Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It Might Get Loud


I previously said this was the next movie I would see in a theater. Then I got a job so yesterday was the first chance I got. After work I went to Best Buy. They didn't have it. So I went to, there was nowhere else to go to. I'm in the middle of Manhattan and there are no places to buy Blu-Rays. Virgin would have had it, if they hadn't closed down. Thanks, economy.

Netflix gave me a long wait so I had to rent it on dvd from Blockbuster. Blockbuster! It had been so long since I was there they thought my roommate was still on my account. I will say they had more new releases available than Netflix does. That's saying something for a dying franchise.

The movie is really good, if not as amazing as I had built it up in my mind. I doubt any movie this side of "Lord of the Rings" could have matched the level I set in my head. But for a guitar lover, I doubt a better movie will be made.

The choices are perfect. Jimmy Page, the Edge and Jack White may not be the fastest guns of their eras, but they each changed the way the instrument was played, adding techniques my old guitarist in Psychasm would have yelled at me for trying. They each approached a completely different musical landscape and each came to a crossroads early in their career.

The attitudes of their ages are fascinating to watch. Page is an elder statesman, laying back and listening more than talking. He's so much more full of smiles than I imagined. The Edge is a man at the top of game and staying there. He's smart, funny and open to whatever the other players have to say but watch his eyes. He's always, always focused. Jack White comes off as arrogant. He throws out crazy ideas that don't work, like dressing a nine year old child as himself so he can teach boy Jack how to play. It seems like a coping mechanism for a young player obviously intimidated to be in the room with these two. His talent puts him there, if not his confidence.

If you're the type of person to see this movie, you're also the type of person who will watch every deleted scene. Like Jack White showing Jimmy Page and the Edge how to play "Seven Nation Army" with three whammy pedals (and Jimmy asking "is this right?"). It's these moments when the history drops away and it's just three musicians learning a new song that open the movie up. Not only are they just like one another, they're just like every person who's picked up the instrument and can't put it down.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas is Over.

I'm home. Ben had a great time.



Richie apologizes that Ben is vertical.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve!

As a kid, I always liked this day more than Christmas itself. Maybe it's the anticipation. Maybe wanting is better than having. Or maybe I don't feel like I deserve the actual holiday.

Going on a plane now.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Song Salvation

"No Line on the Horizon" is my fourth least favorite U2 album and yet "Breathe" is one of my top 5 all-time U2 songs.



Got me thinking about all the albums you save for that one great song. Sometimes it's the hit, sometimes it's a hidden track. But in your mind, it's the reason the album exists. What's the album you save and what's the song you save it for?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Iron Man Vs. Bruce Lee

I am never going to get animation this smooth. Mostly because I fill it with dialogue for characters whose mouths don't move.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Adam Corolla and Tom Kenny

Do us all a favor. Go to this podcast and learn why you should show your three year old "The Simpsons". For the record, Ben knows the names of everyone but Maggie.

I got it from itunes but
here's
the web page.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody

Disney can't seem to get anything big going with the Muppets. But they can do some cool little things.



And a holiday bonus:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Simpsons at 20

Here's a pretty critical view of the Simpsons on their twentieth anniversary which mainly hinges on the question: "Why is it still on?" For my take, I still watch it because it's still funny.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ebert Weighs In

Here's a great article by Roger Ebert telling the whole story of what happened to "At the Movies". The facial surgeries, the firings, the Ben/Ben debacle that forced me to take the show off TiVo (Ben Lyons review of 'Max Payne' was "Sometimes I just don't wanna think.") and the rescue of teh show by Michael Philips and A.O. Scott. It's a fascinating read and eye openeing to anyone who didn't know what happened once Siskel died.

Take a look.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sideshow Emperor

I am a reformed Star Wars fan. Those prequels made the franchise for someone else, not me. And yet this seems completely awesome.




Oh and strangely enough there's a 13" Darth Vader still on sale. Ah, money. There's so many ways to get rid of you.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Monday, December 07, 2009

Iron Man 2

So far it's the only movie of Summer 2010. Superhero movies have a tendency to get really, really good in the second installment. And with the new poster, I think that trend will remain unbroken.



Didn't the producers say Rhodey wouldn't have much of a part when they fired Terence Howard? Not much a part if you don't want to be WAR MACHINE!!!

Thanks to actionfigurepics.com for the image.

Friday, December 04, 2009

John and Molly Get Along 2

I went to John and Molly Get Along 3 last night. Fantastic show and I shared a sheepish and awkward smile with Jeaneane Garafalo. Said nothing. Lifelong dream fulfilled.

Here's John and Molly's second video. They premiered the third last night and I think I'll be posting every one they do.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Flight of the Bumblebee 2

If yesterday's wasn't bad enough, friend and shredder extraordinaire Geoff Unger sends us this video. This guy plays the piece three times, the last at 320bps!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Flight of the Bumblebee

Every now and then I see a guitarist that makes me feel bad about myself. Sometimes they're not even famous. Here's a guy on a message board, playing something I can't do on a guitar I now own.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Mo!

I'm cranking on something I couldn't crack over the long weekend. Still not sure if I'm close. But here's the best distraction I can find from Mo Diggs. Mo talks about the 10 most influential comedians of the decade and it's so well thought-out and expertly written I can't even argue about the comics I hate on it.

Check it out!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rejected Onion Headlines

We've changed the format of Writer's Room from stand-up to readings (I did the Adam West story from this blog). Oddly, the common theme is people reading their rejected Onion jokes. It's given me the confidence to post these.

I got an audition for the Onion earlier this year. I was pretty excited. After three years of stand-up I thought this was my way in to professional comedy writing. I'd had an audition for the Colbert Report early on that didn't pan out so a shot at the Onion was lightning striking twice.

Unfortunately, they didn't pick any of these. I took that as a sign to go back to advertising but after hearing how much great stuff the Onion doesn't pick, I feel a little more loyalty to these jokes.


Report: 70% of Representatives Feel Watching C-SPAN Just As Good As Showing Up

Springsteen Ruins Perfectly Good Halftime Show With Song From New Album

“Book Comes To Life” Movie Produced By Executives Who Don’t Read

Robert Duvall to Use Southern Accent in Every Damn Movie Now

Deathbed Confession Pack of Lies

Board Meeting Not Worth Free Cookies

Producers of Star Trek Movie Promise Fans Way Less "Star Trek"

Expensive SUV Becomes Affordable House

Losing Team's Problem Started With Believing in Themselves

OP-ED: Zoo Animals Just Don't Keep the Paying Customer in Mind

Mother Tells Son Once, Thousand Times

Advertising Agency Avoids Eye-Contact Throughout Horrible Commercial Pitch

OP-ED: Congratulations on Creating the Sexy, Brooding Teenage Vampire, “Twilight” Author! by Joss Whedon

Racist Cartoon Based on True Story

Freak Accident Kills Freak

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Writer's Room Tonight!

