Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Rilo Kiley - May 27 @ Webster Hall, plus weekend catchup

Friday night, caught Rilo Kiley at Webster Hall. I was left with an extra ticket and I didn't get anyone to take up my offer via this site but I found a dude looking for a ticket on Craiggerslist and got $20 and a beer. So that paid for the ticket and the service charge. Score. I lost the guy after he left to go to the bathroom - did I get ditched? Or did I move too far into the crowd? I'm going to say the ditching was mutual. He wasn't my type anyway. Pfft.

Anyhoo, fairly enjoyable show. I'm not the hugest RK fan and I mainly know just the songs off More Adventurous but most of the set list appeared to come from it and Jenny Lewis & gang kept up the energy. And getting the more poppy, recognizable tracks like "Absence of God" and "Portions for Foxes" seemed to be the right move, leaving the heavier tracks like "Does He Love You" for later in the show.

I have the rest of the pics here but as usual, I'm not too happy with them. It's partly the equipment, partly being too far away from the stage and trying to do it one handed without using a flash.

Overall, decent, not great. Glad I went, though I probably would've enjoyed it more if I were a fan, who knows. Also, Webster Hall isn't as bad as I remembered it to be. The humidity, the middle school gym muskiness and the occasional dripping of mystery liquids from the overhang aside, I didn't feel the bit uncomfortable.

  • The night gets interesting as I check my voicemail leaving Webster Hall. I had received a call from my old roommate Fish and find out he's taken a job back in NC and will be leaving next week. He's over at Hotel Gansevoort which is surprisingly nice, if a bit too packed. Since I wanted to semi productive Saturday, I figure I'll just have a drink or two and get out, because that plan always works. Long story short, I get to bed around 5:30.

    And I'm way way way too generous with my money when I'm drunk. I might have tipped the Pushcart guy. Oh what the hell, they deserve the extra cash for their wonderful creations.

  • More press for Mad Hot Ballroom. It's not Fog of War but it's not The Longest Yard either. If it's showing in your town, go see it, dammit.

  • Aksi from Slate, this time on Lost. I'd missed most of the season finale and I'm glad ABC replayed it Saturday. A fantastic episode and really, does it get any better than "You got some Artz on your shirt?"

  • I've been checking New Yorkology recently - it's meant for tourists to the city but a lot of the stuff is useful for New Yorkers. Love the post on New York webcams and in the latest entry, a heads up on Governor's Island and a man with a mission.

  • Also been checking out A Full Belly quite a bit. Posting patter can get off and on but it's a great resource for people who like to eat as much as I do.

  • This makes me unhappy - Bit Torrent Sites getting shut the fuck down. While I realize there's not getting around the fact that file sharing is piracy, I can't imagine my catching up on OC episodes that I missed is costing Fox and its advertisers much. In fact, I'm more likely to stay with a show if I can keep up. Though I suppose I could always get DVR.

  • Trouble in Freddyland - I can't get over the fact that (a) the kid is barely old enough to drive and (b) he has Michael Johnson talking for him.

  • Via The Apiary and our maternal twins at Cole Slaw Blog, Improv Everywhere's U2 rooftop stunt. The amount of balls and details that went into this is pretty amazing. And gotta love the disguise for the fake The Edge.

    You might remember Improve Everywhere from their previous Union Square window stunt.
  • Friday, May 27, 2005

    Never Say Never (updated)

    Never say never

    You may have (but probably haven't) noticed that my posting since Wednesday evening has been erratic to say the least. I'd like to say it was because I'd drank too much celebrating Liverpool's victory in the Champions League. That would only be part true. I am not drunk off alcohol, but I still have not recovered from the euphoria following the Miracle of Istanbul.

    I'm not sure if I can put how I'm feeling into words without babbling like a schoolgirl, but I will try anyway. Where do I start? The fact that I've been following the club since 1986 and it's experienced more downs than ups since? Or that the heroes of the night were three players who probably won't be with the club next season: the much-maligned goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek who made several match saving stops in the 2nd half and was imperious in the penalty shootout and goal scorer Vladmir Smicer, who had suffered from injury most of the season and was told earlier this week that he will be released from the club, and Ditmar Hamman, who came on as a substitute and shored up the defense. Or is it ending an otherwise disappointing season with the ultimate prize in Europe? A proud champion returning to Europe's elite for the first time in 21 years?

    I don't know. There's so much going on here, and I could never fully explain to you the magnitude of what happened. Think the Red Sox coming back from 0-3 down against the Yankees. Think of a college basketball team knocking off three #1 seeds to win the national championship. Think Buffalo Bills against the Houston Oilers. Think Rocky trying to stay alive on the ropes. Think all of that combined.

    When the team is struggling on the field, Liverpool supporters sing "You'll Never Walk Alone", a Rodgers & Hammerstein song later adopted by Merseybeat band Gerry & the Pacemakers. No other song could be more appropriate on Wednesday night in Istanbul.

  • Jim can't believe it either, but he's a little more coherent about it.

  • Gawker Stalker's Journalistic Standards

    Who knew? Contrary to popular belief, the Gawker Stalker, the raison d'être of Gawker, is not a lawless outpost of cyberspace where anything old submission is posted. They have standards, believe it or not:
    1. Ethan Hawke: We've said this before, and we'll say it again: Unless he's got his pants around his ankles and is haggling over prices with a tranny, we do
    and so on.

    I'm trying to think what else should be added. The first person to come to mind is Pacey, especially if spotted with an unknown younger girl who may or may not be his sister.

    Likewise for any sightings of Ashley and/or M-K if the submission includes nothing more original than "dressed like a hobo" or "looked at a piece of lettuce plaintively".

    And probably any SNL cast member within a quarter mile radius of the Rockerfeller. Seriously, they're just like any average New Yorker who works in Midtown - they ride the subway to the office and often go out for drinks together after work. The only difference is that they work Saturdays.

    Thursday, May 26, 2005

    Available: 1 ticket for Rilo Kiley, Friday @ Webster Hall

    As I may or may not have mentioned earlier I have one ticket available for tomorrow's Rilo Kiley show at the Webs. I thought I might post it on Craiggers, but the show isn't sold out if I'm not mistaken, and I don't feel like dealing with all the Craigslist characters, no offense to any Craigslist characters reading this.
    • You will pay face value, $18 or equivalent in beers, which is a whole $2 cheaper than the door price.
    • I don't have bad BO.
    • I have heard nothing but good things about Rilo Kiley live shows, and likewise for opener The Brunettes.

    • Since my tickets are will call, you will have to be with me to get in the venue and interact during the time.
    • It's Webster Hall.

    Drop me an email or IM me if you're interested.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2005

    Istanbul, not Constantinople

    Not really in a mood to post, really. An hour to go until the big match. YNWA and whatnot.

    For now, entertain yourselves with Tom and Oprah.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2005

    Jack Bauer is dead. Long live Jack Bauer.

  • TWoP Recaplets of the 24 seaon finale

    More or less enjoyable season finale. The first hour was exciting enough, but as is the case with many season finales, they tried to wrap up too much too quickly (and yet still managed to leave some loose ends untied) but spent a whole half hour diddling about with the non-drama of Jack Bauer getting arrested/murdered/extradited, which was the absolute nadir of silliness.

    Still, oh Mandy, well, you came and you gave without taking - she looked fantastic in her boots and little skirt. Tony trying to fight her off, handcuffed and all, and then Curtis cold cocking her were the highlights of the night - not that I would condone hitting a girl, mind you. And while I was disappointed to see my favorite Islamo-fascist terrorist Marwan go, at least he didn't go down like a bitch. In the end, that's what the jihad is about, not going down like a bitch.

    The Audrey and Michelle melodramas coupled with the CTU's gross incompetence dragged the show down but it still had enough to interest me. Will I watch again when the show comes back on January 2006? We shall see, we shall see. Also, Chloe and Edgar need their own spinoff sitcom.

