And the survey SAID, you're DEAD!

I decided it would be a good idea to do a live-to-looped cover of my favorite Wu Tang song, then make a music video for it. So here it is. Me doing Wu. Don't worry about fucking with me, though. I am full well fuckwitable.


From now on, I’m fucking Macs and using Dudes.

In the last ten years, I’ve only got mad enough to punch the shit out of inanimate objects on occasions that involved either women or IBM compatibles. And yet, for whatever reason – call it brand loyalty – I have stood steadfastly by both.

Perhaps it’s their flashy complexity. The sense of overcoming an obstacle that you get from conquering something that isn’t very user-friendly. Maybe it’s the way some of the cases light up red, and their packaging is frosted and S-curved and gaudy, not at all like the simple class-act monochrome geometry of the Apple-cum-Man. Maybe it’s the way there’s more than one button on the PC mouse, and you can draw out endless combinations of graphical and audio effects by double-clicking them and squeezing them in different combinations. And it’s not that you can’t drag-and-drop a Mac or a dude – it’s just, the pyrotechnics are strictly functional, and not at all for show.

My retort to Republicans used to be, “Hey, look, if using Macs was a choice, why would you choose it?” But now, I think I get it. PCs suck. And if using a Macintosh is a choice, I’m going to see if I can make it. Because let’s face it, Heaven is pretty much out of the cards for me. This isn’t going to send me to Extra Hippy Hell, where the kids who pretend they don’t have trust funds are forced to spend an eternity living lavish lifestyles and driving $90k cars, and the kids who once thought about kicking a cat have to kick a cat once a minute for infinity minutes. I'm on my way to regular Hell with the rapists and murderers and non-Islamicists.

Conventional wisdom used to say that you could only catch viruses from guys, but it turns out the easiest way to get them is fucking around on a PC. As it happens, the Windows platform is a festering hotbed of scabs and sores and purulent boils, warts and off-colored discharge and itches that you can’t scratch away. Milling around like idiots are the overpowered white blood cells and clueless antibodies, antiviral armies that open their knees wiiiiiide for the Trojan Horse. Fuck me, wood horse, fuck me with your drip-dripping flaming hot spyware horse cock. I like the way it feels with no firewall. Sometimes you can even shoot a squirrel over the castle gates (shout out to Monty Python).

I installed Service Pack 2 on my Dell yesterday, the notoriously worthless update for Windows XP that all your friends seem to resent. It’s like a computer engagement ring. It makes the thing far less valuable, far less functional, but ultimately more in tune with the way Microsoft, for our purposes the Catholic Church, says things should be. I only downloaded it so I could use Windows Movie Maker, which only comes with SP2, but which, oddly enough, did not install itself on my computer when I installed SP2. The only thing that happened when I installed SP2 was, my computer started freezing every fifteen minutes, and wouldn’t play any video or audio files, or even open any players for video or audio files. Call it going out with the boys for a beer. It’s out of the question now that you’ve got the Service Pack. Sure, allegedly it’s insurance that your computer stays “clean,” doesn’t get “infected,” but we all know that it’s just cosmetic. Pure in name only. My internet browsers won’t open, either. I can’t even see tits. It just mills around in a big retarded circle, making sounds like a vacuum and complaining that the neighbors have a refrigerator with an internet connection and when am I going to get promoted.

At the same time, my dad just bought this $4k Mac video editing workstation that’s the computer equivalent of an 18-year-old Dominican poolboy. I’m feeling feelings I never knew I could feel. Feelings of lust, but also of power. Feelings of sympathy, but also violent passion. Feelings of difference and strangeness and new wonder, but also feelings of lascivious anger and preternatural heat, heat coursing through me like I were an ovulating chinchilla. And it doesn’t feel wrong, it doesn’t feel right, it just feels necessary, like this is what God wants for me. And right or wrong, I hear the call, and I’m going to follow it. He's there for me. He wants me to use him. I have to use him. I call him Enrique.

Well, no more of the weaker sex, friends. As soon as I can save up $4k, I’m buying a Macbook and a bus ticket to San Francisco, and I’m starting a whole new life. You’ll know me when you see me – I’ll be the one happily strolling down the streets with trademark white earbuds tickling my pleasure centers with their firm, knobby fingers, telling me exactly what I want to hear, not because I want to hear it, but because it’s the right thing to do. Who’s coming with me? Don’t worry too much, I can always come by myself.


Sometimes I get the urge to call the 8,300 girls I used to be in love with one by one and ask if they're as fat as their moms yet. Y'know?


Marge... I think I hate Ted Koppel! No, wait, I find him informative and witty. G'night.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve disliked Andy Rooney. Y'know, the guy who’s apparently paid enough dues to get the last 5 minutes of 60 Minutes to talk about whatever he wants. We all know that people start to get insufferably inflexible when they hit the 300 year mark, but the dude just went on a rant about how George Bush mispronounces “Nuclear” (punchline: “You’d think the first lady, or maybe a doorman at the White House, would tell him how it’s pronounced. It makes you wonder how he graduated Yale”). Now, I’m never against a cheap shot at the president, but people have been making fun of him for this for years. It's about as fresh and topical as pointing out that Nixon was, in fact, a crook. He, the president, has made fun of himself for it on at least two occasions that I can remember, and I hate nothing more than people who rip into other people for their publically admitted flaws. That's why you're not allowed to call me ugly, bitch. It's just all kinds of lame. I'm not against lame in and of itself, but when the point is wit and the result is lame and you're not even self-effacing about it, you're officially on my shitlist. If you can't get it up, don't go on national television and try to jerk off.

