Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ballsy Ad

Nike and Weiden + Kennedy have egg (not balls) on their face after having to retract these supposedly homophobic print ads. I agree with one of the commenters, it seems more sophomoric than homophobic. Luckily for me, I'm not sophophobic. That's why I made jokes about balls, too.

A diversion

Monday, July 28, 2008


Too many channels

I love having all the television choices available these days, but damn. Remember when you'd use a NUMBER to talk about a channel?

"Hey, what's on channel five tonight?"
"Happy Days, dude!"

Now, forget about it. When's the last time someone asked, "Did you watch 238 last night?" Seriously, when I decide I want to watch something on AMC, I better start channel surfing 10 minutes before it starts. Who the hell remembers what the number is for that?

This may explain why I never watch SPIKE. Even more so, it explains why I never saw these most excellent commercials for the Star Wars movies.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nothing is sacred

Everything is for sale. Even seminal movies from our past.

I shouldn't be surprised. After all, it's happened before with far more important influences.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Triple Callback Afternoon

No it's not a new sex maneuver or a forgotten psychedelic band from the 60's. This article serendipitously ties together Crustodio's Feist post, our recent conversation about Lames Taylor and my frightening resemblance to Mike Mills.


The Ultimate Battle

I was just talking about Battle of the Network Stars, one of my favorite shows from childhood. Maybe at out next college buddies reunion in 2012, we'll do our own version of this. The West Coast vs Jesusland.

I still have vivid memories of a feisty Robert Conrad and his tiff with a laid-back and cool Gabe Kaplan. Well, here's the evidence: The Popcorn Trick has a long and delightful write-up from the 1976 season. That first season with Kaplan, Conrad and Telly Savalas was pure gold - and pure testosterone. By 1980 the captains had degraded to the likes of John Davidson, Jamie Farr and Arte Johnson. Quite a comedown. Though I would like to see the 1983 crew of William Shatner, William Devane and Mr. T!

Back in '76 when I was an impressionable 6th grader, I was a TV junkie and knew every one of these jokers. I was thinking I would like to see a modern version of this, but I really don't watch enough network tv to really be that excited about any of the "stars". Could they do a premium cable version? I want to see James Gandolfini square off against Larry David.

Thanks to PopCandy for the tip.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A conversation

Crustodiodio (3:53:18 PM): you're going to be sooo envious of me
Crustodiodio (3:53:28 PM): I am seeing a concert tonight - but not at the gorge

Pete Best (3:53:40 PM): Ray Davies?

Crustodiodio (3:53:53 PM): the "envious" was sarcastic this time
Crustodiodio (3:54:13 PM): you have three guesses, and you may not need all of them

Pete Best (3:54:34 PM): Did the wife pick it?

Crustodiodio (3:54:36 PM): yep
Crustodiodio (3:54:44 PM): but you could be making fun of me too
Crustodiodio (3:55:07 PM): no fair looking for concerts online

Pete Best (3:55:19 PM): give me a hint
Pete Best (3:55:23 PM): not a song

Crustodiodio (3:55:31 PM): you had to hear plenty of it

Pete Best (3:55:34 PM): just general genre maybe

Crustodiodio (3:55:46 PM): zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Pete Best (3:55:50 PM): Manilow?

Crustodiodio (3:55:53 PM): nope
Crustodiodio (3:56:04 PM): soft

Pete Best (3:56:28 PM): air supply?

Crustodiodio (3:56:39 PM): your two guesses are too far out

Pete Best (3:56:50 PM): is it classic era or newish
Pete Best (3:56:58 PM): Josh Groban?

Crustodiodio (3:57:03 PM): old
Crustodiodio (3:57:08 PM): classic
Crustodiodio (3:57:09 PM): soft

Pete Best (3:57:21 PM): James Taylor?

Crustodiodio (3:57:28 PM): Zing!
Crustodiodio (3:58:04 PM): at the St. Michelle winery on a sunny night, so that should be cool

Pete Best (3:58:20 PM): wait - it is JT?

Crustodiodio (3:58:22 PM): yes

Pete Best (3:58:32 PM): and you're complaining?

