Thursday, September 28, 2006


Dance like you've got a case of the Friday's-almost-heres. But if you're in the office, then don't do that. Dancing in the office is probably discouraged by human resources. But then again, human resources is kinda against everything. I once had an umbrella open over my desk because the lights above me were way too bright. They made me take it down.

Or maybe they were just superstitious? Unclear.

The Rapture - "Get Myself Into It"

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

In defense of Sam's Town

Oh boy. This is awkward.
How did I get here exactly?

Ahem. Okay. Well, let me explain first. I was never a Killers fan. In fact, I probably once or twice mentioned their name and sneered at the same time. Just a couple of months ago, I even wrote my parave Killers opinion on the Jane Magazine website (yes, totally meta, but why not work the cross-branding angle?):

"I have no opinion on the Killers.

Sure, they're one of the most popular bands in America and sure, the indie-inclined hates them while the rest of America loves them. But I don't really feel either way. It's not that I don't want to commit to a pro-or anti-Killers platform; it's just that their record Hot Fuss doesn't really do anything for me.

The new song "When You Were Young" isn't going to rattle my foundations either. The first single from the upcoming record sounds like Ryan Adams singing a U2 cover with Duran Duran as the backing band, or to put it more succinctly, an Our Lady Peace song. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I just can't DJ it."

Oddly enough, it turns out that I may be a fan of Ryan Adams singing a U2 cover with Duran Duran as a backing band. And the more I think about that descriptor, the more I kinda wish it would actually happen.

Well, it kinda has. The Killers' newest record Sam's Town isn't as bad as everyone says it is. It may even be, well, pretty good.

Now, I know what you're thinking: Rolling Stone, the bi-weekly that gives three stars to Dannity Kane, bestows the sophomore release with two-stars and Spin magazine, a heavy champion of the quartet, gives it only three. Obviously, I'm just being contrarian.

You're wrong. I'm not. I have nothing to gain by championing a band on the verge of serious backlash. It would even be in my best interest to get on the bandwagon, right?

In the aforementioned Rolling Stone review, RS staffer Rob Sheffield writes, "The difference with the Killers is that we all thought they were too smart to take themselves too seriously. On their second album, the Las Vegas party boys ditch their cheerfully fake Bowie moves and try to get heavy by copying Bruce Springsteen." That's pretty presumptuous of Sheffield to assume that the Killers wouldn't take themselves too seriously. After all, his magazine is just one of the many that hyped them up as the next great thing...or was that Coldplay? I get confused.
Are we really that surprised that the Killers' newest record is an attempt to embrace credibility? These guys are in their mid-twenties, at the crossroads of building a career, thinking, we need to be more than just responsible for influencing Panic! At The Disco, and after being touted as saviors, well, they want to be saviors. It's simple connect-the-dots to me. Besides, all four are devote Mormons. They're not reckless, drug-addicted, Godless heathens. They take everything seriously.

But Sheffield continues complaining about the song titles: "Yet even a more deft singer couldn't save bloated epics with I-swear-I'm-not-making-this-up titles like "Bling (Confessions of a King)" and "This River Is Wild."" Granted, singer Brandon Flower's voice isn't the strongest, but on Sam's Town, he does his best Bono imitation (albeit, the latter day, vocal-chords-damaged-by-alcohol Bono). Do you blame him? Bono is the blueprint, man. And granted, I've never labeled the Killers as profound. Will I spend hours interpreting lyrics like "when everybody else refrained/my Uncle Johnny did cocaine ("Uncle Johnny")"? Probably not. But did "Well somebody told me you had a boyfriend who looked like a girlfriend that I had in February of last year" really move you with its lyrical beauty? What did you expect from a band that put pen to paper and came up with "Jealousy, turning saints into the sea/Swimming through sick lullabies/Choking on your alibis?" Wordsworth?

Dennis Lim of Spin says, "The Killers only know one kind of song. Everything is constructed to epic dimensions...Sam's Town is basically Hot Fuss with bigger, spanglier guitars and an all-around lack of restraint." After hearing the album a few times, I definitely hear Lim's issuse/lack of restraint but attributing this album solely to Springsteen is a mistake. Yes, the bulbous album is far from being perfect but it's semi-bold. I hear James, OMD, Big Country, ELO, U2, the Cars, and yes, the Boss. These reference points are actually exciting to me.

There's also something you should probably know as a consumer and/or reader. When it comes to big, hyped releases, reviewers aren't always given pre-release copies (welcome to the age of album leaking). Sometimes they're invited into a conference room for an exclusive listening party. This is when you sit at a table, surrounded by fellow writers and stare awkwardly at a notepad pretending to take notes while the record blares from the corner speakers. It's very hard (and I speak from experience) to give a record a fair shot after one or two listens. Sam's Town sounds like a grower to me. There may not be a market for a hyped band releasing growers but this doesn't mean we should immediately dismiss this ambitious effort as a sophomore slump and a failure.

Throughout Sam's Town, I could almost hear Brandon Flowers predicting the reaction to the songs. The album opens with, "We hope you enjoy your stay/it's good to have you with us even it's just for the day." The band appreciates your patronage even if it's not long-term. On "Bling", he pleads "don't tell me it's over/it's not so bad/it's not so bad." Flowers could almost dedicate this song to Sheffield.

It is hard listening to a record while maintaining pure objectivity. It's even harder to detach a band from it's history but critics are making the mistake of listening to Sam's Town as a sequel to Hot Fuss. With that kind of baggage, yeah, the album sucks. It sucks hard. But my skepticism and apathy worked in this band's favor: I didn't expect much from Sam's Town which helped me get more than just "whatever."

