Archive for November, 2007

I Am the Zog League Tracy McGrady …

… you know, without the scoring, rebounding and assisting. Last night, my 3-on-3 co-ed basektball team had our first playoff game. This is my third season playing 3-on-3 co-ed and the third season my team has gone to the playoffs. In fact, this time we went in as the highest seed ever at #2 (I think we were #3 and #5 in the previous seasons).

Well, even though my team was stronger the results were the same. Yes, once again, I’ve been bounced from the playoffs in the first round. This time, however, we were humiliated. The playoff matches are a best of 3 games situation. We kept the first game close but got humiliated for the second (2-25 … yep, 2). Just like Tracy McGrady, I have never progressed past the first match in the playoffs :(. Sucks …

My team has already re-signed together for next season (starting in January) and we’ve even become stronger by adding a taller, center-type guy but I don’t think it’ll be enough. My goal is to train for the month of December to be better: practice at nearby courts and get into shape by running. I don’t need to be Michael Jordan, but I’d like to at least go in with some practice under my belt.

Unfortunatley, I’ve made this promise to myself before … never actually going through with it. Perhaps the third time’s the charm, but we’ll see.

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Basketball City

I went to the first Knicks game from the mini-game plan I purchased … aaaaaaand it was awesome. I went in thinking it was just going to be sort of fun since I’m not a fan of either team (the Knicks were playing the Jazz) but it ended up being a close, competitive game that wasn’t decided until the final 10 seconds.

Even better was the crowd. Now, this wasn’t my first Knicks game at the Garden (I saw them play the Mavs last season) but this was the first game I saw where the Knicks actually won. And wow, the stadium loves this team! They are the most passionate fans I’ve ever met – booing and cheering wildly when their favorite villians and heroes gained possession of the ball or made plays. Drunk men dancing in the aisles, clown-colored wigs atop fat college students on the jumbo screen, mild-mannered looking couples screaming at the court after fouls: it was a spectacle. Definitely the best basketball setting I’ve been a part of (including seeing the Mavs in Dallas, the Wiz in Washington, and the extremely little I remember of the Spurs in San Antonio).

I’ve heard a lot of talk about New York being a basketball town … and that talk is correct. Now, if we can just get a decent team up here (and that begins with kicking owner, James Dolan, to the curb)! Fun fact: Dolan “inherited” the team from his daddy! Not so surprising: his pampered, rich boy attitude has transformed a championship contender into the highest-paid laughingstock of the NBA!

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A Herd of Musical Responses

Well, I moved to New York City back in September of last year to seriously persue music. Monday night, I took the first step towards finding like-minded people to form a band. Who knows what the hell I was doing in all those other 14 months (ok so I know but I’m not talking!).

I posted an ad in the musicians classified section of Craigslist New York titled “Nerd Rock.” In it I described myself, my influences, playing stats, and how I was looking for like-minded individuals to start up a low key band. I get the feeling that most people that would respond to a Craigslist musicians ad would either be older, experienced players or guns-for-hire. I’d rather have people I like hanging out with that are at least competent on their instrument and slowly build up to being a professional group. Whereas I used to wish to be in a Led Zeppelin-type band (one where everyone was phenomenal at their instrument), I now accept that that isn’t happening again anytime soon (and never with me in it). Besides, I now prefer acts like Weezer who value songwriting over technicality.

I received about 12 responses – way more than I expected to get during this Thanksgiving weekend. My ad didn’t have any links to any of my own songs so I got people with a wide variety of musical influences … mostly that sucked. It seems that I didn’t put enough emphasis on being at least competent on instruments in my ad – everyone responded to the fact that I was looking for something low key. I even got a reply from a girl who just started playing bass six weeks ago!

There is maybe 1 or 2 from this group that I’ll meet with, but I think I’m going to have to step up my ad a bit. I’ll add a link to some of my own stuff as well as reword things to make what I’m looking for a little clearer. Finally, posting this up during a non-holiday week might also help my chances.

This Thanksgiving weekend was not just spent replying to ad responses. Nay! I also put in some time working on a master plan I’ve been hatching for about 10 months now. Since my musicDB went live last year, I’ve been wishing to run through all of my archives of old songs and finish up every one that isn’t 100% done. I’m not really expecting to have all of these turn out to be hits, but I’d like to have some closure on a lot of outstanding work as well as teach myself to finish song projects. I’ve attempted this massive undertaking several times, and each time would begin with a randomly selected song. This time, I’ve obeyed my natural inclination to experience things from beginning to end and have started with my very first “song” I wrote. The musicDB description of my first song:

This is it! The very first song I ever tried to sit down and write. My group of friends in 8th grade dubbed ourselves “the Communists” (because we thought it sounded funny) and, at one point, decided to put out some records under the title. We came up with a bunch of funny song titles, but that really was all there was to it. I was inspired by the joke, though, and brought the list home to try and actually write these songs using a new computer program we had discovered. I started on the first track, “Livestock,” using a MIDI program called Session that came with our computer. 12 seconds of written song later I knew two things: 1) that this was a piece of shit composition and 2) I was hooked.