  • If there is anything that is on par with my devotion to Tar Heel basketball, it's probably Liverpool FC. With a little more than 24 hours to go before the Champions League Final against Milan, I am devising a plan to duck out of work so I can go to Nevada Smiths or someplace else that's showing the match.

    In the meantime, I take comfort in learning that some scientists think red is the color of victory - the Reds of Liverpool will be wearing red, natch, while the Rossoneri of Milan will wear their alternate whites. It's the little things that count, y'know.

    Also, Jim has a two-part entry on Liverpool's return to glory.

  • I posted the Williamsburg Neckface Begins! job earlier but it looks even more stunning at night, as seen here. Neckface is a lovely boy.

  • Matt Feeney of Slate is spot on with his criticism of Desperate Housewives, particularly the narrator and the pretense. The "lesson of the day" narration was annoying and unnecessary, and the whole "speaking from beyond the grave" thing was done by, wait for it, American Beauty. The show was entertaining enough at first but it just got silly from about the halfway point.

  • Speaking of voices, Tony the tiger is dead.

  • I know today's a big day for releases, what with Common's Be and Gorillaz's Demon Days, but iTunes has free MIA track. Haven't really made my mind up on her. I don't listen to enough of the lyrics to really care about the socio political stuff and she's been getting too much ink for what she is, but it's not bad party music.

  • Common tonight at S.O.B.'s, Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players at Tonic on Thursday. Hmm. Rilo Kiley on Friday, most defs.
  • Bad news for Central Park hobos, Whole Foods wine shop shut down

    The spirit of Elliott Ness is alive apparently, as the wine shop at the Colombus Circle Whole Foods closed after pleadading no contest to charges that it was operating illegally.

    Not that I ever shopped there. Or that I'd go that far uptown in general. Or that I have trouble shopping for wine downtown. I'm just saying, ya know.

    And if you're wondering about the availability of wine at the Avalon Chrystie location that will open next year...
    the company expected to transfer and use the surrendered license again for a wine shop occupying 4,000 to 5,000 square feet of space in the blocklong supermarket it planned to open on East Houston Street next year. State law also prohibits holders of retail liquor licenses from owning more than one store. The East Houston Street wine shop will be separate from the supermarket there, with an entrance on Chrystie Street.

    Monday, May 23, 2005

    It's Monday and I got nothing so I'll just post a couple of lame pictures

    Who is the man pictured here?
    a) Side Show Bob in the upcoming live action The Simpsons movie
    b) Jon Favreau reprising his role as Gutter in the upcoming PCU sequel
    c) A guy whose last real hit was "Round Here" in 1993

    What is Jennifer Lopez doing in this picture?
    a) Just caught a bug.
    b) Calling for the hot dog guy
    c) Announcing to the world that she's just she's just Jenny with a god complex

  • WaPo on gentrification, lifting of world quotas on Chinese textiles and the death of Manhattan's Chinatown.

  • You know what's the funniest thing in the world? Laureus World Sports Awards. It's an Oscars-style awards show for all sports for all countries. Because you know, athletes don't get their asses kissed enough and they don't already have competitions to determine who's the best. I caught about 15 minutes of it and it was a whirlwind of unintentional comedy.

    Owen Wilson reading the on stage banter off the prompter while the European audience politely smiles. David Beckham trying to appear to give a fuck about the Boston Red Sox. Cuba Gooding Jr. getting way too excited, practically jumping out of his pants and yelling "My man!" upon peeking inside the envelope, followed by Martina Navratilova commenting "Oh, I played tennis with him." Then, Roger Federer implying that winning the Laureus Sportsman of the Year award is something that he has dreamt about, more so than say, winning any of his Grand Slam events or being ranked #1 in the world. This stuff his golden.

  • My Gawker Stalker-like entry for the day:
    Saw Joshua Jackson (Dawson's Creek) at 7A on Sunday. He was with a younger girl (sister?) and wearing a black turtleneck. Sat at the bar and looked very serious, didn't seem to appreciate it when I started humming the Paula Cole song. My friend thought he looked awful, I thought he was gorgeous. I wanted to yell "Hey Pacey! Why didn't you tap Joey's fine-ass ass, you fucking pussy?" Then I realized Pacey did hook up with Joey so I settled for "Loved you in Skulls!".

  • Half of that isn't true.

  • I earlier mocked supporters of Manchester United after Malcolm Glazer's takeover of the club because, well, they deserve to be mocked. But they do have good reasons for objecting to the purchase. Honestly, I don't know how Glazer expects to pay off the debt and still remain profitable.
  • Saturday, May 21, 2005

    The calm before the storm

    Beautiful day out today before all the wet stuff came down. I spent half the afternoon riding my bike around East Village and over the bridge to Williamsburg. I hadn't been to B-burg since last summer, when I was walking all over during my apartment hunt. Weird thinking if things went differently, this would be my neighborhood (and I'd be paying about $100 more in rent).

    On the way back across the bridge, I caught this:

    He's a clever one, that neckface.

    Also, a great photo of Katz's during right before the storm taken by GammaBlaBlog:

    Friday, May 20, 2005

    Friday linkage: Having sex with an elephant is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s

  • Good news/bad news time. So I was pretty happy earlier this week when I reported that Arrested Development was getting picked up for another season. Here's the downer:
    (All Times ET/PT)

    So it's goes up against Monday Night Football in Mountain and Pacific time zones. Not good, but I suppose it could be worse. But wait, there's more:
    (All Times ET/PT)

    8:00-9:00 PM HOUSE
    Yeah. Arrested is nowhere to be found in the spring schedule. My hope is that the show gets moved to a more comfortable timeslot on Sunday but the timeslot shuffling isn't good for ratings.

    Why do you build me up (build me up) Fox Television, baby just to let me down (let me down) and mess me around?

  • Freebie from iTunes: Nikka Costa - 'Till I Get To You

    You might remember Nikka from that "Everybody Got Their Something" or "Like A Feather" that was used in a Tommy Hilfiger commercial. Or you might not.

  • "I didn't win the ultimate prize, but I'll leave it at this: I tried."

    Scoop on Reggie, J.O. (via Sexy Results!). I'm probably like a lot of people - I didn't like Reggie a whole lot in his peak but man, I'm going to miss him a lot and he went out like a champ, even if he never was one. The team's and his own struggles over the season just magnified what he has meant to the game.

    David Schoenfield explains why Shaq hasn't won more MVP awards, and Bill Simmons explains why Nasty Nash isnt his MVP.

  • Man fired from Bud distributorship for drinking Coors. The way I see it, I'd fire the dude whether or not he worked for a Bud distributor. I wouldn't want anyone with that shitty taste in beer working for me. Coors is nasty, dude.

  • Fred Kaplan asks Why are we in Uzbekistan? Really, how can Bush keep the troops in Uzbekistan and still maintain the pretense that democracy and America's self-interest go hand in hand? If it's good enough for Iraq, then it should be good enough for Uzbekistan. Or is it freedom and regime change only when convenient?

  • Now at the New York Transmit Museum, New York Subway on Film (New Yorkology). I love NYC films, especially older ones shot in the dirtier, more dangerous past. The tiger jacket is great, but couldn't they get the Baseball Furies costume?

  • My taste in music is, like, totally 3 months ago. I'm just getting into Murs 3:16 the 9th Edition, which is a full year old and Ageless Beauty by Stars is the most motherfucking joycore thing this side of "Since U Been Gone", also on heavy ro.

    Now, I realize that liking "Since U Been Gone" is the indie rock thing to do, but the whole album is great. I don't know who's writing or producing these tracks, but they kick much ass. In particular, "Breakaway" is the best white girl ballad since Christina's "Beautiful".

