04.09.10 – A Friday

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word

vilify [viluh-fahy] v. 1. to speak ill of; defame; slander 2. Obsolete. to make vile

birthday

Charles Baudelaire (1821), Curly Lambeau (1898), J. William Fulbright (1905), Hugh Hefner (1926), Tom Lehrer (1928), Jim Fowler (1932), Carl Perkins (1932), Marty Krofft (1937), Peter Gammons (1945), Hal Ketchum (1953), Dennis Quaid (1954), Marc Jacobs (1963), Cynthia Nixon (1966), Jenna Jameson (1974), Albert Hammond, Jr. (1979), Keshia Knight Pulliam (1979), Jesse McCartney (1987)

standpoint

Today, I’m only offering a quote to someone who I’m sure, despite his limp rhetoric, can’t help but to check my blog everyday.

We are keenly aware of the faults of our friends, but if they like us enough it doesn’t matter. Mignon McLaughlin

TRUE STORY.

Sorry, folks, come back Monday for some more. Thanks for reading.

quotation

The man who doesn’t relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on. Elbert Hubbard

tune

I’ve mentioned this band on here before but, man, until the other day, I didn’t fully appreciate how amazing this song is. It’s “Airplanes” by Local Natives.

gallimaufry

→ Holy shit, lady. Go away all ready, will you? Do we need further proof that the people in charge of television programming are smoking crack?

→ Some people claim punk is dead. That may or not be true, despite Green Day‘s best efforts to murder it. But the original punk rocker is dead. Rest in peace, brother.

→ Dear Conshohocken PA, maybe instead of hosting meaningless parades, instead you might do something about the potholes. How in the hell did that parade make its way down Fayette St., anyway?

04.05.10 – A Monday

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word

casuistry [kazh-oo-uh-stree] n. 1. specious, deceptive, or oversubtle reasoning, esp. in questions of morality; fallacious or dishonest application of general principles; sophistry 2. the application of general ethical principles to particular cases of conscience or conduct

birthday

Thomas Hobbes (1588), Booker T. Washington (1856), Spencer Tracy (1900), Lord Buckley (1906), Bette Davis (1908), Gregory Peck (1916), Arthur Hailey (1920), Roger Corman (1926), Stanley Turrentine (1934), Colin Powell (1937), Michael Moriarty (1941), Max Gail (1943), Christopher “Kid” Reid (1964), Mike McCready (1966), Paula Cole (1968)

standpoint

My lady came from Paris yesterday so I spent last night hanging with her and that translates into no new standpoint today.

quotation

I think in a lot of ways unconditional love is a myth. My mom’s the only reason I know it’s a real thing. Conor Oberst

tune

Despite my indie rock tendencies, I’d be kicked out of every hipster dufus bar I had the misfortune of walking into if people knew I really don’t care for Conor Oberst, or Bright Eyes as he’s better known by. There is one song of his, however, that will always resonate with me. Here’s “I Must Belong Somewhere.”

gallimaufry

“It’s Butler vs. Duke for the National Title.” And I still don’t care.

→ Man, if only this was true. The saddest part of it is that it might actually do some good. Ugh.

Green Day? Soundgarden? Lady Gaga?!?! What the hell happened to you, Lollapalooza?

01.05.10 – A Tuesday

WORD

riposte [ri-pohst] n. 1. a quick, sharp return in speech or action; counterstroke: a brilliant riposte to an insult 2. Fencing. a quick thrust given after parrying a lunge  v. (used w/o subject) 3. to make a riposte 4. to reply or retaliate

BIRTHDAY

Zebulon Pike (1778), George Reeves (1914), Jane Wyman (1917), Francis L. Kellogg (1917), Walter Mondale (1928), Robert Duvall (1931), Charlie Rose (1942), Ed Rendell (1944), Diane Keaton (1946), Ted Lange (1948), Marilyn Manson (1969), Bradley Cooper (1975)

STANDPOINT

In the spirit of reviewing 2009 (which yesterday I stated I was against but seem to be participating in anyway), I’ve compiled a list of the best music releases from last year, in no particular order. After each review, I’ll post the top track off the album.

Now, obviously, there were other albums released in 2009 that some of you (mainly my buddy Joe) will undoubtedly tell me I was wrong in omitting. Green Day, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Wilco, among others, all released albums recently. I either didn’t like them or didn’t listen to them.

