pop culture, pittsburgh, and potpouri
Monday, June 30, 2008
I have been a faithful follower of Jimmy Kimmel live ever since it came on the air. There was something about that first episode, when Jimmy and Snoop were wasted and decided to throw a Ventriloquist's Dummy into a deep fryer after he performed, that made me say I will never miss an episode of this show. And good thing for all of you, because I saw this clip on Friday night and have been looking for it ever since. Kimmel has a long running bit where he censors harmless clips from TV and makes them more vulgar than before they were bleeped. In this clip he focuses on childrens shows mainly Sesame Street. What ensues is a comedic gold mine. Enjoy.
Is it just me or does Hannah Montana look like Rachel Ray in her new crappy video? This could be a true life version of the show. Rachel Ray is moonlighting as a 16 year old teen high school junior posing as a teen pop star. They are both annoying, they both have big teeth, and they are both idolizedd by middle America. I have uncovered the ultimate pop culture shannagan! Is it Rachel Ray as Hannah Montan, Miley Cyrus posing as Rachel Ray, Hannah Montana posing as Rachel Ray, Rachel Ray posing as Miley Cyrus, or just Hannah Montana posing as Miley Cyrus? Is that all the permutations of possibilities? This is like a really lame (not that Jem wasn't lame too, but this is even more lame) version of Jem,
Rachel Ray is a huge indie rock fan, so maybe this is her way of indulging in pop poop. Further Miley is going for a new "Adult Sound" on her new album. Maybe I am on to something. Pretty soon Rachel Ray's FHM photo shoot is going to come out and cause a huge Miley Cyrus controversy.
ME ME ME - video powered by Metacafe
If you can eat after watching this video then you could probably eat shit (fitting for a post about drag queens- reference anyone?). Well Ru Paul has a reality TV show with competing drag queens. I have never seen it and probably never will, but I am sure that I will regularly see clips of it on the Internet. This is a clip of a hopeful contestant that shamelessly ask to world to laugh at him. And of course, the world willingly obliges. I can't help but think of Jabba the Hut alone in his bedroom professing his love for Celine Dion by doing his own interpretation of the song. Even intergalactic criminal underworld bosses can fall prey to the infectious pop of Celine Dion. If you can make it five minutes into the clip watch for it to yawn right in the middle of its performance. Yes, apparently all that singing, jiggling, and boob grabbing made our star a bit tired. He'll have to house a meat lovers pizza and take a 14 hour nap to make up for the calories that were "wasted".
Sunday, June 29, 2008
(via Dlisted) I know I have been posting alot about Amy Whienhouse, but I just can't help it. If she had a Brig Brother reality TV show where cameras followed her around 24 hours a day I would ruin my life watching it. She is just such a disaster, a calamity of epic proportions, a train-plane- and automobile wreck that ends up in an explosion. Lately I have been getting a kick out of her mess of performances. Someone has been shooting her up, giving her a bump, then shoving her out on stage to do a "Weekend and Bernie's" type performance. They just keep getting better and better. After a performance for a Russian billionaire was basically Amy flushing his money down a toilet, and the Nelson Mandela celebration where she replaced words about freeing Nelson Mandela with words about freeing her Blake, Amy decided to take on Glastonbury. She did manage to sing a couple songs at a standard that I guess is professional under some peoples understanding of the word, but don't worry it was still a M-E-S-S. Well, Dlisted has a post about the performance. She first called Kanye West a cunt, and then got into a Jerry Springer esque fight with an audience member after stumbling into the audience during "Rehab". I love how she punches on the syllables of "not-hing, noth-ing you can't teach me" then stumbles away sings a bit and laughs. Note to Whinehouse management, don't let her near the audience. You will be held strictly liable for any damage the dangerous creature causes.
THE BPA - THE BPA 'TOE JAM' FEAT. DAVID BYRNE & DIZZEE RASCAL from Fabio Resende on Vimeo.
Ska is coming back big right now in Britain, well I guess anything British Mod is. Not the punk version of ska like Operation Ivy, but more the beginning stages in the 50's and 60's (Which in itself is big, along with all the singer songwriters like Duffy, Whinehouse, and Adele looking to anything pre 1965 for inspiration). So when I heard this BPA track I thought it exemplified exactly what I am talking about, and I wanted to share it with all of you!!! I know I 'm awesome. So when you hear this song you can say I heard that a long time ago thanks to Seceret Art of Snark. Yeah right, I bet everyone reading this is like that song is so last year... This dude is nuts. Well WHATEVER, It features David Byrne and Dizzie Rascal, and it is some hot shit!! The video is pretty unique and forward thinking as well. Hell even Kayne West put this on his blog. So I must be cool if Gods gift to art Kanye West posted it!!! Maybe I should call this site the secret art of sarcasm.
