Friday, March 30, 2007
Random thought before the random 11...Last week, I overheard someone talking about Paula Abdul and mentioning MC Skat Cat, the rapping cat from the "Opposites Attract" video (which is now used to torture terror suspects into confessing). Then I find out Karl Rove is rapping as MC Rove.
Tell me those two things don't belong together like peanut butter and jelly on a turd sandwich. I wish I had the video skills to make it happen....on to the list.
1) “Girls,” Beastie Boys. When this was released, who could have predicted their career path with these Casio beats and Adam Sandler-esque rhymes? In 1986, even Nostradamus would have said, “Critical darlings? Tibet activists? They have a 20-foot inflatable penis on stage. I need to take my crystal ball into the shop.”
2) “The Ballad of a Ladyman,” Sleater-Kinney. I’m very much a “women are complete equals” guy. In fact, my life is based around the dream of The Lovely Becky becoming rich enough for me to become a pampered, bon-bon eating desperate husband. But for a long time, I had this subconscious prejudice that girls couldn’t rock the same way guys could. Then Sleater-Kinney kicked out the jams right into my dangling patriarchies.
3) “Fallout,” The Police. There was a weird noise in the background when I played this today. I wound up recording it and having it analyzed. Turns out it was backward tracking that said, Buy our tickets! Buy them now! They will help you have sex for 18 hours like Sting! Hail Satan! Even without the subliminable messaging, it’s hard to resist mortgaging my house for a pair of tickets when something as good as this shows up. This first single has all the trademarks of great early Police songs: punk energy, Copeland's propulsive drumming, and a yelping vocal from Sting, plus a nice little solo from their brief original guitarist, That Guy’s Not Andy Summers.
4) “Battery,” Metallica. Just the other day, I was talking about a buddy of mine from college, Moe. He was the first black heavy metal fan I’d ever met, and I was explaining how he and I became friends after I did my impression of Metallica as a lounge act. “That doesn’t seem so far-fetched now,” TLB chimed in. As James Hetfield later sang, you know that it's sad but true.
5) “Teen Age Riot,” Sonic Youth. I didn’t get into Sonic Youth when I was a sonic youth. I should have, because they are one of those groups that I know are good but are hard for me to “discover” as an adult.
6) “Better Than Most,” A.C. Newman. Better than most solo albums, but not as good as The New Pornographers. His music needs a little Viagra when Neko Case is not around.
7) “Man in a Shed,” Nick Drake. A sad, chillingly prophetic song about Ted Kaczynski.
8) “The Crying of Lot G,” Yo La Tengo. Two of their songs from this album are allusions to other works. This one is a reference to Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49. Another song, “Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House,” references a Simpsons episode. Bet you can guess which allusion I like better.
9) “I Need Your Love,” The Rapture. Pitchfork selected this dance punk mishmash as their album of the year a couple years ago. I suspect it’s because The Rapture sound like the blueprint for a band made up of Pitchfork reviewers:
Put on your ski mask before you rob your favorite 80s and 90s new wave and dance influences; Take a decent dance beat and fuck it up with a bunch of noise so that it’s not as danceable and maybe, just maybe the cute girl wearing the old-school PJ Harvey shirt won’t notice how badly you dance; Then front the band with a guy who sounds like you warbling in the shower about how that stupid girl made fun of your dancing anyway.
10) “Revolution Rock,” The Clash. See, this is how you take your influences and make them your own. Cobagz.
11) “Sad About Girls,” Elvis Costello and the Attractions. P.S. This is also how you properly sing about being sad about girls. Double cobagz.
Have a great weekend, and stay golden, pony boys and girls!
If you do attend and want to know what I look like, first locate TLB:
Thursday, March 29, 2007
You’ll see naughty non-missionary action that’s sure to put a little Levitra in your Leviticus, beamed discretely to your office, dressing room, campaign bus, prayer breakfast, or mother's basement. Remember, you can’t fight sin unless you know what you’re fighting.
Hot new releases!
- The Dicks of Haggard
- Ann Coulter’s Hate Speech Hussies
- IM a Curious Fellow Congressman
- Michelle Malkin’s Blowing Hot Air
- Brownback Mountain
- Libbylocks and the Three Bears on Cellblock D
- Trapped Inohofe Closet
- Clarence Thomas’s Banging Gavels
- Wild Bill Donohue’s Horny Hollywood Hebrews
- Debbie Does the Detroit Shock
- Newt's Red Hot Hypocrites
- Taxcuts Gone Wild (Featuring wealthy men and women and their naughty accountants)
- Covet Thy Neighbor’s Ass
And coming soon!
- At the Pleasure of the President starring Alboner Gonzales
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
9) Those meddling Justice Department e-mail servers.
8) Nose glowing bright green when denying uranium enrichment.
7) Smoke billowing out of the accounting department.
6) FBI suddenly appeared in ourFaves.
5) Clearly visible bag of Taco Bell after we denied having dealt it.
4) Letting our animals out of the barn while saying the porn was “for the pandas.”
3) Hurricane force winds blowing away our hot air about climate change.
2) Receipts showing our egos weren’t the only reason we needed a bigger cap size.
1) Incessant hiccupping every time we say Iraq is improving.
Fantasy sports are, by their nature, a helmet party. Sure, I have read about the existence of some women who venture into fantasy drafts, but I think men are more likely to encounter a group of lingerie-clad, pillow-fighting co-eds who lack formal currency to pay for a pizza than to find a woman who likes fantasy sports.
In fact, the fantasy sport for most women—especially significant others—is making fun of their SOs playing fantasy sports. The Lovely Becky is actually not too bad about it, because she is lovely, but she gets her shots in. I do think she appreciates having me distracted when she hires a pool boy to clean our non-existent pool.
I am in two baseball leagues this year, and in a post that will surely bore most of my readers, I am posting results and standard Brando-style commentary. Detractors, male and female: feel free to snark away about the idiocy of all this (especially the embarrassing length of this post), but please, bring your A-games. If you’re going to hurl a bon mot, put some mustard on it and throw at my head.
League 1: Roto
Team: Rum of Jobu
Standard 5x5 roto league, 12 guys who I met on a message board, which squares the geek factor. I won last year. I upped the difficulty level by playing (and winning!) a poker game at my house while also drafting.
