Get Smart about what you pay attention to

  1. Good news: we have unfettered access to all sorts of knowledge via the Interwebs.
  2. Bad news: we have unfettered access to all sorts of bile via the Interwebs.

Seth Godin knows that the best way to deal with the latter is to not deal with it at all. Here’s a recent blog post of his:

Your kitchen table

You open the door and the vacuum cleaner salesperson comes in, and dumps a bag of trash in your living room.

Or a neighbor sneaks in the back door and uses a knife to put gouges on the kitchen table.

Or, through the window, someone starts spraying acid all over your bookshelf…

Why are you letting these folks into your house?

Your laptop and your phone work the same way. The reviews and the comments and the breaking news and the texts that you read are all coming directly into the place you live. If they’re not making things better, why let them in?

No need to do it to yourself, no need to let others do it either.

 

Be Smart.

Don’t give in to the chaos (or the KAOS).

Take Control!

Create your own Cone of Silence.

 

 

 

 

It’s not called Selection Saturday

College hoops fans, want to free up about 30 hours of your time? Here’s how: instead of spending all that time over this past week (including today) worrying and wondering about where your favorite team will be seeded (or if they even will be in the field at all) and where they might be playing, and who they might be playing, just tune in tomorrow evening for the official selection show.

Because any time spent on the “what ifs” before that is wasted worrying. And I hate to burst your bubble, but unless you’re one of the 10 folks in New York City who are part of the selection committee, your vote doesn’t count (talk about gerrymandering!).

I know “bracketology” has become a cottage industry. Heck, there’s even a site that rates all the bracket predictors. (FWIW, ESPN’s alleged expert Joe Lunardi isn’t even close to being the most accurate.)

But none of their brackets matter come Sunday night at 6 p.m. (Also, the official selection show is on TBS this year, not CBS… and don’t forget to spring forward!)

So you can spend countless hours searching for “expert” brackets, and watching talking heads chattering about “last 4 in” and “first 4 out” all you want… or you can take a hike, read a book or three, play with your kids, call your grandma, paint a masterpiece, read boring blogs (thanks!)…

 

 

 

Let Me Come Over

This past weekend, my wife, my oldest son Gabriel and I went to L.A. so that he could visit college campuses (or is that campi?).

The fact that my favorite band happened to be playing a concert in L.A. on Saturday night was purely coincidence. (And by “coincidence” I mean “the main reason for the trip.”)

Yes, faithful dubbatrubba readers will know that I’m talking about Buffalo Tom. They play very infrequently these days, and usually only the left and right coasts of the U.S. of A. When I read that the west coast dates would feature two sets, including them playing their 1992 opus Let Me Come Over in its entirety, I figured I had to go see them… I’m not getting any younger and neither are they. As the opening track of the new album Quiet and Peace says “now my time behind is greater than my time ahead.” Besides, my son wanted to visit UCLA and USC… “Father of the Year” + Concert of My Dreams = win-win.

The cover of the Let Me Come Over album. 

I won’t bore you with the details… chances are good that 70% of the 10 folks who actually read this blog don’t know who Buffalo Tom is and don’t care. Suffice it to say it was a fantastic evening, a borderline religious experience. They sounded great. I loved and savored every damn moment. They’re not the biggest band in the world by any stretch of the imagination. They’re semi-retired for all practical purposes. But to the 500-some-odd true fans in the Teragram Ballroom, most of whom are in their 50s, the three guys in their 50s up on stage crushed it.

Bill, Tom and Chris… just three average Joes playing some tunes for their friends.

For the three readers who do care, here are some links:

Great profile in the L.A. Times. (You can — and should — stream the new album there.) Love this quote:

Instead they live their lives, occasionally regroup, record and head out to perform for a fervent fan base. Some fans are simply enjoying reheating the embers of the heady club days of their alt-rock youth and others are following along with each album.

Super fan Mike O’Malley is in the latter category. Quite frankly, the actor-writer-producer — likely familiar to some for his comically poignant performance as Kurt’s dad on “Glee” or the early 2000s CBS sitcom “Yes, Dear” — is much more perturbed than the members of the band that Buffalo Tom has not achieved a higher level of mainstream recognition.

“I feel a little bit like Arthur Miller, ‘attention must be paid,'” O’Malley says with a laugh on the phone from New York, where he is putting the finishing touches on the book for the new Jimmy Buffett Broadway musical “Escape to Margaritaville.” “But, attention must be paid! I don’t understand why they’re not Wilco or The National. They deserve to be as well-known by a new generation of people who love music.” (emphasis mine.)

A profile in the Boston Globe.

Lead singer Bill Janovitz was a guest on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. (Bill comes on about 31 minutes in. Marc Maron was at the show – I said howdy.)

And this mini-review of the new album in the Boston Herald nails how I feel when it says the new album is as good as their older material:

Jed Gottlieb Saturday, March 03, 2018
Most songwriters peak. Few fans think Bob Dylan improved after “Blood on the Tracks.” Nobody champions Bruce Springsteen’s “Wrecking Ball” over “Born to Run.” But subtract the nostalgia you feel for Buffalo Tom’s “Let Me Come Over” and you’ll likely find the new album “Quiet and Peace” as great as anything the band has done — don’t doubt my claim until you have listened to the quintessential Buffalo Tom track “Lonely Fast and Deep.”

The Boston trio of singer-guitarist Bill Janovitz, singer-bassist Chris Colbourn and drummer Tom Maginnis have nothing to prove. The guys will never make the band a full-time gig again — their ninth album comes after a seven-year break. Maybe it’s this freedom that allows them to write clear-eyed, adult rock ’n’ roll. (Note: This is not meant as a pejorative.)

They fill “Quiet and Peace” with tight rock about complex relationships. “Roman Cars” captures something between mature and playful, an aesthetic between the Kinks and R.E.M. “In the Ice” features a melody and melancholy that echoes Janovitz’s deeply underrated solo album “Walt Whitman Mall.” Flirting with folk, punk and rock drones, the band sounds endlessly comfortable with its art.

Buffalo Tom returns to the Paradise on April 20.

 

 

It Never Rains in Southern California…

… except for 2 of the 3 days we’ll be there.

That’s OK, we’ll still have fun.

 

 

I gave up whine for Lent

Thank you for reading.