Posts Tagged ‘Music’

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The Grammy’s — The Gen X Perspective

January 31, 2010

I can’t help myself.  I’m watching the Grammy’s, and it is such a self-congratulatory clown fest, I gotta blog moment to moment:

8:00 p.m. EST — Undeniable proof that Lady Gaga is a drama club nerd who woke up 4 years ago and thought “I know what will make me famous . .. . I’ll wear a thong and 9″ inch heels and HUUUUGGGGGEEEE shoulder pads.”  Yep, we’re all impressed Lady.  Oh, by the way, I had to switch the channel when they threw Lady into a cauldron.  My daughter was still in the room.  When I flipped back, Gaga was doing a “return from the dead” duet with Sir Elton John.  They are both covered in soot and, apparently, back from the dead.  Elton John covered in soot? Hey, Elton:  You’re a Sir, dammit, don’t let some flash in the pan make you agree to any costume change that includes covering yourself in dirt.  Take it from Madonna: Dirty = okay.  Dirt = desperate.  Got it?

8:13 — Beyonce’s “All The Single Ladies” wins Song of the Year.  Appropriate coming from a woman dating the most Powerful Man in the Universe.  No, not Massachusetts Senator-elect and former centerfold Scott Brown.  I mean Jay-Z.  He’ll remain the most powerful man in the world until 50-Cent cashes in the rest of his Vitamin Water stock in 3 months.  Enjoy the time, Jay.  By the way, I love “Crazy in Love” by Jay-Z and Beyonce because they really ARE crazy in love.

8:15  Green Day performs with a broadway cast.  Who would have thought 3 chords would last them over 15 years?  Enjoy it, Billie Joe, Billie Bob and Billie Bill — there’s no way you’ll see the pearly gates of heaven.  You’ve obviously made a deal with the devil to gain any sort of popularity.  And, just to set things straight:  You’re not British, are you, Billie Joe?  You’re from, like, Charlotte, right?  Start singing like it.  It’s never too late to let that Southern accent shine.  Also, this is quite a bold move to perform with Broadway actors who have no money in the bank and 10 times m0re talent than you.  Bold move, to say the least. 

8:23  Commercial for CBS’s Monday night line-up.  Really?  35 year-old nerds and Charlie Sheen are actually funny?

8:25  Josh Duamel presenting.  Somebody tell Josh-y that his wife is in the building.  That should help him keep his hands to himself. 

8:26 Taylor Swift just won her first Grammy of the night.  Nice work, Kanye.  Before you stepped up to the plate she was only moderately successful.  Thanks to you, she is every girl’s hero now. Please, Taylor, please:  thank Kanye in your acceptance speech.  You owe him big time.

8:27 The Mentalist Simon Baker presenting.  Oooohhh — he wears funky glasses and her STILL looks handsome.  Shame on you, Austin Powers.

8:28 Beyonce performing.  Man, is it windy in there.  She’s decked out with the Bomb Squad from Public Enemy.  Did she get permission from Chuck D to skip their performance at Northern Lights to do the Grammy’s? 

8:30 Beyonce’s gone from screaming her own song to screaming “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morrissette.  Proving, once and for all, that Alanis’ music rules the world with an iron fist.  The only time I looked up from my computer was when she switched to “You Outghta Know”, and thought:  now THIS sounds good.  Alanis Morrissette:  enlightened, running the marathon, and writing music that kicks ass 15 years after release.  Nice.

8:34  They just promised that “Robert Downey, Jr. will be bringing out Jamie Fox, T-Pain and Slash . . .” otherwise known as ‘One Big Mess.'”  T-Pain.  T-Pain?  Come on.  You should only be allowed to call yourself that if your first album is entitled “Painful.”   I just checked Wikipedia.  His first album wasn’t entitled “Painful”, it was called “Rappa Ternt Sanga.”  That means “Rapper Turned Singer.”  It took me 5 minutes to figure out the translation.  So, in other words, not Painful, but definitely painful.

8:40  Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and now Pink.  I’m sensing a pattern.  Yes, they’re all women.  But I’m looking slightly beyond the obvious.  Every song is this:  “I’m strong.  I’m confident.  I’m passionate about the fact that I can’t forgive you.  And I’m singing soulfully about it.  And even more soulfully about it.  Now I’m screaming.  Look at me!  Now I’m really screaming!!  [A guitar solo and some awkward high-heeled dancing]  I’m soulful.  The End.”

