Thursday, September 29, 2005

hard to swallow

i don't know what's more awesome: the headline or the fact that new zealand has a pro badminton team.

better than the gates

do you like pink bunnies? gigantic, soft, mountainside public art installations of pink bunnies? with faces that are kinda scary and with their entrails hanging out of the side? wanna go to italy? not today? maybe sometime in the next 20 years?

my non-alive bff is named brown bunny and is about a foot tall with floppy ears and is missing an eye and used to have an orange felt carrot glued to his paw but i apparently ripped it off when i was teething so for the last 27 years he has just had a dark orange felt circle on his right arm and he must have had a mouth at one point but i don't remember it ever being anything more than the small spot of red felt that is still attached. he lives on the floor between my bed and the wall.

the pink outdoor bunny is going to look and smell really fucking disgusting really quickly.

craig's list

cd's coworker needs to find a new roommate, so she posted an ad on craig's list. i totally feel her pain, as i had to do the same this summer in a last-ditch attempt to be able to keep my apartment when former roommate em moved to philly for grad school. i posted an ad on craig's list and received all sorts of annoying/inexplicable/weird emails. i ought to post some of them for you - i'm sure they're all still filed away on gmail. i ended up finding someone who i am still under the impression isn't planning on eating my soul.

so cd's coworker's friends replied to her post with the following email. pretty awesome.

Hello. I saw you ad on CL. Your apartment looks great. I am looking for a
new apartment in you area and have a few questions.

Are you open to redecorating? I have a couple of pieces of art I would love
to hang. One is a nude are you OK with that.

Do you have a boy/girl friend? If so do they stay over a lot? Are you loud
behind closed doors? This is a little personal but this is why I'm moving
out of my current apartment.

Do you mind pets? I have a rabbit and a gerbil.

A little about me:

I'm a magician, hence the rabbit. The gerbil is my friend.
I single and social active.
The only parties I bring home I'll take to my room.
I am not a dramatic wack job.

If you’re interested in me as a roommate let me know. I would love to met
you and see the place.

Max Magic

BTW here is a painting of me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

i think i might have problems.

just what i needed - the perfect music-obsessed project that i can devote hours to, and think about, and listen to, and research online. like recreating all of my mix tapes as playlists wasn't enough (hey, it gets cold here in winter. i need shit like that). thanks, blender, for feeding into my ocd.

so blender published a list of the 500 greatest songs recorded "since you were born" (since i am no longer in the desirable 18-25 age bracket, the fact that i was born in 77 is embarrassing and they just did the best songs recorded between 80 and now). it wasn't enough for me to read this list and their sometimes right-on commentary, but no, i had to recreate the list with all of the songs i own as a playlist, in the correct order, and then listen to it, and think about what is placed where and what's missing. i have 190 of the 500, not bad considering i don't really own a lot of obscure rap and hip-hop (do YOU have a copy of #68, "that's the joint" by funky 4+1?) and I DON'T LIKE CRAP (except for when i do).

everyone knows that blender is the music version of fhm or stuff or small-dick complex or whatever "laddie" magazine that it's an offshoot of, but i have a mysteriously free lifelong subscription (i have never sent them a dime, and they have followed me through at least three moves) and they tend to cover some pretty good stuff. plus, it's always good to know what's going on in suge knight's world. just so i know.

some observations:

this made me laugh - and it's true, although i consider live one of my life-long guilty pleasures, even though everything since secret samadhi has sucked, some of it downright embarrassingly so: "#475 - I Alone - Live - Great, blustery, mystical grunge from a truly horrible band."

the REM selections left a lot to be desired - "losing my religion" (#79), "everybody hurts" (238), and "man on the moon" (#482). um, no murmur (any of it, any where)? did life's rich pageant never happen? no "strange currencies"? or "orange crush," "turn you inside-out," "nightswimming," "e-bow the letter," etc, since you refuse to recognize anything pre-warner brothers? zounds!

i suddenly have the inexplicable urge to acquire steve perry's "oh sherrie" (#210).

it hurts my feelings - really - that some of my favorite songs were placed so low on this highly-subjective list. jeff buckley's "last goodbye" is #423, the flaming lips' "do you realize??" is #447 (and how they can completely ignore the soft bulletin basically eradicates any respect that one should even grant this list), nirvana's "heart-shaped box" is #352 and - i'm sorry, but this is just wrong - "bittersweet symphony" is #241. keep in mind that phil collins' "in the air tonight" is #41 and "pour some sugar on me" is #22. i fucking hate def leppard. always have and always will.

surprising to see, but happy for it: wilco, spoon, pulp, belle & sebastian, rilo kiley, lots of pixies, "people who died" by jim carroll, ryan adams, johnny cash's cover of "hurt," pavement, the jam, lcd soundsystem, at the drive-in, my bloody valentine, elastica, the arcade fire, the darkness, the von bondies, old 97s.

they got some bands and musicians right but seemed to choose their singles and not what are really their best songs.

it is inexcusable that aerosmith's "i don't want to miss a thing" made the list at all, even at #499 (there is no way in hell that coldplay's "yellow," at #500, is worse than that utter piece of shit, and even if you don't like coldplay you have to agree).

here is the top 20, just so you have an idea. the blender website has #151-500 listed but i am not willing to type #21-150 for you. even i have limits to my sad obsessions.

