February 10, 2009

getting my kicks
watching arty French flicks
with my shades on



Blossom Dearie photographed by Chuck Stewart, late 50s?

* RIP Blossom Dearie. excerpt:

"Blossom Dearie, the jazz pixie with a little-girl voice and pageboy haircut who was a fixture in New York and London nightclubs for decades, died Saturday at her apartment in Greenwich Village. She was 82.
...
"A singer, pianist and songwriter with an independent spirit who zealously guarded her privacy, Ms. Dearie pursued a singular career that blurred the line between jazz and cabaret. An interpretive minimalist with caviar taste in songs and musicians, she was a genre unto herself.

"Rarely raising her sly, kittenish voice, Ms. Dearie confided song lyrics in a playful style below whose surface layers of insinuation lurked. Her cheery style influenced many younger jazz and cabaret singers, most notably Stacey Kent and the singer and pianist Daryl Sherman.

"But just under her fey camouflage lay a needling wit. If you listened closely, you could hear the scathing contempt she brought to one of her signature songs, 'I'm Hip,' the Dave Frishberg-Bob Dorough demolition of a name-dropping bohemian poseur. Ms. Dearie was for years closely associated with Frishberg and Dorough. It was Frishberg who wrote another of her perennials, 'Peel Me a Grape.'

"Ms. Dearie didn't suffer fools gladly and was unafraid to voice her disdain for music she didn't like; the songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber were a particular pet peeve."

A few songs by Blossom Dearie:

-- Give Him the Ooh-La La

-- Rhode Island is Famous For You

-- I'm Hip

and a youtube 'video' of Dusty Springfield, her 1969 song about the British singer.

* Expectation "is a large ephemeral sand painting portraying the likeness of Barack Obama, located in the Catalan city of Barcelona. It was created before the 2008 US presidential election using a large-scale vector graphic, a GPS topography system and approximately 650 tons of sand."

* "A painting in a museum hears more ridiculous opinions than anything else in the world." -- Edmond de Goncourt

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