Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A-Rod, Michael Phelps, and Chris Brown

So it's been a crazy week for these three men. One had a photograph surface of him smoking marijuana, one had a positive steroid test released from 6 years ago, and one allegedly beat is famous girlfriend and then left her on the side of the road. Phelps and Brown have had several sponsors and upcoming performances dropped, Brown has yet to make a comment (but charges have been confirmed), and A-Rod came out and fessed up to the Performance Enhancing Drug use.

Let's start with Phelps. Already with a DUI on his record, this isn't the first time Phelps' partying has gotten him in trouble. This time it was not a run in with the law, but a perhaps jealous or greedy party attendee that decided Phelps fate. Let's be honest, he isn't Bode Miller who has become infamous for his partying, he's a 23 year old who has set world records and won tons of medals for his country. As a result of his success, he has been put up on a pedestal to be a role model for young people. One commentator said that while he has been put in this position it is not necessarily a position he asked to be in. He accepted endorsements and in many ways was a representation of what hard work and determination will get you. So he's celebrating his accomplishments. Did his smoking marijuana that night take away from what he's done? Probably not. One comedian said parents are concerned about what to tell their kids when they ask if they can smoke marijuana like Michael Phelps and her response was "When you win 8 gold medals for your country you can smoke all the marijuana you want?" Marijuana in many states (such as Massachusetts) is slowly becoming decriminalized. I do not think that Michael Phelps career should be over over this. I don't even know if he should have been suspended, but I guess that had to make a statement. Luckily for them, the statement comes at a time when he wouldn't normally be competing for them.

Up next A-Rod (see also A-Roid, A-Hole, A-Fraud, etc). Was I disappointed when I read that A-Rod had tested positive for steroids? A little bit. Was I surprised? Not at all. Baseball is the one sport where I don't think I'd be surprised if there was a list of 104 players who tested negative for steroids. I think A-Rod's smartest move was coming forward and saying, yes I did it. I took Performance Enhancing Drugs, I didn't necessarily know what I was putting in my body, but I knew it would help me compete at a higher level. I can't believe how excited Red Sox nation was about this revelation. I'm sure if A-Rod had ended up on the Red Sox, they wouldn't be so happy about it. Again though the issue is this information was leaked. Someone with a vendetta against A-Rod or maybe the Yankees took it upon themselves to make it known 1/104 positive test results to the world. If they were concerned for the state of baseball they might have chosen to release all the names, but oddly enough they chose only one. Some are calling for the release of the other names (Curt Schilling) while others are probably shaking in their boots. I think that if we keep sweeping this under the rug it's just going to keep going. Perhaps we just put it all there and start with a clean slate. Some people will probably choose to deny it and others might admit it like A-Rod, but to punish A-Rod now is just not fair. After at the time of this testing non of the substances he tested positive for were banned by the MLB. It will be interesting as teams start reporting to Spring Training the end of this week how things progress.

Chris Brown, 20 years old, on the top of the world. Hit singles, Top 40 dominating collaborations, and a pop princess for a girlfriend. Then something went terribly wrong. While there are limited details and tons of speculation this much is known, after leaving a pre-Grammy party Chris Brown and Rihanna got into and argument that quickly escalated. It moved from the car to the park where Brown allegedly attacked Rihanna and left her on the side of the road. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. Is this the end of Chris Brown? No. Is it the end of his clean cut image? Probably. Brown is talented and an assault charge and possibly jail time isn't going to change that. People will forever think differently of him, but I'm sure it isn't the end of Chris Brown. Rihanna will come out with a killer album with Supergirl attitude and rise back to the charts, this isn't the end of her either. Domestic abuse isn't a laughing matter, but the sad part is that millions of people are involved in domestic abuse every single day. They don't have the support that Rihanna has and they don't have the money for attorney's that Chris Brown does.

All of these stories happen to ordinary people everyday. I work at Berklee with a ton of musicians, do people smoke pot? Yup. Do they have multimillion dollar endorsement deals? No, but does that make them any better or worse as people? (Financially is a whole different story.) I go to the gym almost daily, I don't necessarily know people who use performance enhancing drugs, but do they exist for sure. Are they setting records? No, but are they trying to out do the next guy or live up to a public image? And Chris Brown, Ike Turner, Bobby Brown and other celebrity's who let money and power get the best of them, their actions are not justified or acceptable, but let's remember we don't know the whole story. We're just reading all of this through the eyes and ears of 'sources' and tabloids.

Heading home for a couple days this weekend for much needed family time.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

25 Things You Might Not Know About Me.

Ok so, for those of you not on facebook, or not on my friend (you are really missing out), there is a thing going around where you write 25 things about yourself that people may or may not know. Then you include 25 other people and they have to do it. It's like an epidemic and I was bound to catch it, so I felt like I would share all with you. Enjoy!

