Monday, April 16, 2018

A PSA for B@J's

To quote the great Usher, this is my confession. Well, it's not really a confession, more like an explanation? Eh. A general understanding? Alright, alright now I'm getting further from whatever it is I'm trying to do here. For some time now I've been at a loss of what to blog about. It's not so much a time thing, or a question of if I still have my writing fastball, but its really more of what the hell can I blog about these days?

I started this blog back in 2009 because I couldn't fall asleep at night. Pecking away at a keyboard was like one of those rainmakers that help make you fall asleep at night. For clarification, I'm not talking about the Pacman Jones at a strip club type of rainmaker.

 Maybe it was being in college then versus being 27 now, but life was just simpler back then. In a way there was more quality material to work with, and fewer people watering things down. Jersey Shore was a fucking goldmine of blog material back when it came out. I can still remember people staying in to watch Jersey Shore on MTV (those bastards) before going to bars on Thursday nights (dollar drink night!) my sophomore year. We survived without opening Instagram and a hundred different meme accounts making the same joke with the same picture of Snooki making the boardwalk of shame, with each meme account taking credit for it. Get what I'm saying? There's a bit of overexposure that kind of takes away the creative juices to blog.
A gift to us all.

I've never really treated this thing too seriously. In fact, I'd even say most of it was plain stoopid, but it always made me pleased as punch when someone would tell me they enjoyed a post, got pissed over a post, or most importantly, laughed at a post. My senior year some junior who I had never met bought me a Bud light at a now defunct college hole-in-the-wall bar because he had stumbled across this thing and said it was funny. At that point, it was my greatest accomplishment from this thing. I had approximately 0 goals for this thing, and I had received a $3 Bud light out of it, so it was a real win for me. Fast forward a few years and it's kind of in a no man's land in the blogosphere. The motivation just hasn't really been there.

I did some spring cleaning today and stumbled across my big print debut for DOJO zine. I was on cloud nine when this dude Dylan generously agreed to my email request about wanting to write a music piece for him, and when I saw it up on a website and later in a magazine that you could physically hold (even with Kirwan misspelled) it really sank in that this might be something to chase after. After that, I toiled away writing for free for some British music site that seemed to be a rudderless ship. After a number of broken promises, despite me always living up to my end various bargains, I finally said it wasn't worth it and stopped writing for them. I know this is going to really make me sound like a total badass (I'm joking, because in today's day and age, someone will take that line seriously), but it fucking sucked being edited and getting my work turned into plain, ordinary, bland stuff. Who the hell likes bland? I fought the good fight for myself and told them that what I had written was good (it was, I swear) and that I have faith in my style, while they wanted it to be more 'professional', which really sucked the fun out of the whole thing. You compare one song favorably with an ADHD joke and suddenly you're being scolded. Jesus. It wasn't like I was getting paid for it. Personally, I believe in my writing style. I think it's kinda unique. I don't want to be the AP or using some cookie cutter format for how I write an album review. How incredibly boring. I liked my writing to be like how I enjoy my margaritas: with a hint of spice. That sounded much better in my head.

Many of my heroes have been able to take the boring and turn it into exciting. My Grandpa Kenny had the unique capability to somehow turn any situation into a fun time. I swear he never had a bad day or a boring moment in his 91 years, he was just one of those guys. It mystifies me to this very day how he could make things like long, hot car trips to southern Rhode Island  (insert joke here) exciting and funny. I'm saying this not only by going back in my childhood, but even still in my 20's. Things were always interesting when he was around. One of my favorite writers is Charles Bukowski. I love his writing because he's able to paint a picture without any flowery language. He just called it like he saw it, didn't bullshit anything, and it worked out for him beautifully. He could take a bar scene in a story and get 15 pages without using a single SAT word, and it would be interesting. Was he a dirty old man that drank waaaay too much? Absolutely! Was he an interesting character? You butter believe it. I hope to be able to take the boring and try to get a rise out of things.

These days, between everyone being pissed off at everything and everyone else in general, it feels like you have to walk on eggshells wherever you go. No one can say anything, no one can assume anything, no one is ever on the same page. I blame social media for this, but that's just the world we live in. Twitter was fantastic when it first took off. Tweet about a show, crack a joke about Madonna, tell a hockey player he sucks and he might just reply back saying that you suck. Now I open up Twitter and I'll see some recycled joke followed by a retweet of a report about something shitty that Trump did, then fake rumor about Tom Brady and these will be sandwiched between a tweet calling the Kardashians #goals and a tweet from someone thinking that Lil Uzi Vert is actually good. It sucks the life out of us mere mortals. Are we allowed to be funny anymore? It hit me about an hour ago that this is sort of a challenge. Why the hell not try to find things to make fun of still, like the glory days (?) of this blog. Coachella sucks these days, why not make fun of that? I think I can have some fun making fun of those flower crown wearing assholes who go to a desert to watch the Weeknd lipsynch in hopes of getting their likes on Instagram in the triple digits. Shit, I should write the rest of this rant in a new tab. Twitter may be a lost cause but I can still have fun on here, right?! RIGHT!?
seriously, what happened to Coachella?

