iainpj: man with headphones (howie with headphones)
( Dec. 26th, 2015 08:18 pm)
One of the things I picked up through the Alice in Nappyland weblog (along with the previously linked Yemi Alade and a type of soap that is in fact very good on the skin but which is a tad too perfumed for my tastes).

By the by, there's a link that pops up to a free download of Iyeoka's song in the video. Underground Sun is her label, so it's perfectly legal. Completely unavailable -- the link doesn't work -- but legal.

iainpj: (bald angel)
( Dec. 25th, 2015 06:21 pm)
So, all the Kool Kidz were doing Musical Advent over on Twitter, and I decided to do something a bit different. (Not least because I Tweet not.) I decided to do something for the Twelve Days of Christmas.

For reasons that make logical sense, but have nothing to do with any liturgical calendar that I know of, most people seem to think that the Twelve Days of Christmas refers to the twelve days before Christmas.


It's the twelve days from Christmas to Epiphany, January 6. Epiphany commemorates either the visit of the wise men to the Christ child some time after his birth, or the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan river. (Depending on whether your flavor of Christianity is Western, or is Eastern Orthodox of some sort.) The night before Epiphany is Twelfth Night, when this experiment may conclude.

Hey, it may conclude earlier. I'm not best at daily posting these days.

The only rule, such as it is, is that the majority of items will come from albums purchased this year. Generally, only one song per night. There will be one or two exceptions, as will be noted. Also, just because I bought it this year doesn't mean it was released this year; some will be from last year or even well before that. (By the by, you have no idea how surprised I am that I actually have 12 albums purchased this year. It's mostly E-Music's fault, I think.)

Oh, and in general, it's the music that matters; you need only pay attention to the videos if you want. Exceptions will be noted, again.

So, let us begin on a comparatively cheery note. And, of course, with a small exception: two videos, and the videos herein are very loosely linked -- and the first may be a bit tricky if you don't watch, since there are some interpolations into the song.

The first was Yemi Alade's big pan-African hit ... and starts with a really odd variant on "Cheaters". As far as I can tell, nothing seems to have gone as big after. The album, "King of Queens" (which is, I'm pretty sure, is a reference to Hatshepsut and not to any US sitcoms or burroughs) is well worth the price overall. The second is, videographically speaking, technically a direct follow from the first, but that gets discarded in about five seconds.

And the nominal sequel, which brings to mind the question, "Didn't your mother tell you not to sing in traffic?" (You'll know what that means when you get there, if you watch.) I am ... mildly puzzled at how Selebobo acts during his chunk of the video. Prime creeper, although she just dismisses him as a nuisance, and that's the end of that.

An odd thing that I've heard in a few different Nigerian artists: almost every song stars with them singing/telling you who is singing the song you're hearing, all of the important people. Which happens here sometimes, to be sure ... but almost every song on her album does that. And most of those also call out the recording company, which NEVER happens here. (Though I think Prince, during his royal dingbattitude phase, and George Michael would have said some ... INteresting things about their record companies during certain times.)
iainpj: man with headphones (howie with headphones)
( Dec. 25th, 2015 06:47 am)

Well, after the melancholy, a bit of sheer dementia (with random kittens) is in order, really.

Also, if you don't put a title on an entry, LJ apparently now pulls the first line of actual text into the title field. Interesting.

Anyway, hope you and yours have a happy day, whatever it be to you.
So, if I may go back to my roots for a moment, I just wanted to note:

Crotchgate 2015 has begun!

(I figure at some point, someone will say, in all seriousness, "But that doesn't look ... Super enough." We'll all know what they meant. And someone will no doubt courteously refrain from pointing out that for the past several decades, he's basically worn a cup for no reason whatsoever apart from it made the line of his outfit look better.)

Not that I intend to read this or give it more thought than this -- (didn't need "The Dark Knight", "The Darker Knight" and certainly don't need "Extraordinarily Darkest Knight [now with dick outlines!]) -- but I do wonder how many times inside the thing Miller will lovingly draw the outline of the super peen against the super outer-undies. (Which technically shouldn't be that clear an outline because I'm prett sure the outer-undies are actually Outer and there's a bodysuit underneath them.)

