Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Record Review: Laura Imbruglia

I’ve been waiting for the last month or so for a package from Australia. I got it last week, and I have spent the time since listening to the self titled LP from Laura Imbruglia. I heard one of the tracks from the record while listening to Triple J, the Aussie youth radio station, and was compelled to check out her myspace page. After a few listens to the songs on her page I jumped at the chance to by her record, albeit from a record store in Oz. So I had to wait. The record was worth the wait. It is a different, and willful piece of music. Imbruglia is the younger sister of a pop star and so it is nice that she hasn’t tried to emulate Natalie or ride her coat tails. Progressive Broadcasting Service out of Australia has a standard Q & A that Laura filled out and she didn’t mention her sister once.

I have some experience with this and I can tell you when a younger sibling is trying to milk the older one’s clout they find a way to mention them. I was working as an MC at a club while I was in college and we had a band called Cole on stage one night. I was going to be having this band on my live music radio show “Greazy Tony’s House of Homegrowns” so I wanted to get to know these fellows before the show. I sat down with Adam Kowalczyk the lead singer, and brother of Live’s singer Ed Kowalczyk, to try and get to know him a bit. Being as the club was in York Pennsylvania, about 90% of the people in the place already knew that Adam was Ed’s brother and if I remember correctly Live’s Bass player Pat Dahlheimer’s little bro was also in Cole. So, long story short (too late) Adam says to me that he doesn’t want me to mention Ed, or Live when I intro the band, or ask them about it when I interview them the next week for the college radio station. He says they want to make it on their own, and I really respected them for that. That respect lasted about 90 minuets until Adam stepped to the mic and said ‘this is a song my brother wrote’ and the whole group jumped into their rendition of “Lightning Crashes.” Being as this was late 1995 there were only about 10 people in York County who didn’t know this song, or that it was by local boys: Live. Pathetic, but I’ve yet to see Laura Imbruglia play up her big time sister. In all the interviews I have read, she seems to get flustered when it is brought up, and as best as one can tell it seems genuine.

Genuine is a good word to describe Laura’s music too. Her lyrics are quirky yet imaginative and come across as honest and well planed to evoke a response. She isn’t trying to wow you with existential drivel or political statements but she has something to say. When asked by the PBS Q & A who her influences were, in music and life she had an interesting group. “Queen, Ellen DeGeneres, Bob Dylan, Nirvana, Stanley Kubrick and the film/writing team of Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy… I love all of these people for not only their grasp and execution of their respective arts but for all being brave, revolutionary and pioneering. They all took new approaches to their art and basically did/do what pleases and inspires them and not necessarily the mainstream, critics, labels, film studios, etc.” I think that speaks for itself.

The first song on the record that jumped out at me was “Surly”, the second track. The music in the song is classic Indie rock with a great little piano line. It’ a call and response format with the back ground singers saying “you’re far too surly” and her responding “it picks me up to put you down” and “Why would I smile when I can frown.” Imbruglia’s lyrics are funny and pointed. “You can no longer blame you character flaws on inheritance, I’ve met you parents and so I know these flaws are yours alone. Your awful parents have their own.”

Other tracks range from indie rock like “It’s Getting Worse” to 70’s pop revival on “My Opus.” The first track I heard on Triple J was “My Dream of a Magical Washing Machine” which starts with prominent bass line and describes Laura’s dream that her Maytag could also play tunes. “Instead of swishy noises, I could listen to the Pet Shop Boys” and “This jukebox had every song you could ever want, Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts” referencing a big time 80’s group and a side project of Rusty Crow. It is a fun song, and would be easy to 80’s dance to, if you aren’t self conscious about that type of thing.

My favorite song so far after a dozen or so listens is “Lettuce and Anarchists” which features a driving three chord guitar and a lot of symbols in a manic pace. The lyrics of this song describe a duo of guys that exist on the campus of every college. Luke and Aaron are “the best of friends, but I’m sure they are also gay lovers.” Her descriptions of each of them are hilariously close to two guys of this ilk that were on campus when I was a student.

“Luke is a straight edge punk, which means he doesn’t do drugs. Or smoke or drink or anything fun, but he’s not a Christian, thank god, so he can have all the sex that he damn wants. With lots of different people, yeah he’s a slut. But he has got a ‘primary’ partner too, and that’s a quote.” Who didn’t know the “open relationship” guy who felt that the strictures of a relationship were just a societal invention to keep us from expressing our sexual freedom?