Well, I allowed myself until 6pm today to goof off and play video games. Now I must descend into the dungeon of this house to try to finish up what I started last night. Hopefully, I shan’t come up until I have “Livestock” completed!

    Site Updates

  • Created review page for Seinfeld episode [5.03] the Glasses
  • Created Weezer banner
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  • G Young
    Sunday, November 25th, 2007 at 20:51 | #1

    Man,I’ve got a lot Stan music to catch up on. How many epochs are there?

Tagged for Destruction

On November 8th I received this email from GeoCities regarding an old website of mine.

We noticed that you haven’t updated your web site in a while. If you wish to keep your web site, we encourage you to update it within the next 30 days so that it will not be deleted due to inactivity. If your web site is deleted, visitors will no longer be able to access your web site and all files will be permanently deleted.

The image above is the old landing page to the site mentioned in the email (it used to exist at www.geocities.com/gunsnros3s). This site, known as Stan THE MAN’s Homepage, was created back in September 1999 when I moved to James Madison University for my freshman year of college. However, the story actually goes back further than this as this GeoCities site was really just an updated version of my very first foray onto the internet!

I had initially dabbled in websites sometime during 1996 (“homepages” back then). Actually, I recall being a leg up on the rest of my freshman Technology class when we were required to code a page in HTML back in the fall of 1996, so it must have been just before that when I first created Stan THE MAN’s Homepage. It was just a few pages consisting of terrible clip art using the embossed photoshop effect but it was my very own real estate on the internet. As I recall, it also had a Sam and Max theme to it – a comic I was into at the time. I barely ever updated any of the content, but did give it an updated layout during my senior year (fall 1998). Still, more important things (wine, women, song) took preference in my life and the site started to gather dust.

When I got to JMU, I suddenly had round-the-clock, broadband internet, a shitload of free time, and the independence to do whatever the fuck I wanted. As a result I found myself getting back into the website nonesense, creating anew Stan THE MAN’s Homepage and dumping it into a new, hip, GeoCities domain (no longer would it be located at members.aol.com/warlock94).

This site served me well and I frequently updated the content and design until February 2001. By then, GeoCities had lost a lot of its shine and Tripod was the new cool virtual place to be located at. I was already in the process of revamping the layout for my site (pretty much a yearly occurrence) and decided I might as well make the jump to Tripod, too. The final change to my GeoCities site was to add an automatic redirect pointing any users who typed in www.geocities.com/gunsnros3s to my new site at jamesbond__3.tripod.com (perhaps the worst URL idea ever).

Now almost seven years have passed, and I haven’t touched this GeoCities site. During that time, I decided to throw my hat into the personal domain ring and purchase www.stanus.net (putting jamesbond__3.tripod.com to pasture). That makes GeoCities two moves ago so I don’t have any reservations about letting it officially die.

But mourn not, dear reader! My OCD need to catalog all of my work would never allow me to let Stan THE MAN’s Homepage depart forever without first collecting it all somewhere. And that somewhere is located in the [stanus.net] Archives. In fact, I’ve gathered all of the previous incarnations of [stanus.net] that I could hunt down into this area. Enjoy this strange, erotic trip of maturation that stanus.butt took. It’s definitely a good read!

    Site Updates

  • Added a Sony Playstation banner
  • Updated the Last.fm widget to show most recently played tracks (instead of top weekly)
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My Face Was Rocked

Last night I had the privilage to be in the same (immense) room as David Lee Roth and Edward Van Halen as they jammed. I will not mince words here, people: my ears are still bleeding at the level of awesomeness they were barraged with. In an effort to put as much substance into a small amount of space, here’s my quick analysis of the show … in bulleted lists! And, for your further enjoyment, the two categories will be named after Van Halen songs.

