Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tweets Galore

I added a new service to the blog that should be hitting all of you in roughly two hours time and should hit you every night at midnight for the foreseeable future. If you don't like it I'm sorry. And if you follow me on Twitter already then you can have a second dose of my blathering at no extra cost to you, the reader!


If you enjoyed the Peter Murphy clip in Thursdays post, I now give you Peter Murphy singing Head Like A Hole, which I did not see live but a song I enjoy just as much if not more so. Sorry just the audio this time, so no you can't stare at Trent's sexy self.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's Easy (but probably not probable) Being Green: The Invasion of Canada

Here is our ongoing segment known as It's Easy (but probably not probable) Being Green. Which is ripped from a Kermit the Frog song. Again I am not the green energy consulted that also goes by the name Kevin Doyle, I'm just the guy who gets his emails.

Mr. President

In light of the negative scientific response to last weeks report on nuclear powered automobiles and the fact that even one accident renders the cost-benefit of the program useless we have regretfully chosen to abandon the project, for now. In it's stead we present you with a new solution to our dependence on foreign oil; Invade Canada!

You see sir, Canada is, in the word's of Prime Minister Harper, "an Energy Superpower". First off Canada isn't a superpower in anything except Hockey and that's because we let them. If we wanted to we could be, but we take pity on them.

Second they have vast reserves of Oil and Natural Gas that we want and they won't give us for free. So like any good older brother we need to kick the shit out of them and then take their oil and gas. Trust me they will thank us later.

Now we know you have military advisers to do all the planning of an invasion, and we are sure you have a contingency plan dating back to the early 1800's, but we have some thoughts of our own.

Plan #1
You wait until the Gold Medal Hockey game at the 2010 Olympics, and when they win (because again we let them win) you send in the marines. Because of the rioting and drunkenness that will undoubtedly be expressed by the common Canadian they will simply think the American Forces are riot police, and when they wake up the next day with a splitting headache they will be the 51st - 63rd states in the Union. We can even have a new flag made up to include their stars.

Plan #2
The Québécois having been gaining ground in the polls over the last year as well as have been pushing for the independence of Quebec much more so as of late. What we propose is that you secretly finance the Québécois in a guerrilla war against Ottawa. The result would be all out Civil War within Canada at which point the US enters Canada under the auspices of a "Peacekeeping Mission", a defacto invasion. Hey, it worked for Russia.

Plan #3
Or you simply just invade shock and awe style. It's just basic math, they have 90,251 armed service men and women, we have roughly 3 million. That is approximately 33 US soldiers for every 1 Canadian. Besides some Canadian citizens would naturally surrender because of their French heritage.

What ever the means, the end result is the elimination of our energy problems, as well as the continuance of the American Revolution against the British Crown.


The Underling, Staff, and the American People

Thursday, February 19, 2009

On Encores, M. Ward and a Top Five

Two music posts in one day, you lucky dogs!

I pose a question to you the reader; when was the last time you went to a show (that was not a festival) and an encore did not occur? In my brief concert career I have never not witnessed an encore. It is just a forgone conclusion that barring a disaster of epic proportions that there will be an encore. Nothing short of the lead singer dropping dead is going to stop it. It has gotten to the point where the actual encore is not really an encore, it's just the second act of the overall show, if the crowd kept cheering after the house lights went up and then the band came back. That would be a real encore.

Anyway let's not dwell on negative thougths...onward to the show!

A couple thoughts:

- M. Ward is sneaky good on guitar. His albums do him no justice, you can not see the passion he puts into playing nor is the guitar as prominent on the album as it is at the show. His performance was by far the best I have seen on guitar out of any show I have seen. Having said that Katy pointed out that I may just not know what it means to be good on guitar. This is true, I don't and between M. Ward and Jack White, White is considered by most everyone to be the better guitarist and that is probably so, but what I witnessed was a far superior performance.

- The Somerville Theatre was a great venue to see a concert at. It was small enough that anywhere in the auditorium would have felt like an intimate setting. That and they had four Harpoon drafts on tap for $4 each!

I characterized it as a mini version of the Orpheum, too which Katy said "so it's a small version of very old theatre". Which I guess is true, but what I meant was it was a kind of unkempt theatre that is more geared towards affordable younger generation shows rather than The Wang, The Colonial and the like which are geared towards Broadway shows and ballet performances. And if that place serves beer during movies then it is the best place on earth.

It was a great show, it really was, and it got me thinking what is my Top 5 shows I have seen. Granted I haven't seen too many shows yet (13) but there is a clear distinction between my Top 5 and the rest. After I thought about it I came to the conclusion that there are two separate types of shows making up the top five which led me to break them down into two groups "The Unknown Show" and "The Show You Thought You Knew"

Top 5 Concerts (By type and in no real order)

Tier 1 - The Unknown Show

The premise, which I will elaborate on, of this tier is that your expectations going into the show were pretty much non-existent but you walked out in a daze of sorts.

M Ward - The Somerville Theatre

I first knew this show was going to be a good one when the opener closed with a great rendition of this song:

After they finished Katy mentioned that this is probably the only Beatles song I have ever heard live, and as big of a Beatles fan that I am that is slightly amazing.

Anyway going into this show I didn't expect much, to be honest I was kind of a little nervous that it was going to take away from my Spanish test today (which I aced!) and was only looking forward to a couple songs.

