Thursday, March 30

GIG: Ghost Town @ El Cid this Tuesday

Ghost Town is playing a FREE show this coming Tuesday, as part of Ronnie Mack's monthly Barn Dance series at the fabulous El Cid in Silverlake. We go on promptly at 9, but we're sharing the bill with 5 other great bands, starting at 8:30. See below for details.

The Barn Dance is always a blast, featuring LA's best singer-songwriters and bands. There's always great food, drinks and music, so get there early and stay late!

El Cid
Tues, Apr 4
4212 W Sunset Blvd
8:30 pm

Also on the bill:
Patty Booker
Michael O'Neill
Lisa Sanders
Farmer Tan
The Barn Dance Band

Kraken take over Internets!

Squid wrestling, squid T-shirts, squid knitting. This site has it all.

I'm a little bit jealous we didn't think of it first.

David Gilmour, atheist

The Pink Floyd guitarist, on the road in support of his instantly irrelevant "On An Island" solo disc, says he doesn't believe in an afterlife. And no, there won't be any Pink Floyd reunion tour or album, but thanks for asking.

: The Live 8 show would be a noble end to the Floyd saga. Does anyone think a money-grabbing "greatest hits" tour or new album would really be that rewarding?

Scalia gone wild!

Antonin Scalia of SCOTUS fame used this unkind gesture when a reporter asked him a question recently, then asked that the photo not be published.

Will Ferrell, Abe Vigoda are still with us

Reports of their deaths are exaggerated. Whew!

Wednesday, March 29

Our lives at 45 rpm

Third in a series of posts on one Dullard's collection of 45s

Song: "Nobody Told Me"
Artist: John Lennon
Year released: 1984
Highest U.S. chart position: 5

DULLARD TAKE: Listening to "Nobody Told Me" is a bittersweet experience. Here is John Lennon, sounding so confident, self-assured, full of life — comfortable at last as a father, husband, performer and man. And there you are, hearing that voice that would soon be silenced.

"Nobody Told Me" is not a standout in the Lennon canon, although it does appear on some of the numerous anthologies that attempt to sum up his solo career. (Memo to Yoko: Enough already!) This is a goof of a song with lyrics that go from the oxymoronic to the absurd, which you might expect from a writer who once claimed to be the walrus:

Everybody's talking and no one says a word
Everybody's making love and no one really cares
There's Nazis in the bathroom just below the stairs.

Musically, "Nobody" is rollicking, with a great sing-along chorus. Its catchiness underscores the fact that Lennon was regaining his pop sensibilities just as his life was cut short.

Much of Lennon's work can be split into the "serious" John and the "fun" John. His most powerful work (such as "God" from the Plastic Ono Band era) prevails, but his whimsical efforts shouldn't be overlooked. "Nobody Told Me" is one of those efforts.

Sopranos review

Matt Zoller Seitz is doing a weekly review of the previous night's Soprano's. Really well done, and with intelligent comments to boot.


Famed Scientologist Thomas Mapother IV (stage name: Tom Cruise) has given his companion, Katie Holmes, an iPod so she can stay mellow when the baby comes. (Scientology reportedly prefers silent births.) And thanks to Apple, she won't have to worry about accidentally turning this one up to 11.

You can fool some of the Internets some of the time...

... But not all of the Internets all of the time: Bloggers debunk a "Baghdad" photo.

Latest Dullard Feat of Strength

Eat this.

Monday, March 27

David is a little "Cross"...

...with Larry the Cable Guy.

Bjorn to keep trophies

In a happy ending to a story previously reported here, tennis great Bjorn Borg will not sell his Wimbledon trophies after all. The Swedish superstar, dogged by bankruptcy and divorce, says that upon further review, he will keep the goods he won during the late 1970s.

Thanks, Bjorn.

Saturday, March 25

Mac report: Digging it

Pretty happy with the Mac except for the fact that they make it very difficult for me to make copies of my own CD-Rs. I'm sure it's a sop to the recording industry that they're snuggling up to in bed, but I have a legitimate reason to make copies of CD-Rs, and I'm not infringing anyone's copyrights. Grrr.

Anyway, I'm pretty impressed with the bundled Garageband application.

Touting O-Town

We've been showing you the disgusting side of Central Florida lately, so here's something (mostly) positive in the interest of fairness: The NYT guide to Orlando for grown-ups.

Friday, March 24

Tivo adds undelete, phases out lifetime subscriptions

Act soon if you want to do the lifetime subscription dealie.

One hour with Nena

Get ready for an hour of "99 Luftballoons" on VH1 Classic. The English/German marathon begins at 2 p.m. EST Sunday.