1. Carl Crawford, OF, Devil Rays -- The guy I wanted, and not in that way, teh. I think he’ll be the best player in fantasy baseball this year. Mega steals.
2. Lance Berkman, 1B, OF, Houston Enrons -- I hate having Astros, White Sux, or Cardinals on my teams, but Berkman was too good to pass up.
3. Jimmy Rollins, SS, Phillies -- Part II of dominating the steals category. Base stealers make some of the best trade bait because it’s the hardest stat to add from waivers.
4. Brandon Webb, SP, Diamondbacks -- Love his first name. Plus he’s one of the best groundball pitchers in baseball, which is always good for the WHIP.
5. B.J. Ryan, RP, Toronto Hosers -- Take off, eh? I don’t usually like grabbing relievers early, but there was a run and Ryan helped me win last year. I think this is when I started playing poker.
6. Brian Roberts, 2B, Orioles -- Second base is more shallow than a Paris Hilton reflecting pool, so I grabbed Roberts a little early and added more steals. Hopefully he “returns to form” from his injury, which is the fantasy version of the Kiss of Death.
7. C.C. Sabathia, SP, Cleveland Politically Incorrects -- Drafted him despite his crooked gangsta hat. Should be good for a lot of wins because the CPIs have some loaded bats. And not in a Sammy Sosa/Albert Belle sense either.
8. Rocco Baldelli, OF, Devil Rays -- Love the porn name. More on this in a second.
9. Delmon “Bat Thrower” Young, OF, Devil Rays -- Discerning readers have probably noticed a pattern here immediately. I did not notice until the next day that I drafted the entire fucking Devil Rays outfield. The Devil Rays that run like Hayes and hit like shit. I will be on the horn moving Bat Thrower assuming he uses his bat to hit balls and not umps.
10. Chad Cordero, RP, Nationals -- Quite pleased with this pick. I should be a good contender in saves. Which means his arm will fly off during his first save opportunity.
11. Mark Teahan, 3B, Royals -- The Veronica Mars of infielders, who would be a star if he didn’t play on baseball’s equivalent of the CW. He had a great run last season before surgery ended his season, and he’s got a good chance for 25 dingers and 90+ RBIs.
12. Ramon Hernandez, C, Baltimore -- Catcher is always a hitting black hole, so I was happy to get a guy this late who hit .275/23/91 last year.
13. Adrian Beltre, 3B, Seattle -- Classic lazy fuck who only gives a crap when he’s trying to get a new deal. He’s not this year, but even lazy Beltre has power.
14. Josh Beckett, SP, Red Sox -- Risky McRisk as my third pitcher. This pick is like asking your wife for a three-way: amazing if it happens, but more likely to land you in the doghouse. Oh well, you only live once.
15. Bobby Crosby, SS, Oakland -- Crosby is a Former Promising Rookie, the baseball equivalent of Former Childhood Stars. But if Jackie Earle Haley can get an Oscar nod, Crosby could “return to form.”
16. Ryan Dempster, RP, Cubs -- Made it a long way before the inevitable Cubs homer pick. Closers with ERAs of 4.00+ don’t stay closers for long, but I hope he can add enough saves early that I can sell high to a desperate owner.
17. Michael Barrett, C, Cubs -- I just like him. I’m comfortable enough with my sexuality to say that. I played catcher (go ahead, fire away) in Little League, and Barrett reminds me of how I would play in the majors if I had talent.
18. Jon Garland, SP, White Sux -- My thinking cap must have been mullet shaped when I made this pick. He’s probably good for some wins but I regretted this pick as soon as I made it.
19. Josh Johnson, SP/RP, Marlins -- One of the Marlins wunderkids from last year. Wins may be hard to come by, but his ERA should be low.
20. Jhonny Perhalta, SS, Cleveland Politically Incorrects -- I’m picking up problem shortstops like stray kittens. Another Jackie Earle Haley candidate. But I distrust anyone who can’t spell his first name correctly.
21. Gary Matthews, Jr., OF, Angels -- Could be traded to the California Penal League for taking human growth hormone. My second fuck up in the outfield, because I didn’t realize we started four OFs and I only had three. At least I was playing good poker.
22. Jacque Jones, OF, Cubs -- The homer juice flows through my veins. Actually, his RBI totals could go up since the Cubs may get men on base this year.
23. Placido Palanco, 2B, Tigers -- Always reminds me of Enrico Pallazzo from The Naked Gun. That’s why I draft him nearly every year.
24. B.J. Upton, 3B, Devil Rays -- I officially have a nonsexual man crush on the Devil Rays. An up-and-coming player, B.J. could blow up this season, or he could just blow.
25. Jeremy Sowers, SP, Cleveland Politically Incorrects -- Ooh, look pocket Aces! What, I have to make a pick?
26. Matt Murton, OF, Cubs -- Will likely play soon after Cliff Floyd gets a paper cut, but I decided to drop him right away for Astros reliever Dan Wheeler, who will close when Brad Lidge’s primal scream therapy goes awry.
Season outlook: While drafting three Tampa outfielders looks as sharp as Morty Seinfeld selling raincoats, I can probably make a good trade with Rocco or Bat Thrower, maybe even package Dempster early for an A-list OF to go with Crawford. I will be shocked if I don’t win steals, and should make a good run in the saves and wins department. I don’t have a great power guy after Berkman, but have several 20+ HR guys who could help in that category. Prediction -- I won’t suck and may flirt with the title if Dempster keeps the closers job and Crosby, Jhonny, or Beltre “return to form.” Corrected prediction -- I have likely offended Jobu with my Devil Rays antics, which means my team will be cursed.
League 2: Head-to-Head
Team: Tommy’s Johnson
This league is with my brother and his friends. As you can tell by the name, we’ve dialed down the maturity. We decided to do head-to-head, which involves more luck but tends to keep more teams in contention than roto. We also have OBP as a category. I beat many of these same guys in fantasy football and am on track to win the fantasy NBA league from them, too. Yes, I need an intervention.
1. Carl Crawford, OF, Devil Rays -- I drafted seventh in both drafts, and both times Carl was the best player to take. I should just apply to be the Tampa “bat boy.”
2. Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Marlins -- Lots of RBIs, a killer average, and good power. Like the way this draft is shaping up already.
