Sunday, November 29, 2009

Where My Watch Is

Wassup Hepcats!
Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I did, although I was missing an integral part of my identity: my wristwatch.
Those who know me know that without my timepiece I feel naked. Unfortunately, I live in a home with two mischievous three year olds.
So it was that on Wednesday, I looked to the spot where my wristwatch rests, and found it missing. My first tack was to interrogate Julia.

Me: Julia, do you know where my watch is?
Julia: I know exactly where it is!

Then she ran into the back hallway, rummaged around for a few minutes, and came back with a blue rubber ball.

Me: Julia, I thought you were getting my watch.
Julia: I don't know where it is.

And then she covered her nose, because she thinks that when she tells a lie, her nose grows. So I know I'm on the right track. But I need a different strategy. I need to talk to Abby.

Me: Abby, did you or Julia do anything with my watch?
Abby: Julia did.
Me: Where did she put it?
Abby: I think her put it in a rocket, and it went up in the sky. Sky sky sky!

So that didn't work. I decide to try the direct tactic.

Me: Julia, what happened to my watch?
Julia: OK. Well. Once upon a time.
Me: Once upon a time? Are you telling me a story or are you going to tell me where my watch is?
Julia: Wait, Daddy. OK.
(thinks for a minute)
There were a hundred goblins. And them took your watch, and put it in a hole. The hole had a door. It was a log. The log was the door to thems hole. And them had a trampoline! And Lucy was there.
Me: Lucy? Who is Lucy?
Julia: And it was a very big trampoline because them had a hundred goblins.
Me: So my watch is with the goblins?
Julia: And the trampoline.
Abby: No, Julia, hims watch is in the sky.
Julia: Can we have a snack?
Me: No. I want my watch.
(Julia sneaks over to the stairs)
Me: Where are you going?
Julia: Nowhere.
Me: Julia, when I ask you where you are going, you need to tell me. You cannot say "nowhere". OK?
Julia: OK.
Me: So where are you going?
Julia: (pauses) Somewhere.

Still no watch. If anyone finds it, post it in the comments section.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What I'm Thankful For

Wassup Hepcats.So tomorrow we will all eat, drink, and make merry. There will be turkey, and it will be good. There will be stuffing, and it too will be good. There will be yams with marshmallows - you can have those. And there will be pie. Hopefully pecan pie, but even if not pecan pie, it will be good.
So today I'm gonna offer up a list of a few things I'm thankful for. No reason. Just cuz.
  • I'm thankful for my beautiful wife and amazing daughters. But you knew that.
  • I'm thankful that yesterday sent me a catalog full of 2009 World Series Champion New York Yankee swag.
  • I'm thankful that I finally got approved as a commenter on Deadspin.
  • I'm thankful for The Monsters of Folk. Not that the record is that great, just that it happened. It made the world a better place.
  • I'm thankful that it hasn't snowed yet.
  • I'm thankful that three year olds are terrible liars.
  • I'm thankful that at some point in the (hopefully) near future, I will be drinking a scotch and cola.
  • I'm thankful for the Wildcat offense.
  • I'm thankful for the iPod. Good Lord Almighty am I thankful for the iPod.
  • I'm thankful for Charlie Brown holiday TV specials.
  • I'm thankful that indie rock bands have been making music that actually sounds good for some time now.
  • I'm thankful for my 44 Twitter followers, even though I think about 35 of them are hookers.
  • I'm thankful for Pete Carroll. Yes, still.
  • I'm thankful for a President who actually knows what he's doing, even if people aren't paying attention.
  • I'm thankful that someday Glenn Beck will go away.
  • I'm thankful that tonight I get to make a playlist for our drive to Connecticut. Will it get played? Doubtful. But I get to make it.
  • I'm thankful for Esquire magazine. Especially when Katy Perry is on the cover.
  • And finally, I'm thankful that I live in a time and place when I can post incoherent, self absorbed musings, and people will actually seek them out and read them.
  • So, thank you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"The Wizard of Oz"

