I've done some things lately for the first time that I'm sure most of you do all the time, such as win an eBay auction and order books from Amazon.com. Today, I also signed up for renter's insurance. I've rented places for most of my adult life, but I've never had insurance. So far nothing bad has happened, but I figured at $20 a month, it would be a good safeguard. And I did it all online. Man, this Internet thing is the coolest.
Oh, and to illustrate just how geeky I really am, I went ahead and bought the www.pimplomat.com domain. It just forwards you to here. Take that bitches! I'm all up in the mother-effing Web house!
2) Shout out to the newest member on my links list: Audrey. This list is getting long, but I assure you that I read all of these blogs every day, even the ones that don't update for weeks ... *cough*Candy and Nuts*cough*.
3) I'll be visiting Long Division next weekend, so start putting your picture requests in now. We can take pictures of anything you want, because we have a whole city to work with. Have you heard about New York City? Apparently, it's pretty cool.
4) I'm publicly stating my goal that I will read 52 books this year. Since I just made this goal the other night, I have some catching up to do. So far, though, I'm three down, and a fourth one is almost finished.
Maybe everyone else already knew about this, but I don't care. I'm writing about it anyway.
It's The Lonely Island, and some of it is damn funny. Most famous name associated with it? Andy Samberg. These three guys (along with Chris Parnell) are responsible for the explosive Lazy Sunday video that I'm sure most of you found quite enjoyable.
You can find out more about The Lonely Island here.
And a new thing for my blog: The MP3 song of the day.
I'm not going to pretend for this place to be a music blog, because other blogs do a much better job at it than I ever could. Examples of some good music blogs can be found here, here, here and here.
I've discovered a lot of good music, thanks to MP3 blogs of late. Without them, I'd probably still be stuck in 1987 listening to the Cure's Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me over and over again. And thanks to Chris over at Gorilla vs. Bear, I've recently discovered my second favorite song of 2006.
Everyone, go now and listen to Land of Talk. Chris describes them as "early Cat Power, with an extra dose of rock." Seeing as how I only really like Cat Power when she does attempt to up the notch volume-wise, I thought this band could be worth listening to. And I'm so glad I did. I particularly enjoy "Sea Foam." I wish I had a radio show, so I could play it non-stop, like Dewey Phillips did with Elvis Presley's version of "That's Alright Mama."
So, for the record there are now two songs on my "Best Songs of 2006" list: "Roscoe" by Midlake and "Sea Foam" by Land of Talk.
Land of Talk: Now here's a band to really get behind.
Last night, I finally got a chance to see the much-hyped Pegasus Now (not a NME type of hype, but it's getting close...thanks Sam M.).
I will admit that I'm friends with half of the band, so I won't even pretend to be objective. They're a good band, and they showed promise of becoming a great band. I heard traces of 1970s a.m. radio pop and Josh Rouse in their songs. However, one person told me she would file them under Yacht Rock. If you've never heard of Yacht Rock, just click on that link in the previous sentence and learn yourself something new.
After Pegasus Now ended their set in front of a very large audience, the as always wonderful and talented Tah Dahs took the stage. Unfortunately, they only had about a quarter of the crowd that Pegasus Now commanded. The Tah Dahs now have shirts for sale. I bought one. I shall wear it proudly at the next kickball game.
Another thing: There were a ton of good-looking people at the show. I'm not sure why, but I'll tell you what, even if you don't like Pegasus Now's music, you should attend a show just to surround yourself by good-looking people. Unless you don't like good-looking people. Then you can just go hang out on the porch of the banjo player in Deliverance.
Leah and I were talking about this case last night at dinner. I'd love to read your opinions, thoughts, arguments, etc.
Man sues for right to refuse to support unintended pregnancy By Judith Graham CHICAGO TRIBUNE
CHICAGO - They had sex. She got pregnant. She sued for child support. Now, he's suing back, claiming that men have a constitutional right to "avoid procreation."
With the suit, 25-year-old Matthew Dubay of Saginaw, Mich., becomes the public face of a "men's rights" movement that claims men should have the same ability as women to decide whether or not to have children. Supporters of the movement are calling the case "Roe vs. Wade for men" -- a precedent-setting case that could define a man's right to choose parenthood.
The case is the first to assert a constitutional freedom to "choose not to be a father" under the equal protection clause, said Dubay's attorney, Jeffery Cojocar. Child support isn't the only issue at stake: Dubay doesn't want any of the other legal or emotional responsibilities that come with parenthood, Cojocar explained.
