Monday, December 31, 2007

Top 10 Albums of 2007

(Photo cred: Michael Persico)

It's past around that time of year again — when I rehash already-published content to create the illusion that I'm updating top 10 albums time.

1 LCD Soundsystem Sound of Silver (DFA)
2 Battles Mirrored (Warp)
3 Aesop Rock None Shall Pass (Definitive Jux)
4 Kanye West Graduation (Island Def Jam/Roc-a-Fella)
5 The Shins Wincing the Night Away (Sub Pop)
6 Arcade Fire Neon Bible (Merge/Rough Trade)
7 Mark Ronson Version (Columbia)
8 The White Stripes Icky Thump (XL)
9 Freeway Free at Last (G-Unit/Island Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella)
10 M.I.A. Kala (Interscope/XL)

My obsession with Sound of Silver began, actually, around this time last year, when I started listening to it over and over for a DIW cover story. Back then, I declared it my fave of 2007 before the year even really started, and not a damn thing came close to topping it. I blurbed it here (click on sixth album cover in top row).

Check out the list in all its sortable glory on CP's site.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Aliens vs. Predator vs. Adorable Japanese Robots

I saw Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem the other day and Shareeka Epps was totally not in it, rendering this expertly Photoshopped image (original post) even more pointless and irrelevant. But I'm very proud of it so I'm going to repost anyway.

Look for a Cold Open review in next week's CP.


Apologies for the lack of posting lately; December has one big clusterfuck of early deadlines, sleep deprivation and credit card debt. But now that Christmas has come and gone, I can finally throw up a link to the homey Chen Reichert's World of Botos. (Didn't want to ruin the surprise with a pre-Xmas post, as I got Michelle one of her pieces as a gift.) Go buy her stuff. It's amazing and affordable and spells great gifting for robots and humans alike.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

This is a dark period!

Got an e-mail featuring John C. Reilly's response to his Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical:
“I am thrilled and honored that the HFPA has acknowledged the hard work of everyone who poured their hearts into “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.” I look forward to celebrating our film and all the other great movies, comedic and dramatic, at this year’s golden globes. I am proud to carry the torch for Jake Kasdan, Judd Apatow, and Mike Andrews without whom I could not have pulled off this performance. Somewhere, Dewey Cox is smiling.”
What, no boilerplate dick jokes?

We caught a sneak last week and it's no joke full of jokes, dick-related and otherwise. And more ridiculous cameos than any movie I've ever seen. (Jack White's Elvis is unstoppable.) Look for my review in next week's
City Paper.
Is this the beginning of the end, John? Magnolia, man, Magnolia!)


Hey dude, what's new in the Philippines lately? Not much, other than...

- a Manila gay bar releasing promo materials featuring
Harry Potter and Darth Vader in drag;

- President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo crushing the shit out of a military coup by ordering an armored vehicle to
smash into the front of a five-star hotel and fill it with tear gas;

- Filipino boxers forfeiting medal bouts in the Southeast Asian Games to protest
"biased judging";

- a government-instituted ban on
Christmas carols;

- and a
cry for Angelina Jolie's help from leftist farmers.

I'm convinced that
Yahoo's "Odd News" category could suckle on the country's 7,000+ teats for decades and never go hungry.


Be sure to check this week's CP for
"Stenton Avenue Reprise," an incredibly engaging jazzy multimedia extravaganza courtesy of the dudes Michael T. Regan and Rick Valenzuela.

And here you thought you could never be
hypnotized by Bubsy 3D. (Via Pat, who just got his first short story published! Dawww.)

Steve Irwin is an anagram for "interviews" (?!) and
other crocodile-related minutiae over on Ken Jennings' blog.

This February, look for my profile of the amazing Hamburger Eyes in Theme Magazine.

Ever since the revelation that
my boss has been tapped to write Cable, I've felt comfortable enough to publicly admit that I moonlight as Jubilee's fluff boy. The burns heal...they always do.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Darkly dreaming

One step closer to a Dexter/CSI: Miami crossover episode. Soak that in...
As the writers strike enters its second month with no end in sight, repurposing cable series on broadcast networks is becoming a reality. CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves said Tuesday that CBS plans to repurpose some Showtime series, including the breakout hit "Dexter."
"'Dexter' is probably the first one to go on — with some edits," Moonves told reporters at the annual UBS Global Media & Communications Conference in New York.
"It fits with our crime shows."

