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December 31, 2005

Clap Your Hands Say Zing.

"I get it now. David Byrne traded in the exploitation of Third World musicians for the old Thurston Moore School Of I Give My Seal Of Approval hat trick. Will someone please enlighten me as to how Byrne, who last produced a good record in 1980, has become a barometer by which quality and progress are measured? Logical thinkers should immediately shy away from bands that use a call to action as their moniker, especially ones trying to get already boring people (those who've fallen for this applesauce) to act "festive." Gotta love the trend that started some years back (thanks to the Make Up) of inciting dancing and faux-gospel behavior within a demographic that has always been more at home repeating, "So what've you been up to?" ad infinitum over the course of an evening. Nice carnival-barker intro on Clap Your Hands' self-titled debut. Is that a nod to Emerson Lake & Palmer? It sure would be funnier if it was. Should I mention that Clap Your Hands is from Brooklyn? Or that the band busts out ye olde mountainside instruments to distract from the reality that it is really no different than any other modern indie group lifting moves from the Talking Heads? In 2007, when the band has changed its name to Clap Your Hands Remember Us? and is paying David Cross $5 to be in its video, I'll love to say I told you so." --Andrew Earles, in the Jan/Feb 2006 issue of Magnet.

December 30, 2005

My Top 10 Sandwiches of 2005:

1. Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich
2. BLT Sandwich
3. Ham
4. Fish Filet Sandwich
5. Chicken Sandwich
6. Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich
7. Kanye West
8. Egg Salad Sandwich
9. Arby's
10. Pimento Cheese Sandwich

Age Of Consent

The trailer for Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette".

Looks very Wes Anderson to me.

December 29, 2005


Lindsay Bluth Fünke's music. Should have stuck with Bakesale!

Slip of the ...

The 14-year-old (and current) Omar WISHES.

Keyword activity leads to riffage: The "Here I Go Again" video is certainly a classic -- an expert pairing of catchy pop metal and virtuoso vehicular writhing, the latter of which is sorely missing in the current video landscape. Let's work on this, ladies.

And while the piece was a sonic and erotic wonderland, at the time, one shot always scared me a bit for some reason. Yes, I'm talking about the tongue slip. Aural penetration was a bit unsettling in a Cronenberg-y, body-horror kind of way (it certainly didn't help that the recipient was the Fraggled-up David Coverdale), little Omar rocking out and then a quick shot of in-the-ear (and this was a G. Simmons-like deal) and then quickly back to the rocking and the loose, sheer fabric flowing around in the manufactured wind and smoke. This was no wardrobe malfunction. This was a well-honed dance -- complete with gymnast-grade flexibility -- from a legit, feisty vixen.

Whitesnake - "Here I Go Again"

Oh, that heavenly bacon. #003:

From the January 2006 issue of Esquire.

Bacon Tempura!

Deep-Fried Pork Product of the Month

By Ted Allen | Jan 1, 2006

AS WE ALL KNOW, healthy eating is all about moderation. That is why, when I'm enjoying deep-fried bacon, I limit myself strictly to two slices. Per meal. No exceptions.

That's right, bacon tempura: the impossible goodness of pork belly made even more impossibly good with a delicate breading and a bath in sizzling-hot canola. This dish, the handiwork of chef Bill McDaniel, is just one reason the Red Cat is my new favorite restaurant in Manhattan. (This always-packed Chelsea joint has been drawing
particular raves lately, and the last two dinners I've had there have been my most exciting food experiences of the past year.)

But back to the bacon: "It actually started almost as a lark," says the chef. "I was talking with one of our hostesses one day, and she said, 'What's better than bacon?' And I said, joking, 'I don't know that there's anything better than bacon—except, maybe, fried bacon.' The next morning I walked in and I knew what I wanted to make." It's ridiculous to say, but McDaniel's decadent approach can be described only as light. It's fluffy-crispy, probably because he makes the batter with club soda; imagine a perfect french fry with bacon stuffed inside. The two strips rest atop a nutrient-rich salad of grilled corn, sugar snap peas, and chipotle aioli. Says McDaniel: "It was off the menu for a while and people started coming in almost angry that we didn't have it." And rightly so.

Chipotle Aioli
2 egg yolks
juice of 4 limes
4 oz canola oil
1 chipotle, chopped very fine
salt and pepper to taste
Blend yolks and lime juice in a food processor; slowly add oil until thickened. Stir in chopped chipotle, salt, and pepper.

Bacon Tempura
4 egg whites
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/3 cups cold club soda
1/2 gallon canola oil
12 pieces thick-sliced applewood bacon
salt to taste

In a large bowl, whisk egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold into egg whites the flour and club soda. In a 4-quart pot, heat oil to 425 degrees. Batter bacon slices and carefully drop into oil a few slices at a time. Do not overcrowd oil as it will overflow, and bacon will cook unevenly. Once the bacon is golden brown, remove from oil using a slotted spoon. Lightly salt.

Serve 2 fried slices on top of about 2 oz of a grilled-corn or other seasonal salad garnished with the aioli and 2 lime wedges.

Hey Dr., what song is this? #002:

[x amount writes: One of the reasons we started this dinky blog was to aggregate all the links/music/crap that we knew Dr. Red Duke would never actually take the time to hunt down himself. And he's never smarter than what we feed him. In this series we send slightly edited mp3blog textual guts (NOT the songs, just the writeups!) to the good Dr. and he tries to guess what song they're describing.]

