Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Music Special, July 30, 2010

One of the most repetitive songs I've ever heard. Really. But leave it on loop in the background, and it kinda grows on you.

I'll still always love their first record the most, but The Gaslight Anthem still does it pretty well.

I asked a friend for a suggestion on the third track for this week's FMS. I got the following: "Ok, this song, because it is awesome." ...I may declare shenanigans.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Music Special, July 23, 2010

A goody from some time back - I recall hearing this on a Ministry of Sound record from the early 2k's. And I recall liking it.

The video's more than half the fun.

Ok. Honestly, I watched part of this one on mute -- but Charlize Theron wielding a katana, and taking out a score of ninjas? Yar! ...oh, and there's some music playing too...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quality of Life Index, July 21, 2010

The timelessness of The Bard. (+5)

Bardolatry and its discontents. (a phrase I've totally co-opted from a lecture series I heard last Spring) (-2)

Shakespeare, still up by 2. (even)

Music of Trevor Morris, latest in a series of soundtracks I've been listening to as I read. (+2)

Will I finally see Inception in IMAX tomorrow? (even)

Crutches, still... (-1)

Dude. Alison Haislip did a scotch tasting. For really real. (+2)

Same scotch tasting had the gall to include Dewar's White Label in the flight. For Shame. #BlargFail (-1)

I may actually get an iPad 'cause of this. Well...that, and I found what looks like a semi-easy way to convert Kindle content to iBooks. Shazam. (+1)

This week's total: (+6)
Last week's total: (0)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Corner...

Overheard yesterday @ Café Pamplona, post-seminar:

"I don't know if movies like American Pie 
are, like, mimicking American culture or, 
like, making it."

Now. Far be it from me to wax overly critical of this inquiry --- but I will say this: the sad truth is the answer is neither. It is, in fact, both. Sha-whaaa? A double answer? A non-answer?

Consider this, one can fill in just about any piece of art in the blank: "______ makes modernity, and modernity makes ______." My own esteemed Pedagogue uses this governing dictum to navigate through a course on Shakespeare and Modern Culture, and I purport that such a symbiosis between art and culture is the imperative, and not the exception. According to another Cultural Savant who espouses the essential nature of this cyclical relationship, endeavoring to understand culture by understanding a particular work “is part of the social contract with appreciating anything artful”. Your making that art a part of your life “is the most transcendent thing any kind of art can accomplish". While in his book, the Author happens to be talking about Saved By The Bell (a mildly less compelling example of artfulness than, say, Hamlet), the concept, as Lacan wrote, engenders the thing. Modern culture’s contract with _____ is that it will endeavor to understand itself, through _____. This is the proof and pudding all in one.

So now back to you - Sidewalk Philosopher, Cinephile of the Late-90s Persuasion, Tea Drinker - did American Pie mimic us, or make us? The low-culture (a term I mostly despise for its divisive tendencies) gems of Pie-Copulation, Acronyms-for-maternal-Copulation (I'm starting to see a trend...), and yes - Stifler's Mom outcries all aside (trend verified, btw), if American Pie made us, we made it first. And before we made it, it made us too.

See the problem with the question you ask?

What's to glean here - what's absolutely germane - is that the question is vastly more important than the answer. Answers diminish potentiality, and that, unless thoughtfully considered can diminish the perpetuity of the very art (a term, perhaps, loosely applied to American Pie) you consider. But so long as its got you thinking, asking, wondering, and "considering" - its done the job it set out to do. And that's the point.

Let me put it to you like this, isn't anything cinematic, like, ten-times more interesting before you know how it ends?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Music Special, July 16, 2010

I know it was Kobe commercial during the NBA Finals --- but heck, just such a good cover.

Just. Just. I mean...just. I can't even. Just watch it. To the end, you hear?

A textbook worthy case-study on the construction of music for the masses.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

One Should Probably Disregard

In sort-of a frak all kind of mood.

I find myself weary - weary, maybe wary, of that particular slice of the thousand natural shocks that occupies my head.

Viddy that. I am entrenched. Incensed. Does my disarray, my discontent, make me malprop of la vie? To what?

I say, without remorse or contempt --- really and truly --- frak all that. Frak all, for sake of all --- 'tis oft one's place to play the prop, but ne'er shall it be that prop serves place and soul, bare.

Strange yet true.

