Added some shots to the ol' stencils-and-whatnot gallery.
The Nats will suck. Then they will spend. If you're any other team in the NL East, you should be thinking, "Let's try to get it done in the next three years, because there eventually will be no doormat." The Phils, Braves, Mets and Marlins should view the Nats the same way the Chargers viewed the Raiders last year: fresh meat -- an instant plus-2 in the win column. If the NL East doesn't produce the wild card team, then somebody is screwin' up royally. And don't give me any guff about the bottom-feeders in the NL Central -- the Nats will make Pittsburgh and Milwaukee look like luxe, talent-loaded franchises.
Phawker on the OK Go:
Before closing out a stellar set with “Here We Go,” (the treadmill video song), Kulash told the crowd that song has recently been covered by Kidz Bop, a collective of tykes performing grown-up rock songs. “This is a song that’s basically about waking up in the stupor of a hangover after a one-night stand and asking yourself, ‘What the hell just happened?’ Now, are there any 8-year-olds that know what that feels like? And the ones that do, do you really want them covering your song?”
It should be no surprise that the just-announced lineup for the Rock The Bells hiphop festival looks like a nostalgia tour: The promoters say the event, set for three dates in July and August, is to celebrate artists who make "social, political and conscious hip-hop music." The roster, however, looks more like a roll call of groups that were doing it 10 years ago, and doing it a lot better back then: Public Enemy, Cypress Hill, Nas, EPMD, the Wu-Tang Clan and Rage Against The Machine are among the headliners.
Yeah, sure, a few Rock The Bells performers are at the top of their game right now: Blackalicious, MF Doom, The Coup, Mr. Lif, Murs and Sage Francis are still making critically acclaimed records, but they've all been toiling in commercial obscurity for at least a half-decade. If they can't break out, acts such as Hangar 18 and Immortal Technique aren't going to be racking up platinum sales anytime soon, either.
Chang Weisberg, one of the promoters, says in a news release: "We will prove that over 150,000 fans can spark a movement and a shift in the music and culture of America. The summer of 2007 will be remembered as the year that quality hip-hop came back." As much as I'd like Weisberg to be right, those 150,000 fans might be the entire paying audience for the genre at this point.
The festival's three dates are July 28 at Randall’s Island in New York; Aug. 11 at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, Calif.; and Aug. 18 at McCovey Cove Parking Lot (near AT&T Park) in San Francisco. Tickets go on sale March 31. Nas and the Wu will do 15 dates in other cities, according to the promoters.
(The dudes at Econo posted this piece here.)
Note to Gawker: I believe the first pop-culture usage of the term "douché" came during an "In Living Color" sketch: Damon Wayans, playing his most excellent Oswald Bates character, takes the place of Hannibal Lecter in a parody of "Silence Of The Lambs." Kelly Coffield Park has the Jodi Foster/Clarice Starling role. During the repartee, she makes a point, and Bates looks back at her.
"Douché, or should I say Summer's Eve," he says.
SIDE NOTE: The malaprop "ExLaxity" is still a fully sanctioned substitute for "exactly" in the Cesspool's lexicon, or should I say, lactation.
The red thermal-imaging halo is a little weird; I'm not sure that's what her aura actually looked like. But I would have no way of knowing, anyway.
Maybe that's why she's not looking at me.
Given the choice, however, Tha Mrs. and I would've much preferred the scat-singing, wig-and-glasses-wearing, hankie-clutching Ella. (That's a wig, right?) Click through for the full video:
I'm not buying the argument that "300" is somehow a "surprise smash." EW makes it seem as though the film's box-office take is completely inexplicable. Uh, no. This one was bulletproof from the get-go, for obvious reasons. I don't even have to see it to know why.
On that note, here's the handy Pop Cesspool Guide To Whether Or Not A History-Based Action Movie Will Sell A Lot Of Tickets:
1. Is it about honor and glory and shit like that?
2. Lotsa people be gettin' killed and stuff?
3. Awesome slow-mo?
4. Can girlfriends be convinced that it's artistic and whatnot?
5. Is the history part just kinda incidental?
6. Would dudes wanna get smoked-up to see it?
If your movie hits all six hot-points, you're golden, bro.
When one has contracted a 48-hour cholera-like illness, there is nothing more mind-numbingly pleasurable than the ranting of ESPN's young March Madness analysts. I don't even care what they're saying ... it's just distracting me from the urrps. They're so excited and authoritative -- they make Mel Kiper Jr. look like a zen monk.
At the risk of ganking some of Yer Mom's revisionist history vibe, I'm gonna say this about last night's Who concert at the Verizon Center: The two best songs completely caught me off guard. When you grow up with The Valley's Rock Station, you're gonna hear "Eminence Front" and "You Better You Bet" like, every single day. They're part of the Soundtrack To Your Tepid Life, and they recede into the background despite their hooks. They're the cocaine pop of late-career rock godz, and they always tumble out of the speakers with a dash of irony: Townshend and Daltrey definitely knew angst at that stage of the game, but they weren't exactly flipping burgers, either. And that's when "Eminence Front" comes on the radio -- when you're flipping burgers.
Twenty-odd years later, these two post-disco hits sound strangely essential. Last night the band's venerable relics ("Baba O'Riley" et. al.) were almost churchy in their delivery: This is the part of mass where everybody shouts "Teenage wasteland!" But "Eminence Front" and "You Better You Bet" still rippled with approximations of youthful, rockist vitality. I'd like to think it's because the songs are built on grooves, not operatics, but the truth is probably closer to this: Daltrey and Townshend probably have an easier time remembering why they wrote them. Yeah, they're bullshit -- in the narratives, Pete is a scold and Rog is a cad -- but when they're echoing through an arena packed with prosperous white dudes, they still have meaning. The message is that everybody's 1980s were a mirage, even if you were just flipping burgers. So why not have a little fun with the lingering unease, y'know?
SIDE NOTE: This was my first experience using the loo in a corporate luxury box.
"Dr. Reed’s team collected pubic lice from a public health clinic in Salt Lake City. Samples of gorilla lice were obtained by members of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, which provides free health care to gorillas in the wild." Ahem.
Me and Tha Mrs. hardly ever run into celebrities while in D.C., but we swear we saw Glenn Close at Reagan National this morning. Later, Madeleine Albright was spotted noshing at the US Airways gates. And the PA system loudly declared that a car was waiting for "Helen Thomas." It would've been cool if there was a silver stud in the mix ... say, somebody like Freeman, Montalban or Carter.
This weekend's cultural consumption:
Jeff Wall at the MoMA: The photos are displayed as gigantic transparencies mounted on lightboxes, so you're really forced to come to grips with how much a scene has been staged. When Wall is capturing landscapes or just shooting humans being humans, he's generally mesemerizing. But when he poses people or things, the results can be a little corny sometimes. "The Destroyed Room," with its clawed-at mattress and impeccably balanced mess, is alone worth the price of admission, while "The Storyteller," "An Eviction" and "The Old Prison" reward patient observation. Some of the other photos run out of drama rather quickly. Show checklist here (as pdf).