[Artist] "[Song title]" - Is there an aural equivalent of squinting? If there is, then do that with this song, and you can sort of get the feeling of an imaginary rocking Portishead song with beats jacked from that first UNKLE album. I love the keyboard spazz-out on the break - it's like mayhem breaking out in a novelty shop.

-- Fluxblog, 12.14.05

Dr. Red Duke's guess: It's less like squinting and more like peering through your half empty bottle of Stoli as you witness the glorious gray onrush of hamburgers, denim, hair, pigeons and sweet, sweet hazy freedom. I had to squint a little harder to find that beat you were talking about (it kicks in about half way in) and I think the keyboard is ACTUAL whistling...but who knows anymore with all of today's fancy technology. It's sad really. Not being able to tell the difference. Bottom line though, with the granted exception of those Portishead fellows you mention along with your Unkle [sic] (although I'm sure you're a bit biased being related and all), no one rocks the house with that twinge of eastern block despondency more than these guys.

December 28, 2005

Two dream-related tidbits featuring Patrick Swayze.

Dream #1: I once had a nightmare in which I was at my grandparent's house being chased by Jurassic Park-like velociraptors. I was running as fast I could but making no real progress. Up over the hill comes a white horse ridden by a shirtless Patrick Swayze. Swayze reaches down mid-gallop and swings me onto the back of the horse. We rode away to safety.

Dream #2: It would be nice if Swayze made more of his decade-long hip-hop association. Oh, perfect.

Televised Programming Bulletin. #005:

A while back Tom Shillue (a good friend -- Merry Christmas to you, Tom, and thanks for the lovely scented candle(s)) gave us some good advice re: catching his Comedy Central special. And I followed that advice by dutifully plugging SHILLUE into the TiVo Wishlist. Lo and behold, TiVo's all set to grab the 7pm Tuesday, January 3rd rebroadcast. Don't listen to his FANCY WHITE BACKGROUNDED .com site for proper showdates, of course -- there's some confusion there as to the weekday associated with January 3rd, 2006.

December 27, 2005

I've got some Country Time ready to go. Does that count?

© McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, San Francisco, California. After a couple somewhat elaborate issues in a row, we were excited to settle down, get back to basics -- a paperback book, a bunch of good stories, maybe a Convergence. And for the most part this is what we did; the book is indeed paperback, the stories are certainly good, and we are excited to include the final (for now) of Weschler's giddy spin-outs, which will now be collected in a large, colorful book, due out in a couple months. But then somehow we ended up with a DVD in here as well. Which we're happy about, of course, but it leaves us still with our hunger for pure simplicity. Thus, the following vow: Issue 19 will be handwritten on a large sheet of butcher paper. There will be only one copy. We will pack up a 1991 Volvo 240, black, with tinted windows and a broken sunroof, and drive around the country, visiting each subscriber. Each will be given one hour with the text, or maybe slightly more if we're provided with lemonade or granola. Non-subscribers can visit our offices in San Francisco, where the issue will be available for viewing on our back porch. As usual, we're grateful for your faith and constancy.

--Eli Horowitz, chief editor for this issue.

December 24, 2005

Giant inflatable clear plastic bubble sold separately.

Some last-minute gift ideas courtesy of Scharpling & Wurster.

Also: Battle of the Alt-Rock Stars

December 21, 2005

About, like, life. or It's kinda dangerous to be an emcee-e-ee.

And so the horribly-named Playstation-sponsored Breed Love Odyssey tour looks less like a triumphant return and more like an exercise in the worst kind of nostalgia: the kind that doesn't realize it's nostalgia.

Pretty fun and devastating review of what Mos and Talib and some other Rawkus nerds are up to these days.

Don't give up. You still have friends.

Like a lot of the Improv Everywhere bits, I think this Suicide Jumper deal works better as a series of stills and descriptions than as a cut-up video (but I'm sure the realtime experience is optimal). The song choice is certainly fun on the video, though.

December 20, 2005

A cute little baaaby.

So the biggest standout by far on this Invite Them Up four-disc extravaganza?

A.D. Miles. And here's the track.

This guy is gooooood. Wow do I want more. So he was in Wet Hot American Summer, but I can't find any other substantive web presence. Bobby Tisdale says he's his best friend, but part of the fun of Bobby Tisdale is hearing him best friend in everyone who performs! From the above stand-up bit, I picture him as a kind of Rat Pack-y nerd mixemup -- but his WHAS look landed decidedly on the "nerd" part of that equation. Hilarious stuff though, boy.

Next up in terms of bringing the funny is Aziz Ansari. After seven months of reading the Apiary pimp this youngster, it was nice to finally hear some of his material. He's official. The real deal. He will make you laugh hard. Don't miss the classic M.I.A. bit: "For me? Right here? Is awesome." Guy's obviously schooled in the good rap music, so it's nice to hear that influence the comedy.

Finally, after seeing him perform as as a monologist during my week as a UCB groupie last spring, it's a delight to hear Tisdale's hosting banter. A Special Thingers will whine all day about Dane Cook being too much of a spaz, but Tisdale is the ultimate form of over-the-top cheerleading. And it's infectious. He's by far my favorite Kermit thee Frog-esque gay-drawlin' Carolinian comic.

