Thursday, December 21, 2006

That Guy

Music: Damien Rice, "Me, My Yoke and I," 9

My brother got me tickets for the Damien Rice show her for Christmas. It was a very good show. Mr. Rice was better than I thought he'd be live. Some highlights included "Rootless Tree" (the Music of the Day for Deja Ecrit last week), which was performed first as a solo, piano song. It was beatiful, but I was looking forward to hearing a more uptempo version since it is such an uptempo song. "Me, My Yoke and I" was probably one of my least favorite songs on the album. But, WOW, was it good live. The intensity doesn't come through on the album like it does live. Another highlight was when Rice played "Eskimo Friend." He actually played without the aid of a microphone or a receiver until the song hit its creshendo. Just used the acoustics of the beautiful Orpheum Theater. It was very good.

Athlete: Troy Williamson, Track Star/Ball Dropper, Minnesota Vikings

This guy can't catch. And he was drafted 7th overall as a WIDE RECEIVER--otherwise known as football players that are supposed to catch the effing ball. It's not that he can't catch as much as he has zero body control. He can make no adjustments. It is nothing short of comical to watch him try to catch a deep ball. Hilarious.

Now, getting to That Guy...

The concert was great--except for ONE thing. The HUGE douchebag kept catcalling at the most inappropriate times. I hate catcalling at concerts to start with, but I can tolerate them when they occur when everyone else is applauding. However, catcalling DURING A SONG WHEN YOU COULD OTHERWISE HEAR A PIN DROP is nothing short of pure jackassery. I seriously wanted to punch him right in the crotch. There was an awful exhange between That Guy and, well, everyone there:

Damien Rice: (trying to talk to the crowd)
Crowd: (Laughs)
Rice: (smirks, tries to start talking again)
That Guy: YOU DO!!!
Brother: Shut the FUCK up!
Crowd: (uneasy chuckling)
Rice: (somewhat annoyed, tries to start talking again)
That Guy: OWWWW!!
Crowd: (uneasy silence)
Rice: (debating whether to try to talk again)

It was brutal. At some point, don't you have to take a look at yourself and ask, "Am I that guy?" If the answer is yes, or even if there is any doubt in your mind, you should stop what it is you are doing. Just stop. Right there.

Don't be That Guy.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Professor

Music: "Guernica," Brand New, Deja Entendeau

In case you were wondering, Deja Ecrit comes from Deja Entendeau, which is French for "already heard." Brand New is a GREAT band. In fact, they are probably my favorite band at the moment. They used to be an emo band, but now they have evolved into something much more mature, and much better. Guernica is one of the better songs on the album, but I do have almost every song on the album rated as a five star song on Itunes. It is typical of Brand New: alternation between a quiet, melodic sound, and loud, fairly distorted guitars.

Athlete: Ted Sampsell-Jones, Goalie, Edina High School, circa early 90's

TSJ, as I like to call him, apparently was a backup goalie for the Hornets back in the day. He's not on here for his athletic accomplishments, but rather because he is one bad dude. By that, I mean he is a really good law professor. He maintains a womens basketball blog (, which also makes him cool. He cancelled class one day for a Twins playoff game which pushes him into the upper echelon of people I know, worldwide. He did an excellent job of relating to students during the semester, and he always seemed to put things in perspective. I don't know if he was a good goalie, but he is a helluva human being, as far as I can tell. Our school needs more professors like him.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Rootless Tree

Music of the Day: Damien Rice, "Rootless Tree," 9

Overall, this album hasn't really grown on me, but maybe its because I haven't paid money for it yet. (I'm just streaming the whole thing here.) However, this song is really good. It's not good because it yells obscentities over and over... if it was then mainstream, pretend rap would be great--not a dig on rap, I love it. Just not most of the stuff you see on MTV. Anyway, this song is really good. Nice guitar picking followed by a hooky drum beat and an epiphany chorus.

I like music with strong expressions of emotion. These lyrics probably qualify:

So fuck youand all we've been through
i said leave it, it's nothing to you
and if you hate me then hate me so good
that you can let me out
let me out of this hell when you're around

This really doesn't express how I feel about anything in particular at the moment, but its something that I could imagine feeling or maybe how I have felt in the past.

Life is defined by the emotions we feel along the way. Music is a good way to recapture those emotions, those feelings, that we experience along the way. Without those feelings, life gets pretty boring. Sometimes I put myself back in places in my life that were incredibly difficult or trying or emotional just to remember how it felt. Most of the time, music puts me in those places. I can't listen to certain Jack Johnson songs without putting me right back in sophomore year of college with my then-girlfriend, now-wife. I can't listen to Coldplay's "The Scientist" without thinking about when we split up (pre-marriage). I can't listen to Travis Tritt's "It's a Great Day to Be Alive" without putting myself back on I-90 almost to Cooperstown.

I guess that's why I like Damien Rice. The first time I heard "Cannonball," I nearly cried. He's got alot of emotion. It's really all we got.

