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Archive for March, 2007

I usually don’t write reviews for events I actually enjoyed, but two nights ago (3/28) I had the liberty of seeing Do Make Say Think live, and I feel compelled to express my opinions about the show since I was so taken by this performance. To say I received my $15’s (ticket price) worth would be an understatement. Had I paid $50, this still would have been a worthwhile investment, and then some. I’d say $100, but I refuse to pay more than $50 for any artist. It’s a moral issue.

Anyway, Do Make Say Think performed at Brooklyn’s very own Southpaw. Wonderful venue. I would see every band here, if I could. Every single band in the universe. Right. Moving along, Do Make Say Think did not let down. I was expecting great things, and all expectations were met, despite their having a replacement drummer for the evening.

The show was absurdly good, for the most part. Unfortunately, at certain points in the evening I was reminded why it is I hate most people. This is completely unrelated to the band, but I will go on to complain nevertheless. To the tall, drunk, bearded man who forced his way towards the front of the stage during the performance, obstructing the view of all those behind him just so he could hit on some girl: you are my worst male enemy. And to the girl who decided to stand directly in front of me, close enough for me to count the freckles on the back of her neck: You are my worst female enemy. No, it’s great when people do that. I actually like to reserve the two inch space between me and whoever I am standing behind, just so another person can squeeze in between us. So it’s good this person could read my mind. Otherwise I might’ve been able to actually see the stage.

Luckily, both these sworn enemies of mine eventually came to their senses and bounced from their incredibly inconsiderate positions, allowing me to fully take in Do Make Say Think’s performance. Which, like I already said, was unbelievable. If you ask me, Do Make Say Think puts on one of the best live shows of any band, period. The show is comprised of impeccably synchronized (yet also spontaneous–thought provoking) instrumentals, awe inspiring drumbeats, and cascading lights. It’s difficult to fully describe the impact their live concert has on an audience member; it makes for what I consider to be, a religious musical experience. Yeah, I know. I too have found annoyance with every person in history who has described a show/concert as a “religious musical experience,” but I’m too tired (lazy) to think of another way to put it. It’s okay if you judge me. I’d judge me too. Anyway, I think every fan of Do Make Say Think should catch them live at least once. K? K.

Also very enjoyable was Do Make Say Think’s opening act, The Berg Sans Nipple. I’d say they fall under the same genre as Explosions in the Sky, etc. A talented duo, these two. It should also be addressed that TBSN’s Shane Aspegren, covered for DMST’s ailing drummer for Do Make’s entire show. Which takes mad skills and some serious cojones. Props to Berg Sans Nip’s drummer for pulling that off.

So, I hope anyone who reads this takes my advice. But it’s okay if you don’t. But I hope you do.

PS I attended this show by myself. I have never done that before. Therefore, this night was signifcant for a number of reasons.

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I believe I’ve figured it all out.

Every time Congress is investigating the current administration, there is a widespread attack of memory loss. They suddenly can’t remember talking to other staff members, emails they sent, letters given, meetings, etc. Alberto Gonzales can’t remember if he was involved with the firings of the attorneys, his assistant doesn’t remember talking to Rove, etc.

All you can do is take their word and move on. Thank goodness, I mean if they remembered, someone could challenge their honesty and then throw around words like “lies” and “perjury”. It would all just slow down these investigations.

Seriously, someone needs to step in. Find the best Doctors, because I believe there’s a health crisis going on. They must have a very potent virus running around the capitol, eating their memories. The sooner we can quarantine everyone and find a cure, the sooner we can find the answers that we need.

I wish them all a speedy recovery.

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Last weekend sucked. Six unexceptional movies came out and butted heads with one another, none of them succeeding in drawing in much of an audience. This weekend is probably going to be a much easier choice. It all comes down to whether you feel like a kids movie, a thriller, or a comedy. Or, if you’re like me, a combination.

Blades of Glory – Will Ferrell has done soccer, race car driving and now is mocking the sport of figure skating. Jon Heder is right behind him with the baseball flick The Benchwarmers. What other sports comedies could this duo have in their futures? I hope something with yacht racing. This movie will most likely be amusing, but heavy on the gay jokes and slapstick. The big reason I would see it in theaters before it came to video? This:

Meet the Robinsons – I saw the trailer for this and felt really old. What the hell is it about? I think a kid goes to the future or something and tries to find his family? And there’s a dinosaur? When I first heard about it I thought it was the long awaited prequel to Swiss Family Robinson. We would learn of family Robinson’s pre-shipwreck, Swiss origin stories as they roamed the beautiful Swiss country side. Ah, la Suisse. Skip Meet the Robinsons and rent that again. You owe it to yourself. There are pirates! Avalanches! She rides a fucking ostrich!

