Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thoughts in the wake of the Palin announcement

Remember those McCain ads that acknowledged Obama’s remarkable charisma but challenged the depth of his experience and ended with the question, “Is he ready to lead?”

How does a guy go from reinforcing the importance of experience—albeit in a roundabout and competitor-promoting manner—to naming Sarah Palin as his VP candidate?

McCain would be the oldest first-term president in history and he has a history of skin cancer diagnoses. I find his choice of Palin, who governs a state with a quarter the population of Brooklyn, simply hypocritical.

The New York Times quoted Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, as saying, “On his 72nd birthday, this is the guy’s judgment of who he wants one heartbeat from the presidency?”

This is an act of looking out for America’s best interests?

Image via

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thank God it’s Thursday’s song of the day

I’ve got tomorrow off from work, which makes today my Friday. Hopefully it’s the same for you. With that in mind, I’m bringing this week’s song of the day 24 hours early. You know, to celebrate.

A lot of people were drawn to the Walkmen courtesy of their song “We’ve Been Had” (and its use in a Saturn car commercial). “The Rat,” from 2004’s Bows + Arrows received quite a bit of airplay as well.

Although I never really warmed to them (perhaps because they sound similar to the French Kicks, with whom they share a rehearsal space), maybe you’re a fan. If so, today is your day.

The Walkmen’s new album You & Me has been getting good reviews. For a time they made it available online for just $5, with proceeds going to the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. These are good things. I got a copy and have given it a few listens. My immediate favorite is “Canadian Girl.”

Check it out below.

And happy Friday (on Thursday).

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Obama's one heck of a muse

I can’t imagine what the buzz is like in Denver right now. The vibe of the city must be really inspiring. The Denver Egotist has posted some cool guerrilla street art related to the DNC.

See more here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Vive la difference

The folks over at Brand Flakes for Breakfast posted this Burger King outdoor ad today. An example of good comparative advertising.

It reminds me of the first part of this AMC Pacer commercial from the ‘70s. (No, I’m not old enough to remember seeing it on TV. Ass.)

If you want to make a point of comparison between two things, sometimes it’s best just to put the two things together.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

All the news that fits (multiple sizes available)

Back in April, and then again in May, I wrote about Yahoo and, respectively, employing titillating—and even misleading—news headlines to generate more click-throughs than might otherwise be expected given the story content. More click-throughs leading to more money from the advertisers who pay for the eyeballs these sites provide.

The other day I saw this headline (at left) on’s front page. Anyone who knows me decently well knows that I’m opposed to public discussion of bathroom-related activites. It's just not an appropriate topic in polite conversation. With that in mind, imagine my delight at reading “E. coli poop could be new fuel source.”

For starters, “poop”? Really?

You’re freakin’ CNN! You’re “the most trusted name in news” (according to your slogan.) Does use of the term “poop” in a headline support that claim? Was there some discussion that the term “waste” might be confusing?

Or are you simply hoping to sell a few t-shirts? [Cue dramatic Perry Mason-esque music to signify the seriousness of my accusation.]

That’s right, folks. T-shirts!

If you regularly visit you’re probably familiar with the little video camera icon next to news headline that signify the story is actually video, not text. Look at the headline above again and check out the icon next to the video icon.

It registered for me right away. “Is that a t-shirt?” I wondered. (Incidentally, nice work, graphics dude or dame; your icon communicates quite clearly.)

Sure enough, if you click on the little t-shirt icon you get redirected to an online store where you can purchase a t-shirt featuring your favorite CNN headline! How awesome is that?!

Answer: Not awesome.

Since seeing this, I swear has been using ridiculous headlines more frequently and leaving them posted “above the fold” for longer periods than in the past. (Today’s big winner is “Playboy bunny’s love is unrequited.”)

Today’s loser is everyone who goes to for serious but accessible news and finds less and less of it. Surely this new revenue stream (and you know that’s how this idea was pushed through and green-lighted) compromises’s primary goal (that being bringing us the news, in case you’d forgotten).

