Thursday, August 31, 2006

Would this fly?

It seems Register columnist Catherine Galasso-Vigorito has started a few product lines. One of which lets readers purchase autographed photographs of her for $15.

So here's the question, dear readers: Should I do the same? Come on guys, let me know.

Would you buy an autographed photo of me for $15?

Would you even take one if I gave you $15?

I didn't think so. It all makes me sad.

Dull throbbing

I woke up with a hangover this morning, but it wasn't from any alcohol.

I don't wear earplugs at shows, but I always think about putting them in before seeing Dinosaur Jr. or J Mascis solo. I should have listened to my inner voice, which was saying, "Put some damn ear plugs in, Pat. You'll regret not doing it. Fine then, don't. You're stupid."

Today, my ears are in pain and my head is throbbing, all from the aural sonic onslaught that is Dinosaur Jr. Even though the trio had its gear stolen earlier in the week, it still showed up and played Toad's last night.

A healthy, almost sold-out crowd was on hand to see it. What a show.

The band sounded even better than when I saw this reunion tour last summer in Boston. The fog machine was pumping and J had more feedback coming from his mountain o' amps than I've heard in a long time. Spinal Tap could have been mocking J when they talked about amps that go to 11.

Ending with an encore that included "Just Like Heaven" and the band's sort-of-anthem "Freakscene," the show didn't stop attacking with screeching guitars and pounding bass and drums for a full 70 minutes.

I'm glad I got my fill because I don't think I'll be hearing anything the same for a couple days.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Way-back Wednesday

OK, as I described yesterday, every Wednesday from now on I'll highlight an older, overlooked record.

It'll be a fun way to revisit some discs that maybe didn't get the exposure they deserved when originally released.

We're going to start today with Dinosaur Jr.'s 1987 underground breakthrough "You're Living All Over Me." Now I'm not foolish enough to say that this masterpiece is overlooked in the indie-rock world (it's been reissued and remastered for heaven's sake), but to the regular joe, it may have never been heard.

And, luckily, we here in New Haven have a chance to see the band's original lineup play Toad's Place tonight. I saw the band at the beginning of this reunion tour last July at Avalon in Boston and have to say it was pretty amazing, no matter how bad opening band Feathers sounded.

On "You're Living All Over Me," the band's second record, the trio began to focus on the raw, noise punk that would make it a legend. Frontman J Mascis basically brought the guitar solo into indie rock, a genre that at its inception tried to shy away from solos fearing classic rock comparisons. But Mascis doesn't do normal solos; the guy takes extended forays into almost free-form, feedback-drenched rawness.

The record isn't mixed in a "proper" way, so it sounds absolutely messed up with noise; it could scare small children it is so loud. And even future Sebadoh and Folk Implosion main man Lou Barlow's contributions to the album are worthwhile. "Poledo's" lo-fi experimentalism actually is a precursor to early Sebadoh.

Anyway, the original lineup of Djr were together for only two records and an EP before Barlow got fired after 1998's "Bug." So to be able to see the reformed trio right here, without traveling at all, well, that's a good thing.

And since the group only performs tunes off those three releases, you may want to pick up a copy of "You're Living ..." sometime this afternoon. That's if you, GASP!, don't have one already.

See you there.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tuesday releases

I'm going to start putting some weekly features on this blog. I'll have something every Wednesday that revisits some older, possibly overlooked records (that'll start tomorrow). But every Tuesday I'll post the five or so most significant CD releases of the week.

Of course, discs come out on Tuesdays; the following hit stores today. I've listened to all these, so I've also rated each disc on a one-to-four-star scale.

Look for this every Tuesday. Here we go:

Bob Dylan"Modern Times"
Columbia Records
three-and-a-half stars (look for a full review in Friday's Weekend)

The Roots"Game Theory"
Def Jam
two-and-a-half stars

Jessica Simpson"A Public Affair"
three stars (look for a full review in Friday's Weekend)

M. Ward"Post War"
three-and-a-half stars

Pete Yorn"Nightcrawler"
Red Ink
three stars (look for a full review in Friday's Weekend)

Over It"Step Outside Yourself"
one star

three stars

Tyra, Tyra, Tyra

I swear to you that I would admit it if I was a closet fan of Tyra Bank's talk show. I really have no shame. But, I happened to flicking through the channels this morning while having some breakfast and came across an episode.

