Monday, December 18, 2006

Good Night, and Good Grief...

Every so often, friends, a piece of news comes along that shakes the fine art of journalism to its very core.

This is just such an article. From its headline to the period at the end, this is perfect.

It can honestly be said: Edward R. Murrow, you are no Richard Johnson.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

2006: My Favorite Albums A.K.A. Listen, Rinse, Repeat


As 2006 draws to its inevitable close, I can't help but look back on it and reflect. I think my thoughts on 2006 can best be expressed with the phrase "Smell ya later!" Yes, I'm not opposed to closing the books on this one, truth be told. It was pretty effed for the most part.

Which isn't to say there weren't some massive nights, great road trips, parties, weekend getaways, vacations, new friends and albums along the way. And while I'd love to post about them all, there just isn't enough time or electrons on the internets to do that.

But I'll tell you what, I can tell you about some of my favorite albums. In fact, I already did! My good friend Kutmaster Krist 5000 posted them up on his own site for all the world to enjoy. So please feel free to click HERE and peruse to your heart's content. This collection will not impact your life significantly, but it will kill a good 5 minutes of your time. Imagine how much time I killed writing it! Wowee!

I'm going to try and kill more time in 2007 this way. I'm sure I'll post/pontificate plenty more before the year is over, but this list just went up today and I wanted to let folks know.

Have a happy Wednesday and a merry weekend, children!


PS - Speaking of "massive nights," I must admit to an egregious error on my part. My top 15 of 2006 does not include The Hold Steady's transplendent album "Boys and Girls in America." I'm not sure how I let that one slip, but really, who ever heard of a Top 16 Records of the year list? Or Top 15, for that matter. Hmm. Anyway, it's a good album, I hope you own it soon or already.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

You Literally Can't Make This Shit Up (Part Deux)

Wow, another great piece of news today. This one takes the cake. Then it tells you why you shouldn't eat cake.

In his column "The Big Picture," Jim Rutz, a right-wing conservative columnist issued a real pearl of wisdom, entitled "A devil food is turning our kids into homosexuals." Mr. Rutz asserts that soy products, while certainly an occasional source of nutritional benefit, are slowly lightening the loafers of America's youth.

You heard me: soy makes you gay. Well color me chartreuse and hand me a flower for my lapel. I'm glad we've identified the cause after all these years. I suppose it's the soy that allows them to grow those superhuman mustaches...

But I digest. I mean, digress.

The article has multiple pillars of insight, but I found the following paragraph to be the cornerstone in his Tower of Babble.

Soy is feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality. That's why most of the medical (not socio-spiritual) blame for today's rise in homosexuality must fall upon the rise in soy formula and other soy products. (Most babies are bottle-fed during some part of their infancy, and one-fourth of them are getting soy milk!) Homosexuals often argue that their homosexuality is inborn because "I can't remember a time when I wasn't homosexual." No, homosexuality is always deviant. But now many of them can truthfully say that they can't remember a time when excess estrogen wasn't influencing them.

He also claims that feeding a baby with soy milk has the equivalent effect on them of giving them five birth control pills. Which is an interesting claim, albeit a completely insane one.

So there you have it, folks. Those delicious Chik patties you've been scarfing up for the past few years will literally turn your flag-wielding, church-going, no premarital sex-having sons and daughters into a nation of Ru Pauls during fleet week. Vegetarians? More like Future Sodomites of America.

I hope you're all so very proud of yourselves. Does it make you feel more like a real (wo)man to make your kids feel like less of a (wo)man and maybe even eventually possibly want to have sexual relations with a (wo)man of the same sex? Whoah, man.

Although, now that I'm thinking about it, there was always something "fruity" about the name "Tofutti." Wocka, wocka, wocka.

I sure hope the terrorists don't find out about this. They'll have a field day with it.

Bad Parenting in the 21st Century

My god, it has come to this. Blackberries are replacing drinking problems.

You know, I remember the days when a bad parent was just a bad parent, either because of a lack of responsibility, sound parenting skills or just a few too many banana daiquiris after work. But I guess I’m just thinking back to more idyllic times. Nowadays, parents are turning to Blackberries for escape from their brats.

And that’s even scarier.

Worse, some people give them pet names, like "Crackberries" - isn't that just so fucking adorable? No. No, it's not.
I used to have one at my old job. Thankfully, when I left that abysmal place behind, I left that wretched device as well. Which isn’t to say it wasn’t a way to make free long distance phone calls or as a tool for checking my Gmail account while riding on a train, but it really seems as though some people actually love the little pieces of crap. To the point of ignoring their own children. Amazing.

