Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Homeward Bound

I've been meaning to update here for a while. I even started a few entries, and then something came up so I closed them down. Who has time for blogging when Hook in on TV!?

Answer: No one, that's who.

I'm going home to New York this weekend for a few reasons. One of them being the Across the Narrows Festival. I'm going to the Sunday, Oct. 2nd show in Brooklyn's Keyspan Park on Coney Island. Check out this lineup they've booked:

The only bands I'm bummed about missing are Pixies and Rilo Kiley the day before, but expense and time have prohibited my attendance. I'm also pretty excited about New Year's Eve. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah will be playing Irving Plaza, and I've already snatched up two tickets. This will definitely be a hot ticket. I went to a New Year's concert last year as well -- Wilco & The Flaming Lips at Madison Square Garden. This will surely be a very different atmosphere, but just as awesome I'm sure, and I'm super excited.

As I said recently, New York City isn't the only place to find great indie rock shows. Check out all these acts that are coming to Northampton, Massachusetts:
  • Rhett Miller (of The Old 97s)
  • Stars
  • The UCB TourCo (anybody who reads this know who's performing up here on Oct. 20th?)
  • The Mountain Goats
  • The Prayers & Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers
  • Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco)
  • OK Go
  • Rufus Wainwright
  • Doves
  • VHS or Beta
  • The Decemberists
  • Nada Surf
  • Say Hi To Your Mom
  • Broken Social Scene
  • Spoon

In related news, Of Montreal put on a great show in Northampton two weeks ago, and said (along with The Decemberists and bunch of other indie bands) said they would love to perform on The OC. FYI, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah said no. That new OC Mix #5 looks pretty nice too. They just keep getting better at this stuff.

OH! Congrats to Aziz Ansari, Charlie Todd, and Chris Kula for being named New York Magazine's #2, #5, and #11 funniest New Yorkers you've got no clue about. Know who's got a clue? Cue thumb to chest. This guy.

Aziz and Charlie were also featured Rolling Stone magazine's "Hot List 2005" issue. Kula is still making funny clip-art captions. Which, by the way, are so funny that I have a copy of them hanging up in my dorm room that I took from UCBT.

I'd like to leave you with this bit of New York Mets news, as even though they are now officially mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, I love them more than ever. You see, the Mets decided to travel to Philadelphia for the season's second-to-last series by choo-choo train. Here's what Mike Piazza, who might be spending his last few days with the Mets, had to say about it:
"I've never gone by train as a player," said Piazza. "But I've been on them, and I thought it would have been cool if we all dressed for it -- you know, wear fedoras and everything."

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

How To Be A Best Friend

Kate Spencer, NYC improvisor and Laguna Beach expert extraordinairre, has a super funny/useful guide on how to make friends posted on the main page at College Humor. Her article is directly accessible here. Kate was one of the first people I met in the NYC comedy scene. I've eaten at the Seinfeld diner with her, and discussed with her the nuances of My Super Sweet Sixteen.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Stacked Lineup!

Holy cow! What a night for television!

8:00pm - The OC, Fox
After last week's season debut wrapping up all the loose ends left by last season's cliffhanger, what's next for the gang? Rumor has it that Marissa will be shipped off to... ::gasp:: public school! Also, Seth Cohen will continue to be awesome.

9:00pm - Presidential Address, Many Channels
Watch Bush attempt to apologize for *officially* sucking up the past few weeks.

10:00pm - Baseball Tonight, ESPN2
Now that the Mets are pretty much officially out of it (although mathematically still alive), it'll be interesting to see who ends up with the National League Wild Card. Other races to keep an eye on - the American League East, West and Wild Card chases.

10:30pm - The Showbiz Show with David Spade, Comedy Central
Series Debut! Spade does to entertainment and celebrity gossip what Jon Stewart and the gang do to politics and current events.

11:00pm - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Comedy Central
My favorite show on television concludes its "Evolution Schmevolution" week that has examined the issue of homo sapien origins by welcoming expert moviestar Gwyneth Paltrow (?).

Other Things to Watch For...
  • With Steve Carell gone for good with the American version of "The Office" about to begin season two, and Stephen Colbert leaving for his own punditry satire show "The Colbert Report" (the t's are silent), The Daily Show hired Chicago improvisor Dan Bakkedahl as their newest on-air correspondent. Bakkedahl made the cover of the Chicago Reader earlier this year based on his rare dispute and resignation from The Second City mainstage company, something coveted by most sketch and improv comics. I saw Bakkedahl perform in two shows while I was in Chicago, and he quickly became one of my favorite improvisors. This makes three trained improvisors that are performing contributors to "The Daily Show" that I have watched perform improv:
    1. Dan Bakkedahl - Improvised Play & Trainwreck - ImprovOlympic

    2. Rob Corddry - ASSSSCAT, Naked Babies, and Wicked Fuckin' Queeyah - UCBT (also a UMass grad)

    3. Bob Wiltfong - Neutrino (Video Projects) - UCBT & The PIT

  • Make sure to check out Steve Carell's second season of "The Office" when it debuts on NBC this Tuesday @ 9:30pm.

  • Also keep an eye out for the "The Colbert Report."

  • "Curb Your Enthusiasm" debuts its fifth season on HBO Comedy next Sunday @ 10:00pm.

  • "Arrested Development" debuts its third season on FOX this Monday @ 8:00pm.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Let's Get This Out of the Way

Somebody who calls himself merely The Sage apparently has nothing better to do than go around to different blogs criticizing the authors for what they write, and then call them fools. I feel the need/want to address this here because of how ridiculously sad and pathetic this is.

