Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Random 11: RNC in the USA

The thing I noticed more than anything else at the Democratic National Convention this week wasn’t the audacity of hope, the calls for unity, or the way the Denver police enforced both hope and unity by arresting anyone who expressed anything else. No, it was the music.

Daughtry covered Foreigner's “Feels Like the First Time,” which was the theme song for the League of First Time Voters initiative—known formerly as the League of Extraordinary People Who Couldn’t Be Bother to Register Without Excessive Prodding. Nothing says “voting is cool” than an American Idol runner-up doing his best imitation of Lou Gramm.

It got me wondering about other Foreigner songs that would have been perfect. What wouldn't fire you up for Bill Clinton like “Hot Blooded”? Or the versatile“Dirty White Boy,” which would have worked for both John Edwards and the entire West Virginia delegation. The media would have expected “Cold as Ice” for Hillary Clinton, but she could have instead given us “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” which the pundits would then misidentify as “Head Games.” And the triumphant, stadium-filling finale, Obama could have come out to a medley of “Juke Box Hero” and “Urgent” so hot, Invesco Field would have burst into flames. Really, what can't you do with Foreigner?

With the Republicans ready to kick out the jams get this party started do the hokey pokey next week, I wonder what songs would be appropriate for their convention. So this week’s Random 11 will attempt to find the soundtrack for the Party of No Change.

1) “Killing” The Rapture. Nothing like scoring a hat trick on the first try. The title of course is the theme of the last eight years. The band name is what that killing is trying to trigger. And it is as annoying and unlistenable as a George W. Bush speech. Perfect for the opening montage honoring the Bush administration.

2) “Dry,” PJ Harvey. The repeated lyric, “You leave me dry,” both works for how many conservatives feel about John McCain, as well as how Cindy McCain probably feels when she sees him naked.

3) “Harden My Heart,” Quarterflash. Lip-synched by Sarah Palin as she discuss all the social programs the Republicans are going to cut, not because they want to, but because they owe it to the poor.

4) “Say Goodbye to Hollywood,” Billy Joel. Playing when the party announces that they intend to put all of Hollywood in detention center and relocate the American film industry to Branson, Missouri.

5) “Gun Sale at the Church,” The Beat Farmers. Delightfully stripped of irony by Toby Keith. This special extended version will include directions to the nearest gun sale.

6) “I’m in Disgrace,” The Kinks. Used during the memorial montage for all those party members who were arraigned before their time.

7) “Back Door Love,” Graham Parker. Piped into every men’s room. Sadly no video.

8) “Don’t Stop Believing,” Journey. There’s no real political purpose for this song, it’s just that when you have that many white people gathered in a sports arena, you better play some Journey.

9) “Lake of Fire,” Nirvana. Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for our next speaker, Mr. Ralph Reed!

10) “White Riot,” The Clash. Sung a-cappella by The National Review Singers.

11) “Never,” Heart. Sweet Cookie Jesus, let's hope so.

Have a good, long weekend.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Top Ten Tuesdays: What are we doing at the Democratic National Convention?

10) Selling our new John Edwards’ Paternity Passer™—it scrubs your DNA while you stump!

9) Telling Dennis Kucinich that he and his wife are welcome, but the woodland creatures have to wait outside.

8) Polishing James Carville’s dome until you can see Senator Clinton’s forced conciliatory smile from a mile away.

7) Fluffing the Super Delegates.

6) Asking CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta to perform a spinal transfer operation on Congressional Democrats.

5) Wondering how they got the Chris Matthews float to look so lifelike, until we realize that’s really his swollen, frothing head.

4) Enforcing the pants requirement at the Anderson Cooper Kissing Booth.

3) Showing how to fight Republicanism with one lobe tied behind our back.

2) Reminding a confused Senator McCain that his convention is next week, in Minneapolis.

1) Forging brass knuckles that spell “CHANGE.”

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Random 11: We're Getting the Band Back Together

Call me Fav-re.

I’m bringing the Random 11 back for a number of reasons. First, I need it. My creative well has hit a dry spell since Libby was born. Don't get me wrong, I love being a dad. Libby is amazing and I have happily channeled my energy into spending time with her. I miss teh funny, however. It's still there, lurking in things like the inappropriate comments I make when TLB and I watch Paranormal State (I tend to charactize the ghosts and demons as being somewhat lecherous toward the female members of the team). But my battery could use a jump, and the Random 11 is perfect for that.

The other thing is I loaded up with a lot of new music over the summer, and I hate keeping my opinions to myself.

