Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Quick Rock and Roll Remembrance

I just realized that it was twenty years ago today that I went to Cleveland.

Evan Lloyd called me up and said he had two tickets to the Inaugural Concert of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  And that I was going, no questions asked.  It was only a question of whether he had time to install a sidecar onto Scarlet, his motorcycle.

Fortunately, he did not.  I drove.

We road tripped out there with local beers like Little Kings.  We hung out Friday night in Columbus with elder fratres Chipper and Brownie and hit on John Cooper's smoking hot daughter.

We spent all Saturday afternoon in the Flats, drinking heavily as if to challenge ourselves to remember the night.  We then headed over to the Mistake By the Lake and hunkered down for hours and hours and hours of rock and/or roll.  And drinking.

Ev started passing out during the Allmans, for which I gave him a ration of crap.  Then he woke up and I started passing out during the next act.  It was a marathon.

Highlights included Chrissie Hynde, an Akron native, and the Pretenders sing "My City Was Gone" and crooning about Ohio; The Kinks, who just kick ass always; and marveling at Evan marveling at Springsteen marveling at his heroes on the same stage.  It was an all-timer.  Duh.

As I look back at the set list now, I can't believe in one night I saw Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Jerry Lee Lewis, George Clinton, Chuck Berry, John Fogerty, Al Green, James Brown, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, and Boz Scaggs.  Wow.

Set notes here

If Evan could hear me now, I'd thank him profusely for choosing me as his wingman at such a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle.  I cannot believe it's been 20 years.  Good golly miss Molly.

Put Some Funk Into Your Hump Day

This song makes me happy. It could be linked with a post I made last week, but I believe I have already pushed beyond the group's tolerance for my thoughts on coital tendencies.

And the best part of the post (other than the tune, duh) is that most of these tags have been used before.

Monday, August 31, 2015

104 (Misspent) Days of Summer Vacation

My kids spent their summer vacations, for the most part, actively resisting doing anything much at all. If they had their druthers, they'd have spent the entire break staring at any one of a half-dozen screens cluttering our home. As a highly productive, consistently motivated bundle of ambition, I can't for the life of me figure out the source of this behavior.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I came home from work on Friday (a day that the kids spent home alone, as my wife returned to work as a teacher earlier in the week) to find that my 13 year-old had learned how to use GarageBand and begun recording an 'album'.

Her working title is 'Factual Fiction'. The first two tracks are an original called 'Fantasy Land' and a cover of CHVRCHES' 'Gun'. I think she's pretty good, but I'm not really an impartial observer. Lord knows her musical talent didn't come from me.

Apologies for the Dadbrag, but, you know, post count. Also, please feel free to send to any major label executives you know, because my retirement compound isn't gonna build itself.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Gheorghe Goes to the Fair

Our in-house expert on culinary excess has been scouring state fairs across America in search of the newest, biggest, greasiest, mostest gut busting extravagances. This week, he traveled to Syracuse to visit the New York State Fair, and check out The Defibrillator.

We know what you're thinking, and you're right: man, health food branding really has taken a turn towards irony.

The Indigestometer is a nice touch, but this pic needs more thumb
The Defibrillator is an angus beef burger served between two grilled cheese sandwiches. It includes cheese curds, deep fried bacon, deep fried pickles, and - because no burger is complete without (more) cheese - cheddar cheese. According to Syracuse University dietitian Jane Burrell Uzcategui,

"The Defibrillator (is) clearly a calorie powerhouse, topping the scale about 1,605 calories or three quarters of the recommended daily intake. Not only are the calories outrageous, the fat hits 74 grams (9 grams more than what is recommended per day) and the artery clogging, saturated fat, is a whopping 44 grams per day (double the recommended). ... Don't fool yourself -- you aren't burning that many calories walking around at the Fair. To use the calories consumed in this meal you would have to walk the Midway end-to-end 32 times."

To which we say, get to walking.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Entrance Song to a Lovemaking Session

I used to watch a lot of the MMA pay-per-views with friends a few years ago. We would compare entrance songs of different fighters and talk about what we would use in the unlikely (though slightly more likely after several drinks) event we become professional fighters. Of course, this was all done while acknowledging there was no topping old school Mike Tyson's entrance with Welcome to the Terrordome cranking in the background.

Anyhoo, I stumbled on the song below a few months back (thanks to our good friends on the Deep Tracks station at SiriusXM) and fell in love with it immediately. Earlier this week, as I navigated the subway to get to my train home, I tried to contextualize (in my own head, of course, where most of my conversations occur) why I loved this song. It took me a while, but I think I finally came up with the context in which this song was perfect.

