Wednesday 30 June 2010

My father belongs on a Twitter Sitcom

"The Beatles are s!@#, and so are these clowns [Matchbox Twenty]. I mean, 'She came in through the bathroom window' -these guys have to cover a Joe Cocker song because they don't have any good songs of their own!"

Quote compliments of my own father, Big Ben. He says this and I think... I should start my own "s!@# my dad says."

For those of you who don't know, this song - which starts after Bright Lights - is a Beatles song turned Joe Cocker song turned, as shown above, Matchbox Twenty song.

And for those of you who don't Tweet, Shit My Dad Says is #2 on my list of most hilarious Twitter accounts (@bpglobalpr is #1 and @fakeapstylebook is #3). The biography reads:

"I'm 29. I live with my 74-year-old dad. He is awesome. I just write down shit that he says"

The result is hilarious, offensive, advising quotes from this cynical (sometimes, strangely loving) old man.

And if something's so popular on Twitter why not stretch it out to another form of media and put William Shatner in it?

CBS will be airing "$#*! My Dad Says" (pronounced "Bleep My Dad Says") on Thursdays (7:30pm) this fall.

Tuesday 29 June 2010

New Alma Mater

Miss you, SUNY, and your unique, sometimes inappropriate sort of school pride.

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Twitter sells out to Toy Story 3

Eleven years ago, my 8-year-old self shuffled to the movie theatre with my 6-year-old brother to see the new Disney/Pixar movie everyone was talking about.

We fell in love with the cowardly T-Rex, a potato going through a mid-life crisis, a worn out cowboy that sounds very much like Forrest Gump and a cocky astronaut.

Three years later, they're back for the 3rd toy story, with more toys, more laughs, more effects (3d!) and more... shameless promoting?

As if this movie wasn't already talked about enough - there's a FB page "Move out of the way children I've been waiting 11 years to see Toy Story 3." But Disney/Pixar went ahead and for the first time to my knowledge, BOUGHT a trending topic on Twitter.

Quick Twitter lesson for the confused: Trending Topics are a list of the currently most mentioned items on Twitter - they can range from the names of politicians to "world cup" to "oil spill" to "Justin Beiber" to "The Sandlot" or whatever movie happens to be on ABC Family at the moment.

Simply, Trending Topics are dominated by the people of Twitter. If Obama is giving a health care speech, "Health care" will probably be one of the trending topics. A popular movie, even, on its opening night, might be a Trending Topic.

So I think it's the start of something horrible to see a "promoted" TT. Here is Twitter saying, "Look! This is important and people are talking about it!" When really, Disney/Pixar just threw a bunch of money at this site, to put "Toy Story 3" on the list... a list it probably would have been on anyway.

Fictional character Aldous Snow dominates my playlist

I'm completely embarrassed by how much I enjoy the "Get Him to the Greek Soundtrack."

Warning: some lyrics are super offensive.

The movie is about a record company employee (Jonah Hill) whose task is to get rockstar Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) to LA for a concert. Brand recorded several songs for the soundtrack, most as the frontman for fictional band Infant Sorrow. The band was featured in his earlier movie "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", in which he played the same character.

I was shocked by how good some of these songs sounded. I was thoroughly enjoying the catchy, upbeat song "The Clap"... until, a second later, the part of my brain that processes words caught up with the part of my brain that processes music and said... "actually, this song is about catching STDs...."

In a movie all about a musician, the tracks recorded play an important role. This role is to define the character of Aldous Snow as a preposterous, obnoxious, inappropriate, bad-ass musican, while providing some solid jams and sweet ballads to set the tone of the movie.

What you get is songs with two dimensions, the first being music that goes well with the scene. "The Clap" is played during an exciting outdoor concert in Times Square, while piano ballad "Bangers, Beans and Mash" plays during a more sentimental scene.

The second dimension is the lyrics... which often have nothing to do with the scene. While "The Clap" seems, at first, to have something to do with music... it's actually about gonorrhea. The lyrics to "Inside of You" are, as you can imagine, ridiculous... "there's got to be some part of me inside of you."