Oh, that heavenly bacon. #002:

[I may have stuck a link to this on SL back in the glory days, but eff it. I actually have the product in question now, so...]

My seester got me these for my birthday today and unwittingly forced me into a life of cutting.

December 19, 2005

I'm Ghost like Swayze

Those cupcakes are the best.

December 18, 2005

We Jam Econo.



- - - -

Sing Me Spanish Psych
Get outta my mall
Cinnabon Gimp Zipper Mask (also works as a GBV song title/fake band name)
Pig Champion
A bag of salad
Turkey dinnas
The Starbucks of sandwiches
I don't need music for that
You're a dude and I'm an alpha heterosexual
I don't placate
The Leelee Sobieskis of the world
As Dirty Or As Clean As You Wanna Be
There's no shower in this building
Land of the Rising Sun
It could work for ABBA, it could work for me
Turning Japanese
Open Call
Punching Meat
Say His name with reverence
Ye of little faith
I speak jive
Stray chews
I don't know my handiwork no more
Listeners comma line log onto it
Always Be Closing Cobbling
Wawa wee wah
The Two-Year Itch (aka Adultery
Sleeping in the Ginn shed
Celluloid Heroes
Soft-Boiled Scharpling
Par for the course
eBay Show Dogs
When the Pawn...
One-Color Meals
Held Up at the Jack Shack
The Northside of a Southbound Horse
Repo Man
Icy beats
I hate hate


[TBSOWFMU - 12/13/05.]

Annotated highlights:

- Tom talks to Spike (starts 23:54), an authentic New Yorker who eats (did he really say "eats"?) SubUrbia.

- Tom briefly revisits last week's Ugliest Band discussion (starts 32:30), officially giving the title to Poison Idea, carried to victory by all 450 lbs. of "Pig Champion" (Charles R. Martin knows him as Tom Roberts). A few callers had some final additions to the roster.

1. Kalmuh. Seems like pretty standard-issue Euro death metal. If you dig into that genre for an Ugliest Band candidate, you really need to unearth something special, like high-grade dermatitis, facial pentagram tattoos, smeared goat blood, fangs, etc. These guys look relatively normal. They're the Sonic Youth of Euro death metal! (This caller may have also been confused re Pig Champion and the band Pig Destroyer, who are only guilty of having a member that looks like a young Huey Lewis.)

2. The Electric Eels. Tom noted that John Morton looked "pretty rough" (and Dave E. is not exactly visually appealing -- check him out in full-on, coke-skinny, Steven Tyler-with-a-'fro mode). My take on Morton: Faith No More's Billy Gould (circa early '90s) wearing a blonde wig modeled after circa-'88-ish Tina Yothers. Do the math:


3. 21st century W. Axl Rose. Tom expanded that to include any member of the new GNR, though he also noted the "bloated, frat-metal"-looking Matt Sorum from the UYI lineup. [Related Google image search result that made me laugh.]

4. The Fugs

Finally, I can't believe there hasn't been a vote for circa-now Old Skull!

- Officer Tom calls (starts at 56:30) to talk about how to irritate cops, Collars for Dollars, chain restaurants, and Tom's run-in at a local diner over some missing endive.

- Tom re-enacts FourthrateKeanuReeves Klein's part hilarious/part frightening chat with Elle magazine (starts at 1:29). According to Thunder, Hippie Johnny's Media Relations Manager, Klein recently bought a cabin in Mellow Grove and will take over the Farm Fresh Auto Parts® business. Word is that he has his eye on several Grove chicks, but wants to review their cauldron scrubbing technique before beginning formal pursuit. Don't let Moonbeam or Silver Tears or Star or Hawk Girl or Mountain Child or Ocean or Summer or Misty or Luna or Rain or Placid or Morning or Autumn or Prosperity or Peace or Stardust or Opal or Miracle or Wildwind or Winter or Violet or Trinity or Emerald or Dharma or Marigold or Liberty or Coral or Sapphire or Iris or Andromeda get away, Chris!

- MC Steinberg drops some magic starting at the 1:42 mark, including the debut of "Fun Time Happy", a song written for the Tokyo market.

- Tour de force call from Philly Boy Roy (starts at 1:49), excited about two recent accomplishments: a callback for Rocky VI and his "extreme" retool for the Goldenberg Peanut Chews site. He's so riled up that he even flubs a la Alec Baldwin (Outside Providence) during the Santa's Workshop sketch. PBR also surprises Tom with some non-Philly musical interests and the call ends with a threat of homicide-by-hoagie.

- Tom serenades Petey (starts at 2:09) with a Kinks song. Glorious stuff.

- The lovable, ambitious, retired Police Sgt./F.B.I. Agent Scag Winesack calls (starts at 2:23) for some advice on a recent inheritance and several new best-sellers in the works. [Bonus Earles track: "Angry Mr. Bungle Fan"]

-Tom debuts a new speed-roundy segment at 2:42: I Love/I Hate. Some faves: Animal conservationists/Beethoven's hearing loss, Cardboard/Miami Police Dept., Ravioli/Scientologists, Kraftwerk/Living Colour [Guess who? Chimes in at 2:49], Napalm Death/Hoboken Parking Authority (I assume this is a subpar speed metal band), All night love-making sessions/dawn and with it the end of all night love-making sessions, Husker Du/Buying grapes with seeds in them.

