Sunday, October 25, 2009

David Cross "Nose" Comedy-- Nyuk Nyuk Ny-Oh screw it, this title is terrible

I know that this thing is dead and that nobody's written here in months, but I just read about something that got the comedy nerd inside me all fired up and desperately needed somewhere to vent.

David Cross, co-creator of Mr. Show with Bob and David, star of Arrested Development and creator of Shut Up, You Fucking Baby!, quite possibly the greatest comedy album in the past ten years, recently boasted about snorting coke while sitting about 40 feet away from Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. To top it off, he did so in honor of Vice creator Gavin McInnes, who apparently snorted coke at the now-defunct DEA Museum some years ago, sparking an insanely childish game of one-upmanship between the two (no hyperlink to prove the McInnes connection, but take my word for it that McInnes claimed responsibility for starting the game and even posted a copy of Cross' "tag! you're it! tee hee hee" text on his blog, though he's apparently come to his senses and removed the post).

Is it just me, or is this just a mind-bogglingly stupid thing to brag about, especially given the administration that's currently in power? Say what you will about Obama (and I've certainly been critical of the media's obsession with a man who has yet to back his talk with any significant walk), but he's undoubtedly a better alternative to Bush, of whom Cross was just a tad disapproving. To then, in turn, boast about what's essentially a middle finger to Obama's authority as President of the United States confuses Cross' message entirely. Is he unhappy that Obama's in power, or does he simply refuse to respect the office of President? If it's the latter, as I suspect it is, he's nothing more than that grade school classmate who constantly lobbed spitballs and sarcastic remarks towards the person at the front of the room, regardless of whether that person was credible or not.

As a comedian whose socially-minded material might be better suited for a pulpit than your local Yuk Stop, Cross has nothing to hang his hat on other than his perspective on life. It is his view on the world that he essentially sells night in and night out-- to so obviously advertise that his stance is essentially “fuck the man, no matter who that might be” is, dare I say, downright retarded. I'm all for subversion and “fighting the power,” but when you start to do so without any thought as to the target of your actions, you instantly lose credibility and become about as cliché as a god damn Che t-shirt.

Irreverence for irreverence's sake isn't subversive, it's just immature.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

"I Love You Man, Review"

"I Love You, Man" is a film that succeeds despite itself. The film's premise seems to have been originated, developed and polished off during a particularly brief and uninspiring elevator pitch. The promotional posters brings to mind the title of Lewis Carroll's poem, "The Walrus and the Carpenter," or in the case of this film's entirely disposable narrative "The Walrus and the Relatively Successful Real Estate Agent." The film is indifferently shot (though not outright visually vulgar like "Superbad" or "Pineapple Express") and is littered with music cues that could benevolently be called "non-subversive." But the film's greatest detriment lies beyond in the screen, in the introduction of the bilious phrase "bromantic comedy" into mainstream culture (or at least the large swaths of that culture which check Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic on a regular basis).

But despite all of this, and let me emphasis that this is a distinct "despite" not a "because of" or any other sort of fortuitous creative frictions, this is a film worth seeing and even a film worth discussing. The film boasts a solid supporting cast with J.K. Simmons, Thomas Lennon, Andy Samburg, Jane Curtin, a particularly good Jaime Pressly and a particularly bad Jon Favreau (he can't act, he can't write, he can't direct - he can't do it all!) Rising above this ensemble, however, is Paul Rudd. 

The character he plays is not particularly complex nor sympathetic nor dynamic nor even that fucking interesting, but I would pay good money to see unedited dailies - timecode and all - of Paul Rudd acting his way into and back out of many a paper bag. It's unfair to call this the performance of a lifetime because Rudd is still relatively early in his career and I haven't seen Role Models (David Wain, 2008), among other Rudd vehicles.* There is also the aforementioned fact that he's playing the straight man in a recurring series of standard-issue comedy scenarios. As a character he is unwritten and paralyzed by romcom tropes, but as a performer he explores these very limits and lounges in their margins. Indeed the writing and directing privilege Rudd to a degree rarely seen in contemporary comedies, allowing him to create comedic beats and anti-wordplay that border on the surreal. There is a wonderfully vertiginous feeling to watching Rudd ramble and stumble far beyond the customary edit point, chasing tangents in ways both emotional and bizarre. In contrast to the increasingly stale (and prevalent) stylings of Michael Cera, you often have no idea how Rudd is going to finish a sentence or if he is even going to attempt such a thing. All of this is in truly surprising contrast to the heinous, fascistic and catchphrase-enforcing posters smothering Los Angeles over the last few months, or as I like to call them "The Four Horseman":

None of these lines are delivered in a particularly noteworthy way (one imagines the promo people skimming an unused draft of the script for brotastic quips), but Rudd manages to both wring out the full awkwardness of "sweet, sweet hanging" and to capture the spontaneous vulnerability of uttering a neologism like "totes magotes." And although Segel never threatens to confront Rudd as a comedic equal, he provides key support for two of the film's best, most deapan jokes. The first involves Paul Rudd's inexplicably exclusive familiarity with the Timothy Dalton (or "T-Dalt") era of the James Bond series. The other, thankfully recurring, gag involves Rudd recounting his days of "slappin tha bass" in a bit of vocal mispronunciation far removed from something like the foreign-man shenanigans of Borat. Lubitsch this is not. But at its best, this is modern studio comedy at its (nearly) best.

*Since beginning this review many months ago I have, in fact, seen Role Models. Rudd is good in it, but not this good.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


And happy Independence Day.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dio For Free

Want a mixtape?

Yeah you do.

While nothing on it quite reaches the blissful heights of his youtube sensation in the making Aye, the mixtape still has a pretty fresh sound, and although I can't understand shit, reminds me of why I like hip hop. The flow is simply that. Flow. Beautiful nonsense to my ears.

The only real problem with the tape is that it is cut up with some kind of radio interview, which of course makes no sense to English speakers.

That and it is a mix tape. The most retarded and obnoxious form of music release ever conceived by man.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Back For the First Time

Soup, true believers!

So we've been on a bit of an extended hiatus for the past couple months. Please excuse our absence -- all but one of our contributors just graduated college. The one straggler happens to be Yours Truly.

SO WHY WEREN'T YOU POSTING?! you may ask. Welp, like any good coattail hanger, I've been basking in my friends' collective glory... and not doing a damn thing.

Now now, sonny, don't you worry. All good things must come to an end (or so they say). I've grown tired of being lackadaisical... at least for the next week or so.

So, what do you, faithful reader (singular because there's surely only one) have to look forward to in the coming days?
  • A review and retrospective on the life and times and works of Daniel Dumile aka MF DOOM aka DOOM aka The Supervillain.
  • A defense of Girly Music (Jewel notwithstanding).
  • A discussion on 90s British music and its influences (and if anyone should even care).
  • And much, much more (assuming I can wrangle my cohorts from their post-graduation malaise).
See you in a couple days!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Brief Roundup of Music I've Heard Recently

Jason Lytle: Yours Truly, The Commuter

It's pretty good. B+

Sunn O))): Monoliths and Dimensions

Doom metal + horns and strings. A

Geoff Mullen: thrtysxtrllnmnfstns

Nice little drones and blips. A

That's all for now. Stuff is pretty good.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Nobody Writin' Me on the Blog

You bastards need to update this space more often. It doesn't have to be meaningful, well-thought out or even that interesting. Just please, for the love of God, keep writing.

That being said, I have it on good authority that the following, from one Cory McIntyre, is the greatest written work ever crafted. So I guess you can all put your pens away and quit trying.

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