Over the years on this blog I've covered head-scratching one hit wonders from Asher Roth's 'I Love College' to Rebecca Black's 'Friday' (still my personal favorite blog). I have done Pop Culture March Madness brackets, I gave out a Man of the Year award once (Bruce Jenner in 2010, by the way. Little did we know!), had a 3 blog installment on why Catholic School Girls Rock, wrote about my love for Carly Rae Jepsen when 'Call Me Maybe' swept the nation, tried finding my buddy Tyler a Valentine, somehow got 172,421 views on a parody interview about wigs, and shared with you all my pure, utter hatred for the Christmas Shoes song which resulted in an argument with my grandmother during Christmas one year. I've had some fun with this thing.

I admit, these days I've been focusing on a bunch of short stories and a screenplay (ambitious!), so the blogging has taken a backseat, but I oddly have a new ambition to make fun of things in pop culture again. Maybe it is due to the jinx removal Voodoo doll I just bought in New Orleans, or maybe it was the aforementioned spring cleaning that inspired me, but I'm going to really try to get this thing rolling again. There have been hits and misses over the years, and there certainly will be more of both to come, but why not give it another whirl? Maybe I'll even get another Bud light out of it.
He really pulls the room together.

All I know is, I'm gonna write what I want, how I want and just hope it works. With Voodoo on my side, how can I fail?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Non-Emo Valentine's Day Blog

February 13th. The eve of one of the more dreaded days of the calendar year. For people who are spoken for, they are preparing to woo their loved one with a fancy, overpriced dinner, with overpriced flowers that will die, and boxes of chocolate that will be half eaten because really only the caramel-filled and milk chocolate pieces matter. Valentine's Day is the time for those lucky enough to have someone to show just how much they care, and for greeting card companies to make enough money to give out bonuses for ski homes. While some are looking forward to, some (most?) are dreading it. This being said, I'm here to tell you that things will be okay!

I haven't had a Valentine's Day worth celebrating in years, and while I used to get bummed out, I have developed ways to get distracted by it, thus not being bothered by it. Some have worked out okay and some have led to embarrassment, but if you can't laugh at yourself then you can't laugh at anything, or something like that. All that matters is you try.

Today (13th) is the day you are guaranteed to see two things on social media, and see them multiple times because people aren't creative anymore. First is this screenshot and/or gif of Ryan Howard from The Office. Not sure if Ryan Howard the former Philadelphia Phillie made this same mistake, but we can all hope not for his sake:

Then, of course, you will see some mention of Leslie Knope discussing Galentine's Day. Everyone thinks their sooooo unique posting the same stuff.

To help cope with the Valentine's Day blues, one recommendation is to take a shot for every time you see one of those two gifs show up on various forms of social media. You will get so drunk that you will probably not remember today or Valentine's Day at all, so therefore it never really happened, and you can't have a bad Valentine's Day if it never existed. It's science. While these gifs and memes don't really help matters, I would like to offer a more uplifting piece of advice from a Parks and Rec character: Ron Swason discussing love, despite being divorced 3 times.

I think this is very uplifting, honestly. Never give up! There is no point in giving up. The right side of my phone has a dent on the right side from all the swiping I've been doing over the years, but I'm not giving up! While my batting average is absolutely abysmal, it only takes one correct swipe to make life wonderful. Still hoping this comes from real life and not Bumble but hey it's 2018. I'm still not used to this whole new positive outlook on life that I'm trying out. Writing this makes me feel weird, like when you leave your phone at home and you're at work or something.

Last year, I decided that I wasn't gonna mope around the apartment drinking Budweiser and watching a meaningless Bruins game like the year before. I decided to take myself to get some Ramen noodles in Providence, because that's one of my happy places in life. Since this place is popular and small, I showed up early before it opened, signed up on the wait list outside and waited to be called. 10 minutes later when the hostess came out she started calling for the other parties signed up.

"John, party of two. Abigail, party of two. Big Sid, party of two. Yolanda, party of two," she called, which suddenly made me realize something. I wasn't a party of two.  Another few names and she came to my chicken scratch handwriting on the sheet.

"JIM PARTY OF ONE!" she said. I'm sure she didn't yell it any louder than the other names, but it felt like it. I made my way through the group of people that had swelled up to like, 40, all in pairs, trying to shhhh her to keep it down that I was by myself. Of course, she continued "PARTY OF ONE! JIM! Aw Jim! Aw! I'll be your Valentine!"
made this myself.

