05.22.09 – Friday

Word: zephyr [zef-er] n. 1. a gentle, mild breeze 2. (initial capital letter) Literary. the west wind 3. any of various things of fine, light quality, as fabric, yarn, etc.

Birthday: Richard Wagner (1813), Solomon Bundy (1823), Mary Cassatt (1844), Arthur Conan Doyle (1859), Laurence Olivier (1907), Johnny Olson (1910), Sun Ra (1914), Harvey Milk (1930), Peter Nero (1934), M. Scott Peck (1936), Richard Benjamin (1938), Bernard Shaw (1940), Paul Winfield (1941), Theodore Kaczyinski (1942), Bernie Taupin (1950), Morrissey (1959), John Vanderslice (1967), Naomi Campbell (1970), Joshua LeJeune (1974)

Standpoint: Today I turn 35. That may sound old to some of you, young to others. I never really do a lot of pondering about my birthday. It always bothers me when people complain about their birthdays. Zip it, whiner. It could be worse. You could live in one of these six countries.

  • Vietnam – All birthdays are celebrated at the dawn of the New Year. Furthermore, when asked their birthday, Vietnamese people respond with the year, not the actual day. What a rip-off. I’m not one of those people who thinks the world has to stop on my birthday, but at least get me a card or write something nice on my Facebook wall. 
  • Argentina – On your birthday, you receive ear tugs in the amount corresponding to your age. This is also a custom in Italy and Hungary. Probably a pretty painful day as you advance in years. 35 tugs on the ear? Get the hell away from me.
  • England – The Brits have something called a “fortune telling cake.” In the actual cake, there will be items such as coins and thimbles baked into it. I don’t know how much I’d be able to enjoy eating a cake that I was certain contained small pieces of dirty metal.
  • Germany – If you’re a man over the age of 30 and not yet married, you’re expected to sweep the steps of City Hall. On top of that, your friends throw trash all over the area. It’s designed to let the eligible women in town know you’re on the market. I would probably bring a Shop-Vac and do a lot of bitching. Not sure how many ladies I would attract.
  • Holland – The Dutch believe that receiving a gift wrapped in black & white is bad luck. Remember this next time you’re in Amsterdam for a friend’s birthday. You don’t want to be that guy. Or maybe you do. It’s altogether possible that we don’t know each other all that well.
  • Canada – In the Atlantic region, the birthday child is ambushed and their nose is greased for good luck. Ah, nothing says “Happy Birthday” like a well-intentioned ambush. The grease is placed on the nose because it is believed bad luck will slide right off of it. Apparently, Canadian bad luck has no traction.

I guess we really don’t have it all that bad with our relatively normal parties and metal object-free birthday cakes.

Weekend: Each Friday, I give you 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead – my list of stuff you can do to spend this weekend in Philadelphia as if it’s gonna be your last. This week, I’m including Monday due to that face that it’s Memorial Day Weekend.

  • Today (05.22) – Emerson B.J.L. Sullivan’s – My buddy Emerson B. takes the stage, doing his acoustic hip-hop thing. He’s a great live act and will probably engage you in some witty banter. Go check him out so that you can say you saw him before he blew up and got all famous and whatnot. Also, after the show, buy him beers. 8pm
  • Saturday (05.23) – Locals Only Beer WeekendLocal 44 – Lots and lots of local brews (including Victory, Sly Fox, Stoudt’s, Weyerbacher, Dogfish Head, Flying Fish and more) at reduced prices. Spend your Saturday trying all of them. Just make sure to cab it home. 11:30am – 11:30pm
  • Sunday (05.24) – Brandywine River Blues FestivalChaddsford Winery – The Philadelphia area’s most popular winery presents a day of winetasting and music. If you’re not headed to the Jersey Shore, this would be a great excuse to get out of the house, drink some wine and listen to some live blues. Noon – 6pm
  • Monday (05.25) – Star Trek: The ExhibitionThe Franklin Institute – Wind down the long weekend with a trip into the future. Or past, depending on the scope of your imagination. “This 12,500 foot exhibition, an amalgamation of all five television and ten film series spanning over 40 years, is the ultimate opportunity to connect with iconic Star Trek moments and characters, while celebrating the creative spirit of science fiction and science that gave rise to many of today’s modern marvels.” Sounds like a perfectly acceptable way to spend an afternoon, but then again, I’m a borderline sci-fi geek. 9:30am – 5pm

