Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bitch is the new Britney

It's Meryn, bitch. And I'm here to live blog the premiere of Ms. Spears' comebackumentary "Britney: For the Record." Let's snark away, kids....


9:02 p.m. The title track from Britney's latest album is kind of a jam.
9:02 Father and custodian Jamie Spears "makes his baby some cheesy grits." Yeah, the Spearses are every bit as southern-fried as the media portrays them to be.
9:05 p.m. Britney gives a spiel about "good," "great," and "OK" performances, which really serves as a shadow mea culpa for her God awful VMA performance in 2007, though she doesn't explicitly mention it.
9:06 p.m. Brit-Brit is ALREADY crying. Even the folks on "Intervention" wait until at least fifteen minutes in to let the tears flow. This is going to be drainin' y'all...
9:09 p.m. Britney says she'd "be dead without dancing." Yeah, I can add a few others to that list of things keeping Britney alive, but now is no time for me to speculate...
9:10 p.m. Britney opens up about JT. I'm lovin' it. And she looks really good now. Now she's slipping into "parody-Britney" and it's feeling a little faux...
9:12 p.m. Demarchelier! Seriously? Lucky bitch.
9:13 p.m. Britney is explaining a video concept and she sounds like her Kentwood-self, talking slow and getting in to it. I can't tell if her drawl is adorable or sounds a little like someone who is intellectually-deficient...
9:14 p.m. I don't know, but Brit-Brit is talking about how much her music is a reflection of what she's going through, and I can't help but wonder if that's true for people who don't write most of their own songs...
9:15 p.m. Britney and Dave Grohl, both singers who record while chewing gum.
9:16 p.m. Britney asks, "Is that the end?" while recording a track, clearly taking a note from Janet Jackson circa Rhythm Nation 1814.
9:17 p.m. Yes Britney, people do shave their heads all the time. But YOU don't. Is she having trouble seeing the distinction? And most people don't have paparazzi looking on as they shorn their locks.
9:18 p.m. Britney looks like her Oops I Did It Again self. Props.
9:20 p.m. Britney's talking about how spiritual her dancing is and how certain movements are cathartic and emotional, but why must they show her grinding on other people and fondling herself as she says this? It makes her argument harder to believe.
9:21 p.m. I find myself rooting for Britney, even though my better angels are telling me not to. Or maybe it's my demons. Either way, this documentary is Britney's Triumph of the Will.
9:23 p.m. I appreciate Brit-Brit's candor about how much she enjoys being famous at times. Though I wish she'd stop conducting business in her childlike voice. Like Jan Hooks says, "You're a grown woman, use your lower register!"
9:25 p.m. Is the Blair Witch-style camerawork really necessary during the paparazzi scrum? I mean, when you consider the camera is still in the car?
9:27 p.m. Props to the interviewer for phrasing the "victim of success" question as such instead of saying "How does someone become a fucking joke?" which might be how some of us would put it.
9:28 p.m. Did Britney just take a swipe at Katie Holmes? (CHEAP SHOT COMING) If Tom ever lets her out of her cage, Katie's going to be PISSED.
9:30 p.m. I guess even documentaries include the compulsory shopping montage.
9:31 p.m. Some shocking and much-needed humility from Britney. Snaps.
9:33 p.m. As Britney talks about the emotional depth of In the Heights, I can't help but wonder if she's someone who feels forced to fulfill her stereotype/media given image, or if it has been created because it is an accurate depiction of who she is. Chicken or egg?
9:34 p.m. Britney just referred to K-Fed as "her babies' daddy." HELL YES B-SPEARS!
9:37 p.m. Even the commercials are all-Britney. This is like an episode of "Saturday Night Live," and I can't tell if the commercials are part of the documentary or if they're real. And I can't believe she built them in to the special. What?
9:40 p.m. Jamie Spears is kind of frightening and yet intriguing. And he just compared his weekend fishing hobby to Britney's career. What does that even mean?
9:41 p.m. Britney and Jamie's relationship reminds me of that scene in Madonna: Truth or Dare when her dad comes backstage. Is it just me?
9:43 p.m. Unlike most celebrities, I do actually believe it's hard to be Britney and live her life. If I weren't so dead inside, I might be crying with her. They should show this in film classes.
9:45 p.m. I'm starting to believe that Britney is her generation's Michael Jackson, in the sense that we're watching her breakdown and she's on TV telling us about it, just like the Gloved One's statement from the Neverland Ranch after the LAPD raided his house. You know, the first time he was accused of child molestation.
9:47 p.m. Is Britney shooting a sequel to the "Oops I Did It Again" video? That red turtleneck makes me think so. Did I miss something?
9:48 p.m. This background piano track is SO "Movie of the Week." Ugh, too "True Life"-y, MTV.
9:49 p.m. No one told me Madge was going to show up!!! Wait, why isn't her face moving? Why does she look like a Calico? I'll never figure out why Madonna takes an honest interest in the affairs of Ms. Spears.
9:52 p.m. The time is really flying but I don't feel like I'm learning a lot. Anyone else feeling some gossip-natured blue balls? Oh B.Spears, such a tease...Some things never change.
9:54 p.m. I thought that was Perez Hilton in the gold sequined coat. It's Jamie Spears. Whoops.
9:55 p.m. (CHEAP SHOT NUMBERS 2 and 3) "Y'all are pretty fairies and I'm an ugly witch." Sounds like Christina Aguilera, circa Dirrty. Or Bill O'Reilly on any given day.
9:57 p.m. This scene is also like Madonna in Madonna: Truth or Dare. Hanging out with the dancers, thought it's all much more sanitized. This is making me wish there was an uncut, Miramax version of this documentary where Britney's dancers show her their penises and she's excommunicated by the Church. Anyone?
10 p.m. Britney's almost 27 and is still referring to herself as a girl. The problems really are deeper than we know.
10:01 p.m. You go and show that inner-Material Girl, Britney. All that rage about being impatient and waiting for the "fucking fireworks." LOVE IT.
10:02 p.m. What? You haven't told enough but you want to write "a good, mysterious book?" NO! I WANT THE TRUTH, ALL THE DIRT, CRYSTAL CLEAR!
10:03 p.m. Somewhere Christina Aguilera is touching her massive boobs and is pissed because Britney's video looks an awful lot like her "Hurt" clip. I'm just saying, from far away it's hard to distinguish the two.
10:04 p.m. Britney or Ralph Macchio? It is hard to tell. But seriously, she is funny. I just don't know if she intended to be.

