Thursday, August 31, 2006

Half-Ass Liveblog of VMAs

I tuned in late, so here's my half-assed commentary.

Why do this? I left a googol of comments in Stereogum's page and figured I would just bring it to my blog instead.

10:02 - Ringtone of the year. Neo said some shit about the effort it takes to download someone's song. Yeah, real hard work. Fort Minor won, a bunch of girls waved their cell phones and my heart is sinking.

10:03 - Jay Z was executive producer for this shit? Imagine if he worked with Ratatat?

10:05 - Pete Wentz wears a cape and introduced Poser! at the Disco.

10:06 - Panic! lead singer is wearing a top hat. Pfft! How passe! Zoot suits are the new retro craze.

10:08 - I can't watch anymore of this bullshit. THAT'S why I call this a Half-Ass Liveblog of the VMAs.

Andrew Dice Clay and VH-1 Went up the Hill, Both with a Buck and a Quarter

According to the Best Week Ever blog, Andrew Dice Clay will have his own reality show. Because we don't have enough eighties has-beens with their own reality shows.

Cameras will follow Clay around to various comedy clubs as he tries to regain some of the status and edge that made him a cult figure in the 1980’s, as well as footage from his rocky homelife. Leather jacket and Dep styling gel enthusiasts have never been more jazzed.

As well as footage from his rocky homelife? This is a guy who made jokes about smacking women. Talk about understatement. That's like saying you have candid footage of Jim Jones's Kool-Aid loving cult following. Of course I will watch, but only because I love all shows about stand-up. Still, nothing will beat the old days. Call me cynical, but I find the audiences in this Dice clip a quintillion times funnier than Dice himself (stand-up starts at 2:41).

(courtesy of eminem4evr)

Poser! at the Disco

Remember that cute little essay I had on how punk is a 30 year old creep that seduces teens on MySpace? Well, you might be able to pull off mallpunk emo bullshit in the US, but you better wear riot gear in Great Britain.

See, punk was invented in America but nobody loves punk rock more than the Brits. So when a punk rock hooligan throws a bottle at your arm, what punk rock thing do you do?

a) eat the glass and spit it back at the hooligan, saying "Fook" in a fake British accent
b) say "Dude, don't fuckin do that again"
c) give some hipster speech on how gutter punk bullshit is dead
d) fall to the ground holding your face and cry

Take a wild guess what Panic!'s lead singer did at the Reading festival?(story via Stereogum)

UPDATE: Some say he might have got hit in the eye. Oh well, serves you right for calling yourself a punk band. That's like being a gangsta rapper and saying you don't want beef.

Remembrance of Videos Past #9: Prince, "Batdance"

What you don't know about 1989 unless you lived during it is how big the Batman motion picture was. The poster simply had the Batman symbol and the release date. Just like there was a comedy boom in the '80's, there was a boom of direct market comic stores in the late '80's. In the months preceding the Batman film, everyone went to comic stores. Scott Jarzombek the 12-year old rock snob in my seventh grade class sneered at Batman and recommended V for Vendetta, which I read in comic book form and liked.

While I was waiting for the film - while we all were waiting for the film - even Scott, who came out of the closet and admitted he wanted to see Batman - we had Prince's "Batdance."

In 1989, Prince was a has-been. Nobody appreciated his virtuosity and virtually none of the college rock kids would come to his defense. Scott sure didn't. I'm not even sure if "Batdance" is a great song. It was more of a rhythmic six minute trailer for the movie. Only one other person - who was also named Prince (Prince Paul)- would fit so many samples into a song. For the first time you could quote the movie before you saw it.

At the beginning, I thought he said "Shut the fuck up" (he says "Get the funk up"). There is one beginning, one end, and a quadrillion middles to this song. One second it's a slinky r&b tune, next second there's a proto-house bass line.

I ended up liking the movie in the theater, though I only saw it once again after its release. Perhaps it didn't live up to the hype. Nothing can live up to hype like this.

(courtesy of babel17a)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Remembrance of Videos Past #8: Lou Reed, "Dirty Boulevard"

1989 was the year of the sad song for me. I had this crush on Lisa Hanley. When I went home one day, I heard the Cowboy Junkies' "Sweet Jane" on VH-1, buried my head in the throw pillows on the living room couch and pined for Lisa.

