So I Have a Eurovision Song Contest Spreadsheet

I have a Eurovision Song Contest spreadsheet. The spreadsheet has 28 tabs. The first three tabs are focused on the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals and finals. The remaining tabs are for every participating Eurovision country that has a national selection contest to choose their representing song. Every artist that makes it to that country’s finals is ranked in the corresponding country tab. 

I never imagined myself to be the sort of person who would have a Eurovision Song Contest spreadsheet. Especially not one that’s two dozen tabs deep. Yet, here I am. A Yankee who finds himself with strong opinions about Eurovision things. Did Iceland make the right decision sending Systur instead of Reykjavíkurdætur? No. Was Romania robbed by the jury vote? Maybe. Are there too many ballads? I’m new to this, so who am I to say, but possibly.

How is it in the year 2022 I have so many opinions about Eurovision? Seriously, who am I?

For most of my life, Eurovision has lived in my head as a European music competition featuring campy pop performances. If you asked me last year at this time to name five artists who’ve competed in Eurovision I’d be able to tell you Abba, Olivia Newton-John, and Conchita Wurst. That’s it. I wouldn’t even be able to get to five. 

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Jon Spencer talks heavy hogs and explosions galore

Jon Spencer is a unique individual in the world of independent music. While it isn’t uncommon for a well-known and prolific musician to have multiple projects during his or her career, it’s rare for more than two of those projects to be hailed with critical affection. Typically the cap is two, for example, Kim Deal with the Pixies and then the Breeders or David Lowery with Camper Van Beethoven and later Cracker. Spencer has managed to pull it off four times to date. First with mid-80s anti-rock band Pussy Galore, then fronting alongside his wife Christina Martinez (who was also a member of Pussy Galore) in Boss Hog, then most famously to date with the influential and genre-defying Blues Explosion, and now, and most likely not finally, alongside Matt Verta-Ray (of both Madder Rose and Speedball Baby) with the rockabilly influenced Heavy Trash.

jon Spencer heavy trash

Spencer and Verta-Ray brought Heavy Trash to the High Noon Saloon on Monday, September 25, 2006 with the garage-country-rock infused The Sadies opening and acting as backup band. Dane101 spoke with Spencer about Heavy Trash, his other side projects, and the future of the Blues Explosion.

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16 NYC Pies Worthy of Twin Peaks Quotes

Pie, believe it or not, can be consumed any day of the year. Although it’s convenient to have an excuse for pie it doesn’t need to be a holiday or Pi Day. It can simply be a nice day outside and you happen to have a craving for a bakery treat. We’ve created this list of some of the best sweet and fruit pies in the city.  Seasonality aside, if these NYC pies are available they should go directly into your mouth.

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Rachel Nagy talks Detroit Cobras, Lafayette Coneys, soul music, and more

Personally, I’m a fan of rants and divergences during conversations, that’s why this interview with Rachel Nagy of the Detroit Cobras, which appeared on dane101.com on October 2, 2016, has earned itself the top spot on my list of favorite interviews of all time. It might be second only to my interview with Kelley Deal. When I originally wrote up my questions for Rachel Nagy I’d planned for a 15-minute interview. Thanks to her rocket fuel drenched brain and stream-of-consciousness way of speaking, we were on the phone for a solid half hour. I wouldn’t trade a second of it.

Detroit Cobras Rachel Nagy

We unintentionally covered everything from how she copes with road rage (she was on her cell phone in Detroit traffic), moving back to Detroit from San Diego, hot dogs, digging up a former soul musician from a crack house, and why you should never come at an ex-butcher with a broken bottle…and lots more.

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17 Weirdest Playboy Mansion Facts

For obvious reasons, the Playboy Mansion is known as Ground Zero for hedonistic parties in Los Angeles, but there’s more to the Gothic-Tudor than meets the eye.

1. The 4.5-acre Charing Cross Road estate was originally built for Arthur Letts, Jr. Construction started in 1926 and was completed in 1927. Letts moved in with his first wife and two children in 1928, but one wife wouldn’t be enough. He had three marriages and two divorces before his death in 1959.