1. billie jean - mj
2. b.o.b. - outkast
3. sweet child o mine - g'n'r
4. one - U2
5. smells like teen spirit - nirvana
6. like a prayer - madonna
7. love will tear us apart - joy division
8. sucker mcs - run-dmc
9. baby one more time - britney spears
10. in da club - 50 cent
11. my name is - eminem
12. the message - grandmaster flash & the furious five
13. fight for your right - beastie boys
14. you shook me all night long - ac/dc
15. hey ya - outkast
16. i want it that way - backstreet boys
17. super freak - rick james
18. i'm coming out - diana ross
19. just like heaven - the cure
20. the show - doug e. fresh and the get fresh crew

. . . so there you go. i'm a huge fan of music - and i will be the first to admit that i am perhaps too forgiving of not-very-good bands and that tucked amongst some of the most amazing albums ever recorded i also own some highly questionable and downright bad music - but this list is really just way too across-the-board for me to get behind it. it sure did give me something to obsess over for a few days, though. bring on the next fixation.

and your sister. i think her name's debra.

today's can't-escape song: "Debra" - Beck, from Midnight Vultures

it wasn't the first shuffle song of the day (that honor belongs to "Love Like Ours" by Elastica, from The Menace, and i seriously love that band) but i listened to "debra" first on the bus going to meet eb for dinner (i am in the Ds on my mildly-obsessive "must now listen to all songs from A to Z" kick) and then, about 20 minutes later, it was playing in the pasta bowl, one of my favorite standby places to get inexpensive italian food, plus they serve boddingtons. i love this song - i got Midnight Vultures at the virgin megastore in manhattan when my brother and i went for my birthday in 2000 and we listened to this album on the drive from connecticut (where we had ditched the car) back to new hampshire. due to nothing to occupy my time with during my year in nh, i listened to a lot of music on previously-unheard-of levels of dedication. if my copy of this album had been on vinyl i would have worn the needle down to a nub and if it had been a cassette it would have shredded. this song is fantastic because it channels prince while also offering classic lines like "i'm gonna step to you with a fresh pack of gum" and "i said lady, step inside my hyundai."

it makes me really sad that beck is a scientologist. in his defense, he was raised in the cult, so i guess that's better than being sucked in as soon as you become semi-famous and you have more cash than you know what to do with and you're impressionable and open to completely retarded ideas like xenu and thetans, but juliet lewis was raised as a scientologist, too, and as far as i can see she's pretty mentally damaged, so maybe i'll just respect beck for his creative musical genius and hope that he isn't a total tool in his personal life.

Monday, September 26, 2005


where've i been? i been in missouri for work. there is nothing interesting to say about it, other than the fact that i saw a high school friend that lives in kansas city now and i got to ride a segway - aka rascal for rich people. i promise that i will never be too lazy to walk. i might be too lazy to pick the cigarette butts out of the flower box i stub them out into on the back deck, but i wont ever be too lazy to pick my feet up and place them one in front of the other. much less pay 4 grand for the privilege.

i have the tv on in the background and that new show kitchen confidential on fox, some new smarmy "comedy" directed by the illustrious darren star which i can gaurantee wont last, just played spoon's "stay don't go" during a scene featuring the squirrelly kid from freaks and geeks. huh.

info on the new flaming lips album via pitchfork.

this is super fucked up and sad. people are always so terribly fascinated with prison and punishment and violence - looky, the show following kitchen confidential is called prison break - and everyone knows about prison rape, but no one ever goes to bat for the guys that end up someone's bitch. i guess if it happens in prison you either deserve it or no one really cares, and it's somehow an acceptable punchline in mainstream society (right? or is that just me and my friends?).

rm sent me this article with the subject line "you got served!" um, a dance-off? an impromptu battle-of-the-crews dance-off? wtf? were jazz hands a'flailing and john lithgow was banging the pulpit yelling about how music and dancing are devil worship? ps the name of one of the drill teams, the Dynamic Steppers, reminds me of one of my favorite lines from donnie darko: "sometimes i doubt your commitment to sparkle motion!"

speaking of donnie darko, the whole "the most beautiful phrase in english is 'cellar door'" is actually a jrr tolkien quote, and he brought wizards and trolls and lameness to our general cultural landscape, so i don't know if i can agree with that assertion.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

beyond rad

today's first shuffle song on ipod: "In The Long Run" - The Carrie Nations, from the Beyond the Valley of the Dolls soundtrack

oh christ, i am so happy that this popped up. okay, i don't want to blather on and on about how BTVOTD is basically the BEST MOVIE EVER MADE, so allow me ten reasons why it is:

1) roger ebert wrote it when he was in college (btw, roger is ag's 2005 fiscal year boyfriend - she recently declared this, and i am quite happy about it. since we successfully stalked her 04FYBF, and roger is in chicago, finding him is going to be cake. i mean, it might even be a huge letdown to just take the bus to the chicago sun-times building and find his office. i want to make us work for it this year).
2) russ meyer directed it. you know what that means - boobs for no reason whatsoever.
3) z-man: the eyes, the shakespearean dialogue, the clothes, the lambchop sideburns, the identity crisis three-quarters of the way through. strangely hott. when austin powers declares "this is my happening and it freaks me out" he is quoting z-man.
4) it was rated x even though they tried to tone it down.
5) it's a musical, a drama, a porn, a cautionary morality tale, unintentionally hilarious, a blaxploitation film, a psychedelic freak-out and a horror movie. YOU try writing that.
6) the acting is both amazing and ridiculous.
7) it was out of print forever (as was the soundtrack), which only made me want it more. i got to buy it on vhs and i saw a midnight showing at visions (keg show - $10, all you can drink at the keg sitting in the back of the theater, til it's kicked), and my college boyfriend and i used to have the shared dream of someday finding the soundtrack on vinyl. dare to dream.
8) it is possible to write a list of amazing dialogue for you to incorporate into your everyday life, and you will never be able to remember them all.
9) the sets, the clothes, the hair and makeup: a primer for awesomeness.
10) the music, which brings me to why i own this. the songs are amazing - like dusty springfield fronting jangly guitar pop with some of the lamest lyrics ever committed to paper. sort of hippie, sort of british, and the fact that a porn star is lip synching (poorly) to the blue-eyed soul is just . . . well, perfect.