I found out that "Sweet Jane" was a cover of a Lou Reed song. I though to myself "Lou Reed? The guy who sang the theme song to the movie "Soul Man" with that black guy?" Knowing that this was the man who wrote "Sweet Jane," when I saw "Dirty Boulevard" on VH-1 I stopped. To this day, the lyrics to this song hold my attention more than any song ever will.

On my way back from my step-grandfather's funeral, I bought three albums from Record World: Boston, The Best of the Youngbloods and Lou Reed's New York . If I had mixed all those music styles together and made an album, I would have recorded Nevermind two years before its release.

What amazes me about this video is how timeless it is. Of all the music videos on this blog, none of them looks or sounds more current than this one. Most miraculous of all is that the street toughs don't look dated. No sideways baseball caps, no switchblade knife musicals. Just a young boy named Pedro looking at the sky with hope.

The "fly fly away" coda is the best ending to a song I have ever heard. Simultaneously hopeful and resigned, it represents the current New York post 9/11 climate better than Bruce Springsteen can ever hope to.

Thank you, Milinkito, for sharing this New York tone poem with the rest of the world.

Beyond Twee and Tough

From the Village Voice:

He was infinitely better at the whole deadpan awkward surrealist childlike thing, primarily because he was an actual child.

"The whole deadpan awkward surrealist childlike thing" has become an alternative comedy trope that threatens to destroy alternative comedy the way minor chords and morbid vocals turned the gold of Alice in Chains into the shit of Godsmack. Granted, virtually all of the established names in alternative comedy have been doing twee surrealism before it became popular. But many of the newcomers (whose names I won't mention until they get their own Comedy Central specials) are doing the '80's pop surrealism thing to the point where you wonder when alternative comedy will become stoner frat boy comedy. The Village Voice writer says that this style is ok with literature and humor, but not with music. I disagree. It's one thing to put a song on repeat; another thing to put a joke on repeat.

What's the alternative to alternative?

The city’s taste is coarsening, however. Although the more liberal world of alternative comedy is also flourishing, and less vulgar acts like Janeane Garofalo are doing fine, the ones with open invites to headline practically anywhere in town, and at these new clubs, are trash-talking stand-ups. Like Nick Di Paolo, a grinning bully with a thick Boston accent and a penchant for vicious swipes at political correctness.

So in a few years, we can expect only two choices in stand-up: an hour and a half of precious non-sequiturs or two hours of in-your-face racist, woman hating bile.

Granted, this is not only happening in comedy. Cutesy geek chic has reached new levels. Now there is an avant-nerd movement. Of course I find this annoying, but what's the other choice? Tough guy culture? Surely nobody would be proud of being a nerd except for the fact that there's an even bigger meathead culture that watches "Entourage," laughs at Dane Cook and buys Maxim with Axe body spray at the local 7-11.

So here's a list of people who transcend twee and tough. I salute their refusal to fit into the arbitrary high school classifications of nerds and jocks. For not conforming to any school, I call them the dropouts.


David Cross
Janeane Garofalo
Louis CK
Todd Barry
Jon Stewart


Hold Steady
The Futureheads
The Rakes
Tokyo Police Club
White Stripes

Whatever dude I've got work to do. Add to this in the comments.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Remembrance of Videos Past #7: Samantha Fox, "I Wanna Have Some Fun"

In 1989, Samantha Fox had her biggest single in the US charts with "I Wanna Have Some Fun," which made the top ten.

See, I don't hate Nelly Furtado's "Promiscous" or Christina Aguilera's "Dirty" because they are necessarily terrible songs. Rather, Samantha Fox beat them to the punch with the first top ten hip-hop/pop hybrid. Full Force's back-up vocals and production only gets better with age.

This song was everywhere in 1989. MTV and VH-1 played it all day. Radio played it every hour. All the kids in my seventh grade class loved it. Samantha Fox nudie posters were sold alongside Iron Maiden posters in metal magazines like Hit Parader.

When I took my last trip to Egypt (I am Egyptian) at age thirteen in 1989, they had this song on the airplane music itinerary. When I landed and met my cousin Hussain, he and his friend loved Samantha Fox's "Naughty Girls Need Love Too." Egypt, America and England loved Samantha Fox.

