December 11th, 2006

ho ho ho

I'm dreaming of a Cleveland Christmas

Since you were all kind enough to make your Christmas wishes of this LiveJournal, it would be bad manners of it not to grant them. So from today until Christmas Day, your holiday wishes will come true in this very space. Happy days, everyone!

First off, sharpshinyclaws requested that everyone tell a story about Cleveland.

I myself have two stories about Cleveland, but one of them merely involves driving through it and being amused (at the big warning signs on the freeway telling you to slow down on the alleged hairpin turn along the lake) and frustrated (by my inability to find a good restaurant downtown because I didn’t know where I was).

Here is a better one. Once upon a time, when I lived in Chicago, I was on a Chicago White Sox e-mail list. Once a year, the people on the list would buy a block of tickets and as many of us as could make it would all go to a game together. Folks would come in from as far away as Alaska, Alabama and the Philippines; it was always a lot of fun. One year, a list member brought his cousin, who was a big Cleveland Indians fan; it just so happens that year, the List Night was at a White Sox/Indians game. The good news was that the Sox put together a big lead early on; the bad news is that there was a significant rain delay. During the delay, this Cleveland fan, who was a real hardcore mulleted hesher type, got progressively more and more drunk and started telling these stories, mostly involving Iron Maiden, about why Cleveland – the city, not the baseball team – was better than Chicago. Then, just before the rain delay broke, he stood on the back of a stadium chair and said this:

“But, but okay, okay. The best thing – the best thing – let me tell you the best thing about Cleveland. The best thing about Cleveland is this:“

And then he fell right off the back of the chair and was knocked unconscious. It was one of the very few moments in my life that actually felt like living through a cheeseball Hollywood movie.

Now you! What’s your story about Cleveland?
now let me tell you what *i* think

All I want for Christmas is a big fat geek

And now, because I know you’ve been waiting for it all year, my best-in-music picks for 2006 (THAT RHYMES!). Some version of this list will be appearing in two magazines, two free weeklies, and a couple of websites, but you get it for nothin', just for showing up today! It’s like you’re Sir Galahad, and your Holy Grail is having a fat music geek for an imaginary friend. How I envy you!

Anyway:

THE TOP TEN ALBUMS OF 2006
1. Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
2. Built to Spill, You in Reverse
3. Ghostface Killah, Fishscale
4. TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
5. The Melvins, A Senile Animal
6. His Name Is Alive, Detrola
7. Slayer, Christ Illusion
8. Mr. Lif, Mo’ Mega
9. Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere
10. Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit

Didn’t quite make it, but still pretty good: T.I., King; Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope; Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, The Letting Go; the Coup, Pick a Bigger Weapon; Mission of Burma, The Obliterati; Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor; Mountain Goats, Get Lonely; Clipse, Hell Hath No Fury; Bruce Springsteen, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions; Five Deez, Kommunicator.

THE TOP TEN SONGS OF 2006
1. Built to Spill, “Goin’ Against Your Mind”
2. Clipse, “Trill”
3. Lupe Fiasco, “Kick, Push”
4. TV on the Radio, “Wolf Like Me”
5. Regina Spektor, “Fidelity”
6. T.I., “I’m Talkin’ to You”
7. Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy”
8. Mission of Burma, “1,001 Pleasant Dreams”
9. Neko Case, “Hold On, Hold On”
10. Soul Position, “Keep It Hot for Daddy”

Didn’t quite make it, but still pretty good: Ghostface Killah, “Underwater”; Slayer, “Jihad”; the Rakes, “22 Grand Job”; Guster, “Satellite”, Murder By Death, “Sometimes the Line Walks You”; Belle & Sebastian, “We Are the Sleepyheads”; Aceyalone, “High Lights”; the Coup, “Laugh/Love/Fuck”; Dabrye, “Viewer Discretion”; Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, “Big Friday”.

THE TOP TEN REISSUES OF 2006, LIKE ANYONE GIVES A FUCK ABOUT REISSUES BUT FOR SOME REASON A LOT OF POLLS MAKE YOU PICK THEM

1. Pavement, Wowee Zowee (Sordid Sentinels Edition)
2. Wire, Pink Flag
3. Wire, 154
4. The Green Arrows, 4 Track Recording Session
5. Public Image Ltd., Metal Box
6. Willie Nelson, The Complete Atlantic Sessions
7. Gram Parsons, The Complete Reprise Sessions
8. Talking Heads, Remain in Light
9. Kool Keith, Sex Style
10. Chris Bell, I am the Cosmos

