04.05.11 – a tuesday

word

bibulous [bib-yuh-luhs] adj. 1. fond of or addicted to drink 2. absorbent; spongy

birthday

Thomas Hobbes (1588), Booker T. Washington (1856), Spencer Tracy (1900), Bette Davis (1908), Gregory Peck (1916), Colin Powell (1937), Christopher “Kid” Reid (1964), Mike McCready (1966)

standpoint

One thing about me that is I love it when I get into a conversation with someone who just won’t shut the hell up about Kurt Cobain.

You’ve probably run into one or two in your travels. They’re easy to spot. Mainly, they’re sullen dudes in their 30s or early 40s who have an absolute disdain for any new music unless it’s on vinyl and, somehow, Ben Gibbard is involved.

Personally, I think Cobain was an overrated mess who did more to hinder the progression of music than further it. If he hadn’t offed himself with a shotgun, he would’ve continued to front Nirvana as it released one album after another until everybody ceased to care. Such is the cycle of music and life.

But, no, Cobain committed suicide one afternoon because he was just so fucking tortured and couldn’t make sense of it all. So, instead of grunge quietly exiting the conscious mainstream, taking it’s place in the graveyard of genres past and allowing music to take the next logical step, we were treated to a holding pattern for about ten years.

It royally sucked. Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, Rage Against The Machine and all of the combinations of members those bands could think of, dominated the airwaves for a long time. Nothing new was proffered. Just endless ridiculousness as one song was played over and over, disguised with another angst-riddled title.

Meanwhile, Pearl Jam, the one band that possessed the qualities to emerge from the grunge fiasco and actually contribute something viable, well, Eddie Vedder lost his shit and I don’t think he’s coming back.

Every all-time rock list or countdown or whatever is considered bullshit if Cobain isn’t prominently featured and given his “due.” If you don’t like Nirvana, you might as well simultaneously piss on the graves of John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison.

After the Beatles broke up, Paul, John, George and Ringo all went on to do their own thing which was pretty much trying to create Beatles’ tunes without actually being the Beatles. Same thing with The Police. The Pixies. The Talking Heads. Even N.W.A.

So whenever I’ve come into contact with one of the mindless automatons who love to lecture about the significance of Cobain and blah blah blah, I always ask this two-part question: If it was all so relevant then why, after Cobain’s demise, did drummer Dave Grohl go on to create Foo Fighters, a band that Nirvana fans would inherently dislike, and bassist Krist Novoselic turn away from the music business entirely?

Answer me that.

quotation

Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake. ↔ Wallace Stevens

tune

I have been to more Phish concerts (21) than any other band. I don’t actually like Phish all that much but they do have some badass tunes. Like this one, “You Enjoy Myself.”

gallimaufry

This April 16th is Record Store Day. I’ve just realized this has been a music-heavy post.

→ I feel at peace with the world when there’s a Broadway musical that costs $1 million per week to produce. But that’s just me. I’m a sucker for quality theater, you know?

→ Do me a favor. Read this nonsense and tell me how it differs from some NFL sportscasters discussing their “Keys To The Game.”

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03.25.09 – Wednesday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: idiom [id-ee-uhm] noun 1. an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements, as kick the bucket or hang one’s head, or from the general grammatical rules of a language, as the table round for the round table, and that is not a constituent of a larger expression of like characteristics  2. a language, dialect, or style of speaking peculiar to a people  3. a construction or expression of one language whose parts correspond to elements in another language but whose total structure or meaning is not matched in the same way in another language  4. the peculiar character or genius of a language  5. a distinct style or character, in music, art, etc.: the idiom of Bach

Birthday: Catherine of Siena (1347), Jack Ruby (1911), Howard Cosell (1918), Flannery O’Connor (1925), Jim Lovell (1928), Gloria Steinem (1934), Anita Bryant (1940), Aretha Franklin (1942), Elton John (1947), James McDaniel (1958), Haywood Nelson (1960), Sarah Jessica Parker (1965), Jeff Healey (1966), Doug Stanhope (1967)

Occurrence: 1969John Lennon and Yoko Ono stage their first Bed-In for Peace in the Hilton Amsterdam. People made statements like this often back then. I guess it made sense in those days but, nowadays, I don’t see anyone caring if Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow were to do something similar.

Standpoint: Last night, a guy who didn’t want his picture taken threatened me. My good friend, Suzi Simon, asked me to bring my camera to The Chestnut Grill to commemorate its first Karaoke Night. As I’m known to do, I took many pictures of the crowd. I then sat down with my roommate Kate to have a Miller Lite and some wings. A guy tapped me on the shoulder. “Excuse me, can I have a word with you, buddy?” I turned around. “Sure, what’s up?” “Do you wanna sell that camera?” “Nah, it’s not for sale.” “All right, well, if you’re not selling it, I suggest you stop takin’ pictures of me.” “Oh. I’m not taking pictures of just you. I’m taking pictures of the whole crowd.” “Well, you had better stop. I don’t wanna be in no more pictures.” “OK, well, I’m more taking pictures of the people singing. You might’ve been in a couple but again, I’m not taking them specifically of you.” “Just stop takin’ fuckin’ pictures of me, got it?” “Sure.” He walked away and up to his friends who proceeded to stare at Kate and me. Pretty uncomfortable moment. Why am I telling you this story? Because I can’t stand douchebags. They should just stay home. I’m not sure if the dude was out cheating on his wife, or wanted by the law, or whatever. Later, I was talking to one of his buddies who told me that the guy just didn’t want his pictures on the internet. I assured him that would never happen. I created a Facebook album of Suzi’s Karaoke Night. Did I include a picture of Mr. Do-You-Wanna-Sell-That-Camera? You bet. By the way, Suzi’s event was a success. Everyone had a blast.