The National Center for Men had been planning this kind of legal challenge for more than a dozen years and recruited Dubay as the plaintiff. "There's such a spectrum of choice that women have -- it's her body, her pregnancy," Mel Feit, the group's director, said. "I'm trying to find a way for a man also to have some say over decisions that affect his life profoundly."
Legal experts said they don't think the case, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court, has a prayer of success. "It's a lost cause," said Charles Kindregan Jr., a professor at Suffolk University Law School in Boston. Having sex is an inherently risky enterprise, and the only way to enforce a man's right not to father a child after conception would be to compel the woman to have an abortion, Kindregan explained. "The courts are not going to buy that," he said. "That's her choice, not his."
The facts of Dubay's case are common to many romances that don't turn out the way people hoped.
In the fall of 2004, he had a discussion with his then-girlfriend. Dubay told her he wasn't ready to have kids, according to the legal complaint. That's fine; I'm infertile and I'm using birth control just in case, she allegedly responded. When the woman found herself with child, she was unwilling to terminate the pregnancy. She gave birth to a baby girl and then obtained a court order requiring Dubay to pay $500 a month in child support.
Dubay thus joined the ranks of men who argue they were duped into having children they never wanted and then forced to assume financial responsibilities for which they were unprepared.
It's an old story, and one the courts have been very clear on, said Bruce Boyer, director of the child law clinic at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. The child's interest in receiving support, he said, overrides any interests the father may have. "I can understand why people might be sympathetic to Mr. Dubay if he was duped into becoming a father," Boyer said. But if the child is his -- as is the case -- "this shouldn't be about him and his rights; it should be about this child and the child's needs."
I was going to tell you about this great lecture I attended last night that set out to prove the real existence of King Arthur, but this is more important, at least to me.
My band's new album was recently reviewed by Scissor Socket Shocker. Here's the review:
Ashburne Glen It's All Just a Dirty Game Mission Label
"A collection of loose, jangly pub rock that almost seems out of sorts with the D/FW area and its current musical climate. There is a strong emphasis on lyric and song-style reminiscent of Elvis Costello, with a bit of The Pogues thrown into the bag (but not in that Celtic rip-off bullshit way). The tracks travel up and down the spectrum of musical influence, sounding like folk, then country, then rock only to stop and turn it all around again. There are some latin flavored guitar lines that keep the songs tense and anticipation high." --- Jason Manriquez
While reading this article (Hey, Marlowe is an interesting guy!), I had the latest Morrissey album streaming over the Internets. Thanks to Myspace, you can listen to it all here.
I'm not impressed. Maybe I should actually listen to it more closely, but on a cursory level it fails to intrigue me. I think the first single, "You Have Killed Me" is classic Morrissey and will stand up through time, and I really like the horns at the end of "I Just Want to See the Boy Happy." However, the album sounds really overproduced, a little too slick, a little too mature. Morrissey's previous album, You Are the Quarry, had an immediacy about it that this new album lacks. You Are the Quarry seemed to be Morrissey's trump card, proving to the world that he's still in the game. And now that he has our attention, he doesn't go for the kill. He bluffs; he hedges his bets; he plays it safe.
In other news (I keep saying that), let me present to you a new Coca-Cola product: Coca-Cola Blāk.
From the press release: "ATLANTA, March 15, 2006 – Coca-Cola North America today announced the introduction of its innovative carbonated fusion beverage, Coca-Cola Blak, to the United States on April 3rd.
"Coca-Cola Blak is a sophisticated, premium blend of Coca-Cola, natural flavors and coffee essence. The effervescence and rich flavor of Coca-Cola Blak provide the perfect pick-me-up for people looking for new ways to stay refreshed any time of the day or night.
"'Coca-Cola Blak is a uniquely invigorating beverage that is full-bodied in flavor and as refreshing as you expect Coca-Cola to be,' said Katie Bayne, senior vice president, Coca-Cola Brands, Coca-Cola North America. 'There is no other beverage available today quite like Coca-Cola Blak. Imagine the refreshing taste of an ice-cold Coca-Cola that finishes with a rich essence of coffee. Only Coca-Cola can deliver that distinct combination of flavors.'
"For its U.S. launch, Coca-Cola Blak has been specially formulated to appeal to American tastes and will have a unique logo treatment and packaging as well. Designed to appeal to adult consumers looking for an indulgent and revitalizing alternative to other beverages, Coca-Cola Blak is a mid-calorie beverage with only 45 calories per 8-ounce bottle. It is packaged in a resealable version of Coca-Cola’s signature 8-ounce glass contour bottle enveloped in sophisticated and stylish graphics. It will be available at supermarkets and convenience retail locations nationwide beginning April 3rd, both in individual bottles and four-packs."