  • Finally, a sign that soccer has arrived - Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber joined the commissioners of the other actual major sports leagues in testifying in the steroid hearings. Whoo!

    That's it, kids. Travel safe, Maureen.

    The OC Season 2 Episode 24: The Revenge of the Seth

    Previously: Season 2 Episode 23
  • TWoP recap
  • Thighmaster's review

    Like much of Season 2, the season finale of The OC was uneven. Some highlights, like Jimmy telling Hailie, "You would not believe the North Shore" and Seth quipping "The way things have been going, I bet that's Oliver."

    But this season finale was nowhere close to the quality of the last one, which had some drama. Last year, Ryan had to decide whether to stay with the Cohens or help Teresa raise the baby that may or may not be his. Seth was faced with losing the first real friend he ever had. And even though we knew both Ryan and Seth would be back in Newport by episode 2, I gave a fuck. Seth sailing away, Ryan driving away and Marissa drinking away, set to Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" was a fantastic way to end the season.

    This season's ending? The Trey and Jess thing just felt contrived and patched together. And really, I don't care whether Trey survives or not, and I'm not all that concerned about whatever legal bind Ryan and/or Marissa might get into.

    I mean, I'll still watch next season but I won't be spending my summer how they'll resolve the cliff hanger.

    In the end, I realized how much the show missed Jimmy for the latter part of the season. His character added much needed levity to situations that often got too heavy with all the self absorption and self pity flying around Newport Beach.

    A few more notes:
  • Where was Lindsay, Caleb's redheaded bastard daughter? Did the Cohens forget to call her? Doesn't Southwest fly from Chicago to John Wayne? Was Shannon Lucio too busy making another CBS movie of the week?

  • When was the last time your intervention ended in a group hug? That's so TV. The interventions I'm involved in invariably end up with me storming out and having to be carried out of the bar after I've passed out. And we know Kirsten's going to be hitting the bottle again next season.

    And what happened to Marissa's alcoholism? Is alcohol dependency zero sum in The OC?

  • The Bravery suck an unbelievable amount of ass. Wow.

  • Another Star Wars video game product placement, which provides a somewhat awkward segue to...

  • Man, I could not be any more apathetic about Star Wars. No, this isn't my attempt to be totally indie above-it-all or de-nerdify myself. It's just that I didn't grow up with it and I don't think I could ever get full enjoyment out of the franchise if I tried.

    I'm old enough (and young enough) to be part of the Star Wars generation. Pretty much all my classmates owned or still own action figures and liberally quote lines from the original trilogy - which is precisely the problem. You see, growing up in Japan, yeah, they showed the movies but they were never the cultural phenomenon that they were Stateside. Plus, my parents shielded me from most types of pop culture.

    Fast forward to me, 13 years old in North Carolina. My friends showed me the movies but they never held my attention. It didn't help that everyone else in the room knew every line, and I'd already heard references to Luke and Leia being brother and sister, etc etc.

    It just feels like hearing a joke when I've heard the punchline over and over. At the same time, I don't have enough grasp of the Star Wars mythology to really "get" the new Trilogy. So no, I got nothing against George Lucas or people who dress up like storm troopers.

    Space Balls? Now, there's a movie I can get into.

    Thursday, May 19, 2005

    Mas LOCO!

    LOCO, my favorite cleverly acronymed activist crew doesn't take shit from nobody. When it's not protesting the hotel construction on Orchard and Allen, it's going after Community Board 3 for taking Hollywood blood money.
    So far, the board has received a total of $4,800 from film shoots, McWater said: $1,000 from “Love Monkey;” $300 from “Rescue Me;” $3,000 from “RENT;” and $500 from “Law and Order,” which had planned to use the board’s office for a shoot, then backed out, but paid the board anyway.

    If you ask me, they could be taking more. I mean, are you going to get real looking tenements with fire escapes in frickin' Vancouver?

    Unfortunately, the LOCO website has disappeared. I hope that this is not the end for the organization.

    Is this worth $36 (+service charge)?

    The Roots, De LA Soul, MF Doom @ Central Park Summerstage, Tue, Jun 28, 2005

    I'd be all over it if the tix were less than $30, but $40+ for an event that could get rained on? Not sure.

    Meanwhile, this should be worth every penny.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2005

    My throat hurts. Also: Germans, weenies, Yahoo, Whoa!

    My nose has been stuffy all week - thought it may be allergies but I have never had problems with pollen before. It seems I have a cold as I currently have a full on sore throat. It's frickin' painful just to swallow. So I'm guzzling down gallons of Theraflu as I type. It's lemony goodness.

    As I've gotten older, I seem to catch a cold every time the seasons change. It's hard for me to deal with since growing up, I almost never missed school because of illness. It's not so much the sickness as it is knowing that I'm mortal and my body is not the temple that it used to be. I'm okay with other people's imperfections. I think they're beautiful and human and all that. My own imperfections are much harder to deal with.

  • CBS upfronts are going on right now at Carnegie Hall. Viriginia Heffernan continues her live blogging for the Times. Says CBS big important person Les Moonves, "There's no hiding-the-weenie here." CBS: showing all kinds of weenies this fall, can't wait.

  • I again break my "No Gawker Links" rule and quote from yesterday's Gawker Stalker:
    Taking a cab back to Brooklyn Friday night at about 4:30 in the morning when my crazy cab driver pulled out into an intersection right in front of a brand new silver Cadillac STS and a nasty, air-bag-poppin' accident insued. I stumbled out of the cab to see the angry driver of the Cadillac getting all up in the cab driver's face, screaming, "Don't you know who I am? I'm Black Rob! I'm Black Rob from P.Diddy's crew! You know? Black Rob!" Then he started singing some song to the confused cabbie—one can only assume it was his "hit song" or something, and repeated, "You know—Black Rob!" The cabbie was unimpressed.
    I need to see a video of this accident. Hell, I would pay to see a reenactment of this scene. It's funny enough when a rapper openly admits to being in P.Diddy's crew but here's Rob trying to get some cab driver of whatever exotic ethnicity to recognize him.

    I wonder if Rob did his verse from "Bad Boys For Life"? Or perhaps "Whoa!"? Did he actually do the "Whoa!" dance? Did he get the cabbie to do the "Whoa!"? See, this is why I need to see the visuals. Like whoa!

  • You don't say. Refs inadvertently favour home teams says a German study. Up next: does a waitress get better tips when she's wearing a short skirt?

  • Mark Cuban thinks the pricing of the new Yahoo music service blows a huge hole in RIAA's argument. As much as I believe RIAA is satan himself, Markie Mark is off the mark (npi) here. He's right that the $5/month subscription does put the RIAA lawsuits into perspective, but he is comparing apples to oranges, i.e. renting vs owning, downloading vs sharing.

    But whatever. None of these subscription services work on Mac. Do they not want my money? I'd totally pay to use Rhapsody.
  • Quick shots before I go to bed

  • The Dastardly Liberal Media missed the point with Abu Ghraib, it's missing the point with Bush's social security and filibuster, and now, lamentably but predictably, it is missing the point with the Newsweek/Afghanistan controversy.

    Lazy journalism - bad! Relying on dodgy sources - boo! But who the fuck actually believes that the violence is the direct result of the Newsweek piece?

  • Seems like everyone's commented on The top 50 things every foodie should do except me. Damn it, it's my time.

    Eh. Doesn't feel particularly inspired. I don't consider myself a foodie - I'm just a boy who likes to eat well and is learning his way around the kitchen. But too many of the 50 are upscale and seem decadent for the sake of decadence.

    Sure, expensive food is expensive for a reason - it's generally good. But there's something more worthwhile in discovering, say, finding the best damn slice of fatty tuna for less than $10 or going down to Texas and getting a heart attach on a plate.

    Still, it's an intriguing list and good to see Nathan's get a shout.

  • When did Zooey Deschanel get so hot?

