Here’s a fun little music quiz created by eMusic. It’s a mix of pretty easy questions and “who the hell knows that?” stuff.
Music Intelligence Quiz
I scored a 141, just below the “musical magician” level. Not sure how the scoring works, since I got 24 right out of 30. I’m guessing some questions are weighted differently than others. If you care, the ones I got wrong were #5, #9, #12, #16, #20, and #27. I’m embarrassed about two of those.
On another musical note, don’t forget: Mike Doughty’s free show at ABC is this Saturday. It’s part of their 11th anniversary festival — there’s live music outside starting at 4:00, and then Doughty and Scrap Livingston play inside at around 9:30, followed by a DJ set by Doughty into the wee hours. Should be a blast!
Here’s a fun little music quiz created by eMusic. It’s a mix of pretty easy questions and “who the hell knows that?” stuff.
Excepts from McClellan’s upcoming book are in the news, as the former press secretary levels more charges of dishonesty to add to what his publisher released in November, and he’s getting a ton of press and making the rounds of the TV news shows to talk
Fuck This Guyabout it. Basically he’s taking President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and the rest of the administration to task for lying on a number of issues of critical importance, things that literally are a matter of life and death.
Yes, that’s right — they lied. And what’s worse (to McClellan), they lied to him. I’m sure it’s tough to find out that your boss lied to you, but I have a hard time garnering any sympathy for him. What did he expect? He was the public face of a presidential administration which will go down as one of the worst in American history, and try as he might to distance himself from their actions, it can’t be done.
Look, it’s all well and good for him to come out now and talk about how the Administration got it wrong on the war and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and how Rove and Cheney lied to him about Valerie Plame. Maybe he really has been troubled over the last few years by what went on while he worked at the White House.
But, you know, lots of people were saying those things at the time and McClellan was one of the main people responsible for making sure those people were ignored or ridiculed instead of paid attention to. What is this going to accomplish, besides selling some books? It’s way too little, way too late.
I recently wrote about hypermiling for a publication that you all are not allowed to read. In a nutshell, hypermiling is using driving techniques to increase your car’s mileage without making any mechanical adjustments to the car.
After doing my research for the article, I realized that much of what hypermilers do is pretty simple. Some people go a little overboard, but just doing four things can significantly increase gas mileage:
* Drive the speed limit
* Accelerate slowly
* Use the cruise control whenever possible
* Coast to stop lights/signs
I concentrated on these four things over the last week, after filling up the Company Vehicle, and I employed a couple other advanced techniques (park in pull-through spots to avoid going into reverse, turn off engine at long stop lights) as well. The results:
Pre-hypermiling: 14.9 mpg
Post-hypermiling: 18.4 mpg
That’s a 23.5% increase, or 63 more miles out of a tank of gas, without changing my driving habits that much (well, except for the no speeding thing, which is difficult). Just think how much gas I’d be saving if I weren’t driving a giant truck!
Since my truck has instant MPG readings, it’s like a videogame: “ooh, I’m up to 21 MPG! Ohhh, 15 minutes in stop-and-go traffic and I’m back down to 16.” I had to think about for the first week but now the techniques are starting to come naturally. Give it a try for yourselves and see what you can do…
[UPDATE 6/4]: I actually ended up at 19.0 mpg for the full tank, thanks to a mostly-highway trip out to Lebanon. That’s an increase of 27.5%, or 82 miles, out of the full tank.
X, with both John and Exene, playing live? With Detroit Cobras opening? If only it weren’t 3 1/2 hours away, and starting in 6 1/2 hours:
Original lineup of L.A. punk legends X plays the Rex Theatre - Pittsburgh
Isn’t the great promise of the Internet that all information which is of vital importance to you will be easily accessible to you? Technically I guess this was accessible, I just didn’t access it until it was too late.
Off to put on ‘Wild Gift’ as a pale consolation…
(Sorry, allegedserial stautory rapist.)
Josh Levin of Slate covers the R. Kelly child pornography trial, and manages to find humor in the trial of a guy accused of (in this instance) of filming himself having sex with (and peeing on) an underage girl — not the only time he’s been accused of this, by a long shot.
Josh Levin’s coverage of the R. Kelly trial in Slate
You’ll want to bookmark this one; we’re only two days in and we’ve already heard about The Money Store, The ‘Little Man’ defense, and the vengeance of Sparkle.
