Posts By hopperd


LISTEN UP: Bringin’ Balance Toi Back

Tony Parker

  • In honor of the Spurs’ sweep of the NBA Finals, Hero Hill inevitably posts a hip-hop track by Tony Parker. It’s a lot better than Manu Ginobili’s “Takin’ Dives” and Tim Duncan’s song, which is just blank static.
  • generously posts five tracks by New Pornographers, including two outstanding titular tracks, “Twin Cinema” and “Mass Romantic,” though my favorite titular track, “The Electric Version,” is not here. Yes, I just wanted to say “titular” a couple times and giggle. It’s Friday.
  • Menomena are the best band named after a Muppets phrase that easily gets stuck in your head since the band Ma Ma, Da Da, Boop Boop, Sha Wah Wah. (Gorilla vs. Bear)
  • Another free Scissors For Lefty track? Why not. (5 Acts)
  • Imagine My Bloody Valentine covering “Strawberry Fields Forever,” and you’ve got this track from Black Moth Super Rainbow. Just when you thought every possible combination of nouns and adjectives had been taken… (Crackers United)


Things I Learned From Mr. Wizard

Mr. Wizard

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Between the death of Mr. Wizard and the retirement of Bob Barker this week, I feel like a portion of my childhood is being laid to rest (thank god Bob Ross died years ago). I can take some solace, however, in the knowledge that many things I learned from Mr. Wizard continue to shape the fine human being I am today. Par example:

  • If you wrap ice cubes in aluminum foil, plastic wrap, white paper, and black paper, the one in black paper will melt the fastest. To this day, I never wrap my ice cubes in black paper.
  • Snorkels are made no longer than about 20 inches long, because even a vaccuum cleaner wouldn’t be able to circulate air through a longer tube. I tossed my 4-foot novelty snorkel in the trash long before the world had even heard of Nirvana.
  • If you leave the faucet dripping overnight, it wastes enough water to fill up nearly five liters. I’ve taken this advice to heart and always make sure to put empty plastic liters underneath the faucet overnight, waking up several times to make sure I swap in empty ones.
  • If you look at any object really, really close up, you can never tell what it is, it always looks like the surface of a weird planet or something. This is why I always look at things with my eyes from a normal distance instead of looking at all objects on a powerful microscope first, which I used to do.
  • In real life, curds and whey are disgusting. To this day, whenever I’m offered curds or whey or especially both, I always decline. Little Miss Muffet didn’t know sh*t about science.


BWE SPORTS: Mike Keenan Couldn’t Make It In Hollywood

Mike KeenanIn case you aren’t familiar with NHL coach Mike Keenan – formerly of the Flyers, Blackhawks, Rangers, Blues, Canucks, Bruins, and Panthers – then you, like most non-hockey nerds, might have reacted with apathy at the news that Mike Keenan is getting yet another head coaching job.

Keenan’s crowning achievement came in 1994, when he led the New York Rangers to a Stanley Cup victory. If you subtract 1994 from 2007, the result is 13, which is the number of years that have occurred since then (just sayin’). The rest of Keenan’s career is an absolute clusterbang, including trading for Wayne Gretzky having him play three months with St. Louis then losing him four months later, changing goalies four times in a single playoff game with Philly, and in 2006, with the Panthers, trading current MVP-candidate Roberto Luongo to Vancouver for Todd “Actually Got Charged With Assault For What He Did During A Hockey Game” Bertuzzi.

My reason for being so upset is because I’m always the one crusading on behalf of sports on this blog, and yet, the entertainment world, as boneheaded as it usually is, would never let something like this happen. It would be the equivalent of Hollywood studios handing Marissa Tomei major leading roles year after year because of her one Oscar, even if every movie tanks at the box office. Sure, Hollywood gives unlimited chances to the Robert Downey Juniors of the world, but that’s no different than NFL teams continually employing Terrell Owens – they both have problems, but they’re both good at what they do. Keenan sucks at coaching, GMing, and at life, and he also looks like a cross between Pat O’Brien and a snooty French waiter in a cartoon.

If Keenan were in the entertainment world, the only work waiting for him would be in the minor leagues. Namely, “Two and a Half Men,” “Emily’s Reasons Why Not,” “Pepper Dennis”…


Even Castro Has His Own Soundtrack

Castro StewartYesterday, my friend sent me this Number Ones In History website which allows you to look up any date in history (back to the 1890s) and find out what song was #1 on the U.S. charts in any particular week. Seemed like a simple, cute idea, until I looked up my own birthday and found out that “Down Under” by Men at Work was the #1 song the week I was born, making me immediately elated and obsessed with the site and causing me to spend the rest of the afternoon looking up every major date I could think of.