I'm going to eat queso and watch Damien Fahey feed Brit-Brit's ego some more. But I will say this: Overall, the documentary was somewhat enlightening, heartbreaking, and fucking awkward. I do feel bad for Britney, but unfortunately she didn't prove that whole "I'm a smart person, what the hell was I thinking quote" as much as I'd have liked. I want to cheer for her, but even this documentary can't make me. But I don't want her to fail as much as I used to. Let me know if you think it lived up to the hype.

-Meryn, who hopes that her future MTV documentary is more salacious and less Confederate-tastic.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Failure to bird launch

I think this is Ann's first official post since we created profiles....about time. BOMB DOT COM!

While I have no itemized list of the illnesses spreading around the UI campus, it's been ages since I made a worthwhile playlist, and I've been working off the same one (inappropriately titled "da new hits") for months now. I have spent the last few days at home stealing wireless from the neighbors (Thanks John!) and obsessing over my "recently added" section of iTunes.

But before we get to the good stuff LET'S TALK ABOUT T-GIV. Also about how Jarrett still dubs himself Dr. Tongue. I for one am feeling not too shabby about my Thanksgiving consumption performance, even though we did not have a turkey. I'm sorry, let me repeat that, because I'm not sure it set in:
MY FAMILY DID NOT HAVE A TURKEY FOR THANKSGIVING.
Conversation in car:
Sister: I've never made a turkey before.
Sister's boyfriend: Yea, I've heard it's actually quite an art — like, it's really rather hard.
Mom: Yep, it is. Which is why Grandma did not make one this year.
Ann: -chokes on gum, sputters- Well, then surely.....surely someone else did?
Mom: Nope. Grandma made a ham instead, and you know what, she doesn't want to hear about it.
Ann: No...no turkey?

and all of a sudden the sky went black and my world crashed around me. This was almost as bad as the time we had cold cut sandwiches on Thanksgiving because half the family is vegetarian and nobody planned ahead. My life was funneling away and there was nothing I could do to make it better. But at least it couldn't get worse, right?

WRONG!
NOBODY EVEN MADE FLAVORED BREAD!!! WE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE ROLLS! HERESY!When I was a child, this was the only thing I ate at Thanksgiving because I gag-reflexed everything else. And now that I'm at an age when I can appreciate a boss stuffing mix, I was severely crestfallen about it when nobody bothered to make any.

BUT ON TO THE REAL MEAT OF THIS BLOG.
My latest playlist, entitled "Up a crick without a turkey"

"Thunder Jam #1" — Juiceboxxx (Milwaukee nerd rap at its finest. Wait. it's actually quite likely that there aren't that many nerd rappers in the 'wauk. oh well, this guy is legit, with really ill beats and sick lyrics) (plus, you can't negate this video)

"Windowdipper" — Jib Kidder (Alright, so I love Girl Talk. Everyone knows that. I stumbled across this on accident and it's not too shabby. but this guy is pretty cool. Plus, all the PC error sounds made me a little trippy, seeing as I have a Mac, and I couldn't figure out what was happening. best part: "WASSUP WASSUP WASSUP WIT DAT!" aka, my favorite thing to say while throwing fake gang signs.)
"Afterparty at Jimmy's" — Anya Marina (sounds like Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
"Such a Twat" — The Streets (YES! Any song that talks about losing cell phone reception while using phrases like "I'm such a twat!" is a hit in my book.)

"Lord Let it Rain on Me" — Spiritualized (legitimately one of the awesomest bands ever with super intimate but yet booty-kicking beats and pedal droning)
"Let it Fall" — Lykke Li (I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Scandavian sasstresses. This dame hails from Sweden, and her d├ębut album, Youth Novels, released earlier this year. I'd liken her to Jenny Lewis, MGMT, a sweeter Santogold, and the Ting Tings)
"Phonography" — Britney Spears. Please don't judge me.
"Poker Face" — Lady Gaga (please see: "louis virtel" for more fame musings)
"Council Estate (South Rakkas Crew Remix)" — Tricky (You know, at this point, I'm not even a little embarrassed by how much I love hip hop and anything I can (1) run (2)dance or (3) OWN to. There are a ton of remixes of this song and I love them all.
And I also love him a little.
"Compute" — Soulwax (tune in right around 1:10 for it to really kick tush)
"Mirando" — Ratatat, the band my dad once claimed he liked.