If you feel strongly about it, make a comment and tell me where I went wrong. Music is subjective, of course, and these are just my opinions. Even I can admit my judgment is occasionally subject to bias when it comes to music. But, remember, I’m usually right.

QUOTATION

The problem is not that there are problems.  The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.Theodore Rubin

TUNE

As much as I make fun of it, Canada seems to be putting out some decent indie rock bands recently. Arcade Fire. Broken Social Scene. The New Pornographers. The Rural Alberta Advantage. The Stills. To name only a few. And you can add Human Highway to that list. Made up of singer/songwriter Jim Guthrie and Nicholas Thorburn of the band Islands, the band released Moody Motorcycle in 2008. I’ve recently given it a re-listen and love the song “All Day.”

GALLIMAUFRY

After years of being tabloid fodder and keeping a nation on the edge of its seat, Vince Vaughan has entered into wedlock. Phew!

→ Christ. People. Let’s cease the vacillation. First, the Dallas Cowboys suck and Tony Romo, their quarterback, is a choke artist. Now, since beating the Philadelphia Eagles two days ago, their a Super Bowl favorite? Make up your mind, sports “gurus.”

→ What’s funnier? All the airport security talk or Spike Lee lending his heavy influence to the USA’s bid for a World Cup? Trick question. Neither are funny. Both are equally unimportant.

11.12.09 – A Thursday

WORD

platitude [plat-i-tood, -tyood] n. 1. a flat, dull, or trite remark, esp. one uttered as if it were fresh or profound 2. the quality or state of being flat, dull, or trite: the platitude of most political oratory

BIRTHDAY

Bartomoleo Bandinelli (1493), Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815), Auguste Rodin (1840), Karl Marx (1897), Jo Stafford (1917), Kim Hunter (1922), Charles Manson (1934), Mills Lane (1936), Booker T. Jones (1944), Al Michaels (1944), Neil Young (1945), Megan Mullally (1958), Sammy Sosa (1968), Tonya Harding (1970), Tevin Campbell (1976), Ryan Gosling (1980), Anne Hathaway (1982)

STANDPOINT

One things that bugs the shit out of me is when someone, after finding I lean toward the indie rock persuasion in terms of music listening, will classify me as a “music snob.”

The reason it irks me is because it’s simply not true. Well, not completely true anyhow. There’s truth to the idea I look down my nose at artists like Pink, Britney Spears and Kanye West. But it’s only because I think that those artists (and about a million more) really concentrate on finding new ways to suck. And not just at music. At life, as well.

However, if you like those artists and want to listen to them, feel free. Yu can turn them on and dance around your living room and scream the moronic lyrics at the top of your lungs for all I care.

You see, because while I have discerning musical tastes, I am all for you listening to whatever makes you happy. Even if that same music makes me uncontrollably sad. Listen to what you like. It’s your choice.

The problem I have is when someone like you tries to engage me in some sort of debate about musis, lecturing me on the finer, more subtle points of music. Here’s where I gotta stop you.

As I stated before, listen to what you like. But, please, for both our benefit make no attempts to persuade me one way or another about the musical merits of the new Green Day album or how I don’t really understand what Taylor Swift is really singing about. I do. I get it. And, as you’ve made a conscious decision to like that kind of thing, I’ve chosen to go the exact opposite way with my listening pleasure.

So when you call me a “music snob,” you should not be too surprised when the next 30,000 words that come out of my mouth are directed squarely at you, your intellgence and your lack of depth.

Because, really, what’s the difference between you accusing me of being too deep to understand the simplicity of simple music, and me accusing you of being too much of a simpleton to understand the simplicity of great music?

Guess that clears that up. Glad we had this talk.

QUOTATION

What is the feeling when you’re driving away from people, and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? It’s the too huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.Jack Kerouac

TUNE

Seems like a ton of bands are doing the return-to-rock thing. (See Kings of Leon, My Morning Jacket) Usually, I dislike these trends. Furthermore, I hate being told what to like by anyone. But, being the music geek I am, forcing myself to listen to everything I possibly can (within limits) is something I just need to do. And, sometimes, I stumble upon a band that, despite myself, I kind of really dig. Like Alberta Cross, the NYC-based via London band that just released its debut album, Broken Side of Time. Check out “ATX.”

