45 years ago tonight, Dr, King gave his famous “I have a dream” speech in Washington D.C. – and tonight Barack Obama makes his long anticipated acceptance speech at the DNC in Denver.
What a stomach-churninguncanny coincidence. The late Lloyd Bentsen would have definitely stifled his notorious retort if facing a fellow Democrat – not to mention he’s dead – so the duty fell to little old me today.
First things first – How the hell did I not know until last night that the Verve’s first album in 11 years was released on Tuesday? I have failed myself, and I have failed all of you. Or something. Sufferin’ Ashcrofts this album is actually really, really good. I want to gush like a schoolgirl but I’m only on my second listen and I want to remain reasonably objective and not just a spoon-fed fan boy. Who am I kidding? I’ll be weeping giddily in a corner by listen number 6.
The last time we saw Richard Ashcroft, he was obliviously battering pedestrians in the video for the 99% universally loved and frickin’ incredible Bittersweet Symphony. The other 1% consisted only of members of the Rolling Stones who sued the pants off of them for allegedly lifting the famous (thanks to The Verve) violin hook off an old track of theirs. I don’t remember how that all turned out, and I really don’t care, because the band made that riff their own and created one of the most memorable songs and albums of the 1990’s.
I was living in England when Urban Hymns was released and we listened to it every single night during clean-ups and lock-ins at the pub where I was working. The record is like a time machine for me, and I can’t believe they have been silent ever since. Haven’t been this excited about a new record release in a very long time and it’s good to have the original lineup reunited and recording. I hope the whole experience isn’t, well, bittersweet for their fans.
The album is their 4th full length in an almost 20-year career technically and is entitled “Forth“. A nice little play on words, don’t you think? The video I am embedding is for the first single, Love is Noise, and is awash with odd sound effects and background noises that may put some off at first. The tune tends to really grow on you and has been well-received by reviewers and festival goers in the U.K. all summer. When you come back and headline Glastonbury after an 11-year absence as The Verve did just last month, you are loved. And there’s a reason.
I am desperately trying to get my crippled blog back into fighting form – I appreciate you all bearing with me and I have someone working on the technical issues. In the meantime I’ll fire out a few blurbs that have been on my mind.
The Denver DNC: I haven’t seen cannibalism like this since that wonderful movie about the Uruguayan rugby team crashing in the Andes. Keep it up, Dems. Please.
The last long weekend of the summer is ahead, I have more work to do than I care to think about, and I’m still trying to keep this blog moving along. Am I in possession of a labor of love – or severely cockeyed priorities? I’m not entirely sure.
Has there ever been a porn movie called “Cockeyed”? Note to self, call Larry Flynt.
When looking over my bank statements today and feeling temporarily optimistic I suddenly remembered the pontoon I bent whilst hitting a sneaky rock with the boat. Bye bye disposable income for September.
The new boat will be named “Pyeseas 2” after the original “Pyeseas” which was the 25-foot cabin cruiser my father restored all by himself when I was a little kid. The words “Pye” and “seas” are self explanatory, but my father is also a Pisces, and I believe it was my Aunt Susan who came up with the name back in the mid-eighties when Dad tasked family and friends with devising the perfect name.
A longer post about my Dad’s current situation will follow after all the blog glitches have been remedied.
This winter will be about buckling down, reviving those dusty side-projects which I feel are still worthwhile and putting money in the bank. And skidooing. Note to Gooch: Get those fucking sleds up here pronto, Gooch.
I now have 5 weddings to go to in September. Yes, you heard me correctly, 5. Better reschedule the whole ‘buckling down financially’ thing to October.
That last point has left me so exasperated that the only way to cheer myself up is to now go back to work – so you know it’s bad. I am actually looking forward to each and every single one of the joyous occasions, but I won’t lie – I’ve been crying myself to sleep.
You know me – All the giant squid news that’s fit to print. A few months back I mentioned my excitement surrounding the monstrous giant squid corpse that was being studied in New Zealand. They’ve recently released a few findings and apparently this particular squidizen (see what I did there?) was not the Nautalis-crushing super-predator the scientists were expecting. The best bits:
Not the T-Rex of the oceans but a lethargic blob.
An overweight breeding machine.
Probably quite docile when alive.
A strange phenomenon that has caught scientists off guard.
As she got older she got shorter and broader.
Too gelatinous to have been a fighting machine.
Have a penchant for toothfish, are no strangers to cannibalism.