3. Derrek Lee, 1B, Cubs -- I think he bounces back from an injury-plagued 2006 and drives in a buttload of runs with an improved Cubs offense. Of course, the Cubs are going to need to score 12 runs a game to make up for their pitching.
4. Vernon Wells, OF, Toronto Hosers -- Need my token Canadian. Vernon's well-rounded. Sorry, that’s a terrible pun. But very happy to get him.
5. Victor Martinez, C/1B, Cleveland Politically Incorrects -- He screwed me two years ago when he forgot how to hit for half a season, but he looks like the second-best catcher again. Like the 1B eligibility.
6. Francisco Rodriguez, RP, Angels -- Couldn’t pass him up even though I hate drafting relievers. People think they play “Hells Bells” when he takes the field, but that’s just his balls clanging together.
7. Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle -- Only 20 and in his third year. Smartly realized that he couldn’t eat his way to a Cy Young, trimmed down, and now looks ready to kick some ass.
8. Dan Uggla, 2B, Marlins -- Again, second is a black hole, so I was happy to fill other spots and still nab a .280/25/90 guy here. Love his last name.
9. Jonathan Papelbon, RP, Red Sox -- Say chowder! With him and Rodriguez, I’m in top shape for saves each week.
10. Brett Myers, SP, Phillies -- Could have a monster year if not pitching in handcuffs again because of domestic disturbances. Baseball fever: catch it!
11. Dan Haren, SP, A’s -- Nice wins (14) and could break the 4.00 ERA barrier this year. Almost chose A’s pitcher Rich Harden just so I could write heh, heh, you said “hard.” Too bad I didn’t do that.
12. Chris Ray, RP, Orioles -- Take me down to reliever city where the WHIPs are low and the ERAs pretty. I’m in great shape for saves each week and have nice trade bait.
13. Edgar Rentaria, SS, Atlanta Ennui -- I gambled a bit waiting this long for a SS, but I’m happy with Rentaria. Good average, a few dingers and stolen bases. He probably won’t kill me. Downside: he may fall asleep playing in front of indifferent Atlanta crowds.
14. Scott Podsednik, OF, White Sux -- Poop, South Siders on both teams. Couldn’t pass on more stolen bases. I screwed up a bit waiting this long for a third OF, and wish I’d taken Willie Tavarez instead because his average is higher.
15. Josh Beckett, SP, Red Sox -- I think this is when The Lovely Becky came home with Culvers for me. She is an awesome, awesome lady and can make fun of me all she wants. I was so distracted by Butterburger delights I ignored the Beckett warning signs again.
16. Jeff Francoeur, OF, ATL Ennui -- A nice find this late. Probably should have taken him before Podsednik. Good power, and if he can get his average up 10-15 points, he’ll be very productive.
17. Bobby Crosby, SS, A’s -- Kitten shopping at short again.
18. Mike Piazza, C, A’s -- Oh, how the mighty have fallen. But a good #2 catcher.
19. Mark Teahan, 3B, Royals -- Still munching on Culvers, so I rewind the TiVo and grab Veronica Mars again.
20. Joel Zumaya, RP, Tigers -- If he can lay off the Guitar Hero marathons, Zumaya is almost certain to bump septuagenarian Todd Jones out of the closer spot and into the Retirement Castle.
21. Freddy Garcia, SP, Phillies -- Took him because he managed 17 wins last year. Judgment is admittedly clogged by Culver’s.
22. Jacque Jones, OF, Cubs -- Thought about switching it up with Matt Murton, but Jones will start right away. I was done caring by this point.
23. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B, Reds -- More third basemen than I need, but he has a lot of potential and could be good for a trade if he gets hot.
24. Carlos Quentin, OF, Diamondbacks -- A prospect pick, but he’s been hurt during spring training. If he’s not ready by the opener, I’ll probably drop.
25. Todd Walker, Will Play Where You Want Me to for Food -- Never a good idea to draft guys who just got released. Dropped him and grabbed 2B Luis Castillo from Minnesota.
Season outlook: Head-to-head is a little more unpredictable because hot streaks have a bigger impact on the results. Still, I’m very happy with my team. I have a good balance of average, power, and speed in the field, my relievers are excellent, and my starting pitchers look solid. Prediction: I snag the fantasy triple crown and win the league. I’ll wear it along with my Devil Rays tiara.
Friday, March 23, 2007
I'd like to dedicate this list to Tennessee and Texas A&M. Both lost by 1 point each yesterday, which means I now have to watch the rest of the NCAA tournament for the spirit of competition instead of the spirit of gambling. Always a sad day for me. Remember, kids: stay in school until you learn to make your freethrows. They’re extremely important in the NBA and when shooting for sides in pickup games.
On to the list:
1) “In the Street,” Big Star. Like Paul Westerberg, I never travel far without a little Big Star. This song has it all: a great ringing riff, throaty vocals, and plenty o' cowbell! It’s also the basis for the theme from That 70s Show. There is no finer value in CDs than the #1 Record/Radio City disc that combines their first two astounding albums.
2) “Here Comes the Sun Again,” M. Ward. I don’t know how he sounds as old as he does. Does he wear Depends when recording? Yell at kids to get off his lawn until his voice is hoarse? I mean, this song sounds so old it was used in a Cadillac commercial. Old person smell or no, it’s a warm, beautiful tune.
3) “Flexible Strategies,” The Police. Speaking of shitting your adult diapers, how about some flexible ticket pricing strategies, you codgers? I had my chance—the option to get two tickets for the Minneapolis show. Cost: $225 each, and the seats were off to the side. De do do do, de da da damn you greedy fuckers. Is Sting trying to make enough to construct a lute out of mithril? And speaking of geek references, here was the thought process for not buying them: I would never pay this much for Rush tickets. Anyway, this song is some wisely unreleased bullshit from the box set. Sounds like an instrumental remix of “Too Much Information” from Ghost in the Machine.
4) “21st Century Digital Boy,” Bad Religion. The best oohs and aahs in punk music and their best song. I would make a bigger deal out of the awkward “intellectual/ineffectual” couplet, but my language nerd side gets punched by my fist-pumping side.
5) “Unemployed Boyfriend,” Everclear. Sparkle and fade. They went from “Santa Monica” to Santa Maudlin in the span of three albums. This song has a Perry Ferrell reference that’s only slightly less awkward than seeing part of Ferrell’s paper mache penis on the cover of Ritual de lo Habitual. Unessential.