Not to mention, if Bush actually did start pronouncing the word right, every single comedian and smartass, myself and Andy Rooney included, would jump down his throat or up his ass or both for being inauthentic and pretentious and we’d all gloat that he finally “learned his lesson,” which is why people hate to admit they've learned lessons, even when they have: because when they do, jerkoffs gloat about it. There’s nothing worse than people acting high and mighty when all they’re reflecting is conventional wisdom. "Oh, yeah, Bush is finally pronouncing 'nuclear' right. God, what an idiot! It only took him seven years as President of the United States!" You would keep pronouncing that shit wrong too. When our junior high class took a trip to D.C. and I saw the Magna Carta in the glass case, the Ye Olde Cursive "C" looked like a "G" to me. So, on the bus, when I mentioned to my friend the Magna Garta, and he told me that's not what it was at all, I was like, "Dude, I have a cold. Of course I know it's actually the 'Magna Carta! But, you see, I'm ill, and so I pronounce 'C's as 'G's." And I stood by that shit until, like, right now.

And strike 3 against Rooney: we all know how easy it is to slide through college with Cs. It’s not like Yale is some kind of superman academy. Just because the children of the rich and powerful get in, doesn’t mean they’re run through some kind of academic gauntlet to test their mettle. It’s college, for chrissakes. The halls of higher learning are populated by 72% statistically retarded people, just like every other kind of halls. I’m just saying, it’s amazing to me that this man makes probably high-6/low-7 figures to make the jokes that high school sophomores were making 6 years ago when Bush got his sorry self elected. Impeach Bush and Andy Rooney. Or, better yet, just force them to switch jobs. I would love to see Andy Rooney try to do something that I care about at all, and I would love to hear 5 minutes of Bush’s thoughts on partially hydrogenated soybean oil in foodstuffs and the sexual dalliances of the jetset. Why not?

Actually, you know what? Here's to Andy Rooney, the world's premier video blogger! Go Andy, go Andy, go!


Whether or not Killdozer was better than Architecture in Helsinki or Deerhoof (they weren’t even close -- not exactly), the fact remains, they were Pigfucker. Hyper-prog? Thank you very much, Pitchfork, for coming up with the worst subgenre name ever, and drilling us with it like Major Payne until it stuck. Jesus. It should have just been called "Deerhumper."

Killdozer - The King of Sex
"I am the King of Sex, and I come from the state of Texas... Neither Christ nor the Holy Ghost can quite satisfy a woman's soul."

Where today are the album titles like Intellectuals Are the Shoeshine Boys of the Ruling Elite, or The Uncompromising War on Art Under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
? At least Reagan was, in some respects, a worthy adversary (before he lost his shit and his mind). He elicited rage, too, but it was a kind of smoldering slow-burn rage, a rip-a-tooth-out-of-your-own-mouth rage, a little more bilious, but also a little more flip. You had to be sarcastic, because he was too smart to be chopped down with axes. Liberals were like Kierkegaard to his Hegel. Nowadays it’s all this hyperactive sense of superiority that people use to cover up their insecurity. It’s all Ex-Congressman Huckabees going “The most important thing is the sanctity of human life, and I will always err on the side of life, and make sure gay people cannot get married because so many normal, and by normal I mean real, and by real I mean heterosexual marriages are failing [because, as per most of the world's problems, it’s the fault of gay people that straight people cannot stay married] and the most important thing is that life is precious and we need to kill our enemies, that's the most important thing.”

Are things better than they were? Maybe, maybe not. But the important thing is, they’re not as good as they could have been. Because, god damn it, where's the give-take? Where's the satire? Where's the Piledriver? Where's the Killdozer?


Tie your ass down and run you over with a trolly car.

I just went to the RZA's myspace page to add him as my friend because he's my favorite specimen of what a human being can become when things go just right. Plus, he's doing the music for the new Afro Samurai anime starring Sam Jackson and that's hot to me. But, his top 8 are: Ol Dirty Bastard (R.I.P.), Raekwon, GZA, Inspectah Deck, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Mastah Killa, and.... Tom.
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Poor U-God! Beat out by Tom!

Another reason I resent The Clipse: "[Pharell] is the best rapper/producer. Ain’t nobody touching him, I’ll put money on it."
~Pusha T

If Pharell is a better rapper/producer than the Razor, I've never thought about peeing in a dish, freezing it, and sliding a disk of frozen pee under somebody's door. And I'm telling you right now, that's just not the case. But you know what, Pusha? I'll take your money.

Secret wifebeaters

I turned on CBS at 10:56, waiting for the Penn State vs. Minnesota game in spite of the fact that they're the two most boring baskerville teams in God's great creation, and caught the end credits of a kid's show. In the background, there were 2 high school chicks in wifebeaters holding hands and dancing with each other to a bad third-generation Euro-house ripoff track. The bottom of the screen said www.secretslumberparty.com. I refuse to go to the link, because I know it will be a huge disappointment, but still -- finally, some children's programming that I can get behind, at least in theory. Holy Christ, what is it about stupid chicks in wifebeaters that makes my inner redneck cock his shotgun?
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Also: I'm so disappointed that the old Talib Kweli Big-10 commercial is gone. The new one is okay and everything, but where's the "they're blocking your big shots and stopping your big men"?! That aside, though, I commend the conference for contracting the man's services. I wonder if the Pac-10 has Fatlip commercials.

