February 19, 2004


Despite my rather Irish moniker, the truth about Clancy is that I’m half German. My mother was born in German and only came to the U.S. after she married my father who was an American GI at the time. My mother’s family is still in Germany and I have spent a considerable amount of time there – even going to a German school for a period in the eighth grade. My experiences in Germany have greatly influenced my worldview. I am proud of my German heritage, I love my German family, but I have learned that I am undeniably American.

I spent 10 days in Germany almost a year ago. I knew that I was going to be disappointed with the way their culture had changed since 9/11 – not the traditional German culture, but the emerging [seemingly french inspired] pansy-ass pacifist culture that make it en vogue to believe the American’s have an out of control cowboy in the White House. My feelings on this issue are fodder for another post – suffice it to say that my attitude is to quote Bruce Willis’s character, John McClane, in Die Hard.

The genesis for this confession was this post found on one of my new favorite blog sites – Davids Medienkritik. Loosely translated, Medienkritik means “media critic” and David does a great job exposing the bias and duplicity that exists in the German media.

Posted by Clancy at 9:32 AM

February 18, 2004

When Is a Vacation Not a Vacation?

Why is it that the act of preparing to go on vacation, when coupled with the work associated with returning from vacation all seem to be so much work?

Work before vacation + Work after vacation > Work avoided while on vacation

Aren’t vacation supposed to be fun?

OK, I know, it’s a lame excuse, but it’s all I have. GF and I are going to Arizona next week and we’ve been very busy with work. As a result, my blog suffers. I’m even behind in my blog reading! I’ve had lots of great material, just no time to write.

But I’ll be back. I’ll promise.

Posted by Clancy at 8:57 PM | Comments (1)

February 12, 2004

What Was He Thinking?

If you had aspirations of becoming the POTUS don’t you think it would be a good idea to keep your dick away from interns?

Some will say it doesn’t matter. Some will say this is just about sex, just like Bill and Monica was only about sex. Well, they’re wrong. On both counts.

Bill & Monica was not about sex. Bill and Monica was about an educated, seemingly intelligent lawyer who lied under oath. You might think that a Rhodes scholar would understand the importance of truth under oath and clearly that he would understand the consequences.

If this story is confirmed it’s going to create another unholy media feeding frenzy that we’ll all be sick of in no time. And the important message and lesson that we should be learning from this will be glazed over. It’s a simple lesson really, but it’ll be lost on us, just as it was when we were first heard about a former Governor of Arkansas and a women name Jennifer Flowers.

Character matters.

Posted by Clancy at 6:33 PM

Say It Isn’t So!!!

First J.Lo and Ben, now Barbie & Ken

After 43 years as one of the world's prettiest pairs, the perfect plastic couple is breaking up. The couple's "business manager," Russell Arons, vice president of marketing at Mattel, said that Barbie and Ken "feel it's time to spend some quality time — apart."

Why!?!? But Why?

Arons hinted Wednesday that the separation may be partially because of Ken's reluctance to get married. All those bridal Barbie dolls in toy chests around the globe are really just examples of Barbie's wishful thinking, she explained.

OK, truth be told I could care less. But the fact that the AP is reporting on it made it funny.

Not quite as funny as what they’re not yet reporting though…

Posted by Clancy at 6:09 PM | Comments (1)

February 11, 2004

She Bang!

William Hung rocks! Not.

There is an incredible commentary being made by this kids “fame” I just haven’t quite identified what that commentary is yet. Whatever it is, it’s not positive.

(via Wizbang)

Disclaimer: Although GF will freely tell you that I watch lots of trash TV, the clip linked above is the sum total of all of the American Idol I have ever seen.

Posted by Clancy at 1:48 PM


I was inspired by my own rant yesterday to pick up some new music last night. Admittedly, they’ve been on my “must buy” list for a month or so I just never seem to make the time. So mast night, while GF was having her hair done, I stopped by my local indy cd shop and picked up Fountains of Wayne – “Welcome Interstate Managers.” Brilliant is the word that comes to mind listening to them. Their sound is hard to describe – kinda’ like a modern British invasion, but that could come from their seemingly innate ability to write and record the quintessential pop music tune. And just to prove that they’re not taking themselves too seriously, their lyrics are hilarious (in a dry sense – Elvis Costello fans will appreciate). I’m going to have to check out their earlier CD’s now as this is their 3rd effort. (GF remembers a tune that got radio airplay on a pervious release.)

Another new band that I would highly recommend is the Los Lonely Boys. Imagine for a moment that Carlos Santana grew up in West Texas, next to Stevie Ray Vaughn’s house. And aside from their incredible sound, LLB has embraced the taper community and opening allows taping and trading. When I left home this morning, I was downloading the latest LLB show from the Fox Theater in Boulder, Colorado from this Monday night.