Though I would love to be facile and call this a guilty pleasure, truth is it is a great song that was way ahead of its time. Besides being the first hip-pop hit, it was also on Jive Records, the label that would be home to Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears a few years later. Go ahead, try to play this at a backpacker party or a hipster dance party and not see everyone go apeshit.

The video was softcore porn for those who couldn't get Playboy or Showtime. For those who liked women, there was Samantha Fox. Hetero women and gay men could look at the shirtless male or all the other gay dancers in this video. Those who had thug passion could look at Full Force.

Enough writing; I wanna have some fun.

(courtesy of ipodlounger921)

Monday, August 28, 2006

Remembrance of Videos Past #6: Hugh Cornwell, "Another Kind of Love"

Back when MTV played videos, they had a feature called "Breakthrough Video." These were idiosyncratic, surreal short films that pushed the envelope. Sometimes, the songs weren't so great, but the videos were spectacular. Hugh Cornwell's (or shall we say Jan Svankmajer's [the director])"Another Kind of Love" was one of those videos.

Hugh Cornwell, former singer and guitarist for punk/new wave band The Stranglers, is the singer/songwriter of this mediocre non-hit that time forgot. "Another Kind of Love" was one of those singles that only made sense on MTV. The surreal claymation held my attention. It was like Pee Wee's Playhouse with boobies.

I don't even remember liking the video. I simply couldn't look away. Then and now, I still can't figure it out, though one guy thinks he can . All I can discuss is what I observe. This guy and girl are formed of clay. The lady craps newspapers out of her head and Hugh Cornwell cowers in fear - perhaps the newspapers are right-wing tabloids? Then she melts into nothing and a clay bust of Hugh Cornwell transforms into a wolf-pig, then a formless lump of clay. The lady reappears because conservatives love people who are easy to mold. At the end they hook up and the crumpled right-wing newspapers march all over the floor, presumably because of all the immoral Claymation sex in this video.

Try looking at Play-Do without a pang of lust after this video.

(courtesy of sanslatete)

The End of the Star Era

According to this NY Times article, Sumner Redstone's decision to fire Tom Cruise was a smart decision because he was too expensive.

Amen. Though IP democracy says this indicates the end of the star power in Hollywood, I would add that the nature of celebrity has changed. Or, rather, it has come full circle.

In the vaudeville era, people were famous for amazing feats. Vaudeville was a respectable talent show that adults went to see. Nowadays, on YouTube and on television shows like "America's Got Talent," people are famous for their virtuosity, not their smile. Indeed, some of the YouTube stars' faces aren't visible on camera. Funtwo hardly looks up while he plays guitar. The #1 video on YouTube currently has a magician performing a card trick without showing his face.

With that in mind, I would like to perform an amazing comedy stunt without showing my face.

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Ho ho.
Ho ho who?
See, I made you laugh before the punchline.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Remembrance of Videos Past #5 (Part III of the Scott Trilogy)

Scott Jarzombek, the first rock snob I met (1988, when I was 12 years old), hated my taste in REM videos, but praised me for liking They Might Be Giants.

In 1989, Scott introduced me to a band. This was the first time an indie dude introduced me to a band. A song like this can be heard in malls throughout Long Island nowadays, but back then this was punk as fuck. I'm of course talking about "Punk Rock Girl" from the Dead Milkmen.

"Punk Rock Girl" was pop punk that was actually punk. It was also hilarious. During the first eleven seconds, you see what looks like a band member in the background reading a newspaper while the rest of the band is playing. And the name-dropping preceded MC Paul Barman by over 15 years.

References include:

* Philadelphia clothing store Zipperhead
* country comedienne Minnie Pearl
* The Beach Boys' cover of "California Dreamin'"
* Duke of Earl

And the most indie snob couplet I have ever heard in a rock song to date:

"You don't got Mojo Nixon
And your store could use some fixin'"

That particular couplet stuck with me for a while because I had no idea who Mojo Nixon was, so perhaps I could use some fixin'. Scott introduced me to The Dead Milkmen and The Dead Milkmen introduced me to Mojo Nixon.

