Monday, October 31, 2005

Lost & Found

Yeah, so.. I'm officially hooked on Lost. By far the most compelling television program I've ever seen. Not much else to say on that besides the fact that anybody who would like to talk to me about this show is more than welcome.

Brooklyn Vegan has an entry today regarding the Imogen Heap song, Hide and Seek, featured on The OC Mix #5 which I mentioned last Friday. Head on over there to hear the incredibly haunting track, and watch its music video which is more or less just various glamour shots of Heap singing the song. This is the song that was playing on the show during the procession to Caleb's funeral and when Marissa shoots Trey during last season's finale. Oh shit, did I just ruin it for you?

Happy Halloween
from a kid who thinks he's better than me,
and a kid who wanted to show his devotion to his favorite breakfast food, the egg:

New Episode Countdown for Lost: 2 days.
New Episode Countdown for The OC: 3 days.
Paper Countdown Due for Media class: 13 hrs. Have I started? Nope.

Holy October, Batman!

Put 'em up!
Originally uploaded by sgtpepperzl.
Happy Halloween. Weekend costume party pictures are up on flickr.

Friday, October 28, 2005

The J-LO?

With the riveting World Series coming to a close last night, surely Fox would give us at least a rerun of The OC to tide us over until next week's new ep. But nooooooo! Instead, they decided to forego that option, and even decided against showing another back-to-back block of Reunion. Instead, they showed that prime-time TV ratings powerhouse, Maid in Manhattan, starring Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes.

While we're at it, when you read that name, pronouce the fucking "L" in it. Rafe, my ass.

Thankfully, Fox gave us this trailer (Quicktime) a few weeks ago, and motherfucker, shit will go down. And remember that slow version of California, the show's theme song, by Phantom Planet that was featured a few weeks ago? Apparently, its official title is California 2005, and will be released on November 8th along with the rest of The OC Mix #5. Here's the track to help get you through the week until next Thursday:

MP3: California 2005 - Phantom Planet

The rest of the Mix, by the way, looks amazing:

1. "Rock & Roll Queen" - The Subways
2. "Reason Is Treason" - Kasabian
3. "Wish I Was Dead Pt. 2" - Shout Out Louds
4. "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House" - LCD Soundsystem
5. "Publish My Love" - Rogue Wave
6. "Forever Young" - Youth Group
7. "Requiem for O.M.M." - Of Montreal
8. "Kids With Guns" - Gorillaz
9. "Na Na Na Naa Naa" - Kaiser Chiefs
10. "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" - Stars
11. "California 2005" - Phantom Planet
12. "Hide and Seek" - Imogen Heap

I'm particularly digging tracks 7, 9, 10, and 12. (I might even throw out one or two of those songs here before the 11/8 drop date, so keep your eyes peeled.) But the disc as a whole looks pretty solid.

Also, I'm an avid reader of The Gadsden Times. (I mean, who WOULDN'T consistently trust "Northeast Alabama's leading online news source?") Check out this little tidbit the ole' 'Bama rag dug up:

Warner Brothers, a Time Warner unit, is in talks with several mobile phone companies to distribute an animated short series based on the comic books created by Seth Cohen, the aspiring comic book writer who is played by the actor Adam Brody on the hit show The OC.

We all knew it was coming, but this is just plain fucking awesome.

Slightly related to all of this is this great article from The Seattle Times (via Kate Likes You [via Pink is the New Blog] and Central Village) that tells the secrets of Laguna Beach not told on MTV. And I don't care what anybody says, I'm a big Alex M. fan. The girl is a fucking superstar.

Thursday, October 27, 2005



I went to the Hampshire Mall in Hadley, Massachusetts yesterday to, among other things, find a Halloween costume. I had some pretty solid ideas, but turned out to be merely very expensive illusions of grandeur, and getting to Nothampton was too much a hassle. By that, I mean I didn't want to leave my dorm room on Sunday for fear of not watching enough Arrested Development reruns or spend enough time not writing important papers.