Wait — that’s  not Pink!  It’s the Virgin Mary in a long white robe and hood.  Wait again.  Plunging neckline.  That can’t be the Virgin Mary.  Maybe it’s Princess Lea.  But, Carrie Fisher can’t sing.  Wait — sher just de-robed.  Definitely NOT the Virgin Mary.  Looks like Pink with Blonde hair and the body of an East German swimmer.  Pink’s now she’s spinning in the air, basically naked.  Sopping wet.  With three naked gold people hanging over her.  Is this a song or a gold medal performance in trapeze?

8:46  Keith Urban presenting.  For the un-initiated:  Urban is Australian.  He’s an Australian Country Western singer. Read that again.  Confused yet?  Me too.

8:47  Best New Artist:  The Zach Brown Band.  Who?  Oh . . . . .  that guy. Zach, right?  I didn’t know the pudgy guy from The Hangover even had a band.  Good for him, because the “I’m disgusting and yet you gotta love me anyway” act was getting old.  Good for you, Zach — way to have a back-up plan.

8:54 AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW  YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!  The Black Eyed Peas are performing.  Or, as I call them, “”The Hooker, the B-Grade Wyclef Jean, the c-Grade Jermain Dupree and the Realllly Scary Guy With Long Straight Hair.”  This music is hilarious.  Every single BEP song sounds like it was written and recorded by two high school kids messing around on their Garage Band program on their Apple computer for 10 minutes.  The only difference is that, when the high school kids throw the crap away, the BEP’s send it to Sony Records.

The Black Eyed Peas.  Everyone treats them with such reverence, like they’re music royalty.  Listen up:  the Black Eyed Peas are the Village People of the 2k10. Everyone’s got that, right?  Guaranteed:  they’ll be the best punchline at every wedding starting in 2021.  You know how you danced your face off when YMCA came on at your buddy’s wedding in 2001?  That’s how the kids will react to the BEP’s in ten years.

9:07  Someone else is performing.  I honestly don’t know who it is.  I looked down, and I missed who these people are.  It looks like Lance Bass singing with one of the finalists from American Idol.  Sounds good.

9:09  Best Comedy Album category.  The one I’ve been waiting for.  Come on Punch In The Face.   Come on.  I can feel it.  This is my year.  My video has 139 hits on www.funnyordie.com/chriscurtin.  Surely that’s enough momentum to put me over the top.  And the winner is . . .  Stephen Colbert!!  Corporate America’s answer to the question “hey, do you have a sense of humor?”  Great. 

9:18 Record of the Year Category.  Note:  Ringo Starr looks fantastic.   The winner is:  The Kings of Leon.  Finally, some dudes on stage.  And the song is killer. 

9:20 Robert Downey, Jr is presenting.  How is this guy not dead or really, really old?  He looks great.  Hold on . . .  RD, Jr is making a theatrical funny.  He’s announcing an opera.  Oh wait — it’s funny-man turned waaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy too serious actor Jamie Foxx.  He’s has dramatic Kanye-level voice effects on, and their’s only one problem with that:  Foxx can really sing.  The effects are supposed to be reserved for guys who can’t sing.  Wait another minute — now I know why he has the effects on the mic:  it’s because the lyrics are awful.  It’s just several 40 year-old men screaming “Blame it on the alcohol.”  Maybe the Black Eyed Peas should be more comfortable than I previously thought. 

9:26  Just a few minutes left to vote for the song Bon Jovi will play later in the show.  Can we all agree to have them play  “Cherry Pie”?  Oh wait — that was Warrant.  Actually, that’d be great.  Let’s all write in for “Cherry Pie.”

9:32  Best Rock Album.  Nominees include Dave Matthews.  He’s considered rock?  I thought he was folksy bluegrass.  And the winner is . . . Green Day.  They look very normal.  Too normal.  So normal that Billie Joe starts to panic at the end (“Oh no. Everyone’s gonna know I’m just a regular guy”), so he blurts out: “and I’m gonna go have shots with the Kings of Leon!!”  No you won’t.  You’ll be tucking your kids into bed while the Kings of Leon are doing . . . what really cool rock dudes do.  I have no idea what that would be.  But it will definitely be things that neither I nor Billie Joe can witness or relate to.

9:34  Zach from the Hangover is on stage singing America the Beautiful.  I didn’t know he wrote that.  Incredible.

9:35  Zach’s playing with Moses from the Bible!!!  Cool . . . but I always thought Moses was more of a jazz guy. 

9:36  Whoa!  Zach from the Hangover is really going at it on the Gui- tar to a stunned audience.  Hey, Zach, don’t feel bad if the audience isn’t feeling you.  This isn’t the Milwaukee Waterfront Festival.  It’s the Grammy’s. 

