Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Belated 12 Days of Xmas Countdown starting in its usual haphazard fashion.


So I got jumped by the usual suspects and came back from PA to find a DMCA email in ye olde inboxe.

I have re-posted the full contents of the email below and have edited the post so that it doesn't include the rapidshare links. As usual, Blogger has included a link to Chilling Effects, "founded in 2001 by Internet activists who were concerned that the unregulated private practice of sending cease-and-desist letters seemed to be increasing and was having an unstudied but potentially significant "chilling effect" on speech" [source].

Without incriminating myself. We've all done things that are "illegal"-- severity varying, because I know you have all peed in public before, at least-- and when caught, it's hard to argue against the consequences if you have entered into a contract with the government under which you live, which is easy to do. You're living there. And so I can't be too terribly indignant about getting that post taken down.

I don't feel bad though because it was the Clash Singles box set. That box set being a very pretty go by a record company at milking a cash cow 20 years later for the rest of what it's worth. So hopefully you guys grabbed the more rare tracks way back in 2007, and really, that thing was about the beautiful re-issues of the singles covers, which you can find sprinkled around the internet. It's too bad-- or fitting-- that someone (whoever you are) decided to go after a shining example of exactly why people take issue with record companies and why they are trying to provide this material for other enthusiasts.

But this means I will be sticking to my new more cautious policy of severely reducing the amount of files actually posted by me. I will continue to link, though I will be more careful about burying the link so nobody else gets in trouble. I will continue to abstain from posting entire albums. This is too bad because I was hoping to post an album that I have been meaning to post for years, so I might lift that restriction just once. I will continue, as I have done since this blog started, to properly cite all text that I quote, which I think is one of the most important things to do. I do have some standards.

Finally, I am very happy that blogger now sets the post to DRAFT status. I was pretty irritated the last time this happened, on what I thought was a well thought-out review of the new Green Day album, when the whole thing disappeared because I had linked to one of the tracks. I think it's a nice recognition of the work done on blogs (maybe not here, after all the goofing off, haha) because a lot of the places I have downloaded from have always included well-written, insightful reviews of the music.

For the email, as if you guys haven't seen it before, Continue reading!
Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that certain content in your blog is alleged to infringe upon the copyrights of others. As a result, we have reset the post(s) to "draft" status. (If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits. The URL(s) of the allegedly infringing post(s) may be found at the end of this message.) This means your post - and any images, links or other content - is not gone. You may edit the post to remove the offending content and republish, at which point the post in question will be visible to your readers again.

A bit of background: the DMCA is a United States copyright law that provides guidelines for online service provider liability in case of copyright infringement. If you believe you have the rights to post the content at issue here, you can file a counter-claim. For more information on our DMCA policy, including how to file a counter-claim, please see

The notice that we received from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the record companies it represents, with any personally identifying information removed, will be posted online by a service called Chilling Effects at We do this in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Please note that it may take Chilling Effects up to several weeks to post the notice online at the link provided.

The IFPI is a trade association that represents over 1,400 major and independent record companies in the US and internationally who create, manufacture and distribute sound recordings (the "IFPI Represented Companies").


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

xmas. break!

I will be heading out to PA, again, for the holidays. It is very cold in that place, and I will most probably not be bringing my broken-ass I-can't-run-on-battery-power laptop with me. So until sometime next week, it will be pretty quiet around here. When I get back, I hope to use the 12 Days of Christmas to do something I've been meaning to for awhile-- posting songs and albums that I always thought I had but never did. Albums and songs I really want to use the opportunity to "get out there" because I think they're worth it. I'll probably be combining that with reposting songs I posted this year that I think are worth the time, like a greatest hits. And I will have put together that movie list by New Year's. Ah, youthful ambition.

But seriously, have a wonderful Christmas and don't slip on that ice. xoxo.

Wassailing is not ass wailing. Or is it?

My boyfriend ("J") is the Grinch and hates Christmas songs like some kind of Communist, so we were of course naming as many as we could think of the other night (over the Giants fans whopping at same bar as mentioned before, also over the music that was trying to block out the Giants fans, so we were yelling too which just contributed to the problem) and our buddy brought up "Here we come a wassailing."

Which brought us to how we all thought we were terribly clever back in the day when we figured out Santa was an anagram for Satan.

And then I thought I was terribly clever because I realized Wassailing is an anagram for ass wailing. Mostly because that's what they're doing, right? Going around wailing Christmas songs at your door &c, and you're hiding in the backroom because you don't know if it's like trick or treating, or that St Stephen's day thing, like do you have to give them candy or money or your good china?