If video above doesn't work click here for You Tube. I have never used Vimeo before.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Ok, so apparently there is a American country western craze sweeping France. Most specifically, country western Line Dancing. The French are organizing lessons and nights at clubs to learn and bring the funk. The government is even getting involved setting regulations. The French administration has moved to create an official country dancing diploma as part of a drive to regulate the fad. Authorised instructors who have been on publicly funded training courses will be put in charge of line dancing lessons and balls. The rules, which come into force next year, come after the rapid spread of country and western in France, where an estimated 100,000 people line dance several times a week. Jean Chauveau, the chairman of the country section of the French Dance Federation, said: “It's growing at a crazy rate. There are thousands of clubs and more are springing up all the time.” This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Of course the French would pick line dancing out of all American things to fall in love with. Americans don't even like line dancing. It just shows what they think our culture is. An official was quoted the trend illustrated France's “complicated and ambiguous” relationship with the United States. “We love American magic and the American dream,” he said. “But we hate Americans when we confront the hard reality of their behaviour throughout the world. We go for the cowboy hats but not George Bush.” Apparently women enjoy the choreography of it, and that it involves individualism with no physical contact. This would be such a better story if it involved the Japanese. But I am sure that the Japanese have been there and done that decades ago. They are probably obsessed with some aspect of American culture that Americans don't even know about. The truth is that I am really not that surprised. everyone says that the French are sophisticated, know fashion, and have impeccable taste. I say fiddle sticks. I think the French dress terrible, have a terrible sense of humor and style, and love bad American culture like Jerry Lewis. Of course they like line dancing. Pretty soon they will embrace Walmart and want to make meth in trailer parks. Here is a video
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I have been covering the North Shore Casino construction for the last couple months. At first I was probably a bit unfair to mister Barden, but now things have just completely gone the way that I have been characterizing them. Like I said worst case scenario is a half built Casino on the North Shore. I said that months ago, and it looks like that is exactly where this is going. The Pennsylvania Gaming Board is demanding to know when and how Barden is going to completely get the 780 million dollars he needs to complete the project. They have already delayed a public hearing ( could you imagine the Yinzer disaster that would be?), and it is being reported that Barden has not paid more than 20 contractors on the job since March and that they are owed 10 million dollars. If they are not paid by June 30th they may walk off the job. Awesome!!! My nightmare is coming to fruition. And I was trying to be cynical when I made that prediction. This Casino is really limping along here. Are we going to have to put it in a wheelchair? Barden remains optimistic saying that the building is on schedule and that it will open by May 09. The lawsuits by other business and licensing delays have been to blame for many money expenses ( Not the sinking of other Barden Casinos around the country). Well I wouldn't expect anything less from Pittsburgh. The Pens are waiting on funding for their new arena from this casino. I wouldn't bet on it. Like I said don't be shocked if you see this casino as the prize on the dollar progressive slots at Moutaineer!!!
I spent most of last night watching people and groups of people dance. That was an improvement on the earlier part of the day which was wasted watching Sixteen Candles twice ( Yes I am supposed to be studying - i took a day off). I watched Pretty in Pink the other day, which I guess is working toward an inevitable Molly Ringwold post. Any who, WHAT THE HELL IS LITTLE MAMA TALKING ABOUT?? If anyone knows please let me know, because at this point Paula Abdul and Mary Murphy look like Bill Gates and Steven Hawkings compared to Little Mama. Whatever Shane Sparks says, which is the most professional since he is a choreographer, Lil Mama says the opposite. Then she spits some negative- want to be hard -shit that causes everyone to look at each other confused. Or at least I think she does, because I don't understand anything she says. What does she know about dancing anyway? She "invented" the G Slide which is basically how she dances the Electric Slide. We all have our own style (Mines called the "I'm turning the wrong way every time slide"), but we don't get to be judges on a dance show. Now a rapping show, that would be a different story. Lil Mama can rap. Anyway the cheer leading jazz squad known as Sassy 7 got the boot. So Real Cru, Suppa Crew, and Supreme Soul are the bomb diggity, and will be the final three. I like A.S.I.I.D because they got the deaf Asian Dude. Fanny Pack are alright, and should be up my alley, but I hate L.A hipsters. They say they are bringing back the 80's, but last time I checked Fanny Packs are 90's. Believe me I saw enough of them on my family vacation to Busch Gardens back in 92. Plus I am on a John Hughes movie binge. Where was I. Oh yeah Lil Mama stupid, Suppa Crew awesome.....um... Oh yeah its funny to see JC Chazgay flirt with the boy band team Xtreme Dance Force. Hes so gay. Evey time he says Gaynor it cracks me up.
So You Think You Can Dance Was on Too. It was good and the black girl got eliminated, not the urban crumper (who is hot), but the modern dancer. I hate those modern dancers they all do the same thing. They run around the stage, look up into the air, waves their arms around, then roll around on the ground. They should make a team on America's Best Dance Crew choreograph a contemporary routine. Now that would be hilarious. Back to Sixteen Candles... Farmer Ted just asked Samantha Baker for her underpants. "We have 70 dollars and a pair of girls underpants. We are safe as kittens..." Duckie can't hold an 80's geek candle to Ted. Video below- I couldn't find the video I was looking for ( Of the grandparents upset about Jake calling the house) So here is a weird mix of the Killers with the dance.
