Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I recently had a nightmare a few weeks ago that Barry Manilow made a comeback. I woke up in a cold sweat and asked my girlfriend if Barry Maniblow had recently made a comeback. She gave me a puzzled look and said "No baby, go back to sleep." I figured all was well and Manilow's success symbolized a repressed desire for my mother's death.

Now I hear that Barry Manilow's "The Greatest Songs Of The Sixties" will be released today on Halloween? And that it might top the charts? Must I rely on the power of prayer to prevent this tragedy from clouding up my crystal ball?

Stephen Colbert had a frightening premonition of Manilow's success as well.

The dark prince's return may be upon us.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Killers: Red State Hipsters?

Just finished reading this great HuffPo article on the latent conservatism of The Killers (via Fluxblog).

Flowers is coming close to being Toby Keith in mascara, but I doubt he'll be singing about putting a Chelsea boot in anyone's ass soon. Rather, what he's selling is much more insidious: jingoism disguised as patriotism disguised as rock and roll. If he were one lone commenter in a sea of forgettable rock bands, it would be easy to write him off as slightly cranky and bombastic, but this man is at the top of the charts and has a huge teenage fan base. Musicians like Flowers and his ilk hold a tremendous amount of sway over their young followers.

Could this be the reason why Clear Channel-owned broadcast radio stations have promoted this band heavily but not Franz Ferdinand, a band The Killers have blatantly ripped off? On the blogosphere we know The Killers are crud because we can hear FranzFerd whenever we want to. But those who trust their car radios have been sheltered from leftie podcasts and mp3 blogs, exposed only to a GOP-friendly AM dial and "modern" rock stations that insidiously promote blind patriotism.

Only a conspiracy theory can explain the success of such a shitty band.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Japanese: Funny Without Trying

Maybe it's the Zen Buddhism, but Japanese are really funny without trying.

Por ejemplo, this Japanese sitcom about an American mannequin family (via sammyray)

Blogger Buzz Doesn't Mean Blockbuster Buzz

I said previously that the blogger buzz for Borat would yield similar results to the Soap phenomenon: blue-state bloggers' mouths (such as my own purty flycatcher) get frothy with excitement as red states that often don't get broadband internet access or even cable TV fail to see the hype.

Found this LA Times article (reg. required) via Dead Frog saying the following:

Surveys showed that moviegoers were largely unaware of "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," despite well-publicized stunts by its star, Sacha Baron Cohen. His hype endeavors included drawing a crowd of journalists to the White House gates where the British comedian, in character as Borat Sagdiyev, asked to deliver a screening invitation to "Premier George Walter Bush."

"Our research showed it was soft in awareness," said Bruce Snyder, Fox's distribution chief.

Yes, the buzz is at its weakest outside of the big cities.

Fox has had trouble selling "Borat" outside of the big cities and college towns where Cohen's brand of politically incorrect satire has gathered legions of fans.

It seems like a smart move on Fox's part. As I previously stated:

a) many people in non-broadband areas missed the Borat YouTube videos
b) many in those areas don't get cable TV and are thus unable to watch "Da Ali G Show" on HBO
c) perhaps the few in flyover country who do know about Borat are as offended by the film as the Kazakhs are

But the gossip about Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn did make the print newspapers and magazines all across America, which might explain why The Break Up is thus far the top-grossing comedy of '06.

I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think Borat will even beat Click on the list.

Casual Comedy II

In my previous casual comedy post I didn't define casual comedy.

Casual comedy is comedy that

a) requires less than ten minutes of your time (like a viral video)
b) (more importantly) that doesn't even seem to require much effort to be funny from the creators

It's really similar to casual games. Though video game/comedy nerds like myself buy console games like Dead Rising and watch comedy specials like "When the Leaves Blow", more and more webheads are playing casual games on Digg and watching (often unintentionally) funny videos on YouTube.

Videos like this creepy PS3 commercial.

With all this unintentionally funny stuff going around the office,will intentional comedy be obsolete? Not likely. The top YouTube comedy video of the week is the Let's Go to Prison trailer.

But there is a new brand of comedy that isn't self-aware and that wants to be anything but funny.

