07.07.09 – Tuesday

Word: koan [koh-ahn] (Japanese in origin) n. a nonsensical or paradoxical question to a student for which an answer is demanded, the stress of meditation on the question often being illuminating

Birthday: Giuseppe Piazzi (1746), George Cukor (1899), Sam Katzman (1901), Satchel Paige (1906), Pinetop Perkins (1913), Pierre Cardin (1922), Doc Severinsen (1927), Josef Zawinul (1932), Ringo Starr (1940), Joel Siegel (1943), Joe Spano (1946), Shelley Duvall (1949), Jessica Hahn (1959), Mo Collins (1965), Jim Gaffigan (1966), Allen Payne (1968), Lisa Leslie (1972), Michelle Kwan (1980)

Quotation: Cocktail party:  A gathering held to enable forty people to talk about themselves at the same time.  The man who remains after the liquor is gone is the host.Fred Allen

Tune: My brother’s been telling me to listen to San Francisco based singer-songwriter Kelley Stoltz. So I’m giving the guy a try. You should too. Take a listen to “Memory Collector” off of Below The Branches.

Gallimaufry: In what was already going to be the biggest fiasco in L.A. since the 1992 Riots, the organizers of today’s memorial for Michael Jackson announced yesterday a lineup of performers that include Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey and Lionel Richie. Scheduled appearances include Kobe Bryant, Jennifer Hudson and Martin Luther King III. Can you say mayhem? 1.6 million people registered for a lottery to win tickets to the late King of Pop’s final send-off tomorrow at Los Angeles’ Staples Center. 8,550 of them won a ticket. British Airways is reporting a “huge influx” of Jacko fans flocking to L.A. Since the lottery tickets were dispensed, winners have been trying to sell them on eBay and Craigslist for as much as $2,000. (Both sites have booted the listing off.) Organizers have explained that holders of bought tickets will not be allowed to attend, and authorities have warned Jackson fans there will be no chance of non-ticket holders to get anywhere near the event, but some are speculating millions of people may be descending upon Los Angeles tomorrow to pay their final respects. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be an absolute circus. And, really, would we have it any other way? The Philadelphia Phillies, who were slumping this time last week, have since swept the New York Mets over the weekend and, last night, beat the Cincinnati Reds 22-1. The victory marked the most runs scored by the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park since play started there six years ago. Looks like the World Fucking Champs might be coming around.  Just ask Jens Lekman if the H1N1 virus (or Swine Flu) is a real threat. The Swedish pop auteur is currently enjoying a 10-day quarantine after coming home from a recent tour in South America. He’s expected to make a full recovery.

05.01.09 – Friday

Word: larceny [lahr-suh-nee] n. the wrongful taking and carrying away of personal goods of another from his or her possession with intent to convert them to the taker’s own use

Birthday: Calamity Jane (1852), Kate Smith (1907), Glenn Ford (1916), Jack Paar (1918), Joseph Heller (1923), Scott Carpenter (1925), Shirley Horn (1934), Judy Collins (1939), John Woo (1946), Tim McGraw (1967), Wes Anderson (1969)

Occurence: 1751 – The first cricket match is played in America. (It hasn’t ended yet. The average cricket match lasts about 300 years. Or maybe it just feels that way.)

Standpoint: Last weekend, I moved. In my old house, I had kind of a central command set up in my bedroom. Cable TV. Stereo. Internet. Obviously, I spent a lot of time in there. Now, however, I come home and there is no cable TV and there is no internet. So it’s just me, my books and my stereo. I’ve realized that my iPod was being neglected. I wasn’t listening to enough music. Now, with no other option, that’s all I’m doing. And as I’ve been revisiting my music library, I’ve come across some songs that may put my title of “music snob” to rest for good. Here are 7 Songs I’m Unhappy Being In My iPod. Enjoy.

  • Ace Of Base“The Sign” – Most likely, when I downloaded this song on 02.11.08, I had some good intentions for doing so. At this time, I can’t recall what in the world they might’ve been. I remember barely liking this song in college. And, even then, I was probably pretending to like it because of some girl.
  • Stroke 9“Little Black Backpack” – I wish I could say this was a straggler from some mix CD that was made for me back in the day. But it wasn’t. Apparently, I downloaded this song at 2:51 one morning back in 2007. I’ll blame it on Jack Daniels.
  • Right Said Fred“I’m Too Sexy” – OK. This one’s not my fault. My mother asked me to DJ a fashion show for her a few years back. I figured this would be a good song to end the show on a high note. I was right. The women loved it.
  • Young MC“Bust A Move” – This song is borderline listenable. But at the end, it all falls apart. His “best friend Harry has a brother Larry/In five days from now he’s gonna marry/He’s hopin’ you can make it there if you can/’Cause in the ceremony you’ll be the best man.” Huh? Who asks his brother’s best friend to be his best man? And a mere five days before the ceremony? It just doesn’t make any sense.
  • James Blunt“You’re Beautiful” – Remember when this guy was supposed to be the next big thing and thenVH1 and every easy-listening radio station in the country ran with this song and played it about 213 times a day? 2006 was the year I first got my iPod and I was obsessed with adding as much music as I could onto it. That’s how this sappy song got on there.
  • Charles & Eddie“Would I Lie To You?” – I have good days. I have bad days. My guess is 03.21.07 wasn’t one of my greatest days. Why else would I have downloaded this song?
  • Club Nouveau“Lean On Me” – Not only do I have this song on my iPod, but I’ve got the extended version weighing in at over 7 minutes. This had to be another alcohol-induced download as it was 4:14am when I added this little gem.

All right. So now you know. Got any embarrassing tunes on your iPod? Why not take this time to purge yourself and share them?

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

Quotation: Always strive to excel, but only on weekends.Richard Rorty

Tune: There are two versions of “Ultimatum” by The Long Winters. One is a faster studio version that appears on Putting the Days To Bed. The other (better) version is slower.

Gallimaufry: Philadelphia Stories is a non-profit literary magazine that supports the written word and, really, all the arts here in The City of Brotherly Love. It’s online auction is running now through 05.09.09. The items include nice getaways, gifts certificates to some of the city’s best spots and excellent works of art. Click HERE to support your local art scene. Unless you don’t live in Philly. And then, still, I think you should do it anyway…Mayor Nutter has announced his plan to make Philadelphia the “greenest city in the United States of America.” Check out his Greenworks PhiladelphiaWorld Health Organization (WHO) officials have declared they will stop using the term “swine flu” in order to stop people from killing pigs. (Some geniuses in Egypt apparently slaughtered 3,000 pigs in order to protect themselves from the epidemic.) Officials say they will refer to the disease by its given name – Influenza A H1N1. Sorry. Don’t see that one catching on.

Incoming: Next week will have some more of your favorite columns along with some new stuff I’ve been working on. Thanks for reading this week. Come back Monday for some more.