not-boring-or-overtly-depressing-news roundup

swearing is universal and visceral and, um, fucking great. leave it to the times to make it sound so smart.

simon the nazi hunter: this man did more in an average afternoon than i will ever do in my entire life.

math is boring and everything, but this article explains why when you hit "shuffle" on your ipod, it doesn't seem as random as it should, but that's the beauty of randomness. ha - listen to me act like i understand algorithms. flash forward: it is going to be soooo 2005 to try to relate every topic imaginable to the ipod. i'll probably be really embarrassed by how ipod-obsessed this blog is. scrath that: i will be really embarrassed that i BLOGGED.

i'm not quite sure i understand how the fact that kate moss is a drug-addled loser is suddenly news, but she lost her h&m job over it, and the times actually wrote about it. now maybe h&m can spend that cash they just saved by maybe designing clothes that aren't manufactured by sweatshop children with staplers. i'm actually surprised to learn that she is a mere 31 - wasn't she famous when i was like seven and we were the same weight?

std vaccines! i like how the tribune adds the mea culpa "but for children" in the headline. the fact that i was a child pre-internet, pre-ipod and pre-std-vaccine is just UNFAIR. kids these days. they don't know how lucky they got it. of course, the moral outrage of giving children a green light to avoid debilitating, life-threatening and un-hott disease was expected. shut up, dummies.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

is nancy still single?

john hinckley wants a girlfriend. yeah, well, i want a puppy, but i rent, and you’re in st elizabeth’s, so we can’t always get what we want.

Smitten with a hospital chaplain, he scheduled an appointment with her. But when asked about it by his doctors, Hinckley admitted that the appointment was mostly a chance to see a "pretty lady" and agreed to cancel it.

you know you’re hard up when the mental ward chaplain is lookin good to you.

his last lady friend was in for murdering her 10-year-old daughter. now that’s hott.

insert obligatory jodie foster joke here.

sanity test

so let's play pretend. pretend that you are totally batshit crazy. you are also famous - more for your problems than for your talent, but people know who you are. pretend that you are totally fucking high, and this is a pretty average state for you. pretend that you see a woman (a good 15 years younger, because you're like 41, and only god knows how you're still alive) sleeping on your ex-boyfriend's couch. WHAT DO YOU DO?

a) ask your ex why there's a skank in his front room (because your feelings are hurt)
b) realize that your ex has moved on, so you go home and sleep off the oxycontin (because you have a moment of clarity)
c) douse the sleeping woman in whiskey, slam the bottle across her face, throw a lit candle at her (liquor is flammable, after all), tear at her arm (thrown up in self-defense) with your claws, pull her hair, bitch slap her (there goes her tooth!), and, as a grand finale, pinch her boob so hard that it leaves a mark.

i think that the thrown candle ups this from aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (i think they classify bottles as deadly weapons . . . but maybe that's just if it's broken . . . i wouldn't really know, i'm not totally fucking insane) to attempted murder. read more here.

i'm going to start an online petition to have courtney put in jail. people have been executed for doing less crazy shit than she does like every-other week.

thanks to my fellow blogger nerds for sending me courtney-related items.

Monday, September 19, 2005

a joke

ag told me this at dinner tonight.

Q: what's the bush adminstration's position on roe vs wade?

A: they don't care how you get out of new orleans.

brahahahahahhahahahaha. get it? "row"? "wade"?

boot n rally

well, labor day has passed. i'm still carrying around my white patent leather handbag (the rules have changed, just ask patty hearst as you beat her to death with a payphone receiver), the days are getting colder (um, not really) and shorter (yet i still have to be at the office for 8.5 hours) and intramural happy hour's season is over.

there are about 15 people between the ages of 22 and 32 at work, almost all of whom are pretty awesome, and we had toyed with playing intramural volleyball this summer, but no one ever really got around to looking into the league, and i was thinking about why we would all want to play on a team together anyway, and came to the correct conclusion that we really just wanted to get together to hang out and go to the bar after our games. so i cut out the middle man and kept the competitive edge by devising intramural happy hour.

there are rules, of course; you can't just grab some beer after work with a few of your coworkers and call it intramurals. the basic rules are that everyone has to be invited at least twenty-four hours before the event, and at least three people have to be there for points to be earned (this rule gets more important the later in the evening it becomes). you get 1 point for beer, 1.5 for a mixed drink. you get clocked in and clocked out. the amount of money you spent - plus tip but minus food - is recorded. shots had to be purchased for everyone, but if you were the one who bought the round, you'd get 3 bonus points and obviously got credit for the money spent. the key is to drink the most points in the longest amount of time for the least amount of money - the true point of happy hour.

it was super fun - we chose different bars in different neighborhoods to check out, we got to hang out about once a week, we all got to know one another better. i still haven't come up with the proper and final count, but i'm fairly certain i came in second (and the top-scoring girl - boo-yah!). we decided that we were called boot n rally and had a "secret" hand signal (something like a boot kicking a glass over but it ends up looking like you're making a "J" in sign language), we talked about having shirts made. we even had a mascot - a runaway horse. during the second or third boot n rally we were at a downtown pub, sitting out front, when a spooked horse that had tipped its driver and carriage over in the street came careening past us, racing directly into rushhour traffic. it was pretty surreal.

one of my boot n rally team members sent this forward out at the start of the season (it's from and i now share it with you out of homage. viva boot n rally!