This story is more disturbing than Michael “KKKramer” Richard’s comedy routine. I mean, when I have kids, I hope (nay, expect!) there will be better reasons to ignore them than a stupid handheld device.

Here’s holding out hope for the future, right?

Speaking of the future, when the hell are they going to get around to making hoverboards and flying cars, by the way???


Monday, December 11, 2006

"Mission Accomplished"

Someone sent this to me today. I thought it was an interesting perspective on the sinkhole that has become the Iraq war, as well as our foreign policy.

Happy Monday!

University of Michigan history professor Juan Cole has provided a unique perspective on the war in Iraq.

Imagine that China has invaded America.

Reflecting the larger U.S. population, Cole imagines that 3,300 Americans are dying in car bombings, rocket attacks, and aerial bombardments, per week.

Meanwhile, most reporters are trapped in Washington, DC hotels, dependent on Chinese troops to protect them.

Nearly 300,000 rebels, armed with machine guns, assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, and mortar launchers, control Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Denver and Omaha.

In the past year, the Secretary of State, the President, the Attorney General, and various Governors have been assassinated.

There is almost no commercial air traffic, and many roads are dangerous. To travel on I-95, for example, you risk being carjacked, kidnapped, or killed.

Electricity goes off throughout the day, if you are lucky enough to have it.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is 40%.

Despite all this, Chinese leaders assure you that you are better off now, and that they are bringing democracy and freedom to your country.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Very Bebop Christmas

I know it's only December 7, but I know I could sure as hell use a kick in the ass to get myself in the holiday spirit.

And so I present to you: Bebop, the holiday pup. He's a dog. He's my friend. He's my friend's dog. And he's here to help. Although he lives in Jersey City, he'll be making the rounds this season making sure everyone has as much ice cold Budweiser as they can drink. He's also pretty handy with a tennis ball. In fact, it's a little-known secret, but he's one of the main reasons why Jersey City is so cool.

If this picture doesn't put you in the spirit immediately, consult your physician. You have some problems my friend, and your heart just might be a lump of black coal. I mean, look at that little guy. All he wants is for everyone to enjoy the cool refreshing taste of the King of Beers.

On behalf of everyone here at the Ledge, have a wonderful holiday. And this season, please remember to keep the "Bebop" in Christmas. I know I will.

I'll also be keeping the Budweiser in my tummy.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I Knew I Should Never Have Clicked On That "Myspace Jobs" Advertisement

"The price one pays for pursuing any profession or calling is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side."
- James Baldwin

Just today, I was thinking to myself, “Hey Self, it’s been a rather crappy week, hasn’t it?”

“Yes, Self, it certainly has. And it’s only Tuesday.”

“That’s true, Self. But last week kind of blurred into this one, did it not?”

“Yes, it most certainly did. And did I mention it’s only Tuesday?”

“Yes, I’m afraid you did, you handsome bastard.”

“Oh, Self… What are we going to do with ourSelves?”

Can you tell that I’m tired and losing my mind?

Without further crappola... the past week or so, in emails counts (Let me specify - WORK emails. Personal emails are a different and far more enjoyable species altogether.):

Monday – 121
Tuesday – 119
Wednesday – 183
Thursday – 148
Friday – 151
Saturday – 14*
Sunday – 10*
Monday – 204
Tuesday – 224

(* Yes, small numbers, I know, but they were on the weekend, so I’m counting them as ten weekday emails for every one weekend email. Totaling 140 and 100, respectively.)

As you can see, things are getting progressively worse. The bad days are the ones when I have to do other work, other than just answering all these damn emails. Which is... every day.

I’m wondering how this stacks up with other people out there. Am I crazy or is that a lot of mail to go through? Or am I just peeing my pants over nothing? (It’s been known to happen.)

Today is Tuesday. I posit that it is no coincidence the subject of the email I received today from Netflix said “For Wednesday: Repulsion.” So what if it was talking about this kind of Repulsion and not this kind.


Monday, December 04, 2006

If You Can Read This, You’re Too Cool

Wowee, boys and girls. So far, life back on the Jersey side of things has been a real cool time. I’m saving a bundle on rent and expenses, I see my peoples on a regular basis (that is, when I’m not working till 10:30 PM), I’ve enjoyed some fine art and some fine rock n’ roll (see previous post). All I need now is to find me a Jersey girl, take that little brat of hers and drop her off at her mom's and… oh, you know the rest of the words.

What I’m trying to say is: so far, so good.