The edgy, offbeat "Dexter," which has become a critical and ratings success for Showtime, stars Michael C. Hall as a Miami police forensics expert who moonlights as a vigilante serial killer.

CBS, of course, is the leader in the forensic crime drama genre with the "CSI" franchise.

Moonves didn't specify when "Dexter" would launch on CBS beyond saying it should come "in the near future."

(Thanks Michelle)

Monday, December 03, 2007

That's so $%^@#$*


While I'm hoping for a win tonight, I'm certainly not asking for one. As negative and anti-homer as that sounds, it's just realistic.

Just please don't let
this happen again. Please, please, please.

Now get out there and have some fun!

10:04 p.m. Tied at halftime. Y'all are playing brilliantly.

11:47 p.m. Death List Week 13
- Brian Billick
- Rex Ryan
- Jamaine Windborne
- Jabar Gaffney
- Bart Scott
- Bart Scott
- Willis McGahee's ill-fitting jersey
- Bob Griese

12:01 a.m. Good thing I approached this game the same way some people approach the double or nothing Video Bonus question on Cash Cab. "Well, I didn't come into this with anything, so..."

[04dec07] 2:05 p.m. We'll always have Paris.

(Awful Announcing via Adam Riff)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Something wicked

Ray Bradbury is the top pick on my 2007 Death Pool roster. And he's still alive! Dude is 87 years old. And Death Pool bylaws state that once an individual is selected, he or she is disqualified in subsequent years. Come Jan. 1, I'll be rooting for him to stick it out long enough to see Frank Darabont's film adaptation of Fahrenheit 451. But until then...counting the days.

I'm a terrible person terrible at picking people who I think are going to die. And this entire "post" was really just an excuse to use that picture.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Gentleman, start your uppers/Showgirls quips...

She will play Julia Winston -- former wife of Horatio Caine (David Caruso) and the mother of his recently discovered teenage son, Kyle (Evan Ellingson) -- who becomes part of an investigation when her billionaire husband is murdered.

Berkley has guest-starred on the mothership CSI series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which spawned CSI: Miami.

The actress's feature credits include Showgirls, Any Given Sunday, Curse of the Jade Scorpion and Rodger Dodger.

And they're off!

- "The actress best known to twenty-somethings everywhere as Saved By the Bell's brainy, pill-popping, A.C. Slater-lovin' Jessie..."

- "Having already been there and done that in Las Vegas, Elizabeth Berkley is heading south for the winter. The onetime CSI guest star (what, you thought we were referring to Showgirls?) will be joining CSI: Miami next month as a recurring character."

- "Berkley, of course, is best known as Jesse Spano, the feminist who was so excited, but so scared after developing an addiction to caffeine pills in a very special episode of the 80s sitcom Saved By the Bell."

- "As for Berkley, who starred in what's arguably one of the worst movies ever made, The Hollywood Reporter sez she'll play Julia Winston, a woman caught in the middle of a murder investigation when her rich hubby is found dead. I couldn't confirm the rumor that the hubby died of shock after watching Berkley in Showgirls."

- "If you were a fan of Showgirls (or Saved By the Bell) you'll be excited* to hear that Elizabeth Berkley is joining CBS' crime drama CSI: Miami as a recurring character."

* Debatable.

(Thanks Michelle)

Friday, November 23, 2007


This morning, I was roused from my wine-and-cold-stuffing-at-1 a.m. slumber by the cacophonous din of my mother washing dishes and blasting an electro playlist.

My childhood room is now used mostly as a storage space. One of the things my parents chose to put up there was a CD tower that houses but a fraction of the Christmas albums they own:

It's worth noting that my last name is Sharpied on several of the jewel cases to deter thievery at Filipino Christmas functions. Filipino people : American Christmas pop :: French people : Jerry Lewis.

Yes, that is the 98° holiday record.

