A folkie not to be forgotten

I don’t actually have a copy of this — believe me, I looked — but it seems like it’s been here all the time.

“Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind” was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in early 1964 and cut at that time, but was left in the can until the Metamorphosis compilation of 1975. Dick and Dee Dee (!), a supporting act for the Stones during their 1964 US tour, got first crack at a cover, but the one that got airplay, albeit minimal, was this version by Vashti Bunyan, released in May 1965 on Decca (UK) with production by Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham. Some pressings list her only as “Vashti,” as did the credits of at least one episode of the US TV series Shindig. “Some Things” somehow never got a US release, and, her career faltering, she moved to a commune in Scotland, eventually emerging long enough to cut an album, Just Another Diamond Day (Philips UK). Reviews were kind — you can find rather a lot of them on her Web site — but sales were awful, and she decided she wasn’t going to get mixed up in that sort of thing ever again.

By the turn of the century, Just Another Diamond Day was commanding $2000 bids on eBay, prompting Spinney Records to reissue it on vinyl and CD; Bunyan’s second career, as an off-center folkie, was under way. She would cut two more albums: Lookaftering (2005) and Heartleap (2014); the latter, she says, is her last.

How influential is Vashti Bunyan? Let’s ask Beck:

In which he sings Vashti’s “Winter Is Blue,” a late-60s track that preceded her departure to points north. (Her own take sounds like this.)


May I have some marmalade, please

In which the lovely and talented Taylor Swift does her best Paddington Bear look:

Taylor Swift in winter wear

Not that I’m going to tell her she can’t wear Ralph Lauren if she wants to:

Taylor Swift in Ralph Lauren collection



“Ohio State?” spake the Twitterverse in disbelief, and accusations began flying: atavistic regionalism! religious prejudice! blinkered, Philistine pig ignorance!

Well, no. It’s something simpler than all of those things:

I can guarantee you that NOBODY at ESPN was excited about the idea of Baylor or TCU in the College Football Playoff’s inaugural game. Make no mistake about it, as far as Texans are concerned, TCU and Baylor are about the fourth and fifth most popular teams in their own state (after Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and maybe even Oklahoma). TCU and Baylor fans (if there are such things) aren’t going to travel en masse to a championship game. They won’t buy $800 tickets to the game. And, most importantly, neither school’s brand will inspire fans from coast-to-coast to tune in.

But Ohio State? Oh, yes. They’ve got an alumni base that is more populous than the state of Wyoming. Literally. They have an international brand. They’ve won more national championship rings than you can fit on one hand. And their fans travel. They’ll buy every available seat in that stadium. They’ll gobble up every minute of televised coverage you can give them. They’ll buy every t-shirt you can make.

And hey, at least it’s not the odious Bowl Championship Series, am I right?

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This never happens in Massachusetts

The architecture critic of the Los Angeles Times ponders an unexpected issue:

More so than “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula”? Are we talking “Chuyville” or something?

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Oh, and try the veal

Mighty Pantone (PBUH) has declared Marsala the Color of the Year for 2015:

Pantone Marsala swatch

Surprisingly, this choice has not met with universal approbation:

Social media has questioned what Pantone calls “a naturally robust and earthy wine red color” as “a color that makes you want to go to Olive Garden or order Tampax in bulk.”

So the food connection doesn’t help?

For a color that shares associations with wine, chicken, and mushrooms, the color also summons pfth-sounding glops of mystery meat in elementary cafeteria lunches, liver (and not necessarily of the French, pureed, pâté class) whipped into a murky abundance atop bread, pink slime gone wrong, or meatloaf (with a healthy serving of that mystery meat, perhaps?).

And I wonder how many of us endured this shade of carpeting forty years ago.

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Avoid this dude at all cost

Because he’s not paying attention to where he’s going:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: What color is the wire coming from the radio in a 2013 GMC Sierra Denali for the parking brake bypass?

Why would anyone want to know this, you ask?

Trying to do a bypass so I can watch dvd while driving

Look around for a bridge abutment with a GMC nosepiece embedded about, oh, this deep.


Because seamen

While I can’t say this is surprising, actually, it still stings a bit:

The US Navy has launched an investigation into allegations that some of the first female sailors to serve on submarines were secretly videotaped in the shower by a male serviceman.

According to an incident report written last month, the unsuspecting women were recorded bathing and changing aboard the ballistic missile submarine USS Wyoming. A 24-year-old second class petty officer allegedly made the videos over the past year and distributed them among his male colleagues.

Um, you had orders, Mister, and one of those orders is “Do not behave like a cretinous goon.”

The Navy, which had grave doubts about this whole women-on-board business, is almost certainly not feeling any better about it now.

(Via Interested-Participant.)


Getting mighty crowded in here

So: 619 million Americans, then? No wonder I can’t find a parking place.

2014 Bureau of the Census estimate is 319,309,000. So no matter what kind of number-crunching Abramowitz thinks he’s doing, it’s wrong from the word Go. And this whole scene could have been avoided had we realized from the start that the Seventeenth Amendment was a crock and killed it off before it could do any more damage.

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Strange search-engine queries (462)

Another week goes by, another set of logs is completed, and another round of “Someone actually Googled that?” ensues. By now, you know the drill.

media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com “originals”:  I could see why someone might want to look for the first version of a graphic file, given the potential for copyright issues; how they landed on a page with no actual graphics other than those inherent in the design theme is beyond me.

need to no what the gross weight of a 9azda millieum2.5 engine:  If this is the way you write, God help you working on a modern (well, 1990s) engine.

Horatio Prim and Melody Allen:  Ladies and gentlemen, your Two Thousand Fourteen Homecoming King and Queen!

kabb 29 fox news anorexic anchor:  An unhealthy-looking female anchor? On Fox? Unpossible!

gants shos and chapl style:  Let not mere spelling dissuade you from the pursuit of stylishness.

