Friday, September 28, 2007

Video Clash.

So I was reading the daily email message synopsis from a Spoon messageboard when I saw a post about Spoon canceling three showdates to perform on SNL. That sucks for people with tickets, but the band promised to re-schedule, and I suppose SNL should give 'em a pretty good bump.

The story underneath the Spoon one was about The Sex Pistols re-recording "Anarchy in the UK" for Guitar Hero III, which is a really, really funny development.

I happened to catch Johnny Rotten on a very annoying late night Fox News Channel program called Red Eye a while back, and it was ridiculous. He was talking about how the Pistols turned down the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and how he doesn't think any current bands are comparing to the Pistols and all this crap. All this while he was on a late night cable TV talk show. On Fox News. That sucks. A lot.

So the Pistols article linked to YouTube, and I watched a couple videos and caught an argument over which Pistols bass player was a better player, which is sort of like arguing about which member of The Village People is the most masculine.

Okay, okay, I guess Glen Matlock gets props for working with Johnny Thunders. Actually, I wrote a lyric featuring him in a song I will never use:

She said, "You remind me of a young Ben Matlock with your bass."
I said, "So, give me your number and I'll get right on your case. I'll solve it in an hour with my band, up on stage."

I got fed up after a while, and searched for The Clash on YouTube, only to find a very funny, appropriately goofy interview and set of performances on the Tom Snyder show. I watched some Tom Snyder when I was younger (I think he followed Letterman at one point), and it was pretty boring -- at that time he didn't have a studio audience, and the whole show was filled with his absurd chuckling.

Anyway, The Clash didn't turn down the Hall of Fame, and ultimately recognized that they had a lot of social questions, but not a lot of answers. (Notice how they sidestep the question about what messages they want to convey to people.) I was really surprised at how good these performances were, but I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Gorilla Collins.

An interesting view on an interesting ad:

Watch the video first, then take a look at this:

Ape and Essence

I think the dude hits on a couple of good points on the nature of music criticism. A lot of people try to make reviews of art an art style all their own, and while some certainly overuse metaphors and similes, I think there's an argument for a certain level of creative thinking/writing going into reviews (when done well). Of course, one could just summarize materials, list pros and cons, compare to other materials or artists. But capturing the essence of art (even prose and poetry, I suppose) in his own words should be one of a critic's main goals.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Bomb, or trinket?


I can understand the heightened security at airports, but this seems a little bit too much.

A girl walked into Logan Airport in Boston wearing the above 'device' on a sweatshirt. She was later confronted by troopers with submachine guns. She was confronted by a guy who said:

"She's lucky to be in a cell as opposed to the morgue."

Don't they have rubber bullets or tasers or some non-lethal form of stopping people?

The only thing that makes this a tad more shady than normal is that the girl had "Play-Doh in her hands." The other thing is that she called the thing "art" and not just a homemade clothing design. I think she might have been asking for something with that, but there's a possibility that she wasn't...

I'm just glad the reporter mentioned the nite lite fixtures from Cartoon Network that were put up around Boston. Remember, the ones that cost the city thousands of dollars because everyone thought they were bombs? (When several other major cities had the same fixtures up at the same time?)

Friday, September 14, 2007


Ah, Urban Dictionary, where would the Internet be withoutcha?


1. A whipped iced dairy drink, usually chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry.

Wow, that milkshake from McDonald's was bangin.

2. A girl's body and the way she carries it.

Kelis' song 'Milkshake':

My whipped ice dairy drink brings the attention of many males to my place of residence and/or employment, and they declare that its quality far surpasses that of yours. Absolutely, it far surpasses yours. I could convey to you the recipe, but I would have to demand compensation.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I'm spending...

I'm spending $5 and two hours loading 50 photos from my old phone to the Internet to perhaps my new phone (I don't know if they'll let me do that yet). I had to pay the $5 to get 400 picture messages so I wouldn't be paying 15 cents per message to do this. At least my replacement phone came 3 days after I called for it. (It won't let me keep some of my best pictures, because they're "too big" to send. I don't see how my phone can take pics as small as 100 KB and as big as 500 KB. I guess it's that zoom function at work.)

Here's one I got to upload -- a statue from New Orleans (I think it might have been Jackson):

Every time I go into the bank downtown, I see a sign on the counter and feel a need to have them validate my parking. Except that I don't need it -- I just drop a quarter in a metered spot every time.
I dread the day that it is socially unacceptable for me as an adult male to have posters in my bedroom.
I may or may not become a rapper. Peep this:

Man, you been acting like General Petraeus, acting like you betrayed us like Benedict Arnold, gonna name some eggs for you.

Don't bite that -- I might use that.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"Some people graduate, but they still stupid."

(I guess this lyric is actually "Some people graduate, but we still stupid," but I'm going to leave it like I first wrote it because I like that better.)

I just listened to the new Kanye West in entirety.

