Thursday, August 31, 2006

I'm not here, the key's under the mat

Guest blogging today at A Blog Soup.

And a related request to my dear readers - if anyone can find a decent quality mp3 of "Hip Hop Junkies (Spanish Fly Remix)" by Nice & Smooth, I'd greatly appreciate it and possibly marry you.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

2006 New Yorker Festival: Color me disappointed or color me badd

If you're like me, nothing gets you excited for fall in New York City like the New Yorker Festival. Every year, New Yorker gets out its manilla envelopes full of writers, directors and musicians in compromising positions and get them to appear for one fabulous weekend of cultural elitism and free alcohol courtesy of sponsors.

But I'm looking at the lineup and I can't say I'm impressed. I remember a couple of years ago, having to choose between Salman Rushdie and Dave Eggers. Last year, I immediately went out and got tickets for Jeffrey Eugenides, killed myself for skipping out on Rza/Ric Ocasek/Ani DiFranco, and chose The Roots and Malcolm Gladwell over Rick Gervais.

This year? Meh. Maybe I should care about Jonathan Safran Foer or Zadie Smith? The names that are jumping out at me are Pedro Almodóvar on Saturday afternoon, and Jhumpa Lahiri and Ed Norton on Saturday morning. There's no writer that's really wowing me.

There's Jon Stewart, a cruise around Manhattan and a eating tour of Downtown but they're all a little too rich for my broke ass.

Although, there is the screening of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan which may very well be worth the price of admission.

Anyhoo, the complete 2006 New Yorker Festival lineup is after the jump. Maybe I'm missing something - please feel free to point me to an event that deserves my money.

Now, crap in bullet points:
  • The Quiet: Wow. Wow wow wow wow. Wowie wow wow. Thighs has this movie covered, but shit, it will blow your mind. All I can say is that I'm buying, not renting, the fucking DVD when it comes out and I will pull it out at the most opportune moment. Holy fucking shit.

  • Incredibly looking forward to Science of Sleep (trailer). But let's be honest here, I'll watch anything directed by Michel Gondry. Shit, I'll watch an instructional video if Gondry's behind the camera. For reals. The only thing that could possibly hold me back is the indietasticness of the trailer - I know the ladies love the Death Cab, but shit, Ben Gibbard makes me want to give myself a hug.

  • Also excited about Stranger Than Fiction (trailer). As much as I love Will Ferrell in frat pack comedies, I think he can be even better in quirky comedies. Plus it's always great to see Maggie Gyllenhaal not do a 9/11 flick.

  • And you know what? Marie Antoinette (trailer) is going to be awesome. Trust the Coppolla. If nothing else, seeing Jason Schwartzman in tights, Steve Coogan doing his thing and the New Wave soundtrack will be worth the $10.25.

  • Volver (trailer)? Well, it is Almodovar. Though I'm still kinda recovering from Bad Education.

  • New Portishead? Pretty please. Yeah, I realize the songs aren't complete and they've been around, but still, is there anyone who attended college in the late 90s and didn't have really intense, brooding sex to Portishead?

  • Our uptown Orchard St neighbors reminisce over The Avalanches. 3 years from now, if The Avalanches' Since I Left You doesn't show up in top album lists compiled by bloggers or the 2009 equivalent thereof, that means:
    a) The bloggers (or the 2009 equivalent thereof) are compete idiots
    b) Music will be incredible for the rest of the decade, because nothing in the past 5 years has topped Since I Left You
    c) Sufjan completes his 50 States project really fast.

  • Finally, a medley of videos from the Roots:

    It's not Illadelph Halflife, but hey, this isn't half bad.

  • (New Yorker Festival event listings)

    2006 New Yorker Festival lineup:


    An evening of paired readings by writers whose stories have appeared in The New Yorker; a New Yorker Town Hall Meeting on Islam and the West; and a New Yorker dance party.