Well, I'm going to go drown my giddiness in a piece of pie, because if there's anything my family does not chince on, it's pie. Straight up Village Inning it.
-Ann, who thinks break seemed awful short, and who is proud to say not only is her child an honor roll student, but far more importantly she just embedded her first video(s)

That little one, that's Gretchen Weiners


Watch CBS Videos Online


This video makes life worth living. And I'll be writing homoerotic-themed fan fiction about it on my new blog, "I'm Hagtastic!"

-Meryn, who only wishes she could've been in that pool too, but she won't wear a swimsuit for less than $10,000.

Artistic Staircase Designs



Check out these 15 unique staircases.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Real Meaning Of Thanksgiving

Nausea-inducing gluttony:


(Via Slog, Dosenation.)

Enjoy the leftovers, everyone!

(Cross-posted at The Podium.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

THANKSGIVING ZUBAZ FEST


Santa, are you there?

It's me, Jarrett. I know we haven't talked in a long time. Times are tough. The economy, terrorist attacks in Mumbai, fast-approaching entrance into the real world... it's not a very cheery holiday season. That's why I need a boost, a special present that would bring joy back into my bleak existence. I'm talking about Zubaz pants. 



You see Santa, I have been single for a while now. I lack companionship. If I wear Zubaz pants, the girls will see how confident and stylish I am and totally want a Dr. Tounge appointment. They'll think, wow, someday he'll wear those pants to our son's high school football game and yell explicatives to the referee, and it'll be hot. That's my man, she'll think. That's my dad, my son will think, as he goes 12-19 for 198 yds. and 3 tds. Great game management son. Great comfort management, Zubaz. It's a class of gentleman unparalleled by modern fashion.



Just like a circus... except not.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers.

The tryptophan has kicked into high gear for my family, and, as customary, they've all crashed in the living room. I, on the other hand, am not a T-Giving fan (just ask the arts staff, they'll know) and am just as energetic as ever. So I thought I'd blog about something we can all be thankful for:

BRITNEY SPEARS YA'LL!!

My review of Circus won't be published until Tuesday, but there is something else to review, too. That shitty album cover. Exhibit A:


Ms. Spears has never had a good album cover. And Circus isn't breaking the trend. When I (and countless others) learned that the disc was going to be called Circus, I hoped for some kind of "wink, wink" innuendo as to her circus-like personal life. Or maybe something very Vaudeville-esque, out of a Tim Burton movie perhaps.

But no. Instead, we get stuck with this textbook example of tacky Photoshop. This cover looks like it was made in about 15 minutes for 20 bucks. The album itself isn't that bad, full of mostly intense dance tracks, but you'd never know that based on Brit's serene face and halo-like glow. Lame. The border is what seals the deal, though. I think Brit stole all the stars I should have been giving this review and used them to Bedazzle her album cover.

Sorry, Brit, but I give the cover of Circus zero stars.


p.s. I know I was wrong about my Top Model prediction. But I'm glad.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

and my eyes, they despise you

It doesn't take a rocket scientist, or even a halfway-deece music blogger to connect the dots between Green Day and blink-182 in terms of mid-90s pop-punk. As in, without GD breaking, there would be no blink. But as much as I speak in worshipful, semi-creepy tones about Billie Joe and the rest of his band--I have to give Mark, Tom and Travis the bulk of the credit/blame for the past few years' recent surge of increasingly lamer and lamer rocker-type bands.

Maybe it's that the band members themselves are getting younger--I remember being deeply, personally affected by the entrance of blink-182 into my life in middle school, and I'm sure numerous others were as well, be they my age or even younger. Or sadly, maybe it has something to do with jacking an image than it does a music-making philosophy.

Want to know what I'm talking about? Here is a video for a very terrible song by a band called All Time Low:



Now. Here is the video for the song, perhaps you remember it, "All The Small Things," by blink-182.



Honestly, I would make a list of the things lifted either in actuality or in general principle, but I'm tired, and I think doing so would make me sad. But hopefully the point of how bands (and All Time Low is certainly not the only one to do so--I'm looking at you, even shittier groups like We The Kings and 3Oh!3) have not just been "inspired" by blink's contributions to music, but seeming are attempting to just become the band that can fill their place in the pop-music sphere. As opposed to, you know, exploring what may work for their band without another group hovering over their proverbial shoulder every second of the time.

The connection between groups was made all too clear at the MTVu Woodie awards a few days ago, as you can see here when former-blink member Mark Hoppus gives All Time Low an intro to performing that he mentions was "personally requested by the band." I just bet.

(If you leave the player running, the song they perform is actually better than the one I embedded above. For what that's worth.)

--Anna plays the leader, 'cause she knows it's what she's good at.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Turbaconducken!

Behold!!!
How do you improve upon a turducken (turkey stuffed with duck stuffed with chicken)? Behold, the Turbaconducken. It’s a turducken wrapped in bacon! Bacon Today has the step-by-step recipe with pictures.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Uhh.. real fierce...

The day has finally come...

Tomorrow night, for the 11th time (!), Tyra and her faithful panel of expert judges will select yet another "Top Model." To be honest, this season has been decent - at least, better than the past four or five cycles. The photoshoots have been sufficiently tacky, in traditional ANTM style, but nowhere near as bad as some of recent memory (posing as former ANTM moments? Really, cycle 8, really?). In fact, some of the shoots have been down right good. The eliminations, too, have been about 90% fair, the only bullshit one being Lauren Brie's several weeks ago.

