Saturday, April 30

Tabla tabla tabla

The drum makes a comeback Stateside, thanks to Suphala, the sub-continental answer to Meg White. Recent NYC gigs have met with mixed success, but at least there are no reports of requests for "Free Bird."

Cruise and Katie: Faux romance?

There's speculation in the tabs that the relationship is a desperate PR stunt. "Cynics will point out that the star has timed things to perfection for raising his profile," reports the Daily Mail.

Maybe, but Cruise's then-budding romance with Penelope Cruz didn't exactly pay off at the box office for their "Vanilla Sky."

Fight Scientology. Boycott Tom Cruise.

How to Shuffle Poker Chips

This is worth learning. It really intimidates people when I'm playing online, and describing my mad chip shuffling skillz.

State of Florida Prohibiting Foster Child's Abortion

This may be the next big "Culture of Life" flashpoint -- in Florida once again (of course). The head of the Florida Department of Children and Families is stepping in to ban a 13-year old from obtaining an abortion.

In Defense of the Wet Martini

Toward the Wet Martini - Why vermouth makes the drink. By Fareed Zakaria

Friday, April 29

Der Spiegel Goes to Town on Tom Cruis'e Xenu-Fearing Derrier

Towards the end of this interview, the interviewer gets rather shirty with Mr. Cruise.

Thursday, April 28

Wednesday, April 27

Up the creek with El Ron!

New celebrity couple: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Publicists for the pint-size acolyte of El Ron Hubbard confirm that he is dating one of the stars of TV's "Dawson's Creek."

For those wondering, he's 42 and she's 26. I hope Katie has visited Operation Clambake so she knows what she is getting into with her Scientologist boyfriend.

Bouncer Blog

First-hand stories from a NYC bouncer.

Man Dies in Silo Under 20 Feet of Grain

Harrison Ford wanted for questioning.

Ghost Town Headlining Room 5 5/20

They liked us so well last time, they've moved us from opening slot to headliner for our next Room 5 appearance. If you're in LA, come check us out on Friday, May 20. Here's the lineup:

8:30 Serena Lauren
9:15 The Deep Fried Monks
10:15 Tim Fagan
11:15 Ghost Town

Our last show was our best one so far; the next one should be even better, so come on out for a night of quite good Eyetalian food and some great tunage.

Ooooh, Snap!

Letterman producer on the brewing catfight with Rosie O'Donnell:

The last thing I want to do is get into a fight with a powerful celebrity who has a blog read by tens of people."

(Check out the unhinged, e.e.cummings-inspired blog-posting on Rosie's blog that sparked this little contretemps.)

Tuesday, April 26

Game, set ... bison!

Buffalo run wild in suburban Maryland before getting surrounded on a tennis court.

"Lennon!" is (just like) starting over

The Ono-approved bio-musical is being retooled after a debut on the Bay Area stage. Reviews are middling to withering.

At least the producers had the courage to put "God" from the Plastic Ono Band days in there amid the "hits."

Monday, April 25

God on the Ropes....

Though, to be fair, Ghost Town did a sort of Monkees-Beatles mash-up on Friday when we threw "Last Train to Clarksville" into the middle of "Ticket to Ride." But that makes a kind of sense, at least....

God Losing

That's one vote God, two votes No God.

There is No God!

'Development' permanently arrested?

There Is a God!

Zankou opens on the Westside!

And there was much rejoicing.

Saturday, April 23

Will Ferrell is "Lost"

"Land of the Lost," that is. Yes, they're making the classic 1970s Saturday morning show into a feature film. And yes, Ferrell, of "Anchorman!" fame, will star.

They better give the Sleestak a prominent role and find a kickin' version of the theme song, with the lyrics:

Marshall, Will and Holly
On a routine expedition
Met the greatest earthquake ever known
High on the rapids, it struck their tiny raft
And plunged them down a thousand feet below
To the Land of the Lost
To the Land of the Lost
To the Land of the Lost

Friday, April 22

get your war on

Some 400 strips later, good to see David Rees is still appropriately angry -- and still funny.

I <heart> LA

Why? Because I can get a daily weather report from David Lynch.

Happy Pesach

Congrats on that whole being-freed-from-bondage thing to our Jewish reader(s).

