Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Music Special, August 29

"Baditude" - Spoon, Harris and Obernik
I've wanted to post this for weeks, and today just happens to be the day. Listen. Get fired up. Dance in your cube. Y'know - if you have a cube.

"Sit And Wonder" - The Verve
Yes. More, The Verve. But it's really good. It feels like a good soundtrack song. Like you should be driving the highway with the top down, slowly. Either that or you should be on a two-day trip.

"Ten Day" - Tortoise
This is just a crazy track. Best use of a xylophone since, well, Sesame Street.

"Bones" - Editors
I don't even care that it's a U2 ripoff. I don't. I just care that it feels the same way that it did when I first heard Achtung Baby.

"Death" - White Lies
Another stellar track from these guys. The video doesn't feel quite right, especially the whole no faces thing - but the track abides. 

"5 Years Time" - Noah and The Whale
You go ahead and tell me that this song doesn't look, smell, taste, and feel like the sound of your favorite 80's movie, wrapped in junior high, and coated in sugar. Just go ahead. 

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Guide For Piracy

In a previous life, I researched reasons why Bit Torrents were good for Business, and why file-swapping was generally good for life. I recall a medium-length report delivered to some Uppity Ups detailing how 'yes, people are sure to use this razzle-dazzle technology for shameful things, but really - if they pay us for the software to do it, who the heck cares?'. I'm uncertain of how I feel, as a musician and writer, about the free sharing of information. But as a music lover - shit, if I had to pay for everything I wanted on my iPod - my checking account would be in even more dire straits than it is now. 

With the above argument steadily in hand - I feel at least equipped to deal with the folks that would call me 'thief'. Now I can confidently posit that I'm not a thief. I'm a pirate. And who doesn't like a pirate?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Quality of Life Index, August 27

The inevitable arrival of autumn in New England. (+5)

The fact that the DNC looks like a cross between Guitar Hero and your worst-ever high school pep-rally - the one before you totally lose the big game. (-3)

The fact the the coming RNC will be much the same. Although instead of Guitar Hero, this may be more akin to Intellivison. Just saying. (-3)

Anticipation of fall season premieres. (+2)

I can't find my favorite hat. (-5)

The odds that I'll find you, if you're the one who has my favorite hat. (even)

Clean, well-lighted places. (+4)

Quit, resign, stick it out, or make a move. (even)

This Week's Total: (0)
Last Week's Total: (-7)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Think About It

Posted in the hope that positive thinking (read: wishes for a new season) will yield a positive outcome (read: a new season).

Monday, August 25, 2008

Enter, Back Pain

Yep. That about sums it up. If you have good drugs, get in touch.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Music Special, August 22

"Mountains" - Biffy Clyro
I really like this song. There's not much more to it than that. If you can keep from singing along, you're a better music-ignorer than I. Acoustic version's pretty chill, too.

Yes. Metallica's new single is actually NOT total shit. I mean, we're not talking Ride The Lighting, here - hell, we're not even talking The Black Album. But we're not talking St. Anger, either. So that's something.

This is the Oasis track I mentioned last week. Wow. Just wow. Oasis rarely disappoints (you either like it all, or hate it all), but they haven't knocked it out of the park like this since She's Electric.

Natasha Bedinglfield, eat your heart out.

"Love Is Noise" - The Verve
Another comeback hit from an old time favorite. It's The Verve, not LL Cool J - so I can call it that.

"Poison" - Bell Biv DeVoe
I shouldn't have to say anything. In case you're looking to hear something - miss her, kiss her, love the video.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

September Hoopla

I'm uncertain of whether this makes me 'pro-active, or a 'loser', but here it is:

Monday, September 1st
- Prison Break (Fox)

Tuesday, September 2nd
- The Shield (FX)

Sunday, September 7th
- True Blood (HBO)
- Entourage (HBO)

Monday, September 8th
- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Fox)
- Fringe (Fox)

Thursday, September 18th
- Smallville (The CW)

Monday, September 22nd
- Heroes (NBC)
- The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Thursday, September 25th
- Grey's Anatomy (ABC)

Sunday, September 28th
- Dexter (Showtime)
- Californication (Showtime)
- Desperate Housewives (ABC)

Early 2009
- Lost
- Battlestar Galactica 

If none of this satisfied, then I give you The Tiddy Bear:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Quality of Life Index, August 20

The theme song from Weeds summing up my life, of late (video embedded below). (-4)

Lack of time. (-5)

Motivation on the decline, due to lack of any apparent progress. This may be redundant. Or not even factual. (-3)

The lack of rain. (+3)

The probability that it will now rain, as a consequence of my having commented on the lack of rain. (even)

Iced coffee. (+2)

This Week's Total: (-7)
Last Week's Total: (+4)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Outside South Station

Let's paint a picture. Sitting at a downtown intersection, I observed the following:

- Man starts to walk across the street (four-way intersection).
- Police SUV trying to take a right at the intersection, where the 'right' would intersect the crosswalk Man was using, stops just a foot or so short of Man's left leg.
- Driver of Police SUV, likely a Police Officer, leans on horn until Man backs up to the sidewalk.
- Man looks at Police Officer.
- Police Officer stares down Man, then points at him, then points at "Don't Walk" signal.
- Man looks at signal, doesn't care, looks back at Police Officer.
- Police Officer guns it through the intersection and speeds away.
- Man crosses street. While doing so, Man looks at me, rolls his eyes, and looks in the direction Police Officer sped off.

