Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Plagiarist Links

BNL have a podcast now. Some music, lots of Ed talking and stories. Ed tells a story in one of them that almost made me pee my pants. (I think it's #8. You have to subscribe to access it. It's free.)

It's Peanut Butter Feder Time!
I don't expect anybody to understand why I put this up or why I find it funny. I can't even figure it out for myself.

Waxy offers up Penn & Teller's long-lost video game.
"The most infamous part was "Desert Bus," a "VeriSimulator" in which you drive a bus across the straight Nevada desert for eight hours in real-time. Then you drive it home. Also, I'd read the bus veers to the right, so you can't just leave the joypad propped up. The rumor was that if you won the game, you got one point." Waxy + P&T = Two great tastes that taste great together.

I really like the free song that Not Lame is offering up this week.
It's only up until Wednesday morning. It's called "Airport Breakfast" by The General Store, and can be accessed at the upper right of the page.

Ask The Experts at Oxford. I didn't know that nothing rhymed with silver.

News Flash!! Apple releases lame products!!* First there's the iPod HiFi, which, at $350, doesn't seem to be much better than my kick-ass SoundDock, except for the fact that it can take batteries. They could have redeemed this thing by making a remote with a small screen mirroring the iPod (that's the only thing I don't like about the SoundDock), but they didn't. Hands-on look at this clunker here. Even better, check out the new iPod case. No access to screen or controls. $100. WTF? Apple stock fell after the announcement. *I reserve the right to change my mind and buy these later.

Spielberg (kinda) confirms: Indy 4 is next! Insert hip-breaking joke here.

New Yacht Rock. Awesome.

It's Peanut Butter Feder Time! Peanutbutterjelly! Peanutbutterjelly! Peanutbutterjellywithabaseballbat! Okay, I'll stop now.

Monday, February 27, 2006


Friday, February 24, 2006

Wings Dogs Wings Dogs Wings Dogs

Jess and I are going up to Buffalo for the weekend. A close friend of ours is in a show, and we want to support him. Plus, we haven't been to Buffalo in a few years, and it's time for a visit.

But as you might imagine, there's something else on my mind.

Oh, wings. How I love you. But not just any wings. Duff's Famous Wings. The best wings in all the land. And don't give me this shit about Anchor Bar having the best wings because they were invented there. It may be true that they indeed were created there, but I've been to Anchor Bar, and the wings simply aren't comparable. True, you get a nicer experience in terms of atmosphere when you go to Anchor Bar (because, frankly, Duff's is a shithole), but who's going for the ambiance? I'm going for the WINGS.

I admit it - I don't even get 'em hot. I get 'em wimpy. But for me, it's about the taste. I can't even describe it properly, but anybody who's been there will tell you that they're amazing.

You never forget your first time. Aaahhh. I was 18 and had just moved to Buffalo. I had never really eaten wings before. We pulled into the parking lot, and the smell of the wings made my eyes tear up and my nose run - before we even opened the car doors.

Everybody who works at Duff's wear the shirts.

And although I question why the word "is" needs to be underlined, they're not joking around. Anything below medium comes on a plate. Anything above medium comes in a bowl. It's pretty much soup at this point. Those wings will kick your ass, son.

I dream about these wings. In NYC, the only wings that come close are Atomic Wings, although they lose points for their wussy waffle fries. Only shoestrings should be served with wings. Nothing beats wings from Duff's, and I get to eat 'em this weekend. At their original location. (I know the website promotes their Toronto branch, and I don't get it either.)

"Will you only be eating wings in Buffalo," you ask? Hell, no. I'm not 19 anymore. I can't eat them more than once over the weekend without causing major havoc to my digestive system. No, we'll be mixing it up by visiting another one of our favorite eateries, Ted's. Having grown up in and around NYC with "dirty water dogs," I never believed that anything good could come of a hot dog being grilled until it was crispy and damn near black on the outside. But Ted's proved me wrong.

I get a footlong with mustard, sauerkraut and a pickle running along the dog/bun. Jess gets hers drenched in cheese. Then I get french fries (also shoestring and also unbelievable, like Duff's). I dip 'em in cheese sauce, then in ketchup. Don't knock it until you've tried it.

It's going to be a great weekend. I only pray my stomach can keep up with me. (During one of our very first trips back to Buffalo...well, let's just say it didn't. Bigtime.) Oh, and, uh, it'll be nice to see our friends up there, too.

Hungry yet?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The untouchables

ESPN.com: Page 2

Sports fan or no, everyone should read the current Sports Guy mailbag devoted to confused/gleeful/outraged emails to the SG concerning Knicks GM Isiah Thomas' completely inexplicable trade for Orlando Magic shooting guard Steve Francis.

