Saturday, October 7, 2017

What Exactly Did Obi Wan Do For Luke?

During an episode of The Orville (the mediocre Star Trek homage starring Seth McFarlane and other people of less note [the wonderful Penny Johnson who is, apparently now Penny Johnson Something, is in the cast]) a character offered to to act as another character's Obi Wan. The second character had no idea who that was (which was mildly funny).

But the reference bugged me, because Obi Wan (a white guy) may be the poster child for failing upward.

  • Did Obi Wan protect Luke from the Empire? No. 
  • Was Obi Wan honest with Luke about his past? His family? "Oh, right, the Princess we're trying to save is your sister and the guy who's trying to kill us is your dad." No. 
  • Did he become more powerful than Vader could possibly imagine after telling Vader that he (Kenobi) would become more powerful than he (Vader) could possibly imagine should he (Vader) strike him (Kenobi) down? No.
  • Did he repeat "use the force" without any additional context or coaching of any kind? Yes. How is that helpful?!

Hell, he trained Darth Vader. Not only did he not fix the problem, he's the cause. Partially the cause.

If you do a search on "Obi Wan the worst Jedi" you will get many great results.

Song of the Day: "Why We Build the Wall"

If there's ever been a time for Billy Bragg to be a transformative figure in the world, well, this is one of those times, probably. I'm not sure this song is going to be the key to that happening.

If anything he's just explaining what everyone already understands. Especially Trump supporters.

"Hey, you, 'rapists', stay away. Don't take my stuff!"

Song: "Why We Build the Wall"
Artist: Billy Bragg

Friday, October 6, 2017

Song of the Day: "She Got Time"

There's a quality to this track from The Morning Yells that hearkens back to 70s album rock radio. There's a Fleetwood Eagle Souther meets Wilco Jayhawks thing going on that doesn't suck.

Song: "She Got Time"
Artist: The Morning Yells

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Song of the Day: "Timothy's Prayer"

This is the dude who won the 2017 Mercury Prize. I'm digging it.

Song: "Timothy's Prayer"
Artist: Sampha

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Monday, October 2, 2017

I Should Have Worn My Kenny G* Shirt Instead

I just read that Tom Petty died. Purely coincidentally (I hope), I'm wearing my Tom Petty t-shirt. Technically I put the shirt on yesterday... yesterday? or was it Saturday?... shit, it may have been Saturday so either there's a long delay or it was totally a coincidence and not a causal relationship.

The shirt is from a benefit concert that Petty performed back in 2004. Dr. Botox's charity, an evening so important that he couldn't leave early but that would run so late he couldn't get to Washington, D.C. to do something (hmm, let's say he was testifying before a Senate subcommittee but it could easily have been the House, or the FDA or some pharma company, or even just doing fillers + Botox for Theresa Heinz-Kerry and John Kerry notable DC denizens) and had to borrow someone's private jet. Verna Harrah! I can't believe I remembered that.

Which is how I got to fly across the country on a private jet. It's wasn't a Gulfstream. I'm thinking it was this one, but it's all hazy. Also, as much fun as it is flying across the country on a private jet, that experience is wasted on you if you take an Ambien and sleep the entire trip. A few days before the trip I was told they'd make whatever I wanted to eat and, having no idea what I'd be in the mood for then I ordered steak and eggs. That was more than 10 years ago, but since it won't insult anyone else I'll declare it the best steak and eggs I've ever had (so far).

But this isn't about the flight or the jet or the steak and eggs. This is about Tom Petty and A Concert for Stephen which is the name of that charity event. Stephen was the brother of Petty's second wife, Dana. Stephen passed away from complications due to HIV/AIDS. The charity was (is) an HIV/AIDS charity. Dana was devoted to her brother. She and Dr. Botox overcame Petty's reluctance to do a show for a bunch of rich people (I'm paraphrasing, but the sentiment was that he wasn't about to tone down the music because his fans would be coming and paying the big ticket prices to see him and they deserved a Tom Petty show).

I didn't get to meet Petty that night. There was an awkward moment, shortly after we arrived at the venue (a lovely resort on the coast in northern Orange county, have no idea which), where we saw Tom and Dana having dinner seemingly in the center of a restaurant, as though they were seated for maximum conspicuousness. Yikes. We waved (Dr. Botox waved, the royal we). Dana waved back. Tom was clearly unhappy being so visible. I understood.

I did get to meet Jackson Browne that night. Thanks to Dr. Botox I met a serious array of celebrities, many of whom were exceedingly gracious and personable. Jackson Browne was not one of them. In his defense, why the fuck should he be nice to me when he's late to bash Daryl Hannah's face in for something.

That was also the night that I may or may not have taken a fistful of prescription painkillers to Carrie Fisher's (oh, and Billie Lourd, now that she's famous I can start dropping her name as well) room as a bribe to get Fisher onstage to act as celebrity auctioneer. I left with a dress made entirely of sequins (a donation from Debbie Reynolds to the celebrity auction) which I later was guilted into buying. I think Kelly has it now. Carrie served as auctioneer.

The concert was great. The band had been performing for more than 25 years at that point. When you're not trying to prove yourself, to make your name, the confidence that comes with experience makes for a really good show. They sounded great. So naturally we left around 5 songs in.

Uh, hello, we had a plane to catch... granted the plane would wait as long as we wanted them to, but whatev. Dr. Botox always took 3 times as long doing anything as it should have.

Southern Accents is the first Tom Petty album I purchased. I liked his... their... music before that, but the combination of Dave Stewart producing and the cool video for "Don't Come Around Here No More" prompted me to buy the cassette. Yes, I'm "bought the cassette" years old. I fell in love with the opening track, "Rebels." Tom Petty, frustrated that he couldn't get the mix right when recording this song, because he was fucked up, punched a wall and broke his hand. This song broke Tom Petty's hand.

I instantly fell in love with the Tom Petty/Stevie Nicks reunion song "Needles and Pins" (co-written by Sonny Bono, originally recorded by The Searchers). I told my little sister how Petty was singing circles around Nicks this time out and she pointed out that it was a Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers single with Stevie as guest vocalist. That doesn't mean I was wrong.

Tom Petty played Tom Petty on It's Garry Shandling's Show. They were legitimately friends for decades. He also played Lucky on later seasons of King of the Hill.

I need to close this out so I'll wrap things up with "American Girl" which is just a great fucking song.

I'll also point out that Dr. Botox is dead, Verna Harrah is dead, Carrie Fisher is dead, Garry Shandling is dead, Sonny Bono is dead, and now Tom Petty is dead. Jackson Browne, on the other hand... isn't.

Rest in peace, dude.

* Alternative shitty musical acts I'd considered in lieu of Kenny G: Nickelback; Creed;

Song of the Day: "The Only Way"

My lackadaisical approach to blogging means that I'm way behind on songs of the day (I bet you hadn't even noticed). Here's something from Tricky.

Song: "The Only Way"
Artist: Tricky

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Song of the Day: "Feels Like Heaven"

Ariel Pink, of Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti... a shortened name. I did not see that coming.

Totally digging the song though.

Song: "Feels Like Heaven"
Artist: Ariel Pink