“And as for Aaron, he’s the most devoted vegan I’ve ever seen. He won’t even eat honey cause the bees make it for their baby bees and not for us. He’s really sweat but, I just wish he’s wear deodorant sometimes. But he’s too scared because the companies could be lying when they say they don’t test on animals. Every one also knew that couldn’t use or eat anything involved with animals. They only ate tofu and veggies but still were chunky somehow and reeked of BO. I always found it funny that they all had a justification for their leather doc’s or the old second hand leather coat.

Laura Imbruglia brings her description of these two principled nare-do-wells to another level with the line “don’t offer them McDonalds unless you want a kick in the head. They’ll tell you that Ronald is the reason Che Guevara’s dead” Perfect. It is good work out of Laura and I recommend the record to you.

_

Monday, November 27, 2006

Some things never change.

I took a little trip to the doctors today, because I was on the verge of death. It wasn't a sickness that threatened to kill me, it was my wife. I've been coughing like a chain-smoking coal miner for the last week and a half, and I think she was getting tired of me saying 'I think it's about to pass.'

So off I went to the doctor who, after some tests and listening to my chest, told me I have Asmatic Bronchitis. She gave me an inhaler that I have to hit every 4 hours in addition to the pills and cough syrup I have to take through out the day. The pills are no big deal, and I can handle the inhaler, even though I don't notice a change when I use it.

It's the cough syrup that has me thinking of days gone by. The name on the bottle is Guaifenesin w/codeine, but I know better. It is really just the same old shit we all had shoved in our mouths for years. As I stood in my kitchen pouring it on to the teaspoon I got a flash back to my Mom and Dad's kitchen. I could almost feel my mother's hands around my jaw, forcing my mouth open as I raised the spoon to my lips. And as I stood there making faces and saying childlike words like: yuck, ick and eew, I swear I could hear my mother saying "oh come on Anthony, it's not that bad."

Yes it is.

It was and is the most vile tasting shit on the planet. Back in the days when I used to drink a lot of Jager, we used to joke that it tasted like cough syrup, but it had obviously been a long time since we had this shit. Jager is a fucking walk in the part compared to this shit.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Nuts!

I've been away from the blog for a few days to attend family Thanksgiving. Along with good food, quality time with the fam, and more food we were also treated to a great laugh. As it turns out our 6 and 4 year old nephews both use the word nuts to refer to their testes. I personally heard the 4 year old say in passing "ouch my nuts" after wrestling with his older brother. Out of the mouths of babes. Happy holiday's everyone.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Gimmie a Bobbie.

There are very few reasons I am thankful for having worked for a giant corporate life sucker. On of those reasons, however, it the Turkey Bobbie. The company I worked for was headquartered in Delaware, and so they big wig's there all seamed to like a place called Capriotti's. The special creation of Capriotti's it basically Thanksgiving dinner on a roll, which they call a Bobbie. Take everything from your table tomorrow and throw it on a sub roll with a touch of mayo and you have a sandwich that is capable of inducing orgasm. If you don't believe me just look on your plate when you're done. Those little pools of liquid may look like gravy mixed with mayo, but there not. Gross, sorry. I'm caught up in a sandwich frenzy. I just found out that Capriotti's has come to my home area, now that they have a store in Lancaster PA. I guess I have one more thing to be thankful for tomorrow.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Why not just give him the rope?

I think the worst thing a person can do is to profit from a crime. Especially one they got away with. That was what OJ Simpson and Rupert Murdoch were about to do, and the American people were rightfully outraged. So much so that the two divisions of Murdoch’s empire that were poised to unleash his Book and TV special, pulled the plug. We won’t be able to watch his rant about “how he would have done it” nor will we be able to read the book version. Most people see this as a very good thing, and in almost every way I agree.

There are just a few small sticking points for me. First and foremost is a fact some people seem to be forgetting; that OJ still has to pay the Goldman and Brown families a considerable amount of money. Let him publish the book and reap the ill gotten gains so he has to turn right around and give that money to them. Ok, I know it’s not a perfect scenario, but I would love to think about him having to hand all that dough over. The second point is a bit less vindictive, but just as salient. Give him the rope to hang himself.