This, of course, was very mortifying. I was very touched that this girl offered to be my Valentine but I think it may have been her way of saving the tip she had probably thought she had lost by embarrassing me. I had never slurped down a bowl of ramen so quickly. I tipped, by the way.

Why did I share this humiliating story with you? To prove to you that no matter what you do to treat yourself this Valentine's Day, it probably can't get much worse than that. I survived! I mean, sure I had to go to a bar afterwards to decompress from sheer embarrassment, but that was one of the better Valentine's Days I've had. Point is, you can survive this just fine.

I think if you're single you should try to go on out there, take the bull by the horns and try having some damn fun. It is perfectly fine to please yourself on Valentine's Day. Self love is the key to happiness. This phrasing is starting to turn a bit more risque then I had intended. How can you love someone else if you don't love yourself, you guys? If you want to go to sewing circle, go to sewing circle. Wanna find a friend and throw bottles at stop signs? Go for it! Feel like drinking at a bar to try to pick someone up while playing Vanessa Carlton songs on a jukebox? Hell yeah, that's what I'll probably be doing! Well, the playing Vanessa Carlton songs on the jukebox part, at least.

I say cheer up gang. Things always get better. Always next year, right? The Chicago Cubs said that about winning the World Series and it only took them 108 years...okay not the best example. Maybe your mom will get you chocolate? Just keep the faith

Also, I'm single. Tell your friends.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Smells Like Autotune Spirit

There I was, hanging out on my couch sippin’ on a whisky watching some soap operas trying to warm the hell up. I had just finished shoveling the giant mound of snow and ice that the city plow had left in front of my driveway, which was conveniently placed there a mere 20 minutes after already shoveling said driveway. While I may have been bitter and checking Amazon for voodoo dolls to exact revenge on the stupid ass plow driver (plow man? I dunno), I soon became intrigued by a tweet that was retweeted onto my Twittersphere. It was from @TheBrandonMorse, including a video link and it read ‘Someone auto-tuned “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to a major chord, and now life is confusing.’ For full on credit, this was posted on Vimeo by Sleep Good under "Nirvirna - Teen Sprite". Gotta give this evil genius credit. I gave it a listen. You should too.

Holy hell.

Yes, this is Charles Barkley w/ Nirvana at Saturday Night Live
The ‘now life is confusing’ line of that tweet is an understatement. I fully understand that changing up the chords and what not can make any song different, but suddenly this 90’s anthem of teen angst, which was the dagger in the heart of hair bands (sorry Brett Michaels, Rock of Love was a wildly entertaining show though!) had turned into…a happy-go-lucky, cheery, go-get-em type of song? The first time I listened, I immediately wanted to go buy a pack of bubblegum and go for a nice stroll. This is music’s bizzaro world.

I’ve been asking people what it sounds like to them, and everyone seems to be right. It sounds like the beginning of Nicki Minaj’s 'Starships', it sounds like B*Witched’s b*loved smash hit single ‘C'est la Vie’. There is a bit of Hanson’s ‘MMMBop’ tossed in there. The guitar solo, which inspired many a grunge kid to buy a guitar to try and nail suddenly sounds like Big Country’s song ‘In A Big Country’.

This version of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit; could be the theme song for a ‘Friends’ ripoff sitcom circa 1998. It could feature in one of those classic Coca-Cola ads where everyone is suddenly happy. This could play during the closing montage that tells the audience what every character ends up doing in the future of one of those teen movies with starring a young Jennifer Love Hewitt and Seann William Scott (total aside, I had no idea he spelled Seann with two n’s, did anyone else notice this?). I imagine this playing at the house party when the couple that should be together finally gets together, while the goon in the film is tending to a nosebleed, and the dorky kid, probably played by Seth Green, finally becomes cool. I now want to watch “Can’t Hardly Wait” or anything starring the great Alicia Silverstone. My friend, and past contributor to this blog, Julie Strano said that listening to that made her feel like she should be in a convertible wearing a crop top, probably in southern California. I tend to doubt anyone has said that about the normal version of the song. You could even substitute this for Wham!’s ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ in Zoolander when the gang is riding in the Jeep before having a gasoline fight, which ends in disaster when one of the male models sparks up a cig. 

I think that part that is so shocking about this version of the song is just how catchy and amazing it still is, despite how different it is. I have listened to this song on repeat quite a few times over the past few days, and it just doesn’t make any sense. Nirvana has never really been known for cheer. ‘Come As You Are’ can make a beautiful June afternoon in Punta Cana turn gray and depressing. ‘Polly’, at first listen, seems to be a nice song about a parrot, but listen to the lyrics and it is quite darker than that. Maybe ‘In Bloom’ could count as cheery? Maybe guitar-wise it is, but I just remembered the opening line of that is ‘sell the kids for food’, so Nevermind (see what I did there!). My personal favorite Nirvana song is ‘About A Girl’ but I still wouldn’t listen to that when I’m all pumped up and ready to seize the day. 

