Friday, December 16, 2011

B-Roy

The sad news came the other day that brandon roy is retiring after five short years. For fans of the trailblazers, this was a very sad day. However, i can't help but feel that this was a sad day for all basketball fans. B-roy was a player from the old school days. Sure he could give you the dunk and the flashy plays. But he preferred the off hand lay-up, the super smooth crossover, or his ever deadly elbow jumper. Anyone who was a fan of basketball was a fan of B-Roy.

But what had an even greater effect than his on-court contributions, was his effect on the fan base. B-Roy led the blazers out of the jailblazer era to where we are now. He single handedly again made the rose garden one of the most feared place for an opposing team to visit. He revived rip city. And it wasn't just the talent that brought the fans back. Zach randolph is a very talented player, but he never attracted the fans like roy. It's the way roy played the game.

I am including a video of what nbatv considers to be the top ten plays of roy's career. I don't agree with the list but i think it does show off his elite athleticism and coldblooded clutchness.





For me personally, here are the top four...



Does anyone realize how hard that is? There's a reason no one has done it since mj.

My third favorite moment i couldn't find a video for. It was the denver game when he hit the winning shot and then blocked carmelo at the buzzer. He could also play defense when he wanted. Here's an unrelated video but still awesome.



Number 2



How many times have you seen a guy hit a game winning shot twice in the last two seconds?

And finally, number 1




This video still gives me goosebumps. And he had no cartilege in his knees! For me personally, he is to date my favorite blazer. I find it hard to put into words how much he meant to me as a fan...He re-energized a fan base and made the blazers relevant again. So for that I say thank you, and Brandon...we'll miss you.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rob Lowe, and the creepiest Youtube comment I've ever seen



My God, he is dripping in perspiration and sex-appeal! I wish he was my father...
sperckensiedoitch 5 months ago

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Serious Question You Guys!

should we take mmmgravy over to the .xxx domain??? i bet we'd get all kinds of extra traffic and we can finally MONETIZE THIS BITCH. start up is 99.99, who wants to front it?? it'll pay for itself by st. paddy's day, I swear. also pat promises lots more half-nudes and quarter-nudes, with AND without smiley faces

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Watch the Throne

this is most of a counterpoint I wrote for Cokemachineglow and never sent



Yeah, dudes seem invigorated by the challenge they’ve set themselves. Recording in the same room, minimal guest spots to ease the glare: listening to them trade the mic is indeed a joy, and a novelty in this age. Jay (of D.O.A) is once again Quixote, trying to resurrect the rap he once owned and loved, and Kayne is his loyal Sancho, playing an adorable, Mr. Me Too hypeman. And in “Lift Off,” Beyonce sounds about as real as Dulcinea, somehow rendered absolutely sexless, as if the child in her womb is already sponging up all the talent. Fucking placentas.

Humor me, fellow readers, in a workmanlike rundown of the album, so we’re all on the same page or at least know specifically where our differences lie. “No Church in the Wild” in an enthralling start, Jay busting out the Gothic imagery he’ll return to so effectively in the equally exciting “Why I Love You” These book-ending epics alone justify the hype, don’t color me ungrateful. But both are neighbors to egregious mistakes: “Lift Off” and “Made in America,” two of the most hollow tracks in either’s oeuvre, gravity sinks best deleted and never spoken of again.

“Otis” is palpable joy, and the video reiterates what a labor of love this experience was. “Niggas in Paris” “That’s My Bitch” and “Gotta Have It” are all fun that we won’t return to often, only to be happily surprised by how well they move.
“New Day” “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Murder to Excellence” mostly work, thanks primarily to Jay’s openness rather than Ye’s bluster. “Who Gon Stop Me” features Yeezy going too far and straight up ruining a track with his Holocaust grandstanding. Jay isn’t much better: yes, Hov, we know this “black strap” of which you speak. That flow was weak the first time, we didn’t need it twice more.

