30 April 2007

"Spider-Man, where are you comin' from...

... Spider-Man, nobody knows who you are."

Hey, you guys. Who remembers that little ditty, from "The Electric Company"? Anyways, here's what's promised in Tuesday's column (sneaky, omniscient little buggers). It's in honor of the announcement that Bono and The Edge will be scoring "Spider-Man: The Musical," or whatever, for Broadway. It seems a little strange to me, seeing as how they wrote that song "The Fly" and all. We know how well spiders and flies get along.

In any case, here's the song, to be sung to the tune of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (complete with martial drumbeat, if your imagination can keep it looping whilst you sing):

I can't believe the news today.
M.J. left me and Green Goblin got away.
How long? How long must I swing through town?
How long? How loooooooooong?

But tonight, I can save the world
Tonight

Bottles broken over Doc Ock's head
If his arms grab me, then surely I'm dead
Yet I must head the battle call
Spidey suction
Keeps me falling off the wall

Spidey, super Spidey
Spidey, super Spidey
Spidey, super Spidey (Spidey, super Spidey)

And the battle's just begun
Aunt May's lost, and I'm under the gun
The Sandman's on a big crime spree
The Daily Bugle wants some pictures of me

Wipe that grin from your face
Bad guys have no escape
No getaway without a trace
'Cause I'm giving you a taste
Of my web's embrace

What's that tingling I feel?
My Spidey sense helping keep it real
And today the millions pray
That my strong web will again save the day
The real battle yet begun
To meet with M.J. for some fun

On, Spidey's super Sunday
Spidey's super Sunday

A/V club

I wrote a piece for Sunday on a Nashville singer-songwriter who's moved here to be a youth director. Jeff Pearson's a super nice guy, and Joe Paull, our video guru at the Ledger, put together a nice piece incorporating my interview with Pearson, plus Paull's own interview and some clips of a performance by Pearson.

There's a link in the box with the online story (which is truncated. About 3/4ths of it is online. I'm trying to get them to put the missing bits up...). Or here's the version that's up on YouTube:

29 April 2007

Bard-storming

Just got back from three days of Shakespeare at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery. Henry VI (Parts A and B) and Richard III. My mind is spent from translating all the forsooths and how-nows into modern language. But it was wonderful. Had a hard time picking out actors who weren't up to snuff. Oh, and I'm in love with Joan of Arc, which is problematic since Jenn and I were there on a late second anniversary. Or not, since Joan's, like, dead anyway.

Stayed at a wonderful bed and breakfast near downtown. The Red Bluff Cottage, it was called. The only drag was the early breakfast -- 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, 8 a.m. on Sunday. I guess the Pound House has us spoiled with their eat-when-you-like Cafe 222.

More posting after rest.

27 April 2007

PlayStationary

The axe has fallen on PlayStation founder Ken Kutaragi. The official line is he stepped down, or, in his words "graduated." But pundits are speculating that he's the sacrificial lamb for the botched PS3 launch.

The Wall Street Journal story on the news cites these March sales numbers in the video game war: Nintendo Wii, 259,000; Microsoft Xbox 360s, 199,000; PlayStation 3s, 130,000.

Here's hoping the next thing to drop is the price of the new game machine. ... And even then, the sentiment seems to be that the Nintendo Wii is the way to go for boys and girls who just wanna have fun.

26 April 2007

Who hasn't...

... had a landlord like this?

Thanks to my buddy Pat for passing this on. Ferrell doesn't exactly sell it, but it still works.

(***Edit: YouTube's yanked the link, but this is apparently the original site here...)

"One-thousand years ago..."

Through Monday, the "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" movie -- or, more properly, "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters" -- had made $4.8 million in theaters. That's almost where it's total will finish, if Columbus is a cue. The movie leaves first-run here tonight.


I went with four friends last night. Our five people, plus the whole rest of the audience made a grand total of six people.

Not really sure why it's tanked, unless "Aqua Teen" fans can't put down their blunts long enough to find the car keys, rustle through the paper for a showtime and try to remember how to get to Carmike 15 before saying, "screw it," and just lighting back up and watching the episodes on TV. The movie's not bad. The opening 15 minutes are hilarious. I would say the whole thing is actually good by the TV show's standards. It's really funny in places, really flat in others, just like the show what spawned it.