(Please excuse the aesthetics of this post. I'm too lazy to find appropriately similar pics of the album covers involved.)

I think I'm going to need a few listens to digest this. There are strong tracks (I don't think any that are his strongest to date) and there are weak tracks (some that may qualify as his weakest). We'll see how I react to it over time, but upon first listen it felt like he rode a couple of things a little too far. I do like the diversity of sounds, and I do believe the tracks make a great sonic combination of traditional hip-hop and electronic sounds. I guess I was expecting 13 huge, solid hits, which was kind of unrealistic. In general, I really liked the beginning and end of the album, which is pretty good -- started with a good impression and left with some strong material.

Outside of the adaptation of fuzzed electronics, there is a noticeable lack of skits. None, actually. On one hand I appreciated the humor and break between songs before -- the flow of the previous two albums I think was complimented by the skits. But at times I did tire of the thematic things a bit (dropping out of college, being dirt poor), and at those times the skits only seemed to exaggerate any themes to the point of absurdity (which, I suppose is what they're for -- humor).

Anyway, I'm not writing coherently. Let's just say my trip to Vinyl Fever did not just involve Mr. West. I also picked up some budget priced novelties:

(Ben Folds Five -- Whatever and Ever for $2.99)

(Lightning Bolt -- Wonderful Rainbow for $4.99)

(Dismemberment Plan -- Emergency & I for $6.99)

Thursday, September 06, 2007



Sup, MBT?

What the heck happened to Matchbox Twenty?

And don't give me that "they've been challenging audiences with their ever-evolving sound," because they haven't. I can still listen to Yourself or Someone Like You (note: stupid album title) whenever it falls out of the dusty back stacks of my CD collection and when I don't feel like becoming involved with what I'm listening to, but when did MBT adopt the sleek punk sound with Green Day-esque politics?

Give me a breakers.

And do not even tell me that this single is from an upcoming album called Exile on Mainstream. You thought it couldn't get any worse than "Yourself or some crap like you," but it can.

What does that even mean, "Exile on Mainstream"? Is it ironic that they were actually exiled from the mainstream, and that they're trying to regain their mainstream status by pandering to the current mainstream sound? Or are they trying to show that they're proud of their status as "mainstream" "outsiders" (whatever that could mean)?

It's not even that's it's a horrible horrible song. Other bands could have done it worse. But that doesn't make it good.

And MBT: 1) No one gives a crap how many milliseconds there are until your next album hits Wal-Marts everywhere. 2) You're not tough just because you're black and white and all carrying acoustic guitar cases. And 3) You're not coy. Album titles named after other album titles suck. And although he did a slightly better job, if Jeff Tweedy couldn't do that successfully, then you definitely can't.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Call him kwai-lee or kwe-lee.

That was a hard title to post. Although I took linguistics, I had trouble representing those vowels the way Kanye raps 'em.

Anyway, I really enjoy Talib's feature on "Get 'em High" and I went out and bought a used copy of one of his albums, Quality ... but, whoops, it didn't really impress me. I'm kind of scared to try other ones (though I've heard good things about/from Black Star), but this track is pretty cool, so maybe I'll just listen to this for a while.

AP Style.

I bought the most recent edition of "AP Stylebook" over the weekend in an effort to pass my copyediting test today with flying colors.
While I've never heard of someone who didn't get frustrated with the seemingly arbitrary "rules" of the Associated Press Style, I've been reading about a lot of general rules, subrules and sub-subrules (notice the hyphenated repetition of prefix and lack of comma before the conjunction), and I've been shaking my head, scoffing and chuckling.

Firstly, allow me to voice my disgust at the AP's desire to stifle the use of parentheses:

parentheses () In general, use parentheses around logos ... but otherwise be sparing with them. ...
... (Note that this is indeed the AP Style correct way of omitting a paragraph in condensed texts -- a period at the end of the complete sentence, followed by a space, followed by an ellipsis, followed by a paragraph jump, followed by another ellipsis. Note also that the previous sentence would be frowned upon by the Associated Press.) The temptation to use parentheses is a clue that a sentence is becoming contorted.

"Becoming contorted?" I ask. Nay. Parentheses are great. AP can jog on for that one. Pffhhbbt.


names ... In stories involving youngsters, generally refer to them by first name on second reference if they are 15 or younger and by their surname at 18 and older.
However, use news judgment and refer to children under 15 by their last name if the story is a serious one involving, for example, a major crime. With 16- or 17-year-olds, use the surname unless it's a light-hearted story.

That entry was particularly amusing to me. Notice the phrase "use news judgment." There are many times throughout the book where it says to do something a very particular way "unless you need to do it another way to clarify text."

Well, AP, clarify this:

I already found an inconsistency in your book, which is hailed as "The Bible of the Newspaper Industry." Under telephone numbers, you say, "Use figures. The form: 212-621-1500."

But under numerals, you say (350) 262-4600, which, with parentheses, was the pre-2006 way of representing phone numbers.