And life was further validated for me this morning when I stumbled upon the following article in New York Magazine, which cites Jersey City as the official rebirth of the cool. That’s right, you heard me: it’s not just for Jay Z and Carlos D (What’s with the one letter last names? Coincidence? I think not.) anymore. Jersey City, like Wu Tang, is for the children. The cool children.

As I look around the streets of Manhattan and see million dollar apartments in neighborhoods that were once punk rock mecca, one bedroom apartments renting for thousands of dollars and an increasingly horrifying population of HUM-V driving uber-guidos and Paris Hilton STD hair weave factories, I really feel like I moved just in time.

Don’t believe me? You better axe somebody. Click HERE to read all about it.

Arthur Fonzarelli

My new neighborhood, as seen from my old neighborhood:

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chuck Out My Melody

Hello friend,

Say, do you like beers? And if someone were to ask you how you feel about stoner rock, what would you say? How about dudes named Chuck?

Well, if you like all three of those things, have I got a deal for you!

This weekend, I’d like to welcome you to Chuckapalooza, which is a name I just made up for a couple of events taking place in the pastoral village of Jersey City, NJ. The first part of Chuckapalooza is a silent auction art show, featuring some of my favorite bromigos: BJ Ervick, Brett S. Wilson, James O’Keeffe and – you guessed it – Chuck Daly.

These are some mighty creative dudes and they’ll all be showing some work at the Residue Art Gallery. There’s gonna be all these awesome things there like beer – I really think you’d like it. Details below. Look for the picture with the sleepy kitten.

Here he is!

Day two of Chucktoberfest (I just changed the name again, did you notice?) is a bit more rockin’, because you know what? We’re living in the free world. This is a show at a place called the Iron Monkey. It’s got more of that beer stuff going on, plus live stoner rock from the glorious notorious Thunder Lizard, featuring bass guitar stylings from – you guessed it – Chuck Daly. Another band called Old Ghost is playing and, last but not least, there will be some DJ sessions from my friends Jamil and Brett, aka DJ Shazam! and DJ Cupcakes. I don’t know what they’re going to play exactly, but I’d imagine it will probably not be from the last two decades. And it might occasionally be Japanese. But it’s cool, dude, you’ll like it.

You should go to that too. It starts at 9:30ish. Here’s the address for Iron Monkey and another flyer image follows below (look for the giant banana):

Iron Monkey
No. 97, Greene Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302

Maybe I’ll see you there? Unless you don’t go. Which would be a bummer. There’s this dude Chuck that’s gonna be there. You probably heard about him.

Sleepy kittens,

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sometimes, My Arms Bend Back


Seriously, I keep listening to that theme song over and over again. It's really relaxing. But I'm also afraid I'm going to lose my mind.

If it's not already lost.

Up next in the Netflix: Season one discs 3 & 4, as well as "Fire Walk With Me."

I think I might have a problem. But I don't want to fix it.

The little man told me my favorite gum was coming back into style,

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

No Gnus Is Good Gnus

Or something like that.

Hey kids. Sorry, no updates for a while, I know. Still no internets and work has been 10 - 13 hour days lately (fun!). We did get a plasma screen TV though, which is certainly worth noting. Next we get HD cable for it and then comes the internets. When that happens, watch your ass, blogosphere. Wow, I really hate that fucking word.

So much I'd love to write about too - people I've seen, turkeys I've eaten, shows I've been to, movies I've watched, etc. - but it will have to wait. Hopefully around December 8 or so, I'll be able to start acting like a normal person again. Till then... snowball's chance in hell.

If you're feeling down or depressed, watch a Twin Peaks episode on DVD with your new plasma screen TV. That's really been working for me lately. I've been listening to the theme song on repeat for the last hour and it really relaxes me. You can listen to it HERE.

I leave you with this quote, from Arthur Schopenhauer:

"If we were not all so interested in ourselves, life would be so
uninteresting that none of us would be able to endure it. "

Yeah, that's the kind of stuff I like to put on this site.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Best Election Ever, Man!

Wow. Wowee-wow-wow. Color me surprised. Scratch that. Color me red, white and blue!!!

What a fantastic selection of news to choose from today!

Democrats reclaim the House.

Democrats probably reclaim the Senate.

And Rummy is AUDI 5,000.

Stem cells, gay marriage and abortion - oh my!

Man, X-mas came early this year!

It's a truly depressing thought (lemme just squeeze one in here), but this is probably the best news day I've seen in 6 years, since Captain Craptastic first stole the presidency.

