Sunday, January 31, 2010

Chris' Favorite Stumbles Part 2 (links)

Since my last post of favorite stumbles was such a hit, I’m back to bring you volume 2. (That’s code for I’m too lazy to actually write something, so I’m just going to make snarky comments about Internet oddities.)

If you are a beer connoisseur that’s also a fan of flow chart humor, well then, here you go.

At some point I’m going to get around to my favorite Pearl Jam songs, which will lead to Graham’s retort. But, for now, I’ll leave you with a top 5 song of theirs.

When a blog posts about another blog post, what is that? Is it meta-blogging, or just plain lame? Meta-blogging sounds legit. Let’s go with that. By the way, here’s someone else’s post about funny WiFi network names. It’s hard to not link to a “Your Dog’s Shit Is In My Yard” network name image.

Funny or die has a lot of hit or miss videos. Somehow, this one manages to neither hit nor miss. What does that make it?

The saddest resume’s ever.

Here’s a song from the leader singer of Interpol. You are welcome.

The most brilliant modern description of the Jesus/Satan struggle to date.

Anytime you mock the news, you get the prestigious RTS shoutout.

If you are a fan of candid celebrity photos from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, well then, here’s a link for you. (Warning: You can’t unsee the Yoko/Warhol/Lennon photo.)

I can’t get enough of the Asian TV animated reenactments of current pop culture happenings. Here’s the Conan-Leno tiff in an Asian nutshell.

Graham sent me this one earlier this week. The Price is Right goes wrong for this guy.

I don’t have the heart to embed this one, but if you like Spanish Children’s Hip Hop, well then, here’s the video for you. And really, once you reference Spanish Children’s Hip Hop, it’s time to call it quits.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Favorite Songs in 2008

Since my favorite songs in 2009 was such a popular post (I got 2 responses on Twitter!), I’m going back to the well. Plus, what better time to discuss my favorite songs in 2008 than 2 years later? Don’t say we aren’t timely here at RTS.

Anyway, just like my favorite songs in 2009, the rules are the same. These aren’t my favorite songs that were released in 2008, rather, my favorite songs that I added to my iTunes that year. (And don’t worry, I’ll be doing my favorite songs in ’04 sometime in 2015.) The playlist is at the bottom if you just want to go ahead and hit play.

Don’t Stop Believing – Journey

Has a band ever reached their apex 20 years after they started putting out good music? I don’t know anyone over 40 that likes Journey, yet all the youngish people (20-40) love to sing to them while out tossing back a few cervezas. (I love the fact that Word wanted me to correct cervezas to cervixes. I don’t know how to toss back a few cervixes, but it sounds like something a married man is not allowed to do). Anyway, Journey’s fine with me. My favorite cheesy pop-rock band of the late ‘70s/80s was Foreigner, but I’m down with this song. I don’t know how this song just got added to my iTunes in 2008. I’m pretty sure I had it during my Napster days and then lost it when my hard drive crashed in 2003 (aka, the worst time of my life). Anyway, congrats to my friends that pounded Journey into my head for the past 10 years, I’ve finally joined in.

Radio Nowhere – Bruce Springsteen
Gotta give props to local sports radio host Chris Vernon for using this song as an intro to his show. Bruce has always been one of those rock icons that I mean to spend more time listening to but never get around to it. It’s my rock Achilles heel, sorta like an all-you-can-eat buffets is to Shaq’s offseason conditioning. Anyway, I sweared to God this was a Pearl Jam song when I first heard it, which is a compliment to both Bruce and Pearl Jam.

This Time Tomorrow – The Kinks
I should thank Wes Anderson for my Kinks love. The Rushmore soundtrack made me get into the Kinks in high school and I deemed them the most underrated band of all-time. Then, after my Kinks phase dwindled over time, Anderson throws a few more Kinks songs in The Darjeeling Limited. This inclusion of this song in the movie was the only redeemable part of watching it. Nice save Wes.

