Monday, December 15, 2008

I've been tagged!

Ok so my friend and colleague, James "Jaywalk" Walker, tagged me so here is the game plan:

  1. link your original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
  2. share seven facts about yourself in the post - some random, some weird.
  3. tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  4. let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or twitter

1. I have a tattoo and want another. When I was a sophomore at Syracuse, I went to the Village Star II at the corner of McDougal and Bleecker Streets in New York City and got a late-night tattoo. I wanted to get a bass clef on my ankle because it was one of the first instruments I played. I got it on my ankle in hopes that my parents wouldn't see that the Jewish boy "destroyed" his body (yeah, that didn't really work out). When I got the tattoo, the guy said it was the 2nd most creative tattoo he'd ever done. I asked him what was the most creative tattoo he did and he said, "Some guy wanted me to make it look like there was a panther jumping out of his ass!" My good friend, Jenny P, was there for it all.

2. I played hockey in high school. While the Mainline Philadelphia kids (read: Jews) did tennis lessons and basketball, I lived with all the Irish catholic kids and played ice and roller hockey. I loved it. There are now five NHL fans still alive. I'm happy to be one of them.

3. I worked at both Blockbuster and Ruby Tuesday's one summer while living in Syracuse. I did nothing but worked and took two classes that later never even applied to my major. I made over $3000 that summer. I am pretty sure I spent all of the money on candy and DVDs.

4. I am really good at remembering names and faces. Part of this is because I used to be a fundraiser; part of this is a natural skill developed by those with ADD. People ask me, "Berg - how do you have 1800 friends on Facebook?" and I say, "I just remember names and faces really well." It's weird because my dad went through a 5 year period where he called all my friends that were girls either "Amy" or "Jen" because those were the girls I hung out with. He's much better now and remembers everyone. The part of my brain that was supposed to store knowledge of literature and academics, was clearly used to remember the random hippie I met at a Phish show in 2000.

5. I have been to over 40+ Phish shows. That's right, I saw the quintessential jam band more times than I can count. I'm estimating about 45, but I have no idea really. I just know I did a lot of dancing, missed a lot of class and ate a lot of grilled cheese.

6. I am a total fan boy Ever since I was two and my father took me to see "Return of the Jedi" I have been into science fiction, fan boy-type movies and being a nerd. I'm a big "Star Trek" geek too and would put "Star Trek: The Next Generation" among my top 5 shows of all time. I have a light saber application on my Iphone and a life size cardboard cutout of Admiral Ackbar in my office. I am also now regretting this post, but whatever.

7. I love to network and meet new people. I have never been really shy. It's a blessing and a curse. I feel comfortable with crowds to the point where if you ask a lot of my friends how we met, more than half will probably say randomly on a street or at a Phillies game or in a parking lot. When I was at grad school at GW in 2003, there were evidently "two" Adam Rosenbergs at the school. Go Figure! One (me) was in grad school, the other in undergrad. Somehow I received an email containing a beta-test version of the original Facebook (back when it still had text on the page that read "Too close for missiles, I'm switching to guns.") and I started using it to connect to new people and old friends. I love that social media has made random meetings and friendships a more acceptable occurrence in society. Friends can now be officially friends and trust each other simply by knowing they have "over 50 mutual friends." It's the networking aspect to building relationships that drives me and fascinates me about social marketing. My friends Adam, Jason and Matt are good examples of this idea in effect. I was never formally introduced to either of them, but eventually hit such a high number of common friends, that we just accepted that we were friends and left it at that. It's a lot like starting a friendship on the 15th time you hang out versus from scratch.

So the special folks who have been tagged:

Adam Conner
Jenny Piston
Matt Ortega
Jason Rosenberg
Craig "Tiger" Smith
Brendon Fleming
Brendan Lilly

To those tagged, your mission is:
-link your original tagger in your post
-share seven facts about yourself in the post
-tag seven people at the end with their names and links to their blogs
-let them know they've been tagged

Good Luck!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Berg Standard's Top 10 Albums of 2008

Below are my top 10 albums for 2008. A lot of music industry publications and music blogs are putting out their list of picks and while I generally will give almost any type of music a spin, there are some albums and sounds I’m just going to enjoy more than others. I’m glad everyone likes the Deerhunter album. I do too. It’s just not my top 10 of the year. So, with that said, enjoy my picks (and the bonus pick from Tracy). Go out and get these albums and support these bands right now. Well, not RIGHT now, read the list first. Happy Listening!

