Saturday, August 16, 2008
The url is still going to be Five Best, but it'll be fivebest.tumblr.com.
It's been a good run here at Blogspot, but I hope to get rejuvenated at the new website.
Again, it's Early in the Morning, I'm Callin' YouTube
Friday, August 15, 2008
Here's what my friend Will had to say about this video:
"...I think we can agree that this is the world's greatest Neil Diamond cover, as well as a great lesson as to what happens when you develop film in your bath tub.
I think that their organist works at a skating rink in Schenectady these days."
Here's what my friend Will wrote about this video:
"Though I think we can agree that this is the world's greatest Neil Diamond cover, as well as a great lesson as to what happens when you develop film in your bath tub.
I think that their organist works at a skating rink in Schenectady these days."
Thursday, July 31, 2008
The embedding option still isn't work, so I leave you with this:
Here's some very exciting news about a new Bob Dylan album! Well, it's not "new," but rather outtakes from past albums and other unreleased songs. As a huge fan of the Bootleg Series, I'm very much looking forward to October 7, 2008.
Also, a video for the MTV Unplugged version of "Dignity."
Friday, July 25, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
One of the kids on my bus to Camp Hillard named Maxwell loves to sing this song over and over again. As you can tell within five seconds of watching this video, it's pretty much the most annoying song of all-time, and hearing an eight-year-old sing it ad nauseum doesn't much help its cause either.
Yesterday, as Maxwell went through, "I'm a gummy bear/Yes, I'm a gummy bear..." for the 27th time in about five minutes, I could take more, and put on my headphones to drown out Maxwell's voice. My song choice? Dylan's "Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues":
Well, I run right down and bought a ticket
To this thing called the Bear Mountain picnic
Little did I realize,
I was in for an unpleasant funny surprise
It had nothin' to do with picnic
Didn't come close to a mountain.
An' I hate bears.
You and me both, Bob.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
To get to the summer camp I work at, Camp Hillard, in Scarsdale, New York, I take the subway into the Financial District from my apartment in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, and then catch a camp-rented school bus (in which I’m a bus captain) to get to Westchester.
Outside of myself, the others passengers on the bus are another bus captain, the driver, and ten campers, whose ages run from 5 to 9 years old.
To keep them distracted, we let them talk, squirt water bottle fans at each other, and listen to their iPods, although camp rules say we aren’t allowed to this. But for a quiet bus drive, I don’t really care.
A few days ago, while sitting next to an eight-year-old named Max, I noticed he was listening to his iPod, and I asked to take a look at it. At the time, I was also listening to mine, and he asked the same question.
He had an iPod Nano, so there were only about 20 songs on it, including “More Than a Feeling” by Boston, “Hit Me Baby (One More Time)” by Britney Spears, and, oddly enough, his favorite song of the moment, “The Vampires” by Paul Simon (Max was nice enough to warn me that there were swear words in the song—“I ain't giving you my fucking money”—but that I shouldn’t worry about it).
On mine, he got excited over three songs: “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse (which he claimed to be “the greatest song ever”), “Let It Be” by the Beatles, and “Mannish Boy” by Muddy Waters.
Why “Mannish Boy,” of which I have the The Last Waltz version of? I have no idea. But seeing an eight-year-old white boy singing, “Well, when I was a young boy, at the age of five/My mother told me, I’d be the greatest man alive,” well, there ain’t nothing in this world better than that.
Now let's see if he can master Howlin' Wolf.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
While this video stinks, the song is fantastic. I post it because today is my half-brother Michael's birthday, and he very much enjoys the album this song is taken from, We're Only In It for the Money.
So, Michael, to you I say: Happy Birthday!
Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Such an eerie scene.
The comments on the video's actual YouTube page are worth a glance because they're hilarious. Due to it being a place where people are going to have their things read, the commentary is about the relevance of Vietnam War, and debating over whether it was a good war or not.
Although slightly different, I'm partial to this comment:
"Imagine Charlie listening to Mickey in the dead of night wondering what these sick Americans are singing. Spooky."
Seriously, I like that comment. At the very least, it's much better than:
"Vietnam War is a really complex thing to discuss about. They called the wrong generation for a right war battled in the wrong way. Vietnam became communist and it wasn't good for Vietnam people."
Uhhh, sure, daveinrome.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
A few nights ago, I had a dream in which I was a citizen of Gotham City, where Batman takes place. What made this dream special was that the townspeople, myself included, were under attack by...the Joker, specifically the Heath Ledger version, not Jack's.
As The Dark Knight inches ever closer to being released, I'm looking forward to it more and more--including, evidentially, even when I'm sleeping in dreams, although this was more of a nightmare.
I, along with about 30 others, was waiting on a subway platform for a train to arrive, when we heard banging and crashing from above. A few Gothamities went to take a peek to see what was going on, but moments later, there was screaming, and we all knew that they had died. I woke up just as soon as the Joker's shadow was becoming visible on a wall, and his voice could be heard.
Last summer, I really looked forward to The Simpsons Movie and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but never so much that the film crept into my unconscious. Now all I have to do is wait until July 18 at 12:01 a.m. to see if Nolan's The Dark Knight is as scary as Josh Kurp's The Dark Knight.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The first time I ever heard "Heroin," it scared the shit out of me. It was while driving to my job at a local supermarket, Price Chopper, from my senior year of high school internship. As soon as the song started, I felt chills and knew that I'd never hear a song like this ever again.
