Thursday, June 28, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 26: Mean Jeans

“I’ve got my mean jeans on and I’m ready to go!” It’s punk rock, dudes! Mean Jeans are by far the best new pop punk band that I’ve heard in a while. If there are better ones, I have yet to find them, but I doubt they exist. Mean Jeans are a Portland, Oregon punk band specializing in snotty, poppy, party punk. Their songs are as catchy and as sing-along as can be, and their lyrics are witty, smart, humorous, and fun. As soon as I start thinking that pop punk is on the verge of dying out and that all the best pop punk bands have formed, another amazing band like Mean Jeans comes along to prove me wrong. So, if you were thinking the same thing, then allow Mean Jeans to rekindle your enthusiasm; and if you’ve never been much of a pop punk fan, then give Mean Jeans a try and hopefully you’ll see what you’ve been missing all these years. How about I just let the music speak for itself:

Be advised, there's much more where that came from. Find Mean Jeans albums as well as albums from many other great punk rock bands at Dirtnap Records.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 25: Spoonerisms

Spoonerisms are fun, and you should enjoy them as much as I do. Spoonerisms occur (as defined by Urban Dictionary) when the initial letters or first consonant sounds of two words or syllables are exchanged to form a new word or phrase. For example: “Free choosely” instead of “Choose freely.” Or: “Day prayly” instead of “Pray daily.” Spoonerisms actually occur quite frequently, especially when people are speaking quickly or are nervous or distracted. In fact, you have probably been guilty of such a thing on more than one occasion whether you have been aware of it or not. The greatest thing is when people commit a spoonerism and don’t even realize it and instead continue on talking as if what just came out of their mouth made serfect pense. After all, as far as that person is concerned, nothing incorrect occurred. The brain knows what it is saying even if the words come out of the mouth wrong and the ears don’t catch it. Some spoonerisms can be quite embarrassing, such as this popular one: “Three cheers for our queer old dean” rather than “Three cheers for our dear old queen.” Sometimes a spoonerism can be intentional just to get a laugh or to appear creative or original. Regardless, spoonerisms are quite entertaining, and once you become aware of them, you are likely to start noticing them continually. Hopefully, like me, you'll have a good smile or laugh whenever you come across these simple (and occasionally embarrassing) semantic misplacements.

Monday, June 18, 2012

relocation update

So, I finally have a permanent address back in Idaho. Actually, I have had this PO Box for a while now but have neglected to inform you about it (not that you were overly concerned, I'm sure). If you are interested in writing to me the old fashioned way and/or if you are interested in any of my various zine projects, etc. (please, please be interested), you can contact me at the following address for the foreseeable future.

Dan Murphy
PO Box 9862
Boise ID 83707

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 24: Billy Childish is Dead

When I started writing these weekly recommendations at the beginning of 2012, I commenced by recommending the band, Thee Headcoats, fronted by an English gentleman who goes by the name, Billy Childish. Well, my interest in Billy Childish and his music has not waned, and so nearly six months later I am recommending a great, little documentary about the life and times of Billy Childish entitled, Billy Childish is Dead. This film, which was released in 2005, was obviously done with a very low budget and without the use of high quality video and editing equipment; however, that is actually quite fitting considering that it’s a film showcasing a man who despite his prolific contributions to the world of art, writing, and music, has very little interest in fame and fortune and has probably (without pretentiousness) made it a point to avoid such things. The film consists of various interviews with people associated with or interested in the life of Billy Childish, including bandmates, friends, lovers, and associates. Billy Childish himself is also interviewed, and his comments, stories, and quips were major highlights of the film for me. Mixed in with the interviews is footage from various shows that Billy Childish and his myriad bands have put on over the years. The footage includes performances by the Pop Rivets, The Milkshakes, Thee Mighty Caesers, Thee Headcoats, and The Buff Medways, as well as some solo stuff. The live footage was another big highlight for me, so I was pleased that the DVD included a lengthy bonus segment with extended versions of some of these performances as well as additional ones. This film is a great introduction to the world of Billy Childish, and I would implore you, if you aren’t already acquainted with the works of Billy Childish, to make yourself so. In my opinion, he is one of the few raw, genuine, unexploited, and unapologetic artists out there in this big, crazy world saturated with commercialism and pretended talent.

One of my favorite Billy Childish quotes from the film:
“The Beatles put the idea in mind that you could be in a group, and punk rock put the possibility of actually really being in one without really any talent.”

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 23: Prickly Pear Cactus in Bloom

The prickly pears are now in bloom, and I highly recommend you check them out! At least that's the case here in Boise, Idaho. I'm not sure what the state of the prickly pears in your area is, or if you even have any, but here in southwestern Idaho they are blooming like mad. These pictures were taken at Idaho Botanical Garden, where you can see all kinds of things currently in bloom; however, if you get a chance to go there, make it a point to check out the prickly pears. They look amazing! Despite how foreboding they may appear with their spines and all, prickly pears are edible; although I have yet to try them. If you have any recipes or suggestions for eating them, I would love to hear about it. I will make it a point to eat some Opuntia this year for sure.