GALLIMAUFRY

THR.com has published a list of the top male TV earners. Tops? Simon Cowell at $75 million a year. No surprise there. Number 10 was a bit of a surprise, though. David Caruso at $9 million per year. All you hammy actors out there have some hope. (Personally, I love watching Caruso in CSI:Miami.)

→ I posted this on Facebook yesterday but I had to share it again here. This is one of the most ridiculous commercials I’ve ever seen. And up here in Phoenixville PA, it’s on like non-stop. It’s for KIA of West Chester and it’s almost making me want to got there and pretend I want to buy a car. Just to see if these dudes are equally hopped-up off camera. My favorite part is when the one dude, Anthony, gets cut off in the middle of the catch phrase, “THAT’S CRAAAZY!” Indeed.

→ The dude who started the Twitter account @shitmydadsays has signed a TV deal with CBS, after signing a book deal recently. Congrats, brother. I love it when stuff like that happens. My favorite tweet of his so far? “Son, no one gives a shit about all the things your cell phone does. You didn’t invent it, you just bought it. Anybody can do that.”

09.28.09 – A Monday

WORD

inane [i-neyn] adj. 1. lacking sense, significance, or ideas; silly: inane questions 2. empty; void n. 3. something that is empty or void, esp. the void of infinite space

BIRTHDAY

Confucious (551 BC), Ed Sullivan (1901), Max Schmeling (1905), Al Capp (1909), Brigitte Bardot (1934), Rod Roddy (1937), Ben E. King (1938), J.T. Walsh (1943), Steve Largent (1954), Janeane Garofalo (1964), Mira Sorvino (1967), Moon Unit Zappa (1967), Naomi Watts (1968), Joseph Arthur (1971), Bam Margera (1979), Ray Emery (1982), Hilary Duff (1987)

STANDPOINT

When it comes to the world of music, I’m in a bit of a shitty spot.

Because, you see, no matter what your particular music inclinations (and I’m sure they’re fantastic), there’s a 73% chance I feel different. Yes. It’s confusing. Let me clarify a bit.

For me, there are only three sects of music listeners out there.

“I don’t care if it’s cool, I just like that song.” – You’re someone who has uttered the previous statement about 9,233 times. You turn on the radio. You hear a song that begs you to drive faster, tap your foot and sing at the top of your lungs. The song ends. Some smooth DJ informs you that the last song was the newest release by Pink, Nickelback or some similarly dreadful source. For about three seconds, you wrestle with the following contradictory facts: (a) you’re relatively sure the artist is somewhat uncool, and (b) you just don’t care because it made you bounce around and sing. If bouncing around and singing in your car is important to you, you’ll likely choose the last option. And, hey, that’s more than all right. Just don’t go around offering up your opinion when the rest of us are talking about what constitutes good music. You’ve eliminated yourself as trustworthy. Sadly, you’re definitely part of the problem. Yes, you’re a fucking moron if you think the new Green Day album is “really good” just because everyone else is listening to it. You either suck at evaluating music or you just don’t care enough to be discerning. Either way, you’re someone who contributes to the MTV culture and that’s just not OK. Ever.

“Even if I’ve listened to a band for years, once I hear one of their songs during a TV commercial, I think they’re shit.” – OK, I get where you’re coming from. You’re an indie rock enthusiast with a chip on your shoulder. You’re absolutely right. But you’re also absolutely wrong. Unfortunately, the music you like is conveying ideals and beliefs that you own, that you share. And it’s not likely these ideals and beliefs have anything to do with “selling out” or being the song employed in the promo for the upcoming season of fucking “Grey’s Anatomy.” It sucks that millions of people (who’ve done nothing but turn on the TV) have discovered one of your favorites songs of the past three years, a song you found because you do the legwork, you’re constantly researching, looking for good music. You’re head’s up. But your head’s also up your ass if you can’t be happy for Vampire Weekend because the guys in that band, while they probably adore playing the smaller artsy venues in front of you and 100 other people, are looking for maximum exposure. And, while it sucks you gotta hear people you know to be moronic talk about how “it’s great when they curse at the beginning of ‘Oxford Comma,’” deal with it. You owe it to those who’ve brought you so many hours of listening pleasure. The main reason you suck is because you make others feel uncomfortable about their choices. And, hey, who the fuck are you?

