It Ain’t Exactly Rocket Science

“Here’s the thing about Ke$ha,” he says. “She’s really smart, and she knows some of the stuff is really stupid. So the part of her that knows music and is educated will be like, ‘Really?’ And I’m like, ‘No, if it’s dumb and it’s catchy and it works, it’s cool.’ ”

Hitmaker du jour Lukasz Gottwald aka Dr. Luke, writer/producer of “Tik Tok” (and 20 other hits including Miley Cyrus‘ “Party in the USA”, Katy Perry‘s “California Gurls” and Kelly Clarkson‘s “Since You’ve Been Gone”) explains the secret of his success in a Sept 11/2010 Billboard Magazine cover story.

Smoke and Drink! It’s Your Patriotic Duty!

Finally … a solution to the oppressed minority huddling out of doors to grab a cigarette to satisfy their nicotine addiction.

Move to Russia. The government actually encourages people to puff their lungs out.

According to Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin (quoted by Interfax News Agency) “ Those who drink, those who smoke are doing more to help the state. ”

Of course as with any political statement there is a catch: the government is hiking up the amount of excise duties on cigarettes and tobacco.

However, the minister is encouraging his fellow citizens to look on the bright side:

“If you smoke a pack of cigarettes, that means you are giving more to help solve social problems such as boosting demographics, developing other social services and upholding birth rates.”

Hmm, BC Premier Gordon Campbell and his cronies  could take some tips from this guy  to help push the highly unpopular harmonized sales tax (HST) in the province.

Strait2DVD: Angel of Death

Plot Inna Nutshell: Stuntwoman/actress Zoe Bell plays a ruthless contract killer who takes a knife to the head and grows a conscience. Go figure. How It Plays: Quentin Tarentino’s favourite stunt gal Zoe Bell (she doubled for Uma Thurman in Kill Bill ) was feisty and ferocious in  Death Proof so hiring her as the lead in a straight to DVD action pic seems like a no-brainer. Of course, in Death Proof she had Tarentino directing. In Angel Of Death someone named Paul Etheredge is behind the camera. This is his first feature film as a a director. IMDB lists a whack of other credits including props, set dresser, production manager and art director. Don’t give up your day jobs, Paul.  (The DVD is apparently cobbled together from a web series on crackle.com with some extra footage added for good measure). Miz Bell is a little shaky when it comes to portraying actual emotion but, hey, that’s not why we’re renting this anyway, right? We want to see Miz Bell kicking bad guy butt and that she does without even raising a sweat. Still, I had to ask myself: Where is Cynthia Rothrock when you really need her?

The Sweet Smell of Excess

The Sex Pistols never claimed to have any counter cultural integrity (the name of the band’s 1980 mock documentary is The Great Rock ‘n’Roll Swindle, after all) but the latest move to capitalize on their brief (but, obviously, memorable) “holiday in the sun” decades ago by launching their own brand of perfume is really pushing the proverbial envelope.

According to the Canadian website canoe.ca (http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/2010/08/28/15169151.html) ” the unisex scent, which comes in a tartan-topped bottle featuring the band’s God Save the Queen imagery, is a collaboration with Paris-based perfume brand Etat Libre d’Orange, which licensed the Sex Pistols name from the band’s merchandising partner, Live Nation Merchandise (and) retails for 40 euros ($51). The scent is expected to launch in the United States Sept. 10, initially in the Henri Bendel store in New York.”

Hmm, a punk perfume …. I can’t imagine what that would smell like (and, frankly, I don’t want to) but I figure the last name of the band’s infamous lead singer provides us with a clue.

Kwik Kwotes: Save Some Time To Think About It

I never thought I would look to John Mellencamp when it came to cues for living but then both John  and myself have gone through a lot of changes since I used to spill bear on my jeans while “Hurts So Good” played loudly in the background at some house party in the Fraser Valley at three in the morning.

I mean, the latest CD by the artist formerly known as Cougar is not on a major label. Instead No Better Than This has been released on Rounder Records, a legendary indie label primarily specializing in folk music.

The tracks were cut with a four piece band and one microphone at historic locations like Sun Records in Memphis and produced by T-Bone Burnett, the minimalist folk master responsible for O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack and Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss (to name just two.)

Burnett has a gift for stripping away the veneer of a performer and reducing his or her sound to its essentials. And No Better Than This is certainly good to the bone (to paraphrase a song title by another performer who got his first big break with Rounder.)

So anyway that’s the set up, now here’s a lyric fragment that especially resonated with your trusty blogger at this point in his life.

Save some time for sorrow

Cause it will surely come your way

Prepare yourself for failure

It will give you strength someday

Try to keep your mind open

And accept your mistakes

Save some time for living

And always question your faith”

John Mellencamp  “Save Some Time To Dream”  No Better Than This


Rix Mix: The Case of the Vanishing Career

According to Internet Movie Database  Renee Zellweger stars as “a social worker who stumbles upon a dark mystery” in the Fall 2010 release Case 39.

The real mystery here is what happened to her formerly hot career.

Have you seen My Own Love Song, My One and Only, New in Town, Appaloosa or Miss Potter?

Yeah, that’s what I mean.

Rix Mix: Those Oldies But Goodies

Swinging octogenarian Betty White won an award (Best Guest Actress in a Comedy series) at this year’s Primetime Creative Arts Emmys for guest hosting a memorable edition of Saturday Night Live last May. (And she deserved it. Thanks to her droll comic presence the veteran show was actually funny for a change.)

John Lithgow, 64,  took home the Guest Actor in a Drama award for his chilling turn as the “Trinity Killer” on the fourth season of HBO’s  Dexter. (I’m watching it on DVD and I gotta say this may be the compulsively watchable actor’s most twisted  performance in a career full of them.)

Ann-Margret (yes, she’s still alive!) received a standing ovation after winning for her  appearance on Law & Order: SVU. The Swedish-American star (born Ann-Margret Olsson in 1941) copped an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.

Speaking of oldies but goodies …. Sylvester Stallone`s idea to film a straight ahead, blow-èm-up-good action movie pairing him up with aging action stars Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke and (in cameo roles) Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis seems to be paying off. The Expendables rules the North American box office for the second week in a row with $16.5 million in box office receipts (raising its two week total to $64.9 million.)