So how is the twitterverse taking it?
[Listening to: Vernon Reid - "You Say He's Just a Psychic Friend" ]
So how is the twitterverse taking it?
Here's essentially how it worked:
- Young grommet guitar player discovers Metallica in the mid-late 80's, gets utterly obsessed for a while.
- Reads some guitar magazine interview with Metallica lead singer/rhythm guitarist/Napster-hater James Hetfield in which he's pictured wearing a Faith No More t-shirt.
- Wondered what was up with that and soon discovered a truly awesome band that soon after blew up on MTV with their exploding piano/dying fish video.
- Faith No More gets tons more interesting (and less MTV-Faith No More-ish) in the late 90's, leading me to become aware of lead singer Mike Patton's other group Mr. Bungle -- which becomes sort of a full-time obsession for a year or two (leading to a whole other tangent of purchasing John Zorn albums which is too complicated to get into right now) -- except that after a few albums Mr. Bungle sorta becomes The Fantomas and then becomes Tomohawk and it becomes clear that keeping up with Mike Patton's career track is sort of a pain in the ass and half the albums he's been putting out lately are only him making weird noises into a telephone microphones anyways.
Then Mike Patton goes and screws all that up by putting together a project called Peeping Tom, which is just loaded with fascinating collaborations -- including this awesome song called "Sucker" with Norah Jones of all people that is not only permanently locked into my iPod, (it also prompted me to stop talking shit about Norah Jones) -- but most importantly included contributions and then live tour band support playing violin (and we all know how I feel about sexy girls who play violin) by one Imani Coppola, whom I had not heard of before at that point.Life gets infinitely easier when I decide that it's much more simple to just feel happy
about seeing Patton's name on things, like Bjork albums or the credits for I Am Legend.
For example, when I hear that someone performed on the Lilith Fair it almost immediately puts doubts into my mind about how much I'll like their music (despite the fact that MeShell Ndegeocello was on that tour). But then I read a little further and I find out that Coppola was apparently snarking on all the other artists the whole time -- including an interview she did with Toronto Sun back in 1997 that instantly made me adore her:Truth is, as much as I always love to say that I'm completely
open-minded when it comes to music, it's not always 100% true.
So I started looking into her music and found all sorts of awesome stuff, none of which fit into any sort of single category. She's all over the map with styles and genres -- which I actually prefer in an artist, but rarely find these days."I think [Sarah McLaughlin]'s a good songwriter, at times, and singer. She's boring to watch live, though.."
Anyways, recently she put out an album with a band she's in with DJ/Programmer Adam Pallin called Little Jackie -- which if you're looking for groups to compare it with fits in nicely with Gnarls Barkley (a band I wish I could love but have grown utterly tired of despite their obvious talent and quirkiness because club DJ's got a hold of that "Crazy" song and just beat it into the friggin ground).Here's the first song of her's that I fell in love with -- Woke up Hwite
Little Jackie is a blast.Much like Gnarls Barkley's debut album, it's loaded with summer songs. Road trip music. It's a little girly (not that there's anything wrong with that), but my impression (read: fantasy) is that Imani is probably the kind of chick who not only knows how to rock eye shadow, but also gets mad at hockey teams who trade away decent veterans for unproven minor league prospects right before making a playoff run.
April's a little early for a Summer Song to catch on, but this is usually when they start showing up on mix tapes and iPod playlists. I'll be pissed if this or any other Little Jackie tune ends up on the soundtrack for some craptastical Kate Hudson movie (the chances for which I fear are pretty good) and probably disavow any knowledge of it -- but sometimes that's the price you have to pay when an artist you wish would always stay indie is this good.
-- "Liked You Better Before"
So, who are some of your secret faves that you sorta quietly hope will stay yours forever?
This is actually one of the main reasons I choose not to eat lunch at my desk.But this time the new rules include the removal of several previous "acceptable exclusions," like bottles of water with closeable tops AND covered coffee mugs.
You, know -- I used to think you were cute, but now you're starting to bug me. First you make me park all the way over in BFE (although to be honest, about a month after that decree I just began parking in my old spot again and no one's said boo about it), but now you're messing with my coffee -- and I'm afraid that sir, is a step too far.I repeat:NO. Coffee. Allowed. at employee desks. At. All.