Thankfully, the movie's budget was estimated at a bargain-basement $750,000. Still, that backfired Boston-bomb-scare marketing campaign cost the Cartoon Network $2 million. So it looks like this will go down as a box-office bomb.

25 April 2007

Big & Rich: Rich not so big

I have a friend who's in L.A. now. Let's just call her "Peg." So she's at the Skybar and maybe has a bit too much to drink before she finds out that Big & Rich are upstairs. She's a curious sort, this Peg, so she wanders up and eventually finds herself in the VIP section and strikes up a conversation with none other than John Rich.

I'll just pick up a bit of her e-mail here: "Talked to him for a long time. Somewhere drunken brain started thinking about how large Cowboy Troy is and how normal-sized John Rich is. Tried to communicate this." Instead, she told John Rich, "You're disappointingly small."

"Was encouraged to depart the VIP section," she writes. "Went home. Oops."

Guess she didn't get to see his spaceship, fully equipped ('cause he's a cowboy Stevie Wonder).

John, dude, there's a reason
the other guy's called BIG Kenny...

Love letter to Glide Magazine

Anyone who finds Pitchfork's writing a little too cooler-than-thou, but really wants the news, mp3s and information on edgy indie bands would do well to check out the online Glide Magazine. It skews just slightly more to jam bands, but the current frontpage has features/reviews/news on Of Montreal, Chris Cornell, Jason Isbell, the Raconteurs and Dylan. Not to mention the media downloads, with concerts or mp3s from Dinosaur Jr., Ryan Adams, Peter Bjorn & John (thanks for turning me on to these guys, Lisa), Grace Potter & the Nocturnals and more.


My humble suggestion is to go there at least once a month, young music fan.


(What's wrong with Pitchfork, you ask? I like to point to the review of Okkervil River's "Don't Fall in Love with Everyone You See," which begins: "It was the worst day of my life. I get home from the plant and there's my woman: rolling around in my bed with my best pal, Big Whitey. And there's my mutt sitting on the floor, watching them go at it with his stupid dog-grin. I just can't get that image out of my mind. Man, I flew into a crazy rage, stormed out to my 81 Buick and tore dirt right out of that greazy hellhole." Funny? Sort of. Compelling? Maybe. Does it add anything to the review? Well, five paragraphs later, at the end, you find out the answer is no.)

24 April 2007

Attention white people

In case you're wondering what all the Don Imus hoopla is about, just consult the Urban Dictionary. I actually have a bound, print edition, shown here.


When he said, "That's some nappy-headed ho's, there" in reference to the Rutgers women's basketball team, what he was actually saying was "That's some (unkempt or messy)-headed (prostitutes)." Just in case anyone wasn't sure.

When he said the game was kind of like "the jigaboos versus the wananbe's," what he was actually saying was, "I'm too stupid to be on the radio. Please, for the love of God, fire me."

(The best definition in the dictionary is for the word "bitchface," which is defined as, "Any person whose face looks just like the face of your standard bitch.")

23 April 2007

I'm a loser, baby

For the second time in six years, I missed Waverly's Old 280 Boogie. Long story, but basically, my friends from Birmingham who typically meet us there bailed this year. And, knowing I'd be away all next weekend, this was my only chance to try and get the lean-to shed built in the back yard.

The good news: The shed's about 80 pct done. Looks good. I'll post pictures once I get them offa the camera.

The bad news: My shoulders, legs, chest and neck are all killing me. Lumber's heavy.

So here I am, hoping someone can tell me some good stories from the Boogie...

20 April 2007

Moronic Moment of the Month*

*brought to you by Seventeen magazine

Basically, the most moronic thing in the May issue of Seventeen magazine is the cover, where you're promised "The #1 Secret To Falling In L(heart)VE" on page 122. Well, there is no one secret on page 122. There's a three-step procedure (and if you ask me, a 12-step is more likely to be involved). And here I thought they'd worked out the eons-old problem. Alas. ... Also there's a promising interview with Scarlett Johansson that ends up vapidly talking about her high school crush and the idea of falling in "true love." This from a woman who's said in adult magazine interviews that she doesn't believe in monogamy.

