Friday, December 29, 2006

Coming Back

So my films of 2006 list probably won't be published until I see more films from 2006. It has been a pretty week year. However, I did just see one of the best films I have seen in a long time (probably since Brick.) This film will also give Brick a run for its money as best film of 2006. From Pedro Almodovar comes Volver, his new comedy about life, death, ghosts and women. With an amazing cast of women and a quirky story, the idea of small town life, death, insanity and family is studied with a really funny and dark eye.

The thing about Almodovar that makes his work so good is the flow of his stories. They are quirky just like Jean Pierre Juenet, but obviously with a Spanish flair. The opening scene where all these women are cleaning the grave stones of their dead husbands and relatives is flat out hilarious. The whole movie, every character is another version of that character. Most of the women are, or become, widows, were abused by their fathers or by other men, have many questions about their own identity but all are powerful role models who are close to each other and their families. The cast spans three generations of one family and they have a beautiful relationship.
This film also proves that Penelope Cruz can actually act. She is astonishing in this. She may be a gorgeous face, but thanks to this movie, I now know she is more than just that. She isn't very good in English speaking roles, so Penelope, stick to Spanish roles. This one should land her an Oscar nod at the very least if not an actual award (unless Helen Mirren takes it for The Queen), but at least Penelope is playing a unique and original character. I'm still half and half on actors playing other people and winning the awards for it. Some original characters need to get noticed!
This film will probably be up for screenplay and foriegn film as well. Should win both as Almodovar one for Talk to Her a few years back. This movie might be better than that one.
So as of now, before I see anymore films, these are the hopefuls for my top films of the year in no order:
Neil Young: Heart of Gold
Thank You For Smoking
Inside Man
The Departed
Movies I still need to see that I bet will make the cut:
Pan's Labrinth
Children of Men
Letters From Iwa Jima
The Prestige
The Good Shephard
Any other suggestions of movies I should see before I do this? It's gonna be a while till I see all of these esp. since The Prestige is probably gone from all theaters.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


For my next list, I will share the one thing that I will one day spend good money on: Travel.

There is nothing better than a well planned trip to another country/state/city that you have never seen. I plan on continuing my world travels throughout my life. So far, I have accomplished two of my top places to see and recently saw the need to rehab my "Must See" list of places. I have already been to Italy, Greece, Austria and Switzerland with the first two being major must sees that are now complete. Needless to say, I plan on re-visiting all of these places with Italy being a return trip in June of 2007. Can't wait. Now on to the ones I need to see.

10. Glacier National Park- Montana isn't exactly a state I would want to live in, but Glacier National Park looks so amazingly gorgeous that I have to see it for myself. I haven't been many places in the states and the latter half of this list will probably consist mostly of those places (because I like foreign countries more), but something about Glacier really intrigues me. It's beautiful and when I was a youngster, I used to want to do environmental studies and geological stuff so I definitely have a weird obsession with that kind of stuff. The USA has some amazing places to see and I think this is one of the ones you never hear about.

9. Arches National Park- I guess I'm a big fan of this park due to good ol' John Ford westerns, but the monuments and arches of Utah boggle my mind. They seem almost not of this planet yet they are right here in the USA. The arches are so memorable from film that westerns became cliched because of the unique structures and backdrops that the arches became due to those movies. Being a film lover, it's almost like visiting the set of a film, yet it's nature too. Double edged sword of yes.

8. Paris, France- Kind of a new one to the list (as is number 5) but something about the city of light wants me to visit it. Maybe I'm a moth and I don't know it. But Paris is a gorgeous city from what I've heard and being a fan of anything European, I definitely want to see it sometime. And maybe sometime soon. I wish I could just travel all the time. Maybe I need a job that allows me to do that. From the Eifell Tower to the Boulevard St. Germaine... I want to see it. Also, the Louvre, which I believe is in Paris, if not I will still go to it, is one of my must sees and actually high up there with the next few monuments and other such places. Art has been a big changing factor in my interests as of late and what better place to see art then The Louvre. Anyone want to come with me? I don't know... the French are assholes.

7. Giza, Egypt- This one may never be accomplished thanks to US/Middle East tensions, but the Pyramids in Giza are something I need to see in person. Pictures of things like this and my #5 are awesome, but garunteed to be totally breathtaking when you actually see it. Just like the David statue or the Sistine Chapel's frescos, you have to witness it first hand. Any man made structure from days of yore is something to see. The Acropolis was sweet ass and I'm sure Giza will trump that. Plus I want to see if it will be some weird other wordly experience since Aliens created them years ago and such. Maybe I'll find the Stargate... It may just be a pile of sand and rocks, but it's still something that I bet is much more awesome in person than in pictures.

6. Tokyo, Japan- For a while, I didn't really want to go to Japan because, well, it's a whole different world and culture unlike anyhtring European and so I wasn't interested. But now, after movies and such about that very topic, I feel as if maybe I need a strange place to visit to see just how complex the human species really is. As a whole, Europe and the USA are the same thing (except that Europe has a much more interesting history and is cleaner.) I've never been anywhere that wasn't Western. So maybe an Eastern country will give me a better world view. Japan from what I hear is awesome. A ton of things to do, very nice people and safe and clean. The major thing that makes me not want to go their sooner is the language barrier. With European counries, I feel more people peak english and I can understand some Italian/Spanish if I try or can leanr common phrases in German or other Euro languages much easier than, say, Mandarin or Japanese. That is pretty tough to learn for travelling, but it won't stop me for wanting to go.

5. Machu Picchu, Peru- In the vein of the Pyramids except much more green. Machu Pichu supposedly takes a few hours to drive to, but the payoff would be breathtaking. Here is the way I would do it:
"Another option is to hike the Inca Trail, on either a four-day or two-day version, both of which are controlled by the government. They require travelers to be reasonably fit. The trip takes a few days, and involves sleeping in tents."
This would probably be the best way to experience the trip. Get a group of likely candidates to trek it up to the ruins. I love hiking and the four day journey would be something of a sweet retreat. Any takers?

4. London, England- I was originally going to lump the British Isles together, but I want to give these two proper justice. Lowest on the list, yet still top five material is London. I hear nothing but great things about London. I really want to visit all the British Rock and Roll history, like famous clubs where The Who and The Stones have played and whatnot. Also, London is high up because BAM! no language barrier. I have traveled to countries where lanquage got in the way of a 100% awesome time. People in other European countries do speak English, but I feel very narrow minded not knowing their language. So London would probably be a lot more comfortable even though they have different words for things. But that would easy be able to get over. Muller was there last year and my parents went and said nothing but good stuff so it gets its own seperate trip.

3. Prague, Czech Republic- I love medieval cities. Medieval architecture is probably my favorite this side of the classic Greek white washed villages. The cities of Europe that date back to the middle ages are gorgeous. Prague is probably the most beautiful one I've seen pictures of. The city is showcased in tons of movies for its windy streets and gorgeous bridges and buildings. It's something of a site to see. Also, they had recent crazy flooding that threatened some of the structures just a few years ago so I believe it is a big priority I see Prague before it can get destroyed. Hopefully it won't, but to be safe, I'm going to check it out sooner than later. Also, any city that is famous for having hundreds of Gargoyles is a place I want to czech out.

2. Ireland- So no set exact city in Ireland. I want to see all of it. Maybe even Belfast, but before you judge me for wanting to see those traitors from the north...

Ireland is the other half of my heritage. Don't let the Greek name confuse you. I'm 50% McIrish. I can hold my whiskey as well as my ouzo. I love my potatoe's just as much as my spanikopita. So SHUT IT! Anyway, the Emerald Isle is the other half of the kind of Europe I love. Sweeping green grass. Greece is pretty dry and not too many plants and trees. Ireland is gorgeous from what all my buddies who have been to have said. Lou posted amazing pictures from his trip on his blog earlier this year and it made me want to go even more. It seems most of the people I am really close with have been there and thats the one thing they have one-up on me in travels around the world. I'd like to boast my several times in Europe, but I haven't even been to an English speaking country yet! What's my problem? I'm thinking 2010 will be when I can feesibly go. I'm going back to Italy with the family in 2007 and 2009 is my possible year abroad in Greece staying mostly in my dad's home town. So I need to get the ball rolling on Ireland. Maybe when I purchase my ticket back home I will plan some time in Ireland in 2009. Maybe I'll split my adventure year between these two places. Who knows. Regardless, I need to see the motherland as I have seen the fatherland.

