January 31, 2006

Take Two

Tomorrow or today, depending where and when you read this, I will be seeing Coldplay. That's Wednesday for you keeping score at home. I saw them in Austin (picture above) and as you can tell from the picture I was very far from the band. I'm not sure I'll be any closer in my nosebleed seats tomorrow night, but I'm sure I'll enjoy it. Fiona Apple opens for them. I've never seen her live, and just started to listen to her new album over the last few weeks. It's not bad. If you click on the picture and it expands, you might think that you see Guy Berryman standing fairly close, but that's him on the video screen. We were so far away that I never actually saw the band. Picture a famous Wembley show or the Slane Castle U2 or RHCP shows. The HP Pavillion will be less dirty, dusty, windy, and sweaty than Zilker Park.

Another List

At one point in my life I wanted to be a geography major, though still to this day I'm not sure what a degree in Geography would do for me. I love maps. I always have. I'm thrilled not only by the physical geography, but also the cultural geography. In my life experiences, I've travelled to, in or through 36 states. I thought I would take a moment not to list the states I've been to, but to list the states that have visited MKinMotion over the last few months. Two things that I must point out first, though. I use a few different tools to track visitors, however none of them are very consistent. Sometimes an ACS user in Alaska is tracked as a Boston visitor, sometimes one tracker catches a visitor, but they're nowhere to be found on another. The second thing I must point out is that I get a lot of Google traffic. Apparently people find my blog searching for "JD Fortune", "Kirk Pengilly", "Kobe", etc. I'm sure lists of songs and movies don't hurt. So here we go.

1. Alaska
2. Oregon
3. California
4. Washington
5. Arkansas
6. Texas
7. Mississippi
8. North Dakota
9. Georgia
10. Maryland
11. Massachussets
12. Illinois
13. New York
14. Tennessee
15. Ohio
16. Nevada
17. Connecticut
18. Wyoming
19. Montana (looking for Fly-Fishing Tips)
20. Missouri
21. Colorado
22. Louisiana
23. Wisconsin

23 States and that's not counting my international visitors. All I have to say to this is, if your state isn't represented, or you think you should rank higher...it's up to you to get some attention this way. I'll continue to poorly immitate a blogger if people continue to read it. So, Vermont, Utah, Idaho, Michigan, get off your butts and follow the motion.

Lists

Lists always go over well on blogs. They lead to other lists or other lists by others. To kick it off, I will list my top 25 movies. I'll limit it to movies made within my lifetime, even though I love some old movies...older than me, that is. And I'll leave Rattle and Hum off of the list. On a sidenote, when Rattle and Hum came out in 1988, who knew that every band in the world would start releasing (at the time) video tapes of concerts, backstage, etc. It's almost the asphalt to the modern DVD...almost. I left a lot of great movies out of this list. I also discovered that I could probably come up with a top 25 guilty pleasure movies too. I can also pretty quickly come up with 25 movies that were made before I was born. But I'll leave all that for another day. Some of you might be surprised that Napoleon Dynamite and Shaun of the Dead don't make the list. They're so good, you don't need me to mention them.


1. Stand By Me, 1986
2. Good Will Hunting, 1997
3. Dead Poets Society, 1989
4. The Shawshank Redemption, 1994
5. Garden State, 2004
6. Road to Perdition, 2002
7. Life Aquatic with Steve Zizzou, 2004
8. Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981
9. Forrest Gump, 1994
10. Lost Boys, 1987
11. Raising Arizona, 1987
12. The Truman Show, 1998
13. Silence of the Lambs, 1991
14. Empire of the Sun, 1987
15. A River Runs Through It, 1992
16. Royal Tannenbaums, 2001
17. Star Wars Trilogy (ep 4-6), 1977-1983
18. Saving Private Ryan, 1998
19. Cast Away, 2000
20. Apocalypse Now, 1979
21. The 'burbs, 1989
22. Can't Buy Me Love, 1987
23. Big, 1988
24. The Matrix, 1999
25. Bottle Rocket, 1996
26. Lord of the Rings Trilogy, 2001-2003

January 29, 2006

Search Party


I've spent a considerable amount of time on the internet recently and there are a few things I discovered that you might enjoy.

1. Last.FM: There's a white box to the right that doesn't make much sense now, but promises to be pretty sweet. If you click on it now, it will tell you what I've been listening to in Itunes. Once a week it publishes that info in that white box. It's pretty real time, so you can see what time I'm listening to what.