Campus – Vampire Weekend
It’s hard to include a Vampire Weekend song after hearing their latest album, Contra. Vampire Weekend is fun, catchy, has a little bounce to it. I’m just pretending their 2nd album didn’t happen, sorta like the year I had Braylon Edwards on my fantasy team.

Leader – Phantom Planet
The best description I can give of Phantom Planet is Weezer-light. They don’t have any of the nerdy emo components but still retain a lot of the power pop fun. Anyway, this album was the definition of a good album. No great songs but no bad ones either.

The Angel and the One – Weezer
When The Red Album came out, I hated it. The only song I liked was “Pork and Beans.” I’ve gone back and given the album a few more listens and I don’t hate it as much. This song has grown on me. Maybe I’m just too Weezer delusion to hate them. Sometimes we get jaded by what we used to like and want to validate it. I think that happens with Weezer. I loved them so much in high school that I refuse to dislike them now, regardless of what they do. That makes no sense, whatever, I’m leaving it.

Hello It’s Me – Todd Rundgren
For whatever reason, I didn’t watch "That ‘70s Show" when it was popular. Last summer I needed something to watch so I DVR-ed (verb, to record a TV show) the entire series on FX and plowed through about 3 episodes a day for a couple of months. This song was in the pilot and it reminds me of the Eric-Donna relationship. It gives me a sense of nostalgia for a couple that didn’t actually exist in a decade in which I wasn’t born. Got it?

Postcards from Italy – Beirut
I’ve heard two Beirut songs and like them both. Yet, I’ve never bought their album or done any further investigation. I’m lazy.

You’re the Best Around – Joe Esposito
Everyone needs a little kick-ass montage rock from time to time. This is the pinnacle. I’m going to listen to this on the way to my rec basketball game tonight. Watch out opponents!

I Love LA – Randy Newman
This song was being played during the Lakers-Celtics finals. I hate the Lakers, still do, but for a brief moment in 2008, I had to support them thanks to Kevin Garnett’s douchebag chin and snarl staring at me through the TV during the NBA Playoffs. So I jumped on the Lakers bandwagon because I’d rather support an accused rapist than a Boston sports team. So what happens, the Lakers screw me by losing to the Celtics and then winning the title the next year when I’m back to rooting against them. I hate LA.

Modern Guilt – Beck
Beck seems like the type of guy that would make fun of you to your face only he’d be too smart for you to realize it until after you left the room. I like people like that.

Kids – MGMT
I’ve worn both this song and “Time to Pretend” out. They’ve probably been played on my iPod about 3,722 times over the past 1.5 years. Sometimes trendy is legit.

Bargain of the Century – Albert Hammond Jr.
I don’t know anyone else that listens to this guy. Everyone likes The Strokes, right, yet this guy can’t make it on his own? I don’t get that.

Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse – Of Montreal
Neo-David Bowie. That’s my best take on this band. Constantly crazy, good pop music. Awesome band to see live. I have no clue what they’re talking about half the time but I’m an idiot so that doesn’t say much.

Your English is Good – Tokyo Police Club
My musical listening generally goes like this. I’m either in a phase where I’m listing to music from 10+ years ago, I’m testing the water on new bands or I’m listening to songs of the past 12 months. These guys were a band I tested out and they got upgraded. I’m not sure how long this song will remain in the rotation but they’ve made it 2 years, which counts for something.

It Never Rains in Southern California – Albert Hammond Sr.
I was in a easy listening phase thanks to “That ‘70s Show” and listened to this song and Jim Croce more than any 27 year old ever should.

Song For – Earlimart and Our Life is not a Movie or Maybe - Okkervil River
Thanks to the “All Songs Considered” podcast put out by NPR for giving me these bands. Earlimart reminds me of a Travis-Elliott Smith hybrid. Okkevil River is on my music to-do list. If I could just not have a job for about 12 months to catch up on all the music, books and movies on my to-do list, I’d be good to go. I need someone to sponsor that plan.

Bag It Up – Oasis
Oasis sure did a quick drop to obscurity. I decided to plow through like 5 of their albums one month. I can’t recall the albums that I liked or disliked. I just remember liking this song.

