Monday, December 25, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
All right, I guess the time has come to do a best of the year list. Why, you ask? Because as a superficial, pretentious jerk I believe that people are basically defined by the things they like. And I want to share some of the things I liked so that you will in turn like me more; you know, 'cause you're a superficial, pretentious jerk too. Which, c'mon, we all know you pretty much are....
Top Records (in no particular order)
-TV On The Radio, Return To Cookie Mountain
-Thom Yorke, The Eraser
-Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show Your Bones
-Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere
-Eef Barzelay, Bitter Honey
-Forget Cassettes, Salt
-Sean Lennon, Friendly Fire
-Cursive, Happy Hollow
-Pearl Jam, Pearl Jam
-David Bazan, Fewer Moving Parts
-Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit
-Calexico, Garden Ruin
-Loose Fur, Born Again In The USA
-Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am
-Mogwai, Mr. Beast
-Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan, Ballad Of The Broken Seas
-Cat Power, The Greatest
-Johnny Cash, American V: One Hundred Highways
-Jeremy Enigk, World Waits
And yeah, I feel the need to omit Tom Waits, Orphans because I technically haven't gotten it yet; but c'mon, I already know it belongs on the list. I don't have to listen to it to know I'm gonna love it.
Guilty Pleasure Pop Singles Of The Year
-Beyoncé, "Check On It"
-Justin Timberlake, "My Love"
-Chamillionaire, "Ridin Dirty" and to a certain extent Weird Al Yankovic, "White & Nerdy" is way better
-Prince, "Black Sweat"
-Jay-Z, "Show Me What You Got" (wait, I don't feel guilty about this one at all)
-Fergie, "London Bridge"
-Christina Aguilera, "Ain't No Other Man"
I won't publicly admit to loving these songs ever again (however, I may start dancing and singing along uncontrollably) so I ask that you forget what you just read and go back to believing that I only listen to things that I pretend to like only to impress other elitists.
Top Movies (I really didn't see that many this year, but here goes it)
-Little Miss Sunshine
-Running With Scissors
-Thank You For Smoking
-Strangers With Candy
Seriously, those are like 90% of the movies I saw in the theater this year. I must really know what I'm going to like or otherwise I'm really lucky (not to mention that I don't get out to the movies much). I may have to also mention "Me And You And Everyone We Know", not because I particularly liked it but because Adrienne and I constantly quote it. Especially the scatological perceptions of sex from the seven year old boy in it; we can relate.
Top Shows On Television
-Dexter: Season 1 (Showtime)
-Weeds: Season 2 (Showtime)
-The Sopranos: Season 6, Part 1 (HBO)
-Big Love: Season 1 (HBO)
-Lucky Louie: Season 1&2 (HBO)
-Project Runway (Bravo)
-Top Chef (Bravo)
-Survivor: Cook Islands (CBS)
-Six Feet Under (reruns on Bravo)
-No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain (Travel Channel)
-Flavor Of Love 2 (VH1)
-Best Week Ever (VH1)
-The Soup (E!)
-Pardon The Interruption (ESPN)
-Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)
Yeah, I watch a lot of TV. It's become pretty apparent at this point. But with shows like this on I can definitely justify my $80 monthly digital cable bill (with DVR, bitches!). And who says that TV can't be an educational, transcendent experience? I've learned a lot from Flavor Of Love. Like to never get between twenty skanks and their (mildly retarded) man; the puncture wounds from fake nails and six inch heels are not worth it.
So there it is, my year's picks. Disagree? Screw you, write your own damn blog!
Saturday, December 9, 2006
That's another trend that I'm noticing with all these videos besides the low budgets and very unspecial effects; none of the imagery is subtle in relation to the lyrics. In fact, it's pretty much spot-on literal with no room for interpretation. If the character described in the song has a troubled home life then you will surely see a shot of his dad throwing him out of the house for listening to loud heavy metal music only to be sent down a downward spiral that will ultimately lead to him serving "18 and Life".
And the bluntness is not just in the interpretation of the lyrics, but the bands themselves. The bassist from Warrant wears a shirt in their video for "Big Talk" that says LICK ME and I'm pretty sure that his plan for wearing such an indiscriminate advertisement of his promiscuous nature is completely self serving. He plans on getting licked in all the right places, make no mistake about it. Short, sweet and to the point. No confusion whatsoever about his intensions, the girls in the crowd will surely know what to do after the show is over and they find themselves backstage (even though, what self respecting groupie would go after the bass player?).
I feel that that describes the existence of all those bands, everything had to be overblown and in your face and extreme, from the hair to the songs to the clothes and the music, leaving absolutely nothing below the surface. But that's also why some of these bands sold millions of records. Like, millions and millions more than you would ever think that they were capable of selling. We're talking Jay-Z numbers for some of the bigger ones like Bon Jovi and Skid Row. People wanted them for the shallow pricks they were and they gave it their all, no matter how ridiculous as that got. However, something tells me that most of them haven't felt any shame whatsoever for what they looked like, acted like or represented, it just doesn't fit their profile. They saw a million faces and they rocked them all because it was their destiny. What's a little spandex to get in the way of that?
Right now, a video for Overkill's "Hello From The Gutter" came on. The name of the band completely encapsulates their image. Leather pants, ripped shirts, poofy hair, spiky guitars, wall of amps behind them; complete and utter visual and aural overkill. I'm sure they sold millions of records as I'm sure that all that money they made is long gone and spent by now; it went up their noses or into fast cars and/or fast women. I hope they got some stories out of it and not just a wardrobe filled with neon green spandex and fringed white leather, that would be the real shame.
Saturday, December 2, 2006
And this is a smell that my olfactory organs found very familiar.
You see, the first place I lived in by myself in Nashville had very thin walls and interconnected plumbing as well as ventilation systems that knew no boundaries so I would often catch whiffs of what my neighbors were cooking up. And it was never good smells, like I had often experienced in Italy (where if you're walking the streets around lunch or dinner time your appetite grows exponentially as you pass every open kitchen window). No, they were always wafts of awfulness akin to rotted produce or spoiled milk. An especially awful smell seemed to only appear every few weeks from the apartment next door where a Pakistani man dwelled. I only imagined what kind of concoction could possibly smell this bad. Boiled cabbage and sweat-drenched socks, perhaps? Anyway, it was bad.
And now it's back with a vengeance thanks to our what-we-assume-to-be Korean neighbors. Except it's there every day, every moment of the damn day. What's weird is that we share a side of our apartment with these people and we have never heard a single sound from them. No noise, just smells. They must sit silently, constantly and tirelessly stirring their enormous pots of awful stew. Our coat closet has been hit the hardest and we have to leave it open once in a while to prevent full jacket contamination. Otherwise we run the risk of bringing the smell with us everywhere we go. And that is not acceptable.
I guess we'll just have to bear it until it's time to turn the heat on, except that might not be for another couple of months knowing the meteorological perplexities of the deep South.