04.13.11 – a wednesday

word

remunerate [ri-myoo-nuh-reyt] v. 1. to pay, recompense or reward for work, trouble, etc. 2. to yield a recompense for (work, services, etc.)

birthday

Thomas Jefferson (1743), Butch Cassidy (1866), Don Adams (1923), Paul Sorvino (1939), Al Green (1946), Christopher Hitchens (1949), Caroline Rhea (1964), Rick Schroder (1970)

standpoint

Recently, a relatively new friend of mine and I were discussing music and, during the course of that conversation, he said something like this to me: “Yeah, but no one gives a shit about lyrics anymore.”

I definitely respect the guy’s opinion and I told him I disagreed with him but I quickly moved back to the topic we’d been laboring on. But, later, I thought back to what he said and it kind of irked me and mostly because he was kind of right.

Once again, I find myself in the minority when it comes to the popular (or unpopular, depending on which is deemed cooler, I guess) opinion in regards to current music.

A song’s lyrics are as important to me as everything else going on. Otherwise, I’ll just pop in some Béla Fleck or John Scofield. Disregarding the lyrics of a song is, to me, the same as dismissing it. Even if the lyrics are haphazard or nonsensical. It might be the English lit nerd in me talking here but words are always gonna be words and they have meanings and those meanings are subjective on an individual basis despite the artist’s intent.

I’m sure Sean Kelly has my back on this one.

quotation

Every true genius is bound to be naive. ↔ J.C.F. von Schiller

tune

Getting back on the subject of song lyrics, Joshua Radin is pretty awesome when it comes to that. (For the record, I don’t care if Radin is more popular with soccer moms than hipster music enthusiasts. True story.) As most of you know, my best friend Harvey passed away a few months back. The night I said goodbye to him in the hospital, I went home and – surprise – I couldn’t sleep. I grabbed my iPod and my headphones and decided to walk around my neighborhood until I got sleepy. After an hour or so, I found myself sitting on the steps of the train station by my house, looking up at all the fake, yellow lights illuminating the parking lot. And then “Streetlight” came on and I heard “I don’t know where to go/So I think I’ll sit and stay here a while/’Til I figure it out.” I listened to the song about 34 more times before I walked home and collapsed into my bed. I’m still sort of lost without Harvey and I’m sure it wasn’t Radin’s lyrical aim that I make his song about losing my best friend but that’s what happened.

gallimaufry

This was the most popular story on Yahoo! News yesterday and had almost 10,000 shares on Facebook. Stuff like this makes me hate everybody.

This Saturday, April 16th is Record Store Day. I’ll be down at Main Street Music in Manayunk. You should be too. I’ll let you buy me a beer. It’s true.

→ If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: When you’re robbing a little girl’s lemonade stand, don’t drive off and leave your girlfriend behind to get arrested because chances are she’s gonna crack under questioning. Why doesn’t anyone ever listen to me?

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07.10.09 – Friday

Word: aphorism [afuh-riz-uhm] n. a terse saying embodying a general truth, or astute observation, as “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” (Lord Acton).

Birthday: John Calvin (1509), Camille Pissarro (1830), Adolphus Busch (1839), John Wyndham (1903), David Brinkley (1920), Jake LaMotta (1921), Fred Gwynne (1926), Lee Morgan (1938), Arthur Ashe (1943), Ron Glass (1945), Arlo Guthrie (1947), Greg Kihn (1949), Neil Tennant (1954), Béla Fleck (1958), Chiwetel Ejiofor (1974), Adrian Grenier (1976), Jessica Simpson (1980) 

Quotation: Golf. My God, that’s a mysterious occupation. I know people who are – good friends – who are absolutely smitten, practicing their swing and talking about it. I can understand some sort of sport where your body got a benefit, like marathon running or bicycle racing. That’s not golf. And not only that, but the whole business of standing in the sun- my God. That’s like torture.Christopher Walken

Tune: Houseguest’s pop shuffles and sashays with an off-kilter grace, like a defiant drunk finding his way home. Guitars shamble and rumble with repressed power, rising in hooky swells that call to mind Guided by Voices, Beat Happening, and the Feelies.” That’s how Cleveland Scene feels about Akron, Ohio band, Houseguest. Try “Proud Utility Infielder” and see if you agree.

Gallimaufry: Levi Johnston, the 19-year old who knocked up Bristol Palin, held a press conference Thursday “because Alaskans want to know why Palin has decided to resign, effective the end of the month.” Johnston, who is no longer engaged to Palin’s daughter, feels the reason for her stepping down has something to do with book deals. “She had talked about how nice it would be to take some of this money people had been offering us and you know just run with it, say ‘forget everything else.'” Not sure why he felt like he had to weigh in, but there it is. The Palin family dismissed the aspiring actor’s comments as “a piece of fiction.” Just when you think we’ve come so far as a society. The Valley Club, a swim club in Huntingdon Valley, a suburb of Philadelphia, shows we still got a long way to go. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission is launching an investigation into the events of this past Monday, when an inner city group brought 65 children to swim at the club’s pool facility. Apparently, members were outraged, pulling their children from the pool and holding them protectively from the mostly minority group of children from The Creative Steps, a camp in Northeast Philadelphia. Alethea Wright, the camp’s director, had worked out a deal with The Valley Club to bring the kids to the pool every Monday afternoon. The club is claiming they eventually pulled the minority children from the pool because of “overcrowding.” I’m not buying it and either should you.