Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lather, Rinse, Maim

We've talked about being a 90's child before. Hell, while I was looking for evidence on this very blog, I saw several instances where I just couldn't shut up about the ruddy 90's (what does it all mean?). With the kids of the 90's hitting the age where we all start getting nostalgic about the rubbish... I mean, pop culture that we remember, it's no wonder this awesome thing has happened.
Someone finally heard the cries of 90's children across the nation!

Before we go any further... um, did they just call us "grown ups"? Unless the secret of being one of these so-called "grown ups" is that you're bumbling about like a blind kitten, then don't inflate our egos.

How did this wonderfulness happen?
According to Entertainment Weekly (AKA, the place where Chris Harrison blogs Bachelor!), TeenNick (when did this happen?) is going to run 90's shows in the wee small hours of the morning.
Personally, I'm really curious to see what they play. Sure, we know about the staples, like Clarissa Explains It All...

Didn't everyone want a friend like Sam? I did. Of course, I would have also taken a friend like Tucker from Flash Forward, but that was a Disney show, and not relevant to this discussion. Now that I'm older, and have a bit of perspective, I realize I just wanted somebody to be nice to me instead of make fun of me (I was not what one might call "popular". Go figure, right?).

All That...

It's no wonder this generation has turned out weird. I watched this and laughed all the way through it. Then, I watched it again.

and The Amanda Show...

...but surely that's not all they're going to give us!

If we're being totally honest, though, I'm most excited for The Adventures of Pete and Pete. That show was a huge part of my childhood, and, in a weird way, telling of the person I was to become. Just in case you don't know the story, I was so in love with the opening song, I decided I would learn to play guitar just like the guys in the opening credits.

Also, I had this little-girl-cute-thing for Danny Tamberelli. To which I say to myself "look at your life. Look at your choices".
Someone should have warned my five year old self that she would be doomed to a life of "I-don't-know-who-they-are" bands, and red haired funnymen. It was all laid out for me, but I was just too young to see it.
Also, this is proof that I was cool once.

My question now is are they going to get into the cartoons, too? 'Cause that could be made of awesome; they could play Rocko's Modern Life, Beetlejuice...


Tiny Toons...

I mean, how far are they going to take this? Take "100 Good Deeds For Eddie McDowd"...

It started in '99, and ran through '02. Are they going to play it? (Personally, I loved this show. I mean, I would lock myself in my room and watch the new episodes every week. Hey, Danny Tamberelli was in it. The mind boggles.)
I mean, I'll tune in to this "The 90's Are All That" block just 'cause I'm a sentimental sap, but it'll be really disappointing if they only play All That reruns (not that it wasn't a great show when it started... hey, Danny Tamberelli was in it [I'm noticing a theme. I was a pathetic child]).
Also, are we gunna get cool bumpers and stuff, like Stick Stickly? 'Cause that would just be the whipped cream on this hot fudge sundae.

I wanted to put a nice, nostalgic 90's Nickelodeon video here, but I found this instead.

Put this guy on a can of stew!
Oh, and just in case you didn't notice, Danny Tamberelli was in this video. When can we start building that time machine for five year old me?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Section-18-Oh-My-God, Or, The Paul-grimage, Or, Carry A Pizza Box, Girl!

If no one has noticed, this little portion of the Globally Expansive Trap (doesn't have the same ring as World Wide Web, does it?) has been conspicuously silent.
That's because I have been in a perpetual state of "what the hell day is this?" since June 5th.
You see, at midnight, the very moment we switched to June 6th, I started my seven week summer course (hence the tardiness of this post). I'm not particularly a fan of these summer sessions, but the benefit is that I can take a class that would ordinarily be very easy for me (OK, so there was the one time I took Algebra in seven weeks, and still ended up passing with an A), and cram it into half the time of a normal semester. Let's face it, the quicker I can get a class done, the further away from this sick little game I can get (and it ain't fast enough, folks!).
I had this little predicament, though; well, it was actually quite a big predicament.
We had to leave to go see this guy - oh, what's his name, Paul Mc-something - at about six o'clock in the morning on June 6th! See my problem? So, I worked until four o'clock in the morning, and hoped that would be enough (I did meet every deadline I could, so I'm sure it was just fine). The best part of the whole thing is that I just didn't give a shiny baboon's arse that I was missing the first week of seven.
My sister and I used to sing the I Am Weasel theme song in the back seat of our car all the time. Now she doesn't sing in front of people (whereas I scared the hell out of a UPS delivery guy only this afternoon).

