Thursday, September 30, 2010

Get up on the dance floor

I've been watching Madonna videos on YouTube, trying to wash away the anger and anguish I feel over the Tyler Clementi story. It's sort of working. I started watching the HQ leaks of the Re-Invention Tour and wow, I had forgotten how good that show was.

There's something about this performance of "Vogue" that really beats all others. Don't be fooled, it sounds live, but it's actually Memorex. She's lip syncing to a newly recorded version of the song. You can always tell - whenever her voice is high and nasal like that, it's a recording. But for the longest time I thought it was live. She had never sung "Vogue" live before (the rap part is ALWAYS lip synced) but when I started downloading various bootlegs of the tour and all versions of "Vogue" sounded identical, I knew something was up. Still, there was a kind of magic about this song being the opening song on what has been her most hits-driven tour of the last 10 years. Being in an arena full of 20,000 Madonna fans all singing "GET UP ON THE DANCE FLOOR" sent shivers up my spine and the memory of it still does. It was a thrilling moment - one of those "moments" in my Madonna fandom I will not soon forget.

And as good as "Vogue" was, with Madonna surrounded by her troupe of dancers, who knew that she'd blow us out of the water with an album track from the critically maligned American Life?

"Nobody Knows Me" was the first of many WOW moments on that tour. Yes, she's still lip syncing. It wasn't till the next song ("Frozen") that she actually sang, but really it hardly matters. As I have said before, when you go to a Madonna show, you go for the entire package and sometimes, you put up with prerecorded vocals. What blew me away during this performance was her dancing. Even as fans, we tend to forget that Madonna was a dancer first, and her performance of "Nobody Knows Me" was proof positive that she still is a dancer. When you're at her show, she commands your attention, but this is one of the most attention-commanding performances she has ever done.

The video of "Nobody Knows Me" is from the I'm Going To Tell You A Secret documentary which contains a handful of performances from the Re-Invention Tour, most of which were poorly chosen or so heinously chopped up you wish they had just not teased you at all. The full concert remains unreleased on DVD and while the leaks are as good as we'll get, I can't help but think about the DVD that wasn't based on the "Nobody Knows Me" clip. I can't quite get the final burn to work on the leaked files I have, but someday...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I am pretty much heartbroken over the story of 18 year-old Tyler Clementi's suicide after his roommate posted live video feed of him having sex with another man in his dorm room to the internet. At first, I thought that he was merely missing and I guess until they find a body, he is, but all signs point to the high likelihood of him having jumped off the George Washington Bridge in New York City.

There are so many angles on this it makes your head spin. There was a good write-up on this on AMERICAblog tonight and really, that says what I would like to say so much better than I ever could. What I hate about this most is that this is 2010 and we are still living in a world in which society teaches our young men that it is better to be dead than gay. More than that, the simple perception that you might be gay is a fate worse than death. I would like to think that we've made progress since my high school days but apparently, we really haven't. And clearly I'm not the only one to think this. In the article I linked above is the following quote:
Gay rights groups say Clementi's death is the latest example of a long-standing problem: young people who kill themselves because they're bullied about being gay — regardless of whether they are.
I will go to my grave saying that homophobia has more to do with challenging the definition of masculinity than anything else. Anybody who doesn't fit that nice and tidy mold is immediately attacked, either directly or subtly. Gay men challenge masculinity and what it means to be a man. And thank fucking God they do because the definition we use is messed up.

The other thing that gets me is something I read in another article that (naturally) I can't find to link to anymore. But what I read was that when people first noticed that Clementi was missing, they went around to his dorm floor and asked people if they had talked to him. Only three people remembered ever talking to him. THREE. I have no idea how big the dorm floor was, but that is not very damn many. All I could think of is how shy and lonely he probably was, away at school for the first time and the to have his roommate pull a bullshit prank like that. No wonder he felt like he had no recourse other than to jump off a bridge. It's reminds me of the old adage "When I was young, I admired clever men. Now that I am older, I admire the kind ones." Or something like that anyway.

Tragedies like this just remind me how far we have to go as a society in general but as men in particular. It needs to stop being okay to refer to people as fags. It needs to stop being okay to use gay as a synonym for stupid. And we absolutely have to stop teaching men that death is a better option than being gay.