Everything I said yesterday holds true. But I just finished reading Cormac MaCarthy's "The Road" and it's the saddest thing I ever read. I'm gonna need this show tonight.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Writer's Room Tomorrow!

I've been working here so long I don't know that I'm a stand-up anymore. Fortunately tomorrow, I'll be doing a reading. I know I can still read.

This Month's Writers Room @ The PIT:

Streeter Seidel (College Humor)

Brooke Van Poppeln (The Comic's Comic)

Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central's Live @ Gotham)

Alex Grubard reading from his children's joke book (literally)

Hosted by Mike Drucker & Jon Clarke

The PIT

Tuesday 11/24/09 9:30

29th St between 7th and 8th.

$5

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Spectacular Spider-Man

I can't believe we have to petition to save a show that has Spider-Man in it.

There's a new Spider-Man series every five years or so. Some have been good, some have been garbage. So in 2007, when "Spectacular Spider-Man" was announced, I was unfazed. I watched a few episodes and liked it enough.

Then I bought the season 1 set and fell in love. seeing all the episodes together made me appreciate how well written the show was. It gets EVERYTHING right. Even Sam Raimi's movies miss some of Spidey's charm, but not this. The humor, the soap opera, the crazy rogues gallery, the science, it's all here. Greg Weisman has done the job at a level only Bruce Timm has attained.

You'd think being a Spider-Man show would give it gratis in the ratings. Yet "Spectacular" has a troubled history. It premiered right when Kids WB gave up. Then it moved way up the dial to basic cable on Disney XD. Disney decided not to run the second season until they had rerun 13 weeks of the first. So the U.S. was the last country to show these episodes. They also took numerous breaks to stagger the episodes for sweeps. The final ones aired last night, 18 months after they should have.

But it's still doing well. Merchandise is selling, kids are waiting. So when's the third season airing? Well now there's the problem of that Disney/ Marvel merger bogging things down. Sure "Spectacular" airs on a Disney channel but one animated series is the last thing on their agenda. And with Sony dropping the Spider-Man tv license, there's a bunch of people no longer involved. So two years after production on season two, none of the staff knows if they'll be called back.

So what do we do? Honestly, I have no idea. There a the typical petitions. I joined the Facebook group. People are writing letters. But this thing is so mired in inter company machinations I think all we can do is raise awareness that there is an audience for the show. Because when the dust settles, Disney and Marvel will want a Spider-man cartoon on the air. And after almost fifty years, they finally have one.

But let's not get too sad. Let's watch some. here's my favorite season one episode that has Spidey in the black costume fighting the Sinister Six. And how awesome is that theme song?

Part 1:


Part 2:


Part 3:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hole in the Bucket

Good, news, bad news, good news.

The new Sesame Street DVD, "40 years of Sunny Days" is out. And it's incredible. Amping up the strategy of the "Old School" sets, these 2 discs hold one 5 1/2 hour clip show that runs chronologically. Everything in it is gold. Renee and I would have bought it even if we had no children. As it is, Ben loved it so much we had to put on a Superman cartoon to calm him down.

Bad news: it's missing the classic "There's a Hole in the Bucket" a slow, strange, goofy segment that, in my recollection, taught nothing. Even as a kid, I wondered what they were thinking. The good news is Sesame Workshop knew it was something special and posted on their website instead. You can't embed from them so I found a Youtube version. Enjoy.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Joss Whedon Wants to Buy Terminator

Dollhouse is canceled but I don't really care as long as he's still full of great stuff like this open letter.

Thanks Ann-Marie Kirby-Payne and all your wonderful hyphens.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"I'm Glad You Saw Jack Benny Fall Out of That Chair"

Bill Cosby got the Mark Twain Prize. Because he damn well deserves it.



Chris Rock and Seinfeld opening is great. Cosby's speech is great. But nothing is better than watching Cosby kill in front of Groucho Marx and Jack Benny.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Whammy Bar Acoustic

I always wondered why they never made acoustic guitars with tremolos. I still don't know but now I know it can be done.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Droid on Fallon

They spent four minutes talking about Droid on Fallon the other night. That to me is the same as Drucker getting jokes on the show. Which has also happened.

Monday, November 02, 2009

U2 on Youtube- Full Concert

Here it is. A full two hours and change. Because when you're U2 you don't have to conform to that 100 MB rule.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Matt McCarthy

If you don't love Matt McCarthy, we are through.



And if you do, I hope you saw him perform the Tom Hanks breakdown scene from "Punchline" at Shtick or Treat Wednesday night. For it was glorious.

UPDATE" Matt just posted it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Droid Does- Full Site

The full site is up. I wrote like 80 kajillion pages on it. And came up with the dancing dog.

www.droiddoes.com

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shtick or Treat Tonight!


Oboy Oboy.


Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery (Between Houston and Bleecker)
New York, NY
7 p.m.
$7

With:

Richard Jeni (Kumail Nanjiani)
Kumail Nanjiani (Pete Holmes)
Paul F. Tompkins (Sean Patton)
Jim Gaffigan (Luke Cunningham)
Sam Kinison (Mike Drucker)
Johnny Carson (Mark Normand)
Neil Hamburger (Matt Ruby)
Dana Carvey (Adam Newman)
Brian Regan (Jason Saenz)
Cedric the Entertainer (Nick Turner)
Dave Attell (Danny Solomon)
Judy Tenuta (Leslie Goshko)
Jim Carrey (Charlie Kasov)
Carrot Top (Pat Stango)
Don Rickles (Sean Donnelly)
Jeff Dunham (Jay Welch)
Sinbad (Abbi Crutchfield)
Alonzo "Hamburger" Jones (Neal Statsny)
Emo Phillips (Matt Goldich)
Norm MacDonald (Dan Curry)
Jeff Foxworthy (Roger Hailes)
Reggie Watts (Rory Scovel)
Big Jay Oakerson (Jared Logan)
Kristen Schaal (Jamie Lee)
Adam Sandler (Matt Maragno)
Richard Lewis (Dan Mintz)
Eddie Izzard (Dan Fontaine)
Joy Behar (Molly Knefel)
Mitch Hedberg (Mo Diggs)
Brett Butler (Dan St. Germaine)
Rip Taylor (Mike Lawrence)
Dana Gould (Jon Clarke)
Bernie Mac (Dan Wilbur)
Lenny Bruce (Tim Warner)
Orny Adams (Shawn Pearlman)
Bob Newhart (Ross Hyzer)
Joan Rivers (Alice Wetterland)
Conan O'Brien (Chelsea White)
Arj Barker (Chesley Calloway)
Fozzy Bear (Aalap Patel)
Jim Breuer (RG Daniels)
Ron White (Ben Kissel)
Jack Benny (Ray Field)
Steve Martin (Erik Bergstrom)
Albert Brooks (Sean O'Connor)
Todd Barry (Luke Thayer)
Andrew Dice Clay (Rob O'Reilly)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Writer's Room Tonight!

