Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Softball Defeat

Another Tuesday, another defeat for the Attractive Nuisnace. My favorite partof the game was that Dan showed up in barefeet and his pajama pants* and played in the outfield. I immediately called him "Shoeless Joe" leading to this exchange:

"Uh oh, Shoeless Joe Jackson is at the plate."
"He's like a Negro League Hall of Famer up there."
"Um, Joe Jackson was white."

I also found out that I am a selfish stat hog who puts himself before the team. I batted in the bottom of the last inning with runners on and the team down by a few runs. But more importantly, I was a single away from hitting for the cycle. so you bet your sweet ass I shortened my swing and hit single. It didn't matter that we lost, I hit for the cycle, baby!

I'm thinking of ways next week to continue to throw my teammates under the bus.

*Ed Note - I am somewhat disappointed that Dan does not wear pajamas with cartoon characters on them. Had he showed up wearing pants with, say, the Smurfs on them, that would have raised the comedy scale. Plaid is not nearly as funny.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Play Me A Song

Well, the law buddy social came and went, always the social event event of the new quarter. I didn't sign up for a law buddy for the obvious reason that I would make an absolutely terrible law buddy. Not because I have no advice to give (ok, no good advice), but because I have no outlines to give after the Great Computer Crash of 2006. And that would be a great disappointment to whover got stuck with me.

So instead it was an evening of drinks and signing along to the Piano Man. Who, of course, played Piano Man.

I have no practical advice to give that we have almost entirely different professors than the incoming 1Q's. But I hear the WJC likes candy and teddy bears. And I know Simpson plays some mean ping pong, here's us dominating all comers. Even if her name is misspelled on her apron.

So instead of, you know, studying, work on that backhand.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Watching Hollywood Pat Itself On the Back

I'm fairly disturbed that I won my Oscar pool. I'm also fairly disturbed I was in an Oscar pool. My manhood is now open to question. So here's a gratuitous picture of Isla Fisher

While, I'm at it. Is there a more classically beautiful woman on the planet than Cate Blanchett? She just looks like a movie star. It's kind of disturbing.

Some other notes on what was a dreadfully boring Oscar telecast:

- I usually like Ellen Degeneres, but she was not good. Let's put it like this, Al Gore got more laughs. Let's say that again: Al Gore got more laughs. That's pretty much the standard of comedy death.

- Marty Scorcese has now won an Oscar. Susan Lucci has a daytime Emmy. Peyton Manning has a Super Bowl. The Red Sox won a World Series. Any other perennial losers out there? Who's the new Best Living Director to Have Never Won an Oscar? David Lynch?

- Those behind-the-screen dancers reminded me of the doctor's office in Doc Hollywood. It was one of those brilliantly goofy things I like about the Oscars.

- The sound effect chorus is another entry into things you should never be good at

- I've always liked Forest Whitaker, ever since Platoon. This was his first nomination and he wins. Peter O'Toole couldn't win for Lawrence of Arabia. I'm just saying.

- I've been making snarky comments about people's outfits with my cousin via IM. Apparently, I'm a girl. Or a gay man.

- My favorite part is always the In Memoriam video. Just thought I'd mention that.

- The Departed was really good. I'm glad it won. And its win was what put me over the top in my Oscar pool.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Oscar Night!

I like awards shows. I can't help it. I like all the red carpet stuff and I like the orchestra cutting off long acceptance speakers. I like the fact you can bet on the Oscars in Vegas (I want odds on Pan's Labyrinth taking Best Make-Up, and I'm only halfway kidding). I even like Joan Rivers and movie stars pretending not to loathe her with every fiber of their being.

So I'm excited about the Oscars, during which I'll be passionately rooting against Babel. And in case you missed it, the Razzie Awards were last night, honoring the worst movies of the year, and Little Man and Basic Instinct 2 cleaned up. I'm still stunned anyone thought Little Man was a good idea.

Then again, I still think Hudson Hawk was a good movie, so what do I know?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Goalie Fights!

And now, for some hockey stats:

5:07 Chris Neil: 5 Minutes for Fighting Drew Stafford
5:07 Drew Stafford: 5 Minutes for Fighting Chris Neil
5:13 Anton Volchenkov: 5 Minutes for Fighting
5:13 Ray Emery: 5 Minutes for Fighting
5:13 Ray Emery: 5 Minutes for Fighting
5:13 Ray Emery: 2 Minutes for Goalie Leaving the Crease
5:13 Ray Emery: 10-Minute Game Misconduct
5:13 Andrew Peters: 2 Minutes for Roughing
5:13 Andrew Peters: 2-Minute Bench Penalty for Instigating
5:13 Andrew Peters: 5 Minutes for Fighting
5:13 Andrew Peters: 10-Minute Game Misconduct
5:13 Adam Mair: 2-Minute Bench Penalty for Instigating
5:13 Adam Mair: 5 Minutes for Fighting
5:13 Adam Mair: 10 Minutes for Misconduct
5:13 Martin Biron: 2 Minutes for Goalie Leaving the Crease
5:13 Martin Biron: 5 Minutes for Fighting
5:13 Martin Biron: 10-Minute Game Misconduct
5:13 Chris Phillips: 10 Minutes for Misconduct

One of the most entertaining boxscores I’ve read in awhile. That’s 100 minutes of penalties doled out in six seconds of game time (which took about 20 minutes in real life).