Happy Hour Heroes

Here's to those who observe strict cocktail hours, from 5pm sharp until last call. Thank you, Happy Hour Heroes.

The rest of us owe these marathon binge drinkers a great debt of gratitude. Sustaining themselves on nothing but tortilla chips and buffet chicken wings, these Friday night Knights begin their evenings hours earlier than those who feel it necessary to go home after work and change, nap or shower.

If it were not for the Happy Hour Hero, who would call you at 7:30pm and remind you that you are, indeed, a pussy?

Thanks to those who turn a few beers after work into a Grey Goose-fueled blackout, Happy Hour Heroes test their limits every weekend. The rest of us should be ashamed to be content with simply "going out", as opposed to the biological feats these hardened heroes pull off week in and week out.

When their ties are loosened and their sportcoats are on the floor of a corner booth, Happy Hour Heroes rule the roost until they can no longer speak. These brave, drunk men are the ones who creep out any woman they approach and force them to talk to the lesser men who watched a few hours of TV after work and put on some jeans before hitting the bars.

Thank you, Happy Hour Heroes, for buying the entire round of shots. At least that's what we think you said. And thanks to the credit card you will leave behind at the bar, we will always remember your name.

In the trenches longer than a full day's work, thank you Happy Hour Heroes for fighting the good fight against unconsciousness. By all means, rest for awhile. You've earned it. Lay your head down in that comfy ash tray. As God as my witness, no one will be allowed near your forehead with a permanent marker.

Happy Hour Heroes, your breath may be heavy and strong from a long night of Marlboro Lights and well gin, but it is not offensive to anyone who knows of your quest. That smell of decay is merely a reminder to the rest of us that you get more done before midnight than the rest of us can accomplish all night.

Happy Hour Heroes, even though the bartender, who you thought was your new friend, turned against you after he slipped in your vomit, don't lose sight of your duty. He, like you say, is indeed a jerk, and is incapable of understanding the life of a man with the courage to begin his night at 5pm.

For all you do, Happy Hour Hero, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you. Now it's time to go. Get up off the floor. You've ruined your suit.


i saw the rebirth brass band at martyrs' last friday with my eb and cj. cj and i lived in dc and then she moved to new orleans for two years, and we both moved to chicago around the same time. she obviously feels badly about the state of new orleans (i mean, we all do, but you know what i mean) so she has been forwarding us all info on who we can help and where to bring donations. she heard that they were playing and i went out of more than just curiosity or saddened obligation - i got to see them in new orleans a few years ago and thought that they were really rad.

in fact, i used to write travelogues for my little trips, and i just so happen to have this little snippet from Saturday, May 12, 2001:

"After dinner we went to Tipitina’s, a bar with a stage and plenty of dancing room, to see the Rebirth Brass Band, which Heidi says has a pretty large following. It is a group of about ten men who play a mix of jazz, marching band and hip-hop. They were all rather urban-looking gentlemen, with gold teeth and cornrows and shirts that said Phat Naz-T, but my favorite member was Wayne (at least that’s what his rhinestone-studded headband said) who was all pimped-out in a black suit and sunglasses, whose sole function in the band was to clap and nod. The audience was full of white kids who flailed like ska fans and passed a bowl around, and touchy-feely couples who swayed while holding one another. I just drank Canadian Club with Coke and Amstel Lights to deal, but the band kicked ass."

so it's four years later, they're on tour (that was going to end but now they don't really have a home to go back to), it was a benefit for hurricane victims, and i was more than game. the show sold out and i heard that there was quite a line outside of people really wanting to come in. the show was great - the crowd, not so much. i guess few things change. i will say that the band really wasn't as thugged-out as i remembered (or wrote) and there was, of course, a different kind of celebratory vibe to the show, but they were really great, and i hope that they continue kicking ass.

sidenote: what's with everyone's obsession with maroon 5? are they like a whistle that only dogs can hear, but when i say "dogs" i mean "most of america"? the rebirth brass band even broke out into a maroon 5 song - "this love" or "sweetest good-bye" or "secret" or "she will be loved" or "this good-bye secret will be loved" or whatever it was. i bought that album after one ill-advised viewing of the video for "harder to breathe," and i like that song, but they tricked me into thinking that they were a rock band. the lead singer is even on a song on kanye's new album. remind me to sell that cd on amazon before everyone owns it and i can only get rid of it for two bucks.