So, did Passover start at sundown on Thursday night, or what? Because the Persian Jews around the corner from us were blasting Queen and ululation-tinged disco til 11:45 last night. (Freddy Mercury is apparently an icon in the Persian AND gay communities -- who knew?) I actually had to go and be The Man. The Man that tells other people to turn their music down.

And it's the second time I've had to do it with this house! Last time was around Thanksgiving, when two drunken little 20-somethings answered the door and invited me in to party with them (as it's easier to just put up with the creepy old neighbor guy than to have to turn down the music) but, unfortunately, <nerd-glasses-push>they were interrupting my & Jody's viewing of "Return of the King"</nerd-glasses-push> with her parents. This time, I walk up to the door with 911 pre-entered in my cell phone (in case some drunk doesn't want to stop ululating, as it's been well over a decade since I've taken a punch, and would probably start crying like a little girl), and a nice 50-ish woman answered the door, saying "Oh, sorry, it's the children...." Yes. YOUR children, you inconsiderate sssfrssfksfsk.....

What I want to know is:
1) How have we let our manners go so far in this society that people would be kicking out the jams (and beating a Dumbek, fer chirssake!) til midnight in a nice little semi-urban neighborhood?

2) These folks were 2 doors down from our over-the-back-fence neighbors. Is the rest of the neighborhood too deaf or frightened to take care of this? (Actually, both could be the case, as we are surrounded by retirees.)

3) When did I become The Man? I don't want to be The Man. If no one's gonna be The Man, then someone's gotta be The Man, I guess, but I tell ya, if this keeps up, along with crap with my mom, pressure at work, running the band -- I'm gonna crack! Jody's gonna come home and find me sobbing uncontrollably in a nice, comforting giant furry squirrel suit. And nobody wants to see that.

So just turn down your damn music already, willya?

'Office Space' Reunion

Fun snippet of an interview from lad-mag 'Giant'. <nerd-glasses-push>The coolest thing about it is the way they implemented footnotes as mouse-overs</nerd-glasses-push>.

Precious Photos

These are really nice. [via]

Thursday, April 21

'Tiger man' wants fur graft

Alrighty, then.

Bass: Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, Jazz Great Dead at 58

Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, largely unknown to American audiences, but one of the all-time greats, has died at the suprisingly young age of 58.

He had impeccable tone and technique, and a unique melodic voice on the most cumbersome of jazz instruments, the upright bass. Look for his duets with Joe Pass -- they're some of the finest chamber jazz out there.

Microsoft Caves on Gay Rights

Not a good sign for the direction this country is headed. After being pressured by an evangelical minister, Microsoft withdraws support for civil rights bill.

Pig Olympics

Make your own Rush Limbaugh joke if you want, just be sure to click through the slideshow on this story.

I Wish I Liked nine inch nails. And Had a Mac.

Trent Reznor has released his current record in Apple's Garageband format, allowing fans to download it for free and remix it to their heart's content. Very cool idea -- I believe Peter Gabriel did something similar with a CD-Rom some years ago, but this should get much wider distribution. It'll be cool when this is a second layer on all music releases someday. After all, with the price of CDs about even with the price of a lot of DVDs and viideo games, music distributors are going to have to either lower prices, or start giving more value for the dollar if they want to compete.

Wednesday, April 20

Study puts priestly abuse at 4%

One out of every 25 priests wants to diddle your kid.

On a strictly cost/benefit ratio analysis, I would tend to go with not taking your offspring to church. Maybe the best thing my parents did for me.

Was Iraq Behind the Oklahoma City Bombing?

Fox's Senior Right-Wing Nutbag Correspondent John Gibson investigates.


Police expecting surge in reports of "senior abuse" in bookstores.

I've got some free time available....

Who do you think should play the next bond?

I actually probably wouldn't be too good for the role. The one time my older brother let me play "James Bond" with him and his friends as a kid, I started crying when everyone else got killed and I was the only agent left alive.

Well, it was sad, dammit!

Tuesday, April 19

God's Rottweiler

Huh, they went with the Nazi. (Actually, not a Nazi, he had been required to join the Hitler youth and the German army in WWII, which he later deserted.)

Tetris Shelves


Just Barely Offshoring

Here's a nutty little plan to park a ship 3 miles off-shore and staff it with 3rd-world programming talent. No visas to deal with, I guess. Little to no government oversite. Little escape from work for your galley slaves employees.

