Vampire Weekend have never shied away from dropping a widely various array of pop cultural references in their songwriting. Some are more obvious than others. But it was a pleasant surprise to hear, on their new song "Step", some direct props given to this lesser known classic I was first introduced to via a 411 skate video "back back way back" in tenth grade. It also happened to be on the group's original 1991 demo tape. Souls of Mischief originally sampled the quote from YZ's "Who's That Girl". They got the melody from Grover Washington, Jr.'s "Aubrey" and the beat from Melvin Bliss's "Synthetic Substitution". KRS-One also makes a quick appearance. Yeah, we've been spending a lot of time on whosampled.com.
He's been parodied by The Simpsons, Family Guy, College Humor and countless others. Smithsonian magazine called Clippy "one of the worst software design blunders in the annals of computing". TIME included Clippy in their list of "The 50 Worst Inventions". The Office Assistant paperclip was introduced in Office 97 and stuck around an inexplicable 10 years. Who's responsible for this atrocity? Probably some ex-Microsoft employee hiding out from the world. But who's the poor sap who simply illustrated a paperclip with giant eyeballs at the request of the world's largest software maker, only to have his creation ripped apart by every media outlet for an entire decade? Mr. Kevan J. Atteberry, that's who. One look at Kevan's website and I got the feeling this guy's not losing any sleep over the backlash. When I got to Clippy's page in his portfolio, the assumption was confirmed. Says Kevan, "Woohoo! Credit for creating probably one of the most annoying characters in history! Actually, people either loved him or loathed him. I guess just noticing him is something . . .isn't it?" Well. . . I guess it is. Mr. Atteberry's also responsible for creating the above image which leaves me interested to see how one would write a "suicide by pastry" note. Damn, now where's Clippy when you actually need him?
Although it took until the 1970s energy crisis to finally become an official mainstay on our annual calendar, the invention of daylight savings time can be credited to an avid insect collector in New Zealand and some other dude from London in 1905 that loved to play golf. In that spirit, today we'll be listening to Van Halen's "Van Halen" over and over, dusting off our shorts and planning the next post-work michelada-filled outdoor happy hour. You should do the same.
Since I, along with almost eight million other people, watched the incredibly inspirational video of a heroic pig saving a baby goat from drowning back in September, I've enjoyed five months of being able to crawl out of bed each morning knowing that truly good things happen in this world. That all came crashing to an abrupt end last night when I discovered that the whole thing was staged by some guy who "graduated from one of Canada's top business schools with really good grades.". Not to mention 20 crew members, animal trainers, scuba divers, humane officers and the fabrication of a plastic track to guide the pig to the goat. Those animals were just actors and knowing this, I have a feeling they're probably not even that cool in real life. But seriously, this video was broadcast on Fox News, NBC's "Nightly News" and ABC's "Good Morning America," as well as posted on sites like Gawker and The Huffington Post. When I see several news organizations making the same mistake, it makes me worried that we're creating this environment where everyone is doing the same thing that everyone else is doing without questioning why. At least that's what it said in the article that I copied and pasted that last sentence from.
Surely you, like many sports fans, paid attention to Dennis Rodman's recent brofest with North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un. Let's be honest, the young Kim is certainly not an "awesome guy" as The Worm claims. Nor was his father or his father's father. But they are, for whatever reason, apparently really into the NBA. We doubt Dr. James Naismith would approve of the slight rule changes the folks in Pyongyang decided were necessary for whatever unexplainable reason...
-Slam dunks now score you 3 points (aka the Shaq Rule Pt 1)
-If you miss a free throw, sorry, you lose 1 point (aka the Shaq Rule Pt 2)
-If you hit a three pointer without the ball hitting the rim, you now get 4 points (because saying the word "swish" is just too fun)
-And in the final 3 seconds of a game, all baskets are worth 8 points (as if this part of a game needs more excitement, just ask Christian Laettner)
Just the latest in strange (and usually disturbing) reports involving the world's biggest maniacs. Next thing you know, we're going to find out Kim Jong Il invented the hamburger and shot 11 hole-in-ones during a single round of golf. Oh, wait...
We’re not mad, just disappointed, that Frito Lay’s separated our original flavor suggestion into three individual flavors without so much as a phone call. It was never our intention to stifle the intellectual freedom that flows like rivers of cheese sauce at Frito Lay’s laboratory, but we clearly and repeatedly stated our recommendation for Cheesy Garlic Bread Chicken & Waffles Sriracha Ranch chips. If they didn’t want our opinion, they should not have printed their toll free number on the back of the bag. We also can’t help but feel any decision to drop the ranch flavor could have been communicated to us as a courtesy. Having said that, we find the best way to understand the fusion-inspired chip we intended is to eat one from each bag at the same time (generously dipped in ranch dressing, of course).
