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andee's world: September 2007

andee's world

Hello and welcome to my blog. This space will be devoted to opinions, observations, lists, articles and whatever else I feel like posting. Subjects will include music, human nature, politics, life in NYC, etc. If I paste someone else's writing up here, it is because the author said something way better than I ever could. By the way, I don't claim to be a particularly smart guy; I'm just a musician with some opinions. If you disagree with me, that's cool -- but then, you're probably wrong.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I Thought This Kind of Thing Only Happened In Cartoons

Absolutely mind-boggling Honda ad -- apparently no computer trickery was used. Click the headline for fun.

(thanks Dad!)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Why I Love New York, pt 4

What's more "New York" than heading out to Coney Island on a crisp, early autumn night to take in The Miss Coney Island Burlesque Beauty Pageant with a roomful of rowdy revelers? Nothing, I tell you, nothing!

The last time I went to this event was waaay back in 2003. The incredible Insectovora won the crown that year, and for good reason -- her act was so outrageous, I can't even describe it here. All the performers were great, but the overall ambience of the event was just as much a part of the fun, from the PBR-swilling MC in the cheesy leisure suit to the surf band to the guy in the gorilla suit.

So this year I took Julie (who just moved here from Berlin) thinking it would be a suitable initiation to Brooklyn. This year's crop of contestants was just as bawdy and hilarious as ever. Mermaid get-ups, huge wigs, nautical drag. Raunchy songs, striptease numbers, audience-baiting. Wholesome fun!

The crowd, packed into bleacher seats, slung down Coronas and hooted and howled for the flawed beauties. Each contestant obviously had her contingent of supporters, but the audience loudly supported all.

Buxom NYC burlesque veteran Jessica Rabbit was on the bill, as was Nasty Canasta, who I used to work with when I dj-ed Friday nights at Galapagos. I voted for Nasty, but in the end, the crown went to a gal named Serpentina (brandishing a live snake). But hey, all the girls were winners!

I heart The Miss Coney Island Burlesque Beauty Pageant!

Ok, unfortunately, I have to add a "Why I Hate New York" appendix to this story.

After the show, me n' Julie decided to get a couple beers for hour-long ride home on the F. We got on the train and, about 15 minutes into the journey, a fucking cop walked into our car and busted us for open container.

Just for a little perspective, there was a guy pissing all over the floor in the next car over. Stood up, unzipped and just let loose. He cleared the room fast. So we high-tailed to the next car with all the other fleeing passengers.

So there we are, little old harmless Julie and me, sipping our beers quietly and causing no trouble to anyone or anything -- and the law came down.

Some guy is showering the adjacent car in pee-wee, but Julie and I are the menace-to-society this cop decides to deal with on his Friday night shift in East Brooklyn?

The doucheag, I mean, fearless gendarme, made us get off the train at the Avenue N stop and wait for an eternity on the platform while he processed our offences. Julie was disgusted -- in Berlin, drinking on the street and in the subways is perfectly legal. What's the harm in it?

But there ya go, one of New York's tight-assed hang-ups.

I fucking hate cops.

But that's for another blog.

Long live Coney Island and the Burlesque Beauty Pageant! And may New York's next mayor declare public drinking a legal -- even encouraged -- activity!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Pitchfork Gives Music 6.8 (Onion Article)

(thanks Ler...)

Pitchfork Gives Music 6.8

CHICAGO—Music, a mode of creative expression consisting of sound and silence expressed through time, was given a 6.8 out of 10 rating in an review published Monday on Pitchfork Media, a well-known music-criticism website.

According to the review, authored by Pitchfork editor in chief Ryan Schreiber, the popular medium that predates the written word shows promise but nonetheless "leaves the listener wanting more."

"Music's first offering, an eclectic, disparate, but mostly functional compendium of influences from 5000 B.C. to present day, hints that this trend's time may not only have fully arrived, but is already on the wane," Schreiber wrote. "If music has any chance of keeping our interest, it's going to have to move beyond the same palatable but predictable notes, meters, melodies, tonalities, atonalities, timbres, and harmonies."

Schreiber's semi-favorable review, which begins in earnest after a six-paragraph preamble comprising a long list of baroquely rendered, seemingly unrelated anecdotes peppered with obscure references, summarizes music as a "solid but uninspired effort."

"Coming in at an exhausting 7,000 years long, music is weighed down by a few too many mid- tempo tunes, most notably 'Liebesträume No. 3 in A flat' by Franz Liszt and 'Closing Time' by '90s alt-rock group Semisonic," Schreiber wrote. "In the end, though music can be brilliant at times, the whole medium comes off as derivative of Pavement."

While Schreiber concedes that music is still "trying to find its aesthetic," he also claims the form has not yet lived up to the lavish praise heaped on it by pop culture journalist Chuck Klosterman and 19th-century French romantic composer and critic Hector Berlioz, among others.

Schreiber concludes his critique by calling on music to develop a more cohesive sound in its future releases.

"We can only hope that [music] will begin to grow with its fans over the next few millennia," Schreiber said. "If it can stick to what it does well, namely the song 'Peg' by Steely Dan, and Tuvan throat singing, then a sophomore effort will indeed be something to get excited about."

The review has split the music community, with many decrying Pitchfork's lukewarm reception of music as a contrarian move designed to propel the publication's tastemaker status.

"It's elitism for the sake of elitism," said Rolling Stone senior editor David Fricke, who refuted Pitchfork's middling rating, describing the entire art form as "transcendent." "I've been listening to music for over 30 years, and it's consistently some of the best stuff out there."

Despite music's defenders, the Pitchfork review has made a deep impression on the thousands of music fans who slavishly follow the website's advice when it comes to enjoying things.

"Music used to be great, but let's be honest, it's a 6.8 now at best," said Los Angeles resident Lowell Radler, 23, who admitted that he just looked at the rating rather than reading the whole review. "I seriously might never listen to music again."

Still, most analysts agreed that the impact of Pitchfork's scathing review of music will be dampened by the 2.4 rating it received from Pitchfork staff writer Dave Maher just moments after the initial critique was published online. Maher termed Schreiber's assessment of music "overwrought, masturbatory posturing intended to make insecure hipsters feel as if they're part of some imagined elite beau monde."

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Happy Birthday

This blog is three years old. Click the headline to read the first post.