Wednesday, June 4, 2014

We met a couple interesting dudes at the bar last night...

Location: Patio in front of Manhattan around 9 p.m.

James aka Mr. New York: Broad shoulders and husky, with biceps bulging out of a tight black t-shirt, the sleeves of which barely hide a tribal tattoo arm band. His demeanor is calm, friendly and thoughtful.  He’s of Italian heritage, born and raised in the Bronx. He’s an oil painter by trade and new to town.

Methalhead: New York’s Athens roommate. A scrawny shrimp of a man; wily and agitated. His movements are jerky and unpredictable. He’s a chain smoker with a creeper mustache and a Southern drawl. He’s probably on meth.

James: Let me ask you something, you live here? I was at Barcode the other night, and I had to wait 40 minutes to get a drink. It was packed with all these young girls. I was literally waving a $100 bill in the air just trying to get the bartender's attention. My roommate tells me this side of town is like, no wait, a little older.

Michelle: Oh yeah, don’t go to bars on that side of Lumpkin. I literally don’t think I’ve been inside Barcode since I was 22.

Meth: Ha! That’s funny, last girl I pulled from Barcode was 22! (jumps out of chair, takes a drag of his cigarette, immediately sits back down).

James: Hey, I’m sorry about my friend here.

Meth: You telling me to calm down? I’ll calm down.

James: So, (turning to Shane) you do music?

Shane: Yeah. Not so much now but I used to.

James: Ok, listen. My roommate here, one of the best musicians I know. He can play a guitar like no other. But, and you’re gonna hate me for this, but I hear that in Athens you don’t make money playing music. Like, I know people who are really good, but nobody knows about them.

Shane: Yeah. . . there’s a lot of talented people who aren’t discovered.

James: Yeah, but, respectfully, in New York, when people like a band, you know, they come out to see them. Does that not happen here?

Michelle: Sure, people come out to see bands. Obviously it’s a much different market than a huge city like New York…but there’s a lot of venues here that will give new artists a chance. 

Meth: They don’t know what new is!! New to who? They won’t book me at the Caledonia because my show will pull in a thousand White Cross members. I could pack it out, they don't want all those motorcycles here. (stands up) I like METAL. I like MOTORHEAD!! (sticks out tongue, presents devil hand sign)

Michelle: Well.. that’s..there’s… a market.. for that.. maybe not here…

Meth: Hoo! I’m 45, I haven’t taken home a girl older than 23! I gotta piss.

James: Respectfully, though. Listen. What if you get someone to film a band, right? Film it. Put it on YouTube. They can get discovered that way, people will come out. Do people do that?

Michelle: Yes… people in Athens have put their music on Youtube. But they are competing with literally millions of other videos.

James: Ok, but I’m saying. Athens. Respectfully, I thought people are born and raised here, and they support each other.

Shane: Well, most of the artists aren’t really from here originally.

Meth: (walking back outside) The Truckers ain’t from here! They are from Gwinnett! Hey, does this place not have a bathroom?

Shane: It’s to the left of the bar. (literally, the only door inside the bar)

Michelle: People do support each other, but I guess it's hard to be discovered in Athens. On the other hand, we have a lot of friends who have moved to New York to try to make it, and they come back poor and..

James: Whoa, see, listen. I’m Italian. Born and raised in New York. It’s my home. When a band plays in New York, and like, a lot of people know about it and like them, they come out to a show. 

Michelle: Sure… if lots of people know and like a band they will come out to a show here, too… There’s just a lot less people here.

James: Ok, but, what decade was it that that thing happened.. the ‘60s? The, uh, tournament? With Jimi Hendrix?

Michelle:… Woodstock?

James: Yeah. Why don’t people do that. I’m talking like, art, music, all together. Make it like an annual thing, you know?

Michelle: .. That’s… a festival. That is a thing that happens.

James: But make it an annual thing!

Michelle: Yeah, festivals tend to be annual. There will literally be one right here on this block in just two weeks.

Meth: Oh hell yeah, we’re going to AthFest. I’m gonna get my friend Dave down here. Dave… MUSTAINE!!

Michelle: Yeah, AthFest has a lot of visual art…

Meth: DAVE MUSTAINE! He won’t move here for shit! I used to work on guitars for Dimebag Darrell!

James:  Sorry. He gets excited. What I want to see is this; I want to see: Muse, Franz Ferdinand and Deathcab for Cutie. Together.

Michelle: I am almost sure all three of those bands have played Coachella.

James: What’s that?

Michelle: Coachella?? A festival. A really huge festival.

James: Never heard of it. But like, I posted something online, this Muse song I really like. And my friends were like, "no way. That sucks." 

Michelle: There are definitely other fans of that band, and lots of festivals have indie music. What about Lollapalooza? Bonnaroo? Glastonbury? Primavera? SXSW?

Shane: SXSW has over 3,000 bands!

James: Never heard of them. Wait, 3,000 bands? And what, do industry people come out and listen?

Shane: That’s kind of the point.

James: Ok, you’re going to hate me for this but, respectfully, if you play SXSW, and a guy offers you a record deal, do you take it? Or do you ask, like, if they will make you change your sound for the radio?

Shane: People don’t really get signed like that but, I mean, I would… I would ask questions, obviously. I have been signed to a few labels. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be successful.