1. Australian Outback- I don't even care about the cities of Australia as much as I want to see the Outback. I know its pretty much like a desert, but ya know what, I have a reason to want to see Australia. It's called nostalgia. I have never been there but ever since I was five years old, I have been obsessed with Australia, namely Uluru. What is Uluru you might ask? It's more popularly known as Aeyers Rock, but it is a rock formation that is sacred to some of the aboriginal tribes that live in the Outback. In a relatively flat area of land, there is a giant rock stucture. For some reason, this seems amazing and is something I have always wanted to see in the flesh. Not to mention just to travel in a totally different area of the world and still be able to speak English again makes it more desirable to see. And although I stress the outback, I heard amazing stories of Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef from Jack when he went there a few years ago. It's a rugged culture that I relate to for some reason. There is a side of me that just loves nature and the natural world beyond my love of music and film that seems to over power that. But as you can see in this list, both culture and nature are two things that drive the passion in my life.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ten Proper Nouns

10 Proper Nouns that impacted my life in 2006:

10)Mononucleosis- Should be number one, but this goddamn virus almost ruined my life, but gave me a presepective on death, illness, sicknesss unto death, getting down with the sickness and having a liscense to ill. For that reason it makes the list, but I ain't giving it #1. However much it sucked that I was laid up for a month and then some, it gave me a time of solitude that definitely was enriching in a somewhat depressing way. And a quick not to whoever gave me this: FUCK YOU AND I HOPE YOU DIE IN DARFUR! I think things would have been much different if I didn't get mono, but for some strange reason, I'm sort of thankful for that shitty experience.

9) Fighting Cock, Rolling Rock and Citra- Nothing like cheap liquor, beer and wine. The flavor revolution has begun. And I can save money! Fighting Cock was 103 proof and like 15 bucks for a bottle, Rolling Rock is tasty and usually costs 2 bucks at the bar or $5.99 for a twelve pack of longnecks and Citra is a tasty 2005 red wine that is $3.79 cents at Total Wine. I have a job, but cheap drunk nights are always welcomed especially when it comes to things that are good and cheap. Many a night in Kevner's basement, out to dinner with the rents or down teh shore have been enhanced by these tasty brews. The only problems here is the fact that 1)Fighting Cock can't be found anywhere in Jersey anymore.. that was a one time deal. 2) Rolling Rock is moving from Latrobe and 3)Citra was bastardized by someone who recommended it and turned out to be a phony.

Fuck that! They are cheap and tasty! They rule!

8) The Met- So this was the best (and possibly one of three) date(s) that I went on during the year of 2006 and I love museums. But this one, out of all of the museums I have been to in the USA is the best. When you get to get close-up to a Dali painting, or a Piccaso and study the brush strokes, you just get some strange invigorating feeling. The Asian art section was super cool. It was set-up like you were in a Tea House or something in China. My personal favorite was the special exhibit they had on Robert Rauschenberg. His stuff was mixed media which included stuffed birds, cars, tires, paint and anything else really. Some of it was haunting, some of it was really just neato. For a long time, I really didn't dig all that kind of modern art, but this hit me. And I thank the Met for the great presentation that it was.

7) Snakes on a Plane- What would 2006 have been like if it weren't for Samuel L. doing his finest role this side of Deep Blue Sea? I don't really know. Regardless, Snakes on a Plane was not only the biggest summer event (more fun than my birthday) but it became a cult film before it was even released. I hadn't seen a single screen shot or clip for this movie and already planned on going to opening night bombed out of my skull. It was also the catalyst for copius amounts of awesome fake trailers, clips, posters and "spin-off" films like Sharks on a Rollercoaster or Snakes on Billy Zane. It was surreal. And then when it came out and I was drinking rum in the theater and chanting "SNAKE VISION!" and enjoying the balls out of it, it was even more rewarding then I could have ever imagined. Kudos, Sam Jax. I can't wait till Jan. 2 when the DVD comes out. I'm gonna buy it and let the drinking games commence!

6) BroG!- SO without this man's retardedly awesome American Media class, I would not have been able to accomplish the following things: making a final project based on the Y2K tape, filming a scavenger hunt short film that won me 2nd place in the Charlie's and a cool $75 bucks (soon to be on youtube... it's coming), run around the classroom singing CSNY's "Ohio" whilst reinacting the brutal shootings at Kent State with paperballs and army fatigues, galavanting around New York and leaving a student behind (fuck you, Bush), seeing him flip out over a Little Nicky clip in a shitty presentation care of Megaclef and many other joyous moments. I was glad to have him for class because, well, it was quite the spectical. My class was stacked with awesome people that I wouldn't have met and enjoyed times with without said class. Also, going to the bars with Brog was quite the great times.

5) Electric Six- So I pretty much have seen this band four times, but only three times (so far... one more time before the end of the year, biatches) in 2006. As far as entertainers go, E6 has proven to be one of the best. Besides their albums which are great, they have a live show that is one of the greatest times I have ever had. They constantly play (as seeing them 4 times in one year warrants) and they are always cheap tickets. 14 bucks to get into an awesome disco punk dance party sounds pretty excellent to me. The newest album Switzerland wasn't brilliant, but it still rocks and is so much fun. It made my albums list because, well, the songs are fun and they sound amazing live. They opened with "There's Something Very Wrong With Us So Let's Go Out Tonight" into "Dance Epidemic" in DC and it was amazing. Dick Valentine knows how to work a crowd and the rest of the band brings their brand of music with a kick.

4) Maximum Carnage!!- Although originated in 2005, Carnage was the slogan on 2006. It led me through terrible courses in college like my Mass Comm Seminar. It was the embodiment of my Senior Year. It led to the official film of Max Carnage (A History of Violence), the official band of Max Carnage (Gwar), the Official Soda of Max Carnage (Surge), the official youtube video (originally the Nintendo 64 video, but dethroned by this masterpiece) and to other things be claimed worthy of the highest level of carnage. Our Mass Comm Seminar group was about violence, so naturally we named ourselves Team Maximum Carnage. In our final boring survey project, I donned a wolf mask and hosted a show entitled Maximum Carnage Theater. It was a silly absurd phrase, but everyone enjoyed screaming it. So next time you feel so inclined, smash someones face in Viggo style after downing a 2-Liter of Surge.

3) Richard Russo's Straight Man- This was one of the only things that kept me going while #10 ravaged my body earlier this year. Reading in general has helped me a lot this year. I read some amazing books, but none so flat out hilarious as this one. Straight Man is about a professor going through a mid-life crisis. He has fantasies about a student, is worried about losing his job (even though he's tenured) and threatens to kill a duck a day unless he is given the budget he wants for the English department... all while wearing the fake nose and glasses gag. He gets on the local news, gets his co-workers pissed and hilarity ensues. Even the opening epilogue which has a pet dog dying is hilarious. It's definitely the book of the year for me even though its not from this year. I need someone to make this a movie. Like, now.

2) Chez Geek & Apples to Apples- Thanks to Danno and Ryan (respectively to those games), the slacker revolution has been re-ignited with such epic party games. First, Chez Geek is just what it sounds like. It's a card game. You get a job, you buy weed, booze, food, cigs and other stuff, you sleep, watch TV and go bar hopping and you can get live in significant others, and other friendly guests to your apartment OR you can invite shitty people over to runi you roomates day. The entire idea of the game is based on slacking off more than someone else (one job card is a Slacker!) What more could you want! It's pretty nerdaliscious, but hey... I yam what I yam and it's fun to play a game that reflects my reality. We play it at bars, in attics and basements and get drunk whilst doing it. No harm in a little fun. Another game that made this year hilarious was Apples to Apples. This game permutated into a monster of a game. Originally, the only point is to pick words that match up well with adjectives, which is fun when someone submits the word AIDS for the adjective funny. Then we tweaked it and made custom rounds where we made up Beck lyrics, did this is the new this and Snakes on a Plane sequels that would blow your mind. It was a social revolution. And a very good one at that.

1) Hink on the Guero- A few years ago, it was the Viper, this year, it's the Hink face. In all it's glory and all it's absurdity, the Hink face has been the embodiment of this year. I mean, whats better than sneaking behind someone and giving them the hink? It's so great. The Trout wishes it was the hink, and comes close to being as awesome, but The Hink Face has spread to random groups and random people. Warren Minnix LOVES the Hink. Sarah Deal LOVES the hink. I can't wait to teach my 4 year old cousins this face on the day after christmas. It's going ot be mind numbing. So, why is the Hink #1? It's probably the one universal thing that can make someone laugh and all my friends from several social circles have embraced it. It led to great Paint jobs like the one to the right. it's led to people flying into barstools or other furniture, it's led to many a story of Buks and Manatees. It's the solidifying gesture of 2006.

Here's hopin' 2007 can top this! Although all these things rule, it was a pretty harsh year. Onward and Upward!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

It's called you can take it with you

So Wednesday was the Lemonheads concert at the North Star. God I love that venue. Anyway, the night started with some Yards and yet another random encounter with a girl I know dated one of my friends and ended in an awkward big bang of sorts. Good thing I had long hair then and am pretty much invisible now to random people I met whence the locks were in place. Anyway, the first band to play was called Hymns. It was kind of a lame name for a band. But I'm glad they played as they did a mean cover of Neil Young's "Don't Cry No Tears" from Zuma which was the highlight of their longer-then-it-needed-to-be set. The other reason why I was glad Hymns played was because the next band on the line-up was simply named Vietnam. Hmns and Vietnam. Doesn't get much better than that.

So it was this...
Then this...

Then this...

Anyway, the guys in Vietnam take the stage. They looked like they were going to rollick with some insanely loud, obnoxious punk. However, that was not the case. Vietnam was a classicly rock sounding jammy band that had some amazing hooks and awesome stage presence. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a guy wandering to and fro drinking Stella and I immediately ID him as none other than Evan Dando of the nights headlining act, The Lemonheads (duh.) He kept chugging away and wandering the crowd pretty much incognito. Anyway at one point he walks in front of me and stands next to Kevner right on the edge of the stage. He stumbles back into me and apologizes. THen turns around and goes "Isn't this band awesome?" Of course I agreed because, well, they were. Anyway, it was just fun to see Evan Dando wandering around.