1.) Music is my life, even though I'm not musical. If I had the time and effort I would learn and instrument, I still might.
2.) Along those lines I have an unnatural and sometimes creepy obsession with Bruce Springsteen. I blame my Aunt and Mike. The first time I heard him I sat outside Fenway Park freshmen year of college. Mike took me to my first show, my aunt was with me on my 21st birthday for my 3rd show and my best friend and I got soaked before my 4th show at Gillette Stadium.
3.) My best friends are like family. I'd do anything for them. Sometimes even if it's detrimental to me.
4.) I lived in Australia and it was some of the best and worst times of my life.
5.) I want a tattoo, but I'm afraid that I'll get one and then I'll be covered.
6.) I'm a Gemini (Some may read bi-polar)
7.) I love to travel and if I was independently wealthy, I would constantly be on the move.
8.) I enjoy cooking and I do it pretty often.
9.) My parents are two of the greatest people I know and sometimes I hope they outlive me.
10.) I will live in NYC again.
11.) It was once a life goal to be on the Real World and I've been to multiple casting calls. When I was in Australia Real World was too and I hung out with them, and bought a couple rounds of drinks before they told me they have an alcohol budget. I bummed a cigarette of Isaac. I did not make it on TV.
12.) I auditioned to be an MTV VJ, then they got rid of music on MTV.
13.) More often than not I work out to really embarrassing pop music.
14.) I've been working on a movie script/TV pilot for years, someday I might just finish it.
15.) I'm really 5 11 and 3/4 but I tell everyone I'm 6'. Sometimes I wish I was taller.
16.) There are very few things I regret in life. Although I regret not trying harder sometimes.
17.) I may or may not have a gambling problem. I once lost a $100 and lied about it. I once spent 2hours driving between different gas stations buying scratch tickets because if I won I refused to go back to the same place twice. I went to the Casino or played poker EVERY night in Australia. I was broke.
18.) I started a blog to share my thoughts with the world. I have a journal to write my thoughts that I will probably never share.
19.) If I'm not drinking Bud or Guinness, it's Jack and Coke or Soco. (Or water, I'm not that bad, anymore)
20.) I'm not a 'typical frat guy' but my Fraternity experiences are very much a part of who I am today.
21.) I wish I were Peter Pan, not because of the tights and weird hat, but because he could fly and never had to grow up, and to be honest growing up sucks.
22.) I think the only time I've ever cried watching a TV was the episode of ER where Mark Greene dies. Devastating.
23.) I hate the thought of teeth. If I hear about someone cracking a tooth or root canals I get the chills. I also have recurring dreams where I'm brushing my teeth or flossing and my teeth fall out one at a time.
24.) I hate cold weather and don't know why I've chosen to stay in the Northeast for so long. I'd rather be hot than cold any day.
25.) I sing in the shower, sometimes at the top of my lungs. I catch myself thinking out loud sometimes. This was way harder than I thought.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sun is back!

The sun is back, but it's still super cold out. Definitely ready for some warm weather. Looking forward to my work trip to Austin, TX in March. I'm going down for the music conference/festival known as South By Southwest. It's going to be awesome. Tons of up and coming bands that I've been wanting to check out, plus some panels/presentations from Quincy Jones and Steven Van Zandt (Miami Steve/Little Steven). This weekend I'm hoping to get tickets to the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee which I've been wanting to go to since it started and I think this year I'm just going to get tickets and go. It's not until June, but Bruce and the Band are headlining one night and Phish on two nights with a million other bands. Time to buy a tent :)


Monday, February 2, 2009


So because I had no attachment to either team in the Super Bowl this year, I was of course excited that the one and only Bruce Springsteen would be providing the halftime entertainment this year. According to several reports requests for his performance date back almost 30 years. It was only see bands such as The Rolling Stones and Tom Petty 'legitimize' the performance that he agreed to do it. Oh and he has a new album and world tour coming up. It's a different world in the music industry and I wouldn't consider it 'selling out', more making a smart business move. Bruce promised that the show would be like you got stuck on the Jersey Turnpike and circled for two and half hours and only made into his concert for the last 12 minutes. He held his promise. A silhouette of the boss and the Big Man reminiscence (but not quite) of the cover of the Born to Run album started the show and it was right into "10th Avenue Freezeout", the tale of how the E-Street Band came to be. Next a trimmed down "Born to Run". All the time the energy was as if backstage they had been playing for a few hours. The new Working On A Dream was a small bump in the road, but showcased his new stuff, backed by a full choir. Then it was right back to the "Glory Day". 'Speedball' became 'Hail Mary' and the momentum was back. It truly was Boss Time and if they let him go, he probably could have played into overtime, but no it came to an end. From "Is Anybody Alive Out There?" on top of Roy's piano, to his knee slide (into the cameraman) and jumping right out into the crowd, the whole world got a taste of the E Street Experience. Oh did I mention he'll be 60 in September.

Let's back it up a few though. Jennifer Hudson's rendition of the Star Spangled Banner was phenomenal. I don't think people are saying that because she's overcome so much and they wanted her to do so well, but because she actually blew that song out of the water. I saw a survey comparing her to the Whitney Houston rendition from 1991 and she was winning by almost a 50% margin. She is truly a talented vocalist and she may not have had the popular vote on American Idol, but she will be very successful and perhaps our generations Whitney Houston.

The game was pretty unexciting to start, but as it got closer to the end I was really pulling for the Cardinals. That last touchdown was awesome, except I knew that there was way too much time on the clock for the Steelers. I still think the last fumble was a incomplete pass, but I'm not an official. Congrats to the Steelers on a job well done. I heard a report earlier last week that if they won, the city of Pittsburgh was not sure if they would be able to throw them a celebration based on the state of the economy and the budget in Pittsburgh. I hope that they are able to do something at least for the fans.

Overall it was a good night. Can't wait to see Springsteen on tour. Apparently the scalpers were watching the Superbowl too, tickets are already going for between $100 to $1000 above face value. They went onsale 4 hours ago.