Tuesday, October 31

Amherst Pandemonium (Part 2)

First off Happy Halloween!

As I said I would in the last post I got the Imogen Heap album (Speak For Yourself) and I picked up Agustana’s debut (All The Stars And Boulevards). Both are quite good. I wasn’t expecting much from the Augustana but I’ve given it a cursory listen and it manages to exceed my expectations at least. I’ve had their EP for a while now and the LP is pretty solid considering the best songs are on the mini. Ms. Heap can’t disappoint, of that, I am now certain.

Today at school I was mistaken for a teacher. That made me ruinously happy. And in my world affairs class my teacher called me an “Irish son.” It also provoked a smile.

I didn’t even realize but I’ve been living “The Spirit Of Autumn” way better than I could have hoped. The jury is still out on whether that is a good thing or not.

After coming to grips with a few rather harsh realities I have decided to “regroup and strategize.” Good god Orchid is a great band!

Monday, October 30

Cover Me

A lovely little weekend all things considered. Friday Mike managed to get off early and we beat all the traffic down to SMC. It was a quite evening, but good to see everyone. Saturday we were watching the clock for 7 to roll around and got ready for the main event; Hallowed Greens. I went as “Irish,” which involved a green suit and a truly inspired shillelagh (which I had to win in a contest of drinking), along with a great fedora. The greatest part of the night costume-wise was a two story tall Trojan Horse! Mike and I ended up at Liz and Joanna’s place and hung out for a while watching terrible TV and talking until around 5 in the morning. Sunday Liz and I went out to lunch at IHOP which was surreal in a good way (IHOP has always struck me as surreal though). I dropped Mike off up in Fredrick (listening to the Imogen Heap album which is fucking amazing, its my new driving at night CD, just as soon as I go out and buy my own copy) and made it home at around 8:30 and promptly went to bed (after watching the last 20 minutes or so of Sleepy Hollow, I forgot that Christopher Walken is the Hessian in that)

I’ve been thinking a lot about covers recently…I have come to the conclusion that they are great, only rarely, and made great by two factors, neither mutually exclusive. The first is if the cover is better than the original. This doesn’t happen too often but when it does it is amazing (take A Light that Never Goes Out by Braid, originally the Smiths). The Second factor is if the Cover is hilarious, this is also not all that common but awesome (e.g. Take On Me by Cap’n Jazz, originally A-Ha). Most fall into a category other than greatness. These can be good too but usually for personal reasons. I love My Generation by Chapeau Melon and 99 Red Balloons by Goldfinger only because they came around at just the right moment and will always remind me of people and things from that summer, they are however not very good covers (the Goldfinger one is decent but not great). Anyway…

A few side notes:

+My Dad had a car intensive weekend; he went to this sport rally think for BMWs and got to drive my dream car (a BMW Z4 sport coupe) and a few others. In addition one of his friends is getting an ’84 Dauphin Gray 5.30 M Sedan which I lust after as well (I drive an ’84 Gray 5.28e, it little sister of this car)
+ My mom got a great job offer and is leaving WRIT. This is both good and bad. It will mean more money for her and the family in general but it will also mean no more job for me…eh, not too worried.
+ Studio 60 has not been canceled yet! NBC ordered three more scripts (a total count of 16) and it will resume next week. YAY! It hasn’t been picked up officially but I think it will after this news.
+ This weekend will hopefully be Mike and I drinking scotch and watching a lot of Sorkin, I have to stay around this weekend as the parentals are going off to Williamsburg this weekend and the “Muppet” will need watching.

Listening to Chaos Ain’t Me and Loft Party by Orchid (freaking amazing album over all too, power chords and pretension go together like bees and honey!)

Friday, October 20

It's Okay (One Blood)

How the hell did it get to be Friday already? Anyway, had a busy week. School was tests and crazy lectures (literally; I’m almost completely convinced both of my teachers are certifiably insane). I picked up a copy of the new Dresden Dolls CD on Tuesday. I didn’t really think much of it the first time through but after a couple more listens it isn’t too bad. There are actually a number of songs that I’ll actually be excited to hear at the concert. Should be fun, if slightly odd to see a band that I’m not in love with. I don’t generally suffer the rigors of a club to see just anybody, but hey the ticket was free (9:30 Club on 10/27 if anyone is interested)

I also picked up the Smiths “Singles.” Of course amazing, and I fanally have a copy of A Light That Never Goes Out. This weekend will be quite but I am hoping to see Marie Antoinette sometime soon. How I love thee Miss Copula…and the fact that your using post punk for a film about an absolutist monarchy in the 18th Century. The metaphor of it bowls me over.