9:48  A washed-up Stevie Nicks sounding much better than Taylor Swift in another painful duet.  Taylor:  Text Kanye and have him jump on stage to stop this train wreck before it costs you another 3 Grammy’s tonight. 

9:52 Lionel Richie!!  He’s only won 4 Grammy’s?  That Cannot Be Right.  Lionel rules!  Plus, he officially looks younger and better than he ever did in the Dancing on the Ceiling years. 

9:53  Get your 3-D glasses out.  We’re gonna see Michael Jackson in 3-D!!  Here to sing an MJ tribute are . . . . A Whole Bunch of Random People!!  Where were we supposed to get the glasses?  The Optometrist’s office?  Our local 7-11?  I didn’t get the memo.  Why doesn’t anyone every tell me anything?  Did they come in a bottle of Pepsi? Dammit.  I’m never gonna enjoy this without my 3-D specs.  And who has 3-D specs just lying around?  Sure, Potsy and Ralph Malph, but that’s about it. 

 10:08  Sheryl Crow is on stage.  Eat your heart out, Lance Armstrong. 

10:09  Bon Jovi!!!  Forget Jon.  I see Tico.  Go Tico!  Drum your little heart out, Tico!  Go Tico Go!!

10:10  First time I laughed out loud tonight:  Just look at Sambora’s hair. No wonder it didn’t work out with Heather Locklear.  No self-respecting Pantene spokeswoman can hang with a dude with hair like that.  With the bangs, he looks like a date to the Junior Prom. 

10:13  Menage-a-mic!  Gretchen, Jon and Ritchie just shared the mic.  I thought only Springsteen, his new wife and the guy from the Soprano’s could pull the menage-a-mic!  But — No.

10:14  The fans want Bon Jovi to play Living on a Prayer!  Of course we do.  It’s called music.  We used to hear it all the time in the ’90’s. It was an incredible. 

10:16  Mos Def is the coolest man in the world.  Period.  I’m going out to buy the jacket and the tie to try to be more Mos-Def-ish.

10:17  Rap Collaboration category.  In other words the “Big Old Mess” category.  And the Winner is . . . Kanye West.  That was easy.  He performed in every song nominated, so it was kind of a lock. 

10:18  The show will continue . . . but I’m going to bed.  Tell me how the rest of it went tomorrow.

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Friendless and 35 — Punch In The Face

March 3, 2009

I just got tickets to the big game.  You know — the game where everyone who’s anyone will be this weekend.  It’s gonna be huge, and I’ll be right in the mix.  And I don’t just have one ticket.  Me gots four of ’em.   That’s right.  Let the positioning begin, fellas.  Will it be my pals from my Thursday poker night?  Or maybe the guys from the Monday night flag football league.  I can’t forget my Saturday morning running club buddies — they love going to the big game.  There’s only a few problems:  I can’t play cards (can’t even shuffle cards), I’m pretty sure a flag football league would be the 7th layer of H-E-double hockey sticks for me, and the running club doesn’t exist.  Check that — the running club exists, and I always picture myself jet-setting around the country with a bunch of others runners kicking A-double $ in Masters’ competitions, but my bed’s too cozy to get out of bed to join them.  So what I’m saying is . . .

I’m friendless. 

It’s a fact, and I say it without any self-pity.  Okay, maybe an ounce of self-pity.  But I honestly don’t take my friendless-ness personally.  Maybe I should take it personally, but I’m convinced that whether or not a Gen-X’er has friends comes down to a 4-factor test based on the following:  1) age; 2) marital status; 3) familial status; and 4) employment status.  Let me walk you through these factors to illustrate my point.        

Age

If you’re 35, you’re certainly not too old to meet new friends.  But definitely in a “friend valley” age-wise.  I’ve got none of the friends I had at 25 (okay — 2, but we’ll keep it at “none” for dramatic effect) and I won’t have my 50 year-old friends for several years.  I wish I could say the loss of my friends from 10 years ago was due to dramatic circumstances that ended in knock out, drag out arguments in the middle of a barren city street at 3:00 a.m.  But I can’t.  I pretty much lost all of my old friends because I don’t go to Dave Matthews Band concerts and I don’t know what a Fantasy Football League is or how it works.  Actually, I know what Fantasy Football is, and I play it all the time in my mind:  I imagine I’m running punts back against a defense of swimsuit models who are trying to tackle me with big pillows.  So, there you go — Fantasy Football.  What I don’t understand is:  how do they form leagues around these football fantasies?  Would I have to join a “team” of weirdo’s who share the same football fantasy as me?  Maybe this is why I don’t have any friends . . .   As for my 50 year-old friends, I just haven’t met them yet.  I’m looking forward to it, but I got about 10 years before I lower my friend standard to the point where I’ll call someone my friend because we meet for a round of golf every Saturday.