In case you were wondering why my "Recently Listened" queue currently looks like this:

It's because I also found my old copy of the My So-Called Life soundtrack in the same tower.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Caffeine Rush

Pardon the pimping, but if you're coffee-inclined, check this week's City Paper for my story on Saxbys, a locally based chain that looks to rival Starbucks on national level. But of course, they've gotta set up shop in Philly first...

(Amazing illustration by Ryan Casey)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007


11:46 p.m. You know a game is over when Mike Tirico resorts to making recycling jokes.

11:51 p.m. I sift through the day's mail and tear open a junk envelope emblazoned with a logo that reads "You've Been Drafted!" Opening lines of the form letter:

Hey Andrew P. Lazor,

Imagine walking onto the field at Heinz Field as the Pittsburgh Steelers go through their game day warm-ups. That's just one of the exciting experiences you can earn with the new Pittsburgh Steelers Extra Points Platinum Plus credit card.


[06nov07] 2:45 p.m. Ahem.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

"Weak and ineffectual"

Earlier today, my dad — a lifelong Patriots fan who was born and bred in Connecticut — drew a parallel between Peyton Manning and Caspar Milquetoast.

My dad is a lifelong Patriots fan who was born and bred in Connecticut.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Aesop Rock feat. John Darnielle, "ZILFs" "Coffee"

And happy birthday, Justin.

(Via Pat via The Clog)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The pinnacle of Internet ephemera


And, of course, there's already a YTMND.


Today, a publicist for the Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush e-mailed me this picture (click to enlarge):

It blows my mind so much I can't even begin to think of a prickish caption.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Why America roolz, Reason # 234920362

(From the "1,000,000 Strong for Stephen T Colbert" group on Facebook)

Sorry for the lack of postage in this month...tons of work, and I've been traveling in Baltimore the past two weekends. No, they do not have computers there. Scattershot thoughts and links follow.


- The Ravens offense breaks my heart. There is nothing more frustrating than watching them get the ball in a dire, must-score scenario (e.g. their final possession of the Bills game this Sunday) and knowing, realistically, that Kyle Boller probably won't be able to close the deal. (He threw three straight incomplete passes.) Granted, the offensive line is hurting right now from a combination of injuries and inexperience (four rookies starting), but still.

The worst part is that I like Kyle. I really do. If he asked me to, I would take care of his dogs when he went on vacation, or go shopping with him to help him pick out Christmas gifts for his family. I would gladly drive him to the airport on very short notice. If he got a few drinks in me, I would consider giving him my Gmail password. I would even take one for Team Boller and non-sexually occupy the one real beat girl in the picture above (far left), as well as her friend with the real big face (far right), if he expressed an interest in either or both of the negligibly attractive blondes flanking him. I just wish dude could be more consistent and/or move around a little more.


An Adam Riff post featuring Red Sox stud closer Jonathan Papelbon in various stages of celebratory orgasm inspired me to Google Image Search dude in the hopes I'd find some quality pictures from his mohawk phase. Not a lot of material there, but I did find

which I'm OK with. (


More egregious offense against domesticated animals: Kidnapping British cats and dropping them 25 miles away from home for making dookies in a garden, or chaining a dying stray dog inside your studio in the name of art? (warning: Second story contains graphic/sad images. First one is just kinda funny.) (Thanks Orly)

Jordan 5 + OG Air Force 1 = qh3g9@#GF23f9q#$T4! in a good way. (Via Emynd. Be sure to check out the White T's and White Belts squad in the CP Music Issue)

Some pictures of hobos.

Recent movie shorts (lots of new stuff — DIW, Time Out New York, etc. — on Flickr, just FYI):

The Heartbreak Kid
30 Days of Night
Milarepa: Magician, Murderer, Saint
Dan in Real Life

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Sooner, rather than later

I will be like homey in the bandages.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

About last night

(Drew is responsible)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The most boring article of all time

Who pitches this? Actually, it's AP, so it was most likely assigned...horrifying.
PARIS - Scientists say that Neptune, one of the coldest planets in the solar system, has a surprising warm spot — relatively speaking. An international team of astronomers has found that Neptune's south pole is warmer than other parts of the planet.

