Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Beginner's Guide to Karaoke

It was my birthday about a month ago, and since I have to share my special day with America, I've always liked to celebrate in an elaborate, over the top fashion with my friends and loved ones. Like most years, I had no idea what I was going to do until about 5 days before, and one idea struck me as a change-up of sorts: karaoke. I recently saw the movie Lost in Translation and had the image of Bill Murray singing a My Bloody Valentine song, as Scarlett Johansson skulked around wearing a wig, so I suppose I was inspired by that for a theme. This ended up being the best idea I've had since mixing Spicy Hot V-8 with Tito's Vodka and calling it a V-9. That night my friends and I took over the Boombox in Providence and basically hogged the karaoke list because we were taught to never mingle with strangers, and it was spectacular. Now that I feel that I am a karaoke master because of this one time that I did it, I'm gonna give you my ultimate guide to karaoke.

Disco balls are always welcomed.

Set Your Goals
There are many reasons to sing at karaoke. Maybe you're a bunch of bros trying to make girls laugh by singing Selena Gomez or *Nsync (tip: make sure you're either really good at singing these or just so comically into it that they pity you). Maybe you want to pay homage to one of your favorite groups, like Hanson and sing MMMBop or any other song they wrote....which I'm sure they did...right? Maybe you want to try to get discovered by a talent ag....yeah never mind. Let's face it, the real go at karaoke is to have some good clean and hopefully drunken fun. Any other goal is you just lying to yourself, but hey whatever it takes to get you up on stage.

Stage Presence/Swagger
Let's face it, most people can't sing. This means that probably 70% of the battle when it comes to Karaoke is putting on a goddamn show. The key to this is jumping in full gear and never looking back. Never, ever half-ass a karaoke performance. People would rather have you not sing at all than be up there awkwardly and stiff as a statue. You'll waste everyone's time and it will no doubt feel like the longest 4 minutes of your life. You need to channel your inner Axl Rose with weird dance moves. Live up to the lyrics: when performing say, The Sweater Song by Weezer, go ahead and take the risk of laying down on the floor of the bar, just to make people remember you. That's what myself and my friend Radical Rick did, and it was totally worth it, besides having to throw out my jeans afterwards.
Lying on the floor, lying on the floor...I should've crouched like Ricky did.

When performing, you should aim to be like Chris Farley during his time on Saturday Night Live. He was always willing to throw around his body for the sake of a good laugh. You can easily gain the respect of the room by being a bit whacky. This can save you when you have a shitty voice and you know your version of 'No Sleep Til Brooklyn' sucks: people will remember you for being a good-timer, not a good-singer.

Putting your body on the line helps sell the performance.

Know Your Audience
You need to work the crowd like you're hustling them for money. Get other people involved! Pass that mic around like a joint at Woodstock. Many songs have filler in them such as ooh's and aaah's that you can strategically let others chime in by sticking a microphone in their face. This being said, you should also be careful when you are asked to chime in, especially when it's a stranger. I'd like to take this time to formally apologize to the woman in this picture who risked her performance of Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off' by giving me the chance to sing along, only to have me drop some choice swear words because I hate Taylor Swift so much. I think her face sums up the situation, but anywho, sorry kinda.

Again, sorry for the salty language.

Moving on, knowing your audience can also help reduce awkward situations. You probably shouldn't sing Panic! At The Disco's super smash hit 'I Write Sins Not Tragedies' if a bachelorette party is present, since it may get weird having a whole bar say "what a shame the poor groom's bride is a whore!" in unison. We don't want to wreck any marriages before they even happen. You also don't want to get too grim at a karaoke event. I love The Smiths as much as most depressed people do, but they can really bring the vibe down as people hear you sing doomed lyrics, like in the song 'Girlfriend In A Coma' or 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now'. I guess the more upbeat the better in this situation. Oh yeah, also, there will never be a situation that is suitable for a Nickelback song. Ever. Even as a joke, it's not funny. Bars should have a universal policy to throw out anyone attempting to sing Nickelback.

This guy here knows to not sing Nickelback!

You should probably choose a song that most of the bar knows, and you should also know at least 80% of the lyrics already. There is no problem with looking at the lyrics on the screen, I mean, that's why it is there in the first place, but you'll like like you're drowning without your swimmy floats if you look totally perplexed and say "oh THOSE are the words!" when you realize a lyric isn't what you thought it was. The less you need the screen, the more ability you have to work on the whole stage presence thing. The most impressive karaoke performance I've ever seen was a woman in her mid 40's crush 'Give It Away' by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. She didn't need the lyric screen once, which really impressed me as I am a big Chili Peppers fan, had heard that song in particular about a thousand times before, and was reading the lyrics completely blown away that they were actually what they were. She got a well deserved standing ovation at the bar, and if I had a random bundle of roses with me, I gladly would've tossed them at her.

You go girl.

