Last Thursday I went and saw some stand-up that came highly recommended…it was really good, all the guys were funny, and it worked like a fantastic palate cleanser after the Joe Rogan crap sandwich of 3 weeks ago…this guy was especially great, apparently he was a big favorite of the Mr. Show guys back in the day…this routine is priceless…
April 22, 2010 by jjosh
July 23, 2009 by jjosh
(your basic world superpower)
Great bit on NPR yesterday morning about how conflict in the world political arena is mirrored by conflict in the rap world. A fun metaphor, and the guy who worte a paper on it just runs with it in a really smart and fun way, pointing out lots of parallels to how large powers deal with smaller upstarts and vice versa. Things to listen out for:
– the host’s extremely white chortle/guffaw at some of the parallels
– how excited the interviewee is about rap
– Kanye coming in as Europe at the end in a blink-or-you-miss-it metaphor extension that is so right!!!
Bonus points to NPR for having downloadable mp3’s of their stories.
Additional points to me for participating in a focus group years ago at NPR concerning their websites. I had just gone freelance, had some time off, and my friend’s husband was conducting studies for NPR on how to improve their website. I was filmed using their site and then asked questions about how the experience was. I told them some things were confusing, and everything should be able to be downloaded. Nice.
July 10, 2009 by jjosh
Hey, did you guys know that one of my sister’s closest friends used to be the Celebrity Assistant for Al Franken? It’s true! One time my sister called me up and said "Guess what I’m doing?" and I’m all like "How the hell would I know?" and she goes "Well…I’m eating Al Franken’s ice cream!"
Which made me go "Wha?!"
It seems that Al was going on some kind of diet and had to get rid of all the ice cream he had in the house. He invited his assistant to eat it, and she, not being able to handle the quantity, called upon my sister to help. Crazy. KT, you correct me if I got that wrong. But I should say that if it is wrong, I’m still going to tell the story like that, ‘cuz it has a nice vibe to it…
I also remember reading a biography about Saturday Night Live and there was one great story about Al & his writing partner trying to come up with a sketch and taking LSD…both of them began imitating Nixon, making "V" signs and pretending they had tremendous jowls, and harrumphing. They did it all night long, two weird Nixons. What a weird image.
Plus don’t even get me (or Al) started on how much coke he’s reported to have done.
And now he’s Mr. Senator. And apparently he’s going to play it straight, but we’ll always know him as the ice-cream loving LSD-Nixon cokehead. And if we ever forget that that’s who he used to be, why we can just go to the videotape…
August 19, 2008 by jjosh
This is fantastic. At a festival in Ireland (check the electronic thump in the background), a group of jump-suited folks decide to play soccer. Also they are wearing binoculars. Hilarity ensues.
August 13, 2008 by jjosh
here we go, finally…there are so many photos, and it took a while to get them culled down…and then another while to get them posted…and then another while to caption them…but here they are:
From July 10th through the 20th, Maxine and I traveled down the Pacific Coast Hwy…from visiting Shelagh in Portland, Roscoe’s wedding in Florence, the OR coast, the CA Redwoods, Sonoma wine country, to Z & G in San Francisco…enjoy the pix…
We started at Shelagh’s in Portland, having dinner out in her backyard, hanging with her chickens…when the sun sets, the chickens know it’s time for bed and the put themselves to sleep! Shelagh, her husband and new baby Marty seem pretty great…
Also her husband installed a bath outside! The fence is high enough that there’s privacy, so they can experience bathing outside…seems like it would be so sweet…
Next day we jetted down to Florence, OR where I was the best man for Roscoe’s wedding…I got to make the scene in a tux, and I think it’s the first time I’ve ever worn one…unless I wore one for prom? I hope I didn’t…
If Maxine hadn’t been there, half of us wouldn’t have been able to get our ties tied…
July 31, 2008 by jjosh
One sunny Autumn day a few Falls ago, I went out to the backyard of 1806 Lamont to work on Oscar Wild’s catwalk. Maxine filmed me doing it, she finally finished editing it, and it came out great…quality is high, so you might wanna let a bunch of it load before playing…
(if you start to play the vid and then press pause, the status bar will show it continuing to load…let a chunk load and then press play again…)
July 28, 2008 by jjosh
Saw Spiritualized at Terminal 5 last night with my sister, and every song was a different shade of epic, ranging from epic huge guitar slow burn song to epic big spiritual rock to epic over-the-top guitar freakout. They played a ton of new stuff, but luckily the new stuff sounded great, and I’m stoked to pick up the new album Songs in A&E…
Reminded me of this amazing video they did for "Do It All Over Again" off Let It Come Down…I couldn’t find hi-rez, but hopefully this is good enough that you get a sense of how cool it is…
Apparently there’s no green-screen involved, it’s all Jason Pierce really doing it…
I hunted down the set list from last night’s show, and then cross-reffed the songs, because I was curious what albums they all came from…looks like they did play a bunch of old stuff (including some Spacemen 3 tracks!), but a lot of new, and a lot from Amazing Grace, which somehow I don’t have (how did I miss it?). We did miss the first 4 songs which is too bad, ‘cuz I’d have liked to hear "Electricity" especially…and looks like only the encore came from Let It Come Down. Set list looks like this:
you lie you cheat – AE
shine a light – LazerGuidedMelodies
cheapster – AmazingGrace
electricity – Ladies&Gentlemen
soul on fire – AE
sweet talk – AE
sitting on fire – AE
walking with jesus – Spacemen 3
oh baby – AmazingGrace
rated x – AmazingGrace
lay back in the sun – PurePhase
death take your fiddle – AE
she kissed me – AmazingGrace
come together – Ladies&Gentlemen
take me to the other side – Spacemen 3
encore: lord can you hear me – LetItComeDown
June 16, 2008 by jjosh
Yes, the Red Hook, Brooklyn Ikea opens on Wednesday, in two days’ time.
