Friday, May 29, 2009

The Best Tweets of the week 5/22 - 5/29

Every week I go back and post my favorite tweets I got during the preceding week. Want to be included in the lunacy? Follow me and be funny, interesting, or threatening! As always, here are the rules:

  • I skew toward the amusing
  • I won't publicize anyone's stuff if they are locked unless they give me permission (the KChop rule)
  • @ replies rarely get on here unless their self explanatory and don't need set up
  • I do love me the setup and punchline stuff, but if they span over multiple tweets, I'm not inclined to include them.
  • Diplo is immune to any of these rules (and now so is Yoko Ono).

Ok, let's go to the tweets...

FartSandwich The crap I just cleaned out of my refrigerator would make sweet Baby Jesus cry, but mostly because he's a baby. Lots of things scare babies.

DaveHolmes They just played Cypress Hill's "Hits From The Bong" on KCRW. Joan Van Ark has aged better than that song.

SarahKSilverman I'm so shitty with greek mythology. What was Herpes the god of again?

nathanrabin When the rabbi asked us each for a word that best described my late uncle, I probably shouldn't have said "Fergilicious"

rbender Trying to locate my stud finder. I need a stud finder finder.

hotdogsladies Multitasking is like driving or cunnilingus; most people assume they're great at it until they start asking around.

nottjmiller I came here to f*ck bitches and lift weights. And we're all out of bitches. BAM!

adam_cozens These jeans do not effectivly hide my thunder.

yokoono Next time you meet a 'foreigner', remember it's only like a window with a different shape to it and the person who's sitting inside is you.

FartSandwich We are making Shepherd's Pie tonight. We caught and slaughtered the Shepherd ourselves. Man, Irish people are badass.

artichoked Craisins are neither crazy or raisins. It's just a bag of dried cranberries & sugar. More like boringberries.

paulfeig Hot dog martinis! Boil two hot dogs 10 minutes, remove hot dogs, discard, pour hot dog water into glass, top with gin, drink, vomit, repeat.

ScottAukerman Can you set a google alert that goes directly to your penis?

michaelianblack If "l" stands for "love," you can rearrange the letters in Klondike to spell "I L(ove) Dokken." So fucking rad.

thebrianposehn Just saw a dreamcatcher in a Hummer. Obviously, it worked because if you're driving a Hummer all of your dreams have come true.

adamisacson I just emptied a whole clip of bullet points into this memo. Just like a Tarantino movie. A concise one, with main arguments clearly noted.

rainnwilson Got my spleen pierced. Totally fierce tribal stud. Only gonna be appreciated by X-ray technicians, but still...

hotdogsladies I was careless not to specify a less than John Holmes-sized complement of mayo. You win this round, bitter sandwich lady.

steveagee seriously, kudos to the manager of this taco bell for having the balls to play 2 Live Crew "Me So Horny!"

dpressman I've decided to name my penis "Bruce Villanch". I think this will help me with the ladies....and by "ladies", I mean giant gay monsters.

keithwade Apparently the Supreme Court didn't uphold the ruling that R. Kelly can't be played at preschool graduations. File under: Inappropriate.

Jessabelle2o7 I wore a cute little bolero all frigging day and not even ONE PERSON asked me out to a bullfight.

ChrisSpags Four buses passed mine as we waited for a wheelchair to get off. For efficiency, we should push them down a ramp like a soap box derby.

michaelianblack Thinking about taking my wife somewhere for her birthday: because of recent events, I am taking North Korea off the list.

Shmegan Today I'm dressed like Jenny from the block from the waist up and my mom from the waist down.

bigalittlea It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Then it's a new game - find the eye.

mtmodular I just ended an apology email to a friend with "You can spank me now if you want." In hindsight, I should've skipped that.

adamisacson Killing a king is regicide. But killing Regis Philbin would just be homicide. That seems somehow unfair.

dpressman I'm off to finger the landlord in lieu of rent. I hope he's cool with it.

Jim_Hamilton I'm still looking for the puncture wound from the tranquilizer dart that must've put be down yesterday. Or the day before? Where am I?

RonnyBquotes I have family who burned the south from Georgia to the sea. And this was in 1983, on a vacation.

diablocody I am wearing a black T-shirt and black sweatpants at work today. I look like a ninja housewife.

FartSandwich I've eaten a million oysters today. Let's see if I become the guy they warn you about: The four hour boner guy in the Viagra commercial!

debenham Drinking wine and printing out kid's b-day invitations. A lot of people think the Baldwin character in "Glengarry" is based on me.

janiehaddad Thanks Time Warner for not taping tonight's So You Think You Can Dance. Don't enter So You Think You Can Record, cuz you'd lose. Big time.

diplo No offense to my DR and PR gyals but a spanish girls whisperin to you in spanish in spain is one of gods greatest sounds he gave us

jdickerson It was a mistake to buy from the museum case of prepared food at Starbucks. This mango chunk could prop open the door to Buckingham Palace

Links of Interest 5/29

Please, if you haven't already, vote for Cline's blog post here so we can send him to Costa Rica. Seriously, haven't you ever thought how cool it would be to get into an international incident with Costa Rica? Cline's our best hope.

On to the links...

Will Zack Galifianackis become the breakout star from the movie The Hangover?

10 movie homes that would be worth owning.

I think the quest for the best rapper ever is doomed from the start. But what do I know?

Even if you have no interest in the Indianapolis 500, this interactive piece mapping out the entire race is pretty cool.

Errol Morris and art forgeries.

Ancient text that still baffles us today.

A look at how Sponge Bob is affecting our culture.

Soon it will be Conan running things at the Tonight Show.

The best movie soundtracks.

Outlaws can be cool. If you look past the murdering and stuff.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cline's last wish - to meet Stephen Baldwin. MAKE IT HAPPEN

Yes, it's true, that's Cline's last wish. Until he makes another one, I think it's only fair we try to grant him this one. Besides, his other wishes are really creepy and unwholesome, so working on this one at least means we don't have to delve too deep into his weird fantasies.