The store Halloween Extravaganza is an annual seasonal store which is exactly what it sounds like. Bagged, pre-packaged costumes with decorations, makeup, wigs, etc. The store is almost always overcrowded, and with only two employees it tends to be quite the party. The best part is listening to what all the whiney little kids and sex-doctors-to-be college students have to say. One meathead was looking over a "DIRTY & SEXY NURSE" costume when I heard him say "This store is gay, I don't want some wicked lame commercially-produced corporate costume." He then left the store with his fellow meatheads and went into Hot Topic to presumably purchase a "flippin' sweet" Napoleon Dynamite Vote for Pedro t-shirt with matching trucker cap.

Post-Script: I did in fact buy a youth large sized commercially-produced corporate Halloween costume. And you may or may not be able to see my penis in it. I'll have pictures (of me in the costume, not my dick).

Related: Ligers exist!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Great Northeast

"Quite a storm brewin' outside -- the Nor'easter dontcha know."
With the Nor'easter blowing through New England today, I couldn't help but be reminded of a bit that comedy trio Stella used to do, or maybe still does if they ever continue to perform live.

While their Marx Brothers -esque Comedy Central.. uhh.. sitcom(?) wasn't a huge success, I still say that these guys are fucking comedic geniuses, and their live standup/"alternative comedy" show was just pure ace. Michael Ian Black gets most of the credit for his snarky comments about hip decades, but Michael Showalter and David Wain are equally as awesome.

Chances are, people reading this already know all of this. For those that don't, before they ever got their weekly show, they were touring the country, and even had their own Comedy Central special featuring a performance highlighting some of the best bits of their stage show. The particular bit that I couldn't get out of my mind today while trudging through torrential downpours and massive wind gusts is the following. Trust me, this is worth it. Enjoy.

VIDEO: Comedy Central Presents Stella - Part 2

Wednesday, October 19, 2005



Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Results Are In!

Mixed reports so far on The Colbert Report. I, personally, am a big fan. Sure, it'll take a while for the show to find its footing, but I love the tossovers with Jon Stewart & Colbert at the tail-end of The Daily Show. Speaking of which, anybody catch Bill O'Reilly on The Daily Show tonight? He came off as an angry, bitter man - which he probably is. O'Reilly said his show still promotes a boycott of France, to which Stewart whispered to him that there actually were no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq. The audience started violently booing O'Reilly which Stewart tried to discourage at first, but then realized he might as well let them go at it. O'Reilly threatened to come into the crowd at one point, and even name-called Stewart a "pinhead." I can't believe a man this immature and narrow-minded can have his own television program.

Also, on a related note, I threw together a written response late last night for my Media Audiences class based on a reading we had of an Annenberg survey and report of Daily Show viewers being knowledgeable about the 2004 Presidential campaign. I thought I did a pretty shitty, haphazard job with it, but my professor decided to give me a nearly perfect score on it. Read my shitty, wee-hour writing here. See that? That's hosted on my webspace that ODat gave me last year, and I had completely forgotten about it. Finally a way to host files like MP3's to treat y'all to! Let's test this out, as if my shitty essay wasn't enough.

I'm seeing Stars tomorrow night at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton. Here's the opening track off their sophomore disc, Set Yourself On Fire.
MP3: Stars - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

Hey, remember your first webpage? Geocities, maybe? Angelfire? Tripod? Well that's exactly the sort of page Comedy Central has based its design on for their Colbert Nation website. Damn thing looks like an eleven-year-old created it. I love the little touches like the animated GIFs and the counter at the bottom. Very 1997. Simply brilliant.

Oh, shit, there are no pictures in this entry. That's gotta change. I like this one a lot:

Thanks to Liz for snapping shots of IWA's set. Check out my flickr photoset of last Saturday night's improv & sketch megashow. Another show this Friday night. Here's the deets:
I.W.A. - Improv With Attitude
Friday, 10/21 - Herter 227
and as always, totes free.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Wait is Finally Over...