I also love the fact Emery received a minor for leaving his crease to go along with his game misconduct and two fighting majors, the equivalent to getting a speeding ticket to go along with a charge of vehicular homicide. Which means not only did he get into a goalie fight (one of the most entertaining things in all of sports), but he got in a fight with a regular player. How does a goalie get that angry?

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Courtesy of Osodelsol, I'm enjoying the M&M character creator. I like the backgrounds as well. Here's my best shot at creating me as an M&M

The dog is gratuitous, but fun. And that is a cast on the right arm. So I get to be a wounded M&M.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ashes to Ashes

Memento homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.

Just kicking it old school for the Catholics in the hiz-ouse. For those of you not up on your Latin mass, it means "Remember, man, that you are dust, And unto dust you shall return." We Catholics are a real party people. A fairly unheathly number of our holidays and rituals revolve around death.

There's something about Lent that I really like. I like the idea of making small sacrifices, and I like the idea of spending 40 days getting your soul ready for the resurrection of Christ. Maybe I missed my calling as a Medieval Flagellant.

Or maybe not. I just like the opportunity for private reflection. Lent is a good time to do that.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roullez!

It’s Mardi Gras!

What a great holiday. I miss being in Louisiana this time of year, as the entire state shut down as we all partied for about a week solid. To give you an idea of priorities, LSU gave us two days off for Thanksgiving and three days for Mardi Gras. And most professors gave us off the previous Friday as well. Good times all the way around.

We’re talking about a holiday in which the whole point of it is to sin as much as possible before Lent starts. It’s a holiday which inspired the Girls Gone Wild videos. It’s like the polar opposite of the upcoming solemnity of Good Friday. Get all of it out of your system. Because the early Catholics were apparently moral bulimics. Binge and purge!

Then again, sinning in Waco is rather difficult. I’m sure some of you will give it the old college try, though. I, of course, am going to play softball and then study. I am a good Catholic boy.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Mummies and the Nielsen Family

Next time you're feeling alone in life, consider the case of Vincenzo Ricardo:

The partially mummified body of a man dead for more than a year has been found in a chair in front of his television, which was still on, authorities said.

Which begs the question, who is this guy's electrical provider? I mean, the TV was on for over a year? Didn't they get suspicious when he stopped paying the bill, I don't know, after four months? Exactly what does a guy have to do in Hampton Bays, NY to get his power cut off anyway?

And exactly how mean do you have to be to the neighbors for them not to notice they haven't seen you for over a year? Some people make a pact to get married with a friend if neither has found anyone at a certain age. I'm making a pact with my friends to call me at 3-month intervals to make sure I don't end up being a mummified corpse in front of the TV. I do, however, see the potential downside of my lifetime goal of becoming a crotchety old man.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

How To Tell When The Case Is Not Going Your Way

We read one of the more entertaining cases of my law school career this week, Pederson v. Louisiana State University, 213 F.3d 858 (5th Cir. 2000). Now, I went to LSU and I'm what you could call a pretty big fan. OK, I'm unreasonably fanatical. So reading about my alma mater's Title IX violations when I was in school was pretty fun. Because if you're gonna violate a law, you might as well go all out.

You can tell things are going poorly when the opinion uses phrases like "Appellees argue brazenly..." they did not intentionally discriminate against women but discrimination resulted from "arrogant ignorance, confusion regarding the practical requirements of the law, and a remarkably outdated view of women and athletics which created the by-product of resistance to change."

Not only did LSU fail to even come remotely near equal participation, they offered little opportunities to women, and made no effort to even pretend they were trying to comply with Title IX. But things really got bad when the Athletic Director opened up his mouth.

He referred to the woman suing him and his school for discrimination as "honey," "sweetie," and "cutie." He even offered to help her by saying, "I'd love to help a cute little girl like you" but that's only because women's soccer deserved varsity status because, and I quote, "they would look cute running around in their soccer shorts."

Not suprisingly, the cute little girl won her suit. And the AD got canned. And LSU would add women's soccer and softball. And I'd like to point out that LSU women's softball is now frickin' awesome.