  • Wogies = quality

  • Good night, kids.

    Netflix update: 5/18/05

    So I haven't done my Netflix update thing for over 2 months. My apologies if anyone actually gives a flying fuck.

    I had a semi-regular Netflix review thing going but I decided to change the format a bit. Anyhow, I was going to watch Downtown 81 but much to my dismay, I found that the disc was scratched to hell and couldn't be viewed. With an unexpected hole in my evening schedule, I figure I'd do a quickie review gang bang:

    The movies I watched in the past 2.5 months, in 10 words or less:
    On deck:
    Oh, and if you share my taste in movies, or if you think my taste is god awful but you could steer me the right way, feel free to add me to your Netflix friends. My email is on the sidebar.

    Previous update: March 1, 2005

    Tuesday, May 17, 2005

    Do I really need to caption this photo?

    No, no I don't. Except to say that Ashton is more kutchered than the trucker hats he kutchered the hell out of the last couple of years.

    Also, NY Times liveblogging at the upfronts. Yesterday - NBC (not so hot, looking to stay at #4) , today - WB (not bad for WB - too bad no one over 17 is watching).

    Monday, May 16, 2005

    Late Monday post: "Stop! Terrorist!"

    Great comedy on tonight's 24 as usual. President Logan, who looks like one of those Richard Nixon Halloween masks, decides he's going to play tough by totally giving into the Speaker of the House and, wait for it, throwing Pedro Cerrano under the bus. Mike Novick is awesome though. And they let Marwan get away! Yay, CTU!

    But the best part was Heller and Audrey wandering how they are going to go on after finding out that the son of the Secretary of State is a terrorist hellbent on killing millions of innocent Americans gay. Added bonus - he is also Trey on The OC.

  • The vegan from across the river on Rilo Kiley, including Jenny Lewis' upcoming solo album. I've heard some of Jenny's stuff and it's a bit more... rootsy? Good stuff though.

    Speaking of Rilo, I will be at the Friday, May 27 show at Webster Hall but will most likely have an extra ticket. I'll be happy to give it up for face value and/or alcoholic bevs.

  • Bomani Jones almost gets stood up by Ja Rule.

  • Has anyone gotten this: The Dix - The Art of Picking Up Women?

    It's about the longest (heh) penis joke in the world, but if anyone can rise to the challenge and hit the spot, the twisted mind of Prince Paul can.

  • New Morcheeba (iTunes link) came out last week. Gotta say, not that impressed, but it could grow on me. De La Soul's Grind Date, I do need to get, though there's still about 200 new songs on my iPod that I have to listen to first.

  • You know how to piss off your neighborhood wingnuts? When they inevitably start blaming everything on Bill Clinton, gently remind them that Bubba is the last conservative US President. If they disagree, tell them that not only is Clinton's conservatism on par with Reagan's, he actually made government smaller. They know it's true.

  • On a completely personal note, totally geeked to hear that Maureen did the damn-near-impossible, pass the NY bar exam. Incredibly happy for her, especially since I know she's had it rough the past few days. Goodness knows how hard she worked for it. Congratulations, you deserve it. And here's to earning power!
  • Sorry, Law & Order fans

    Only 3 of your 4 favorite Dick Wolf legal dramas will be returning to NBC this fall. The rest of the networks' prime time renewals and cancellations at the futon critic.

    And more 2005-06 TV dealies here. But yeah, Arrested and The Office are both back. Whoop.

    Mad Hot Ballroom plus Merge, big Phat liar

    Friday night, I caught Mad Hot Ballroom, a documentary on the balldancing program at New York City public schools. Really enjoyable if uncomplicated flick.

    The film follows three groups of 5th graders - children of Dominican immigrants in Washington Heights, working class kids in Bensonhurst and more well to do, multicultural kids in Tribeca - as they learn their steps and prepare for the citywide competition. But like all good films about competition, Mad Hot is less about ballroom as it is about the kids, their teachers and growing up in New York.

    It reminded me a bit of Spellbound, but as Gothamist's writeup points out, this filmmakers take a more heartwarming, less cartoonish take on their subjects. I'm sure I wasn't alone in coming away from Spellbound being worried about the emotional adjustment of some of the kids. There's none of that here. Instead, you see kids being kids, except they're picking up self confidence and social skills. If you're looking for overbearing parents and maladjusted children, this is not your film.

    Anyhoo, I had a great time and the rest of the theater seemed to dig it too. And as Friday night was the first showing in the City, the director and the editor answered questions afterwards, a nice bonus. Check it out if/when it comes to your neck of the woods. It opened in NYC Friday and it starts opening elsewhere next weekend. I'm sure it'll get to your town eventually.

  • Via extrawack!, Coolfer on Merge's big push for the new Spoon album and indie albums in unexpected places. For once, it seems you can help the indies by buying at the big boxes.

    Now, if Arcade Fire (who have been huge by indie standards) stay with Merge, one wonders how much muscle Merge put into marketing their next release.

  • Russel Simmons: "I'm full of shit".

    Actually, Simmons said "It is how you develop an image for companies. So in other words, you give out false statements to mislead the public so they will then increase in their mind the value of your company.", but my way's more to the point. The article's interesting, if mostly for its look at how "urban" fashion labels operate.
  • Sunday, May 15, 2005

    Sunday night remainders: Chappelle, Arrested, bialys

    Man, I was rooting for the Pacers, but boy are they ugly when the shots aren't falling. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. Tinsley, the only Pacer who can penetrate, was in foul trouble for most of the game, O'Neal's shoulder's obviously making him ineffective and they don't have anyone who can drive to the hoop. So if Miller and Jackson can't shoot, it's over. Well, that and Billups waking up.

    Also, Gilbert Arenas enjoys taking his shirt off. He says he didn't know he'd get a tech but it appeared he unwittingly sparked a rally. Too bad they needed him at the end. The Wizzies will be good next year though. They can pick up a big body in free agency (and no, I haven't forgotten about the free agent big men roundup) and they will have had two rounds of playoffs under their belt. A little disappointed Hughes and 'Twan couldn't pick up the slack though.

  • Is Mos Def's GMC Envoy commercial better than most of New Danger? Yes, yes it is. So what's holding up Black Star Galactica now?

  • He speaks! Yes, Dave Chappelle is in South Africa. In a mental institution? Doing drugs? No, he tells Time:
    "There were things that overwhelmed me," he says. "But not in the way that people are saying. I haven't spent any of the money. All that stuff about partying and taking crack is not true. Why do I live on a farm in Ohio? To support my partying lifestyle?"
    Best wishes and whatnot.

  • In other possibly good news for Arrested Development fans like myself, the excellent but ratings-impaired show is rumored to be back for not just one, but two seasons on Fox:
    Earlier this week, a friend here at E! interviewed Jason Bateman at a charity event with his good friend Ben Stiller. When asked the status of Arrested Development, he lit up like a banana stand: "Actually, great. Supergreat. There is a heartbeat. There is no flatline. And there may be twins. I'm going to let Kristin figure out what that means. I can't comment any further, but there will be an announcement next week."
    I'm cautiously optimistic. And I eagerly await the release of the second season DVD.

  • When did this happen? Kossar's used to look like this, and now it looks like this:

    So they have a snazzy new awning, repainted the interior and installed a bench. I suppose the place may have needed a little spricing up... but I'm sure I'm not alone in preferring the old, utilitarian Kossar's. Wasn't that the whole charm of Kossar's?

  • Also, my new favorite Orchard Street sign:

  • Saturday, May 14, 2005

    Saturday linkage: the leftovers

    Earlier in the week, I wrote the following:
    Not much to talk about on the NBA playoffs front (Antawn's 32 nothwithstanding), since all four series seem to be pretty much decided.
    Then, Seattle, Dallas and Indiana had to all go out and pick up wins against the favored teams. Indiana looks scary though - I've always liked Jamaal Tinsley and Jeff Foster, and it's great to see them step up. Also, good to see Phoenix regain home court - I thought losing for the remainder of the series could doom them, but the thin bench came through. Four words: Jim Jackson, Leandro Barbosa.