So the Lemonheads crew is setting up and the guy plops down a huge 2-pager set-list filled with amazing song selections including and not limited to "Hannah and Gabi", "Rudderless", The Turnpike Down", "The Great Big No" and new tracks like "Pittsburgh" and "Let's Just Laugh." He gets on stage, stumbles over his words ridiculously and Kevner, Ryan and myself know that its gonna be good. He kicks it off with "Confetti" which if you saw the set-list was the second song to be played. The rest of the night was a train-wreck of jumping all over the place and such to rock out songs. He played songs so out of the order that was on the set-list that it was a free for all. It was glorious. At one point when he was really drunk, he fell over and demanded the roadie hold his mic up to him for the next song. He started to replay a song he already did. Halfway through the song "Tenderfoot", he stops playing and is like, "wait a second... we did this one!" Overall the show was a delightful riotous train wreck of sorts. The tour has 2 more dates so it was nice to see artists just having fun and getting blackout and playing songs they dont really want to play. He even did "Mrs. Robinson" with some douche fag from the audience "doing the vocals" even though he didn't know the lyrics. What an ass. It sucked too because the girl he was psuedo with (we still aren't too sure about that as she looked both displeased to be associated with him and was ignoring this kid in a Cobra shirt [I bet that was the only draw]) was amazingly gorgeous and sweet. Plus when Ryan screamed "Play some Toadies", she turned and was like "that was my first concert! Are they even still touring?" What an awesome lady. Anyway, they closed with "Rudderless" than attempted to plug a casio into his guitar amp, a hollow bodied into the bass amp and Sir Dando started playing a lefty bass but put it on like it was a right handed bass so the strings were facing his chest. We left about 3 minutes into the riot that was happening on stage as it was kinda hard to watch and we assumed it was done since it was like 1:20am.

In other news, new animal added to the extinction list. That kinda rules because it was a freshwater dolphin... and you know what dolphins can do.

Last night was Kildare's in the Yunk this time for Alicia of Psy D @ La Salle university fame. That ruled. I didn't want to leave as the attractive lady quotient was through the roof. Dancing was done, the sandwich sucked, but the Guiness was as always tasty.

Today is yet another work Christmas party. That should rule. Dinner at the Bistro. No money, no honey. All expenses paid.

It's going to be a good weekend. Saturday, work and then probably the Arbor Records Christmas show. Sunday is work then Back to Back to Back to the Future at Mullers. Monday is work, but I have off Tuesday so that means I need to get blackout monday night.

Christmas is right around the corner too. Jesus. I can't even belize it.

Until next time.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Top Albums of 2006

Year in Review 2006! The best albums!

Honorable Mention 1- The Decemberists "The Island/Come And See/Landlord's Daughter/You'll Not Feel The Drowning" off of The Crane Wife.- I like the Decemberists and the album as a whole is good, but this song definitely marks the peak of the band's career. Redefining indie folk with it's complex lyrics, it's ornate structure and haunting ending. It might be bad news from here on out for these guys as it overshadows almost everything I heard them record. It seems with this much power behind one 11 minute song, the rest of the album can easily be forgotten. Well, minus "The Perfect Crime 2." But this sounds like a Talking Heads rip-off.

Honorable Mention 2- The Who's Endless Wire- So I love the Who and this album is really great. It's a new Who feel, but there are other albums that need to be noted before this one just because I am a die hard fan. The songs fit in well with the old classics live, but it's a new Who that I'm not 100% attuned to yet. It will happen soon enough as more and more of the tracks on the disc are in my LOVE LOVE LOVE list, but it's still something missing.

11. Lemonheads- So usually when one says that an artist's new album has changed much, that seems like a bad thing. Well, when that artist is the Lemonheads and they finally release an album after a few years of nothing (Car Button Cloth was in '97), it's a welcome return to form. Lemonheads, aptly named as their comeback to what they are, is a time warp to the mid 90's alt rock that they defined (for the most part.) With touches of punk rock, basic production, greatly down to earth and personal lyrics and not missing a beat throught the album as you get socked in the face with some J. Masics guitar craftsmanship and Evan Dando's backyard lyrics, gah... it's just great. I can't stress how much I love these guys.

Standout Tracks- "Become the Enemy", "Pittsburgh", "Rule of Three"

10. Muse- Black Holes and Revelations - Muse writes epics. That's that. They don't relaly stray far from the last few albums and thankfully they didn't. It's between powerhouse guitar hooks, bone-crushing drum beats and ear popping bass thumps that will get you grooving. The main thing they do different here is try a few different genre touches to their already post-apocalyptic rock feel. Songs infused with Prince qualities and straight up social commentary acoustic songs are spruced within the usual Muse framework of the album that make this one a special treat.
Standout Tracks- "Supermassive Black Hole", "Starlight" "Soldoer's Poem"

9. Electric Six- Switzerland/Senor Smoke- I include both here because I didn't include Senor last year since we ahd to import it and steal it from the interweb. Senor Smoke released finally to the USA in the spring and Switzerland given to us in the fall. Yes. 2006 for me was the year of E6. I will see them 4 times in 2006 alone with 5 concerts under my belt in a span of one year and two and a half months. The only thing that we can safely say about E6 is that they are pure fun and that's that. They don't really bring substance to their songs (which isn't exactly true... some social commentary, but it's mostly tongue in cheek politicism.) They only bring the party. Switzerland can lag at some points, but it's still a solid album.
Standout Tracks:
Senor Smoke- " Devil Nights", "Dance Epidemic", "Future is in the Future"
Switzerland- "Slices of You", "I Buy the Drugs", "Night Vision"

8. Secret Machines- Ten Silver Drops - Usually a band will slump in their sophmoric release. Secret Machines decided to say s*ck it to the phrase sophmore slump and deliver yet another amazingly spacey and tasty album. Ten Silver Drops has an isolated darkness to it that the first album did not have. THe songs are about loss, heartbreak and distance from the ones you love. This was generated throught their last tour for their debut. The music is still grandiose and beautifully produced and played. Filled with melodies and harmonies that melt your ear drums, their ain't a single wrong thing with this album.
Standout Tracks- "Faded Lines" "Daddy's in the Doldrums" "Lightining Blue Eyes"

7. Paul Simon- Surprise - When Mr. Simon teams up with Mr. Eno, you get the goods. This album is as far away from any other Paul Simon I have ever heard, yet it still has that touch of Simon's clever lyrics and subdued guitar playing. It also has a spacey ambient element thanks to the production of Brian Eno. With social commentary, love songs and songs of sheer joy at the birth of his new child, the songs still have the meaning and strength that we love from Paul Simon. It's just a reinvention of an amazing sound that came out of left field. I feel as if this album has gone virtually unheard of by anyone and heard nothing of it when it came out earlier this summer, but I feel the need to tell you to get it.
Standout Tracks- "Everything About It Is A Love Song", "Another Galaxy"

6. Cursive- Happy Hollow- Shit. How did I forget this!! Anyway, a late edition making this a top "these go to" eleven list of albums. Cursive was introduced to me via the Ugly Organ, Kev Ketners all time favorite album. It was so awesome that I had to get more of this bands material. Their b-sides and rare stuff disc was ok, but I was yearning for that pseudo-rock opera feel that The Ugly Organ had. Well, Happy Hollow delivered the money, and I really love this album. Like, a lot. I listened to it non-stop for about 3 weeks when I got it from Giles. It's themes of suburban demons and blatant problems with the catholic church definitely were a delightful backdrop to tell the story of the small titular fictional town. The songs rock, the added horn section fits in well and lead singers lyrics and vocals were at a blistering all time rock factor that I really got behind. So sorry you were forgotten at first, but thanks to a random thought I remembered that you needed to be on this list.

Standout Tracks- "Dorothy at Forty", "Bad Sects", "So-So Giggolo"

5. Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton- Knives Don't Have Your Back- The woman behind Metric and a member of the prolific Broken Social Scene goes psuedo-solo on this album and revels on the death of her father. The songs are dripping with melancholy much in the way Beck's Sea Change. Ms. Haines drops the keyboards and picks up the piano and the rest is history. This dark horse top 10 candidate is definitely an amazing peice of music. I can;'t express enough my love for Emily Haines. It really is a triumph to be able to go from
Standout Track- "Doctor Blind", "Our Hell", "The Maid Needs a Maid"

4. Sonic Youth- Rather Ripped - Sonic Youth has created a newish sound for themselves in the latter half of their career. Dropping most of the ridiculous distortion and anger and picking up more a sense of ambience is a great move for them. They still are edgy, but they have a more accessible and awesome sound. Rather Ripped is a step better than Sonic Nurse from a few years back. It just has better songs overall. Their live concert this year was pretty amazing. The new records might have a subdued atmosphere, but they still can pack a punch when they want to. A band that has been around for 25 years can still put out amazing stuff.
Standout Track- "Incinerate", "Do You Believe In Rapture", "Pink Steam"

3. Built to Spill- You in Reverse- Why isn't this bad more popular? Beats the hell out of me. Built to Spill is the reason rock and roll is not dead. With the feel of Neil Young and other great rockers of the 70's but with an updated jammier feel, You in Reverse has a modern rock and roll feel that is so awesome. Not a single bad song on this album. The guitar work is some of the best around and the lyricism is poetic and gorgeous. For some reason, I feel like Built to Spill will get recognition later in their life, even though they are already more than 10 years deep in that said career. This music is timeless.
Standout Track- "Goin' Against Your Mind", "Traces", "Conventional Wisdom"

2. The Flaming Lips, At War With the Mystics - I don't know why this album seemed to not get as much praise when it came out from fans of the Lips and others, but At War With The Mystics is pretty damn great. Although the first two tranks are jaunty and strange, they still rule with their world view and politically charged nature. The rest of the album flows just as beautifully as any other Lips album and this one is lacking that rock opera feel that the last two Lips albums had. Each song has its own identity, yet they work together. I feel like I will never get old of these songs. I won't hate their hilarious moments and their heartbreaking moments ever. It's silly, psychedelic and touching all in one package.