#10 - R.E.M. – Accelerate
The Athens boys are back! This album from the classic alt/college rockers made me forget about crapfests like “Up” and “Reveal”, and have faith in the band returning to its hi-end rocking found on legendary albums like “Green” and “Life’s Rich Pageant.” They’ve gotten older, but come blasting out in this album with the title track “Living Well is the Best Revenge” as if they’re making a statement to all those who threw them aside as has-beens. From there, the album continues its upward climb, and R.E.M. proves to all their fans that reports of their demise were greatly exaggerated. Best Track – “Horse to Water”

#9 - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
I never listened to Nick Cave aside from that track “Red Right Hand” that was overplayed in the “Scream” movies, but I gave this CD a spin per a great review in Entertainment Weekly. This album has a higher “funky” factor to previous Cave albums. I feel like those who listened to Tom Waits and those who currently listen to The Hold Steady, could find a happy medium listening to this album. Lyrically, he is at the top of his game and he croons through 11 tracks of rock and rolling in one of the more underrated albums of the year. Best Track – “We Call Upon the Author”

#8 - Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
I want to hate this album. I really do. I don’t like Vampire Weekend personally (I met several members of the band at a bar in NYC a few years ago) as they come off ‘douchey’ to me, but I can’t deny the fact that their album is really good. It’s well put together and fun. Definitely a “less is more” kind of thing. “A-Punk” is much more sophisticated than standard singles from these types of bands. I hear elements of Paul Simon in a lot of the songs and that’s something I never thought I’d say when I sat down to listen to this album. “M79” mixes strings and delicate minimalist piano well enough to create the feeling of full composition in only a few chords. The songs all seem that way - full musical pieces under the guise of pop songs. With the inclusion of African drumming and Talking Heads-esque melodies, each song still walks that fine line between complicated and composition beautifully. Best Track - “One (Blake’s Got a New Face)”

#7 - Portishead – Third
Another disc that I loved from the moment I put it on and immediately emailed my friend Gabe and told him it would be on my list for 2008. It’s been a while since Portishead put out a new album, which is why adapting and tinkering their sound JUST enough to keep the basis (trip-hop, electronic, dark) but still enough to hear the new additions (some psychedelic spinning) without being too overbearing. This album swirls in your head but doesn’t make it hurt. Just sit back and take it all in. Best song – “The Rip”

#6 - The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
I was much more impressed with this album than I was with “Boys and Girls in America.” This is much more along the lines of “Separation Sunday” where they play with high energy from top to bottom. The title track, “Stay Positive” is a real driver as is “Magazines.”. Front man Craig Finn is at his best and appears to have discovered a way to sing a little more versus the standard shouting and melodic talking. The band itself has grown tremendously and gets better each time I hear them. Unlike a lot of albums, the second half of this disc is actually better than the first half. The band shows that they have depth and aren’t just a straight rock gimmick in the mold of the “E Street Band.” Best track - “Joke about Jamaica”

My wife wanted to involve herself in the creation of this top 10 list so I let her do a write up on her favorite album of 2008. Please don’t judge me for this. I love her but our musical tastes are VERY different. Consider this the best album of the year if you are a girl aged 13 – 31.

Chris Brown - Exclusive
Chris Brown's Exclusive is the best album of the year. Yes, I love pop. (Over the past several years I have been to the following concerts: Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Shakira, and Mariah Carey...and I have no shame about this.) If you love dancing, you'll love this album. Also, if you are looking for a great album to workout to, this is it. This album is upbeat, fun, and if you've seen any of Chris Brown's videos or MTV performances (where even Justin Timberlake is impressed!) you'll probably want to dance on the treadmill and elliptical machine like I do. Chris Brown is so young - but so talented - I can only imagine where he'll be in 20 years. Best album of the year – by far! Best Track – “Wall to Wall”

Now, on with the top 5….

#5 - Ra Ra Riot – The Rhumb Line
I went to school with these guys (Go Syracuse) and they are absolutely amazing. No one else is doing anything like Ra Ra Riot right now. Their hardship story is well known as the band’s drummer passed away during their tour last year. Rather than pack it up, the band rallied around the memory of their fallen band mate and pushed forward with the same energy level and enormous passion not easily found in today’s rising stars. Not only does the fusion of indie rock and classical music produce amazing musicianship, but the vocals and lyrics are incredible. Very far pressed to find a nicer group of kids too that are more down to earth and haven’t let success get to their head. Best Track – “Winter ‘05”

#4 - My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges
I first saw MMJ in 2004 at Bonnaroo after a recommendation from a college friend. I caught their set in the rain and watched as they did what I hadn’t seen other bands do in a while; just flat out wail. Lead singer Jim James has helped this Kentucky Band reach new heights with the latest effort. Unlike most jam bands that will jam on and never seem to know when to quit, MMJ always seem to know exactly when the right time is to end a song. This album is crafted so perfectly with the combination of heavy guitar and arguably one of the tightest rhythm sections in rock right now. “Highly Suspicious” was stuck in my head for weeks and while I agree with John at Digital Metropolis in that this album contains the worst MMJ song ever (“Sec Walkin”), this album is justifiably at the top of most music blogs and magazines’ lists for 2008. Best Track – “Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Pt 2”

#3 - The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely
Top to bottom this is just an incredible album. Whereas the first album was gimmicky (anything really memorable from it other than “Steady as She Goes”?), this is much more of a straight out classic rock album and a complete effort. The songs are hooky but not poppy. “The Switch and the Spur” gives a new level of sophistication to the band and layers their talents properly. This album is packed with raw energy throughout but produced well so as not to come off too garagey. These are great songs and prove that the band is legit, not just a mini super group/side project. The real gem is “Top Yourself” – which harkens to Led Zeppelin II (which I argue is their best album). Best Track – “Top Yourself”