Oh, the relief. Now only 2 more years of this ass clown and we can get a real president in the office. And I don't even mean that sarcastically. I have this strange feeling inside of me that I have not felt in a long time. I think it's.... hope! We can do it people - we can do it!


Friday, November 03, 2006

A Ledge of One's Own

Oh my brothers and only friends,

Bear with me for a short time. I have recently relocated my ledge and the current abode does not yet have the internets on it. (I didn't even know there were still places like that left in the world.)

So for the time being, I'm only going to be able to post stuff while I'm at work and that's tough to pull off.

But know that I am thinking of you often and missing you very much.

Hell, I need you. I'm a mess without you. I miss you so damn much. I miss being with you, I miss being near you. I miss your laugh. I miss your scent; I miss your musk. In fact, when this all gets sorted out, I think you and me should get an apartment together. Even though I just got a new one this week.

Okay, thanks for stopping by. I'll be back soon enough hopefully and maybe I'll even have some new content that I didn't swipe from Champ Kind.


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

This Ledge Has Flown

By this time tomorrow, I will once again be a citizen of the great Garden State, New Jersey.

This will have little to no effect on your life, but I wanted to share.

I think it will be the first step in a series of changes I want to make in my life. There's so much I want to do, so much I need to do, but much of it is not in my hands, or is too long-term to make a difference just yet.

So, I have to change the things I can. And I am.

In honor of this monumentous move, this homecoming of sorts, I'd like to offer up the following link to one of my favorite Springsteen songs, which is actually a Pete Seeger song. But who's keeping score?

It's called "Bring Em Home" and it's really an old Vietnam protest song, which the Boss revamped for a more modern day war cry.

At any rate, although it's referring to the soldiers fighting valiently abroad to defend my right to dick around on an internet site all day, I can't help feeling a little inspired by it from a personal perspective too.

At any rate: ENJOY the song.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Endorsement: The Five Dollar Day

I have a friend named Luke. Luke Something-or-other - I can't really remember. Actually, he asked me to remove his name to protect his secret identity. In addition to being a crimefighting caped crusader, he's a talented fella when it comes to music.

A few years back - actually, more like almost ten years back - Luke was really keen to start a band. He and I were just getting into "teaching ourselves" to play guitar around that time. I was way too self-concious about my playing, but Luke picked it up in no time - he's a real natural. Conversely, he wasn't too assured of his lyrical prowess back then, but I (perhaps naively) felt much better equipped for that end of the bargain.

He was looking for band names for a long time and petitioned lots of friends to give him ideas. Eventually I came up with one that tickled his history buff fancy, I guess: The Five Dollar Day. Here's a little history lesson on what that is, if you've never heard of it. Well, the name stuck. Ten years later and he still goes by that handle. And it's an entirely solo endeavor at this point - Luke not only took to the guitar, but he now plays all the drums, keyboards, spoons, tape recorders, woodwinds, and whatever else goes into his songs. He's John Brion meets Eric Bachmann. Recorded in an attic. In my book, that's a good way to be.

Back to the music for a second. Around 1998 or so, I sent him a string of words, lyrics, poems and such that would probalby mortify me to hear them today. But at the time, we thought it was the cat's pajamas, so to speak. I couldn't write a song to save my life, but I was happy to supply the words for old Mr. Luke.

Well, I eventually forgot all about those words and then one day, he gave me a cd and one of the songs on it sounded very familiar... because I'd written the lyrics! The song is called "Connect the Continents" and believe it or not, it still actually means something to me. Click the link to view the lyrics. And please, be kind if you have feedback. I was younger then, with more hair and full of big ideas about the world.

At any rate, I'd recommend checking out Luke aka the Five Dollar Day. He's a gifted son-of-a-gun. If you click HERE, you can download his first album Shine Like Justice for free. It includes "Connect the Continents" on it. I'm also quite a fan of "His Obituary." When I heard that song, I realized Luke didn't need any more of my damn lyrics, he was just fine writing his own.

If you click HERE, you can visit his highly designed web site.

And his Myspace page. If you go there, tell him I said hello. I think he's in the middle of a song-by-song battle with his friend. Each of them challenges one another with a Phil Collins song. they did a fantastic Rod Stewart duel recently too. I promise you, I'm not kidding. See for yourself!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

So, How Was My Weekend?

I don't know.

Take a look at these pants and you tell me.

The man, the myth, the legend... David Wooderson.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Apparently, There Are New, Funny Sheriffs In Town...

According to Page Six (and they're never wrong), Dave Letterman rips Bill O'Reilly a new one tonight.