Wassup Hepcats!
So the twinnies have been enjoying a picture that's been playing on cable television lately, a picture called "The Wizard of Oz". It's fairly old, but you've prolly heard of it. Wicked Witch, "We're not in Kansas anymore", Toto, "I"m melting!", "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain", flying monkeys, et cetera. Dorothy you may recognize from slutty Halloween costumes.
I confess I've never been a fan. In fact, I'm not sure I'd ever seen the whole movie straight through until we watched it in college after smoking pot and synching it up to "The Dark Side of The Moon". (By the by, getting high and watching the Lollipop Guild Munchkins do that little dance, well... if you've never done it, I won't ruin it for you.)
So this week was really the first time I've sat and watched it. And some things stuck out - the effects and whole mood of the picture hold up better than you'd think they would. Not the Munchkins, though, some of them have weird Alvin and the Chipmunk voices, and when they sing they gesture and point at each other like sophomores in the high school play.
But one thing was this: The Tin Man was gay.


I'm not sure whose choice this was. He was called the Tin Woodman in the book, which is definitely kinda gay. I've never read the book, but a careful Wikipedia search reveals that it was published in 1900, so we're gonna go ahead and rule out Original Source Material. The actor playing the Tin Man was Jack Haley, who would later play for the Chicago Bulls and be friends with Dennis Rodman. Solid maybe. Also, Buddy Ebsen (who was a hero to most, but he never meant shit to me) was cast to play the Tin Man, but was allergic to the paint and almost died. Hard to imagine Jed Clampett  gaying it up as the Woodman. So we're gonna give this to Jack Haley as artistic license.
Some Facebook commenters have pointed out that no one in this story is a paragon of butch masculinity. Could a case be made that The Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion, or even Toto were not candidates for opposite marriage? No, and that's homophobic just thinking it. And plus, this is a children's movie! We are obviously a gay-friendly household, but to insinuate a little dog is gay just because he's little and cute? For shame.
Plus, have you SEEN the Tin Man? (Look above. Case Closed.)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Five Best Podcasts Nowadays

Wassup, Hepcats!
So my post the other day about video games kinda got my juices flowing, so I went to my extensive PS2 library to look at all the games I haven't finished. I selected my latest title, God of War 2, figuring I wouldn't be as rusty on that one, as much as say, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. I booted it up, and was pleasantly surprised by how much muscle memory I'd retained as I ruthlessly slaughtered a couple of Cyclopses. And then I saved the game, and saw the last date I'd saved it: April 25, 2008.
I don't deserve an XBox 360.

When I'm not listening to the latest awesome rock n' roll, I do enjoy the podcasts. Herewith, my five fave podcasts, all of which are available for subscriptions on iTunes at no charge to you, the consumer.

1. "This American Life".  You don't listen to NPR. I don't either. Because it's fucking boring, and they give a lot of airtime to a couple of knuckleheads to talk about cars. But there are at least 2 shows on there that are worth your time, and none more so than "This American Life". Stories (mostly from true life) from impossibly talented writers and reporters. A better writer than I could tell you why this show is so interesting, but I'll leave it at this: I never even look at the week's theme before I listen. I know I'm in good hands.

2. "The B.S. Report". An ESPN podcast that is occasionally about sports. Host Bill Simmons uses his bully pulpit to interview not just sportswriters and athletes, but also pop culture mavens like Chuck Klosterman. Simmons also regularly puts his friends on the show, which kinda seems douchey, but usually entertains. Especially his Republican Yankees fan friend Jack O, who proves that I can find Republicans entertaining, if they are also Yankee fans.

3. "The Savage Lovecast". I'd been a loyal reader of Dan Savage's column in the LA Weekly for years, and then moved to Rhode Island  to find that the Providence Phoenix carried it sporadically, and put it in the Adult Personals section. Which is not fun to look at when you're on the bus. So "The Savage Lovecast" was a welcome find, as we get to hear the desparation in these peoples' voices while they ask questions about the most fucked up shit you can imagine. Always a treat when Savage rips a caller a new asshole for being an idiot. And they could probably use a new asshole after all the stuff they put in the first one. Plus ten points for the best podcast theme song of all time.

