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Posts tagged ‘Elvis Costello’

Pokémon Nicknames: Drilbur and Excadrill

excadrill-hoodie

Photo credit goes to the hoodie maker!

Today, let us drill down and mine more nicknames for Pokémon Black and Pokémon White characters. Drilbur (in Japanese: モグリュー  “Mogurew”) is a Ground-type Pokémon. Drillbur’s category is “Mole Pokémon”. Drilbur was a popular baby form.

mole-1-img_0247

Drilbur evolves into Excadrill when raised to level 31. Excadrill (in Japanese: ドリュウズ “Doryuzu”) is a dual-type Ground and STEEL Pokémon. Excradrill’s category is “Subterrene Pokémon”. (“Subterrene” might actually be a good nickname right there!)

mole-2-img_0248

Drilbur is a mole, so as my mind wandered a bit, and I thought of the “mole” concept used in chemistry.

I named a Drilbur  “6.02 x 10~23” (unfortunately you cannot use exponents in the nickname creator). Oh – but I had to use the upper-case letter “O” in place of zero!  I found out that there is a limit to how many numbers you can use in a nickname. I never thought of it before, but someone could otherwise use a phone number as a name, so it makes sense.

mole_postcard_avagadros_number

Chemistry class? … remember that chick you tutored in Chem 101? Sing it Elvis — “Are you ready for the final solution?”

ec-inspired-chemistry-class

E.C.: “Sparks are flying from electrical pylons … snakes and ladders running up and down the nylons …

“The chemical term “mole” is usually abbreviated as “mol” which saves all kinds of space in scientific writing …

gretchen-mol

Wait — that is American actress Gretchen Mol. Sorry my mind wandered in class again.

Right …  forgive my digression … a mol has a value of 6.022140857(74)×1023 mol−1  — also known as Avagadros Constant. Thus, I have named some Drilburs “Avagadro” or “Avagadro’s #”.

Perhaps you could name your mole after famous people with moles. “De Niro” or “De Niro’s Mole” for example. (Denny is NOT making this up – “Robert De Niro’s Mole” has its own Facebook page, I just looked.) The term “mole” can also mean “Double Agent” in various spy thriller novels. Excadril is a dual-type Pokémon, so why not?

Whack-a-Mole” could be a funny name .. or maybe just “Whack“.

whack-a-mole-model

Everyone loves whacking to that arcade game!

Ahem … moles are similar to “shrews” which are another type of burrowing rodent. I named a female Drilbur “Tammy Shrew” after “The Taming of the Shrew” by Shakespeare. Ha. William Shakespeare — come -on Bill, don’t say that. There is no part of a lady that looks like a furry rodent.

tos-stephen-boxer-and-michell

If he was actually trying to tame her shrew, he sure missed way too high.

I sometimes name a female Drilbur “Lovely Rita” after the Beatles song “Lovely Rita Meter Maid“. Drilbur looks like it has a sash across the chest, as in a crossing-guard or meter-maid’s uniform. As Paul sang: “With the bag across her shoulder, it made her look a little like a military man … wank, wank, wonk, wonk”. I used “Edward S.” after the movie Edward Scissorhands, but then realized it was pretty stupid.

Excadrill names I have used include “Excedrin” after the headache medicine. Yup, an Excedrin and a Gatorade will set you up for a another big lunch after you have had a hard night.

excedrin-meme-baby

Ha Ha. This angry little guy was made into a meme. Ha.

I sometimes use “Roto-Rooter” after the famous plumbing company. Seriously, they can use that burrowing drill to unclog any hairy plumbing mess.

scene-other-woman-plumber

If you have seen the movie, you know that pipes are about to be cleaned.

These moles like to burrow, so I was thinking the more literary spelling “Burroughs” after author Edgar Rice Burroughs. The name “Furrows” or “Good Furrows” is elegant, I think and inspires fantasies about farming.