Yep, Harrisburg is showing up on the national news scene (and on Letterman’s Top Ten List), and all it took was a drunk, naked airline pilot and flight attendant:
Naked, lost airline pilot charged after search
I’m not sure which is funnier, the fact that the woman involved, a flight attendant, got busted because she broke into the fire chief’s car to look for a flashlight, or the fact that the State Police called in their heat-vision helicopter to track this guy down.
Plus, once they decided to get it on, they walked over to the “woods along Richardson Road”? What the hell? First of all, the golf course and the quarry are closer and probably more secluded; second of all, why not just go back to a hotel room? Chances are they were staying at the Fairview or the Wingate, which are right next to Angie’s.
Finally — they “got separated” in the woods? Uh huh. More likely she decided that getting it on with a drunk pilot in the woods behind a subdivision wasn’t her idea of a good time and bailed.
Anyway, remind me not to fly Pinnacle (Northwest Airlink) anytime soon.
…play a bumper advertising itself as “rock and roll without the hard edge,” and then follow that up by playing “Walk on the Wild Side”? In fact, “Wild Side” (“but she never lost her head/even when she was giving head”) was the last of a three-song set that also contained “Hurts So Good” (sink your teeth right through my bones, baby/let’s see what we can do”), and “Ohio” (“what if you knew her and/found her dead on the ground”).
I guess the hard edge they’re avoiding is musical, not lyrical.
By the way, in case anyone wonders about the effect ‘American Idol’ has on American commercial radio, they just played “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” and “Sharp Dressed Man,” both of which were sung this week on AI. I expect to hear “Teach Your Children” and that One Republic song before the day is out.
Rob Walker had a great article in the Sunday NYT about the re-birth of dead brands. He focuses on companies bringing back Brim, Underalls, Salon Selectives, and Eagle Snacks:
Can a Dead Brand Live Again?
The whole article is fantastic — Walker is an excellent writer, writing in a field that really piques my dilletantish imagination. His Murketing blog is on my daily read list and I read his Consumed column every Sunday right after I finish the puzzle. I can’t wait to read his upcoming book, ‘Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are.’
“The focus is on commercial projects located within the City of Harrisburg, but some public works projects, large-scale residential projects, or projects very near Harrisburg may be included if significant in their impact on the city.”
This is a very nice resource to have and I hope he’s able to keep it maintained. The project that interests me the most is the Northern Gateway Project. In addition to making North 7th the main artery into the city from the north, I’ve heard that this project includes making North 2nd a two-way street instead of the current one-way north. If increasing traffic on 7th means less traffic on 2nd, that’s a good thing, but I worry about losing parking along 2nd. As long as they continue to have parking on both sides of the street I’m all for this change but if they cut the parking to one side only that’s going to have a pretty big negative impact on the area.
This is awful:
One Country’s Table Scraps, Another Country’s Meal
As much as 27% of the food available for consumption ends up being thrown away. That’s about a pound of food every day for every American.
I feel terrible every time I end up throwing out some piece of fruit, or container of leftovers, because it went bad before we had a chance to eat it. I try to only buy as much food as we think we’ll eat, but we still end up throwing stuff out. The Wasted Food blog, mention in the above article, has tips on how to cut down on the amount of food you throw away.
Ohhh, I want this:
SolarLease- Affordable Solar Power for Your Home
I would go solar immediately if we could afford it. But who has $20K+ laying around? SolarCity is offering a lease/service model whereby they install the panels on your house but they own them; you pay them a monthly lease fee and get to use the energy created to lower your electric bill. And, if your electric company is set up to buy back energy, you can lower your bill even more.
It looks like this is only happening in California at the moment, but they seem to be doing pretty well, so here’s hoping they expand out to the rest of the country soon.
If you ever happen to find yourself at Flora in Oakland, and you have a hankering for a cocktail, you might see the Filibuster on the menu:
You might think to yourself, as I did when I read about this cocktail in Food & Wine, “hmmm. That sounds unusual. It might suck, but it might turn out to be an excellent heretofore-unexplored flavor combination.”
* 1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
* 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
* 1/4 ounce pure maple syrup
* Dash of Angostura bitters
* 1 large egg white
* 1 lemon twist
Fill a cocktail shaker with the rye, lemon juice, maple syrup, Angostura bitters and egg white and shake well. Add ice and shake again. Strain the drink into a chilled coupe and garnish with the lemon twist.
Well, I mixed one up last night and I’m here to tell you it sucked. Unsurprisingly, the combination of rye and maple was not aesthetically pleasing, and the lemon juice didn’t help things. I had one sip, tossed it, and poured myself 2 fingers of rye on the rocks (with a dash of Peychaud’s bitters) to erase the Filibuster from my mouth and my memory.
