Friday, August 29, 2008


There are days that I hate Roger Ebert. Those are called "most days". This is absolutely not one of those days. Click the link if you're from Chicago, watch Around the Horn, or enjoy hateful kiss offs from old men. Or laughter.

Jay the Rat by Roger Ebert (via Albatross)

Thursday, August 28, 2008


You know, usually when you see paparazzi photos of celebrities showing affection for one another in public places such as supermarkets or on boats, they look like this:

Grainy, slightly out of focus, shot from a rented motorboat 800 feet away from the action in the photograph with a telephoto lens, NOT FUCKING POSED. Unlike every picture of Heidi Montag and Spencer, who took some time out this week from planning their upscale sports lounge in Murray Hill to visit the supermarket...

This makes me want to vomit. When I see this...

...I want to buy a gun. And when I see this...

...I want to choke a puppy to death. I can't help the way I feel people. Someone make it stop.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sing that song!

280. Montgomery Gentry - "Hell Yeah" (Columbia Nashville, 2003)

While I am stridently against nostalgia as music criticism ("the music of my generation was better than the music of yours, you dummy") and nostalgia as social criticism (read: conservativism), being against nostalgia in general is not really a tenable position. Hell, I'm already nostalgic for college despite only having graduated 3 months ago.

The kind of nostalgia in this song (i.e. "take me back to when the music hit me, when life was good and love was easy") is so unrealistic and contradictory that it is perfectly harmless fun. This is especially true in country, a genre built largely around the fact that love is never ever easy.

The explicit musical references are respectable tough guy music: Haggard, Johnny Cash and Bruce, which could be boring conservative nostalgia, except for the completely POP country of the song, and the fact that they're used not as signifiers of authenticity but as excuses to go apeshit as a bar. And then there's the copping of the "Back in Black" riff in the chorus, which makes it even more silly and anthemic and awesome.

And then there's the actual song. The way the verses are constructed gets me every time: a slow couplet and then the three quick rhymes leading up and off towards the moon, the perfect content+form marriage, because of course release is exactly what this song is about, the kind of release universal enough to make me empathize with a hard-working southern dude and a yuppie chick with a tramp stamp as if their Friday night experience were just like mine. This is pop music of the highest order, even when it pretends that "sounds good!" is a perfectly normal thing to yell at a band. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'ma tell you like this, verbatim

281. Cassie - "Official Girl (ft. Lil' Wayne)" (Bad Boy Records, 2008)

So, Poptimists linked to the new video for Cassie's "Official Girl" today. The single is out on iTunes, but there's no official word on the album coming out anytime soon, which is a shame, cuz the songs that have leaked are sooooo amazing. Please Puffy, if you're reading (and I bet you are), pull the goddamn trigger. You have like the prettiest person in the world and she is recording some of the best music in the world at the moment. Why doesn't it make sense to market the hell out of her and release her goddamn sophomore album?! Just do it, Diddy.

Anyways, this is easily one of my favorite songs of the year so far, Clutch-written, Danja-produced, and Cassie-sung, and all three really come thru (there was an earlier version w/o Wayne, and I'm not sure which I like better, actually, but I won't complain). Cassie doesn't have the hugest singing range, but she uses what she has so well, especially to get across the kind of longing this song requires. This is Danja's high-point so far, I think, eclipsing all the stuff he helped Timbo on over the last few years, and even the stuff on Blackout. The drums are kinda tricky, the synths are gorgeous and lush, and while it doesn't fall too far from the template set by the Aaliyah/Timbaland masterpieces of the late 90s/early 00s, it is an effective update.

Anyways, I heart this, I want to purchase the album, make it happen Bad Boy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I got girls that make that chick Toni Braxton look like Whoopi

282. Big L - "Put it On" (Columbia Records, 1994)

So, it's almost fall, but this is some straight New York summer shit from our own MB's neighborhood. Big Kid Capri shouting chorus, a sweet, bangin' mid 90s NYC beat, and of course Big L (may he rest in peace), with that flow which is very much of its time and yet so goddamn impressive. Plus look at 1994 Fat Joe in this video.

I <3 the Dems

I thought it was a great touch for the Dems to start off their convention with an ol' fashioned gay pride parade.

Just don't talk about gay marriage, please; we all know how that ended four years ago.

God Bless America!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Jew on a motorbike!