Jackie Q's few featured singles are completely over-sexual (and hilarious) to define her character as "that sexpot pop star." The clip of her music video made me realize that today's pop stars still, for the most part, have some class - or, at least, could have less class.

When I first heard "Bangers, Beans & Mash" in the movie, I thought "people are going to cover this." Actually, there was a contest through YouTube, in which fans could submit their covers of the song and the winner would attend the premiere of the film (June 4th) (already happened). So the tune is well on it's way to being the most covered song of all time (maybe) and I plan to contribute to that by figuring out the piano part tomorrow.

Enjoy Jason Segal & Maroon 5's version of "Bangers, Beans & Mash"... which, by the way, is not dirty; "bangers" is what Brits call sausage.

Monday 14 June 2010

SillyBandz: Now more useful than currency

"SillyBandz are so cool. You can't be cool unless you have SillyBandz," my 7-year-old cousin informed me.

I am finally cool -- this weekend, I obtained the light pink silicone pig I now sport on my arm.

For such a stupid fad, they are rather amazing. I take off the band, untangle it a little, put it on my laptop and there it is - a pig, exactly the way it looked when it was in the package. Not stretched out or deformed, but perfect.

I wonder, how are these things made??

Well, keep wondering, because even with my internet searching and stalking skills, I cannot find it for the life of me. I'm pretty sure they just pour the melted plastic into a mold and once it cools, you have sillybandz. I have, however, found one ridiculous but entertaining rumor: Sillybandz are made of used condoms?!

Back in my day, our rubber bracelets only came in circles... but packed their share of scandal. When I was 12 and sporting a few purple and black rubber bracelets, my mom asked me if I was wearing them to play sex games.

I didn't know that some sex-crazed kids my age thought it'd be cool if they assigned each color bracelet a sex act. According to this "snap" game, when a guy "snapped" a bracelet off a girl's arm, she had to do whatever that bracelet meant with him, ranging from a hug to a lapdance to doing it. So it's a good thing no 12-year-old boys got a hold of that black one...

So my question is: how long until this generation comes up with sex games for SillyBandz? Looks like they're one step closer...

Friday 4 June 2010

See you in two years, Dave Matthews.

Every June, in Darien, New York, as Dave Matthews fans gather, so do rain clouds.

For the past few years, it's been a consistent drag to check the weather forecasts and learn that one of the best nights of the year will be somewhat ruined by torrential downpours.

This year was no different. It held off for The Felice Brothers' set and the first few songs, and even Dave remembered the previous years' storms and commented,

"It's not even raining yet. Hopefully it'll pick up later, it's like a tradition here."

They played "JTR," which goes, "rain, rain, rain down on me," and the sky must have heard. During "Everyday," the crowd got soaked.

But when people ask me, "How was the show?" I answer with "awesome," only to quickly add, "Well, it poured, but it was awesome."

It's quite possible that the rain itself makes those concerts even better. I've been to dryer shows, and had a great time dancing... but there's something incredible about being completely soaked and uncomfortable, and finding joy and reason to dance and celebrate anyway.

That's exactly what many Dave songs are about. As I danced on the lawn and watched it quickly turn to mud, I heard the lyrics:

Jump in the mud, aw,
get your hands dirty,
love it up, everyday.

So there we were, in a bad situation, and making the best of what was around. Because you can wait forever for the prime weather conditions to enjoy a concert; OR, you can take whatever you get and love it anyway.

Dave Matthews Band has announced they are not touring in 2011, which has broken many of our hearts and began rumors that they are done forever (I do not believe it). So I'll see you in June, 2012, Dave, at Darien Lake.* I'm sure rainclouds will be there as well. I'll pack sneakers, ponchos and zip-lock bags for cell phones; you supply the jams and it'll be a great time. Bring it.

*Well, after I see you at CMAC July 6th, 2010!