    Monica Ali and Aleksandar Hemon
    7 P.M. Ailey Citigroup Theatre ($16)

    Donald Antrim and Tobias Wolff
    7 P.M. Cedar Lake Dance Studios ($16)

    Yiyun Li and Edwidge Danticat
    7 P.M. Bowery Poetry Club ($16)

    Lorrie Moore and Julian Barnes
    7 P.M. Newspace ($16)

    Antonya Nelson and Thomas McGuane
    7 P.M. Anthology Film Archives ($16)

    Uwem Akpan and Louise Erdrich
    9:30 P.M. Bowery Poetry Club ($16)

    Charles D’Ambrosio and Sherman Alexie
    9:30 P.M. Anthology Film Archives ($16)

    Andrea Lee and T. Coraghessan Boyle
    9:30 P.M. Cedar Lake Dance Studios ($16)

    Jonathan Safran Foer and Edward P. Jones
    9:30 P.M. Newspace ($16)

    Gary Shteyngart and George Saunders
    9:30 P.M. Ailey Citigroup Theatre ($16)

    Join the internationally renowned d.j. Michael Mayer and The New Yorker’s Sasha Frere-Jones for a night of minimal techno and house music.
    10 P.M. to 2 A.M. T New York ($20)
    (Please note: You must be 21 to be admitted to this event.)

    Moderated by New Yorker staff writer George Packer. Panelists, to be announced, will include political figures, scholars, writers, and Muslim leaders.
    7 P.M. Town Hall ($10)


    A day of interviews, panel discussions, and New Yorker Talks, a new series; a poetry reading with John Ashbery; an About Town lunch prepared by Mario Batali.


    Manolo Blahnik and Michael Specter
    1 P.M. Supper Club ($25)

    The Honorable Stephen Breyer and Jeffrey Toobin
    4 P.M. Celeste Bartos Forum
    The New York Public Library ($25)

    A poetry reading by John Ashbery
    4 P.M. Florence Gould Hall
    French Institute Alliance Française ($25)


    Roz Chast interviewed by Steve Martin
    10 A.M. Supper Club ($25)

    Calvin Trillin interviewed by Mark Singer
    10 A.M. Celeste Bartos Forum
    The New York Public Library ($25)

    Garry Kasparov interviewed by David Remnick
    1 P.M. 37 Arts ($25)

    Tom Stoppard interviewed by John Lahr
    1 P.M. Directors Guild of America ($25)

    Pedro Almodóvar interviewed by David Denby
    4 P.M. Directors Guild of America ($25)


    Oliver Sacks
    Revisiting “Awakenings”
    10 A.M. Florence Gould Hall
    French Institute Alliance Française ($25)

    Anthony Lane
    This Is Not Acting: Ava Gardner and the Mysteries of Stardom
    1 P.M. 37 Arts ($25)


    Global Warming
    With James Hansen, Martin Hoffert, Robert Socolow, and Timothy E. Wirth. Elizabeth Kolbert, moderator.
    10 A.M. 37 Arts ($25)

    Midterm Elections
    With Barney Frank and Dana Rohrabacher. Hendrik Hertzberg, moderator.
    10 A.M. 37 Arts ($25)

    Fiction Into Film
    With Michael Cunningham, Jhumpa Lahiri, Mira Nair, Edward Norton, Sarah Polley, and Liev Schreiber. Deborah Treisman, moderator.
    10 A.M. Directors Guild of America ($25)

    Winning the War on Terror
    With Bradford Berenson, Deborah Pearlstein, Michael Scheuer, and Ali Soufan. Jane Mayer, moderator.
    1 P.M. Celeste Bartos Forum
    The New York Public Library ($25)

    TV, Movies, and the Mob
    With Lorraine Bracco, Paul Haggis, Harold Ramis, Gerald Shargel, and Frank Vincent. Jeffrey Goldberg, moderator.
    1 P.M. Florence Gould Hall
    French Institute Alliance Française ($25)

    Fake News
    With Andy Borowitz, Scott Dikkers, and Ben Karlin. Nick Paumgarten, moderator.
    4 P.M. 37 Arts ($25)

    Medical Breakthroughs: The Next Frontier
    With J. Michael Bishop, Daniel Callahan, Eric Kandel, and Eric Topol. Atul Gawande, moderator.
    4 P.M. 37 Arts ($25)


    What You Can Do with Boiling Water
    Mario Batali
    talks with Bill Buford
    Mario Batali will discuss making, cooking, and serving pasta with Bill Buford as the two of them make lunch. Their dishes will be served with a selection of Italian wines.
    1 P.M. Italian Wine Merchants ($125)

    Early and Late Shift events, many of them featuring live musical performance, throughout the city. There will also be an evening New Yorker Talk, with Lawrence Wright, and a sneak preview of the feature film “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”


    Steve Coogan talks with George Saunders
    7:30 P.M. Cedar Lake Dance Studios ($35)

    Milos Forman talks with David Denby
    7:30 P.M. Directors Guild of America ($35)

    PJ Harvey talks with Hilton Als:
    A Conversation with Music
    7:30 P.M. Supper Club ($35)
    (Please note: You must be 21 to be admitted to this event.)