To this day, I still haven't.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
While this song isn't one of my top played on my iPod (although it probably would be if I actually had it), I'm posting it for two reasons:
1. Already had one Joss Whedon post, why not make it two?
2. I finished Firefly earlier today, and I strongly recommend that everyone watch it. The show only lasted one season, so what could eventually have become a tired format (space cowboys with moral decisions) never got a chance to become stale because it wasn't on long enough for that to happen. It's a great show by the great Joss.
From Buffy the Vampire Slayer's "Once More, With Feeling."
This week, I'll be highlighting some of the most played songs on my iPod, and, for whatever reason, this is my highest played song of the moment. Oh, and don't mind the fact that all the characters are in Sim form, I just couldn't find a better video.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I sleep light on these shores tonight
I live light on these shores.
#4. "Little Johnny Jewel"
Oh, Little Johnny Jewel,
He's so cool.
But if you see him looking lost,
You ain't gotta come on so boss
#3. "See No Evil"
Don't say unconscious
No, don't say doom.
If you got to say it,
Let me leave this room
'Cause what I want
I want now,
And it's a whole lot more
Suddenly my eyes went so soft and shaky.
I knew there was pain but pain is not aching.
Then Richie, Richie said,
"Hey man let's dress up like cops, think of what we could do!"
But something, something said, "You better not."
And I fell.
#1. "Marquee Moon"
I remember the light of darkness doubled,
I recall lightning struck itself,
I was listenin', listenin' to the rain,
I was hearin', hearin' someone else.
I'm in the high point of my night, I feel so impressive, life,
All this time with the Marquee Moon, but just waitin'.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
If I could plan the songs that I'd hear when I see Wilco in August, this is what the setlist would look like (although they're sorted by album, not the order I'd want to hear them in):
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
"I Am Trying to Break Your Heart"
"War on War"
"It’s Just That Simple"
A Ghost is Born
"At Least That’s What You Said"
"The Late Greats"
"Say You Miss Me"
"Outta Mind (Outta Sight)"
"Can’t Stand It"
Sky Blue Sky
"You are My Face"
"On and On and On"
Mermaid Avenue, Mermaid Avenue, Vol. 2
"Remember the Mountain Bed"
"Airline to Heaven"
Thursday, May 15, 2008
For the last two semesters, Lang on the Hudson, a New School class, has been building a whitehall gig, which would eventually be named The Storm Queen (terrible name, I know), at the Boat Shop, located on 14th Street, near Union Square. The whole shebang is being looked over by Rob Buchanan, who also serves as the faculty adviser for the New School Free Press, and is just generally an awesome man.
I'm not actually a part of the class, but I did help them move the boat from the Shop down to the Hudson River and eventually to its final resting place at Pier 40. Luckily, the weather was beautiful, and the looks of people seeing us roll a boat down fifth avenue was worth it alone.
At one point, a man rolled down his window and said to me, "I came over in a boat like this. Very few of us made it." To which I responded, "I'm sorry?" Not quite sure how you respond to something like that.
Nadia also happened to notice that we passed Waris Ahluwalia, who was in Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic, going down 11th Street. I make note of this because Rob bought everyone who helped launch the boat a Team Zissou-esque hat, referring to Billy Murray and his gang in Life Aquatic.
When we finally got it down to the pier, The Storm Queen and last year's boat, the Quixotic, had a race. I was in the Quixotic, and luckily, we won.
Here are a few pictures from yesterday, taken by Mr. Buchanan:
Monday, May 12, 2008
Last night, instead of finishing my final papers by midnight and going to sleep, I instead finished them around 2 a.m. and didn't sleep at all. To pass the time, I watched The Marx Brothers' fantastic Duck Soup (one of the funniest films of all-time), and watched YouTube videos, including:
"Round Here" by Counting Crows
Round here, we're carving out our names
Round here, we all look the same
Round here, we talk just like lions
But we sacrifice like lambs
Round here, she's slipping through my hands
"Casimir Pulaski Day" by Sufjan Stevens
Oh the glory when he took our place
But he took my shoulders and he shook my face
And he takes and he takes and he takes
"Idiot Wind" by Bob Dylan (alternate version)
I been double-crossed now for the very last time and now I'm finally free,
I kissed goodbye the howling beast on the borderline which separated you from me.
You'll never know the hurt I suffered nor the pain I rise above,
And I'll never know the same about you, your holiness or your kind of love,
And it makes me feel so sorry.
"Pig" by Dave Matthews Band
This love will open our world
From the dark side we can see a glow of something bright
Oh, there's much more than we see here
Don't burn the day away
"The One" by Backstreet Boys
There you were, wild and free
Reachin' out like you needed me
A helping hand to make it right
I am holding you all through the night
My friend Kayley and I had a long discussion about "The One" and the album it's from, Millennium, last night. Not in its artistic merits (of which it, of course, has none because, come on, it's boy band music), but rather what it means to us. For me, it brings me back to middle school going into high school, not having developed a strong sense of musical quality quite yet, and listening to what was popular on WFLY 92.3, a top-40 station for Albany, NY. During that time, when boy band music was at its peak, the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC were everywhere, and you couldn't help but hear their songs no matter where you went.
Looking back at that time, everything seemed so simple and there was no worrying about finishing up finals, getting an apartment and the financial woes that come along with it, and it was a time that had a certain amount of innocence attached to it that'll never be reached again.
I'd never want to return to those days, but while listening to the simplistic "The One," I can't help but look back on them with fondness.
(As for the picture, I didn't take it but rather grabbed it from a Facebook group. I feel I have the right to do so because that's my graduating class and I know everyone in the picture, and it also reminds me how little I want to go back to high school.)
Sunday, May 11, 2008
After spending a few hours with my friends at the Slaughtered Lamb, a bar in Greenwich Village, and feeling very young because they were carding (I’m only 20), I left the place walked down to the 1 train at the Christopher St. station.
