Friday, July 02, 2010

Fan of the Month!

Happy July 2nd!

In two days, our nation will celebrate its independence from:
The British empire
Despotic rule
Trans-Atlantic indentured servitude
Sophisticated accents
And more!

You get the idea.  I love July, for many of the same reasons I love July 4: I like hot weather, I like grilled foods, I want to marry BBQ (different from "grilled foods," dear coastal readers), and I want to live in a swimsuit.  Where's the downside?

Independence Day is a time to celebrate our nation's freedoms, and the sacrifices made to enjoy those freedoms.  So, July's Fan of the Month needed to have a revolutionary spirit.  I needed someone atypical.  I needed someone freewheeling and fun-loving.  I needed someone sneakily subversive.  I needed someone who will go on public record as "weeping uncontrollably during the Lost finale." I needed someone who wants to fight Beyonce, send Lady Gaga to a recycling center, and likes Brian Regan because everyone else likes Brian Regan.  I needed a man for the people, though not of the people.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you July's Fan of the Month, TJ White in Memphis!

(Quick housekeeping: I pushed FOM to Friday this month due to the Tour Blogs, which will start Monday.  I'll post from the road early and often, so check back on the reg.  

And, if you'd like to be a future FOM, just drop me a line:  

Now, let's learn a little more about TJ!)


TJ White.


Where y'at?
Memphis, TN.

Something the average interweb browser wouldn't know about me is…? 
I like cheese and ketchup sandwiches.

The music scene in Memphis is…? 

Whatcha do for a living? 
Teacher/stand-up comedian.

(Editor's Note: God bless you, sir.  Two noble professions.  I'm starting a slow clap, and I invite you to join me.)

When was the last time you ate at Burger King? 
It's been a long time since I've had anything made my way.

(Editor's Note: Insert "so you're married?" joke here.)

You have one meal left in life but it has to be fast food.  You can pick and choose different items from different joints.  Name that meal! 
Chik-fil-A original combo with a large sweet tea, large waffle fries, and lots of BBQ sauce.

You have one meal left in life, period.  Name that meal!
My mom's holiday fare: her stuffing, broccoli casserole, green bean casserole, strawberry salad, turkey, pea salad, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, cherry cheese pie, pecan pie.

I love that every FOM's last meal is catered by Mom.  So you picking holiday fare, even if your last meal is in July? 
Holiday food is good any time of year. We should eat that stuff more often. It's so, so, so delicious.

(Editor's Note: I like it.  But if I ate turkey as often as I wanted, I'd never stop napping.  My annual productivity would drop between 9 and 85 percent.)

What music publications/blogs/sites do you read? Any of them good?
I don't read many, but if I did I'd read Rolling Stone.  I'm usually busy reading novels and sports stuff so I can't recommend any.  Sorry.

Pick your dream concert. Any three (living) artists, anywhere, any venue, any month, any time of day. What is it? What's it called?   
It’s called "Strange Things and Cool Stuff."

It features: Phil Collins, The Indigo Girls and Pearl Jam.  The latter two are the best concerts I’ve ever seen and I’ve never seen Phil Collins live.  I just want to hear "Sussudio."

The venue is my living room: an intimate acoustic set from everyone.  The month is December.  It's Christmas Day, because the show is my Christmas present. They’ll all be ready to play when I wake up in the morning.

(Editor's Note: I'll be honest, if this happened, my second thought would be, "AWESOME!"  But my first thought would be, "why is a guy who looks like Phil Collins in my house?  I'm going to beat him with a wrench."

You're a stand-up comic: who are some of your favorites, past and present?
Top 3: Bill Cosby, Eddie Murphy and Brian Regan.
1) Cosby: greatest storyteller ever.
2) Murphy: incredible material, impressions and also a great storyteller.
3) Regan: appeals to everyone because his material is out of this world and it's clean.  Everyone relates to it.  I saw him at the Orpheum a couple of years ago and it was sold out with a mixed crowd of young and old.  At the end people were making requests for jokes. He's amazingly good and absolutley hilarious. 