Standout Tracks- "It Overtakes Me...", "My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion", "Vein of Stars"

1. Yo La Tengo- I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass- Again, a terrible album name, but don't let that fool you. The songs contained on this disc are all amazing. An album of schizophrenic genre changing, it might be a little harsh for the first listen. The first song is a ten minute guitar jam that abruptly ends and goes into a jaunty piano riff with goofy lyrics and lyric delivery. It has 60's Brit invasion tunes, ambient piano ballads, songs with ridiculous horn sections and avante garde shoegazing. For any Tengo fan, this is a true gem among their albums (if not their best?) For a musical adventuerer, this is a workout that you will appreciate. For someone who knows neither of those feelings, stay away. It's pretty intense at times with how much of a 180 the songs will take. It's a welcome thing, in my opinion, but for most it wouldn't be. Go out and get it! I swear, it's awesome and it tops my 2006 list.

Standout Tracks- "Mr. Tough", "Black Flowers", The Room Got Heavy",

As you may have noticed, several amazing albums did not make the cut. Beck's The Information, Thom Yorke's The Eraser and RHCP's Stadium Arcadium are not on this list. I love those three albums, but Beck lost steam for my listening surprisingly fast, The Eraser is too moody for me to love it all the time and Stadium Arcadium is better song based than album based... with 28 awesome tracks. Needless to say, they deserve mention, but they don't make the list. Sorry guys.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Guilty Pleasures

George sent me a forward with his top 5 guilty pleasure songs. It was pretty awesomely guilty with songs by Creed, Kelly Clarkson, Phil "The Schill" Collins and even that Panic! @ The Disco shit song. So I had a hard time coming up with music because I'm not guilty about some of the crappy stuff I listen to, but I know it's cheesey and lame and un-music-snobbish which I guess sometimes I can come off as. So here is a list (yeah... im gonna be doing some lists again.. helps me quit the writers block) of my top 10 guilty pleasures in media. Not just music. Movies, TV, whatever.

10. Three's Company- It wasn't until I saw this on TV Land one night hanging with a nice gal from Jefferson that I forgot how much this show ruled. John Ritter and Jack Klugman were really the only actual great draws of the show, but the classic 70's sitcom jokes and overacting are just too amazing for me to not love. I figured watching it now that I'm older and more into good programming if not any programming at all, that it would suck. Nah dude. The show was still deliciously funny in its reused joke way. Great slapstick and Three Stooges routines tagged in with tons of sexual innuendo is a recipie for yes.

RIP John Ritter. You were pretty friggin great.

And no offense Don Knotts, but Jack Klugman is much better than you ever could have been.

9. U2's Pop- Oh boy. Let the complaints fly. So this is where U2 started to suck, yet I friggin' love it. Since when did a band that made respectable pop rock-and-roll music decide to do an almost unclassifiable genre of music? It's not quite dance pop or even quite new wave or techno. It's... just strange. It's addictive, it's fun, and it's lame. So I have to include it. That and I own the CD. Yes, I have a hard copy of it. Ugh. Gotta love every sappy lame second. "Discotecque" and "Staring at the Sun" are great singles, yet the unclassifiable sound stays strong throught the whole album. The song "Please" is somewhat pathetic in a glorious way. I can't handle how much I love it. It's been a while since I popped it in, so I think its time to relive the magic.

8. Anything Amanda Bynes touches (hopefully me someday [is she legal?])- This is probably the most embarassing and should be number one, but it's less of I actually like this stuff and more I have private jokes that stem back to Wow Video days about What a Girl Wants. Regardless, of all the teeny-bopper actresses out there, Ms. Bynes is a true winner. Well, not really. Her show the Amanda Show... really fucking annoying yet I couldn't not watch it on a Satruday night at Wow to halt the looping of a preview tape. That and What a Girl Wants were my saving grace. WaGW is surprisingly funny and clever with so much Colin Firth that I can't handle it. I really need to see She's the Man.

7. Heart's entire catalogue- Preemptive shut up to Drew Lazor. The Wilson sisters know how to rock. And songs like "Magic Man", "Crazy on You" and "Straight On" or so delisciously processed 70's anthem rock with a touch of estrogen that you would think I should hate it. Nah dude. Love em and am pretty proud of it. So they aren't really a guilty pleasure, but they are because I know people will harsh on Heart. Well, don't. They are great. Check out some videos of them in the glory days too. They are HOT too! Until they got huge. Then they weren't as much.

6. Huey Lewis and the News- The epitome of cheesey 80's pop music, yet somehow really great musically. Huey has an awesome voice, strangely hardcore stage prescence (yes, i've watched concert movies of The News) and his backing band rules. "Hip to be Square" was a childhood favorite thanks to the show Square One on PBS. Remember that shit? I hated math, but Huey could make me like it. "Heart and Soul" was one of my anthems of 2004, the best year of all time. "The Heart of Rock and Roll" is so bad it rules, "If This Is It" has harmonies straight form the heavens. Oh man, and don't forget his amazing scene in Back to the Future and his TWO awesome songs from the song (mainly "Power of Love".) It never ends how great Huey is.

5. Lionel Ritchie- More of a sentimental thing, but Lionel holds a place in my heart forever. Between the funny centerfolds in his vinyl records and the amazingly awesome 80's style rythm and blues (if you can even call it that), Lionel is just the man. He also seems like an amazing guy. In interviews he doesn't take himself seriously and his videos are equally as tongue in cheek rediculous.

4. The Cardigans' "Love Fool"- All of the Cardigans stuff rules, but my sick obsession with "Lovefool" is scary. It has nothing to do with the shitty movie it was in and has nothing to do with anything that is nostalgia based. It's just an infectious song. Not to mention Nina Persson has an amazingly sexy voice. Anything from the Nordic countries is solid gold easy action sweet sassy malassy yestival in my head. Especially "Love Fool"

3. Phil Collins- Between his solo acts and his time in Genesis, this man accomplished making more cheesey goodness music than any other artist of all time. His voice is so freaking creepy and his bald headed shrimpy stature freaks me out. But man can this man write a catchy fucking song. "I Can't Dance" has some of the most retarded lyrics ever... "Young punk spilling beer on my shoes, Fat guys talking to me trying to steal my blues. Thick smoke, see her smiling through. I never thought so much could happen just shooting pool." Not that much really happened there, Phil. Yet I can't stop listening to it. "Invisivle Touch", GOULD! "Sussudio"... YES. MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE! My God I should not enjoy this as much as I do. Yet here I am blasting this at work... right now, I'm alone in the office. Now if THAT'S not a guilty pleasure, I don't know what is.

2. Soap Opera's- Now these last two are really guilty. I have to admit it, ever since I was little, I was forced into watching these pieces of shit. After that many years, you learn to love them. Between All My Children and General Hospital, I can still pick up story lines and characters and get sucked right back into watching them. Thank God I work during the day because it's really a love hate ordeal here, but you just can't stop watching. The over-the-top drama, the insane implausible storylines and the sexy chicks make it worth it. I am still working on an essay comparing Soap Opera's and Professional Wrestling because they are the same thing except one doesn't have greased up, jacked up dudes beating the shit out of others like them. Regardless, they are both sucky. But ya gotta love it.

