Wassup Rockers


Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the TV category.

Some Words and Images.

Went to see Gary Shteyngart read for his new novel, Super Sad True Love Story at Greenlight Bookstore. This involved me getting on the A and going express three stations past the stop I needed in order to reach the store, and barely making it on time, so that it was so mo’fucking crowded (Gary’s a rock star, don’tcha know!) that I basically didn’t even look for a spot to sit and listen. I just walked around the store instead, which was great because it was my first time at the store and I’d been curious about it. Really enjoyed the space, it’s very welcoming and bright.

In regard to the reading: I don’t know why, but I felt a bit iffy about the story at first, because it involved not only Koreans, but Korean Stuyvesant alumni, which I know a thing or two about. Okay, I went to Bronx Science, and I silently wept to myself wishing some really funny writer dude would share a few kind words about Bronx Science. Except the culture at Stuy and Bronx Science is basically the same, so it’s not that big a deal. Plus, my brother went to Stuy!

(He saw the second plane crash.)

Anyway, Shteyngart did win me over with his humor. Except not enough for me to buy a copy, though I’d like to point out it’s because I can’t afford it. I’m currently #246 on the queue to receive a copy from the library. Shouldn’t take me too long. I think for The Yiddish Policemen’s Union I was in the 500s when I first joined the line, so I’m not too bothered about my place on this line.

On my way home I listened to a recent interview of him with Leonard Lopate and, combined with the reading tonight, the more I’m convinced that Super Sad True Love Story is like a bastard Russian Jewish cousin of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. It’s not just that both authors are immigrants. Ethnicity plays a huge role in the books, and there’s a strong speculative aspect to them, though the approach is different: Shteyngart’s novel is set in the future, whereas Díaz’s Oscar is a huge fucking nerd in love with sci-fi/fantasy. Also, there are significant female voices, and when Lopate asks Shteyngart about it, he says the same thing I heart Díaz say at readings: he tried it because he’d never really done it before. What with the recent Kakutani stamp of approval, could the Pulitzer be next?!?!

Hopefully I’ll get a copy soon and find out for you. Then again, you might as well find out for yourself if my theory flies.

I haven’t had much time on Racialicious lately and was pointed to this post that came out a week or so ago. I saw the title and for some reason the first title that came to mind was Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow (Kiffe kiffe demain), except as I read I learned they were focusing on a rising American trend, whereas Kiffe is about French Muslim girl. The book the post mentions actually sounds really cool because it fills in these complexities and diversity that exist within the Muslim communities in America. I only wish they’d given even more examples of this trend. Kiffe is not, by the way, an urban book. It’s set in the French suburbs. I must clarify, however, that the French suburban life is actually equivalent to inner-city American life. It’s where the lower-class ethnic minorities find themselves stuck… I’m not explaining this right, but if you want to get an example of what life in the French suburbs is like, I most definitely recommend La haine Anyway, I haven’t read Kiffe but I figure if it was good enough to be translated, maybe it’s worth checking out and should provide an interesting counterpoint to this rising trend of urban Muslim fiction.

Been watching some good TV. Obviously Mad Men has started again, but plenty a column inch has been devoted to the damn show and what else could I say? It’s brilliant, it’s brilliant, etc!

I do want to endorse Louie, Louis C.K.’s show. He’s been around a long time and he’s already got a built-in audience. If you aren’t his fan, please do check it out! It’s only half an hour a week and it’s this weird combo of great, funny, sometimes foul standup, bookending two sketch pieces. Except all the sketch pieces feature stories about C.K., or more specifically, a fictionalized version of C.K., and they’re goofy and uproarious and silly and yet sometimes they’re poignant and often incredibly intelligent. It’s low-budget and yet they do so much in the span of, what, 23 minutes? Its rhythm is so different to most of (all?) the stuff on TV right now.

It’s actually thrilling to watch.

The other show I’ve been enjoying is Huge, which is just a really well-written teen drama that happens to be set in a summer camp for overweight kids, which means that it features a lot of fat actors. And they’re great! I love the characters: as in real life there’s no clear antagonists and everyone has flaws as well as redeeming qualities, and unlike a lot of kids’ shows, the adults are as wonderfully rendered as the kids. Yes, Skins, I’m talking about you. It’s not cynical, and yet, it isn’t sappy either.

I’ve been keeping up with a couple of British panel shows. First is Mock the Week. As I’ve mentioned previously I have a soft spot for Frankie Boyle, and I’ve had a hard time with the show since he left it. I get particularly annoyed when someone lame is seated to Hugh Dennis’s right; it leads me to grumble that the guest is not worth sitting in “Frankie’s seat.” His absence has led to a lack of balance among the three team leaders. It would be cool if we could just get another regular, and not one who will mimic Frankie’s role as a fucking rabblerouser but will have a good rapport with the rest of the group. In fact, I’d argue that Russell Howard has try to fill Frankie’s shoes, but it’s hard to take him seriously. And this is coming from someone who likes Russell Howard.

The show itself has gotten such a reputation amongst comedians, notably Jo Brand and Rhod Gilbert, that it seems like a lot have given up on being on it because they think it’s too much work and stress with no guarantee they’ll get a favorable edit. And then there are those, like Mark Watson, who haven’t been invited back even though they’ve been good and likeable guests, if not always at the top of their game. Mind you, there might be plenty of guests who want to be on it and get good exposure, but their schedules may not leave openings for TV appearances. That really limits the number of guests who show up and not all of them are very good at jumping in on a show where the regulars have such a set dynamic amongst one another. Either way, if it doesn’t get consistently good during the rest of the season, I’m gonna jump ship.

It’s just as well because there are better panel shows out there. Such as Would I Lie To You?, which just started up its fourth season. They tend to get decent guests, not necessarily comedians. It’s pretty breezy and light-hearted, not least because the team leaders are great. It’s great for Americans, too, since it’s not about keeping track of British current events and more about personal stories.

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A Mishmosh of Topics.

(1) Javiera Mena‘s new album is just gonna be called Mena, and the new single is “Hasta la verdad.” When Super 45 kindly uploaded the song I lost two days just hitting play over and over. It’s a solid lead single. I absolutely love it though I’m not sure how someone just being introduced to her music would feel. I can only hope they would dig it as much as I do. And I really want there to be enough buzz about her over in the US so that she’ll finally get to tour here.

(2) Lost ended. I liked the finale a lot, but it was incredibly flawed. I held on for a while but I finally cried when Sawyer and Juliet connected.

