Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Listening Post

I'm really surprised by just how much I like the new Jane's Addiction album. Songs like this are the reason why.

Here's the lead-off track on the record -- Underground.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Bug Hunt

Between the game itself and the music from Clint Mansell, this brand new trailer is one minute of pure nerd-gasm bliss.

Now if only they'd stop pushing the release date back on this thing.

Listening Post

I swear, kids -- just a few more days of being all but completely incommunicado.

Until then, consider this site a video jukebox.

Here's LCD Soundsystem's North American Scum.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Bob & Chez Show After Party 1.27.12

Download a 3-minute Clip from This Week’s Show (1MB)

This week’s show: Drinking and Math Don’t Mix; The Science of Hangovers; Disgusting Bloody Blog Photos; Paula Deen Shocked by Backlash, Eats Gigantic Burger; Tattoos; David Lee Roth Won’t Shut Up; The Steven Weber Tweets of the Week with the Actual Steven Weber; Misleading Headlines; There Is No G-Spot; and more!

Join the After Party Here

The Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show 1.27.12

The State of the Union; Ron Paul’s Homophobia; Debates Aren’t Supposed to be Exciting; All of the Above Energy Policy; Assaulting Public Figures; Newt Gingrich Screws Up the First Amendment; Gingrich’s Moon Base; Video Games; Bob is an Angry Old Man; and much more. Brought to you by Bubble Genius.

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Listening Post

There's just nothing better.

Happy freaking Friday, kids. It's the Roots -- Dead God 2.0.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Listening Post

Metronomy's The English Riviera was one of the best albums of 2011 -- and quirky, instantly memorable little tracks like this were a good reason why.

Here's The Look.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Quote (and Picture) of the Day

"Did Home Depot go from hardware store to sex dungeon when we weren't looking?"

-- Happy Place, commenting on the above photo

SEAL of Approval

Yeah, I'm still incredibly busy and will be through next week (look for things to improve drastically a few days into February) but I wanted to take a second to link to this story, which once again proves just what bad-asses our Navy SEALs are.

The Huffington Post: U.S. Military Raid Frees Hostages/1.25.12

The first line of the article says it all:

"U.S. Navy SEALs parachuted into Somalia under cover of darkness early Wednesday and crept up to an outdoor camp where an American woman and Danish man were being held hostage. Soon, nine kidnappers were dead and both hostages were freed."

This team was apparently the same one that both killed Bin Laden and took out those three Somali pirates back in 2009, so their record just keeps improving. As I've said before, my father was a SEAL, so I hold these guys kind of close to my heart. Rangers lead the way and the Deltas liberate the oppressed -- but when you want the most dangerous people in the world to die never knowing where the hell that shot came from, you call in the SEALs.

Listening Post

Somewhere between Zero 7 and Ivy lurk the Australian electro-indie outfit Car Stereo Wars. If you've never heard their 2008 album, For Your Comfort and Safety, and you're into late night chill music, do yourself a favor and go download the whole thing right now.

Here's Broken.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Master Debater

I really do feel bad outsourcing commentary right now, but I can't stress enough how, well, stressed I am during the day as a deadline on a project I'm working on is fast approaching.

With that in mind, here's Jon Stewart last night rightly losing his mind over not just Newt Gingrich's almost sociopathic hypocrisy and utter lack of shame but the testicularly challenged John King's unwillingness to call him out on it.

Listening Post

Violens are a Brooklyn-based trio that sound like they came out of London, circa maybe 1964.

This is one of those little songs that's tough to get out of your head once it's lodged in there.

Here's Violent Sensation Descends.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Listening Post

Sleigh Bells are back and the first single off their new album kicks all kinds of ass.

Plus, yeah, Alexis Krauss remains ridiculously hot.

This is the appropriately titled Comeback Kid.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Let's Stay Together

Dear God is this one cool motherfucker.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the President of the United States -- singing Al Green.

The Bob & Chez Show After Party 1.20.12

Join the After Party Here

Star Trek Fans Aren’t All Virgins; Chez’s Experiences with Ecstasy and Heroin; Anthony Bourdain versus Paula Deen; Food Network; Cable Television Executives; Good Television versus Bad Television; The Steven Weber Tweet of the Week; Bob’s Scary Ron Paul Hate Mail; The 10 Most Conservative Movies; and other assorted crap.

The Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show 1.20.12

Marijuana Legalization; Progressive Priorities; Newt Surges in the Polls; South Carolina and The Southern Strategy; Inspiration for Blogging About Politics; Mitt Romney’s 1% Problem; Andrew Sullivan’s Newsweek Cover Story; Convincing Progressives of Obama’s Successes; and much more. Brought to you by Bubble Genius.

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Listening Post

Some of you may remember that several months back I posted a song from Mimi Page that I couldn't stop enthusing about, mostly because of the fact that it moved me in indescribable ways.

Well, Mimi wrote to me not long after that and sent me some of her other stuff. She's a sweetheart and it's all great -- so with that in mind I'm more than thrilled to pop up the title track from her new record.

This is Breathe Me In.

Breathe Me In by Mimi Page

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Listening Post

The new School of Seven Bells album, Ghostory, hits outlets on February 28th.

If you've got any taste at all, that's all I should have to say to get you really, really excited.

Here's the first single from the record -- Lafaye.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later."

