Archive: September, 2008
Thank you, Jon Solomon. By using his Local Support podcast to support area artists, the guy is not only gaining massive karma points (assuming that divine justice wears tight jeans, is mustachioed and plays guitar), he's also saving us leg work by sifting through local talent and isolating the cream. This is the best of the best right here, folks.
Mtn. High's "Downhill Champion" sounds a lot like the Offspring in the vocal department, with a conspicuous drum machine beat and paranoia-tinged guitar that's very Brian Wilson on a bad trip. A good upper to begin the playlist on. Sola's "The Bottom" is my top pick of the night: They jive with a hypnotic afrobeat and effectively use horn sections, keyboards and rhythmic breakdowns to accentuate. I look forward to hearing more from them in the future.
I suppose it's unfair that any local act with eclectic influences — vaudevillian vocal structures, quirky lyrics, vintage horn and violin arrangements — is automatically compared to Man Man, but hey, at least I'm not likening And The Moneynotes "Pirates Confession Part III" to Nickelback. Gang's "Earthquake”" sounds like an angrier Go! Team with more frequent breakdowns. Catchy shout-and-response vocals complement minimalist guitars and drums. I'd enjoy this even more if I was at a high school pep on coke. What's not to like about a song that employs the term "intergalactic gangsta"? Bend it, search it, play it, rock it.
On the opposite end, Ponieheart's "Much to Lose" takes a more romantic approach ("I'm all alone/ there's no one here"). Following the self-loathing trend is The Silence Kit's moody "A New Disappointment" — its crunchy opening chords could easily be mistaken for a piece of angsty alt-rock that dominated the airwaves more than a decade ago.
Twangy guitars and a catchy, sing-along vocals made Persona's simply titled "Track 2" one of the standouts of LS063. These guys pair memorable verses with simple pop-rock structure for a finished product that, not unlike a well-made caramel macchiato, is sweet till the last drop, leaving one energized for hours after.
|Geoff Hall | myspace.com/theemotron|
With a band name like Prophecies of War and a song titled "War," I had pretty solid expectations of what these guys were going to sound like before I heard them. But o my pleasant surprise, I was completely wrong. Instead of cookie monster shouts and kung fu-inducing breakdowns, there's spastic drumming, droning synths and electric sax.
Turns out The Emotron sound much more like what I thought Prophecies would sound like, at least for the first minute or so. Standard hardcore metal parts mixed with Numan-esque synthesizers and Cuomo-ish lyrics.
I'll describe Jukebox Zero's "Static, Static" in two words: Rolling Stones. It's a flattering comparison.
Mtn. High - "Downhill Champion" - Split single with Loving Thunder
Fred Martin - "I Want Another Chance" - The Best Of Melron Records (c)
Sola - "The Bottom" - The Bottom
And The Moneynotes - "A Pirate's Confession Part III" - New Cornucopia!
Busses - "Socialist" - Demo
Gang - "Earthquake It" - Cdr
Ponieheart - "Much To Lose" - Unreleased New Tracks
Astral Archetype - "Synge" -Deconstructing A Coincidence -
Andrew Keller - "Chocolate" - Baby Bird
The Silence Kit - "A New Disappointment" - A Strange Labor
Persona - "Track 2" - Cdr
Newton - "Ode To My Bloody Philadelphia Heart" - Technicolor Hell (c)
Prophecies Of War - "War" - S/T
The Emotron - "The Bethune Theory" - The Decemberwrist
Aderbat - "Get Out" - Rabbits & Rocks
Jukebox Zeros - "Static, Static" - Stunk
|Knopf, 288 pp., $19.95|
You’ve been out of the office for four days and you have 735 e-mails, each demanding an action, a response or a deletion. And so you put some cream in your coffee and roll up your shirtsleeves and get replying. With such a gargantuan amount of data, it’s easy to get short, to fire off clipped and sarcastic e-mails because there’s just so damn much of it.
If you're looking to clean up your act, New York Times editors David Shipley and Will Schwalbe are here to help. Send: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do it Better is a concise, easy-to-read, Emily Post-style guide to e-mail.