Yesterday my Token Twee friend and I went to the Vilcek Foundation which has a small exhibit on Lost (until June 5th!). There were a lot of visitors when we went! The props were totally cool, like the Dharma van and Faraday’s notebook and Ben’s fake passport that identifies him as “Dean Moriarty.” I think the majority of the pieces are up for the massive auction that’s coming up. The best part though? Reading the guestbook. I can only hope that whoever keeps the guestbook uploads the messages in it, they were so funny and cute. Most of them, you know, quote lines from the show, or mentioned favorite characters and moments. Like someone actually traced their hand and wrote “NOT PENNY’S BOAT” in it. Others wrote about how much the show had impacted them. As my friend and I laughed our way through the book we relished the catharsis and closure that people must have felt when they wrote these messages.

(3) I joined Twitter and it’s overwhelming but generally really fun getting a glimpse into the virtual lives of people I dig. Turns out they’re just as lame as I am. It also has this theatrical absurdity to it–when Gary Coleman and Dennis Hopper died I was bombarded with over 100 different versions of the same story: “RIP.” Like they were all saying the same thing, but they were all trying to say it differently, so the fact that the substance/sentiment of this message was the same, it all felt like… noise.

Unfortunately I’m guilty of just making noise, too. I was trying to show restraint and just post relevant stuff, but it’s no use. Now I’m only putting only enough thought to it by asking myself, “Will I be embarrassed to have the Library of Congress archive this message for posterity?” If not, I go for it.

If nothing else, below is an amazing rant about Twitter, courtesy of Lee Mack. Actually, the argument that ensues is absolutely hilarious. After hearing it I thought maybe I shouldn’t have given up on So Wrong It’s Right so quickly. Josie Long’s contribution to the argument is great. Not only that, I like Mack so much more than I already did!

(4) On Twitter I had a lot of people on my feed talking about Eurovision, so after an hour of watching these people mumbling about it I was like, “Well, why the fuck not, let’s tune in.” After all, the Eurovision final is like, the most important evening of the year for The Singles Jukebox. Like an idiot, I realized just a few months ago that The Singles Jukebox is still alive and so I’ve been going through every song they’ve covered since they reopened their shop (as long as they get at least a 6.00). It’s been incredible and I’ve found some amazing songs on there, many of which aren’t even the type of music I would have tried on my own. I’m so happy TSJ didn’t die with Stylus and that they’re still so enthusiastic about pop music.

But yeah, Eurovision was gaudy and over-the-top and I really enjoyed the spectacle for the first time, even if I didn’t understand the voting completely. My connection was piss poor, too, but when things got out-of-control tacky I was glad to be missing out, haha. The Norwegians made for really good hosts, and as far as I could tell, the show ran really smoothly. I was rooting for the Romanians, and I actively disliked the eventual winner, Germany. What can you do though? I’m not one to boo and hiss like many did to Russia (I admit I LMAO’d when it happened!); I get that it’s just pop music and I’ll just patiently wait for this German singer to drop into obscurity. At least in the US (I’m pretty sure) she doesn’t even have a chance to penetrate our musical landscape, so I’m not too bothered. I felt bad for Belarus for a long while, but they finally got some points and in the end the UK was last place, which is where their song belonged.

(5) I ended up buying the Jónsi, Jamie Lidell and Janelle Monáe albums from a chain. I still have to sift through these–they’ve all offered up some dense material. I also bought Sandman #8, finally completing my collection.

(6) Simon Amstell, he of former Never Mind the Buzzcocks fame, is coming to NYC. He’ll be performing at UCB, of all places! I don’t even know how he got a visa to perform here, but kudos to him, and I’m looking forward to seeing his stand-up act. Let’s hope it doesn’t suck!

(7) Until yesterday I thought Matthew Barney was British and that he’d been, y’know, a futbolero. My Token Twee friend explained to me that, in fact, he’s some nice, handsome Midwestern boy who used to play American football. I was shocked! And felt real stupid about this confusion.

(8) This vid is off the hook:

On a final note: I am one of the few people who still watched Law & Order, and I’m sad that such a New York institution met such an undignified end. Especially to be substituted by some offshoot in LA? Por favor. Upset about the loss of job opportunities for the local theater community. Sigh.


Catch Up.

First off I just want to say that Gustavo Cerati had a stroke recently and I was pretty freaked out about it, but it seems like the prognosis is cautiously optimistic.  I thought he might die and I was very worried for his family, but hopefully he’ll recover bit by bit without any problem. ¡Fuerza Gustavo, te queremos mucho!

—–
On Thursday I spent a shitload of cash on trinkets to make me marginally happier about my existence. I originally intended to go buy some albums—Jamie Lidell, Jónsi, Janelle Monáe, others whose names don’t start with J—but I happily improvised my day out and found some other great stuff instead.

On Wednesday I went to Housing Works to check out the Black Keys pop-up store they set up in the bookstore.  I got there around 5 but they’d already closed up because the band was gonna play that evening.  So I returned the next day and I bought myself a copy of Brothers.  It’s actually my first Black Keys album!  I didn’t know which of the older ones to choose.  In theory I’ve always liked them, but it’s always been from a respectful distance.  The main reason I bought something from the pop-up store is that a percent of the proceeds went to Housing Works.  It’s also the reason why I was willing to part with my cash money even though the record was “expensive.”  It was almost $30 and that was… a lot for me, way more than I usually pay for vinyl.  Pretty much worth the money though–it’s a double LP plus came with a CD version as well.  Well played, Nonesuch Recs.

The first single, “Tighten Up,” has two videos and they’re both hilarious.  There’s a teaser vid with a puppet (YEAHHH!!!), and an official one with kids at a playground.  The official one is pretty heteronormative and even sexist (depending on how you read it) so I gotta roll my eyes at it a little, but it’s still incredibly funny.  My favorite part is when Dan Auerbach throws that kid on the ground when he sees the pretty lady.  It cuts away from that moment so fast that it’s easy to miss, but when I saw I could not fucking stop laughing.  Belly laughs, too.  So fucking incredible.  The best part is, I actually prefer the teaser video!  I’m totally a puppet sympathizer so for me, a soulful croonin’ dinosaur puppet = heaven.

Some other vids I’ve seen recently: Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own,” which is an all right song but wasn’t that interesting visually except for one of the cute outfits in it, and MIA‘s “Born Free,” which in the past month or so has caused plenty of verbiage committed to its existence.

But how come no one told me that the director of “Born Free,” Romain Gavras, also directed that one Justice’s “Stress”?  Love how “Stress” has not been banned by YouTube the way “Born Free” has been.  Hm…  It seemed like a lot of the commentary was on how this video fits into MIA’s oeuvre and for me that’s slightly more difficult to consider than when I think of how “Born Free” and “Stress” complement each other.  The two videos are pretty frightening visions of authority and disobedience and violence and power—and these visions are particularly male and adolescent.  Oof.  Seriously gnarly.

