05.27.11 – a friday

word

dilapidate [dih-lap-i-deyt] v. 1. to cause or allow (a building, vehicle, etc.) to fall into a state of disrepair, as by misuse or neglect (often used passively): the house had been dilapidated by neglect 2. Archaic. to squander; waste. 3. to fall into ruin or decay

birthday

Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794), Wild Bill Hickok (1837), Hubert H. Humphrey (1911), Vincent Price (1911), Sam Snead (1912), Henry Kissinger (1923), Louis Gossett, Jr. (1936), Richard Schiff (1955), Siouxsie Sioux (1957), Neil Finn (1958), Adam Carolla (1964), Todd Bridges (1965), Jack McBrayer (1973), André 3000 (1975)

standpoint

Fanboys. Generally harmless, right? Sure, if a fanboy (I’m using the term “fanboy” throughout here with the complete understanding that not all fanboys are, in fact, boys.) is into a sports team or a particular genre of science fiction, I’ve got no beef. Adulate away, fanboy. Go nuts.

But there’s one realm of entertainment in which there needs to be an agreed upon set of rules and regulations in regard to a fanboy code of conduct. That realm is music concerts, specifically those of the indie-rock persuasion.

At this point, I’m going to address all you fanboys out there directly.

Seriously, what are you trying to prove? We’re all here to enjoy the show and you’re completely ruining it for the 20 or so of us unfortunate enough to experience the show with you.

Now, you might be thinking, “Hey, he’s not talking about me,” and it’s altogether possible I’m not so here’s a checklist you can go through to see if, indeed, I am talking about you.

√ You’re wearing the t-shirt, no matter how obscure, of the headliner i.e. wearing a Bon Iver t-shirt to a Bon Iver show. As Jeremy Piven warned, “Don’t be that guy.”

√ You’re wearing a t-shirt that has nothing to do with the headliner i. e. wearing a Bon Jovi t-shirt to a Bon Iver show. We get it. When we try to walk, we’re slipping from all the irony you’re dropping on the floor.

√ During rare moments of silence, you shout out the name of some random song the band almost never plays. Rivers Cuomo won’t play Pinkerton anymore. Get over it. (At least, he didn’t used to. He might have changed his mind since the last time I paid any attention to Weezer.)

√ You sing your goddamn guts out to every friggin’ song. Worse, you harmonize to it. You’re not on stage and no one’s paying money to hear you belt out your favorite lyrics. I hope the clown I sat next to at The Shins‘ show a few years back reads this and finally feels guilty that I still have no idea what James Mercer sounds like live.

√ You exuberantly high-five or fist-bump at any point during the show. I concede this one’s a bit of a gray area. Depends on the show, I guess. But, unless it has something to do with a hockey game, I’m still not on board with public high-fiving, I realize my opinion might be in the minority but it shouldn’t be.

√ You’ve written an ultimate dream set-list, refer to it constantly during the course of the show and whip yourself into a talkative state of frenzy as you come closer to the realization it’s just not gonna happen.

√ You record any part of the show for more than five seconds. If you attempt to record the whole thing, you should go home and reconsider what you’ve become.

Bottom line, fanboys (and fangirls), we’re all just trying to watch the show we ponied up good dough to see. Your enthusiasm is equal parts understandable and unwelcome. We’re all psyched to be at the concert but the difference between you and the rest of us is that we understand we’re out in public while you either seem to be ignoring or unaware of that fact. Whichever reason it happens to be, it does nothing to diminish how much you suck.

quotation

Today is my father’s 70th birthday. So this is a quote, by me, about Daniel Lejeune, my papa.

Of everyone I’ve met and everyone I’ve known, I’ve yet to encounter someone with a father like mine. 

tune

One of the best band names ever is Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. But it’s not a band at all, just the stage name of Sam Duckworth. Haven’t heard much lately from Mr. Duckworth but a few years ago Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. was a huge buzz band. You’ll have to take my word for that as I’ve nothing to back that statement up. But here’s “Once More With Feeling.” Enjoy.

gallimaufry

They should call this the “Here’s How Bad It’s Gotten Tour.” Please, someone stop this bus. I’m not saying blow it up or anything. But maybe throw some tacks down in front of the tires, sugar in the gas tank or something similar.

→ Man, how pissed off is the entire Cleveland area right now? Sometimes, nightmares can come true.

→ While other media outlets are concerned with trivial matters like world affairs and whatnot, TMZ continues to keep America focused on the important shit. Bono and Maria Shriver had lunch? Two douchebags from Jersey Shore involved in fisticuffs? Lindsay Lohan entertains a visit during the first day of house arrest? You betcha. Why would you frequent any other website?