Posted by Clancy at 9:38 AM

February 10, 2004

I Want My MTV (back)

Scott Ott of Scrappleface fame has launched BoycottMTV. Scott’s motivation is based on his belief that

MTV's slick productions promote sexual promiscuity, infidelity, domestic violence, sexism, and racism. And the audience for all of this, quite intentionally, is children. Your child, your grandchild, your niece, your nephew, the students in your classroom, the boy or girl next door, the teen you hire to babysit your children...”

He has a point. Scott’s not asking for outright censorship, merely a boycott of their morally corrupt product. Of course the core issue here (as usual when it comes to talk of censorship) is parenting, but that’s another post for another day…

Discussing this with GF this morning, we were trying to identify what really happened with MTV. Remember when it was cool? Remember “Friday Night Videos?” (those of us who grew up without cable had to settle for that!) I’m not sure if anyone can identify exactly when it happened, but MTV “jumped the shark” when videos slowly lost favor to regular programming. And interestingly enough, somewhere along the way new music started to suck too.

Before you get too upset, I’m not making a blanket statement that ALL new music sucks, just the large majority of it. And I think most people agree – why else are there so many “classic” rock stations repeating the same tired old Steve Miller Band tunes? The music stores are full of digitally re-mastered albums that were originally released 30 years ago. Even the Beatles are still releasing new albums and John & George are gone! Even Disco, one of the most universally hated genres of all time, made a comeback – how else would you explain the Village People’s continued popularity? (Don’t even for a minute tell me you don’t know the Y-M-C-A dance/thingy whatever.)

So, just to recap, MTV sucks. And most new music sucks. Is there a relationship? Maybe not a direct relationship, but I do believe there is a connection. Unfortunately, that’s another post.

Posted by Clancy at 10:50 AM | Comments (6)

February 9, 2004

Poly Blogging

I did not intent to make this a political blog. I will try to keep my poly blogging to a minimum. That said, James Lileks bleated something that pretty much puts a cap on why I intend to vote the way I will come November.

I’m waiting for an ad that simply puts the matter plainly: who do you think Al Qaeda wants to win the election? Who do you think will make Syria relax? Who do you think Hezbollah worries about more? Who would Iran want to deal with when it comes to its nuclear program – Cowboy Bush or “Send in the bribed French inspectors” Kerry? Which candidate would our enemies prefer?

O the shrieking that would result should such an ad run. You can’t even ask those questions, even though they’re the most relevant questions of the election.


Posted by Clancy at 9:12 AM

February 6, 2004

Gary Glitter

Err, I mean Gary Jules. I got Gary Jules CD I ordered from CdBaby earlier this week and I have to say I’m disappointed. Not with CdBaby – they still rock – but with Gary. Mad World, the Tears for Fears cover song I ordered the cd for in the first place, is a great tune. However, that song set an expectation for the rest of the album that wasn’t met. The album has a melancholy sound – even the album art is depressing. Gary seems to be looking for a sound and he has the uncanny ability to sound both overproduced and unrefined at the same time. I hope he figures it out, because despite all that criticism, there is something I like about him. I think his music will eventually find its own.

Based on the responses to the original post, it seems that the Mad World cover tune is only unknown in this country. It was a number 1 hit in the UK!!!

And I just HATE it when that happens!! Grrr. There have been several bands that were wildly successful in Europe that went almost totally unnoticed here. Bands like Travis and (this is going back a bit) Barclay James Harvest. Both Travis and BJH originated in Europe, but Gary Jules lives in Los Angeles! (I know, some may argue that LA and/or Colliefournya - as it is now known – aren’t REALLY part if the US anymore.)

I’m sure Europe has its share of over-produced, no talent, record label crap* too, but I’m curious about the good stuff I’m missing out on. So… What am I missing out on? Any recommendations?

* this descriptor includes boy bands, ‘artists’ whose clothes (or lack thereof) routinely make the news, and almost anything else that gets airtime on mtv (during those 15 minutes during the day when they actually still play music videos).

Posted by Clancy at 1:52 PM | Comments (2)

February 5, 2004

An Engaging Evening with Willy

On Saturday November 15th in the year 2003 GF* and I left our home to drive 140 miles to a cool coffee bar named Jammin' Java located in Vienna Virginia (just outside of Washington D.C.) to see one of our favorite artists, Willy Porter, perform. As we neared Vienna, GF told me that her stomach was starting to feel "oogie" (upset) and that we should stop and buy a lottery ticket. Curious, I prodded her and she explained that when her stomach feels this way something good is going to happen. If she only knew...

