And we're back! What better way to kick off a week of new blogs than with April's Fan of the Month, Michael in Florida!
(Editor's Note: Yep, March's Fan of the Month was from Florida, too. What can I say? They're all hustle down there.)
Before we start, I'd like to tell you all what each Fan of the Month wins!
Milam Fanny Pack! (complete with cartoon Milam-face very near your crotch!)
A miniature trampoline!
Three basset hound puppies, all named Buttons! (pending safe delivery)
A partially-used weed whacker, complete with Milam autograph!
A picture of a pandabear, complete with panda autograph!
And finally a candle-lit dinner date at BURGER KING!
Read on to hear any and everything about this month's fan, from beer koozies, to Wolf Parade, to the ideal entourage. At one point we fight Regis Philbin.
Congrats to Michael! Here we go...
Michael J. Widener
Tallahassee, Florida until June. Then Buffalo, NY for the next 3 to 4 years.
Why Buffalo? Stalking Johnny Goo Goo Doll?
I really liked Bruce Almighty. Actually, I'm the proud recipient of a Presidential Fellowship at the State University of New York at Buffalo. So I'll be moving up there to finish my PhD. Also, I'd prefer that if from now on you referred to me as Fellow Widener.
Something the average interweb browser wouldn't know about me is…?
I will only drink from another person's glass if our relationship currently involves making out.
The music scene in Tallahassee is…?
Stale. There's a decent jazz scene thanks to Florida State and FAMU's music departments. In my experience original bands here come in two flavors: 1) Absurdly post-indie hipster weirdness or 2) an unholy union between Jack Johnson and OAR.
There's also this one awesome cover band.
Whatcha do for a living?
I'm a graduate student of Geography. I do computer simulations of how people move through cities. When I'm all grown up, I'd like to be a tenured professor/minor league basketball point guard.
(Editor's Note: "How people move through cities?" Like, you study Uhaul? I'm confused.)
Would you like to play for the Memphis Tigers? Grizzlies? They're both accepting applications.
I think I would have a better shot with the Grizzlies for two reasons. 1) They aren't as good as the Tigers and 2) I graduated from high school with current Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, so I think he could put in a good word for me. Send in a character reference or something.
When was the last time you ate at Burger King? The last FOM swore America eats there constantly, that the BK has become our Official Recession Bread Line. What say you?
To be honest, I don't think I've eaten at a Burger King since I was in middle school. I'm pretty sure it was the one on Poplar Avenue in Germantown, TN. You know, the one with the mini-carousel?
(Editor's Note: Uh, no! Why would you think we know that? What do you have, pictures or something?)
I think we should be talking about the new fast food creep-out arms race that BK started. First we had that weird plastic king. Now Quizno's has joined in with this grossness.
What music publications/blogs/sites do you read? Any of them good?
For better or worse my musical taste is heavily influenced by the Chris Milam Blog. I also check out Music OMH.
They're both hit or miss.
I get most of my music from a subscription service that recommends songs, artists, etc., and by word of mouth.
What was the exact date you became a Chris Milam fan?
I no longer believe in time...but to humor you, sometime during my first k'atun-cycle.
Isn't he full of it?
Why does he ask questions in 3rd person? Or, why does he ask SOME questions in 3rd person?
My guess is that he has his webcam on at all times with a little window of himself in the bottom right corner of his screen.
Right now there are only Milam CDs, shirts, and stickers. What obscure item of Milam merchandise would you like to see sold (e.g., Milam dog sweaters, Milam grill covers, etc.)?
Easy. Milam Beer Koozies.
Pick your dream concert. Any three (living) artists, anywhere, any venue, any month/time of day. What is it? What's it called? Milamapalooza?
The Canopy Club in Urbana, Illinois. A New Daisy-esque converted single screen movie theater with surprisingly good sound.
It'll be a free 6-hour extravaganza, where entrance will only be granted to those who can answer what the hell Wolf Parade is doing in that line up.
Its called "Hell Freezes Over and the Eagles Can Suck It."
If you could fight any public figure, who would it be and why?