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03.11.10 – A Thursday

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word

rigmarole [rig-muh-rohl] n. 1. an elaborate or complicated procedure: to go through the rigmarole of a formal dinner 2. confused, incoherent, foolish, or meaningless talk

birthday

Ivan Nabokov (1787) Lawrence Welk (1903), Ralph Abernathy (1926), Rupert Murdoch (1931), Sam Donaldson (1934), Antonin Scalia (1936), Bobby McFerrin (1950), Jerry Zucker (1950), Douglas Adams (1952), Joey Buttafuoco (1956), Jim Pinkerton (1958), Peter Berg (1964), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (1965), Wallace Langham (1965), Lisa Loeb (1968), Terrence Howard (1969), Johnny Knoxville (1971), Joel Madden (1979), Anton Yelchin (1989)

standpoint

For the past few months, I’ve been tinkering with the idea of fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine – doing a spot at a comedy open mic. I decided the other night, it was time to get serious about it and so I began to peruse YouTube for stand up clips for research purposes.

I discovered there was weeks and weeks of viewing options but the ones I found most fascinating were those that involved the comedians dealing with hecklers. Some comedians get angry, some get clever, some try both, but the result is always the same: Never mess with the guy holding the microphone. You’re just not going to win.

Here’s some of the clips I enjoyed the most.

Todd Glass

Arj Barker
Michael Showalter
(not really a heckler but still a distraction)
Jesse Fernandez
Zach Galifianakis

Each of these guys handled it pretty well, I think. I’d like to think that if this ever happens to me I’d be as smooth as Zach Galifiankis but I’d more likely be like Todd Glass.

quotation

When authorities warn you of the sinfulness of sex, there’s an important lesson to be learned. Do not have sex with the authorities. ↔ Matt Groening

tune

One of the coolest aspects of the acts that comprise indie rock is that they’re so much more collaborative than those who came before them. They seem to understand the notion that there’s power in numbers, frequently performing cameos in one another’s songs and, even more often, joining forces to record entire albums. Below is one such example, “The High Road,” the first single offthe new self-titled album from the recent team-up project of Gnarls Barkley’s Danger Mouse and The Shins’ James MercerBroken Bells.

gallimaufry

Just when you thought the bitch couldn’t get any crazier. I didn’t even make the connection until after I read about this lawsuit. But maybe she’s trying to drum up a little buzz because, you know, no one ever talks about Linday Lohan.

This will make you think twice before shushing a woman who’s trying to talk on her cell phone during a movie. Why this dude had a meat thermometer in a theater is something I’d like to find out but, in my experience, my experiences tells me I’m going to be disappointed.

→ Sometimes, when trying to figure out a societal issue, it’s not entirely necessary to pour a boatload of money into some unnecessary research study. In this instance in particular, it would’ve been just as effective to get outside and take a look around.

in memoriam

Corey Haim (December 23rd, 1971 – March 10, 2010) died yesterday of an apparent drug overdose. Here’s a video montage of the troubled child actor chronicling his happier days.

09.29.09 – A Tuesday

WORD

recondite [rekuhn-dahyt, ri-kon-dahyt] adj. 1. dealing with very profound, difficult, or abstruse subject matter: a recondite treatise 2. beyond ordinary knowledge or understanding; esoteric: recondite principles 3. little known; obscure: a recondite fact

BIRTHDAY

Kenny Baker (1912), Buddy Rich (1917), Truman Capote (1924), Elie Wiesel (1928), Angie Dickinson (1930), Johnny Mathis (1935), Frankie Lymon (1942), Barry Williams (1954), Fran Drescher (1957), Eric Stoltz (1961), Crystal Bernard (1961), Trey Anastasio (1964), Kathleen Madigan (1965), Jenna Elfman (1971), Kieran Culkin (1982)

STANDPOINT

There’s a bunch of things drawing my ire today, but nothing I’m prepared to expound on. In the meantime, check these out.

CSI: Miami‘s David Caruso‘s endless opening one liners.

 

From 1959, an interview with Jack Kerouac from The Steve Allen Show.

 

A video that should convince of Eric Lindros‘ ultimate prowess in the NHL.

 

QUOTATION

An ordinary man can… surround himself with two thousand books… and thenceforward have at least one place in the world in which it is possible to be happy.Augustine Birrell

TUNE

Sometimes, you can listen to a song 405 times. Obviously, you dig the song. Or, at least, that’s what the Play Count on your iPod is trying its best to indicate. But then, you’ve got your earbuds in while  sitting on the back porch during your favorite time of day. You’re thinking about a certain aspect of your life, pondering what’s happened and what the future might have in store. And the song comes on. For the 406th time. Due to your mindset, and the particulars occupying your brain, you hear that song again, but, also, for the first time. That happened to me about a week back. I finally heard “Turn On Me” in the exact right context. The lyrics are really kind of awesome. Truthfully, I’d kind of soured on The Shins, but I’m back to thinking James Mercer got the goods.  

