Monday, February 27, 2006

It’s a Shame About Ray

Meet Ray Izzard. One of the oddest guys I’ve ever had the chance to meet. David Letterman once said of Andy Kaufman: "Sometimes when you look Andy in the eyes, you get a feeling somebody else is driving." That’s how I felt about Ray.

I met Ray my sophomore year. He lived three or four units down from mine. I don’t remember how or when, but for some reason he gravitated toward me and my friends. Maybe we were the only ones that talked to him. Maybe we were the only ones that wouldn’t treat him like shit, and he took a lot of shit.

Ray made the one mistake a lot of the “odd” people do; he tried too hard. So desperate for friends he would often annoy and wear out his welcome with those that would actually befriend/tolerate him. People would give him a chance but then the really crazy Ray would grab the wheel. At first he’d just say inappropriate things around mixed company or over stay his welcome. He became the unwelcome tagalong we couldn’t shake. He’d start showing up out of nowhere like the killer in the slasher movies. At that point we began to distance ourselves from Ray. Hanging around with Ray, you got that feeling that at one point he would just snap. That’s how creepy it got. You waited for the moment when someone would finally press that button and Ray would go boom.

Besides the creepy habits and the need to draw attention by making an ass of himself I always thought that perhaps there was a little bit of “genius” buried under all the insecurity and self loathing. His sense of the absurd could’ve taken him places, could’ve been really funny. But it wasn’t absurd to Ray. It was just a desperate act for attention. Take his famed dance routine as an example. He often spoke of his high school cheerleading routine. He would hide in a bag and then while Europe’s Final Countdown plays he would slowly emerge from the bag in spandex. Absurd? Yes. Funny? Not when Ray did it.

Ray eventually left halfway through my junior year. At least I think he left. All I know is that he vanished. So, I raise my Pepsi to you Ray…where ever you are. I hope you’ve found peace with yourself. I hope you’ve become as funny as thought you could’ve been. I hope you stopped wearing your pants so high.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Mo' Problems

With my storage site wrapping up their first stage of relaunch, I have another problem. The site is delaying direct linking till they get all the bugs worked out. So that means the Songs of the Week and the Goodness episodes aren't available for download. Hopefully, they will have the direct linking working, and I can get back to shoving what music I like down your throats.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Guess Where I'll Be March 11th.

Of course this will be a complete tease till the album comes out in May.

Embarrasing Moments (Undergrad Edition)

So my online storage site is down for three days while they re-launch. The good is that I’ll be upgraded to 15 GB. The bad is that all my shit for today and tomorrow’s post are inaccessible as is all the mp3s on the blog. Saturday things are supposed to be back up and running. We’ll see. To make up for the delay here’s a quick one while we wait.

The most embarrassing things I did while enrolled at Cedarville. Again, these are not in any particular order. I leave that up to you the reader.

I willingly paid money to see a concert featuring Firehouse and Tesla. I know I’ve mentioned this before. What I didn’t admit was that I went to see Firehouse.

This happened.

There was the time I spent a whole day marinating and cooking Lamb shank with homemade chocolate mousse for a date. She was from England and had that accent going on. That's the only reason I can give for going all out the way I did. Turned out she doesn't eat lamb and is allergic to chocolate. She then proceeded to ignore me during for the rest of my life. Teh only time I saw her was when she hooked up with my friends. Yeah, that's not really embarassing, just sad. But, she was British, like she would know what good food was.

I once took a girl on a date to a Michael W. Smith concert. First off, her name was Misty Dawn. Yeah, winner! Second, she instantly broke into waterfall like tears when Mr. Smith hit the first few notes of “Friends.” She cried during the whole song, and long after the song ended. Not knowing what to do, I slowly inched away from her. Then she didn’t say a word during the whole ride back. Ok, the really embarrassing part was me dancing during DC Talk’s “Heavenbound.” H-h-h-heavenbound!

Trying to pull off my own romantic comedy, I carried on the charade of asking a friend for advice about a crush I had. What I didn’t tell her until a month later was that she was the one I had the crush on. Um…yeah…that tactic didn’t work. It was neither romantic nor comedic. Well, it could be funny in that Curb Your Enthusiasm kind of painful way. Wow, I was really lame back then.

