Tuesday, February 28, 2006

And then this undoes the mood

They're actually hearing the case. I mean, THEY'RE ACTUALLY HEARING THE CASE!!!.

The Supreme Court used to have dignity. At least, I thought it did. Maybe I was just deluding myself. Still, I have absolutely no clue why the Court would want to hear this case. Maybe some of my law-savvy friends can enlighten me.

Good mood music (not good "mood music" but "good mood" music)

I'm driving to work today, flipping through stations, and the classic rock station finishes up Skynyrd's Simple Man, one of my favorite songs of all time. Then, it launches right into Zeppelin's Fool in the Rain, a song which wouldn't crack my top 100. But I love them both.

This is what's so great about music. There are some songs, such as the former, that hold deep personal meaning and absorb you. But then there are others, such as the latter, that just always put you in a good mood no matter what. Another example of this phenomenon that springs readily to mind is the Stone's Beast of Burden. There's just a certain je ne sais quoi about these songs that make me just wanna groove and sing like an idiot.

Of course, maybe it's just me. Does anyone else have songs like that?

Song lyric of the day:
"Your song can carry me
Through endless weeks of rain
And onto sweeter things
And it's alright"
- Candlebox, It's Alright

Monday, February 27, 2006

Well, now that was funny

I rarely linger in my car to hear the end of a song upon arriving at my destination, but today I had to. 98 Rock was playing a lounge version of Nirvana's Rape Me! Lounge versions of modern rock songs are frequently entertaining, but this one might be the best yet. My favorite part was when the Paul Anka-esque singer sang, "Everyone!" right before launching into the repeated title lyric. It was great.

Song lyric of the day:
"Now I need a change of scenery
Just listen to me
I won't pretend to understand
The movement of the wind or the waves out in the ocean"
- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth

Friday, February 24, 2006

Just in: actual music from Chinese Democracy

Yes, the Tampa station known as 98 Rock was just unauthorizedly playing tracks from Chinese Democracy on their morning show (and amusingly talking about how they expected a cease-and-desist from the recording company while doing so). I'm not entirely sure how they acquired this music (I only have a 10-minute commute so I didn't get to hear the whole story), but it's definitely Axl Rose's voice. Suffice to say, apparently my earlier post about the long-anticipated Guns 'n Roses album was accurate.

So what's my verdict, you ask?

Well, it's different than the Guns 'n Roses most people are familiar with, but we must remember that the band name is now something of a misnomer, as this is an Axl Rose project. Besides, different does not mean bad. In the song and a half that I heard, the slower one had a nice groove to it and would likely have been better if Cowhead hadn't been talking over it the whole time. The rocker had typical Axl sneering vocals and a solid if not Slash-quality riff. A cool outro too. I'm not sure all this stuff was worth waiting 12 years for, but it at least sounds like it will merit some listens.

I know I said I'd believe it when I see it, but I should have said I'd believe it when I hear it, which I now have. Or perhaps my old friend Billy Gates put it best: "I'll believe it when I put it back on the shelves and instead pick up another CD with a less assholish lead singer."

Song lyric of the day:
"The sooner you accept your loneliness
The sooner you're content with only this life
You've gotta learn a little patience
Like Axl Rose never did"
- Unexpectedly Sober, Tomorrow Tonight

Thursday, February 23, 2006

This could get interesting...

Well, as Jeff put it, we'll soon be revisiting an old "great national clusterfuck". That's right! The Washington Post and many others have confirmed South Dakota is about to outlaw abortion except in cases that threaten the mother's health, the idea naturally being to challenge Roe v. Wade. I'm not surprised. I knew it was coming from somewhere eventually. I just thought it would come from a more backward state.

But you know what? I'm kind of glad. Because I have to admit, I'm pretty curious how this is all gonna go down. I should be angry, and I kind of am, but at the same time, I'm beginning to regard this whole abortion debacle as a spectator sport. I personally don't have a dog in this fight: I lack a uterus, I've never gotten a girl pregnant, I wasn't an unwanted child. The same can likely be said about a large number of the authors of this bill too, but that's not the point. Someone was gonna challenge Roe, and it was most likely gonna be a group of old men sitting in a room anyway.

