Friday.

It’s hard to explain “Friday” to those of you who don’t live on the Internet for hours a day, but I’ll try:

About a week ago — last Friday, I think — a teenage singer named Rebecca Black released a YouTube video of herself singing a ghastly pop song called “Friday.” Actually, she didn’t release it; Ark Music Factory did. Ark is a vanity pop-music house, where well-to-do parents pay healthy-but-not-outrageous sums to have their little girls immortalized as pop singers. Black’s parents admit to paying $2,000. I think we can all agree that money would have been better-off in her college account, but it appears they got what they paid for.

I saw “Friday” for the first time last weekend, when the official video was at 13,000 views or so. It’s now closing in on 16 million, if that tells you anything. The song is catchy but atrocious — Black autotuned to a fare-thee-well, the lyrics brain-damaged:

Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday
Today i-is Friday, Friday (Partyin’)
We-we-we so excited
We so excited
We gonna have a ball today
Tomorrow is Saturday
And Sunday comes after … wards
I don’t want this weekend to end

It was one big fat juicy trollbait for the whole internet, which roared its approval, delivering parodies, rants, remixes and the like. All in a week! And despite Black’s whining in her Daily Beast interview — “it feels like I’m being cyberbullied” — I think we can all agree she wouldn’t be on “Good Morning America” otherwise, so she maybe should chill. Also, wipe off about 70 percent of that makeup. You’re 13!

Over the years I’ve enjoyed other stories of vanity-publishing fame, my favorite being that of John Trubee. I howled with laughter, reading his essay in Spin, about how working the overnight shift at a convenience store had made him insane, so much so that he ripped an ad from the back of one of the tabloids he was selling at 3 a.m., scribbled some angry lyrics and sent them off to a company in Nashville offering professional analysis of your song, hoping he’d get a reply saying he was sick and needed to see a psychiatrist. The chorus ran:

Stevie Wonder’s penis is erect because he’s blind,

repeated several times.

Instead, he was told his song had huge potential, and that for $79.95, they’d cut a demo for him. He sent the money, they did (changing the chorus from “Stevie Wonder” to “a blind man”), and the song became an underground sensation. Oh look, here’s the essay. Oh look, here’s a bouquet of links about the whole story.

Some years after that, an editor tossed a column idea on my desk — a traveling company was passing through town, seeking singing talent for possible development by country-music industry starmakers. They agreed to let me watch the “auditions,” and it was clear from the start the whole thing was a scam. They were offering to make, for a fee, a “professionally produced video” that would screen on local Nashville television, potentially reaching the A&R men, agents, managers and others who were always on the lookout for the next cowboy hat.

Those who’ve seen “American Idol” know what the auditions were like, each singer worse than the last. And yet, all but one were offered the deal: Travel to Nashville at your own expense, pay $600 or so for the video production costs, await stardom. The only one who wasn’t invited was, ironically, the best singer by far. She also had some sort of skeletal birth defect that confined her to a wheelchair in a semi-reclining position, although that didn’t stop her from winning karaoke contests all over town.

Once I got the outlines of the arrangement, I went back to the office and called one of the Nashville newspapers. I asked where channel 56 was on the cable dial, and what time “Country Music Star Search” ran. Answer: It was a public-access channel, and the middle of the night. Then I called the singers who were already packing their bags and told them. To the last one, they all said it didn’t make any difference, that you had to spend money to make your dreams come true, and went back to gassing up the car.

I came away with more respect for the producers, who at least drew the line at taking money from a disabled woman, than for the idiots who thought they were the next Garth Brooks. Six hundred bucks isn’t so much to pay for a reality check.

How to wrap up? How about with this gallery of other Ark Music Factory product? I recommend CJ Fam’s “Ordinary Pop Star.”

Let’s keep all the bloggage light today, shall we? It’s Friday, after all:

Those of you who thought “The Player” was the last word in Hollywood bullshit will be pleased to know the bar has been raised yet again: The “Red Dawn” remake, shot in Detroit last year or the year before (can’t remember), is being digitally revised, to change the villains from Chinese to North Koreans.

Michigan’s new attorney general loves Michigan’s new attorney general.

Just what America needs: Another “Charlie’s Angels” remake.

Happy Friday, happy weekend, all. I’m outta here.

Posted at 9:44 am in Popculch |
 

65 responses to “Friday.”