So there’s your PSA: don’t drink cocktails with maple syrup in them.
I will be so angry if this happens:
Cubs Ready to Sign Jim Edmonds
I have a visceral anti-Edmonds reaction, and I know I’m not alone among Cubs fans. For me, it’s not about his frosted tips (something which I will admit to having done myself). It’s about the fact that he is more identified with the St. Louis Cardinals than just about any player in the last decade.
But even that, in and of itself, wouldn’t make this a bad signing. Believe me, if the Cubs traded for Albert Pujols, I would have no problem rooting for him. No, the problem is that not only is Jim Edmonds Mr. Cardinal, he also sucks. He just got put on waivers by the Padres, who are currently the worst team in baseball. The Padres are hitting .233 as a team, and they decided they didn’t want Edmonds any more, that they’d rather take their chances with Scott Hairston and Jody Gerut in center. Edmonds is about to turn 39 and is in the middle of his fourth-straight season of declining production. He’s hitting 178/265/233 (yes, he’s slugging .233!). Why send Felix Pie back to the minors to take a flyer on an aging veteran who might, but might not, regain his stroke?
Several years ago there was chatter about the Cubs acquiring Chipper Fucking Jones. Now there are few players in baseball I dislike more than Chipper Fucking Jones. In fact, there might not be any player in baseball I dislike more than Chipper Fucking Jones. But when the possibility of Chipper Fucking Jones becoming a Cub was raised, I was upset at first but was ultimately OK with it because it seemed pretty clear that he would have helped the Cubs.
If Jim Edmonds was still getting on base at a .360+ clip and hitting 20-30 homers, I would be happy to see him in a Cubs uniform. After all, I’m a Cubs fan, and anything that makes the Cubs better makes me happy. But this isn’t going to make the Cubs better; it’s going to make them worse, at the expense of one of their young prospects, and in order to endure this worsening we’re all going to have to put up with Jim Edmonds in a Cubs uniform.
DO NOT WANT.
Survivor masterI’ve been rooting for Amanda all season, but after last night’s episode, I think Cirie deserves to win. She proved that she is the strongest “outwit” player ever. It’s been like watching a master at work all season, and last night was her crowning achievement.
The amazing part is that she’s managed to instigate so many people getting voted off, and yet I don’t think she has any enemies on the jury. She has a way of putting ideas out there in such a way that it seems like they were thought up by the group, or by someone else, leaving her unscathed.
Kurt Andersen checks in with an interesting look at “the media“‘s take (Andersen’s quotes, not mine) on Barack Obama and how that maps with the split between Obama supporters and those who support Hillary Clinton:
It’s a really good read, and it’s especially timely when read alongside the Daily intel column on the same site, which rounds up a passel of articles from “the media” that exhibit a certain glee at what they think should be the end of the Clinton campaign.
” The world depicted in ‘the media,’ broadly construed -— not just straight journalism but everything we watch and read and hear —- is overwhelmingly a bright, shiny, upscale, youngish world. Uneducated white people, residents of the so-called C and D counties, and the elderly -— in other words, Hillary Clinton voters -— are seldom allowed into the mass-media foreground, and when they appear it’s usually as bathetic figures, victims or losers. (And working-class black pop culture is considered part of the sexy mainstream in a way that working-class white pop culture is not.) The shocking eclipse of Hillary…by this fashionable (black!) media darling is one more slap in the face for the people chronically excluded from the pretty mediascape version of America, one more damn new new thing that they don’t really get”
Tomorrow night’s American Idol promises to be the rockiest rockfest rockstravaganza in American history. See, the four remaining contestants are choosing their songs from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.” It’s a great list — it has more rap and hip-hop than I expected (of course I only expected one or two rap songs, so it was easy for the list to exceed my expectations), and the early days of rock, blues and R & B are well-represented.
Of course none of that is going to matter on American Idol. Taking a look at the list there are probably 200 songs you can eliminate immediately, and at least a hundred more that, for whatever reason, AI can’t get the rights to. That leaves about 200 songs to choose from, and you can rest assured that the eight songs that get chosen from that list will fit firmly into one of two rock genres: either mid-60’s Motown/Big-Chill-Soundtrack R&B, or radio-friendly 70s classic rock.
Still, scanning that list got me thinking about what each of these singers should sing. Every year there’s a round where the judges pick a song that they thought suited each singer. That’s actually happening next week, but this week Syesha, Jason and the Davids can come to me and I’ll set them straight.
