Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Winter is indeed upon us. As the days become inevitably shorter and seasonal depression sets in, I must find the simple enjoyments in life to keep me sane. My latest pleasure is provided by none other than our beloved Muppets. And why not? I have had this ridiculously catchy song in my head for a month now, not realizing where I had heard it or what it was from. Finally, with a little help from my friends, I've discovered it to be an old, classic Muppets song, "Manamana." Click this link to watch the video clip featuring a hippy, caveman, Jerry Garcia-lookalike and two pink cows. But be warned that immediately thereafter you will find this song trapped in your head for hours if not days, endlessly annoying friends, family and co-workers alike.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Pitchfork's latest feature gives long overdue attention to the worst record covers of all time. Take your time examining these fine specimens. My favorite is definitely Ted Nugent's Scream Dream. Despite these dreadful examples or maybe because of them, I love cover art and other album printed materials. In fact, my overall fetish for the actual media of music is one reason why I will never stop buying records and cds to go completely digital. More obvious arguments against digital music concern fidelity problems, inadequate compression, etc. but surely technology will do its best to bridge this gap. I guess to me there's nothing better than going through your collection, finding that perfect album for that particular moment, pulling out the sleeve, and just listening. No distractions, no web browsing, no computer, no iPod shuffle.

Here's another fine music list, this one coming from Stylus Magazine: The Non-Definitive Guide to the B-side.

Disappointing news from the television wire. Arrested Development, the funniest show on network television, is getting canceled. But on the positive side, Freddie is signed on for a full season!! Very reassuring!!

Time for another picture of my beloved kids. Nice reflection of their personalities: Stanley eager to please, Jellybean more interested in other things.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

As you know, yesterday was election day across the country. And so, this morning I was surveying the various results of mayorial races, local officials, referendums and propositions. Some interesting, most not. But for me, the most disappointing result I've come across is the constitutional amendment passed by Texas voters, by a frightening 3:1 margin, to formally ban gay marriage. Of course, Texas is one of the more conservative states in the Union and it shouldn't come as any surprise that they would pass such a proposition. But I am still finding this quite disturbing. As most of you probably know, I was raised in Austin, TX and I still think of myself as a Texan in many ways. I have serious intentions of moving back in the not-so-distant future. These facts likely explain my annoyance. But here's an interesting stat: Texas is now the 19th state in the U.S. to pass just such a ban on gay marriage. 19 states! Most amendments passed in the last year alone! Maybe I live in a naive (and liberal) bubble, but I did not realize how many states had gone this route. It speaks volumes of where we are in this country idealogically. And it pisses me off something fierce. Now, I am sincerely not interested in getting into a political debate with any readers out there, although I guess I am asking for it by this very posting. But suffice it to say that I feel very, very strongly that this type of legislation is immoral, discriminatory and a clear violation of the separation of church and state. It is contradictory to every value I possess, and simply disgusts me. That's just how I feel. So I guess that's it. Admittedly, this is a poor excuse of a protest. After this, I will drink a Coca-Cola Classic, smoke a Camel cigarette, watch an all-new episode of Lost, laugh at a Capital-One commerical, and ask my wife what color we should paint the guest room. Tomorrow I will surely go through a similar routine right after learning how many people died in Iraq that day. I am a model of political activism. So it goes.

Monday, November 07, 2005

So what if I'm a snob? A rant on popular culture...

Easily one of my favorite films of the last 5 years is David Lynch's Mulholland Dr. (2001). Try bringing it up in a conversation with friends, preferably of mixed company, and see what reactions you'll get. By far the most common response goes something like "loved the lesbian scenes, but everything else...what the fuck!?" Of course, it should come as no surprise that anything from the mind of Mr. Lynch would stir strong reactions ranging across the spectrum (e.g. Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, Twin Peaks, Eraserhead, etc.). I know one person in particular who was physically ill with disgust after seeing Mulholland Dr! I'm not this day, 4 years later, if I even mention the movie, this person nearly vomits on my shoes. So how can one person have such an intensely negative reaction while the person sitting directly next to them in the theater, watching the very same images, believe it to be the best thing since sliced bread? Doesn't matter. Because these reactions are the true power of art, culture, creativity, whatever you wanna call it...when films, music, books, television, photographs, paintings or self-expression of any kind can instill such visceral and polarized responses, something that kicks you right in the gut, that is what I'm looking for. An experience that gets inside you, for better or for worse, fucking you or stabbing you depending on your perspective. But at least you feel something! Maybe that is what I'm getting at. I'd rather watch Lost Highway (a David Lynch movie I passionately hate) over and over again than watch one single minute of Meet the Fockers. So maybe Mulholland Dr. doesn't do that for you at all. Maybe that is your "Meet the Fockers." But find out what does do it. And let me know what it is cause I wanna see it. Oh, and for those who have no idea on Mulholland Dr., here's a good article explaining one interpretation, though definitely not the only one.