And for your reading plaisir: Past Crotchgatey antics! (Note that these are all very old links, so every link to everything in those entries is likely broken, and I ain't going through to fix 'em.)
Entry unlocked and public so that maybe there's something that can be found that wasn't planted by the people who produced the thing.

So, I've now scanned my computer with AVG, Adware Cleaner, Hitman Pro, Malwarebytes, and Junkware Removal Tool, and STILL couldn't get the thing out of my system.

Since it was only popping up in Chrome that I can recall -- the reason that I knew immediately that it was malware was that it gave me a Chrome popup saying that I needed to update Flash, and Chrome doesn't work that way -- I've uninstalled Chrome. I'm probably going to have to uninstall Opera 29, which is a Chromium browser these days, and behaves much the same way (with the exception that it doesn't have embedded Flash update, which means more people using Opera probably get deceived by the message redirecting them to newalways.onlineupdate.com).

I also tried Google's own Software Removal Tool. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, their own tool doesn't work if you don't actually have Chrome on your system. It immediately came back with a "no program found" message. I might need to reinstall Chrome to get it to remove malware from Chrome, which is more irony than I'm prepared to deal with at the moment.)

After that I also tried Kaspersky's Spyware Removal tool, but that didn't find anything either. So hopefully uninstalling Chrome got rid of it.

It's pretty clear that almost all of the information out there on the web about this is planted by the people who produced this thing. It all uses almost exactly the same wording.

Interesting thing to note: almost every single page that talks about how to remove it refers you to Spyhunter by Enigma Software. Every. Page. I would not myself go anywhere near that program. As far as I can tell, it isn't well reviewed -- much less well reviewed than the ones I've already tried. And, well ... once again: Every. Page. Additionally, as far as I can tell from the reviews, what does happen if you install the free version of the software is that it identifies malware on your system, but refuses to remove it unless you purchase the upgraded license. People understandably feel like they're being held hostage.

I did find one page with what seemed to be a relatively vendor neutral approach at Malware Tips. That said, I'm not linking it because the site itself is getting wildly divergent reviews; the AVG review of the site seems to be fairly clear that the site isn't quite what it seems, while the Norton review says it's a pretty good site. And there's nothing wrong with the information it gives on this, although it doesn't quite work.

That said, before I saw the reviews of the site, the advice it gave didn't seem slanted to one specific vendor -- it recommends tools from a variety of vendors -- and reasonably sound. Didn't work, but the advice actually made sense. The links to programs are all to the vendor sites, and it's always possible to simply go to the places it recommends on your own without following its links, which is what I did. The only even slightly uncomfortable thing it recommends -- loosely -- that you install that I was a bit dubious about (and didn't install) was Revo Uninstaller. That program is well reviewed in general, but since I can't see anything to uninstall, I can't see how it would help. (That said, I did remove K-Lite Codec Pack, which I think may have brought the malware into my system, and shredded the installers. If I'm wrong, I can always pick them up again later. I'm also going to install Glary Utilities, to see if it can do anything. There may be some registry schmutz that needs cleaning up.)

Anyway, hopefully it's gone. I'm going to stay Chrome-free for a while to see what happens. Hopefully it doesn't comeback.
iainpj: (Default)
( Feb. 11th, 2015 09:25 pm)
is anyone else having issues with LJ being (a) glacially slow, (b) not allowing you to change the security level of an entry and (c) not allowing you to actually post an entry? I'm having all of the above. The only way I was able to get this to appear -- assuming it does -- was to crosspost from Dreamwidth.
iainpj: (hairy hero1)
( Jan. 21st, 2015 08:41 pm)
All I have to say is, I hope this works. And I hope they can manage to disentangle the intellectual properties from DC. (Pretty sure that Static Shock can't come back to Milestone any time soon, but maybe the others can. DC didn't really do anything to integrate Hardware or Xombi or any of the others, even before the nu52.)

EXCLUSIVE: Milestone Media rises again. Hudlin, Cowan and Dingle will revive company with eye toward characters of color
iainpj: (hairy hero1)
( Jan. 14th, 2015 02:48 pm)

I'm ... astonished, really.