Well it turns out wassail is a punch. But don't worry-- wassailing, as a verb, is about still going around irritating your neighbors, presumably drunk. With suggested Anglo-Saxon origins, it was a way during the so-called feudal period to irritate the lord of your manor and, yes, he did have to give you something to eat. If he wasn't a douchebag, presumably. Or if he didn't set his hounds or gangs of color-bearing mercenaries after you. The songs were meant to invoke blessings, good cheer, etc, for the coming year-- which is why you wish people Merry Christmases. In England, the orchard-wassailing was to promote a good harvest.

Naturally, the practice took a violent turn, as if this wasn't a surprise since you were giving people alcohol and sending them around to harass people, with reports of obnoxious drunken early New England versions of the hey-bra types to bust into houses and demand food & drink. Think in "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"-- "we won't go until we got some." Sinister. This should give J. the Grinch, Mr NYHC, something to appreciate about Christmas songs, and all you punk rocker kids, you. (Which means I can start playing the songs in the house, right?)

So I guess maybe you should stay in that back room. Because it's not ass-wailing. It could be ass-whaling. And while you're at it, brew some of that wassail punch stuff. Modcloth has got the recipe up.

Trifecta of January movies with bigger and better badassness

Was at the bar last night, have now resolved to check if the Giants are playing from now on and then avoiding bars on that night. But they kept showing a trailer with Denzel & Gary Oldman, which reminded me that in the slew of commercials and ads I've been seeing around the city (always seems like more around the holidays, and half of them seem to be large posters of Elvis Costello looking smug), there were 2 that I particularly wanted to check out. Those being Legion and Daybreakers.

I just sat down and flipped through the trailers. They all look terrible. But in a good way, the way Max Payne or those Resident Evil films are terrible, but I had fun. The problem with these types of movies is that they really are aided by a movie-theater presentation, so that the colors and effects and noises are in full force. On a computer screen you really only get the dialogue. And you are hopefully not at the theater for that. I don't know. Might be worth picking some lazy, hungover day to pay the price for one and then hop around til you get them all. It looks like they'll be out around the same time.

Because really, what do they have going for them that's worth $12? Predictable plots, fabulous special effects that mask those predictable plots, people with a lot of guns and other unusual and outlandish weapons who tote snazzy one-liners mostly along the lines of dour statements like, "We're not out of this yet," in all its badass and very serious varieties. I mean, they don't even look that interesting, especially because the trailers rely on BIG things rather than the drama. But I'm a sucker for these kinds of movies, and it's hard to say no when they've also got Denzel, Gary Oldman, Dennis Quaid, Paul Bettany, Willem Defoe, Ethan Hawke, Sam Neill, silly Biblical and occult references, fabulous post-apocalyptic fashion, fabulous faux-atomic 1950s fashion in the case of Daybreakers it looks like, and vampires and angels and angry post-apocalyptic desert denizens, oh my.

Okay, hard to say no if you figure out how to defray that cost.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

I have always associated this story with the above Norman Rockwell picture because our family owned the Norman Rockwell Christmas book. As an ardent fan of the man, I'd rather resort to fisticuffs than try to intellectually explain his greatness (luckily someone smart at Vanity Fair did that for me.)

Fifty-Two Stories, a site sponsored by Harper Perennial that I've been meaning to mention, say for fifty-two weeks, has posted the master of the twist's Christmas-time twist for this coming Christmas week. The version they've chosen is a newly illustrated format by Joel Priddy, whose art is as cheerful and gentle as the story.

To go with it--though not sure how much I like this version, maybe I hafta hear it a few more times--

Casting the Runes by MR James

Back around Halloween, A Different Stripe, the NYRB Classics blog, posted the complete text of "Casting the Runes" by horror-master & medieval scholar M(ontague) R(hodes) James. I had never heard of him and, reading the story, it became clear to me the influences he has had on everyone from Lovecraft to Bellairs to horror radio programs to Mignola. This one in particular has the added bonus of being included in Edward Gorey's The Haunted Looking Glass, published by the NYRB.

"Poor Mr Dunning? I don't know why you call him that; he's a very happy man, is Dunning. Lots off hobbies and a comfortable home, and all his time to himself."

"I only meant I should be sorry for him if this man got hold of his name, and came and bothered him."

"Oh, ah! Yes. I dare say he would be poor Mr Dunning then."

Since James often wrote these stories as a form of Christmas Eve entertainment (could this be where Stephen King got the idea for "The Breathing Method"?) I think it's appropriate to pass on the link at this point.