December 17, 2005


So the Baldwin ep sucked after all (even though the monologue pretty much verbatimed up the nytimes piece -- complete with Greenhilly reprise!). Perhaps tonight's Jables-hosted affair can unseat the hated Dane Cook and his involvement in the best show of the [crappy] season?

Probably not. So here's the Scharpling-approved, iPod-ready Target Greatland skit from the Cook episode. Kristen "Dr. Pat" Wiig is quickly proving herself to be the new best thing going on SNL.

December 15, 2005

Merry (Dirty) Christmas

To: Recidivism

Dirty Boyz - "All I Want For Christmas (Dirty)"

From: DOP

Must not steal my stuff

Badonkadonk butt.

Manually increasing the surface temperature of the ship's primary cannon by repeated linear manipulation

Its a toss up, read Recidivism or walking the snake.

The ultimate recidivism.


Minor Tweaks caught a fun one.

Lot's of fun! or WE RUN A TIGHT SHIP!

Agenda for today's office party:

11:30am – 12noon ………Meet/Greet/and Eat (Ice Breakers)
12pm – 12:15pm…………Present Prizes to winners of the ice breakers
12:15pm- 12:30pm………Holiday songs by our very own “new comer” - [name deleted] (Div. of Integrated Surv.)
Music and accompanying [name deleted] will be our very own - [name deleted]
12:30pm – 12:40pm………A special guest -performing a MIME
12:40pm – 12:50pm………Karaoke (taking volunteers now – There will be door prizes and lot’s of fun!)
12:50pm – 1:15pm………White Elephant (we ask everyone who would like to participate, please bring in a recycled gift or spend $10.00 or less.)

Televised Programming Bulletin. #004:

Iconoclasts 1.5: "Batali On Stipe" (Sundance Channel, premiering tonight at 10 p.m.)

Stipe learns how to make gnocchi with braised oxtail and pappardelle bolognese, while Batali sets ILM ablaze by declaring New Adventures in Hi-Fi the best R.E.M. record.


UPDATE 12/21/05: ILM ablaze!

December 14, 2005

This is why no one likes you.

A list that goes with my favorite recent t-shirt acquisition.

What ith your query? #005:

I pretty much do all this crap when I leave work. JUST IN CASE. I'm not EVEN kidding.

Me, baby, ME.

Merry Christmas yourself up: iTunes music for .66 a track.

December 13, 2005

Youth in Revolt.



Yeah, and that pause is saying to the audience he's talking about a human vagina.

UPDATE: Hot pursuit

the dreaded blind-fold sniff test!

Flavor of Love

Easy Riders, Singing Muppets: Part 2.

"How's a guy like Santa Claus -- who's built like a dump truck -- how's he gonna come down all those skinny little chimneys, huh? That's like trying to get a basketball into a ginger ale bottle!"Oscar the Grouch.

ceoss.jpgHoliday double-bill suggestion (aside from the usual Black Christmas/Silent Night, Deadly Night): pair EOJ-BC with another frequently-overlooked, late-'70s masterwork: Christmas Eve on Sesame Street (1978, Jon Stone).

There's too many highlights to cite here, but I'll note four:

1. Carol Spinney delivers some of his most powerful Big Bird work. Feathers decidedly ruffled by Oscar's query, BB goes on a frantic quest (with Kermit's help) to determine how Santa's gonna shimmy his plump frame down the Sesame St. chimneys. BB ends up emotionally spent, culminating with a migration to the roof on Christmas Eve, icicles dangling from his beak. A distraught Patty (Debbie Chen: Then and NOW!) eventually lures a sleepy, frozen BB back down into the warmth of Gordon and Susan's present-filled apartment, where the True Meaning of Christmas (singing with racially-diverse friends) is revealed.

2. The Sesame take on "The Gift of the Magi": Bert sells his paper clip collection to buy Ernie a soap dish for Rubber Ducky; Ernie sells–you guessed it!–Rubber Ducky to buy Bert a cigar box for his paper clips. Mr. Hooper (Will Lee in top form) saves the day.

3. Grover and this hilarious kid.

4. Snuffleupagus in a Santa hat.

After you're done with the EOJ-BC / CEoSS screening, grab a quart of egg nog, fire up the old Atari, and run over some otters in GTA: Frogtown Hollow. [There's a secret code -- Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, then hit that red button 666 times -- that allows you to machine gun the entire audience during the talent show and drown Ma Otter while she's doing laundry in the river.]

Hark!, here's some Sesame Christmas tracks:

"True Blue Miracle"

"Sesame Street Christmas Overture"

"We Wish You A Merry Christmas"

"I Hate Christmas"

"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"

Bonus Muppetverse track: "Fraggle Rock Theme" [Fraggles in "outer space" in 2006!]

[Easy Riders, Raging Otters: Part 1]

White Balance on Blue

This link is about a month old, but its a fun look into one of the reasons why I am excited about Scrubs coming back on TV.

December 12, 2005

Buttery Popcorn Goodness

Scotty J is gonna hurt Tom Cruise because Dirk told him he'd be cool if he did!

Easy Riders, Singing Muppets: Part 1.

