Monthly Archives: March 2012

Dr Tom’s Music Remedy – The Lumineers

Remember in college when your professor would assign a 12 page paper. So you’d go to your dorm, sit at your desktop computer (because let’s be honest, no one bought a laptop for school until circa 2008) and wrote down a killer title. Then you’d go to the gym. Then you’d get dinner. Then you’d go out and drink. Then you’d forget about your paper until the night before. It was at that very moment that you had the worst case of “Writer’s Cramp” you’ve ever had. I’m hear to tell you that this still happens as a grown man writing about stuff you actually enjoy writing about. So I apologize for the delay in new songs, but I was cramping (using that terms loosely).

So, The Lumineers. If you drink more than one PBR Tall Boy and/or smoke American Spirits on a typical Saturday night then you probably already know about these guys (and a gal). Why? Because they absolutely blew up at South by Southwest (SXSW for those who prefer acronyms). Err…I mean, so someone told me they did. I didn’t read about it on Twitter…and…umm…I’m not a hipster. Stop judging me. I just like skinny jeans, plaid shirts, vinyls and listening to indie music no one else has heard of.

I don’t know ALL that much about The Lumineers, besides the fact that they’re a 3 piece from Denver, CO that write simple, melodic tunes with heartfelt and ridiculously catchy lyrics. It’s pure Americana indie folk music, that you could listen to with your Grandfather on the front porch, looking over the field you planted that day drinking some sweet tea. It’s also not a shabby tune to share with a lady friend. Besides, one the singers looks amazingly like Woody Harrelson.

Their debut album drops April 3rd (next Tuesday if you’re wondering). Get it. If that wasn’t enough, they’re on tour right now too – click there for the tour date where you are ( The ticket is $8. That’s EIGHT DOLLARS. The price of a meal at Chipotle, a Mossimo shirt from target or 4 cans of PBR. Go out, support good music and keep this band around! I’ll be at the show in NC for sure.

So without further ado, here is The Lumineers and their debut song “Ho Hey.” Do yourself a favor, take the chorus of this song and tell it to your lady “I belong with you, you belong with me. You’re my sweetheart.”

Are you gonna finish that PBR?


Hidden Hotties: A Strong Partner

So my buddy Wes sends me a link to, a site he randomly came across for work purposes. It was immediately obvioust that the girl gracing the home page was both hot and hidden (the one-shot Google search for “who is the girl” revealed no information). Instead of writing down my shallow thoughts, I’ve simply screen-captured the g-chat conversation between Dr. Tom and myself. Yep…the laziness has come to that. I’ve allowed you to see that there was an effort at redemptive conversation with T-Bone earlier in the day that didn’t pan out (I’ve said previously that from the moment I wake up, I become a progressively worse person until I go to sleep…that’s reason #283 to never be up past midnight).

Lover of the Unsolved Mystery,

The Male Playbook – “The Marge Piercy”

The male human has been the undisputed dominant species on Earth for thousands of years, constantly defeating women for the title. The playing field was leveled considerably over a century ago when hitting women became less fashionable. Technology, economic development and “equal” rights have also been minor factors. In today’s world, the woman has become increasingly rebellious when it comes to completing her God-given tasks such as laundry, cooking, dishes, children (bearing and rearing), vacuuming, mopping, dusting, sewing and ironing (to name a handful). In worst-case scenarios, she will actually expect a man to help.

In order to maintain the lifestyle that our forebears have made us accustomed to, the modern man must employ guile and cunning. And what better way to be cunning than to be as stupid as a stoned canine?

You won’t see many plays named after a feminist, but Marge Piercy coined the phrase, “Burning dinner is not incompetence but war.”  She’s right, and war is a man’s game. A well-executed Marge Piercy convinces the woman that you can’t do anything as good as she can, so she should do everything. You achieve this in three stages: effort, incompetence and praise.

1. Effort – You want to do your part. If your lady needs a hand, you attack the chore with enthusiasm! Grab that vacuum and start the metaphorical sucking.

2. Incompetence – It’s the linchpin of a good Marge Piercy. Leave streaks when you dust, burn dinner in her favorite dish, and fold wrinkles into the clothes (especially hers). The problem obviously isn’t with your attitude. You just suck at this stuff.