1. MTV's Next- Oh boy. So bad. So So So So bad. Yet when I see it on a Saturday and a marathon continues, it's the end of my weekend. I get sucked in so hardcore that its hard to stop. Next, for those who don't know, is the most insane dating show MTV has ever had on the air. a lucky gal/girl gets to choose when their date ends and then they get another person (with a cap of 5 dates). So if some chick comes off the bus and is busted as balls, you can say NEXT! and they have to about face (*but not before they get all bitchy at you) and get back on the bus. The kicker here is if you last any amount of time, you get that much in cash. So if you are on a date for 45 minutes and get nexted, BANG-O! SHOW ME THE MONEY! Now, if the contestant gets asked on a second date, they now get the upper hand. They can either say "Sure I'll go out with you again" OR say "Fuck that, give me the greenbacks." This leads to some excellent excellent situations. My personal all time favorite was this:
Some toolio OC fag is on the beach waiting for his first lady. She gets off the bus, walks about 75 yards down the beach to meet this guy and he Next's her right after seeing her horseface. She walks her skanky ass back to the bus. Next girl comes out. She has a tube top on and her gut is flapping in the wind. She is about 60 yards away, not even close enough to see his face and he cups his hands around his mouth and screams "NEXT!" Wow. What a dick. Doesn't even let her See him. The money show was later on when the ladies are talkin about him the one asks "What does he look like?" First girl makes some dumb comment that he was the ugliest man ever. The second girl goes "I don't know what he looks like, I didn't get close enough to see his face." YES! GIVE ME MORE FEED FEED FEED! It's so bad that you have to watch. The lines they feed these 20 somethings are amazing and the idiots they find are great. No wonder Leo hates Cali to an extent. The gene pool are all douchebags and sorority whores. Next has to be my #1 guilty pleasure.

So that's that. Several days in the works, it is now complete.

Now. Discuss. What are your guilty pleasures?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Does it look like I give a damn?

I got around to seeing a movie this weekend with mi madre and it was quite entertaining. That of course was Casino Royale, the latest of the new James Bond films. As a moderate fan of the Bond films (mainly Connery and Brosnan era), I was very excited to see one of my favorite newcomers, Daniel Craig, don the ol' Tux and sip down martini's. I had read reviews that he played Bond a little differently and I am glad he did. The new Bond is like the new Batman/Bruce Wayne. He's dark, foreboding, a smart-ass, reckless and vulnerable. He sweats, bleeds, almost dies and actually gets weakened by the ladies. He falls in love (GASP! WHAT?!) and he is a new hired gun who makes mad mistakes. Just fresh from getting his Double 0 , he gets into some trouble when he is seen killing an "unarmed" suspect. The opening chase sequence on foot is amazing to watch. For once, their are less visual effects (CGI that is), more stunts and more suspense. As far as other Bond conventions go, their is no Moneypenny (I could care less about her, but they do refrence the name in a quick one liner), no Q (he's dead and John Cleese wasn't cutting it [no offense Mr. Cleese]), less gadets or ridiculous reliabilities from Bond (it's more ass kicking and one shot deals to the face then the usual bullet frenzy) and poker table suspense. Craig plays Bond perfectly. A refreshing switch on the "genre" was much needed to blast life into James, and he is the answer. Being the only udner 40 actor to play Bond, he could have a long road ahead of him. I hope he does because he is awesome, but at the same time, I want him to not get tied down to not seeing Craiggers rocking other roles because, well, he's an awesome actor.

If you need an awesome entertaining movie and have already went to Borat, check out Casino Royale.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Council of Trent and *GASP* OJ is Guilty?!


So I'm not a huge political follower. I'd say I follow politics as much as I follow most professional sports. I know enough to have some sort of opinion that is based in some fact. And As far as I'm concerned, I have my right as an American to state my opinion here.

Trent Lott has taken the GOP's leading role in the one vote. Okay. So, I'm not a followed of the Bush administration, but one would have to at least think that this guy is a bad choice to stick in the position of the minority whip in the house. I mean, remember back when he stepped down from office because, well to put it frankly, he is a rascist scumbag? Are Republicans in the house that stupid? I mean, they just lost Congress and are losing ground in the power structure. So, they thought it would be a good idea to vote for somoene insensitive and living in 1950? Unbelievable. What's next? Ressurect Strom Thurman and appoint him to a new cabinet position? It just boggles my mind that the conservative community could be so dumb at a time when they are losing power and need to try and either compromise with Dems or at least give them a better name in the media and in the country.

What's good about this is the fact that he was posted as the minority whip. Hmmmmm. Ironic? I think some of you will appreciate that (I'm looking at you, Lou.)

Then there is this. Uhhhm. Kind of old news minus the whole tv and book deal.

Ya gotta love this asshole. I mean, I thought no one could be more insane than Mike Tyson, but this is official. So here is the scoop. Acquited for two murders. Blatantly guilty. Guilty in the civil case. Never pays the 33.5 mil he owes. Moves to Florida and can't be touched (his money or property.) Now, he gets a sweet book deal and TV spot with Fox basically confessing "If I Did It", this is how I would have done it. WHAT THE FUCK?! Wow. It makes me wonder what people in the media are driven by... oh, wait, nevermind. It's all money. They don't give a shit this psycho asshole killed two people and is gonna just come right out and say this IS how I did it. Now buy my book and watch my show and buy Miller Lite and Dortitos after seeing the commercials during the broadcast of the interview so I can earn money to NOT pay up in my Civil case. WOW. Our system is fucked up.

Anyway, thats my rant on real things for the first time in a while.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

They Call Me The Working Man

I guess that's what I am.

So working at Cherry Hill Towers is kinda great, kinda lame at the same time. I like my job a lot which is weird. I never expected to lease apartments. Ever. But hey, it's a job that brings money in. The people I work with are my age and we get along. My boss is cool and isn't up my ass about doing work, but I do my work because of that (although right now I am blogging, but that's because it' crappy out and no one is coming in to rent.) That's the part that is lame. It's so slow. So I get bored really fast. I listen to my iPod or and just sit and wait for the work to come in. I took 3 tours last week. THREE! That sucks. In a 40-Hour work week, I took maybe a total of 3 hours out of that to take tours and hopefully sign a lease (which I didn't.) I've been here almost two months (maybe more than that now) and I have no plans of leaving anytime soon, but seriously will the swanky young-socialites of the Philadelphia Tri-State area just decide to rent here already! Anyway, last perk of my job is talking to other workings stiffs who have desk jobs and can chat on AIM all day long. Sharing working life stories is kinda great. It makes me look forward to post graduate life which I loathed up until about two months ago. Also, I like this job cuz I just told a check we we're voiding to S*CK IT!

Addendum: This is what I mean about working man conversations.

jungle45rpm (3:06:32 PM): dude get ready

jungle45rpm (3:06:41 PM): for this story
Cropulis Forever (3:06:43 PM): ok
Cropulis Forever (3:06:45 PM): hit me
Cropulis Forever (3:06:50 PM): btw... Pats arent makin the Super Bowl
jungle45rpm (3:07:56 PM): about an hour ago, this old guy (80-plus, who doesn't really work here but he's an old friend of the president so he gets a desk) comes in, presumably to do some work of his own
Cropulis Forever (3:08:16 PM): nice
jungle45rpm (3:08:35 PM): takes one step through the door and somehow drops a fair-sized pile of turds on the doormat through his pant leg,
Cropulis Forever (3:09:08 PM): thats how I sell* it at work
Cropulis Forever (3:09:14 PM): wow
Cropulis Forever (3:09:17 PM): wowwy wow wow
jungle45rpm (3:09:44 PM): so he hightails it for the bathroom to clean himself off
jungle45rpm (3:09:56 PM): (nobody's noticed it yet)
Cropulis Forever (3:09:58 PM): thats the good life
Cropulis Forever (3:10:04 PM): are you just ignoring t he shits?
jungle45rpm (3:10:18 PM): then all of a sudden I hear the secretaries be all like "aw god what is that smell?"
Cropulis Forever (3:10:31 PM): hahaha
jungle45rpm (3:10:43 PM): and then I hear a scream like fifty rats just crawled into their axe wounds**
jungle45rpm (3:10:50 PM): they go running past me
jungle45rpm (3:11:13 PM): so I go up to the lobby to inspect the damage
Cropulis Forever (3:11:14 PM): hahahaha
Cropulis Forever (3:11:16 PM): you are terrible
Cropulis Forever (3:11:17 PM): i love you
jungle45rpm (3:11:38 PM): what kind of codger mungs*** himself?
Cropulis Forever (3:11:55 PM): A;ETJNHA['HNET'[HNAET'HNMAETH'IONMAET'J
jungle45rpm (3:12:01 PM): lol
Cropulis Forever (3:12:01 PM): GAAAAAAAAH
Cropulis Forever (3:12:23 PM): AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Cropulis Forever (3:12:24 PM): AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Cropulis Forever (3:12:26 PM): AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Cropulis Forever (3:12:34 PM): ....AH
jungle45rpm (3:12:38 PM): SELLSELLSELL
jungle45rpm (3:13:05 PM): so he comes out of the bathroom, grabs his hat and leaves out one of the back doors
Cropulis Forever (3:13:24 PM): wait
Cropulis Forever (3:13:29 PM): the story isnt done??
jungle45rpm (3:13:37 PM): not quite
Cropulis Forever (3:13:39 PM): oh man
Cropulis Forever (3:13:42 PM): complete NOW
jungle45rpm (3:14:02 PM): so the mat gets disposed of but the smell is not getting any better, in fact, it seems to be worsening
jungle45rpm (3:14:22 PM): the light bulb goes off in my head, I don my hazmat gear, and go look in the bathroom trash can
jungle45rpm (3:14:34 PM): yup,
jungle45rpm (3:14:38 PM): he left his boxers in there.
Cropulis Forever (3:15:32 PM): a shit and run
jungle45rpm (3:15:35 PM): so I played shashy shasher japan 4**** with my supervisor, he lost, and he had to get rid of it
jungle45rpm (3:15:37 PM): LOL
jungle45rpm (3:15:40 PM): YES
Cropulis Forever (3:15:41 PM): hahahaha
Cropulis Forever (3:15:46 PM): my GAWD
Cropulis Forever (3:15:50 PM): your job officially rules

{Addendum: After conversing with Rob Ealer, I realize only about half of the people will understand some of what's going on in that there convo. Here is a quick reference glossary.
*Sell: The process of selling a hit in wrestling terms. When something ridiculous happens, you sell how insane it is
**Axe Wounds: Vagina
***Codger mung: The process of squeezing an old man so his entrails/bowels/shits fly out.
****Shashy, Shasher, Japan 4: Freddy Got Fingered Themed Rock, Paper, Scissors.}

So this weekend was kinda epic in some ways, kind of lame in others. I'll say the lame parts first. Workign Sunday cramped my ability of continuing Saturday's greatness as did my car (which is running a little bit better today.) Now for the good parts. Let's start with Friday.

