[song] “I Heard it Through the Grapevine”
Nothing against Creedence, but this ’70s girl punk group’s cover of the seminal Motown ditty is the most interesting to date. It lends “Grapevine” a degree of sass that transforms it from a song of pining codependence to one of scoffing indifference. On the whole, these broads generated a body of work that broke down barriers of all kinds and never fit squarely into the punk rock genre. Considering the thick irreverence and highly un-self conscious tone The Slits employed, they probably couldn’t have cared less. They were among the first girl bands to intelligently rebel against things like sexism (the name says it all), capitalism (“Shoplifting”) and conformity (“Typical Girls”). But while their music serves as a reminder that being female doesn’t limit our potential or right to fly in the face of convention, even the most macho Joni-phobe can feel comfortable taking these chicks for a spin.
[book] Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Jane Austen/Seth Grahame Smith
Not that I believe that there are actually two types of people in the world, but there are two types of people in the world: zombie people and vampire people. I’ve debated with many on the question of zombies vs. vampires and, as a fan of zombies, I have to say that vampires are shallow and take themselves too seriously. Zombies, on the other hand, are a blatant vehicle for social commentary. Plus, once you get past the brutality, they can be quite funny. Enhancing a Jane Austen classic about marriage and class in polite English society with legions of undead brain-munchers is nothing if not creative. Turn lovable protagonist Elizabeth Bennett and proud antagonist Mr. Darcy into lethal assassins and you have a novel that is nothing if not over the top. The book is practically worth picking up by virtue of the first sentence alone (especially if you’ve read the original version): “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”
[DVD] The traveling salesman joke
Bob Odenkirk & David Cross, ‘Mr. Show’
OK, so how do I discuss this without giving too much away? Basically, an ultra-conservative Dixiecrat senator played by Bob Odenkirk wants to cut all art funding, and compares the arts to the cow-milking machine that’s behind the third hole in the barn wall that serves as the original joke’s punchline. In fact, the only art project of which he approves is a musical adaptation of said joke. David Cross plays the traveling salesman. Jack Black is the farmer. Odenkirk is cast as the hated milk machine. The production chronicles the struggles the salesman experiences when tempted to do exactly what the farmer tells him not to do. Only Mr. Show can pull off something of this comic scale. Anyway, check it out on DVD (season one, episode two) and see for yourself. MTW