2. One Red Paper Clip: This guy started with a red paper clip and told "the world" that he would trade it for anything, anywhere. Someone traded a pen for the red paper clip; he traded the pen for a door knob, the door knob for a camp stove, the camp stove for a generator, the generator for a beer sign and empty keg, the beer sign and keg for a snowmachine (snowmobile), he traded the snowmachine for a box truck. His eventual goal is to gain a house. Pretty interesting stuff.

January 27, 2006

Sampling

I just took a drive, something that I enjoy doing. I put my IPod on "shuffle all" and it came up with some interesting music. Here's a sample. By the way, this would make an excellent CD.

1. Gypsy Kings - Hotel California
2. John Legend - Let's Get Lifted Again
3. Rusty Truck - Malibu Canyon
4. The Waterboys - Fisherman's Blues
5. Bob Dylan - It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
6. Willie Nelson - Funny How Time Slips Away
7. Bruce Springsteen - All The Way Home
8. Alanis Morissette - 21 Things I Want in a Lover
9. Jackson Brown - Running On Empty
10. U2 - 11 o'clock Tick Tock
11. Nick Drake - Northern Sky
12. Canned Heat - On the Road Again
13. Smog - Drinking at the Dam
14. Matthew Ryan - Me and My Lover
15. Wilco - Outtasite (Outta Mind)
16. Johnny Cash - The Running Kind (with Tom Petty)
17. Ryan Adam - Somehow, Someday
18. Travis - As You Are

That ought to get you started. Oh, do yourself a favor and download this. It's free and well worth it. There's been buzz about K.T. for at least a year, she's finally going to release the CD that's been "imported" from the UK for months.

January 26, 2006

Beer Surplus

I'm giving Castpost a shot. What better way to test it out, than to pay tribute to the Slackasaurus? Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame, just like your Longhorns, it's short lived.


Powered by Castpost

January 23, 2006

Rockstar: MKinMotion

A little background:
In 1994, I saw INXS at the Portland Memorial Coliseum. It was their "Dirty Honeymoon" Tour. They were supporting their album "Full Moon, Dirty Hearts." Material Issue opened and thanks to The Chindo and The Mad Fishicist, I'd heard of them. At one point in the show, Michael Hutchence tempts the crowd to abandon their strict "Portland Style" chairs and rush the stage. I ended up about 6 or 7 feet from the front of the stage. At one point Kirk Pengilly was playing a solo (on guitar) and Michael ran up behind him and bumped him into the crowd. I caught his head. His sweaty long haired head. A little bit in shock, a little bit starstruck, the only thing I could think to say to him as I helped hoist him back onto stage was, "YOU RULE!"


(Pictured: Kirk Pengilly, c. 1994)


Today:

I spent a very interesting afternoon Monday. I registered as a member of KFOG, a local radio station for the bay area. Just a few days into being a registered "Foghead," I received an email from the promotions department that I won tickets to a private concert by INXS. What a great opportunity! I'd go see one of these private concerts of anyone. Anyone, seriously. The gig was in Berkeley at a little studio. I walked in and about a dozen people were hanging out waiting for the show. Lots of pictures and albums were on the walls. This studio has hosted some amazing musicians including U2, Santana, Aerosmith, Lucinda Williams, B.B. King, Grateful Dead, and INXS to name a few (I'm not even mentioning Journey, Mr. Big, Nightranger or Tesla). At a certain point a guy said, "It's time, you can go on in." When I walked into the studio there were about 30 chairs set up in rows and three stools in front of them. 3 members of INXS were going be right there. Mere feet away.
So in walk Andrew Farriss, Kirk Pengilly and newly crowned frontman JD Fortune. A couple of roadies hand a few guitars to Kirk and Andrew (A Martin and a Epiphone for those of you keeping score at home) and off we go. There is nothing like a stripped down set to really display instrumental talent. They played 4 songs. "Need You Tonight", "Never Tear Us Apart", "Mystify" and "Pretty Vegas" (written by Andrew Farriss and JD Fortune during Rockstar INXS). There was a lot of chatter back and forth between people in the room and the guys. Most of it was about the TV show. Pretty fascinating, actually. I watched a few episodes when Riche got sucked into the show. The finale was the night I left for Austin in September so I was busy packing but managed to see JD win.
Funny sidenote was that they filmed the episodes early in the morning (well, when I say early, 10am). When they filmed the finale, they started at 5:30am and filmed the show, played a mini concert for the audience, and felt like they'd put in a whole days work, but Kirk said, "All this by mid-day." It was just past noon when they finished.
Questions got asked, but I didn't say a word. I had questions. I wanted to ask about the years between November 22, 1997 and now. Kirk, Andrew and Tim Farriss have always been the musical genius INXS and they were pretty much silent for 8 years.
Anyway, to make a short story long, I shook hands with them, mentioned catching Kirk's head, to which he replied, "I do remember a period where Michael got in a habit of pushing me into the crowd, some nights they caught me other's they didn't." Andrew Farriss was extremely friendly looking us all straight in the eyes and introducing himself, "Hi, I'm Andrew." JD is tall, much taller than I made him out to be on TV. Our picture was taken (no cameras allowed) by the KFOG staff and they promised to post on their website at some point. I will definately post the link once up. As I walked away, Kirk yelled, "Thanks for saving my life." And I grabbed my autographed poster and left the building.