6) “I Am a Scientist,” Guided by Voices. Here’s a Cinderella story for March Madness: Middle school teacher in his mid-30s dreams of becoming a rock star. He assembles his drinking buddies into his basement to record some songs, and winds up making one of the best albums of the 1990s, Bee Thousand. This is the best song from that album. Mega-essential.
7) “Slack Motherfucker,” Superchunk. A dangerous song to listen to at work, because I want to sing the catchy, profane chorus out loud. And then people might think I’m singing about myself.
8) “One Thing Leads to Another,” The Fixx. A species from 80s musical genus Workmanus Likus, which includes bands like The Call and The Alarm, organisms that managed to spawn few successful ditties before becoming sterile or extinct. My best friend was a really big Fixx fan, which shows that, while very rare, they did exist in the wild.
9) “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” Paul Simon. Sad political comment of the day: this song provides better exit strategies from Iraq than anything the White House or Congress have proposed.
10) “One Tree Hill,” U2. Blue Girl recently mentioned how it’s uncool to say you like U2. Well, I like U2. In the words of Ozzy, it could be worse. I could be a Fixx fan.
11) “Know Your Onion,” The Shins. Funny this came up, because as I’m thinking of tags to label my posts, I thought of using “Know Your Onion” for the fake news posts where I
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Iraqi Democracy, the new highly anticipated album from Guns 'N' Butter.
The heaviest, densest, most inaccessible production yet from the group that brought you Appetite for Obstruction and Abuse Your Delusions, this ambitious concept album tells the story of a man who brings the light of freedom to a land of darkness through conquest, capitalism, and Christ.
Anchored by the simple, repetitive riffs of rhythm guitarist Turd Blossimin' (who wrote most of the tracks), Iraqi Democracy delivers the sound patriots love and that freedom haters hate. Lead guitarist Condi spins her slithery, improvised solos where notes double back and often contradict each other. Bassist Richard "Dick" Cheney fires off heart-stopping runs that rise from the bowels of Hell and blast you in the face of your soul. Drummer (and sadly, former member) Rummy Rumsfeld obliterates the skins like they were requests for body armor. And above it all, singer W. Ahole Bush delivers his trademark brand of double-talkin' jive that is the scatting of the Apocalypse.
So turn up your radio loud enough for the NSA to hear and torture your neighbors until they confess to being a sleeper cell. Because when this band’s a rockin’, freedom won’t come a knockin’.
2) Sweet Oil O' Mine
3) Welcome to the Bungle
4) (The Media’s) Out Ta Get Me
5) It’s So Easy (Not)
6) Civil War (Stopping Calling It That)
7) Samarra City
8) Rocket PG
9) Mr. Green Zone
10) November Prayin’
11) Patience (Reprise)
12) You Woulda Coulda Shoulda Been Mine
Produced by Paul “Cry Wolf” Wolfowitz and Ahmad “The Mad Arab” Chalabi. Engineered by George “Slam Dunk” Tenent. Recorded in Scari-O.
Advance praise for Iraqi Democracy...
“It’s everything we hoped it would be. All the hard work, money, and sacrifice has paid off. A masterpiece of design, executed flawlessly. Only a traitor would hate this record.” —Spin
“Ambitious and daring, Iraqi Democracy sets the standard for all other works in the genre. Every bent note and distorted tone form a brick in the ‘Wall of Hubris’ sound. Essential.” —Geopolitics for the Practicing Neocon
“The aggressive, commanding first half is complemented by the more humble, yet equally powerful second half. Every perfect note rings true on this fair and balanced recording.” —Fox News
“This is not music for candy asses, carpet munchers, ragheads, Deadheads, traitors or haters. It's music for people who believe in American family values.” —Ann Coulter
“The greatest album ever to be in the current process of being presumably finished at some point.” —Tony Snow
“Like Cheetos for my ears” - Jonah Goldberg, The National Review
tomorrow next week next month a few months from now at the end of the year next year next election next decade when pigs fly when the Iraqi Air Force flies soon.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
9) People who we would agree with if no one was looking.
8) The validity of e-mails with our names on them.
7) That pesky scientific data.
6) Idea of leaving Iraq any time soon.
5) Using the Bill of Rights as a fish wrap.
4) Brown as the new white.
3) Right-wing hate speech when used against right-wingers.
2) Taking responsibility for being a bunch of corrupt, two-faced, hypocritical cobags.
1) Any last remaining shred of hope that we're not completely fucked for at least 19 more months.
Friday, March 16, 2007
It’s too bad I don’t have Mudhoney’s “Touch Me, I’m Sick,” because I have been touched by sickness. Hopefully it’s not my lycanthropy flaring up again. The hairballs are the worst.
1) “You,” Radiohead. From their first album, the one with “Creep.” They thankfully managed to avoid the career buzzsaw of the MTV Buzz Bin. This song gets by more on execution than originality, but it’s still a good bit of grungy Brit Pop—Blur with more distortion.
2) “Tired Eyes,” Neil Young. While my steel guitar gently weeps. Addiction, loss, hopelessness...these are the nucleotides which make up the DNA of great Neil Young songs.
3) “Resist,” Rush. We finally meet, old friend. Given the amount of Rush I have on my iPod, it’s surprising it took this long. I have been a hopeless Rush fan since 1981. That’s 26 years to hear a lot of jokes about being a hopeless Rush fan, like this: A couple years ago, I made the trek to Virginia to see them on the 30th anniversary tour with my best friend from junior high. While there, my brother left this voice mail for me on my cell: Hey, Brando, hope you guys are having a good time at the Rush concert. Are you going to the D&D convention afterward, or the Star Trek one?
4) “Army Dreamers,” Kate Bush. The combination of her sprightly voice and lyrics about young soldiers dying makes this song even more sad. It’s also a shame it’s become all too appropriate again.
5) “Outtasite (Outta Mind),” Wilco. An espresso shot of jangled Jeff Tweedy rock. But, once again, the parentheses rear their non-rocking head. If you’re trying to seem so rockin' that you deliberately misspell words in your song title, don't make part of that title an unessential clause. Either you just want to be Outtasite, or you want to be Outtasite and Outta Mind. Don't try to order your Outta Mind on the side, and set it on a parenthetical doily for good measure.