Then there’s this:

I know there are some more, but my brain is fried.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Cedarville Flashbacks

Since absolutely nothing is happening in my life worth bothering even myself with, and with Adam and Eric recently becoming a part of Throwaways, I'm going to throw out a few Cedarville stories for the rest of the week. It actually may be just one big post, we'll see. Mark your calendars accordingly.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Ramblings (President’s Day Edition)

Two small baseball things:

Have you seen any superstar athlete drop as fast as Sammy Sosa? I’m not speaking of only his skills but in the opinion poll of the fans. The biggest contract he was offered was for $500,000. He's declined it and it appears he will retire. My question: Does anyone care that Sosa might retire? If this had happened two years ago there would’ve been a parade and every visiting ballpark would’ve said goodbye to Sammy. Funny what a corked bat and steroids speculation can do to a Hall of Fame career. (I feel like I've written this exact same thing before.)

For all those who were concerned that Corey Patterson might actually turn it around in Baltimore and show up the Cubs, I offer up this quote from the Tribune:

"Everyone meant well," Patterson said. "But sometimes you have to do your own thing. I don't point any fingers or say it was anybody's fault. I blame myself. You have to mentally be yourself. You have to be consistent. When you start changing, things go badly."

Sound familiar? Yes, it’s the exact same excuse he’s used the previous two years. Good riddance.

Okay let’s make it three baseball things:

The word of an “illness” during the winter keeping Prior off-track does scare the hell out of me. The Cubs say it has nothing to do with his arm. Sounds like the normal Cubs PR spin. There is something fishy going on.

With last weeks Valentine’s Day it has now been 34 years that I have yet had to celebrate Valentine’s Day. This isn’t said for sympathy or bragging it’s simply an odd occurrence. For some reason (perhaps the last couple posts?) I’ve either haven’t had a girlfriend or my girlfriend and I that time were taking a break. I’ve actually done more for my friends and their girlfriends than for my romantic interests. For example, I once dressed as Waldo and hid in the mall with flowers for one of my dorm mate’s girlfriends.

This weekend the local news had a bumper talking about the “cold hitting the south land” and how long will it last? This meant that we had rain and it hit maybe a little bit below 40 for the low. Meanwhile MOL Nation is covered in ice. How can the LA people even think of complaining?

Monday, I made the trek up to North Hollywood to see “The Matador” with Bobby. The Matador is a comedy about a sleazy facilitator (assassin) who meets a family man who has had a few bad years of luck. It’s a very enjoyable and funny film. Brosnan is wonderfully sleazy. It’s the first movie in some time that fulfilled that movie fix I keep looking for.

Speaking of movies, I finally got around to seeing “Project Grizzly.” It came recommended by We Will Eat You. It’s a doc about a guy who has spent years trying to build this Grizzly proof suit. Thing is he has no expertise in Grizzlies or anything (except maybe Bowie knives). I would say this falls along the lines of Hands on a Hard body. Not as many quotable lines, but still enjoyable. This is not to be confused with Grizzly Man. They would though make a great double feature.

Thanks to all those who either watched Goodness on iFilm or at least thought about it. Episode 3 reached over 1,000 views in about four days. Why eps 1&2 have less than that I have no idea.

Finally, to once again prove not only what kind of geek I am, but how old I am. This is one of my first TV crushes. Does anyone recognize her? Of course the dude in the picture should at least give away what show it is. Right? Ever since my George McFly reference fell on unknowing ears, I've questioned the relevance of my pop culture knowledge.

Friday, February 17, 2006

More Lucha Vavoom Pics!

Tsuki! Tsuki! Tsuki!

Luchadores, Midgets, and Burlesque! Oh My!

Last night I experienced the genius that is Lucha Vavoom. Twice a year in LA a company puts on a three day show of masked Mexican wrestling and burlesque. Here’s how things went down.

Somehow my friend and coworker, Flava D, and I convinced some of our associates to attend the event with us. To start off the night we all met at Philippe’s for some outstanding French Dip.

Then we headed to the Mayan for some wrestling goodness.

The first requirement when arriving was to buy a mask. I went with the classic Blue Demon Jr. mask. Flava D. went with Dr. Wagner. Even our new PA Jenn joined in buying a mask.

Flava D, Jenn, Me

The Lucha Vavoom show is basically five to six matches with commentaries by local comedians. Last night we had Patton Oswalt and Dana Gould. My guess was Dana Gould had been doing all three shows because his voice was gone. In between each match they have burlesque dancers come out and do a show. The burlesque is pretty old school in that the costumes are extravagant and the women aren’t exactly attractive. Every now and then they have a guy come out and do a tease for the ladies in the audience. The guy undressing while jumping on a pogo stick was a favorite with the ladies.

Non-masked friends

It should also be said that the crowd attracts every type of Los Angelian imaginable. It’s worth it just to go and people watch. There were a few C and D list celebrities and comedians roaming around. The unexpected celebrity spotting was a well dressed Gary Shandling and his “girlfriend.”