Aleksey Vayner wanted a job, not a spot at ASSSCAT.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Amateur Minute: The Bitmores

Since I don't get a torrential downpour of MySpace friend requests from bands, I have time to check out every single act that sends me music. Acts like Rhode Island's The Biltmores, who have self-released their debut album Same Story, Same Ending this past Friday.

"Weight of the World" (first song on their MySpace player) is a grunge song that isn't post-grunge. While Nickelhack and Greed use the standard Nirvana/Pearl Jam template for their songs, "Weight of the World" hearkens back to the unsung legends of the alternative nation like Screaming Trees and Dinosaur Jr. No wonder I'm not a music blogger: I can't sell it better than that. How about I rip off Amazon?

Listeners who like this also like:

Giant Drag

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Best Consolation Prize Ever

What did runner-up New York get on "Flavor of Love 2"? Well she didn't get Flav, but she got her own television show called "Flavorette."

Though this sounds awesome, I doubt it will be on the air for long. Indeed, I believe that the consolation prize of the future will be your own reality game show which will be cancelled after week two.

Sorry Mr. Jennings, the correct answer was "Who was Alexander Hamilton?" not "Who was Richard Benjamin?" But you are not going home empty handed. Next month you will have your own show called "The Bachelor VH-1 Style" where plus-sized burn victims vy for your affection.

via Cobain in a Coma

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Top YouTube Comedy Videos

The problem with tagging: if you don't tag your work properly, you won't be appropriately ranked. That's why I made the list of top comedian blogs myself: many comedians did not properly tag their blogs on Technorati, thus according to the engine I have a top ten comedian blog.

Well Borat and Dave Letterman didn't put comedy tags on their most viewed videos, thus this is the most-viewed comedy video of the day

If I ever smoke what that guy is smoking please stab me in the face.

Top-Rated: Spooky Bear

I have a love/hate relationship with this "wisdom of the crowds" thing. What is featured on YouTube's front page?

Top of YouTube Featured List: Olde English, "Ben Takes a Photo of Himself Every Day"

Now that's more like it.

Amateur Minute: Reluctant Redneck

Perhaps this video is big on Digg because it is liberal. Either way, I am glad that the red states have a voice on the web. Reluctant Redneck is an intelligent, soft-spoken man with a a Southern gentleman drawl. Oh and he reminds us all to get to the polls before we are forever remembered as a fascist state.

Enjoy this home-grown Keith Olberman (via Digg)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Steve-O's Most Dangerous Stunt Yet

Stand-Up Comedy

via BWE

New Feature: Amateur Minute

Since I have lost faith in "indie" purity and am more interested in the online amateur revolution, I have come up with Amateur Minute (as opposed to Amateur Hour. Ba-dum-bump).

Today on Amateur Minute, I present folk/pop band Mostly Sunny. Usually I add bands that give me friend requests on MySpace without looking at their profile. Lucky for these people, I just went through two days of deleting porn spam from my friend request inbox and was relieved to see only one this morning. From these guys. I strongly recommend listening to the last song on their MySpace Player, "Salty Waters." I can just imagine it during a heartbreaking moment on a TV show.

Play the song ("Salty Waters") in a different tab (you do have Firefox, don't you) and read this impromptu, ersatz script from a fictional teenage TV show called "Vanessa Venus."

Rogan: Hey.
Vanessa: Well, if it isn't Prince Charmin.
R: Look, I didn't-
V: Just stop. We're in senior year, Rogan. This is your life we're talking about.
R: It was Halloween. "Area Man Toilet Papers House on Halloween. Stop the Presses."
V: "Spineless Conformity." Ah, the smell of it.
R: Fine, I'm sorry.
V: No, I'm sorry. (sobs)
R: Want a tissue? (takes a piece of toilet paper off the bottom of his shoe)


Monday: Regina Spektor sings the "Little Boxes" theme for "Weeds" as well as the last song, "Ghost of Corporate Future."

Tuesday: "Veronica Mars" features Spektor's "Fidelity" at the end as well, during a tender moment between Logan and Veronica.

The outro slot of a show is prime real estate for musicians. It's the last song a person remembers hearing from the episode. For Spektor to score this twice two days in a row is phenomenal. Now that Regina has been heavily promoted on broadcast television ("Veronica Mars," "Grey's Anatomy," "CSI: New York") she can reach beyond the blue state blogger buzz and hit some red state ears.