4. "The Adam Carolla Podcast". Adam Carolla is possibly the most genuinely funny person on the planet, we just haven't found a way to use him properly. This is close. As listeners to KROQ's "Loveline" can attest, Carolla was the reason to tune in every night, and get depressed about the state of our youth. (Seriously, anal sex is that popular now in high school?) The podcast would probably benefit by being weekly, or maybe only a half hour each day (5 hrs a week is a lot of straight Adam), but it's always worth a listen. Especially if Dr. Drew is his guest, and you can pretend it's 1998 again, only with more swearing and less Limp Bizkit.

5. "Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me!". Another NPR one, this is a current events quiz show that is as consistently funny as anything on TV.  A rotating panel of people I never thought of as particularly funny (like Paula Poundstone, P.J. O'Rourke, and Tom Bodette) compete to win the prize for a selected listener. That the prize is an answering machine message from the show's announcer matters not a whit. Plus ten points for showing how funny Neko Case and Rufus Wainwright are; Minus five points for continued use of Mo Rocca.

Honorable Mention: Dame Dameshek's new Accuscore podcast, WTF with Marc Maron, ESPN's College Football Podcast, ESPN Fantasy Focus Baseball, and Uhh Yeah Dude.
Not Mentioned on Purpose: The Ricky Gervais Podcast. I love Ricky Gervais. But this is not listenable. Some moron mumbles something unintelligible, and Ricky cackles for thirty seconds. Then 3 months later they update it with the same thing. I have no idea why people think this is the best podcast around.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Top Chef Recap (Plus Bonus Gourmet Recipe)

Eh, Hepcats, you already know wassup.
Not a great ep of "Top Chef" last night, but it did move us forward to the Final Four that everyone (apparently) saw coming: Red Ewok, Jennifer and the Douchebag Bros. I am officially renaming the Douchebag Bros. right now, because it is unfair to the older one, who is kinda cool.
Older One: Untitled Brother

Younger One: L'il Douchebag

Poor Eli Baggins got the boot, but not before he revealed that he is BFF with AH fave Richard Blais and 2009 AH Officially Endorsed Top Chef Contestant Red Ewok. So Eli Baggins scored a few style points before his demise, maybe we'll root for him in a Top Chef All-Stars down the line. Not now, though, Baggins, pack your knives if you please.

So Red Ewok won, and Untitled Brother, Jennifer, and L'il Douchebag got to stick around. And apparently next week someone oversalts their dish. And we all know it's gonna be Jennifer.

Which is sad, because we like her.
AH Girlfriend Gail Simmons lost the armflowers this week, and showed a little cleavage, which was nice, but looks to be putting out the big guns next week, judging from the previews.


I don't cook, but when I cook, I cook Timmy's Tuna Noodles.
  1. Take some noodles (uncooked).
  2. Take some tuna, and open it.
  3. Start cooking those noodles. 7 minutes in boiling water, please!
  4. Make that tuna. Use a big old forkful of Miracle Whip and mash up the tuna with it. Chunk Light Tuna in water is the preferred choice.
  5. Strain those noodles. Preferably in a strainer. (Called a colander in some states and Canada)
  6. Return noodles to pot, and put a shitload of Country Crock brand spread in there.
  7. Put tuna in pot, and mix all that shit up.
  8. Enjoy!
  9. Timmy's Tuna Noodles! patent pending

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Things That Make Me Feel Old, Vol. 23

Wassup Hepcats.
Sometime in the near future, some beavershit crazy wacko will go on a shooting spree, and some uptight politico who's up for re-election will get his BVDs in a bunch and blame popular culture. Specifically, video games. And you can bet you'll see this clip on the news (from the new game Modern Warfare 2, black screen for first 15 seconds or so):

Now, that is some fucked up, repugnant shit. And it's supposed to be. Chris Suellentrop has an article on this week about Modern Warfare 2, and makes an excellent case as to why this game is meaningful (namely, that mowing down civilians in an airport in the first mission puts you in a frame of mind unlike any other war game). But my point isn't so much about the content of the game, I just wanted to post that footage. It was cool, right?

