Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Things that used to be cool to hate

My friends and I were having a conversation last night about an upcoming Dave Matthews Band concert and I made the comment that "It's no longer cool to hate Dave Matthews." Your feelings about DMB aside, most can agree that it used to be cool to hate DMB. In many music circles, stating your dislike of Dave was your ticket in. However, in today's world, Dave Matthews is completely irrelevant, outside of the people who flock to venues like Alpine Valley, WI every summer to tailgate and see a similar show to the one they saw last summer. I'll be the first to admit that I am one of those people, but I digress.

We had a conversation about other things that used to be cool to hate, but we didn't get very far. Not to be discouraged, I put some more thought into it today and I think we may be onto something. The tough thing is you have to work with a sliding time frame. For instance, it may have been cool to hate something because of your life stage (e.g. high school, college, etc.) Or it may have been cool to hate someone/a group of people because of the actions they undertook years ago. Right now the list is short, but I am interested to hear what other people have to say.

I want your input! Use the comments to post our ideas about things that used to be cool to hate. Here are the short list of examples I have come up with through conversations with people:
  • It used to be cool to hate Greek life in college.
  • It used to be cool to hate Michigan football, but then they stopped winning.
  • It used to be cool to hate sushi, when you were a kid.
  • It used to be cool to hate the New York Yankees, but they haven't won a world series in 9 years.
Let's hear some others!

Bon Iver...if only you could say his name

Bon Iver is probably my favorite artist right now.

The story of Justin Vernon is a little bizarre, his music is a little bizarre, and the story of his latest album is bizarre...but when it all comes together and hits your ears...it's hard to do anything but enjoy every second of it. You can fill in the missing details here if you want.

Or more importantly, you can check out this awesome video, filmed I think somewhere in France. The video consists of Vernon and his band mates going around performing the title track off their album. I would highly recommend checking out the other videos by this same user. They are all equally awesome...and of course, buy the album too!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

The US National Soccer team beat Spain 2-0 in the Confederations cup to advance to the finals against probably Brazil. It will take another shocking performance to get another win...but for now, enjoy these awesome goals!

Ready to Experience My First Night at Bonnaroo?

The first night of Bonnaroo the storms arrived...in thunderous fashion. When the wind and rain got bad enough, we decided it was our time to enter Centeroo. We put on swimsuits put some cash in a ziploc bag and went for it. I found this video today of one of my favorite moments of Bonnaroo. The first show we saw, and one of the best, was Passion Pit. I am surprised more people haven't heard of them, so I bring you this video.

So what I want you to do is imagine yourself in a swimsuit, soaking wet, covered in mud from foot to waist, hand over your beer so the rain doesn't get in it...and then watch this video...as loud as it goes:

For those that like to complain about the weather!

You know that co-worker who complained last week that it was cold...and then came in this week complaining about how hot it was outside? Hey! that co-worker might even be you! If you or someone you know like's complaining about the weather...use this site to help you get psyched up about how bad the weather is!

Thanks Abby!

Why The Economist dominates

I have enjoyed reading The Economist since I started becoming interested in politics early in high school. Every week I receive my copy and read Lexington immediately, sometimes even before I walk up the stairs. I found an insightful article on why The Economist has continued to succeed in a time where print news is increasingly becoming obsolete. You can find the article here. Happy Hump Day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Keyboard Cat Reaches a New High

Sometimes trends reach their limit...after a while, everyone got tired of fmylife...then people got tired of mylifeisaverage...and I thought that was what happened to Keyboard Cat. But then I saw this video, and it changed my Keyboard Cat life. (Warning, if you're watching this at work, you might start crying at your desk like I did.)

You want breadsticks with your burrito?

This has been on the internet for a while...but it's time it made on the blog just in case people have not heart it yet. Yes, a song dedicated to the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. I feel so thankful that Yum! Foods decided to open restaurants with so many choices. It helps families who can't decide on just one type of food for the family, it helps drunk people create challenging, entertaining late night meals and most importantly, it creates a smell like you've never smelled before.