At least it's for a good cause, Katrina relief.

Thursday, March 23

Our lives at 45 rpm

Second in a series of posts on one Dullard's collection of 45s

Single: "Sledgehammer"
Artist: Peter Gabriel
Year released: 1986
Highest U.S. chart position: 1

DULLARD TAKE: "Sledgehammer" represents the unlikely apex of Peter Gabriel's career, at least in a commercial sense. To this point, the former Genesis maestro was mostly known for deeply moving, politically motivated music such as "Biko" and "Games Without Frontiers." The "So" album featured a brighter tone than previous Gabriel works. "Sledgehammer" was the centerpiece of that shift.

"Sledgehammer" remains as strong as the tool it's named for. It's built around a deceptively simple groove, a hook complemented by the straight-forward lyrics of desire. This is the sort of song I love: a track that begins with the basics and then puts down layer after layer, with Gabriel's powerful vocals on top of it all.

Despite its memorable video, "Sledgehammer" has since been eclipsed in pop culture by "In Your Eyes," another fine track from the "So" album that gained new fame a few years later for its use by the character Lloyd Dobler in the film "Say Anything."

Since "Sledgehammer," Gabriel has seen his career slide into irrelevance. After the intriguing "Passion" soundtrack for "The Last Temptation of Christ," he offered "Us." That drab, self-absorbed 1992 album included a ripoff of "Sledgehammer" called "Steam." But the magic of the moment had passed, and like so much of Gabriel's post-1980s output, "Steam" is as forgettable as "Sledgehammer" is groundbreaking.

Yahoo! goes Cruising

To the delight of star-struck minions, famed Scientologist/actor Thomas Mapother IV visits the Yahoo! headquarters in California, for reasons not entirely (ahem) clear.

Dick Cheney's road rules

The Smoking Gun has obtained a copy of the VP's rider, those special requests rock stars and others make while traveling.

Wednesday, March 22

This is "Jeopardy!"

The classic game show "Jeopardy!" will allow potential contestants to take an online quiz as a part of the tryout. You must, however, use a PC and IE to participate.

ANSWER: This Web browser is yet another example of Microsoft grabbing someone else's innovation, "creating" their own ruinous version and crushing all foes in the process.

QUESTION: What is Internet Explorer?

Bird dung smothers downtown O-Town!

The birds seize Orlando — go outdoors at your own risk!

UPDATE: Giants rats are running wild there as well.

Boys wrasslin' bears in Ohio!

PETA and the organizers of bear wrestling are (shockingly) at odds over whether this is a good thing. Here's the pro-wrestling point of view:

To be able to bring an animal out into the public and do what we do is not easy. I mean we're talking about a bear! Do you even realize how much work, time and love we put into that? It's like nobody stops to realize that.

Yes, what about the love?

Tuesday, March 21

LISTS: Five greatest font names

5. Helvetica
4. Book Antiqua
3. Plantagenet Cherokee
2. Zapf Dingbats
1. Hobo Medium

Monday, March 20

Buying John Malkovich

If you can't be him, you can at least dress like him. It ain't cheap, though.

Chef's Quitting Controversy

Chef may not have quit South Park, after all. He reportedly had a stroke in January, and a spokesclam from the Scientology mothership may have been releasing statements on his behalf.

Curiouser and curiouser....

My in-laws rock.

People complain about their in-laws all the time, but mine are really quite fun, and quite sweet people. And I'm not just saying that because this arrived in the mail from them today, as a belated (due to Amazon's increasingly pokey shipping) birthday present.

Calvin & Hobbes ranks right up there with Peanuts as the greatest acheivement in the funny papers. (Pogo and Doonesbury are fairly close behind. And for Andy's sake, we'll throw Henry and Ziggy in there, as well.) This collection is really quite amazing -- every strip from the 10 year run, in a beautifully bound, almost intimidating 3-volume set. It's the sort of thing I would always have wanted, but would have been unable to splurge on for myself. So having in-laws is a Good Thing, for me at least.

The Office to air web-only episodes this summer


Mission accomplished

A timeline.

Tom "Dukes of Hazzard" Wopat gone wild!

One of the original Dukes, Tom Wopat, has been charged with drunken driving. I'm sure he's just a good ol' boy, never meanin' no harm.

Wanna be like V?

DC is pimping "V for Vendetta" masks, although it looks like it would be hard to actually wear one. Act now: Supplies are limited.

Are you brave/nutty enough to try it on?