“I’ll Wait” (… for better stuff since this isn’t so great)

  • The opening act – yet another Marley son. Reggae before Van Halen rock only made them look that much stronger. Maybe that was the point? Ky-Mani Marley closed by singing “No Woman, No Cry” and “I Shot The Sherriff” – the two biggest hits his dad had. Surprise of surprises.
  • The Mix – dunno what was up with this or who was responsible but the mix was pretty terrible at some points during the loud sections. It was so garbled, I couldn’t really pick out the individual instruments (how can you screw this up with only 4 instruments including vocals!!!!). Plus, the mix was so hot my left ear (closest to the stage) is actually still hearing that post-concert white noise (now 16 hours after the show).
  • “Hot for Teacher” – easily my most anticipated song turns out to be rushed through with little to no passion. They must be really sick of this one.
  • Wolfgang – Eddie’s son can hit all of Michael Anthony’s high notes, but it’s in a kid’s voice (remember how your voice sounded at 14?). Maybe he’s technically able to handle the bass playing responsibilities but he had zero presence. Anthony’s musular playing style and stage-stomping was sorely missed and would’ve been the perfect compliment to Diamond Dave’s over-the-top, gay theatrics.

“Eruption” (.. of nut! The fucking amazing!!!)

  • David Lee Roth – I knew coming into the concert that Eddie and Dave would be amazing. They both used to be at the absolute top of their games, guitar and frontmanning (not singing), respectively. Before I go any further, I must stress that they were both phenomenal. However, watching Eddie I wished I was at a Van Halen concert 20 years ago. He just parked in the middle of the stage and didn’t move around much. His playing was ridiculously good, but it lacked that craziness that always lurked under his 25-year old counterpart’s fingertips. Roth, on the other hand, actually improved with some of his craziness wearing off. Where a lot of old Van Halen concerts consisted of him talking through a few lyrics of the song and mainly concentrating on jumping around, here he sang everything. And he hit. Every. Note. Sure, he pulled out a few of the old ninja kicks (really!) and did some hilarious moves with his mic stand (one time he pushed the mic into Eddie’s crotch), but there was a reason he always wanted to get back with the boys: he was born to perform – and that includes sing – these songs.
  • “Little Dreamer” – the highlight of the show. Since the mix was way too hot, this more subdued song really let their musicality shine through and Dave sang it while on top of a runway above the band.
  • The crowd – hmm … the semi-generation that exists between my parents’ and mine really know how to enjoy concerts. The average audience member’s age was easily late 30’s/early 40’s and they were jumping up and down, clapping their hands, and raising their fists in the air during every number. They also looked ridiculous doing it! I’ve never seen so many white (as in stiff, square) dancers in one place. Think of a politician trying to look hip in front of an audience by doing a few gyrations and then multiply by 15,000.
  • The energy – ha. Wow. All of the concerts I’ve been to start with some sort of introduction. Muse had a Star Wars-type, rolling warning about censorship. Aerosmith came out and set up to old, 60’s horror music. There was no intro here, Van Halen just fucking started the show. I was sitting there and all of a sudden Eddie starts doing some awesome licks on guitar, the lights go down and then back up with the band starting right into “You Really Got Me.”
  • Did I already mention David Lee Roth? – before “Ice Cream Man”, the band left the stage with Roth the sole remaining member. He pulled out an acoustic guitar and played some off-the-cuff, technically difficult stuff while going through some old memories. He mentioned how it felt to be in the band back in the early 70’s, still starting out, and how the song was based on a friend of theirs who drove an ice cream truck. He’d let the boys borrow it to cool the beers during their early, backyard gigs. And his name was Stan! The connection and reverence between Roth and the audience during this moment was palpable, really driving home the point that his voice (both physical and point of view) were just as important to the success of Van Halen as Eddie’s guitar.

Their current plans are to release an album in 2008 and then tour again. Seeing as this was the best concert I’ve ever been to, I reccommend … nay, I demand all of you to see it. Especially any twins of mine who said they were going to go this time and then just never got a ticket. Shame on thee!

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  • Thursday, November 15th, 2007 at 11:38 | #1

    So i called jamie after 3 nights of meeting her. I would have thought she was just not interested in me cause she had not called in 2 weeks !!!!

Supporting the Arts

Last Thursday my mom visited New York City for the first time since an 8th grade school trip. Although I’m sure it was a bit overwhelming we had a lot of fun hanging out. I took her to see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and we turned out to be extremely lucky as it was just two days before a stagehand strike shut down most of the shows.

Anyway, it was just my second Broadway show, but I really enjoyed it. Something about the whole super villianous murder thing did it for me, but the music was incredible, too (obviously). Usually I come away kinda bored at the music from these type of shows but Phantom was great: dark, mysterious, and over the top. Good stuff … I can’t believe it, but I’m actually encouraging people to see a musical here!