Have the scientists considered that Rosie O’Donnell might have been in a windsurfing accident somewhere in the vicinity? This certainly doesn’t sound like the mighty giant squid of lore. Take out the “breeding machine” bullet and its Rosie right down to the toothfish. I need coffee.
I’m starting to warm up a little to my once, and now again, Ottawa-area home. I was initially of the opinion that no reasonably decent bands or comedians ever stopped here, and I’ve been proven wrong several times this past summer. Last month I went and saw Chris Rock play at the National Arts Center downtown, and I just found out that both Oasis and Neil Young are playing between now and the end of the year. Both are acts I’ve always wanted to see for posterity’s sake, and I might just get myself some tickets to see the brothers Gallagher when they play here in a little under 3 weeks.
Oasis has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. I say ‘guilty’ because they’ve been a little more ‘uber-popular’ in their lifetime than most of the bands I listen to. Then again, I’m typing as a guy who’s seen U2 in concert 3 times now. So my cover is blown and I might as well come clean. I love the music, occasionally emulate the unwarranted bravado and giggle at Liam’s many ridiculous booze and coke-fueled antics. Particularly his parenting.
My favorite Oasis tune has always been Supersonic, followed closely by Some Might Say, seen above. If this doesn’t work, I can always go see Method Man and Redman on September 27th. Maybe Ottawa is the only place left in Canada any of these folks is still allowed to play anymore? Neil Young excluded, of course. In Ottawa he’s practically the mayor. Any other secret Oasis fans out there? Plead your case.
The week I started this blog, way way back in the foggy memory that is 2004, two very important things happened to be in Boston. Me and the Democratic National Convention. As I lived in the North End – which is a hop, skip and a flip-flop away from the Boston Garden – our neighborhood was abuzz and I remember paying particularly close attention to the goings on. The way I remember it, there were three big questions on everyone’s mind:
Why is Ben Affleck speaking at the DNC?
Will Ben Affleck nail either or both of John Kerry’s daughters?
Who the hell is this Barack Obama guy?
It is astounding to think that in the 4 years since that painful week (you try traversing 14 different protests a morning on your walk to work,) Barack has become the figurehead of the Democratic party – nay, the hopes and dreams of the free world – and he didn’t really have to do… anything.
I recently took part in a demo for a proposed pop culture radio show I have been asked to participate in up here. It will/would be on the Canadian CBC network (which I love and listen to in my car everyday) and I was contacted as a result of a producer finding this very blog. As I have become such a fan in the year since I moved up North I was flattered and completely up for it. My rampant narcissism didn’t hold me back either. After some back and forth we decided the topic for the show would be the help/hindrance of celebrity endorsement on both sides of the fence as the Paris Hilton video response to McCain’s ad had just popped up and was all the rage.
Long story short, as I have a daunting mountain of real work to get through this week, the host at one point asked me – “Don’t you want to see the candidate with the most support voted into the White House?” To which I replied something along the lines of absolutely not! Do I want my new President to be elected because an untalented hack from Fall Out Boy was photographed at a club wearing his face on a T-shirt? Shall I ignore my concerns about Obama’s national defense intentions and experience fall by the way side because videos of a large-breasted siren singing his praises have gone viral on YouTube?
The man has support, all right. Staggering support. But it’s been whipped up in all the wrong ways by all the wrong people. I would like to (and have been in person) challenging people to tell me a few – Jesus, any – reasons they support or plan to vote for Barack Obama. And none of them can. That frightens me, and it doesn’t have anything to do with age, race, smoking or number of Sennett terms. “I think we need a change” is not going to cut it with me, and if these scribblings give one mindlessly (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) pro-Obama person pause for thought, I’ll be happy.
A person should be elected for President based on who he/she is, and not who he/she isn’t. This is no time in human history to propel an individual into the Presidency because they’re a fad. I’d sooner a hula hoop or a Pet Rock got elected. Feel free to hammer me for my shocking thoughts on Mr. Obama, and I hope you do. It needs to be discussed.
Appetizer: When was the last time you had your hair cut/trimmed? There is a woman who lives about 5 minutes down the road named Maureen who has a salon in a room of her home and has been cutting my parent’s hair for several years. Whenever they go, I tend to go and the last time we went was about 3 weeks ago. If you’re still awake after reading that riveting expose, I have had the same haircut for over 20 years, it’s easy, fast and requires little more than a #2 clipper and that the barber/ette be reasonably sober.
Soup: Name one thing you miss about being a child. Not much, because as anyone who knows me will tell you I am the quintessential man-boy. Peter Pan is my main man. I like to think I’m able to walk the line, however, between becoming a stiff, boring adult and refusing to ever leave the side of my mint condition still-in-the-package 1977 Han Solo figure in the basement nerdery.