This really makes you think. Would Kurt have been around still had all his songs sounded like this? Would Foo Fighters still be as big as they are had ‘Everlong’ or ‘Monkey Wrench’ been autotuned in a major chord? Would Nirvana’s picture with Charles Barkley been less awkward if this version of the song was out there in 1991? Would bands like Everclear, Gin Blossoms and, bless them, Sugar Ray have just thrown in the towel and given up knowing they could never right a pop-rock song like this? We may never know, but for once, Twitter actually provided us with something delightful. That may be the real shocker here.

Monday, January 1, 2018

I Am Looking Forward To 2018

Much like how the title of this post tells you, I am looking forward to 2018. Boom. It’s out there. I think it’s safe to say 2017 was like the drunk college freshman who just won’t leave the party the seniors are throwing and eventually pukes in one of the said senior’s beds. This once happened to me. Anyways, 2017 was no bueno, but why look back with a scowl when we can look forward with….I don’t know, a smirk? To put it in terms of characters from Parks and Rec (this is becoming more of a useful and widely accepted tool of comparison, I am learning), I am trying to be more Chris Traeger and less April Ludgate. Actually, let’s clarify. I would like to be optimistic like Chris, and I guess it wouldn’t hurt to age so damn gracefully either. I still think we should all strive to be weird like April. Maybe just less pessimistic?


I tend to be accused of being pessimistic when I just think I’m being realistic. For instance, if you were to come meet me at a restaurant with 33 pancakes as a tribute to former New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing and asked, with a hint of hope, if I thought that you could eat all those pancakes in 5 minutes, I would tell you no. Not because I WANT to doubt you, it’s just that, realistically, I do doubt you and you probably won’t eat all those pancakes. That’s a lot of pancakes. But anywho, I guess this was a long way of saying that I will be trying to be more ~cheerful~. Doesn’t hurt to give it a whirl and maybe tell you that, maybe, you can eat all those pancakes. I mean, it can’t hurt, right? Things are looking up! I got a new laptop for Christmas, so blogging has once again become easy and enjoyable, as opposed to having my old piece of crap Macbook freeze up on me halfway through writing a power ranking of Michael Scott’s most cringeworthy moments. The writing will be at an all time high this year, and with more shenanigans than ever before! I know you were all looking forward to that statement, so good for you, your 2018 is off to a smashing success. And, you know what, good for me as well! Maybe I’ll even get those Breakfast at Jimothy’s t-shirts made, too.

This blog had potential, I promise.

Anyways, here are some things that I would like to discuss, and hope happens to yours truly in 2018. As I write this we are 16 hours into the new year and I already had to cancel my credit card because someone spent $452 at Victoria’s Secret and didn’t even have the class to send me a bathrobe, while this was a real bummer, I am keeping my head up and thinking, hey I’ll probably have a day real soon where I won’t get my credit card stolen. Baby steps, people, baby steps. 

One of my first goals is to travel somewhere, maybe by myself or by tricking someone whose company I enjoy to join me. I think I am personally due for a voyage somewhere, and most likely centered around music, tacos and a *scene* that doesn’t suck. Basically I’m saying that I want to finally go to Austin so I can eat tacos, check out a ton of bands and drink spicy margaritas at dive bars. I am also taking suggestions and recommendations for places to check out, things to do, people to meet and also stay away from (this includes self-proclaimed Sorcerers and the French. I trust neither). There are times where I get bored in lil ol’ Providence, Rhode Island, and maybe seeking some form of adventure would be just downright swell. I was fortunate enough to see one of my favorite bands, Jawbreaker, play one of their first shows in 21 years in Chicago (probably my high point of 2017), and it hit me that I enjoyed that and, you know, maybe I should do that again some time. It’s almost like traveling to a major city to see something that I like while drinking beers with a friend is a good thing.

Another goal of mine is to develop the perfect spicy queso dip. I was discussing the importance of a good queso dip recently and the notion was arrived that every situation gets at least a little better when chips and good queso enter into the equation. Hockey games, funerals, barnstorming’s, one person riots outside of Starbucks, your niece’s dance recital, all of these and more can be made much, much better with queso. Much like my wardrobe, the spicier the better, so I’ll be looking to kick some serious ass in the queso making game in 2018. That sounded a lot better in my head.

I also believe I will nail down a modeling contract this year. 