All the experts say that this book was tantamount to a confession, and being as double jeopardy has attached, he really doesn’t care. He could walk into the middle of a court house and say ‘ok, I did it’ and there is nothing more he can be tried for. I think he wants to tell people that, not only did he do it, but that he got away with it. He’s just the type of macho, hyper competitive asshole who would be caught up in this type of situation. Think Pete Rose: “I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it. Ok I did it, please buy my book.”

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Thanks, and thank god it's over.

It's been a crazy week for me, and it has come to an end. My work life and my personal life kept crossing over this week which can be a bit stressful, but I made it through ok. Inky and I had a blast doing our radio show at our old College Station on Friday night. We look forward to the time when we may have a full time show.

As for the rest of my weekend, I'm just glad I made it through in one piece. My Alma Mater took a few on the chin this weekend, but we will stay standing strong. I will end this post by saying penalty kicks blow, and they are no way to decide who should advance in a tournament.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Greazy and Inky On The Air

Just wanted to mention once again that both Inky and I will be hosting Alumni radio shows on Friday the 17th. I will kick it off at 11:00 with "An Hour of Oz" playing all Australian music. Inky will follow me at Midnight and as of right now she will be playing all of the best from the acts she has seen over the last 18 months. All you have to do is peruse her blog to see that she goes to a lot of damn shows.

To check us out just click on over to the station's web site and select the live internet stream on the right hand side.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Song Spotlight: One (The Bank of America Version)

If any of you haven't seen this on Talk Soup or YouTube then run, do not walk to see it. The best place to see it, is at YouTube where you can also enjoy some of the great comments. I have no love for Bank of America, nor MBNA. But, what I really hate is fake-ass rah rah stuff, and this parody version of U2's "One" is about as stupid as it comes. I have taken the time to painstakingly transcribe the lyrics to the song, but to do it justice you should click the link and watch it.


"One"
Performed by Jim "the Douche" Dubois
Accompanied by Ethan "too much gray hair to rock" Chandler



It is even better
Now that we’re the same
Two great companies come together, now
MBNA is B of A

And it’s one bank
One card
One name that’s known all over the world
One spirit
And we get to share it
Leading us all to higher standards
Ooh Ooh, Mmh, Mmh.

Do you like the Cowboys
Or your University
Do you like the Yankees
Or is NASCAR more your speed
Well it’s your choice
Your right
To pick a card that shows your heart and your pride
Were one
With Affinity
And we’ll carry each other, carry each other
One

Have you come to meet Bruce Hammonds
Have you come to meet Lee McGee
Have you heard about Michelle Shepard
She’s leading a team in the north east
And we’ve got Bank One
On the run
What’s in your wallet, It’s not Capitol One
It’s us
So which card are you
Integration never had us feeling so good

And we’ll make lots of money
Forever I can sing
About trusting in teamwork
And doing the right thing
We’ll live out our core values
While the competition crawls
Because they want what we have got
But it’s only here
At Bank of America

One Bank
One Card
One name that’s known all over the world
One heart
Filled with spirit
With Feeling
We Share it
One Bank
Working every day
To bring higher standards
Higher standards
One
We are one
Yeah
We are one
We are one Bank


12/12/06 - UPDATE! There is now a live version performed by David Cross and Johnny Marr on youtube. It is just as funny even though David needs to come to TGWOOfY to get the words right. I love that this story won’t die, I hate BOA that much.

_

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Fourth Little Piggy demands "Equal Roast beef"

Dateline Washington DC. November 12th 2006.

Investigative reports at TGWOoFY have learned that lawyers for Mr. Quadro Suidae-Sus plan to file a lawsuit in Federal Court alleging mass discrimination. The plaintiff (pictured forth from the right) Is seeking damages in excess of $25 for what he calls "constant and ongoing deprivation of roast beef" and pain and suffering damages due to his ever present exposure to his obnoxious neighbor. "He just won't shut up about the fact that he gets roast beef and I get none. And don't even get me started on Pinky, who is always going 'wee wee wee' all the way home.

It is not know if the shift of power in Washington from the Republicans to the Democrats had anything to do with Mr. Suidae-Sus' suit, but the old leaders in congress have already begun to speak on this subject. "If the liberals want to give this Fourth Piggy some roast beef then we will filibuster the bill." said ousted speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill). Bill Frist (R-Tenn) said "I can't believe the Democrats are already jumping into Pork politics." As for former, and Lame duck members of Congress Rick Santorum (R-Pa) stated "As long as it's not two men, or two women playing 'this little piggy' I couldn't care who gets roast beef." Mark Foley (R-Fla) added "I'll give that little piggy all the roast beef he wants."

