Thursday, September 17, 2009

September 17

Happy Birthday, and welcome to the second half of September. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the self-coronation of America's only king, Emperor Norton of San Francisco. I'd love to write a column about him, but he never made any music videos. Let's look at some iconoclasts that were born today:

Mirah is a singer-songwriter in the Ani DiFranco vein. That means some of the songs are wispy acoustic numbers, while others are as industrial as folk music can sound.
Her most renowned song is “The Garden”, which was used for a routine on the FOX competition show, “So You Think You Can Dance.” But I think this video, produced by a fan for a fashion school project, is a better sample of the song…

In 1986, Mirah appeared on the kids’ game show "Double Dare" – and used her winnings to attend the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament..

Our next birthday girl is Cassandra Peterson, the woman the world knows as Elvira. Really, what other girl does goofy, sexy, and creepy so well? Honestly, I’m more familiar with her merchandising efforts than her movie hosting duties. She was the inspiration of one of my favorite pinball games.

In 2007, she hosted the reality show “The Search for the Next Elvira,” where contestants auditioned for the chance to be Elvira at special events. That’s when I learned that there are more than one Elvira these days, so Cassandra can stay home in LA.

Reinhold Messner looks like the Dos Eqquis dude. That is to say, he looks like the most interesting man in the world. Messner is, in fact, one of the world’s most renowned mountain climbers. In 1978, he became the first Westerner to climb Mt Everest without an oxygen tank, a feat that was considered scientifically impossible at the time. By 1986, he had climbed all 14 of the world’s tallest mountains. He’s also crossed the Gobi Desert, and the width of Antarctica – on skis.
“Reinhold Messner” was also the name on the fake ID of Darren Jesse, drummer of the Ben Folds Five. In 1999, the band released what would be their final album, “The Unauthorized Autobiography of Reinhold Messner.” The album title, named after an underage alias, suggests at the album’s themes of dealing with the soon-to-be past before moving on with life, such as the 1st single, “Army,” which was performed on the David Letterman show in 1999.

The band learned there was a real Reinhold Messner less than two months before the album’s release; fortunately, he contacted the band to let them know he really enjoyed the album.

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