Crustodiodio (3:58:39 PM): no - just that you would laugh

Pete Best (3:58:42 PM): who ARE YOU??

Crustodiodio (3:58:44 PM): I'm looking forward to it
Crustodiodio (3:59:07 PM): but, let's face it, in a reminiscing way

Pete Best (4:00:29 PM): it's amazing
Pete Best (4:01:49 PM): any other artist from the 60's/70's who was a heroin addict, committed to an insane asylum and boned Carly Simon should somehow be cool. But, no.

Crustodiodio (4:01:57 PM): just smooth

Pete Best (4:03:36 PM): smooth is scary

Crustodiodio (4:06:20 PM): are we talking about your shaved balls again?

Pete Best (4:06:35 PM): when aren't we?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rush to Judgement

If I haven't apologized to Crustodio for this in a while, I'm sorry. Once again, I apologize for playing Rush albums and hanging Rush posters in our freshman year dorm room. They are ugly men. And the music is.... not good. But hey, I was 17 in 1982 and I just didn't know any better. In high school, everyone was into metal and hard rock, which I couldn't stand. 2 bands that I hated then, but have now grown to love, were AC/DC and Van Halen.

After all, I had literally never listened to anything except the Monkees and the Beatles (including their solo stuff) until 1980, when I was dragged off to my first concert: Cheap Trick. I was like, "hey, this is just like a modern version of the Beatles" (sort of), and my first steps into contemporary music were taken.

But I still couldn't handle the hard rock and metal stuff. It was just so stupid. And all that wizard/devil/monster iconography? It was strong stuff for a fan of Wings. And the guys and girls who wore their concert shirts with such pride were always the most anti-social stoners and miscreants. I was just so not into it.

And then one day someone played me some Rush. Wait - here's a band playing hard rock, but they have intelligent lyrics? Oh, my God! I was hooked. Now, of course, I look back at Neil Peart's lyrics and cringe. It's funny that now I actually prefer lyrics like "Rock and roll ain't noise polution/It's just rock and roll" (AC/DC) over Peart's twaddle. I think Blender put it best when they voted him the 2nd worst lyricist in rock:

Drummers are good at many things: exploding, drowning in their own vomit, drumming. But the Rush skinsman proved they should never write lyrics—or read books. Peart opuses like “Cygnus X-1” are richly awful tapestries of fantasy and science fiction, steeped in an eighth-grade understanding of Western philosophy. 2112, Rush’s 1976 concept album based on individualist thinker Ayn Rand’s novella Anthem, remains an awe-inspiring low point in the sordid relationship between rock and ideas. Worst lyric: “I stand atop a spiral stair/An oracle confronts me there/He leads me on light years away/Through astral nights, galactic days” (“Oracle: The Dream”).


But, for a few years I was hooked. I saw the band live 3 times. This was during their heyday, around the release of Moving Pictures, their best album. And I could wear cool concert t-shirts to school the next day. Anything to get over the taint of having worn a homemade Star Trek t-shirt in 7th grade. Which was only once, since it was ripped in my one and only fist fight that very same day. But, I digress.

So, yeah, I was into Rush. And I took my obsession to college and inflicted poor Crustodio with it. For a guy who mostly listened to yacht rock, it was a pretty tough sell. But as time went on and I became aware of new music (God bless you, R.E.M.!), and Rush started releasing synth-heavy, plodding and awful albums, my interest began to wane. Hello, college rock! Goodbye, Rush albums! And off I went, into the land of indie-rock snobbery.

OK, I have a secret. You may have guessed by now. I still fucking love Rush. God damn, they are awesome. I have their entire catalog (well, through Signals) on my iTunes and when I'm alone, I sometimes bust them out. They are the epitome of the guilty pleasure. So, you can imagine how I was pleased to see them make their first television appearance in 30 years on the Colbert Report last week. Say what you will about Mr. Peart, but he got a couple good lines in here:

By the way, I did not put the arrow pointing to Alex's armadillo on the image. That was supplied by some nameless person on Google. But, yeah - it's naaaasty.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Joe is a star

Our buddy Joe is in the latest The Breeders video. He's the dude in the suit.

