29 February 2008

69 gum songs

OK, I'm not proud that I watched "Don't Forget the Lyrics" last night. But that did afford me the opportunity to see a commercial for Orbit, Extra and Eclipse gum that, I swear to god, had to be a song performed by the Magnetic Fields. Sure sounds like his tinny, echoey voice...

I can't find any confirmation online. Anyone else see it? Any M.F./Stephin Merritt megafans out there what can confirm or deny this?

Here's the YouTube.

Hazardous duty

People often don't realize the peril we reporters put ourselves in for the job. For example...


Poor reporter... - Watch more free videos

Now where is that danged Garfield when you need him?

(Thanks, Pat. Be careful out there.)

28 February 2008

Cat burglar

Thanks for this, K.C.

There's a guy who apparently spends his free time erasing Garfield, the cat, from "Garfield," the comic strip. It leaves "an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life."

Check it out here.

27 February 2008

Fired (from life)

William F. Buckley
1925-2008
"Firing Line" host, harpsichordist, Republican/Libertarian/Republican/Libertarian

Catch a cavity from kissing?

If you can trust someone who's billed as a New York City "celebrity dentist," then take note that doctor Jeff Golub-Evans reports that you can increase risk of cavities by kissing someone who has no history of cavities, based on the level of bacteria in their saliva. But you can develop immunities to cavities by kissing someone who is more cavity-prone.

So, I guess, look for a grill or a lot of fillings before you decide who to make out with.

Also, kissing helps increase saliva production, and saliva is a natural enemy of plaque, says Dr. Jeff, "slipping under plaque and washing it away." So rock on.

26 February 2008

Chasing a tornado...

... is tough, a year after the danged thing hits. I'm working on a story for the one-year anniversary of the big, bad twister that ripped through these parts last March. If anyone's got stories, holler.

Meanwhile, check out this atmospheric, alt-country track by Jim White. Even though the proper plural of tornado usually has an 'e' in it, Mr. Quayle.

Wrong-Eyed Jesus!Jim White
"A Perfect Day To Chase Tornados" (mp3)
from "Wrong-Eyed Jesus!"
(Luaka Bop)
Buy at Amazon
More On This Album

Jose can you..., er, hear?

A couple of years ago, I was interviewing Ashton Allen, who was pretty clearly a thoughtful, curious musician. So I asked him who he was listening to, who hadn't really broken out yet. He gave me two names: Matt Costa and Jose Gonzalez.

Costa's album he had demo'ed in a record store, and it was one of the few times he was compelled to listen to every track. Who was this Gonzalez guy, I asked. "Do you not know him?" he said. "He is like Nick Drake reincarnated."

God bless you, Ashton. Both picks were rock solid. Gonzalez is dropping a new single from his latest record, "In Our Nature." The song, "Killing For Love," features a b-side called "Neon Lights." Here are his upcoming Southern tourdates.

* Feb. 29: Miami - Airtime Theater
* Mar. 1: Orlando, Fla. - The Social
* Mar. 2: Atlanta - Variety Playhouse
* Mar. 3: Chapel Hill, N.C. - UNC Great Hall
* Mar. 4: Asheville, N.C. - Orange Peel
* Mar. 5: Washington, D.C. - Sixth & I Historic Synagogue

Because gasoline should be sipped

Forget Knight Rider (see below) (or, don't). I found my supercar.

The Aptera should be on the market by the end of 2008 — starting in Cali. The prototype gets 230 mpg, and the final production model is supposed to hit 300 mpg. That's right, 300 miles per gallon of gas. Seats two plus a child and up to 15 bags of groceries. Street price: $30K.

Who cares if it looks like a space shuttle? Maybe that's a bonus. Not sure if there's any nanotechnology to keep out bullets, but still...

Here's the Aptera Web site, and here's lots of stuff about it.

25 February 2008

Rhymes with 'crap'

So you missed the new "Knight Rider" movie over the weekend? No fear. Here's a, er, highlight from the movie's climactic chase scene:



Did you catch that? She actually said, "Without the computer, the nanotechnology can't fix itself." That there's some solid science and stuff.

