Monday, May 30, 2005


I've learned that real life sucks and work is hard.

I don't hate my job, but it could be a lot better if I could have a conversation with someone while doing it.

I'm sitting there, hunched over my keyboard, peering at a glaring monitor reluctant to give up its secrets, and my mind is on autopilot.

I start listing random facts in my head to keep me somewhat alert, which is fairly entertaining due to my eidetic memory. (I don't forget, much like the metaphorical elephant.) I start listing the lineages of title belts from long ago, when I commited to memory all of the lineages on Masanori's puroresu site. I can tell you all fo the FMW Brass Knuckles title holders, in order, but hey, that's not really a marketable skill.

I try to think up back stories for various characters I'm trying to piece together for a series of short stories.

"Series of short stories", by the way, should read "comic books", but I need a reliable artist to deliver my tales to the masses, since I have the artistic skills of a semi-bright chimp. Any takers?

I spin entertaining domain names out, then check them at WHOIS to see if they're available. Sadly, nearly every permutation of the word "slobberknocker" is still available. I expected better.

Mostly, I listen to music, either through the miracle of LAUNCH or the quasi-majestic fury of WIndows Media Player's radio tuner. I listne to either hardcore techno or gangsta rap. They're pretty much it for keeping me awake.

I'm just glad I haven't got the NO-DOZ habit.

Maybe I should just ingest a lot of caffeine before saddling up the old office chair.

I've got a lot of time to think, since the job is so monotonous. I play "What If?" a lot, but with the way my imagination works, it's never too pleasant. What can I say, some can only see the "good" in people, but mostly I can only see the "bad". Relative terms, by the way.

Really, I'm preparing for a life of monotony.

(And let's see Adkins top this post for most depressing, once he gets back from his bountiful bevy of Bahamian beauties.)

In closing, some people have under-developed senses of humor, some people are too uptight, and "Quasi-Majestic" would make a great album title.

Just saying.

Party's at five instead of three. Be there or not.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

real american

I'm in the middle of a serious moral dilemma.

Should I keep my hair shaved, so it remains a beacon of sexiness for all of the world to bask in, or should I let it grow out to an inch or so and dye it bright blue? I need your advice on this, true believers. Excelsior!

I have done very little this week. Except for cooking dinner every day for my parents, who, in an unprecedented event, are both so sick they can barely hold their heads up. Upper respiratory infections. No permanent damage. However, my dad can't really take that much medication because of conflicts with his usual meds, and mom can't take anything that will mess with her heart. So, they're basically toughing it out.

On the bright side, I got to make the latest batch of the old family recipe for a cold remedy.

The secret ingredient? Easy.

Jack Daniels. No, really. That, and three other ingredients, take a spoonful of it, and it'll clear you right up. Plus, you can't operate heavy machinery!

I'm doing everything I can to not get sick, because I've got to work the rest of the summer to be able to afford a car. Already doing some freelance web design stuff, so that's a plus, but it's really monotonous stuff. Can't really tell you what I do (trade secret), but I get hella paid.

Yes, hella. Get over it.

I've been reading comics the last couple of days.

"God Loves, Man Kills" is maybe the best comic book Marvel ever put out.

I'd be tempted to put it into the top five of comics all-time, with "Maus", "The Dark Knight Returns", and "The Watchmen".

I'm lost on the fifth entry. Any ideas, intrepid readers? My heart says "Transmetropolitan" or "Preacher", but I'm not sure. "Crisis on Infinite Earths"? "The Killing Joke"? I don't know.

Well, we've gone head-first into geek territory, so it should come as no surprise I retook the Geek Test at Inner Geek, and scored a 62.5 or so, marking me as the third highest level of Geek, Extreme Geek.

I lost major points on my non-love of anime and my lack of access to pre-1985 computer equipment, but I made it up on trivia.

Speaking of geeky, "With My Baby Tonight" by the Road Dogg just came on my Media Player. Truly the pinnacle of geekiness, at least of the wrestling variety.

I've got another song review in the works, but I'm not happy with it yet, so it'll be a few days before it's up to my lofty standards.

As for a hint, think Canadian and think goofy. No, it's not "Informer" by Snow, even though I'll defend the merits of that song to any willing audience.

And now I've got Canadian dancehall stuck in my head. See what I suffer through for my readers?

Monday, May 23, 2005

come what may

(ED: By special request. God, the things I will do for a woman. Another song review, by the way.)


Come What May - Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman


Never knew I could feel like this
Like I've never seen the sky before
Want to vanish inside your kiss
Every day I love you more and more
Listen to my heart, can you hear it sings
Come back to me, and forgive everything
Seasons may change, winter to spring
But I love you until the end of time

Come what may
Come what may
I will love you until my dying day

Suddenly the world seems such a perfect place
Suddenly it moves with such a perfect grace
Suddenly my life doesn't seem such a waste
It all revolves around you
And there's no mountain too high
No river too wide
Sing out this song and I'll be there by your side
Storm clouds may gather
And stars may collide
But I love you until the end of time

Come what may
Come what may
I will love you until my dying day

Oh, come what may, come what may
I will love you, I will love you
Suddenly the world seems such a perfect place

Come what may
Come what may
I will love you until my dying day


"Moulin Rouge" (the movie) was the brainchild of Austrailian auteur Baz Luhrmann. He envisioned a fairy-tale version of 1900 Paris, centering on the absinthe-fueled artistry of the infamous Moulin Rouge. Yes, the same night club and designated place of debauchery for Toulouse-Lautrec, among others.

But the nightclub itself takes a backseat to the exquisite craftsmanship of the songs and their singers. Ewan McGregor plays the destitute writer Christian, who finds himself in love with the radiant songbird Satine, played by Nicole Kidman. The film tells the story of their forbidden love and the destructive qulaity that artists bring to their own lives.

We're not here to discuss the entire movie, though. We're here to discuss the centerpiece of the film, David Baerwald's "Come What May".