Who knew the salty dog still had it in him!?

Now, when is Jay Leno gonna take down this other moronic blowhard???

I tell you what, if you're looking for news reporting with balls, perhaps you shouldn't turn to Steven Colbert (although I love the wiley Frenchman). No, if you want a real American badass, check out my boy Keith Olbermann. His wallet is the one that says "Bad Motherfucker" on it.

I guess KO isn't really funny, per se, but oh my sweet lord, how his delivery brings me joy! Do a little YouTubin' and check out his take on my high school sweetheart, Ann "The Mann" Coulter. Somebody's not getting an RNC Christmas card this year. Oh hell, here's the link, because I love you so much. And why not check out this one too.

I should also point out that Keith has a blog, aptly titled Now that is pretty funny.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Bob Loblaw's Law Blog?

"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge."
- Bertrand Russell
"I have always tried to use humor to "help ever" and "hurt never," for I find that to laugh is like swallowing a secret that Santa Claus farted."
- David Cross

So a friend of mine invited me to do a weekly column on his blog site. I thought that was right neighborly of him.

Essentially, if I understand the offer correctly, I get to write about whatever I want. It can be a weekly rambling, a thrice-monthly recommendation, a biweekly endorsement, free association jazz poetry, favorite chili recipes, selected love letters to Ann Coulter, whatever blows my ever-dwindling hair back. That’s just a recipe for disaster – I mean, look at this site, for Christ’s sake.

Ideally, it would be a weekly submission. Ideally. My goal is to collect these little musings, to form some sort of useless portfolio with them that no one will ever want to read for any practical purpose whatsoever. I figure, aim low and you can’t be disappointed. Right? Well, I believe you can't find disappointment in anything anyway. It finds you.

So I’m trying to think of a name for the fated (fêted? fetid?) column. I’ve got a few ideas in my pun-infested pocket (that sounded a lot grosser than I intended it to, sorry). But do you, Dear Readers, have any suggestions? Just leave your picks in the comments section. I eagerly await reading them.

Leave some sort of name, nick or otherwise, so that I may identify you. Fake names are fine too - I'm looking at you MagicTheGathering69!

I hereby solemnly swear that I will write a selection of nonsensical poems about my favorite suggestions. Who could pass that up?

And if I use your suggestion, I will dedicate an entire post to extolling your good graces / graceful goodness, most handsome/winsome features and most endearing/enduring qualities. Even if I don’t know you personally/carnally. That’s the kind of guy I am.

So name away, America! Actually, name away, World! I have global reach with this electronic contraption. I see you peeking from time to time, my friends in Canada, Malaysia, Germany and Sweden! Tell your story to the world, World!

Yours ever (hurting never),

Saturday, October 21, 2006

"See You In Heaven"

Three years ago today, a good friend called me early in the morning with some really bad news.

Elliott Smith, my favorite songwriter ever, was dead.

Seems silly to miss someone you never knew, but I do. I always felt like he knew me. Three years ago today, and the guy still crosses my mind each day.

I'm aware that most people don't feel that kind of connection to music. But I do. For better or for worse, I do. I think I'm lucky in that way. It's good to know a song or a lyric can still affect you. If it can't, what is there left to enjoy? And what then actually would affect you? If you can't take solace in a song, or a book or a piece of art, what can you turn to? I honestly don't know.

I'm glad his music impacted me the way it did. I'm glad I enjoyed it while it was around. I just wish the son of a bitch was still around today. It's hard facing up to the fact that your hero just couldn't do it anymore. Where does that leave you? It's not a good place, I can tell you.

But I digress.

Today is a day better spent remembering. So, here's to you, my friend. Thanks for all the music and words you left to us. If nobody ever said it to you, I will: Thank you.

If you'd like to learn about Elliott or his music, here is a great place to start:
Sweet Adeline

Say hello to my friend Charlie if you stop by there. I'm sure he'd love to hear from you today too.
And if you'd like to see a really surreal video of Elliott performing at the 1997 Academy Awards, click HERE. Make sure you give it some time to load properly.

Almost ten years later and it's still bizarre to see him standing between Trisha Yearwood and Celine Dion, followed by an announcement by Madonna. Haha. Makes me smile though.




Another great site to visit is The Trash Treasury. It’s a pretty comprehensive repository for Elliott Smith live tracks, unreleased demos and other lovely tidbits. You can hear the song I titled this post after there too. Click here to listen to “See You in Heaven.” It’s an unreleased demo that Elliott was working on just before his death. He never had the chance to record any lyrics for it, but the music stands on its own. It’s very playful, layered and diverse and brings to mind music you might hear from his friends in Quasi or Built to Spill. Simply fantastic. Makes you wonder what he would have done next.

