Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Come on!

106. Teengenerate - "My GTO" (from the Let's Go to the Hop EP, Sympathy for the Record Industry, 1996)

I found this somewhere on the internet in my early days of finding music off the internet and I break it out once in a while when I'm in the mood to pretend I'm driving real fast or, more likely, that I'm getting that abstract rush that comes with driving real fast but could, hypothetically, come from other things too. Apparently the band is Japanese, though I didn't realize that until about two minutes ago when I looked up when and where this song is from. I have no clue why, but certain songs I love and cherish without feeling any inclination to learn any more about the artists that wrote and performed them.

Also, I have no idea what any of the lyrics to this song (besides "My GTO," "come on," "that's right," and "she..." are).

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Bitch is Back

The Hills is back, god bless it. It just looks so pretty.

Tonight's series premiere had the task of establishing Kristin Cavallari as a replacement for Lauren Conrad. That started with the realization that, holy shit, that isn't LC's voice in the intro voiceover at all. Then Lo, Stephanie, and Audrina had a wonderful conversation about Kristin, the highlight being the Lo's question "Is she like, gonna be our friend now?"

Which is a great question, because why would she except for the obvious reason that the show requires her to be. I mean, I almost expected her to have to be their illogical TV friend, but she it turns out the answer to Lo's question was a resounding no. A clear sign of the new hierarchy, and an always important detail in the Hills, is in the titles. Lo and Audrina don't need Kristin to be their friend because, as the screen informs us, Audrina is no longer "Lauren's Friend" but rather an autonomous entity (Lo is now "Audrina's friend") (where Stacy "the bartender" fits into a hierarchy I have not yet figured out).

Stephanie's mythologizing of Kristin was also pretty amazing in this ("how can one person turn all of our lives upside down", etc), and Kristin delivered on the drama (as we all expected her to, because she said she would "in real life"). Oh the ambiguity and the, I dunno, supertext (what else would you call those titles). This show is made for me sometimes.

It's gonna be interesting to see how this show fares with Kristin. While at times boring, the last few seasons had an almost realist (obviously only vaguely and in this one aspect) slant in how banal it was. This premiere kinda snuck up on me but I am now very excited.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Solid state survivors

107. Yellow Magic Orchestra - "Rydeen" (Alfa Records, 1980)

Yes, this sounds like video game music, the fast, jaunty rhythms, and simple yet epic instrumental melodies. But I'd like to think that even if 8-bit video game music (which, to make the obvious point, was inspired in part by YMO, not the other way around) didn't end up sounding like "Rydeen", this song would still seem like the perfect jam to ride out to while running in a straight line and shooting aliens and robots with futuristic weaponry.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Life is too short, don't you agree

Poor Bianca. First they took away her eyebrows, then they made her look like black Lady Gaga, and now they kick her off. Oh well, here we go.

Ranking This Week(Ranking last week). Model Name (rankings in the last 4 episodes), bold for bottom 2), [average ranking overall]

1(1). Erin - (6, 1, 3, 5) [3.75]
Erin was only fifth this week, but, oddly, they pretty much admitted that her lack of personality doesn't at all translate into bad pictures. And nothing says fierce like pushing bitches out of the way in a Supermarket Sweepy race.

2(2). Nicole - (2, 4, 2, 4) [3.00]
Here at YMD Power Ranking headquarters, we keep a fairly strict rule to weigh what the judges seem to think of the models far, far above what we think of them. So when I saw that Nigel and Tyra say that the poses in these pictures look too much alike, it's not that I'm ignoring them off hand, it's just that I think that criticism is too retarded to last, even on ANTM.

3(4). Jennifer - (3, 6, 5, 2) [4.00]
Well, when she started screaming I thought this could go one of two ways: either it works, or Tyra is going to say "hoochie" 8 million times. If I remember correctly I think she went with "porno", but it worked out anyways.

4(7). Britney - (11, 2, 10, 1) [6.00]
I shoulda realized the momentary hiccup was just that. No more underrating Britney.

5(6). Rae - (1, 8, 9, 3) [5.25]
She needs to figure out her body a bit, but I think her face is the right combo of angelic and interesting for the judges to keep eating it up while she works everything else out.

6(5). Laura - (9, 3, 7, 6) [6.25]
As much as I love Laure, she was just kinda eh here, and honestly the only reason I have her above Kara is because...

7(3). Kara - (10, 5, 1, 8) [6.00]
...Tyra called Kara "handsome".

8(8). Sundai - (12, 7, 4, 7) [7.50]
I thought maybe Sunday would have a small (ha!) chance because, y'kno, it's a competition for short people. Luckily, Tyra has disabused me of this notion by hammering it into our heads that the only way short girls can model is by fooling people into thinking they're tall. Sundai is too short, don't you agree?