But, alas, we're down to three:
Analeigh
McKey
Samantha
So, who's going to take the crown? Let's review the portfolios of our hopefuls:

Analeigh - our peace-loving (if that ever-present necklace is any indication), bubbly girl-next-door from Cali. Her photos have been ok, not the best, but certainly not the worst. She's super friendly, which is good for CoverGirl and Seventeen magazine, since that's pretty much the only criteria the show ('s producers) look for anymore. Oh well. At least if she wins, her "My Life as a Cover Girl" spots will be tolerable, unlike Whitney's. Excuse my while I puke.
Best photos: This, this, and this. Worst: This and this.

McKey - the only one left that's actually a good model and can do ~*~high fashion~*~. She has taken the best photos, and has never been in the bottom two (Analeigh has been once, and Sam has been twice). She also booked every single job she visited on her go-sees, so that has to say something. The erstwhile Brittany is this season's obligatory Girl With Sweet Pics and Long Legs but Suffers from Lack of Tween-Love Potential. Whatever, she could bring some dignity to the show if she wins.
Best photos: This, this, this, this, and this. Worst: This.

Sam - uf. Admittedly, she looks hot with the makeover. But that was nothing of her own doing (credit goes to hairstylist Christian Marc, the unsung hero of ANTM). Like Analeigh, she started out rough and got ok, probably the best improvements, but never as good as McKey (p.s. Judges - her natrual disaster shot wasn't even that good). Her naivety was kind of cute at first, now it's just annoying and close-minded. She would be a good CoverGirl, of course, so she has that working in her favor. But the finale is all about the fashion show, and we all know how THAT worked out for Sam last time.
Best photos: This , this, and this. Worst: This and this.


My all-important prediction? Sam will get the boot first for her inability to walk slash inconsistent photos, leaving McKey vs. Analeigh in the finale, a metaphor for ANTM's age old "High fashion" vs. "Commercial" battle. In the end, the judges will praise McKey for her edge and great pictures, but Analeigh will prove victorious, since she has a better story - struggled at first, got better, got good, and stayed cute the whole time.

I'm fine with that, even if McKey is going to have my children some day. Anyone is better than Whitney.I was rooting for you! We were all rooting for you!

one bizillion reasons for anna to never blog again

You know what I love? Lists. This has to have become obvious by now. I love wasting hours/days/weeks of my life watching them tick away on Vh1, my favorite book when I was younger was my hardbound copy of Entertainment Weekly's 100 Best Movies Of All Time.

I literally googled "fun list," and this (<----) is what resulted. Awesome.

I love them. But what I might love even more than lists is hating lists. Or at least, having a really great one to argue over for a long while with those as culturally nerdy as me, be it ranking the best Season 4 "West Wing" episodes (um, start with "Game On" and go from there...), or, as is currently the case, the latest fancy-dancy Rolling Stone issue—the 100 Best Singers of All Time.


Obviously, first off, that's a completely misleading title. If it were really "of all time," there'd be opera and all sorts of non-western singers that RS readers clearly have no time for. But, more pertinently, the foreword thing specifies (though it might have been a little more prominently placed, to ward off the million commenters in advance) that this is really "...of the rock & soul era." AKA—don't look for Ol' Blue Eyes, Bobby Darin, any other crooners and others from before around the 50s here. Which is cool, I can dig it as a stipulation. I have plenty of other complaints, as you might have guessed. :)

Also, I might argue that at times, they even messed up the keyword—you know, the "Singer" part of things—as well, confusing it with maybe "performer" or just plain old "musician we need to put on here, or people will be pissed". Here, let me give you some of the actual list, so you can get a sense of what I mean.

The Top 25:
25. Michael Jackson
24. Van Morrison
23. David Bowie
22. Etta James



21. Johnny Cash
(Whoops.))
20. Smokey Robinson
19. Bob Marley
18. Freddie Mercury
17. Tina Turner
16. Mick Jagger
15. Robert Plant
14. Al Green
13. Roy Orbison
12. Little Richard
11. Paul McCartney
10. James Brown
09. Stevie Wonder
08. Otis Redding
07. Bob Dylan
06. Marvin Gaye
05. John Lennon
04. Sam Cooke


03. Elvis Presley
('Sup. Sweet teddy bears, bro.)
02. Ray Charles
01. Aretha Franklin


So yeah. The rest, with a whole bunch of douchey commentary. (On the Internet?! No, I know. I was shocked too.) Generally, I think it's solid, with my main problems being more philosophical than rage-filled (...see the hip-hop songs post for an example of that.).

It's difficult for me to see how RS (even though it wasn't just them choosing) was determining the characteristics that make up a "great singer." For me, it's different as regards the genre — obviously a musician like Sam Cooke or Otis Redding can't be judged against the same criteria as Mick Jagger or Axl Rose (further down the list, but he's there).

But I guess some things remain consistent no matter what: ability to literally deliver the notes of a song, the way you translate the emotion and make a performance your own, distinctiveness (you're not going to mistake Bjork, who's also there, for anyone else, whatever else you might say). And, despite all the little indie scenesters at Stereogum pitching fits because Jenny Lewis or whoever didn't make the cut, I think time and influence does need to be considered—they didn't just stick "of all time" on there for a lark.

Now. All that being said. Bob Dylan, get the hell out of my top 10. Yeah, I'll say it. Great songwriter, awesome performer, visionary, et cetera. Singer? NO. Same goes for John Lennon—if you need a Beatle that high, switch Lennon and McCartney, considering Paul's literal range was better (just take a look at the songs they respectively sang!), and drop Lennon to somewhere in the mid-20s or 30s.