The show started off with a bang when the Wau Wau Sisters came out to do a trapeze act to GnR’s Welcome to the Jungle. I should state that they smoked and drank beer during the whole act. Genius! The show exploded from there. To my excitement the first match included two of the Los Gallineros. Their tag team women partners the Poubelles gave a better show than the chickens. Still a nice opening match.

The highlight match of the evening was the midget tag team match starring Tsuki. Tsuki got the biggest crowd push of the night and he deserved it. He’s genius.

The other matches I was bothered by some drunk that kept yelling about the Carney’s stealing his money. Out of all the people in the audience he had to select me to talk to. The final match unfortunately did not include Super Porky. The night before had actually been his last match. Still Blue Demon Jr., who is Lucha Libre royalty, wrestled along with the transvestite Cassandra. Who apparently is really huge. I don’t get it, but he did wrestle the best in the match, and did it with two cracked ribs. The real highlight of the match was seeing a drunken fan charge the ring and five or six big guys just crush him. Why would you run into a ring that is occupied with four 300lb men? The show then ended with a guy performing with hula hoops while dangling from the ceiling.

That’s brief wrap-up of the over the top and tongue in cheek exhibition of Lucha Vavoom. Obviously, Lucha Vavoom isn’t for everyone. Still, it’s something that can’t be missed. You’ve never seen anything like Lucha Vavoom. This October, when they come back, Flava D and I have already made plans to attend. This time we’re shelling out for floor seats. None of this general admission crap. This event following the MOL Nation party has made for one the greatest Februarys in a long long time.

Big ups to everyone who showed up, particularly Mike O. who came even though he recently had his knee rebuilt. Big ups to Jenn too who understood the importance of buying a mask.

More pictures are coming once I get them from Jen.

Viva La Lucha Vavoom!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Finally! It's Time to Get My Lucha Libre On!

Tonight I get to attend the grand spectacle that is Lucha Vavoooooooom! I hope Los Gallineros are there.

I hope the small but mighty Tsuki is there.

But most of all I hope Super Porky is there!

Maybe this event will result in a CSI: Miami epsiode involving Lucha Libre! Caruso and Super Porky side by side! We can only dream.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Sweet Mother Hubbard It's Almost Upon Us!

One More Day!

An Even Better Way to Put Some Goodness In Your Life.

Tim over at 3CT had the gumption to put the Goodness episodes on iFilm. This means you don't have to wait hours to download the files. With a simple click it will be streaming onto your computer screen. For those unaware of Goodness, it is three episodes detailing the life of struggling writers in Hollywood. I would say the "comedy" is in Curb and The Office vein. The boys at 3CT and myself are the ones that put it together. So enjoy, and if you like them pass it on to some friends. Thanks.

Goodness on iFilm

Pitchers and Catchers Report!

That's right folks it's the first day of Spring Training, which means baseball season is upon us. It's the time where every team believes they have a shot except for the Royals, Marlins, Devil Rays, Orioles, Tigers, Rangers, Mariners, Nationals, Brewers, Reds, Pirates, Diamondbacks, Rockies, etc.

Power Pop Sweetness Overload

Before I left for Dallas, I mentioned overspending on a few CD’s. Well, it has been like a mini-birthday the last two days because they’ve all arrived in that time. Yesterday, though, the mother load came in. On my binge, I bought all 7 CD’s in a series called Teenline. From the late 70’s to the early 80’s there was a deluge of power pop bands recording songs on 4 track in garages across the US and UK. The bands would then get their songs out to the public on vinyl and cassette. The guys at the Hyped 2 Death label have collected these 45’s, LP’s and cassettes, remastered them and put them on CD for the listening public. That means I now have 7 CD’s with 20+ songs each. That’s a hell of a lot of power pop. Once I get through all of this maybe I’ll post a cream of the crop song. Power pop may be too sweet for some musical palates, but it is still genius there are labels like this that are making an effort to preserve these rare songs. Perhaps there's a label restoring lost classics of your favorite style.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

It's Getting Closer!

Only two more days! Are you scared yet?

Does Anyone Remember This Video?

I don't think this is the original cover. Also, I remember a similar video coming out a couple years before this. That one scared the crap out of me. Hells Bells, made me chuckle during Junior Bible class in high school. When my college had a speaker come talk about the evils of rock, I was the one fishing through all the CD's that were thrown away. Some would say these are clear steps of my decent to hell. Most of them reside in South Carolina.

Monday, February 13, 2006

It's Coming...

Only Three More Days!