David Baerwald was born in Oxford, Ohio in 1960, the son of a former espionage agent turned professor at UCLA. He broke into the music business in the band David and David, who had the hit song "Welcome to the Boomtown" in 1986. The band was never able to follow up this success, and they split soon after the end of the decade.

David was signed to a recording contract at A&M, where he put out two well-reviewed solo albums. Sadly, the reviews did not translate into sales, and he was soon without a record deal yet again.

It was after this series of isfortunes that he found his true calling. He began to jam with a group of musicians, producers, and songwriters evry Tuesday night in Los Angeles. One of these fellow writers, a former music teacher from Missouri, soon got her own record deal, where she released some of the material the group as a whole had worked on.

Some of the songs? "All I Wanna Do". "Strong Enough". "Leaving Las Vegas".

That's right, David Baerwald found a rebirth of sorts in Sheryl Crow's debut album, Tuesday Night Music Club. THe album was sizable hit, and Baerwald soon found himself in demand as a writer.

He wrote a little love song for Baz Luhrmann's second "Red Curtain Trilogy" movie, Romeo+Juliet. This movie was, of course, a dramatic re-telling of Shakespeare's classic tale of star-crossed lovers who embody romantic tragedy. The twist to this movie was it's use of the play's actual dialogue, but with updated scenery and backgrounds, firmly placing the movie in the present day.

Luhrmann was unable to use the song Baerwald had written, but Baz was still eager to use the song in some capacity in the future.

"Moulin Rouge", the third "Red Curtain" movie, was just that opportunity.

The song was "Come What May".

The delicately tuned opening strains define the rest of the song. The soaring chorus shows the desperation in the characters' voices. Not a note is wasted.

The libretto tells the story simply, yet beautifully. The song is a tale of pure love, unadulterated by the outside world's machinations. Stars may collide, seasons may change, but the love epitomized by this song is unwavering and eternal.

This song earned Baerwald a Golden Globe nomination. It also cemented his status as a jack-of-all-trades in the music business as well as film, as he has been a performer and more notably a composer.

Baerwald, Luhrmann, Kidman, and McGregor all combine to give a fantastic rendition of a lovely song, and that may be why it's the best song ever.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

getting to know you

1. Kissed your cousin: on the cheek
2. Ran away: never really wanted to
3. Pictured your crush naked: millions of times
4. Skipped school: no
5. Broken someone's heart: maybe, maybe not
6. Been in love: yes
7. Cried when someone died: yes
8. Wanted someone you knew you couldn't have: *ding ding* we have a winner
9. Broken a bone: no
10. Done something embarrassing: only every day of my life
11. Lied: oh, come on now
12. Cried in school: not since elementary school

13. Coke or Pepsi: Coke
14. Sprite or 7UP: Sprite
15. Girls or Guys: Girls, Girls, Girls
16. Flowers or Candy: Depends on the type for both
17. Scruff or Clean shaved: On me, scruff looks better. On her....
18. Blondes or Brunettes: Redheads.
19. Bitchy or Slutty: Slutty, for a change
20. Tall or Short: No preference
21. Pants or Shorts: On me, pants. On her, either.
22. Night or Day: Night owl, baby

23. What do you notice first: Honestly? Hips. They do it for me.
24. Last Person You Slow Danced With: Don't remember
25. Worst Question To Ask: So, how many have there been before me?

26. Showered: Last night
27. Stepped outside: Yesterday
28. Had Sex: that depends on the definition of the word "is"

29. Romantic memory: A few...
30. Your Good Luck Charm: Dollar coin from the Hilton in LV
31. Person You Hate Most: Hitler
32. Best Thing That Has Happened: Seeing certain people again
33. On your desk: Monitor, speakers, lamp, phone, alarm, pills, water, retainer
34. Picture on your desktop: Kelly Brook, who Rhino should recognize from last night

35. Color: gray
36. Movie: Reservoir Dogs
37. Artist or band: They Might Be Giants, Fountains of Wayne
38. Cars: AMC Pacer
39. Ice Cream: Good strawberry, when I can get it
41. Food: Fettucine Alfredo

42. Makes You Laugh The Most: Usually Rhino
43. Makes You Smile: Certain people...
44. Can Make You Feel Better No Matter What? Again, certain people...
45. Has A Crush On You: Probably some underclassman girl who I barely remember their name
46. Do You Have A Crush On Someone: Perpetually
47. Who Has It Easier?: The Swiss. They know why.
48. Gives You A Funny Feeling When You See Them: Yet again, certain people...


49. Sit by the phone waiting for a call all night: Phone? how outdated.
50. Save AIM Conversations: No
51. Save E-mails: Always
52. Forward Secret E-mails: not really, no
53. Wish You Were Someone Else: Not really, no
54. Wish You Were A Member Of The Opposite Sex: Not at all
55. Wear cologne: every day
56. Kiss: Given the opportunity
57. Cuddle: Given the opportunity
58. Go Online For Longer Than Eight Hours At A Time: I'm online 24/7

59. Fallen For Your Best Friend? My best friends are usually guys, so no.
60. Made Out With JUST A Friend?: Not really...
61. Kissed Two People In The Same Day?: No
62. Had Sex With Two Different People In The Same Day?: Lunar or solar?
63. Been Rejected: At least once a month
64. Been In Love?: Yes
65. Been In Lust?: Hell yes
66. Used Someone?: Yes.
67. Been Used?: Yes
68. Dumped Someone?: Nope. I'm the nice one.
69. Been Cheated On?: Sort of.
70. Been Kissed?: Oh yes.
71. Done Something You Regret?: Nearly every day.