If you are not a basketball fan or don't know or care what the salary cap is, suffice to say that this trade is the latest in a long line of very questionable decisions by Thomas. Some have argued that Thomas seems to be trying to cripple the Knicks as a viable basketball franchise by stockpiling huge contracts of me-first players and replacing admitted problem players with even more expensive versions of the same player.

I am not much of a basketball fan, I know just enough about the NBA to know that Isiah is doing a heroically poor job at being a GM. I flagged this post for your review so you could all marvel at the number of emails sent on this subject (And this surely isn't all of them) and to highlight this one, which touches on a brilliant idea that should be expanded upon.

"Isiah just brought Stevie Franchise to the Knicks. Has Isiah reached the point where we can't make fun of him anymore because it is too easy? I think he has joined two-man luge, Tori Spelling, Dr. Scholl's Gellin' commercials, and Tom Cruise in an elitely pathetic group. Should there be a hall of fame for such people?"
Phil, Richmond, VA

Not a hall of fame. Too much effort. A list sounds about right. Some people, places and things are just too goddamn easy to make fun of. So easy that making fun of them not only does not produce the desired effect of ridiculing them, it actually makes you, the taunter, look lame, derivative. It's the comedic equivalent of kicking someone's wheelchair over, or setting a kitten on fire (nah, setting kittens on fire is funny). Note that presence on this list is very time sensitive and transitory,. There was a time when making fun of Nick Lachey was the very essence of good comedy, but now, after he's been dumped and has resorted to picking up Matt Leinart's castoffs and suing Jessica for spousal support, does he really need us piling on?

Anyway, I'll start this preliminary list and throw it open for debate and discussion in the comments.

The Comedic Untouchables - as of 2/23/06.

Michael Jackson
Bronson Pinchot
Anna Nicole Smith
"The Miz"
Nick Lachey
Lepers, Mentally Retarded People and otherwise maimed/infirm/dying individuals
Zell Miller
That "god warrior" lady
Professional Wrestling
R. Kelly
The Star Wars Kid
The entire cast of Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place
Jon Pareles (just kidding)
Chad Lowe
Rod "He Hate Me" Smart
Willie Aames
Dennis "Mr. Belding" Haskins (Note, the rest of saved by the bell, fair game forever)
Snow (not Vanilla Ice, he is also fair game for the rest of time)

What say you all?


What Song Was #1 The Day You Were Born?

This Day In Music allows you to enter your birthdate and figure out what song topped the charts as you popped out of your mom. (ohhhh.)

I had a good birthday. May 16, 1977: "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder (oh yeah.) In the UK, a medley of "I Don't Wanna Talk About It" and "The First Cut Is The Deepest" by Rod Stewart. Meh.

What was #1 the day you graced the world?


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Forgotten Yacht Rock

Yes, I know I have an unhealthy obsession with Yacht Rock. Leave me alone.

I came across a great YR list from an October '05 post at WFMU:

WFMU's Beware of the Blog: Have You Heard About The Lonesome Losers?

Now granted, this list is missing a few of the biggest hits (hello,
"What A Fool Believes?"), but there are a whole bunch on here I
completely forgot about. And a few that I didn't even realize I knew.
"Magic?" "Lady?" "You Are The Woman?" Pure Yacht Rock.

I've been meaning to blog about Pandora since
the day it was released in beta, only because I instantly loved it so
much. I even took screenshots and was going to explain the whole thing
so people could learn to love it too. But I got lazy, and by now
you've probably heard of Pandora. (If not, read their FAQ.)

In any case, of course I have a Yacht Rock station, and I've filled it
with most of the songs listed on the WFMU post, as well as many others
that fall under the "Yacht Rock" distinction. ("Kiss On My List," for
example.) Here's my shared station. If for some reason that link doesn't work, you can go to My Favorites page and click on "Yacht Rock" from there.

Pandora ain't perfect, and it has its favorites (I've heard "99" by
Toto more times than I care to mention), but it's a great idea, and I
always walk away with a few gems I hadn't heard before.

Enjoy the smoothness, bitches.

Monday, February 13, 2006


This, quite simply, is why YouTube is the best website in all the world.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

"Where it's always Saturday morning"

A restaurant that just serves cereal: what a great idea!

Newsday article

Cereality Home Page

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Rare and Live Rock Performances at Wolfgang's Vault

This is pretty nifty. From Billboard.com:

A wealth of vintage performances from some of rock's biggest names will hit the Internet "airwaves" tomorrow (Feb. 8) via Wolfgang's Vault. The rock memorabilia site's Vault Radio will go live at 10 a.m. PT with about 75 songs culled from thousands of hours of tapes from the archives of legendary promoter Bill Graham.