  1. Dave said on March 18, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Friday on my Mind, The Easybeats, Australians, circa 1966. Probably a better song, everything old is new again.

  2. basset said on March 18, 2011 at 10:17 am

    been in Nashville since 1985, have a few friends in the music business but no connection to it myself.

    that arrangement is common, and some of the stuff on access tv here is just about beyond belief.

    where you see the really pitiful cases, though, is at “writer’s nights.” anyplace with a stage or more than three chairs will allow, often charge, songwriters to come in and perform their work for the big-time agents and publishers who are sure to be there and will recognize the writers’ talent and sign them the second they finish playing.

    at the top end, in a very few clubs, the agents and publishers might actually be present and the writers will have done songs you know. just about everywhere else… not so much.

    actually a lot of songs are written to order, driven by market research. producers will advertise that they’re looking for a song with specific characteristics (say, 2 1/2 minutes or less, mid-tempo, for a female artist, about a breakup but don’t mention cheating, target audience females 18-34) and writers or their agents will either pitch an existing song or write it.

    which is one reason why country music gets less human every minute.

  3. brian stouder said on March 18, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Well, I’m reconciled with my inescapable plainness; in fact, as I get older* plainness looks like a better blessing than exceptionalism (of one sort or another).

    One thing that sticks in my brain is the time Johnny Carson sang Midnight Cowboy. That (spectacularly cringe-worthy) spectacle captured something.

    Johnny said he always admired people who could sing

    *fast approaching an “ends-in-zero” birthday

  4. prospero said on March 18, 2011 at 11:19 am

    So somebody had to do it. I’m interested in opinions on the NYT paywall decision. We get paid Sunday delivery, and they’ve been gracious enough to count that as sufficient for unlimited on-line access.

    Poetry.com? Seriously? The poems remmed me of the all-time great Letterman bit, the German Shepherd film with the poetic voice-over: “Oh, when will the folks with the food arrive.” And if anybody knows where that is on the net, I’d be very grateful.

    Here’s what they tell you when you are selected for publication:

    Your poem has been selected for publication because of its unique perspective and artistic vision. We believe it will add to the importance and appeal of this edition of Patterns of Life.”

    Whee doggies!

    I’m under no obligation to purchase a copy. To this day, I wonder where to find a copy to see if I’m actually in it.

  5. LAMary said on March 18, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Rebecca Black’s voice or whatever you call it now that it’s be autotuned beyond recognition is really annoying. It’s electronically nasal. Her parents must really think she’s the shit. I think she needs adenoid surgery and a good talking to about fastening her seatbelt.

  6. Julie Robinson said on March 18, 2011 at 11:39 am

    It reminds me of the letters sent to parents of high school seniors announcing their inclusion in Who’s Who in High School or other such nonsense books. “It’s such an honor, and only a hew hundred will be in it, congratulations for raising such a sterling child, blah, blah, blah. Oh, did you want a copy? You may purchase one for the bargain cost of only $75, and don’t you think grandma and grandpa would want one too? By the way, those are just leatherette covers, but for only $50 more you may purchase the premium leather edition.”

    We saw the American Idol scam from the inside a couple of summers ago when our son decided to audition after the 200th person told him he should. Matt is a better singer than most you see on the show although he is still working on developing stage presence. But he was number 11,800 out of 12,000 at the audition and the judges were (understandably) disengaged by the time he got to sing.

    In the meantime he took two days off work, drove to Chicago where at least he could stay with his sister instead of paying for a hotel, paid $24 each day to park at the United Center, bought their overpriced concessions since none were allowed to be carried in, etc.

    Yet, there is Justin Bieber who owes his career to Youtube. And there is Rebecca Black being interviewed on GMA and pleading with Justin to sing a duet with her. Go figure.

  7. prospero said on March 18, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Whew. I listened to about 10 seconds of that horsepuckey. The Easybeats are rolling over in their graves. Any of those guys still living should sue the shit out of anybody involved in the current atrocity.

  8. paddyo' said on March 18, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Red Dawn remake? Oh, great. I wonder if the digital revisions include making all the evil invaders look just like the Dear Leader himself?

    As long as they’re at it, why not include the real ghost of Patrick Swayze? Maybe in a scene with a cameo by Lea Thompson? Involving, oh, I dunno, how about a pottery wheel?