And as for you, friend poured and friend standing most faithful guard --- thanks most kindly for your sentry. For your gentry, thanks.

Mes pensees ses presses vers toi ---

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Quality of Life Index, July 12, 2010

Back in the saddle. So to speak. (-3)

The colossal ass-hat that owns the dog down the street, who leaves the dog down the street outside all day to bark and make all other manner of disturbance. (-2)

Succumbing to the relentless pop-assault of Stieg what's his face. (even)

The excitement being felt about this week's Friday Music Special --- I'm gigitty. (+1)

Shakespeare Firs Folio case finally resolved. Jerk-off gets his. (+2)

Season One version of theme song to "The Wire". Jus' sayin' (+2)

All other iterations of theme song to "The Wire". 'nuff said. (even)

This week's total: (0)
Last week's total: (moot)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

If Painkillers Be The Fruit Of Love...

I find myself in a similar situation to last year's shit-show. 2009 was trouble, maybe double --- but persevere, did I. It's now times past, and time's passed, and yet here we are again.

The second of what's (hopefully/likely/maybe) a pair of repairs to a broken bone has left me somewhat immobile once again, though this time for not so long as last. Despite being less severe, this latest foray into "recovery" has led to some interesting experiences, begotten at behest of a friend named Vic, proper name somewhat longer and immune to Blogger spell check.

To say I'll get hooked is by far an overreach. But to say Vic don't sneak on in, in times of much distress - well that's just silly. Under Vic's thoughtful direction did I viddy some dreams last night, not fit for printing summations of here - save to say that Vic, well seems to bring out what lays hidden.

Poignantly, I'll say this about my new and temporary friend: shit makes you think of what you didn't say, forget that you shouldn't say it, and coaxes you to actions and words normally left to more private reflection.

So thanks, Vic.

More strange than true.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Friday Music Special, July 10, 2010 (Saturday Edition)

This is apropos.

This is an oldie, but a goodie.

And this is just freaky, 'cause since when does Scissor Sisters sound like Sir Elton? Ba-whaa?!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Yin V. Yang

Conflicted, I am.

Shoulder #1: I love to read, and so when I see others doing it - the warm and fuzzies, they get a tingling. I occasionally ride the bus to campus, and see folks toting hardbacks, and trades, and airport softcovers galore. My curiosity is generally peaked when I see what people are reading: what are they thinking? Who recommended this? What do they think about such and such, and this and that, and that? Sometimes, they're reading something I've read too - this sends curiosity into overdrive. Do they see the same scene unfold in their head? Do they see the same monster at the end of the book? There's a special sanctity to the shared experience of reading a quality piece of lit, and then connecting with another who has read that same set of words.

Shoulder #2: Frak you, you pretentious ass-hat. Take the dust jacket off your stupid Malcolm Gladwell coffee coaster and stop showing me how cooooooool and in-the-know you are. Read your book ALONE while you're in bed with your spreadsheets and whatever's on Leno tonight, and stop putting it up on frakking display for everyone else to see. Take your trade-sized, movie poster edition, copy of "Eclipse", and  read it huddled over while wearing fingerless gloves like any respectable emo kid would - you stupid raging hipster. And you - you with your "Girl Who Played With Something-Or-Other"'re too easy. Just go back to the American Apparel fitting room you crawled out of.

I am conflicted.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Friday Music Special, July 02, 2010

Had me hooked from the first bloody lick - equal parts White Stripes and Black Crowes.

Despite feelings of actual physical pain due to the first vocalist/tollbox's haircut - quite the toe-tapper, have we here.

And a happy 4th of July to all you lovers out there.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Music Special, February 26, 2010

A little groove for a little give.

1. Because they're awesome.
b. Because their Biography episode was the last thing I watched, last night.

Don't know much about this band, but of the few tracks I've heard, this one stuck.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Music Special, February 19, 2010

Dance it out, suckas.


I continue to absolutely adore this band. And you should too. If you don't, then The Machine will get angry. And you wouldn't like The Machine when it's angry.