#2 - Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
Some people don’t want a band to rock their socks off with loud guitars. They’d rather them do it with pseudo-Renaissance era vocals and a delicate layering of acoustic guitars and drums (with some strings to boot!). That’s what Fleet Foxes did. Recommended to me by Gabe (through the tall man himself, Chris - though originally recommended by Nick so he should get credit), they combine melodic vocals and warm guitar acoustics for a delightful album perfect for a Sunday afternoon (or a Tuesday morning in your office). Much like “Arcade Fire”, there is a lot of sound going on with this band but it’s done in a way that seemingly pulls you into their world. People are going to be talking more about these guys if they haven’t been already. “White Winter Hymnal” sounds like it could work not just now but in the 1950’s as a single while the darker “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” will perk the ears of Townes Van Zandt fans everywhere. For all of those out there who long for an album that will remind you of Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” (arguably the greatest album ever made), Fleet Foxes are for you. These guys are absolutely my band to watch in 2009. My advice to you is to get this disc, lend it to your friends, and make them buy it. Best Track – “Your Protector”

#1 - TV on the Radio – Dear Science
After listening to the first four tracks of this album, I immediately emailed Gabe and told him it was the best album of the year. That was back in September. I feel more confident now then I did months ago that this is the best album of the year. You can really hear the band getting excited in the studio recording these songs. I liked but didn’t LOVE “Return to Cookie Mountain” but really like the fact that “Dear Science” has put a big exclamation point next to TVOTR. The secret is definitely out. Their unique sound and Tunde Adebimpe’s vocals are welded together in a way that produces successful experimentation the way Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart used to do things. I’m not saying the band sounds like those bands; I’m just saying they aren’t afraid to do something totally different and not easily defined. The delicate “Family Tree” shows the band is not just an indie-electronic-rock hybrid band. “Dancing Choose” is fantastic as the mixture of horns and guitars swirls to perfection. While I’ll admit the band has never impressed me live because venues haven’t quite figured out how to mix their sound well, they have continued to grow as a band with their studio efforts. Best Track - “Red Dress”

Albums that ALMOST made it (really REALLY good, but not my top 10)
The Pretenders – Breaking up the Concrete
M83 – Saturdays = Youth
Jenny Lewis – Acid Tongue
Kings of Leon – Only By the Night
Q-Tip – The Renaissance (this was a REALLY hard decision, Q – if you stumble across this, I’m really really sorry!)
Black Keys – Attack and Release
Wolf Parade – At Mount Zoomer (thanks to our friends at EarFarm for the recommendation!)
Santogold – Santogold
Beck – Modern Guilt
Cloud Cult – No One Said It Would Be Easy

Albums I wasn’t so crazy about that were seriously hyped:
Lil’ Wayne – Tha Carter III
Gnarls Barkley – The Odd Couple
The Roots – Rising Down
Kanye West – 808s and Heartbreaks
Tracy Chapman – Our Bright Future

Complaints and questions as well as comments are welcome!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I'm ShamWOW'd

I've seen this commercial now about 50 times in the past two weeks. Yeah, I'm up THAT late. I'm enamored both with the perky Ryan Seacrest-looking guy who for whatever reason is wearing a headpiece and the fact that this product seems to soak up everything. I'm wow. No! I'm SHAMWOW'D.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Vote for Lando Calrissian! w/ BILLY DEE WILLIAMS

The race for leader of the Star Wars galaxy heats up with vicious attack ads from Emperor Palpatine.Hands down the funniest thing I've seen all year.

read more | digg story

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bank of America to Stop Financing Mountaintop Mining

The Natural Resources Defense Council persuades major bank to stop financing companies that use mountaintop-removal techniques in their mining.

read more | digg story

Ghostbusters Video Game Is Going To Be AWESOME

Just was passed this by my buddy Nitz, the game looks incredible. With the real voices too! Evidently, you'll be able to use your wii controller like a proton pack!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Official Star Trek Trailer Released! Geek out!

And now the official "Star Trek" trailer is available at Paramount's website. This is going to be sooo good.