3. Praise – For every time you suck at something, you should dish out a minimum of two compliments about the way your woman does it to anyone who’ll listen. “Are you using a folding board I don’t know about?” “I’ll be darned if she didn’t steal the Colonel’s secret recipe.” She’ll begin to develop pride—maybe even love—for the work she does around the house, and you can fade quietly into your recliner.

You may not like acting incompetent. Understandable. Men aren’t awesome because they can’t do things (like use double negatives or make public speeches), but you have to remember that by acting incompetent, you are actually exhibiting a higher level of competence.


Things I’ll Teach My Son That My Parents Didn’t Teach Me

I’d like to have children one day, and I think that I, like most single people, have absolutely no clue what it takes to raise a child. I just kind of figure I’ll try my best to do it like my parents did. Sure, they weren’t perfect, but if my kids love me as much as I love my parents, then I figure I did good enough.

The problem is that I’ll be dealing with a gap of three decades (or more) during the most rapidly shifting technological climate in the history of man. Cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, iTunes, online gaming and a host of world-shrinking tools are also creating a new venue of etiquette and morals that just didn’t have to be addressed when I was a kid. So here’s a few new lessons I’ll have to remember to teach if I’m responsible for raising healthy, happy, productive, ethical and super-attractive kid.

1. Don’t accept friend requests from strangers. The same goes for connections, circles, follows, links and anything else that sounds like a euphemism for “I’m a stalker/pedophile getting my foot in the digital door.”

2. Never go to YouTube without a specific video in mind.

3. Never watch another video when you are finished that specific video. That second video you watch is actually your first step down a slippery slope of apathy. Avoid it!

4. If you can’t say it on a public wall, it’s probably not something you should be saying at all.

5. When you say something on that public wall that you shouldn’t have been saying at all, I will comment, and it will not win you any cool points.  If you want to make a public fool of yourself, then I’m going to publicly embarrass you for it. That’s being both a friend and a parent.

6. If someone has photographed you doing something stupid, untag it or delete it or have that person to take it down. Being “cool” in your youth isn’t worth being a “tool” when you grow up….and oh yeah, don’t do stupid stuff that you wouldn’t want someone taking a picture of.

6. No cell phones in the house. Seriously, dropping them in the Mobile Marsupial will be the first thing you do when you walk in (the ‘Mobile Marsupial’ will be a cute phone-pouching device that politely reminds you free yourself of your phone whenever said device is within 6 feet of said marsupial. Placing these beside doors in homes is going to be big for familial interaction…and my bank account).

7. No cell phone until you can drive. If I need to reach you before then, I’ll just call the adult whose care I left you in.

8. Yes, you have limited text messaging. Trust me, son. If you get a girlfriend, this “my parents only give me X number of texts” excuse will save your life.

9. Yes, you have limited minutes. Trust me, son. If you get a girlfriend, this “my parents only give me X number of minutes” excuse will save your life.

10. You can’t have internet on your phone. This will be good for you. No man ever lay on his death bed and said, “I wish I had spent more time staring at fake boobs on a tiny screen.”

11. Don’t snoop. It’s not worth it. You don’t need to know anyone’s passwords in order to trust them or treat them right.

12. Should you ever find out those passwords by accident (it happens), resist the temptation to do something intrusive or unethical with that knowledge, especially if you’re ever feeling hurt or vengeful.

13. Don’t make iTunes purchases after….actually, don’t waste your money on iTunes, there’s enough cheap/free music from apps like Slacker Radio and Pandora.

14. That said, if you love a band, support them and buy the freaking album.

15. I don’t care how annoying/perverted/toolish a person seems online. The Golden Rule isn’t confined to real-world interaction.

16. If MySpace is still around, just avoid it.

16. Don’t write a blog. You might have kids someday.

I wonder sometimes: how many of the lessons my parents gave me did they have to learn the hard way? Judging from my experience on the first 17 things I could think of in this column, I’ll bet it was an awful lot.

Still learning,

Song From Dollar Shave Club

I’m not Dr. Tom, so take my opinion on this tune for what it’s worth, but I am diggin’ it. BTW, if you haven’t been paying attention to the Dr. Tom anthology that’s been building over the last couple of months, it’s pretty impressive. Here’s what he’s thrown up in 6 posts (with my opinion on best to worst):

  • Grouplove (3)
  • The Cinema (5)
  • FUN. (1)
  • Childish Gambino (6, but it was for Hip-Hop Friday, so duh (soda?))
  • The Early November (4)
  • Butch Walker and the Black Widows (2)

Anywho, as you may or may not have seen, I was completely enamored with the Dollar Shave Club commercial, and wasn’t too surprised to see that I was one of thousands that searched out the song from the spot on YouTube. So it’s posted here for you to enjoy too, along with the lyrics.