Song Selection
This is key. You should have a few trusty standbys all ready to go so you don't have to flip through the song book which is about the size of the Yellow Pages (is that still a thing?). You can't go wrong with anything 90's, unless you want to do cheesy hip-hop like Sir Mix-A-Lot or Will Smith's 'Gettin Jiggy With It'. The world doesn't need anymore of that crap. But yeah 90's are a safe bet, as are 80's hits and hip-hop of the early 00's (there still isn't a good name for that decade yet is there?). Do whatever makes you feel comfortable and gives you the most ability to hit it out of the park and earn the applause of 5+ people, which I think is a valid goal at any karaoke bar. If you're stuck for suggestions, I'll leave you with my Top 15 Safe Bets for Karaoke

  • 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' by Bonnie Tyler. This is the crown jewel of karaoke. Overused? Maybe. Still a crowd pleaser? Absolutely. Fun fact: Bonnie Tyler was named the patron saint of Karaoke by Pope John Paul II. It's a song that everyone knows, will sing a long with, and if you get a trusty companion to accompany you for the 'turn around briiiight eyes' part, you're performance becomes even more kick ass. 
  • 'Take Me Home Tonight' by Eddie Money. While he's probably playing a bingo hall in Bend, Oregon tomorrow night and sleeping in his car afterward, Eddie Money did give us a hit that is very worthy of karaoke gold. To be honest, you have a great shot of putting on a better performance of this song in 2016 than Eddie Money probably can!
Playing a VFW Hall near you!
  • 'White Houses' by Vanessa Carlton. I admit that I've wanted to perform this song before at karaoke but haven't had the guts to do it...yet. This song will most likely be performed by a group of sorority sisters with fake id's, or by bros trying to sleep with said sorority sisters. Hell of a song though.
Leader of the pack
  • 'It Was A Good Day' by Ice Cube. A bit slower, sure, but knowing all the words to this jam will impress anyone who has a pulse. I also enjoy how someone actually did the research to find out that this good day occurred on January 20th, 1992.
  • 'Last Nite' by The Strokes. Everyone knows this song. It gets the hips shaking, and there is no band on the planet cooler than The Strokes. Just look at them. This is also a karaoke friendly song as lead singer Julian Casablancas kinda always sounds like he's mumbling and performing karaoke while 70% certain of the lyrics, so it just kinda works!
They ooze cool
  • 'Chop Suey!' by System of a Down. If the crowd is deader than Ben Franklin, go a head and wake them up with your best rendition of Chop Suey!, it'll be sure to get you some looks. Don't actually do this.
  • 'Cute Without the E (Cut From the Team)' by Taking Back Sunday. When you have an angsty yet sentimental crowd, this is the tune to go with. All the teens who adored this song 13 years ago will soon adore you for bringing it back to relevance at whatever bar you are at. Who knows, you may even walk away with a thousand clever phone numbers on a thousand clever napkins.
  • 'All The Small Things' by Blink 182. This hits home for the generation who has now grown up to realize the truth behind the lyric "work sucks...I know". Also, people go apeshit crazy for Blink 182.
Thanks a lot Angels and Airwaves :-/
  • 'I Want It That Way' by the Backstreet Boys. Justin Timberlake is great and all, and *Nsync may have had more hits, but none had the karaoke capabilities that 'I Want It That Way' does. In this round of the epic late 90's boyband battle, Backstreet Boys won the 'still awesome for karaoke 20 years from now' round.
  • 'Just A Friend' by Biz Markie. A tragic tale of love that took a dark turn featuring a girl named 'Blah Blah Blah'. This is a crowd pleaser that will get everyone to at least sing the chorus with you, because for once, you've got what they need.
  • 'Semi-Charmed Life' by Third Eye Blind. Probably the most famous song about crystal meth ever. 
  • 'Summer Nights' by...idk, I guess Grease. One man's guilty pleasure song could easily win the heart of a girl obsessed with all things broadway. This has some serious risk, but the reward could also pay off big.
  • 'Surrender' by Cheap Trick. Perfect if you are surrounded by an older crowd. I had to include at least one classic rock song from the 70's, so there. I'm hitting different age groups here. So sue me. 
  • 'Wonderwall' by Oasis. I will go to my grave fighting that Blur is the better band, but I have to go with the more mainstream, realistic approach when it comes to who had the better karaoke song, which is why Wonderwall is on this list. By the way, don't sing 'Champagne Supernova.' It's too long. 
  • 'Loser' by Beck. The ultimate self-loathing song. I mean after all, how many karaoke songs can you utter the phrases 'beefcake pantyhose' and 'slap the turkey-neck'. 
And with that, you are on your way to kicking ass and taking names in the strange yet wonderful world of karaoke. Also, I'd like to give a shoutout to Rob "British Bob" Piesse who won my Instagram caption contest. It was like choosing the tallest midget, every entry kinda sucked but I guess his sucked the least, so congrats British Bob!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Celebrity Smackdown: Kim K SuperStar vs. Taylor "Meh" Swift

I was not intending to write this blog until this morning. This is more of an emergency blog which I had to write. Strike while the iron is hot right? When big pop culture news occurs, I just got to get involved. I'll still have the Ultimate Karaoke Blog coming up this week but for now, let's talk about something unimportant.