"Christmas is about freakishly cute puppets doing an amazingly sentimental show, and pulling it off absolutely flawlessly. With random squirrel jumping and kazoos. Bravo." – Kynan, reporting his findings.

brothers_ma.jpgAll of the cinephile discussions and journalistic ink surrounding the American films of the 1970s never mention (nothing in the Biskind) one of the decade's greatest achievements: Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (1977, Jim Henson; first aired on HBO). After 30+ viewings, I rate it as the second-best film of that year, behind only Annie Hall.

If you haven't seen this, do so immediately ($8!). The new Collector's Edition DVD restores some scenes that were not on the last DVD release, but still does not feature the great (but not plot essential) Kermit bookend scenes. (This Muppet Central thread has some version control chatter and comments on the Kermit crack-up.) I'll let x amount -- fresh off his first viewing! -- light up the comment bin with his take on the CE's extras bonanza.

In addition to the DVD, you'll also need the tunes to play during your Holiday gatherings (and then to rock out to year-round), so:

Emmett Otter's Jug-Band Christmas - OST (full album .zip/**Recidivism Exclusive**)

Track Listing:

1. Instrumental Theme
2. Intro
3. Barbeque
4. Intro
5. The Bathing Suit She Wore
6. Hole in the Washtub
7. Yancey Woodchuck's Barbeque
8. Brothers
9. Riverbottom Nightmare Band (great talent show images and lyrics here)
10. Intro
11. When The Mountains
12. Closer Now Than Ever Before
13. Closer/Brothers Medley
14. When The Mountains Pt. 2

NEWSFLASH: ANHITW is reporting that Emmett, Harvey, Charlie, and Wendell have reformed and are playing a "test gig" at Northsix in January.

Check back tomorrow for Part 2!

December 10, 2005

deck the malls with bows of holly

Run-DMC lay claim to the two greatest Christmas rap songs of all time. "Christmas In Hollis" is the undisputed #1. #2 is:

Run-DMC - "Christmas Is" [Amazon]

To Sam Flanagan: taking this entire song and adding a couple of quick edits of "Frosty The Snowman" does not a mash-up remix make.

December 9, 2005

God bless the kid.

Just have him every year.

O for a Greenhilly reprise.

Televised Programming Bulletin. #003:

Don't miss this fantastic two-part Sesame Street Biography. Think of it as a televised companion to one of the greatest behind-the-scenes books around.

Unfold an origami death mask.

I don't know much about the band Why?, but I stumbled upon a song from their 2005 release Elephant Eyelash and I like it! So here it is:

Why? - "Rubber Traits"

[I'm sure this band/song is old news within the mp3blogosphere, but I'm betting it will at least be new for the good Dr. Red Duke.]

December 8, 2005

Hey Dr., what song is this?, first in a series. #001:

[x amount writes: One of the reasons we started this dinky blog was to aggregate all the links/music/crap that we knew Dr. Red Duke would never actually take the time to hunt down himself. We do all the foraging; he does all the enjoying. And he's never smarter than what we feed him. This new series will have us sending slightly edited mp3blog textual guts (NOT the songs, just the writeups!) to the good Dr. and having him try to guess what song they're describing.]

[Artist] "[Song title]" - How square are people now that any busker with a stupid beard gets to be called "freak folk" without having to actually sound as bizarre as this [edit] head-scratcher? The song begins as an urgent, theatrical lo-fi prog-folk thing (you could probably trick someone into believing that it's Guided By Voices at first), but halfway through, the vocals are put through some kind of extreme processing that makes it sound like the mic has been passed to an opera-loving Dalek.

-- Fluxblog, 11.22.05

Dr. Red Duke's guess: The beard is a dead giveaway. I mean how many singers do we know that have one of those. And I take issue with the characterization of said beard as "stupid." I find it fetching.

Second hint I'm picking up on here: theatrical lo-fi. This really helps me zero in on the song in question. Say no more. I must admit I'm not up on the "prog-folk" lingo, but if I'm on target with my guess then surely its "every man" translation is "simply glorious."

Guided by Voices? I suppose so. It is a melodic track with existential lyrics that lead me to a peaceful place I could not otherwise find.

Last bit, and I must correct the author here. Those are no voice-processed vocals. That's a whole 'nother person. And it's a woman. Hence, the change in pitch that you've mistaken as artificially manufactured. A man and woman singing together. Could there be anything MORE natural? And she is, in fact, an opera-lover of the "grand ole" variety.

I'll provide my answer in the mp3 format of which you're all so fond. But I'd like to suggest you listen to it Dr. Red Duke style, in the way it was meant to be heard (and read), at my pick for mp3blog of the month. Ah-ah.

What ith your query? #004:

Following up on #003, I went ahead and stuck it out there. Lively discussion, no definitive answer; Red wins.

Helvetica: The most subversive font

I only wish we had subways here in Atlanta.
These signs always screwed with my commute when I lived in New York, its nice to see people are trying to have fun with the mass-transit system.

Big Love.

[TBSOWFMU - 12/6/05.]

Annotated Highlights:

So the main topic tonight was determining the Ugliest Band in Rock History (starts at 40:05). Rick from South Westbridge, N.J., called in and offered a supergroup of ugly:

Mick Mars - Guitar
Paul "The Blob" Goddard (Atlanta Rhythmn Section) - Bass
Edgar Winter - Saxophone
Tommy Aldridge (Black Oak Arkansas, Whitesnake, Nuge, etc.) - Drums
Gwen Stefani ("Have you seen pics of her without her makeup?") - Vocals

[Rick also declared last week's Target Greatland (curndles!) SNL sketch to be his favorite sketch ever.]

