Monday, June 30, 2008

Peanuts is Timeless, Pt Not in the Hospital

Just a couple links...shit was slow.

My theory on why people keep wanting to read Peanuts in their daily paper: it's good, and new comic strips suck.

A football gag drop in a political article that goes the extra mile and actually provides a Youtube link. You stay awesome, Post.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Screw This

Spain just won the Eurocup, defeating the Germans 1-0. For those of you who do not know, Germany is my favorite, thanks in very large part to the fact that my mother is of German ancestry. My mother is such a fantastic goddess among peasants that she makes things epically awesome by proxy.

All my Euro buddies hate Germany's squad. They are apparently dirty and dull players.

Oh well...German is still a better language than Spanish. It makes a phrase like "I love you" sound like "I'm going to bomb your city to Hell" and a phrase like "I'm going to bomb your city to Hell" sound like "I will eat your fathers heart and vomit it into your mouth." Also, it bears no resemblance to the Italian language.

Need I go into the whole beer thing?

Tomorrow I'll likely be admitted to the hospital to treat this ongoing series of symptoms that no one has been able to get to the bottom of much less treat effectively. I'm scared; petrified, actually. But eager to get answers.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Questioning the Arbiter of Good "Music"

The words of Thurston Moore insofar as they are spewed re: the gift of music have been taken as gospel by many people for many years. It coincided with Sonic Youth's ascension to indie godhead status 'round about 1988, and has never stopped in the decades since. Whatever bands SY namedropped in interviews would get instant attention, from fans and record companies alike. It was not unlike a slap on the back from King Midas.

No SY member seemed to know more about new music--or at least be more willing to run their mouth--than Mr. Moore, the de facto leader. To this day he boasts an almost superhuman awareness of musical genres and regional scenes, bolstered by a refreshing lack of preoccupation with "newness" that helps explain why a band like Awesome Color can be making music that's been done by several thousand other bands for the past 30 years, yet end up on Moore's label, Ecstatic Peace, and even land several opening gigs for the Youth on their last major tour.

It's a daunting task to try and hunt down the sonic ephemera huzzahed by Thurston Moore throughout the years. Also, it's stupid. Back in the 80s, he gave more face time to more 7 inch hardcore releases than was safe to be aware of, much less take the time to listen to. What's more interesting to me are the albums that Thurston keeps mentioning. This century, especially, I've noticed one standout.

"...super bubblegum-punk...."

"One of the best records I've ever heard...."

"I just crank that shit up in the car."

Released in 2000, Heroes and Villains was intended as a companion piece for the popular Powerpuff Girls cartoon that ran 1998-2005. Creator Craig McCracken picked the artists, showing the same affectionate whimsy that permeated his show about a crime fighting trio of kindergarten girls.

At its best, PPG rocked; villains included the echoey, effeminate Satan stand-in Him; corn pone simian Fuzzy Lumpkins, hellbent on turning people into meat; and prime foe Mojo Jojo, a pint-size monkey with an exchanged gift for words and knack for hi-tech weaponry.

The heroes, of course, were the finely delineated girls: level-headed Blossom, bellicose Buttercup and carefree Bubbles. It was all very winning. At least, on TV it was. Let's see if Thurston is still to be trusted in his advanced age.

1. "The Powerpuff Girls (Main Theme)"--Audio of every episode introduction. Amen break!

2. "Go Monkey Go" - Devo--Sometimes, I wish Devo would do another album. Then I remember their last album. I would cry if they died, but do we need more Devo when Mark is content with children and Gerry is malcontent as ever with life.

3. "Pray For The Girls" - Frank Black--'Cause when I think empowered young girls, I think Frank fuckin' Black, the human embodiment of Charlie Brown. (How has Stereogum not photoshopped him in a zig zag tee yet?) Thurston calls this track "insane". Eh, it's good, dude. It's "insane" if all you've heard is a toothpick plucking a rubber band for three days.

4. "Signal In The Sky (Let's Go)" - The Apples In Stereo--I like this, but I like AIS. They have much better in them than this.

5. "Walk & Chew Gum" - Optiganally Yours--This is poo. I would crank this into a padded room if I wanted the sole occupant to kill themselves.

