Oct 29, 2010

Guest Post: Kenan and Kel

Thanks for the post, Nora Howe

On Nickelodeon back in the 1990s, they had a lot of awesome shows. One of them was called All That! which was a lot like Saturday Night Live. On this show there were two cast members who really stood out from the rest: Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell.

Kenan and Kel had their own skits but they also had a lot of sketches that they did together. Because of this, they gained a reputation and popularity as a team. They eventually got their own show called "Kenan and Kel" which proved to be a hit right off the bat. It was one of my favorite shows as a kid and I still watch Kenan and Kel on satellite TV from tvbydirect.com even though I am in my twenties.
This show was hilarious even though it had a cliche sitcom setup. Kenan was the level-headed one, to an extent, and Kel was a crazy character who was always messing things up. He was an excellent actor and played his part perfectly. One of Kel's catch phrases was "I do, I do, I do, I do-ooo" in response to Kenan's query "Who loves Orange Soda?". Kel was clearly a sucker for Orange Soda and it was something that viewers looked forward to seeing and hearing every episode. All in all, Kenan and Kel was a really funny television show.

Oct 28, 2010

Guest Post: Love Watching Baseball at Home

Guest written by our friend Donnie Donovan

I like baseball but I prefer to watch Major League Baseball on Satellite TV from www.tvbydirect.com/directv-deal/OREGON-OR-direct-tv.html. When I go to the games to watch my Baltimore Orioles play I end up paying a lot of money. The tickets, the food, the beer and even the parking add up to a considerable sum of money. It just is not worth it to me.

I use to go the sports bar to watch games with my friends but that is not my style. The bars are filled with loud people and many of them are not even baseball fans. The beer and food can add up rapidly in cost and there is always some sort of dram or fight that occurs. When I watch from home my wife makes nachos and I can switch channels to get updates on other teams if I choose too.

Watching at home is a lot more relaxing and I also get to save a lot of money. The Baltimore Orioles stunk this year. The Orioles did not even come close to a pennant and they finished with an awful record for the season. My Orioles sucked this year but I have hope that next year will be better. We know it cannot get any worse for the Orioles so I have faith that they will do much better next year and hopefully even make the playoffs.

Oct 23, 2010

The Gig

As excited (and nervous) and I was about it, I totally forgot to write about the gig in Topeka! (See "Finally Gigging It Up".)

It had been at least 4 years since I stepped on a stage to perform in front of people. Probably about 6 years by myself as I usually had a band behind me. But overall, once the rustiness wore off, as well as being able to look out and see my friends in front of me with the mixture of bar goers, I think it went pretty well.

The start was the worst. I got there super early and ended up being set up and ready to go 20 minutes before my scheduled to start time. I got all tuned up and let the anxiousness burrow into me. When I finally sat down, I checked my tuning on my shiny new tuner and I just started to play the first song in my 40 minute set list.

It felt wrong from the get go and I didn't start singing like I was supposed to but I kept playing. When I picked up the vocal the next time around the riff, it felt very weird. It was then that I realized I was in the wrong tuning. I play in E flat and Dropped D flat. I was supposed to be in D yet I was in E. I had no choice but to stop and do one of the most embarrassing things you can do on stage. Admit that you messed up, re-tune, and start over. 

One thing that's nice being a musician and writing your own tunes is that most people can't tell when you mess something up. You're the musician, you can play your own song, or even a cover for that matter, however you want. Back in the band days I would just keep going, forget about the mistake and it would usually just go unnoticed by the crowd. But in this situation, it was close to impossible to cover and I had to take the hit.

Setting aside the minor embarrassment, I started up again and the rest of the set went how I had practiced for the previous month. Aside from ending about 20 minutes early from my scheduled time, I was pretty satisfied with my performance. As always, it was just getting up there that was the mountain to climb, getting down was the smooth ride. I look forward to doing the whole thing again sooner than later, minus the tuning mishap of course, and maybe with someone else to jam with me. Hopefully I'll have a nice shiny new guitar to go with my nice shiny new tuner by then so I don't have to borrow.

Rock on!

Oct 22, 2010

Guest Post: The Beast with a Billion Backs - My Favorite Animated Movie to Watch on Satellite TV

I appreciate the guest post, Ignacio Phillips

Futurama is not only an excellent animated show, it is a transcendent piece of fiction. When I watched the last of the four straight to video movies, The Beast with a Billion Backs, I was startled to find the many layers and metaphors used in making this wonderful art piece. It begins with an ode to Japanese tentacle pornography, with a giant beast that sucks on your back for sustenance, all while providing you with unearthly pleasures. Truly in this sense the back is a metaphor for the nether regions, and the beast deliberately hideous as a statement to all forms of patriarchal depictions of sex.

Society in general tends to place the beautiful with the beastly, as if the act of coitus itself were a violent beating, the meeting of predator and prey. I believe Futurama sets out to spoof this juxtaposition, and do so in a heartwarming tale of love and romance. They also perhaps wanted to tie a bow on this last movie, as the uncertainty of whether the cast would return for a new season hung over the drawing board like the sword of Damocles. Nevertheless, this distraction does not take away from the lesson of lust and evolution that we see present in every mating ritual shown on the show. This is why it is my favorite animated movie of all time, seen only on Comedy Central on Direc4U Iowa.

Oct 18, 2010

Guest Post: Family Guy - My Favorite Fall TV Show Premier

Written by my friend Ian Cruz

My favorite fall TV premier had to be Family Guy, for the sole reason that it reminded me that I should stop wasting my time watching Family Guy. Like a show that focuses solely on the concept of diminishing returns, Family Guy has lost much of the fun of its crass, unapologetic humor that so captured a nation just a few years ago. In fact, it has gone as stale as a piece of french bread sitting out in the afternoon sun, a bread that was once very delicious.

The episode is a parody of some old murder mystery show no one under the age of thirty even remembers. This only heightens the fact that Family Guy is obsessed with parodies, which after I while lose all humor and substance. Still, this is why this premier was so riveting. It made me realize I need to spend more time outside, and not on Family Guy. In fact, there was not a single memorable moment from the entire show, and the only good joke concerned Quagmire's tepid reaction to his fat girlfriend. This was the most shocking part of the episode, since normally Quagmire is a one trick pony who has no range whatsoever. Yet this episode he was the star, and perhaps that is another reason why Family Guy was my favorite fall TV show premier. I watched the show via FOX on satellite TV from directstartv.com.

Oct 5, 2010

Geting Ready For the Show With the Foo

It's getting pretty close to gig time (which I mentioned in"Finally Gigging It Up") so I've been playing quite a bit. I'm starting to get nervous as hell thinking about it. Never-the-less, I'm pretty confident and definitely excited, but it would be really nice for the day to come already.

Below is a vid of one of the covers that I'm going to be playing this Sunday. (Bad lighting and all.) It's one of my favorites to play.

4 days and counting!


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