283. The Fall - "Garden" (from Perverted by Language LP, Rough Trade, 1983)
284. The Fall - "I'm Into C.B." (b-side to "Look, Know" 7", Kamera Records, 1982)
285. The Fall - "Theme From Sparta F.C." (Action Records, 2004)
286. The Fall - "Cruiser's Creek" (Beggar's Banquet, 1985)

I wondered, as I received these results last nite, whether our scientists have found a distillation of the essence of the mighty Fall in just these four songs, or if there are more to come later. I guess we'll have to wait to find out. Either way, if you don't know yet, the Fall are one of the greatest bands ever, and while their discography is a bit intimidating, what with the roughly 9739324 LPs and 8084034 compilations, they are more than worth getting into immediately if yr not already on the bandwagon.

Mark E. Smith, you see, is the finest lyricist the British Isles ever did produce. He doesn't just straddle the line between genius and rambling crazy, he manages to project himself onto both sides of it at the same time, all the time. For example, a b-side about a young C.B. hobbyist, included here, is one of the funny and sweet character studies evs. And, "Garden," well, God knows what it's about, but its climax of "Jew on a motorbike" is almost inexplicably one of my favorite moments in music ever. "Cruiser's Creek" is about an ill-fated office party and "Theme From Sparta F.C." is about supporting a fictional soccer team. But, as Roger Ebert used to say about movies (back when he was sane), it doesn't really matter what a song is about, but rather how it is about it. And these songs all kick assssss.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What reason do you need to die?

287. Boomtown Rats - "I Don't Like Mondays" (The Fine Art of Surfacing, Columbia Records, 1979)

My uncle Gerry introduced me to this song over dinner one evening when I was 11 or 12. I don't remember why, all I know is that he probably had about 7 or 8 glasses of wine, and felt it the appropriate time to start singing an 80s hit about a school shooting on a Monday morning. While it's not the most upbeat of new wave ditties, it certainly has survived the test of time, along with a terrible cover by 90s darling/inexplicable gay icon/terrible musician Tori Amos.

Brenda Ann Spencer was only 16 years old when she shot and killed the principle and the head custodian of a San Diego elementary school, and seriously injured eight of the students. When asked why she did this, she replied "I don't like Mondays, this livens up the day." Written by Bob Geldof (founder of Live Aid) and performed by his band the Boomtown Rats (NOT to be confused with this band), "I Don't Like Mondays" was released the same year as the shooting, and quickly became the band's biggest hit to date.

This is also, hands down, on of the greatest videos of the decade, if not ever.

Boo Hoo Hoo

Sienna Miller was a victim of vandalism yesterday, and the whole world cried for her.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008


288. Ennio Morricone - "the Ecstasy of Gold" (from the Good, the Bad And the Ugly - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, United Artists Records, 1967)

So one day a studio decided to let Italians make that most quintessential of American movie genres, the Western, and it turned out they were amazing at it (not to mention at writing super-dramatic Western scores. In that spirit, our scientists took a quintessential Tex-Mex form, the quesadilla, and filled it with Italian goodness.

The Ecstasy of Cheese Quesadilla (alternately the Good, the Bad, and the Cheesy)

1 tbsp olive oil (or olive oil spray)
1 12" tortilla (flour or corn works)
Some grated mozzarella (enough to mostly cover half a tortilla)
1 or 2 fresh sprigs of basil, chopped
1 or 2 deli slices of pepperoni, chopped (optional)
1 small roasted red pepper, chopped (optional)
1 or 2 marinated artichoke hearts, chopped (optional)

Coat the bottom of a frying pan in olive oil and heat. Next, place tortilla on pan, cover half of it with cheese, and sprinkle with basil and, if ya like the meat, pepperoni. Fold and cook on medium to high heat, and flip when the bottom side is a little crispy and the cheese has melted. Wait til the second side is crispy and then take it off and serve with some Italian-ish topping. I used alternating rays of roasted red peppers and marinated artichoke hearts, but I'd imagine others might prefer Olives or Parmesan Cheese.

No One Else Can Feel It For You

Wow. The new season of The Hills (season 4, for those of you counting) did not disappoint. Where to begin??

Well the streak of ugly siblings continued (Stephanie Pratt, anyone?) with the introduction of Heidi's older sister Holly (love the names by the way, reminds me of me and my sister Meidi). I don't know what kind of relationship Heidi and Holly have, but a fucking stranger may as well have stayed at the palace of Spencer and Heidi for all the interaction that occurred. Why Spencer was so outraged that Heidi's SISTER stayed with them for a weekend, I don't know. I think his "bad guy" persona is just a liiiittle overdone with this episode. Then at the end, Holly proves to be as bad an actress as her sister by casually mentioning that "hey, I'll just move here. And I'll stay with you guys." New story line officially developed.