Yes, you can help. Go here, and vote for Cline's blog post (It's the one at the bottom. Methinks someone is trying to bury him. Don't let them get that satisfaction! Vote him through!)

A little backstory. A completely legitimate and not sketchy email landed on the desk of The Popcorn Trick's Chief of Email, talking up a contest loosely linked with NBC's "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here." The email said as long as you had a valid passport and could prove you were a US citizen you could enter.

Entering meant agreeing to write a series of blog entries based on someone's topic of choice and the reality show. Being deathly afraid of celebrities, and seeing a chance for Cline to double or even possibly triple his number of posts, I quickly decided he was the right person for the job. And he didn't disappoint. Seriously, check it out here, and give him the vote. Eventually, after a few more blog posts, we could see our man Cline jet setting off to Costa Rica, to most likely catch some as yet unknown disease. And who doesn't dream of at least knowing Patient 0 of a global pandemic? So do all you can do, vote all you can and tell your friends. Let's get Cline to meet a third tier Baldwin! (Yes, I rank Daniel #2).

And the relevance of the Megan Fox picture? It has both nothing and everything to do with this competition.

Links of Interest 5/28

Governments we should root against.

Dictators we should also root against. Though technically, I guess we should root against all dictators.

American sushi is not really the same as Japanese sushi.

American Idol is more important than you might think. At least for some people.

How can humanities be losing their soul?

A closer look at why mind feels the need to travel.

Political parties that may have at once been deemed “fringe,” but are now getting closer and closer to mainstream. Yay!

Have the urge to travel to space?

There are some bad names on this list.

Just in time for summer – disturbing reads.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Links of Interest 5/27

Cool cloud photography.

I’ve never really heard anyone consider the military smart. You know, the classic oxymoron example: military intelligence?

I’m a huge V fan so I’m not sure how I should feel about this remake.

I’m eleven years late apparently.

College can’t teach you everything.


Video gaming meets real life on the racetrack.

Canada’s governor general is more badass than you and I.

Here’s a lovely link to warp your mind this morning.

If you’ve got the money you can totally soup up your brain.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Links of Interest 5/26

Peeping inside people’s refrigerators.

How can Doritos 3-D be included on this list?

I certainly have no idea how this was done, it still seems pretty cool.

Stealing NASA moon rocks.

A closer look at bull riding.

Do you agree these are the best death scenes?

Anyone have a silver detector, SCUBA gear, and questionable morals? Give me a call.

Want to know where your favorite 80’s villain is?

I guess it’s a decent list, but they lead off with the most dangerous one by far.

Yup, these are some creepy places.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Best Tweets of the week 5/15 - 5/23

Every week I go back and post my favorite tweets I got during the preceding week. Want to be included in the lunacy? Follow me and be funny, interesting, or threatening! As always, here are the rules:

  • I skew toward the amusing
  • I won't publicize anyone's stuff if they are locked unless they give me permission (the KChop rule)
  • @ replies rarely get on here unless their self explanatory and don't need set up
  • I do love me the setup and punchline stuff, but if they span over multiple tweets, I'm not inclined to include them.
  • Diplo is immune to any of these rules.

Ok, let's go to the tweets...

gravitybomb Well well well. Amazon is selling Green Day's new album for 5 bucks: That's like paying 5 dollars to be pooped on.

Jessabelle2o7I just hustled and flowed the *shit* out of that breakfast burrito.

debenham Helicopter just flew overhead, low enough to sway the trees in my backyard. Another Hulk sighting?

nicdarlingHunger is effecting logical processes to the point where I believe in Leprechauns (other than the local homeless guy named Leprechaun).

Jim_Hamilton Him: "Do you go by Jim or James?" Me: "It doesn't matter, because I don't like you." That last part was silent, like the e in hate.

nathanrabin I never open emails unless the subject line begins with PLEASE READ. Otherwise what am I supposed to do with them?

mostlylisa i just ate a hard boiled egg in the shower. on a scale of 1 to weird that's like, about a 7?

AlisonRosen I've decided to meet the man of my dreams by staying home and watching TV. Failing that, speed dating (where I take speed and go on dates)

diplo Watching beethoven dawg movie in french looks a lot like kujo

usedwigs Watching new Sci-Fi movie with C. Thomas Howell and one of the guys from Kid n Play... I hope there's a dance scene.

seancorcoran Few things are more awkward than watching an intimate scene in a movie with your inlaws.

diplo This taxi drivers vocal GPS sound like the devil takin us to the depths of hell

Just_Unco If I had a son I'd either want him to be a vet or a space cowboy

keithwade Tried to sleep in late, but was awoken by 5 yr old w/ roll of duct tape in hand, asking if he & his sister could play w/ it. Annnnnd I'm up.

Jim_Hamilton "I have had it with these motherfucking cakes on this motherfucking plate!" There are probably better ways to say you're full. Probably.

macstarr Was just asked what f*ks like a tiger and winks? -then the dude winked at me.

thesneeze Just bought "Swagger" Old Spice deodorant. Its the "OFFICIAL SCENT of CONFIDENCE." Tomorrow is going to be CRAAAZYYYY!!!

mrdavehill I just ate the stickiest sticky rice of all-time. I kept looking at the lady behind the counter and was all like "Seriously?"

thesneeze STARVING PERSON'S GUIDE TO DOMINO'S: SLICE 1: Yum! SLICE 2: Mmm. SLICE 3: Meh. SLICE 4: Get this shit the fuck away from me.

GorillaSalsa I'm eating Long John Silvers and there's a big police chase going on. I'm not certain of the catalyst for either statement.

michaelianblack Thinking of opening a post-apocalyptic theme restaurant called "TGIS" Thank God It's Shelter. Mostly serves canned foods.