  9. Jeff Borden said on March 18, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I still believe the original “Red Dawn” is one of the greatest comedies ever filmed. From the boys peeing into the radiator of Swayze’s pickup truck, to the boys drinking a steaming mug of deer’s blood, to Harry Dean Stanton croaking “Avenge me,” to high school girl Lea Thompson boning grizzed air force fighter pilot Powers Boothe, to the descriptions of the citizens of Denver turning to cannibalism, to the always hilarious scenery chewing of William Smith as the ass-kicking Russky, it is a cavalcade of delights and not to be missed.

    There’s a reference to “Red Dawn” in “Hot Tub Time Machine,” which I saw at a sneak preview last winter. The fratboy, jockboy types who hate our heroes are big fans of the film.

  10. coozledad said on March 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Country music was fine before the jock-rockers hollowed it out and turned it into Stones inflected songs about “Ain’t it good to have a dick? Daddy had one.” Or conversely, “Strong woman gone get herself a dick and kick some ass. In a truck. Cause she’s daddy’s girl.”
    I used to think Carl Smith was second rate until I had to spend time at Tractor Supply listening to Brown Sugar recast as a song about dumpy white people who may be stupid, but Lord, they’ve got pride, and they’ll team up like a pack of dogs to kick your ass.
    Now I think of Carl as similar in stature to one of the war poets. Rupert Brooke, maybe.

  11. David Klein said on March 18, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Well, to really hear the “Friday” song, you need to hear Bob Dylan singing it (ok, not really Dylan, but a truly excellent parody): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FISHEO3gsM. And the comments are pretty funny too.

    And on Red Dawn remake: What Mr. Borden said.

  12. Joe Kobiela said on March 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Try a little Ray Wylie Hubbard or the Stone Coyotes or Kathleen Edwards or Hank Williams the 3rd, there is still great country out there you just have to look a little harder.
    Pilot Joe

  13. deb said on March 18, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    One of my kids pointed me to the “Friday” video the other day, and then I couldn’t get the stupid thing out of my head. It has terrible earworm potential, which is about the only thing it’s got going for it. Be warned.

    If anybody deserves a real music career out of this, it’s the rapper who inexplicably shows up near the end.

  14. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 18, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Re: “Friday” courtesy of Lord Voldemort — http://twitpic.com/4ak4bi

  15. Bitter Scribe said on March 18, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Gawd, that was funny about the “Red Dawn” remake and the North Koreans. This is the same North Korea that has to beg for food from the people it bombs, correct?

    I happened to see the original “Red Dawn” in a theater because I was unlucky enough to be working as a movie critic at the time. What a piece of garbage. It shamelessly pandered to every paranoid right-wing fear. In one scene, there’s a closeup of a bumper sticker that says “You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers,” then pulls back to show them doing just that.

    As for switching the villain, a similar thing happened a couple of years ago with “Master and Commander,” starring Russell Crowe. In the book, the British commander was hunting an American enemy ship; in the movie, it’s French. Of course, they were smart enough to make the change before they started shooting.

  16. moe99 said on March 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Rep Anthony Weiner gets it right:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJFivQYjC-Q&feature=player_embedded

    Mock the Republicans. Greatly mock them.

  17. Little Bird said on March 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    If you think “Friday” was bad, check out “My Jeans”. It’s considerably worse. I remember when some malls had these booths where you could “record a single”. It was a cassette tape, two songs (both sides). The majority of their customers were teenage girls. I know some girls that were good enough that the owners of the booth allowed them to make a full album. By allowed to make, I’m sure it was charged them a hundred times as much. Surprisingly, they were pretty good.

  18. Little Bird said on March 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    I just found this http://thedailywh.at/2011/03/18/so-this-happened-of-the-day-martin-rivas-covers-rebecca-black/ “Friday” has now actually made money to help the people in Japan.

  19. beb said on March 18, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Red Dawn? I’m still waiting for a remake of “Barbrella.” Sadly, it’s in the hands of Robert Rodriguez. he of “Grindhouse” infamous so I’m not too optimistic about wanting to watch his remake of the film. Because where are they going to find a girl as cute as Jane Fonda was who could go the length of the movie pretending not to know how insufferable cute she was?