Either way, I hope there is no backlash. Death Cab For Cutie and The Shins lost cred by having their music on "The OC" and Garden State respectively. If Spektor were considered Internet pop (Spektor, M.I.A. and The Hold Steady are huge in the blogosphere after all) instead of indie pop (Spektor is signed to Sire, which hopefully means we can hear more of her music on "Veronica Mars" [both Sire and "Veronica Mars belong to Warner Brothers]), perhaps this problem would vanish like Duncan Kane.


I am Spider Man (via Digg)

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

Green Lantern
The Flash
Wonder Woman
Iron Man
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ba-Dum-Bump This!

While I'm in my Bill Maher-ranting mode, let me give a stately decree banning written ba-dum-bumps forever. In meatspace, human organisms say ba-dum-bump when someone else tells a corny joke. More often than not I find that today's cybersquirts are writing it after every joke they write themselves. It's a knowing, winking gesture. A pusillanimous stab at anti-humor. As if not writing it means you are clueless about how grating your wordplay is.

"Bush has screwed more people than Clinton ever has. Ba-dum-bump!"

This is most common in circles where you are expected to be funny (comedy message boards, comments on comedian's blogs, anything reeking of elitist sophistication). I hate the New York Post more than Osama Bin Laden hates Bobby Brown, but even the editors know better than to add a fucking onomatopoeic rimshot at the end of their punny, soft headlines.

The only thing worse than an air drummer is a nervous text drummer. Grow a pair of gender-neutral gonads and stick with your material. No one can hear us not laugh in cyberspace.

Leave TV Theme Songs Alone

Looking up "Veronica Mars," I stumbled on a great blog called Silly Pipe Dreams. I thought I was the only one peeved with the remix to the "Veronica Mars" theme song. Captain Oats concurs. The "Weeds" theme song has been going through an annoying experiment as well. Each episode a new artist covers the Malvina Reynolds classic "Little Boxes." All of the renditions are abysmal. Even Elvis Costello's.

Doesn't seem like a big deal, tinkering with a TV theme song, right? Imagine the "Batman" theme on harmonica instead of guitar, or an emo "Fresh Prince of Bel Air." Now put down the revolver and take a deep breath. There is an amazing correlation between theme song transmogrifications and a decline in the show's content. Remember when "Diff'rent Strokes" decided to have a new salsa version of the theme song? Of course you don't; you immediately fumbled for the remote and switched to "Hotel." The one where Bert Convy beats up his wife.

It's not too late. No one will mind the return of the non-remixed Dandy Warhols song with the clip package at the beginning of "Veronica Mars." And I'm pretty sure most "Weeds" watchers won't mind the Malvina Reynolds version coming back. Most of them will probably forget it was gone to begin with.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Abs of Vinyl?

Nick Sylvester wasn't playing when he pointed out the gym as the next site of hipster gentrification. Months after the OK Go treadmill video, LCD Soundsytem created a 45 minute track for Nike so downtown bohemians can listen to something decent while getting in shape.

Which makes me wonder: is this the first sign that indie culture is being co-opted by mothers to send messages to their trust fund boho babies? I suppose we should expect to hear a new track from MIA called "Eat Something, You Look Sick" in the next few months.

Why Blogger Buzz Stays in the Blue States

We've seen it time and again. Arctic Monkeys have a disappointing debut on Billboard despite all the blogger love. Snakes on a Plane couldn't match the internet hype. "The Daily Show" is constantly referenced in cyberspace, but "Two and Half Men" is the highest rated TV comedy.

Why? Many rural areas do not get broadband internet access which means more people watch broadcast TV and listen to terrestrial radio than go on the broadband internet. True, more and more people are getting their news, entertainment - even education - from the web. But those people tend to live in urban or suburban areas. In other words, in the city or by the city.

That's why we have our Gawkers and Brooklyn Vegans, not our Goobers and our Biloxi Venison Eaters.

