Friday, May 23, 2008

Deaf Jaguar

No, I'm not starting a cheesily-named tribute band to pay homage to my favorite rockers of all time. I'm literally hoping that jaguars can't hear. Because if they can, they might be as irritated as I am that suddenly people can't seem to pronounce their names correctly.

As with the previously blogged about acronym debacle, this is a new development in the butchering of the English language - or at least one I hadn't noticed until now. Over the past year, I've noticed that a lot of people are referring to the spotted cat (or the luxury car brand name) as a jag-WIRE. Do you see the letter "I" anywhere in this word?

The ultimate offense occurred when I heard a radio commerical for a local Jaguar dealership, and the narrator made the above-mentioned gaff. Granted, it sounded like it was just one of those live reads by the station talent and not a professionally produced spot, but still - how embarassing for the dealership that their own advertisement doesn't even know how to pronounce what it's supposed to be selling. That's assuming that the folks at the dealership even know the correct pronunciation.

Score another one for the English-speaking public.

The End of the World As We Know It?

It was beginning to feel that way, looking at my ITunes purchases for the year and considering the music I had taken a pass on as of April. As of April 28, I had downloaded exactly 2 new singles, which both happened to be ITunes free singles of the week, and 1 new album - the surpisingly good "District Line" by Bob Mould. There was also "Good and Reckless and True," another great find, this one by The Alternate Routes, but that was released in 2007. Granted, my musical tastes are admitedly narrow, but comparing apples to apples - I had made about 740 ITunes song downloads since I started using the service in late 2004 - roughly 240 per year!

Leave it to my favorite band of all time to (hopefully) signal a turnaround in this dismal musical landscape. "Songs From the Sparkle Lounge" is nowhere close to being Def Leppard's greatest work ever. But, for once, the band made a cheesy statement like, "We're putting out something edgier" or "The sound is similar to (insert huge 80's album here)" or whatever it was they said, and you can actually see that they made a concerted effort to rock out. The album's growing on me.

That very same day, I discovered the new Augustana album, "Can't Love, Can't Hurt." Like with Mould's release, I had no idea that this CD was coming out, nor would I have been anticipating it even if I had. It turned out to be a great collection of songs. Since then, there have been a couple other albums that were not great total packages, but which yielded a few choice cuts each. And then, using the handy Amazon gift card given by my brother as a birthday gift, I gobbled up the latest from 3 Doors Down. These guys are nothing if not consistent (OK, they're more cookie-cutter than a cloning laboratory). But this was the first time I ever bought an album of theirs...and it actually kicks some ass. By the way, Amazon's music downloading service is a nice alternative to ITunes since they don't use that annoying Digital Rights Management encoding to prevent you from sharing the songs with others or even playing them on your own damn IPod.

So I'll overlook all the musical misses from this year so far. The old schoolers who showed their age - both expected (REM and Bryan Adams), could have gone either way (Sheryl Crow) and disappointing (Dokken) and the modern set who didn't quite make the grade (Theory of Deadman, Marie Digby, countless others I can't remember). And I'll hold out hope for the rest of the year...there's a lot of catching up to do. Next on tap - Weezer, Aimee Mann and The Offspring. Here's hoping the Leps added enough "Sparkle" for a true turnaround.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Free Shit

Trent Reznor is making the entire new Nine Inch Nails album available for free download on their Web site,, thanking the fans for continued support over the years - a noble gesture for sure.

One listen, and it's not hard to tell why it's free. Thanks Trent.

In other news, I'm going to skin a coyote alive, record its gutteral screams and make the MP3 available on this blog. No, don't worry about the royalties...this one is on me.