03.23.11 – a wednesday

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to MySpaceAdd to NewsvineAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

word

fugacious [fyoo-gey-shuhs] adj. 1. fleeting; transitory: a sensational story with but a fugacious claim on the public’s attention 2. Botany. falling or fading early

birthday

Joan Crawford (1905), David Grisman (1945), Ric Ocasek (1949), Chaka Khan (1953), Kenneth Cole (1954), Moses Malone (1955), Amanda Plummer (1957), Richard Grieco (1965), Yasmeen Ghauri (1971), Keri Russell (1976), Perez Hilton (1978)

standpoint

This wasn’t easy, although I’m sure it’ll seem like it was.

Last night (or earlier tonight, depending on whether we’re talking about your perspective or mine), I was driving from Skippack, where I work, to Manayunk, where I reside. I was in full-on music geek mode and decided that I was going to do something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while now, something I’ve attempted before but never been able to pull the trigger on: My Favorite Music of All-Time.

The main problem with compiling this list has been that it gets too long. So I decided to break it down into categories which I will share with you over the next few days or, truthfully, however long it takes.

I may regret it as the whole damn thing might get a little out of control and beyond the point of any real structure or direction but, as I’ve said in the past, I’m the only one writing this blog and so I’m my own boss. (Despite Joe Taylor’s many late night claims otherwise.)

All right, I’m going to start with the Six Songs I’ve Played the Most in the Past Ten Years According to My Two iPods.

Number Six

“Inner Meet Me” – The Beta Band

Number Five

“Finer Feelings” – Spoon

Number Four

“Ain’t That Enough” – Teenage Fanclub

Number Three

“Modern Mystery” – Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

Number Two

“Harmonium” – Rogue Wave

Number One

“Beautiful Beat” – Nada Surf

There’s the first installment. Tomorrow will be yet another.

quotation

I apologize to computer chess after calling it stupid when I lost. You’re not stupid, computer chess. I am. ↔ Michael Ian Black

tune

I like Jeb Loy Nichols and I like most versions of “The Tracks Of My Tears.” I found this and didn’t even really listen to it. Just decided to put it up here. Hope you like it.

gallimaufry

You know what Twitter needs? I do. Twilter. Instead of ceasing to follow someone who’s bugging the shit out you, you can employ Twilter, a program that will block retweets, tweets with spam links, etc. and so forth. All you computer programmers out there, feel free to run with it. Just do me a favor. If you become the next internet millionaire from the idea, make sure someone besides Jack Black or Kevin Smith portrays me in the movie they make about you. Deal? Those guys are at least 100 lbs. bigger than me.

→ Dear NFL, if you’re trying to turn the most popular sport in the country into something no one is interesting watching, nice job. These are a first few steps in the right direction.

→ For those of you who are tired of news that matters, read this. It’s nice to see there’s at least a few people out there with their eye on the ball. Christ.

Advertisements

01.08.10 – A Friday

WORD

colloquial [kuhloh-kwee-uhl] adj. 1. characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing; informal 2. involving or using conversation

BIRTHDAY

Hans von Bülow (1830), Frank Nelson Doubleday (1862), Larry Storch (1923), Soupy Sales (1926), Elvis Presley (1935), Bob Eubanks (1938), Graham Chapman (1941), Robby Krieger (1946), David Bowie (1947), Mike Reno (1955), Paul Hester (1959), R. Kelly (1967), Ami Dolenz (1969), Sean Paul (1973)

STANDPOINT

As I type this, I’m watching a TNT promo for Southland. Last year, NBC dropped the cop drama before it even debuted. TNT scooped it up and will start running the series, in its entirety, this Tuesday. (TNT is waiting to see how the ratings go for the seven episodes NBC aired plus six never-before-seen ones before deciding to order a new season.)

