Since I'm basically under quarantine right now, doing a z-pak, sipping some juice and googling the symptoms for MacGregor's Syndrome, I've decided to put together a list of some of the web's least timeless single-question-based web sites. Or whatever. I'm sick.
- Is the new My Blood Valentine album out yet?
- Is Shea Weber a Flyer Yet?
- Is the Internet down?
- Is Obama President?
- Is Mitt Romney President?
- Is Rush Limbaugh dead yet?
- Did the world end?
- Is the new Gold Panda album out yet?
- Is Flash dead yet?
- Is Margaret Thatcher Dead yet?
- Is WebOS dead yet?
- Is Friend Feed dead yet?
- Have we found the Higgs Boson yet?
- Are we slim yet?
- Are we fast yet?
Sticks and stones may break her bones, but her jeans look newer than yours.
The YouTube celebrity is no new phenomenon — Karmin, Sam Tsui, and even J-Biebs himself started their careers online. So when Lunchbox Records released My Jeans, a music video featuring a 10-year-old girl driving a car while singing about Hannah Montana “jacking her swag,” negative comments spread like mono. And the pop song became viral within weeks.
Jenna Rose, the star of My Jeans, knows as well as anyone else the power (and pitfalls) of Internet fame. Rose is often invited to sing at benefits and concerts around New York, but she’s also constantly compared to Rebecca Black, who isn’t exactly the golden child when it comes to being favored in the media.
This week I chatted with the Long Island resident, who filled me in on what it’s like being an Internet personality at the ripe age of 13.
City Paper: How did things change at school after My Jeans became viral?
Jenna Rose: Now everybody at my school knows me. If I’m walking in a hallway, people will say my name and say 'My Jeans!'. [And] some people are just mean to me … but I try to ignore it.
CP: Do they say things to your face?
JR: Obviously on the computer — the comments on YouTube — and at school. They say things like, 'You stink, my jeans!'.
A random space for us to share some of the crazy stuff from our Facebook and Twitter feeds.
You've probably heard the buzz behind the currently invite-only Turntable.FM. It's basically a music-sharing chat room where all the folks in a given room are listening to a playlist chosen by five DJs. You can vote "awesome" on a DJ's song (which gets your little avatar's head bobbing) or you can vote "lame" (too many of those and the song is skipped). As a DJ, you can earn points for playing songs that people enjoy.
Like any new social music platform, there are pros and cons. The pros, obviously, are that you get to hear a slew of new music in whatever genre you pick. But unlike Pandora, you can participate in live chat while you listen (or you can simply keep it playing in the background).
Also unlike Pandora, which uses a "technical similarities" algorithm, Turntable.FM relies on the human element to select the tunes. While this is potentially less efficient in a lab, sometimes there are thematic or spirited similarities between songs that a computer just can't understand. For example, an algorithm might not be able to guess that Pearl Jam's "Alive" has any place next to Neil Young's "Old Man." However a fan of the music will likely know the extensive relationship between the two, which has led to collaborations as well as some stylistic influences.
On the other hand, you might simply be in the mood for something heavier, in which case "Old Man" probably wouldn't cut the mustard. In which case, Pandora would be ideal.
If you're interested in trying it, invite-only simply means that you're required to have one Facebook friend who's on the inside. The site will even find them for you, so there's no need for groveling. See ya in the DJ booth!
Exactly two weeks ago, Boston couple Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan uploaded their cover of "Look At Me Now" by Chris Brown. After about a week, it got three million views, spurring Ellen to bring them on her show. If you haven't seen it by now, the vid is an alarmingly clutch rendition of high-speed rap — originally spat by Brown, Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne — by a cute (and hilariously expressive) white girl from Boston, with her fiance on keys and background vocals.
Not all of their covers are hip-hop, they do a great rendition of "Forget You" by Cee Lo Green, as well as a cover of "Misery" that, quite frankly, should embarrass Maroon 5. They even have some originals, which, I have to admit, are less interesting than their karaoke-on-steroids. But original music shows that this duo is actually serious about pop music, and going on Ellen is generally a good tipping point. I'm expecting that it won't be long before you're staring at these guys on a shelf in a mainstream music store near you.
This weekend I was laid up with severe sciatica pain — presumably the delayed result of ill-advised full-tackle snow football back in January. So it was mostly a web-surf and DVD-centric weekend.
(Which is to say, somewhat ordinary.)
Sleeping in Airports
This website is exactly what it sounds like: a consumers guide reviewing which airports are the most comfortable for catching Z’s while you’re waiting around. Apparently, Vancouver Airport is a narcoleptic’s nirvana. Unfortunately, our loud Philadelphia International Airport ain’t exactly the Waldorf Astoria. I don’t know why I love spending so much time on this site. I rarely fly and I’ll never visit most airports. I think there’s just something anthropologically satisfying about witnessing the Internet manifest destiny in this manner.
The opening scene where Quentin lectures the rest of the guys about Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” is emblematic of his ability to tie down larger-than-life characters to relatable situations like shootin’ the shit at the diner. Until Inglorious Basterds came out, R-Dogs held up as my favorite Tarantino joint (but now it’s either a tie or the Basterds for the win).
A new blog run by some comedian friends, dedicated entirely to local comedy in Philly. WitOut offers access to a lot of great videos, and a pretty thorough roll-call for Philadelphia comedy-shows and available comics/groups. If you’re looking to try telling jokes, they have a great open-mike guide as well.