Mind, that second paragraph is a touch confusing. Earth-2 IS the original Power Girl's own universe, in the nu52 (and pre-pre-crisis DCU, for that matter) During the time I was reading "World's Finest", she and Helena (Huntress) were working on ways to get back to their own universe, something that Mr. Terrific found by accident. (I stopped reading because it was ... boring, really. A really huge chunk of the titles that DC put out after the last universe reboot were amazingly dull. There's just so much interchangeable ultraviolence with costumed weirdos you can read before it all kind of melds together, you know?)

To be sure, I don't hugely care, although I should. The only DC titles I read now are Batman, Batgirl, Astro City (which isn't any flavor of DC Universe) and Secret Six. And I only kinda sorta sometimes read the first two. Oh, and Gotham Academy, which is weird fun aimed at a somewhat younger audience. (In comic book stores. Yeah, that's going to work real well, that is.) I can only take so much grimdark/grim/grimmer/grimmest/positively-grimy ... especially since, once upon a time not that long ago, DC wasn't ALL that way.

But still. It'll be interesting to see how the audience reacts. "How can SHE be Power Girl? She's too young! The magickal boob window is gone -- along with the magickal boobies! And she's ... not blonde!"

(Purely a side note: Afro puffs. She has Afro puffs. In this day and age. DC, sometimes I really love the way you think.)

Also, the comments thread on that article is a hoot. (I think one of the artists may actually comment about the costume at one point, though I'm not sure.) Mind, I kind of agree with the general sentiment of "Why retread an old name with someone different? Why not come up with a new character name for a new character?" But then, there are a number of reasons why DC wouldn't do that. They wouldn't want the character name to fade away once she was in some other universe, they wouldn't want the name to fall into public domain (granted, they'd need to wait about 75 years from now for that to happen), they'd want to emphasize what connection there is between new and old, etc.

And, of course, the other thing is that if the audience emphatically rejects her early on, they don't have to stick with her all that long. "Convergence" this spring -- what DC is calling their next universe-reshaping event, as they've retired the term "crisis" -- will no doubt offer the opportunity to make all sorts of course corrections. (I plan to serenely ignore it until it's done and they've either restarted everything with new number 1 issues, or -- and I suspect this is more likely for some titles at least -- returned to the pre-Flashpoint numbering. It wouldn't surprise me at all for Batman, Detective, Wonder Woman and maybe Superman to return to the old numbering if they resurrect the old universe in any significant way.

But we shall see, I suppose. Alas.
Rupert Giles, MLS.

All's I have to say is, I'd have paid MUCH more attention to courses like those. (Could have gotten credit for the second one without taking it, even.)

I have a feeling "Digital Curation" may involve physical digits.

And I'm pretty sure that last one is an actual course, albeit not in library schools. I'm pretty sure I've taken that course, even.
Just a vaguely random moment.

Did you ever have something so firmly in your memory that nobody else you knew had seen or remembered, and then, oddly, you finally come across evidence that it was a real thing?

Patty Duke, many a long year ago, was in a made-for-TV film called "Before and After" in which she uttered the immortal line quoted in the title. Weirdly, that, and how that scene turned out, were all I remembered of the film.

And then, today, I happened to stumble across that very film while searching for something else. Alas, it's not set to allow embedding, but if you click on the link below, it should take you to the very point in the scene where she says those deathless words. If you go through the next minute or so of the film, including the brief tiff with her mother and the concern about her friend who developed anorexia, you'll see the waiter's response.

Before and After, the party scene.

I also remembered the waiter in the scene, in part because he'd been in a few other things around that time, none of which have made it to IMDB, not surprisingly, and I had a certain fondness for his ... eyebrows. (Seriously, those are some mighty mighty eyebrows, those are. He also had a very hairy chest. Seems he's aged rather well ... though, oddly, the eyebrows kind of haven't, if the photos are to be believed.)

You will need to see the beginning of part 7 to see how the party scene turns out. (SPOILER: She totally Does It with the waiter on a baby grand, after he listens to her go on a bit. I'd forgotten how totally toasted she gets.)
Mom Jailed for Letting 9-Year-Old Daughter Play at Park Near Job (theroot.com)

The part I love best about the article is the very last quote:
"I understand the mom may have been in a difficult situation, not having someone to watch the child, but at the same time, you've got to find somebody," Lesa Lamback told ABC 6.