As I’ve felt in the past, I’m currently confounded why some quality shows get the boot and other crappy shows (According To Jim, The Real World, Judge Judy, JAG) seem to run on forever. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me since quality entertainment seems to be a notion no one concern themselves with.

It got me thinking about some other shows that were inexplicably dropped before their time. The following is a list of my favorite shows abandoned too soon.

QUOTATION

The National Rifle Association says that, “Guns don’t kill people, uh, people do.” But I think, I think the gun helps. You know? I think it helps. I just think just standing there going, “Bang!” That’s not going to kill too many people, is it?Eddie Izzard

TUNE

There’s not a ton of information out there on Seattle-based band The Pale Pacific (formerly The Pale). I came upon the 2005 release Urgency a while back and it became one of my favorite “half albums” – those containing an equal amount of both good and so-so songs. (I’ve got a lot of those, by the way.) One of the better songs is “Identity Theft.” Give it a listen.

GALLIMAUFRY

I’m not so naive to think all of this wintry weather going on is proof-positive that global warming is hogwash. But -50° wind chills in the Midwest don’t exactly help Al Gore’s cause.

→ Someone needs to be in a world of hurt to attempt to stab themselves to death. That’s exactly what Howard Stern’s sidekick, Artie Lange, did. Nine times. Long bouts of depression and numerous episodes of drug abuse apparently led him to it. Here’s hoping the guy can find some kind of peace and shake loose of his demons.

→ The other day, I reported that Vampire Weekend and Spoon were releasing albums next Tuesday. I lied. Vampire Weekend is releasing Contra next week, but Spoon’s Transference won’t come out until two weeks later. In any case, should be a good couple of months coming up for new music with Ben Kweller, Eels, Beach House, David Bowie, Midlake, Hot Chip, Peter Gabriel, Field Music, Jason Falkner, Shout Out Louds, Rogue Wave, The Whigs, Aloha, Frightened Rabbit, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Morning Benders and White Stripes all poised with fresh material.

01.07.10 – A Thursday

WORD

libertine [lib-er-teen, -tin] n. 1. a person who is morally or sexually unrestrained, esp. a dissolute man; a profligate; rake 2. a freethinker in religious matters 3. a person freed from slavery in ancient Rome adj. 4. free of moral, esp. sexual, restraint; dissolute; licentious 5. freethinking in religious matters 6. Archaic. unrestrained; uncontrolled

BIRTHDAY

Millard Fillmore (1800), Kenny Loggins (1948), Steven Williams (1949), Erin Gray (1950), David Caruso (1956), Nicolas Cage (1964), Doug E. Doug (1970), Jeremy Renner (1971), Dustin Diamond (1977)

STANDPOINT

Today, rather than looking back on the year that was, I’d like to focus on the year to come. 2010 (or 2KX as some are calling it) needs to better in lots of ways by eliminating some of the awfulness of 2009. Here’s some people and things I’d like to see go away this upcoming year.

  • War – I’m not exactly the most politically aware person alive but I do know that all the garbage this country is involved with in the Middle East is just that – garbage. Bring our friends and family, serving in the military, home. What good has come from all this bloodshed anyway? Not a goddamn thing.
  • Glenn Beck – I have trouble imagining that even the most right-wing of individuals out there aren’t sick of listening to this jackass get up on his brokedown soapbox and declare how unfit President Obama is with thinly veiled racist commentary. Even the folks at FOX News have to be embarrassed for their involvement with Beck by now.
  • The Bad Economy – I have stated this before: I’ve a very rudimentary understanding of economic matters. It’s true. But I’m smart enough to ascertain a good portion of these hard times is perpetuated by fear. We need to concentrate on good ideas and viable solution in the interest of fixing what’s wrong and stop reporting on and worrying about what’s all ready transpired. Unfortunately, the collective selfishness of our society combined with the total inability of our government to cooperate with each other will pretty much guarantee that won’t happen.
  • Complaining – I am dog tired of finger pointing and whining. If you want something to change, get out there and work to make it happen. Otherwise, I cordially invite you to shut the fuck up and go about your day. Thank you.
  • Celebrity Culture – Even if you’re someone like me, and you actively try to dodge all the nonsense out there being reported as news, it’s unavoidable. It’s bothersome. Do I care that some dude on some reality television show left his wife and eight kids? Sucks for the kids, but it’s not my problem. Does it bother me that professional athletes take performance enhancing drugs? Sure, it’s dishonest but I’m not entirely sure why I should be concerned. Do I really need to know that the guy who played Batman flipped out on the set of some movie? Seems like he has some anger issues but I’ll never meet him so it’s not truly upsetting. The truth is that if we spent as much time concentrating on real problems and less time spying on the entertainers of the world, it might actually be the start of resolving some stuff.
QUOTATION