My Weekend Wandering the Land of a Thousand MOL’s

Here’s a “little” breakdown of my first visit to Dallas for the annual(?) gathering of MOL’s.

Day One:

The flight was wonderfully uneventful: no sickness, no crying babies, and no delays. Upon arriving it was like the weather gods enacted their revenge for the balmy Christmas I had in Ohio. In other words it was cold and windy, at least until I left.

I settled into my hotel and called the voice and face of MOL Nation, MOL Jr. I was now prepared for my indoctrination into the nation. It began at Adair’s in the Deep Ellum area of Dallas. There I met the statesman El MOL, Suburban Jesus, and J-nice. I should state at this point that it’s odd of having everyone introduced as their real name and blog name. So, let’s stick with their given names.

Ronnie and Mitchell had families to attend so I joined Luke and fellow Hollywoodian Josh, Carter, and Eric at Lindsay A’s apartment for a viewing and discussion of the film The Constant Gardner. It wasn’t a bad plan except Luke had unwittingly bought an illegal copy of Constant Gardner which of course wouldn’t play. So we watched Millions instead.

Things then progressed to the Tipperary Inn where I met nearly everyone else (Sara, Babs, Kerri, Jess, etc.) for drinks and fish and chips. It should be noted that Serj Tankian of System of a Down apparently moonlights there singing Irish songs. At this point I realize there are factions within the MOL nation. Not being the only person that needs introductions helped make the acclimation process a little easier.

The first day of the MOL Weekend wrapped up as we closed the Tipperary, and went our separate ways. I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but the gradual meeting of MOL Nation in small groups throughout the day rather than all at once helped me feel not so overwhelmed.

Day Two:

I meet Ronnie, Amy, and MOL in training Phoebe for lunch. When I say MOL in training it is clear that Phoebe is perhaps the biggest MOL of them all. This got me to thinking that perhaps we are at the height of our MOLness when we are but wee pups and it’s all downhill as we age. That would explain our need to prove and vocalize how MOL we are when we’re older.

The rest of the day I had to explore Dallas by myself. I went to a few CD stores on Ronnie’s recommendation. The best being Good Records where they were celebrating their 5th or 6th year. To celebrate they had local bands scheduled to play all day. For the two hours I spent there I saw The Theater Fire and The Deathray Davies. Both are solid bands but the power pop leanings of the Deathray Davies won me over. I will give the accordion player, singer and Wes Anderson look-alike of the Theater Fire points for the following quote. “My Mom was at a Kinks show, and went home with Ray Davies…True story.”

I then went to Freebirds for a burrito. As many of you know there is much debate over who makes the best burrito between Freebirds and Chipotle. I will say that I actually lean towards the “Q” for my burrito. The other two are good, but they don’t have the cheese sauce that the “Q” does. Yes, I deducted points from Freebirds when it fell apart over my sweater because of poor construction.

That led to an impromptu shopping trip for non-stained clothes. It’s at this point that I would like to state that I was in fact planning on donning red and white for the party. Unfortunately, a Freebird burrito had other plans.

After a short nap, I readied myself for the MOL Jr. shindig.

The following took place at the MOL Nation party.

Here’s a small sampling of some of the things that took place at the MOL Nation party.

-Nerd shots

-MOLish discussion on such movie topics as best comedy and worst sequel.

-The unexpected appearance by the L-train.

-To Linz I'm now "the liar."

-Much picture taking, but not a lot on my camera. It was having occasional fits of shutting down. Also I’m not the best with a camera just ask Sara.

-Quiet reflection at the monument of Genslay.

-Faith made an appearance by phone. It was great to put a voice, accent and all, to the
face and blog.

-Video game and other geek goodness discussions with Shawn, Jess, and David.

-Devouring the sweet goodness of Sara’s Kahlua Chocolate Chunk cookies.

-Natalie even visited from Austin which trumps my visit because I least I had face to face time with Ronnie and Shawn before the birth of the MOL Nation.

Big ups to Sara who was kind enough to open her cool house to everyone.

I would also like to make one apology. I meant to post about this before I left for Dallas. If I was talking to you at the party, and at one point kept asking you to repeat yourself, and then after the fifth repeat I just smiled and nodded my head at something I shouldn’t have been nodding about it’s because I have tinnitus in both ears. It makes it a little difficult for me to hear voices in loud areas. So if I agreed to something and I haven’t done it, I’m sorry. It’s not that I’m a complete jackass, but that I can’t hear. Yes, I realize how old this makes me sound.

Day Three:

For some reason I scheduled my flight back home at 9pm. At least this gave another full day in Dallas.

