Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Desert Eyeland

My friend JT came up with an idea to list your 10 Desert Island Albums. I'm almost amazed at how many of these have remained constant on a similar list for me for as long as they have.

I was originally going to post a picture of the album cover with every entry. That being said, is shitty for coding and it gets to be a nightmare, so I am posting a link to purchase the records on iTunes instead. There, I just told you to go buy songs instead of steal them. I'm not a total jerk. Here they are... In no particular order.

Thin Lizzy - Dedication. I know, it's a greatest hits album and all. I would have picked Jailbreak over this if, and only if, the track "Dedication" was not assembled by former members of the band from one of Phil Lynnot's demos after he died and if one could find it anywhere else. It's easily the most badass riff I have ever heard. And I'm a man who knows his riffs.

Jimmy Eat World - Clarity. This album came out 12 years ago and it's the only thing that my generation has released that my generation still gushes about all the time.

Portishead - Roseland, NYC Live. The best live album ever made.

Explosions in the Sky - The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place. These guys and this record makes every other band in their genre (the post-rock instrumental whatever) look like total amateurs. I filled in on bass for a band about 10 years ago that opened for these guys and after the show I wanted sell all of my gear.

Pearl Jam - Vitalogy. The best collection of songs that they ever wrote. Eddie Vedder can tell one hell of a story in under 4 minutes.

Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On. People always talk about the title track being the one that they... well... you know. Best track on this record? "Please Stay". And for everyone who hates motown, I don't know if I can talk to you.

Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary. Jeremy Enigk can't sing. These guys couldn't really play. Most of the lyrics read like Robert Smith-throwaways. But it came out 17 years ago and everyone who is making rock music these days has this band to thank for having the balls to release something this unique. This is one hell of a ringing endorsement.

Tom Waits - The Heart of Saturday Night. If you're under the age of 25, I wouldn't even recommend trying to listen to this. I know that everyone that loves Tom Waits and who reads this blog (all 4 of you) will say "What about Small Change, or Mule Variations, or Rain Dogs?" All great in their own respect but the stories in these songs make sense to me.

The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds. Paul McCartney once said that Sgt. Pepper's... was his band's attempt to answer this record. Think about what Brian Wilson could do if he had two good ears.

Original Cast Recording (London) - The Phantom of the Opera. My parents went and saw this in Toronto in the early-90s and I swear my mom played this tape for two years straight. A few years later, my parents took us to see it as a family across the border. I stood and applauded at the end.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm not going to reference that R.E.M song

Ever since I saw Roland Emmerich's disaster film (that description works on multiple levels) 2012 about this time last year, I have been afraid of three things:
#1.) Horses. If there's anything scarier to me in the world than horses, I don't want to meet it. If someone discovers dragons living underneath a caldera in Yellowstone, I bet that would be scarier. But we're talkin' real life here, folks.
#2.) Clowns. I don't know why anyone thinks clowns are great. Think about it. When I was you're the class clown, I you always got get in trouble. When you go to the circus, people don't want to see clowns, they want to see some chick get shot out of a cannon. When you see clowns piled into a Volkswagon Beetle, I'm willing to bet that I'm not the only one who hopes that the doors have the child safety lock engaged. I know, car nuts, that VW Beetles don't have a child safety lock, but it's my fantasy where clowns get stuck and those Germans engineers can figure out how to do pretty much anything. If you look directly to
the right you will see a picture of me if I went back in time and how scared I was. I'm willing to bet that if that picture was actually me, I would need to have my diaper changed. I look cute in overalls, though.
#3.) The end of the world.

Many of you who, God only knows why, read this blog know that I don't have much fear of anything; death and the apocalypse being way down on the list. Somewhere in the mid-triple
digits for inquiring minds. Way past "asking a girl out". Way past "cleaning my room". Way past "the first 90% of Signs." So it is with much bemusement that I find myself writing about the apocalypse today.

Living in the buckle of the Bible belt - hey! it looks like a belt buckle and it's in the Bible belt. I totally get that now! - I have seen several billboards in Nashville informing me that this coming Saturday is the end of the world. I'll save you the time of reading their really long article (I know you won't anyway) and just tell you that it's just based on some really crazy, fanatical Christian math. Or something. Christian math is cool. I won an award in sixth grade for it. It wasn't Christian math. Like, the questions weren't "If you have 7 paintings of Jesus and I have 9 paintings of Jesus and Joey has 12 paintings of Jesus, how many Jesus paintings do the three of us have altogether?" There are two answers to the question:
#1.) The mathematical answer: 28
#2.) Beat up Joey, split up the 12 Jesus paintings between us and sell them outside of a gas station. What makes him think he's so good, anyway?
No... not that kind of Christian math. I meant Christian math in the way that I went to math contests with students from other Christian schools and then beat their brains out in algebra competitions.