Temperatures at its south pole are about 18 degrees warmer than elsewhere on the planet — not much for a planet with an average temperature colder than 320 degrees below zero.

The apparent reason is that the south pole has been in the summer sunlight for about 40 years.
This is almost as bad as my review of Good Luck Chuck.

(Thanks Marc. I think.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Now take my picture

OK. This is dope.

Look how excited they get @ 2:30 when they see that white dude on peyote crowd surfing.

Look for a Cool Kids profile piece in the fall edition of DIW.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Neon golden

This surreal picture of Johnny Unitas doesn't really fit in with the rest of these Ravens-themed wallpapers, but whatev.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

How many scrappy peasants to make it right?

For some reason, our automated showtimes/photos service uploaded this picture to the nav page for my review of Neil Jordan's The Brave One.

I do not remember any scenes featuring Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof talking to a guy on a tiny moped, which leads me to believe that this is some kind of mistake.

If you know what movie this is actually from, please speak up in the comments.

UPDATE (14 Sept 07): It's Mr. Bean's Holiday. I'm sorry, but that does not look like Rowan Atkinson to me. Thanks, Gwen.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Things that will haunt me for the rest of my life

- The sex scene from
A History of Violence

The Red Room scene from Twin Peaks

The final scene in Audition

The Last House on the Left


UPDATE: Did MTV pull the plug on the "real" performance at the last minute?

And this was at the bottom of that post's comment thread:

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I twist characters like Twist characters

No article has caused me more headaches than this week's CP music lead, a feature on Aesop Rock and his phenomenal new record, None Shall Pass. Why? Not to Stan out or anything, but I've been a huge fan of dude since the age of 13 or so. On top of that, a few recent interviews/Q&As I'd read with him featured unapologetically Chris Farley-esque lines of questioning ("Do you remember that one part, from Labor Days, when you spelled out 'flash flood'? That was awesome."), so I wanted to try for a slightly different direction. (To the best of my abilities, at least...there's only so much one can cover in a 25-minute phone interview).

Here's some extra material from the interview that I wasn't able to use for the piece due to space constraints.


Could you take me into your creative process in terms of production? Do you bounce ideas off people like Blockhead, or do you work on your own to avoid outside influences?

I wish I did that. [laughs] When I do something, I usually send it out to Blockhead, Rob Sonic and El-P. I bounce stuff off of these guys, but probably too much to the point that at some point in the process I hit a wall, and I'm like, "I'm not sending anything to anybody anymore." I send Cage stuff sometimes...I definitely ask the people around me that I trust. But I run into too many walls when everyone says, "This is cool, but I think you should do

You've said in the past that you don't usually go back and listen to your old records, but I noticed shades of your old material on None Shall sampled a bit from Bazooka Tooth's "11:35" on the title track, for example.

Basically, I know that I can get away with sampling my own shit because no one is going to sue me. A lot of times, what I'll do is if I have that's a capella that I can use, I'll do it because there's no chance I can get in trouble for it. I used a Camp Lo sample from
Bazooka Tooth for the "Getaway Car" chorus. I knew it would sound good. If I can find what I need, I'll use it so I don't have it to mask [something else].

You'll be MTV's Artist of the Week starting Sept. 17. How did that come about? Strange experience?

We sort of had this relationship...they would run my videos on MTVu and MTV2, so I guess they deemed me cool enough for MTV1. We had a creative meeting to discuss what I wanted to convey...they asked me what I wanted the theme to be, and I asked them to get as many live exotic animals on the set as possible. They put in calls to the Bronx Zoo, and at the end of the day, we got one monkey. It's basically all these performance's me and Blockhead hosting a a fake public access show, and one of the guests is this woman Judy with a pet spider monkey. She's one of the interviewees, and we just hang out with the monkey for awhile.

None Shall Pass leaked. These days, is something like that less of a disappointment than an inevitability?