Now, I've seen the show before, and although Tyra always looks quite fetching, the thing that astounds me is how condescending and motherly she is to every guest. It's like no matter who they are, Tyra's going to treat the person like a child. Treating her guest from today like a kid could only be bad for this person.

Today's episode was about fears. I only saw a bit, but there was a woman, who must have been about 25, who had a fear of gnomes, you know the glass or plastic things that Travelocity loves? Anyway, she runs away from them when she sees them in people's gardens. People have even tormented her by putting them in her bag, car, etc.

Now I understand people have fears. But this is ridiculous. On the show, the woman cried and shook whenever she saw a gnome. And then Tyra walked her over to a bunch of them and the guest freaked out. Of course, Tyra told her that under one of the gnomes was a Tyra sticker that signified a trip to Europe.

So the petrified woman went and picked up a couple gnomes to find the trip, all the while with tears streaming down her eyes.

The episode was about curing folks of their fears, but how can you help a woman who fears garden gnomes? This was an adult.

I would wager to say that anyone with that irrational of a fear, one that tears up and runs away from garden gnomes, has much bigger problems. Let's be serious, this woman has to have a lot more issues.

It was absolutely hysterical to watch, though. I was tearing up laughing at her. Does that make me a bad person?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Can Kicking some bum

There might not be a more fun local band (we consider anything from Connecticut local) than New London's Can Kickers. And the trio made its argument for that title once again at BAR last night.

The backporch punk rockers keep it simple, making audiences move with fiddles, washboards, banjos, acoustic guitars, whatever. The guys play old-timey music in the same vein as the Old Crow Medicine Show, but with a Camper Van Beethoven "Balalaika Gap" kind of groove. So, basically it's a Appalachian folkey music, played with a real DIY, punk attitude.

Well, actually, it's just good stuff. Check them out next at the new El N' Gee Club in New London Sept. 15.

John Mayer ticket info

OK, guys, (or should I say gals? We are talking about John Mayer fans), here's the scoop on getting your money back because of good ol' John Mayer's cancelation Saturday night at the Dodge.

Apparently, laryngitis hit the Connecticut singer/songwriter hard, and he couldn't muster up the strength to perform. Obviously, this was bad news for his fans, and good news for certain music writers who would have had to review.

Anyway, here's Live Nation's press release about how to get your tickets refunded:

If they bought tickets in person at the Dodge or Chevy box office or through (Mayer's) fan club, refunds are available here at the Chevrolet Theatre box office in Wallingford only — MUST have tix (tix must be unscanned and unripped).

If they bought tickets through Ticketmaster, they must contact TM via phone at (203) 624-0033 in order to receive a refund.

If patrons are unclear about how the tix were bought, please have them call us at (203) 265-1501.
For those of you who chose to go to the show even though Mayer did not perform, I hear Sheryl Crow was really good.
Mayer fans, don't worry though. On his Web site, Mayer says, "I owe you one, CT."
My response? No, Johnny, I owe you one. I had a great Saturday night.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bumping along

Don't I look fierce?

Seriously, when this photo was taken, I was just about to kick all kinds of butt on the bumper cars at Six Flags New England. Nobody can escape me while driving bumper cars. Nobody.

Of course, one 5-year-old girl got me pretty good; then she giggled.

My advice to anyone thinking about hitting Six Flags this season: Pay the extra money for a FlashPass; you'll get on a whole lot more rides.

The device gives you a reservation for the major attractions; it tells you to come back at a certain time and then you'll get to cut the line. Good stuff.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Spike it Saturday

I'll review it in the Register soon, but I've been on vacation for the last couple weeks and really haven't been able to comment on former New Havenite Spike Priggen's new record, "There's No Sound In Flutes!"

If you pick up today's paper, open up Weekend and look at Making a Mix, you'll find that Spike is this week's subject. In the feature, I briefly mention how good the record is, but let me just say that this disc will more than likely make it on my best-of 2006 list at the end of the year.

It's simply power-pop goodness. The tunes go down easy and leave you feeling plump and happy, with a big belly full of power chords and piano fun.

The point of all this? Well, it'd be a shame not to check out Spike and his band (which will be full of guest stars) play at Cafe Nine Saturday. The gig brings Spike back home to celebrate the record's release, and you'll be able to buy the disc there.

As Nike likes to say, just do it. And then let me know right here what you think.

Deal? OK, deal.

Pretty good 'Sound'

If you've read my columns in Weekend enough, you know I'm a big fan of the Flaming Lips. If forced to name a favorite band, I might choose the Oklahoma indie popsters. I would never be able to choose, but if forced ....