Rollingstone has this article that they did on Amy Whinehouse over on their website. I really recommend reading the entire article. There is not much that you will find surprising; Amy Whinehouse is a junkie mess that stays up all night and day doing drugs in her mess of a house with every walk of life coming in and out the door. She loves her Blake Incarcerated, and she thinks that she doesn't have a problem. Her new music will sound like the Shangri La's and Back to Black but with ska beats. Bad things will continue to happen to her unless she gets help. The gem that is buried in the article is the brief mention of seeing Amy Whinehouse's "wedding" pictures by the reporter. The pictures were your typical junkies falling in love by doing drugs together pictures. You know, Blake and Amy with crack pipes, Blake and Amy exchanging pills with their tongue, Blake and Amy blowing smoke into each other mouths, and Amy having a gigantic penis in her Mouth. Yes Amy having a Gigantic penis in her mouth. Rollingstone used those exact words. After revealing that people come into the house who she doesn't know, the paparazzi stand outside her house all day, and "cunts around her that whisper" leak info to the press, I give 24 hours before this picture somehow makes it onto the Internet. We've seen every other private movement released to the press. If that reporter had any sense he would have took a quick "mobile" (for the Brits) picture, make some quick loot, take a couple weeks off from freelancing, and blow off that article he is doing on Ashley Tinsdale for Blender. What he has now done is create a game show for "lifes winners" where they attempt different ways of trying to get into Amy's house to get the picture and make some money. You know, like Wiley Coyote and the Road Runner episodes. All though it will be way easier for a shady character to be successful than Wiley Coyote. Its not like Amy Winehouse is even trying to protect herself. All you have to do is ring the door bell say you are giving free heroin and cocaine away at 8 a.m. when she is nice and toasted, and take complete advantage of her. Remember your USB drive and send me a 10% cut please. Maybe Amy should just release it and get it over with. Come on Amy, if Hollywood royalty like Verne Troyer has sex pictures out, then what are you waiting for?
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
How can someone commit an aggravated battery, then be allowed to come back on television justifying his behavior, and then go on to commit intentional infliction of emotional distress on a person all under the watchful eye of MTV, and no legal ramifications occur. I mean seriously, what does MTV have to do to get fucking sued!! Do they even have laws in California. We all know they don't convict people of murder, but I didn't know the protection goes all the way to nobody reality TV stars. The Tila Tequila reunion show was on (recap here), and I about had an stroke watching Chad talk about his assault on Bo (Bo and Chad are both douche bags. If you need proof go to Chads Myspace. It is douche overload. Yes that is a picture of him and Mickey Avalon. Mickey fucking Avalon. This guy is so douchebag that is almost unbelievable that someone could understand the concept and pull it off so well- although the wangbone thing was funny). How can someone do what he did and get away with it. The dude should be publicly stoned. Then to come on TV, rip apart the dudes mother only to have MTV put him in a cage. He belongs in jail not a cage. Bo has a metal plate in his jaw and MTV wants him to talk about how much he loves Tila. Imagine what it is like to see yourself get pummeled over and over again on TV, and have a person make a joke about it after they are brought back onto a national forum. What world are we living in?? No one felt the need to bring up the criminality of what happened? I understand these people are complete idiots for going on these shows and sign releases, but MTV is going to have to eventually be held responsible for some of the garbage that they not only cause, but intentionally create. If I were Bo I would have used the opportunity of the reunion show to personally serve a complaint on Chad and the producers of the show. And whats with that obnoxious softball lesbian dyke. Someone put a fist dildo in her mouth!! I am getting sick of MTV reality shows. I don't know maybe my taste in reality TV is becoming more sophisticated. Give me I survived a Japanese Game Show and I'll be happy. Maybe I am becoming more comfortable with my perversions with age. Hey Bo call me. Lets sue some people. I'll take on Viacom. I don't care.
You know all you pervs out there have thought about midget sex. Everything midget is awesome including a sex tape. Well Verne Troyer is the latest "celebrity" to through his tiny hat into the celebrity sex tape archives. And I thought the Dustin Diamond sex tape was the worst Hollywack could scrape out of a Wilshire Boulevard gutter. I thought wrong. Fresh off of his Oscar worthy performance in the Love Guru, mini me has expanded on his drunken sex noise embarrassment of Surreal Life (see below) with a short sex tape released on TMZ. We can only hope that this is all we will see of this calamity. Or do we? Click here for the clip. Does it make you horny? ( I know terrible). You know you like it. Its like itching your butt hole- Its so dirty but it feels so good. Was that too much?
Mini Me Drunk On Surreal Life - The funniest movie is here. Find it
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Coldplay's new album will be the number 1 record in the United States when the Billboard charts are released tomorrow knocking Lil Wayne from the top spot. The new album also topped the charts in Britain, Japan, Australia, Canada, France and Germany, Capitol said. The single, "Viva La Vida," is also No. 1 in both the United States and Britain. "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends," Coldplay's fourth release, sold more than 720,000 copies in the six days ending Sunday, Capitol Records said. This makes Coldplay the first British rock band other than the Beatles (#1), Led Zepplin (How the West was Won), and Radiohead (Kid A) to top the U.S. charts in the last decade. This is really good news for the band because there has been a slump in the record industry for musicians especially in their follow up albums. Further, the album's strong performance delivers a psychological boost to Capitol's struggling British parent company EMI Group, which was bought last year by private-equity firm Terra Firma for about $6.4 billion. Many thought that Coldplay should have jumped ship because the fiscal difficulties of EMI would lead to poor sales. Although I want to dislike Coldplay so much, especially the insufferable (The band was coined the most Insufferable band of the decade by the New York Times, which says something about the reaction they produce whether good or bad) Chris Martin and his whining, I actually like the album and the band. The whole hating Coldplay band wagon thing is a waste of time. There are far more loathsome bands around today which to direct negative energy towards (for me its like hating Rachael Ray. There is just not a benefit that outweighs the burden). They are a bit "boring" and undyingly wish to be our generations U2, but none the less they have been a major part of happy times in my life.