Also, I learned recently that there will be a new release of Elliott material in March of 2007! It’s going to be a collection of previously unreleased demos form the Either/Or sessions, or somewhere thereabouts in his career. Check out the story HERE.

Friday, October 20, 2006

You Might Need to Turn a Few Illusions to Pay For This

Ladies and gentlemen,

I assure you, this is no trick. Tricks are something a whore does for money... or candy!

"Come on!"

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Temporary Like Achilles

Tonight, I poured a little out on the floor for my friend Cliff Floyd.

So close. So close. You guys almost had it. Maybe you should have swung.

Damn that Achilles tendon.

I'm sorry, friends. I'm sorry, Metropolitans.

A Portrait of the Young Man as an Artist

Sorry for the late notice on this one folks, but I just found out about it myself!

My dear friend James O’Keeffe is having an art opening this evening in beautiful, provincial downtown Jersey City.

Simply put, James is one of the best painters I have ever encountered, and I am not just saying that because he’s one of my bro-dudes.

If you can make it there’s an opening reception tonight and then it will show there for a while. Details are below.
Thursday, October 19th from 7-11pm
Opening Reception of"Delay, decay. Living, living."- paintings and drawings
by James O'Keeffe
Residue Gallery
107 Brunswick St., Jersey City, NJ

The evening will also be the unveiling of Residue's backyard mural
createdby O'Keeffe as well.
Refreshments provided

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

This Evening, The House of Dumbass Recommends…

I never do this kind of thing on here, so I thought I would. These are some albums I bought recently and liked a lot. Maybe you will too?

Links will take you to Amazon to purchase and/or listen to audio samples.

Two Gallants – “What the Toll Tells”

The poor man’s review is that this sounds like Bright Eyes if Conor Oberst’s balls finally dropped. It’s actually much more staid and mature. Good songs, lots of energy.

Colossal Yes – “Acapulco Roughs”

A 70’s rock side project from the drummer from Comets on Fire. Sounds NOTHING like Comets, but it’s really pretty and groovy. Lazy Sunday music. Perfect for that.

Sonic Youth – “Rather Ripped”

I assume/hope you know what Sonic Youth sounds like. They should have called this “Rather Awesome” however.

The Hold Steady – “Boys and Girls in America

What a clever, catchy and edgy band. Songs of drug addition, boozing and love gone wrong. But with a sound that is one part Springsteen, one part AC/DC, one part Kerouac and one part total punk rock piss and vinegar.

Current 93 – “Black Ships Ate the Sky”

Now this is a Jesus freak I can get behind. It doesn’t hurt when Ben Chasny is your guitar player. Guest appearances from Bonnie Prince Billy, Antony, Baby Dee, Shirley Collins and Marc Almond. The scariest hymnals you’ve ever heard.

Make Believe – “Of Course”

This album is wild. Of all the Tim Kinsella musical outfits that have crossed my path over the years MB is the most unpredictable, amusing and consistently entertaining one.

The Lemonheads – “S/T”

Evan Dando follows a somewhat flaccid solo album with some smooth rockers that have him sounding better than he has in years. Think Lemonheads circa “Lovey,” just before “It’s a Shame About Ray.” Real nice.

Joan as Police Woman – “Real Life”

Lovely piano ballads, with a style that calls to mind a more lucid Cat Power. These are subtle, but focused songs. Really pretty, with the faintest touch of melancholy. As the gal says, “It’s true what they say, that I’m out of my mind, but you’ll like it. So take a chance.”

Pajo – “1968”

I didn’t know Dave Pajo made music this nice. I never much cared for his Papa M stuff in the past, but damn, this is a great album. The songs are all very dark, but they’re delivered in such a smooth, melodic fashion, you almost don’t catch how dire the lyrics are. Almost.

Joanna Newsom – “Ys”

This record is grandiose, but I mean that in a good way. It’s obvious that Joanna Newsom is a talented musician. On this record, she takes everything she did before and ups the stakes by a longshot. This album is long, meandering and full of little genius twists and turns. Gorgeous, really.

Magnolia Electric Company – “Fading Trails”

The sad friar of alt country indie strikes again. Jason Molina provides a strong argument against happiness and mental health. If being miserable is this good, it really makes you think twice about being happy.

Bob Dylan – “Modern Times”

Dude, I am not reviewing a Dylan record. It’s great. Son of a bitch, it's great. Go buy it!