1) “Hang on to Yourself,” David Bowie. Ironic title considering I can think of few artists who have changed their images more than Bowie. But what better way to get back to rockin’ than with a fat, glammy guitar riff.

2) “Fly by Night,” Rush. I am pretty sure Kim Carnes stole Alex Lifeson’s hair from this video.

3) “Sea Legs,” The Shins. I have to say, the last Shins album didn’t do a lot for me, and this song kind of sums up why. The pieces are there, but it lacks the charm and melody that made their first couple of albums so life-changing. However, it does use “pyre” and “labyrinth” in the same song. So that’s kina cool.

4) “Tij,” Battles. I am but a simple caveman. Your math rock-inspired sound collages frighten and confuse me, with chaotic time changes and sound collages that sound like methed-out carnies jumping on random instruments. But I do know this: making instrumental avant-garde music that has no rhyme or reason to it is a great way to get rock critics to jizz all over themselves in an attempt to show how much smarter they are than everyone else.

5) “Heavy Metal Drummer,” Wilco. That’s more like it.

6) “Summertime,” The Sundays. I will say this for the UP: the summers here are the best I’ve had since I lived in San Diego. I am so sad that they are almost done. My snowblower is already snickering when I go in the garage.

7) “Partie Traumatic,” Black Kids. They are to The Killers what Krusty the Clown was to Steve Allen.

8) “Scoff,” Nirvana. Grunge seems so quaint now. Just yesterday, I wound up talking to a younger colleague of TLB’s about grunge, and she was explaining how everyone used to wear flannel to this one bar they used to go to. It feels like that happened in the 1890s. Most of those bands deserved to die a quiet, unplugged death, but Nirvana still rocks my socks off.

9) “Vietnow,” Rage Against the Machine. Speaking of subgenres that went extinct. Rage in particular almost seems lost in time: the faux-Students for a Democratic Society lyrics rapped over guitar effects that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on a Steve Stevens-era Billy Idol album. They are so cute when they are angry. Yet still amazing to work out or play Guitar Hero to. Bonus: live video from the Tibetan Freedom Music concert. I believe that’s been eclipsed by a giant moon made of gold medals....

10) “Radio Nowhere,” Bruce Springsteen. This is to R.E.M.’s Accelerate what Steve Allen is to Krusty the Clown.

11) “Love Hurts,” Gram Parsons. But it’s even worse when love burns. And itches.

That's the kind of high-brow entertainment I have really missed doing each week. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Top Ten Tuesdays: How are we choosing a running mate?

10) By inseam.

9) Looking for someone who is more likely to get assassinated than we are.

8) Asking Paula to break the deadlock between Simon and Randy.

7) Holding time trials for falling on swords.

6) Examining the entrails of dead elephants and donkeys.

5) Constructing one out of duct tape.

4) First one to answer the phone at 3 a.m. wins.

3) Strengthening the ticket’s appeal to Evangelicals by requiring candidate to sacrifice first born on Mount Moriah.

2) Picking the one with the most patriotic tattoos.

1) Whoever can capture Vice President Cheney and send him back through the portal to his plane of existence will be the chosen one.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Top Ten Tuesdays: How did we spend our summer vacations?

10) Learning how to play “Georgia on My Mind” with bursts of AK-47 fire.

9) Sucking exhaust pipes to prepare lungs for Olympic competition.

8) Putting fresh onions on Senator McCain’s belt.

7) Pulling out apology about not pulling out.

6) Continuing to dig a deeper political hole until we’re running for president of China.

5) Feeding family by draining ethanol out of neighbor’s gas tank.

4) Discussing plans to become male strippers while standing in the unemployment line.

3) Watching our political career go down a series of tubes.

2) Enjoying the nice weather from inside, where it’s safe.

1) Reminding the entire world why you should never, ever, ever, elect your beer buddy as President.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Reach the Beach

I had hoped to regale you all with tales of my brother Tickle's wedding, or at least post more than a top 10 and a picture of one of my cats. But alas, I once again found myself with not enough time to get everything done that I wanted to. That's a common theme these days.

Tomorrow, TLB and I head out with Libby for our annual beach vacation with TLB's family. I will not be teaching my daughter how to Skimboard or drink a 5-liter mini-keg of Warsteiner beer by herself because no one else in the family will touch it. But I may show her how to spot fake boobs and laugh at guys with lower back tatoos.

Back at the end of next week. I hope to write about Tickle's wedding while I'm gone and post when I get back. Who knows, maybe I'll even find a little time to think of some comedy for this here blog.