Sunday, March 29, 2009

Eddie Griffin at Tampa Improv, March 2009

I saw comedian Eddie Griffin at the Tampa Improv Saturday night. Although I think I hurt the experience by watching Eddie Murphy's Delirious the night before, Griffin is one funny dude.

A few of the subjects he covered:

- Why the founding fathers were coke heads
- The true meaning of library (bury lies), congress (cons digress), and constitution (con institution)
- Why loud women are loud and why they don't get men
- The art of cunnilingus (normally I am not a fan of sex humor - too easy and extremely overdone - but Griffin was funny)
- Why the stage at the Tampa Improv sucks
- Why Barack Obama is a "black man's black man" (of course he didn't say "black man" - use your imagination)
- Why President Obama did Bill Clinton a favor by making Hillary Clinton Secretary of State and giving her a job that requires her to be frequently out of the country
- Why he only smokes cigarettes made by Native Americans
- What Bernie Mac and Richard Pryor are currently up to in heaven

Like I said, after watching Delirious I could see Murphy's influence on Griffin. And when Griffin went into his discussion of Michael Jackson's voice and its lack of manliness, it was almost as if he was ripping Murphy off word for word. Then again, in defense of Griffin, making fun of Michael Jackson never gets old.

My only disappoint was after the show when Griffin took off and didn't spend any time with the fans. Although I wanted a pic with one of the most famous characters to don a 'fro, I was lucky in that one of the Improv staff hooked me up and got Griffin to sign my Undercover Brother DVD insert.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The five albums that shaped my ear

Tim Niland of the blog Music and More listed the five albums that Shaped His Listening Habits. I always learn a lot from Tim's blog of mostly jazz and blues reviews, and this time he lists some absolute classics like Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

In return, here is my personal list of five albums that molded my listening:

1) Soundgarden - Superunknown: This was my first rock album and set the tone for the type of rock I like. Between this and Pearl Jam's Ten, I developed my rock sensibility around the "grunge" sound.

2) Public Enemy - Apocalypse 91 ... The Enemy Strikes Black: This was among my first rap albums. When I first got into listening to rap I bought Heavy D and the Boyz, the Fresh Prince, and Public Enemy. Right off the bat I knew PE definitely had more to say than Will Smith and the Heavster. As I was just getting into politics, for some reason I gravitated to the realism of Chuck D. Not a bad decision for a 14-year old white kid from the suburbs who, embarrassingly enough, used to watch and read Rush Limbaugh regularly. (Then again, I was only 14. What did I know?)

3) Jimi Hendrix - Blues: This album got me into the blues. True story: way back in early 1996, I was on an overnight flight from Phoenix to Tampa. During one of the late night hours, I plugged my headphones into the armrest and started flipping through the airline music channels. On one of the channels I heard the DJ say something about Jimi Hendrix and Booker T and the MGs, then he plays Jimi's version of "Born Under a Bad Sign", which is still my favorite track on the CD. Needless to say, I made it my goal to find that song and this album. I still think it was a message from somewhere that at that particular moment I plugged in and that DJ introduced me to one of my favorite albums.

4) Clutch - Clutch: After a few years of listening mostly to gangsta rap (I went from PE to Ice Cube to Snoop and Dre), this album was one of two to get me back into rock (the other is number 5). Clutch's second album has a little bit of everything - catchy lyrics, stories of pirates, tales of aliens and conspiracies, and even one of the best stoner jams I have ever heard. It's heavy but not only coherent, but also intelligent.

5) Sublime - Sublime: I'll admit, this album has just about entered the realm of the overrated. I don't share the opinion that it is the absolute classic so many people suggest it is. The fact that every frat guitar player from Long Beach to Long Island has this in his repertoire definitely bugs the snot out of me. But Sublime, like Clutch, has a huge place in my musical history. It was the first album I heard that mixed rock and rap. Of course, the Beasties and Run DMC did it before Sublime, but something about the scratching and sampling in Sublime made me think that maybe I should check out some of that rock and roll stuff the kids were listening to.

Hopefully this list will get other people listing their most influential five albums.

(About the image: I don't know if it is from this article or not, but back in 2007, there was a Colombian guitar maker who was making guitars out of AK-47s. I'd like to hang one of those above the fireplace.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Forgiveness Poem to Bologna

So I was bored the other day and I wrote a poem. I hope you enjoy.

This poem may remind long-time readers of my stuff of a poem called "Happy Cows". For those who have only started following me in the last few years, I'll have to post that poem sometime.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Religious Leader Declares War Against Offensive Pro Wrestlers

Last week, the Islamic Republic of Iran announced its displeasure with Darren Aronofsky’s film “The Wrestler”. Iranian officials claimed Aronofsky’s character “The Ayatollah” was insulting to Iranian culture and portrayed the Iranian people in a negative light. Iranian response to the Wrestler was so negative, even members of Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's staff expressed their concerns.

In response to the Iranian government's reaction to “The Wrestler”, the Supreme Holy Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, issued a fatwa, or religious edict, against all professional wrestlers who could be insulting or could have in any way insulted Persian, Arabic, Islamic, or Middle Eastern culture. Reports claim this fatwa will specifically by name target both active and former wrestlers and could possibly have the same effect that a previous fatwa had on author Salmon Rushdie, who ended up hiding out for decades.

According to a vague CIA translation of the fatwa, the numerous wrestlers mentioned by name include The Original Sheik, The Iron Sheik, General Adnan, Colonel Mustafa, The Sultan, Sabu, Sheik Abdul Bashir, and recent WWE Superstar Muhammad Hassan.

“They claim these performers have made a mockery of their people and their faith,” said one CIA worker. “Personally, however, we don’t see what the big deal is. Sure, Iron Sheik wore curled boots, spit on the American flag, spoke in jibberish, announced how great his country was, and badmouthed America. But don’t most Middle Easterners do that?”

Despite the threat of violence against their Middle Eastern-themed peers, many pro wrestlers are ambivalent or even supportive of the Iranian decree.

“Those un-American pukes never belonged here,” said wrestling legend Sgt Slaughter. “I spent my whole career trying to make the good ol’ US of A safe against pukes like the Iron Sheik. Good to know their own homeland doesn’t care much for them either. Maybe there is hope for those pukes over there after all.”

WWE CEO Vince McMahon was unavailable for comment.