We all have to do our small part. I'm doing mine. Won't you join me?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ripping out the root of love

When you talk about big female voices, one that never seems to get mentioned is Toni Childs. And this is truly a shame, because she has a voice as big as...well, just about anything. The only song of hers that made any kind of waves at all (and by waves I mean ripples) is 1988's "Don't Walk Away."

During the late fall/early winter of my junior year of high school, I was OBSESSED with Toni Childs' "Don't Walk Away." And how could I not be? A powerful female voice, what sounds like a minor key (although I can't independently prove that) and a great GREAT hook in "ripping out the root of love." I can't imagine this song in anyone else's hands. No one, but NO ONE could do that "Don't walk awaaaaaeeeeee" like she does. Despite my love for it (or perhaps because of it), it barely made a dent on the U.S. charts, peaking in the 70s or something like that, although it did have a nice run on the Modern Rock chart. This song deserved so much more exposure than it got which really is sad.

I discovered this song when I was in the midst of completely eschewing pop radio (mostly in vain) for what I had determined was more "artistic" fare. This was the fall that I discovered 10,000 Maniacs, Tracy Chapman, Edie Brickell and other artists that don't fit in very well with the expected Dan mold of cheesy dance pop. It was, as I have detailed in the past, partially the influence of and partially an attempt to impress one of my best high school friends, Kelly. I've talked about Kelly before in my Tracy Chapman post I did a few years back. At the time I wrote the post, I had really lost track of her. In the time that's elapsed since that post, we've reconnected on Facebook and she also paid a visit to Ames this summer during which we went to the always fantastic Great Plains Pizza and got all caught up on the last umpteen years.

Kelly and I never saw eye to eye on Toni Childs. She always likened her voice to a sharp knife cutting through bread. I guess I can see that. It's certainly an acquired taste and not everyone's cup of tea. She did, however, help me to acquire the Toni Childs CD Union which was never in a million years going to be at K-Mart in Carroll, IA. She picked it up for me on a trip to Omaha and then navigated the icy streets of Carroll to deliver it to my house. Union is one of those albums that I always forget about. I remember being less than impressed with it - nothing was as good as "Don't Walk Away" and even after only 9 songs, her voice started to grate. But when I do rediscover it, I always like it more than I remember. But "Don't Walk Away" is still the standout. It was even nominated for a Grammy that year for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance amidst four other standout nominees (Tina Turner for Tina: Live In Europe, Pat Benatar for "All Fired Up", Melissa Etheridge for "Bring Me Some Water" and Sinead O'Connor for The Lion & The Cobra.) Tina ended up winning it like she did every year during that time period.

I've mentioned before that during our junior year of high school, Kelly and I kept a journal together. It was a Mead notebook that we passed back and forth and we took turns writing in it. There were two volumes total and somehow I ended up in possession of both volumes. It's been 22 years since we initially wrote them and some of the pencil is starting to fade. It makes me think that I need to scan the pages into the computer so that they are preserved for posterity. Not that anyone would want to read them but us, but they do represent a fragment of time - an early version of this very blog, if you will - that is now passed. It was a time that I tried without much success to escape the grips of cheesy pop. At 38, I'm still in cheesy pop's clutches and I know better than to try to get away now. However, while looking through those journals, I did find this, and considering my comment about knives and bread, I thought was appropriate for this post.

That's Kelly adding "the edge serrate" as she was the biggest INXS fan I have ever known. I love how Union was "my next tape need." Little did I know that the CD player was about to arrive at Christmas that year.

And really, to be totally honest, if Jason and I ever get our respective acts together, this could be the first entry in our It Should Have Been A Hit! blog.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Seven years on

Due to the busy weekend which saw us traveling across the state to attend my brother-in-law's wedding, the seventh birthday of this blog passed on Friday with relatively little fanfare. It's probably for the best as seven years into this thing, my output has slowed. 2010 is on track to be my least prolific year since 2005. I don't think I'll crack 200 posts this year. Of course, this might all change next week when I'm going to try to do two posts a day (I'm off work for a week.) Then in November I plan on taking part in NaBloPoMo as a show of support while Heidi does NaNoWriMo. I did it unofficially last year and I did do 30 posts in 30 days, even if I didn't technically meet the goal of blogging every day. So that means you have at least 44 more scrumptious posts to look forward to this year. I'm also behind on posting my 25 books, although I've managed to catch up a bit on the actual reading of them.