New Star Trek Trailer Leaked

Went and saw "Quantum of Solace" yesterday, partially because I'm a big Bond fan and partially because I'm a Star Trek geek and I knew they were showing the new trailer in front of the film. Paramount has been odd about their marketing on this one. They won't be releasing the trailer online until later today, instead choosing to release it in the theatres first. This seems very anti-internet to me, but at any rate, somebody already bootlegged it and posted it here:

Check it out. So excited for this movie. There are two movie trailers I've ever seen that have resulted in audience applause at the end. "Star Wars" and "Star Trek". Let's hope this is worth it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nike "Fate" Leave Nothing commercial w/ LT & Polamalu

This is the new Nike commercial that I was raving about yesterday. Not only is it directed by David Fincher (Seven) but it also makes the best use of Ennio Morricone's "Ecstasy of Gold". Absolutely fantastic!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Top 10 Movie Douchebags

A well-placed douchebag character in a movie can really add a nice touch. Not only do they contrast the good qualities and values of the hero, but it’s just kind of fun in general to see a douchebag portrayed well on the silver screen. It’s even more fun to watch a douchebag get his comeuppance and take a heavy fall.

read more | digg story

Monday, November 10, 2008

Setting: Deep inside the bowels of Lincoln Financial Field, mid afternoon, October 14, 2008

Andy Reid: All this trade deadline talk is hurting my head. Oh! Hey! I've got an idea. Let's cut Tony Hunt.

Joe Banner: The guy we spent a first-day pick on less than 18 months ago to finally give us a short-yardage back?

AR: Yeah yeah. He's the one.

JB: Um, you realize that would leave us with three undersized backs?

AR: Yeah.

JB: And that you inexplicably keep calling for runs up the middle on 4th and 1 this season? We've already lost two games because of it.

AR: Yeah. Next time we'll just put in a package with two tight ends, a fullback, and a blocking receiver. No way they'll stop us then!

JB: But won't that telegraph the play? Wouldn't the opposing defense just stick eight (or more) men in the box?

AR: Shhh.

JB: [Exasperated Stare]

AR: Besides, I really want to sign Kyle Eckel to backup our defensive tackle playing out of position at fullback.

JB: Who? What? Why?

AR: Shhh.

Mailboy: Fuck you, Coach Reid. Fuck you.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Berg Standard Playlist: Election & World Series Edition Posted

The picks are in and the following songs were selected as tracks for this weeks Berg Standard Playlist as songs that best represent the Election and Phillies World Series victory. Enjoy!

Track 1: "Joy" by NomeansNo
Track 2: "America Fuck Yeah" by Team America
Track 3: "99 Problems" by Jay-Z
Track 4: "I Have a Dream" by Common
Track 5: "Blue Monday" by New Order
Track 6: "Getting Better" by The Beatles
Track 7: "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits
Track 8: "The Angry Mob" by Kaiser Chiefs
Track 9: "We Are The Champions" by Queen
Track 10: "Throne Room/End Title" (From Star Wars) by John Williams

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Submit your picks for the weekly playlist (Election and World Series Edition)

With the Obama victory in the presidential election and the Phillies winning the World Series, this week's playlist certainly will have a joyous theme. Submit your picks for tracks for the mix and I'll post the mix in it's entirety on Friday afternoon.

Not a bad week if you're a Philly Democrat

Last Wednesday, I watched my beloved Philadelphia Phillies do the improbable and win the World Series. Less than a week later, this was topped by what could be considered even more unlikely - the country elected it's first black president.

As a not so secretive liberal and an even less quiet Phillies fan, I am on cloud nine right now. While a lot of us, including Obama himself, have preached for unity and working across aisles, I can't help but pause and gloat for a bit about the Democratic landslide victory that swept the nation, changed the political map, and might even get us the magic 60 in the Senate.

Look, I want to get things done and pass laws and make everyone happy, but I'll worry about that on Thursday. On Wednesday, the day after the election, I want to rub it in Republican faces that Democrats outcampaigned, outworked, and outhustled them across the board. They are a completely fractured party with half of the GOP wanting to return to Lincoln ideals and half wanting to be as right wing conservative as possible. After watching Democrats fight internally for years while Republicans remained disciplined and in power under Tom Delay's watch, I'm taking a little pride in watching them tear each other apart as they figure out what's next.

From a policy standpoint, I'm not crazy-lack-of-showering liberal and I can get along with the best of them and agree to disagree, but it's hard for me to be chomping at the bit to unify with a group of people who year after year have gone out of their way to divide the country and restrict the rights of women, gays, and anyone else who is not a straight, white male. I'm taking today to be completely intolerant of the Republican Party since they spent so long being intolerant of everyone other than themselves. Are Dems perfect? No. But we learned from Jim Crowe and our past. We don't all feel the need to legislate on social issues. We don't tell women they have no control over their bodies and we don't tell gays that marriage doesn't apply to them. On Tuesday night, the map changed. Obama won or performed strongly in areas of the country where no one expected him to hold down the fort. He really did something special.

For the first time in a while, Dems won't be able to blame negative government actions on the Republican Party. We're going to have to take responsibility for our own actions and decisions. We might fail, we might rise up. It's a territory we haven't experienced since 1992.

Watching the coverage last night, it started to hit me how amazing it is that we elected a black president. My mother called me excited about the results and screaming that "Bobby Kennedy said this would happen. This is history!" and I watched as CNN gave close up to numerous faces in the crowd who were overcome with emotion. I took a class in college where there was a heated discussion about whether or not the Civil Rights battle was a success for African Americans. The discussion steered towards the debate as to whether or not there have been any really successful black leaders since MLK. When I received text messages from my friend Karl telling me that his neighbors were voting for the first time in 20 years, it continued to hit me. This means more than we can ever imagine to those who fought for African American equality. For all his faults, Jesse Jackson must be extremely proud of this. Guys like John Lewis, who fought during the civil rights era and had the hoses and dogs turned on them. For them, this makes the fights of the 50's and 60's worth it.