Poseur's Way Too Pretentious Top Ten Albums of 2006: #1 ARCTIC MONKEYS – Whatever It Is You Say I Am, That’s What I Am Not

File Under: Oasis meets the internet generation
If You Like: Franz Ferdinand, Libertines
Label: Domino

You can tell whether the listmaker is British or American by looking for the presence of the Arctic Monkeys on their Best Of list, but I’m bucking the trend. I think its pretty neat (yes, neat), that there is the massive cultural phenomenon in England which hasn’t even made a blip on the US radar. The Arctic Monkeys had a #1 single in England before their album was released, almost completely without any sort of advance marketing. They are the first “internet” band to be really successful. They were being downloaded en masse before they even recorded an album.

Their debut was then the fastest-selling debut week in music history. They sold more copies in the first week than every other album in the top 20 combined. I mean, they are friggin’ huge. Except here. The great saviors of rock n roll haven’t even made a dent on our collective consciousness in the States. How cool is that? And the album is great, a mix of sing along choruses and danceable riffs.

The only album released this year that can accurately claim to mark a real shift in the music industry. It’s #1 because the songs are great, but also because it’s the first album of its kind. But when you’re listening to it, who cares? What matters is that the songs are great. That’s why it was such an internet smash without any record label support: people really liked it.

THE VIDEO: "Fake Tales of San Francisco". They even look like Oasis. And Oasis wishes they had penned the line "Proof that love is not only blind but deaf."

NOTE FROM MANAGEMENT: Hey, thanks for bearing with me. I know you didn't care and this was only really fun for me. But sometimes I like to use this space for my own personal amusement. I needed to cheer myself up. And playing music critic does that sometimes.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Poseur's Way Too Pretentious Top Ten Albums of 2006: #2 HOLD STEADY – Boys And Girls In America

File Under: Bruce Springsteen meets the Replacement and a drinking habit
If You Like: Spoon, Guided By Voices
Label: Vagrant

After “Separation Sunday”, the band decided to ditch the convoluted story arcs on the new album, and explore more universal themes. Neil Finn still struggles to reconcile his Catholicism with a pretty hefty drinking habit and a lifetime on the fringes of the counterculture. When he sings, “Gonna walk around a drink some more,” it sounds like a threat. Or a lament.

Any album which starts with a Jack Kerouac quote, “boys and girls in America have such a sad time together,” sounds like it will be a complete downer. It’s not. It careens back and forth from melancholy to a rip roaring good time. It really is an album for the bipolar. The whole album can be summed up by the two strangers who wake in the same medical tent after their overdoses and kiss each other with the IV’s still in their arms: “It was sexy but it was sort of creepy.” The characters throw themselves into life without regard to the consequences. The Hold Steady show the joy of the life, as well as that vicious hangover in the morning. Or ten years later.

You can see why I like it so much.

THE VIDEO: "Chips Ahoy!" See the nerdiest-looking band in the world.

Poseur's Way Too Pretentious Top Ten Albums of 2006: #3 NEKO CASE – Fox Confessor Brings The Flood

File Under: Loretta Lynn meets Ani DiFranco
If You Like: Cowboy Junkies, Uncle Tupelo
Label: Anti

There’s not many people in pop music with a more beautiful voice than Neko Case. She’s been unfortunately cast aside in the alt-country ghetto, which is rather unfair. Her songs are universal enough that they shouldn’t be pigeon-holed in a subgenre that approximately 10 people honestly enjoy.

It’s hard not to compare this album to her New Pornographer bandmate Dan Bejar’s side project: Destroyer. Destroyer’s Rubies is a good album, but it sometimes collapses under its own weight (is an eight and half minute folk song ever a good idea? No. Never. And this goes for the Decemberists’ Crane Wife as well. Seriously, Bohemian Rhapsody is interminable and its only six minutes long). Case avoids such hubris and just crafts beautiful songs. She doesn’t get cute and try and make it a metaphor for, well, anything. It’s just a collection of great songs. That should be enough.

THE VIDEO: She doesn't release videos, so this is a remarkably clean version of "Hold On Hold On" from A&E. Yes, she performed on A&E.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Poseur's Way Too Pretentious Top Ten Albums of 2006: #4 CURSIVE – Happy Hollow

File Under: Post-modernist punk rock
If You Like: Fugazi, Sparta
Label: Saddle Creek

When rock bands, particularly punk rockers, take on small towns and religion, the results are predictable and frankly, boring as hell. I can’t say I was thrilled that one of the most interesting punk bands was going to tackle these two topics. I expected banality, even from a usually creative band. (Wow, you don’t like small towns and religion… what an interesting and surprising take on things). But the band ditched their cello and string section and replaced it with a horn section (don’t think for a second this is a ska album, its not), giving it a sound that can’t really be described.