9(9). Ashley - (4, 10, 8, 9) [7.75]
I can't remembered the last time someone got so savaged by the judges on this show and stayed up. Dancin' her way out soon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm addicted to you

It's not your fault, Lenny (but it kinda is).

I just realized to day that the God site Sporcle now allows you to create your own quizzes.


Away friends, let's keep each other internetentertained for ages and ages to come, we now have the technology. First up from me, the surprisingly not-already-on-the-site Law & Order Characters Quiz. Make more of these that I would be interested in and let me kno kthxbye.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Whores in my head

108. Pixies - "Hey" (from the Doolittle album, 4AD, 1989)

I've been making this a lot recently because the closest supermarket sells a pound of pasta for 89 cents and I'm broke and love canned tuna fish. It's mostly stolen from a recipe in the Letters to the Editor section of last month's Bon Apetit, except I changed spaghetti out for linguine (best pasta evs), lemon peel for fennel seed, and fancy pouch tuna for the regular old Bumblebee can. Here we go:

Set a pot of salted water to boil. While that's happening, mince like 2-4 cloves of garlic (I love lotsa garlic like most right-thinking people). Open the can of tuna, and drain some of its oil into a small skillet. When the water is boiling, throw in one serving of linguine and turn the skillet on low. Throw the garlic into the oil along with some crushed, dried chili peppers and some fennel seeds. Cook until the garlic is soft, which should be about as long as the pasta takes to cook. Right around when yr ready to drain the pasta, throw half a little can of tuna into the skillet and mix it up with the garlic, pepper, and fennel seeds. Use a little of the pasta water to moisten the tuna and then toss the pasta in the mixture. Add some Romano and Parmesan and eat that shit.

This serves one, but it shouldn't be too hard to extrapolate for more, yeah? You really know you're with good folks if you can serve em canned tun linguine.

Similar to humans

A somewhat re-edited (from the show, I mean) video for "Animals Are Awesome" by Exotic Endangered Species, aka the winning team in the "write lyrics for a song called Animals Are Awesome" challenge on Real Chance of Love 2 last night. You need to be watching this show.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ooh, it's almost like we're sexin'

109. Next - "Too Close" (Arista Records, 1997)

It must take quite a bit of, I dunno, chutzpah(?), to pitch a song about erections as a single? But somehow this song became one of the biggest US hits of the late 90s, and without much in the way of controversy at that. It's just so goddamn good, another one of those songs that we giggled at in grade school but then we danced to it at dances cuz God knows all the girls wanted to dance to it. Plus, in retrospect, maybe the lyrics were kind of inspiring to us boys in fifth or sixth grade, y'kno? These Next fellers were so confident in the face their public boners.

Either way, it slays now, especially the "sexually" rhyme in the second verse. Wonderful melody, awesome sample jack, great groove, sweet science.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Your love that's catchin' the breeze

110. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Countdown" (b-side to "Maps", Polydor, 2003)

Yes yes, I know, the fucking b-side to "Maps", how cute. But this is as hard as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs ever rocked, and I know that there is more to life than rocking hard but sometimes there isn't. I am absolutely delighted with the YYY's album from this year and hope they go on exploring many new direction for years to come, but if anything, this track shows that their tank of sexy, swaggering, grimy rock and roll had not run dry after the first EP and the first half of Fever to Tell. Good on them for quitting that style while ahead, I guess (not so good on them for Show Your Bones, but whatevs).


An early memory:

I was 6 or 7 on one of my first visits back to Poland. I was sitting in the living room of our old apartment with my folks and some of their friends. For some reason, the topic of famous actors only playing good guys comes up, and I mention Patrick Swayze (I don't know what I possibly could have seen him in at this point). My mom mentions how even though he's not a bad guy, he does kind of cause the other dude's death in Ghost. I proceed to get very upset for some reason.

There are about 7 things that don't make sense in this memory, but oh well.

When I heard he had past, I mostly wanted to watch To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Watch This Fall

It's an odd little irony that I'm sure I'm far from the first to point out that while virtual connectivity and instant communication have increased so much in the last decade (txt Msgs, IMs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), the idea of everybody watching the same TV at the same time (at least as far as fictional dramas and comedies and reality shows go), is slowly becoming somewhat outdated (with Tivo, the DVRs it spawned, and the internet).

What I mean to say is, we probably won't get around to watching Gossip Girl til like 9:30 tonight at my place, which means from around 8 to 9:30 I will have to disconnect myself from Facebook and Twitter. And don't you dare fucking text me about it.

