Sunday, April 30, 2006

Colbert at White House Correspondents Dinner

In Editor & Publisher's version of events, the president is not amused.
Among attendees at the black tie event: Morgan Fairchild, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Justice Antonin Scalia, George Clooney, and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter of the Doobie Brothers--in a kilt.

Christa and I watched it online (click here for a growing list of links to the video), and it's clear at points that the majority of the crowd is not amused. At times, he's kinda bombing. A fearless performance, nonetheless. But watching the video's a little uncomfortable, like Stewart's airsuckingly awkward confrontation with Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson on CrossFire.

Still, CrossFire was cancelled just a few weeks after that video blazed across the internets.

One can dream.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ahoy Mateys! It's Captain Springsteen!

Okay, so Bruce Springsteen recorded an album of Pete Seeger covers. I knew that was coming.

Today, KFOG started playing cuts from the new CD.

This may very well be the biggest shift in the format since competition from the brief all-80's all-the-time formats circa 2000-2001 had Howard Jones, Madness, and Men at Work enter their playlist for the very first time (KFOG didn't play these guys in the 80s).

But with this new Springsteen album, AAA radio may never be the same.

It's not a mighty wind that's a blowin'. And I can't guarantee that "Old Dan Tucker" or "Froggie Went a Courtin'" are gonna bump Coldplay from the air.
Still, today I heard something I heretofore could not have imagined on commercial radio: a Sea chantey.

I thought I heard the captain say,
Pay me my money down,
"Tomorrow is our sailing day."
Pay me my money down.

Sure, it's a little faster than you'd sing it while working the capstan, or hoisting the mainsail, and likely 19th century sailors didn't have the sound of cajun fiddle and Nawlins funeral horns and dixieland banjo to cheer them on. Springsteen's new roots band gives this rollicking song a ride, complete with two accordion solos (the first of which kicks the sea chantey into a tex-mex polka).

The music video gives me the idea that the whole album was conceived after a couple of bottles of moonshine got passed around at one of the Boss's jam sessions. It will be everywhere on the Internets soon. You can check it out at YouTube, Country music Television, or even Barnes and Noble: link

Actually, I prefer Dan Zanes' version, but Zanes isnt' reinventing AAA radio.

I'll never hear KFOG's foghorn the same way again.

You know how you stumble across someone online, say, for example, via Cody's Books upcoming calendar of featured authors, and you suddenly realize you know that person in a totally different context?

For a long time, I only knew Miriam as a regular at Chris's annual film clip party. Last year, for the first time, at the clip party I discovered she was a cartoonist... and then I figured out that I'd actually read her comics for a while (she provided a regular comics feature, "Planet501c3," for CompassPoint nonprofit services).

Her new memoir-in-graphic novel form, Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person, is now out from Harper Collins.

Local booksignings here, including Cody's on 4th Street Saturday May 13.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Only in San Francisco

Originally uploaded by DrBrian.
I don't know who organized "Bring Your Own Big Wheel," but looking at the 450+ pictures on Flickr of these grownups racing down Lombard Street, many of whom wore bunny costumes, I have to say it sounds like a lot of fun. In theory. Looks like the rain made the bricks fairly slick.

Liam wants to know why there are no kids in these pictures.

And why people are racing down Lombard Street in big wheels.

Check out all photos here.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

My waning passion for Cheetos

I love my Cheetos. But someone has come between us. Someone I don't want to share my Cheetos with.

(Please scroll down to ingest all the Cheetos art.)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Five suggested Flickr tags

This is funny even if you don't understand what Flickr is, or what tags are. The snark comes through anyway:
Five Suggested Flickr Tags:
  1. “Rows Of Seated White Men Typing At Conferences”
  2. “My Underlit Dessert With One Bite Missing”
  3. “My Defenseless Child In A Funny Shirt I Made Him Wear”
  4. “Attractive Man In His Twenties Playing An Electric Guitar”
  5. “The Photo From This ‘Impromptu’ Self Portrait Series That Suggests I Don’t Have A Dewlap”
Need an explanation? Visit the comments.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Video: Jann Pehechaan Ho

The swinging number featured under the opening credits of GHOST WORLD, minus the cutaways to Thora Birch. From the 1965 Bollywood film "Gumnaam."