My point is that I would have no idea how to play that game, and I would suck at it something horrid.
I used to be awesome at video games, but at some point (probably December 26, 2005), the whole thing just whooshed right past me. I think I was playing NCAA Football 2004 on my PlayStation2 at that exact moment, in fact.

Fast forward four years, and I am currently playing NCAA Football 2004, and Madden 2005 on my PlayStation2 (hooray for Dynasty and Franchise modes).
There have been occasional forays. I do love me some Civilization IV on the PC, but the one time I tried to play it online I was so bad that a 15 year old kid carpet bombed me in such a way that he spelled out the word "NOOB" in explosions around my capital city. 


So while I watch the commercials for today's games, and think about how awesome they look and wonder what it would be like to play on an XBox 360 or PS3, I know it's not in the cards. I'm just a 33 year old noob.
(And don't get me started on Second Life.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Questions the Twinnies Asked: Dead Squirrel

Wassup Hepcats.
So a sad day on Liberty Street today: as we were walking to the playground (still kind of warm enough to do so!), we passed a dead squirrel in the road. As one would expect, this unleashed a torrent of questions.
Abby: Daddy, what's wrong that that squirrel?
Me (just now seeing it): Oh! Um...
Julia: Is him dead?
Me (surprised): Oh, well, um, yes. Yes he is. How did you...
A: Why is him dead?
J: Is him not talking?
Me: I think he got hit by a car.
A: Did him say, "Ow!"?
Me: Yes.
J: No, him didn't say "Ow!", Daddy.
A: Him doesn't speak Spanish.
Me: Well, you don't have to speak Spanish to...
A: Is him gonna sleep there?
J: I can't wait to tell Mama.
A (excited): Daddy! Daddy! I know! I bet Mama's car hit that squirrel and made him dead!
Me (picturing the wifey driving down Liberty Street, talking on the cell phone, listening to AM talk): Hmmmm....maybe. No, he isn't gonna sleep there. He's going to turn into an angel and go up into the sky.
J: No hims not, Daddy.
Me: Why?
J: Because he isn't a bird. Only birds go up into the sky!
A: Yeah! Dead birds!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Failure of the Dark Lord

Wassup Hepcats!
A quick note on last night's Colts-Patriots tumble. Yes, it was a great game (though I switched off for a time to watch "Curb" - hilarious episode, even if Larry's repeated use of a certain word seemed odd). But for all of us Anti-Belichickians, it was something more delicious.
It was comeuppance.
Going for it on 4th down in that situation was a clear "I'm the best coach of all time" move, staggering in its arrogance and short-sightedness. Even Brady had a clear "WTF?" face going on. And it made me think of something.
Are we sure Bill Belichick and Dick Cheney aren't the same person? Can't you picture La Bill answering a question at a press conference by saying, "So?"
Somewhere in an underground bunker this morning, The Dark Lord is weeping.
Rejoice, Hepcats. Rejoice.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Top 100 Songs of the Aughties, 60 - 51

Wassup Hepcats!
A quick note on Top Chef. Normally, I hate that wang judge Toby with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns,  but he hasn't really been that bad this season. And Aging Hepster Girlfriend Gail Simmons, when she has been on the show, hasn't really represented. That dress she wore the other night almost cost her AHG status. Let's pick it up Simmons. Less armflowers, more cleavage.
But now we're down to 5, and the Top Four we all saw coming since week 3 is still in place: The Red Ewok, Douchebag 1 and Douchebag 2, and Jennifer. And then Eli Baggins.
The Aging Hepster is officially endorsing The Red Ewok, after Jennifer seemingly caught a case of the yips (wiki Ankiel, Rick or Sax, Steve if you aren't a baseball fan). It was neck and neck all year, and while Jennifer is nice to look at, the Red Ewok is just so durn cute with his bald spot and tiny eyes. And Douchebag 1 is actually alright, if only because he hates his little brother. But still:



This is the end of the first half of The Top 100 Songs of the Aughties. We will continue with 50 - 41 in December. Be strong, Hepcats.