Helping along the inevitable Clipse backlash: Part 1

As tropological language goes, the pun "Keys open doors" is about six or seven steps less ingenious than "Killin' your brain like a poisonous mushroom."

When I was 11 or 12, my dad bought me a Vanilla Ice live cd, and it was really a life-changing artifact for me, for one reason: they didn't edit out the parts of the live show where the dancers danced. So VI would say, "Aight, now Looby One (or whatever the fuck their names were) is going to dance for ya'll, you wanna see Looby One dance?" And the crowd would scream, and then there would be like five minutes of looped drums while somebody danced onstage but you couldn't see it. It was my favorite.

Also: the AACS (Blu-Ray, HD) encryption key has already been cracked, and the douchebags in the industry are already acting pissy about it. What did Pirates of the Carribean 2 make, like a billion dollars worldwide? And it doesn't even have a plot. You're going to get your money, you sad little price gougers, with your lunatic persecution mania.


Why? God? WHY?!

So when I was writing for the Washington City Paper, they didn’t much like me. It was probably fair, since I always made for just about the worst Alt Weekly music journalist ever, being a child of the bloody 'fork, message boards full-up with unsupervised children, and James Joyce white papers. Anyway, I was just digging through some of my old stuff, and no wonder they hated me. But more importantly, no wonder I fucking hated them. Here’s 2 drafts of a pick I did on Why?, my editor’s retort after I yelled at her and told her to take my name off her version, and what eventually went to print. Never before have I had the urge to kill, or die, for syntax. It's too bad, because this kind of writing should probably get people killed. I mean, hell, this is America.

Draft 1 -- Quick, name the best electro-folk anthem by a mustachioed rapper since “Hey Ya.” My money’s on “Rubber Traits” by emcee-cum-rock band frontman Yoni Wolf, aka Why? Well, Why? is sort of Wolf’s pseudonym, but the name has gone from his alias as a really weird rapper, to designating his middle period as a lo-fi impresario in the style of the Sebadoh doing EPMD covers, to the name of a full on rock band. Running the anything-goes eclecticism of his 2003 solo album Oaklandazulasylum through a filter of Malkmus-sized melancholia and shiny guitars, Elephant Eyelashes is among the first releases on anticon records to evoke Pavement more than the Freestyle Fellowship, and the fact that it’s far more than a curio is a tribute to Wolf’s skill and vulnerability as a songwriter. Wolf has the ability to make slice of life near-nonsense take on anthemic profundity; you know he’s a songsmith when you find yourself hollering along to lines like, “All the people who taught me card tricks are dying.” Wolf’s voice suggests Ad Rock’s shy younger brother with an encyclopedic knowledge of Elephant 6 vocal tics, and his new backing band gives things an organic weight and density hinted at by Wolf’s less direct work in the megahyped, sadly-defunct cLOUDDEAD.

Draft 2 -- Why? used to be a rapper who never really rapped, and busted a capella lines like “I’m not gay, I just like to know who’s at the park throwing Frisbee with their shirts off.” Now Why? is a folk-singer who sounds like Daniel Johnston if he had an enormous budget and b-boy aspirations – but still never left his bedroom. Why? somehow elevates his wafer-thin voice into a malleable musical instrument that steers his songs through the flubs incumbent in spontaneous home recording. It’s a voice that suggests Ad Rock’s shy younger brother with an encyclopedic knowledge of Elephant 6 vocal tics. Running the anything-goes eclecticism of his 2003 solo album Oaklandazulasylum through a filter of Malkmus-sized melancholia and shiny guitars, Elephant Eyelashes is among the first releases on anticon records to evoke Pavement more than the Freestyle Fellowship, and the fact that it’s far more than a curio is a tribute to Wolf’s skill and vulnerability as a songwriter, and the flat-out talent of his new backing band, who take Why?’s work from the musings of a bedroom impresario (imagine the Sebadoh hunkering down to record a batch of EPMD covers) to a full-on, geeked out rock band. Get ready for a room full of ex-high school spazzes when Why? plays with…

Editor’s response to my comments on her edits -- i'll make the changes tomorrow at work. but i gotta say, that's kinda what you get when you write so damn unclearly. if you read your first draft, and read this one, and think it's not an improvement, we'll have to agree to disagree. that i misrepresented your claims only smacks of your claims were damn near buried in your original draft. you've got 150 words to make a point. you didn't do that, so i had to. which is probably why it sounds like "someone who never listened to why?".

What went to print -- Why? used to be a rapper who never really fit in; he made choruses out of lines such as “I’m not gay/But I do like to know just who’s at the park throwing frisbee with their shirts off.” After getting his start when he found his first four-track in the basement of his father’s synagogue, Why? transitioned from rapper to folk singer with sounds like Daniel Johnson’s—minus the enormous budget and B-boy aspirations. This is a man who knows how to push pleasure centers: His new album, Elephant Eyelashes, is the first release on Anticon Records to evoke Pavement more than the Freestyle Fellowship. This new release is a tribute to Why?’s skill and vulnerability as a songwriter, and the talent of his new ensemble, which takes the songs past the musings of a bedroom impresario to those of a full-on, geeked-out rock band.