You know what that got me in the end? It got me into a really hard math class my freshman year of high school. It didn't get me chicks, which was hard enough to do given that I went to an all-boys prep school. It didn't earn me the respect of anyone in college. All it dead did was let me make a reference to Dead Man on Campus when I'm in my 30s.

So, ladies... What have you got going on later? If you believe in this weekend's upcoming apocalypse, I hope it's every worldly indulgence and I hope it's with me. A man can dream...

But, before you (dear hot single lady reader type) and I cover ourselves in green Jello and run naked through the streets because that would be both fun and sexy, we'd have to go do one thing on Fridate Friday afternoon. And that one thing? That's right... Go see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. That's right, this blog was just a crummy commercial. Just kidding. You know what... Scratch that idea. No afternoon matinee. It's on me. That's right: PRIME TIME. You, me, and a full price movie - my treat. Well, you'll think I've paid full price, when in reality I'll buy the tickets in advance on, indicate that they're for children and pay half price. Apparently, fandango is more about ticket sales then they are worrying about what kids are doing with their parents credit card and shopping online. And, out of the 20 or so times that I have done this very trick, it has only backfired on me once. The lady at Opry Mills called me out on it once. Her reprimand to me: "Don't do that again."

Yeah, I really learned my lesson.

Anyway, when Friday rolls around, what else would you rather do than go see that movie or worrying about what you're going to wear when Jesus shows up the next day? If you paid attention and have an adventurous spirit, you and I will be adorned in the aforementioned green Jello.

So here's the trailer of the new P.O.T.C. film. Michael Bolton is in it. Or something. And I guess it's got some Jewish dudes in it, too.

See ya on Friday. And the day after that. And the day after that.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ryan Rado

Most of the blogs that I post are about fart jokes. Sometimes, they are about wiener [hmmm... "i before e", indeed] jokes. Or about alcohol. Or things that I hate. When I'm really on it, I'll throw in a joke about Michael Bolton. It's days when I manage to get all of those things in their together that I flirt with triple digit blog views in a day. As a matter of fact, you're contributing to it right now. Hello, advertising dollars! Crap, I should install something that allows me to make some sweet cash from this here blog. How does the internet work?

This particular entry, however, is not one of my typical blog entries.

Ryan Rado and I met each other in 1994. To give you an idea of what that was like, chatrooms were just becoming popular, Sunny Day Real Estate (you know, that band, that all those other bands that got kinda popular 8 years ago were really into) had just released their FIRST record, and Taylor Swift was in kindergarten. 17 years later, he and I are still friends. I was in his wedding. I am roommates with him and his wife, Christina, and apparently, there's another dude who has lived in our house for the past month or so and I'm pretty sure his name is John Williams but I haven't ever had a conversation with him. At any rate, Ryan and I have a friendship that has lasted (according to a study that I just made up) about as long as most marriages. It's a good thing we're still friends and roommates because I borrowed a sweater from him a long-ass time ago and still have it. And he has my Telecaster. I want that back, eventually.
The point is, I know this dude. He and I connect on lots of things, despite our very different personalities. One thing that he and I have always seemingly connected on is our desire to make the world a better place. I'm finally in a position to do a bit of financial good in the world. If any of you makes a crack about my New Zealand trip last year costing a bunch of money, I'll talk to you after you've done 40 weekend midnight wedding cleanups, logged thousands of miles in a van, and written 3500 trivia questions in addition to working 45 hours a week, Monday through Friday. I'm blessed (through grace, hard work, talent, and ability) to have a job that allows me to live the kind of life that I want to live. Yes, this includes my new pre-owned scooter (thanks, Patrick and Amanda). And, thankfully, I'm able to do something for someone else.

That someone else is Ryan Rado. For those of you [hang on, I'm listening to Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" - I'll be right back] who know me or have ever stepped in Nashville, you probably know him. He has, for the majority of his life, worked through (I refuse to use the word "suffered" because what's that even mean, anyway?) several different afflictions: the most notable is Tourette Syndrome. It's real and the dude isn't faking it.

The same night that I agreed to buy the above scooter from Patrick and Amanda at RCC3's birthday, Ryan was talking with musician/artist/videographer Ethan Luck about making a video to help him out to raise funds for his Neuro Treatment Training. Ryan has asked a few people to be in the video that they are working on: myself included. At any rate, here is the trailer that they shot a few days ago at our house:

Go donate. That's it.