More James is available through Wikilivres.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Perfect Tommy is my Nerd Boyfriend

It's usually hard for me to get into fashion blogs because they tend to be short on good commentary and more about some girl (or 13 year old?!) posing in fabulous outfits while throwing large bills and whatever legal documents go with a trust fund in my face. That's why I look at photoshoots in magazines. Because they're supposed to be breathless expressions of consumption and conspicuous wealth.

Speaking of which, this made me laugh/cry.
It has recently come to our attention that AllSaints, a British clothing company, has come out with a shirt design called the “Williamsburg.” International fame at last! We’re not sure how well the shirt fits its namesake — true, it’s a plaid button down, which fits, but no one we know in Williamsburg pays 120 dollars for plaid button downs.

Yes you do. If I do, you do. Or did they move to Philly? Or do all your friends cap out at $50-$80? (Also, a little irked by the "Laurel Canyon pants declaration. Why not? Shouldn't the post, on a "real"-- fancy looking-- sponsored publication, tell me? Though that's assuming a responsibility that is perhaps overstated in my mind.)

Anyway Ringo, Have a Banana is refreshing in its actual dedication to sharing photos, ideas, and products without constantly featuring the face of the blogger herself. And one of these shared items is a fashion blog that I can really get behind-- Nerd Boyfriend. The site has a simple concept-- post pictures of "nerds" (from Marty McFly to a stupid cute old Billy Wilder) and provide suggestions on how to get what they are wearing. That the site lionizes nerds should make it all too horribly ironic since hipsterdom has been staging raiding parties into the nerd/geek subculture for far too long-- going so far as to WEAR GLASSES WITHOUT LENSES kid on the L train. But the site is so pared down and goal-oriented that it avoids these pitfalls. Each post is about a certain set of items on a certain famous person. Sure, it might encourage these hip cats & their friends to continue dressing like Jack Kerouac instead went to the Engineering school in the 1980s and was bff with Elvis Costello, but what really won me over?

Uh. That they featured Perfect Tommy & told you how to get his fabulous, fabulous checkered jacket-red pants-blue tie combo.

Now that's what I call good taste. Here's another favorite.

Monday, December 14, 2009

So it's the end of the decade.

Which I missed. For about a week I passively clicked on "Best Things Ever of the 00s" or whatever they're calling them without really thinking why this deluge of lists, besides that it makes easy features.

I was just starting high school when the decade started. It was a long time ago. So I can't weigh in the same as some of these critics (besides the fact that they are critics & I'm not.) I definitely can't keep up with, say, The New Yorker's Richard Brody, who is a fine film critic and obviously knows his shit. But, really, Knocked Up is your #8? I barely made it through that movie. I like what it did and showed, but taking that into consideration, it is more a movie to appreciate for its message and idea rather than as a fine film. Thank God Juno didn't make it on there. Again, it's awkward to object to his choices when I haven't even heard of half (most?) of them, and the one great, maybe the best, function of these things is to find out about films you would otherwise never have heard of, and in this case, will be very good.

At least Gran Torino, which I finally saw, made it on his short list.

But, hi, Total Film. You think There Will Be Blood is the best movie of the decade?

Ick. No. It was fine-- it was a good movie. Rather disturbing but also rather bloated. Everyone talks about DD-L's performance as well as Paul Dano, both of whom did a fantastic job, but the performance in the end that really got to me was Kevin J O'Connor, who was amazing. Especially when he worked to contrast DD-L's performance as. . . DD-L. With a moustache. His scenes as the mysterious maybe half-bro were some of the most menacing and elegant parts of the film.

But not the best film of the decade. It was far too long, decadent, and seemed unsure of what it was trying to do besides throw a few shocking sucker-punches your way. And shocking they were, but in the end, when that's all you remember when you walk out, it's hard to justify a film that revolves around that.

So, I dunno. I disagree with a majority of their list. I think they got it right when they say Star Trek is the best sci-fi of the decade (though I think the dark story line of Serenity makes it a neck-in-neck race) and I do hope it, especially in its role as a blockbuster, revitalizes the genre. I highly disagree that Spider-Man was "the comic book hero" of the decade now that Iron Man has hit the scene and I will always be most loyal to Hellboy. I still think Hot Fuzz is much more funny than Shaun of the Dead (not a popular opinion.) I hope LotR wasn't the epic of the decade because I really don't think they are well made films. I think they are too glossy and missed a huge opportunity. But I can't think of any other epic. And I don't even want to hear about Donnie Darko. I have never made it through that silly film.