Oh, and there is this stupid pledge card:

I guess it's supposed to remind you, between bouts of buying fruity shampoos and gaudy eyeliners, that you're supposed to do something worthwhile with some of your money. Because, you know, you might forget unless you sign the pledge card.

So, on a moronic scale of 1 to 100, I give this issue a rating of "pretty lame." (See last month's entry for a much more moronic moment.)

19 April 2007

Groovy new music on the way

Got two new great pieces of information today:


1) A new Maria McKee album is done. It's out on April 24. My God, that voice... She was the Lone Justice lead singer in the '80s. Also has a song on the "Pulp Fiction" soundtrack. But her best work was on solo records titled "You Gotta Sin to Get Saved" and "High Dive." Buy them.

2) Okkervil River's new record is in the can, per this note. No street date yet. Can't friggin' wait.

And, just cause I'm feeling generous, I'll give a bonus piece of great news:

3) Joan and Melissa Rivers have been canned by the TV Guide Channel. How bad do you have to be to get fired by the station that broadcasts in only one-quarter of your screen? Read this funny bit on A Socialite's Life if you wanna know who the replacement is. ... Trying to think of something else clever to say about it, but maybe we should just take advantage of the news and enjoy the silence. For once.

Shuttup.

OK, I bought a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup yesterday. Jenn would've yelled at me if she'd known. But she didn't.

Instead, the damn candy bar yells at me. Inside the wrapper, there was some writing -- some sort of eBay promotion, but also this little gem of wisdom:

Stupid candy bar. Thinks it's so smart.

(Oh, you're welcome for the free 2 points in WrapperCash, whatever that is.)

18 April 2007

Moron dead people

Wait, I mean "more on dead people." While I thought it was all funny about Palmetto, Ga., building a senior center in front of a graveyard, the people in Highlands, N.C. are one-upping with mass burials during funerals. (Maybe they offer a bulk rate?)

According to this story in the Asheville Citizen-Times, a lady fell into an open grave during a funeral, when she was trying to put flowers on the coffin. She's suing the funeral home. And so is her 92-year-old husband who claims the incident cost him the affection of his wife.

Her lost affection, once pro-rated, is apparently worth $75,000.

For moron -- er, more on -- old people, check this site out.

17 April 2007

More snarky CD release news

It's over yonder. It's kinda funny again, I think. But then again, my sense of humor is hopelessly warped.

Two questions...

1) Does anybody know any good wi-fi hotspots in the Columbus area? I'm doing a story updating with some of the newer (or unexpected) places. For some reason, the Panera bread place surprised me. And I guess Peachtree Mall is live now?

and,

2) Who wants to see cool aquarium pictures? Here'n you go... (That's Jenn trying to touch the beluga whale. She may have been crying at the time.)

16 April 2007

One-stop shopping

Sorry I been so quiet. Took a personal day Friday. Jenn and I went to Atlanta after work Thursday to watch the Thrashers play. Stayed the night and saw the Georgia Aquarium Friday before winding home.


I mean really winding home. We took U.S. 29 to Newnan, then Alt-27 from there. We had time, so it was nice to change the drive and see some small towns. The best was Palmetto, Ga., where someone is building an old-folks' home -- no lie -- in front of a big cemetery.

We laughed and laughed. In that way that you laugh and laugh when Vinnie Vega accidentally shoots that kid in the backseat in the head, when Jules hits a bump.

(I'll post some Aquarium pix later, if'n y'all wanna see the beluga whales and such.)

12 April 2007

Vonnegut gonnegut

Just posted a bit on Kurt over on the L-E site. See you on Tralfamadore, buddy.


I'm just glad he didn't kill himself, or stop writing after one great book (or maybe two).

Boogie down (Won't you take me to Funkytown?)

One of my annual guilty pleasures is the Old 280 Boogie that takes place in Waverly, Ala., every year. It's a big street party that celebrates the fact that the D.O.T. bypassed the little town -- which has a postmodern hippie commune vibe -- when they four-laned U.S. 280. No more 18-wheelers rattling their windows and all that.

It's a free festival, with a lineup of likable bands. Usually the Pine Hill Haints play their early-sounding rock 'n' roll, country and rockabilly songs with a bucket bass and a washboard accenting the guitar and musical saw. There's cakewalks for the kids and horseshoes for anyone who wants to throw 'em. The Standard Deluxe T-shirt shop is open for shoppers or people who want to browse the art on the wall. And the vendors have been growing every year.