Writers Room returns with a special edition of some of the city's best comedy writers reading their favorite B-side stories, essays, and jokes.

Featuring:

Simon Rich (SNL)

Sara Schaefer (Late Night With Jimmy Fallon)

Jon Friedman (Late Night With Jimmy Fallon)

Sara Benincasa (Sirius, Everywhere)

Emily Gordon

Jon Clarke (McSweeneys)

Hosted by Mike Drucker (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon)

The PIT
29th St between 6th and 7th Ave
$5
9:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Droid Feedback

The word is out and the internet is a blaze with Droid. I've seen videos where a vlogger read all the copy from the teaser email capture site.

I've never been a part of something that had a huge response before. I'm working way hard to really notice it. In fact, I think I'm losing it since this guy totally appeals to me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Droid

I've been cranking on this thing and now it's finally starting to come out. This is what two months of late nights, weekends and regular paychecks will get you.

There's more coming.

UPDATE: I've been quoted in AdAge. That's a first.

Friday, October 16, 2009

John and Molly Get Along

Last year Drucker and I made a workplace video with John Knefel. It went well and now he has another with his sister Molly. Their chemistry is fantastic and I always like seeing Dan Curry pop up anywhere. I'm also wondering how they were able to score such great locations. Definitely take a look.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Finances

Whenever I have no money, I never need anything.

Whenever I have a little money, I need action figures and comic books.

Whenever I have some money, I need hardcover graphic novels and Japanese action figures.

Whenever I have a lot of money, I need a guitar.

I am either a man of simple tastes or emotionally retarded.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Raiders of the Lost Ark "Premake"

I found this in an issue of "Enetrtainment Weekly" of all places. How will I maintain my edge?

It's still brilliant; a bunch of classic clips edited together to a reasonable 1951 version of "Raiders" with Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck and Peter Lorre. It's hard to explain but it holds together very well.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Astoria Comedians

The NY Times has an article about Astoria comedians that mentions a ton of people I know. It doesn't mention me but they missed a few other guys as well. I'll try not to take it personally.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Marc Maron



I love Marc Maron. He's the type of comic I thought I was going to be when I started stand-up. Until I found out nobody wanted that.

I loved his Air America show "Morning Sedition". Then they fired him. They gave him something else. And fired him. He's been fired so many times that now he has to run his own podcast "WTF". And it's awesome. You should listen to it.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

More songs from Crash Mansion!

You can hear and see everybody better in these songs. Thanks to Geoff Unger for taping the whole show and continuing to put them up.

Hey Today:



Miss You:

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Shtick or Treat 2

Mark Normand and Matt Ruby are doing the special halloween show again and I'm on it again.

Here's my spot from last year:



And here's this year's lineup:

Richard Jeni (Kumail Nanjiani)
Kumail Nanjiani (Pete Holmes)
Paul F. Tompkins (Sean Patton)
Jim Gaffigan (Luke Cunningham)
Sam Kinison (Mike Drucker)
Johnny Carson (Mark Normand)
Neil Hamburger (Matt Ruby)
Dana Carvey (Adam Newman)
Brian Regan (Jason Saenz)
Cedric the Entertainer (Nick Turner)
Dave Attell (Danny Solomon)
Judy Tenuta (Leslie Goshko)
Jim Carrey (Charlie Kasov)
Carrot Top (Pat Stango)
Don Rickles (Sean Donnelly)
Jeff Dunham (Jay Welch)
Sinbad (Abbi Crutchfield)
Alonzo "Hamburger" Jones (Neal Statsny)
Emo Phillips (Matt Goldich)
Norm MacDonald (Dan Curry)
Jeff Foxworthy (Roger Hailes)
Reggie Watts (Rory Scovel)
Big Jay Oakerson (Jared Logan)
Kristen Schaal (Jamie Lee)
Adam Sandler (Matt Maragno)
Richard Lewis (Dan Mintz)
Eddie Izzard (Dan Fontaine)
Joy Behar (Molly Knefel)
Mitch Hedberg (Mo Diggs)
Brett Butler (Dan St. Germaine)
Rip Taylor (Mike Lawrence)
Dana Gould (Jon Clarke)
Bernie Mac (Dan Wilbur)
Lenny Bruce (Tim Warner)
Orny Adams (Shawn Pearlman)
Bob Newhart (Ross Hyzer)
Joan Rivers (Alice Wetterland)
Conan O'Brien (Chelsea White)
Arj Barker (Chesley Calloway)
Fozzy Bear (Aalap Patel)
Jim Breuer (RG Daniels)
Ron White (Ben Kissel)
Jack Benny (Ray Field)
Steve Martin (Erik Bergstrom)
Albert Brooks (Sean O'Connor)
Todd Barry (Luke Thayer)
Andrew Dice Clay (Rob O'Reilly)

Can't wait. Matt Ruby has more info.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Spider-Man Lizard

Not Spider-Man FIGHTING the Lizard (that would be obvious) but an actual lizard that looks like Spider-Man.

Thank you nature for once again listening to Stan Lee. Here he is.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"This Blog is Clean."

Two weeks ago gmail globally crashed. It must have been worse than anyone thought because the next day Google slapped my blog with a "This site may harm your computer" warning. I may have let the occasional robot comment go through but I didn't think I could destroy all of Google.

Well, after three weeks of decimated traffic, they cleared me of all charges. Traffic is back to normal and no one need fear visiting my daily ramblings.

But I learned something about Google. They own the internet. My daily traffic is about 150. When Google put that warning on their search it dropped to 10. Yahoo didn't give me a warning. Ask didn't give me a warning. Webcrawler no longer exists. If you want people to see you online, you have to deal with Google. And never piss them off.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

U2


In 2005, I saw the best show I have ever seen. One of Renee's clients got a box at madison Square Garden and we got to watch U2 right over the Edge's gear. We had free beer and our own bathroom. But the and lived up to the box. I had waited to see them for 20 years and they were everything I hoped. And these were the hopes of a 17 year old.

So when they came around again, I was going. Stomach virus or not. Meadowlands traffic or not. Lackluster new album or not.

We totally missed MUSE thanks to the mess constructing a new Giants Stadium has created (EVERY major stadium in the NY area had to go?) which was disappointing. Matt LOVES this band and I don't know how he'll forgive me.

I guess you can't see U2 twice for the first time. They were, huge, bombastic, funny, political but it didn't move me the way it did the first time. Edge changed his guitar every song again and his Rickenbacker 330/12 is identical to mine. Bono picked up a little kid and ran around that jogging track they always bring with them. Larry spun his drum kit around twice. It was a great show, diminished only by the fact that it wasn't as good as the GREATEST SHOW OF MY LIFE.

Then we saw them two days later.

Drucker got us dress rehearsal passes to the season premiere of SNL. As I mentioned earlier, I was interested to see what the comics coming from the alt scene would do but I mostly wanted to see U2 close up. They did not disappoint. They can be big even on a small stage. The Edge had to keep his effects on the other side of that Grand Central gate. Bono did his best to get the crowd on their feet and security did their best making us sit back down.