As for the bonus tracks “Illest Motherfucker Alive” is absolutely worth searching out and takes “America’s” place nicely. “Primetime” is good clean sub-“Otis” fun. “H*A*M”(fisted) is a at once trend-hopping and once-ups-man-ship that ends up a mess badly in need of the remix I think we all expected. “The Joy” is more good from Jay, more overdone out of Kayne. Lest you believe me to be a Jay partisan, let me say that this is one of my favorite Hov albums and my least favorite Yeezy album.

So, Watch the Throne is defiantly not-of-the-moment, in thankful juxtaposition to the soulless Luger by way of Miami, and vice versa, sound that’s taken over, an affirmation that two titans can still make smart rap without having to trade mics with up-and-comers or throw Rihanna on a track to get a hit. Apropos of nothing, how much longer do we think Drake’s loyalty will last? I’d rather have Ye in my corner and Jay was wise as always to consolidate his base, re-affirm his ally and trusty lieutenant while simultaneously re-demonstrating his skill and, post-Fantasy, showing who’s still top dog. “Wasn’t I a good king?” Better than good.

mmGravy

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wildwood

Colin Meloy aka Mr. Decemberist wrote a children's/YA book on the premise that Forest Park is a place called Wildwood where weird shit happens. I am going to buy it on the premise that it is for the neighbor kids and then read it first. I sorta wish Colin Meloy would shown up in the video, with Dwight and Sam Adams in the same shot, because I'm sort of suspicious they're all the same person. He also got the Portlandia folks, Fred sporting the SE ubiquitous Mary's Club tee. That shit's streaming on Netflix yall



that's my Stumptown, yo!

ps
dude got a second nytimes writeup today. Share the wealth, man!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Best Podcast


Had I had been a smarter college DJ, I would have just played the Cokemachineglow podcast every week and pretended that I had come up with it. If you wanted to start from scratch and build yourself an amazing taste in music, you could do no better or easier. Shit has carried me through the last week of work. Really need to make that donation I promised those guys....

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

My Favorite Podcast



The PERs-system
Pick a snack
Eat a snack
Rate a snack

Tom Cavanaugh and Michael Ian Black were on my favorite show as a teenager- Ed- so I'm sure half the reason I like it so much is its sort of like unearthing lost episodes of Ed and Phil trapped at a boring day in the bowling alley, eating at the snack bar. But my comedienne friend Angie digs it a lot too, and she never watched the show, so you should give it a try. Got me thru 27 hours of soul-crushing work this summer, at least once per episode making me laugh-snort my mosquitoes all over the place.

What's YOUR favorite podcast?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Worst Book I Ever Read


On the bright side: it *would* make Douggles' stuff seem less pompous in comparison, except he recently decommissioned it. (R.I.P.)

What was the worst book YOU ever read?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Ben's Top 25 (Five^2?) Favorite Albums, Lifetime

These albums are the Jenga-pieces you can't pull without crumbling down the Babel-ish tower of my personal history with, and love of, music. In the descending order of force it would take to pry them from my cold, dead fingers. Or amount I would pay in a post-apocalyptic world for the last vinyl copy. #1 being half my liver.

25. Minor Threat
24. Meat Puppets II
23. The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
22. Nirvana (yeah the posthumous collection. sofuckingsueme)
21. At Dawn

20. Joshua Tree
19. Source Tags and Codes
18. Silent Alarm
17. OK Computer
16. The Moon & Antarctica

15. Funeral
14. Turn on the Bright Lights
13. Either/Or
12. Farm
11. The Creek Drank the Cradle

10. Boys and Girls in America
9. Everybody Knows This is Nowhere
8. Born in the U.S.A.
7. Apologies to the Queen Mary
6. The Meadowlands

5. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
4. The Sunset Tree
3. London Calling
2. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
1. The Glow, Pt. 2

Friday, July 29, 2011

Album of the (Last) Year




This is massively late because I could not distance myself from this album at all. Objectivity was out the window. I had waited for it more excitedly than any album ever- not even sure why.1 I really liked his first four, but all had major faults and none in my personal Top 25.2 The fact that it exceeded my wildest hopes was an unreal experience, a first. So I gave in for months, soundtracking every run, multiple drives, and a fair amount of jobsearching, and then went away from it, for three3 whole weeks. When I came back, I was still rabid. Now, after 2 months and only hearing again the library's Parental Advisory version, I have come to terms with my fanboy impulses and feel like I can contain them.

