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October 17, 2008

Musical Interlude (and a Survey)

Admin note: this started as a series of random bullets to introduce my tri vs ultra post. Then the items started to take on a life of their own, and – except for the final one – shared a similar theme, so I’m taking a shortcut and letting this post stand alone, and we’ll get back to the other topic next week – I promise.

* At long last, I’ve put the video on my sidebar that I’ve waited months for: "Troublemaker", by Weezer. It was far and away my favorite song of the summer, and the video generated a lot of buzz before it was even filmed.

A few months ago, Weezer announced an open casting call for the video shoot, with the opportunity to participate in several world record-breaking events. The finished product features the world’s Largest Game of Dodgeball, the Most People in a Custard Pie Fight, Most People Riding on a Skateboard, the Largest Air Guitar Ensemble, and Longest Guitar Hero World Tour Marathon. (Yes, Guinness actually keeps records of these things.)

So whether or not you’re a Weezer fan (and you should be), when you watch the video, you have to agree on one thing: those guys definitely know how to have fun.

* The new Rise Against album that I was promoting a couple of weeks ago was released last week … and at first I was a little disappointed. I always dread listening to new recordings from a band whose previous album (in this case, The Sufferer and the Witness) was an absolute masterpiece. My expectation is that all of the new stuff will be just as good, even though that may be somewhat unrealistic. It feels sort of like the unveiling of whatever Van Gogh painted immediately after Starry Night – something that was probably very beautiful, but doesn’t stand out as an instant classic like its predecessor.

I’m aware that I just compared Rise Against to Van Gogh; trust me - in my mind, it makes perfect sense. Anyway, after listening to the new album a few times, I’ve decided that there are at least 7 songs I’ll keep in heavy rotation for a long time – and in the age of single-song downloads, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

* David Archuleta (of American Idol fame) has a new video on VH1. It’s basically what you’d expect: soft-pop hooks, lyrics full of teen angst, lots of glamour shots of the kid strumming his guitar or playing the piano on the dock of a lake. The only thing that’s missing is him staring into the camera afterwards, holding his hands to his chest and saying, “Oh my gosh! I can’t believe you liked it so much! Thank you! Oh my gosh!!” with an incredulous look on his face. And no, I’m not linking to the video; this blog has some standards to maintain.

* However, this item deserves some links: this week, Craig e-mailed to ask if I’d do a follow-up post on the apparent comeback of one Britney Jean Spears, fulfilling a wish/prophecy that I offered here almost two years ago. (The inquiry is twice as funny when you remember that the person asking this is a pastor).

Here was my response, as well as a link to Exhibit A in the debate over Britney’s current “Hot or Not” status:

Was I right about Britney? I’m not quite ready to claim victory on that one. She reminds me of an alcoholic uncle who shows up at Thanksgiving one year clean and sober, looking great and talking about turning things around. You hope it’s all true, but you certainly won’t be shocked if three months from now he’s unemployed and back on the bottle. Yes, Brit’s last appearance (at the VMAs, right? Very hip for you to know that) was impressive, but at this point I need a long period of consistency before I’m fully convinced – and even then it will be a nervous optimism at best.

That about sums my feelings up … but you’re welcome to weigh in either way on this.

* And finally … something completely different. A training partner of mine is a transplant from Philadelphia, so after the Phillies earned a trip to the World Series this week, I attached this photo to an e-mail reminder for Friday morning’s run:

Later, it triggered the following exchange between another friend and me:

Friend: What is that?

Me (shocked): It’s the Philly Phanatic! The mascot for the Phillies. He’s awesome.

Friend: Never heard of him.

Me: You should. If there were a Mount Rushmore for sports mascots, the Phanatic would be on it. He’d be up there with the
San Diego Chicken, the Stanford Tree, and …

Friend: And who?

That’s where I drew a blank, and that’s where the audience participation portion of this post begins. There are so many options to choose from – which one should get the honor? I have a West Coast bias, so I thought of Phoenix's Dunking Gorilla, or – based on his dance skills alone – Stomper from the Oakland A’s. I also like those sausage guys that race around in Milwaukee, but are they official mascots? Maybe someone in the Midwest can clarify this. And Mister Met is always good for a few laughs.

It’s way too much for me to contemplate today, and I’ve given you lots of links already. Check them out, then feel free to cast a vote below.

9 comments:

Jessica 10/17/08, 2:26 PM  

So, having grown up for 22 years in Milwaukee, I can clarify the racing sausages question. First of all, they have a polish, italian and bratwurst. Most recently, to be more PC, they have added the Chorizo.Ha! All that being said, they are NOT the official mascots for the Brewers...just the 7th inning stretch entertainment.

The original mascot for the Brewers was Bernie Brewer - a jolly german who sat up in a "tree house", drinking beer and dancing, and when a Brewer hit a homerun, he would slide down a ladder, into a beer stein, releasing 100s of helium balloons into the air. When they put in a new sound system back in the 90's, they took away Bernie's tree house. There was an uprising by the fans and he was returned to his rightful post. When they built the new Miller Park, they retired Bernie. RIP...Bernie Brewer.

Jason,  10/17/08, 3:56 PM  

Sorry, the Tree is not on the Mt. Rushmore of mascots. That's another west coast bias. I would go for the Gorilla over the tree. Other residents would be Youppi for the Montreal Canadians and Uga, the U of Georgia's bulldogs.

Judi 10/17/08, 5:06 PM  

I wish I had been able to be in the Weezer video. It looks SOOOO fun! I love love love that album. The entire thing. I haven't gotten sick of it. Heart Songs is the best too.

Legs and Wings 10/18/08, 12:59 AM  

I once worked for a radio station. The mascot was "Frisky The Fiddlehead". He was green and stuuupid. Oh, the pain.

craig 10/18/08, 11:04 AM  

I always enjoy your musical posts.

Though I’m not a Spears fan I sincerely hope Britney succeeds in establishing a new track record.

robtherunner 10/19/08, 1:46 PM  

I am ready for a Britney post and an IM vs. 100 Miler post as well. Looks like you have some writing to do when you get some spare time.

Annette 10/20/08, 12:37 PM  

I'm with Rob - ready for your next Britney post. ;) Or whichever female singer you're enamored with now. It's always entertaining!

robb 10/21/08, 12:26 PM  

What about the infamous Crazy Crab mascot for the SF Giants? :-)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rangers_Captain#Crazy_Crab

Jean-Baptiste 10/23/08, 11:01 AM  

So do you know about the song 'Vincent' from Don Mc Lean? :-)

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