Shipley and Schwalbe offer helpful tips and lists of e-mail guidelines including “The Eight Deadly Sins of Email,” “The Six Essential Types of Emails” and “Five Ways to Respond to an inexcusably Tardy Email Reply.” In their in-depth analysis, they address more nuanced questions of the etiquette of the CC: versus the BCC: as well as the thornier legal issues involved in e-mail.
Keenly aware of what makes e-mail different than other mediums of communication, the authors address a frequently overlooked query: When should we e-mail? RadioShack once fired 400 employees over e-mail. Ouch.
Though their tips, tricks and lists are useful, what sets this book apart from any number of impulse-purchase how-to books is the compassion and wisdom the authors bring to the subject. The book is really about the basic problem of communication, and being human in a digital and dehumanized world. As you respond to those 735 e-mails, remember the book’s most succinct and sage credo: “Think before you send. Send e-mail you would like to receive.”
It's weird! And cleverly edited! Zombies! Click on the pic. (Warning: violence, bad words, strange acting choices, awesome.)
|Episode 11's winning design (seriously)
If the Fifth Season of Fabulous has shown us anything, it's that Bravo is running out of ideas. This week's challenge was another lame attempt at transformation — making outfits for one another based off a specific musical genre — but at least it left the sabotage door wide open. All designers were ready, willing and able to make Kenley look like an idiot, but she didn't need much help. Thanks to her, we saw Tim Gunn get bitchy for the first time in ProjRun history — and rightfully so! Kenley proceeded to defend her disrespectful 'tude against the Almighty Mentor throughout the episode, which made me hate that Floridian even more.
Aside from the animalistic tendencies of the final five to try and get each other auf'd, Leannimal came out full force this week as she effed Suede by taking his model, Tia. But, in the end, it didn't really matter. They didn't use the models they fought for and Suede went the way of bell bottoms — out and out. (Though Kenley's horrific interpretation of hip-hop truly should've been kicked to the curb, especially since L.L. Cool J was the guest judge.) Korto won L.L.'s heart and the challenge with her punk rock regalia for Suede chock full of chains, bleach stains and fairly frightening eye makeup.
My Runway appetite was satiated, however, thanks to Country-Fried Korto, Tim referring to himself as "an old fart," Suede's "I look like I should've been in the drag queen challenge" remark and Michael Kors' shit-eating judgment day grin.
Next week: Meltdowns-a-many! A real crying game! So tearlicious.
If you grew up punk in the 1990s, it is a very, very strange experience to find yourself enthralled by something that also happens enthrall everyone else in the country. Not because you think you are smarter, but simply because your taste tends to run toward stuff that, for whatever reason, seems boring, irrelevant or downright offensive to most people.
As I said when I started writing these recaps for Season 2 of AMC's drama series Mad Men, either TV is getting smarter or I am getting dumber. I think I'm pretty sure I know the answer now: TV is getting smarter. Mad Men freaking regulated all over the Emmys on Sunday night, taking Best Drama, Best Drama Writing and a bunch of performance nominations. It was also — I think this is of some historical importance — the first cable drama to claim that Best Drama award. It's odd this didn't happen earlier, and it's also odd that when it finally did, it didn't go to an HBO show. Oh well, no pity for them: They had first dibs on Mad Men and turned it down. Dummies!
Having said all that, I do think it's lame that The Wire didn't take away anything serious. How quickly we forget.
|Use to answer METAL trivia|
Every Monday, the Showdown tells you who to see and where to see ‘em.
Monday: Ok, so technically not a concert, but how can we resist telling you about Hell Awaits: Heavy Metal Trivia from Classic to Current? We couldn't. So we didn't. At the Khyber, 8 p.m, free.
Tuesday: Native daughter/Converse spokesmodel Santogold hits up her former hometown today. Remind her why Philly is better than the Brooklyn anyhow. With A-TRAK, Low VS Diamond and Trouble Andrew, at the TLA, doors at 7 p.m., tickets are $23.
Wednesday: Estelle's bosses may have done her no favors by taking her catchy as fuck "American Boy" off iTunes but you can show that you still love her for being British and ultra sassy. With Musiq Soulchild and more, at the World Cafe, click here to win tickets.