The date for this year's Boogie is April 21, from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. EDT. Here's the band list: Sworn Enemies (Americana/swing/bluegrass), Sunny King (blues), The Fiddleworms(Southern rock), Pine Hill Haints (see above), Nothing Personal (rock), Mr. Resistor (punk). Go here for more.

The Haints

11 April 2007

'Grindhouse.' Hmmmm.

I finally saw the Tarantino/Rodriguez flick(s?) last night. Interesting stuff. I certainly understand its lukewarm reception at the box office in its first weekend, and it doesn't have much to do with its' 3-hour-plus length, I think. Honestly, I didn't care much for the Rodriguez piece, "Planet Terror" (Rose McGowan's striptease aside). Just too much splatter. Maybe my take would be different if it were just blood and not so much, well I'll just say it, pus. ... The Tarantino piece was more my speed, but even he pushed the envelope too far in other ways.


I'll probably be expanding my thoughts in next week's column. I've really got more to say than seems appropriate for the blog, which I've tried to keep short and sweet.

But I'm curious for thoughts from anyone else who's seen it.

10 April 2007

Low-down for tonight

Quick note to let folks know that NPR Music will be streaming a concert with Low and Loney, Dear tonight. Don't know much about Loney, Dear (NPR sez it's a "one-man-band of Swedish musician Emil Svanängen"), but the new Low record is frickin' phenomenal.

It's at 8:30 p.m. EDT at this link. The shows are often available for streaming -- and sometimes even for download -- later.

Bad, bad idea

Got a press release about a new songwriting lyrics contest. Apparently, lots of people will submit the potential next line for a song, others get to vote on it, then, after voting closes, it's on to the next line.


I don't mean to argue with their motives -- which include raising awareness about breast cancer. But this seems like a horrid idea. The reason dictatorships are so powerful (right or wrong) is because of the singular focus and vision of the leader. Even in America, the democratic republic model works because it's a representative democracy. Our reps don't have to vote our way, if they think it's in the greater good to do otherwise.

So songwriting by committee? Feh.

I also saw an episode of Pen & Teller's "Bullshit!" the other day that alleged that increasing breast cancer awareness was really doing no good. And obviously it's doing nothing toward finding a cure. As to whether good can come from this song or not, I guess I'll reserve final judgement until after I see the finished lyrics. For what it's worth, I did love the schizophrenic song Adam Sandler wrote for his old girl, Linda, in "The Wedding Singer." Maybe the guys at The Song the World Wrote will end up with something just as charming... (The first line is "Across the oceans, across the land." So on second thought, maybe it's doomed.)

09 April 2007

The other special bunny

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. In homage to the season's more famous bunny, I popped in my DVDs of "Greg the Bunny" and watched a couple episodes. It was a short-lived show on Fox (they made 13 of them, but only aired 11) that had a twisted sense of humor. Seth Green, Sarah Silverman and Gene Levy were all a part of it, if that tells you anything about the sense of humor. It was basically a behind-the-scenes look at a children's puppet show, where the puppets were real (and mostly foul-mouthed). The writing was uneven, but it had many funny moments.


The title song:

"We can sing and dance, and we don't wear pants. We're just like you.
We've got regular jobs, but with low doorknobs. See, we're just like you.
We can graduate from college. (I'm the head of my class!)
But if you test sobriety (I may not pass).
There's no strings attached and there's no hand up my (BLEEP). We're just like you."

I think they're airing some of his bits on IFC now. But the season DVDs are worth checking out if you happen to find them anywhere. Today it's off to the grocery to get some staples and some half-price jellybeans. I promise the next post won't be rabbit-related.

06 April 2007

"Put the bunny back in the box"

For the morbidly curious, I make my Ledger-Enquirer webcast debut today. Though you might have trouble spotting me. You can't tell from my mugshot, but I've got really big ears. Just go to http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/ and click on the April 6 webcast.

Enjoy. (?)

05 April 2007

More about ladyparts

Many, many thanks to my buddy Eric for pointing out this hilarious -- dare I say ironic -- video about other ladyparts. Yeah, I really do think.

