Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The U.S. House of Representatives should follow in Idaho's footsteps and pay respect to Napoleon Dynamite. You can't argue with points such as:
- WHEREAS, Kip's relationship with LaFawnduh is a tribute to e-commerce and Idaho's technology-driven industry
- WHEREAS, Uncle Rico's football skills are a testament to Idaho athletics
- WHEREAS, Napoleon's bicycle and Kip's skateboard promote better air quality and carpooling as alternatives to fuel-dependent methods of transportation

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Saw Ray Davies perform at the Supper Club last night... what a thrill to see such an accomplished musician perform in a small venue. He played quite a set, mixing new with old, hits with deep album cuts. He even performed a mini-Village Green Preservation Society set ("Village Green," "Johnny Thunder," and "Animal Farm"). Some of his new songs are good, but it's strange how 60's musicians who once wrote perfect 3-minute pop gems now feel the need to write songs that meander for 5-6 minutes (McCartney, I'm looking in your direction). Davies is a great showman, performing with non-stop energy, cracking jokes and telling stories between songs. He played for over 2 hours, including 2 encores packed with hits like "You Really Got Me," "Lola," and "Waterloo Sunset." As far as I know, this was his only U.S. concert of the year. But if he tours when his new album comes out, it would benefit you to see it.

Fans of Family Guy will find this interesting... creator Seth MacFarlane's student film Life of Larry, which eventually evolved into the current series. Same type of humor (some of these jokes even made it into episodes of Family Guy), but much crappier animation. For some reason it's broken up into 2 parts... watch here, then here.

Monday, November 28, 2005

What am I thankful for after this holiday weekend? Certainly not the cab ride home from the airport last night... 3 minutes in, an SUV cuts in front of the cab I'm in with my sister, causing our cab to slow down... he's then plowed into from a cab behind going about 40 MPH (the photo is that car), which slammed our cab into the SUV. This led to our standing in the mud on the side of Grand Central Parkway for an hour and a half as the police filled out their paperwork. Eventually we were free to go, and since our cab was still in working condition, we hopped back in and rode into the city in a car whose back-left wheel was rattling and which was leaking exhaust.
Fortunately my sister and I (and everyone else) are okay... my neck and back are sore, but I'll get past it.

Other "highlights" from my time at home:
- Jetblue delaying my flight to Florida on Tuesday night from a 9:45pm departure to a 12:50am departure. I was able to switch flights to one that was supposed to take off at 9pm, but it didn't actually leave until 11:20pm. Still better than the original, which didn't land in Florida until 4:35am.
- Also, Jetblue, when you are giving announcements about delayed flights, it's not cute or funny to continually make jokes about "Even though Jetblue is so great, believe it or not we can't control the weather." Nobody is laughing. Just shut the hell up and get the plane to the gate.
- Went to see Good Night & Good Luck with my grandma*. The opening credit sequence is a montage of the cast at an awards banquet interspersed with the credits... set to music, no dialogue. It is a few minutes long. As it fades out, my grandma says (in a non-inside voice), "Wow, that preview looks fascinating! I wonder what it's for."
- The Seminole Hard Rock Casino looks ritzy and glamorous from the outside, but inside it's just a bunch of crotchetyhety smokers playing slots and poker. No blackjack (or craps or roulette). What gives? Can't Native Americans count to 21?
- I found out that my high school crush is dating "some short guy." She likes short guys? What the hell? I probably have even less of a chance with her now than I did in high school.

* Note: Talking to my grandma, especially about pop culture, is becoming equivalent to conversing with The Riddler. For example:
- that tall Daly woman = Geena Davis
- Anderson = Jason Alexander

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me!
Wow, with all the excitement in my life (or maybe it's due to the total lack thereof), I missed the fact that Last Stop has now entered the Terrible Twos. Amazing that I haven't tired of this yet... or written something that's gotten me fired. But we'll leave both possibilities open.
And just like that, I'm going on sabbatical... heading to Florida tonight for the holiday, so most likely no new entries until I get back on Monday.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2005

So far I've been pretty pleased with my new gym. It's bigger, more equipment, better air-conditioning... and much better music. Instead of techno crap and remixes of top-40 songs, it's mostly 70s and 80s... lots of Cars, Blondie, The Cure, etc. And the other day they played this, a mash-up of Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and Oasis's "Wonderwall," with some of Travis's "Writing to Reach You" and even an Aerosmith / Eminem post-script. I think mash-ups are very hit-or-miss, but in my mind the simpler they are, the better... and this one is about as simple as they get.
The guy who mashed this, Party Ben, has some other good ones on his site (and some not-so-good ones). Give 'em a listen.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

TRL Moment of the Week, Pt. 2
Also on Thursday, our studio was packed with guests (Ryan Reynolds, Natasha Bedingfield, and Big Boi). When VJ Qud-dus arrived to the studio and started to walk into his dressing room, a wardrobe assistant informed him that he would be changing in the office of one of the production accountants. Qud-dus balked, but was told that his dressing room was needed for the guests. He looked to me and said, "You'd think I would get more respect around here, seeing as how I've been doing this 5 years."
"Well, guess that shows how high up you are in the TRL totem pole," I replied.
He laughed, shaking his head in disbelief. As he headed down the hall, he stopped to take a look at the studio schedule, which lists what talent is placed in what dressing room. When he saw that he was, in fact, not assigned to his own dressing room, he exclaimed "Well ain't that some shit!" and walked away.