Just_Unco If I ever opened a store selling tarpaulins I'd call it Retarp

nicdarling Wish my head would be nicer to me. Feels like there is a tiny little Mike Tyson living in there. Lots of punching and high pitched violence.

diplo Every lil german kid looks like billy ray cyrus

steveagee CRAZY looking guy in car next to me blasting Love Her Madly. pretty sure the only way he could love anything is madly

ty_fed I may or may not be wearing a cape right now. Hint: I am.

slapclap "Bad to the Bone" not as much of a hit if u change the lyrics 2 "toiling in mediocrity." T-t-t-t-t-toiling- to the bone.

slapclap Yep. Sick. Now actually have to hope I caught it from that vagrant who touched me on the golf course, & not the pig I fucked last week.#blue

Dianneamus Oh god. This is it people. Grab the duct tape and head for the fallout shelter. Creed is back together. And they are working on a new album.

FartSandwich If you go to Arby's and ask for a McEgg McWendy's McWhopper, all you'll get is a long cold stare and a bag of dicks. Trust me, I know.

colinmlenton I have a roommate (@joyelizabeth) who sets off the carbon monoxide alarm every morning. I think she's a robot

Jessabelle2o7 I was in line at Starbucks. An Irish ballad came on. I started to do a nifty little jig. People started to clap. I wish this were true.

JoshSneed Anyone else feel like MySpace is one of those malls where all the good stores are gone and it's just a place old people go to power walk?

clubtrillion My only real goal in life is to become important enough to have any attempt on my life be classified as an "assassination attempt."

mtmodular If "trending topics" was ever a trending topic, Twitter will take the form of a god and smite us all.

FartSandwich If you talk trash about the Pope, is that called a Pope Smear? I'm asking for a friend. Who happens to be my soul.

DaveHolmesSoon, bookstores will have an I Did This Crazy, Disruptive Thing For A Whole Year section.

DaveHolmesSoon, bookstores will have an I Did This Crazy, Disruptive Thing For A Whole Year section.

AlisonRosen If I were somewhere and didn't like the napkins I would call them crapkins. Then I would laugh. And go home alone.

Jim_HamiltonI'm listening to Radiohead so loudly I can tell what Thom Yorke had for lunch the day of recording. Answer: the blood of a thousand virgins.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Links of Interest 5/21

Apologies for the lack of updates these past few days. I have been on the road tending to less important yet more lucrative business, and Cline, well, you know.

Look what companies could do with advertising on semi-trucks.

The possible future of television.

The more I see of Inglourious Basterds, the less I’m excited.

Ghostbusters 3 is apparently closer to reality. Good thing or bad thing?

Interview with the current guy-who-can-do-no-wrong, JJ Abrams.

Looking for a planet like Earth.

I link to lists like this not so much to definitively give you a list of the best whatevers, but more to show that these lists simply cannot be considered definitive. And if you followed that, you’re a better person than I, because I jumped out after making up the word “whatevers.”

Now this list – this list is definitive. And awesome in a 80s hair metal way.

Perhaps a sign that we’ve taken the bacon craze a little too far.

So what has George Bush been up to these days?

Finally, an answer after all these years – what’s it like inside Neil Patrick Harris' house?

Apparently American Idol doesn’t like the greatest song ever written – and free, awesome publicity.

Here’s a look at television show marathons for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Links of Interest 5/19

I’m not gonna tell you this doesn’t have a romantic notion to it. Obviously it rapidly becomes unromantic when faced with the reality of it. Especially, I’m assuming the daily debate of where to shit.

Though out of context, here’s a funny list of everything Tracy Morgan (Jordan) said on 30 Rock this season.

Quick music news… Radiohead is working on a new album, while Dangermouse is trying something different.

Talking to SNL’s Abby Elliot.

Scientists suggest there have been 5 big extinctions. Are we currently in the sixth?

A history of white people in rap. Calling it out as something special seems mildly racist, but who am I?

Huh, who would have thought mining in the mountains of Bolivia would be such a dangerous job?

Some of these explosions maybe shouldn’t be labeled “greatest,” (more like horrific) but I didn’t write it.

At first, this time lapse video of the Milky Way passing over Texas made me feel a bit of vertigo. But then the big event came to be. The Milky Way resembles many things. 2 came to mind immediately – one was a knife scar. The other, well I’ll let you decide.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Links of Interest 5/18

Take a look at how season 34 of SNL broke down.

Sure you might be an economics whiz, doesn’t mean you still don’t make mistakes.

Can an article really explain what makes us happy? Actually the article is about a study that is trying to figure it out. So I will amend my question: Can a study really explain what makes us happy?

My country would be so awesome.

Who says science can’t be fun? (Besides me.)

ok fine, so science really can be fun, as long as you can get funding for crackpot theories.

Sometimes bigger doesn’t always mean better. I will now stab myself in the stomach for using that cliché unironically.

It almost seems as though the term “biodegradable” doesn’t really mean anything.

Ok sure, so a hip hop special might not seem that big a deal to you – until you find out it’s from 1981.

I bet Moises Alou totally nodded to himself the entire time he read this.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Best Tweets of the Week 5/8 - 5/15

Every week I go back and post my favorite tweets I got during the preceding week. Want to be included in the lunacy? Follow me and be funny, interesting, or threatening! As always, here are the rules:

  • I skew toward the amusing
  • I won't publicize anyone's stuff if they are locked unless they give me permission (the KChop rule)
  • @ replies rarely get on here unless their self explanatory and don't need set up
  • I do love me the setup and punchline stuff, but if they span over multiple tweets, I'm not inclined to include them.
  • Diplo is immune to any of these rules.

Ok, let's go to the tweets...

ChrisSpags I hate the feeling when someone smells, so you briefly get confused and hope it's not you somehow. "I don't recall bathing in raw onions..."

hotdogsladies I'll grant you, Teacher Susie from Sid the Science Kid is *totally* cartoon-hot, but her Québécois accent is oh, sweet Jesus, I'm a monster.

paulfeig Emily Post says it is impolite to Twitter whilst upon the shitter. So, I shan't anymore. (Feig raises pinkie and sips tea, then poops pants)

DoucheLarue i'm moving like stephen hawking on a stairmaster today.