I've yet to declare the Killers one of my favorite bands--I can, though, almost committ to a pro-Killers platform. And sadly, this record won't rattle my foundations either. It's good, not awful nor revelatory. Nevertheless, I can appreciate Sam's Town and the Pet Shop Boyishness of "Bling", the driving rhythm of the Cars on "Reasons Unknown", the Born To Run-on of "Bones."

On the bonus track "All the Pretty Faces", the Killers riff like Franz Ferdinand while Flowers yelps two distinct lines, "How did it happen?" and "I don't feel like loving you no more!"

How did it happen? Well, critics are a peculiar bunch, Brandon. Maybe they'll feel like loving you again when the triumphant and inevitable return-to-form third album comes out. And at that point, I'll just go back to my apathy.

Bonus Track: The Killers - "All the Pretty Faces"

[A special BBS shout-out to Courtney for a) listening to me ramble about Sam's Town and b) suggesting I write about this record.]

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


If America produced pop stars like Lily Allen and also fried just about everything we ate, we would be a slightly better country. Not quite a great country (that'll happen in 2008), but just a wee bit better.

The New Yorker's Sasha Frere Jones wrote about Allen a few weeks back, which means that a lot middleaged Upper East Siders are totes hot on Lily's trail. You should catch up.

Lily Allen - "LDN"

And the video for "LDN":

Monday, September 25, 2006


Yo La Tengo
I’m Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass

Somewhere along the way, in the past year or two, indie rock stalwarts Yo La Tengo must have become conscious of their diminishing fan base. Since their exceptional record I Can Hear The Heart Beat As One, the band had switched into experimental mode recording self-indulgent, somewhat-uninteresting sound collages informed by ambience and jazz. Yo La Tengo was an established brand name for years but the trio was doing very little in defending it. Now, with I’m Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass, Ira Kaplan, James McNew, and Georgia Hubley produce their most arresting record in nine years. Despite the aggressive title and the noise-rock opener “Pass The Hatchet”, their twelfth album of original material is dripping with sweetness. Had Stuart Murdoch guested on vocals for “The Weakest Part”, “Beanbag Chair”, or “Mr. Tough”, they could have all been Belle & Sebastian songs. Overall, the gentle pop of I’m Not Afraid Of You… definitely won’t beat your ass but it will make a convincing argument for your attention.

Badly Drawn Boy
Born In The U.K.

Badly Drawn Boy’s newest record starts with the spoken words, “you think it matters where you’re born?” Considering the record’s entitled Born In The U.K., the answer is presumably “yes.” Damien Gough, the Boy behind the Drawing Badly, is an unabashed and lifelong Springsteen obsessive and recorded his fifth release as a patriotic and self-critical (yes, you can be both) political statement in the contextual likeness of Born In The USA. But lest you think Gough is looking to usurp the Boss’s mantle, BITUK is a mature effort rather influenced by Burt Bacharach. The first single “Nothing’s Gonna Change Your Mind” is violin-strings aplenty and comes dangerously close to being over-the-top schlock, and like the rest of the record, feels incredibly sappy. Or maybe the album wasn’t intended to translate on this side of the Atlantic therein proving that, yes, it does matter where you’re born.

Nina Simone
Remixed and Reimagined

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s what they say. Well, Nina Simone was one of the most arresting vocalists of the 20th Century, so it’s probably best to leave her exemplary discography alone, right? Wrong. Remix and Reimagined is exactly what the title suggests: thirteen DJs lovingly deconstructing classic Simone songs and giving them a thrilling new life in the process. Projects such as these are usually met with cynicism and/or cries of heresy but the reinventions on this record serve as a homage and dedication to Simone’s unique vocal talents. Jazzeem makes “Funkier Than A Mosquito’s Tweeter 3”, well, even funkier and Grooverider injects vibrant 3-dimensional Technicolor into “Ain’t Got No/I Got Life.” The participators of this project truly appreciated the songbird’s gift and each track reflects that deep-rooted connection. It’s telling that this is not a “various artists” compilation but rather credited as a Nina Simone record because, after all, it ain’t broke.

Menomena's upcoming Friend And Foe (out in Jan. 2007) is one of the best records of 2007. And I say that with complete confidence. Even if U2 releases the ten best records of their career all within one year.

Menomena - "Evil Bee".

Ps Jane readers have a four-day headstart on you.

Friday, September 22, 2006


The Jewish New Year is an extremely introspective time of the year. There's no countdown. There's no champagne bottle. There's no midnight kiss.

There's prayer. And lots of it.

I don't spend many of my waking hours thinking about religion and my role as an observant Jew, but this time of the year never ceases to unnerve me. Especially with the concept of mortality and the passing of my father still weighing heavily on my mind. Rosh Hashanah was the holiday we spent the most time together, sitting next to each other, side-by-side for hours in synagogue. Now I sit alone. And as the years pass, I find myself increasingly conscious of my own place and relevence in the world. Maybe I even have the what-does-it-all-mean moment.

I had dinner with Erin last night. Erin just got back from Minnesota after attending the funeral of her thirty-one year-old ex-boyfriend. Her ex died from a heart-attack when his arteries with a ninety percent blockage couldn't hold anymore. You have no idea how much this shook me. While I only knew her ex peripherally (we met at a show once), it's still incredibly sobering to hear that someone my age died. Even the morning after, it's nearly unfathomable that someone that young (young!) could wake up unbeknownst to him that it's his last day on Earth. Like Alphaville said, forever young.

