Sunday, July 29, 2007

This Place is a Dump

I’m a slum lord
According to Dane Carlson, who has developed some sort of formula to determine the monetary value of any blog, BlogFreeSpringfield is a rat- and asbestos-infested hovel located in a dilapidated neighborhood with bad public schools and an inordinate number of liquor stores and payday loan offices. He’s got this place listed at $9,000 and change, which is at the low end of the Springfield blogging market. It’s probably not safe for you here, so go find yourself a blog in a nicer neighborhood.

Hey there hot chicks who are suckers for any dork with a guitar.
Are the Plain White Ts the James Blunt of 2007? If the speed at which I change the radio station the moment I hear “hey there Deli. . .” is any indication, they’re well on their way. The Ts have little hope of attaining a level of insipidness that would equal Blunt at his snivelingest, but radio program directors seem determined to take them there. Russ is probably big into them.

Shut the f*** up, Donny!
I finally got around to rewatching the Big Lebowski last night. I’d forgotten that Aimee Mann has a bit part, playing one of Flea’s drug addict companions. Just one more reason that the Coen brothers are the coolest directors/producers in Hollywood. Can anyone boast of an oeuvre the equal of theirs: Fargo, Miller’s Crossing, Raising Arizona, the Hudsucker Proxy, O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?, the Big Lebowski? Even some of their lesser-to-me works such as Barton Fink and the Man Who Wasn’t There only lag behind because of the greatness I’ve been conditioned to expect when a film carries the Coen banner. What do you think John Goodman would rather be remember by, his adaptation of Fred Flintstone, or his star turns as Walter Sobchak and Big Dan Teague?

Record store? What’s a record store?
I’m looking for a couple of songs that iTunes doesn’t stock. If you know of any channels through which they might be procured, please let me know.

Making Time by Creation - iTunes has a version of it by The Creation, which sounds like an updated version by a revamped lineup of the band; I’m sure Wikipedia could tell me for sure. But I want the version as heard in the movie Rushmore, during the montage which introduces viewers to Max Fischer’s propensity for joining school-sponsored extracurricular clubs. A cool song in a great movie.

Seven Year Ache by Roseanne Cash - This was a big radio hit back in the 80s and might qualify as a guilty pleasure if not for the legitimacy of the Cash appellation. With all due respect to Trisha Yearwood, I prefer the original.

Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometimes as performed by Beck - This was originally recorded by something called the Korgis. I prefer Beck’s rendition only because it is ingrained in my brain after repeated viewings of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I can’t seem to wipe it out of my memory (Get it? If you’ve seen the movie you do. It’s still not that funny though, I suppose.) Anyway, iTunes won’t part with this little gem unless you shell out for the entire soundtrack. What is this, the nineties?

I did download one song on iTunes today. Driving home from church I had the pleasure of listening to Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris do a cover of Boudleaux Bryant’s Love Hurts. It’s not as guttural-sounding as the Nazareth version, but it probably also hasn’t been swayed to as much at high school proms. It’s quite a pleasurable listen. The surprising part of this discovery is that I didn’t hear it on WQNA, but rather, on Alice. On Sunday mornings they apparently take a break from playing the Plain White Ts and spin some rootsy acoustic records.

I Love You, Beth Cooper
This is one funny book. If you're a fan of John Hughes movies, you'll love this story written by Larry Doyle, a former writer for the Simpsons. I'm only halfway throught it, but I'm already prepared to give it my full endorsement.

Speaking of books, my SJ-R column last week was on how being well-read is not as valued as it once was (not that Beth Cooper qualifies as literature.) My thesis is that in today's fast-paced, instant information age, people don't have time to curl up with a good book, and don't see the benefit in doing so. I bemoan this turn of events.

Oh well, thanks for slumming.


Russ said...

Re: The Plain White T's
Even I can't stomach that garbage. And I stomach a lot of garbage.

Re: The music you seek
Check your email.

