Ronzani III

Toeing The Line Since 1999

Wedding Wrap Up

conversationswithstu:

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It’s over! After 9 months of planning (seriously, pretty short window, way to go all involved) we sealed our vows in a beautiful ceremony conducted by our mutual best friend. Although the lion’s share of credit for the success of the event goes to Emma, her mother, myself, and my mother, we…

I figured since everyone is getting married that I’d share this for those interested. Also congrats to these two high school peeps. I recall them being good people, but let’s be honest, who really knows? I know I don’t! That said, keep appearing to be good people together! If you’re not, you’ve got me fooled!

Joe Frank - Karma Part 3

Every time I happen upon the Joe Frank radio show I just want to be enveloped by it. Sadly there’s no podcast and he charges like $8 to listen to old episodes, which is CRAZY. But I’ve been meandering through random clips on his website and I’m not exaggerating when I say, this is beyond anywhere I would have imagined radio going. It’s sometimes thought provoking, sometimes funny, always unsettling and always intense. It’s like a Pink Floyd record if you removed the vocal harmony and replaced it with intense, well-performed monologues and/or well written dialogue/skits.

Beautiful Friday night out on the patio. I just started John Prine’s self-titled album, my third relatively quiet acoustic record of the night. I’m laying on my back with only torch light and stars preventing absolute black (and a truly atrocious street light in the alley. God I hate that street light. I’m going do something about that light very soon. Mark my words). Anyway, this one stood out tonight. Very touching. Give it a listen, whydontcha?

Fuck yeah, Sam Miller!

Fuck yeah, Sam Miller!

Broadcasting is hard!

From last Wednesday through Saturday afternoon I was in the hospital with pneumonia. But my discharge didn’t mean much as I basically just went from a guy with pneumonia in the hospital to a guy with pneumonia at home. I feel a lot better but I still can’t really do shit because I’m fatiguing so damn easily. I mean, we’re talking the steam from a shower leaving me out of breath. That said, I’ve had a lot of time to myself, motionless and in need of content to fill my restless mind. When you have all this time to explore, you realize just how vast and splintered content has become. And you allow yourself to escape down different rabbit holes in search of your new favorite niche.

One of the things I realized I like is people with great chemistry talking about baseball - much more than I like actual baseball. Have you watched the shit lately? It’s awful! Strikeouts are at an all-time high for about the 5th year running. Pitching is so specialized and managers are using more specialty pitchers than ever. That leads to more pitching changes which leads to longer games. Even the hardcorey-ist of hardcore fans don’t want to be watching for 3.5 hours. That said, listening to a couple kinda smart-ass stat nerds who are very comfortable subtly jabbing each other while discussing these games has proven to be quite fun. So if you’re keeping track, that’s 40-50 minutes each day in which I do not have to worry about filling my head with content, thanks to the Effectively Wild Podcast with Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller. Sadly, those guys are an exception in the baseball podcasting world. It’s a pretty barren landscape content wise. AND, Ben just got hired to write for Grantland, which won’t afford him the time to keep this podcast daily.

So I got to thinking, I SHOULD BE FILLING THIS VOID! And as I have a tendency to do, I got lost in fantasy imagining what my baseball podcast would sound like. My head began to flood with wonderful thoughts and tangents, only somewhat related to baseball. Ben and Sam, while allowing their show’s topics to drift into the hypothetical and absurd, always stay within the realm of baseball. It’s certainly not for everyone. I was thinking about how on my show, baseball could just be a jumping off point for potentially broader discussion. For example, the All-Star game was Tuesday night. And as expected it was an all-out celebration of the soon-to-be retiring Derek Jeter. He’s certainly deserving of the accolades he’s received from the community, but that stuff isn’t tremendously interesting to me. What is interesting to me is his weirdly old fashioned, rat pack classy, kinda Lothario stronghold over New York City these past couple decades.

He very famously gets around in the biggest Metropolis in the land, yet it’s all just hearsay and tabloid fodder. And living in a time when celebrities can’t avoid being photographed and can’t avoid having their social lives exposed, Jeter has somehow managed to keep his escapades private and left to the imagination of his fans. It’s like Sinatra in the 60’s and 70’s only in an era when everyone has a camera. I don’t much care how much sex he’s having. I don’t put a lot of value in that. But the retention of relative privacy as one of the biggest celebrities in NYC for the past two decades? That’s goddamn impressive.

So I was going to talk about that. Then I had this whole other tangent about the differences between men and women who desire particular celebrities. About how men, generally speaking, don’t want to fuck famous women on account of their greatness. Like if some rando hooked up with Rihanna, he wouldn’t go back to his buddies and be like, “Dudes! I just hooked up with the girl who sang ‘Umbrella!’ Amazing!” No. It’d be, “I just banged one of the hottest women in the world!” There’d be no mention of her general stature or career achievements. Just a laser focus on how hot she is. And I’m certainly not saying that shallowness is exclusive to men, but in the reverse scenario there does seem to be a greater potential for multi-layered attraction.

It had never really occurred to me to try and place myself in the mindset of the groupie. The concept is just so foreign. I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to be out at some super upscale club in Manhattan, looking as sexy as possible in a cocktail dress across the bar from this baseball player I’m irrationally in love with - just wanting to get into his orbit. From impulse to execution - I just can’t wrap my head around any of it. 