Friday, September 16, 2005


here is a short show review.

bloc party/the kills/the noisettes at the congress theater, 9.14.05

the noisettes sucked. i liked her british accent, but her singing was like linda perry, except a lot faster and shrill.

i saw the kills in dc in april, and that show was better, maybe because they did an entire set and weren't opening. w (real name alison) writhes and freaks out, which is cool, but it seems pre-meditated and showy when she comes out and immediately starts shaking and dry-humping the air. hotel (real name: jamie) seems pretty badass, cold and british, but he did a super cheesy move at the end of one song, holding his guitar neck and turning it toward the crowd like it was a machine gun. or something. yawn. they played a lot of songs off of "no wow," which i was pretty obsessed with for months, and a few new ones, and "fried my little brains" from the first album. i like how raw they are, and full of menacing sexual tension, but it seemed more like a put-on the second time around. photo to the left is from their show in dc (which i stole off of someone else's blog a while ago). also, it was miked really badly, so you could barely hear hotel and i only knew what w was singing because i have "no wow" basically memorized.

bloc party was . . . forgive me . . . boring. i just don't do well seeing guitar-dance-rock neo-brit-pop - the franz ferdinand show bored me, and i bet interpol would bore me. i was drunk, sure, which usually helps, and i do like bloc party, but everything sounded the same to me, and it's quite different to like an album and enjoy a show. i'm sure a little bit of it had to do with the inexplicable crowd - lots of normal-looking easily-excited kids that knew every word and screamed a lot. maybe i'm getting too old for all-ages shows, and maybe i'm a misanthrope, but where have all the kool kids gone? the ones that stand with their arms folded across their chests and nod to the music, staring intently, politely clap and yell between songs if and only if they are enjoying what they hear? what's with the spazzes that i see infiltrating shows that i would never imagine i would feel too old to be at? they're waving their arms, they're screaming, they're acting like they're at a dashboard confessional show. they're also walking up to my friend jk and asking if he has any weed to sell him. jk and i were smoking cigarettes in between bands and some dummy asked him, really unsuave and totally begging to be busted for someday asking an undercover cop, if he had any. mind you, this was a doors-at-six-show-at-seven event, so we just went right after work for bad mexican food and booze next to the theater, and jk was wearing a polo shirt and nice pants. i can't judge a band on its fans, but who are these people, and how do i keep seeing them at shows? they're ruining it for me.

catching up

i've been busy. too busy to clean my room, too busy to do my laundry, and even, tears, too busy to blog. but i took the day off, and chicago is living up its nickname today - it's gray and drizzling and the trees are bending every which way in the wind - so i shall now catch up.

rm sent me an even better anderson cooper article. it delves more into his personal life and history, and he even attempts to explain himself in a self-aware "i hate talking about myself" way, and i am so not alone in my admiration, but you should check it out if you have any doubts that he is an interesting and thoughtful badass. ps: sorry i sent you that teddy bear wearing a suit and then showed up all pissed off that you never thanked me. don't you know that nothing says "i love you" more than a teddy bear in your image? other than a teddy bear wearing a t-shirt that says "#1 Lover"?

remember when cheney acted like the class-act that he is when he told sen. leahy to go fuck himself on the senate floor? well, the wizard of oz himself was down in mississippi blathering on in his inhuman "i will eat your soul" way to cnn in a decimated neighborhood when a resident, who has been described in the press as an ER doctor AND in a punk band, yelled off camera that cheney ought to go fuck himself. it's found here - cheney just sort of laughs it off and even makes some sort of joke about how (i think he says) it must be "a friend of john . . . uh, never mind." the guy that yelled out at him has a website that shows what happened to what used to be his house - the website is called, in an understatement, "Hurricane Katrina Sucked." ps: is that william kennedy smith standing next to the dick?

people need little heartwarming stories in the face of horrific tragedy to take a break from the feeling that the world is ugly and hopeless. i like this one a lot and i just hope that they are brought back to shore before whomever runs this website gets to them first.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

okay, now i'm getting really uncool

today's first shuffle song on ipod: "Merry-Go-Round" by the Brady Bunch, from It's A Sunshine Day: The Brady Bunch's Greatest Hits

so, no, i do not make up what the day's first shuffle song is. clearly. i used to really like - um, no, scratch that, i was mildly obsessed - with the brady bunch. my mother wouldn't let us get cable when i was growing up to save us from sex, drugs and r'n'r, which clearly worked, so i watched a lot of the bradys in syndication. i loved it - the bad clothes, the stupid scripts, the trite happiness and hard lessons learned. i bought greg's memoir, taped episodes off of fox, and really wanted to go see the real live brady bunch, which was a group of smartasses performing brady bunch scripts word-for-word way-off-broadway. i was also mildly obsessed with r.e.m. when i was 16, so the two intersected into a perfect moment when i purchased this cd at wuxtry records in athens, ga, the same record store that peter buck worked and where he met stipe.

this cd is pretty awful, but maybe in a tolerable way. most of the songs are horrifically off-key. i suppose it's funny. or it used to be. twelve years ago.

Monday, September 12, 2005

maybe not the coolest ever, but i don't care.

today's first shuffle song on ipod: "Love and Affection" - Joan Armatrading, from Greatest Hits.

not the coolest song ever. not the coolest musician ever. but she's pretty awesome - one of the first black folk singers to become famous - she's from st kitts but moved to the uk when she was young and was a huge influence on tracy chapman. i saw her at wolftrap in virginia in 2000, when i reconnected with a college friend that was living in fairfax and i was in dc. it was a rather tame evening. anyway, i like joan, when i want to listen to mellow folky jazzy love-ish songs. mandy moore actually does a fairly credible cover of joan's song "drop the pilot" on her coverage album. i am not ashamed to admit that mandy's cover of elton john's "mona lisas and mad hatters" is really great - better than the original, in fact.

oh, itunes is letting me download the new david gray album now, an hour before i suppose they're allowed to let me. tuesdays mean new records are out. i like tuesdays. i pre-ordered, probably because i think they said that i would get an exclusive track as well as a "digital booklet." i have never taken advantage of any of the pre-sale orders on itunes before, so we'll see if it's actually a great deal to pre-pay.