Btw, can you still call something a black market if you offer cream and sugar?Unfortunately, this order comes from up on high -- so there's really not all that much that can be done about it without risking my job. I'd still be able to drink my coffee in the breakroom, so it's not like they're banning the drug from the campus completely -- but I don't know that the cleanliness compliance studies that were performed prior to all these new rules being enforced really accounted for just how important people being able to drink coffee while they work is to the production process around here.
Now before we get started here, I'd like to take a moment to dispell some rumors -- because unlike other groups who didn't take the requisite time first to check the Urban Dictionary to ensure that their nationwide protest movement didn't just happen to share a name with a revolting sexual act, we at the 'Don't take away my coffee, you wouldn't like me when I havent had my coffee' central offices truly wish to ensure the integrity of our actions -- so please disregard any and all emails earlier this week requesting people to wear the black armbands with the words "Rusty Trombone" written on them.So all that leaves me with is this: Revolution.
Now, on to the plan: See, the new order doesn't officially kick in until Monday -- so in celebration, I'm thinking that for the rest of the week I should prepare and then consume the messiest, most hands-on meals I can think of at my workspace.That was not an official communication.
Think -- It ain't illegal yet.I'm talking like crawdads, buffalo wings, BBQ ribs (hell I might just finally take advantage of that disgusting free Cole slaw offer the sales guys think we all appreciate), full Maine Lobster -- stuff like that. So what I need from you, dear friends -- is menu suggestions.
Because if they're gonna try to mess with a brother's coffee,
then it's gonna get straight Skeksis up in here, knammsayin?
..And then do it again the very next night.But then as you take the time to develop your skills and start playing in bands and the reality of the landscape begins to appear, and you realize that it's only a rare few who get to live that dream, if at all. It doesn't that mean you shouldn't try for it with everything you've got --
Early on in my guitar fandom I started taking note of session guys. Musical directors. The guys standing in the back who's faces you didn't always see but who could play any style at any time and could always be relied on to save the day. Guys like Steve Lukather, Greg Howe, Eddie Martinez, Doug Wimbish, or Carlos Alomar. Beyonce's current all-female backup band is made up completley of players like this -- and while her music isn't generally my cup of tea, when you hear a really fantastic band lay anthing down you've gotta respect it.But when the path is narrow, it's the wise warrior who takes the road less traveled.
One of the best of these is Stevie Salas. Handpicked by George Clinton to cover musical-direction and guitar duties for his solo records; he quickly became a go-to guy for people like Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, Don Was, and Ronald Shannon Jackson.I wanted to be one of those guys.
Guitar players are obviously my thing, but session players come in all shapes and sizes (Timbaland, The Dust Brothers, Fish-Stick lover Kanye West, and former NIN/Perfect Circle/Devo/Goo Goo Dolls/Lenny Kravitz/Liz Phair/Joe Walsh drummer Josh Freese [who rips, btw] come to mind as examples). Hell, there was a long period where the background music for every Motown record was supplied by a session band called "The Funk Brothers" -- I'm talking all the old Supremes records, Steve Wonder's early work, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, nearly all the Jackson 5 stuff -- the singers were obviously different but literally it was the same 3 guys doing drums, bass, and guitar for every single song.I could seriously listen to this on repeat all day long.
And if so, who are they?
Which would be fine, if I hadn't gone and purchased one of these.I lucked into finding a used/reconditioned one for a good price -- and couldn't really pass on the deal. Curren's been wanting one for a long time, and it's something we can play together. It's a ton of fun, especially when we hook up the Wii Sports and start trying to box each other.
So before the wiimote thing charges back up and we go another couple of rounds -- here are this weeks risers and fallers, and the buzz as it looks from here.Now, not so much.
