Saturday, July 30, 2005

Still not finished Harry Potter

I haven't read anyone's blog. I won't pick up last week's Entertainment Weekly with Harry Potter on the front. I'm so afraid of the ending being given away but I haven't had extra time to read it.

I usually only read on my train ride into and back from the office, but I have to finish this book this weekend.

Friday, July 29, 2005


So in our great state (said with great sarcasm) of Pennsylvania - the state that foists upon the country Rick Santorum, we have another wonderful scandal causing a stir. It all started when the Pennsylvania General Assembly voted themselves a pay raise. Not just a small pay raise but a 16 to 34% pay raise. This is an a state that has a minimum wage that is $5.15. Well at least our state has the right mind to make sure that lawmakers can't vote themselves a pay raise in the same term; so good, right? Wrong. They got around this rule by allowing the pay raise to essentially go into effect now through something called "unvouchered receipts", which basically means that you can pay for your bikini wax this way and no one will know because you don't have to submit a receipt. Very sneaky huh?

Well some lawmakers decided to oppose the pay raise because apparently being a slimy good for nothing thief is not a requirement for being in the General Assembly. Some have decided to forgo the raise even. Well House Minority leader stripped 15 Democrats of leadership positions last week - and yes, all 15 voted against the raise.

Must be nice to control your paycheck and any criticism of it. I'll be calling my reps on Monday - if you want to find out more check the following links:

Philadelphia Inquirer Article
Pennsylvania Clean Sweep

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

sorry - it's been hectic

I haven't had a lot of time for updates between updating Michael Penn's site, the heat and the accompanying death of our air conditioning - my blog has been feeling a bit neglected.

I'll be getting back to a better schedule soon.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Stuff blowed up real good

Saw Michael Bay's new movie The Island Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. Alright, it's not the best movie, it's not trying to be. First off - Ewan and Scarlett - something for everyone. Djimon Honusou is very good in his role too - he has an action hero career ahead of him. I think if it weren't for McGregor, Johansson, and Honusou this movie would probably have been unwatchable.

The Island is this year's Speed - fun, loud, cute stars and all that good stuff; mindless entertainment. A friend of mine complained that it was silly - well it wasn't supposed to be an Oscar contender. This is faint praise, but this was Michael Bay's best movie (of course Armageddon is among my all-time most hated films).

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Michael Penn on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Michael Penn will appear on the Jay Leno show on August 4th, 2 days after the release of his CD Mr. Hollywood Jr. 1947.

New Music - July 2005

Wow - I'm late on this. Here's what's in my new music folder for this month:

Man-Made - Teenage Fanclub
Live at Noe Valley Ministry - Kristin Hersh - really good show, she was in rare form (I was there). This is an official bootleg on emusic to make it even better
Shake the Sheets - Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
Going Somewhere - Colin Hay
Wherever you are - David Mead
Ex Hex - Mary Timoney
Love is Red - David Poe
What Became of the Libertines - The Libertines

I really like the David Mead cd otherwise nothing earth shattering this month. (that is asides from the new Harry Potter!)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

More on the wacky Santorum

If you want more proof that Santorum is wacky you need to read this article. You may have to subscribe so here are some quotes from the article:

Santorum goes after working mothers for leaving the home (radical feminists made them do it), defends the home-schooling of his children by calling public education an "aberration," and places blame for the manifold ills of the world squarely at the feet of... guess who? Yep, the Liberals.

Liberals favor "no-fault freedom," Santorum writes. In turn, this has led to "the debasement of women, mental illness, and an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, causing infertility, cancer, even death."

I believe in plain old freedom. Everything comes with a cost and guess what, so does freedom. The implication with all this is that free will is evil, and what is scary is what Rick Sanctimonious would have as an alternative.

And a great closing line:

Santorum's people have a stock response to criticism of his wilder comments: Rick is an honest, bright guy who speaks his mind. So there.

I agree. Judging from his recent comments, I'd say that Rick Santorum has one of the finest minds of the 13th century.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Rick Santorum is the devil's spawn

I know I have some non-US readers so let me tell everyone that Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum makes Dubya seem like Ted Kennedy. His comments that basically blamed Boston liberals for the priest abuse scandal are amazing. His views on homosexuality are to the right of Jerry Fallwell. How this guy ever became a senator is beyond me. Now what is even scarier is that he is mentioned as a presidential candidate. If the democrats put up a candidate as equally polarizing - he could actually win.

It's time we get serious. This guy cannot win his senate match this fall - even you are not in this state - you should follow this one because if he wins, we could be seeing the next President.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I'm still here

There may be people actually reading this thing. It's been a really busy couple of weeks and I promise I'll write something of value in the next day or so.

Question of the day: Should I go see Elvis Costello and the Impostors at the Tower?


Friday, July 08, 2005

Shawn Colvin goes back to the drawing board

Finally some news about Shawn Colvin and her next cd. Looks like next February.