Many have been critical of Viva La Vida, but I am attracted to the bands self indulgence experimentation, and their movement in a direction that is uncomfortable to the mainstream. The songs are melodic, slow, and different for Coldplay. Aside from Viva la Vida the album lacks huge wall of sound songs that have been the hallmark of Coldplay's success in the United States. I don't want to listen to "Viva La Vida" over and over again, but I find myself doing it with the windows down and the sunroof open. (I know -what a dork). It must be a result of Arcade Fire producer Markus Dravs helping out with the song. Besides Viva, other songs on the album that are very much worth the purchase price are "Lost" and "Strawberry Swing". One criticism that I do have is that the albums feels incomplete, including many of the songs. It was smart to hire Brian Eno, who's mark on the album is unmistakable, but a cohesive tying up of loose ends, in my opinion, is missing. Once major criticism of Coldplay is the sappy lyrics of Martin. His "I am really this nice of a guy," gimmick is actually believable to me, but I can see how it is unbearable to others. Here, many of the lyrics lack that cringe worthy sensitivity that XY and A Rush of Blood to the Head drowned in. The band maintains their individual sound while covering new terrain on this album, which us all I can ask for. It is an accessible pop album, but at the same time mindful and progressive art. Anyone who rips it apart has not fully given it the time and listening it deserves.
Now, I know you will all like Viva la Vida (the song) - you can't help it. So I have included the lyrics so that you can sing along to it and not embarrass yourself in public ( like we did this weekend) trying to sing drunk and botch the lyrics. You can thank me with a comment:
Dear Arthur Smith and Kent Weed,
Although nothing you can create will compare to videos like the one above, you have nonetheless created my dream show. For those of us who have had our days made special the last couple of years by viewing Internet clips of Japanese pop culture, a game show involving sheltered Americans competing on an over the top Japanese Game Show is like Christmas morning when you are five years old. I would just like to offer a few suggestion to make this concept even more awesome. After consulting my reality TV associate (my brother), we have come up with some ways to make this show last more than one season and make it even better. Two words come to mind "Confusion" and "Humiliation". You need to make these words a greater part of the show. Don't get me wrong, I understand that you have very much created a show around these words, but push further. There should be no communicating in English between the game show host and the contestants. The Americans should have to figure out how to play the games themselves without an explanation before hand. This would create an even larger disaster. The winning team should continue to have a reward, but the the reward should give clues about the culture that are helpful to understanding the game show and the Japanese. Second there needs to be more humiliation. Dressing up in a Lady bug outfit is not cutting it (although, the live audience with their noise making instruments and uncontrollable laughter at the mishaps and injuries of the contestants was one of the highlights of the first episode). Oh how the Japanese have mastered surreal television programs. Now, criticizing this show is like telling the pope he is not Catholic enough. You have developed a program that symbolically represents American's hegemonic cultural view. Most middle Americans do not understand what it is like to be the minority culture. By using Americans from small towns who have not been out of the country, you allow for a greater on camera inevitable realization or moment of clarity about how ignorant they are. I think that you could do similar shows in other countries around the world where inexperienced Yanks, who are hopelessly comfortable with their way of life, are thrust into a new culture with no help, only to swim or sink with the possibility of winning money shamelessly fueling their uneasy experience. So congratulations on a great TV program, but just keep in mind the less the contestants know and the more they are made to look like fools can only improve your in genius concept.
Very Respectfully Submitted,
The Secret Art of Snark
Here is another clip just to make sure we all know what we are up against:
And I thought he just had male pattern baldness!! On the Dan Patrick Show last Thursday, former Pittsburgh Steeler Terri Bradshaw admitted to using steroids when he played football. Bradshaw said, "We did steroids to get away the aches and the speed of healing. My use of steroids from a doctor was to speed up (healing after) injury, and I thought nothing of it. ... It was to speed up the healing process, that was it. It wasn't to get bigger and stronger and faster." Bullshit! And Amy Winehouse smokes crack to help concentrate, it has nothing to do with getting high. The problem is that steroids and performance enhancing drugs are so widely used in professional sports that it is more shocking when you hear someone has not used them than when you hear someone has. If you think that steroids are not used by professional and college/amateur athletes then you probably think that your teenage son has never smoked pot. Both drugs have similar status in society. Steroids and pot are both widely used, but illegal, and both are made out to be more dangerous than they really are. (Although Steroids are probably more dangerous than pot when used without medical supervision). Regulating illegal performance enhancing drugs is a game of cat and mouse between laws, doctors, and athletes. The athletes find new drugs to use and new ways of using them so that they are not intentional breaking the law. People just need to realize that this goes on, has gone on, and will continue to go on. Get over it. Well, It looks like most people have because this story fell well below the radar. He said this last week, and only today did Pittsburgh news stations mention it. I can't tell if no one cares about steroid use or if no one cares about Terri Bradhsaw. Probably the latter. Plus the Werewolf that stalled half way through transformation known as Don Imus has been saying racist things again. (Don't ask me how that would effect this story. For some reason I feel they are on the same news level caring). Knowing Congress, they will waste tax payers money conducting an investigation into Football.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Pittsburgh is in a state on chaos right now. The city is generally a safe city with violence and shootings isolated to a a certain group of people in certain areas of the city. Well, those areas are growing and spreading out. The last week has seen a rash of shootings that have lead 3 people dead and six people wounded. The sad part is that murders in Pittsburgh are in the majority black on black and ravage poor african american areas. The city is calling on the NAACP to get in volved. Shootings are usually overwhelmingly centered in Homewood, but the last week has seen violence in Oakland (The O of course which has never been a stranger to shootings), Mount Washington, Allentown, and of course Beltzhoover. The shootings have caused Pittsburgh Police to step up patrols in the city. On Friday afternoon, Chief Harper of the Pittsburgh Policer said there would be at least 18 additional officers on the streets in those neighborhoods on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Its HOT right now in the city. John law is on the move!! This has prompted a great quote from Chief Harper. When asked about the string of violence Harper responded "The OK Corral is not in the city of Pittsburgh." The violence has been very young in age. Police will be stopping young people under 18 who are out past the city's curfew, Chief Harper said. In July and August, the city's curfew requires that youths younger than 17 be off public streets by 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and by midnight on weekends (the curfew starts an hour earlier in other months). Harper faulted some community groups for not expressing more outrage after the death of 15-year-old Raymond Reese last weekend in a shooting on Pasadena Street on Mount Washington. He called on groups like the NAACP, the Urban League and BPEP to use their influence in the communities to try to end the violence. The number of homicides in the city so far this year is 34, up from 30 or 31 at this time last year, police said. Go Pittsburgh!!! The last thing we need is any young people killed in this city. There are already to many old people here. After the police shooting of a young man in Carick after he shot and killed a police dog, I think we about ready for another Johnny Gamage. This could be the match that will light the fire. It would be nice to hear a good news story coming out of this city once in a while. After the Penguins lost it has all been down hill for the Burgh.
