you do not know
you are ordering a meal
you will eat
for the rest of your life.
The truth is that probably
when celebrities say
“Sometimes I just pig out,
sometimes I just go crazy,
just like you,”
Probably they are every bit as meticulous and exacting
as you fear they might be.
The difference between you and the champ is,
every time you say, “Okay, just this once,
I’ve earned it,”
the champ says,
“Nope, not even this once.”
He knows he is earning something larger than
or a brownie
or a nap.
I am going to see The Gaslight Anthem tomorrow night. I could not be more excited. They are currently my favorite working band. They are a punk band that bites Springsteen HARD, which would be a problem if they didn't commit so fucking hard, wear it all on their sleeve, and write such great songs. I have listened to about half as much Gaslight Anthem in the past few months as I've listened to Lil Wayne, and that means I've been listening to a ton of Gaslight Anthem, because I listen to a medically inadvisable amount of Lil Wayne.
I have posted about them before, with a couple songs from their most recent album, which is absolute fire. The songs are still up for your enjoyment. When I bought their first album "Sink Or Swim" off iTunes, it wasn't "iTunes Plus," which means I couldn't rip the songs into mp3s and post any of them here. I just bought new iTunes Plus versions of these two songs right now because it is worth two dollars to me that you hear them. (The title of the second one is a reference to Joe Strummer's early-career appellation. Heart explosion!)
If you are there tomorrow night, I'll see you and hug you and we will all bug out to songs about cigarette smoke and slicked-back hair.
Emilie got me in to a screening of "Adventureland" today. I liked it a bunch, but I felt like I never had a chance not to like it. Its soundtrack is composed of songs which could reasonably make up a mix entitled "DC will like any piece of art which contains these songs played at five-minute intervals." It opens with "Bastards Of Young." Shortly after we meet the main character's love interest, she plays Husker Du in her car stereo. Later, that same character plays Big Star. I was over the moon.
It really made me want to start a website called "Hot Girls Play Great Music," which would just be videos of hot girls playing great songs. And I don't mean "playing" like performing. I just mean putting them on: putting the needle on the record or the tape in the tape deck or hell, bringing it up on iTunes, although that lacks the same tactile punch. The girls would be fully clothed, yet for a certain nerdy male demographic (me), it would be roughly six to seven thousand times as arousing as any porn site. They wouldn't even dance around, they'd just sit in a cane chair in a room mocked up to look like their bedroom and nod and say things like "'My Aim Is True' really grew on me." Someone get on this and e-mail me when it's up.
Because at no point did the filmmakers want to stop making me feel like scientists had run electrodes into the "Songs DC Is Powerless Against" centers of my brain and said scientists were now standing behind a two-way mirror in the back of the room giving each other the thumbs-up, there is a club sequence set to "Point Of No Return," a fucking awesome freestyle jam which never fails to make me feel like it's the mid-eighties, I have tiny blue gym shorts, a ghetto blaster, a pencil-thin moustache on my upper lip, and I am headed uptown to see my beautiful Puerto Rican girlfriend.
Then even LATER in the film, a key montage is set to one of the all-time nerd-romance heavy hitters, one of the grandaddies, if not THE grandaddy of them all. I will not spoil it here but by the time it rolls around, if you are too cool for it, I commend you, because I am not. When the song started up I was a thin soup on the screening room floor.
Add to that the score was by Yo La Tengo. It was entirely unfair. I was the victim of an enjoyment conspiracy.
Also: the movie was takes place and was shot in Pittsburgh, where my stepmom's family is from, so I had a fun time spotting the few landmarks I'm familiar with, proud to know things about a place besides Phoenix and New York.
Also: girls, you guys will always look smokin' in a big oversized green surplus army jacket. You just will. Pull the sleeves down over your hands, bring said hands up to your face, allude to being complicated, and get ready for me to chase you around for an entire semester.
For why not's sake, here's that freestyle joint. If it is warm already where you live, it will make total sense. If not, just wait.