I have used “Drillbits” for cute little Drilbur, and “Drill Press” for the more intense drilling that the larger Excadrill can do. “BlackNDecker” might be a good name for a drill, as the Black and Decker company makes tools.

drilbur-and-friend

The usual references:

http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.serebii.net/

http://pkmn.net/?action=rater

pair-of-drills-giphy

What are the names for your drills? Please comment!

“… I’m certain as a lost dog … pondering a sign post…”

… Which is probably another way of being … not very certain?

Those words are a nice lyrical image from the song I would like to share today —  “I Want to Vanish” by Elvis Costello. The version provided here by a YouTube user is a clip from his special concert called “The Case for Song”.  Indeed it was a great VHS tape from the mid 1990s, however Netflix has the DVD if you are interested. Please let me know if you ever find it in a bargain bin.

The song is from his 1996 album “All This Useless Beauty” — one of my favorite records by him – (cough) — although this particular tune was NOT one of the ones which I liked on the album (The full album is linked here). I usually would skip this particular song. There were others — Distorted Angel, You Bowed Down and the title track which I liked a lot more.

EC 320px-ATUB_album_cover_large

The other day however, I caught the song, thought about it and … well … I finally got it. (Denny slaps head.) My friends know that I can be that oblivious, insensitive lout.

Notable here is how Costello’s (or McManus’) voice breaks at various points during the song. One of the enjoyable attributes about Elvis’ (i.e. Declan’s) many emotional songs is that “his voice always breaks at just the right time.”  Unfortunately, in the year’s following the this album, especially in the late 2000’s his voice started to become ALL BREAK. His recent records all sound terrible. His singing has gotten pretty bad, and the songwriting is just not there anymore*. I used to have a lot of respect for this washed-up, overly opinionated, fat bastard, but he has made it rather difficult in recent years.

… oh … Ahem … Yes, I can be an insensitive lout … but from where, and from who — did I learn that? Another coincidence — I actually owned the same polka-dot pattern shirt he wears here. Some amazing toss of the cosmic dice. Wait … I wonder if there is such a thing as a “cosmic” tossed salad? No matter … and yes, I have digressed, as per usual.

The studio version (linked here) is a little clearer, but I prefer the more emotive live performance above, mistakes and all.

If you like puzzling song lyrics, please enjoy “I Want to Vanish”

I want to vanish
This is my fondest wish
To go where I cannot be captured
Laid on a decorated dish
Even in splendor this curious fate
Is more than I care to surrender
Now it’s too late

Whether in wonder or indecent haste
You arrange the mirrors and the spools
To snare the rare and precious jewels
That were only made of paste

If you should stumble upon my last remark
I’m crying in the wilderness
I’m trying my best to make it dark
How can I tell you I’m rarer than most
I’m certain as a lost dog
Pondering a sign post

[Chorus]

I want to vanish
This is my last request
I’ve given you the awful truth
Now give me my rest

To leave on a positive note, here is a non-Costello version of his song sung live by what looks to be a high school band in this 2015 YT video.  This is a rather obscure song choice for cute teenage girls to sing.

Really odd.  I can verify that in the 1970s and 80s, being an Elvis Costello fan was a very effective girl repelent . Admittedly, not as foul of a girl repellent as being a Star Trek fan however. The girls participating here could not be any more endearing. I have to wonder how they were put up to it. Perhaps their music teacher was a Costello aficionado … or maybe they just lost a bet. At any rate … good work kids! Better you should bring the lyric sheet next time though.

————————————————————————————————–

* or perhaps I have just moved on to Hanako Oku to take care of me emotionally. She looks better in the glasses anyway.

ho glasses dark de7f00abf46a102b8f44db3c07e8f963

Starlight: Giving you “the awful truth” for a thousand days now. 

Pokémon Nicknames: Venonat and Venemoth

 

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She took a break from “Pokemon Go” and still attracted a Venonat.