Just to start my conversation, here are the top five tracks4

Top Five

5. Lost in the World
4. So Appalled
3. Runaway
2. All of the Lights
1. Power

I'm going to restrain myself to bullet-points because I'm most interested in hearing what others think.5

+Pusha-T is fucking ferocious

+Jay's Monster 16 is actually good, after he finishes reading off every monster Wikipedia could find, and his So Appalled set is fire

+Ye shouts out '30 Rock' oh yes

+different exotic fishes!

+Pat texted me: What's your theme song? POWER

+When All of the Lights leaked, it should have been a goddamn national holiday

+Its a new era when hip-hop has better guitars than indie 'rock'

+The interlude between Power and All of the Lights was necessary to prevent brain-explosion manslaughter charges

+Dude flew everyone into Honolulu like a SPECTRE mastermind. Who else is this possessed with perfection? Someday I'm gonna write an essay comparing him to Brian Wilson. (Weezy F is Bob Dylan in this scenario. I think.)

+Dear credited 'handclappers' Ian Allen, Wilson Christopher, Uri Djemal, and Chris Soper: I challenge you all to a clap-off! I should have been the one flown into Hawaii! I'm a great goddamn clapper. Do you know how many standing O's I've started? Sure, I can't keep a beat for more than a minute, but technology can fix that, and the resonance I get is uncanny.



Questions:

Q: Is this a 100% album?
A. No. 'Hell of a Life' veers into the grotesque and 'Blame Game' has limited replayability, regardless at how good Chris Rock is in it. But the interesting question here is, can something be flawed and still perfect, as if its massive ambition can justify a couple slips? Exile on Main St. has "Turd on the Run" after all.

Q: Have we already had the album of the decade?
A: I hope not, but I would be happily surprised if there was a better one.

Q: Can we get much higher?
A: No




1unemployment
2which you'll see soon
3!!!
4the easily offended should replace So Appalled with Gorgeous. or Dark Fantasy. or Devil in a New Dress
5in my mind this is the only thing people want to take about these days, a contradictory pile of empirical evidence notwithstanding

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Top Five Dinosaur Jr. Albums


5. Where You Been
4. Beyond
3. You're Living All Over Me
2. Bug (lost out for Don't)
1. Farm

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Iron+Wine: Kiss Each Other Clean OR Beardos with Golden Pipes: Godfather Edition


Unfortunately professional, like late career Paul Simon1 or something. the Complacency Curse. I feel like producer Brian Deck saves his best stuff for Califone and shuffles his JV ideas off on the too-easy-going Sam Beam, who admittedly, is not firing on all (lyrical) cylinders either. I remember being psyched out of my mind when I thought he and Califone were recording an album together, a la Calexico, but it was only a tour together. Still I hoped he'd picked up some of their strange, original view on Americana, but instead Sam worked with their producer and set his sights on, he proclaimed, 70's FM. Back into that chest-hairy womb2, huh?

Not that I don't enjoy the album; its tailor-made for bleary-eyed Sunday mornings, when you can disappear to do laundry and come back five minutes and pick up right where you left off. "Your Fake Name" has that great slowburning crescendo thing I'm a sucker for and "Tree by the River" is a keeper as well. But most of the rest falls into a Shepherd's Dog B-side no-man's land of mostly unmemorable tunes gussied up with fancy, sort of soulless production. I would LOVE to hear Sam fronting a genuine New Orleans ensemble, but I don't want him singing over a dude in Chicago's idea of what those Dr. John outfits sound like.3 These songs are Rube Golbergs where the eventual goal is to start the next song, forty hamster wheels later.



I put together a little ranking of essential Iron+Wine for the non-converts, and was mildly disturbed to realize most of the songwriting that I love from Sam is nearly ten years old. He had demos for 90% of the songs on these releases back when he sent Creek Drank the Cradle to Sub Pop back in 2002. I'm gonna try not to dwell on that too much.