Located in a 22,000-square foot warehouse in San Francisco, Wolfgang's Vault boasts authentic concert materials from such artists as Johnny Cash, Miles Davis, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Rolling Stones, U2, Tom Petty, Jimi Hendrix and the Who.

The cache was obtained for more than $5 million in 2003 by entrepreneur Bill Sagan, who named it in honor of Graham, who was born Wolfgang Grajonca. Graham died in a 1991 helicopter crash.

Here's why this is so cool. Being a nutso Who fan, I know a fair amount of collectors who will spend obscene amounts of money on rare audio and video by the band, and then guard it with their lives. They'll never play it for more than a chosen few, and will certainly never share it. I'm not saying that it's wrong for them to do so. But to take all this great, rarely seen and heard footage and stream it for free - that's just a really great thing.

Currently in rotation at Wolfgang's Vault.
Look at that list! Springsteen! Dylan! Pre-Wuss Chicago! And of course, all links point back to the memorabilia they're selling. That's fine with me. It's just nice to finally hear some of this stuff.


Nacho Libre

Waxy said "Quite possibly the best and/or worst movie of the year." I love making predictions here because they always turn out to be wrong, but I'm going to say "worst." Although you have to love how Jack Black really follows his own path when it comes to selecting movies. There's no distinction between something like this and, say, King Kong.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

2006 list of New York bars that legally allow smoking

There has been some debate as of late about what bars one can smoke in legally via the "seats less than" argument. Well, here's the official count from Newyorkology.com

2006 list of New York bars that legally allow smoking

Despite what you may read elsewhere, according to the health department, there are still only eight bars or restaurants in New York City that can legally allow smoking.

The new hookah bars that are opening up? "Based on definitions stated in the law, hookah cafés are not tobacco bars and do not qualify for exception," a spokesperson for the health department told NewYorkology.
Consulates and military sites are not under city jurisdiction, so they could allow smoking if they wanted. The United Nations could, but it doesn't, as the U.N. banned smoking a couple years ago as well.

Smoking was banned in New York City bars and restaurants as of March 30, 2003.

The eight bars -- unchanged from the last time NewYorkology checked with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene a year ago -- are all in Manhattan. One is a private invite-only club, at least one has a dress code and some charge a fee if you don't buy your tobacco there.

Club Macanudo - mahogany and leather furniture, serves dinner, and drinks cover the full martini spectrum. Dress code, for men: "business casual – jeans and sneakers are strictly prohibited;" for women: "chic casual – sneakers are strictly prohibited. Jeans are discouraged."
26 East 63rd Street, map

Karma Restaurant & Bar - Indian cuisine and two floors of music. "Happy Hour from 10am-8pm."
51 1st Ave., map

The Carnegie Club - (formerly Carnegie Bar & Books) located at the City Spire Centre behind Carnegie Hall features an 11-piece orchestra in a Gothic room with a 25-foot ceiling, filled with 18th century hand-carved bookcases and cozy couches.
156 West 56th St., map

Lexington Bar and Books - classic cocktails, light fare, low light and suits. "New York's first dedicated cigar bars, est. 1990"
1020 Lexington Ave., map

Hudson Bar and Books - sister club to Lexington Bar and Books, same concept
636 Hudson St., map

Circa Tabac - Art Deco-inspired decor, serves food and cocktails with names like "Femme Dangereuse"
32 Watts St., map

Kush - Moroccan-themed downtown bar with DJs, allows hookah smoking only, no cigars or cigarettes
191 Chrystie St., map

Grand Havana Room - 17,000 square foot club with a dining room, lounge and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on Midtown from the 39th floor. "Membership to the club is by invitation only and is limited."
666 Fifth Ave., 39th Floor, map

Update: Gothamist has built a map to the eight bars.

Update II: In response to a reader tip, the entry on Kush has been updated to state that Kush only permits hookah smoking, but not cigars or cigarettes. "We're allowed to allow it, we just don't," Kush manager Manu Nathan told NewYorkology when asked about the cigars and cigarettes.

Earlier: The eight bars that legally allow smoking in NYC


The Art of De-Touch

From their website:

The Art of De-Touch explores the manipulation of images related to the human form. Drawing photographs from existing online portfolio sites of professional re-touch artists, this application allows a user to explore precisely how the images were altered. Using Processing, an open source programming language and environment, before and after images are compared algorithmically pixel by pixel to generate visualizations of the alterations.
It's a lot more fun than it sounds. Give it a try, and feel better about yourself knowing that nobody really looks the way they do in magazines.


Monday, February 06, 2006

SNL News Flash

AP: Saturday Night Live is not dead

Oh thank god. I was so worried after last time.

