Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Staunch Catholic To Eat Beef On Friday, Skip Mass, Have Premarital Sex

French-Canadian Catholic and pillar of local Trois Rivieres church Our Lady Of Perpetual Moaning & Carping, Jean-Pierre Bellefleur, issued a press release early Wednesday indicating his plans to indulge in a meat-and-potatoes dinner this Friday with his girlfriend of one month Huguette Lafreniere, while smoking, playing Bingo, watching Les Canadiens on TV and engaging in unprotected intercourse.

"I'm going to make a stand, me, against repressiveness and Old World values; and have me a friggin' good time while I'm at it" crowed Bellefleur. "It's a sociopolitical statement, not just me being a complete ass, you." He said he would also be drinking at least one Molson Export or Laurentide while he makes his "stand", depending on what the corner store has in stock Friday morning.

Neighbours said they were "dismayed and a little frightened" not only by Bellefleur's apparent disdain for the conventions of society, considering the demonstration will take place at game time, 7:30 pm on his front lawn, but also by his cavalier attitude towards pronoun usage. "Sure, she'll be cold, her, but it's worth it. The world, she has to sit up and take notice, it" he said in the statement, him. Tickets are $16.50 and a canned food or orange short-shorts donation to the local Hooter (the 's' has been removed due to Quebec language laws).

"...And That's The Kind Of Day It's Been..."


Recent Vietnamese immigrant and Guinness World Book record holder for number of dogs walked simultaneously (461), Phuc Yong Dong has agreed to permanently fill the NBC Nightly News anchor chair left vacant this week upon Brian Williams' recent conviction for consuming the remains of his wife, dogs, neighbours' ferret, and lawn furniture in a bizarre, crystal-meth fueled rampage last month. Dong will go by the Americanized moniker of "Jerk" E. Jerkerson, and plans to learn some English before beginning his new job at the end of this week.

When asked why he would agree to go with a complete unknown who isn't even partially fluent in English to replace the formerly affable, now cannibalistic, Williams; NBC Head of Programming Gary "AssFace" Schtroumpf replied "Next question, please" and "Through careful research, I have determined that I like fried chicken - a whole lot" at the press conference held yesterday. The veil of secrecy surrounding the planned introduction of Dong was lifted, if very briefly when it was revealed that he will parachute naked on to the white House roof with a helmet-cam on his inaugural newscast, and attempt to catch Laura Bush off guard.

Godspeed, young man.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Things I Find Amusing.

1) Women who get upset about pictures of scantily clad females in men’s’ calendars and newspapers but will shell out large dollars for women’s magazines that have scantily clad women selling products for women. Nice double standard girls.
2) People who anticipate a stop light turning green for them by edging slowly forward until the light does turn green when they plod ahead like tractor trailers loaded with cinder blocks.
3) Two people arguing about something and not being articulate enough to realize that they are arguing the same viewpoint.
4) Managers whose managerial style consists of yelling.
5) People in small cars who pull as far over to the left as possible before making a right turn. As though they are driving tractor trailers loaded with cinder blocks.
6) Near-sighted dogs
7) Product instructions that include the very basic use of the product i.e. a container of moist towelettes that has the instruction “wash face and hands” on it.
8) Companies that have “Customer Appreciation Days” with an accompanying sale where that company makes slightly less than it’s usual 200% profit. As if to say on every other day customers are not appreciated and treated as a necessary evil.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Chair Recognizes...

...that in keeping with the sub-header of this here blog-style thang, promising discourse on absurdity in music and entertainment as well as life in general, something has to be done. And it will... just not today.

I present to you instead, a genuine homemade album review, hopefully bereft of mundanity:

Donald Fagen. Morph The Cat. 2006. 9 Songs. Releases officially on March 14th. Obtained copies of all songs in some sort of newfangled binary code composed entirely of 1's (and also, 0's).

Unbelievably futuristic so far, yes, I know, but let me finish: These ones, and to a lesser extent the zeroes, have arranged themselves, or have been arranged by some unknown (possibly magical) source, to reanimate themselves into extremely listenable, addictive jazz chords and harmony placed in unusual, often contrapuntal configurations framed by the story of a gigantic anthropomorphic feline who descends, at first benignly, (later malevolently, mirrored in an evil-sounding reprise of the title track) into New York city.