Anyway, I know quite a bit about this group, from reading a lot about it and even from doing a couple interviews with frontman Wayne Coyne. But I still learned a good amount about the trio through reading Jim DeRogatis' "Staring at Sound: The True Story of Oklahoma's Fabulous Flaming Lips." The Chicago Sun Times music writer, DeRo is one of the most respected rock journalists in the biz. He may have a tendency to be a little too overblown, but Jim's a great guy and a good writer.

If you're into the Lips, I can't recommend this book enough.

DeRo inserts himself into the story too much and states a couple too many opinions as verified facts, but the amount of research done is impressive. DeRo's knack for storytelling also makes this book a quick read.

"Staring at Sound" is one of the better rock biographies I've read recently, and it reads like any good book should: like a story, not like a collection of interviews. It's clear Jim has a lot of affection for the chances the Lips take and for the good music the band makes.

Read more about this in my column next week, when I'll include some quotes from a talk I had with DeRo. I just wish he could have talked to Ronald Jones.

If you got a few hours, pick it up here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ray of light

Without a doubt, "Little Miss Sunshine" is one of the funniest movies of 2006, so far.

I'm not going to go overboard and say it's perfect or anything (like I've read way too often), but from the beginning until the hysterical conclusion, five minutes didn't pass without me laughing out loud. Go see it, OK?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Breakout (the good news)

Last year around this time, I got addicted to a TV show. As someone who rarely watches anything regularly (except sports, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and the sadly dead "Arrested Development"), this was hard. I hate being a slave to the television, meaning having to watch it at a certain time every week.

Anyway, me and "Prison Break" became good friends. I watched the first 10 or so episodes religiously, but then a scheduling change made it impossible to catch it. So, thankfully TV Editor Joe Amarante got the DVD box set in the mail just before I went on vacation and gave it to me, knowing how much I loved the show.

Let's just say that "Prison Break" has comforted me through the pain of the Red Sox vomiting all over a baseball field. I watched all 22 episodes in a couple days. Yes, that is sad; I admit it.

Well, the second season of the show begins tonight. As Joe says in his column from last week's Weekend, it sure seems like the drama will turn into "The Fugitive" in Chicago. I don't care though. I need to know what happens.

Joe's lucky I'm not in town or I would have held him at gun point until he gave me the disc featuring the two new episodes the network sent him. I'm feeling like a junkie who needs "Prison Break" and not smack.

That's it from this very sad slave to the television.

A spanking (the bad news)

I want to beat Joe Amarante to the punch: The Red Sox have ruined my vacation.

Bad play, asbusrdly bad pitching from can't-trade rookies and bad managing all played a part. I hardly ever agree with Boston Globe blowhard Dan Shaughnessy, but this column pretty much says it all, and it's from before Sunday and today. Man, what a beating.

Friday, August 18, 2006

My friends ...

I'm sure this will happen a lot in this here blog, but I had to post something e-mailed from a friend of mine.

This is also a warning to everybody: Anything e-mailed, said, mailed or whatever to me could make its way on here.

Anyway, my buddy Will, who I went to college with, sent me this, proclaiming himself a psychic.

Me and Jen were watching "Miss Teen USA" this week, I think it may have been on Monday. That's what you do when your wife is pregnant.

Anyway, Jen watched the initial "meet the contestants" portion and picked Miss Maine to win the whole thing. (She didn't even make the top 15 ... loser). I wasn't watching, but Jen still wanted me to make a pick, so without having seen what anybody looked like, I pick Montana (photo to the right).

It seems like an arbitrary choice, but, BAM, Montana wins "Miss Teen USA ." Thank you very much.

Philly in a nutshell

Let's talk about the good and bad about Philadelphia.

The good:
  • Had a couple cheese steaks and those made me smile broadly. My belly felt a little upset, but, golly gee, I ate me some meat and cheese and it felt good.
  • The Phillies won three of four games against The Mets. I will forever have a man-crush on Pedro Martinez, but I can't bring myself to root for Willie Randolph, one of the worst managers in baseball, no matter what anybody says. Just watch his in-game decisions, then remember the NL East is, by far, the worst division in baseball.
  • Citizens Bank Park is very nice, with great sightlines, from both your seats and the concession stands. It does, however, sit in the middle of nowhere and there's no charm to the ballpark. It's just a nice place to see a game.
  • Everything's cheap in Philly. Yes, you read that right: Even beer is considerably less expensive at both regular bars and at the games.

