Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday Top Ten: Funny College Things and Dead Athletes

I've been busy returning videotapes again this week.  Such is the life of the only videotape returner/trapeze artist left in the country.  Like the Soup Nazi suffered for his soup, I suffer for my tapes.  Maybe Hollywood should take a hint and put I Spit on Your Grave out on Blu-ray.  That would save me some time.  I haven't had time to formulate a Tuesday Top Ten worthy of your attention.  Alas, I communicate telepathically with the good people at several websites, who have sent me links to worthy proxies for my usual self-serving, incoherent ramblings about music.  Here they are:

1.  The good people at OnlineColleges.net sent me a link to their article "25 Funniest College Sports Traditions."  My favorite is #9.  Penn State did not make the list, as there is nothing funny about a tradition of covering up child rape.  John Calipari taking a team to the Final Four and then leaving just before the NCAA sanctions the school and vacates the Final Four didn't crack the Top 25.  Something else hilarious that didn't make the list is the fact that Purdue fans continue to show up to their school's sporting events knowing that there is not a chance in hell whatever Purdue team they're watching will win a national championship.

2.  Continuing with the theme of funny college-related things, the good people at OnlineCollege.org (as far as I know, no relation to OnlineColleges.net, but maybe they should hook up) sent me a link to their article "15 Funny College Mascots of Yesteryear."  I'm still pissed Ole Miss didn't change their mascot to Admiral Akbar.  #11 is quite funny.  #15 is also pretty good.  The Nebraska Mankilling Mastadons is a bit more intimidating than someone who husks corn.  One glaring omission, in my mind, is the IU mascot used briefly in the '70s named "Hoosier Pride," who was essentially a large-jawed ginger with a red IU cowboy hat.  This, of course, was after IU used a live buffalo as its mascot.

3.  Taking a ill-fated turn and reminding us that all that is funny eventually comes to an end, the good people at InsuranceQuotes.org sent me a link to their article "10 Athletes Who Died Playing Their Sport.  Key omissions:  Owen Hart, HANK FUCKING GATHERS, and John Belushi.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Retro Video of the Week: "My Prerogative" by Bobby Brown

I've been returning some videotapes for the past few days, so forgive my lack of posting.  Here is a music video to take your mind off of it and to ponder the following questions:  What happened to the keytar?  Did Steve Guttenberg take all of them with him wherever he went?  Also, are three keyboardists necessary?  Also, is crack really wack?

Midwestern Eavesdropping

Thirtysomething female about people with ashes on their foreheads for Ash Wednesday: "God doesn't want you walking around looking like an idiot."
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday Top Ten: Life Lessons from Lemmy

As I mentioned yesterday, Friday night, I had the pleasure of going to The Aragon to see Megadeth and Motörhead.  While I was at the show (which was awesome, by the way) listening to Motörhead lead singer Lemmy Kilmister's gravely voice declare some female a "silver-tongued devil, demon wench," I thought to myself that there are some great nuggets in Motörhead songs.  Lemmy is not just a bass-playing metal singer with the greatest facial hair of all-time who has laid over a thousand women.  He is also a teacher.

After a brief Google search, I was horrified to learn that, while there are pages claiming "everything I know I learned from kindergarten" (what, that you only have to work half a day?) or "everything I know I learned from Friends" (what, that Joey loves sandwiches?), but no page claiming "everything I know I learned from Motörhead."  That's just wrong, considering all of the lessons and advice in their songs, so I decided to essentially do that.  Here are my top ten life lessons from Lemmy (and the other guys in the band too, I suppose, but that's not alliterative):

Honorable mention:  Bite the bullet; If you want to feel good, if you want to feel alright, if you want to shake your stuff, get some rock 'n' roll tonight; I've got rock 'n' roll to save me from the cold, and if that's all there is, it ain't so bad; Eat Greek, or eat Chinese.  Eat salad, or scarf up grease.

10.  You're born broke and you die alone.
9.  Rock 'n' roll music is the true religion.
8.  A man's gotta tell the truth, and if it's good, he don't need proof.
7.  Get yourself some original sin.
6.  Stay clean.
5.  Live to win.
4.  Don't let 'em grind ya down.
3.  Gambling's for fools.
2.  The chase is better than the catch.
1.  Dead men tell no tales.

Anything I'm forgetting?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekend of Metal

This weekend was a good one, as I kicked off my 2012 concert schedule with a Weekend of Metal.  Flanked both nights by a trusty Venezuelan crooner named Daniel, I enjoyed the hell out of some live music. 