Look at this photograph (I hope you read that in your head in the same tone as Chad Kroeger from Nickelback sings it). I thought I looked rather nice so I had my friend Sam take it. Stunning! It doesn’t matter at all that most of the comments on Instagram are making note of how awkwardly large the straw in that gin and tonic is, I’m reaching for the moon here. This may or may not have just been an elaborate ruse to get a song stuck in your head.

I would definitely like to learn more guitar, mostly because I know next to nothing except the opening to Weezer’s Sweater Song, the opening to ‘Psycho Killer’ by Talking Heads, and Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’ (to be fair that is my Dad’s favorite band and I think he taught me that when I was still sleeping in a crib every night). I’m not saying I am going to start trying to woo ladies around Providence by standing outside their windows playing something by Something Corporate (it’s freezing outside!) but if I want to become a true renaissance man and elevate my game at swanky dinner parties, I figure learning guitar could come in handy. I think if I had a quick top 5 without thinking in depth (aka I’m leaving a lot of songs out that I’ll be kicking myself for in about 15 minutes) of songs that I’d like to learn, it would have to be Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut From the Team) by Taking Back Sunday, Where is My Mind? by Pixies, Someday by The Strokes, Boxcar by Jawbreaker, and probably some cover of Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen. I know it’s a new year but you really can’t expect me to not give some love to the crown jewel of Canada’s music scene. I will undoubtedly learn 0 of these songs in 2018, but I will still be an admirable addition to any dinner party any of you want to throw. 


2018 will also be the year I finally work at listening to friend’s suggestions for TV shows and movies. I am awful at this. The newest show I watched was Ozark, which was absolutely bonkers and I loved it. The next newest show? I guess Parks and Rec, which I loved immediately and keep re-watching over and over, along with The Office, instead of checking new things out. I like most of my friends, so I do need to get better and listening to them, but I’m not giving into Game of Thrones. If I can gripe for a second, I’m sick of people telling me I’ll like Game of Thrones. I won’t. I say this and mention the fact that I don’t go for that whole middle earth bullshit, and everyone gets all offended, and most people will say “but Jim you sly devil, don’t you like Lord of the Rings?” thinking I’ll suddenly say yes and automatically love Game of Thrones. What ends up really happening is that I tell them no, I hated Lord of the Rings and only saw the first two for various birthday parties I had to attend. This usually results in that person giving up, and me going to the fridge to get another beer. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll finally watch movies like Shawshank Redemption, Goodfellas and Forrest Gump in 2018. We’ll see. 
No shit. It's January.

Lastly, while it seems like no one got along with anyone in 2017, it appears that, somehow, Liam and Noel Gallagher of Oasis have buried their hatchet. If these two could finish out 2017 by no longer feuding, then we can all try to get along, somehow. Honestly, it’s all nice but I always liked Blur more than Oasis, so the feud just kind of amused me while also serving a purpose of not having to worry about them releasing a new album. Now, I have to worry about this, and it hit me that an Oasis reunion will most likely headline Coachella, Lollapalooza or, (since 8o% of festivals are all the same lineup these days) both in 2018. I tweeted this prediction out on 12/20/17 at 10:57 and I want to be acknowledged as a Swami if this becomes true. While it’s sad that this feud is over, we still have some amazing feuds that will carry over into 2018, most notably, Drake and Josh, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, Martha Stewart and Gwyneth Paltrow, and of course, my sister Allison and our family’s dentist. Still don’t know how that one happened but it is very bitter and I love that it’s a thing.
It'll last.

Look at that, first blog post out of the way in 2018. I can honestly say that I feel a bit, rejuvenated(?) and I honestly do hope that I’ll be blogging a whole hell of a lot more. It’s always nice to make fun of things and rant and rave about nonsense, so I hope you all enjoy what is to come. I wish you all a very happy new year, for Vanessa Carlton to make a resurgence in 2018, and for that queso dip to work out.

God protects idiots, you guys.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Stranger Than (Science) Fiction

Last Thursday was a big day if you were one of the many rabid/cult-like followers of Brand New. The patience that, understandably, was wearing thin after an 8 year gap between albums came to an end with an album, Science Fiction, that came out of the blue. I think even the most depressed fan with bottled up teen angst remaining from 2007 even had to crack the slightest of smiles when this news broke. I like to picture the tweet heard 'round the music world was like a Bat Signal. All of a sudden, all these 20- and 30-somethings working at a job they hate hear word of this album and they feel the urge to blast Sic Transit Gloria and go tell strangers to die young and save themselves, while getting angry over an ex who hurt them back in 2003.