Somali Pirates How many movies does Don Cheadle have to make before we realize that this isn't just some quaint little folk hero story that just happened to finally screw up and piss off the US Navy? In my mind, stories like this (especially the sort of "cool" angle the whole thing was largely given before recent events happened) sort of points out just how sort of rudderless the media is right now. Newspapers are sinking, TV news is not only accepting the idea of adding spin into their stories, they're whole-heartedly pushing it. What makes The Daily Show so much fun to watch is the way it calls out news agencies on the way they report the stories we've already read in the morning. The idea being that you have the facts of the story in your head, but then you see the CNN's, MSNBC's, and FOX News Networks of the world report the exact same story and it sounds completely different depending on who you watch. Kinda like these Somali Pirates, who I guess were supposed to be like the new cool kids in school but now are the face of a call to action from these talking heads to ..what, nuke the Indian Ocean? I'm no war hawk, but in this day and age I'm frequently surprised by how much hesitation there seems to be when things like this happen. I'm not saying the old days were better -- but remember how stories like this used to be reported in the news? The anchorman would come on and say "US Military forces blew the shit out of some little boat yesterday. Here's why they did it." And then we'd debate whether that was the right move or not? Now you watch the news and it feels like all this waiting around is the military's way of asking me what should be done. And it's like, "Hey, isn't this sorta what I pay you guys for?" What happened to that Navy Seals commercial they play all night long where the footprints show up in the sand after the wave recedes back into the tide. Where are those guys? Last.fm I have an iPod Nano with roughly 1500 songs on it. Songs I put on there personally because I like them. But what I'm noticing is that after having gotten all those songs on there and enjoying having them all at my fingertips to listen to and rock out with, that now I'm kind of running out of gas on them. Not that I don't like the songs, but that there's roughly 600-700 of them I either skip constantly or just don't play and then a remaining number that I just play to death. It's hard to believe I could wear out on that many songs at a time, but essentially what I'm craving is something like really, really different than the somewhat limited variety that I've created for myself on the iPod. So lately at work I've been just plugging the headphones into my computer and "getting lost" on Last.fm. I'll put in a general term to start a radio station, like "Funk" or "Reggae" and then see what it gives me. If it plays songs I've heard of I'll listen to them and enjoy, but if it presents me with a band/group/singer I don't know I'll put that into the station generator, and then just sort of repeat that process over and over until I'm completely off the beaten path. The results have been exceptionally cool (although I also suspect I'm just really hungry for new music to listen to so everything unfamiliar tastes yummy right now). I suppose you can do this on Pandora as well, but what I've discovered is that for rock, metal, and really old R&B (imho) Pandora is severely lacking. Last.fm is British, so there's like an overflow of old soul artists on here, and that is just fine by me. I've been discovering groups and singers that frankly I was simply too young to have ever even heard of when they were around, and as such it's almost like discovering an entirely new scene (that you know, happened like 35 years ago). Plus, much like Pandora and Rhapsody, the more you play the more it starts to see what you like -- and I've been treated to some very nice surprises in the past few days, especially in the form of a John Paul Jones solo record I was unaware of, and a project featuring Dennis Chambers, Billy Sheehan and John Novello that absolutley shreds. When I think back to the days where discovering new music meant hit-or-miss methods like waiting desperately for something that didn't sound exactly the same to come on the radio or taking part in blind mixtape exchanges on the Internet (even though those were fun), I feel really lucky to have the chance to use technology like this. It's not a flying car or a jetpack -- but it's pretty damn cool. Andy Samberg I think there's a part of me that didn't want to like Andy Samberg and the whole Lonely Island gang. Part of me that didn't really want to jump on the trend wagon. I get that way sometimes. Old music is better, old movies are cooler, old comedians are funnier, that sort of thing. Problem is, these guys are funny as hell. Movies like Hot Rod, shows like Eastbound and Down, and this new Seth Rogan Observe and Report thing that is already getting a lot of hate from reviewers and watchdog groups for being too dark -- it's kinda hard to act like something's not funny when you're laughing hysterically at it. It's not perfection, and I can still poinit to examples of older comedians/actors/writers who I feel are more consistent and subversive, but there's no way in hell I can deny the sheer awesomeness of this clip, which I posted up on twitter earlier in the week but just can't stop playing, especially when the nitpickers at work start to get annoying. Pop
Much like micro-brew beer, when you start taking a stand and declaring your love for a brand of potato chips that you can get at a major grocery store, you immediatley risk connoiseurs like Penn Jillete coming down on you and extolling the superior taste and quality of some tiny snackmaker that only sells 3-ounce bags of their product in a little convienence store somewhere in Delaware. Well that's great and all, but I'm not really supposed to be eating these things in the first place, so if I just happen to stumble across something at Target that blows a bag of Ruffles away it doesn't really mean I'm a luddite. All that being said -- if you like Pringles but (like me) can't stop yourself from eating an entire tube all at once, see if you can find yourself a bag of these instead. I've only found them at one or two places here in Jacksonville, but they are really, really good. I'm always open to new taste suggestions if you have any, but if you're looking for a new chip and can find these -- it's totally worth the effort. Texas I guess I shouldn't call out the whole state just because of something stupid that one elected official said, but then I remember that everytime some a-hole in Florida does something retarded, the entire country thinks everyone in this state is that stupid. There's no doubt that as States go, Florida has an extra helping of dumbass on it's plate -- but we aren't the only store in the mall, if you know what I'm saying. Essentially the story goes that Republican Representative Betty Brown and the rest of the House Elections Committee heard testimony from Ramey Ko, a representative of the Organization of Chinese Americans regarding difficulties people of Chinese, Japanese and Korean descent often have obtaining voter registrations and other forms of identification, at which point Representative Brown said, "Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese — I understand it’s a rather difficult language — do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt names that we could deal with more readily here?" at which point I'm pretty much like, "Check, please?" On My Planet ..This would happen all the time.