While waiting for the train to arrive, and without my iPod, I began listening to the saxophone player on the other side of the tracks. I couldn’t actually see the musician, but recognized the song he/she was playing: “And I Love Her” by the Beatles.
Normally, I don’t listen to the subway players because I’ve either got my headphones on for my iPod or I’m talking with a friend, and also because most of the time, they’re just not very good.
But there was something about the saxophonist that captured me.
The station was very quiet with no train near, allowing the sound of the sax to echo off the walls, making for a very solemn sound—and one that was oddly mature for someone playing in the subway. It didn’t sound like he/she was playing to make money (although I’m sure that had something to do it), but they were also playing because they loved playing the saxophone.
As the song progressed, I find myself singing along quietly under my breath, and soon enough, again from a person I couldn’t see, someone started singing out-loud:
Bright are the stars that shine
Dark is the sky
I know this love of mine
Will never die
And I love her
It was the closest to a Disney “everyone-knows-the-words-and-sings-a-long” moment I’ll ever be a witness to.
Soon, my train came and although I only listened to that unseen saxophonist for a few minutes, I can still hear those notes bouncing around my head, and if I had been on the other platform, I’d have gladly given the guy a few bucks—something I haven’t done yet in New York City.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
From top: Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, Steve Holt (!)
Monday, May 5, 2008
#4. R.M. Renfield in Dracula
#3. Buck Merrill in The Outsiders
#2. Tom Waits in Coffee and Cigarettes
#1. Zack in Down by Law
Honorable Mention: Radio D.J. in Mystery Train playing Elvis' "Blue Moon."
At 9 a.m., Waits will be doing an online press conference, supposedly to announce a tour called Glitter and Doom. Can't wait! Waits is one of the very few artists that I'd pay a lot of money to see, along the lines of paying $110 the first time I saw Bob Dylan.
Here are the tour dates:
June 17- Phoenix, Orpheum
June 18 - Phoenix, Orpheum
June 20 - El Paso, Plaza Theatre
June 22 - Houston, Jones Hall
June 23 - Dallas, Palladium
June 25 - Tulsa, Brady Theatre
June 26 - Saint Louis, Fox Theatre
June 28 - Columbus, Ohio Theatre
June 29 - Knoxville, Civic Theatre
July 1 - Jacksonville, Moran Theatre
July 2 - Mobile, Saenger Theatre
July 3 - Birmingham, Alabama Theatre
July 5 - Atlanta, Fox Theatre
No New York. Lame. Here's the press conference video.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
#5. "Two-Headed Boy, Pt. Two"
Two headed boy she is all you could need
She will feed you tomatoes and radio wires
And retire to sheets safe and clean
But don't hate her when she gets up to leave
#4. "Holland 1945"
The only girl I've ever loved
Was born with roses in her eyes
But then they buried her alive
One evening 1945
With just her sister at her side
And only weeks before the guns
All came and rained on everyone
Now she's a little boy in Spain
Playing pianos filled with flames
On empty rings around the sun
All sing to say my dream has come
#3. "The King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. One"
When you were young
You were the king of carrot flowers
And how you built a tower tumbling through the trees
In holy rattlesnakes that fell all around your feet
#2. "Oh, Comely"
Goldaline my dear
We will fold and freeze together
Far away from here
There is sun and spring and green forever
But now we move to feel
For ourselves inside some stranger's stomach
Place your body here
Let your skin begin to blend itself with mine
#1. "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea"
Now how I remember you
How I would push my fingers through
Your mouth to make those muscles move
That made your voice so smooth and sweet
And now we keep where we don't know
All secrets sleep in winter clothes
With one you loved so long ago
Now he don't even know his name
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
With finals and other end-of-the-school year hubbub right around the corner, it will soon be time for students to begin their annual camping out in the University Computer Center. So, I decided that for the next 17 hours, I would stay at 55 W. 13th St., first in the UCC, and the rest downstairs in the Student Activity Space (SAA) or the lobby.
Recently, the University Student Senate passed a bill that makes the lobby and SAA open 24 hours from Monday through Thursday, with extended hours during the weekend.
Hendrick Cho, chair of the University Student Senate, said, “Since the beginning of the school year, many graduate students have lobbied to keep their buildings open 24 hours for the purpose of studying.”
I arrived just after 5 p.m. on a Monday, and the UCC was already jam packed with Lang students working on essays, Jazz kids using the printers for whatever reason Jazz kids would use a printer for, Parsons folk doing confusing Parsons things, and one girl who seemed to be watching a making-of documentary of The Pursuit of Happyness.
When I’m at the UCC, I’m typically so focused on my work that I never stop to look around, but now that I’ve got nothing but time, I take a glance. Most people look frustrated and dejected, those eating glance suspiciously around so as not to be caught, and everyone slouches like Hans Moleman.
Around 7 p.m., my back begins to ache for the first time due to said slouching, and the feeling of being stuck in this giant room with gloomy artwork creeps in (I mean, have you ever *really* looked at the giant mural right by the K and L sections in the corner? It looks like the mind of an insane person). It was also around this time that someone began to talk loudly, and even with headphones on, it was rather annoying. Now I know how the rest of those working in the UCC feels when us New School Free Press people are closing the newspaper…
As the hours went by, so did my iPod battery life. I began my stay with Radiohead, followed it with the Smiths, moved over to the Kinks, and the rest is a musical blur that only my iTunes’ “Recently Played” will ever know.
A little after 10, the place is still pretty packed, mostly with Parsons’ students working on Macs. I keep waiting for something exciting to happen, like someone pulling a fire alarm or screaming, “Die!,” but then I remember, I’m in a computer center. On a Monday night. Nothing exciting ever happens in a computer center on a Monday night.