One last thing: now that I’ve heard the whole song, I love it more. I’ve always believed that the recipe for bliss was a perfect blend of ignorance and arrogance. Basically, it’s Kenny Powers with even less self-awareness. And if this song isn’t the anthem for that mindset, I don’t know what is.

I don’t need no nine mil glock
These hands are deadly guns
From smokin, drinkin, bein a thug
I sip hypnotyq from a coffee mug
I keep a healthy state of mind
I only drink and drive night

I know Karate
I Know Jujitsu
I Drive Like a Gangsta when I’m coming to see you

And I’m coming to see you all the time
I Got a bottle of cheap jug wine
Pop some pills and make some love and try to recline
I like to drive into the sun
I like it when your sitting gun
My single is on, it’s number one

I know Karate
I Know Jujitsu
I Drive Like a Gangsta when I’m coming to see you
  Iknow Karate
I got some mojo
But holding hands aint something I do, thats true!

My best girl asked me if she’s the only one
I gotta be blunt, I say
(everybody) Hell yeah!!!

Dollar Shave Club…What’s with the bear?

This is the funniest video I’ve seen in a long time. There are plenty of way better business minds that can break down the branding impact and answer the “if everyone only ordered the $1 razors, could Dollar Shave Club be profitable” questions (besides, despite the high caliber of Writing Bareback‘s content, we’ve accepted that we’ll lose out on interview requests when we go head-to-head with the Wall Street Journal). I have more important questions, and they come up in nearly every scene. Let’s break this video down for all of its genius, entrepreneurial hilarity.

1. How is Michael Dubin an entrepreneur instead of a cast member on The Office? – If you last to the 15-second mark of this video, then you know that the remaining 1:20 is going to be awesome. Dubin’s, “No…Our blades are f***ing great” is a truly passionate deadpan. I think it was the first time I’ve ever had the thought, “This guy could totally steal Pam from Jim.”

2. How much do I already spend on razors? – Dubin throws out $20/month like that’s a regular number, but since my personal budget only breaks out to roughly six line items, razors didn’t make the cut. It’s still a good, subtle point. I’d rather my mediocrely-earned money goes to the actual razor company and instead of a tennis player who has no impact on my shaving experience. Screw Roger Federer, right?

3. Does everyone think their Grandpa was handsome? – I sure as heck think mine was. He had that old-school class that nostalgically trumps the acceptance of the smoking, philandering and in-office drinking of the era (don’t tell me Mad Men isn’t true). And he was clean-shaved his entire life because, “You can’t trust men in beards.” Plus, you take an old-timey photo of anyone and they look good. Doesn’t everyone feel this way?

4. What’s with the bear? – The only question that can’t be logically approached in any way. I tried, and the closest thing I came up with was, “You’d think a shaving company would have a hairless seal or something.”

5. Is Alejandra an illegal immigrant? – Dubin’s impressive LinkedIn resume (which I ignored earlier out of jealousy) says he’s in California. The only thing a Midwesterner like me knows about California is that they’re morally bankrupt and have a large Hispanic community (I’m not necessarily saying those things are connected). I want Homeland Security looking into this girl. I don’t care if Alejandra is incredibly likable; she could very well be occupying a white person’s job.

6. How can I not mention the machete, the sweet fade-out tune, the toddler, Alejandra’s unclear gender, the patriotic homage (that doesn’t clear you, Alejandra), that sweet pun-filled slogan, the Vanderbilt joke, or Dubin’s psychotically decorated office? – Because just as with the Bible, great things can never be fully explained or appreciated.

Loving beards, mustaches, and shaving,
Dustin “Conflicted” Riedesel

Dr. Tom’s Music Remedy – Grouplove

Before I start, let me just (humbly) say you’ve all probably heard of the success of the band fun. which we posted a video of several weeks ago before their album dropped. Don’t believe me? Click this. We here at Writing Bareback want to make you funnier, hipper, sexier and smarter. Think about how much hipster cred you woulda gained if you told your friends on February 7th “Man, I really think this band fun. is gonna do big things.”? Just sayin.

