Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why Are All the Best Jazz Singers from Norway?

Sweden gave us ABBA. Bleh. Meh. So what? Who cares? But Norway gave us some of the best jazz singers in the world. I keep discovering more of them each day.

Last night I had dinner with one of Norway's leading jazz vocalists, Busby "Bryce" Digdug. We planned to meet at the Big Sunflower at 16th and Valencia, not to be confused with the Little Sunflower at 16th and Valencia. The fact that the same restaurant has a branch just around the corner is proof that the Vietnamese are the best dadaists.

Busby and I had meant to meet at the Little Sunflower, but there was a jumper who forced the city to shut down the block for seven hours while onlookers (according to another friend) were shouting JUMP, JUMP!!! Maybe they just wanted to be the first to get into the Big Sunflower. Ironically down the street NBC's Trauma (not to be confused with Trauma Flintstone) was filming outside of Range. There were several ironies going on here. The jumper was in a residential hotel above the high end Peruvian restaurant where attorneys and tech millionaires can enjoy the better cuisine of a nation where the majority of people live on a dollar a day or less. Unfortunately the Big Sunflower crowd had filled Little Sunflower to the point it felt like some dadaist stunt trying to prove how many b.o.-infested skateboard hipsters you can stuff into a pho shop.

So we went across the street to Ti Couz where we discussed a possible appearance by Busby on a future episode of Junk Thief TV with this year's host, Alton Yowells VII. Sorry that I didn't properly introduce Alton in the Season 4 premier, though several people have asked "Who was that deranged creature with the blond afro?" Or "Who is she?" Well, Alton is a he and he is the creative director and chief astrologist here at Junk Thief Entertainment. He'll be appearing before the camera more this year as I step back and take more of a management role at Junk Thief Entertainment as we branch out to Timore Leste and Catalonia.

Well, maybe we can coax Busby to sing a few jazz tunes when he returns to our show. He does a dynamite version of "Get Out of Town". I think there is something about Norwegians like Busby that is a natural to jazz. For years I've loved Norwegian pop star Wyncke Myhre (who had to go to Germany to make it big) and the late jazz stylist Monica Zetterlund. Monica did some great work with Bill Evans, but I love her stuff done in Norwegian the best.

Latley I've been really big on Radka Toneff who covers Bulgarian folk songs, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Kurt Weill and Jimmy Webb. I'm thinking I might have Busby sing some of the more complex Jimmy Webb tunes from Secret Garden when he drops by.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Junk Thief TV - Season 4 Premier

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Penny Plain; Twopiece Coloured

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On the Set: Junk Thief TV, Season 4

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

What We're Seeing in the Mission

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Too Bad for Ewe

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I Want the Prime Rib Buffet and Bobby J

Another great find through a tip from Gavin Elster. This is almost like the male bookend to that wonderful Samantha Sang video from a few days earlier.

Sadly, I must admit that I missed Bobby J the first time around. Though back in 1984 I got hit on by several guys who looked just like Bobby J. Wait, there is something very familiar about the swaying of his hips.

So, what's your theory on Bobby J? I can easily picture him working as a car loan officer as some lowly branch bank, buys his duds through International Male's catalog and has been pursuing his Euro Disco career at night. I hear that he's a smash in Jersey Boys at the Ray Stevens Theater in Branson, Missouri.

What's your theory?

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Clorox Code - Part 3 - Mystery Solved (Sort of)

At the end of the documentary "The History of America in Bleach", the CEO of Clorox came down a spiral staircase and signed black tablets with a Clorox bleach pen.

Sally Kellerman turned to me, rolled her eyes, and said, "Do you believe this shit? And I just wanted to find out the source of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing."

Suddenly the lights dimmed and the above video cued up. Sally, Dan Brown and I swayed in synchronized rhythm in our seats. "Just love the Bee Gees," Dan said.

"Oh, who doesn't love the Bee Gees?" Sally added.