Someone needs to give producers of this film their computer back, so this train wreck (or car wreck) can fix itself.

Good Giada almighty

I don't have the Food Network. So my only exposure (huh-huh) to Giada De Laurentiis was through, really, a spread on her in Esquire a few months back. It's where the (hot) picture below came from.

With that Italian name, and her European-style, umm, roundiness, I expected a thick, sultry accent. So imagine my surprise, nay disappointment, when I saw her do a guest spot on "Today" late last week, and she's got this almost squeaky, very American voice.

So the fantasy may be dead. But her cooking, I still expect, is exquisite. Who needs an Italian accent when you can cook the perfect penne, right?

22 February 2008

Clockworks and cold steel

Because Bono's ego cannot be confined to a flat movie screen. That's my guess as to why we've got "U2 3D," premiering today in Columbus.

Nevertheless, as an '80s adolescent, I'm giddy as a schoolgirl about seeing the concert tonight. This is fuel to the fodder, I suppose, of the guy (?) claiming to be "Brad's gay lover" who left a comment saying "U2 is a gay band only listened to by gay men." Whatever. Gay men's wives, too, I suppose, since Jenn's just as excited as I am. I can only imagine what he might've said if I'd written about going to see the "Hannah Montana" film. (Which I didn't. And didn't want to. She's at least 2 years from when I'm legally allowed to say she's hot. And by then, I'll be legally allowed to admit that Emma Watson is way hotter.)

Look for my thoughts on the show in Tuesday's column in the real paper.


Bono reveals he's written a sequel to "One." It's called "Two."

Hi-def video, in English

Found a Q&A hosted by the Washington Post that does a good job of explaining Blu-Ray disc players (and the outgoing HD-DVD format) for anyone who's curious about what you'll get for your investment. The issue is further confused by "upconverting" DVD players, which make standard-def DVDs look better on an HD set than they do on your old picture tube.

That said, Phillip Swann, president and CEO of TVPredictions.com, expressed the difference more plainly than I'd ever seen it, when he said:

"If I had to rate the picture quality, with Blu-ray being a 10, the upconverting DVD player is a 6 and a standard-def DVD player is a 4. In other words, if picture quality matters to you, the high-def DVD player is the way to go."

He also predicts a $200 Blu-Ray player in time for the holidays. The whole article is here.

21 February 2008

This film is sadly not a comedy.
Here's the story. Crikey. The jokes are too easy. I'll say no "Whatchoo talkin' about?!?" But I will say that, for Gary Coleman, it looks like he's sticking to the same strokes, if you know what I mean.

(And, for the record, I'm not going to say there's anything wrong with being a virgin at age 40. But I will say there's something wrong with being a married virgin at age 40. And there's something funky wrong with telling the world about it.)

Do-Nanny becomes Doo-Nanny

There's been great debate, over the years, over whether the region's best folk art festival is the Outsider's Outside Do-Nanny or the Outsiders Outside Doo-Nanny. I always went with the former, since that's how Pittsview "Mayor" Frank Turner — the guy who put on the event — always spellt it.

This year, folk artist Butch Anthony is moving the event to his place (Frank's been threatening to drop out of doing it for years), and Butch has always favored to Doo. So I guess that's what we'll go with.

Anyway, all you need to know is, this event is great fun. Some of the hijinks that happen at the fest have made great YouTube fodder in recent years. But my favorite was when Butch advertised once that he'd be butchering and roasting two pigs, named Oxford and Dictionary, but then couldn't bring himself to do it. ("Don't name the pigs if you're gonna kill them," Cathy Fussell advised.)

It's set for march 29 in Seale, Ala. Come shop for inexpensive, primitive artwork by interesting folks. There's more than 60 artists slated, to date. There's free music, and admission is free too. Butch promises short films, some antique furniture, and a "snake-a-torium" booth. Wheee!

20 February 2008

Sister Whigs

OK the "sister" part has nothing to do with this post, except that Sister Wig is my favorite name on one of the downtown wig shops here.