 Marital Status

Fellas, I’ll make this one short and sweet:  if you’re married, you may have a couple of “married friends”, but no real friends to speak of.  All you have is your wife’s friends.  And their husbands.  That’s it.  

Familial Status

This’ll be even shorter.  If you have kids, you don’t have friends — you just have other tired parents at 3 year-old birthday parties at the petting zoo.  That is if — if — you even have enough energy to nod at these other people while your feeding apples to the llamas.

Employment Status

Got a job?  You don’t have friends.  You have the “Krazy Krew” from work that teases you about the fact that you like to order the same thing from the Chinese take-out place each week.  And they try to convince you to call the local morning show to request some Bon Jovi each Friday — a lil’ Bad Medicine before the weekend. 

So, there you have it.  A simple equation: 35 +  Married + Kids +  a job = me and three empty seats at this weekend’s game.  If you see me at the big game, feel free to mock me.  Heck, beat me up in the parking lot.  There’s nothing I can do about it.  My posse of friends left 10 years ago.  I don’t really know my wife’s friend’s husbands.  The petting zoo parents are napping. And the Krazy Krew at work doesn’t really exist — I work at home, and the Krazy Krew is entirely comprised of the cat.  And my Curious George doll.  Now that I think about it . . .  I’ll get ready for the beating now.   Feel free to Punch Me In the Face.  It’ll be poetic justice.

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Vacation — Punch In The Face

March 1, 2009

Two types of vacation:  the  “Go Somewhere” vacation and the “Do Nothing, Go Nowhere” vacation.  I’m not down with either type. That’s right, Sports Fans:  Vacation, A Punch In The Face.

First, the Go Somewhere vacation.  Being from the Northeast, that typically means going somewhere in the Caribbean.  Ah, the Caribbean.  Nothing like the natural tension between  an essential tourism industry and intense poverty.  I can hear you now:  But C-ROC, the people in the Caribbean are so nice.  I’m sure that’s partially true, but let’s not confuse smiling with being nice.  I’d grit my face and smile too if making my living depended entirely on whether or not a couple of drunk co-ed’s from Kutztown State decide to have their hair braided.  But C-ROC, the weather and the beaches are so beautiful.  Yeah, I get it.  But every time I’m on a vacation in a tropical setting, I keep thinking:  What am I doing here?  I feel like there are only three types of people who really deserve a tropical vacation:  1)  soldiers just back from the war; 2) celebrities (hey, what else are they going to do other than pose for paparazzi photos while they frolic in the water?); and 3) migrant workers.  If you pick lettuce 15 hours a day, you need a week in an ocean view cabana.  Me?  I’m hunched over a computer in a temperature-controlled office three steps away from a Keurig coffee maker and a drawer full of Power Bars. That’s right K-cups and Triple Threat Bars — a vacation in my mind with each sip and bite.  Plus, I like being home — that’s why I live here.  I like Chili’s for Dinner, Dunkin’ Donuts for dessert, and Target for after-dinner entertainment — don’t knock shopping for black athletic socks until you tried it.  The Go Somewhere vacation isn’t for me.

That leaves me with the Go Nowhere, Do Nothing vacation.  I’d get to stay home.  It really doesn’t sound that bad — I can already taste the Chili’s Chicken Tenders and feel those thick black athletic socks snug around my calves.   But I’ve tried that, and even though it’s okay for a day, I just can’t take it.  Having time to actually do the things I enjoy reminds me of how much of my actual life I miss out on every day.  I don’t want to have those thoughts — thoughts of being able to spend more time with my family and friends, and exercising without guilt or panic.  In fact, these very thoughts are exactly the reason why I keep my nose to the grindstone.  As an old cowboy once told me, “No need to be ponderin’ the meanin’ o’ life . . . you’re here now, and, God willin’ you’ll be here tomorrow.  Now get back to the herd.”  (Okay, an old cowboy never really told me that . . . but I can imagine a Jack Palance-type guy with an Irish brogue telling me that and it’d really make an impression on me and my outlook on life.  After all, Palance could do one-arm push-up’s at the age of 87.  I could never ignore such a combination of wisdom and brute strength.)  So, following that fake advice, I’ll just keep my head down.  Buried in the sand.  Like an ostrich.  Hey, it’s cool and dark down here.  Not too shabby.