6) “That Teenage Feeling,” Neko Case. She’s such a great singer that when I say she's got a great set of lungs, I’m talking about her actual lungs. And God knows I’m holding onto that teenage feeling (see dork, Rush).
7) “Lovers of Today,” Pretenders. This is from their first album, one of the best debuts ever recorded. They never really approached this level again, at least not for a whole album. Is it terrible to live under the shadow of a great first work? Or is it terrific to make something so great that it casts a large shadow, even if you never get out from under it? I lean toward the latter.
8) “Black Eye,” Uncle Tupelo. More Tweedy, back when he could still ask Jay Farrar to pass the salt without writing a song called, “The Salt Has Been Passed,” about how they can no longer share the same shaker without getting their lawyers involved.
9) “Found Out About You,” Gin Blossoms. They were played to death, but I still love this song and “Hey Jealousy.” I’m a sucker for songs that hit that sweet combination of bright music and sad lyrics.
10) “Midnight Rambler,” The Rolling Stones. There’s a wonderfully dingy sheen to the sound here, as if they recorded it in the dirtiest toilet in Scotland, with the harmonica player sitting in the stall. It has the flow of a cocaine bender, where they speed up, slow way down, and speed up again after another line. Probably not that far from the recording process. How is it that all of them save Brian Jones are still alive?
11) “She’s Coming (Over Tonight),” The Mr. T Experience. The Rock Parentheses Corollary: they are okay if the parenthetical phrase completes a joke or pun. The Mr. T Experience are worth listening to for the lyrics alone—one of their songs is called, “Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend.” In fact, they’re the perfect Official House Band of Circle Jerk at the Square Dance. They mine the same themes over and over. They’re pretty sloppy. And they seem destined for obscurity. But they try their damnedest to make you smile.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
However, there is hope for turning this year’s sweaty, grunting Big Dance into a clean, non-gyrating Big Chance at Salvation. There are 13 teams in this year’s tournament, which matches the 13 lost tribes of Israel according to the Bible (Battlestar Galactica Version, Sea. 1, Ep. 1). Coincidence? Coincidences are the work of the devil, friends.
But who among these 13 can slay the demonic state schools, with their boosters and large, swelling endowments? Here’s the breakdown that will leave the liberals-arts loving sinners like Dick Vitale yelling, “Holy Crap!”
We’ll go by region, starting with the area that puts the “sun” in Sunday.
Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic
Revelation: Slain in the first round
The Hoyas sport a Goliath in center Roy Hibbert, who stands 21.5 hands high. But Georgetown is in Washington, D.C., which is under the control of the Demoncrats, making Georgetown more Hittite than Hoya. Furthermore, they’re facing a true David in the first round....
Religious Affiliation: Southern Baptist
Revelation: Elevated to the Sweet 16
Little Belmont from the land of Tennessee will slay the Hoyas with a large, round, orange sling stone, then go 2-for-2 when they take down their second group of faux-Papists...
Religious Affiliation: Massachusetts Catholic
Revelation: Usurped by Belmont in the second round
It goes without saying that a school from the state that puts the “ass” in Massachusetts, and that’s also affiliated with the church that put the “ass” in “Mass lawsuits by parishioners,” has no chance to win. But they will defeat the giant, ravenous beast of Bobby Knight in round one.
Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic
Revelation: Devoured in the Sweet 16
These Pontiff pushers should easily handle Michigan State and North Carolina in the first two rounds. But in the Sweet 16, they will run into the First Horseman of the Madness, USC. The choreographed Sit-Stand-Kneel offense of Marquette will be no match for the full-court sodomy of the atheistic Hollywood Trojans.
Religious Affiliation: Oral Roberts
Revelation: Broadcasting to the Final Four
With a combination of Biblical values and televangelical dollars, the Orals offer a potent mix of Jesus and Adam Smith. They will defeat Boston College and then smite USC to advance to the Final Four.
Religious Affiliation: Mormon
Revelation: Out faster than you can say “Shazaam”
One would expect a higher seed count from a Mormon school, and that’s precisely the weakness in Brigham Young. They lack the fire power to get past their first-round opponent...
Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic
Revelation: Excommunicated in the Elite 8
As Jesuit-founded school, Xavier’s chief weapon is fear, fear and surprise. Its two main weapons are fear and surprise, and a ruthless efficiency on the glass. Its three main weapons are fear, surprise, and a ruthless efficiency on the glass...plus a fanatical devotion to the half-court trap. Amongst its weapons....never mind, it will get defeated by the opponent of...
Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic
Revelation: Burned by the raging fires of sin in the first round
Creighton is a victim here of seeding. Against a run-of-the mill state-sponsored Babylon like Texas S&M, Creighton would advance. But they face the Nevada Wolfpack, a five-headed Cerberus that features Nick Fazekus, which is Ancient Greek for “Nick Anti-Christ.” Nevada then swallows Xavier and moves on to the Final Four.
Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian
Revelation: Smothered in steak sauce and fed to UNLV in the Sweet 16
Davidson is the lone Christian representative in the Midwest, and with good reason: they face the pure wickedness of the UNLV Running Rebels. Their unstoppable vice will prove too much for the modest synod of Davidson as the Rebels rape and pillage their way to the Final Four.
Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic (when not high on mushrooms)
Revelation: Sobered up in round 2
Two Gonzaga players were arrested earlier this year for smuggling mushrooms in a backpack, and where there’s smoke, there’s sodomy. These weak-kneed kneelers fall to the heathen of UCLA in round 2.
Religious Affiliation: Crusades
Revelation: Ambushed before their march to the Promised Land begins
Another seeding casualty, the Holy Cross Crusaders would normally sack the entire bracket. But they are up against the most powerful of the Four Horseman, the Duke Blue Devils, a team so evil, they brazenly have a Satanic minion from the frozen Eighth Circle as their mascot.
Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic
Revelation: Buried in the second round
Villanova used its Holy Spirit lifeline in 1985, when they defeated Georgetown to win their only national championship, and that lifeline can only be used once per millennia. Plus, as evidenced by the defeat of other Catholic teams, it's clear that Roman Catholics can’t jump. They are too weighed down by the vestments.
Villanova falls in the second round to...