Six albums and 20 years ago, Shawn Colvin was burning to make her name in the music world, and to express herself through song. The Midwestern-born and -bred singer-songwriter had gone from Austin to New York City, from country to folk-rock, looking for her voice. And when she located it, she found it in a big way: Her 1989 debut, "Steady On," featuring such expressive mood pieces as "Shotgun Down the Avalanche," earned Colvin a Grammy Award for best contemporary folk album. Read the rest of the article

Pray for me too

Again something Kristen found (maybe this is her blog?):

One artist who had no gigs to cancel but apparently needed to be associated with the incident was Omarion.

Inexplicably, the former B2K singer's publicist released a brief statement just hours after the bombings. "T.U.G./Sony Recording Artist Omarion was in London during the tragic bombings that struck this morning," the statement read. "He would like his fans to pray that he has a safe trip and a safe return home. He appreciates your support."

The R&B singer, in London for Live 8, was uninjured in the bombings, leaving many to question the appropriateness of the statement.

Asked by a Reuters reporter why anyone should pray for him, the musician's rep responded: "He wasn't hurt or anything, but just the fact that he was there and all that."
I think that since I heard what happened at the time on the radio and suffered greatly everyone should pray for me too - and all that.

MTV: "I guess we fucked up"

From my girlfriend/correspondent Kristen (thanks Kristen)

LIVE 8 REDUX: After being roundly criticized for their coverage of Live 8, MTV and VH1 re-airing 10 hours of coverage of the concerts commercial-free on Saturday.
Full article: After debacle, MTV, VH1 will rerun Live 8 shows

Good catch on MTV's part.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Top 5 cds from 2005

I think I'm doing this primarily so that at the end of this year I'll have a reference - so here you go (click on the cd name to go to the album and click on emusic to sign up)
  • Adam Richman - Patience and Silence (found at eMusic) - This is one of the best power-pop cd's I've heard in years. Check out songs such as "Warsaw" and "Baby I've Changed"
  • Aimee Mann - The Forgotten Arm - Aimee as great as she always is but this time a concept cd. Listen for the songs "Video" and "Going through the motions"
  • David Mead - Wherever you Are (found at eMusic) - Sounds more like Mead's cd Mine and Yours from 2001 rather than last years Indiana and that suits me fine. I like the subtle pop moreso than the country crooner thing. Apparently this cd should have been released a couple years ago - it's only six songs, but they're all great.
  • Kathleen Edwards - Back to Me - Edward's lyrics are up there with Rilo Kiley in their intelligence and wit. I wish more people would listen to her.
  • Sleater-Kinney - The Woods - Also the best concert I've seen this year. Just amazing musicians and a visceral sound.
Other honorable mentions would be Spoon - Gimme Fiction and Decemberists - Picaresque both of which can be found at eMusic as well as Coldplay's X&Y

Batman Begins - Something new please

Saw Batman Begins this weekend and I'll say this first - it was a very good and entertaining movie. Now that that's said I'll say this: why are there no new ideas at the theater anymore? Everything is a remake (War of the Worlds), a sequel (in addition to Batman - Star Wars Episode III), a popular TV show turned into a movie (Bewitched, the Honeymooners, and The Dukes of Hazzard). Don't let me forget the fact that every action movie has to come from a comic book (seriously, who's excited about The Fantastic Four?)

Here's my opinion - the easiest thing for a movie studio to do is to create a movie with a pedigree - from a comic, a novel, tv show, sequel, etc. With each passing year, these movies are made with more frequency pushing out the truly creative movies. Most people go to the movies for an escape - but if all the movies are familiar, then the escape is mundane.

Time for the studios to give us something new (please before the Da Vinci Code is released).

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

We interrupt this commercial for more Live 8

For anyone that decided to have a Live 8 party this weekend, host friends and family in front of the tele - how pissed were you that MTV fucked up their coverage royally? I'm old enough to remember the coverage from Live Aid and I remember actually seeing performers perform full songs. In the 21st century, the VJ rules and we get to hear them over nobodies like U2 and Paul McCartney. Here are my thoughts and questions:
  1. If MTV and VH1 were both showing Live 8, why couldn't they both show different feeds?
  2. Why did MTV/VH1 refuse to show a complete song?
  3. Did Philly get shafted or what? My main memory from the VJ's in Philly: "Let's go back to London"
  4. This concert was to raise awareness of poverty in 3rd world nations yet everytime the commercial came on, MTV cut it off (primarily to show a Batman Begins commercial)
  5. Proactive is how P. Diddy preserves his sexy
  6. Did you see Madonna wipe her nose with her jacket sleeve?
Oh well, I had a ton of work to get done on Saturday and good coverage would have been terribly distracting. Thanks to MTV for being cooperative and giving me no reason to pay attention.

P.S. Before anyone gets on my case, I didn't need a concert to know about 3rd world debt - a lot of people do, so I applaud the effort of Sir Bob.

Friday, July 01, 2005

David Mead - Wherever You Are

Just picked up David Mead's Wherever You Are from eMusic and I have to say that it is automatically one of my favorite releases this year. Apparently it was recorded years ago and sounds a lot like songs from Mine and Yours (RCA 2001) which I liked better than his last release Indiana (Nettwerk 2004).