Here is where I take a stand...if you're going to have a combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell...why don't you serve TACO PIZZA!?

Here's the song...enjoy
Das Racist - Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell (Wallpaper Remix)

Cuteness is bipartisan

Credit to Rachel for finding this...and the Official Whitehouse Photostream for posting it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Reflections (and Ramblings) on Bonnaroo...plus some more pictures

I am finally well rested, my body has mostly recovered, my sunburn has healed...I haven't gotten over the obsession with my shower, and my air conditioner, I haven't stopped enjoying having a bathroom nearby every time I need to use one, instead of having to walk half a mile. This means that it is time to start reflecting on the amazing experience of Bonnaroo. I think my friends have been a little perplexed my reactions...my stock reaction has become "It was unreal/unbelievable and I couldn't really use normal words to describe it." This is true. Bonnaroo was more than a music festival, more than a 4 day camping trip with friends, more than a collection of hippies doing drugs...I truly left the grounds on Monday feeling like I had been a part of something amazing. With that, here are some reflections on various topics...

Drugs - one of the main questions people ask me about Bonnaroo was the drugs there. Anyone that has looked into the festival at all has heard about how there are many drugs available at any time of the day or night for whatever price you want to pay...but I was not even prepared for the experience there. Before we had even set up camp, we had been offered drugs. It seems like every time we would sit/stand still for more than 5 minutes, whether we were at the campsite or in Centeroo (the concert area) there would be someone offering us whatever drugs we wanted. All of that said, the interesting part to me (and unbelievable to some) is that no one I was with used any illegal drugs. I could discuss why this is...but the point is that, even without doing drugs. The thing that struck me is that Bonnaroo is such a weird experience and environment, that I don't see why people would need to alter their state of consciousness to enjoy it more?

Festival Organization - I was amazed at how well organized Bonnaroo was. I have only really been to one other major festival, Lollapalooza, but the organization at Lolla could not even hold a candle to the organization at 'Roo. First of all, you have almost 80,000 people camping on one farm, which is a feat in itself. But everything else seemed to be organized enough that it did not cause us undue inconvenience. The parking/traffic situation was organized on the way in for us (I know it was not for everyone). Everyone had enough space to camp. The port-o-potties were cleaned everyday and remained relatively clean the whole time (I'm not joking, it was never a problem.) There were showers you could use during the day without much of a wait. There were water stations located throughout the festival that provided cold, clean water for washing, drinking or whatever else you wanted to use it for. My favorite thing is that the people running the festival went to great lengths to ensure that the ground where people stood to watch the shows was as dry and clean as possible. Before the Bela Fleck show, they cleared everyone out from under the tent we were in to lay down a layer of sawdust and hay to try and dry out the ground. It worked, and I think everyone really appreciated it. The medical staff was always attentive, and when that guy had a bad trip right behind you, the medical staff was always there in seconds to pick him up and take him to their makeshift hospital.

The People - The people at Bonnaroo are one of its greatest assets. I was hoping to meet a lot more people than I did...but this was likely due to the fact that we weren't that outgoing. That being said, I still met and encountered a lot of chill, cool people. When you're camping in heat, rain and mud with 80,000 other people for 4 days, you develop this camaraderie somewhat similar to kids at a summer camp. Everyone helps each other out and makes sure everyone else is having a good time. I noticed on Sunday that I had gone the whole festival without seeing people get pissed about running into each other or someone taking someone elses spot, etc. That stuff happened all the time at Lolla. A bunch of peaceful hippies at a music festival in the middle of nowhere? yep.

Since I've now been writing for much longer than I expected, I realize this is going to take more than one post. So I will end this with one more topic...