You can pick one album as your morning alarm for a year.  The songs and their “wake-up” segments will shuffle randomly, but you are stuck with this album for a full year.  What is it?
The ESPN Jock Jams volume that includes "Let's Get Ready To Rumble."

(Editor's Note: This is hilarious.  If I woke up to that, just once, I'd have a seizure.)

If you could fight any public figure, who would it be and why? 
I'm not too much into conflict and confrontation so I probably wouldn't want to fight anyone.

Lover not a fighter?  Okay: you have to fight one public figure or the world ends.  Who's got it coming to them?

(Editor's Note: We at in no way endorse this answer, but we've decided to post it, hoping Beyonce's people read this and organize the fight.  Because she would DEFINITELY take TJ.  We also don't advocate violence against divas in general.  Unless you're flicking Bono's forehead.  We're cool with that.)

Fill in the blanks!

Five favorite artists from the 60's are…? 
Stevie Wonder, The Who, CCR, Bob Dylan, and can the Doobie Brothers count?

(Editor's Note: Their "active years" were 1970-1982.  So, sure?)

Five favorite artists from the 90's are…?
Radiohead, Pearl Jam, Counting Crows, Foo Fighters, Brian McKnight.

Five favorite artists from the 2000's are…?
Kings of Leon, Avett Brothers, Timbaland, Pearl Jam, and Foo Fighters again.

Some more singer/songwriters I love are...?
Duncan Sheik, Jim Boggia, Dan Fogelberg, James Taylor, Ingrid Michaelson. my favorite Beatle. 
No one.

(Editor's Note: Wow.  We found the one non-Beatles fan on earth.  But don't you appreciate Brian Regan precisely because of his mass appeal?  I'm confused.  Help!)

You don't like any Beatles individually, or you don't like the Beatles PERIOD?  And, either way, why?
Okay, here's my thing about the Beatles.  I like most of their songs but I never grew up loving them and not many of the individual Beatles intrigue me.  I appreciate the Beatles for what they did for modern music, but I'm not crazy into them. my favorite adjective in the English language.

Know any adjectives from other languages? 
Ochen, mucho... my favorite month of the year.
December. my least-favorite month of the year.

Favorite wrongly-heard song lyric is...? (e.g. "Excuse me while I kiss this guy...") 
"The price of beans, it's bringing me to my knees.  The beans!  The price!"  --"Love Bites," by Def Leppard.

Favorite rock album of the Oughts?
A tie: Foo Fighters, Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace and Kings of Leon, Only By the Knight.

Favorite non-rock album of the Oughts?
Brian McKnight, Superhero.

Favorite movie (you can pick separate ones for comedy and drama)?
Jerry Maguire.

Favorite TV show (you can pick separate ones for comedy and drama)?

Lost!  How did you feel about the final season/episode?  Satisfied? 
I thought the finale was amazing. It was so emotional. My collar was soaked because I was crying through most of it.

Here's my thing about the finale: if you went into it wanting answers to certain mysteries, you were disappointed.  If you were like me, you were more concerned with the fate of the characters, their relationships, and their redemption.  Then, you LOVED the finale. The thing about the mysteries is that not all questions can be answered--just like in life.  I think about all the great books I've read.  The best ones leave intriguing questions open for interpretation. That is exactly what Lost did. It's the greatest show in the history of television and there will never be another one like it ever.

(Editor's Note: I jumped on the Lost-wagon this spring and watched all six seasons.  I caught myself nodding emphatically as I read that last paragraph, until the "greatest show in the history of television" bit.  But it's cool, we've all got our own history.)