Primus. Uhm. Yeah. About that. It was amazing. Here is the set-list. Sorry, Stev, but you need to see this.

Those Damned Blue Collar Tweekers
Here Come the Bastards
The Toys Go Winding Down
My Name is Mud
Jerry was a Racecar Driver
Hamburger Train
Drum and Whamola Jam
Too Many Puppies > Master of Puppets > Too Many Puppies

Pudding Time
Groundhog's Day

As far as I'm concerned, it's been the best of the tour yet and he was sick that night and played a shorter set. Short but perfection. I'd say the only equally as amazing set list is Atlanta. It actually might be better, but Toys Go Winding Down and Hamburger Train are two of my all time favs, so it was sexy disco dance time at the Tower. The Drum solo and Whamola (a gut-bucket with a singular string and a massive distortion pedal attatched to the top of it) was so choice that even though it cut out room for another song was amazing. That was probably so Les could save his vocals.

Saturday was Stev's 21st. I stopped over there after they got back from Philly, but he was blackout sans cack out. We made the trek down to Atlantic City. I lost at Craps, but played for a solid two hours so losing the money was not a bad thing. No one won. It was sort of depressing, but it was fun anyway. The most fun part was the people mover to the Claridge upstairs strange bar. We all collectively decided (myself, Boyle and Kira, Stev, Danno) It would be just a little too awesome. Then I drove home and my car decided to suck.

Sunday was boring. Didn't do anything really. Monday was Guitar Hero 2-ing. It was fun. "Killing in the Name" is my best performed song with 5-stars and a pretty sweet high score. I'm working on doing a routine Morello style for whoever decides to bite the bullet and have a Guitar Hero party.

So that's my day. Now back to listening to Yo La Tengo who probably has the best album of the year. I've increased the amount I've been listening to I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass lately and it's amazing.

Monday, November 13, 2006

At the Moment

So I'm pretty bored. Like, mega bored. So here is my jump kick to the teeth "At The Moment" likes. Things I like at this exact moment.


Dump's A Grown Ass Man - James McNew of the ever so lovely Yo La Tengo goes by the name of Dump when recording in his basement on an 8-tracker and some free time. This album which I believe is from four years ago is pretty friggin addictive. You may remember me talking about his album of Prince covers that is next to impossible to find unless you ask someone who owns it to burn it for you. This album has originals and a few covers (Thin Lizzy's "Cowboy Song" being one of the best covers I've ever heard) that are dripping with catchy guitar hooks, funky drum machine beats reminiscent of the Casio stylings of Wesley Willis and McNew's strained yet loveable voice. Songs like "The History of Love" make every amatuer musician/singer/songwriter/producer want to pick upa guitar and record something. It's a shame that you won't be as good as this because, well, Dump has this charm about him that makes him awesome where you and I do not. Maybe it's because he's in an established band, but that means jack crap. Definitely get it even if for the Marvin Gaye cover of "Mr. Too Damn Good" that is beggin for you to play it next time you rock your woman in the sack.


Primus' "The Toys Go Winding Down"- Ever since their show on Friday, I can't get over how friggin ridiculous it was. So I listen to this said track which was the third in a balls to the wall amazing setlist that rocked my skull so hard, that I still am bleeding from the temple. I can't get over the friggin triplets Les Claypool plays in this song. GAH!
ps- The link is so you can listen to it if you don't have it. THe video sucks but the sound quality is good.


Home Movies Season 4
"Journal to the Center Of McGuirk". That's all that needs to be said.

Video Game

See Last Post.


I haven't decided what to pick up next, but I think its time to sit back and just fucking read Catch-22.


Bouphonia- Good political, environmental and other stuff updated almost daily. Kudos.

That's all she wrote. That wasted some time. Definitely check out some of these things and enjoy.

Friday, November 10, 2006


So thanks to Stev, I now am craving easily the most fun interactive game made since Time Crisis in the arcade. This is not good. Guitar Hero (1 and/or 2... at this point it doesn't make a difference) is so friggin fun that I can't even begin to handle it. When it's predocessor (Dance Dance Revolution) came out, I knew it was on. The return of arcade style games for the home like in the days of the Track and Field for NES. Interactive games are way more fun then your average console game. Yea, Goldeneye is cool, but when you are actually doing what is happening on the screen, for my buck, it makes it that much more fun. It's what virtual reality tried to be, although that stuff is kind of lame. Anyway, so back to Guitar Hero. I heard about this game in January and had been meaning to play it with some old Wow Video cronies, but it never happened. That was mainly because I got paulsy and quit my job (reverse order.) So I forgot about it. Then Crizzatch got it for his birthday this year and I fell asleep after the Sorry! game and didn't return to shred. Then he went back to school. So again, I forgot about it. Then Stev's 21st is this weekend and thanks to Ryan's goading, he hinked on both guitar hero 1 and 2. Last night I finally got to shred the guitars.

Well, much to my pleasant surprise, the control is in a shape of an SG Special. Immediately, I began salivating. So we whip it out and the first song I do is Moptley Crue's "Shout at the Devil" and "Mother" by Danzig. The track list is nasty and all over the place with songs by Rush, Primus, STP, Spinal Tap and even the Living End. Its nasty fun.

So when me next check comes or maybe even sooner, I will be buying the drugs.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Endless Wire- Half Coke after Coke after Coca-Cola, Half Diet Coke

So the Who has released a new album. I'm sure I am the only one really that excited that after almost 25 years of no new material we have a new album from one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time (and obviously my all time favorite.) So those skeptics who haven't bought it or at least downloaded it(il)legally yet will now have a guide why they should or shouldn't get it.

I love the Who, but I will be as unbiased as possible. For me, Endless Wire is the Who's best effort since the passing of Keith Moon. However, this album has only hints of the old Who. The 80's Who albums, Face Dances and It's Hard, sound more like solo Pete stuff with sweet licks of Entwistle here and there. And many times on Endless Wire, we get these same feels. A song like "It's Not Enough" reeks of these 80's albums which isn't bad, but those albums were voiding that extra Who umph that they had with Moony and The Ox. Needless to say, it's still a decent song and an obvious first single.

That being said, here is my track by track breakdown of Endless Wire.

The album starts with "Fragments" which is a flashback to the ideas Pete wanted to perform with songs like "Baba O'Rielly" and "Sister Disco" with oscilating synths. This time he actually worked on what he wanted to do for many years and created one of the first peices of music completely composed by a computer. It sounds almost exactly like "Baba" when it starts but goes into a less kick-to-the-teeth style song. It's a decent starter song, but nothing to get you fully amped.

Track two is one of the many acoustic and vocal songs on the album. The Who has two members left so hearing the amount of songs that are just the two of them is heartbreakingly great. "Man in a Purple Dress" is the first of these. Pete backlashes to the religious community for all the terrible things that organized religion has done. Here is a clip from Letterman of Pete and Roger performing the song. It's one of the highlights of the album and of the live concerts they have been on tour for.

"Mike Post Theme" kicks into gear with a little more power behind it than "Fragments." Pete's acoustic guitar parts on this album stand far and away ahead from his electric work on the album but this song is a moment where the two sounds intermingle quite well. And a great line "Emotionally we're not even old enough" is great from a 60+ year old man. The innocence of the Who is still there. The song flows back and forth from fury to a little more relaxed acoustic sound that is one of the highlights of the first half of the disc.

"In the Ether" is strange. To this point of listening, I don't know if its Pete Townshend or Tom Waits singing. It sounds like a typical Tom Waits track, but it's the Who. I don't know if I love it or not, but it is totally unlike any Who song I've ever heard. I guess they are trying to show their maturity on this album as well. It seriously sounds like its off of late 70's Tom Waits. Weird but good.

"Black Widow's Eyes" is another song that has a mixture of the superior acoustic sound and basic electric guitar parts. It might be the lowest point on the album. Nothing really sparking interest in this song for me. It's still a good song, but it sounds like other songs from the past and isn't as inspiring as what is to come on the rest of the album.

Thankfully, after a song like "Black Widow's Eyes", it is followed by the beautiful "Two Thousand Years" with strings done by Pete himself, harmonies between Roger and Pete and a very insipring uplifting feel to the entire song. The lyrics aren't anything special, but it's the music that really sucks you in. Mandolin and strings intertwining in pure musical bliss.