The comment that struck me the most last night came from CNN and was in reference to the image of the Obamas on stage. They are the First Family now. The rest of the world will watch our news and see that our country elected a black family to the White House to represent us and our ideals. It's pretty amazing. Our history books will be forever changed. Children growing up now know more than ever that anything is achievable.

And obviously in a year where the Phillies can parade a World Series trophy down South Broad street, we know that anything can happen.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Harry Kalas calls the final Phillies out

What's amazing about this video (thanks Pollack) is that it appears as if Chris Wheeler develops a soul in the background.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Submit your picks for the Election Edition of the Weekly Mix

Submit your picks by Friday for the News Cycle Soundtrack (Election Edition). I'll post the mix on Friday in time for GOTV weekend.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Change Ups We Can Believe In

Tonight, the Phillies will attempt to do what no other major Philadelphia sports team has done since a championship! 25 years....a quarter century...more than 90% of my lifetime. Tonight, if Cole Hamels and the Fightins do their job, the city will be absolute bedlam.

My core group of friends and I have been diehard Phillies fans for years. From the powder blue of the Von Hayes-era, to the 1993 National League Champion/Professional Softball Team years. From the Curt Schilling years to the Tyler Green year. From the Scott Rolen highlights to the Mark Leiter as our closer.

We've watched year after year as other teams had their moments (and for the Yankees and Redsox, one could argue too many moments) while the Phillies planned hotels early for the Winter Meetings. We watched players come and go, play well then mediocre, love the city then fight with management, sign long term deals and land on the DL. We watched and waited when year after year free agency would create a shopping spree for teams like the Indians, the Mets and the Marlins (the f'n MARLINS!!!) while our team ownership tried to convince us that Danny Tartabull and Gregg Jefferies were the missing pieces to this "middle market" ballclub.

Tonight, that will hopefully end. You couldn't ask for a better situation in an elimination game for the Phillies: Your ace is pitching, you're at home, and you just came off a game where your power hit decided enough was enough and clubbed two homeruns in a rout of the AL champions. This could be it. The stars are finally seeming to align. We've played an entire 3 week period of playoff baseball without bringing our "A" game (as so aptly put by Alan Pollack on the car ride back from the 2 AM craziness that was Game 3). We've been winning games not by playing our best, but by not playing as badly as our opponents. Game 4's rout was the first time we've seen the real Phillies since September. You can't help but think the Rays are in trouble now. Their middle of the order hitters aren't hitting (and in Longoria's case, aren't fielding either) and now the team is poised to play the same type of baseball that put them in first place for most of the season. The same type of baseball that allowed them to catch the Mets in the last two weeks of the season and win a division title. The same baseball that has given Philadelphia something to distract them from the mediocrity of the Eagles and the struggles of the Flyers.

We've watched as ESPN and every other publication threw out the "Rays in 6" garbage, and dealt with it. Tonight is our night. The team that had been counted out more times than any other team in baseball and found a way in its 126-year history to lose over 10,000 times is on the brink of a world championship. Led by a new hero every night, this team is knocking on history's door and giving us something to believe in. You can best believe that if and when it happens, you'll never hear the end of it. And no one should hear the end of it. Because for the first time in long time, we deserve it. We've paid our dues. We've cheered for our teams. We've booed our star players in the hard times and cheered them in the good times. We've had the 45-year old lead our team in wins. We've dealt with the obnoxious shadow of NY and Boston sports for long enough. In years past, Philadelphia teams would fold under this type of pressure (2000 Flyers anyone?). But not this team. This is our time to believe and when all is said and done, the world will add "Phillies Fans" to the list of people who won't shut up about our sports championship...and you know what? They can bite me.

Go Phillies and Cole Hamels. Change Ups We Can Believe In!

PS - Dear Fox: Stop allowing Apple to push the Ipod Nano ad buy during the playoffs. It's getting to be a little much.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Terry Tate Returns To Fight Sarah Palin

Thank you to Robinson for this hilarious video of Terry Tate (Office Linebacker) pummeling Sarah Palin during her recent CBS Interview. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vote for my friend Brian Smith's photo in Washingtonian Magazine

Check out Washingtonian Magazine's Monthly Photo Contest and vote (hopefully) for my friend Brian Smith's excellent photo of the Flaming Lips concert. Thanks!

Rays Fans Don't Know Suffering

From Todd Zolecki's blog on

"Rays fans don't deserve this. They don't. The Rays were 645-972 (.399) from 1998 to 2007, so I've been hearing a lot about the "long suffering" Rays fans. That's not suffering. The Phillies were 1,752-2,941 (.373) from 1918 to 1948. They've won one World Series in 125 years. Now that's suffering. If the Rays lose, Rays fans will shrug their shoulders and continue their lives. Phillies fans will be crushed. If the Rays win, Rays fans will shrug their shoulders and continue their lives. Phillies fans will party like it's 1983."