Now I don't mean to be such a downer here. I realize that no one likes rain and parades and the combination of the two, but as mentioned, introspection is inherently tied to this time of year. As you can tell from a majority of my writing, I hate introspection. I'm all about the ridonk. But, we've just finished a year in the Jewish Calendar and we embark on another. Now what? Looking back at our lives in a fast-rewind fashion like Tivo function, ultimately, what's been accomplished?

I find it so funny (not ha-ha) that in the January 1st-New Year, we do our best to distract ourselves with alcohol and parties. Maybe this is simply to avoid thinking about our time passed (another year?). Maybe we flood our consciousness with beer so as to avoid the cruel reality of our looming and expanding to do-list. Paradoxically, every Jewish New Year, I think about everything and everyone (yes, even you). Frankly, it's overwhelming. But as much as I think about my friends and how much good I want for them, I also think a great deal about myself and my future. And every year, I swear, year after year, that this one will be different. This one will be spectacular. This year will be huge.

Well, here's to huge.

Happy New Year to all. Yes, even to the gentiles.

Part II: Song Of The Day

Considering my serious lack of time today, I am posting Song Of The Day now.
Ben Gibbard says it best, "So this is the new year. And I don't feel any different."

Death Cab For Cutie - "The New Year"

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Yesterday, a friend commented by means of instant messenger that she felt my taste in music was getting "too pretentious."
I refuted her accusation immediately. "Some of my favorite records of the year are like the uncoolest records ever."
"Like what," she demanded?
"Like Muse!"
Her response: "LOL!"

If this is uncool, then don't call me Miles Davis. Seriously. Don't call me that. It's not my name.
Muse - "Knights of Cydonia"

The video for "...Cydonia" may be the best video you won't see all year. It's the perfect mix of Star wars, Kung Fu, and Queen, which means that women won't understand it.

*Editor's note: Song of the Day does not always have to be timely. Some Songs of the Day can be older and/or familair. No songs were harmed while posting Song of the Day. Song of the Day may cause loss of hair, or pain in the left knee. Consult your doctor before listening to Song of the Day.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Bring Back Sincerity: Welcome back to In The Sincerity Studio with your host, me Bring Back Sincerity. Today's guest is Edy's Slow Churned Ice Cream.

Edy's Slow Churned Ice Cream: Hi. Thanks for having me.

BBS: How did you get so awesome?

ESCIC: Ha ha. Please, stop. I'm blushing. Which leads to melting.

BBS: What flavor are you today?

ESCIC: I'm French Silk.

BBS: Sexy. Slipping into something more comfortable, aren't we? Ha ha. Now you're available in thirty-one flavors. If I were Baskin-Robbins, I would think, why did they stop at thirty-one? Why not thirty-two?

ESCIC: Well, I think Baskin-Robbins has gotten rid of their 31 Flavors identity. And besides, our flavors are seasonal. Girl Scouts Thin Mint Cookie, for example, is a limited edition flavor only available in the Spring.

BBS: I totally hate mint.

ESCIC: Oh, sorry.

BBS: Not so crazy about Girl Scouts, either.

ESCIC: Well, we offer other limited edition flavors like Eggnog and Orange Cream.

BBS: They're kinda whinny and persistent. Like if I don't buy their box of cookies, am I an a**hole? I always feel so manipulated by their pre-pubescent sympathy faces.

ESCIC: And my personal favorite is the Girl Scouts Samoa Cookie flavor.

BBS: What makes you less fat?

ESCIC: Edy's has a revolutionary process.

BBS: Yeah, I read that on your website. Want to share with me some more marketing-speak while you're at it?

ESCIC: A magician can't reveal all his secrets.

BBS: True. But I hate magicians too.

ESCIC: ...

BBS: The Washington Post said, "Edy's Slow Churned light ice cream took 10 years, millions of dollars in research and more than $100 million in manufacturing changes to produce." What's it like to be eaten?

ESCIC: Pretty final. But it's my job. Every day I see thousands of my friends and family lost to people that eat. It's a stressful role in life...never knowing when you're next...

BBS: Would it be awkward if I asked you right now for a sample like I do all the time in Tasti-D-Lite because sometimes all I need is just a taste?

ESCIC: ...

BBS: Could you be the best thing to happen in 2006?

ESCIC: I'd like to think so. This ice cream has changed a lot of people's lives.

BBS: What were you like as a child?

ESCIC: Milky.

BBS: What's your favorite word?

ESCIC: Magic shell.

BBS: How do you want to be greeted by the stomach?

ESCIC: Welcome. We've been waiting for you.

BBS: Ha. That was a trick question. You think the stomach talks?
There was a contest for a lifetime's supply of Slow Churned. Did I win?

ESCIC: Did you apply?

BBS: No.

ESCIC: Then, no, you did not win.

BBS: What if they invent a death-defying pill approved by the FDA in 2042 and then you have to supply ice cream forever to all those winners who will then live forever?

ESCIC: That didn't come up in the board meeting.

BBS: Thank you for joining us tonight, Edy's Slow Churned Ice Cream. Join us next time on In The Sincerity Studio when we interview the jerk that invented the Razr cellphone. Good night, America.

If you've never sat around a campfire, there's a good chance you won't appreciate My Morning Jacket. But after staying up really late last night to witness a live car crash in the form of UK band Klaxons I could use something sweet, chillaxed and dulcet.

The Louisville, KY band has just released the double-live album Okonokos so if you're digging what you hear below, there's plenty more where it came from.

My Morning Jacket - "Golden"

And a special live performance of the song with Bright Eyes:

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I'm strongly considering the occupation of cleaning apartments.

My only concern is that people won't think I'm qualified enough. Despite the fact that my mother thinks I am an excellent cleaner, I'm assuming the needy masses require more outside experience. Whatever, you needy mass you.

