What I'm Reading
Playlist 3 -- 30 Rock, Marah, Lambchop ...
Week number three. Thank you all who took the time to drop a comment. Let me know what you guys are reading, listening to, playing or watching this week.
Here's what's been on my Playlist.
30 Rock. A great old friend asked in one of the comments how I have time for all these distractions. One reason is that, unlike most Americans, I don't watch much TV. (My wife may disagree, but it's true). I have only a couple regular TV shows I watch. And other than to catch up with news or sports, the TV is in the hands of our youngest. And I have to give a shout out this week to one of those few shows I watch -- 30 Rock. It's clever and laugh-out-loud funny, thanks to Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan and the incredible Alec Baldwin. And it just keeps getting better. While most shows were on reruns last week, 30 Rock came through with a classic -- Cougars.
A.J. Jacobs. The Year of Living Biblically. See last week's Playlist.
Marah. This Philly band is a great rock story. They release an album locally that generates some buzz, including the interest of a well-known country rock star (Steve Earle) starting his own label. They release a great album, then get in a tiff with said country rock star. Just as they're near their apex, they head into the studio. They think they have some great songs and they get their hero (Bruce Springsteen) to record with them. The album is a disaster -- commercially and artistically. Their fans revolt. They break up. Despite half the key members moving out of the country, they stay in touch and eventually get back together. With the steady support of a couple well-known authors (Stephen King and Nick Hornby), they continue to build their reputation as a great rock band that kicks you know what live. Their story would make a great VH1 Behind the Music if only anybody knew who they were.
I, of course, dig their references to Philly streets -- South and Christian. And two Philly legends -- the late Hy Lit and Harry Kalas -- appeared on their early CDs. You can find some of their music on www.emusic.com. Check out the albums 20,000 Streets Under the Sky and Kids in Philly.
Lambchop. Nixon. This group (no relation to Shari Lewis) and its album (no reference, as far as I can tell, to our creepiest president) was also part of my soundtrack this week. They're supposedly a country band, but it's not what anyone would think of as country. It sounds like something you'd hear parents in the 70s listening to on an AM station. Yes, there's a country feel, but it's mostly soulful and mellow. Favorite tracks: Up With People, Nashville Parents, The Butcher Boy.
Seahawks 28, Eagles 24. Well, now we all know how to put an end to a quarterback controversy. Start A.J. Feeley. Feeley threw four picks, including the heartbreaker after Brian Westbrook singlehandedly brought us to the brink of victory with an amazing punt return. Well to the Seahawks and their fans, good luck and please beat the Cowboys and Giants if you meet them in the playoffs.
As for the Eagles, I know it may be time to start looking forward. But I'm not ready to give up on Donovan just yet. The injury bug scares me. But if he's healthy, I still think he's our best chance.
Am I stupid for sticking with #5? Let me know. And at least I'm not as stupid as New Jersey columnist Nick Fierro, who says the Eagles should think about trading Brian Westbrook. Mr. Fierro, you are now a finalist for next week's "I Don't Get It."
Madden '07 for the Wii. While on football, I have a quick update from our first Playlist. I've developed a passing game. The season has started. My son and I have taken over the NFC East, replacing the Redskins and the Eagles. He's the Philadelphia Liberty, led by quarterback Donovan McNabb. I'm the Northeast Philly Pretzels, led by QB Brett Favre. (Yes, we're hopeless). Four weeks into the season, the Pretzels are 4-0 and the Liberty are 3-1. The teams have yet to meet head up, but it looks like they're both the class of the NFC.
Here are the scores:
Liberty 12, Vikings 7
Pretzels 28, Texans 7
Pretzels 15, Giants 8
Cowboys 7, Liberty 0
Liberty 21, Texans 15
Pretzels 21, 49ers 13
Liberty 21, Jags 14
Pretzels 20, Packers 7