heads california, tails california
--- the Buzz to here ---


“Here’s where I landed on Lady GaGa: the kids need it. She speaks for the freaks of the Midwest…. It doesn’t matter if it’s boring music; she’s still waving the freak flag. It doesn’t matter if it’s inauthentic — it matters that if you’re 14, you get the message that it’s okay to be weird…. But here’s the barb with Lady GaGa: since she’s waving the freak flag but conforming so heavily to the pop structure, is she ultimately doing more long-term harm than good by telling kids, ‘Be yourself, be weird, but be thin and beautiful and….'”

— The Dresden Dolls’ frontwoman Amanda Palmer, discussing Lady GaGa — in what may be the most concise, astute, and acutely observed dissection of Gags’ current spot in this society that I’ve ever heard expressed — in Spin magazine’s annual year-end roundup issue.


My beloved A brought this to my attention and insisted that I bring it to yours. Hence:

“…I’d go ahead and proclaim [“Use Somebody”] the instant front-runner [for Song of the Year], but since everything seems to be breaking in Taylor Swift’s (whose ability to sing I still strongly question, no matter how wide-ranging and accessible her abilities as a songwriter undeniably are) favor lately — I’m stunned that little heifer didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize last month! — she seems like the one to beat.”


me, assessing Taylor Swift’s odds in this year’s Grammy race, in an instant-reaction nominations live blog last December.


“Taylor Swift, whose trophies now require a warehouse, is up for best female vocalist in pop and country. The crossover sensation may be able to write a tune, but she sure can’t carry one, as her live performances over the past year have demonstrated.”


USA Today music critic Edna Gundersen, summing up this year’s Grammy race in a column earlier this week.



“Chicas, Chicas, Chicas!”

— the illuminative text found on a twelve-foot streetside banner advertising The Pink Flamingo, a new strip club which just opened for business in East Austin next door to my weekend workplace. (Again, probably not funny to anyone but me, but I laughed over this for two hours this morning.)


“…but the album’s strongest track is the wickedly strange “Fly On the Wall,” on which Miley-as-sex-kitten ends up channeling — and convincingly, at that! — both Debbie Harry and Pat Benatar in an off-the-wall instant classic.”


me, reviewing “Fly On the Wall,” an unexpectedly brilliant gem from Miley Cyrus’ stupendous summer album Breakout, in a Buzz post dated July 29.


“The album’s second single, ‘Fly On the Wall,’ finds the singer influenced by Gwen and Avril, while her more experienced (read: older) co-writers wink and inject some ’80s new wave influences, a la Blondie and the B-52s, which means fans’ parents can join in on the fun, too.”


— critic Chris Williams, reviewing “Fly” for the November 15 issue of Billboard Magazine.



“In Russian, we don’t call dill pickles ‘dill pickles,’ we call them ‘salted cucumbers.'”

A, further explaining the semantic quirks of his native tongue. (How this came up: A was telling me about his dinner, which included a baked potato graced with dill, and I asked if dill is used in dill pickles. I have no idea why the quotation is funny, but it just struck me as absolutely hilarious.)