Purple potatoes, Sparks, Martini Ranch music video

Friday, June 27, 2008

Purple potatoes This week a guy I know was walking around with a bowl of purple potatoes for lunch. I don’t mean purple-skinned potatoes, but the radioactive-looking purple-all-the-way-through kind. The only question is whether he was eating a normal, terrestrial species of potato/yam (Peruvian or similar) or perhaps somehow got hold of a starchy product of the Chinese space program. Back in 2007 when this was actually relevant “news,” China’s space program claimed to have produced numerous mutated fruits and vegetables by exposing seeds to space radiation, capsule pressure and weightlessness. One supposed example of these space experiments was dubbed the Purple Orchid III, a sweet, extra-glutinous purple potato grown from seeds taken on a space mission. Do we call BS? Apparently watermelons also sell better if you promote them as “space watermelons.” All hail the purple space potato!

(Note: Terra Chips, which are exotic vegetable chips – made from taro, sweet potato, yuca, batata, parsnip, ruby taro, etc. – come in a variety called Terra Blues Potato Chips made from naturally blue potatoes.)

Here’s a music video from the 1970s pop band Sparks lip-syncing to their song “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us” live on the Top of the Pops TV show. I like how the microphone diaphragm pops off at about 1:43 (on purpose?) yet the vocals continue uninterrupted. Martini Ranch And I love the keyboardist’s mustache and creepy expression. A YouTube comment by 14jwh describes the performance brilliantly: “Cheap Trick meets Klaus Nomi meets Queen in a car wreck with Devo and T.Rex on their way to a Kraftwerk show with the Tubes as opening act Bowie ripping it all off.”

In a similar vein, a few days ago, my friend Warren shared this weird 1980s music video with me, directed by James Cameron (his only music video ever?): “Reach” by Martini Ranch. The YouTube description says that Martini Ranch was “a Devo inspired and produced post punk cold experimental band fronted by actor Bill Paxton.” Warren says the video is both awesome and awful. I agree, though it tends toward the latter.

New video recordings of live performances are fairly newly available from Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Andrew Bird, Brand New and Sea Wolf over the past few days. I’d say those three are my most-played artists of the moment.

FAIL Blog and Pundit Kitchen are entertaining variations on lolspeak (it’s formally branched from leetspeak, right?) from the I Can Has Cheezburger? and I Has A Hotdog! family of websites.

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