01.05.10 – A Tuesday

WORD

riposte [ri-pohst] n. 1. a quick, sharp return in speech or action; counterstroke: a brilliant riposte to an insult 2. Fencing. a quick thrust given after parrying a lunge  v. (used w/o subject) 3. to make a riposte 4. to reply or retaliate

BIRTHDAY

Zebulon Pike (1778), George Reeves (1914), Jane Wyman (1917), Francis L. Kellogg (1917), Walter Mondale (1928), Robert Duvall (1931), Charlie Rose (1942), Ed Rendell (1944), Diane Keaton (1946), Ted Lange (1948), Marilyn Manson (1969), Bradley Cooper (1975)

STANDPOINT

In the spirit of reviewing 2009 (which yesterday I stated I was against but seem to be participating in anyway), I’ve compiled a list of the best music releases from last year, in no particular order. After each review, I’ll post the top track off the album.

Now, obviously, there were other albums released in 2009 that some of you (mainly my buddy Joe) will undoubtedly tell me I was wrong in omitting. Green Day, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Wilco, among others, all released albums recently. I either didn’t like them or didn’t listen to them.

If you feel strongly about it, make a comment and tell me where I went wrong. Music is subjective, of course, and these are just my opinions. Even I can admit my judgment is occasionally subject to bias when it comes to music. But, remember, I’m usually right.

QUOTATION

The problem is not that there are problems.  The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.Theodore Rubin

TUNE

As much as I make fun of it, Canada seems to be putting out some decent indie rock bands recently. Arcade Fire. Broken Social Scene. The New Pornographers. The Rural Alberta Advantage. The Stills. To name only a few. And you can add Human Highway to that list. Made up of singer/songwriter Jim Guthrie and Nicholas Thorburn of the band Islands, the band released Moody Motorcycle in 2008. I’ve recently given it a re-listen and love the song “All Day.”

GALLIMAUFRY

After years of being tabloid fodder and keeping a nation on the edge of its seat, Vince Vaughan has entered into wedlock. Phew!

→ Christ. People. Let’s cease the vacillation. First, the Dallas Cowboys suck and Tony Romo, their quarterback, is a choke artist. Now, since beating the Philadelphia Eagles two days ago, their a Super Bowl favorite? Make up your mind, sports “gurus.”

→ What’s funnier? All the airport security talk or Spike Lee lending his heavy influence to the USA’s bid for a World Cup? Trick question. Neither are funny. Both are equally unimportant.

Advertisements

Wednesday – September 2nd

Word

polestar [pohl-stahr] n. 1. polaris 2. something that serves as a guiding principle 3. something that is the center of attention or attraction

Birthday

William Somervile (1675), Roger Wolcott (1847), Albert Spalding (1850), Joseph Roth (1894), Horace Silver (1928), Glen Sather (1943), Billy Preston (1946), Dan White (1946), Walt Simonson (1946), Terry Bradshaw (1948), Christa McAuliffe (1948), Mark Harmon (1951), Michael Gray (1951), Jimmy Connors (1952), John Zorn (1953), John S. Hall (1960), Keanu Reeves (1964), Lennox Lewis (1965), Salma Hayek (1966), Katt Williams (1973), Brian Westbrook (1979), Aimee Osbourne (1983)

Standpoint

Here’s something I wonder about from time to time. If I was a character in a horror movie, would I be the funny guy who died right away? Or would I be the one who, once I realized what was going, became the voice of reason/whiny guy and be the last one slaughtered before the male and female lead made their triumphant stand and figured out how to beat the killer? Also, I wonder if my character would put up a good fight or if I’d be the victim of choosing the wrong hallway to walk down and get my head lopped off when I turned an unfortunate corner where some psycho was strategically waiting.

It may not seem important to think about such things, but I’m sure if you think about it for a short while, you’ll understand just how important it really is.

Quotation

The chief function of the city is to convert power into form, energy into culture, dead matter into the living symbols of art, biological reproduction into social creativity.Lewis Mumford

Tune

In doing this blog, I learn several new things everyday. It’s one of the great parts of doing it, actually. For instance, while researching today’s post, I learned the name for Throw Me The Statue was originally the title of a mixtape made by Scott Reitherman who eventually turned it into the name for his musical endeavours. TMTS released a new album in August – Creaturesque – and I can say with confidence it’s pretty great. Go to Stereogum to download “Ancestors.” And then go get the whole frickin’ album.