Quotation: Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.  – Larry Lorenzoni

Tune: Finally picked up the new Silversun Pickups album, Swoon. Really good. Honestly. Best song so far? Try “Sort Of.”

Gallimaufry: Here is where I usually give you three interesting stories I’ve happend upon during the course of my day. Instead, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for reading this blog. I’ve been at it for almost three months now and I appreciate everyone of you taking the time to comment and email to let me know how much you like it. Thanks again.

Incoming: Sad news. No new posts next week. I will, however, return the following Monday with an altered format. I don’t want to get too much into it as I’ve not completely figured it out myself yet. Rest assured, all of the facets you like about the daily euneJeune will still be here everyday. Just accompanied by some new stuff. Stay tuned. Thanks again for reading.

05.15.09 – Friday

Word: fulsome [fool-suhm, fuhl-] adj. 1. offensive to good taste, esp. as being excessive; overdone or gross: fulsome praise that embarrassed her deeply; fulsome décor 2. disgusting; sickening; repulsive: a table heaped with fulsome mounds of greasy foods 3. excessively or insincerely lavish: fulsome admiration 4. encompassing all aspects; comprehensive: a fulsome survey of the political situation in Central America 5. abundant or copious

Birthday: L. Frank Baum (1856), Richard J. Daley (1902), Eddy Arnold (1918), Utah Phillips (1935), Wavy Gravy (1936), Madeleine Albright (1937), Brian Eno (1948), Chazz Palminteri (1952), George Brett (1953), Dan Patrick (1956), David Krumholtz (1978), Jamie-Lynn Sigler (1981)

Standpoint: When a music artist performs a new rendition of another music artist’s established song, it’s called a “cover version.” It’s widely accepted that the cover artist’s rendition is the weaker one based on the assumption the original must be better because it’s just that – the original. However, there are certain artists and songs that go against the grain in that regard. After devising my own list and  asking for your suggestions on Twitter and Facebook, I’ve compiled a list of 7 Cover Songs Better Than Their Originals.

While doing the searches for these songs on YouTube, I discovered that in most of the cases, the cover was more popular. This is only a small sample of songs that are better that the ones they’re covering. How about you? Got any favorites you think should’ve been included here?

Weekend: Each Friday, I’ll provide you with 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead – my list of events for spending this weekend in Philadelphia as if it was your last:

  • Today (05.15.09) – MMA Famous Singles Pub CrawlThe Public House – Tired of spending Friday nights without a significant other. Here’s your chance to do something about it. Meet Market Adventures presents a night of “No Covers. No Driving. No Worries.” Riding around from bar to bar on a bus with complete strangers, drinking and mingling? What ‘s stopping you? Get out there and find someone special.  Time: 6:30pm to midnight
  • Saturday (05.16.09) – The Shins – Electric Factory – One of the poster-bands for the indie music scene, The Shins hit the stage with a revamped lineup. I’ve seen them a few times and can testify to the fact that James Mercer and Co. put on one mean live show.  Time: 8:30pm
  • Sunday (05.17.09) – 9th Street Italian Market Festival – South 9th Street from Fitzwater to Federal – In its official press release, the Festival boasts, “halfball, great food, wonderful people and live performances from three stages.” Sounds great. Sign me up. But first, what in the world is halfball? Time: 10am – 5pm

Quotation: A rock show, if it is any good, should make you feel younger.John Sellers