And now on to the business. Sorry for the lack of of music remedies lately. As a highly paid, licensed and insured, medical doctor, I’ve vacationing across Europe for the last few weeks and haven’t had time to prescribe new music. All of that was a lie, I’ve just been neglecting posts and am back on the wagon.

There’s been a song that I’ve been singing for the last few weeks and that song is Love Will Save Your Soul by Grouplove. The beat is killer, the words are simple and catchy and I’m a lover not a fighter so the song title does it for me. (*note: I’m also a fighter so don’t push me).

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s hump day (I really wish was more literally humping, not the metaphorical mountain in my week) so I feel like everyone could use a little extra pep in their step. Grouplove is on tour April-June and I’ll be checkin em out April 30th –

Here’s the song – let me know what you think! Feel free to tweet me songs you want me to post/review/make awkward comments about @tcook6strings

Jogging HotSpot: Fairview Road In Raleigh, NC

So I’m in my girlfriend’s car after work, and we’re driving eastbound (and) down Fairview towards the Five Points section of Raleigh. I possess keen observational skills that rarely miss a fit female jogger on the side of the road. Knowing that saying “that girl was kind of hot” is poor boyfriend etiquette but not being able to just keep my mouth shut, I opt for, “There’s a lot of people gettin’ their run on.”

“This is a really popular street for joggers in Raleigh,” she says.

Does anybody really think about that when they go jogging?

Grounded Male: “Hey, want to get a few miles in on Hillsborough street?”
Douchosaurus Rex: “Yeah, and then I’d like to funnel a case of Busch Tight and eat some Totino’s. I’m not in college, idiot. I only go jogging on Fairview Road.”

I imagine the kind of people that jog on a particular road for any reason outside of convenience probably own actual jogging attire. Because, you know, you just can’t get motivated when you’re wearing an old t-shirt….Well, there could be one more reason: if you see a tall guy with poor limb control jogging down Fairview and body-checking people off the sidewalk, feel free to yell hello. I’ll probably be in a great mood.

The Basketball Judas, LeBron James

You’re 6’8”, 260 lbs and chiseled.  You’re freakishly fast, and not in the overstated Jimmy John’s way, but in the way that the word ‘freak’ is actually a perfectly accurate descriptor. You’re smart, and not just in that hardwood genius (decent porn name alert) way like Pete Maravich, but in that entrepreneurial icon way, like Magic Johnson (awesome porn name alert) and Michael Jordan. You’re LeBron James, and you’ve got the world on a damn string. So why do so many people hate you?

We’re a couple years removed from LeBron’s choice to play basketball in Miami. And it highlighted one of the greatest questions any sports fan can ask of themselves, “Why does this matter so much to me?” I try to ask myself that anytime I’m getting revved up about a player, a game, or anything in the sports world. Now that I’ve had a couple years of hindsight, I think I know what it is with LeBron.

I’ll put my cards on the table: I used to be jealous of LeBron. In fact, I hated him. He’s one year older than me, and while I was wondering if I would make the basketball team as a freshman at Asbury College, LeBron was coming off his Rookie of the Year season for the Cleveland Cavaliers. At that time, LeBron was like body fat, a constant reminder of what I’m not.  Now I’m over it. I think it’s the five-thousandth hour in a cubicle that lets a person release the jealousy of impossible dreams.

That’s right, kids. Life is full of disappointment.

Life lesson learned. Good for past Dusty. Now it’s now, and I still hate LeBron. He’s my least favorite player in the league, and it’s not even close.  But why? He’s not a junkie. He’s not lazy. He’s not a selfish player. There’s a few standard answers other people give me, but they never satisfy my experience of dislike.  I’ll get to my personal beef, but here are a few things that I don’t hate him for:

1. I don’t hate LeBron for being an arrogant prick (ie. The Duke fan of NBA players).

A couple years ago, a friend asked me if it was possible for LeBron James to be arrogant?


The obvious, philosophical answer is ‘Yes.’  The definition of arrogance is “overbearing pride”, but this definition requires the participation of another person, so what might seem overbearing to me probably doesn’t feel the same to say, Dwyane Wade. Basically, I don’t like what I’m saying about myself when I think of LeBron’s pride in who he is as overbearing to me. It smacks of a personal insecurity that I spent my younger days getting over (yeah LeBron, I ended up being captain of my college basketball team. Can’t say that, can you?)….all that reminds me of this:

“All the people that were rooting me on to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life they had before. They have the same personal problems they had to today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want with me and my family and be happy with that. They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy that not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal, but they’ll have to get back to the real world at some point.”

