Thursday, January 20, 2011

Reserved For Family Parking.....ppfffff

So I went to Best Buy tonight after work, and noticed that there were six open spots near the enterance. I assumed they were handicapped spots (which I'm totally fine with). As I moved closer, I realized that two of the spots were handicapped and that four of the spots were labeled "Reserved For Family Parking". So I did what came naturally.

I parked the Focus in one of those bitches and walked into the store.

Family parking is fucking bullshit, plain and simple. So what, your little shits are whining because they have to be pushed in their little strollers a few feet? Guess what: it was your fucking choice to breed. It's not my problem you didn't want to use a rubber, a fucking sponge or a goddamn diaphragm. Or you didn't pull out because you wanted to make a life or some stupid new agey hokum.

The worst part is that the Eden Prairie Best Buy has like four of these spots and just as many handicapped spots. I personally find this offensive as all hell. My dad cannot walk well. He has a disease that he didn't ask for that causes his body to betray him. And he chooses NOT to use a handicapped plate because he is either a)pigheaded (according to me) or b)has a huge sense of pride (according to him). Yet, some stupid cougar and her little bastards with names like Madison and Dallin get to park closer because they feel entitled? Fuck and No.

So from now on, I am parking in the "Reserved For Family Parking" spots whenever I can. I hope some surly ass business man with his toe headed brood or some Prada Napsack carrying soccer mom tells me off. Because they are going to get a piece of my mind.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Karl Malone 1990-91 SkyBox

As a kid I spent almost all my allowance/paper route money on sports cards. I would beg my parents to take me to the Shinder's in Crystal where I would blow my 10 year old fatstacks on "innovative" cards like those produced by SkyBox.

SkyBox Basketball came on the scene in 1990. The main selling point for the brand was that their cards had computerized graphics along with the standard action shots of the players. Unfortunately, the "computerized graphics" were mainly just squiggles or random pastel colored shapes. My roommate once described it as "Kevin Duckworth with a fucking trapezoid".

Which brings us to Karl Malone. My younger brother went to the MOA yesterday and bought a bunch of packs of old basketball and baseball cards. He was kind enough to let me open some of the packs. This is one of the beauties I pulled out:

Yes, nothing says one of the top 20 greatest NBA players ever like a bunch of random colored circles. The whole thing just looks muddled and vaguely like something an 8th grader would draw in art class. But the real treat is the back of the card:

HOLYFUCKINGSHIT. Anyone who followed the NBA during the 90s knows that Karl is from Bumfucknowhere, Louisiana. Amhad Rashad rammed that down our collective throat enough during Inside Stuff. But why exactly was Malone being filmed riding a horse in period gear? Was he guesting on Lonesome Dove? Was he shooting an audition tape for The Postman? And why in the fuck is this on the back of a basketball card? I'm pretty sure these same questions went through most sane people's heads when pulling this out of the wrapper back in the day. Time has only deepened the mystery.

And don't even get me started on the Mark Jackson in a leather blazer and turtleneck card I also pulled out of the same pack...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Highlights of the Week 1/15/11

The first two months of the year are usually awful. Very little sunlight, it's cold as ice (it's also willing to sacrifice our love) and there is no baseball. To combat the overall malaise I feel around this time of the year, I am trying to accentuate the positive. Here is what went right for me this week:

-Went to the doctor on Wednesday and noticed a huge chart on the wall with bar graphs labeled "profit", "referals" and "revenue". This is why I avoid the doctor as much as possible. All about money, not about care. At least the absurdity of it all made me laugh.

-The Twins re-signed Jim Thome. It's going to be really rad to see him hit #600 in a Twins uni.

-My company holiday party allowed me to drink top shelf booze for free, and also mainline apps for free as well. Plus, I got a nifty little trophy for 3 years of loyal service.

-I bought some new discs that all turned out to be sweet: the new Cake, Sleigh Bells and a Dion album produced by Phil Spector. The Dion album in particular is amazing. It sounds like something passed down from heaven. Simply magical.

-Taxes are complete, and I am getting a nice little chunk of change back. Methinks a Rust Belt baseball road trip is in order with the proceeds.