Come on...do you really need more caffeine in your Coca-Cola or your coffee?
If you haven't heard by now, or if you didn't experience it, we had some flooding yesterday in one of Earth's greatest cities. Three roads around my house were blocked because of the excessive water, but I still found a way to Target and Half Price Books. Water be damned! I shall overcome you.
Here are some pictures that my friend, Rob, took on Sunday. Both of these were taken close to my house.
Recently, my friend, Geoff, discovered that someone ripped off some of his work from his wonderful blog Monsters of Myspace. Geoff called him out on it, posted a message on Myspace, and others went to town on this guy.
Today, Geoff named him the 2005 Myspace Monster of the Year. I'm not sure why the posted date says Dec. 31. Still, if you haven't read his blog, please do. You may just laugh.
I find Geoff one of the most talented writers that I know. Similar to Jon Stewart, he knows how to salt and pepper his stories and observations with humor to keep them exciting and interesting. When he tops some best-seller list, just remember you heard about him here first.
Geoff's alter ego has a Myspace music page, too. His songs are more in the vein of Ween or the Dead Milkmen, so if you like that sort of style, listen to him here.
Oh, and it appears he's started a whole new blog. I'm not sure what this one is about, but did you Dallas Observer people turn him down for something?
Last nigh, Dirty on Purpose put on a good show. They remind me of Ride and other early 1990s shoe-gazing Brit-pop bands. If you like that sound, check 'em out.
Besides that, I don't really have anything else to contribute to the Blog world today. I'll leave you with this link to the Legend of the BloodNinja, because I find them funny, and they're good for a late afternoon pick-me-up. For those that don't know, BloodNinja was an instant messaging chatter who took online sex chats to a whole new level.
Ishi won the "date" contest and attended the Belle & Sebastian show with me last night. Though the place was sold out, it never really seemed that crowded. We were able to leave to get drinks and go to the bathroom several times and still get our same place up front throughout the evening.
The New Pornographers started the show promptly at 8 p.m. and played for almost a complete hour. The set was good, even though it was hard to hear the keyboards at times. I'm not that into them, so I was only able to recognize one song, "Sing Me Spanish Techno," which was the last song of their show.
The New Pornographers last night:
Belle & Sebastian played really well and were very chatty with the audience. I don't have a set list to give you, but I do know they played "Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying," which is my favorite song of theirs. It was dedicated to some visitors from Louisiana that the band met earlier in the day who requested the song. Louisiana...dying...you get the point. Other songs I remember them playing include "Like Dylan in the Movies," "Another Sunny Day," and "The Blues are Still Blue." The audience kept yelling for "I Fought in a War," but they never played it.
Belle & Sebastian last night:
And here's Ishi in mid-dance:
Now, everyone please wish Joshua a happy birthday. He's a ripe 23 today.
I recently posted about DJ Mike Relm and how awesome he is. Well, I finally found a video that can give you an idea of his greatness. I found it on YouTube (can you tell I'm addicted to that site?), and here it is in all it's glory.
He's performing at SXSW this year on Thursday, March 16, at 8:00 p.m. at Blender Bar at the Ritz (320 E 6th St).
I stole (borrowed?) the following text from the SXSW artist guide:
In a time when the skratch musician is once again shoved to the background behind drummers, guitar players, singers, and rappers, one lone skratch artist continues on the road much less traveled. Sharing the stage with nothing more than two turntables, a DVJ, a mixer, and a microphone, Mike Relm defies any preconceived notions of what a solo DJ can achieve musically and visually.
The dexterity of the turntablist. The 6th sense of the party rocker. The music palette of the obsessed record collector. The presence of the freewheelin' Bob Dylan. The couture of a Reservoir Dog. Mike Relm. Genres of music mean absolutely nothing to this champion turntablist. Using the skratch techniques which turned the Hip Hop world upside-down, Relm masterfully manipulates everything from Jimi Hendrix to Beck to Vince Guaraldi to Rage Against the Machine.
Born and raised in what has become known as the mecca of turntablism, San Francisco, Mike Relm played a critical role in the skratch music movement of the late 90's producing records and events. "Skratchcon 2000", which he directed, is to skratching what "A Great Day In Harlem" is to jazz. He made his debut on the silver screen in Doug Pray's award winning film "Scratch", where he was documented in a studio jam session with DJ Shadow. Relm's unmistakable style also led to a collaboration with Money Mark for music on "Along Came Polly" (Universal, 2004). Upon meeting director John Hamburg during the studio session, Relm was brought on to appear in several of the film's scenes.
