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.”

02.17.10 – A Wednesday

word

ethos [ee-thos, ee-thohs, eth-os, -ohs] n. 1. Sociology. the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of a group or society; dominant assumptions of a people or period: In the Greek ethos the individual was highly valued 2. the character or disposition of a community, group, person, etc 3. the moral element in dramatic literature that determines a character’s action rather than his or her thought or emotion

birthday

Aaron Montgomery Ward (1844), Banjo Paterson (1864), Thomas J. Watson (1874), Hal Holbrook (1925), Chaim Potok (1929), Gene Pitney (1940), Huey P. Newton (1942), Rene Russo (1954), Lou Diamond Phillips (1962), Michael Jordan (1963), Michael Bay (1965), Denise Richards (1971), Billie Jo Armstrong (1972), Ralphie May (1972), Jerry O’Connell (1974), Jason Ritter (1980), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (1981), Paris Hilton (1981)

standpoint

Oh, yes! It is time, once again, for another installment of The Wishing Well, a regular column in which I waywardly wish five wishes.

I WISH Google would’ve spent a little more time developing Buzz before releasing it to the world. Last week, Buzz just showed up on my Gmail and, so far, it seems mostly a weak answer to Facebook and Twitter. Maybe I’ll be proved wrong one day but it won’t be tomorrow.

I WISH it was possible for me to tell you I dislike Patti Stanger, the lady from The Millionaire Matchmaker. But it’s not. Despite myself, I think she might actually be a good person. Go figure.

I WISH every website that automatically plays a video or song when you visit it would please cut that shit out. Listen, I’m on your site for a reason. You’ve got my interest. So, maybe you could quit trying to give me a heart attack with your cacophonous nonsense.

I WISH someone would explain to me why in the world CNBC would choose to keep airing the Women’s Curling match/game/whatever between the United States and Japan when there was a perfectly good Men’s Ice Hockey game going on between Canada and Norway. Actually, the hockey game turned out to be a lopsided 8-0 win by Canada. But still.

→ I WISH Pitchfork would diversify its coverage a bit. I mean, honestly, how much do we really need to know about Thom Yorke and Wayne Coyne?

That’s it for this installment. Got any wishes you’d like to share?

quotation

How wrong to have been so negative, how wrong to have been so gloomy, how wrong to have run away from life, how wrong to have said no, again and again, instead of yes. ↔ Jonathan Franzen

tune

Way back in 1998, there were these Philips Electronics TV ads featuring then-unknown English indie-rock band Gomez performing a cover of The Beatles’ “Getting Better.” I remember wanting to hear more of the song and, despite my best attempts, I never did find it and eventually forget about it. Until now. I was never a fan of Gomez but, recently, I’ve been reintroduced to the band and am sort of digging them. As a result, my memory was jogged and I remembered my unfinished mission to find the song from the TV commercial. I found it. “Getting Better” by Gomez. Enjoy.

gallimaufry

So there’s this episode of Family Guy in which there’s a negative depiction of someone with Down syndrome. And, sure, that’s kind of shitty but it’s Famly Guy and exactly no one should be surprised. What I find a tad more offensive is why anyone thinks I care what Bristol Palin thinks about anything at all.

→ The IOC (International Olympic Committee) is really keeping a nice perspective on what’s important at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games as it’s upset over the slogans on the masks of the goalies for the United States Men’s Hockey Team. Especially, Jonathan Quick’s which sports “Support Our Troops” on the back.

→ Does anyone out there have a Powermat? Do they really work? Let me know.

06.16.09 – Tuesday

Word: vitiate [vish-ee-eyt] v. 1. to impair the quality of; make faulty; spoil 2. to impair or weaken the effectiveness of 3. to debase; corrupt; pervert 4. to make legally defective or invalid; invalidate: to vitiate a claim

Birthday: John Cleveland (1613), Adam Smith (1723), Geronimo (1829), Stan Laurel (1890), Irving Penn (1917), Roger Neilson (1934), Bill Cobbs (1935), Joyce Carol Oates (1938), Joan Van Ark (1943), Femi Kuti (1962), Phil Mickelson (1970), Tupac Shakur (1971), John Cho (1972), Ben Kweller (1981), Matt Costa (1982)

Quote: If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say?  And why are you waiting?Stephen Levine

Tune: In the recent effort to listen to everything on my iPod, I discovered another band – Prabir and The Substitutes. The Richmond, VA band has toured with the likes of Dr. Dog and has drawn comparisons to early Beatles work. Listen to “Everybody’s Got Somebody” but beware the explicit lyrics.

Gallimaufry: What do you when the USA is at one of its ultimate lowpoints? Well, if you’re the folks at Marvel Comics, you bring back one of your all-time popular characters from the dead. That’s right. It’s the return of Captain America. Two years ago, the comic book company killed off the original Captain America – Steve Rogers. Says Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, “It feels like there’s a desire for hopefulness. A desire for heroes and for somebody to show us that we can be our better selves, and to help pull us all up by our bootstraps and get out of the situations that we find ourselves in.” Sounds good to me. As I reported yesterday, the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Championship. And, as has become their custom, city residents decided it was a perfect time to set things on fire and loot stores. Man, that town loves a good riot. According to a study by The Annenberg Center for the Digital Future, families are talking less and less due to the internet and, more specifically, social networking sites. They used to say the same thing about the effects of television and we all came out of that one OK, right? Oh. We didn’t? Never mind then.

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.