Venonat (in Japanese: コンパン  “Kongpang”) is a BUG & POISON dual-type Pokémon. It is termed the “Insect Pokémon”. That is disappointing, perhaps “Annoying Insect” is to be inferred. Venonat is too big to be a Gnat, which it resembles. Venonat is actually a blood-sucking Mite.

venonat_gijinka__03_by_damiannada

Stop buzzing my ear! You are annoying me dude!

If I want to keep the annoying little bugger a little bugger, I give it an Everstone and use names like: “Vinny” or “CousinVinnie” like in the movie.

“VenyBoomBox” is named after my doctor … My Doctor … Dr. Vinny … Dr.-Vinny-Boom-Box. (The kids always laugh when I say that.)  Actually ,Rodney Dangerfield’s doctor was named Dr. Vinny Boombatz (link here). “Boom Box” might be good for this squat little bug with the antennae, but I usually save that name for an Exploud. “AmazingNat” is another name I use, in reference to “The Amazing Mets” baseball team. Maybe call him “Washington” for the Washington Nats baseball team.

Venonat evolves into Venomoth – the “Poison Moth Pokémon” (in Japanese: モルフォン  “Morphon”) at level 31, where it remains a BUG & POISON type. The Japanese name “Morphon” is actually a decent nickname.

a venomoth_gijinka_by_manadrunk-d9031qc

What flavor Poison BTW? I’m thinking sweet Grape Kool-Aid !

In general I name Venomoth names which start with letter “V”, such as “Victoria”.  At first I thought the top of Venomoth’s head was a “V” shaped antennae — it looks like it on the animation sprites of the early generations–  but there are clearly three prongs there.

venomoth IMG_0221

Veronica” is my favorite name for female Venomoth. This is in honor of Elvis Costello’s grandmother.

“You can name me anything you want … but my name is VERONICA!!

a venomoth_gijinka_by_manadrunk-d9031rn

“Here’s the TRICKY PART!!!”

Another “V” name I use for females is “Vanderbilt” or “Vassar” after the expensive women’s colleges for the snotty, self-righteous, privileged classes of all races.  What? … these are both co-ed?

HAIRY vs. SMOOTH? Many people confuse moths with butterflies. There are some key differences.  Butterflies are cute and smooth on the abdomen, (cough) … while most moths are much more fibrous (ahem …), but a hairy thicket can still be enjoyable, and some may find it preferable. Look, both are good. Sometimes you start wanting one when you have had only the other for a long time.  Mix up your team with those who have a smooth thorax versus the delightfully bushy ones.  Note that Venomoth is much bushier — than say a Beautifly.

venomoth il_570xN.1023781867_e0ix

Which type? I am going to guess “hairy” there, Miss V.

A name I liked from the Name Rater’s website was “Metamothos” for Venomoth, and “Bugzilla” for Venonat. Of course, the NR hated both of them.

What is the name for your hairy moth? Please Comment, or like … or something.

a venomoth_by_eframtrabbit-d53r0uh

References:

http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.serebii.net/

Now I’m living in a black-and-white world.

What Sayaka Yamamoto looks like when I don't have any colorful thoughts.

What Sayaka Yamamoto looks like when I’m out of colorful ideas.

Sorry, Yamamoto-san, you can go home. You are doing everything right as usual, I just can’t get my imagination going now.

What happened to the COLOR options in the WordPress editor!?!? I used to be able to create color text. The button was there now it is gone … My signature “Starlight” sign-off is supposed to be written in RED. Otherwise, how would you know that I’m moving rapidly away from you, and not towards you? Now I am living in the “Black and White World”.

SING IT, Elvis (link here). My heart is not in this drab world, Sayanee. Here are the lyrics. You read them dear girl, while I sort this out.

Written by Elvis Costello: “Black and White World” 1980.