This past week was a rough one for America's sweetheart/victim Taylor Swift. If you haven't heard, which I think is impossible because it's been all over the place even though there are some much more pressing matters going on in the world, Taylor Swift got put on blast by America's favorite Star Without a Talent Kim Kardashian. Basically Kanye West called T. Swifty for permission to use her name in a song that Taylor Swift later claimed she never did and that she was a victim once again. Once the video of the conversation, posted on Snapchat of all things, hit the interwebs, people everywhere realized that Taylor Swift is just a liar. I knew she was trouble when she walked in.

My feelings about this are very mixed.

YAAAAS Let the games begin!!!!!

If you were to ask me who I hate more between Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian, I'd have to ask for a week to ponder it, which would result in many sleepless nights and a lot of stress. It boggles my mind that Kim Kardashian is famous for being the daughter of OJ Simpson's 3rd best lawyer and Satan herself Kris Kardashian, whose fame grew after being Paris Hilton's friend and filming a sex tape with R&B legend Brandy's little brother Ray J. Now she is married to Kanye West and millions of people watch her and her stupid family on a reality show where they showcase their lavish lifestyle that they don't deserve. It also boggles my mind that Taylor Swift is as big as she is, which makes me weep at the fact that most of America has terrible taste in music. Taylor Swift played the whole clutzy girl everyone can relate to, with real deep songs like 'Mean', which is about a boy that is mean to her...I'm guessing? Sure, 'Love Story' was a catchy little number that made everyone sing-a-long and drunkenly cry to at bars when I was a college freshman, but besides that I have no use for her. She wanted to be a country singing girl next door who is now a pop singer who seems more robot than human these days, yet trying to still be a girl who other girls should look up to.


Now that we have Kim K Superstar calling out Taylor Swift, I don't know what to do. In one way I'm thankful for Kim doing this because it ruins Swift's reputation. To be honest, I think this is the most productive thing Kim Kardashian has ever done in her career as a... umm.... a.... whatever it is that she technically does. I never want to give Kim K credit, but I actually have to right now. What really intrigues me is the lack of support from T Swift's millions and millions of fan girls, and bros who adore her for whatever reason. All my friends I've asked about seem to have nothing to say because they know she's screwed more than Kim Kardashian in that tape with....well, you get it. Taylor Swift fans are reeling right now and may find it difficult to Shake It Off (had that joke saved up all day). Their relatable savior has now been tarnished, and who knows how she'll come back. At this point, I don't think she'll ever ever ever, get back to being as big of a star as she once was.

"oh boo hoo ppl know I'm a fraud"

Where T. Swifty goes next will be interesting. As much as I hate both her and the Kardashian clan being in the news, I'd gladly welcome Swift suing Kim K and Kanye for posting the video, which I think she has a good chance to do, since she seems to threaten to sue everyone trying to make a dollar off of her (shoutout to all you people on Etsy). A Taylor Swift v. Kardashian lawsuit would be fantastic, because we if she wins the suit it means that the world gets a tarnished Swift and a Kardashian losing money and facing legal ramifications. We all win! The only thing that is a shame about this fiasco is that beloved claymation show Celebrity Deathmatch is no longer on television. This would be like the main event match on a Pay-Per-View worthy episode. They could bill it as the Celebs We Worship For No Reason Death Match.

Who Could Forget The Epic Battle of The Spice Girls vs. Hanson 

In the end, this wont affect many of our lives in a big way. I just love to see Taylor Swift getting called out for once. Every relationship she's ever had it's always woe is me boo-hoo all guys are jerks. Hey, maybe you're the problem Taylor.  Maybe you're just that boring and/or fake that people that know you closely can't stand you. It was never your fault and you had no problem telling the world you were the one who was wounded. Yet look at her now, breaking poor Calvin Harris's heart, but not before using the alias Nils Sjöberg as a song writer on his song 'This Is What You Came For' because she didn't want to be associated with it. How nice of her.  I can't wait until her next album is about how she was so sad about the Calvin Harris situation, and probably the Tom Hiddlestone situation in about another month, because you know that is doomed. 

She looks like a Nils
Maybe the fame has gone to her head and this is a big reality check for her, courtesy of a mind-numbingly snobby reality diva. For once, I'm looking on the bright side of this and considering it a win-win situation. I'm not expecting Taylor Swift to fade into oblivion, but the fact that her fans are wiping their tears with their white flags tells you that the sparkly shine of Taylor Swift's aura has grown a bit dull after this week. I'm gonna root for her in the probable lawsuit so Kim K can lose something too, and with that, everyone wins...well, besides all the Kim K and T Swift fans out there, so I guess only a few people win, but boy does it feel good to be one of those people. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