Rank these items in order of awesomeness: Independence Day (the holiday), Keith Richards, The Bar-B-Q Shop, running through sprinklers, Independence Day (the movie), World Cup soccer, the Declaration of Independence.
1) Declaration of Independence
2) Keith Richards
3) Running through sprinklers
4) Independence Day, the movie
5) The Bar-B-Q Shop
6) Independence Day, the holiday
7) World Cup soccer

I ranked all twelve months a while back.  Where would July be in your rankings (1 being best)?  What's #1?  What's #12?
December is #1, August is #12, and July is #7.  Or #8.  Somewhere around there.

I did a "Monthly Playlist" throughout 2009, and have taken a brief hiatus.  I need your help.  Give me 5 "Songs for July." 
1) Lee Greenwood, "God Bless the USA"
2) Neil Diamond, "We're Coming To America"
3) Counting Crows, "Miami"
4) Bob Seger, "Night Moves"
5) Duncan Sheik, "On a High"

(Editor's Note: Neil Diamond will smack you in the mouth.)

Aight, you're from Memphis: best BBQ in town? 
To be honest, it all tastes the same to me.  Everyone claims to have the best, but everywhere I go, I think, "hey this tastes like...BBQ." So, I'll go for atmosphere--I dig the occasional trip to Rendezvous.

(Editor's Note: Neil Diamond will smack you in the mouth!)

You can move anywhere in America for six months.  Money, time, and job situation are no object.  Name the place.
Boston.  Why not?  I've always wanted to check it out.

You can move anywhere on earth for six months.  Same deal.  Same place, or do you become an expat? 

London.  I've always wanted to go there, just to check out all the theatre for six months.  And I'd have to go to Wimbledon.

Summer's typically good for new music, but notoriously slow for TV.  What do you watch to get you through the dog days? 
Hell's Kitchen and Big Brother.  This is why God invented summer reading, which I'm enjoying more.  I know you don't want my summer reading list, but here it is: The Tommyknockers (Stephen King), The Passage (Justin Cronin) and Swan Song (Robert McCammon).

(Editor's Note: Of course we want your summer reading list!  We at the Blog love reading, especially when other people do it.)

QUICK: how many hours til football returns?
Too many--it needs to be here NOW!

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 harvesting corn to people-watching in Belgium to sharing dream journals.  Anything.  You get to assemble your posse for the night. You can pick ANY FOUR MEN OR ANY FOUR WOMEN on the planet, friends, celebrities, athletes, etc. Who is in your entourage and why? 
If it's four men, then I pick the Four Jerries--the greatest gentlemen on the face of this planet.  If it's four women, I pick Scarlett Johansson to be cloned three times.  We're going mini-golfing, then to Six Flags.  Then we're stopping into Chucky Cheese for skee-ball.  Scarlett will have a blast.

Where will music be in 5 years? What will be the next "big thing"? Where would you like to see it go? 
The Next Big Thing is Chris Milam.  And I hope to God that Lady Gaga is gone.

If Lada Gaga is gone, where does she go?  What other jobs could you see Gaga taking?  Bank teller?
She first must go far, far, far away. I can't stand people doing stuff for shock value and publicity and saying it's about artistic expression. Music itself is an art. The way you present your music is entertainment. All the great musical artists let their art (read: music) speak for itself. Pearl Jam has lasted for decades because they make good art. They disappeared from MTV and the public spotlight and still put out incredible records that people loved. It's not about Pearl Jam's image; it's about the music they make as a group. So you're telling me I have to watch the "Telephone" video and be amazed because Gaga has beer cans rolled into her hair? That's art? That's not art--that's stupid.

So, maybe she can work in a recycling center recycling the aluminum cans she puts into her hair.

People like good music. They don't care if you wear veils around your face and dress up like some cartoon character.

(Editor's Note: Word.  But still: how's she selling so many albums?  What are people buying?)

Finally, how can I ever thank you for the support?
Let me harmonize with you on any song of your choosing (that's your song) when you play Memphis July 28.  Deal???

Done deal!  See you then.

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