Much lighter in tone is the vid for “Por la ventana,” the new track by Gepe which you can see below.  It’s pretty simple and it’s not conceptually innovative, but the execution is committed and effective, and everyone seems to be having fun.  Very colorful, too.  Clearly demonstrating that I’m a lightweight for preferring this over Romain Gavras’s stuff, but I’m not bothered.  Gepe’s song is off the hook!  I can’t wait for his new album, Audiovisión, to come out.  I’ve been really keen on the direction his music has taken in the past year or so.

Shit I got seriously sidetracked…  Anyway, after I stopped by Housing Works, I found myself at East Village Books.  I stayed for like an hour, mainly because they were playing this Carter Family album.  I hummed along to most of it while I browsed.  I got a copy of Eunoia!  Really clean condition, too.  I’m very happy about it.  I walked out as the Carters wailed away on “Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?”

I also swung by Forbidden Planet, got me Brief Lives (that’s volume 7 of Sandman) and Optic Nerve #8, which means I have own every issue of ON now.  I still need one more Sandman though.  I’m working on it.

In other news, I finally got In the Loop and Breaking Bad season 2 from the library.  I was very excited about the former as I recently read the script for it and I just loved it.  So it was nutty watching it and seeing how different it was from what I’d imagined, from the sets to the setup of shots to the line delivery.  I am surprised that the In the Loop DVD is seriously lacking in features.  Mainly, there’s no commentary track at all; I seriously would have loved to hear about the story, the production and how it fits in with The Thick of It, etc.  Oh well.  The movie’s still pretty awesome, really funny.

Breaking Bad… well, I got it last month, only got through the first 10 eps, so I queued myself up all over again (I know!) and now that I got the DVD I can finished the damn season.  And believe me, it seriously makes you go “DAMN!”  Very stressed out from it, but in a good way.  Trying to decide whether to catch up online before the end of season 3.  It’s gonna take forever for the DVD to come out.  I guess I better decide soon since the finale’s only a few episodes away, but I don’t know how much BB I can take without my head exploding from the tension.

I’ve also been checking out Justified, which is quite breezy in comparison.  I’m very charmed by Timothy Oliphant (read: he’s hot) and by all the twangy twanginess coming out of everyone’s dialogue.  I don’t know that I’d call it superb, but I like it enough to stick with it.  It’s not lacking in poignancy either, which makes it so much easier to like.

A few weeks ago I got the Spaced DVD from the library, too.  I didn’t get through all the commentaries before it was due, which sucks, but in some of them Simon Pegg mentioned he used to do stand up.  I had to look it up, and thank god some kind soul (his mom??  LMAO) uploaded this:

Fucking adorable.  The routine isn’t bad, actually, it’s just that the material is fairly traditional.  Good stage presence though, and I loved how the last bit ended—the crowd response is so awful I totally cracked up.

Something else that’s totally been cracking me up: Parks and Recreation.  I caught up to the final episodes of the season and they were fucking pitch perfect.  I enjoyed this season tremendously and obviously it’s because the writing has been off the hook and the ensemble totally delivers on it!  Paul Schneider and Rashida Jones were a bit misused but for the most part the characters grew and I found plenty to love about them.  Except Jerry.  Jerry sucks.  ;)

The really amazing thing is that even though it’s incredibly funny, to the point where I’m guffawing and gasping for air, I find myself really moved by some of the developments.  It’s weird.  I don’t want to let myself get taken in by a fucking sitcom and yet the show is so good at what it does that, when the grumptastic 20-year-old April failed to get into a bar and her potential date with the ever-goofy Andy came to a premature end, I got a bit teary-eyed.  Just writing about it doesn’t even begin to describe why I got emotional—the expressions on their faces killed me…  And these are supporting players!  But they still bring it.  Shit, I’d tell y’all to watch the fucking show but HEY because of its weak ratings it’s become a mid-season replacement, so it might be a while before we see all these lovely people on TV again.  Sigh.  Hope y’all buy the DVD when it comes out!

…Can’t believe I wrote all this nonsense when I should be studying for a final. Shit.


Vidas Paralelas.

Uh… just watched the Lost season premiere. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything to anyone because I’ve been trying to be spoiler-free myself. People had been grumbling about the interesting narrative device, so it wasn’t much of a surprise when I saw it.

These past couple of weeks I tried rewatching all 5 seasons again before tonight. I only made it through 2.5 seasons. And frankly it’s my first time wading through season 3, because like many I jumped the proverbial ship at that point, and only returned to the show when I happened to watch the season 3 finale and was fucking stunned by it.

This premiere episode was just okay. I did miss 15 minutes of it in the middle so I’m gonna have to rewatch it, but overall I was just happy the show was back. I’m on the fence about the new characters and also the new developments in our old characters. There’s been major shifts in power and in the dynamics among the characters, so I gotta get used to it.

I can’t imagine I’ll be much satisfied with this season as a whole if it keeps this narrative device going for the entire time. I hope they find a resolution even before the mid-way point. But it was nice to get a lot of definitive answers, plus I think there will be plenty of really nicely written episodes that will pack a lot of emotional depth. So speculative of me, I know.


On the Idiot Box.

Hello my treacherous friends!  I am still recovering from watching the season finale of Lost.  Did you feel dicked over by the last shot?  I did!  But after thinking about it and reading a shitload of comments on the AV Club about this last episode of the season, I can gladly say that the rest of this episode was pretty right on!  Especially Michael Emerson’s last scene in the episode, where he just starts bitching–“WHAT ABOUT ME??”  What about you?  You should get an Emmy for that, that’s what.

Watch at your own risk!  (Then again, it’ll probably get pulled soon.)

Seriously, isn’t his hissy fit hilarious?

Since this show has a terrible fondness of dispensing of cast members, I expected a few casualties, but I was pretty pissed about one in particular.  Mind you, he’s not confirmed dead, because this show also has a terrible fondness of faking deaths, buuuuut at the moment I’m mad I’ll have to wait until next January to find out.  Arghh.

Today I gladly rotted my brain on Freaks and Geeks.

If you can’t tell, Bill Haverchuck is my favorite character, and it pisses me off that Martin Starr is not the most successful F&G alum.  Not that I hate anyone in the cast, they were all fucking amazing.  I just didn’t expect Seth Rogen of all people to be considered leading man material.  C’est tout.


Yes We Can (Go Back to the Island).

You wanna hear something lame? I can’t decide whether I’m more excited about Obama’s inauguration, or the fact that Lost is coming back on TV. I wish I wasn’t so excited about both things, I’m just setting myself up for disappointment.


More Random Goodies.