6. "Buttercup (I'm A Super Girl)" - Shonen Knife--AKA, "Original Powerpuff Girls". You know what it sounds like already--Japanese women in the attic pretending to be the Ramones, down to the leather jackets, buggy shades, and street-tough poses. Except they forgot they're not supposed to smile or add any synth. Oh well. This fucking rules.

7. "B.L.O.S.S.O.M." - Komeda--Songs like this are what smoke would sound like if smoke indeed could produce sound.

8. "Bubbles" - Dressy Bessy--As airy as the titular character is airheaded, but with actual soul lurking in them there clouds.

9. "Fight The Power" - Bis--Video game pyro. Not a cover.

10. "Don't Look Down" - The Sugarplastic--For real, something might be sucking on you. I love that one episode when the Professor's old buddy comes to visit. His name? Dick Hardly. As the day is long, I tell you. They all think he's decent, but he's actually trying to clone the girls. It slowly dawns on them, but they just don't wanna believe it. "But, but, Professor Dick is good, right?"

11. "The Fight" - Cornelius--A brilliant mash of the intro vocals and Cornelius' own guit-spasms. Sounds like a tussle between the Powerpuff Girls and the Rowdyruff Boys and somebody's gettin' a tongue in the mouth.

12. "Friends Win" - The Bill Doss--As in, "dross".

13. "The Powerpuff Girls (End Theme)" - Bis--Aw man, Bis, you fucked up. And I was gonna invite y'all over for ice cream and cookies. Remember that episode that was all Beatles references? Yeah.

So, 6 out of 13 songs are good. Bad, bad percentage. Thurston--fatherhood has made you more accepting of twee diddle diddle. Boo to that. Yay of course to the whole understanding your spiritual role in the universe, that's fantastic, but boo to all that. The Thurston Moore of 1985 woulda kicked your sappy ass. If he weren't too blazed out to get off the couch.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Peanuts Is Timeless, Pt. Cheer Up It May Never Happen

Japan, go-to country for "large Snoopys".

It's true...who hates Snoopy? Who? Think of the worst people you know...I bet they would all still be Snoopy fans, or at least have no beef with him. I'm talking people like Gary Glitter,Gordon Young, Ann Coulter. Full scumbags each one. But do you think they hate Snoopy? Not a chance.

Poor Shermy, he had the best hair of the Peanuts kids, too.

And you know, I'd still never go see a game there.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dear Revolution, Hurry Up

So no, I haven't touched mitts to Hits Are For Squares yet. Likely won't for awhile. As much as I adore Sonic Youth, I've never been a completist sort. I'm far too busy collecting Snoopy to worry much about scouring Ebay for that orange vinyl 7" of "Silver Rocket". That's why I'm forever grateful to our dear friend Innaweb, as it has provided us with not only the new track "Slow Revolution" but also scans of the CD booklet.

"Slow Revolution" is a Kim track. It's not Rather Ripped at all, but it has been rended; it's psychedelic in the manner of Susan Atkins' latest CT scan. A blanket of notes, chords tickled not tanked. Nothing's gonna change Kim's world. A mood movie that would never make any album.

Now, thoughts on the liners, which the printed matter maniac that long ago erected a mighty pup tent in my soul was anticipating most.

--Catherine Keener, oh Lord. I can only assume if not hope that selections from Sesame Street Presents the Counts Greatest Hits compose the other nine. The "precocious genius of Kathleen Hannah"? That's funny on a couple levels.

--"You can't front on the guitars." Mike D writes the way the Dust Brothers sample! And that note about the Jason Lee cameo, wow, revelatory. Bruce Willis is dead.

--So, Beck could have selected "Star Power". Yet didn't. Suck wee like a teething toddler who found Daddy's new console.

--Curious as to which member of Radiohead wrote that blurb. Surely to fuck it did not take all of them to state the awesomely obvious.

--Bitch, did you just say "proto-hipsters"?

--Allison Anders won.

--There goes Eggers again, trying to hammer a nail with a screwdriver. Watt Meltzer, yo. Bitch, did you just say "throw chingasos"?