    Liev Schreiber talks with John Lahr
    7:30 P.M. Newspace ($35)


    Lawrence Wright
    “My Trip to Al-Qaeda”
    8:30 P.M. 37 Arts ($25)


    Composers on the Edge
    Mason Bates, Corey Dargel, Nico Muhly, and Joanna Newsom talk with Alex Ross:
    A Conversation with Music
    10 P.M. BargeMusic ($35)

    The New Pornographers talk with James Surowiecki:
    A Conversation with Music
    10 P.M. Newspace ($35)

    Randy Newman talks with Susan Morrison:
    A Conversation with Music
    10 P.M. Supper Club ($35)
    (Please note: You must be 21 to be admitted to this event.)

    Gustavo Santaolalla talks with Jon Lee Anderson:
    A Conversation with Music
    10 P.M. Cedar Lake Dance Studios ($35)

    Saturday Night Sneak Preview
    “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”
    10 P.M. Directors Guild of America ($15)

    A free screening of “Barry Lyndon,” with an accompanying talk by Simon Schama; a day of About Town excursions and events throughout the city; a benefit interview with Jon Stewart; talks by New Yorker writers; and a series of Master Classes.


    Cruising Manhattan: An architectural boat tour with Paul Goldberger
    Paul Goldberger
    discusses the architecture of Manhattan on a chartered ferry ride around the island. Brunch will be served.
    10:30 A.M. Lexington Classic Cruiser
    New York Skyports Marina ($75)

    Sunday Matinée with Simon Schama
    A screening of the 1975 film “Barry Lyndon,” directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring Ryan O’Neal in an adaptation of the William Makepeace Thackeray novel about the rise and fall of an Irish rake among the eighteenth-century British aristocracy. A discussion with Simon Schama will follow.
    11 A.M. Directors Guild of America (Free event; first come, first seated.)

    To the Ends of the Earth: An explorers’ brunch
    Bruce Beehler, Constanza Ceruti, Reinhold Messner, and Bruce Robison will talk with David Grann about modern-day exploration. Brunch will be served.
    1 P.M. Explorers Club ($75)

    My Life in Three Courses
    Nora Ephron talks with Ken Auletta

    Nora Ephron cooks three dishes, each representing a distinct phase in her life, while Ken Auletta helps out in the kitchen. Snacks and drinks will be provided.
    1 P.M. Culinary Loft ($75)

    Inside the House of Zac
    Zac Posen talks with Judith Thurman
    In his atelier, Zac Posen will discuss the creation of his new collection—from concept to manufacture, from the runway to the boulevard.
    1 P.M. The meeting place will be indicated on the tickets. ($75)

    Come Hungry
    Calvin Trillin
    leads his sixth annual gastronomic walking tour of downtown, sharing his favorite eateries and culminating in a dim-sum banquet in Chinatown.
    1 P.M. The starting point will be indicated on the tickets. ($100)


    Jon Stewart talks with David Remnick
    4 P.M. Directors Guild of America ($50)
    All ticket proceeds will go to the Committee to Protect Journalists and the U.S.O.


    Mohammed Nasseehu Ali
    Blinding the Seer: Our Love/Hate Relationship with Prophets
    10 A.M. 37 Arts ($25)

    Malcolm Gladwell
    The Case Against Secrets
    1 P.M. 37 Arts ($25)

    Zadie Smith
    Fail Better
    4 P.M. 37 Arts ($25)

    Seminars for people with advanced interest in the topic.

    Master Class in Editing
    With Roger Angell, Dorothy Wickenden, and Daniel Zalewski.
    10 A.M. Condé Nast Auditorium ($25)

    Master Class in Criticism
    With Hilton Als and Anthony Lane.
    1 P.M. Condé Nast Auditorium ($25)

    Master Class in Cartooning
    With Matthew Diffee and Edward Koren.
    4 P.M. Condé Nast Auditorium ($25)

    Following is a schedule of Saturday and Sunday free book signings at Festival Headquarters. Schedule subject to change.