I keep doing this even though blogging is so 2006 because, as was pointed out to me, it's a good historical record of my life and my interests - even if no one ever reads it but me. I know that readership of blogs in general is down and the tried and true method of knowing who's reading your blog via statistics programs has been stymied by the advent of RSS readers. Whenever I look at my stats, it's so hard to tell who is actually reading vs. arriving via an image search.

Another reason I do this is because I genuinely enjoy writing. Even when the writing's not so good or very short, it still keeps me in practice. The job I have does not lend itself very well to the creative writing so this was and continues to be a good outlet for that. The fact that anyone else chooses to take 5 minutes of their day to read what I write is a huge compliment to me. That I have made friends that have felt me worthy enough to include on a blogroll is amazing to me.

It may not always be interesting and it may not always be earth-shattering, but I am of the firm opinion that it doesn't always have to be. So I'll keep plugging away at this.

Happy 7th birthday blog. You're as much a part of me as I am a part of you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fun raiser

Anna is participating in what most parents dread most - the twice-a-year school fundraiser. The last 3 years, she hasn't been interested in them, so we've tossed the packets and forgotten about it. But this year, she wanted to do it, drawn in by the promise of a limo ride if she sells 25 of the overpriced food items that are in the catalog. Of course, we've had the packet since the 14th, but tonight was the first night she was serious about it. The fundraiser ends on Friday. The neighborhood has been scoured by other kids from Anna's school and we're left to selling to close friends and relatives. I hate bringing this kind of stuff to work and subtly guilting people into buying things even though other people in my department do it shamelessly. I did send out a mass e-mail to some internet peeps and relatives to see if anyone was interested. This only made me mildly uncomfortable and if you were lucky enough to have received one, you're included in the group of people I don't mind making a fool of myself in front of. I meant what I said - only buy if you want. If you don't, it doesn't hurt my feelings one bit. I was just doing my duty as a parent.

When I was a kid, there was nothing I despised more than fundraising. It seemed like every organization I was in had fundraisers. Band, chorus, speech and drama, church groups, you name it, we were always hawking something to help pay for the bus to Timbuktu or something like that. I usually ended up selling to my parents and that was it. The funny thing is that the very first fundraiser that I remember doing was actually a rousing success. We sold Bic pens door to door for Cub Scouts - I was probably 10 or so. Back in my hometown, I lived in the 700 block of my street. My brother and I sold pens all the way up to the 2200 block in one afternoon - both sides of the street. I was a fearless salesman. I sold a shitload of pens. I also scared the crap out of my parents because I vividly remember being in about the 1300 block of my street on the way back home and there they were, driving up the street in our old Maverick looking for us, sure that we had been abducted or murdered or something equally horrific. Shit no! We were just selling pens.

After that, I really lost my drive for selling. I remember being heckled by some 20 something guys when I was selling popcorn for Scouts (I'm pretty sure) and was kind of freaked out about that. After that, my introvert REALLY set in and I just couldn't go and sell things to people cold. I wasn't going door-to-door ever again for that kind of stuff. And mostly, I never did.

Well, since there's no door-to-door for Anna after the locusts picked the neighborhood clean, we resorted to telephone tonight. We called grandparents, aunts, uncles and godparents, among others. I let her do the pitch (spectacular! spectacular!) but sat on the extension while she talked. She did a pretty good job for being eight. She was articulate and excited and clearly wanted to make a sale. There always came a point where I had to break in and explain that this is not the type of fundraising you're used to. This is 21st century fundraising as you can go to the website and do online orders. The school has a number as does Anna. You plug the info in, order whatever you want and she gets credit for it. Plus, the stuff gets shipped to your house. How's that for slick?

The best part of the night was when Anna was e-mailing Heidi's mom with the info that she needed and I was checking it over before she sent it. The subject line of the e-mail was "fun raiser." I said to her, "Anna, it's FUND raiser. You're raising funds for the school - funds are money." She looked at me like suddenly, the light bulb had gone to full brilliance. I thought, but wisely kept to myself, that doing a fundraiser is decidedly not a "fun raiser." At least not for me.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Zen and the art (and calculus) of dishwashing

I take a quiet satisfaction in washing dishes. It's true - and yes, I realize that it's also crazy. There's a standard line in our house that doing dishes is "man's work." This is especially true when we host parties that include meals. I still remember the first time that a boyfriend of a friend of ours came to our house for Christmas. The meal consumed and the dishes stacked, Heidi said to him, "Just so you know, the men do the dishes around here." He thought she was joking until the rest of us guys headed for the kitchen. He wasn't sure what to do.