Gallimaufry

• I know everyone’s talking about how print media is going the way of fax machines and MySpace but I gotta tell you – I still love reading music magazines in my hands instead of off a computer screen. One such periodical I’m enjoying very much in the last few months is The Fader. It has to do with the selection of topics and the quality of the articles. The album reviews are done in a cool and unique way, too. Peter Macia‘s “Phoenix Remains a Band Apart – Inseparable” from the July/August 2009 issue was as much about an individual’s personal music experience as it was informative about the band.

Twitter is huge but Facebook has the staying power in the social networking battle royale. Check out Erik Linask’s “I’m in a Facebook State of Mind” if you don’t believe me.

• Dear Hollywood, why are you trying to ruin everything ever? I just read you’re remaking Teen Wolf. Please. Stop. Now.

04.08.09 – Wednesday

Word: abscond [ab-skond] v. to depart in a sudden and secret manner, esp. to avoid capture and legal prosecution: The cashier absconded with the money.

 

Birthday: David Rittenhouse (1732), Betty Ford (1918), Carmen McRae (1920), Kofi Annan (1938), Stuart Pankin (1946), Tom DeLay (1947), Steve Howe (1947), John Schneider (1960), Izzy Stradlin (1962), Julian Lennon (1963), Biz Markie (1964), Robin Wright Penn (1966), Patricia Arquette (1968)

 

Occurrence: 1992 – Tennis legend and Philadelphia native Arthur Ashe announces he’s contracted AIDS from blood transfusions during one of his two heart surgeries. Because I hail from Philadelphia, I’m ashamed to admit that I thought he had contracted AIDS sexually.

 

Standpoint: So. After I wrote yesterday’s post, I started doing my nightly internet research. While I was flipping through my RSS Reader, I noticed that Glenn Beck was on my TV screen, ranting pretty intensely about Richard Poplawski. He condemned so-called “liberal bloggers” for casting blame on the right-wing portion of our nation and its attitude about gun control. (I was only half-listening, really. A good deal of my attention was being put to use wondering how in the hell the dude ever got a talk show. Why do networks always mistake yelling for charisma?) In any case, he was going on and on about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and casually alluding to the right to bear arms. Something struck me. Society is kind of fucking nuts. Nowadays, people are nearly hysterical about things like cigarettes, artificial sweeteners and Big Macs. (If you didn’t know, they’re bad for you.) People who smoke too much, use too much artificial sweetener or eat too much fast food are likely to die from some horrible disease. Proven facts. I’m not disputing them. But I’m reasonably confident that people who get shot at, even once, are more likely to die from the bullets hurtling at them. So why are tobacco, artificial sweetener and fast food companies under constant barrage and gun companies less so? It’s simple. The Second Amendment to which Mr. Beck was alluding. It says that we all have the right to own guns. No one ever thought to make a Constitutional Amendment about the right to puff on a Camel Light, pour Equal in coffee or woof down a Whopper. But as a United States citizen, Richard Poplawski was able to gather deadly weapons. The Constitution told him it was OK. I wonder if the loved ones of the fallen Pittsburgh Police officers give a rat’s ass about the Constitution right now. I know I don’t. I don’t think laws are made to be broken. I do, however, think laws should be re-examined after a certain amount of time and held up to our current reality. Gun laws need to be changed. Now.

 

QuotationThus the metric system did not really catch on in the States, unless you count the increasing popularity of the 9mm bullet.Dave Barry

 

Tune: Throw Me The Statue is a great band that I’ve had the opportunity to see in concert at least three times but, for various reasons, didn’t. Here’s “About To Walk”. (By the way, Matt Durkin, if you’re reading this, I want my Throw Me The Statue album back, punk. Also, the Elvis Costello album and the David Sedaris book.)

 

Link: 60 Incredible Aerial Photos from 640 Pixels – Simply amazing stuff.

 

Gallimaufry: Blockbuster Video is apparently close to kaput. Maybe that “no late fees” policy wasn’t such a hot idea…The actor who was inside the Darth Vader (James Earl Jones was the voice) suit for the first three Star Wars films (or the last three, depending on what level geek you are) hasn’t been paid residuals for Return of the Jedi yet. LucasFilm claims that David Prowse signed a contract that stipulates he only gets residual money when the film actually turns a profit. The studio claims that Jedi has yet to do that. You read that right…Fans of the FOX show House were taken off-guard last night when Kal Penn’s character, Dr. Kutner, committed suicide. Turns out the star of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle is set to become an associate director at the Office of Public Liaison at The White House. Is there any other place Penn could’ve been going to work where that secret would not have been leaked? I think not.

 

Incoming: Tomorrow – Finally. Your Annoying Sayings responses will be addressed. Friday – My “3 Incredibly Cool Things To Do In Philadelphia This Weekend”. (I know. The title is way too long. I’m working on it.)