The Lookout – This is definitely my pick of the week, although not everyone has as hefty a man crush on Joseph Gordon Levitt as I do. He got famous on Third Rock from the Sun, but then left (wise move) the show early to go to college. He has of late become an indie film hero, taking chances on first-time directors (like the director of this film, Scott Frank and Brick director Rian Johnson) and low budget films.

Otherwise, the new Paul Giamatti indie film The Hawk is Dying is starting tomorrow at Cinema Village East, and Live Free or Die is supposed to be starting, but they haven’t released its venues yet. This is not to be confused with the new Die Hard movie Live Free or Die Hard. What’s the difference? One stars this guy:

And the other stars this guy:

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There is a certain time of year when 50 degrees seems pleasant and weak afternoon sunlight streaming through your lager reminds you of laying out by the pool with a daiquiri. As the weather becomes less ferocious, we’re all looking for one thing: outdoor happy hour.

Yesterday, we hit up Abilene on Court Street, between 2nd and 3rd Place. I don’t know what this neighborhood is called because I believe anything west of the Gowanus is the nexus of the universe. The bar has several tables outside, which leaves ample doggie-petting opportunities while you’re shivering in the anemic sunshine. Once hypothermia set in, we moved inside where the gigantic street-level windows gave us the feeling that we were still outside, but without the crippling chill.

The photograph above is an example of this bar’s bathroom graffiti. It offers a pretty good picture of the clientele at this particular establishment. Nerds. It is reason enough to check this place out.

Abilene
442 Court Street
F or G to Carroll
Brooklyn, NY

$3 beers and well drinks until 8pm! Board games and NYC Condoms available at the bar!

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Myspace could not have asked me a more appropriate question this morning as I hastily added four presidential candidates to my extremely exclusive friends list. Sometimes politicians have a hard time recognizing the difference between irony and genuine support. So I didn’t add Mitt Romney. If I did, I’m pretty sure that would legally bind us in holy matrimony. I’m not really ready to settle down, Mitt. And I can’t share you with my sister-wives.

So, let me introduce you to my new friends:

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Like peas in the pod of my “Top 8”

 

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I post in response to a recent New York Magazine article whose subject matter rendered me shocked and appalled. It inquires, “Can Human Giant Save MTV?” an incredibly bold and misguided question not because the answer might be no, but because it assumes that MTV needs to be saved in the first place.
Human Giants
Human Giant, a sketch comedy show featuring the three funniest people ever, is destined for greatness. I find myself in the unique and completely impartial position to make this statement, because, aside from the minor details that I will be making an appearance in the pilot (OMG I’M GOING TO BE ON MTV, WOOOOO!) and that the show is directed by my future brother-in-boyfriendship (I’M TOTALLY FAMOUS, WAAAAA!) I have absolutely no vested interest in its inevitable success. That being said, the show is but a drop in the extremely large bucket that is MTV’s current lineup of timelessly brilliant programming. In fact, because MTV is currently experiencing such incredible success and critical acclaim, Human Giant could be the most boring shit ever and still have a viewership that rivals the Super Bowl. Don’t get me wrong, I think Human Giant is quality programming, and I will proudly collect my weekly royalties when the show reaches syndication and my .06 second performance as Guy on the Bench is streamed on KRZRs across America. I simply feel that this success is unavoidable, as, contrary to the derisive tone of this misguided New York article, Human Giant will be airing not at the MTV’s lowest moment, but rather, at its zenith.

Venture with me, if you will, back to a time when the network was overrun with nonsensical “musical shorts” depicting arsonists, oversexed children, child pornographers, drug addicts, Weird Al, and murderers flaunting their booties and wads of Benjamins. The year was 1995. These unsavory figures ruled the airwaves, threatening the very moral fabric of our society, and frankly, ruining what preeminence the MTV network had painstakingly earned during the days of Peter Gabriel and (early) REM. This was MTV at its lowest. This was when it needed the glorious breath of fresh air that is Human Giant.

As for the troubled network’s “original” programming, the situation was no better. By 1995, a complete lack of viewership fomented the cancellation of MTV’s best programming, Yo! MTV Raps and Totally Pauly. The shows’ enormous budgets could no longer be sustained, and the network was forced to shift its focus to the growing popularity of entirely costless programming. In an unabashedly grotesque display of laziness, MTV chose to air unadulterated footage of life as it really is, a format that would never succeed in a society desperate for the plot, drama, and interpersonal strife that only writers can create. The Real World, the most egregious display of this laziness, had none of this; in fact, because it so precisely depicted day-to-day life as it actually is, it was like watching nothing at all. 1995 also marked the first season of Road Rules, which in fact did not rule, and sent MTV down one road only: the road to suckiness and unwatchability.