LeBron James, in the aftermath of the Heat’s loss in the NBA Finals

This quote is my favorite thing that LeBron has ever said. Most people think he’s bashing the little guy, but if you re-read that quote and think of “people rooting for me to fail” as being Dan Gilbert or James Dolan, doesn’t that quote seem totally sensible? Sure, I danced like a butter-churn  when the Heat lost the Finals, but I had to wake up the next morning and get back to the same life I had before. He’s right, and I’m okay with it. So I’m ruling out arrogance as the reason I hate LeBron. But I do hate him. I hate him like I hate Brad Pitt doing voice-over work (a well-used but still wasted talent).

2. I don’t Hate LeBron for being compared to Michael Jordan (or Kobe):

Let’s face it, LeBron has a statistical argument for being as good as Michael Jordan in regular season play at the same point in their careers (fyi, Jordan was better statistically…but it’s close enough that a LeBron fan could put a respectable subjective spin on it). However, there’s the “rings” argument. (see: “scoreboard” argument).

For the record, I think the “scoreboard” argument is completely illogical. But as a Kobe fan, I’d just like to say that anyone who uses this argument to rank Jordan over LeBron has absolutely set a precedent for using that argument for Kobe over LeBron. Sorry, it’s just the truth.

3. I don’t hate LeBron for his zero clutch factor….well, not totally

Forget the fact that it has been shown to be statistically irrelevant over his entire career. It was obvious during the 2011 Finals. OBVIOUS. No debate. He disappeared. It’s not like he turned into young Kobe and went down in a blaze of misery. He went down like Bruce Willis in Braveheart (and if you’re thinking “wait, Bruce Willis wasn’t in Braveheart?” Congratulations on being really close to getting the joke). I would hate this attribute in a player, but I actually love it in LeBron because it helps him fail, so I kind of like him for disappearing. Three more reasons I don’t hate him:

4. I don’t hate him for all his pre-game and on-court antics.

5. I don’t hate him for dressing like giant, mutant Steve Urkel.

6.I don’t hate him for Nike hiding the Jordan Crawford event.

I hate LeBron for making success the highest priority.

I don’t hate him for “The Decision” or for any of the theatrics involved. I don’t even hate him for the decision and the super team it formed. “Nobody roots for goliath” is a cliché by now, and while it’s definitely a true cliché, I understand why LeBron did it. It’s easier to be successful. There’s less pressure and more fun. The money’s a wash when you consider all streams of revenue. I mean, I’d have probably made the same choice. What he is now, I don’t hate. He’ll continue to have professional success with the Heat. But if we go back to Pre-Decision, he had a chance to be a hero. A chance to be uniquely great. I don’t hate LeBron for what he is, but I do hate him for what he didn’t become. Were I his friend or agent or counsel, I’d probably think differently. But I’m just a fan, and it’s what I wanted.

I wanted LeBron to stand like a Spartan against the forces of Big 3’s (and big 4s), market inequality, civil stigmas and and every player who thinks they’re better because they have wins and rings (fun sidenote: which person is Pat Riley and which one is LeBron in this picture? Had LeBron stayed in Cleveland, it’d be an easy answer).

I wanted him to be David the shepherd, not the King.

I wanted LeBron’s statement, “I got a goal, and it’s a huge goal, and that’s to bring an NBA championship here to Cleveland.  And I won’t stop until I get it,” to mean something. Anything!

I wanted him to test limits. Not just his ball skills, but how much can one man mean to a team, a city?

I wanted him to prove that being great is about a hell of a lot more than being successful.

I wanted LeBron to be Cleveland’s Basketball Jesus, spurning offers like Matthew 16:23. Instead, he turned out to be their Basketball Judas.

It’s over now. The damage complete and everlasting. I just wrote that I hate LeBron James for what he didn’t become. Now that I’ve edited the column, I’m realizing that’s not it. It’s not the answer to “Why does this matter so much to me?” I think this, like getting over my jealousy of him when I was 18, is probably just part of growing up. I think hate is the completely wrong emotion.

That’s right, kids. Life is full of disappointment.