Phish - As I've said before, the catalyst that made me buy the ticket and commit to Bonnaroo, was the 2 shows that Phish were to play. When Phish went on Friday night, it was completely surreal. As cheesy as it may sound, I actually did get emotional. I started listening to Phish during high school and they quickly became my favorite band. Seeing them in 2003 from the 6th row at Alpine Valley was by far the best concert experience of my life up that point. When they retired in 2004, I did not realize how much I would miss them. When they stepped on stage at Bonnaroo, all of the waiting and wishing they would return came out of me, and I got to enjoy 3 hours of amazing live music. They ended the weekend with hands down the best set of Bonnaroo. The Tweezer Reprise was my favorite song I saw at Bonnaroo. I can't wait to see them 3 more times this summer.

With that, I will leave you with a link to some great, professional pictures and videos from the festival. This is a little taste of what I experienced.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Roger Ebert on Bill O'Reilly

My roommate and I have recently been watching the O'Reilly Factor fairly regularly...mostly for entertainment, but also due to curiosity over whether it really is the same every day. We have pretty much concluded that the format is boringly similar but excitingly lively. I found an article today written by Roger Ebert about Bill O'Reilly and the effect his show may/has have/had on debate in America. The article can be found here.

There will be more to come on Bonnaroo when I find more time. Until then, have a great Wednesday!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Phish...and special guest

Yesterday was an absolutely astounding end to my first Bonnaroo!

As I told you, we waited all day so we could see Phish from the front. It was definitely a long day, but very worth it.

There were two performances before Phish. Erykah Badu was completely unremarkable. It's hard to have a "comeback" performance when there's nothing to come back to. She spent her hour and a half on stage singing about how she is god; and how she has a large rear end.

Snoop Dogg on the other hand tore up the stage. He busted out all of his classics and rapped over some other artists tracks. He also had one of the cooler stage setups included a drum set made out of a chopper motorcycle that the drummer sat on the seat of.

When 8:30 finally rolled around, I was tired...but that was all gone when Phisb went on. The first set was epic...and ended with Trey bringing on a special guest. We had talked about hoping Phish would bring on Snoop Dogg, since the band had previously covered Gin and Juice...but this special guest we had not even considered. Trey told a story about the first concert he attended at the age of 12. When he started getting choked up at the end of the story, we knew he was going to bring on someone big...and he did. Bruce Springsteen. They played three of The Boss' songs including Glory Days. It was breathtaking seeing my favorite guitarist trade riffs with Bruce. That was only the first set.

The second set did not disappoint. They threw in some of my favorites, like Suzie Greenberg and Farmhouse. They capped off 4 days of unbelievable music with a ridiculously high energy Tweezer Reprise. It was surreal walking out last night. I'm still processing everything I saw, heard and experienced. I will post at least once more with my reflections when I am a little better rested and have an actual keyboard to type on. Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Boss

I would not call myself a Bruce Springsteen fan...or I should say, I would not have called myself a Springsteen, until last night. After coming on a half hour late, Bruce absolutely rocked our faces off. He played through the hits, added some new ones, and even threw in some awesome covers. I was impressed and I'm excited to listen to his stuff a little more.

Right now, were sitting in the front row of the main stage, waiting for Phish. Yes, they play at 8:30 tonight, so we have a while to wait. But at least we get to see Snoop Dogg somewhere in the middle of the wait. Here's a preview of our seats:

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Catching up on 24+ Hours of Awesomeness

First off, sorry for the lack of posts! Between lack of cell phone signal/data coverage and lack of an outlet to plug my phone into, posting was a little tough. But we're still here stronger than ever! Here's a recap of what we've been up to...

Bela Fleck - yesterday I got to see one of my favorite artists, Bela Fleck, play with a man named Toumani Diabate. Bela Fleck, probably the world's most renowned banjo player, had been one of my favorite artists since I heard one of his albums, Live Art, which he recorded with his band, the Flecktones (which includes another of my favorite artists, Victor Wooten.). I was a bit bummed when I found out Bela was not playing with his band at Roo. Things changed when I first heard Mr Diabate play!
Toumani is the best kora player in the world. Never heard of the kora? Me neither, until yesterday. The kora is a 21 stringed instrument made of calabash and cowhide. The bass line is played with one thumb, the melody with the other thumb, and the fingers are used to improvise. So it is essentially a one man band. The show was unreal and was capped off by an awesome rendition of Dueling Banjos.