--Yeah, man, fuck coffee. Stick your dick right in it! Eetai! Oh shit, people, Eddie Vedder just said "fuck coffee" for a Starbucks compilation! I bet anyone who was holding the actual liners in their hands got the tremors of a die hard boozer when they read that for the first time. So recalcitrant, so pure, so real! My God, is it still possible in this fragmented, amoral day and age for people to still be as heartfelt and uncontaminated as Eddie Vedder?

--Flea's right, actually.

--Where one David fails, another succeeds. Well played.

--Chloe Sevigny once said the Stones were better than the Beatles because they were ostensibly "sexier" and "clever" and "raw", so dangerous! Yeah, I don't know how the status quo ever survived minacious ol' Charlie Watts.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dissecting a Muxtape

Namely, mine. Yes, the new type mixtape, "download proceeding" the new "press record". Since last March, the free service offers the user the opportunity to upload a 12-MP3 "tape" for the enjoyment of the curious.

Some muxtapers care about sequential cohesion. Some of them want to present a clear theme. Some people want their mux to let you peek into their lives. Me? I did this in ten minutes.

"One For Peedi"--Peedi Crakk, Freeway, Young Chris and Beanie Sigel
A hearkening back to the days when Rocafella Records seemed unstoppable, or at least real hard to slow down. This anthemic posse cut not only showcased several of Philly's finest, but necessitated the creation of a video where old white people wear ghetto-ass tees bearing rapper aliases.

"Footsteps in the Dark"--Isley Brothers
Slow, low, sleek...who doesn't want to make sweet curry love to the strains of an Isley Brothers song? Or at least undress very slowly. If this seems weird after a rap song, keep in mind that the delectable lick and cooing vocals were sampled for Ice Cube's atypical classic "It Was a Good Day", while the intro drums were lifted by the late J Dilla for "Won't Do".

"The Pink Room"--Angelo Badalamenti
From the Fire Walk With Me soundtrack, some bizarro Wild West for the ears. This was also sampled for a rap song, Canibus' "Indibisible". (99% of his fans aren't existing!)

"Give It Up"--KC & the Sunshine Band
An almost implausible hit from 1984 for the Once Lord of Disco, both here and in England especially, where the chorus melody has been integrated into many a delightful football chant. Ultimate dumbo brilliance. If you've ever watched the broadcast version of Gaki No Tsukai's 2004 No Laughing game, you may have noticed that the song makes a brief appearance. Possibly my favorite inexplicable use of American music in a Japanese TV show ever.

"Buffalo Stance"--Neneh Cherry
MTV used to be good. Watchable. Listenable. VJs weren't glamorous, but they weren't fargin' idiots either. This ode to empowerment and rebuke to audacious pimps fairly ruled 1989. I can still scarcely believe this was produced by an English guy.

"Union of the Snake"--Duran Duran
If MTV was still good in 1989, it was god in 1984. You couldn't wake up, piss and finish half a bowl of Lucky Charms without a video by the most fashionable British band of ever blessing your eyes. So bright, so sexy, so glam! And yeah, the music was good. Is good, actually. This doesn't have the rep of a "Rio" or "Hungry Like the Wolf" and that's a shame, 'cause "Snake" is an immaculately cut piece of pop, all elegant sonic flourishes, vague versifying, and sky-denting chorus. What the hell does it mean, anyway? Is it about a burgeoning cult? An internal clash threatening to go nuclear? Tantric sex? Well, per Simon Le Bon, the third is the truth. Makes sense when you actually read up on it.

Man will immediately sense that woman is with him, on his side, moving in rhythmic unison. There will be a feeling of “oneness” with a deep bodily “yes” from her, and he won't have to fight for his love, or she struggle to give it. It is true sexual union. To make love in this way, utilizing polarity, begins the process of establishing a powerful energy field between and within two bodies. Bio-electricity flowing within this magnetic field follows a helical path, and this explains why the movement of the famed serpent power , the kundalini energy, located at the base of the male spine will be experienced as a forceful unfolding, jerking, rising snake. In complementary style, the root of the female kundalini energy lies not in the spinal base, as mistakenly believed, but in the breasts. This so, because energy cannot be raised from a negative center. Once the breasts and heart of a woman are fully resonant, this snake will implode, gracefully unwinding, and giving way within.

