25th May2004

Remembering Kool and the Gang’s “Cherish”

by Will

The mall music @ White Flint has probably the BEST ’80s collection ever. They don’t play the cliche stuff like Madonna, Prince, and MJ. Instead, you get Johnny Hates Jazz, Corey Hart, Spandau Ballet, OMD, all the good one hit wonders. One song, though, especially stood out to me the other day.

You see, I hate Kool and the Gang. I hate them specifically for “Celebrate”, but I just hate their sound, kinda like I hate Earth, Wind and Fire. Well, there’s ONE Kool and the Gang song I like, and I think it’s because it’s not like their usual sound.

OK kids, I’m about to open up here, so don’t laugh. That song is “Cherish”. Most people may think of it as a cheesy 80’s love song, which it most certainly is. But it holds special meaning for me because it is involved in one of my earliest memories. You see, that song was playing following my father’s funeral, when everyone was going home and the cleanup was taking place. I never quite understood the somber nature of the event because I was 3, and didn’t really understand life and death. In fact, for many years, I just referred to it as the time “all my cousins came to see me”, because in my mind, that’s what happened. Anyway, I distinctly remember that song. I didn’t even know the lyrics back then. In fact, I didn’t learn the words until about 3 years ago when I discovered mp3s. Before that, I was just making up sounds, singing somthing along the lines of “Cherry suh-luv…”

Anyway, my point is that this song gets VERY little airplay. You have to be awake at 3 AM on a Sat night, listening to Kid Kelly’s Backtrax USA just to even have a chance of hearing this thing. But it played the other night, on White Flint’s PA, as I was leaving work. I really had a crappy day Saturday, but I think, in some way, I kinda felt a little better after I heard that. I’m sure many of you might wonder, “Why, Will? It reminds you of such a bad occasion.” But you see, I didn’t realize it was bad when it happened. To me, those were simpler, happier times, and in my mind, that was the best day ever ’cause my family came out to see ME. Well, today I know the truth, but it still doesn’t change anything. For that one memory, Kool and the Gang are alright in my book.

25th May2004

“Don’t Look Any Further” – Unsung Sample Hero

by Will

Song of the Moment:

“Don’t Look Any Further”, by Dennis Edwards

Yes, you’ve heard it before. At least some form of it. I’d swear that it’s probably the MOST sampled song in the history of hip hop, but this is the original slow jam. Forget R. Kelly, this is a “satin sheet” song.

18th May2004

At Least It Didn’t Include The Hampster Dance

by Will

So, we have support staff from all around the region in our store to help get it ready for opening. Today, one of the girls decides to play her CD while we’re working. It’s her “Songs To Have Sex To” CD. But here’s the odd part: these were definitely not “sex songs”. The disc included “Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch (I Can’t Help Myself)”, by The Four Tops; “Don’t Stay Home”, by 311; “PYT”, by Michael Jackson; and “Everlong”, by The Foo Fighters! It just goes to show ya the lengths some people have to go to just to get off…

09th May2004

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road…

by Will

“Maybe you’ll get a replacement
There’s plenty like me to be found.
Mongrels, who ain’t got a penny
Sniffing for tid-bits like you on the ground.”

29th Apr2004

Get Your Own Song!

by Will

Why, oh why, did Jessica Simpson cover “Take My Breath Away”? That is an iconic song! I kind of come from the school where I think it’s offensive to cover a song by a one-hit wonder. I mean, it’s not like Berlin really have anything else that people remember. Even Starship had “We Built This City ” & “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”. But Berlin have nothing else besides that song! What, Jessica? You didn’t feel like screwing up “Total Eclipse of the Heart”? “Mickey” out of your range? Don’t want to try your hand at “Bette Davis Eyes”? To me, this is the equivalent of Britney covering “My Heart Will Go On.” It might be a crappy song, but it’s still trespassing.

29th Apr2004

Thin Line Between Beauty and Ugly

by Will

I felt this post was appropriate, seeing as how People’s “50 Most Beautiful People” issue is about to drop.

You know how there’s a thin line between pain and pleasure? I’m beginning to think it’s the same with beauty and ugliness. For instance, we think gorgeous people are gorgeous because they differ so much from everyone else. At the same time, we think unattractive people are ugly….because they differ so much from everyone else. My point is that a lot of the people we find “attractive” should also be “unattractive”, but it’s simply a matter of perspective.

Nick Lachey, it’s been said, really isn’t a hot guy. If you look closely, he’s got a big pug nose, thick lips, and he’s almost kind of a meathead. But if you take the parts as a whole, something about them converge to make him this heartthrob. You could say it’s his personality, but look closely next time; you’ll see what I’m talking about.

