tokyo's Budokan hall January 5, 2003. Some 4,000 calligraphers ranging from kindergarten children to the elderly
took part in the year's first calligraphic writing ceremony.
Photo by Eriko Sugita
Hopes to Go Ivy League
Figure skater Sarah Hughes, who upset Michelle Kwan to win an Olympic gold medal last February, now has her eyes on a different prize: the Ivy League.
Hughes, 17, said she did "very well" on her SATs and is considering Harvard, where she has already been accepted, as well as Columbia, Princeton and Yale, where she has applied.
"I don't have to decide until May," Hughes told TV Guide for its Jan. 11 issue.
Formerly 'The Vidiot'
Journalist Pitched Cloning Story
The former ABC News science editor who said he would verify claims that the first human clone had been born tried months ago to sell exclusive coverage of the cloning to the major broadcast networks, according to a report published Sunday.
CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, HBO and Fox Entertainment all were approached by freelance television journalist Michael Guillen, The New York Times reported.
At Fox, Guillen proposed a reality-based show on the cloning process, starting before the births, the Times said. He even offered to produce it and be the on-air host, but Fox rejected the proposal.
Another network executive, who the Times did not identify, said Guillen proposed an exclusive documentary on the cloning at a price of more than $100,000. The executive said the offer would have given the network too little editorial control.
Guillen stepped into the cloning spotlight a week ago when he announced he would organize experts to independently test the claims of Clonaid, a company linked to a religious sect that believes life on Earth was created by extraterrestrials. The group claimed it had created the first cloned human, a girl it said was born to an American mother Dec. 26, but no DNA tests have yet verified the claim.
Guillen, who said he was not being paid by Clonaid to arrange the testing, also pitched a story on the cloning process to the Times in May, saying he was the only reporter allowed to follow a couple trying to have a baby through cloning involving a Kentucky fertility specialist, the newspaper reported.
Guillen holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University and taught physics at Harvard before going into television journalism. He worked at ABC News from 1988 until last year. He has a written a few books, including "Five Equations That Changed the World: The Power and Poetry of Mathematics," which was named a book of the year by Publishers Weekly.
A couple passes municipal workers clearing snow in Moscow's Red Square, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2003, with the State Historical Museum in the background. Snow fell Sunday across Moscow, giving the Russian capital one of the biggest snowfalls
of the season, as temperatures dropped minus 14 degrees celsius (minus 7 degrees Fahrenheit).
Photo by Ivan Sekretarev
Remembered in Opry Tribute
The Grand Ole Opry paid tribute to Hank Williams 50 years after his death, recalling a man whose honest, cutting songs about cheating, drinking and loneliness changed the direction of country music.
"Everybody who ever sang a country song since Hank Williams came along has been influenced," Sharon White Skaggs of The Whites said after the group played "Move It On Over" for the packed auditorium.
Vince Gill called Williams "the greatest singer-songwriter who ever lived," and sang the melancholy "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." Little Jimmy Dickens performed the Cajun-tinged "Jambalaya," Hank Williams III performed "Howlin' at the Moon," and Hank Williams Jr. did the thumping "Kaw-Liga" and other classics.
Williams' songs have been recorded by pop and rock icons as well as country stars, and he is enshrined in both the rock and country music halls of fame. A 2001 tribute album, "Timeless," includes covers of his music by Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Keith Richards, Sheryl Crow and Beck, among others.
The show's promoters had promised a pairing of Hank Williams Jr. and Hank Williams III for a rare joint performance, but it never happened. The two men, who by many accounts have a strained relationship, did not perform on stage together.
Hank Williams's daughter, Jett Williams, played tribute to her father in a separate performance at the Opry on Friday night.
Grand Ole Opry
PR Expert Resigns
The public relations expert who helped Britons warm to Prince Charles and his companion Camilla Parker Bowles has resigned.
Mark Bolland announced late Saturday that he was stepping down as a freelance adviser to the prince to concentrate on other clients. The prince's St. James's Palace office said Charles was sad to see him go.
Toronto-born Bolland, 36, was Charles' deputy private secretary from 1997 until last year, when he set up a public relations business with Charles and his sons Prince William and Prince Harry as clients.
He is credited with helping transform Parker Bowles from a public hate figure for her perceived role in ending Charles' marriage to the late Princess Diana to an accepted member of the royal circle who regularly appears in public with the prince.
Bolland also helped organize the outdoor concerts at Buckingham Palace staged last June to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee.
A candidate for chairman of the California Republican Party apologized for circulating an article that suggested the nation would have been better off if the South had won the Civil War.
"I should have been more sensitive regarding issues raised in this piece and not included it in the e-mail," Bill Back, the current vice chairman of the state GOP, said Saturday.
Back sent the article to party members in 1999 as part of an e-mail newsletter. It was written by Bill Lind of the Center for Cultural Conservatism, a wing of the conservative Free Congress Foundation.
"Given how bad things have gotten in the old USA, it's not hard to believe that history might have taken a better turn," Lind wrote. "The real damage to race relations in the South came not from slavery, but from Reconstruction, which would not have occurred if the South had won."
Back said his newsletter was a forum for different views and that he did not agree with all of them.
Shannon Reeves, state party secretary and the only black member of the state GOP executive committee, rejected that as a defense. Back should have stated in the newsletter that he didn't agree with the article, she said.
Budget Woes Keep Big Room Closed
Kartchner Caverns State Park
State budget cuts could keep a new room with stalactites and formations that look like bacon and fried eggs from opening at Kartchner Caverns State Park until at least September, officials said.
Park officials had originally hoped to have the Big Room open by last October at the caverns near Benson, 40 miles southeast of Tucson. But the first opportunity to gain the funding to staff it won't come until the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, said Suzanne Pfister, chairwoman of the Arizona State Parks Board.
Even if adequate funding is approved for next year's budget, the park won't open the room until the cave myotis bats that roost there have left for the winter, said Ellen Bilbrey, spokeswoman for Arizona State Parks.
The bats, which are critical to the cave's ecosystem, arrive in April and leave in mid-September. Tours of the Big Room will always be restricted when the bats are in the cave, Bilbrey said.
Budget woes keep Big Room at Kartchner closed to tours
Kartchner Caverns State Park
Cochise County Pictorial - Kartchner Caverns State Park
National Caves Association Welcomes You!
Thanks, Michelle V!
People play in the water and on the beach Sunday, Jan. 5, 2003, in Santa Monica, Calif.
Photo by Ric Francis
Fairly freshly updated - 'The Osbournes' ~ Page 4
'The Osbournes' ~ Page 3
'The Osbournes' ~ Page 2
'The Osbournes' ~ Page 1
Free Rolling Stones Concert In LA
Stop Global Warming