Saturday, November 25, 2006

It's Pumpkinninny!

I've recently become re-obssessed with David Cross and Bob Odenkirk's brilliant mid-nineties masterpiece, Mr. Show. I probably never lost my love for the program, but I've just recently been annoying (or, I hope) entertaining my pals (and my family) by sending sketches culled from, of course, YouTube. Thing is, whilst looking around for more information about the immortal Josh Fenderman (and the lyrics for the amazing Honesty in Motion tune), I found what I believe to be the inspiration for "the young boy who made faces like he couldn't believe what he'd just said." Behold, Corey Feldman performing "Honesty" on no other show but Electric Circus--MuchMusic's amazing flagship dance music show that allowed, in the early 90s, anyone--as long as they showed up at the right time--to be a ass-shaking extra. The performance is mind blowing. I love the suit, and the dance moves are pure Fenderman. It would only have been better if I could've found a video featuring the other Corey--who, incidentally, I've met on more than one occasion--but that's a story for another time.

Josh Fenderman

Corey Feldman

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Equally viable at both speeds...

I remember, ages ago, my brother and I were being silly and listening to records. He put on this old calypso single called "Show Them" by Ed Watson and the Brass Circle. Switching the speed from 33 to 45, my brother announced that the record was "equally viable" whether fast or slow. Now, as per the usual, I'm a little behind the times and need folks to tell me what's cool, so I didn't really get up on the whole screwed and chopped movement 'til recently. Thing is, a few of DJ Screw's mix tapes and OG Ron C's Fuck Action Vol. 40 later (thanks Dave), I'm a little obsessed. I send mp3s to people, I blather on about it to my colleagues at school, and, of course, force my long-suffering friends to listen to track after track. Then again, they're probably happy that I'm not insisting that they watch/listen to yet another dancehall tune.

With the memory of "Show Them" in my mind, I'll show y'all how screwed and chopped moves beyond the creation of music enjoyable at different speeds, but it simply gives a whole new identity to the song. Check the full effect by listening/watching (how I love that videos are screwed and chopped too--it makes some of the dance moves look wicked) both versions of Lil Keke's spectacular "Southside"--not just equally viable slow, but simply terrific. The best thing ever--at least for today.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Just right there in front of your eyes...

Okay, so I'm a little late on this one, but I'm fully addicted to the song "Changes" by Tahiti 80. I loved Puzzle back in 1999, but this new album is pretty fun. The most fun, however, is to be found in "Changes." I said to someone this morning that it makes me feel like going out and getting a Diet Coke and some gummi worms. I think tha's a very very good thing.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Endemen wallachiu!

I'm learning Amharic for my research in Ethiopia. There are over 80 languages spoken in Ethiopia, but Amharic, though a minority language, is the "lingua franca"--as they say. The language is semetic, menaing it is in the same language grouping as Hebrew and Arabic, though it is read from left to right. In the above picture you can see the language. Each letter represents a consonant and vowel. For example, the little girl is pointing at "zhe".

My Amharic tutor is pretty lovely and she always tells me I have great hair(Tsugure betam conjo nwo) even when I think it looks like crap. For this I am eternally grateful. I also get to learn fun things like how to say "I hate monkeys!" T'ot'a alwudem! or "I like beer" Bira ewudallho. I wish I knew someone else who was learning this language, but alas, I haven't found anyone.

Anyhow, maybe if I provide a list of useful Amharic words I might lure someone...or at least help you out if you ever want to travel to Ethiopia someday--which, incidentally, is something everyone should try to do, if they have the means. It's an amazing country. I've written these out phonetically (the way I think they sound--I hope it makes sense to you!). The capital letters indicate stress:

TEH-na yost AH-len: hello!
tah-DIH-yas: hi!
chow: bye!
in-deh-min-AH-leh: how are you? (when speaking to a man)
in-deh-min-AH-lesh: how are you? (when speaking to a woman)
deh-NEH-neng: I am fine.
HA-beh-sha: Ethiopian
fuh-REN-je: Foreigner (white person).
YEH-kir-tah: excuse me
EK-ah-bah-LAH-lo: you're welcome
EH-shi: ok (very, very useful word!)
ay: no
ow: yes (also pronounced as a sharp intake of breath--it sounds a little weird at first)
BEH-te: house
GOH-roh-BEH-te: neighbour
tsai: sun
ZAH-nab: rain
chack-LAH: brick, chacklawuch: bricks
KO-sha-sha: dirty
tsra: work
tan-KAH-rah: strong
TOH-low TOH-low: faster!
tat-ANG-kak: be careful!
ah-BAK-ah: please (to a man)
ah-BAK-esh: please (to a woman)
AH-meh-sah-gen-AH-lu: thank-you
san-YO: Monday
MAK-san-YO: Tuesday
eh-RUBE: Wednesday
ah-MUS: Thursday
ahr-BE: Friday
gah-DAH-may: Saturday
eh-HUD: Sunday
an: 1
ou-LETTE: 2
sost: 3
ar-RAT: 4
ah-MIST: 5
seh-DIST: 6
sah-BAHT: 7
sih-MENT: 8
zeh-TANG: 9
ah-SARH: 10
gwa-DENG-yah: friend

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Things I wish I could remember...

The occasion of Vero's imminent trip to Paris has inspired me to think back to the time I worked as an English teacher in Paris. The photo is of Rue St. Andre des Arts. I lived about 15 seconds away from what the picture displays. At the time, the lovely space invader had yet to, ahem, invade.

Thing is, I realize that there are a number of things I can't remember about my time in Paris. Google is hopeless when you're trying to find out about "that language school that would serve English folks copious amounts of alcohol and take them out for 2 hour long free lunches of Sushi or French cuisine as long as they spoke English to executives who were looking to jumpstart their language acquisition." A girl named Mariah, who worked in film and had a lovely party one night at her apartment right near the Arc de Triomphe , was the organizer of these wonderful lunch affairs. I found a postcard from her whilst cleaning this evening...wonder what she's up to. I also wonder what Mr. Maurice, who at the time was the acting sous-prefet of Paris as well as being one of my students, is doing these days. The man had the nicest office I've ever seen in my life. I got to help him with English terms and concepts that would be helpful at cocktail parties. In exchange, he'd translate the jokes in Le Canard Enchaine for me.

Fun fun fun--but not as fun as the day I decided to bow down to every craving I had for pastry. I think I had about 12 patisserie treats over a 24-hour period. Then again, what started out as the best idea in the world, ended in a fit of indigestion that wasn't equalled until a particularly bad day in Ethiopia, six years later.

I don't normally get so nostalgic, so, if you've indeed read this, thanks for obliging me...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Nowadays, people too deep

Thuderheist is fun fun fun. I got a big kick out of them a coupla weeks ago--though I did feel a little ancient, knowing that Graham isn't exactly a spring chicken makes me realize that it's all right. As it should be.

Given that I've been spending the last week listening almost solely to Mac Dre, it seems that I'm leaning towards an attitude that I need a little less seriousness in my life and a little more dancing. It'll help me deal with the fact that I can't take any more photos like the lovely one of Isis you see here, because I left my camera in a cab after the Omar show on Friday night. If someone finds photos of me looking rather drunk (but with great hair) alongside Omar, please direct me to them.

In general, jumping up and down is a reaction to music that I like to see. Thuderheist seems to have the ability to encourage this kind of behaviour, and for that, I say go listen to Graham and Isis now.