  • Speaking of the NBA, guess who might or might not be playing for real money? Shav Randolph!. Says Coach K, "I support Shavlik 100 percent." I bet you do, Mike since you're returning Shelden Williams and have a couple of blue chip big men coming in. Shav might go undrafted but at least you won't be the bad guy sitting the senior on the end of the bench.

  • Moby talks New York to the Guardian. Nothing particularly interesting except this:
    What is the best hotel you have ever stayed in?

    The Rivington in Lower Manhattan (001 212 475 2600, doubles from $225). It has glass-clad bathrooms - so you can soak up views of Manhattan as you shower.
    Wait, the dude lives on the LES. Why the hell does he need to stay in a hotel in the neighborhood, and a misfit monstrosity of one at that? Then I remembered which hotel he shot his album cover at:

  • My peoples are better than your peoples because we can sort trash like a motherfucker, though 44 different categories seem a bit too excessive. This probably is too:
    Enter the garbage guardians, the army of hawk-eyed volunteers across Japan who comb offending bags for, say, a telltale gas bill, then nudge the owner onto the right path.

  • Finally, thanks to Guy for sending me this one: Geek Fantasies
  • Friday, May 13, 2005

    Friday the 13th linkage

  • Jason Whitlock on the Steve Nash/MVP/race card brouhaha. Seriously, why is open dialog on race anathema to Americans? Shouting down any suggestion that race may have been a factor does not a color blind society make. It's a good read.

    Bomani Jones weighs in as well. And while we're on Page 2, when Scoop Jackson joined the Page 2 cast, I didn't know what to think - I liked his writing for the most part, though he seemed to love his own words a little too much. So far, he's been decent. Scoop on LeBabyjesus's new adventures.

  • My condolences to Manchester United supporters. Okay, I'm kidding. I hope Glazer runs your club into the ground.

  • So you've probably heard by now that Dave Chappelle checked himself into a mental health clinic in South Africa of all places. It's hard to be sympathetic to a guy who just got a $50 million deal but I'm not entirely surprised either. This is a guy who lives not in NYC or LA, but on some farm in Ohio. And he's complained before about random people yelling "I'm Rick James, bitch!" while he's walking with his kids.

    And as much as I've enjoyed the show, none of the skits have really matched the quality of his standup, particularly the HBO special Killin' Them Softly.

    In any case, I'm glad he didn't pull a Spalding Gray, especially after hearing about the bizarre behavior.

  • Speaking of DVDs, Scrubs: The First Season is coming out finally. But guess what else is coming out? Yup yup.

  • This story amuses me to no end: the bikerack that came from nowhere.

  • Via our brothers-in-sidedish Cole Slaw Blog, an enlightening piece on reporting on the Iraqi insurgents. It really is a great read on the difficulty of covering the war on Iraq and the current state of the media:
    Lots of column inches have been spent in the discussion of how our rights as Americans are being surreptitiously confiscated, but what about our complicity, as journalists, in that? It seems to me that the assault on free speech, while the fear and intimidation is in the air, comes as much from us -- as individuals and networks of journalists who censor ourselves -- as it does from any other source.

    We need to wake up as individuals and as a community of journalists and start asking the hard and scary questions. Questions we may not really want to know the answers to about ourselves, about our government, about what is being done in our name, and hold the responsible individuals accountable through due process in our legal or electoral system.

    We need to begin to be able to look again at our government, our leadership and ourselves critically. That is what the Fourth Estate is all about. That's what American journalism can do at its zenith. I also happen to believe that, in fact, that is the highest form of patriotism -- expecting our country to live up to the promises it makes and the values it purports to hold. The role of the media in assisting the public to ensure those values are reflected in reality is undeniably failing today.
    Times like this, I have to ask the age old question: what liberal media?
  • The OC Season 2 Episode 23: All the fishes in the O.Sea.

    TWoP Recaplet

    Pretty enjoyable episode last night, methought. Could George Lucas be any more out of place though? He can't write dialog for shit, he can't direct and he clearly can't read lines without getting all wooden. It's a good thing he was sitting down the whole time - that dinner was awkward enough without Seth having to crouch to greet the George. Still, I suppose he was the only alternative to Summer that either Zach or Seth would consider.

    To be honest, I'm going to miss Caleb a bit since I rather enjoyed the dynamic with him, Julie and Kirsten. Still, he's been pushed aside (when was the last time he saw his grandkid?) and the divorce storyline was going nowhere fast. I wish I hadn't been told there would be a funeral next episode. It was obviously going to be the guy with the heart problem divorcing a vindictive bitch. It was either going to be the heart or the vindictive bitch. And I think I love Julie more than any other character on the show right now. She's a take charge kinda woman - the same can't be said for any other character except Trey, who can be a little too take charge with his wandering hands.

    Other points of note:
  • Theresa! I was wondering when they were going to acknowledge the baby. I'm assuming we don't get to find out who the father is until November.

  • Oh, Kirsten. Reaching for the bottle as soon as she hears the news.

  • The Prom switcheroo was predictable (how many times has The OC done the "This isn't where I need to be" thing? Countless times, that's how many) but it was done nicely.

  • I'd be more annoyed that Coldplay keeps making the same song over and over, but at least it's a good song.

  • Liked the "He's a tool!" from the peanut gallery, because yeah, Seth has been a tool. But how does a girl who has no friends other than the 3 other outcasts at school get voted Prom Queen? I understand she's played by Rachel Bilson and all, but shouldn't, you know, a popular girl win it?

  • Jimmy! Hailie! Theresa's bastard baby! Let's get the gang back together!

  • Next week, the season finale. Man, what a disappointing season it's been.

    Thursday, May 12, 2005

    MaxDelivery is MaxDecent

    You probably don't remember, but back in March, I declared that MaxDelivery was MaxDisappointment, partly because I was genuinely disappointed by the small selection and lack of communication, but mostly because I was looking for an easy lame joke.

    Now, I usually don't respond to marketing stuff that my blog receives occasionally, but I kinda felt guilty after I received this comment from Stephen and I figured I should at least give them a chance before I declared them a complete MaxDisappointment.

    As it happened, I needed to get more contact lens solution and some cleaning supplies so I gave it a go. Stephen was right - I don't remember them having stuff like contact lens solutions and salsa or anything else that I would possibly want. The total came out to $31.04 after the first timer discount and the delivery fee cancelled each other out at $5.

    I placed the order around 8:30 while watching Lost and scheduled the delivery for 9:00-10:00 pm. Right as the Lost credits finished rolling, I hear the buzzer. Not bad.

    I wondered if I should tip the delivery guy (the website says I don't have to) since my order contained several liquids that tend to get heavy, but really, I've lugged much heavier shit up the stairs and I'm only on the 3rd floor. Plus, I only had $20 bills.

    So yeah, the selection has improved greatly since I last gave the site a look and the delivery was right on time, and the delivery dude was friendly enough. It's still not exactly K-Mart in terms of variety (as far as I could tell, you can only get single rolls of toilet paper and paper towels) and you can't do the "Have I forgotten anything?" look around you could in a brick-mortar store.

    Still, it's great when the stores are closed or if you're too sick/tired/busy to get out. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's MaxDelightful, but it does MaxDeliver on its promise as a reborn, less ambitious Kozmo.

    Wednesday, May 11, 2005

    Wednesday Link Orgy: Huffin' and Postin'

  • Anyone check out Huffington Post? I visited the page yesterday and I was immediately intimidated by the sheer volume so I ran and ducked for cover. Someone needs to start a HuffPo digest blog for learning disordered people like me.

