Monday, March 9, 2009

If You Want Me, I'll Be in the Bar

This weekend, I rescued nearly 6,000 songs that were being held captive on my iPod since a particularly messy computer crash almost four years ago. I still had hard copies of most of them, but I knew I would never again be able to get up the energy to convert them to digital files like I did way back when I got my first iPod. Words cannot explain how happy this makes me. 

Then I listened to Colors and the KidsA Case of You and So Far Away* over and over again because, you know, that's what people listen to when they're really happy.

*Check out James Taylor in that "So Far Away" video. Dude could have been in Fleet Foxes. Or at least dated Jenny Lewis. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Yes, I Have a Beard. But Even If I Didn't, I'd Still Find This Really Stupid

If I knew how to use the scanner that sits on the bottom shelf of the coffee table in my living room, I would have scanned a page from the new issue of Time Out New York, where an uncredited writer compiled a dreadful little info-graphic about bearded men. Some are straight, you see, while others are gay, and their patron saint is Tim Harrington from Les Savy Fav. Also, they're not usually as angry as they appear, and they mostly just want to be loved. And, here's my favorite part: Their style icon (not to be confused with their patron saint, who, as we've already discussed, is Tim Harrington), is the Brawny Paper Towel guy, who.... oh, will you look at this, doesn't even have a fucking beard.

In my mind, this was the straw that broke the sad, poorly laid-out camel's back

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Worst Paragraph I Read Today

It's old news, from a NY Times article that ran way back in August, but it was brought back to my attention today by a post over at Philebrity, and seriously, you've got to read it. 

DURING his freshman year at Point Park University in Pittsburgh a couple years ago, James Acklin, now 20, felt lost among the social cliques on his new campus until he got to talking with a student who was in some of his classes. She seemed unusual, and it wasn’t just her look: thick-framed eyeglasses, bangs and vintage dresses. Then, one rainy day in February, the two skipped class and went to her apartment. As soon as she opened her door his instincts were confirmed: she had a turntable. So did he. They both spoke the language of vinyl.

I mean, come on.  I can't figure out if it seems more like it was written by a teenager or an 80-year-old. 

A Thing I Was Wrong About

I'm not even being a jerk here: I genuinely didn't think Blockbuster existed anymore. But now I think I might go find one and buy Goobers. And maybe concert tickets? 

Sometimes I Do Actually Hate the Media Elite

In this week's New York Magazine, there's an article by Adam Sternbergh called The Mad Men Dilemma, in which he considers the minor cultural phenomenon the show has become. His theory is that people are more compelled than ever to try convincing everyone they meet to watch the same shows they watch because, thanks to the internet, I guess, the rest of the world is headed in a gazillion different directions, with nothing really connecting us to one another. It's a nice enough idea but far from a home run. 

"It doesn't even matter that not many people, relatively, are actually watching Mad Men," he contends. "What matters is that everyone's talking about it." Mr. Sternbergh apparently was not at the Conklin family Thanksgiving Dinner, where, as is often the case, conversation turned to television. Lost, mostly, or Dancing With the Stars or even Gossip Girl. As soon as I spotted a lull, I asked everyone -- aunts, uncles, cousins -- if they were watching Mad Men, and I was greeted with blank stares all around. 

This is a conversation I imagine would have gone similarly at a whole lot of dinner tables around the country, which is why Sternbergh's theory is ultimately flawed. What he doesn't seem to understand is that, for most people, that connection, that shared cultural experience, is still there -- it's just that the things connecting them aren't necessarily things he cares to embrace. 

Monday, December 1, 2008

Jay-Z Track Leaks, Isn't Good

Everyone's talking about the new Jay-Z track today, the one that's supposed to be appearing on the soundtrack to the Biggie biopic scheduled for release next year. It features a Santogold sample, was produced by Kanye, and sounds like it was recorded in about fifteen minutes, all of which is nice in theory. But it turns out Jay isn't quite as suited for this type of tossed-off track as his producer. He's still at his best when things are huge, when the production is ambitious and polished and the rhymes are carefully constructed around a bigger idea. He got a ton of shit for that silly "30s the New 20" song, but it was exactly the kind of thing he excels at: making grandiose statements that he thinks should change the way hip-hop conducts itself. Here, he's reverted to bragging about how tough he is, and with the exception of that one about Jackie Robinson, none of his rhymes really hit home. He seems lost, like he's playing someone else's game rather than making everyone else play his. Not exactly the kind of tribute Biggie deserves, now is it?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Seriously, Why Do People Make Fun of the Decemberists?

According to Rolling Stone, their new record is "a twisty, fantastical story about a woman named Margaret who is ravaged by a shape-shifting animal; her lover, William, who is desperate for the two of them to be reunited; a forest queen; and a villainous rake."

How is this bad? What is wrong with people?