At Cornell, there was a very attractive singer who, upon closer inspection, had certain physical aspects that should be “unattractive”. Regardless, somehow these aspects converged, causing us all to think this person was gorgeous. I still stand by this assessment, but some days, my mind wanders….

Jennifer Garner is another example. In my mind, she is the world’s most beautiful man. Yes, I said “man”. There is NOTHING feminine about her, yet she’s this sex symbol. Had she come out last decade, she’d have been some sort of freak. But now, she’s this “graceful beauty”. Have you seen her high school pictures?!! This girl had “ugly duckling” written all over her. And no, she did NOT have some kind of glamorous Hollywood makeover. Little has changed in her appearance, except she’s more buff. And we call this “sexy”? She was hot in Daredevil, but that’s ’cause she was a ninja, and General Law of Life #768 states that “All ninjas are cool, no questions asked”.

I guess my question is what is it about these people, or our own assessments, that cause them to be seen as “sexy” and “beautiful”.

Oh man, I’m starting to sound like James…

29th Apr2004

John Stevens & Cornell Idol

by Will

Let’s talk about John Stevens. Now, I have never been a big fan of his, and I definitely thought he was out of his league, but this whole thing has gone too far. I was so glad he was “put out of his misery” last night because I was beginning to fear for him. His grandparents were beginning to fear, too, when they read someone hoping he’d be “taken out” by an audience member. That’s just plain inappropriate!

American Idol is a farce, plain and simple. We get our kicks from it, but there’s no need to get so passionate. I’m beginning to equate it to professional sports; I never understood how someone could get so wrapped up in a team/game, where the result could lead to violence.

I’ve got to hand it to Simon. He told John, “You are only 16 years old, yet you have taken these bullets thrown at you like a man.” He was right on the money. Imagine what it must feel like, to have been voted to this position, and then have everyone turn their backs on you. Every week, fearing you’re next to go, knowing people expect you to go, and then seeing your friend voted off. Imagine what it must’ve been like to have been his elderly grandparents, once so proud, now fearful for the life of their pride and joy.

Plus, most of us can’t stand when the girl at the office is talking shit behind our backs. Imagine what a 16 YEAR OLD, who’s already the most insecure creature in nature, must feel when he learns the whole nation basically think he’s a hack. If that’s the case, who’s been voting for him all these weeks? Stand up and be accountable! If he had just up and commited suicide, I wonder who’d be to blame then? Would people even feel sorry, or would they just say, “Oh well”? “Cause it was certainly a possibility. He could have killed himself. Stranger things have happened. And it would’ve been Jillian Barberie’s fault, and Jay Leno’s fault, even Katie Couric’s fault. This got to the point where newscasters, who aren’t even supposed to takes sides, especially on trivial matters such as these, were against him. They can’t even take sides on the war, but they can add to a pasty teenager’s depression. Way to go, Katie! What, Al Roker too skinny for you to make fat jokes about anymore? You gotta turn to someone new?

John Stevens, you held your own like a man, and I have more respect for you than you can imagine. I couldn’t even deal when I bombed Cornell Idol, and that was worthless. Hell, I think the winner was asked to leave Cornell, so I guess she lost the title. Regardless, you took those barbs and jabs much better than I could have. I want to know your secret, but mainly I’d just like to know you.

Plus, it’s not like he’s out of the picture and people need to realize that. First of all, by virtue of even making it to this stage of the competition, he’s already a part of the live touring show once the contest ends. Plus, it’s not like you have to win the thing to get a recording deal. Hell, RJ Helton just released a CD a few weeks ago. Yup, Gay RJ from season 1. It’s not like it sold, but it’s still out there for anyone who wants it. John, someone out there wants you. That’s why Michael Buble and Josh Groban are stars. You have an audience, and they’re just waiting to hear more from ya. Now, don’t try singing anymore Nsync, especially when it’s a putrid Gloria Estefan song, but I know you’re talented. You just weren’t in the right environment.

26th Apr2004

Shopping Spree & Newport Cameos

by Will

Today’s Episode: “Will That Be Credit or Debit?” Episode #04102226

Special Guest Stars: Kea Dupree, Alex Cowan

Cameo Appearance: Beth Don

So, today, I was a bad boy. Mommy’s in NC with Mr. Earle for a funeral, so I’m Kevin McCallister for the moment. I didn’t really want to be home, even though I have some MAJOR cleaning to do. I’ve been sleeping in the guest room since December ’cause my room is so junky!

Anyway, I didn’t want to stay in, so I decided to go out…in the rain…shopping. I know I probably shouldn’t have, but I really wanted to buy stuff. It’d make me feel better. Plus, I worked over 85 hrs during the past week and a half, so it’s not like I couldn’t afford it right now. I’ll just be regretting it later.