Is it the absolute best take-out Chinese youBut unlike so many things in the Baymeadows area (where I live these days) it's an institution. Happy Woks and Asia Gardens might come and go, but Quick Chinese is forever. Which is a good thing, because the food friggin' rocks.
can get in this town? Who knows, probably not.
What the hell am I supposed to do with this? Go back to the restaurant and use it like a coupon?Seriously, can they really get away with this?
The only explanation I can think of is that there's some guy in an office somewhere sitting at a computer who just hates his fortune cookie message-writing job, and every now and then he just boils over and types out something like "Who Cares, You're Not Going to Follow My Advice Anyways," "Stick With Your Wife," or "Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?"I mean damn, son -- that's just lazy.
Either way -- don't take it out on the cookie, man.That cookie didn't do anything to you.
As everyone knows -- the first song ever played on the network was "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles.See, the problem with radio guys is that they usually only see what's directly in front of them. They know what they think their audience likes, so they'll just keep doing that one thing over and over until that audience either grows too old for their advertisers to care about or the whole thing just runs out of gas and plummets to the ground like a plane crash. In the mind of most radio station executives -- if you start up a Pop/Rock station, build it into a local favorite, make a bunch of advertising revenue, give away a bunch of bumper stickers and beer coozies, and then either shut it down or sell the whole thing off to Clear Channel at a modest loss once the ratings start falling off, it's considered a "good run."But what I find most interesting about the history of the thing was the way "radio mentality" almost killed MTV.
They played the bands they liked and ignored the ones they didn't -- claiming that they didn't fit the "image" the network was trying to project. And much like the classic rock station that played Bob Seger and Beatles tunes in the day to pay the bills and then snuck in entire B-sides of Zeppelin and Metallica late at night, as long as the ads were getting sold and the Arbitron books confirmed that they were hitting their numbers -- they'd just keep running the thing until the spark went out and then move on to the next number on the dial, just like they'd always done before.Early-era MTV was filled with guys like that.
The only problem is -- MTV isn't a radio station.One of my favorite stories from this period in the network's history is when they brought David Bowie in one day to do an interview, and VJ Mark Goodman sat down with him and essentially said, "Thanks for coming in today and answering a few questions for us today, David," at which point a clearly pissed-off David Bowie jammed a finger in Goodman's face and all but shouted back,
Depending on what source you trust, there are many different explanations as to why MTV was essentially lily-white during it's first few years -- the most popular being the "We were just playing the songs we liked, and most of those artists were rock and roll and new wave bands made up of white kids. It wasn't an intentional slight, it was just the way we'd always worked when we were in radio" defense."Actually, I've got a question for YOU -- Why don't you
ever feature any videos by black artists on this network?"
The odd thing about it is that at one point it was run sort of a pirate radio station. Hardly anyone knew who the Buggles were before MTV showed them to us. Sure, it might have all been part of some larger corporate scheme -- but MTV introduced a lot of us to music we might have otherwise never heard. Most frequently in the forms of scene-specific programming blocks like Headbangers Ball, 120 Minutes, and Yo MTV Raps. Places that for many of us opened the doors to genres and artists we then delved deeper into on our own, especially as the network veered more and more openly corporate over the years.A few months later MTV aired Michael Jackson’s "Billie Jean" -- and we all know what happened after that.