I haven’t yet worked in the food service industry, but if it’s anything like what they depict in Waiting, well, then it seems like most other jobs I’ve had. Ryan Reynolds channels his Van Wilder to create a depraved, young Shatner-esque frat-a-saurus alpha-male of the food industry. Supporting laughs are provided by Louis Guzman, John Francis Daley, Andy Milonakis, Chi McBride, David Koechner, Justin Long (as the straight-man) and others. Unlike with some lowbrow comedies, I don’t really mind when this one tries to get serious during the third act. Long’s performance is believable enough to earn some leeway when spaces between laughs get extended. Besides, isn’t that what life’s all about? Existential connundra punctuated by dick jokes?
Time magazine recently compiled their Top 140 best Twitter feeds, and many are household names: Ashton, Kanye, Bieber, Conan, Colbert, Chelsea, The Onion — even fictional characters like Homer Simpson. They are listed in no particular order, but are available for ranking via your votes. But Time’s list isn’t perfect. Here are seven great accounts that fell under their radar.
1.Charlie Sheen | @charliesheen
For better or worse, the unemployed winner with Adonis DNA has aided March madness in giving the American cubicle workforce something fuel its perpetually dire morale. Whether you love him or you hate him, he’s a self-sustaining dynamo; even if you don’t think he’s worth talking about, the fact that you’re talking about talking about him means that he’s altered the landscape of mass media. And his twitter feed — like Sheen himself, I suspect — seems to be 66.6% schtick and 33.3% genuine batshit. Taking our minds off the economy, the earthquakes, and other sure harbingers of the pre-apocalypse, Sheen himself may very well be one of the four horsemen. But at least he’s wearing a clown suit and keeping us blissfully ignorant as our final generations come of age.
“We must bombard with Warlock Napalm, that traitor and loser whore #DUH-neese POOR-ards. a vile kidnapper and now dog thief. hate. SBW c”
2. Chuck Klosterman | @CKlosterman
This cultural sherpa and collumnist for Spin, Esquire, ESPN and more, has no blog for fans to follow. Therefore, his twitter feed is the closest we can get to this best-selling author of pop manifestos. Klosterman’s tweets are a mix of sports commentary, opinions on trending topics, and (mostly) links and retweets that he has discovered as (often, unexpectedly) relevant. Almost like a Wholphin of Twitter (Wholphin is Dave Eggers’ collection of weird, interesting videos you wouldn’t normally know about), Klosterman finds those quirky nuggets that fall through the cracks, and reminds us that Presbyterians is an anagram for Britney Spears.
“As a writer, I will probably never be selected for the Pro Bowl. But if I was, I feel like I could rush for maybe 60 yards.”
3. Dana Gould | @DanaJGould
This Simpsons writer — called (by Patton Oswalt) the father of alternative comedy — is, quite simply, one of the funniest human beings of all time. And let's be honest, skyping and getting your news are important items, but the internet is fueled by LOLs. Every single one of his tweets is either sheer gold, or an occasional notice about when he’ll be performing in your town — equally valuable.
“America’s concern about radiation levels in Japan has risen dramatically since 1945.”
4. Humble Brag | @Humblebrag
Re-tweets of people who are bragging about something in the form of thinly-veiled self-deprecation — you know, because bragging is only socially acceptable as long as you maintain the appearance of humility.
“RT I’m watching myself on TV right now (which is just an odd experience in and of itself) and I’m taken aback by how much I’m sweating--in HD”
5. Huffington Post | @HuffPostEnt
If you’re a pop-culture junkie — and why wouldn’t you be if you’re putzing around on Twitter all day — then The Huff is a must have Twitter feed. In many ways, Twitter itself is like a continuation of the Huffington Post for web 2.0 (in that, it provides the collective murmur of our cultural feed-bag). In just skimming the Huff’s Twitter feed, I found out that Mariah Carey just had her babies, Amy Adams will play Lois Lane in the next Superman movie, and Tom Hanks will be on 30 Rock — all in about 4 seconds. What that data means in the scheme of things is arguable, but you can’t argue that it’s all available rigt there, on the Huff.
“A year away from the next Batman film, they’re already planning another series reboot. http://huff.to/hqlqME”
6. Lifehacker | @lifehacker
Lifehacker is sort of a modern continuation of the Whole Earth Catalog. Except, now the earth is filled with obstacles beyond, “must build a shelter and must cultivate edible crops”.
“Here’s how to make your Brita water filter better in around five seconds http://t.co/iif84Mf"
7. Anthony Jeselnik | @anthonyjeselnik
This comedian has been making a huge splash in the last few years as a sort of dark, ultra-modern Mitch Hedberg. His word economy is potent, which makes him a natural tweeter (Can’t believe that’s a word now). Additionally, he doesn’t tweet his every thought, he only usually tweets well-crafted jokes. The down side of this is that we only hear from him twice a week or so, but reading all five hundred superb tweets in his back-catalog is likely gonna put a dent in your afternoon. Careful, while they’re not exactly NSFW in the expletive sense, they’re grossly inappropriate in most other senses.
“On Thanksgiving, I visit the hospital and deep fry turkeys for the kids in the burn unit, just to see the looks on their ‘faces.’”
|Wi-Fi dog provides Internet to stranded horse|
|Dog and eagle visit soda spa|
|(click image to enlarge)|
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