As huge as they are, there's still a humility to them. Adam came out early and watched Keenan perform. They bowed to the SNL band who left the stage to watch them. Bono talked to the audience during commercials.

It's been 20 years, 12 albums and three concerts for me and U2. And they're still my favorite band.

BTW, Heidi Kinkel took that picture the night before. Awesome, isn't it?

Monday, September 28, 2009

SNL

I don't know Jenny Slate personally, but she's been a fixture on the scene long enough I feel like she's part of my community.

Drucker got us tickets to the SNL premiere dress mostly because U2 were playing it. But I was curious to see how Jenny would do (as well as how Hannibal Buress, who I do know, would do on the writing staff). I was impressed she got to feature two characters on her first time out. And she did NOT curse in dress.

But imagine how she must feel. Working her way up through the alt scene (which is massively discouraging) getting on SNL, "making it" and then your first time out, you slip out an "f bomb'. Sunday must have been a long day. I'm feeling for you, Jenny.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Spectacle


It wasn't.

Last night I went to the Apollo to see a taping of Elvis Costello's "Spectacle". The show airs for forty minutes a week. The taping was four hours.

One show. FOUR HOURS.

You might be thinking, "Great. You got to see stuff no one will see." Yes I did. The stuff no one should see. Every interview was forty minutes. I hadn't slept the night before, didn't eat dinner, had one beer and the air conditioner was shut off for sound. I love Elvis Costello but hearing for the fourth time how they don't play country music in England was the perfect storm for narcolepsy.

Four hours. I like to keep everything I make even though I know most of it will die. I could never edit this show. And I could never sit through it again.

Elvis could take a few cues from his own picture.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

125,000 Visitors!

Just thought it should be mentioned. Once the google drama dies down, I'm hoping for many more.

Thanks for visiting, everybody!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Facebook is Down

Human communication is on hold. Please stare at the walls until it resumes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Marvel Zombies

I spent three hours scouring the blog for bad links and I think I got it. However, Google's going to take about a month before they reevaluate the site. So it looks like it's just you and me for awhile, cowboy.

Let's do something just for us. Here's a zombie version of the classic Captain America title sequence I posted a few years ago. It's awesome. Those of you reading me on Facebook will just have to take my word for it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I've Narrowed It Down

Here's what i think is wrong with the blog. On September 1st I got a robot comment that said something like, "Hi. Nice Site. Go to . Google saw that url and freaked out on me, effectively shutting my traffic down. All I have to do is remove the comment and we're back in business.

But I don't know where it is. I've checked all my threads for the last few months. Nothing there. There are four years and almost 1200 posts on this blog. And the bad link could be on any one of them.

So I need your help. If you guys (those of you that can get here) could look through some old posts, I'd appreciate it. Maybe you could find the threads you posted. Maybe you like pictures of Ben. Maybe you want to see what I was like before stand-up. The point is if you notice a suspicious comment anywhere in the archives, let me know and I will delete it. I'll be going through everything myself but another set of eyes could make a big difference.

Oh, and I now moderate the comment threads. I will always post yours but I think we all know why I have to watch this stuff now.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Live at Crash Mansion

Geoff just uploaded the first song from last week's set. You can barely see me and you can't hear me at all. Still it's proof that I was there.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"I think a lot of people might stay away, Mayor. They're scared."

I don't have a virus. I never did. You won't get a scary message when you log in. But thanks to Google's mistake, in the last week, I've seen 1/10th of my normal traffic.

So please come back. And if you're checking the RSS feed on Facebook (which is where most of the comments are coming these days), just follow the link and give me an extra hit. I'll love you for it.

To spice it up, I'll add a comment contest. Whoever can guess where the title quote comes from gets the next post. I'll post whatever you want to say, completely unedited. Too lazy to start your own blog? You can have mine for the day.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Reading on the Subway

I'm working next to Mark Feigenson so we've been sharing ebay stories. I mentioned that I've been picking up a lot of Spider-Man trade paperbacks and he wondered why since most of my comic collection is digital. Simple. "I need something to read on the train."

Having a commute again means I'm reading a lot more. And according to the NY Times, most people on the train are as well. It's a great read but the most valuable piece of it is the call out to the Subway Book Club blog which keeps telling users who's reading what. Now, how do I tell them I'm deep into "The Origin of the Hobgoblin"?

Monday, September 07, 2009

Text to Speech

Here's a fantastic text to speech programthat adds an animates avatar. Which means it's a girl that will talk to you. That might mean something for many of my readers.

She looks like every girl that ever shot me down. And part of me only wants to give her rejection lines.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Show Tonight!



Friday, September 4, 2009 at 9:00pm
Crash Mansion
199 Bowery between Spring and Rivington

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Am I Evil?

Some people have been getting a malicious software warning from this blog in the last 12 hours. I haven't added any software. The most is a YouTube embedded link here and there. Keep in mind Gmail had a major crash two days ago and blogger is a part of google. I'll try to get to the bottom of this but let me know if you're having problems.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney Buys Marvel

If they leave it alone the way WB leaves DC alone, we'll be fine. Lots of higher budget cartoons and dvds. But they're not WB. they're Disney and Disney has a very strong sense of their brand. Which does not include blood. If you think the Marvel characters are watered down and whored out now, wait six months.

There's a positive note here. Ten years ago, Marvel was bankrupt. They were being passed from investor to investor. The fact that they're worth 4 billion now says a lot. About Hollywood.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Summer Glau Joins Dollhouse

I'm intrigued. Dollhouse's first season was bad, then boring, then interesting, then less boring, then mind blowingly awesome. And since Summer Glau was the only good thing about "The Sarah Conner Chronicle"s (I like Lena Headey until I realized she had no second facial expression) and she was so incredible in Joss Whedon's "Firefly" I'm down for a second season. When I get my paycheck I may need season one on Blu-Ray.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

15 Movies in 15 Minutes

I do this for Ed Murray. I like him.

Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen movies you've seen that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag fifteen friends, including me because I'm interested in seeing what movies my friends choose.

1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
2. Bill Cosby: Himself
3. The Kids Are Alright
4. Star Wars
5. The Producers
6. The Iron Giant
7. Roxanne
8. Army of Darkness
9. Barton Fink
10. The Third Man
11. John Lennon: Imagine
12. Casablanca
13. Duck Soup
14. Goodfellas
15. Ed Wood

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Got an iPhone!

Now I'm just like you. The cool you at least.

The iPhone launched the day Ben was born. I know this because while we were in the delivery room Apple had a commercial every ten minutes. In 24 hours of labor, that's 144 commercials. Sticks with you.

I waited two years to get one. I loved the idea that I wouldn't have to carry an phone and an iPod in my pocket from the moment I heard about it. But 8GBs was not enough. So I let them take their time.