FartSandwich You know what makes a good breakfast? Pork Rinds and Monster Energy drink. When did I suddenly become a NASCAR fan? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

seancorcoran I'm feeling generous, anybody need a kidney? I found it this morning inside a hobo.

paulscheer Just found out Dr. Dre isn't a real doctor, now I understand why he botched my hernia operation.

SklarBrothers Still kicking around the idea of starting a Guess Who cover band called "That's Who"

DoucheLarue #follow friday - i'm gonna follow these 4 dirty martinis with a trip to the police station.

adamisacson We're hosting a playdate today. Commence "Operation Make it Look Like We Don't Live in a Tiny Cluttered Rowhouse with 2 Incontinent Cats."

Jessabelle2o7 I had a neighbor over for beers last night, and I'm 99.9% sure that she swabbed her anus with my bathroom hand towel. Fucking hipster.

tonytrov thinks that dressing like an adult means dressing like a trombone player in a ska band.

phirm You are what you eat. Especially if you’re a cannibal.

keithwade 3 high school kids just walked by dressed in their wrestling uniforms, armed with a videocamera. That has shenanigans written all over it.

sportsguy33 If my fantasy baseball career was a 70s Florida coed sorority house, Phil Hughes would be ted bundy

ScottAukerman During correspondent's dinner, was called a racist just because I shouted the N-word at Obama. I am so tired of these partisan politics!

ScottAukerman HELP! Writing song for Mom -- "horny" and "love baloney" doesn't quite work. Anyone know a good rhyming dictionary in paperback?

CourtneyReimer Guy with toupee to waiter: "I'll always be honest with you." Your head begs to differ, sir.

FartSandwich Question: What's 2 pounds and filled with delicious regret? Answer: That 3 AM burrito I ate last night. I feel pregnant. With feces.

Dianneamus I don't care if he is gay. I'd still ride Anderson Cooper like a dime store pony on payday.

FartSandwich Man, it's Monday, and Monday is already riding me like a Boner Jockey. I don't even know what that means, but it's happening.

adamisacson Today they gave me fries with paprika on them. Then a cookie with raisins in it. I ate them anyway. I think I'd hold up well under torture.

Jim_Hamilton Who has one thumb and can't safely operate a table saw?

Just_Unco When it's really hot I put my top sheet in the freezer for a while. If only there was a way to clone my brilliance for the little people

adamisacson Dropped off the kid. Taking the bus to work. Soon I'll be at my desk answering emails. I want Harrison Ford to play me in the movie version.

usedwigs Caught myself air-drumming while running... mostly hi-hat and snare, nothing fancy.

nathanielbryan I like how Apple's "Liam Neeson Collection" has the good stuff like Krull and Darkman and leaves off stinkers like Schindler's List.

TheComedySnob I wonder if the guy who drives the crazy anti-abortion van in my town has a second car or if he does errands in that thing.

diablocody If anyone here is healing a tattoo, I recommend Aquaphor. If it's gentle enough for an infant's penis, it's fine for your sleazy, inky arm.

adamisacson Today I've already completed three big, daunting tasks on my to-do list. Four, if you include "Post lame 'to-do list' joke on Twitter."

Jim_Hamilton Singing "Yellow Ledbetter" by Pearl Jam at my desk. Lyric Accuracy is currently at 17%.

cellebelle dear @ladygaga , i really, really love LOVEGAME. but what, pray tell, is a discostick? you know what? i dont want to know.

calindrome At Qdoba. M.I.A. in my ears: "Paper Planes." The gunshots are nicely underscoring my efforts to kill this burrito. #ambience

ScottAukerman L O S T: People wonder why Jacob didn't interact w/ Juliet in her flashback. But there's a deleted scene where he lets her kiss his penis.

Links of Interest 5/15

The summer of 1988 was a great time for movies.

Read URB magazine online and find out what the next 100 bands you should be listening to are.

Email tax? Really? I don’t think that’s gonna work.

A scientist lays out the plan to find life in outer space.

The categories of white supremacy.

Interesting story about a witness to Lincoln’s assassination.

Labeling baseball as a boring sport is being lazy.

Taking a closer look at the fast food industry’s value meals.

The controversy of SPF guidelines that lead to suntan lotion wars.

Find out exactly how much your credit card company knows about you.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Links of Interest 5/14

Looking back fondly on The Big Lebowski.

I’m sure this Kobe Bryant documentary will be informative and not at all manipulating.

The biggest surprise about Terry Gilliam’s latest film? That it got finished.

Cameron Crowe lists his favorite musical moments from film. Biggest omission? Get ‘em McGettigan.

I’m not about to call any Mr. T merchandise pitiful.

Supertrain is awesome and I loved it as a child. And was pissed when they canceled it. But I’m not sure it can hold a candle to The Big Bus which I also watched and enjoyed as a child. Moral of the story I watched a lot of terrible TV as a child.

This of course is a frightening story about how the US manages it’s nuclear weapons program.

This story starts out creepy and then…well ok, it just stays creepy.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ghosts of Marah Shows Past (or “New Mommy’s Trying Too Hard”)

355086702_e3407b1c8cFaraway from these winter streets
On a cloudless day
Your memory
Blows away

Marah – Walt Whitman Bridge

If only it were that easy.  Loyalty to anything carries with it the burden of accumulated memories and expectations inseparable from those memories. 

It would be nice to see things with fresh eyes and experience things with an empty canvas of a brain, but that’s easier said than done.

Oh, hey. I’m back scrambling posting. 

I saw Marah last Thursday night.  Swirling eddies of thought about that show and its place in Marah’s ever-turbulent history will greet you after the jump.


