Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Garden State or Garbage State

Recently I have been reading the rants and raves section on craigslist. There are alot of posts highlighting the negative perception of my birthplace, New Jersey. New Jersey is the child molestor neighbor of the northeast. Everyone sees it as a nuisance, and doens't want to be near it, let alone inside it. Granted most of the generalizations are from people that never have seen new jersey and complain about the "smell" and industrial landscape. Perhaps the most accurate observation regarding new jersey pertains to its denizens. Guidos and mean girls. A marriage made in suburbian hell.
I'll start with guidos. Exhibit A is a website called njGuido.com Take a look around for a minute or 2, or before your gag reflex kicks in and you'll see exactly why NJ is a wasteland of these braindead idiots. Exhibit B:

Guidos work out all winter and eat meals comprised of boiled chicken and hardboiled eggs so that they can spend 3 months out of the year (start memorial day and ending labor day) flexing in the bathroom mirrors at such classy establishments such as Temptations, Bamboo Lounge, and Djais.
The Guidettes that hang out with these Neanderthals have nasty tans, wear whorish makeup and had daddy buy them fake titties as their graduation present from spending 4 hard years at county college. Aside from them, girls in nj are a hard nut to crack. Each girl born in Jersey is imbued with a distinct and primal defense mechanism, which is triggered when a male is within 20 feet of her. She will do her hardest to not look at the male, and in the likely event that she is approached, she will bare her teeth and shoot the evil eye. She will sometimes accept a free drink, on receipt of which she will bare her teeth and shoot the evil eye. Now you, as the casual blog reader, may be thinking, this guy is just bitter and probably hasn't been laid in a few years. Yes- this may be true, but I assure you my outlook on females here is shared by many, even those who be getting some at this very moment. I have traveled most of the US and I can tell those men who have never left NJ/NY- there is hope my friend. There are women out there that will smile at you when you smile at them. That will actually respond to your casual conversation starter, and that will thank you genuinely for that 12 dollar martini you just bought. I have to be fair to New Jersey women as well in saying that NJ men are relentless in hitting on women. I think we must outnumber them 100:1 or at least it seems that way on fri and sat nite. Its no wonder they have to be so defensive to fend off the wolf pack of drooling sex starved males. Even the fat chicks have an attitude- you know why? Because they get hit on non stop too!
In conclusion I'd like to say that I love New Jersey, but goddamnit what a life it would be if complete gentrification of this state could displace the guidos to connecticut and we could import some girls from Oklahoma and Iowa.

Saturday, June 25, 2005


I waited a few weeks before I wanted to write a review for this album. There are very albums that you can immediately like on the first few listens. A rush of blood to the head is one such album that took numerous spins before I started identifying with it. ARoBTtH was a "bigger" album than Parachutes in terms of scope and atmosphere. Parachutes was much more organic, as first albums tend to be. Take your pick of reasons: studio costs, time, lack of knowledge, bad producers etc. Clocks embodies the big stadium songwriting that Chris martin embraced on that album. Oddly enough the first single off of X&Y is Clock's cousin. Hi Speed of Sound- meet your first cousin Clocks.
Clocks: " You stole my bassline"
Speed of Sound : " You stole my pre chorus vocal intonation"

The NY times had a great one line scathing comment on Coldplay's new album describing how the band utilizes a coldplay algorithm to mass produce the songs on X&Y...

It's abundantly apparent on most of the songs that chris is reaching for a melody that never really materializes. The slow intro, with just the vocals is the cookie cutter template for most of the songs. If you happened to catch VH1 storytellers on coldplay, you would know that coldplay based the "theme" or sound of their album on "Fix you" which is by far the worst song on the album. They were proud that they sang a 4 part harmony on the track. Big fucking deal. A four part harmony would be great if the song was actually good! The album embraces a much more "new agish" sound (see John Tesh) that really is a departure from their earlier works which took a modern rock sound to the bleeding edge ( no pun intended as John Buckland borrows from the textural guitar style made famous by Robert Smith of the Cure and the Edge from U2)
I really wanted to like this album. I'm not a professional music critic that has to distance himself from emotions and bias when doing a review. Coldplay was and still is one of my favorite bands. I hope their next effort will be more of an organic endeavor and lose the Church organs and lackluster melodies.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Pumpkin soup

Billy Corgan just took out a full page ad in the Chicago Times today announcing that he will be reforming his seminal alternative band of the 90's alt rock scene , The Smashing Pumpkins.
As bad as the current music scene is, this is good news, even if billy doesn't decide to use all of the original line up. Apparently James Iha, the former Pumpkins guitarist is currently in Maynard's side project band, A Perfect Circle so getting him back may be a foregone conclusion. Here is what the full page said:

Today is a special day in my life as it marks the release of my very first solo album The Future Embrace. For over 17 years I have been proud to represent Chicago as an artist through my words and music, and am continually humbled by the undying love that I have been shown from this city as one of its native sons. I'd like to take this moment to address all that is going on in my musical life, from the new album and the current tour, to the future of The Smashing Pumpkins.