But the iPhone went in a different direction. People weren't interested in storing lots of music and video. They wanted fast networks and apps. And that's what later incarnations of the iPhone delivered. And still I waited.

Finally this spring they unveiled the 3.0 software. But no new hardware. Three months later, a 32GB iPhone. That's big enough for me. But Renee wasn't convinced. We had to wait for our TMobile contract to end. We had to wait for me to start a new job. We had to wait until time stopped.

Then Renee realized everything she could do with the internet in her palm. We went from her begrudgingly moving to AT&T to enthusiastically buying two iPhones on a family plan. Yay, progress.

I'm totally digging it. Finding apps for ebay, gmail and NetFlix means 90% of my personal websites I don't need to check on my desktop at work. If Ben doesn't try to grab the shiny object in my hand I can check my mail without leaving him in another room. And once I add twitter I can begin to understand why people use it 175 times a day.

One problem. 32GBs still isn't enough. I need a200GB iPhone.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Writer's Room Tonight!

Surprise!

with:

Matt Ruby (We're All Friends Here)
Alex Grubard (Transcendalist Television)
Jon Clarke (Paranoia Film Festival)
Noah Garfinkel (VH1, MTV)
R.G. Daniels (Sunday Night Standup)
Margie Kment
Sean O'Connor (Sean & Jilly)


hosted by Mike Drucker (Saturday Night Live)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Time: 9:30pm - 10:30pm
Location: The PIT
Street: 154 W. 29th St
City/Town: New York, NY

Monday, August 24, 2009

We Feel Fine

As I've been researching for a digital pitch, I'm coming across some cool, unusual websites. So far the coolest is wefeelfine.org. It'a a real-time emotional barometer of the internet.And that doesn't even begin to do it justice.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Freelancing

I'm starting work at an ad agency again. Partly for the money, partly for the next thing in my career, mostly for the air conditioning. As always when I start a new job, I don't know how much posting time I'll get. So I'll leave you with a Ben extra.



I'll be seeing you soon.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Harrison Ford on Cracked

I have no idea if this is a part of the magazine or just posted but it's the funniest thing I've ever seen associated with the Cracked name.

See?


Best caption:


We don't know for sure what is coming around that corner, but we are 100 percent certain that it is going to take a fucking log to the face.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dana Gould on Real Time

Dana Gould's talking about health care. And when Dana Gould talks about anything, I'm gonna post it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Up Too Much

Someone want to tell me why Ben is going to sleep at 10 and waking up at 6? Those are the hours I slept in high school.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Remembering Bjorn

Our friend Alex Ginsberg drove up to Vermont for Bjorn's memorial service Saturday.
In hindsight, I wish I had gone with him. Here's Alex's thoughts.


Bjorn lived in Woodstock, VT, a beautiful converted farmhouse, down a long, hidden driveway that slopes down off the main road. The house itself is sort of nestled against the embankment leading up the hill to the road, and on the other side is a gorgeous expanse of former farmland, now overgrown in spots, plus a few outbuildings.

The house is filled with the smells of soapmaking, as his wife, Kirsten, runs a soap store in the town of Woodstock and Bjorn was helping out both the manufacture of the soap itself and the store's web interface.

When I arrived, Kirsten and Bjorn's sister (also named Kirsten) and other relatives had arranged artifacts from his life on tables in front of the house. There were books, which, in typical Bjorn fashion, ranged from one esoteric subject to the next. Calculus, Japanese art, etc. There was a little rowboat he made - yeah, made - for his stepchildren. There were paintings he had done, some relatively recent, and other from when he was obviously just a boy. He learned to write his name the Norwegian way: Bjørn. Photos were on display of Bjorn from all periods throughout his too-short life.

Bjorn's maternal uncle, an Adventist minister and former missionary, Leif Lind, led the memorial, reading the 23rd Psalm (The Lord is my Shepherd..) and the shortest verse in the entire bible: "Jesus wept." (can't remember the chapter and verse there.) His mother, Elsa Lind, said, "We are so bereft." And she said something to the effect that she believed in the Second Coming and at that time "I believe I will see Bjorn again."

His father, Doug, told everyone that "Bjorn was my son and my teacher." His sister, Kirsten, talked about how the two of them had only each other during the years they were growing up, in places like Uganda, India and Bangladesh.

Kirsten, his wife, talked about how he loved Vermont, loved the farm and loved working on it. She told a story about one day finding him with stakes in his truck and when she asked him what they were for he said when he walks in the forest he sometimes sees old apple trees that need a little help standing up. Two apple trees were planted there in his memory.

His in-laws spoke as well, and it was clear they grieved for someone who was like a son to them and obviously loved their daughter. In fact, although Bjorn certainly left a great number of people hurting, and hurting very, very badly, there was not a soul present who believed for one minute that he somehow wanted that.

I was not planning to speak, but I was asked to read a note that John had sent by email. This worked out well, because John put together something absolutely perfect, far better than I could have done. I told everyone that besides John and me, there were many, many people back in New York - a chapter of his life that was really a mystery to everyone there - who were thinking of him. Many people came up to me afterward to thank me for sharing my thoughts (I kept telling them they were John's thoughts, but somehow I kept getting the credit). They all said, if you hadn't been here, we would have had no idea of what his time in New York was like.

At the end, doves were set free from cages. They flew off in a big messy mass, then regrouped and buzzed the tower in formation.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Les Paul



Les Paul passed away yesterday at the age of 94.

Les Paul may forever be known as the namesake of the classic electric guitar but he was much more. His jazz records are incredible. Fifty years later most guitarists can't touch them. In teh studio, he made even greater strides. He invented multi-tracking. Multi-tracking! That means if you overdub anything, you owe Les Paul.

I saw Les Paul at the Iridium once and he was still an amazing player. He was also tehw armest performer I've ever seen on stage. Lara Yaz used to work the Iridium and he said he was that great every week. The world will mourn not only the passing of a musical legend but the loss of a shining personality.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bjorn Smith

Johnny just forwarded me this email with sad news.

I am sorry to be writing you with news like this.
> After a long struggle and many attempts to help by those of
> us who loved him Bjorn took his own life last Thursday,
> August 6th. He did it in the most considerate way
> possible to those of us he left behind. His obituary
> has run in the Valley News on Tuesday and in the Vermont
> Standard tomorrow. We will be having a memorial
> service for him at our home on Saturday the 15th at 2:00
> pm....(this is just for your information...I know it would
> be impossible for you to attend).

Long time friends will remember Bjorn. When my Astoria roommate drank up the rent and skipped out, Bjorn stepped in and stayed for the next three years. He was still there when I moved out to live with Renee and kept the place going through 9-11 before returning to Vermont. We'd lost touch after that but Johnny would hear news (they were friends since college) and pass the info along. Unfortunately, that's what he did today.

Bjorn was one of the most fascinating, brilliant men I ever met. He had the widest range of talents I'd ever seen. He had an open mind that was always ready to hear about a new concept or idea. He had a Czechoslovakian heavy metal guitarist ex-brother-in-law who also lived with us and became a great friend.

