Thursday, November 28, 2002
Don't Call It A Comeback:
Surprisingly enough I actually had a pretty good day today. I managed to stop by school and get some work done and I got to hang out with a lot of people (read: girls) I haven't seen in ages. I plan on doing the same tomorrow and Friday in an attempt to finally get cracking on the thesis, which has been bringing me down for ages.
After dinner and having worked on my Movable Type site, which I'm hoping will be ready this weekend (plus a couple of blog entries I've been working on), I wen't down the pub to see the Arsenal - Roma game. Honestly, I had decided not to get my hopes up, because of last five games Arsenal has played and their reputation for not being strong in away games in Europe. And it was my impression that Oleg "The Ox" Luzhny was out with an injury leaving a spot open in defense for some German kid. So when Roma scored within four minutes that didn't exactly help with my confidence, either. But Thierry Henry showed everyone why he makes the big bucks and scored on literally every shot he had on goal to make it an incredible 3-1 win. I watched the game with my brother, who's a real Arsenal fan, and a bunch of Roma supporters, so the win was extra sweet. It was difficult not to gloat, but seeing as the ref wasn't exactly friendly towards the Italian side we tried to keep namecalling and insults to a minimum.
I was watching CSI last night. I have this thing about watching television series from the beginning and for some reason I can't start watching a series from episode three or five. So when CSI was first show here and I didn't have the channel at first, I just gave up on it. But seeing as it has just started from episode one again on a channel I have now I've started watching it and already after two episodes I'm pretty hooked. It's very different from other shows and I like the cast a lot more than I thought I would. So now that all the other shows I follow will probably take a long Christmas vacation it's nice to know that there'll still be at least one cool show on.
The other show that I follow religiously right now is The West Wing. We' re about a season behind the American schedule, so they've just introduced Mary-Louise Parker here. I'd forgotten how cute she is. I saw her recently in the mushy, but watchable Cupid & Cate where she wears a lot of black eye make-up, and she looks just as fantastic on The West Wing. And everything that I've liked about the show so far is still just as good or better in this third season, so I'm still totally hooked.
- John Fogde 12:57 AM [+]
Monday, November 25, 2002
Send Lawyers, Guns And Money. The Shit Has Hit The Fan:
I feel like my head is about to explode. I've just had the worst weekend in ages and it's spilling heavily over into this week. I've been getting letters about my taxes and other depressing money situations and although a week ago I was sure that all this was way behind me everything has just been opened up again and now it's even worse than originally expected. Since Saturday morning I've felt like picking up a Louisville Slugger and beating the shit out of somebody, but I don't have a baseball bat, so I've been forced to sit around and curse, mumble incoherently, and bitch, which I've been doing. A lot. It's really frustrating to be completely powerless and just seeing everything fall apart like a fucking house of cards. So I haven't really been in the mood to blog about my excellent trip to Copenhagen and the fantastic concerts I went to. But as soon as I get my hands on some Prozac I'll be on it like the paparazzi on J-Lo's ass.
The only good news right now is that I've been reading We Blog and this humble weblog is mentioned in it. Kinda. If you look on page 13 and 14 there are screen dumps illustrating how you set up a Blogger account. And if you look on the left side you'll notice that under Blogs of Note it says: There Is Nothing To Not Be Amazed At. So it seems that my 15 minutes have stretched on to a link to my site accidentally being visable in a book. How very exciting!
- John Fogde 3:09 PM [+]
Wednesday, November 20, 2002
Don't Be Real, Be Postmodern:
Nothing much going on here right now. In about an hour I'll be on my way for a three day stay in Copenhagen. I'll go see Ryan Adams and Jesse Malin tonight and Coldplay and Idlewild tomorrow, both of which I'm really looking forward to. I've been listening to Idlewild all day and they're actually really good, so it should be awesome to see them live. Also tomorrow Denmark are playing Poland tonight and the news story is that Morten Olsen, the head coach, would like to see our wings score some goals. Turns out Ebbe Sand (of Schalke 04) and Jon Dahl Tomasson (of AC Milan) has scored something like 75% of the Danish goals, so now that Martin Jørgensen has started scoring in Udinese and Dennis Rommedahl has scored for PSV Eindhoven he like to see them do the same for the national squad. Well, wouldn't we all?
I finished fixing the headers on my Moveable Type template last night. I had to open 176 individual postings and add a new header and delete the old, which is about as tedious as it gets. But now it's done, so hopefully I'll be able to fix the rest of the problems this week and launch the new version next week. Chances are it'll look almost exactly like the current site, but hopefully it'll load a lot faster.
I'm pretty nuts about bands, who make 80s inspired music and wear 80s inspired clothes. The latest to blow me away is Swedish band Melody Club. Their single Palace Station is the best retro single since Emerge by Fischerspooner, so you should definitely check it out.