So, ever since being introduced to Death Cab for Cutie, I’ve really been hooked. Since they’re a fairly new group, the collector in me took over, and I’ve been trying to track down every album. Anyway, I’ve been a real music mood, so you can see where this is headed….

I’m just gonna list where I went and what I bought. That’ll give the best picture of my adventures.

CD/DVD Exchange:

Elton John – Live in Australia

Elton John – Two Rooms

Starship – Knee Deep In The Hoopla

Baywatch – Hawaiian Wedding DVD

Tower Records & Videos:

Elton John – Greatest Hits 1970-2002

Elton John – Remixed

Death Cab for Cutie – You Can Play These Songs With Chords

Death Cab for Cutie – We Have The Facts and We’re Voting Yes

Westlife – Turnaround

Rufus Wainwright – Want One

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 1 DVD

Gamestop:

Star Trek – Federation Gift Pak

Borders Books & Music:

Something Corporate – North

Blender, May 2004

EB:

The Punisher DVD

So yeah, spent a LOT of money. Kinda having the Buyer’s Remorse….

I completed the Death Cab collection, but I’m also on this Elton kick. He is AWESOME! I completely blame Courtney for this ’cause she had his greatest hits playing ALL DAY yesterday! After awhile, that stuff is just gonna seep in.

So, I think I saw Ethan’s mom when I was at Gamestop, but since I didn’t really confirm whether or not it was her, we’ll just give her a “cameo” credit.

While at White Flint, I ran into Ms. Kea, AKA The “Dolly” to my “Cornelius” (Newport kids’ll get that reference). She’s just as cute as ever. It was great seeing her, but I felt so inadequate seeing as how she’s practically working 4 jobs right now! She’s really on the ball. It’s actually kind of motivating. It was good to catch up with her and find out the whereabouts of some other Newportians.

On the way home, I’m minding my own business, reading my Blender, on the Metro. Suddenly, this tall White guy in a cowboy hat and leather jacket stumbles into the car. I look at him, wondering, “Who the hell is this guy?” I look closer and realize it’s Alex! I haven’t seen him in years, but he’s the same Alex I remember and love. He scanned the car, and he looked at me, but didn’t recognize me. I decided to wait and see if he’d notice me. He sat down a few rows up, and just waited for his stop. He took off his hat, and there was a chunk of hair missing on the side. Don’t folks! This wasn’t the result of an accident. This was a statement. He always did have a way with fashion. So, he gets up for his stop, and I call out his name. He kinda hears it, notices me, and is shocked. He stumbles over to me and we talk, but he has to get off. I told him we’d hang out soon since I’d been hanging with his sister recently.

I swear, everyday, there’s another person I never thought I’d run into. It’s almost like I’m being set up. But it was still awesome to see them both. And great spending ALL THAT MONEY 🙂

23rd Apr2004

Tiny Vessels

by Will

Song of the Moment: “Tiny Vessels”, by Death Cab for Cutie

22nd Apr2004

Boobygate’s Effect On Dating Shows

by Will

James is going to hate me for taking this stance, but I’m STILL pissed at Janet Jackson! Yes, there are other parties to be angry at, such as JT and CBS and blah blah blah, but she’s the one who took the heat from the Super Bowl, so she’s the target of my ire. Why am I STILL mad? Because of the effect her little stunt has had on my favorite pastime: Late-nite dating shows.

Since these shows have started new midseason episodes, they SUCK. OK, on Blind Date, which has never been the most conservative of the bunch, they now censor anything involving a tongue. Girl licks a guys chest: censored. Sucks a straw: censored. But the BIGGEST nail in the coffin? AVERAGE PEOPLE.

Blind Date has always been like Fear Factor; they’ve had a knack for finding gorgeous people to perform perfectly mundane, and in some cases extreme, situations. The BD formula was simply: See hot guy. Hot guy goes out with hot girl. Two possibilities: A) they hit it off, end up in hot tub and spend the night together, or B) they hate each other, and proceed to insult each other until the end of the date.

Now, that’s all been thrown to the wind! They’re using average looking, everyday people. The kind of people who are obviously REAL, just like you and me. Now, I don’t know about you, but there are very few people I know whose dates I’d like a peek at. Nothing against my friends, but I simply don’t think anything exciting and “LA” is going on during their dates. The appeal of the dating shows was that you were never sure if the people were “real” or if they were actors trying to have a springboard into a career. This theory was also supported by the fact that several of the daters “did the rounds”, meaning they’ve been on every show from “Extreme Dating”, “Blind Date”, and “Change of Heart” to “5th Wheel” and “elimiDATE”.

Since the Super Bowl, not only is the FCC afraid of breasts, but apparently, hot, fake, shallow people are off the menu as well! It’s only a matter of time before they come after the WWE, and that’s when they I’m gonna take a stand!