Here are my suggestions for what each of them should sing, as well as my guesses for what they’ll probably end up singing:
SHOULD SING: “A Teenager In Love,” “ABC”
David has been flailing about recently, trying to cast himself as a crooner (“America,” “Think of Me”) and getting away from the lighter, poppy stuff that has made him so popular among the pre-teen set. He needs to get back to the up-temponess of “Shop Around” and “We Can Work It Out” and embrace the fact that he’s, you know, 17. What better way than to sing two huge hits by teen singers? OK, Dion was 21 when he sang “A Teenager In Love,” but still.
WILL SING: “Good Lovin’” or “Gimme Some Lovin’,” “Stand By Me”
I think he will choose to go with a song made famous by a young singer, but he’s much more likely to grab something from approved Big Chill/oldies canon. Either of the two “Lovin’” songs would actually be a good choice for him. For his second song, I’m afraid he’ll decide to take on one of the hoariest chestnuts in rock history to show off his (to my mind) non-existent “soulful” side.
SHOULD SING: “Jeremy,” “Spoonful”
Not since Blake Lewis sang “Virtual Insanity ” has there been a better singer-song matchup on AI than David putting his what-passes-for-originality spin on Pearl Jam’s first platinum single. If he doesn’t sing “Jeremy” then he is dead to me.
WILL SING: “Jeremy,” “American Girl”
He should follow it up by grunging up somrthing obscure, like the old Howlin’ Wolf classic, but it’s much more likely he’ll go with something way more middle-of-the-road.
SHOULD SING: “September Gurls,” “Dixie Chicken”
I’m just making this one up. I’d wager Jason has no idea who Alex Chilton and Lowell George are, but both of these songs would be absolutely perfect for his stoner-at-the-beach vibe — “Gurls is a laid-back love song that doesn’t require a singer with much voice, and “Dixie” would get a little grease on Jason, something he desperately needs.
WILL SING: “Maggie May,” “People Get Ready”
Unfortunately I see him going a completely different direction — after scouring the list and being disappointed that “Bubbletoes” and “Mud Football” aren’t on it, he’ll settle on a comfortable acoustic-guitar-based midtempo rocker, as well as something a little inspirational that might make people remember that one time where he sang the hell out of “Hallelujah.”
SHOULD SING: “Many Rivers to Cross,” “Legs”
“Many Rivers” has the potential to be a show-stopper for someone with the right voice, and I think Syesha has it. Such a deceptively simple, beautiful, powerful song. And what better to follow it up with than a loud, dumb, fun 80s rocker?
WILL SING: “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” “We Got the Beat”
I think she’ll go for the same duality I suggested, but will fall back on Aretha (never a bad idea, unless you’re trying to, you know, sing like her) and a much more user-friendly 80s hit that will showcase her emerging stage presence and personality.
[UPDATE 4/6 2:15 PM]: I’ve been told by someone with inside information that I got one right! I wasn’t able to ask that person which one, but it’s gotta be “Jeremy.” We’ll see tonight.
Will Leitch of Deadspin thinks he’s taking part in a roundtable about sports writing and blogging, but what he doesn’t realize is that host Bob Costas has secretly replaced the other panelist with author Buzz Bissinger, who is BATSHIT CRAZY:
Costas Now: Bissinger Vs. Leitch
Seriously, click through to that link and watch the clip. It starts off with Costas sort of blindsiding Leitch and trying to get him to agree with Costas about what the “reasonable criticism” of blogging is. Then, Bissinger interrupts him to tell him he’s “full of shit.” That is, actually, the intellectual high point of Bissinger’s appearance.
It’s really an amazing few minutes of video — cringeworthy, disappointing, and unfortunately representative of a large portion of the mainstream sports media, who apparently feel very threatened by the fact that the Internet has allowed people who don’t get to spend time in the locker room the opportunity to share their opinions with a wider audience.
Sometimes democracy results in the formation of the United States of America; sometimes it results in photos of Ben Roethlisberger pouring tequila down a co-ed’s throat while wearing a t-shirt that says “Drink Like a Champion Today.” Personally, I think both outcomes have made the world a better place.
I just spent a half-hour looks at compilations of high FPS (super slo mo) videos, like the one above.
They’re a little heavy on water balloons popping and guns being shot, but there is some unexpected beauty and a ton of “wow, cool” moments.
Also, there are a whole bunch more clips at UltraSlo.com