Whoever came up with the billboards on the South side of Milwaukee saying "OMG! Support Your Local Business" needs to go shoot their self(ie).
Fox Sports one promotes new interview...deal called "1-On-1"; promo graphic has three people in it.
I'll admit, The Rock's return, his subsequent promo w/ Triple H and Cena's marked heelishness have me intrigued, but what else happened on that episode of Monday Night Raw? A Bella won a match with her hand tied behind her back and a tiny man in a bull costume wrestled a tiny man in an alligator costume. Add that together with commercials and we're talkin' about an hour. Raw is three hours long. What happened during the other two? Nothing anyone remembers.
Anyone else see the commercial for Mulaney and think "Mul-Cancelled"? Watch the trailer and see what I mean:
Now I've got to solve the internal debate on whether I'll live blog the episodes of Matlock CBS 58 is airing opposite the NFL on Sunday afternoons...
This is, unfortunately, a bit of a one-off. I wrote these brackets sometime in July, and was waiting to write more and gain momentum before posting. But finding time to post blog entries of any kind is going to be damn-near impossible for the foreseeable future. I'll still throw something up from time to time (like this), but don't expect me to finish this tournament any time before Summerslam 2015. I do hope you enjoy these eight matches that will never happen. They're pretty interesting:
BRACKET XXV, Third Round (Matches 589 & 590):
Edge VS George Hackenschmidt
Oh how I love a contrast of styles. Edge made his bread in TLC matches and as the opportunistic character he was, used two Money In The Bank cases and a relationship with SmackDown GM Vickie Guerrero to win the bulk of his 11 world titles. He was fast, impactful (with moves like the Edgecution, Impaler DDT and of course the Spear) and he used psychology over substance at times. George Hackenschmidt was just so strong no one could out wrestle him. I'd wager the Hack would have been able to rend the Gordian knot that was the Rated R Superstar
Mideon (aka Phinneas I Godwin) VS Lawrence Taylor
Okay. Pig Farmer / Human Sacrifice Victim /Thrall of the Ministry / Nudist / Fanny Pack Enthusiast Mideon, or one of the best defensive players the NFL ever saw and the guy that wasn't that bad in his one pro wrestling match he ever had (which happened to main event a Wrestlemania)? The choice is clear, though I can scarcely believe it: LAWRENCE TAYLOR IS ADVANCING TO THE FOURTH ROUND.
BRACKET XXVI, Third Round (Matches 591 & 592):
"The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiassi VS Sting
THIS would've been a dream match. You wouldn't have had to change much of anything from the original Hogan angle; DiBiassi tries to corrupt Sting with wealth, Sting ain't havin' it, they fight, it's awesome and "The Million Dollar Man" lives up to his name by being the perfect foil to an amazing babyface while drawing huge gate receipts in the process. Of course, Dibiassi has to lose in that scenario, but when you look at Sting's run as THE MAN in both WCW and TNA, Dibiassi would lose to Sting in any scenario, in spite of being one of the best heels of all time.
Alex Shelley VS Dean Malenko
SPOTFEST ALERT!!! Shelly and Malenko would've put on a helluva show had the two ever met, but alas they were from different generations. Malenko would've killed 'em, though. Just too damn good on the mat.
BRACKET XXVII, Third Round (Matches 593 & 594):
Kurt Angle VS Owen Hart
Holy. Freakin'. Crap. This is a match that would've been too good in a way. If this square-off had happened, there are few one on ones left that could've measured up to it. Two of the top five technicians of our age going at it for what one would assume would be at least a half-hour...shit, could you imagine two out of three falls for some kind of title? I could, and it makes me giddy. But hey, we've gotta pick a winner, and I've gotta go with Angle. He is one of the best wrestlers to ever do it, period. Owen was great, should have been world champion and should be in the Hall of Fame, but Kurt Angle could beat...maybe anyone in this tournament. It's true. It's DAMN true!
Stan "The Man" Stasiak VS The Boogeyman
The guy who dethroned Pedro Morales for the WWWF Championship or the guy who was amusing and ate worms? Um, Stan "The Man" please.
BRACKET XXVIII, Third Round (Matches 595 & 596):
"Cowboy" James Storm VS Damien Sandow
This would be a tight little matchup, and given that both are active competitors, it may one day occur, either in NXT after Sandow gets demoted from the main roster and WWE buys out TNA, or if Sandow finally gets sick of WWE's shit and chooses to pursue a line of work elsewhere. Storm is far more seasoned, has better moves and a world championship to his credit. Cowboy advances.
Goldberg VS "The Belfast Bruiser" Fit Finlay
Even with legalized Shillelaghs, Finlay would've been no match for Goldberg, the mack truck of professional wrestling.