72. You Touched?: Shook my cousin's hand
73. You Talked To?: Cousin
74. You Hugged? Grandmother.
75. You Instant Messaged?: Rhino
76. You Kissed?: Some sophomore girl
77. You Yelled At?: Does the television count?
78. You Thought About?: Kate
79. Who Text Messaged You?: N/A
80. Who Broke Your Heart? There's a list, but not in chronological order
81. Who Told You They Loved You? Grandmother

82. Color Your Hair? What hair :)
83. Have Tattoos?: Don't really want one
84. Have Piercings?: Don't really want one
85. Have A boyfriend/girlfriend?: Cue Roy Orbison: "only the lonely..."
86. Own A Webcam?: No
87. Own A Thong?: Not mine...
88. Ever Get Off The Damn Computer?: Not so much, no.
89. Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Ja
90. Habla espanol?: Si
91. Quack?: Mike Quackenbush or Emilio Estevez?

92. Stolen Anything?: Only your heart :)
93. Smoke?: No
94. Schizophrenic? Slightly
95. Obsessive?: not so much
96. Compulsive?: No
97. Obsessive compulsive?: Turn the page, wash your hands...
98. Panic?: Rarely
99. Anxiety?: Sometimes
100. Depressed?: It's a... family tradition.

Thanks to Rhino, who is almost as unoriginal as I am. It's scary how few of these I had to change from his. Scary.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

major tom

I've got a lot of free time on my hands, in between my graduation and my job search, so I've been picking songs to steal breaks from, should I ever want to become a hip-hop producer.

"Major Tom" by Peter Schilling: Listen to the bridge right before the countdown, slow it down, and tell me it doesn't belong on an underground mixtape. Paging DJ Green Lantern?

"Circles" by Incubus: The intro riff plus the hi-hat work, and you have a great Sage Francis style chorus.

"Italian Leather Sofa" by Cake: Actually, any Cake song works, but this has got a nice little gutbucket guitar intro that can be stretched and chopped.

"Tempted" by Squeeze: The organ part. Need I say more?

"Kiss on my List" by Hall and Oates: The keyboard part can be looped to carry a verse or two. Nice and sing-songy.

Also, in case you can't tell, I'm a bit bored. I need to be out either driving or looking for a job, but I've got a couple of weeks before either of those little dilemmas come to a head.

I've read a massive amount of comic books in the past few days, because I'm a complete geek. I read the entire run of "Exiles", and it's great. I couldn't wait to open the next issue on each and every one. Once again, that guy from RW: San Francisco can write a darn good funnybook.

I'm in the process of getting all of the Hellblazer series, so that should prove interesting. I haven't seen "Constantine" yet, but don't really plan to.

Speaking of comic book movies, I just got done watching "Daredevil".

It could have been worse.

It also could have been a LOT better. Being a geek, certain things irked me to no end.

Enough ranting for now. Maybe next time I talk wrestling?

Monday, May 16, 2005


"And I wonder
When I sing along with you
If everything could ever feel this real forever
If anything could ever be this good again"

I have a choice.

I can either write a mushy, emotional, possibly heart-wrenching account of my life up to this point, looking back with astonishing aplomb and sensitivity, or I can write a song review.

As tempting as it is, I'll go with the first one.

Note: to get the proper tone for this little missive, you might want to crank up some early Foo Fighters, because we're about to get real emo real quick.

I am an academic success in the government sheep factory known as high school.

However, I'm tempted to say that I'm not much of a success on any other front.

But I won't, because looking back in anger won't do anyone any good, or so says Noel Gallagher.

I have a deep and abiding respect for most of you, at least the ones that read this. Others, not so much, but we'll get to them later if there's time.

The most fun I ever had in high school was producing a cover version of "Everlong" by the Foo Fighters. Steve Armour sang and played guitar, I ran the effects board and played bass. I spent a week getting the right mix on it (stereo, with a slow pulsing switch between channels so that, when you wore headphones, it literally made your head spin). I put a distortion effect that crushed the frequencies of Steve's acoustic into a smooth silky sheet of fuzz. I added three different echoes, one for each instrument and an echo plus reverb on Steve's voice, which he insisted be put so low in the mix that it can barely be heard.

This was in the class of the best teacher I ever had, Randy Card. He was a bit of a drunk his last year there. He didn't get his contract renewed because of it. But he, more than any teacher I've had in school, taught me what it was to be a man. He let my classes teach themselves, make mistakes, and generally let us think for ourselves.

He spent half of each class lecturing, not on technology, but on what caught his attention that day. One day we'd be discussing the structural integrity of the steel in one of the Taipei towers, the next we'd discuss the concept of God to the American Indians. We learned a lot about religion, philosophy, and character. He taught us semi-useful stuff, like how to steal gas from a filling station without getting caught, or how to get past the school firewall, but he also taught us how to respect everyone regardless of where they came from or how they grew up. He taught us how to live with one another, because we're in it for the long haul.

By the way, I know I'm rambling at this point, but let an old fool have his stories.

My favorite memories from these years, outside of the walls of WBHS, were spent riding on a bus from the school to wherever our AB team was playing, almost every Monday from September to November. It wasn't the work, because I could've done it blindfolded (which I think I may have done a few times). It was the people.

People like Jon-Boy, who was like the hyperactive little brother I never wanted. Joey, who was like the little brother I actually did want. Spencer, who was too excited for his own good most days. Jim, who despite his math/computer skills, was borderline retarded in anything not involving numbers. The first wave, people like Page, who put me in my place enough times to keep me humble, and let me do the same enough to keep the score even. Abshir, who made TJ George look downright slow. Cedric, who still holds the record for most times trash-canned by an underclassman.

And, most memorably, Kate, who is responsible for making me what I am today, whether she realizes it or not, for better or for worse.

This year, I got really close to Ryan (Rhino) Adkins, Adam (itsy bitsy Pittsy) Pitts, Vince (Mad Dog) Millucci, and even little TJ (no shavey shavey) George. I'm probably better off with them than without them. I also got to know Twiggs better, plus a few underclassmen who hopefully remember some of what I tried to teach them.