What if men and women walked into bedrooms for lovemaking sessions like fighters walked into boxing rings for fights? What if there were 10,000 folks there to cheer you on? What if I was in a robe, walking slowly, while an entourage massaged my traps, carried gels, lubes, toys and sexual accoutrements, held my heavyweight champ lovemaking belt high in the air and whispered encouraging words into my ear to ensure the fires raged underneath my lustrous groin beard? What song would fit that scenario and get me fired up for a funkadelic romp under the sheets? Well, this song would.

So, um, yeah. That's what I have to say about this tune. Give it a whirl and try to forget the awfulness in the world for five minutes. 1970 side project by Jerry Garcia and keyboardist Howard Wales? Count me in.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

This Test Goes to Eleven

A short episode of The Test this week, on current events. Cunningham does fairly well, but current events are definitely not my forte-- probably because I don't watch TV or read the newspaper . . . I tend to get my breaking news from the comment thread on Gheorghe.  My performance is not particularly impressive. Perhaps you will fare better.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Clarence Explains It All . . . Again

Clarence is not a role model. He’s not even human. He’s a cartoon. Some of the things he does could cause a person to get hurt, expelled, arrested, possibly deported. To put it another way: Don't try this at home. 

So the locals were aghast with an incident at ODU over the weekend.  Thanks to the pervasive nature of social media, now the world is aghast.

Some frat guy knuckleheads spray-painted some remarks on bed sheets and dangled them from balconies, remarks that are characterized anywhere from mildly obnoxious to criminally offensive, depending upon your mindset.  Here is Deadspin's take on it, with pictures.

I have a question not just for Zman Esq and the handful of other attorneys in our GTB midst, but all of you higher-minded cohorts of mine.  Here are the words that were printed on the sheets:
“Rowdy and fun [highlighting the O, D, and U]"
"Hope your baby girl is ready for a good time”
“Freshman daughter drop off [with an arrow pointing to the house's front door]”
“Go ahead and drop off mom too...”
Universally accepted as stupid, immature, and largely inappropriate, without question.

But, either taken literally or even infusing some suggestion in there, are they, as accused by many, words that espouse rape or sexual assault? 

It seems to me that as we elevate community awareness and the severity of the punishment that fits rape in America, we must also elevate our caution when labeling or accusing our citizens of this crime.  It's a complex issue that affected my alma mater in a case whose public opinion verdict rang louder than the actual facts or result of the case.  And whether or not the UVA story was debunked last year (as predicted), the problem still exists and remains a justifiably incendiary topic.  It's one not likely to fade away any time soon, simply because men have sexually assaulted women for the 100,000 or more years we have been on the planet, and we have yet to come up with the appropriate tools to fix ourselves.

As ODU seeks to mete out the proper punishment for this behavior, it's important to keep the furor within the confines of the act committed.  The university has responded publicly, using the likely words "outraged," "sickened," and "will not be tolerated,"  But they also reference "sexual assault" and "violence against women." Maybe it's a logical leap, but as a former fraternity knucklehead, the divide our guys kept between lascivious/crude and assault/violence against women was a huge one.

Anyway, as usual, at Gheorghe we like our grammar on point and our law and order to be argued and measured appropriately -- even when the idiots committing the acts are offensive enough not to warrant much defense.  I get to hear and read about this event plenty for the next week or two around town.  Just lucky that way,

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Test Turns Ten

The tenth episode of The Test is rather special to me for several reasons:

1) I read Cunningham's mind;

2) I predict Stacey's demise;

3) Cunningham administers a fairly logical test;

4) I edited the entire thing on my ancient MacBook Pro while I was on vacation.

Number four is the thing that makes me the happiest. I took all the little bits and pieces of audio-- the intro and the outro, the heavenly music and the intermission riffs-- and I made them into WAV files and imported them into the cruddy version of Garage Band on my Mac. Then I created the Voice of God with some Garage Band effects. Then I recorded the Voice of God in our beach house, directly into my laptop (and, in the process, surely convinced the three other families in our beach househ that I was a lunatic). My own family already knows this.

But I got the job done and it sounds fine. As William Gibson said, we are living in the future, it's just not evenly distributed yet.

Hope you give it a listen and play along. Also, we are always looking for guests and/or new tests. I am going to try to figure out how to Skype people into an episode and capture a decent audio recording, which should open up some new possibilities and also feel very future-tech. I have never Skyped with anyone . . . you could be the first.