That’s right. “With sounds like Daniel Johnson’s." BIG FUCKING SIC. Top 5 alt-weekly, my eye. I'm going to grad school.


The wait child neon light late night lights hurt

Today, I've been listening to a lot of things that I have very specific memories of from my college days. I'm old now, so I get to talk about my "college days." Treasure these moments.

I used to take the bus to my 8:30 German history class. The ride took 20 minutes or so, so a few times -- even though I'm about as far from being an early bird as you can get, while still being the kind of bird who gets the worm, if you know what I'm saying -- I don't even know what I'm saying -- anyway, a few times I took the shuttle that came at 7:50, just so I could sit outside the lecture hall and watch all the pretty journalism girls bounce from hallway conversation to hallway conversation while listening, in my cute little cd walkman, to the first seven tracks of the first Pretenders album -- right up through "Stop Your Sobbing" -- and then capping it off with "Brass In Pocket," that 1980 uber-hit, while I walked through the doors and through the aisles to my seat next to the girl I always sat next to. Her name was Margery, and she was a shiny Denver dime in a cable-knit coin purse, and once I even worked up the nerve to talk to her. I don't remember what I said, but I remember she laughed, and said something back and I laughed, and I said something back, and she laughed, and she said something back, and I laughed, and then I couldn't think of anything to say, and the conversation fizzled. And that was it. No more talking to Margery, not ever again, though we sat next to each other every day the entire semester. I'm not sure if it was force of habit, or active an active stalkerly impulse on my part, though I do know it spanned the entire landscape lecture hall, and I wasn't always the last one to sit down. Yeah, right, she was following me is more plausible.

So "Brass in Pocket," right? It's one of those songs that everybody my age knows, but nobody really knows that they know until they're told what it is, and then they know it forever.

But, amazingly, I don't think I ever really made the connection consciously, until right now, that while I was building an emotional monument out of a Margery, I was compulsively listening to a song that goes, "I've got to have some of your attention, give it to me."

Why didn't I make the connection, you ask?

In a word, Wolfsonizing. Have you ever heard of the French nonsense poem, "Un petit d'un petit"? It goes,

Un petit d'un petit
S'étonne aux Halles
Un petit d'un petit
Ah! degrés te fallent
Indolent qui ne sort cesse
Indolent qui ne se mène
Qu'importe un petit d'un petit
Tout Gai de Reguennes

Basically, it means, "A little of a little (no subject) astonishes itself at Halles." It's nonsense. In other words (literally in other words), it goes, humpty dumpty sat on a wall, humpty dumpty had a great fall.

What's the point? Well, I swear to you, I think Chrissy Hynde writes her lyrics in a cross between French and Japanese, and then listens to them with an English ear, and homophonically transliterates the words for her lyric sheets. "The Wait," as far as I can tell when I listen to it, contains not so much as a single word of English. I am quite sure that it's the work of one of those Japanese cover bands who figure out song-lyrics phonetically and then sing a sophisticated form of gibberish, without quite knowing it's wrong.

"I want a range rife." I'm pretty sure this guy actually sings, "out on my skateboard, the night is just funky," which is at least as good as the original. Thanks, Steve. You know how sometimes you sing a song really loud in your car while it's playing, and you really have no idea what the words are, but you really have no idea that you don't know the words because you know the sounds? I'm pretty sure that's how Chrissy Hynde feels all the time. In "Brass," there's that list -- "gon' use my arms, gon' use my legs, gon' use my style," and then I'm pretty sure the next thing she says she's going to use to make him notice is "my Sensei." And you know what? I'm all for karate in new wave dating. As Van Damme would put it, "you taught me to use the any technique that work. Never to limit myself to one style. To keep an open mind!"

"Brass in Pocket" has always rubbed me the wrong way a little bit, because I feel like such a fraud when I'm listening to it. It's so incredibly slinky. So much slinkier than I am. There's no way I could possibly get away with saying anything like this to anyone, let alone saying it like this, and let's just be honest with ourselves. Chrissy Hynde is not talking to me. Don't get cocky, she's not talking to you either. She's probably talking to Sufjan Stevens.


Top 10 Hip Rock Chicks

Dedicated to Mike Ulrich, a great fetishizer of the Hip Rock Chick.

Ahh, the Hip Rock Chick. We've all had one. If you think back, she's probably the only person who's ever made you feel like you really deserved to be alive. But she probably did it unintentionally, and she probably didn't do it for very long. Ephemeral creatures, the Hip Rock Chicks. Un-tie-downable, doing swirling butterfly loops around your head, brightening your day and then migrating somewhere warmer, because fuck you -- what did you ever do to deserve a Hip Rock Chick?

They're the hipster's philosopher's stone. Quasi-mythical, perhaps even non-existent outside the realm of lore, they're the indie-rock alembic, and they turn lead (you) into gold. The Hip Rock Chick is incredibly rare, so when you stumble upon one, it is biologically mandated that you latch onto her with ten little claws and don't let go until she tears them out at the root. Simpletons call this "crushing," and it's dismissed as self-indulgent, ponderous, sort of pathetic, if in an endearing way. But really, it's not that different from Saharan tribes guarding a watering hole -- you do what you have to do to protect from theft the things that make life bearable. Dying of thirst is one of the most painful ways to go.