"Nasty Like College Chicks"--Andre Nickatina
Ain't a damn thing to dislike. Voice like a West Coast Rockness. Hilarious title. Best intro in rap music history. Top 5 chorus in the history of the genre.

"Pussyhole"--Dizzee Rascal
A dis song, but I forget who towards. Dizzee really shines over belabored samples.

"Have A Nice Day"--Roxanne Shante
Now here is a dis track with an unforgettable talent: KRS-One. See, Blastmaster kinda ran his mouth in "The Bridge Is Over", taking shots not only at Juice Crew member MC Shan, but also the sole female of that clique, Roxanne Shante. To many, this couldn't help but be a one-sided swedge: compared to the rest of the Juice Crew, KRS was going after the comparatively weaker MCs. If Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane were the Sonny and Michael, Shan and Shante were more like Fredo and Connie. (Biz Markie, by the way, totally Clemenza.) But what if Connie recruited Michael to teach her the art of armed combat? The result was the relentless "answer" to Kris' crude dismissal. (The final verse is the killer, where Scott La Rock gets jibbed and acronyms be mad fun.)

"Hands Up"--Red Collar
What is it about North Carolina rock that's so forceful yet thoughtful? Of course you've never heard of Red Collar and you've never heard the EP from which this song was taken. Get smart like Steve Carrell's agent.

"Jet"--Paul McCartney and Wings
Horns to hearken the arrival of a top 5 songwriter in the history of ever. Oh yes. You may cringe at the fact that Macca wrote this song in honor of his pet horse, but boo to you and all those who. Ooh, I wish it was about lying around in bed to end war!

"Just A Song Before I Go"--Crosby, Stills and Nash
Now that's an end piece. See, this guy says to Graham Nash, he says, 'Man, we're gonna be at the airport in 15 minutes, ain't no way you can write a song in that time! It's like my pimpin' hero--too short!" Graham just rolls his eyes and says, "Kid, I got this." And he did. The ballyhooed CSN vocal harmonies and folk melodies are hit-miss with me, but this one hits heavenly.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Peanuts Is Timeless...You Can't Rhyme, Bitch!

Or, what happens when a rapper tries to actually freestyle during an MC battle. Poor Blueprint.

My favorite thing about school was "leaving".

Nice to know I won't be the first author to have done the Snoopy Dance when I'm made official.

The power of Peanuts is incredible. The influence of those panels, immeasurable.

Headline of the year. Admire the research, also! Reciting Lucy's litany. Impressive.

If Charlie Brown had made it to the majors, he'd have worn the Cubby pinstripes. And been renamed "Steve Trachsel".

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Stuck on 38?

Unless a New York friendo is nice enough to hook me up with an extra, looks like the Sonic Youth July 4th gig will not be my 39th SY gig. Oh well. It'll probably be too hot anyway.

Friday, June 13, 2008

They Are the Champions

It's really actually rather Cooly McCool and the Cool Kids when you find a reality show that doesn't suck. It's further breezly brewin' when one of the contestants seems like a normal, levelheaded, talented person and you start to root for them. Then they win. Congratulations, Top Chef Stephanie Izard. Has any reality show winner managed to utter "holy shit" as many times as her? I don't think so. (Interesting tidbit here: Season 3 winner Hung was encouraged to try out for the show by Season 2 finalist Marcel. Stephanie was likewise persuaded to audition by her friend, Season 3 finalist Dale.)

Unsurprisingly, Alexander Ovechkin became the first NHL player to take home the Lester Pearson, Hart, Richard, and Art Ross trophies in one year. Okay, so the Richard hasn't been around that long, but don't try and diminish. That just makes you sound like a still-bitter Penguins fan. Oh my God, awards, must sweep.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Peanuts Is Timeless, and Often Distressingly Ecumenical

Pardon me, I've been waylaid yet again by health issues. Although thankfully they don't seem too serious. I have a doctors appointment on Monday to see about this neck and head pain, and a visit with the Mid-Maryland Musculoskeletal Institute on Tuesday. The odds of anything serious such as the presence of a tumor, aneurysm, clot, blah, are exceedingly unlikely, although naturally I've worried about it to distraction. So let's get positive. Let's get Peanuts.

I'm positive that politics are 'bout to drive me batty!

I'm positive that September 2nd is going to be glorious. Pumpkin magic!

