Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Werewolf Bar Mitzvah

n honor of this day... and for all those 30 Rock fans, me included.

As for my costume, maybe I'll put up a picture
post-facto. Think LOST, think Mikhail.... I'll be the guy in the DHARMA jumpsuit with the eye-patch.

EJP, if I had this t-shirt, I'd wear it on Halloween.

Who's a Halloweenie?

Some Halloween recommendations for this most pagan of holidays:
Donnie Darko.
Not really a horror movie, I know, but still very Halloween-centric. And that rabbit suit is pretty creepy. I can't imagine anyone reading this site who hasn't seen this movie, but if you haven't, check it out. Now that I think about it, Patrick Swayze is legitimately scary in this movie.

And if you don't like this movie, then sometimes, I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!

TV Show:
The League of Gentlemen.
This British sitcom is disturbing on multiple levels. The four writers (three of whom portray virtually every character in the town of Royston Vasey) are obviously huge horror movie fans. It's actually pretty hard to summarize this's incredibly funny at times, but some scenes also made me pretty queasy. There are the inbred monsters who run the "Local Shop for local people", the vet who accidentally kills every single one of his patients in increasingly gruesome ways, the butcher who sells his addictive "special stuff." There's nothing else like it out there that I've seen. If you come to visit, I can lend you the whole series on DVD.

Say Hi to Your Mom's "Impeccable Blahs"
I have yet to find anyone who actually likes this band as much as I do. Admittedly, the songs often border on novelty, but a lot of times they're really good songs that just happen to be amusing. In any case, this album, the band's fourth, is essential Halloween listening since virtually every song has something to do with vampires. There's "These Fangs", "She Just Happens to Date the Prince of Darkness", and "Angels and Darlas", just to name a few. It's pretty much nerd rock (if you couldn't tell from the Angel/Darla reference), and being a nerd who likes to rock, that's fine by me.

The shirt I'm wearing today:In case you can't tell what this shirt is depicting, it's a zombie donkey. That is, it's a little boy riding on the shoulders of a zombie, dangling a brain from a stick in front of said zombie. 'Cuz zombies eat brains, get it? It is awesome, and I will probably wear this shirt every Halloween until it falls apart or I get too fat. You can get shirts like this from (Clyde Squid has already received one or two from me), though you can't get this particular shirt anymore unless they reprint it.

That's it. I'm pop cultured out for the day. Have a spoooooky Halloween everybody!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Queers For Fears

Video sent by sarahwarn
Great homo horror movie run-down. More at, where a certain queermo won the first Halloween contest.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Believer

I'm not a huge magazine person. I read Newsweek because it fills me in on the news I can't watch on TV or glean from various internet news sites. I peruse Newsweek while I'm waiting for or on the train, since it has relatively short articles and it's not that embarassing. I also have a few guilty pleasures, namely mental_floss and Geek Monthly. Both of those magazines are pretty entertaining and quasi-informative, and any given "article" is so short that I can usually read it while I'm eating a bowl of cereal in the morning. These are magazines I enjoy, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend them to everyone.

The magazine that I'm actually touting here is The Believer. Brought to you by the good people at McSweeney's, The Believer has a little bit of everything for people who enjoy The Arts (literature, music, film), politics, philosophy, science, or what have you. The last complete issue I read included: an essay on the subject of ceremony, based around the music of New Order and the funeral of Gerald R. Ford; a look at the influence of Arch Oboler's '40s radio dramas on the ultra-violent horror films currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity; an interview with the primatologist Frans de Waal discussing what we can learn about human behavior by studying bonobos and chimps; an interview with the Mike Scott, leader of the band The Waterboys, by Colin Meloy; and the regular column "Stuff I've Been Reading", by Nick Hornby. And that's not even half the magazine.