The band doesn’t pretend they have answers, and they also show genuine sympathy for their small town characters, particularly their continual exploration of what happens to Dorothy when she goes back to Kansas. There might be no place like home, but Oz was exciting and now Dorothy is staring the same thing every day for the rest of her life, and she’s chasing tornados to get back to Oz. She eventually has to give up, wake up, and go to work like the rest of us. It’s a little sad, but it’s also comforting. The fictional titular town still loves her.

Which isn’t to say the album pulls punches. There’s a song about a gay priest who can’t be with the love his life, and then there’s the confrontational “Big Bang”: “There was this big bang once, but it doesn’t jive with Adam and Eve.” It’s clear their sympathies lie with science, but they never mock the religious. And the band ends up just confused on how to make the two jive, which is an interesting display of honesty: they admit they don’t know. Which makes this the album for agnostics. David Hume would love it.

THE VIDEO: “Dorothy At 40”. What happens when Dorothy leaves Oz? This song is actually pretty representative of the album. Sometimes the single is not a dirty trick.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Placing a Phonecall

When you need advice, it’s good to have a best friend. But when you finally get a hold of him, you don’t want to hear that you he’s having problems with reception because he’s in Puerto Rico*. I’m not sure why he’s in Puerto Rico, but he sounded busy. And the reception really did suck.

Don’t they have cell towers in Puerto Rico? Really, it’s closer to Texas than Maryland is. So logically, I should have better reception talking to him when he’s in Puerto Rico than when he’s at home in Baltimore. I’m just saying. These are the sorts of things which keep me up at night. It’s not like I was calling Bolivia or anything.

*Ed. Note - Interesting factoid. Puerto Rico is misnamed due to a cartographer's mistake. The island was supposed to be named San Juan and the city was named Puerto Rico, the "Good Port". But someone screwed up the map, and we've been stuck with this mistake, and now its become correct. So, if you're gonna make a mistake, wait a few hundred years and maybe it'll correct itself. OK, maybe that wasn't that interesting. But I thought it was.

Poseur's Way Too Pretentious Top Ten Albums of 2006: #5 RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – Stadium Arcadium

File Under: 90s alt-rock survivors
If You Like: Like you don’t know them
Label: Warner Brothers

While Pearl Jam got the cover of Rolling Stone for putting out an album that didn’t suck, RHCP actually made it for putting out one of the best works of their career. It’s hard to stay relevant in a band’s third decade, and most bands fail miserably (look at Pearl Jam). We still hold RHCP to actual standards instead of giving them the back-handed compliment of saying the album is their best since BloodSugarSexMagik. While that’s true, it gets rightly praised for being great in its own right, not because everything they’ve put out since 1995 was a waste of time (once again, see Pearl Jam).

The Peppers have never been good at cohesive albums. Their minds wander and they put out an inordinate amount of filler. And since this is a double album, Stadium Arcadium is no exception. But it really is remarkable how few missteps there are. And they haven’t lost their ear for really catchy singles. They release catchy songs to suck you in, and then you get exposed to the rest of the work. And while its nice John Fruscante isn’t dead, and he gets his time in the spotlight, this is really Flea’s album. You can hear him everywhere, dragging the rest of the band with him. He’s always been the most conscious of the band’s place in history, and this is his magnum opus. It’s a sprawling thank you to all of their influences, from jazz to funk to punk. It’s a tour de force, really.

They left their contemporaries in the dust a long time ago. Now, they are focusing on not letting anyone catch up. They are truly in their own league: an artistically ambitious band who are also fabulously commercially successful. Good for them.

VIDEO: Yeah, you know what they sound like. So this is gratuitous. The song is "Hey (Oh)"

Poseur's Way Too Pretentious Top Ten Albums of 2006: #6 TV ON THE RADIO – Return To Cookie Mountain

File Under: Artsy fartsy rock meets jazz meets doo wop
If You Like: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Pere Ubu
Label: 4AD

Is there a less likely success story right now? TV On the Radio put out a great, if completely unnoticed, album two years ago: Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes. And it was unlike anything you had ever heard. It really was a mind-blowing album, even if only a few thousand people bought it. Heck, the real mind-blower was the initial EP, Young Liars.

Somehow, they parlayed this into a major label deal. It’s rare a major label, or any business, says “hey, there’s this really interesting band who is dong some truly unique work but it’s so bizarre there’s no way we’ll ever be able to issue a single. Let’s give them a three record deal.” The majors tend to like this thing called profit. Critical hosannas don’t pay the bills. They do get you on the cover of Spin magazine for “Record of the Year”

I do feel some of this praise is jumping on the bandwagon a bit too late. It was the previous album which was the real leap forward, this new disc is just consolidating those gains. But I’m just pleased they are getting the attention, however late or unlikely that praise is. So what the hell.