Someone should remind them.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ah, damn

It's been absolutely crazy at work this week and rather than write posts in the evenings I've elected to stop at bars on the way home for what my friend Steve would call a "cool-down" beer. Or two.

We'll get to it. I promise.

Monday, August 11, 2008


I owe you a review of the French Kicks show I went to last Wednesday at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge and a review of Radiohead's and Grizzly Bear's performances at last Friday's All Points West music festival in Jersey City.

I'll post one tomorrow.

If you're nice, I'll post the other one Wednesday.

More on the MGMT show from a few weeks ago

Just to follow up on my review of that show, for anyone who’s interested, the blog This Stuff Is Interesting posted some really cool photos of the day taken by Bao Nguyen, including this one of the line outside…

And this one of the vibe inside.

See more of Nguyen’s really awesome photography here.

Impose posted a review of the show that tells the story of that insane line. “When someone writes the history of McCarren Pool’s all-too-brief career as a mixed-used performance space… chapters should be dedicated to the line that formed in anticipation of Sunday’s MGMT show.” They’ve also got a less artistic but more accurate photo of the now legendary queue.

Heart on a Stick had a not-so-complimentary review of the show here. I think it’s a valid version of the day.

And the Gothamist has probably the best shot of that line.

Hey, did I mention the line to get into that show?


Well this looks awful

I saw this trailer last night and can’t believe how bad this movie looks. Is there anything here to recommend it?

And why does every woman from Iowa have to be a blonde?

Oh wait.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

This menu has been rated PG-13

This isn’t exactly new, but I’ve never seen it. Maybe because I don’t live in Texas, Atlanta or San Francisco where Murphy’s Deli franchises are located.

But regardless… What-a-licious?

It doesn’t help that their website is to food porn what a porn site is to regular porn. (I wouldn’t know about these things, of course.)

Thanks (I think) to Carr for sharing.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Follow-up on the National/Yeasayer show

If you don’t regularly (or ever) look back at posts you’ve already read, you will have missed that a couple people commented on the previous post about the National and Yeasayer show. Thank goodness for this post.

Morrissey (a nom de blog, I’m guessing), posted a bunch of photos of the show at his site, Mozzer Confessionals. Here’s one:

Wait, Julia Stiles was there?! Why didn’t someone say something?

Also, nyctaper posted a complete audio recording of the National’s set at his site.

Thanks for sharing!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The National with Yeasayer at Central Park – 8/04/08

Thanks to a friend’s scheduling conflict I found myself at Central Park’s SummerStage last night to see the National and Yeasayer. (Plants and Animals opened, but I as good as missed them, unfortunately.)

Yeasayer is one of the bands that’s been getting hyped a lot over the past year. I’ve avoided most of that buzz, not having thought much of the few songs I’d heard. Their set last night proved once again that having no expectations often leads to more enjoyable experiences.

Performing live, they reminded me somewhat of an early-‘80s, Lindsay Buckingham-fronted Fleetwood Mac. I half hoped Yeasayer would launch into “Tusk” (a feat I once saw Papas Fritas pull off in a tiny Seattle club, much to my amazement).

When Yeasayer crosses into the world music realms of Rhythm of the Saints or Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, I’m out. Thankfully they tend to maintain a handle most of the time, delivering an infectious blend of jungle funk indie rock. Here’s “Sunrise”:

Headliner the National has turned into one of America’s most compelling and purely solid live acts. The band took the stage in front of a giant eight-panel art installation featuring iconography from playing cards, U.S. currency (including the text “for all debts, public and private”), a whisky bottle label and a cheerleader, among other things. A fitting backdrop.

The Central Park crowd gave them a warm welcome as they opened with Boxer’s “Brainy.” Matt Berninger parsed out his booze- and despair-soaked lyrics in his edgy baritone while hanging onto the mic stand like a damp shirt out to dry. His jangly affectations—slapping his hip in a low grade fit, crossing his left arm under his right as if propping it up—reinforced the tense but tenuous nature of the songs.