So I might as well just sit back and casually watch as all the people who think this issue is oh-so-important, like those morons who vote Republican based entirely on the party's pro-life stance, duke it out over the "issue" we resolved 33 years ago. Let's enjoy the ride.

Song lyric of the day:
"What's the deal with my brain?
Why am I so obviously insane
In a perfect situation, I let love down the drain
There's the pitch, slow and straight
All I have to do is swing and I'm a hero
But I'm a zero"
- Weezer, Perfect Situation

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

One of the funniest things I have ever read

Many people who know me find it amusing that I was the sane resident of Chaffin 316. Admittedly, there's an argument for Bradley, but he spent too much time playing Missy Elliott's Work It to qualify.

And then, of course, there's Jeff and Ben. No argument there.

Courtesy of Danielle, Jeff's fiancee, I bring to my loyal readers an old IM conversation between my two illustrious former roommates. It's at the bottom of the post, and it's hilarious. Though I admit cackling loudly with laughter while at the office is not always the best thing to do.

And yes, I am aware that my sanity needs to be cured at some point. Perhaps I will begin by working the phrase "Moo on, chicken boy" into everyday conversation.

Song lyric of the day:
"There's a reason for everything
'Cause anything can turn you around"
- Graham Colton Band, Sending a Note

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Your executive branch at work

Firstly, from David Barzelay vis a vis Brad Ploeger vis a vis Fark.com:

How Many Members of the Bush Administration Does It Take To Change a Lightbulb?

(I didn't feel like reposting it, just follow the link.)

In addition, Leonard Pitts, my twice-weekly dose of sanity, writes an article about the continued erosion of our basic freedoms. Not that we aren't all aware that is happening. Not that this particular incident, apparently originally reported by Cameron Barr in The Washington Post, was a result of direct action by the Bush administration. It's simply indicative of the culture said administration seeks to cultivate: restrict the freedom of American citizens while allowing the executive branch to do pretty much whatever it wants, usually behind that glowing facade of "national security". You know, the facade that makes people think such infringement is acceptable. Sigh.

Just remember: 1065 days until we have a new president.

Song lyric of the day:
"The future teaches you to be alone
The present, to be afraid and cold
So if I can shoot rabbits, then I can shoot fascists
And if you tolerate this, then your children will be next"
- Manic Street Preachers, If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Okay, so I've mentioned this song a few times before, and it has actually been done for a while, but I've hesitated to post it because I wasn't 100% satisfied with it. Regardless, with Ben referring to me as a songwriter in a comment on one of his recent posts, I figured that to earn such a title, I should probably post a new song at some point. Not to mention, I woke up with it stuck in my head this morning -- it's one of the most infectious guitar riffs I've ever written, in my own humble opinion. So anyway, here goes...


I lay beside you once and smiled as I watched you sleep
Hey Bethany, you could have warned me what you felt was not as deep
When I woke up the bed was empty and you'd disappeared
Oh Bethany, what did this new Prince Charming whisper in your ear?
(He got some help from Everclear)

It took three days before I found out I had been replaced
Oh Bethany, I should know better than to love a pretty face
You got engaged last summer just 'cause he was good in bed
Bethany, you always keep me hanging on by a thread
(You haven't heard a word I've said)

But I heard you say that love's your greatest tragedy
Knowing what I know, I find it hard to disagree
But sometimes I think that love's not where you wanna be
Hey Bethany, you'll be the death of me

You showed up on my doorstep one night sporting a black eye
But Bethany, you swear that most days he is such a nice guy
How can I argue when he breaks you but you choose to bend?
That's okay Bethany, in two weeks you were on the move again

You flew to Idaho to meet some guy from the Internet
Oh Bethany, his charming lies just pushed you further into debt
I've never seen you single but you cry you're so alone
Bethany, your so-called misery is always overblown

'Cause I hear you say you're too fat and you need a tan
That must explain why you can get just about any man
In your history I show up as an also-ran
It's more than I can stand

And I know you claim that love's your greatest tragedy
Knowing what I know, I'd be a fool to disagree
Yet I think you're exactly where you wanna be
Hey Bethany, you'll be the death of me
Yeah Bethany, you'll be the death of me

So each time you claim it's just a fling
Somehow your life gets rearranged
And you always know they're lying
But you swear that they can change
You were everything I wanted
How'd you fly so far out of range?
Oh Bethany...