THE VIDEO: “Wolf Like Me”. Actually, a pretty catchy song. Once again, singles are a dirty trick, as this is a straight ahead rock song.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Holidays

Today is one of the greatest days on the calendar. It always puts a spring in my step and a smile on my face. It's the kind of day where the birds sing a little bit louder and the sun shines a little brighter. Every day should be as beautiful as this one.

Some people don't like today, complaining that it is really no big deal. Or that it is a manufactured event, and that this day really isn't that important. It's just another day. These people are cynics, and we should ignore these naysayers while we appreciate the inherent goodness and poetry of this day.

I, of course, am referring to the fact that pitchers and catchers report today. Unfortunately, it is also Valentine's Day, but that won't break my feeling of optimism on this fine day.

Poseur's Way Too Pretentious Top Ten Albums of 2006: #7 WOLFMOTHER - Wolfmother

File Under: 1970s riff rock
If You Like: Soundgarden, Queens of the Stone Age
Label: Interscope

Admit it. You like 70s hard rock. The overdone solos, the big vocals, the riffs. And some indie rock bands have dipped into that grab bag and given some love to the Deep Purple fan in all of us, but always with a nod and a wink. Hey, we know this is cheesy, but it’s fun.

Wolfmother dispenses with the irony and just throws themselves into the sound. They wouldn’t sound out of place, say, opening up for Thin Lizzy. Besides, has irony made it to Australia yet? This band simply rocks.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Reader Mail

One of the things I have to do for the district court is go through the stacks of pro se orders. Apparently, people in jail don't like to be there and they have plenty of free time. Which is a combination which leads them to write letters to the court trying to get out of jail. And this stack of letters ends up on my desk.

Aside from the fact some of these guys really can write motion, its not the most exciting thing on the planet. So when going through the seemingly endless stack, it was nice running into a letter that instead of being addressed to the judge or just the court, it was addressed to me. "Dear Law Clerk..."

Hey, it's nice to be appreciated. Even if I told the guy no, he had to stay in jail.

Poseur's Way Too Pretentious Top Ten Albums of 2006: #8 MAN MAN - Six Demon Bag

File Under: Music that Frank Zappa would think is too weird
If You Like: Captain Beefheart, Mr. Bungle
Label: Ace Fu

Man Man is the sort of band which defies explanation. The shorthand has been to compare them to Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart, if Tom Waits was their lead singer (who, by the way, also put out a great album this year). That only gives you an idea that they are weird, which they certainly are. But it’s not weird for weird sake, you get the idea that these guys just come by it honestly.

“Engwish Bwudd” gives you a good idea what you’re in for. It starts with a falsetto nursery rhyme, broken up by the lead singer bellowing “fee fi fo fum”. There’s two competing percussion sections, and I think a calliope in the background. And when the song complains, “Daddy always hated me,” a voice pops up, presumably daddy’s, screaming at everyone to get the fuck out of his house. The song is even stranger than I describe, but it somehow works. But its not going to be on MTV anytime in the near future (though, disturbingly, somewhere out there, there is a video for an edited version of the song which aired on Nickelodeon – I must find this).

It would be a mistake to just dismiss this as a bunch of guys who ingested a bathtub full of crank (though it is possible). There’s a dark undercurrent, as the songs are usually about loss and regret. You peel away the crazy, and you’re left with an exposed wound, open for us to see. And by the time the album is winding down, they actually slide in a traditional song structure, which perhaps is the weirdest moment on the album. Normal becomes disconcerting, even if the lyrics are vulnerable, “I want to sleep for weeks like a dog at your feet even though I know it won’t work out in the long run.” It’s a brief moment, and by the next song they are doing doo wop. And the men in the white coats are knocking on the door.

THE VIDEO: Not surprisingly, Man Man doesn’t have a video, aside from the Nickelodeon thing and its been pulled from YouTube. Equally unsurprisingly, their fans are sort of obsessive. So here’s a fan-made video of “Spider Cider” which edits together footage of their live shows. And for no apparent reason, cheerleaders. By the way, their live shows are indescribable. Controlled chaos.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Poseur's Way Too Pretentious Top Ten Albums of 2006: #9 TAPES 'N TAPES - Tapes 'n Tapes

File Under: A commercially viable version of Pavement
If You Like: The Pixies, the Walkmen
Label: XL

It's one of the best reviewed albums of the year and it popped up on a lot of Best Of lists mainly because Tapes N Tapes is a promising debut album and there's nothing like finding a new band. Even one that is blatantly ripping off Pavement. At least they aren't trying to hide it, and you could do a lot worse than ripping off the lords of indie rock.