Top Five Iron+Wine Albums

5. Our Endless Numbered Days
4. Around the Well
3. In The Reins
2. The Sea & the Rhythm/Woman King4
1. The Creek Drank the Cradle


ps
My favorite Sam song, still somehow unreleased:


1pitchfork also used this as a touchstone, but i didn't read them til after i published this
2 shag-carpeted womb might have been a better joke.
3 Big Burned Hand. ugh.
4yes, sonically and chronologically different EPs, but spliced up makes a great album. though i'm not sure i can ever listen to Jezebel again.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Good Better Best Vol. 1

Haven't reviewed any music for awhile. After Scott took his game stratospheric, I've become a little self-conscious of my sophomoric approach. But a Ben can only keep his obnoxious opinions to himself for so long before they must bust free and head home, to the Internet, where they belong.

I am going to test out a hypothesis that albums can be best discussed concurrently, especially when they have something in common. In this case, we're going with a (drumroll please): Beardo's With Golden Pipes Edition. I've had only these three in the car with me for a month. Here is what I think:

Fleet Foxes


Mostly pleasant, Coffeehouse Deluxe stuff: its hard to imagine truly forming an emotional connection to it. There is only one moment of catharsis in Helplessness Blues and of course Robin undercuts it immediately by singing about motherfucking apples in sunshine. Geeesus. He's a good kid, I just wish I could burn his record collection and give him a new one. Also needs to lose the Ben Gibbard Desire to Enunciate Complete Sentences Syndrome. Goddamn Seattle. Still, that moment where he gets some gravel in his throat (The Shrine quarter of that mess of a song) gives me hope.

My Morning Jacket


So this was a Hold Steady record, in that it showcases some new songs that'll sound great live, and then some filler around it. So be it. A great MMJ cut makes my life better and a poor one is still pretty good. Unless its about peanut butter. (Also in the albums-as-excuse-to-tour mindset: Wilco.)Also, the title track might be my favorite MMJ song ever.


Bon Iver



special Godel-Escher-Bach-ian Sub-album breakdown:

Good

Michicant
Wash.
Lisbon, OH


Better

Minnesota
Holocene

Towers (opens like Tom Petty)
Hinnom, TX

Best
Perth
Calgary
Beth/Rest


In the liner notes he thanks Kanye for teaching him to go hard in the studio, and he does. Dude just has better ears than 99% of his peers. He doesn't rest on a 'good-enough' idea, everything is fleshed-out until its perfectly recorded and sounds intuitive, like a song you've always heard. The album is entirely self-possessed and self-assured. It should go without saying, but in our amateur-hour Indie where everyone gets a gold star for not trying, here is a grown man absolutely passionate about making the best album he could. The drums are stellar. The horns are great. The strings are key; unobtrusive, not Coldplayed. And he absolutely earns the sax in Beth/Rest. The only thing I can take away from it is that it does have three pieces (the Goods) which function basically as breathers, particularly Wash. and Lisbon bookending standout Calgary. Definitely a must-have; medicinal in the best sort of way. This will cure you for at least a day. I know I'll save it for those times the world has me beat.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Top Five Kanye West Albums {Pat Was Right Edit-ion}

5. 808's & Heartbreak

4. Late Registration

3. Graduation


2. The College Dropout

1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What's next





So, found out what i'll be flying for my naval career, pretty excited about it. It's exactly what i wanted so should be fun. Hopefully be in portland june 5-15. If you're in town, see you there.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

DOUGGLES's GREAT ADVENTURE

Fr 7/22 Drive to Arizona
Sa 7/23 Drive to California
Su 7/24 California
M 7/25 Bay Area
T 7/26 Drive to Newport
W 7/27 Drive to PDX
R 7/28 PDX
F 7/29 PDX
Sa 7/30 PDX
Su 7/31 PDX
M 8/1 Drive to Bend
T 8/2 Bend
W 8/3 Bend
R 8/4 Drive to Tetons
F 8/5 Tetons
Sa 8/6 Drive to Lincoln
Su 8/7 Drive to BNA

Doug I made you an admin so I hope that works. People, please visit with Doug and shave him if necessary

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Year's End Three {Hip-Hop/Pop}

This was the year Ben went hip-hop. You're gonna have to indulge me, as I lack all the vocab and cool to actually discuss this stuff without embarassing myself. But when I sat down to try to figure out what mattered to me this year, "Indie" just didn't cut it.