What I'm really trying to say is The Whigs, that fine, fine Athens band recently featured on the NPR, is performing on Conan O'Brien tonight. So tune in or queue up the Tivo. The boys also are doing some Drive-By Truckin' on the tour, opening for Patterson Hood and his posse. ("I said 'posse,' " the Texas Ranger said, smacking his hat on his horses behind.)

The DBT, however, seem to be boycotting Hotlanta, at least for now. Here's the upcoming tour dates for the Truckers and Whigs:

*March 16: Newport, Ky. - Southgate House
*March 18: Millvale, Penn. - Mr. Smalls Theatre
*March 19: Toronto, Ont. - Toronto Opera House
*March 20: Montreal, Queb. - Cabaret Music Hall
*March 21: Northampton, Mass. - Pearl Street
*March 22: Boston - Paradise Rock Club
*March 25: New Haven, Conn. - Toad's Place
*March 26: New York - Terminal 5
*March 27: Philly - The Fillmore @ The TLA
*March 28: Richmond, Va. - The National
*March 29: Asheville, N.C. - Orange Peel

19 February 2008

Disaster striked

I'm used to making fun of Seventeen magazine (who apparently have seen fit not to renew my gratis online subscription, curiously), but it hurts to have to strike so much closer to home. Her magazine is a sister publication (in the truest sense), to the Ledger-Enquirer.

We should expect a magazine bearing this name to deal with women's issues. Even, gulp, vaginal rejuvenation. I suppose we should even come to terms with a doctor's quote like this:

But why, oh why, did the author feel compelled to write this line?:

If you can't bear to go without reading the entire article, god help you, clicky here. At least they never used the "C" word.

And on the 66th day?

The press materials for the band 65daysofstatic proclaims the band's third record, "The Fall of Math," exists in a place where "rock, dance and electronica are equals." Problem one is, no band should describe its own sound as vague as "electronica" — a word that means nothing except that there's some keyboards in there. In the broader sense, though, the problem is that New Order occupied that place where rock, dance and electronica were equals, and they did it in the '80s.

So why do we care? Because:
1) those complaints are but quibbles
2) the (largely instrumental) music from these guys is very good. You can hear the J.D./New Order influence, but it's very math-y
3) the band was picked to open for The Cure

Here are the Southern tourdates for The Cure/65d.o.s. — excluding Texas, which doesn't count.
*June 11: Tampa, Fla. - St. Pete Times Forum
*June 12: Orlando, Fla. - The Social
*June 13: Fort Lauderdale, Fla. - Bank Atlantic Center
*June 14: Gainesville, Fla - The Atlantic
*June 15: Atlanta - Gwinnett Civic Center
*June 16: Charlotte, N.C. - Charlotte Bobcats Arena

18 February 2008

Might think about an editor, too...

Actual e-mail spam that was waiting in my inbox... I left the e-mail addy attached, in case anyone's interested. Just make sure you've got an Internet "connnetion."


...
Work as a 'Story Writer'

We are seeking for someone who can work as a 'Story Writer' in New Zealand.This opportunity is widely open to anyone who has the knowlegde to write Stories. The successful candidate will need to have a computer with internet connnetion and have good communication skills someone who can write story.The job description involves writing Stories all with good Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation and Presentation for a magazine company. Applicants must have a good knowledge of writing stories.

**** To apply please send your Application letter with CV/Resume to our email: santemagazine@temporaryforwarding.com Polly Diaz Sante Magazine email: santemagazine@temporaryforwarding.com Website: http://www.santemagazine.fr/

No foolin' — we hope

Since Harrison Ford, Spielberg and Lucas saw fit to revive "Indiana Jones" now, the guys from R.E.M. — a band of the same era — have recorded a new record too. And so have the B-52s, come to think of it. Could this be the year of the old-timer uprising from Athens?

The new R.E.M. is called "Accelerate," with a street date of April 1. You can buy the first single for a buck at Amazon and watch the video there for free. Or if you poke around the right Web site, you can find a music blog offering you the new song ("Supernatural Superserious") for free. The band has launched a Web site, too, with free video downloads in support of the new record.