It happens with everything.
Bazooka Tooth leaked three months in advance. We try each time to do something different that will prevent it. This year, we put the names people receiving them [onto the audio of the disc]. It held it off a little bit. El-P leaked a month in advance. I leaked five weeks in advance. But the last one was three months. It's kind of expected, and yet it's completely infuriating. [Every album, I tell myself], "It's not going to leak, it'll make it to the final date." It inevitably doesn't. I literally got off a plane from Europe after a week of doing nothing but press...I step off the plane, and Jesse from the label says, "I just got a text. Your record just leaked." I was just running around promoting it, so I was like, "Fuck this." It's frustrating. Somehow, [the inevitability of a leak] doesn't take away from the disappointment. It never gets any less annoying.

What goes through your head when you debut new material live for the first time? Is it daunting?

We've been testing out songs and rehearsing all month. We're going on tour starting Sept. 6. We started by sneaking in, like, one or two new songs, then three new songs, then we finally facelifted the whole set. We haven't even performed it once yet. [
His Sept. 8 show at the Starlight Ballroom will be the non-festival debut of the new material off None Shall Pass.] So we're going to be doing that...a lot of it is new stuff, but also old stuff I haven't done in awhile, definitely. It can be daunting. But we rehearsed this time more than ever. When we did the MTV gig, we did three new songs [for TV spots.] It's national TV, pretty much my biggest promo outlet ever, so it can be a little daunting. But we're ready for it.

To be honest, it feels good to do all the new stuff. I've kind of been doing a lot of the same material, so it's great to be changing it up a little bit. There are nine or 10 new songs on the set...Rob Sonic has some new songs on the set. [I'm looking forward to performing] "39 Thieves" and "None Shall Pass"...but most of them are fun because they're new.

Official Site
Get tickets for Saturday
Purchase None Shall Pass @
Video for "None Shall Pass"

UPDATE (09 Sept 07): Show was dope. In other news: Earlier today, I came across this overwritten review of Why's Elephant Eyelash I did about two years ago for Okayplayer. In the first paragraph, I make a secondhand allusion to the record sounding like an "Aesop Rock/Mountain Goats collaboration." It seemed "wacky and subversive!" at the time, but now it's more bizarre than anything else, as Ace and the Goats' John Darnielle collab on the None Shall Pass track "Coffee." Weird.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Who's the knucklehead wantin' respect?

This is what happens when you talk greasy on us!

Why is it that the best articles are always marred by poor copy editing?

[sic] CHINA'S Shaolin Temple, the cradle of Chinese kung fu, is demanding an apology from an internet user who said its monks had once been beaten in unarmed combat by a Japanese ninja, Chinese media reported today.

Ninjas – professional assassins trained in martial arts – date back to mediaeval Japan.

"The so-called defeat is purely fabricated, and we demand the internet user to apologise to the whole nation for the wrongs he or she did," the Beijing News said, citing a notice announced by a lawyer for the Shaolin monks.

The internet user, calling themselves "Five Minutes Every Day", said on an online forum last week that a Japanese ninja came to Shaolin, asked for a fight and many monks failed to beat him, the newspaper said.

"The facts that the monks could not defeat a Japanese ninja showed that they were named as kung fu masters in vain," the internet user was quoted as saying in the post.

The Shaolin temple "strongly condemned the horrible deeds" of the user, the newspaper said.

"It is not only extremely irresponsible behaviour with respect to the Shaolin temple and its monks, but also to the whole martial art and Chinese nation," it quoted the monks as saying. [/sic]
On a very basic level, I can understand how the Shaolin wouldn't take lightly to something like this, but if everyone frothed up over being messed with on message boards, the planet would implode. Yours truly was once the subject of massive e-vitriol (for like, a day) on Okayplayer's boards when I wrote that Pumpkinhead's album sucked. Honestly, it was more flattering than anything else.


Linky linky:

- Cold Open review of The Last Legion

- Cold Open review of War

- My Time Out New York debut deals in various forms of the excruciating adjective "bloggy."

- Gwen, who works at a vet in Rhode Island, recently treated Mr. Bigglesworth. The Mr. Bigglesworth.

- A great Guardian piece on on Prinzhorn Dance School (not sure if the interview I did with them will ever surface...)

- "Along with Oliver,
Little J will feature characters including a depressed ham, a mad scientist called Eggs Benedict, and a culinary spiritual guide called Nonna."

- My dude James took a cross-country road trip to youknowwhere and ate some youknowwhat.


