Friday, June 30, 2006

The Rescind

The annals of Internet history are marked by people doing one thing in the heat of the moment, only to be overwhelmed with regret the morning after. I am a member of that lame fraternity. This post, dear readers, has been changed by your editor.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

"Racism Is Gay" T-shirts For Sale

The "Racism Is Gay" shirts are in. If you reserved a size/color, get it while you can. The shirts are available in several sizes (S,M,L,XL) and colors (Sky Blue and Banana). They're 100% cotton and will shrink a little when you wash them, so buy accordingly. There are also a bunch of new button designs available in the store. For those of you who've mentioned a desire to snatch up some of these 1" beauties, consider this formal encouragement. Cheers! [Nerd Elite Store]

Chinese Lesbian
Yellow Shirt
Blue Shirt
Buttons

Watch & Listen: The Streets and Lady Sovereign

The Streets

Dubbs and I took in a double billing of The Streets and Lady Sovereign at Webster Hall last night. I’m a hardcore grime devotee so I had high hopes for both acts. Lady Sovereign, plagued by a malfunctioning PA, an audience that’d never heard her handful of songs which’ve only dropped as an overseas EP and her own discomfort with live performance, fell flat. A shame.

Mike Skinner salvaged the night with living, breathing musicians and the deft hand of a master of crowd control. Admittedly, his unrhythmic, lyrical geezer style gets lost at a live show. But the hooks were still catchy as fuck and managed to sway the hipsters, slappers and brit gals standing around me. When they launched into “Don’t Mug Yourself”, Skinner loosed the bottles of vodka and brandy that were on tap, welded to the drum kit, and watered the open mouths of the front row, bobbing in place like guppies.

I’m sad to say that the show ended a little too soon for me. If I had my way, The Streets wouldn’t have peppered in as many slow tempo tracks. I’m a sucker for sentimentality, but I felt that it slowed the pace. I can also understand the desire to play newer music, but The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living isn’t half as good as previous efforts, especially when you fail to play “Can’t Con an Honest Jon”. All grievances were forgotten when Skinner stormed back onstage for an encore performance of “Fit But You Know It”. Dubbs and I got our mouths and chins doused in booze, I got punched in the face and when all was said and done, I dove over the barrier in front of the stage to snag the set list. Chuffed? You can’t imagine. (flickr)
Lady Sovereign - "Random" (mp3)
The Streets - "Too Much Brandy" (mp3)
The Streets - "It Was Supposed To Be So Easy" (mp3)
The Streets - "Blinded By The Light" (mp3)
The Streets - "Prangin' Out" (mp3)
The Streets - "The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living" (mp3)
The Streets - "Can't Con An Honest Jon" (mp3)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Fozzy Can't Ollie

I was trailing behind a pack of tween skateboarders. One of them had an uncontrollable tick. His head would jerk back violently and then oscillate 3-4 times like a bobble head. It was magnified by his thick, shaggy hair which would fly about everytime he spazzed. Oi, shave your head so as not to draw so much attention to yourself. You look like a fucking muppet.

Renewal

I'll be driving to and from Michigan in August so I had to renew my expired TX driver's license. I did it online, so the convenience outweighed the possibility of registering to drive in NY. But despite the slight fib re: my home address, they never asked for a new picture. Which means, should I be found in violation of a driving regulation, I'll still have to produce a license with a photo taken when I was 17 and looking not unlike a certain famous boy wizard.

Officer: Son, do you have any idea how fast you were going back there?
Steven: EXCELSIOR!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Screenshot: Ranma

A Public Service: watching anime so that you don't have to.

