If I were casting it, I would’ve cast John Barrowman as Captain America. He looks a lot more like him, has a bigger build, and is already a Captain.

Well, it’s been a little while since I’ve written…again…so let’s catch up…

  1. Two Hangmen CDs should be assembled soon.  I know I keep saying that…but this time it’s actually true.  My productivity goes up and down, based on how much I get done when I’m actually doing something.  I’ll have a day or two in a row where I get TONS of stuff done, then three weeks of nothing.  That’s how I am, when I’m left on my own.  (Fortunately that doesn’t bleed over into the office or anything.)  We’re reaching the end of a “lazy” stage, so I should be getting something done soon.  🙂
  2. I’ve been buying lots of comic books…but I haven’t been keeping up with my reading very well.  I really must do something about that.
  3. I’ll be doing some worship-leading with my church soon.  We start weekly services next week.  I’ll miss the extra day of sleeping in…but at least I’ll have a guitar in my hands some weeks.
  4. My kitchen is progressing nicely.  All of the wiring and whatnot is ready.  We’ve got SOME drywall up.  It’s starting to take shape.  Unfortunately, it’s also revealing some problems with the TERRIBLE job that was done in my bathroom last year.  Like, I’ve got this big, heavy mirror hanging over my sink in the bathroom…and the guy who installed it screwed it into the drywall, but didn’t actually anchor it to anything.  There was no wood added, no bracing…just screws into drywall that he himself installed, so he could definitely have planned ahead.  If I ever meet the guy again, I’m kicking him in the nuts, then giving him my friend Larry’s name and Social Security Number.  (That’s kind of an inside joke.  Sorry.)  But the kitchen’s going well and Dave’s doing a great job.
  5. Work was busy last week, and it probably will be this week too.  We’re going to be down two people (some folks are on vacation) and in an office that’s already a little short-staffed because of how the business economy works these days, we’re all going to be extra busy.  Sorry in advance if I hate everybody I talk to this week as a result.
  6. Sometimes I feel like I should see the Harry Potter movies, just to be up on them and know exactly what I’m making fun of…but then I realize that I really, really don’t want to.  Problem solved.
  7. I need to do laundry tonight.  I’m out of everything.
  8. I keep drifting back to the last U2 record (“No Line on the Horizon”).  It now seems pure idiocy that it wasn’t on my top 10 list of 2009.  At that time, I guess I just hadn’t listened to it much.  I didn’t buy it right away for whatever reason. I think it came out late enough in the year that I just threw it on my Christmas list, then no one bought it for me.  I don’t think I fully absorbed it until just before the concert a couple of weeks ago.  It’s really great, and definitely should have been in the top ten, if not the top FIVE.  (I just re-looked at the top ten for that year…and whereas I stand by it for the most part, I can only point to one or two of those that have remained in my rotation—and the number one for the year isn’t even one of them (Mastodon’s “Crack the Skye,” which is great, but I just don’t find myself listening to it as much as I imagined I would at the time).  Oh well…at least I like it now.
  9. I’ve decided that if America can’t come to an agreement on the debt thingy and therefore can not pay back its loans, I’m not going to either.  Sorry, student loans.  I’d be a bad American if I did my fucking job and behaved responsibly and fairly with my money.  (And on a serious note, I am downright ASHAMED of my party right now.  THIS is why people don’t bother voting…it doesn’t seem to matter when we do.)
  10. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been spending WAY more time over at my Tumblr page.  That’s because WordPress has turned into almost nothing but errors, time-outs, and ads-in-the-margins-I-don’t-want, resulting in frustration and an unpleasant experience as both a writer and likely also as a reader.  I’m thinking of moving to Tumblr full-time and just re-blogging some of the more text-based posts over here…I’ll keep you posted.  Either way, the Tumblr page sees way more action, so you should check it more, if you don’t already.

…and that’s all I feel like writing right now.  I have some things to do that I should really get moving on before dark.  🙂

The 27 Club

With Amy Winehouse dying yesterday, the good old “27 Club” (or “Club 27” or the “Dead at 27 Club”) has been in the spotlight.  Now I’m not the most superstitious person in the world, but even I will tip my hat to the seemingly extreme coincidence of the deaths on this list.  (Of course, the fact that so many of them involved drugs and that at least one was planned out in advance may just have something to do with it…but I digress…)  Following suit with the rest of the Internet, I wanted to write a little bit about the “27 Club” on the old blog.