And that was the state of the MTV network for ten solid years. Only in recent years has MTV regained its stature as the best network on television, driven primarily by the immense popularity of Ashlee Simpson and the return of the script in the heralded Laguna Beach and Date My Mom. The fire that was lit by the Buggles back in 1981 burns once again, Human Giant merely kindling in its radiant glow. But you should totally watch anyway. April 5th. 10:30. Did I mention I’m in the pilot?

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After a lovely Sunday afternoon of walking around the neighborhood, drinking outside and playing Scrabble at Abilene (Jonathan, I apologize, “wino” is actually in the OED), I returned home, put on my pajamas and opened up a fresh Netflick. My roommate was on the way to his shift at the Park Slope Coop, and I was all set to sit back, relax and enjoy some non-Food Network programming. But before I saw Coming Attraction #1, I got a phone call informing me that Michael Showalter, Eugene Mirman and some guys from Upright Citizens Brigade would be performing later on that evening at Union Hall. My roommate has just recently started enjoying Michael Showalter’s comedy, and was eager to attend. So I took my pajamas back off, put down my Netflick and once again vanished into the bustling Brooklyn biosphere.

Here at Brooklyn Skeptic, a lot has been written about Union Hall, as it is home to two bocce courts, and, according to some, a lot of assholes. Despite all of this, it can not be denied that Union Hall’s basement is a great place to see a live show. The way it is set up is kind of like your childhood neighbor’s basement. A small, old, room with folding chairs and comfy couches, it is truly an intimate and comfortable setting. I spent half the time I was down there waiting for my old neighbor’s mom to walk in with a bowl of cheese doodles and soda (what’s up Mrs. Stirparo?). We were there only about fifteen minutes early, but managed to get seats in the front row, looking at a small stage on which we could literally rest our feet.

The show was fun and relaxed. Michael Showalter came on first and warmed up the crowd, talking about his weekend and making fart jokes. He introduced a British comedian who I am pretty sure was funny, but I might have just been charmed by her accent. Eugene Mirman was really drunk and quite humorous as he went off on rants about how he hates various things. And the guys from UCB were there to plug their new show Human Giant, which is unfortunately airing on MTv, right between Pimp My Ride and My Sweet 16, I believe they said.

At one point, Michael Showalter was crouched down watching the show right next to my roommate, who nerdily kept poking me and smiling. The place is so casual that the comedians usually hang out there afterwards, talking with fans and drinking. This friendly atmosphere worked equally well when I saw Zach Galifianakis at the same venue. He was allowed to get close to his audience, which is essentially half of his show, as he frequently runs around berating people. Although I have never seen live music performed at Union Hall, I can only imagine that the area works well, allowing the audience to truly feel like their favorite band is playing at their basement party.

So for all of the nay-saying that seems to go on about Union Hall, don’t judge a bar by its cover (there is no cover, mind you). There may be some annoying people and some bocce hostility, but there aren’t many bars in Manhattan or Brooklyn that can stir such happy, warm and intimate feelings. And isn’t that what drinking on a Sunday is all about? No? Oh right. I’m just an alcoholic.

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Well, this settles it. I have an unhealthy new Monday night activity. Where I used to go out drinking like a normal person, I now make dinner and watch network TV like a total sociopath. My thoughts on the new episode of Dancing With the Stars below.

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At least they didn’t start blogs.

Leeza and Tony
This episode was aired on Leeza’s 50th birthday. I think when they botoxed her face into submission, the needle slipped and they treated her soul also. I’ve never seen a more boring, lifeless woman.

Joey Fatone and Kym
Once again, Joey warmed my cold, cold heart with his alluring blend of boyish impetuosity and fleet-footed competence. And then he turned around and I saw that he had affixed gigantic glitter letters to each flap of the tails on his coat: J F. If this man and I don’t have the exact same style, I don’t know who does.
Also, he was the best man-star dancer. Because he can do the quick-step without looking like a dandy. I’m looking in your direction, Ian Ziering.

joey.jpg

The winners.

Laila Ali and Maksim
I worry about Laila Ali’s testicles popping out of her leotard in the same way I worry about Heather Mills’ leg falling off. I don’t want it to happen, but I watch their performance transfixed on them, waiting for a wardrobe malfunction on par with the Hindenburg. She has such a pretty face, with the body of Mario Lopez. She is both the perfect man and the perfect woman. She’s a great dancer. But oh my god. I mean, I love gays and I am by no means disturbed by two dudes getting down, but I got a little nervous when Laila swung Maks up between her legs. Because I was sure her nuts would end up on his forehead.
I’m sorry, Laila. Don’t punch me.

laila.jpg

I’m both scared of you and drawn to you.