Timmy von Trimble (starts at 52:09) also chimed in:

Sounded like Keith something - Guitar and Vocals
James Lo (Live Skull and Chavez) - Drums
Billy Cox (Jimi Hendrix, Band of Gypsys) - Bass
Jimi Hendrix - Guitar and Vocals
Herbie Hancock - Keyboards
Clarence Clemons - Saxophone

[TvT claimed to be oblivious to the racial make-up of his band, thus generating my second choice for an SL: "Geez, are they?"]

Other nominations: Kiss sans makeup, Twisted Sister, Wilson Phillips (denied by Tom), Pet Sounds-era The Beach Boys ("The Jacksons but fat and white"), The Rolling Stones (sort of denied by Tom), The Cars (aside from the obvious Ocasek, Tom cited Greg Hawkes, to be played by Fred Armisen in the film adaptation of this post), R.E.M., Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Bachman Turner Overweight, Vanilla Fudge (first incarnation), Quiet Riot, Captain Beefheart, Canned Heat, Hot Tuna, Alice Cooper ("Who's she?"), Rush ("the Canadian group"), Jethro Tull, Sonic Youth (denied by Tom: "They look normal"), Kansas, Motorhead, Coheed and Cambria ("the Baldwin brother that they keep locked in the attic, the son of a guy from L.A. Guns, and a generic indie rocker"), The Playmates (or is it these guys?), Radiohead, Neil Young, Bill Haley and the Comets (Comets = E. Levy as Rawl Withers from SCTV, Larry Miller, and Joe Flaherty with a thin, Bud Abbott mustache), The Melvins, Sid Vicious, Crosby, Stills, & Nash, The Bee Gees, Larz Kristerz, Slade, The Residents, The Pogues, Black Oak Arkansas, Jim Morrison (Denied by Tom: "He's dead, though"), Agnostic Front, The Cure, Rod Stewart, everybody in Blondie except D. Harry, Chilliwack, The Dills, The Dead Boys, Superchunk rhythmn section, The Byrds (denied by Tom), Insane Clown Posse, Geto Boys, The Who post-Keith Moon, Meatloaf, The Barnacle Blues Band, The Oak Ridge Boys, Mott the Hopple [sic], Janis Joplin, King Diamond/Mercyful Fate, Tad, Bowser from Sha Na Na, and The Ramones.

Ugliest Fans: Sonic Youth or Insane Clown Posse (Tom's pick)

I tried to think of some additions, but didn't come up with anything good. Gwar seems too obvious. Maybe Kix? Just about any Scandinavian metal band is probably a safe bet. The Bangles? Living Colour?

Also don't miss hearing Hal (starts at 1:19), a father of 28 who calls to offer Tom an in-home demo of Newbridge Vinyl Siding's new TundraPlus product (comes in the eye-appealing "deep fudge" color) and talk about his unusual family life.


UPDATE 12/11/05: Tom declared a winner on the FOT board yesterday. The Ugliest Band of All-Time is Poison Idea.

December 7, 2005


You got a panty on your [cylindrical projection texture map].

[via: Mr. Too Busy the Slow Redesigner]

Reverse psychology.

"You make someone think the opposite of what you believe and that tricks them into doing something stupid... works like a charm."

[note: unless you turn off self-reflection, this article will likely cause depression. "ans for a show!"]

December 6, 2005

Who needs a stinking new iMac?

Don't wait until January for the Mac mini entertainment center...
Climb on board Apple's Front Row. No need for anything but your existing mac.

Spacecataz [aka Sleigher: Snow No Mercy]

This is who this** is.

**The mooninites are definitely a huge factor in making Aqua Teen Hunger Force not suck these days. Enjoy this feature-length Spacecataz [normally you only get a 5-10 second piece of this at the beginning of an ATHF episode].

Bob Power is in the house.

You're probably going to want to just skim this engineering and production-heavy four part Q&A. Scan for artist names and Native Tongue references and you'll get the juice. The thickest goodness can be found in part three.

Time to hunt down some MC Watchout. Get to work, DOP.

Little visitor.

Just being funny is cool.

Chris Rock likes good records. Put me down for The Chronic over Doggystyle, though.


The SL will not be found in the text of this otherwise dinky piece.

[credit (!): OH, THAT DRUDGE.]

Girl gone crazy, riding the wave.

Seems like a decade ago when x-amount dropped "Ding Dong" on his previous online newsletter and gave Ms. McKay to the world. Here's a great rock and roll song from the forthcoming Pretty Little Head.

Nellie McKay - "Real Life"

December 5, 2005

I’m on the corner; I’m pumpin’ just like a pumper do.

Juelz Santana - "Oh Yes"

Recipe for maybe liking this:

Day one: Play it. Dig the sample. Realize that that sample is the hook and that it will be with you for the entirety of the song. Start to wonder whether or not that tasty hook is going to hold up for the whole song. Worry that it won't. Stop the song before it's finished and promise yourself that you'll give it a shot the next day.

Day two: Play it again. Realize that it's pretty much impossible to not physically bounce and that this thing is going to be STUCK in your head.