That's really the story of my high school years: I'm better off with them than without them, and I hope that somebody remembers what I've tried to pass on to them.

This has gone on way too long, but it only took me twenty minutes. If I could write this quickly normally, I'd have skipped a few all-night Lit workouts.

In closing, remember me not as I am, but as I was.

Or some shit like that.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


(ED: And Betty when you call me, you can call me ED. Here's a short one from Twiggy, who may be the most poetic of us all, at least as long as I'm sober.

Take one part Stevie Nicks, add two parts relationship trouble, heat in an LA studio for several months, serve over a million-selling album that defined the new direction for the band.)


In 1975, I do believe, (ED: Yep. So says AMG) a simply little lady with a simple little message wrote what I think is the "best song ever" (among many). "Landslide" is a classic, no questions asked. From its poignant lyrics to its lovely guitar part, Stevie Nick's song is wonderful for people of all ages all around the globe to listen to and contemplate about.


Landslide - Stevie Nicks featuring Fleetwooad Mac


I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
'Till the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love
Can the child within my heart rise above
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides
Can I handle the seasons of my life

Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you get bolder
Even children get older
And I'm getting older too

Oh, take my love, take it down
Climb a mountain and turn around
If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring it down

If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring it down.


This song is perfect for those of us experiencing the woes and authentic happiness of graduation anxiety. The song expresses that, either way, we will all live a mark in this world. Even though the message is metaphorically written in the "snow covered hills", it's simple and timeless. We're all changing...everday...and we're all afraid too. It's inevitable. Time does make you bolder and wiser, and children do grow into old hooligans, but we'll all leave something behind when we exit this weary world. Good or bad.

In conclusion, Stevie Nick's "Landslide" is one of my "best songs ever". Listen to it, ponder it, and absorb it. It's breathtaking.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

crossroad blues

(ED: My name's not Ed. It's Stephen. But thanks to my contributors, I haven't written anything personal in almost a week, and have managed to get by with editorial duties. Here's Our Lady Kate, Queen of All She Surveys, with her first (and hopefully not last,) essay. This one's on the deep dark blues, and possibly the deepest darkest blues song ever.

In the past three or so days, I've opened my checking acount, gotten over a hundred bucks from family members, been told by the state I have to have a summer job, and been offered two thousand bucks to do some shady work. Plus I've got a final Drama project to do. I promise I'll write something halfway meaningful before Thursday. If not, Kate has my permission to hit me in the stomach as hard as she can at Graduation.)


Today we live in a day and age where most songs are written by professional songwriters then presented to artists who are trained how to sing the song to perfection. This song means nothing to them other than the potential for a hit that produces wealth and stardom. Many songwriters are not writing from personal experience, they are merely song-writing machines, designed to produce the hits as fast as they can.

As products of this world, many in our generation do not appreciate the older songs; while they may not have as much action or horribly brutal tragedies or picture-perfect love stories, they are real. The early songs were genuine; they had true feeling behind them, and not just what the artist has been trained to deliver. The person singing the song was the one who wrote the song, they knew firsthand the pain they were singing about.

My "greatest song ever" is one of those early songs. My song involves love, being engulfed by your problems, loneliness, and maybe even a little black magic.

Early on, Robert Johnson was your average guitar player. Actually, he wasn't even that. He would go to local bars to try and "jam" with other guitarists and they would taunt him until he left.

Then one day he disappeared. He stayed gone for a little over a year. No one knew where he went or why he left.

Then, after a year, he reappeared. Told no one where he had gone or why he had left, just came back to the bar where he was taunted, sat down, played, and silenced everyone.

In the year he had been gone, he had become a better guitar player than anyone had ever heard before.

But questions were rampant about where he had gained his ability. How could someone disappear for a year and come back a better player than anyone else, many of whom had been playing longer than Johnson had been alive? Rumors began to circulate.

Johnson claimed that he had sold his soul to the devil in order to be the best living guitar player.

Coming out of his claim came the song "Crossroad Blues."


Crossroad Blues - Robert Johnson

I went down to the crossroad

fell down on my knees

I went down to the crossroad

fell down on my knees

Asked the lord above "Have mercy now

save poor Bob if you please"

Yeeooo, standin' at the crossroad

tried to flag a ride

ooo ooo eee

I tried to flag a ride

Didn't nobody seem to know me babe

everybody pass me by

Standin at the crossroad babe

risin sun goin down

Standin at the crossroad babe

eee eee eee, risin sun goin down

I believe to my soul now,

Poor Bob is sinkin down

You can run, you can run

tell my friend Willie Brown

You can run, you can run

tell my friend Willie Brown

(th)'at I got the crossroad blues this mornin Lord

babe, I'm sinkin down

And I went to the crossroad momma

I looked east and west

I went to the crossroad baby

I looked east and west

Lord, I didn't have no sweet woman

ooh-well babe, in my distress


Robert Johnson only sat down in a recording studio twice in his life. Unlike today's artists who rerecord and layer and edit and alter, every song he recorded he recorded in one take.

When you listen to "Crossroad Blues" you are immediately captivated by the desperateness of the voice and the near perfect guitar playing that accompanies it. That's all there is, a man and his guitar. No techno beats, no backup singers no other guitars players. There is nothing to detract from the incredible guitar playing and the unmistakable voice of Robert Johnson.

The song tells the story of a man whose life has been full of problems. He is black, living in the South during the Depression who can't find a friend, a ride, or an answer to his problems.

He is faced with the greatest decision a mortal could be faced with; do you part with God to gain answers from the Devil, or do you continue to trust in the God you've been raised to believe in? The song is full of conflictions, from the "rising sun going down" or the looking "east and west" this man is clearly confused and the time has come to make a decision.

