Thursday, March 27, 2008

When In Doubt, Rip-Off the Brits

This isn't really news per se, but I forgot to post some shit about it when it was announced a few weeks ago, but the WB is giving the awesome late-90s British sitcom, "Spaced" an American run, all without the consultation of its original writers, Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson.

As proven with the failure of NBC's take on "Coupling," British shows are often difficult to transfer over to American television, game shows and "The Office," notwithstanding.

The only solace I can gain from this is that "Spaced" is finally getting a U.S. DVD release and so my poor bootleg can finally get some rest (I think I watch this show at least twice a week). Hopefully the American version will be so shitty, Pegg and the gang will reunite for a special to tie up the loose ends, not unlike "The Office Holiday Special."

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Video: Blackpool Lights, "It's Never About What It's About"

I never noticed that there was a video released for the best song off their album, "This Town's Disaster."

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Genius of Adrian Tomine

Some of you may recognize Adrian Tomine's work from several different sources be it comics, a random issue of "Giant Robot" or that pastel-colored Weezer poster on your wall. I'll give the man daps for this comic (courtesy of NPR; click link for a better quality/easier-to-read version of the image):

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Finally! How I Met Your Mother is Back! (and other random updates)

Last night, CBS aired a new, post-strike episode of "How I Met Your Mother." And, despite a few clunky moments, it was really, really flippin' good. I can say that as person who has gone through crazy situations (particularly post-break up) that I can relate to Ted's desire to live it up and act like you don't have to be accountable for choices that you make. But eventually you do, hence the morality spin at the end.

Anyway, I'm getting back to living a semblance of a normal life again. These last few weeks have been crazy. I did some interviews for (of all things) a couple high school newspapers (!), started posting chapters from my unreleased book over on Stay Off the Crack, putting the finishing touches on my demo and getting my place ready for my lady friend who will be out here in a few weeks.

It's interesting that all I wanted was to calm down a little after session, but now I'm finding myself being thrown back into the fire.

As you may have noticed, I decided to do some spring cleaning and update the links and change the layout of the site. I'm too busy (re: lazy) to actually design something completely new so I went with one of Blogger's better looking default layouts. I also thought about bringing Backed With back since I haven't touched it since last year.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

hayley williams = worst. role model. EVAR.

[bad hair, bad skin, bad look. why do eems want to make out with her?]

Paramore's lone visibly interesting (i.e. the non-ugly guy) member Hayley Williams is probably one of the worst female role models ever. Now before you go off on some "Oh you wacky Asian, you don't know what you're talking about..." type shit, let's examine the facts:

1. I was raised by a single mom for pretty much my entire adolescent life.

2. I have a daughter.

3. Being raised by a single parent in the Asian-American community (with its ultra-conservative values, especially in the 1980s) pretty much trumps whatever type of suburban, faux riot grrrl bullshit you can throw my way (and I don't mean you, Kathleen Hanna).

That said, Williams' recent interview with Rolling Stone shows that not only is she an unfit role model for young girls everywhere, but that she's kinda dumb. Don't believe me? Here are some of homegirl's quotes:

"I don't know too much about guns. I want to get a little revolver, and the guys have shotguns, but all I know is that it's fun to be a little hillbilly sometimes. I mean, you grow up in the country and everyone's got a gun."

Awesome, just awesome. Hey, I don't have problem with people owning guns (unless they have children around them, which always ends badly) but owning a gun for the sake of owning a gun (and making it seem like you're less American if you don't) seems a little stupid. This is a pretty bad look considering all the public shootings (i.e. Virginia Tech, the high school in Illinois, the Tacoma Mall hostage situation, etc.) that have been going on.

"I'm not really into female vocalists, at least not in our world right now. I don't think I would ever listen to our band, honestly. I love our music."

So she hates female singers, but not in "our world." Earth? So you hate all girl singers? Clarity, Hayley, clarity! I'm assuming she means in the pop-punk-emo-Warped Tour genre. In that case, I can think of a slew of other bands that are much better: Dance Hall Crashers, Meg & Dia, The Rentals (which is technically fronted by Matt Sharp, but the Hayden sisters do play a pretty big part), The Catch, Schoolyard Heroes, Ginger Sling, The Gossip, Tegan & Sara, Walls of Jericho, Spark is a Diamond, I need to go on?

"The first real show that I think I ever went to was Copeland...."

Okay, that is just fucking sad.

As you can see from these choice quotes alone, Williams isn't really the best ambassador and while she does represent a minority in an insanely popular genre, she's not really offering up anything other than a false sense of empowerment. Even the video for the whore-warning anthem, "Misery Business," still shows Williams glamed up to take down the school's resident beyotch. Williams only spits the kind of waned, generic "you-go-girl" rhetoric that Gwen Stefani tacked on during the end days of No Doubt.

There have been plenty of stories that relayed young girls who are into the pop-punk scene who look at Williams as something of a demigod, yet they also buy the same records that (inadvertently) slam women. And at the end of the day, Paramore's hit sophomore release, "Riot," isn't that different from the likes Dashboard Confessional or Fall Out Boy, which -- at the most minimalist level -- can be considered misogynist.

But, kids are still going to buy their shirts and support this band that have absolutely nothing to offer in both music and message. The only solace I have is that they really won't mean anything to anybody in a few years.