Riddle me this: who is in the wrong? Better yet, if my place, and the place of the Police SUV were reversed - would the answer be the same?

Also of note: large sign reading "Yield to Pedestrians in Crosswalk" was present. 

Monday, August 18, 2008

Take Your Pick

After much deliberation, I'm putting this one out there:

Fall 2009:
- Harvard
- University of Hawai'i at Manoa

This list may grow, and I am open to suggestions on places that should be added. That is all. 

And now, a video - for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Music Special, August 15

"Shout" - Black Tide
Distortion on vocals. Metal licks galore. Bang your heads and pound back your beers. Also, find a high school girl.

"Township Funk" - DJ Mujava
Groovy drum & bass track. This is definitely something you can throw on to ignore, or to get silly to.

"Sex On Fire" - Kings of Leon
My favorite track on the list this week. This song is not epic, but it's pretty freakin' close.

"Handlebars" - Flobots
This spot was supposed to be occupied by the new Oasis track, which I am crazy about, but I couldn't find it. I only tried once, though - so maybe I'm not as crazy about the new Oasis track as I thought. Cool video, though.

"The Cat" (Crookers Remix) - Dusty Kid
Back once again with the d&b goodness. Thumping track. Put it on and watch your laundry go through 'spin'.

"Pieces" - Chase and Status, featuring Plan B
This track just makes me feel groovy, on this grey grey day...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Video Quickie

A surprisingly fresh cover of the Hendrix tune I mentioned yesterday.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Quality of Life Index, August 13

The fact that one of the most dangerous phrases in the English language is the same as the title of my favorite Jimi Hendrix song. (even)

Weeds Season 4. Mary-Louise Parker is at her absolute finest. (+3)

Podcast of the Lost panel, from SDCC. (+3)

The Olympics. (-4)

The Olympics, were they to be staged more like Ninja Warrior. (+5)

Chuck Klosterman's latest column for Esquire. Proof positive that we are Philistines, all. (+2)

Russia & Georgia. (-5)

This Week's Total: (+4)
Last Week's Total: (-5)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 Has It Down

Strangely enough, hit it right on the head today with its 'word of the day' posting:

enervate \EN-ur-vayt\, transitive verb:
1. To deprive of vigor, force, or strength; to render feeble; to weaken.
2. To reduce the moral or mental vigor of.

Now let's try a sentence.

"With a continuous, Ludovico-style daily dosing of nonsensical tasks, his job leaves Ed ________ed."

That's all.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Death By Chocolate

Three skits starring Ashton Kutcher. Watch & Enjoy.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday Music Special, August 8

"Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" - Vampire Weekend
These guys continue to impress me, to the point where I actually purchased the album on iTunes. What cemented it was a great Saturday Night Live performance, last season. Plus they describe themselves as 'avant afro-pop', which is kind of kitschy for a bunch of white kids from NYC.

"In This City" - Iglu & Hartly
The vocals wax a bit emo, but the melody and rhythm drive the tune home. Definitely worth a listen, maybe even two.

"Daddy's Gone" - Glasvegas
Right from the intro, right on.

"Boyfriend" - Alphabeat
These guys continue to impress. Their first single, "Fascination", felt like a new generation of 80's pop. This new track does not fall far from the tree of 80's-like excitement. Plus - she's got a bit of a Cyndi Lauper thing going on,  no? A new generation of Mall Girls can safely rejoice, their savior is come.

"Fruit Machine" - The Ting Tings
I really didn't have high hopes for The Ting Tings, but they keep me coming back for more. Talk about the anti-White Stripes.

"Beggin" - Madcon
Wow. Just wow. Outkast, meets the 70's, meets Grand Theft Auto. Listen - then you can try and disagree. 