There was no World Wide Web in 1989, so I relied on Rock and Roll comics to tell me who Mojo Nixon was. Rock and Roll comics were unauthorized comic book biographies of rock bands. The first issue was on Guns N' Roses. I lost that issue in a basement flood three years ago. GN'R's lawyer threatened to sue the publisher Todd Loren. No lawsuit happened. Mojo Nixon was the only supporter of Rock and Roll Comics; he loved the issue that covered him. That issue was impossible to find, so that's all I knew about Mojo. I found out more about him today.

On a sad note, publisher Todd Loren was murdered in 1992.

Mojo Nixon now hosts a political talk show called Lying Cocksuckers on Sirius.
Dead Milkmen broke up in 1995.

Scott became a librarian in Albany who plays in a punk/metal band called Burning Bridges.

I'm writing this blog post and still haven't married my punk rock girl.

(courtesy of Klause)

Improv Everywhere Strikes Home Depot

Charlie Todd and his improv agents strike NYC again. The mission: the agents have to walk slow and eventually stand still in a Home Depot.

From the website:

One thing we had not anticipated was that most people normally shop a pretty slow pace. Because of this, the slow motion phase was very subtle; you had to look close to notice something out of the ordinary was going on. It was difficult at times to tell who was in on the mission and who was not. It was only the large gestures like picking up a product or taking a sip of a drink that were obviously unusual.

So most people are slow-motion zombies when they shop at Home Depot, so much so that you can't tell who's walking in slow-motion as a prank and who's just shopping for a cordless drill. And these are New York shoppers. This might be the saddest prank in recorded history.

(via YesButNoButYes)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Old Media's Stupid Take on Race and MySpace

Race: Yes, they are going to make a Survivor season in which different races compete against each other. Because minorities don't compete against white people for money and prestige enough. Maybe as The Assimilated Negro says, the one who assimilates best will win. Imagine a bunch of hot white chicks gossiping about a bearded A-rab (full disclosure: I'm a dune coon).

MySpace: In a bid to outdo Viacom's (which owns CBS) recent plunge into coprophagic, bib-wearing stupidity, NewsCorp (which owns MySpace) allowed Tom to even consider partnering with Nylon and publishing a MySpace magazine. Here's what you should expect if MySpace magazine gets published:

* comments underneath the advertisements ("Thanks for the ad!")
* ghastly page layouts akin to the cringe-inducing wallpapers on MySpace profiles
* shirtless meatheads "interviewing" Tila Tequila by quoting "Anchorman" lines ("I want to be on you")
* Dane Cook taking comedy to the next level by verbally describing his act, which consists solely of jerky arm movements
* Unsigned emo-metal bands stapling their demos to each MySpace page

Remembrance of Videos Past #4 (Part II of the Scott Trilogy)

Scott Jarzombek might have scoffed at my choice of REM's "Orange Crush," but he high-fived me for knowing who They Might Be Giants were. I abhorred "Don't Let's Start," but "Ana Ng" was everything I loved about rock at the time: power chords, great melodies and confusing lyrics. "Orange Crush" at least seemed to be about Vietnam. As soon as the lead singer said "perpindicular" in this song I felt stupid.

Indeed, the beauty of saying you liked They Might Be Giants at age twelve was that people assumed you were smart as a result. "Ana Ng" was Finnegan's Wake 120 Minutes style. If you haven't heard this song yet, I envy you. What a thrill when I finally heard John Linnel pronounce "Ng." Hearing a word without vowels is the next best thing to seeing a brand new color.

Trying to figure out this song's meaning is as silly as trying to read the string of words during the chorus. Now, just like in 1988, my body spastically rocks back and forth and I play air drums.

Just play this college rock classic and get your geek on.

(courtesy of ixamaxi)

Infinite Comedy Albums?

Wired magazine on Beck's "infinite" album

Release a traditional 13-track CD? No thanks, says Beck. Instead he puts out a cycle of songs, remixes and videos that fans can string together any way they want.

What an ingenious, original concept. Could this be done with comedy albums? I've been inspired to try looking at my jokes as strings of thoughts that can be infinitely remixed, kind of like cut-ups. Here's one example:

My second grade teacher put me in the corner because when asked to use the word "weather" in a sentence, I said "The weather was sexy." So anyway, I'm pretty sure if most of you had the choice between wiping out whole populations in the name of God or just destroying someone who bothers you like the Satanists would, you would choose the latter.

