Year2002

Quarterly Check In Q2 2002

     Yeah its been three months. Whatever. Anyways in those three months I’ve gotten exponentially more insane so a lot of this update will only be funny to me. Also, let me just say that for some reason I’m all about caps, bold type and the hyphen these days so WATCH OUT.

Two stupid things I’m doing:

  • Desk Project: Those of you who used to read kempa.com back when it got updated all the damn time might remember me asking everyone with a digital camera of some sort to take a picture of their desk and to email it to me, along with a free-form description of sorts. This was about 2 years or so ago, and about five people did it, and I never actually got around to posting the results and then I accidentally deleted the folder that contained said results. So anyway: my point. I’m asking that people do this again. I stole this idea from a british techno magazine who had famous D.J.’s do the same thing (also 2 years ago), and I just remember the whole thing being really interesting to me. I’m not sure why I find this random sort of stuff interesting, but it’s probably because I’m totally insane. So yes. Contribute! [Since mentioning this ‘idea’ to a few people, I’ve been informed that it’s been done a billion times on the internet (Here, here, and here), but will that stop me? Of course not! The focus here is on finding something interesting to SAY about your photo or whatever.]
  • T-shirt Project: Starting on July 1st, I’m going to wear every shirt I own once before repeating a shirt. Yes, that IS a stupid idea, but I figure it’s a good way to sort through the mass of random T-shirts I’ve amassed throughout the years and weed out crap I’ll never wear again. For those of you with an absolutely morbid amount of free time on your hands, I’ve set up a little page here where you can moniter what shirt I’m wearing daily. Believe me, if you keep up with this, you’ll see some really embarrassing band shirts from my high school days. If you don’t keep up, you’ll totally fail the test.

     Every single time I type a two letter word ending in the letter ‘O’ (Examples: So, Go, No, Yo, To, etc.), My hands totally miscommunicate and make the ‘O’ a capital when it shouldn’t be. Based on this phenomenon, I have determined that the neurons in charge of controlling the pinky and ring finger of my left hand are totally slacking off while the neuron(s) that control(s) the middle finger on my right hand is/are king shit(s) of fuck mountain. Remember that part about only being funny to me? Yeah. At any rate, as you read this massive block of text, take special note of how many two letter words ending in the letter ‘O’ I use, and then note that they all have lowercase o’s, and next realize this is because I methodically went through the text and fixed them all. Finally, know that this is because I love you.

Ranting about Spiderman:

I saw Spiderman on opening day. This was because:

  1. Fuck you, it’s Spiderman, and

  2. Kirsten Dunst is in it.

Surprisingly, I was pretty satisfied with it except for three things:

1. Macy Grey was in it, as herself. Seriously. WHAT THE FUCK. This is even less excusable then the previous record holder for least justifiable cameo of all time: Chris Rock in A.I as ‘Comedic Mecha’ (Riiiiiight). This retelling of an early spiderman story could have left the time uncertain to the viewer, but nope, there’s Macy Grey fucking everything up. Wardrobe might as well have dressed her in a shirt that said “IT’S 2001 AND THE COMPANY THAT OWNS THE RIGHTS TO THIS MOVIE ALSO OWNS THE RIGHTS TO MY NEW ALBUM WHICH ISN’T SELLING SO HOT GO BUY IT OH FUCK HERE COMES THE GREEN GOBLIN LET ME PRETEND I ACT BY DUCKING AND LOOKING VAGUELY PUZZLED SO I CAN SORT OF JUSTIFY MY BEING ANYWHERE NEAR THIS MOVIE OH WAIT THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO JUSTIFY.”

Dear Sam Raimi,
     SHE WAS BARELY RELEVANT WHEN YOU SHOT THE MOVIE, LET ALONE WHEN IT FINALLY GOT RELEASED. Way to take a timeless comics story and COMPLETELY ROOT IT in 2001.
Yer Pal,
ak

     So yes, that was my biggest gripe: Macy Grey. I feel entitled to this gripe because I was a big Spiderman fan in my youth and I totally let the organic web-shooters go without comment. Anyway I made up a conversation that probably happened:

DUDE: HEY WE OWN SPIDERMAN AND MACY GREY!

BRO: *SNIFF* I SMELL CROSS PROMOTION!

DUDE: FUCK YEAH! HEY DID YOU GET TICKETS TO THAT WHITE STRIPES SHOW?

BRO: YEAH!

DUDE: WHICH NIGHT?

BRO: THIRD NIGHT.

DUDE: OH! FUCKIN SWEET!

Moving on…

2. Uncle Ben listens to Sum 41 in his car apparently. NOPE.

3. Spider. Did they really have to make the spider that bit him BRIGHT RED and BLUE? I mean, COME ON.

     On April 21st, 2002 I was bored and working at Barnes & Noble, so I asked every customer I helped how they were doing (Example: ‘How are you doing today?’) and collected data.

‘Good': 62
‘Fine': 14
‘OK': 14
‘Pretty good': 8
(Complete silence): 6
‘Alright': 3
‘Not bad': 2
‘Great': 2
‘Well': 2
‘Just Fine': 2
‘How are you?': 2
‘Cold': 1
‘Hi’ (or perhaps ‘High,’ not sure): 1

     After assessing the well-being of 119 citizens, I can conclusively say that the people of Northville, Michigan are overwhelmingly ‘Good.’ In fact, had you asked a random citizen of Northville Township how they were doing on April 21st, 2002; there was a 52% chance that they would say ‘good.’ You’re welcome.

     Winner of ‘Best pose EVER by Lavar Burton on a bookmark’ award:

Ranting about Star Wars Episode II:

     Holy shit someone fucked up there. I should probably preface this with the fact that I was super into Star Wars for awhile there. When they first started reviving the characters in novels I was ALL OVER THAT SHIT. After roughly the 5th trilogy of new books, I gave up. So yes, a lot of my brain is devoted to the specifics of the fictional universe in which this story is supposed to occur. That said, here’s the trick to enjoying Episode II for anyone who hasn’t yet seen it: After you’ve realised that any hope of a good movie is shattered (Roughly around the time the ’50’s diner’ scene occurs) it helps to laugh out loud at pretty much everything that happens on the screen (Example: Lil’ Jedis). Then the anger is masked, at least.

Only two redeeming things in Episode II:

  1. Natalie Portman’s Abs.

  2. The soundtrack used in Seismic charges scene (Really dorky thing that people who are in to audio production will enjoy).

Two (of many) gripes:

1.) A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away they had 1950’s DINERS WITH ROLLERSKATE WAITRESSES?! Wait, what? EXACTLY.

2.) I’m not trying to be all FILMGRAIN here, but the whole thing looked like ass. Sure, the computer animation and imaging was top notch as is to be expected but the whole package was just SO FUCKING BRIGHT that it looked plastic and incredibly fake. Part of the appeal to me as a child of the original starwars films (And I’m speculating here – I didn’t travel back in time and ask 5 year old me or anything) was the real landscape that all the action seemed to take place in: the snow of Hoth, the swamp of Dagobah, the desert of Tatooine – all great looking real locations (Maybe real on a sound stage, but a lot more tangible than a blue screen) not SHINY FAKE PLASTIC PALACE.

Dear George Lucas,
     BUILD A FUCKING SET.

Yer Pal,
ak

3.) Bonus Gripe: Was I the only one who saw the first shot of the clones and LAUGHED OUT LOUD because of how FAKE they looked?

Dear Skywalker Ranch,
     DUDES! I know you’re all busy building forts out of money, but when you have a crowd of 300 fucking clones all walking together, you can’t just pick three to animate differently and think that will add enough character to the bunch to make their collective movements look natural. The other 297 still move exactly the same and that looks fake. If the money forts thing is that engrossing just make them standing still like in the first trilogy, then at least they can look all noble and imperial and shit. Just FYI. Also, those of you who had any part in the Diner scene better be working on some serious good deeds before you die.
Thanks,
ak

Bob Dylan Barnes & Noble story:

     Scene: Magazine stand. Johnny Quarterback and Susie Cheersalot are examining the music magazines. Johnny notices the cover of ‘Uncut,’ prominently featuring Bob Dylan.

Johnny: (Gesturing with head to show Susie) …Bob Dylan.

(Long Pause – the timing of this pause is critical – start over and when you come to this pause count one-onethousands up to five)

Susie: (Whispering, dramatically) He will never be forgoTTen.

     So yes, apparently they thought he was dead. I capitalized the T’s because she emphasized the FUCK out of them.

     So I took this Anthropology of Business class last semester, and really what it should have been called was GIVE US YOUR MONEY AND SIT IN A ROOM WITH AN IDIOT because the dude SO obviously had no idea what he was talking about. Consequently, I got REALLY REALLY good at nokia snake. Check it:

Ranting about The Panic Room:

     Okay I know I’m about two months late on this one, but I saw Panic Room and holy crap was it good. I was all about this movie as soon as I heard about it – David fincher and Jodie Foster? How could it be bad, right? Then I saw the trailer, and it looked lame. BUT I HAD FAITH. So a friend and I went to see it in it’s opening weekend, and I was super glad I did. The next few days I tried to get everyone I know to see it but the crappy trailer had made them all decide not to see it flat out. Example of typical ‘Convince someone to see Panic Room’ conversation:

Me: The trailer is bad! I admit it, but seriously, you should see it!

Them: Chick locked in room + two hours equals fuck off. Also I hate you.