Vegas has that effect on me, I guess, 'cause I only checked in once the entire time I was gone, and it happened to be on June 7th, the day before we got to Vegas.
Before we delve into the awesomeness that was Vegas, though, let's start at the beginning of the story. You know, like you're supposed to. (Imagine that!)
After the college debacle, we left for Gallup, NM (we know, we know) at around 2:30 in the afternoon.
"How nice", we thought to ourselves, "a leisurely drive to New Mexico, and we can finish off the rest of the trip in time for a late lunch in Vegas tomorrow! Oh, happy day!"
We hadn't even left town before some kind of belt thingy on our car squeaked and squealed as we began our journey. With stops every twenty or so minutes (or maybe it just felt that way), we decided to get it checked out in Albuquerque. Five hours later, we were on our way, but not before we had some great adventures.
The ash cloud from some fire in Arizona engulfed the entire town during our five hour lay-over; the sunlight filtering through the debris was absolutely golden as embers flitted about like snow in the air. I imagine it was what Pompeii looked like right before it was smothered. If I ever see anything like that in my life again, I will know to run the other way; just as a bystander, though, it was amazing to see.
Our view from the auto repair shop. The time was 7:22, if that gives you an indication of how mucky it was out there.

If you really want to know how bad the ash was, just ask this guy. We figured he was asthmatic.
I swear to God, this guy was at the Whataburger across the street from the auto shop. I took the shot from the back seat of our car, so I had to crop the photo down a bit so you could see him clearly.

Highlights from the trip? I thought you'd never ask!
Reginald Kitty is not amused.

*What is it with random people walking along the highway in the Middle-Of-Nowhere-Arizona? Thirty miles from the nearest town, and random people were just along the highway, no car in sight. One guy was wearing a very heavy down coat, and, a while later, a kid on a bike. No car, too young to drive, but a kid just riding a bike. I. Kid. You. Not.

*A direct quote from my vacation notebook (yeah, sue me): Leaving LOVE shop: "I lost the hundred dollars I came with". Heard Panic At The Disco in the car park. Both pleased me.
The best part about the gambling man was that he was chasing after his friends; I like to imagine they were holding his wallet.

*For once, the music in the casinos was good. I know, I was shocked, too. The first day alone, I heard Plain White T's, Panic At The Disco, Sugar Ray, Smashmouth, and lots of classic rock (Elton, Billy, Beatles, you know the drill). It has only just dawned on me as I typed that sentence that they're trying to reach my age range, though. Oh God.

*There was a guy dressed up like Chewbacca walking around on the Strip. I couldn't find him for a photograph, though, so here's a substitute.

At Paris. After I took this picture, the girl behind me pulled out her phone while screaming "OH MA GAWD". I told her to put it on Twitter.

*The Triangle Of Awesome. For those of you who may not know what the Triangle Of Awesome is, take note of the circled items.
At top, The Beatles Revolution Lounge (and, naturally, the LOVE shop); lower left, husband... um, I mean, iPad shopping at the Apple Store in Caesar's Palace; at right, after a long day of browsing (and buying, in some cases), Chipotle for a spot of lunch. Does life get better than that, I ask you? Oh, wait, I forgot about the guys on the Lennon Bus in tight trousers. (I can't help it if the thing was parked outside The Mirage the whole time we were there.) I withdraw the statement.

*I was actually called a southern belle by a Long Island Yankee. Believe it. All I did was say "are you positive?", which caused laughs from their group as they tried (and failed) to repeat the words with my accent. I think I may have laughed with them. What? It's funny.
Related thought: I, apparently, do not mind being shoved into folks if they randomly start singing Beatles songs (though, with as long as we were bumped up against each other, at least he could have bought me dinner before he made fun of my accent).