Which gives me an excuse to talk about how great Pavement was. The early 90s is when "alternative rock" broke into the mainstream and it felt like our team won. But within a few years, the net result of the alternative going overground was crappy knockoff bands like Bush and Seven Mary Three. So Pavement stepped into the breach and proudly led everyone back to the underground, taking potshots at the Smashing Pumpkins on the way. It's been over 10 years, so its about time to smooth the corners and make another stab at the mainstream. Why the hell not?

It's got the crazy shifts and the literate yet meaningless lyrics. It meanders into nooks and crannies. The songs start and stop without warning. But, since we've heard this before, it's now oddly comforting. I expect the jags at this point. It's like meeting an old friend, or at least a friend of the old friend. We speak the same language. It's nostalgic without being nostalgia.

THE VIDEO: The clip is "The Insistor". Which is probably the LEAST Pavement-sounding song on the album, so its a dirty trick. This is the song where the rip off the Pixies. But that's the whole point of singles, to sucker you in.

Ethos, Oral Advocacy, And Passion

I'm going to go against the unstated rule of this blog and talk about something which happened in class, but only as a launching off point. Today, Osler closed out our Oral Advocacy class by giving us the advice that advocating for things you don't believe in is a certain path to unhappiness. In short, you can't fake passion.

I don't doubt there will be a point in all of our careers we're going to advance an argument or represent a client we don't believe with all of our hearts. The question is how you can do this without it taking away a little piece of your soul. How big is the compromise? Is it just arguing something you think is unlikely? Or something completely against your beliefs? How do we rectify our future clients' interests with our own belief structure?

Because I don't doubt he's right. The question is, what is a moral compromise and what is just lacking all of your passion? I don't know. But it's an interesting thought. Until I'm faced with that moral dilemna, I think I'm gonna go down to the DQ and have some ice cream. Which, quite frankly, is the best way one should deal with a moral quandry.

Poseur's Way Too Pretentious Top Ten Albums of 2006: #10 THE BLACK KEYS - Magic Potion

File Under: Even white boys get the blues
If You Like: Muddy Watters, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Label: Nonesuch

What if two white boys from Akron, Ohio were the best blues band on the planet?

My dad was a big blues fan. I grew up listening to some of the greats of the Mississippi blues: John Lee Hooker, Muddy Watters, Little Walter, Willie Dixon... ya know... the greats. I spent too much time in college at a blues bar with an open mic night in which Louisiana bluesmen would come and jam while I drank beer sold from a cooler. Good times, really. So I'm inclined to like blues bands. Especially anyone who reminds me of Howlin' Wolf, who had the rough voice and immediate style. It was like a plea for help. Which is how I found the Black Keys, a blues-rock duo who are channelling their inner Wolf.

The duo released an EP this year, Chulahoma, a heartfelt tribute to Junior Kimbrough. Kimbrough was a Mississippi bluesman who didn’t land a record deal until 1992 at age 63. He would die of a heart attack in 1998, leaving behind a scant record for one of the men credited as the fathers of rockabilly. The Black Keys tribute album of six cover songs is just honest blues, and may be the best album you could buy this year even if it is so painfully short.

So getting a full length release from them was a nice surprise. The band is stripped down to its very core: the band only has two members and two instruments (guitar and drums) and no overdubs. In an era where everything is done by machine, here are two guys who are so spartan, so immediate, so defiantly analog. It sounds like the way the blues should sound: vulgar and desperate. Even if it is made by two white boys from Akron.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Maryland 72, Duke 60

That sound you hear is me maniacally gut-laughing.

Wonder how Dickie V is going to explain this one away? Because I thought it was awesome, baby.

Poseur's Way Too Pretentious Top Ten Albums of 2006: Introduction

Tonight is the Grammy Awards. Aside from the Police reunion, I don't really care. Last night, there were the Plug Awards for indie rock, and you don't really care. We are at an impasse.

Anyway, this has gotten me pain-stakingly create my own pretentious top ten albums of 2006: The Poseurs. Over the next week or so, I'll be interspersing the countdown among the usual content you've grown to expect here at Poseur HQ. I know that you don't care, and I know my list is uber-pretentious, but it's my blog and I get to do things on here which are purely for my own amusement every once in awhile (ok, almost all of the time -- disrespecting my audience comes like second nature to me). You could always go torture an animated goldfish instead.

I'll try and post a music video from each album selected for your viewing enjoyment (or more accurately, mine)*. Then they'll be some snotty commentary, which I'll even try to make interesting. It'll be fun. But before we get into all of that, let's warm things up with a few albums that didn't quite make the cut:

The Gossip

I really like it and upon playing one of their songs to Matt, he went off and downloaded all of their other songs (legally of course). But they are all under 21, and that just irritates me in their gummy bracelet wearing, bad haircut way.

