Friday, January 16, 2009

Conan sticks it to Cleatus yet again

And when we say sticks it to him, we mean it. I already loved Conan O'Brien, but if he keeps up his series of insults against FOX's dancing football robot, he goes into my hall of fame. It could only be better if Conan were somehow simultaneously taking on this guy.
In case you missed the first one, peep Wednesday's post. Round 2 is below. I can only hope Conan himself will take on Cletus head to head in the coming days. Super Bowl promo anyone?

LeBron wins Super Bowl for Browns, wakes up [Pipe Dreams]

I've already directed you to the YouTube announcement announcement and the leaked photos, but Sparty and Friends has taken the LeBron January 18 mystery announcement story one step further, having apparently seen The King's supposedly secret new State Farm when it accidentally played on Hulu. Effing interwebs, screwing everything up for TV watching simpletons. I'm actually hoping I get to see it at some point so I can focus Sunday's commercial watching energy on the DSRL.  What? You guys didn't think he was actually going to make a real life announcement, did you? I thought we all knew it was for a commercial the whole time. Yikes, sorry to burst your bubble, Cleveland (not like you're not used to it). I guess now would be a good time to call up any Ohioans you know and tell them not to adjust their 2009 fantasy football draft rankings just yet (although he really does look like he could dominate the gridiron. LeBron to the Giants in 2010!).

There's...something on the wing [Miracle on the Hudson]

It really wouldn't be right if I neglected to mention at all the incredible story that happened here in New York City yesterday. Watching the flotilla of rescue boats and ferries drift down the frigid Hudson from my office window (and it was fuh fuh fucking fuh-reezing yesterday), with the tail of the Airbus A320 just barely poking out from the water like some kind of 21st century Great White robot, was a reminder that you never know what you're going to see happen on any given day, and of course that any day could be, you know, like, the end. Imagine strapping in for takeoff and within five minutes hearing the pilot tell you they're about to ditch. Exqueeze me, baking powder? Would I have been the only one quoting Carlin at this point? "Well, what exactly is a water landing? Am I mistaken, or does this sound somewhat similar to CRASHING INTO THE OCEAN!?" Then somehow, by the grace of Sexy Jesus, the pilot actually pulls it off, and you find yourself standing on the freaking plane wing, unable to feel your extremities, as you float down a goddamn river repeatedly punching yourself in the face to ensure that you are in fact still alive, all of this happening, once again, LESS THAN FIVE EFFING MINUTES AFTER TAKEOFF. And after it all ends, you find out that it was geese -TWO goddamn dirty rat bastard geese - that caused the whole thing. Are you kidding me? Would you ever fly again? Would you just say, "Eff it, let it ride - I'm floatin' my ass down to AC and putting my life savings on black?" I actually heard one news anchor say to the shaken up passenger he was interviewing something along the lines of, "So now you're really going to do something with your life,  right?" Good gravy, man! Dude's just happy to be alive. The bottom line is this: It's really a miracle that everyone survived, and the pilot and crew deserve all the praise of heroism that gets thrown their way (after pulling off the must unlikely and death-defying maneuver of his flying life, the pilot went back after the rescue and rechecked the plane for survivors...twice). That all being said, I think this should serve as final notice that we need to eradicate Earth's goose population as soon as possible. Bird Strikes are real, and they're not going away. Obama, you've been warned. Now bring these feathered terrorist fucks to justice.

No- No- No more work this week! [Friday Jams]

It's been a minute since I posted an official Friday Jams, so I'm gonna try to blow this one out and give you some stuff to bounce around to this weekend (and you will need to remain bouncing, as it is brick city miserable my teeth hurt kinda cold out there).

[T-minus one month to liftoff] I've had my eye on N.A.S.A. since before I really knew their deal, but I really started paying attention when I saw David Byrne's name next to Chuck D's and listened to 'Money.' Turns out the duo of DJ Zegon and Squeak E. Clean (the brother of Spike Jonze) have a shitload of most awesome friends, and when I see a list of collaborations like this one, I get excited. Apparently their agenda is to bring together as much diversity and musical collaboration as possible, and from the looks of things they've done a great job. A few tracks have leaked here and there, so grab the ones you can download (with props to Pigeons and Planes), and check out the rest of the track list for the debut album, The Spirit of Apollo, out February 27.

