A spraypaint marker on a telephone pole outside my office.
How to beatbox:
See where my confusion lies? I mean, ABC's, 123's, all that crap - kids will learn that stuff somewhere, eventually. But where, oh where will they learn beatboxing if not from television? It's not like the white man will let that get taught in his precious schools, so, where will we teach these kids the skills necessary to survive in today's fast-paced economy?
Is this not why Leonardo DaVinci invented the television in his secret diaries which also included instructions on how to make a robot gorilla army and how to hack an iPhone so you can use it on a wireless provider other than AT&T? (He also invented Tetris and had all the ideas for the television show, Dallas. Don't feel bad, I didn't know any of that either. Thank goodness for Wikipedia, right?)
This is my problem. It is of immense proportions.
Also, totally unrelated, but I am no longer allowing anonymous posts. Sorry, but it seems that there's always somebody who has to poop in the pool and spoil the party. It's sad, really.
Also, this whole beard thing is heating up. It's been pretty close the whole time, with the "Yes" slightly edging out ahead. Imagine if it were something important we were voting for instead of whether or not I grow facial hair because I am too lazy to shave regularly. Something like, "Who has better legs, Dan Rather or Tom Brokaw." The suspense would be deadly, like unto a ninja.
Seriously though, back to the Lakes thing. What do you think? I have my theory, but I want to know what you think, Beloved Internets.
Jordan Crane's the Clouds Above is a sweet little tale about a kid and his cat who get kicked out of school and find a stairway through the clouds. Along the way they meet mean little yellow birds, a depressed pink cloud and a vicious thunderstorm. It's a whimsical (I hate using that word, but it really fits... it kind of goes wherever it feels it needs to go) little tale that is also really well-done. Seriously, the art's gorgeous. Here's a panel:
Awesome, right? Here's the Amazon link. They have it buddied up with Aaron Renier's Spiral Bound, which seems like a fair enough fit. They're both recommended, though Spiral Bound skews slightly older (elementary school-aged) than my gal (though it works for adults, too) right now. And because Clouds is set up as having one panel per page (using the gutter of the book as the panel gutter and transition device) rather than any kind of grid system, the reading is easier. It's the simplest form of comics language, really (which is why I don't consider something like the Family Circus a comic... there's no sequence to it. It's an illustration with words. Also, it is really dumb. "Oh my gosh! 'Somebody' broke a window, but what the parents don't understand is that there is an actual ghost named 'Somebody' who broke the window and is totally framing PJ! Dude! This is awesome! I can't wait to see what happens next! Oh wait. NOTHING happens next because the no-talent, hobo-killing alcoholic who draws this strip can't be bothered to draw more than one panel! WTH?!"*).
So, a Big Red Robot recommendation for the Clouds Above. Sadie and I read it the other night and we both loved it to bits. She took it to bed to read while she fell asleep, which was pretty dang cute. It's an all-ages comic that isn't so "kiddie" that you can't really enjoy it as an adult (Yes, I am looking at you, Owly, with your no words having self and your oh-so-cutesy conundrums). So yeah, the Clouds Above is awesome. Check it out.
*I just want to say that while the Family Circus is by no means my favorite part of the comics section (pronounced: "the only section worth reading"), this rant is entirely hypothetical and intended for comedic effect. There is no proof that any of my allegations - namely the whole alcoholism thing and the hobo-killing thing - are anything more than mean-spirited fabrications created entirely by me for no other reason than I have a lot of pent up rage toward Bill Keane, author and illustrator of aforementioned strip. I am seeking professional help and have made some breakthroughs, but I recognize that I still have a long ways to go. Bear with me. Though I will say that if you have to have your eight-year-old son draw your comics for you because you had a long night drinking and killing hobos, maybe it's time to lay off the sauce a little. And maybe not kill hobos anymore. I'm just saying.
It's sort of stating the obvious at this point, but I will say it anyway: Flight Of the Conchords is freaking hilarious.
Also, in other news, the sky is blue.
That is all.
***BREAKING NEWS: This just in: Kittens are cuddly. Film at 11.
Just look at him, isn't he just begging to be run down?