(1) Some comics I finished reading include The Bottomless Belly Button, Crickets #1 and #2, Eightball #22 (Ice Haven), Heavy Liquid, Nocturnal Conspiracies, and a while back, Watchmen. So even though I haven’t gotten started on my reading challenges I’ve been on a pretty sweet comics streak, not to mention I totally got a copy of McSweeney’s #13 for 64 cents. Yup yup! Okay, so the McSweeney’s book is totally missing a few pages (WTF) but most of it is pretty intact and as great as when I first read it. My supplier says he will get me more comics which I’m really excited about.

(2) Alberto Fuguet upgraded his blog(s)! Now they’re just one blog located at his official website (click here). Filled with a bout of bravery–or maybe it’s just stupidity–he’s decided to allow comments!

(3) Speaking of other blogs, The Complete Review did a little survey of the past 100 reviews they’ve done in order to answer “How international are we?” Sometimes I grumble to myself that they “never” review the shit I’d like to know more about, but seeing stuff like this survey makes me appreciate the site so much more. If only other sites were as conscientious about giving well-rounded coverage to all sorts of lit in all sorts of languages from all sorts of places.

Another thing, in Three Percent, Chad Post wrote recently about doing a radio interview in which people submitted questions through mofuckin’ Twitter. !!! I’m telling you, until the moment I read about this, I really had no sense of Twitter being useful. I understood that it could be interesting, but I didn’t see how useful it could be. Except now that I see what its capabilities are, I wish EVERY fucking Q&A session ever would require the average civilian to Twitter in their question… if only because whenever I go to a Q&A, or hear one on the radio or whatever, the questioner just tends to meander while setting up their question for like three solid minutes and then finally asks a really dumb or shallow question that can either be answered in one word, or is way too fucking complicated for the recipient to answer it concisely. Ugh. Where has this 140 character limit been all my life!

The radio interview that Chad did was kinda “meh,” mostly because the host of the show didn’t seem very up on the concept of literature in translation. It made for awkward interview exchanges.

(4) Um, you can read Eunoia on the internets for free. Amazing! Incroyable!

(5) Okay, confession time. I have a shitload of records that have been left unopened for years (it’s a long story), and I finally finally listened to some of them, including the first album by The Evens. I have a love/hate thing for Ian MacKaye, so it was a pleasant surprise that I really liked it. Dude, I’m on their Wikipedia page and it says that Ian and his fellow Evens lady friend Amy totally procreated. Now, y’all know Wikipedia don’t lie, so it must be true. Can you believe it? There’s a mini-Ian ready to wreak havoc on the world! Haha, I kid. I’m really happy for them, actually.

(6) The latest issue of Bomb magazine is titled the “Americas Issue,” even though it mostly focuses on the Southern Cone. It’s kind of annoying because I’m so sure there must be some great artistic scenes in every country in Latin America that we just don’t know about. (In their defense, they did include a reprint of an interview with Guillermo Cabrera Infante.) I’m not complaining too much, though, because they included a feature on Nicanor Parra as well as an interview with Babasónicos, which continues online here.

[Edit 1/14: Haha, I didn’t realize that the Americas Issue is an annual issue focusing on different areas of the Americas. So that’s why this particular issue focuses on Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Santiago. My bad!]

(7)

I watch this video, and I see how big Karen Carpenter’s smile is, and I watch how skilled she is playing the drums, and it bums me the fuck out. I listened to my Carpenters CD recently and I hated that the vocals are so far up in the mix. I wished I could hear the arrangements better, especially when they included parts where she’s drumming. What I really like in this video is that you can tell she studied drumming, the way she plays is more akin to a jazz drummer than, say, some kid in a punk band just functioning as a timekeeper.

By the way, if you haven’t seen Todd Haynes’s Karen Carpenter biopic (?), Superstar, starring a handful of Barbie dolls, you should just watch it on Google video here. And for this, I thank god that the internets exists. It’s actually a really good movie, I learned a lot about anorexia and I also learned that the Carpenter siblings weren’t such big squares in their private lives.

(8) Dude! I started rewatching Mad Men and it’s most excellent. Especially after having devoured the two seasons and knowing what’s gonna happen, it’s cool to go back and see certain hints that were dropped along the way that were very revealing about the characters. I’m also stunned by how fresh the writing feels, even though I’ve heard all the lines already. Can’t get enough of Pete and Peggy.

(9) My guitar is dead. Broken. I hadn’t picked it up in a while so I don’t know what happened, exactly. But I’m still fucking sad because it’s irreparable.


Iván the Awesome.

So there’s this blog called Moleskine Literario, right? Sometimes I’d stumble upon it when I would be looking up stuff about Latin American authors or books, blah blah. Well recently I found out that it’s written by an actual novelist named Iván Thays. In fact, he was named one of the Bogotá 39, a list that fascinates me endlessly if only because of the demographics of the group. (For example, I’m pleasantly surprised about the inclusion of Alarcón and Díaz, whose major works are primarily in English though, admittedly, Alarcón does have a hand in Etiqueta Negra which is very much in Spanish.) Anyways, I have never read Thays’s work, not that I haven’t tried. Today I went to the Mid-Manhattan library to pick up the 25th Hour DVD that was waiting for me and I swung by upstairs to check out the Spanish language fiction section. Nada. Puede ser que hay copias de sus libros en el sistema del NYPL… but if they exist they were snatched by other mofos who are more “in” on the current Peruvian lit scene than I am.

ANYWAY. The whole point is that I like the blog a lot but the website has this annoying feature that, whenever I click on the website the first time I land on the blog, I get a fucking pop-under. Argh. Every time it happens I just want to give Thays a fucking noogie and yell at him to quit that shit. I don’t understand why he’d allow advertising on his personal blog. C’mon, dude. It’s irrimatating. That’s why I don’t actually visit it frequently, I’ll maybe visit it like, once a week and just try to catch up on the first page. And I try to avoid clicking on the first page so that I won’t get the pop-under.

Imagine, then, the surprise at reading this post.

Yo me hice fanático de la serie Candy (sí, tengo mi venus en Libra y tengo mi lado femenino bien desarrollado, ¿les jode?)…

Loosely: “I became a fan of Candy Candy (yes, I have my Venus in Libra and my feminine side is well-developed, does that bother you?)…”

When I read this I seriously cracked up. Shit, I didn’t even finish reading the post, which is about Marx’s Capital in manga form. The comments on the post are hilarious too. It’s just weird hearing a grown dude say he totally loved Candy Candy, and it’s also awesome because it just sparked a nostalgia-fest in my frigid little heart.

Irresistible, no?