From the wailing of the guitar to the desperate pleading in his voice to the pauses and silences, Robert Johnson perfectly captures the emotional strain of the situation in a way that no one not in that situation personally could capture. Johnson evokes a feeling of pity on the listener; the listener feels that they too are caught in this horrible situation. They feel confused, alone, as if they have no one to turn to.

Songs such as "Crossroad Blues" evoke feelings in listeners that no Britney Spears or OutKast song could ever dream of evoking.


There is also another rumor that is attached to this song. Supposedly Robert Johnson felt so strongly about artists singing about what they knew that he placed a curse on the song. He did not feel that anyone could capture the emotional aspects of the song like he did and that anyone who tried is forcing emotions they do not understand nor can truly relate to. Anyone who sang the song would be destined to befall some horrible tragedy.

Eric Clapton, who recorded a mix of "Crossroad Blues" and "Travelin Riverside Blues" while with Cream, has been a victim of this curse. Eric Clapton lost his young son who died after falling out of the window of Eric's New York apartment.

Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded the song, planning to put it on a later album. Not long after, their plane crashed, killing several members.

The Allman Brothers Band performed it while hanging out with some friends. Within a year, Duane was dead from a motorcycle accident. (ED: In another year, their bassist Berry Oakley Jr. would die in another accident only a block away from the intersection that killed Duane.)

When you know the history of this song, as well as listen to the incredible one take recording; it's hard to compare any current song to it without acknowledging its roots in it.

Robert Johnson's "Crossroad Blues" is the standard by which many rock artists compare their skills as well as try to imitate. Unless a new artist is willing to sell their soul to the devil, no one will ever compare to Robert Johnson the guitar player or the legend.

That's why his "Crossroad Blues," steeped in legend and lore, is the "greatest song of all time".

Friday, May 13, 2005

there she goes

(ED: Sorry to Gina, but this is one of those instances where you can't control inspiration. Ergo, she gets bumped off the top of the main page. Sorry.)


The La's - There She Goes

There she goes
There she goes again
Racing through my brain
And I just can't contain
This feeling that remains

There she goes
There she goes again
Pulsing through my veins
And I just can't contain
This feeling that remains

There she goes
(There she goes again)
There she goes again
(There she goes again)
Racing through my brain
(There she goes)
And I just can't contain
This feeling that remains

There she goes
There she goes again
She calls my name
she pulls my train
No one else could heal my pain
And I just can't contain
This feeling that remains

There she goes
(She calls my name)
There she goes again
(She calls my name)
Chasing down my lane
(She calls my name)
And I just can't contain
This feeling that remains

There she goes
(There she goes again)
There she goes
(There she goes again)
There she goes
There she goes
There she goes again
Racing through my brain
And I just can't contain
This feeling that remains

There she goes
There she goes again
Pulsing through my veins
And I just can't contain
This feeling that remains

There she goes
(There she goes again)
There she goes again
(There she goes again)
Racing through my brain
(There she goes)
And I just can't contain
This feeling that remains

There she goes
There she goes again
She calls my name
she pulls my train
No one else could heal my pain
And I just can't contain
This feeling that remains

There she goes
(She calls my name)
There she goes again
(She calls my name)
Chasing down my lane
(She calls my name)
And I just can't contain
This feeling that remains

There she goes
(There she goes again)
There she goes
(There she goes again)
There she goes

This is an infectious little early Brit-Pop number from a nearly unknown band that somehow still gets radio airplay. (Some of you are just glad I'm not writing one of these on another country song. I understand.)

The La's were the baby of Lee Mavers, a Liverpudlian who had a knack for poppy hooks (that's a pretty good pun, and you'll understand why later) and chiming guitars. He was a direct synthesis of the Byrds-style country-pop-rock that R.E.M. had resurrected with albums like Murmur, and the scattered, dissonant post-punk that the Smiths (How Soon is Now?) had been the primary purveyors of. His songs combined the ethereal sound of the twelve-string guitar with dark, almost Lou Reed-esque subject matter.

"There She Goes" is a primary example of this. The sound of this single (The La's second, released in 1988) is pure pop perfection, with it's repetitive chorus, it's insistent guitar figure, and it's almost endearingly desperate vocals.

As a result, the song has been on numerous movie soundtracks, such as "The Parent Trap" remake with a pre-pubescent Lindsay Lohan and (as performed by the Boo Radleys) the Mike Myers film "So I Married An Axe Murderer". In fact, the song is both the opening and closing song for Myers' initial foray into film.

However, even a cursory glance at the lyrics can raise eyebrows as to its appropriateness in a Disney movie. The lyrics "pulsing through my vein" and "no one else could heal my pain" suggest a different muse powering this song: heroin.

"There She Goes" is not a love song, at least not to a person. It's a reflection of the addictive qualities of opiates, and how it gets it's "poppy hooks" into one's brain. (See, the pun writes itself.)

Lee Mavers has denied this allegation time and time again, but popular theory is he's just saying that to keep his royalties coming in. The song is in a freaking birth control pill commercial, so it's got some commercial appeal.

The best description I ever heard about this song is "It's either about a girl who's like a drug, or a drug who's like a girl. Not much difference when it comes down to it." That's what makes the song ring true.

It's got the same infectious rhythm your heart beats when you feel the spark of attraction, when you feel like you can't live without someone, when all you want to do is be with that person.

It's got the same infectious rhythm your heart beats when the hit kicks in, when the nod hits you, when the smooth dreamy feeling of narcotic intoxication comes over you.

This song captures the universality of the euphoria that comes when either you're in love or you're high.

Lee's vocals make this track. He squeezes the last notes out of the choruses, which are practically indistinguishable from the verses. His rendition of the word "remains" strikes a chord, because it's the same "high lonesome sound" that emanates from Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, and any number of old-style bluegrass singers.

They knew heartache. Lee Mavers knew heartache too, whether from lost love or a lost fix.

It's the Roger McGuinn chord figure that slides it's way into your brain and lodges it's way into your everyday routine. You find yourself singing it alone in the shower, humming it on your way to work, tapping out the rhythm with your fingers at your desk.