So there you go. Winter in the MN may be deadening and bleak, but at least I have the above to cheer me up.

Friday, January 14, 2011

After The Rain

Holy shit, I can't sleep after my men's rec-league basketball team won AGAIN tonight (bringing our season record to 2-2). I also can't sleep due to finally completeing my MP3 collection of the Hot 100 hits of 1991.

So much pap, but all so tasty. Most of the songs from that year remind me of riding my bike, pining for Frank Thomas rookie cards and playing RBI Baseball for the NES. I was young, dumb, in love with neon colored shorts and I would stay up all night Saturday to watch that NBC video countdown show with Scott Shannon. Sure, Sonic Youth and Ice Cube may have been the underground and critical darlings, but I just wanted to know why fucking Ted "Theodore" Logan was at the shrink in the Paula Abdul video for "Rush, Rush".

Anyways, one song struck me as particualrly awesome while listening to the tracks tonight:

Yes, I loved "After The Rain" an unhealthy amount as a child. I remember snowmobiling at my Grandparent's cabin to some bar called the White Hawk and playing this on the jukebox at least ten times in a row. I also may have played KLAX and for sure ended up eating tons of fried cheese.

Analyzing Nelson 20 some years on, I still like this song. And I absolutely fucking love Nelson's other big hit"(I Can't Live Without) Your Love and Affection". I guess it plays into my love for pop pap. There's twin dudes with chick hair singing angelic harmonies, a quasi power ballad solo, and a redemption theme. By the board nonsense that 8 year old Jake and 28 year old Jake can agree on wholehartedly.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Music of 2K10

Ahhh...always late am I. Although this list may be redundant now, I still have to get it out there for the two or three loyal readers I have.

Please note: The top 25 songs are probably going to cause me a lot of grief. For some reason, 2010 really was a year of feel for me. The songs listed below were usually not about artistic merit, but that they made me specifially feel like a summer breeze at 9 o' clock in June in a convertible.

1. Black Keys - Brothers
Such a revelation after the shit fest that was Strange Times. Back to their kickass roots, wallowing in some sort of primordial swamp funk that birthed Fogerty and countless blues pioneers. Somehow they came out of the funk with a Gold Record and a #1 single. Just goes to show, every once in a while, the cream does rise to the top. And what cream! "Everlasting Light"!! "Sinister Kid"! "Next Girl"!! "Unknown Brother"!! The Black Keys have their masterpiece. Now, let us hope they don't lose their shit and hire a producer like Danger Mouse to do their next platter...

2. LCD Soundsystem - This is Happening
In any other year, the album of the year. A dance punk fiasco. Too bad the plug is being pulled.

3. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Pop art by one conflicted ass motherfucker. Dark, dense, and strangely catchy.

4. Vampire Weekend - Contra
Basically their debut record again...but hey, it worked for the Ramones!

5. Best Coast - Crazy For You
6. Waaves - King of the Beach
Companion pieces to a drugged out Summer of Bummer...

7. Maximum Balloon
If there was an aural equvalent of fucking in 2K10, this was it

8. Gaslight Anthem - American Slang
More street corner poetry from The Anthem

9. Cee Lo Green - The Ladykiller
The soul album Cee Lo Green should have made from the get-go

10.J. Roddy Walston and the Business
Scuzzy rock from the demonspawn of GNR and Kings of Leon

11. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
After about the 10th listen, it sinks in and you realize its worth the critical praise. Sort of

12. Against Me - White Crosses
Arena ready punk with a soul from Jacksonville, of all places

13. Hold Steady - Heaven is Wherever
Hey, Craig Finn learned how to croon a bit! More tenderness than usual...still grand, though.

14. Fitz and The Tantrums - S/T
White boy decides to channel his inner Daryl Hall and John Oates. The result: Blue Eyed Soul 2K10

15. Deftones - Diamond Eyes
Finally, a return to form after wallowing in mediorctriy for a decade.

16. Jamey Johnson - The Guitar Song
Outlaw country mixed with a modern feel. This ain't for the Mich Golden Light and Franzia set.