Though honestly, I was really into Saint Seiya as a kid. In Spanish, the title was something like, “Knights of the Zodiac.” It really sucked that there weren’t many cool female characters, usually they were very fragile and fey. Seriously, that show was a total sausage-fest. My memory tells me that much later in the series, there were some badass female characters, but I’m not entirely sure. Regardless, I really liked the whole Greek mythology aspect of the story.

Wait, what was I talking about? Oh, Moleskine Literario. Besides the unfortunate pop-under business, it’s a really fun blog, definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already. I wonder what his fiction writing is like?


Must Watch.

So yesterday I had the day off and I spent some ~*QUALITY TIME*~ watching TV on the internets. I’d missed the most recent episode of Gossip Girl, the unfortunately titled “O Brother, Where Bart Thou?” The ep previous to that one ended on a cliffhanger, but I already knew (everyone already knew) who’d been offed from Gossip Girl-land, so I hadn’t exactly been in a hurry to watch it. Except now I’m kicking myself for not having watched it sooner.

(1) I cried multiple times during this episode.
(2) I gasped out loud several times as well.

And it was well-deserved, too. For such lowbrow, escapist entertainment, the writers (and the cast and the wardrobe department, among others) put way too much effort into their work, and the results are really fantastic. I don’t care what anyone says about how stupid it seems, how decadent it is, how wreckless and mindless. I see the depth in this show and I fucking revel in it. The lines they throw out are the kind that you just repeat over and over and you can’t get over the fact that they’re so damn awesome.

I remember how unimpressive the pilot was, and it really felt like an East Coast OC. But in a very short time, Gossip Girl has really grown into its own beast that pretty much crushes The OC. Even with unlikely, implausible plotlines and way too many hookups that I don’t care to untangle and figure out, this show has created two of the most compelling characters on TV: Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass. It’s their world, and we just happen to live in it. In this world they have their set of rules, which I think the show does a very good job of showing us, and we get to see what happens when the rules are inevitably broken because they set such a ridiculous standard that no one can follow.

Dude, did I seriously write that last sentence? I don’t even know if that makes sense. I’m… really tired.

Anyway, after the funeral, Blair and Chuck get into a tizzy because Chuck is all mopey (and drunk!) and Blair has never been more sober in her life. He’s mad and trying to run away, and she just tells him–more like she just explodes–everything she’s felt about him in the past year or whatever. She’s so awkward when she tells him and it’s so NOT the right time to dump such an important statement on the dude, which makes it even more real. His response is absolutely brilliant and so motherfucking fitting. All I could say to my computer screen was “Oh, shit.” I couldn’t even hold back the tears. The subsequent scene that Chuck and Blair share, which is acted without any dialogue, is fucking brilliant and just shows how complex the two characters are, both as individuals and as a couple.

I had a similar reaction when I watched the last ten minutes of Mad Men Season 2 finale, when Peggy tells Pete what she’s been hiding from him for the past year. (Peggy and Pete–another compelling pair!) In a nice parallel, in this show it’s Pete who finally opens up and tells Peggy how he feels about her, and she brilliantly dumps the truth on him. Damn, and the way she says it has so much bite, too. I’ve rewatched those 4 minutes over and over on YouTube and I can’t get over how well both of them play it. I just experience a simultaneous high and low when I watch it.

In both the Gossip Girl scene and the Mad Men scene, I felt like I was watching a crucial moment in the history of these two shows. They felt like a (very satisfying) climax to everything that has happened in the shows up to that point, and they felt like the beginning of a lot of huge shit about to happen. To have the pleasure to witness these moments executed so brilliantly? What a thrill.

A couple more notes:
(a) Wallace Shawn on GG = awesome to the nth power.
(b) The female characters on MM are so so so interesting, mostly because the societal norms are in flux and so they get to test boundaries a lot more. It’s amazing to watch the different ways the women cope with every obstacle they face.


Inolvidable.

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

(1) That is Gael García Bernal.
(2) He is singing a cover of “I Want You to Want Me.” In Spanish. Norteño-style.

Is my mind blown? My mind is totally blown. I’m also glad to finally see a trailer of Rudo y Cursi, which has been in production for a very long time. (The music video is some sort of promo for the movie.) Anyway, I found this video on Remezcla, and you can find a trailer for the movie, too. It looks like a comedy so now I’m kinda looking forward to it. But enough about the Gael/Diego film reunion. When is Gael getting back with Ludwika Paleta, that’s what I wanna know. Then again, girlfriend should probably stop doing the whole trashy telenovela thing.

Actually, if you read the credits in the video above, you’ll see Diego Luna’s name in there, too. I think Gael and Diego met on the set of El abuelo y yo. And yes, I used to watch it when I was little and I had no recollection of Gael, so you can imagine the shock of finding out Gael was in that novela. At that point I only watched the show for Ludwika, who was so so pretty and who was well-known among my age group since she had been in Carrusel, which was an incredibly successful kids’ telenovela.

Yes, in Latin America they trained us to become telenovela fiends from a very early age.

ANYWAY. Seeing the norteño version of “I Want You to Want Me” reminded me of another Gael movie with an awesomely weird and unexpected cover, El crimen del padre Amaro. Okay, in that movie, I heard this really great version of “One Way or Another,” and so I tried desperately to seek my soul, but I finally gave up after like a month or two. It’s one of the few songs on which I’ve given up. Another notable song I haven’t found successfully is Ray Charles’s version of “Bein’ Green,” as heard on an episode of The Cosby Show. Argh, remembering my downloading misadventures makes me want these songs even more.

Also, I’m suddenly itchin’ to listen to more norteño shit. It’s that polka bounce… it’s too catchy to be true…


Pushing Daisies Going Six Feet Under?

There are all these news reports that ABC is going to cancel Pushing Daisies after a shortened 2nd season. I don’t know what ABC is thinking. Oh, how about pumping some money for November sweeps? No, instead they bump the show for two weeks and they’ve only done the most minimal of advertising for the show for season 2. Speaking of ratings, I feel like they’re only considering the number of people watching the show on television at its broadcast time, instead of considering those who record the show, and also the people who watch it on their website. I mean, really? Only an average of 6 million people?

The news of the show’s imminent cancellation is infuriating that there are so many loose threads for the show, and the channel doesn’t have the decency to at least give it a full season so it can die a dignified death. If anything, it would be a nice gesture to the fans who have stuck around, instead of dicking them over. Honestly, the show may only average 6 million viewers, which I know is pretty dismal, but 6 million people is nothing to laugh at. I mean, Gossip Girl only averages about half of those people! (FYI: I fucking love Gossip Girl too.) And what about the critics? The critics love Pushing Daisies! Shouldn’t that count for something, kinda like superdelegates and shit?