Every part of the song seems calculated to worm it's way into your nervous system and never escape.

It's universal, it's catchy, it's seemingly innocuous, it's great. It might just be the best song ever.

on my own

(ED: Here's our first submission in the "best song ever" category. It's from a girl I've never heard from before, and apparently don't know personally. Despite her anonymity, her essay is heartfelt and touching, and deserves to be here. It addresses the topic of unrequited love quite well, and most of the peolpe reading this know that feeling all too well.

I'll write another one of these in a day or two, because they're more fun to write than basic "what did I eat for breakfast this morning" posts. But for now, here's Gina's essay.)


In middle school, I was absolutely infatuated with this one guy. He was on the football team, so I went to all the games, I looked for his name and picture in the local paper and had the football team picture on the wall next to my bed. I had a song that I considered "my song to him" (It was a horrible Edwin McCain song).

I had known this guy since I was practically in diapers and as far as he was concerned, I was just Gina, that girl he had known forever.

I ended up giving up on him for a while and dating someone else in 7th grade, but that relationship fell apart after nearly a year. The breakup was ugly. In one fatal swoop I had lost not only my boyfriend, who my world revolved around, but also all of my friends. We shared the same friends and they all sided with him during the breakup.

I was crushed. I had lost everything. I was thrown into an extremely serious bout of depression that lasted almost three years.

After we broke up I went back to fantasizing about that other guy. "Dan" we'll call him. Dan was extremely popular now and as far as I, the little geek who was always reading and being smart, was concerned, I didn't exist anymore. I wasn't "good enough" to be worthy of his time. That only deepened my depression.

Gradually I began to make a few new friends, but I was so scared of being hurt again I barely talked to anyone and wouldn't do anything outside of school. One of my friends convinced me to spend the night with her, so I did. We watched one of her favorite movies, Les Miserables. It was an okay movie, but one song brought me to tears because I felt it so closely related to my life. That song was "On My Own":


On My Own - Andrew Lloyd Weber


And now I'm all alone again
Nowhere to turn no one to go to,
Without a home, without a friend
Without a face to say hello to
And now the night is here
Now I can make believe he's near.

Sometimes I walk alone at night
When everybody else is sleeping
I think of him and then I'm happy
With the company I'm keeping
The city goes to bed
And I can live inside my head.

On my own
Pretending he's beside me
All alone, I walk with him till morning
Without him
I feel his arms around me
And when I lose my way I close my eyes
And he has found me

In the rain the pavement shines like silver
All the lights are misty in the river
In the darkness, the trees are full of starlight
And all I see is him and me for ever and forever

And I know it's only in my mind
That I'm talking to myself and not to him
And although I know that he is blind
Still I say, there's a way for us

I love him
But when the night is over
He is gone, the river's just a river
Without him the world around me changes
The trees are bare and everywhere
The streets are full of strangers

I love him
But every day I'm learning
All my life I've only been pretending
Without me his world will go on turning
A world that's full of happiness
That I have never known!

I love him
I love him
I love him
But only on my own.


This is the perfect song for those of us with an unrequited love. It's also excellently crafted, even if Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote it. The singer whispers at parts, almost as if it's too painful to discuss him. Other times her voice soars, as if she's angry at the world for dealing her the hand she is forced to accept.

The song also perfectly describes what I was going through. I had just lost one guy that I thought was the one for me, and was being ignored by the other, as if I didn't exist. The lyrics moved me to tears back then, and even today, they still tug at the heartstrings, just a little.

It's simplistic, musically speaking. Some basic chords to back it with a haunting little keyboard melody-both quiet to keep attention to the artist's voice.

This song epitomizes what so many people feel when they are unable to find the love they yearn for. This song is truly the perfect "unrequited love song".

And it just may be the best song ever.


ED: Round of applause for Gina. Have fun and party naked.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

strawberry wine

(This is a return to my "greatest songs" idea. To wit, 200-1000 words on what you consider the best song ever. Anybody can send one in at Good ones get published here and possibly distributed around the 'net.)

If this one doesn't cement me as a big sissy-pants, my reputation is truly bulletproof.

Here goes: "Strawberry Wine" by Deana Carter.

Well, sung by her at least. Written by Matraca Berg and Gary Harrison, whoever they are.

I kid, of course.

Matraca Berg, in addition to having the most original sounding name I've heard in weeks (muh-TRACE-uh), is married to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Jeff Hanna. The NGDB are most remembered for their long-term project of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" which included all of the Cash-Carter Family. Her first hit song was written at the age of eighteen, and was co-written by Bobby Braddock, who also co-wrote (you guessed it) "He Stopped Loving Her Today". She's been writing since 1983. She's written over 400 songs, mostly for other artists, and received over a dozen BMI awards.

Gary Harrison has been kicking around Nashville since the 1970's, writing over 300 songs for artists like Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Kathy Mattea, Reba McEntire, Kenny Chesney, Trisha Yearwood, and Emmylou Harris. His most recent hit was George Strait's single "I Hate Everything". He was an A&R man for Mercury Records for a while before forming his own publishing company, Big Picture Entertainment in 2001. He's won 17 BMI awards, 3 Grammy nominations, and a Billboard Song of the Year award.

"Strawberry Wine" was named the CMA Song of the Year and Single of the Year for 1997. And rightly so.