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Kelley Deal talks The Breeders, Roller Derby, Knitting, All Tomorrow’s Parties and more

In 2009, I interviewed Kelley Deal for dane101.com. The Breeders were on tour supporting the “Fate to Fatal” EP and were scheduled to play a show at the Majestic Theater in Madison, Wis. on August 10. Hands down, it was one of my favorite conversations with an artist. For the last five years I had thought it was lost to the Internet abyss but this week I found it in an archive. 

kelley deal

Madison is a roller derby city and you’ve invited the Mad Rollin Dolls to have a table at your show. How did the Breeders get involved with roller derby?

Kelley Deal: Back in 1994 we did Lollapalooza in Chicago and my mom and dad went to the show and backstage my mom and dad had adopted this little 16-year-old blonde headed girl named Amy Whited. They were appalled that she had hitchhiked from St. Louis to come to Chicago. We just kind of hung out that day and at the end of the day my Mom and Dad gave her bus money and made her promise to take a bus home. So that’s how we first met Amy Whited.

Throughout the years we’d see Amy. If we were going through Chicago or St. Louis, there’d be Amy. Over the years we started exchanging emails and last year we were on tour and we went through St. Louis. And Amy had been involved with roller derby for a while, she had recently broken her leg…

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Cold and Black and Infinite: Nine Inch Nails fans get physical

Trent Reznor is asking fans to eschew their addiction to the digital world. This winter, Nine Inch Nails will head out on the “Cold and Black and Infinite” tour with The Jesus and Mary Chain but if you want the best tickets you’ll need to unplug from the Internet and head out into the physical world.

cold and black and infinite

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8 Weird Los Angeles Museums

Los Angeles is packed full of amazing museums, from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to The Broad, but there’s also a long list of smaller, weird Los Angeles museums catering to very specific insterests. Check out these eight museums that focus on everything from broken relationships to collections of bunnies.

Museum of Neon Art

216 S Brand Blvd, Glendale

Weird LA Museums - Museum of Neon Art

Photo: Museum of Neon Art

Glendale’s Museum of Neon Art “encourages learning, curiosity, and expression through the preservation, collection, and interpretation of neon, electric and kinetic art.”

Previously located in downtown Los Angeles, the museum collects neon signs and kinetic art. Notable signs in the museum’s collection include the Brown Derby and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The museum also offers a weekly “neon cruise” where attendees board a bus which drives around Los Angeles educating passengers about neon signs.

The Bunny Museum

2605 Lake Avenue, Altadena

Hopping over to Altaneda is worth it when your destination is The Bunny Museum.

Weird LA Museums - The Bunny Museum

Photo: The Bunny Museum

This Guinness World Record listed museum has more than 34,000 bunny artifacts (and multiplying, because, bunnies). The museum is open 365 days of the week, so whenever you start feeling your nose twitch and need a bunny fix you can get it. Yes, they have house bunnies.

The Velaslavasay Panorama

1122 West 24th Street

Part museum, part performance venue, and part film house, the Velaslavasay Panorama houses “the only painted, 360-degree Arctic panorama created in the United States since the nineteenth century.”

Weird LA Museums - The Velaslavasay Panorama

Photo: Chris Roman on Flickr

In addition to the panorama, visitors will find a replica of an Arctic trading post and an exhibit dedicated to the history of silent Hollywood and Inuit people.

Museum of Death

6031 Hollywood Blvd. 

The Museum of Death isn’t only one of the weirdest museums in Los Angeles it’s also, easily, the most morbid.

Weird LA Museums - Museum of Death

Photo: Museum of Death

Behind the skull-bedecked doorway you’ll find “The world’s largest collection of serial murderer artwork, photos of the Charles Manson crime scenes, the guillotined severed head of the Blue Beard of Paris (Henri Landru), original crime scene and morgue photos from the grisly Black Dahlia murder, a body bag and coffin collection, replicas of full size execution devices, mortician and autopsy instruments, pet death taxidermy, and so much more!”