     I mean, I’ve NEVER experienced this universal level of resistance when recommending a movie to people. It was easier to convince people to see a FRENCH CHICK MOVIE than this! So I decided everyone else was wrong again and told the panic room that I love it anyway and just because everyone else hates it doesn’t mean it isn’t special and left it at that. BUT THEN – that offhanded rolling stone subscription renewal FINALLY paid off – the following little blurb was tucked away in a corner of the movie section:

Second Thoughts: Digging Deeper into “Panic Room”

     Screw those reviews that say David Fincher’s film has no subtext. Thry this on: The whole thing isn’t real. It’s all inside the head of the Jodie Foster Character, a woman whose rich husband has dumped her for a supermodel. The three thieves who break into her Manhattan brownstone represent her warring psyche. Jared Leto is her greedy ego – take the bastard for all he’s worth. Dwight Yoakam, in the ski mask, is the id run wild; he beats hubby to a pulp – every wronged wife’s secret fantasy. Forest Whitaker, the good thief, is the superego that controls those irrational impulses, and he alone of Foster’s phantoms lives to save the day. Think about it. Fincher’s Fight Club was really all inside the head of the Edward Norton character, who invented an alter ego to do what he could not. That’s why Panic Room sticks with us. Fincher works on a deeper level than just scares. He shows us the demons prowling around in our subconcious.

     So naturally I went and saw it again, and this theory along with a couple others just made it better. It even explains one of my few gripes wiht the film, which was Jared Leto’s seemingly ridiculous overacting, but when taken in this context it totally works. All y’all doubters need to go see this movie – it’s got a hitchcockian premise, an almost criminal level of suspense, and truly insane camerawork – really, no one is more tasteful in their use of CGI to aid the telling of a story than David Fincher. Also – there were so many film papers in this movie. I swear, I need to start a business where I just see movies and then tell film majors what to write their papers on, because I totally could. Not to toot my ‘film paper thesis seeing ability’ horn or anything.

     So yes, I loved Panic Room, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the DVD after seeing the insanely detailed bonus material Fincher has included on DVD’s for previous films (Se7en, Fight Club). FInally, in the interest of fairness, while I really liked pretty much every aspect of this movie I will point out that even a director I really, really like – David Fincher, for example – is doing that annoying time-stamp thing. In this one scene, Jodie Foster’s character makes a comment about Poe (the writer) and another character says “I loved their last album.”

Dear Hollywood,
CUT IT THE FUCK OUT WITH THE LAME CULTURAL REFERENCES. ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY MAKE TYPING IN ALL CAPS SEEM SUBTLE.
Yer Pal,
ak

     Does it make sense when I talk about this timestamp thing? Like the Macy Grey and the Chris Rock and the Poe? Because I tried to explain it to someone and they just looked at me like I was nuts. I mean, I AM nuts, but do you understand what I’m talking about, and is it as annoying to you? Or am I just reference-obsessor here?

     Incredibly forced sounding segueway: The little girl from the panic room totally looks like Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes, see (Scroll down)?

     SO SPEAKING OF BRIGHT EYES – I went and saw them at the Magic stick awhile back. A lot of people have completely written off Conor Oberst as lame emo, but I’ve always thought that the songwriting and lyrics in general were pretty great and would consider myself a ‘fan.’ Anyways, the last time I saw Bright Eyes they were touring in support of ‘Fevers and Mirrors’ with Grandaddy, and there were like 50 people there. When we arrived at the Magic Stick this time, it was fucking packed.

     I had read some horror stories about previous Bright Eyes performances, but when Oberst and Co. (A 5 piece all-female backing band) took the stage they played what I thought was a really great set. I had preordered their new EP and recieved it well before release and was totally disappointed with it, but their performance prompted me to remove it from the top of the ‘sell’ stack and give it another listen, and now I’m fairly confident that it’ll linger in my collection for awhile longer. At any rate, I predict the forthcoming LP is going to be great, and half of it is already all over audiogalaxy. Highlights so far include “Bowl of Oranges” and “Laura Laurent.” I took some pretty good pictures too, the best of which appears below:

     Oh I forget to mention that The Good Life opened up and they were TERRIBLE. It was like the dude from Cursive saw Bright Eyes getting big and was like “I can do that! Fuck!” But he totally doean’t mean it at all and his lyrics come off totally comical. Actual lyric: “Fuck Yeah I’m sad!” (Delivered with shit-eating, spotlight-loving grin.)

     Sure, Conor ripped off the Cursive aesthetic a bit for desaperaciwhateveridos but the distinction here is he can pull it off. When that Good Life dude tries adopting the Oberst aesthetic and does it all Guy Smiley it just makes me want to blow up the Magic Stick while he’s playing. ALso he was ALL ABOUT saying fuck for the sake of saying fuck in EVERY SINGLE SONG, which explains why all the youngan’s were UP ON THAT SHIT.

     Up until very recently my ISP was AOL. A few months back, someone somehow got ahold of my password and began sending AIM’s inviting people to check them out NUDE on their webcam. If you recieved one of these messages, chances are it wasn’t actually me. So anyways, a few months pass. The other day someone I know tells me to take a look at my AOL ‘profile.’ Apparently, the webcam porno patrol also changed my profile to the text that appears below, and I obliviously kept it for two months or so.

Profile for Adamweezer:

Member Name: ask to find out! or just call me “the hot girl i wanna fuck”!

Location: California

Sex: Female

Marital Status: IM a *SINGLE* PARTY GIRL!!!

Hobbies: flirting, sex, guys, sex, partying, sex, and more SEX!

Personal Quote: “wanna have some fun?” CLICK HERE and look at my pictures!

     The link went to some porno site that isn’t there any more. So yes: please just call me “the hot girl i wanna fuck,” because that’s what I prefer these days.

     In case you have a real job and aren’t able to watch cable television at 3 AM, I’ll let you know what you’re missing:

2:54 – Turn on TV. Flip through channels, stop on USA. Currently, a midget is apologizing to a chimpanzee for being mean to it. The two of them are surrounded by shapely women in red bathing suits, a deaf girl, and David Hasselhoff because this is occurring at the ass-end of an episode of Baywatch. Not to get all Dave Barry-core here but I swear to god I am not making this up. So great.

3:01 – USA Late Night Movie, ‘Dying to Belong,’ starring Mark Paul Gosselar, Hilary Swank and Six from ‘Blossom’ begins. Naturally I watch it. Two great things about this movie, both dealing with the soundtrack:

  1. Whenever something good happens to Hilary Swank’s character (example: The Hard-nosed editor with a heart of gold hires her to write for the campus paper) the beginning of “Heaven is a Place on Earth” is played, complete with lyrics. Just in case you missed the fact that a good thing was happening to her.

  2. EVERY SINGLE TIME Mark Paul Gosselar and Hilary Swank are on the screen at the same time, they play “Damn I wish I was your lover.” This happened like, three times in the portion of the movie I watched. It seemed like the soundtrack acquisitions director or whatever lame title that person would have blew the whole budget on “Heaven is a Place on Earth”: and “Damn I wish I Was Your Lover,” and GOD DAMN if they weren’t going to USE THE FUCK OUT OF THEM.

  3. Extra bonus great thing about “Dying to Belong:” The one thing I learned from this movie (Aside from the fact that sororities kill people and Mark Paul Gosselar brings them to justice) was that the lyrics to the song “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” contain the GENIUS passage: “SHUCKS! I wish I was your lover!” For some reason this fact had escaped my attention all these years. How great is that? I’ll answer for you: Very. Since I’m such a nice guy I’ve provided a downloadable MP3 clip of the very line of which I speak. Right click here to grab it. For increased amusement, put it on repeat.

In other “Variations on the word shucks” news:

Woman: Do you sell gift boxes?

Adam: No, sorry, we don’t.

Woman: Shucky Darns.

     Actual name on actual credit card actually presented to me the other day: HI F. YU

Dream I had:

     I was at a bar trying to explain how the Flashing Lights were great to some people and they kept saying “Naw dude, JIMMY EAT WORLD.” And my dream self didn’t want to be all “YEAH GREAT WHERE WERE YOU FIVE YEARS AGO” so I politely said yeah cool and then I realized that one of the dudes who kept saying JIMMY EAT WORLD was Jim Adkins from Jimmy Eat World. And then he explained to me he likes to vacation in Michigan because the people are ‘true.’ Then I woke up. What? BONUS: live photo of the Flashing Lights taken by me several weeks back – presented here for illustrative purposes.

Thing that happened to me in canada:

Adam: (In line to buy a slice of pizza, to clerk) How much is a can of pop?

[Everyone within earshot instantaneously stops talking. Seriously, it was straight out of a movie, pin-drop silence. Moving On.]

Clerk: (smiling) I dunno. Hey Brian! How much we chargin’ for a PAAAWWWWP?

Brian: (Laughing) Oh a PAAAWWWWWP’s a buck fifty.

Clerk: (Turning to me, shit eating grin on face) A PAAAAWWWWP’s a buck fifty.

Customer in front of me: I’ll have a PAWWWWWWWP.

(Laughter ensues.)

     I thought that they were making fun of the fact that I said “Pop” and not “Soda,” but according to the Pop vs. Soda Controversy, the few windsor-ites who have voted go with “Pop” as well, so perhaps it was just an issue of accent. Whatever.

     Awhile back, I posted a link to Laura Borealis’ website, and mentioned that you could download the music video she directed for Sebadoh’s ‘Ocean’ there. A few days after posting that update, I got an e-mail from a Jeff Kempa, letting me know that he had stumbled upon my page due to our shared surname, and that he was the guy who hugged Lou Barlow as he walked through the crowd in the ‘Ocean’ video! Mere coincidence? I think not! At any rate, sensing the chance to gain precious insight into both the production of the barlow oeuvre AND the seeming inherent good taste in music that my surname implies, I decided to Interview Jeff through Email. Below are the highlights of the exchange we had. Kempa vs. Kempa!

