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Posts Tagged ‘Conor Oberst’

Forget padding box office totals with fuzzy math, purchasing a Toyota Tundra, or stuffing one’s pants with a worn (gently loved) gym sock. If you are a man who craves all natural male enhancement, you should look no further than Phillip’s Bodygroom trimmer/shaver:

Bodygroom

Promising to add a full optical inch, the Phillip’s Bodygroom can be used carefree on one’s kiwis, peach and carrot. I’m relatively uncertain what body part is represented by the peach in the risque commerical for the product, as the only logical equivalent certainly falls far from the tree. In fact, one might say this product raises many more questions concerning body maintenance than it answers.

1. Since the inch gained from use of the Bodygroom is purely optical, doesn’t this just leave room to disappoint rather than overachieve in bed?

2. How can a shaving product be both safe and effective when applied to a man’s most important and sensitive areas?

Mega Mega, a reviewer of the Bodygroom product on amazon.com, provides positive feedback, noting that “the skin irritation was only about one third that of standard Mach 3 shave. The skin irritation was limited to the inner thighs (Shaft, Beanbag, and Starfish showed no signs of irritation)….”

While this praise for the comfort and utility of the Bodygroom was mostly typical of the reviews on amazon.com (along with more inventive pseudonyms for one’s taint and package) one user, J. Wilson, recalls only a moment of pure terror:

“Although the small teeth do not cause large knicks in the skin, they do tend to get caught under flat laying hairs, they then dig into the skin while ripping off large chunk at the same time. This creates a larger and more painful blemish than I have ever experienced with any other product – electric or manual. Blood everywhere.”

3. How long does one get to cherish their optical inch after using the Bodygroom, and will repeated shaving lead to diminishing returns?

Fortunately for the Bodygroom, the verdict on this question is decidedly in favor of shaving. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Shaving hair doesn’t make it grow back thicker. It also doesn’t affect the color or rate of growth. The color, location, thickness and length of hair on your body mainly depend on genetics and hormones. After you shave body hair, it may feel coarse or “stubbly” for a time as it grows out. During this phase, it may be more noticeable – and may appear darker or thicker. But it’s not.”

An update with empirical testing of these questions will be forthcoming, provided that my co-worker and I are still alive.

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One morning, about a week ago, as I was lying in bed wondering which I hated more, waking up at 7:00am or getting punched in the face, I listened to NPR discuss Facebook’s newest plans to restructure its site. Thought provoking. Facebook already wants another “Face”lift? Didn’t they add all those creepy mini-feed features not too long ago? Craze.

Anyway, apparently Facebook wants to overthrow Myspace, whose client count currently surpasses Facebook’s by three times. I’m not surprised. I can’t imagine anyone who wasn’t a college student when Facebook came into existence would have a profile. I mean, Facebook is clearly directed towards the youngsters. With the option of listing one’s current course list and residence hall, it’s pretty obvious the people who would be most attracted to this site are students. (And me, apparently.)

But also, Myspace makes it easier for pedophiles to make up fake (or real) profiles and lure innocent pre-teens into dangerous relationships than Face does. That right there probably ups Myspace’s popularity by like, 27%. Granted a 40-year old with an internet profile on this type of online social network would be questionable in any situation, but with Myspace’s growing popularity amongst D-list celebrities, bands, clothing lines, old hipsters, etc. it’s somewhat understandable to see a middle aged man with 3 pages of candid photographs of himself. To a certain extent, anyway. However, if I ever saw an older-ish man (or woman) on F-book, I wouldn’t think twice about that person either being a parent who’s checking up on their kid, or a dangerous human being with stalker-like tendencies.

Lastly, Facebook has more restrictions in terms of who can see your profile and who cannot. Each profile is connected to a network and can only be viewed by those belonging to that same network. Get it? Meaning, if I find the profile of a person I went to high school with but did not attend the same university or currently live in a different town as he or she, said’s profile is restricted. This makes it very hard to judge people from the past (former classmates, arch nemeses, etc.). It is very inconvenient. How is a person supposed to silently criticize folks if all they have to go by is a 1×1 inch photo? It’s incredibly difficult. Although, occasionally the picture, as they say, speaks for itself. But that’s pretty rare. And even though Myspace practices an “all or nothing” rule in regards to who is allowed to view your list of favorite movies, tv shows, and recent interests, at least they grant the option of exposing your internet persona to the free world.

Now, I’m not saying one site is better than the other, but I am saying Facebook is going to have to revamp its layout quite a bit if they want to seem less student oriented, and more open towards sexual predators.

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There comes a time in every universally acclaimed, pathologically sensitive man’s life when he must jump the shark on his own messiah complex. After going along in life, writing astoundingly beautiful music, collecting the accolades of critics and lay music-listeners, and remaining just shy enough of the radar that he might retain all his indie glory, Conor Oberst has finally let his awesomeness wash over him and pickle his brains.

On Friday night, I and another Skeptic traveled to the cursed depths of Midtown to watch Bright Eyes play the first of seven sold-out shows at Town Hall. The opener was a real warm glass of milk of a band – Gillian Welch. Perhaps if I were lactose tolerant and liked folk music, my feelings might be a little bit different. But the crowd seemed to dig it and, later when she came back on to sing “Look at Miss Ohio” with Bright Eyes during their encore, I was slightly more into it.

