Tag Archives: Sesame Street

Feist-Fest

Today’s great thing is a bit of a letter of encouragement to one of my favorite musicians who is on a sort of semi-hiatus right now.  Well, she’s still doing stuff…but you know…not the stuff that I, as her fan, want her to do.  Hmmm…maybe that’s part of the problem.  The adoration of fans isn’t without its exhausting demands and from what I’ve read, that’s sort of why she’s cooling her heels for a while.

133.  Feist

Not that I have an inside track or anything, but what I’ve been led to believe in a few press snippets is that Leslie Feist, Canadian (though I think that we Americans can claim a fraction as she has duel-citizenship thanks to bi-national parentage) chanteuse,  has put her solo musical career on hold because her recent mega-success kind of knocked her socks right off.  Having built up a career teeming with indie credibility–being part of the Canadian music collective Broken Social Scene, touring with electro-sex-bot Peaches (even appearing in her video for “Lovertits”), and collaborating with Brooklyn band Grizzly Bear,  probably led her to some personal artistic fulfillment but also protected her from the rabid and frothy masses and the demands of the mainstream press.

Walk on, superfan.

Her second solo album received a bit of attention with the Postal Service’s remix of her catchy single “Mushaboom”.  Mushaboom, btw, is a rural community in Nova Scotia.  A little, gentle taste of mainstream(ish) success was the reward.  Then, in late 2007/early 2008, things sort of exploded for Feist.  She was covered in the media extensively due to the iTunes-assisted smash “1234”.  Though, to be accurate, that song is her highest ranking single in The States and it ONLY got as high as number 8 on the charts…hardly a Whitney Houston-challenging record.  However, her general media presence was all of a sudden multiplied by ten.  It didn’t hurt that her videos are eminently watchable.  Here’s one now:

Then, add her adorable appearance on Sesame Street to the bubbling pot of publicity:

Just try to imagine how many young hipster parents ran out and bought the CD after that uber-adorable performance.

Then, of course, there was her brilliant contribution to A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All (available on DVD AND on iTunes) and you’ve pretty much got yourself a fan-frenzy.

The problem, of course, is that Feist has such a wide appeal because she is so likeable and unique.  We, (meaning people with working ears), require more of Feist because even the most top-40-hardened radio listener can appreciate the hard-to-categorize catchiness of her music.  It’s at once instantly hummable and refreshingly different.  Plus, she plays guitar real good!  Here’s some Feist footage from a live performance:

I was lucky enough to catch Feist on tour when she passed through Manchester a couple of years ago.  It was one of the top 5 concerts I’ve been to.  She had the perfect blend of musical chops/original material/and stage banter to make everyone there feel like they were lucky to be in the room.  Feist had a sort of grade-school projector art display to accompany her music at the gig and we had terrible Alpine-height  seats…could barely see the visuals that were being broadcast behind the band.  But, what was sort of cool was that she acknowledged that she’d taken a hike up to the highest seat earlier that day and saw for herself that visibility was limited.  All it took was her cracking a few jokes about it to make us feel better in the nose-bleeds.

You see, her worries aren’t completely unmerited.  She is dangerously obsession worthy.

Though everything about you tempts us, Leslie Feist, I promise from a fan’s perspective that we will not be overly obsessive or harass you in an oppressive or stalkerish way.  Perhaps that would take some of the pressure of working in the music industry off your shoulders.

I'll blow dry your pretty hair for you, Feist! I mean...keep a healthy and respectful distance from you.

I know the music industry must be tough…I mean, I can barely stay awake at my day job after doing a stand-up gig at night and I’m not touring or shooting music videos. Don’t get me wrong,  I like your recent collaborations…but I also LOVE your original material.  Please make more. We need you back Leslie Feist.  I think it’s been long enough.  Please go back to work.  Drop that next record.

Until then, I’ll just keep on checking up on your homepage, like a saddo: Feist

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Cop Rocks

So, I pretty much watch at least one episode of the long running television show Law & Order:  SVU every day.  The program serves a duel purpose of entertaining me with its crime-of-the-hour type yarns AND distracting me from working on anything constructive.  Lord knows that there are enough episodes around that I could probably keep this up for a good year or two.  The show itself is a spin-off, of course, of the even longer running show, plain old Law & Order. I love the franchise (except for Criminal Intent…can’t get into it for some reason.)