Hi Adam,
     I don’t know if I’ve ever been interviewed before!
So, sure, I’ll do it. So, without further ado…

0.) How did you get involved in the ‘Ocean’ video?

     I was finishing up college in Boston and there was a request on some internet newsgroup looking for volunteers to participate in a Sebadoh video. The only requirements were that you be male, be able to spend an entire day filming and wear a heavy metal t-shirt. I borrowed an Iron Maiden shirt from my roommate from freshman year. It happened during a week that I spent after graduation but before leaving Boston, so I had the time.

     I only saw it on MTV twice, though one time it was in a mall (in Singapore of all places) and someone in the store recognized me as being on TV. It was a little weird.

1.) You said in your mail that the video “didn’t turn out nearly as good as good as described while
filming.” How was it described to you?

     I really don’t remember how it was described precisely, but it seemed very coherent when it was described to us. Basically, Lou, the ‘sensitive guy’ had his heart broken but here is was in this testosterone-filled room with no one who could understand his sadness.

2.) Were you cast as the ‘hugger,’ or was it spontaneous?

     The hugging was planned, but they did lots of hugs. I happened to be in the front when they started filming that part.

3.) If yes to (3): Did Laura Borealis (The Director) give you hugging motivation?

     No specific directions, but she loved that I kept pumping my fist while hugging Lou.

4.) When you hugged Lou Barlow, could you feel the years of discomfort and heartbreak at the hands of
women cracking in his bones? (Question Courtesy of Krysta S.)

     I don’t think so. Isn’t he happily married? Anyways, I think he was having fun with the whole thing. He kept having trouble acting as if he were crying the whole day.

5.) Does Lou Barlow give a good hug?

     Yes, I’m not ashamed to say that he does.

6.) Please list any other public figures you have hugged, on video, or otherwise.

     I don’t think that I’ve hugged any other public figures, but I have a picture of Robert Pollard (of Guided by Voices) with his arm around my shoulders. I also used to have a picture of me shaking hands with baseball great Ted Williams (I’m a huge Red Sox fan).

7.) How do you feel about the last name Kempa, in general?

     I like it. My wife, however, prefers to hyphenate it. A cab driver in Poland told me that it means little clumps of grass.

8.) What’s your favorite song to dance to and why?

     I’m not much of a dancer (think Elaine on Seinfeld), but “Don’t Touch My Bikini” makes me shake around like I’m having a seizure or something.

9.) If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would be your last meal? please be explicit.

     Hmmm, I think I would have some raw oysters for an appetizer with some sort of lobster. Oh, and a big bucket of caviar. And a LOT of good wine to wash it down. Maybe I wouldn’t feel so bad about dying if I had a rotten hangover.

10.) when you hugged Lou Barlow, did you feel a folk implosion?

     I don’t think so. I wish I could come up with a clever answer to that question.

11.) What would you want the extremely small subsection of the population of the earth that reads
kempa.com to know about you?

     Here’s my little biography: I’m 29, I live in Hoboken, New Jersey. I grew up in Texas and Washington state. I’m married (Danielle), no kids and work for a Canadian bank in NYC on its Derivatives Structuring/Sales desk. I watch a lot of baseball and dig Guided by Voices. I like to travel and have been to 42 countries.

     So there you have it. Intriguing no? As a footnote to this little excursion into indie rock minutae, Jeff and I were speculating that we may somehow be related, as we both sprang from parents who called Buffalo, NY home at one time – and then I lost his email address. So hey Jeff if you’re reading this, I finally posted your interview, albeit a month or three late.

     In other ‘The last name Kempa’ news, someone who does such things as writing proposals over lunch is apparently giving out an email address @kempa.com to their business associates. Only problem is, it’s not their correct address. The first one I got said something like this:

Jim,
     It was good to talk to you I will send the proposal off tommorrow.
Thanks,
Teresa

     Then a few weeks later I started getting emails from one of those cellphone email adress things. I’ve got three or four of them so far. They’ve said:

“Hey, call me soon.”

“Hey, did you get my email?”

“Do you want to get lunch today?”

     The ‘lunch’ one was the latest one, so natuarally I replied with “Sure meet me at that place down the street from my office.” BWAHAHAHAHA!

Insane Author visits Barnes & Noble:

     Frank McKinney, author of one of those ridiculous inspirational personal finance books dropped in on our store a few months ago in an absolutely RIDICULOUS tourbus (see photo) with his face plastered all over it.

     Here is an efficient, itemized list of other interesting facts regarding his visit, composed by my fellow bookseller, Jenny:

  • Was dramatically introduced to staff by MANAGER.

  • Repeatedly used first names in that “Read about it in a business book way.”
  • Was wearing a red velour shirt, black leather vest, matching leather pants. Also: Gold necklace w/ matching tennis bracelet.
  • 7 feet tall, flowing blonde hair.
  • Stole merchindise from the store.
  • Was called a clown to his face by another customer.
  • Got in argument with said customer.
  • Repeatedly used cliched business phrases like “Rags to riches.”
  • Repeatedly mentioned his upcoming Oprah appearance.
  • Cut a business deal with the producer of the ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ infomercial while in our store.

So yes. Awesome dude, that Frank McKinney. You might want to visit his website just for the obnoxious ROCK N’ ROLL flash intro, or for the fact that he put a picture of his tourbus on his page. Or to see his ‘Frequently asked questions’ that DON’T HAVE ANSWERS. Or just to see a better picture of him.

     You can download a really great Faint video here and a merely so so Enon video here. The faint one wins because it’s all animated and banned from MTV and all that. Speaking of the Faint and the Bright eyes and the video, you can download all SORTS of fun video footage from the Saddle Creek website, where they post a new video on a weekly basis. Hot Damn! Finally, check out the subpop media page, where you can download all sorts of fun Shins videos, a vue video and other fun stuff like a clip of Rosie Thomas ‘In character’ as Shelia.

Found during finals week: Student Evaluation of Teaching form, showcasing a supreme wit indeed.

“Would you like to see something deleted from this course?”

“Final Exam”

“Would you like to see something added to this course?”

“Free Beer & Hot Girls.”

Guest Barnes and Noble Story from Donna B.

     “A well-dressed fuckwad of a woman came in one day. I was working the
information desk, and smiled as cheerfully as humanly possible at her approach.

Donna: Can I help you find something?

Horrible Woman: I need a copy of Sugarbusters.

D: Alright. It’ll be right this way.

     (I walk her to the section, all the while thinking, “Damn, lady, you should have stopped by for that book a few months ago…” I arrive at the section, hand her the book, then notice
that she is STILL looking at me expectantly, as if I should do a little “Here’s your book, yay!” dance.)

D: Urm, they have the original book, and have since published a cookbook and shopping guide…. (She’s still fucking *staring* at me, so I attempt to address what, besides retardation, might be her problem.) …Though, really, I don’t know why they didn’t just put all of that information in the *book*.

HW: Well… (pauses to look at my nametag, then continues haughtily) …Donna… I guess that’s why *you* work in a *bookstore*.

D: Dhhh-ggg-uuuuhhh…

     I was so fucking SHOCKED that I couldn’t even gut-punch her, much less
formulate a witty response. It is SO like a B&N customer to assume that I must possess inferior mental capabilities, or I wouldn’t be working there.

Well, you know what? Find your own fucking book, Einstein.

Okay, rant over. I feel better.”

Also: a collection of tales penned by a grocery store cashier, and the sequel.

     Probably not of any interest to those in the Livonia, Michigan area, but we’re doing another summer show at Wilson Barn this year. The Flyer can be found at this address. This year’s show will feature el Boxeo, The Recital, Thunderbirds are Now, The Pop Project, and Scott Allen of RSB‘s new solo pursuit. Pass it on!

Email I got:

Subj:Kempa.com
Date:5/15/02 12:31:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From:
To:adam@kempa.com

     I was going to do an article on personal websites and interview you for (Name of Magazine), but I noticed you don’t have a link to us on your site! Who wants to
be in a magazine they don’t read anyway?

(Editor)

Do people REALLY still care this much about internet links?

Email from Chris O.:

     So earlier this year jason and I saw Superchunk at Magic Stick. This band called Rilo Kiley opened. I just found this out today:

  1. The singer/guitarist was Fred Savage’s girlfriend in “The Wizard” (and totally cute too)

  2. The guitar player with the weird mustache played Pinsky on Salute Your Shorts. And the band has a song called “Salute MY Shorts”.

Right on, internet!

     In other famous people making music news, Steve Burns of ‘Blues Clues’ fame is making an album with members of the Flaming Lips and it’s good! Download some songs here! Alternately, buy an actual replica of Steve’s blues Clues shirt here.

     I decided the other day that since no one really writes prayers any more, I would break into the literary world by becoming an author of kick-ass prayers. Here’s my first attempt:

Title: Totally.

Dude, God:
Thanks Man.
You’re totally
My number one bro.
Amen.

     Oh also: This is a picture of my friend Erik with the Dad from Teen Wolf. Conversation that preceeded this photograph:

Erik: (walking, talking to me) Blah blah blah

(Both notice old guy wink at us from table, continue walking. Several seconds later, the useless knowledge area of my brain kicks in.)

Adam: That was totally Teen Wolf’s dad who just winked at us.

Erik: (Looking Back) Yep, It was.

Yet another weird Barnes & Noble customer:

     The opening theme to Star Wars comes on as a middle aged woman is doing some ‘I’m on my way out’ style browsing near the front of the store. Upon recognizing the opening notes, she stands bolt upright, and proceeds to ‘conduct’ the entire piece of music, as though there were an orchestra following her direction. For the duration of the selection, she stood in the exact same place, looking straight forward, conducting. After it was over, she relexed her posture and calmly exited the store.

