Sunday, May 07, 2006

I Know Who My Friends Are

Like most of us out there these days, I have a Myspace page. It seems like a lot of people have a few bands listed as friends, but mostly they have people they know from work, school, etc., or just from living life. That’s as it should be. People should have friends. But on Myspace, the line between friendship and stalking is unclear, and there is an odd phenomenon in which people add "friends" they have never met and really don’t know. I am not quite sure what to make of all this; in order to be on my "friends" list, you have to be someone I know and/or a band that I like. Period. None of this collecting friends, or living voyeuristically through the Myspace pages of friends of friends of famous people, or whatever. Creeps me out. Why would you want someone as your “friend” if you are really not friends with him or her other than to "look cool" or to spy on them?

You can look at my “friends” list, which is somewhere in the 200’s these days, and it’s pretty clear who my friends are—the people I know and trust. But mostly it’s bands. Not because I know them personally—most of the time, I don’t—but because when things get really bad (and they have been pretty damn bad a lot lately), these are the people I count on to get me through. It’s like that scene in Almost Famous when Penny talks about what the music means to her. How if she’s every really down and lonely, she can always go to the record store and visit her friends. Of course, she really does know a fair number of those bands, and ironically enough, the friendship is far from reciprocated; in fact, to those musicians who do know her, she is no more than a plaything to be traded away on a drunken gambling spree. But to her, these people, this music is everything. It’s the reason to get up in the morning; it’s the medicine that makes everything all right. People are people, and they will always let you down. But the music is always there, always the same. You know you will always get that charge when you hear the opening rim shot of “Like a Rolling Stone,” when the opening guitar riff to “Rocks Off” blows through your speakers. Or when it’s late at night, and you’re lonely and sad, you know that you can always listen to the lonely, sad voice of Ryan Adams and it will be all right. Screw people; they always let you down. They all have agendas and egos and misplaced priorities, and when it comes down to it, they will always put themselves first. So when life sucks, and the world hits you in the head with a cold steel hammer, put on the music, turn to the bands. Because the music is always there and does not change.

So take a look at my Myspace page—if you know me, you will see a few familiar faces. But mostly, you will see my friends.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Things I Like Vol. 30

Ten People/Places/Things That Rock My World

1) Status Anxiety - Alain de Botton - the book every American should read but won't
2) The Animal Years - Josh Ritter
3) Entourage - HBO and Adrian Grenier, perfect together
4) cold Corona and lime - can summer be far behind?
5) The Tiki Bar - Asbury Park, NJ- margaritas and tasty waves
6) Comfort Food - Rachael Ray (yeah, I know, I know)
7) Nagle's Pharmacy - Ocean Grove, NJ - ice cream the way it was meant to be
8) Chilangos Authentic Mexican Restaurant - Highlands, NJ
9) Ryan Adams - just 'cause
10) The Mercury Lounge, NYC

Hero of the Week: Cindy Sheehan - still the authentic voice of America's outrage
Villain of the Week (tie): Donald Rumsfeld (no explanation needed) and Condoleezza Rice (ditto)