Friday, August 25, 2006

A confidential note to Bert Blyleven

It's pronounced per-ron-nah.

The T is silent.

The storm before the calm before the storm (the last storm is figurative)


"I like my beers cold, my cars fast, and my lips fa-laming!"


"First Homer Simpson steals my pig, then Cypress Hill steals my orchestra, and now Sonic Youth are in my cooler...get out of there, you kids!"

Yes, Sonic Youth opening for the Flaming Lips at the Minnesota State Fair.

I'll give you a moment to do a double-take, rub your eyes, and then snuff out the joint. For yes, these two bastions of alt/noise/psychedlia rock were in full force at the MN State Fair, even despite the torrential downpour that preceeded the show.

And it was a damn good show, indeed. Even my grizzled, rock-show vet older brother was amazed at how tight Sonic Youth sounded. Looks like in their older years these kids have put in a bit more rehearsal time. Even though Kim's voice sounded terrible (she must have a cold or something, because I've never heard her sound that bad), the group sounded pretty damn tight for what is ostensibly a noise band at many points. And in her defense, she's still pretty energetic (and foxy) for a woman of her age.

Highlight: Thurston and the guitarist who isn't Thurston (I'm obviously not that big of a Youth fan) playing their guitars by slamming their fretboards into each other and then rubbing their guitars wildly against one another.

It was just as sexual as it sounds.

Poor Magic Numbers. When it was announced that their equipment was "saturated" from the rain and that they would not be playing, the crowd errupted in cheers. Poor kids. But eventually, the Lips let them play two songs during their set, which actually probably gave them much more exposure than playing a full set to those few of us dedicated/bored enough to show up that early.

As far as the Flaming Lips show goes, it's hard for me not to sound like a fawning pre-teen girl at a Beatles/Backstreet Boys/currently-overinflated-talentless-pop-act show when talking about it. Their live show has been so hyped by now that I thought there was no way I wasn't going to be dissapointed by it when it inevitably failed to live up to expectations.

But I was quite wrong. The Flaming Lips stage show really does deserve all of the ridiculous hype it receives. Wayne is the consumate showman, and I can't believe how much time it must have took to plan it all out.

Though one beef I had is that setting up the show takes approximately 19 times as long as the actual show itself.

Higlight: The Lips seem to be really humble folk. During Sonic Youth's set, they simply stood stage side in full view, clearly enjoying a good band doing a good show. They gave up a portion of their show so that the opening act could get some stage time. And most shockingly of all, the Lips were right there setting up all of their equipment next to the roadies, lugging amps and heavy equipment that stars of half their stature would refuse to touch.

The only downside to it was the fact that every time Wayne stepped near the microphone, people thought the show was going to start, despite the fact most of the instruments weren't even on stage. The very loud cheers for no reason started to get rather annoying. But at least there was a humorous moment when one (hopefully) drunk fan yelled at them to "turn that shit up" when a roadie was doing a sound check on the bass.

All-in-all, I think the night was best summed up in the many times Wayne just stood at the mic, looked around, laughed to himself in amazement, and said "You know, there were never shows like this at the state fair when I was growing up."

Thursday, August 24, 2006

2 Skinnee J's to the rescue!

Well, the science-huggers have finally succeded in stripping our tiniest and most loveable planet of its planet-hood. Mnemonics everywhere will have to be changed. Disney promotional tie-ins will suffer. But most of all, it is the children who will be hurt.

Fortunately, many years ago (well, okay, 1998) the band 2 Skinnee J's had already tackled this problem with their ground-breaking anthem Pluto:

With depravity,
I break lots of gravity
Blast past the atmosphere
To the last frontier
I go boldly through space and time
The sky's the limit,
But the limit isn't the sky
I break orbit by habit,
I ignite satellites and leave rings round the planets
A flying ace like that beagle,
Nevertheless this alien remains illegal
Cause their discovery don't cover me
The immigrants been left in the cold
To grow old
And disintegrate
Against the distant and disclaimers,
Cause small minds can't see past uranus
When i shun their race
Cause that's just a phase
And my odyssey runs in 2001 ways
And i can see clearly now like hubbell
Shoved off the shuttle,
Here's my rebuttal
It's a planet.

Who do you represent?
I represent the smallest planet
A tourney in this journey
Versus those who tried to ban it.

If you don't agree
Go see interplanet janet cause
The sun is star like
Is planet.
So lend me all ears
And let me state my case,
About all the types of satellites we must embrace
Cause like parents'
This planet was an immigrant,
To deport it's an offense.
It's an upstanding member of the solar system
Abide the laws of earth and make it a victim.
Of proposition
When pluto spawns a moon it will apply to the heavens.
A dandy like judas of a chariot
If you demote this boat
Remote to a goat
It's like taking et's custody from elliot,
Support yours
Clearly put cause,
Simply put

Pluto is a planet. pluto!
Pluto is a planet. pluto!
Pluto is a planet. pluto!
Pluto is a planet. pluto!

Do it
For the
If not for yourself.
Is a

Please, won't someone think about the children?