    The Rebbecca Black story is a fraud in that she wanted publicity and she got it. She wasn’t looking for respect and she’ll never get that. It minds me of a story in this morning’s Free Press. Apparently Vanessa Hudgens’s gmail account was hacked and various nude photos of herself were once again stolen. Now she has the FBI looking into matters. You would think that after the first time she would have learned the bitter lesson to not take nude pictures of her self. Or at least not to send them to “friends” or store them on her gmail account where these can be accessed by any hacker.

    As for the re-edit of Red Dawn, instead of trying to pick one nation to piss off so they won’t piss off another, why no eliminate nations entirely and have America invaded by Mexican drug lords. Everyone hates them, right. No nation would be offended if they got wiped out, right?

  20. paddyo' said on March 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    But Jeff B., at least one citizen of Denver DID turn to cannibalism — well, actually, before he was a citizen of Denver. Alferd Packer, the famed “Colorado cannibal” convicted of killing and eating five of Hinsdale County’s seven Democrats over the difficult winter of 1873-74, became a security guard at my old paper, The Denver Post, in 1901 after getting out of prison. He’s buried in Littleton — yeah, the Columbine HS suburb.
    BTW, the student cafeteria at the U. of Colorado-Boulder is still named for him: The Alferd G. Packer Restaurant & Grill.
    Mmm, campus food . . .

  21. Michael said on March 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    I blame the Black-Eyed Peas. How is this appreciably worse than “I Got a Feeling?”

  22. Kirk said on March 18, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Joe K.,
    You are so right. There is good country music being made; you just won’t hear it on mainstream “country” radio. Urban, Paisley, McGraw, Adkins, Clarkson and all that other crap is bogus pop music. You have to look a little harder.

  23. basset said on March 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Country music, like stock car racing, was a lot more fun when it was by and for rednecks.

    Don’t think I’ll look at this “Friday,” just the description scares me.

  24. John G. Wallace said on March 18, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    In some ways the North Koreans are not as backwards as people think. They build decent rockets, could possibly launch a satellite, and for a country with no public connections to the internet they have long focused on cyber war. If you subtract their devotion to the Great Leader and Dear Leader they have one of the best educated and literate populations on earth.

    Both the Chinese and South Koreans are interested in a regime change, and reunification of the Korean people would be less difficult than when Germany was reunified. Wireless technology is easier to implement than the older technology in East Germany. In terms of Red Dawn redux they simply don’t have the transports, and combat aircraft, or the supply lines capable of invading the U.S. They do have the ability to level Seoul using conventional weapons.

    I happen to think the Korean people generally look different from the Chinese, and their language is lyrical, easier to comprehend based on context, and sounds vastly different from Mandarin Chinese. The idea of a remake set in Detroit pushes credibility no matter who invades. It could be an improvement for the city with better services, more jobs, and safer streets.

  25. Michael said on March 18, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Um, as a guitarist myself, don’t short Urban or (especially) Paisley. That kid can blow!

  26. Bob (not Greene) said on March 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Agree with Joe K. and Kirk on country music. Check out Wayne Hancock, Dale Watson, Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys, The Lucky Stars (well, Big Sandy and the Lucky Stars are more Western than country), Deke Dickerson, Jesse Dayton and Billy Joe Shaver (still alive and kicking).

  27. Dexter said on March 18, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    I offer “50 Tyson” as an antidote. If you haven’t heard this, why, it’s a real treat. And now, from the twin cities of Minnesota, it’s 50 Tyson

    Once about 12 years ago I was sitting in a church basement waiting for others to show up for a noon meeting. I had already brewed a pot of coffee. I heard a stirring and a young man came down the steps. He wasn’t there for the meeting , he was attracted by the coffee fumes as he was waiting for a ride with his thumb out.
    I gave him a cup and he told me he had gone to Nashville on a promise that he was good enough to become a recording star. I don’t recall the details of his story but I bet he got suckered in by this type of scam. He carried a small grip and his guitar case and said he was hitchhiking back home to Downriver Detroit, so he was already 90% of the way home. The others showed up for the meeting and the kid thanked me for the joe, and I handed him $5 in case he got stuck waiting for his last couple rides.

  28. DellaDash said on March 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I have no idea how effective petitions are, but if anyone else around here wants to protest the House vote to deny federal funding to NPR, here’s the link:

    http://pol.moveon.org/nprpbs/?r_by=-18171447-nSqBczx&rc=mailto

  29. Kirk said on March 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Don’t mean to say that some of these people can’t play or sing, Michael, just that what they’re playing and singing isn’t very interesting. Faith Hill has a wonderful voice, but the music that makes her millions doesn’t inspire me much.