Sadly, we knew each other at a point in our lives when we rarely slowed down to talk. Or take pictures. I don't have a single one. And I'd really love to see one because I miss him already.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tim Warner in Seattle

Tim has been in Seattle about six months. Looks like since Kurt Cobain's dead, he's the angriest guy there.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Last Week

I didn't post once. I did a block party in Long Island then went straight out to North Carolina for a family thing. I got back Saturday and was still too tired to post.

Here are two things that happened this week:



Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Problem With Flu Shots

They give you a cold. Or if your son gets one, they give him a cold that he gives to you. Two days before a show where I have to sing and three days before I drive cross country.

Does this mean I won't get the flu?

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm Still Not Cool

The show Saturday was fantastic. Back in my hometown playing as well as I ever have. Even the immortal Ron Zabrocki was impressed. After all these years of feeling like an outsider, I finally get to show Rockaway what I can do.

I go to the bar with the drummer and a beautiful redhead turns to him. "Aren't you in the band? You guys are amazing!" Then she looks right at me. And walks away.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Show Tomorrow!


Walker and The Brotherhood of the Grape
Walker in his only Queens appearance this summer
With special guest B.M.W.A
Eddy Joe McCabe on Bass
Brian Senders on Drums
Guitar guru Ron Zabrocki on Lead Guitars
and Jon "kid "Clarke on guitar

one night only ....pull up in your boat
Saturday Night July 25th 2009 @ The Wharf '
416 Beach 116th street
Rockaway Beach N.Y. 11694
Showtime 9:30 P.M.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sideshow Crystal Skull Indiana Jones

I'm not at the San Diego Comicon this year. Last year was so big I'm good for awhile. But I am scouring the internet for news. And today I found this:



Yep. Indy comes with the fridge.

Thanks to Cool Toy Review for the picture.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dad Retraction

Dad has some changes for my post about him Monday.

1. We will not mention his colostomy bag ever again.
2. He did not go on for three hours about Reagan. He went on for three hours about faith vs. quantifiable sciences and used Reagan as an example.

Hope that makes things clearer.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Walter Cronkite



I'm saddened at the news that Walter Cronkite passed away this weekend at the age of 91. Partially because he was legend in news at a time when you didn't need to scream or terrify your audience. And partially because I met him once. And he was awesome.

It was back when I worked at the Museum of Television and Radio (now the Paley Museum). The Museum was a weigh station for my career. I had finished up at Art Asylum and had another six months before I broke into advertising. I spent those months trying my hand at stand-up, writing sketches and watching a lot of old television programs. I wasn't doing much but I felt I was better than what I was doing. I'm sure you feel the same.

The Museum held an honorarium for Cronkite and I was selected to work late. These things were never as good as you hoped. Every now and then I'd get to talk to the cast of Spin City or warn Matthew Modine about the fire exits but mostly I'd stand on an empty floor and tell people not to get off the elevator there.

This time it was a wine and cheese event outside the main theater. Which meant the members (mostly transients) would rush the table and fill their aluminum foil-lined pockets with cheese. My then girfriend was working the table and I kept my focus on her. I thought she might lose a finger.

Just then I heard a booming voice. "Young man, you're standing in front of the most important door in the building." It was Cronkite. He was standing right in front of me. I was barring his entrance into the men's room.

I had to say something. Usually when I meet a celebrity I admire I'm dumbstruck. When I almost ran Joss Whedon over with Ben's stroller, we both shrugged. When I met Bruce Campbell, Renee did all the talking. When I saw Michael J. Fox, I got out of his way. But I had to respond.

"Sorry Mr. Cronkite. Out of all the possible places I had to stand, I picked the worst." I stepped to the left.

"HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!" Cronkite bellowed as the door closed behind him. I had killed with Cronkite. He'd had a few scotches but that wasn't much different than the crowds I'd work in the Improv seven years later. I'd connected with him. For that moment, I was on his level.

The world will remember his tears at the news of Kennedy's death. But I'll always remember his laughter in a basement in Midtown.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dad Update


I hadn't said much about Dad since I was waiting to get a good handle on the situation. Unfortunately, the situation changed every day.

A couple of weeks ago, he went into the hospital to have his colostomy bag removed. We all assumed it would be a simple procedure and he'd be home the next day. It turned out to take five hours and the doctors didn't like what they found in there. So they removed sections of his digestive tract. His stay extended at least a week. I visited him and he was in great spirits. Talked my ear off about Reagan for three hours.

Then he got a staph infection. An MRSA infection which is the most persistent. No one thinks it life threatening but his recovery rate is all over the place. Fortunately they sent him home this week. Considering what he's gone through in the last five years, he's sailing through this one. And he'll never admit it, but he's glad to know you're thinking of him.

If you want to know more details, check out my sister's blog.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hot Toys Michael Jackson

Unlike everyone else, I don't have much to say about Michael Jackson. Joe Franzem put it best: "He was a guy that made one great album then went crazy." There was so much damn crazy that I pulled farther and farther back. I haven't paid attention to the media circus which followed.

But I did pay attention when Hot Toys announced this:




You might think this opportunistic but these figures take at least a year to develop. Seven Japanese designers didn't know he would die. But man, that zombie Michael is going to make people lose their shit.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Raiders: the Adaptation

I've been reading about this thing for years and this is the closest I've ever come to seeing it. Three high school students spent a decade remaking "Raiders of the Lost Ark" shot for shot.




What do I have to do to get them to put it online? Hell, I'd buy a dvd if Lucas would let them.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Bicycle Thief

Who steals a bike with a baby seat?

I needed strap locks for the Rickenbacker (at this price I'm not looking forward to dropping it) so I strapped Ben in the bike seat and rode out to Guitar Center. Drucker called as we left so we stopped by his place first.

There was an odd energy on Northern Boulevard. First the guy at the gas station wouldn't break a dollar to fill the tires with air. He wouldn't make eye contact either. Ben got one hit of Best Buy's central air and ran for half an hour. No one bought anything. He was so wired he wouldn't get back in the bike so we left it locked up at Best Buy. Mistake.

The repesentative at Guitar Center holds the chain's record for the prettiest and knowing the least about her product. They balanced each other perfectly. I couldn't get mad at her. See? Attractive people are treated differently. The drum and keyboard departments sent Ben into overdrive so when we left he made a beeline for Chuck E. Cheese. Drucker was in the mood for terrible pizza so we followed him in.

Chuck E. Cheese is like Atlantic City for kids. It wants to be Vegas but it's trying too hard. It goes beyond letting kids get their energy out and feeds upon it. No matter how crazy they get, it's not enough for Chuck E. The robot mouse also had a broken wrist. Looked like Luke at the end of "The Empire Strikes Back" and creeped us the hell out.