Athlete of the Day: Jeff Anttila, WR, Iowa Hawkeyes, 1989-1992

Famous coach Hayden Fry once called Anttila "the fastest white boy" he'd ever seen. He was the Wisconsin High School Player of the Year in 1988. And he probably was. He hurt his back during his sophomore year, and he was never the same player. There should be a wiki article on this guy. I think I'm going to start a stub. I have no idea what he's doing now. However, he would be proud to know that he is the Athlete of the Day on Deja Ecrit for December 14, 2006.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

B.O. on the Bus

Music: My Chemical Romance, "Welcome to the Black Parade," The Black Parade

I used to be pretty much a folk-singer-type since I went to college. When I was younger, I liked Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Everclear and other music of that ilk. Then, as I got into high school, I started listening to A LOT of Dave Matthews Band. That turned me onto artists like Ben Harper and Jack Johnson. I saw Mason Jennings in the winter of 2001, and he became a huge favorite. David Gray... I could go on, but I won't.

Lately, I've been searching for stuff that rocks but is still melodic. Stuff that brings some energy but isn't cookie-cutter, emo-pop, fake punk stuff. I mean, I actually really like All American Rejects, but once you've heard one song, you've pretty much heard them all.

I really like MCR's new album. The first time I heard it, I was a little scared. A concept album about death will do that, I guess. And the first time I saw the video for "Black Parade," I felt a little uncomfortable, yet it was so good.

Overall, it's quite a move forward by this band. I haven't purchased the CD yet, but you can stream the entire album at For now, that's where I get my fix when I need it.

Athlete: Jeff Cirillo, 3B Minnesota Twins

Jeff might be old, but he can still hit a little, specfically lefties. He's a good option to replace Punto when he's hurt or terrible by April. However, he pales in comparison to the athlete of the decade, Tony Batista. Remember when Cirillo was a star in Milwaukee? You don't? Oh, that's right, it was a long time ago.

Body Odor and Public Transportation
A while ago, I was riding the bus around the city as a means of getting to my ultimate destination. Near me was a guy wearing a jean shirt (yes, a denim shirt, popular circa 1997). Denim shirt guy had some stank B.O. I mean, I wasn't close to him, and it was some serious odor. I could smell it as if my nose hairs had gotten tangled in his pit hairs. It would put The Beast to shame. It was that bad.

Mr. Levi Strauss himself then pulled the signal cord and walked up to the front of the bus. He put his arm up to hold the bars overhead, as the bus was still moving. This was all very unfortunate for the older, heavyset gentlemen sitting directly underneath the Pit. In order to relieve himself, that man put three fingers over his nose, fingers pointing up. Imagine the face you'd make if you smelled this smell---that's the one this guy made. He held that pose for the next 30 or so seconds before Stanky could get off the bus. He didn't move, even though there was plenty of room. I don't know why, but he took the stench.

It was probably the funniest thing I've seen on the bus.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Dentist

Music: Jeff Buckley, "Eternal Life," Grace

This is a really good song by a dead guy. The choice of this song to open my Blog has virtually nothing to do with the content of the blog or today's tale. It is simply the song I am listening to right now. Don't overthink it. I didn't. Except when I chose the title of the Blog. I overthought that.

There are lots of great songs by people who are currently dead, but I would consider most of Jeff Buckley's songs less well-known than some other dead people.

Food for thought: did Jeff Buckley commit suicide when he drown in the Mississippi? Answer: I have no idea. Why would you go swimming in the Mississippi? I wouldn't. I probably wouldn't even take a piss in the Mississippi. How many dead people are there in the Mississippi right now? It seems like they are always occassionally washing up around where I live. That, along with the pollution, is enough for me to merely admire the beauty and power of the mighty river from a safe distance.

The irony of the title of this Buckley song and his ultimate demise just hit me. No kidding.

Athlete: Ala Abdelnaby, Forward, Boston Celtics circa 1994?

What happened to that guy? One of my best friends used to collect his basketball cards. Do you think that with a name like that in today's day-in-age he would have been ostracized as a Muslim Terrorist? I doubt it, but it's worth considering.

Blog: Boof's Blogberg

Great blog. Go there. He's funny. I read daily. Read the BJ story in the "Best Of" section, as it is possibly the best story ever told by a blogger on the internet.


Last March, I watched the opening day of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament (otherwise known as "March Madness") at a sports bar with a friend. My buddy brought one of his buddies from work. His buddy brought his dentist (?).

So I'm watching games and eating wings and drinking Long Islands (Buffalo Wild Wings makes good Long Islands, and I do not consider Long Islands to be girly drinks; there is lots of alcohol in them). Racked up a pretty good bill. Iowa got beat on a buzzer beater, and Wisconsin lost. All in all, very good day.

I had some great conversations with the dentist about grad school loans and football and stuff. Great guy. He had to go, possibly to remove the tube he snaked down some patient's nose 4 or 5 hours ago. An hour later, as we were about to pay our bill, the waitress told us it was paid for. The dentist had paid the WHOLE THING. Seriously, it was a big bill.

I have to say, I was moved. So moved, in fact, I wrote the dentist a thank you letter immediately (It took me years to finish my allotment of wedding thank-yous).

Here's the point: I wanna be like this guy. He paid a huge bill for two guys he had never met before that day. And he did it covertly, without expecting a single thing in return. In fact, he knew he would probably never see me again. There was NO POSSIBLE MOTIVE for this random act of kindness.

I want to be more like this guy.