Month: August 2007

Why Should Pleasures Be Guilty?

Why Should Pleasures Be Guilty?

Rants
I think the term "guilty pleasure" is one that gets thrown around way too often, and should be officially retired from the lexicon. And the reason is this - if you like a band, song, movie, whatever...then why feel guilty about it? And do you really feel guilty at all? Do you lock your doors and close the blinds before watching your Facts of Life DVDs? Do you carefully check your surroundings like someone in the Witness Protection Program before blasting Right Said Fred on your car stereo? "Guilty pleasure" is more often than not a euphemism for "I know objectively that this is trash and that people cooler than me would look down on me for enjoying it, but I want to watch/read/listen to it anyway." I say nuts to that. Low quality does not equal low value. How else to explain the suc...
Less talk, more mop: Sassy domestic servants in TV history

Less talk, more mop: Sassy domestic servants in TV history

TV & Radio
Maids. Butlers. Housekeepers. Whatever name they go by, the landscape of TV history is full of memorable ones. But what usually makes them memorable is not their acumen with a broom or their skill with a can of Pledge. No, what we remember them for are being the perfect foils to poke holes in the well-to-do bosses' egos, while providing catharsis for legions of viewers with at least a bit of class envy. Benson DuBois (Soap/Benson) - The urbane and tidy Benson DuBois got his start as a butler on Soap, before moving into the governor's mansion on his own self-titled show in 1979. And let's face it - when the show is named after you, and you are somebody's servant, the wisecracks will surely fly. But after spending six years cleaning up for Governor Gatling (a George W. Bush protot...
Can you see the real me?

Can you see the real me?

Blogstuff
For those who enjoy this blog, but find yourselves wanting a little more insight into what makes the man behind the suit tick, I offer you my LiveJournal. Thrill to tales of my everyday life! Marvel at just how drab my days can be! Vomit from the sheer tedium!
Lay off the prognosticating, Rog.

Lay off the prognosticating, Rog.

Movies
Here's a quote from Roger Ebert's review of the 1986 classic Lucas, co-starring a budding talent by the name of Corey Haim: Lucas is played by Corey Haim, who was Sally Field's son in "Murphy's Romance," and he does not give one of those cute little boy performances that get on your nerves. He creates one of the most three-dimensional, complicated, interesting characters of any age in any recent movie. If he can continue to act this well, he will never become a half-forgotten child star, but will continue to grow into an important actor. He is that good." Oops. (props to jefitoblog for bringing this Nostradamus-esque tidbit to light)
When is a band/artist past their sell-by date?

When is a band/artist past their sell-by date?

Music
Anyone who has seen a performance by a band that's been around for at least 10 years or so has witnessed the following - one of the members says something along the lines of "this next one is off our new album" and half the audience either sits down or heads for the beer lines. Once in awhile, the crowd will become openly hostile and start booing any new material (this happened to Genesis during their Duke tour). So when does this transformation take place? At what point in a band's career do fans stop being receptive to new stuff? Is there anything an artist can do to prevent this? I've seen Rush a ton of times over the last 17 years and they seem to do a pretty good job of it, mostly because they consistently feature new material in their set lists. But during the last show I saw...
Swimming (drowning?) in music

Swimming (drowning?) in music

Music
Sorry for the lack of content this month - as I mentioned in my last post I've been in a serious music acquisition mode of late. Thanks to the wonders of this intarnets thing I've been opened up to whole new vistas of tuneage, and it's been delightful. Thanks to Thom and great music sites/blogs like Stereogum I have been deluged with great stuff to listen to. In addition to the aforementioned Cold War Kids, Backyard Tire Fire, Hold Steady, and Tapes 'n Tapes I have also been checking out: Caribou - Andorra A few Spoon albums Goes Cube - nice hard stuff minus the Cookie Monster vocals The Fiery Furnaces - Stereogum has an .mp3 for a new song called "Ex-Guru" that is excellent. The New Pornographers Georgie James - Two new songs, "Cake Parade" and "Need Your Needs," are some...
Bands I am currently digging on

Bands I am currently digging on

Music
Once in a while I fall into a bit of a rut with my music and get the urge to strike out and discover some new bands or some new styles. And by "new" I mean "new to me." The last time I did this was about 6 years ago when I started seriously developing an affinity for jazz. That period bore a lot of fruit and allowed me to get into groups/acts that have really had an impact on me, such as Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery and many others. This time I decided to delve into so-called "indie" music. I made an earlier attempt around 1998 but didn't really get too much out of it. I was a bit turned off by the shoddy production values I heard on many of the records I sampled, and quite honestly found a lot of it rather boring. I won't name any of those bands here for fear of gettin...
Monday cheeriness

Monday cheeriness

Rants
Starting today, you all have my permission to kick the shins of the following people: Drivers at the front of the line who dawdle when the light turns green, then attempt to overcompensate by speeding. Anyone who does a slow clap after hearing an amusing/entertaining anecdote in public, as if to signal everyone around them that they just missed out on a super awesome story. People who feel compelled to post some variant of "First!" to start a message board comment thread. Fast food workers who can't grasp the idea that "no onions" does not really mean "as many onions as possible." Geniuses at the grocery store who bring 20+ items to the express self-checkout areas and justify it by saying that 10 identical cans of beans really are one item.
Extreme Makeover: Band Edition – Journey

Extreme Makeover: Band Edition – Journey

Music
The Problem: How does a band that has been around for more than 30 years and is more than 20 years past its commercial peak stay relevant? Well for Journey, it ain't easy. Life after Steve Perry has been rough for the group, which is currently without a lead singer. Except for the recent popular buzz generated by the use of "Don't Stop Believin'" in the series finale of The Sopranos, Journey's role is now limited playing old hits to a small core of devoted fans. The Solution: A makeover is just what this group needs to shed its image as washed-up corporate rockers! And that makeover starts with the name, because like it or not, "Journey" is primarily thrown around as an insult outside of fan circles. As in, "Man, after David Lee Roth left Van Halen they turned into Journey", "...