Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Win the top friend slot on my myspace and help WFMU!

Hello friends,

Here is your opportunity to earn a special place in my heart and put it on display for all of the world to see. Plus, you get to help out the great non-profit, listener sponsered radio station WFMU.

I am selling the top friend spot on my myspace on ebay. I know what you're thinking: "Paul, that's not really worth anything is it?" Wrong! If you've ever heard the amount of drama and personal anguish people put into the placement of friends or their placement on a friend's page, you know it's worth quite a bit and you'll get to be my friend for 1 entire year (until the next WFMU marathon).

My page gets plently of traffic. (Over 15,000 views! I think that's almost as many as Tila Tequila!) Perhaps you have some band or comedy troupe or some other commerical venture you'd like to promote. Or perhaps you think our relationship dictates that you should be my top friend regardless. Here's your chance to let the world know that we are BFF. You don't even have to currently be my myspace friend. If you win I'll accept your friendship and put you in the top spot.

Besides you'll be helping WFMU, perhaps the greatest radio station in the world. Even if you don't want to participate in this auction you should show them support by pledging at wfmu.org. The winning bid will be pledged to the Cherry Blossom Clinic with Terre T on Saturday, March 8th. And don't think this is my way of cheaping out either. I'll be pledging myself no matter what. This is just icing on the cake.

Happy bidding and good luck!!

(Sorry, paypal only)

Update: The winning bid? $51.77

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I really despise people who use "LOL"

And not just in person but online as well. However, I'm almost tempted to use it for this.

Juno? Whole Foods? Not Having a TV?

This blog could also be titled "Things that annoy me about indie rockers."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Make This Band Your Myspace Friend: Sally Crewe and the Sudden Moves

You probably don't know it but British expatriate Sally Crewe is possibly the best pop songwriter in the world. Hyperbole, you say? Perhaps, but give one listen to her 2003 debut Drive It Like You Stole It and tell me that I'm wrong. On that particular album Ms. Crewe was backed by Jim Eno and Britt Daniel of Spoon with Eno producing. The inventive arrangements they usually bring to Spoon's albums fit Ms Crewe's batch of short, infectiously catchy songs perfectly. A top 5 record of the decade thus far, in my opinion. Unfortunately, Eno and Daniel could not commit full time for obvious reasons and Sally got a new crew of Sudden Moves to back her on her 2005 follow-up Shortly After Take Off. While the sound was far more conventional, the songs were equally if not more impressive than those on the debut platter. I've spent many a commute to work listening to this album's "Game Over" on repeat. Sometimes I even have trouble getting past it to listen to the remainder of the album.

Following this album Sally left London to relocate to Austin, TX and picked up yet another group of Sudden Moves. With this group she went into the studio (with Jim Eno producing again) and recorded Your Nearest Exit May Be Behind You, a record that has yet to see proper release because no label seems to have enough good sense to put it out. And yet someone is putting out Dan Deacon's albums. This is truly an unjust world. But I digress... Sally has promised to put (every?) track(s) from the new record on the band's myspace page. First up though will be four songs from Drive It Like You Stole It which are on the site now. This will be followed by 4 songs from Shortly After Take Off and then the new record. So go ahead and add them to get the cliff notes version of their discography. You'll be able to become aquainted with Sally's singular brand of pop/rock magnificence rather quickly which will allow you to lie and say you knew them way back before they were cool.

Make Sally Crewe and the Sudden Moves your myspace friend.

Update: Sally posted this bulletin on myspace yesterday:

I've just upload "Your Nearest Exit May Be Behind You" - track 1 from our upcoming album, uh... "Your Nearest Exit May Be Behind You". I'll be uploading a track every day for 12 days, so go and check this one out now because it'll be gone in 24 hours...

So there is now even more incentive to befriend the band and to do it fast! Since 7 pm yesterday the song has received 13 plays. I'm hoping that the power of this blog will at least double that amount.

I think I'm offically bored of zombies

I saw Diary of the Dead the other night Oh, I'm sorry. I mean I saw George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead. I have to say I was pretty disappointed. I'm a fan of the zombie genre of which Romero is obviously the master. (The original Dawn of the Dead is one of my all time favorite movies. Not one of my favorite zombie movies. One of my favorite movies, period.) His new effort left me pretty unmoved though. I think it comes down to three factors:

1) I think zombies are officially played out. The film's opening scene which featured corpses rising out gurneys to chomp on EMTs failed to inspire any sense of dread. We've seen the zombie outbreak so many times before that it leaves the viewer unaffected. We know exactly what's going to happen and how the ghouls are going behave. It's so commonplace that we almost feel that the film's characters should know precisely how to react in the situation to protect themselves. Of course, they don't. Despite a couple of reliably imaginative killings there's very little here we haven't already seen.