GALLIMAUFRY

→ I love reading stories about people who, in the face of adversity, do things I don’t think I’d be capable of doing. Here’s the story of Ken Green. Dude was in an RV, driven by his brother, riding with his girlfriend and his dog. The RV crashed. He was the only survivor and had to get his leg amputated. And, still, the man wants to keep golfing. The human spirit can be inspiring from time to time.

→ Despite my cynical bluster, I’m a perpetual optimist. Even so, I thought, after Donovan McNabb went down in Week 1, and the Philadelphia Eagles announced Kevin Kolb would be the starter in his absence, no good would come from it. I was wrong. Kolb only managed to become the ONLY NFL quarterback to throw for over 300 yards in his first two starts ever.

→ Often, like all of us, experts can be wrong. “When Pounds Go Away, Sleep Apnea May Improve” seems to be an article making complete sense. In the past year and a half, I’ve lost 50 lbs. But my sleep apnea has gotten worse. My doctors are a bit baffled/tickled by it. I’m glad it’s something novel and out-of-the-ordinary for them. Guess it breaks up their days to wonder why. However, last week I slept next to someone who struggled to get herself air about 80% of the night. Kinda scary shit. Just give me the CPAP machine all ready. I don’t care how “unsexy” it is.

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.

05.07.09 – Thursday

Word: acrimony [ak-ruh-moh-nee] n. sharpness, harshness or bitterness of nature, speech, disposition, etc.: The speaker attacked him with great acrimony

Birthday: William Bainbridge (1774), Johannes Brahms (1833), Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840), Gary Cooper (1901), Eva Peron (1919), Johnny Unitas (1933), Jimmy Ruffin (1939), Thelma Houston (1946), Bill Kreutzmann (1946), Randall “Tex” Cobb (1950), Tim Russert (1950), Traci Lords (1968), Eagle Eye Cherry (1969), Breckin Meyer (1974)Nicole Sheridan (1975)

Standpoint: It’s Thursday and that means I’m addressing your suggestions for Annoying Sayings & Misused Words. Right. Now.

  • “ironical” vs. “ironic” – Mentioned by many of you, I think it’s safe to say that we owe this “irony” debate to Alanis Morissette. “Ironical” is defined as “using or prone to irony.” I hate it when I disappoint my readers but that’s probably just what the next sentence will accomplish. As for “ironic,” the second definition offered by dictionary.com was actually “ironical.” So, unfortunately for all of you grammar hounds out there, you are no longer free to correct people when they use “ironical.” Sorry.
  • “could have” vs. “could of” – I hear this one a lot. Hell, I might even say “could of,” I’m not sure. But if I do, I’m wrong as can be. To quote EnglishPlus.com, “‘Could of’ does not exist.” That’s about the end of the debate right there, I think.
  • “no offense, but…” – In its essence, this is a cowardly phrase that was most likely shortened from another, much longer phrase  like, “Hey, I’m a big wuss and I’m about to say something that may or may not piss you off, but I still want to make my feelings known on this issue without fear of bodily harm or reciprocity via an equally offensive comment launched in my direction.” In my experience, when someone starts out a statement with, “no offense, but…” it’s usually meant to imply the opposite like, “No offense, dude, but you suck.” I think it’s all right when used that way. Kind of ironical. Right?

Well, there you go. I’m starting to get the sense that a lot of these words that we all originally thought were being misused have now been accepted by the word authorities as acceptable usage. Are they simply addressing the evolution of the language or are the bending to the will of a people who are too lazy to speak it properly? What do you think?

Quotation: The internet is the world’s largest library. It’s just that all the books are on the floor. John Allen Paulos

Tune: Colin Hay might be remembered by most for his involvement with the 80s Australian pop band Men At Work, but what he’s done since then is create some amazing singer-songwriter anthems. Check out “Waiting For My Real Life To Begin.” Also, if you are a fan of the show “Scrubs,” this might be worth checking out. And if, for whatever reason, you’re pining for those Men At Work days, here’s Hay’s reworking of “Overkill.”

Gallimaufry: Apparently, our society now has individuals calling themselves “public intellectuals.” Read all about Stu Bykofsky’s experience with Dr. Marc Lamont Hill. ∞ Due to all of the driving around I’ve been doing since the new move, I’ve been daydreaming about faster-than-light travel. It’s fun to fantasize about pushing a button and having the world around you turn into a blur as you travel hundreds of miles in the blink of an eye. It’s even more fun to imagine Jean-Luc Picard in the backseat, calmly giving the order to “Engage,” right before you hit the imaginary button. That kind of thing will probably never be possible over land but, out in the cosmos, Space.com seems to think it might be possible sooner than we think ∞ The Shins are back. Well. Kind of. Marty Crandall and Jesse Sandoval are out of the band for what lead singer James Mercer calls “aesthetic reasons.” He’s recruited Ron Lewis from Grand Archives and Joe Plummer from Modest Mouse to join the band for their new tour and upcoming album.

Incoming: Tomorrow3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead and, inspired by all of this rain lately, 7 Sunny Songs About Rain.