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Thanks Russ. I'll be sure to remit the necessary royalties to the RIAA.

brunettechicagogal said...

Dan, you're my favorite slumlord blogger.

I, for one, will never stop curling up with good books. And I can name about 20 others who will continue the practice. So there's hope.

A recent read that you might enjoy: Pete Hamill's "Forever," about an Irish lad in the 1740s who's given the chance to live forever in exchange for never leaving the island of Manhattan. Hamill knows New York and its history like the back of his hand. It's about 600 pages, and I finished it in a week -- I couldn't put it down.

Rock-Robster said...

Wow Danny! With the overabundance of mindless and insipid pop music in the word today I find it odd that you would pick as your bête noire, a song actually sung by its writer that features an actual guitar with actual strings! No, it's not on par with Paul Westerberg (or Even Arthur Westerberg -, but come on, go hunting for bigger game – a world with the PWT, but without Carrie Underwood would be a far better place!!!

BlogFreeSpringfield said...


Thanks for slumming. I see that your blog is now gated. Trying to keep the riffraff out?

I’ve read Piecework, a collection of Hamill’s essays, and A Drinking Life, his memoire, but I’ve never read any of his fiction. I put Forever in my Amazon cart, the first step in a book’s journey to my nightstand.


I see where you’re coming from. I really don’t have a problem with Ms. Underwood because we don’t travel in the same circles. The PWTs, on the otherhand, are currently dominating airplay on two of the three stations I tune to for music. As for the song itself, for some reason it bugs me that the girl’s name is Delilah. It’s like they tried as hard as they could to think of a offbeat, non-trendy name. The girl’s name was probably Heather, but no, that won’t do in the senstive-cool-boy world of the PWTs. I also hated that Dweezil Zappa’s character’s name in Pretty in Pink was Simon. Weird, huh?

Thanks for commenting,

Unpainted Huffhines said...

I've imagined that "Hey There, Delilah" is the PWT singer's open love letter to the syndicated DJ that bores ... sorry, rocks us to sleep every night with soft-sounding music. Rest easy, Dan: I predict the PWT's will break up, and fast. Can you imagine being the drummer in that band and how bummed he must be that THAT song is the hit? He's probably starting the revolution right now. (I fully expect this comment to end up on some PWT Web ring and be righteously disputed in a rebuttal filled with misspelled words.)

As for Aimee Mann, I'll have the lingonberry pancakes.

nancy said...

Oh God, here you go and make me expose the inner "People" magazine lover in me. Yeah, that's right, I'm a People junkie and right now it's going to have to be used for goodness and righteousness. The July 23. 2007 issue, page 86 introduces you to one Delilah DeCrescenzo, former muse to PWT's
frontman Tom Higgenson. Basically, he was crushin' on her five years ago, but nothing ever happened, other than the song. The real Delilah is an All American track star at Columbia University.

BlogFreeSpringfield said...


You know, I had the same thought, re: the drummer. The one song that everyone wants to hear is a wimpy ballad. I bet he catches a lot of crap from the other drummers. At least on Home Sweet Home Tommy Lee could turn himself upside down in his gyroscopic drum kit.


Okay, I stand corrected. Delilah is a lovely name. Maybe if Higgenson (that sounds made-up too) had addressed her by saying “Hi Delilah” instead of “Hey there Delilah” like a big geek they’d be together today and I wouldn’t have to listen to his pining.

Thanks for commenting,

Anonymous Communist said...

Re: Dan's dumpiness
Don't feel bad. My blog clocks in at roughly $4,600. That other blog is too snooty for my tastes.

Re: "Hey There, Delilah
I've never heard the song. Which, apparently is a good thing. And this dork is thankful for the magic a guitar can provide in terms of pulling honeys.

Re: The greatest movie of all time
I'm glad you like it, Dan. But Flea didn't play a drug addict; he was a nihilist. Say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism... at least it's an ethos.

nancy said...


I cannot disagree with you there. I'm quite sure Higgenson's got no game with the ladies. A brief glimpse of him in aforementioned People article confirms that fact.

