02 October 2005

Salad Days

Emilee has been quite sick with a stomach virus this weekend. I actually attempted to go see The Decemberists in Asheville this past Friday night. I made it all the way to Asheville and realized I had to turn around to take care of my lovely wife who was puking her brains out. She kept trying to tell me to stay, but really, I couldn't have enjoyed myself at the show knowing that she was sick. I was looking forward to seeing them and the opening band Sons and Daughters, but Fletcher assured me that their live show was nothing to brag about. I suppose he's right, I guess I was just looking for a show to go see. It's been quite a while since I've seen a decent one.
I settled in to watch Pollock last night, but fell asleep halfway through. Thank god for TiVo. I managed to hit the record button before I fell asleep. It looked really good and I enjoyed what I saw, but I suppose I was just more worn out that I knew. I was up all night the night before trying to take care of the aforementioned individual, who was, aforementionedly, puking her aforementioned brains out.
Beyond that, I donated some money to the Boy Scouts of America yesterday at the supermarket. I know it seems odd given all the other "worthy" causes I could give my money to. But I was a member of BSoA for a long time, and I had some great memories of it. So, in a weird way I felt like I was giving my inner child a pat on the head. (Notice my refrain from making any homosexual jokes during that last paragraph).
I'm getting ready to go to Jacksonvill this Thursday to present a paper on Craig Thompson's Blankets at the Popular Culture Association of the Southeast. I'll manage to post it online when I'm done either on The Commonbond website or this blog.

Book: All of the mini-comics I bought at SPX.
Movie: Pollock (part II)
Music: Sons and Daughters: "The Repulsion Box"

13 September 2005

I Like Coldplay

I know, I know...not cool to like Coldplay. Especially someone as hip to the new trends in modern music as I am (ahem...). But my god, what is so wrong with great melodies, pretty decent songwriting, and awesome piano lines? But I think that the majority of the complaints lie in the overuse of sentimentality. Even Emilee agrees that some songs on X & Y are just too "sappy."
I'm done with the comparisons to U2, Radiohead, and god knows who else. One of the trends in contemporary music that angers me to no end is the insistence upon relatability. For example, if you like Green Day then you will like the All-American Rejcts (how's that for hip?). Not to be mistaken for influence, which plays an enormous part in the sound of a band, but bands should just sound like themselves without an additional forced element of identification.
But Scott, you may say, what brings on this diatribe? Well Fletcher, I'm glad you asked...
I recently witnessed Coldplay live and in person at an extremely large amphitheater in Charlotte, NC and I must admit they, as musicans mind you, put on quite the show. They were tight and funny, melodic and loud, and what's more (and here's the important part) they were enjoying themselves. And it all translated well, espcially to the audience. The set was full of ups and downs, mostly front-loaded with the "big" hits. And my god, Chris Martin can sing.
As a unit, they work extremely well together. Every piece of the song fits in near-perfect fashion. And I say god bless 'em.
So here's to being uncool, if that's what I am. I've never been interested in keeping up appearances...unless of course Pitchfork wants to hire me.
In that case, Coldplay sucks.
Really hard.

Music: Ted Leo + Pharmacists, "Hearts of Oak"
Book: Jannette Turner Hospital, Due Preparations for the Plague
Movie: The Merchant of Venice (2004 Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, et al)

07 September 2005

Which Disaster?

Jack Shafer has got it dead on with his critique of TV journalism. My only gripe: I wish we could all move away from making FOX News the poster boys of bad journalism. Granted it's most likely the worst out there (and that's saying a lot) but equally blameable are CNN and MSNBC for their similar sins against the integrity of journalism. Personally, I don't believe journalism was ever meant to be presented on the same medium that runs The Young and the Restless, Monday Night Football, and MTV Cribs. Television is a form of entertainment and, as such, news presented on television, no matter what you are told, is meant to do just that: entertain.
Read the article HERE.
I re-read The Declaration of Independence last night to prepare for my class today when we discuss it. What struck me most about it this time was how much it could be taken out of context, especially in contemporary society. When read and interpreted a certain way, it's almost a justification for communism, socialism, anarchy, and a slew of other less-than-popular forms of rule. There is a lot in common with Thoreau's "Resistance to Civil Government." But I suppose those of you more well-versed in early American Literature already knew that. And, as usual, I'm late to the game.