Ranma

Friday, June 23, 2006

Watch & Listen: Surreal Music Videos @ Monkey Town

In the first year that I moved to New York, while I was the unwitting captive of my roommates’ egregious attacks against my better nature, I had a small staple of obsessions that could lift the dark cloud for an hour or two. Sparked by Palm Pictures’ Director's Label (particularly Michel Gondry), I watched and re-watched music videos on DVD, TV and online. I spent a great deal of ultimately futile creative energy listening to obscure bands and devising concepts for music videos, planning out storylines and storyboarding animated characters. It was a welcome distraction, one I return to from time to time.

Last night, I went to a screening of a dozen+ music videos produced in the last year that shared a thematic thread: they incorporated, with varying degrees, surrealist subjects and imagery. From the curator’s statement:
In the past decade, the structure of the short snappy music video has not only become fodder for the likes of the commercial MTV set, but a gold mine for major artists and film directors to work with - and within - the limitations of the specific structure of the music video clip. Consequently, many music videos have begun to look more like an art form reminiscent of the short film genre than a commercial product.
So huddled into the back of the restaurant, sprawled out on futons sipping brew, surrounded on four sides by huge screens, the clips played one after another. It was like a pleasant coming out party for what had previously been a dirty, solitary obsession. There were appearances from a few expected auteurs and artists (Spike Jonze, Floria Sigismondi, Beck and Bjork) as well as a small handful of videos that had me completely mesmerized (Martin De Thurah’s embattled Aryan children in Carpark North’s “Human”). In some cases a video did just what a good video should do and that is to make a mediocre song memorable. When I got home and listened to “Fortress” by Pinback I was unimpressed with the song. But when you watch the spot with the line drawing of royal soldiers busting out choreographed dance moves over syncopated breakbeats, you fall in love with the whole package.

The night was capped off with a surrealist short by Rene Clair that was supposed to bring some cohesion to all of the videos, a sort of historical context if you will. But the video failed to captivate the audience’s interest with most of them trickling out before it was over. I think the lack of interest just lent support to the effectiveness of contemporary filmic techniques and the caliber of art that directors are producing today in the form of 3-minute video clips. Video is now an ideal medium for conveying abstract, absurd and disturbing imagery with a force that was once only possible with some paint and a brush.
Carpark North - "Human" (mp3) (link to YouTube video)
Ladytron - "Destroy Everything You Touch" (mp3) (link to YouTube video)
Pinback - "Fortress" (mp3) (link to YouTube video)
Beck - "E-pro" (mp3) (link to YouTube video)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Linkology: 06.19.06

* Stylish summer kicks
* Jonathan Lethem doesn't want Frank Gehry to design for the BK
* The Shake Shack webcam is live!
* Robots in disguise (YouTube)
* How to open a bottle of beer the Scandinavian way (YouTube)
* Phillip Toledano's Photography (click on the vertical cells for more)
* "Happy Mornings" Folger's Ad
* Build a kinetic sculpture
* Liquid nitrogen + swimming pool
* 3-year old chooses "NewsHour" for b-day party theme
* 6-minute Japanese Rube Goldberg ramen machine
* The Pianolina
* The Impulsive Buy
* Science builds a better cat
* Topless sunbathers love Unix (I love the comment)

Damaged In Transit

Netflix

Two, count 'em , two DVDs from my last two Netflix shipments have not made their way into my locked mailbox. I think there is a conspiracy afoot. That, or a grabby shitbrained postal worker that thinks he can mess with me. Fuck with the flow of movies and I will end you. And then I'll go to where you live, where you work, where you pray, where you buy your fucking reuben on Wednesdays for lunch and I'll make it all disappear.

Nobody fucks with the flow of movies except me and the creditor that foots the bill each month. NOBODY!

The discs managed to find their way back to the distribution center. All that's left for me is the disposable flap, cased in plastic, bearing witness to the failings of the United States Postal Service.

For a Good Time, Call

I think I can safely assume that we don't have a lot of Maxim readers in the crowd. That said, each issue has a recurring feature called “Found Porn”. Users send in everyday products (typically produced in a country far, far away with differing contextual definitions) that are unintentionally sexual. This cookie looks like a penis. OMG! This broom has the word “jizz” on the package. LOL! This doll is diddling her bit. NSFW!

