Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dinosaurs drowning in Tar: Music Videos from the Mtv

Well if Oasis more "officially" dead than they have ever been, I think it is safe to crown Arctic Monkeys, the Kings of British Rock music. This is a good tune, quick and catchy. The Davey Jones Locker imagery works well with the song. They will never be the throw-your arm around your mate and swing your pint sing-along anthem-ieers that Oasis was, but they are on their third record and still sounding good, something most Brit act's can't muster even the aforementioned Gallagher Brothers.

The current alternative music scene's obsession with 80's maybe coming to an end. As here's the first hint of 90's nostalgiato bubble to the service. Cage the Elephant's "Back Against the Wall" has all the markers of the grunge era: cut off shorts, flannel shirts, a blond singer with a gravelly voice, only thing missing is a black t-shirt with the word "Loser" written on the front. The video is even reminiscent of Nirvana's "Heart Shape Box", with it's hyper color, bright greens and pinks. The sound isn't so much Nirvana. I wanted to say it's more "pre-major label Soul Asylum but with more of snarl". But upon listening to "Sometime to Return", that's not quite right either. Anyhow it's a good tune, I like it - Catchy.

I saw these videos from DVRing the "Subterranean" show on MTV2. Much like the people over 45 who still read newspapers. I still get new music from MTV, and yes I feel like the Brontosaurus wearing grey and black checkered Vans drowning in the Tar Pits of Southern California.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"They roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth"

Well I have been obsessed with this movie since I saw the 30 second ad on "Community" last night. The fact that it Arcade Fire's "Wake Up", one of the best songs of the decade from the best album of the decade, is the soundtrack for the spot only beefs up the obsession. On top of the fact that the film is based upon the the best children's book of all time. Or at least one that people of my generation have a great attachment to. It is understandable that I obsessed on this topic for a couple hours this morning.
It seems like an especially Gen X sort of fixation for this story. It was first published in the sixties so it was right in the wheel house for those of use born in the early 70's. I have met more than one hipster who had a Max tattoo, and only one of them happened to be named Max themselves. I knew a hipster couple who had a kid in the late 1990s, and they named their boy "Max". I am sure that the boy in the wolf suit was no small inspiration.
It was one of the last books, I ever remember an adult reading to me. I was in 3rd or 4th grade, and too big to have an adult read me a bed-time story. I was still living in Billings Montana, so I must have been 9, 10 tops. And I was spending the night at a boy's house who was the only child to a single mother, and who's name I cannot remember, but we'll call him Cam. Cam's mom was really mothering to him, you know bed time stories in the third grade, and all. I remember some of the other boys picking on him calling him a "momma's boy" apparently they had spent the night at Cam's house and got the bedtime story bit too, and also thought it was weird, and having the social graces of a 3rd grader decided to use it as a weapon of ostraciation. This is really the age when the negative parts of the animal begins to emerge in boys. Anyway this kid lived in a nice big house at the foot of the Rims in Billings.
The Rims are these huge Sandstone walls that surround one end of the city, it is a pretty cool spot for a 10 year old boy and his buddy to spend the day running around, digging, exploring, building forts, and havind dirt clod fights. And we had spent the day doing just that. That night after we had a fun dinner, probably hamburgers his mom cooked and watched "3-2-1 Contact" that was on location at a Kiss concert. Cam asked me if I liked Kiss, and I shrugged my shoulders because I had no real opinion on music then, that was still a couple years off, but he told me that he didn't like them because they were "a bunch of Satan Worshippers" which probably would've been my answer too.
That night as we were being tucked his mom came in and said I have three stories one of them was "Where the Wild Things Are". We were both very excited for the Wild Things even though we were like 10, and it was a "kiddie book". It was the most popular choice, and was read last. I remember not really getting into the beginning and the end, but always being really transformed and engrossed when Max reaches the island of the Wild Things, I could almost smell the vines of the jungle, it seemed kind of real. I wasn't really aware of the rest of the story till I became a parent myself I got a copy of the Wild Things to read to my daughter, even though it is a bit of a boy book.
Which leads me to the question what is it about Max, his mischief, his private boat, and the Wild Rumpus - that holds such an attraction and fascination? Since it is a picture book, of 20 or fewer pages and less than one paragraph of prose. It must be the artwork, which is awesome. Or is it something about Max, the hero, who is a bit of an anti-hero. He makes mischief and then threats: "I'll Eat You Up". As he is banished to his room he transforms it to land of terrible creatures who he tames and becomes their king, only to become unhappy and return to the land which banished him to find his supper waiting for him, and that it is still hot. Now is there some obvious metaphor about living with and conquering personal demons, and then returning to the world knowing you are king of the Wild Things, and could return there, if you wanted too, kind of like Ash from the Evil Dead Movies.
It's all a bunch of navel gazing, isn't it? Especially based on a movie, that probably should've never been made, from a beloved book, that is un-filmable. Last time I look forward to an adaptation like this I was severely disappointed. Looking at you Watchmen.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Glenn Beck released a new book today. IQ's dropping fast.