Nevertheless, I'm working on my Craigslist posting:

Hello. I am an English-speaking (fluent!) man from New Jersey but I currently live on Manhattan's Upper West Side. I would love to clean your apartment because I am not making enough money as a freelance writer. Now you're thinking, Woah. A freelance writer? Can a freelance writer really know how to clean? Heck, yeah! Not only can I clean but I can fold. I can fold like they fold in the Gap. No, better than the Gap. More like Banana Republic-folding.

When I come to your apartment, my intention is to make your place look clean and tidy. While this is never actually verbalized by the cleanee, cleaning is one thing but tidying, which involves neatness and order, is special. My intention is to not hide the things that you'll be looking for when you're in a rush and can't find it so you blame the cleaning person--not lady!--because after all, this isn't a scavenger hunt, is it? Huh? Is it?

It's quite simple, see. Sweaters go in the closet with the other sweaters. Socks go in the sock draw. Shirts get hung up with the other shirts. I see the pattern. I'm with you here. I'm on your side.

But besides a clean apartment and an actual conversation in English (fluent!), what else do I offer? Good question. Every time I come to your apartment, I will show off my mix-making skills and leave you a mix CD that's appropriate to your taste.
Did you just fall off your chair from amazement?
You did?
Are you okay?
Let's say I'm dusting off the CD pile and I notice that you really like folk music. Well, next time I come by, I'll bring a mix of folk music. Can this work? Why not? Is it too awesome for words? Possibly.
Hypothetically, if I do discover that you like polka a lot, I'm kinda screwed here.

Moreover, I am impeccably trustworthy. My mom is an elementary school principal and my dad was a rabbi. I was a boy scout until I was fifteen. I won't even take someone else's newspaper from the lobby even if it is at the end of the day and the outdated paper doesn't even matter anymore. I mean, this happened hours ago. Do you still care about something that happened hours ago?

I should warn you, though, that I don't do windows. I don't know why but this seems like something all cleaning people--not ladies!--say when they're laying the law down (in fluent English!). I will also not burden you for lunch or a beverage...what's that? A glass of water? Well, sure. But that's it. Nothing more.
It's sparkling?
Hmm. Okay.

I will do laundry.
I will not sweat and smell (for some odd genetic reason, I was born without these basic human functions).
I may judge your lifestyle with my eyes. But not intentionally.
I will not take advantage of your your absence by watching the new Megan Mullaly Show.
And finally, depending on whether you are home or not, I may pass the time by listening to some music with my 60 GB iPod which my girlfriend bought for me on Hanukah.
Oh, and I'm Jewish. I hope that's not a problem.

You smell that?
That's nostalgia I'm cooking up.

Just got the wonderful R.E.M. compilation And I Feel Fine: The Best of I.R.S. Years and just as the title predicts, I feel fine. Fondly recalling the good ole days when I didn't resent Michael Stipe for being such a wank.

I used to listen to "These Days" with the windows rolled down. Yup, even during the winter-time. It's that kinda song.

R.E.M. - "These Days"

Monday, September 18, 2006


Zach Braff wants to represent my generation. And if he would do so accurately, I may just let him. I would even chip in for a Zach Braff Represents My Generation commemorative jacket if only he would nail aimless-and-conflicted more effectively.

After having viewed an advanced screening of Garden State and feeling emotionally manipulated by the belabored profundity, I had very little desire to see The Last Kiss or hear its college dormitory-esque soundtrack. But then I heard the premise:

"Braff is Michael, a man-child teetering on the brink of his 30th birthday and staring down the barrel of adulthood...he is the poster child for a particular kind of extended adolescence.

Michael is thrown for a rather spectacular loop, along with his plans to remain unattached and ironic for the rest of his life."

I related to the character's man-childness and was sitting in his first class seat staring into the loaded barrel of adulthood. I was intrigued. Maybe Garden State was meaningless and trite to me because I was not its intended audience. With this perspective in mind, I went to see The Last Kiss on Saturday night. While I wasn't disappointed, I also did not walk out with deeper sense of self.

But first; Years ago, I worked with Jill, one of Braff's childhood best friends, in an ad agency for a few years. Jill would talk about her friend Zach who was living out in Los Angeles and taking random, small roles in independent films in the hopes of getting noticed. I know that Braff worked quite hard, even taking a minor role in Broken Hearts Club, or what one critic called, "a gay version of Steel Magnolias."

After years spent waitering tables, taking auditions, and along with the success of his television show Scrubs and Garden State, Braff finally had the freedom to chose his next project, but why The Last Kiss?

"One of the reasons I wanted to do this movie was it was so refreshing. It was real," said Braff. "It was like a human being that f***s up, that makes mistakes, that does a dumb thing. Don't we all? Don't we all have things that we wake up the next day and go, "Oh, I'm such an idiot. Yeah, you're gonna f***in' regret that tomorrow.? You know what I mean?"

Without giving too much away, Braff's Michael cheats on his girlfriend Jenna in a fit of panic when he realizes that after Jenna haves his baby, he'll be locked into adulthood forever. Only after making the mistake of sleeping with a college sophomore (Rachel Bilsson) does Michael realize that he loves Jenna unconditionally. It's preposterous but the movie suggests that Michael's slip into infidelity may have even helped him commit to the woman carrying his baby.

Miryam thinks that the movie serves as a cinematic Rorsharch test. Different people walk out with different lessons. She felt that Michael and Jenna made the mistake of being together. I walked out thinking, well, relationships are hard. You need to work at them. And preemtively embracing your mistakes, or your "real," as Braff says, as an inevitably felt so wrong and ugly.