Definitely the best I've seen him act since his heart-rending portrayal in Who's Life is it Anyway in Dayton, Ohio.

Walk It Off

Way to go, Joe!

1-2-3-4 chickens just back from the shore

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Yeah, you know you do it. 

You put your name into Google to see what comes up. 

If you're an unlucky soul with a name like Bob Jones, you're kind of screwed. Crustodio and I are both blessed with unusual last names, so we can actually find things about ourselves. I actually have a lot of results, which fall into one of the following categories:

  • Social networking: tons of these from Linked-In, Friendster, Facebook, MySpace, etc.
  • Designed by: When I was doing a lot of freelance web design, I always put "Designed by Pete..." at the bottom of the pages.
  • Music-related: links to old reviews, articles and bookings. These are my favorite. And occasionally, I find something new. Like yesterday, for example!
This review from last year of the 1991 House Levelers album (my first band), was actually very insightful and a lot of fun to read. And, unusually, the writer singled out my songs instead of Grayson's. That never happens - he has such a great, soulful voice that people usually pass over my sub-Gordon Gano yowl.

I like the term "kitschy cool" - could it be that my whiny and weird pop songs are old enough now that they're cool and cult-y, instead of disappointing and annoying? Hmm, well maybe in another 10 years. In any case, thanks, DaSLOB.
Googlbation: successful!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's almost kind of quintessentially a Portland thing

My biggest fear and Crustodio's greatest joy: bike rage!

"News of Sunday night's confrontation circulated quickly among officers and reached Officer Robert Pickett, the bureau's unofficial liaison between police and Portland's biking community.

'It's almost kind of quintessentially a Portland thing," Pickett said, after reading the police reports. 'It's too bad there's an 'us vs. them' dynamic.'"

(Photo is unrelated to article)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The ravages of time

Mr. Best and I are back from our brief sojourn to Southern California.

What an incredible time hanging with old friends, blowing each other truckloads of shit, laughing 'till we cried and consuming many, many beverages.

We may look a bit older than we did 20-some years ago, but I swear these are the EXACT SAME PEOPLE I spent so much time with forever ago. Less hair (for some), more...body (for almost all of us), same brilliant senses of humor, same biting comments...couldn't have been much better.

Above, it is 1985 (86?) and I am contemplating my future loss of hair. And my incredibly bad choice in trousers.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Graffiti Table goes Hollywood

The GT is going on location once again. As I mentioned earlier, Crustodio and I are joining 7 other college buddies for a reunion in sunny Hollywood, California. There will be much shit talk and ball busting. There will be swimming and incredibly complicated games made up on the spot. There will be hangovers and talk of getting old. There will be talk of who slept with who 20+ years ago. There will be a vicious game of quarters. Crustodio will lose. Again. I will hog the stereo. And we will video chat with the losers who bailed at the last minute. 

I am so excited that it is hard for me to get to bed, even though I have to get up in less than 7 hours. I'm not sure what posts we can deliver this weekend, if any. Be patient with us, dear reader, as we go relive our youth. We made friends for life in college, and we will be with people who "get" us in ways no other friends ever will. Every leap year we are once again the same people we were long ago, when we were still fresh and naive and not beaten down by life. Sure, it's an illusion, but as a wise man once said, use your illusion.

Monty Python, Eddie Izzard, Ricky Gervais and... Jay-Z?

I love this. At Glastonbury, hip hop superstar Jay-Z struck back in excellent fashion at Oasis's Noel Gallagher, after he proclaimed that “Glastonbury has the tradition of guitar music. I'm not having hip-hop at Glastonbury. It's wrong." 

Instead of starting up a typical hip hop feud, Jay-Z engaged his very British sense of humor by opening his set with Oasis's hit "Wonderwall".

“That’s my sense of humour. I have a sense of humour like a Brit so I thought people would appreciate that. Noel Gallagher was one of the biggest detractors so I figured that was a cool way to start the show.”

More here.

His version is crap, but I love the gesture. And it's great to see the entire crowd sing the song back at him.

You know, the whole Oasis/Bluir feud of the 90's would have been a lot more interesting if they had indulged in some gansta-style drive-bys and beatdowns...