I don't know, maybe my fans should remix my material instead.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Remembrance of Videos Past #3

I met my first rock snob when I was 12 years old. Scott Jarzombek was the most popular kid in my seventh grade class. All the girls loved him except his cousin. While Poison and Bon Jovi were popular, he turned girls on to The Clash, Sex Pistols, Ramones and Butthole Surfers. Remember, this was before Nirvana or Green Day became big.

What was I to do? I loved Def Leppard and here was Scott making fun of the one-armed drummer. I desperately needed to be hip. I vaguely remembered him saying he liked REM.

Hence I watched "Orange Crush" religously. It seemed important; I still don't know what Michael Stipe is saying, but I assume he's talking about Agent Orange and Vietnam. I assumed that back then as well. What I did know was that the video was black and white and there was a lot of dirt and wood.

When I told Scott about the video, he scoffed and said he hated that song. Then he murmurred something about how old REM was better. This prepared me for years of eye rolling from indie snobs who hate Flaming Lips and The Shins. I still stand by "Orange Crush" though. It's got an eerie guitar riff and soaring harmonies.

By the way Scott, this counts as old REM now.

(courtesy of oelectricmayhemo)


One more reason to hate Dane Cook: his sex scene with Jessica Alba in the upcoming motion picture "Formulaic Test-Marketed Comercial and Artistic Failure" caused her to lose a tooth.
Despite such an embarassing admission, I am skeptical of the cause. His name is Dane Cook, so maybe the last name is a nickname and they were cooking up some coke in the trailer together. After all, she must be on crack if she's so clueless about how "Good Luck, Chuck" is a potential career killer.

Here are some other possible reasons why Alba lost the tooth:

* he got a steel wang after losing his in a "swordfight" with Robert Kelly on "Tourgasm"

* they kept banging their heads against cinder blocks until one of them stopped saying "dude"

* he cooked a rubber chicken for her as a prank

* he wanted to use the tooth as a horn for his model unicorn

* Jessica Simpson wouldn't give him any and he took it out on the wrong Jessica

* he was building a celebrity tooth necklace

* because Dane Crook is a fucking spaz

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Remembrance of Videos Past #2

For the longest time, I thought "Welcome to the Jungle" was a fake rock and roll parody meant to be played in a Clint Eastwood movie. Indeed, I thought Jim Carrey sang the song.

In the trailer for the 1988 Dirty Harry film "The Dead Pool," "Welcome to the Jungle" is playing in the background. One of the scenes shows the singer: Jim Carrey lip synching the song with this huge spiky magenta wig. For whatever reason, I always preferred Jim Carrey's interpretive dance to Axl Rose's relatively lazy methed-up moonwalk.

I couldn't find the trailer, but thanks to Helvetet I found the next best thing: scenes from the movie. One of them has the Jim Carrey interpretation. The other two have Gn'R members as extras. The song ends halfway through the video, so you could skip the rest if you'd like, but you would miss Slash firing a harpoon.

Why the SoaP Song is Better Than the Movie

"Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)" is a guilty pleasure, no doubt. Only the most whitebread, Spencer's-shopping skateboard riding mall trash would admit without a modicum of guilt that they enjoy listening to such corny emo funk.

But that's precisely why the song is better than the movie: the overwrought, over-the-top sentimentality. Without the "kiss me goodbye" chorus and those silly disco synth-strings at the beginning, the song would be your everyday cheesy alterna-crap single that inexplicably tops Modern Rock singles charts.

But Cobra Starship has ended up being the band that is so bad, they're good.

Here I was expecting "Snakes on a Plane" to be a campy, silly film. Instead, it was an awful (in a non-ironic way) action film. Indeed, it was another dumb summer action blockbuster. Usually, I avoid such corporate dreck. But I was the idiot for thinking that this would be Rocky Horror 2.0.

Of course this movie has its moments. But even those moments are basic comic relief which any action movie has. They were meant to be funny. I would love to tell you the few ironically funny moments, but I don't want to ruin them for you in case you do see it.

"SoaP(Bring It)" is the exact opposite. Not since "Ghostbusters" has a pop song been used solely as a commercial for a summer film. It's a good thing the song is mallpunk fluff; twenty years down the road, we will be laughing at this genre, not indie pop or post-punk.