You know them by sight. They wear those knee-length dresses and those calf-length boots that you think are pretty ugly but are really pretty hot. Or, t-shirts that are constantly sliding up their bellies, because they’re always waving their arms in the air, and the lots of little trinkets on their wrists are always sliding elbow-wards. The way they do their hair suggests they may have a mild form of autism. They smile a lot. A lot. But they're really mean to people they don't know, unless they have to be nice, and then they're just awkward. They're Hip Rock Chicks, and they are the greatest and rarest and hottest of all natural resources.

Far be it from me to objectify these women, though. The point is not to hold them at arm's length and squint at them like subhumans, or to praise them for their vacuous beauty or fuckability or anything so puerile as that. The point is, these are the people you'd like to subjectify. I stand to gain nothing from exploiting them, and everything from communing with them. As one of the finest upcoming Hip Rock Chicks, Khaela Maricich from the Blow, puts it in one of the greatest stupid love song in a long time, "Parentheses," "If something in the deli aisle makes you cry, of course I'll put my arms around you and I'll walk you outside, through the sliding doors, why would I mind? You're not a baby if you feel the world... although the babies, they can feel the world... that's why they cry." Download that shit here and listen to it constantly for the next week straight.

Ok, so I'm totally objectifying these women, because I'm making a top ten list of my favorite Hip Rock Chicks. It's not a beauty contest, though. The rankings are based on a carefully modulated and highly-controlled algorithm that balances looks, intimidation-factor, fashion sense, skillz, and, especially, tangible contributions to my feelings of well-being during daydreams.

The twins from On!Air!Library!, for example, are disqualified, because, although they are retardedly good-looking, they are more or less just hot girls. You just don't sense in them that just-below-the-surface tinge of bizarre occultism, the true belief in the curative powers of god or dragons and wolf-howls, or at least the garden-variety punk rock xenophobia that elevates a standard hot chick to an extraordinary Hip Rock Chick.
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Seriously, they look sort of like Paula Abdul, and that's not very Hip Rock Chick.

People like Bjork and Miho Hatori, on the other hand, are disqualified because they're not much like people as I understand people, and while that's totally hot, it falls outside of the purview of the list.
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These ladies are, as much as anything, representative of their own paradigm of hot hipster chickdom. To you!

10. Tracyanne Campbell (Camera Obscura) / Isobel Campbell (ex-Belle & Sebastian)
The Scottish Gum-Bubbles
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You know why they're great? Because they look like they're the cast of a Godard movie, but they're Scottish. Can you imagine if Godard movies were in English, and entirely populated with people speaking the inherently comical Glaswegian brogue? That's just about the sexiest thing I've ever heard. Or, like, the tenth.

9. Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley)
The Soda Pop Jerk
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Jenny Lewis is a special case, because she makes music that is, generally speaking, sort of questionably good. For every "Execution of All Things," there's a "The Froog." She's also almost automatically disqualified for basically being a huge celebrity. What saves her? Well, for one, her starring turn opposite Fred Savage in The Wizard, one of the greatest bad movies ever made, is totally edged with some super-creepy psychosexual and pedophilic overtones, and that's pretty artsy. ("He touched my breast!") Plus, the mainstream has steadfastly refused to embrace her, no matter how hard she tries to sell out. (Sorry, "soften her sound"). That and, she's just so goddamn dreamy. I actually hear her solo album is pretty good, and maybe I'll get to it someday, but for now, I'm just going to watch the video for "The Froog" with the sound off and imagine I'm having a deep conversation about hopes and fears with her while sustaining meaningful and profound eye-contact for the duration. Sort of like a Streets song.

8. Feist (BSS) / Amy Milan (BSS / Stars)
The Canadiennes
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The crushable Canadians from Broken Social Scene are kind of the definitional indie chicks. They write and sing almost exclusively love songs, and they're real listless and wistful, just like you! However, they're also totally infuriating, because people this hot and talented are not supposed to have the same problems as normal (read: ugly, unskilled) people. That's why we listen to indie rock in the first place -- because hearing beautiful people sigh longing songs gets real fucking old real fast. At least it's supposed to, but these ladies are fighters, and they beat the odds.

7. Laura Balance (Superchunk)
The Pogo-Pogo-Princess
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The thunk-thunking pulse of the most under-appreciated band of all time. I don’t really have to explain this one to you whippersnappers, do I? Proto-Michelle Rodriguez looks, fuzzed-out basslines, and pogo-pogo-princess stage presence. Her hair is always in her face in the videos, cuz she’s modest and absolutely jam-packed with integrity, which is a huge boon for any Hip Rock Chick. And she’s got the best name on the list, bar none. Plus, she co-founded and co-owns Merge Records. Thank her for your precious Arcade Fire, and your precious Neutral Milk Hotel. I know I do.

