Pop culture and all that.






Other News And Pop Cult Based Sites I Visit:

Meme Pool
Pop Culture Junk Mail
Sharpe World
The Excitement Machine
The Onion
Gray Scale
Lying Media Bastards
In Passing...
The Morning News
Arts & Letters Daily
Obscure Store
Romenesko's Media News
Happy Robot
The Freep
The New York Times
The L.A. Times


    Friday, April 26, 2002

    For My Wife: Hi sweetie! It was nice to talk to you this morning. I crawled back into bed afterwards and fell asleepo watching the morning news. At 9 a.m. Shep woke me up for his walk. I told him to jump down off the bed, but he wouldn't do it until I got out from under the covers. He was pushing my legs with his head, prying them out of the bed. It was very funny.

    Tonight I'm gonna rent a bunch of DVDs at Le Video. iIm not sure what-- we'll just have to see what is available.

    For You Strangers: R.I.P. Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. My first reaction was that considering her history (accidently burning down her boyfriend's house, rehab, a long delayed solo album, inter-band fighting, going missing for a week), it was nice to read that she died while on a trip to help poor kids in Hondouras. On the other hand, according to this MTV News story, she was speeding and wasn't liscenced to drive there. And in the "shoulda-seen-this-coming dept. she did recently sign as a solo artist with Tha Row, formerly Death Row Records.

    Anyway, this is a loss for music, no doubt. In the bigger picture, I see it as a pre-mature loss of one of modern society's pioneers. When TLC's first album came out, safe sex and "do me" feminism was just hitting the mainstream. TLC pushed both furhter into the limelight by openly and unashamedly singing about wanting love and sex that was respectful and hot at the same time. Practically every song on their first album gave a shout out to cunnilingus. What, did you think Ooooooohhh-On the Tlc Tip meant something else? Trick, please!

    Here's a site that compares the average age of death of Rock Stars to Normal People. The numbers are skewed becuase Jesus Freaks Can't Do Math (see also their stance on Evolution), but still worth looking at. I find it kind of freaky becuase I just found this link yesterday. (Cue theme from The Twilight Zone!)

    posted by Randy on 4:10 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Thursday, April 25, 2002

    For My Wife And You Strangers: Unsurprisingly, I'm dog tired after seeing Prince last night. I jumped out of work at 2:30 and ended up being the 79th memeber of the NPG Music Club in line to pick up my ticket and select my seat from the first 15 rows. I ended up in the 4th row, center section on the aisle seat. Basically, I was one row back from the orchestra seating, right in front of Prince's keyboards during the first half of the concert-- before they moved them to the center for the piano medly. Here is the set list, roughly in order. I may have turned around a song or two, but these were the ones that were played.

    The Ghetto
    Expectation (new, unreleased jazz-funk song)
    She Loves Me For Me
    Girls & Boys
    Brick House (just the groove, for like a minute)
    Ballad of Dorothy Parker
    Do U Lie (audience sang it, he played it.)

    The Rainbow Children (Maceo Parker walked dow the aisle playing sax before the curtain was raised, I patted him on the back on his way to the stage.)
    Muse 2 The Pharoah
    Xnophobia (new, unreleased jazz-funk song)
    A Case Of U
    Love Rollercoaster (it was *really* hot & sweaty in the paramount after these two were played in a row.)
    The Other Side Of The Pillow
    - speech about how the radio sucks(included one line of Larry Graham's "One In A Million")
    Strange Relationship
    Pass the Peas
    Sing A Simple Song
    La La La Means I Love U
    Didn't Cha Know (Erykah Badu cover)
    When U Were Mine
    Avalanche (new, unreleased song-- slow, flasetto R&B tune about Abraham Lincoln's racism)
    Family Name
    Take Me With U (full song, unlike past few years of tours.)
    Raspberry Beret (full song, unlike past few years of tours.)
    Everlasting Now

    (piano medley)
    I Wanna Be Your Lover
    blues jam
    Sometimes It Snows In April
    Diamonds and Pearls (first verse & chorus)
    The Most Beautiful Girl In The World (chorus)
    The Beautiful Ones (first verse)
    Condition Of The Heart (first verse)
    Do Me Baby (full song, unlike past few years of tours.)
    Girls & Boys
    Starfish And Coffee

