Thursday, December 31, 2009

swEEt jAmZ from the '00s

A quick flip through the old itunes library reveals this to be one of my favorite tracks from the last decade. The year was 2004... I was living in the Brunz with the Reverend, working in the warehouse at Guitar Center store #822. Grohl was at the top of his game, Foo Fighters had a ton of hits, and he had just cut one of my favorite albums of the decade with Queens of the Stone Age (Songs for the Deaf) a couple years prior. The Probot album was him playing drums with all these old skool metal dudez, some I had heard of, but others not. It's a great primer on some of the legends of the genre, and probably the fifth greatest thing he has ever done (behind Songs for the Deaf, the 2 Nirvana albums, and the cover of Stairway to Heaven on the Craig Kilborne Show in 2005):

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Product protests of 2009

I stopped using Gillette products this year because they are endorsed by two tremendous douchebags:

1) Derek Jeter
2) Tiger Woods

Ok, neither of those guys are really douchebags (though perspectives vary widely). But I do hate the Yankees, and Tiger Woods with the whole etc. etc. Also, the owner of the company is also the owner of the motherf'n New England Patriots. Those f'ers always win. They don't need my money, either. You shave, the Patriots win. Did you ever think about that, Jets fans? How does it feel paying a part of Randy Moss' and Tom Bradys' contract?

Alright, I admit, my usage of Gillette products actually had nothing to do with their choice of product pitchmen. Rather, it was the tremendous cost of using their products, specifically, the famous Mach 3 razor blade. With it's 800% mark-up over cost, most dudes understand the wallet pain these little buggers inflict. Which is high-time I went OLD SKOOL

Ok, maybe not that old school... although a single-blade barbershop shave is pretty smooth. But actually one of these:

A Merkur single-blade safety razor. Yeah, you don't actually need three blades to get a close shave. And the replacement blades cost as little as 25 CENTS.

In times like these, it seems a bit silly to fork over $4 for a frickin' razor blade to Robert Kraft and help support the New England Patriots football dynasty. Instead, head over to the Art of Manliness blog and learn how to shave like your grandpa did.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Worst of the blah blah blah

So many "best of/worst of" lists littering the internet these past few weeks have been re-kindling my love/hate for various albums, movies, and the like. Unfortunately, this includes what I consider to be one of the worst travesties of music ever perpetuated upon people who listen to music: Kid Rock's "All Summer Long". Why so much hate for such a simple little summertime ditty, Milky?

1. There's already a classic song titled "All Summer Long".
And one of my top 5 summer songs of all time. Must Kid Rock ruin everything?

2. It's the most unoriginal "original" song I've ever heard.
Let's see, take the hook of one highly recognizable classic rock anthem from the '70's for the verse, and lift the hook of another for the chorus. WOW! FUCKING BRILLIANT. Two more classic songs, ruined. But wait Kid, surely you've got some sort of Morrison-esque prose you can hit us with to save it:

"We didn't have no internet / but man I will never forget / the way the moonlight shined upon her hair"


3. What was really happening in 1989.

Much of the song is dedicated to repeating the fact that Kid Rock spent most of the summer of 1989 singing Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama". The rest of it deals briefly with a story of a cliche summer romance, and assuring us that he was drinking heavily and smoking "different things", most likely marijuana. While the latter fact may be true, in fact, Kid Rock spent the year 1989 rapping. Despite his image makeover in recent years, it's no secret that Kid Rock cut his teeth in the music business by attempting to gain fame as a hip-hop performer.
A quick glance at his Wikipedia entry indicates he was on tour with the "Straight from the Underground" Tour in 1989, opening for Ice Cube and Too Short, among others. Additionally, it's highly doubtful that the rest of Kid Rock's social circle were constantly singing classic rock tunes from 15 years prior. Hair metal was peaking, and artists like Paula Abdul and Milli Vanilli were ruling the charts. To make the fraud complete, he shot the video in Nashville, Tennessee, despite penchant for constantly referencing his home state of Michigan. Gee Kid, dontcha think Michigan could use some of your business these days?

Of course, the song was a global smash. I was practically required to play it at every party I DJ'd that summer. As vapid, boring, and derivative as the song is, the fact that this song was a hit and that people somehow gleaned some sort of enjoyment out of it causes me great pain every time I hear it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Down the Shore

Dear People I Know Who Watch MTV's "Jersey Shore",

We've probably been friends (or at the very least, friendly acquaintances) for a while, and more than likely grew up in New Jersey together. Which makes this somewhat disturbing.

I realize you like trashy television. While I personally do not bother to watch much reality-themed television, I am aware that much of the most-watched prime-time television programming is "reality"-based. However, "Jersey Shore" seemed like something you wouldn't want to bother wasting your valuable available television-watching hours (or TiVo hard drive space) on for any number of reasons:

- Don't encourage them.
I know I'm shouting from an ivory tower and no one is really listening, but this is really scraping the barrel here. There's lowbrow television, and then there's this. This really seems like a new low, from the word "guido" being tossed around in promos to the whole guy-punching-girl thing, I find something deeply unsettling about this program.

- State pride.
We spend so much time and energy defending New Jersey from attacks by the rest of the country, and along comes this dumbass show to perpetuate another round of lame jokes, and here you are, WATCHING IT.

- State culture.
While you could make a weak case that the Sopranos was also offensive to Italian-Americans, you could not argue that it was one of the greatest television shows of the decade. Brilliantly written, acted, and performed, it is in rare company among the all-time greats. And it was filmed entirely in New Jersey. And then there's "The Boss". Bruce has been touring relentlessly over the last several years, and churning out a couple of great albums in the process. His music, inspired by his life and times in the Garden State, is loved and adored the world over. And there's even Frank Sinatra, Bon Jovi, etc. etc. ... any number of great performers of stage and screen who hail from or made their name in the Garden State of whom to be proud of. Somehow I don't think "Snooki" will ever be one of them.

- You know these people.
At least, you know OF them. We've all been to the shore. You make every effort to stay away from them. You've probably even had a good laugh at their expense already - all the while feeling relieved whenever you can escape their presence. The exterior appearance they spend so much time perfecting in the mirror because they're a bunch of narcissit goons tell you all you need to know about what's on the interior: They're a bunch of obnoxious jerks. You already know this, and now you want to watch hours and hours of this behavior? Are you also counting down the days until you can hit up Seaside and go clubbing at Bamboo?

- Grow up.
You're too old to be watching this. MTV's target demographic is well below your age. When you talk about it, or quote it on Facebook, you look like a damn fool. This is for kids who don't know any better, and will look back in a few years and wonder why they ever watched such garbage.

- You're glorifying a cultural divide.
I might be screaming from my soapbox, but if you watch this and enjoy it, you're finding a sick pleasure in laughing at these fools because of their outlandish behavior/fashion/lifestyle and not because you admire them for their wit and sophistication. Again, I'm pretty sure if I know you, you don't hang out with these types of folk. Maybe you like it because you can look down on them and laugh at them and feel better about yourself? Is that any reason to watch a television show?

Yeah, I get it, it's "trainwreck" television and that's why you watch it. There is also plenty of trainwreck television to go around that doesn't give the great state of New Jersey a bad name. Do yourself and all of us a favor: even if you do watch it, don't tell anyone you do. If anyone asks, tell them that no, you don't watch it, and end any sort of embarrassing discussion on the subject by explaining to that person that like any other state, yes, New Jersey has it's faults, and despite the stereotypes played out on television, it is also a source of great cultural and geographic beauty. And if you can't name more than two songs off of "Born to Run" or "Greetings from Asbury Park", that conversation should be irrelevant to begin with.