60. "Arizona" - Pedro the Lion (Achilles' Heel, 2004) A bizarre love triangle in which the state of New Mexico suspects his girlfriend Arizona of hooking up with California. Really, that's it. New Mexico engages in fisticuffs. It does not end well.

59. "If I Ever Leave This World Alive" - Flogging Molly (Drunken Lullabies, 2002) I'll be honest, that doesn't make any sense to me either. How would one leave this world alive? But right around the time you start questioning the logic, the beat kicks in, and you are doing a fucking REEL.

58. "Trains" - Chris Blake (Wave, 2008) Aw, man, is there anything worse than not knowing when, or if, she's coming home?

57. "Spectacular Views" - Rilo Kiley (The Execution of All Things, 2002) Jenny Lewis says "fuck" more beautifully than any singer in history. When she sings, "It's so fucking beautiful", it really is.

56. "Daniel" - Bat for Lashes (Two Suns, 2009) The video seems to suggest that this song is about Daniel LaRusso. And if you listen to it that way, among the cinders and rain, the embers and fire, it makes sense. "I dream of home," she sings. Home in the All-Valley Tournament, I bet.

55. "This Year" - Mountain Goats (The Sunset Tree, 2005) An anthem about a 17 year old boy leaving the house, making out with a drunk chick named Cathy, and tearing home in time to get the shit beat out of him by his stepfather. "I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me." The emancipation of 18.

54. "Me & Mia" - Ted Leo & The Pharmacists (Shake the Sheets, 2004) Providence represent! Probably not about Ms. Mia Wallace. But I pretend it is.

53. "Massive Nights" - The Hold Steady (Boys and Girls in America, 2006) Well if this isn't the Aging Hepster Theme Song, I don't know what is. Someday Hepcats, we'll have sponsors, and those sponsors will offer all of us Hold Steady tix. And we will have Massive Nights.

52. "Release the Stars" - Rufus Wainwright  (Release The Stars, 2008) Rufus can write a great a pop song when he wants to. And this is a great pop ballad, Sinatra would have been proud to record it. For Reprise, though, not Capitol.

51. "The Crane Wife 1 & 2" - The Decemberists (The Crane Wife, 2006) A pet peeve: "concept albums" where you would have no idea there was a concept behind the album if you hadn't read about it in SPIN, or if the album title didn't include a Roman numeral or a colon. The Crane Wife suffers no such pretention: it beings with "The Crane Wife 3", kinda like how Pulp Fiction starts off with Ringo and Honey Bunny. But we get the whole story eventually, and we get it in an expository ballad that provides the climax of the album.

And we will continue The Top 100 Songs of the Aughties in December.
Stay tuned for something fun.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Print the Legend

Wassup again, Hepcats!

One more video link before we call it a night. The video you are about to view has done the impossible: it got Sean Hannity to  admit he was wrong.
Bravo, "Daily Show".

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Sean Hannity Uses Glenn Beck's Protest Footage
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

We're Transferring the Twinnies

Wassup Hepcats.
While the twinnies have adjusted well to pre-school at the co-op, I think this place may offer more opportunity for enrichment. "Molester-free"?, you say? I like the sound of that!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Top 100 Songs of the Aughties, 70-61

Wassup Hepcats!
Before we continue the countdown, a quick note on the twinnies:

1. Not listening.
2. Chasing Abby and hitting her with a box of macaroni and cheese.
3. Being fresh.
4. Waking up early and going downstairs to sneak Halloween candy.
5. Being a pest.
6. Pouring her milk onto the table because "when it falls off the table it looks like a shower."