It is my grandest ambition to one day start a magazine that has a feature called “Found Comedy” where readers send in unintentionally hilarious things they found while watching porn. I was loaned a salacious skin flick by a member of Cracked Out to splice into one of the shorts I was editing. Sidebar: the DVD is called “Gentlemen Prefer Jenna” and I’m pretty sure her popularity has something to do with her enthusiasm for cock sucking in front of a camera. I DIGRESS! Before the meat (ha!) of the movie gets rolling, there are 15 minutes of personal ads. But these ain’t of the Match.com variety. The audio is tame and typical:
Are you looking for a good time? Do you want to meet a like-minded person? Go out to dinner or a movie? Maybe you’re just looking for someone to unwind with? Call now!
But the phone number and voice are played over rapidly cut video of hardcore fucking. People fucking, sucking, taking fluids to the face. Do you want to go on a date tonight and then, just maybe, blast her in the ass? It is…quite simply…the funniest thing I have seen in a month.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Ventilated

I got the pictures of Shaving Day from Amelia. So if you're interested in seeing the bad haircut I paid for, the middling phase and the buzzed results, they're available for your perusal (flickr).

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Silent Auction

Last Friday, Claire, Khalida and I went to a silent auction/beer bash in Williamsburg. A third of the proceeds went to Printed Matters, a non-profit dedicated to the promotion of publications made by artists. And the beer was free too! So we sipped and stared and gabbed and threw down bids. I won the piece I was bidding on (below). It's a digital illustration with a very manga feel. I will hang it in the loo of a future apartment and in the bedroom of a future child. Lessons for the night: buying original pieces is always fun, free beer tastes better than $5 beer and my generation is full of shallow, hipster trash.

While in the line, the drunk girls in front of me were making a pact to "pee and only pee" so that the wait wasn't overly long. One turned to me and asked how often I shit. I responded, barely masking my contempt, that presuming my diet was above board, I shit 2-3 times a day. She said "Oh" and turned away as if to say I'd let the conversational volley fall. "Eat shit, scatbrains!" That's what I should've said. Live and learn, I guess. I did take comfort in the idea that, presuming she continues down this path, chatting up strangers about poop and the like while visibly intoxicated, she's probably gonna end up a lampshade in some stockbroker's murder dungeon. Every party has a silver lining.

Winning Piece

Monday, June 12, 2006

Irony on the Horizon

I got the digital proofs (below, sorta) back from the printer today. You know what that means? "Racism Is Gay" will be shipping by the end of next week. Tits!

Racism Is Gay Proof

Linkology: 06.12.06

* Trade your CDs for $1
* New MacBook corrosion
* B'c if you're like me, you're porking out
* The George W. Bush approval map
* The Internet's landfill alternative
* I wanna make a mudball

The Express Line Smells Like Ass

I can only assume that the good people at Whole Foods choose to wind the lines for checkout by the cheese tables and olive bars b'c the bathrooms, overflowing with shit reek, are currently occupied.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Extra! Extra! Elite Nerd Needs Your Support!

Nerd Elite reader and all around swell, crafty gal Linda Permann sent me the following e-mail so I thought I would share it with you lot:
Dear friends,
As many of you know, I've been slaving away on a brand! new! craft magazine called Adorn for the past six months. It has finally come to fruition and will be on shelves Tuesday, June 13! Check out a preview here & keep up with the blog here.

And, a roundup of interviews with yours truly (podcast forthcoming...stay tuned!):
http://homeofthesampler.com/interviews/
http://getcrafty.com/blogs.php?user=West%20Coast%20Crafty&entry=6945
http://whipup.net/2006/06/10/coming-soon-to-a-newsstand-near-you

Adorn will be available at Joann, Hancock Fabrics, Michaels, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, etc. Please tell all of your crafty friends to grab a copy, or better yet, subscribe!. And, let me know what you think of it! If you're in the NY area, be sure to stop by Renegade Craft Fair this weekend (www.renegadecraftfair.com). I'll be making the rounds on Saturday.