[via Apollo Pony]

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Rob Corddry Hates You

Last week on the Daily Show, Rob Corddry presented a fast-moving list of all the people he, as a racist, hates. An intrepid blogger took the time to transcribe, frame by frame, what was on the list, including:

Penobscot Indian
TiVo List Pauser
NPR Listener
Sue Grafton
Seriously Stop Pausing This
What do you think this is Lost?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Is Iran next?

Looks like Iran's next. The following excerpt is Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker :

One former defense official, who still deals with sensitive issues for the Bush Administration, told me that the military planning was premised on a belief that “a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government.” He added, “I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, ‘What are they smoking?’ ”

The rationale for regime change was articulated in early March by Patrick Clawson, an Iran expert who is the deputy director for research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and who has been a supporter of President Bush. “So long as Iran has an Islamic republic, it will have a nuclear-weapons program, at least clandestinely,” Clawson told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 2nd. “The key issue, therefore, is: How long will the present Iranian regime last?”

When I spoke to Clawson, he emphasized that “this Administration is putting a lot of effort into diplomacy.” However, he added, Iran had no choice other than to accede to America’s demands or face a military attack. [Emphasis mine. d.n.] Clawson said that he fears that Ahmadinejad “sees the West as wimps and thinks we will eventually cave in. We have to be ready to deal with Iran if the crisis escalates.” Clawson said that he would prefer to rely on sabotage and other clandestine activities, such as “industrial accidents.” But, he said, it would be prudent to prepare for a wider war, “given the way the Iranians are acting. This is not like planning to invade Quebec.”

Sunday, April 09, 2006

People I Know: Mortality

Dave Huth's contribution to Videoblogging Week 2006 was a seven-part meditation on death and mortality, pieced together from interviews with friends and neighbors.

After seeing the first part, I decided to wait and watch the entire series in one setting, which is either a good idea or bad idea, depending on your point of view.

Huth was able to put his subjects at incredible ease--and their unguardedness is key to the emotional honesty of the series. But on top of that his intercutting of the various recollections and reflections is, in a word, masterful, with a sense for breathing and pauses that brings to mind some of the best moments on This American Life.

By the brief coda to Part 7 I was sobbing, and I needed to be with my loved ones.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Frist's Southern Hospitality

Bill Frist's latest fundraiser invitation invites you to unbuckle a cowboy's pants and...

Er. Somehow that doesn't sound like the effect they were going for.

Friday, April 07, 2006

What I brought Liam from my trip

Sanrio's answer to Thomas the Tank Engine.

In paradise, a hard landscape

Honolulu is so very very ... paved. Small wonder a recent failure of piping and a pump led to uncontrolled sewage outflow and fecal coliform contamination of the entire Waikiki hotel district for the past week. Somehow an umbrella drink at sunset just isn't quite enough to satisfy.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Video: Gum

Canadian filmmaker Lukas Blakk kicks off Videoblogging Week 2006 with a static medium CU of himself... well... no easy way to say it: chewing gum.

For a long time.

1960s German New Wave Cinema long. Steve Martin pouring the coffee grounds long.

Your mileage may vary, but I thought it was awesome.
(Minutes later I'm still laughing.)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Chevy's 'Make Your Own Tahoe Commercial' idea not exactly going as planned

A co-branded contest by Chevy and The Apprentice in which users can create their own commercials for the Tahoe SUV. So of course the snarky users add their own anti-SUV text...

That whole user-centric Web 2.0 will so sneak up and bite you in the ass.

Condi's UK Mess

AFP collects what must be the most comprehensive tally of missteps and misfortunes that turned Secretary Rice's trip to Jack Straw's hometown of Blackburn into a "public relations nightmare."

I'd seen several of these in separate press mentions, but man. Just not her week.