I'm positive that jumpin' in the pool sounds real goddamn good right now.

I'm positive that the new Deerhoof will continue one of the longest winning streaks in rock music.
I'm positive, perhaps most of all, that the New York Yankees suck infinite wee-wee and no doubt our poor beloved beagle is participating in this giveaway under extreme duress. Bastards. Have fun blowing Joba Chamberlain's arm out.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mediocre Reality Show Contestant vs. Blogosphere FITE

According to unlikely Top Chef finalist Lisa Fernandes, bloggers ain't shit but bitches and tricks.

You know, a show like Top Chef is strange to watch in that as viewers we can't taste what the contestants are presenting. That beef tenderloin looks awesome; those butterscotch scallops make me want a heaping helping of hospital food! Also, the human palate is a funny thing. How could anyone like wasabi and white chocolate? Yet on this season of Top Chef, that was a winning dish.

So the viewer has to go by what sounds good/bad, or looks good/bad, or ultimately what the judges tell us worked. Or did not. And that X factor...personality.

This is why there was such a stink raised among fans when Sam Talbot didn't make it to the finale. Because he's so freakin' hawt, why can't we keep looking at him? His dish couldn't have been that bad!

This is why Season 3 champ Hung Huynh was so hated despite being demonstrably the best chef of his class. He constantly bigged up his concoctions and degraded the work of his competitors. Also, his food may or may not have had a soul.

This is why Lisa Fernandes is arguably the most hated chef to ever compete on the show. She doesn't seem to wash her hair much; she has a pierced eyebrow; she is gay (yes, this still kinda bothers some people); she has difficulties working with her peers; she has a tendency to adopt a defensive posture and twist her face into a most unbecoming snarl whenever she is brought before the Judges Table for possible elimination; and oh yeah, she's been up for elimination in six consecutive episodes, including the first part of the finale, aired this week.

The Internet has spewed some insane vitriol towards her these past few weeks, some even accusing the shows producers of keeping Lisa around for the sake of either ratings or improving the odds of the first female Top Chef. This is all, of course, bullhonkey. Lisa is still on because, week after week, someone else has managed to suck just a little more.

I myself had no particular problem with Fernandes. Then I read that goddamn interview.

Oh no, I don't read the blogs – you couldn't pay me to read the blogs. I don't want to know what people who can't even afford to eat in my restaurant, let alone know how to cook have to say about me....

This is amazing. She could have handled the reality of her less-than-stellar online reputation with humor and aplomb, instead she goes the woefully predictable route of "bloggers are pathetic basement-dwelling nerds". Her statement is arrogant, wrongheaded, presumptuous, and should be insulting to anyone who maintains a blog as part of their everyday life.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Smooth Corner

Bent Corner is thanks, per Rick's latest post, to GoDaddy, the web hosting provider that also--ahem--is bringing you this blog. Sucks what I may have to look forward to, but nice indeed to see the mayor of online Hagerstown will be back in business.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Peanuts Is Timeless, the Wait Near Endless

Sometimes, nothing but a Peanuts reference will do, no matter the topic.

Lakers vs. Celtics
. Uh, go Boston? Geesh...I need a thorough bathing. If not purging.

Snoopy supports love. That's all you need to know.

Another politician evokes the pigskin.

Damn, slow week.

Monday, June 2, 2008

In Summary: Heart Attack, Not Funny; Falling Through the Floor, Way Funny

What's almost as bad as a mild heart attack? When media reports refer to you by the fictional character you portrayed on television in the headline of a story about your mild heart attack.

I kinda got rehooked on Frasier after weeks of recovery spent watching late-night airings on Lifetime. It's kind of the worst-kept secret of the past 20 years of TV that David Hyde Pierce pretty much owned that show. Take the episode where his character, Niles Crane, gets parenting pangs and takes to toting around a bag of flour like a baby. He ends up tearing it, setting it on fire and best of all, having a nightmare where his flour baby is kidnapped, prompting the captors to send muffins in the mail. That is hysterical, and indicative of the class writing that show was blessed with. It was kinda too good for Kelsey Grammer, really. You think Grammer could pull off the line "Fuck my cock!" in a Janeane Garofalo comedy? Hell no.