Turns out Hillary Clinton wants to change this. She has recently introduced the Rural Broadband Initiative to help bring the red states up to speed. This is a good idea considering these same areas did not have electricity until the '40's, with the help of federally funded programs like the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Until then, allow me to make the following prediction: Borat will no make money at box office. Not only is it getting a lot of blog buzz, it also makes fun of red state residents. Meaning many of these sumbucks who don't get cable TV (preventing them from watching "The Ali G Show" on HBO) or broadband Internet access (limiting the time they spend web surfing) will

a) not know anything about the film
b) hear nothing but bad things about it from the few that did see it thinking Borat was Jeff Foxworthy dying his hair black and making fun of A-rabs

S.U.C.K in the USA

Few things are more tragic then when decent songs have terrible music videos. Take John Mellencamp's latest rewrite of "Pink Houses," "Our Country." The soaring harmonies are stirring. Even the Chevy commercial that features it is decent.

Except for those pesky images of Katrina and Rosa Parks.

I don't think it's fair that people blame the Cougar. He had nothing to do with putting in those clips . But I shudder to think that Martin Luther King and all those poor black people in New Orleans died only to end up in a Chevy Silverado commercial.

No worries. If you can't beat them, join 'em. DVpringle put the same soulful song in a more intelligent video.

UPDATE: Thanks for the link BWE!

Friday, October 13, 2006


Pitchfork's Get That Out Of Your Mouth column is by far my favorite part of that website. Here Chris Dahlen nailed it on the head. It, you ask? Indie. A question I have asked myself lately is "what's so special about indie rock?" Or even alternative comedy. Dahlen questions the ethical superiority of indie rock and praises the amateur revolution.

There is an amateur comedy explosion as well. The biggest Internet virals have been mostly comedic in nature. The latest viral, Album Cover Wars, is hilarious.

Even former amateurs who now make money on sites like Ze Frank and Homestar Runner have not inked any deals. Indeed, the brothers Chaps, who are behind Homestar Runner, have refused offers from Cartoon Network, opting to make online merch sales their only source of revenue.

Like the indie revolution of the '70s and '80s, the current long tail amateur trend has an admirably sassy DIY ethic. Unlike its snobby predecessor, the new non-corporate revolution makes no pretentious claims about integrity or aesthetic superiority. Indeed, the whole darn bandwagon has not one crate of self-consciousness.

This is especially important in comedy. Film tends to be the least funny medium because a bunch of suits decide what's funny. But even "alternative comedy" showcases, at their worst, can be hipper-than-thou pageants that place more emphasis on dime-store surrealism and obscure references than actual laughs.

This however is the diametrical opposite of self-conscious.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

BILLBORED: Hipsters and Goths Beat Red State Rock Jocks

On the rock albums chart, Evanescence is #1. Score one for the goths. Hitsters The Killers debut at #2, while fellow hitsters Jet score a slot at #7. Beck lands at #3 despite those wacky stickers.

Mind you, Nickelback and Hinder are still on the charts, but they are surrounded by a bunch of pale goths, fey hitsters and one musical genius. The decline of red state rock on the charts (Rolling Stone recently gave that description of Nickelback and Hinder because they do well in red states)coincides nicely with the fall of the GOP. Could it be that the same people jumping off the good ship lolliGOP are also abandoning postgrunge for postpunk?

On the Hot 100, red state jocks still rule. Which makes sense: most stations playing those singles are owned by conservative, red-state friendly Clear Channel. Let's hope Grey's Anatomy cures us all of Billboredom.

Puppet Watch: Elmo Sex Tape

We all know puppets are chic, but sex crazed puppets? Technically these are toys, but they are based on Muppets.

What could be better than sex with...no strings attached?

(via Defamer)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Puppet Watch: Manah Manah

As I've reported, puppets are so chic nowadays. Boing Boing, Brooklyn Vegan and Free Williamsburg have been linking to DJ NoNo's "Muppetry of the Penis" mash-up mix. It's a mash-up of Kanye's "Gold Digger" and "Manah Manah" (see below)

Between Kid America, Rap Cat and Manah Manah it's official: puppet hip-hop has arrived.

