Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Judy is, in fact, not a punk

In commercials for FX's new summer comedy Married they featured the Ramones' "Judy Is a Punk." And I was reminded the lyrics state "Jackie is a punk" while "Judy is a runt."

At no point during the three verses that mention Judy is she identified as the eponymous punk.

And somehow for over three decades I merely enjoyed the song without specifically thinking about that disparity between the title and the lyrics even though I knew exactly what the title was and what the lyrics were (well, I knew those lyrics from the start; some of the rest took some time to decipher--Joey's vocal stylings about going to Berlin and joining the ice capades took a bit longer).

Joey, you were throwing us off with that title, weren't you? Why would you do that?

Oh, I don't know why (perhaps they'll die).

Oh yeah.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

How messed up is Old 97's "Most Messed Up"?

[Note: This post was originally composed back in May and was intended to be published two months ago, a few weeks after the release of the mentioned album. But as the parent of an infant I must put the blahg on the back burner sometimes, so this won't be quite as topical as it might have been before, but I hope it's still worthwhile for fans of the band.]

The more I listened to Most Messed Up the more it grew on me. My initial response upon my first spin was it didn't quite have that same je-ne-sai-pas upon first hearing them 15 years ago; I suppose it struck me as trying to recapture the old magic, and while the songs generally rocked they didn't quite have the perhaps ineffable quality their songs had before. However, the more I thought about it, it wasn't so much that the songs are different (although they are) but that the band members are different people than they were and (more important) I am different than I was. It's not that I cannot hear new music and quite like it but music must merely fit into a rather busy life. Fifteen years ago I may have thought I was busy but I really had no idea what busy was… and fifteen years from now I'll say the same thing about how busy I am now.


Sunday, July 06, 2014

Soccer popularity and the World Cup... again

With the defeat of the U.S. team in the World Cup last week, we almost guarantee four years hence the discussion of why soccer is not as popular here in America as in the rest of the world will have a chance to be resurrected.

But we won't rehash that. Four years ago I offered some quasi-serious/semi-tongue-in-cheek thoughts on its lack of popularity, then chronicled getting sincerely caught up by matches, and then when it was over conceded I wasn't quite a convert but noted I'd be back.

Instead let's ponder: Is any American sport as fanatically popular as futbol is (per capita) in these other countries? Even were soccer to outshine the NFL here, it's not certain it would be as popular (when viewed as the percentage of the nation's population who essentially worship the sport).

In four years we'll still be a huge country with many distractions; that seems unlikely ever to change. So the discussion may never have cause to cease—although maybe that's really more due to the fact we (as a country) aren't really listening that closely, because we have other things to do; every fourth year those thusly inclined to talk about it never feel as though it was thoroughly considered the last time, and hence it's still ripe for discussion.

We do this to ourselves.

Proof I watched a World Cup match that didn't involve the U.S. team.

Let's acknowledge that soccer is popular in the U.S. by the fact we have a professional league that has fans and gets acknowledged by the sports media. Also, perhaps more important, there are many living here who follow the games played in other countries (some of which now get telecast on American TV).

Friday, May 23, 2014

Singing to my son in the bath again: the Duran Duran / Billy Joel (non) connection... and the Pixies commercial

While bathing my infant son I tend to occupy those moments by singing or humming tunes to him. Unlike what one might expect I don't go with lullabies or traditional children's songs but whatever happens to be stuck in my head (which I can still get away with because he has no grasp of what I'm singing).

Something I realized while doing so recently: The guitar riff in Duran Duran's "Planet Earth"...

...is very similar to the melody of the "whoa-o-a-o-ah" vocals in Billy Joe's "Uptown Girl."

I'm about 85 percent sure that's mere coincidence.

Monday, May 12, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Cologne

Back in my youth comic books drew some level of dismissal by the larger culture, but now of course "nerd culture" is mainstream. That acceptance seems like a step in the right direction, but those steps can go too far.

With the movie X-Men: Days of Future Past coming out soon the commercials are running heavily. However, yesterday I saw one that proved to be a cross-promotion… with Axe Body Spray—perhaps the epitome of douchebaggery. And while the distinctions were somewhat nebulous in those days of past (when only the nerds would know the X-Men story on which the movie is based) such products would never be explicitly marketed to such a demographic. I'm not saying there was no crossover between nerds and douchebags—of course there were was—but that was not considered a desirable group for advertisers.

It's enough to root for the Sentinels to wipe out everyone; neither humans nor mutants deserve to survive in a world where would happen.

We need to send someone back in time to stop this...

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

No more heroes

The clear inclination to dig up dirt and air everyone's dirty laundry of the internet age (combined with the oversharing potential social media offers) will eventually render no one to be admirable in even the slightest way.

That may not be an altogether bad thing.


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

How I responded (or didn't) to the finale of 'How I Met Your Mother'

Although over the years I've spent more time on this than can possibly be justified it was impossible I wouldn't spend at least a little bit today on the finale to How I Met Your Mother that aired last night. It was a popular topic on social media, and every TV critic out there chimed in (not that I've read them all yet… but I probably will later); I don't pretend to have a different take on it, but I figured I owed the show one last post.