During one scene in the movie, Bilsson's character posits that time is moving so quickly these days that our lives are on constant fast-forward bringing us to our respective mid-life crisis that much sooner. While this idea is possible, it also justifies our cowardice and lack of commitment. My generation's main problem is this baseless belief that relationships are easy and effortless. Maybe it's because we were raised during an outpouring of unrealistic romantic comedies and magical musicals where love is a song. But reality is, when two people with two completely different pasts and philosophies comes together, assuredly, there will be bumps to iron out. Out of the many ideas that The Last Kiss conveys, only one spoke true; realtionships are wonderful but they're also sometimes scary. Or they're wonderfulscary. And when we're prepared to accept this dichotomy as a harmony, maybe movies like The Last Kiss wouldn't feel so real to Braff or his generation. Whichever one he's representing.

Real instruments are over-rated. Programmed instrumentation is the new True Religion jeans. And to prove it, Hamilton, Canada's Junior Boys made an eletro-hit of the summer but you weren't paying attention because you were too busy listening to Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy".

Like that song didn't get too annoying.

Junior Boys - "In The Morning"

Friday, September 15, 2006


All you blogger-faces slept on Tobias Froberg. Whatever. So you don't like his name? That's your mistake.

Saw To-Fro play the other night and it was chill-worthy. His record Somewhere In The City is also pretty folktastic.

Tobias Froberg - "God's Highway"

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Welcome to the 21st Century.
I have finally learned how to post music online. Therefore, every day (or every other), I will try to post a song of the day from hereon in because I can.

I'm completely feeling Ladyhawk's debut record but this song just kills it (yes, killing something can be good, but not always). Without further adieu, my first song of the day.

Ladyhawk - "My Old Jackknife"

(I am so stoked)

I met Leigh Lezark once. Years ago. It wasn't a very memorable meeting. She was drunk, smoking a cigarette, and surrounded by gay undergraduate boys. I was at a bar I didn't want to be at for a party I didn't want to attend for someone I didn't really like. We exchanged some words and for the life of me, I can't remember what we said to one another but I remember thinking, I kinda like this girl. She's seems all about life.
You know "life." She seemed all about it.
She was nineteen.

Years later, Lezark is one-third of MisShapes, a trio of downtown "kids" that know how to successfully throw a party (ultimately, isn't it just about the music?). You're wondering, can you be famous for the simple act of being good party promoters? According to this morning's sycophantic Times article, I guess so. Journalist Cathryn Horyn alleges that the MisShapes "have been compared to Andy Warhol and other figures of the 1960’s underground." Lezark and her two partners Georden Nicol and Greg Krelenstein have even sat "across from Karl Lagerfeld and Elton John" at a Hedi Slimane fashion show. Surely this is the measuring stick for success.

But I hold no ill will for Princess Coldstare. Rather, I feel bad for her (paradoxically, I feel nothing for the indiscernable Krelenstein and Nicol. They feel like the backing band to Lezark's lead singer). Investing all your time and energy into the trend-seeking party culture is a bad idea. Backlash is a bitch sniffing at Lezark's Christain Louboutin heels. Just ask Larry Tee about owning a scene. You can't.

I have this theory that Americans won't devote themselves to celebrities that have become famous before they've proven their indispensability. Take Paris Hilton, for example. Hilton became famous for simply being famous but tried to prove her worthiness in retrospect by recording an album and starring in a reality television show. Dane Cook is another example--the web savvy comedian acquired the most MySpace friends while he should have been working on his material instead. While most high school students think he's cool because he uses Instant Messenger, critics and people with brains feel otherwise.

Lezark is undeniably attractive. The friend I was standing with outside the aforementioned bar spoke about her "perfect face" all night--my friend is also not a lesbian.
I find myself slightly fascinated by Lezark only because my shallow-side feels a slight tinge of jealousy--I too wish the New York Times would write about how cool I am (even if it is for "five minutes") because, you know what? I am kinda cool. And as I wallow in my third decade of existence, I sometimes lament to Shana that I didn't "party" enough, and on occasion, I even want to check out MisShapes. But then I remember about me and vapidity. We're, like, not friends.

Three months ago, I interviewed the supremely talented Regina Spektor and we spoke about the downtown scene she was once a part of. We somehow started talking about the Internet's ultimate home of vapidity, Last Night's Party, a photography website documenting the nightlife culture of New York (incidentally, the photographer Bronques never ceases to freak me out). Spektor said, "I’ve been in that inner circle, and it’s fake. It doesn’t exist. They’re not having a better time than you just because the pictures look so glamorous. They can't be having a good time. They're working too hard on looking like they're having a good time." Spektor believes in the power of conversation (yeah, it felt just as hokey writing it as it felt reading it). Some people consider sitting around a table with a few friends and talking, a good time. Yes, beers are definitely encouraged. But what happens when you don't have much to say? What happens when the only common bond you have with your friends is the propensity to get drunk and go to the restroom for a "refresher?"

Eric was a successful party promoter for six months. He told me that he invested years into getting to the point where he could partake in that insane, whirlwind of a half-year. Eric went to parties night-after-night. Eric knew the doormen of every popular club and didn't have to wait in-line. Eric stayed out until 5 A.M. and woke up at 3 P.M. every day. As we walked through the serene Central Park, he told me, in hindsight, his life was a disaster. Appealing to the masses without a true, concrete incentive was stressful. It's great to have a scene but what happens when the scene goes elsewhere? After too much anxiety, Eric dropped out of the nightlife because he couldn't handle the all-surfaceness of it.