Monday, August 21, 2006

There's a lot of crazy stuff on that internet these days

So I have this friend/improv director/math prof/"kinda" Jew (he totally eats cheeseburgers) who maintains a very quality website. Anyway, on this website is a message board, and as a favor to a friend, he put up a section of the message board solely reserved for "Discussion of dinosaur-related topics, including their extinction." Seeing as how no one had written on it at the time I first viewed it, I felt it was my civic duty to contribute to the nascent conversation.

Well, in one of many fits of boredom/real-life avoidance, I was perusing said dinosaur-related message board and found this post I had made low these many years ago. It was mildly amusing.

So I went to high school with a girl who was convinced dinosaurs did not exist. Her reasoning? No, she wasn't a creation scientist, and she wasn't an anti-scientite. Rather, she believed dinosaurs were a myth created by our government to make money through museums. When I pointed out that many dinosaur bones are in museums that are free, or require only a "suggested" donation, she was unfazed. In fact, several of our class mates jumped to her defense, and I was put to shame. Why? sell, it was most likely due to the fact she was very sexually attractive, and they (all men) presumably wanted to engage in various acts of sexual intercourse and/or heavy petting with her. However, by the time of our senior year of high school, she had become very fat and homely, but much like in a bad teen after-school special, had rethought her idiotic and vacuous earlier positions and had become quite an intellgent and engaging woman. She was no longer popular, though, but since she was so interesting to talk to, she and I actually became fairly close friends. Not like best friends or anything, but you know, school buddies. The kind that will sit by each other in class, or talk in the hallway, but not the kind that are going to call each other and hang out on the weekend. Long story short, this is why I'm offended by "No fat chicks" bumper stickers.

True story.

Except for the part about "No fat chicks" bumper stickers. Those things are hi-larious!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Best motherfucking movie ever motherfucking made!

Passion. Romance. Suspense. Action. Comedy.


Snakes. On a motherfucking plane.

Oh, and Kenan Thompson (that fat kid who used to be on SNick. Rememeber SNick? That's ok, no one does).

Now, I don't use the term "best-movie-ever-made-about-anything-ever," but in this case, I'm willing to make an exception.

It has everything you could ever want, even gender equality. How is this you ask? Well, in predictable horror/suspense fashion, the first to die were two horny teenagers. But in especially comical fashion, the first woman to die dies from a deadly snake bite directly on her exposed nipple. But not to appear sexist, a slimy gentleman is later killed when he is urinating, and a snake comes up out of the toilet to bite him, yes, directly on his penis.

I don't want to go further into it and spoil it for people, but all I can say is go see this movie. Right. Now.

When Sam Jackson finally utters his famous words about tiring of matron-fornicating reptiles on an aircraft to which the same hyphenated adjective applies, it is an extremely magical moment.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Why does Netflix think I'm an asshole?

Haven't blogged for a couple of days now--turns out I had a bit too much fun at my birthday. Or so I'm told, for I remember shockingly little of the night. Not in one of those bragging oh-dude-I-got-so-wasted type of ways, but in a more concerned, I-need-to-stop-doing-that way.

Highlight of the night (or so I'm told): there was apparently one point in which a pantsless Jesse had to be tackled by his older brother because he kept trying to bite someone he felt had wronged him.

Hmmm...when you write it in the third person, it doesn't sound as bad. But that's not the point of all of this.

The point is that Netflix thinks I'm an idiot.

I don't know how many of you use Netflix, but I recommend it if you're a movie-watcher. I usually don't shill for things, but I've really come to enjoy it. It has a huge selection, and doesn't garner most of its profits from murdering people like G.E.-owned Blockbuster does. Plus, you can be really lazy and only have to go to your mailbox to get movies.

My only problem with Netflix is that on its welcome page it recommends movies you might like. It actually does this in two columns. In one column, it tells you that others who have watched a certain movie also liked these other movies. For example, because my roomate put Syriana (which is a pretty good flick, all told) on the list, Netflix recommended Munich. Or because of Lost in Translation, it recommended Broken Flowers, because they're the same movie. These make sense--they are similar movies, and if you like one, chances are fairly good you'll like the other. Thank you Netflix, this is certainley a helpful feature when I'm looking for new movies to watch.

However, there's another generic column simply titled "Other Movies You Might Enjoy." Now, I suppose they should emphasize might, because I have no fucking clue how they came up with these. For example, they list The Notebook, a shitty fucking movie based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. Incidentally, if you don't know who Nichoas Sparks is (because you aren't a pre-teen girl or an over-weight house wife), you really should check out his stuff. It's hilarious in the way he takes trite sentimentality to an art form. But that's beside the point.

Why would it recommend this to me? Have I done somehting seriously wrong and my karma is being balanced out in the form on Netflix suggestions? Is it because I enjoyed the movie The Believer in which hunky young Ryan Gosling turns in an impeccably understated performance as a Jewish neo-nazi? Did they confuse my love of good cinema with a love of an actor who occassionally has to eat and therefore do terrible movies? Why, netflix?!? Why do you do this to me?

And if you think this is a fluke, please read the full list of movies Netflix thinks I would enjoy: The Corpse Bride, Just Like Heaven (starring that delightful Reese Witherspoon!), Flight Plan, Raising Helen, Scary Movie 2 (this one is possibly more offensive that The Notebook), Elizabethtown, and Wild Things.