OK, let’s forget for a moment the inexplicable opening sequence with the Uzi-toting guards and the nerdy guy "protecting" the guitar. Lets move past the presence of a working helicopter that surely sucked up all the working budget for the video, thereby requiring the less-than-convincing special effects used to represent the LASER BEAM COMING OUT OF THE GUITAR THAT IS USED TO OPEN THE DOOR OF THE WAREHOUSE, and let's just move right to the heart of the problem, shall we?..And I for one can't help but wonder if the video is one of the reasons why:
If you're in a band where one guy wants to wear a leopard-skin spandexSeriously, is there anything that kills the rock and roll authenticity of this whole video more than the fact that the guy with the moon boots and the guitar that shoots frikkin' laser beams is being backed up by what appears to be a bunch of bank tellers?
jumpsuit, then either you ALL HAVE TO WEAR THEM or no one can.
You laugh now -- but do you want to know what the scariest part of this whole thing is?"Well, the guys and I had a meeting -- and we decided that we're not going to wear them anymore."
"But why!? They look great!"
"No man-- They look stupid."
"The songs about living a Rock and Roll fantasy life! How are we supposed to portray that if you're going out there in button-down shirts!?"
"Hey, we're ready to rock the song, but we just don't ..you know, feel good about the spandex anymore."
"Don't you think it's gonna look a little weird if I'm the only one with one on?"
"That's just it, Aldo -- we were all kinda hoping that maybe you'd go without it, too. At least for the video shoot, you know?"
"Go without it!? Are you crazy? I'm Aldo effing Nova -- Where I go, the spandex goes!"
"Well yeah, but.."
"But nothing! I'm WEARING this. You losers do what you want."
"Come on man, don't be that way."
"You'll see. You'll ALL see. When this video shoot is over, people are going to wanna know where all the rock stars are -- and they're not going to mean you guys. They're going to be looking for the leopard man."
In the very next video the band put out in support of a song called "Monkey on Your Back" –-..They’re all wearing matching jumpsuits.
I'll tell you what though, if they made a funnel for Capri Sun -- my kid would rule every contest.I think that's the key here to helping him really fit in -- make up a flyer to put up by the apartment mailboxes that say, "Bladderbust this Saturday!!" And then invite all the neighborhood children.
So before the entire apartment complex gets together to vote me dad of the year -- here are this weeks risers and fallers, and the buzz as it looks from here.It's gonna be epic. Trust.
Oh man, don’t even get me started. This whole thing has been a clusterfuck from the start, when new Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels offended the tender sensibilities of NFL quarterback Jay Cutler by not only publicly making moves to replace him with his former Patriots protégé Matt Cassell, but then once that cat got out of the bag apparently making remarks directly to Cutler about how he would "never really fit into the new system at all" – leading to the mother of all hissyfits and then this move to trade our Franchise QB away. None of which is supposed to indicate that Cutler or his agent Bus Cook aren't a bunch of whining crybabies (because they certainly are), but simply that there were a multitude of other ways this problem could have been fixed other than a pre-draft day trade. Denver set the price high, demanding at least two first rounders in exchange for Cutler, but when you start throwing around terms like multiple draft picks and "serviceable" signal callers what you’re really saying is rebuilding and as far as this Broncos fan is concerned that’s really not what a team that was on the verge of a playoff berth last season should be working towards. Plus -- Orton’s a stiff. I don’t care what all these talking heads say, if the guy couldn’t win a dedicated starting job away from Rex effing Grossman, then I don’t want him in my backfield. The only way this could possibly turn out well is if we trade picks to get hot rookie prospect Mark Sanchez, but even if we do that (which, btw – hooray, another rookie QB) doesn’t it sort of screw the pooch on the sweet deal we just made? Seriously, I’m not liking this new coach at all. Bring back Dracula. Marcy