But back to the main event. The stage was set with flowers and fences like a front yard in heaven or the deep south, or like a funeral. The band came on with each member dressed entirely in white. In the New York Times, Conor noted, “I was going for this just-stepped-off-the-yacht sort of vibe.” It struck me as a tad gimicky in the style of the White Stripes. They played all or nearly all of their newest album, Cassadaga. They also threw in some other songs for good measure: Lua, The Calendar Hung Itself, First Day Of My Life, and possibly a few more. While the Cassadaga songs are undeniably strong, they are not my favorite in the catalogue. I’m assuming that the set list will switch up a bit with the rest of the New York stint. I just happened to be there the first night and those are probably the most fun songs to play right now.

The band for this tour consisted of twelve members – two drummers, a small orchestra, a couple of guitarists, a trumpet/keyboard player, and Conor. There was also a “thirteenth member” who was a video artist providing what I think was the most innovative, interesting stage dressing I’d ever seen. Where pretty much every other show I’ve been to has mostly worked with automated stage lights, flashing and changing colors constantly, this show featured a video projection of simple things happening, created live by this artist. There was food coloring dropped into a glass of water, swirling out and getting bumped around by the vibrations of the music coming from the speakers. There were old photographs flipping by. There were random lines drawn by an Etch-A-Sketch, flowing with the meter of the song. There were markers coloring in between the lines formed by the molding on wall behind the stage. During the performance of “Lime Tree,” Conor asked for the stage to be as dark as possible. As the lights went out, the video projected a single tea light, whose flame was moved directly behind Conor. It gave the impression of an organic spot light, its edges blurring slightly with the breath of the man holding it. It was all so simple, but fascinating because it was formed extemporaneously, so entwined with each song. I spent more time watching that art than the band.

About halfway through the show, Lou Reed joined the band on stage to play “Waiting for the Man” and “Dirty Blvd.” To watch Lou Reed and Conor, standing side by side, was like watching night and day join forces to make the best day imaginable. Sure, they’re both sad bastards, known for their eloquently expressed angst. But where Conor is so young and kind of twitchy, Lou Reed makes rocks look like spring chickens and has a deep stillness and confidence. Where Conor wrestles so obviously with his own forming legend and his own belief that he is cosmically important, Lou Reed quite possibly is the Messiah and clearly doesn’t think it’s that big a deal. Conor seemed like a yipping puppy at his feet, but that seems about right.

While it’s interesting to watch a band work out its existential issues on stage, I’m looking forward to their continuing to grow up and accepting that you can be an amazing band and not be related to god. When they shed the white clothes. And their performance-crucifixion fantasy:

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Reck’, John’,

There is one Hero, or should I say anti-hero who is the most emo of them all. He is Sylar. The Hemo-ist Hemo in Hemoville (Brooklyn).

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The proof:

1) Black rimmed glasses? Check.
2) Black hair, side part? Check.
3) Forlorn look? Check.

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3a) Forlorn look often a result of being incapacitated due to drug induced paralysis? Check.
4) 5 O’clock shadow? Check.
5) Long sleeved Waffle undershirt with a black band t-shirt accentuating his slim physique? Check.

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6) Anti-establishment / sociopath? Check.

Sylar is bad ass and has EMO written all over him. Not only does he eat brains, he is also a momma’s boy (and what emo boi hasn’t written a song about, or secretly dreamed about going all Norman Bates on his mother?).

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If this anti-hero, or all aforementioned heroes for that matter aren’t emo, then prepubescent Conor Oberst didn’t look like Harry Potter in his first year at Hogwarts. There, I said it.

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By Guest Blogger, H.

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I am going to have to disagree with your latest post, Recklesley. Peter Petrelli is, in my book, the anti-Emo. I’m not sure which “Heroes” you watch, but in my (Primetime NBC) version, Peter Petrelli does not waste his time writing forlorn lyrics or perfecting his black eyeliner, but rather directs his actions towards, oh, I don’t know, Saving The World, perhaps? Now I realize Peter Petrelli’s duties run parallel to those of Peter Parker’s (interesting…similar names these two), protecting everyday civilians from evil villains, etc, but from what I hear, Peter Parker transforms into an (Emo) tool once he puts on that black outfit-thing (or whatever), more so than he already was. And Petrelli, aside from falling in love with a woman whose heart belongs to a heroin shooting, psychic comic book writing, artist, does not embody any other tell tale signs/symptoms of an Emo d-bag.

Just to reiterate why Peter Parker is, in many ways, a poster-child for Emo boys everywhere, here is a short list of his Emo characteristics:

– Was a nerd in high school.
– Wears dark rimmed glasses.
– (Apparently) morphs into an even bigger Emo-ster once he puts on, surprise, an all black ensemble.

And I’m not even going to attempt to tackle the thousands of reasons why Conor Oberst is the king of all Emo, since you already know them all. I think every time a Bright Eyes song is played, a sad, resentful, greasy haired boy gets his Emo wings. Or cries.

Peter Petrelli, however, does not inherit any of these traits. He is courageous, intuitive, and easy on the eyes. All of which, in my book, are in no way tied in with the Emo stereotype. So let’s not place that dangerous “Emo” label on just anyone who possesses dark features and super hero capabilities (minus Oberst). People’s feelings might get hurt.

PS. You call this Emo?



Note: “Heroes” is the best show on network television right now. Watch it, fools.

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Okay. I know Conor Oberst is some kind of emo wunkerkind, constantly amazing us with the breadth of his talent. His agile mind weaves together the words that give voice to our mid-20s ennui. He wrangles country music into sweet melodies for hipsters crying into their PBRs, agonizing that their jeans aren’t skinny enough as they gather at the tops of their Converse. And now he can be seen in your local movie parlor portraying an American icon, a New York hero in a summer blockbuster. Oh Conor, one man can handle only so much glory.

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Above: In Costume

Below: Out of Costume

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But really, Spider-man was bad. And actually so is Cassadaga. Maybe he should just focus on music for right now.

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