How about a little comedy this chilly Tuesday in the middle of December? This sketch is from last weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” with the irrepressible Martin Freeman playing a mashup of his breakthrough role from the original British “The Office” and perhaps his most widely known role as Bilbo Baggins from “The Hobbit” films.
How it came to pass in American culture that the band Motley Crue needed a tribute album is a question anthropologists will debate long after our society has crumbled and blown away. And the idea that country music artists should perform this tribute further flummoxes understanding to the point that only distance in history will deliver us any meaningful discourse on the matter. That said, this cover of “Dr. Feelgood,” to my way of thinking the only good Motley Crue song, by the Mavericks is fun.
I know I’ve been pushing the new She & Him album, “Classics,” very hard. But I really enjoy it. I played part of it in the car for my friend Jessica. She said it reminded her of listening to music with her late grandmother. They listened to music sitting on the “davenport.” Because people of her grandmother’s age didn’t have a couch. They had a davenport. They didn’t have a footstool. They had an ottoman. Anyway, here’s “God Only Knows,” a terrific Beach Boys song, covered by She & Him. Enjoy.
I can’t decide if I think it’s cool that the U.S. Navy has powerful lasers that can blow up stuff or terribly frightening. Aw, who am I kidding? It’s very cool. Note the controls for the thing at about 24 seconds in. It looks like a PlayStation joystick. This might be the only way I would ever be of value to the military.
There’s almost a high school quality to the way Taylor Swift interacts with the models, you know, if your high school was made up of supermodels and pop stars. But it’s like the captain of the cheerleaders is high-fiving and shaking hands with the other cheerleaders while performing in front of the crowd. It gives the viewer a sense that everybody is friends here and they’re share some mutual admiration. The mood adds to the peek-a-boo feeling of the event. You’re getting a rare glimpse of how besties behave together. There was a time in my life when I would have dismissed this as nothing, but in the age of social media, I think Taylor Swift performing at the “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” is one giant selfie.
I missed the “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” last night, a rarity for me. I know there are people who would scream at me for enjoying such a thing, but I don’t care. I like it. And don’t we have enough people who hate fun? I also really enjoy Taylor Swift and this catch pop tune. I enjoyed how many of the models sang along with Swift. It was a sign of how plugged into the elusive now Swift is. It’s a good pop song from a good pop record. It’s fun. Enjoy.
I heard “Pepper” by the Butthole Surfers on the local community radio station the other day and it brought back a fond memory. The song is probably the punk band’s most widely known track. The album it came from, “Electriclarryland” from 1996, was their most successful. I was in college then and remember hearing the song a lot at parties. Years later, I would work for a newspaper in Nebraska. A bunch of us in features were talking about bands. One of the copy editors who had great knowledge of music noted that the newspaper used to censor the Butthole Surfers’ name and just call them the “Surfers” when “Pepper” was a big hit. While I worked at the newspaper, they censored a quote from David Letterman after Sept. 11, 2001, in which he asked if the terrorist attacks would ever make any “damn sense.” They deleted the “damn.” They also pulled a series of “Zits” comics because it involved two teenage boys fantasizing about Angelina Jolie and other actresses mud wrestling. It struck me as absurd and prudish, but I lived in Nebraska for two years. That mentality is definitely there. So here’s to the Butthole Surfers, who cause consternation for copy editors at newspapers in Nebraska with their very name. It ain’t much of a legacy, I suppose, but I’d take it.
I’m not the biggest Bon Jovi fan ever, but almost everybody I knew had a cassette copy of “Slippery When Wet” when I was a boy growing up in Winterset. “You Give Love A Bad Name” was unavoidable on the radio and at school mixers. I liked the song, but we used ot make up silly lyrics for it in junior high school. I think they went something like this: “Shot out a fart and you’re to blame. You gave the air a bad smell. Bad smell.”