    11 A.M.
    T. Coraghessan Boyle — “Talk Talk”
    Edward P. Jones — “All Aunt Hagar’s Children: Stories”

    12 NOON
    Andy Borowitz — “The Republican Playbook”
    Matthew Diffee (editor) — “The Rejection Collection:
    Cartoons You Never Saw, and Never Will See, in The New Yorker”
    Featuring: Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Danny Shanahan, David Sipress, Barbara Smaller, Gahan Wilson, and Jack Ziegler

    1 P.M.
    Elizabeth Kolbert — “Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change”

    2 P.M.
    Thomas McGuane — “Gallatin Canyon: Stories”
    Antonya Nelson — “Some Fun: Stories and a Novella”

    3 P.M.
    Julian Barnes — “Arthur & George”
    Andrea Lee — “Lost Hearts in Italy: A Novel”

    4 P.M.
    Jeffrey Goldberg — “Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide”

    David Remnick — “Reporting: Writings from The New Yorker”


    11 A.M.
    Calvin Trillin — “A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme”

    12 NOON
    Monica Ali — “Alentejo Blue: Fiction”
    Gary Shteyngart — “Absurdistan: A Novel”

    1 P.M.
    Roz Chast — “Theories of Everything: Selected, Collected, and Health-Inspected Cartoons by Roz Chast, 1978-2006”

    2 P.M.
    Lawrence Wright — “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11”

    3 P.M.
    Donald Antrim — “The Afterlife: A Memoir”
    George Saunders — “In Persuasion Nation: Stories”

    4 P.M.
    Bill Buford — “Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany”
    Nora Ephron — “I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman”

    Monday, August 28, 2006

    I wish I could tie you up in my shoes, make you feel unpretty too

    It ain't easy being a Liverpool fan. There, I said it. "But why, Mr. Spinachdip, why? Your team won the Champions League in 2005, consistently finish in the top 5 of the league, has the biggest trophy room in all of England. How could that possibly be hard?"

    I'll tell you why. Because I'm a cynical bastard who can't help but see the dark storm clouds around the silver lining. I'm generally easygoing, but when it comes to anything competitive, I focus on the negative. I don't remember much from my brief athletic career, but I can list all the mistakes I've made on the field since I was playing street soccer back at 7 years old, all the way up to Saturday night when I couldn't put a fucking top spin on the ball if the fate of the universe depended on keeping the cue ball out of the pocket.

    But I digress.

    I became a Liverpool supporter in August 1986 because I didn't know better. My family had just moved to London and the only English phrase I could say with any degree of confidence was "I need to use the loo." I turned on the TV to see a bunch of guys in red playing a bunch of guys in blue, all in varying combination of perms, mullets and mustaches. Right there and then, I decided I liked the team in red, Liverpool Football Club.

    From that moment on, it seemed every sweet gulp of glory as Liverpool supporter came attached with the bitter taste of backwash. The ban from European competition that kept the team from competing with the best in the world. The Hillsborough tragedy. Losing the 1989 title in the dying seconds of the last match of the season to Arsenal, an event oh so painfully relived in the climax of Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch. Even the most glorious of glories, winning the 2005 Champions League required falling behind 0-3 before half time, and was followed by a summer-long controversy over Steven Gerrard would chase the money dangled by Chelsea.

    Considering the history, it's not surprising that when Liverpool has better chance than ever to topple Chelsea from the top of the table, it has looked mighty unpretty, drawing lowly Sheffield United 1-1 while looking uninspired in a win and a draw against Maccabi Haifa to qualify for the Champions League.

    So i'll take the 2-1 win against West Ham this weekend. It's not dominating stuff, but it's early in the season. There are injuries in key positions. And I take back all the mean, horrible, borderline racist things I've said about Danish people after this goal:

    And this has been about the only thing pretty about this Liverpool so far in this young season.

    As for the rest of the league, I hate to say I told you so, but what did I tell you? Chelsea stumbled out of the gate, picking up their first loss before the second weekend of the season while ManU are much, much better than anyone gave them credit for (albeit against possibly relegation-bound opponents). But what of Arsenal's dysfunction?

    And apologies in many, many folds to our friend Slack for not responding to his thoughtful comments. Yeah, I'm an ass like that. Hey, next time I'm awake at 9 am on Saturday, let's go catch a game at the local. The first banger is on me.

    Finally, Adam Spangler over at This Is American Soccer has a great piece on our favorite Yank, Clint Dempsey.

    Thursday, August 24, 2006

    Totally phoning it in

    Judge to Rule if 'Meowing' Is Harassment
    JEANNETTE, Pa., Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Pittsburgh-area police have gone to court to back a 78-year-old woman's complaint of harassment by a teenaged neighbor she claims always meows at her.