I did a lot of driving for my job this year, and most of the indie/country stuff I had with me just didn't sound that good on my Chevy stereo. Hip-hop did. So, with the aid of my used record store, I took myself on a crash course of rap and formed predictably strong opinions. Also, I allowed myself to like pop. Which, it turns out, makes all the difference in the world. (And luckily it was a really strong year for pop)

Honorable Mentions:

Lady Gaga. Ok, so she really didn't do anything this year except release Alejandro as a single (making Top 40 (aka Top 8) radio 12.5% more listenable) and wear a meat dress. But she makes me feel more optimistic than anything else about modern music (minus Kanye) and I am psyched about her new album. Also, Bad Romance still blows my mind, every single time.

Katy Perry, almost exclusively for Teenage Dream the song. She sings what could have been another vacuous single like her life depends on it.

Drake. Oh you fancy, huh? (Which is actually about how awesome it is when girls get their diplomas. Love it.) His album is 808's and Heartbreak, but not as good. Hope he worked the mopey out of his system. Cuz when he's on, he's undeniable and he brings mainstream hip-hop up along with him. Over is still sick as shit, tho.

Runner-Up: Robyn. Dancing On My Own. Sheezus.

10. Ke$ha. Please, don't throw eggs. Hear me out. Well, actually just read her Wikipedia page. I too figured she was some LA richgurl production. Which would make it a lot easier to deny her three great singles. But yeah, she's actually kinda legit. Love the story of sneaking on to Prince's mansion.

9. Flying Lotus. This one needed my full attention. Listened to it four times as background music and it just seemed hyperactive and directionless. On headphones it sounded like an epiphany an a salve for my over-Pop-ped ears.

8. Nicky Minaj. Best new everything. I wish I could afford to pay her to insult people for me.

7. Janaelle Monae. Like Kanye, she envisions an all-consuming hip-hop. She casts the net even wider, and her ambition pays off with some great songs, including 'Cold War,' my song of the second half of the year:


6. Big Boi. Don't block my shine, shorty.

5. Teebs. Sigur Ros for the more beat-inclined (sans Jonsi, but I'm so sick of that guy anyhow.) Will make your mornings better and your heart hurt less.

4. Rihanna. (Docked a spot cuz 'Rude Boy' gets stuck in my head. Yeah.) Her new album has three great songs, and as usual she is an assassin when called in to save someone's career with a chorus. (Mathers, party of one.) Also, ALL OF THE FUCKING LIGHTS.

3. Jeezy. Two real good mixtapes this year: Last Laugh and Trap or Die II. Stuff makes me feel ten feet tall.

2. Big K.R.I.T. I pray this guy makes it big. Got a huge heart, great ear. Could be a hip-hop hero. His free (?) album K.R.I.T. Wuz Here soundtracked all my worn-out drives home along Rock Creek, drinking in the twilight. Download it (Also, Voices is my ringtone)

BONUS BEST DISCOVERY=J Dilla who made the greatest life music

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Year's End, Part 2 {Indie :-/}

(writ prior to Xmas, so somewhat redundant.)

Its funny, the poorer I am, the more I hate pirating music. This whole year I don't think I copped anything without paying for it. Which makes me a chump, I know. But when you force yourself to pay for things, you actually have to think things through and figure out what you're actually gonna enjoy the most. Which seems obvious, but for a guy who burned 50 gigs from his radio station, its genuinely revolutionary.

[Also, everytime I think about torrenting the new National or something, the Gillian Welch song, 'Everything is Free' starts playing in my head. Dude, my Catholic Guilt Wu is strong.]