It began with me picking up a Deathray Davies album, and seeing Match Point at the Angelika. I then had a late lunch at the recommended Gloria’s for some good Salvadoran food. The rest of the day was spent at the Grassy Knoll and the Dallas World Aquarium. It’s all about the otters. With a full day behind me I was ready to go home to warmer weather and 5 mph winds. Sure the weather wasn’t that great, but I recommend a visit to Dallas if you get the chance. It has a solid local music scene, nice eateries, and good movie theaters.

Eventually, I flew home, and my flight sucked. Why? Because 80% of the passengers were employees of some glorified pyramid cult called ACN. They wore their little badges and chains proudly as they discussed the “morons” that wouldn’t give their all to the company, and who was under what team leader. My idea of a nice plane trip is not people trying to sell me into joining their “team.” I had five people confront me before boarding. Three talked to me on the flight. Then one guy tried again to get me to join while I waited for my luggage. They clearly beat out crying babies, sick people, and the obese as the worst people you could get stuck with on a plane. Still it couldn’t damper the enjoyable weekend with the MOL Nation.

It was great putting actual humans with their blogs. Everyone was very accommodating and nice to the new old man from LA and it was definitely worth the plane flight. I only had a few regrets. I wish I could’ve met the third part of the MOL Trinity, Genslay. It would’ve been nice to spend a little more one on one time, but that’s not exactly conducive to parties. I wish Mitchell and his wife, Cheryl, had been able to join me and Ronnie’s family for lunch. I am facinated by El MOL and would've enjoyed a little more discussion time. I honestly wish J-Nice and Sound/Fury had been able to make it.

Finally, I leave you with some things I’ve learned on this trip to Dallas.

1. Dallas’ carbonated beverage of choice is Dr. Pepper. Not in a casual way, but in the “it was difficult for me to find Pepsi anywhere” kind of way.
2. Death will always show up at a concert.
3.I will pay $35 bucks more for an extra six inches of leg room on a plane.
4. Salvadoran skirt steak with chimichurri is the shit.
5.Phoebe may very well be to MOL Nation what Luke Skywalker was to the Jedi.

Thanks again MOL Nation and particularly Ronnie and Sara for a great weekend. For better pictures go over to J-lay and Sara's site. Mine suck.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Does Anyone Remember This Man?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Let Me Get this Straight…

In the biggest blockbuster trade since Gretzky went to the Kings, ESPN traded broadcaster Al Michaels to NBC for the following:

1. Rights to broadcast Friday’s Round of the Ryder Cup.

2. Longer Olympics, Notre Dame football, Kentucky Derby and Preakness highlights till 2011.

And…the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

Apparently Oswald is the first character Walt Disney produced. Somehow Universal owned the rights. Oswald is now back home with Disney.

I assume if ESPN asked NBC to take Stuart Scott it would ended any trade talk. Again, I only assume. Perhaps they could’ve traded away any WNBA highlights?

This trade pretty much opens up a ton of possibilities in big time trades for the entertainment industry. Here are some possibilities.

Britney Spears trades hubby Federline for just a trace of dignity.

Halle Berry trades in her Oscar so that Catwoman can be wiped from public’s memory.

Cubs Fans trade Superfan Jim Belushi to University of Kentucky for Superfan Ashley Judd. Kentucky also receives a supply of Chicago dogs and Old Style.

I trade my balding for Jiff’s receding hairline.

This just in UK has just cut Jim Belushi.

Ramblings (Early Edition)

Because I’ll be on may way to the big D for my first official visit we are going to have to do the ramblings a day early.

Through the magic of sitemeter I’ve determined that around 20 of my hits this week have been from people looking for info about Gillette’s sample of its Fusion razors. To keep those hits coming let me give a little review. I can’t tell the difference between five and four blades. It works fine and I was glad I didn’t reenact the mirror scene from Poltergeist. Still, five is overkill. Actually four is probably overkill.

Do the Grammy’s matter anymore? I mean other than boosting record sales for a week. Do kids in their parent’s basement or garage pick up a guitar or microphone with dreams of a Grammy statue? Does an artist ever feel validated by a Grammy.

I’ve come to realize the problem with modern R&B. Too often they try to hitch onto the hip-hop money train. R&B needs to get back to what made Motown, Stax, and Muscle Shoals artists so great. I don’t say this as a knock on hip-hop. I just think R&B can be better if it didn’t lean so heavily on hip-hop.

Just to warn you all I signed up for fantasy baseball this week.