I just want to ask that woman to replay that comment in her head. You don't have anyone, you're making just above minimum wage so you really can't afford any sort of day care, but you've got to find someone. It's not even that it's not true; it's that there's no real way to square that circle. If she'd known about better options she could afford, she'd have used them.

The original article notes that the state's dept of social services has several programs and services. I do wonder how anyone is supposed to know about them or apply for them ... or why anyone would assume that the state had those programs. Quite honestly, it would never have occurred to me that the state had programs for child care. (Which, in fact, we do. The form for applying is a bit confusing for something so brief. If you do the calculation, the estimated copay, for someone making just a shade above Illinois minimum wage, is $110 per month. Which isn't huge, but ... if you're making just above Illinois minimum -- roughly $20,000 per year -- I wonder where that $110 per month is going to come from? [The cost does drop for school age children, part day ... but then, in the summer, school age children that age aren't part-day care, are they?] And, of course, many food service jobs are exempt from actually paying minimum wage, because they assume you're going to get tips, even if you're not in a position where you can get tips.)
iainpj: (bald angel)
( Jul. 10th, 2014 02:35 am)
Let's just have a quick skip along the musical trail, shall we? Let's shall.

I just found out today that something I'd thought of as original (or originalish, anyway) was a cover of a cover of a cover. Followed almost immediately by a later cover in a different language, even. In fact, there seem to be three different languages involved somewhere along the way.

All of the songs appear to be musical versions of a poem by Andres Eloy Blanco, as noted by Spanish Wikipedia. Eloy Blanco does actually have a lyricist credit on most versions of the song.

This was the version that I heard first, and which I love with a love that is true. (NOTE. Audio only. Six minutes long, or in between 2 and 3 times the length of most other versions. I dearly love Roberta Flack, but she can be a tad ... long winded. That said, it's worth noting that Cat Power has a cover inspired by specifically this arrangement that runs anywhere from 4-10 minutes, depending on recording and performance.)

However, this appears to have merely been the then-most recent version in its original (...I think) language. It had been taken for use as a civil rights protest song of an unusual sort. This version came off Roberta Flack's first album, "First Take", recorded 1969.

In 1970, the following performance was recorded, in English ... on German TV. As one does. Or as Eartha Kitt did, given that she was coming to the end of her persona non grata period in the US.

The civil rights protest aspect is ... rather clearer in English, and with Eartha Kitt's particular performance of it.

Both of those follow, almost directly, a 1968 version of the song recorded by a singer named Robertha, about whom I can't find much, except that she seems to be the daughter of a popular Peruvian artist.

Prior to that was a 1952 version of the song in French, "Les Anges Noirs" by Vicky Down. It is very very ... 1952. Very.

And then we loop back to 1948, and a Mexican (I think) musical starring Pedro Infante. In which the song, as staged, appears to be ... a lullaby? Really? How ... cheery. (Also, I have a horrible feeling the little girl is in brownface. Which is an interesting thing for a song that gets appropriated as a civil rights song further north.)

It appears to be the title song for this film, I think.

There are other versions, of course. It appears to have been a very popular song in generation cycles -- strong in late 40s and 50s, effectively disappeared for nearly 20 years, popular again in the late 1960s and early 70s.

And now, to end on an entirely unrelated but cheerier note:

I can't understand two thirds of what she's singing (kind of sad, that), but I'm pretty sure that I might not be expecting the candy she would be supplying.


I have been waiting for this series for six years, people! Six! Years! Ever since it came from behind to tie for the win in the Top Cow competition for that year! And then it just vanished into the ether. But now! UnVanishing accomplished!

These are all the posts about the upcoming release in Bernardin's Tumblr.

Plus! Plus! In an interview at Comic Book Resources, there's this bit at the end:

Bernardin: And we just reacquired the rights to our first graphic novel, "Monster Attack Network" -- we hope to be able to announce a new home for it, as well as more kaiju-happy stories, in the coming months.