For temporary relief from boredom, I looked through the previously saved documents on the computer I’m using, M02. The first thing I find is an analysis of A Streetcar Named Desiree that is neither entertaining nor interesting. After wading through some bad student scripts, I find a letter someone wrote to NYU, which is where, I guess, they want to transfer to. Traitor!
At 11:30, the UCC closes, and while most students go home, some go to the SAA or work on the desk in the lobby.
For the next few hours, things remain quiet. Students either work on their laptops, sketch out drawings on large sheets of paper, or watch television in the SAA, including an E! True Hollywood Story on Will Smith in which I learn more about the Fresh Prince’s beginnings than any person should know.
I ask a few students why they’re here, and most give essentially the same answer: "I live far away.” “I have an early class tomorrow.” “I have work to do.” “It’s easier to stay here."
At 2 a.m., things finally get interesting. The security guard working the lobby comes into the SAA to tell us that the building is shutting down. If this had been a few hours earlier, people would have been in an uproar, but at this time, most people seem too tired to really care. But, there are a few who are upset, myself included.
We gather around the security guard, and explain that students received e-mails (and those hideous pink flyers around campus) saying that the lobby and SAA are supposed to be open 24 hours.
The security guard doesn’t seem to know quite what to answer with. A few times, I hear her say, “Yeah, I have no idea what’s going on” and “This is so confusing.” Next to her, the midnight security supervisor was explaining to some students that he didn’t know why those e-mails were sent, something about a fire warden not being there, and other non-answers.
On my way out, I ask the security guard on duty what it’s like working the late shift, and she says, “Babe, it’s not easy.”
A few days later, I received an e-mail from Gabrielle Sbano, the Assistant Director of Security, who wrote, “On the night you were present…[the midnight security supervisor] incorrectly interpreted that e-mail to mean that the first floor would be closing this week, and that it would be open 24 hours starting on April 27 as well.”
Sbano added, “I spoke to him the other night and he understands now that the first floor will be open 24 hours a day for students.”
In short: my plan to stay all night was disrupted because a security supervisor couldn’t correctly read a rather simple flyer or e-mail, making students either walk to Bobst if they wanted to continue to work or take the subway at 2 a.m.
Kate Griffin, a member of the USS and one of the students who had to leave the building, told me, “As a newly elected senator, I really feel like the students need to be better represented.”
She added, “The university needs to live up to its promises.”
By the time this article is published, the 24-hour cycle will be in affect for both the SAA and UCC, but on that early Tuesday morning, nearly a dozen students weren’t able to finish their expected stay, their homework, or their wondering of what spending nearly a full day at Arnhold Hall feels like. For shame, New School. For shame.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Last week, Daniel Lanois, producer-extraordinaire, told a Canadian radio station that U2 is working on a new album that'll be out for the fall, with production credit going to him and Brian Eno.
Is it wrong that I'm more excited about Lanois and Eno together than about the actual album they're producing?
Well, no, because U2 is, simply put, the most overrated band of all-time.
There are certain artists and bands that get way too much credit, critically or commercially (I'm looking at you, Elton John). But to be overrated, both of those criteria must be met, meaning critics need to rave about them and they've also got to sell millions of albums.
U2's songs revolve around Bono's howling and his emphasizing every word he sings, Adam Clayton's boring bass lines, Larry Mullen, Jr.'s non-descript drumming, and The Edge's chiming guitar work that sounds good in a arena, but has very little substance or emotion.
In 2004, Rolling Stone called them the 22nd greatest band of all-time (ahead of bands like the Band), and they've sold over 170 million albums worldwide, resulting in higher sales than Bob Dylan by well over 50 million.
But that doesn't mean they don't suck.
Where does this near-universal success come from? I'll admit that I like War but that's because it’s easy to digest. Tracks like "Elevation" and "One" don't require much thought, and sound catchy on the radio. Those songs, and many others in their catalogue, are horribly derivative and haven't introduced any new ideas to rock.
Universal messages of love, peace, and freedom help U2's overrated cause. There are very few instances where something Bono writes makes you stop and think because most of his lyrics are like this: "I threw the dice when they pierced his side/But I've seen love conquer the great divide." Bono is, of course, referring to Jesus, a common theme in his lyrics.
U2 also lucked out and formed at exactly the right time. Their first album, Boy, was released in 1980, a time when good rock 'n' roll was becoming increasingly hard to find on the radio. But just because they filled a void doesn't mean they should be listened to nearly three decades later.
A band also should be measured by whom they’ve inspired, and the bands they’ve inspired include the Killers and Coldplay, who are essentially U2, Part Deux. And terrible.
The next time you hear someone call U2 the "most important and influential band of the post-punk era," as MSNBC.com did, punch them in the face. Or just say to them, as Stan Marsh tells Bono on South Park, "At some point, can't you just kinda…fuck off?"
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
But, outside of that, I'm very happy to report that I bought two tickets to see these wonderful lads from Chicago on August 13 in Brooklyn:
Yes, only a week after my birthday, Nadia and I will be going to see Wilco. With her going to Boston in early-September for grad school, it'll be something to look forward to and a nice near end-of-the-summer activity. After all, I guess if we were to have "a song," it'll probably be "Jesus, Etc." from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot:
Tall buildings shake
Voices escape, singing sad sad songs
Tuned to chords strung down your cheeks
Bitter melodies turning your orbit around
Skyscrapers are scraping together
Your voice is smoking
Last cigarettes are all you can get
Turning your orbit around
Oh, and as long as my Facebook birthday alerts aren't telling me inaccurate information, I'd like to wish a happy birthday to Unkie Ken, the creator of the great Mr. Ken Kurp.