This story is full of shit and is not meant to be taken seriously.

_

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Clark Fuckin' Kent

I live two lives. I'm one guy by day and another by night. For instance, today was a beautiful, warm, late fall day so I was sporting a tank top when I went to the dry cleaners to drop off my work clothes. I normally make this trip in work clothes: Suit, french cuff shirt with gold cufflinks, silk tie, highly polished leather shoes and a dopey left-hand part in my thinning hair. This is how the ladies at the dry cleaner know customer Greazytony.

On my own time, however, I sport a much different look. I can almost always be found with some sort of athletic Jersey which may or may not cover my tattoos. When ever possible I will be covering that thinning hair with some sort of fitted hat, and when the weather is nice I will have shorts on. Slovenly would be the best possible word to describe my look in my "personal" life whereas "tidy" or "professional" would be most apt in my work visage.

And so here I was in my personal garb walking into the cleaners dropping my shirts on the counter. "Medium Starch in a box please." I said to which the nice lady behind the counter said "Name please?" This surprised me because they normally recognize me by look if not by the request to get my shirts in a box rather then on a hanger. When I said my name she looked at my face and said "Oh. I didn't recognize you out of your work clothes."

I guess the clothes do make the man.

Which makes me realize that I am "the man" to many who gaze upon me in my monkey suit.

At lunch at work the other day one of my coworkers who, has seen me in non work get up, made a joke about my tattoos. At this point my boss who is clean cut both at work and at home (and one would imagine at a party or a roman orgy) laughed at the notion that his new hire, Mr. Cufflink, would have ink. Others at the table were laughing too, and I took this point to just interject: It's funny, cause you all think she's joking. And went back to my soup. Beneath my suit and tie my cape and tights lay quietly, ready for the chance to spring into action.

_

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Song Spotlight: Lies by The WAiFS

I've spent a lot of time over the last 24 hours watching TV, reading newspapers and listening to the radio. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't be happier about the shift in power in DC, but I am very let down in the news coverage. For a nation that is supposed to have a liberal media the coverage sure sounds like sour grapes to me. I was listening to a song that I will be playing on my radio show (Friday 11/17 at 11:00 PM) and it seemed right on for what I was hearing, seeing and reading.

So here are the lyrics for "Lies" by the Aussie Folk-Rock Band, The WAiFS:

You read the paper, watch the news and think you’re well informed
Well I’ve got some news for you my friend.
That headline that you read.
And that story that broke.
It was a scandal and a scam, a political masterstroke.
They tell you what they want you to hear.
Close your eyes and open your ears.

It’s easier that way
When you don’t have to think for yourself you say
I tell you no lies, I tell you no lies.
I read it all in black and white.
It was on my TV, they were telling me just what to believe.
I tell you no lies, I tell you no lies
And all the while they’re tellin’ you lies.

Everyday you and me, we see what we are shown.
Yes it’s hard to scratch below.
There are people at the top, they are hidden far from view.
They’re not going to show their faces to the likes of me and you.
You never see them on the street,
But you always see the things that they do.

They know that they can get away,
And no price is too high for them to pay.
I tell you no lies, I tell you no lies.
It’s very simple, It’s in black and white.
It’s on your TV, we got everything you need to believe.
I tell you no lies, I tell you no lies.
And all the while they’re tellin’ you lies.

_

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Vote.

Is it really too much to ask? Honestly. Take the time to read a few newspapers, listen to a debate or two check the voting record and take 15 minutes to pull a lever or touch a computer screen. There are people in this world who would fight and die to have the ability to have a representative government like ours. In fact our progenitors did fight and die for the right to chose their own leadership absent of any external pressure. One wonders how we now find ourselves in a situation where not only do a shockingly low amount of people exercise their right to vote; but that some of those that do have to do so in a Church like I will have to today. Our forefathers had this crazy notion about separating church and state… but I’m getting of topic.

There are people in this country who vote with more enthusiasm and regularity for American Idol then they to for the American Government. Meanwhile there are people in the rubble that once was Iraq who risked death to vote. Anyone else see a paradox here? I know it’s hard to pull yourself away from keeping up to date on what Paris Hilton is up to, or who got kicked off the island or out of the Flavor of Love house but come on people! Do the work! Take a few moments to listen to what people say and think about how it will impact your life.