Quotation: Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heartTecumseh

Digit: 1200 – That’s the number of peanuts it takes to make one 28-ounce jar of peanut butter.

Tune: A great band from the 1990s that nobody but me and my friends seemed to be paying attention to was The Connells. “74-75” is one of the band’s best songs.

Link: The Daily Swarm – Music news site that covers just about every aspect and genre you can conjure.

Gallimaufry: Too funny. Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report, has won a NASA contest to have a new room named after him in the international space station. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) said Colbert “won it fair and square – even his campaign was a bit over the top.” Predictably, NASA is reserving the right to name the room whatever the hell it wants to…Don’t read this article in the L.A. Times if you ever want to enjoy a hamburger again…In a post a few weeks back, I mentioned Jonathan Krohn, the nation’s youngest political pundit. Now, read about 12-year old David Fishman, the nation’s youngest food critic.

03.16.09 – Monday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: syllogism [siluh-jiz-uhm] noun 1. Logic. an argument the conclusion of which is supported by two premises, of which one (major premise) contains the term (major term) that is the predicate of the conclusion, and the other (minor premise) contains the term (minor term) that is the subject of the conclusion; common to both premises is a term (middle term) that is excluded from the conclusion. A typical form is “All A is C; all B is A; therefore all B is C.”   2. deductive reasoning  3. an extremely subtle, suggestive or deceptive argument

Birthday: James Madison (1751), Marlin Perkins (1905), Henny Youngman (1906), Pat Nixon (1912), Jerry Lewis (1926), Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927), Tommy Flanagan (1930), Chuck Woolery (1941), Erik Estrada (1949), Nancy Wilson (1954), Flavor Flav (1959), Todd MacFarlane (1961), Patty Griffin (1964), Alan Tudyk (1971), Wolfgang Van Halen (1991)

Occurrence: 1995 – Mississippi becomes the last state to formally ratify the 13th Amendment, officially banning slavery nationwide. It only took Ole Miss 130 years to jump on that bandwagon. Guess they were waiting to see if the rest of us were going to change our minds about the whole people-not-owning-people issue. Maybe they thought it was going to make a comeback?

Standpoint: We need to start a movement or an online petition or something. You, me and everyone we know need to unite and become a collective consciousness whose sole purpose is the elimination of ONE THING: CAPTCHAS. OK, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic but they are annoying. The folks at captcha.net have this to say about their invention, “a captcha is a program that protects websites against bots by generating and grading tests that humans can pass but current computer programs cannot.” I have news for you, captcha.net, most humans have trouble passing them, too. Take a look at this example. Why so squiggly and elongated? Is all that necessary? It seems that every time I go to make some snarky comment on some poor soul’s blog, I’m confronted with a captcha that looks like something I’m pretty sure must’ve been close to Salvadore Dali’s handwriting. After about 15 minutes of trying to figure out if that one letter is a lowercase “J” or a stretched-out lowercase “I”, I’m no longer impressed with the comment I was going to make and my attention wanders elsewhere.

Quotation: Art is the lie that enables us to reveal the truthPablo Picasso

Soupçon: The Beatles got the idea for the name of their band after John Lennon and Paul McCartney saw Buddy Holly and The Crickets at a show in Liverpool in 1958.

Tune: I’m not a huge singer-songwriter fan anymore but Jeb Loy Nichols is still one of the best around. Have a listen to “As the Rain.”

Link: Pipl – Want to see something spooky? Go this site, type in your name and see how much information there is about you on the internet. Eye-opening.

Gallimaufry: ESPN’s John Buccigross knows more about hockey than you do. Also, the man knows a ton about music and often references a band or artist he likes both on-air and in his weekly hockey column. Overall, Mr. Buccigross is a top-notch guy. Click HERE to see an entertaining video he did with the band Guster…This past Friday night, during a college basketball game, there was an altercation between the mascots of Utah State and New Mexico State. Apparently, a fan offered “Big Blue” (Utah State) $100 to rip off the moustache of “Pistol Pete” (New Mexico State). Utah State officials have stated that the money their mascot collected will be donated to charity…What is with all of these music artists dissin’ each other? In a recent post, I wrote about the feud between Miley Cyrus and Radiohead.  Now Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips is smack-talking Arcade Fire. Click HERE to read what Coyne said and then HERE to read Arcade Fire’s Win Butler’s response…According to this article, a recent breakthrough in battery technology might make it possible to recharge your cell phone in ten seconds…I caved this weekend. I’m now on Twitter. My hypocrisy knows no bounds…Just found this out as I was ready to post, Ron Silver has passed away. Great actor. He will be missed.