I used to think that honesty and kindness were the key
Hey Bethany, you really were the death of me

As always, questions or comments are more than welcome.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Yes, I did watch "Say Anything..." last night

I couldn't help it. My previous post got me thinking about it. Oh well, not such a bad way to spend another single Valentine's Day, I guess.

One thing I found intriguing that I never noticed before: in the famous boombox scene, where the hell is Lloyd supposed to be? It looks like he's on a road in the middle of a woods, not standing outside a suburbian home. I was confused. The first few times I saw the movie, I was so wrapped up in the moment I failed to notice. But last night I did. If anyone has any insight into this odd phenomenon, I would be very curious.

Anyway, time for some more training.

Song lyric of the day (runner-up for yesterday's lyric):
"Will you be my Valentine
If I'm a world away
Apologies are breaking me
The constants aren't so constant anymore"
- the Get Up Kids, Valentine

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My post on this Maybe Next Year Day

My old high school friend Ricky's away message this morning says, "To pessimistic singles, Happy Singles Awareness Day. To optimistic singles, Happy Maybe Next Year Day." I have chosen to be the latter, because as I've often said, it doesn't matter whether my optimism is rewarded, because I'm not sure what I'd be without it.

Anyway, I have little to say on this Maybe Next Year Day, except to point to a rather amusing Washington Post article called "What I Did For Lloyd". If nothing else, I figure Ben, Jeff, and perhaps even Aaron would appreciate it. If it helps entice them to click, the "Lloyd" the article title refers to is none other than Lloyd Dobler, the hero of the classic film "Say Anything".

I particularly like that one woman in the article points out the obvious: in the real world, the idea of a guy standing outside your window holding a boombox is somewhat disconcerting. Jeff, Ben, and I pointed this out brilliantly in our nearly-completed screenplay "Cherry Cream Soda", but that's a whole other story.

To refer back to how I started this post, I also like Cameron Crowe's assertion about Lloyd representing "optimism as a revolutionary act". It recalls to mind one of my favorite moments from the film, after Lloyd shows up to a party with Diane. A guy comes up to him, amazed that he got the Diane Court to go out with him. He asks, "Who are you?" John Cusack, playing the moment to perfection, pauses a fraction of a second and replies, "I'm Lloyd Dobler." To which the kid replies, "This is great. This gives me hope."

Lloyd's victory was for the little guys, the hopeless romantics who never give up. It's fake love, sure, but it's fun.

And of course, today's song quote is ridiculously predictable. Oh well. For lack of a boombox, I'll settle for a blog.

Song lyric of the day:
"Love, I get so lost sometimes
Days pass and this emptiness fills my heart
When I want to run away
I drive off in my car
But whichever way I go
I come back to the place you are...
In your eyes, the resolution of all the fruitless searches...
Oh, I want to be that complete"
- Peter Gabriel, In Your Eyes

Monday, February 13, 2006

The prophets are puking

In the great Woody Allen film "Hannah and Her Sisters", the Max von Sydow's character Frederick comments, "If Jesus came back and saw what's going on in His name, He'd never stop throwing up." I don't actually remember the quote (I saw the movie long ago), but I stole it from Barzelay's AIM profile because I thought it fit here.

Christianity is a religion of peace and charity. Islam is much the same (I believe they even count Christ among their prophets, but I could be wrong). And yet, somehow it seems that the more radical followers of the latter have forgotten the peace their religion preaches. A couple negative depictions of the prophet Mohammed, and they're burning things and killing people. I know I'm not the only one who finds this ridiculous.

