When the lights go down

When You Can’t Pronounce It, Write for It: My BLISTERINGLY SMART Review for ‘The Awl’

05.13.09 by Natasha | Permalink | 5 Comments | Digg This

Surely, you’ve already heard about it. Balk, Cho, and Sicha, the Radar refugess are doing their own thing and according to my father it’s “very classy”. And he should know he drives a corvette! So! It’s a total delight to do any type of work with these  guys and I think my giddyness shows through in the review. Click that ish!


So when it comes to Steven Soderbergh’s newest movie, “The Girlfriend Experience,” obviously there’s an elephant in the room. That elephant is shaped like Sasha Grey’s vagina.

Give me cable or give me death

What Fickle Beast Hath ‘Fox’ Wrought: The Few Scenarios in Which America May Take Away Adam Lambert’s Tiara

05.11.09 by Liana | Permalink | 6 Comments | Digg This

Adam Lambert has been poised to become Your Next American Idol since the top ten was announced. He has the best voice of the lot: a Freddie Mercury falsettOH-my-fucking-god that scrapes the ceiling of the Idoldome and drenches the streets of Miracle Mile. He has Kelly Clarkson presence and Simon Cowell swagger, and he might actually be smart and creative enough to record an album worth listening to.

Yet Fox TV and American democracy hath birthed a fickle beast, and there is no such thing as a done deal. Here are several scenarios in which Adam might not take home the grand prize:

1. The Drama Gene

Adam has given one shitty performance: the sitar-drunk Johnny Cash rendition he pulled from his Hare-Krishna-bead-bag-o-tricks during Grand Ole Opry Week. It’s possible that Glambert could throw us another indulgent arrangement of a good song. Or that his theatrical leanings could effect a decision to present half of America with comped tickets to Harvey Milk High Presents Hair (with theremins!).

2. Terrorist Dick Bump

Photos of Adam locking lips with a beard-having person surfaced very early into the season, and he has made no attempt to hide his preference for the Y-chromosome. America has show uncharacteristic mercy in mostly ignoring Adam’s gayness, so an actual sex scandal would have to surface for this to become a real issue. But hey, the kid works in Hollywood and the Internet exists, so there’s a definite possibility that something could turn up. I’m thinking penetration pics, tales of a glory hole, or the discovery that Adam blew Jamie Foxx backstage during Rat Pack Week. (Blame it on the vodka, blame it on the Henny, blame in on why yes, Mr. Foxx, I have been told that eyeliner makes me look pretty as a penny.)

3.  KO’d Okey Dokey Gokey

Why, oh why is goofball Danny Gokey even allowed to share a stage with the vocal deity that is Adam Lambert? He’s fine, I guess, but there is absolutely nothing special or relevant about him. So why does America love the Hokey Gokey so much? Well, he’s a pudgy meat-and-potatoes Midwestern boy. And he could very well be benefiting from the Courtney Love Effect, the idea that a major record contract can ease the pain of a recently deceased spouse.

4. Paula Abdul Freak Accident

The final scenario involves Adam giving a performance so majestic and powerful that Paula finds herself completely dehydrated form the flood of tears she has just shed. Paula gulps quickly from her Coca Cola cup of ubiquity (which is probably just water, right?) and chokes, propelling a Klonopin from her belly straight towards the precariously balanced Idol globe. The globe crashes down spectacularly, barely missing a somehow-still-emotionless Seacrest, and crushes Mr. Lambert into the million bits of glitter we always knew he was. Why is this a possibility? It isn’t, obviously. But this is a piece about American Idol and it would be would be ethically irresponsible to miss an opportunity to bring up Paula Abdul’s daily battle with consciousness.


Never Made it as a Working Class Hero: The Unbearable Lightness of Green Day

05.08.09 by Sam | Permalink | 8 Comments | Digg This

Green Day is dropping a new record soon and they debuted a half-dozen of the new jams on KROQ the other day.   “American Eulogy”, a probable single, features the chorus, “I don’t want to live in the modern world,” belted the way that only the smug and deluded can belt unintended truths.  It’s fitting because Green Day have always been about going backwards while using a nominal level of punk pretension to stave off creeping blandness.  Anyhow, the song is catchy and has enough of an icing of aggression to make you lightly scuff the walls of your childhood bedroom.  If that’s all your ears need, grab the radio rip and make sure you don’t leave the CD-R in your mom’s Corolla since, even though the bad swears are blanked, that life-giving bitch can probably still tell what they are.