Also born today is Ella Fitzgerald, and also lost this day is the great Bobby "Boris" Pickett, who passed away last year.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
On Tuesday, my friend Kayley and I went to see She & Him at Webster Hall, a band composed of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. I wasn't sure what to expect of the concert, so I was pleasantly surprised of how good it was. Although Zooey couldn't talk between songs (she was sick and didn't want to lose any more of her singing voice), when she was singing, it sounded fantastic. She sounds like a slightly more burlesque Linda Thompson, and I mean that as a compliment. Throughout the set, she was really nervous but still at the peak of the adorable-scale, if such a thing were to exist. Frankly, even if the show had been bad, I would have been happy just to look at her for an hour.
Here are some pictures I took:
Last night, Kayley, my girlfriend Nadia, and I had the pleasure of seeing Michael Showalter at the Upright Citizen's Theater Brigade. He's one of my favorite comedians (mostly because of Stella and Wet Hot American Summer), and one of the very few that I'd pay money to see. After a great show, the three of us waited outside for a few minutes, hoping that Showalter would come out. Thankfully, he did, and I asked if I could get a picture with them. He said yes, and after Nadia took the picture, he also took ones with her and Kayley.
Gotta love New York.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
#5. "Man in the Long Black Coat"
There's smoke on the water, it's been there since June,
Tree trunks uprooted, 'neath the high crescent moon
Feel the pulse and vibration and the rumbling force
Somebody is out there beating the dead horse.
She never said nothing there was nothing she wrote,
She gone with the man
In the long black coat.
#4. "Political World"
We live in a political world
In the cities of lonesome fear,
Little by little you turn in the middle
But you're never why you're here.
#3. "Ring Them Bells"
Ring them bells St. Catherine
From the top of the room,
Ring them from the fortress
For the lilies that bloom.
Oh the lines are long
And the fighting is strong
And they're breaking down the distance
Between right and wrong.
#2. "Most of the Time"
Most of the time
My head is on straight,
Most of the time
I'm strong enough not to hate.
I don't build up illusion 'till it makes me sick,
I ain't afraid of confusion no matter how thick
I can smile in the face of mankind.
Don't even remember what her lips felt like on mine
Most of the time.
#1. "Shooting Star"
Listen to the engine, listen to the bell
As the last fire truck from hell
Goes rolling by, all good people are praying,
It's the last temptation
The last account
The last time you might hear the sermon on the mount,
The last radio is playing.Listen to the engine, listen to the bell
As the last fire truck from hell
Goes rolling by, all good people are praying,
It's the last temptation
The last account
The last time you might hear the sermon on the mount,
The last radio is playing.
Monday, April 21, 2008
When New School students received their fall 2008 course schedule packet, some students were surprised to see the number of TBAs and lack of class times and locations.
"I feel that it's really irresponsible of the school to not have the information we need," said Lang sophomore Terésa Franco. "And the information we get isn't very well organized."
Administrators and faculty acknowledged that the course registration system has been slow, and that this lag has complicated student registration. Administrators point to a myriad of problems behind the system, including late hiring of full-time faculty, a complicated scheduling system, and a lack of classroom space, due to the scheduled demolition of the 65 5th Ave. building in July.
As of press time, the online figures listed 50 courses with TBA as a professor, 24 without a date and or time, and 3 courses with neither. The printed schedule had 36 TBAs, 10 classes without date or time, and 13 classes with neither.
Those figures do not include senior project and ULEC courses.
According to Larry Jackson, Academic Coordinator in the Associate's Dean Office, there are 400-500 courses listed online, including Independent Studies and Senior Work classes.
"We're in the process of hiring full-time faculty," said Associate Dean of Lang Kathleen Breidenbach in an interview. "We're either still negotiating with them, or we're still working on getting information with them, so we might not know days and times."
She added, "They're not in the system, so we can't attach them to the courses."
In the writing department, the TBAs are there mainly "due to the hiring of new full-time professors," Breidenbach said, which includes Marco Roth and Mark Greif.
The New School has been hiring more full-time faculty because of increased revenue and a larger student body, which allows stability with courses being offered semester and after semester, according to Breidenbach.
"I would estimate that we are up to 500 or 600 changes since having first submitted the Schedule Builder," said Jackson, referring to the program used to arrange course information, including professors, dates, times, and credits given.
Jackson added that another complication this year is space issues, due to the 65 5th Ave. building coming down and, as Jackson said, "The University is not trying to obtain additional space for classes until we've shown that we've used all available space."
In separate interviews, both Breidenbach and Jackson advised students to find their courses online, rather than using the paper schedule.
Through all the problems with registering, Breidenbach says that the process is still better than the way Lang used to be six years ago.
"The year before I got here," she said, "everything was done on paper, and all students would gather in Tishman with the faculty, and the faculty would present their courses, with the student's names being called out, and they'd go up and say what their registration choices were."
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I did a Leo's Lyrics search for "Passover," and there were only five songs that showed up. Here they are:
Hannukah ain’t that sober,
So you don’t passed over.
So get your ass over to my pad,
Time it is at hand
Obscure the facts
A passion play
But no Passover is planned
A great renewal growls at hand
And only when they're running
Will they come to understand,
So ends the pitiful reign of Man
-Cradle of Filth
The eye in the triangle smiling with sin
No Passover feast for the cursed within
There was another song called "The Shitagogue" by Grand Belial's Key that I didn't post the lyrics to because they're too offensive even for me.
