Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"We're men, we're not piñatas!"

That's one of my favorite Owen Wilson quotes, among many favorites.

In light of his current situation however, it has an ironicly dark undertone as well.

Man, maybe I'm a great big sap, but this whole thing with him is really bumming me out.

As someone who is also generally an upbeat and fun-loving person, I know first-hand that it can be really awful when something in your life brings you down. Hell, it happened to me just the other day. I was having a great time this past weekend, just having fun, dancing, letting it all hang down. And then one person did one stupid thing, and I've pretty much felt like shit for the past three days as a result. Normally, this stupid thing was the kind of gesture that would have bounced right off me, but that time, it stuck. Nothing I can do about it either, because I would if I could. You just have to ride it out and hope for the best.

At any rate, I'm just saying I understand how a supposed funnyman could also reach an incredible low. What goes up must come down. Eventually.

And I feel bad for the guy. As much as I can't fathom the exact forces that drove him to the drastic actions he's taken, I also can't imagine how much shit he's going to have to wade through just to move on from this point. The whole thing kind of reminds me of a really amazing (and devastatingly sad) Elliott Smith song called "The Last Hour." Though most people know him as a "sad sack," he was also a notoriously funny person and could even be very silly amongst his friends and with his devoted fans. But of course, he eventually met a very tragic end by similar means as Owen Wilson has attempted. The parallels in situations like this can be startling, particularly when you consider this verse:

I've been thinking of the things that I missed
Situations that I passed up for this
One way love I took for ours
I'm through trying now, it's a big relief
I'll be staying down, I wasn't good at being a thief
More like a clown
Make it over

Anyway, I hope, somehow, Mr. Wilson pulls through all this. The world's a funnier place with him in it, that's for sure.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

For the Two of You Who Actually Care

For the record, in reference to my previous post, I think "Magic" is a gawd awful name for an album.

They couldn't even add a "The Gathering" at the end? Nothing? Just.... Magic?

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Boss Is Coming Back, So Look Busy

Do you believe in magic? No?

How about Magic, with a capital "M", the new album coming this fall from Bruce Springsteen?

I know I certainly do - I read about it on the internets! And you can read all about it HERE.

It's due out on October 2nd, and I'm sure the crazy maniac will probably tour until the following Memorial Day. And I will go to see that crazy maniac!

Here's the tracklist, so you can set your SoulSeek wishlist up in advance:

1. Radio Nowhere
2. You'll Be Comin' Down
3. Livin' in the Future
4. Your Own Worst Enemy
5. Gypsy Biker
6. Girls in Their Summer Clothes
7. I'll Work for Your Love
8. Magic
9. Last to Die
10. Long Walk Home
11. Devil's Arcade

Am I the only one who's bummed that we won't get to hear Bruce sing a song called "Girls in Their Summer Clothes" until October? Damn, that's gonna get me all angsty. And if you read this blog regularly, you know I don't need any help in that department.

Oh well. In the meantime, just gaze upon the awesomeness of Bruce in his press photo clothes:

That guy is as old as my dad!!! How is it possible he's still so cool and my dad wears purple shirts that he wins at golf tournaments that have dog food sponsor's names stitched on them?

I remain baffled.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

And For Dinner: Sautéed Bald Eagle In A Freedom Reduction

You have to admit, there's something so right (and by that, I of course mean horribly wrong) about Karl Rove going dove hunting after announcing his departure from the White House yesterday.

You know, doves? The internationally acknowledged symbol for peace, love and understanding? Makes sense that Manboobs the Destroyer would want to shoot them to pieces.

Well, now he's got muthafucking P to the E to the T&A (PETA for short) on his ass! And with a target that big, he better watch out or they'll pop an all-vegan, torture-free, green-friendly cap in it.

(By the way, get it, 'Freedom reduction'? Because he's an evil tyrant who has helped to destroy America for the past 6.5+ years! And reduction is also a kind of sauce! Tee hee!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Honestly Mate, You Look Sterling!

To celebrate today's beautiful news, I'd like to share the following clip with ye's, mates. It's from a film called This Is England and, to quote the scene you're about to watch, it's "absolutely brilliant." (Granted, it's not always a pretty picture, and it does deal with some sinister concepts, but so does life, doesn't it?)

