Thursday, February 25, 2010

Another Tiny Dream

I just dreamed that Kathy had booked a Lewis Black concert for our driveway, and had never told me. So while she was going off to work, I had to shovel and put out some folding chairs. And keep stray audience from wandering into the house.

How much should I sell hot chocolate for?

Rob

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Why I Feel Like Jesus.

Not the beard, not the sandals, not the long hair I used to have, not even the talking crap to Satan. Didn't walk on water, didn't turn water into wine and walk on that, didn't cure the blind or raise anyone from the dead.

But I did start the night with 36 beers in a snowbank, give everyone plenty of drinks, and pull a full sixty beers etc. out of the snow when the party was over. That's serious loaves and fishes action.

Hey Peter. I can see your house from here.

Rob

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Dame By Any Other Name

I just read on Mark Evanier's blog that a friend of mine from college theater, Scott Mason, has won a contest and been named Dame Edna's honorary understudy for the new show All About Me. Scott's been impersonating the Dame for a while now, but this is taking it to a new level. Congratulations, Scott!

Rob

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Smells Like Here Comes Your Man

Y'know, as much as I loved last night's episode of Lost (names! numbers! one awesome effing eulogy!), my favorite part of the broadcast was this Old Spice commercial.




Rob

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Lamb By Any Other Name Would Still Lie Down On Broadway

Kathy & I were in the city last night, and were looking around for things to do, and music to see. (We wound up going to Brooklyn and seeing The Growlers, a spooky-cool California band that sounds like a living breathing Lost Boys soundtrack.) But somewhere in the music listings was an all-woman klezmer band called Isle of Klezbos. Which is a legitimately great name.

It also reminded me of Lez Zepplin, an all-girl Zepplin cover band the Bastard told me about the other day. (Another great name. Other all-female cover bands include AC/DShe, Iron Maidens, and Cheap Chick.)

And it got me to thinking. If I were to start an all-woman cover band (quite a feat, considering I have neither the talent nor equipment for it), I'd be thanking my lucky stars this name isn't taken yet: Vagenesis.

If anyone wants it, it's free for the taking. 

Rob

Friday, February 12, 2010

One of Us! One of Us!

Just saw an interview with Donald Glover from the other night's Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Glover plays Troy on Community, the warm and  funny lead-off show to NBC's Thursday night comedies.

(As an aside, how did sitcoms get good again? In the 90s, they had nothing for me. Seinfeld was good, but I'd only catch is sporadically, and everything else bored my socks off. Then came Arrested Development, and things started turning around, and now I can almost always find a really great ensemble comedy to watch. Even things I had zero to no expectations for (I'm looking at you, Cougar Town) are much better than I could have ever expected.)

Anyway, Glover was on the Late Show, and he expressed an interest in magic. He mentioned that he didn't see any magicians as a kid, since he grew up as a Jehovah's Witness -- but he wasn't one anymore, so now he was digging the magic shows.

Craig is fascinated by this, and he asks: "So you're a rogue Jehovah's Witness?"

And Glover responds, "No, I'm not a 'rogue' Jehovah's Witness; I'm not hiding in shadows or anything."

And with those words, Donald Glover revealed himself to be a D&D geek. No hiding in shadows, Donald? How about sleight of hand? Sneak attack?

You just failed your save vs. geekdom, Donald. We're glad to have you!

Rob

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Liner Notes

Okay, most—not all—of my friends have gotten my Christmas mix disc by now. (Yes, it's February. Why do you ask?) And I thought I’d take a look at some of the songs, since it’s been way too long since I posted any text up here.

Thin Wild Mercury. “Poor Phil Ochs, sad and low.” There’s something compelling to me—especially now—about a guy kicked out of the music fast lane as the world changes around him. Judas went electric and he never looked back.

Aramingo Take Out. What can I say? Slo-Mo (featuring Mic Wrecka) was may favorite new find at last year’s Philly Folk Fest. Yes, I said folk fest. Enjoy the rap, my fellow hippies.