The sophomore slump may have dimmed these guys a bit - but overall, there new offering ("Contra") contains much of the same toe-tapping awesomeness and groove that their first major record did. Play on, boys. Play on.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Pedagogues & Broomsticks, Part 2

In this next installment of Pedagogues & Broomsticks (aka - the technological travails of Professors I've encountered along The Way), I'd like to detail the current scene. I sit, in class, watching no fewer than 5 educators trying to figure out how to get presentations from 3 different laptops, onto 2 very large screens. The 2 screens simulcast the same a/v feed, the 5 people will only present one at a time, and 2 pairs are sharing 1 laptop per pair. 3 laptops use VGA out. 1 uses DVI. 1 looks like it has an S-Video out.  Convoluted? Yes. Painful to watch? Even more so. Number of icons on one professors left-side docked Windows XP taskbar? The total of survivors from the Titanic might actually be a lower number. Me? I'm a big fan of the path of least resistance, and struggle to understand how something as simple as wiring a classroom for ease-of-use for the non-tech savvy Prof's can be made so disruptively arduous.

Call me crazy, but in today's higher education setting, it's seemingly imperative that educators (and students) maintain more than a passing awareness of how a/v stuffs operate. The old guard of overhead projectors with reusable transparencies is gone the way of the Sugar Daddy (the candy, not the old guy) - as in, you can still find it somewhere, but only in the most specialized of spots. So here's my plea to all of you "Technology is not my thing" types: reach down, grab your bootstraps, and pull. Hard.

And if your answer is no, then stop wasting everyone's time and make way.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Friday Music Special, February 5, 2010

"The Ol' Beggar's Bush" - Flogging Molly

At their usual pace, their usual charm, and their unendingly awesome style. Yes, I like The Pogues more, and understand why I should - but after all this time, Flogging Molly still makes me dinky stinky, and that's the key to a long-lasting relationship, right?

"Kinda Kinky" - Ursula 1000

I owe my discovery of this total crap-track (toe-tap worthy as it is) to the website of a dive-bar in Mission Hill. For the record, if you don't serve whisky, consider rebranding yourself as a cafe.

"Someone Like You" - Safetysuit

I don't really understand why these guys aren't more popular. They're certainly head-and-shoulders above much of the swimming-with-owls-and-dolphins-city nonsense that's out there right now, and seem fairly musically coherent. Kudos?

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Pedagogues & Broomsticks

In a recent discussion with some cohorts far more technologically knowledgeable than myself, I mentioned some past technical difficulties with various Pedagogues who, for posterity's sake, I won't name. This got me thinking - I'm terribly tired of going to class and hearing my fellow humanistic brethren talk about how "technology is not their strong suit". Listen, bub - it ain't mine either, but I do - get it?

Let me paint a picture: first day of the first class of the last semester of classes before graduation. Professor X (no relation to the bald, psychic, Picard look-alike) frantically tries to get a laptop's video feed to pump through the magic jack on the wall and onto the big, beautiful screen. Simple, right? Not as simple as you'd hope. Now I'm no programmer. Not by ANY stretch. But listen - if you're going to use presentation materials, as just about EVERY faculty member does, nowadays - get your frakkin' act together. There is almost nothing that irritates me more than sitting in class, watching professors fumble through something that could (and SHOULD) be easily remedied by a training class, showing these brainiacs how to get their slides up on the screen. Stop wasting my time because you don't know how to do something, and clearly haven't bothered to learn.

Off to class now, we'll see how thing go today...

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Milestones Passed & Coming Attractions

Along with the new year, comes the passing of a fairly significant milestone, pour moi. Some time ago, I had (what I think) is a fairly clever idea for a feature-length film. Now, finally, completed, the script stands proud at ~116 pages of (hopefully) narrative goodness. Though I'm almost sad to have finished it, looking at the completed work makes me feel the warm and fuzzies all the way over. Good, that.

Next up: Friday Music Special, the Redux

Coming Soon: A treatise on the absolute necessity of the Quality of Life Index

Saturday, January 02, 2010

A New, New Year

Things resolved:

1. I am a writer. Of the things of which I'm certain, this is the most essential. Proven because despite a lack of validation, of justification - or publication - I keep doing it.

ii. It might not get better, but it certainly gets easier. A paraphrasing of some words of wisdom, pedagogically received.

c. When it doubt, take it out. True of so many editorial, and other more illicit, quandaries.

Ever mine, ever thine, ever ours...


PS: Dear "Lost" Writers, if after all is said and done, it's all in the Fat Guy's head, imma bring the mother*&#@ing ruckus.