Lenny was a doorman at a popular club. This past Friday night, he told me clubs and scenes go through popularity waves (not a surprise) and that too much press and attention is the death knell. "That's how you attract the Bridge-and-Tunnel kids," he told me. "They wanna know what's the next scene. And the cool kids, the ones that made the scene, they move on." A few weeks ago, when I attended a Saturday night party at the Lower East Side's Darkroom, I completely understood Lenny's point. This was the stomping grounds of Lindsey Lohan, Scarlett Johansson, and a random Olson twin. Conversely, that night, I left after one drink. I could not be more turned off by a crowd. It's not that I demand celebrities in my presence but I have a low threshold for a room full of fraternity boys.

What's my suggestion for Lezark? Well, hypothetically, if we were in a room together, and she turned to me and said, do you have any advice for me? I'm not sure I would know what to say. I'm not her demographic. I'm straight, over twenty, and concerned about "life" and "the world." But if I thought about it real hard, I would tell Lezark to stop posing.
"Stop posing."
Sounds profound, right?
I'm not sure what it means either but maybe it would mean more to Leigh.

I went away for a weekend and Shana decided to go to MisShapes without me. She called me from the party to complain about its "lameness."
"It's pretty sad," she said. "It's all hyper-stylized teens checking each other out."
Shana told me she felt like she was in a high school cafeteria with a slightly better soundtrack.
"We're going home. This place is done."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

In honor of the Roger Waters show I'm seeing tonight.

Wish You Were Gere
An article profiling the countless women who have left their husbands upon the realization that their men will never be anything like Richard Gere.

Another Rick In The Mall
After watching his popularity wane, once-heart throb Rick Springfield attempts to reclaim the love of America by embarking on a country-wide mall tour determined to prove that he's not just another Rick in the mall.

Arnold Lame?
Are most men named "Arnold" lame? Our research says yes.

Whine On You Crazy Diamond
Dustin Diamond, or Screech from Saved By The Bell won't stop whining. In an exclusive interview with his therapist, we discover that Diamond is, in fact, encouraged to keep complaining.

Comfortably Dumb
Scientists alledge that dumb people are actually really okay with being dumb.

See Emily Gay
Exclusive footage of actress Emily Rossum holding hands with another woman.

Hey Yoo
Chinese restaurant owner Ken Yoo thinks everyone is calling him. And it's making him mad.

Dark Side of The Hume
In a shocking, tell-all memoir, news anchor Brit Hume speaks forthright about his struggle with a drug addiction and the violent temper that nearly cost him his life.

Monday, September 11, 2006


I am not a political writer as you can tell from my other blog entries but in recent days, I find it difficult to not have a political opinion. And while I am not a supporter of the war and our mission to bring democracy to the world like forceful traveling salesmen with a propensity for violence, there's nothing more offensive than Bush's appropriation of September 11th.

By now, you're probably over-exposed to 9/11 memorial coverage and don't need to hear the thoughts of a magazine editor and freelance music journalist, nevertheless, I felt it necessary to verbalize the importance of challenging our current administration regardless of how many times George Bush links the innocent deaths of thousands to his borderline-tyranical strategy.

Last night, Bush said, "We learned that America must confront threats before they reach our shores, whether those threats come from terrorist networks or terrorist states. I am often asked why we are in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The answer is that the regime of Saddam Hussein was a clear threat."

He continued, "[This is] a struggle for civilization. The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad." But if we've already unseated Hussein, the ultimate terrorist, then what are we doing now?

The President asks that we stand behind him in unity but also manipulates the feelings we have associated with a day of tragedy into a plea of support. This is appropriating 9/11.

I cannot recommend Euegen Jarecki's sobering Why We Fight any more for those trying to understand our war with Iraq. While Bush claims that we are at war for our freedom, there are many that suggest this is all just business as usual.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Elton John's newest record The Captain And The Kid comes out on Tuesday, September 12th. The upcoming release is being touted as a sequel to 1975's acclaimed Captain Fantastic and The Dirt Brown Cowboy.

And another aging rock star Meat Loaf has also announced that he will be releasing a sequel to Bat Out Of Hell, except this will be the Loaf's third installment of the series. Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell is already out and Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose is out on October 31st and believe it or not, there are people waiting for it's release.

Not too long ago, I interviewed the Beastie Boys and suggested that they should make a follow-up to Paul's Boutique. My logic was that sequels are so successful for the movie industry that perhaps the music industry should try it as well. They thought I was being funny but I was completely serious. And now Elton and Meat have caught on to my thought process and are getting rich off of it.

I am a generous person by nature. I am willing to give away ideas. After all, I am an idea man and when they come to me as often as they do, I want to share them. If I keep them to myself, I feel selfish and dirty. Therefore, I am going to present my suggestions for possible rock sequels (I have tons others) and if the relevant band is reading, i.e., Bono, in one instance, please take my idea and run with it. Just give me some liner note-love. It's the least you can do.

U2: Joshua Tree 2 - This time around, some streets have names, Bono realizes the irresponsibility of bulleting the blue sky, and the band finally finds what it was looking for and all the while, they were talking about their car keys.

The Eagles - Hotel California: Still Vacant - Henley, Frey, Walsh, and Schmit check back into the Hotel California and find that this time around, the pornos available on the hotel pay-per-view are too raunchy and amatuer-esque.

Michael Jackson - Thrillest - Billie Jean is, in fact, his baby. Which makes it even creepier when he asks Billie Jean to sleep over.

Van Halen - 1985 - Van Halen reunites with David Lee Roth and records the follow-up to 1984 with the first single "Jump Again" featuring a slight change in the lyrics, "Might as well jump again/Go ahead and jump again." Otherwise, it's the same exact song.