You guys! My third-favorite rapper of all time is coming out with a new album, and the first song from it heavily samples fucking Charles Bukowski. MF DOOM (reborn as simply DOOM) returns with "Born Like This." Better yet, my trusted friend Zed said it's awesome, and my favorite critic Nathan Rabin said the same. The man wears a metal mask, Cosby sweater, makes his own crunchy space-beats, has numerous alter-egos, and is a stone cold genius. I love him so hard.
I just called myself in 2005 and myself in 2005 lost his goddamned mind. Beloved producer/rapper naming new record after line from favorite drunken poet? It's gonna be a great summer.
Here's the song:
Here's a bonus song from previous record "MM..Food," containing this classic line/great piece of advice: "Whether a bourgie broad, nerd, ho, street chick/don't call her wifey if you met her at the freaknik"
I’m not one to go around describing.
I’m not one to ever write that something
or someone was
If I ever tell you what a character’s chin looks like,
you have every right to stop reading me forever.
Unless I am describing that character’s chin as being
“literally made of steel
inlaid with yellow diamonds.”
In which case you have every right to go,
“well, this fucking rules.”
The contract is signed. My final revision is in.
The tentative publishing date for my book "The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep And Never Had To" is February 2010.
Now I am going outside.
The hand-drawn signs on
both the bare stair-like wooden structures
outside the Korean deli across the street
in mid-winter say
Today (because I plan to) I think we should live entirely like beat poets.
We should be constantly surrounded by people we don't know whose language we don't speak but we keep passing a bottle of cheap wine back and forth between us and them and nodding to the rhythm of the tribal instruments they are playing even though we know they're going to wake up our landlady.
We should end up in a bus station, feeling like it's the hangover that has us, not the other way around, with our arm around a girl we just reluctantly rescued from a cult, whose name we're pretty sure is Paola, though it might be Poala.
We should automatically translate any amount of money we hear into the amount of drinks it can buy, and then further calculate it into the amount of drinks it can buy if we are buying drinks in the secret subterranean New York known only to the upper echelon of hobos, the ghosts of sailors, and us beat poets and our bourgeois dates from uptown.
We should be the scourge of beat cops, bar-maids, and short-order cooks, and a friend to anyone whose safe lives we can temporarily legitimize with our fast talk and seeming danger.
Somebody should take a great picture of us with a cigarette in our mouth looking at a jukebox like it just said something mean about our mother.
In thirty years college girls should claim to love our work and live their lives by it, even though the message they apparently take away from it is "stay exactly where you are and do exactly what you were going to do anyway."
And if you have to work today, you should at the very least wear sunglasses indoors.
At the very least, ask somebody if they dig.
Today seems like a good day to get psyched on life. So let's! Here is a song I've posted before, but it is very appropriate to our ends.
Jason Anderson - "Jonesboro"
Jason is playing tonight at Pete's Candy Store in Brooklyn at 9 PM. I have an unbroken record of taking people who then turn around and say "I loved it!" I think you will too.
What you see is not a vacant office building.
This is a paper company that went paperless.
I see a cute thirtysomething urban mom wearing a bike helmet with a bear’s face on it struggling to unfold this no-doubt-adorable half-bike-half-stroller thing.
Like, struggling mightily and failing.
It is way too much work to be quirky.
I think a lot of people read new books
for their new-bookishness, which is fine.
I do it too.
I also read old books for their old-bookishness.
Also for all the shit in ‘em.
I am the first person on Twitter:
A not-crazy question is, in the future, will we have a pop-punk cover band?
By we I mean me and several other aging dad-types in our forties.
In, let’s say 2039, will me and a bunch of other middle-aged cats with varying levels of musical experience pick up guitars and drum-sticks with the aim of playing nostalgia-inducing music from when we were young?
And when we do pick up those guitars and those drum-sticks, will the music that we settle on to play be pop-punk? There’s a good chance that it will be. It’s simple and innocent and catchy and probably relatively easy to play. It will probably tap that main vein of nostalgia better than any of the less accessible indie-type stuff we all ended up getting into after we left high school, which seemed way cooler at the time, but now, in 2039, given the benefit of age and wisdom and tiredness, seems like a pompous waste of time compared to the direct appeal of songs that were written by eighteen year olds when we were also eighteen years old, on the subject of girls and driving around.
