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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2006-02-28 - 12:10 p.m.

The Korean beauty shop Missha just opened up a flagship store in my work 'hood, next to H&M, which is appropriate because it's predicated on the same idea: really cheap crap tarted up to look all chic and bo-ho. The product descriptions are all charmingly ungrammatical and badly translated.

I picked up a sample of this cleanser, whose intense foaming action triggered an out-of-body experience. I have never, in all my face-washing days, encountered such velvet-y, rich foam, like aerated pancake batter.

On further investigation I'm sure I'll find out that the secret ingredient is monkey feet or the blood of Christians or something, but until then I plan on foaming in blissful ignorance.

Back when Elton John was a sensitive singer-songwriter with delicate wire-rimmed glasses, he recorded a bunch of covers by the top artists of the day.

DBK Works/Koch has collected these tracks into one volume, and man, they are really fun.

He gamefully tackles "Signed Sealed & Delivered," sounding credibly soulful but singing with the tamest Pat Boone-like backing tracks you've ever heard. "Come and Get It"'s arrangement is indistinguishable from the Badfinger original, but his voice is perfect for it. "Spirit in the Sky" sounds, in retrospect, like something EJ and Bernie could have written themselves.

But all is not well! Head-scratchers like "Young, Gifted and Black" and a pair of Creedence covers makes me want to go back in time and plead with young Elton to reconsider.

However there is nothing quite as bad here as Tortoise's cover of "Daniel," so karmically I think we're all set.

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