The bad:

  • Nothing was bad about the city, but let's talk about the experience I had after Thursday's baseball game. I got on the subway. A guy with a Jose Reyes shirt stood in front of me and looked like he was dumping water out onto the train's floor. I took a better look and noticed that it was, in fact, pee running down his leg. Yep, the dude was standing there in his black jean shorts and peeing himself. All the while what's he doing? Text messaging. After a few minutes, the obviously drunk twentysomething dropped his Tom Gordon poster in the pee, and then picked it up. How about that?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Not a 'Dog' at all

I just arrived in the City of Brotherly Love, and before I even run up the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and make like Rocky, I feel the need to mention Rick Springfield's "Working Class Dog."

Yeah, it has "Jessie's Girl" on it, and, yeah, you'd think the rest of the record would be crap, but you'd be wrong. I got a reissue of the disc in the mail a couple weeks ago and only popped it in my player in the last couple days. Boy, I'm glad I did.

It's the album Cheap Trick wishes it made in the '80s, the one "Lap of Luxury" should have been. Simply, this is great power-pop disc; and I don't care if the guy was a pretty boy who starred on "General Hospital" for a while. I'm still humming "Everybody's Girl" from my car ride down here.

This blog is meant for interaction, so: Anyone agree? Disagree?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Oh, Timmy

I get some weird e-mails, letters and faxes at work. You really never know what could come next.

But then there's the really odd stuff. Here's a fax that landed my on my desk just before I left for vacation Friday:

Sir or Madam,

My name is Timothy Cullen. Please go to my website mentioned above to read movie outlines I have written. It is my deam to have at least one of my movie outlines made into a Hollywood motion picture. Superstar actor Tom Cruise is my main choice and desire to play the leading character in most of the outlines I wrote. It would be greatly appreciated if you sent a letter on my behalf to, Creative Artists Agency 9830 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills, Ca. 90212. Please attn; the letter you send on my behalf to Mr. Tom Cruise. When you send your important letter asking this actor to please consider my request also include my address listed above. Note; please mail me a copy of the letter you sent on my behalf.

What is someone to make of this? I finally went to the Web site today and looked around. Cleary Timmy's been sending this out to every newspaper, to the person who handles film. I don't know if the dude's got some problems or something, but this is an odd, odd site. You can also learn about his ideas on Social Security, which are important enough to him that he called all 435 members of Congress ... in the middle of the night, he says. He couldn't leave a long message because the voicemails would only allow 45 seconds, so he wrote it out here.

My favorite movie outline is for "Scarface 2." These things are hysterical, and not in a good way. I sort of feel bad for mocking; well, not really. He faxed this letter.

But after going to the Web site, I realize the guy might just be crazy, which, of course, makes perfect sense since he loves Tom Cruise.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Something ain't Kool

For those of you who might have opened Weekend this morning and wondered why I didn't write a full feature on Kool & The Gang, I thought I'd explain some things.

Everyone has schedule changes. Sometimes I'll have a phone interview with someone scheduled and something will come up and I'll reschedule it. This doesn't go down often, but stuff happens. So when Kool from The Gang first blew me off last week, I didn't think too much of it.

We figured out a new time, to talk last Friday at 9:30 a.m. Now Fridays are days off for me, and as someone who likes to sleep in, getting up early made me sad. When Kool didn't call again, I became very sad ... and groggy.

While I was at the gym, at around 2:30 p.m., Kool finally called and expected me to drop everything and interview him then. Wait, let me be more specific: Kool didn't call, but rather his publicist contacted me while he stood and talked in the background.

Obviously, covered in sweat, with racquetball racquet in hand and in the middle of LA Fitness, the interview wasn't going to happen, so we rescheduled for Saturday at 9:30 a.m., the morning of my other day off. Once again, I got up, tired as poop and without coffee, and waited for my cell phone to ring. Once again, it didn't.

Rescheduled for Monday; once again, no call. You see, Kool and co. seem not think it's important to honor meetings. That's OK. But nothing would have made me happier than spending my morning talking about the genesis of "Celebration" and then passing that info onto my dear readers.

Sadly, you and I may never know what went down the day magic happened and "Get Down On It" was born. Makes me want to cry. By the way, I'm sleeping in tomorrow.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Not so Poisonous

What does it say about the folks who frequent the Dodge Music Center that a pint of Bud Light costs $8, while the same amount of Guinness is only $7? I'm not sure I know the answer.

