Pre-order Bananarama

Saturday, June 21, 2008

We Judge Things

I love to take surveys, not because I particularly want to be helpful, but because I think my opinion is far better than yours. That is also why I can tell you without the slightest hesitation that you must buy the following music that is currently in heavy rotation on the Trading Faces IPod:

Rockferry, Duffy

Do you like Amy Winehouse? If you don't, get the hell off my blog! If you do, then you might find Duffy appealing. They both have this fantastic twist on a 60s sound, though the similarities end there. Think of Amy as the bad girl Ronnie Spector to Duffy's moody drama with crystalline perfection Dusty Springfield. The first sinigle, "Mercy," is a bouncy and soulful little ditty, but the rest of the album is far more somber and introspective. There isn't a bad song on this gem. It's no "Back to Black," but it is pretty easily the best thing I have purchased in 2008.

Bring Ya To The Brink, Cyndi Lauper

She's back, and we're happy to have her around! I love love love this CD, and if you like dance pop, you will too. Cyndi's new musical direction takes her old quirky and sassy lyrical content and sets it to an edgy beat. Imagine if you had the music Madonna has put out lately (more on that in a moment), but with a sense of humor and a bit more humanity (because I love Madge, but you can't imagine that she's a particularly friendly lady). Shake your butt to her new single, "Into The Nightlife."

Funplex, The B-52s

I've been a fan of The B-52s since about 1986, and had the good fortune to see them earlier this summer here in The Ville. Every one of them is 50+ years old, and except for Fred, they all look younger than me. Bitches. There isn't anything on this album that is as commercial as "Love Shack," but several of the songs will easily be among my favorite tunes by the World's Greatest Party Band. Perhaps one of their top 3 albums they have made. The title track is the first single, but my favorite on the album is the surf rock guitar of "Pump," which was featured on Showtime's "The L Word."

Hard Candy, Madonna

Oh Madonna, goddess of the gays, how many ways do I love thee? I recently put the remastered version of her self-titled debut back into circulation, and it is amazing how she and Shannon really were the blueprint for club music for years after the death of disco. That album really holds up. We'll see how well this one does. Don't get me wrong, I really love it. I'm just not so sure that in a few years it won't be completely dated. That's what happens when you bring on producers who sort of define a particular time in sound like Timbaland. The first single, "Four Minutes," is fantastic, the only problem with it is that it could have been recorded by Rhianna, Beyonce, Ciara, or anyone else for that matter. Usually when Madge collaborates, she takes a bit of someone's sound but makes it distinctively her. She gets lost in this and a few other tracks that are undoubtedly brilliant pop. Best song on the album is the one I dreaded most, "Beat Goes On," her duet with Kanye West, which is a little reminiscent of "Car Wash" to me for some reason . I think he's brilliant, but he annoys the hell out of me throwing hissy fits when he doesn't get showered with awards, so I thought this would be another of his massive ego overloads. Never doubt the power of Madonna's ego, though, because this track she completely owns, and she's a fool if she doesn't release it as a single. Final word, it is no "Madonna," "Like a Prayer," or "Ray of Light," but it is good pop music that definitely improves on lesser works like "Erotica," "Bedtime Stories," or "American Life."

Busted Business Bureau

I am normally quite skeptical of the As Seen On TV sorts of products, but I'm telling you, put it up against the iPhone, and the PedEgg wins for product of the year! I bought one a few days ago at Walgreens, and my hooves are as smooth as if I had just gotten a pedi. It is a beauty miracle! My heels in particular were just CRUSTY, and that little egg just zipped it all off like so much dust! Don't walk, run to get one!

An additional benefit of this miracle product...never again worry about running out of parm at a dinner party.

On the other hand (or rather other appendage), the editors here at Trading Faces whole-heartedly condemn the Magic Rings offered up at the sex toy events known as Surprise Parties (which I always thought should be called Fuckerware, but that's just me).

These things are supposed to stretch like jelly, but evidently they are deeply limited in their durability. I won't get too graphic, but let's just say that you should imagine a rubber band breaking and slapping you in a place that should only ever be treated nicely. Avoid them at all costs.

And that's all from the Consumer Affairs division of Trading Faces...looking out for you like the Better Business Bureau after five shots of tequila.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Breaking Up With Keith Olbermann

My imaginary relationship with Anderson Cooper had to end because I can't deal with the closet. Now another silver fox newshound imaginary boyfriend has broken my heart.

Like most progressives, I am an avid Keith Olbermann fan. I enjoy trying to predict each evening what he will call out as the top five stories we will be discussing in the morning. Sometimes I'm right, often I'm wrong because let's face it, such things are for the most part quite subjective.

Sometimes, though, a news story is so big that even when you're busy, you make a specific point of tuning in to get his point of view because there is simply no way it won't make The Countdown. Tonight was such a night for me, and I have to count myself sadly disappointed. Mr. Olbermann, you missed the mark. Sure, Cindy McCain's people plagiarized a cookie recipe. But really, is that more momentous than full equal marriage rights in California? Let me put how big this is into perspective:

As of last night, me, my partner, and millions of Americans are at last equal citizens in 2 of 50 states. One of the ten largest economies in the world made gay folks equal citizens under the law.

Last night I watched the first weddings online, shedding tears of joy with the beautiful Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, two of our foremothers who lost their jobs in the 50s because of their love for one another. I and all other freedom-loving people owe these women a debt of gratitude, and my happiness for them was tempered by my difficulty in finding coverage of their momentous event in the mainstream media that wasn't buried under a dozen other stories. Craiggers was about to go to bed last night when it was finally covered on CNN. I tuned in to Countdown tonight assured that I would see some recognition of how enormous this moment is, only to be disappointed.

This is just one more reason Rachel Maddow needs her own show immediately, preferably replacing the insipid Dan Abrams. I have no doubt that Mr. Olbermann is on my side in this fight. He and so many other members of the media need to be reminded, though, that the rights he may take for granted are quite a big deal to the rest of us. At least a bigger deal than viral videos and wacky criminals.

And now I'm just waiting for that proposal.