Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rock Hall Of Fame Announces 2007 Inductees, Rush Cries Like Little Canadian Girl

No Black Flag, Husker Du, or The Minutemen, either.

Quel surprise.

But really, if they're going to put second-rate hacks like Jefferson Airplane in the Hall of Fame to please the hippies, then it's about time to start pleasing the punks, too. And for that matter, if you're going to include Willie Dixon and Leadbelly, how about Mother Maybelle Carter and Vassar Clements?

*looks at inductee list further*

That Madonna and the Beasties get in before Minor Threat and Bad Brains is a travesty, veritable proof of a godless, cold, mechanistic universe aligned against the forces of good music.

And Jesus God, the fucking Eagles. But no Warren Zevon.

And Clapton gets two gift baskets, I guess, as a solo artist and with Cream. Wait, three, the Yardbirds are in also. Fuck Eric fucking Clapton.

And now I notice as I pore once more over the illustrious roll of inductees, an obvious and glaring omission: The Stooges. Now I get it! It's a scam, designed to get people to visit Cleveland!

From their website:
Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.

The Foundation’s nominating committee, composed of rock and roll historians, selects nominees each year in the Performer category. Ballots are then sent to an international voting body of more than 500 rock experts. Those performers who receive the highest number of votes - and more than 50 percent of the vote - are inducted. The Foundation generally inducts five to seven performers each year.
Yet nowhere is the term "rock expert" defined. Hmm. That's shifty. And you know, I'm such a dork that I actually wondered how much real research is getting done behind those glittery walls? Just for a sec, tho. Of course, the hall seems content to be more of an archival resource and party palace than a real museum where real academics do real work. And I'm glad they boast holdings of "virtually every song of every performer inductee" but don't we already have that? It's called teh intarnet.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

In Which Nick Saban Outcoaches ESPN

Live-blogging the Bama/Georgia game.

Note to ESPN camera and production crews: Tuscaloosa is a vibrant, colorful place that is no doubt filled with interesting people and vibrant images. The football game, however, is happening in that big stadium over there. You might want to put a camera on it.

Throughout the first half of the game, ESPN cut away to tailgate parties and crowd shots during the middle of drives. Then they'd abruptly cut back to a pile of players heaped on the field, and the announcers would be forced to tell us what we just missed.

I know you guys are accustomed to Alabama football proceeding in geologic time, but it's a new era. They might run a hurry-up. Especially when, yuh know, there's two minutes left in the half. Keep cameras on feeld, plz. Kthxbai.

Leigh Tiffin sucks. OK, he hit the field goal at the end of the second quarter. Hooray. He'll miss one before the game is over. Maybe at the end of his college career he can start a consulting service with Scott "Wide Right" Norwood.

Oh, wait, Scott Norwood was GOOD in college, that's how come he got to miss field goals in Super Bowls. Leigh Tiffin will be selling used ATVs from a dirt lot in Wetumpka. (Bad Bama QBs become car salesmen, so I guess bad kickers get slotted slightly further down.)

Pass interference on Simeon Castille. I call bullshit on that, he was going for the ball and he never altered the receiver's body position. Bulldogs score on the next play. Alabama secondary's arms becoming more and more alligator-like. Ruh-roh.

If Alabama's offense can't put together some time-eating drives and let the defense rest, this could get ugly. Punt punt punt downs punt punt.

C'mon, Saban, they're sitting back in the zone. Screen pass! There we go. Oh well, Bama punts. I smell a trend.

Later: uh-oh. Down by ten with less than 12 minutes left. Gotta get movin', guys.

Wow, what a catch over the middle by Keith Brown. And a nice call on the next play, too. Let's see if they can sustain it.

Oh, wait, first let's cut away to an update. ESPN, I hate you.

From second and inches to 4th and a bunch. WTF? Fourth-down try fails, Georgia ball. Or not! Huh? DJ Hall was NOT out-of-bounds. Suddenly, I like instant replay in college ball. This replay is taking forever. At least they get it right: first and goal on the seven.

Gah, field goal.

Stop the run, Bama. Stop the run. Nope. First down. Dammit. Then the defense shows up, Georgia punts. Cool.

Dude, Keith Brown ROCKS. Hellz yeah.

Wow, Bama isn't folding like a stale cracker. Maybe these folks are getting their $4 million worth. TOUCHDOWN!!!!!

And the game is tied. Huh. Whuddya know.

It must be like a jet taking off in that stadium right now.