Yes, sometimes the essays and interviews can get a tad pretentious, and the magazine is undeniably left-leaning. But the bottom line is, whenever I finish an issue, I feel smarter. I've been reading The Believer for a few years now and I've lost count of the number of authors and musicians I've been introduced to through it. The magazine regularly thrusts things into my mind that I've never thought about before. Like the article I read last year, which was an account of two lesbian artists from the Bay area who attended a taxidermy convention in one of the Dakotas. It was amazing. The author obviously learned a lot about a part of American she had never encountered, and she related the experience while remaining respectful towards a very right-leaning group of people who could have been easily skewered by someone going for a quick laugh instead of insight.

So if you get the chance, try to pick up a copy and your local wherever-you-buy-magazines, or look up some of the recent issues online. It'll make you feel, like, wicked smaht.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I have been promoted to a new position, one that requires me to move to Huntsville, AL. I expect those posters in Tennessee to feign mild excitement over my living a short weekend trip away. I will, of course, require coolness updates on band- and movie-fun in that great metropolis.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Reissue of the Year

I know it's a little early for best of the year lists or picks, but I'm confident nothing is going to top my favorite reissue of the year, The Traveling Wilburys. Their two albums were released together earlier this year, and I have to admit it's a largely sentimental favorite. My mom played these tapes in the car a lot. That said, this is a group made up of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and some other guy I can never remember. In any case, those are some big deal names, and for the most part, these are some fun songs. Vol. 1 is especially good, with songs like "Handle With Care" and "End of the Line." You really miss Roy Orbison in Vol. 3 (those wacky guys skipped vol. 2!) but it's still alright. It's nothing to take very seriously, just something fun to pop in when you're up for some simple tunes crafted by the some of the best songwriters of the past 30+ years.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Get Juiced

Wa-Wa-Wee-Wa. Holy Snikies Batman. I'm having a congasm. And then the gods opened up the heavens and produced Joost.

You know, like 15,000 of your favorite TV shows available to watch for free.
Babylon 5. Check. Transformers. Double check.

I'm still in the process of checking it out, but for someone
who doesn't have cable, this makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The software runs on either PC or Mac. Nice. Very nice. There is a little blurb about it on this NY times article. It's possible that this will be a waste of time, but so far it looks promising... and it's free. Anyway, it's nice to have options.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Jabba the Walthamite

So this past Saturday I was angry at Waltham, the town in which I live. After spending way too much time at work, I was riding my bike home from the the railway station when a townie started beeping his horn at me while we were at a red light. After forcing me into the intersection as he was trying to make a right turn (from the wrong lane) he then rolled down his window and yelled, "Dude, the sidewalks are there for a reason!" Mmm hmmm...nothing like icing your asshole cupcake with some sweet, sweet stupidity, dude.

This is a very roundabout way of introducing this picture:While taking Linus for a walk on Sunday, we came across Jabba in the driveway of some neighbors around the corner (a house that has had its Halloween decorations up for the last three weeks). I went for a second walk a little while later so I could come back with my camera. These guys were building Jabba for a Halloween parade at a nearby town. He's fully functional--there will be someone inside moving him around on the float. I love that they even got the asymmetrical nostrils right on him.

So, until I'm almost hit by a car again (which given my record, will be a matter of days), these neighbors have redeemed Waltham in my eyes for the time being.

OK, that's enough Star Wars-themed posts from me for a while...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Camper Van Beethoven - Take The Skinheads Bowling (1985)

Classic "I was in high school when I first saw this" video.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Chewie, is that you?

I know I said we weren't going to post internet stuff, but this is at least Star Wars related. And we all love Star Wars, right? Especially when it inspires performance art like this...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Beanie Weenie

So I finished Orson Scott Card's Shadow Puppets this past weekend. I stuck with the the three direct sequels to Ender's Game and thought they were pretty OK. They tended to get very science fiction-y without leaning as much on the political implications addressed in the first book. For the most part, I enjoyed the first two books in the parallel sequels (or whatever you want to call them) which filled us in on the character Bean before, during, and after the events in Ender's Game. But I seriously had to muscle through Puppets. It was the first time that I felt Card was really forcing his Mormon (read: conservative) politics on me as a reader, and he did so far from seamlessly. Every time he starts on frozen embryos and such it took me right out of the story. Then there were the incredibly awkward bits of dialogue between Peter Wiggin and his parents, often featuring bizarre sexual innuendo. Was that supposed to be comic relief?