What, exactly, is ABC planning to do if the show gets cancelled? I just can’t imagine the replacement show being better than Pushing Daisies. I mean, it might be. But most likely, it won’t be. Because every week, there are dozens of TV shows that I could choose to watch, and they’re all shit. I watch Pushing Daisies because it’s well-written, well-acted, and overall, well-produced. It has its quirks, but at least it’s not some forgettable cookie cutter shit.

I hope for a better future for the show. If ABC wants it, how about just giving it at least until a third season, so that ABC can find a suitable replacement? (Haha, a girl can dream.) If ABC doesn’t want it, I am crossing my fingers that a cable network will have the decency to pick it up. That would actually be the better scenario. It would be kind of fitting, wouldn’t it? ABC lets the show die, and another network brings it back to life. Just like an episode of Pushing Daisies.


What Are We Selling Here?

I wanted to point to two commercials from the current Payless ad campaign. The first I’ve seen for a few weeks now, and the reason it caught my attention was because it uses “Van Nuys (Es Very Nice)” by the totally defunct band Los Abandoned. You can see the ad here. I was very pleased to hear it because they never got very big and I feel like they should get a few royalties for their hard work, right? Also, that song is so peppy, I can’t fucking deny its awesomeness. Below, the original video to the song.

Well, more recently I noticed another ad with happy beautiful young people running around in bargain-priced shoes. But this ad uses “Snapshot” by Kinky, who will be playing a free show on August 9 at Central Park. That one surprised me more because it’s an older song. It was never one of my favorites from Atlas, so at first I had to ask myself, “How do I know this song?” I know that Kinky and Los Abandoned are very different bands from very different places, but seeing the two ads, I was pleasantly surprised by two Spanish-language groups featured in these ads. (Actually, I must clarify that both bands had a strong “Spanglish” approach to their lyrics, though.)

I just went to the Payless website and it said that the agency that did the ad is Martin Williams. I wonder if the person who took care of the music thought it was fun and young and appropriate for the demographic they wanted to hit (trendy “cosmopolatinos”??), or if the person just really liked those bands. I also wonder if there are other Payless ads with Latino-friendly bands playing in the background?

Of course, neither of these ads will have as much of an effect as the use of “Paper Planes” in the Pineapple Express trailers and ads. I don’t know how well the movie will fare, which is being released today, but I sure as hell know that the use of “Paper Planes” has affected M.I.A. somewhat positively. I mean, I don’t know for sure if she’s moving more units, but I assume greater exposure to the masses means more chances of selling albums. I was listening to Z100 for the first time in ages, and heard the intro to the song. I wasn’t sure it was the commercial for the movie, but the DJ assured me that I was hearing a “new” track from M.I.A. At first I was really excited that I was hearing her on the radio (don’t ask me why, I can’t explain), but then I was like, “Wait, what about the gunshot sounds??” They tried to mute them, but the song just sounds ridic like that.

“All I wanna do is BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! … and take your money…”


In Limbo.

Hello all! My internet connection at home is still non-existent. I’ve been bumming around, reading Fuguet‘s Por favor, rebobinar, which has been surprising at every turn, I keep wanting to pull away and say that Fuguet is too cool for school, but he packs a mean emotional punch into his stories. True fact: I didn’t know what the word “rebobinar” meant until I was like, 200 pages into the book. I got curious so I googled it when I was at work, haha.

I missed Wire last night, who played a show at the South Street Seaport for free. I felt iffy so I stayed home… I’m sure I missed out with Wire pero bueno, ya están viejitos y solo conozco sus dos primeros discos, so I’m not that upset about it. I’m sure they put on a solid show.

I watched the National Spelling Bee, which I find equally suspenseful and infuriating. One of the few words I spelled perfectly was “huapango.” I’d never heard of the word, but they said it was derived from a Mexican geographical name o algo así, so I was able to guess it correctly without looking at the TV screen. The kid who got that word spelled the word incorrectly and was eliminated; I felt bad because “wapango” was a perfectly good guess, even “guapango” would have made sense. Sad. The kid who won was great, though; I appreciated that he took his time and really thought about the words before he responded.

I have decided that, although I’ve never listened to DJ /rupture‘s music, he is pretty much the awesomest person ever, mostly cos (a) he really really likes cumbia (omaigá, ¡yo también!) and (b) he wrote that feature on Fader about El Guinchito. Y’all should check out that recent post he made with the Julieta Venegas remix on it. I can’t wait for her to come to NYC! I had a wild fantasy that Anita Tijoux was gonna show up & janguear* con la Julieta and Bitman, but she’s gonna be busy in Chile that week, so… HEY WAIT THE FUCK UP. DJ Raff‘s MySpace says he’s playing with Bitman for the Central Park show. HOLY MUTHERFUCK. Acabo de desmayarme from the excitement yo!!!

Hey, TTSO posted an interview they did with Nuuro y también un tipo llamado Bufi. I’d never heard of the latter but I checked out his MySpace and that shit is solid, at least on first listen.

Sorry this post is all over the place. I’m putting off work and just going stream-of-consciousness.


“Another Day” by Jamie Lidell. Not that impressive, but he looks pretty fly in that suit. At least it’s not as disappointing as the video for “Pijamas” by Babasónicos.

* I have finally accepted that the Spanglish version of “to hang out” is spelled janguear and not hanguear, which is the way I’ve been spelling it for a while.


Post-Oscar BS

I know There Will Be Blood didn’t win Best Picture, but I still went out for a milkshake today. Chocolate. Very filling. My straw wasn’t very long.

I thought Jon Stewart was hit or miss, but I thought it was very gracious of him to bring back Marketa Irglova onto the stage after she was cut off without being able to say thanks. And how great was she? That speech was fantastic.

When I spoke to my boss about the awards show today, he complained about people’s speeches cut off. Seriously. It’s annoying, it’s rude, it’s one of the few chances they get to say “thank you” and the producers are so adamant about keeping the speeches short. And for what? To fill the program with montages! WTF. Even if it’s for a minor award, I’d much rather see a person who is genuinely grateful and excited to have their name called than to see another fucking montage.

Speaking of montages, in the one about bees, they totally missed My Girl.

But the worst travesty was that they forgot Brad Renfro on the montage. Or maybe they left him out on purpose? Either way, I was really sad about it.

Oh shit, and I was so surprised to see Jamia Simone Nash!! I was so fucking excited, you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve seen that video of her singing “Who’s Lovin’ You” (it helps that it’s one of my favorite songs ever). She did great too. After debuting at the Apollo Amateur Night, the Oscar crowd ain’t that big a deal. :)


Hidden Gems.