If you somehow haven’t heard of it and haven’t pieced it together yet, basically the “club” is made up of different musicians who died at the age of 27.  In the following words, I’ll offer some of my thoughts about each of the “members” (or at least the ones most frequently said to be in the group).   Some of these opinions may seem in poor taste, some of them overly kind.  Either way…most of them have been dead for more than 20 years, so I think it’s about time I can be a little critical and/or kind.  Nonetheless…my apologies if I say I’m not a fan of somebody that’s one of your favorites.  It’s just music and it’s just an opinion.  You probably think stuff I love sucks too.

Let’s rock!

The 27 Club, and my thoughts:

  • Robert Johnson – The Johann Sebastian Bach of blues guitar.  All of the standards were pretty much first put on tape by Robert Johnson.  Yet many of you might not have ever heard his name.  That’s not surprising.  There are only two known photographs of him, and we aren’t even 100% sure that’s actually him in at least one of them.  He was a black musician in a time when no one cared to take pictures of black musicians.  In a lot of ways, it’s amazing that his work survived at all.  But thanks to guys like Clapton doing “Crossroad Blues” (aka “Crossroads”) and pretty much every blues artist taking a swipe at “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom” (including Ike & Tina, ZZ Top, John Mayall, and even Steven–what the hell am I doing with a guitar?–Seagal), his legacy lives.  It is almost impossible to deny Johnson’s legacy and genius.
  • Brian Jones (Rolling Stones) – Mysterious death…possible accident, possible suicide, possible murder, depending on who you talk to.  Though Jagger and Richards are the first names everyone thinks of when someone says, “Rolling Stones,” Jones really shouldn’t be far behind.  When it all started it was HIS band, before Mick n’ Keef took the spotlight.  Jones helped to shape the early sound of the band (arguably the ONLY sound of the band, since you can play almost any Stones song and know immediately what band it is without knowing the song). To this day, Ronnie Wood is still thought of as “The New Guy” by a lot of the fan-base, even though he’s been a member since 1975.  Fans didn’t want to let him go, and in many ways they never have.  I’m on board with that to some degree…but after a couple of decades, I think it’s about time we gave Ronnie a break.
  • Jimi Hendrix – Everyone knows at least one Hendrix song, and every guitarist has played at least one of his riffs, if only accidentally.  Hendrix had one of those sounds that is unique—truly his own.  Personally, I find him more innovative than accurate and more sloppy than stupendous…but I’m willing to let that slide when I hear his version of “Red House.”  Though I have extreme disdain for his drug-addled nature, I tip my hat to the way he revolutionized the instrument of the guitar and the nature of improvisational rock.  Nevertheless, the first thing that comes to my mind when someone mentions Hendrix is, “I wonder if it’s true that he used to line his headband with LSD?”
  • Janis Joplin – I’m just going to say it…  I don’t like Janis Joplin.  I’ve just never gotten it.  She had a raspy, grating voice and sang music that didn’t fit it.  But…woman rocker, I guess…so right on.  I know it’s my problem and I’m probably wrong about it.  I just don’t have much to say about her.  I like “Me and My Bobby McGee,” but I like it better when Kristofferson sings it himself.  Sorry everybody…but I just don’t get it, and I don’t want to.
  • Jim Morrison – I am always torn on what to think of Morrison.  I like some Doors songs here and there, but they’re not in my top ten favorite bands…  But I could say that about a lot of bands.  What I can’t say about a lot of those bands is that I know their singer’s name.  I know Morrison’s…so I guess he did some things right.  But I must say I’m a little put off by the “American Poet” thing…I mean…  I’ve read his lyrics, and with the exception of “we couldn’t get much higher,” I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a cogent thought in any of them.  He does have one of those voices that it’s hard not to love, and he certainly knew how to make himself a star.  Unfortunately, that sometimes (often?) overwhelmed the actual music…but at the same time, at least he was one of the first guys to do that.
  • Kurt Cobain – I was in Jr. High when Kurt Cobain killed himself, and at the time I thought it was a tragedy.  I am now in my 30s, working for peanuts (and grateful for them), and still plugging away playing songs no one listens to in bars no one likes…and somewhere along the way, I have come around to think Cobain was a selfish, pretentious loser who couldn’t sing, could only sort-of play guitar, and couldn’t seem to get his head out of his ass.  The only thing worse is the fans who keep claiming he didn’t kill himself, but was instead murdered.  Still, I’ll give him due credit for putting Grunge in the spotlight, and I like the odd Nirvana song now and again.  I just wish he’d have lived long enough for people not to care about him anymore.  I just can’t justify holding up someone who takes his own life as a role model, musical or otherwise…even if I do turn it up a little when “Territorial Pissings” comes up on “random” on my iPod.
  • Amy Winehouse – I don’t really know that much about Amy Winehouse.  I didn’t particularly care for her music, but I didn’t hate it.  I dig Wanda Jackson’s cover of “You Know that I’m No Good” though.  I, like everyone, watched her personal life and drug addiction become a crazy train-wreck that left us all thinking, “well, that’s sad but not too surprising” this week.  And that’s a shame.  She seemed talented enough…it’s just too bad that kind of thing doesn’t make you invincible, as so many seem to think it does.  I don’t know what her cause of death was yet…but I think we all know some of what contributed…just like EVERY person on this list (though Johnson was reportedly poisoned).  And that’s just fucking stupid, if you like ’em or not.

