Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Muppets: Stand By Me

The Muppets may not be what they used to be but they still understand what makes them work. Eating other animals alive.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Seinfeld yells at Gaga

I hear the name Lady gaga and see pictures every single day and I have not heard one note of her music. that's either a testament to her publicist or a nail in the coffin of the music industry. But she seems to make a name for herself by attention stealing in public places, the latest in Citi Field. And Jerry Seinfeld is more annoyed than I am.

I do like the turn Seinfeld is taking lately. I loved the reunion on "Curb". I would like "The Marrage Ref" a lot more if he were on it every week. And I like how cantakerous he's become in his 50's. It's like Cosby; the crankier he gets, the more I like him.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Toy Story 3

It rains here all the time. Locals say it's unusual to have this much precipitation but to my eyes, it rains all the time. So much that we've been getting violent storms. Friday a nasty black cloud moved in with 70 mph winds. I work on the 29th floor and once HR saw the windows buckling, they herded us into the elevator stairwell. The storm moved past in 20 minutes but left behind a wake of felled trees and downed power lines.

Our power was out most of the weekend. Yesterday was Father's Day and rather than spend it in a hot, dark house we headed to the malls at Naperville. With the whole day to kill and Ben almost three, we figured it was a good time for his first movie theater experience.

We got to the theater and Renee stopped in the parking lot. "I don't think he understands what's going on."

I knelt down.

"Ben? You see this building?"
"We're going to go in there now and we're going to see Buzz and Woody."
Audible gasp.
"And have popcorn."
Ben ran into the theater.

He was absolutely overwhelmed by the screen. He sunk in his seat and tapped Renee on the arm. "Mommy? This is the biggest TV I ever saw."

He sat quietly through the entire movie. Didn't hurt that the movie was great. It's the type that suckers you in. I spent most of the time thinking, "Sure, this is good but its' not 1 or 2 good." Then it paid off. Paid off big time.

This is not a film of a stand-out set piece (though it has them) or great new characters (though it has them). It's a whole and when it's finished, you walk away with the entire film in your head.

And dammit if it doesn't make everyone cry. The kids in the audience got a little fidgety during the deepest emotional moments but they stayed with it. It has that right balance that holds every age every demographic. Someday people will call this time a golden age of film because it had PIXAR in it.

Ben loved it. But before we left he had to touch the screen. It was just too big.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tom Petty MOJO

Got the album. Got tickets for the United Center. Got to watch this.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Go Lion

I'm in love with Half Price Books. There's one out here that buys everything I bring in. I've gotten rid of at least five boxes I shouldn't have moved from New York and made a few hundred bucks already. It's eliminated my need to sell on ebay.

The store itself is also slammed with great finds. For example,last week I picked up volume 1 of "Voltron" on dvd for ten bucks. You know, this thing:

Man, I loved this show when I was 12. I spent most of my confirmation money on the die-cast Japanese toy that could break into all five lions. It could also break into 25 more pieces after one trip to the beach.

The show holds up about as well. It's stilted anime with two dimensional characters (all ripped off from Battle of the Planets) with watered down, repetitive and confusing stories. Asa much as I loved it in the 80's I couldn't quite understand it. This is why:

Turns out the original show was so incredibly violent, editing it for content removed most of the content. I kind of want to see "Go Lion" just to find out if it makes more sense. Even if it's an anime kind of sense.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Old Old Guitars

It occurs to me I might never have posted this picture of my guitars. Which is a shame cause it looks awesome.

2006 Fender American Stratocaster
1991 Telecaster Plus Deluxe
1999 Rickenbacker 330/12
2001 Les Paul Standard

It's missing four more guitars, including the one I posted yesterday. I'll have to take new pictures.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Old Guitar

One of the good things about being in La Grange is there's an excellent guitar store five minute walk from the house. I'd been getting to know the owner pretty well (even saw his band at the local carnival cause that's the sort of thing they got here). So after I moved in, I decided to get myself a birthday present...

It's a 1968 Gibson LG-00. It has a punchy little sound for a Gibson and reminds me strongly of the guitar Robert Johnson is holding in only picture of him ever. I love how worn and broken in the guitar is. The finish is checked all over, creating a web of texture. It's not the big, strummy sound I was looking for but I finally own a good acoustic instead of the 20 year old Ovation copy I bought in high school and is slowly dying on me.

The owner of the shop replaced the bridge from plastic to ebony and sold it on consignment to me for $300. I paid $200 for that Ovation in 1989 and this vintage instrument is only another $100. Sometimes it pays to NOT be in the city.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Want to Hear My Last Night in NY?

The evening before I was to leave for Chicago, Trafton and I went to Comix to see Marc Maron's WTF taping. It was phenomenal. I'd been a fan of Maron since the early 90's and talked about his podcast here several times. I'd once sat next to him at a Billy Connolly show but never saw him perform. They had two seats right up front and being comics, we were the only ones willing to take them.

Marc had John Mullaney, Jeaneane Garafalo, Todd Barry, Morgan Murphy, Greg Giraldo and Tom Shillue. Some I'd performed with, some I'd seen, some I didn't know. All were great.

After the show I ran into Tim Warner and Jaqi Furback. Tim and I were too intimidated to say hello to Maron but Jaqi called us pussies or something equally unmanning. I also had the sting of the night I froze in front of Jeaneane. I ended up dragging Tim down with me.

I shook Marc's hand. "Great show, man, I just wanted to say you're one of the reasons I got into comedy."

"Really? Hey, thanks."

"Poverty got me out."

I got a laugh. I got a laugh from Marc Maron.

Tim said something sincere to him (I think that's for him to relate) and Trafton, Jaqi, Tim and myself until 2 at a bar across the street, downing pitchers and pizza dragged in from across the street. I can honestly say I haven't had that much fun since.

I'd been waiting a month for the show to get posted. Well, it's finally up but there's a catch. It's the first show you need to pay for. But it was worth $30 to see and it's definitely worth $2.99 to own. If you want to hear me laugh and hear Tim be the only one to applaud a comment by Greg Giraldo, here it is.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Wall Street Journal Article on Rockaway Beach

According to the WSJ, I'm from a shanty town.

They make up for it with this piece on the premier boxing collection at my alma mater, Brooklyn College.

Thanks to Ann-Marie Kirby-Payne who still lives there.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Symptom 7 Opening for KISS?

Yes. If you vote for them. And use zip code 11793

Now I don't like KISS. I've never cared for whatever it is they think they're doing. I did work on some KISS product at Art Asylum back in the 90's and listening to "Destroyer" on a loop for three months didn't change my opinion.

But I recognize KISS has a lot of fans. Fans that fit into a stadium. And I want Symptom 7 to play in that stadium. I've played with the three gentleman in that band many, many times and they deserve it more than the three bands ahead of them in the poll right now. If they don't win, I'm blaming you.