Both Bob Marley and Little Richard fit into the mistake of awesome performer/human vs. singer that I mentioned a little higher up. But basically I want to rearrange this entire list to fix what I feel are the two most glaring errors— Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson need to be in the Top 10.

Things to keep in mind while you consider my case:

For Freddie:




Think about the range (vocally, emotionally and generically) contained within this one song, overplayed as it is. Then compare and think about Queen's entire catalogue—stuff like "We Are The Champions," "You're My Best Friend," or one of my personal favorites, "Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy." Seriously? Not above Roy Orbison?

And, I can't even believe I'm having to do this, the case for Michael Jackson:



Michael is 14 in this performance. Could you (or almost anyone on this list, for that matter, not to be a bitch about it) sing like that in the peak of awkward adolescence? Ten years later, he put out an album many consider to be one of, if not the greatest pop album in music history. And, while this may be predictable as one of my MJ choices to those who know me, the live/combo performance is a stellar one:



Keep in mind that those seemingly ridiculous, oft-parodied high notes that he's so fond of hitting during dance sequences are, you know, in a register most human voices can only dream of. And I mean, this is just two videos with a lot of time in between—I haven't talked about "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," "Beat It," or you know, any of other actual songs on Thriller. The point I'm trying to make is that this is a voice that has been able to grow up and still continue to make amazing pop along the way.

Okay. Seriously, that is ENOUGH from me. What do you guys think—are voices like Dylan's (or Stevie Nicks', or Tom Waits' or anyone else in the same sort of vein) to be valued alongside Aretha? How do you qualify something like a great singer? Who's missing, who's ranked too high, who's always been way too overhyped? Talk to me!

—Anna is starting with the girl in the mirror. And the gigantic gospel choir, too.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wanting Me Some HP

I'm clinging onto my Internet connection for dear life here at Teaspoons, so I have to make this quick.

But let me be like the 91918th to say, whoa.....



I have to go now because the man and woman sitting next to me have been discussing As You Like It for the past forty minutes, and I desperately need to leave.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Art In Defense Of Equality

Artist Shephard Fairey, who got involved with the 2008 election process by creating a now famous work featuring Barack Obama's face and the word "progress," has created a new piece meant to be used in the ongoing struggle for gay rights:



Here's the original Obama poster:



(Via Towleroad.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

IJusWannaVomit

Musiq Soulchild, was a soulful child of music once.

Musiq then:


He brought us beautiful R&B melodies in "HalfCrazy" and "Previouscats" and so many other tunes, a mellow and silky smooth baritone (this is debatable) throughout his records and lovely lyrics in... um.... Well, I didn't say everything is perfect!

Rap is slowly becoming a joke, hip-hop revolutionaries better recognize. And poor Musiq has been corrupted by the plastic rap we have become desensitized to today. Thanks, Young Jeezy and the rest of you may or may not know who you are! "Radio" the semi-title track on his new album, On My Radio, threw me. In a bad way.

Musiq now:


I'm sorry Mus, you know I got your back any other day. But these tacky beatz don't fool anyone. You're rhyme dropping is s-l-o-w and quite awkward. "Now I'm in the Dirty South, ATL Georgia?" Really, Nelly? I sure haven't heard that before.

You are not Kanye West. Frankly, Kanye West isn't even always Kanye West. Please, please stick to what you're good at.

Feeling cynical? Read these lyrics for a good chuckle.

Hey
Hey
Hey
Hey
Hey
Cool
Hey
Everywhere I be I see shawties they lovin the
Way I rock my hat, fresh tie on a button up
Fresh dentals with a fresh vest or a sweater or
Fresh pair of fresher than cause
Everywhere I go they always want a picture
Whisperin in my ear is there anybody wit ya
Want a autograph or they just tryin to get the
Answer to questions like
(what you listenin to?)
I tell her
[Chorus]
Whatever I like I
Put it on my radio
You can probably find
something new on my radio
If you wanna ride (cool)
Just don’t touch my radio
Don’t look so surprised
You can trip if you want to
Don’t front you know know you love it
Put it on the radio
Don’t front you know know you love it
Put it on the radio
Don’t be scared you can crank it bra
Just turn up the radio
Don’t be shy you can shake it girl
Just turn up the radio
[Verse 2]
Ya I’m from the East Cost
Philly I was brought up
Now I’m in the Dirty South
ATL Georgia
I just left the studio
I think I gotta heater
Watch out for that 8O8
(It could brush it sweeter)
Shawty tryin to holla I
Told her I could meet her
We could do the resteraunt
We could do the theatre
Pulled up to her spot
Started talking bout some music
She said (you ain’t from around here)
(What you think is hot)
I told her
[Chorus x2]
Whatever I like I
Put it on my radio
You can probably find
something new on my radio
If you wanna ride (cool)
Just don’t touch my radio
Don’t look so surprised
You can trip if you want to
Don’t front you know know you love it
Put it on the radio
Don’t front you know know you love it
Put it on the radio
Don’t be scared you can crank it bra
Just turn up the radio
Don’t be shy you can shake it girl
Just turn up the radio
Hey (x like 97)

Whatever I like I
Put it on my radio
You can probably find
something new on my radio
If you wanna ride (cool)
Just don’t touch my radio
Don’t look so surprised
You can trip if you want to
Don’t front you know know you love it
Put it on the radio
Don’t front you know know you love it
Put it on the radio
Don’t be scared you can crank it bra
Just turn up the radio
Don’t be shy you can shake it girl
Just turn up the radio (repeat twice)

Hey
Hey
Hey
Hey
Hey
Cool (ooooh he be changin! Keep it real playa)
Hey

(MetroLyrics)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tour Ancient Rome In Google Earth

Google Earth just got even more educationally useful:
Were you someone who struggled to stay awake in ancient history class? If so, perhaps this was due to those uninspiring "artist renditions" in your textbook. Reading countless pages that described how a monument, building or city may have appeared at the time can be pretty difficult to imagine.