UPDATE: Thanks (I think) for the link Oh Word

Red State Pop Culture

If you look at the pop charts, you will see that red state entertainment is predominant. As Rolling Stone pointed out in their latest issue, red state rock is tops on Billboard. Hinder and Nickelback are popular in places like Missouri and Iowa. Red state comedy is nothing to sneeze at either. Larry the Cable Guy made more money on the road than any other comic last year.

So why are the top blogs serving only the coastal elite? Here's a look at what some of the biggest blogs on the Internet would look like if they threw on some red state rouge.

Stereogum would become Stereogun: Instead of focusing on indie rock, Stereogun would have nothing in common with the popular music blog except for the Britney gossip. Here's a sample of Stereogun:


I reckon Britney better worship Rumsfeld like Jessica Simpson. Shoot.

Instead of Boing Boing we would have Bang Bang: Like Stereogun, Bang Bang would be more focused than Boing Boing. While the latter looks at antique pop curios, awesome mods and all sorts of wonderful things, Bang Bang would only look at racist antiques and incredible crystal meth lab mods.

HOWTO: Build A Meth Lab Out Of A Cardboard Box Of Jimmy Dean Sausage And An Oak Ridge Boys AudioCassette


Gawker, the hip New York City gossip blog, would be Goober, the blog with the hottest rural gossip.


My sister Audrey caught my neighbor Betty Jane Bilson - a nurse at St. Andrew's Hospital - at the beach with that Hindoo doctor Sanjay Khali, or as we call him, Dr. Caca. Nancy at Piggly Wiggly saw PTA superbitch Martha Anne Murtaugh's son smoking crack behind the Roy Rogers that closed down on Rt. 875. (More inside)

Finally, Overheard in New York would turn into Overheard in Nashville


Man #1: So did you read that Faulkner novel I gave you?
Man #2: Yessum.
#1: And?
#2: Well I stopped reading it. I reckoned if it could read the thoughts of all those characters what if it read my own thoughts?
#1: It did. That's why there's a blank page at the end of the book. Hyuk hyuk.


Until further notice there will be no more RVPs. The recent acquisition of YouTube by Google could spell the end of music videos posted by amateurs. Until it is confirmed that YouTube will not lose its edge like Napster did I will end this segment.

Here's a "best-of" retrospective:


They Might Be Giants


Will to Power

Kidd Video


Elvis Costello

West Coast All Stars



Bon Jovi

Monday, October 09, 2006

This is What it Means to Be an Arab-American

via Wired blog

The Departed vs. The Retarded (or, Obligatory Departed Post)

See The Departed. If blog surfing is getting in the way of you seeing this film, smash your computer and go see this film. It cannot be hyped enough.

I had a feeling The Departed would beat The Retarded Employee of the Month. But I at least thought this Costcomedy would be #2 on the charts. It ranked #4, which is not bad for an awful film but an undoubted disappointment for the Dane Cook hype machine.

In the end, this means MySpace popularity does not always translate into meatspace success. Sure Dane Cook's Retaliation reached #4 on Billboard, the first comedy album to do so since A Wild and Crazy Guy. But this success was akin to Bright Eyes's fleeting chart reign. After Oberst burst onto the scene, he was on every magazine cover. A month down the road everyone forgot him.

Same with Dane. Just because his fans came out in droves doesn't mean the SuFinomenon was immune to a backlash. Between accusations of joke stealing, the failure of Tourgasm and making creepy asides as host of the Nickelodeon Kid's Choice awards, it became more clear that Cook had a premature tourgasm.

But the real reason for the failure becomes more apparent when we look at #6. Jackass 2 has Johnny Knoxville, who was also in the box office flop Dukes of Hazzard. So was Jessica Simpson. Jessica Simpson is in Employee of the Dumb as well. No matter how much I direct my bile at Dane Crook, at least he paid his dues on stage and is a self-made man. Jessica Simpson is:

a) the only pop icon I still loathe (Britney even redeemed herself with that tinkly piano ballad she did back when)

b) the worst actress in recorded history (if she did a film with Andre 3000, the film projector would gulp an expectorant and try to vomit the film out if its insides)

c) Donald Rumsfeld's butt buddy

Indeed, I must conclude that this film's failure coincides perfectly with the fall of the Republican party. Dane Cook and Jessica Simpson represent the anti-intellectual spirit that held Bush afloat all these years. Now that more and more people who get their news from the web realize that HeadOn is just a placebo made of wax, they are also getting hip to the fact that Hollywood has been touting generic homeopathic garbage as if it were the best medicine.