70. "Float On" - Modest Mouse (Good News for People Who Love Bad News, 2004) Yr ole buddy Timmy was a hardcore member of "Modest Mouse is most overrated band in rock" before this song came out. Now I'm just a lurker. "Dashboard" was pretty good too, later on.
69. "Not Ready to Make Nice" - The Dixie Chicks (Taking the Long Way, 2006) The only acceptable response to what happened to them: a giant fuck you, with a giant chorus to match. Wish they didn't disappear after this. Was Karl Rove involved?
68. "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" - Scissor Sisters (Ta-Dah, 2006) This got moved up 10 spots for the mega-awesome 70's lasers sound effects. Then back down 2 spots for having Elton John listed as co-writer. Naw, we love Elton here at the Aging Hepster. But not as much as mega-awesome 70's lasers sound effects.
67. "The Greatest" - Cat Power (The Greatest, 2006) The only reason you haven't heard this in a commercial is that Madison Avenue hasn't gotten that far into the Cat Power catalog yet.

Do you think Don Draper is still alive? Is he haunting the hallways of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (spoiler), stooped over with giant eyeglasses, like Swifty Lazar or someone? Is he still nailing 20 year olds? Did he totally fuck up the iPod presentation, insisting on a "South Pacific" song to sell the gizmo? Let's stop, this is too sad to consider.
66. "Conventional Wisdom" - Built to Spill  (You in Reverse, 2006) I had kinda given up on Built to Spill, to the point where I didn't even buy this record when it came out. Then I was in Old Navy of all places, and this song came on. "By George, that's Built to Spill and that is fantastic!" I exclaimed. I rushed home and downloaded You in Reverse. Um. This song is still fantastic though, as good as anything they've ever done.
65. "The Story" - Brandi Carlile  (The Story, 2007) An OK to very good song, until about the 3 minute mark, when her voice does this THING, calling up every hurt and heartache a good country singer needs to be a good country singer.
64. "Hold On, Hold On" - Neko Case (Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, 2006) It's rote now to call Neko Case's voice spooky. But suffice it say, when she sings, "I left the party at 3 am, alone thank god," you sense she's thanking god for her poor victim as well.
63. "White Winter Hymnal" - Fleet Foxes (Fleet Foxes, 2008) Quiet beauty is what gets us through the winter.

62. "Dreams" - TV on the Radio (Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes, 2004) I'm a sucker for a killer refrain. "You were my favorite moment of our dead century" certainly qualifies.
61. "The Rising" - Bruce Springsteen (The Rising, 2002) When this came out, it was a call to unity for a nation recovering from the worst attack on American soil in history. Six years later, it was a call to arms for a nation recovering from the worst presidency since Herbert Hoover. Well, yeah, cause it's a hopeful song, and some of us still have hope.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Top 100 Songs of the Aughties, 80 - 71

Wassup Hepcats.
A couple of bits of housecleaning:

This happened.

Also, this:

Love the announcer calling the kicker a bum. Double love the announcer saying, "End this fucking game already!" Triple love frat boys videotaping the flatscreen TV. For a Villanova football game. Slow night, I guess.
80. "A Few Words in Defense of Our Country" - Randy Newman (Harps and Angels, 2008) How soon we forget how terrible it was, how it seemed like it was all over. Newman points out at that as bad our country was at that point, we still weren't nearly as bad as Stalin's Russia, or Nero's Rome. Yeah, it's funny. Kinda. "The end of an empire, messy at best, this empire's ended, like all the rest." Eat me, tea parties.

79. "The Suffering" - Coheed and Cambria (Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness, 2005) You know, this song might have made the top fifty, but just typing that album title pissed me off. Docked 29 spots for pretentiousness, Coheed and Cambria. Though I still love the big hair metal chorus. You're forgiven. Kind of.

78. "Mirror, Mirror" - Whiskeytown (Pneumonia, 2001) If this song came out in 1987 it would have been on heavy rotation on MTV between Elton John, Bruce Hornsby, and Steve Winwood, and there would have been a young, multi-ethnic cast of dancers (filmed in black in white) jumping around and breakdancing on an "urban" set. Maybe Ryan Adams would have shown up in color at some parts. I say it with love.

77. "Back to the Lake" - Guided by Voices (Universal Truths and Cycles, 2002) The last great GBV song from the last good GBV album. 19 yr old Timmy was just run over by a backhoe.

76. "Shadowland" - Youth Group (Skeleton Jar, 2005) The perfect early 90's college rock hit, with an overlay of crunchy guitar on the chorus. I like this song so much, I tried to rationalize a way to rank it higher, but it really doesn't deserve it. Still, all in all, awesome.