An hour after this incident, he was called to the stage to shoot the Live Hit (the promo which airs 10 minute before TRL saying what's happening on that day's show). He asked the stage manager if he could hit the bathroom first, and was told yes but that he had less than 5 minutes until the LH.
With 3 minutes to go, no sign of Qud-dus.
Ditto 2 minutes, even after he had been paged over the intercom system.
With 19 seconds to air, Qud-dus strolls through the control. At this point he has been eliminated from the LH. Our producer asks where the hell he's been.
"Sorry, I was in the bathroom and lost track of time."
And thus he cemented his place in the bottom of the totem pole.

Friday, November 18, 2005

TRL Moment of the Week
Ryan Reynolds dropped by yesterday to promote Just Friends. Since both he and Vanessa have now had fat-suit experience, we had them battle it out in a sumo-wrestling challenge. And while watching them spar on-set was exciting enough, the true highlights occurred backstage when the pair tried out some synchronized Robot Dancing, followed by Ryan attempting to mount Vanessa from behind. Truly a sight to behold.

Went to see local NY band Valeze last night at Pianos, and must say I had a blast. The lead singer Tiffany Randol, who I had previously seen at the Losers Lounge Tribute to Stevie Wonder, is the product of a menage-a-trois among Shirley Manson, Joan Jett, and Debbie Harry… if such a thing were possible. For 45 minutes the band tore through a set of synth-punk cranked up to 11. Their sound is much harder in person than the studio versions found on their site, but it kept the crowd in a frenzy the entire time. $8 well spent.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Yes, there have been other lists of the worst album covers of all time, but this one is definitely the most exhaustive. I think my favorite is Ultimate Spinach - "The Box" (page 2). Although Ted Nugent - "Scream Dream" (page 5) is always good for a laugh. And the Lords of Acid - "Pussy" one (page 7) is pretty good, although the story behind it can't be true.

Nice article from this week's New York Observer lamenting the inevitible end of Arrested Development. What a shame it would be to lose this show. I've heard rumors that Showtime might pick up the show if Fox does cancel it, which I guess would be a decent move (although I'd then have to start subscribing to Showtime). Whatever happens, it's too bad AR never caught on with a bigger audience... it deserved to.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What does TRL VJ Vanessa do in her free time? She dresses up in a fat suit, of course.

I'm so sick of hearing car alarms. Why do people still buy them? And why do manufacturers still make them? I doubt they deter robbers at all, and they certainly no longer cause any sort of reaction from people on the street.
At this point, don't you think a better idea would be to make car alarms more like ringtones? Car owners can personalize them with a song that most people don't like, such as Hilary Duff's "Wake Up" or Clay Aiken's "Invisible." That way, if a thief is actually trying to break into a car, he'll probably be embarrassed to be associated with that song and run away. And if it goes off accidentally, at least hearing a bad song is better than that annoying alarm.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Tilly & the Wall is in the process of recording a new album, and they're keeping a running diary of their progress. Check it out here.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Synergy Fitness Clubs suck suck suck suck suck!
I went to work out on Saturday afternoon (yes I do work out, even though it may not appear that way), and upon my arrival was greeted by a darkened gym, locked door, and posted signs saying that due to financial difficulties, this location would be closed effective immediately.
Yes, it vanished overnight.
The sign continued, saying that members could transfer their membership to the location 20 blocks away or send a request for a pro-rated credit. They make no specific mention of whether I will actually get a credit if I request one… but I do still have 9 months left on my membership, so I better.
For now, I'm stuck looking for a new gym, most of which are two or three times as expensive as Synergy, and further away from my apartment. But I guess I got what I paid for.

Friday, November 11, 2005

TRL Moments of the Week
In honor of Spankin New Music Week: Now and Next, I'm picking a choice moment from each day for your reading pleasure…

Pharrell makes an entrance to the show by driving up in his $1.1 million black Enzo Ferrari (the one that appears in his video "Can I Have It Like That"). He pulls up to the curb, Vanessa does a quick interview with him, then after tossing to a video starts to lead him inside. Pharrell begins to follow her, then stops in his tracks, looks back at the car idling in the street with the doors open, and says "Yo, what's gonna happen to my car?"

Australian twin sisters The Veronicas make their first visit to TRL. As Damien is dong a Get To Know segment with them, he asks what artist people would be surprised to know they like. One of them says "k.d. Lang," then quickly adds "We like boys, but we like her music."