Why Can't Us

Tonight is Game 1 of the World Series featuring my Philadelphia Phillies battling against the Tampa Bay Rays. The entire city is pumped for this. We've been waiting for this moment since Mitch Williams hung that slider on Joe Carter in '93. I'll be watching the game at my good friend Matt Pollack's house with a spread provided by Kenny's North Carolina style BBQ.

"Why Can't Us?" is our mantra right now....let's do this!

If you need any more reason to get excited about the Phillies in the World Series, just check out this Fox Promo Video of Lenny Dykstra singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" from 1996:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Photos from the Corcoran Wedding...with guns!

Photos from the Corcoran Wedding...with guns!

Photos from the Corcoran Wedding...with guns!

Photos from the Corcoran Wedding...with guns!

Photos from the Corcoran Wedding...with guns!

Photos from the Corcoran Wedding...with guns!

Photos from the Corcoran Wedding...with guns!

Photos from the Corcoran Wedding...with guns!

Photos from the Corcoran Wedding...with guns!

Photos from the Corcoran Wedding...with guns!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Berg Standard News Cycle Mix #2 (Week of 9/29) is now available!

This week's Berg Standard News Cycle Mix is even better than last weeks. Love the suggestion of "Comfort Eagle" by Cake and Sallie's pick of "Ring of Fire" (though I think the Social Distortion version works well for this past week versus Cash's version) takes the top prize. The mix in total is posted below and we'll do it again next week and post on Friday. Tomorrow is Jeans Day...yes! Go Phillies

The Berg Standard News Cycle Mix #2 (Week of 9/29)
1. "The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning" - Smashing Pumpkins
2. "Mercy" - Duffy
3. "Ring of Fire" - Social Distortion
4. "Shankill Butchers" - The Decemberists
5. "Where is my mind?" - The Pixies
6. "The Great Depression" - The Jam
7. "Po' Folks" - Nappy Roots
8. "Comfort Eagle" - Cake
9. "It's the end of the world as we know it" - REM
10. "Fix You" - Coldplay
11. "Down in a Hole" - Ryan Adams & the Cardinals

Check out the mix at here

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hilarious Fox News Video/Weekly Soundtrack Submissions

Check out this Fox News video on PA being a swing state. Watch the old lady in the background when he does a show of hands for Obama. Hilarious!

Make sure you submit your weekly soundtrack submissions and I'll post the mix tomorrow in time for the weekend. Once again, we're looking for songs that best exemplify the past news week. You can check out last week's mix here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Celebrating rosh hashanah at temple citizen bank park

Those gosh darn media elites...

Sarah Palin out Palin'd herself in the final installment of her interview with CBS's Katie Couric when asked what newspapers she reads regularly. It's far and away the greatest train wreck answer I've heard yet. Like I said, put all politics aside on this woman...if she came into your office to apply for a executive level position, you'd be as foolish as the people running Fannie and Freddie to hire her. Politics has nothing to do with it. Enjoy!

PS - I'm working from Philadelphia the next two days at the Phillies playoff games and Rosh Hashanah so submissions may be off-topic (aren't they always?) until Friday. Make sure to submit your tracks for this week's news cycle soundtrack.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Submit your picks for The Berg Standard News Cycle Mix this week

As I sit here enjoying my breakfast smoothie and listening to Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me" (great choice, Chris!), I can't help but feel like submissions for this week's mix will be awesome...what with our entire economy scheduled to implode around Wednesday or so...

For those of you new to this - Each week The Berg Standard asks you to submit your song picks that you feel best exemplify the week's current events and news. Submissions are taken until Thursday at 4 PM and then our good friends at help us compile a soundtrack for the week Friday morning so you can enjoy it during the weekend. All you have to do is be creative and submit your song picks!

Check out last week's The Berg Standard Mix #1 (Week of 9/22)

And to my Jewish brothers and sisters I say L'shana Tova!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Paulson is Going To Dip House Republicans in Sludge!

Kudos to the Mancuso Brothers (Pete & Nick) for pointing out the eerie similarities between Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" villain Judge Doom.

"Oh No! He's going to dip them in sludge!" - Pete Mancuso

Phillies Playoff Chances Remind me of Bar Mitzvahs

On Saturday, the Philadelphia Phillies clinched their second straight National League Eastern Division championship. Unlike last year, when the team historically made up 7 games with 17 to play and overcame the Mets, this year's team spent a majority of their season in first place. Despite economic hardships taking their hold across our great nation, thousands of Phillies fans (including yours truly) will flock to Citizens Bank Park this week to see the Phils take on the Milwaukee Brewers.