This was one of those non-stop busy weeks at work. I chalk it up to the work gods making sure I earn the Friday I’m taking off. Part of the problem of this job is what you end up having to see. It’s not like a horror movie. No matter how good the makeup job they can never equal the violence and trauma of a real murder. Some of the worst I’ve seen came across my desk this week. Color pictures are always worse. What really amazes me is that Medical Examiners see this everyday and without the barrier of a screen. I don’t know how they do it.

Have you been watching the Shield? I’m a little torn with the fact that they’ve made Forest Whitaker’s character so sleazy. It makes Mackey slipping through his fingers almost too enjoyable. But, because Whitaker’s character is so sleazy and obsessed I can’t stop watching to see the tables turn. It is fun watching Mackey slither though.

Did anyone else cringe or hang their head in embarrassment when Harrison Ford did that Dr. Seuss intro for the Super Bowl? What were you thinking Indy?

What I really miss about old school satellite TV is that you could find those odd and unintentionally funny channels from different countries.

That’s it for now. I hope to see most of you in Dallas.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Everyone Mark Your Calendars! May 16th!

And when I say "everyone" I mean me...and Bob too. Actually, the Texan readership who have the opportunity to go to SXSW should see them in concert. You don't have to stay. Just visit for a few songs. You can do that for me can't you? I'm interested to see how the new guitartist and keyboard player are.

From the official Twilight Singers website.

Powder Burns Release / SXSW

February 8, 2006 08:06 AM »

Powder Burns, the new album from The Twilight Singers, will be released on May 16, 2006. The tour will begin May 20 in the Midwest and consist of approximately 25 dates. The band will then head to Europe for a series of performances.

The Twilight Singers will perform at the 2006 SXSW in Austin, Texas on Thursday March 16 at Friend's on 6th St. and the Fader party on March 17. Set times will be announced as the dates grow near.

The band for the Texas shows will be:
Greg Dulli - Vocals/Guitar
Scott Ford - Bass
Bobby MacIntyre - Drums
Dave Rosser - Guitar
Scott Bennett - Keyboards/Vocals

Curse You Birdland! Look at the Monster You’ve Made of Me!

The used to be a time when I was a content to simply just read some music mags, watch 120 Minutes, or listen to the radio to find new music. I’d walk into a Best Buy, or Media Play, or Waves or Sam (cough) Goody and usually find what I was looking for. I miss those days. Things were so simple. I was happy. Then I walked into Birdland Music.

Other than the friends I made there, Va Beach has one other good memory and that was Birdland Music. It’s a small, blink you’ll miss it, store in a strip mall. My literally crazy roommate at the time was the one that suggested the store. Considering his whole collection consisted of Jethro Tull I was a tad bit skeptical. Upon first entering the store I wasn’t the impressed. It was so small. It had its used section and LP’s, but I’d seen better in Columbus. Then I met Barry. He was the owner of the store, and the nicest record snob I’ve ever met. Actually, he isn’t a snob. He’s just a walking encyclopedia of music. He’s the guy you would go to when you would hear a song on the radio and they never said the title or artist. But music isn’t the only thing he knows. He knows and remembers he customers. By the second time I came into the store he knew my name, and that I was going through my Replacements phase. This is what really made Birdland and Barry great. He was always taking what he knew of your musical taste and introducing you to new stuff. And I don’t mean he would push sales though it was obviously a goal. He would simply suggest or recommend something. Anything I bought on his recommendation he’d take back if I didn’t like it, or he’d just play something in the store for me. When a rare (at the time) Grandpaboy EP was brought in used he held it for me knowing I was into anything Westerberg at the time.

He also had a knack for finding anything you wanted. I wasn’t at that stage yet in my musical life, but that’s where the thirst began. Often while talking with him, a customer would come in, he’d pull out some LP or 45, and you could see the customer’s eyes light up. What followed was the customer asking how he found the record, or who did he have to kill to get it. That’s when I came to know there was music outside what even the hip or alternative media were pushing. Not that everything they are pushing is bad music, but there’s stuff on the fringe and in the past of the same ilk that is out there to find.

That’s when the sickness began. It hasn’t gotten any better. Take this past week. I’ve made known my love of power pop. During my browsing of the internet for nuggets of power pop goodness I came across some French guy’s exhaustive (but dated) list of power pop bands. He also had a song on the home page that I really liked. Of course I had to find it. Since I was unable to contact the French guy, I spent hours and hours scouring and calling people. Apparently it’s only available as a 7” EP and is as common as girlfriends in my life. I eventually just created a slightly distorted mp3 of song. The thing is that’s not the really bad part. The bad part was what happened during my search. During my hunt I came across some outstanding smaller than indie label compilations and a few OOP compilations and CD’s. Yes, I bought nearly every one of them. I even came across an outstanding OOP LP going for $80. I had to talk myself down from buying it. I don’t even have a record player anymore! Of course that made me think I need to go pick one up. The eventual total has come to 11 CD’s I’ve picked up in a week’s time. That’s not including the multiple downloads. A few of the CD’s were dirt cheap, but still. I need to stop. Once again my addictive personality has taken hold. At least with this addiction I get some great music out of the deal, and the time between withdraws are longer. Also, I think it’s outstanding that there are people who know so much more than I do and are remastering and making once lost music available to those who are looking for it. I just need to work on obtaining it in moderation.