Back to The Departed. Need one more reason to see this film? Try this one: it's funnier than anything in the Employee of the Month trailer. Between Mark Wahlberg and Alec Baldwin, The Departed will give you at least two funny Bostonians in place of one unfunny meathead from Hackachussets.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Remembrance of Videos Past #33: Def Leppard, "Two Steps Behind"

Hair metal might be the most scorned subgenre in recorded history. Even disco adapted to the growingly harsh and homohobic "Disco Sucks" climate by evolving into house music. Hair metal just stopped. Despite the efforts of Chuck Klosterman and The Darkness, most people only appreciate it ironically. Hipster metal and nu metal do not allow their poofy haired brethren into their circles.

"Two Steps Behind" was the last hit, makin Billboard's Top Ten in '93. Looking at The Last Action Hero soundtrack (which this song was on) makes it sadder. First of all, The Last Action Hero was a flop. So eventually this song was associated with cinematic failure. This song stands out from the other heavier fare on the album. There's Anthrax and Megadeth shaking their heads and calling Def Leppard a bunch of pussies.

Indeed, the problem with hair metal was that it was maligned by metalheads as too soft. College rock kids deemed it too sexist with all the video hoes. Even Sir Mix a Lot had his say

So I'm lookin' at rock videos
Knock-kneeded bimbos walkin' like hoes
You can have them bimbos
I'll keep my women like Flo Jo

After this quatrain, scantily clad women would appear in more rap videos and less rock videos.

This ballad was acoustic, which might have signalled the beginning of the end. No virtuosic guitar solos, no wails. Just the trademark layered Def Leppard vocals that a generation of horny awkward boys and girls outgrew. Even the lyrics are ironically bittersweet. Whether we listen to electroclash, baile funk, hyphy or indie rock, this music will always be two steps behind us.

BONUS: "Bringing on the Heartbreak"

My Insanely Demented YouTube Dedication To My Girlfriend

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Remembrance of Videos Past #32: Enuff Z'Nuff, "Fly High, Michelle"

On my second-to-last day of hair metal week, I will look at hippie hair metal.

At the beginning of the '90's, this 14-year old tastemaker had difficulty predicting what the new rock trend of the new decade would be. When I saw Enuff Z'Nuff, I placed all my chips on hippie hair metal. All those psychedelic colors in the video blew me away. And those John Lennon sunglasses seemed like the accessory to get.

Of all the hippie genre mash-ups (hippie hop, freak folk, hippie techno) none has been less successful or fondly remembered than this ungodly amalgam. Nevermind that critics would like their follow-up album Strength, with Rolling Stone calling them the hot band of the year in '91. Yes, the same year Nirvana's Nevermind came out. Enuff Z'nuff were too pussy for metalheads and too sexist for hippies (Chip Z'nuff was popular on the Howard Stern show).

BONUS: The "critically acclaimed stuff" I haven't heard until today. "Mother's Eyes" is even more hippy-dippy with its peace and love platitudes. Imagine John Lennon (get it?) writing a power ballad and you'll understand this song. Somewhat.

JUST LEAKED: Audio Trailer for the Next Robin Williams Project

In Good Morning Vietnam, Robin Williams played a non-comformist radio DJ who made soldiers' lives better by making them laugh. Dead Poets Society had Robin Williams teach English using unorthodox methods such as hilarious John Wayne impersonations. Not content with making the lives of students and soldiers better, he became Patch Adams, a non-conformist doctor who doled out the only medicine that needs no insurance: laughter. His "salt of the earth" bedside manner couldn't prepare us for his next role as a rebellious fake news host who becomes President of the United States.

In this latest audio trailer leaked from a confidential source, Williams plays an even more powerful and zany nonconformist.

Funnyman of the Federation is scheduled to be released in August 2007.

NSFW NSFW NSFW (Not safe for work)

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Remembrance of Videos Past #31: Bon Jovi, "Living in Sin"

Welcome to part III of my week-long hair metal retrospective. Today, I'm featuring a power ballad.