Tom Petty – “Highway Companion”

Likewise, Tom Petty doesn’t need my small words to help his cause. Check out some sound samples and see how amazing this record is too. That’s my review!

Watch Your Ass, Chewbacca

Apparently, intergalactic space aliens ought not to mess with Texas either.

President Bush has signed a new National Space Policy that rejects future arms-control agreements that might limit U.S. flexibility in space and asserts a right to deny access to space to anyone "hostile to U.S. interests."
More here.

No word on this story yet from the Scientologist perspective, but just give it some time.

Appealing To All the Darkest Corners of My Brain Simultaneously

File under "where the hell do you file stuff like this?"

Scarlett Johannson is going to record an album of Tom Waits covers. Yes, you read that right.

Don't believe me? Look here. And here.

It's called Scarlett Sings Tom Waits and it's coming out next spring from Rhino. How cool is that picture, by the way? I lifted it from the Pitchfork. Thanks, forkies.

My gut instinct tells me that this album is actually going to be kind of cool. I mean, if Tom himself endorses the idea, it can't be so bad, right? But as GOB Bluth once said, "my gut is also very hungry." I really don't know how I feel about this idea.

Do I hate it?

Do I date it?

Do I got a dyslexic heart?

I think this one falls into the "download first, then decide" category. But I must admit, I'm intrigued.

Probably for all the wrong reasons.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

You Literally Can't Make This Shit Up


Rick Santorum and the "Eye of Mordor"

In an interview with the editorial board of the Bucks County Courier Times, embattled Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has equated the war in Iraq with J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings." According to the paper, Santorum said that the United States has avoided terrorist attacks at home over the past five years because the "Eye of Mordor" has been focused on Iraq instead.

"As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else," Santorum said. "It's being drawn to Iraq and it's not being drawn to the U.S. You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don't want the Eye to come back here to the United States."

This, on the same day that this appears:

From, taken from an interview with Vice President Dick "Buckshot" Cheney and Rush "Oxycontin" Limbaugh:
Cheney: ‘General Overall Situation’ In Iraq Is Going ‘Remarkably Well’

If you look at the general overall situation, they’re doing remarkably well.

It’s still very, very difficult, very tough. Nobody should underestimate the extent to which we’re engaged there with this sort of, at present, the “major front” of the war on terror. That’s what Osama bin Laden says, and he’s right. [emphasis mine]

Well, America, it was nice knowing you. Now let's hop in that handbasket and ride it straight to hell. Our leaders clearly have no idea what they are doing.

By the way, at the time of this writing, the American death toll in Iraq is currently 2,635 since "Mission Accomplished" was declared. And at least 43,937 Iraqui civilians. (See: Casualties in Iraq).

Does everyone realize that this is going to keep (us and by extension) our kids from affording college? From ever having a chance of not forking over our/their whole livelyhoods in taxes? Paul Krugman's head must be exploding right now. I feel like mine is.

But maybe that's just because I had to fork over that additional $860 in income tax this week, unless I wanted to incur further fines and/or legal ramifications. The original story is HERE.

Okay, I better run. My new favorite show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, just came on.

But really quickly: Lord of the Rings???? Are you kidding me???

Hey, wait a second...

Monday, October 16, 2006

I Heart Bill Murray

Bill Murray crashed a college party in Scotland over the weekend with a bunch of hot European chicks. He drank vodka from a coffee cup, heated up some leftover pasta, cracked jokes and even did the dishes at the end. I mean, is this guy awesome or what?

This report from
The Sunday Telegraph offers a resounding yes! (I've abridged this for reading pleasure, full story is in the Telegraph link.)

Bill Murray turns fiction into fact by pitching up at students' party in St Andrews with a new blonde friend – and then doing the dishes
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones
(Filed: 15/10/2006)

In the Oscar-winning film Lost in Translation, Bill Murray famously plays a lonely actor looking for meaning in his life in a strange land. He meets a young blonde woman and goes to a party with her.

Now life seems to have imitated art when the Hollywood star stunned a house full of students by turning up at their party in the early hours of the morning.

The 56-year-old actor was in St Andrews for a celebrity golf event but, rather than retire for an early night when last orders were called, he went off to explore the more playful side of the historic city.

He had been drinking with fellow golfers in the fashionable Ma Bells bar when he met Lykke Stavnef, a Norwegian blonde, who was out her friend Marie Bergene. To her surprise, Murray accepted her invitation to a party and accompanied her along the cobbled streets to a Georgian townhouse, where a gathering overflowing with young Scandinavians was in full swing.