Early on in our marriage, Heidi and I made a pact. I would do the dishes if she would take care of the outside work. Well, that deal hasn't quite worked out like we anticipated it would and now, I end up doing almost all of the outside work as well as the dishes! How did she luck out? But it's true, I do enjoy the solitude that washing dishes by hand provides to me. Heidi will often offer to help, but I generally send her off to do something else and take the time to just be by myself. I tend to put my iPod on shuffle and just go with whatever comes up. If it's something I don't necessarily want to hear, my hands are usually too wet to change it so I listen to it anyway. The randomness of the music that goes with dishwashing is half the fun.

It sounds kind of new agey, but there is also something about putting your hands in water that is oddly therapeutic. Over the weekend, I haven't put anything in the dishwasher, instead opting to wash everything by hand. This accomplishes a couple of things. First, the dishes actually get clean. I don't know what it is about our dishwasher but it just doesn't seem to be doing the job it used to do. You practically have to wash the dishes before you put them in there, so I figure why not just bypass that altogether. I could get it fixed but I'm just not in the mood for another $60 American Home Shield service call.

The second thing that not using the dishwasher affords you is the satisfaction of getting very close to what I refer to as "clean dish max." Using something I learned in calculus and applying it to household chores is something only I would do. "Clean dish max" is the point at which every dish in the house is clean and in the cupboard. It's a glorious thing. It's SO SATISFYING to watch the cupboard fill back up - although I will admit to being more than a bit frustrated by the fact that all our coffee mugs will NOT fit in the cupboard and trying to make room for them is definitely a challenge. But "clean dish max" is, in and of itself, a challenge. Inevitably, someone is using a glass or a bowl somewhere in the house and just as soon as you've let the water out and rinsed the last of the soap out of the sink, they come and plop that dirty dish down on the clean counter. So you see, you can't ever be there (although we're damn close right now.)

The same theory applies to laundry but even moreso. Unless you're doing laundry naked, it's pretty much impossible to be at "clean clothes max." Much like doing dishes, it can only be approached but never reached. It's like an asymptote in calculus. The line can approach zero, but it never gets there, not even if you go out to infinity. I remember that concept blowing my mind when I took calculus in high school. Surely it got there eventually!? But no, it never does, just like all the dishes are never washed nor are all the clothes ever clean.

Because of this common bond, it's not surprising that I also take a great deal of solace in folding laundry. It's not on the level of dishwashing for me, but it's a quiet activity that generates order from chaos through the exertion of energy. I'm not so great about putting said laundry away as it's not unusual for me to be still taking clean clothes out of a basket as Heidi tells me to "bring out your dead" as it's time to do laundry again.

It's the simple things. They aren't sexy but in a way, yeah, they are.

My inner Mulder

My folks came over to Ames yesterday for the adoption party the Jan & Sarah were throwing for their four kids and they arrived bearing gifts. Well, actually A gift. For me. As it turns out, they had gone to the Clay County Fair this week. It seems like they go every year. A few years back, they saw a pre-out-of-the-closet Clay Aiken in concert at the Clay County Fair. Last year, they found a 12" Doctor Octopus that I proudly added to my collection of random pop culture bits that I have in my office.

This year, my mom and dad completely outdid themselves, because this is what they brought me.

It's an alien baby! In a lava lamp like apparatus! My mom told the guy that she bought it from "this is for my 38-year-old son who is going on 7." I would say more like going on 12, but whatever.

The Fox Mulder in me is positively giddy because, as my brother-in-law pointed out on Facebook - it might be a REAL alien baby! It bears a remarkable resemblance to the alien fetus in the X-Files episode "The Erlenmeyer Flask" which I think I'm going to have to rewatch today since today is going to be nothing but lazing about exerting as little energy as possible. Witness:

So if I end dying mysteriously soon, you'll know why. It will be up to my loyal friends and family (and people who stumble upon this blog via random searches) to make sure my death was not in vain. THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE.

A couple more pictures, just because my mom and dad are so damn awesome.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Summer 2010 Soundtrack

Now that we're midway into September, I figured it's about time to put a cap on summer and relive some of my favorite songs from summer 2010. I skipped this post entirely last year for a couple of reasons. The first was because I was so disgusted by last summer's music, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. The other reason is that I've determined that no one reads long blog posts any more and so mostly, I'd just be writing it for me. This year, since the music was so awesome and because I decided I don't rightly give a shit if no one reads it, I'm back for another round. I've limited myself to 12 songs.