Then, Friday I went to see another stage performance. My roommate, Dorian, was in a Japanese opera and, although I’ve awoken many a day to his beautiful tenor voice, I’ve never actually experienced a stage performance from the gentleman. And, let me say, what a performance, indeed! He was the lead male part and did the majority of the singing – a role that had him fighting the orchestra for the most part (it was a very dissonant score). Kudos to my opera singing roommate – it takes an incredible amount of balls and talent to get up on stage with a fake beard, act comically, and still sing techinically difficult melodies. If anyone is interested in seeing Dorian “perform,” I hear his next gig will be pulling a mangina during drunk Monopoly this Friday!

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The Next Generation

I don’t wish to bore people with another “look at the cool thing I bought” post but I felt this was important enough to comment on. I’m not sure what I did, but I managed to kill my iPod Nano last week. I had lost the charging cable that originaly came with my device, so I tried using a third party cord – and somehow this fucked everything up. The screen kept blinking the apple logo on and off continually no matter what I did.

Oh well, I decided to upgrade instead of trying to fix the thing. Logging into apple.com I ordered the newest generation of the iPod Classic as it seemed to be the perfect version for me. Although it only arrived two days ago I can’t get over how better this new iPod is over my old one! The main reason it’s so much better is its incorporation of album art everywhere – randomly selected albums on the intro screens, cover view selection screen, updated song play screen, and thumbnail images of the album covers when selecting albums after selecting the artist. I can’t believe how big a difference this is affecting my overall enjoyment of my music – I was actually depressed with how I thought album art was going to suffer as a result of the iPods. Anyway, it’s all good now with this generation!

Another huge improvement over my nano is the size. At 80 GB, my entire music collection doesn’t even fill half of the thing. Managing what was going on my nano every other day was annoying and putting stuff onto it to use in practice sessions was downright painful. I have a list of about 200 albums I still want to get through and it’s reassuring to know I won’t have to go through this complicated process any longer.

Finally, Apple wised up and changed the material used in the device. No longer will I have to be disgusted by the look of my iPod – crusted over with the oils in my fingerprints or whatever I had to eat that day.

So, as Schumin would say, there you go. My old iPod (won at an office christmas party) served me well for almost 2 years but the new iPod is bringing back that music listening excitement that I haven’t felt since I first started purchasing CDs. Huzzah!

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Netflix Adventures

Netflix: it’s not just an online, movie rental service, it’s an obsession. Over the first couple of weeks after I signed up for Netflix I slowly built up my movie queue to 500 strong – which turns out is the limit! That’s right, I figured out the maximum amount allowed by Netflix.

One of the best uses of Netflix is to give a try to all those DVDs you wouldn’t want to pick up in a Blockbuster or own. The Adventures of Pete and Pete was a live-action television show I used to watch on Nickelodeon between the ages of 12-14. Now, I remember enjoying the show, but not enough to purchase the collected series nor would I waste a trip to Blockbuster (back when I actually used to do such a thing) to relive the show. However, since I am able to have 2 DVDs at a time with Netflix, I decided to check it out.

Well, it turns out the Pete and Pete was that rare gem: a show that I liked as a kid and appreciate even more as an adult. It’s witty, strange but not overly silly, and reminds me way too much of my own high school misadventures (even though I watched this before entering the hallowed halls of Tj). A stanus.butt recommended rental!

Fun Little Sidenote: I was walked in upon while using the bathroom today! Luckily, I was in the handicap stall, so there was no eye contact (in fact, the guy didn’t even step into the stall itself). Still, the door swung open and I saw a pair of shoes about to enter!! It was a very near thing.

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  • Monday, November 5th, 2007 at 18:46 | #1

    Here’s a fun tidbit: My old college roommate is now in a band named Jounce (jounce.org myspace.com/jounce)with Danny Tamberelli (a.k.a. Little Pete from Pete & Pete).

  • Monday, November 5th, 2007 at 18:54 | #2

    Are you referring to the guy we jammed together with? (http://stanus.net/?p=7)

  • Monday, November 5th, 2007 at 22:19 | #3

    No, the guy we jammed together with was my freshman year roommate Will. The roommate in Jounce was a junior year roommate Jamie (When I lived in The Commons). Jounce is a NYC based band…you can probably catch a show of theirs.

  • Zepmoon
    Wednesday, November 7th, 2007 at 10:56 | #4

    Was the guy who walked in on you in the bathroom a U.S Senator?