If you should happen to see him crossing the street while you're driving... well, I'm sure you'll know what to do. (***hint: It rhymes with "Push your foot all the way down on the gas pedal. Back up. Repeat."***)
Today's clip comes from the Nick Jr. show Yo! Gabba Gabba. Bizarre or Brilliant?!
Answer below. Show your work.
Anyway, so some of you have obviously noticed the query posed by the poll to the right. I am contemplating growing a beard. See, I hate shaving. But I also don't like being all hairy. Not that there's anything wrong with a beard. My dad has had a beard for roughly... forever. I'm pretty sure I've seen baby pictures of him. With the beard. I just don't know if I'm a beard type of guy. It takes a certain amount of commitment, y'know? Not just anyone can grow a beard.
If only there was a way to see what I might look like with a beard. Perhaps utilizing the exciting new world of computer technology to create a sophisticated rendering of me with a beard? Oh, okay. Below is the full view of what I may look like with a beard. Check it:
I know, I know. I have mad Photoshop Fu. Do not try this at home. I am a professional. "But what," you ask, "might the profile look like?" Ka-zam!
Yeah. And if that fails, there's always the mustache, right?
Wrong. That was a trick question. Mustaches are gross. Unless you're gay or a cop or a gay cop (or the Castlerocker's dad... seriously Ryan, your dad can rock a 'stache. For reals, though.), mustaches are a no-no. They are face mullet. I read that in a book somewhere. Maybe it was in the Bible. Probably the Old Testament. There's a lot of weird stuff in the Old Testament. I can't remember. I just know that they're gross. Just say "no," kids. Do the world a favor.
So, rock the vote. I'm not saying that I will side with the winning team in this debate (I mean democracy's great and all, but come on, this is my face! It's how I makes my livin'!), but I am willing to listen to what both sides have to say. Truly I am the Barack Obama of facial hair.
Also, there are werewolves. And a leggy blonde girl who is also smart.
My show would be called the Impossible Adventures of Mister Awesome and His Friend and would star Bill Murray as the guy and younger Bill Murray as the sidekick. Bob Denver would star as the voice of the car. The music would be provided by Miami Sound Machine.
Fortunately, such a show could never exist. Because it would shred the very fabric of reality with its amazingness were it to ever air.
I originally had another idea (that I'll save for another poster), but I figured when you're playing a show at the Emergency Room with Girl In A Coma, you really can't pass something like that up.
The image is from a Boy Scout handbook I salvaged from DI a while back. The type is Helvetica (used on signage in most hospitals, so I figured it fit... plus I got it to look kind of nice! Yay me! The trick? Track it in, baby!). The scribbles are all Sadie. It took a little doing to get her to just scribble rather than draw super sweet faces, but she got the job done. Keep an eye on that kid. She's gonna be huge.
P.S.: Huston, I promise I haven't forgotten about you.
Check this dude out.
How freaking rad is that? I'd say, oh, $90 dollars worth of rad, if I were a wagering man. Oh! Wait! I was exactly right.
Seriously though. I want one. Look at the packaging, cercryeye.
I was told by my boss the other day that I have "slacker voice." We were rerecording our outgoing message after a storm fried our telephone system and I was nominated for the task.
At first I was offended. I mean, I was in theater classes for half of my high school career and in choir the other half. My voice is not necessarily teh sexy, but I'm not exactly Cheech and/or Chong, either. But then I took a hard look at myself and said, "Y'know, I do have a laid-back quality to my voice. To my life even."
The signs are all there: I listen to Pavement religiously. I lay down when I watch TV or read. I rarely tuck in my shirt and always roll my sleeves up when I wear long sleeves. Even at church. I wear my Converse All-Stars every chance I get. Even at church. (That is a lie, though I would if I could, believe you me) I refer to people as "dude," or "homedude," when I'm not into the whole brevity thing. I don't watch the news because it bums me out. I use the phrase "bums me out." I say "y'know," after almost every sentence, y'know? I empathize with the Dude in the Big Lebowski, although I have never smoked pot nor have I been attacked by a ferret owned by German nihilists whilst smoking aforementioned herb in my bathtub. Though if it were possible, I would live in my bathtub. I like Cheetos cheese puffs and Cookie Crisp cereal. I watch cartoons whenever possible. I don't wear a watch and am okay with that decision. I have seen roughly 78 hours worth of Gilligan's Island reruns and probably twice that of Batman (the Adam West one) reruns.