I bet anybody who has read at least two entries on this blog would wager that today’s entry is being pecked out in celebration of the hotness that is Mariska Hargitay.  Well, you’re only half right.  I’m heartily looking forward to the day that I sit down and Google-image the heck out of sensitive yet capable Detective Benson.  But, my love for SVU goes far beyond just perving over Olivia.  I pretty much love the whole ensemble.  I love Easter Island-headed Christopher Meloni as Detective Stabler and the always earnest Captain Cragen as played by Dann Florek.  I love Tamara Tunie as M.E. Melinda Warner and I love Stephanie March’s Alexandra Cabot (though I miss Diane Neal’s Casey Novak), and yes, I even love you Ice-T!

https://i0.wp.com/www.ripten.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/ice-t-scares-you.jpg

Drink!

Actually, my friend Kimie has come up with an ingenious drinking game for SVU involving Ice-T.  Every time someone says something that could be construed as racist and the camera pans to Detective Tutuola–who in turn throws up a squinty-eyed scowl–you take a drink.  You’ll be tanked by the time the focus shifts from the arrest to the court case.

But today’s prize goes to perhaps the most underappreciated of the squad:

125.  Richard Belzer as Det. John Munch

Belzer is awesome for a number of reasons.  His lefty conspiracy-theory enthusiast character–Detective John Munch– is, from what I can tell, just pretty much Richard Belzer playing himself.  His scenes on the program highlight a snarky but wise cop with great instincts.  His character is definitely the longest-running of those on SVU (if only because Detective Munch was actually born on an earlier show–Homicide:  Life on the Street).  Yet, Detective Munch hasn’t lost his ability to care about the victims or other squad members.  He’s just a guy you would want to know if you lived in that world.  And if you wanted to talk about the Illuminati with someone.

Here is more evidence that I have unearthed pointing to his awesomeness.

1.  He is the cousin of The Fonz (Henry Winkler).

2.  He resides in France part time  (I guess when he’s not shooting).  He clearly has good taste in cheese.

3.  He was a warm-up comic for SNL in the seventies.  In fact let’s look at some of his early stand-up, shall we?

I especially like that he’s sporting the same haircut Tom Cruise rocked in MI: 2. I think it looks better on Belzer, actually.

4.  De Niro is said to have studied him for King of Comedy.  I have never seen The King of Comedy.  (I know…for shame.)  But, that’s a pretty cool credit right there.  If I were ever the muse for a movie, that movie would be called The Queen of  Snacking and Procrastinating.

5.  He supports North Shore Animal League.  This is a pic of his one of his dogs.  Animal lovers are good people.  He even blogged against dog-fighting for Huffpost.  Link

https://i0.wp.com/www.contactmusic.com/pics/m/too_many_stars_140408/richard_belzer_5118548.jpg

Bebe--she's French.

6.  He’s a cancer survivor.

7.  As I mentioned earlier, Belzer has played Detective John Munch on nine different shows (on different networks even).  Munch has been on some of the coolest shows ever, including X-Files, Arrested Development, and The Wire.

8.  Belzer has featured on Sesame Street three times!  In season 38, he presented the word of the day–which was ‘lazy’.

https://i2.wp.com/images1.wikia.nocookie.net/muppet/images/9/9b/Celeb.belzer.jpg

His Muppet stuntman--no, seriously...

Here’s a little bit of SVU as interpreted by Sesame Street.  The Belzer Muppet is dead-on.

9.  Silver fox can rock a scarf!

https://i1.wp.com/thecomicscomic.typepad.com/thecomicscomic/images/2008/10/28/belzer.jpg

Steal this look.

I only wish that we got TNT over here in the UK so that I could watch eight hours of Law & Order a day like my American friends get to.  Oh, USA, your streets truly are paved with gold.

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Filed under Characters, comedy, People, TV