Friday, August 24, 2007

FRESHIE: Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem

UPDATE (09 Sept 07): Dead video embed fixed.

Brand-new, farcically violent trailer for the next installment in the Alien vs. Predator series. Or, as my good friend Ryan Beck tends to call it, Alien vs. Pledator.

Watch for the asploding cranial action @ 1:50. Coddamn.

Can't really blame the lovely Sanaa Lathan for avoiding this sequel the same way I avoid anything with Ed Burns in it. Regardless, I'm confident that Shareeka Epps will hold it down. Leaked plot details indicate that her character will catch Predator -- as troubled as he is gifted -- smoking crack in the girls' locker room, a watershed moment that creates a powerful but delicate connection between them. One girl from the wrong side of the tracks. One humanoid killing machine bent on eradicating his wretched extraterrestrial foes. They aren't as different as they seem...but will their precipitous search for understanding destroy the very bond they so fought so hard to forge?

music: Broken Social Scene, "Shampoo Suicide"

For a good five minutes, I contemplated not posting this until tomorrow because I didn't want to tip my hand to the fact that I'm sitting around at 10:30 on a Friday night watching sci-fi movie trailers on YouTube. But they say there comes a point in every man's underpaid college graduate's life when these types of things stop being socially mortifying and start being, well, comforting.

When I reach that point, I'll let you know.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Is there an emoticon for 'permanently scarred'?

(Thanks Dennis)

(for ruining my life)



I'm not worried 'bout the ring you wear /
Cause as long as no one knows /
Then nobody can care

RALEIGH, N.C. - Uncle Kracker, a former disc jockey for Kid Rock, was arrested early Friday on a second-degree sex offense charge, authorities said.

Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said a 26-year-old woman alleged that a man had committed a sexual act against her at the Ess Lounge, a downtown nightclub.
What the fuck is going on today?

(Thanks Aaron)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

For your consideration

From an old post about
Maclaren brand strollers from's Strollerderby, "The Mother of all Urban Parenting Blogs."

When I say "pimp my stroller," I mean that this is a stroller fit for an actual pimp.

Maclaren's latest stroller offering is so not the shiznit. Or, if you have a stable of crack hos working a corner to keep you in malt liquor, it very well might be. Sprung from the pages of King* magazine in between ads for spinning chrome rims and grillz, it's the new Maclaren GB Type Au.

The seat is made of black leather and the carbon fiber frame has been painted with only the finest 9k gold. For those that appreciate the best in conspicuous consumption, the Maclaren crest is embroidered on the back of the seat rest.

Only 20 of these babies have been manufactured, and they sell for a whopping $3800. Hey, Beyoncé and Jay-Z: you better get cracking in the baby-making department. This stroller has your names written all over it. Not literally, but I'm sure they'd do a Rocawear version.

*My favorite magazine ever.


And Rocawear does make its own strollers. I saw one on my block earlier and was searching for a picture of it when I came across this hot mess.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Unclean, unclean...

It's hand soap! Aw. Ehhh...

How soon we forget how fucking awesome the
pink elephant scene from Darkman is.

An excellent
Dexter season 2 preview by an E! Online copy editor named Drusilla.

The homey Nyjia gets coolhunted. In a good way.

Paint (via Adam Riff™)

Emynd finally admits that Saigon can kinda rap. (Crossfaded Bacon)

Newblog/oldblog news: Our favorite vegetarian Kelly White recently started
Living on the Vedge. (Read the third item here.) And Will, who ran Nastack before mysteriously disappearing into the iNight, is back at it with Nastack 2. Poke around, and get that Drama/Benja Styles/JDS Realadelphia tape while you're at it.