6. Caralee McElroy (Xiu Xiu)
The Black Angel
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My sweet lord, look at her skin. She sings, and plays keyboards, flute, bass, harmonium, bells, gongs, and guitar. How many of those things do you do? I'm not super-fond of Xiu Xiu. I find them kind of stiffly pretentious, and I'm not sure what the use of that emotiono-confessional stuff is. But the press has roundly contradicted me, and I'm glad for that, because I went to see them live, and I stood on a chair, and I just watched Caralee McElroy (second-best name) play the glockenspiel and then stand around looking incredibly Hip Rock Chick while Jamie wailed about soldiers eviscerating people with grenade launchers and dead guys cumming on his face at the gym, or whatever he wails about. It was so worth it.

5. Kathleen Hanna, Kathi Wilcox, Tobi Vail (Bikini Kill)
The Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Yellow Poka Dot Spiders
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There are too many factors contributing to the hotness of Bikini Kill to list. Ever since I saw a rock-doc nearly a decade ago in which she was interviewed, I've had a huge crush on Kathleen Hanna. I was born, or at least built, to love her. She's from Oregon. She has ties to the grunge and twee / K Records communities. She was a stripper. She's a feminist. She was, at one point, a self-described lesbian. She's ultra-leftist. She studied photography. She did 'zines. She has the best eyebrows, and very possibly the best scream in punk. These are all things that I am pretty obsessed with. Plus, she got knocked the fuck out by Courtney Love backstage at Lollapalooza for making a joke about Francis Bean being on a heroin drip. Kathleen pressed charges, and the Lovester pled guilty to assault. Talk about revenge drama!
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She wrote “SLUT” on her stomach in really big letters for live gigs. You go, girl!

And the other two, Wilcox and Vail, ain't so bad themselves... but you always have to look around Kathleen to get to 'em. Tobi Vail was in the first band called the Go Team, with the estimable Calvin Johnson. Now she's in some psychadelic whatchamacallit called Spider and the Webs. She's got it going on.
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If you need proof that this is the hottest bunch of punk chicks ever: Tobi Vail dated and dumped Kurt Cobain; Kathleen Hanna is married to Ad-Rock from the Beastie Boys; and Kathi Wilcox's baby-daddy is Guy Picciotto from Fugazi. Hang on a second, aren't those three of the four best bands of the 90s? If there had been a fourth member of BK, she would have become Stephen Malkmus's commonlaw wife. I practically guarantee it.

Besides, I don't blame her. I would change sexual orientation for Ad-Rock, too.

4. Katrina Kerns (Sufjan Stevens)
The Exterminating Angel
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Are you kidding? This person doesn't actually exist. The xylophonist / backing vocalist for Sufjan Stevens is, in fact, the female Sufjan Stevens, who himself is the indie rock Jonathan Safran Foer, who is the literary equivalent of that guy on that season of Road Rules who everybody hated because he could do everything and spoke like four languages and was hot and then when somebody said "why don't you do a backflip for me" he actually did a backflip, right there in the Road Rules RV. These people are impossible for me not to hate at least a tiny little bit. I swear to god, Katrina Kerns and Sufjan Stevens are a fraud perpetrated on hipsters by a think-tank of geniuses and conservatory musicians. They’re stupid actors who lip-sync and mime their instruments. I’ll bet you ten-to-one Katrina Kerns is actually Charlize Theron’s mute sister (the shame of the family!), and Sufjan is some ex-hooker from the Eastern Bloc. Either that, or they really are actually perfect. I'm not sure which is worse.

3. Eleanor Friedberger (Fiery Furnaces)
The Female Twin

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I'm not sure why Eleanor has to be so high up, but she does. I mean, there's really only one thing working against her, and that's the fact that her haircut looks alarmingly like Mick Ronson's.
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She is the most androgynous person on the list. There's something vaguely gay about liking Eleanor, I think, since androgyny always leans masculine. Cold is the absence of heat. Men are the absence of women, y-chrome be damned. But, she is, on the other hand, a totally hot chick, so it all works out in a Kinsey Scale sort of way. To love Eleanor Friedberger is to love a woman, but it's also to indulge in repressed gay urges to be with somebody who's more or less like you, which she seems to be, but better. Because let's face it, we're all in love with her brother, too, and it's like a package deal. There's something befuddled and vaguely hostile about her. There's no plausible reason she should be so charming. She really can't sing. She has the stage presence of a wetnap. But holy hot damn, is she about as charismatic as a person can be, without being either of the two people below.

2. Joanna Newsom
The Harpy Cherub
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No doy. 'Nuff said.

And the number one Hip Rock Chick:

1. Sarah Balliet (Murder By Death)
The Archangel Uriel
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If Joanna Newsom is the indie rock Cherub, Sarah Balliet is the indie rock Seraph. I have never seen this woman not bathed in an angelic glow. She's the Archangel Uriel of the dive club: the Fire of God. I’ve seen Murder by Death a half-dozen times, and she’s never been less than awe-inspiring. She plays the cello, which in and of itself is hot. The electric cello, at that. But, she’s also got incredible chops, and that’s hotter. When you compound it with the fact that she plays the thing like Doug Martsch plays the guitar – hard-charging and heavy like she’s paving the road to hell with notation – you’ve got yourself one of the most captivating musicians alive.
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Did I mention she likes speed metal, and she sometimes wears torn-to-rags Slayer shirts and stuff onstage? And she’s very, very nice, which is a huge plus. I mean, it's not like she's a wholesome girl from Indiana or something. Oh wait!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the number one Hip Rock Chick in the world, Sarah Balliet.
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That’s right, girl. Smile. You’ve earned it.