[Recommended Reading:]
Jessica Hopper: Emo: Where the Girls Aren't

[Bonus Videos]:

Dance Hall Crashers, "Mr. Blue"

Bikini Kill, "Don't Need You" (Live)

Walls of Jericho, "There's No I in Fuck You"

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dashboard Confessional Covers "Pretty Pathetic"; Smoking Popes to Drop Christianity to Beat Up Carrabba

[Douchebag Confessional]

So I copped Dashboard Confessional's "The Wire Tapes Vol.1" last week and I wasn't really expecting much from it. Despite what others may think, I don't think that Chris Carrabba is as bad as, let's say, the Jonas Brothers, but man did he ever manage to slaughter the Smoking Popes classic, "Pretty Pathetic."

For one thing, Kris Roe of the Ataris did a much more passable cover on the Popes tribute album and this Dashboard rehash pales in comparison -- though in all honesty, both versions suck when measured up to the original.

Carrabba's inability to capture Josh Caterer's monotone style takes away from the songs morose mood and makes it sound like a peppy number best suited for a Gap or Volkswagen ad.


So while I didn't hate Dashboard Confessional before, I can publicly state that Chris Carrabba is on my shitlist.

Bonus Video:

Smoking Popes, "Need You Around/Pretty Pathetic"

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Monday, March 10, 2008


If you watched "Project Runway" this season, you'll get a kick out of this video....

There's a rumor that CBS is going to axe my beloved show "How I Met Your Mother." Is this really necessary? I mean, CBS already killed the respectable, "The Class," last year and now they're going to take shots at my man, Ted Mosby? What are they going to replace it with? "CSI: Sioux Falls?" Bullshit.

Anyway, do yourselves a favor and bombard CBS with angry e-mails to let them know that Ted, Marshall, Barney, Lily and Robin are all deserving of at least another season so we know how the fuck Ted met Luke and Leia's mother.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

Stay Off the Crack: Fashion Emergency

Over on the personal blog, I started a series called Fashion Emergency with Aiden (oh how uninspired). You should go check it out.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Californians stop cursing; New Yorkers call them "Pussies!"

So on today, a story ran about some shithole town in California where they've banned cursing.

According to the piece, they're amazed that the catalyst for this was (GASP!) a teenage boy!

Quote the raven: "I finally told my friends, `I don't cuss.' And I said, `If you want to hang out with me, you don't cuss.'"

So here we have some little bastard who doesn't swear, which is fine, but telling people what to do is fucking fascist. I don't eat meat, but I don't sit there and tell people about the evils of eating a dead animal -- you want to put chicken in your stomach, that's your own business.

Outside of writing, I don't swear that much, but reading this really let my inner Sam Kinison out. I mean, who the hell has a no cursing club? Oh, that's right, this idiot kid. And the fact that an entire town is willing to follow suit (and break a few Constitutionally amended rights to boot) just shows how stupid people can be.

This is why California (except for San Francisco and San Diego) sucks donkey balls. The next time you're in South Pasadena just start calling random people (except for children) four-letter words. They deserve it.


kenny: welcome to the unemployment line

On every 13 year old's favorite website, one of my least favorite bands, The Starting Line, announced that they were -- in effect -- taking a break.

How many people cared (if it were 2001): 12,000,000,000,000,000,000,001

How many people cared yesterday: 2

The fiasco surrounding this shitty band's break-up was cooler than the actual announcement...and the band, as they did this via a "virtual press conference" (i.e. chat room).

Lesson learned: The Starting Line is calling it quits seven years too late.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

...the f**k?

So I was doing my daily lurking of Meghan McCain's blog and I noticed that she stuck Rise Against's "Swing Life Away" at the end of her current playlist.

Huh? What?

Um, I don't know if McCain femme is aware of the fact that while Rise Against is a major label punk band, a la Green Day, they're still pretty vocal about their dismay with the Republicans, and politicians in general. While I realize that "Swing Life Away," their quiet, acoustic ballad from a few years ago, is -- as Deryck from Sum 41 so brilliantly put it a "pantie dropper" -- they still have an enormous catalog of songs that calls for revolution and really rallies for socio-political change in this country.

Rise Against, in itself, is so far removed from the establishment that Meghan McCain represents that the irony that she listens to this band isn't even comical. It's kind of sad.

The enjoyment of this song, albeit as earnest as possible, just proves that people need to start listening to full-length records and not singles. Otherwise, they're subject for public lampooning.

[Related Videos]

Rise Against, "State of the Union"

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Red Panda, "Life In Fuzzy"

Red Panda
"Life in Fuzzy"

I'm a little late to the party on this one because the last couple Home Grown recordings weren't all that appealing. Don't get me wrong: I loved Home Grown, particularly when I was in high school, but they were still putting out records as I was well into my 20's and there are only so many songs about juvenile relationships that I could hear about before enough was enough.

Eventually the band broke up and John Tran joined forces with Bill Uechi formerly of Save Ferris and started the Asian-American superband, Red Panda.

Red Panda in itself isn't too stylistically different from either Home Grown or Save Ferris, they rely heavily on really melodic hooks and it's pretty much steeped in pop-punk, though of the keyboard driven variety. That being said, their debut, "Life in Fuzzy," is pretty good.

The record gets off to a rough start with the high school anthem, "Barely Survived," but segues into "Stay the Night," a jam that would've been a much better way to start the album. Other great standout songs include "Desperate and Lonely," "Hospitals," and "In Your Sleep."

There are a lot of comparisons to be drawn between Red Panda and Drive Thru mainstays, Hellogoodbye, though the Reds seem to be steeped more into the pop-punk side of things versus Hellogoodbye's pension for making generic dance tunes.

If you have a chance to pick up "Life In Fuzzy," pick it up; it'll be worth your $13.

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