My colleague Jim Shelton theorized that it must be younger people going to shows, implying that the unsophisticated palette would like the inferior beer better. But aren't middle-aged men supposedly the biggest concert draw? Aren't classic rockers the only ones able to play big sheds like the Dodge nowadays?

Well, I didn't get to sample either beers last night when I hit Poison's 20th anniversary tour. It seems the vendors at the Dodge like to serve the pricey alcohol to underage kids, which meant the venue was penalized by not being able to sell alcohol last night.

Let me tell you, Poison fans looked like they were ready to drink. I saw more than one cry and crumble into a ball when they realized they couldn't buy a cold, $10 Hurricane or something.

And Poison fans are a weird bunch. It seems cliche to brand them as folks who never left the '80s, but, man, that's the only way to describe it. I saw some fashion choices that just make your head shake. Poofy hair, sleeveless shirts, leather pants, bandanas ... all quite amazing, really.

What was more amazing was that Poison sounded pretty good. Besides the ridiculousness of still performing six-minute drum solos and seven-minute guitar solos instead just playing another song or two, the quartet was tight and performed a hit-heavy set.

And you know what? They actually enjoyed performing ... a lot. It's something missing in a lot of bands and that's kind of sad. Bret Michaels and company wanted to be up there and that energy made the crowd react. It was a good show, really. And I say that in a slightly embarrassed way.

Here's the setlist:

"Look What The Cat Dragged In" / "I Want Action" / "We're An American Band" / "I Won't Forget You" / "Ride The Wind" / Guitar solo / "I Hate Every Bone In Your Body But Mine" / "Cry Tough" / "Something to Believe In" / "Your Mama Don't Dance" / "Fallen Angel" / Drum solo / "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" / "Unskinny Bop" / Nothin' But A Good Time" / "Talk Dirty To Me"

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

To quote Alanis

Isn't it ironic that on a blogging Web site, when you run the spell-check tool, the word blog (no, I didn't mean flog!) gets flagged as misspelled? Just something to think about ....

Monday, August 07, 2006

Hey, Joe ...

In his latest blog entry (blog name: Java Joe's Journal Jive), the Register's Television and Radio Editor Joe Amarante has made it clear he plans to mock the Red Sox and anything I may write about them in this here blog.

Joe still thinks Bernie Williams is a useful player. Need I say more about how practical he is? I think I could hop faster than Bernie can run. With all the good going on in Yankee Universe right now, it must be hard to watch Bernie trail a flyball the same way an elderly man (with a cane) would. Of course, this makes Joe happy; he's never seen a more graceful outfielder.

A chair and a mirror ... so worth the $3

Let's just say that Saturday was a pretty hot day. And, let's also mention that I can't stand heat.

Even if it's a relatively mild 80 degrees, I want to kill myself. So this brings us back to Saturday afternoon, when the balmy weather forced me to visit the new Cinema De Lux in Milford. Without much to see, "Talladega Nights" stuck out and that became the choice. But here's where it gets tricky.

According to my handy-dandy Weekend section, the Will Ferrell flick was playing at two times, noon and 11:30. The 11:30 a.m. showing made the most sense for me and my companion. Matinees usually go for about $7, but when we bought the tickets through the little (and admittedly useful) kiosk, we were charged $10 a ticket. Why, you wonder? Well, we wondered ourselves.

It seems we had chosen to catch a flick playing in one of the "Director's Halls," which cost more. Why does it cost an extra $3? As far I could tell it was because of the touch of class that you notice when you walk into the cinema.

Yes, that's right, as you take your first steps into the theater, you can see an elegant little table, chair and mirror. I couldn't get over how comfortable these simple items made me feel. I felt like I was in a nice, classy establishment, not a grimy movie theater. Oh, and then the photos of Mystic Seaport on the theater's walls. Wow. I found myself not watching the movie and straining — in the dark — to see the vivid paintings of water.

Yeah, the theater has leather chairs and waiters at the beginning — just in case you're too lazy to get your own damn Goobers. I don't know if I'll ever be able to return to regular theaters. What will I ever do without a table, chair and mirror I see only when I walk in and out, paintings of Mystic and leather under my butt?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Lucky Loretta

So if you read this blog long enough, or even once or twice, it won't take long to realize that I'm a pretty big Red Sox fan. The team made a nice comeback tonight, but I want to point out something that may have been lost in all the celebrating.