But then what are some of the finest films I've seen this decade? I can't rank them, but my first thought in opposition to There Will Be Blood was, "Aw fuck no. The Proposition was." So here we go. I'll try to think of 5. I can't actually remember most of the movies I've seen. I'll probably change my mind in like five minutes. I think I should relabel this "my favorite films," because after all, what else are these lists. But then I would have to extend the list to 10. That's hard. But I'll post that up soon. Because I think I just changed my mind.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

it's gross out. thank god eggnog is back in the stores.

gross. [view while at work the other day. willing to sacrifice comfort to take children to playground because there, they entertain themselves. i read and ignore them and tell them to walk it off when they "hurt themselves" and when i get bored i listen to music and jump up and down-- cue middle school kids looking at me weirdly, hi kids, it's cold, or it's the magic of music! makes ya wanna mooove.-- and take pictures. if i was an old man, i would probably be arrested since it's a playground full of children. i saw that svu episode. speaking of which, i just saw the new ice-t svu ep and he got all 'police brutality' on some fella. which was awesome. speaking of which, j came back the other day rather drunk & idealistic & tried to put in a complaint of overexertion of force some cops- who refused to give badge numbers, which is illegal- were using on same couple in the subway. i couldn't get the whole story out of him, or the story didn't really make much sense and after a few of his (drunk) calls to, like, everything, including clogging up the 911 line, nothing got done, which isn't a surprise. but as they say. . . well, go down for the music files to find out what they say. yes, self-pitch! subtle, too.]

grossss. [view of ave A from the window right now. ick. & in an hour i have to walk alllll the way to ave B.]

not grossss. eggnog (3 parts-- hard won. j ran out of the line when we were almost to the check-out and harassed someone til they dug out the off-brand eggnog. cashier yelled at me when the machine didn't ask for my pin. happy holidays!) with coffee (1 part, surprisingly good, made the flavor darker and richer, no real hint of coffee, more like caramel. i don't drink eggnog with alcohol because alc & dairy makes me, lame, sick without fail.)

Friday, December 04, 2009

um. so. the vatican has a playlist.


The seat of the Catholic Church released a list of 12 songs onto the social networking Web site's streaming music service this week when the site launched in the United Kingdom.

Among selections from Mozart, Muse and Dame Shirley Bassey is the slain rapper's song "Changes," which was released two years after his shooting death on a greatest hits album in 1998.

"The genres are very different from each other, but all these artists share the aim to reach the heart of good minded people," the Vatican wrote on its official MySpace Music page.

As of Thursday night, "Changes" had been played more than 4.6 million times on the Web site.

The list was compiled by Father Giulio Neroni, artistic director of church publisher St Paul's Multimedia. He was also responsible for compiling the Vatican's recent Alma Mater album, which combined Gregorian chants and prayers with classical music and the voice of Pope Benedict XVI speaking in five languages. [CNN]

It seems the Vatican can do no wrong. Literally. Heyyyy.

guess what i learned.

When texting, don't even try to abbreviate Jay-Z's name. Cos it looks like this. Jayz. & then you look like a fool. {pic source}

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Peyton Manning is the next Dwayne Johnson. I'm convinced.

Ur a card. Ima card. Sending cards?

J & I have been trying to decide if we should do Christmas cards. ("Should we do Christmas cards? Is it too late?" "I dunno. Maybe." Which is repeated every time I see a cute card I like.) The question is if we really even know enough people "by address" to send them to. I could be a dick and Photoshop (with credit) some of the cards I like and e-mail them to people. But that means 1. I'd be being a dick. And, 2. e-card, just not the same.

C sent me this link (the above graphic) this morning (which I also received this morning, which means I got up in the morning and not, say, at 3pm) and it was stupid cute with the added bonus of being made by TopatoCo, which is also producing some of Wondermark's Christmas cards which, needless to say, make me giggle.

Check a few more out after the jump. This one is also quite silly. Then go see the real deal. They go for $12/pop.

Continue reading!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I just realized what I should have posted for Halloween.

Which I had plenty of time to do. As I was sitting at home in full costume (okay, every girl with dark bobbed hair's cop-out costume which is more like getting dressed and then rolling your pants up) as Mia Wallace, waiting for my roommate to call me about some party that I decided to go to for the sake of going somewhere (since I wasn't terribly excited about going out that night, thanks to about 800 kids dressed as Spider-man jumping at people on the sidewalk in a full rainstorm) until said roommate, dressed as Lawrence of Arabia (I think?) wandered in dead drunk at 1AM and left the door open and stumbled into his room and fell down. . .

You know, that Mia Wallace costume is harder than it looks. It's a VERY specific shade of lipstick, and I had to mix, like, four colors to approximate it.

Anyway. Zombies don't have tails.


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