I nodded. Midway through the song, the screen rose and we saw the fellow (whose name was Dimitri) below along with his two brothers continuing the song in that familiar, high pitched harmony. Sally managed to capture this short clip at the end of the song on her iPhone before the Clorox brass stopped her from recording their next song.

"Oh, how cute, they sound just like the Bee Gees," Dan said.

"What do you mean," Dimitri shouted. "We are the Bee Gees."

"Yes," his brother Grover said. "The Gibb brothers just lip sync to our recordings. They can't sing a note. All those records were recorded by us!"

"Well, I always noticed that the music and the lip moves were always a tad off in their concerts," Sally added.

"Damned straight," Grover said. "They were on the stage getting all the bucks and glory while we were behind a screen doing all the real work. We got a bucket of minnows if we were lucky."

"But what does all this have to do with...Clorox?" I asked.

"We swim in pools..." Grover explained.

"...and pools need chlorine to stay clean..." Dimitri said with a wink. "...and we all know chlorine comes from..."

"'nuff said," Sally said.

They then put on hats and did their Night Fever medley. At the end of the show, the screen came back down with closing music and credits, and we noticed the acknowledgment of "Headgear by Millie's Marine Mammal Millinery of Mendocino". As we exited, young men in white suits holding daisies passed out cans of dolphin-free tuna and packets of Hidden Valley Ranch with instructions on how to make "unforgettable tuna salad".

"We never really solved the Clorox code, did we?" Dan said with certain self realization.

"Will you just shut up and let's zip up to Mendocino," Sally said. "I've got a great idea for my next night club routine."

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Monday, October 12, 2009

My Kanye Moment

I just wanna say Samantha Sang made one of the best videos of all time. Special thanks to Gavin Elster for pointing me towards this classic.

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Life on Broadway

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Fashion, Life, Before Anna Wintour

Click to embiggen both for captions.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Halloween (and Dia de Los Muertos)

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Not Quite Sure...

...what this bit of collage on top of a billboard around 24th and Alabama is, but I like it. Is it just me, or is the spirit of Joseph Cornell everywhere these days?

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What We're Seeing in the Mission

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

What We're Seeing in the Mission

And I especially like the Joseph Cornell inspired assemblage in the window of Million Fishes Arts Collective.

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It's Sing Along Time

Are you curious or confused?

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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Sittin' Around, Hangin' Out, Doin' Our Thang

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Who Was Shorpy Higginbotham?

The other day, Friendatella (whose caller identity is "Blocked Caller") and I were walking around the Mission, and we stepped into The Apartment, one of the less pretentious vintage stores in the Mission. The owner has a laid back, affable manner, and we had a long discussion about the many "analog" photographs he has, most of them conveniently categorized and generally informal snapshots that seem to have come from abandoned family albums.

He had an especially interesting series of beach shots from the 1940s taken in San Diego. It was interesting to look at the faces of young men in their teens and early 20s some six plus decades ago. What stories might they have had and what was going through their heads as they stood in groups with their arms around each other with unapologetic affection one would not see even in groups of gay men today.

Such photos in the age of digital images made me glad to recently come across two great blogs I'd never seen before -- Shorpy, named after a young boy working in the mines of Alabama a century ago and Accidental Memories, which also features odd, often historic photos and random bits of intriguing art.

Both of these remind me why I decided to start blogging more than three years ago and that I would like to get more "into" it than I have in recent months. Sometimes I resent Twitter and Facebook for killing off blogs or distracting me. At least I managed to kill off my Friendster and MySpace accounts eons ago, but I hope to make more connections with blogs of this order that have intrigue equal to that of the mystery of Lora Direnzo. Too bad she never got to meet Shorpy.

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Goods, Foods and Mushrooms

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Junk Thief Sez....

...our country will not find peace until our children stop thinking of peas, ham and milk. Imagine whirled soy. Or at least less pork.

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