Sunday, January 29, 2012

Watchin' Downton

I wish I could make a snarky comment about this, but this is basically how every Downton Abbey watch party that I've ever been to has gone. With perhaps a few more comments about the MILFiness of Lady Cora/Elizabeth McGovern.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Now Tell Me Are You Down With It?

The A.V. Club's Nathan Rabin sits down with Naughty By Nature to discuss "O.P.P." It is every bit as awesome as it sounds.
Naughty By Nature discusses and performs "O.P.P."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hump Day

Although its only Wednesday, it has been a long week here at CSD headquarters. Some weeks, you need something silly to cheer you up. These non-sensical Spongebob Squarepants overdubs of classic scenes from Casablanca, Singin' In the Rain, and The Godfather lifted my spirits; hopefully they will lift yours as well.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Craig Finn Discusses the Unreleased Song "Jackson"

As long-time readers of this blog know, the Hold Steady is one of our favorite bands. In 2010, the band, minus long-time piano player Franz Nicolai, released Heaven Is Whenever, a solid album with a couple of great songs that was nonetheless by far the weakest and least consistent album the band had ever released. Late last year, Craig Finn, the band's lead singer, announced that he was releasing a solo album in 2012; news that fans took with no small amount of skepticism. Franz Nicolai's solo albums sucked so much dick that Stoya got a little envious, and no fan of The Hold Steady wanted to see Finn release a legacy-destroying solo project that would make his early records like Almost Killed Me and Separation Sunday seem like lucky flukes instead of the product of one of the greatest bands of their generation.

Fortunately, Finn gave the internet (and visibly star-struck music critic Steven Hyden) a sneak preview of one of his solo songs, "Jackson." It sounds exactly like Craig Finn without sounding too much like The Hold Steady, which is to say that he seems to have hit it out of the park. Hopefully the album will have five or six more songs like this:

Craig Finn discusses and performs "Jackson"

Monday, January 2, 2012

Red Flag!

NBC has turned off embedding on this video, but Saturday Night Live's "Red Flag" is the best fake advertisement they've done since the legendary "Schmitt's Gay." I love the male leads' reaction shots, particularly the way that Jason Sudekis spits martini back into his glass after hearing that Kristen Wiig lived in Las Vegas for eleven years. Also, like the "you know how I know you're gay?" scene from the 40 Year-Old Virgin, the signifiers of craziness they pick are clever and funny and show first-hand experience with meeting women in night clubs. I just loved this skit.

Thanks to Jake Taylor for recommending the clip.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Reading Resolutions for 2012

1) Finish Roberto Bolano's 2666 - I may have to backtrack a little bit to refresh my memory about some of the characters. This novel is long, and not a quick read, but the spiffy three-volume set I picked up at a library sale should make it easier than the 900-page behemoth I lugged to the office and back all summer.

2) Read four or five more books off of The New York Times' 25 Best Works of American Fiction of the last 25 years - The list of the 25 best works of ficiton actually contains thirty novels; I have read twenty of them, and hope to get to twenty-five by the end of the year. This list, in its entirety, was my reading resolution a few years ago, but there's only so much Philip Roth and Cormac McCarthy one can read in a calendar year.

3) Read at least one volume of a fantasty novel franchises - This year, I read, and loved, Lev Grossman's Brakebills franchise, and it has inspired me to start another one this year. George R. R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice and Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles are at the top of the list

4) Read more classics, particularly 19th-Century classics. Anna K, Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone, and George Eliot are at the top of the list. They're all free on the Kindle!! How difficult can this really be?

5) Read more books I already own. This has two components - buying fewer books, and going to the library less. I love the Brooklyn Public Library, but the more I patronize it, the longer my books sit on my shelves, unread.