The cat may represent anything from the terrorist attacks of 9/11 to the Antichrist to Oprah. Some would argue that the last two are essentially the same thing, but I digress... Sort of a metaphor for the accelerating decay, unease, and general sense of dread in 21st century society. The songs together apparently form something you kids may be unfamiliar with, called a "con-cept" loosely based on impending mortality (Fagen recently turned 58), but are left open to the listener's interpretation. They used to call this sort of thing an "al-bum" back in the 70's.

Will not grab the listener upon a cursory playing, but after a few "spins" (also a 70's term) the tunes begin to amalgamate themselves into a kind of musical crystal meth that refuses to leave our anonymous listener's brain alone. In case you didn't know, that's a very good thing.

Enough of that, let's hear from Fagen himself, discussing rap and the practice of sampling, from an interview on published today - nah-kaiy?


Chris: Do you listen to any contemporary music?

Not that often. I mean, there's a few things I like if someone brings it to my attention, but I only listen to the same 40 jazz records I had in high school pretty much.

It's funny that you say you sort of have to reintroduce yourself. Your music has remained a constant over the years; it's instantly recognizable.

Oh, well thanks.

Chris: And I'm curious do you--well it sounds like maybe you've answered this--but do you consciously sort of shut out anything that's going on with contemporary music trends or...?

It's not really necessary, because I don't think anything has happened for 30 years or so.


Not really. You know there's a new kind know they have different names for like crunk and stuff like that, or there's this kind of music, but you know aside from some fairly subtle things, and like, maybe they use a drum machine instead of drums or something. But that's really kind of the opposite of evolution as far as I can say so. It's really...I don't think there's anything really...I don't see any sort of major thing that's happened since maybe reggae music in the '70s that's really different.

So you wouldn't consider, say, rap music to be new?

Well, I mean it's more of a theatrical forum really...or poetry with music type of thing, which certainly isn't new. And the beats are basically funk, or something else, only played by machines, it's really doesn't sound new to me. I mean, what's new about it?


I mean, they use sampling technology to put out a blip of sound, but it's really like an orchestral hit will be sampled and then know and maybe they if they appear very rapidly, that's something maybe an orchestra couldn't do, because it happens faster than an orchestra could play it's not what I would call a really significant change or anything.

So no real validity to the art of sampling, in your opinion?

Well it all sounds so canned that it's basically...since they use drum machines and sequences for even the ballads now…people are used to it now, but to me, it also sounds like the kick drum comes in the wrong place, or it sounds wrong. You know like it's...there's really something wrong with the groove. Although, they're getting better at mimicking real grooves. To me there's always something, and the fact that it's unchanging makes it sound, it may be hypnotic, but it has no dynamics, and it has no shape. And what's more, if you want to continue with the technical thing, as far as the other instruments are concerned, if you use synthesizers for all the keyboards and stuff like that, they're always out of tune, technically, and I can hear it. It's like the top end is always a little flat, and the bottom end is always a little sharp, because the keyboards aren't what they call "stretched." Like, when a piano tuner tunes a piano, aside from being tempered, they'll stretch the tops of the harmonics so they aren't flat on the top and sharp on the bottom. So they're...there's no groove and they're out of tune.

Sounds about right to me. So does the album.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A House Is Just A Cover For Your Stuff

Thanks to George Carlin for his firm grasp of the obvious. He's absolutely correct, though - I've never seen two people accumulate so much sh-... stuff, that is, in three years. I've been throwing out and burning a large variety of detritus for the last month now in anticipation of our move in - count 'em - five days. Yippee!

Moving is always a pile of fun at the best of times, try it at -15 C with heavy snow and a stiff wind. Sometimes I feel like just lying down and letting the elements take their course. It's just like going to sleep, they say, only I'm guessing quite a bit colder and with somewhat more snow. I won't, of course, as I've got to do it all again when we buy a house there. *Sigh*.

People I know think I've lost my edge lately, or seem a bit off. Well, I have, and am, dammit! Try this yourself: Leave your chance at being your own boss, sell the house, pack it all up by yourself with a 7-months-pregnant wife and a dog who's constantly underfoot, in the coldest part of the winter, head for a town you're unfamiliar with and are moving in with your wife's parents (as temporarily as possible). Oh, and throw in a job search when you arrive. No wonder I've lost ten pounds and have an eye twitch and an odd pain in my upper back.

All that said, I am looking forward to not being surrounded by boxes for a while, and it'll be but a memory soon enough... Compared to those left out in the cold in N'Awlins by their own government, I really have nothing to complain about.