So yeah…  I guess the lesson is that if you’re young and talented, try not to get involved with drugs.  27 comes sooner than you think.

Short Post

Sorry I’ve been MIA since U2.  Been kinda worn out all week for a number of reasons.

Basically all that’s happened is the normal stuff, plus I got caught up on the last season of House.

I’ll write more later.  It just occurred to me that I haven’t written much lately, so I thought I’d throw together a quick post.

In which I go to Busch Stadium and the Cardinals don’t even show up! (…or how I learned to stop worrying and love U2)

(This is long…and the U2 part of it starts roughly 848 words into the post.  Also, fair warning, I swear a lot toward the end.)

So the big U2 show came through St. Louis last night.  It was a great night.  I’ll be putting some pics on my Tumblr page later, if anything from my phone turned out okay…so look for that.  My friend Kenny is a professional photographer (and a great drummer—we used to work together in the Feldman Group).  He took these pictures that you should really check out.  So there’s a plug for him…sorry that my pictures will be crappy cell phone pics that don’t measure up.

The day started off with me watching the Women’s World Cup final between the USA and Japan.  Great game with a well-deserved win by the Japanese ladies.  They made me want them to win from minute one, where they looked like they were glad to be there and the Americans just looked angry.  Japan deserved it, won it, and should STILL be celebrating.  Congrats to them, even though in my heart of hearts (I am speaking of course of the smaller heart that rests inside of my larger heart), I still love ‘merica!

It was time to depart for the show shortly after the game’s end.  I rode down with my dad and Susan (his girlfriend, who doesn’t get too many mentions on the blog for some reason—sorry Susan).  We parked at the Lumiere Casino and went into their sports bar so Dad and Susan could eat and I could grab a quick Sam Adams (and ONLY one—I don’t respect the guys who’re drunk before they even get to the venue) before the show.  I don’t like to eat before spending a few hours in the heat—and it was oppressively hot.  If I eat, I get sick, so I avoided food in order to enjoy the show.  Unfortunately, we ALL would have been better off not going to the sports bar.  Their service was atrocious.  We were there for probably 45 minutes, at least 20 of which was spent waiting for our waitress to show up.  I hear the food was good…but is it really worth $10 for a burger without service, where you have to flag someone who isn’t your waitress down for a refill?

Fortunately, the sports bar was the one bad part of the day.  Soon, we were on the shuttle to get to the stadium and the day was back on schedule.  Driving up to the stadium was an amazing sight, as U2’s stage set (lovingly nicknamed “The Claw”) was so big it was plainly visible both through and above the stadium.  There was an audible, almost unanimous “woah!” among the passengers in the shuttle.  We walked in and found the seats with no incident.