The feud between Lo and Audrina continues where it left off, basically with Audrina staring blankly at people and Lo rolling her eyes. Here's the thing, if I were Lo, I would feel the exact same way about Audrina. She's USELESS. The bitch has never made one intelligent, funny or insightful comment in 3 seasons. It's no wonder LC spends more time with Lo. All you get from Audrina is a nod, an "uh huh" and some serious teeth. I could not care less if she was never on another episode (just keep Justin Bobby around).

Oh and Doug. Dougie Doug Doug. Lauren's new love interest. Who she apparently knew from high school. Kind of a snore. But my question is he already friends with Frankie and Brody?? Very subtle producers, very subtle.

All in all, the season proves to be maybe a little juicier than those past. Let's keep our fingers crossed, and our hair and makeup perfectly done.

My love is rotten to the core

289. Van Halen - "Ain't Talkin' Bout Love" (from the Van Halen LP, Warner Bros. Records, 1978)

There was a time in my life when I didn't like Van Halen. How sweet-ass guitar riffs and absurd charisma like this didn't appeal to me I honestly don't remember. This track in particular is one of the most successfully delusional kiss-offs to the idea that men are at all capable of love or even sympathy ever. I mean, "You know you're semi-good looking" is just such an amazingly bastardly line, especially as delivered by DLR. It's hard to make something this pathetic and exhilarating at the same time.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

House is a Feeling

290. Fingers Inc. - "Can You Feel It" (Jack Trax, 1988)

Maybe this is the greatest house track ever, maybe it isn't, we haven't gotten those tests back yet. But there is definitely no better answer to the question "What is house?" than the one provided in its lyrics. It's as wonderful of an origin story as has ever been provided for a genre of music in its own text and, yeah, it's a hell of a track as well.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I go five days without the internet....


There's a tranny on Top Model?! AWESOME. Isis is 24, and a receptionist from Maryland. She describes herself as a "woman born physically male" and says that she "likes to help people, but I'm here to follow my dreams." I say it's about time, the show was definitely in danger of, dare I say, getting old. I cannot wait til she's in the bottom two and hearing Tyty say: "It came down to choosing between someone who was born a woman, but isn't really putting everything she's got into being a woman, and someone who was born a man, but is trying her hardest to be a woman..."


The OK Magazine I bought today is detailing every aspect of Jennifer Aniston's wedding to John Mayer. Wait. They're getting married? They've been together since April and she's picking out dresses, and they've already chosen a guest list? They know Sting and Trudie Styler?! Apparently the "aging star" NEEDS to tie the knot before her 40th in February, so they're planning on a wedding for sometime in late December or early January with Courtney Cox as the Matron of Honor and Pete Wentz as the Best M-
-Oh wait...No...Wait...US Weekly is reporting they split up. So is TMZ. Now so is Sigh. Apparently they're "cooling off their relationship." Maybe it's because while Jen was busy picking out baby names, John realized that "cougar season typically ends when bikini season begins." Oh, TMZ. I've missed you in the last few days.
However a "pal" defends the actress (now clearly on suicide watch) and says "If she said she wants kids and he's not ready, that's not being needy. It's being honest." Go girl. Go.


"Did 14-year-old singer Ali Lohan have a summer growth spurt?" asks US Weekly (the source of everything I consider credible), who reports that the weathered sexagenarian may have had some breast enhancement surgery this summer. Last week in East Hampton Lohan was simply "flaunting" her new chest, according to the magazine. However, YMD's own source (no, for real, I have sources. They write funny things) says "they just looked like normal 'I'm fourteen, I want to wear push up bras to show off the little that I've got' boobs." Yes More Drama also obtained this exclusive interview (thanks to Lauren):
YMD: Are you excited for the concert?
Ali: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...
YMD:How about the Olympics? are you watching those at all?
Ali: Olympics??
YMD:If you were in the Olympics, what sport would you play?
Ali: Uuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...
Friend: I'd do gymanstics!
Ali: Uhhhhhh I like soccer I guess?


