Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Best Soundtracks From The Most Anonymous Movies of the 1990's

1. Angus
I feel bad saying Angus is an anonymous 90's movie, because it's actually a hidden minor classic which pops up on TNT here and there. It's a cross between an After School Special and Freaks and Geeks. The lead character is Angus, an overweight dorky kid in 8th grade who is into science and is picked on by the jocks (despite being the best offensive lineman). Kathy Bates plays his mom and does not get naked. James Vanderbeek plays the lead asshole douchebag kid and is the anti-Dawson. The big climactic dance scene prominently features "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star, the alt-rock nerd slow song du jour of the time period.

That song is not on the soundtrack. But what is on the soundtrack: the best Green Day song ("J.A.R."), two of the five best Ash songs ("Jack Names The Planets," "Kung Fu"), a very solid Dance Hall Crashers song, a freaking RIVERDALES song, the 2nd best Weezer b-side ("You Gave Your Love To Me Softly," first best is "Jamie" which is on the DGC Rarities comp), the second best Muffs song ("Funny Face," first best is "Everywhere I Go"), two solid entries by Tilt and Pansy Division and it ends with "Was I Wrong" by Love Spit Love, which was the Psychadelic Furs with a lineup change, and is one of the best little-recalled singles of the decade (and should be on par with The La's.)

Seriously, Angus is like a mix tape I'd make when I was 20 for whatever girl I stalked at the time.

Fuck, this is probably the best album I own.
2. Meet The Deedles/Scream 2
I have no idea what the fuck Meet The Deedles is about. I think maybe something with extreme sports? Scream 2 is the sequel to Scream. I didn't see either of those, but I have seen all three chapters of Cruel Intentions. But these soundtracks stand out for two elusive but stand-out Weezer b-sides/side projects. "American Girls" by Homie is some sort of Weezer/Soul Coughing combination and is one my favorite power-pop songs. It's kind of like Rivers listened to a lot of Ben Folds and said "yeah, let me try this out for that soundtrack for the extreme sports comedy the record company is making me do." It's just as good as anything on the first three Weezer albums (and I maintain The Green Album, save for "Crab", is just as great as the first two Weezer albums.)
"Rivers" by Sugar Ray is on the Scream 2 soundtrack. Mark McGrath decided to write an homage song to Rivers Cuomo and had Sugar Ray do a Weezer-type power-pop song and... fuck, he pulled it off. But is this surprising, considering that Sugar Ray was the best bubblegum singles band of their era? (Just fucking admit it already. You know every word to all of their radio hits.)
Aside from those two stand-outs, one could make a pretty decent ska-punk mix tape out of the rest of the material on the albums. Scream 2 does have an unfortunate Dave Matthews song, hence the lack of a picture.

3. The Judgment Night Soundtrack

I saw this movie one time once on HBO. It's dreadful and is some sort of dreck about Emilio Estevez<>

Monday, January 29, 2007

Comedy Night Hijinks

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Shubin on Saturday night.

For those of you not in attendance who are curious as to what happened, here is a rundown. I read three stories. The first story I read was the story I read at UCB and posted on here a while back, which details in brutal honesty about how my then-girlfriend accidentally farted on my face the first time I ever "went downtown."

There is now a new chapter to that story.

Apparently a homeless guy (the dude who opens the door for folks at the Wawa at 2nd and South) was in the theater when I was recounting this tale. After this story was completed, he got up and left, getting into a discussion with Greg, the guy who booked the show. Here is what transpired:

HOMELESS GUY: "Yeah, that was tight, man. I got off to it. Real nice."
DUDE WHO PUT ON THE SHOW: "Good. Glad you liked it."
HOMELESS GUY: "Yeah. Let me ask you, you do anything with live actors?"
DUDE WHO PUT ON THE SHOW: "Yeah, uhm, it's an improv show, so we have actors doing live stuff all the rest of the night."
HOMELESS GUY: "No, I mean do they do any live sex on stage?"

So, now my story is used for this man's personal gratification. This is absolutely horrifying, but also pretty awesome.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Tag! I'm It! 5 Things You Don't Know About Me Probably

These tag things are making the rounds of the world of NYC comedy and has now made its way to me via my brother. Naturally, you can read what we wrote about each other here:

But now I have to reveal 5 things about myself. Here goes:

1. I'm a registered Republican.
Some of you probably do know this about me, but most people who don't know me so well just assume that I'm a lefty because I have good taste in music, movies and books. And the fact that I have, at times of my life, tried to lead uprisings against various authority figures. And I was a journalist. But nuh-uh, this isn't true. I usually vote conservative/Republican, although I did vote for Nader in 2000 and I'm throwing up thinking about how I voted for Bush last go around.
And I hate the far, Christian right just as much as Jon Stewart tells you to. I just don't think a big federal government is capable of enacting social change as much as individuals or smaller, more local and direct governments can. I blame it on reading P.J. O'Rourke at an impressionable age. And from reading Milton Friedman later on.