What terrible, terrible songs. I think I'll stick with a Passover rendition of "Eight Days a Week."
And there's also always this:
But seriously, have a happy Passover everyone.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
It's a giant among clichés
And that's why I want to sing it anyway
Sing me "Happy Birthday"
Only 'cause hell, what's it all about anyway?
You also get this picture of Christian Bale:
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
#5. "The Crane Wife 1 & 2"
We were poorly, our fortunes fading hourly
And how she loved me, she could bring it back
But I was greedy, I was vain and I forced her to weaving
On a cold loom, in a closed room down the hall
#4. "Sons and Daughters"
Take up your arm
Sons and daughters
We will arise from the bunkers
By land, by sea, by dirigible
We'll leave our tracks untraceable now
#3. "The Island: Come and See/The Landlord's Daughter/You'll Not Feel the Drowning"
The tides will come and go
With this bare waking eye
Who rose like the wind
Though we know for sure
Amidst this fading light
We'll not go home again
Come and see
Come and see
#2. "The Crane Wife 3"
And under the boughs unbowed
All clothed in a snowy shroud
She had no heart so hardened
All under the boughs unbowed
#1. "Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)"
When I was a girl how the hills of Oconee
Made a seam to hem me in
There at the fair when our eyes caught, careless
Got my heart right pierced by a pin
But oh, did you see all the dead of Manassas
All the bellies and the bones and the bile
Though I lingered here with the blankets barren
And my own belly big with child
(The Decemberists, and specifically Colin Meloy, are one of the most unique bands out there, and also one of the best. I honestly believe that in 30 years, they'll be one of the few current groups that people will still be listening to in the same way people still listen to Bob Dylan or Neil Young.)
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
When does it become unfair to rate a movie based on its predecessors? Does Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom suffer because of how great Raiders of the Lost Ark is?
More recently, should every movie with Judd Apatow’s name on it be judged against The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Superbad, three nearly perfect contemporary comedies?
In the case of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll find yourself falling victim to “What would Steve Carell/Seth Rogen/Michael Cera have done in this situation?” but luckily, even while wondering that, the film holds its own and its male star, Jason Segel, fits into the role of the Judd Apatow Male fantastically.
The movie tells the tale of TV composer Peter Bretter (Segel of Freaks & Geeks fame, and also wrote the movie’s screenplay) who gets dumped by his actress/girlfriend, the now-famous-name Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell, from the sadly-canceled-before-its-time Veronica Mars). In response, Peter goes to Hawaii looking for relaxation and to get Sarah off his mind, but, of course, she’s staying at the same hotel he is with her Oasis-esque boyfriend (Russell Brand), and the two ex-lovers compete throughout.
But while staying at the hotel, Peter falls for another woman, Rachel Jansen (Mila Kunis), and the competition goes to a whole other level, including a very literal sexcapades competition.
Bell, Kunis (who has never looked more attractive) and Brand each play their role well, but it’s Segel who plays it best. Whether rocking out in sweatpants yelling Gandalf quotes or singing a very heartfelt rendition of “Dracula’s Lament” from his Dracula musical with puppets (the highlight of the film), you really feel for Segel in the same way you felt for his character on Freaks & Geeks, Nick Andopolis. He’s never annoying in his pity, and is an actor who can do both comedy and drama very well.
Segel also delivers a mostly solid script with only a few mistakes along the way, like a regrettable scene involving two characters humping chess pieces and just one too many penis jokes (a sentence I never thought I’d utter either). But the bad is forgotten with all the good, especially with all the scenes from the show Peter and Sarah work on, Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime (be sure to stay during the credits to see another clip with Bell and Jason Bateman, from the amazing Arrested Development).
At times, Marshall can also feel a bit too conventional; Sarah’s character is obviously not right for Peter, of course they’d be staying in the same hotel, and some of the characters are a little shallow and seem just thrown into the mix. The film also occasionally lingers over to Rom-Com at territory, but stays mostly away from that most unfortunate of genres, due to the much-needed vulgarity of it (Bill Hader: “You don’t need to put your P in a V right now” Jason Segel: “No, I need to B my L on someone’s T’s.”)
Like most any Apatow show or movie, there’s a fantastic supporting cast, including Paul Rudd, former New School student Jonah Hill, the great Bill Hader from SNL, 30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer and, for all fans of Undeclared, another show starring Segel and created by Apatow, Lizzie makes a much-appreciated appearance.
Maybe viewers have come to expect a movie with Judd Apatow’s name attached to it to be great, with the success both critically and financially of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Superbad. But while Sarah Marshall is good, it’s not great.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Nostalgia is just plain weird. It can make boring things seem interesting, and interesting things seem boring, and music benefits greatly from it because it's easy to romanticize. Maybe that’s why, for current and recent college students, there seems to be almost an obsession with music from the 1990s.
While bands like Sugar Ray, Will Smith and Marcy Playground might not make it onto anyone's Favorite Music list on Facebook, everyone between the ages of 18-25 knows "Fly," "Getting’ Jiggy Wit It" and "Sex and Candy," possibly the most popular songs for those three bands.
Why is that? It's because we lived through it. While we can only fantasize about the 1960s while listening to the Who, we can distinctly remember being on a school bus to middle school and hearing "My Heart Will Go On" on the radio.
Or maybe that's just me.
I've been to countless parties where "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M. got people singing. I can't count the number of times a discussion about Oasis' "Wonderwall" has come up. And don't even get me started on "Two Princes" by the Spin Doctors…
The romanticizing of music by decade is quite the phenomenon. While the 1960s had some of the greatest bands of all time (the Beatles, the Stones, etc.), people forget that the decade also produced some absolute dreck like the Archies and Donovan. The same goes for the '90s, for while there were some great, influential bands worth remembering like Sonic Youth, Pavement and Radiohead, let's not forget that the following bands and artists also had their glory then: C & C Music Factory, Sixpence None the Richer, Dee-Lite, S Club 7, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch and, of course, blink-182.