I was looking at the black and white world
It seemed so exciting
If you’d only put me back to back with that girl
When the night’s inviting

yamamoto-sy-shashinshuu-1241
With just a little lighting
There’ll never be days like that again
When I was just a boy and men were men
You never go from moment to moment
You’re the living double of a single fiction
You’re very colourful with your compliments
As you feel the finger’s friction

yamamoto-sy-shashinshuu-321
It’s a freeze-frame
Still it’s real life
You don’t want to look
Cause you’ve seen the film and you’ve read the book
I was looking at the black and white world
Trying to name some pin-up
Those days she was just a beautiful girl
Now she’s framed and hung up

yamamoto-sy-shashinshuu-36_thumb

I thought she was young
Up until I saw her last night in close detail
Though they all fade away when you’re so pale
It’s more than just a physical attraction

yamamoto-sy-shashinshuu-106
It starts with a face and ends up a fixation
But you’re never gonna feel a fraction
Of the way it used to work on your imagination
When you were looking at the black and white world…

yamamoto-sy-shashinshuu-3_thumb

Starlight: I guess we can’t work in the 0.4 to 0.7 micrometer range anymore?

Image

A song for all you cheating husbands out there …

toledo phrase

“Toledo” by Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach.

Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach teamed up for the great album “Painted From Memory” in 1998.  The record is arguably the greatest of Costello’s collaboration albums. The album is loaded with songs of bittersweet memories, sorrowful memories, love gone lost, emotional pain, and hopeful wishes of new love. There would be so many great songs to share and discuss with you otherwise. I could not find the studio version of “Toledo” on YouTube. Instead I will share this live performance.  The lyrics are slightly different in the live recording, so I have provided the original lyrics at the end of the post. There are a lot of interesting, but painful moments to discuss. I will have to interpret, and perhaps extrapolate a little on the meaning of the lines.

This is the story as I see it:

A man had once cheated on his wife when he was on a business trip to Toledo, Ohio.  They are back together, and even though his wife has forgiven him (to some extent), the affair is always in the back of their minds. His travels take him to Toledo (not Spain) again. Imagine when he phones home and tells her that he is staying overnight in Toledo. Even if she trusts him now, there would always be that little piece of doubt in her mind.  The damage had been done.

“But if I call, I know I won’t have to say it
You’ll hear my voice – something is bound to betray it”

Lesson #1 / Men: Do not cheat. Even if you are forgiven, you will never get the trust 100% back.

Another line says “… and that girl really didn’t mean a thing to me …”.

Lesson #2 / Men: Do not cheat. Men always say that – but that actually makes it WORSE! It would be one thing to actually fall in love with someone else and have an affair, it is another thing to be promiscuous for its own sake. It means that the cheater is not romantic – he is an asshole.  At least he is now. 

I think that it is a very strong song. You can feel the pain in the lyrics. Pain that was self-inflicted. He hurt his wife, he hurt himself. He is still haunted by the fight they had the first time: You hear her voice – “How could you do that?”

Other lyrical imagery describe of how he walks around outside, and all the young people, and young lovers are happy.  “How can they be like this?”, he thinks. Don’t they understand what I have lost?!?!?  Of course, it is an irrational thought, but I think that it underscores that all is not right with the world once his vows were broken. The lyrics demonstrate that the guilt may be all-consuming.

Lesson #3 / Men: Do not cheat. Try to learn from this fool. 

———————————————

There is one other item I have never heard discussed about this song. Why did Costello choose “Toledo, Ohio” as the place where the protagonist fell? If you are a Costell fan, you know all about his famous drunken incident in Toledo. Costello and his bandmates had a fight with an American band staying at the same hotel. Costello said something outrageous.  I won’t repeat what he said here. The quip was picked up by the American press, and it haunted him for years. There is no doubt, it affected his lack of commercial success in America for so long.  

