Thursday, July 29, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Defunct Ropers

I started watching The Ropers... I got through the first season as it was only 6 episodes... started the second season, and the files had no audio. I may just channel surf through old shows of others series till I can download The Ropers from another source, or find a different show... It's too bad. I was really enjoying The Ropers.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

"Get A Life"

So as I mentioned before I watch television exclusively on my computer one series at a time from start to finish. I just finished watching the 1990 Chris Elliot sitcom: "Get A Life".

Where do I even begin?

I remember this show from when I was a kid. I was 11. At the time I thought it was one of the greatest shows ever, and having watched it again now at 30 years old I understand why an 11 year old would find this so amusing. I get the feeling that Tom Green's movie "Freddie Got Fingered" was very heavily inspired by this series.

The concept of the show is that Chris Elliot plays a character named Chris Peterson. A 30 year old man who lives over his parents garage and has a paper route. The series follows Chris through his various daily adventures. Chris's real life Father plays his Dad on the show which I thought was kind of cool.

The first season was tolerable, but the second one gets exponentially ridiculously stupid with every passing episode. Don't get me wrong... I was entertained, but it was no mystery why this show didn't make it past 2 seasons on FOX. The second season Chris moves out of his parents into the garage of a man he meets played by Brian Doyle Murray who then becomes a regular on the show as a half drunk retired ex-cop.

I think the shows lowest point was the episode where an alien falls from outer space, and Chris takes him in. He names him "Spewey" on account of the fact that it spews brown goo out of it's mouth, ears, and... elbows... which Chris of course has no problem eating.

To give you even further evidence of this show's ridiculous nature... Chris Peterson dies 12 different times throughout the course of the series including such deaths as being crushed by a boulder, old age, tonsillitis, being stabbed, shot, strangled, run over by a car, choking on cereal, falling from a plane, and... exploding.

As a supplement to the series I also watched Chris Elliot's movie from 94' "Cabin Boy" which was made by the same creative geniuses behind "Get A Life". It was just more of the same.

Perhaps it's a sign of old age but there were just some points of this show that were too ridiculous even for me. Though I do believe it certainly holds a place in television history. I'm just not sure what it is. I will also say that if there's one thing that I did consistently enjoy it was the intro to the show. For some reason I just thought it was perfect.

Do I regret watching this series? Absolutely not. There was definitely some nostalgia for me in reliving this show, and getting a closer look at it. Have I made my peace with "Get A Life"? Yes.

I am ready to move on to my next series... the Three's Company spin off: "The Ropers".

I give "Get A Life" 3 out of 5 stars.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mike Byrne: The New Smashing Pumpkins Drummer

" The Smashing Pumpkins" as it were... is essentially Billy Corgan at this point, and whomever he chooses to play with. I'm fine with that. Though it was tough losing Jimmy Chamberlin, as I consider him to be hands down by far and away the best rock drummer I've ever heard.


Jimmy has a family and for now has had his fill of being on the road, and living in recording studios. So he left the Pumpkins to go be home with his family. As tough of a loss as it is to the band, it's hard to argue with his decision. I also doubt we've seen the last of him.

Wrestlers do this all the time. They're on the road 300 days a year. Year after year. Eventually they need to take a few years off, or that's when they start going berserk and doing lots of drugs. But after a break they find themselves craving the life again... and then they come back with a renewed enthusiasm.

I can't say whether or not this will ever be the case with J.C. but I certainly doubt that Jimmy and Billy have played their last song together.

Which brings me to the point of this... the new drummer. Mike Byrne.

Mike was 19 when he was found by Billy Corgan online. Billy had posted open auditions via the internet. Billy finds this 19 year old kid. Has him try out... and at 19 years old he becomes the drummer for The Smashing Pumpkins. Your gut reaction is... hmmm...

But I've heard him. I've heard him on the new studio recordings, and I've heard him live via bootlegs. Is he Jimmy Chamberlin? No. Is he a kick ass drummer? Fuck yeah! For 19 (now 20) years old... he rocks his ass off and can hang with Billy Corgan and the rest of the Pumpkins. I don't know about you, but I certainly can't say that. You can hear him play on any of the new recordings...

It's hard to imagine whether or not he can truly appreciate the position he is in at such a young age. But he did start a blog when they started their recent tour, and from reading it I think he's enjoying the ride. As he should.

Pumpkins fans in general have been all up in arms about the new line-up. Some are insistent that "The Smashing Pumpkins" were D'Arcy, James, Jimmy, and Billy. While they will most likely be remembered as being the "true" Smashing Pumpkins... the past is the past.

I understand the reasons for the band going their separate ways. At the end of the day it's a lack of chemistry. Like a good sports team needs good chemistry, so does a band. Whatever there was between the original four, it was lost. Once it's gone... you need to separate. Not to say you can't reunite down the road. But there's no sense in beating a dead horse either. Anyway... people are really uptight about allowing new members into the SP family.