...Back From The Dead

I believe it was the great Confucius who once said "If you love something, let it go. If it comes back, it was meant for real or something like that." It's kind of been a while, but now Breakfast at Jimothy's is back. I spent some time writing for some different publications, one being a great, awesome experience which I hope to do again soon, one being an annoying but kinda rewarding experience, and one being an online only wrestling magazine, so it was kind of a mixed bag, which is very fitting for me. I was kind of puzzled at where I would take this blog from here. That being said, I knew I couldn't leave my last post on here be that interview with a dickhead artist who thought he was incredibly funny and instead came off as a total douchebag.  Moving on, this was my launching pad into writing, and most people that read it seemed to enjoy it, which was very kind of them to say (or lie about to make me feel good) to me. After brainstorming some topics, it hit me that I finally have an arsenal of things that I can talk about/rant about/make fun of that I feel comfortable with. It's swell and all writing for other sites but you kinda have to tone down your voice, or at least editors change up your words without telling you, and that part frustrated me. I like my writing style, I find it a bit unique, as I tend to write what I think, exactly as is. It's fun being your own editor at times, even though I never, ever spellcheck thus stuff whatsever. As nice as it is to bring back this blog from the dead, I have to admit that I was stunned to say that the popularity of this blog's comeback was outshined by something I thought died a long, long time ago. That's right, you know it, Pokemon GO. Let's face it, this is the perfect nonsensical thing for me to rant about, I mean after all, you can't spell Pokemon without Emo, so who better to break it down than yours truly?

Before I really dive into the psyche of Pokemon, let me first give you background. I never played the game growing up. I collected Pokemon cards, just as I did baseball, basketball and hockey cards when I was in my formative years. I also collected beer bottle-caps for a reason that even I can't remember. I liked have the cards, yet I never played the Gameboy games. Too mainstream for me back in 1998. I hated collecting the cards because I had extremely bad luck when it came to getting the famed 'holographic' cards. It honestly took me forever to get my first one, and when it finally happened, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. This may seem petty but when you were the last kid in the neighborhood to get a shiny holographic card and you didn't have more than a dollar to spend on packs of cards because you had no job, it was frustrating. Pack after pack of cards I'd be let down, get so angry that water would well up in my eye balls and I'd normally stamp my foot in disgust and ask God why I had failed miserably at the 1 in 3 odds of getting a holographic card. To be fair, the run of bad luck in getting said holographic card was very impressive. It took me about 10 months to finally get a Dragonite from a pack my Godmother Trish got me for Halloween, and I was so excited I called her that very night to thank her for lifting this curse. Looking back on it now, I think I just pinpointed the reason of why I never played the Pokemon video games. That's the most use my psych degree has gotten me.

The joy this card brought me was unreal.

Flash forward to July of 2016 and Pokemon is hotter than Jessica Simpson circa 2004. Nintendo is brilliant for doing this, as they played the nostalgia card. By using the original 150 Pokemon of the 90's, they were tugging at the heart strings of the 90's youth, who, let's face it, really have a hard time letting go of their childhood. We are the reason that 'Fuller House' is around. I don't remember youth of the 80's needing a sitcom 20 years later called "Family Matters....Still!" or "Miami Vice-r". I'm as guilty as everyone else, but we cannot get away from our childhood shows. Maybe we had it better than everyone else. We still want to know what happened to Hey Arnold's parents (scurvy?) and what the hell was in that briefcase in Pulp Fiction (Hot Pockets?). All of my friends still care deeply about Mario Kart, just like I do about playing Crash Bandicoot on my PlayStation (see, I didn't even need to write a number after it, I'm talkin' OG). So anywho, Pokemon is back, and for the first time ever, I felt the urge to download it and finally give it a go. It was time. I wanted to finally play Pokemon after resisting all these years.

What a week it's been.

I think the proper way to go about this is with pros and cons. I haven't made a pros and cons list since debating the final 3 girls on the Bachelor 2 years ago, so this should be fun.

Pro 1: Meeting new people! I honestly haven't talked to this many strangers over the past week since I moved into college freshman year. Everyone is out and about playing this damn thing and everyone is just so friendly, meeting people at various 'Pokestops' and areas that are chock full o' pokemon.
Con 1: The fact that there are bad people out there waiting for people to show up to various 'Pokestops' and robbing them at gun point :-(  Womp Womp. That's probably not worth the Slowpoke you were trying to catch.

Pro 2: Exercise! Boy I'll tell ya, really nice to get out there in the neighborhood and stretch your gams, checking out new areas of your hood and finding various Pokeballs and stuff. Does the body some good!
Con 2: Running around is swell, but not when you're face is glued to your phone. Some poor idiot (not me, I swear...okay, maybe me) ran into a mailbox the other day. I'm starting to worry about people running into really bad areas and getting into trouble. Oh wait, yeah, forgot about that whole story where a girl up in Wyoming discovered a body floating in a river while retrieving a Pokemon. Hope all that emotional scarring was worth the Poliwhirl!

Poor Guy Getting Hit By A Girl Named Reality

Pro 3: Meeting girls/guys while playing Pokemon Go!
Con 3: Never talking to girls/guys after the fact, because you're the type of person to only meet girls/guys by playing Pokemon Go.