Three quick thoughts, then I’ll post some of my favorites: 1) Pretty much every historical event has either a weird coincidental association with its corresponding #1 song, or they’re so opposite, it creates a creepy contrast; 2) I can’t help but imagine these songs playing while the events themselves are occurring, which is also highly amusing; and 3) Every song from the 1890s is now my favorite song. Without further ado:

December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor Attacked – “Chattanooga Choo Choo” by Glenn Miller

Dec 2, 1976: Castro becomes Dictator of Cuba – “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” by Rod Stewart

Mar 19, 2003: Bush announces beginning of Iraqi War – “In Da Club” by 50 Cent (I feel like a jerk, but now I can’t picture this happening without the song playing)

Nov 9, 1989: Berlin Wall Comes Down – “When I See You Smile” by Bad English (cuuuute!)

Sep 11, 2001: Attacks on the World Trade Center – “Fallin” by Alicia Keys (creepy!)

Aug 29, 2005: Hurricane Katrina Hits – “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey (kind of cute, but also creepy)

Dec 30, 2006: Saddam is Hung – “Irreplaceable” by Beyoncé (cuh-reeeepy!)

Feb 2, 1981: Paris Hilton’s Birthday – “Celebration” by Kool and The Gang (har har, nice one, History.)

Any more funny ones I’m missing? Feel free to leave ‘em in the comments, but if you get addicted to this site today, the 25-year anniversary of “Ebony and Ivory” topping the charts, don’t say I didn’t warn you.


LISTEN UP: Elvis Good Boy Deserves Fugazi


  • The Punk Guy hits the E’s, F’s, and G’s of live music, featuring can’t-miss tracks from Elvis Costello, Fugazi, Gang of Four, and Grizzly Bear, though nothing from e.e. cummings and no E.L. Fudge cookies.
  • You really have to see The Polyphonic Spree live to fully appreciate their bombast, but Tunes Consumed has two mp3s and a huge picture of the candy Sprees, which actually comes pretty close.
  • It’s funny to imagine Tim Buckley performing on The Monkees’ tv show in the late 60’s. It’s kind of like picturing Elliott Smith performing on Idol. Just makes lots of sense. (The Stypod)
  • A great blog page is a great blog page, even if I have some different opinions about “driving songs.” Well done, White Boy Dance Floor.
  • Quick word association game: I say Lil’ Wayne, you say – Alan Thicke? What?? Ohh, Robin Thicke. My bad.(Analog Giant)


BWE SPORTS: 10 Recent Events That Surprised Me More Than The Spurs Taking a 3-0 Lead on the Cavs

Manu and AJ

  • “Shrek The Third” turning a profit at the box office.
  • David Hyde Pierce announcing he was gay.
  • A tree falling in a forest somewhere.
  • A.J. Soprano not shooting Tony and taking control of the family.
  • Pete Wentz acting like a douche after a concert (or during a concert, or before, or…)
  • The ratings for Game 5 of the Anaheim/Ottawa series not outdrawing every past Superbowl combined.
  • The sun rising and setting as normal.
  • Learning that Mr. Wizard had not rendered himself scientifically immortal, as I’d always assumed.
  • Paris Hilton referring to herself as ‘dumb.’
  • Someone on a blog pointing out that Paris saying she was dumb was an obvious thing.


LISTEN UP: Surfing That’s Even More Cryptic Than John From Cincinnati

Wilson and Parks

  • The Beach Boys’ “Surfs Up” is one of my favorite songs ever, and Rewritable Content has an interesting post about Van Dyke Parks, Brian Wilson’s writing partner/lyricist, as well as a Parks mp3 and Brian Wilson’s solo version of “Surf’s Up.” It’s not as good as the one from the “Surf’s Up” album, but it is a lot chubbier.
  • Fluxblog has a real interesting acoustic demo version of the Sonic Youth song “Eric’s Trip,” proving that even when he plays acoustic, Thurston Moore is surrounded by feedback. Maybe feedback just follows him around like a raincloud in a cartoon?
  • I dug the last My Morning Jacket album when it came out, and these live mp3s are promising, but I’ve more or less completely forgotten about that band for no good reason. Like the show “Scrubs.” (Sonic Itch Music)
  • Motel De Moka uses philosophical quotes to help explore pop music structure, then throws on some mp3s by The Turtles and Le Tigre. I kind of wish everytime someone said something complicated I didn’t understand, they then immediately played The Turtles.
  • Finally, keep an eye out for The Wildbirds. The music’s fine and all, but with so many great bird bands – The Yardbirds, The Wrens, and, of course, The Fabulous Thunderbirds – greatness has to be their destiny. (Culture Bully)


