12.08.09 – A Tuesday

WORD

phlegmatic [fleg-mat-ik] adj. 1. not easily excited to action or display of emotion; apathetic; sluggish 2. self-possessed, calm, or composed 3. of the nature of or abounding in the humor phlegm

BIRTHDAY

Horace (65 BC), Mary Queen of Scots (1542), William C. Durant (1861), Diego Rivera (1886), Sammy Davis Jr. (1925), Jimmy Smith (1925), Flip Wilson (1933), David Carradine (1936), Jim Morrison (1943), Gregg Allman (1947), Gérard Blanc (1947), Bill Bryson (1951), Kim Basinger (1953), Roy Firestone (1953), Sam Kinison (1953), Ann Coulter (1961), Greg Howe (1963), Teri Hatcher (1964), Sinéad O’Connor (1966), Dominic Monaghan (1976)

STANDPOINT

Last night, I watched Allen Iverson’s triumphant return to the Philadelphia 76ers. OK. Well. I watched about 15 minutes of it until I turned on the ultimately disappointing Flyers-Canadiens game.

But, arguably, I watched the most important part of the Sixers-Nuggets game: the introductory hoopla. Philadelphia, a city that three years ago was collectively shoving Iverson out of town, welcomed him home like no one ever wanted him to go anywhere.

The Wachovia Center was sold-out for a basketball game for the first time this year. Actually, the entire crowd last night almost doubled the total sum of the first eight home games. The starting lineup announcements were conducted in a way a 5-15 team, under any other circumstances, could never gotten away with. After being introduced, Iverson ran out to the 76ers logo at half-court, kneeled down and kissed it. (The crowd cheered like that was totally normal.) 

Iverson seemed truly happy. And I, for one, was truly happy for him. I never disliked the guy. I was always in his corner and have been a huge supporter of his return to Philadelphia.

I’ve had about 349 conversations about Iverson since he left town. Each and every time, I was told I was wrong. He was a poison. He was a selfish player. He was a thug. He had to go.

While I never subscribed the above statements, I always granted them creedence. I figured everyone hated Iverson because he was an asshole. Also, I was pretty sure I liked him for the same exact reason.

What I’m having trouble digesting is why,all of a sudden, everyone gives a shit about (a) the Sixers, and (b) Iverson himself.

I need to collect my thoughts on this one. TO BE CONTINUED.

In the meantime, what’s your take?  

QUOTATION

I used to be friends with Miles Davis. He didn’t like many folks. I lived across the street from him. He would call me up sometimes — “I got some fish I wanna cook up for ya.” I went up there, and he was on a couch, looking out the window. He was just rapt. I said, “What’re you watching, Miles?” He said, “The traffic. Where are all these motherfuckers goin’?”Rip Torn

TUNE

In the interest of getting to know someone better, I’ve recently been exposed to more Belle and Sebastian. I was told by that someone “Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying” is the band’s best song. Turned out to be the truth.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ After being complete cocks about music piracy and crying about how much money they were losing, it turns out the major record labels (Warner, Sony BMG, EMI and Universal) have been doing a little looting of their own. Justice? Maybe. Well, probably.   

→ While I’m of the opinion most people are complete dolts and unknowingly ruining society, there’s an awful, evil flipside. It appears there are enough smart individuals out there doing what they can to not be outdone by the morons. Case in point? This whole Miranda nonsense in The Supreme Court.

→ While I love to point out the inane crap dominating the media these days, I have an actual pleasure when I read some genuinely good news. Drunk driving deaths in the US are, statistically, on a downward turn. Good job, nitwits. I’m pleased some of you might be coming to your senses.

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.