Pro 4: Being reintroduced to a beloved character from your childhood, like Psyduck!

Con 4: Realizing that as an adult you can absolutely relate to Psyduck, and spend as much time grabbing your own head in a stressful, panic-induced manner as you realize you're doomed in the real world, and thinking man Psyduck was onto something there. Honestly, for a lovable character, Psyduck is a dose of reality. He's like an animated coping mechanism of the real world pressure entering all of the 90's kids world, and all we know is to clutch our head and run around before we go mad.

Pro 5: The game gives you a reason to say that you "went to a gym"
Con 5: Much like gyms in real life, I'm only focused on catching the damn things and not actually bothering to go to a 'gym' and battling other Pokemon. Art imitating life.

Yikes. Talk about a blessing and a curse.

Things will be calming down over the next couple months with Pokemon Go. I think that is to be expected. Sure, this is a fad that has been discussed in all sorts of different platforms over the past week, and I'm sure South Park will make an episode about this old-new again craze in the next couple months (I mean, honestly, this is a total lay up for a great South Park episode), but soon we'll be moving on to something else. What intrigues me about this fad is that for once we got to catch a glimpse of something from the past get recreated in today's world of social media. I've had conversations with friends in the past of like "Imagine if social media was around when the Titanic sank" or "How big of a douche would John Lennon have been on Twitter?" Oh man, imagine the possibilities TRL could have had with Twitter and Snapchat? It's weird to think about people tweeting, snapchatting and making Facebook posts about stuff that happened pre-social media, but here we are with a craze that came out in the 1996, only to see it die and come back in full force in the social media age, and it honestly feels brand new. Whoa that went pretty deep into Pokemon.

Who knows where it'll end up the next couple of months. People are already getting tired of certain things about the game. People are finding Zubat's and Drowzee's everywhere and they feel like it's the equivalent of seeing a bunch of jackasses from high school posting their political thoughts on facebook: no need for more. I hope to hear more weird stories about people getting phones taken from them and chucked into rivers by angry old men who won't let them into their yards. I want to hear stories of people pranking people by sending them to weird parts of town by claiming there was a Charizard over there. I'm kind of saddened that there isn't a contest held by Nintendo that the first person to discover a Mewtwo (Buckingham Palace? Area 51? The East Providence Library? Who knows!) gets a prize of a million bucks or so. This game is sadly addicting, yet it could still be so much better. I have no shame in playing Pokemon Go, but I doubt I'll be saying that in 3 months.

In the end, happy Poke-hunting. I hope you all avoid real life problems like getting hit by cars, as you chase after your Augmented Reality dreams like capturing Snorlax.

What a time to be alive. This was good. It was nice getting things back out there on the blog. Already I feel in the mood to blog about my next topic: the unofficial guide to Karaoke. Until then, here is my song of the blog: The Spins by Pottymouth.

'Til next time.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

An Interview With Nick Gazin

I was fortunate enough to score an interview with Nick Gazin. He is an artist who has made numerous fliers and a couple of album covers for various bands and musicians. His most famous work might be the album art for the two albums by Run The Jewels. He has also worked with Wavves, designing various t-shirts and album covers. I think his stuff is pretty awesome, and that music and art go hand in hand. It's easy to say don't judge a book by the cover, but an album with sweet cover art can always make a person intrigued.

Breakfast at Jimothy's: I was at a Wavves/Best Coast show in Boston recently and the tour poster and their wrestling themed t-shirts were flying off the merch table. Was it fun working with a pop culture theme like wrestling on the Summer is Forever II tour designs?

Nick Gazin: Yes!

B@J: When working with someone like Wavves or Run the Jewels, will they come to you with an idea or do you bring stuff up to them on your own?

NG: It depends but it works best when there's some back and forth.

B@J: Speaking of Run the Jewels, they're pretty tight with Bernie Sanders. Any chance you can get a connection and make a poster for Bernie like what Shepard Fairey did for Obama with his famous 'Change' poster?

NG: No, I want Trump to win!

B@J: Do you think the recent surge in vinyl and even cassette tapes over the past decade has added a sense of importance to album art in musician's minds?

NG: Maybe!

B@J: Are there any bands/artists that you would've liked to design something for, past or present? Like a dream collaboration.

NG: Eno, Beefheart, G.G. Allin, Dimmu Borgir, Dwarves, Waka Flocka, Future, Drake, KRS-One, Neil Sedaka, Everly Brothers and various doo wop acts!

B@J: You DJ pretty often in Brooklyn and the LES, how would you describe the current music scene in those areas? Is it still the mecca of up and coming artists and musicians?

NG: No, everyone in Brooklyn I see is a fucking herb! Square city!

B@J: Is there any one project or artwork that you're most proud of?

NG: No! I like the poster I made for DIIV recently!

B@J: Finally, what's in store for you next? Any big projects coming up?

NG: Rehab!