Well, today we introduced a new approach to learning about ancient history: the ability to go back in time and explore Rome as it existed in 320 AD -- in 3D!

Continue reading.

Iraq War Ends

Urban Prankster reports on a massive fake New York Times prank:


New York Times Special Edition Video News Release - Nov. 12, 2008 from H Schweppes on Vimeo.

Read the online version of the fake paper here--although the site is slow due to heavy traffic.

This kind of subversive project has a lot of potential for the future.

Anyone have any ideas for something we could organize in Iowa City?

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate...AACK!

This video is my reason for living. Commence discussion below.


http://jonathanjam.multiply.com/video/item/11

-Meryn, who wants to be Liz Lemon more than anything.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's Bacon!

The Chicago Sun-Times reports on a delicious new reason to visit the Windy City (via Slog):
First there was Wendy's "Baconator," two quarter-pound burgers topped off with six strips of bacon. Hot 'n' juicy indeed.

Then J&D's smoky Bacon Salt, billed as delivering the flavor without the fat, the frying or the filthy kitchen, hit the shelves of Meijer, Jewel and other area grocery stores in September.

And this month, we saw the unveiling of breaded, deep-fried bacon -- dressed in country gravy -- at Risque Cafe in Lake View.



For more exciting bacon-related news, check out the Daily Iowan's recent coverage of a new product known as Baconnaise:
Bacon.

We eat it in strips, in bits. But now, the popular pork taste can be scooped, spread, even sucked up through a straw.

With the emergence of Baconnaise, two sandwich toppings become one.

And who do we have to thank for this earth-shattering invention? UI alumnus Dave Lefkow and friend Justin Esch.

"We have grossly underestimated Americans' love for bacon," Lefkow said. "It's a gateway meat - one taste, and vegetarians will convert into carnivores."

Though it wasn't bacon that did it, I can personally attest to the power of meat generally as I have recently once again fallen off the vegetarian wagon. Mmm. Meat.

Monday, November 10, 2008

KANYE WATCH PT. 1: 808s AND AUTO-TUNE

"Remember that episode of Ellen when you had Martha Stewart over for thanksgiving dinner? That shit was hilarious"


808s and Heartbreak
is only a few weeks away - Nov. 24 to be exact. When is the last time you heard a rapper make a break-up album? This is going to be Kanye's Sea Change or even Domestica - a musical document capturing an devastating time in someone's life - or as West called it, "emotional nakedness". What an anomaly in rap music - being brave enough to even touch on such when your peers would rather smoke a blunt out of a glock while getting a lap dance. 

Not to say this album is even going to be a rap album. It's primary 'Ye singing, with the compliment of Auto-Tune technology, T-Pain's favorite tool that has become Kanye's favorite toy to mess around with. The rap market has become slightly over-saturated with the sound, yet Kanye has defended it in recent interviews - noting how it gave him a sense of childlike freedom. It's going to be stark, rather minimalist, criticized, hated, loved, and I feel eventually validating for the artist himself. 

I also think its hot shit, to break it down to simpler terms. Here's the video for the 2nd single "Heartless" directed by Hype Williams where West gets the Rotoscope treatment. ALLRITE.
I really, really, really like this song.


Street View Art

Urban Prankster reports:
Street With a View is a project by Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley where they staged elaborately awesome scenes for the Google Street View cameras. The tiny one-way street Sampsonia Way was transformed into a place alive with energy, complete with marathon, marching band, and a 17th century sword fight. The results were captured by the Street View team (who worked with the artists to coordinate the shoot.)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Why being a heavy metal fan sucks

I have an unhealthy amount of heavy metal music in my collection, and sometimes that can be problematic. Here's why, in an easy-to-digest enumerated format:


A picture of lead, a "heavy metal." This is a visual pun. Enjoy.

1. Listening to metal in your car with passengers.
Sometimes when I'm cruising the streets of Iowa City I just feel like blaring some intense, aggressive music. Metal is meant to be listened to at high volumes, and to avoid property damage at the hands of my irritated roommates I may toss a few brutal CD's in my car instead of filling my house with the sweet sounds of ridiculously down-tuned guitars. This works until someone goes for a ride with me and is assaulted by some good old-fashioned death metal growls. For some reason they feel obligated to judge me with questions like "How can you listen to this?" and "Is something wrong with your CD player?" They often feel obligated to make some kind of mock-growling noise in imitation of the vocals, perhaps to take the edge off their unease. All I'm saying is, if you make fun of the vocals, don't be puzzled when you glance over to find a look of intense concentration on my face. That's just me trying to think of a way to dropkick you out the passenger door without having to pull over.

2. Metal bands, you aren't helping.


Not only am I familiar with this band, I actually own a couple of their albums...be gentle.

Is it possible to take a musical genre seriously after knowing the above picture exists? As much as I love the music, I think you can make a pretty compelling case in the negative. There are a lot of words to describe heavy metal, but words like "tasteful" and "unpretentious" are rarely among them. On an unrelated note, why are the t-shirts that heavy metal bands sell so incredibly baggy? It's like metal fans are allergic to form-fitting clothing. Which leads me nicely to my final point:

3. Other metalheads.


"Hark, m'lady, what is this "shower" thou speakest of?"

