Kurt Vonnegut, RIP

God made mud.
God got lonesome.
So God said to some of the mud, "Sit up!"
"See all I've made," said God, "the hills, the sea, the sky, the stars."
And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
Lucky me, lucky mud.
I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job God had done.
Nice going, God.
Nobody but you could have done it, God! I certainly couldn't have.
I feel very unimportant compared to You.
The only way I can feel the least bit important is to think of all the mud that didn't even get to sit up and look around.
I got so much, and most mud got so little.
Thank you for the honor!
Now mud lies down again and goes to sleep.
What memories for mud to have!
What interesting other kinds of sitting-up mud I met!
I loved everything I saw!
Good night.
I will go to heaven now.
I can hardly wait...
To find out for certain what my wampeter was...
And who was in my karass...
And all the good things our karass did for you.

- KV, "Cat's Cradle"

Get something good on MTV

You may have heard me promote Lovers Electric before, they're a great rock outfit out of the UK (though from Australia originally) and their song "Honey" is one of my favorites from recent memory. Their video is a candidate this week on MTV's "Freshmen" show, and if they win there will actually be a great video on that station for once. You can vote as often as you'd like.

Check out the video and vote here.

Three musical acts you should know...

I don't like Myspace much, but I do love music, and one thing Myspace does well is its music player for musician pages.

Here are three acts I've been digging on lately that you should be too:

Lovers Electric - I'm not sure if you'd call them power pop or alt-rock or what, but they damn good. And Australian! "Honey" is probably my third favorite track of 2006.

Matt Death and the New Intellectuals - Ever hear of Havalina Rail Company? It's their frontman's new project. Never heard of HVC? Still, check this group out for a diverse mix of sounds - there's a bit of Modern Lovers in there, but there's also a lot of accordion and Old World folk in there.

Michael Knott - Long been one of my favorite artists, he fronted the bands Lifesavers Underground and the Aunt Bettys and sang on the first Cush album. Check this out, if nothing else, for his interesting cover of "The Girl From Ipanema."

book meme

I gotta beat blistermoth to the punch on this meme, courtesy of chaptal:

Ten books I can't live without:

The Bible - various authors (understanding it's a collection of books - it would be funny if I just said "Nahum")
"Cat's Cradle" - Kurt Vonnegut
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" - Douglas Adams
"Search Party: Collected Poems" - William Matthews
"News is a Verb" - Pete Hamill
"The Elements of Style" - William Strunk and EB White
"The Genesis Trilogy" - Madeleine L'Engle (I'm cheating here - it's three books, but they're available in one volume, bargain-priced at Amazon.com. So sue me)
"Ishmael" - Daniel Quinn
"Work and Other Sins" - Charles LeDuff
"In the Time of Butterflies" - Julia Alvarez

Ten favorite songs starting with the letter S

(A fun meme from daisydumont, who gave me a letter that every song in my iPod seems to start with)

Comment and I'll give you a letter. In your journal, list your ten favourite songs that begin with that letter.

I reserve the right to change this list as other songs come to me, but the top few are pretty set.

1. "Summertime" - every version of the Gershwin classic, though when Over the Rhine performed it, I about died.
2. "Skin" - Vigilantes of Love (that's where the name of my blog comes from)
3. "Sad, Sad, Sad, Sad (and Far Away from Home)" - Peter Mulvey ("Perhaps it's worth mentioning, as I write this song down, I am the happiest fucker alive.")
4. "Shoot Out the Lights" - Richard and Linda Thompson (this song's wonderful guitar riff was in a movie I saw once, but for the life of me, I can't remember it.)
5. "Suds n' Soda" - dEUS (The best Friday party song ever)
6. "Sweetness Follows" - R.E.M. (From this song came my high-school yearbook quotes. I was a sad, pretentious kid.)
7. "Subterranean Homesick Blues" - Bob Dylan (The father of rapid-fire lyrics, ripped off many times.)
8. "Subterranean Homesick Alien" - Radiohead (Sounds nothing like the song above, but it's one of my two favorite songs from my second-favorite album.)
9. "Satellite Sky" - Mark Heard (Unheralded literate mandolin rock, par excellence.)
10. "Spinning Wheel" - Blood, Sweat & Tears (A favorite of mine since grade school, when my hyped-on-caffeine music-appreciate teacher taught it to us.)

Today I shall conquer clutter ;-)

I'm about to go to a work development lunch called "conquering clutter".

I will learn the following, they say:

- Two main reasons for clutter.
- How to start.
- What is your goal, need and desire.
- Start small ... don't take on too much.
- "To Do lists"

This will be fun. I may break the presenter's brain.

*Searches for post button under clutter*

Top 5 movies all-time

I need to be more proactive in watching Great Movies from the past, so help me out and post your top five movies of all time. I've already asked some of you, but go ahead and post for everyone's viewing pleasure.

Mine are:

Citizen Kane
Requiem for a Dream
The Shawshank Redemption