Circa now, Green Day continue to ride a perfect storm of utter redundancy that forces you to wonder how they managed to end up dragging punk into nearly every bit of territory that made it necessary in the first place, horking songs commitedly into the middle of the road while also dropping “Time of Your Life,” which will haunt KissyFace+Jello-Shot-Fueled-Hookup slide shows until the human race finally gives up and cedes the planet to the Alligator People.

In even be enough to get them laughed off of Hype Machine were the band on the rise today.  When the time came to “evolve,” they did it by adopting the most irritating aspects of U2 and stuffing in everything that keeps prog rock in punchline territory while the whole puzzle of pop, politics, and the economics of the business shifted under them.Their current claim to relevance hinges on the false conflation of “writing about politics” and actually being on some grown-ass man shit.

  You can have a left-wing agenda and still push it with the kind of airhead simplicity that confers dumb righteous on the audience every bit as effectively as Bill O’Reilly confers it on his; it doesn’t mean you’re rebellious or subversive, it means you’re the kid who refuses to stand for the pledge of allegiance out of laziness and says “nuh uh, freedom of speech” when he gets called on it.  Green Day’s music is about ideology as a tag cloud, not as something that filters through a piece of art and inspires insight or exploration.

When Billy Joe sings “My generation is zero/ I never made it as a working class hero.” in the chorus of “21st Century Breakdown” while surveying a landscape in the verses that he stole from “Born in the USA” after first stripping out the Boss’s eloquence and empathy, I can’t help but hope that it’s as disposable as it sounds.

  After 30 years as a point from which anyone can reasonably go anywhere, I hate the idea of punk as a mechanic for another generation of kids to corner itself into lazy nihilism, cocooned in tragicomic Hot Topic ensembles; putrefying under third world skull prints without a whiff of the sort of elemental rawness that woke me up when I first heard static bloodied 7″ rips or the sense of empowerment that comes from being exposed to DIY for the first time.  Great political art seldom claims politics as its subject in the same way that truly classy people never talk about how classy they are.  The sort of pomp that Green Day has now adopted is for politicians.  Punk is for everyone who knows that enough rope to hang yourself with is also enough to make a foothold and that wiping the slate is about negation, but is ultimately meaningless without imagination.

Let's Talk Shit!

When Youngins FAIL the Olds Step In To Remind Them of the Good Old Days of The Running Man: Stanky Leg, Let’s Talk About it.

05.08.09 by Ande | Permalink | 2 Comments | Digg This

One time, right before my 30th birthday, a car full of teenagers driving in front of me flicked a lit cigarette out their window. It came rolling up on the hood of my car narrowly missing my window, flying onto my lap, and setting me on fire. I pulled up next to the teens and politely told them, “Hey guys – not cool to throw things that are on fire out of moving vehicles.” They responded with something like, “FUCK you, you crazy stupid bitch!” That was the first time I ever felt old and out of touch with the Youngs. The second time was when I watched this video for Stanky Leg.

Not to be all Liz Lemon here, but is this ‘a thing?‘ I mean, the Soulja Boy dance seemed stupid at first, but at least people look good while Supermanning a ho. The Stanky Leg ‘dance’ looks exactly like what would happen if you stumbled off a curb while walking home drunk one night. Also, the repetitive lyrics and thump thump thumping of whatever the 2009 equivalent of a Casio is, is a full blown audial gang bang.

I hate this stupid song. White whine! White whine!

Everything's Going to be All White

Trend Piece: May Is the “DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO” Month For Pretty White Gals!

05.07.09 by Sarah | Permalink | 1 Comment | Digg This

First we have Bristol Palin, famous unwed teenage mother and daughter of the arial wolf-slaughterin’ snowbilly Queen of Alaska. She’s got a gig going around to schools and lecturing the younguns about how much being a teen mom sucks!

And if it’s hard for someone who gets to dump her kid with rich relatives while she galavants around the country getting paid to wag her finger; imagine how much it would really suck for the typical acne-riddled, Twilight-obsessed suburban teen slut, trying to subsist on the mistake burgers she fishes out of the trash during her unpaid forced overtime at McDonald’s.

