Saturday, November 14, 2009

Something else from Adam

Another track, "Whataya Want From Me", off Adam's album, For Your Entertainment, is streaming on Perez' site here. This song is quite a bit different from the first dance-y single, For Your Entertainment. WWFM is a tune written by Pink. It's total radio-friendly pop, for better or worse.

I'd like to live in the counter-melody/harmony-overlay at 2:51-2:54.

Update: Whataya Want From Me is available for download on It's also streaming there. The album will be available Nov. 23.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Book club books for 2009-2010

Here are the books my book club selected for the 2009-2010 year:

Nov: The Emperor's Children, Claire Messud
Dec: Sula, Toni Morrison
Jan: Dracula, Bram Stoker (in the designated slot for a classic)
Feb: Dreamers of the Day, Mary Doria Russell
Mar: Bel Canto, Ann Patchett
Apr: Three Novels: Nathan + two others, Wendell Berry
May: Unaccustomed Earth, Jhumpa Lahiri
June: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski
July: An American Childhood, Annie Dillard
Aug: The Yiddish Policeman's Union, Michael Chabon
Sept: Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout

Has anyone read Dracula?

Yes, that's right, we're reading The Yiddish Policeman's Union, in spite of what initially seemed to be disinterest in Kavalier & Clay. Though I was the only one who read K&C in time for the meeting to discuss it, many people finished it up later and loved it.

Sony, your copyright lawyers need to meet with your marketing folks.

Some kids posted to YouTube a video of themselves dancing a choreographed dance routine to Adam's first single, For Your Entertainment. The song sounds like it's playing on a boombox in the studio where they're dancing, i.e. the quality of the sound in the video is not particularly good. Adam saw the video, tweeted that he loved it and linked to it. (Tens of thousands of people watched the video over the course of 24 hours.)

As soon as I saw Adam's tweet, I was curious about the copyright implications. Did this tweet from Adam constitute a license to use the recording? The use of the recording was clearly prima facie copyright infringement, but it seemed to me like it was also such good marketing for the song that the better business practice would be to let the video be. But no. Sony demanded the video be removed from YouTube.

I realize that Sony needs to police its copyright rights, but if I were Sony, I'd let those kids know they need a license and then grant them that license for $1 to use the song in this manner. And if Sony were really smart, they'd sponsor an online dance competition and dole out $1 licenses left and right.

How full of herself is Carrie Prejean?

Exactly how is asking the reason(s) why you dropped your lawsuit "inappropriate"? I know the world today is all about spin - she says she was fired or relieved of her duties because of her conservative values. The pageant officials say it was because she did not full-fill her contractual duties. I personally believe it is more the latter, but who really cares anyway. I know the right is holding her up as a role-model. I guess what they want young girls to do is have someone lend you money for breast implants, pose for semi-nude photos (but hide under the veil of "modeling") and while a teenager, send an x-rated video of yourself to a boyfriend.

This video of her on Larry King is awesome!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Adam verifies my characterization

Based on the leaked 30 second snippets of the songs from Adam's album, For Your Entertainment (to be released Nov. 23, but available NOW for pre-order on iTunes -- go, go, go, you can read this after you order), I wrote that it sounded like the song Music Again nodded to Queen and that I could imagine Freddie singing Soaked.

In a Rolling Stone interview out today, Adam himself makes the Queen comparison for these two songs:

RS Q: What about "Music Again," the song Justin Hawkins from the Darkness contributed?
Adam: It has a classic rock riff to it that I thought was so sexy. Another band that was a major reference was Queen. You hear that influence in a couple different songs, and the chorus of that song, I wanted the harmonies to sound like Queen, I wanted it to be really full.

RS Q: Can you talk about the record's slower songs?
Adam: ... One of them is a song that Muse wrote, "Soaked." That opens up with a real soft vocal, it's very tender, the lyrics are very vulnerable, then it goes into a soaring ballad-type feel. ...[It has] this real retro feel to it, melodically and even in the style of the production, very Seventies, at times very Sixties, almost like a Shirley Bassey song mixed with a Queen record.

Update: 30-second clips are now streaming at Amazon US here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The meaning of Fort Hood, if there is one

Eric Etheridge, writing for The Opinionator at NYT, has collected a batch of viewpoints on the meaning of Fort Hood. He quotes some who see Nidal Hasan's rampage as a signal of "an internal jihadi threat we're ill-equipped to thwart" and others who see the rampage as "just another meaningless moment of American lone-gunman violence".

Update: And here is Michael J.W. Stickings writing at HuffPo, quoting Andrew Sullivan, rejecting a choice between these two viewpoints and instead finding a path in the middle of the two.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Fort Hood

Why is it that a mere 120 miles away from Ft. Hood (or 70 miles when I was in Austin) I am able to carry a weapon, but our soldiers, while on base, are not? Is it remotely possible that the major would have done this (or at least had had the impact he did) knowing every one of his targets was actually armed.

I qualified for my permit and practiced at a huge range south of Killeen where many of the Ft. Hood soldiers trained and competed on their own time with their own weapons. The idea that they should not be able to carry while on base seems outrageous to me. OK, maybe if they've just come back from a tour there should be a time-out to worry about PTSD and all that, but as a general rule this seems the virtual shadow of the Lubys that ended up the catalyst of my right to carry.

When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.