Come to think of it, even the "ooh I'm ready for it" bridge is brilliant. "Ooh I'm ready for it" encapsulates what the movie couldn't: the hype itself. Cobra Starship might be the world's most famous male cheerleaders.

Sure the song sucks, but that's exactly what you need after a snake bites.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Introducing...Remembrance of Videos Past

Remembrance of Videos Past is my new daily feature on this blog. After Stereogum put up the "Give Peace a Chance" video and called it "Video Flashback," I was going to use that title. Nevertheless, in case they use that title again in the future, I went the more pretentious route and decided to make a lame Marcel Proust reference.

In Remembrance of Things Past, the protagonist eats a madeleine and remembers things. That's all I know about the book. These videos bring back personal memories.

Each video segment will have a personal anecdote. I will not post videos that came out less than ten years ago.

Here is the inaugural video: AC/DC, "Who Made Who"

I moved to the suburbs from Queens with my mom and my grandma when I was 10. When we got cable for the first time I was excited. At the time I loved pop music (Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson). But when I turned on MTV the first day, I saw these robot popes making this guy with a prep school uniform. At some point the robot synod convenes around the surgery table, a bolt of lightning strikes their creation and voila-an army of prep school guitarists. It's like these robo-popes were making their own Catholic school of rock and roll.

If you want ten year olds to love your band, put robots and lightning bolts whenever and however you can into your video. Oh and at 1:43, Angus Young makes this awesome jump from this Grand Guignol ledge with not one, not two, but four lightning bolts striking him.

Later on, I would love rock bands like Guns N Roses, Metallica, Ramones, Nirvana, Pavement, Cornershop, Flaming Lips, White Stripes, Islands. But for the year of 1986, no one was better than AC/DC. They popped my rock and roll cherry and I have now been a rock fanatic for twenty years.

(courtesy of Halford0484)

Friday, August 18, 2006

For Your Ironic Consideration: The Original Anti-Iraq War Music Video

Hey it's part of the zeitgeist to be anti-war. It's also trendy to be ironic. How, but how, do you make an ironic anti-war statement?

It has something to do with Al Jarreau, Sebastian Bach and MC Hammer.

(courtesy of woodenshipsjp)
Yes, you just saw Michael McDonald and Iggy fucking Pop in the same music video.

Update: Stereogum linked to me again. Thank you. And, in case you don't know who Stereogum is (I've been assuming you do) it's an awesome indie rock blog. What sets it apart is its attention to pop minutiae.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bateman 365 is up to 365

Yes, Scott Bateman released his last flash animation today after releasing one every day for 365 days. His last animation is an awesome end credits sequence.

But just because he stopped there doesn't mean you have to. Here are some great comedy/music cartoons from the past year.


Mike O'Connel

The stand-up page has more famous comedians like Eugene Mirman and Michael Showalter, but this Michael O'Connel cartoon poem has an demented, go-for-broke zaniness that sets it apart from the rest. Mike O'Connel is the Tex Avery of poetry.

Reggie Watts

Let Eugene Mirman explain:

"Amazing and unlike anything you have ever seen. Unless you have seen a comedic stream of conscious operatic beat-boxing marvel. Then it's like that."—Eugene Mirman (from Reggie Watts website)


Yo La Tengo cover "Tighten Up"

Ted Leo covers "Maps"

I can only imagine what that Bateman will do next.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Hot New Zombies vs. Aliens Single

I don't usually post mp3s, but here's the new Zombies vs. Aliens track. It's a little derivative but it still rocks.

Friday, August 11, 2006

"Last Comic Standing" Needs Judges

After seeing Josh Blue's (a victim of cerebral palsy) victory on "Last Comic Standing," I am convinced that the show should have judges. At the beginning of each season, they have auditions with talent scouts.

During the early elimination rounds, they have celebrity judges

For the rest of the season, only the audience decides

This isn't a big deal, but I am disturbed that the magicians on "America's Got Talent" get more criticism than these comics. Yes, I despise "American Idol," but Randy and Simon's criticism help the artist develop; plus they give criticisms that the audience can never give. Randy calls many acts contrived. Simon bluntly tells a contestant that he is bored.

