Nobody likes a song about quitters. What are you a hippie?

So with the mouth healing, the internet connection restored and the spyware seemingly taken care of, I can now return to my usual pop culture rambling and media criticism.

Princess Superstar – Her new album My Machine, which will be released in September, rules. It took me a couple of tries to get into it, but once I put the headphones on, all was well. It’s a sprawling 25 track, 80 minute concept album with a narrative that takes place 75 years in the future. But with Princess’s usual humor and panache, she pulls off the imaginative subject matter and makes it sound easy.

Jim The Boy – I read Tony Earley’s novel over the weekend. I’ve actually had the book for some time. I got interested in it through Paul Burch’s fine Last of My Kind, his album based on the novel. But I was never in a mood to read it. After some dense non-fiction, I picked it up and whizzed through it. It was enjoyable but devoid of the usual ass-kicking I generally prefer. Just a nice pleasant story, without an excitable plot.

Director’s Cut – Yes, I’ve picked up Roger Simon’s most recent novel once again and surprisingly, I’m zooming through it. Usually, if I can’t get into a novel and set it aside for a while, I’ll never get through it. But there’s always the possibility that I just wasn’t in the right state of mind to read it the first time. Such was the case here. I started from the beginning again and got more than half read yesterday. The story has some oddball twists but I’m into it, wondering where it will all lead.

Hitch – We watched Hitch last weekend. I really don’t know how to sum it up. It wasn’t bad but man was it cheesy. But all in all, it was like watching a long sitcom, which was exactly the kind of movie we wanted to watch.

The Full Monty – We’d watched The Full Monty a week earlier. I’d never seen it. About that movie, I am not ambivalent: I did not like it. There are so many occasions when I watch British movies like that and think, “The Brits really don’t get movies do they?” So often, they just put stage plays on film. There isn’t much “cinematic” about it.

“These Boots Are Made For Walking” – Jessica Simpson, what the hell are you doing? Oh God. She sings her new single in this fake breathy way that usually means you can’t sing (e.g. Britney Spears, Ashlee Simpson). And then, to top it off, they rearranged the song so it’s like “hip” or whatever. It’s terrible. Plus, Jessica’s all skinny in the video. Sure, she’s fit but chubby Jessica was just more lovable. Even if you get past all that, Willie Nelson will show up out of the blue and ruin your enjoyment of the vid. Ahh!

Faith Hill’s New Song – it sucks. The melody is terrible and the sounds awkward. This is not the grand, anthemic comeback befitting Faith. Give us a “If My Heart Had Wings” or even “The Way You Love Me.” Come on.

Missy Elliot’s New Song – what is up with the goddam video game bleeps that do not stop repeating. Jesus Christ. Most annoying sound ever?