I like blogs. I like them a lot. I feel that they're greatly enhancing our notions of media, news, entertainment, and the like. Most bloggers, if not all, write these in their free time. And do it for free to entertain, inform, and help people procrastinate. I do this help me out with my basic HTML skills, practice my writing to some extent, and let my friends know what I'm up to who I don't see on an everyday basis. If you don't like what I put there, then don't come back. Nobody's making you read this thing. And if you really have the gall to take the time out of your day to simply voice negative opinions about what you read here, I beg of you to find something more productive to do with your time. I really don't want to hear disagreements from somebody calling me a fool.

What's even more ridiculously sad and pathetic is when these people know personally the author of the blog. Unfortunately, I figured out who it was that wrote this on mine only moments after it was written. I find it very disturbing that this person feels such a need to insult and offend me, trying to seemingly establish and maintain some level of superiority, yet not leave their real name. It is cowardly, concerning, and quite shocking. Don't like what I put here? I ask of you not come back. This is here for free and for your enjoyment.

Note: I don't personally disagree with what Kanye West said on the Hurricane Katrina Relief Telethon. His points were most certainly valid and probably true. But that doesn't mean he didn't make a fool out of himself. I do disagree with the completely wrong forum he chose to voice himself. To use the telethon as his personal venue for attack on the American media and politics was totally inappropriate and bizarre.

CMJ: Caution, Maybe Jokes (?)

Not being in New York sometimes really pisses me off. Usually it's comedy and music related in some fashion. In this case, it's not being in town for the CMJ Music Festival -- a huge week-long indie rock fest that includes late nights in venues across the city. It was this festival last year that pretty much broke word on a new up-and-coming band called The Arcade Fire. Check out a pretty comprehensive list of 2005 CMJ shows here. Some highlights this year are:
  • King of France
  • Dungen
  • John Vanderslice
  • Doves
  • Cloud Cult
  • The New Pornographers
  • The Arcade Fire
  • Of Montreal
  • The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers
  • The 88
  • Say Hi To Your Mom
  • The Hold Steady
  • Ambulance LTD
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

The good news for me is that it seems like almost every one of these bands is coming through, or has already come through Northampton at some point in September or October. I'm seeing Of Montreal on Wednesday. I would supply an MP3 for you to download, but I don't know how to host my own music files. So if anybody would like to help me out with that, please feel free to comment on this entry, or click on one of the links to contact me in the bar to your right. In the meantime, I recommend LEGALLY downloading the Of Montreal track "Requiem for O.M.M.2" off their latest release The Sunlandic Twins.

Also, I apparently made a big mistake by not going to the National/Clap Your Hands Say Yeah show at the Iron Horse Music Hall last Thursday. Yeah, it was a great episode of The OC (omg Jimmy is such a bitch now), but CYHSY supposedly blew the fucking roof off of the place. You may remember I saw them about a month ago in NYC. They were fantastic then, and drew headlining-like crowd as just the opening band for The National. I recommend reading all about the show. It's really exciting to watch a band blow up this huge from seemingly out of nowhere.

More Awesome Stuff...
What Happens if Sarah Silverman took over Chappelle's Show
Music Video: OK Go - A Million Ways
MP3: A Love Song for Annie Hall - Hartley Goldstein
with apologies, thanks, and credit to Daily Refill
I'm telling you, people, teach me how to host shit on here.

*I apologize for the lack of jokes.*

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Who Ya Gonna Call?

NYC improvisor and writer for MTV's "The Andy Milonakis Show," Eric Appel, made this and sent it my way:

Ghostbusters Hurricane Katrina Fund

You won't be banned from this website, Eric.


Apple alerted me via startup of iTunes 4.9 that they've released iTunes 5. So far, so good. If you can believe it, it's an even more streamlined look than the previous versions. The search bar feature is improved, and Smart Shuffle also seems really neat.

What's even more neat, however, is that along with iTunes 5 Apple has also released --

iPod nano. Wow, Apple Computers, you have outdone yourselves yet again. That is just fucking cool.

Also, here's something else I stumbled across a while ago that's also really cool, but sadly does not actually exist. It's a play on those special edition U2 iPods that were released a while ago.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Back at the "Zoo"

Just a quick entry for now, a more substantial summer recap entry coming soon.

Arrived back in Amherst on Sunday, and moved in to my amazing single room. It's a pretty nice size in a truly fantastic building, and the setup I've got is very comfortable. First day of classes was today, and so far the prognosis is very positive. More to come on that soon.

If you haven't done so already, definitely pick up Stars' debut album, Set Yourself on Fire. It's most certainly a candidate for album of the year. Oh man, I can't wait for December so I can make my "Best of '05" lists. I'm already giddy just thinking about my favorite music, movies, and the like of the past year.

Hey, did you see Kanye West make a fool out of himself on national television during the telethon for Hurricane Katrina relief? No? Well then check it out:

This clip is worth it for the priceless look on Mike Myers' face.
And oh yeah, here's a photo of my friend Marc getting my copy of Truth in Comedy autographed by Myers after we saw him interviewed at the UCBT this past July.

photo courtesy of The Apiary

One last thing.. please watch the video for Green Day's "Wake Me Up When September Ends." I'm not gonna lie, this thing got my pretty emotional, and it also reminded me how fucking brilliant that whole American Idiot opera-slash-album is.