Yes, they’re doing some crazy promotion thing where the first 35 people in the store will get a free couch.
Yes, there are already people camping out in line.
I camped out once at RFK for Grateful Dead tickets in 1993 (I think it was ’93…Traffic was the opening act, so JW what year was that?). I knew a lot of people going to the show (and to camp out), and I figured I should experience the fabled Dead show at least once before Jerry died. Camping out was a lot of fun, almost a party unto itself, with various parking-lot shenanigans and goings on. I didn’t sleep much and the next day while driving home I had to repeatedly slap myself in the face to stay awake.
If you’re curious about the shenanigans and goings on at the Ikea camp out, racked.com is live-blogging from the line; they’ve got an embedded blogger who’s fifth in line.
It may be overstating the obvious, but these people must really really really want an Ikea couch.
UPDATE – from one of my favorite blogs of the moment: "Red Hook Blacks Line Up To Rob First 100 IKEA Customers."
June 15, 2008 by jjosh
Last night I went out in the rain to this event at the Eyebeam gallery in Chelsea. I’ve been to a couple of things there (Robot Talent Show!), and they do these Mixer events every now and then…we tried to go to one when AK was in town but we got there too late. That time, it was pretty much finished, but we could tell that something cool had definitely gone down — leaves all over the ground, and weird screens set up and so on. So last night I got there well in time, and it had bunch of different, interesting things…
First off, there was a stage with bands, DJ’s, etc. and 3 giant screens being VJ’d behind them…pretty cool, the visuals were amazing, but I wanted the music to be better…
In another room, they had a large inflatable pool filled with inky-black water. People would get into a bathing suit, stretch out on some kind of weird rack, and then get submerged into the pool. As this was happening, behind them on a giant screen, somehow a computer was tracking what their body looked like in the water. In realtime. It was really wild. Kind of like Minority Report, or as someone next to me remarked, "It’s a Hybrid!"
This low-fi cellphone movie doesn’t do it justice, and you can only just see the screen at the end, but here, check it:
I should also mention that it was $15 to get in, but then it was open bar(!!), which was nice. So the music was decent, the ink bath was wild, but really, in my mind the real money-maker, the thing that made it all worth it, was Boozbot.
A robot bartender!!!! I got in line and a guy next to me said "A robot bartender?" and for some reason I answered by saying "Finally." Because really, shouldn’t we have had this before? The experience was amazing. You got up to Boozbot and there was a list of drinks he could make (vodka straight, vodka tonic, vodka tonic and cran) next to a USB mic. You’d speak into the mic and Boozbot would chat with you for a bit. When he talked they had this small screen animating an 8-bit graphic-y mouth, and he spoke (naturally) though a metallic speech synthesizer.
There was obviously someone watching you through his camera eyes, ‘cuz Boozbot would talk about your appearance, and make conversation with you that wasn’t computer-based. After talking to him for a bit he’d make your drink by dispensing the quantities of ingredient through the plastic tubes at the end of his hand (see that in the pic)? It was so much fun.
Later in the evening, quite randomly, I ended up running into the guy who made Boozbot and having a conversation with him. He wasn’t geeky at all, more of a space-case type, and really friendly and cool. I was trying to ask about how much Boozbot could actually do on his own and —
"You mean how autonomous he is?" the guy cut me off.
"Right. How autonomous is he?"
"Well actually it would be illegal for him to be completely autonomous because to serve alcohol you need to be able to id people. So he’s only semi-autonomous. But damn I would love to see the cops arresting him for being completely autonomous!"
"Yeah, that would be a great court scene…Boozbot taking the stand…"
I then told him that I was going to borrow his idea and take it out to Burning Man, which he said was fine, so I’m stoked for that. I’ve already got some mods that I think would make it a better experience, so now all I have to do is solve the engineering issue of regulated hydraulic pumps to make the drinks. I think my dad could probably help me out with that, so it’s on. But I can’t call him Boozbot ‘cuz that’d be downright stealing. And it’s too bad, ‘cuz what a perfect name.
Maybe Robooze? Johnny 500 proof? Liquorbot? Drink-a-tron? Robartender?
Help me out people…
UPDATE – It should be pointed out that when I presumptuously speak of borrowing the idea of Boozbot, I am more speaking to the spirit of the idea, and not to that actual execution. I just read a fascinating blog entry on how Boozbot works, and I love the complexity of it, but it’s…how can I put this?…a bit out of my skill set. Only time will tell whether this is a project that comes to life…