Gallimaufry: Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, the 10-year old star of Slumdog Millionaire, was ordered out of his home yesterday, just before he watched it bulldozed to the ground. An Indian government official called it “a pre-monsoon demolition drive.” I call it pretty shitty to tear people’s homes down in such an abrupt manner. Apparently, the young star has a trust fund set up for him by the makers of Slumdog, but hasn’t received any assistance yet out of fear the money will end up in the wrong hands. ∞ HELP! Paste Magazine is in danger of having to close up shop. For those of you who don’t all ready know, Paste is one of the best music publications in circulation. Help The Campaign to Save Paste! ∞ Is Jordan coming to the Philadelphia 76ers? Maybe. But not “His Airness“. Eddie Jordan is set to interview with the NBA team to fill their head coach vacancy.

Incoming: Next week’s going to be a good one. I can feel it. All right, that’s it for me. Thanks for reading. Come back Monday for some more.

05.08.09 – Friday

Word: nomenclature [noh-muhn-kley-cher, noh-men-kluh-cher, -choor] n. 1. a set or system of names or terms, as those used in a particular science or art, by an individual or community, etc. 2. the names or terms comprising a set or system

Birthday: Oscar Hammerstein (1847), Harry S. Truman (1884), Roberto Rossellini (1906), Don Rickles (1926), Gary Snyder (1930), Sonny Liston (1932), Ricky Nelson (1940), Gary Glitter (1944), Alex Van Halen (1953), Stephen Furst (1954), David Keith (1954), Bill Cowher (1957), Melissa Gilbert (1964), Enrique Iglesias (1975)

Standpoint: It’s been a soaking-wet, rainy week here in Philadelphia and I’m really looking forward to a little sunshine this weekend. Just to help things along, I thought I do my version of a rain-dance and share some upbeat music to help you through these, and any future, rainy days. I give you 7 Sunny Rainy Day Songs:

Got better sunny rainy day songs? Tell us about it.

Weekend: Each Friday, I’ll provide you with 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead – my list of activities for spending this weekend in Philadelphia as if it’s your last.

Have some fun out there this weekend and make sure to do something nice for your mom on Sunday – it’s Mother’s Day.

Quotation: The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it. – Patrick Young

Tune: They’ve been called “the new Smashing Pumpkins.” Personally, in some ways, I think Silversun Pickups might be better. Listen to “Well Thought Out Twinkles” – one of the best driving-fast songs in the history of music and cars. “Come join in the last hurrah!”

Gallimaufry: Manny Ramirez of MLB‘s Los Angeles Dodgers has been suspended 50 games for violating the league’s drug policy. The star outfielder claims he was given medication that, unbeknownst to him, was on the list of banned substances. He’ll lose over $8 million over the course of his suspension. This reminded me of a piece that Chuck Klosterman wrote for ESPN.com’s Page 2 concerning  Barry Bonds that I’ve been meaning to share. ∞ My friend Donika sent me a link to a cool new blog that seems to be more and more relevant as we trudge through this economic mess. Working for the Government describes itself as “a depot for funny, outlandish, touching (though NOT depressing) stories unique to the current unemployment and economic environment.” My favorite post so far is “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” but they’re all great. ∞ It’s getting pretty dicey out there in the world of music. Now that the Wayne Coyne-Win Butler Feud is history, it seems that Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor wants in on the action. While answering some fan questions online, he took shots at Prince and Weezer‘s Rivers Cuomo. Here’s a sample of what he had to offer: “I’m not Prince or Rivers Cuomo, who brags about having hundreds of great songs,” Reznor replied. “And to that I would say, ‘Prince, if you have a hundred great songs or a thousand, how about picking a few and putting them on your record that you’ve put out, because your last several have sucked.’ Same for you, Rivers. I say that constructively, you know.” I’m siding with Reznor on this one.

Incoming: Next week will have lots of twists (and just possibly a few turns) as I’ll be attempting some new tricks, including my first-ever interview. Thanks for reading this week. Come back Monday for some more.