Something I Don't Miss About Alaska...

http://www.weather.com/outlook/health/coldandflu/local/99501?par=OAP&site=COLDV&code=null

January 22, 2006

Finally: Something MJ Never Did

I've seen a couple of headlines that Kobe "wilted" the Raptors and that the previous Laker record (71 by Elgin Baylor) "wilted". Wilt Chamberlain scored 78 points in 1961 100 points in a game in 1962 without the benefit of a 3 point line, though I bet Wilt never would've taken a 3 pointer...
Kobe is great. Amazing, really. He scored 81 points, the second most in a game ever. Much like Reggie Bush's performance against Fresno State, it took their incredible performances to win the game. The Laker's shouldn't struggle against Toronto. Michael Jordan's highest point total never passed 70. Only David Robinson, David Thompson, Elgin Baylor, and Wilt Chamberlain have scored over 70.
What do Allen Iverson, Marcus Camby, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Stephon Marbury, Ray Allen, Antoine Walker, Lorenzen Wright, Kerry Kittles, Samaki Walker, Erick Dampier, Todd Fuller, and Vitaly Potapenko have in common? They were all drafted ahead of Kobe (who, of course, was coming out of high school, before it was cool). Jermaine O'Neal also came out of high school that year.

January 20, 2006

NEXT

What's the next 70's/80's TV series to be made into a movie?


Will Ferrell as Murdock? The Rock as BA? Luke Wilson or Jason Bateman as Faceman?

I see 21 Jump Street re-done as a drama instead of a spoof, like it looks like the Miami Vice movie will be. So I'd cast some up and comers that I haven't heard of.

Topher Grace as Ralph?

Magnum would be tough to cast, unless you were going all out comedy and then anyone who could pull of the Tigers hat and moustache would do. Maybe Paul Rudd or it could be a Sandler movie.
Vince Vaughn as Cody, Matt McConaughey as Nick and Justin Long as Murray. I'd suggest someone for Roboz, but he didn't talk in the series.

WilmerValderrama and Stiffler as Ponch and John?


Ben Stiller as the Fonz?

I'm sure it's inevitable. Suggest your cast member choices...

January 19, 2006

Shrute Space

"Dwight" has a couple of great posts on his blog. Well worth the journey.

Enjoy.

Who would win in a fight; winter or summer? Discuss.

Digging for Gold and Getting Dirty Fingers

I listened to a podcast of an interview with Glen Hansard of The Frames (backstage at the Austin City Limits festival that I attended in September) where he was asked what was on his Ipod. He said a few very interesting things. The first thing he said was, "no one will top Pink Floyd as a band." I tend to agree. Roger Waters has put out some amazing music over the years, and I'm partial to Floyd with Rog, but David Gilmour is pretty impressive. The way they made music can't be duplicated except by themselves, I guess that's why no one has tried.
He goes on to say that he listens to Radiohead the most. He says that a band like Radiohead is searching, and that they are bored enough to be digging and digging. He describes Thom York as digging through the mud and finding Pyramid Song. Then he says bands like Keane and Coldplay take that gold that Radiohead dug up and make wonderful music with it, but emphasizes that Radiohead got its hands dirty. "They dug for gold and got dirty fingers, and a bunch of other bands are wearing the gold and their fingers are clean" was the exact quote after mentioning Coldplay and Keane. I think it's pretty accurate. He also describes them as avante garde. He goes on to explain that in the battlefield the avant garde or vanguard soldiers went into battle knowing they were going to die. They were the frontline running towards the bullets spitting and screaming, the last man standing would plant the flag before he was killed and the rest of the army would know they could advance to the flag. He describes Radiohead as destroying their career experimenting to pave the way for hundreds of other bands.
I've often been heard saying, "I appreciate them as an influence, but I can't get into their music." I've never said this about Radiohead, but I've said it about Sex Pistols and Lou Reed and Grateful Dead.
Also in the interview Hansard is asked who his favorite songwriter is. He says there's a trinity of songwriters for him. Dylan, he's the actor wearing the mask. Leonard Cohen, he's the poet. And Van Morrison, he's the bull, the emotion. A fascinating interview from a fascinating time.