Finally, as I was searching this song kept running through my head. Nothing genius just something fun and appropriate.

I Need that Record-Tweeds

Sunday, February 05, 2006

So-so Bowl Ramblings and Questions

So much happened in Super Bowl XL, yet it was such an ugly game. The Steelers did barely enough to win, and the Seahawks did just enough to lose. How many big plays did the Seahawks have called back because of penalties (real and imaginary)?

It should be said that though I had money on the Steelers I was rooting for the Seahawks. I always root for the underdog. That really screwed up my watching the game. My heart and wallet were tearing me in two. At least they would’ve if it wasn’t such a frustrating game.

Did the team even let you back into the locker room Mr. Stevens?

I was disappointed when I went online to vote for the MVP and Referee wasn’t listed as an option.

How was Randall El able to keep playing after that hit he took on that kick return?

I’m pretty excited about the potential of the new reality TV show, Knight School on ESPN. I think it would’ve been better if it took place about ten years ago.

Why in the post-game coverage did nobody mention Holmgren not shaking Cower’s hand after the game? Sure, you got slightly screwed by the refs Mr. Holmgren, but that’s not Cower’s fault.

The local news on ABC just spent ten minutes explaining their move to HD television. I love local news!

I have never witnessed so much man-love for an athlete as I have for Bettis?

Am I the only one that thinks the Diet Pepsi slogan “,Brown and Bubbly,” is umm…ill conceived?

Was anyone else annoyed in the ESPN phone commercial that Juan Pierre stole base going left to right? Yeah. I thought I was the only one.

I can’t wait till NFL films makes this game seem more exciting.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Hello. My Name is Brad and I'm a Liarholic.

I have a bad habit of lying to strangers. If I have no idea who you are and why you are talking to me I'm probably going to lie. Why? Because I get a little kick out of it. Store clerk trying to kick start a little conversation? I'm lying. The stranger at a party forcing a little small talk? I'm lying. The stranger sitting next to me on an airplane? I'm lying. It's nothing big. I just like to create a character and run with it. If I'm never going to have any contact with you ever again, why not entertain myself. I'll lie about where I grew up, what I do, where I live, and where I'm going.

I've been a sales executive for Penske who drones on and on about the Penske file, a minor league scout for a baseball team, and I've worked as a radio promo guy for a start-up indie label. I've had up to three kids and three wives. Some of those wives are alive some have changed teams. I've been born in Maine, Illinois, and London. I've lived everywhere in the world. The fun is sizing up the stranger, and being what you think he/she knows nothing about.

Sometimes you run into a little trouble, and you pick either something they know a lot about or you pick somewhere where they've lived. Though, there is a bit of a thrill trying to talk your way out of it. A minor example would be the following discussion between some St. Louis Cardinal fan and myself.

Card Fan: Cubs suck! Ha. Ha. Cubs suck! You from Chicago man?

Me. No. Peoria.

Card Fan: No shit man! Me and my buddy are from Peoria!


He proceeds to call over his friend.

Cards Fan: This guy's from Peoria too.

Friend: No shit. Where'd you live?

Me: Southeast

Cards Fan: No shit! So you went to (some high school). That's where we went.

Me: I wish. I went to some podunk private school of about a hundred students.

Friend: Oh.

Me: Yeah. It sucked. When I say southeast, I mean southeast. We lived out in the boondocks.
Cards Fan: I hear ya man.

Me: So you're apart of the half of Peoria that's Cardinal fans?

Cards Fan: Yeah. My buddy's a Cubs fan.

We then quickly shoot the shit about the Cubs and Cardinals, and I exit stage right.

I don't know why I do it, but I've always done it. Perhaps it's a defense mechanism caused by my shyness. Perhaps it's the writer in me. Maybe I'm just a jackass.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

How I Knew I Wouldn’t Fit In or Why I Hate Those Math Flash Card Games in Grade School!