I had the opportunity to record The Future Embrace CD here in Chicago, and its embers bear witness to this town's unique soul. I have done my very best to create something fresh and exciting to listen to, and I hope you get the chance to check it out. Having just returned from a tour of Europe, I am now set to play 18 additional dates in North America, beginning tomorrow in Atlanta. After that we head to Japan, and then Australia and New Zealand for the first time since 1998.

The Future Embrace is an album of hope, and represents fully my desire to make music to stand and to fight for. Encouraged by the musical progress of the record, I have already begun writing new songs for a subsequent solo album I hope to start by the end of this year. Plans are still in the works to finish my 'ChicagoSongs' DVD, a group of songs about the city. I'm also in the process of writing my life story on-line, updated almost daily and not so ironically entitled 'The Confessions of Billy Corgan.' It truly has been a creative time for me, with many new revelations.

Many have assumed that the decisions that I have made over the last few years have been to try to get away from something. But what I have been really trying to do is find that same kid again, the one who believed he could change the world with a song. There is an old saying that goes "you can't go home again," but I believe that your home is wherever your heart lies.

When I played the final Smashing Pumpkins show on the night of December 2, 2000, I walked off the Metro stage believing that I was forever leaving a piece of my life behind. I naively tried to start a new band, but found that my heart wasn't in it. I moved away to pursue a love that I once had but got lost. So I moved back home to heal what was broken in me, and to my surprise I found what I was looking for. I found that my heart is in Chicago, and that my heart is in The Smashing Pumpkins.

For a year now I have walked around with a secret, a secret I chose to keep. But now I want you to be among the first to know that I have made plans to renew and revive The Smashing Pumpkins. I want my band back, and my songs, and my dreams. In this desire I feel I have come home again.

The Future Embrace represents a new beginning, not an ending. It picks up the thread of the as-yet-unfinished work and charter of The Smashing Pumpkins. I know this city gave me the gift of my music, and it is my honor to share this love that I have with you from the bottom of my heart. There is still so much work to do, and as always, so little time!

Billy Corgan

Now all we need is Rage against the machine, Guns N' Roses, and Lush to get back together....

Sunday, June 12, 2005

You've got a friend in Pennsylvania


it was a road trip weekend that started on saturday after a long hot morning of antique shopping with mike. we woke kevin up from his puke induced sleep via a call to his cell and had him come pick us up. Mike took the driver's wheel and we were off on the nj Turnpike headin down south past all the migrating guidos beelining it to seaside. Approx 2 hours later we arrive at hesham and courtney's new condo. All of our friends had already arrived and were dipping their proverbial balls in the mash potatoes. We ate, we drank, we laughed. Rinse, repeat. No shots were had, no bowling pins knocked down fueled by jaeger shots served up by portly native girls. I had a good time- any weekend where I can keep my exposure to bars at a minumum is a victory for me. I slept on cold hard floor occasionally roused from my lucid slumber by the RPG-esque sounding farts echoing from all corners of the living room from the various friends occupying it.
the morning after we picked up and started heading back to the garden state for some sweet italian home cookin' Good food and good times all around, after which we piled in again and made it back to 'boken for some much needed r&R.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

fear and loathing in hoboken


obriety is a fuckin mother. I had the most boring weekend in the history of mankind. I couldn't think of one activity to do in this town that didn't involve drinking. It makes sense since all there is in hoboken is apartements, bars, and schools. Its true. In fact the fun/alcohol codependency has gotten so bad that I rescheduled my date for tonite to this week because today is my last day on meds. On top of that I gotta get up at 4 am to catch some gay ass flight to chicago for work. What the fuck!
anyway its been awhile since i dropped some music picks so here it is:
the bravery
reggie and the full effect
the gipsy kings
Buena Vista Social Club
Nine inch nails: with teeth
coldplay: speed of sound

also i just found out today my old college roomate just got engaged.
Congrats tim! Can't wait for the wedding man! It'll really be like old school lol.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

i'm no superman

i've been laid up in edison for the past 5 days with a bad case of pnuemonia. On the couch with only basic cable to pass the long long hours in indian suburbia. I have only myself to blame, since this whole thing could have been avoided if I had gone to the doctor 2 weeks ago, but if ur reading this then you probably know me and why this course of action was never pursued. So over the last week I haven't heard from the girl i met on my bday ( see post: i am the [sic] walrusj) We talked briefly when i was in LA, but since i was at work i couldnt really talk. I told her i'd call her back which i did that nite but then didn't hear back from her till yesterday. I wasted no time with small talk and asked her out for dinner this weekend to which she accepted. ( YAY ) I guess its pretty bad timing seeing how i'm on meds till monday and can't drink this weekend. Which makes the whole wining and dining thing kinda hard, nevermind the fact that I won't be able to take the nervous edge off with a stiff drink or 3. This is on top of the disastrous meddling of my mother at the posh wedding I attended this past wedding in philly for a family friend. Apparently she called one of the family friend's daughters who happens to be around my age and ask her to pimp me out to any single indian girls at the wedding. When i found out i actually blushed, physically impossible as it may be. I'm proud and I guess im embarrassed at people thinking I need my mom's help. Another deep lasting scar from an embarassing moment caused by my parents. Surely not the last....