Random (but not really)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Speaking of Random

“…if you were my husband, I’d poison your tea.”
“…if I were your husband, I’d drink it.”

Bonus points to the first person who can name both parties WITHOUT searching.

Written by Michelle at 10:48 pm      Comments (3)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Monday Flower Pr0n

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,House & Garden,Photos  

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Michelle: (holds up drawer) Is everything in here useful?
Michael: YES!
Michelle: Do we really need five power cables?
Michael: (silence)
Michelle: Why do we need five power cables?
Michael: I’m THINKING!

Written by Michelle at 4:29 pm      Comments (10)  Permalink
Categories: Computers & Technology  

Friday, April 16, 2010

Prince Week: Day 5

So why all the love for Prince?

First, Purple Rain was the first album I ever purchased (second was Crowded House, third was Pet Shop Boys “Please”) I wore out that tape, listening to it again and again.

Second, although I am by no means a musician of any sort, I played guitar for about 10 years, from the age of 8 or 9 all the way through high school. I can also figure out the basis of most instruments with a little bit of noodling around. (The reason I am not a musician is because I am incapable of getting past the beginner stage on any instrument.) But my history of musical training and playing gives me a tremendous appreciate for musicianship. My friend Andy used to tease me because I’d like music and he couldn’t understand why, then I’d go, “wait, just LISTEN to this bass line!” From the very start, I was awed by Prince’s music abilities. The guitar on Purple Rain never fails to astound me.

Third, Prince has never rested on his laurels, but has always sought move forward, to change his sound with every album. Which is why I am always astounded by people who say they don’t like Prince. Period. Every album has a different sound and a different feel? With that much variety how you can dislike everything? I admit, there are some albums I like better than others, and some albums that don’t do much for me, but it’s always something different, every album.

Fourth, as much as I sometimes find rock stars mortifying in their actions and behaviors, and as much as Prince can be way way way over the top, he is always a consummate showman. And as over the top as he is on stage, one hears very little about his private life. Nothing about drugs, nothing about alcohol binging, nothing about getting picked up by the cops for who knows what. Which leads one to believe that his over-the-top showmanship is just that: showmanship. You have to be impressed by anyone who manages to be in the public eye for so many years, and not have had illegal or immoral actions repeatedly smeared across the headlines.

Which leads me to the fact that he doesn’t seem to care what you think: he does what he wants, and he seems to be very happy being himself, and living the dream of doing what he loves. Yes, that can not help but make one a little jealous, but it’s also something to be admired. Be yourself and say what you think. He does it, and I admire it.

But for me, it always comes back to the music.

Speaking of which…

(There’s no video here, just the song)

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: music,UCF  

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Guess Where I’m Living Mom!

I’m living at the liquor store! Next year? Under the bridge!

Written by Michelle at 8:21 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Humor,Non-Sequiturs,Photos,West Virginia  

Prince Week: Day Four

Here’s another cover, this time of “While My Guitar Gentle Weeps.” Jim & Jeri, please take note that Prince doesn’t sing a note–it’s all guitar. (Tom Petty is the main vocalist.)

Here’s something I think both Eric & I have been trying to get at with our series of posts: even those who say that “don’t like” Prince, probably like one of his songs as covered by another musician. And sometimes those songs were the launch pads for the careers of those musicians.

Chaka Kahn covered “I Feel for You”
Prince wrote “Manic Monday” for The Bangles
“Nothing Compares 2 U” launched the international career of Sinéad O’Connor
“The Glamorous Life” and “Love Bizarre” were both hits written by Prince for (and with) Sheila E
“Kiss” was covered by Tom Jones
The Goo Goo Dolls covered “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” *
Cyndi Lauper’s hit “When U Were Mine” is a Prince cover **
Living Colour did a rendition of “17 Days”
“The Cross” was covered by Soul Asylum
Mavis Staples has covered Prince songs, as has Tina Turner

There are plenty of other songs, but decided to limit the list to bigger hits covered by more famous artists.

In other words, I have a hard time believe that there aren’t a number of songs liked by those who claim not to like Prince.

* This is a great cover on the Goo Goo Dolls album Hold Me Up
** Eric discussed this cover in his Tuesday Prince post.