2. I hate professional football.
I am an American male in his late-20's who is obsessed with sports. I have spent 28 years thinking I loved the NFL. But I can't lie to myself anymore. I started to wane last year and this year I came to the conclusion that the NFL is the most boring fucking thing on earth. I plan on watching a lot more of Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl that I do the Super Bowl. I would rather watch handicapped 'Nam vets play indoor wiffleball than a NFL game. Except for the Pats/Colts last week. What a thriller.

3. I was a shockingly decent Little League baseball player.
This was largely due to the fate of having a December birthday, which allowed me to play against kids much, much younger than me. Like my brother's age. But I was a very solid pull hitter with occassional power and a very fundamentally sound fielder. I once even threw out a kid trying to score from the outfield. I also got to pitch in a few games when I was on a really good team, where I threw a slow curve/knuckleball hybrid I dubbed "The Slurve." This was all for naught once I switched to an all 8th-grade team. I fucking sucked and quit the team in the middle of the season. But the last few times I went to a batting cage, I hit some ropes and regained some of my lost dignity. Some.

4. I am woefully blind in my right eye.
With both eyes open and unimpeded, I have excellent vision. But if I just look at things with my right eye alone, then I'm transformed into a tall, gangly, version of (enter in the name of famous blind black R&B singer here.) This is because I was born with a lazy eye that was corrected in 2nd grade, when I wore a patch over my left eye for the entire year. My eye no longer wandered around (thank fucking god) but still had really shitty vision. An eye doctor wanted me to wear a patch over my eye again when I was a freshman in high school. I would rather (enter in a form of graphic and degrading physical torture here.)

5. I love Sugar Ray.
And Blink 182. I had to come clean.

Someone else do this, also.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Comedy Night Correction

The show starts at 8. Not 7. I am scheduled to get on at 9. But these things tend not to have the absolute tightest of schedules. There will also be beer. And you can bring some, too. If enough folks are interested, I'll buy a case for everyone.

Comedy Night

Shubin Theater
4th and Bainbridge, Philadelphia. (Just south of South St.)
7 p.m.
This Saturday night.

Bring a friend!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Jason Williams

Up watching the Heat/Lakers game on TNT. As great as Dwyane Wade is and as spectacular as Kobe has been this season (which I begrudgingly admit), the guy who really stood out tonight way Jason Williams.

Not because he did anything special. Because he didn't. But it just got me thinking... what the fuck happened to this guy?

I mean, he was never really that good. But... damn, he was the most off-the-charts fun player in the league when he burst upon the scene on the Kings. I know he took too many horseshit shots and threw the ball away a bunch of times. And I know he has a ring. But I wish he wasn't neutered.

A primer for people reading this who don't know what the hell I'm talking about: Jason Williams was this relatively unknown point guard who got drafted by the Sacramento Kings, then a bottom feeding NBA team. Williams came out of nowhere and became a walking Sportscenter highlight -- spinning behind the neck passes, 75-foot bounce passes, etc. He was a video game player come to life. I mean, he really wasn't very good. He turned the ball over a lot. His shot sucked. But still... there was never anyone quite like him.

The Kings became a "ohmygodyouhavetoseethem" team in the late 90's, a period of the NBA which was the absolute worst to sit through. The Kings were the most (and only) aesthetically pleasing team in the era. The Kings became a good team because they had Vlade Divac and Chris Weber and Doug Christie, but Jason Williams' style was their signature and was the only interesting thing in basketball in that era. They became an elite team when they traded J-Wil, but... man, I miss them.

I have Gilbert and the Suns and the Nuggets. But it still makes me wonder whenever I watch the Heat, how someone lost all of their personality on a court.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Agent Zero Is My Hero

"Everyone get drunk and make stupid decisions."
I fall in love quite easily. All it takes is some combination of athletic prowess and personality and I'm yours, forever.
Recent Gregg G. man crushes have included Ryan Howard, Adam Morrison, former La Salle University Mr. Everything Steve Smith, Allen Iverson and pretty much anyone who was on the New York Yankees from 1977-2006.
There's a new person in town, though, and his name is Gilbert Arenas.
For the uninformed, Gilbert Arenas is a guard who plays on the Washington Wizards who is the second leading scorer in the NBA. He's also known for his outrageous quirkiness -- wearing a robe like the one above on opening night, sleeping in an "altitude tent" to gain endurance, sleeping on couches as opposed to beds, throwing his jersey to the home fans every time he plays before them, sponsoring a halo team, screaming the word "hibachi" whenever he takes a shot, screaming the phrase "shot selection" whever he takes a shot, and playing online poker during halftime.
But what cemented my love were his antics this week: a crazy game winning shot, a post-game press conference afterwards where he said "My swag is phenomenal" and then throwing a birthday party where the 7500 people in attendance had to arrive holding an "Arenas Express" card where they were greeted by a giant ice sculpture of the man of the honor, seeing P-Diddy perform, and then having Gilbert Arenas end his big day by proclaiming "Everyone get drunk and make stupid decisions."
Gilbert Arenas: you are fucking amazing in every which way a person can be amazing. Thank you for being you. Your only downfall is that you play in DC and not in the city where I currently reside.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Answering Machine

This came to mind after watching The Office last week, where Michael accidentally sends a nud epicture of Jan out to the entire company. Something similar happened to me that I somehow completely forgot about.