And then there’s probably-soon-to-be-former Miss California, Carrie Prejean. She infamously lost her chance to be Miss USA earlier this month when gross, infantile Internet Monster Perez Hilton asked her about gay marriage and she spat out some garbled nonsense about “opposite marriage”. Dumb answer, Carrie! That lost you more points than visible camel toe during the swimsuit competition!

Prejean and the “Christian” organizations that swooped in to make her the fresh new face of homo-hating immediately started painting her as Jesus II. He was crucified for his beliefs; she lost out on a chance to wear a tiara and open malls. It’s the same thing!! So naturally, all kinds of crazy rumors about pageant officials buying her falsies and topless photos immediately started to surface, because conservatives still don’t get that the internet now makes these things very easy to find out.

Whatever, wake me up when the inevitable bestiality 3-way with Jerry Fallwell’s corpse photos surface.

slicky party

Objectify This!: Guys Who Flitter our Twitter

05.06.09 by The Royal 'We' | Permalink | 5 Comments | Digg This

So Huffington Post recruited one of The Youngs to catalogue the hottest chicks on twitter. The list, of course, is absurd because it excludes Twitter’s sexiest warrior/poet Courtney Love and instead is populated with vanilla looking girls whose updates are painfully dull.

But rather than seethe with some passed over bride’s maid rage we’d figure we’d counter with getting our own objectification on!  

Now our criteria is a bit different.  Our ladybrains are tingled by a sense of humor, a dedication to brevity, and men who hold positions of power in the entrainment industry.  Based on that, we’ve (Ande, Liana, and Natasha) come up with a pretty steamy list of men you can link-bait to.

The Top Ten Hottest Men on Twitter We’d Let Rub Our Touchpads!!

Read More. It gets better…

When the lights go down


05.01.09 by Sarah | Permalink | 8 Comments | Digg This

Once upon a time, actors could make awful, terrible movies that went straight to the $1 VHS bins at fine gas stations everywhere, and not worry that anyone besides bored suburban stoners would ever know about it. Why they made these terrible movies is not known. Maybe they looked better on paper; more likely, it had to do with how much they owed their coke dealer. The point is: They could make them, cash their checks, and go back to Oscar-grubbing by playing ugly retarded serial killers, or whatever.



But now, thanks to the miracle of the internet and the persistence of muck-rakey bloggers, these terrible movies — or at least their trailers — can now be preserved forever and shared to all. Much thanks to Videogum for digging up the trailer for Tiptoes, a movie that Gary Oldman and Kate Beckinsale probably prayed no one would ever find out about. (Matthew “Naked Stoned Bongos” McConaughey has no shame, he probably doesn’t give a rat’s ass.)

We knew about dwarves in 2003, right? It was only six years ago! So why is this movie acting like the normal reaction is to flee screaming from them, and the world is in desperate need of a PSA to let us all know that Dwarves Are People, Too? Don’t Look Now was made before I was born, no one really thinks they’re all stabby maniacs anymore. Come on!

There are many, many questions raised by this trailer: Are we really supposed to believe Beckinsale is Jewish? Why is the announcer so unbearably smug, like the movie won a dozen Oscars? What the hell is up with the way McConaughey is dancing at 1:23?

But the most puzzling question has to be: It looks like they got every dwarf in America to be in this movie, including Peter Dinklage and The Man From Another Place and a blonde woman I’m pretty sure is a porn star. SO WHY DIDN’T THEY GET ONE OF THE ACTUAL DWARVES TO PLAY THE MAIN PART??? Instead they have Gary Oldman walking around on his knees, in what is described as “The role of a lifetime”.

Well, that phrase isn’t necessarily complimentary. “The most soul-blightingly humiliating role of a lifetime!”

Let's Talk Shit!


04.29.09 by Sarah | Permalink | 8 Comments | Digg This

2008 was the year that hipsters went crazy for bacon, putting it in everything from chocolate to booze and practically wiping their asses with it. Not content with having ruined fixed gear bikes, Nike high-tops, and the entire Obama candidacy; 2008 was the year that hipsters bent their black frame eyeglassed-gaze on bacon, the heretofore innocent treat of our Sunday breakfasts.

In 2009, we’re all gonna die of Swine Flu*.

