Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Monday, November 13, 2017

Country Music Sucks: Wu Tang Clan - C.R.E.A.M.

The format was supposed to be that *you guys* would suggest some country song and *I* would suggest the hip-hop song. But I guess we can do this back asswords. Let's see what happens.

Title: C.R.E.A.M.
Artist: Wu-Tang Clan
Year: 1993



Quick take:

Classic hip-hop sampling here. Wu-Tang always blended understated beats and deceptively deep stories. But as catchy as it sounds, was "CREAM" an acronym before Wu-Tang made it up?

Make Country Hip-Hop Count:

  • Cars - Minivan reference! "Rollin' in [Mazda] MPV's... Ch-chick-POW!"
  • Baby - This song has no time for girls. It's about growing up and surviving on the streets.
  • Dirt - Uuuuhhh, Ol' Dirty Bastard y'all (not featured here, but still). RIP Dirt Dog.
  • Small Town - Shaolin land, er Staten Island. This is the smallest of NYC's 5 boroughs, so that is as small town as it gets.
  • Guitar - In a place where they pull out gats for fun, there's just the sound of stray shots
  • Good ol' days - "I grew up on the crime side, the New York Times side. Stayin' alive was no jive." Reminds me of my days in Mandeville, LA. Grew up the other side of the highway from the gated community. No jive.

Best Part: 

No doubt. The hook.

Cash rules everything around me
C.R.E.A.M., get the money
Dollar dollar bill, y'all

Worst Part:

I could listen to 5 more minutes of this song. Needed 2 or 3 more Wu-Tangs.

Did I Download It?: 

I got this, homies.

What I’d Rather Be Listening To:

But seriously, they made the C.R.E.A.M. acronym up. It's catchy and classic, so C.R.E.A.M. is often referenced, what does it really mean?

I'll just leave this country-ish song here (does Southern Rock count?). It is at least as powerful as C.R.E.A.M. though.



Sunday, November 5, 2017

Country Music Sucks: Chris LeDoux - This Cowboy's Hat

This is the first line of Chris LeDoux's wiki page:
"Chris LeDoux was a Rodeo Cowboy who sang and recorded songs in his spare time and sold his albums from the back of his truck." 
That is serious country street cred. I'm interested.

Title: This Cowboy's Hat
Artist: Chris LeDoux
Year: 1991



Quick take:

This is a simple song about not touching a man's hat. Everyone knows not to touch a man's woman, a man's car, or a man's hat. This song is simply a reminder not to disrespect a fella.


Make Country Count:

  • Cars - Nope, but one old boy said, "Hey Tex, where'd you park your horse?"
  • Baby - Nope. This song is strictly about his costume hat. One reference to a husky fella though, if you are into the bear thing.
  • Dirt - Nope, but props for several rodeo + weather references: Riding black tornadoes, roping a Blue Norther', and bulldoging the Mississippi River. I had to look up most of the rodeo terms.
  • Small Town - This took place in a coffee shop. I like to imagine one in Austin.
  • Guitar - Nope. All hat, all the time.
  • Good ol' days – Not really. Just sipping some coffees and some swapping of rodeo stories before the motorcycle riding asshole wanting to touch another man's hat came in.

Best Part: 

There is a whole verse on where the hat came from.

Worst Part:

Sure the hat meant something, but you also don't touch a man's shitty hat either. He could have saved that whole hat history verse.

Did I Download It?: 

No, but I'm not just into cowboy and rodeo culture. I like this song though.

What I’d Rather Be Listening To:

This song sounds like a what would happen if Beastie Boys "Paul Revere" and Tenacious D's "Tribute" had a tough, uneducated simple baby.




Saturday, November 4, 2017

Country Music Sucks: Florida Georgia Line - Cruise

In Week 6, I proclaimed that country music sucks. You told me some songs I needed to add to my playlist.
"Uh is this a joke?!? Fk country music." -As Donkey As I Want To Be (KS) 
Nope. Not a joke. Zero points.

Let’s do this.

Title: Cruise
Artist: Florida Georgia Line
Year: 2012




Quick take:

Starting with “Baby you a song,” and assuming FGL really love making songs, they must love this girl like they made her themselves. 

This is a song literally about cruising in your car and not much else. The Internet tells me that by April 2013, Cruise had become the best-selling song by a country duo in digital history. I don’t need to look to see if this record held. This song is a dumb country pop song. A dumb song that stands with countless other dumb pop songs.


Make Country Count:

  • Cars - 1 truck, 3 Chevy's, KC fog lights
  • Baby - 10 baby's, 2 girl's. Really surprised there weren't more.
  • Dirt - Has a "back road" in the chorus. Also references mudding, yeehaw!
  • Small Town - Oh yeah, specifically farm towns
  • Guitar - Yup. Dude had to stop his cruising, which the song is all about, just to play some guitar. Sometimes you just get that inspiration. And that's how country music babies are born, kids.
  • Good ol' days – Reference to '70's band The Marshall Tucker Band

Best Part: 

Before Florida Georgia Line finished their first studio album, this song appeared on an EP called "It'z Just What We Do." Who (besides me) said country dudes aren't cool?!? Baller title.