Friday night, I saw Megadeth and Motörhead at The Aragon.  Both were excellent.  Lemmy is awesome.  I hope I'm playing sold out metal shows when I'm 66.  Here's a link to a video of "Ace ofSpades" that I took through a doorway.  I realize now, I should have turned my phone sideways.  Megadeth was good too, although not as good as the Megadeth-lyric/ejaculation-based text message conversation I had with a Dane who was not at the concert.  Among my favorites were "Countdown to Ejaculation," "Jizz sells but who's buying?," and my personal favorite, "Jizzing is my business…and business is GOOD."  If this was the only show I saw this weekend, I might say more about it, but I can't.  

Saturday night, Whitney Houston wasn't the only one who saw The Darkness.  Along with openers Crown Jewel Defense and Foxy Shazam, my favorite neo-glam band took the stage at The Metro to a sold-out crowd.

As you may know, I love The Darkness.  They are one of my favorite bands to emerge in the 2000s, "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" is my favorite song from the last decade (as well as my favorite karaoke song, for better or worse), and both of their albums were among my favorite 50 from last decade.  They play the kind of rock and roll that I need in the world to remain sane.

Last time I saw them was in 2004 at an outdoor venue in Columbus, before their second album had been released.  They put on a great show, but it took them forever to come on.  Thin Lizzy's Live and Dangerous album -- which is a double album, mind you -- played twice all the way through between the opener and The Darkness.  Then again, from what I understand, the band had certain distractions then that aren't an issue know, namely what the kids call yayo.

In 2006, the band broke up, largely because of drug problems.  Tears streamed down my face as I balled up my purple spandex unitards, threw them into a metal trash can, and, with a single match, watched them burn into oblivion within seconds.  The rock world had lost its rawk.

Then, last year, there were rumors of a reunited band.  A few club dates were played.  A few videos of those shows made their way to the internet.  Then it was official.  They announced tour dates and that an album would be released at some point in 2012.  They were coming back to save rock and roll once again.  I wept openly, freaking the shit out of my coworkers.

But I digress.  Back to Saturday.  Crown Jewel Defense was good.  Foxy Shazam was really good.  Both set the stage for what I already consider a legendary show.  After Foxy Shazam ended their set, the anticipation was palpable.  The entire crowd had been waiting six or seven years for this show, and you could tell.  When the PA system turned up the volume and started to play "The Boys are Back in Town," everyone knew what time it was.
A good concert engulfs you, so that all you care about is the song you're listening to, and you forget about work, school, what you're going to do after the show, or anything else in the outside world. All you care about is the moment you're in, and it's glorious because it's pure.  I've seen hundreds of concerts, and every now and then, you have that perfect combination of a great performance, familiarity with the band, beer, energy, showmanship, type of music, and fellow concertgoers.  Paul McCartney in Munich in 2003.  Def Leppard in Tinley Park in 2006.  Weezer at The Aragon in 2011.  The Darkness Saturday night. 

From the opening riff of "Black Shuck" to the band's bow after their encore of "Love On the Rocks With No Ice," The Darkness brought their A-game.  They sounded great.  They were entertaining and energetic.  Lead singer Justin Hawkins had great rapport with the crowd.  Even when things went wrong, it was right.  Hawkins stopped a song ("Is It Just Me?") after about fifteen seconds, explained that something was sounding off, and he didn't want the song to sound bad for the audience's sake, so he stopped it and would be starting it over again.  Then he apologized to the crowd in his endearing British accent and said "I recognize now that that was unprofessional, and I apologize to all of you."  Then he kicked it back into gear, and it was awesome.

It was one of those rare concerts where the band and the crowd were in a symbiotic relationship.  The band was playing off the crowd's energy.  The crowd was playing off the band's energy.  Everyone in The Metro was having a good time.  The Darkness's music lends itself to singing along, especially after a couple beers, and I've never been at a show where more people were signing along to every song (thankfully drowned out by the actual song).  Chicks, dudes, hipsters, metal heads, yuppies, trixies, sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads, and uncategorizable people were all joined as one, participating in a shared experience without pretension.  After all, The Darkness destroys pretension with bombast, spandex, white hot guitars, and soaring falsettos.  Hawkins even climbed to the top of a stack of amps that had to be 15 feet high, and then dove like a golden god into the crowd, which caught him with ease and without injury.  It was, for all intents and purposes, a perfect rock and roll concert.  At one point, I texted Jester and told her, "Bring the kids.  I want to stay here forever."