Them Kids – Sam Roberts Band
I gotta throw those Canadians a bone since my blogmate is from the Great White North.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Our First Sponsor

Graham and I would like to say big-ups to our first corporate sponsor, As you can see, we've got the link for your on the right side of the page. We're not adverse to selling out the blog. As a matter of fact, Graham and I welcome any and all sponsors willing to take us to the next level.

Look for a blog post soon about how Graham and I spend our lucrative sponsorship deals.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bring on September

I’ve spent the last two days digesting the Packers’ playoff loss (and that’s much more time than I spend digesting anything else. I poop like 3 or 4 times a day. I’m a machine.)

I don’t even know how to describe that game. It was equal parts exhilarating, gut-wrenching, frustrating, and finally, heartbreaking.

Their pass defense was a joke. And not a Patton Oswalt joke, but a Jay Leno joke. Kurt Warner had four incompletions- four! And they didn’t even have Anquan Boldin. That’s pathetic. There’s nothing worse as a football fan than watching a defense flail helplessly as the other team carves them up time and time again.

Actually, there is one thing worse: when that same defense goes into Prevent mode, as Green Bay did on the final drive. I’ve done extensive research on the topic and found that not once in the entire history of organized football has the prevent defense worked. That includes the NFL, NCAA, CFL, Pop Warner, WLAF, XFL, and the games my classmates and I played at recess in sixth grade.

In case there are any NFL defensive coordinators reading, I just need to reiterate this one more time:


You don’t want to give up a big play, I get it. But what difference does it make when you allow a bunch of uncontested plays underneath for 8-12 yards at a time? You’re giving them the fucking field!

All caps, exclamation points and expletives- maybe I need to settle down a bit.

But in soaking in the loss, I came to an important realization: if they shore up the o-line and the secondary, the Packers have the making of a championship team.

Aaron Rodgers showed in the second half of this season that he's a star. When they lost to Tampa at home and were 4-4, I was bummed. The team, and Rodgers, look mediocre. But then they went 7-1 down the stretch, the only loss a tough one in Pittsburgh where the Steelers needed a miraculous catch in the end zone as time expired (of course, they got into the red zone because Green Bay went into the Prevent. Fuck me.).

Then, in a playoff game in which their defense deserted them, he brought them back from being down 21 in the second half and forced overtime. I mean, come on, that was amazing. Yes, he holds on to the ball too long, but if that’s the biggest knock against your QB, you’re in good hands. He’s got a great arm, makes few bad decisions with the ball, is mobile and isn’t paralyzed by fear in big moments.

If you were starting a team from scratch and could take any QB in the league right now, how many would go before Rodgers? Maybe Manning? Brees? I wouldn’t take Tom Brady right now. He’s equal to, or maybe a bit better than Philip Rivers. And that’s it right?

So if you look at it, the Packers are set at QB, WR (Jennings and Driver), TE (Finley) and I still think Ryan Grant can be a good back. They need to fix the o-line, no question. And obviously, apart from Charles Woodson, the secondary is a disaster. The run defense is good.

If there's one thing we know about the NFL right now, you need a QB. The days of someone like Trent Dilfer managing a game and getting to a Super Bowl are over. You need a star QB. Look at the QBs of the 4 teams who got first round byes: Brees, Favre, Manning and Rivers. That's no coincidence.

I'd much rather need to fix an o-line and secondary than have to worry about finding a star QB. We have that already.

I already can’t wait for September.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chris' favorite stumbles (links)

I’m pretty sure I’ve extolled the virtues of before on RTS, but if you aren’t aware, it’s a program that helps people like me surf through the absurdity of the Internet and catch on to funny things before they become viral, although a lot of these are probably too weird to spread anyway. In addition to the things I stumble upon, my friends send me some of their favorites as well. Here’s the best of the past couple of weeks.

This might be the funniest song/goat combo you’ll ever see. The best part is that once it gets going, I can’t tell where Usher ends and the goat begins.