Let’s be very honest about what this is about. It’s not about bashing Democrats, it’s not about taxes, they have no idea what the Boston tea party was about, they don’t know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up.Janeane Garofalo

TUNE

Been listening to a lot of Blind Pilot. For the time being, “Poor Boy” is my favorite.

GALLIMAUFRY

Actor Gary Coleman was hospitalized yesterday after complaining of not feeling well. Here’s hoping you have a speedy recovery, brother.

→ How could next week possibly suck? Vampire Weekend and Spoon releasing albums on the same day? Shit, yeah.

→ I’ve been trying to find the perfect time to share this piece from The Onion about Michael Vick. I figure, what with the Philadelphia Eagles most likely en route to a first round exit from the playoffs, now’s as good a time as any. It’s meant to be funny and it is. But I think it is the possibly the most honest thing written about Vick in the past year.

06.29.09 – Monday

Word: sociopath [soh-see-uh-path, soh-shee-] n. a person, as a psychopathic personality, whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience

Birthday: William Mayo (1861), Nelson Eddy (1901), Slim Pickens (1919), Robert Evans (1930), Harmon Killebrew (1936), Gary Busey (1944), Richard Lewis (1947), Colin Hay (1953), Maria Conchita Alonso (1957), Michael Nutter (1957), Jeff Burton (1967), Sam Farrar (1978)

Quotation: To do a common thing, uncommonly well, brings success – Henry John Heinz

Tune: “Orchestrated indie pop with brilliant melodies and a quiet sense of everything.” That’s what Hybrid Magazine has to say about Portland, Oregon band Derby. It’s a damn near dead-on description, too. Check out “If Ever There’s A Reason” from Posters Fade. Here’s a year-old review of the album by Conor McKay of NPR.

Gallimaufry: In what is now becoming an almost daily occurence, another celebrity has suddenly passed away. Professional pitchman Billy Mays was discovered dead in his bed by his wife yesterday morning. Saturday afternoon, Mays, a man who was famous for yelling at the top of his lungs about the effectiveness of such products as OxiClean and Orange Glo,  bumped his head as his plane touched down in Tampa International Airport in what was described as “a rough landing.” As of yet, no one’s claiming a connection between the landing and Mays’ untimely death. I don’t care what anyone else has to say about it. The fact that the US Men’s National Soccer Team made it to the finals of the FIFA Confederates Cup and actually came close to beating Brazil before eventually falling 3-2 late in the game is a good thing. I’m proud of them. And you should be too. For 2010’s FIFA World Cup South Africa, this year’s showing in the Confederates Cup will give US soccers fans (all 254 of them) something to look forward to. Spoon has got to be the hardest working band in the history of music. I know it and now so do you. Unlike Conor Oberst, who releases something new each week (some good, most bad), Spoon keeps pumping out quality track after quality track. Tomorrow, the Merge Records band is releasing a new EP called Got Nuffin. Go get it on Amazon.

03.30.09 – Monday

Whereabouts: Phoenixville, PA (Spent the night at my folks’ place. They’ve graciously taken my cats into their home and I slept over to help ease the transition for both the cats and myself.)