Rumor has it that there will be a brief crossover/overlap with The Daily Show, where anchor Jon Stewart will toss the broadcast over to new host Stephen Colbert. I have been looking forward to the premiere of this show for months.

Also, the UCB TourCo show that was previously scheduled to come to Northampton this Thursday has apparently been canceled according to the venue's website. I was really looking forward to that, too. What's the deal, UCB?

Hey, check out this article in The New York Times by Chuck Klosterman, one of my favorite writers. Thanks to Aziz for the link.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

California, Here I Come

So according to my "About Me" section on my myspace profile, "I wish I was Seth Cohen." But oh no, it's bigger than that. I believe that I really am Seth Cohen. Or, rather, that the character of Seth Cohen was based on me. Seth, of course, is a fictional character created for The OC.

Let's look at the facts, shall we? --
  • Religion: Jewish
  • Music Taste: indie rock (Rooney, Death Cab, The Shins, Ben Folds)
  • Favorite Movies: The Goonies (among others)
  • Favorite books: "On The Road" by Jack Kerouac, graphic novels, and Chuck Klosterman books
  • Fashion Sense: Penguin shirts, humorous t-shirts, Converse and Vans
  • Has a nana in South Florida
  • Makes witty jokes at innappropriate times
  • Hated and made fun of at school
  • Really hot girlfriend
Okay, so maybe I don't have that last one going for me, but check out all the rest of that shit! I mean, come on!

Still don't believe me? Here I am hanging out at a party on September 24th of this year:

And here's Seth hanging out at school in an episode broadcast FIVE DAYS LATER wearing the EXACT SAME SHIRT:

What's that? Still not convinced? Well let's go all the way back to season one, my freshman year of college. At this point I knew about The OC, but had not yet been watching religiously or was even a fan. Here's Seth hanging out at school on an episode that was broadcast on January 21st, 2004:

Here I am in a car on the way to Worcester, MA on February 27th, 2004, just over one month later wearing the EXACT SAME SWEATER. I had still not become a real fan of the show. Notice the collar coming out the top of the sweater in both pictures (I had done a button-down shirt under there instead of a polo earlier in the year, but I don't have a photo of it):

I rest my motherfucking case.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Something for Everybody

My improv group has its first show of the semester tomorrow night. Many of you know that improv, this group in particular, is a great passion of mine. I got the idea for this group about a year ago when the old group, Toast!, simply wasn't working for various reasons. After many compromises and changes, the final product is...

The concept of IWA is that it is one improv troupe with two individual teams. Each show will feature both teams, and also the possibility of a "gimmick" improv performance of some kind. A show will be held almost every other Friday night, and after every two shows the team members will be shuffled into new teams. Here's the info for this week's show:

Day: Tomorrow - Friday, Oct. 7th
Locale: Herter 227, UMass Amherst
Time: 8:00pm
Price: Freezies

This is NOT the same kind of improv that Mission: IMPROVable does, commonly referred to as "short-form", and made popular by Whose Line is it Anyway? It does feature some of the same people however, and it is piss-your-pants comedy. IWA, unlike Mission, is NOT a family show. We are uncensored, and just all-around fucking badass. We do long-form improv, doing scenes for 20-40 minutes based on one single audience suggestion.

Teams you'll see perform this week include:

Rock Lobster performing "The Armando"
Kirsten Dunst & The Furies performing "The Spiffy"
and the debut of..
The New York Knucklefucks with Tony & Frankie

BTW, that's "furies" as in plural of "fury," not the beastiality fetish known as "furries."

This is the kind of stuff you'll see at The IO Theater (formerly ImprovOlympic) in Chicago, and the UCB Theatre in New York City and Los Angeles, among other improv theatres. Chances are, if you live in a big city, or college town, chances are there's some long-form improv going down in your area. But most people who look at this blog probably know that already.