17. Hotrats - S/T
Two of the dudes from underrated 90s Britpop legends Supergrass decide to cover their faves from the classic rock canon. A party ensues.

18. Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon II
See #3, add coke and weed. And badass guitars.

19. The National - High Violet
A dirge for the married man. And possibly for zombies

20. Free Energy - S/T
These Twin City kids, they sure do like their classic rock. These cats got their Thin Lizzy swag on. The album cover (a fucking Chuck with bubblegum stuck to the heel) sums up this album perfectly.

1. Dance Yrself Clean - LCD Soundsystem
At nearly 9 minutes, the song is too short. In all actuality, Dance Yrself Clean is like two or three mini epics smashed into one spastic package. Perfect dance music for the supposed end times.

2. Touchless - The Hold Steady
A B-Side monster that rocks

3. Teenage Dream - Katy Perry
Dumb bubblegum that feels like summer. A damn near perfect pop single.

4. Who Makes Your Money - Spoon
The closest Spoon has been to having an actual heart and soul since Kill The Moonlight.

5. Only Girl in the World - Rihanna
All Euro Bangers should have a sexy Island Girl singing about letting you come inside

6. Monster - Kanye West
This bitch lives up to its name. Rookie of the Year goes to Nikki Minaj for THAT verse, where she bodies just about every other guest MC since Busta on Scenario.

7. Animal - Neon Trees
These new wave poseurs are so stupid they named their next single "1983". Well, no fucking DUH! We get it, still loves ya though.

8. Fuck You - Cee Lo Green
It's getting to the point where it seems Cee Lo can pull classic pop singles out his ass whenever he feels the need. Here's hoping that he can keep his focus and that he WANTS it as much as we do.

9. Bed Intruder Song - Antoine Dodson
Oh yes, sometimes the greatest art is designed to be thrown out after a few uses.

10. Lover, Lover - Jerrod Niemann
Redneck lovaman who calls his backing band the Hung Jury decides to cover a pop song by Sonia Dada that is probably only remembered fondly by me. Some sort of Nashville country pop soul gris gris is created, and magic happens.

11. Nothing on You - B.o.B
This song smells like Spring.

12. In My Head - Jason Derulo
Bonus points for the video, where JA-SON DERULO! hangs out outside a Circle K. Bill S Preston, Esq would be really proud.

13. Tenderoni - Kele
Unfortuantely not a reconceptualization of "Roni" by Bobby Brown. Fortunately, some sweet ass dance pop.

14. Right On - The Roots
If a rap song could sound like a lost late 80s alt rock joint, it would be this.

15. Giving Up The Gun - Vampire Weekend
This is pop, this is not world music, this is not rock. This is straight up pop.

16. Erase Me - Kid Cudi/Kanye West
The best power ballad since joke!

17. Apartment Wrestling - Maximum Balloon/David Byrne
Oh fuck, what I wouldn't give to be introduced to whatever Apartment Wrestling is.

18. Tighter - Fitz and The Tantrums
Oh fuck, what I wouldn't give to feel like Fitz does for the chick in this song.

19. Half of My Heart - John Mayer
Oh fuck, what I wouldn't give to not love this song as much as I do. Supremely crafted and meant to stick like peanut butter.

20. Brave Man's Death - J Roddy Walston And The Business
Somehow cinematic...I don't know if that was the intention, but it feels like a mini-movie.

21. Radioactive - Kings of Leon
The highlight of a disappointing album. When the U2 comparisons are focused on the good things U2 did, not the pretentious bullshit, I hope they are talking about songs like this.

22. Baby Lee - Teenage Fanclub
You guys! Welcome back...somewhere, Alex Chilton is spinning this record and smiling.

23. Stay Lucky - Gaslight Anthem
The Gaslight Anthem just...feels...right.

24. Bed Rock - Young Money
Only for the line "Call me Mister Flintsone".

25. Fallin' For You - Colbie Callait
Female Jack Johnson stops thinking about her fucking toes, crafts delicious summer song about boys and girls in love.