Casey was totally right by the by: “Sometimes you just stand there with cake on your face…” Having obligations is lame.

The post title is what I’m listening to by The Game

Monday, October 16

99 Problems...

It was a rather complex weekend. I headed down to St. Mary’s with Mike on Friday and stayed until Sunday. The drive down was a bit long with traffic but Sunday few by drive-wise. All in all it was a good if somewhat infuriating time.

This week will be busy. Work is getting a little slower which is nice but of course school is picking up. Test on Tuesday and I’ll hopefully get the other one I took back. Beyond that the weekend looks chill for the most part. Thursday Mike and Aaron might be coming down to help with the Tower plundering, as they are going out of business and there are some good sales. Saturday and Sunday I’m house sitting again, always good for that economic injection of liquid capital.

I finished the first season of Nip/Tuck last night. I’d have to say that it would be hard to beat the craziness of the entire season but having watched a bit this season and a few from the intervening, it does. It’s a car crash and I can’t look away

I’m taking Ricardo’s advice so listening to The Night Has Opened Up My Eyes and What Difference Does It Make by The Smiths

It's The End Of The World As We Know It

I meant to post this a while ago, but here it is. I might be a bit behind on any current devlopements…

Well the media has officially scared the crap out of me. North Korea detonated a very low yield nuclear device (low yield being the equivalent of 500 tons of dynamite…). This spurred Iran into declaring that I would also begin the development of a nuclear bomb (which everyone assumes they have been doing since Khomeini took over). That adds two more countries to the “Nuclear Club.” Among the other nations are Pakistan (with a fractious government and little in the way of “command and control” of their few warheads), India (who hates Pakistan and vice versa), Russia (which was scary back in the Cold War and is now horrifying because their facilities are completely unsafe and poorly guarded). Britain and France also have the boom as well as China . Israel is widely believed to have one but never tested it.

So in short The Muslim/Jewish/Hindu portion of the globe is only a few wrong moves away from glowing in the dark (but they have been for a while). The addition of Iran into the mix makes for a nightmarish situation where pretty much all of the “ Fertile Crescent ” becomes no more than a wasteland of irradiated glass (what happens to sand after a detonation). India will of course use some sort of pretext and do a “first strike on Pakistan and Pakistan will I’m sure return in kind. This will blow large chunks out of the Hindu Kush mountain range; of that there can be no doubt. And after the Shihab-3 was tested in Iran and actually did work most of its neighbors would be in the firing range of a second Islamic bomb.

Korea could easily nuke its neighbor to the south or Japan or if their ICBMs work as well as they say; San Francisco or Los Angles. There really wouldn’t even need to be much of a provocation, seeing as Kim Jung Il is completely insane!
Alright now I realize that this is all the worst possible case scenario and that the likelihood of all of these much less one is remote, but the very possibility of it is a little on the “Greg-hasn’t-been-able-to-sleep-much” side.

All in all though I’m not as worried about that as I am other things so…we’ll move it along. Studio 60 has fallen in the rating again with the early returns showing another ½ million lose and a bit more slipping in the key demos. I’m actually pretty confident, from everything that NBC has released they have done a great job in spinning the numbers and it would appear as if the show will go to at least the 13 episode mark, most likely a whole season. Yay! I’m headed down to St. Mary’s this weekend and hopefully will delight in the debauchery that always abounds. It will be a nice getaway after last weekend and the crazy school work thing. Good new on the paper: 94%...

Listening to: Eli by Ordination of Aaron

Monday, October 9

All Lost In The Supermarket

Well I had an alternately productive and dull as fuck weekend. Got a big paper out of the way which was nice but all my tests that were supossed to be on Thursday got pushed back, which is nice but I would have rather them done with and out of the way. I house sat this weekend again which was movie-filled. I watched Sid and Nancy again, which is such a great movie( I mean Gary Oldman is so perfect), and Closer which is maybe top 5 ever on the list. Last night was a bunch of Nip/Tuck on DVD that a friend lent me. That show is disturbing, graphic and has really messed up characters. I love it.

