Showing posts with label substitute. Show all posts
Showing posts with label substitute. Show all posts

Monday, June 29, 2009

Guest Column: Nathan C has "A Few Words About the Gloved One"

Editor's Note: As I mentioned, Nathan was the first to alert me to Jackson's death. Nathan Cone has, since I met him, unapologetically and (I believe) unironically adored the work of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5. And, in fact, for no particular reason I can recall, I associate The Jackson 5's "ABC" with Nathan. I assume we grooved to it together sometime in the mid-90's.

He's been so gracious as to share a few words eulogizing The King of Pop, and a few personal memories.

by Nathan Cone

Incidentally, that was always my favorite nickname for Michael Jackson, “The Gloved One.”

The League knows that I have a special place in my heart and in my record collection for great R&B. Michael Jackson, and his brothers in the Jackson 5, provided a slice of heaven to this listener every time I dropped the needle on one of their records. From “I Want You Back” to “Smooth Criminal,” few could match the grooves of MJ.

A lot of folks in the media went on and on about his music, and of course his problems, but I’ve noticed very few commented on his dancing skills (NPR was an exception). I’ve been re-watching a lot of video clips this weekend, and he was an astonishing talent. He was graceful, like Fred Astaire. He was so much more than the Moonwalk and the crotch grab, and I think a lot of people forget that.

Thriller. Amidst the impressive statistic that it’s the best-selling album of all time, I think even more incredible is the fact that seven of the nine songs on the album were hit singles! Wow.

I was as shocked as anyone to hear of Michael Jackson’s passing last Thursday, but not really conflicted about it. I had already gone through the mourning process years ago, right around the time of the Lisa Marie Presley marriage and on-stage kiss, I believe. MJ addressed his weirdness with a self-knowing humor in the video and song “Leave Me Alone,” but by the 1990s, he was just pissed off, and backed away from the public eye. So despite a few musical salvos from the Gloved One, we’ve really been without the Michael we know for 15+ years. He had long since moved from being on top of the world to being a punch line, and that’s no place to be.

I always wished Michael Jackson would call up Quincy Jones. Clearly their collaborations had a kind of magic to them, like Miles Davis & Gil Evans. I can only imagine what would have happened had they decided to work together again.

Finally, although the League, Mrs. League, Bug, and the rest of the Trinity crew can attest that my imitation of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” dance routine was inspired but weak, I was a badass at the “Moonwalker” video game.

Three memories:
1. When “Thriller” premiered on MTV, I remember sitting in front of the TV with my brother Marcus, eating Oreos and watching the video. (And even at 10 years of age, I thought that disclaimer about the occult on the front end was odd.)

2. My friend David Hardisty had one of the “Beat It” red knock-off jackets. I tried it on, knew I looked like a complete dork wearing it, and promptly removed it.

3. While home in Spring during college, David Wilcox and I went to Sound Warehouse one night, and I bought “Off The Wall” on cassette. I think David felt that in the early 1990s, it was a very kitschy, post-grunge thing to do, to drive up and down F.M. 1960 blasting “Rock With You.” But I think secretly he loved the music as much as me.

So long, Gloved One.

Bonus Memory: One of my earliest Jackson memories involves the totally over-the-top video for the Jacksons’ “Can You Feel It.” Dick Clark introduced it on American Bandstand one afternoon, remarking about the incredible visuals. Years later, it’s kind of cheesy, and amazing that the sound effects overpower the music throughout most of the song, but this is a cool video. Dig the way the Jacksons portray themselves as demi-gods. Ha ha!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The League Returns

Sounds like an awesome movie, doesn't it?

The League and Steanso are scheduled to make their return flight this evening, landing around 8:30. Let's hope they are not detained in Houston trying to smuggle monkeys in their pants. I look forward to their many stories and hope they took lots of pictures.

Cassidy currently has Lucy in a neck hold, so I think it's time for doggie day camp to come to an end.

Thanks for putting up with my ramblings, everyone - I hereby hand the LOM back over to its rightful owner. Bye!

This post written by jamie while The League was out

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Too many puppies

It's the end of day four of my stint as dog pack leader. I haven't gotten a good night's sleep since Ryan left. This is not solely Cassidy's doing, I just think Lucy and Cassidy bring out the Space Madness in each other. Adding Jeff the Cat to the mix doesn't help. Cassidy loves Jeff and spends 90% of her time here trying to get to him. I've placed a barricade in front of the stairs to give him a safe haven, but Jeff just can't help himself. He tries to come downstairs when he knows she's around, so he's kind of asking for it.

