Wednesday, June 29, 2005

From The Planet

Picked up the new Fountains of Wayne CD, "Out-of-State Plates", which is a 2-disc compilation of b-sides, live tracks and rarities, plus the obligatory two "new" songs. It's tremendous. This is the stuff they didn't deem worthy of putting on a regular release and it pretty much blows away most of the crap that is on the radio these day. The liner notes, too, are great, with comments from Adam Schlesinger and Chris Colingwood about what inspired the songs etc. The first release from it, "Maureen", is a power pop gem that equals their hit from two years ago, "Stacy's Mom". Catchy as hell, sing-along chorus, and the classic backing vocals they are known for. Trust me, you'll hear it this summer.

This just confirms that they are from the planet.

"From The Planet" is a code phrase my wife and I developed to described people or groups who are head and shoulders talent-wise above everyone else. The phrase comes from the idea that these kinds of people are really aliens who have come to earth. After a while, we shortened it to a simple "from the planet." I even purchased the website address and hope to one day launch a site outlining the concept and posting comments on people who are "from the planet."

Besides Fountains of Wayne, here are some others that should help you better understand the idea:

-Tom Hanks. See, crap like Bosom Buddies and Bachelor Party is just to throw us off the trail so we don't figure out they are really aliens.

-Tiger Woods. I think he may have been the first one we ID'd as being From The Planet. Last year's semi-slump was, again, to throw us off the trail.

-Quentin Tarantino. What better cover than video store clerk turned director?

-Lance Armstrong. Beats cancer and comes back to win six, soon to be seven, Tour de France races in a row? Only someone from the planet could do that.

Note, too, that there are multiple planets, depending on what field one excels in. When I final launch the site, I'll set up a way for people to nominate others that they believe are From The Planet...who comes to mind for you?


At 9:43 AM, Blogger chief said...

I've been waiting for you to come online to ask you about the new FoW. Question answered. iTunes has it, but only as individual tracks for some reason. Guess I have to go to the store now.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger chief said...

Oh, from the planet. Four guys from Liverpool jump to mind. Tom Brady, too.

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Kevin said...

Yes, Tom Brady was definitely from the Planet.

And the wife and I were watching a repeat of Tom Hanks's recent graduation speech at some small college back east (where his daughter was graduating) and he was talking about the Power of Four. Seems that a stude showed that if only 4 drivers out of 100 got off the road in Los Angeles that gridlock would be solved.

So he wove a speech about the impact of "Four". He mentioned as part of that four lads out of hundreds in Liverpool who got together and changed the musical world.

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

Not sure how I forgot to mention Michael Jordan...

At 10:56 PM, Blogger LiteraryGirl said...

Ok, so I am not very good at things like this, but I've put a lot of thought into it today. I might think of someone else later and write again, but the people that keep coming to my mind are: Maya Angelou and Patty Griffin. I think Angelou is just in a class of her own. The woman walks onto a stage and I cry, along with half the audience. She has a magnificent persona. Griffin's songwriting and singing is amazing and I think she is incredibly talented. I might have others later, I have a few artists running through my mind, so I'll get back to you when I think a little more. (Ok, so I just edited this comment in a huge way because I had two others but I'm afraid you'll just laugh at me. I might e-mail them to you.)

At 10:10 AM, Blogger Kevin said...

Maya Angelou is a good one. I know of Patti Griffin but don't know her work well enough to comment, so I'll take your word for it.

And, I am curious about the two you edited out...

At 3:58 PM, Blogger LiteraryGirl said...

Ok, I'll tell you. Oprah, not because she is particuarly talented, but because everything she touches turns to gold, and if she mentions an item on her show some small boutique in NYC sells out of it immediately. She has a lot of power. Her awful book choices instantly end up in the top ten.

And Steven Spielberg was the other one. I'm not knowledgeable enough in filmmaking to say if this is talent or just luck, but it seems all of his movies do pretty darn well at the box office.

At 10:43 PM, Blogger chief said...

I'll second Oprah and Spielberg. Oprah is definately from some planet.

And Spielberg movies do well, but the genius in them can be seen by watching the crap most other people put out. Even the lightweight ones (Jurassic Park, I'm looking at you) are amazing, even if they don't work as a whole.

I'm adding Pete Sampras. And Roger Federer is might have tipped us off this past weekend.

At 9:50 AM, Blogger chief said...

More on Sampras:

(Scenario is fictional, but repeated over and over during Pete's long career). Down love-30 in any given important game (because he went for huge points to demoralize his opponent), Sampras servers a 124mph second serve ace. Then another ace. then a service winner. Then closes out the game with an overhead slam that looks like something Michael Jordan would do.

Opponent puts racket in bag and heads for the airport.

Definitely from the Plant.

At 12:06 AM, Blogger Kevin said...

Oprah's fine. I'll third that.

Sampras, definitely. Puking on the court only to come back and win the match. Only those from the planet can pull that off.


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