Thursday, July 10, 2008


Pennsylvania: land of the free and home of the brave.  Or more so, the home of the Amish.  Or is it?  I think I learned in Speech this past semester that accolade actually belongs to Ohio.  Oh well.  Are you gonna call me on that?  Good.  Let us move along then.

I’m in this second-place Amish land visiting the Jacster.  It’s definitely nice to get out of New York for a few days.  Hilariously, I stepped off the bus in Philly, as the natives call it, and exhaled, “Ahh…fresh air.” I guess it's not that hilarious.  Hey, I don’t know any better at this point.  In the words of NBC, it’s new to you.  Not to sound like a poser, but downtown Philly looked so…puny.  I mean, I felt like I could’ve walked that downtown in no time flat.  That is if I hadn’t worn my crapped-out Vans with no socks.  Man, I do sound like a poser.

So what do I want to talk about today?  Heck, I don’t know.  Let’s just Zeppelin this baby up and ramble on.  See?  We got all sorts of surprises cause I’m not even a Zeppelin fan.  But I guess you don’t have to be a fan to reference something.  I’m not too fond of NBC for canceling the excellent Freaks & Geeks.  Granted that was eight years ago and I just only watched the series very recently, but still I am bitter.  We’re all still bitter at Hitler, right?  Should be.  What a great segue. 

If you have never seen Freaks & Geeks, what are you waiting for?  The series is on DVD and it’s easy to consume; only 18 episodes of pure nostalgia.  What works for the show is that the setting merely complements the show.  The show is set in 1980, but the storylines are timeless:  growing up confused, trying to fit in, and learning life the hard way through bad experiences.  And it helps that the soundtrack is absolutely killer with heavy hitters such as Rush, Van Halen, & The Who.  Actually, an entire episode is based around our heroine, Lindsay Weir, and her gang trying to get to a Who concert unscathed by parents.  One aspect of the show I love is the two main characters, Lindsey and her brother Sam, are the same age difference as my sister and I.  I get ever so nostalgic when I see them two interact the same way my sister and I did when we still lived at home.  You can’t help but watch the show and smile.

The people involved with the show are like a who’s who of stars making it big presently.  There’s Executive Producer Judd Apatow, comedy’s go-to guy right now; creator Paul Feig who tangled himself in Arrested Development & The Office; plus producer Victor Hsu who also got his development arrested also.  Jake Kasdan, Walk Hard & Orange County, directed several episodes too.  Check out in front of the camera too.  James Franco plays the cool slacker but he’s also a nice guy and smart but just not at schoolwork.  Jason Siegel of Sarah Marshall fame is Lindsay’s love interest.  Comedy wunderkind Seth Rogen plays a cronie in the “freaks” crowd.  Finally, Linda Cardellini, who is now on ER and *cough* played Velma in the Scooby Doo franchise *cough*, is an incredible actress and knocks Lindsay out of the park.  The real gem of the series is Martin Starr who plays “geek” Bill Haverchuck.  I guarantee that you’ll laugh everytime the kid opens his mouth.  Again, this is way too long of a plug, but you will love this show.

Enough T.V.  Let’s move on to music.

You like 70s stoner rock?  Of course you do.  Why else did you get excited at the Zeppelin reference back there?  Black Mountain is the band for you.  They’ve got soaring vocals, chugging fuzzed-out riffs, and enough organs to make Chris Martin uneasy.  Their 17-minute “Bright Lights” off the sophomore effort In The Future will knock your socks off.  I’m talking minutes long chill-out followed by a bust out that makes “Won’t Get Fooled Again” cry to its momma.  C’mon, Keith Moon gives that one away.  I dare you to not like Black Mountain.  If you like any shred of 70s classic rock, you’ll back away from that dare. 

Next up, we have The [Freak]ing Champs”.  Yeah, I have to censor that one.  Here’s what’s bizarre and a nice life lesson: what kind of music do you think a band with a name as crude as that makes?  Pop-punk?  Thrash?  Nope.  Try intrumental indie...wait for it...prog.  Can you believe it?  See kids, you can’t cast one-off judgments.  The name might be intimidating, but the music is even more so.  By intimidating, I mean stellar.  Check out the album VI. 

Finally, Takka Takka’s Migration isn’t out until July 29th but you can track down some...uh…tracks on blogs.  I highly recommend you do that.  Their music is like the music you dream about.  Let me explain that despite what it obviously seems to mean:  When you have dream with a song in it, you never remember quite what it’s like except that it was awesome.  Well, Migration kind of feels like that on first listen.  It takes more than one go-round for sure but go-rounds you will wish to make. 

And so with that, get on to migrating, baby birds.  Ahh…another great segue.  Except that I’m done. 


- Chase

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