I’m not going to lie, I have developed a lack of respect for the commodities I’m privileged to be able to afford and acquire. Like when Tower Records closed last year? I still haven’t listened to the So Solid Crew album I bought, and that was one of the albums that I was really happy to grab onto during those last few days of chaotic deep discounts.

Which is why I’m so happy to be hearing, for the first time, the Trini Lopez album I bought at the WFMU Record Fair a few months ago.  As terrible as it is to put away my LPs and CDs without ever listening to them, it’s nice to forget about them and suddenly encounter them.

I originally bought the Trini Lopez album for the kitsch factor.  The only song of his that I’d ever heard was “America,” which I first heard at age 7-ish in my Estúpido Cúpido soundtrack.  As I mentioned a few posts back, I used to watch a telenovela in Chile called Estúpido Cúpido that was superpopular and set in the 1960s and which spawned a really popular soundtrack full of awesome songs.

Anyway, at 7 I obviously had no idea of the history of “America” as part of West Side Story.  When I first saw the movie, already in high school and already fluent in English, I was surprised by the words of the song.  Then again, you should have seen my reaction to The Sound of Music‘s “Do Re Mi” when I finally understood the lyrics… I was like WHOAAA CRAZY PUNS!!! I know, I’m an impressionable individual. Anyway, yeah, I feel weird whenever I watch the “America” sequence in my favorite musical. I think the thing that bothers me most are the over-the-top accents. I just want to tell them “Jesus, reel it in, folks!”

I wonder why Trini Lopez chose to cover this song.

As I mentioned earlier, I just bought this record for shits and giggles, but there are some real priceless gems. This album is damn good for a live album recorded back in what? The 1960s? My favorite is “If I Had a Hammer,” mostly because I’d never heard the song and never cared to because in theory I thought it was a whiny commie song. But wow, what a great song! That melody is so beautiful!

Okay, enough about my dark past as a fan of musicals.  Actually, I still like musicals, but y’know, I’ll totally understand if you tell me you hate fans of musicals.  You’re right, they can be really intense.  But I still feel a bit bad for all the Rentheads, since it was just announced that Rent is fiiiiinally closing.  RIP!  The show opened so long ago I’ve never known a NYC without Rent.


Pluses!

(+) Went to MoMA to see a screening of Machuca, a Chilean movie from a few years ago. It was hilarious, it was like me and maybe 200 old folks. Uh, so when I was really little, I used to watch this telenovela called Estúpido cupido, which featured this pretty handsome actor named Francisco Reyes, and he was totes in this movie looking really fly even though he had one of those unfortunate 70s pornstaches. I mean when I was little I didn’t think anything of him, but wow, I so would!

The movie itself was really cute (and fucked up and sad!) though I thought it was totally awkward seeing these prepubescent kids pretty much making out with a pubescent girl. I like to tell myself they were only a couple of years apart but honestly, I couldn’t figure out the age difference so who knows?

The most surprising thing about this movie is that they use the word “pendejo” in Chile, too. Word?!?! What’s the point of “pendejo” when you’ve got “huevón”? Oh, I guess the connotation is a bit different for each. But I don’t ever remember using that word, and I always thought it was a North-of-the-Equator word. Seriously. And I figure they’ve been saying pendejo in Chile forever, cos that movie was set in 1973.

(+) Finally got a copy of Nuuro‘s All Clear! Yay!

(+) A few days old, but a fantastic read nonetheless, mostly because it’s probably the only list you’ll read that includes both González Iñárritu and GOB Bluth. Ahhh, too good to be true. Though it’s really annoying that they refer to my González Iñárritu as just “Iñárritu.” Okay, quick lesson on names in Spanish-speaking nations! If you were to look up the director’s name in the phonebook, or some sort of official record (birth, marriage, lo que sea), he’d be listed under “G” and not under “I.” Ugh, I guess I shouldn’t complain too much, at least they got their accents on the right vowels.

(+) I’m going to see Café Tacuba tomorrow!

(+) My mom just found my huge stash of condoms! LOLLERSKATES Y’ALL. She asked me where I got them. I was like, “School!” Practice safe sex, everyone! You don’t wanna end up on Maury, that’s all I’m sayin’.


There is No Explanation for This.


Yes, I Live Under A Rock.

Some short bits.

Junot Diaz’s second book is finally coming out!!! The release date is September 6. So excited! Why is this exciting? Cos his last fucking book, his only book, came out so long ago it was still the last century. It was so long ago I probably hadn’t even gone through puberty, okay? It was so long ago I probably didn’t even know enough English to read his motherfuckin’ book yo!

Ely “Super Sexy” Guerra is playing a show at the Knitting Factory! On Tuesday! Holy shit! I definitely have to check it out. Even if I’m such a n00b when it comes to her music. She’s so underrated.

– Okay, so I watched like 20 episodes of Entourage this weekend, and it was my very first time ever watching it. I don’t know what the fuck really goes down in LA, so I have a stupid question: do people get commission for flippin’ the bird at one another? No, really. Like I’ve never seen so many people do that before. I can’t even remember the last time I gave someone the middle finger… Also, I know I totally sound like a New Yorker who can’t drive (which is an accurate description of me), but do all these people have to talk on their cells and drive at the same time?

– Look at this dude’s MySpace profile. No label? Is he kidding me? This dude should be rich. RICH, I TELL YOU! Go buy his record here, his name is Felix Cristiani. And then when his songs come on cute telenovelas and shit, you can be like, “Please, I was into him before he sold out,” etc.

– Also, really wanna see This is England, which I think was only recently released here in NYC.


I Can’t Even Think Straight.

It’s been nice not going online much. I’m pretty exhausted but it’s nice being able to watch the first half of Romeo and Juliet every night. Anyway, one thing that’s been ticking me off is this feature the New York Times published about Rufus Wainwright a few days ago. See, a few years ago, during the Want era, they did a big feature on him and the headline was “Rufus Wainwright Journeys to ‘Gay Hell’ and Back.” Rufus got shit for that; people got upset because the article made it seem like teh gheyz do nothing except get high on crystal meth and have unprotected sex. Anyway, this most recent article is tamer, but the headline still irks me: “The Superfabulous World of Rufus Wainwright.” I don’t understand why the need to make it so obvious that he’s gay. I know “fabulous” is a regular word, but you have to admit there are certain connotations of queerness attached to the word, especially if you tack on a fucking “super” in front of it!

Like I understand he is gay, and I understand everything he does is over the top, but I don’t understand why they correlate his grandiose musical vision with the fact that he’s gay. I really just think that (1) he’s a megalomaniac (and I mean that in the nicest way possible cos I do love him) and (2) he’s a really awesome songwriter. C’est tout. I don’t think his sexual orientation has as much to do with his music as everyone makes it out to be and I wish the press wouldn’t dwell on that so much.