Damien is interviewing Hilary Duff, who has brought the premiere of her new video. They discuss the fact that Good Charlotte's Joel and Benji helped her write material for her "Most Wanted" album. He asks her if she'd ever write material for GC, and she says no… to which Damien says "Well it probably wouldn't work, since you basically write about puppies and stuff."
She was not pleased.

Green Day finally agreed to perform on TRL. And not 1, not 2, but 3 songs! Unfortunately, when the band shows up (late) for soundcheck, it seems that drummer Tre Cool is so hungover, he needs to be hooked up to an IV. And our medical staff is not licensed to do such a complicated procedure. So actual paramedics were called in, strapped Tre to a gurney, and started pumping him full of fluids.
(He did manage to make it through all 3 songs, albeit with an extreme look of nausea the entire time. And they were amazing.)

In a slap-to-the-face of classic-rock lovers around the world, Lindsay Lohan informs us that she wants to do a medley of her current single ("Confessions of a Broken Heart") and either Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me" or Stevie Nicks' "Edge of 17." A collective shudder ran through the staff.
(She ended up doing "I Want You to Want Me," which was surprisingly palatable... at least by her standards)

While it's no surprise to anybody that Paris Hilton only has one facial expression, this is still pretty funny.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

This video is like an episode of The Surreal Life on wheels: Paris Hilton, Stavros Niarchos, Talon from Laguna Beach, and Kimberly Stewart (Rod's daughter) driving drunk, slamming their car into parked trucks, and talking their way out trouble with the police.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I'm sure all the Star Wars geeks have already seen this, but if not, here's the Easter Egg from the new Revenge of the Sith DVD of Yoda dancing to hip-hop.

A camera crew is following my boss today for A Day in the Life of Television, documenting what happens on a typical day at TRL.

So it probably wasn't the best idea for me to wear my Mary Carey for Governor t-shirt.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Wow, this is the most expensive protein drink I've ever heard of.

The Happy Tree Friends may not be as clever as Itchy & Scratchy, but you can't go wrong with gratuitous violence against adorable cartoon animals.
(I think my favorite is The Way You Make Me Wheel)

Monday, November 07, 2005

TRL Moment of the Week
This is an actual transcript from last Thursday's show:

Susie: Here with Dax Shepard, star of the movie ZAthura.
(Dax gives her a strange look, as the title is pronouned zaTHURa)
Susie: Now in ZAthura...
Dax: zaTHURa zaTHURa zaTHURa zaTHURa zaTHURa.
Susie: Sorry, ZAthura.
Dax: In the movie I play... (at this point he takes the interview into his own hands)
(cut to 45 seconds later)
Susie: Well thanks so much for stopping by. Everyone be sure to check out ZAthura...
Dax: zaTHURa!
Susie: ZA-THURa next Friday.

Friday, November 04, 2005

It Was a Graveyard Smash
Jimmy Kimmel has finally figured out a way to get me to watch his late-night show: get Bobby Brown and Mike Tyson to sing a duet of "Monster Mash." Hilarious!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Former Kinks frontman Ray Davies is playing a rare NYC at the tiny Supper Club on November 28th. Q104 pre-sale password is OTHER. Go get those tix!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Mommy Dearest
My parents were in town, and I had dinner with them at Sparks (best steaks in Manhattan). My mom is notorious for being unhappy with her meal and sending her order back, or at least looking sad and simply picking at her food. So imagine my surprise that we made it through - at a steakhouse, no less - without incident. I should've known better.
When her decaf coffee came, along with milk and an assortment of sweeteners, she says to the (non-English-speaking busboy), "There's no Splenda."
"What?" he replied.
My mom lifted her purse off the floor, opened up, and removed a plastic baggie filled with Splenda packets.
"You should serve Splenda. It's the only one that's truly healthy."
She then hands the packet to the busboy.
"Splenda?" he repeated. He turned the packet over in his hands, confused.
"Yes, Splenda. It's the only one I use."
At that point the busboy attempted to hand the packet back to my mother, but she refused.
"No, keep it. You should show it to the chef."
"The chef?"
"Yeah, you can give it to him."
"Okay," the busboy replied before slinking away.
I don't know if Sparks will now stock Splenda in its sweetener assortments. But maybe they shouldn't be so quick to follow my mom's advice...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Leave Me Lying Here, Cause I Don't Wanna Go
The new Veruca Salt tour must be doing massive business, based on this e-mail I received today:

Hello Friends,

Veruca Salt will be performing live tonight at Canal Room.
We are giving away two complimentary tickets to the first 25 people that respond to this e-mail.
If you are one of the 25 people we will e-mail you with a confirmation.

Doors open @ 7:30 pm, Show @ 8:00 pm
Veruca Salt with special guest The Lovemakers and Porselain

Canal Room