It's 2am, and I'm cursing your name

111. Taylor Swift - "Love Story" (Big Machine, 2008)
112. Taylor Swift - "The Way I Loved You" (from the Fearless album, Big Machine, 2008)

I've written about Taylor before, and I will again, but this is a good a time as any to introduce her (scientifically, of course), to the countdown. Last night seemed to crystallize how massively adored she now is, not just in the American mainstream, but in the demographic that means the most to me personally, my friends and acquaintances. When I first realized that Taylor was one of my favorites I wasn't quite sure whether she would catch on in this most important of demographics, but here we are a day after the VMAs and you'd think there Kanye had, in the words of unlikely ally Katy Perry, stepped on a kitten on live television.

But these two songs are here today not because we pity Taylor (pity is a bad word these days, you know), but because when something (relatively) unfortunate happens to someone you like, you tend to appreciate them even more (like in the movies!). And we here at YMD like Taylor a lot. We like the much discussed and yelled-out key change in "Love Story" a lot. We like the third chorus in "The Way I Loved You", the quiet one where she does that thing with her voice, a lot. We like her Twitter and her MySpace and especially her songwriting and performing and her crystal guitar. So, no of course these songs wouldn't be posted here today if the VMA thing didn't happen. But that's just how science works sometimes.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Holy shit! A designer cried about how he missed his kids and then he actually did well and didn't get kicked off. Holy shit!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sheeeee's Baaaaaack

In case you forgot (like I did until Matty reminded me this morning) or just didn't know because you don't watch the CW and this doesn't get advertised anywhere else, the short people cycle of Top Model starts tonight. Here's this season's graphic:

Ican'twaitIcan'twaitIcan'twaitIcan'twaitIcan'twaitIcan'twait. First guesses at who's taking it home tomorrow or Friday.

I'm back to run the show

We've had to charge the blog up for a week or so in order to resume at full strength. Return of the Yes More Drama at 100% commences now.

113. Mark Morrison - "Return of the Mack" (Atlantic, 1996)

I moved from Poland to Chicago at age 5, in 1990. Throughout the 90s I would go back to Poland for the summer at least every other year and my aunt, who had cable, would get (mostly German) music channels, which, along with sports channels, made up most of my summer TV viewing. Occasionally, I would catch something on Viva or Viva Zwei, and then I'd come back to America and a few months or a year later they'd be on MTV. During the summer of 96, such acts included the Backstreet Boys, the Prodigy, and Brit R&B singer Mark Morrison, whose "Return of the Mack" somehow finishes at 113 on our countdown.

Truthfully, this song could easily get by solely on introducing the phrase "pump up the world" into my life. But, also, it is quite fun to clap your hands to with a bunch of people while drunk. While its lyrics are more emotionally charged, it occupies a spot in my head as a sort of British cousin to "This is How We Do It", summertime R&B jams that are both super-smooth and party-appropriate.

(below is the 5 minute version for maximum groovin'. The black-turtleneck-featuring vid is here)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bouncin in the Lex Luger

114. Jay-Z - "Can't Knock the Hustle (ft. Mary J. Blige)" (Roc-A-Fella Records, 1996)
115. Jay-Z - "Nigga What, Nigga Who (Originator 99) (ft. Big Jaz and Amil)" (Roc-A-Fella Records, 1999)

So the effect of the new, not that great Jay-Z album has basically been two days of me listening to classic Jigga. I think the problems with Blueprint 3 are clearly illustrated in the first track, "What We Talkin' Bout", in which Jay spends the whole verse talking about what he's talking about instead of talking about it. Then a boring chorus from the dude from Empire of the Sun (I don't know either) comes in, and then Jay comes in with a really boring flow, and then the rest of the album follows from there (though No ID does get a few good beats in).

Anyways, no point in wasting our time on Blueprint 3 when gems like these two still exist in the (I think we can now officially say) erstwhile Young Hov's back catalog. "Can't Knock the Hustle" has Mary doing her heart-wrenching rap chorus thing as well as ever, and Jay actually fitting an impossible amount of charisma into that one "IS's/ah yes" rhyme. And that nut/nut thing in the last verse still makes me giggle, for some reason.

And then we have "Nigga What, Nigga Who", the first collaboration between two of the biggest figures in turn of the century rap, Jay and Timbo in which Jay reveals that he can flow like Twista over Timbaland's stuttering futurism and sound just as effortless as he does over a Primo beat.

Sadly, it seems that these days Jay has run out of both interesting things to say (LOL old) and interesting was to say them. Is he the first rapper to have his career reach the Rolling Stones stage where he both has a ton of classic material and is still making commercially successful but boring music?