Too Much Background (or “I Need To Show You Where I’ve Been So I Can Bitch About Where I Am”)

I’ve been attending Marah shows for over 10 years.  It all started back in the summer of 98.  XPN began playing  a few tracks (“Fever” & “Formula, Cola, Dollar Draft”) off their debut album, and it scratched an itch I didn’t know I had. 

As an aside, if there’s a better title for a debut album than “Let’s Cut the Crap and Hook Up Later On Tonight”, I wanna hear it and then punch you in the face for undermining my ability to make grandiose statements. 

The first time I saw them, I sprinted barefoot down Delaware Avenue with an anticipation-swollen heart and a bread pudding-swollen stomach for fear of missing their set. At the time, I  probably couldn’t have explained why I was doing it, but it seemed very, very important at the time.  And I was right.

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen them (estimates are in the 60-70 range).  Those shows have encompassed 5 states, 2 continents, 3 countries and hundreds of sweat-soaked transcendent moments where my shit-eating grin could be seen from space.  Hell, they let me share the stage with them and butcher the hell out of one of their songs. And my connection to the band and the music has been the common ground of has been the manure in which numerous friendships have grown. 

Marah has achieved a moderate level of success.  They’ve had critical acclaim, high-profile celebrity fans (Stephen King & Nick Hornby), and a friendship with Bruce Springsteen (he played on their album and has shared the stage with them several times).  Sadly, though, it often seems as if Marah was trying to find an easy way out of some weird rock-centric army the way they continually shot themselves in the foot any time a modicum of momentum was generated.

It’s kinda ridiculous how many rhythm sections (6 at last count) they’ve had.  The latest split was particularly galling to a long-time fan on several fronts:

  1. The band was as fucking tight as any lineup they’d had to that point.
  2. Near as an outsider can tell, it seemed to be over the level of inclusion of keyboardist Christine Smith in the band.  Just before a big American tour, ultimatums were given, bluffs were called, and when the dust cleared all that was left were Dave & Serge Bielanko and Smith.  Adam Garbinski (guitar), Dave Peterson (drums), and Kirk Henderson (bass, keys, etc.) were gone.  Smith & her keyboards had been a nice addition to the band, but not worth losing who they lost fro.  I’ve strained to avoid the Yoko comparisons because she is talented.  But jeez, I’m only flesh and blood. 
  3. Adam & Dave were not only a great rhythm section, but they had their own band (Bloodline) which is pretty kick-ass in its own right. They would often open for Marah and then join them for the main set with them.  Afterwards they would tie brooms to their asses and help clean up.
  4. They had just put out their strongest album in years (“Angels of Destruction!”) and never got a chance to tour the US behind it.
  5. Champion mustache grower and general bon vivant, Kirk Henderson, was perhaps the saddest casualty.  When the band was at its lowest and darkest point in the wake of the much-anticipated, almost-universally-loathed-at-the-time Britpop sophomore effort “Float Away With the Friday Night Gods”, Kirk came along. He seemed to be a life-saver both as a musical jack-of-all-trades and as positive chi in their collective Feng Shui.

The 2 constants through all the tumult were brothers Dave & Serge.  Swap out rhythm sections all you want, they were Marah. 

Or so I naively thought.

The Show (or “My Brain Can’t Process What My Eyes Are Seeing”)

Which leads us to the point of this post.  The show.  This would be the first Philly show since the split happened early in 2008.   In the interim, Serge had moved out to Utah to begin raising a family.  It’s not clear how permanent this lineup is (Dave on lead guitar, Christine on keys & tambourine, Johnny Pisano on bass, and Martin Lynd on drums) whether Serge will ever rejoin the lineup. 

But I guess any time you have a chance to add Ivan from Clerks and Dr. John to a band, you have to take it.


I have mixed feelings about World Cafe Live.  The sound is always good, but the atmosphere fits certain bands better than others.  And long rows of tables may have worked for The Last Waltz, but it adds a weird atmosphere for more rock-based shows.  This should have been at Johnny Brenda’s or even the North Star.

I’ve been weaned on cramped venues like the Khyber.  This was unsettling:

For the first half of the show, I had to close my eyes to keep from the sights overpowering the sounds.  The wildly different lineup, the giant stage that seemed half-full at best, the sparse backdrop which seemed better suited for a high school talent show, picturing Jason Mewes singing Iko Iko, it was all too much.  With my eyes closed, the songs sounded pretty good, which is not surprising given the quality of the songs and my love for them.

But this is a new band. It just is.  And it bugs me, maybe more than it should, that Dave chose to still call the band “Marah”.  Yes, it was technically his band that Serge joined way back in high school.  But that’s a technicality in the most lawyerish of ways.  Every album they’ve put out and every show for 10+ years have been the two of them as the rocks of the band amidst waves of tumult. 

Half of that rock breaks off and you still call it Marah?  That’s an XL horse pill you’re asking me to swallow. 

Maybe calling it Marah would help with booking venues, though the last-minute cancellation of the 2008 tour could not have helped their reputation with promoters.  Maybe it’s a placeholder until Serge can finish his “maternity leave/hiatus/exile in the alkali flats of Utah”.  But that’s not how it feels.  It feels like Dave’s taking the reins of the band.  That’s his prerogative, but have the guts to forge a new identity, even if it’s “Dave Bielanko’s Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings”.

You can’t have it both ways.  You can’t trot out an entirely new band and then expect to get the same rapturous reception that you’ve received in the past just because it’s the same name on the ticket.  That’s something you earn.  Not something you get by raising your arm and begging for applause after every third song.  First, you’re not going to get that kind of reaction at a 3/4ths-full WCL with half of those people in the seated positions.  Second, it reeks of insecurity and trying too hard to make up for it.  If the music is good enough, the fans will respond.  At times it was, at times it wasn’t, but there’s going to be growing pains. 

But as I looked around, there were more than a few people who seemed to not be weighed down with the baggage I’ve wordily described.  They were ecstatic in their reception of every song.  So maybe I was the weird one.  Wouldn’t be the first time.