———————————————–

“Toledo”

All through the night you telephoned
I saw the light blinking red
Beside the cradle
But you don’t know how far I’ve gone
Now I must live with the lie
That I made

But if I call, I know I won’t have to say it
You’ll hear my voice – something is bound to betray it
But do people living in Toledo
Know that their name hasn’t travelled very well?
And does anybody in Ohio
Dream of that Spanish citadel?
But it’s no use saying that I love you
And how that girl really didn’t mean a thing to me
For if anyone should look into your eyes
It’s not forgiveness that they’re gonna see

You hear her voice – “How could you do that?”
You hear her voice – “How could you do that?”

So I walked outside in the bright
Sunshine and lovers pass by
Smiling and joking
But they don’t know the fool I was
Why should they care what was lost
What was broken?

But if I call, I know I won’t have to say it
You’ll hear my voice – something is bound to betray it
But do people living in Toledo
Know that their name hasn’t travelled very well?
And does anybody in Ohio
Dream of that Spanish citadel?
But it’s no use saying that I love you
And how that girl really didn’t mean a thing to me
For if anyone should look into your eyes
It’s not forgiveness that they’re gonna see

But do people living in Toledo
Know that their name hasn’t travelled very well?
And does anybody in Ohio
Dream of that Spanish citadel?
But we still have Florence, Alabama
We don’t have Paris, and we don’t have Rome.

Starlight: I bought the record the week it was released. I was still a Costello fan back then.

Hanako Oku and the English Sessions

FAN FICTION! “Hanako Oku and the English Sessions”

Slide7

Ok, Miss Oku, once again don’t worry so much about the “Ps and Qs” think more about the “Ls and Rs”.

I was ecstatically happy to find out that my favorite Japanese singer-songwriter Hanako Oku is going to release a CD single with cover songs sung in ENGLISH. The mini-album is oddly titled “Rum Raisin”.

I am a huge –Oku-fan, but I do not always have English translations of her original songs sung in Japanese. I feel a little left out sometimes because I am not a Japanese-speaker. I love her songs, but find myself wishing that I could better understand the meaning. … and no one can communicate the intense emotions of unrequited love like Hanako Oku.

This must have been a tremendous amount of work for her.  She employed language experts, dialect coaches and a couple of hipster English majors from a famous American university.  I was able to link up some images from these sessions.  A few slides are presented here.

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I think that she has made excellent choices for her first mini-album of English covers here.  Each song is similar in many ways to her emotional ballads, yet this selection also allows her to explore some different – but just as intense – emotions. The songs are all from the genre that would be classified as “classic rock” and may be unknown to her younger fans.

I can’t wait until this is released.  I listened to the preview, but these songs are not yet available on YourTube. (The “Record-Industry-Weasels” as per usual).

Until then, I will share with you the original versions by the original artists until such time as the Oku covers are sold. Just imagine The Little Great One breathing life into them. The songs are: 1) “A Dream Goes On Forever” originally written performed by Todd Rundgren, 2) “The Blue, Red and Grey” written and sung by Peter Townshend (The Who), and 3) “The Town Cryer” originally by Elvis Costello. I am also including links for the original lyrics.

“A Dream Goes on Forever”

Todd Rundgren’s song pulls on the heartstrings just the way an Oku-ballad does. A lost love.  Hanging on to a dream that can never happen. Otherworldly and interdimensional hopes that it will.  Oku-san shows the “cosmic” side of herself here. There are no cheap synthesizer tricks to space you out.  The lady’s raw emotional disappointment and longing are enough to take you to the dream world.

Slide13

… you’re so far away and so long ago …

(The reference to “old soldiers fade away” is odd, however. A Japanese singer making a Douglas MacArthur reference?) However, I fell like a heap on the floor as she sang “I guess I believe that I’ll see you someday” and “how much I loved you you’ll never know til you join me within my dream”. Lyrics are linked here.

“Blue, Red and Grey”

The next one is a little lighter, and a little bouncier, but just as poignant.  The song is from a 1975 album by The Who, but it is all Pete Townsend. There is a ukulele sound on Oku’s version, but her happy-bouncy piano is the main instrument, and Oku also plays part of the interlude on her melodica. It sounds quite whimsical, especially at the end.