01. Intro
02. The People Tree (feat. David Byrne, Chali 2na, Gift of Gab, & Z-Trip)
03. Money feat. David Byrne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge & Z-Trip
04. NASA Music (feat. Method Man, E-40, & DJ Swamp)
05. Way Down (feat. RZA, Barbie Hatch, & John Frusciante)
06. Hip Hop (feat. KRS-One, Fatlip, & Slim Kid Tre)
07. Four Rooms, Earth View
08. Strange Enough (feat. Karen O, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, & Fatlip)
09. Spacious Thoughts feat. Tom Waits & Kool Keith
10. Gifted (feat. Kanye West, Santogold, & Lykke Li)
11. A Volta (feat. Sizzla, Amanda Blank, & Lovefoxxx)
12. There’s a Party (feat. George Clinton & Chali 2na)
13. Whachadoin? feat. Spank Rock,M.I.A., Santogold & Nick Zinner
14. O Pato (feat. Kool Kojak & DJ Bab√£o)
15. Samba Soul (feat. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien & DJ Qbert)
16. The Mayor (feat. The Cool Kids, Ghostface Killah, DJ AM, & Scarface)
17. N.A.S.A. Anthem

[I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg] Gave you the heads up on the Paul's Boutique reissue, so in honor of my fellow tribesman here's one of my favorite tracks from that album. Love all the samples (Dust Brothers on production) and brings memories of 'Egg Raid on Mojo,' played at the aforementioned concert. Unrelated to any of that is this site which will consume plenty of your precious free time if you're a Beastie aficionado like myself. Beastie Boys - Egg Man

[If it ain't broke] Everyone is jumping on tracks with Santogold, and Three Six Mafia and Project Pat have proven, at least to me, that this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Santogold - Shove It (Mad Decent Remix) ft. Three 6 Mafia & Project Pat

[Don't say I never gave props to Cleveland] Kid Cudi's whole half-singing half-rapping thing threw me for a minute, but I've listened to more of his stuff and I'm excited to see what he does in '09. Could be a real big year for this dude, but like Asher says, "What do I know? I'm just a white kid." Kid Cudi - Embrace the Martian ft. Crookers

[This speech is my recital] Run D.M.C. were elected to an extremely irrelevant institution (hey, I can only be nice to Cleveland once in a given post), so I give to you perhaps my all-time favorite jam of theirs. Run D.M.C. - It's Tricky 

[What kind of a grown man calls himself "Puffy?"] Finally, something I just saw (thanks to Nah Right). I was jammin to Ready to Die and Life After Death all day yesterday in celebration of Notorious Eve. DJ Mike Nice presents a mixtape celebrating Brooklyn to get you more in the mood for the Biggie biopic, which I've been excited about for a while now. It's out today, so go see it. DJ Mike Nice - Brooklyn Bullshit (Mixtape)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Whither Jetesy?

Caught one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes before Was watching Seinfeld before--the one where George stops having sex and teaches Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter the simple physics of hitting-- and with the beginning of the "What will the Yankees do with Jeter?" discussion starting to rumble in earnest, it was great to get a look at a youthful Cap'n Jetes doing schtick with Bernie and Costanza. Before he was The Captain he was an exuberant youngster, already a champion, playing every night with only winning on his mind--destined for greatness. And that's how I'll remember him.

But gratuitous bro-love aside, I too wonder how the end of his Yankees career is going to play out. He'll retire a Yankee because he has to and because the Yanks take care of their iconic players that way. He's a lifer. How much he'll get paid after the 2010 season and how (and certainly where) he plays from then until the end are the big unknowns. Money and contract issues are not really of interest to me right now, but I am curious to see where he fits in as his career declines. We thought first base, but enter Bronx Bombers First Basemen Episode 4: A New Hope. Based on what I said above about Jeter's status, I don't think Tex's arrival signals his end in the Bronx, but Jeter's numbers are on the decline; his power has shrunk to the point where he's now a singles hitter who grounds into way too many double plays, traits that aren't becoming for a shortstop and number 2 hitter. Ditto for DH. A-Rod is here for another 9 years at third, so whither Jetesy? At the moment I'm trying really to convince myself that I see The Captain settling under a fly ball somewhere in the new Stadium's outfield, but I'm glad I caught him in his Jeterian innocence on Seinfeld, as I will remember him. It's too tough just yet to imagine Bob Sheppard announcing, "Batting seventh, the left fielder, number 2, De-rek Je-ter...number 2." Yieeesh. That was weird.