I watch the O'rielly Factor every night. Don't ask me why because I don't even know. I am not a Bill fan, but I due think that most of his biggest detractors have never watched a whole episode, and don't really understand him. He is not what most liberal cry baby's accuse of him of being. Don't get me wrong he is an angry repressed person that desperately wishes the 1950's would make a triumphant return to mainstream America, but his show is somewhat entertaining if you understand that it is nothing more that a tabloid TV show made up in political news costume. Keep in mind this guy did use to work for Inside Addition. He can talk about politics all he wants, but lets all be adults, the show is a glossy news magazine that is far from legitimate journalism. There is no reason to get your panties in a bunch over him. One thing about the show, is that it agonizingly sticks to its rubric everyday and every episode. Minute to minute, Bill does the same segments just with different guests. It is basically the same show over and over again with different people saying similar things. 23/6 (Wud up Alex!) has done an incredible 1 minute version of the O'rielly Factor. Anyone who watches the show can appreciate how dead on this 1 minute is. If you can get through this minute you will see anything and everything the Factor is capable of producing. Enjoy you Pinheads!!
So MTV has this brilliant idea that the network should play music videos. I know ingenious. Whatever corporate officer who came up with that idea deserves their 20 million dollar bonus. After years of reality TV (Don't get me wrong I enjoy the trash TV that MTV shows. Especially the New Real World that has finally gone postmodern on our ass; did anyone notice the former Real World members hanging out with the current members? Yeah I know.), and most recently waiters and waitresses rolling around in food to win the fake love of person famous for having friends she has never met, MTV has finally added programing that coincides with the networks name. We all know that Americas taste in music needs to be refined a bit. We are hardly sophisticated in the art department. FNMTV is a new prime time Friday night show that is hosted by Pete Wentz ( I know...baby steps) and consists of new videos from new bands and popular artists, and audience/ judges feedback on the videos and music (BTW they need to stop having comments during the videos some of us actually want to hear the music- This is not TRL). The show is actually really good and finally puts the network in a direction that it should have been moving years ago. People actually get the chance to see and here new music. I can only hope that there is more programming like this to come in the future. Who knows they may even begin to focus on real bands and artists making real music that pushes the boundaries of art and music. MTV has the ability to expose millions of people to ground breaking music and forward thinking artists. Europe has seen really good artists break into the mainstream and become accepted even with music that is far from mainstream (The Streets, The Klaxons, etc.) Maybe the United States can catch up. This is a step in the right direction. Lets all watch the show to make sure MTV knows that people want to experience and learn about music. Let them see that there is nothing wrong with having music as part of Music Televisions programming platform. Perez Hilton is on TRL all the time, and hey, maybe they can even get Pitchfork and Stereogum involved to really make FNMTV a worth while endeavour.
Old Russian Ladys fighting via Best Week Ever. The lady in red needs to regroup in her corner. The blue lady has completely neutralized her purse by blocking it with her left arm. She needs a new strategy because round 1 was dedfinitely 10-8 in favor of the Blue. I also love the grunt that that the lady in blue makes everytime red lands a blow.
After the Austrian dude who kept his daughter and grand kids locked in his sex basement for 30 years I thought I had heard it all, but now the Czech Republic is entering the game with its own horror movie come to life. Of course the Sun has the story . (And Perez) A boy and other children were apparently kept in a cage in a basement while his parents ate his flesh as members of a Cannibalistic cult. This sounds somewhat fishy to me, but I am going with it. You can read all about it at the above links. The picture above is a women that the cops freed from the house posing as a thirteen year old holding a teddy bear, but she was actually one of the cult members, who the mother of the eaten child claims brain washed her into eating her own child's flesh. Yeah you read that right. Crazy shit is happening in Europe. The U.S better get its act together. Fareed Zakariah is right the United States is no longer number 1 in the world.