Seriously, we're not a clean people. Have you ever been in a conversation about music that was somehow parlayed into an invitation to a rousing game of Halo? (I'd say Dungeons and Dragons, but I think even the nerds have moved on from that one). If you said no, you probably aren't a fan of heavy metal. But despite our embarrassing social graces, I always remain hopeful for the future:



It's your one-way ticket to midnight.
Call it Heavy Metal.

how could they vote for that loser who doesn't shave?!

Considering I'm reviewing the hotly anticipated (at least by these young ladies) debut album from American Idol runner-up David Archuleta this week, I thought I'd share with you fine people my current favorite YouTube clip—"Our Reaction When David A. Lost". An honest-to-god legit recording of some junior high girls that they themselves taped and put online for the world to see and comment on.



As hilarious as this is (just brush off that momentary twinge of conscience at whether you're a bad person for literally laughing at a crying little girl), it made me think about how different it must be growing up now, with the Internet so much more prevalent. I can't imagine something like YouTube being a force when I was that emotional over my previous obsessive loves (oh, what up N' Sync). 

I really don't think they need to worry that much though. As long as Archie's got fans like them in his pocket, he'll be fine for quite some time. 

(Okay, but seriously, favorite moment list in the comments?? Mine is a tie between the girl pointing when the main chick literally loses her shit and collapses to the ground, because clearly this is a bit beyond what she was expecting, and the part when the mom comes in and points out: "David Archuleta wasn't even crying!" Oh mom. Don't attempt to apply your so-called "logic" here.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hilary BUFF.

Hilary Duff has had one of her music videos censored on American TV. Read for yourself: http://www.popcrunch.com/hilary-duff-reach-out-music-video-censored/

Two words: OMG YES.

Lizzie McGuire has got in touch with her inner skank (finally), and can be seen groping some beefcake in the clip for "Reach Out," from her Best of Hilary Duff album that rediscovers all of those long-forgotten gems from her lucrative, five-year career. "Come Clean" anyone?

The ~*~*~obscene~*~*~ moment that has ruffled the feathers of the FCC can be found right around the three-minute mark:



What would Gordo say?

Monday, November 3, 2008

ELECTIONEERING IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 2008



I google searched and found my great great uncle's old blog (carved on a brittle log, hence the original portmanteau of "blog) from his days at the fine Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Connecticut, and was surprised to find a passage from 1908 that is relevant to today.






Apostles Herald reporter Ulysses S. Waldendash Hothan endorses William Howard Taft. This young Unitarian gunslinger out of Cincinnati sold lands to those Filipinos, and daught gumit he'll sell his message to the American public! Eat horseradish, William Jennings Bryan! Who's the trust-buster now!


Man, old uncle Waldendash was quite the firebrand! Shame he was beat to death in a Hooverville over a dispute about some can of beans. Anyway, today/tomorrow's the day, right? CRAZY! Is anyone else getting slightly annoyed with kids feeling they are doing a valuable service by informing others to vote via their facebook status? Thanks gatekeepers. If you need to be told via facebook to vote, you probably shouldn't be doing it anyway. Just my opinion, which is usually wrong. Myself on the other hand, I am only convinced by precocious tykes singing catchy T.I parodies. I'm sure many people have seen this already, but it probably REALLY needed to be up on da blog.




 

HEADLINE: "WIERD AL" YANKOVIC INSPIRES YOUNGSTERS


T.I's generic as balls hit "Whatever you like" has been transformed by Atlanta's Ron Clark Academy into "You Can Vote However You Like,"an adorable-and-catchy-as-balls SUPERSMASH. These kids have been all over the news, displaying a surprising grasp on campaign issues that might put some voting-age youngsters to shame. I've tried to think of a way to make fun of this but I really couldn't. One side takes the McCain perspective, the other Obama. A lot of the lyrical content becomes just blather considering how excited and busy dancing there are, but the hook is what matters. And the hot moves! Dance off!


"You kids really make voting fresh and fly! back to you in the studio Jack!" - middle aged newspeople


Dance offs are really sweet too. "You Can Vote However You Like" is thus my 2nd favorite dance-off on youtube. Happy election day. 





.

A dream come true (for me, at least)

For the last few years, CMT occasionally runs a special called "Crossroads", in which they feature concerts which combine a famous country act with a more legendary rock/pop artist. The concept has actually proven quite successful, as Bon Jovi practically launched a full-fledged country music career out of it (much to my annoyance).

I was shocked to see that my favorite rock band (favorite band in general) Def Leppard would be pairing up with 18 year-old country phenom Taylor Swift (a fave at the moment) for the next installment of "Crossroads." Actually, I was a bit apprehensive, because these two artists seemed so vastly different that any sort of group effort would prove futile. However, I caught a preview of the show, premiering on Friday, and was pleasantly surprised by how well Swift and DL gel together.



I was also equally amused by the fact that Taylor Swift's drummer displayed a kick-drum skin that was similar to that of Leppard drummer Rick Allen. But that's just me being a total Def Leppard nerd...

Apparently, Swift has been a fan of the boys from Britain for as long as she can remember, and their first meeting was virtually free of any tension or jitters.

Lucky dog.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Naked Ladies

Everyone loves a good old-fashioned lingerie show- especially if it's politically themed.



It's good to know that Feminism is alive and well in the form of scantily clad Sarah Palin look-a-likes.

Happy upcoming Election Day to all, and to all a good night.