“What in the good goddamn is wrong with you people?” – Here’s the group I’m in with most of the people I call friends. It takes work to be in this group. You have to constantly adjust your position. But in a quality way.  Most of you out there see things in black and white. And that’s worse than listening to Creed. The world ebbs and flows, and you gotta ebb and flow with it, brother. Just because an artist is making supremely shitty music right now, doesn’t mean it’s gonna be that way forever. People change. Attitudes get readjusted. We all eventually get shown the light. I’m of the personal unpopular opinion one of my favorite bands, R.E.M., will come back around one day and get back to some seriously good business. You probably disagree. That’s cool.  

Here’s the bottom line: Listen to music you like. It’s fine. But you need to understand, no matter which group you fall into, you’re never gonna be completely right. Unless you’re me. Sorry abour your luck.

QUOTATION

If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.Khalil Gibran

TUNE

In the spirit of my Standpoint, I offer “Sweet Pain.” A 90s song from a Blues Traveler, a band just about everyone’s deemed irrelevant. Listen to it. Do you feel what I can feel?

GALLIMAUFRY

→ I think Esquire sending someone who knows very little about pop culture to interview Gerard Butler had a great result. As a matter of fact, there’s not much Esquire can do that doesn’t meet with my immediate approval.

→ The LAPD is pretty fucking relentless. Just ask Roman Polanski, who’s been wanted by Los Angeles authorities for over 30 years. He was arrested this past Saturday night in Switzerland. Finally. Seriously, how in the world is the USA supposed to bring anyone to justice if it can’t bring down this guy? Top notch work, everyone. Now, how about you all get back to work on shit that really matters? Thanks.

→ Christ. Peter Forsberg wants back into the NHL. The team on the top of his wishlist? You guessed it, genius. My Philadelphia Flyers. Stay away, Peter. We’ve moved on.

09.21.09 – A Monday

WORD

farrago [fuhrah-goh, –rey-] n. a confused mixture; hodgepodge; medley: a farrago of doubts, fears, hopes, and wishes

BIRTHDAY

Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor (1415), Louis Joliet (1645), H.G. Wells (1866), Larry Hagman (1931), Leonard Cohen (1934), Henry Gibson (1935), Jerry Bruckheimer (1945), Stephen King (1947), Bill Murray (1950), Bruce Arena (1951), Ethan Coen (1957), Nancy Travis (1961), Rob Morrow (1962), Cheryl Hines (1965), Faith Hill (1967), Ricki Lake (1968), Alfonso Ribeiro (1971), Luke Wilson (1971), Liam Gallagher (1971), Nicole Richie (1981)

STANDPOINT

I got nothing to report today. All of this medical treatment has turned my sleeping patterns into much of a debacle.

Some things are in the works, though.

Is 2009 the year of celebrity deaths? Maybe. Maybe not.

What I’ve figured out about my relationship with the suburbs. And, no, all you Facebook friends, it’s got nothing to do with all the damn spiders.

Lastly, I’m working on a piece about the modern dating scene and I think more than a few of you will be curious to see what I’ve discovered.

Until then, come back for some more.

QUOTATION

It’s so much easier for me to talk about my life in front of two thousand people than it is one-on-one. I’m a real defensive person, because if you were sensitive in my neighborhood you were something to eat. ← Richard Pryor

TUNE

Watching the SNL rerun this past Saturday, I came to the conclusion everything Green Day has done in the past several years is just simply mediocre. I mean, “Jesus of Suburbia” (Great lyrics: “And there’s nothing wrong with me/This is how I’m supposed to be/In a land of make believe/That don’t believe in me.”) is a really great song but I’m done thinking bands who reshape its music to appeal to the lowest common denominator (AKA the musically lazy who make up just about every dim-witted person who make “American Idol” a runaway hit show). I’m here to tell you “J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Felva)” was the last truly good song Green Day released. Disagree? Too bad. You’re exactly who I’m talking about.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ Something that’s truly sad about…well, life in general…sometimes is when you find program on television that truly appeals to you. It’s smart and funny and entertaining. Comedy Central used to air this game show called “Beat the Geeks.” And I loved it. So did my buddy Tim. We would watch it for hours On-Demand. But then it went away. And the world was reduced accordingly.

→ Often, I’ve wondered just how many days Bill Murray’s character spent running around Punxsutawney in Groundhog Day. Luckily, someone took the time to figure it all out. In what may be too much detail.

→ My buddy Dave Frees, a solidly good guy in his own right, has a son in Victor’s Lament. Check out the music. Kind of a Mighty Mighty Bosstones vibe to it, but probably better. Check out “Living for Today.”

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.