So Amy Winehouse is basically dying right before the worlds eyes after winning the highest honor for a recording artist (Grammy). If you haven't seen her lately you probably don't want to. She likes like a cross between a stray cat and the homeless tranny that asks you for change every morning when you leave Dunken Donuts (wait I think that is actually her). Well our little bastion of health collapsed the other day and the Sun is reporting that she may have TB because she is coughing up blood. The latest news is that she does not have TB, but she does have some sort of chest infection that is also causing an irregular heart beat and dramatic weight loss. I love how the doctors are saying they need to run more tests to find out exactly what is wrong... um, she is a crack head junkie that is what is wrong. If you snort heroin and smoke crack all day long and you don't get a chest infection then you are doing something wrong. The doctors are stumped on this mystery ailment. Come on, just take a look at her there is no ailment or sickness it is just a junkie being a junkie. She is perfectly healthy for a junkie. Her life is moving along as expected. Crack Cough is a mark of peak performance in a crack heads life. In all seriousness I give this girl a year to live. Its sad, but Howard Stern should put her on his death poll if he wants to make some quick money.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Coldplay has managed to be accused of the worst offense commitable by an artists... intellectual property infringement. You know unlawful appropriation. Duh duh duh. Or something like that. The Brooklyn based band Creaky Boards has said that Viva La Viva sounds a lot like their song Songs I didn't Write. Is there a likelihood of confusion?Are they substantially similar? Well we will let the lawyers decide.( In my legal opinion no. Plus I believe that they are not similar enough to give a rise to inference of copying. You would need direct or circumstantial evidence showing Martin heard or had access to the work). Creaky Boards claims that they saw Chris Martin in the audience at festival they played at in 2007. Chris Martin and company deny saying they were in London recording Viva La Vida and that the promotional cut was long recorded by then. I appreciate Coldplay. They are not my favorite band, but I think they write some goods songs are worth having a following (Kara). I don't think that there is any "stealing" of music going on here. Chris Martin is a pretty good writer and I don't think he needs Creaky Boards to write a song that is unmistakeably Coldplayesque. The melodies are the similar, but that is very much capable of coincidence. If anything this was Creaky Boards 15 minutes of fame. There chance to get some national attention. (BTW Creaky Boards is a decent band but a dime a dozen in the "indie pop" movement). I don't blame them there are tons of bands doing the same thing and even better ( I'm From Barcelona, PBJ, Animal Collective, Magnetic Fields, etc.) We will all forget about this when Coldplay's album ends up selling millions world wide. Further the fact that Creaky Boards is not threatening legal action is telling.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Just so everyone knows, I rarely use AP articles. Apparently the Alternative Press, just kidding, the Associated Press will set guidelines on how much of its articles and to what extent the articles can be quoted (i.e. copy and pasted) by bloggers and online journalists. The Associated Press will set guidelines so that it can protect its copyright over the articles. The A.P., a cooperative owned by 1,500 daily newspapers, including The New York Times, provides written articles and broadcast material to thousands of news organizations and Web sites that pay to use them. The inevitable lawsuit will argue the fair use doctrine, and we should get some precedent setting court case. You can read all about this here if you are interested.
All 19 Democratic state House members from Allegheny County have rallied behind Don Barden is his bid to complete the $780 million in financing for his North Shore casino. Barden got a bridge loan, but has still been unable to secure financing for the rest of the project. He has been summoned to the State Gaming Board to answer financing questions. In a letter this week, the legislative delegation urged the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to stick with Mr. Barden despite the difficulty he has had completing the financing for the project."The city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are anticipating significant additional revenue from the casino's operations, and Pennsylvania taxpayers are anticipating additional property tax relief. The most expeditious way to achieve these goals is to allow PITG to continue to proceed with its financing and construction of the casino," the letter stated. Despite the problems, the delegation pointed out, the casino is scheduled to open next May. State Rep. Dan Frankel, chair of the delegation, said Mr. Barden isn't the only one having trouble getting financing these days because of turmoil in the financial markets. 70 percent of the Steel structuring of the Casino is complete, and I have said the worst case scenario would be an unfinished Casino gracing our North Shore. Barden has said that he is unsure if he will have financing by the next board meeting in July making board final approval of the loan an unrealistic goal. Lets hope this is business as usual not a disaster in the making.
For Some reason I have been in a rut with the Burgh lately. Maybe it was the Penguins losing the Stanley Cup, the Kenney Chesney concert, or the fact that I was out of town for a bit. I'm not sure, but whatever it is I can't stop thinking of reasons why Pittsburgh can't compete with other cities. This story in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette caught my attention, and is a blatant example of the city's struggles. AARP was scouring the Pittsburgh Arts Festival for 50 and over models. Yeah thats right 50+ models. The arts festival is a place were the young scenesters of Pittsburgh should come out to play. It should be a place for young singles and young professionals to mingle, but if you have ever been to the arts festival in Pittsburgh, it kind of is the opposite. The art mostly sucks and it is a lot of fannypacks. They usually have a couple of outdoor concerts worth seeing, but that is about it. AARP has set up a tent the last four years at the Pittsburgh Arts Festival "because the city is known for its senior citizens." Awesome, just the reputation that Pittsburgh needs.
I am only covering the U.S. Open because the last round was awesome and Rocco Mediate is from Greensburg Pennsylvania (out town of Pittsburgh). Arnold Palmer, one of three players from Western Pennsylvania to win a U.S. Open, had some advice for Greensburg native Rocco Mediate in his 18-hole playoff today with Tiger Woods, the world's No. 1 player. DON'T GIVE UP! Thanks Arnold, I am sure that Rocco was thinking about giving up in a sudden death golf off for the U.S. Open Championship. Mediate, 45, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour, has never won a major championship. What's more, he would be the oldest champion in U.S. Open history if he manages to beat Woods in their 18-hole showdown at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif. The final sudden death round is scheduled to start in about an hour. I will post the winner and then never speak "Golf Talk" again!
via Videogum. I am a huge fan of Human Giant mostly because of Aziz Ansari, so when I read this story my impending dread of the calamity that will be known as the Office spinoff was temporarily relieved. Apparently Ansari will be part of the project, which, according to Variety may or may not include a character from the Office. Variety reports:
Despite early speculation that at least one "Office" character will segue to the new show, that's unlikely at this point.Instead, the show could potentially be a "planted spinoff," in which characters are first introduced on "The Office" before moving on to the new series (think "Mork & Mindy," which morphed from one episode of "Happy Days"). It's just as possible that the show won't be a spinoff at all (which could impact who's involved with the show), but a wholly separate series in the same comedic vein as "The Office."