On Friday, Leonard Pitts wrote an interesting article about religious reactionism. (Is that a word? It should be.) He talks about a cartoon commercial depicting Jesus staring through someone's window. I think I saw that ad last night, for a show called "Drawn Together". But I know for a fact Jesus has also been depicted on such cartoons as "Family Guy" and "South Park". In the latter, I remember a particularly amusing episode when Jesus became a talk-show host and got so fed up with his crazy guests he finally screamed, "Shut the fuck up! Jesus Christ, what is wrong with you people?"

Somehow I don't recall even the most radical Christians burning anything over those shows.

To conclude (since I really should be working), I fervently hope that the majority of pious Muslims are able to adhere to their religious beliefs in spite of the radicalism that sadly paints their beautiful faith in the eyes of many. My faith in Christianity was maligned at least partially by fundamentalism, which isn't a good thing. Every religion needs its majority of true, reverent followers to counterbalance the crazies that get all the media exposure.

Song lyric of the day:
"All of the desperate measures they take
All of the desperate hearts that they break
All are professing their religious love
Allah and God are in tears up above"
- Unexpectedly Sober, Holy Land (with a shoutout to Jeff)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Um, actually, yeah, kinda

So apparently, as reported here and elsewhere, a fight broke out between members of the Ukrainian parliament. I saw the fight on CNN this morning and you can see it too here. It's kind of amusing.

But what amuses or perhaps scares me more is my answer to the question posed by the CNN reporter (forget who it was now): "Can you see that happening on the Senate floor?"

Um, actually, yeah, kinda.

Not only can I see it happening, but I can guaran-damn-tee you that would be the highest ratings C-SPAN ever got. I know I for one would tune in. And to be honest, it would probably go a longer way to solving problems than, say, the political posturing posing as ridiculously long diatribes with no point that very few people actually saw during Justice Alito's confirmation hearings. Instead, why didn't we just let Senator Kennedy or Senator Schumer duke it out with Alito? Better yet, we could have had a tag team match: Ted and Chuck vs. Sammy and Johnny.

But seriously, given the animosity that seems to exist between parties these days, are we really that far off from a Senate floor free-for-all?

Song lyric of the day:
"All's quiet on the front, smoky room
Boxer's standing tall, peering through
Finding no one left to fight, what to do?
To the ring to the right point of view"
- Carbon Leaf, The Boxer

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

In the "Gainesville kicks ass" department

Hmmm, I start work tomorrow. Why am I writing a blog post at midnight? Probably because I just got into town, after getting an extremely late start from Banecker's place (lateness due largely to the usual me and Banecker activities).

Or maybe it's because I just encountered a kick ass radio station. It's 100.5 The Buzz (not to be confused with Nashville's 102.9 The Buzz or Houston's 94.5 The Buzz). This station, based in Gainesville, is awesome for this reason. During the hour and a half or so that I was able to pick up its transmission, I heard the Shins and the New Pornographers, neither of whom I'd ever encountered on the radio before. In addition, I heard several other solid songs I'd never heard before, but sadly I didn't get the artists. The station isn't perfect (the second song I heard was the Beastie Boys, whose music should really be purged from existence) but definitely solid, and one of the few that actually earns the category "alternative".

Anyway, bedtime.

Song lyric of the day:
"And if you had took to me
Like a gull takes to the wind
Well I'd have jumped from my tree
And I'd have danced like the king of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would have fared well"
- the Shins, New Slang

Monday, February 06, 2006

The music of 2005 (or, why music sales are down)

According to an article printed in the Chronicle yesterday (and reprinted today, much to my amusement), CD music sales are down. No surprise there. The telling statistic in the article is that 58% of fans complain that music is getting worse. Well, I've got news for them: it isn't.

Rather, what I think has happened is the industry is being extremely selective as far as what they want to promote. As music fan Kate Simkins puts it in the article, "less talented" artists who manage to craft one song that will connect with listeners will get the hell promoted out of their album, leading to excessive radio play of their one good song which is only made worse by the fact that people essentially paid 15 bucks for that song that they hear all the time anyway, and are stuck with 11 other tracks of absolute drivel.

