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.

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03.03.09 – Tuesday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: colloquial [kŏ-loh-kwi-ăl] – adj. suitable for ordinary conversation but not for formal speech or writing, informal

Birthday: Alexander Graham Bell (1847), Jean Harlow (1911), James Doohan (1920), Doc Watson (1923), Tim Kazurinsky (1950), Ira Glass (1959), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1962), Tone Lōc (1966), David Faustino (1974), Jessica Biel (1982)

Occurrence: 1991George Holliday films several Los Angeles police officers beating Rodney King. The four accused officers were orginally acquitted, setting off the L.A. riots. Two of them were eventually sentenced to 30-months each in jail. Rodney King is now a reality-television joke. George Holliday’s life has been turned upside-down because he filmed the whole thing. Funny how things seem so important at the time.

Irksome: “I’ll always be an Eagle.” Those were the words of safety Brian Dawkins after signing with the Denver Broncos over the weekend. On bulletin boards all across the internet, Eagles’ fans seem to be taking it well. For a change. And I think it is because the oft-wretched fans in this city are starting to understand that the Philadelphia Eagles are a top-notch football organization. (Click HERE to read Pete Prisco’s take on it.) Dawkins had every chance to stay in Philadelphia, a city he apparently loves and will no doubt be associated with in some way after his retirement as a player. Sure, he would’ve made less money. But isn’t asking the Eagles to pay him more than his declining skills are worth kind of unfair considering that the guy didn’t exactly light the world on fire last season? On the same token, would it be too much to ask a guy – already worth millions of dollars – to take a few million less to play for a team, and city, that he apparently loves? I don’t think so. For all of his talk of “heart” over the years, Dawkins sure didn’t show much of it this weekend as he donned the orange jersey. Don’t blame this on Coach Reid and Co. This one’s gotta fall square on the shoulders of B-Dawk.

Tidbit: One night, while watching The Dark Knight, I began to impersonate the voice that Christian Bale employed while playing the Batman part of his character. Not surprisingly, the imitation was spot-on. The person I was with said it sounded like it hurt, and it did a little. I wondered aloud if Bale had suffered any vocal cord problems while filming. Turns out he did. While filming Batman Begins, he lost his voice three different times due to the strain of altering his voice.

Quotation: Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.Jack Kerouac

Song: “Worry ‘til Spring” by Sprengjuhöllin was the most popular song in Iceland in 2007. It is also the only song I’ve been able to find by this band that is sung in English. (That doesn’t mean more don’t exist.) It’s a great, simple song. Click HERE to read a semi-goofy review of Sprengjuhöllin.

Website: HearYa.comgreat site for indie band reviews and free downloads

Gallimaufry: No matter how many times I watch the movie National Treasure, the only thing I take away from it is that Nicholas Cage runs like a girl…Finally found my copy of The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs. Still need to finish, but, at this point, highly recommend it…Click HERE to read about a guy who made a bong big enough to place his hyperactive kitten into. He paid a $400 fine. Unbelievable…The Tyra Banks Show has been on the air for 3 ½ years. All of you out there who are hoping to one day have a career as a television personality, just keep repeating that last sentence over and over in your head. Gives you hope, right? You’re welcome…Lastly, congratulations to my brother, Jeremy, who moved into his new house last week after many months of spending every free minute working on it. Nice job, buddy, the place looks fantastic.