  30. DellaDash said on March 18, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I’ve only been in Nashville for the blink of an eye, (compared to Basset), but much of its appeal is the embarrassment of musical riches.

    My landlady, living downstairs, was a basoonist with the Nashville symphony, and that haunting woodwind often accompanies quiet days at home.

    My landlord, her husband, is a jazz afficionado, and has tuned me into the thriving local community.

    This is a veritable mecca for studio musicians…for every church in this buckle of the bible belt, there’s a recording studio…and I’ve been told that it’s the only place in the world where a musician can make a 9-5 living (rather than tours, gigs, and nightlife).

    I mentioned once before that my BFF here is a songbird. Like most other singer-songwriters in this river town, she works several diverse jobs to keep her head above water. It was helpful that, through local contacts, she got the gig singing backup with Peggy Young and Emmy Lou Harris for Neil Young in Jonathan Demme’s documentary ‘Heart of Gold’, filmed at the historic Ryman Auditorium (the original Grand Ole Opry). Since then, she (Diana), has been on Conan, and Saturday Night Live…and Neil has shipped her out to California to do the annual benefit he does for his (autistic?) son’s school (I think it’s called Bridgeport, would look it up but am on a limited lunch break); as well as to perform Farm Aid with him and Willie and the gang. She spurns my interest in ‘Idol’, although a few years ago a song she had written back in the day, was submitted by her co-writer and made one of the top ten, to be chosen by popular vote for the finale and first recording by the winner. We all voted online, although the song was pure tripe…maybe more tripey than some and less than others. It didn’t win, but was an avenue for pitching some of her good songs.

    It’s fun to watch the complimentary SAG (she had to join to be in ‘Heart of Gold’) movies she gets every year ‘for her consideration’…(that’s how I watched ‘The Social Network’ and ‘The King’s Speech’)…and to hear her stories about hanging out with Neil and co…but most of all to hear her when she breaks out in snippets of song during the course of casual conversation, or to go to local venues, like the Bluebird Cafe, and take in a live performance.

    Oh yeah…Miranda Lambert came out of ‘Nashville Star’…not a winner, but a contender.

  31. ac jones said on March 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    I love NPR but I just don’t see the justification for public funding. On “Meet the Press” Sunday, Chuck Todd asked Michelle Norris (sometimes NPR/PBS reporter) why NPR should receive taxpayer money. Her answer was basically, “because we need it.” There was no reference to national interest at all. Maybe you all know a better reason.

  32. Deborah said on March 18, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    While on vacation here in NM we have watched True Grit and The King’s Speech that a friend of Little Bird’s got through SAG connections. A friend of mine at work has a wife who’s a SAG member and he said they got 83 movies to watch for consideration. By the way True Grit was excellent. Parts of it were filmed not far from where we are now.
    I also meant to mention that I’m reading Major Pettigrew from all your recommendations and am very much enjoying it. I bought it through iTunes and I’m reading it on my iPad. I only wish I could read it while outside sitting in the sun once in awhile.

  33. DellaDash said on March 18, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    SAG tried to go green this year, and several movies for consideration were only available by tricky, difficult…well almost impossible…download.

  34. nancy said on March 18, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    I did a story on the members of the motion-picture academy here in the D, and I think one said you needed a special DVD player (to prevent piracy), because the discs were coded to a different standard.

    But that was OK, because the academy provided one of them free to every member. Some day I want to be rich enough that I achieve the “never have to pay for anything” standard.

  35. DellaDash said on March 18, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    The complimentary SAG DVDs I’ve watched have a warning banner on them…something like ‘this is exclusive and not available for reproduction’…so maybe you’d have to have a special player if you were planning on ripping and burning

  36. Little Bird said on March 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Della, you need a special program to sidestep the security measures. And my friend who gets the movies apparently has that program. But you do have to have a relatively new(ish) DVD player. Or one that will play disks from any country.
    My friend does not sell the movies he gets. To my knowledge. He didn’t charge me for the four movies he burned for me.

  37. MichaelG said on March 18, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    After UCLA did their best to give it away to MSU last night I ended up pawing through YouTube listening to old music, smoking a cigar and drinking a couple of glasses of wine. Among other things I watched and heard several Joan Baez songs. It’d been a while and I had forgotten how great she is and what a stunningly beautiful woman she is even now at 70. Then today I watched Rebecca Black.