Anonymous said...

I've got to agree with you BlogFree. The first time I heard the PWT song I thought "Hey, that's catchy!", and who doesn't love a song about a guy pining for a girl?! Then I heard it 6 more times the same day and couldn't stomach it again. Although really, I think my distaste is more a symptom of Springfield's radio market than for the song itself. Whatchagonnado?!...

rock-robster said...

As to the mindset of drummers and their band's crappy, extra-slow, drumless mega-hit tunes - I think KISS got it right by having Peter Criss do the vocals on their single biggest US hit -- "Beth" (which was, oddly enough, another first-name based song - although we all know there really was no Beth, but - thanks to Nancy - we know there really is a Delilah. . . )

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Since I don't read People, I decided to double-check Rock's assertion that there wasn't a real Beth. He's correct, but there was a Beck (short for Rebecca.) Apparently she was a pain in the ass and the song, which was written by Peter Criss and a former bandmate, was a stinging rebuke on her character. The lyrics were later changed to make it a tale of lovelornness and it was recorded for Kiss's Destroyer album. None of the band members played on it, save for Criss's vocal track. It became their biggest hit.

I hate Kiss, but found the song's history to be quite interesting. Read more about it here:

rock-robster said...

BTW - If you want to reconnect with this classic 1976 track, you can click here:

Gene Klein said...

To hate Kiss is to hate America.

Here is just a small list of performers who were influenced by Kiss - The Replacements, Weezer, The Lemonheads

Got any of those retarded bands in your collection Dan?

Pinko music snob.

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

As I suspect you know, Klein, I do own the Replacements collection, although only a single Lemonheads album and no Weezer. And it’s true that the Mats covered Kiss’s Black Diamond on the Let It Be LP. But does this mean that they were influenced by the clown-faced deviants? Afterall, Weird Al recorded a cover of Gangster’s Paradise, but I’d hardly call the polka parodist a Coolio disciple.

I do believe that Spinal Tap (Lick My Love Pump) was influenced by Kiss (Lick It Up). And I wouldn’t be surprised if the line “treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry” was written after listening to Love Gun. So don’t worry - my demonic, tongue-wagging friend - Kiss’s legacy has been cemented in satire and they’ll be laughed at for generations to come.

Thanks for commenting,

brunettechicagogal said...

I invited you into the gated community; did you not get the invitation? I'll send it again. I was getting a few too many Anonymous commenters with nothing constructive to say. I don't have the energy anymore!

Gene Klein said...


Kiss' influence on music is legendary. Not only that, it is enjoyed as much today as it was when they first recorded it. How many bands can claim that?

Is it the make up and costumes that bother you? Lets see, bands that wore make up or outlandish costumes? How about David Bowie, The Cure, and Elton John? Not bad company.

Or is it the double entendre lyrics? I would think if you took that away from rock n' roll you wouldn't have much left save for all the pretentious, self-absorbed, bands that are now, or soon will be, flashes in Kiss' rearview mirror.

Besides, Kiss covered some hard-hitting topics in their music.

Alcoholism - Cold Gin, Prostitution - Black Diamond, Reckless Driving - Detroit Rock City, Pedophiles - Christine Sixteen.

So you see Dan, Kiss was trying to bring many of society's problems to the public's consciousness via the 12-25 year old white male population. What good has the Replacements done for society besides create animosity among the airline industries' most vital cogs and repeatedly (ad nauseam) describe their inability to get "the girl?"

Anonymous said...

Quick update on the PWTs ditty: If you're a fan of ABC Family's new GREEK show (or even if you're not), the band just appeared in a recent episode crooning their single "Delilah" at a fraternity party. They're on public and satellite radio (yes, sadly I heard them on a SIRIUS channel recently), the web, and tv... PWTs are taking over the world!

But don't let them keep you from tuning in to GREEK. Its pretty good if you like soapy dramedys with college-aged stars!