Or, replace any of these women with Chan Marshall from Cat Power.

You Are Gwen Stefani!

All guys dream about you
And all the girls want to be you
"Sappy pathetic little me
That was the girl I used to be"


I'm waiting so skillfully

So this is the stuff of a slapstick comedy from the silent era, the kind of thing Charlie Chaplin would have been falsely arrested for before bumbling his way through an accidental escape from prison. Headlines are improbably awesome, given the ostensible gravity of the situation: "Grown man pretends to be 12 to lure boys for sex" being perhaps my favorite, though "Man cons 2 Arizona men into thinking he's 12" is right up there, and "Sex offender applies for school as a boy" has its own wily charm.

Picture it. A creepy, rundown flophouse on the seedy side of town. Inside, three convicted sex offenders, and an uber-creepy 61 year old, the funny-looking Lonnie Stiffler (no joke, he's a Stiffler). They're all sitting around a card table. One of them looks suspiciously young -- if you were to inspect him, in the military way, you would find not so much as a body hair on him. This is Neil Havens Rodreick II. Suddenly, Stiffler whoops with excitement, like one of those old codgers in the movies about prospecting for gold. He stands up and says, "Consarnit, I've got the dag-blastedest idea! I'll pretend to be yer gran-pappy, and we'll sign you up as a 12 year old in school, and you'll make friends with boys, lure 'em back to our dungeon, and we'll take a-turns pokin' 'em!" Then all four fire their guns into the air gleefully. And I mean that like you think I mean it.

It's strangely fitting: All these motherfuckers have strangely Southern Literary names in the great Faulknerian tradition. There's Lonnie Stiffler, then there's Neil Havens Rodreick II, Brian J. Nellis, and Robert James Snow. They're even in Yavapai County, Arizona, which I gather is about a fifteen minute bike ride from Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, and you can stop by Preston Sturges's house on the way for some pie and milk.

It's one of those stories that I just have to love because, as far as I know, nobody got hurt. I mean, really, a 29 year old man named Neil Havens Rodreick the second was trying to convince people that he was 12 with some shoddily-forged documents and some silly pre-pube clothes, which seems a bit like me trying to board a space shuttle a few minutes before launch in landscaper's overalls and a fishbowl on my head.

By far the best part of this story, though? This was a two-way con.

'Stiffler and Robert James Snow, 43, "were very upset when the detectives told them they had been having a sexual relationship with a 29-year-old man and not a pre-teen boy," [Sheriff's spokeswoman Susan] Quayle said... She said detectives learned in interviews with the men that Rodreick convinced Stiffler and Snow that he was a boy after meeting him two years ago over the Internet. Rodreick apparently shaved his body hair and used makeup to keep up the guise.'

Motherfucker looks just like a thin Corey Haim, too. With a personal trainer, a lettuce diet, and some Nair, there's a starring role in here somewhere, Frog Brother.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention: The Sea and Cake prolly shoulda been the biggest band in the world. You know, if the world was fair and all that. I'd probably have a girlfriend, though, too, so I probably ought to have bigger bones to pick with the world and its cruel realities.

Also: WHO DAT SAY THEY GON' BEAT THEM SAINTS?!? Oh, yeah, the Bears are going to beat the Saints. Fucking Bears. I'm in the unfortunate position of seriously liking two of the four teams in the Divisional championships (Saints & Pats), while being completely indifferent to the Colts. The fourth, the wretched Bears, is my least favorite team in the history of time and space and sports, surpassing even the Yankees (but maybe only tied with the Cardinals). This means, inevitably, the Bears will win the Superbowl against the Colts in a turgid "battle of field position"-style Super Bowl, which will be about as interesting to watch as a regular-season AA high school football game. Though the Saints playing the Patriots would be just as bad -- my underdog fetish and my fondness for the home-team Red, White, and Blue would probably look something like borderline personality disorder to anybody watching me watching the game. I am God's plaything.


Can I get a?

This week's New Yorker leads with a Gap ad for their (Red) clothing line that features the aging Christy Turlington's ageless nipples.
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I found myself thinking, is this the best way to fight AIDS? Then I thought, yes. Yes it is.

And on the nipple tip: Of all the ridiculous and hilarious fetishes in the world, I think my favorite is the fact that there are porn websites that specifically cater to those who lust after "sexy Canadian teens." It just seems like an implausible implacable sexual craving, Canadians.

Caught by his wife, Reginald could only stammer, over and over, "I'm sorry… I'm so sorry…. I can't help myself. I crave sexy Canadian teens!" Never mind the myriad intergrity issues, since it's pretty hard to brand a Canadian when all you've got to go on is a jpeg.

I always felt bad for people who had, like, fetishes for household appliances before they were invented (dialogue between two peasants in Schenectady, New York, circa 1751: "Shock me with electricity!" "What's electricity?"), or foot fetishes before recent breakthroughs in personal health and hygiene. In fact, I think I'm going to pitch a new slogan to Bed, Bath & Beyond.

"Bed, Bath & Beyond: a foot fetishist's best friend. Yadadamean?"