Sunday, March 19

Our lives at 45 rpm

A new Dullard feature begins here: "Our lives at 45 rpm."

During a recent closet cleanout, I ran across my box of 45s, purchased mostly during the 1980s. For the entertainment of you, the faithful reader, I'll pick one at random and offer a few thoughts on it along with some trivia. Perhaps other Dullard contributors will chime in on this musical excursion, which will perhaps enlighten and most certainly embarass...

Single: "Don't You (Forget About Me)"
Artist: Simple Minds
Year released: 1985
Highest U.S. chart position: 1

: The first time I heard this song on the radio, I thought it was by Billy Idol. It still could have worked with him.

The song, of course, is by Simple Minds, who to this point were relatively unknown on these shores. They didn't write "Don't You" and tried to downplay its success and focus on their own material. But it's still the song they're best known for.

"Don't You" is a perfectly serviceable pop song, catchy from the opening drum and chords. Vocalist Jim Kerr isn't as obnoxious here as he would be with the Simple Minds albums that would follow. His shallow angst and longing on the track matches the "Breakfast Club" movie as no other song could.

Unfortunately, "Don't You" has stayed with us and remains a staple of "I Love the 80s" playlists — to the point that I am ready to forget about it all over again.

The B-side is something called "A Brass Band in Africa." It would be fascinating to know whether any human being who bought this 45 ever listened to it.

Friday, March 17

I've got a Blarney stone you can kiss

Warren Ellis wishes you a happy St. Patrick's Day.

I love you guys.

Matt Stone and Trey Parker rock.

How she got "Lost"

Evangeline Lilly of TV's "Lost" talks about her big break. The Canadian cutie says that, alas, it was simply meant to be.

A new episode of the show airs next week.

Thursday, March 16

Could you pass the 8th grade in 1895?

Me, not so much.

Katherine Harris gone weird!

Katherine Harris of Florida recount fame tells Fox News that she's sticking with her floundering campaign for U.S. Senate. She's even going to spend $10 million she inherited from her father, a banker, in her attempt to oust Bill Nelson.

Harris, who once blamed the MSM for making her look hideous, looked and spoke very oddly during her sitdown with Sean Hannity. She had a Jacko-like look to her cheeks and mouth, and her skin was ghoulishly pale. Her speech was slow and soft. She even managed to make Hannity appear semi-normal in comparision.

The weirdness of Katherine Harris has to be seen to be believed. That's why, with a heavy heart, the Gazette is linking to the Hannity & Colmes site where you can watch her in action.

UPDATE: Not only has Katherine gone weird, she's also gone wild. Ride 'em, cowgirl!

Wednesday, March 15

New Wave is dead. Long live New Wave!

"There's less individual thinking in society now than ever," carps Devo's Gerry Casale. In an article about him helping Disney launch "Devo 2.0" with a bunch of 10-14 year olds comprising the band.

In a related story of 70s bands sucking off the teat of corporate suckiness, all the members of the Cars who are still alive and not married to supermodels are reuniting, with Todd Rundgren stepping in for Ric Ocasek.

Liar liar

A defense attorney writes for Wired about the shortcomings of lie-detector tests as well as the latest technology in detecting deception.

All the lie-detecting training I needed was watching the syndicated show "Liars Club" back in the 1970s. Larry Hovis of TV's "Hogan's Heroes" was an especially convincing liar.

Et tu, Dullards!

Beware the Ides of March.

Tuesday, March 14

Not so welcome

Gabe Kaplan, Ice Cube -- 6 of one, half-dozen of the other, really.

Great googly moogly.

It may not be the best time to ban abortions.

Black back in love

Jack Black of "School of Rock" fame has found love. The lucky gal is Tanya Haden, daughter of jazz musician Charlie Haden.

She better not break up Tenacious D!

LISTS: Top 10 alarm clocks

Pretty cool, though I don't think I'd want any of them except the iPod and woodblock ones.

Monday, March 13

The Covers Project

The Covers Project is trying to build an exhaustive database of pop cover songs. Fun to browse! as is the Knockoff Project, though it's somewhat less complete.

"The New Adventures of Old Christ"

That's what our on-screen guide read when we tuned in for the debut of "The New Adventures of Old Christine." Apparently the title is too long for it to handle. Alas, not even the Lord could find a laugh in this CBS comedy. "Christine" is the latest attempt by a cast member of "Seinfeld" to break from that show and establish a new identity. This time, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is back as a Prius-driving single mom who has to deal with her ex dating a woman also named Christine.