More Monster Attack Network (possibly)! SQUEEEEEEEEEE! (And so on.) You may remember that I loved the first volume with a love that was mostly pure, and I have been very sad that there was no more. But now there may be! WOOT! (I can but hope that Zeke, the black gay monster fighter, also lives through volume 2. And also that maybe he gets some. Mind, I'll settle for a profound lack of noble self sacrifice on his part.) (But seriously. He should get some. Why should the inappropriate sexual interlude be limited to the straight guy? Plus, when last we saw him, the straight guy was in an only-mildly-improbable relationship, so hopefully he's still off the playing field. [The woman with whom he was canoodling seemed, for various reasons, unlikely to share.])

Is it August yet? I need it to be August RIGHT NOW. (...And I need to figure out if I can do a very late order, because I have been paying less than no attention to Previews lately, what with my pull list dropping from over $50 per week -- I know, I know -- to something like $50 per month. Hmm.)
iainpj: (Default)
( Jul. 3rd, 2014 03:54 pm)
So as long as I'm not going to get meself a Tumblr (at least, I hope I'm not), I might as well make this more tumblresque sure fine why not, right? Maybe that will work to prod some activity here and there.

Interesting when you find out something about someone you'd never known before. For example, while I neither read, deify, nor admire him, I hadn't before heard about Lovecraft's ... interesting views on race.

Racialicious: The ‘N’ Word Through The Ages: The ‘Madness’ Of HP Lovecraft

...Seriously, he gave his cat THAT word for a name! I mean ... WHAT? (Also, I'm guessing he didn't much like cats, either.)

Similarly, I hadn't known that Norman Rockwell painted anything but genteel portraits of a bygone white America. And yet, it turns out that he had.

Norman Rockwell and the Civil Rights Paintings
By Angelo Lopez
February 11, 2008

"Southern Justice" is a genuinely shocking painting, even more so when you consider that it came from Rockwell. Granted that it seems to have come after "The problem we all live with", it still had to be one hell of a shock to his normal audience. (For some reason, I'm seeing a variety of dates for "Southern Justice", either 1963, 1964, or 1965 so far. 1965 seems to be authoritative.)

No trenchant commentary or observations. Just seems to be the season for hearing things about artists in various realms that you hadn't known before.
Also, aten't ded yet.

The first via Richard at sturtle. (And it's not quite what you might think.) The second because, much as I love him, Jimmy Sommerville is sometimes insufficiently fabulous. The third for the hell of it.

I listened to a podcast on Susan B. Anthony and the women's suffrage movement earlier today, and now I can't get this out of my head. So here, have a generationally-specific earworm.

Because the day needs a little modern day old school funkishness. So to speak.

I have to admit, I never thought I'd like Lambert as a performer. I mean, he was fine on American Idol (and he continues its recent rich tradition of having people besides the actual winner of their year having much more highly visible careers), but I didn't think he'd work for me. But he really really does, most of the time.

Also, allowing for the conceptual weirdness that this is a recording of a live show, the "live" version of this song is MUCH better than the album version, which is also pretty good. He sounds better when he's a bit less "produced", for lack of a better word. (And when the live show is professionally recorded.)
So I got this email from a vendor that I have done business with, advertising a huge font package for a low price, and I open the email and take a look because I am a typeface junkie. (NOTE: junkie, not nerd. This means that I don't actually know all the history or proper and improper usages and all that stuff that the typeface nerds know -- which, honestly, I find kind of fascinating from time to time. "Junkie" means that I have admitted that I am powerless in the Face of Fonts, but having admitted my powerlessness, I now am occasionally able to resist. Also, once you get beyond a certain point, it slows your system so much and so massively inflates the RAM it uses that it's just not worth it. But I digress.)

Anyway, I'm looking through the list of fonts, and one of them is ... Falkencrest. And I am immediately taken back to an earlier day and time. A simpler time. A time when evening soaps ruled the televisual landscape. A time when people actually watched television on Fridays, and you could get a top ten rated show anchoring your Friday lineup. A time of over-the-top excess, bitchiness triumphant, and shoulder pads that could decapitate a roomful of people. A time when a two-minute long (or longer, in some cases) credit sequence was not at all unusual, and wind instruments ruled the credits auditory landscape.