an open letter to anderson cooper

dear anderson cooper,

you're really pretty. not like jude law pretty, but in that chiseled face/prematurely white/armani suit/high society/strangely gayless sort of way (which, come to think of it, is a lot like jude). you cry on camera and i don't think that you're lying. you call out politicians on their bullshit, and not in a bill o'reilley "i want to use a falafel on you/i'm a loudmouthed asshole" kind of way. my mom rocked your mom's jeans back in the late 70s. my school didn't have channel one because i grew up in rural sucksville, usa, and i never watched the mole, but cnn is lucky to have you. they need the help. you travel the world and report on what's happening there, even when no one really understands the situation/cares, and you have no intention of leaving the gulf coast right now, and not because you're a loser like geraldo who wants to make every story about himself, but because you are a fucking railroad gilded age fashion heir, and you would rather participate in the world than buy it.

what i'm trying to say, anderson cooper, is that i think i heart you.

what's really inside

so there was a study done on how much people actually use their ipods as far as capacity is concerned. half, they found, only put 100 songs onto their ipods (which is like the equivalent of about 9 albums) and the average was 375 songs. who ARE these people? why would you spend so much money on something that is merely more convenient than swapping out your cd every day (or, i guess, if you only have 100 songs, every month)? keep in mind that these 1,000+ people were surveyed before the shuffle was introduced, so i bet the bell curve would have sharply dropped had they been included.

i'm not saying that everyone has to own 400 albums and carry them around on their ipod at all times just in case they all of a sudden have to hear that one song from 1983 that they used to really like, but this study is indicative of the fact that people buy shit that they don't need because they feel like they ought to. i have to admit, when my ipod breaks (twice already) and i am forced to commute with my old discman - which, a year ago, was my mainstay - i feel a little bit lame.

i do think it's an interesting dig that they mention that almost no one they polled noted country music as their favorite genre.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

who travis morrison will always want to be.

today's first shuffle song on ipod: "The Gold Finch and the Red Oak Tree" - Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, from The Tyranny of Distance.

this is a short, pretty, stringed song, all acoustic and sweet. i saw ted leo in dc with tc and hk at the black cat - he's been in the dc scene for years. i should have liked the show more than i did. i feel that way about ted in general: i ought to like him more than i do. there's nothing wrong with him; i just haven't gotten totally into him yet. however, i love the song "do go on" by chisel, his former band, so much that it is #15 on my top-25-songs-played list that the ipod tracks for me. #1 is spoon's "they never got you." i am seriously obsessed with that song. i listen to it every day. there's a certain swagger to it that makes it perfect for walking quickly. so, yes, ted, i will try to get into you. soon. promise.

i just went to his website. he sure does like to leave messages for his fans, and not in a self-indulgent and creepy way like some people. i hope my dc friends go to this.

ps my headline dis is directed at the former head of the dismemberment plan (dc band) and current indie rock solo artist whose album received some of the best reviews i have even read. and when i say "best" i mean "meanest." which is fine for me, because i think travis is an asshole.

football season is over.

hunter s thompson's suicide note found here. voyeuristic and negative to read? i mean, i didn't know him. he sure as shit didn't write it for my benefit. or did he know that his audience would want some sort of final word? and that the washington post would publish it?

i still feel bad about it. he deserved a better ending, and so did his family.

things i recommend

1. thousand waves spa, chicgo: ladies only. one-hour massage. eucalyptus sauna, whirlpool, steam room. lots of naked women, but none that you'd really actually want to see naked. i went today, i had gone in maybe april, and i think i now owe it to myself to throw down every six months. you leave feeling totally stoned and clean. nice.
2. kanye west. new album, old album, unscripted rants, his pepsi commerical featuring the chicago skyline. i've lived here for 14 months and i still take photos of downtown. he's the city's new favorite son.
3. flaming lips documentary the fearless freaks. wayne is the coolest eternal-8-year-old ever. if you didn't grow up in the rural midwest, you probably wont quite understand how remarkable they are. lovelovelove.
4. "all the love in the world" on the new nine inch nails album.
5. this debbie downer skit still makes me laugh.
6. chicago's ohmyrockness site. there's a new york one, too, for you nyc kool kidz.
7. the magnetic fields' song "washington, dc." how did i not know about this until this week?
8. this article on the uk's worst (celebrated) art. it's funny/sad that the protraits of damon and co. are on the list.
9. people be hating on barbara bush. bout time. bitch.
10. buying popeyes biscuits after the bar. just walk up to the drive-through window.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

who names this shit?

so apple is rolling out an ipod phone (for cingular subscribers only) that is unfortunately named the rokr. what, was cheese-o-rama already taken? $250 PLUS a two-year contract with cingular (eh). holds 100 songs. they claim it will play songs for nine hours and has the stand-by time of nine days. sounds a bit dubious, but then again, the term "flash memory" means nothing to a luddite like me - i'm one of those crazy people who doesn't want to have to know how things work, i just want to flip the switch and have it work.

also, the ipod mini is now already obsolete, as the nano is also being introduced - looks okay, like the best features of the shuffle and the mini combined. it appears that the ipod mini is completely off of the apple website - dis! seems like the nano is a pretty good deal if you only need 1,000 songs, and the color screen and photo capacity is nice. i don't understand what the point of the “screen lock feature that allows no one except the user to access content" is. if i am reading that correctly, only i will be able to scroll through my photos or music if i lock it. i mean, i can't tell you how many times i'm busting people looking through my ipod, because i just leave it lying around.

also, madonna is relenting and allowing itunes to sell her songs for a buck a piece (the beatles - err, rather, the various institutions that own the beatles catalogue - are still holding out).