I had a very boring class my junior year entitled "Women in Literature" which was taught by a professor who, no joke, is an expert in Lesbian Detective Fiction. I have no idea how I ended up in this class, and I don't remember much about it aside from how dreadful Fanny Fern was to grind through and that I didn't really hate Bastard Out Of Carolina as much as I assumed I would. (Anything else assigned in that class went dutifully unread.)

I sat next to Christina and we ended up paired in a group project together. Christina was like 68% of Diane Court from Say Anything -- not quite as pretty, not quite as smart but still very serious about her studies (to the point where she was a RA, one of those live-in students who can get you in trouble for drinking and being noisy) and easy on the eyes. I don't want to say that we were friends, or that I was super into her, but we would talk when we ran into each other on campus and if she suggested making out with me, I'd totally be into the idea.

We were supposed to meet up to go over part of our assignment. Christina called me and left a message on our answering machine about meeting up later on that night. I called Christina back right away. She wasn't in, so I left a message on her machine.

"Hey, Christina, this is Gregg. I was just wondering if you'd be around later tonight for us to finish up the project. Call me back."

I then hung up the phone. This is usually uneventful for most people. I noticed something odd when I had hung up the phone. It didn't quite feel "right." I paid it no mind.

As soon as I got off the phone, my then-roommate Mike asked me who I talked to. I told him. He knew who she was.

"What do you think of her?"

"She's pretty cute," I told him.

"Yeah, I think so... actually, I think she's pretty fucking hot."

"Yeah... she is, actually. She's real feminist, though."

"So? Girls who are all about that usually give the best head."

"I don't know... Christina doesn't seem like she's ever given anyone head."

"Oh, I bet she has man."

At this point, the annoying clang of a busy signal started eminating from the speakers of the phone. And that's when I realized...

I had accidentally put the phone on speaker.

I started to panic -- my voice cracking, my face turning pale. Mike realized what had happened, too... and started laughing right in my face. I thought I was totally screwed -- I participated in a very lewd, pretty offensive conversation about someone I had to do a group project with who I also got along with pretty well. And not only that, she was someone with a bit of authority on campus who also was pretty strongly opinionated about issues regarding the degradation of women. Which, I just unveiled to her was something I at least supported and tolerated, if not outright participated in.

I thought I had several options: 1) Run down to her room and immediately apologize, 2) Call her back and immediately apologize or 3) Avoid all phone calls, leave my apartment and get drunk with friends of mine who were even bigger boneheads.

Eventually, I had to meet Christina. I apologized and she didn't really care about what happened. And, in fact, the next year I was the first person she called when she was looking to score Ritalin.

Hey Lou

e-mail me your e-mail address. I wanted to post a comment on your blog but it got rejected but it'd probably be better as an e-mail anyways.

Be on the look out for a weight loss commercial

There was an absolutely fantastic weight loss commercial on during the NFL playoffs.

Dan Marino is the head spokesman for this product. During the commercial, various other professional sports figures -- Don Shula, Sean Sailsbury, other NFL figures -- say real quickly about how much weight they lose. "I lost 18 pounds, Dan!"

Then they show Phillies legend and current Baseball Tonight co-host John Kruk.

"I lost 31 pounds! My wife doesn't find me disgusting anymore!"

I think this is the funniest commercial ever made. A grown man saying "My wife doesn't find me disgusting anymore."

I wish all weight loss commercials would contain this kind of banter.

"I can give my husband an erection again, I'm under 180."
"I don't feel like sitting in the garage with the car turned on after I eat a Hot Pocket anymore."

I wonder how this ranks on John Kruk's personal career moments. How does this public shaming compare with the horrors of testicular cancer? Or the time he got a single, called time out, dusted himself off, grabbed first base, ran out of the stadium and retired.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Back in PHILA

Got back last night. All is well in the world.

Austin, TX is one incredible city. Awesome place, fun as hell and everyone we met in the city (and the entire state of Texas, including it's not-so-awesome places) was 1,000 times nicer than anyone I've met in the northeast. The DIY spirit in the town was really impressive and inspirational -- Austin is Austin because people there are so into doing shit on their own that it all works. Just an awesome city that I hope I can get back to again some day. Somewhat depressing to come from there and then head back to Philly, which had over 400 murders this year and a whole lot of DJ nights.
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