I know, I’m totally overreacting.

Oh, and in more queer news: the dude from Grey’s Anatomy who used the f-word was totally fired from his job. Nice. Especially because in news reports about this story, they stopped actually saying the f-word and have been using terms like “gay slur” instead.

Here, some music!

Rufus Wainwright – April Fools
Rufus Wainwright – Rebel Prince
Rufus Wainwright (zomg, again!) – Dinner at Eight


Addendum to Appy Polly Loggies.

OMGWTF, that last post was not what I meant to write. Well, I mean everything I said and I like Gepe and Ely Guerra and DJ Raff, definitely check out the songs, buuuuut I really wanted to write a post about Undeclared and for some reason when I got to my “Write Post” page I forgot because I was watching Javiera Mena videos on YouTube.

Anyway, yesterday I watched Undeclared for the first time ever since the fucking show was cancelled. Yes, it’s still a sore spot in my heart, though props to Judd Apatow for getting on the cover of The New York Times Magazine today. Congrats dude! Old people know who you are! Well I was scared to watched Undeclared again because Freaks & Geeks is so good, but watching it I was happy to discover that Undeclared really WAS hilarious and it’s aged really well!

More importantly, I totally forgot that Loudon “Rufus’s Papa” Wainwright was totally on the show and was AWESOME on it. ILU LOUDON WAINWRIGHT THE THIRD!


[This isn’t the song shown in the episode; it was an outtake.]

Loudon Wainwright – The Doctor


Please Disregard This Post.

OMAGAWD NO!!! SANJAYA YOU WILL BE SORELY MISSED!!!!!

I wonder if ratings will go down for American Idol now? Hm.


Already Over.

Um, wow. Wow to the nth power. I spent the last 7 hours or so watching clips of The White Rapper Show on the VH1 site and it was awesome. I know I’m like 6 million years behind on this shit but I’m sorry, some of us actually live in the ghetto* and don’t have cable, aight? Whatevs, hope to splurge on the DVD maybe because the show was hilarious. The production was just really cool, and they got some awesome people to come on board and show up on episodes. Also! I learned Marc Ecko is white! SHOCKED!!

Sorta related: Okay, so I love Sasha Frere-Jones, right? And then I see a picture of the dude and I was like, “Um, what? He’s… white???” Anyways, I couldn’t understand why I was so shocked to find out he was white or why I thought he was black in the first place. Then a couple of months later, I realized I’d been confusing the dude with Sacha Jenkins**!!! OH HAIL NAW!!! I know, I’m so embarrassed.

Anyways, The White Rapper Show was really good, really funny, really insightful. Though I wish at least one of the people on the show could have freestyled well. God, every time they were put on the spot, they all got mad awkward. Another thing, John Brown’s “Hallelujah, holla back” shit is the most annoying overused phrase by a wack dude since I saw this interview with Tito “El Bambino” who kept going, “Tito ‘El Bambino’ TOP O’ THE LINE.” I didn’t care where Tito’s fucking line was at and I didn’t care about hollering back to fucking John Brown. GAWD! Got on my nerves.

Also, that weird sexual tension between John Brown and his “friend” was hilarious, sad, and disturbing all at the same time. Come out John Brown! No shame! I’m sure you’re a top! More commentary on JB’s friend at the Television Without Pity forum.

My favorites were $ham and Persia, I guess.

* Um, I’m technically in the North Bronx, so I’m not that ghetto. But there’s a Kennedy Fried Chicken near me so I figure it still counts a li’l bit.

** I love Sacha Jenkins too. It was so stupid of me to confuse them.


Revelations

A mish mash of things I’ve learned recently:

Simón Díaz
I’m so dumb. I seriously thought this Simón Díaz song I had was called “El alacrán.” It’s been registering on my Audioscrobbler (er, Last.fm) as “El alacrán” forever. I get the feeling I liked the title because it reminds me of this short story I read a while back, “El alacrán de Fray Gómez,” by Ricardo Palma. Don’t even ask me why, because they’re not related at all and I don’t even think the short story writer is Venezuelan.

Buzzcocks
There’s this TV ad with people having parties, and the song that plays on the background is fantastic. I wondered if it was just some track that session musicians came up with for the commercial, but I thought the song was too good to be written just for this ad. I figured it was some new indie band hoping to cash in. Well, I was wrong, it was totally a Buzzcocks track, “Everybody’s Happy Nowadays.” If you couldn’t tell, I don’t really listen to this band, though I should.

Belinda
So there’s this song called “Ni Freud ni tu mamá” (click here for the vid, which has ONLY gotten about 400,000+ hits). It is an incredibly LOL-worthy title, I know, and it’s the one song I’ve heard by Belinda that doesn’t make me want to puke.  In fact, it reminds me of this other young lady who got her start on kids’ TV shows and is trying to transition into a more mature pop sound. I’m really impressed and I hope her transition to becoming a grown-up pop star won’t be too painful. I do think she’s just a manufactured piece of trash but if she really tries hard she may be able to make good music. Anyway, they were showing the video for her song on TV again, and I realized that Raven-Symoné is TOTALLY in this video, shaking her chunky self with all the sass she was born with.  CHEETAH GIRLS 4EVA!

And some follow-ups to my previous posts:

Bell Biv Devoe
That song that made everyone go apeshit at the Mos Def show was Bell Biv DeVoe‘s “Poison.” I had to lurk around and ask someone because I’d never heard this group. I was looking for the song because it sounded really good at the show, and I just wanted to verify the song really was GOOD. But listening to it now, I’m like, “Wow, crappy 90s production.” The good parts are still good but it’s hard to listen to when the production is so cheesy and tinny-sounding. Sometimes that shit works, but the song has to be AMAZING too, and I think “Poison” is just good but nothing that’s gonna change my life. But yeah, I had a feeling that Mos Def was performing a cover song. He made it sound really good, so props in that respect.

Makiza
I listened to Anita Tijoux’s old rap group, Makiza, and they are EXCELLENT. I love that she was an integral part of the group, not some pretty chick just adding sung choruses.

Jawbreaker and Jawbox
I caved because I really needed to figure out which band I like better. And the winner is… JAWBOX! Though I’ve realized that they weren’t that much more aggro than Jawbreaker, they just sound a bit darker to me. Plus, they totally covered Tori Amos‘s “Cornflake Girl” (see vid here). Fuck, whatever, I still love Rites of Spring best.

Some hot jams:

Makiza – “La rosa de los vientos” from Aerolineas.
Simón Díaz – “El alcaraván
Rites of Spring – “Deeper Than Inside” from End on End.