Intimate relationships with computers can get a little too much, even for your most progressive electro band. Chromeo, below, take part in a strangely familiar reality show, complicating matters. P-Thugg and Dave 1 share their experiences, as the digital Juliet gets between them. “I’m just in love with the hottest piece of hardware on the East Coast,” Mr P-Thugg shares in a vocodered voice I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. Dave 1 calls a band meeting and tries to get to the root of the problem. Juliet would be better off with HAL, her motherboard insists. —Mike Smith, Oct. 16, 2008
A dramatic reading of a transcript of a Wasilla, Alaska City Council,
by actor Chris Schneider.
What’s most remarkable about this meeting isn’t the cartoonish
bickering about refreshments and writing instruments, nor is it that
that bickering takes up most of the time. What’s remarkable is that
despite all the other back-and-forth, the Wasilla City Council
accomplishes all of its goals and wraps up the meeting in a little
over five minutes. Of course, it’s easier to be efficient when you
have one item of new business, but considering most of the meeting is
spent on the subject of the unofficial refreshment fund, the
councilmembers deserve some credit for pulling it together.
“Other people are here for principle, and that’s what I stand on.”
In contrast, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, where you can
have spent tens of thousands of dollars to get elected; you can
conduct your meetings with the assistance of computers and microphones
and human aides; you can adopt a formality of speech similar to all
big, (self-) important legislative bodies; and you can talk
uninterrupted for six minutes, and when your motion “dies for lack of
a second,” stomp out of the meeting like a big baby.
In the 1840 presidential campaign, William Henry Harrison and John Tyler of the Whig party ran against Democratic party founder and President Martin Van Buren (our first president born a U.S. citizen, and the only one—thus far!—speaking English as a second language). An Ohioan jeweler named Alexander Coffman Ross wrote clever lyrics celebrating Harrison’s military victory at Tippecanoe in 1811, and knocking Van Buren as “Little Van.” The song spread like wildfire across the country, eventually acquiring a dozen verses, and significantly outlasting Harrison’s monthlong and Tyler’s one-term presidencies. This video features They Might Be Giants’ 2004 cover of “Tip and Ty.” —Meave Gallagher, Oct. 14, 2008
First lady of France Carla Bruni and Nouvelle Star 2007 winner Julien Doré sang the Moldy Peaches’ “Anyone Else But You,” a.k.a. the ultimate love song for the socially awkward. Coming from French Elle’s Sexiest Man of 2007 and the world’s most beautiful first lady, though, it’s a lot hotter than when Kimya Dawson and Adam Green first wrote it to strangers passing them by on the street. Most notable about Bruni and Doré’s version here, however, is the inclusion of the last verse, the one no other movie or commercial or television show to date has ever allowed you to hear. Mme. Bruni sings it, and as she is fluent in English, you can bet she knows exactly what it means. Do you suppose it makes her think of Président Sarkozy? [via Kimya Dawson’s livejounal] —Meave Gallagher, Oct. 7, 2008
I think about the bailout and imagine a Wall Street investor flailing about in a kids’ splasher pool crying ‘cause the big-boys pushed him in. The latter-termed Rescue Package makes me imagine a coast guard descending from a helicopter regretting the stupidity of those stranded in sea of bad debt. Foreclosure has less resonance. But, as SoCal Connected reports, foreclosure means money for crews emptying foreclosed homes and for the guy who spray-paints lawns green, giving empty houses “curb appeal.” No one’s really happy about it, even the removal crew kingpin agrees: “This is a disaster… This is not something we are excited about.” There are unexpected consequences of Wall Street’s negligence—California’s foreclosed homes come with neglected backyard pools, a breeding crowd for mosquitos, and the West Nile Virus.
Bono is blogging about bureaucracy, manga comics, and celeb spooting, tag-teaming Jeffrey Sachs, beating world poverty and global injustice with a steel-chair on a blog for The Financial Times. At the same time ‘Lil Wayne is blogging about sports for ESPN. After a decade with the internet, the cognitive dissonance is there still there—especially in the viral video world.
Celebrity columnists are not unusual, and ads always want to shock, but across the internet, the playing field has been levelled. Or maybe there was a pitch invasion. And as we invade the space, celebrities must do more to get noticed. And this stuff in these places just seems weird. A little equalizing, I guess.
Snoop D-O-DOUBLE-G, represent the Punjabi.” sings the title track for the film Singh is Kinng (the extra ‘n’ is there for superstitious reasons). It’s looks like a strange and wonderful film. And thanks to global culture, a waning tide does indeed sink all ships in a film taking its cues from Frank Kapra and, er, Jackie Chan.
So, who knew Sir Bin Kingsley, an Oscar Winning portrayer of Ghandi does a mean Minor Threat impression? The video—crowd an all—it’s not part of any huge campaign or stunt, it’s not a sketch, it’s not topical: the web has eyes that wants to see things like this, Sir Ben brings Shakespere to straight-edge, Mean Magazine get a bit of promotion at the end, fine by me.