  38. Kirk said on March 18, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Having faith in the generally good judgment of posters hereabouts, I think I’ll manage to slog through life never having heard or seen Rebecca Black.

  39. coozledad said on March 18, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Ferlin Husky’s dead. You can’t scare up enough bipolar country musicians to fill the vestibule at the Ruritan hall any more. My uncle Edward would have listened to a lot of this while he drove trucks for Pilot freight carriers from the late 40’s to his retirement in the late 70’s. He was the only member of my family my wife took a shine to. He could be a Nixonian racist sometimes, and drank to spite his extended family, but when his kids started experimenting with drugs, he always demanded a sample for evaluation before he delivered his judgement.
    On marijuana: “Hell. If that’s all this shit does, you’re wasting your money. I’ll buy you some goddamn liquor.”
    On LSD: “You need to park that goddamn Volkswagen if you’re going to eat this. Who you get this from?”
    Speed: “This shit’ll kill you deader than hell. I still have palpitations.”

    He’s the only one of them I’ll miss

  40. brian stouder said on March 18, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Kirk (and Basset) – agreed.

    This evening, after the school carnival ended (big fun, lots of very nice photos in the camera) Grant and I hopped in the car and began our drive home in silence; asked him what was the matter; more silence (mom and the girls were in the minivan – separate mission to deliver Shelby to a friend’s house)….so, I popped in the Johnny Cash cd, and I suspect he enjoyed it as much as I did.

    His music is remarkable for it’s essential simplicity; and there’s a pleasant bit of mid-20th century American sensibilities. Trains are ever-present, both in the lyrics and in the catchy guitar rhythms (boom-baba-boom-baba-boom). His music is always evocative and affecting.

    And when we got home, I got (at least a portion of) the story, and all is well. Hey porter, indeed!

  41. Dexter said on March 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Jesus Christ. These goddam first and second round 16-1 seeded games are a joke. Boring as hell, as Seth Davis said a minute ago, “glorified scrimmages”, and I can’t bear to watch them.
    Some of the 8-9 games and even wider-gap seeded games have been good, very good, but every damn time I see Duke beating Hampton or some place like that , doubling the score on the little fellows, I think back to when Bob Knight railed against the expansion from 32 teams , decades ago.
    Knight was recently interviewed for a cable show, and he told why he has always been against the 3-point shot, how it changed the flow of the game , cut down on the screening and the pick and roll maneuvers, a change for the worse, in his mind.
    SO now there are 68 teams in the NCAA basketball tourney, and I find myself wishing for a totally blind draw, pairing teams by selecting opponents with ping pong balls in a vacuum tube, a basketball lottery. Let the big boys knock each other early for once, and give a Cinderella her due sometimes.
    After all, had Gordon Hayward’s final shot went in in 2010, it would have been the greatest finish in world sports history, in any sport, no competition.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdMUfuCfUB8&feature=related

  42. Kirk said on March 18, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    And hooray yesterday for Morehead State, sending Rick Pitino home early to screw more women in restaurant booths.

  43. MarkH said on March 18, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    I’m with Kirk @38. Also with Cooze @39 (last line). Smith is highly underappreciated. All this classic country talk takes me back to when I jocked country (part-time) at WHOK-FM in Lancaster, ’76-’78. The little white building on the hill just outside town, remember, Nancy & JC? I was there when you drove by on your way back and forth to Athens.

    Meantime, I recommend Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys; check it out:

    http://www.amazon.com/Spectacular-Sadness-Hobart-Misery-Boys/dp/B00004XSOX

  44. Kirk said on March 18, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Rex Hobart is mighty fine. If you like honky-tonkin’, I’d also suggest the Lucky Tomblin Band. Thankfully, WHOK-FM at least plays “classic country” instead of the newest junk these days.

  45. MarkH said on March 19, 2011 at 12:24 am

    I wasn’t sure they played any of that these days, Kirk. They’re still K-95, aren’t they? Not even in Lancaster anymore, really. Thanks for the Tomblin tip.

  46. moe99 said on March 19, 2011 at 12:49 am

    I enjoyed the Washington/Georgia game. But the Huskies are going to be bounced outta there Sunday by North Carolina.