So, I guess it's time to stop living in denial: I am a slacker. And I am proud.
And a little sleepy.
The first iTunes purchase was They Might Be Giants' John Henry. I blame this on their latest, the Else. It was the shock of hearing such a solid TMBG album that recalled memories of their last really solid album. I had this on cassette as that format was making its last gasps before total extinction. I have a lot of stuff on tape that I still haven't replaced, but would like to. PJ Harvey's To Bring You My Love, Thurston Moore's Psychic Hearts, the B-52's eponymous debut. Psychic powers, you fail me again!
Anyway, this was the TMBG album after the one that hooked me, Apollo 18. It's a darker affair than Apollo, but it's chock full (20 tracks) of really good songs. Some throw aways, but they're at least interesting. It's an overlooked gem in the catalog of an often overlooked band.
I also got the Maccabees' Colour It In, which is kind of like the Veils met Bloc Party at a party hosted by the Futureheads. Yeah, that's about right. Very tight and upbeat. It's on sale at iTunes. $7.99 for 12 tracks. How can I say no?
So, yeah, I really need to get Psychic Hearts. They played a track from Moores' upcoming solo album on All Songs Considered and I remembered how awesome that album was.
Curse you, music. Why must you be awesome?
The Greatest American Hero.
Please explain why in 100 words or less. No copying your neighbor's answers. Cheaters will be beaten with a bar of soap in a tube sock and forced to watch every episode of Designing Women in a tub full of leeches while they groom Burt Reynolds' mustache and that annoying Avril Lavigne song (which one? There's too many to choose from!) plays full blast in the next room on a loop.
Forever and ever and ever, amen.
Because I am unforgiving when it comes to cheaters. It's sort of my shtick.
The test begins... NOW!
This week's inaugural album is this glorious work: The Unicorns' Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?
First off, let's take a look at that album cover. Go ahead, click it. I'll still be here. This is one of those moments where an album cover tells you exactly what you're getting into. That cover is precisely what this album sounds like: It's Crayola destruction. It's rainbows and lightning-filled clouds punching a hole clean through that rainbow. It's fairy tale stuff, with all the pathos and surreality those stories entail.
I got this from Huston a while back, and while he didn't take to it, I was smitten immediately. I remember driving to Colorado from Vegas after Christmas and listening to it at least three times over the course of our trip through Colorado (with a brief stop at the home of the Castlerocker) and onward to Idaho. I can think of no better album to listen to while negotiating icy mountain passes in the dark of night in early January. Seriously, it's that kind of music.
It's heady stuff, at once beautiful and deformed. It's like the Brothers Grimm started a band at age 15 and turned all that weird fairy tale stuff into disjointed, dark, disturbing, and, above all else, funny pop songs instead of stories that you tell your kids to mess them up before they go to bed.
There's a lot of death in this album, what with it starting off with a song titled, "I Don't Wanna Die," ending with one called "Ready To Die," and containing no less than three songs about ghosts (and one about unicorns, of is that Unicorns?) sandwiched in-between?
Totally unrelated, but it also contains the lyrics "We're the Unicorns/And we're people, too," which is just really funny once you think about it.
The thing I appreciate about this album the most is the way it basks in its imprecision. Every song sounds on the verge of falling apart, and almost does, but manages to keep it together long enough to tell it story before going the way of all the earth. Which is what rock&roll is about, really. Rock&roll is not precise. It can be, but to be "real," it shouldn't be. It's sometimes has to be messy and confusing and just like life, to get all metaphysical on your arse.