"Nobody could believe it when I arrived at the party with Bill Murray," said Miss Stavnef, 22, a social anthropology student. "We met him in the bar and he made some jokes. He was just like the character in Lost in Translation."

"It was really funny because he was pretty old compared with all the other people there, but he was so relaxed and it was really amusing when he started to wash up," said Miss Stavnef. She was concerned that there were no clean glasses when she arrived with Murray but she said he was quite happy to drink vodka from a coffee cup.

As news spread around the city that Murray was a surprise guest at a student party, the house became crowded with people wanting to meet the star of Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day.

"The alcohol ran out very quickly when word got round that he was with us," said Agnes Huitfeldt, 22, an economics and finance student.

"I was standing in the hallway when he came in. I introduced myself, but I was really surprised when he remembered my name later as there were so many people there.

"He was joking with me about reheating some leftover pasta and how drunk everyone was. The pasta was probably quite hard to get off the dishes because they had been sitting around."

Shortly after finishing the washing-up piled high in the students' kitchen, the Hollywood star left with a couple of companions who were believed to have been involved in the golf competition.

"He couldn't fail to have a good time," said Tom Wright, 22, an international relations student. "The party was overflowing with stunning Scandinavian blondes. He seemed to be in his element, cracking lots of jokes. It was the talk of the town the next day."

Murray fired his publicist several years ago and has no agent. He could not be reached for comment.

Hey, do you think he brought Dudley Heinsburgen to the party with him? That dude knows how to party. And he can hear real good too.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I Love Getting Together With Friends

New Jersey: When you're there, you're family.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Joyeux Vendredi Le Treizième!

It's Friday the 13th, my minions.

To celebrate, here's a picture of Jason playing with a teddy bear.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I just read yesterday that one of my all time favorite gals, Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power is now going to be the face of Chanel's jewelry collection. Say what?

She's had a heckuva year, Brownie!
  1. First she puts out an album with Al Green's band that is totally out of character and surprisingly upbeat.

  2. Then, she plans a tour.

  3. She cancels the tour. (Chan, if you're reading this, you broke my heart on Valentine's day.)

  4. She checks herself in to rehab. (Then I felt bad about having my heart broken.)

  5. She cleans up and checks out. Which is nice.

  6. She then re-embarks on her tour and simultaneously rereleases her album (at a discount price, thanks a lot Matador, I bought that the first day it came out!), since it didn't get much of a promotional push, due to the aforementioned cancellation.

And now, she seems like a happy little kitty for the first time ever. It's been great to see her have such a triumphant return after what was probably a harrowing recovery experience, on top of years of alcohol and drug abuse.

Then, Karl Lagerfeld, the nutball with a ponytail and a fan, who runs Chanel, personally picks her to be their new spokeskitten. Bravo, Karl! I know you're a total fucking mental case and this will be the only time you ever hear me say something nice about you, but I really commend your choice.

I leave you with the following picture of our feline friend. You can't really blame the guy for picking her, can you? Hell, I'd start my own fashion label if I thought it would get her attention. I think the world is ready for my designer underwear. Right?

Damn Straight, Old Man

From the Associated Press:

A 91-year-old man has received a law degree from an Australian university, finishing the six-year course more than a year ahead of schedule because he said "time is of the essence."

Full story HERE.

Snap to it, folks.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Vince Vaughn Ain't Got Shit On Me

Hey did you guys see they're making a sequel to Wedding Crashers?

I think it's called WC2: Mission Implausible.

Or something to that effect.

Tagline: Give these idiots some drinks and watch 'em dance!

Another Reason to Set Google Images for "Safe Search"

I just discovered something very funny.

For those of you who know my full name, try the following:

- Go to
- Do an image search for my full name in quotes
- Look half way down the page
- Laugh at my old circa 1998 haircut

You'll feel so good, you'll think you just found a twenty dollar bill on the ground.

My Uncle Sent Me An Email

I feel bad about this. I guess I should keep in touch more often.
Dude I haven't heard from or seen you since 6/25. Are you still alive? If you are, that is narly. Give me a call or send me an e-mail. As you can see, I've finally come into the 21st century.

Uncle [redacted]
Thanks, Uncle Redacted, for using the word narly. You are the only person who would still do that for me.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

This Just In: Puppies Can Drive!

Sorry guys.

I don't know what got into me with that last post.

It was so... heavy.

Anyway, here is a picture of a puppy driving a car! I mean - Wow! What'll they think of next!?