Inspired by the November 12 birthdays of Neil Young, Bay City Rollers’ Les McKeown, Blue Oyster Cult’s Buck Dharma, Booker T. Jones, Hot Chocolate’s Errol Brown, Brian Hyland, and Tevin Campbell.
Inspired by the November 8 birthdays of Bonnie Raitt, Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace, Eric B., Rickie Lee Jones, Sam Sparro, Wizzard’s Roy Wood, Minnie Riperton, The Manhattans’ Gerald Alston, Leif Garrett, Khia, J.J. Jackson, Diana King, Patti Page, Icona Pop’s Caroline Hjelt and Glass Tiger’s Alan Frew.
Inspired by the October 25 birthday of The Simpsons’ Nancy Cartwright, Yes’ Jon Anderson, Helen Reddy, Arrested Development’s Speech, Ciara, Katy Perry, Chris Norman, Divinyls’ Christina Amphlett, Starland Vocal Band’s Taffy Danoff, Art Brut’s Eddie Argos, and Pablo Picasso.
I need to do more cardio. I am presently at 19% body fat, which is fine compared to the general population, but in the gay world that makes me Precious.
I like doing cardio. I made a great workout playlist (lots of Robyn, Prince, The Partridge Family and Pet Shop Boys) and I have excellent headphones. I invested in a pair of Bose Quiet Comfort noise-cancelling headphones. When I have them on all other sounds are blocked, so I can get lost in “When Doves Cry” or “I Think I Love You” and not be distracted by people asking me how much longer I’ll be on the elliptical or by the music the gym pumps, which is often Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull. I can’t listen to Pitbull for health reasons. I’m lactose-intolerant.
The headphones are great on planes as well. I recently flew to New York and boy, are my arms tired from throwing them in the air to the rhythms of my great travel playlist (lots of Beatles, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Bay City Rollers and Pet Shop Boys). Even with the volume relatively low I couldn’t hear the plane engines or the hysterical woman next to me.
She seemed fine when the plane took off, but at some point when I was lost in “Paperback Writer” or “Midnight Train to Georgia” or “Rock and Roll Love Letter” or “Go West” she lost her shit. I only noticed because a flight attendant tapped me to see if I’d like to buy some crackers (as if I could afford those extra calories!). When I pulled off the headphones to say “What?,” I heard my fellow passenger crying hysterically to two other flight attendants, between sobs saying “I’ve got to get off this plane. Now!” They tried to calm her down, even offering her free crackers, but she retained enough of her wits to point out that crackers do not alleviate a fear of heights or enclosed spaces. She went into the bathroom and everyone sitting in the last seven rows could hear her screaming. It was very sad – nobody else had noise-cancelling headphones so they had to endure her hysterics. I put my pair back over my ears. “S-A T-U-R D-A-Y night!”
One group not on my workout playlist but on my travel playlist is Radiohead. (How’s that for a segue?) Did you know they got their name from a Talking Heads song? Yep. Today is the birthday of lead singer Thom Yorke, who released a new solo album, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, last month. Today’s playlist consists of twenty songs not on that album.
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I didn’t get the film Muriel’s Wedding. Not as in I didn’t get the Blu-Ray of this movie for Hanukkah. I don’t even own a Blu-Ray player. No, I mean I didn’t understand it. Or rather, I didn’t buy it. Muriel, the ugly duckling girl who is mocked and abused, ends up marrying a beautiful South African swimmer and then splits up with him because of some self-esteem bullshit. WHAT? For fuck’s sake, Muriel! The man has beautiful eyes, a great body and doesn’t beat you. What more could you want? If this means I’m shallow and superficial then I don’t want to be right. She says to him “I don’t love you” and he replies “I don’t love you either but I think I could like having you around.” He’s so sweet! I dream of the day someone says something so romantic to me! Someone attractive, that is. Oh, um, SPOILER ALERT. I should have said that a few sentences ago. If you haven’t seen the movie yet and plan to (which you should, just to see what Muriel walked away from) then forget what you just read.
Muriel’s Wedding had its good points: a) David (Muriel’s husband), b) it introduced us to Toni Collette as Muriel, c) it introduced us to Rachel Griffiths, and d) along with The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, it brought ABBA back into the public consciousness.
Today Tunes du Jour celebrates the birthday of ABBA’s Benny Andersson who, along with the group’s Björn Ulvaeus, co-wrote and co-produced most of their hits.
In many activities in my life, I’m inspired by music, and shopping for gifts is no exception. I spent the last three hours listening to all 20,000 CDs and records in my collection, looking for ideas that I can impart to my reader(s). Here now I present to you the very first Tunes du Jour Gift-Giving Guide, complete with its own soundtrack.
Do you know anyone who wears clothes? Why not buy them some clothes?
For me, clothes-wearers make up exactly twenty-two percent of my gift-recipient list. What do I get the other 10.9 people?
The gift of media is always welcome. For the bibliophile in the family, I recommend a book. Any book. Books are timeless, just like VHS tapes and cassettes.
For those who haven’t learned how to read (i.e. anyone who started school after 1988) or are too stupid, get them a game. Board games are fun and I hear they now have games that can be played on TV and computer screens. If games are too challenging, buy a toy. Anything to keep the kid or moron occupied while you read a book.
Jewelry makes a nice gift. Just make sure the person you give the jewelry to is willing to put out. Seriously, that shit can get expensive. You deserve something in return.
If there’s a person on your list who won’t put out, doesn’t know how to read and is too impatient to read game instructions, buy them some cigarettes. Who doesn’t like cigarettes? They’re easy to work, easy to transport, don’t take up much room and smell like Christmas. Give cigarettes with alcohol unless the person is in recovery, in which case, substitute coffee. Those addicts love their coffee. Jesus, do they love their coffee, though not as much as they love cigarettes.
Oftentimes, the nudist on your gift list will tell you what they want, but you have to listen carefully. Not everyone is tacky enough to come out and say “I want _____” or “Gimme gimme gimme _____,” which brings me to a related topic. If you stole someone’s man, give him back. I’m not going to mention any names (LeAnn Rimes), but if any of my reader(s) started sleeping with Eddie Cibrian while he was married, you should send him back to his wife. At the very least, send her a thank you note along with some cigarettes and alcohol.
Gifts needn’t be physical objects. Perhaps you know someone who can benefit from a spa day, golf lessons or rhinoplasty. That last idea occurred to me while listening to The Ramones’ “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment.” Let me say this: if someone says to you “gimme gimme shock treatment,” that’s a cry for help.
You can always give the gift of love. However, if you do, make sure you include a gift receipt so the recipient can exchange it for something useful.
If all else fails, money makes a great gift. Save yourself the trouble of shopping for that unintelligent teetotaling nudist with a perfect nose on your list. Think of the dollar amount they deserve and give them half of it. Use the other half to spend on yourself, as you just freed up some shopping time in your schedule.
You may have people on your list who’ll say “I don’t need a gift. I have everything I want.” These people are THE WORST! Call their bluff – don’t give them anything. Don’t call them. Don’t stop by their house. Just leave them alone. They have everything they want, which means they don’t want you hanging around. They are rude and should be avoided.