Well, there you have it. No one can ever accuse me of never asking the hard hitting questions. Thanks to Nick Gazin for taking the time to be interviewed. Follow him on Instagram @nickgazin.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

3 Column Obituaries, V-9 and Leo Finally Wins an Oscar

  • First thing is first. I'm not falling for this whole ad campaign Dunkin Donuts has been doing about "we'll make your coffee just the way you like it or else we'll make it again on the spot". It is a nice thing to hear but very unrealistic. I love the most recent commercial where a young female professional orders her black-medium-two-sugar, receives it and then before leaving the register, says "see you tomorrow!" as if she took a sip right then and there and realized that it was perfect. If she actually did that, one of the possible situations would happen: A) she would burn her mouth and lose her taste buds for the rest of her boring life. 2) she waited 18 minutes standing in that spot, holding everyone up, before finally being brave enough to take a sip, and tell the poor worker that it was perfect and she didn't screw it up, or C) she would take the sip of scorching hot coffee when she got it and is this exact dog:

  • Well, Leo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar for the Revenant. I didn't see that movie but from the looks of the movie poster, it seems pretty good!

  • Speaking of that poor bear, I think it's pretty messed up that Leo didn't mention the bear in his acceptance speech. It's like Tim Tebow forgetting to thank God after actually winning a game based on his talent alone. While the bear didn't have a great night at the Oscars, Sam Smith had a worse night. Sometimes the truth hurts, and I know he has a lot of fans, but it's hard to defend his terrible performance. Things also didn't get any better for him when he had to be corrected backstage when he said he may have been the first openly gay person to win an Oscar. He then had to be corrected when he claimed he may have been the second openly gay person to win an Oscar. Then it got even weirder when he said he should 'probably date' the other gay Oscar winner, only to learn he died about 25 years ago. It was all downhill for the skinnier version of Sam Smith, and the 'Writing On The Wall' was 'lol dummy'. 
"Sam, how many people liked your performance tonight?"
  • While a lot of people are upset over the death of the Leo Oscar memes, thousands and thousands of actors are upset over the death of their lame joke of "I've won just as many Oscars as Leonardo DiCaprio!"
  • My good deed of the day is informing you of a beverage. It is called a V-9. Simply poor Spicy Hot V-8 into a glass and pour as much Vodka (the 9th V, get it!?) into said glass, and you can thank me later. I'm currently in the process of trademarking that name, so don't get any ideas. 

  • I'm seeing Cage the Elephant play in Providence on April Fool's Day which will of course have me on guard to fend off being trolled for a prank or shenanigan of some sort, like a fake cancellation or that they've been replaced by Rain, the world's most authentic Beatles cover band. 
  • Speaking of concerts, I saw Wavves play a couple weekends ago, and they absolutely nailed the whole walking off stage thing by blasting Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You". More bands need to do this just. Even if your show sucked, the crowd will go wild and sing along as you wave goodbye. 
  • I have to confess something. When Flo Rida first got popular, it took me about 6 months to realize that his name was just Florida with a space in it. I also have to confess that my Mom is the one who told me that fact. Later on, however, I got her back when I told her Kim and Kanye named their child North West and she didn't believe and I bet her 5$ that I was telling the truth. I quickly became 5$ richer. 
disclaimer: this existed before this blog.
  • It was a dark day in Providence last month when beloved yet crooked former Mayor Buddy Cianci passed away. While this was sad for most, it provided me with a lot of hope in my life. As most things in his life, Buddy's obituary in the Providence Journal was the most impressive thing I've seen since How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days. The man got 3 full columns of nothing but praise. It made me wonder if he wrote most of it himself while behind bars, and just told an aid to fill in the rest when he met his demise. I decided immediately after reading it that I would strive to live the rest of my life in such a fashion that when I kick the bucket, I will be capable of filling a 3 column obituary. I cut out the obit and taped it to my door, and when I told my Mom my new life goal, she kinda half-heartedly laughed and probably hoped I wasn't serious. 
    Here's the mayor enjoying RI's finest beverage, with a couple of bros. 
  • I like to keep my political thoughts to myself. What I won't keep to myself is how awesome the photoshopped Bernie vs. Hilary informative comparison sheets are. Take this one, for instance, discussing the band Radiohead:
Poor Hil-Dawg.
  •  I'm still confused as to why Fuller House has come into existence. Who asked for it? Did fans want this? Did producers want this? Did John Stamos want this? Well, in that case I guess that's fine. When it comes down to it, all I can think of is everyone in the cast not named Stamos, Bob Saget or Lori Laughlin wanted it, which makes sense considering the careers of everyone else. To make things worse, they already used their one interesting joke of calling out the Olsen twins for not being there, and ruined it by staring into the camera for way too long, making everyone uncomfortable. Since that is the one scene I have watched of the show thus far, I already know it is downhill from that one cringe worthy moment.  
  • The Super Bowl Halftime show sucked, to say it politely. What started off as a poor decision to enlist Coldplay, who only know football as the kind involving yellow cards and flopping, didn't get much help from a weird cameo of Bruno Mars, and a mediocre performance by "Queen Bleh" Beyonce, who almost fell and made a bunch of awkward faces that the world could appreciate due to the pause/rewind button on your TV remotes. 
Somewhere, Kelly Rowland and the other one from Destiny's Child appreciates this photo.
  • What bugs me about Beyonce is how everyone calls her Queen. I was with one of the biggest diehard Beyonce fans the moment the 'Formation' video came out, and even she agreed that it wasn't her best song. If that song was performed by anyone else, besides maybe Rihanna, it would never be famous/popular/hit the airwaves. This of course then turned into a big political to-do with multiple people on Facebook proclaiming things and ugh. 
  • Lastly, the world is in the full swing of this current season of the Bachelor. Every Monday night my twitter is filled with thoughts on the gals and one weird guy who tells everyone he loves them, but I worry the show may end up getting stale. Coincidentally, I was watching the better version of the Bachelor, more commonly known as Rock of Love with Bret Michaels (on Valentine's Day, no less) and thought to myself how much more entertaining that show was. This is why I think it's about time the producers at ABC need to shock the world and give Bret Michaels another shot by making him the next Bachelor. The man is due for a comeback anyways. The man is a genius, people. He fucking wrote 'Every Rose Has It's Thorn'. Need I say more?
More entertaining than even Juan Pablo!
  • Lastly, check out my review of a Wavves/Best Coast show I went to right here, and a review of an album by this band that I thought was absolutely atrocious right here. Read VultureHound!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Red Cups and Space Camp

