Saturday, September 02, 2006

Speaking of Guys Making Lists. . .

As I did a couple of posts ago, I watched a couple episodes of Star Trek on G4 this morning. They have a show called "filter," that features guy-oriented lists of things like "20 Things that Went from Cool to Crap," (first on the list is the Star Wars series) "17 Most Dangerous Women," (Lara Croft and Tonya Harding are ranked first and second) and "13 Really Bad Ideas" (where Competitive Eating ranks high).

My wife asked, "Why do guys make lists?" My answer should have been, "Well there are about five reasons." Instead, I said it is one way we used to handle and contain the vast amount of information we take in so that we can contextualize it and use it. Guys might live like slobs, but in our minds is a vast warehouse filled with filing cabinets that reach to infinite heights. We take in everything, believe it or not, then file it away conveniently. Our minds are staffed by hundreds of little bespectaled clerks - tiny Radar O'Rileys - who know where every sliver of information is stored. Ask a guy to make a list, the little Radars perk up and start combing through the files and collate what they find into neat little piles.

Well. . .it sounded good at the time.

IMMEDIATE UPDATE: This guy was listed first in the list of "16 Guys It's OK to Hate." I wasn't surprised.

Friday, September 01, 2006

New Louisville Music News Up and Out

The September issue of Louisville Music News is available online and in its regular distribution spots throughout Louisville and the area.

For this month, I dig into The Big Diggity. I also review their CD and say a few hundred words about the latest from Ut Gret and Less the Band.

UPDATE: As always, the photography in the story is by the lovely and talented Laura Roberts, who just happens to be my wife. See more of her work with musicians, and a bunch of other stuff, here.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

From One of the Cosby Kids?

I just received this annoying little chunk of spam in my Inbox:

Do not aignore me please,
Ib found your emaail sombewhere anda now decided to write you.
I am coming to your place in few weebks and thought we
can meet each other. Let me know if you do not mind.
I am a nice pretty girl. Don't reply to thibs email.
Email me direclty at XXX@XXXXXXX.com

Sounds like it was written by this guy:



MushMouth, one of the Cosby Kids, who speaks in an actual gibberish language called Ubbi Dubbi.

Hey, Hey, Hey!

Or should that be "Heyb, Heyb, Heyb?"

The Underrated Album Project

I'm a fan of the movie High Fidelity, the one where John Cusak's character Rob plays a guy who owns a record store that sells only vinyl (albums, that is). Throughout it, he and his co-workers (one played with restrained zaniness by Jack Black, who does a few inappropriate things to customers he doesn't like, stuff those of us who worked, or still work, in retail fantasized about) make lists of songs: The Top 10 First Tracks, The Top 10 Breakup Songs, or the Top Five Albums Recorded in 1965 Where at Least One Song Sounds Like it Was Written by a Stalker.

One of my items in that last list would be "I Sit Alone in My Car with a Rubber Glove and a Box of Tissues While Staring at the Glow from Your Window, My Dearest." It was a minor hit for the Whistle Britches. Spent less than 10 minutes on the charts.

Making lists involving specific topics is something guys like to do. It's how we organize. Don't tell us to make a list of stuff we need from Target. Ask us instead to list "The Top 10 Cleaning Products for Kitchen and Bath Used in 1970s Cop Shows," or "The 10 Highest-Rated Toilet Papers used in the NFL," then set us loose in the store. We'll not only come back with the goods, but also tell why Michael Ontkean's character used Windex to wipe down the hubcaps of his squad car in the first season of The Rookies.

We compare our lists with each other, ridicule some of the choices, nod in silent agreement with others. It's also how we get around schwantz-length anxiety: you can always make fun of or be impressed with a guy's list without being naked.

So, naked or not, I'm going to make a short list of the Single Most Underrated Albums for Each Decade, from the 1960s through the 1990s. Yes, I know that's a short span of time. Regretfully, besides a copy of Kind of Blue, I don't have much in my collection from the 1950s. And, yes, that also means I'm choosing only four albums. For one, that will keep the project focused. For two, I don't want to glop up my blog with lengthy lists and boring-assed essays (I do that enough in my work for Louisville Music News). One per decade keeps it cleaner.

Plus to keep you on the edge of your computer chair, I'm not going to put them in chronological order. Living on the Edge: that's how we get it done here at Gottafang!

Look for the first one to come soon.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The 2,996 Project

I've just signed up to have a blog entry honoring a victim of the September 11, 2001 attacks. It's called The 2,996 Project. My assignment: a post to honor James F. Murphy IV, a 30-year old account manager with Thomson Financial who was attending a breakfast meeting of the Waters Financial Technology Congress at Windows on the World, on the 106th floor of Tower 1.

Thirty is a good age for a man. It is one of the minor transition points in his life. It is (or should be) the age when all the alleged truths a guy learned and fostered during his 20s begin to melt away, and he's left having to learn stuff all over again. Some guys explore the void that's left and begin to replace it with solid chunks of more meaningful stuff (a process that can take them into the next decade of their lives), some immediately start to pour in the same crap they were supposed to gotten shed of, and some only feel the emptiness.

For me, when I turned 30, I had just gotten out of a bad marriage (my first) and was ready to move into my own place, and I was six months into a new job I liked at the time.

Jim was two years into a loving marriage to a college sweetheart. He apparently had a job he liked, too.

He died on September 11, 2001, when American Airlines Flight 11, piloted by the scary-eyed Mohamed Atta, slammed into Tower 1.

I can only hope my meager words can honor this young man.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The One Movie I Want To See

The Black Dahlia.

I was transfixed by Ellroy's book, as I was by all the ones that followed. I had first-edition copies of Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and White Jazz, but had to sell them (along with lots of other first editions) to hire a lawyer to handle a rather complicated divorce.

That was 10 years ago. Still, I think having to sell them broke my heart more than the marriage ending.