Based on the one song, I hesitate to say the album is a throwback. But "Superserious" does feature a real drummer (Peter Buck's bud Bill Rieflin, who's been their touring sticksman for a while. Bill Berry was finally consumed by his monobrow, we understand), an aggressive guitar line, and those sweet harmonies by Mike Mills that marked the band's high-water mark record. (Uh, that'd be "Document.") So I'm hoping for good things.

17 February 2008

The 'C' word

It's old news, by now, that Jane Fonda, mental giant that she is, dropped the C-bomb on the Today show last week. Unbleeped in Central and Eastern time zones. Very slightly in her defense, it was the name of a play (assumingly a feminist one) that she was asked to be in, and she was talking with Meredith Vieira about "The Vagina Monologues." So it wasn't like Tourett's or anything.

This, of course, started a debate in the vicinity of my cube over whether there was any word more offensive than the "C" word. Which led us to wonder how many bands have written songs with that word in it.

Several, says iTunes, who also report at least one band using the word in its name. After the word "anal." ... This Newton, Mass., hardcore band may be the most offensive band ever, but they've truly got a wicked sense of humor. Some of the song titles on their last record, "Defenders of the Hate" include "All Our Fans Are Gay," "Limp Bizkit Think They're Black, but They're Just Gay," "You Were Too Ugly to Rape, so I Just Beat the (Crap) Out of You" and my favorite, "You Converted to Judaism so a Guy Would Touch Your (Penis)."

16 February 2008

Walk(this)way

Here's how I spent the last two weekends.

Well, not sitting on my arse, but building that there brick walkway to the front steps. Good thing I finished, since this weekend I'm still worn out from this week's bout with Ecuadorian Death Flu. Now I can just sit on the porch and enjoy the new walk...

When we bought the house, in 2003, the whole tiny front yard was fenced in with ghetto chain link, and the walk was poured concrete. It was, umm, oppressive (or as we sometimes say here, Bibbtastic). Being a Miami Dolphins fan proved to be a powerful weapon during the demolition of the old concrete walk. There's never been a better outlet for rage and a sledgehammer.

Funny that we'd replace that with recycled bricks in a path that looks way older than the concrete we took out. Now, barring further drought restrictions this spring, we're ready to landscape with some nice azaleas and grass. And thanks again to Neighbor Philip, whose experience with bricks and landscaping proved invaluable in setting me on the right, ahem, path.

15 February 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Kick Ass

Here's the official trailer. Allow me to totally geek out now...

TGIF

Feeling mostly better. Still a bit scratchy down the old pie-chute, but I've got my wits — such as they are — about me again.

Loved "Hot Fuzz." Really sad I didn't see it sooner, but it was hilarious. Sort of like Quentin Tarantino with heart. It had that strange non-American film habit of changing tones dramatically mid-film. But that's not a criticism. "Flushed Away" was also very funny. Cute. Lots of cheeky nods to other animated films. But the Aardman charm just wasn't there quite as strongly without claymation.

Last night, Jenn and I watched "Stranger Than Fiction," as our makeshift, low-energy Valentine's Day date. It was the second viewing, and despite a single (giant) plot hole, I really like this film. Best line is when Will Ferrell's character is trying to buy a guitar in a music store, and Emma Thompson, with her proper English accent is narrating as he eyes an acoustic guitar with a flowery pattern inlaid...

"This guitar is saying, 'When I get back to Georgia, that woman gonna feel my pain.'"

14 February 2008

Day 2

Still unwell. I put on shoes today, which is a step above yesterday. I had to run to the store to get some more zinc lozenges. Really this was just a ruse to go to the $1 DVD rental kiosk and grab a few movies to help pass the day.


I got "Flushed Away" and "Hot Fuzz" (aka "Hoy Fuzz"). I'll report back after the DayQuil-infused screenings...