I just can’t wait to see a bunch of balding dudes in Hawaiian shirts with gray ponytails getting way too deep into their version of “Hit Or Miss” by A New Found Glory, is all. I just can’t wait to be one of those dudes.
Babe, is it okay with you
if I call our young family “The Nation?”
If I move you and the kids to an as-yet-undiscovered
field somewhere in Oregon,
and we let them pick their own new-world names,
whatever they want,
though it’s heavily implied that the son or daughter
who picks her name from the “Star Wars” pantheon
will receive candy of better quality
with greater frequency?
If we teach that hide-and-seek, rather than an afternoon’s diversion,
is an endless game that is always going on on some level,
be it through gradual Cold War-style maneuvering
or all-out open hostilities?
If I lock the kids in the closet sometimes and yell
“Don’t come out until you’ve found the magical world
behind the coats?”
If we have them reenact the “Sky’s The Limit” music video
because it would be fun to see our smaller children
portraying the children in the video
who were themselves portraying Biggie and Puffy and Faith and Lil’ Kim
and if I root for our new baby to be a girl
because as it stands now we only have a Biggie and a Puffy and a Faith?
If we home school them each individually, in different rooms,
the two of us running back and forth
in the hallway, teaching all subjects to everyone at all hours,
never discussing with each other what exactly we’re telling them,
or who’s being taught what subject
or being honest with each other about which subjects are necessarily our strong suits,
so that it is possible that each one of our kids will reach the age of reason
knowing two different maths, two histories, two geographies,
all of which could be woefully incorrect, or just plain fictional?
If I tell them “I don’t have a favorite, NONE of you are my favorite,”
and then sigh mournfully over a framed picture of a kid we have told them
is our first son Ethan but is actually a kid who came with the frame?
If we sit them all down one night around a fire in the clearing and say,
“Listen, Greedo, Wedge, IG-88, Kim: when Mommy and Daddy were little everybody was trying harder than they ever had in history to make sure their kids came out okay—“
“Right, they probably overthought it, if anything…”
“Exactly, and so their kids came out maybe even worse for all that effort.”
“A lot of times, anyway.”
“Yea, some things were good.”
“Kids were getting a lot more vitamins than before—”
“Have you guys ever heard of The Flinstones?”
“Right, Wedge. The historical figures.”
“So what Mommy and Daddy figured is, why overthink it?”
“But then what they realized is, Mommy and Daddy kind of can’t HELP but overthink things.”
“It’s sort of what attracted Mommy and Daddy to each other in the first place.”
“Or at least something they found they had in common.”
“Once they stopped pretending they weren’t overthinking things.”
“So if we were going to overthink you, and your upbringing, Mommy and Daddy figured, we’ll just have to overthink being bad parents.”
“We figured, if trying too hard to raise you right is going to mess you up, maybe trying too hard to raise you wrong will make you turn out okay.”
“Get back from the fire, Kim. Fire IS a toy, but you’re grounded from playing with it right now.”
“Gotta get to Narnia faster next time, kiddo.”
It was my distinct pleasure to participate in this "Mad Men" parody by Daily Show writer Rob Kutner, who makes a video every year to promote his Purim-themed sketch show. I am a huge fan of "Mad Men," and of the amoral snakery of Pete Campell, so I was psyched to play his super-Jewish equivalent. I am also a huge fan of the Jews, so this vote of confidence from God's chosen people really meant a lot to a fella.
Check it out! It also features Amy Sedaris, Mystery Team's Ellie Kemper, and a whole bunch of other great comedy knuckleheads, and was directed by Mitch Magee, of "Welcome To My Study" fame.
Donald has leaked a song from his new album over on his blog. It is a lifestyle-enhancing rap song that samples "Legally Blonde: The Musical." It rules, no joke. You will get chills, and be motivated to get out there and get it, whatever it is for you. Get it from his site here: Childish Gambino "So Much Better"
The first Mystery Team preview screening happens this afternoon/evening in a snowbound New York. We can't wait!