My buddy JT was getting on me Sunday, about my hatred of the FOX talking heads (O'Rielly, Beck) while giving a free pass to MSNBC's (Olbermann, Madow).

I jotted off this email to him, but embeded the videos here.

You kept dinging me on Sunday for be too hard on the Glenn Becks’ of the world while giving the Olbermann’s and Madow’s a pass. Sure my own political bias comes in on that, sure. But I think that Olbermann and Madow both actually believes what they are spewing, while Beck is just doing “his Master’s bidding”.

Take a look at this link and you’ll see what I mean.

So not only I disagree with Beck’s politics, and I believe that his language (calling the President “a racist” and a “radical” almost daily on TV) is VERY dangerous, but I think that he is a complete tool. seems to agree as well:

tool /tul/ –noun
1. an implement ... for performing or facilitating mechanical operations.

6. a person manipulated by another for the latter's own ends.

And not to put too fine a point on it

- Sweet satin Phoenix Suns jacket on Beck’s “buddy", for real.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kids Today / They're all the same.

This video has been getting a lot of play over the past couple of days, and apparently for good reason. The father's reaction to his little girl after she throws his foul ball back is really cute, and if I was a lady I may even go so far as to call it "precious". But it reminds me of a story that happened to me and my buddy JT when we were at a Mariners game four or five years ago. I am going to guess 2004, because the Bartman thing was still in everyone's mind.

So it was early in the season, a Sunday in April versus Texas, I believe, and if my memory serves me well it was the same day that Tiger Woods chipped in at the Masters and won the tournament. I remember the shot was so amazing that it was put up on the big screen at the game. So anyone who wants to can Sherlock Holmes the exact date out from there.

Our seats for the game are really sexy, thanks to the fact that we know people, who know people, who know people. But these are primo seats, outside the basepaths, but front row on the first base side right in the middle of the tarp. Yes a stadium with a retractable roof has a rain tarp, just in case, you know. Which makes me wonder if the Safeco Field Ground's Crew would actually know how to use the tarp in the event that it was actually needed. You know like a retractable-roof machination malfunction, or some giant windstorm blowing itlike a sail onto the I-5 on ramp directly behind the ballpark.

So anyhow there we are in the front row. And anyhow a foul ball comes sailing right over our heads, and as we look up to the see the ball coming down right on top of us, a large brown baseball mitt glides into view which the ball harmless bounces off the edge of, then bounces off the tarp and into my buddy JT's hand. We look at each other and then directly at Richie Sexson, who's glove was unable to make the play. Typical Richie, he turned and trotted his overpaid self back to first.

So there is this kid, a boy 3 or 4 years old top who has been playing in the aisle for several innings now. I tell JT to "give the kid the ball", which JT, being the a lover of the game of baseball dutifully does, in the hopes that this moment will spark a lifetime love of the game in the youngster, and inspire him to become the next Hal McRae, or something.

So the kid takes the ball from JT, takes one look at it, and throws it right onto the field. JT looks at me with a look of shock, horror and surprise on his face. They have to call time in the game and everything, and even stop Ryan Franklin in mid-motion . All I can do is laugh and say "sh**, what can you do?" When JT asked the little boy why he threw the ball back, the kid said it was because he already had one, and held up a plastic painted blue and teal ball with a M's logo on it.

What was shocking then, is less shocking now. Since both JT and I have toddlers our our own. But none the less it saddens me that toddlers of this era have no reverence for the game of baseball, and the artifacts of foul balls that are bestowed upon lucky fans throughout the course of each and every game. Commisioner Bud Selig should organize a task force to look in on the matter, maybe after he thinks about shortening the regular season about a month or so.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Big Fan

Looks like a good movie, except I wonder if the trailer shows the whole thing.