Let's replay the inning, keeping in mind that I like to consider myself a very realistic baseball fan. OK, here we go: Wily Mo leads off the inning. Here's a guy who can probably hit a breaking ball as well as I can. This Cleveland pitcher, Carmona, throws a bunch of off-speed pitches way out of the strike zone and Pena Ks. Next up is Coco Crisp, who also doesn't have great discipline. He Ks on balls far out of the strike zone, too.

We've now established this guy can't throw strikes, but Sox hitters are getting themselves out. Dougie (who's only useful when he's catching his buddy, Little Timmy) luckily gets hit with a pitch. Alex Gonzalez also gets hit with a pitch. First and second, two out.

Next up is Kevin Youkilis, the first batter of the inning who actually knows how to take a pitch. What does he do? The Greek God of Walks walks. Bases loaded and this pitcher hasn't thrown strikes consistently yet. First pitch to Mark Loretta: the ball almost hits him. If he let it graze his arm, it's a tie game. On the next pitch, Loretta actually swings and hits the Monster, winning the game.

So what's there to complain about, right? Well, let's say that ball doesn't hit the Monster and ends up being a fly ball to left, which it would have been in any other stadium besides Fenway. If that’s what goes down, Loretta gets booed off the field, and really will be booed for the rest of the season.

He could have let a ball hit him and tied the game, and then he goes and swings at a 1-0 pitch from a guy who can't throw strikes, with the bases loaded, and David Ortiz on deck. Everyone I watched the game with swore that if he didn’t take a pitch, they would vomit.

Let's just say Loretta's quite lucky he won the game ... as are the Red Sox, really.

From the mouth of the Wolf Den

I caught Soul Asylum tonight (Tuesday) at the Wolf Den in Mohegan Sun and have to say it was a pretty good show, much better than I anticipated. The band was tight, but sloppy enough to make it feel like a garage band was performing.

What's kind of odd is that guys are more than a decade past their "prime," but this was actually the best show I've seen them put on. The tunes from the new record held up nicely amongst older hits. And, for the first time, I saw the guys do "Cartoon" live. That made me a happy boy.

Here's a setlist from the show; take note of all the older tunes performed.

"All is Well"/ "Misery"/ "Bittersweetheart"/ "Lately"/ "Black Gold"/ "Without a Trace"/ "Crazy Mixed Up World"/ "My Own Devices"/ "Cartoon"/ "Whatcha Need"/ "Sometime to Return"/ "Close"/ "Runaway Train"/ "Closer to the Stars"/ "Oxygen"/ "Bus Named Desire"/ "Stand Up and Be Strong"/ "Somebody to Shove"/ Encore: "Summer of Drugs"/ "Just Like Anyone"

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

MTV Turns 25

I have to admit, I don't remember the exact moment when MTV first arrived. I can't, for the life of me, tell you where I was when the little astronaut came on the screen and The Buggles' silly, little pop ditty "Video Killed The Radio Star" danced its way into music fans' hearts.

I don't remember much from back then. I know my parents had cable at the time only because I can recall watching some movie about kidnapping and it scared me. But MTV, nah, the first memory I have of the station is that VJ with the huge hair who hosted the "Top 20 Countdown." I bet that was like 1985.

But what's the real question to be asked while most magazines and newspapers run large feature stories on how MTV changed the world? Well, the same one Yankee fans ask ARod every night: What have you done for me lately?

We can talk for days about the station's influence on music and television in general, but we could have had the same conversation a decade ago, when MTV turned a paltry 10. For heaven's sake, even "The Real World" is older than a decade ... and typing that just made me feel so very old.

MTV has done nothing in the last decade but totally ditch the bulk of its music programming, unless, of course, you count Ozzy running around like someone with half a brain and Jessica Simpson running around like someone with no brain as music programming. I mean, go look at the site; it's really pathetic and totally out-of-sync with anything really going on in the music world.

I mean, turn on the station at any point of the day and all you’ll see are 16-year-old rich kids acting stupid and planning ridiculous, hedonistic parties. Maybe you’ll catch shallow guys and gals telling people to hit the highway because they said the word “lemon” or something. (With that said, I must admit my friends Jay and Ryan both love these shows and will have my head for mocking them. I even got a text message from Ryan tonight asking me if I saw the latest episode of “One Ocean View,” a show I wouldn’t think about watching.)

Anyway, maybe if MTV brings back “Beavis and Butt-Head” and “Remote Control” I’ll have a totally different viewpoint. Or what about that show about the ranch? Oh, wait, that was Nickelodeon.