Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Samurai Honor Student

Sorry I haven't been around much lately. I've been swamped and stress with schoolwork-related stuff and what exactly I'll be doing this summer, fall, and beyond.

Most of my time has been spent on making a film for one of my Comm 331 class. It's pretty ridiculous, but I'm actually kinda proud of it. It's about eight minutes long, and is available to watch below. Sorry about the hugeness. Comments are very much appreciated.

VIDEO: Samurai Honor Student

Also, Bill Cosby came to UMass last week to perform a lecture on learning disabilities. Many are speculating that he probably should've done a lecture about his craziness, which he apparently did anyway. Watch some highlights here (Quicktime).

My computer won't recognize my digital camera. Otherwise I'd have photos to show you.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Vimeo 4.0

Finally a steady stream of updates to this lame blog, and then I go to New York for five days, and production falters. Although I meant to post while I was in NYC, I kept hesitating. The highlight of my trip home was going to Shea on Monday to see Pedro Martinez win his 200th game in the first Mets-Braves matchup of the season. The Mets have yet to win a game since. At the time of that victory, however, the Amazins were 10-2 and had a five game lead over the second place Braves. Not only was it the best record in baseball (even losing their last two games they still can claim that), but twelve games was the fastest in baseball history that the a team has built a five game division lead.

That wasn't the coolest thing of the weekend, though. Connected Ventures - the creators of CollegeHumor and Busted Tees, among others - launched the redesign of Vimeo. If you're not yet familiar with Vimeo (you should be), it's basically a hipper (and way more awesome) version of YouTube. It's got stronger social networking capabilities, looks a lot better, and is incredibly easy to use. Think of it as Flickr for video clips. I don't have any clips on there yet, but that doesn't mean Vimeo's lame, it means I am.

Zach Klein announces the relaunch on his blog
Jakob Lodwick: Vimeo mastermind
My Flickr photostream
My Flickr profile
My Vimeo profile
MP3: Our Team. Our Time. (that incredibly ridiculous 2006 Mets theme song -- via Central Village)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


I remember Christmas mornings, err.. Hanukkah evenings, like this. Thanks to GorillaMask for the video (via CityRag). It's a perfect depiction of how kids can totally flip their shit, and the slo-mo heightens it to such a point.. oh, just watch the damn thing. Can anybody guess a year on this (without Googling "N64 release date")?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Somebody Finally Gets it Right

Thank you, Michelle Collins, over at You Can't Make It Up, for saying what we're all thinking. She's laid out the absolute perfect dream TV lineup (okay, maybe she could've cleaned up that laziness there at the end. But seriously, bravo for declaring in print what we all knew already:
9 am: Pee Wee's Playhouse (Best kids show ever.)
Red pill or blue pill, Cowboy Curtis?

Something Worthwhile!

This just in: Michael Showalter, Eugene Mirman, and Leo Allen are going on tour!
5/9 Toad's Place, New Haven, CT
5/10 Higher Ground, Burlington, VT
5/11 Lupo's, Providence, RI
5/12 Iron Horse, Nothampton, MA
5/13 Trocadero, Philadelphia, PA
5/14 Black Cat, Washington, DC
5/15 Relative Theory Record Store, Norfolk, VA
5/16 40 Watt Club, Athens, GA
5/17 The Earl, Atlanta, GA
5/18 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
5/19 Ottobar, Baltimore, MD
And they're stopping in Northampton! Looks like this is going to be geard toward the college crowd. I can spot Yale, University of Vermont, Brown, University of Georgia, UNC - Chapel Hill, and of course, the Five-College Consortium (UMass Amherst, Amherst College, Hampshire College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke) off the top of my head. It's about time that IHEG schedule a decent show this semester. Nothing's really piqued my interest at all, besides OK Go, until now. The venue is tiny and great. I will definitely be there. Anybody wanna go with me?

Neat Contraptions!

Remember that board game Mouse Trap? Yeah, it was one of my favorites, too. Did you not actually play the game all that much, and just set up the contraption and let loose instead? Yeah, me too. Now think of Mouse Trap way more awesome. That's the kind of stuff Rube Goldberg did. Apparently some Asian people like that kind of stuff, too. No wonder, since they're wizards with the freakin' electronics (and the violins, and the nail salons, and the blahblahblah). Watch this amazing video to see what those in the east do best of all!

The Real Champs

Hammerkat DC Pierson wrote a great entry on his blog, Ham Fisted Theatrics, about his experience at the UMass Comedy Jam this past weekend, complete with photos from my Flickr photoset. He goes out of his way to praise our hard work, no matter how unprofessional the festival may have appeared to some. DC even calls me a "champ," but he and his fellow Hammerkatz were the real champs here. When a circuit blew, as DC documents in his writeup, the unphased NYU sketch troupe rewrote nearly their entire 30-minute tech-heavy set to accomodate the poor facilities. The audience, approximately 200 people at the time of their performance, was not aware of this, and gave them a standing ovation anyway -- a real testament to their profesionalism and adaptability. Thanks for being champs, DC, and all the other fantastic Hammerkatz, too.