  47. Dexter said on March 19, 2011 at 12:56 am

    I heard a radio report from SXSW today…things are rockin’ in Austin this weekend.
    And here’s a little mini-doc on Hayes Carll.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=susjcXPF2e4
    “Kiss My Ass Guys You’re On Your Own”

  48. Rana said on March 19, 2011 at 2:01 am

    ac jones, because it’s nice to have at least one news radio station that isn’t beholden to advertisers, and which is able to serve small, rural populations that would otherwise be ignored (because they are not money-makers).

    In a previous generation, we understood that things like this were a public good.

  49. prospero said on March 19, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Amen, Rana. These bastards are looking to turn radio licences over to ClearChannel. This is pretty much like licensing mass hypnotization. Bad music, way bad politics. Or good if you want Fox drones to keep feeding cash upwards. They Live. What in hell is wrong with people? Their wealth is being transported to obscenely wealthy people and they seem too stupid to realize it. In fact, if ClearChannel has its way, It”ll be Don’t Stop Beeieving 24/7 In fact, they think it’s some great triumph over the gubmint. Frogs in a big pot of boiling water. Dumb as you can possibly get. What exactly is South Detroit? What horrible music. What a crock of crap lyrics.

    Calm down Dexter. Most of the games were nailbiters. My team lost, after mounting a challenge, late. Trey Thommpkins is arguably the best player in the college game, and he’s out. I think that’s a decent argument for him to come back for senior year, after a super game, and bring Travis Leslie back with him, Travis can almost literally jump out of the gym, he might be Jackie Dorsey redux I realize I won’t get those players back, but they stayed for a while.

  50. prospero said on March 19, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Clearchannelfuck dat. will be all that’s left and that is forcefeeding mass stupidity. We live in Hilton Head Island, a rich area, If we’re left without NPR, we’ll be left with ClearChannell, which is basically Bozo.

  51. DellaDash said on March 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    In my rush, I neglected to mention that PBS is also to be denied funding.

    I’ve been stumped by the magnitude of my own selfishness to be able to put forth a coherent argument for funding justification, but let me chime in with Rana and Prospero, as a member of the taxpaying public who’s been forced to chip in on war games I bitterly resent…I don’t need or want my daily dose of NPR/PBS, I just gotta have it!

  52. prospero said on March 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Rebecca’s from Orange County. What a surprise. This is another disgusting attempt at using your kid to get on TV.

    And Rana, could we all recall that Obama put the deficit on the map, after Dickless said it didn’t matter, by actually being an adult and counting the two invasions and occupations. Those were both off the books when W was the Scalia-Pretzeldent. How did that effect the budget? These people are the biggest liars ever. NPR $5million. Nascar more. How much does it cost to fly Blue Angels ofer sporting events? To what end? They just despise truth, or even anybody being reasonable reporting news, instead of spewing Republican bullshit.

    Some of you more savvy than I, I know including the costs of the invasions affected the deficit, but how and how much? PNAC boondoggle in Iraq put huge bucks in Cheney’s pockets, without a doubt. Palettes of cash in Blackwater hands just disappeared. &17bill. Who’s gottem? Cheney does. Why is this asshole not tried for warcrimes? Cunts are still running the world. And I don’t think Jarvis means cunts in the ageold sense. I believe he means despicable excuses for humanity. If somebody could pooint out a Republican politician that doesn’t fit the bill, other than Dick Lugar, let’s hear it. These people put the scum in scumbags. This is the party of Dan Burton and Newt.And am I the only person in the world that doesn’t think the improvement isn’t really better on Exiles? Makes the keith guitar better, Makes the vocal a bit better, Otherwise, what is the point?
    who could actually be that fucking stupid?
    We live in Hilton Head Island.So moat of us vote Republican, or we don’t, we get bundled in with the idiots that live in the Pulte Subdivision on the other side of the bridge that calls itself Hilton Head when it isn’t, though we despise it. It’s a Pulte subdivision. And anybody that suggests differently is suggesting Keef is sober..

  53. MichaelG said on March 19, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Count me in with the NPR and PBS fans even though the smug, self righteous fund raisers on Channel 6 make my teeth hurt during their everlasting begging sessions. I love KXJZ, the local NPR station.

    Also, a lot of NPR stations are associated with librul colletches.

  54. prospero said on March 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    The public stations play far and away the best music on the airwaves. Otherwise, we-ve got ClearChannel and BilielJoels every hour, And Lord that sucks.