On one level, I was jealous. On a larger, more weirdly cluttered level, I would have felt disloyal to inhabit that level of rocking-out from the word “Go”.  Disloyal to the memories of past shows, past line-ups, and past experiences. 

New Mommy may be prettier and she may treat you extra, super nice.  But you still owe it to Old Mommy to respect the importance of what has happened before by not cleaving enthusiastically to the newer model’s breast and loudly proclaiming your eternal love and loyalty the first time you meet New Mommy.

Sigh.  I’ll stop with the creepy metaphors.  Strong personal feelings aside, this was not a terrible show. 

It was quite strong in areas:

  1. Hearing the songs off of AOD! live for the first time.  Hot damn.
  2. The funk tinge added to songs like “Catfisherman”.
  3. The banjo-less “Round Eye Blues” that worked way better than I thought it would.

And it needed work in others:

  1. Do we really need keyboards on every song?  Listen, I love keyboards underpinning rock songs.  It’s one of the reason I love a number of bands (Centro-Matic, Two Cow Garage, come to mind).  I liked it on a lot of songs, and as I stated earlier, Christine is very talented.  But it cluttered a number of songs.  Just because the keyboard is there, it doesn’t mean you have to use it.
  2. The reworked, slightly up-tempo “Formula Cola Dollar Draft” suffered for the change.  They’ve reimagined a number of songs over the years, but this one wasn’t working.
  3. Dave has never said a lot.  Rambling stories and speechifying were always Serge’s forte, and he’s quite good at them (with the notable exception of a New Mexico snake story told at a State College show).  Dave has good comedic timing when commenting on other people’s peculiarities, but he seemed to struggle a bit stepping into the storytelling, show-running limelight.

So there were signs of hope, but Marah as it’s currently constituted has a ways to go.  I’m interested to hear the new album this fall and am curious how much, if at all, Serge was involved.  I hope the door isn’t closed forever on his involvement, but I’m not optimistic. 

I’ll leave you with a few vids from both Mommies.

The song that inspired this post (Walt Whitman Bridge):


From the previous lineup, here’s a smoking version of Feather Boa, which tells the tale of a star-crossed cross-dresser, interrupted with a little Baba O’Reilly.  This hopefully gives you an idea of why I miss what was before so much.


Semi-acoustic Round Eye Blues, looks like it was taken from a Dave/Christine show late last year:

The Setlist

  • ... Bagpipes (Coolerman)
  • Theme From Rocky
  • Faraway You
  • Coughing Up Blood
  • Angels on a Passing Train
  • Tyrone
  • Catfisherman (+Jungle Boogie, Fame, etc.)
  • This Town (for Dave's Mom)
  • City of Dreams
  • Body
  • Limb (w/Coolerman)
  • Rocky Theme Reprise
  • Rain Delay (for Harry ...)
  • Can't Take It With You
  • Walt Whitman Bridge (Christine on Harmonica)
  • Young at Heart
  • So What If We're Out Of Tune (which Dave introduced as a "backwards skating chick tune")
  • As Time Goes By (Johnny and Martin Dance w/girls in the audience)
  • Round Eye Blues
  • Angels of Destruction
  • The Closer / Too Much Monkey Business
  • Formula
  • Point Breeze
  • Wilderness (chorus only w/Coolerman)
  • Superstition (sort of ..)
  • New York, New York

2009 48 Hour Film Challenge - Philly Edition

Update: Apparently we won some awards last night.

Best acting. Audience award.

Oh yeah, and best movie of the competition.

What that means for us is still a little hazy, but as of right now it might mean a Las Vegas screening sometime in the near future. I wanted to take this space to thank everyone involved for making it the best it could be, and check back for updates. I'll certainly be making them.

“So what’s the ETA on seeing a cut of the movie, J-Hawk?” Shane asked, using one of the numerous “J-“ nicknames we had for our crack editor. We all sat around the computer as he worked, hoping to catch a glimpse of our movie. J-Hawk looked up at all of us, gave a subtle snarl, and returned his attention back toward the editing process.

“I’d say that’s about 15 minutes,” Shane said, trying an ill-timed joke, something we all fancied ourselves masters of. No one engaged with it. It was 5:00. If we were to have a finished entry in the 2009 48 hour film fest, we needed to deliver a tape no later than 7:30 that night.

It was going to be close.

* * * * * *

The 48 Hour Film Fest is a movie competition in which participants have to write, direct, edit, produce and do whatever else is needed to complete a short film in obviously, 48 hours. Each team is given a prop, a character, a line of dialog and a genre on Friday night, and have to submit a finished product (tape/dvd) Sunday evening.

The governing body of the competition uses the prop, line of dialog and character as a way to insure movies are created in the allotted weekend. Nothing special, they can be either crucial or incidental to the plot.

The genre is another story...

Examples of some of genres teams can get are:
  • Sci-fi
  • Action/Adventure
  • Mockumentary
  • Drama
  • Fantasy
  • Buddy film
  • Musical/Western
  • Stoner/kung fu movie
  • Fable
  • Holiday movie
Obviously some of these genres, at first glance seem almost impossible to handle in one 48 hour period. After all, a western really looks like a western with horses. A science-fiction movie begs for special effects. And if you can get your hands on these things during the weekend, that’s fantastic. Unfortunately, many teams don’t have the ability to do that, and so they get creative.

Or, at least that's what Nectar of the Gods does.

Nectar of the Gods is the name my friends and I enter these movie competitions. Over the past five years, we have entered seven of these competitions, with varying degrees of success. We traveled to the San Jose Film Festival in 2006, (you can read an edited version of my potential acceptance speech here; sadly I didn't have a chance to use it) and won the audience award at our screening last year for our film. We enter these competitions strictly because we enjoy it; while other teams might have professional ambitions in the field of cinema and are looking to advance their careers or stretch their artistic vision, we do it mostly to stroke our ego and entertain. Accolades outside our friends make it all the better.