Aragorn, son of Arathorn, House of Isildur? The rightful heir to the throne of Gondor! Your voice, Howard Zinn’s graphic-novel version of A People’s History of The United States. Wired. Though in a post-conflict, post-modern world, all we want to know is which character-class is going to persevere? Log in now! (Buy yourself a nice office chair; slight back-pain and RSI are the new trench-foot of the digitial-conflict world.)
You forget it was Aragoran, didn’t you! I knew you had it in you. It’s good isn’t it. As someone who’s never read A People’s History, it’s the sort of introduction that has benefitted from the name attached to it. I ordered it straight away.
Now then, Sarah Palin The White Witch of the Hockey Arena is probably hiding in Narnia blaming Intelligent Warming for melting her ice palace, and disrupt hunting with/for polar bears. Oh no, silly me, there she is, on the Disney Channel—where she belongs.
I know that the whole world fell in love all over again with Tina Fey and her Sarah Palin sketches on Saturday Night Live the past two weeks. Of course she does a mean Sarah Barracuda, but in my opinion, Sara Benincasa’s series of Sarah Palin vlogs is much better. With Dina Saez as Palin’s “personal assistant, life coach, Jazzercise partner, and cousin Dina Heath-Barr,” Benincasa made 16 vlogs, which you can watch on her YouTube channel. More recently, the ladies partnered with the Huffington Post’s and InterActive Corp’s lighter political site, 23/6, to make even more Sarah-skewering vlogs. Because they have more time and freedom to work on their vlogs, Benincasa and Saez layer joke upon joke, creating if not a more nuanced caricature of Sarah Palin, a series more appealing to the political junkies among us.
Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is my favorite congressional representative. He’s intelligent and thoughtful, he’s vegan, and he doesn’t seem to have ever compromised his integrity during all his years in politics. Furthermore, the answers he’s always demanding from the Federal government are the same ones the rest of us want to know: What are you accomplishing? Have you actually read that bill we’re voting on? From what I’ve seen, Rep. Kucinich is the only guy on Capitol Hill willing to call out the crooks and liars on all their bullshit, as illustrated in today’s video. Though we can’t all live in his district (thankfully), you can be sure he represents our national interests in the House, too. Barack Obama is great and all, but he’s no Dennis Kucinich. —Meave Gallagher, Sep. 30, 2008
On June 13, My Bloody Valentine played their first public performance in 13 years at the ICA in London. The reformation arrived stateside this past weekend, with their first performance in the U.S. in 16 years at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival, which the band helped curate. I was lucky enough to attend their first New York City show at the Roseland Ballroom last night, Sept. 22, and I was completely blown away—almost literally.
Many bands get the cliché “sensory assault” thrown at them without much consideration for what that would fully require and whether or not anyone would actually want to experience such a thing. And few of those bands, of course, have broken the Guinness World Record for Loudest Band in the World (a discontinued category, because they’re too old, essentially) like M.B.V. has. Their light show is fitting, too, as abstract forms and colors are projected onto a backdrop while klieg lights flash directly into the eyes of the audience. The effect produced is not unlike rubbing one’s closed eyes to see what patterns of half-imagined light swirl in the darkened retinae.
The band’s setlist seems to vary little for its recent shows, but they always make a point of closing with “You Made Me Realise.” The legendary “holocaust section” of this song has been stretched out to over 15 minutes of pure noise. For most of the concert, I played pretty tough and didn’t put in the earplugs I’d picked up at the doors; for the excruciatingly loud finale, however, I couldn’t play tough anymore. So loud was the cacophony that I could actually feel the air being pushed by the speakers and the sound waves washing over my body. This was at about dead center of the floor, halfway back from the stage. For that 15 minutes of disorienting sound—like being in an exploding volcano, I’d imagine—the band members are strumming their instruments furiously, though I don’t think I’ll ever understand how a couple of Jaguars and a bass can make such a thunderous fugue of sounds. I think I should point out that the show as a whole wasn’t merely loud. The band sounds really good, too.
For those of you who couldn’t make it, or for those who are attending the second show tonight and would like a preview, I shot some of the assault, below. Listen at your own risk. —Erik Bryan, Sep. 23, 2008
A School Daze Refresher; Do the Swiss Dream of Post-Apocalyptic Rap Battles?; Getting Literacy Dun, the Rendition of Bamboozled Pandas With Chinese Accents; SnagFilms; Mexican Breakfast; Target: Women; Video Digest: June 27, 2008; Video Digest: June 13, 2008; Video Digest: June 6, 2008
Bottling Miraculous Creativity; Thoreau in the Towel; Herzog's Ecstatic Antarctic Truth; Parental Guidance for Star Wars; Starship Troopers Revisited; Determining the Best Thing; Cube! Defender of the Polyverse!; Urban Wakeboarding; Human Rights School, Gossip Girl Endorsement, Joe the VP
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