*Oh, and we saw this guy, Paul McCartney. I can't explain what our Paul experience was this time. The only word I can say is surreal. We walked into the arena, and the reaction was something like this (not just from us, but from everybody in our section)...
My mother saw this and said "I love gimp cats!" Only in our house...
Followed closely by this...

Once the show started, I turned into a little puddle of weak-kneed mush as my eyes beheld the wonders before them. We sang, we danced, we blew kisses and got some in return, we screamed so hard we coughed up blood, and we wept like schoolgirls. There simply are no words. None. Empty. But, that's the magic of Vegas. Anything is possible there, let me tell you. I have been to Vegas on pilgrimage before (please, dear God, don't ask), but there's something about the place that just leaves me with a mystical glow of pure joy.

All in all, the trip flew by too quickly, but what a trip it was!
And Paul, love, we'll see you next time!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Somebody's Got A Birthday Today...

June 18th.
The eighteenth day of the sixth month.
So what?
It's International Sushi Day!
No, that doesn't seem right. What about birthdays? I mean, a lot of people were born on June 18th: Roger Ebert, Isabella Rossellini, Jack Barakat. Wait, I think I'm missing somebody. Like, an IMPORTANT somebody.
It's only our favorite guy in the whole wide world!
On behalf of the entire planet: biggest, warmest, hugs-and-squeezles, oodles and globs of sappy birthday wishes go out to the one and only Paul McCartney on this, his sixty-ninth birthday!

From Beatle Paul...

To Wingin' it with Linda and the guys...

(I swear, this is what heaven will be. Except with puppies, and Krispy Kreme doughnuts.)

Givin' his regards to Broadstreet...

Tripping The Live Fantastic...

To where he's at today...

How often can we honor such an incredible human being?
Not often enough, say I!
Do you think we'd all do the crazy, insane, totally psychotic things we do if we didn't love this man? Not just me, but the Fans On The Run, the multi-generational Apple Scruffs, and, as we saw recently, fresh-from-the-oven fans practically wetting themselves with excitement at his mere presence.
We do it 'cause we love our Paulie!

Who cares if the video is old? The sentiment is the same! Thirty-five more at the very least, or you'll have all of us to answer to, OK, love?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Allen Klein Must Have Been Involved...