Okay time for college hoops (football season is essentially over, sigh)-- c'mon Hoos make it enjoyable! Yea, my expectations against UNC aren't the highest, but we have a sweet freshman who is about to have the ACC Rookie of the Week Award renamed after him, and we're playing at home. Every puncher has his chance. Game just started, $$ is in the house, awesome.

Shady Happens [Legally This Time!]

Ashamed of myself for being so slow on this as well, but the track that led to the disappearance of Friday Jams and had me momentarily thinking that the feds were gonna come to my apartment and take my precious piece of the internet away forever has leaked once again for what appears to be the last time.

Henceforth to be officially known as "Crack A Bottle," Eminem's new track seems finally complete and includes verses from the still-flowin Dr. Dre and the surprisingly melodic 50 Cent(s Jackson). I really dig this track and the fact that these 3 are together again in 2009 on a track that feels like the ones I was bumping from my first year dorm room in 2002. From Rolling Stone:
The third and likely final version of Eminem’s “Crack A Bottle” hit the Internet today, complete with new verses featuring Dr. Dre and 50 Cent. The track is expected to be included on the Slim Shady’s upcoming comeback LP Relapse, due out in the first quarter of 2009. As opposed to those previous five song leaks that left Eminem “heated,” this time the song was actually distributed to the media.
Props to Pigeons and Planes for the download link, which I can happily include without fear of being added to the list of Most Wanted Internet Pirates. Our long national nightmare is finally over, (legally) enjoy your new Slim Shady.

"This one begins where the last one ends.
Pick up where we left off and get smashed again."

Eminem Joined By 50 Cent and Dr. Dre On New “Crack A Bottle” [Rolling Stone]

Saving Adolf

Missed this yesterday, but props to Karen for the tip.

You may remember my Hanukkah wish last month for an adorable but extremely unfortunately named little tyke from New Jersey to get a birthday cake with his name on it like every three year old should. Problem was, the local ShopRite felt just a tad comfortable with the cake inscription "Happy Birthday Adolf!" At the time we generally agreed that the stores were doing the right thing, and that some switch or another was obviously not flicked on in the brains of Adolf's parents, the generically named but mentally unhinged Heath and Deborah Campbell. Well, it seems that someone out in Jersey finally got the memo on these human paraquats, because Adolf Hitler Campbell and his two younger sisters, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, 1, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, 8 months, have been taken into protective custody by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services. DYFS probably won't release too much information, and the indication is that this has nothing to do with their names, but in a way it does, because anyone who is mental enough to name their children Adolf Hitler and Aryan Nation is basically saying that they don't really mind if their kids are fucked for life. That's enough to be considered abuse in my opinion.
The report from FOX News, which cites a thankfully much funnier precedent for this kind of thing.
My only question: Should this case change my plans to name my first two children (regardless of sex) 'Mystique' and 'Aura' after the old Yankee Stadium?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

If I had a penny for my thoughts I'd be a millionaire [Beastie Boys]

The Beastie Boys are reissuing the classic album Paul's Boutique on January 27 in celebration of its 20th anniversary, which makes you and me very, very old people [Source]. It was deemed, for the most part, a critical failure in 1989 (although following up on the absurd success of their debut, License to Ill, had to be tough), the Beasties' second album gained cult success and has come to be recognized as an all-timer in the rap canon. Incidentally, 1989 was also a big year for me. That year I discovered The Price Is Right, when I went to my friend's house before p.m. kindergarten and we ate Spaghetti-Ohs while Bob Barker babysat via television, mesmerizing us with his shiny white hair and conductor's wand microphone. I also turned six, so I had to start using both hands to tell people how old I was. I got to sleep in school, drank chocolate milk every day, and I seem to recall reading lots of enormous books. Oh, and did I mention the bitches?