Been a pretty solid week for me personally. First, an article I wrote on some bands that prove that rock is still alive was posted over at DOJO Zine and now I have two articles up at SteelChair Magazine. Since I feel like I've been on a roll I've decided to do a Pop Culture Smorgasbord to really round up what has been going on in the pop culture universe lately. Let's get down to it.

  • Legends of the Hidden Temple needs to make a comeback. This could be TV gold here. That game was so much fun and it looked like a legitimate challenge pitting brains and brawn with a Mayan Temple. My idea is that you have to had grown up in the 90's to participate, as that generation would appreciate it the most, therefore trying the hardest at it. I would keep the grand prize as Space Camp, because let's face it, that would still kick a lot of ass and it was always so mysterious. I'd love to hear some reviews of Space Camp and find out if it was worth finding Olmec's lost relics. Television needs more Blue Barracudas, Purple Parrots and  Red Jaguars. 
Jog Down Memory Lane
  • I saw James Bond 'Spectre' the other night, and it was a true delight. I am a huge Bond fan, and here are my quick rankings run down: 1. Sean Connery, he had the look, great storylines and was believable as Bond, 2. Daniel Craig, the most badass of the Bonds, yet he also has the charm, dry humor and has also benefited from awesome scripts in a modern era, which is tough for a character created in 1953. 3. Pierce Brosnan, he had the perfect look for Bond, and played the character well, but most of the storylines he had to deal with were dogshit. 4. Roger Moore, he had good to great storylines, but he looked like your friends Dad who was clearly older than all the other parents at the Saturday morning soccer games and was not a believable Bond. 5. George Lazenby, he wasn't bad! He just, you know, was only in one Bond movie, so that kinda limits him. 6. Timothy Dalton.  The late 80's may have been great for music and teen movies, but it was not for Bond. How boring. Terrible hair too. 
  • I am sick of every new show being touted as "America's new #1 *enter 'sitcom', 'comedy', 'drama', 'crime show', 'waste of time' here*". I refuse, REFUSE, to believe the commercials telling me that 'Super Girl' was the new #1 show in the country. I'm all for a female superhero getting her own show, but why Super Girl? It's essentially a spin off. Couldn't Wonder Woman happen? Maybe a new female superhero? Anything, but not Super Girl. It's just unappealing. Super Man himself doesn't even wear a mask, which I always thought was dumb. 
  • Halloween recently happened, so I'm already plotting my costume next year. Since I'm trying to get in shape, my costume goal is to be Jim Morrison in his prime. If I don't get in shape, I'll be overweight, downhill-peyote-smoking Jim Morrison, which is still decent enough, but just not ideal. The other downside to being downhill Jim Morrison is a need to grow facial hair, which is challenging for me. I'm gonna use this picture here to motivate myself to the Lizard King by next year. Pray for me. 

  • Missy Elliott must have realized that people still liked her after her Super Bowl cameo that came out of nowhere. She dropped her first video today and it's pretty damn good. As I got to thinking about Missy Elliott, it hit me that "Misdemeanor" isn't that great of a nickname. When it comes to street cred, misdemeanors really aren't that big of a deal. It's like she got busted shoplifting lipstick or got caught for leaving the scene of a fender bender. Misdemeanor doesn't have the clout that Ghostface Killah or Ol' Dirty Bastard does. That being said, this is a much needed welcome and hopefully we can get the next "Work It" from Missy Misdemeanor Elliott soon. 

