Friday, April 24, 2009

New Green Day single and video

I'm not so thrilled with this. It's repetitive and has a very straightforward 2/4 rhythm. But still, exciting to see new Green Day material. The clips from their recent live "sneak preview" shows had better songs, I thought.

Obama on Intolerance

This is why I love this guy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fringe, American Idol

Basically, what was on Fox last night.

Fringe: What's most interesting about the last two episodes is that they were free standing. There were no references to the Pattern or Massive Dynamic, the two conspiracy nodes of the previous part of the season. There was no obvious appearance of the Observer. If he was in there, I missed him. There was no development of Peter's mysterious backstory, or anything revealed about his childhood.

American Idol: I never felt like watching this until a friend gave me a link to Adam Lambert's performance of "Tracks of My Tears" a few weeks ago. It was a very nice performance. In conjunction with his sexual ambiguity, discussed in this New York Times article this past Sunday, he's caught my interest. I inadvertently caught his performance last week because American Idol ran late, into Fringe's time slot and he performed last. Also see this NPR blog piece analyzing an ABC news report on Adam after last night's show, which described him as "coy". The NPR blog says, no, he's not coy at all, he's completely above board. (If you Google "Adam Lambert kissing", you'll see what I mean. Digging the purple hair, Adam.) He just hasn't made some big announcement. Anyway, I decided to just give in and tune in to American Idol full stop.

I didn't see the entire show. I missed a couple of the performances in the middle. Of the ones I saw, I think Adam's performance of "Born to be Wild" was far and away the best. Simon Cowell's comment was rather strange, I thought. He said he thought the performance was like something out of "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and that half the audience might not like it. I have no idea what that means. Was he trying to compare Adam to the transvestite character in that movie, Frank-N-Furter? Because he was wearing eye makeup? Umm, really not sure. Did he think the singing style was too over the top? It was kind of mysterious.

Second was Allison Irehata, which surprises me because my basic reaction was that I didn't like her performance. But I liked it better than the others. It was more lively and charismatic. The rest chose very limpid, slow songs. Although I love the song "Falling Slowly" from the movie, "One," Kris Allen bobbled his notes at the beginning and it was just not a very interesting performance. Generally I don't care for the styles of singing or music chosen, sorry to say. They generally have nice voices, but the energy just doesn't compare to Adam's or Allison's.

I know that Quentin Tarantino has been on American Idol in the past, but I have no idea why he's on it. I thought he was a movie director. Since when is he a vocal coach? I noticed that he had nothing to say to improve Adam's performance. Or they at least chose not to include anything he may have said like that.

OK, I couldn't resist.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

AmazonFail Update

Seattle Post-Intelligencer on how AmazonFail happened. An Amazon employee in France coded something incorrectly. Jeez. I'm relieved that it wasn't a hacker, as some reported yesterday.

Amazon tells GLAAD it's correcting the problem I'm glad to see GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation - works on promoting positive gay and lesbian images) reached out to Amazon on this issue. Sorry for pun.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Amazon's AmazonFail explanation. Amazon says it was "an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error." Thank you!

People are complaining on Twitter that Rachel Maddow didn't mention AmazonFail on her show last night. Didn't see it. Maybe she's waiting to see what the real explanation is. As in, she has actual journalistic standards.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Amazon Gay "Glitch"? I say, boycott until "glitch" is fixed

Amazon, thy name is irony.

Think about it. Amazons are a lesbian icon. I'm so completely appalled by Amazon de-ranking all gay and lesbian material. It's incredible! I don't see how this is going to stand and I'm definitely not buying anything from Amazon until this changes. Here's a list of the classic gay and lesbian literature they've pulled from their rankings. Amazing. Giovanni's Room, by James Baldwin, Stone Butch Blues, by Leslie Feinberg, Rubyfruit Jungle, by Rita Mae Brown, Tipping the Velvet, by Sarah Waters, Maurice, by E.M. Forster, The Charioteer, by Mary Renault, even E. Lynn Harris, who writes bestselling pop novels. The list goes on and on. Even non-fiction books about gay history, gay images in film, gay travel! This is just another example of confusing "gay" with "sex". Because isn't being gay all about having sex, like, all the time? and have an excellent combined editorialthat discusses this very issue. This is the result of our culture equating homosexuality with sex, pure and simple.

As of Monday morning, Amazon is saying this was just a "glitch." Wow. That's quite a glitch.

Here's something truly horrifying. If you enter "homosexuality" in Amazon's search field, the top results are: A Parents' Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, Can Homosexuality Be Healed? and Jesus, The Bible and Homosexuality. See search results from this morning here.

Here is a good roundup of links, including samples of letters, where to go on amazon to complain, petitions to sign, etc. And here is another round up some relevant links.

This morning, the brouhaha is reaching the mainstream media. AP has picked up the story. The Seattle Post-Intelligencerinvestigates the issue in a blog. This is where I got the tip about search results in Amazon.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Green Day previews new album in surprise concerts

I'm a big Green Day fan. I've been playing their 2004 American Idiot CD steadily since it came out. So I'm really excited that they finally have a new CD coming out May 15. This week they gave two surprise concerts to preview the album, 21st Century Breakdown, which is another concept album. The first single from the album will be released April 16: "Know Your Enemy."

They played April 7 at The Independent in San Francisco. This clip of the song "Desperate" sounds promising. I can't wait to hear the album version. To be honest, some of the vocals sounded out of tune on the clips I listened to, but that won't be an issue with the CD.

Opening number: Welcome to Paradise

New song "Viva la Gloria": "> This one sounds great. Love those chord progressions. Reference to Coldplay (Viva La Vida)?

New York Times review of the concert.