Trippin’ In Montana. One side of my struggle with religion: I see it as a get-rich-quick scheme for all sorts of unsavory types. Only the levels of respectability change. In this case, it seems like the Waco story if it were reported on by Jim Thompson.

Love Dog. And here’s the flip side of the argument. Don’t we all want something out there? I know I do; I just don’t know what it is. “Nameless you above me, come lay me low and love me.”

Paranoia in B Major. What can I say? I love the Avetts, especially loose and live, like this track. The first of the love songs, which started growing all over this collection like kudzu. “But if love is a game, girl, then you’re gonna win; I’ll spend the rest of my life bringing victory in, babe if you want me to.”

Fuel. This Ani DiFranco song has gripped me for the past few years – it goes all over the place, and then ties it all back up tight. It just cranks up the tension… or rather, recognizes the tension that’s already here.

Stress. Speaking of tension, we’re not always very good at letting go of it. Plus: Sand fleas. SAND FLEAS!

Good Weekend. The first Art Brut song I ever heard, and it still makes my heart leap with joy.

Boy With a Coin. The first of two Iron & Wine songs; Sam Beam has become one of my favorite modern songwriters. I don’t always know what he’s going for, but I love how he gets there. (Again with the God, by the way: “If God made her eyes for crying at birth, and then left the ground to circle the earth.” Some people say we’re here to find happiness. But what if we’re here to find sorrow?)

The Engine Driver. Another sad love song, but there’s a resilience to it. “There are power lines in our bloodlines.” Plus, I love the bridge, about being a writer of fictions. “I’ve written pages upon pages, trying to rid you from my bones.” Wow.

Shenadoah. The oldest song on the disc, by hundreds of years. I love Richard Thompson’s collection 1,000 Years of Popular Music, and to my mind, this is the prettiest version of this song ever.

Where Is My Love? First of all, no one does longing like Lucinda Williams. Secondly, the lovers she imagines sound like the sexiest guys in existence. Who could compete?

Freedom Hangs Like Heaven. I like this bluesier Iron & Wine song, too. More upbeat than the last one, it’s a glimpse of the potential in all of us. “Ain’t nobody knows what a newborn holds, but his mama says he’ll walk on water and wander back home.”

2:19. This Tom Waits shuffle about love gone wrong always makes me want to dance. “Was that a raindrop in the corner of your eye? Were you drying your nails or waving goodbye?” I think you know, Tom.

Black Lincoln Bomb. Three girls, a night on the town, a stolen car. I’ve always liked Heather Eatman, ever since I saw her (and interviewed her) at my first folk fest fifteen years ago. (Jesus. 15 years.) She always has a way of describing a seamy evening, and the casual, languid instrumentation only adds to the effect.

Shackamaxon. This mix was a long time in the can before I realized that this song was about where to buy weed in Philly. I just liked it because it seemed like a verdant oasis in the middle of the city. “Looking for a place where the grass is green, and the smell is sweeter than it’s ever been.” (And that’s the subtle part.) What can I say? I’m dense sometimes.

Dancing Choose. “He’s a WHAT? He’s a WHAT? He’s a newspaper man.” They had me -- former newspaper man that I am -- with that, but once you throw in a sweater for a Weimaraner and a Flash tattoo, I completely fell in love with this song. In a just world, it would be the type of karaoke challenge that Barenaked Ladies’ “One Week” posed in the 90s.

Wine, Women and Song. Another song where the singer is taking stock of his life. I love the bouncy combination of lyrical playfulness and the bitter, bitter regret.

Shanty. Okay, this one I knew was about weed.

Rob

Friday, February 05, 2010

Mel Gibson Used to Be Able To Act

...but now he can't even act sincere.

 

(Make sure you watch to the end.)

Rob

Tuesday, February 02, 2010