Coincidence? I think not! Thanks, hipsters. It’s not enough you were smug and annoying; because of your stupid ironic love for all things you — from your lofty perch atop piles of trust fund buxx — consider amusingly “common”, you’re responsible for the downfall of western civilization. Good going! Will your blood lust never be complete? How many more hearty meals must you sully and impressionable youngsters must you grift until you’re satisfied??!?

*Maybe. But then again, we didn’t all contract SARS or bird flu and get eaten by sharks just as the world ended because of a tragic lack of honey, so maybe not.



04.20.09 by Natasha | Permalink | 1 Comment | Digg This

Hey bestie!! I’m just on my Appomattox style retreat from one coast to another. So a thousand apologies for the sporadic updates (why are there SO FEW Clueless jokes in this world?!). But I, the highly paid/ heavily sought after professional that I am, would never leave you without any sumptuous internet waters to dunk your digital teabag in while I’m away.

First off check the blogroll! Those folks aren’t there just for the linkbait they’re honest to blog titans of smarts . So, ya know: clicksies!

We Also Play Here

Ande and I pump out brilliance like artillery shells over at E! Online. I also dropped some mad wit over here.

Sarah is reigning queen of the Angry Dome.

Sascha publishes over at McSweeney’s and has higher PSAT scores than all of us combined.

Other Important Things You Should Know About

*FACT: Smart people don’t like ‘Crash’

*The Hipster Grifter: This chick is living my life.

*Liana explains how to pick your NPR name. Mine is something ambiguously ethnic but melodic.

*EV Comics: Ethnocentric Parochialism for the Whole Family! (It’s like a Mel Brooks movie with more self-loathing).

* “After watching Death Sentence, a terrible movie starring Kevin Bacon as a father in search of vigilante justice directed by Saw’s James Wan, Gabe embarked on The Hunt For The Worst Movie of All Time. This is his sad journey. “. Click that ishhhh.

*”I know he’s got a movie to promote, but Tarantino’s Fuhrer haircut and Nazi armband were a little much. Jackboots were mad stylish, though.” Nuzzle up to Mark’s sweet tweets.

*Hey! Don’t put that straw to your nose whilst drinking coke. That would make you a photo cliche.

*This photoblog defies description .

*Today I will hug an old lady a little too long and much too hard. I will whisper, “I’m hugging the little slut inside you from 40 yrs ago”. Rob Huebel from Human Giant!

*I believe in advertising. I believe in sharp-tongued advertising bloggers. Like AdRants and Jetpacks.

*These are the 30 best Kanye West Blingees.

Ok. Brb.

Give me cable or give me death

David Bowie’s Wife and Phillip Seymour Hoffman Make Project Runway Canada Worth Watching

04.14.09 by W.B. Mook | Permalink | 2 Comments | Digg This

After greedily gobbling up the first eleven episodes of Project Runway Canada over the long weekend, like so much lamb with mint sauce, I completely renounce my earlier misgivings that there was no more life left in the concept. There were several challenges borrowed from PR:US and plenty of designers who clearly didn’t know what they were doing, but it was not enough to detract from the touches that make the Canadian version stand out:

Brian Bailey is an actual mentor and has a Phllip Seymour Hoffman a-la-Talented Mr. Ripley saunter that makes him delightful! Perhaps the shift back to the commercial sector has robbed Tim Gunn of the patience and insight that he once had. Unlike Tim, who has turned into an amusing homosexual caricature with distinctive verbal affectations, Brian offers constructive criticism, tries to help team members work better together, and seems genuinely disappointed when each and every designer leaves the show.

Shawn Hewson dresses like someone who knows fashion, speaks eloquently about each garment, and often disagrees with the other judges. Hewson has an in-your-face sensibility that encourages the designers to take risks and gamble on being trashy, which makes for fewer safer garments coming down the runway.

Iman is way classier than Heidi Klum. In spite of that, she is also quick to say that she would wear any of the garments that the other judges find too revealing.

The contestants seem to be the same mix of bitchy and arrogant, with a few quiet, hardworking designers who get upset when they have to do group challenges. I can’t even say that the Canadians aren’t as catty to each other as their American counterparts, but at least the judges did not seem to favor a drama-prone contestant when it got down to elimination.

If you have ever been a fan of the Project Runway franchise, there is still time to hit the intertubes and track down this season of PR: Canada so that you’re caught up by the time the second season finale airs tomorrow night.

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