I think Jeff Schroeder has been a great guitarist, and held his own just fine since joining the band. I don't know much about the new bassist, but I'm sure she's fine.

Then there's Mike.

I can fumble my way through just about any instrument if I really want to, but if there's one thing I just do not have the co-ordination for it's the drums. So I have a deep respect for anyone who can play. And knowing what high standards Billy holds, I can't imagine the pressure of living up to those expectations. I look back to when I was 19, and I can tell you there's no way I'd have had the balls to go on tour with The Smashing Pumpkins no matter what kind of drummer I was. This kid gives off a lot strength, and seems like a down to Earth dude.

So what I'm ultimately am getting at is that I welcome this kid to the group. I think a new drummer will force Billy to write his music a little differently and explore other avenues he may not have with Jimmy.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I don't have cable... haven't for about 10 years. I've watched all of free tv I can stand. So in the past year I've gotten into watching tv online an entire series at a time. I pick one, and watch one episode after another in succession from start to finish. I've watched the following tv series from start to finish since December...

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Modern Family
The Office

How I Met Your Mother
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Golden Girls
Golden Palace
The Larry Sanders Show
Police Squad!

I am currently in the middle of "Get A Life"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

For The Achiever In Us All

I keep seeing this billboard for PNC bank that says something like, "For the achiever in us all". Every time I see it all I can think of is... how did they not use a picture of Jeffrey Lebowski on that billboard?

The 4 Stages Of Life

I was reading an article with Billy Corgan discussing the concept behind his new album. He says that it is meant to represent what he interprets the "4 stages of life" to be. I strongly agree with his interpretation.

"The Teargarden concept is that there's four stages in the journey of life. There's childlike innocence when you just don't really know anything in the world and it all seems sort of big and magical; then there's the part that's maybe the teen aware but not really liking what's going on; then the third person that's cynical, where you get kind of bitter because you feel so small and there's all these things that are sort of happening and there's not much you can do about it. And life constantly tells you to just suck it up and deal with it — like everybody likes to talk about how broken our political system is, but not everybody wants to do something about it. The fourth stage out of that would be finding a sort of spiritual place within yourself where you can live in reality, you can see it for what it is, but maybe you can find a deeper source of inspiration and peace. And of course, things dovetail. Just because I feel spiritual now, it doesn't mean the cynical person doesn't get involved or the child doesn't get involved."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fast Cars... Slow Drivers?

I keep coming across people who drive these sports cars, or tricked out rides, yet seem to drive 10mph under the speed limit. I'm not saying you need to be in a constant state of hauling ass if you drive a sports car, but at the very least drive the speed limit. You spent all this money on acceleration, top speed, and aerodynamics... but you drive it like it's a 85' Toyota Corolla?

I generally drive the speed limit. In fact my girlfriend seems to think I drive "like a Grandmother". So, it's not like I'm an impatient, or fast driver. It just bites my ass when I see someone in some $60,000.00 Corvette driving 20mph in a 35.

Move your ass!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Smashing Pumpkins: Halloween 08'

On October 31st, 2008 The Smashing Pumpkins took the stage in Columbus Ohio to kick off their tour with a Halloween show. Since that night I have heard/read nothing but negative feedback about this night. In fact, I just listened to a podcast via, a Pumpkins blog site, and almost two years later they are still bitching about it. The topic came up on account of the Pumpkins making their first return to Columbus since the Halloween show of 08'.

The controversy comes from the fact that the first half of the show was comprised primarily of 60's cover songs. I guess some people out there only want to hear the Pumpkins play all the "hits". The thing is that they inevitably got around to it. They were just having some fun for Halloween. Ok fine, if it wasn't your ideal live Smashing Pumpkins experience... but why are people still harping on it 2 years later?! I personally would have loved to be at that show. What a unique experience! I've seen the setlists for just about every Pumpkins show since then, and there hasn't been one even close to that evening. Those who were there that night should consider themselves lucky to have been there for such a performance.

I am a pretty die-hard Pumpkins fan. They are after all my favorite band in the world. Find me another current band that can even go up there and play a show like that!

If you're interested enough you can find the show here...

This was the setlist that evening...

Set 1:

* Louie Louie [Richard Berry]
* Hang On Sloopy [The McCoys]
* Monster Mash [Pickett/Capizzi]
> Unchained Melody [North/Zaret] (tease)
* Wipe Out [The Surfaris]
* Gingger's Raga
* The Gambler [Schlitz]
* Lizard Blues
* Jeremy [Pearl Jam] (tease)
* In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida [Iron Butterfly] (with Doug Goodman)
* Gingger's Raga Return

Set 2:

* Tarantula
* G.L.O.W.
* Siva
* Speed Kills
* Superchrist
* As Rome Burns
* The Sounds of Silence [Simon]
> Li'l Red Riding Hood [Blackwell]
* A Song for a Son
* Today
* Bullet with Butterfly Wings
* Heavy Metal Machine
* Glass' Theme


* Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun [Pink Floyd]