Friday, February 27, 2009

Welcome to the weekend

with the Welcome Wagon.





Cheers.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dr. Powerful



A few nights ago, I was allowing the Music Gods to choose my fate as I set my iPod to shuffle and drifted towards sleep. Let me just say how surprising it was that I skipped about half the songs that came up that night. Not a good sign. Maybe I've just listened to them too much, or maybe it's all starting to run together.

I was about a moment away from trading in my ear phones for Family Guy on hulu when along came Dr. Powerful.

I became acquainted with the Sanford, N.C. band when I wrote a story about them for the Murfreesboro Pulse a few years ago. Their sound was described to me as something the typical music fan (read: me) wouldn't get. And this was by the owner of the record label putting out their album. Like any appreciative layman admiring great art, I probably don't hear the intricacies and subtle musical acts of genius Dr. Powerful display on their songs.

But, I do know they manage to sound different and they kept me awake, quite happily, one night.

Here is the article I wrote for the Pulse.

Here is their MySpace page.

Here is me, wishing you a pleasant day.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Busy Monday

By the time business finished Monday, I had five stories published on nashvillecitypaper.com and had worked on a side project with Matthew 'Carnivale' Williams.

Dedicated funding for Mass Transit in Middle Tennessee

Community Ed questions

IDB meeting

District 18 Council race

Special meeting for water/sewer rate hike

Only read those if you are a total masochist.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A few more random thoughts

Derrick Rose should win NBA ROY.

I was conflicted writing this story.

I am excited for the new White Rabbits album due out in May.

This is the year the Cubs end the drought.

I'm going to kill in my American Idol Fantasy League.

I am excited for baseball season to start.

Jason Smith will be either the first or second pick in the NFL draft.

I've been playing darts a little bit more. By myself in my room.

Why would a girl give a guy a dildo as a gift?

This country will always have paid journalists and the last act of civilization will be some journalist trying to tell as many people as technology allows that the world is about to end.

The Obama stimulus plan does not equal the New Deal.

The Christian Bale tirade dance remix will almost certainly be my favorite song in 2009. [It's fucking distracting].

Rau, out.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

M. Ward...

had a cool performance on Letterman last night. Who needs Zooey Deschanel I ask you?


Uncomfortable American Idol moment

So American Idol is supposed to be good wholesome entertainment and compared with most smut on television, maybe that's the case. When its top rival entertainment medium, the internet, provides us intellectual food for thought like two girls and a cup, then I suppose American Idol is doing OK to be the top rated show on TV every year.

But then you realize that what you're actually watching is a person's dream fall apart right before your eyes, well then that's the same old sick can't-turn-my-head-away-from-the-car-crash mentality that makes Americans' fascination with TV so alarming in the first place.

Bear in mind, that after a two year hiatus, I'm backing watching American Idol on a weekly basis. Tonight's episode was gut-wrenching, as we found out three of the contestants to advance to the final 12. As fate (clever producers) would have it, the final minutes came down to two contestants and just one finalist spot.

The two finalists couldn't be more different. One was the intensely likable and talented Danny, whose wife died a few months ago and whose dramatic saga has every American with a soul pulling for him. The other was the strange Puerto Rican contestant Tatiana, who is obviously the love child of Ricky Martin and Weird Al Yankovic. Her overly-dramatic track record has already had her blowing thank-you kisses to the camera man after she advanced a single round during the Hollywood phase. After last night's rather simple and borderline tolerable performance, Simon begged her to bring the weird Tatiana back.

Tonight, she did. Moments before Ryan Seacrest was to announce which of the two would advance, he asked Tatiana how she was feeling, to which she shook her head and gasped awkwardly and then made a barely-audible yelping sound.

Because even American Idol voters aren't bat-shit crazy, Danny did in fact earn the final spot, which led to one of the most unintentionally hilarious moments in the history of reality television. Danny is singing his victory song and holding back utter bliss, while in the background, an inconsolible Tatiana is wandering around crying, looking for a hug of encouragement from one of the other loser contestants, none of whom obliged because they all cearly hate her. Words really don't do it justice, but as Danny held his big note during the dramatic moment of the song, producers actually cut to a shot of Tatiana darting the Nancy Kerrigan, "Why me?!?!" look into the camera.

Anyhow, it was both uplifting and funny, which is really all you can ask of a program designed to make you forget about your own life for an hour.

And in more important news, all three of my picks in the Nate-Lockhart American Idol pool ended up being correct, so at least I have that going for me.