  • Um, not exactly the most timely of pieces since Mitch has been dead for a couple of months now. Still, it's nice to be reminded of how incredibly funny and likable he was.

    Mitch Hedberg was supposed to be the next Seinfeld but he could never be, says Slate's Sam Anderson:
    Hedberg was an awful candidate for the next Seinfeld, not because he wasn't funny, but because his humor was so deeply rooted in stand-up. It was his native language; anything else would have been a clumsy adaptation. We're lucky, in a way, that he never crossed over. There's something sacred about the untranslatable (the Italians have a proverb: traduttore, traditore - 'translator, traitor').

  • Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the ad agency responsible for putting Hootie in a cowboy outfit, has signed a deal with Fox Television to develop program ideas. I don't know what to make of this. Are they thinking shows with actual writers and actors, or just thinking of ways to cram more product placement into reality shows a la The Apprentice or Extreme Makeover: Home Edition?

  • Village Voice is turning into an MP3 blog.

  • Not much to talk about on the NBA playoffs front (Antawn's 32 nothwithstanding), since all four series seem to be pretty much decided. The Conference Finals should be good though (then again, Tony Parker was running circles around the Lakers about this time last year).

    However, I am a bit amused by LeBabyjesus firing his agent, the dude who got him the $100 mill Nike deal in favor of a high school buddy. I hope this isn't where the "Behind The Music" narrator says "LeBron's fortunes were about to take a sudden turn" and goes into commercials though I wouldn't mind some unintentional comedy.

    Oh, and forget LeBron-to-Knicks. Think LeBron-to-Bklyn Nets.

  • Speaking of Stern pulling strings, this saga ended quickly and anticlimactically, didn't it? Methinks Don Commissioneri is getting soft in his old age.

  • The enduring irrelevance of Memphis Bleek. Is he using the Jay-Z single because his album wouldn't get noticed otherwise? Or is Jay-Z using Memph as a vehicle to get his singles out without doing the legwork? Probably both. In any case, I don't care how talented Bleek is, he just doesn't offer anything that makes him worth my attention. His worst mistake was thinking he could be a solo artist - he will forever be Jay-Z's caddy.

  • I think I'll do an NBA free agent roundup if I'm feeling postcrastinatious tonight.
  • Tuesday, May 10, 2005

    Sorting through last week's "To Post" file

    I'm still playing catchup. I just need to get all this last week stuff out of my system so I can get on with this week.

  • I know Paula Abdul jokes are so last week but then again, so this this Slate piece really is from last week:
    "'I thought to myself, Wow, he's not going to open the door for me. But the way you just walked in and let it shut behind you - it looked totally effortless. That was all you, Corey. You really grew as a result of it. I'm a fan.'"

  • Going further back, from Productshop NYC's review of Coachella:
    [Black Star] bounced and shimmied their way past the 11:45pm curfew. As their scheduled time came and went, Mos didn't want to leave the stage. Security stood side stage calling them to end their set but Mos announced to them, "I know the law. I know the fine. Don't worry about it. Seriously. I'll pay it. I don't care what it is, I'll pay it all. Let's keep this going." And indeed he did for another twenty minutes until they pulled the plug on him"

  • Dude, I don't want to sound homophobic or nothing but what's with that Subway commercial that has Jared say "Oh, and there's another thing you won't find at Wendy's - me." Was it just me or did your gaydar go off the charts too? I don't know if the copywriter was feeling especially snappy that day or they were trying to give Jared a vibe but I was all "ZING!" I mean, if Jared's gay, that's cool and all, but I'm not sure if he knows he's playing a gay dude on TV.

    Speaking of Subway commercials, one of the great joys of living in the Tristate is the local spot starring Willie Randolph. There is nothing like the tiny orgasm I get in my ears every time Willie says "Yeah, it's a lot of meat!" (wow, that's homoerotic, isn't it?) Who doesn't love that? If you don't love that commercial, I don't want to know you. Stop reading right now. Go away.

  • Not to paint any group of people with too broad a brush but GOPers' tendency to self delude and vote against their own interests never ceases to amaze me. One of the books I'm reading now, Culture of Fear is a great look at how the media exaggerates non-issues, stigmatizes the voiceless and otherwise dictates the discourse to favor the powers that be. Nothing new, of course - it's the old "man bites dog" thing, but it's interesting to see it all quantified.

  • Finally, from the TWoP recap of last week's The OC:
    "That would be like trying to have sex with Summer via Marissa's vagina: improbable, unpleasant, and ultimately futile."
  • Monday, May 09, 2005

    Insert your own "I wan to kiss you" joke here

    Jets send in Namath to lobby for new stadium

    spinachdip has a distant relative

    I noticed last week that I was getting referrals from Cole Slaw Blog and caught this little post: "Like Cole Slaw Blog, the content of spinachdip bears no recognizable nexus to a widely enjoyed appetizer."

    That's where the similarities end though. For example, Cole Slaw Blog is well written, much better than spinachdip. In any case, I always appreciate a brother in arms and there simply aren't enough blogs named after appetizers and vegetable-based snacks. Please join me in welcoming Cole Slaw Blog, the latest addition to the sidebar linklist.

    Chinatown bus: you get what you pay for (a true story)

    Guess who's back, back again. In one piece after another DC trip, but just barely. Rode the Chinatown bus there and back, and I was going to post some lame anecdote about how the driver on the way there took some country-ass two-lane road through the backwoods of Greenbelt to avoid traffic and he talked on his mobile half the time, but on the way back (Behind The Music narrator voice) disaster struck. Okay, not really, but the bus did break down like a motherfucker.

    I board a Today's Bus/Apex Bus departing DC's Chinatown at 5:00 pm Sunday, scheduled to arrive at East Broadway at 9:30 pm. The trip is going smoothly until around 6:30, when the bus makes a sudden "bump" sound. Not good. The driver pulls onto the shoulder, checks out what's up. He doesn't really explain anything, per Chinatown bus driver policy, but there's oil spilling and shit. Not a good sign, generally.

    The bus needs to get to a service station but we're not close to an exit. So after a failed attempt to get back onto the highway, we inch up the shoulder, the engine failing a few times along the way. Against all odds, the bus manages to get to a little BP station in Aberdeen, MD, which is apparently as close to middle of nowhere as one can get in the Mid-Atlantic (below).

    Looking out from the bus

    So the bus isn't going to move any time soon but the word is, they're sending another bus to pick up all the passengers. It'll take another hour and half but at least we'll make it back to NY sometime tonight. Awesome.

    Not what you want to see your bus driver doing
    Stuck in Middleofnowhere, MD

    As far as I can tell, Aberdeen, MD (I think) really is in middle of nowhere but I try to make the best of it. I go on a trek and find a little strip of fast food restaurants. Yes, food. Restrooms too. I figure I won't be going to a BK again any time soon so I get myself a Whopper. Yum.

    An hour later, an actual moving bus pulls in. But it's 30 minutes early and it's already carrying passengers. And they are only 6 seats? Man, I'm not going to fight people to get on that. I may be a New Yorker but I'm too civilized. They're still sending an empty bus, right? So I sit tight.

    Another hour later, a little past 8 o'clock, a bus pulls in. This one better be empty. Oops. This one's carrying passengers too. You know what? I'm getting on this motherfucker. Lucky for me, the bus pulls up more or less in front of where I was sitting and I find myself near the front of the line. Glad I didn't have to throw a Karl Malone elbow, but I would've, ya know?

    There are a few seats open and I set my ass down on the first one I find. The bus fills up pretty quickly but no one's getting off. People standing in the aisle? Not good. So the driver comes up with a solution - they can stay on if they sit in the aisle, because if they stand, he'll get pulled over by a trooper. Safety first and whatnot.

