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Current Music: Bile -- in My Eye ♬

Pantaloons. Arrr.

pirate monkey pants.
Current Music: Bile -- in My Eye ♬

a mighty ruckus at islais creek

There were a bunch of bands down in the superfund toxic wasteland of Detroit Hunter's Point this weekend. The bands were set up outside on a flatbed truck at the end of a road that dead-ends into sewage and carcinogenic toxic waste. Rock on! (Note to my friends who live there: move.) Anyway, it was great fun. I took some pictures.

    Plastination: Hi Tobias. Look over there!

    The Copper Tones: Surf rock. Pretty good.

    Riot a Go Go: Girl-fronted punk. Pretty good.

    Radio Noise: Ska. Eh.

    New Model Army (actually Justin and Dean doing a mostly-accoustic set): Fantastic, as always.

    Smash Up Derby: I liked these guys the last time I saw them, but this time they did nothing for me. It might just be that I'm that much more sick of mashups now, but I think they just didn't sound very good this time.

    Babyland: Ok industrial band. They are two guys plus backing tracks. The drummer is fantastic, and uses random bits of metal instead of actual drums. The singer is manic and entertaining, but screams in exactly the same style on every song, which I find irritating.

    F-Space: I thought these guys were awesome (and not just because they use fire). One of the guys primarily played this thing that seemed to be a bunch of big springs stretched over a metal table that periodically spat fire. The music was heavily distorted and drumming heavy; old-school industrial, sort of in the Crash Worship vein, but less tribal.

And later that night at The Independent:

    Invisible Ballet: Really great! Invisible Ballet is Rebecca and Ryan from Halou, doing more of a synthpop thing than the sorta-triphop of Halou. This time, they also had Evan and Shawn from Battery playing with them, which was cool.

    Then New Model Army again, this time with the full band. They were great, but the club's sound was crap. This was unexpected, because it sounded fine for Invisible Ballet, and it sounded great there when I saw Tackhead. Despite the sound issue, I think I prefer NMA's accoustic sets. They seem a lot more powerful and emotional.

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Clearly a more detailed study is called for.

Study: Half of All Teens Have Had Oral Sex
"I question how much girls enjoy" oral sex, Joe McIllhaney Jr., chairman of the Medical Institute for Sexual Health said. "I'd like to know a whole lot more about the pressure boys put on girls."

Survey Finds More Women Try Bisexuality

For women in their late teens and 20s, the percentage rose to 14 percent in the more recent survey. About 6 percent of men in their teens and 20s said they'd had at least one same-sex encounter.

"It happens some times. People just explode."

Power-dressing man leaves trail of destruction
An Australian man built up a 40,000-volt charge of static electricity in his clothes as he walked, leaving a trail of scorched carpet and molten plastic and forcing firefighters to evacuate a building.

Frank Clewer, who was wearing a woolen shirt and a synthetic nylon jacket, was oblivious to the growing electrical current that was building up as his clothes rubbed together. When he walked into a building in the country town of Warrnambool in the southern state of Victoria Thursday, the electrical charge ignited the carpet.

"It sounded almost like a firecracker," Clewer told Australian radio Friday.

"There were several scorch marks in the carpet, and we could hear a cracking noise -- a bit like a whip -- both inside and outside the building," said fire official Henry Barton.

Clewer, who after leaving the building discovered he had scorched a piece of plastic on the floor of his car, returned to seek help from the firefighters.

"We tested his clothes with a static electricity field meter and measured a current of 40,000 volts, which is one step shy of spontaneous combustion, where his clothes would have self-ignited," Barton said.


recent movies

Some movies I've seen recently:

The Hole:

    A group of private-school students end up trapped in an underground bunker, and a shrink tries to get the story of what happened out of one of the girls (Thora Birch, who is great). The story is re-told several times, Rashomon-like, and it gets uglier with each telling. It's very tense, and I liked it a lot.


    Charlize Theron plays an ageing tweaker prostitute who, while trying to provide for her needy, underage girlfriend (Christina Ricci) gives up prostitution in favor of murdering johns. Theron won an Oscar for this, and it was well-deserved. She's amazingly creepy and believable.

Shaun of the Dead:

    I put off seeing this for a long time because, fan of zombies though I am, I thought the preview looked really, really stupid. I didn't even smile at one of the jokes in it. But, the movie is actually pretty entertaining!

