Bryan Joiner

Why then I

Category: Music

Party in the USDA

For reasons I can’t properly explain, the Miley Cyrus song “Party in the USA” is stuck in my head, only that’s not what I’m hearing. I’m hearing “Party in the USDA,” and I’m imagining smocked, hair-capped, and plastic-gloved meat inspectors jamming to the song. I often rewrite songs in my head, but usually I just insert the word “chickens,” in honor of the nickname of my childhood dog, into the lyrics. I think this is a sign of perhaps not having grown up as much as I like to think I have done, which is fine. Or maybe in this specific instance it’s just a defense mechanism so that I won’t have to admit I *actually* have a Miley Cyrus song in my head, one that I’m fairly sure I’ve never heard from beginning to end.

I also thought about going with USTA, but thinking of the US Open crowd listening to the song seemed a little too on-the-mark.


On any other day

My Book of Maps

Among the many things that make me a festering nerd of the highest order, I have a giant National Geographic Atlas of the World that I’ll occasionally study over meals. Not only that, I’ve done it since I was a child. Not only that, I’ve done it with the exact same book. The book I own is the 1970 National Geographic Atlas of the World, and I see no reason to update it. I can always find a current map of the world, but what I didn’t know until the fall of the Soviet Union, and what is more pronounced now, is how much a map is just a snapshot in time when the word “map” is commonly used to signify the exact opposite. (This phenomenon is what my friend over here has basically devoted his recent life to studying, and which I wrote about here.)

Last night I thought about going through the book and pulling out the examples of countries whose name had changed, a change which usually precipitates a host of similar changes. Off the top of my head, you’ve got Rhodesia, Burkina Faso, Benin, North/South Vietnam, East/West Germany, the USSR, the borders of Israel/Palestine, Yugoslavia, Egypt (listed as the United African Republic; is that still so), Namibia, NOT “Zaire” (which went to and from that name between then and now), Guinea-Bissau is listed as “Portuguese Guinea” (that could be a technicality) — and I realize I’m only scratching the surface here. I find the whole thing compelling. It’s like a treasure map. A colorful, vibrant treasure map that costs $150 new. So yeah, I like my old map.

I think Ben would kill me if I did all this talking about maps and didn’t do this, so here it goes. And FWIW, as I’ve caught up on about a decade’s worth of music in the last 10 months, the YYY’s are at the absolute top of the list:

Books, Vince Young, Radiohead — It’s a Rambling Tuesday Post

I have this nasty habit of buying a bunch of books and piling them up, just waiting for them to be read. Right now I’m reading at least three of them simultaneously: The Book of Basketball, Imperial, and Light on Yoga (h/t CF). They sit in a stack near my bed next to loose magazines, and in the minutes before I turn it, I turn to whatever suits my fancy for the day.

I get more magazines than I need. This is a fact. I went on a buying spree in the summer, when ate lunch outside every day. That’s prime magazine-reading time, so in early August I ordered up a bunch of subscriptions because at the time I was only getting The New Yorker and Sports Illustrated (and Sports Illustrated suuuuuucks). By the time they arrived I was back on an indoor lunch schedule, and my indoor lunches take place in front of the computer. For better or worse.

I re-read Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything That Rises Must Converge” last night, because I saw a screen shot of Jacob reading the book in Lost, and the cover is the same color as one of the other books I was reading, so I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I bought the book shortly after seeing it on Lost because I think the day before that episode I had finished whatever I was reading previously, so I thought, well, why not? Title story much better on second reading. What is the point of all this? I’m not sure. I just like watching that word counter go up in the lower-left-hand corner.

As long as we’re hopscotching topics, I love the Vince Young resurrection. It’s a great story, and he’s the single best test case for how much harder the NFL is than college football. Dude won the National Championship in one of the best performances of all time, certain the best in the BCS era, without apparently being able to run a complicated offense. He got to the NFL, hit it fairly big on talent alone, then bottomed out, personally and professionally. Now he’s slowly working himself back into a decent NFL quarterback. That’s some The Natural sh*t right there. I actually like Tennessee when he’s playing, but I can’t stand Kerry Collins, so last night’s game was a treat.

Due to the rousing success of Music Monday, and the festivity of the short week, here’s a ridiculous video the MZA pointed me toward yesterday. If your sentiments run anti-Radiohead or anti-Japanese animation/themes, this might not be the video for you. You’re wrong, but it might not be the video for you.


Rather than babble about B.S. you have no interest in hearing about, or continue my assault against Bill Simmons’ 4th-and-2 inanity (yes, I’m still mad), I’m going to just give you some music this morning.

Karen O looks and sounds particularly demented in this clip, though I think that’s sort of the point.

Good Morning, USA

h/t MZA

The Updated Thoughts

Once I listened to the album not on headphones, wow.

I’m off to Dallas in two days for Pats/Cowboys.

In Rainbows: The Initial Thoughts

me: My early Radiohead suspicions are that this could be a Amnesiac-like precursor to a bigger album

SPM: what makes you say that?

me: I like it, but it lacks a cohesiveness that the last three big albums had – OK Computer, Kid A, Hail to the Thief – it kind of seems like a bunch of songs

Which from Radiohead is always good, but I also gather they’ve played a whole bunch of new material at shows that’s not on here. I could be wrong, I hope not, just to get another album out of it.

Plus, it’s been four years…

And it seems like four years would yield a whole bunch of songs. And I’m guessing it did.

SPM: I’m having a different reaction. I think a lot of these songs have the same feel, almost more than other radiohead albums, which to me were different awesome songs arranged and combined perfectly

but I need at least 10-20 more listens

the first listen is always deceiving

me: I mean, I think these songs do have the same feel, but were arrange dffor that reason, rather than preconceived/structured as an album. You’re right, the first listen is always deceiving, but I feel like they’re probably holding something back.

Which is to say, they’re such a good band that releasing 10 songs after four years seems a little low to me. But lest you think I’m complaining, I’m certainly not, I’m going to wear out these MP3s like a mofo.

SPM:  you ungrateful prick

me: agreed

In Rainbows

As of today you can buy the new Radiohead album, In Rainbows, for whatever price you want over at their website.