Saturday, May 31, 2008

New Mixtape & New Band of the Moment

Screw what the calendar and the almanac may say, we're in summer now that Memorial Day is in the rear view. A new season brings another TQ produced mixtape.
Past mixtapes included:
Spring Forward (indie rock/pop)
Cold Fusion (hip-hop and dance)
Fall Down (the remake of the infamous T.O.U.G.H. "TQ's Overtly Ultradressing Groove of Hurt)
Summer Moves (great mid 90s jams like Bell Biv DeVoe, Fresh Prince, and the like)

This season's mixtape was inspired from the rather heavy emphasis on concerts in my upcoming calendar. I've never had this much money in ticket form in my life. This picture was taken today:

Above pictured are tickets to a Cubs/Sox game, The Swell Season, Lebowski Fest (music by Mike Doughty & Pleaseeasaur), Pitchfork Festival (the day Spoon is headlining), My Morning Jacket and of course RADIOHEAD!!!!

Not pictured are the hopes of catching Ra Ra Riot and The Bravery at this year's Summerfest.

So this season's mixtape is called "Live and Let Live" (note: the first "live" is supposed to rhyme with give and the second "live" to rhyme with jive).
It consists of all "live" tracks.
1. "Little Fluffy Clouds (Live From Washington Dc '97)" by The Orb
2. "Philosophy" by Ben Folds
3. "I'll Stick Around (Live)" by Foo Fighters
4. "Poor Me (Live At the Hollywood Bowl)" by Coldplay
5. "Paranoid Android" by Radiohead
6. "Special" by Mew
7. "The Saints Are Coming (Live from New Orleans)" by Green Day & U2
8. "Please (Live From Rotterdam)" by U2
9. "Cast No Shadow (Live from Knebworth '96)" by Oasis
10. It's In Our Hands" by Björk
11. "You Got Me" by The Roots & Jill Scott
12. "Wordless Chorus" by My Morning Jacket
13. "Lay Low" by My Morning Jacket
And finally, for my new band of the moment: Grand National.
I found these guys because they contributed to this FREE charity album from Cartier. If you like legally free music as much as I do, check out the album here.

Yes, I need to buy this Grand National album, and not listen to the same four songs and the below video from their MySpace page.

Drink to Move On

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Alice’s unheard message

Sometime during Friday May 9th, the following message was left on my answering machine:

(the voice is of a woman in the late-middle ages. by this I mean a woman past 50, not one in the feudal system)
Hey Alice,
Table is set,
Lasagna is in,
How come I haven't heard from you?
Anyway, if you get my message give me a call, bye.

I was out to dinner with a few friends on Friday night. We all came back to my place and loved this message that never got to Alice. I really wish I could somehow upload the sound. It's important to understand the poem like delivery. How the pronunciation of Alice is elongated to make the word sound twice as long and how the words "set" and "in" are forcefully said as punctuation. The pause before hearing the caller's abject desperation in the "How come I haven't heard from you?" question.

One of my friends who heard this lamented that our creative writing course at Northwestern had ended. True, this kind of material would serve as the perfect impetus for a short story.

Where is Alice?
This woman, she is obviously expecting her.
This dinner must be important, no?

So here's my idea...
And I'm also anticipating selling the movie rights...
Hoping I'd retain some control on the casting, here it goes:

Edie McClurg as "Valarie" Alice's to-be mother-in-law

Leelee Sobieski as "Alice"

Will Friedle plays "Jim" Alice's fiancee

(It's not important if you don't know who Will Friedle is. he had a small role on an ABC sit com called "Boy Meets World" and is most well known for having dated Jennifer Love Hewitt before she met and dumped Carson Daly. He's not having a speaking role, just will be anxiously pacing behind his nervous mother in the background)

In another non-speaking role will be Rev. Harris - played by Sam Waterson

And now I'll introduce some tension.

Rev. Harris is the family pastor for Valerie and Jim at their local Evangelical Church. Leelee (Alice) is an eastern european immigrant from a strong Catholic family.

You see where I'm going with this, right? Valerie is very concerned about her faithful boy marrying outside her faith. She's bringing in reinforcements (Rev. Harris) to try to convince her son of this fact. However, Jim is very confident that her solid roots will withstand any cross examination from the character played by the Law and Order actor.

By the way, Leelee (Alice) is an underground stripper. The reason why she is late is because her brother was very late in picking her up from a "private party" the evening before, and she is now basically held hostage in her brother's early 90s Ford Mustang.

Adam will be played by Giovanni Ribisi.