Aziz Ansari took to his blog to express his joy of being included in the project, and in true Ansari form he showed why he is one of my favorite comedic personalities on TV. In response to being hired Aziz said "I haven't been this excited since Lisa lost Top Chef!"
And just to finish completely ripping off the Videogum post here is Ansari clip:
I have always been a fan of the Sedaris family. David's books were scattered throughout my house growing up so at some point I read all of them, and my brother and I have always been huge fans of Strangers With Candy. So when I heard that there is an Amy Sedaris movie coming out June 25th I was surprised I had not heard about. The movie is called Full Grown Men, and here is the website. I am sure that my excitement will soon turn into frustration when I find out the movie will never see the light of day in Pittsburgh, and that by the time it comes out on DVD I will have forgotten about it, or it will be so far down on my list of movies to see that I will catch it on IFC or Sundance before my Netflix que gets to it. Oh the tragedy of living in a post 1970's working class -aging population- steel town. Below is a you tube clip of Amy ad-libbing as a bar tender.
I have to admit that I was secretly excited for Living Lohan to debut on E! I figured that it would be this Long Island accent mess-terpiece that gave us an acute understanding of how a young successful star could go to rehab three times in one year when her mother is her manager. But to tell you the truth, the show is actually a major disappointment. It is no better than your run of the mill family TLC reality shows. The family is pretty typical, and other than Nana and Dina, no one is really that interesting. Ali- I'm sorry Alilana- is your typical awkward teen, and the rest of the kids are exactly that, typical (It cracks me up how much Michael looks like the dad- He is a pretty good guy too- No Ryan Sheckler, but stand up). Dina does save the show a bit. It is painfully obvious that Dina so wanted to be famous herself years ago, and is sharing her "knowledge" of the industry to vicariously live that dream as a Fifty year old through her young clients. She claims the show is for Ali to help her career, but lets all be adults the show is just as much, if not more, about Dina than it is about Ali. Further, there is no chance of Ali reaching Lindsey levels of fame. She really can't sing and looks like a washed up Days of Our Lives actress. BTW Dina and Lindsey must share the same hair stylist because they both are big fans of the synthetic plastic Barbie Hair. Overall Dina Lohan is actually a pretty good single mom. There I said it. Aside from being overly trusting and bringing people she doesn't know that well close to the family (Jeremy- who is so obviously using Ali and the show as a vehicle for his own career its sick), Dina is surprisingly around the house a lot, and she thoughtful about the best choices for her family (which leads me to believe that Michael the dad is bat shit crazy). Her biggest fault is thinking that she knows how to play the press game. Let me give you a piece of advice Dina. You don't always have to say something. You complain about the paparazzi-tabloid-gossip world, but you play the game and are right in there with the best of them. A no comment or short denial goes a lot farther sometimes than getting on the phone and threatening legal action. Don't play the game then cry foul. You can't beat the press so stop thinking you can. Its a parasitic relationship that you are just as much at fault for creating. I highly doubt this show will be renewed for a second season. It can't hold a candle to even the crappiest VH1 celeb-reality shows (Celebracadabra anyone?), It has nothing on the Kardashian show or the Girls Next Door, and it certainly is not an Osbournes, which for Dina should be a success. If the point is to show how boring and typical the family is then they have accomplished the goal. If it is to bring more fame and notoriety, then they better step up their game and get Lindsey and her bull dyke girlfriend on the show stat!!!