We got back and there was no bike. None. No broken lock, no slivers of metal. It was just gone. The area was so clean I thought the Best Buy employees must have moved it. But how would they move a bike with a combination lock? Somebody stole it. Somebody stole a bike with a baby seat and a tiny baby helmet on it.

The last time I had a bike stolen I was riding it. I was in the seventh grade on the way to being an altar boy at St. Camillus and a kid kicked it out from under me. Yes, my bikes are stolen when I'm being ridiculously good.

I must be an adult now because I'm not nearly as upset. I'm just disappointed. Renee was a lot more upset. She wanted to go over the crime scene. She wanted to make a report. I just wish I put the baby seat on the shittier bike.

What goes through the mind of a thief who steals a bike with baby seat? Doesn't the little helmet give them pause? Shouldn't that strike a moment of clarity where the offender puts the bolt cutters back and reexamines his life? Apparantly not. My one consolation is I am postive that a guy who starts out stealing a bike from a parent and toddler ends up shot in a drug deal gone wrong. Go karma.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Big Weekend

There was more to do in the last two days than I thought.

Friday night I found an ad on craigslist for a Rickenbacker 12 string guitar. I've alwasy wanted one of these but they were out of my price range. And when my incoem raised my price range, Rickenbacker raised their prices. The last new guitar I played was $3000. I wasn't going to buy one. But somebody on craigslist was selling his for afair price. fair even for 1989. I had to email him. Then beg Renee for the money.

Saturday morning I got a response. He still had it and if I went out to Jersey I could have it. I drove the hour and a half out there and it was even more beautiful than I imagined. The guy was great as well. Turns out he bought it for a Beatles cover band but since they broke up hadn't touched it. It was the best of both worlds; brand new condition but played enough for the wood to breathe. It was no question.

Took me three hours to get back into the city. Thanks to my Prius GPS which decided it would be a good idea to take the Holland Tunnel at 5 in the afternoon. It shows such a zoomed in map that I didn't know where I was until too late. The GPS is not my friend.

I got to Howard Beach about 7 to play with Walker at a party. The other guys were set up already so I hauled my guitars (now plural) and amp in and plugged in as quickly as possible.

The sets went great. I'm finally starting to understand my new rig so I take more chances with it. I couldn't help myself so I pulled out the Rickenbacker on a few songs. Everyone was impressed but none more than me. It's not the most versatile instrument but if you want 1965 (or Rattle and Hum) it nails that sound.

The party was great too. I saw friends I hadn't seen in ten years. It poured by the end and the band was huddled under a tent but it was still worth it.

Yesterday I went to Long Island to practice with Matt. He's booked us for his block party in August and we added five songs I can't remember the lyrics to. I had everything with me so I played the Rickenbacker there too. It took me an hour and a hlf to get back. Damn you non traffic predicting GPS.

I got home for enough time to eat and go to Jeff Sussman and Jay Nog's show at Joe Franklin's. It was the first spot I had on someone else's show in about a year and it was the best set I've had all year. Felt like a comic again. I checked out another show a couple of blocks away before I went home to mosquito interrupted sleep. I have no pictures of any of this because I'm a guy.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Rap Week 5: Ghostbusters

Screw it, we're ending with "Ghostbusters". Partially because you want to see it again. And partially because you need to be reminded that as good as the movie is, the video is just as terrible. They didn't even put this on the blu-ray.



Nothing says comedy blockbuster like neon. And a slightly amused pop star. Ray Parker Jr. kinda likes his own song but he's not excited about it. Either that or he's watching teh movie at 3 in the afternoon on a Sunday. It's good but soemthing else might be on another channel.

The cameos make no sense. Sure, John Candy was originally offered the Rick Moranis role but Meillsa Gilbert was offered nothing. Danny de Vito? Was this your bid to get out of Taxi? And Carly Simon must just have been hanging around the studio that day.

If you look closely you can almost see Chevy Chase realizing this movie is burying his career. Maybe you should have been nicer to your SNL co-stars, Chevy. Or anyone else.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Rap Week 4: Oran "Juice" Jones

Walker would kill me if I didn't include "Walking in the Rain". The wonderful video has embedding disabled but here's one at a faster tempo.



I still don't know what the hell is going on with this. At first it's a really shitty El DeBarge rip. But then Oran abandons the song to humiliate his girl. And he NEVER GETS BACK TO THE SONG!

BTW, posting this song was a HUGE pain in the ass. At least 12 youtube versions have emedding disabled by request. I found a live version that suddenly disappeared. Way to let less people access your catalog, Universal Music Group.

So to reward us all, heres Oran's bonus track, "Shaniqua". It may be even better.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Rap Week 3: Your Mom's in my Business

Ah, K-Solo. The dumpiest rap star in the free world. That denim jacket ain't making him any tougher. And his arch enemies are a suburban housewife and endless repetition.



At the time I thought this was the dumbest rap song I've ever heard. At the time, I was right.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Rap Week 2: Yo Mama's on Crack Rock

Wait a minute! I know more awful rap songs! This one's not so bad until you get to teh chorus. The rapping and the samples are decent but there's something so nasty about little girls taunting that your mother is an addict.



I think I only saw this video once when it aired but my friends and I said "My mama don't do that no more" for about six months.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Rap Week 1: Funk Dat

Pat Driscoll reminds me of what could be the worst song ever recorded. Five years after "Fight the Power", Sagat complains about nothing. Take that, homeless!



The kid in this video must be mortified today.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Cacophony of Transcendence

Here's a series of three shorts I made for Alex and Dan's show, Transcendentalist Television. The idea was that each video would be only joke long. Interesting concept and it worked pretty well when we showed these at the Yippee museum a few months ago. I directed all three and wrote the last two.

1:


2:


3:

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Raiders of the Lost Ark Story Conference


I want to blow the internet.

I was listening to a podcast with Greg Rucka and he mentioned he found a transcript of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Lawrence Kasdan planning the script for "Raiders of the Lost Ark". Which means there's information on "Raiders" I don't already know. This is a big deal.

The document is an even bigger deal. I'm only ten pages in and I'm fascinated. Right off the bat you get to know how formed the idea was in George's head and what Steven added to it. Kasdan mostly listens but pitches in some great ideas which made it to the final film. It seems clear the reason the other three sequels weren't as good as "Raiders" was because Kasdan didn't write them.

There's a great article about the whole thing and a downloadable pdf here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Worst Comedian Ever

Sometimes when I see how successful some of my friends have become, I feel like I'm not really a comedian. Then Bryan Murphy makes me feel better by sending this.



It's probably from the 80's comedy boom but I like to think he made this clip last month. It just makes his references and beret worse.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Ben!




He's two now. Which means he's just learning how to be a jerk. We already know how to love him anyway.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tom Petty on "It's Garry Shandling's Show"

Funny how the smallest things can have the biggest effect on you. In high school, I really loved "It's Garry Shandling's Show". The surreal way the show broke the fourth wall appealed to me. Especially the awkward way Garry would sneak on a musical guest. Tom Petty was a regular (the two are friends in real life) and this performance of "The Waiting" is my favorite.