Now can we please stop talking about "Lazy Sunday?" It was really funny when I saw it the first time. Even the second. Now, not so much.

Prince on SNL

I was really excited to see a post on Stereogum about Prince's musical appearance on SNL. I watched it this morning while I was getting ready for work, and I too was pleasantly surprised by the song and his performance. He's a phenomenal guitarist. And I love his ending.

As good as it is, though, it's no match for his unbelievable solo over the ending of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" at the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It's a jaw dropper. Go ahead and fast forward past all the verses. Just watch his solo. By the way, that's George Harrison's son (as if you couldn't tell) right behind Prince, playing acoustic guitar (I'm not even sure it was turned on - clearly it was for sentiment's sake), and grinning like a schoolboy once Prince starts his antics.

God bless YouTube.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Free KT Tunstall clip on iTunes

Clearly Virgin is trying to drum up some publicity for KT Tunstall, and this is going to work big for her. Currently, they're offering a free video of "Black Horse" on iTunes, from The Today Show on 1/20/06.

Big Daddy Rinke posed a very good question: Would the music be as impressive if she didn't have that gimmick?

The looper pedal is definitely an impressive gimmick, but you can't just place it all on the pedal - she still needs good songwriting skills to write a song, and has to know where to place the loops. Listen to "Miniature Disasters" from the Rolling Stone video page and you'll see what I mean. She opens with a few loops of vocals and only brings them out on the chorus. It's pretty clever.

I definitely would not have been interested in her initially without the gimmick. And I did wonder, when going to see her live with a drummer in tow, whether the music would work without all the loop focus. The loop adds a lot of creativity, but she did a number of songs without the pedal, and even with the loops, much of the rhythm was replaced by her drummer.

The loop pedal got me interested. Her guitar work, vocals, and creativity with the pedal got me hooked.

Super Mario, Bass Style

I don't even know if I've ever seen an 11-string bass before.


Dave Chappelle Sightings

So Dave Chappelle will be on Oprah today. TiVo it here. Should be interesting. But here's what I don't get: Dave Chappelle is also featured on "Inside The Actor's Studio."

Lipton's show has strayed from those truly deserving of time in his particular hot seat for quite a long time. (Billy Joel, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, etc) I'm not saying that Chappelle won't have interesting things to say. But let's just look at his bio:
Chappelle first debuted his comedic talents at the age of fourteen while studying acting and literary media at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Within a year he was invited on stage at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. He made a name for himself along East Coast clubs before breaking into TV on Russell Simmons' "Def Comedy Jam" on HBO and receiving the honor of being the youngest featured comic to perform on "Comic Relief VI" at age twenty. Chappelle then moved into film, appearing in "Robin Hood: Men in Tights," "You've Got Mail," "Half Baked," and "Con Air." Chapelle's fame skyrocketed with the success of the Comedy Central hit "Chappelle's Show." The show's smart and controversial social and political commentary made it an instant sensation and gave Chappelle status as one of comedy's reining stars.
What is Lipton going to ask him when it comes to "Half Baked?" What was it like working with Bob Saget? or: Jim Breuer: misunderstood dramatic genius, or mildy retarded?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Shocking Plush toys

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Last night we watched a few minutes of Most Dangerous Animals or some such nonsense where we witnessed a panda taking someone's jacket, a polar bear grabbing a woman by the leg after she crossed the barriers for a better picture, a killer whale crushing a training at Sea World, and an elephant rampage at a Hawaii circus.

The rest of these are in line with the Lego Suicides from the other day.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

KT Tunstall (and her Wee Bastard)

I haven't yet blogged about KT Tunstall and I'm not sure why. Mike e-mailed me the clip he found on Google Video shortly before he blogged about it, and since then, I've become somewhat obsessed with the girl. Her music is catchy, she has a tremendous voice, and the tricks she does with her loop pedal (nicknamed "Wee Bastard," which is what she calls it whenever it breaks) are pretty clever. She makes me want to buy one.

I had the chance to stand front row for her show at the Mercury Lounge last month, which was fantastic. Unfortunately, Jess didn't get to go because I hesitated on purchasing tickets, and it was sold out at least 10 days in advance. I got a single ticket merely by luck. (Sorry, honey.) However, I can make up for my mistakes - that same night, I purchased tickets to see her at the Bowery Ballroom, where she's performing on March 2nd. Go see this show. Don't be a fool. It's going to be awesome. Buy your tickets here. Don't make me smack you.

In the meantime, here's what you should do.

Great Flickr Set

Cut. It. Out.
Originally uploaded by eitheror.
The Lego Suicides. Quite clever.