Friday: Amy Rigby is not your cliche folk songstress, complete with guitar, whimsy and closets full of Stevie Nicks scarves. Her sugary sweet vocals bely the biting hilarity to her lyrics (from "Cynically Yours": I, your loving (blank), take you (insert name here) / Because frankly I’m just too tired to look around anymore / You drive reasonably well, have most of your own teeth / And not much of a prison record so that’s good / Plus you claim to love my ass and I have a tape to prove it / Which makes me think this thing really could work). With hubby, Elvis Costello-esque new waver Wreckless Eric and Joe Jack Talculm (formerly of the Dead Milkmen), at the North Star Bar, doors at 9 p.m., tickets are $10.
|Adams Media, 232 pp.|
The most sarcastic pint-sized survival book to land on shelves, WTF?: How to Survive 101 of Life?s Worst F*#!-ing Situations is an account of every shitty situation that's as awkward to deal with as it is to talk about. And it has an answer for everything. Not invited to the cool kids' party? Let the cops know you've seen them "doing narcotics." Girlfriend wants you to cut down on Internet porn? Please her (and still yourself) by switching to DVDs.
WTF comes with various options, ranging from passive-aggressive to just plain crazy ("Some jerk cuts you off in traffic? Step 1) flip him the bird … Step 4) follow him home and kill him"). Some chapters are complete with little nuggets of experience: "Up Close & Personal" tells a story of a cheap honeymoon in Cancun during hurricane season, and although co-author Anthony W. Haddad didn't take the advice offered in the book and go surfing, he did shout out Brody from Point Break, commending him for doing so.
Ten chapters separated by issues from "Every Days of Life" to "Dealing with the Mrs." may not remedy all of life's little situations, but at least the laughter will take the edge off.
Opener off the forthcoming Welcome to the Jang House.
Here it is live at Silk City two years back:
|Episode 10's winning design
As Episode 10 began, I couldn’t stop thinking that the more I look at Joe, the more he reminds me of everybody’s favorite cartoon movie critic, Jay Sherman. But then I realized I probably wouldn’t be looking at Joe for much longer, and I was right.
The ProjRun Papa went home this week due to his poorly made and poorly fit "tailored" suit for a newly graduated graphic arts college gal. None of the designers thought making an interview outfit for hip youngsters would catch them off-guard, but for the most part, it did.
Leanne’s drab and dreary teacher’s dress was just so/so, while Korto’s tweed coat and bright green mini dress, though elegantly executed, was a no/no! The judges disagree, but that nonsensical fabric and style collaboration was neither edgy nor classic — the only things her client asked for. Kenley’s crazy-pattern-with-a-tulle-surprise dress was a bit over the top for a future fashion buyer, and Suede’s belled jacket was pure nightmare. The winner of this challenge, Jerell, hit the yuppie nail on the head with his androgynous-chic, Marc Jacobs-esque oversized sweater, high-waisted skirt and silky frill top.
Since immunity is no more now that we’ve got the designers narrowed down to five, just staying in the game is reward enough — but lucky for Jerell, this week’s winner received a spread in Elle. As for the other remaining four: Suede needs to bring it if he wants to win it. Please, Leanne, use another color palette! Korto can keep doing whatever it is she’s doing because the judges are in love. And Kenley — shut the eff up.
Next week, we’ll see who's got the moves — design and otherwise — as L.L. Cool J drops a beat on these fashion frontrunners.
OK folks, fair warning ... the following game will most likely scream in frustration, kick your furniture over, and just put you in a downright foul mood. But I'll tell you this, it's worth it.
The premise of Get a key. Open the Door. is simple. Just read the title. You'll progress through a series of rooms where the goal is to find the key and then open the door to the next room. Sometimes, you'll even have to find the door. It starts out easy enough, then progresses to some of the most fiendish puzzles. You'll really have to change your way of thinking from one room to the next. If there were awards for best online game of the year, this should get it. It's a great mix of fun, good design, and mind-numbingly frustrating puzzles.
I waited to post this until I had finished the game, which took me a while. If you get stuck on a room, post a comment and I'll give you a hint.
Get some keys and open some doors here.
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