     If you’re still bored, you can waste some time reading this insane interview with Rivers Cuomo – packed with all sorts of groupie hijinx, or you could make a south park version of yourself by clicking here. South Park-ed Adam is below.

Things you can do to make me very happy with you:

  1. Send me your beer bottle caps. Especially if you drink drinks that have predominantly black caps like Mike’s or MGD. In bulk prefereably. If you are willing to do this, email me and I’ll tell where to send ‘em. Yes, I’m absolutely serious.
  2. Tell me where I can download Pulp’s music videos online.

Quarterly Check In

     Hey, how ya been? Remember when I used to actually write stuff here? Man, those were the days, huh? Well hey, I actually put some new stuff up here. Crazy, I know. At one point in time, I had planned to go through all this crap and sort of divide it up into categories, but the list of links and stupid anecdotes just kept growing until I gave up on ever imposing any sort of order on the whole mess. As it stands, the whole thing kind of reads as a stream of conciousness recounting of all the stuff I’ve been looking at online and / or doing for the past month or so.

     The video for The White Stripes “Fell in Love With a Girl” is done in dumbed-down lego mosaics. It would’ve been cooler if they had gone through and done each frame of the footage as a mosaic. If anyone wants to pay me to devote my life to making such a video, get in touch.

     In other Detroit rock news, The Sights appeared live in the FOX2 news studio a week or so ago, and you can download a massive video file of their appearance here. Looks like Nate of Judah Johnson and Buddyhead fame is playing keys for them these days.

     The purpose of their appearance on FOX2 was to promote the Hamtramck Blowout, which happened last weekend. If I was on top of things, I would have posted an update here urging you to go see both of the bands I am currently a member of in their respective time slots, but I didn’t because I am a giant slacker. The Recital also ended up making an appearance on FOX2 news, primarily because we were one of the first bands to play. You can download a digital recording of our fleeting fifteen minutes here. Those of you who are upset about having missed yet another chance to witness my musical prowess can console yourselves by attending one of the following all-ages shows:

  • On Saturday, March 16th, at Mr. Muggs in Ypsilanti, I’ll be playing drums with the Pop Project. Also appearing will be a whole damn handful of bands, as it appears to be an all day ordeal. I’m not sure what time this shindig kicks off, but it looks like we’ll be playing sometime around 9PM.
  • On Monday, March 18th, at Stormy Records in Dearborn, I’ll be playing bass with The Recital. Also performing will be Lisboa. All the proceeds from this show go to WHFR 89.3 FM, so you should go. Show starts at 8PM (Sharp!)

     While I’m already boring you with band-related crap, two more quick things:

     The Recital played in Ohio awhile back at the venue where Harlow played back when Bands on the Run originally came through town. All the disclaimer signs and what have you from the taping were still proudly displayed. Not surprisingly, the club had an extremely sleazy “Makeout room” in the back, and I had the following conversation with a rather colorful ‘Local:’

Me: (Watching RSB play)
Her: Ahhhhhhhhhh! (Turns to me) Nothing like a good OVULATION!
Me: (Leaving)

     We’ve also been recording on a super nice 2″ analog 24 track with Norm Druce in Owosso, Michigan. His studio is in an old machine shop, so the natural reverb is pretty great. To see a panoramic photo thingy I put together by standing in the center of the room and taking pictures as I turned in a circle, click here.

     …and now it’s time for a little section I like to call “PROTRACTED DISCUSSION OF WRITERS WHO FAVOR FOOTNOTING AND ALSO SOME WHO DON’T” or “HOT NERDY BOOK ACTION.”

     I’m in the middle of my third attempt at conquering David Foster Wallace’s mammoth ‘Infinite Jest.’ It’s going slightly better than my first and second attempts which both ended in the first 100 pages. For those of you who appreciate the nuance of the footnote but don’t have the time to wade through 1200 or so pages, I would reccommend ‘The Mezzanine‘ by Nicholson Baker. The book is under 200 pages in length and takes place over the course of one man’s ride up an escalator – but you learn all about him through the footnotes that drive the story. So yes: highest kempa.com recommendation. [Actually I just heard back from one person who I recommended it to who hated it and I guess I should amend my recommendation: if you consider being called ‘meticulous’ to be a compliment (ie you are mildly OCD and / or at least partially insane and /or an engineering student), you will really, really like this book. If you thought ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ ROCKED then you might not. But hey, if ‘The Mezzanine’ isn’t for you and you were into Bridget Jones, then you should read ‘MISadventures‘ which is a pretty good chick-ish book I read on my break one day because I couldn’t find anything else to read.]

     Hey, did you know that the new issue of Dave Eggers’ quarterly literary journal McSweeney’s is out? This one is of the same format as issue #4: a bunch of stories individually bound and then rubberbanded together. So far I’m not very impressed with this issue – it seems that a lot of the irreverence and humor is missing this time around. The cover touts a contribution from Chris Ware – but don’t get too excited, because he only supplied the cover to the Michael Chabon story.

     Those of you looking for some new Chris Ware material should check out the latest issue of Nest magazine, as the first installment of a regular ‘Strip’ appears. Also newly available is the Chris Ware lunchbox, which is really quite great. Just look at the main panel illustration, and check out the typically Ware-ian description:

“Remember gym class, being called names, and getting spit on? Well, here’s the “Rusty Brown” lunchpail — the perfect companion for children who are used to dining alone. Decorated with popular images from the new serial beginning in “The ACME Novelty Library” series of picture books and pamphlets, this one is sure to be just the thing to display for a short time, put in a closet, and then eventually throw away. Four color, embossed, and solid metal — so that it really hurts when somebody bigger than you smacks you on the side of the head with it.”

     Anyway, remember three paragraphs back when I mentioned Dave Eggers? Well, I was going to segue into further Eggers-centric discussion, but then I started talking about Chris Ware for too long for the segue to make any sense, so now I’m using this coincidentally very Eggers-esque device to bring our little discussion back to Dave Eggers. Got that? Okay, good, here we go:

     Speaking of Dave Eggers, there’s been some speculation in the press that his sister Beth has committed suicide. This speculation appears to be at least partially based on the fact that Ms. Eggers, a lawyer, did not pay her California Bar dues for 2002. Her reaction to HBWOSG, which she felt presented her inaccurately, veered from somewhat hostile to a grim acceptance pretty quickly after the books release [The second link was at onetime Beth Eggers’ ‘retraction’ of some of her earlier comments. It appears to have been removed from the McSweeney’s site]. The Eggers-penned forward to the paperback edition (Which dealt in part with the book’s reception) is conspicuously absent from the current paperback edition, as is all the paperback-only footnoting. If this is at all interesting to you, then (1.) you are a giant dork, and (2.) you should know that all sorts of obsessive Eggers-watching goes on here.

     If you’re a fan of Tom Perrotta, you can hear him reading a chapter from ‘Joe College’ in MP3 format right here. Unfortunately it’s not one of the better passages in the book. If you’re not familiar with Tom Perrotta, he wrote ‘Election,’ and also the superior short story collection ‘Bad Haircut.’

     I went solo to see Michael Moore on his book tour as it rolled into Ann Arbor This past Tuesday, and boy, was I glad I did, as Mr. Moore showed the audience an epic rough cut of his forthcoming documentary “Bowling for Columbine.” The film deals with the issue of gun violence in America, but not from the usual “Get rid of all guns” perspective, as Moore is a card carrying member of the NRA. Two of the most intelligent interviews in the film are with Marilyn Manson, who seemed surprisingly (to me at least) insightful, and South Park Creator Matt Stone, who is obviously a very smart guy. You may remember his straight-faced article on the beauty of math from a few years back. Well I went hunting for it online again but couldn’t find it. It looks like the site that originally hosted it has been deleted. All I was able to find was this quotation from it:

     “I became aware of an underlying superstructure that tied all my math knowledge together. Although I had no idea how to define that superstructure, just being aware of it was a big step… When the rays of mathematical structure do puncture the clouds of one’s monkey brain, one sees, or rather feels, the interconnectedness of totality. All these different formulas and graphs and infinite series that you have learned and mastered your whole life all actually describe different parts of the same thing.”

     At any rate, Moore also scored an interview with NRA head honcho Charleton Heston, who manages to come off as a supreme racist during his brief interview. Also of interest to fans of Michael Moore is this transcript of an interview with Bill O’Reilly. The result: a festival of smugness. O’Reilly attacks with his unique brand of “I’m all politics-core smart” smugness, and Moore counters with his “I’m all politics-core and I didn’t sell out” sort of smugness. A smugness standoff is achieved.

     Those of you into hearing a good interview with the late Charles Schutz, you can download some really good interview MP3’s here. [Ah crap – I’ve been sitting on this update so long they’ve changed the interview subject to Robert Crumb. Bah.] Incidentally, shortly before his death, Schultz was interviewed on 60 minutes. It was an insanely depressing interview, completely in contrast to the interview linked above (In which he is almost self-congratulatory). If anyone ever stumbles across a transcript and or recording of this interview online, remember that I really, really want it. Thanks.

     …and now a pile of music-related links:

     Holy Crap! Did you see Thom Yorke on the grammys?! If not, click here, now! He looks like a YETI these days! While Thom was running around all Yeti-like, he also stopped in on an acoustic Beck show where they performed a cover of the velvet Undergrounds “I’m Set Free,” a pretty nice-sounding MP3 of which can be downloaded here. This MP3 is hosted by Injektilo-ftp.com, where you can find all sorts of live Radiohead and Sigur Ros goodness (Another good Radiohead download site is here). Hop on that shit. By the way, if you’re all about Radiohead, you should know that they added a bunch of new merch to Waste.com. Highlights include cups, and a book by resident artists Stanley Donwood.

