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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04.26.10 – A Monday

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note

As I announced last Friday, this will be the last week of the euneJeune daily. I hope you all enjoy my final five posts. Thanks for reading.

word

profusion [pruhfyoo-zhuhn] n. 1. abundance; abundant quantity 2. a great quantity or amount (often fol. by of) 3. lavish spending; extravagance

birthday

Marcus Aurelius (121), Muhammad (570), Charles Goodyear (1804), I. M. Pei (1915), Carol Burnett (1933), Duane Eddy (1938), Bobby Rydell (1942), Gary Wright (1943), Giancarlo Esposito (1958), Joan Chen (1961), Michael Damian (1963), Jet Li (1963), Kevin James (1965), Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins (1970), Jordana Brewster (1980), Channing Tatum (1980), Jessica Lynch (1983)

standpoint

During the late 80s and early 90s, The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, an outdoor amphitheater in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, was the place to see live music for those of us who were old enough to drive but too young to go anywhere remotely cool. I mean, there’s only so many movies you can see. Twice.

Friday and Saturday night concerts at “The Mann” were major happenings. Most every teenager within a 25-mile radius went to every weekend show. Those without tickets, sat on “The Lawn,” a large empty area of grass and dirt to the right and up the hill from the stage or milled around in the section above the concert area where the vendors were stationed. There were no walls just a large chain link fence which obviously did nothing to obstruct sight or sound. It was like having an awful seat for the concert, but it was free.

Below is a seating chart of The Mann. The area in black is where all the youthful debauchery took place.

If Phish or Jimmy Buffett were taking the stage, the crowd outside the concert came close to rivaling those inside. But it didn’t really matter who was playing. Menudo could’ve been opening up New Kids on the Block and The Lawn would still be packed. The Mann was a place we could drink warm beer, try to talk girls into “taking a walk,” watch macho shitheads beat each other senseless and score some pretty awful weed. It was teenage revelry at its finest. Times were good.

For Philadelphia’s Finest, though, times sucked. Between the underage drinking, the blatant drug use and the constant outbreak of fisticuffs, the police definitely had their hands full. I’m sure more than one cop fantasized about opening fire on the crowd on several occasions but stopped short after failing to conjure a solid reason for blowing away a bunch of mindless juveniles, most in possession of nothing more menacing than a hacky sack. (I’m sure the unfortunate workers who had the unsavory task of cleaning up the morning after those nights had similar musings on how to stop us once and for all.) They tried they’re best, though, and I have to give those officers credit for showing the restraint they did.

Like most everything great, those nights at The Mann came to be no more. Barricades were put up to block off  The Lawn and most of the other areas we used to occupy. A zero tolerance for teenage antics was established. You either had tickets or you went home. And, in 1995, The Tweeter Center opened up across the river in Camden, NJ, stealing most of The Mann’s biggest yearly headliners. Forced to adjust, The Mann, originally meant for The Philadelphia Orchestra, returned to a more cultured schedule. A few years back, The Mann started bringing in some hipper acts like The Shins, Passion Pit and a reunited Pavement.

However, the party, as it had been, was over. But it was fun while it lasted.

Anybody out there have favorite memories of The Mann? Share them here.

quotation

We awaken in others the same attitude of mind we hold toward them. Elbert Hubbard

tune

Of those shows at The Mann I actually bought a ticket for, I think the most memorable was a triple bill consisting of The Sugarcubes, New Order and Public Image Ltd. I didn’t know much about P.I.L. (as they’re called) except that the lead singer, John Lydon, was the frontman for The Sex Pistols. But he, and the rest of the band, put on one hell of a performance. Especially fantastic was “Rise.” Here’s the video for that song. At the beginning, notice the distinct lettering that appeared in all of the old MTV music videos. You know, back when they actually used to play them.

gallimaufry

→ Here’s a news item I’m sure only about nine of you will care about: The Fratellis and Voxtrot both called it quits last week. On the same day. Weird.

→ Recently, I finished reading Christopher Moore’s Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. I highly recommend it. Almost made me forget I don’t believe in God.

→ In another book related note, I’m halfway through The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama. I don’t care what your political affiliations are, if you’ve no respect for the formidable genius of our President, I have no choice but to call you an impossible fool.