"Living in Sin" is the most overlooked power ballad ever and the most awkward choice for a wedding song. As a kid who went to Catholic school despite the fact that my mom was Muslim, this song spoke to me. Released in '89, when I was 13, this ballad was a difficult one to dance to. Every slow dance I had at every boy/girl party, I thought about sex. Sure the song is about actually "executing the command." But what about mausturbating? Thinking about sex? These days I'm a liberated atheist who has no qualms with slow dancing though I do feel guilty for liking this Jon Bon Jovi-penned monstrosity from the Bush I era.

Demetri Martin's New Site

via the Apiary

Fucking amazing. Check out the video episodes.

Museum Sex: The New Library Sex

If you haven't been reading Susie Felber's hysterical Felber's Frolics, now you have no excuses. Today's is about how you can sleep over at the American Museum of Natural History. Why wake up with the king when you can wake up with the whale?

I Hate This Commercial But The Black Guy Is Amazing

Return of the Rock Snob

You might remember my friend Scott Jarzombek from the Scott Trilogy, regarding a rock snob who informed my taste in music and made me hip to punk rock a long time before Nirvana came out.

Part I of trilogy

Part II

Part III

Well he's back. His sister told him about my trilogy. He was good natured enough to link to this blog and leave a nasty comment about "Orange Crush." Let me link to his blog, The Punk Librarian. Hopefully we will hear from him in the future.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Remembrance of Videos Past #30: Skid Row, "Holidays in the Sun (live at the Moscow Peace Festival)"

In my second installment of hair metal week I will take a look at political metal.

Hair metal never had a clear-cut political agenda. Too homophobic to fit in with campus liberals, too decadent for the Christian right, hair metal was too anarchic to be contained into any one philosophy. Skid Row's cover of the Sex Pistols' classic is especially ambiguous. This version, like the original, is a nihilistic romp. Yet Sebastian Bach saying "I was waiting for the communist call" in Russia during the Cold War was rather bold. Ostensibly the festival was meant to promote the US, but Bach's banshee wails wished to unite drug-addled ruskies and a gang of also-ran pop-metal proteges of Bon Jovi under a banner of bone crushing, no-bullshit rock and roll that would always stick the metal finger at whoever was in charge.

Yes I know, you're looking for the ironic angle. Fiiine. Check out the lead singer's piercing hair metal yelps, which even a silver spoon-fed MTV-loving mallpunk would scoff at.

Conservative Humor Post

Liberals have a long tradition of citing boring sources no one reads or likes. Ulysses, Gravity's Rainbow, the constitution...

I don't want to kill all the Muslims. I just want to take the towels off their heads and slap them in the ass with them.

Republicans are funnier. We make fun of dune coons, gays, level 1 memos...

Seriously, if the Democrats had their way we would have to read every level 1 memo and get those TPS reports on Lumberg's desk.

You might like the Daily Show, but we love us some down-home wholesome guy humor like
According to Jim

Who likes blow jobs more, Bill or Hillary? I don't want to know the answer.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Remembrance of Videos Past #29: Lita Ford, "Kiss Me Deadly"

All this week I will put up the most delectable, ozone-depleting hair metal from the 80s and 90s. Each day I will look at a subgenre.

Today' subgenre: Glam Girl Metal

Believe it or not, men weren't the only ones who had poofy hair and make-up in the '80s. Sure, you worshipped Kim Gordon, Kim Deal and all those indie kims. But that Lita Ford poster you ordered from that ad in Hit Parader in 1989 has finally arrived.

Lita Ford was in the proto-metal-punk-riot grrl band The Runaways. In the '80's she tried her hand at solo hair metal. Yes we had Vixen as well, but Lita, besides her punk pedigree, did a duet with fucking Ozzy Osbourne. Still question how harcore she is? When asked to appear on the Surreal Life, she declined. Even Public Enemy members succumb to the allure of Celebreality.

I first saw the "Kiss Me Deadly" video the same day I was later rushed to the hospital for an almost ruptured appendix (sometime in October when I was 12). When I came home from the hospital, this video was on all the time. I was turned off when she said she got high in the song, but I still liked the song, even if the ice blocks were a little over the top.

BONUS: The Runaways