75. "I Predict a Riot" - Kaiser Chiefs (Employment, 2005) When this came out, Kaiser Chiefs looked like the Next Big Thing in rock and roll, and this song might have ended up in the top ten for the decade. Does the quality of this tune suffer because the band fizzled? Yes and no. Sorry guys. Sucks. Talk to the Strokes and Franz Ferdinand.

74. "Use Somebody" - Kings of Leon (Only By The Night, 2008) You're sick of it? OK. But this list is for posterity and shit, so I still have to list it.

73. "Danger! High Voltage!" -Electric Six (Fire, 2003) If you knew me in 2003, you remember this. "No more naked dancing monkey!"

72. "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked" - Ida Maria (Fortress 'round My Heart, 2009) "What the hell do I do that for?" A karaoke classic for the ages.

71. "So Alive" - Ryan Adams (Rock N Roll, 2003) - Ryan Adams made a straight up rock and roll record (and with typical restraint, called it "Rock N Roll"). And then he made a song that puts it's hand on the back of Journey's neck and makes Journey suck it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Best Video of All Time

Yeah, I'm prone to hyperbole, but check it:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Top 100 Songs of the Aughties, 90 - 81

Wassup Hepcats.
Wicked sorry for the delay, got laid up up with a touch of the sickness.
One good thing about it was I got to speed through season one of "True Blood". I'm not one usually to go for the whole vampire thing, but I found this show surprisingly enjoyable. Still waiting for season two to show up on demand, but if it matches season one in terms of vampire mayhem, buckets of gore, and gratuitous nudity, I'll be pleased. Plus maybe the greatest title sequence of the last ten years.

See? Sex, death, swamps, and hillbillies. Plus that song ("Bad Things" by Jace Everett).
On to the tunes.

90. "Dazed, Beautiful, and Bruised" - Catatonia (Equally Cursed and Blessed, 2000). I expected huge things from this Welsh band. This album had 3 really good songs on it, and they had a hot lead singer wearing net stockings on the album cover. But it's never a good sign when the 3rd record a band puts out is a "greatest hits" package. Broke up in 2001.

89. "Wendy" - Jesse Malin (The Fine Art of Self-Destruction, 2002). A strong candidate for underrated singer-songwriter of the decade, Jesse Malin was like the love child of Bruce Springsteen, Joey Ramone, and Billy Corgan, if three men could have sex and produce a musically gifted child, without the tabloids being aware. Good song about the cool chick at the bar.

88. "Imitation of Life" - R.E.M. (Reveal, 2001) The fact that R.E.M. only placed one song on this list, and that was only at number 88, would have caused 19 yr old Timmy a heart attack. This is a beautiful tune, though (with a groundbreaking video). Just let's not tell 19 yr old Timmy just yet.

87. "Nothing Better" - Postal Service (Give Up, 2003) One of my favorite lyrics of all time: "Your heart won't heal right if you keep tearing out the sutures", sung in counter-melody by Jenny Lewis. Fuck, this should have been higher. Also, your girlfriend loves Postal Service.

86. "Fight Test" - The Flaming Lips (Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, 2002) Why this over "Do You Realize??" or the title track? It's all a mystery. (I know, lame cop-out. Something about this song just grabs the cockles.)

85. "I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor" - Arctic Monkeys (Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not , 2006) Arctic Monkeys took the Franz Ferdinand sound and slummed it up something hellish. This song came out when my girls were 2 months old, and I used to imagine that this would be the song I'd be getting ready to go out to. Not wistfully, mind you, just thinking about alternate realities.

84. "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" - U2 (How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, 2004) The best non-cheesy death-of-a-father song ever. "Our house doesn't make a home, don't leave me here alone." Aw, hell.

83. "The Rat" - The Walkmen (Bows + Arrows, 2004) Lady, I wouldn't ignore this guy. He sounds serious. And that drumbeat is fucking SICK.

82. "Buick City Complex" - Old 97s (Satellite Rides, 2001) A coy little song. Rhett Miller laments the loss of his apartment building, but is more worried about : "Do you wanna mess around?"