From those glory days until now, the classic LP has never been digitally remastered. The original vinyl artwork has also been restored in the form of an eight-panel digipak (Beastie Boys keep it green) displaying a panoramic view of that now-familiar intersection at Rivington and Ludlow on the LES. Other reissue perks include a foldout poster and access to a download of "track-by-track" commentary from Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA, who share stories, thoughts and insights about each song as it plays in the background.

Like you and me, the Beastie Boys are advancing in years but still fighting for their right to party, with plans for a new studio album in '09 to follow up on 2007's The Mix Up. I was lucky enough to check out their stop in Central Park that summer, and I was overwhelmed by their intensity and showmanship, but also how well they related to and played off of the crowd, many of whom (myself included) were drooling toddlers when the three MCs and one DJ, now into their forties, first appeared on the scene. That show remains an all-time favorite for me.

In other Beastie news (specifically for those who have derided me for my considerable East Coast bias), here's one reason I wish I were livin' out Californee-way right about now: Over 100 artists have contributed to an awesome new Beastie-inspired exhibit called "Under the Influence" at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles. The title is apropos, considering the profound influence that the Beastie Boys have had during their storied career as the first relevant white hip-hop group. Despite the initial corny factor, they have not only endured but inspired others and continued to grow creatively. Sadly, I won't be visiting L.A. any time soon, but for all of those who, like me, prefer to boast to the East Coast, the entire collection is available online, right here. A few of my favorites below.

Need a job? Hate your job? Live the dream!

Anyone in the world can officially apply to be the "Island Caretaker" of Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef, aka "Best Job in the World," thanks to a clever tourism promotion by the Australian state of Queensland which will pay one lucky candidate $105,000 (US) for six months of "work" in the tropical paradise.

Says acting state Premier Paul Lucas - not to be confused with the Paul Lukas seen here and here (you know he spent at least 30 minutes perfecting those stirrups) - "The fact that they will be paid to explore the islands of the Great Barrier Reef, swim, snorkel and generally live the Queensland lifestyle makes this undoubtedly the best job in the world."

Yes, and the fact that you're somehow supposed to make yourself stand out from the entire rest of the world with nothing more than a 60 second video clip makes this undoubtedly the most impossible contest in the world.

I guess they have to pick somebody (although I have no idea how that vetting process is going to work), so you might as well apply, unless of course your current job involves lazing around a beach all day, snorkeling and living rent-free in a three-bedroom beach house. Oh, and you'll occasionally have to blog about it and post some photos, how exhausting.

Good luck, everyone! You're more than welcome to come visit me while I'm lounging in my hammock with a parrot on my shoulder, sipping milk straight from a coconut.

"The Best Job in the World" is sort of like Castaway,
except without all the melancholy solitude and, you know, the crazy.

Australia offers 'best job in world' on paradise island [Yahoo!]
Official application [Tourism Queensland]

Jimmy Fallon praised by critics, and other brain-exploding news

Some odd news and notes that may be deemed click-worthy by some of you...

Conan throws Masturbating Bear under the bus. "I'm hosting 'The Tonight Show.' That's the show I watched with my dad when I was 10." -- "Tonight Show"-bound Conan O'Brien is aging and maturing, much to the chagrin of poop joke enthusiasts everywhere. He also hates Cleatus the dancing FOX football robot, so at least we can all support that. [Chicago Tribune]

Fallon defies odds, appears likable. Meanwhile, O'Brien's "Late Night" replacement, Jimmy Fallon, has managed to win over a few fans and critics with his online videos. "He may still not know exactly what the word “vlog” means, but he clearly senses this new-media stuff is sober business," says New York Times digital-culture writer Virginia Heffernan. Hold your breath until March 2, when Fallon gets his first chance to break character and laugh at his own jokes on actual TV. [NYT]

Is that the kind of thing that you think you might be into? "We try our best. We just don't have much time, money, or skill." -- Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords, which returns to HBO officially this Sunday. Of course, if you've visited SH before you've already seen the first episode. [A.V. Club]