He was workin' through college
On my grandpa's farm
I was thirstin' for knowledge, and he had a car
Yeah, I was caught somewhere between a woman and a child
One restless summer we found love growing wild
On the banks of the river on a well beaten path
It's funny how those memories they last

Like strawberry wine, seventeen
The hot July moon, saw everything
My first taste of love was bitter sweet
And green on the vine, like strawberry wine

Well I still remember, when thirty was old
My biggest fear was September, when he had to go
A few cards and letters and one long distance call
We drifted away like the leaves in the fall
But year after year I come back to this place
Just to remember the taste, of strawberry wine

The hot July moon saw everything
My first taste of love was bitter sweet
But green on the vine
Like strawberry wine

The fields have grown over now
Years since they've seen the plow
There's nothing time hasn't touched
Is it really him or the loss of my innocence
I've been missing so much

Strawberry wine, seventeen
The hot July moon saw everything
My first taste of love was bitter sweet
But green on the vine
Like strawberry wine

The hot July moon saw everything
My first taste of love. Oh bitter sweet
But green on the vine
Like strawberry wine

It's a tale of first love (or more to the point, lust) as recollected by a woman who longs for the days when she was seventeen and without a care in the world besides her man. It's pure, and that's rare for any song made past 1978. It's got a great hook, and it's appreciated by a lot of teenage girls, even (and maybe especially) by those who otherwise hate country music.

It all goes back to George Bernard Shaw. He once said that "First love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity". He's right, of course. Love is one of those indescribable emotions that you can't truly articulate through words, although many have tried.

But the sensation of your heart dropping in your chest, skipping a beat, when you first see the one person you think you can't go another minute without seeing, that's universal.

First love is stupid, it's childish, and it's the best feeling you can never have back. You can't really choose who it's going to be, and for the first time since you were a baby you can't control your emotions.

That little bit of foolishness, the headrush that comes with the torrent of hormones released when your nerve endings go wild, it's the one thing you keep striving for every time afterwards.

That's the real story of this song: wanting back what time took away. She wants desperately to feel that irresponsible longing she had when she first fell in love.

And she can't have it. No one can.

It's like a moth caught in a candle (to nick a metaphor from Emily Dickinson). First love burns brighter than anything, but once it's gone, it's gone.

The delicate strains of the steel guitar mixed with the forceful throb of the Hammond B3 organ line echo the deep sense of longing Deana feels about her bittersweet romance. Her vocals soar at the right places, and dig down into the crevices of your heart for the full effect. The song is tightly crafted, from the writing to the production (provided by Chris Farren and Jimmy Bowen, plus an uncredited Deana Carter herself).

This is the best that pop-flavored country can get.

And that may make it the best song ever.

Monday, May 09, 2005

bulls on parade

I got back from Honors Night. My total take is $6665.

That doesn't seem like much, but that's on top of HOPE, which means my first two-plus years are free clear and paid for.

If I keep a 3.0, that is. I could turn into a raging alcoholic between now and then.

Speaking of which, I'm thinking about becoming a bartender to pay my last year of school. I'm perfect for the job: I'm physically imposing, I already have enclyclopedic knowledge of mixed drinks (I was bored one day), and most importantly, I don't drink, so I'm not going to eat into the profits.

I like hearing about people's problems, becuae they remind me my life doesn't suck as much in comparison.

Plus, I know a few Irish/Confucian proverbs that will get most any drunk through whatever they can throw at me.

And I can judge bar bets with the best of them, such as the world's fattest twins, who were the McCrary twins from Texas, who once weighed in at over 600 pounds a piece.

All together, that's four of me.

And they rode little minibikes too. When they weren't professionally wrestling, that is.

And it all comes back to wrestling. Lucha Libre Por Siempre!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

ten thousand maniacs

First person to see this post and email me gets a free CD and a free shirt. Here is the address.

I've got a week left in school, I've got a TMBG song stuck in my head, I'm watching Lucha on Galavision, and all is semi-right with the world. Or at least if the lucha was CMLL, it would be. Stupid AAA.

REMEMBER: Graduation Party at Fort Yargo on June 4, 2005.

Tell everyone you know to be there. I expect certain ones of you to come, such as Kate, Twiggs, among others. Bring whoever you want (yes, that includes Lokyei, Twiggs).

Also, bring your own "party favors". I'll look the other way for a lot of stuff, but just don't get us arrested, okay?

I'll provide music, but if you want to bring something, go right ahead. Same goes for food.

Party lasts from roughly 3:00 pm to whenever we get kicked out of the park. It'll be great if we can get a good number of people there. Guys, you gotta bring a girl.

If we work together, we can defeat the communists, or at least have a big fucking bash before we spend the rest of our lives as corporate drones.

Tell you friends, tell your family, tell your dog. All are welcome.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

clap your hands

I haven't updated because I'm lazy and... wait, no, that's it. I'm lazy.

But I'm also tired. I took two AP tests this week (Lit and Lang), and feel decently confident about them.

Now I can forget everything I've learned this year, right?


I took my lit test this morning, then went to Dad's knee doctor (Dr. Robinson. Isn't that your orthopedist, Kate?). After that I went to beautiful downtown Gainesville and got my portrait taken along with the other winners of the AT Somethingorother Scholarship for Gainesville College. I'll be in the JEMCO News! Hooray! (end sarcasm.)

I ate dinner at a possibly-hygenically-challenged Long John Silvers, which probably wil make me sick by sunrise. I really don't like the food there, but Mom loves it, so off we went. Whenever we see one (which is thankfully rare, and leads me to believe in the existence of a God) Mom makes us stop and eat there. I was all for the Burger King across the street (I can at least see what's on it, as opposed to the deep-fried crust of LJS fish, which may hide a multitude of culinary sins), but got outvoted.

Also, I had a headache. Still do, and have had it since sometime yesterday. Honestly, it's been building since Monday, but it's only hit me yesterday and today. Couldn't be stress related at all, could it?

I just thank God I don't get migraines. I get some badass headaches, but I never get the sensitivity to light and sound that goes with migraines.

Somebody send me stuff. I need to make t-shirts and I have all the supplies at hand, but I'll be more inclined to motivation if somebody sends me stuff so I'm indebted to them. Send me anything, whether it be a cool link to a webpage or a physical package of stuff at my real-life-walk-down-my-driveway mailbox. Email me for my address.