2) I just saw Cloverfield a few weeks ago which used the first-person-hand-held-camera gimmick to undeniably more gripping effect. The fact that both films were released within a month of each other is surely a coincidence but Diary can't help but suffer by comparison. Romero obviously wanted to use this approach revitalize and re-imagine the genre which he pioneered and to make a sociological point. Which brings us to...

3) He makes the same point over and over and over and over again, explicitly and unimaginatively, violating the cardinal rule of "show, don't tell." That Dawn of the Dead was a film about consumerism is no secret to anyone but Romero mainly let it play out in the subtext. Here he seems to take every opportunity he can to drive home his opinions on 21-century media whether though the stilted, didactic dialog or the periodic breaks in the action for a few minutes of voice over which are distracting at best and extremely annoying at worst.

There are a few things to like in Diary, mainly the moments of humor. A bit where a character explains exactly why zombies can't run is particularly rib-tickling. However, you probably won't regret skipping this one or at least waiting for the DVD. I'll give George this: at the very least Diary of the Dead does plausibly seem like the kind of movie an opinionated but not-so-bright college kid would assemble on their laptop. Ah, the folly of youth.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Because I feel the need to blog at least once a month

If any of you are interested there was a blurb about me in the Staten Island Advance's entertainment section last week which you can read here. Yes, I'm one of many on an "Island of DJs" though unlike many of the others, I own a turntable. I actually had a long conversation via telephone with the piece's author, Ben Johnson, a few days prior to the article's publication. We touched on such subjects as records that weren't well known but could still get people dancing, the phenomenom of the exclusively-playing-MP3s iDJ and many other things. Unfortunately, he only wrote about the the first 5 or so songs I thought of when asked what were good dancefloor-filling crowd pleasers. Of course, if I had bothered to return his message days prior it might have allowed for him to write a piece where I don't don't seem like a hacky Bar Mitzvah DJ. Mea culpa, Ben.

In any case, I did write later write up a more balanced mini-playlist that probably better reflects what I play but probably sent it to him past deadline:

1. New Order "Blue Monday"
2. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five "White Lines (Don't Do It)"
3. Prince "Erotic City"
4. Pigbag "Papa's Got a Brand New Pigbag"
5. Fugazi "Waiting Room"
6. The Misfits "Last Caress"
7. The Pretty Things "Come See Me"
8. David Bowie "Watch That Man"
9. The Futureheads "Decent Days and Nights"
10. James "Laid"

Eh, that's not really a great list either.

If you have the desire to hear me play all, some or none of these songs, I'll be DJing this Saturday night at the Cargo Cafe on Staten Island. I'm really hoping this gig will lead to getting me some tracks on the next Ghostface record. Somebody tell him to come out please.

Since I haven't posted here in a while, I thought I'd grace you all with some random thoughts (or, more accurately, gripes).

One of benefits of working in an office with people who do not share my musical tastes is that I get to hear all kinds of music I wouldn't normally listen to because I assume it's terrible. Usually my assumptions are correct and in the case of the Mars Volta they turn out to be even worse than thought they might be. Seriously, while my co-worker was playing their new album I though we were listening to Helloween or something. I had heard they were kind of "proggy" but i figured they were like math rock or something not unlistenable mess I heard. They are now a nominee for my award for worst current band in the universe. If anyone wants to defend them (or nominate other bands) the comments section is below.

Did anyone catch the commerical during the Super Bowl for the upcoming Adam Sandler movie Don't Mess with the Zohan? I had to do a double take to make certain it wasn't a spin off movie of John Turturro's character in The Big Lebowski.

Actually under further examination it seems to be ripping off Borat more than The Jesus. IMBD tells me that Judd Apatow is the co-writer which means one of three things:

1) It isn't the total piece of garbage I'm assuming it is and is actually very funny in a silly Anchorman kind of way
2) Someone bought a Judd Apatow script and turned it into an Adam Sandler vehicle. (After all wasn't I Now Pronounce Chuck and Larry written by the guys who wrote Sideways?)
3) My opinion of Judd Apatow is way too high

Finally, in a non-griping, rather delightful tidbit, I suggest you check out the latest edition of Kaplan's Korner.