If you're in New York this weekend instead of Amherst, I highly recommend checking out the debut show of Reuben Williams: As Seen on TV. This is a top notch group of improvisors that I first saw perform at a small theatre on St. Marks Place under the moniker of Robin Williams (they wanted to be billed as a nationally recognized improvising comedian). They have since graduated from indie group to Harold team at the UCBT, and now have their own Saturday night show as a result of being awesome, and the shuffled UCB weekend lineup.

This week, their show is not only their first of the weekly Saturday night run, but it is also a part of the New York Underground Comedy Festival.

Other UCB shows featured in the NYUCF:

No Sleep 'Till Brooklyn

My Across the Narrows recap for Brooklyn - Sunday, October 2nd:

As reported on other blogs, this show was disappointingly empty and vast. It was very poorly promoted, and the whole event had a very awkward feel to it. Keyspan Park wasn't even remotely crowded until Polyphonic Spree came on. And it didn't feel like a real festival show until Belle & Sebastian. Also, the Cyclone was closed for repairs. So much for Coney Island being fun. Nathan's still rocks though.
  • Whirlwind Heat - By far the worst band of the show. They were noisy, came off as very pretentious, and rude to the audience. They will forever be an opening band.
  • McCrorie - I must have missed them. Although they were on the schedule, I don't think they ever took the stage.
  • Gang Gang Dance - Weren't much better than Whirlwind Heat. Their onstage antics came off as silly and weird. Go back to your art school and black clothes.
  • Dragonette - Awesome electro-synthpop . All bands should be this tight and glib. One of the best acts of the show, I snatched up their EP after the set. They were all sporting sleek white suits, and the female lead singer's dancing really got the crowd juiced.
  • The Raveonettes - A lot of the crowd seemed to be there to see this band, but I honestly didn't see the big deal. Sounded like every other garage rock band of the past ten years. The highlight of their set was a cover of "My Boyfriend's Back," and Dragonette was clearly the better band of the "middle acts." What's so special about them?
  • The Polyphonic Spree - Very obviously the highlight of the show. This two dozen-member symphonic pop band puts on a show like no other. They all were wearing sky blue robes with a red zig-zag Charlie Brown stripe. When they came together for the curtain call at the end of their set, the zig-zag lines connected through all of them. Also, I may have fallen in love with the female lead guitarist. The standout was "It's the Sun" where lead singer Tim DeLaughter danced around the stage with preacher-like moves, and waved goodbye to the sun as it set against the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Belle & Sebastian - This was the band I was mainly there to see, and I gotta say they were very disappointing, aside from lead singer Stuart Murdoch sporting a Mets t-shirt. He forgot lyrics in their opening song, "The Stars of Track & Field," the first track off of their If You're Feeling Sinister album. Also disappointing was the lack of songs from their latest Dear Catastrophe Waitress album, but the highlight of their set was probably "If You Find Yourself Caught in Love" from that disc. You'd think that they'd take advantage of the opportunity of playing in the Mets' minor league ballpark in Brooklyn on the day when Mike Piazza was playing his final game as a Met up in Queens by playing their song "Piazza, New York Catcher," but no, they decided not to included in their set list. The new songs they played sounded great, and Murdoch told us after the show (we went to go meet him) that the new album would be out in January. Something to definitely look forward to. Also, Murdoch is indeed a very impressive baseball fan, especially being from Scotland. Not exactly a country that comes to mind when you think of great baseball.
  • Beck - Well, he was the headliner for a reason. Although he didn't dance as much as he usually does, his catalog of hits was more than adequate for a show ender. We left early, after he played "Where It's At," a fitting finale indeed.

Photos of Dragonette, The Polyphonic Spree, Belle & Sebastian, and Beck courtesy of heartonastick & danfun.
MP3: Dragonette - I Get Around
MP3: The Polyphonic Spree - It's The Sun