1918-2011 what year americans pay less so gallon gas pump:  This somehow reeks of radio-station call-in contest. First prize is a gallon of 1918 gas, with an octane rating you would not believe. (Same guy asked this twice, with marginally different wording.)

sheilabilyeu/wiva:  Sheila? Is that you? Come home, all is forgiven.

crossdressing tattoed pierced stories:  I think you’ve tripped the site’s Kink-O-Meter.

what is milfingly milf:  None of your milfing business.

mazda protege 5 with blinking o/d chaged gear to low at hwy:  I believe the applicable phrase is “Sucks to be you.”

what is the new old fashioned way:  Ask Brenda Lee at Bigelow 6-200.

Incidentally, if they ever pass a law requiring that the buyer of a car be able to spell the name on the badge, Mazda is doomed.


Alone in the cold

The 24-hour bug persisted for a lot longer than 24 hours, and all of a sudden things look a great deal bleaker than they did a couple of days ago.

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It’s all about the cylinders

The last game these Pistons had won was against the Thunder in disrepair, three weeks ago. You might have guessed that this wouldn’t happen again, with OKC fortified with Batman and Robin once more; you might not have guessed, however, just how difficult this task would prove to be. After a 2-0 lead early, OKC fell behind, and stayed there until nearly the end of the third quarter. Detroit, despite being a tad fragged on the second half of a back-to-back, would not go away; with four treys in the fourth quarter, they stayed within reach until the last second, when a Josh Smith trey for the lead went awry, and once the Thunder inbounded — twice — it was Oklahoma City 96, Detroit 94, and a 1-1 split for the season.

Four starting Pistons made it into double figures, led by the redoubtable Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who probably would have gotten mentioned here even if he hadn’t scored a team-high 19, because, darn it, he’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. (Starting point guard Brandon Jennings scored only 6, but he served up a game-high 9 assists.) Stalwart Greg Monroe led the reserves with 12. What the Pistons failed to do was block shots: Andre Drummond had one, and that was it.

As for the Dynamic Duo, Russell Westbrook came up with 11 rebounds while scoring 22, and Kevin Durant, still playing just under 30 minutes, cranked out 28. Nearly as flashy was Serge Ibaka, with 13 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks. Reggie Jackson, quite involuntarily, wound up being more playmaker than scorer, though Jeremy Lamb happily took up the slack, dropping in 12. As happened last time, the Pistons got more foul shots (19-28), though the Thunder were 12-17, a decided improvement over the 1-6 they posted that night in November.

Another rematch coming up: Tuesday at the ‘Peake, against the Bucks. OKC will have to win that one also to secure a 1-1 season split.


All alone on the rack

Dave Schuler is asking: “What was the first record album you purchased with your own money?”

Cover art for Something New by the Beatles 1964The parental units weren’t about to fork over any coin of the realm for me to squander on vinyl — or styrene, as appropriate — so this is my first record album, period. Something New is one of those Frankenalbums Capitol persisted in issuing in those days, partly due to the fact that British LPs tended to have 13 or 14 tracks, while we Americans were dumb enough to settle for eleven. The track list includes eight songs from the UK A Hard Day’s Night album, though not the title track; two cuts from the British Long Tall Sally EP, and a German version of “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” The track ordering is not bad, actually, and for the most part, we were spared Capitol’s infamous mono-reprocessed-for-stereo mixing, though I wouldn’t have known that at the time, having bought the mono version on the basis that (1) I had a fairly crummy record player and (2) stereo would have been a buck extra. Something New peaked at #2 on the Billboard album chart and stayed there for nine weeks; what kept it out of first place was the United Artists issue of the soundtrack to A Hard Day’s Night, another dog’s-breakfast compilation with eight actual Beatles tracks, plus four instrumentals presided over by George Martin.

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As he nibbled at her ear

And can you blame him, really?

Sushi earrings by Hatanaka

The backstory:

My husband asked me a few days ago what I wanted for the holidays and I told him I didn’t know. But after seeing these fake food jewelry designs by Japan-based company Hatanaka, I think I just may want a Beef Bowl necklace, dammit!

I hate these and I kind of love them at the same time. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with wearing a bowl of fake beef around your neck, okay? I mean it’s not like they’re selling something weird, like salami necklaces or bacon earrings…

(From Caitlin D.’s contribution to the Saturday Links yesterday at Rookie.)


There once were some self-righteous asshats

A young woman wrote a satirical limerick about Michael Brown, at least slightly tasteless and definitely weak in the scansion department. Unsurprisingly, some people found something wrong with that, and are threatening her because hey, social justice, otherwise known as “Freedom for me, but not for thee.”

The only truly satisfactory solution to this would be for the whole sorry lot of them to be rocketed into the Sun, though I suspect the Sun would complain briefly along the lines of “Well, there goes the neighborhood.”

Reminder: Social justice is to justice what social disease is to disease.

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Focused attack

Usually comment spam is just slopped onto the place without any particular regard to where it may land. Which concerns me when it isn’t:

Spam screenshot

I mean, really, what did McGehee do to deserve this?

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Upward mobility

So, Lisa Quam, you’ve won $90 million playing Powerball. Do you quit your job?

She said she would quit her job at plane maker Boeing Co.

Do you buy new wheels?

Quam said she expected to travel more and had already identified her next new car: a Subaru Forester.

Which, for Washington state, will fit right in.

Although this is the part that gets me:

Quam and her husband bought two Powerball tickets on a Thanksgiving Day run to buy a newspaper and pumpkin spice.

For those of you who thought pumpkin spice, barely spice and not even close to being pumpkin, was the creation of Beelzebub — well, even the devil has an off-day now and then.

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