The craziness of creating a film in 48 hours.
It's difficult to explain how difficult/stupid it is to make a movie in 48 hours. The creative process (writing, directing, editing, etc.), mixed with the technical process (color correction, sound level adjustment, etc.) is not a Paul Newman/Joanne Woodward union. There's no easy recipe or anything that can be cut. Everything still needs to be done, just in a compressed timeframe.

And Nectar of the Gods does it a little differently. Whereas other teams have clearly defined roles (the writer, the director, the cameraman) we figure it's good to allow everyone to dip their hands in any/all of the filmmaking proficiencies. We also spend an inordinate amount of time on creating the story, trying very hard to develop a coherent outline that people can follow. Possibly because we lack the experience behind the camera that so many others have, we try to make up for it by creating a story everyone would enjoy. And that's why the genre holds a lot of significance for us...

The paradox of the Musical/Western genre.
Every year, looking at the list of genres, we placed one at the top of the “Most Difficult” page. Perhaps we were naïve, maybe we were cocky, probably we were stupid, but whatever the reason a few of us wanted the challenge of musical/western. None of us had much singing/songwriting ability, and none of us had access to cowboy hats, let alone horses. Yet year after year, when action/adventure, and holiday film reared their ugly heads, we wistfully looked up at the dirty lights of the bar we usually congregated in to kick off the weekend and asked ourselves “what if?”

Until this year of course.

This year, 2009, made it a reality. And it was a reality that didn’t sink in until probably around midnight on Friday, the moment when our feelings went from, “yes, a musical!” to “Shit, a musical!”

Because none of us know the first thing about writing a song, we were left to depend on friends/family/anyone we hadn’t recently offended. That list was short. Luckily we found someone not only with enough talent to eclipse our non-talent, but also enough tolerance to deal with us for many of the 48 hours. While I won’t reveal her identity for professional reasons, I will say we wouldn’t have been able to make half as good a movie without her participation.

She wasn’t the only one that made this movie great though. Friends not only chipped in as actors/helpers, they also willingly sacrificed personal time and space to allow us to shoot in different/unique locations.

So what went right with the weekend?

The music.
First and foremost. It did all it could to mask our horrible singing. It sacrificed itself and took the bullet. While it couldn’t work miracles, it certainly stretched far beyond what we could have asked of it.

The editing.
If any of us have an actual, professional skill that helps us make these movies, it’s our editor. Not just an actual editor, his knack for taking the marginal material we shoot and turning it into something enjoyable is nothing short of an art form. It’s why we loosen the leash during the editing process and let him get away with not showing us the movie until roughly an hour before its due. Seriously seriously though, we have made movies without him and they have suffered. This year we raced against the clock, and J-Man aloofly lounged on a loveseat with his laptop, piecing together our raw footage into a viewable finished product.

The “chief” scene.
Going to 11 on the cliched “police chief hates his rogue detective” didn’t have to work. But it did. In spades.

Bob Seger Live at the TLA ’79.
A joke so inside there’s no way anyone who watches gets it. But it’s the small, subtle details that make the movie that much more special.

The end.
Turning the end into a walk-down-the-street singalong was an eleventh hour addition. I’m glad we decided to do it.

The closing credits song.
I’m not sure we could have dissuaded Mikey (a new father who pitched in much more than we could have expected) anymore about the closing song. Quick summary. Mikey, on his way somewhere to do something family-related and not movie-related on Sunday, text-messaged a few of us with a semi-coherent thought about writing a song to go over the credits at the end. At first we dismissed it, thinking nothing would materialize. Then Mikey showed up, asking to do this. We humored him as we scrambled to get the rest of the paperwork and other necessities finished for the film. We even openly told him it was doubtful we would even have time to add the song in. Short of gagging him, we made it perfectly clear his work was most likely going to end up on the clichéd “cutting room floor.”

The camaraderie.
Every year at one point during the weekend I ask myself why I’m attempting to make a movie in such a short period of time (usually during the screening of the other movies – Jesus, I mean c’mon. It’s called a beginning, a middle and an end. I respect everyone that completes a final product, but would it kill anyone to spend a little more time on a story that makes sense?). And yet there I am, back for more. Why? It’s not a fun weekend. There’s not a lot of sleep, nerves get stretched, and the stench is definitely noticeable on Sunday. It’s because of the people and the fun we can have during these extreme conditions. This film was no exception.

Whether he thought we were kidding, mean, dumb, whatever, he continued to tweak, write and sing what can only be described as a beautiful tribute to not only our film, but also to Bjork. You really have to listen. But there’s no way we could have constructed a better exclamation point to our film.

I hope you not only enjoy “Get ‘em McGettigan,” but also understand at least a little the process behind making one a film like this. Please let me know in the comments whether you enjoyed this write up as I can easily go through more detail about our general process as well as how our other movies got made.

Links of Interest 5/12

Welcome new people stopping by for the first time. I hope you stick around.

Go inside the head of Andy Samberg and his Motherlovers skit from Saturday.

Michael Emerson, he of creepy Ben fame, is interviewed.

And you thought a movie based on Monopoly was the dumbest idea you ever heard.

This is a weird little thing about The Usual Suspects. Writer and director had two completely different opinions about the movie they made.

I mean if times are really tough, you can haggle at the dollar store.

I predict Google’s great universal library will be come a reality, meet an untimely and unexpected demise, and then future generations will lament the loss of such great classics as The DaVinci Code and The Ruins.

I’ll be honest, I did not wake up today and think I would be typing the phrase, “funeral sex.” But I’m glad I did.

5 people that got the future right. At least somewhat.

Stopping the 2012 apocalypse. And no, the author isn’t suggesting to ignore it. That would be my solution.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Links of Interest 5/11

Quantum physics is hard.

See how the swine flu became the swine flu.

This article is scary for two reasons – it suggests Wal-Mart employees can predict a recession, and…well that should be good enough for 2 reasons.

Looking at how underdogs win.

