Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hipster Haikus: Blogs, etc.

On Stereogum...

Where I go to read
About Lindsay Lohan and
K-Fed. Popozoa.

On Pitchfork...

Reviews that read like
Doctoral disertations.
Quite Promethean.

On Bloggers Destroying Bands They Love...

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah,
Cold War Kids. Fallen heroes.
Watch out for the dogs.

Baltimore: Bar Fights, Bad Manners and Beatles

Went to Baltimore last week to visit Matt and Allison. Reminded me why I miss my Maryland driver's license.

Highlights include...

Getting stuck in the middle of a BigTen fight at ESPN Zone, when a Penn State fan and Michigan fan went at it during the Ohio State/Michigan game. Two opposing fans on both sides of me and Matt. It kinda played out like this:

Michigan Fan: "Why are you wearing Penn State gear? Your team SUCKS."
Penn State Fan: "Talk to me when your team wins. Did you even go to Michigan?"
M: "I don't have to go there to be a fan."
P: "Did you even go to college?"
M: "No, I'm a fan -- fuck off."
P: "Did you even play football?"
M: "In high school."
P: "High school... ha. Whatever."
M: "Did you?"
P: "Yes."
M: "Where at?"
P: "The Naval Academy."
M: "Then... shut the fuck up -- you, and your girl too."
P: "That girl happens to be my wife. Wanna take this outside?"
M: (drunk pause)
P: (gets up and stands behind M) "Let's go outside and settle this, punk."

Luckily, Michigan Fan had a (more) sober friend who realized that fighting a Naval Academy graduate was probably a lost cause. Especially when he is a Penn State fan (I'm biased). And especially since Michigan was losing the game.

Perhaps the most uncomfortable moment of recent times. That is, until 2 hours later when we went to dinner in Little Italy...

A bunch of Ravens fans and their wives were treating the place like a bar... getting their own drinks and bypassing the waitress... singing "New York, New York" at the top of their lungs... the host told them they were too drunk for a nice restaurant and that they were ruining the experience of other customers. The Chief Ravens Fan then tried to kick the crap out of the owner and his buddies. The valet worker called the cops on them when Chief Ravens Fan tried to beat him up (he refused to give them their car keys). The valet worker came in to see the owner, who was sitting at a table with two attractive women. "Cops gave him a nice pair of bracelets" (read: "Haha, he's in the back of the squadcar!").

Meanwhile, as fights broke out left and right, the sweet piano man was coming around asking for requests. I told him I liked the Beatles and he played "Here Comes the Sun," "Michelle," "Hey Jude," "Something," and "Let It Be" -- just for me.

There's something about harbor towns like Baltimore... they have a different kind of character and composition than other towns... nice to pay a visit once in awhile and get away from the landlocked city of Atlanta.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Nothing Short of Thankful

Here are the things I am thankful for this (day after) Thanksgiving 2006:

1) My supportive family
2) My friends, coworkers, church community & roommate
3) Good health
4) Blessings I do not deserve but nonetheless receive
5) Having a (cool) job
6) Flying Biscuits
7) Our troops
8) The neighbor who sold me all of her art supplies valued at $580 for just $50
9) Beautiful weather
10) The people who kept breaking into my car but never stole it (thanks)
11) Music, especially The Shins' new album and how awesome it is
12) My college education, which I come to appreciate more and more each day
13) The performance of my fantasy football team, Buckhead Trophy Wives
14) "The Office," especially John Krasinski aka Jim
15) Theme nights and Lauren's kitty (which she lets me play with)

So many other things to be thankful for, but that's a good start. Hope you all enjoyed the day and have plenty of things to be thankful for, too.


A Lyfe Less Ordinary

I'm currently back in the DC area, doing vacation-like things: running, working on a number of writing projects and catching up on movies (today's selections: "Pretty in Pink," "Prime," "Happy Gilmore," and "Scent of a Woman").