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (4)  Permalink
Categories: music,UCF  

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WWA: Prince Week Edition

Here’s this weeks game of Wednesday Word Association.

Today’s word is: guitar

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (16)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games,Non-Sequiturs  

Prince Week: Day Three

Here’s another cover, this time of “Thieves in the Temple”

Again, for Jim & Jeri, Prince isn’t singing, so you shouldn’t mind listening.

In contrast to yesterday’s post about sex, the other thing Prince is known for is songs about G-d.

Probably the biggest juxtaposition of sex and G-d comes on the album Around the World in a Day. Temptation goes from an almost graphic description of sexual temptation, to someone (presumably G-d of the Torah) putting the smack-down on Prince, and after lots of tortured screaming (which I admittedly do NOT like) ends thus:

I’m sorry
I’ll be good
This time I promise
Love is more important than sex
Now I understand
I have 2 go now
I don’t know when I’ll return

Way too Old Testament and Leviticus for me.

The other song on that album dealing with the issue of G-d is The Ladder.

Everybody’s looking 4 that ladder
Everybody wants salvation of the soul
The steps U take are no easy road
But the reward is great
4 those who want 2 go

This is done as a parable, and I’m not sure it’s the most coherent of his songs, but it’s very singable and one I enjoy listening to.

The one song I don’t particularly like and almost always skip is The Cross on Sign O’ the Times. I know some people who like it, but the lyrics are entirely too heavy-handed for my tastes.

The last song I want to mention however, is one of my favorites, and one I think that gets the tone just right.

I’m not a woman
I’m not a man
I am something that you’ll never understand

I’ll never beat u
I’ll never lie
And if you’re evil I’ll forgive u by and by

First of all, it’s got the best beat of any song on the album, and Purple Rain has a lot of strong songs.

Second, although it’s implicitly about G-d, it’s not explicitly about Christianity they way the song The Cross is. More importantly, the song is about living what is important. Unlike the lecturing tone of Temptation and The Cross, this is saying that G-d is love. That G-d is forgiveness.

Plus, like I said, it’s got a fabulous beat.

Today, Eric is talking about Prince’s musical talents, specifically his skill on the guitar.

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: music,UCF  

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

And Now for Something Completely Different

Written by Michelle at 8:12 pm      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: music  

Prince Week: Day Two

No embedding, so you’ll have to click to see this video of Prince covering Radiohead.

The point (for Jim & Jeri) is to note the guitar. And here is Eric’s addition to day two of Prince week.

However, while I’ve got this platform, I’m going to expound a bit.

First things first, I’m hard pressed to understand why someone would despise Prince. I can understand not liking an artist’s voice–I cannot stand Bob Dylan’s voice. nails on a blackboard–but I like many of his song when they have been recorded by other artists. I can get not liking an artists style of music, except that Prince has written songs in so many musical genres that seems a rather ridiculous statement as well.

So I’m going to take a shot in the dark about what I’m guessing bothers at least some people: sex.

Prince really likes to write and sing about sex. A lot. Hell, his 3rd and 4th albums were “Dirty Mind” and “Controversy” so it’s not like he’s hiding his themes.

But here’s the thing: Rock & Roll and R&B have a history of misogyny. But here’s the thing about Prince’s music: for the most part he doesn’t write about women, he writes to women. And to be honest, I often find it disconcerting, since I tend towards prudishness. But if you listen, what he’s pretty much saying is that he loves women, and let him tell you all about what he wants to do to you (assuming you are a woman).

But there’s something else to note as well.

Consider Little Red Corvette released in 1982. Did you ever notice that he blithely throws out the use of condoms as an expected occurrence? Or Sign O’ the Times from 1987, which implicitly mentions AIDS, and male to female transmission (via needle sharing, but still). And I love I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man: “Wouldn’t be satisfied, with a one night stand, and I could never take the place of your man.”

And he has had women in his bands–not just token females there to look good or female back-up singers or female lead singers with a male band but female musicians. It’s a more common occurrence, but still far more rare than one would expect.

So despite the sex–or perhaps because of it–Prince has always given off an attitude of respecting women, which is something that certainly wasn’t common when he was starting out.

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (5)  Permalink
Categories: music,UCF  
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