Religious Affiliation: State of Kansas (and therefore Christian)
Revelation: Evolving toward the Final Four
Like Oral Roberts, Kansas combines the power of the State with the power of a State of Fundamentalism. Using their athletic might and sharp defense, they will turn any arena into Bloody Kansas. These Jayhawks will square off against the Duke Blue Devils in the Elite 8, where they will cut off the Devil’s head and prevent it from regenerating by covering the wound with anti-evolution stickers.
Oral Roberts vs. Nevada
Revelation: The first half will be all Nevada as the Wolfpack unleash the Hounds of Hell. But Oral Roberts will reveal a secret weapon in the second half: the Ark of the Covenant. After they march it around the arena, the Wolfpack will fall like demonic flies slamming into the bug light of salvation.
Kansas vs. UNLV
Revelation: UNLV craps out against the mighty Jayhawks, who get a boost when Senator Sam Brownback suits up and hits his free throws down the stretch.
Kansas vs. Oral Roberts
Revelation: Realizing that they have a common mission, these two schools will throw down their balls and merge into the University of Oral Roberts at Kansas, completing the Church and State merger that God has been brokering for centuries. Vegas will wail and gnash its teeth as all bets are off.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
The answer: liberal blogs by a margin of 18-1. Or maybe less. But who fucking cares, because...
Wooooo, we’re number 1! In your face, dickfaces!
Ahem, sorry, had to get that out. Okay, so maybe the liberal side likes to use naughty words. Why do we swear so goddamned much?
10) Roget’s yet to come up with synonym for “fuckstick.”
9) Potty mouth perfect for describing how Iraq has gone in the toilet.
8) Can’t give the bird when posting.
7) If it walks and talks like a duck, it must be a duck. Ergo, if it stoops and poops like an asshole...
6) Emulating the role model of American civility, Dick Cheney.
5) Because every time someone’s antiquated Victorian-era sensibilities get rung up, an angel gets his wings.
4) What better way to initiate dialog with conservative preachers, reporters, and Congressman than using the word “cock”?
3) Profanity relieves pressure caused by cognitive dissonance from destroying freedom to protect it.
2) Impossible to look at the President's countenance without typing "ass face."
1) Because when your country is being run by a bunch of flag-humping, feces-throwing, rich-rimming, poor-fisting, science-cornholing, corruption-swallowing, war-jerking jizzrags, “golly” just doesn’t cut it.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Saturday, March 10, 2007
I had to get out my Alfonso Ribiero Breakin' Board yesterday and dance for The Man, which prevented me from putting this up on Friday, the way God commanded in the 11th commandment, Keep holy the random music post day. The very canny Uncanny Canadian did not let God, Pinko, or AG stop him from putting up his excellent Friday Night Videos Minus the Videos before the deadline. I salute his dedication.
1) “Catapult,” R.E.M. Mmmm, jangly (drools).
2) “Looks Just Like the Sun,” Broken Social Scene. Lo and behold, who makes a guest appearance on Weekend at Brando’s? The Sun! Just in time, too. I was about to start my own tire fire to accelerate global warming. On a music-related note, this laid-back gem is like a big, comfortable hammock for my ears.
3) “Sixteen,” No Doubt.
BUTT-HEAD: Uh, huh-huh-huh, is this Save Ferris?
BEAVIS: Shut up, Butt-Head, Gwen Stefani's hot. Hmm, hmm, boing!
BUTT-HEAD: Yeah, but we're not watching her, we're listening to her, dillweed.
BEAVIS: Oh, yeah. This sucks.
4) “Dedicated Follower of Fashion (Live),” The Kinks. Not quite as good as the studio version because the crowd sings the chorus. If I want to hear drunken warbling I’ll leave a voice mail for myself while singing along with the jukebox at the Foxhead.
5) “Lullaby + Exile,” M. Ward. Weary + Beautiful.
6) “Bride and Bridle,” The Long Winters. Achy + not quite as good as M. Ward. Also, Bride and Bridle sounds like it would be the title of an episode of Real Sex about how married people keep the lovin' fresh.
7) “Eraser,” Nine Inch Nails. I think I’m officially Reznortose-intolerant. I can no longer digest the I-hate-myself-and-want-to-die screams. If he really did, he’d be dead. If he’s not dead, then he’s lying, which makes Baby Jesus cry. I can still swallow some of Pretty Hate Machine, but not without shots. Lots of shots.
8) “Gravity’s Gone,” Drive-By Truckers. One of my favorites of 2006. It has a nice honky-tonk vibe and a witty chorus: So I’ll meet you at the bottom if there really is one / They always told me when you hit it you’ll know it / But I’ve been fallin' so long it feels like gravity’s gone / and I’m just floatin’. You know it’s honky tonk when you ain’t got time to annunciate your participles fully.
9) “Secret Smile,” Semisonic. Hi there, I’m Semisonic. You might remember from such hits as “Closing Time” and “Closing Time (Radio Edit).” Too bad for them, this was a good album. Their drummer wrote (!) a pretty entertaining book about their experience, So You Want to Be a Rock and Roll Star. It made me glad my fantasy of being a rock drummer remained a fantasy.
10) “Suddenly Last Summer,” The Motels. It happened one summer / It happened one time / It happened forever / For a short time. I think she’s singing about how "Only the Lonely" didn't give them the long-term career beachhead they neeeded.
11) “Are You Gonna to Move It for Me?” The Donnas. I swear, honey, I only like them for the riffs!
Thursday, March 08, 2007
I have shared plenty of bad writing experiences, because the writing process is often like being infected with a chronic disease, and a screeching monkey who has his claws dug into your back holds the medicine vial. You flail with the monkey every day to get the medicine you need. What person in his or her right mind would want to go through that every day?
The answer: writers. So that means I also have an Animal Control hat in my bag, too.
But here's the great thing about writing: one good thing can shut the monkey up for months. I have been very fortunate to share lots of good writing moments with TLB: getting into the Iowa Writer's Workshop, selling her book, seeing it on the shelf. And now, one more...
The Lovely Becky's lovely novel, Icebergs, is a finalist for the 2007 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award.
The Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award is a big deal for a new writer. It's awarded to a first work of fiction, either a novel or short story collection. Unless you manage to snag a Pulitzer of National Book Award your first time out, the Hemingway/PEN is the most prestigious prize for a first-time writer. And making it to the final group is like making it to the NCAA Final Four.