My family is a small unit -- just four of us -- and my mother has Thanksgiving dinner preparations down pat. That made for a errand-filled Thursday. With most of the work was done ahead of time, my sister went clothes shopping and my dad went to work down in the District.

I haven't been answering my phone much since I got back, so when my dad came home later in the day, he asked "Did you get my message?"

"No, my phone was on silent."

"I wondered if you'd heard of this guy visiting my building." Dad explained that it was a rapper or musician. He arrived with his crew in a tour bus that said "SEX" across it. "Can't remember his name. Listen to the message."

Hmm. A rapper/musician singing about sex... that narrows the field... who could it be???

In the message Dad said there was a website listed on the bus --

"Oh, Lyfe Jennings," I said. Sure enough, he was playing at DAR Constitution Hall the next day.

Understandably, Dad was worried about his company hosting a group of men driving around the country in a bus that advertises "SEX" (Jenning's single). "He isn't a criminal or anything is he?"

"He collaborated with Lionel Richie, so I don't think so." Remembering that Lionel is Nicole's dad, though, I thought to check out the website. After reading Lyfe's PR bio, I said:

"Well, he was a criminal but 'Even while Lyfe's body was held prisoner for ten years behind steel bars and concrete, his mind and soul were free, the power of his imagination opening the gates to the world outside the penitentiary.'"

"Oh. He was wearing heart socks and camo pants," Dad said. "But we made him move the bus."

Guess it's true what they say... you can't judge a book (or bus) by its cover.

Just another day in a less-than-glamorous-but-certainly-interesting suburban town.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

My Favorite Albums of 2006, etc.

Oh boy, oh boy! I love this time of the year! I make playlists in preparation... I debate with others... I listen to albums numerous times to rank them in the appropriate order. So here you go...

My Favorite Albums of 2006:

1. Josh Ritter, The Animal Years
2. Mates of State, Bring It Back
3. The Decemberists, Crane Wife
4. Pete Yorn, Nightcrawler
5. Joseph Arthur, Nuclear Daydream

6. Anathallo, Floating World
7. Phoenix, It's Never Been Like That
8. The Rapture, Pieces of the People We Love
9. The Killers, Sam's Town
10. Snow Patrol, Eyes Open (I liked the band before Chasing Cars, I swear!)

11. John Legend, Once Again
12. Gomez, How We Operate
13. Long Winters, Putting the Days to Bed
14. Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
15. Eric Bachmann, To the Races

16. Beirut, Gulag Orkestar
17. Damien Jurado, And Now That I'm In Your Shadow
18. Manchester Orchestra, I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child
19. TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
20. KT Tunstall, Eye to the Telescope

21. The Roots, Game Theory
22. Midlake, The Trials of Van Occupanther
23. The Weepies, Say I Am You
24. Muse, Black Holes & Revelations
25. Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope

(I also like the Kate York, Ben Kweller, and T.I. albums but don't know where to rank them)

Inevitably, I'll spend more time with some albums in 2007 and wish I'd put them on this list in 2006. Case in point:

Albums I Overlooked in 2005 and Can't Get Enough of in 2006:

Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary
Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, Jacksonville City Nights
Andrew Bird, Mysterious Production of Eggs
Antony & the Johnsons, I Am a Bird Now
Brandi Carlile, Brandi Carlile
The Go! Team, Thunder Lightning Strike
Sigur Ros, Takk...

Hooray for music.

("I'm Just Not Into The Hold Steady") Caren

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Why I Won't Watch the News Anymore

Bigger Threat: Asian Tsunami or Tom "Crazy" Cruise?

Yesterday I was at the gym and Headline News was on. The anchor announced "BREAKING NEWS" -- a 16" wave hit Japan, signaling a tsunami threat. But the anchor didn't get very far into the report. "We'll have more news as it is available."

The next story? Britney Spears' prenup and K-Fed's sex tape.
The story after that? Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' wedding.
The story after that? Parents beating each other at a pee-wee football game (complete with amateur footage).