Over two years ago I wrote a post called The Curious Case of Brand New. This was hot on the heels of the band releasing a new single 'Mene' and had performed another song live (never released) called 'Sealed to Me'. It seemed like a new album was imminent and Brand New was ready to reclaim their throne in the world of alternative rock. What happened next was one more single, 'I Am The Nightmare' which was very good, and then a few months later an email to those on the Procrastinate! Music Traitors email list explaining that they would NOT be releasing an album anytime soon. Not only did that suck the already low levels of joy in Brand New fans, but it raised new questions of when the next album would be, and if it would even happen at all.

Brand New was in a tough spot. Their first 3 albums were universally loved, and 'Daisy' was their first step in the wrong direction. It was simply too weird. The song 'Gasoline' ends with a minute and one second of mind-numbing distortion. Multiple songs had weird old timey recordings from church sermons. It had a couple decent songs, and sure, some people say they like the album, but no one is ranking that as their favorite Brand New album. Anyone who says Daisy is a great album is probably someone trying to be a music snob and probably also thinks that 'Bleach' is the best Nirvana album. In whole, Daisy was a disappointment (massively, to most) and I think a lot of people were very curious and worried of how the next album would come out, whenever that would be. We, the bloodthirsty angsty kids, had to accept that we wouldn't get a second Deja Entendu (which is understandable), but we would have certainly settled for something closer to The Devil and God.
Always appreciated fine (album) art

This is where Science Fiction absolutely enters into the equation, and ultimately delivers. My dear buddy Steve "Sherry Poo" Sheridan summed it up perfectly when he said that this album is what SHOULD have followed up Devil and God instead of Daisy. The music on Science Fiction has it's own sound, while still having that Brand New feel to it, and minus the Daisy weirdness. This is what fans wanted.

I admit that right off the bat I was scared as hell as I hit play on opening track 'Lit Me Up'.  It opens with about a 90 second intro of what sounds like a patient telling her shrink about some dreams she's been having. I had a sinking feeling that it would be another Daisy, but my thoughts were at ease when the actual song kicked off. Track 2 is 'Can't Get Out' and all of my doubts were set aside and the feeling of excitement of something magnificent started.

Let's get one thing clear: Science Fiction is not a cheery album. It's sad. Really sad. It's like a gut punch of sadness that opens up a pit in your stomach, but you enjoy it. A lot of it is heavy and slow, but it keeps you paying attention throughout. The album's final track 'Batter Up' is 8 minutes long but you don't get the desire to skip to the next song halfway through. Personally, I love 'Could Never Be Heaven' and I can already see Jesse playing that solo to close out shows on the upcoming tour that was impossible to get tickets to.  'Same Logic/Teeth' has some moments of the angsty yelling that we all love and adore, while having a certain movie-montage-song caliber pace to it. When it comes down to it, there is no song that disappoints. It's a great album throughout, which makes sense considering the time it took to make. You get bits and pieces of intensity mixed with a slow-burn of acoustic guitar at points. It's a mixed bag in the best way possible: you get all forms of Brand New at their best. This is the redemption album that made the wait worth it.

I personally think that Brand New became important for this generation because their early songs were so relatable. Jesse Lacey is the Morrissey of this generation, which I think was a goal of his. His lyrics are relatable.  We could relate to being stabbed in the back by friends. We dealt with heartbreak and wondering what else is out there down the line. Brand New was the curators of the soundtrack to a lot of our lives growing up, while figuring out that crazy thing called life. The majority of music these days is made up of nonsensical bullshit. People don't care about lyrics and just care about beats.  Pitbull mentions random names of cities and yells 'fireball' a bunch of times over a cheap, catchy beat and makes money off of it because a lot of people are stupid. Brand New gave people an outlet to relate to, and their music mattered. Maybe it took some brains in their fans and some understanding, but those people who get it fell in love with this band. There aren't a lot of fairweather Brand New fans out there. There is a reason why everything Brand New does/tweets/posts goes viral instantly.

Love the guitar

I admit, this paragraph is a bit random but I have to include it because it's on my mind. What is up with Jesse Lacey's fear of drowning? Between 'Play Crack the Sky' (drowning in a shipwreck near Montauk), the lyrics to 'At The Bottom' and 'Sink', mentioning "sinking like a stone in the sea" in the mostly instrumental 'Tautou', and now a song called 'In the Water', I feel like he's pretty scared of the ocean. Oh, and that whole "and even if her plane crashes tonight she'll find some way to disappoint me, by not burning in the wreckage, or drowning at the the bottom of the sea" thing in 'Jude Law And a Semester Abroad'. I'm starting to think he never learned how to swim or something.  Oh man, and don't forget about 'Jaws Theme Swimming'. Maybe that movie scarred him!