As always, in no particular order.

1) Heard It On the Radio / The Bird & The Bee
The summer started with this song and its light and breezy sound pointed to the plethora of good music to come out of the summer. It was the sole original song on The Bird & The Bee's album full of Hall & Oates covers. It was also the best song.

2) Get Outta My Way / Kylie Minogue
Although the official single release isn't until later this month, "Get Outta My Way" was the official song of the summer chez Cullinan. While my favorite song on Aphrodite has changed with the wind (it's that good), when it's all said and done, "Get Outta My Way" is a Kylie classic.

3) I Put My Ring Back On / Mary Chapin Carpenter
Chapin's ode to the day-to-day struggling that happens in even the best of marriages is currently my most-played song in iTunes. The reason for this is because every time I listen to it, I want to hear it again. The combination of her husky alto and Vince Gill's tenor in the backing vocals is pure heaven. Plus, it's just the kind of bittersweet text married to a killer hook that I've come to expect from her.

4) Ain't No Son / Courtyard Hounds
Courtyard Hounds is made of of two-thirds of the Dixie Chicks (lead vocalist Natalie Maines is MIA) and the result was pretty predictable. It lacks the fire of the best Dixie Chicks material, instead veering more toward generic Sheryl Crow AOR. "Ain't No Son," which chronicles the relationship of a father with his gay son from the point of view of the father is the only song of theirs I've heard that really has bite.

5) Your Love / Keane
Keane is so aggravatingly uneven. The Night Train EP was mostly meh for me, so much so that "Your Love" was the only song I bought off of it. Usual lead vocalist Tom Chaplin takes a break and Tim Rice-Oxley takes over for a single song. For the longest time, I couldn't tell the difference. It makes me wonder if he'll sing more songs for their next album.

6) Oh No! / Marina & the Diamonds
I would like to think that Marina is a major new voice in pop. While there's no denying THE VOICE, she'll just never get airplay or exposure here in the U.S. and since we all know that the U.S. is the world (not), it doesn't matter how much success she has overseas. (see: Kylie) "Oh No!" is one of the standout tracks from her album The Family Jewels which I would advise everyone to pick up.

7) I Was Made For Sunny Days / The Weepies
I owe my exposure to the Weepies to my friend Bess who included their song "Can't Go Back Now" on one of our DMB (Dan, Matt & Bess) CDs a while back. Their breezy California folk-pop is pretty irresistible. Their new CD Be My Thrill is not as instantly engaging as Hideaway, but "I Was Made For Sunny Days" was an integral part of the summer playlist.

8) Hormones / Tracey Thorn
The best bittersweet song of the summer (and you know I love my bittersweet.) A song from a mother to a daughter whose hormones are "just kicking in" while the mom's are "just checking out." Lyrically poignant and with a driving melody behind it, it's just about as Dan as you can get.

9) Better Than Love / Hurts
Oh, Hurts. I just don't know what to make of them. They are kind of a 21st century amalgam of Pet Shop Boys and Johnny Hates Jazz - and I mean that as a compliment. Still, after a few listens, I find their album to be a bit unsatisfying despite the fact that there are several strong songs on it. This is one of them.

10) Clap Your Hands / Sia
A late addition to the summer playlist, Sia's album We Are Born is a bit hit and miss, but I enjoy this little lightweight track. Besides, anything with hand claps in it is automatically worthy. And it had just about the cutest video I've seen in a long time.

11) Bloodbuzz Ohio / The National
The National are probably the most "one of these things is not like the others" entry on this list. Lead singer Matt Berninger's baritone is very much a love-it-or-hate-it type of thing. It was seeing The National live that won me over to their indie rock style which usually I don't have much time for. This was an early summer favorite that has waned some for me, but it's still top notch.