What could go wrong?

No Brown Smarties!

The Smoking Gun seems awfully impressed with the modesty of the Beatles' concert rider ca. 1965. I was most pleased by paragraph 5, where the boys refuse to play for a segregated audience.

Such nice lads, those Beatles.


Monday, April 18

Cool Tools

Very spiffy directory of cool and useful dohickeys.

Review: Sin City

Caught Robert Rodriguez's "Frank Miller's Sin City" this weekend, and liked it. It's a pretty direct translation of the comic -- to the extent that if you've read the comics, there's no particularly compelling reason to see the film. It's incredibly faithful. Mickey Rourke gives the best performance as Marv, a crazy/ugly sociopath with a heart of gold. Brittany Murphy is just awful, and doesn't do the occasionally cliched dialogue any favors. Bruce Willis phones in a Bruce Willis performance, and Frodo proves to be quite the creepy ass-kicker, even without his precioussss.

Oh, and it's sorta violent.

Four stars.


I fear I may never be allowed to barbeque with the Nuge.

Saturday, April 16

Lick this kraken

Weird Disney-themed kraken postage stamps from Antigua.

A mighty wind

The NYT looks fondly on the defunct VW Scirocco -- as well it should. Translation of the name: "A hot, oppressive, dust-laden wind from the Libyan deserts that blows on the northern Mediterranean coast, chiefly in Italy, Malta and Sicily."

Sure beats the Hummer.

Friday, April 15

Best arcade game I never played

I'm not sure how I missed Tapper back in the day, in which you must provide pints of beer to thirsty patrons. The Onion A/V Club remembers.


Irish bookies set the odds on the next pope.

Thursday, April 14

BBC NEWS: The mother who suckles pet monkey

Yup, it's just what it says it is. With pic.

You were warned.

For Jody

For my lovely bride, who almost scotched the deal when I found out she had more than one Duran2 CD: a good and amusing concert review of the best band named after a villain in 'Barbarella.'

Bill Maher's New Rules

One of the funnier bits on his "Real Time" show, here's an archive of transcripts.

Wednesday, April 13

Environmental Heresies

Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalogue, is rethinking environmentalist orthodoxy.

Federline to be a proud papa!

Famed backup dancer Kevin Federline confirms what the tabs have been speculating about for weeks: He'll be a dad again. It's the third time the 27-year-old Federline has sired a child; his previous offspring were borne by superstar actress Shar Jackson.

The lucky mom-to-be this time around is someone named Britney Spears, whom Federline married in a whirlwind courtship last year.

Thurston Moore rubs you the right way

The Sonic Youth ax man was making love to his gee-tar and the audience at a gig at a hotel bar in NYC. (They recently played at a Spanish restaurant in Queens as well.)

An NYT review finds the aging rockers in fine form after 25 years of feedback.

Tuesday, April 12

Common Errors in English

Love stuff like this.

"For all intensive purposes" especially grates on my nerves, for some reason.

"Hey, what are you gonna do with that guy's head you stole?"

Uh, I dunno....Make a bong out of it?

And people thought my high school years were a waste of time....

Judge to Andy Rooney: 'Pipe Down!'

Damn activist judges.

Sunday, April 10

Must ... stop ... Siegfried ... Roy!

Or so thought a former NFL player charged with firing a shotgun at the magical duo's home. Nobody got hurt.

Here's why the guy did it, according to a psychiatrist:

"While watching Siegfried and Roy, he had a sudden realization that what was wrong with the world was linked to the illusionists' treatment, dominance and unhealthy intimacy he saw them having with their animals."

Saturday, April 9

CraigsList Rentals + Google Maps

Verrry cool. Almost makes me want to rent again....

It's a man date!

A funny NYT article (by the famously named scribe Jennifer 8. Lee) on hetero guys hanging out with each other "without the crutch of business or sports."

It's unclear whether two men attending Ghost Town show together would qualify as a man date. Discuss!

Friday, April 8

Ghost Town Strikes Again

Ghost Town is playing a special hour-long set at Room 5 Lounge on Friday, April 22, 8pm. We'll be premiering some new material (including some covers by Squeeze and Elvis!) as well as playing all your old favorites. Also on the bill with us are Jeff Geoffray & The Monks, Carlos Calvo, and Zac Steel. All for the low, low price of $7 -- or $6 if you print out a copy of this post and bring it with you!