January 18, 2006

Destined for Cancellation


Love Monkey. The pilot was on last night. If you've watched CBS at all for the last couple of weeks, you know what Love Monkey is all about. It's a Dramedy starring Tom Cavanaugh. You might remember him as "Ed" or as "Dan Dorian" on Scrubs. He teams up with a nice ensemble cast to play a music business guy who loves music. Much like his character on "Ed", he's a little idealistic. I watched it and I liked it. The reason I use the title of "Destined for Cancellation" is because shows that I tend to like tend to not make it. I mention "Ed", perhaps one of the best shows on TV a few years back. "Sports Night" an Aaron Sorkin creation about a Sportscenter type show. "West Wing", yes it's still on TV, but every year people talk about it being horrible, though I still love it. Another great show was "Northern Exposure."
Riche and I had a sort of game that started with him pointing out actors on other shows or movies that were in "Band of Brothers" by saying "Band of Brothers." I would say "West Wing" if I saw a minor cast member or guest star in another show. Perhaps one of the best was while watching "Catch Me If You Can" and saying that Martin Sheen was in "West Wing." We're both TV and movie geeks, so it doesn't take much...
With Love Monkey, we know that Tom Cavanaugh (also a producer of the show) isn't doing to bad after Ed, here's a look at a few other members of the "Ed" cast.

+ "Carol Vessey" aka Julie Bowen. She's recently popped up as Jack's ex-wife on "Lost"
+ "Mike Burton" aka Josh Randall. He's been all over the place lately. He played Nathan on "Lost" who was mistaken for one of "the Others." He played until recently Eliot's boyfriend on "Scrubs" and now is in the sneaks for Jenna Elfman's new show.
+ "Warren Cheswick" aka Justin Long. He was in Dodgeball and deleted out of Anchorman.
+ "Diane Snyder" aka Ginnifer Goodwin played Vivian Cash in Walk the Line.
+ "Stella Vessey" aka Nicki Aycox. She played a pretty minor character in Ed, but very memorable. She's been on Cold Case lately.

January 16, 2006

MLK Day

http://www.insidebayarea.com/montepoole/ci_3407247

An illustration in the transcendance of sports.

Curt Flood Day

Anyone know who Curt Flood was? I'll give you a hint; he was the first free agent in Major League Baseball. Okay, that may not be altogether accurate, but close enough to talk about. In 1970, on January 16th (Today's Date), he won an antitrust lawsuit against major league baseball paving the way for free agency. You may or may not like free agency in sports, you may not like having to read through the roster of your favorite team every year to determine who plays for them now or who moved on, but I assure you it is better than it used to be. In the old days, before Curt Flood, baseball players were required to play for the team that signed them into the league unless they were traded or retired. This meant if you signed a three year contract, at the end of the three years, if you wanted to still play, you'd have to sign a contract with the same team. Curt Flood was traded by the Cardinals to the Phillies. Well, the Cardinals were coming off of a couple of World Series Titles (Lou Brock, Orlando Cepeda, Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton), but off of a tough loss that a lot of people pinned on Flood. The Phillies on the other hand were horrible, played in a horrible stadium, in front of horrible racist crowds. Sorry, Philly, but it's the darkness of the sixties and seventies, deal with it. Flood wrote a nice letter to the commissioner of MLB pleading his case (I recently viewed the letter at a Cooperstown exhibit at the Museum of California in Oakland) , but the commissioner didn't give him freedom, so he filed the lawsuit. He lost the lawsuit and went on to gain free agency by sitting out the 1971 season and then played for the Washington Senators coached by Ted Williams. When he arrived in the locker room there was a funeral wreath on his locker and he never played very well, at the time many players despised him, but now he is revered as a pioneer. He retired just 13 games into that season. His numbers before the dispute were on track for the Hall of Fame, but he never was inducted. It's a shame that only the historic letter is in the hall that is so important to all professional athletes in today's era.