Well, fuck. Hooooo. Field goal went wide. We're goin' to OT!

And then in OT, Leigh Tiffin......MAKES a field goal. And the announcers start talking about.....Britney Spears. They are on drugs, and I am not, and this makes me sad.

First snap from Georgia in OT: touchdown. Game over.

Oh well.

I'm tired of writing this, anyway.

A Taste Of Eve Online Banter

Shadow XII > Hello. Just testing your signature radius
Angel Rio > stop it
Shadow XII > Just testing your shields
Angel Rio > seriously, stop.
Shadow XII > Just testing your armor.
SShadow XII > Just testing your structure.
Angel Rio > OMG
Shadow XII > Just testing your pod.
Shadow XII > You failed the test. Good day.

.....courtesy of Actually, I stole it from them, so there was no courtesy involved.

Funny, though. No one talks in local in the system I'm usually mining in. Paranoia is a side-effect of Eve's gameplay mechanics. I gues once I have some ships and isk in the bank I'll be a bit more free-wheeling.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

In Which I Preach Wisdom To Ancient Republicans And Fail Miserably

So it's seven in the morning and I'm having coffee with my neighbors. We're enjoying the perfect weather, the cats gamboling across the grass, the blooms on the butterfly bush. I, of course, have been up all night, drinking.

But I'm neither swaying nor incoherent. Indeed, I'd barely begun my binge by 3 AM, at which time I caught a cab and went to Marty's for some sorely needed shots of Bushmills. Insomnia and available credit is a combinatorial bitch.

My 85-year-old neighbor asks me who I'm going to vote for. I know better. This woman is slightly to the right of Hitler and thinks the New Deal opened the door for a socialized America. I should ease off and slowly step away. But no, I'm wearing tattered jeans, a ponytail, a bushy beard, and a T-shirt that sez "I JOINED DAN SARTAIN" with a picture of dude blowing his head off. Rawk. So I respond, just to piss her off, "Ron Paul, of course!"

She shakes her head sadly.

"Who are you supporting?" I ask, not really wanting to know.


"Really? Even though he's a member of a polygamous cult that believes we all become gods of our own personal planet if we heed to the rantings of a racist 19th-century illiterate?" I wish that were a paraphrase, but it ain't.

"No, he's going to be tough on terrorists. He wants to expand Guantanamo."

After collecting the shards that resulted from my head exploding, I responded.

"You know that habeus corpus has been suspended by edict under this administration, right?"

"No. What's that?"

I explain to her that prior to the Bush administration she had the right to an attorney and a trial by a jury of her peers, just like it sez in the FUCKING CONSTITUTION, YOU STUPID BITCH, AND NOW YOU DON'T.

OK, I left out that last bit, at least the cussing and capitalization part.

"Well, that just applies to terrorists."

No, that applies to anyone the US government SEZ is a terrorist, whether you're a bomb-strapped raghead or a bong-clasped pothead. We've ceded those distinctions to a government that is out of control, out of line, out of ideas, out of smarts.

"Well, I'm 85. They can just come arrest me whenever," she snickered.

So I choked her to death. OK, not really. But I wanted to.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Don't Drink Don't Smoke, What Do You Do? Oh, Yeah, Fuck Like Rabbits

Rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in Mobile County are TWICE as high as in Washington, DC and THREE TIMES as high as in that latter-day Sodom, New York City. According to public health officials, that means that 1 in every 87 people in Mobile County have one of these STDs.

How's that abstinence-based sex ed workin' out down there, y'all? Itchy, ain't it?

Condoms in schools aren't a moral issue, people! They're a matter of public health.

I wonder if our state legislators practice fiscal abstinence when confronted with a sexy, willing spending bill? Or do they just fuck the shit out of it and feel guilty afterwards?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Why I Love YouTube

Conway Twitty and The Residents.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I Know More About Rock'n'Roll Than You Ever Will, Part One Of Many

Why's Tool so cool, but none of their indie fans have ever heard of Neurosis? You know the fans I mean: the we-got-here-via-The-Pixies, tiny-glasses-wearing, retro-tattoo-sporting, I-never-liked-metal-except-for-Master-Of-Puppets-and-then-I-was-on-shrooms kinda hipsters?


Well, fuck 'em.