Hey, Apple, can we talk? Yes, you, Apple. Yes, The-Beatles-Apple. I'd like to talk candidly to you. You've gotten enough of my money over the last ten years, the least you can do is sit down and shut up, right?
I have taken notice of the latest Facebook updates to the official Beatles fan page, and I must say, what the holy loving hell is going on?
The first of two updates says that the Anthology series is going to be reissued.
"Great!" said I, "That's fab, man. Even the Anthology will be on iTunes now! Gear, it'll get out to a whole new generation of sods that are about to have their little brainboxes blown by the awesomeness that is John, Paul, and George."
Not long after, the second update posted this great little video to promote it.
Intrigued, I watched this awesome video. I was really into it, Apple, I've got to tell you; George Martin, Paul, George, and especially when they talked about the "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love" tracks - goosebumps all over! Way to go, you've got me sold, and I've already got the entire package (the three volumes, plus the astounding accompanying documentary and coffee table book).
I was reveling in the music nerd moment, Apple, until I saw this message flash across the screen before your groovy little green apple logo.
Wait, in the update, you didn't say anything about it being remastered, for the love of all that's good and cheezy. Did you really digitally remaster the ancient lo-fi demos? And it is going to be released on June 14th? As in, like, the same June 14th as the remastered McCartney and McCartney II issues (side note: Paul, you lovely cheeky monkey, you. This was all planned! How do you manage to take all my money, you adorable scouser, you?)?
Admirable effort to be hip, dearest Apple (even more dear than Macintosh, you slags), but I have a bone to pick with you.
It is obvious that, since the company's inception, all was doomed (two words: Allen Klein. I don't care that it was all those years ago, we're all still trying to live through the mistake that was Allen Klein): poor management, and concepts that are either out-of-date or bordering on ridiculous all add up to illogical business sense (read, the opposite of MPL... you know, the McCartney/Eastman company of awesome? We'll not get into that now, though).
Let me tell you what the record buying public want; I should know, I'm the record buying public. Don't get me wrong, I love the Anthology series with a purple passion - the George Harrison takes in particular tickle my fancy, and, of course, that "And Your Bird Can Sing" giggle-take is the best thing since Hershey Kisses.
Here's the thing: we've already got access to these things. We have them in our grubby, greedy little hands. We have read the booklets that came with the CDs. We have drooled over the studio chatter. We have marveled at the stripped down awesome of the infamous three part harmonies (like golden angels, for God's sake, and I am convinced it's what Heaven sounds like).
Not that we aren't excited for this new release, but, as a member of this record buying public, let me tell you what you should have done: give us access to something new.
"What kind of new?" I can hear your big-wigs nervously ask.
Sour Milk Sea, Bad To Me, Goodbye, One And One Is Two, Suicide, The Donovan Session from 1968, extended takes of It's All Too Much (and NOT just the version from the Yellow Submarine film, either... don't be stingy), Can You Take Me Back, and Her Majesty, and, sweet lizard with an afro, the list could flow from the top of the Empire State Building to unsuspecting tourists on Fifth Avenue below; and that's not even to mention the stuff we don't even know exists. The long and short of it? Anthology, v.2.0, remastered, if you please.
And you absolutely cannot use the "well, now that George has passed" excuse. If you can do it with the Threetles, by God, you can do it with Paul and Ringo. I know Ringo is pretty useless, but he was a Beatle nonetheless. So what if you can't use the same shtick of "new Beatles material after twenty-some years"? If you give us takes like the ones I mentioned, it'll ALL be new. We know you have the ability (does anybody remember "Let It Be... Naked"? A twenty-two minute track entitled "Fly On The Wall" rings a bell).
Hell, it doesn't even have to be fancy. I'm sure that the Anthology series was incredibly difficult to cull together, what with the special liner notes, the book, the documentary; the best part of an Anthology 2.0 is that no one expects, or is even asking for such a fuss.
Liner notes? Big bold print along the following line: "Thank you for buying this thing what we done longtimes ago. Love, Paul". Oh, and that Peace and Love thing Ringo does. Slap that on there, too; you know, in smaller print.
We don't need a book, we don't need a documentary, either; everything that's going to be said has pretty much been said (unless Paul can think of anything else awesome. Which he can) as far as the whole "this-is-the-story-of-The-Beatles" business goes.
Oh, and one more thing: I suggest you do it pretty damn quick, kids. Use the resource of Sir George Martin while we still have him to turn to. The dude's eighty-five years old, so time is of the essence. Bring Giles into it, too, for kicks and giggles. The more, the merrier! As far as I'm concerned, make everybody a part of this celebration. Yoko? Come on in, darlin'! Olivia? Sure, bring Dhani, too! Sean, you say you might want to chip in? Great, join the party, bring your lovely brother along, if you can catch him!
The point is to do this while you can. Record sales are in the tank, so it may be a good business idea; you know, if you can be bothered to come up with one (you know, unlike that "Best Of Apple" compilation that came out last year; seriously, you'll release Jackie Lomax's version of Sour Milk Sea, and the Mary Hopkins version of Goodbye before you'll let the original demos out of your death grip? I know they exist, too, so don't say you haven't got them).
Oh, and, by the way, put the Anthology 2.0 on CD; you know, unlike this remastered Anthology (seriously, Apple?). Believe it or not, the die-hards you're trying to target LOVE physical copies - since I first read the news, I've seen nothing but complaints that this is a purely digital release.
Once again, Apple's respective head is deep in the metaphorical sand.

Is It A Subscription Box, Or Something More Sinister? (It's A Subscription Box. Maybe.)