"God Speaks, of Marty Roberts" is Pete and the acoustic. Part of me wishes this album was just acoustic songs because these songs are so beautiful. Its almost as if when the full band aren't there (who are amazingly talented, dont get me wrong) the best songs are produced. Pete sings just as he did years ago on this one. His ageless voice shines on this one.

"It's Not Enough" is a decent song, but feels almost as if they were trying to force a single on this one. With a little more time to work on some sweet guitar solos or something, this song could soar as one of the Who's best rockers. In hindsightm this song will probably land around most of the other 80's songs that just have that missing element that Keith and The Ox would add to it. It needs more power behind it.

"You Stand By Me" is yet another Pete and Acoustic song. This quicky song not even 2 minutes long ranks up with "Sunrise" and "OurLove Was" as one of the Who's best love songs. Quick and to the point. I wonder if I'll use this as wedding vows someday....

And thus returns the Who we love in the form of the Wire and Glass mini-opera.

It kicks off with "Sound Round" which starts with a fury of drums that makes you turn your head and wonder if Moony is back. When the chorus comes in the bass also kicks in for the first time taking over the songs on the entire album making you question if the Ox is right there. The song i yet another short one but kicks you in the gut the way hearing "I Can See For Miles" did the first time you heard it.

It quickly shifts into another fast-paced power rocker "Pick Up The Peace" that is reminiscent of Quadrophenia's "I've Had Enough" or "Helpless Dancer" and even hints of Tommy here and there in yet another short quicky song. It seems that the shorther songs on this album have the best power behind them.

My personal favorite song of the opera, "Unholy Trinity" is a piano and mandolin song is an ode to the ideals of Mehar Baba, the guru that inspired Pete's musical being. The song quickly shifts into "Trilby's Piano" which is another beautifully arranged song (by Pete) with sweepingly subtle piano and very great strings in the background for the pretty secition of the opera.

Then back to the Who kicking it out. "Endless Wire" reminisces to some of the songs cut from the Lifehouse project (Who's Next for you beginners). This is the point where you feel as if this whole rock opera is some sort of amalgamation of the Who's entire career.

"Fragments of Fragments" is exactly what it states. It's a shorter version of the first track. Meh.

"We've Got a Hit" revists that old 60's feel good song and should ahve followed "Endless Wire." A quicky rocker that reminds us of the Who in their Mod roots.

"They Made My Dream Come True" is another of the lower end songs on the album along with "Fragments of Fragments" and "Black Widow's Eyes". It seems like these songs could ahe been cut.

"Mirror Door" is an awesome faux live track that shows the Who paying homage to all things music. From Bobby Darin to Ludwig Van to Eddie Cochran get the nod. It's an amazing finale to the Wire and Glass opera. A thank you to all things music done by the Who. It goes to prove that it doesn't matter the music that gets to your heart, its all the same in the end. Its somethign that brings pure joy to the hearts of anyone and its what the Who loves to do.

Then the Who decides to kick me in the face with the saddest and frankly one of their all-time best songs at the end of the album. "Tea and Theater" is heartbreaking. It's basically Pete and Roger thinking back to the days of glory in their old age, but still writing comparable amazing lyrics in this song. Love it.

So overall. The album since I first listened to me has grown on me. The best description I can think of the album is the title of this blog and much like the song "Mike Post Theme". It jumps back and forth from rockers to more light and simpler songs. The simple songs are the best moments on the album. The rockers are good, but sometimes feel like they are missing something--which is obviously the ghosts of the past that haunt the Who here and there on the album. I say, if you like the Who at all, get this album. It's the best work since most of the songs on Who Are You and has some moments that are even some of the best songs written by Pete and performed by the new Who. Some people say they shouldn't be called the Who, but as this album has definitely proved, the Who is Pete Townshend. He commands the lyrics and arrangements and thankfully he does.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Borat: Best Movie of the Year

It's a bold statement, but I have been bottling up my opinion on this for almost two weeks.

The Borat film is the best satirical film since Dr. Strangelove. Yes I said it. The way this film is done is so epiclly funny and biting into the hearts of America's stereotypes it's sometimes hard to handle. Sacha Baron Cohen is a modern day Johnathan Swift. The brit takes such an amazing look into the American persona through the eyes of an overly racist, mysoginistic foreigner that most people will see his character as the terrible person. But what makes it brilliant is the fact that Borat is nothing but a character and NOT a real person. Everyone else in the film is a real person, a real American. They are the ones who are real racists and narrow minded folk. Before I go on:


I'm not one to give spoilers, but for my point to be made, I must make exampls from the film. Since it's out today, you are stupid to NOT see it tonight or this weekend. So stop reading now and see it if you haven't already.

The film's plot is loose, but still interesting enough to make it more than just a documentary like the style of his interviews. It gives it substance and a reason for him to travel across the country and meet the many sides of American life. Anyway, the plot is Borat comes to America to learn about how "great" it is and bring the information back to Kazakhstan. When he get shere, he sees an episode of Baywatch and is in search of Pamela Anderson. This motivates him to go cross country and change his plan of just interviewing in NYC to interviewnig all over the counry.

Anyway, the main jist of the film is following Borat and his extreme persona across a country where racist and predjudice is still common. Where the movie sky rockets is how Americans react to the fish out of water. When he runs into people in New York, he goes up and tries to kiss their cheeks and they freak out.

Where the movie really shows it's true colors is when a man from the south agrees with Borat that muslims and "queers" should all be hung by the gallows. These are REAL PEOPLE! Not actors! It's shocking to see, but it's damn funny.

So why is this movie the best movie of the year?

1) I haven't laughed that hard during a film EVER.

2) It has a social commentary that is shocking and hilarious. Remember that movie that won best picture last year that had themes about racism and predjudice? This does a much better job of showing that our country hasn't changed (see in the film when Borat visits the southern hospitality home that is on "Secession Drive" (I shit you not)... this scene is out of control with how he shows these sweet southerners are fake as all hell... southern hospitality my ass).

3) Sacha Baron Cohen's acting and straight faced over-the-top racism is so ridiculous. The fact anyone could ever think that he is trying to portray Kazaks is just flat out retarded. There is no way that any person is this out of control racist (except some of the people he meets from America.)

So do yourself a favor. See Borat NOW! See it Again. I'm telling you, it's amazing on so many levels.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sunrise (Part 1)

I promised a story by monday. I lied. It's not done, but its in the works. So here is part one.


There was about an hour left before the sun would pierce back into the sky above the city of Philadelphia. Peter’s attempt at love would once again be squashed by the reddish-orange rays that were soon to come showering from on high. This, however, never stopped him from giving that last hour a chance at making things work. It wasn’t the first time and it wouldn’t be the last.

His love for Anna was not to be surpassed by any of your old average Casanovas out there. He swooned at her very appearance every morning at the Grind Wheel coffee shop. She knew him well, but didn’t know what was going on in the inner workings of his cardio-vascular system when she entered the room. The poundings of an incessant drummer was pushing a violet fluid through the ducts of his body and making his skin warm. He only knew her from this one place, but their relationship was the most understanding and beautiful bond that he never could share with another woman. He had his attempts at finding love, but none would ever compare to that of his love for Anna.

It wasn’t just an attraction. He didn’t only know her by working there. She sometimes would come in on her lunch breaks from working at the First Mutual Bank across the street and ask him to sit with her and try a new Chai Tea. She often would come ten minutes before closing to just see him as he mopped the floors and she sipped something cold to refresh her before her long walk uptown. It didn’t matter that he only ever saw her under these circumstances. It was love as far as he could tell.

He always attempted at seeing her out beyond the times at the shop. He playfully would ask her to the movies, but her days, nights and weekends almost always seemed jam packed with a busy adult schedule. He never minded. He knew he’d see her soon enough and possibly later in the same day.

This day, however, Peter gave himself an ultimatum. It was time to be ready to move on from his dream woman and see someone who wasn’t too busy to give him time and just sit back and enjoy the company. His plan was simple. When he gave Anna her receipt for a large coffee and bagel order for the office, he slipped a note inside of her jacket pocket that she laid on the counter whilst waiting for her order to be finished. It was a simple note that stated: “The Grind Wheel. Sunrise.”

This note was possibly a little too subtle. Maybe she would just throw it out. The scrawled handwriting of a heart-sick coffee boy might not even get to see the light of day. His love for her was percolating inside of him and bubbling to an all time high in anticipation for what he had set up for her. It was what most women would say was a miracle: a man going out of his way to say what he felt. This wouldn’t be easy.

The stage was set. He had a table laid out and ready with some fresh food and her favorite coffee. If she got the note, she should be there by sunrise. And if sunrise passes, he would move on and willingly give up his dreams.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

New Blogorithm

Check this shit out! Football!

New story on monday here.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Destiny can be found just about anywhere, but who would think you could find it at the Salvation Army? He never saw it coming. He would find new meaning in his life. He would find his inner voice. He would be able to feel at ease with himself. If you told him that the section along the back wall had held the key to self discovery, he would turn and say with his usual wry wit, “Get a life.”