For those of you that are fans of forklift humor, here’s a good link.

I haven’t used this yet, but it’s coming soon. It’s karaoke on your computer, which is cool, but it’s actually got great songs on there. I think I might have to video blog me in a robe with a glass of wine singing. Uh, not that I do that.

I’m not a big prom fan, but I do love duct tape outfits.

Saved by the Bell and He-Man in one picture? Done.

In honor of Arctic Blast 2010, or whatever the hell it’s called, here’s a snow/car fail.

The 100 top nerdy Halloween costumes has some gems. My favorite is number 83, only because it doesn’t look like a joke. I think this kid really wanted to be a calculator.

And last but not least, I don’t really know how I came across this picture, and what the hell is really going on, but I want this, like, right now.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mop buckets and Aasman (aka another email thread)

I guess our culture has shifted to the point that not only do people have short attention spans concerning what they read, watch, etc., but also what they write. I can’t write long blog posts to save my life, yet I can send pointless emails and tweet meaningless drivel on a constant basis. I’ll blame this on culture and not the effects of years of beer and football upon my brain. Regardless, we here at RTS want to give the masses (our families) something to read. Why not an email thread?

I just passed the janitor here at the building and saw the standard yellow mop bucket. It said on it, "property of xx company." Do we have a problem with people stealing our mop bucket? Or did we perhaps take it somewhere and wanted to make sure everyone knew it was ours? Where would one take a mop bucket? Don't answer that, actually. Lastly, can you think of something of less value that you would write "property of xx" on? A set of worn out shoe laces? A used loofa at a retirement home?

Here's my question: how was it decided all mop buckets are yellow? As for anything of less value with a "property of xx" written on it, I have one: a Hasheem Thabeet rookie card.

I guess mop buckets are yellow so that they are easily seen, or because yellow is a warning color. Trust me, you don't want to accidentally run into a gray mop bucket. You're just picking on my boy Hasheem cause he's undefeated at FedExForum West, er, I mean, the Rose Garden.

Did you see this story? Now, I'd kicked back a few too many margaritas and tacos in my day, hell, who hasn't, but how do you get to the point that you pass out in a restaurant in public? Is that better or worse than drinking too much and peeing yourself on a friend's couch, not that I've done that.

I've never fallen asleep in a restaurant, but mostly because the music is always so loud now. It's ridiculous. This e-mail sponsored by AARP.

Speaking of dinner/AARP, I ate dinner at 4:45 yesterday. Top that.

Please. Our Sunday game start at 5 p.m., so I'm chowing down at 4. Then again at 9. (Post email note by Chris: when Graham said “our game,” he meant the Green Bay Packers. I have no clue when he was added to the roster, but I’m impressed.)

By the way, we never discussed NFL pick'em. Not only did I destroy you, 145-123, but I finished in the top 99.8 percentile. I know that's not terribly impressive when half of the people quit by the middle of the season, but I finished ranked #338 out of every spread participant. At one point I was ranked number 240, which means I actually dropped down to #338. This is probably the most impressive thing I've ever done. I'm not joking. I think I'm going to print my ranking out and frame it. Hell, I'm doing that this afternoon.

More impressive than finding a woman that wanted to marry you? Let's not kid ourselves- neither you or I will ever top that.

By the way, so two teams in our league swung a trade today. One of the players involved? Ryan Aasman. That's just funny.

Maybe he has "assman" as a vanity plate.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette does a pretty good job covering the Packers. One thing they don't do well? Photographing their reporters. Check out the picture of the Packers reporting team on the right of this link.

Are they supposed to look tough? If so, the khaki shorts aren't helping. And why do I care if a beat writer is tough? Did they tell the reporters in advance this photo shoot was happening? Does the one guy wear sandals to work every day? How uncomfortable is the Keith Olbermann lookalike? Seriously, I could go on forever about that picture.