With Daisy, the message became less relatable and we didn't really know what the hell they were talking about. Pair that with the weirdness of it all and people turned away from it. Science Fiction gets things back on track. They have grown up, and so have we. The teen angst is gone but the real life issues are there. Science Fiction has mentions of wives and kids and not knowing what else the future has in store, which is also what this generation (as we get older) is going through as well. All of a sudden, we have another album that can be a soundtrack to another phase of our lives. The wait is over. Jesse Lacey is back on track and we all need to kick back and enjoy this.

Daisy is forgiven. Long live Science Fiction.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Hero We Need

Those who know me well will tell you that I'm not that fond of Snapchat, segways and broccoli. While two out of the three will never, ever change, I may be turning the corner on the idea of Snapchat, and it's thanks to one thing and one thing only:
Not even mad his feet are on the recliner!

Don't get me wrong, Snapchat isn't terrible. I have a small group of people who I snap and enjoy most of what they send me, but then there are people who get annoying with it. I don't want to see snaps of fireworks or sunsets. A lot of people use it as the modern day "Wish You Were Here!" postcard, showing off where they are to make others jealous. I'm guilty of this from time to time as well, but some people just abuse their Snapchat accounts to no end, and it can become cringeworthy. What was once a stale app that in my opinion just got the splash of tabasco that was absolutely needed. A breakdancing hot dog filter.

This Hot Dog is the hero this country needs right now. The country is in turmoil with people all upset at each other. Twitter is at an all time level of cesspool-ness. No one can agree about anything with anyone, yet I think we can all get behind the breakdancing Hot Dog. It has instantly joined the elite club of things that everyone likes, such as The Office, Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker, Snoop Dogg and those whacky wavy inflatable dancing tube things outside your local used car dealership. I find his face calming yet still filled with mischief. He looks like a good timer. Had he been cast in Step Up or Magic Mike, I would actually consider seeing those movies. Not since Elaine tried busting a move on that episode of Seinfeld has there been a more significant impact to Pop Culture involving dancing.

There is a lot of potential here. Years ago, by use of a jingle, we were told that we wished we could be an Oscar Meyer wiener. Today, we want to be a breakdancing Hot Dog. If I were a company trying to clean up their image, I would try to get involved with this new sensation. Subway is in desperate need of a makeover, because their sandwiches suck and their spokesperson turned out to be a scumbag. I think sales would go through the roof if they started using this Hot Dog as the face of their company (and also by making better sandwiches). Perhaps a headphone company could use the Hot Dog to peddle their newest merchandise. Beats by Dre could use this new social media darling to launch a new line. Of course, the Hot Dog would risk being called a sell out, but we would all soon forget that by just being distracted by his moves and calm demeanor.

I believe that this Hot Dog is what we all thought Katy Perry's Left Shark from Superbowl 49 would become. While I was perfectly fine with the Patriots winning that Super Bowl, most of the nation was distraught, and took solace in the instant fame of Left Shark. People wanted more, yet there was no follow up, and it quickly went away, which is a damn shame.

Wasted Potential.

Snapchat has the ability to keep the Hot Dog around and it could keep bringing joy into the lives of people. It's versatility is key. We can have fun inserting this Hot Dog into famous photos. Maybe it was present for Lincoln's assassination? Maybe it accompanied Neil Armstrong for the first moon landing.

It can be inserted into rap music videos drinking champagne with Lil Wayne, or can show up unexpectedly in your bowl of salad. The possibilities are endless, and it's got the ability to provide endless fun, which is someone we all need right now. It's a true escape from reality. So, I say screw your flower crowns and and filters that make you look like an actual dog. This is 2017, the world is in chaos, and the hero that we need is a breakdancing Hot Dog. What a time to be alive.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Ramblings, Man.

I was going to start this with a big rant about how I haven't blogged in a while and was very thankful that my last blog on college reunions went over so well. It was going to blame social media for being a cesspool and stuff but I found myself boring....myself so I just erased and I'm starting fresh now. That being said, the last blog was the most viewed I've had in almost 2 years, so thanks, you guys. Good to be back, until I forget and go on another unplanned hiatus.

End of speech. Let's talk nonsense in the world today.

Mr. Met flipped someone off and got busted for it. While this is not as controversial as when Benny the Chicago Bull mascot was caught hotboxing his costume mid-game, this was hilarious in it's own way. There is something about big, dumb cartoon-humans flipping off their own fans which brings me joy. I think what really made me crack a half-smile (can't give too much of a grin, that shows weakness and I have a persona to keep up) was the fact that Mr. Met has only 4 fingers and he had to hold down the remaining fingers with his other hand to make a middle one. It's also amusing that Mr. Met has showed more passion and grit in this one instance than any of the Mets 7 ace pitchers have this year.
It's so satisfying! That's what she said.