BWE SPORTS: The NFL Is Making Discipline Rain

Pacman Jones

  • Tennessee Titans cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones accepted his 1-year ban from the NFL, saying he is “committed” to becoming a “positive member of the NFL community” and that the next time he “makes it rain,” he will allow the strippers to “keep the money” and not “fight them.”
  • The TV ratings for Game 2 of the NBA Finals were down 24% from last year, a drop which NBA officials are attributing to people tuning into the Sopranos finale. Ratings for the NHL playoffs also dropped this year, which NHL officials are attributing to most people not understanding, knowing any single fact about, being able to name one player in, or giving the slightest s*it about the NHL.
  • So it turns out, the death of the coach of Pakistan’s national cricket team the day after the team was eliminated from the Cricket World Cup was the result of natural causes, not murder, as previously alleged. Presumably, the coach was pretty old, having lived through many cricket matches in their entirety.
  • The wife of troubled golfer Jon Daly is claiming Daly intentionally scratched his face to make it look like his wife attacked him. She also denies force-feeding Daly alcohol against his will for the last two decades.
  • And on a lighter note – not to overdose on the Pittsburgh stuff, but these photos of Steelers kicker Jeff Reed at a party are absolutely amazing. I always wondered what it’d be like if Guile got drunk and molested some women.


LISTEN UP: You Can Almost Literally Do The Icky Shuffle

Icky Thump

  • Dude – some brave indie blog called (must be ironic?) is streaming the ENTIRE NEW WHITE STRIPES ALBUM. Check it out now before they get totally busted!
  • The hair band Poison is releasing an all-cover album called Poison’d, and Stereogum has an mp3 of them trying a metal version of “Sexyback.” Any comment I make here would make this piece of news less of a joke, so I will abstain.
  • Place your bets: would you expect a band called “Mike Rep & the Quotas” to sound like A) A goofy combination of They Might Be Giants and Weezer, or B) Gritty, early Stooges? Hint: I lost my bet. (Merry Swankster)
  • Has anyone ever complained about having to listen to Blue Oyster Cult’s “Burnin’ For You”? Besides probably A.J. Soprano at some point? (T-Sides)
  • Also, remember the era when U2 winning twelve Grammy Awards a year was almost somewhat justifiable? I Am Fuel, You Are Friends does.


Tyler Perry Presents Tyler Perry’s Blog Post

Tyler PerryIn case you’ve been spending most of your time listening to WHIT Radio, it’s possible you missed last week’s announcement that Tyler Perry’s TBS sitcom “House of Payne” became the highest rated sitcom in the history of basic cable, eclipsing unforgettable cable sitcoms like TNT’s “Washed Up Actress & Palz” and Lifetime’s “On Billboards But Doesn’t Actually Exist.”

On one hand, “Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman” only cost $5 million to make and earned $50.4 million, “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion” was an even bigger success at $63.3 million, and “Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns,” is already in the works. On the other hand, “Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls” was a commercial and critical flop, plus critics appear personally insulted by the success of “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” despite its surprising viewership.

This leads me to my question: Is there any other person in Hollywood who slathers their name on every one of their projects as egregiously as Tyler Perry while having accomplished less?

The man’s like Wes Craven minus twenty-five years of career. M. Night Shyamalan has been on a suck streak lately, but “Sixth Sense” is the #24 grossing film of ALL TIME, which understandably has earned Shyamalan free reign to tack his name onto whatever twenty page flipbook he chooses to turn into a motion picture. Stephen King has his name on about 500 movies, but he’s also been involved in seven trillion movies, so mathematically, he’s pretty modest. Quentin Tarentino’s name is all over the place too, but who cares, he’s earned it, plus people tell me I look like him and that can only be interpreted as a compliment (no one tell me otherwise).

Bottom line, as much as I’d like to complain about Perry’s unashamed own-name-dropping, it almost seems like he’s starting to retrospectively justify it. That being said, as long as I don’t see any posters that say “Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up” or “Martin Scorcese’s The Departed,” I’m always going to feel the need to call a liiiiiittle BS on Mr. Perry, even if it makes him put on a fat suit and hit me with a rolling pin, or whatever actually happens in those movies.

Sorry for the lack of sports and music in the post. I guess I should mention that Tyler Perry’s name dropping is a lot like the Flaming Lips playing basketball with Tim Duncan. Or something.