So after my Sid and Nancy nostalgia that evening I learned that CBGB is closing this coming Saturday. This week they have some of the great surviving members of the scene pay homage to the dirty little club. Pattie Smith, Debbie Harry and Bad Brains are all playing the club’s last weekend. I considered indenturing myself to both Chevy Chase Bank and my parents to get up there and see the end of it all, but everything is sold out. Apparently I missed it by a day…I can still remember reading "England Dreaming" and thinking that, even if punk was dead and had been since before I was born, all I wanted to do was stand in that cramped and smelly little place and go nuts listening to Johnny and Sid or Joey and Dee Dee, especially Joe…Those days were gone then and now there isn’t anything to remember them by. So that kind of bummed me out. I’ve had my CBGB shirt since before you could get them just anywhere (cousin in New York), my birthday the day I turned 14…

On to happier, less lame things. Studio 60 sounds good tonight so that will be fun. I’m hoping to get away this weekend, wherever that ends up being. Fredrick or St. Mary’s or Baltimore, I don’t really care.

Listening to Never Mind The Bollocks (album) by the Sex Pistols, The Ramones (Album) by The Ramones and London Calling (Album) by The Clash
I know “how could I be listening to three whole albums?” When I found out this morning at around 7 I started playing them, I honestly don’t really like them as much as I used to but they hold a lot of sentimental value…

Wednesday, October 4

One Warrior

A few great pieces of information to pass on:
1.) Deadsy will be playing December 4 at The 9:30 Club according to their website. That one is going to be amazing

2.) Lesotho has adopted a new flag! Apparently it involves tribal headgear. It’s not great new, but I thought that everyone should know.

3.) The new and wildly popular NBC show Heroes has a character named Mohinder Suresh. Mohinder is the son of an Indian scientist trying to discover new evolutionary developments. Mohinder is also the name of an amazing band. Mike I thought that this might make you smile, and yes they are spelled the same.

[update] 4.) 24 is set for January 14th. JACK IS BACK

Okay…now for the bad news.

Studio 60 has steadily been losing the huge audience that it acquired during the pilot. The first two weeks where good, with strong numbers in the key demos but this Monday was rough. The total household count was 6.1 and the 18-45 fell 16%. Now it is early but that isn’t a good sign. They weren’t even beaten out by baseball, it was fucking CSI Miami! If David Coruso end up being the downfall of this great show…I’m not even sure what I’d do. Aaron and the gang aren’t the only ones in trouble; after a great start for the network who has been floundering since Friends went off the air and Seinfeld left for good, CBS beat them out across the board. I think it was the early start and the hype that had inflated the numbers. The show within a show managed to keep a 90% retention rate after the hype of the fictional Danny and Albe coming back and the controversial nature of their first show. Its funny sometimes how close to life Sorkin is with his stuff. The ridiculously self-referential nature of that whole episode is great, unfortunately for the Studio 60 cast and crew in real life there really is “only one way to go from there.” Hopefully NBC will be bright enough to leave the show enough time to grow, there might be a bigger ad buy if it gets an award or two under its belt after the end of the season…I still have hope. That and what else is NBC going to put in there that can even being to stand up to both CSI and baseball? Next week is equally grim with the somewhat anticipated “What About Brian” premiering on ABC, fingers crossed.

Monday, October 2

Stay Gold, Ponyboy

Good Weekend. Friday was a good one. Mike Dave and I spent an inordinate amount of time at the Mirage up in Fredrick, smoking a little hookah and drinking a fairly quaffable Australian Shiraz. Tasting notes for those interested: Dry with an even finish, hints of oak and toffee. Anyway the night was supposed to go one way and ended up another but still a bunch of fun. Re-watching the first two episodes of Studio 60 then selections form Sports night (one of the greatest lines… “I’m his boy” “You’re his boy?” “Yeah…but its okay”) Saturday was a ton of reading. At the moment its Charlie Wilson’s War. The story of US involvement in Afghanistan during the war with the Soviets. The book is ostensibly a history of said war but it reads like a Clancy novel, dashing protagonists, spies and intrigue, think James Bond if he was a Congressman. Its worth checking out. That evening was a late night session with Nando. As always funny, amazing and more than a little disturbing (to read some of the crazy shit that comes out of his mouth look up his blog at www.swordninjas.blogspot.com, worth reading from the beginning, don’t take what he says seriously either…I know he never does) We watched Monty Python Live which was great then round about 6am I headed home to grab a few hours of sleep before wasting my entire day on the net. All in all: fun.
This coming week is going to be busy. My first round of exams should be Thursday and there is lots of new and tedious things to learn at work…the weekend looks like house-sitting and maybe a party somewhere.
Well I feel as if I’ve accomplished what I set out to do in this post. There were two main objectives for those of you curious; the first was to be an asshole about wine (check) and the second was to bump Nando’s reader pool a bit, considering that he thinks that I’m the only one that reads it. Hahaha, now he will in all likelihood offend most if not all of the people I know that are willing to click on that link (check and double check).

Listening to Dirt by Christie Front Drive (god what a great song)