Rau, out.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Random thoughts

I'm trying to meet an invisible blog quota and also fire off some random bloggy thoughts before I go to sleep tonight.

Just when I thought my sports writing days were finished, I published a story about the NFL today. Well, it was really about Titans star Albert Haynesworth allegedly causing a car wreck that left a 25-year-old guy needing hip replacement surgery. Have fun with that random team that's about to break the bank. Risky proposition.

My pick to win Survivor Tocantins is Brendan after just one episode. And no, I don't own him in the Rau family Survivor pool. Yes, there is a Rau family Survivor pool.

My favorite artist this week is Max Tundra, who I learned is coming to Nashville with Junior Boys later this year. Color me excited. I can't wait to be the awkward guy at the back of the under-attended concert bobbing his head as if he's disinterested, when really he's so into the show he's actually entranced. It will be that good.

I've been doing a lot of reporting on Nashville's stormwater problem and the impending stormwater fee that will be coming on our water bills here. I'm glad I rent in times like this. Forget the historically bad housing market.

Disagreeing with my best friend Freddy, I hope the Bulls don't trade for Amare Stoudemire. He's a great player and I admire his ability and backstory, but I want to ride the horses we've got (Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah) and see where it lands. If worse comes to worse, one of the premier free agents will sign with the Bulls for the privilege of playing with Derrick Rose in 2010.

Valentine's Day is coming, which means unnecessary pressure and expectations for guys across the country. Do other countries celebrate Valentine's Day, or is that just another contrived and exclusively American 'holiday?'

For the first time since 2005, I missed a Battle of the Boulevard game at Allen Arena. I was happy for the Bisons and coach Scott Sanderson who got the big upset win over Belmont. I still would never bet against the Bruins come A-Sun tourney time though.

OK, that is all for now. Nighty night.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Fate is a fickle bitch (what ever happened to the Darkness)

They seemed to be so can't miss in 2003. I mean look at the jail-striped onesie with naked torso and the vague crotch gestures with the guitars. Anyhow, fun song. Something reminded me of it.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A-Rod

I am going to attempt to squeeze a lot of opinion into a little post. I'm on the brink of going out for the last night of my vacation here in Knoxville. It's been a relaxing, enjoyable, not-to-be-forgotten trip. I'll probably remember in some small part for the fact I was in Knoxville when I learned Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids use is 2003.

I'm a baseball fanatic and, to an extremely small degree because I once covered minor league baseball for a living, I've always had strong opinions about steroid use in baseball. By nature I'm a compassionate person. I watch murder trials and feel sorry for the killer. Some unspeakably horrible childhood probably led him to a deranged state of mind. All killers are actually crazy. Everyone deserves understanding.

The media has trained us to at least judge and at most detest the players who have been linked to cheating with banned substances. Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds. None of them will enter the Hall of Fame. All of them wouldn't have accomplished their many feats had it not been for the juice that supposedly coursed through their veins during the glory years of baseball statistics -- the 1990s.

Alex Rodriguez surely deserves worse then since, as Buster Olney pointed out better than I ever could, he was supposed to be the savior of America's past time. And for fairness sake, the critics already had plenty of ammo with which to fire at A-Rod. He sucks in the post-season. He never deserved that ridiculous Rangers contract. No Word Series titles. Madonna.

All fair enough. But just for compassion's sake, I am reminded why I love the sport and the fact it has nothing to do with home run statistics on the back of a baseball card or HoF votes. I love baseball because of my first trip to Wrigley Field. The Cubs played the Reds and won in 14 innings, but we left in the top of the 14th because my cousins were ready to go. I remember how surreal and bright Wrigley looked when I first walked through the tunnel as we found our seats. A swirl of green, and blue, and brown. I will always remember the 1998 season when Sammy was pounding homers onto Waveland on a daily basis and hop-skotching to first base after the ball thumped off his bat. The Cubs made the playoffs that year. I graduated high school at the start of the season and began college at the end. I met what ended up being one of my best and most loyal friends because he was from Chicago and kept the standings posted on the dry erase board outside his dorm room. I will always love that season, never forget and always use it as my own ammunition for why baseball is such a perfect sport.

Steroids won't change that. The fact Sammy allegedly cheated doesn't erase those memories from my mind. As time passes, the same will be true for A-Rod. The tie to roids will always be there. So will the images of the guy who was one of the best ball players ever. His impending Cooperstown snub won't change that.

Sunday, February 1, 2009