George Hackenschmidt defeats Edge
Lawrence Taylor defeats Mideon
Sting defeats Ted DiBiassi
Dean Malenko defeats Alex Shelley
Kurt Angle defeats Owen Hart
Stan Stasiak defeats The Boogeyman
"Cowboy" James Storm defeats Damien Sandow
Goldberg defeats Finlay
You made him cry out of frustration, anger, humiliation...I can't pretend to know what was going through his head or feel what he'd experienced, but your actions caused my friend severe emotional distress. You questioned his very humanity. And the worst part is, you probably thought nothing of it.
We were just coming in for second shift, around 5 o'clock. I was already upstairs getting changed, and dude comes in and explains to me what just happened. Some guy in a Range Rover pulled up to him in the parking lot and said "You don't look like you belong here."
My friend is black, and you are white.
You began forcing the issue, demanding to see the supervisor and this and that, which is what it came down to because you could not believe a person of color worked at this establishment. My friend was so riled by the experience, he couldn't regain his composure and went home.
I don't blame him.
There was "nothing the management could do" of course: You're been a dues-paying member for 25 years. The whole thing makes me wish I'd been in the parking lot so I could've asked "Excuse me sir. Do I look like I belong here?" Because I rolled into work in a Hyundai with bumper damage wearing a frayed Bullet Bill shirt and a backwards baseball cap. Not exactly someone who looks like he "belongs" on the premises either.
Here's where I'm supposed to say some macho bullshit about how if we ever met, I'd pencil you in for an ADA-certified fist-dentist, but that ain't it at all.
I don't respect you enough to hit you.
I don't want to even waste another brain cell on you, so let's just call you a douchebag and leave it at that.
Money does not buy you the right to be a terrible human being. [Okay, fuck it; let's be honest: It does. But it shouldn't.] Not only did you hurt a friend of mine deeply, but we had to work that shift short-handed because dude went home. I shouldn't have to write this in 2014, but I do. And it's DISGUSTING.
You question my friend's humanity? I question yours. Learn how to be humane, dickweed; it's got the word "human" in it.
You know what's happened by now. It's terrible. You're probably really sad, and maybe a little angry. If you've suffered through depression, maybe you're really pissed off. Or just a little terrified, because a) This guy had all the resources in the world, and still lost the war, and b) This guy lived with this shit for 63 years, and STILL lost the war. Alice Radley of the Rational Wrestling Review podcast brought up that first point (and many more profound and painful ones) in this week's episode of her show. It hurt to listen to, and if you're somehow reading this Alice, I'd love to give you a hug.
That probably sounds condescending, but fuck it. When you're in that place, human contact can make a big difference.
This is already jumbled and rambling, but whatever. It's a complex issue with no real solution. Not really. If there was, Robin Williams, Mike Awesome, Don Cornelius, Chris Lighty, Jonathan Brandis, Spalding Gray, Chris Kanyon, Kurt Cobain, Freddy Prinze Sr., Junior Seau, Hunter S. Thompson, Dick Trickle, Chris, Kerry and Mike Von Erich, David Foster Wallace, Wendy O. Williams and Lee Thompson Young would all still be here. (And that's just the famous people Wikipedia told me about. Add another million people a year and you really get how pervasive this shit is.)
The POINT of this post is NO ONE IS ALONE. You FEEL alone, but you're not. I'm not. Just last week, I went through the most hopeless hour of my life, so hopeless that suicide wasn't even an option because I didn't believe that death would even change my situation. But I'm still here. I still hurt, shit is miserable and I can't say for certain I'll ever feel good again, but I PROBABLY WILL. You probably will. The reason all of this is jumbled and messed up is because it's a fucked up topic that is hard to convey the emotions of. Feeling alone is a by-product of feeling too scared and scarred to reach out.
Notice I didn't say "being" too scared; I said "feeling". There's a difference.
Talk to somebody. You don't even have to tell them what's wrong, really. If it feels like too much, just start with human contact. If that's not enough, share a little and see where it goes. If it goes "wrong" in some way, don't let that discourage you. Important things may take more than one effort. Wow, this is getting sappy, but...hey. It ain't wrong.
I opened up this window basically to post Alice Radley's podcast this week (be prepared to be bummed out, but have a new understanding of what it's like to live with depression) and David Wong's article "Robin Williams and Why Funny People Commit Suicide". They are both great insights into this...fucked up thing that happened. Ultimately, we cannot know Mr. Williams's personal pain, but we can extrapolate, as we do, from shared human experience.
(Still, way to bum everybody out, Robin. Da fuck did you do?)
This is an experiment to see if you can build a bad-ass musical robot out of spare parts. I was looking for songs that...aren't quite what you're looking for. The Non-Obvious Choice, if you will. Yes, "Entre Nous" was a single, but it's not even the second or third song you think of when you reach for some Rush. So that's what angle we're attacking from today: the Non-Obvious one.