Worst Part:

The worst part of every pop song is that they are terrible ---- yet catchy.

Did I Download It?: 

Hellz no.

What I’d Rather Be Listening To:

Thinking about immortalizing a girl in a song, Fall Out Boy's "Sugar We're Going Down Swinging" comes to mind. It's not as sugar sweet and a little less incest-y than "Cruise." "I'm just a notch in your bedpost but you're just a line in a song." This girl clearly gets around, but she is the kind of girl that both Fall Out Boy and Florida Georgia Line dream about. However only one of these songs is dealing reality. And reality stings worse than when you are cruising and you stick your head out of the window and dust from the farm town gets in.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

P-F17: Week 8 NFL Bonus - Which Team is the Most Patriotic?

With Washington playing Philly on Monday Night Football last week, and after all the sit/stand/kneel/fist drama, last week's bonus question just came to me.

Who is the most patriotic team? For whom would our country's founders be fanatics today, with their superlative declarations written in cursive on parchment in the bleachers?

According to the dictionary, patriotic means expressing one's kindness in a way that appears superior to the subject.

Oh wait, or is that patronising. Whatever.

You guys -- like really answered the bonus question. All the answers were great because they ranged from just naming a team without explanation to some science and history. Everyone who answered gets points, and the main benefit of the bonus question is that we all win because we get to read the answers.

I'll start with what may have been the obvious choice (or was it?). The "Patriots". It's in the name, so they must be patriotic. However, two of you wrote "Patriots?".  I'm not sure if you are questioning me, yourself, or the team, but I love the question mark. 1 point for saying Patriots, 2 extra points for those question marks.

I also got the "Giants". No explanation. Lady Liberty is patriotic in a Frenchy way. 2 points.

"Uh is this a trick question? Obviously it's the Vikings the first citizens of our great country." I have no idea if this is fact. I could google it, but my guess is that there may not be a unified internet opinion on this kind of fact. 4 points though.

Three people said "Cowboys" without explanation. This is the worst of all the answers. 1 point and you are lucky I don't leave your names here.

Two people said the "Texans". And before you tell me that answer is as bad as the Cowboys, remember that the Texans are the National team of Texas, and Texans are fiercely patriotic. 2 points for these 2 fine citizens.

I got one "Blue Jays". If anything, that is funny, eh? At least 2 points, but no more for picking a baseball team.

"Patriotic -- having or expressing devotion to and vigorous support to one's country  -- gotta be the Redskins." And casinos. Here's 3 points to double down on the next open ended bonus question.

"It's not a contest," said one of you. "Everything is a contest, and stay open, says me. 2 points.

Two of you said the "Saints." One of you followed it with "America's team." God bless us. I did like the response of "don't let the black and gold fool ya" though. 2 solid points.

"S.E.A.L. Team 6" is a fine answer. How would you like to be S.E.A.L. Team 7 trying to follow in those footsteps though. 3 points.

The "Cardinals" are an okay choice, "because of Pat Tillman." But I'm not sure the team can take that credit. 2 points.

How about the "home team"?

How about "Team USA!"?

How about "Team America. Fk Yeah!"?! 3 points for the red, white, and blue.

You like Gold? Money? Capitalism? How about "49ers"? And they also had Kaepernick. That is patriotism, if you looked it up on the internet's opinion web, I think. 3 points.

Look this up. "Philadelphia Eagles (cause Philly where the Dec of Indy was signed and Eagles the symbol of AMERICA, we go head first into a storm instead of flying away) Little history, little science, LARGELY PATRIOTIC!" Indeed. 4 points.

How about "any one that Mike Pence is not attending." WHOA. Why are you trying to bring politics into our game, pickem guy? 3 points.

"Oilers, none of them are kneeling." Winner. 5 points. h/t Phlying Hellfish (AD)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

P-F17: Week 6 NCAA Bonus - Let's Bounce Back Y'all

I had an idea, and it was good. I was reaching to save myself from XM’s pop station. I was really reaching to save myself from that song about the body and the back-roads.

I dislike country music for a variety of reasons. I don’t enjoy the forced accents or songs about dirt and mundane details of life. Hearing dudes in fake deep accented voices saying the word “baby”.... yughhk.

I’m not saying there isn't any good country music. I'm not a millennial. I still buy music from time to time, and I have a little country. But what I’m not going to do is actively put in the work to try to discover good country. I can't stomach suffering through the dumb stuff.

Is the genre still relevant? Well that’s something googlable. Turns out, the late 90’s and early 00’s were peak country, y'all. I don't really remember that. During that time period, the genre owned more of the Billboard charts than either Hip-Hop or Pop. But today? Pop is king. Metal is dead. Hip-hop is as strong as ever. And country -- it is actually still there. But seriously, is it any good? (reference: most Pop)


That’s the freaking question! That will be the bonus question for this week!