After Brad Lidge recorded the final out on Saturday and my celebration with Matt Pollack consisting of high fiving and Korbel champagne had ended, I thought back to 1993 when the Phillies last had a successful postseason and went to the World Series. That was my 7th grade year at Abington Junior High School and far and away the most social period of my life. Every weekend, my calendar was booked with 2-3 bar or bat mitzvahs to attend in the northeast Philadelphia and Main Line area. Away games that I couldn't attend would force me to bring a headset to the party to hear Harry Kalas calling the action and stressing the tense atmosphere that only comes with Mitch Williams trying to save a game on the road.

This year's Phillies squad is better than the '93 team. Even better than the '07 team. They actually have a bullpen this year. They actually believe that they're capable of winning and have the talent to do so. A shortened rotation in the playoffs only helps the Phillies as there is no need to send a Kyle Kendrick or an Adam Eaton to the mound. Bullpen is much deeper than last year and I see the team getting over last year's early round exit and having no problem dispatching of the Brewers in four games.

As I work to find ways to work from home this week to take part in Philadelphia Playoff Phever (which I can tell you is one of the most amazing things to be a part of), I'm looking forward to these games more than ever. I'll be moving to California in December, so this is likely the last time I'll see a Phillies home playoff game for quite some time. The celebration that will accompany a playoff game victory will bring back memories of '93's magical run to the World Series along with awkward 13 year Jewish kids dancing at Bar Mitzvahs. Oh it'll be a party...and I can't wait!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Finally - Barack Obama and Rick Astley...Together!

Pree has forwarded me a video that I'm only about 3 million views behind on...Barack Obama speeches mixed with the Rick Astley classic "Never Gonna Give You Up"


Friday, September 26, 2008

I Dare You To Compare

The Sarah Palin interviews remind me of another deer-in-headlights interview..can't seem to put my finger on it..oh I remember:

Putting all politics aside, Palin is still unimpressive

Forget for a second that she's running for the GOP Vice Presidency. Forget for a second that I'm a Democrat and let's throw partisan politics aside. If this wasn't an election and people watched this interview on television, they'd STILL think it was a train wreck.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Berg Standard News Cycle Mix #1

Thank you everyone for your submissions. Every Wednesday, we'll ask for submissions and post the mix each Friday. Enjoy the tracks you felt best represented the news cycle for the week of 9/22.

The Berg Standard News Cycle Mix #1 (Week of 9/22)
1. "The Imperial March" - John Williams
2. "Road to Nowhere" - Talking Heads
3. "Minnie the Moocher" - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
4. "This Year" - The Mountain Goats
5. "World Leader Pretend" - R.E.M.
6. "Theologians" - Jeff Tweedy
7. "Burnin' & Lootin'" - Bob Marley & The Wailers
8. "Heat of the Moment" - Asia
9. "If I had a million dollars" - Barenaked Ladies
10. "Indifference" - Pearl Jam
11. "Mercy Mercy Me" - Marvin Gaye
12. "Whoops" - Blues Traveler
13. "Excuse Me Mr." - Ben Harper
14. "Hurricane Jane" - Black Kids
15. "Run" - Gnarls Barkley
16. "The Lie and How We Told It" - Yo La Tengo

Check out the mix below or at

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What song best exemplifies the past news week?

I thought about this on the metro today, but I'm going to do a weekly "Soundtrack For The Week" posting where I will compile your song suggestions that you think best capture the spirit of the week in news. I thought of this when "Don't Worry About The Government" by Talking Heads came on my Ipod today. Let's say submissions are due by Thursdays at 4 PM and I'll post the soundtrack (hopefully with links to the song tracks in or on the site Friday morning.

Ready? And.........GO!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Worst party ever

Worst party ever, originally uploaded by Phillyberg.

'a white party run by straight people' - nitz

20 Best Political Websites According to PC Magazine

This was provided by someone on my grad school listserv.,2817,2329081,00.asp

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

So glad I get to bail out AIG

Today it was announced that the US will be bailing out insurance giant, AIG and it now controls roughly 80% of the firm. I'm so irritated by this. Our economy is completely in the toilet and I have my government telling me that my federal tax dollars aren't good enough to put towards universal healthcare but they're perfectly acceptable in bailing out corporate fat cats with their economic failures. Fucking awesome!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

DeSean Jackson: A Philly Perspective

April 2008: Philly fans go crazy over the team drafting DeSean Jackson, WR, Cal with their 2nd pick of the 2008 NFL Draft. Look at this guy! Finally a receiver with speed, moves and talent to step up and replace Terrell Owens (the only worthwhile receiver the Eagles have ever had on their roster aside from Harold Carmichael). In a moment of impulsive excitement, I jump for joy at the opportunity to cheer for arguably one of Cal's finest playing for my hometown Birds.

Ten seconds later. Reality sets in.

Once the sugar rush subsided I remembered that this was STILL the same DeSean Jackson who routinely refused to go all out in the middle of the field. The same one who had awful work ethic (which I admit, it's hard to really push yourself for Jeff Tedford but still). The same one who picked Cal over USC because USC had already given someone the #1 jersey (which is why I love seeing you hold a #2!). The same one who is generously listed at 5'10" (he's closer to 5'8", folks!).