Turns out that the only reason why Adam and Alice are in the States (illegally) is to pay off a debt from the old country. And that Adam is the reason for the debt, but we won't know why yet. Jim knows only that Adam is in bad social standing, not the kind of person you want your mother or pastor to meet. Tragically, Jim doesn't know the extent that his fiancee is involved.

Jim earlier called Alice, before Valerie's attempt. Jim heard the after-market exhaust system in the background of the phone conversation. The only way that Alice can make it before the lasagna gets "out" is if she drags Adam in with her. Which would create more tension with good ol' Rev. Harris in attendance.


And that's the story behind my erroneous message on my answering machine, in my opinion at least.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Summer Goals

It's been a while since I've unloaded a pile of streaming consciousness:

This summer I hope I can, no, will:
sink a birdie putt
meet Liam
fold top pair
buy concert t-shirts
write a theme song
historize (if that's even a word) with my Father
book vegas
porch read
lust less

You know, it's harder and harder to partake in one of my favorite lazy pastimes: Surfing MySpace Profiles... I've added some new "friends" recently (mainly official band pages as I utilize the stalker like tendency of "Friend Subscriptions") and I spent a nice half hour wandering through a top profile to a top profile... You'll never know what worlds you'll enter... For example, one that boasts the above picture.

The drawback is that you're bound to get thrown off the MySpace surfboard when you hit that PRIVATE PROFILE. To be honest, It's rare that everybody hasn't locked up their profile. You have to think that anybody with a significant other or active resume would privatize faster than the 1980s economy.

Meanwhile, i just completely lost my train of thought... and instead of deleting this entire mess, I'm just posting.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

I am a golfer today.

As I write this in the late afternoon of Sunday, the fourth of May, I am confident to say I am now a golfer.

I wasn't comfortable calling myself a golfer last Saturday, after purchasing golf clubs. Definitely not in the week leading up to that purchase, as I decided to use my Government funded Stimulus Package for the clubs and recruited two friends to help me select a modestly priced set of sticks.

In the week following the club purchase - I searched the websites of nearly every park district in the surrounding areas looking for group lessons. Many phone calls and a credit card number later - I was finally enrolled in a golf class. Sadly others cancelled their class involvement - leaving me with money in the hole and no existing class.

Thankfully, in a great bargain, I was able to parlay that debt into "private lessons." My first lesson was yesterday, and I aptly whiffed on my first taught swing. But I think the instructor knows what he's doing - and more importantly knows what I'm doing wrong. I felt significant improvement and had saw that great shot finally fly off my club. The kind of ball flight that makes you want to come back. The next swing saw a horrible shot, the one that makes you want to hit it again.

Now I'm really feeling like I'm getting there. Time to get my "trademark" item. Last night I found my "golf hat" online.

Please note that with all these purchases: the clubs, lessons, hat, etc... I'm still well within my Stimulus check... However, I have yet to receive that check.

But today I finally feel like a golfer. It was shortly after I registered at Des Plaines Golf Center, and gotten a range card. I had hit less than ten golf balls when a realized a man carrying a huge bag of golf clubs had stopped in his path to watch me.

It was getting creepy, I had to acknowledge his presence. He offered his name and a handshake. Don't ask me why I offered mine and shook his hand.

"You a baseball player?"

I wonder if he felt it was okay to approach me because he was wearing a St. Louis Cardinals ball cap, and I was wearing my classic royal blue Kansas City Royals ball cap. Did he find common ground in an apparent out of town MLB fandom?

I said, "yeah." Which wasn't really true (unless you count Little League 18 years ago or my company softball team), but I wanted him to get to his point.

He continued, "Well, I'm just a hacker - but you've got a baseball swing. Fast back swing and all arms. It's really in the hips and wrists - not like in baseball... You want to really see how to do it... (he pauses) look at these Koreans, they're machines."

I politely said "Thank you" while stepping away from him, returning to my task at hand.

He left saying, "Hey, thank you. People don't usually listen to me!"

The really sad thing is that I actually started concentrating on my wrists. And I hit another one of those shots that's going to make me get back out there again. I can't wait until my next golf lesson. I'm going to share that story and get a good chuckle out of my instructor. Then ask HIM about my wrists.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A must listen (This American Life)

"The Giant Pool of Money" episode of This American Life will probably win a Peabody Award. I finally got around to listening to this episode last night, which is a great explanation of how this current Housing Crisis developed and why it exists today.

I can't recomend this more: please go to their official site and listen to this episode for FREE!

Many of us understand what this crisis is. What it means now. But I found this report extremely interesting on what factors got us to this point. And it really puts this whole mess into perspective.

George Santayana said it best, "Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it,"

By the way, I was always curious who said that first. I looked it up!

So please do George and I a favor, treat yourself to a listen of this very excellent episode of This American Life.