It was a cold, sunny afternoon. The kind where from indoors you could wear a long-sleeved t-shirt and your jeans with rips in the knees, but once outside, you realize that walking without a hooded sweatshirt is not the best game plan. Jerome, Brian, Susan and Jill were all bored that day and needed something to do. The usual fare for a sunny Friday would be to take over the main quad and toss the disc for several hours. They usually got out class early enough to beat the meatheads who played football there. However, that was out due to the winter wind that was picking up. Driving out to enjoy a frosty brew was out for the time being as well. Jill was on some medication for something she probably didn’t have and drinking was out. For some reason, they worked as a hive mind when it came to activities. The four were always together and if someone couldn’t do something, be it due to an injury or Jill’s hypochondria, they’d opt for something to include everyone. The Four Horsemen of the Post Apocalypse. That is what they named themselves. The girls battled for Four Horsepeople, but Jerome and Brian said people would think they wanted to be centaurs. They knew how to stick together and how to survive. It seemed odd to some people, but college is about organizations of friends. Be it Greek life, the radio station or the philosophy club, people do it to be around friends. Why not have an extra-extra-curricular group? It was Jerome who had suggested Friday’s activity.

“Why don’t we go to the Salvation Army.” Jerome loved finding diamonds in the rough. Grabbing an old sweatshirt, a vintage t-shirt or a jacket from ages past was something he held close to his heart. You could tell by his ragged corduroy pants and his grey pleather coat with a Teamsters patch on the sleeve.

“What’s so great about the Salvation Army?” Susan wasn’t fond of Jerome’s obsession with old things, mainly due to her allergy to moth-balls, but she was a penny pincher so the idea wasn’t totally out of her mind. “I mean, I guess if that’s all anyone can think of.”

“I’m not sure. Today is so nice. Why should we be cooped up inside a musty, old building?” Brian never appreciated the things of old either. In fact, he was totally opposed to the Salvation Army, mainly the Santas who would come out and beg for change around Christmas time.

“Come on, guys! We could get some really great stuff! Weren’t you going to be looking for new jacket anyway, Susan?”

“The key word there is new. But I guess I could check out what they have.”

“I don’t care. If everyone else wants to go, let’s do it!” Jill never could make up her own mind.

“Alright, fine. Let’s go.” Brian shrugged it off and finally let Jerome get a shot at the days events.

“I’m driving. I made this new mix tape. You guys are going to love it.” Jerome was always anxious to show off his underappreciated ability to make a mix tape.

“Do we, have to take the Pillager?” Susan was referring to Jerome’s old Mercury Villager.

“Yeah, man. I could drive my car and we could hook up my iPod.” Brian was always eager to drive his new Scion.

“Come on, man. iPod? You can’t get any more anti-social than that.”

“Just because you revel in that old technology doesn’t mean we have to like it too. But fine. You’re right. I drive a lot. Gas costs too much these days. You can waste your money this time.” They hoped into the Pillager and headed towards the good old Salvation Army.

The Salvo, as Jerome would call it, stood atop a hill, and as the van approached, it seemed to be a beacon. That day had some sort of weird air about it. One of these horsemen would find providence entrapped inside a gray case. Jerome rolled into the parking space and it seemed as if this premium spot was saved for the Pillager. As they slide the door open, the crisp December air sent a chill down their spines. The doors of the Salvation Army were painted red and as they approached, it seemed more like a building meant for religion than a building with random items, used jean jackets and a musty scent.

“I don’t even know where to begin.” Brian was the type to wear all the new fashions. Thrifting seemed ridiculous to him. “I guess I’ll look at the t-shirts.”

“I’m coming with you. The kids section is right next to the t-shirts.” This was a typical decision of Jill. She preferred the kids section since she had the figure of a sewing needle.

“What will it be for you, Jerome?” Susan wanted company to the jackets and figured that’s what Jerome would want to look at.

“I think I will check out the jackets first.” Jerome knew exactly what he wanted to find.

“Good. You can help me pick out a nice jacket for the winter. You have an eye for vintage.”

The four horseman split up going to totally opposite ends of the large warehouse expanse of the Salvo. Jerome and Susan headed towards the back wall where the coats were. It was the wall of coats. It was colorized and broken in two—women’s coats and men’s coats. Once there, they split up and set out for their coat hunt. This was where Jerome would find his fate piled along with the random bric-a-brac across from the coats.

Jerome tried on a pale blue windbreaker that had a firing range patch on the breast pocket. As he turned, he noticed the shelving of random items that always eluded him. He noticed a Connect Four and Monopoly intermingled with a dollhouse and some wine glasses. It seemed like the island of misfit thrift items. Something then caught his eye halfway down the shelving unit. Jerome, still wearing the somewhat baggy shooters windbreaker, headed towards the grey lump of casing with a dazed look in his eye. He never could explain it, but something about the case intrigued him. Once there, he reached for the handle and picked it up. Thinking it was an odd-looking luggage piece, he figured it to be weightless. Much to his surprise, it weighed much more than empty luggage should. Almost dropping it, he grabbed it with his other hand and noticed an icon imprinted on the front. It said: Smith-Corona. Thinking it to be a rival brand of Samsonite, he placed it on the ground and sat Indian style in front of it. Slowly, like if he was opening the Arc of the Covenant, he reached for the push buttons found on either side of the handle and snapped open the treasure he had found.

“What the hell is that?” Susan came by to show off her red-leather long coat to Jerome to find him gazing into a grey case.

“It’s a typewriter.” Jerome stated with a pitch of boyish-happiness in his voice.

“Why is it in a suitcase?”

“It’s a carrying case.”

“You’re not getting it, are you?” Susan obviously thought in the age of computers that a typewriter would no longer even exist. “I mean, that’s a waste of money no matter how much it costs.”

“There is no way I’m leaving here without it.” Jerome slammed the top shut and picked it up. He headed back towards the coats to put back the gun jacket back where he found it.

Jerome met up with the rest of the horseman at the checkout. Brian was empty handed, Jill found a YMCA Basketball T-Shirt and Susan was still awestruck at the fact Jerome wanted to purchase such a worthless piece of crap.

“What in God’s name is that, Jerome?” Brian looked dumfounded as well.

“It’s my typewriter.”

“You’re kidding, right? Who in their right mind would buy a typewriter?”

“I would. I love this kind of stuff.”

“Dude, you have a computer!”

“I know. But this comes with no distractions. The pure aesthetic of it is worth the six bucks!”

“I think it’s neat.” Jill spoke out against the grain for once. “I mean, think about Jerome. He has records, mix tapes and refuses to listen to commercial radio. It fits him. He lives in the past.”

“Thanks, Jill.” Jerome never got respect from the horsemen before on his love of the vintage. A Luddite among those who needed to keep up with the trends and fashions of the world. It was an odd match up, but somehow the friendship worked. He checked out with his treasure and from that moment forward, things would be different.

His first use of the typewriter was a sort-of stream of conscious journal. He wrote about his heavy listening of David Bowie’s LP Low and how the songs mirrored his feelings—the first half bright and goofy and the second half dark, brooding and ethereal. The typewriter banged out his minds thoughts and it was the only piece of machinery that felt like an extension of his body. His mind was the paper, his thoughts were the letters individually imprinting their marks on the page. Finally, Jerome could find solace in his own thoughts. It wasn’t that he didn’t love the horseman. They just didn’t understand him. He was sick of getting sidestepped and feeling like he wasn’t with it. He loved the things of the past. He took a while away from the horseman. He wrote many stories and started publishing them in his schools magazine. He started meeting more like minded folk who enjoyed writing and all things vintage. It was weeks before he heard from any of the horseman and this came from the only thing that he had that was new was his cellphone. It began to ring and Jerome was broken away from his new friend. The phone said “Pestilence.” Brian was calling the first time in a few days.

“Hey, man” Jerome was nervous to talk to one of the horseman.

“Yo. It’s Brian. What’s goin’ on, man?”

“Not much.”

There was a few seconds of silence here. The awkward tension was that of a high school talent show.

“So, what are you up to?” Brian continued, breaking the silence. “I mean, it seems like we never hear from you anymore.”

“Yeah. I’ve been writing a lot lately. You know, it’s been a real release for me.”

“Well, don’t let it take you away from us! We miss you out here. My dad got me this stereo system that has a record player attached to it and I have nothing for it. I need your help to inform me of this kind of stuff. I mean, I know you care a lot about it and all. I feel like an idiot when it comes to this old stuff. I’m trying to understand it though.”

Jerome was filled with a sense of some sort of triumph. He was confident that his discovery of a typewriter and his story writing was actually impacting his friends. He figured Brian read the things he published about being left out of the loop by his closest friends in one of his stories. It was a triumph for himself that he never saw coming. Jerome knew that this typewriter—this thing that was deemed obsolete—had a new purpose. It gave more meaning to his life than he ever could have expected. A channel for his thoughts and a new avenue in having his closest friends finally understand his love for the things of the past. He ended his conversation with Brian by planning the next four horseman trip. This time, it would be to a record store in Princeton. A long trip, but the Pillager could take it. The hive mind finally was complete. All aspects of their friendship were understood by the other four parts. It would be a sweet reunion. The old, the new and the ideas of the future were finally brought together to make something beautiful—the now.