12) Invisible Light / Scissor Sisters
I wasn't sure what to expect from the Scissor Sisters this time around. Their last album, Ta-Dah!, left me a little bit cold. It suffered from Hard Candy syndrome in that, despite having several strong songs, the entire album was somehow less than the sum of its parts. Fortunately, Night Work doesn't really repeat the same mistakes. And album ender "Invisible Light" is probably my favorite of all of them. What puts it over the top is with its Ian-McKellan-as-Vincent-Price spoken portion.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

What I've been up to

There are more blog posts in the offing - several, in fact - but I have found myself in a most unfortunate predicament. Through the fault of really nothing but the dirt, I am in the middle of a 12 day stretch at work. That's right, my next day off is NEXT Saturday. As in a week from two days from now. I've already managed my way through 33% of it. Only 66% left to go. By Saturday, I'll be 50% done!

There is a high likelihood that I will be a strung out mess by the end of this. When I think of that, I try to focus on the money. Two extra days of work will go a long way toward helping to fund Heidi & Marie's Excellent Manlove Adventure or, as I like to refer to it, Heidi's Thelma & Louise vacation. I'll just let you read her blog to find out the deets, but basically Heidi and fellow m/m author Marie Sexton are road-tripping to McAllen, TX the first week of October. Why McAllen? Well, because Heidi's sister Hillari lives there and because that's Mitch's hometown (from Special Delivery.) Yep, she's gonna get another book out of this. There are other stops along the way but I told her that the only stipulations were 1) find a way to pay for it and 2) don't drive the Mazda off a cliff.

Of course, there's also my upcoming solo trip to Kansas City to meet up with my friend Jason. We will be seeing Evil Dead: The Musical and generally hanging out and painting the town red. Please pray for no snow or ice the weekend of October 22nd. This is Iowa, after all.

So that's what I'm doing. Working. Planning on being a single parent for a week or so. And then going out on my own to another city which I haven't done since October of 2006! Mostly, it's all good.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Get out of her way

Darren Hayes tweeted the following tonight: Rather than criticize something terrible, here's praise for something wonderful. He went on to talk about Arcade Fire's album. I can't talk about that since I haven't heard it, but he's right. It's so easy to trash something that fails to live up to expectations or disappoints.

I thought, since here we are four days into September & I haven't done a blog post yet, I'd follow Darren's lead. Of all the things to be born this week, nothing BUT NOTHING is more wonderful than Kylie's "Get Outta My Way" video. It is not embeddable, but click here to see it in all its gloriousness. Kylie has some good videos, but none that I would consider "classic" in a Madonna sense. But Kylie has out Madonna-d Madonna on her last two videos. Sure, Madonna has barely shown up to her last few video shoots, but with "Get Outta My Way" Kylie hit it out of the park. I've watched it probably 20 times since Friday and it is not old yet.

So what's so great about it? Let me show you.

1) Kylie herself

I am unable to explain why this little Australian can reduce me to such tween expressions of fandom. It wasn't until I was in my early 30s that Kylie even resurfaced on my radar after over a decade of silence. But whatever it is, she has it in spades. If I were to venture a guess, it goes beyond the fact that she is amazingly beautiful. It has to do with the fact that, unlike Madonna, she seems to genuinely enjoy making music. She is having fun with this and it shows. There is nothing more beautiful or sexier than Kylie in this video.

Even though she could fit in my pocket, she's bigger than life

2) Wolverine-like brass knuckles
I mean, seriously. Is this the most dangerous accessory we've seen yet?

3) The glittery heels from the America's Got Talent performance are back
Need I say more?

4) Kylie as superhero during the bridge
Aphrodite is full of songs with amazing bridges, and the bridge in "Get Outta My Way" is perhaps my favoirte on the album. And Kylie in her thigh-high red boots and cape surrounded by her minions as she's about to take off is an iconic moment.

5) Kylie vogues
Blink and you miss it, but it's there.

6) Chairs
Last, but certainly not least - this is what really pushes the video into "classic" territory for me. Chairs make everything sexy even sexier - or at least more interesting. Madonna knew this in the "Open Your Heart" video and during the Confessions Tour performance of "Like It Or Not." Kylie learns from Obi-Wan Madonna and uses chairs to maximum effect in this video.

If you look closely, you can see me in that last shot. The bleached hair took quite a bit of explaining at work but hey, it was worth it.

I always admire it when any artist bothers to even make a video nowadays. They certainly aren't the promotional tool they were back when I was a teenager. And when visuals like this are married to what is probably the most stellar song on Aphrodite, well, it makes this guy wonder when Madonna is going to wake up and smell the coffee and remind everyone how it's done.

We're waiting.

(and may I personally recommend SnagIt! for screen captures. It made this post a thousand times easier than Shift-Prt Scrn!)