Hilarity, however, does not ensue. Louis-Dreyfus, apparently burned by the failure of the real-time and laughtrack-free "Watching Ellie," has settled for a run-of-the-mill sitcom. She's playing Elaine again, only a little more sad and a little less cute. The bland supporting cast doesn't help. The only thing remotely memorable about the show is the title, which rivals "Emily's Reasons Why Not" as among the most awkward in TV history.


Google Mars

Well, they're certainly ambitious.

Chef quits

I figured it was a matter of time.

'Meredith' from The Office once had sex with a Monkee

And it's almost as strange a story as it sounds.

Miles Davis, rocker?

Miles Davis, the late trumpter and composer, is among the inductees tonight in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The NYT tries to make sense of how a man most associated with jazz should be honored in this way.

Whatever you think, you have to admit that he was definitely one of the most interesting looking people to ever walk the Earth.

Sunday, March 12

Alan Moore's vendetta

The man behind "Watchmen" and "V for Vendetta" isn't too happy with Hollywood or the American comic-book industry. The NYT visits the reclusive Alan Moore at his home in England.

Moore wants little to do with the "V for Vendetta" movie, which opens Friday. Reviews are leaning postive, but I have concerns from the trailer that the fascist imagery has been ripped off from "The Wall." But I'll still check it out.

Friday, March 10

Democracy is on the march!

Channel Island Sark, poppulation 600, is abandoning its 450-year-old feudal government in favor of democracy.

O'Connor talks some smack

Sandra Day O'Connor of SCOTUS fame says some members of Congress are out of line in their criticism of the judiciary. The former Supreme, in a show of judicial restraint, didn't name names, but it's clear from this NPR report that she was calling out Tom DeLay. (requires a Real or Windows Media player)

I don't wanna know....

...what people would do with this stuff, but the Movieland Wax Museum is auctioning off a lot of stuff. Connoisseurs of Star Trek Fan Fiction may be interested.

Thursday, March 9

Water on the moon!

Well, it's on Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons. The Cassini probe has detected active geysers there, leading to speculation about whether the chilly orb could support some sort of life.

Well, there's a shocker.

Looks like Dubya's support for the UAE ports deal is becuase UAE buys a lot of planes and Apache copters from the American military-industrial complex.

Who'd a guessed?

Sean Young gone wild!

Wacko actress Sean Young is causing trouble again, this time crashing a post-Oscar bash. But security guards chased her down, Deckard-style, and restored order. Whew.

Wednesday, March 8

Trader Joe takes Manhattan

The famed California-based alt-grocery Trader Joe's finally hits NYC. We're hoping that the home of Two-Buck Chuck and other fine (and cheap) products will make its way down the East Coast.

We wouldn't mind a Trader Vic's either. Heck, the UAE has four of 'em.

Blind, furry lobster terrorizes our seas

Researchers have found this freakish creature dwelling in the deep of the South Pacific. Could the Dharma Initiative be involved?

Tuesday, March 7

GIG: Ghost Town @ Molly Malone's this Thursday

Ghost Town will commence rocking the hizzay at 9 pm on Thursday. Molly Malone's is a great bar, and the band is sailing along smoother than a Jamaican bobsled team, so if you're in LA, please come out and have some fun.

Cover is a measly 6 bucks.

Yanni gone wild!

Mellow maestro Yanni (real name: John Yanni Christopher) is accused of slapping his girlfriend at his beachfront home in south Florida. His lawyer denies all charges: "He's the most gentle man around. His hands are his instruments."

Monday, March 6

Oscar redux

HOST: Jon Stewart, unfortunately, didn't cut it. His skills and mannerisms didn't translate on the big stage, and the laugh lines were strained. Still, we love Jon, so we are not going to trash him altogether like some in the MSM are. DULLARD GRADE: So-so.

PREDICTIONS: I got 14 out of 23 categories correct. Alas, I missed the biggies and am haunted by my insta-picks that turned out to be way off. DULLARD GRADE: So-so.

BEST SPEECH: George Clooney, who was both self-effacing and eloquent, and even effectively addressed the "Hollywood is out of touch" critique.

WORST SPEECH: Just about everyone else, as almost every winner launched into a dull "thank you" list of names we don't know.

: Salma Hayek, who not only looked great, but also effortlessly moved about the stage in a semi-complicated presentation for Best Original Score.

GOOF AWARDS: Charlize Theron and Morgan Freeman, who both looked sloppy and in Freeman's case, possibly drunk.


LASTING LIFE LESSON: "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp." It sure is.