"Madonna made an appearance at the event via a video phone call to announce that she would make her music available for download for the first time. All of the singer’s songs will be offered through the iTunes library. 'I got tired of not being able to download my own music,' Madonna said." and the world gave a collective yawn.

read more here or just go to the apple website.

they call him mellow yellow

today's first ipod shuffle song: "Barabajagal" - Donovan, from Donovan's Greatest Hits

he gave us ione skye, he gave us donovan leitch, and he gave us a lot of nonsensical trip-out psychedelic rad fucking music. "jennifer jupiter" was used to great effect in election and "atlantis" (one of my personal favorites) was amazing in goodfellas. "season of the witch" is awesome. "hurdy gurdy man" rocks. he's sorta ridiculous, but i love him. dude smokes banana peels.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

"waiting for a superman" is my ringtone.

today's first shuffle song on ipod: "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" - The Flaming Lips, from the Fight Test EP

yes, this is a kylie minogue cover. while kylie's version is robot-bubblegum pop, this is just a creepy and pained-sounding obsessive love letter with some awesome dramatic strings and spanish guitar. wayne sounds scratchy and crazy, just how i like him. the lips are pretty great at covers - the fight test ep has radiohead's "knives out" and beck's "the golden age."

the flaming lips = one of my favorite bands. i saw them at a radio station festival in may 1995 in milwaukee - they shared the bill with the ramones, bush, sponge (remember them? didn't think so), duran duran . . . hmmm . . . there were other bands, but i'm drawing a blank. i bet i wrote it down somewhere and it's saved in a plastic storage box in my parents' basement. this was back when "she don't use jelly" was a novelty hit. i was unimpressed, and little did i know that they would record my all-time favorite record, the soft bulletin, four years later. my brother kept telling me that i would really like it and i resisted, wondering how many "she uses vaseline"-type songs i could possibly enjoy, and he made me listen to it on a drive home from my grandparents' house on christmas eve of 2000. i sat in the backseat listening on headphones at like midnight with my jaw on the floor. i remember the car pulling into the driveway during "the gash" and i didn't want to get out of the car until the song was done. i became obsessed with this record. i bought it for everyone for christmas and birthdays, i listened to it constantly, and i sincerely believed it to be the most beautiful thing i had ever heard in my entire life. when i listen to this record i just remember everything about the spring of 2001: walking down jenifer street in dc, sitting in tryst smoking cigarettes while skipping work, amstel lights at the pharmacy bar. i couldn't not love this album if i tried.

i did see the lips again: once on easter (was that 2003?) and then a few months later in denver, when visiting my sister. liz phair opened, and then i talked to her and pete yorn at the airport the next day as we all waited in the security line (i was so impressed with myself). during both shows, wayne, whom i am in love with, wore his white preacher suit and covered his face with fake blood and made his nun hand puppet sing, and i just generally only have really positive things to say, and i hate gushing, so i'll stop.

the photo is a digital one taken from the crowd at coachella a few years ago (which i did not attend). the fearless freaks, the lips documentary, is next on my netflix queue, which i am excited for. i am surprised that i haven't seen it yet, but whatevs, i've been busy.

ps thanks for all of the emails and calls about my dumb eye. no surgery needed - apparently my retina is a tough little fucker and healed the tear/hole/injury with scar tissue a while ago, which is what my opthalmologist saw and freaked out over. you hear that? THAT'S how much of a badass i am - even my the backs of my eyeballs have scars and i don't even notice.

Monday, September 05, 2005

i think the name of this website is actually kinda annoying.

my friend sf's uncle is a programmer and told him about the new web project he's working on, soundflavor ( it's in beta right now but i checked it out and it seems pretty cool. it's like a friendster community and itunes rolled into one. you create playlists so that the program can get a sense for what you like (all based on the actual music, not what a record company or amazon wants to sell you) and then offers a page of recommendations. supposedly, when it gets rolling, you'll be able to make recommendations to other people and see what they're listening to and make new music nerd friends.

i made a playlist of ten of my all-time favorite songs; they being in no particular order 1) what is the light? - flaming lips 2) bittersweet symphony - the verve 3) oh! you pretty things - david bowie 4) strange currencies - r.e.m. 5) heart-shaped box - nirvana 6) as - stevie wonder 7) 6'1" - liz phair 8) there's no home for you here - white stripes 9) touch, feel & lose - ryan adams 10) la la love you - pixies. they did not have spoon, and a lot of the songs that i would have added to my top ten are on the website but for whatever reason aren't included in the program's analysis (which they tell you but don't explain why).

so based on those ten songs, the top ten recommended songs they gave me included songs by lush (with an 86% as far as relevancy is concerned, however relevant their relevancy percentage is), JJ72, supergrass, pj harvey, jeremy toback, folk implosion, another JJ72 song, the cranes, radiohead and the coral. i have not heard of JJ72 or jeremy toback, and i am unfamiliar with some of the songs they recommended. why those particular songs by pj harvey, supergrass and radiohead were chosen i don't know, as they aren't really ones that i would pick as their best.

i'm going to keep playing around with this. i don't think i'm going to post a profile, though - seems a bit creepy.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

it's been a bad week.

i don't really have anything remarkable to say about new orleans, the hurricane, the blatent racism and classicism that has led to delayed and half-assed assistance, or how embarrassing it all is. i love new orleans, and i can't help but think that no matter how bad things may ever get for me, i am in a position of privilege that will never have to deal with the large-scale bullshit that others have to contend with their whole lives.

oh. i am watching cnn right now. rehnquist died tonight. shit. bush gets two supreme court nominees now? fuuuuuck.

watch this - i heart kanye. mike meyers looks like he is so uncomfortable. the camera couldn't cut away quick enough.

read this - michael moore's open letter to bush that is dead-on.