[note: the above is RAP music that will hurt many of your delicate ears. if you'd like some equally tasty HIP HOP music, go grab the pretty King Seven ditty over at Scissorkick's place.]

nutting out an idea


Beg For A Wheelbarrow.

[TBSOWFMU - 11/29/05.]

This show featured a bunch of funnies: Philly Boy Roy called (starts at 39:22) to weigh in on the dust-up at the Eagles game (among other things), Bryce from Newbridge called (starts at 1:11) to secure a "doobie partner" and surprise Tom with the depth of his musical interests (there's a hilarious Drudge/Groening mix-up in this one, too), there was a wonderfully combative discussion (starts at 1:42) with Mack, a 13-year-old Best Show regular and budding rock enthusiast armed with The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal, who gets a surprise call from Jimmy Crespo, and towards the end of the show, Tom compiled (starts at 2:26) a list of the 10 Unfunniest Funny People.

He got the topic started by putting George Carlin on The List, noting his recent HBO special – the awful Life Is Worth Losing (not all was lost: I discovered that this special was a more effective sleep aid than the Ambientinis I had been using, so it remains in my TiVo queue). Tom had pretty strict standards, and most caller suggestions were rejected. Some were rejected on grounds of just being sad (e.g., Chevy Chase and Jerry Lewis), or too easy (Carrot Top), or “not comedy” (Whoopi Goldberg). Chris Rock was rejected for “not being anywhere close to the list.” One caller submitted “any character on What’s Happening!!", which was rejected on the grounds that the caller did not understand the topic.

This discussion was enough to get Timmy von Trimble to climb out of his Slinky (or get off his thimble) and return to the Best Show phone lines. His selection: Ron G-L-A-S-S, for his work as Det. Ron Harris on Barney Miller. Glass did not make The List. TvT threatened Tom’s life and hung up, undoubtedly plotting his next attempt to lodge his two-inch frame inside Tom's body and stab him from the inside.

After what seemed like 9 votes for Kathy Griffin, Tom was in a time crunch and put in The 3 Stooges (bumping Colin Quinn!) and Lenny Bruce. The complete list (in what I think is the correct order of their inclusion, not in descending order of unfunniness):

1. George Carlin
2. Dennis Miller
3. Robin Williams
4. Denis Leary
5. Adam Carolla
6. Rob Schneider
7. Billy Connolly
8. Carlos Mencia
9. The 3 Stooges
10. Lenny Bruce

The only list member I would object to is Billy Connolly, who Tom called Robin Williams's doppleganger. While I haven't seen any stand-up from Connolly since his 1991 HBO special, Billy Connolly: Pale Blue Scottish Person, he usually gives me a nice laff when he pops up in stuff like The Aristocrats or on Real Time with Bill Maher. The thing about Connolly is that the content of his riffs is sort of irrelevant – it's all about the authentically enthusiastic (as opposed to the calculated zaniness of R. Williams, still running on residual coke fumes and Jonathan Winters albums; less of a comic and more of a demented wind-up toy pre-programmed with Mork noises and a small rotation of stock characters – upper torso and arm fur attachment sleeves sold separately) , brogue-alicious delivery, starting a bit giddy, then building to a rush of hearty laughter that is quite exhilarating. Even if you can't understand what he's saying or don't find it as hilarious as he apparently does, you simply want to laugh like he is laughing because it looks so goddamn fun. There’s also nobody better on the planet at saying the word "bullshit". He unleashed a killer bs on the Maher show back in October, masterfully drawing the "bull" out to a mini-symphony, closing the deal in a way that only people from the UK can ("That Scoooo-TAH Leebee thing is fookin buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuul...."). In other words, I like quiet, cerebral, absurdist riffs as much as the next fella, but sometimes you just want to ride the Guffawcoaster (an actual ride on the boardwalk in Ocean City, N.J., in the 1980s – at the end of the ride you were shot through a tunnel, spit out at the door of Rascal's Comedy Club in West Orange, and then molested by Rich Vos.) with a loud, joyous Scot.

So yeah, take out BC and put in the nauseating Pat Cooper.

Here are my top 5 people/duos/entities that are currently bringing the funny (not in any order of preference):

1. The Arrested Development Collective
2. Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant
3. Tom Scharpling & Jon Wurster
4. The Comedians of Comedy Collective (PO / ZG / BP / MB) [Pass the torch!]
5. George Saunders

Note: One of the extras on the Comedians of Comedy DVD is a set of six clips from “comedians to pay attention to”. I paid attention and my three faves were Jen Kirkman (nice bit about a "story time" gone awry when a friend’s toddler was inconsiderate in selecting a book that had already been memorized instead of Running With Scissors or something else that Jen might enjoy), Morgan Murphy (her use of the term "rape boost" sealed that deal; she's a writer on the Kimmel show and the only web mention with imagery that I could find is a small pic of her and Eddie Pepitone from PO's 7/4/2004 Spew entry), and Howard Kremer (fun riff about illegal sneeze pills, impression of Jolly Green Giant as film soundman, etc.)

One of the other extras on this DVD? One word: mayonnaise.