- John Fogde 1:15 PM [+]
Monday, November 18, 2002
I Was Dressed For Success, But Success It Never Comes:
I’ve been a little busy lately, so I haven’t gotten around to talking about the Supergrass show I went to last week. It wasn’t as good as the first time I saw them, but the last half hour of the show was pretty great. If you haven’t seen Supergrass live they basically consist of Dr. Zaius, Paul McCartney's younger brother and that chubby kid you were best friends with in the 3rd grade. And yet somehow they’ve managed to put together some really cool songs for their four albums. Unfortunately, they played way too many songs from their latest album, so it wasn’t until towards the end, when they pulled out all the stompers the show really took off.
During one of the better songs early on in the set some preppy 18-year-old twat in a black turtleneck decided to stagedive. For my money nothing is more rewarding than watching some guy stagedive only to have the crowd part before him like the Red Sea. But unfortunately that didn’t prevent him for jumping out from the stage three more times. Diving is sooo ten years ago, Dude! I mean the 70s had moshing, the 80s had moonwalking and the Safety Dance, and the 90s had diving. Now, how about we try something new like not acting like muppets in public and actually listen to the damn music? How does that sound?
But even so it was an entertaining night out except for the opening act, The 22-20s, who looked like The Strokes, but sounded like an inept Jon Spencer cover band and played excruciatingly loud. They are definitely to be avoided in the future.
I’ve been listening to Ben Folds Live and Slanted & Enchanted this weekend and they’re pretty great. Obviously, they’re very different albums, but both cool in their own way. The Ben Folds album has some really interesting versions of old favourites and there are a couple of songs, where the audience participation really lifts the songs up to another level.
Slanted is one of those albums, where during the first listen you wonder how the hell this record ever got released, but after a few spins you start getting it. I’ve only been listening to the first CD, because those 24 songs are a lot to digest in themselves, so it’ll be a while before I want to listen to the live stuff.
The weirdest thing I’ve seen today is an article claiming that the FBI has been investigating Bobby Fischer, because they thought his Mum was a commie spy. And to make the story even weirder the famous recluse has apparently been giving radio interviews lately praising the 9/11 attacks and made anti-Semitic comments. I guess Ben Kingsley won’t spend any more time Searching for Bobby Fischer.
- John Fogde 4:53 PM [+]
Thursday, November 14, 2002
We're In It For The Money:
Supergrass is playing here tonight, so naturally we’re going. I saw them the last time they played here as well and it was awesome. I’ve been listening to the new album quite a bit lately and although it’s not as good as their first two records there still are some choice cuts on there. The song Seen the Light was used in a phone commercial here, but the commercial came out a good month before the record came out, so it was a discussion point down the pub for a while if it actually were Supergrass or just someone, who sounded like them playing. The song is good though and so are tracks like Rush Hour Soul and Can’t Get Up. However, I do think Grace is an odd choice for a single. According to this NME review the guys haven’t lost it, so it’ll probably be a crackin’ show tonight.
I saw an interview with British pop act Sugababes the other day and it went something like this:
Nice to see the most important album of my generation still has an impact on the kids. I’m guessing she wasn’t the one, who came up with the idea to blend Are Friends Electric? with Adina Howards’ Freak like Me.
I’ve been playing Tony Hawk 3 lately and although I think it is fun I can sense that I won’t be playing much longer. I suck at it and if I don’t achieve a medal in Level 3 I won’t be able to open up the rest of the levels, which means I’ll be stuck playing the same three levels for the rest of my life. Isn’t that like Dante’s seventh ring of Hell?
I ordered some stuff from Amazon this week and it’s already been shipped, which is so cool. I’ve decided to get back to work on my thesis, so I ordered We Blog: Publishing Online with Weblogs, which hopefully will have some insights that’ll motivate me to start writing again. I ordered Ben Folds Live, because I’ve always been a huge Ben Folds Five fan and on this CD Ben plays both solo and BF5 songs mixed with b-sides, covers, and tracks I haven’t even heard before. And to make it even cooler there’s a DVD with seven live tracks and live antics (whatever that is). I can’t wait to get that one.
I have every Pavement album except Slanted & Enchanted, so when I found out a special Slanted & Enchanted remastered double CD had been released with live tracks, Peel sessions, EP tracks, and more I had to get it right away. And finally I ordered The Photo Album by Death Cab for Cutie, because I only have We Have The Facts… and I’ve been curious about there other albums for a while.
I was working on my new Moveable Type blog yesterday, and it didn't exactly go according to plan. First off I have no idea how to make the text look like I want it and secondly my headers got messed up, when I transferred the files from Blogger. For some reason MT has taken the first 30-40 characters of each posting and copied them into the title box. That means I now have to go through every single posting and edit the title and remove the original title from the main text box. That'll give me somehting to do Friday night.