Everyone walking out after the show was saying how good of a show it was or "I thought it was going to be good, but that was amazing."  Normally, you might here a few comments like that after a show, but there was almost universal exuberance.  It's only February and that was only my second concert of the year, but it's going to be pretty damn tough for another show this year to top that.

Here's my video of "I Believe in a Thing Called Love":

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Midwestern Eavesdropping

Drunk twenty-something while discussing the idea of drunk driving: "You can't get a DUI if you drive in reverse."
--Chicago, Wrightwood Tap, Wrightwood & Seminary
Eavesdropper: Gregerson

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Retro Video of the Week: "One" by Metallica

This was most of America's introduction to Metallica.  They had become underground superstars with virtually no airplay.  This was the band's first video, as well as their first song that cracked the Top 40 (or the Top 100, for that matter).  The video is particularly memorable because it features scenes and dialogue from the movie Johnny Got His Gun, which is about a soldier whose mind is functional, but who lost his limbs, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and all of his senses in a mortar blast.  Rough day.  On the bright side, he didn't spend the entire Super Bowl keeping track of how much money he was losing because a future Hall of Fame quarterback standing in the endzone couldn't throw the ball away within fifteen yards of a receiver.  Metallica would also have been a better halftime choice than Madonna.  Anyway, since it's Metallica, the video is not able to be embedded.  So, click here to watch it.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Tuesday Top Ten: Worst Things About the Super Bowl

10. For the fifth consecutive year, no Bears.

9. For the eighth consecutive year, no boobs.

8. Way too many movie trailers. I could care less if an action movie is coming out at the end of June.

7. A noticeable lack of Danes at the Super Bowl party I attended.

6. Car commercials. If we are to believe car commercials, the only three people to survive the apocalypse are three friends from the same city who all drive Chevy pick-ups, Audi headlights kill vampires, Ferris Bueller drives a CRV, a dog gets skinny so that he can chase a VW Bug, guys mistake Fiats for hot Italian women, and people willingly drive Kias. And if I have to see another commercial about how Detroit has persevered, I'm going to drive 5 hours, put on Kevlar, take a bunch of pictures of the blocks that have been burned out since the 1967 riots, and post them on the internet. About the only one I liked was the Acura one with Seinfeld, and even that had Jay Leno in it.

5. Eli Manning won another Super Bowl.

4. A noticeable lack of beer commercials. Bud Light and Miller Lite used to dominate Super Bowl ad space. Other than a commercial for Bud Light Platinum and the Bud Light commercial with the overworked beer-fetching dog, I don't remember any beer commercials. I long for the Bud Bowl.

3. There weren't enough funny commercials. My two favorite commercials were the aforementioned Acura one with Seinfeld and, obviously, the Samsung commercial with The Darkness (who I will be seeing live at The Metro this Saturday).

2. Madonna lip-synching her way through the halftime show while being flanked by centurions. The Super Bowl was in Indianapolis, not ancient Rome. Granted, Madonna looks great for 75, but why the hell wasn't John Mellencamp the halftime entertainment? He only lives 45 minutes away, and it certainly would have been a better and more apropos choice for Indy.

1. Because of Tom Brady's (or his receivers') brain fart on the Patriots' first play, the Giants got a safety. In one of my squares pools, I had Patriots 0 Giants 7, and in another (which also paid out for the reverse), I had Patriots 7 Giants 0. When these numbers were drawn, there was much rejoicing. All that died with the safety. The score at the end of the first and second quarters was 9-0 and 10-9, respectively, but should have been 7-0 and 10-7. If there was no safety, the Giants wouldn't have gone for two after their last TD, and the final score would have been 20-17. I figured out that that safety cost me $2,800 in would-be winnings. So, Tom, whenever you can send that check to me, that would be great.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Retro Video of the Week: "It Was a Good Day" by Ice Cube

"It Was a Good Day" is probably my favorite Ice Cube song, after "Bop Gun."  I particularly enjoy the remix from the Bootlegs and B-Sides album.  Last week, "It Was a Good Day" has reemerged in the national consciousness, when the blog Murk Avenue claimed to have pinpointed the exact day that was the subject of "It Was a Good Day," concluding it had to be January 20, 1992.  Several days later, the blog Pandemonium responded to Murk Avenue and determined that the actual "Good Day" was November 30, 1988.  Read both posts.  They are fantastic.  Kudos to both bloggers for their use of the undisputed facts in the song to narrow down the possible dates.  This is one of those things I wish I thought of. Thanks to The Weez for sending me both links knowing damn well this is something I would be into.