     Tiny Telephone has always had a great selection of MP3’s but I hadn’t checked back in awhile. There’s some great stuff there, including a Bright Eyes song that I didn’t know existed, a clinic song I don’t have, a demo version of an Elliott Smith song, and an interesting video by a band called For Stars that shows the studio takes that actually produced the song synced up. Not to mention about 100 other MP3’s you should hear. So yes. Go download some good music. Oh and before I forget, here’s the story on that Bright Eyes song:

“Better Looking Records will be releasing a series of 7″ from the Album Leaf (Jimmy Lavalle from Tristeza’s solo thing) and each release will feature a different accompanying guest artist. The debut release features Conor Oberst and is due for release in the coming few months. According to Paul Fischer of better looking, Jimmy recorded some stuff and sent the material to Conor for him to add to. Conor returned it back to Jimmy for final mixing.”

     Matador records is streaming the Jon Spencer blues explosion video that features both a spastic Winona Ryder and a Drum-set-kicking John C. Reilly. So all you high speed connection folks: stock up on the spastic Winona and crazy C. Reilly.

     So you know that album, ‘Pinkerton,’ by Weezer, right? Well I guess it was originally supposed to be rock opera set in space, and that studio versions of several songs that weren’t released were recorded. You can read up on the history of this weird concept album that never was here, and ferret out many of the songs on audiogalaxy.

     I’m on an unashamedly over-the-top power pop kick these days. I’m relatively new to the Jellyfish, but holy cow, they’re pretty fucking good. Anyone know if this box set ever came out? I’m also listening to a lot from The Flashing Lights (Flawlessly produced Canadian pop) and The Zombies lately (My copy of the box set is missing the 2nd disc – if you have the ‘Zombie Heaven’ boxset and feel like burning me a copy of the 2nd disc, then that would be pretty rad). So yes. In case you were wondering, I mean.

     Since we all knew it wouldn’t be possible to make it through the entire update without some nerdly Arcade-based links, why don’t we just get ‘em out of the way now? One of the greatest things I’ve stumbled across in awhile is the web page of a guy who only collects arcade game prototypes (ie games that were never mass produced). His collection can be seen here, and some highlights include Beavis and Butthead and Marble Man machines. The Marble Man page is probably the most interesting, as it chronicles how he obsessively assembled the parts of the machine over a three year period. Crazy.

     Oh, I forgot to tell you I went to an arcade auction. If you ever have the need to see the largest concentration of greasy guys who own roller rinks EVER, go to an arcade auction. I went just to see what it was like, and assumed everything would be top dollar, so I didn’t bother registering to bid. It turns out this was a mistake, as towards the end of the afternoon they were letting perfectly good cabinets with minor electrical problems go for $15. Next year I will begin using my nerdliness for PROFIT! But I digress…

SUMMARY OF THE DORKIEST CONVERSATION I’VE EVER HAD: WITH DIAGRAM

     When naming your band, you must ask yourself several important questions. First and foremost should be: “Will we ever release our music in the 12″ Vinyl format?” If the answer is yes, an appropriate follow-up question would be: “Does the type of music we will be releasing appeal to those who would typically alphabetize 12″ vinyl?” If the answer to both of these questions is ‘Yes,’ then the orientation of the chosen band name within the context of the alphabet as a whole must be given careful consideration.

     Danger zones within the alphabet lie in the ‘A’ and ‘Z’ sections. These zones are dangerous because they are vulnerable to stress and wear imposed by the collector who does not have enough records to properly fill the shelf on which they are stored (See figure 1). If these records are left as such for long periods of time, the album stored on the bottom of the stack (Often an ‘A’ or ‘Z,’ though the proliferation of compilation records containing music by “Various Artists” has made the ‘Z’ section significantly safer.) can eventually be warped by the force imparted by the other records on the shelf.

Fig. 1: The stress imposed on the end records by all the other records (which are inadequate in number to properly fill the shelf) is greatest on artists whose names begin with the letter ‘Z’ (See point ‘A’ in the figure above). Alternately, records by artists whose names begin with the letter ‘A’ would bear the most stress were the records to fall in the other direction. It is in this respect that we see how the force of gravity becomes a variable in the naming of a band and / or musical project.

     The ideal course of action if the chosen name of your musical endeavor begins with the letter ‘A’ is to either make music that will appeal to the financially well-to-do vinyl enthusiast who can be expected to adequately fill his record shelf, or make music that will appeal to those who don’t alphabetize their vinyl records, thereby putting your faith in the odds that your albums will end up not on the ends, but in the center of an accumulation of records.

     This second scenario begs the question of desirability: if your albums are to accumulate in the center of a stack it would follow that they would be less likely to be played by the casual listener. This argument, however, is beyond the scope of this summary of a conversation I had.

     When I saw Amelie AGAIN, I noticed something kind of neat. In the beginning, during the likes/dislikes montage, we learn that Amalie enjoys skipping stones. Before she does each of her three “good deeds,” she finds a flat stone, and puts it in her pocket. Before she finally attempts to do something in her own interest, she goes and skips each of the three stones, and they skip approximately a billion times each. Stupid little details like that make insane people like me smile. These things are in stark contrast to what makes the average moviegoer smile, like FUCKING ROLLERBALL KICKS ASS BRO.

     If you were ever obsessively into Canadian popsters Sloan then you are probably familiar with the names Laura Borealis and Catherine Stockhausen. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, allow me to elaborate:

Laura Borealis:

     Artsy gal who dated Chris Murphy at one time. Is credited in both ‘Smeared’ and ‘Twice Removed.’ She’s got her own website now which is of interest for a number of reasons. First of all, you can check out some of the indie rawk videos she directed in the late 90’s, all of them pretty good. For those of you too lazy to go to her page and see what’s available, here’s the breakdown:

  • Superfrindz – ‘10 Lbs.‘ Download Matt Murphy of The Flashing Lights fame’s first music video (And speaking of The Flashing Lights, click here to read their hilarious tour rider), in which he appears to be wearing a children’s size medium t-shirt. The song is great, too.
  • Eric’s Trip – ‘ Viewmaster‘ Subpop Canadian Lofi, ho!
  • Sebadoh – ‘Ocean‘ The infamous ‘Lou Barlow crying’ video. So great.

     Also available at Laura’s site is information on her upcoming arthouse movie, which stars members of both Sloan and Eric’s Trip. Clicking here gets you a complete cast list, not to mention a picture of Andrew Scott in Leather pants. Bonus.

Catherine Stockhausen:

     Artsy gal who has supplied the photographic skills for just about every East Coast Canadian record released in the last decade. She’s also got a new website, and there are some great candid shots of all sorts of Canrock bands including Sloan, The Superfriendz, The Flashing Lights, Eric’s Trip, The Inbreds, Hardship Post, Plumtree, The Deadly Snakes, The New Pornographers, etc. in her photo gallery here.

     If you’re oblivious to all this canadian rock business, you can listen to Michael Barclay talk about his monstrous new book ‘Have not been the same’ (Hi speed / Low speed) which discusses the last decade in Canadian rock music and deals extensively with some of the bands mentioned abouve. It’s almost worth tracking down just for the chapter on Sloan, which was actually really well done and informative.

     In case you are sitting at work and needing online games to play, here are two that kept me amused all through boring lectures I should have been paying attention to:

  • Take it Easy.’ Nerdy puzzlish game using tiles and numbers and math and other things you probably hate. But wait: it’s the FUN kind of math!

  • Farkle.’ A crazy dice game that makes no sense at all at first but after you play one round you are totally addicted and that lecture about the anthropology of business is the furthest thing from your mind.

The best 99 cents I’ve spent on a record in quite awhile:

     After listening to the record, I’ve determined that a fitting subtitle would be: “…well I’m here to tell you that you’re fucking NOT. And you’re not HAPPY either.” This is like, the jackpot of samples, I swear.

A heap of completely unrelated links:

  • This is something you should definately make an effort to see: a short film exploring the outing of Bert and Ernie of Sesame Street fame: Ernest and Bertram. Worth whatever trouble you go to to see it for the ‘sad’ version of the theme song alone.

  • Photos and video clips of Sloan making asses of themselves in animal suits on a Canadian talk show are here.

  • An interesting site about ‘Circuit Bending‘ (“An electronic art which implements creative audio short-circuiting”) can be found here. To get a better idea of what this is all about, check out their gallery of ‘altered’ Speak and Spells.

  • Chris Hatfield dug up a link that archives what kempa.com looked like back in March 2000, when I first made the move to an actual domain after getting booted from the AOL servers.

  • I finally found a site that is hosting some Adventures of Pete and Pete clips (Albeit very short ones). Available are brief clips of Artie, Stu, and… Artie again. If anyone out there would like to assist me in completing my collection of original Pete & Pete episodes, please do. I would forever be in your debt, you see.
  • Click here to see pictures of the flexidisc GN’R used to promote Appetite For Destruction. Clicking here allows you to listen to the contents of the flexidisc: Izzy and Slash explaining the significance of ‘Night Train.’ Thank you, internet.

  • Have you ever been sitting down, trying to solve a rubiks cube (NOT standing up, trying to solve a rubiks cube), and thought: “You know, this would be a lot easier if I just built a machine out of legos that can solve a Rubik’s cube by itself.” Because this guy did.

  • A really cool animated web-clock thing.

     This update was brought to by the Financial columnist in my local paper, who apparently insists on being called ‘Timbo.’ Way to go there, guy. Because we’ll all trust our money with someone called ‘Timbo.’

The boring part of the website where Adam talks about college

     This semester I have two teachers on opposite sides of the ‘bad’ spectrum.