This is why I can't listen to the radio. That stuff, it's not real. It's a vapid, hollow fantasy. It's Thomas Kincaid paintings when this is crazy Pablo Picasso stuff. Art is not comfortable. It shouldn't be, at least. It's primal and visceral and able to relate to. Does that make sense? I need to sleep, I think. Okay, I just re-read that last rant and realize that I am totally full of crap. It's all fantasy, really. I just prefer mine to be more... intricate? Maybe needlessly so? I don't know. I just know that when I hear the Goo Goo Dolls or Fergie, I immediately barf. It's completely uncontrollable. I'm seeing a specialist. But that's my problem to deal with. Back to the review...
As the band's name suggests, this is mythical, maniacal, morbid stuff. It's the sound of kids burying their fantasies as they undertake their metamorphosis into full-fledged adults and they're not entirely sure of whether they're better off as newer, more "real" creatures.
The Unicorns would eventually turn into the band Islands and release the fractured, but nowhere near as delightfully dangerous, Return To the Sea, which is a good album, but I feel like it's missing something, like it's a Unicorns album with the teeth filed down a little. I miss the unpredictability that haunts this album like a troublesome and possibly imagined phantom.
***(Not that Islands is a run-of-the mill band by any stretch. They're similar to, say middle-period Mercury Rev or a less obtuse Animal Collective - which, by the way, that Panda Bear album, Person Pitch from one of the Animal Collective guys... it's good stuff, too. It's like early Pink Floyd covering Pet Sounds. Which is a good thing, believe me. Hey! It's a two-in-one review. Because we're about value. "Big Red Robot: Giving You More Than You Expected... And For Free!")***
On this album, anything is possible. Songs fall apart, turn into something new. Things change and die and become ghosts that haunt mountains and turn your bones to jelly. Anything can happen. Anything does happen.
And that, dear readers, is A-OK.
Now I am playing. I feel ridiculous.
Anyway, so, here goes:
4 Jobs I’ve Had:
1. Worked at Subway (the little hut-like one on Charleston between Lamb and Nellis) until I got robbed. Then I quit.
2. The phone survey place on Maryland Parkway across from UNLV that 75% of Chaparral High students worked at.
3. Worked for my friend Danny doing random handyman-type stuff for rich people and demolishing random warehouses. I was with him when he put his hand into a moving circular saw blade. It was masty.
4. I worked for the Gap for almost eight years. It was not as fun as it sounds, but I got payed a decent amount and got a discount, so... yeah.
4 Movies I Could Watch Over and Over:
2. the Goonies
3. Raising Arizona
4. the Conversation
4 Favorite TV Shows:
1. Lost, but you knew that already, right?
2. 30 Rock, because it is freaking hilarious.
3. the Office... same.
4. My Name Is Earl. So, basically, Lost and most of NBC's Thursday night lineup. I am also addicted to Battlestar: Galactica, but I've already admitted that and I'm following along via DVD anyway, so that doesn't count.
4 Places I’ve Lived:
1. Lehi, UT.
2. Las Vegas, NV.
3. New York, NY!
4. Rexburg, ID.
4 Places I’ve Been:
1. New York City.
2. Los Angeles.
3. San Francisco.
All of them cool.
4 Favorite Foods:
1. Chipotle chicken sandwiches: the bomb on a bun.
2. Taco salad.
3. Bacon, solo or on just about anything. And I do mean "On just about anything." Yeah.
4. I firmly hold to my belief that Buffalo wings are the greatest human invention since fire. Maybe better than fire.
4 Least Favorite Foods:
1. Strawberries. I know. It's weird. Oh well. Deal with it. The taste, the texture... yeah, no thanks.
2. I don't like tomatoes a lot, either. I can handle them cooked, but raw... yuck.
3. I have yet to have a good sushi experience, but I'm open to it.
4. Wasabi anything.
4 Favorite or Most Frequented Websites:
1. A tie between Chris' Invincible Superblog and Jog-the Blog for my fix of comics-related blogs.
2. I am addicted to my Amazon recommendation list, my Netflix queue, my Last.fm page and my eMusic lists.
3. I also obsessively browse Rotofugi and Urban Outfitters, mainly for shoes. Because I have a problem.
4. My blog buddies blogs. It's true. I love you all.
4 People I’m Tagging:
1. Candace (uh, duh?)
2. Ryan, because I will look for any reason to read anything he writes.
3. Ben/Jesse. They're brothers. They count as one.
4. Patti. Oh wait, she TOOK DOWN HER BLOG! COMPLETELY! Do you hear that, Patti, that is Hope slowly dying. I hope you're happy. [sniff]
So, with her out, I guess I'll tag... Caitlin.