- John Fogde 4:01 PM [+]
Monday, November 11, 2002
That's What I Like About You:
I mentioned Bill Maher's book When You Ride Alone You Ride with Bin Laden yesterday and it got me thinking about a poster we used to have on the door to the DJ booth at the internet radio station I used to work for. The poster read "When you pirate MP3s, you're downloading Communism", which we thought was pretty funny. Maher's book has a lot of "patriotic posters" inspired by posters made during World War II, but updated so they fit the into the post 9/11 scheme of things. If you want to find out more about the book he even has a special Ride Alone website.
The downloading Communism poster is made by the people at Modern Humorist (who are also the geniuses behind this t-shirt). I went over there today to find a link to the poster and came across their Fall 2002 TV Preview. This might only be fun if you watch as much television as I do, but even so I've picked out a couple of fun comments:
Seeing as Push, Nevada has already been cancelled maybe the world just isn't ready for a show about an IRS agent even if it's written by Ben Affleck.
Maybe you've noticed that at times this site loads slower than a Clem Snide song and the comments are usually unreliable to say the least (and there's has been plenty of behind-the-scenes problems as well). So for a while I've been contemplating changing to Moveable Type. I've already moved the template over and as soon as I get the last bugs sorted out I'll probably make the switch completely. But until I figure out how to make my old headers like decent in the new MT setting you'll have to be patient with me.
- John Fogde 5:09 PM [+]
Sunday, November 10, 2002
No Sissies Get Your Love:
A lot has happened this week, so I’ll just mention a couple of highlights. I spent three days in Copenhagen hanging out and going to concerts. I saw Doves at Loppen and it was a very good show. They played about 75 minutes on a stage, which was about foot high, which meant the audience stood very close to the band. I was standing about 6 feet away from singer Jimi Goodwin, which meant I could look him straight in the eyes when he was singing, which was a bit weird. But they played a cool set with tracks from both Lost Souls and The Last Broadcast and ended with a track called Space Bass, which sounded like a Sub Sub track, but I think it might just be a new Doves track. Either way it was a kicking way to end the show.
The next day I saw Hawksley Workman at Rust and that was simply amazing. He played a long show accompanied by a piano player called Mr. Lonely. There weren’t a lot of people at the concert, but it seemed like most of them were diehard fans (Tinka was there, but I didn’t see her). He told weird stories and sang his weird songs and it was just incredible. My favourites were No Sissies and Sad House Daddy of the For Him & The Girls album and it was especially cool to hear the crowd take over vocal duties on the latter. He has the most remarkable vocal range going from theatrical Bertolt Brecht-like singing to Jeff Buckley-like falsetto, so it was actually quite funny hearing the fans trying to sing along with mixed success. Hawksley looks remarkable like Casey Affleck, but the scarf, earrings and sleeveless t-shirt made it easier to tell them apart.
Besides going to concerts and hooking up with friends in Copenhagen I played Fifa 2003, which is unbelievably cool and I saw 61*, which I also quite liked. The movie is about the season where Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris both tried to break Babe Ruth's homerun record. But it's actually a lot more about the two players as people and not so much about baseball. And I got to listen to the new Badly Drawn Boy album, which sounds mighty promising.
I saw a fun episode of Leno recently with Bill Maher and Marilyn Manson (Maher was plugging his book and Manson his DVD). I like Manson and I think he’s pretty funny, but the best bit was Maher going over the reason why George W. Bush wants to invade Iraq:
Right now I’m listening to the Ravens/Bengals game through NFL.com and it’s pretty exciting. For some reason the Ravens organisation doesn’t broadcast a signal from the games, so every week I’m listening to the opponent’s commentary and except for one guy these commentators are remarkable fair. Obviously, they support their own team, but they always give credit where credit is due and generally describe the games fairly. Except for one guy. Every time the Ravens play against the Pittsburgh Steelers a guy called Myron Cope makes me what to fly to Pittsburgh and open up a can of whup-ass. He has the most annoying screechy old-man’s voice ever and he gets so excited during the game that he stutters uncontrollably. He is completely unfair against the opposing team and last the Ravens played the Steelers he began making up words, so even his co-commentators had no idea what the hell he was talking about. You know how John Turturro has a face for radio in The Quiz Show? Well, this guy has a voice for newspapers. He’s the main reason I hate the Steelers, because every time we played them I have to listen to that old fool talk nonsense for three hours. If you think I’m exaggerating try going through this treasure chest of babble (this is my “favourite”).
And finally I got to meet someone this weekend, who I’ve been emailing with for ages. It’s always a bit strange meeting someone you know through emails face-to-face for the first time, but I thought this encounter was remarkably uncomfortable.
- John Fogde 9:35 PM [+]