It doesn't seem possible to idealize the group that wrote "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)," but it's not so much about the song as it is remembering the song during elementary or middle school.
Vh1 recently came up with a list (surprise, surprise) of the greatest songs from 1990s, with "Smells like Teen Spirit" at the top, followed by "One" and "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys, "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston, and Madonna's "Vogue" rounding out the top five. While I admit the occasional guilty pleasure for those BSB songs, none of those choices are particularly musically relevant (or good) outside of "Teen Spirit.” But they do showcase the two genres that the ‘90s will be remembered for: pop and grunge rock.
While not my favorite musical decade (on a Five Best list, it'd be fourth), I do have a strong emotional attachment to the ‘90s. It's partially due to the quality of some bands, but it's mostly because I can remember being there.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
This past week, Bob Dylan won a Pulitzer and had a profile about his Theme Time Radio Hour in Vanity Fair. What a week!
Well, I doubt he cares about the Pulitzer (and frankly, neither do I), but the article in Vanity is an impressive account of how many times Dylan has played certain artists on his radio show (George Jones leads the pack with nine, while Tom Waits has eight), and the lessons learned if you listen to the show, like How to Hang Drywall.
The article also has some of Dylan's best Theme Time quotes, including:
“All of our shows are for truckers, if not about truckers.”
“The harmonica is the world’s best-selling musical instrument. You’re welcome.”
Re: Howlin’ Wolf, “This next song is entirely without flaw and meets all the supreme standards of excellence.”
“I always liked songs with parentheses in the title.”
Re: Leadbelly, “One of the few ex-cons who recorded a popular children’s album.”
“John Lee...one of those guys that always sounds better without a band. Thirteen bars here, eleven bars there, nine there. Doesn’t matter to him. Nobody can do more with less than John Lee Hooker.”
“I don’t trust a man who doesn’t tear up a little watching Old Yeller.”
Thanks for those, Bob.
Friday, April 11, 2008
#5. "Satellite of Love"
I've been told that you've been bold
With Harry, Mark and John
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday to Thursday
With Harry, Mark and John
When I watch you come, baby, I just want to run far away
You're not the kind of person around I want to stay
When I see you walking down the street
I step on your hands and I mangle your feet
You're not the kind of person that I want to meet
Baby, oh you're so vicious, you're so vicious
#3. "Andy's Chest"
Yesterday, Daisy Mae and Biff were grooving down the street
And just like in a movie, her hands became her feet
Her belly button was her mouth
Which meant she tasted what she’d speak
But the funny thing is what happened to her nose
It grew until it reached all of her toes
Now, when people say her feet smell, they mean her nose
#2. "Hangin' 'Round"
Cathy was a bit surreal, she painted all her toes
And on her face she wore dentures clamped tightly to her nose
And when she finally spoke her twang her glasses broke
And no one else could smoke while she was in the room
#1. "Perfect Day"
Just a perfect day
You made me forget myself
I thought I was
Someone else, someone good
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
This year, the Mets allowed fans to vote for what should be the new song, and here were the choices:
As you can see from the “Other” choice, there’s already a filled in selection, courtesy of Gothamist: “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. Here’s what I wrote about Astley’s video for that song in August:
One of the great two-hit wonders (thank you, reader) from the 1980s would have to be Rick Astley. While that name might not ring a bell, his picture probably will. His hit was "Never Gonna Give You Up" and the most striking thing about it is that...he sounds black. Yes, the pasty, ginger kid sounds like a black soul singer—one with a limited amount of rhythm, but it's still rather impressive.
The websites FARK.com and Digg.com launched a campaign to get “Never Gonna Give You Up” to be the Shea Stadium choice, and they’ve gotten over five million people to vote for it. That’s very impressive—even if most of them aren’t Mets fans, but rather fans of Astley and the Rickroll, which Wikipedia describes as:
“A prank and Internet meme involving the music video for the 1987 Rick Astley song "Never Gonna Give You Up". In a rickroll, a person provides a link they claim is relevant to the topic at hand which actually takes the user to the Astley video. It can also mean playing the song loudly in public in order to be disruptive. A person who falls for the prank is said to be "rickrolled". In some cases, this term is also used to describe a person who merely hears the song.”
During today's opening day (the final at Shea Stadium), they'll play Astley's tune before the eighth, followed by “Living on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi tomorrow, “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees on Thursday, Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out” on Friday, “Sweet Caroline” on Saturday, and “Build Me Up Buttercup” on Sunday.
None of those songs do much for me, but in terms of guilty pleasures (especially when singing along with 50,000 other Mets fans), I voted for, what else?, "Never Gonna Give You Up."
Monday, April 7, 2008
Here's a post from Noter, one of my favorite blogs by one of my favorite people, Peter Holslin:
Josh Kurp, Five Best impresario and Copy Chief for [the] New School Free Press (ooh, and contender for next year's Editor-in-Chief), just e-mailed me and some others an mp3 of "Good Ship Venus," a delightful and bawdy sailor's tune. Going by title alone, the song struck me as the precursor to Shirley Temple's "On the Good Ship, Lollipop." Kurp wrote back, "Peter, Peter, Peter, if you knew anything about Shirley Temple, you'd know the 'Good Ship Lollipop' refers to an airplane." True, true! I saw the video! But you see, that only proves my point further - here we see the modern "Good Ship Venus" of the industrial age, naturally sapped of its original aura (i.e. sex on the boat). Thoughts?