    I am again on the move after a delay of almost 2 hours, with probably about 10 passengers sitting on the aisle and about 30 still sitting out on the grass outside the gas station. Oh, and this bus is showing a movie? Granted, it's that bad Nick Cage movie with Tea Leoni and Don Cheadle but I can't believe the 7 pm passengers got a bus that doesn't break down AND a movie!

    The rest of the trip was uneventful, though I don't quite understand why the Chinatown buses don't all use EZ Pass. With all the tolls you pay along the NY-DC route, why wouldn't you? It's gotta save you like 20 minutes each way plus whatever discount the pass gives you. Whatever. I'd never been happier to see the Empire State Building lights from the Turnpike. 11:30ish, I am back in Chinatown NYC.

    Will I ride the Chinatown bus again? Oh, sure. Mishaps or not, you can't beat the price. I know Greyhound and other majors are trying to compete but I live like 5 minutes away from the drop off/pick up point. Will I ride Today's Bus again? Better question, but I probably will. I'm a firm beliver in the law of averages, and if a rare occurence strikes me once, it most likely won't happen to me again. If breakdowns become a regular occurence, I will reconsider of course. In any case, as I wrote in the title, you get what you pay for, which is one-fifth of what you would pay to ride on Amtrak.

    Otherwise, I had a great time this weekend. Hit the National Gallery and they were doing an exhibition on Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre. Good times.

    I like the museum, especially the newer East building and the connection between the two sides. I took this picture of Maureen on the moving walkway between the East and West buildings. I like how the lights came out.

    National Gallery, DC

    Also, I totally forgot to call my DC people. I should plan better next time. Also need to catch a United game one of these weekends. My last trip to RFK was 4th of July, 1997. Damn, that's a long time ago.

    I hope nothing important happened while I was gone. I'm so out of it.

    Friday, May 06, 2005

    My usual litany of complaints about The OC

    Okay, this is going to be a quick one. I'm off to DC in a few minutes.
    • 2 hours of The OC is a little too much for me. Still, too much OC is better than no OC.
    • The comic book thing is just silly. The Evil Zach thing was simultaneously predictable and nonsensical.
    • A Fox show making fun of Bob Jones U? I can dig.
    • Also, making fun of MTV and bringing out TI? Nice touch.
    • Depressing as crap, but I figure this is a set up for the last couple of episodes.
    • Last complaint - the Star Wars product placement. It's one thing to pimp the hell out of a band by having them play Bait Shop, but to actually point out a feature on a video game (the flying light sabre)? Lame.

    Back to normal posting on Monday. Have a weekend, preferably a good one. Lates.

    Thursday, May 05, 2005

    Maya Rudolph interviews Amy Sedaris

    From the April/May 2005 issue of Bust, on why Amy Sedaris makes cupcakes and cheeseballs:
    When I got my first rabbit, Tattletail. I looked at her and said, "You, young lady, if you're gonna live here, you're gonna have to get a job," so I started my little cupcake business that I called Tattletail's, and then all the money I made from it would go into a jar and that's what I would use to support her. Then she passed away seven years later, and a year later I got another rabbit, Dusty, and I thought, "You're not going to be a trust fund [bunny], you're not going to be living off Tattletail's money!" So I changed the name to Dusty Food Cupcakes. Throughout all this time I was making cheeseballs, but it was mostly seasonal. They're the perfect thing to bring to a party,you know, like an appetizer.

    What's eating Gilbert Arenas?

    Gilbert, Gilbert, Gilbert. Absolute clutch.

    And clearly, the Wizzies are much better without Kwame throwing around negative vibes and stomach viruses. Speaking of whom, I should do a write up on free agent point guards and big men (swingmen are interchangable if you ask me). Maybe next week.

  • Against my better judgment, I watched last night's American Idol EXPOSÉ!! What can I say, Pill Poppin' Paula and Convict Corey deserve each other.

    But that's not important. What is important is that Randy Jackson looked awesome in leather. Journey? I grew up on that shit. "Don't Stop Believing" is my air guitar anthem. Steve Perry? I sing "Oh Sherry" in the shower when I'm feeling down. I love you dawg.

    But back to Corey and Paula, can you imagine what Paula Abdul's pillow talk might be like?
    "Corey, that was great. You put your all into it and you really fucked from the heart. Just wonderful."

    Then Simon comes in with the video camera and goes "That was absolutely dreadful. That was the worst fucking I've ever seen. If you went on any longer, I don't know if I could ever have sex again. Dreadful."

  • Season 3 of Chappelle's Show pushed back indefinitely. Chatty PAs say Dave isn't doing so hot. You know, there's a joke in here somewhere about how a comedian blows up big in his contract year, only to stink it up once he gets the big payday.

    In the meantime, can't they give us Wayne Brady's Show?

  • From Overheard in New York yesterday:
    Metro New York guy: Free paper! Get your free paper!...Man, I'm sick of this shit.
    --Union Square

    Metro New York guy: Shit, man, I'm tired of sayin' this!...Okay, fine. Good mornin'. Good mornin'. Shit.
    --Park Place station

  • Film adaptation for the new Nick Hornby novel picked up before it's even published. Johnny Depp will co-produce and possibly star. Anyway, I've enjoyed all but one his novels (and memoir), while High Fidelity and About A Boy were both solid films (not too thrilled about either of the Fever Pitch adaptations though). I expect good stuff.

  • Respect, short film for the K1200R bike from BMW.

  • Finished reading Angry Black White Boy. It started out well - a nice exposition of a white kid who's dove headfirst into hip hop culture - but it loses steam at the climax and the final act isn't unlike the last 30 minutes of Collateral, a trainwreck ending for a great flick. Still, it was an enjoyable read once I got past the letdown - even the choppy parts have their moments. 1.2 thumbs up.

    Currently reading Times Square Red Times Square Blue. I'm only at the first chapter. Eh. We'll see.

  • Even though the Lower East Side is fast yuppiefying, most of the changes are happening between Rivington and Houston. The pace of gentrification is considerably slower below Delancey, particularly below Grand where LES and Chinatown intersect, and I like the little businesses on Orchard St like the Chinese menu printers and suit shops that are seemingly all owned by Hassidic dudes.

    There's a sign shop at the corner of Orchard and Hester and they often have finished signs out on the sidewalk waiting to be delivered, and a block down, a new clothing store opened in place of a natural supplements shop at the corner of Canal. When these little random joints are gone, then the neighborhood will really be dead to me.

  • Tuesday, May 03, 2005

    I was watching "Pretty In Pink" last night...

    I have to say, neither Molly Ringwold nor Andrew McCarthy is quite as hot as I thought they were at the time. Still, it's good to see James Spader hasn't aged a bit.
  • Man, 24 is sucking a big suckity suck suck right now. I'll still watch it so I can make fun of it, but seriously. How are they coming up with these plotlines, Choose Your Own Counter-Terrorist Adventures? At this point, I'm rooting for the terrorists. At least they have principles, and more importantly, they are nowhere near as stupid or petty as CTU. Sure, Jack will win out in the end but Marwan will have gone down with class.

    Speaking of Fox shows that are fast approaching the waterski ramp, The OC will show two new episodes this Thursday after last week's show got bumped by Dubs' press conference. The gang goes to the SoBe? I Approve.

  • Liverpool 1-0 Chelski Also, partial male nudity:

    So the team fighting for 4th place in England will play for the title of the best club side in Europe. Frustrating as it was, this has been a crazy season to be a Liverpool supporter. YNWA.

  • TIWWDN on B-Burg/G-Point rezoning

    All this yuppifying of previously boho neighborhoods is a little disconcerting, especially now that the wave of redevelopment has crossed East River. True, it's rarely a good idea to stop development and Williamburg gentrification was in motion for years. Though really, it's more the way the gentrification is happening.