Just in time for Easter

"What’s fluffy and white and cottony soft? Tampons! And bunnies!"

So begins the instructions for crafting a fluffy wabbit from that most feminine of hygiene products at this site. It's really funny -- even for guys to read -- and the bunny's actually cute. They even use plastic from the applicator for the ears. If you check out the main page, there are all sorts of ways for girls to play with their Playtex. (A blowgun for folks who want to join the Menstrual Militia. A toupee. A menorah for your local Jewish temple.) It's worth the click.

In other tampon-related news, what did one tampon say to the other tampon? Give up?

04 April 2007

And the (Afro)beat goes on

Checked out the Chicago Afrobeat Project last night, playing at The Loft. It was a good show, if a bit jammy for my taste. The brass section (alto and baritone sax) and the African percussion added enough flava to keep me interested. A guy sipping red wine at the bar didn't like them much, claiming they were "90 percent jam band, 10 percent other stuff." I argued 70-30.

Either way, it was an enjoyable way to spend a Tuesday night. Particularly when a certain Eileen jumped stagefront to perform interpretive dance to a cheering crowd. Go girl.

eboney-fareed

Not Eileen, but you get the idea...

03 April 2007

On the record

This item was actually for posting on ledger-enquirer.com, over here. But it really feels more like a blog entry, so I'm double-posting. Please forgive me...
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


In the spirit of today's spate of new CDs, here are the Ledger-Enquirer's Highly Official Awards for April 3rd Album Releases:

Most Ironically Titled Album: Hilary Duff's "Dignity." Joel's got yours, sister.

Best-Named Debut Artist: The five-word UK act Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, whose album "The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager" sees stateside release today.

Album Most Likely to Immediately Go Gold No Matter How Bad It Is: Martina McBride's "Waking Up Laughing," which the reputable Allmusic.com names as her career low since her 1992 debut (Christmas albums not included).

Most Awkwardly Named Artist: Jonatha Brooke, who kicks out her seventh record, "Careful What You Wish For."

Most Popular Album on Music Blogs: Fountains of Wayne's, "Traffic And Weather." Bloggers lover the geek rock.

Best Tribute Disc: "Hip-Hop Tribute to Bon Jovi." A hotly contested award, which also featured a string quartet tribute to Tori Amos (Volume 2, in fact), a string quartet tribute to Bright Eyes, and a smooth sax tribute to Chris Brown.

Stop playing "Flight of the Bumblebee"

Owners of the Casio CTK-710 keyboard (shown above) should be warned, the instrument can catch fire (Fire! Fire!). So Casio has issued a recall voluntary.

Voluntary? Well, I guess some people might want the potential pyrotechnics to add to their 37-minute, jammin' cover of "Riders on the Storm."

Apparently, the keyboard has overheated, resulting in a "smoke and/or fire hazard." Here are the details about what serial numbers are affected and what to do with your keyboard (starting with: For God's sake, turn it off and unplug it).

Actually, I think Jerry Lee Lewis has had this same problem with his acoustic pianos.

02 April 2007

*caveat

Lest y'all think I'm too much of a romantic fool (see below), I will say this: Jenn's lucky I was smitten with her before I knew Mary-Louise Parker was so frickin' cool. "Weeds" is delightful. And then I read this hilarious bit from her in this month's Esquire, about why new singers are such (ahem) pansies. It comes complete with Springsteen references, and now she's my hero.

What's meat got to do (got to do) with it?

When I first started seeing this girl, I had to make a tough decision: How important was meat to me, exactly?

See, I love the beefs, but she was a vegetarian.

Then I googled some veggie-saurus recipes (back in the day before "google" was a verb). The first meal I cooked for her was a pizza topped with pesto sauce, scallops and artichoke hearts. Feh. I can eat a lot less meat, I decided.

I married that girl two years ago. Two years ago to the day, in fact. And tonight I think I'm gonna cook that same pizza for us, and crack open a nice bottle of wine.

Got a vegetarian you're trying to woo? Here's the recipe. Many thanks to the Original Fish Company. I sub a Pilsbury pizza crust can for the Boboli prepared one, but whatever. Don't skimp on the fresh parm, either.

(Happy anniversary, Jenn.)