My first year at Bob Jones elementary started off rocky and then quickly continued downhill. It was early on in fifth grade. My teacher decided it would be great to torture everyone with a game of Math Flash Cards. She split the room into two teams. We then proceeded to stand in a firing line next to our opponent. As classmates started dropping like flies, especially when a division problem was on the card, I got closer and closer to making an ass of myself. Finally, I was my turn. I was going up against one of the smart girls with her white cardigan and pink bow. Grrr. I waited in anticipation, staring at the card in the teacher’s hand, waiting for her to turn it over. In a split second the card turned and I heard her scream “Six!” I was done. In frustration I yelled “Darn!” Every classmate turned in my direction. Their mouths and eyes wide open in wonder as if I had declared “I hate white people!” Then they all chimed into a chorus of “Awwwwwww. You said darn.” I glanced up at the steely gaze of the teacher. “Brad! Go sit in the corner.” For saying “darn?” I was being punished for saying “darn!” I debated about stating my defense with an example of “Interjection” from School House Rock. Luckily, I remembered their stance on any music with a beat, and thought better of it. Sitting in the corner on the Teflon coated chairs, I stared at the wall. At that point I realized I hated this place. In that four letter moment I was turned from the new kid trying to find his place to an outsider. I took that label and ran with it. The best thing was that I didn’t even need to make and effort to be one of the bad boys. I was simply myself and at Bob Jones that’s all it took.

I Coulda Been an All-Star Pt. 2

At Bob Jones there were no organized sports in which you played other schools. I guess it’s their whole don’t associate with sinners stance. In junior high they made teams out of your grade and you played after school. Even in the University the teams were made out their organizations (read: fraternities). Being a religious school, this meant that the main sports were baseball, soccer, basketball, and floor hockey. That’s right the fascinating sport of floor hockey. The thing is I was pretty good at floor hockey. I would even say that I was dominating. At least as dominating as you can be in your own grade playing floor hockey. I loved playing the rover. I could play both ends of the field/court. And I wouldn’t hesitate to take a shot from the center line. Why? Because I was that damn darn outstandingly good. The problem is that in 7th grade our coach (home room teacher) decided I’d be best suited as a goalie. Goalie? You can’t score being a goalie. I was not a happy camper. But, you know what? He was right. With my gangly legs and arms I was built to be a floor hockey goalie. However good I was on the floor, I was even better in the net. If my team scored one goal, the game was usually over then. I was a wall. I carried our team into the playoffs (every team made the playoffs) as a one seed. We cruised into the finals. There was one slightly scary moment in the semi-finals when our opponent nearly scored a game tying goal in the last minute of regulation. After blocking a shot their left wing went top shelf the rebound. I blocked it with my head. That’s how good I was. Our team was pretty confident going into the championship game. Why wouldn’t they be? They had me in goal. Throughout the game I blocked shot after shot. I was in the zone. There was one problem. My team couldn’t score either. We were deadlocked at 0-0 after the third quarter which meant overtime. Again I blocked everything they could throw at me, and again my teammates couldn’t put the puck/ball in the net. With a minute left our opponent was making a charge. I could hear the place go quiet. Their center fired a shot. I slapped it away like a gnat. I did the same with the rebound shot. Unfortunately, I didn’t do the same with the second rebound. I saw a glimpse of the red ball as it passed by my head. I heard it hit the next. I saw the other team cheering. I was devastated. I was the sole reason our team lost the championship. I was the Bill Buckner, Alex Gonzalez, and Scott Norwood of floor hockey. I remember sitting in the locker room with my head and my hands, fighting back the tears. I still had my goalie mask on. How lame. Not that I was near tears, but that I just wrote a whole post in which I bragged about my floor hockey skills.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Official Crappy Throwaway T-shirts

Since I was in junior high I’ve always wanted to design a T-shirt. My dream project in high school was my “Skate and Die!” T-shirt line. I drew various pictures of skateboards dying in absurd ways. Think Kenny from South Park only replace Kenny with a skateboarder. Because of my limited funds I was unable to even make a few T-shirts let own start a whole line. Then girls, music, and girls got in the way. My dream of making a T-shirt was put on the backburner. A few years ago I even tried to get Goodness T-shirts and hats made. That fell through as well. But now the dream has been slightly fulfilled. Thanks to, I can say I’ve designed a T-shirt. I’m not completely ecstatic about the design, but it kind of works. I’m still working on something a little bit cooler.

If you would like one, (Whoo! Ha! Ha!) the link to the store is on the left under links. They are selling at cost. I didn’t mark them up or anything. You know a MOL Nation T-shirt might be pretty cool.

Man Up!

Just look how sexy my legs are!