Tag. You are all, simultaneously, Blog "It."
***Little housekeeping stuff: Firstly, if you are voting in the Battle of the UnBands, don't forget to comment on the original post to be in the drawing for the poster. You will be sad if you miss out. Or not. Your call.
Secondly, I solemnly promise to all Mixtapery participants that I will get the ball rolling this week. Perfect crapstorm and all that. I promise.
It's possibly the most aggravating thing on television. I mean, come on, you actually thought switching a hippy-dippy lady with a status-obsessed ugly American would yield anything else but lowest common denominator television? It's dehumanizing, this show. The people are portrayed as broad, ludicrous stereotypes without any semblance of humanity and we're meant to either laugh at their stupidity or be dumbfounded by their idiocy. It's like a moron zoo: "Look at the funny people. Aren't you glad you're not them? Hee hee hee. This lady is a biker and this lady is a vegan. See how they clash. Ha ha."
I'm not asking for nightly performances of Shakespeare or anything, but can we maybe aim a little higher in our "entertainment?" Seriously, what's next? A show of just car crashes?
Wait, you don't remember the Battle Of the UnBands from, oh, seven months ago? I know. It took a while. As the kids these days are so fond of saying these days, "My bad, yo." Here's the link to the original post way back in January of 200007 BC, posted shortly after mankind started using tools and walking upright. Yay fire!
The Pink Barbarians won round one. Here's their poster (finally):
The next face off is between the following:
* Butterscotch Brides
* Robots Of Love
* Dead Writers
Voting will take place via the poll in the sidebar. Once you vote, make sure you leave a comment here because one lucky voter will win a 12 inch by 18 inch poster in the mail. Like Magic. Polls close two weeks from today. Vote early. Vote often. Do your duty as an American (or whatever weird country you belong to... do you have democracy there? What color is the sky there? Do you have Santa Claus? Have you heard of Abraham Lincoln? Do you have American Idol there? No? Lucky!)... VOTE!
And, as long as I'm at it, here's his video for Macca's "Dance Tonight," from his newest album, Memory Almost Full, which I haven't heard yet. You know, the iTunes commercial song. That one. I've read good to mediocre reviews of the album. I really don't expect much from Sir Paul, really. He has nothing to prove anymore. Dude made Ram, which sits comfortably alongside Nillsson Schmillson, Remain In Light and Bee Thousand in the Big Red Robot Untouchable Albums Hall Of Fame. Which is not really real, but let's not spoil the magic, shall we? Oh yeah, and he also wrote some of the best popular music in the history of forever. So yeah, there's that, too. I say if Paul wants to make mediocre albums until he dies, that's fine with me. If anybody has earned that right, it's him. Ram on. Smile away.
Anyway, here's the video, which bears more than a passing resemblance to Gondry's video for the White Stripes' "Dead Leave & the Dirty Ground." Also, Natalie Portman is in this video (oh, how I crushed on you in my younger days...) as well as the guy who played the guy who became Dwight once the Office came over to the colonies (got all of that?). The one that was in Pirates Of the Carribean and its sequels that we shall not speak of due to their general horribleness.
See, I got through this whole post without making fun of Paul's one-legged ex-wife, too. Because I have class like that and whatnot. Aren't you proud of me? I sure am.
Don't believe me? See for yourself:
Seriously. This movie is awesome. This I swear. If you can name me a better movie, I will not believe you. Because you are lying.
Also, we've got a couple spots open over at Mixtapery. Don't miss out if you want in because the doors are slamming shut soon and you will be oh so sad if you miss this train.
Because it is the Funky Train.