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Monthly Archives: January 2006

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Badass Wicker

The Nonist has done an entertaining history of wicker furniture as signifier of hipness (via PCL Linkdump). Love it!

The Grumpy Old Man

I had a $25 Barnes & Noble giftcard burning in my pocket recently (thanks to Christopher), so I spent it on a book that I’d been wanting to check out for a while — The R. Crumb Handbook by R. Crumb and Peter Poplaski. It’s quite a unique little book, a compact and chunky hardback that serves as part autobiography, part art book (oh, and it comes with a CD of his old-timey music, too). While the text seems patchy, Crumb writes in a refreshingly candid, self-deprecating tone completely in line with his art. It seems like his life is constantly guided by things that both fascinate and disgust him: his childhood interest in kiddie pop culture, his period with San Francisco’s hippie subculture, his weird sexual fetishes. Neat excerpts from throughout his comics career illustrate his ramblings, scrapbook style. As for the samples, I was surprised to find that his celebrated Zap Comix stuff is actually … flat and uninvolving (guess you have to be on drugs to fully appreciate them). The area where he truly shines lies in the painfully autobiographical work he did in the ’70s and ’80s. For any Crumb newbie, this one comes highly recommended.

Dude Needs Jenny Craig

The Chicago Tribune asks a nagging question that has been haunting us here in Chez Scrubbles: Why is Hurley on ‘Lost’ still fat? We’ve been noticing that the actor playing Hurley is actually looking heavier this season than last. How is that possible (unless he’s been snacking on the other castaways)?

Download Brigitte

CBC: “Both Sony and Universal Music have announced plans to reissue classic recordings in digital form.” Very cool news. Universal’s plans include 100,000 vintage songs by mostly European artists, with the first batch being available on iTunes next month. I’m especially looking forward to finding out what old material they’ll have from Brigitte Bardot.

Gruesome Twosome: Poet, Fool, Bum Edition

Lee Hazlewood: “What’s More I Don’t Need Her”
LP: Cowboy In Sweden, 1970 | BUY

Honey LTD.: “Louie, Louie”
LHI Records single, 1968

For today’s aural delights, I turn to the enigmatic Lee Hazlewood. Richie Unterberger nicely sums up Hazlewood’s appeal in his book Unknown Legends of Rock ‘n’ Roll: “How can you judge a man who sounds like Johnny Cash might after gargling razor blades? Who can’t seem to decide whether to be a Nashville cornball or a brooding desert Leonard Cohen? Who experienced immense commercial success producing pop stars like Nancy Sinatra and Duane Eddy, but regularly churned out oddball solo albums that could only have appealed to the most narrow of audiences? Who invested a great deal of time and effort in the sessions he produced for others, but seemed to make many of his own records as if he were in a race with the studio clock?”

I can’t elaborate much on that, except to say that Lee’s two songs here are a testament to doing your own, quirky thing. The Cowboy In Sweden track layers Hazlewood’s laconic speak-singing atop a lovely David Whitaker string arrangement. Honey LTD was a quartet of groovy looking ladies signed to Hazelwood’s own LHI Records label. Hazlewood infused their swinging remake of “Louie Louie” with simultaneous Girl Group and hippie sensibilities, even contributing a spoken intro (in which he sounds bizarrely like George W. Bush).

Horizontal Hold

Sometime yesterday afternoon, my computer went all wonky on me. After I restarted, the iMac’s desktop and Finder were unaccessible and everything was slow. Whenever something like this happens, you go through a panic and then you take stock of what you’d miss if everything on your hard drive had to go. It’s like undergoing the seven stages of grief, only stuck in the bargaining phase: “Okay, Mac, you can have all the iTunes purchases and mp3s as long as I can retrieve all the freelance projects I was too stupid to not back up.” Luckily I was able to successfully reinstall the operating system and all went well.

I’ll be back with a Gruesome Twosome tomorrow. In the meantime, pop over to Christopher’s and answer his query: What is the greatest invention of the 20th century — other than computers and anything related to computing?