13 February 2008

Airborne! is a scam

That's right. I took those nasty Alka-Seltzer-like pills for 3 days straight hoping to avoid the cold/flu/leaky-nastiness that Jenn and about half my co-workers have. Right on cue, as everyone around me is getting well, I wake up with a sore throat.


I feel terribly guilty, because aside from the sore throat I'm not physically doing that bad. Do I marshall my strength for what's to come, or soldier on with some work from home while I don't feel terrible (since I'll probably be outta commission the next two days, per Jenn's evolution)? I wonder if actually work saps energy that would knock out the illness faster? I'm going to watch a "Simpsons" rerun and debate it...

12 February 2008

Busy day

Got wrapped up in a few things for this week's To Do section, as well as a story in tomorrow's paper on a local girl who's in the new swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated. (The loverly Jessica Trainham, at right.) So you'll want to check that out.


I'll be chattier tomorrow. In the meantime, here's today's column, wherein I make a modern-day luv mix disc. What did I leave out, peoples? Post me your additions to the mix. Maybe we can build a Disc 2. (I already thought about Irving's wonderful "L-O-V-E"...)

11 February 2008

Austen gritty limits

Public Broadcasting, ever trying to break out of its stuffy image, is — well, it's still doing months on end of Jane-Austen-based productions with "Masterpiece Theatre" Sunday nights. But at least they're having some fun with it.

To wit, here's their "Men of Jane Austen" competition. It come complete with Facebook-style profile pics of potential suitors, each listed with occupation, income, hobbies, etc. ("Decisions, decisions. Christopher is into falconry, but William plays whist!") You can vote for your man, and see who's most popular. Or, secondmost popular, since Darcy's the obvious No. 1 choice for the ladies. Here's their main site on The Complete Jane Austen.

It's worth a gander, if you're into men with tall collars and poofy shirts. Me, I'm waiting for the bodice-ripping, chest-heaving companion piece. Rumor has it, if this goes well, they're considering changing the spelling to "Masterpiece Theater," with an "e-r." Scandalous.

Farewell, chum

Roy Scheider
1932-2008
Helicopter thief, the cop who wasn't Popeye, shark bait

10 February 2008

Sunday Spins: Recent Music Edition

Usually Sunday Spins is about digging out the old music that hasn't been heard in too long. But this week, I dug out a handful of releases from more recent years -- mostly last year -- that I wanted to spend a little more time with. Here goes:

* Iron & Wine, "The Sheperd's Dog": Something about them reminds me of Peter Gabriel -- the more accessible P.G., that is. The breathy vocals are akin to Joseph Arthur, but where Arthur's got a nasty habit of starting with a couple of great songs then drifting away, this disc is solid, start to finish.

* British Sea Power, "The Decline of British Sea Power": I actually just got this 2003 record. I tuned in partly because their new album got 4 stars in Spin and partly because it reminds me of a slightly poppier Joy Division. And I've been back on a J.D. kick since seeing "Control" a couple weeks back.

* Joe Henry, "Civilians": I loved Henry early on, but he kind took a left-field jazzy turn a record or two back and I couldn't get into it. Here he's back to his normal -- albeit still plenty weird -- tricks. He's got that spoken-word-style delivery that still sounds musical, akin to Tonio K. (He and Loudon Wainwright III created the incidental music in "Knocked Up," bytheway.)

* The Small Stars, "The Small Stars": Odd, funny (see photo, left), cabaret music from 2/3rds of Fastball.

* David Dondero, "Simple Love": Bright Eyes credits Dondero for his passive vocal style. Don't know if that's good or bad, but Dondero's twice as interesting to me. I'm not biased at all by the fact that I used to see him play all the time down in Pensacola. Best was when he opened for Jonathan Richman once and blew him away.

"When your heart breaks deep,
and the butterflies are bleeding in your guts,
And you say 'Hit me, dealer,'
and the card that you get makes you bust.
You know it's not so funny
when you can't even laugh at some stupid little joke.
And your eggs are runny,
'cause somebody came and broke up all the yolk."
-- David Dondero, "When the Heart Breaks Deep"

08 February 2008

Just deserts

Gander at the local movie listings today (at least in Columbus), and you'll see Carmike offering a puzzling title called "Desert Princess."