After sitting down for a few minutes, I journeyed out to find the merch booth.  Once found, it was like voluntarily cramming into a sardine tin (oils disturbingly included) and there was some maddening small talk with a girl who was a high school senior, who had a lot of questions about the shirts.  Whereas I think it’s awesome that the uninitiated go to shows like this, as a seasoned rock-show veteran, I do find it a little bit irritating when people don’t know something as simple as what shirt size they take…but she was excited and her heart was in the right place.  Can’t blame her…  But after a 30-minute wait in a hot, sweaty line, I was kind of glad when we parted company.  I picked up a reddish shirt and a greenish cap.  Prices were higher than they should have been—especially since mine, with no printing on the back, cost as much as the others…but it’s a rock show.  You go in knowing that you’re going to spend too much.  (But shirts were $40…I expected $30.  Times have changed.)

I sat back down just in time to catch Interpol’s set and say hello to my brother and sister-in-law.  (Happy birthday again, Dave!)  They were okay, but their songs need better endings.  I don’t have any desire to investigate them further, but I didn’t feel like booing either…so well done.  Between bands, I managed to find some time to catch up with my old friend Amanda, who drove in from central Illinois for the show.  We hadn’t seen each other in a year or so, so it was nice to catch up.  Could have spent a little bit more time together, but we both mistook some of the background music for intro music (it got loud at one point for no reason) and went off running, not wanting to miss the show.  Unfortunately, there were about 20 more minutes until U2 came on…so there was mostly just sitting and reading the random facts and statistics they were scrolling across the screen (see Kenny’s pics for a good shot of that).

Then, with no further ado, after all of the ado I’ve put you through up to this point…  It was time for the main event.  U2’s intro music came on…and here we go!

The music got very loud and we were treated to the opening strains of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” as the band walked to the stage.  In what was an extra treat for our section, the band walked right in front of us on their way to the stage and we were among the first to see them.  (I literally could’ve spit on them from where I was…but why would I do that?)  I made eye contact and waved at The Edge.  He was obviously really glad to see me, but kept it cool and pretended like he didn’t even know or care about who I was and didn’t wave back or acknowledge me.  (Sarcasm—In reality, he was busy being The Edge, and I was probably the millionth person to wave at him this week.)  🙂

The band took the stage and ripped right into “Even Better than the Real Thing,” “The Fly,” “Mysterious Ways,” and “Until the End of the World.”  All four from Achtung Baby!  It was like they were paying me back for that show I didn’t get to go to in the 90s, on the Zoo TV tour!  Then they did an excellent version of my favorite U2 song, “I Will Follow,” which made me very happy.  They settled into the set nicely, and they broke out most of the hits everyone could’ve wanted to hear.  (Though I’m sure someone complained that they didn’t do “Desire” or “New Year’s Day” or something…but those complaints belong only to the jaded.)

There were some obvious outstanding moments.  At one point, Bono reached into his pocket and produced the set list from U2’s first ever show in St. Louis from 1981, when they played on the Wash-U campus.  That kind of thing is a little bit cheesy, but it’s also really, really cool.  That’s one of the things I love about bands like U2…they make it their business to be very informed about the place they’re playing on a given night—and that makes them great entertainers.

Another great moment came when Bono reached down into the crowd during “City of Blinding Lights” and pulled a young boy named Will out of the audience.  He walked the kid around the stage and pretty much made the kid’s LIFE in the process, I would imagine.  (I mean…imagine that the biggest rock star in the world reaches into a crowd of 53,000 people and pulls YOU out of the crowd and walks you around the stage, and you’re eight.)  As Bono got to the other side of the stage (although not quite far enough to drop the kid off in the same place that he picked him up—but it was cool, I saw the kid with his dad later) he asked him his name and he said he was Will…Bono said, “Don’t forget me Will.  We’ll meet again!”  And it was a really cool, sweet moment…  Yet for some reason, all I could think was “Bono’s just like The Doctor!”  Will geekdom never cease?  🙂

Bono dedicated their performance of “Beautiful Day” to Gabby Giffords, providing one of the more memorable moments of the show.  During the intro to the song, the screen went to static then came back together on an image of (Giffords’ husband/astronaut) Mark Kelley greeting St. Louis from the International Space Station.  He floated a message through the air toward the camera (because it’s goddamn weightless in space!) that we humans are many people, but one nation and that “It’s a Beautiful Day” and ended up contributing to the ongoing weird David Bowie tribute by saying, “Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows.”  And then the band played the song.  (John Kerry’s campaign song…breaks my heart every time.)

