Thursday, September 11, 2008

Indie Rock Tribute Bands

Why do tribute bands, as a rule, only pay homage to bands that no longer exist? And why do they choose to parrot only the most successful bands? What about the bands that aren't so successful and still exist, but are nonetheless too busy to satisfy all of their fans' desire for live performances?

I think someone somewhere could make some money copying present-day bands. Here's a list of tribute band ideas for the person who wishes to be fiercely original in their musical mimicry, but (obviously) can't come up with any good ideas on his own:

Slap Your Mitts Say Oui - a tribute to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Sorry Kevin, We Can't Have Your Birthday at Chuck E. Cheese This Year-the Arcade Fire revue
Troy Aikman and Ed "Too Tall" Jones on Needle Drugs- a celebration of The Cowboy Junkies
Spork-the respective canons of Spoon and Bjork played at the same time
!!!!- in praise of !!!
Juxtaposition Of Two Seemingly Disparate Things In A Title and Bread- a salute to Iron and Wine
Vampire Weekend- the Graceland-era Paul Simon revue

Thursday, August 28, 2008

On Fashion

Recently, I was browsing through the t-shirt section at Urban Outfitters. The three categories of t-shirt with which they stock their shelves were displayed in abundance, those three types of shirts being: 1. Ironic Knockoff Of Vintage Rock Or Rap Group From The 70s and 80s t-shirt (ex. Run-DMC Rasing Hell t-shirt, Motorhead American Tour 1981 t-shirt), 2. Ironic Juvenile Pun t-shirt (ex. "Picture of a Pinata with a Caption That Reads 'I'd hit that.'" t-shirt), and 3. Ironic Knockoff Of T-Shirts Designed For Children Ages 7-12 Circa 1980-1989 (ex. Transformers t-shirt, Care Bears t-shirt, Urkel from Family Matters t-shirt). Sadly, my favorite category of Urban Outfitters t-shirt, the Ironic State Tourism t-shirt (ex. "Picture of Kentucky with a Caption That Reads 'Getting Lucky in Kentucky'" t-shirt), fell out of favor several years ago.
On the shelves rested a popular t-shirt from my childhood. It was a purple t-shirt featuring the then-modern DC Comics depiction of the Joker, released around the same time as the first Batman movie starring Michael Keaton (1989), which, by my estimation at the time, was the greatest fucking thing in the history of cinema. The t-shirt was equally as popular, at least among my fellow male fifth-grade classmates. I didn't own it, but I was envious of those who did.
I hadn't thought about the Joker t-shirt in years. And now there it was, waiting to be purchased by someone who revels in the irony that their wardrobe is comprised of vintage-looking kitsch that could in no way be deemed "cool" by designer fashion's elevated standards. Today, this indictment of modern fashion is no longer an indictment but a modern fashion of its own. The fact that a retailer like Urban Outfitters exists to peddle "uncool" fashion like the Joker t-shirt is the self-defeating conclusion of the movement of fashionable kids attempting to look unfashionable in order to be fashionable. It was fashionable when a minority of trend setters sported the look, and is unfashionable now that the majority has caught on.
From a philosophical standpoint, the trend setters who previously espoused this fashion have backed themselves into a corner. To continue to wear this look is to look increasingly more and more like everyone else. Consequently, one is left to choose between becoming increasingly outrageous with his or her clothing (which smacks of trying too hard) or to simply give up and accept the fashion norms laid out by major clothing retailers. Admittedly, both of these are sucky options.
I think this fashion Catch-22 explains the success of American Apparel. American Apparel takes blandness and unoriginality in fashion to dizzying new heights. Want a t-shirt? Here's a blank one, available in fifty different colors. Even Gap, the previous industry leader in drab clothing, designs clothing with patterns and polychrome schemes. American Apparel, on the other hand, is content with issuing single-color shirts, sweatshirts, and dresses year after year.
American Apparel provides the perfect solution for the current hipster fashion dilemma. After all, why try to look daring and unique when everyone else is trying to do the exact same thing? You're better off wearing the fashion equivalent of a blank, expressionless face- a plain and unadorned t-shirt.
Standing in the t-shirt aisle of Urban Outfitters, I couldn't help but think that the really rad thing for a fashion-conscious person to do would be not to purchase the vintage Joker t-shirt, but to seek out a modern Joker shirt, featuring the Heath Ledger Joker, and buy that instead. Wearing a new Joker t-shirt would succeed in fulfilling the hipster desire to be original and iconoclastic in the strangest of ways- by successfully looking like a modern person who's totally oblivious to fashion.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

How I Roll

Sometimes, in a crowded mall, I pretend that a gunman has opened fire.  I do a quick somersault and take cover behind a large fern or kiosk.

Every once and awhile, my chest floods with inexplicable glee.  On these occasions, I turn cartwheels across the room.  

Help!  I'm on fire!!  I become a rolling pin and and smooth my front yard out like dough.  

I've never been pushed down a hill before, but I would try to spin end over end and flail helplessly if it happened.   This wouldn't be for my benefit.  This visual cliche would be for the accidental bystander who may be unsettled by someone not reacting to a shove down a hill in the proper way.  I'm nothing if not considerate of others.  

When speeding down a country road, I like to jerk the wheel suddenly and turn my car into a young gymnast learning to do round-offs.  I only do this in my dreams, mind you, but you can still imagine how surprised everyone is when I walk away from the wreckage without a scratch.

Does a backflip count as rolling?  Because that's what I do every time I convince someone that the vanilla ice cream I've just given them isn't actually vanilla, it's white chocolate.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Fantasy Football Team

Starting Lineup: 
QB: Tony Romo
RB: Adrian Peterson
RB: Walter Payton
RB/WR: Megatron
WR: Reggie Wayne
WR: Marques Colston
TE: Eddie Van Halen
K: Joey Brown, my 10th grade crush
DEF: a school of piranhas  

Clinton Portis
Larry Fitzgerald
A Blue Whale
Bettie Page
Premarital Sex
Kurt Vonnegut
Brett Favre