Those things qualify as "headline news"? What about the President's trip to Asia, or the standoff over North Korea's nuclear weapons program? Iraq? Or Abramoff going to jail? Lame-duck session in Congress?

Some other things that made me sad at the state of the media and people in general...

Right after Daniel Smith died in the Bahamas and Anna Nicole Smith was all over the news, a poll was televised. It asked, "Do you feel sorry for Anna Nicole Smith?" ... 50% of respondents said "Yes," and 50% of respondents said "No."

Wow. I'm shocked that 1) someone would ask that question, 2) people voted on it, and 3) that 50% of Americans don't feel sorry for the TrimSpa trainwreck who just lost her son.

I hoped things would get better when I watched ABC Evening News. Nope. They ran a whole segment on the TomKat wedding. Another station called the TomKat wedding "the biggest event the world has seen this year." Unless they're sending me an invitation, I don't care (I mean, Oprah wasn't even invited!).

Maybe the news is so bad these days that America don't want to deal with it. Maybe America wants to be distracted by K-Fed and Dancing With the Stars. As John Lennon once sang, "Living is easy with eyes closed..."

Guess I'll keep getting my news from Stewart and Colbert.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Hipster Haikus: Wes Anderson

My old roomie, Sarah, doesn't like Wes Anderson or his movies (that she's never watched). In fact, here's a conversation we once had:

Sarah: What does Karl [the krazy squirrel] have in common with wes anderson movies??--> they both bite! AHAHAHAHAHA!

CK: Whatever, dude, don't let the hipsters hear you compare Wes Anderson to a rabid squirrel... that's their hero you're talking about.

Sarah: Wes Anderson's so stupid, he thought a Quarterback was a refund! AHAHAHAHAHA!

Harsh, right? So when she read the haikus, she challenged me to write about her and Wes. So here's to you, Sarah -- go rent Rushmore.

Hipster Haiku #14:

Georgetown Law students
Know Wes Anderson movies
Like they know their torts.

Hipster Haiku #15:

The man invented
Max Fischer and Pagoda.
Creative genius!

Hipster Haiku #16:

Owen, Luke and Bill.
His preferred actors. His friends.
Can you top that, Black?

Hipster Haiku #17:

The Life Aquatic.
"Out here we call them pirates."
Rest in peace Kingsley.

Hipster Haiku #18:

"Royal Tenebaum:
Died tragically rescuing
His family." FIN.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Hipster Haikus: I Love the Nightlife

Hipster Haiku, #10:

Few bands can pull a
Bowery Ballroom trifecta.
The sign you’ve made it.

Hipster Haiku, #11:

When I was your age
“CBGB” was more than
A shirt at Urban.

Hipster Haiku, #12:

To find MJQ
Look for a spray-painted shed.
(Reads: Cool Kids Only)

Hipster Haiku, #13:

Wake up the next day
Smelling like a cigarette
I like it that way.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hipster Haikus: Odes to the Subway

Hipster Haiku #7:

Saw you on the 4
But didn't hear me say "Hey"
Your earbuds were in.

Hipster Haiku #8:

I'd bike to see you
But, you know -- New York drivers...
Subway suits me fine.

Hipster Haiku #9:

No seats left today.
Might as well make out with you
We're standing so close.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hipster Haikus

Elizabeth at work showed me a book of Hipster Haikus. So I thought I'd write some of my own. This could be a fun project.

Hipster Haiku #1:

Make eyes at me through
Black rectangular glasses.
Cue Mates of State song.

Hipster Haiku #2:

Liberal arts degree
Helps me understand lyrics
Of Colin Meloy

Hipster Haiku #3:

Found him on MySpace;
Influences: Nick Drake, Low.
Meet me in Brooklyn.

Hipster Haiuk #4:

That Sufjan Stevens
Promised us fifty albums
Feel the Illinoise.

Hipster Haiku: #5

Made you a playlist.
Why use words when Morrissey
Knows just how I feel?

Hipster Haiku #6:

Can of PBR
And Parliament cigarettes.
You only live once.