It was at that point I recalled reading something about Neko Case in which she humorously lamented her own lack of groupies. She said something (I’m paraphrasing) about how it’d be awesome if there were just fan dudes hanging out by her tour bus after shows. And she could just emerge from the venue, walking towards the bus. And at the very least she’d have options available should she want to exercise them. So while it was initially difficult imagining being a groupie, the recollection of this Neko Case story got me thinking. What if I were hanging out after a show and she saw me and liked me? What would it be like to be asked to her room? Could I play it cool? Could I even perform? Am I being sexist for having a hard time believing Neko Case would want a one-night stand with a gushing super fan (even someone as viciously attractive as myself)?

It was at this point I realized my sickly face was sweating and I was wearing a t-shirt with a dinosaur on it. Sho shexy.

I feel like this would all be wonderful content! So I wrote up an outline and tried to start recording these thoughts. And no. Those thoughts that sound so interesting in your head - actually verbalizing them alone in an empty room - no good. Don’t even try. I could be generous and say broadcasters who sit alone in a room and talk for 3-4 hours a day are immensely talented - whether I like their thoughts or not (and I suppose they are). But hand in hand with that talent is a special brand of psychosis, allowing these people to plow through the awkwardness of speaking to no one while also remaining focused and orderly in their thoughts. It’s so freakin’ unnatural. If you don’t believe me, try it sometime! 

The lesson: I still really want to do it, but it’s not happening alone. It just feels too weird and icky. Time to search for a co-host!

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why there are airplanes flying over the house every 5-10 minutes. And seemingly pretty low to the ground. It’s awfully late in the night for anything to be taking off from the local podunk airport and I’m not particularly close to O’Hare or Milwaukee. It’s been going on all night. I’m beginning to wonder if Obama is going to predator drone my backyard for being so awesome. I could see him there with his thumb on the trigger thinking, “Why can’t I be sitting in the Rose Garden right now blasting Coolio’s ‘Fantastic Voyage’ for my pothead friends!? Those bastards!”

Anywho. If I end of caked in rubble back here you’ll know who to blame.

Tom was notably busy…

—Terry Boers on Thomas Jefferson fathering children with his slaves

Weird Al, you are a treasure!

There’s a whole lot to write about that’s happened since the last time I posted anything. But I’m thinking at this time the best thing to do is to not only avoid the topic of my various ailments, but to also avoid thought in general. When that is your goal, this is the song for you. It’s a spacey jam that kicks so much ass and I can’t make out a single word he says. So come with me. Allow Jim James to be your tour guide through the cosmos (props to Harris Wittels for that one). Let’s go friends. Let’s turn everything off and go flying.

johndarnielle:

This right here is Mark Eitzel. Back when I was just getting started in music people would see me and say “your performance reminds me of Mark Eitzel, you’re intense like he is!” and man oh man did I ever resent being compared to anybody, this is one of the many symptoms of Young Songwriter’s Disease, not everybody gets it but pig-headed dudes like me have to learn to accept kind comparisons with grace and gratitude instead of as an indictment of their originality or whatever. So I didn’t really get into Mark’s work until much later, but after I’d moved to North Carolina and made friends with people at Merge, I got handed a promo of their 2008 album The Golden Age, which leads off with a devastating song called “All My Love” and has one of the best mid-album triple-punch runs of the century so far: “All the Lost Souls Welcome You To San Francisco” followed by “Who You Are” and resolving on “The Windows on the World.” And I fell in love with Mark’s songs, and went back through the catalog, and sure enough, everybody’d been right all along, he walks with the giants. Merge is giving away a bunch of Merge artists covering other Merge artists for their 25th anniversary and when they asked us I knew “Who You Are” was the one for me. It is a song that I have turned to for comfort many times since I first heard it six years ago. Peter couldn’t get away, so that’s Brad Cook from Megafaun on bass here, along with me on piano and Jon Wurster on drums. We recorded at Overdub Lane with Scott Solter producing. It’s an honor to sing a song this good, this true; thanks for writing it, Mark & Vudi. I have tried to do justice by it. I’m going to attempt to make a link to the song here. My attempts to use HTML in Tumblr captions almost always fail hilariously so wish me luck.
Here.
Enjoy!

This is wonderful

johndarnielle:

This right here is Mark Eitzel. Back when I was just getting started in music people would see me and say “your performance reminds me of Mark Eitzel, you’re intense like he is!” and man oh man did I ever resent being compared to anybody, this is one of the many symptoms of Young Songwriter’s Disease, not everybody gets it but pig-headed dudes like me have to learn to accept kind comparisons with grace and gratitude instead of as an indictment of their originality or whatever. So I didn’t really get into Mark’s work until much later, but after I’d moved to North Carolina and made friends with people at Merge, I got handed a promo of their 2008 album The Golden Age, which leads off with a devastating song called “All My Love” and has one of the best mid-album triple-punch runs of the century so far: “All the Lost Souls Welcome You To San Francisco” followed by “Who You Are” and resolving on “The Windows on the World.” And I fell in love with Mark’s songs, and went back through the catalog, and sure enough, everybody’d been right all along, he walks with the giants. Merge is giving away a bunch of Merge artists covering other Merge artists for their 25th anniversary and when they asked us I knew “Who You Are” was the one for me. It is a song that I have turned to for comfort many times since I first heard it six years ago. Peter couldn’t get away, so that’s Brad Cook from Megafaun on bass here, along with me on piano and Jon Wurster on drums. We recorded at Overdub Lane with Scott Solter producing. It’s an honor to sing a song this good, this true; thanks for writing it, Mark & Vudi. I have tried to do justice by it. I’m going to attempt to make a link to the song here. My attempts to use HTML in Tumblr captions almost always fail hilariously so wish me luck.

Here.

Enjoy!

This is wonderful