    (full band)

    Nothing Compares 2 U
    Joy in Repetition (extended preachy section about following the bible)
    Purple Rain (extended preachy section about living in reading the bible)
    How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore
    Anna Stesia

    It was a very good show, but a little too preachy for my tastes. The hoochie mamas were out in full effect-- it was kind of funny to see 'em standing outside in the daylight waiting to get into the theatre. Not the kind of thing you usually see during daylight hours. This one girl had "Robert" elaborately tatooed on her lower back. i couldn't make out what it said at first, so I asked her about it. She said it was Robert, a guy she still likes but isn't in love with any more. Whoops.

    Rhonda Smith was looking damn good and beating the bass like a redhead stepchild. There was no after-show, which was good 'cause I was exaughsted and I needed to get home to my dog.

    posted by Randy on 12:21 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Wednesday, April 24, 2002

    For My Wife: Hi, baby, I hope Italy is treating you well and that Ginnie & Lou are in good health and spirits. I'm going to see Prince tonight without you-- it is very sad. But I'm still super psyched! Shep & I miss you very much! Call soon!

    For You Strangers: I'm going to see Prince tonight at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland. I love Prince and have seem him about a dozen times-- and I am quite excited to see him again tonight. As a member of the NPG Music Club, I get seats up close and free admission to the after-party. He's been throwing down some incredible after-shows lately, so I hope he doesn't give up his streak.

    posted by Randy on 10:46 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Tuesday, April 23, 2002

    For the next two weeks, my Blog will be divided into two parts: For My Wife and For You Strangers. My wife has flown off to Italy with her parents and allegedly will be checking this blog to see how things are in her abscence. She left this morning. Hi baby, are you reading this? Thanks for the reminder note to feed the dog-- I'll leave it there until you come home. Shep misses you very much and so do I.

    Now, For You Strangers: Eminem, Ludacris, Papa Roach, X-ecutioners On Anger Management Tour, sez MTV. Papa Roach does nothing for me, but the rest of the line-up seems cool. 'Cept I've seen Eminem in concert three times now and the only time I really enjoyed his performance was on the Lyricist Lounge tour before his forst album came out. Of course, the show of his at The Fillmore where he jumped in the audience to beat on a heckler was one to remember, but it certainly wasn't because of his performance.

    I saw the video this morning for Truth Hurts featuring Rakim's "Addictive."-- also the first time I heard the song. It was good-- Rakim was back on point after years of lackluster performances-- but the Middle Eastern sample that flows throughout the song is like a year behind the times. Funky and well deployed, but after "Oochie Wally" and "Big Pimpin'" it seems like Dre is playing catch up instead of innovating.

    posted by Randy on 10:17 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Monday, April 22, 2002

    Layne Staley, lead singer of grunge rockers Alice In Chains, has died at age 34, apparently of an overdose. This article has fuller details than I'm going to go into here. Alice In Chains hasn't been active in many moons, but it still is very sad news. I always considered Alice In Chains one of the top grunge bands....wait, this calls for a list.

    Randy Reiss' Top Grunge Bands (links take you to albums of theirs I like, available from
    01. Nirvana
    02. Soundgarden
    03. Alice In Chains
    04. The Breeders
    05. L7
    06. Hole
    07. Pearl Jam/Mother Love Bone/Temple of the Dog
    08. Stone Temple Pilots
    09. Smashing Pumpkins
    10. Afghan Whigs (tie)
    10. Helmet (tie)

    And yes, I'm aware of bands like Tad, Mudhoney and The The Melvins-- they just never did anything for me. It really weird to look at that list and see that only Pearl Jam, L7 and The Breeders (and to a lesser extent, Hole) are still making music together.

    Anyways, back to the main point of this blog. Although it was not completely unexpected, I was still sad to hear of Staley's passing. Same as when overweight rapper Big Pun died a few years back. I interviewed him one time and he was really winded. I knew just from talking to him once that he was going to die young, and sure enough he did. I just don't understand why these things happen when it is clear to everyone that it will unless something changes. Very frustrating.

    posted by Randy on 11:10 AM | permanent link to this entry

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