     One is the sort of teacher who you can tell has no idea what he is talking about, but he’s trying really hard. It’s fairly obvious that he skimmed the chapter the night before and is trying to look like he knows this material like the back of his hand, but he keeps confusing terms and using words that aren’t actually words. Two other things he does:

  • He teaches anthropology, and he goes out of his way to VERY LOOSELY relate EVERYTHING to september eleventh.
  • Answers student’s questions by inexplicably, and exhaustively answering completely unrelated and easier questions.

     The second teacher is the sort of guy who knows his stuff, but delights in taking every opportunity to point out that you don’t, EVEN THOUGH HIS JOB IS TO MAKE SURE YOU DO.

     Sir, thank you for pointing out that I do not know how a diode works. One thing you may have overlooked is that if I did know, chances are I wouldn’t have enrolled in a class that focuses one third of a semester on diodes. Assbag.

     Actual photgraph of a sign in front of an auto dealership by my house:

     No word on whether or not Jesus will be making other stops or if this is a one-off appearance.

     I was at work the other day and noticed that HBO Family has released a wave of “Harold and the Purple Crayon” books to tie in with their childrens series based on the original “Harold” book of the same name. The really annoying thing about these new books is that nowhwere, inside or out, does Crockett Johnson’s name appear. This wouldn’t matter if, say, he wasn’t the person who CREATED THE CHARACTER. HBO hired some hacks to write new stories and emulate Johnson’s illustration style, and natuarally, these folks are given credit right on the front cover. Way to go HBO.

     Have you seen this director’s bureau site? Due to their web designer thinking ALL people are stupid (Instead of just MOST people), you can work around their links and download some artsy fartsy music videos in the realvideo format. Highlights include (Right click and “Save As” to download):

Air’s ‘Playground Love’
Air’s ‘All I Need’
Air’s ‘Kelly Watch the Stars’
Air’s ‘Sexy Boy’

JSBX’s ‘2 Kindsa Love’

Pulp’s ‘Party Hard’

Liz Phair’s ‘Down’

The Rentals’ ‘I’m Waiting’
The Strokes’ ‘Last Nite’
Ween’s ‘Voodoo Woman’
The Avalanches’ ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’

     If you live in Michigan and / or Windsor and / or somewhere near there, you should get all drunk (ie “crocked”) and add yourself to boysplusgirls.com.

     A super Good / Long / Candid interview with Chris Murphy of Sloan fame can be found here. If you’re a Sloan / East Coast Canadian music fan, this is an indispensible interview. If you’re not a fan I’ll save you some work and post the best parts.

On the English Music Press:

So they like having first run at bands.

Yeah. Basically, there’s a guy named Jerry Thackerty (sp?) who goes by the name Everett True, do you know that guy?

[shrugs]

He sorta discovered Seattle and grunge and all this shit. He was basically paid by SubPop to discover Seattle and that’s how it got big. It got big through England. But he was saying, he told me, he went to Halifax and he saw us, Eric’s Trip and Jale play a show. He said, well here’s what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna say I love Jale, because they’re unsigned, I’m gonna say Eric’s Trip are ok, because they’re an indie and I’m gonna say you guys aren’t that hot, because you’re signed. Because, you’re of no use to me, because you’re discovered. So he basically told me how it works. I don’t hold it against him, I actually like him, I still talk to him from time to time.

On being humble:

You really don’t see yourself ranking up there? It is hard to think of maybe because it’s you?

I guess so, we’re my own favourite band. I’m a fan-I love-I’m proud of what we’ve done and everything. I mean, ask me about other bands, I hate them all. I think we’re the biggest band worth a shit in this country. There’s a lot of awesome bands, but they’re all tiny. They don’t have a story, or they didn’t luck out with the timing the way we did. Do I collect Sloan shit for the fuckin museum and coffee table book? Yes. Am I deranged? Maybe.

On tactfully answering questions:

Do you ever look at the websites or things like that? I saw one today, and the girl who had done it had one of those counters on the bottom of the page, and she’d written ‘I have had [counter] many dreams about Chris Murphy’ around it. Does that ever bug you that you have the 14 year old girls after you? You love it!

I’m not gonna do-I’m not gonna fuck them or anything. They don’t have to worry. There’s nothing weird about it, it’s just kids.

READER MAIL!

…regarding the PEZ popcorn from the last update:

     “Hey man, i’ve been a reader of your site for about 2-3 years now. Anyway, about that PEZ Popcorn business… i work for a company, we are the ‘licensing agent’ for PEZ candy. i’m only an assitant there to pay for bills, but anyway. these things are made by a company in Canada called
Krack-O-Pop. i have tasted all these. i have seen the approval process of these since day one. it’s sick, but
the people at PEZ love them. i have loads of them at work. you would be AMAZED at how well they sell. i was amazed, and yes, they are mostly disgusting. but if you ever see something PEZ (besides candy) that interests you, let me know and i’ll try to get you a sample…
later,
Max

p.s. try to find the PEZ Candy ice pops. warning: they aren’t much better.”

…regarding my luck:

Subject: You lucky bastard

“I guess you beat me to the domain name.

My name is Paul Kempa. I was looking to get a simple web domain. Oh well.

I find it unusual to see many Kempa names around the country, do you?

Have fun with your site and good luck with school.

Also, I’ve recieved two emails that agree that the keychain I had previously asked about says “Auto Paddock.” In case you were wondering, I mean.

     So I finally saw all of Wet Hot American Summer on DVD, after having seen bits of a ‘camera in the audience’ style bootleg on someone’s computer. In case you did not know this, it stars members of MTV’s The State. Their usual brand of absurd humor is present, and the DVD extras are actually pretty hilarious. If you, like me, continue to mourn the loss of The State, you can download all three MTV seasons here. If you actually do this, I would love you forever if you would burn me copies, as I’m still on dialup and it would take me approximately three lifetimes to download even one of the seasons. [Looks like it’s down now. They just posted season three, so they may have gone over their bandwidth limit for January. Try again in February.]

     If you’re bored on Friday, February 1st come to the Halfway Inn in Ann Arbor and watch me play drums for the Pop Project. It’ll be fun, I swear.

The Torch

     Okay, so two weeks or so ago, I was informed that the olympic torch would be passing within a few blocks of my home. At 6:40 AM. Naturally, I decided I had to see this, so I set my alarm for that ungodly hour. Now, before I describe the atrocity that was the olympic torch experience, I should explain that, in hindsight, I was very naive about the whole thing.

     Have you ever seen those commercials on TV around olympics time where they show just one random solitary dude running along a deserted road holding the torch? Because that’s totally what I was expecting. What I was not expecting was to drag my nowhere-near-awake-yet ass out of bed at 6:30, drive up to the street where the torch was supposed to pass and find MOBS and MOBS of people. At 6:30 AM.

     I don’t even know why I wanted to go see the torch. I think mainly because it was kind of a ridiculous proposition or something. I had NO IDEA that lots of normal people (By normal people, I mean people who are not insane, like I am) would actually want to do this. So I sat at the intersection because it was super fucking cold out and I didn’t want to have to get out of my car to see this crap.

     Then the PARADE started. There were these two GIANT Coca-cola trucks driving down the road, staffed by about five people each who were grabbing 20 oz Cokes out of the truck and chucking them at frozen people on the sides of the roads. On top of one of the trucks was a dude with a megaphone who said this, I swear to god:

“It’s cold out! It’s early! But you CAME! and that… THAT’S AMERICA!”

     Moving on. How many police escorts would you think a guy carrying a torch would need? One? Two? Three? No. NO. Six. Six police escorts for a guy running with a torch. Also they sent along an ambulance and a firetruck, presumably in case he dropped the torch, caught on fire, and needed to be put out and rushed to the hospital. So ridiculous.

     Also there were three news helicopters circling my neighborhood to cover this so I just got really disillusioned with the whole thing and went home.

     In the “nobody really gives a flying fuck at a rolling donut” department, I redisigned the Recital website. It’s got an extremely brief version of the “tour” diary I never got around to writing last summer. Also, on the off chance that I don’t update again before February 15th, anyone in the Metro Detroit area should check out RSB, The Recital, The Pop Project, and The Rants at CPOP Gallery on Friday, February 15th. All ages, five bucks, doors at eight PM. Hot damn!

A review of the first episode of The Real World: Chicago that I wrote in an email to a friend:

What’s with Ms. Aggressively naked?
She’s all serving up the naked whether you want it or not.
Always with the naked.

Or in Haiku form:

Ms. Aggro Naked
all serving up the naked
always the naked

     For probably the first time since I first offered the service, I’m all caught up on 1″ button orders. If you still haven’t gotten around to ordering buttons, now’s the time.

     Suppose it is your job to take two foods and put them together into one product. Would it ever occur to you that LEMON AND/OR ORANGE PEZ and POPCORN would go together well? No. No, it wouldn’t. But that didn’t stop someone from manufacturing the product below. The only MILDLY excusable explanation that has been pointed out to me is that the resulting products sort of look like buttered and cheesy popcorn(s).

     I mean, come on. Pez-coated popcorn? You’ll be pleased to know that I sampled a bit of each and they are both disgustacular. If anyone I know wants two full bags of ass-tasting Pez popcorn, let me know.

     A really good anti-tour diary tour diary by Travis Morrison of the Dismemberment Plan can be found here. He was in Europe immediately following the September 11th attacks and does a nice job of writing around that subject.

One minute reviews of movies I’ve seen in the last two weeks:

Royal Tanenbaums:

     Everyone in the world should see this movie, ESPECIALLY if they are in any way involved in the process of making movies. This would be a good law to have because then they would see jokes don’t have to necessarily be “JOKES!” to be funny. Does that make sense? No, of course it doesn’t. Allow me to clarify. An example of a JOKE! in a present day hollywood movie:

Chris Klein: Hey man be careful! You might FALL DOWN!