Amy Koske loves New York City boys.

I'm an NPR Dork (among other things)

Flickr photoset of Comedy Jam weekend is here for your perusal.

After one week of regular season baseball, the Mets are 4-1 and are in first place in the National League East. The brief season, though, has not been without controversy. Jose Guillen of the Washington Nationals charged the mound after he was beaned twice in one game by Pedro Martinez. The rivalry will continue tonight when the Mets begin their first road trip of the season in our nation's capital. When the ESPN predictions came out a little over a week ago, only three of the 19 analysts have the Mets not making the playoffs at all. Nine have them taking the Wild Card, while seven have them winning the East, and three have them making it to the World Series, to ultimately be defeated by the White Sox, A's, or Angels. It has been twenty years since the Mets last were champions of baseball, in that great World Series where one grounder down the first baseline became one of the most famous plays in the history of the game. One man has recreated that moment in a video simulation of the bottom of the tenth inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series in the format of the old school 8-bit RBI Baseball game for NES. Click that link and scroll down to watch the embedded video. Whether you are a Mets, Red Sox, or even Yankees fan, you do NOT want to miss this.

During my trip to Chicago a two weeks ago, I had the privilege of going with Liz to be a part of the audience at the Chase Auditorium for a taping of one of my favorite NPR shows, Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me! The weekly news quiz is consistently smart and funny. One of the highlights each week is the "Not My Job" segment, where guest celebrities are asked questions that have nothing to do with their line of work. This week's is no exception. Sarah Silverman is fucking hilarious. But you didn't need me to tell you that. Usually, the "Not My Job" segment is charmingly awkward, but Sarah Silverman makes it hysterical and highly entertaining. She remains so sharp, it's people like her that make me wonder if I should even bother getting into comedy if there are people that have that kind of ridiculous amount of talent. Here's her appearance on the show:

MP3: National Public Radio - Not My Job: Sarah Silverman

And oh yeah, here's that great Fresh Air interview Terry Gross did with Ben Karlin. Who's Ben Karlin? I think the description on the NPR website says it best:
Come up with a list of the dream writing jobs in comedy and at least three of them are likely to come up on one man's resume: Ben Karlin is executive producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and co-executive producer of The Colbert Report, both on the cable channel Comedy Central. Before that, Karlin was editor of the satirical weekly newspaper The Onion.
As long as we're on the subject (aka: me being a total NPR dork), here's a pretty good entry from the NPR blog on the future of public radio (and radio in general). Definitely worth a read. And here's a hilarious McSweeney's piece of "A Rejected Submission to NPR's This I Believe." Here's the real website for that, the series based on the original Edward R. Murrow program where people present thought-provoking essays on the things they believe. Two of my favorites are available below:

MP3: NPR - Be Cool to the Pizza Dude (Sarah Adams)
MP3: NPR - There Is No God (Penn Jillette)

One more thing - where the SHIT are Jenny Lewis and Amy Milan in this indietits comic?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Comedy for President

Each year, Student Valley Productions here at UMass Amherst throws the largest, completely student-run comedy festival in the country, and the largest period in New England. For seven months, SVP has been planning this year's Comedy Jam to be the biggest in history, and tonight the 10th Annual Comedy Jam comes your way for FREE. That's right, comedy groups from around the country are coming here to UMass in completely free performances open to the public. This year's promotional theme has been "COMEDY FOR PRESIDENT." Unfortunately, some of our biggest publicity stunts inolving the theme had to be canceled, but the campus seems to be taking to the idea nonetheless. With over 5,000 flyers to post all over campus, the idea is to make every student at least somewhat aware of the Comedy Jam. And tonight, all that hard work (hopefully) pays off. The lineup of performers, although there are few who have never at any point been UMass Amherst studets, is really incredible:
  • BetaSEANS (The Seans Redux!) - amherst, MA
  • Stranger Than Fiction - portsmouth, NH
  • Don't Make a Scene - amherst, MA
  • I.W.A. - amherst, MA
  • Killebrew (from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre!) - new york, NY
  • Replaced by Robots - chicago, IL
  • Mission: IMPROVable, Inc. (the famed touring co. founded at UMass!) - los angeles, CA
  • Sketch-22 - amherst, MA
  • Hammerkatz NYU (favorites from last year return with all-new material!) - new york, NY
  • Acoustic Love - amherst, MA
  • Be Frank - chicago, IL
  • Mission: IMPROVable (15-year reunion with lots of old cast members!) - amherst, MA
  • The Angry Northeast - chicago, IL
  • Something Equally Lame (Casual Sketch reunion!) - chicago, IL
  • Team Submarine (the acclaimed fast-rising 2-man sketch group!) - chicago, IL
  • Improv Asylum - boston, MA
  • Misty & Matt Lang - chicago, IL
  • Dirty Water (improv set in a South Boston pub!) - chicago, IL

The 10th Annual Comedy Jam is TONIGHT & TOMORROW, April 7th & 8th, in BARTLETT 65 at 7:00 PM each night. It's totally free, so you can come grab a program, and then come and go as you please throughout.