First of all, can I just say, Lilo. Not looking so hot? What's going on? Why the Melanie Griffith trout pout? Please. Cool it. It feels like you're giving me attitude for even looking at this picture, and I don't like it one bit. Chill girl, chill.
In any event, Sam Ronson was interviewed for Harper's Bazaar (I guess because she's a style? Icon?) She says of apparent life partner Lindsay, "I'm not going to talk about Lindsay because she's my friend, you know? She's great. She's also 22 years old. I think people forget that. With the Internet the way it is, one second we're enemies, one second we're best friends, one second we're lovers, and then we're broken up." Oh yea Sam, it's the internet's fault. Not your kissing and fighting in public, feeding each other in outdoor cafes or holding hands while "avoiding" photographers. However, she refuses to confirm or deny that the two are, in fact, lovers: "Even the airport-security guy in Canada asked me, 'So, is it true?'" laughs Samantha. "It's like, 'Oh, yeah, I'm telling you.'" Keep us guessing Rohan! Keep us guessing to our last dying breath!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Make believe you never see the tears I cry

291. Isaac Hayes - "Walk on By" (from Hot Buttered Soul LP, Stax, 1969)
292. Sam & Dave - "Hold On, I'm Coming" (Stax, 1966)

Even if the album it came from wasn't named Hot Buttered Soul, I'm not sure I could come up with any other description of what Isaac does to the track (it's a Bacharach penned Dionne Warwick song) than melting. It's slooooow, funky, and gorgeous, and for some reason sounds distinctly urban to me. Like hot pavement.

Back when Isaac Hayes was writing songs for various Stax artists with David Porter, they penned this ultra super classic Sam & Dave song, which has the exact opposite effect on me than "Walk on By" does. The latter is down, the former is up, there's no getting around it, but both are absolutely classic. The horn riff in "Hold On, I'm Coming" is on the level of Hamlet's soliloquy.

Rest in peace, Chef.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Anderson Turns Up the Sass

When Anderson Cooper filled in for Regis (at the daycare he leaves Kelly Ripa every day to learn and play) on Tuesday, he let his true feelings fly on the family Lohan (after he, of course, told us his feelings on the new season of Project Runway - he hates Stella!). He called the family "atrocious" and "horrifying," said the show was "a train wreck" and said of Allie Lohan "she's allegedly 14, but looks to be about 60." I don't know what the big deal is with that statement, personally, because calling a sexagenarian seems more like a statement of fact rather than a callous assumption. Does she not look like she's pushing 60? And why was I not aware she had a CD called Lohan Holiday?!

However, Dina was peeved and later that day told OK! Magazine or We Will Pay You For Puff Piece Exclusives Weekly "People are just cruel! This is bad karma for him." Yes, as the earthquake in China was bad karma for their terrible governing, and Sharon Stone's husband's foot was bitten off as bad karma for Sharon Stone's existence, and her existence was bad karma for the holocaust, karma is once again being bandied about by people who have trouble using words that exceed four letters.

The next day on Anderson 360 the subjected was broached AGAIN, and Anderson's response was "She probably didn't see it that night because she was out clubbing." Oh snap indeed Coops. Shit is intense. Notable sperm donor Michael Lohan, not to be left out of any situation involving his alleged "family" or the show on E! that he has absolutely nothing to do with and is never ever referenced on had this to say: "I think Anderson Cooper is an opinionated, hypocritical idiot who should be an adult and keep his opinion to himself. He is the last person to judge anyone, when he and his own family have their own issues."

Here's the clip that started it all (apologies that it comes from something called "Our Daily Ripa," coincidentally enough the title of about 80% of my nightmares):

Monday, August 4, 2008

Can you hear me calling?

293. Fleetwood Mac - "Everywhere" (Warner Bros, 1987)

I am by no means a Fleetwood Mac expert (hey, Sam!), but I do know a stunning hook when it hits me on the head (evidently, so does our science). This is a Christine McVie song from late 80s, Tango in the Night Mac, is a killer at parties, and has a very bizarre video. The harmonies in the chorus are the illest.

Friday, August 1, 2008

No need fi go down

294. Enur ft. Nastasja - "Calabria 2007" (Ultra Records, 2007)

In the Bronx (in most of NYC), the spring and summer of 2007 were controlled (judging by the all important "songs blasting out of cars criteria") by "Umbrella". This spring, the juggernaut of "Lollipop" (and later all of the Carter III) was the undisputed winner. In between, the ruler wasn't as clear, but this song has as good of a claim as any. It took me about a year to figure out what it was called and who made it, but now that I have, Christ, I can't stop listening to it. Apparently, this is about the billionth version of a house song released by Rune in 2003. Now, however, it is a house/dancehall/reggeaton monster, with killer vocals by the Danish Nastasja and the saxophone riff has been stuck in my head for about 8 months now. I want a party I can play this at NOW!