There are two elevators in my building. In the coveted left-hand elevator you can ride alone, but it is rarely on. The identical right-hand elevator is operated by one of three elevator girls, who alternate twelve-hour shifts. The elevator girl's job is to sit on a low stool under the single flickering microwatt fluorescent bulb and press buttons for the various floors. There is no reason for this job to exist; the elevator is modern and identical in every respect to its autonomous twin. But some higher authority has decided that there needs to be a young woman to push the buttons. The elevator girl says hello when you walk in, presses the button for your floor, and when you arrive at the first floor whispers "yì céng" in a faint Hans Christian Andersen voice, so you know you are on the first floor and not, say, back in your New York apartment, realizing this was all some creepy dream.
To make it all even more wrenching, the elevator girls hang out a meager selection of newspapers and magazines along the elevator's inside railing, which they sell for a tiny profit. They read the unsold copies during their twelve hour shifts, squinting under the flickering ghost light. I wish more than anything that I could buy one (all) of these papers from them, but I don't even know enough to make the request, let alone a plausible excuse for why I would buy something entirely in Chinese. And so each day begins with fifteen floors of intense mortification.
Very rarely I will step in to find the elevator girl chatting on the sparkly plastic phone (?!) that hangs on the elevator wall, and this lights up my day.
Best Proof That The Dead Can Dance
The age-old question "Can corpses be sexy?" is unequivocally answered in the affirmative when the Living Dead Girlz take the stage. You don't have to be a necrophiliac to enjoy the shimmy-shake moves of this seven-lass troupe as they strut to spooky tunes (think Screamin' Jay Hawkins) with an undead rhythm not seen since Jacko's "Thriller" video. Though there's a Village People~esque flavor to each gal's themed character ("Cowgirl Zombie," "Pippi Long-Zombie," etc.), their unifying hotness (or is that dead, blue coldness?) is pretty much all you'll notice during their routines. A late-May gig opening for The Elm Street Murders at the DNA Lounge culminated in the Girlz chomping on one of their own -- but you never know with zombies. This is probably the only burlesque show in history where your brains just might become a dancer's din-din.
Smash-Up Derby got one too:
Best Tori Amos Meets Slayer
Who would win in a street fight, Britney Spears or the guitarist from Motörhead? What about Kelly Clarkson versus that weird stomping dude from AC/DC? The members of Smash Up Derby have been studying these bizarre hypothetical scenarios for years and have finally found the answer: both -- as mashups. A seamless mixing of the vocals from one genre with the music from another, mashups (a.k.a. bootlegs) have been around on the Internet nerd circuit for years, but Smash Up Derby is the only band that performs them live. Equal parts girly glam pop and straight-up rock 'n' roll, Smash Up Derby is San Francisco's answer to America's binary categorization problem. Gender benders Adrian Roberts and Trixxie Carr sing your favorite bubblegum tunes while the backup band grinds out classic punk rock and heavy metal, every second Friday at Bootie, America's first mashup monthly.
(Previously: "Best Place to See an Electronic Duo Score My Dinner with Andre"...)
A French court has ordered Greenpeace France to remove a webpage featuring a Google Map showing the location of commercial GE maize fields in France -- despite an EU law which says the government should make the information available to the public.
So today we have responded by carving a giant 'X' crop circle into one of the GE maize fields in question, marking the spot of the GE maize field that is now censored from Greenpeace Frances' webpage.
"As we are now forbidden to publish these maps of GE maize on our webpage, we have gone into the fields and marked the field for real," said Arnaud Apoteker, of Greenpeace France.
Also, Cursor Kite.
And then a second and a half later I thought, "wait, this is exactly how Uncle Ben died."