A Wayans Brother: I never FALL DOWN! (Falls down)

Audience Member: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I should buy those shoes he’s wearing.

…whereas the royal tanenbaums is littered with jokes that are purely observational and are almost never explicitly referenced or even explained. So good.

Orange County:

     All the funny parts from the trailers? NOT IN THE MOVIE. That Keith Moon part? NOT IN THE MOVIE. What the fuck is that? Someone will pay for tricking me into seeing this thinly disguised coming-of-Hanks crap. Here are the only two funny parts, so you don’t have to see it:

Jack Black (To his brother): Broseph!

Jack Black (On why he is standing in front of a burning building not wearing pants): “I was running from the fire and I tripped and then I took off my pants to run faster.”

Amelie: (again)

     So good. All the time I tell my friends and acquaintances to go see this movie, and they look at me in that sort of sad, patronizing way as if to say “No Adam, I will not see that movie because there are movies with Chris Klien in them coming out.” but what they really say is “Yeah I should see that…(trails off and backs away slowly)” while in their brain they are thinking “WHEN WILL HE FUCKING SHUT UP ABOUT THIS GAY FRENCH MOVIE!?” But yes, I saw it again, and I am right.

     Were you just thinking: “I wonder how perfectly Destiny’s Child’s “Bootylicious” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” would fit together if someone were to try that sort of thing?” Well then you’re in luck! Here’s an MP3! Also: Christina Aguilera grafted onto the Strokes (MP3)! All from this crazy site.

New Year

     Hello. I took December off. Didja miss me?

     I’d like to start out what promises to be a mammoth entry by ranting and raving about school for a bit. Somehow I managed to grab defeat from the jaws of victory in the last few weeks of the semester. Now, a less informed person might blame this feat on the fact that I was ridiulously busy this semester, but that had nothing to do with my current scholastic problems.

     First, to give you an idea of what sort of problems I’m talking about I’ll bore the fuck out of you by explaining the classes I took this past semester. Then to make things interesting (Actually no, it probably still won’t be interesting), I’ll list the grade I would deserve if any of these professors actually stuck to their own grading scales, then predict the grade I’ll actually get. You see, engineering professors (At WSU at least) are notorious for instituting absolutely ridiculous curves after giving you mind-bendingly impossible exams. This practice, augmented by WSU’s policy of not mailing grades for the Fall semester until the Winter semester has already begun makes for a very high engineering-student-to-ulcer ratio.

Technichal Writing 2 (ENG 3060)

     My professor for this class was an older man who spoke in that salty sea captain voice that many older men develop. He would best be described as “eccentric.” To give you a rough idea of what I’m talking about, here is a list of things he actually said in class, transcribed verbatim from my notes (Remember to imagine these things in the salty sea captain voice. It’s funnier):

“I am the father of countless children, none of whom I’ll ever see.”

“Hairpins fucking Work.”

“I don’t have any of those upscale japanese erasers.”

“We played a game called ‘Who has the oldest money?'”

“When I was in the Seminary we used to have flatulance contests.”

“Have you ever worked with such an asshole as me?”

“I’m not gonna do anything shitty.”

“I live out here in the hood, so I hate cops.”

“I often wonder, when I go to hell, will they crisp me from toe up or top down?”

“Who laughed?! We don’t do that in America. We save ourselves for the big battles. You can’t grin in the infantry.”

“When you’ve had all this shit come down the pipe you’re gonna respond the same as any other shiteater.”

“Slap the hell out of them, then thank them for bleeding in a way that doesn’t get it on the carpet.”

“Food should be consumed in a private room by yourself. Then food would be better than sex, because you need someone else for sex. At least if you’re going to heaven you do.”

“Professional and to the point?! It SUCKS!”

“Ceaser is bisexual, as every good general should be. That’s how you control the troops.”

“I was an attendant at a hospital. I was good at it so i was a medic in the army. So I wiped some MORE asses.”

“You understand that I’m not in DIRECT contact with the archangel Gabriel.”

     Ok. That said, he knew what he was doing, and he was more than fair to everyone. No complaints here.

Estimated deserved grade: B+
Estimated actual grade: B+/A-

Linear Signals

     This guy was an asshole. The book he likes to teach from went out of print a few years back so he recommended that the university require us to buy a $100+ book. We never used the book we bought, despite the fact that he had instructed us that it was required. He taught from the old book, in which the chapters, order, methods and examples were all just different enough to make our book useless. Also: He refused to make copies of the relevant chapters from the old book for us. We ended up spending more time waiting for the one copy of the old book in our library to become available than learning.

     His greatest joy in life seemed to come from introducing new material ON EXAMS. To top everything off, his final exam consisted of four questions. Two of these questions (ie 50% of the final exam) were based on a “Special Case” type of problem that he did ONE example of in lecture. This sort of problem was never mentioned again on any homework assignment, exam, or review sheet. If I saw you at that Detroit Contemporary RSB show a few Tuesdays ago and I looked like someone had just punched me in the face a few hundred times, it was because I had literally *just* finished this exam.

Estimated deserved grade: D
Estimated actual grade: C+/B-

Ethics in the Workplace

     No complaints here… this guy was pretty..well, ethical.

Estimated deserved grade: A-
Estimated actual grade: A-/A

Computational Methods in Engineering

     This class is every bit as dull as it sounds. Imagine if you will, a very repetitive and pointless task. Now take that task, and enlarge it to the largest possible magnitude. The resulting monstrosity would be any given assignment in this class. The focus is on ridiculously overcomplicated ways of solving things that your calculator can already do for you. The professor lets you use A LAPTOP WITH EXCEL on exams so you can show how you got your answer, but just trusting your calculator: no good. Additionally, his lectures use Powerpoint exclusively (If you are a teacher, please for the love of god NEVER use powerpoint. It’s a CRUTCH, and people don’t learn from it, ESPECIALLY if you use it for math).

      I took the class last fall, but took an incomplete because I was a bit overwhelmed when returning for finals after my brother’s accident. This was the last semester I could still make up the incomplete work and still get credit for the class, so I sat in on the professor’s lectures all semester. I made up the one quiz and homework assignment I missed, and asked when he wanted me to take the final. He asked if I could make it to the final with his current class and i agreed to be there.

     Thing is: I overslept. The final began at 10:40 AM and I woke up at 10:50 AM. So I sped down to Detroit and ran all the way across campus and entered the room halfway through the exam. I explained to the professor that I was the student who had been making up the incomplete, and asked if I could have some extra time and / or take a different exam. Naturally he wasn’t having any of that, so I set to work attempting to solve A RIDICULOUSLY HARD two hour exam in one hour, the catch being that this professor stipulates that students have to get 50% on the final or else they don’t pass, no matter how good their grade is. After he calls time, a girl a few rows in front of me starts CRYING. So depending on whether I achieved 50% in that hour or not, I either passed the class with a B or failed outright, all because I overslept one freaking day. The prospect of sitting through this guy’s powerpoint lectures a third time is not a pleasant one.

Estimated deserved grade: B- or E
Estimated actual grade: B-

     In conclusion, I’d just like to say that I’ve adopted a new philosophy on college. This new philosphy comes from comedic genius Jack Black, via a commercial for the forthcoming “Orange County.” You can download an audio clip of this philosophy (In MP3 format) here.

Magazines that are actually worth paying for:

  • Readymade: The first issue should be in all the larger chain stores now. It’s sort of like an artsy do it yourself magazine for poor twentysomethings. Notable articles in the first issue include pieces by Adrian Tomine (Optic Nerve writer/artist), and Neal Pollack (McSweeney’s Contributor), but the whole thing is good.

  • Chunklet #16: Best magazine ever. Includes the hilarious shitlist, in which bands are alphabetically given what-for (Example: “My Bloody Valentine [1991]: Like standing in front of a jet engine. The loudest thing ever. Anybody who says they enjoyed this is lying.”), and the best no-holds barred tour diary ever, chronicling the last days of Don Caballero. A months worth of interesting reading.

     Did you know they made Simpsons breakfast cereals for a little while? I didn’t either until I found some discounted a few weeks back. Check it:


     The very best part about these cereals is the fact that on Homer’s, he is so happy to have donuts that he is crying. So great.

Two-second reviews of completely unrelated things:

  • Vanilla Sky: Take the money you were going to spend on seeing this, buy the soundtrack (Which is exemplary as far as hollywood soundtracks go, but they left off some of the best music used in the film) and listen to it in the dark for 3 hours. Twelve times as interesting.

  • The Strokes (live): Like listening to the album, only louder and smokier. Roughly the same level of animation from the music source. But check out the B-side “When it Started.” Good.

Four things about ads:

  • All the postal trucks in our area have recently been covered in gigantic Microsoft ads on both sides. What the hell is that? Since when does the post office offer advertising?

  • You know how sometimes people go door to door hanging ads on your doorknob in little plastic bags? Well that happened to me today, and the bag says “ADS” on it. How stupid is that? Do they really think people are going to see this opaque bag hanging on their doorknob and think “Oh! ADS! Hot Damn!”
  • Just a few minutes ago I saw a commercial that had Portishead’s “Roads” playing in the background. It was one of those sports commercials where you can’t even tell what the hell they’re advertising. Again: what the hell is that? The only way this is acceptable is if Portishead took that money and is finishing that new album they’ve supposedly been making (Update: I’m told that the commercial is for Nike and / or Michael Jordan).
  • If you happen to be lobbying for funding for time machine research, My collegue Zach Curd and I have come up with a slogan you can use to gain grassroots support, free of charge. Here ’tis: “Time Machines: We Need ‘Em.” You’re welcome. On the off chance that you’re NOT lobbying for funding for time machine research, you can say this whenever you and/or any number of those you count among your “Pals” (also:”Buds”) does something stupid.