Let's look at the top 94 songs played this past year on The Buzz, Houston's alternative station. Right off the bat, we note that #3 is Staind's Right Here, a song whose popularity likely derived from the fact that it reminded people of a Richard Marx song with a similar sentiment that played constantly during the halcyon days of their youths. And yet, it is supposedly one of the best songs on the album. We also note #7 and #8, Chevelle's Vitamin R and 10 Years' Wasteland: both bands are little more than Tool wannabes, and I have it on good authority that the latter's album is humble at best. In addition, you have bands who basically continue to repeat the same tired formula, such as 3 Doors Down, P.O.D., and Nickelback.

So has music really gone so far south? Looking farther down the list, we see signs of life: #29 is System of a Down's B.Y.O.B., #45 is Coheed & Cambria's The Suffering, and #77 is the White Stripe's My Doorbell. Indeed, many of the best songs that hit the radio these days are such as these, slightly more experimental in nature, and seemingly less radio-ready. And there are also a few that strike a chord, so to speak: Sum 41's Pieces at #18, Rise Against's Swing Life Away at #42 (and may they stick to acoustic, because when they get loud, they get tiresome), Coldplay's Talk at #71, and others. Then, of course, you even have your occasional ridiculously infectious tunes, as in Fall Out Boy's Sugar We're Going Down (#26), No Address's When I'm Gone (#27), and Hinder's Get Stoned (#32).

But even in spite of a few gems, it's hard to deny that radio just hasn't cut it lately. However, I think the most important point to take from that is that music has not necessarily gotten worse: it's just that good music is harder to find. Let's look at some of my favorite albums of the year: local artist iSOLA's Loud Alarms, Bloc Party's Silent Alarm, the Decemberists' Picaresque, the New Pornographers' Twin Cinema, and many others. You know how many times I heard songs off those albums on the radio? That's right, not once, even though all have tunes that would seemingly fit right in on the radio. This isn't a bad thing, in fact it's almost a good thing (no risk of overplay, for example). It just means music fans have to work a little harder. In particular, I've found routine trips to independent music stores (though that might get harder in Houston soon) to be a good way to remain apprised of good local and national stuff.

Wow, I can't believe I just spent all that time writing that post when I'm leaving for Florida in only a few hours. Best get back to packing.

Oh, and congrats to the Steelers.

Song lyric of the day:
"Whatever happened to our inner glow?
Whatever happened to the song, the soul
The me I used to know?
Whatever happened to my radio?"
- Blue October, Inner Glow

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Funny movie trailers

This appears to be a trend. And if so, it's a trend I can get behind.

First, Ben pointed to some parody movie trailers (which he in turn got from Barzelay). In particular, The Shining as a romantic comedy was brilliant.

Now, Meredith has pointed to a new trailer, which features a classic 1980s trilogy cast in an entirely new light in the wake of a 2005 Oscar contender. It, like the aforementioned fake Shining trailer, is hilarious, though sadly it doesn't feature Peter Gabriel's Solsbury Hill. Speaking of which...

Song lyric of the day:
"Today I don't need a replacement
I'll tell them what the smile on my face meant
My heart going boom-boom-boom
Hey, I said, you can keep my things
They've come to take me home"
- Peter Gabriel, Solsbury Hill

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Best spam subject ever

Whether it's because I lack anything substantial to write about, or because I'm trying to focus more on finding an apartment in Tampa, or simply because I'm lazy, today's post will be very short.

I received a spam email from Kazuo Prescott (a realistic name if ever there was one). I didn't explore the content of the email, but its title was enough to merit this post.

The subject header was: "mustard anteriorly".


Song lyric of the day:
"Spam in the place where I live, ham and pork
Think about selection, are there different flavors now?
Spam in my office at work, it's the best
Think about the stuff it's made from, wonder if it's mystery meat"
- "Weird Al" Yankovic, Spam

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

State of the Union response

I really don't have much to add beyond what Jeff said, and what I wrote in the comments. I'm mostly linking to it here in lieu of having to actually type a real blog entry.

Anyway, off to fetch my computer and continue preparations for moving to Tampa.

Song lyric of the day:
"I guess I'll to to Florida and get myself some sun
There ain't no more opportunity here, everything's been done"
- Traveling Wilburys, Tweeter and the Monkey Man