Tuesday, June 16, 2009

lol screamo

So, Attack Attack has this song about Stick Stickly, you know, that Nick in the Afternoon host. And not only does it have everything that I assume people love about screamo (gutteral screaming, emotions, greasy black hair), but it also has a hilarious operatic Eurodance breakdown at the end, and you-say-"awesome"-but-you-mean-it-ironically choreography, as shown in the animated gifs below:


I just found Nathan's M.U.S.C.L.E. page and am now going through obsessively. My little brother and I used to collect these and stage these massive wars on our bedroom floors, using rubber bands (especially after my friend Alex gave me a bag from his paper route) to shoot down vast swaths of the men. They were fleshy, weird, awesome things, and there was more than a little horse trading between my brother and I over which ones were best. I think mine are still in a basket at my parents' house, but damn, I'd kinda like 'em again.

It's weird, because I'm not usually someone who's like, oh, yeah, my Star Wars figures, my GI Joes, but these (and Battle Beasts) trigger some sort of weird wistful feeling.

Roger Ballen

Loving Roger Ballen's series of boarding house photos, including this one. Granuaid had another great piece from him. via.

Shen Wei

Shin Wei: Her two bodies of work displayed, Almost Naked and Chinese Sentiment, primarily portraiture and landscape respectively, are muted meditations on Chinese and Chinese-American identity.

While I think that each set suffers from over-abundance (sometimes, it's not clear what the unifying premise behind Almost Naked is), there are still hundreds of great shots there.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Black box

Brice Bischoff has a fantastic series of abstract photographs taken through light leaks in a cardboard box.

The Sharif Don't Like It

33-Year-Old Mixtape.

"So here's the story...
In 1976, when my wife Kat was one year old, her father made a cassette tape of music recorded from the radio in Iran, while there on business. That's the cassette in the picture up there. I like how it says Stereo Disco on the label and how the music on it is anything but.

Her father would always play this tape endlessly in the car, on family trips to Ocean City, Maryland – it was his all-time favorite mixtape and was also Kat's first exposure to music.

This cassette was, until now, broken for some time. His birthday is coming up, so we thought it would be nice to mend the tape and transfer it's contents onto a CD. That's all done now, thanks to my trusty splicer block.

We're hoping to be able to identify the tracks on this cassette – even my father in law doesn't know, he just likes the music. So please have a quick listen to the tracks below. There's an entry for every track, complete with MP3. If you know any of them, or have a clue as to who it could be, please leave a comment.

Good luck and thanks for helping us out!

Nick & Kat

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

No Comeuppance!

For the first time in a long time, I stayed up late reading and didn't stop until I'd finished the book, The Talented Mr. Ripley, which I borrowed from our pal Cat. I had to make a physical effort to not keep reading the rest of the trilogy right then, since it's all in one volume.

Damn, that was a well-written, nicely paced book. It made me an odd sort of wistful, thinking, yes, it used to be so easy to get away with murder.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Oh, the lonesome ramble

I know that my parents would put it down to all of Gramma's tapes, with titles like "Blood On The Saddle." For them, it was corny music Mom's folks liked, from goofy grinning white dudes with fake ten-gallon hats.

But I love it. I love the loping beat, the plaintive yodel, the cheesy innuendo—everything that Western Swing 78s serves up. I can't pretend to be anything more than a slick dilettante, but I've been loving the Maddox Bros. and Prairie Ramblers. It's the perfect music to fry eggs to, so I've been waking up to it every day this week.

A Brief Menu for Gourmet Drinking in LA, for Thirsty Guides LA

A Brief Menu for Gourmet Drinking in LA

One part foodie, one part craft tradition, three parts drunk and left to set a moment—LA’s haute cocktails are doing their part to rescue drinking from vodka, neon liqueurs and anything –tini. These are the best of the best.

The Aperitif

Behind the French brasserie in Comme Ça in West Hollywood, Tim Loden’s pouring drinks. Comme Ça has borrowed the aesthetic established by Eric Alperin and Sasha Petraske at Milk & Honey in New York (arguably the vanguard in the Cocktalian revolution), emphasizing fresh ingredients from Erlenmeyer flasks. Try an Eastside Fizz (cucumber, mint, gin, soda) or a Pepper Smash (red bell pepper, Rittenhouse rye, honey, lemon) before trying to get a table here or afield.

The Relevé

At Copa D’Oro in Santa Monica, fresh also means local, with the Market Menu coming from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. Their Market Menu does bespoke boozing, and between their $5 Prohibition-era happy hour and their extensive menu of cocktails to any palate, they’re the perfect precursor to sunset on the beach or a night of serious drinking. Try the Jack Rose (applejack, fresh lime, homemade grenadine) for a classic, or a Sour Kraut (Miller’s gin, Cointreau, lemon, marmalade, Dijon mustard) for a taste of perfect cocktail audacity.

The Entreé

It’s hard to imagine a more serious spirit than whiskey, and Seven Grand (Downtown) is the West Coast home for whiskeys. From the ice (bottom frozen blocks) to the vermouth (Andica), Seven Grand is the bar to learn what a Manhattan or a Sazerac, both classics, should taste like. If you’re afraid of the brown liquors, start with a Bourbon Berry Bramble, with muddled blackberry compote bringing out the sweetness of Knob Creek, or breathe mint deeply with an authoritative Julep. But then, really, try the Manhattan and Sazerac. Seriously.

The Dessert

An underground lair of Nu-Victorian affectation, The Edison would be insufferably pretentious if it weren’t full of such delicious drinks. Ignore the writhing burlesque dancer and her listless snake—focus on the masterful menu, a mix of venerable favorites like the Rat Pack approved Flame Of Love or Embassy, and original inventions like the Brass Flower (gin, grapefruit bitters, elderflower cordial, champagne). If you’re not sure yet that you want to love cocktails with all your drunken heart, The Edison’s accessible, well-balanced drinks are the place to grow your courage.

The Digestive

The Varnish, a nouveau speakeasy hidden in the back room of Cole’s, is where the “cocktail forward” bartenders come to do their drinking. If you’ve ever wondered what George Washington drank (Philadelphia Fish House Punch), or wanted to try Cynar, the artichoke liqueur, this is the bar you hit. Just make sure to hit it early and on a weeknight, because it gets tighter than a wino’s gullet.

The next round:

The Hungry Cat, Hollywood: Worth visiting if only for the Avation No. 1, a drink copied around town but worth seeking out at the source.
Malo, Sunset Junction: What Seven Grande is to whiskey, Malo is to tequila. Able to match their anejo to your mood.
Providence, Hollywood: What kind of restaurant has a tasting menu of cocktails? Our kind of restaurant.
Tiki Ti, Silverlake: Secret formulas and unlabelled flasks mean you’re never quite sure what’s in your drink, but it’s tasty enough that dark gods must be involved.

By Josh Steichmann