James: But listen, see, what if I paint an oil painting of a band, right? And they like it. And it captures that moment in time, a moment that will never happen again…. ?

Michelle: Yes… that’s… nice. Lots of moments tend to be digitized now with Insta..

James: Yes, but like, that’s a moment. That’s what I’m all about. And then, you know, you put that moment on YouTube or whatever. Someone can discover you that way. But like, the most I ever got paid for a piece of art is $500.

Shane: Well, as an artist you have to ask yourself if you're doing it just for the money or because it's a creative outlet.

Meth: I don’t need the music industry! I’m in the film industry now! I’m about to go UNION.

James: He’s an extra. He’s about to join SAG

Meth: You’re going to go home and watch Hunger Games 3! Or 2! Or is it 3? I’m in Hunger Games! AND THE NEW STAR WARS

James: He’s got some bit parts in the new films…

Michelle: Well… we will look out for him.

James: But, respectfully, let me ask you this. Do you have this problem? Do you ever got lost in your work and like lose track of time?

Shane: Sometimes...

James: But I mean, because my girlfriend, she got mad. She said I was paying too much attention to my art and not her.

Shane: I guess you need to find someone who respects what you do and is patient...


Michelle: Time for us to go...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Ancient Lights

This old English property law concept came up in case I was reading, and I thought it would make a sweet band name. Here's the Encyclopedia Britannica description of "Ancient Lights."

ancient lights,  in English property law, the right of a building or house owner to the light received from and through his windows. Windows used for light by an owner for 20 years or more could not be obstructed by the erection of an edifice or by any other act by an adjacent landowner. This rule of law originated in England in 1663, based on the theory that a landowner acquired an easement to the light by virtue of his use of the windows for that purpose for the statutory length of time. The doctrine did not acquire wide acceptance by courts in the United States.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Flopper

Today in law school I learned… about the assumption of risk.

These days most fairgrounds only feature rides that spin in a circle, and their names all correspond with that motion: The Twister! The Spinarama! The Wheelie! The Whirl-A-Hurl!

But in 1929 at Steeplechase Amusement Co. in Coney Island, there was a fun little ramp/conveyor belt ride called "The Flopper." Fun for most, anyway. Poor Mr. Murphy didn't have such a good time. Described by the court as a "vigorous man," Murphy set prudence aside in favor of chasing tail and followed his lady friend onto the ride. The bad news is he ended up with a busted knee. The good news is that this lady ended up marrying him. Worth it?
As to the injuries, the court basically said too bad, sucker. You should of known better. "The very name above the gate, The Flopper, was warning to the timid." And thus, the (almost) famous adage was born: "if you wanna flop, be prepared for the drop."

But the reason I wanted to blog about this case was the following quote from Justice Cardozo. It's got it all: balls, thrusting, clergy, etc.:

 "One who takes part in such a sport accepts the dangers that inhere in it so far as they are obvious and necessary, just as a fencer accepts the risk of a thrust by his antagonist or a spectator at a ball game the chance of contact with the ball. The antics of the clown are not the paces of the cloistered cleric. The rough and boisterous joke, the horseplay of the crowd, evokes its own guffaws, but they are not the pleasures of tranquility."


Another ass in law school

Today's Torts reading got weird.

"The groans, ineffably and mournfully sad, of Davies' dying donkey, have resounded around the earth. The last lingering gaze from the soft, mild eyes of this docile animal, like the last parting sunbeams of the softest day in spring, has appealed to and touched the hearts of men."

I cried and wrote a country song all at once reading that.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Today in law school I learned…

"You should keep your stacks of flax far from the tracks."

LeRoy Fibre Co. v. Chciago, Milwaukee & St Paul Ry.
232 U.S. 340 (1914)

Ditto-Tang Concoction: Not even once.

I am going to start a new series here called "Today in Law School I Learned…" It will feature tidbits, random facts and asides culled from the casebooks that are outside the scope of the actual study of law. In other words, this is the fun stuff that you learn from reading crazy court cases—not the kind of stuff you expect to learn in law school… or that will be appear on the exams.

 Today's fact comes from Padula v. State (1979).

Today in law school I learned… that drinking a mixture of "ditto fluid" and Tang is not a bright idea. You may lose your vision or your life. Why would someone even try drinking this shit? Because they are crazy, driven by "an irresistible impulse," apparently. After doing some more research, I discovered that the ditto drinkers were committed to a mental hospital for heroin addiction, and that stinky ditto ink is made with methanol. So I guess they were just really, really craving a hit.

Ditto-Tang: Not even once.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back 2 School

Decided to dust off the ol' blogger one more time and make a real go of it… or at least have the outlet available to me if I need a space for some creative writing when I start law school in just a couple weeks. Although I imagine most of my work will be done on my laptop, I felt compelled to go "back to school"shopping this week. Surely I'll need some…paper? pencils? What the hell do you buy for law school? Will 64 colors of crayon be enough? Are kids still using those TI-calculators? I'm clueless. It only took about 5 minutes of meandering through the Back to School aisles of Target before I felt super awkward. As much as I was drawn to the hipster Minnie Mouse spiral notebook, nothing seemed appropriate for a 30-year-old professional.
I think it's time to shop for things like leather-bound notebooks and expensive pens… the kind of serious paper supplies you find at an Office Depot or something. I feel boring already.