    Yeah, it's been that kind of a week. That's all I have for this week. Thanks to The Maureen for the heads up. Meow.

    Friday, August 18, 2006

    In which I come back from my unplanned hiatus

    I gotta say, I'm wary of attending happy hours. Not happy hours per se - I'm cool with cheap drinks, uncrowded bars and getting sloppy before the sun goes down. That's the way life should be. It's what comes with happy hours that I'm wary of.

    The last three or four times I've gone out for happy hour, the night stretched beyond the designated hours and recommended nightly intake of alcohol and calories.

    But I chose to stay out, right? I can just decline the invitations, right? You'd think so, but no.

    As strong willed as I like to think I am, when the forces of friendship (or rather, desperation to maintain them), alcohol and beer pong/Uno/karoke collide -at the risk of getting all David Hume on this shit- they form the perfect storm of soft determinism and free will ceases to exist. So I go. I drink. I stay. I drink more. The best I can do is to keep my pants zipped and my inapproprisms to a minimum.

    That said, it was great meeting everyone I met last night. Sorry - I'm horrible with names and faces and URLs. Pants is much better in this regard, clearly, but I would be remiss if I didn't recognize some people (I know I've left people out - please feel free to point out any glaring omissions). I hope I can make sweet love to all of you some day. Why? Because sweet love is the only kind of love I make.

    The revolution is Flickrd.

    Anyway, before I sign off for the week, and possibly for the rest of the month, the English Premier League season starts tomorrow. I had planned an extensive preview, but my tendency to procrastinate being what it is, bullet points are all you get.

  • Oh thank god Simmons didn't pick Liverpool. There are enough bandwagon fans as it is.

  • I feel really, really good about Liverpool. As much as I hated to Djibril Cisse and his ridiculously awesome tattoos go, I like the way the forward line looks. There's God Fowler, Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt and of course, Crouchinho.

    Granted, none of them is a Thierry Henry or a Wayne Rooney or a Andriy Shevchenko (though Kuyt might eventually become a star), I dare say it's the best group of forwards in the Prem and more importantly, it's a group that allows for a lot of tactical flexibility.

  • Chelsea is still the favorite to win, but good luck trying to play Ballack and Lampard in the same midfield.

  • Manchester United - better than a lot of people think.

  • Which is to say, I don't think you'll see Chelsea dominate like in the past two seasons. They've gotten better, to be sure, but the other teams have been much smarter, I think.

  • Lest you think I'm some Eurosnob, I do give a shit about MLS. I just can't get myself to support a New York team in any sport, ever. That said, I love that Bruce Arena is Red Bull New York's new head coach, if only because he's a monumental sarcastic asshole. His Sports Illustrated interview is a fucking riot. Some excerpts:
    Arena: (US Soccer president Sunil Gulati is a great guy. He's always been a good friend. I think he's a superfan who now is president... He's a guy... who wants to be important and be around the world of bigwigs at FIFA, and he's going to get that opportunity. You care about the U.S. team, don't you?

    Arena: Oh yeah. They're going to win the next World Cup, from what I'm told. So I wish them the best. Because we did so poorly over the last eight years, I'm sure they're going to win the next World Cup.
    Arena: The only reason I'm here is because of Red Bull. I don't work for MLS. I work for Red Bull.


  • Yet another reason why Clint Dempsey is my favorite MLS player - check his not-so-subtle dig at Landon Donovan for not playing in Europe:
    "I already told [MLS] if they paid me more than Landon Donovan I still wouldn't stay," he said, referring to Donovan's $900,000 salary. "I just don't want to be in this league anymore. It's not about the money. It's about me getting better and pushing myself to a higher level. I'll be able to live with whatever the consequences may be, but I can't live with never trying to accomplish my dreams, and I can't live with somebody holding me back from that."

  • Those headline writers at The Sun are so clever.

    Finally, this:

    "Hegel is arguing that the reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics, Kant via the categorical imperative is holding that ontologically it exists only in the imagination, and Marx is claiming it was offside."


  • Friday, August 11, 2006

    A shit post

    I have a guest post over at This Is What We Do Now today. This came about at the last minute because I kinda screwed up my email settings, but I squeezed out what I could. Hope you like it.

    Speaking of screwing up my email, I have a backlog of messages I haven't read that goes back to February. So if you've written to me and didn't get a response, it's not because I'm a douchebag. Well, I am, but the reason you didn't get a response was because I'm a dumbass. Apologies to everyone whose high fives I've kept hanging.