  55. MarkH said on March 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Could we all just chill out on this whole NPR funding thing? Even if the unlikely were to happen, do any of you honestly think public broadcasting will go out of business? It won’t affect things much. Read this from a solid source:

    http://hubbub.wbur.org/2010/10/22/npr-funding

    The house will undoubtedly succeed in this vote, but the senate won’t have it and I’m sure Obama will have something to say about it. The Joan Krocs of the world will abide.

    For the record, this center-right guy enjoys the hell out of outstanding Wyoming Public Radio. Broadcasting from the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie to 23 translators throughout the state, they do a great job supplementing NPR with solid coverage of state-wide issues.

  56. Jeff Borden said on March 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    I have no real dog in the NPR fight but it is typical of right-wing thinking these days. They campaigned on economic reform and job creation and all they’ve done so far is target Planned Parenthood and NPR — typical conservative shibboleths.

    There’s a genuinely disturbing bill sailing through the House which, of course, will be killed in the Senate, but it eventually would require IRS auditors to determine how people paid for an abortion to ensure no federal dollars were used.

    That’s my idea of small government, all right. Requiring taxpayers to furnish receipts for abortions lest an IRS man come knocking at the door.

    I need to borrow a bulldozer. Every time I think Republicans have hit rock bottom, they burrow even lower. I can barely keep up.

  57. DellaDash said on March 19, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    You’re right, MarkH. I’m chillin. It’s a tempest in a tea(party)cup.

    Hayes Carll rocks, Dex!

  58. Dexter said on March 20, 2011 at 1:04 am

    I watched as much of March madness as I could, hours in front of the big mesmerizing hi-def today, lost in basketball wonderment, as we were into round two and the games were much better.
    Butler University. Who would have thought that Butler University would be one of the three schools from the state of Indiana that are just all-the-buzz. Former king, Indiana University at Bloomington, now is the worst team in the state, out of 12 Division One schools, IU, dead last in basketball stats.

    Last night it happened again. Pittsburgh, #1 seed, picked by most to make it to the Final Four, loses to little Butler in an ending so freakish that you just have to watch it to understand what I mean. The Butler Bulldogs. God bless you for all you do on the basketball courts of America.

  59. Dexter said on March 20, 2011 at 1:09 am

    DellaDash— The first song I heard by Hayes Carll was the one about him vowing to kick Jesus’s ass for capturing the heart of his girl friend, and I have been hooked ever since.
    Almost all my life I hated the old country music, but the last ten years or so I have become a real fan of classic country and especially new artists from the alt-country field like Hayes Carll and Ryan Bingham.

  60. michael said on March 20, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Butler may not be as well-known as IU, but three years ago the Bulldogs were judged to have the best recruiting class in the country. Their success is not so much an unforeseeable miracle as a parable for our own superficial knowledge that can be easily manipulated into a pre-existing narrative.

  61. michael said on March 20, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Oh, and on the NPR/PBS/CPR tip, no, we can’t let it rest. If we do, the barbarians will keep battering it until it collapses. In my metro area of 250,000, the only decent listening options are a tiny, barely-audible community station, and the NPR affiliate. The local music programming is amazing. For people like my parents, who have neither cable nor satellite, the three digital PBS feeds are a blessing. Also, to second someone upthread, they spent my money on two wars I opposed vociferously, they can throw a few shekels at NPR.

  62. Connie said on March 20, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Yes to Butler. They got all my money and they got my heart. The two games so far this year and every game in the NCAAs last year are what I call heart attack games. Last second every time. Last night’s game was unbelievable. My Butler grad may be an IU student but we both will root for Butler, probably for the rest of our lives.

  63. MarkH said on March 20, 2011 at 10:23 am

    You’re too much of a pessimist, michael. People like you, me and others will keep donating and the sponsorhips will continue. Who’s going to keep that from happening?

  64. MarkH said on March 20, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Yes, Dexter, bizarre is about to the only word to describe my Panthers’ fall. Butler flys under the radar very nicely and will again this year. Congrats on your school, Connie!

  65. Brandon said on March 20, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2LG-ASco6o

    Red Dawn was shown countless times on HBO the summer of 1985 when I was nine. The opening scenes of the paratroopers landing outside a high school, then shooting the teacher who goes to investigate, were frightening.