The Thermals

Sub Pop, the label which gave us Nirvana and grunge had a banner year. I put the Thermals on here as a representative sample for the entire label, though I don't think any one album was truly transcendent. they were all just really good.

Dixie Chicks

The most punk rock single of the year. While punk now means funny haircuts and jackets covered in patches, its supposed to be a little more than that. Just a nice F-you to all of their critics.

Drive-by Truckers

A band so great I was pissed that their recent album was merely good instead of terrific. They are still the greatest band on the planet right now, but you can't put out four classics in a row. Go buy Southern Rock Opera, Decoration Day, and The Dirty South first.

Band of Horses

The big winners at the Plug Awards. I think they are overly mopey, which is saying a lot coming from me. But this is sort of the consensus Indie Rock Album of the Year. So here ya go.

*Note from Management: Give the clips a try. You might find something you like. The only way to find new bands is to take someone's suggestion and give it a whirl. You'll find a lot of bad bands that way too, but there's always that moment when you stumble on something off the beaten path. I love that. It's worth having someone recommend Deerhoof to you so you can find a band that may actually be enjoyed by humans. Or you'll discover really quickly we have completely divergent tastes. But I'll try and post a warning.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Back In The Swing Of Things

I’m back in one of Prof. ConLaw’s classes, which means it is once again unsafe for me to be inside the building. I walked in the doors a little after 9:30 yesterday*, and the professor was right there, waiting for me. Which is concerning for a lot of reasons, and I’ve already searched through my car looking for a tracking device. By 9:45, I was walking out of his office with a stack of books authored by Marx, Lenin, and Stalin.

Which he wanted me to have read by 10:30.

While I enjoyed reading the theoretical underpinnings of the Evil Empire on such short notice, I was especially enthused to get to read Stalin. Nothing like waking up to the rationalizations to, in the words of Eddie Izzard, a mass murdering fuckhead.

And then we didn’t get to in class because we got on a detour about the Berlin Air Lift, which is admittedly really cool*. So I read Stalin for nothing. Thanks a lot, Prof. ConLaw. I’m not even going to get into the book written by Lenin, which was only slightly less crazy. What’s next? Is he going to give me the diary of Charles Manson? Mein Kampf? Maybe something by Osama bin Laden?

*Ed. Note - Actually, two days ago now. I wrote this on Friday but I sort of screwed up with blogger. The lesson is, as always, I am a moron. Sorry 'bout that.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Olympic Minesweeping

There is a fellow student here at the BLS who has joked that he is trying out for the Olympic Minesweeper Team. Well, I have found the gold standard for Minesweeper.

38 seconds! I'm kind of impressed in that way you're impressed with someone who is really good at something no one should ever be that good at. Like that kid in elementary school who could solve a Rubik's Cube with her eyes closed.

Apaprently, math was involved.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Astronauts and Nappies

By now, I'm sure you've heard the story of the astronaut who drove to Orlando to kidnap the other woman in her love triangle. I like this "can do" atmosphere fostered by NASA. Most women would try to win the affections of the man through sex or other favors, but the NASA-trained woman just eliminated the opposition.
You'd think she worked for the CIA.

Now, this story is pretty damn funny. It's even funnier when reported on by the reliably sober BBC:

Police say Ms Nowak drove from Houston to Orlando on Sunday, wearing a nappy so that she wouldn't have to stop for bathroom breaks, to confront a woman she believed was a rival for the affections of fellow astronaut William Oefelein, a divorced father of two.

Now, her master plan to pepper spray the woman, tie her up with rubber hose, and then abduct her (all while wearing the aforementioned nappy) was thwarted. But she did pack appropriately. The cops seized (quoting the Beebs again) "a knife, rubbish bags, air gun, steel mallet, rubber tubing, gloves, $600 in cash in Nowak's car." And you thought the Boy Scouts were prepared.

I also liked how she blamed it on the fame. Yeah, because Lisa Nowak was a household name before this caper. I don't know about you, but I had her on my astronaut fantasy team.

Memo: No one cares about astronauts anymore.

Well, unless they are wearing a nappy en route to kidnap their romantic rival. Then they are a lead story.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I'm Like Ann Landers

Because we have a bunch of bright, fresh faces in these halls, I think its time for those of us in the Baylor Law blogging community to pass along some wisdom and dispel a few myths. We’re here to help.

MYTH: You will have 10 hours of homework a night.
THE TRUTH: Completely untrue. You will have 12 hours at least.