81. "Gone" - Ben Folds (Rockin' the Suburbs, 2001) Orchestral pop worthy of Brian Wilson, hell, better than Brian Wilson. Ben Folds is too smart to sing about surfboards.

Pardon the Interruption

Wassup Hepcats,
Sorry for the delay, but I'm pretty sure I've got the old H1N1.
We'll continue Best of the Aughties tomorrow, meanwhile....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Top 100 Songs of the Aughts, 100-91

Wassup, Hepcats.
Some housecleaning before we get started:
  • Halloween 2009 With The Twinnies: Not a success. Twinnies scared of fellow trick-or-treaters. Fellow trick-or-treaters now on the list of Scary Things along with dogs, the dark, and Miss Kristen.
  • My Billy Mays costume: a qualified success. The people who knew I was wearing a costume knew who I was, but some thought I was just wearing a blue shirt with khakis, with a bottle of Oxi-Clean on my belt and a big bag of coke in my pocket. These people must think I am awesome, and I resolve to spend more time with them.
  • Baseball happened tonight (yeah it did), college football did not. No further discussion required.
Okay. So let's get started on the Top 100 Songs of the Aughts (2000-2009).  Our Artist of Decade (revealed later) placed three songs on the list, while the following all placed two: Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Cat Power, Death Cab for Cutie, The Hold Steady, The Killers (I know, right?), Kings of Leon, The Mountain Goats, Neko Case, Rilo Kiley, Ryan Adams, The White Stripes, and Wilco. That list (mostly) looks about right. I'm not sure how The Killers ended up with more songs than The New Pornographers,  but in honor of Chuck Klosterman:
100. "The Late Greats" - Wilco ( A Ghost is Born -2007) A bouncy little tune about some (fictional) bands that faded away due to lack of popularity. Fittingly, the most accessible song on an obtuse album.
99. "San Francisco" - Brett Dennen (Hope for the Hopeless - 2008) He likes his girl, but he loves his city. "Go if you wanna go, but I won't follow, just so you know." Fantastic.
98. "Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, N.J." - Titus Andronicus (The Airing of Grievances - 2009) 90 seconds of noodling and ghostly vocals, culminating in a 120 decibel "FUCK YOU!", and then a maelstrom of metal guitar, keyboard, and pipes. Even more awesome than it sounds.
97. "The Grey Estates" - Wolf Parade (At Mount Zoomer -2008) Crack-catchy melody + xylophone = a great pop song from a band that can seemingly turn them out at will, but just doesn't care to.
96. "The Hardest Button to Button" - The White Stripes (Elephant - 2003) Jack White's refusal to pronounce the "t"'s in the word "button" just haunt you. Bonus points for "I had a ray gun, and it was 1981." Plus One for Puns!

95. "That's Not My Name" - The Ting Tings (We Started Nothing - 2008) Well of course she sounds bitchy, that's not her name. Stop calling her Lisa. Great counter melody at the end.
94. "New Slang" - The Shins (Chutes Too Narrow - 2003) I know you hate this song. You hate that Natalie Portman told you it would change your life, and then it turned out to be a campfire singalong. But six years later, I dare you to turn it off. (Bonus points for sounding just like every song on the Bon Iver album. Bon Iver didn't make it onto this list, but I feel like including "New Slang" makes up for it.)
93. "Mr. E's Beautiful Blues" - eels (Daisies of the Galaxy - 2000) A hidden track, and people still argue about the title. There's something rebellious about singing, "Goddamn right, it's a beautiful day. Uh huh."
92. "Chop Suey" - System of a Down (Toxicity - 2001) You've heard it. It's fucking insane. WHY'DYOULEAVEYRKEYSUPNTHETABLE?
91. "When You Were Young" - The Killers (Sam's Town - 2006) They got a lot of shit for trying to make a "Springsteen album", but goddamn if this doesn't sound exactly like what The Boss would have recorded if he was 25 in 2006. The rest of the album, er, not so much.

Tomorrow: 90 - 81!