So I got 3 of these 6 off Amazon, which has really good deals on stuff the week it comes out, and the numbers count towards the Billboard Top 40, which is how Sufjan and The Arcade Fire, etc. did so well. So if you have $4.00 and want to help the band out, its a great way. (The other 3 I got off eMusic. Every time I cancel my subscription, they lure me back with some deal. Dastardly)
--------------------------------------------------------
The Coincidentally Gravy-Specific Year in Indie, Best to Worst
--------------------------------------------------------

The Gaslight Anthem-- This is the strongest of the bunch. It helped me get a lot of work (and running) done. I don't envy them trying to follow up The '59 Sound. I could say this about Every Single Band but I really think they'd benefit from listening to some Neil Young+Crazy Horse. The very few guitars solos in this thing were Edge-influenced. Can't wait to see them live. Almost took a bus to NYC to see them at Radio City Music Hall this summer. Probably woulda if I had anyone to go with.

Samamidon-- Great album,updating American folk and blues standards, making a new one, with 'Relief,' my song of first half of the year. an R. Kelly cover that becomes a viscerally healing thing:



Sufjan Stevens--So glad to see he's feeling better and re-enthusiastic about making music. Two great, almost-pop songs {Too Much, I Walked} and an invigorating amount of nonsense.

The Arcade Fire--One great, one very good song {Sprawl II, Ready to Start} and way too much Win nonsense.

Spoon-- Spoon would like you to know that you Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga was meant ironically.

The Hold Steady--Fuck you, Franz. No, really. Fuck you.

-------------------------------------------
Albums I look forward to most in 2011, our last whole year.

Radiohead [Edit: Let's pretend this didn't happen]
My Morning Jacket
Dinosaur Jr.
PLEASE WRENS PLEASE PLEASE
Iron+Wine [kinda whiffed]
Mountain Goats [3 or 4 great songs]
Mount Eerie (?)
Califone (?)

sorry, this just turned into a list of my favorite bands.

--------------------------------------------
I would love to know what you all dug this year. I definitely listened to a record-low number of new records, so any recommendations are extremely welcome. Also, tell me where I'm wrong. I know that I have an unreasonable grudge against The Suburbs. It just made me really angry to hear how it was some 'return to form' when Neon Bible was considerably better. (Also, that 'Rococo' song makes me want to punch the pasty out of Win's face.) I'm definitely a reactionary at heart.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

FYI-Reunion

So I don't know if the reunion thing is going to happen or not but it seems we are all busy at different times so here is an fyi if anyone is interested: Ian and I had been planning trip to Las Vegas for a while and we booked it for June 6-9th at Mandalay bay. Anyone who's free is welcome to meet up with us any time.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Sabas

One of my favorite all-time Blazers and made the hall of fame this weekend. Best passing big man of all time.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Reunion: guys guys wait, what about Zion National Park???

I haven't looked at airfare or hotels but it might be cheap option too. We can stay in a motel outside of the park and take a free shuttle in. the park looks gorgeous..!

EDIT!!!
Ok I guess we should leave destination up to vote, also Cynda since you laid out dates first, what specifically can you do? when can or can't everyone go?

Alright here we go, a fucking calendar, fixing it so you guys can see blocked out dates.




Friday, March 18, 2011

It's Friday!

God knows, i love trashy pop songs way more than i should. But this might be the most terrible, and subsequently hilarious, song ever written.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Let's make it happen!!

We need a reunion of epic proportions. Seriously. We must find a date and a place where we can all be at once and have a party. Whether we crash Nancy's or Scott's place in Cali, Pat's place in Corpus Christi, one of our many midwest residents, or our place here in Portland we have to make it happen!!!

Do you remember the summer before college? Do you guys remember how great that was!? It's been far too long since we were all together at the same time!! Who's with me?!

So give us the dates you can make work and we'll find one!! I know we all have jobs/school/children ;) to work around but think how great this could be!! I have a feeling Pat will be our biggest problem!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Scotty J, Hustlin a Buck

/click that link for the funniest Harry Potter shit I've seen. Imagine continuous Drunk Pat narration of the first film...\

We all knew Scott was onto bigger and better things, and now he's a goddamn professional. Keep your tabs on him on the sidebar over there. (kid's too well-mannered to self-promote so I gotta remind you.) Yidio looks especially awesome. Here's him on Black Swan and the Oscars So be a pal: page-hits (and potentially other internet things I don't understand) add up. Lord knows I keep myself in furs and pocket-snuff with this here money-printing operation.

ps Good Sir, You Seem to be Peeing Upon My Leg