Cheers,
Linda
So go out and buy a copy, ya bums...

Beautiful and Isolate

The weather outside is wonderful. The nights of late have been in the 50s which is why I like NY more than TX. Today I'm going to walk to the comic store, walk to the park, sit in the living room, nap in the living room, write with the laptop, utilize the many splendors of pen and paper, listen to Cloud Cult and try to feel good about myself.

Linkology

More links for you, dear reader, devourer of pointless Internet distraction:
* God on the 1s and the 2s (YouTube)
* The Extreme Diet Coke and Mentos Experiments
* Base jumper soars down a mountain, 15 feet above the ground (YouTube)
* www.giveusallyourmoney.com
* The art of Cayetano Ferrer
* Amnesty International's see-through ad campaign
* Taste of the NY Subway: Restaurants organized my Subway stop
* Spike Jonze's 2000 Al Gore video (Google Video)
* Spanish Castle Optical Effect
* Jon Stewart pwns Bill Bennett on gay marriage

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Listen: Spank Rock

Spank RockHip-Hop has been around for more than 25 years and so it would seem that, like rock and roll before it, rap music is currently stymied in it’s disco period, bereft of innovation and guilty of fan-pandering. I haven’t found much to excite me about the genre-at-large since high school when, like all boys with bad taste, I was a fan of party anthems and shiny-suited MCs. But like the break beats that give a bangin’ track its backbone, to find the good shit you gotta dig.

YoYoYoYoYo is the debut album from Spank Rock, a Baltimore-area group with beats by Armani XXXChange and rhymes from MC Naeem Juwan. What’s most refreshing about Spank Rock is that it doesn’t follow any template. There are few guest MCs and producers on the album, which gives XXXChange a chance to infuse each song with a megaton of Baltimore Club bass and computerized clicks and whistles.

Fewer guests also mean that Juwan gets more mic time to wax on about a few of his favorite things: ass and pussy. “Backyard Betty” has a bridge near the end where he just spits “I’d tap the ho” again and again over some syncopated drums. The lyrics can be unsettling (“Ass-shaking competition champ / Ooh, that pussy gets damp”) but the music carries with it a distinct sense of playful absurdity (“Coke and wet, bitch / Guns, nigga, holla”), making me feel stodgy for taking the words too seriously. This is party music so get over it. And while a song like “Rick Rubin” isn’t exactly hip-hop’s answer to punk, signaling the death of stale, forgettable singles, at least it’s a good excuse to grind your ass.
Spank Rock - "Backyard Betty" (mp3)
Spank Rock - "Coke & Wet" (mp3)
Spank Rock - "Rick Rubin" (mp3)
Spank Rock - "Bump" (mp3)
Steven: There is one track with a chick. But she’s just rapping about her own pussy.
Shavonne: Why doesn’t she sing about “Backyard Bobby”?
Steven: I dunno. “Oooh, he gotta big ol’ dick.”
Shavonne: HA HA HA HA Sing it again.
Steven: No.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Photographic Proof

Claire, Kal and Amelia had a housewarming last night (flickr). The unpacking isn't complete but that should stand between you and wine, that's what I say. The apartment is quite lovely, the best bits being two over-sized living rooms. TWO! I've also uploaded some pictures from Claire and Shavonne's graduation (flickr). Those are overdue but whaddaya gonna do. Shaved head pics to come, promise.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Listen: Islands and The Unicorns

Exchanging mix tapes can be fun, especially when it’s with someone other than a girl that makes your pants go all squishy. My friend Rapp* burned a couple of discs for me a few years back as his way of saying that he liked me. Not like-like, but I was still aces in his book. The discs, which I still spin on a regular basis, were packed with all sorts of undiscovered gems like The Unicorns’ album Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone? hands-down the creamiest of the dreamiest, with its playful noodling and discordant dorkiness. The Unicorns at their best created pop music that was simultaneously obnoxious and blissful, run through with the sensibility of a boyhood spent playing with My Little Ponies and drawing swords and rainbows on notebook covers. But then the band split, with little explanation, just as they were on the cusp of somethingness.