January 13, 2006

Throwaway Song

First my definition: A throwaway song is a song that a band or musician doesn't finish, but puts it on their album to fill a track. A lot of throwaway songs come out as the B-sides of singles (do people still release singles? more importantly, do people still buy singles?). U2 are kind of notorious for their throwaway songs. They've put them on albums, they've released them as B-sides, they've turned them into hits. I made a statement at one point that I was recently reminded of. I called "Crumbs From Your Table" a throwaway song, when I first listened to Dismantle. I'm revising my stance. It's a good song; it's about hunger, poverty, disease, etc.

Crumbs From Your Table - U2

From the brightest star
Comes the blackest hole
You had so much to offer
Why did you offer your soul?

I was there for you baby
When you needed my help
Would you deny for others
What you demand for yourself?

Cool down mama, cool off
Cool down mama, cool off

You speak of signs and wonders
I need something other
I would believe if I was able
But I'm waiting on the crumbs from your table

You were pretty as a picture
It was all there to see
Then your face caught up with your psychology
With a mouth full of teeth
You ate all your friends
And you broke every heart thinking every heart mends

You speak of signs and wonders
But I need something other
I would believe if I was able
But I'm waiting on the crumbs from your table

Where you live should not decide
Whether you live or whether you die
Three to a bed
Sister Ann, she said
Dignity passes by

And you speak of signs and wonders
But I need something other
I would believe if I was able
I'm waiting on the crumbs from your table

January 8, 2006

It Came to Mind

Fisherman's Daughter - Daniel Lanois

I laid awake a whole night long,
waiting for the sun to beat down on my head
in this broken bed
I laid awake and dreamt of ships
passing through night,
searching for shelter,
stopping at no harbor

I heard the screaming waters
call sixty sailors' names
Raging words, pounding on the sail
like an angry whaleI felt the iron rudder skip
the smell of seeping oil,
the heat of slipping rope.
Failing hands, failing hope

Every sailor asks...
asks the question about the cargo
he is carrying

God's anger broke through the clouds
and He spilt the cargo for all to see -The fault of the sailor,
the fault of he who asks no questions
about the cargo he is carrying

Fishes and tales and a fisherman's daughter
walks in the rain, she walks to the water
to the sea...

January 3, 2006

1989

It was a year that ended the 80's and rolled into the 90's. It was the year that the music world changed forever...

It was a year that pop music ruled. Here's a review of the Billboard chart from 1989...

1. Look Away - Chicago
2. My Prerogative - Bobby Brown
3. Every Rose Has It's Thorn - Poison
4. Straight Up - Paula Abdul
5. Miss You Much - Janet Jackson
6. Cold Hearted - Paula Abdul
7. Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
8. Girl You Know It's True - Milli Vanilli
9. Baby I Love Your Way / Freebird Medley - Will to Power
10. Giving You The Best... - Anita Baker

Now, the album "Forever Your Girl" by Paula Abdul was released in 1988, as was Bobby Brown's "Don't Be Cruel" and Poison's "Open Up and Say...Ahh". But that is not the point I'm making...

You may ask yourself, what is the point you are making?

The late 80's and early 90's were a haven for singles. No, not unmarried people, but for radio songs. How did this lead to the music world changing forever? Well, talented and gifted musicians created some really great music that the music industry couldn't put on the radio, dubbing it Alternative music. Now, there was already a bustling underground "Alternative Music" scene in the 80's but you can't look past 1989 when writing the history of music. Here's a little bit of what I'm talking about...

Nirvana released the first 'album' with "Bleach."
Red Hot Chili Peppers released "Mother's Milk."
The Cure released "Disintegration."
Faith No More released "The Real Thing."
Guns N Roses released a stripped down "G'NR Lies."
A little unknown band thought they would mix country with folk and rock and the Jayhawks released "Blue Earth" many consider it the birth of alt-country.
Nine Inch Nails released "Pretty Hate Machine."
They Might Be Giants released "Lincoln"

I'd like to be able to say that I knew what was going on in 89, but I didn't. I had some Faith No More because it was like nothing I'd ever heard. I was big into U2 by 89 and was still collecting the singles they were releasing from Rattle and Hum. But remember, this was before downloading music, CD's were just starting to catch on, 970 the Beat (not FM 107.5!!) hadn't launched yet to give these people their shot at being heard.

Bob Dylan responded to the Pop Music boom by releasing "Oh Mercy" produced by Daniel Lanois who released "Acadie." Tom Petty released "Full Moon Fever," Don Henley released "The End of the Innocence."