(And, in case you were wondering, "Falkencrest" the font kinda sorta vaguely looks like it might have been in the same family with the type used in the "Falcon Crest" credits, but then they decided that they weren't speaking any more and went their own separate ways. You can see it in the second section of fonts, under "PLUS, 25 new font families added..." on this page)

I didn't even know I remembered this show at all, let alone the credits, until that weird earworm got triggered.

Interesting to see how people cycle in and out of prominence, if that's the right word. I mean, Jane Wyman has every reason not to be working these days, what with having been dead for a few years. Everyone else in that cast is still around, I think, and still relatively hale and hearty, but I haven't heard of most of them in years. Susan Sullivan is playing Nathan Fillion's mother on "Castle" (I still can't quite wrap my mind around the concept that she's old enough for that -- then again, according to IMDB, she's easily old enough to be MY mother, so she looks very good for her age). Lorenzo Lamas is doing ... stuff. (Seriously, I have no idea what most of the things on his IMDB page are, with the exception of the voice of Meap on "Phineas and Ferb". This also means that he spends about two thirds of his time on that show saying "Meap!" in a very high pitched voice that I wouldn't think he could manage without someone doing something very unkind to his nethers.) William (formerly "Billy") Moses has been doing a lot of one-off guest shots, and a few longer term things here and there. David Selby has also done a lot of one-offs and guest shots since Falcon Crest. Jamie Rose, the same, apart from a brief one-season stint on "In2ition" (series canceled after 9 episodes). And so on.

When I went to IMDB to check out the cast and see who's doing what now, this popped up, fresh out of the TV news today:

'Falcon Crest' reboot in the works, according to former stars

As bob is my witless, I swear that I had no idea about that before today, until after I started this entry.

I must admit, I'm kind of astonished. First, Falcon Crest was generally fourth among equals, shall we say. Dynasty and Dallas duked it out for the top (sometimes with actual duking and actual dukage), the Dallas spinoff "Knots Landing" generally seemed to be third, and then Falcon Crest was fourth. Mind, still a top-ten or top-fifteen rated show kind of fourth, but still fourth. And it never had the sort of over-the-top characters that grabbed the imagination or attention like Joan Collins' Alexis Carrington from Dynasty or Larry Hagman's JR from Dallas. Jane Wyman's Angela was properly conniving and somewhat self-serving, true, but she really did generally tend to do things she thought were for the good of her family, as opposed to herself. They just happened to be sort of ... incidentally evil, maybe? Not necessarily done with malice aforethought -- although if malice came into it, that was a nice little lagniappe.

Susan Sullivan says that if her character is involved, it would be as a ghost in the minds of others, since her character was killed off during the series. The problem with that, one would think, is that she's now 30 years older. People who are ghosts in your mind don't age; they stay as they were when you last saw them, for better or worse. So I'm by way of thinking that unless they get archive footage and stick new soundtracks on it, her participation might be deeply problematic.

It is truly weird that these quintessential 80s soaps are experiencing a revival these days. At the time, they were all about the celebration (and occasional bringing-down) of wretched excess -- with roughly equal emphasis on both the "wretched" and the "excess". Most of the people had tons of money, but weren't at all happy. And the people without money were usually involved in revenge schemes against the wealthy people they thought had kept them from being wealthy. Nobody got to be happy for more than an episode or two. And now we're in the lingering aftermath of the Great Recession (and toying with a Greater Recession, thanks to politics), and ... well, it seems like the sort of thing that would go over like a lead balloon. Particularly tone-deaf, in a way. And yet, the revival of "Dallas" seems to be popular.

Strange. Really, very strange.
I cannot describe how true this is, of late.

Tragedy series at tragedyseries.tumblr.com

(Click for link to original; if you click the image there, you can see it larger.)
Was looking for something else, and ran across the second one, so here 'tis. Just because.



Time has mostly been pretty kind to her, although she clearly has less voice than she used to, but that's pretty much to be expected. As far as I know, she remains the only person ever to be seen singing the title song in a Bond film credits.

For bonus ... something:

Yeah, so .... both of those songs read very oddly without Prince/His Royal Dingbattitude, and they read VERY oddly when you realize that she's singing about her sugar walls to an audience composed primarily of gay men.


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