Sunday, March 5

LISTS: Top 10 Strangest Lego Creations


McCarthy razzed; TomKat largely unscathed

Did you know that Jenny McCarthy wrote and starred in a movie last year? Well, now you do, because her "Dirty Love!" won four Razzies at the ceremony Saturday "honoring" the worst in cinema. I like this comment from a contributor to the "Dirty Love" listing at IMDB:

Maybe Jenny is desperate, I don't know, she should stick to something she knows best, but what do I know, I'm an unemployed 53 year old man desperately seeking work to support my family and the only enjoyment I get nowadays is renting movies to pass the time.

Other notable Razzie nominee Thomas Mapother IV didn't win big, although he and the woman who reportedly bears his child, Katie Holmes, were honored as the "most tiresome tabloid target."

Friday, March 3

The Outbursts of Everett True

What a deleriously wonderful strip. Or wonderfully delerious. Almost every strip is the same: some jagoff does something offensive, and then our hero, the portly rageaholic goes Chuck Norris on him.

I can't wait for the movie version, hopefully starring Lewis Black.

Check out the archives.

DOJ opens probe into online music pricing

Music industry suspected of of collusion, price-fixing. I guess all the services charge the same, about a buck per song. Which is what a 45 cost when I was a kid.

Though you technically got 2 songs for a buck when I was a kid, the B sides were usually complete ass.

I guess a song is woth a buck. The buck is worth less than it was 25 years ago, but I think we also valuemusic less because it's so much more pervasive nowadays. As the costs of music production continue to dwindle, I imagine the cost of a song will stay right around a buck as the value of that dollar goes down.

Seems about right.

Say it isn't so, Bjorn

Tennis great Bjorn Borg is selling off his Wimbledon trophies to make ends meet. The Swedish superstar won five straight titles there from 1976-1980.

Brownie, Dullards concur: Chertoff stinks

Former FEMA head Michael "Brownie" Brown tells CNN that his boss, Mike Chertoff of Homeland Security fame, should resign — just as the Dullard Editorial Board suggested weeks ago.

Thursday, March 2

LISTS: Five wackiest names for vice presidents

5. Schuyler Colfax (Grant)
4. Levi P. Morton (Harrison)
3. Garret Hobart (McKinley)
2. Spiro Agnew (Nixon)
1. Hannibal Hamlin (Lincoln)

Parentheses indicate president served.

It's official...

Key Lime.

Sell your telescope!

It will be useless in 40-some years anyway. That's according to Euro-astronomers who blame aircraft contrails and climate change for obscuring the view of the stars.

Alba v. Hef

Jessica Alba of "Sin City!" fame is peeved about being on the cover of the new Playboy — even after rebuffing the mag's attempts to get her to pose in the buff. The story from E! puts it best:

Alba's outrage stems in part from the potential injustice visited upon Playboy readers who might be duped into purchasing the plastic-sealed magazine because of the misleading insinuation that she trades her bathing suit for her birthday suit within its pages.

You can read the full complaint and gawk at the disputed cover at The Smoking Gun.

: I don't think she has a case under right of publicity or appropriation because the image goes with an article inside the mag.

I do think she or someone else has a copyright case if Playboy published the photo without appropriate permission. I think it could be an unfair business practice, as well, to lie in order to get a picture from Sony.

Wednesday, March 1

SF Mayor Attacked by Clams!

SF Mayor Gavin Newsom was mesmered by Scientologist jezebel Sofia Milos into attending a CCHR banquet -- thrown by the Scientology front group set up to bash psychiatry.

He seems like a good guy. I hope he steers clear of that litigious cult alternative religion.

The AP has videotape of Bush, Chertoff, and Brown being warned about levees before Katrina

What more is it going to take to get this prevaricating incompetent impeached? This is a metaphorical smoking gun, right alongside the Veep's literal one.

This habitual liar claimed some 5 days after being briefed on this very specific scenario, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." And the chimp still has a 30% approval rating!

Free Jenny Lewis

No she's not in jail. Her record label is literally giving away all its records online for free. I was listening to a hard-copy of Jenny Lewis' smashing Rabbit Fur Coat just this morning. I paid about thirteen bucks for it, but you can have it all for free, except for the Travelling Wilburys' "Handle With Care" (which the label doesn't have the rights to distribute for copyright reasons -- not a huge loss, though it's a better song than you remember).

Very interesting marketing strategy.

Olbermann vs. O'Reilly

The feud escalates into war. Be sure to watch the video for Bill's "Greatest Hits."


Point Brokeback.

Someone needs to give Top Gun the same treatment.

Do you like kitties? Do you like Steve Miller?

Well, than you might want to check this out. (video)