Then some domestic terrorist did the unimaginable. At the end of a three-day country music festival at a sold-out show, the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history occurs.

How do I reconcile my general disinterest (and kind of distaste) for a whole style when its fans were affected so deeply?

I texted Second to Nutt (KH) and Baby Bevo XV (DW).

GN: "Is a pickem bonus question related to country music sucking too soon now? Thought of it before Vegas."

KH: "Oof, yeah, I'm never 'too soon' guy, but that's probably too soon"

DW: "Agree. Just don’t see a path to victory here."

They aren't wrong, but you all, that shit is what music, art, sport, etc. are all about. These things don’t sustain life. These things enhance life. Avoiding this stuff is losing. It’s letting the proverbial terrorists win.

Feel free to abstain. OR -- let’s bounce back.

Give me a good country song to listen, I’ll collect all submission, put them all in a playlist, and when I’m listening, I’ll be thinking a lot more about this group and football and a lot less about tragedy and gun control.

I generally think country music sucks. Help beat me at the music game. Leave your answers in the Week 6 NCAA Card bonus question or below in the comments section. You'll get credit for either.

 

P-F17 Week 6 Card and Scoreboard Link

NCAA Pick'em

NFL Pick'em

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Official 2017 Pickem-Football Annual Recruitment Post

Ready to sign up? Use the "too long, didn't read" link at the end of this sentence to go straight to the registration form.

THE TRUTHS 

"If you can’t get something out of your head, maybe it is supposed to be there." - you
We pick games as a matter of virtue, and I can't imagine a life where we don't all do it every week of football season with each other.

Many ads, friends, coworkers, and unsolicited emails focus on one special dimension of football participation: the fantasy one. And a common tendency is to emphasize the team building part of our love of football. But as miraculous as managing a team of special athletes can be, by itself it will become terribly incomplete -- a perennial football relationship needs more than fantasy alone (if it even needs the ownership of athletes at all).
"Loyalty, trust, compassion, empathy, unselfishness, cooperation, companionship, helpfulness…" <<< words never used to describe what we are doing here
But in this left-swipe world of commitments, maybe a little review of Pick'em Dash Football is in order. Below is at least enough for us to begin a relationship that's safe enough to make legal with the sign up form.

THE RULES

Pickem Dash Football consists of 4 games, all of which you are signing up for when you fill out the registration form:
  1. NCAA Pick'em
    • 15 games to pick per week
    • Picks are against the spread
    • The odds for each game are provided for you
    • Contest represents approx 33% of the pot; 1st and 2nd place winners are named
  2. NFL Pick'em
    • 14-16 (all) NFL games per week
    • Picks are straight up (that means no spread and you are picking winners)
    • Contest represents approx 33% of the pot; 1st and 2nd place winners are named
  3. NCAA FBS Bowl Games
    • All the bowls (41? I've lost count)
    • Picks are confidence pool style (most points on game you are most confident and 1 point on game you are least confident)
    • Picks are straight up (no spread)
    • Contest represents approx 50% of 33% of the pot (uh you do the math); 1st place winner only
  4. NFL Playoff Games
    • All the playoff games (11)
    • Picks week-to-week against the spread; points are cumulative
    • Contest represents approx 50% of 33% of the pot; 1st place winner only
I send the pick'em cards to you via a link to a Google Form. It’s easy and you can even pick from your phone.

On the game card for each week's NCAA and NFL games, I may include optional bonus questions (like the annual Thanksgiving side dish bonus). While these won't increase your score for the regular-season games, the "points" are collected and used to give you an tiny advantage in the post-season games. Bonus points are also given to weekly winners, for paying your entry fee early, and for some other random stuff I make up along the way. You can win any of the contests without them, but why would you rob me of the fun of reading your answers. It is the only bread I get from Pick'em Dash Football.

SOME MORE TRUTHS

As we close in on two decades of focusing on our pick'em game craft here at P-F headquarters, we've grown and made acquaintances, friends, office-mates, and family. Maybe you've made family too. In an ideal scenario, I understand that is what is supposed to happen.
"Football season is worth waiting for even if it takes a whole off-season. Then in return a lifetime of football will be waiting for you." - Inspirational quote generator, making heart shape with hands
All this is the solid background of truths that bring us together each year for the most challenging and intimate of games: Pick'em. Devotion is a fundamental part of football fandom, and freedom of choice is one of the top 4 things we all love about the lives we live. Pick'em is therefore the real soul of watching football.

THE PICK'EM DASH FOOTBALL GUARANTEE

 I guarantee Pick'em Dash Football will provide a richer, multi-dimensional experience, much more complete than the two-dimensional picture on your high def TV, or you probably will skip out on the entry fee anyway.
"I miss Pick'em season. Not in some cheesy 'Let's hold hands and be together forever kind of way.' I simply have nightmares of it not being Pick'em season, plain and simple. I miss making Pick'em cards. I miss reading open ended bonus question answers. I miss you Pick'em."- Pretty much everyone