Enter Islands, a 7-piece band raised from The Unicorns sparkling ash with two of the former bands members along for the ride. Islands’ Return to the Sea cleans up some of The Unicorns rough edges, making the whole affair easier to swallow. Both outfits seem to have their inspiration planted firmly in an 8-bit nostalgia with most of the albums flourish sounding like the soundtrack to the greatest NES game you never played. Below are some personal favorites from both bands. Dancing and smiles are strongly encouraged.
The Islands - "Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby" (mp3)
The Islands - "Rough Gem" (mp3)
The Unicorns - "I Was Born (A Unicorn)" (mp3)
The Unicorns - "Tuff Ghost" (mp3)
*Rapp? You still in TX? E-mail me, sucka!

Down? Sure. Out? Why the Hell Not!

The site was down for the greater part of yesterday. It's terribly distressing when my web presence isn't available for perusal, neglected as it may be. I gotta get a new host real fucking soon. It may seem extreme on my part to expect a flawless performance from a server, but it's not considering there are an endless number of hosts out there that can promise perfection, along with more space and bandwidth for less ching-ching.

Expect hiccups in the future as I move onto greener pastures.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Buttons: One More For Good Measure

You're a fabulous bit of glam and trash. Keep on sparkling until you drop.

button

Buttons: Back At It

Here are some more designs. Ladies, never let it be said I didn't have in your back in matters of style.

buttons

Monday, June 05, 2006

Procedural

I'm ten posts shy of the 50-post mark with this "temporary fill-in" Blogger solution. Shock! Horror! Time to get off my duff and rectify my master plan of shiny e-domination.

That aside, I think this evening I'll try to resurrect the "Listening" feature from blog days of yore. I consume a lot of new music, but every once and a while I go on a binge. This weekend I downloaded 13 new albums, varying from good to great. And I'm itching to share, so batten down the snatches, here comes the tuneami.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Mental Link

This morning, I was thinking about my new 'do and I IM'd Jacob. In middle school, he used to buzz his hair all the time:
[10:02] Steven: dude
[10:02] Steven: Remember middle school
[10:02] Steven: when you used to shave your head
[10:02] Jacob: OMG
[10:02] Jacob: OMG
[10:02] Jacob: OMG
[10:02] Jacob: GET OUT OF MY FIUCKING HEAD
[10:03] Jacob: NOW
[10:03] Steven: wah?
[10:03] Jacob: I just shaved it
[10:03] Jacob: JUST DID IT
[10:03] Steven: NUH UH
[10:03] Steven: ME TOO
[10:03] Steven: LAST NITE
[10:03] Jacob: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
[10:03] Steven: WOOOAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
[10:03] Jacob: separated by thousands of miles...linked by the mind
[10:03] Steven: fuck yeah
[10:03] Jacob: ill take a pic
[10:03] Jacob: today
[10:03] Jacob: and send
[10:03] Steven: bad ass

Temperate

Claire is moving today so say a little prayer to your lightning bolt wielders and eight-armed purple blokes. Moving in NY is grim business. Last night I paid my final visit to Yonkers and the cottage they call "Ferg". Tears. We did a great deal of packing and transporting up and down stairs. Amidst it all, I got to bitching about my shoddy haircut and Claire suggested I get rid of the lot. So we took a break around 12:30 and Amelia buzzed me a bit.

Claire: "Awwww, it's like our last semester in college all over again."
Casey took pictures so expect photos at the weekend.