Monday, September 14, 2009

Celebrity Deathtember!

In lieu of what happened in late June this year, and Patrick Swayze kicking the bucket today (September 14th, 2009), it's time to see which celeb deaths will happen next (since they always come in threes)

...drumroll please

It'll be Madonna and Vince the Shamwow Guy!

Why? Well, first there had to be a relatively expected death. That honor goes to Farrah Fawcett/Ed McMahon (cancer and old age). This spot is where our buddy from such classics as "Roadhouse," "Ghost," and "Dirty Dancing" belongs (pancreatic cancer). RIP Patrick

Next in June came the real bombshell: king of pop/mutant/friend-of-children-everywhere Michael Jackson died. This actually came out of the blue. Madonna fits in here, as she is another world-wide pop icon of the 80's whose death would be a shock, and she's right around the same age. No worries, Kaballah will save her if she's lucky

As sort of an anti-climax, Billy Mays, the coked-out OxyClean/OrangeGlo/whatever the hell else he was selling at the time TV pitchman, went up to that Made-for-TV Store in the sky. It only follows that his mortal enemy (in my mind) is up next. Vince is the Shamwow/Slapchop pitchman-extraordinaire who can sell shitty rags to the masses and yet STILL finds time to beat up hookers. Naturally, the gonorrhea he probably has will take him out, or maybe a deranged pimp/ho is gonna finally finish him off.

There you have it, folks, my celebrity death predictions for September 09

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tangled Up In the Blues

The Blues are the true facts of life expressed in words and song, inspiration, feeling, and understanding
~Willie Dixon
In between procrastinating for my Consumer Behavior test tomorrow and watching the Oscars, I was looking through my iTunes and saw that I had no less than six artists whose names started with the word "Blind," a la Blind Willie McTell. Not sure why everyone wanted to identify themselves as lacking the ability to see, but that's irrelevant. But, this revelation got me to thinking about the blues.

I love blues music. Absolutely dig it. I think it's safe to say that most of the music I listen to would not exist if it wasn't for these old bluesmen. In that music you can hear pain, suffering, loneliness, heartbreak, breakups, loss, and a million other emotions we have come to acknowledge as "emo." Well, these guys did it first, and they did it better. It's cathartic to listen to people sing about being broke and lonely, with only their guitars to keep them company. I don't sing along to songs or hum very often, but blues music always get my foot tappin and my best hummin voice out. And i really, really want to learn the harmonica and pick the guitar back up when I hear something like "my baby left me, ain't got a dollar to my name" come outta the speakers.

Listening to Robert Johnson is like being reborn in the prohibition era. After selling his soul to the devil for the ability to play the blues, this guy belted out only two albums worth of music, and only two actual pictures of the guy have ever surfaced, died at 27 (the founder of the 27 club), yet his influence is as legendary as his life. Eric Clapton wouldn't even be a household name without Johnson, and Bob Dylan has said that Robert Johnson was one of the most influential artists on him. Listen to "Ramblin on My Mind" or "32-20 blues," or stick with "crossroads blues," his story about selling his soul to the devil.

One of my favorite songs right now is one called "Tupelo Blues" by John Lee Hooker. I know a whole lot less about him, but the songs of his I've heard are incredible. Try it here, thank me later.

You become unstuck in time when you listen to blues music. I'm not sure what kinda music we would have nowadays without it. Hip hop/R & B/rap all owe a great deal to these old singers, as does most of the popular music today. Rock and roll is a weird, awkward child of the blues, old jazz (the strange cousin of blues that took a lot of amphetamines and left the words out), and country. we owe a lot to those singers

So, validate my getting a lesser grade in class tomorrow and get yourself some education in the blues

Monday, February 16, 2009

On "On the Road"

They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!"
One of my favorite books of the last coupla years is Jack Kerouac's masterpiece "On The Road". There's more excitement, adventure and lunacy in that book than most people feel in a lifetime. It's a kick-in-the-nads to lifelessness, a restless travelling book that ushered in the 60's and created an entire subculture that was the Beat Generation, which had nothing to do with bongos and black turtlenecks. Sal and Dean (Kerouac and Neal Cassady) wanted raw experience, and rambled around the US trying to meet everyone, do everything, learn and know every bit of info there was to know. The book definitely makes me want to load up a car and head out, with no direction or plan, have crazy parties and dig some seedy bars.

Kerouac may have been a lonesome alcoholic that lived with his mom and died before he was 50, but he wrote some damn good books. Read it, then move onto Dharma Bums and eventually hit Big Sur, though that one's a little hard to stomach (DT's and loneliness don't sound as fun as jazz, speed and road trips). Kerouac had his issues, but I think I can relate to his drive to kill boredom while at the same time fighting the urge to seclude himself in a cabin in the woods, or on a mountain (Big Sur and Desolation Angels, respectively).

If my life is half as interesting and filled with wild, mad characters like Dean Moriarty, I can die happy.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

So It Comes to This

I finally gave into boredom and thought I'd give the world what it wants: my perception of the world. If you don't think there's enough demand for it, you're already wrong.

Might as well start off with an introduction of sorts

I'm Tom. I go to school at UW Madison and I'll probably be outta here with a degree in marketing within the next year or two.

I'm a huge fan of Bob Dylan and the Simpsons, and that'll probably be the brunt of what i talk about on here, because that's the kinda crap i have stuck in my head most of the time.

Anywho, the inspiration well is running a little dry at the moment and I have nothing of value to say.