I am in Oku-heaven when she says “I dig every second” – instead of “like” or “love”. The 1960s expression is given new life by Oku. Oh, you are so very groovy Hanako.  I wonder if she knows what “buzz” means in the song however.  I have to think that in her mind, happy Zen-bees are buzzing about.

Slide14

Funny moment when Oku breaks her own “banana rule”.

She perhaps takes a jab at the music industry with that line “I even shun the south of France”.  Oku is not your typical rock-star celebrity.  Other artists are much more “popular” and have greater sales right now, but the lady is a very down to Earth and lovable (see her website). She is not among the stuck-up celebrity elite.  Lyrics are linked here.

“The Town Cryer”

All of that was great, but then there is the big finale. I was unprepared and shocked at how great it was.

Slide12

“They say they’ll die for love — then they leave it out”

She must have spent countless hours rehearsing not only the English words, but the vocal inflection needed to convey the emotions of the song.  I was not prepared to hear an angry Hanako Oku.

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Kudos to her English voice coach.  Somehow — she nails it.

The song she has produced is like the world’s greatest waterfall.  There is great, towering piano and orchestration. That little bit of anger that is in her voice …  may be her attempts to convey Costello’s trademark snarl. It does live fans wondering what will be coming next.  Anger – even heartfelt anger – has not been part of the usual Oku repertoire to this point.  Is she stepping out of herself to show this emotion?  What is she angry about, and why does she choose to express this subtle rage in English? Is English Oku’s “minstrel” language? The one that she uses when she needs to step out of her calm Japanese “Hanako Oku” demeanor … in order to say the things she would not otherwise say?   Lyrics are linked here.

She does flip the “boys” to “girls” to be the protagonist of the song. The accusatory tone in her voice against the man actually works BETTER when sung by a woman. I think that this flip of the male/female roles improves on Costello’s original. Who knew – until Oku! Her voice starts gentle and affraid, yet hits the crescendo in bitterness.

Slide9

Oku, “in the zone” getting herself psyched for the aggressive ballad.

That part about “teddy bear tender” may be lost on her Japanese fans without the Elvis Presley reference. You can really feel that she is letting loose on a man she is disappointed with.  Go get him Hanachan, the weak bastard deserves it. Listeners may not know that the phrase “tragically hip” was coined by Elvis Costello in this song.  It is interesting to hear it in Oku’s Japanese accent, with the additional sarcastic inflection.  Amazing, amazing, amazing.

Slide15

The song is heavy on strings at the end, which is also unusual for a Hanako Oku song.  The use of “movie soundtrack” type strings at the end are like a trail … leading us to perhaps a new musical direction for The Little Great One?

Like the ice cream flavor, this “Rum Raisin” is a surprising, unique taste of intensity. 

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My blogging year in review Part III: My “bottom ten” posts

Sorry, I only counted NINE bottoms here ...

Sorry, I only counted NINE bottoms here …

As I wrap up my blogging year with another “top ten” list — perhaps a BOTTOM TEN this time —  I want to share my “Top Ten Least Viewed Posts”.  I used the new WP Stats page to see how many views each post received. Some of them even received only one view – and that was probably from me when I was not logged in.  I will admit, some were rather obtuse. I hope that you can find an interesting title in the group.

  1. “Clean up on isle three … Strange person on isle five” linked here.
  1. “Who’s up late polishing the blade?” linked here.
  1. “Nothing fishy going on here” linked here.
  1. “Hanako Oku and the failed Landsat program” linked here.
  1. “MEN!!!”   linked here.
  1. “A dark and nihilistic moment ruined by poor grammar” linked here.
  1. “Even M. Night Shyamalan Didn’t see than one coming” linked here.
  1. “Kimonos on Postage Stamps” linked here.
  1. “Why I like AKB48 Part XXVII” linked here.
  1. “A sense of responsibility changes a woman” linked here.

Thank you for reading my posts this year!

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