Mike Relm has become a worldwide leader in the visual arts. He transforms every stage into his personal film festival, manipulating music and movies live to awestruck audiences. Never before has anyone attempted such an act, and it has been called the most brilliant thing a DJ has ever done on stage.
He's played alongside a wide range of artists including Outkast, Mos Def, Blackalicious, Money Mark, Saul Williams, NAS, The Greyboy All-Stars, MixMaster Mike, Cypress Hill, De La Soul, Wu Tang Clan, Gangstarr, Kelly Osbourne, Donald Trump, and Ron Jeremy. Yes, Ron Jeremy.
Mike Relm can heard on various albums including "Radio Fryer" a mix which he released in 2005, "Awaken" (Electromatrix, 2001), and "Turntablist Revolution" (Honda Recordings, 2001). His 2004 world tour was the subject of the documentary "Suit Yourself" (2005).
My friend Amy, my new friends Naomi and Kim, and I, attended the Tapes 'n Tapes show on Friday. The place was packed, the energy was high, and the band was on fire. Check out Eric's review of the show.
Saturday was Dallas' St. Patrick's Day Parade. Taylor has kidnapped my camera and is making videos left and right. Here's the footage from Saturday (toward the end of the video, witness me purposely rolling down a hill). And I think the video's music makes the parade look a lot more fun than it was.
It now appears that I have an extra Belle & Sebastian ticket for their show in Dallas on Tuesday, 14 March.
Cari suggested I have a contest to determine who gets the extra ticket. Or more like, who will be my date for the concert.
If you want to go to this sold-out show, please enter the contest. Leave a comment describing how our Belle & Sebastian date would go, pre- and post-show. Best date idea wins. This contest is open to non-Dallas residents, but you have to find your own transportation to our fair city.
I received my new shoes yesterday. I like 'em. They're sporty and comfortable.
I also received a gift yesterday from a CVB that ties into my new shoe purchase: Shoe soles. What a coincidence!
However, on the package, it states "Fresh Downtown Scent."
I don't know about your downtown, but ours isn't the best smelling. And I'm guessing neither is the city that this CVB is promoting. In fact, I don't think I've ever been to a downtown that smelled pleasant. So, why market the smell of downtown?
My fellow men, there is a new breed of women out there. You may have recently run into them. If not, you will soon, and once you do, you won't forget it.
I'm talking about brodettes. Bro + dudettes.
The term was coined by my friend Audrey, and I'm thinking my definition may differ from her's. Nevertheless, I'm hijacking her word for my own.
Let me define a brodette for you: She acts like guys used to act in relationships (i.e., aloof, not caring, casual, cold, etc.). You may fall for this girl, but she's not going to fall for you, because she'll claim she's young and doesn't want to be tied down. She may even claim that she doesn't date and then proceed to have sex with you several times in a one month period before unexpectedly giving you the cold shoulder one day.
Isn't this the way guys used to act? It appears now that guys are really the new girls. They're sensitive, they're nice, they're sincere, and they usually make their feelings known to the person in which they're interested. Does the brodette care? No.
Theories were thrown around the other night as to why girls and guys are switching roles. One is that advertisers are marketing to the highly profitable teenage girl demographic, and what is less threatening than an effeminate guy selling a girl hair products? Men (and young boys) see these commercials, and subconsciously (or consciously) they affect them in all matters of dress, attitude and feelings.
Another theory is the demise of the western film. There are no John Waynes or Steve McQueens. Onscreen machos today are such actors as Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. Men see these guys and think they have to act like them in order to get girls.
So, is there a way to counteract the ways of the brodette? Apparently, the only way is for the guy to be a bigger asshole than the girl. It seems that girls are still attracted to assholes and their callous ways.
For me, this is next to impossible to do. I'm not saying I don't have my asshole moments, but overall, I'm a nice guy. I was raised to respect people and to be sincere around everyone. Aren't these supposed to be good qualities? I guess they're not to a brodette.
For example, I'm not seeking a monogamous relationship at this time. I'm not opposed to one, either. I want to keep things casual. But whenever I'm nice to a girl and give her attention, she automatically assumes that I want something deeper. What is wrong with enjoying someone's company and wanting to spend time with them? To a brodette, this is the wrong behavior to exhibit, at least if you want to be with her.
All of history is a giant pendulum, and now it's being swung in favor of women. You better get used to it men. After hundreds (thousands?) of years of treating women like shit, it's our turn to be shitted on.