Salad: Pick one: butter, margarine, olive oil. There’s an English show I love to watchdownload called Dragon’s Den. There is now an American version so you probably know that it involves inventors and entrepreneurs pitching rich “dragons” and hoping they’ll both invest in their idea and also help guide them with their oceans of experience. Last night, one poor chap wanted to start an olive oil club. The dragons didn’t like the model or the margins and none of them invested. But they all absolutely loved the olive oil samples they were given, to the extent that I’m now very curious as to what exactly “fresh” olive oil tastes like. Yet another reason for my next big trip to be to Greece. Or to fill a bathtub with cheap domestic olive oil and roll around in it in the meantime. Shoot, we don’t have any bathtubs here.
Main Course: If you could learn another language, which – and why? I took French in school for years but was an awfully inattentive, pain in the ass as a student. Regardless of how very hard I tried, I managed to retain a base vocabulary and have been using it a lot since my move to Canada. I plan to either take an adult-ed course in French up here over the winter or maybe download invest in a copy of Rosetta Stone. If Gooch comes through with his promise to store his skidoos up here this snowy season, all bets are off. Unless we take the trails all the way to Quebec.
Dessert: Finish this sentence: In 5 years I expect to beâ€¦
Married with children and working from a home office. In this day and age, there’s no reason Mr. Mom can’t have an actual income in addition to a fanny pack. Laptops have gotten small enough to fit comfotably on changing tables. Conference calls can be scheduled around naptime. Business lunches can be held at Chuck E. Cheese. I’ll make it work.
Life’s been a bit of a clusterfrig up here lately, but I’m bound and determined to get the blog’s technical issues fixed and find the time to write more frequently again. I love PITF, love amusing the people who read it regularly and it also saves me hundreds of thousands a year on therapy. So fear not.
Until the day comes when this blog is once again a font of humor and pop culture silliness, I give you one of the highlights from our own Detroit Velvet Smooth’s recent visit to Canada…
As we sailed to a local watering hole Kardinal Officiall came on the old iPod and we were inspired to perform a nautical n’er do well of a dance for my sister – who was luckier to capture it on tape than yesterday’s Bigfoot guy or Zapruder.
When I play my guitar for the dogs, they go a little bit silly. I have my own basement office fanclub, it would seem. If they had thumbs there’d be lighters blazing. I thought I might take it a step further and learn a specific song for each of them, if only to amuse myself and make Janet laugh. I didn’t think very long or hard about it, and one evening set about looking up the chords and lyrics for both Ruby Tuesday and Old Shep . A song for Rhuby and Shepherd, respectively.
Obviously Ruby Tuesday is a famous Stones song that has absolutely nothing to do with a canine, unless of course the song writing team of Richards/Jones had a particularly sexually deviant phase some time in the early 70s – which is, you must admit, entirely possible.
Don’t question why she needs to be so free
She’ll tell you it’s the only way to be
She just can’t be chained to a
Life where nothing’s gained and nothing’s lost at such a cost
Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, who could hang a name on you?
When you change…
She can’t be chained to a life? She sure could be chained to a post in the backyard with a regulation choker. Who could hang a name on you? How about your owner, right next to your license and vaccination tags. See where I’m going with this? Lots of drugs in hotel rooms on the road. It gets lonely. “Here, Ruby. Give Uncle Keithy a slurp.”
Old Shep, on the other hand, is undoubtedly a song about a dog. I originally chose Shepherd’s name because of it’s absolutely brilliant and hilarious effect when coupled with my last name, but I had doubts as to whether it was the best choice. Then I remembered the old Walter Brennan song which was eventually covered by Elvis and it seemed like destiny. And it starts off so cheerily.
When I was a lad and Old Shep was a pup
O’er hills and meadows we’d stray
Just a boy and his dog, we were both full of fun
We grew up together that way
The song goes on to get all kinds of Old Yeller-ish, and by the end the protagonist has been told by the vet to put Shep out of his misery. Back in those days, pet euthenasia involved little more than a shotgun, and every kid apparently had access to one.
With a hand that was trembling I picked up my gun
I aimed it at Shep’s faithful head
I just couldn’t do it, I wanted to run
And I wished that they’d shoot me instead
I still love the name, but perhaps I shouldn’t keep singing the song to him. I can see how it could be a little depressing for the wee guy. What shall I replace it with? There aren’t to many songs about shepherds, unless you count bible hymns. Any ideas? Puppy needs a theme song!