Led Zeppelin - IV 1/2 - Robert Plan informs us that it really has been a long time since he's rocked and rolled and that he's gotta get back and so he does with a seven-minute ballad entitled "Stairway to Hell," which is about his rejection into Heaven for writing the most annoying song ever.

Green Day - European Idiot - Green Day returns after the success of American Idiot with a concept album about a rebellious Frenchman who wants to take a nap and asks (without saying "please") that you wake him up when October ends. And during that nap, he also walks down a boulevard of broken dreams and all the dialogue is over-dubbed poorly into French.

Metallica - The Black Album II: New Haircuts For Everyone - Metallica re-records their biggest hit "Unforgiven" with a heavier interpretation called "Unforgiven II." What...? They've done this already? Oh.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


In this feature, I ask random friends the following question over Instant Messenger:
Shiloh Pitt vs. Suri Cruise. Who wins and why?

Then I analyze their responses without altering anything.

"Well, I don't know.
In her teenage years, suri cruise will undoubtedly be one of the toughest, bitterest kids ever.
but as for now, I think the whole being from another country thing works in shiloh's advantage
I also think Suri is over-pampered now
but eventually, she'll turn against her parents and be a menace with a switchblade
but shiloh won't have as many reasons to hate her folks
so she will be a bit softer, less renegade."

Analysis: First, we notice Anna says "I don't know" and then offers us her opinion. Some would call this lying and this concerns us. Anna is rooting for the offspring of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie presumably because she liked Mr. And Mrs. Smith. Moreover, Anna thinks Suri is "over-pampered." Anna feels that Suri should be left to prepare all her own meals and dress herself even if she was indeed born like, two months ago.

[No response]
And then:
"Sorry, work hectci."

Analysis: Rina is too good for Shiloh, Suri and me. Obviously. But then she decides to tell me something about work...that it's hectci? This sounds serious and awful. I've never been exposed to a hectci atmosphere but Lord knows, I probably couldn't handle it. Good luck, Rina. If you're reading this, I wish you strength against work hectci.

"i saw suri, she does look quite beautiful
havent seen shiloh
but ... if i had to vote for who has the least-f***ed up set of parents i would have to say shiloh."

Analysis: Megan calls Suri "beautiful" which gives us cause for concern. She totally has a crush on a little baby girl which potentially makes her a closeted-lesbian pedophile. Or maybe we're just over-reacting and she's being what they call, "complimentary." Although, the closeted-lesbian pedophile angle is more interesting.

"i'm not pop-culturally advanced enough to answer that question
shiloh? suri?
i don't know these people
the children
i'm with you now
hard to focus."

Analysis: Noah is a foreigner new to the country which explains both his broken English and also his admitted unfamiliarity with pop culture. Either that or perhaps Noah was attempting to write a social critique through an Instant Messenger haiku. Maybe he was saying, what's important in this world? Shiloh and Suri? Or the fact that they're just children? How could we have forgotten that. The children. Sorry. Working.
In that case, Noah is brilliant and just way too arty for us. Jerk.

"Not arye"

Analysis: Rod's reading comprehension skills are severely low. We can plainly see that Arye is not one of the choices in the provided responses. In this instance, we are given either Shiloh or Suri. Not Arye. There is no room for creativity or deviation. Or perhaps Rod is simply a deviant which would explain why he wears heels all the time.

"shiloh. Maybe because she wasn't born to freaks
and she's not being hidden from the world like an albino"

Analysis: We can learn from the answer that Naomi provided that she has selective memory. It wasn't that long ago when Ms. Jolie was making out with her brother in public and wearing a vial of her husband's blood around her neck. Granted Cruise is a certified, diagnosed Freak but there's competition in the Pitt/Jolie merger. Nevertheless, Naomi may have chosen Shiloh because she has a problem with Suri, the competition, who has Chinese-looking eyes but isn't actually Chinese. This is inherently dishonest of Suri and worthy of resentment. Oh, and Naomi may dislike albinos, as well.

"shiloh pitt wins the fight
suri wins the beauty contest
but is there really a question about fight?
shiloh obviously
brad beats tom
angelina obliterates katie
= shiloh rips out suris tongue and used it to paint her boat"

Analysis: Aaron is either having a really bad day or has anger management issues. But Aaron is also correct in separating the question into two distinct competitions. It's never too early to get a young girl concerned about her looks, so Aaron lets Shiloh know that she's got to step it up. Work the camera, Shi. Drool just a bit more attractively. It's one thing to be a baby, it's another thing to be a celebrity baby. So Shiloh, for real. And some make-up wouldn't hurt.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I'm bringing sexyback. The other gentlemen--no, not them, the other boys. Yeah, them.
Well, they don't know how to act. I've seen them act and it's not believable at all. It's like UPN acting.
I think you're special. No, really, I do. You're special. Not like the others.
Um, well, I appreciate your behind.
Wait! Don't leave...there's more.
I like the way you pick up the slack. Your slack pick-upping is so unique. It's like your slack pick-upping. You own it.

Please, let me take you to the bridge. Can I?

Dirty babe...
No, dirty babe is a compliment. It doesn't mean that you're dirty. Like, filthy. It means like, phat, or bad. You're so good and awesome that you're dirty. Get it?
You see the shackles?
You don't...?
Weird. They're right here. How can you miss these shackles? They're huge, and metal and weigh a ton. Walking around with shackles is not fun but I'm doing so for the sole purpose of impressing you. I'm totally imprisoned to you.
Baby, I'm your slave.
I'll let you whip me if I misbehave.
You're not into that?
Um, that's cool. To be honest, neither am I. If you had been, hypothetically, I would have been a bit concerned here. Like, I'm working really hard here and then I find out that you like to beat me--this may qualify as a deal-breaker. But you're cool. You don't want to whip me.
But, like, if we were pretending, I would let you pretend-whip me. With an invisible whip.
It's just that no one makes me feel this way.