Falling Down:

    I had never seen this, and every now and then it would come up and someone would say, "you haven't seen Falling Down? It's a classic!" Well, I'm sorry, people, your memories of this movie far outstrip its quality. It is complete garbage. It is wall-to-wall clichés, starting with "it is Hero Cop's last day before retirement" and going downhill from there. The racial stereotypes were especially bad: I kept remembering a scene in Hollywood Shuffle where Robert Townsend was trying out for a role, and they kept asking him to act "more black". This could have been the movie he was thinking fun of!

    The movie is an extended revenge-fantasy, but it's the fantasy of a writer who is just a dick.

    I was ready to stop watching after about 10 minutes, but my friend was captivated by the sights of the early 90s LA strip malls and freeway construction. I didn't know you could be nostalgic for that kind of thing, but apparently you can.

Transporter 2:

    Dumb fun. Not as good as the first one (which was... not great, but entertaining.) Very near the beginning, a skinny blonde woman dressed as a nurse rips open her coat and proceeds to aerate the building with machine guns while wearing only soaking wet lingerie. That kind of sets the tone for the rest of movie. There is some decent fight choreography. Unfortunately there's also a precocious child, and an almost complete disregard for the laws of physics. The level boss ending is somewhat anticlimactic.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose:

    A girl dies during an exorcism, and the priest is on trial for murder. The story is told mainly in flashbacks to the big event. This was pretty good; it was suspenseful without too many spring-loaded cats. It was interesting how the telling of the story managed to remain fairly noncommital on the question of "was it demons, or epilepsy?"

    But man, religious people are weird. It always seems like they've heard of Occam's Razor, but they just don't quite get how it works! They kept saying things like, "God allows people to be posessed to prove to others that God exists". Well you know what, if God really wanted to prove that he existed, I don't think he'd have any trouble doing that, being God and all. Instead of making a statue bleed in front of some backwoods hick, why not make ten thousand statues bleed at the same time? It's fuckin' God! So the obvious, clichéd answer to that is that God doesn't actually want to provide proof, because he wants people to have faith (AKA "believing something for no reason at all"). In which case, posession proves nothing except that, well, God's kinda mean.

    In fact, providing proof of God would be more up the Devil's alley, wouldn't it? Proof would destroy faith. So is God skulking around like the Men In Black covering up Satan's spoilers?

    Also there was some nonsense about 3AM being "the witching hour" because Jesus came back from the dead at 3PM. Which immediately made me ask, what time zone is God in? And does he follow Daylight Savings Time?

    Maybe I could just Google this, but why are Catholics always seeing Mary instead of Jesus? Is she like the Press Secretary or something? Or is she more like Karl Rove?

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Celebrity D&D, again

Regarding that idea I had:

Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 13:14:07 -0700
From: Wil Wheaton <>
Subject: Celebrity D&D


No joke: I helped some guys from Upright Citizen's Brigade pitch this to Comedy Central. We did a live version for them at the Comedy Central Workspace earlier this year.

It was AWESOME, and hilarious, and I got to sit close enough to Paget Brewster to pretend that she was in love with me, but CC didn't pick it up.

There's a tape of it, that should /really/ find its way to the internets.

Which forces me to ask... why does Comedy Central hate America?


Bush asks Condoleezza for permission to go potty

U.S. President George W. Bush writes a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a Security Council meeting at the 2005 World Summit and 60th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York September 14, 2005. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

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High Concept

You may have noticed that there are a whole bunch of "celebrity poker" shows on television these days, where a group of famous people sit around playing cards and being snarky at each other, and they film the whole thing. I can't imagine too many things more boring than watching someone else play cards, but I guess fishing has a rich TV history too... Anyway, I have an idea, and hopefully one of my many readers in the entertainment industry will make it a reality:

    Celebrity Dungeons and Dragons.

I want to see a TV show where the flying camera crane zips around the table where Wil Wheaton, Puff Daddy, Michael Madsen, and Lindsay Lohan play D&D. I would totally watch that.

"Yo, I'm-a gonna get all up in that orc's face with my Magic Missile. Jack you up, orc!" Then then announcers banter, "oh, Magic Missle! A bold choice, he might need that later. Here comes the roll..."

It would be GLORIOUS.

Update: Mr. Wheaton points out that there is nothing new under the sun...

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