How emberassing...

Friday, August 11, 2006

I was born at half-past 10, almost 'leven in the morning

As always, 5 dollars american for whomever can identify the random, yet applicable song quote without google

So, it is indeed my birthday. With a nod to Uggs for the nudge in the right lyrical direction:

Old man look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were.
Old man look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were.

Old man look at my life,
Twenty four
and there's so much more
Live alone in a paradise
That makes me think of two.

Love lost, such a cost,
Give me things
that don't get lost.
Like a coin that won't get tossed
Rolling home to you.

Old man take a look at my life
I'm a lot like you
I need someone to love me
the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes
and you can tell that's true.

Lullabies, look in your eyes,
Run around the same old town.
Doesn't mean that much to me
To mean that much to you.

I've been first and last
Look at how the time goes past.
But I'm all alone at last.
Rolling home to you.

Old man take a look at my life
I'm a lot like you
I need someone to love me
the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes
and you can tell that's true.

Old man look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were.
Old man look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

What a difference an unbelievably amazing winning streak can make!

Oh, the Twins.

Could it really be only 2 short months ago I was subtly mocking them in a Minnesota-nice type of way by celebrating the fact that they had finally hit .500? And could it be only a month ago that they were still 10 games out of the wild card, so I was celebrating the fact that they had finally officially outscored their opponents on the year?

My, my, how things change.

Now we're not only playing the best ball I've seen any team play in a long time, we're doing it without Shannon Stewart, without Lew Ford, without Torii for a great deal of it, with a rotating cast of outfielders that would make any soap opera jealous, and now we don't have Liriano for awhile (though somehow, don't you just know we'll be able to carry on?).

Now after taking 2 out of 3 from Detroit in Detroit, we're finally where we belong.

And now that everyone in Minnesota is finally on board and acting like they've loved the Twins all along (though I don't recall seeing them at the dome when we were 8 games below .500), I think we can all agree that the wild card isn't enough. Let's keep this ridiculous streak alive and just take the Central crown. Ok?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Gone fishing... all the marquee says now.

It turns out the rumors of the Vikings demise have not been greatly exaggerated.

The first place I ever whetted my whistle in Minneapolis, a scant 20 feet from my back door, with the best music you'll find in town, is now closed.

And suddenly the world is just a little less cooler than it was before.

Friday, August 04, 2006

End of Summer Depression--Vol. 1: Have I Passed My Best?

My very first-ever cute

At the end of every summer, I start to get a little depressed. It's not just the impending school year (which I just realized I will have hanging over me every summer until I retire...sigh), and it's not the convenience of turning one year older at the end of every summer (only 6 shopping days left!), it's so much more. I think it's hereditary (more on this at some future date).

Anyway, I get depressed about all of the things I was going to do with my freetime that don't happen because of many things, but usually because of television and sleep. On my death bed, I'll be well rested and able to quote from a ridiculously large score of shows, but I don't think that will make me too happy.

Amongst other things, I didn't lose the weight I planned on losing, I didn't learn a single word of spanish, I didn't master either the mandolin or the dulcimer, and I've recorded exactly 0 songs. I wrote one half of a play, but I didn't think it was very good.

And then I have so many reminders thrown in my face. Liriano will probably win the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year, and he's fucking younger than me. Marx had written the Communist Manifesto and had it translated into seven languages by this time in his life. And I ain't done shit.

But at one point, I was in a band with dreams of global dominance, I was leading a movement we all thought was going to end the war, I was a regular feature performer in seevral theaters, and if you notice in the picture below, I had a ring on a certain finger that holds special signifigance in Western culture.

Has my life already peaked, with me not even quite 24 years old yet? Am I destined to forever look back and think that those were the days? Am I already the overweight middle-manager who hates what his life has become? Or am I rediculous for thinking these things at this point in my life? Sigh...I hate youth/young adulthood/quarter-life crises.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Not my research, but good reading

From the ever-irrepressible BillMon

"Until civilians -- frankly, I'm not sure how many of them are actually just innocent little civilians running around versus active Hezbo types, particularly the men -- but until those civilians start paying a price for propping up these kinds of regimes, it's not going to end, folks. What do you mean, civilians start paying a price? I just ask you to consult history for the answer to that.”

Rush Limbaugh
On the Qana Massacre
July 31, 2006

"We declared jihad against the US government, because the US government is unjust, criminal and tyrannical. It has committed acts that are extremely unjust, hideous and criminal . . . As for what you asked regarding the American people, they are not exonerated from responsibility, because they chose this government and voted for it despite their knowledge of its crimes in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and in other places."

Osama bin Laden
On His Fatwa Against America
March 1997

Well, we know who Rush agrees with. Who do you agree with?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Only 10 shopping days until my birthday...

A random google images search for August 11 turns up the following:

This all leads to the following conclusions:

A) Google image searches are fun

2) Drawings of weird futuristic-looking alien lizards are really nerdy

iii) Something about a gerbil in a kitchen utensil of some kind makes me smile