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

Dear Mr. Bush:

Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag.

Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters. How come they weren't there to begin with?

Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there were still homes without power. That night the weatherman said this storm was on its way to New Orleans. That was Thursday! Did anybody tell you? I know you didn't want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you don't like to get bad news. Plus, you had fundraisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and smear. You sure showed her!

I especially like how, the day after the hurricane, instead of flying to Louisiana, you flew to San Diego to party with your business peeps. Don't let people criticize you for this -- after all, the hurricane was over and what the heck could you do, put your finger in the dike?

And don't listen to those who, in the coming days, will reveal how you specifically reduced the Army Corps of Engineers' budget for New Orleans this summer for the third year in a row. You just tell them that even if you hadn't cut the money to fix those levees, there weren't going to be any Army engineers to fix them anyway because you had a much more important construction job for them -- BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ!

On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home, I have to say I was moved by how you had your Air Force One pilot descend from the clouds as you flew over New Orleans so you could catch a quick look of the disaster. Hey, I know you couldn't stop and grab a bullhorn and stand on some rubble and act like a commander in chief. Been there done that.

There will be those who will try to politicize this tragedy and try to use it against you. Just have your people keep pointing that out. Respond to nothing. Even those pesky scientists who predicted this would happen because the water in the Gulf of Mexico is getting hotter and hotter making a storm like this inevitable. Ignore them and all their global warming Chicken Littles. There is nothing unusual about a hurricane that was so wide it would be like having one F-4 tornado that stretched from New York to Cleveland.

No, Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days? Don't make me laugh! Race has nothing -- NOTHING -- to do with this!

You hang in there, Mr. Bush. Just try to find a few of our Army helicopters and send them there. Pretend the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are near Tikrit.


Michael Moore

P.S. That annoying mother, Cindy Sheehan, is no longer at your ranch. She and dozens of other relatives of the Iraqi War dead are now driving across the country, stopping in many cities along the way ( ). Maybe you can catch up with them before they get to DC on September 21st.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

the blog remains the same.

today's first shuffle song on the ipod: "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" - Led Zeppelin, from the box set

i didn't fully understand how led zep completely rules until i was a senior in college. i hung out with some stoner guys in high school that were into them and we used to go to this one kid's older brother's house in fort atkinson, wi (the entire town smells like purina cat chow, thanks to the factory), where he had a rented house with led zep velvet posters and bad tapestries on the walls and lame-o mushroom candles on the coffee table. i never really understood why he'd want us around until i grew up and realized that a bunch of 16-year-old high school girls would come over to listen to records and hang out, and that this must have been pretty rad for a 25-year-old with such stunted interpersonal skills. at that point i didn't really like the dated majikal mystical unicorn patchouli bullshit that i associated with this guy's house and, by extension, led zep.

i have dated two men that have very strong feelings for the zep: my college boyfriend HATED them and under no circumstances would tolerate them, and so i bought IV after we broke up like it was some sort of liberating stance, and i was pleasantly surprised to find that they fucking rock. later, i dated a guy that was so insanely in love with them that his email address included the letters "zoso" amongst a bunch of numbers. NERD. i have struck a happy balance between the two varying obsessions (pro and con). my brother bought me the box set for my 24th birthday and i think that they are totally badass, retardo pagan imagery and runes/stonehenge/leprachaun vibe reluctantly included.

for your consideration

it's been too long since the last christopher guest ensemble film/mockumentary. this one sounds like it will be awesome.

ricky gervais! i am totally in love with him. i don't find him attractive at all but i would still hit it. on principle alone.

both christopher guest and ricky gervais are "strangely gayless," as tc and i would say. that term doesn't exactly make a lot of sense, but it is derived from our term "strangely ageless" when describing people that could be 23 or could be 53 (kinda like on this website. click around for meth mouth photos). so really what i am saying is that they could be gay, they could be straight, or they could just be morrissey.

from dark horizons:

"Best in Show" & "A Mighty Wind" director Christopher Guest intends to do a sendup of awards season entitled "For Your Consideration," which Castle Rock Entertainment will produce and Warner Independent Pictures will release fall 2006 reports Variety.

The film won't be a mockumentary, rather centering on a movie-within-a-movie that will be largely improvised. Guest is directing and co-writing with Eugene Levy. The film revolves around three actors shooting a small indie film whose lives are turned upside down when buzz starts that their performances are awards-worthy. The movie-within-a-movie, titled "Home for Purim," takes place in the South in the mid-1940s.

Ricky Gervais will play the head of a studio's specialty division producing "Purim," while Guest will play a director who has shot 18 sitcom pilots, none of which have gone to series. Levy will play an agent. The three actors will be played by Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey and Harry Shearer. Bob Balaban, Jennifer Coolidge, Michael McKean and Fred Willard also star.

The saga begins when one of the actresses is told of an Internet rumor that she's sure to be nominated for an award. A morning talkshow co-anchor talks about awards chances with her male lead. And the pic's third thesp is engulfed in similar rumors.

it's all about moderation

kids in the british town of wellingborough are now allowed to swear at their teacher up to (but not over) five times per class.

does this rule apply to geography class, when studying various towns in austria?

thanks to jk for the forward (with the subject line "Luckkkyyyyyy...")