MYTH: Prof. CivPro once killed a student with his bare hands in front of the class.
TRUTH: Absolutely true. The kid showed up five minutes late and talking on his cell phone. Everything after that is sort of a blur.

MYTH: The other students here are not helpful to the incoming students.
TRUTH: Blatantly false. We are very friendly, even if it’s just to lure you into our underground labs to perform bizarre scientific experiments on you before anyone in the building learns your name and might miss you. I’d be especially wary of helpful IP students, they tend to have science backgrounds.

MYTH: Law students tend to go out drinking.
TRUTH: False. We only drink water. This is a Baptist school, we release stress by getting together and trading Bible stories.

MYTH: This is where fun goes to die.
TRUTH: Not true. Fun stays as far away as possible. And if it does show up, we torture it and dump the body outside of Temple.

MYTH: Exam grading is unfair, arbitrary, and capricious.
TRUTH: Absolutely true, as proven by the fact I have not failed out.

MYTH: This is the most stressful law school in the country.
TRUTH: That’s what the Princeton Review says. But those are the same people who ranked Texas A&M the 8th best value school for undergrads. Ask someone who went to UT how accurate that is.

MYTH: It doesn’t matter where you finish in your class, because 97% of the class will have jobs at graduation.
TRUTH: Firstly, you didn’t want to work at Baker Botts anyway. And I’ve just scored an internship with the prestigious firm, Abercrombie and Fitch*.

MYTH: You will gain 15 pounds due to poor diet and lack of exercise.
TRUTH: Can’t talk, eating.

MYTH: Prof. Contracts uses some form of illicit substance.
TRUTH: Not unless you count Diet Pepsi.

MYTH: Despite our competitive environment, other students are always willing to share outlines and class notes.
TRUTH: 100% true. Of course, most of the time its only with very “minor” corrections which completely change the meaning of the lecture. Try to guess which ones! Was that “shall” really a “may”? You’ll find out when grades are released!

MYTH: The blogs here are funny and/or interesting.
TRUTH: I disprove that every single day.

*Ed Note- Obviously false. I’m not qualified to work there as I lack the appropriate washboard abs.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The NFL Rewards Inferior Play, Morality

The Hall of Fame must be smoking the crack Michael Irvin provided the selection committee. Hey, they can put Irvin in the Hall, but ahead of Art Monk? Are they serious?

Let's compare where they rank on the all-time lists:

Monk 7th, Irvin 20th

Monk 11th, Irvin 14th

Monk 30th, Irvin 37th

Now let's look at the peripherals...

Irvin won multiple Super Bowls. He once led the league in receiving yards. And he did lots of cocaine and had that whole "white house" thing which Dallas is so proud of. He wasn't exactly a model citizen.

Monk also won multiple Super Bowls. He actually was a model citizen, and as far as we know, never did drugs. And he certainly never showed up to the grand jury wearing a fur coat. He was also the first guy to ever catch 100 balls in a season. He held the record for most consecutive games with a catch until Jerry Rice broke the record, but let's be honest, most receiving records are "if not for Jerry Rice".

So, given the choice between the guy with superior stats, some claim to the record book, a legit trend setter, and on top of that a decent human being; the NFL instead chose to honor the guy with inferior stats, no claim to primacy, and a spotty arrest record.

Good job, Hall of Fame. Can someone explain this to me?

Sudden Realization

Holy crap, I'm a 3L.

I'm going to have to get a job and go out into the real world again soon.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Paying Rent Would Be Cool

Know who I hate? Baylor's financial aid department. It's not just that they placed a hold on my loans from my lender for no particular reason, they made no note in their system they had done so, and then refused to fix the problem because the hold was not in their system, so obviously, the hold did not exist. No, that's not the reason I hate them.

I hate them because they couldn't have been more bored with the fact they screwed up my aid and I'm staring at a nearly empty bank account due to their error. Hey, people screw up, but once I've found out the problem, done all the legwork, and found the very simple solution, perhaps you guys could get take the one minute out of your day to call the lender and say there's no hold. It's like they went out of their way to be unhelpful. I know the computer says there isn't a problem, but the lack of a check is a pretty concrete bit of proof that the computer is wrong.

Know who I think is awesome? Everyone in the dean's office, particularly Heather. They actually did something about it, and listened to me rant at them even if it wasn't their fault that the financial aid office is evil. Heather's even busy with the new student orientation, so for her to take the time to deal with financial aid on my behalf, and get results, is pretty darn cool. Not once did she try and pass the buck, either. I appreciate that.

So, since normally the administration only hears about things when things go wrong or when we're mad, I thought it would be nice to say something good about them. You guys rule. I will show my appreciation by actually paying my tuition.

And then I will follow Heather's recommendation and watch Green Street Hooligans this weekend.