I'll put Given To The Rising up against any Tool record. It's bolder, chancier, and more coherent a piece of music than anything Tool has ever made. And yes, I HAVE listened to all of it, both Given To The Rising and Tool's catalog. I don't hate Tool; I'm glad they're there. I'm not a big fan, but I'm first to admit that they're better than 90% of what passes for rock music. Nothing wrong with Tool at all, or A Perfect Circle, for that matter. And I know personally that Tool has done a bit of dues-paying, in that I saw The Melvins open for them on a nasty, windy, rainy night at what was then Oak Mountain Amphitheatre. I was trashed, and spent the whole Tool show hollering, "Bring back the Melvins!", much to the dismay of the people I was with.

*looks knowingly at Chappy*

But here's Neurosis, steadfastly doing their own thing, running their own label, spawning their own whole genre of heavy music. Fugazi gets nominated for sainthood for that shit. And much of Neurot's catalog, unlike Dischord's, is damned good.

But Tool's somehow carrying the torch. I don't get it. I guess that doesn't fit the narrative, the comfortable story. There's a comfortable indie rock story, just like there's a comfortable Iraq war story and a comfortable election story and a comfortable that-cunt-in-a-hat-from-The-Libertines-gets-his-cat-high-on-crack story.

I think there's some weird anti-prog-post-punk backlash going on.

MMO Pony Request

Beta impressions of uberdork Richard Garriot's new MMO, Tabula Rasa, are in. Results are, well, mixed...leaning toward meh.

Props to the developer for trying something different, but barring major tweaky from now until launch, the game sounds dead on arrival. NCSoft has deep pockets, so maybe not dead, but on life support.

CCP should buy it and work it into Eve Online.

OK, I know. I just blew your mind. Take a moment. Think about it.

What do Eve players want, more than cheese, more than a unicorn fucking a rainbow? They want to walk around. They want to be more than a ship.

What is Tabula Rasa? It's a sci-fi pseudo-FPS that's about an alien invasion. It's about walking around. While fighting, sounds like, but still walking around. In a science fiction-y kinda way.

OK. What does Eve have more of than any other game ever created in the history of human civilization? Give up? I'll tell you: empty space. Some of which is filled with moons and planets that are little more than a) places to warp to when you're getting your ass kicked; b) a handy bookmark for dropping a can of goodies for your corp; c) pretty.

What if your ship scanner could detect, say, evidence of life on a planet? Maybe you could land there, or teleport there, or ride a unicorn-fucked rainbow down to the surface. And there you would find the Bane, the baddies, the invading BEMs. And you could fight them. While walking around. Or maybe, there's no Bane there, just a dusty field with a bored tower controller and a seedy brothel upstairs from a bar selling crunk juice in front and illegal implants in back. Or just a field, with a couple of curious three-eyed lizard-like animals chewing their cud and swatting flies. Or a barren moonscape that seems empty until a dropship of Bane soldiers roars overhead.


And Eve could continue to be the hardass MMO that we know and love. Like, who's guarding your ship while you're on the planet? I assume it would be orbiting, awaiting your command. Hmm, tempting. Die battling the Bane? Surely your clone is up-to-date. Maybe asymmetric instancing, too: you find a Bane planet, land, and you wipe in a single blow. Mark it up to experience, and come back later, after finding an easier planet to conquer. Or send your more-experienced corp buddies to clean the place up.

Of course, I have no idea how this could work, or even if it's possible. I could spout some nonsense about instancing and servers and shit, bit I don't really know what I'm talking about.

But, wouldn't that be COOL?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Marching Bands Are Cool, Sometimes Even When Not Marching

Yes, that's Coltrane they're playing.

The New York Times again delights in discovering a phenomenon Southerners have known forever:
“We have the great drumline and the high caliber of music,” said Tory Randle, a mellophone player in the [Prairie View A&M "Marching Storm"]. “Up North, they’re just pretty. We’re mean, too.”
Yes, Southern HBCU marching bands rock. Well, duh. And it's hot down here, and the food's really tasty but bad for you. Tell us something we don't know.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Can Rick Rubin Save The Music Business? Um, No.

Rick Rubin is the luckiest man in the world. He has risen, bemused and Buddha-like, to the apex of the music industry, charged with the lofty goal of transforming the industry itself. He has risen on the strength of that most ineffable quality: taste. Rick Rubin has good taste. He does not deign to twiddle knobs. He does not deign to play an instrument. He does not deign to have a desk, phone, or office. His job is to just show up and drop the knowledge. Because he's Rick Rubin, see?

So they think his impeccable taste is going to save the industry. This guy produced the third Slipknot record, people. What are y'all thinking? OK, Johnny Cash's version of "Hurt" excuses a multitude of sins, but still...