Here's "Good Ship Venus," also known as "Friggin' on the Riggin'," and here's "Good Ship Lollipop." I posted Peter's entry from yesterday in order to hear opinions from all over the "blogosphere," as it has come to be known.
I'm proud to say that I've never seen a film with Shirley Temple in it (although I did see the episode of The Simpsons where Shirley Temple gets eaten by King Kong while she's singing, what else?, "Good Ship Lollipop"), and that I can find the verse below hilarious:
The captain's wife was Charlotte,
Born and bred a harlot,
Her thighs at night were lily white,
By morning they were scarlet.
For what it's worth, the Sex Pistols did a cover of "Friggin'," which can be found here. It's not that great, but I like how they change the song's melody. And pretty much everything about the song.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
A few weeks ago, my Modern Jewish Literature played this song by A. Lebedeff and A. Olshanetsky during class, and it left quite the impression on me. I had no idea what was being said until the professor showed us the lyrics, but damn, with vocals like those, who needs to understand what's being said?
Saturday, April 5, 2008
#5. "Sister Morphine"
Well it just goes to show
Things are not what they seem
Please, Sister Morphine, turn my nightmares into dreams
Oh, can't you see I'm fading fast?
And that this shot will be my last
#4. "I Got the Blues"
As I sit by the fire
Of your warm desire
I've got the blues for you, yeah
I'm feeling drunk, juiced up and sloppy
Ain't touched a drink all night
I'm feeling hungry, can't see the reason
Just ate a horse meat pie
#2. "Dead Flowers"
Take me down little Susie, take me down
I know you think you're the queen of the underground
And you can send me dead flowers every morning
Send me dead flowers by the mail
Send me dead flowers to my wedding
And I won't forget to put roses on your grave
#1. "Wild Horses"
I watched you suffer a dull aching pain
Now you decided to show me the same
No sweeping exits or offstage lines
Could make me feel bitter or treat you unkind
Friday, April 4, 2008
David Hinckley of the Daily News today posted his list of the 12 best Rolling Stones songs, in honor of the release of Scorsese's new documentary, Shine a Light. It looks like this:
1. "It's All Over Now"
2. "Wild Horses"
3. "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
4. "The Last Time"
5. "No Expectations"
6. "Play With Fire"
7. "The Spider and the Fly"
8. "Dead Flowers"
10. "Tumbling Dice"
11. "Dear Doctor"
12. "She Said Yeah"
It's quite refreshing to see a Stones' list that doesn't include "Satisfaction" or "Brown Sugar," which are both good songs but not great ones either.
In response, here are my Ten Best...Rolling Stones' songs:
1. “Wild Horses”
2. “Sympathy for the Devil”
3. “Paint It Black”
4. “Gimme Shelter”
5. “Let It Bleed”
6. “Dead Flowers”
7. “Loving Cup”
8. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
9. “Mother’s Little Helpers”
10. “The Spider and the Fly”
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Preserving the old ways from being abused
Protecting the new ways for me and for you
What more can we do?
There are very few lyrics in rock 'n' roll that are better and more chilling than Ray Davies' in "The Village Green Preservation Society." They mean as much as now as they did 1968—although I can't really imagine how much of a shock it must have been when the Kinks' Village Green came out, due to how different it sounds from their previous material like "You Really Got Me" (although there was a sign of their changing style with songs like "Waterloo Sunset,” another of the finest rock songs ever). I suppose said shock must have been similar to the one given by Bob Dylan with the release of John Wesley Harding, almost exactly a year before.
Instead of indulging on overblown rock, the Kinks (and Dylan, for that matter) took themselves back to a place where they were asking God to "save little shops, china cups and virginity." Not very rock 'n' roll, but the Kinks were in the for long haul, meaning that their albums sound better and less dated now than most from that time period.
While all of Village Green is fantastic, the truly standout songs are the title track, "Picture Book," and "Village Green." The last of those songs shouldn't be confused with "Preservation Society," although they do have similar themes.
In "Village Green," Davies sings:
And now all the houses are rare antiquities
American tourists flock to see the Village Green
They snap their photographs and say, "Gawd darn it,
Isn't it a pretty scene?"
Again, it's a song about the preservation of the old, a rare theme in rock. But it goes to show that Ray Davies (and the rest of the Kinks) could write a song for the ages about the ages.
That's something to preserve.
Five Best…Songs from The Village Green Preservation Society
#5. “Johnny Thunder”
Though everybody tried their best,
Old Johnny vowed that he would never, ever end up like the rest.
Johnny Thunder rides the highway, moves like lightning.
But sweet Helena just says, "God bless Johnny."
#4. “People Take Pictures of Each Other”
You can't picture love that you took from me,
When we were young and the world was free.
Pictures of things as they used to be,
Don't show me no more, please.
#3. “Picture Book”
A picture of you in your birthday suit,
You sat in the sun on a hot afternoon.
Picture book, your mama and your papa, and fat old Uncle Charlie
Out boozing with their friends.
Picture book, a holiday in August,
Outside a bed and breakfast in sunny Southend.
Picture book, when you were just a baby, those days when you were happy,
A long time ago
#2. “Village Green”
I miss the Village Green,
And all the simple people.
I miss the Village Green,
The church, the clock, the steeple.
I miss the morning dew, fresh air and Sunday school.
#1. “The Village Green Preservation Society”
We are the Village Green Preservation Society
God save Donald Duck, Vaudeville and Variety
We are the Desperate Dan Appreciation Society
God save strawberry jam and all the different varieties