After years of always hearing good things but never giving it a good shot, I finally watched Parks and Rec. All this time spent rewatching classic episodes of The Office while Parks and Rec was right there being neglected...God dammit Jim. I think at some point I will do a full in-depth power-rankings on the whole cast of the show, but for now I will give you my very brief top 5: 5. Leslie Knope 4. Tom Haverford 3. Ron Swanson 2. Andy Dwyer 1. April Ludgate. I've also come to the conclusion that Andy and April is my favorite fictional couple, replacing my previous favorite of Ray Romano and whoever his wife was on 'Everybody Loves Raymond'. I have to thank my friend Adriann for pushing me to my limits and making me watch this. It was totally worth it. I really don't know what took me so long to watch this show, and I kinda hate myself for not doing it sooner.

A man's man.

Speaking of hating myself, I've started running again. How's it going you ask? Well, even before my first run in God knows when, I made a Spotify playlist called Dreadful Running Mix, so that's a good indicator. I can't believe that there was a period in my life that I ran cross country for year in high school, just for fun. Then again, I also can't believe that I tied for 'Friendliest' in the 8th grade superlatives, so hey anything can change I guess.

I saw AFI play Providence two nights ago and I'm starting to seriously wonder if they are taken for granted. They formed in 1991 (!) broke out in 2003, somehow survived as a goth-emo band who went mainstream, got even bigger with Miss Murder, and have still been making albums that are good. To sum up the show, they play the hits and get the crowd all sorts of amped up. Also, they had some impressive mosh pits, so if you wanted to go get our your inner teen angst via shoving and throwing elbows, that's a place to check out. Seriously though, they were really good. I'm talking like, soundtrack to the movie Drive good. It was also fun to learn that lead singer Davey Havok was voted the World's Sexiest Vegetarian in 2007 and was on the cover of Vegan Health and Fitness in 2015. What confuses me here is how there is a whole magazine out there I've never heard of, despite every Vegan out there never shutting up about how they are in fact, Vegan. How selfish. You can brag about your veganism but can't promote publications that support your health and fitness.


Without getting too deep into politics, how the hell is Rage Against the Machine not back together right now? Doesn't this seem like the perfect time for them to come back and write the next great anti-politics album? I mean, they got huge in the 90's when Slick Willy Clinton was in office, and the only thing people had to worry about back then was shenanigans in the Oral Office. Simpler times, I guess. I just feel like there is a missed opportunity here for a band like that. My great-great-great grandfather's tomb reads "strike while the iron is hot" and Rage is simply ignoring the tomb of my great-great-great grandfather. Sad!

Amanda Bynes is back! It's hard to think of a more fascinating Twitter feed that when she was doing her best Britney Spears circa 2007 meltdown impression. Her desires for that Drake fella were pretty intense, as were most of her feelings on things. While it's wonderful that she has cleaned herself up and is making a come back, I have to imagine that the world missed out on her giving her two-cents, or her three-dollar-bill on hot button topics over the past 4 years. Would've loved to get her conspiracy theories on that missing Malaysian Airplane, if she thought that dress was Blue or Gold, and if she thought Left Shark was the real star of Katy Perry's SuperBowl halftime show. Also, wouldn't mind a return of the Amanda Show. That's one reboot that I would support. Can't be any worse than Fuller House.

In hindsight, this caption was a little too true.

Instagram has been filled with "the floor is..." memes which is starting to drive me crazy. I am impressed in a way though. It's the first meme to go viral in which there has never actually been a funny one. Ever.

Chose one quick after that google image search. Woof.

I know times are wild right now and no one can agree on anything, but I think if there is one thing this country can all be on the same page about: no more Spider-Man reboots for at least 15 years. I mean, does Hollywood really think people want more? Just to keep you in the know, we had the Tobey Maguire and all his boring charm in Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3 from 2002-2007. Next, of course, was Andrew "I Love Lasagna and Hate My Dog Odie" Garfield who tried his darndest to make himself seem exciting in The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The only thing that makes him 'amazing' is that he may have had even less of a personality than Tobey Maguire. Now we have some thing called Tom Holland who is the new Spidey in Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and I guess they already have Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 planned. If anyone has a proper system on how to rank these, let me know. We get one movie of Heath Ledger's Joker yet we have 73 Spider-Man reboots. Another sign that life ain't fair.

Me avoiding the barrel of spiderman reboots.

Lastly, and most importantly, stop this nonsense with male rompers. In fact, stop it with all rompers. I've been anti-rompers for years now. I feel like if you are too old for a sippy-cup, you are too old for rompers. Male rompers are just a way for you to look like an asshole and get people to notice you. Rompers are for guys who love making people roll their eyes into the back of their head in agony. It's dumb. Leave rompers for kindergartners. This is 2017, people. The world is a messed up place already. Don't make it worse with male rompers. Stop with the man buns too. They're only for european basketball players.

Not even Leo DiCaprio can make this look good.