-Melea, who admits that she owns a pair of Sarah Palin glasses

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Dear VH1

Hey, Video Hits 1!
Or, I guess that's what you used to be called. Whatever, that can be saved for another story (wink wink).

Anyway, I'm writing to you because I'm a fan, and I love trashtastic trainwreck TV just as much as the next person. My roommates and I are known to quote Flavor of Love on many occassions, and we did all watch the premiere of I Love Money together over a gourmet dinner (read: Pokey Sticks, Hy-Vee brand popcorn, and Snickers). Seriously - when I'm procrastinating all of my photojournalism assignments, there is nothing more satisfying than sitting on the couch and watching 8 hours of a Charm School marathon. No joke.

But, alas, things are starting to get out of hand. Case in point:


Now, does she REALLY deserve her own show? Sure, she was spurned by that suave casanova Bret Michaels, but come on VH1 - don't give in to her demands!

Daisy of Love (was that really the best you could do? really?) is a spinoff of a spinoff of a spinoff of a spinoff. In fact, on the Wikipedia page for your "Celebreality" shows, I found the words "spinoff" or "spun off" or some variant a total of 8 times, and that doesn't count either season of I Love New York or Rock of Love, which aren't listed as spinoffs, but DERRR. They are.

To be fair, your sister, MTV, hit a lower low when it aired That's Amore!, following the romantic follies of Tila Tequila reject Domenico - which wasn't even enjoyable, it was just annoying. But, my dear friend, you know you'll feel bad for some lame dude that gets his "heart broken" by Ms. De La Hoya, and thus another spinoff will join the ranks of Real Chance of Love. I know the writers' strike was hard, but this getting ridiculous. TV can only handle one skank seeking love, and the aforementioned Ms. Tequila has already claimed the spot. I think this plastic-surgeried face sums up my emotions right now:
So, VH1, I don't know what to do with you. I'll probably watch Daisy, but only because it will be a last resort to save me from my homework. I'm glad you finally found a niche market, but when you killed off music videos, did you have to take my intelligence with you?

Your friend,
Jake

p.s. Keep the ANTM marathons coming, though, no matter what you do.

Halloween afterblog


It's the day after All Hallows Eve. Pumpkin guts, lost costume pieces, condoms and what I believe is vomit litter the streets of Iowa City. I even saw a dirty band-aid. Ew. My guess is it came from the heel of a sexy Little Red Riding Hood — most popular get-up this year — wearing too-small and too-tall pumps.
It's safe to say the hype of Halloween is starting to get stale. Just like my all-time least favorite Orlando attraction: Mystery Fun House.

There was no fun in this place, let me be the first to say. There was mystery, though. I questioned many things since my visits there, and this Halloween I somehow recalled the building Merlin so creepily guarded out front. Why did the 15 themed chambers smell so funny? And what ingredients were really used in their cheese pizza topping? Were the employees ex-convicts, schizophrenics and child molesters?

Growing up in the real Orange County was incredibly fun at times. Until birthday season came upon us, which seemed like every other weekend. And if your mom or dad wasn't a Disney or Universal bigwig then forget having a sweet-ass party complete with free passes to a theme park, line-jumping, and dinner at the Rainforest Cafe.

Regardless of income, kids were still so spoiled that an at-home pool shindig was out of the question. So, in order to simulate the "magical world of Disney" experience Mystery Fun House was one of the tacky alternatives. Personally, I would've opted for Discovery Zone, but climbing around in a germ-infested tangle of tubes and ladders, that adults were to big to fit in an sanitize, reminded me to stay away. I mean, the ball pit? Hello, cavity of mutant viruses!

Mystery Fun House had this year-round Halloween mystique to it: it smelled like an untouched grave recovered after 100 years, except the rolling barrel — that shit smelled like a 300 lb man's b.o. and the mirror maze was eerie as hell — I would get so freaked out in there I thought I would never escape it. Some of the jail chambers in the fun house displayed bloody female corpses swarmed in, I kid you not, dozens of live rats.

The place messed with our heads because after the maze everyone would file into a strangely decorated party room for presents and mystery pizza (the cheese was really, really gluey and had a greenish tint to it), still recovering from the disturbing sights witnessed just moments prior. And the putt-putt golf course, what the hell is that all about? How does a dinosaur themed mini-golf course factor into a fun house? I read that later on in the attractions 25-year-or-so run, they started making desperate additions to it. Like Starbase Omega laser tag, a Chuck-E-Cheese-style show, and probably the mini-golf.

The employees were probably the freakiest of all. They moved like zombies — either because they were working at a dead-end job struggling on minimum wage, or (my theory) they were a drugged-up incestuous community looking to kidnap frightened and naive party goers in the crooked room or trap doors.

There was more to MFH than what met our eyes. It has since folded, thank God. I heard its now been converted into an awkward tourist resort. Looking back I wonder if the creators of MFH were really psychopathic serial killers looking for easy kicks with the kiddies. I'm sorry I'm not from Iowa City and don't have the guts yet to criticize places here yet. I thought bringing a little slice of my old home might amuse you for a bit. On the Iowa City note though, I was at a loft party on Washington St last night and for a solid hour my friends and I hung out the window and heckled passersby down below. We said "Happy Halloween, sexy!" to a skinny librarian-looking woman and 3 minutes later she entered the loft. Thankfully my boyfriend did some damage control and got her out. She didn't put up a fight or anything, he said she was just looking for some pot. Hah, I love this place...

But all I want to say is I'm glad Mystery Fun House has been put to bed, just like Halloween 2008.