I feel like I could sleep for close to twenty hours, but unless I'm feeling really sick come morning, I'll just stick to the normal eight.


New York City - They Might Be Giants


You called me last night on the telephone
And I was glad to hear from you 'cause I was all alone
You said, "It's snowing, it's snowing! God, I hate this weather."
Now I walk through blizzards just to get us back together

We met in the springtime at a rock-and-roll show
It was on the Bowery when it was time to go
We kissed on the subway in the middle of the night
I held your hand, you held mine, it was the best night of my life.

'Cause everyone's your friend in New York City
And everything looks beautiful when you're young and pretty
The streets are paved with diamonds and there's just so much to see
But the best thing about New York City is you and me

Statue of Liberty, Staten Island Ferry, Co-op City, Katz's and Tiffany's
Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, The Empire State where Dylan lived
Coney Island and Times Square, Rockefeller Center
Wish I was there

You wrote me a letter just the other day
Said, "Springtime is coming soon so why don't you come to stay."
I packed my stuff, got on the bus, I can't believe it's true
I'm three days from New York City and I'm three days from you

'Cause everyone's my friend in New York City
And everything looks beautiful when you're young and pretty
The streets are paved with diamonds and there's just so much to see
But the best thing about New York City is you and me

'Cause everyone's my friend in New York City
And everything looks beautiful when you're young and pretty
The streets are paved with diamonds and there's just so much to see
But the best thing about New York City is you and me.


Goodnight world.



(hopeless romantic)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

minimum wage

I'm having one of those days. Nothing's gone particularly wrong, but something's not quite right.

I know I'm going to crash after this week, but I can't let myself get sick before Friday. I've got too much to do, such as two separate final projects, an AP test, and various and sundry responsibilities.

And If Adam Pitts were reading this, he would throttle me, as I used his least favorite redundant expression ever in "various and sundry". But I digress.

One word album-review time: Today, I listened to Dre's Chronic (swank!), Coheed and Cambira's last album (ball-squeezerific!) and the Replacements' Tim and Let it Be (indie-tacular!).

Wow, I thought it would be easier to do one-word reviews. I've never been what you'd call succinct, though, so it shouldn't surprise me. I just didn't think I'd have to resort to neosyllogisms for two of them.

Also, I finished reading Transmetropolitan (why doesn't everyone read this and accept Spider Jerusalem as their personal lord and savior?) and started reading Barry Ween: Boy Genius [(man, that weird guy from RW: SF sure can write a good funnybook!) and (why doesn't Jimmy Neutron curse more often?)].

But seriously, if they ever option a BW:BG cartoon, I'll buy three copies of the DVD. Only if they leave the ten-year-olds-cursing in, though. And only if its on Adult Swim.

So, to close, I'll leave you with this exchange:


Barry: Say, Mr. Goldblatt, if you tell people that you saw a dinosaur being chased down Elm Street by two ten year olds in a Bronco they'll think just two things...

Goldblatt: Alzheimer's and nursing home.

Barry: Right.

Goldblatt: I didn't see nothin'.

Barry: Thanks.

Goldblatt: Have a good one.

Barry: You too.


Goodnight, everybody.

Monday, May 02, 2005

birdhouse in your soul

I'm feeling strangely fine. Strange that I would open up a post with a TMBG title by quoting a Semisonic song. But I digress.

AP tests went as well as could be expected. We needed more practice doing multiple essays in one sitting, but that's fairly minor. I didn't see anyone banging their hand on the desk during it, but I wasn't looking all that hard. I was too busy trying to keep my hand from cramping up and my brain from initiating Auto-Destruct Sequence, Authorization: Troi Gamma Six Five.

I swear I'll do some more "greatest song ever" posts when I get some good writing time (i.e., when I'm in the mood).

I've listened to so many albums this week, some good, some great, and a few which qualify as absolute clunkers.

TMBG - A User's Guide To - Great if you like geeky pop-rock, or you used to watch Tiny Toon Adventures. Otherwise, it's likeable, but largely forgettable. Fair warning: this is what I'd probably sound like if I ever had a band that actually played gigs.

Alice in Chains - Greatest Hits - Landmark grunge songs here, such as "Man in the Box" and "Would?". Also contains one of the best songs about Vietnam, "Rooster". Some of these songs are covered in the Unplugged set, and if you can, find it too. AiC - GH gets a recommend from me.

Kings of Leon - both albums, Youth and Young Manhood and Aha Shake Heartbreak - Honestly, if you've heard "Molly's Chambers", you've heard all you need to hear. What pisses me off about them is that they could be good if they wanted to, but they just don't seem to care. First album is better by far, as the second suffers from the sophomore slump (the first album is stuff they've had time to work on since they first became a band, whereas the second is what they threw together in the maybe-year-and-a-half they get from the label to make a follow-up).

Outkast - Aquemini - Good to great hip-hop. If you like Crunk as a genre, you'll probably like this because it set the stage for what we now know as crunk. If you like gangsta rap, it's a half-and-half deal, because it is so quintessentially Southern that it takes a non-Southerner a couple of tracks before they get into it.

More later when I have time. I should so do a separate music page, but I have a tendency to lack motivation when confronted with multiple projects (poetry, NFTM, at least two message boards).


Meet James Ensor - They Might Be Giants


Meet James Ensor
Belgium's famous painter
Dig him up and shake his hand
Appreciate the man

Before there were junk stores
Before there was junk
He lived with his mother and the torments of Christ
The world was transformed
A crowd gathered round
Pressed against his window so they could be the first

To meet James Ensor
Belgium's famous painter
Raise a glass and sit and stare
Understand the man

He lost all his friends
He didn't need his friends
He lived with his mother and repeated himself
The world has forgotten
The world moved along
The crowd at his window went back to their homes

Meet James Ensor
Meet James Ensor
Belgium's famous painter
Dig him up and shake his hand
Appreciate the man



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