TLB and Icebergs made the final three. Yvette Christianse's Unconfessed was the other finalist, and Brief Encounters With Che Guevara by Ben Fountain won. The PEN New England site hasn't formally posted the news yet, but since the esteemed Jerome Weeks announced it on his BookDaddy blog, I can announce it here.
So, for now, the monkey is in his cage, quietly nibbling on the Banana of Triumph, while TLB has a case full of medicine. As for me, I'm putting on my party hat and celebrating with my awesome, awesome wife.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
9) Treat post-traumatic stress disorder with counseling instead of sneaking up behind patients and popping paper bag.
8) Sterilize the area beneath rug before sweeping wounded under it.
7) Use red tape and yellow ribbons as bandages.
6) Update current veteran health care manual (originally written by George S. Patton).
5) Remove co-pay requirement from all leechings.
4) Fill IVs with medicine instead of holy water.
3) Provide body armor against the rats and mold.
2) Keep wounded away from cancerous assholes.
1) Surgically remove the “dis” from “disgraceful care for our wounded soldiers.”
Saturday, March 03, 2007
I didn’t have time to transcribe my audio tasting notes into a full-featured blog yesterday. I hope this is the last one I write from underneath the bitter, chapped scrotum of Old Man Winter.
1) “Lola,” The Kinks. I think this is Ted Haggard’s favorite song. Or Ann Coulter’s. I know it’s one of mine, but I the only thing I have in common with those two is the Adam’s apple.
2) “Babyface,” U2. Bono's worst career choice ever? The Fly sunglasses. They blocked out the light from even great, mellow songs like this. Always be cognizant of your eyewear.
3) “Here Comes My Baby,” Cat Stevens. Does Cat have a hard time spotting his baby now that she’s wearing a burka?
4) “Let It Ride,” Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. I would rather have Adams’ backing band be called the Cubs, but then his record contract would immediately burst into flames, he’d have a stack of amps fall on him during a show, and he would never record a song again. So I'll let it slide.
5) “Deeper Into Movies,” Yo La Tengo. Dense, noisy, and catchy, which is very hard to pull off. The swirling guitars at the end really match the 40 mph winds howling outside.
6) “Moonshiner,” Uncle Tupelo. No one else makes depression sound so great like Jay Farrar. The regret and despair are so thick in this song, they’re maple flavored.
7) “When I’m Thinking About You,” The Sundays. The Lovely Becky sings The Sundays really well. Nice to hear this when she’s out of town, it makes me feel like she’s here for three-and-a-half minutes.
8) “Holy Wars...The Punishment Due,” Megadeth. And now we move from the cool side to the hot side of the McDLT . I don't think I could deliberately match two songs that don't go together more than The Sundays and Megadeth. Dave Mustaine's voice reminds me of my singing (note: not good), but the fast/slow/really, really fast music is chock full of thrashy goodness. I must air guitar...
9) “Smile,” Elastica. Such musical thieves that they got sued not once, not twice, but three times for ripping off riffs from other bands on their debut album. That’s a lawsuit about every 12 minutes on the album. But in the end, they’re like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. They rob in such entertaining fashion you want them to keep holding up banks.
10) “Disorder and Disarray,” Rancid. Speaking of thieves and not caring. ...And Out Come the Wolves is one of my favorite albums of the 90s. They get a lot of criticism for sounding a lot like The Clash. That’s like complaining that your current orgasm is a lot like your previous ones. Who cares, you’re still having an orgasm!
11) “Behind Blue Eyes,” The Who. The perfect way to end this list, with the crisp, cool beginning topping the hot, beefy, Keith-Moon-filled end. My rating: delicious.
I'm off to shovel snow (note: not in the rock star nasal fashion). Have a good weekend!
Friday, March 02, 2007
This sucks. Everyone hates me. No one listens to me anymore. And now I have to deal with those lousy Dem-o-Craps.
CHENEY (looks down the sight)
You should have handled it my way.
I didn’t want to be impeached, Dick.
CHENEY (mimicking Bush)
I didn’t want to get impeached, Dick. You’re such a Clinton.
Outside the window, there’s a flash, an explosion, and a squeal of tires. Footsteps come toward the door, and Karl Rove bursts through, wearing white overalls and goggles.
Mr. President, I’ve found a way for us to retake power!
Cheney rips off his suit to reveal a general’s outfit. He snaps the clip into the pistol.
Do you always wear that uniform?
ROVE (shakes head)
Never mind. I have a better weapon: a time machine!
You mean a clock?
No, sir, a machine that allows us to travel back in time.
They follow Rove outside to a Hummer parked in the Rose Garden. It’s covered with tubes, wires, and other machinery.
Have you been drinking again?
No, it really works. I just returned from a minute into the future and saw a bird poop on your head.
A splat of bird poop hits Cheney’s forehead. He fires at the sky and a bird falls to the ground.
My God, Rove. We can go back and fix all the things we fucked up with the election. Tell DeLay not to hang out with Abramoff. Or shoot that colored boy before George Allen can call him a macacca.
Heh, heh, cacca.
I have an even more ambitious plan. We go back to 1940 and get a Republican to beat Franklin Roosevelt. We then set a trap for the Japanese at Pearl Harbor and win World War II! The Republican president will be a god and can use his political capital to erase the New Deal...(lowers voice to a sinister growl) and with it, the Democratic Party!
Brilliant! I’ll take Franklin Roosevelt hunting and, (aims pistol) BOOM, bye bye third term.
Bush is already behind the wheel of the Hummer.
I want to drive the time thingee!
Sir, I don’t think that’s such a good idea. You’re, um, needed here.
I’m the president and I want to drive!
CHENEY (to himself while aiming at Bush’s head)
I always knew this day would come...
Rove grabs Cheney’s arm and pulls it down.
I already have a plan in place.
Rove leans in and punches the time settings. He hands Bush an envelope and a book.
Okay, I have you going back to 1940. I’ve written down everything you need to do. You’ll need this book...
Aww, a book! This plan sucks!
You don’t have to read it. Just follow my instructions. And remember, be very careful what you do. Every alteration of history can have dramatic effects on the future.
Bush accelerates in the car and disappears into a blaze of light.
