Archive for May, 2005

  • Rob Spectre
  • 30
  • May
  • 05

Mom’s coming up to visit tomorrow, and I’m pleased to hear she is sounding a bit more chipper. Often times I get the sense that she holds things together just long enough to hang up the phone, so her boy won’t worry about her half a country away. She’s never criticized me being here and her being there and us being the only thing we got.

I look forward to showing her again why I have to stay. And to have at least one conversation that hasn’t in some way lead to a discussion of how much the Emperor blew in Episode III.

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 24
  • May
  • 05

Ted watched American Idol tonight. I watched The Contender. We’re both total losers.

Saying I never got into reality TV would make me a lot cooler than I actually am, as in my adolescence I was pretty hooked on The Real World. At the risk of seeming nostalgic, however, I don’t remember reality TV sucking this bad. I heard “Caesar’s Palace” and “one million dollars” strung together so many times in an hour and a half that I thought it was some sort of pizzera giveaway. With the introduction of the 5th Round I finally had to put on the mute. I think I heard Manfredo shout to the announcers, “I get it already… A million fucking dollars! And Caesar’s Palace? What gave it away, Sherlock? The 300 pounds guards dressed like Romans or the crown of olive leaves on my ass?”

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 22
  • May
  • 05

It is with great shame that I admit I didn’t catch Episode III at the midnight showing, breaking a string of opening night Star Wars viewings that run all the way back to Empire. Though both Empire and Jedi were in my precognitive youth, it was a fact that impressed my geek elders and inspired awe in those younger. I could claim that I had to work the next morning, but we all know the course of human events is easily manipulated for special moments like marriage, funerals, and Star Wars. Ultimately, I think I just lost the magic.

I had the good fortunate with the prequels to have them correspond with significant departures. I got in line for Episode I as a senior in high school, hopping in after an afternoon appointment to enroll in my first choice college. Episode II was a rockin’ jamfest with Howie, the Scotts, and a whole herd of close friends as we were preparing for that fateful final year that would see us all ultimately seperated.

Did Episode III lose its luster because of the crappy films before it? Or perhaps because I saw them when I was not in a transitional period? Star Wars always brought the promise of something new. But with the job, apartment, and standard Friday/Saturday nights the Hastings College recruitment manuals said I was going to get, I wonder if I’m settling in. Through the pure dumb luck of being born in 1980, Star Wars was always the herald of something new on the horizon, another ridiculous journey I had no business going on.

Though this weekend’s draw was no indication, perhaps this one is too. And the next ridiculous journey is an international stadium tour. Or the same dives in different towns in the back of a 1982 Chevy van. Or law school. Or GeekCorps.

As Anakin got three limbs hacked off, my mind wandered through my options, my heart registered a stupid amount of gratitude, and my hand restlessly shuffled through the last bits of popcorn, on the way to get into trouble somewhere else.

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 16
  • May
  • 05

I got a ton of email with contributions to yesterday’s list of bands that are usually relied upon to produce quality but instead this year yielded only despair. Here are some of the more notable ones.

AudioslaveOut of Exile

All I’ve heard is “Be Yourself.” I think I wrote that song with Traffas back in high school. Sucked then, sucks now. Folks writing in tell me the record is more of the same.

OasisDon’t Believe The Truth

When Morning Glory hit, all anyone could do was talk about Oasis and how they were going to be the next Beatles. I also remember Liam laughing on MTV that such statements were always the kiss of death for British bands. Laughing, always laughing. All the way to the bank queue.

GarbageBleed Like Me

This is more for Ted, because I always thought they sucked. I just the cheap paltry charade of musical authenticity fell off in the expedient rush to get a record out before the lease was up on the Jaguar.

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 15
  • May
  • 05

Some folks have been asking if I’ve been sleeping. Honestly, I’ve been waiting. Waiting impatiently, hopefully, desperately like a narcolepsy patient snoozing through the cure to awaken to an existence more real. Nearly six months after American Idiot, I’ve been waiting for a record from a band I love that doesn’t suck. There have been many contenders, placed in order by which they were found hopelessly scratched off the floorboard of my Focus.

They Might Be GiantsHere Come The ABCs and The Spine

Just as TMBG gains deserved credit as an influential band only believed to have been on the fringe of the thing called early 90s rock and roll, the pair of Johns prove they can make equally shitty music for kids and grownups alike.

WeezerMake Believe

Hey. Rivers. You *already* live in Beverly Hills. You *already* have a nice car. You can’t write poor kid songs anymore.

Reel Big FishWe’re Not Happy ‘Til You’re Not Happy

A stellar ska band compromised by a one hit wonder decides to shoot for a record full of them. The sound you hear is the simultaneous groan of loyal fans over the dull roar of generations of influences spinning in graves.

MillencolinKingwood

They say Tiger Woods is a shell of what he used to be. A dried up useless husk of what formerly was raw talent driven by steely cold ambition that was the perfect golf player. I don’t know shit about golf, but I know this record sucks.

NOFX – The 7 inch of the Month Club

Fat Mike decides after the most depressing election in modern memory to not put out records, but instead force a huge drive on record player sales by releasing six songs on vinyl every month. We already know NOFX can squeeze out two minute shit ballads on a deadline, why do I need to buy a record player to find this out? At least the Giants provide their shit in easily digestable MP3 format.

REMAround The Sun

A horrible record with the band in a blurry photograph as the cover. After three shit albums in a row, your 21st Century batting average is something like .003. Giambi is threatened with the Minor Leagues; I’m not sure it wouldn’t be a good idea to send REM to Japan to tour until they produce a record worth more than an AOL coaster. Guys, next time show up to the studio with the songs written and rehearsed.

CakePressure Chief

Usually reliable, I picked this record up the day it came out. The day after it entered the back cushion of the rear seat. I didn’t see it again until Nugget picked it out of his crack after I slammed hard on the breaks on the way to Taunton a couple weeks ago.

Alkaline TrioCrimson

Never have the hopes of so many rested in the hands of so few. I got the advance last month and I thought it was another band. I heard the single a few days later on WBRU, and realized the world was a sad, cruel joke of shattered hopes.

Jimmy Eat WorldFutures

You guys really should know better.

Ben FoldsSongs For Silverman

If I was your daughter Gracie, Ben, I’d ask for an album that didn’t suck.

Rob Thomas…Something to Be

Just kidding, we all knew this was going to blow ass.

Dave Matthews BandStand Up

Like a certain incident involving a waste dump and a Chicago tour boat, this record is like opening your mouth to quench the unbelievable thirst for rock, only to be betrayed in a most foul way with the inattentive press of a production room button.

As much as I would love to continue, the purpose of the month long sabbatical was not a dereliction of duty, but a self-enforced boycott of publishing until a reason to write rock and roll again showed itself from the heroes of our adolescence in rock. I’m happy to announce it was an unlikely source.

In the new release section of your favorite hole-in-the-wall music section, a girl named “Aimee” or “Lyndsy” or some other odd spelling of an otherwise common female name is going to be an innocuous blue case with a very plain, unassuming title. Haughty Melodic by Mike Doughty.

It’s okay guys. I forgot about him too. But he didn’t forget about us. And he just dropped by to wake us all the fuck up and remember what’s so amazing about buying records on the artist reputation alone.

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