A few CP links for the hell of it:


One Track Mind: Freeway feat. Jay-Z, "Big Spender"
The Bourne Ultimatum
Rush Hour 3
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Buzz Cola (fourth item)
Txangurro a la Donostia at Tinto (first item)
Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water (first item)


Peter Baker's investigative piece on
The Baconator
Mary Wilson's
cover story on Dave Sylvester, who's currently biking across Asia (read his running trip diary on The Clog)
A.D. Amorosi's Q&A with Eugene Mirman (I'm taking credit for that headline.)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Meet the new boss

At the end of the day, there's nothing better than this ever.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

EARLY WORD: 3:10 to Yuma

I had the chance to catch a screening of 3:10 to Yuma last night. I'm confident that this is the movie capable of making the Western relevant again. Actually, let me rephrase — it's not that the Western as a genre is patently irrelevant; it's just that no one's made one worth mentioning in years* (ahem). It's interesting, then, that 3:10 will pull in just before buzzed-about vehicles like The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and No Country for Old Men (the former being far more hyped than the latter — blame it on the Weeds).

Admittedly, I haven't seen the 1957 original starring Glenn Ford, but according to co-star/all-around zany moonstruck bastard Peter Fonda (who made a brief post-screening appearance and proceeded to scare the shit out of me), it's "dry." (An aside: The source material for this film was a story by Elmore Leonard. Read Duane's great Q&A with the man here.)

The plot follows Dan Evans (Christian Bale), an Arizona rancher and Civil War vet who lost part of his leg in combat. He's both physically and psychologically broken — forever slowed by the injury and emasculated by an extended drought that cripples his herd and renders him close to incapable of caring for his wife (Gretchen Mol) and two sons. But fortune (or rather, survival) manifests itself in the form of notorious highwayman Ben Wade (Russell Crowe), who's captured in the town adjacent to Dan's land.

The law offers Dan $200 to join a caravan (a ragtag group that includes Fonda's bounty hunter) escorting the deadly (and sexy!) Wade to the town of Contention, where he'll board the titular 3:10 train to his own hanging.

Believe it or not, a bunch of crazy shit happens en route.

While director James Mangold's action sequences do not disappoint (a yellow-toothed Luke Wilson is involved in one particularly arm-pinching sequence), it's the perceptive contributions of Bale and Crowe — as well as the curious mixture of respect and disgust that colors their relationship — that make the movie so watchable. But if you want to know who truly stole the show, look no further than Ben Foster, who's probably best-known as Angel from X-Men: The Last Stand.** Here, he portrays Charlie Prince, Wade's right arm, with a volatile mixture of comedy and bloodlust, all crazed, bug-eyed looks and sociopathic swagger. (I noted a bit of a homosexual subtext between his Prince and Wade, as well, which makes it all the more interesting/gay.)

3:10 to Yuma hits theaters September 7.

* Potential exception to this: I haven't seen The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, but I've heard good things.

** Here's an excerpt from a conversation I had with Pat regarding Foster.

Me: "Angel from X-Men 3."
Pat: "I don't know who that is. Wait...the guy with the wings?"
Me: "Yes."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Weird things poppin'

I'm a noted e-narcissist, meaning that I Google search my name on a pretty regular basis. But when I went for it the other day, something...just...wasn't right.

The first result? This blog. I'll take it.

The second? An old bio page from my college newspaper.

The third?

The California Raisins' Wikipedia page.

This struck me as the perfect opportunity to roll out the second installment of my not-at-all-regular not-feature, the Trapper Juan Disconcertameter 5000
. (You may probably don't remember the first installment, in which I examined my still-vexing review of Spider-Man 3.)


What's most disconcerting about The California Raisins' Wiki being the third result of a Google search for my name?

a. That I am vocally and vehemently anti-raisin

b. That the link precedes Google ghosts like this article about ferret festivals or this piece on rollerblading inline skating

c. That every time I think about Lou Rawls, I'm like, "Man, that dude totally looks like the lead singer of The California Raisins" even though most normal people probably think about something like that the other way around


Friday, July 20, 2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Weeds: Season 3 Preview

See you August, Nancy.
And Dexter? 'Til September.

(Thanks to FreeWilly420 for the video. And the name.)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

What's the worst theme song on TV?

Dear Perry Farrell: I love you, but you're really starting to piss me off.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Zen and the art of retarded headlines/screencaps: Cleaning Out the Bookmarks Edition






* This article is amazing.


To quote Pat: Barf.


Okay, kinda cute.


Don't fucking push it.


Doesn't make much sense, but a necessary headline evil nonetheless.




You're not even trying, are you?