Sunday, February 28, 2010

Doomed from the beginning...

So, a couple of weeks ago, MTV re-branded itself to remove "Music Television" from its network. It was just a technicality, that channel hasn't had anything to do with music for years (and possibly even decades).

Not that I really care. I don't need MTV to tell me what's cool (although they are kind enough to let me know what isn't cool, which is pretty much everything they air). A rotten pile of shit by any other name would still smell revolting.

I want to submit a resume to them to take over as network president, but I couldn't find an e-mail address to sent to. Return it to its former glory. Make the focus on MUSIC again.

I'm sure everyone will agree that MTV has going downhill since the mid-90's. But their problems go back way further than that...

In an effort to broaden my musical horizons and expand my collection of songs (because MTV sure wasn't going to do so), I ran out to my storage location to find any and all Blender magazines I owned. I knew I had a couple with articles like "500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born".

While working on backing up my computers, I started reading it. The #1 song on that list is "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson. Duh. But here's the shocker:

MTV rarely aired videos by black performers, and when they refused to show “Billie Jean,” CBS Records president Walter Yetnikoff went ballistic. “I said to MTV, ‘I’m pulling everything we have off the air, all our product. I’m not going to give you any more videos. And I’m going to go public and fucking tell them about the fact you don’t want to play music by a black guy.’” - Page 78, October 2005 issue.

There it is. Back in 1983, MTV was run by idiots. Maybe they were more concerned with the bottom line being negatively affected by airing a video by a black man than they were with good music. Maybe they were just racists.

MTV was doomed to fail from the beginning. They should just take it off the air at this point, because it's only going to get worse.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Damned if you do...

So, lemme get this straight...

Either global warming doesn't exist, and it will remain cold and miserable in the Upper Midwest during the winter months...

...Or, it does exist, and the increased temperatures means there's more moisture in the air, so then there'd be more snow in the Upper Midwest.

Mother Nature can be such a bitch...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Take your time

There are two ways to choose when become a fan of something.

First, you can become a fan of something right away, getting in on the ground floor. And sometimes, it's really great, because you can "grow" with the target of your fandom, change in-sync with them, and the influence it/they have over you will last your entire life.

It doesn't always work out that nicely and neatly. You're human, so change can potentially frighten you. And when your idol changes for the worse, you're disappointed. You don't like that change, you complain "it's not like it was before". Eventually, you're not a fan anymore, because they don't stand for what they originally did.

Worse yet, if you remain a fan, accepting the change of your heroes, you could become overpossessive. I knew a guy in college who was (and probably still is, to my knowledge) a big Barenaked Ladies fan. Even before they broke through in America with "One Week". And he was ultra-critical of those more recent fans who only liked BNL because of "One Week". He was kind of a hateful douchebag about it. So angry. You'd think a true fan would be glad when their heroes make it to the top and get more fans. You know, to validate the time and money they've invested in following their pursuits and have someone to share it with.

Or secondly, you can wait before you hop on the bandwagon. Wait until someone has been out there for a while before you decide if you want to be a fan or not.

I recommend this approach. It's way less stressful. When you look back at something that's been out there for a while, you can be more objective about the things that entity has done. Sure, you can say "Oh, they changed". But that change happened YEARS ago. It's done, it's over. Looking at something in retrospect, you don't have that emotional attachment, so you can judge things with a clearer mindset.

For example, my two favorite bands are Weezer and The Donnas. In both cases, I didn't become a fan of them until they'd already been around for nearly 10 years (or more). Sure, I did have one of their albums each for a few years before I became their fan, but I was only a fan of the album (or even just a few of the songs). Then one day, something just clicked, I started digging through their catalogues, and fell in love.

If you want to understand how I got to this point, you can read my "Levels of Music" post, but to quasi-summarize: Weezer released the Blue Album in '94; I got it as a freshman in college. They released their Video Capture Device DVD containing all their videos and some behind-the-scenes stuff in '04, and I absolutely loved it. I then proceeded buy their other three albums (at the time) and their three albums since then shortly after their release dates. The Donnas released "Spend the Night" (their major-label debut, but fifth album overall) in October '02, I bought it in October '05. I got Rock Band 2 last summer, featuring their song "New Kid in School". The last weekend of August, after a brutal week at work and still waiting for my replacement drum pads to come back from EA, I surfed the Internet and became entranced by those beautiful sirens. Since then, I bought 6 of their albums, watched countless videos of them online, and read anything I could find about them.

In both instances, I can look back at all their albums and see the evolutions in their respective styles and sounds. Each album from both bands represents not only a different sound, but a different maturity level and emotional state. I could get into a big long thing about what I think each album stands for, but that'd take too long. What I can say is, "I can appreciate each one in their own special way. Just because X doesn't sound like Y, and neither sounds like Z, doesn't mean I can't like them all."

So, if you're considering becoming a fan of something, take your time. This isn't a limited time offer. You don't have to act now. Wait. Days, weeks, months, years; doesn't matter. The targets of your affection will be there for you, if and when you become a fan.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I don't see what the big deal is

Over the past couple of days, my friends on Facebook have been complaining about the changes to their layout.

As a guy wanting to find a girl, I should expect this kind of unwelcome change, accept it, and love it.

Right? I've been given the impression that this is the way the world works...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Top 10 Drummers

Disclaimer: This not a list of the best drummers of all-time, or the best drummers around right now, or anything like that. I am not qualified enough to judge the abilities of every drummer in the history of the world against each other and determine the best. Nor is this a list of the drummers from my favorite bands (though there is a noticeable overlap; 4 of these people are a member of one of my three favorite bands). This is a list of the people I'd pay just to watch them play drums, up close and personal (within 10 feet, and over their shoulders), without the rest of their respective bands. They are presented in no particular order.

Torry Castellano, The Donnas - My dream girl for the last five months. Get well soon, sweetie, I wanna see you play in MSP this year!!
Patrick Wilson, Weezer
Tré Cool, Green Day
Brad Arnold, 3 Doors Down
Longineu Parsons, Yellowcard - That guy is fast, holy lord!! Just listen to some Yellowcard and you'll be blown away.
Rivers Cuomo, Weezer - I know he's not the drummer for Weezer, but he's just as talented. He can play as well as anyone on this list.
Brad Wilk, Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave
Greg Eklund, Everclear - I will always see Everclear as the '94-'03 Art Alexakis-Craig Montoya-Greg Eklund trio
Dave Grohl, Nirvana/Foo Fighters - The BEST drummer on this list, by a good margin (IMO)
Chad Smith, Red Hot Chili Peppers
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