Today, we go into a little piece of my past. (Yes, it's somewhat bizarre to think of a triple album as little, but dude. Figurative speech is a thing.) "7:22" was "released" in late June 2004 (as in I declared it done and started handing out copies to people). Normally, I could give you the exact date, but the file I have where I write all this shit down is inexplicably missing the entire year. (Now that I look, 2006 isn't in their either.)
Anyway, because it was ten years ago and it's 7/22 today (and I'm bored), I figured we'd go back in the ol' time machine and dust off this weapon of mass distraction. Back in 2004, all I had to do with my time was write a shit ton of fucked up music; it's how I chose to express myself. I literally set out to translate my emotional state into song, and I think I succeeded. It's two and a half hours of impotent rage, confusion, sadness, fear and stupid shit that made me laugh. All told it was 47 tracks, three discs, and holy fuck do I wish I could do something this dumb and fun again.
I didn't write this alone. It's by "The GV Crew" for a reason. But by this time, I was so far up my own asshole, that other people only show up on nine tracks (that's only 19 percent), and not until track 10 of the first disc. I took over the entire "GV Crew" process, didn't realize I had, and wondered why my friends didn't think this album was the crowning moment of awesome for all humanity. (Not to mention the other mission statement of making that one dude at Hartland Inn regret telling me to "Turn that crap down" while listening to GV6; I showed him by making an annoying fucking LOUD fucking album...about two weeks after I left Hartland Inn, as I recall.) Holy SHIT was I out of my head.
This is back when I valued uniqueness and creativity above all else, including quality or friendship. I tortured a lot of motherfucking ear lobes by blasting this crap and thinking at the time it was the best shit ever. There's some cool moments on this album, some legit loud and abusive tuneage with some quiet melancholy thrown in. (This is when I discovered dynamics as a composing technique and abused the shit out of it.) Experiments fail and succeed. This is a collection of both.
So click away on the play, those of you so inclined. "7:22" has some pretty weird/cool shit in it if you can wade through some noise. Make this a background soundtrack to your day and see if it enhances the experience! (I know I will.)
Boredom demands a cure, and well...music ain't gonna cut it. Let's see if making fun of (or was it supposed to be "reviewing"?) music slakes my brainthirst.
Ratings system is a 0-to-5 star rating (with the occasional negative if an album really gets my goat), with the rating denoted after the title of the album. Here we go!
Ab-Soul "These Days..."
Can we PLEASE destroy the world's supply of cough syrup so we can stop hearing albums this tuurbl?
Bad Suns "Language & Perspective" ** and 7/8
Full of perfectly serviceable indie pop rock with a melancholy tinge. Honestly one of the better things I've reviewed in this article. The songs remind me of the deep cuts on an underrated new wave band's follow-up album that sold nothing.
Ceci Bastida "La Edad de la Violencia"* and 2/3
"Una Ves Mas" is a good example of the difference between "Indie" and "Hipster". It sounds like A) It has a will to live, and B) Has some decent writing in it. "Hipster" is the same race to the bottom of the effort scale that plagued mid-90's rock, and it's choking modern music to death across the board, because it's a pan-genre disease.
What were we talking about? Oh yeah, Ceci Bastida. Kinda checked out around track 4, because the songs started blending together, but still, she could probably flame throw The Arcade Fire alive.
Deadmau5 "while (1<2)"
(1<2) might refer to the fact this is a double album, but I find that less (1>2) may have been more. I'm just not a fan of Deadmau5. Aside from his flashing helmet mask, he doesn't do anything to distinguish himself from the boops and beeps of everyday life (or any other goddamn DJ you'd care to name with the same problem).
Ed Sheeran "X" (Deluxe Edition)
This guy is the only music thing music websites want to talk about anymore and I have no idea what he sounds like, so let's take a look at what everybody be typing about.
...and it's a falsetto douche with an acoustic guitar. Basically Justin Timberlake without the street cred. (Sadly enough, Justin Timberlake has street cred now. That's fucked up.) Point is, I could probably go forever without hearing any of his songs (which I haven't until now) and not be sad. I could also hear him years from now when he's on his fourth album and still not remember who he is. (For instance, I went to type him in the tag section of this blog, and I'VE ALREADY BLOGGED ABOUT HIM AND DIDN'T REMEMBER. I think it was the Taylor Swift song he was on, but without going back and looking, I couldn't tell you.) So really, this is the perfect album for 2014. Music that makes me feel nothing and sounds boring as shit.
G-Easy "These Things Happen"*
Would be better if the beats weren't FUCKING cliché. Weak too. The verses are solid, if a little underwhelming. In the end it comes off as a mopey version of Childish Gambino.
How To Dress Well "What Is This Heart?" [Negative 1/2 Star]
See Sam Smith below, but worse (somehow).