After this, I really wanted a 12 string.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Writer's Room Tomorrow!

Surprise!

with:

Claudia Cogan (VH1)
Andrea Grimes (direct from Texas)
Jamie Kilstein (Writers Room)
Adam Newman (College Humor)
Morgan Venticinque (Late Night With Jimmy Fallon)


Tuesday, June 22, 2009
Time: 9:30pm - 10:30pm
Location: The PIT
Street: 154 W. 29th St
City/Town: New York, NY

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!



Ben didn't want to participate. My dad did. More proof to the theory that Father's day really isn't about me.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Father's Day Gig!

Renee asked what I wanted to do for Father's Day. There's nothing I'd rather do than play guitar so I'm doing this show:

Time Out N.Y./Rockaway Artist Summer Solstice show
The R.A.A. building 6 and 7
Rockaway Beach N.Y.
6:00 p.m Sunday June 21st 2009
Free!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ghostbusters 25th Anniversary


Apparantly it's national Ghostbusters day.

The movie comes out on Blu-Ray today along with the new video game that's getting such great reviews I might have to buy a video game. The complete animated series has been out for a while on Timelife.com and now they've broken out the first season. Mattel will be releasing the first 6 inch action figure (of Harold Ramis) at SDCC and then it will be available online.

But the big news is that the third film is looking a lot more likely. I'm like most of you in the knowledge that the second film was so terrible I never needed to see another (much like the despised Men in Black 2). But hearing Bill Murray actually enthusiastic is doing the same to me. I guess there's only so many quirky indy movies you can make before you want a paycheck again.

It keeps popping up on cable now and as much as I always liked it I realize now it's perfect. It's the only big budget comedy not to be overwhelmed by its effects. The threat is real and the characters light, which is my favorite type of movie. And man if that first class of SNL/ SCTV wasn't still at their peak in this film.

I haven't seen a relaunch this big since Indiana Jones. But he never had video submissions.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Futurama Lives!



Apparantly the four movies did well since Comedy Central just ordered 26 more episodes. No news on whether they'll be dvds before they air like this last set.

You may wonder, "Why Comedy Central and not FOX? Didn't Comedy Central say they couldn't afford the production costs?" To you I say shut the hell up. We're getting more Futurama. Isn't that enough for you?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Rockstock Today!



I'm hosting all day today. I have no material. What will happen?

The 3rd Annual Rockstock & Barrels is kicking off Saturday, June 13th at Beach 90st boardwalk in East Rockaway Beach(Rain Date Sunday June 14th) at noon. Come enjoy the sun, live music, giveaways, Eastern Surfer Association Comp, and Rockaway's ocean side skate park.

The after party is @ The Tap and Grill, 98st and Rockaway Beach Blvd, $1 hot dogs/ $2 burgers/ and $3 bottle bud/bud lights from 6 till 7 pm- No Cover!

From Manhattan; A train to Far Rockaway, Broad Channel stop, take shuttle train to Beach 90st, walk to the boardwalk.

Walker is playing Radio City Music Hall tonight as well if you want to follow him there.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jam

Matt brought a new drummer to the jam last night.

I need to keep the Marshall. Maybe even get a bigger one.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

New iPhone

About freaking time.

I've been waiting two years for an iphone with decent memory. 32GBs is a number I can live with. The new apps all sound awesome but since I have yet to get any kind of smartphone they're all gravy to me.

Now let's get to work on dropping that data plan price, shall we?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Traveling Wilburys

Admit it. You forgot how good this record was.



Chickenfoot ain't gonna match this.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Rainbow in the Dark

This is the silliest song I've ever heard.



It has so many reasons to embrace its craziness. The title alone is the pinnacle of early 80's metal with too much symbolism for its own good. The keyboardist (who is not allowed on stage) is the loudest thing in the whole song. And when Dio talks to the audience he sounds like a magician. And yet, I've had this song stuck in my head for the past 26 years.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Vox AC15



I mentioned before I bought a new amp for my birthday gig. What I didn't mention is that I fell in love with it.

All I was thinking was that I needed a tube combo for the show. My main Marshall would blow the doors off the place. Once I had cancelled a few Hot Toys 12" figures (easy at $150 a pop) I had the money. And since my birthday usually falls on Memorial Day weekend, I was able to take advantage of a huge sale the day before. I thought a Vox might be cute. After all, the Beatles played them. Elvis Costello plays them. Tom Petty plays them. U2 plays them. That's enough heroes to give me confidence.

Now it's been two weeks and I can't stop playing it. I usually leave my Marshall off and play through my digital recirded. That way I can get a decent sound at a background level. But the Vox is infectious. It's all I can do to not plug in a guitar during Ben's nap.

The sound is undeniably British. Clean and loud it's any Beatles song through Revolver. With a little dirt it's pure Heartbreakers. Distorted and with the built in tremolo, it's those EC songs I could never figure out. It's not going to get that big stadium 'whomp' of the Marshall. That's why I'm keeping the Marhsall.

Here's what truly amazes me. I grew up in the days of 100 Watt stacks that were bigger than you. I own a 50 watt Marshall at what I beleived was a good comprimise. Once my lead guitarist dissuaded me from buying a 30 watt Marshall because he said it wouldn't be "loud enough". The Vox? 15 watts.

I didn't know 15 watts could power a bedroom much less cut it with a drummer. At home I can't turn it above '4'. It's a good thing I didn't get the more popular VOX AC30. That would blow me out of the room. In this day and age I don't know why anyone would need a giant stack of amplifiers. Want yes, but need? Not really.

It's not totally perfect. I never liked the look of the Vox. Look at that grill. It's like your grandma crocheted an amp for you. That footswitch is worthless. It's flimsy and only controls the tremolo and reverb. You can't switch from a clean to a heavy sound. I had to change the reverb tank because the echo just kept going and going and going and going. And even at 15 watts the damn thing weighs 50 pounds. I'm gonna need some wheels on it.

But I'm amazed. What I considered to an underpowered practice amp can now be my number one gigging amp (unless I'm playing a huge room with their own speaker cabinets). And it makes me want to get more gigs.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Toy Story 3

Amazing how far cg animation has come since 1995. And yet PIXAR can make the designs line up completely.



There was a time when Disney was going to do this without PIXAR. Thank God that didn't happen.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Action Guitars

While I was at the last Clarke family wedding I learned my cousin Gerg was a guitar tech. In his words, "I'm a lousy player but a great tech."

He's been a real help as I've been changing all my gear. Now he sends over the website of his shop, Action Guitars in Virginia. Looks like they maintain the high standards that he does. There's an amazing selection of vintage instruments on the site.

What's the family discount on a Rickenbacker, Greg? ;)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ferris Beuller on Blu-Ray


I haven't written for figures.com in a while but they asked if I would want Ferris Bueller's Day Off on Blu-Ray. Who wouldn't? So I wrote them a review.

And here it is.