About a month before, I had sent an email to Willy asking for his help with my plan for the evening. I hadn't received a response so I edited and took it with me so that if I did not get to actually talk to Willy before the show, perhaps I would be able to pass him the note through his soundman. Here’s what the note said (and hence, my plan):


I discovered your music during your first tour with Jethro Tull in the Fall of 2001. I have since seen you perform on three other occasions. I introduced my girlfriend, *****, to you initially through the lyrics of Sowelu, and she has subsequently seen you 5 times. We both own all the studio recordings and Highwire and a good number of live shows from the Live Music Archive (thanks to Chris Webb). To say we are fans is an understatement.

Anyway… We have tickets to see you at Jammin' Java in Vienna, VA on November 15th, and also The Point in Bryn Mawr, PA on the evening of November 16th. I want to propose marriage to my girlfriend and I would like to do it at one of your shows, with your help. Exactly what I have in mind I don't know - I'll leave that to you if you are agreeable. Her favorite song is Watercolor, so perhaps a simple dedication to her would do. Alternatively, a mention in Happy Accident would be beyond awesome. Again, I don't want to dictate anything about how you do your show. And if you don't think this would be a cool thing to do at the show, then so be it. We'll still be fans!

I will come to both shows prepared (with the ring). Please feel free to reach me at the address below if you need any more info, or to accept or decline. Many thanks for this and for all the great music!


We got there early and took our seats. As luck would have it, Willy had some people helping at his CD table and I asked them if they could pass a note back to Willy. They did and shortly after sending the note back and while I was getting coffee, Willy came up front through the crowd (pretty much un-noticed) and I got to talk to him. I said, "I'm the guy who sent back the note about proposing to my girlfriend." and he smiled real big and said, "Sure man, I'll help you out - your girlfriend's name is *****, right?" I responded that it was and thanked him for his help. I went back to my seat absolutely on a cloud. This was going to work!!

To top it all off, behind us and to more toward the middle of the seating area was a guy with a microphone on a stand, a preamp, and minidisc recorder all set to go. Somebody was going to tape the show! I talked to him (Ben), told him what I was planning, and begged him for a copy of the show. He promised that he would eventually post it on the Live Music Archive. (Ben is still MIA, Chris Webb however was also there that night and his recording is posted here.)

So... Here we were. Willy had promised me he was going to help. I had even confirmed that in person - nothing to worry about. And there was a guy taping. Life was perfect.

Someone was supposed to open for Willy, but shortly after 8:00 the door by the stage opened and out came Willy with his guitar. No opening act!! Whooo hooo! Here we go - game on! Willy started his show with a few love themed songs. After 3 or 4 songs, he noticed the big "J" sign hanging behind him on the stage (It's actually two J's - the venues logo) and said, "We’re here in support of J ... More on that later." Unfortunately he never did explain what he meant, but I can't help but think he was referring to my GF (Whose name begins with a ‘J’). Later he announced that he would do two sets and he proceeded to work Happy Accident (The improv song) into the first set. The audience suggested Cheese, Theme Sweaters and Dogs. The song evolved to contain quite a few references to "poo" and I was secretly hoping that he was NOT going to work in a reference to GF and I. Fortunately, he didn't and a few songs later, the first set ended. It was a really good set, but I'm not sure I heard it all. I had been on the edge of my seat and I was too nervous to enjoy the show.

All through the show I had been watching Willy as he set up the guitar for each song. Just about every one of his songs is played in non-standard tunings and with one or more capos. But, Watercolor, the song I had asked him to play for GF, is played in standard open tuning without any capos. Every time he took the capos off and tuned standard I was on the edge of my seat. Midway through the second set, Willy started to play a Richard Cohen cover song, "Everybody Knows" and after a long intro describing how he found this song, he started to play it only to forget the opening lyrics. He made fun of himself for forgetting with made up lyrics until he finally remembered and started to sing it for real. Then after the opening verse, he just stopped and said it wasn't working. He said he felt like he was trying to "phone that one in" and that he wasn't feeling it and there was no sense in doing it because it's all about the music. (Very profound and proof positive as to why he is such an exceptional artist.) He then went into "You Stay Here" and haunting and deeply felt song as if to prove to himself that he was feeling it. After that, he said that he still had a couple of songs to do. Then he said that he had "My friend Shawn sent me an email and he asked that I play this tune tonight for his sweetie...” GF turned to me and asked me, "Was that you?" and I just smiled. When Willy started playing "Watercolor" GF knew for sure that it was me and she got a little teary. He played the song through and when it was apparent that he was done and wasn't going to say anything else it was time. I went down on one knee, opened the ring box, looked her in the eye and suddenly realized that despite all my planning and meticulous forethought, I hadn’t prepared exactly how I was going to ask! Somehow I heard myself say, "Will you be my wife?" and she stared at me totally shocked for a few seconds until finally creaking out a muted "Yes" before her eyes overflowed with tears up and she started crying in earnest. After she put on the ring and we hugged again, I finally sat back in my seat relieved. The girl sitting next to me poked me in the ribs and asked, "Did you just propose to her?" I said “yes” and explained that the song Willy had just played was for GF, by my request, and then SHE started crying. She reached around me and hugged GF and suddenly this girl and her friend were both crying and happy for us. She told me that she thought the whole place needed to know what had just happened and promptly set about trying to find a way to tell everyone. By this time, Willy had finished his last song ("Everybody Knows" again, this time all the way through) of his set. Willy left the stage and the girl next to me jumped up and ran to the back of the stage area trying to catch Willy. He came back for the encore before she caught him and launched into another song. The girl sat down, but was still squirming in her seat, just dying to tell everybody. Finally, after the first encore song and after the applause wound down I yelled "Hey Willy!" He looked up and out to the audience and I said "She said yes." The girl next to me then jumped out of her seat and proceeded to explain to everyone that I had proposed to GF during "Watercolor" and that we were now engaged. Someone made us stand up and everyone applauded. Willy, being Willy of course, then went into a long funny story about his engagement and wedding day before wishing us well. He ended the show by played "Roses in the Rain", a song that he had written and planned to play at his own reception, but ultimately didn't.