Room 5 is a great-sounding room above the Amalfi restaurant at 143 North La Brea. It's an intimate and classy lounge, with nutritious and delicious drinks and food, and really great music.

Ashley Caldwell: sweet, sweet harmony
Ken Lasaine: 6 strings of controlled rage
Frank San Filippo: the bottom line
Kevin Smith: ebonies & ivories
Adam Steinberg: bits of metal and skin
Romy Suskin: rockin' the telefunken mike

Samples of the band can be heard here.
Check out tracks 2 and 11 for an idea of what to expect!

God Bless the NY Post

I hope I someday get to use the phrase "liquor-fueled lesbian rampage". I mean, besides in that last sentence.

Lists: Ten Best Rock Movies of All Time

A thought-provoking selection.

Of course, I'd put "Return to Waterloo" on there as well, but I'm funny that way.

Thursday, April 7

Google Sightseeing

More fun with Google maps.

Clay Kitten Shooting

Cruel Work Avoidance Therapy

Doom: the Board Game

Who knew?

Google Maps is Awesome

Here are a couple of purty satelite shots, and here's the explanation.

Jenna Bush on All Fours...

...doing "the butt dance" (or, as it's termed in Abu Ghraib, the 'perp walk').


Mmmmm, chastity pants.

Pulitzer for Editorial Carooning -- Portfolio

Here's the unabashedly left-leaning portfolio that won Nick Anderson the Pulitzer.

Happy birthday, Ravi Shankar!

The sitar master turns 85 today. NPR offers an update.


Just a follow-up to the Scientology post from a couple days ago (was going to put this in the comments, but recently discovered Haloscan "disappears" comments more than a couple months old if you don't pay them a monthly fee, the bastards....)

Anyhoo, I used to work with a whole passel of Scientologists in the early days of Earthlink (I was their first webmaster). I seen 'em up close. The ones who had been on drugs but "found religion" through Narcanon (basically a Scientology recruiting front) probably WERE better off than they had been. But it's as hard for me to say "Well if those beliefs work for you, that's great" when the foundations of those beliefs fly in the face of common sense and science -- whether it's the Scientology belief that we're composed of beings imprisoned in a giant Hawaiian vocano by the intergalactic overlord Xenu thousands of years before Hawaii is shown to have existed, or if it's fundamentalist Christians who insist man and dinasour walked the earth at the same time (which we all know they did, but only in the Land of the Lost).

If I were to believe in a god, it would have to be one who would smite such people -- in this world or the next -- for such willful stupidity.

Tuesday, April 5

DeLay Going Down?

If this isn't enough, I don't know what is. Apprently, DeLay's campaign paid his wife and daughter half a mil each last year in campaign fees. What hubris. What a maroon!

"You can only get pierced and tattooed so many times."


"The first couple of times, I didn't enjoy it," said Canadian Warren Hiller. "The first time I blacked out, and one time I was convulsing. But the third time I got better. I wasn't blacking out anymore."

Yeah, I didn't like sushi or Mexican food the first few times I tried them, either, but neither involved blacking out, convulsing, or FISH HOOKS IN MY ELBOWS!

What is wrong with these people?

Jeb Bush Praises Scientologists


Eyesight to the Blind

We have the technology....

Are You Paranoid?

Not as in thirty hour coke binge, scratching at your face to get at the ants crawling under the skin, Fear and Loathing, radio signals from your filings, living in a faraday cage, hearing voices in the 60Hz hum of your power supply kind of way. Just the more simple, irrational fear of the unlikely.

I am, to a greater extent than I'd like to admit.

Things like sudden gusts of wind, lifting me up and over the safety barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge and sending me hurtling into a statistic which I will neither deserve or ever attain.

Purchasing additional insurance for a rental car even though my credit card covers it and I have never caused an accident in my life (only been hit the once), but I am easily manipulated by women in green blazers who assure me that I'm looking like I'm "giving out a crashin' vibe".

Or breaking into a cold sweat when five feet away from my unlocked bicycle in the kids section of Golden Gate Park (I think some of them are midgets and not kids, on the prowl for sippy cups and Baby Bjorn Cell Phones (and yes, I realize their legs are too short to reach the pedals, but that doesn't mean they couldn't have a partner midget and each could take a pedal a la one of those movies with midgets in it (which by the way, isn't nearly enough))).

