It always rains like hell on the Loser's Day parade

If you scroll down a bit, you'll see the fancy new plugin that Lala has set up. Feel free to browse through my record collection. I can take it.

The problem with Lala is it's there to take advantage of all your moments of weakness. A couple months ago I was thinking that I didn't have any Goo Goo Dolls music. There's good reason. Like Fastball, they're a radio band. I won't change the station when they come on, but I've never felt compelled to buy an album. But then I decided that for less than two bucks, I might be compelled to get a Goo Goo Dolls album. I added it to my Lala want list and Dizzy Up The Girl was on its way to me before I had a chance to change my mind.

So now I'm sitting here listening to the aforementioned tome and it's not bad. It's not good either, though. I still like songs like "Slide" and "Black Balloon" but I'm not sure I really needed to own them. That could get me into a larger issue about how mp3's have made music a disposable commodity to be collected and discarded easily. When you can download an mp3 for free or get a CD for $1.75, something gets lost along the way.

I don't think teenagers sit around anguishing over which CD they should buy anymore. I used to hold my $15 bucks tightly and pray that the album I was about to buy was actually good. If you knew a cool record store you might actually get to hear more than the one song they were playing on the radio, but it was still a crapshoot. Now, you just have a friend burn you a copy. It's not the same, but that's what makes me old. Kids these days . . .


I saw The Whigs the other night at a club with about ten other people. They were excellent and turned out to be really sweet guys. If you're near one of their upcoming shows, I suggest you go check them out so you can say I knew them when. Also tell them Eileen from Cincinnati says hi. They won't remember me but they'll be nice about it. So if I perhaps lived near Milwaukee and was free next Friday, I might go to Rave Bar and see a cool band (ahem, Shawn, ahem).


So True

Somebody at work this forwarded this to me and now I must share it with you. I'm off to The Whigs' show later tonight so that's all you're getting for now. If you'd like to read this directly off the Philadelphia Inquirer's website or want to email it to somebody, go here.

Read it here! It's hot outside!

By Tom Ferrick Jr.

Inquirer Columnist

I don't get this weather. It's crazy.

Have you noticed it keeps getting hotter and hotter?

It seems to happen this way every year, especially in July and August.

I can't understand it.

Here at the paper, we are trying to understand it, too.

We sent out a team of reporters yesterday, who fanned across the region.

When they came back, they reported: It is hot everywhere! Very hot!

The city editor said: You mean everywhere?!

They said: Yes, everywhere!

He said: This is front-page news!

And so it was done.

Ditto television.

Counting overtime, the stations probably spent $250,000 yesterday to tell you that it is summer and that it is hot.

They had people standing in South Philadelphia, Center City, as far as Bucks County, and they reported back live that it was hot, everywhere.

Of course, they were wearing business suits and ties, so no wonder they were hot.

They should have followed some of the helpful hints we gave readers the other day about what to do when it gets hot:

For one thing, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothes.

You should also drink lots of liquids, preferably water. Beer will make you sweat and give you a headache.

Stay cool

I have other helpful hints:

1. Don't wear wool clothing. It itches and will make you really hot.

2. Try to stay cool. Don't sit in a room with all the windows closed. Use a fan to circulate the air or, preferably, an air conditioner.

3. Don't run out to buy an air conditioner today. Everyone else who just read No. 2 is trying to do the same thing. The managers of the stores tell us the air conditioners are flying off the shelves. That's what they always say when we ask them. Of course, we never ask them until it is really hot.

4. Whatever you do, don't sit in a room with the windows closed, wearing wool clothing and drinking beer. It is a recipe for disaster. At the very least, wear something that is light and loose fitting. A bedsheet will do.

For those of us in the news biz, there is only one thing more exciting than heat. It is record heat.

For record heat, we will remake the front page and use Pearl Harbor-sized type and write headlines that say:

Record Heat Scorches Region!

We will then proceed to tell you that it was hot yesterday.

Television has us beat. It can tell you that it was hot today.

Here are some more helpful hints:

5. Don't watch television. Watching those TV reporters standing in front of the cameras will only make you hotter.

6. Buy two newspapers. Read one and use the other to fan yourself. It will help alleviate the heat. This is especially true if you insist on sitting in a closed room, wearing a bedsheet and drinking beer.

Forever sidebars

In addition to telling you it was hot yesterday, we can also tell you many interesting tidbits about the heat. We call these sidebars.

For instance, we sent reporters out the other day to find the places in the region that smelled the worst because of the heat. Get it? That's a sidebar.

Tomorrow, if it stays hot, we will think of other sidebars. Maybe we will go out and ask people how they are coping with the heat. Once the editors put their minds to it, the sidebar possibilities are endless.

Did you know that heat waves are a major cause of back injuries among reporters? It comes from hiding under their desks for hours at a time, trying to avoid sidebars.

I predict this heat wave will end before we run out of ideas for sidebars. Then it will gradually get cooler. Then the leaves will fall from the trees. Then it will get really cold. Then it will snow.

As I told you, this weather is crazy.

I have some helpful hints for snow, too. One is to dress in warm clothing, sit in a room with all the windows closed, and drink beer. It will keep you nice and warm.

Now, if you will excuse me, I must go change my bedsheet.


When they call last call, you look so contagious


Carrie had a great idea this week and now I can't wait to reap the benefits. Get this - sushi and Pirates of the Caribbean. Yes! So tonight we're going for some raw fish followed by a movie I can't believe I'm so excited to see. Avast ye mateys, it's sure to be awesome!

So here's the thing with suddenly working all the time. I actually still listen to music every day, I just don't get time to write about it. The music benefits, though, because I find myself listening to an album at least a couple times before I get around to blogging. Collective Soul is probably angry that I didn't give them that kind of consideration.

Today's album is another one of Josh's famous mix CDs and actually the first one I ever got from him. I don't know if he made any earlier ones, but for me it all starts with Dirty Beats.

Now I've written before about how I was unfamiliar with the ways of hip-hop until a boy from North Dakota showed me the light. Well, this CD threw me right into the deep end of the pool. The Pharcyde, Tricky, The Roots, The Wu-Tang Clan and Outkast all make appearances and this is back in like 2001 when all those didn't necessarily have hit records.

I consider Dirty Beats the most daring of Josh's mix CDs but not really my favorite. It can be some work to get through as it assaults my delicate sensibilities with crazy rapping and extra sad folk songs. It does include "Macy Day Parade" by Michael Penn and "Dancing Lessons" by Sinead O'Connor (which I would like to point out that I had used in a previous mix) though. Both songs I count as a couple of my favorite tunes in this whole world.


I was in Seattle last weekend and I promise some photos soon. I'd also like to wish Shawn a belated happy birthday. He's a lady, though, so I won't mention his age.

Also, you've all been warned. Next year (7/3/07) I'm turning 30 and there will be parties in San Francisco. Clear your calendars now.