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Quality of Life Index, August 6

Water falling from sky. (-4)

People that forget how to drive when 'water falling from sky'. (-4)

The Dark Knight in IMAX. Fine job, Christopher Nolan et al. (+5)

Steve Jobs' email about the MobileMe fiasco. Proof positive that even mighty Apple's back can break when carrying that one extra straw. (even)

John McCain vs. Paris Hilton. Is anyone having flashbacks to that scene in Old School, when Blue wrestles the naked girls covered in baby oil? I mean - it's not exactly the same - Paris will probably wear a shirt or something - but still. (+3)

Tommy Hilfiger's wedding called off. The split is said to be amicable. This actually doesn't affect me at all, nor will it until I read a story about how Hilfiger has gone nuts, starting stalking Bruce Willis (or anyone else), begun a self-destructive addiction to Cosmopolitans (or Amaretto Sours, or wine coolers), and colored his entire line black - and then torn all the clothes in mourning. Maybe, then. (_)

Katy Perry. Sorry, Luv - I'm really starting to hate that fucking song. (-3)

Every radio station and magazine and CD store, for making me start to hate that fucking song. (-2)

This Week's Total: (-5)
Last Week's Total: (+3)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Today we're going to discuss a certain trait of the random bus loads of Tourists that visit MIT campus every day. Let me be clear: I have nothing against these people. I do, however, take most grievous issue with their continued use of fanny packs.
I recognize, certainly, the functionality of such a body-sack --- what I am unaware of is the social convention making it acceptable to don such a ridiculous piece of garb, and then walk around with it dangling from your midsection. If anyone is cognizant of the protocol in question, please enlighten me. Until such time as I am convinced otherwise, I say to you fanny pack wearers, all: Get a camera vest. Carry a backpack. Stop looking like a massive tool. Also, writing your name on your underwear with a Sharpie went out of fashion sometime around Kindergarten. 

Monday, August 04, 2008

Show Time

It's no secret that one of my favorite things is to "devour" (as an old Professor of mine put it) a good series. Having moved steadily through just about every network show that fit the bill, I've taken to examining the premium channel fare with some vigor - and with my favorite serials (Lost, Battlestar, Smallville, to name a few...) currently absent, I'm loving every second of it.

First off, let's discuss Weeds Season 4. I was a latecomer to this show (like everything else on Showtime, I marathoned through the first few seasons on DVD, before catching up to the weekly airings). Mary Louise Parker's drug-dealing mama is only the tip of the iceberg of goodness, leaving plenty of room for a well-fleshed cast to flex. The current season, which sees Parker's character dealing in a new town, getting spanked by the Mayor of Tijuana, and pelting her ex-best-friend across the mouth with a .45 in one hand & iced latte in the other, is the best one yet. Sad though, that Conrad hasn't shown up yet...

Now, Dexter. It's a rare thing to adore a series purely for the writing - as in, if there was nothing but a pile of scripts, I would still go at every single one like Christian Shephard at a bottle of scotch. And then there's the fact that Michael C. Hall brings alive the most socially-conscious serial killer of all time without ever slipping out of character. And the fact that the rest of the cast feels so natural, so effortlessly good at what they're doing, that you can't help but be enthralled. And then there's the fact that all of Season 2 is available On-Demand. In HD.

Finally - let's discuss Californication. Chili-Peppers rip off claims and underrated David Duchovny aside, this show is delectable. Forget every 'family' show you've ever seen, and tune in to watch Duchovny's Hank Moody utterly unraveled by Los Angeles. References and inside jokes abound - so be forewarned, this one is not for the culturally illiterate. But it's funny as hell. 

And whatever happened to HBO? Well - with The Sopranos having sung their swan song, Rome having reached a point in history where nothing can happen in the story for...ohhh...about seven hundred years, Entourage & Flight of The Conchords not yet returned, and John From Cincinnati having sucked hard - Showtime is kicking the ass of the network that once claimed to be "not TV". (In the network's defense - Tell Me You Love Me was brilliant, and there's always The Wire.) Here's to healthy competition between the premium powerhouses - and here's to the joys of DVR, On-Demand, and TV on DVD.

Tomorrow, back to the usual non-sensical rants. Because this so wasn't, right?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday Music Special, August 1

"Insomnia" - Faithless (DJ Tiesto Mix)
Wow. A good dance beat, mixed up by one of the finest in the business. All hail - new king in town.

"Slow Kids" - Cheeky Cheeky and The Nosebleeds
Sounds like that band, whose guitar player you were friends with in high school, now grown up. Also - they still sound just like they did in high school.

One part Radiohead, one part Mutemath = two parts tasty. Good tune. Catchy riff. Ummm, but that video?

"Sequestered In Memphis" - The Hold Steady
Appropriately titled. Vocals could be a bit tighter - sounds a bit like sloppy Chris Robinson - but still worth a listen. Probably not more than "a" listen, though.

"Buzzards And Crows" - Dirty Pretty Things
Likely my favorite track on this week's list. Actually makes me perk up and pay attention - not just play it to ignore it.

"Midnight Madness" - The Chemical Brothers
The intro sounds like a cross between an old school NES soundtrack, and then breaks out into a pretty washable beat. Still. Those little beeps and boops make me all kinds of nostalgic - resulting in the song's placement, here.