Saturday, May 29, 2010

Goodbye Dennis Hopper, rest in peace!

Dennis Hopper was a truly groundbreaking artist and filmmaker with a groundbreaking taste in art as this clip on his art collection shows. He was awesome, one of those people I always would've wanted to meet (or at the very least buy some of my work). Rest in peace Dennis

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Reggie Watts, my new hero

I recently learned of the unique music,comedy, and performance of Brooklynite Reggie Watts and I am at once captivated, jealous, and tired (that last bit just because I just got off work and ate McDonalds). Anyway, he's awesome- check him out.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bob Dylan, Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to one of the best songwriters of our time, Robert Allen Zimmerman was born 69 years ago today on May 24, 1941. Happy Birthday Bob Dylan, glad you're still making music!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Obey NYC

Dear NYC,
Why do you have to go and ruin a cool Shepard Fairey mural with that terrible bubble letter garbage graffiti? It's not 1981, Run DMC is over, move on and learn how to spraypaint.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Music: Ted Leo And The Pharmacists cover Tears For Fears

Ted Leo And The Pharmacists cover Tears For Fears
In third grade Kerri Davis turned to me and said "Do you listen to Tears for Fears, I'd think you'd like them" and I realized I did like them, in fact I still do and this cover by Ted Leo And The Pharmacists of "Everyone Wants to Rule the World" reminds me why. That's AV Club and Starbucks, by the way- I'll take a grande coffee in a vente cup with extra half and half thanks!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

DVD REVIEW: Arj Barker ’s LYAO
Arj Barker - Complicated Being
Futurama New EpisodesFunny Demon Zombie TV ShowFunny TV Comedy Blog

CYBO might be a more appropriate title for Arj Barker’s new stand-up comedy DVD LYAO because while the comedian most known for his role as Dave on HBO’s Flight of the Conchords does succeed at delivering an engaging and entertaining hour of comedy, the chuckles still outweighed the laughs. Regardless, it still is an impressive showing. The comic gets a hefty thumbs up and 27.4 gold stars for his special brand of observational material that plays with language in the age of the internet as well as his great character work which helps set himself apart from the mass of comics out there today.

Arj manages to bring a fresh perspective that keeps the audience attentively involved throughout his set, which ranges from everyday topics like sleep and money to jokes about Pluto’s planetary status and ethnic bias (and being half-Indian and half-European, I’m sure he knows a thing or two about it). As a comedian, Arj is like a love child of Demitri Martin and Jerry Seinfeld and stylistically he’s reminiscent of a laid-back motivational speaker that doesn’t suck, so the show is definitely worth checking out.

The DVD also comes with an audio version of the show and a couple of bonus features including a pretty awesome music video entitled “Sickest Buddhist.” If you’re a fan of comedy or just a fan of seeing Indian guys in embroidered cowboy shirts, the DVD is well worth checking out and even beyond being fun to say, the name Arj Barker should be one we’ll hear from more in the future.

For: Short & Sweet NYC

Monday, May 10, 2010

Goodbye Lena Horne

According to the New York Times Jazz legend Lena Horne passed away last night at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center due to undisclosed causes at the age of 92. She was one of the last great Jazz singers and even though I was introduced to her years after her prime on television shows like Sesame Street and The Cosby Show she could still knock them out.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Concert Review: Dion Roy & Ryan Cabrera music cruise

There might be no activity that attracts the “Bridge and Tunnel” crowd more than a "Rock's Off" concert cruise around Manhattan at night but that doesn’t mean it’s not a worthwhile experience. In truth the crowd was oddly eclectic mixing young and old with A-list with last call making the four hour cruise as interesting for the people watching as it was for the music and scenery. The show opened with a short set by singer/songwriter Matt Lowell which was perfect in such an intimate space especially when it’s accented with the spectacular view of the sun setting over the skyline.

He was followed by South African native, Dion Roy who had an equally chill acoustic set featuring songs from Gallery, his recently released debut album. Dion's laid back sound was the perfect fit for the moment as the boat cruised slowly under the Brooklyn Bridge and along the south shore of Mahattan. The most shocking thing about Dion is that this same mild mannered musician choose to submit himself to singing into "Will the Farter's" rectal gas onslaught shortly after the performance in order to perform on the Howard Stern show.

Finally the microphone was passed on to headliner Ryan Cabrera who proved that he is every bit as much of a tool as you might think. He started off his performance well and interacted with the audience but after a few drinks he let his douche flag fly and it was all over. Still it was more funny than annoying and his songs were mellow in their live incarnations so all’s well that ends well. Overall the experience was well worth the ticket price and the songs of all three singers might well have been better live than recorded so it made for a great night.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Theater Review: American Idiot

Quick, Sexy, and endlessly confusing, Broadway’s American Idiot is a questionable caricature of a burgeoning generation.

Green Day is one of a handful of bands that represent the generation that is now coming of age and Broadway’s American Idiot is something of a caricature of that generation but seeing it played out before one’s eyes is terribly uncomfortable and gives little input into what the generation is really about. The most immediate issue with the musical is the total lack of any concrete storyline which unfortunately is multiplied by the fact that the work follows three friends after high school as they travel down very different paths of drug use, having a child, and joining the army.

As one might expect the music pulls the weight in this piece and the big numbers such as: 21 Guns, Time of Your Life, and Holiday are great but with 90 minutes to fill no amount of theater tricks like: wire suspensions, animations, or seductive skin can fill the void (but honestly the sex appeal of the skin does help a little). In reality, the smooth polish of Broadway and the cast of young talent ends up taking away some of power of what is great about these songs in their original form, the raw emotion (they are after all a punk band at heart), and it ends up cheapening the music.

The set, costumes, and design of the show contain a ton of modern iconography like wallpapered graffiti reading OBEY, Avedon’s Marilyn Monroe images, and a huge amount of punk influence countered with a touch of Calvin Klein ala Kate Moss in the Army numbers- all things that are associated with “cool” but in this context they are everything but and feel an obvious exploitation of cultural elements to no means aka it’s a sellout. We forgave Green Day for writing the never-ending prom video classic “Time of Your Life” even with the flimsy excuse that it was “the most punk thing” they could’ve done but this musical crosses the line.

In all, there are a couple of great musical numbers followed by a couple of huge questions like: why not write a better story, why would Green Day allow this to be staged, and does that girl in the sexy underwear have a boyfriend? Either way for the ticket price I’d much prefer to see the band perform the music themselves- that or grab a ticket to see the Who’s Tommy because they might not have died before they got old but somehow they remained respectable on Broadway.