Cyberball 2009

For the record I consume a lot of sports information . I watch SportsCenter regularly, DVR "PTI", and listen to about two to three hours of Sports talk radio daily.

Something came across the airwaves today that I found quite interesting, and tapped into something I've been thinking about lately --> The effect of technology on people, systems and society. And I have also been thinking a lot about football, since it is the beginning of the professional and college football seasons. These things go hand and hand.

George Carlin in his famous bit called called football a "20th century technological struggle". And then went to make the very easy analogy that football is a metaphor for war, full charging into enemy territory, through the use of a "sustained ground attack" and "precision aerial assaults".
In football the players do not look human, more like superhuman. You cannot see their faces because of the helmets, and the pads and equipment the players wear make them look larger than life. The game, much like war, dehumanizes them, and maybe the people watching. The NFL is certainly aware of this, and they use it as a marketing tool. It is the team that matters, the logo on the helmet, not the person inside that matters. The players cannot take off their helmets while on the field. Lest to destroy the illusion that these are not super humans engaged in hand to hand combat for the pleasure of the cheering plebeians and treasures of sponsors and riches of owners, but just human beings like the rest of us. Quarterbacks are the only position that is really recognizable, and in most cases (aside from your Favre, Vick, Mannings and Bradys) only recognizable in their in hometown. Do you really think that any one is going to bother Trent Edwards if he was walking the streets of Seattle?

So the game is dehumanizing. So why is it so popular? Is it possible that we are becoming dehumanized too? Today's technology has allowed people to communicate with millions and millions of people instantly without seeing another person face to face, or leaving your house. So is the connection that the modern age provides us, does it really connect at all, really? People act a different way when they think no one is looking. How many pick-nose bugger eaters are their sitting in their cars compared to how many are walking on the sidewalk? This easily translates to how people interact with each other online compared to how they interact in person. A former classmate of mine when discussing this phenomenon told me a story of being on a blog comment page or something like that and disagreeing with someone there. She said "only online is responding to someone with whom you disagree with, with a picture of a cat's butt acceptable". Well it may not be acceptable, but it is funny, but I do see her point. Another classmate drew a connection between the online "Flaming" and the Town hall shenanigans that took place this August. People go to political blogs oget all enraged with the fiery rhetoric common on such sites and think that that is a way to behave in public.

Now back to football , on KJR AM this morning Sports Illustrated football editor Peter King was asked about former Seahawk quarterback, my childhood hero, and current Redskins Head Coach Jim Zorn and the possibility of him remaining at the helm of the Washington club after this season. Peter King said that he didn't stand much of a chance of retaining the job after the year because his team is most definitely the fourth best team of the NFC East. King said that it was too bad, because Mr. Zorn "is a real human being in a business that isn't filled with very many." No surprise there, not a lot of human beings in football. Because technology really has no need for humanity, and Carlin said "The technological struggle must go on." Maybe football is the most popular sport in America because not only does it reflects the ethic of capitalism (social darwinism, and advancing by exploiting opponnets weakness), but our increasingly dehumanized day to day life.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Welcome to my blog. The Apple Maggot Quarantine UK, Jr.

The name comes from signs off of the freeway in Washington state, warning of the invasive species and prohibiting the transport of home grown fruit. There is a sign right off of my freeway exit in Shoreline, WA (the first northern suburb of Seattle).

This is not a blog for agricultural issues for the state of Washington, because I don't know anything about that or about a punk rock band from Puyallup,WA with a similar name ( I have no connection to the band, but wish them nothing but the best, coming from a punk rock-new wave-art rock-alternative background myself.

So to avoid confusion - I considered adding the "UK" and/or "Jr." to the ending of my blog title. Just like numerous bands of the 80's and 90's most notably The Charlatans UK who I still like, and the The Mission UK who are kind of embarrassing. (Mommas don't let your babies grow up to Goth-rockers, it will only embarass them later.) The Jr. comes from Dinosaur Jr. who added their suffix after being sued by some '60s hippie band of the same name. Dinosaur Jr. gained popularity in the early 90's and were the best "grunge" band not from Seattle.

I will do my best to post something up here once a week, adding my voice to the other millions shouting off of the cliff into cyberspace.