Come here, girl.
No, I haven't forgotten your name.
And no, I haven't forgotten how to say "please." You're right. Come here, girl, please.
Go ahead, be gone with it.
No, I'm not really sure what that means, either.
Come to the back.
I mean, come to the back, please.
Drinks on me.
Look at those hips.
Yeah, of course I meant yours.
You make me smile.

I need to tell you something important.
I'm bringing sexy back.
Where did it go?
Not sure. There's a good chance it never went anywhere. It may have been here the whole time. I just assumed that telling you that I'm bringing sexy back is impressive and would therefore impress you.
Those other f***ers don't know how to act.
I know that I told you that already. I'm just saying it again for emphasis. It's important that you know about the bad acting.
Come let me make up for the things you lack.
Cause you're burning up. I gotta get it fast.
Are you okay? You look like you have a fever.
No, you look awesome but you're just sweating a bit and I'm concerned. That's all.
If you're burning up, then I need to get you home.

Once again--just bear with me--I'm bringing sexy back.
This time I'm not talking to you, though.
Yes, I remember your name.
I'm talking to those bad actors.
Yeah, you!
You bad actor you!
You mother f***ers watch how I attack.
I will bring it if I have to.
I'm like, a black belt.
If that's your girl you better watch your back.
Cause she'll burn it up for me and that's a fact.
And just in case you doubt it's validity, I had a proof reader and a copy editor go over that last point and it's been confirmed.
I do not throw facts around with reckless abandon.
Not only am I bringing sexy back but I am ensuring that all my facts are completely valid.
So there.
Can you bad actors top that?

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Bonnie Fuller is the editorial director of American Media and Star magazine, a publication like Us Weekly but for even more shallow people. Fuller was also the editor-in-chief of Us beforehand. At Us Weekly, she transformed the Wenner Media publication from a somewhat tolerable celebrity-centric magazine into the steaming pile of garbage that it is now. She is also rumored to be the anti-Christ. This has been confirmed from a "reliable source", or a "close friend."

In her first book The Joys of Much Too Much: Go for the Big Life--The Great Career, The Perfect Guy, and Everything Else You've Ever Wanted (this is the title, by the way, not the contents of the book itself), Fuller tells us how to get the great career, the perfect guy, everything else you've ever wanted AND still find time to suck the blood out of the throats of innocent virgins. How's the book, you ask? Oh, it must be sensational. Just absorb these descriptive and laudatory quotes from well-known readers and critics (actual quotes as featured on

"Bonnie has the right attitude for an abundant life; she thinks big. Even better, she lives big. The Joys of Much Too Much is big on good advice, and my advice is to read it, study it, and learn." - Donald Trump

Wait, I'm confused here. You realize, Donald, that you're giving good advice by recommending the good advice of someone else. Who's advice is better? Oh, man. Should I judge this one based solely on make-up and hair styles? Hmm, now that's a toughie...

"For the woman who wants it all, Bonnie's book is a must-have!" - Carmen Electra

Is this supposed to entice people into reading the book? An endorsement from Carmen Electra? If I read this book, will my breasts get larger? Will I be married to an ex-junkie "rockstar" (in the same way that Tommy Lee is a "genius") to then only divorce him a few years later? If so, sign me up!

"This book is a must-read for any woman trying to balance family, love, life. . . ." - Tommy Hilfiger

...and fight with Axl Rose?

Needless to say, I have yet to read Fuller's glorious 240 pages but I'm looking through the table of contents and lemme tell you, this book sounds delicious. Let's sample the table of contents, shall we?

Chapter 1. Never Face The Facts: The Positive Aspects of Denial
Interesting. Okay, Bonnie, let's practice denial. You pretend that you're not a human being which will therein help you continue in your career path and I'll pretend to be interested in Nicole Richie and Eva Langoria. How am I doing?
In summation: If I convince myself that I don't have a soul (=denial) than I can be a monster too (=succesful). Sweet!

Chapter 2: Embrace Your Inner Canadian: How To Turn Your Negatives Into Positives
Look, she said it. Not me. Canadians are losers. Who am I to disagree with a media queen?

Chapter 6: You Can't Be Great For Everyone: Sticking To Your Mission
Oh, Bonnie, I'm sorry. I didn't realize you were on a mission. You should have just come out and said so.

But now I get it. This all makes sense. When we destroy the concept of privacy and humanity, we are on a mission. When we misplace our focus and attention away from ourselves and direct them to talentless and unethical personalities of our most vapid, we are on a mission. When we are not being great for everyone, we are on a mission. If this last one is confirmed, then I am always on a mission. Man, I love me a mission!

Just two pages into the book, Fuller asks us to "imagine a short brunette, flyaway hair, adult acne..." Okay, I've done this and now I need a drink. But it continues. Fuller advises us that we should work so hard that we're no longer dealing with our inner demons. "Focus on the things that bring you joy into your life: self obsession rarely does," says Fuller.
Ahhh. I get it.
Obsessing over ourselves = bad
Obsessing over celebrities = joy

"I have yet to meet a completely secure woman," writes Fuller on page 6, and if she has, she has done everything within her power to change that with her magazine coverage. "I'm sure a therapist would tell me that part of the reason why I work so hard is that doing so distracts me from my inner-demons."

My final question to you, Bonnie; can Satan truly have inner-demons?
Just kidding, babe. Love ya.
Call me.