In the middle of a lot with a series of tin shacks, the Hummer appears. Two men in tattered tuxedoes, top hats, and broken monocles watch drunkenly as the Hummer appears.
GOP BOSS (drunkenly slurring)
By jove, what is that?
It’s..it’s some sort of spaceship.
The door of the Hummer opens and Bush steps out in a yellow radioactive suit.
I come from the future.
Great Scott! What year?
2006! No, wait...(counts on fingers) 2007!
The Henchman faints while the GOP Boss cowers.
What do you want, O time traveler?
I’m looking for the headquarters of the Republican Party.
The GOP Boss waves his arms.
This is it. The bank foreclosed on our previous office. Why do you seek us?
I’m here to help you beat Roosevelt!
Roosevel? But how?
On a busy streetcorner, a newspaper boy holds up the latest paper. It shows a book: Unfit to Stand by the Unswift Polio Victims for Truth
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Group says President Roosevelt faked his polio for sympathy votes.
Bush and the GOP Boss watch from the corner as mobs of people snatch up the newspaper.
Excellent! Mr. Bush, I never would have thought of that. It’s ingenious!
No, it’s just genius. Well, my job here is done. Just get your man elected.
But sir, I...We want you to be our man.
Me? (he looks up and hears Rove)
That man will be a god...be a god...be a god....
I’ll do it!
A reel of The March of Time plays. Footage of German and Japanese soldiers appears.
In Europe and the Orient, tensions rise as Germany and Japan continue to act like the biggest roosters in the henhouse.
The reel changes to black and white footage of Bush landing on an aircraft carrier with the banner Mission Accomplished.
Meanwhile, President Bush landed at Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor today, where he dared the Axis powers to attack.
To Germany, and Japan, I say, bring it on!
At the President’s quarters at the Pearl Harbor base...
Mr. President, we have our entire fleet here massed and ready to attack. You’re sure the Japanese are going to attack on December 8?
BUSH (sitting in front of a radio and listening to the program intently)
Yeah, yeah, I’m sure. I learned that date in school.
But, sir, how could you have learned it....
BUSH (turning up the radio)
Hush, or I’m going to miss the end of Little Orphan Annie!
Annie cries out. Outside the house, there’s a terrible explosion and the sound of airplanes buzzing.
Wow! The sound on these old radios is fantastic!
An OFFICER rushes into the room.
Admiral, the Japanese are attacking!
But you said they wouldn't attack until tomorrow!
Aw, fiddlesticks. Well, no worries, boys, I know what to do.
On Capitol Hill, Bush addresses Congress...
Today is a day that will live in blasphemy! It marks a new beginning: the War on Fascism. And to win this war, we must strike at those countries that practice it. That is why I am declaring war on Spain!
But the Spanish haven’t attacked us!
Have you forgotten sir, they attacked Maine!
No, Mr. President, that was The Maine!
That’s what I said, duh!
The March of Time newsreel plays...
Six months into their invasion of the Iberian peninsula, American forces find themselves bogged down like a Spaniard after a pitcher of sangria. Today near Barcelona, five soldiers were killed by improvised explosive piñatas.
Footage shows a Nazi flag over Buckingham Palace
His conquest of Great Britain complete, Adolf Hitler today said he is determined to strike the United States...
Back in Washington, Bush clears some brush. The GOP Leader from before finds him.
Mr. President, the war in Spain is going terribly. Hitler controls nearly all of Europe. We have to pull out our troops and regroup.
But if we pull out of Spain, he’ll control all of Europe, won’t he, smart guy?
But Hitler says he’s about to attack us.
Pshaw! You can’t believe everything that guy says.
There’s a sound of planes overhead. They look up and see German planes dropping paratroopers into Washington, DC.
That’s not good...Hey, don’t worry, I know exactly what to do. I saw this movie called Red Dawn where the same thing happened. We just need a high school football team...
There’s a flash and a VW Bug appears. Karl Rove is behind the wheel. More flashes appear behind him, as German soldiers in time-traveling Bugs pursue him. Rove stops and throws open the door.
Bush climbs in.
Jesus, could you have screwed the pooch more? I would have been better off sending Bonzo back in time.
Sorry. Are we going home? Are the Democrats still in power?
You better pray they are, asshole. Thanks to you, the United States turned into Hitlerville USA. I’ve been all over time trying to clean up your mess. Hang on!
The car flashes and arrives back in the present, behind the White House. Rove stops and looks around.
No goosestepping...no schnitzel stands...and look, there’s Steven Spielberg going into the White House without restraints. Phew, we’re back. Okay, you go ahead and go in, I’ve going to jump ahead and make sure everything’s okay. And don’t tell anyone about this.
Bush gets out and walks to the front. He sees his father.
It’s about time. (Slaps him in the back of the head.) What did I tell you, be on time!
You have no idea how hard that was...
They walk into the White House, into the Oval Office. Bush sits behind the desk.
What the hell are you doing? The President sits there.
I know, duh!
From another door, Al Gore walks in. He stares at Bush behind the desk.
H.W. BUSH (to Gore)
I am so very, very sorry, President Gore.
Wha?! But...but I’m President!
No you’re not? You lost the election of 2000, George. Don’t you remember?
No, I won it. I’m president! Al, don’t you remember?
Okay, that’s it. Out the window or through the door, you two jokers are leaving.
He escorts them out of the Oval Office and makes sure they leave the White House. In the driveway, Dick Cheney, wearing a chauffer’s outfit, waxes the presidential limo, which is a hybrid.
Now, Dick, I expect a second coat of wax on there.
Just finishing the second coat now, Mr. President
Dick, don’t lie to me. Get that second coat on, and use the organic wax.
Why don’t you and your organic wax go fuck yourselves.
Good day, gentlemen.
He closes the door.
Do you want to tell me what that was all about?
Before Bush can speak, there’s a flash of light. Rove appears, this time on a tricked-out Segway.
Turd Blossom! Dad, he can explain everything.
No time, George. You need to come with me. It’s about your grandchildren.
Oh no...please tell me Jenna got married first.
She did...to 50 Cent.
He pulls Bush onto the Segway.
But how are we going to drive this on the highway?
Oh, where we’re going, there are no highways.
The Segway wheels rotate and the fly through the air before disappearing as “Back in Time” by Huey Lewis plays.