On the whole though, the dogs have been pretty well behaved (although I reserve final judgement until Tuesday night, when the Steans Bros. return). Three dogs and a cat is just a handful.

I have to give thanks to Nicole, though, who watched the dogs yesterday while I was out, and the In-Laws, who took Mel and Lucy on a nice long walk this evening while I took Cassidy for a hop up and down the street.

And on a completely unrelated note:

This post written by jamie while The League was out

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Parents, In-Laws, Lake Austin Spa: Super Awesome.

I have to give a big shout out to the McBrides and Steanses for their tremendous generosity today. This morning, KareBear, Ryan's cousin Susan, and I drove out to Lake Austin Spa where KareBear (and the Admiral) treated us to a day of R&R. I had a head and foot massage in the morning, a wonderful lunch, and a facial in the afternoon all within the gorgeous setting of Lake Austin wilderness. We also had time for some floating in the pool between appointments. A lovely day!

While we were gone, our storage closet (aka our garage) was visited by three helper elves and has magically changed back into an actual working garage. Cardboard Mountain was disassembled and whisked off to various recycling locations. Holiday decorations were neatly set off to the side. Countless dead bugs and spiders I'm sure were swept up and disposed of. It was a task not meant for mortal men and yet Team McBride and the Admiral came through with flying colors.

I knew things had gotten bad when I opened the garage door upon our return to the house and Karen exclaimed, "You have a sink in there!".

I can't say thank you enough to both sets of parents. You're the best!

This post written by jamie while The League was out

Friday, May 23, 2008


Confession time. I love the show So You Think You Can Dance, Fox's summertime replacement for American Idol. They started advertising for it about 2 months ago during Idol (yes, I still watch and you can ask me why till the cows come home and I'd still not be able to come up with a good answer). Just seeing the commercials made me excited. They used the song, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody", which can be an awful or great song depending on the artist.

Now I thought this song was pure cheese when I was younger - mainly because it was in heavy rotation as one of 5 songs on VH1 (yes! they played videos once!) and was performed by Whitney Houston, who, ironically is one of the worst dancers I've ever seen. She spends the majority of the video either watching other people dance or mildly bouncing.

*I would be able to provide video here if I were a more talented blogger, but YouTube won't let me have it. If you're that curious, go look up Whitney Houston and the song.

I saw David Byrne do a brilliant cover of this song years ago in Austin and couldn't believe the difference. Stripped of the irritating synth noises and hand claps, this was a catchy song that ACTUALLY made you want to dance.

Early season (season 2?) American Idol contestant Jennifer Fuentes also attempted "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" with hilarious results. Accompanied by only a piano (yes, at one point American Idol had a budget), the song took on a very high school talent show vibe. My favorite part is where, instead of editing the song around the spoken portion, she looks off to the side and says "Dance!". Good stuff.

But I greatly digress. I didn't start watching So You Think You Can Dance until last season and even then not until the final 20 round, so this is my first season watching the auditions. It seems as if they are showing us more talent and less of the bad auditions than Idol does, which I greatly appreciate. I danced for 10 years when I was growing up (ballet, tap, jazz, and modern), so I love that there's a show on that has a wide variety of styles of dance. The talent I saw last year was incredible (far better than what you get on Idol if you ask me) so I'm eager to see what this year has in store. The judging is also better. Instead of sound bytes (Randy), random insults (Simon, although he is usually correct), and unicorns (Paula), Nigel, Mary, and the guest judge manage to offer constructive criticism that is interesting to the viewer. If you are at all interested in dance (all one of you), I highly recommend this show for summertime entertainment.

Don't worry, folks, if you're bored - the League should be back soon, and then you can find out what Superman has been up to.

This post written by jamie while The League was out

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's all mine: muahaha!

Hi ya'll. As you may have heard, while the League is taking some vay-cay in Costa Rica, he has left his blog in my hands. Boy is he dumb.

Yes, the League and Steanso are currently on a short flight to Houston and will then jet down to the jungles of Central America where they will rendezvous with their tour Howler monkey, Senor Screechy. They will be staying here, here, and here, so don't feel too sorry for them. Their first hotel sits at the base of a large volcano, but hopefully Screechy will steer them to safety should it decide to erupt.

My posts won't be as long as the League's - I do have company coming this weekend so I don't know how often I'll be able to blog, but I'll try. Mel and Lucy's cousin Cassidy is also staying with us, so we'll see how much sleep I'll get with a gaggle of dogs running around.

This post written by jamie while The League was out