In another sweetly serious moment, Bono shed some light on the life-story of Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi.  I was semi-familiar with who she was, but I have certainly learned more in the past 24 hours, thanks to the show.  Please check out that link.  It’s really an amazing story of someone imprisoned for wanting to be free, who was finally granted freedom, mostly because of the work of people who didn’t know her.  The band dedicated “Walk On” to her and to Amnesty International.  I’ve been very familiar with AI for a few years, and whereas they often do and say things that even I feel are a little bit too radical, when they do good work, they do good work.  Last night’s show made me appreciate them a little bit more, and certainly gave us all something to think about as we were all there as free people, some of whom were children (or less) when Aung San Suu Kyi was put under house arrest.  I’ve heard more than one person say that they were either surprised by that or wished that U2 didn’t feel the need to “get political” with stuff like that…but I’ve never been sure how human rights are supposed to be “political.”  (Dammit U2…why you gotta go makin’ me believe in stuff and whatnot?)

Okay…let’s get back to fun…  🙂

The band played a brief snippet of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at one point.  As long time readers/people who know me might recall, I am a HUGE Leonard Cohen fan.  I was even wearing a Leonard Cohen t-shirt last night!  So I was very happy to hear that (though it was clearly more informed by Jeff Buckley’s version).

In all, the setlist was a great mix of new and old that had enough new stuff to keep the “I only have Joshua Tree” folks happy, while hopefully opening up their ears to stuff that’s GREAT that they maybe haven’t heard.  I loved hearing the 90s stuff, and the newer stuff…but there’s nothing cooler than hearing 53,000 people singing in unison to “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”  I particularly appreciated that they ended with a new song, in a somber moment, dedicated to those affected by the tornado in Joplin.  “Moment of Surrender” (despite its redundancy in referring to an “ATM Machine”) is one of the best songs on the record, and was a perfect closer, in my book.

My only real complaint about the show was that where we were sitting the “360-tour” was “360” seemingly only in the sense that you could basically see the back of their heads for most of the show.  The tour was supposed to be “in the round,” but we were basically behind all of the action, with the band clearly still thinking of the stage as having a front and a back.  I think Bono only graced our section with his presence once and The Edge might’ve wandered over twice.  People in our section were sitting down a lot (hard to blame them) and it just felt like a band who’s on their 7th leg of an “in the round” tour could’ve done a slightly better job of pillow-talk with the WHOLE crowd.  Still, that’s a minor complaint, given how good the show was, with all its production value and GREAT set list.

…and my only OTHER complaint was about a complete dickweed on the ride back on the shuttle.  The driver of the shuttle asked that we all move toward the back to allow more people to get on and some complete ballbag made a crude joke about the Black bus driver asking people to move to the back of the bus.  I think my (loud) reply was, “That’s real fucking nice, guy.  I guess those couple hundred years of mistreatment meant nothing.”  (He wisely did not reply—though I’m pretty sure he heard me.  And I noticed that he did not repeat himself for the benefit of others who were close enough to punch him in his fucking throat—not that I encourage that type of thing.)  What an asshole.  After seeing a show that stressed the importance of thinking of ourselves as one society, one people, and one world, there’s a racist shitbag on the shuttle that makes you wonder; even if we ARE one people…does that make us any goddamn good?  (And does my anger at that guy really make me any better than him. –Probably not.)

And I guess that’s the main thing I can take away from the show…we should all try to do better.

(And I’m going to add that to the “only music can do that” file…)

I followed up the awesome show by heading over to Waffle House.  After a long day of not eating and sweating bullets, I needed orange juice.  I love Waffle House.  Their coffee tastes just as good in Decaf as it does in Regular, and their hash browns can’t be beat.

So yeah, awesome day with only a few minor downturns…and those were certainly dwarfed by the show and the fun.  Probably the best show I’ll go to this year.  Possibly the best one I’ve been to since Pearl Jam last year (unless I’m forgetting something).  Plus…got my merch…so I’m happy.  🙂

Thanks for reading all that, if you did.  You just subjected yourself to 2367 words.  Sorry about that.