    It's noteworthy that Larry brings up SoHo in his post. It's hard to believe that the neighborhood was once synonymous with Boho, pardon the rhyme, but it does show a nice contrast with what's happening in LES and will happen across the bridge. What is different now is the combination of scale and speed of the development. Soho might have gotten yuppiefied, but they kept the old warehouses and you still have small galleries and boutiques if you step off Broadway.

    I see the pro-dev argument that development is inevitable and artists have always found a place, but they've always been close to the heart of the city, and all of New York suffers as the creative energy gets pushed farther out.

    The 21st Century version of Dylan Thomas is going to drink himself to death, not at the White Horse Tavern, but at some seedy strip joing in Sunset Park.

  • I just installed Tiger and so far so good. I haven't go through any of the new features but I love how Dashboard looks (below). Spotlight is taking forever to index my hard drive but searching for crap on my computer is going to be so much easier once that's done.

  • Never been a huge Skip Bayless fan but he talks about one of my favorite NBA players right now, Manu:
    Growing up in Argentina, Ginobili wasn't conditioned as a kid to believe he couldn't compete with black players. That, basically, is what has happened to so many American white kids. They give up basketball by high school, because, as the movie title said, 'White Men Can't Jump.'

    Too many American white kids have been intimidated by the prospect of having to compete against black players. But the nonblack players coming from leagues overseas are not afraid of anyone of any color on a basketball court. They are utterly confident doing the things they do best, and the only fear they have is of failure. In many cases, the NBA is also their way out of poverty.
  • Chinatown man struck, killed by bus

    I'm almost surprised this doesn't happen more often: a Chinatown man is hit and killed by a NY-DC bus at the intersection of East Broadway and Pike. I live not a few blocks from where the accident happend and it's simply inevitable.

    There's a lot of pedestrian traffic because of the food shops on East Broadway and with several Chinatown bus lines terminating couple of blocks away, it's really a bad combination. Pedestrians are, well, typical New York pedestrians and the drivers, especially but not just the ones on the huge buses, aren't quite careful enough.

    You'd hope that this accident will change things but unfortunately, this accident isn't the first and surely won't be the last.

    The last LES blog standing

    First, LES EVil dropped off the face of the earth. Then, E Bway announced it's moving way, way south of the border.

    And now, as reported by Hermitude in NYC (who is not moving out of Lower East, apparently), the East Coast, more prominent half of ToTC is leaving Orchard St and moving across the Houston-Dixon line to 13th St. Damn yo.

    At least we'll still have Cityrag, right? Right?

    Guacamole flavored Doritos

    Is there anything in the world better than that sticky green stuff? Good lawd I love junk food.

  • Coolfer and One Louder link to a Guardian piece on bands with 'firework' careers, as in getting hyped to hell by NME and its ilk before being forgotten very quickly.

    I have to admit, I enjoy a few of these bands - Franz, Bloc Party, The Arcade Fire etc. But you can't deny that the bands are fun as hell (well, I can't anyway)? Am I fickle? Eh. I'm not going to stop listening to Franz just because some other Glaswegian band is the next big thing and I can't see what the big deal is about, say, The Bravery or Kasabian.

    I understand the argument that labels aren't willing to make a long-term commitment to developing these bands because what's fresh today will be stale tomorrow and they don't have enough faith in the audience to build a format around one of these "indie" bands, but does the industry really guve them a chance? Surely the labels and the UK Hype Machine could nurture these artists slower if they wanted to.

  • When people ask me what my favorite kind of music is, I answer "nothing in particular, whatever sounds good". It's true to an extent - I could listen to Bowie, Del, Modest Mouse, Janis Joplin and Al Green in succession. I really don't have a favorite artist. But the fact is, I grew up on hip hop - I was listening to Underground 88 on WKNC back when the "Urban Contemporary" stations weren't playing Wu or Souls of Mischief. The only problem is that I hate about 60% of what's out there now. But really, is there a rock song that can make you bob your head like the instrumentals on "Shook Ones"?

  • You know what's the worst thing about the President doing live TV? When he makes those Letterman-fodder non-jokes and awkwardly waits for the laughter that's not forthcoming, that's what. It's amazing how much funnier he is when he's not trying to be funny.

    Not quite as bad is when they trot out the First Lady to show the softer side of Dubs.
    "But however charming her drawl, it was hard not to squirm at Laura's blithe assertion that 'George's answer to any problem at the ranch is to cut it down with a chainsaw. Which I think is why he and Cheney and Rumsfeld get along so well.' That comparison of the president's ranching style to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - one of her speech's better lines - was kind of cute, until you carried the analogy to its logical conclusion: The way Bush runs a ranch is similar to the way he conducts the business of state. The way Bush runs a ranch is clueless, absolutist, and wantonly destructive. Ergo ..."

  • Other Apple users seem to get really worked up over Mac OS X Tiger. Meh. Dashboard and .Mac Sync seem cool enough, and I hear it runs faster than the one I'm running. I think I'll try it out at the office.

  • Dixie Chicks recording with Rick Rubin. I like Rick and his work with Run-DMC, Johnny Cash and "99 Problems". I don't like Dixie Chicks. This should be interesting.

  • Alonzo Mourning: Jackass. Man, I so want to root for him but how do you pull such a dick move on a team that took a gamble on you sans insurance? Then to take a $10 mill buyout and make a big deal out of donating the minimum salary he's getting from Miami. Now that I think about it, I liked him back when he was in Charlotte, then he forced that trade to, yep, Miami. Once a dick, always a dick.

  • You know, I'd love to support soccer in this country and go out and watch The Game Of Their Lives, but if we are to trust Grant Wahl's review, it's probably not worth my time (not that it looks ike it's going to make to NYC theaters). If that's the best example of soccer movies, then it's probably better if Hollywood didn't make soccer films. But Hooligans? Maybe.

  • I wish I had more fresh material, but I don't. Thighs on the other hand never ceases to make me laugh.

  • Man, I really need some sneakers. Seeing stuff like this doesn't help my sneaker addiction one bit.

  • YNWA
  • Monday, May 02, 2005

    I did a Flickr search for Blackstar

  • I was messing around on Flickr to see if anyone posted pics of Black Star's performance at Coachella so I looked for photos with the tag blackstar. No pictures of Mos and Talib, but there was this:

    Originally uploaded by Penny Power.

  • Peter: "Fox has to make room for fantastic shows like Dark Angel, Titus, Undeclared, Action, That 80's Show, Wonderfalls, Fastlane, Andy Richter Controls The Universe, Skin, Girls Club, Cracking Up, The Pits, Firefly, Get Real, Freaky Links, Wanda At Large, Costello, The Lone Gunman, A Minute With Stan Hooper, Normal Ohio, Pasadena, Harsh Realm, Keen Eddy, The Street, American Embassy, Cedric The Entertainer, The Tick, Louis, and Greg The Bunny."
    Lois: "Is there really no hope?"
    Peter: "Well, I supposed if all those shows go down the tubes we might have a shot."

    And thus started the second coming of The Family Guy. I never watched it regularly but it was enjoyable enough when I did. But I am glad it's back, if only because there just aren't enough genuinely funny shows on network TV any more. Also, The Passion of The Christ 2. This July, he who is without sin kicks the first ass.

    I sure do miss Greg the Bunny though.

  • Why are the most staunchly pro-war types in government more often than not avoided serving in the military? UN ambassador nominee John Bolton is no exception.

  • You'd think a piece penned by a magazine editor wouldn't be so painful to read. But if you're interested in the demise of Source magazine, it's worth the trouble.

  • As expected, Jigga's remake of his "Takeover" as the official Nets Playoff Anthem (mp3) is so laaaaaaame on many levels. Great timing too.

  • The next Roots album is just 9 months away. But since we are talking about the Roots, I'm sure the release will get pushed back couple of times. If I had to make a guess on the actual release date, I'd say late Spring to mid-Summer.