Everyone congratulated us on the way out. GF asked me if all of that was real as we left and I assured her that it was. We didn't have any trouble staying awake while driving the two and a half hours on the way home.

Here’s the audio proof. I cut & pasted and leveled the sound with the crudest of tools before I converted it to my least favorite audio format so I apologize in advance for the quality. It’s 1100 KB too, so if you are on dialup it may take a minute or two...

*Normally, in my stories, GF stands for Gorgeous Fiancé – in this story she was merely Girl Friend until the obvious point.

Posted by Clancy at 3:09 PM | Comments (2)

We Now Interrupt This Blog…

... for Life. Sorry for the lack of postage lately, life keeps interfering. However, I will have something very cool (and quite long) later in the day - I promise.

Posted by Clancy at 10:43 AM

February 2, 2004

The Left Right Breast

Despite my studious efforts in watching the game and the commercials, I missed the halftime show. I saw Janet rise up out of the floor of the stage, and I remember thinking that her face & nose looked a lot like Michael’s and then I flipped the channel as I would much rather have hot pokers in my eyes than watch Janet and Justin.

I flipped back in time to catch the streaker and the beginning of the second half.

As I understand it, Janet was wearing a pastie. Maybe since I’m a guy I can’t understand this, but why would you wear a pastie under your clothes if you didn’t intend to expose yourself at some point? Or perhaps it wasn’t a pastie. Everybody (but Michael) knows how much plastic surgery Michael has had, and with the striking similarity between Janet & Michaels faces, I isn’t too far of a stretch of the imagination to think that Janet has had some surgery too – perhaps she had some permanent pastie thing done to herself. Or maybe it wasn’t really Janet at all. Maybe it was Michael revealing even more surgery...

At any rate, it was very obviously a planned publicity stunt. And it worked. Except I don’t quite understand how this is supposed to motivate me to run out and buy the latest Janet Jackson cd...

UPDATE: Here it is. Can you say wierd? And not very attractive, either... (NOT work safe)

UPDATE TWO: It was planned!

Posted by Clancy at 8:35 AM | Comments (3)

February 1, 2004

Superbowl Lowlights

Ironically, this year the game was the attraction. Which is cool, unfortunately I was taking notes on the commercials so I could comment on them here. The Superbowl commercials usually rock – at 2.3 million for 30 seconds they should!

In the first half there were only 6 commercials that stood out. Two were for Bud Light (the dogs and the horse fart), two for AOL Broadband (both with the Tutttles), one for Mitsubishi and one for IBM. Budweiser can always be counted on for creating some cool commercials – their ad department is second only to Volkswagen, IMHO. The Bud light and AOL commercials are just plain funny. The Mitsubishi commercial is remarkable because they made effective use of the internet. In fact, the they didn’t even show the ending – the required the viewer to go to seewhathappens.com. And IBM… Their pro Linux commercial is a big FU to a certain company in Redmont Washington. Wow. (IBM Press Release)

At the beginning of the second half there was the streaker on the field. Fortunately we didn’t see that…

As for the commercials, the second half was basically more of the same. The Bud Light monkey, the Staples mafia spoof, the Budweiser forgotten lipstick spot, the third AOL/Tuttle and the Pepsi/Jimi Hendrix commercial. After the end of the game there was a good one from Subway.

But overall, the commercials pretty much sucked clowns ass this year. Most were just stupid. Like the one for Cialis which includes the disclaimer that “Erections lasting more than 4 hours require immediate medical attention” Ouch.

I’m just relieved that the game was exciting.

Update: Most of the ads can be found here

Posted by Clancy at 10:49 PM