For the handful of you who have all of my music on your iPod (that is to say, none of you)

If you’ll pardon the self-indulgence, every now and again, the thought of what I would do if I were to put together a semi-definitive list of my favorites of my songs (as a solo artist) pops into my mind.  Y’know…  Like if I had to do a “best of” package or put together a touring setlist or headlining DVD recording or something…what songs would be on that?  The question came to mind earlier tonight, so I went to iTunes and looked at the list of songs on those three (because even I don’t have everything on my iPod), then over to my website for the other two (FREE) projects.  And this is what I think I would do, as of right now.  Some of it is based more on what people have told me they like, rather than strictly what I like the best…and this, of course, doesn’t mean that the songs I haven’t included aren’t worth listening to or anything like that.  This is just the list I would build if someone asked me to tonight.  So if you’ve got all my stuff on your iPod (or whatever), give this list a shot.  Tell me where you’d change it, or if I left off your favorite song, or if I should cut the ballads back a little…  Or ignore me completely.  Whatever…it’s your Internet.

(Oh…before it gets going…if it were a live set, it’d start with “Coming Storm,” but I’m pretending it’s a CD or something.)

The Best-ish of Derek Brink:

  1. Scars
  2. Remember Me
  3. Nothing Stays the Same
  4. Battle Cry
  5. Falling
  6. Simple Things
  7. Outlaw
  8. Fall Apart
  9. Being There
  10. Nobody Has It All
  11. Something More
  12. New Year’s Eve
  13. Everything
  14. In My Heart
  15. Diner
  16. God’s Gonna Shut Your Mouth
  17. Immortal
  18. Born in this Town
  19. Please
  20. Stranger
  21. Looking Back
  22. Beautiful

…and if I were to slip a Two Hangmen song or two in there, they’d be “I Go…” and “Fighting Drunk.”

So there you go!  I’ll probably be posting a U2 review next time!

I didn’t have to pee when I started writing this post, but I do now.

Let’s talk about nothing!

  1. So there seems to be some to-do about the last space shuttle deal…  It’s sad for those at NASA whose days are likely to be filled with nothing to do soon…but honestly, I haven’t ever really understood why space exploration is supposed to be so important.  I mean, yeah, we need satellites out there for various purposes—most importantly making sure we know if something’s about to smack into the Earth at a fast speed…but other than that…what’s the point?  What are we looking for?  What are we exploring?  With our country and world in the state they’re in, it seems to me like poking around the big, empty void of space can take a backseat.  But apparently I’m wrong…so right on.
  2. I’m an avid reader of Cracked.com.  They provide good reads that are informative and funny.  And today, I read one that has quite probably the best metaphor I’ve ever read in it.  (Warning…this is…kinda blue.)  I’m not sure anyone ever needs to write anything else after reading the two sentences I’m about to quote.  The article title was “5 Crucial Lessons Learned by Watching Kids Play Video Games” and these were the article’s OPENING two sentences:  “Watching my kids play video games is like watching a virgin fumble around with his first prostitute. You just want to put down the camera, strap on your dildo hat and say, ‘No, look, you do it like this.'”  I haven’t laughed that much all week.  Thanks for being awesome, Cracked!
  3. U2 is playing in St. Louis on Sunday (as my brother pointed out in the comments), and I’ll be there!  I’m excited.  Over the years, I’ve waffled back and forth on how much I like U2.  Sometimes I’ve thought they were genius.  Sometimes garbage.  As much as Zooropa and Pop were awful mistakes, I’ve liked their last three records a lot (though the new one is a little…odd in places…), so I feel good about it.  Plus it’s hard to argue with the strength of their back catalogue (“With ot Without You” notwithstanding).  It’s hard not to love songs like “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “I Will Follow,” and “Sweetest Thing.”  (And a host of others.)  Looking at the recent setlists, they look like they’re doing a lot of stuff I’ll like, so it should be fun.  Plus, it’s my brother’s birthday-show this year, and everybody’s going, so that’ll be cool.
  4. My stomach has been weird today.  I blame the roast beef.
  5. The Two Hangmen EP nears completion.  I’ve got 50 CDs printed on and burned.  Covers are moving slowly, just due to the time it takes to construct the things…but we’re very close.  And Dave reminded me last night that we’re supposed to be putting it on iTunes, too…so I’ll have to start the process there soon, I guess.  I’ll keep you posted.
  6. So Harry Potter “ended” in the theatres this week.  And yet…I still don’t care.
  7. My kitchen is progressing, but not really so you’d know it.  It’s mainly been electrical and stuff like that this week, so there’s nothing visually stunning to brag about.  Some time very soon, I need to choose a light fixture.  For some reason I hate that part.  Nothing just looks like a freaking light fixture anymore.  They’re all modern and trendy, or retro and trendy…I just want a light, y’know?
  8. Fair warning…  Next time I blog, I will have gotten a haircut.  It’s time…it’s way longer than I intended, so we’ve gotta go short again.
  9. Jake Austin and the City limits released a CD today.  I don’t have it yet, but I’ve heard previews, and they’re the kind of band I’m pissed off that I’m not in…so go check them out, and congrats to Jake, et al.