For a team coming off the internal destruction caused by T.O., it was unsettling to see my city hinge our Superbowl prospects on a guy who's dad and brother have only helped feed his ego since he was young.

Once I came to my senses, I realized what we had here wasn't even someone who was as bad as T.O. (come on man, T.O. is a lot more talented than DeSean Jackson)....we had a rehashed, poor-man's Ricky Watters! Once I realized the comedic value in having DeSean on the team I, of course, bought in and got myself a DeSean Eagles jersey. Not because I enjoy him as a player, but because I have an obsession with buying Eagles jerseys for players who turn into pop-culture references and are never heard from again. Three years from now, my DeSean Jackson jersey will be worth 5 times as much in campy value as it is today.

Last night during the Eagles/Cowboys Monday Night Football game. We were reminded of who DeSean Jackson really is. On live TV in primetime, the guy caught a 60+ yard TD pass but was so intent on being able to do his post score celebration dance that he flipped the ball over his shoulder before actually stepping into the endzone. Nice one! The TD was called back (Westbrook thankfully scored on the next play) and the Eagles had the ball at the goal line. But the damage was done. The room full of Eagles fans looked at me and finally realized the gospel I had been spewing since April. This guy wasn't the next big thing and cared more about himself than the team. Kornheiser was relentless on Jackson for the rest of the game. I loved it. FINALLY, a broadcaster east of the Mississippi will talk about how self-centered and brain-dead DeSean is. To the two commentators who boldly predicted DeSean would be Offensive Rookie of the Year....I say you deserve to be put to sleep. You clearly never watched a single Cal game. That is the only explanation I can think of to justify making such a baseless and idiotic statement like "DeSean Jackson will win rookie of the year."

Us Philly fans may be bad. We may boo one day and cheer the next. But it's because we like winners. We've had so few of them. Curt Schilling (while an asshole) was a winner. Bobby Clarke was a winner. Dr. J was a winner. I've met winners at Gary Barbera's Dodgeland Philly Sports Extravaganza, DeSean Jackson...and you sir are not a winner.

Bergcrest out.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ash is the only woman at nellies

They're playing the 'gay' version of 'dont stop believing' which evidently just means add bass

Why are there so many guys here?

Oh wait...its because its a gay bar

Cal/UMD halftime

Lissa and I rock out and pretend to date

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Random thought: Doesn't the time period between Damone and Stacey having sex and her realizing she's pregnant seem a little rushed to you?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cal Football this Weekend!

This weekend I will be going to my first Cal Bears football game as Kevin Riley and Company take on the Maryland Terrapins. It'll be a battle between two of college footballs most underachieving teams and I can't wait. As many of you know, I've been a Cal fan forever and like to pretend I went there even though I went to Syracuse. I'm looking forward to finally moving to the Golden State in December so I won't be judged so harshly for cheering them on. Even though I'll be living 80 miles from Berkeley in Sacramento. Oh well. One day.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What Your Music Says About You

This is kinda BS'y - By lumping groups of people into whatever music they listen to, aren't you undermining the entire essence of what music is supposed to represent in general?

Major props to Tiger for the article:

What your music says about you

Indie: Devotees have low self-esteem and are not very hard-working, kind or generous. However, they are creative.

Rock 'n' Roll: Fans have high self-esteem and are very creative, hard-working and at ease with themselves, but not very kind or generous.

Blues: High self-esteem, creative, outgoing and at ease with themselves.

Classical: Classical music lovers have high self-esteem, are creative and at ease with themselves, but not outgoing.

Heavy metal: Very creative and at ease with themselves, but not very outgoing or hard-working.

Reggae: High self-esteem, creative, outgoing, kind, generous and at ease with themselves, but not very hard-working.

Country & Western: Very hard-working and outgoing.

Dance: Creative and outgoing but not kind or generous.

Rap: High self-esteem, outgoing.

Full article here:

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sarah Palin Action Figures

OMG - I want one of these!

As Karl pointed out, I think I am more Executive Palin then "Tomb Raider" Palin.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The shopping cart on the left sucks

My car

So I got in a car accident last night. Not a bad one, but still one nevertheless. My flip flop got caught in my pedal when i switched from gas to break and, well, it became all gas into the back of some Bethesda lady's BMW. Not a lot of damage but irritating. Another thing on my plate.

The moral of the story?

There's no way I could've caused the same amount of damage to her car if I was riding a scooter.

McCain meets Levi

What's with the patting and the obsession McCain seems to have with Bristol's baby's daddy's hands?

Friday, September 5, 2008

The 'new' 90210

Watching the new pumped yet so lame that I got the Andrea Zuckerman reference in the opening scene

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Palin's (Future) Son-in-law's Tattoo

Little does she know, it's because he's a huge fan of the town in CT:

Did I just post from my phone?


Car next to us at phillies the beer cans too

New Blog!

Finally setting up a blog. Trying to figure out how to link my Twitter feed to my blog and vice versa...hmmmm