Not only is the one guy wearing sandals, but they look like those outdated '90s ones. Is he about to go to a beach volleyball game? Maybe they look tough cause they provide hard-hitting Packers news. Why are 3 of them wearing khaki shorts? Is that the August dress code in Green Bay, the one month they can wear shorts? Were all of their jean shorts in the washer? Why is the one old dude in pants? Did he not get them memo? Are they freezing him out?

Also, why does think the below advertisement would interest/apply to me?

I didn’t get a response from Graham on the last one. I guess it’s one of life’s great mysteries.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Top 5 bands of the decade (Chris)

I got a little sidetracked on my best bands of the decade countdown by the following things: eating lots of junk food, my yearly best of viral videos post and drinking good beer. It happens. I’m now comfortably ten pounds heavier and ready to finish off the best bands of the decade. It’s the top 5 that everyone has been waiting for. You are welcome planet Earth.

5. Bright Eyes
Bright Eyes held a special place in my 22-year-old heart. “Lifted…” seemed like the perfect album for my disenchanted post-college single self to stumble upon. The fact that some of his songs sound like he’s in the midst of being stabbed actually made me like him more. Let’s just say that listening to Bright Eyes defined a point in my life as well as anyone. Those feelings have past and I like to think both Conor Oberst and I have matured since then. As a matter of fact, as much as I liked “Lifted”, his next two albums, “I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning” and “Digital Ash in a Digital Urn” were both superior albums that didn’t resonate quite as well with me. I’m not sure how that happens, but it does. Regardless, when I look back on the 2000s, Bright Eyes were up there. I’m pretty sure they won’t crack my best of 2010s list as his new stuff is borderline unlistenable, but so it goes.

4. The Strokes
Of all the “the” bands of the 2000s, these guys seemed to start and end the conversation. They made NY pop-punk cool again. They seemed like the rock stars that MGMT mocks in “Time to Pretend.” They drank too much, dated celebrities, spend more time being rock stars than actually making rock music. What’s not to like? But the music stands up. "Is This It" is still a great listen. "Room on Fire" and "First Impressions of Earth" aren’t groundbreaking, but they still hold up. Plus, bonus points for the fact that each of these guys put out good solo albums. Albert Hammond Jr.’s two albums are fantastic, as well as Fab Moretti's band, Little Joy and Julian Casablanca’s recent solo album. I’ve giving this band credit for 1 great album and 6 good albums. That’s tough to beat. Bonus points for them being awesome in concert.

3. Arcade Fire
Since these guys have made just about every best of the decade list, as well as being Graham’s number 1 band, I’ll simply say, “these guys rock” and leave you with my favorite song.

2. Wilco
"Yankee Hotel Foxtrot", "A Ghost is Born", "Sky Blue Sky" and "Wilco (the album"). That, my friends, is a decade. "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" is probably in my top 5 albums of the decade, and probably my 10 ten of all time. "Jesus, etc." is one of my 20 favorite songs of all-time. The rest of their albums hover somewhere along the line between good and great, but definitely worth the listen and easily re-listenable at any given moment. I’d say Wilco went from being underrated to overexposed, but really, they deserve the credit they get. I can’t recall the last time I heard a Wilco song and thought, “this one sucks.” It just doesn’t happen.

1. Radiohead
Plain and simple, they’re the best band of my lifetime, or my generation, or whatever. My parents had The Beatles, and Generation X and whatever the hell I am, Gen Y, have Radiohead. It’s that simple. Arcade Fire will probably carry the torch after these guys simply because they seem to put out music without buying their own hype. They’re constantly evolving yet keeping their core sound in place. They make music that matters, but more than that, they make music that I like. Sometimes those don’t go hand in hand (see Bob Dylan). “OK Computer” will probably be their best album, but I can’t say for certain. “Kid A” and “Hail to the Thief” are up there as well. “In Rainbows” gets better with each listen. They aren’t the best band in the world simply cause of hype (I’m talking to you, U2). They’ve earned it. Here’s to hoping they don’t burn out. Bonus points for their Stone Mountain show in the early 2000s. That show was transcendent.