Word: assuage [uhsweyj] verb 1. to make milder or less severe; relieve; ease; mitigate: to assuage one’s grief; to assuage one’s pain  2. to appease; satisfy; allay; relieve: to assuage one’s hunger  3. to soothe, calm or mollify: to assuage his fears; to assuage her anger

Birthday: Jethro Tull (1684), Francisco Goya (1746), Vincent Van Gogh (1853), Franz Oppenheimer (1864), McGeorge Bundy (1919), Richard Dysart (1929), Warren Beatty (1937), Eric Clapton (1945), Paul Reiser (1957), MC Hammer (1962), Tracy Chapman (1964), Ian Ziering (1964), Céline Dion (1968), Donna D’Errico (1968), Secretariat (1970), Norah Jones (1979), Anna Nalick (1984)

Occurrence: 1933 – The first observance of Doctor’s Day in Winder, Georgia. In 1990, the USA officially began to recognize “National Doctor’s Day.”

Standpoint: Today, Y-Rock on XPN kicks off Modern Rock Madness. Basically, it’s a bracket-style contest not unlike the NCAA Basketball Tournament. It pits music artists against each other in one-on-one competition with the victor moving on to the next round until there is only one left standing. Click HERE to take a look at the match-ups. While it’s a nice concept, this type of radio programming always leaves me a bit salty. And that’s because, like most things I guess, it’s primarily a popularity contest. Granted Modern Rock Madness 2008 ended up with a worthy victor: Radiohead. But the rest of the final four (Modest Mouse, Cake and Beck) gave me the feeling that people voted based on who they thought they should and not who was actually the more talented. And this year’s bracket is kind of befuddling. Why pit David Bowie and Elvis Costello against each other right off the bat? Either one could arguably be in the top eight. Also, how did Spoon and Arcade Fire earn a first round showdown? Both bands are wildly successful right now and it just doesn’t seem right to have one of them eliminated in the first round while bands of equal current success like Vampire Weekend and My Morning Jacket virtually assured first-round victories. The organizers of the NCAA Tournament don’t have the number one and two teams play each other on the first night. I wouldn’t care if they did but I’m betting a lot of you would. Should we hold Y-Rock on XPN to a lesser standard? I’m pretty sure the answer is yes, but I wish it was no.

Quotation: Money does not make you happy but quiets the nerves.Sean O’Casey

Digit: 8 – In Scotland, you only need be eight years old to be convicted of a crime as long it can be proven that you knew what you were doing.

Tune: People who talk music with me are sick of me going on and on about Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. I can’t decide whether “Modern Mystery” or “Think I’m Gonna Die” is its best song. Have a listen to both and then you tell me.

Link: Nerdist – A very funny site by Chris Hardwick.

Gallimaufry: If you live in or around Philadelphia, you’ve driven on I-76, otherwise known as The Schuylkill Expressway. It’s a frustrating stretch of road. To put it mildly. In one of your jaunts down “The Schuylkill” you’ve undoubtedly heard someone say something like, “This has gotta be the worst goddam highway in the country.” Well, next time you can reply to that person, “Actually, it’s not. It’s not even in the top 10.”…If you’re single, tired of dating and wonder where you can go to simply have sex with women without the hassle of all that commitment, today is your lucky day. Simply move to New Zealand where it appears young women are taking promiscuity to a whole new level…Saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button over the weekend. Good movie but Slumdog Millionaire and Milk were much better…It’s no secret that there are millions of not-so-bright individuals running around out there, but this guy takes the cake. Do you think maybe he was looking to get caught?…Check out my friend Brendan F. Quinn’s excellent article “Beam Me Up, Scottie: Reynolds’ Race To The Bucket Sends ‘Nova To The Final Four.”…Thanks for all the responses (both here and on Facebook) to my “Annoying Sayings” post this past Friday. I’ll be doing a follow-up later this week with your suggestions.