Anyway, I see that there's yet another book in the series, Shadow of the Giant, which I assumed was coming based on the crappy cliffhanger at the end of Puppets. Has anyone else read this far in the series? Part of me wants to see how he wraps the various story arcs up, but part of me feels he's really phoning it in as he wraps up this series. I know Card is capable of some really compelling--or at least entertaining--writing. I'm wondering if anyone out there agrees or disagrees with my assessment of this book, and whether anyone has bothered with Shadow of the Giant.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Last Winter

I've been anxious to see this film... usually Nashville doesn't get all the independent films that I want to see, or at the very least it seems to take forever for them to show here. So, that being said, The Last Winter is actually playing in Nashvegas at our indie-venue, the Belcourt Theatre, and I'm planning on checking it out this weekend. I was always a fan of John Carpenter's The Thing, and of course I have a penchant for apocalyptic/man's-last-stand and his struggle to keep his 'humanity' in the face of unimaginable fear/terror (Cormac McCarthy's The Road comes to mind). Anyone heard of good/bad reviews or have a comment about this film?

Friday, October 5, 2007

What's Black and White and Red All Over?

Judging by the trailer, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street could be the best Tim Burton movie since Sleepy Hollow. It's kind of too bad it's a musical...the musical numbers in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were kind of on the lame side. Nevertheless, I have high hopes. At least it looks sufficiently dark and creepy, and Tim Burton does tend to bring out the best in Johnny Depp. And hey, it's coming out this Christmas! Nothing says Christmas like mass-murdering cannibals.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Iran So Far Away

Just in case you haven't seen this yet. Write-up in NY Times.

Comments are fixed

Evelyn is Not Real just politely informed me that I hadn't enabled commenting for anyone but contributors. Sorry about that. It should be fixed now, so comment away. That's kind of the whole point of this blog. Feel free to go back to older posts and comment, too.

Incidentally, if upon reading the very first post to this blog you feel you could (and would) actively contribute to our pretentious/geeky culture site, please let me know by e-mail. If you don't have my e-mail and you're the friend of another contributor, let me know through them. This blog as already turned me on to some cool stuff, so a few more contributors couldn't hurt.

Vampire Weekend, " Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma? "

I know, I know... I'm late to the party. All the hipsters have long since known about Vampire Weekend. Well I didn't really, OK, I remember hearing Vampire Weekend on satellite radio in May, but I paid no attention to them then. What's up with the name (read here to find out)? These guys are an enigma wrapped in a mystery... well they're not really, but their sound is unique. Who describes their music as afro-pop, ska, and punk with an "old-school academia and historic college vibe" (all grads of Columbia U)? Considering they have not even released an official album yet, Vampire Weekend seems to have generated a substantial following. If you're looking for some new music, definitely check them out.

All things vampiric:

Myspace: you can listen to four of their songs and you can be friendly, or not.

Official site.

KEXP coverage (strongly recommend checking these out): background and movie trailer (I laughed my ass off over the trailer), linky deux, and linky number three.

NY Times review.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Advise me, TV enabled

So I don't have a TV, nor have I had one for a while. But that doesn't stop me from watching shows on DVD if they're good. I've heard about this new show Pushing Daisies and I'm wondering if any of you guys have seen it. It's by one of the creators of Wonderfalls, so I have high hopes for it. It looks like it stars the brother from Wonderfalls, too.
Based on the awesomeness of Wonderfalls (and if you've never seen it, please check it out) and what little I've learned about the show, I can make the following assumptions:
1) It will be one of the prettiest new shows on TV.
2) It will be creative, funny, and overall quite entertaining.
3) It will last approximately 5 episodes.

Average American: "Honey, do you want to watch a well-crafted, scripted television program or watch Gary Coleman get into a slap fight with a transvestite midget?"
Average American's honey: "Oooh, midgets!"

If anybody watches it and can make a recommendation one way or the other, please let me know.