It's apparently "Episode of Alabasta: The Desert Princess and the Pirates." I don't blame them for shortening the title of this, the eighth in a chapter of the anime series "One Piece." In fact, I can't even blame them for bringing it just now — 11 months after its release and just one week before it's out on DVD. That's apparently the way its distributor wanted it.

So while die-hard manga fans might want the big-screen experience, the rest of us can just rent it for the home next week.

07 February 2008

Mullin' over

OK, sorry to report that Shawn Mullins will NOT be playing The Loft next Friday, as advertised in this blog and certain monthly entertainment mags. Mixup with the publicist, apparently.

Lofties do plan to bring him back soon, but not until after "Honeydew" drops on March 11. Stay tuned. And get the album when it's out. You won't be sorry.

On the plus side, this frees up Friday, Bloody Friday night to see the debut of "U2 3D" at the multiplex. I can't wait to see how Bono's ego appears to fill an entire stadium-seat theater!

ESP(i)N

Much like newspapers, magazines are in a bit of a crisis. Ad revenue is drying up. Readers, as in people who read for leisure, are disappearing amid other diversions like video games, the Internets and those newfangled hi-fi systems.

So rock 'n' roll's Spin Magazine has just gone online — and for free, for at least the next 12 months. Having read the past year's issues of Seventeen magazine (as regular blog readers are painfully aware), I was skeptical. It's not easy to read a magazine on a computer. The good news is, Spin's made it as easy as I've ever seen it. There's a drop-down contents menu, and there's a single-click zoom on any page to read the story. Check it out here.

(I just learned that Bob Mould was on the shortlist of producers for "Nevermind," and he's got Nirvana's demos for it in his basement somewhere. I also learned that he wrote scripts for World Championship Wrestling, which led to the gem of a quote in the inset...)

"Covered up with lava and I feel fine
It washes over me
Keeps me feeling warm at night
And if you've made a deal with
The guy with the horns and the cape
I'll see you later later"
Sugar, "Hoover Dam"

06 February 2008

Bongaroo!

2008 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival Confirmed Artists:

Pearl Jam, Metallica, Jack Johnson, Kanye West, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss (feat. T Bone Burnett), Phil Lesh & Friends, My Morning Jacket, The Allman Brothers Band, The Raconteurs, Willie Nelson, Death Cab for Cutie, B.B. King, Sigur Ros, Levon Helm and the Ramble on the Road, Ben Folds, O.A.R., The Bluegrass Allstars (feat. Luke Bulla, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer and Bryan Sutton), M.I.A., Umphrey's McGee, Iron & Wine, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Swell Season (that's Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova), Talib Kweli, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi’s Soul Stew Revival, Gogol Bordello, Broken Social Scene, Robert Randolph’s Revival, Rilo Kiley, Mastodon, Lupe Fiasco, Against Me!, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Pat Green, Ozomatli, Tegan & Sara, Solomon Burke, Drive-By Truckers, !!!, The Avett Brothers, Israel Vibration, Abigail Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet (feat. Bela Fleck, Phil Lesh, Larry Campbell, Jackie Greene), Aimee Mann, Ladytron, The Fiery Furnaces, Orchestra Baobab, Ghostland Observatory, Jose Gonzalez, Dark Star Orchestra, Minus the Bear, Donavon Frankenreiter, Lez Zeppelin, State Radio, Battles, Jakob Dylan, Two Gallants, The Sword, Vampire Weekend, Little Feat, Nicole Atkins, The Felice Brothers, Mason Jennings, MGMT, The Lee Boys, Black Kids, Serena Ryder, Steel Train, Grupo Fantasma, Back Door Slam

Huh?? Huh??? Pretty good lineup, no?

It's June 12-15. Click here for details.

05 February 2008

Yippee kiyay, voters

Don't forget to vote in the primaries today, folks.

(The above poster should not be construed as an endorsement of McCain. Or Willis.) (The gun does butch him up nicely, though, doesn't it?)