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    Diet Coke + Mentos + gorilla suit

    Apropos of nothing, here's a video of an experiment my friend Guy participated in. He's the one who doesn't, how shall we put this politely, quite get to the climax. Enjoy.

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    Yes, you would be correct

    (Pants has the shorter, less self-indulgent version of the event)

    You're probably wondering, "Is that Bret Michaels of Poison up on that screen? Did you see Poison in concert? In middle of New Jersey?"

    Yes, yes yes.

    And now you're wondering, "Is he singing 'Something To Believe In' or 'Every Rose Has Its Thorn'?"

    I'm pretty sure it's the former. But before we flashback to Sunday evening, let's go all the way back to 1990, when yours truly arrived in this country. Up until then, I really wasn't into music or movies or whatever forms of entertainment that required electricity. But after I arrived in the States, I was armed with a boom box and MTV, and dove head first and knee deep into the muck of the low arts.

    In 1990/91, if you were a very impressionable boy in his formative years looking for direction, there were two Poisons - the one that taught you about the dangers of a big butt and a smile, and the effeminate hair metal band. I embraced them both. The great thing about Poison the band was that it scared the shit out of my mother, what with the loud guitars, the hair, the wagging tongues and the tattoo cover art of Flesh and Blood (young readerrs may not know this, but there was a time when only degenerates had tattoos, and nice boys and girls didn't have tribal arm bands or tramp stamps). I didn't know what an unskinny bop was, and I didn't care.

    My hair metal phase didn't last long. Eventually, my friends lent me Public Enemy and A Tribe Called Quest CDs and I haven't looked back. Plus, black people scared my mother more than loud white people. Metal was swiftly discarded in favor for the minivan pumping (no lie - when my friend Kevin got his driver's license, he inherited his mom's white Oldsmobile Silhouette, which he outfitted with a ghetto-certified sub-woofer. Our private school classmates didn't know quite what to make of it).

    Still, I look back fondly on the screechy guitars and the screechier yet vocals of yore. That doesn't mean I want to go back to it the same way I wish McDonald's would bring back the fried apple pies. But like awful first kisses and teenage poetry, heavy metal was a part of me, however small. I'm not proud of it, but that was who I was.

    Fast forward to Sunday afternoon. I was contemplating staying in bed all day after a Friday night that was more action packed than I had initially remembered (oh, the memories that come back when you upload photos from your digicam) and a Saturday crawling (figuratively speaking) through Williamsburg. Monkeypants called me up, asking me if I wanted to go see Poison and Cinderella in the middle of nowhere in New Jersey.

    I hesitated. "Hey, if you can't get rid of the tickets, let me know," I responded.

    I was tired. I had to work early Monday. The concert was in New Jersey. These were bands I hadn't listened to intentionally in 14 years. The concert was in New Jersey. But something in my heart kept saying "Go go go!"

    "Fuck it, I'll go."

    After an hour train ride through scenic New Jersey and catching the shuttle bus (an old school bus painted white) we arrived at the PNC Bank Arts Center. The concert had already started (we seriously misjudged the travel time) and Cinderella was on stage.

    It was quite a fucking scene. Really, every time I leave New York, I'm reminded how removed it is from the rest of the country, for better or worse. And I hate to sound like the elitist provincial liberal New Yorker that I am, but I need the cultural shock of stepping off the island and going someplace

    Mullets and fake boobery were everywhere. And oh, the smell, the mix of urine, beer, sweat and miscellaneous New Jersey smell. But most of all, the place was seriously rocking. Fathers and sons, middle aged couples, kids who aren't old enough to remember Poison's last hit were rocking out, pumping fists and singing along. Serious rock and roll. I loved it.

    Pants pretty much has the bases covered but I'll just say that Bret Michaels sounded great, C.C. is just C.C., and they were absolute professionals about putting on a show.

    I would post a video of "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" but I found out that the video on my digicam is useless because all you hear is noise. So all I can offer you are still images.

    Three things you need to know about Snakes On A Plane

    1. You can get snakes on your phone. This is simply amazing. I've sent this to everyone I know over the past week. Which is like, five people, including my mom and dad.

    2. Cee-Lo's "Ophidophobia" (mp3) off the Snakes On A Plane soundtrack is the most horrible, yet irrisitable song you will hear all summer. Which will probably be an apt description for the movie too. The hook is just horritastic.

    3. Snakes On A Plane opens in less than 10 days.