Beastie Boys - our first show on the huge stage was the Beastie Boys. While I listened to them a lot in high school, I hadn't thought much about them recently. I was unsure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by a high energy show which included some favorites like Intergalactic and Sabotage. The best part though was when Nas came out and did a song with them! Amazing! No idea what Nas was doing at Bonnaroo, but it was sweet.

Phish - as you may already know, the deciding factor for me in my decision to attend Bonnaroo was the prospect of seeing Phish twice. The first show was last night and lived up to all expectations. They played some of my favorites, like You Enjoy Myself and Golgi Apparatus. They finished with an encore that consisted of a medley of Beetles songs.

Rodrigo y Gabriela - if you like guitar music, you know R&G. They put on an unbelievable show this afternoon. I, along with the crowd were consistently blown away by the sheer amount of talent emanating from the stage. If you haven't checked them out, go do it!

So here I find myself sitting on the lawn, listening to Jeff Tweedy and Wilco for the first time and waiting for The Boss and the E Street Band to tear it up.

What an amazing experience this has been thus far. There's still another Phish show too! More updates to come hopefully!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Good morning!

Wow...not the easiest night of sleep! At least the weather took a break. Getting ready to eat some bacon and eggs.

Today should be an awesome day of shows. We're planning on seeing Bela Fleck, TV on the Radio, Beastie Boys, Phish and Public Enemy. Hopefully the weather cooperates and I can send some pictures!

Torrential downpour

We decided to go out to the shows in the rain...which was a great, yet muddy decision!

We returned to camp and seconds later were greeted with a severe storm! Stuck in the tent now...goodnight for real this time...if we can sleep!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


We made it in and set up camp. The weather is still fairly nice too. We are all pumped for the next four days!

It should only get more exciting from here on out!

Feel free to leave me comments if you like/dislike stuff...or if you want me to talk about something specific...later

We're here?

We made it inside! Once we get through the security inspection were home free! The weather is even holding off for the time being!

Coverage is not great

That last post was delayed about 2 hours by a lack of coverage. This liveblogging may become photoless just FYI. For now though, "cluck the economy"...were almost off the interstate!

Almost there...sort of

It's been awhile since the last update and a lot has happened. We got a nice sunny welcome into Nashville

A couple minutes outside of Nashville we stopped to stock up on food and drink. Needless to say, the car is really full now. Here's what the final pack-job looked like

...and here is my cocoon of space for the next however many hours of waiting in line

We are now a couple miles away and waiting in line. It is probably the longest line I have ever seen. At least 7 miles...and there's state troopers everywhere so we can't even crack the beer! Send us good weather and line vibes!

Here is what we will be looking at for the next couple hours

More updates to come. Get excited to see pictures of the actual place! Bonnaroo!!!!

Sunny road!

We just saw the sun for the first time since yesterday!

First stop, Okawville!

After some time on the road, we had a hankering for some fast food breakfast. So we stopped in the sunny village of Okawville, IL, pop. 1400. Here's a shot of the beautiful water tower:

Okawville, besides having an awesome water tower, had a combination Road Ranger/Burger King!

Things just kept getting better...did you know that BK has soda pairings?!?

Awesome. Justin requested I include the amazing Jonas Brothers/Apple Fries poster, so I will leave you with that...

The journey has begun!

My 'Roo companions, Corey and Justin arrived late last night in the midst of a torrential downpour (mother nature was just getting it out of the way for the festival.). After a quick discussions of bands to see and the coming weather we headed off to bed.

After a 6:30 wake up call, we were on the road. The rain held off for us to pack to car and once we got on the road, it started.

More updates to come today!

Here's my current view:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

First leg of the trip complete!