'Like a drunk in a midnight choir*

Inside The Loft, maybe a month ago, the woman on stage begins singing a slow, pretty song:


"I heard that there's a secret chord/That David played, and it pleased the Lord..."

A friend approaches me with purpose. "Who's the guy who sang this?" she asks. It's Leonard Cohen, I tell her. "No," she insists. "The guy. You know."

"Jeff Buckley," I sighed. His cover is the version that "The O.C." generation knows. And it's beautiful and all. Most folks say it was the career pinnacle of the young man with the swooning voice. But I was weaned on the warm tenor of the guy what wrote it. (k.d. lang performed a version on "Good Morning America" this morning. It might be the second-best rendition. Certainly third.)

So who owns a song? Is it the penman who first performed it, or the artist who made it famous. Ask Jimi Hendrix, I guess, who basically planted his flag on every cover he performed, be it Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," or The Leaves' "Hey Joe."

Cohen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. And when that was announced, a lot of people scratched their heads, never having heard his name. "Is he one of those behind-the-scenes producers?" asked one fellow, who's probably hummed the Neville Brothers' version of Cohen's "Bird on a Wire" before. In a sense, he is. He produces -- by which I mean writes -- fantastic songs.

*... I have tried in my way to be free." That's from "Bird on a Wire," and one of the best lines ever written.

04 February 2008

Hang up and drive

The cyclist killed in a car vs. bikes wreck in a rural stretch of Georgia yesterday was a friend of two of my Bibb City neighbors. I don't know, for sure, that a cell phone was in the 17-year-old driver's hands when she hit the two bike riders. But I can say that it's the first thing I wondered after hearing about the wreck.

It's funny that when you anyone polls people, people will say that the use of cell phones by drivers should be banned. Yet when you look at other drivers, they're all using those phones. Is this the cheesecake syndrome? I know I shouldn't eat that piece of cheesecake. I want to lose weight and live a long, happy life. But the cheesecake is right there...

I'm not generally in favor of more laws. And I've never thought the government should be in the business of legislating morality. But if we need to make driving-while-phoning illegal to make people stop, so be it.

Audible cues

Sorry it's been so quiet on the Brogfront. Spent the weekend installing a brick walkway at the front of the house (well, I installed half of it. Big shout-out to Neighbor Phillip for his help and guidance. And his rubber mallet).

Anyway, I've been lucky enough to sneak listens at a handful of forthcoming discs. So here are some thoughts:

* Deaf Pedestrians, "...And Other Distractions": Folks who know DP's hilarious song "Hail to the Geek" from TV (including "Beauty and the Geek") will be surprised to hear a set of pretty standard-issue nĂ¼-metal from the boys. It's reminiscent of an amped-up Soundgarden. It's good, but it needs more of the levity found in "Geek" (like this line: "I play Dungeons & Dragons/I got a 13th-level halfling fighter-thief./Got seven hit die on my backstab./Sometimes, you know, it's good to be a geek"). Out Feb. 12.

* Tristan Prettyman, "Hello": Jenn and I argue about whether Prettyman (right) sounds more like Paula Cole or Ani DiFranco. Somewhere between the two, which probably tells you all you need to know about her. Check this, her sophomore release, out. Did I mention she's also a schweet, schweet surfer? Out April 15.

* Elvis Costello & the Attractions, "This Year's Model": Wrote about this here, but wanted to let folks know that the live concert on disc two is phenomenal. Taped in February 1978, it's a reminder of how potent Costello's live show was, particularly in the early years. My favorite moment might come from a fan heard screaming at the end of the set, "You son of a bitch!" Out March 4.

01 February 2008

The sun! It burns!

This is the headline — I kid you not — of a press release that just passed my way:

"The UV Foundation Announces February is 'Vitamin D Deficiency Month'"

In honor of that, I supposed we are to deprive ourselves of vitamin D all month. This means no sunlight for us. Luckily (?) that's easy in the cold, wet winter. And this is apparently who we sue when we all get cancer, depression and fatigue.