Check out this link for background info on the film, pictures, etc. It takes place in the UK, during the Thatcher administration and The Falklands War (which feels eerily like our current American situation). Click these links if that doesn't mean anything to you, because it definitely pays to know the back story before you go see this.

Alright then, mate, let's see yer Ben Sherman, then, go on!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I Might Just As Well Have Looked Up The Word "Irony" In The Dictionary

So recently, I visited a sleep expert to figure out what the hell is wrong with me. I'm up at all hours, get really tired during the day, and exercise (which seems to work for most people) does no good either - I ran 4 miles today! I'm writing this at 2:23 AM!

I just got my bill for the session, which also included a diagnosis - something I hadn't expected.

So imagine the face I made when I looked up hypersomnia - my diagnosis.

At 2:23 AM, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

As Usual, The Onion Says It Best

I'm with you, Ed Albaugh.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Ted Leo: It's Alright, You're O.K.

I found out this week that one of my all time heroes, Mr. Ted Leo, is going through some hard times right now. Earlier this week, he canceled a tour date in Cleveland so he could be back home in New England with his loved ones. Apparently someone very close to him is undergoing chemotherapy and the sessions just began this week, hence the cancellation.

Trooper that he is, Ted was back on the road again right after, playing Lollapalooza yesterday in Chicago. I don't think I'd be able to do that, but that's why the dude is my hero, I suppose.

I've been listening to Ted, in some form or another, since I was in high school. He's played as a solo act, but also in a ton of bands like Chisel (one of my favorites ever), The Sin Eaters, The Secret Stars, The Spinanes, The Pharmacists (before that name was adapted by his backing band), Citizen's Arrest, Animal Crackers - the guy's been busy all his life!

I've seen Ted's career skyrocket in the past few years however, and he deserves every drop of recognition and popularity he gets. When I found out about a year ago that he was playing a show opening for Death Cab For Cutie at Madison Square Garden, I was flabbergasted. Ted? Didn't I see him play at McCormick's bar in New Brunswick when I was in college, and then buy him a drink? Didn't I see him play at a church once in my hometown and then talk to him for about 15 minutes about one of the opening bands? Yes, that's the same guy. Incredible.

Although I've had admittedly limited interactions with the guy, what I have observed speaks volumes:
  • Ted always checks out the opening bands at his shows - how many musicians do you know who do that? It's perhaps a small thing, but a big deal, and I've always respected that.
  • I once watched him wait in line to re-enter his own show, because he wasn't going to cut off any of the fans who were waiting in line. Again, a small thing, but the kind of small thing that makes a difference.
  • He'll talk to anyone, he's completely unpretentious and approachable. That's a nice feature in a hero. I've spoken to him several times, sometimes at great length, and he's just a cool, regular dude. And very funny! Case in point - look at this photo!

  • He's constantly working to keep his fanbase in the know about important social and political issues, but never in a preachy way. I once read he was considering being a teacher if/when he retired from music, and that makes perfect sense. His students will probably have no idea how cool their English professor is, which makes me chuckle.
  • His music is a constant source of inspiration, positivity and energy. He is the yin to Elliott Smith's yang (my other musical hero). I challenge anyone who is having a bad day to listen to the Chisel song "It's Alright, You're O.K." and still have a frown by the end. It can't be done!
Here's a photo someone once took of Ted and put up on a Ted fan site called Timorous Me. If I recall correctly, the girl in the picture's boyfriend was stationed in Iraq, and a big Ted fan. So he obliged to this great photo:

I recently read this on another blog, talking about Ted, and I think it sums him up perfectly:
"Ted Leo is a great guy. I don't really even know him that well, and I consider him a good friend. We only met for the first time this past May."

I couldn't agree more. And having seen too many people go through cancer and chemo in my own life, I know how difficult it can be. In the off chance that Ted or someone close to him ever reads this post, I just want to extend my best wishes to his family and that this difficult time soon comes to and end, with everyone happy, healthy and strong.

After all the good stuff Ted's music has done for me over the years, I'd just like to show some support for him now. Hearing some good, funny, positive news goes a long way when you're in a situation like that.

So I guess if you have a particularly cool Ted story you'd like to share, or if you'd like to send him some good vibes, please leave a comment on this post and I will send it on to him.

Thanks all!