But I try and fight it in little ways if I can. I just hope that perhaps that every little victory over paranoia will make future battles easier. Which is why I've been so adamant about never double checking to make sure my mail goes down when I drop something off in the corner mailbox. Granted, I use the corner mailbox exclusively instead of my own because I'm worried someone will steal my mail (thank you very much Jody). I often feel a physical pain as I walk away, my need to check pulling me back to R2D2s blue cousin. But I don't. I never give in. If I can't win at this, what hope is there for me? And the mail always goes down, doesn't it?

So I'm dropping off some movies on my way to work this morning. Videodrome and Dazed and Confused Stoner Edition. And sure enough, when I pull open the door of the mailbox, there, from all our nightmares, is someone's mail. Stuck. Waiting for some miscreant (that would be me), to grab and run.

"What happened to my subscription to TV Guide? I'm sure I sent in the check."

"Why is there an IRS van in front of the house, Daddy?"

"Why won't Brittany call? She knows I love her."

And I do want to grab it. It seems like it is required. Then perhaps take a photo of it in the bottom of a dumpster and mail the photo to the sender. It's only fair that someone else suffer. Now that my near crippling paranoia about mail has received a steroid injection which could keep the entire Yankee's organization in raisin sized balls through their next pennant. This person, so selfish that they couldn't check on their mail, so now my one small grasp on sanity has been snipped away. They too must suffer.

Christ, I need some ludes.

Monday, April 4

Another satellite

Google adds a link to satellite imagery to its mapping site.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Moon dust is, apparently, hell of nasty.

Just a Reminder

We're all going to hell.

A British View of the Schiavo Case

Surprisingly optimistic about how rational 70% of America was about not wanting politicians to interfere in the case.

I Am a Fraud

Our site hits are going through the roof. Unfortunately, it looks like mostly bogus traffic. A majority of the 60 something hits we've gotten today are from either blogpot's "Next Blog" "feature" or from international and US Google image searches -- which I don't understand in the least. We don't even have any of our own images on this blog -- they're all links to images hosted elsewhere.

Google owns blogger; I don't know if they're doing anything funky to artificially inflate user stats, but I don't see any reason for all the spurious traffic. Any other bloggers out there seeing the same thing? Anyone know what's going on?

Smithsonian Selling MP3s

Pretty cool. Being a government agency, shouldn't it be cheaper than the Apple store, though? Seeing as we've paid for the gathering of this music with our tax dollars already.....

Welcome to The World

You know that adage about investing in real estate because they ain't making any more of it? Not exactly true.

Pulitzers Announced

Dullard Gazette, in a continuation of the persecution by mainstream awards bodies [MAB], shut out once again.

I've met the guy who won the music Pulitzer. Nice guy, good composer, but unfortunately his piece has now been all but destined for obscurity, as this list of previous winners can attest. How many can you hum? If you're somewhat cultured, probably just the one, Appalachian Spring. If you have a music degree, you might know half those names; the staggering list of 20th-century greats not on that list is the real kicker, though: Webern, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Weil, Gershwin, Mingus, Cage. I know music isn't about competition, but if Wynton Marsalis gets one and Walter Piston merits two, fer chrissakes....

Sunday, April 3

Possible Ione Skye sighting

Was that her on tonight's "Arrested Development"?


Elton John to write goth musical; Trent Reznor seen consoling Robert Smith.

Saturday, April 2

Dude, You're Getting a Ferrari!

You can get a "fully loaded" Ferrari for just 2 large! Unfortunately, it runs Windows XP.

Pamela Anderson is ... "Stacked!"

Yeah, that really is the name of her new sitcom on Fox. (Except for the exclamation mark.)

The former "Baywatch" star plays a party girl turned bookshop employee. Christopher Lloyd of "Taxi" and "Back to the Future" plays a zany customer, presumably the Kramer of the cast.

The hilarity ensues April 13, and "Stacked!" will air the same night as the aforementioned "Life on a Stick."

Set your TiVO on stun!

Friday, April 1

Need a Cab in Silicon Valley?

Here they are.

Comedian Dead at 37

Mitch Hedberg was a very funny comedian. Kind of an odd thing to read that a guy 2 days younger than you died of a heart attack.

R.I.P., Mitch.