- D. Quaid
D. Quaid is a gourmet food writer and contributor to the Champagne Taste column.
Last July, it was rumored that LSU offered a football scholarship to Dylan Moses, a student who is now in the middle of his final year of junior high. Yes, that means he's an 8th grader. Today, the folks at ESPN confirmed that the two-time defending national champs from Tuscaloosa have also jumped on the 14-year-old's bandwagon. Aside from the fact that colleges are offering scholarships to kids who are still years away from being legally allowed to drive a car by themselves, the most ironic part of the story is Nick Saban talking about "keeping your grades up". We looked up "grades" in the Unofficial College Football Recruiting Handbook, and found the term actually represents "a complex algorithm that blends yards from scrimmage, 40 yard dash speed, maximum dead lift weight, and most importantly, resemblance to Barry Sanders". Young Dylan should be able to boost his score in no time - or 4 years - whichever comes first.
Ever been cold? Cold is an environmental condition that can cause runny noses, dry skin, bitterness, bad moods, hypothermia, death, weight gain, unruly facial hair, and/or alcoholism. Cold is best combatted by fruitless layers of clothing and the sketchiest of all appliances - space heaters. Well folks (those lucky enough to live below the 60th parallel), the sun is returning to the equator, slowly but surely. Hang in there.
Mark Mulroney's annual solo show at Mixed Greens opened Wednesday night and it's the usual mix of boobs, bodily fluids, blood and dismemberment rendered so cartoonishly (yet painstakingly detailed) that it's impossible to offend. Impossible to offend anyone with a sense of humor, that is. The point of this post is two-fold: To tell you that Marks work is amazing and if you're in NYC this month you should check out his show. Also it's an excuse to mention his brother, Ryan, is a former Hacky Sack World Champion. Yes, that's a real thing.
That is, if you haven't already. We're probably the last people you know defending the lazy decision to make yet another installment in this 25 year old franchise, but it looks like today we're going to have to join the rest of the world. It's not pretty. The John McClane who was afraid of flying and heights, who bled and sweat and grimaced in pain while walking over glass, who even his nemeses admired, is long gone. He's replaced by a bulletproof, RPG-dodging, multi-story building jumping superhuman who never gets so much as a scratch on him. Yes, this transition definitely started in the PG-13 rated (wtf?) Live Free or Die Hard, but for some reason we were holding out hope for some Nakatomi Plaza days of old. Call it "Die Hard" all you want, but this one's worth no more than a drunken VOD purchase in a couple months.
The cover of Darwin Deez's Songs For Imaginative People illustrates much about his music, just not in a good way. First, there's the unimaginative (pun intended) mug shot reference which creates the construct of the tortured solo artist "caught" and imprisoned by making numerous bad musical decisions. One could summarize that the inevitable reverb-laden pop synth stabs tear into swaths of cotton candy ambient tones as the Lin drum continues to drone on. The weak presentation of his dress (a tight white tank top and leather cord controlling a waterfall of permed hair) and thin-stroked typography suggest that his voice strains to compete with the midi-programed mania of an album supported by Deez's friend's Sound Cloud comments. This cover shows us generic creative decisions, which unfortunately one could imagine the same being said about the music.
Note: The writer did not listen to a single note of music from this album prior to writing the above review. The critique is an inference based solely on the album cover art.
It seemed like yesterday. Professional wrestling was called the WWF and its biggest star was a clean-cut former University of Miami football player called The Rock. After conquering the ring, Mr. The Rock scored a supporting role in the sequel to one of the poorest films of all time, The Mummy, starring one of the least talented actors in history, Brendan Fraser. In no time, the general public (and studio executives) spotted his undeniable on-screen charisma, Encino Man got the axe (thank god), and The Scorpion King became a leading man. We (the fans) got to see him at his best playing a lumber toting out for justice Army vet in Walking Tall, and at his worst as a hockey player cum tooth fairy in, wait for it, Tooth Fairy. No one, not even Roger Ebert, could've anticipated what is happening in 2013. Snitch, Pain & Gain, GI Joe: Retaliation, Fast & Furious 6, and that's just the first half of the year. Throw in his flashy new belt as the reigning WWE champ, an upcoming reality TV show on TNT, and one hell of an agent/manager, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is Hollywood's most wanted man. Next up - Smokin' Joe Biden's running mate in 2016. Kidding, kinda.
Remember the days when you were vital, all-in, epic, inventive, suspenseful, even spiritual? Remember the dominance over your bitch of a little cousin the All-Star Game? Remember Spud Webb's face of concentration and the tension in every ligament of his body working in unison to get his hands over the rim? Remember the Nique v MJ battles (that shit was rigged in ’88)? Remember Sky Walker’s flattop and Dee Brown pumping up? Why are you now a vessel for rookies, piss-poor MCs, couches, sunglasses, portraits, vehicles on the court, multiple attempts, birthday cakes, and costumes? What happened to you?