UPDATE 12/21/05: Ted Leo was the guy who suggested Margaret Cho! Here's the riff from his site:

I don't know how familiar you guys are with The Best Show on WFMU, on... WFMU (duh), but if you were listening last night, you'd have heard the last 15 minutes given to Tom taking calls to compile a list of the top 10 unfunny funny people. I called in and suggested Margaret Cho, but she didn't make the list. I wanted to argue my point, but it wasn't fully formed enough in my head yet, so I let it go. Since then, I've been able to better distill what it is I don't like about her, and I've decided that it's not her, it's the "family bit." I think I'm now officially on a crusade against the "family bit." It's like, o.k., o.k., you have an older relative from the "old country" who talks in a funny accent and doesn't understand "todays' kids." Right -- you and every other comic to ever walk the stage who's parents didn't come over on the Mayflower. I'm sick of it. And it can be extended to cover any crotchety oldie who doesn't understand "today's kids," like Richard Pryor's Mudbone character (boring), Bill Cosby himself (duh), etc. The only funny family bit I've heard in a long time is the by that guy Robin Harris who did "Bebe's Kids," who I think is also Kid's father in House Party, no? I didn't see the kiddie movie, but his more "adult" stand up bit gave me a chuckle. And come to think of it... They're not even his kids! They're Bebe's kids! So maybe that doesn't count. Can we put a stop to the "family bit," people? Whaddaya say? [Tipped off to this via AST.]

UPDATE 12/28/05: Morgan Murphy trio – Under construction website, MySpace page, and a set from Jimmy Kimmel Live (clip #74).

December 4, 2005

Sing It, $#@%face

I don't know who found the time to do this, but it entertained me for way way way too long. Type in whatever you like and prepare to be lullabied.

101 Greatest Hollywood Bass Flicks

Top # lists are so subjective that I always feel like something should be higher or lower, but at least I usually discover something that I didn't know about before. Such is the case with the following:

100 Greatest Miami Bass Songs - It's a crime that Luke's "I Wanna Rock" is near the bottom of the list at 79. but I did re-discover a song I heard once in a club back in '95. A song so horrible that you can't help but like it. #43 Soundmaster T. - "2 Much Booty (In Da Pants)"

101 Hottest Hollywood Skin Flicks - I don't think I'm alone in complaining that Boogie Nights deserves the #1 spot. On the plus side I need to find #30, Malicious. (Don't miss the second sentence in the write-up for that one.)

December 3, 2005

Sence (sic) of humor.


[Yesterday I was behind a Chevrolet Silverado and saw a "Git-R-Done" sticker in the top-center of the back windshield. To the left was a sticker featuring a small boy next to a cross with the words: "Real Men Pray". Based on the other stickers around the rest of the perimeter, "real men" also shoot deer with arrows. But who am I to judge people based on how they decorate their vehicles? I mean, I could assume that "Cat Scratch Fever" was rattlin' around the cab while tobacco juice was being spit into supersized NASCAR cups, but who knows? It's just as likely that they were listening to Seven Swans while sipping chai tea lattes.]

December 2, 2005

Random Rap. #005

Percee P is the comeback story of random rap. After standing outside Fat Beats and selling his homemade compilation for years, he's been showing up again on records such as J5's "A Day At The Races" and Edan's "Torture Chamber". He's since signed to Stones Throw where he is set to release a Madlib produced album.

Percee P - Lung Collapsing Lyrics

Bonus: Edan w/Percee P - Torture Chamber (Cut Chemist Remix)

My veoh face!

Have you guys gotten into this: Veoh Networks - Internet Television Peercasting Network? I mean, where else can you download Bollywood parody rap videos and easily get them to your iPod?

Whatcha want 2 eat?

Ribs. You better be happy that dress is still on, Mr. President.


It's unfortunate that the daily blah blah blah stomps beautiful imagery like the Banksy down the page so quickly. But there is a way to ensure a beautiful Recidivism experience all day long. It's called MEXICAN ORIENTAL.

December 1, 2005

Random Rap. #004

Freshco might be my favorite "random rap" MC. As part of the prize for winning something called the New Music Seminar's "Battle for World Supremacy" in '89 he released a 12" on Tommy Boy with Miz, no not X's favorite wanna-be WWE wrestler, but the winning DJ of the same contest. Everything else you ever wanted to know about Freshco can be found on his imdb entry, which I believe was written by his 5th grade nephew for show-and-tell.

Freshco & Miz - We Don't Play

Jeezus that's creepy.

It would have been nice to have had a buffer character between roles as Corrupt Whore Butcherer and Son of our Lord. Nevertheless, Wolcott is God.

Random Song I Sang in the Shower this Morning and Don't Know Why. #002:

I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General

Gilbert and Sullivan (although I must admit I know it best from an even gayer source.)

Style in which I performed it:
True to form

Why? And sorry for the visual this must conjure up.

Bjorn again.

So a lot of 2006 indie rock has been popping up of late: the Jenny Lewis, the Cat Power, Dr. Fünke’s 100% Natural Good Time Family Band Solution's Analrapist Blues ep, the Two Gallants, that Belle & Sebastian. And here's something you won't find on the NYC blog circuit: melodic death metal straight outta Sweden! Here's two tracks from In Flames' forthcoming Come Clarity. You'll get the usual genre fun: the Friden screaming and soaring choruses, an acoustic intro, a dash of female vocal action, tight-like-man's-anoose riffage from Strombald and Gellote, etc.

In Flames - "Dead End"
In Flames - "Come Clarity"