Lana Del Rey "Ultraviolence"
One of the most boring albums I've ever heard. NOTHING HAPPENS FOR FIFTY ONE AND A HALF MINUTES. A pretty girl vacantly moans her death rattle into a microphone trying to make profundity out of prattle, and this is how you debut at number one. Boring is popular, kids. Never forget it.
Linkin Park "The Hunting Party" * and 1/2
The opening song has a thrashy chorus, but no guts to it, then goes straight into a really shitty rap verse. Shinoda was never great, but come ON, homie. Somehow, they roped Page Hamilton into this bullshit for "All For Nothing" (weak as fuck), Rakim for "Guilty All The Same", Daran Malakian for "Rebellion" (which is the only decent song on here because they let him write it and play guitar on it) and Tom Morello because he does whatever the fuck you tell him to. (Hey, wait a minute...) This is what happens when you "forget to hook up the doll", man. It's like they're trying to make a rock album like back in their glory days, but they forgot what having testicles is like. "Mark The Graves" winds up being notable because it has balls, no guest stars to claim them, and sticks out like a sore thumb as something interesting in the middle of this mess.
Mastodon "Once More 'Round The Sun" ***
I think what's happening to Mastodon is the same process that happened to Soundgarden. They're not as angry as they used to be, and as they progress they're playing more with melody. The bizarre musical tricks are there, like polyrhythm and crazy drum shit, but they're more palatable to the average listener. The song "Once More 'Round The Sun" sounds like something that could've been recorded during the "Down On The Upside" sessions (the verses even remind me of Pearl Jam a bit).
It's got some good tunes: "The Motherload", the title track and "Feast Your Eyes" stand out in particular. But the album gets slow in the middle (even though I like "Asleep In The Deep"; I think if you cut out "Chimes At Midnight" it would be a better record as a whole), and really aside from the three songs I pointed out, everything else is an idea Mastodon has done before and done better. At least with "Down On The Upside", or even The Black Album, you got different ideas, not just the same thing with more mainstream inside. "Once More 'Round The Sun" is still worth a listen, though.
Nothing More *
Sounds like RA, but minus anything clever.
Owl City "Ultraviolet" (EP) (no relation to Lana Del Ray's "Ultraviolence")
Makes "I Knew You Were Trouble" by Taylor Swift sound like Meshuggah remixed by Skrillex. This is the polar opposite of having balls. (Though "Up All Night" is catchy, and if I heard it in a public place somewhere, I wouldn't roll my eyes I suppose.)
Phish "Fuego" **
Chill but not detached. It's rock music, but not about rocking; it's more about harmony and songcraft. It's not music I'd necessarily choose to listen to, but at least it seems like there's a point. Something sorely missing from most music these days.
Riff Raff "Neon Icon" ** and 1/2
The third best rap album of the year, and I don't even like this shit. His flow and delivery are pretty decent; kinda like if Redman and Anthony Kedis got spliced into one being in a teleportation accident. It gets such a high rating because I really appreciate the attitude of trying to make hip-hop fun, and that album cover.
Sam Smith "In The Lonely Hour"
This makes me feel more than Ed Sheeran, but holy shit is it terrible. Falsetto is in, I'm guessing; so is sounding "indie". (That's not fair, really; there's a difference between "indie" and "hipster bullshit". This crosses the line.) If my homie Matt can remember, it's basically that one guy we saw at the Miramar open mic night ten years ago that sucked shit and we sat in the back and made fun of him. THAT'S what's popular now. (Though fuck, what's "popular"?)
Bruno Mars - Any Redeeming Qualities + Hipster Bullshit = Somekindawonderful! (Approximately. Couldn't figure out how to type a squigly equal sign.)
Vacationer "Relief" *
Starts off well enough with a forgettable opener and the song "Paradise Waiting" afterward, but holy shit does this album fall through the fail hole after that. Just Colonial Williamsburg all up in this piece all day and tomorrow.
The Fault In Our Stars (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
A perfect snapshot of the zeitgeist, if this batch of releases is to be believed. Ed Sheeran? Check. Hipster bullshit? Check. Barely audible songs with indiscernable lyrics? Check and check. A dance pop song with a cliché phrase for an anthem? You betcha. Boredom reigning supreme over all that ever was? Fuckin'-A. Weirdly enough, there's a FRENCH RAP SONG smack dab in the middle of this bitch, and it's so out of place by being interesting, the universe blinked out of then back into existence for a second. For real, one of the quietest, non-offensive albums ever, more boring than Lana Del Rey, then...FRENCH HIP HOP. Okay, I guess I'll let you live.
And that's it. Hope this was fun, or at the very least informative. I'm really rusty as far as this writing thing goes, so I hope I wasn't too disappointing. See you next time! (Whenever that is...)