Lets play $25,000 Pyramid for a second. I’ll give the clues and you guess the answer. The clue is "Marcy Playground" – at which point like 99.9% of the people in the world would say "Bands who wrote Sex and Candy?" -- and I would begrudgingly say yes, but then I would proceed to rail on you for like an hour for not knowing the rest of their catalog. To be completely fair -- I’m this way with a lot of bands, but on my extensive list of One Hit Wonders who got TOTALLY screwed, Marcy P is up there near the top. Think of it like this: If you liked the idea of Dinosaur Jr. but (like me) found it somewhat annoying that Jay Mascus never seemed to have the motivation to oh I don’t know, wake the hell up long enough to sing coherent-sounding lyrics, then Marcy Playgrounds non-Sex and Candy discography might just be for you. And I know lots of people think Jay Mascus is some sort of indie god or something, but you know what? Screw him. Screw him and his stupid hat. If I want to listen to someone mumble in their sleep over a bunch of major chords I’ll buy a Dylan record. If you want some good-time songs with a post-grunge sound, you could do a lot worse than St. Joe on the Schoolbus or It’s Saturday. The
Speaking of indie rock darlings, Nerf Herder lead singer Parry Gripp runs a song-of-the-week website/YouTube channel where he essentially creates soundtracks for Internet Memes, many of which have turned into viral sensations themselves. One of his latest creations is making the rounds like crazy lately, and although I’m sure to be sick of it tomorrow -– it’s kinda hard to deny the mega-joules of cute that are literally pouring off of this thing. What’s worse, on more than one occasion I’ve caught myself sort of singing it as I munch through the daily salads that have become a part of my latest health food/exercise kick. Despite the fact that I probably sound like a moron singing the thing, I have to admit that it does make a pretty effective soundtrack when trying to power through a stalk of broccoli. Working
I used to have a roommate named Ted. Ted couldn't cook. Ted couldn't cook for shit. But like all roommate situations, there came a point where everyone else in the house got sick of Ted skipping out on things the rest of us had to do -- and one day after we brought down the gauntlet on him Ted agreed to cook us dinner. This was back in college, so Ted went for one of the basic food groups as his first offering -- Kraft Mac and Cheese. We all came home from class to find Ted beaming over his creation, and being hungry college boys we dug in without question, only to find the results foul-tasting and wrong. We asked Ted how he could possibly screw up something as simple as box Macaroni and Cheese, and he seemed flabbergasted. "I followed the instructions perfectly!" he said, but then quickly added "except we were out of milk, so I used some of that nonfat coffee creamer instead." My apartment complex is kinda like that sometimes. After a long time of not having one, they proudly announced the opening of on-site gym facilities. People eagerly flocked to the designated space and discovered a series of treadmills and weightlifting equipment. One little problem though -- the room hasn't been wired for electricity yet, so there are no lights. It's a convenient place to work out before the sun goes down, but after that it's pretty much worthless. I'm sure it will be fixed soon, but until then all I can really say is, "You know what, Ted? Maybe you shouldn't really be cooking after all." Monsters
I don't know -- it was ok. The 3D was really cool (I guess this movie is the trial run for a new process or something) -- but the odd thing about it was that they basically got the formula backwards. Most successful kids movies have this trick they play where in amongst the kid-friendly plotline and character arcs there are sly little jokes aimed at the adults in the room -- Things that the kids themselves aren't probably even aware that they're missing. In contrast, Monsters vs. Aliens was essentially two hours of jokes aimed at mom and dad with a couple of slapstick jokes, Seth Rogan one-liners, and bright flashy colors tossed in for the little ones. Or to put it another way -- I enjoy it just as much as the next guy when Stephen Colbert takes multiple shots at typical Presidential behavior in the face of a crisis -- but I'm pretty sure most of it flew right over my 8 year-old's head. Although my son did say he liked it -- the simple fact is that he hasn't asked for a single movie-related toy from it since, which in my mind is basically a kiss of death review. xtra
This is seriously cool. It's a website that lets you type in lines of text that are then incorporated directly into a short film featuring animated characters. Obviously there are some limitations to the thing in terms of character movement and getting the computer-generated voices to enunciate the lines exactly the way you want them too, but if you're willing to accept that -- you can basically get these cute little animals to say anything you want them too.
I tell you one thing though -- this letting him win at all the video games part?..Yeah, that ain't gonna last much longer.