The result was anything but that, I completely forgot about Spanish, I got really into it; moving from side to side and playing the drums on the seat in front of me and if you know me that's not me. But the biggest thing is that I was left wanting more. Katy pointed this out when we were leaving the show and I think it correlates to the way I feel about really good books, you lose yourself in the show (not the hippy, I had an out of body experience moment, lose yourself but the I forgot what time it was lose yourself) like in a good book you forget the page numbers and when it ends it leave you thinking.

All in all there were a lot of unknown factors coming into the show that really ended up being great and not something that you could get from an album; M. Ward's guitar skills are more prominent on stage than in the studio, his band fits him, the band feeds off each others enthusiasm, they are not just playing the album onstage and the music lends itself to a good performance.

Those factors boil down to an amazing, and unfathomable to myself beforehand, experience.

Jamie Lidell I - The Paradise

Much like M. Ward I went into this show with little to know expectations and nothing but a overview of the artist and his work as a whole. I walked away from that show with not only a Jim T-Shirt that to this day makes people think my name is Jim but also with my first great concert experience.

Having listened to Jamie Lidell a few times going into the show I thought it would be a decent rock/pop show. What I got was a certified crazy man on stage with a band that consisted of a porn star complete with mustache, a rocket man complete with onsey zipup and Will Ferrell's character from old school. And they were all high, like really high.

Lidell was nothing like his album, he sang harder, louder and made all his songs longer. To top it off for the encore he came out with a TV set with spinning antennae on his head.

It was above and beyond anything I could imagine.

Tier 2 - The Show You Thought You Knew

These shows are best characterized as shows that I could sing along with every single word, and still I got more than I came for.

Jamie Lidell II - The Paradise
If drugged up, porn starring oafs with TV sets weren't enough the second show added bagpipes, a middle-aged Keith Richards looking guy, being the last show, a crazy little black woman who threw instruments around the set as the opener, and a Mr. Lidell out in the crowd.

Nine Inch Nails - DCU Center
Nothing could have made this show better in my mind going into it, I was prepared for an amazing mind blowing show. Well I was wrong, the lighting and visual presentation was more intense and technologically advanced than I thought possible. That and the guy sitting next to me gave his seat up for Katy (who had because the Egypt debacle and Trent's voice had to sell her ticket only to be able to go later with a lesser ticket) and I was introduced to the glory that is Peter Murphy singing Reptile:

Vampire Weekend - The Orpheum
I have been enjoying Vampire Weekend for over a year now and for the majority of said year not many things would have made me as happy as seeing Vampire Weekend live, nothing could make the experience more enjoyable then just being there. Oh contrare monfrare! Having a bunch of drunk kids who thought they were seeing a bunch of Vampires performing sitting in front of you makes it more enjoyable.

Next show will be Of Montreal at the Paradise in April, that show should be real interesting.

Music of the Day: Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala

I have been listening to Jens and this album for over a year now, but as of late it is all I have been listening to. Jens sings about posing as a boyfriend of a lesbian for her fathers benefit, getting his hair cut by a tax evading hairdresser, drive in bingo games, and leaving women because he does not love them. All on one album!

He is currently the only artist I know of outside of Rap & Hip Hop to reference Warren G's song Regulate in a song.

I have become slightly obsessed with Jens as of late, checking for any news or signs of a tour. It has gotten to the point that if Jens was to have a show somewhere in the Western Hemisphere I would fly there. And I'm dead serious when I say that.

Unfortunately he has been suffering from depression for the past year or so and has not been touring nor creating at all and he lives in Australia. Some day I will see him I'm sure.

I leave you with a acoustic version of my favorite song, A Postcard to Nina. It takes a minute to get going.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Grumbling Effects of Hurricane Underling

Because of dinner at the Top of the Hub Restaurant (thanks to a $250 gift card from Katy's boss) and a trip to the Symphony (which we left early because we were falling asleep) we got to dress up yesterday and decided to test out Katy's photo equipment one last time (which resulted in that finger pointing outwards from your screen) before we head to Egypt (yes I'm going to Egypt next week). As a result of this and work (Borders and Broomball the past two days) our apartment looks like this:

(Warning: For all of you who have visited this apartment and remarked on how clean it looks, this may come as a bit of a shock to you. All those with heart conditions, avert your eyes)

And because we are going to see M. Ward tonight (at the Somerville Theater), and I have work Thursday and Friday one should not expect this to start looking cleaner any time soon. So if you thought about breaking in and stealing something I suggest you turn on the lights first.

Sir, have you been Tweeting this evening?

After evaluating the Twitter pages of a few funnymen I have come to the conclusion that I Tweet a little too erratically and use it like an instant messenger (which believe it or not existed before Twitter! I know!). So I have decided to cut back on the Tweets and make them a bit more comprehensive (as comprehensive as one can be in 140 characters) and with some substance to them. Of course I can not be beholden to this statement, because if I was then that would allow you to call me a liar in a couple days time when I Twitter about how I hate broomball. But just act like I mean what I say.

Carry on!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Truly Historic Day

What it is:
A bottle of Shock Top, 1 of 6.
Where it is from: Choice Liquors
Why it is important: The Underling's favorite beer is now available at the nearest liquor store to his apartment.

Manliness takes a critical hit!

The things I do for my employee discount.....


To all you bartenders and waitresses who have looked at me funny for saying Hoegarden as “Whogarden” I give you the pronunciation found on the package. I did not suffer this drink for nearly four months to be told I say it wrong.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


For the foreseeable future I think I may take weekends off on the blog. That means no features will be posted on weekends (It's Easy being Green, music, top five, etc), though I may break the silence with a random thought or two. Good day!