After a day of cornfields and semi's, I have finally made it to the gateway to the west, the beautiful St. Louis. My two brave 'Roo companions and I will rendezvous here tonight and spend the night at my aunt an uncle's house before embarking on our journey to Tennessee early tomorrow morning.

The current forecast for the festival is 80's and thunderstorms everyday...in other words, my favorite weather (not.). Let's hope the weatherman is completely wrong!

I will leave you for now with some riveting pictures of my journey today...

I promise they'll get a lot more exciting over the next couple of days.

Packed and ready to go!

I'm all packed for Bonnaroo and leaving in a couple of minutes. Hope I didn't forget anything too important and hope I didn't overpack too much!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An Attempt at Liveblogging?

Ok, for all you loyal readers there may be a special treat coming up for you. As some of you already know, tomorrow I will be heading to Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN. I found out that they are supposed to have good wireless and cellular coverage for AT&T customers (AT&T being an official sponsor) so I figured I am going to embark on a liveblogging jouney. What will come of it? I guess you will have to check back over the next couple days. Maybe there is no service and my phone dies...or maybe you get cool pictures and concert reports from Bonnaroo! Keep your fingers crossed for the latter!

Zack Morris is back! Amazing!

Luckily, I follow Shawn Johnson (@ShawneyJ) on Twitter.  If it wasn't for her, I may not have come across this absolutely amazing clip!  I've never watched late night TV in my life, and I can't say that Jimmy Fallon would motivate me to start...however, last night on his show, Mark-Paul Goesselaar, better known as Zack Morris, made an awesome appearance.  It was a wonderful flashback to my childhood.  MPG does a great job of staying in character and even performs one of the song from "Zack-Attack" with the Roots!  I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did!  (Sorry for the ridiculously long ad before the video...I'm working on getting a ad-less copy up, but Hulu is not behaving.)

The Useless Gadget of the Day

Check out what is thought to the world's smallest microwave.  I might actually like a microwave to heat baked beans at my desk...next all I need is a USB powered grill!  

Monday, June 8, 2009

Staying in front of the trend?

A couple weeks ago I posted about mylifeisaverage.com saying it was the new fmylife.com.  Well, my friends, there is a new kid on the block.  I feel obliged to introduce to you: mylifeisg.com.  For those of us that prefer to hear about the good things in one's life, there is now a site.  The question is, what is next? and the real question is, can you stay in front of the trend?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

20 Years

I have no intentions of turning this into a political blog.  Thus, I present you this video as one view of the Chinese government's decision to prevent commemoration of the events that occurred in  Tianamen Square 20 years ago today.  It is quite a surreal view of the worlds most populous country and the US' biggest debt holder.  Borderline childish.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More Illusions

For those of you who enjoyed the illusion that I posted a couple weeks ago, there is a whole blog dedicated to similar illusions.  Check out Illusion Sciences.  

All props to Max on this one.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Embarrasingly Simple Political Quiz

The Pew Research Center in Washington DC recently released a quiz on their interactive page.  The quiz consists of 12 simple current events questions about politics (ok there's one relatively random question that is not that easy.)  Once you take the quiz you can see how people do by gender, age and education level.  Obviously, incomplete and improperly sampled results, but intriguing nonetheless.  I'll be upfront and tell you that I missed 1 question.  See how you do here.

Time to get the brain going...it's Monday!

My wonderful father recommended I check out VOX, which is a website that publishes "Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists"  Being an economics major, and working in a economics-focused field, of course I was interested.  But even for those that know nothing about economics, or those ever-present math-haters, economics has pushed its way to the forefront of our lives through the recent "financial crisis."  

I found an article, "Bonus Incensed" to be particularly interesting.  The current financial times are extremely hard to make sense of...even for intelligent, veteran economists (myself not included in this category).  Unfortunately, the only thing more difficult then making sense of the current times is finding intelligent commentary on the situation.  I have watched and read countless stories in the media that are mindless and seem to only drum up more panic.  It is refreshing to find a place that is actually thinking about a really difficult situation in an intelligent way.  I hope you enjoy.