I am going to try to post more often since I have moved to studying full time for the Bar Exam. So things should be more active than the last two weeks around here. The New York Times and Pitchfork are reporting that this weeks Bonaroo Festival was the last performance ever for M.I.A. She announced that it would be her last show three times during the performance, and !!! (who performed before her) also said that it was her last show. Perez Hilton has jumped in and is also reporting the possible retirement. I think there is nothing to this story. If you read the Pitchfork story she basically says that she is sick of touring, is exhausted, and needs to reconnect to her creative gas pump i.e. clubs and the streets. She also admitted to writing new songs and material. I am sure this is her last performance FOR NOW, but when she has a new album she will tour again. Always chasing the story right? Its pretty obvious that she is not retiring rather only canceling the rest of her tour. If this was her last live performance that would really sucks! I will never forgive myself for living in Pittsburgh, a city that couldn't get a decent live show if the Roseland Ballroom was transported here. Here is some video of M.I.A's "last show" performing "Jimmy" with a bunch of dirty ungrateful trust funds hippies:
Monday, June 2, 2008
We witnessed one of the greatest displays of epic sports battles and competitive will tonight. It was the third longest game in Penguins history and arguably one of the greatest Stanley Cup Finals game ever. The Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings in game four 4-3. Ryan Malone played nearly an hour just himself leading his home town team to a heroic Hollywoodesque victory. Just as the Detroit fans began to count down the third period and the NHL big wigs began polishing the Stanley Cup the Pens sent a message loud and clear that they were not going anywhere and that this series is far from over. After discreetly being out shot, out hit, and out numbered (Pens lost Gonchar) the Pens managed to muster that inner Ironman like a Gladiator in a Roman Colosseum or Jens Pulver hanging in there during the fifth round of his fight against Uriah Faber to somehow gain the upper hand in a third overtime to take the win and keep their head above water. The Pens took an early lead in the first period with a Hossa goal followed by Hull (which was really credited to the Red Wings who actually knocked the puck in). The Red Wings tied and took the lead in the third period. The Pens pulled Fleury (who BTW stopped 58 shots 24 of which were in the overtime- Holy Cannoli!!) with 40 seconds left in the game. The Red Wing fans began cheering and counting down. What they didn't know was that they were counting down to one of the best last minute season saving goals and sudden death overtime wins for the Pens not the Red Wings. Maxine Talbot squeezed the puck past Osgood with half a minute left, silencing all of Detroit and bringing to life most of Pittsburgh. This was without a doubt one of the most euphoric feelings that I have experienced in my life. The game was all tied up beginning the a 300 style sudden death overtime that showed the grit, guts, and gull of athletes at their best. Tired, bloody, beat up, and bruised both teams fought and continued to fight through two overtime periods leading to the third and final overtime. The first overtime was dominated by the Red Wings, but by the second overtime the youth of the Pittsburgh team showed through completely reversing the situation with Pittsburgh dominating making the Red Wings look like they were down by two games in the series. Like the Battle of Kruger, the Penguins continued to fight literally dragging each other back and forth down the ice. After approaching the Versus commentators and proclaiming that he was going to score and win the game, Peter Sykora did exactly that scoring his third career game winning sudden death goal and the 32nd shot on Osgood of the night. This game had everything that a Hockey fans and Sports fans love. This is why people play sports. This is akin to the million dollar jackpot that convinces people to keep gambling. This will be a game that every Pittsburgh sports fan will talk about for years to come. Win or lose the cup, the Penguins have shown their true colors and athletic will as a team. Even if they lose the next game, they still won this one showing Detroit and the world what kind of warriors they are. The Pens come home Wednesday to play game 6. Hopefully the Red Wings are tired and somewhat frustrated. The Pens may be able capitalize on this win and take this momentum all the way through game seven. This may be the turning point that will allow David to slay the Goliath. Incredible!!
I have repeatedly said that when celebrities get caught doing stupid embarrassing things, most specifically that unpleasantness of being arrested, they need to say they were merely going "method" for a role. I suggested this when Gary Dourdan was arrested at Coachella, and have heard some off the radar attempts of justifying illegal activity (Hugh Laurie- Vicodin, Eva Mendes-Cocaine, Nick Nolte - general insanity) but no one has attempted such an obviously false version of the "Excuse"on a scale that Tatum O'Neil has. Don't confuse my promoting of this "method excuse" as an agreement with it. No, No, I have an affinity for this because of how ridiculous it is. The former child actress/crazy wife of John McEnroe was arrested last night in New York for possession of crack cocaine. She was picked up blocks from her Lower East Side Apartment for purchasing crack. When the police approached her she said "Do you know who I am? I am researching this for a role I am in where I play a Junkie." Well the first problem here is that Tatum O'Neil expected the police to believe that she is in a movie. hahah. She also had a crack pipe on her... Well she could be a really dedicated actress... right? Wrong. See the thing I find soo funny about actors and celebrities is that they think what they do is so important. They actually believe that if they are researching a role, they are allowed to break the law. If you have the specific intent to buy drugs, and you do it, you are guilty, it doesn't matter if you really didn't want them. A judge would laugh in your face if you tried to argue that in a court of law. But, celebrities feel they are different and above the law and that reality doesn't apply to them. You see they think they are entitled. They can break the law for their craft. Their acting world where there is a script, director, and producers takes over and they are unable to return to normalcy. I guess we can all assume that Tatum O'Neal is not clean like she wanted us to believe in her book "Paper Life." This is actually a good thing, because if you know anything about her life, she is way more entertaining using and boozing than living the straight and narrow. It is just time before she makes an appearance on "Celebrity Rehab." It is the job that her life has been building toward. It is her life's work.
If you want something else to do, head over to Gawker for the greatest celebrity drug arrests. They have that awesome picture of Whitney Houston with her Mink Coat on cracked out it a convienence store at Fo in the Moaning. Sigh.... I miss old Whitney.
If anyone is still convincing themselves that the MTV Movie Awards are a real award show please stop. MTV doesn't even try to cover up the fact that the show is really an auction to the highest corporate bidder for summer movie/ music/ entertainment promotion. Hell, even the host Mike Meyers and Chris Brown bantered back and forth last night about it. How post modern of MTV. I really didn't watch the show too closely but there were some notable things that I that caught my attention. First, is Megan Fox really that banging? Is it just me, or are people under estimating her hotness and not giving her the attention she deserves? Second, does Coldplay really need confetti? There music is expansive and uplifting, but the excessive use of confetti began to irritate me. Third, the awkward pot smoking Pineapple Express promotion has proved to be somewhat of a mistake for MTV. Lastly, Fifth, the Adam Sandler tribute was the best part of the show. I just like how every presenter at the show had a movie coming out this summer. And I thought they were there for the Pussy Cat Dolls performance. Other than that, another MTV Movie Awards has come and gone disappointing many and that's about all I have to say on that. Oh yeah, and I guess there is this movie called the Love Guru coming out staring Mike Meyers. I haven't heard much about it, but keep an eye out for it.