Watch out, the sharks have a secret lair! And while it’s a different species of shark, this discovery now gives the plot of Jaws: The Revenge credence. Not the shark following someone to Jamaica based on revenge, but that a cold water shark would hang out in the warm waters of Jamaica. Scientists, however are still trying to figure out how Michael Caine’s shirt could be completely dry 8 seconds after he was completely submerged in water.

I’m not 100% sure these are supposed to turn me on.

Least bankable stars in Hollywood.

Every so often a new search engine is unveiled and hailed as the one that will take down Google. And every time I have to use Google to find it. So...

JJ Abrams is the golden boy right now with the success of Star Trek. Here’s a list of franchises he should now turn his attention to.

Cool idea for a picture – the path of a Roomba in a room.

A list of funny one liners from I have A Pony, Steven Wright’s classic comedy album, which is getting re-released tomorrow.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The best tweets of the week 5/1 - 5/8

Every week I go back and post my favorite tweets I got during the preceding week. Want to be included in the lunacy? Follow me and be funny, interesting, or threatening! As always, here are the rules:

  • I skew toward the amusing
  • I won't publicize anyone's stuff if they are locked unless they give me permission (the KChop rule)
  • @ replies rarely get on here unless their self explanatory and don't need set up
  • I do love me the setup and punchline stuff, but if they span over multiple tweets, I'm not inclined to include them.
  • Diplo is immune to any of these rules.

Ok, let's go to the tweets...

FartSandwich Our receptionist waited for me to come in this morning so she could play "We Built This City." Loudly. BEST FRIDAY EVER HOLY BALLS.

nathanrabin CNN headline of the day: "Proms, dates take hits from swine flu". Let's just pray that handjobs remain unaffected.

KinkyHitler Today I have continued the tradition of masturbating at every place I have ever worked. ;) I take odd jobs just to increase the count =)

calindrome Who else here thinks today is the most fun, most chatty day on Twitter EVER? Raise your hands. Higher. So I can steal your sandwiches.

gavinpurcell Going to a Star Trek screening in 30 minutes. Hopefully my head will only explode metaphorically.

cellebelle being forced to design in Microsoft Word is God's way of punishing me for watching The Hills once. i mean, probably.

dpressman I want as many followers as Ashton Kutcher......and by "followers" I mean crazed whores.

Dianneamus That muscle relaxer seriously knocked my dick in the dirt. I've never felt more relaxed.

Jessabelle2o7 Two Truths, One Lie: • My date claimed that he lost his wallet. • I later saw my date exiting 7-11 with a 12 pack. • Your mom was there.

sportsguy33 Shoot To Kill has to be one of the 20 greatest interracially homoroerotic outdoor action adventure movies ever made..

paulscheer Was talked into buying Kool-Aid Man home insurance, finally I can drink Kool-Aid w/o the fear of my wall being broken down by a giant jug.

SklarBrothers Final Nirvana Band Meeting Transcript: Dave Grohl: Seriously guys, I can sing. Cobain: I don't think so. Grohl: You're gonna regret that.

steveouch My socks hate the dryer. It tears their little families apart like the holocaust.

ScottAukerman Boy George: Do I really want to hurt u? I want to KILL you - for making so many great hits! Thank you for all u do. God has truly blessed u.

adam_cozens Blind people must have really hated the silent film era.

nottjmiller PG-13 is when I have 13 Pinot Grigios. It usually gets R rated.

FartSandwich Which sillypants went to the store for eggs, and came back with GIANT CHEETOS instead? Me! Oh, silly, did I say sillypants? I meant Fuckbag.

hodgman The bath in this hotel has no safety drain to prevent overflowing. Luckily there is a drain in the middle of the floor. And lots of towels.

phirm Kept up by actual caterwauling for the first time last night. If you haven't heard it before, imagine Satan as a baby having a nightmare.

nerdist was hoping Jeremy Davies' character on Lost would be in spin-off where he sleeps w/ his mom in the past: "Spanking the 12 Monkeys"

CourtneyReimer Got a case of the Mondays? Do not listen to Explosions in the Sky. It'll make you do embarrassing things. Like say "a case of the Mondays."

Jessabelle2o7 God, I love Intervention. It makes me feel like champ at life if only for the fact that I've never kicked my mother in the tits while drunk.

brendancollins Currently pouring out a 40oz bottle of Crisco, in memory of Dom DeLuise. May he rest in pizza.

keithwade In honor of Dom DeLuise, I am going to screw up all my work today and then have everyone stick around after the workday ends & laugh at me.

ScottAukerman The gym locker room is the worst-smelling place in the world. Why do ladies sweat so much?

diplo I just started this latin metal band called - sinkhole de mayo

shareyourdonuts "What was wrong with him?" "I don't know, he seemed kinda 'rapey'."

DougBenson Part of me wants to watch Elizabeth Hasselbeck guest host LARRY KING LIVE, and part of me wants to murder my own face.

slapclap When my teeth itch like this it must be raining. Sucks. Much too wet outside to go score an 8-ball.

DougBenson has a love/hate relationship with Ryan Seacrest. I hate him and I love to hate him.

Jim_Hamilton What are you talking about? There's no elephant in this room. It's just you, me, and that pile of dead hookers.

FartSandwich Thai food has kicked our asses at the office. It sounds like a one-note orchestra. "Which note, Fart Sandwich?" The brown note, sillypants.

keithwade Just took the kids to pick out Mother's Day gifts at Target. I hope the wife enjoys her can of Spaghetti-Os and Dora sticker book.

shareyourdonuts Guy glances over just as I itch the inside of my nose. I didn't want to seem guilty, so I left my finger in there and stared him down, HARD

debenham Twitter maintenance tomorrow. I picture a guy in coveralls loading a metal tube into a slot. The tube is stenciled TWITTERONIUM.

debenham Waiting for my better half to get home. By which I mean @Caissie took my prosthetic legs to work today.

dpressman Real Sex on Hbo should win an award for fastest and craziest boner achieved while flipping channels and eating cashews.