Regis Philbin for 2 reasons: 1) He's really obnoxious and 2) a Notre Dame fan.
Would you fight dirty?
With Regis? I think I'd have to if I wanted to win.
You get to bring one weapon. What is it?
A "You must be this tall to fight" sign.
(Editor's Note: Snaps!)
Rank these items in order, best to worst: Kelly Kapowki, Nate James, Highway 61 Revisited, Football, Democracy, Central BBQ.
1) Central BBQ
2) Highway 61 Revisited
3) Kelly Kapowski
5) Nate James
Who is Nate James?
To be honest, I had to Google him. And I still don't really know.
Fill in the blanks!
Five favorite artists from the 60's are…?
The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Otis Redding, The Kinks, B.B. King
Five favorite artists from the 90's are…?
Pearl Jam, Jeff Buckley, Neutral Milk Hotel, Radiohead, Green Day
Five favorite artists from the 2000's are…?
Lucero, Pearl Jam (again), Radiohead (again), Wolf Parade, Wilco
Some other singer/songwriters I love are… ?
Cory Branan, Scott Miller, Jenny Lewis, Ryan Adams, the list could go on forever. You should really show some more love to the female singer/songwriters. I think Jenny Lewis' newest solo stuff is damn good.
I like and continue to support Ryan Adams because...?
Its mostly out of habit at this point. For the record, I won't be buying his books.
...is my favorite Beatle.
What do you have against Paul? Huh??
I like what Lennon did after The Beatles. Paul's post-Beatles work I've never really gotten in to. Also, I always got the sense John had a better sense of awareness about him when they worked together.
Favorite wrongly-heard song lyric is...? (e.g. "Excuse me while I kiss this guy...")
The one that sticks with me is from that Ace of Base song (as my friend calls them, the greatest ska band that never was) "I saw the sign."
"I saw the sun, and it opened up my eyes, I saw the sun" That just makes sense.
You are going out tonight. You are going out to do whatever it is you would like to do for a fun night of festivity and frivolity. This can include anything from vandalizing mailboxes to raving to cooking risotto. Actually, it doesn't include cooking risotto. Anyway, you get to assemble your posse for the night. You can pick ANY FOUR MEN on the planet, friends, celebrities, athletes, etc. But you cannot pick women, as this is a different type of question (this includes Jenny Lewis). Who is in your entourage and why?
Terrell Owens - Because every posse needs a headcase. Plus, I'll need friends in Buffalo. And so will he.
Chris Milam - Because I'm pretty sure at some point in the night you'd try to start a fight, and I've never been in a bar fight. I came close this one time in Champaign, IL when I was talking to this girl who I found out later had a large boyfriend that worked as a butcher and threatened to do indecent things to my skull. That probably wouldn't have been a "fight" per se...
Richard Linklater - Because I really like his movie "Waking Life" and I have a feeling he's a smart guy that likes to talk about smart things. He is also possibly the person Chris tries to start a fight with.
Twenty-Four Year-Old Ken Widener - Because who wouldn't want to see what their dad was like back in the day?
(Editor's Note: Photo not available for "Twenty-Four Year-Old Ken Widener.")
(Editor's Other Note: Way too many photos available for "Chris Milam with boxing gloves.")
Where will music be in 5 years? What will be the next "big thing"? Where would you like to see it go?
We (Chris and I) had a conversation at one point about how music in the early 2000s was eerily similar to that of the late 1970s and 1980s. We're still sort of in this (bad economy, weird fashion, pastel colors)... I hope that more of these "indie" groups put it together to make consistently good and relevant music. I'd put Jack White's various projects, My Morning Jacket, Kings of Leon, etc as examples of "indie" groups who've already done this. These guys have broken into the world of "pop" and I hope its just a sign of more to come.
Finally, how can I ever thank you for the support?
Include a stop in Buffalo during your next tour. And sell me a Milam Koozie. And show a little more Big Ten love when you write about sports next.
Done, done, and never.
(Editor's Note: Never.)
If you'd like to be a future Fan of the Month, just drop me a line with "FOM" in the subject!
Saw the sun,