     I had the weakest case of the hiccups EVER this past week. It lasted all of two hiccups. One less Hiccup, and I wouldn’t have had the Hiccups, I would have had the Hiccup. Lame.

     Hey you don’t happen to have the ability to read the writing on the keychain pictured below, do you? A friend of mine found it and wants to know what it says. Any takers?

     So one of my coworkers also has a tivo and we typically compare notes on all the crazy upgrades they’ve been throwing around. Recently there was this annoying lexus ad thingy that popped up when you’d turn it on. We had previously discussed this. So one day at work the following exchange takes place:

Him: Hey Adam, that thing went away for me.

Adam: Yeah, me too.

…which would have been fine if there hadn’t been another coworker standing there with us to look at us funny. Har!

Fun with Instant Messenger:

Chris H: did everybody look at their hands?

Adam: ?

Chris H: I was quoting men without hats

Adam: oh

Adam: ha

Chris H: they really need to get back together

Chris H: I think it would really repair the hole left in our hearts from the WTC

Adam: ha I agree.

Chris H: plus if everyone was doing the safety dance the world would be.. well.. safer.

Adam: Your logic is irrefutable.

Chris H: aye

     Black Books is a mediocre british sitcom that is currently airing on Comedy Central in the wee hours. The good thing is it’s set in a bookshop, so it echoes many of my own complaints. Some audio samples for your listening pleasure: Mellow, Morning, and Bastard.

Anonymous mail I recieved:

     “umm you dont know me but my my friend has the same last name as you and i know you will think this is so stupid but i just think some people have the same last name. dont you think that is amazing.”

Yes. Amazing.

My friend Ryan A. saw that new indie rock supergroup Zwan (Corgan / Pajo / Sweeney / Chamberlain) this past month. Here is his review:

     “…also, i saw Zwan tonight (the new billy corgan band) and it was somewhat surprising and almost impressive… they were sort of like a more melodic Will Oldham-ish Americana/Folk thing, with this really strange Negro-hymnish undertone type thing going on… i’m not even joking… the whole set was done acoustic, with Dave Pajo (slint/papa m) primarily playing 12 string guitar, Billy singing and playing an aray of extremley expensive acoustic guitars (with the exception of a Gretch hollow body on one song, the only song he stood up to play), Matt Sweeney (chavez/bonnie prince billy) playing electric guitar (with the tone set perfectly for that warm bluesy sound), and Jimmy Chamberlain playing very minimalistic and wearing a Hawaiian shirt… Billy was actually very funny, saying to a guy who kept yelling out “drum solo!” that, “Jimmy will give you 20 dollars if you shut the fuck up” then “jimmy will let you give him a blow job after the show”… at the end of the set (after they played their most pumpkins-esque song, called “broken heart” i think) billy led the band in an impromptu song called “chicks get in the way”… his best line was something like “hey, i’m not gay, but chicks really get in the way”… it was really fucking strange… billy involved the audience on a few songs, leading some hand claps, and doing a sort of call and response blues thing that was sort of insane, but kind of endearing… besides that craziness (and the Iron Maiden cover that sweeney sang), the songs were really soulful (i know… i know… dumb) and sad, but played in a really honest and jovial way… it was something to see anyway…”

Barnes & Noble stories:

     It’s been a relatively slow holiday for insane people at Barnes & Noble. Nonetheless, there have been a few notable cases.

Scene: Interior, Barnes & Noble Men’s Room.

Adam: (Enters, walks towards “fixtures”)

Old Creepy Guy: Excuse me, but would you mind taking my picture?

Adam: Um… (cautiously) where do you want it taken?

Old Creepy Guy: In here.

Adam: Um, I guess I could.

Old Creepy Guy: (Hands Adam his camera, and backs up against the wall. Also: Smiles.)

Adam: (Takes picture.)

Old Creepy Guy: Retrieves camera and leaves without saying a word.

     Phrase uttered by college student to his friend in reference to O(U?)sama Bin Laden on cover of Newsweek: “Dude, it sucks for that Dude, Dude.”

     So this woman comes through the checkout with one of those cellphones that has a speaker phone option. And it’s stuck on. So as this woman is paying, one of her friends calls her up and doesn’t realize the situation with the cell phone. The conversation turns to some sort of situation involving one of them scrutinizing a photocopy of the other’s ass at work or something. The woman at B&N immediately stops talking hoping her friend will shut the fuck up, but instead the friend seems to misconstrue the silence as a reception problem and loudly repeats herself.

Scene: Calling a customer.

Me: (Waiting for an answer)….

Them: (picks up, then immediately:) GRAMMA!

Me:… Um. This is Barnes & Noble

Them: YOU’RE NOT GRAMMA!

Me: …No. Is your mom there?

Them: NOPE!

Me: Can I leave a message?

Them: NOPE!

Me: Uh.. ok. Bye.

THEM: I LOVE YOU!

(Both hang up)

     While in the middle of a transaction, an elderly man unbuckled his belt, adjusted and yanked up his trousers, and re-buckled his belt while looking directly at me. Creepy.

Scene: Answering the phone.

Me: Hello, Barnes & Noble, this is Adam, can I help you?

Them: Is This Barnes & Noble?

Me: Yes it is…

Them: What’s your phone number?

Me: Excuse me?

Them: Can you give me your phone number there?

Me: (gives number).

Them: Okay, thanks. *click*

     A foreign man and his young son are in line to buy a relatively expensive Thomas the Tank Engine Train set. Figure about fifty bucks. He approaches the counter and produces a gallon-sized ziplock bag filled with change. As the cashier eyes it in an “I don’t want to count that” manner, the man holds it out to him and says very emphatically in a thick european accent: “FROM A PIG!”
     He meant that the change came from his son’s piggy bank. This experience has scarred me and the scar is this: I will never again be able to see any quantity of loose change without thinking “FROM A PIG!” again.

Total number of people who tried to have me redeem a Borders Gift Card on the day after Christmas: 5

Number of these people who not-so-silently conspired with their significant other while remaining oblivious to the fact that I was watching him dismissively whisper “He’ll never notice,” which only made the task of refusing the card slightly more enjoyable (Yes sir, you’re absolutely right. I work at a bookstore, but lack the knowledge to discern the differences between the phrases “Borders” and “Barnes & Noble” in print. Additionally, the fact that they are ELECTRONIC gift cards should not prevent your redeeming the Borders card either, as we all know that all computer systems function identically and are 100% compatible with each other.): 1

Number of times this guy said “C’mon can’t you do something for me?” after I refused his card: 1

Overheard in class:

     (In reference to a particularly strict engineering professor, who marks down if you don’t use the exact same notation as he does, even if the problem is correct.) “It’s his way or the highway. Like Limp Bizkit.”

Things not to do:

1.) Don’t ever obliviously go to Ann Arbor on the day of the U of M / Ohio State game.

2.) Also, don’t try to drive home from Ann Arbor after this game.

3.) Especially if U of M lost.

In case you accidentally do these three things, you should proceed in the following manner:

1.) Make sure you have a cell phone.

2.) Watch as 50 year old men who have more school spirit than you will ever have in your life refuse to let you in for two hours. Note that many of these men probably didn’t even GO to this school.

3.) Play the “Call everyone whose number I have stored in my cellphone’s memory in alphabetical order” game.

4.) For the first few minutes of each call, just make random small talk, as though there is no real point to your call. This really creeps people out.

Two recommendations:

  • If you want to hear Sloan circa 1991 mangle some Smiths songs, click here.

  • If you like oldies and high pitched pop, you might really like the rants. I do.

     Many MST3K afficionados would agree that “Manos: The Hands of Fate” is one of the best episodes of the series. Here‘s a good interview with someone who was involved in the production of the film. Turns out the actor that played the movie’s monster, “Torgo” took his own life shortly after making his big screen debut.

Some interesting Beatles-related stuff:

  • This “I am Sam” movie looks pretty good, and the soundtrack looks even better (Well, some of it). Click here for an interesting (To me, at least) article about the Beatles’ role in the film and the shady nature of soundtrack rights. No wonder Smash Mouth is in every fucking movie ever. They must be GAZILLIONAIRES.
  • A good discussion of the folklore that “Beacuse” from Abbey Road is actually just Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata backwards can be found here. An even more involved and infinately dorkier discussion of a decidedly more musical bent can be found here.

     I was recently informed that my friend Dan Clark sings a totally bizzarre second verse to “Happy Birthday,” and has since he was a child. I asked Dan how this second verse went, and he replied:

     “Yeah, seriously, i’d always thought that was the real second verse… turns out the nanny of my two great uncles sam and hal wrote that verse a long time back, and it’s been a family tradition. Here it is:

they say that our (name), he ain’t got no style
got style all the while
got style all the while
they say that our (name), he ain’t got no style
got style all the while, all the while
ain’t he sweet, haha, neat, haha
handsome and fair
he’s a jim-dandy the girls all declare
he’s a high-rolling, rollicking swell
here’s to our (name), now don’t he look well

…and of course pronouns and the word “girls” may be switched for a female’s
birthday.”

     Awesome. If you ever run into Dan Clark, ask him to sing it for you, because Dan Clark loves singing things to people. Also: If you have any other crazy birthday song variants that don’t deal with monkeys, zoos, age inquiries or pinching, I’d like to hear about them.

Bonus Completely unrelated links:

     In today’s cutthroat internet climate, I figured this site just couldn’t compete without having a fun quiz that gives results you can plaster all over your livejournals and / or diaries. Here it is (Update: It has come to my attention that lots of people don’t “get” this joke. Go to livejournal.com and visit a few member pages and you should get the idea [2nd update! it’s already causing all sorts of havoc! Hooray!]).