Also: Redford demands apology over Iraq. I don't give a shit about the story, but I love this picture.
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Highwaters, capris, plus-fours, trousers, lederhosen, knickerbockers, hiphuggers, nuthuggers, jodhpurs, and the rest. There are many pants.

Even allowing for Arab women, aboriginal Australians, and indigenous Africans (and depending on your classification of the loincloth), by the very most conservative of estimates there are at least five billion pairs of pants in the world. That’s a lot of pants. And then if we allow for the old saying, "I left it in my other pants," and consider it to be a universally applicable maxim, there would be something like 10 billion pairs of pants in the world. That's even more pants.

As a tribute to pants, here's JCVD punching a pantless Asian in the balls. See what you get, pantless Asian?
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Hot chicks with douchebags. It’s only the greatest idea for a website ever. Pictures of hot chicks with douchebags, with acerbic commentary. And surprisingly well executed and imagined. From the FAQ:

'Q: What is "The Grieco"?

A: The Grieco refers to the early 90s b-movie actor and star of 21 Jump Street, Richard Grieco. Richard Grieco spent much of the 1990s perfecting the douchebag look with his overly quaffed hair, excessive bling, tats, and leather jacket over a wife-beater t-shirt. Grieco is the source template for the modern day Douchebag, and so he has attained exalted status on our douche shrine and scrote hierarchy… Grieco was like the Typhoid Mary of douchitude.

Q: Well then what is "The Bleeth" or "Fair Maiden Bleeth"?

A: Fair Maiden Bleeth refers to television star and Baywatch beauty Yasmine Bleeth. A former wonder of nature, Fair Maiden Bleeth found herself enthralled and charmed by The Grieco in the mid 1990s. Her time spent in such close presence to Source Douchitude infected her with enough Grieco 'Bag Virus to kill a large horse. Yet Fair Maiden Bleeth survived. Barely. Her coked out mug shot after four years of being exposed to such heinous douchitude can be seen in the archives of this blog. She is the warning to all hotties featured on this site of what awaits them if they continue down the 'bag path to greasy scrotitude.'

Also: one of the dictionary definitions of “pantaloons” is “Trousers worn in former times.” I must take the boxful of pantaloons that no longer fit me to Goodwill.


American Idol... American Idyl... American Pastoral?

Ryan Seacrest is wearing one of his expensive-ass blazers over a Delicious Vinyl t-shirt, because apparently he wasn't already hot enough.
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Ryan Seacrest, please tickle me with your chin and cheeks, first real slow and gradually real fast, to Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde.

It's kind of not fair how future historians will get the pleasure of introducing to their coevals the fact that, in the first decade of the third millenium Common Era, the three most prominent critics of American pop singers were Paula Abdul, the bass-player from a "non-classic" incarnation of motherfucking Journey, and a man who just had the following dialogue with a contestant.

-Man: "I'm gonna sing 'I Don't Want to Miss a Thing' by Aerosmith."

-Simon Cowell: "Fan

There's really no historical corollary. You can't say that, like, Brutus and Cassius were in a seedy semi-pro porno in high school, or that John Ruskin was first an aspiring singer of white-power punk rock. I mean, motherfucking Journey.

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Motherfucking Journey.

So American Idol is back, and I'm doomed by laziness and inbred compulsion to watch the whole season for the second year straight, and it's still pretty eerie how eager people are to assume they deserve to be famous just because Paris Hilton has a sex tape and some Scott Storch-produced album tracks. Then, by the time the cast of milquetoast-talents -- half of them attractive and dumb and the other half vaguely charming, in a pitiful way, and dumb -- get past the Hollywood round, I'm already sick of each and every one of them, and the show hasn't even really started yet. And yet it manages to keep the vanilla half of my brain in a positively catatonic rapture, a feeling that things are slightly less unpleasant than usual, in spite of the unpleasantness of the show I'm watching. After all, lest we forget who this Fox Network vehicle's target audience really is, it's worth noting that they put both the Navy cowboy and the Army reservist chick through to Hollywood, where they will never be seen, or at least heard to sing, again. Oh Rupert, you wag!

Plus: Julie Bowen. The love-interest on Ed (R.I.P. Ed), Jack's ex-wife on Lost, and a randy, fierce lawyer on Boston Public. A holy trinity of emasculating sex symbols. I heart Julie Bowen.
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His hair was perfect! AWOOOOOOO!

The TV on the Radio reckids are aight and everything (I'm practicing understatement, on the path to feigning indifference, in the interest of appearing hipper), but who knew "Wolf Like Me" actually sounded like this? Lookittem go, they think it's Chapel Hill in ninety fo'! It's like a punk-as-fuck version of "Highway to the Danger Zone," and that can't be bad. And you've got to respect Kyp Malone's out-of-tune falsetto backing wail at the 2:45 mark that stoically wears its course to completion, and then the way, right after it, he stomps out this intense little Devo-dance foot shuffle. And Tunde Adebimpe could sell me anything, as long as he was waving his hand in the air like that.

"Gonna teach you tricks that'll blow your mind!"

As Letterman puts it, "Yeah, I guess so. Yeahaha. Cool. Oh, that was nice. Nice to see you. Oh, that was great." What the fuck?!

And: further proof that the obvious, sane, and humane first step in post-Katrina American Affirmative Action is to subsidize indie rock and cede total creative control and 60% of manpower to non-white people.