…and I think that’ll do it for now.  Doctor Who reruns are on…and I like watching that.  So I’m going to do that now.  Hope you’re doing something you like too.

A Tribute to Billy West, Even Though He’s Not Dead

For some reason or another, I was thinking about the talents of the amazing voice-actor Billy West today.  He’s done a ton of stuff.  A lot of us grew up listening to Billy talk and had no idea.  A lot of us are adults hearing Billy talk and we STILL don’t know it.  The guy’s amazing, but he’s not a household name for some reason.  I leafed through his IMDB page, and jotted down the stuff I’ve seen/heard him in (mostly cartoons).  Here’s the list.  I limited it to ONLY the stuff I’ve seen and I even removed a few because I wasn’t sure if I’d seen his particular episode(s)…but check this out.  I’ll note where he’s had a starring/recurring role…

Stuff I’ve seen Billy West in:

  • Futurama — Philip J. Fry / Dr. Zoidberg / Prof. Hubert J. Farnsworth
  • Various Looney Tunes Projects and movies — Elmer Fudd / Porky Pig / Bugs Bunny
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold — Skeets
  • Scooby-Doo (Newer series/movies) — Shaggy / Various
  • The New Woody Woodpecker Show — Woody Woodpecker (since 1999)
  • Drawn Together — Various, including Popeye and Stimpy
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy — Most notably, the announcer
  • The Boondocks — Minor roles
  • Duck Dodgers —  Various, with most characters being a Fudd variant
  • Justice League/Justice League Unlimited — Skeets / Various
  • Invader ZIM — Invader Zim
  • Ren & Stimpy — Stipmy and Later Ren, too.  (Please note that he was not involved in John K.’s TERRIBLE revival on SpikeTV a few years ago.)
  • Samurai Jack — Various
  • Hey Arnold! — Various
  • Crank Yankers — Confucious (And yes, I am embarrassed that I watched a few episodes of that!)
  • Andy Richter Controls the Universe — P.A. Voice Over
  • Dharma & Greg — Various
  • The Oblongs — Various
  • Johnny Bravo — Various
  • Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law — Dr. Zin / Various
  • The Powerpuff Girls — Captain Righteous
  • CatDog — Various
  • Superman (Animated TV series) — Lexie #2
  • King of the Hill — Various
  • Dilbert — Most notably “Marketing Guy”
  • Family Guy — Various
  • Sabrina, the Teenage Witch — A couple of characters back when it was still good
  • Pinky and the Brain — Various
  • The Wacky World of Tex Avery — Various, including Tex Avery
  • Doug — Douglas ‘Doug’ Yancy Funnie / Roger M. Klotz
  • The Howard Stern Show — Various (in the 90s)
  • Beany and Cecil — Cecil  (in the 80s)

…right?  And I’m lumping all of the episodes of Futurama, Woody Woodpecker, Beanie & Cecil, Ren & Stimpy, etc, etc together!  That’s not even HALF of his IMDB page.  If you’ve watched a cartoon in the past couple of decades, there’s a good chance Billy West was involved for at least a little while.  (And if he wasn’t, one of the other voices on Futurama probably was.  One of them was goddamn Jabberjaw!)

So, yeah…thanks for like 30 years of awesome, Billy West.  Looking forward to many, many more!

…and also Frank Welker.

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Other than that, the only thing I can think of to mention is that I’ve been fighting a headache for a few days that was so bad it messed up my stomach on Monday.  Hoping to be 100% in time for the U2 concert this weekend.  I should be…I feel MUCH better than I did on Monday.

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Current Reading — Been catching up on some comic books.  Here’s the short list of stuff I’ve been enjoying this week:

  • Locke & Key (AMAZING!!!)
  • Flashpoint
  • Fear Itself
  • The Unwritten
  • X-Men: Schism