The National treated us to the best of their beautiful, slurry songs including “Green Gloves, “Slow Show,” “All The Wine” and “Mistaken For Strangers,” as well as a reworking of “Apartment Story.” A special bonus for this show was the inclusion of a bassoonist, a trombonist and a trumpeter. These songs sound so great with these parts reproduced live.

For me, the only downside to the evening—a beautiful, warm night with distant airplane lights streaking through thin clouds—was the location.

(By which I do not necessarily mean Central Park, nor am I referencing the sub-par sound that often comes from playing outdoors. The National’s soundman did a good job, though Bryan Devendorf’s drums, which drive songs like “Squalor Victoria” and “Abel,” failed to pack the punch one expected.)

No, the simple fact is that the National is a band that belongs in a dark nightclub. It feels wrong to drink beer out of a plastic cup and watch the sunset while Berninger asks his lover if she can carry his drink so he can tie his tie. The National’s music produces images of evening attire, tumblers of ice and whisky, stressful nights lying awake in bed, relationship troubles and glass ashtrays.

This is not beers-in-the-park music. Though nearly every song on Boxer makes reference to drinking, it’s never in a longnecks-and-pool-halls, Hold Steady kind of way. This is music to which you rock out with your cocktail out.

But this is a small complaint that’s not related to the performance, and I’m making too much of it. The National know what we want and they deliver. Berninger gets downright spastic during “Mr. November,” causing the stagehand to sprint across the stage to reconnect his microphone cable before the second verse.

They close with “About Today,” a quiet but emotionally brutal number that holds the audience entranced until the last chord.

Here’s “All The Wine”:

Friday, August 1, 2008

Sure he’s handsome, young, charismatic, athletic, inspiring and erudite, but…

Today over at I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better, Ben posted the recent John McCain campaign ad that attempts to weaken the public’s love of Barack Obama by showing how loved he is. Or something.

Oh, and it attempts to get some Britney and Paris celebrity stink on him via simply image association.

As Ben said, the ad seems decidedly unhelpful for the McCain camp since it’s based pretty much on asking a few “tough” questions while showing Obama in a very flattering light (emphasis on the flattering light).

This afternoon,’s political ticker announced a new McCain ad that calls Obama “The One.” Here it is:

Is the McCain camp insane?

One would assume Obama’s ads (of which I’ve seen none; are there any?) would promote Obama as the right guy for the job. McCain’s ads are at least partially—if not mostly—about how everyone believes Obama is the right guy for the job.

Wait, what?

Obviously the McCain camp’s strategy is to illuminate what they see as a baseless passion that surrounds Obama and then ask whether or not he really has the ability to lead. But they spend so much energy promoting the Beatles-esque excitement encircling Obama that the McCain ads become Obama ads.

Epic fail.

These ads don’t cause me to question Obama. If anything, they make me want to go to an Obama rally.

Thank God it’s Friday’s song of the day

I don’t recall the first time I heard Grizzly Bear, but they absolutely blew me away when I saw them open for Feist last year. They were unlike any band I’d ever seen and sounded awesome.

Maybe they’re not for everyone, but I think they’re great.

While snooping around yesterday I happened to find a new Grizzly Bear song, “Two Weeks,” that the band performed on Letterman last week. The band has been kind enough to post both the video of the performance as well as the mp3 on their site.

I’m only too happy to further the giving.

Also discovered* yesterday was “While You Wait For The Others,” which, in typical Super Floss fashion (please don’t tell me you’re here to get turned on to new music; I’m doing a shit job of it), was recorded at a KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic session all the way back in April.

Hopefully it’s new to you. Both of these songs have me excited for the upcoming record and the All Points West festival next Friday.

* In sort of a Christopher Columbus sense.