Criticism is precisely what Josh Blue needs. I cannot say with certainty that he rode the pity vote to victory, but I can say that nothing could be crueler than coddling him. Of course the world of stand-up is daunting enough by itself, but the road to stardom is infinitely more cutthroat.

What if someone in the future tells him that he does too much material on CP (my criticism)? Will he listen? Or will he scoff and say "You didn't win LCS?" Who's gonna tour with him? He's not hip enough for the alternative scene; he's not mean enough for the New York club comedy scene. What TV/movie roles will he get; whatever part he gets will inevitably seem exploitative.

Perhaps if he focused on other topics he could broaden his prospects. A CP musical act could potentially rock a UCB crowd. Some topical jokes could land him a Daily Show gig.

Ty Barnett, the second place comic, should have won. He was funnier, the audience laughed harder and he touched on different topics (DVDs, seat belts). He could have done black jokes for his whole set, but that would have been too cheap.

A judge would have pointed all these things out for the simple reason that a judge is experienced enough to give unflinchingly honest advice. TV audiences (in this country at least) seem to prefer making moral choices to aesthetic ones. The black Muslim on "Big Brother"'s first season was interesting, but because he was mean, viewers voted him off. One by one housemates were weeded out until only the blandest survived.

Forgive me for sounding callous, but that's LCS's problem; the tepid, inoffensive, self-deprecating acts rise to the top. Vietnamese winner Dat Phan tells Asian jokes; Josh Blue tells cripple jokes. I would love to see an episode where Simon Cowell tells Josh Blue "I was bored; how many CP jokes can you tell? Oh, and the Gabriel jokes are getting old. Sorry, but you have to do better than that." I would also enjoy the subsequent torrent of boos raining on Simon's ears.

But there are no judges on the show. I suppose the next best thing would be to judge me for watching this shit. But do it silently please.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hot Rock Genres

Let me break them down from biggest to smallest on Billboard:

Soft Cock Rock

In the '80's, metal bands had power ballads for those intimate moments. But those guys were all painted fops. We are now blessed with sensitive, bearded neo-grunge titans. Chad Kroeger, Nickelback's lead singer, goes back to high school in "Photograph," a masterwork of jock nostalgia.

How did our eyes get so red
And what the hell is on Joey's head

See, it's still cock rock because of the dude-ish sentiments, but because it happened in the past, it has that rose-colored hue. Let's try that with bullying:

Do you remember Ahmed Brown?
How we pulled his pants down?
And he really started to frown
When we broke his Velvet Underground?

Other examples of soft cock rock: Three Doors Down, Creed

Memo (Metal plus Emo)

Yeah yeah yeah, you're gonna kill yourself. Suuuuuure. What, you're slitting your wrists? Oooh, I'm gonna tell.

OK, what's this AFI I hear of? They sound metal. And we all know only three things happen when you listen to metal: you commit suicide; you shoot up your school; or you prepare a goat cheese fondue for the Annual Satanist Cook-Off. But Satanism is sooo passe and this song is too emo to make you pick up a gun. Unless, you use it on yourself. OMG, you're really gonna do it. Shit, I'm gonna break out the noose and stool. This bullshit is #1 on the modern rock charts.

Examples: AFI, Avenged Sevenfold

Aged Alterna-Beefcake

What's with all these lithe twerps? What happened to the bronze alterna-gods of yesteryear? Remember Anthony Keidis?

God, he was so funny with that tube sock on his cock. Hey, that rhymes. Cock sock. Tee-hee. What? They play music? Oh, I bought these CDs thinking they were plastic credits that I kept purchasing until Anthony Keidis removed all his socks. What? I'm not gay! I just want to embarrass him. Umm, I don't know why I didn't say anything about Flea. Whatever, I love this music anyway. It's fun-kay. And Audioslave kicks so much ass, they could kickstart the ass. Hey, that would be a great Audioslave album, "Kickstart My Ass." Oh wait, Motley Crue already did that.