Get ready for some Chocolate Pain, bitch. A remix of the Pork and Beans video from Weezer, updated with more internet favorites and a YouTube-within-a-YouTube construction. Plus, the band gets South Park-ified, which sort of completes the circle. Weezer allegedly created the remix to capitalize on the theoretical millions garnered by the original. [Videogum]

LeBron James to lift Cleveland's spirit before stomping on its soul. The King has released an official announcement of his upcoming January 18 announcement. That's the date LeBron will most likely upstage the "Mannings vs. Williamses" DSRL showdown and launch his new ad campaign. Not much is known, but recently leaked photos have him donning a Browns football uniform, which seems appropriate since he's probably the only person who could save them at this point. Cries of Photoshop fraud abound, but the pics are real and the ads will serve as a painful reminder of actual Photoshop dreams that could become reality in 2010. [LeBron 2010]

I'm gettin the world. “My sales have tanked, but I still got you. Download this, it sounds like shit” -- Neil Young has released a pretty hysterical one-shot music video for what is allegedly the title track of a forthcoming studio album. With a blues beat blasting in the background, Young plays air guitar, waxes on the economic crisis, and sports headphones plugged into an apple, which he takes a bite out of. Stick that symbolism in your pipe and smoke it, Steve Jobs! [Rolling Stone]

Monday, January 12, 2009

Well, that sucked [I hate everybody]

"Hello, you've reached the Giants' coaches box. Sorry we can't take your call right now, we're busy scheming our next third-and-fail. Please leave a message and we'll get back to you if we wake up."

Aaaaaand NFL season is over - that was quick! Thanks for the great effort, Giants. It was a great season and a classic battle yesterday that neither team could have been ashamed to lose. Maybe not so much, but thanks for showing up and playing like you wanted it. Thanks for showing up at all? Alright, does anybody want to tell me what the eff that was all about yesterday? Eli? Coach Coughlin? Sweet Jesus, has anybody seen Dave Tyree?

Thanks to the GMen deciding to roll over and die yesterday (because who wants a clear path to a second straight Super Bowl, really?), I now get to endure yet another week at work, this time with no football light at the end of the tunnel but an absolute Suckfest of a championship round which will ultimately send either the Iggs or the Buzzsaw that is the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl. Allow that to sink in for a moment. ::Throws up all over keyboard::

This disaster says nothing of the battery of texts and emails I've received since the end of the gamy yesterday, most of which were sent from fans and residents of the city that pretty much invented losing. The worst part is that aside from remaining much better looking, I don't have shit to say back to these animals (although you all should probably prepare for facebook to notify you that I've sacrificed your friendship for a Whopper). From the outset the Giants didn't have it, they never looked like they wanted it, and really, they got their asses thoroughly whupped by a better team for a full 60 minutes. There was no phase of the game in which the Giants demonstrated any sort of superiority, confidence, effort, intelligence - shall I continue?

Lucking out on a safety and settling for 5 field goal attempts - 2 of which were missed by John "Skeletor" Carney - without even sniffing the end zone on 5 red zone possessions is generally not a game plan for success. Then again, neither is 3-for-13 on third down. And I haven't even mentioned yet the fact that Eli decided to revert back to his rookie year and play like a steaming hot pile of garbage. Someone needs to tell him that you don't always have to follow in your brother's footsteps. Maybe young Elisha saw big brother go down in the first round last week and decided that they could use all the extra time they could get to prepare for their big Double Stuf race against the Williams sisters. Seems possible, considering that the Giants were A) doubly stuffed in the fourth quarter as they twice failed to convert on fourth-and-short (neither play was even close, and if anyone wants to explain the QB sneak with inches to gain, please go right ahead), and B) outwitted and outplayed by Double Stuf personified.

However, I can't lay it all on Eli. Maybe Coach Spags should have been spending a little less time interviewing for head coaching jobs and a little more time designing a defensive scheme for THIRD-AND-FUCKING-TWENTY!!! Did we really just forget all about this???

There's so much more that I could say about one of the most miserable playoff performances I've ever witnessed by one of my favorite teams, but it's Monday, I'm depressed, I still hate Philly (maybe now more than ever) and it's fuh fuh freezing in New York City. How long until baseball starts? This is miserable.

Help me, Mark Teixeira. You're my only hope.