Shandi and Brian
I now understand the common childhood compulsion to rip the heads off Barbie and Ken. Although, in this case, it would be considered a hate crime.

shani.jpg

Not actually heteros.

Clyde and Elena
They are such a cute couple. Too bad they’re going home next week.

Heather and Jonathan
Heather, I can’t believe you did a back flip during your dance. That was amazing. It only would have been better if your leg flipped off, knocked down one of the stage lights and killed Shandi and Brian.

Apolo and Julianne
When Apolo smiles, it’s like rays of sunshine – in that it blinds me, gives me cancer, and reminds me that the sun is only one of innumberable, possibly life supporting stars that are warming little aliens that will one day fly to earth and destroy us all. I wish he would just stop that.

apolo.jpg

Just stop it, Apolo.

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Reck: I’m writing a Jared Leto dissenting opinion right now.
Johnb: Excellent. Though, I don’t know how.
Reck: It’s too easy.
Johnb: How is that going to be easy? My arguments are rock solid.
Reck: Ha. You wish. I will take them apart like so many lincoln logs.
Johnb: Let the debate begin.

 

I hate to break this to you, Johnb, but Jordan Catalano is actually a huge jerk. Cute as an illiterate button, but a jerk. You say you were let down that Jared Leto was not exactly the same as Jordan Catalano, but he is, so you can start addressing that 12-year-old pain and move on.

You, like Angela, spent your time with him trying to imbue humanity into that sex-bomb lifeless shell of a boy. His incredibly beautiful eyes – like two puppies sleeping under his gently furrowed brow – lulled you into some kind of complacency that is completely against your normal nature. You hate everyone, Johnb. Remember? So while I’m not saying it’s possible for you to like either Jared or Jordan, I must insist that they are equally worthy of your ire, not one more than the next.

Let me draw your attention to several key points.

1. If you want to talk about the MSCL culture of teenage jerkhood, you’re going to want to compare the Jordan and Rayanne characters. They were both guilty of being pretty bad friends to Angela. They got her into trouble, used her and her stable home life, were flakey and inconsiderate, etc. HOWEVER, Rayanne has what I like to call a potential for humanity. She had her tragic flaws – addiction, weird hair – but she loved Angela and would have done anything for her. Jordan just wanted to take away her precious virginity. And that’s her flower, Johnb. Don’t you understand?

2. Jordan loved his car more than any human. This fact was made devastatingly clear during the episode when Angela thought the song “Red” was about her. Because she had brand new red hair. But he was actually talking about his car. Which was red. Because colors are stronger than feelings for him.

3. He had an imaginary friend, Tino.

Also, as it turns out, I take issue with your assertion that not wanting to be on The Jay Leno Show is pompous. I don’t want to be on Jay Leno and I hold a very low opinion of my self worth. You wouldn’t get that by how I ramble on about ridiculous things and expect other people to hang on my every word. But it’s true.

In conclusion, as much of a freaky jerk as Jared may be, he is exactly the same as that little (hot) pissant Jordan Catalano. So 12-year-old you needs to put a little thought into why she is so upset. I’m going to say it has something to do with being in Catholic school.

However, to be fair, don’t you just love the way he leans?

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Brooklyn Skeptic’s hard-hitting coverage of the tragedy of Anna Nicole Smith’s life/death continues today with news that her death has been deemed “accidental” by Broward County officials. Apparently she suffered some kind of bad reaction as the woman was literally a cornucopia of drugs. If the pilgrims had this woman instead of root vegetables and fish in their corn (growing) holes, let’s just say this country would have turned out a little differently.

cornucopia.gif

A Cornucopia – “The Horn of Plenty”

Imagine it was filled with drugs.

More importantly, the lethal combo for her was eerily similar to the one that killed her son last fall, according to the family coroner. Methadone and anti-depressants. I know after hearing this news, many of you will also have to change your breakfast drug cocktail. And, just a note of caution, if you are injecting your methadone yourself, be sure to wipe your skin with an alcohol swab first, because bacterial infections in your blood also contribute to the likelihood of your kicking up daisies in the manner of Ms. Smith. I only tell you because I care.

Anyway, the bottom line is that this is total bullshit. There is a huge conspiracy afoot, but I’m not sure who the main players are yet – if only because I am constitutionally unable to identify celebrities. I defer to Johnb on this one.

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