Examples: RHCP, Audioslave

Hitster Rock

By day I work as a CPA, by night I'm a super-hipster, or a hitster. Garden State soundtrack? Too obscure for me. Give me The Killers and Jet everytime. Sorry, I couldn't hear you; did you call me a poser? I was too busy buttfucking your suicide girl-friend here. Haha, you thought she liked guys who listen to bands like Love and Silversun Pickups? Hahahahaha! That's why they call us bad boys. The girls know they shouldn't like us, but once we throw them a PBR (cheap beer is not as much of an acquired taste as you think it is, chief) with our prehensile dicks, well let's just say they file us in the "guilty pleasures" category with The Killers and Jet. Oh, I'm supposed to be talking about music? I'm fucking this alterna-skirt so hard, I can't hear the music. But music is meant to be in the background not the foreground, right art major?

Example: The Killers, Jet, Wolfmother, The Bravery

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Love is Everywhere

I was introduced to Love in 1998 when I saw Bottle Rocket. I never hated people who listen to Disturbed - many of them are my friends. But when I hear that bullshit I can't help but roll my eyes. Why? Because none of these people have heard of Love.

Well it's my fault not theirs. Instead of crawling into my cave of exaggerated superiority, I should have introduced them to Love.

Fortunately, I introduced my friends to their music. And they all loved "Alone Again Or." But it wasn't enough. Nowhere near enough people recognized Love.

Yet their influence is everywhere. Arthur Lee, the first black hippie, was a predecessor to Danger Mouse, the first black hipster. Seriously, nothing is creepier than Gnarles Barkley's (a psychedelic black hipster band) newfound fame occuring the very same year Arthur Lee died. It's as if Lee found a host in Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse before passing on. But without Gnarles, Deltron, The Shins, Wilco, we would still appreciate Love's legacy.

And let's get back to that black hippie thing. Arthut Lee was black at a difficult time in American history. We can crack wise about him not being black enough, but the truth is rock and roll is black. Besides, even if he was "white," so what? What's wrong with black people appropriating white culture? Outkast did it with "Hey Ya." Gnarles Barkley is doing it now with "Gone Daddy Gone." People like Arthur Lee came from both worlds but belonged to neither. Hopefully, we will remember him as an unsung hero not as a footnote to the '60's rock scene.

Yes Arthur Lee passed on last week, but it will never be too late to remember him.

Thanks to Stereogum, I found this incredible video. Try hippie-hating now, you poser mall punk. RIP, Arthur Lee.

Asian Atheist Porn Star Comedy Hour

I love Asian porn stars. I also love atheist jokes. For years I have wasted precious time listening to David Cross for the latter and then going to asianthumbs for the former.

The wait is over. Now there is Asia Carerra's atheist joke page, with some real cock - I mean knee slappers.

Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day.
Give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish

God said, "Let there be light."
Nothing happened for a few moments.
Then God said, "Who the heck am I talking to?"

On the 6th day, God created Man. On the 7th day, Man returned the favor

That's right, when she's not using that tongue to bring Kyla Kleavage to climax, she's using it to goof on God. Look for her upcoming comedy DVD in the Adult Apostasy section.

Comedy Lasers

That's the only thing missing from this highlarious (yeah, I said it, highlarious) video of comedy special effects from my pal, RG Daniels. That's right, comedy special effects. RG has taken the vlog to Spielberg/Lucas territory now. So roll that blunt and get ready for some lysergic, demented solo sketches.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Kind of Confessions I Like

I like confessions in which people admit to grave crimes. Like if Bush confessed to being a war criminal, that would be great.

Unfortunately, people usually confess about guilty pleasures.

Like Cibbuano does. He confesses to watching Friends.

Liking Friends isn't something to be proud of nor ashamed. I would never confess to watching Friends. No, I don't like Friends.

Well I do like the episode where Chandler does Joey's girlfriend. And the one with the monkey. And... uh, this discussion is over.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

White Stripes Ripped Off Slipknot

Here's the proof

courtesy of rawrpickles

UPDATE: Scott from Sterogum knows a good joke when he sees one. He put this video on his blog after I e-mailed it to him. Thank you again scott.

Previous Stereogum love

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Orlando's Shining Contribution

I was skeptical about Orlando's cultural capital. Forgot about Mike Dobbins. Originally from Orlando, Mike Dobbins is a true impov comic. He's like Andrew WK on meth and crack.

He's playing the Cut Out Bin show at Village Lantern with Dave Hill, Andreww Wright, Sean O'Connor and Robert Buscemi. Go check out Orlando's only true artist.