Museum of Jurassic Technology

9341 Venice Blvd, Culver City

Photos are verboten inside this museum which adds to the mystique.

Weird LA Museums - Museum of Jurassic Technology

Photo: Museum of Jurassic Technology

The best description of this quirky little museum comes from the Smithsonian magazine:

“The Jurassic Technology Museum is a witty, self-conscious homage to private museums of yore, such as the 16th-century Ashmolean at Oxford, where objects from science, nature and art were displayed for the “rational amusement” of scholars, and the 19th-century Philadelphia Museum, with its bird skeletons and mastodon bones. The phrase “Jurassic technology” is not meant literally. Instead, it evokes an era when natural history was only barely charted by science, and museums were closer to Renaissance cabinets of curiosity.”

 

Velveteria 

711 New High Street

The Velveteria has a collection of more than 3000 velvet paintings and at any one time, more than 500 can be viewed on the walls. The museum is broken down into thematic sections including a section dedicated to President John F. Kennedy, another to influential Californians, and one section, lord help us, dedicated to clowns.

Weird LA Museums - Velveteria

Photo: Eli Wolff on Facebook

If you’re thinking to yourself “how can a velvet painting collection be complete without a blacklight room?” don’t worry, they have that covered.

Weird LA Museums - Velveteria 2

Museum of Broken Relationships

6751 Hollywood Blvd.

A museum of everyone, because everyone has experienced a broken heart. Except for that one guy who broke your heart. He’s cold and unfeeling but now you can put those broken pieces on display in a Los Angeles museum.

Weird LA Museums - Museum of Broken Relationships

Photo: Museum of Broken Relationships

The Museum of Broken Relationships is made up of donated items that represent a broken relationship. As the museum says “Love relationships may end; relationships with family members, business partners, cities, religions and even with our former selves may end.  But we learn and move on.  The dislocation of a broken relationship may be isolating, but the experience is universal.  No one is alone in this.”

The Animal Museum

421 Colyton Street

Weird LA Museums - The Animal Museum

Photo: The Animal Museum on Facebook

One of the youngest museums in the Arts District, The Animal Museum is also, arguably, the most unique. The museum’s mission is “dedicated to enriching the lives of animals and people through exploration of our shared experience. To this end, The Animal Museum promotes respect for life and compassionate ethics in advancing healthy, meaningful interconnections with the animal world.” 

Weird LA Museums - SPOM

A solid example of what you’ll find at the museum is the recent exhibition “SPOM: Sexual Politics of Meat.” It explored “the ways that women and animals are marginalized and objectified in patriarchal cultures.”

This Weird Los Angeles Museums post was originally published in May 2017 on the defunct UpOut.com.

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Map: What Would Game of Thrones New York City Look Like?

This Game of Thrones New York City map originally appeared on the now defunct UpOut.com. It was inspired by the brilliant Game of Thrones – San Francisco map created by Emma Gantz (illustrator of the icons), Kelly Anne Bonner, and Natalie Kelly. This version of the map was designed by Tandra Nguyen using Gantz’s icons (Nguyen made the Castle Black icon). The New York City descriptions were written by Jesse Russell with assistance from UpOut intern Nora Kistler. Bonner and Kelly wrote the Game of Thrones descriptions for the San Francisco map which Russell edited slightly for this Game of Thrones New York City version.

Disagree? Of course you do (please be gentle). This was a tough map to make because New York City is such an amazingly diverse region with shifting personalities. I’d love to read your interpretation of the ideal Game of Thrones New York City map!

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13 Weirdest San Francisco Museums and Collections

San Francisco is a city with wonders tucked away in every alley. A simple google will show you dozens of “Weirdest San Francisco Museums” posts, but they’re mostly clones telling you to go to the same places. We’ve looked at those lists and have tried to go a little bit deeper. This list attempts to get you off the beaten path and look for not only the weirdest San Francisco museums, but also some rather bizarre collections tucked away in unassuming locales. Here are 11 of San Francisco’s (and two of Berkeley’s) most unique museums and interesting collections.

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