Then go to the polls and cast your vote in either direction, but do it with some knowledge behind it, not just cause the guy on TV or Radio said it was a good idea. For too long now the rich have gotten richer on our backs, and the powerful have become nearly invincible by leading their sheep to do their bidding. Enough is enough, get out there and vote for our best interests and send them a message. I mean all of them, Democrat and Republican, because they have all set up this system that really only serves to line their pockets and keep them in office. Our only recourse is to keep rolling them over in order to keep them honest. Is that really too much to ask?

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Pulling For My Alma Mater

Right now on campuses in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Florida and dare I say New Jersey, alumni and students are pondering their chances of a national title in the Fall’s greatest sport. Will it be the Buckeyes, the Wolverines, The Cardinals, Gators or even the Scarlet Knights? Ok it won’t be Rutgers, but the chance exists for them to run the table and play in the title game.

All I know is that it won’t be the Spartans, not even in the Amos Alonso Stagg Bowl, the NCAA D-III title game. My school doesn’t have football, a fact that I found most upsetting as a student. I go to see games at my parents Alma Matters be it The University of Maryland or Harvard and in the end I feel no real connection. I follow the State Schools from the states that I have lived in: Maryland, New Jersey and now Pennsylvania. Maryland has a respectable season going, Penn St. only lost 1 game last year and Rutgers will probably only lose one this year. But it isn’t the same.

There is no real link. I don’t want to be one of these die hard losers who roots for a University that I didn’t go to, and I certainly don’t want to be one of those creepy freaks who goes to High School football games 30 or 40 years after they graduated or their kids did. Believe me, in South Central Pennsylvania we have them. Guys driving their car, complete with Penn State flag, sticker and magnetic paw prints, to the Central Dauphin East game. Never mind the fact that they went to Harrisburg Area Community College for two years after graduating from Camp Hill HS.

Where am I going with all this? Good Question.

I guess it is coming back to the playoff hunt my school finds itself in this fall. No we won’t be gathering in the alumni section in the stands aside the gridiron, we will be huddled on the little hill next to the pitch watching our undefeated soccer side. They enter the D-III field of 56 ranked #3 in the nation and having vanquished one of our greatest foes and having tied the #1 team in the land. So while Ohio State and Michigan will battle in a few weeks for the chance to hoist a crystal football sponsored by Sears, The Spartans and 55 other D-III teams will kick it about for ownership of the Chestnut and Bronze. GO SPARTS!

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Movie Review: The Departed

I love mob movies. And since my father was a Wop from Boston, I've long been waiting for one that is set in Beantown. Granted, Boston is more of an Irish town, and that means a lot of people don't think of it as a place to set a mob flick like they do with New York or Vegas. So when I saw the trailer for "The Departed" I was juiced to catch this film.

While not your father's wiseguy movie the Departed has an all star cast and crew. Take Marty Scorsese and add a dream team of actors and you get one of the finest acted movies in years. The list includes: Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Matt Damon, Leo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg and a guy who is quickly becoming one of my favorites, Alec Baldwin. Every actor in this movie gives a transcendent performance, which can be hard when you factor in the Boston accents for those who aren't from there.

I can't say enough about the acting, the dialog, or the visuals which were fantastic. But, this story does have more twists then the youngest brother nipples in a family of 12. You almost need a score card to keep track of the breakneck pace of this story, and I found myself longing for my Tivo remote so I could go back. It is almost as if someone tried to make a synopsis of a full season of an HBO show and crammed 13 hours of story into 2:45. I wanted more, which I guess is ok, but in the end there is no more story to be told because almost everyone dies in the end. That's good work out of you Marty.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Inky and Greazy on the air (and the net)


Well the time if nigh. Greazy Tony will once again take to the airwaves high above York Pennsylvania. I will be doing a guest spot on my old college radio station on November 17th from 11 to Midnight. My program will be called “An Hour of Oz” and I will be spinning the best music from the antipodes. I will be mixing the old with the new, but the one thing they will all have in common is the lucky land. So click on over to the station's website and select the “FM server” under listen live on the right side of the page. Friday the 17th of November at 11:00 PM York time, Saturday the 18th of November at 3:00 PM Sydney time. Be there!