  • Couple of the Year finalists Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale split up, as did Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, who I hear are country music artists. This is interesting in the fact that the ageless wonder Gwen Stefani is now hooking up with Blake "Patty Cake" Shelton and are coworkers on The Voice. To get back at Gwen, Gavin Rossdale tried calling up Miranda Lambert to have a fling on their own, but Lambert reportedly heard the name and said "Who?" You would think that a guy who was the singer of Bush and gave us hits like 'Machinehead', 'Glycerine' and 'Everything Zen' would be able to hold up a long time marriage. Oh, then it came out he banged a nanny. I'll tell ya, that next Bush album is gonna have some deep lyrics in it!
  • South Park recently had an episode making fun of people who use Yelp, which many people think was long overdue. Yelp responded back with a lawsuit, somehow thinking that they South Park, of all shows, would take it seriously. I remember as a kid hearing the outcry for South Park from parents who thought it was corrupting the country and it should be taken off TV immediately. That was 1997. South Park is a national treasure at this point. All I keep wondering to myself is why would anyone strike back at South Park? No one is every going to win going up against Matt Stone and Trey Parker. They take nothing serious, and they're funny as hell, so it's just an impossible battle to win. South Park's response was brilliant, as you can imagine and can see right here:
  • Apparently the new Steve Jobs movie, you know, the one that came after the Steve Jobs movie that most people would still refer to as 'new' isn't doing well. It's been dropped from over 2,000 theaters. This made me think  of how it was probably the biggest Hollywood letdown since True Detective 2, which of course made me think of Rachel McAdams. Rachel McAdams is interesting to me because I hate her. Every role she has had in every movie I have seen her in, I hate her because she's a bitch. As I pondered this some more, it hit me that maybe I actually like Rachel McAdams, because she portrays her characters who I hate so much, so well. Mean Girls: bitchy Regina George. The Notebook: I forget her character but I had to see that movie so many times I just hate her. Wedding Crashers: Bitchy chick who falls for the douchebag until it's basically too late. Sherlock Holmes: super bitchy Irene Adler. Midnight in Paris: cheating bitchy fiance breaking poor Owen Wilson's heart. Everything she's in she's mean and I hate her, but as an actress I guess that's a good thing and I'm just so incredibly conflicted by her. I hate to like her? Or I like her so much I hate her? Now I'm confused. 
This helps her case.
  • I think I could write a book on this topic, but it hit me that Brand New's album 'The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me' is essentially Jesse Lacey's very own 'In The Aeroplane Over the Sea' by Neutral Milk Hotel. More on this in the near future, if you're interested now, look up what both albums are about and try connecting the dots. Thank me later.
  • It is rumored that Jimmy Fallon has a drinking problem. So would I if I made a movie like 'Fever Pitch'. 

  • Harry Potter fans rejoice! Newt Scamander is here to get your hopes up! I guess this will be about a wizard who wrote one of Ron Weasley's textbooks and will focus on his life in New York City in the 1920's where Irish people were frowned upon but flappers and gin joints were okay. I'd love to see the Marauder's Map be used to find the closest speakeasy. One can dream. 
  • Lil Wayne had his house raided recently, where cops took pieces of art from him so that he could pay off a debt he owed to a jetline, or something outrageous like that. This is the most productive and newsworthy thing Lil Wayne has done in years. 6 Foot 7 Foot was a stupid song anyways.
  • People complaining about the Starbucks red cup fiasco is why other countries hate us. It's a cup. You throw it out after overpaying for a warm beverage that you have for what, 40 minutes at most? This generation is so fucked.
Guys, what is the big deal, seriously?
  • File this one under things that brought great joy into my life: Taylor Swift is getting sued for $42 million for being a big fat phony. This is even more satisfying to me since some little douchebag from London kept on tweeting at me because he couldn't take a joke like my Taylor Swift/Sonic Youth tshirt ripoff was and tried telling me that she didn't physically make the tshirts, as if I thought she was working the tshirt press by hand. God I hate that kid. Sorry for venting, but anywho yeah apparently T Swift was being sued by some hack who claimed she ripped off his lyrics for that mind numbingly awful 'Shake It Off' song. This guy is probably gonna lose, and honestly, I hope he does because he has poor taste in choosing performers to sue. Sue someone who actually makes good music at the very least. 
  • The X-Files are returning! Who would've thought, a show about Alien conspiracies is already more believable that Donald Trump claiming that he can make America great again. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015


I'm thrilled to announce that a piece I wrote for DOJO Zine has recently been posted on their site! This is my first official article that has not been posted on here. To say I am excited is an understatement. My blog features 5 bands that I believe are proof that Rock is still alive and well in 2015. These are all bands that I love and totally believe in, and this was an article that I put my heart and soul into, and I'm very happy with the end result.

Be sure to check out DOJO Zine. Dylan Johnson is doing some fantastic work over there.  He snapped all the pictures, and all of them are epic. This zine is brand spankin' new and it appears to be off to a hot start. I love this site and I hope you do too. So check out my post right here, and give Dojo some love!