SEVEN REASONS WHY THE BALKANIZATION/FRAGMENTATION/POSTMODERN HIBBETY-JIBBETING OF MUSIC FINALLY CRUSHED EVERY SHARD OF COHERENCE, FLOW AND CONTINUITY INTO INVISIBLE FRAGMENTS OF GOOFER DUST AND RENDERED US, THE CRITICS, WHOSE ROLE HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN AS VALOROUS AND RESPECTED AS THAT OF JESUS CHRIST OR A UNITED STATES MARINE, A BUNCH OF WORTHLESS SWAG RECEPTACLES, THUS ENSURING THAT THE PLEASURE OF LISTENING IS RUINED FOREVER AND NOTHING GOOD WILL EVER BE RECORDED AGAIN:

1. Steve Albini has inexplicably produced a record by a harp-playing elf. Even more inexplicably, the critics love it.

2. The rap world has been taken by storm by a skateboarding Muslim from Chicago.

3. Bruce Springsteen has been spotted singing "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?".

4. A supergroup has been formed consisting of Jack White and some other guys you never heard of.

5. Bitter and fierce wars of words have broken out between white and black rap fans over the issue of realness. These wars have taken place on that realest of battlefields, the internet.

6. Someone subjected Tori Amos to a de-crazying treatment, renamed her Regina Spektor, and, in so doing, compelled her to put out the best album of her career.

7. Slayer, Mission of Burma, and Yo La Tengo all put out remarkably good records, which is indicative of something totally meaningful and not at all that I am getting old.
banana

Happy Mondays

They might be dumb; they might be inconsequential; they might be little more than inexplicable space-fillers. But Monday polls are an American tradition, and unless you hate America, I expect you all to respect that tradition.

Poll #886432 Metropole

Since I never posted about it, what do you figure happened with my National Novel-Writing Month effort?

I assume that you finished it and even now are finalizing a lucrative publishing deal
7(10.4%)
I assume that you finished it and, since it was so awful, you destroyed it
5(7.5%)
I assume that you did not finish it
30(44.8%)
I assume that you didn’t even do it
11(16.4%)
I assume you know that I don’t give a shit
14(20.9%)

How much do you pay for parking at your job?

$1-$2 a day
3(4.5%)
$3-$5 a day
2(3.0%)
$6-$8 a day
2(3.0%)
$9-10 a day
0(0.0%)
$11-$15 a day
0(0.0%)
more than $15 a day
0(0.0%)
I don’t have a job
3(4.5%)
I don’t drive to work
35(52.2%)
parking is free at my job
21(31.3%)
I ain’t pay for nuttin’, I’m the king of the slops
1(1.5%)

Engage with me, if you will, in a thought experiment. In order to save the Earth from total destruction at the hands of a kinky race of politically motivated space aliens, you must have sexual relations with a postwar president of the United States of America. Who would you do?

Harry S Truman
2(3.0%)
Dwight D. Eisenhower
1(1.5%)
John F. Kennedy
11(16.4%)
Lyndon Johnson
0(0.0%)
Richard M. Nixon
1(1.5%)
Gerald Ford
0(0.0%)
Jimmy Carter
2(3.0%)
Ronald Reagan
1(1.5%)
George H.W. Bush
0(0.0%)
Bill Clinton
12(17.9%)
George W. Bush
1(1.5%)
I guess everybody’s gonna just have to die, because no way in hell am I going to get it on with any of these guys
22(32.8%)

At my office, I am really most like:

Roy Anderson
0(0.0%)
Pam Beesly
4(6.0%)
Andy Bernard
0(0.0%)
Creed Bratton
3(4.5%)
Karen Fillipelli
1(1.5%)
Toby Flenderson
3(4.5%)
Jim Halpert
4(6.0%)
Ryan Howard
5(7.5%)
Stanley Hudson
1(1.5%)
Kelly Kapoor
2(3.0%)
Phyllis Lapin
1(1.5%)
Jan Levinson
0(0.0%)
Kevin Malone
0(0.0%)
Angela Martin
0(0.0%)
Oscar Nuñez
1(1.5%)
Todd Packer
0(0.0%)
Meredith Palmer
1(1.5%)
Darryl Philbin
0(0.0%)
Dwight Schrute
0(0.0%)
Michael Scott
1(1.5%)
These poll questions that are contingent on an intimate familiarity with television shows many of your readers may not have seen are alienating and offensive
5(7.5%)
Ditto above, but “boring” instead of “alienating and offensive”
35(52.2%)

Now that I am once more in possession of a digital camera that is not in my phone, what do you think I should take and post pictures of?