-- Anthony Bourdain, via Twitter, on Paula Deen's announcement that she has diabetes, which just happens to coincide with a sponsorship by diabetes drug-maker Novo Nordis

Deen knew three years ago that she was a diabetic and yet she held off on telling anyone -- continuing to cook ridiculously terrible-for-you crap on television all the while -- until there was a way she could turn it into a cash cow (then promptly deep fry that cow in butter and eat it).

Pretty busy right now so I don't have time to really get into the back-story of Bourdain's ongoing, and perfectly understandable, loathe of Paula Deen -- but I can bring back what I had to say about it a few months ago.

"Quote of the Day" (Originally Published 8.20.11)

"She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations, and she’s proud of the fact that her food is fucking bad for you. I would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it is OK to eat food that is killing us. Plus, her food sucks."

-- Anthony Bourdain

I'm actually a couple of days late to the table, so to speak, on this one, as Bourdain's typically astringent comments have quickly earned him a pretty nice little public feud with Paula Deen.

It should surprise no one to learn that I'm a huge fan of Bourdain: He's a surly, unapologetic prick who doesn't care one bit what anybody thinks of him, going so far as to regularly pick fights with those he dislikes; he revels in his lengthy history of bad habits and in his connection to the seedy cultural underbelly where he believes the true individuals among us can still be found; and he's a spectacular writer, chronicling his adventures and misadventures with a kind of balls-out gonzo flair that would've made Hunter Thompson proud. The guy's got one of the best lives imaginable, and he knows it -- and yet he still finds things to bitch about, because that's just who he is. So when someone like Tony Bourdain figuratively backhands a Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri or Paula Deen, you know whose side I'm gonna come down on.

For her part, Deen's response has been pretty much by-the-numbers. She says, with a predictable lack of willingness to offend, that Bourdain needs to "get a life." Ouch. But while a toothlessly genteel bon mot from Deen's Southern Belle persona is par for the course, her defense of the kind of cooking she does is a little disingenuous. "You know, not everybody can afford to pay $58 for prime rib or $650 for a bottle of wine. My friends and I cook for regular families who worry about feeding their kids and paying the bills... It wasn’t that long ago that I was struggling to feed my family, too," she argues.

I've said before that what a person eats is his or her own business, but Paula Deen's working class martyr spiel is a bunch of opportunistic nonsense. First of all, everyone knows by now that it's possible to cook on a budget without running an IV drip of some liquified butter-and-Crisco concoction into your family's veins, thereby keeping the Wal-Mart "Fat-Eze" scooter industry in business well into the next couple of generations. The stuff Deen makes tastes fantastic; it's also horrible as shit for you. Case closed. And if you've ever been to The Lady and Sons, Deen's restaurant in Savannah, you know that she overcharges for all that supposedly humble fare anyway. Paula and her two kids have turned their unpretentious "aw shucks" image into a massive money-generating enterprise. There's nothing particularly wrong with this, of course -- until you start believing your own hype and playing the righteous indignation card by holding yourself up as some kind of hero to the common people.

Bourdain's already backed off a little, saying on Twitter that while he still thinks she's a "destructive influence" on the Food Network -- a spot on the dial that's a regular target of his, by the way -- Deen is still a "nice lady."

Rachael Ray, though? Yeah, she still has no redeeming qualities.

Life Happens

Yeah, so about my lack of steady attention to the site lately.

I know that in the past I've had to occasionally make excuses for not keeping the content flowing around here, but the current situation is something entirely new for me. First of all, my move out to the other side of the country means that I'm not really getting started on anything until around 10:30AM on the East Coast so I'm automatically behind in the morning. Add to that a pretty nice new wrinkle: I'm actually living my life these days. I'm working long hours, yes, but when I'm not doing that I go out, I do dinners and drinks, I exercise, I hang out with friends and, as anyone who's paid the slightest bit of attention to my Facebook timeline recently can probably figure out, I've actually started kind of seeing someone. In other words, I'm doing things that make me happy -- occasionally just content, sometimes deliriously over-the-moon, but generally happy.

Now I just have to figure out a way to make sure the upkeep of DXM -- which has been like a home to me during the long period in which I felt like I had no home -- isn't something I neglect.

It's gonna take a little time, but I promise we'll get back on track soon. I'm eager to really start writing again.

Until then, though, it's nice to be able to say that your humble narrator is finally living a little.

Don't worry, I'm still a smart-mouthed son-of-a-bitch -- but at least I'm a more agreeable one.


Chances are by now you're aware that Wikipedia's basically on strike today, having taken itself down in protest of the draconian SOPA and PIPA bills that threaten to change the way the internet operates by consolidating an immense amount of power in the hands of corporate content providers. Well, while you know what the hell is going on outside your front door, there are needless to say a lot of people out there who've never even heard of SOPA, don't know a thing about the bigger internet strike happening in response to it, and who are now collectively scratching their heads and spewing outrage over the fact that Wikipedia isn't working.

They don't get it. And judging by a Twitter account that's now been set up to retweet their pissy, often misspelled and utterly hilarious tweets in response to losing Wikipedia for a day, it's easy to see why.

Twitter: @herpdepedia

Listening Post

Somewhere over the past maybe year or so, National Skyline quietly became one of my favorite bands. Jeff Garber, formerly of Hum, has been letting oodles of largely new material trickle out via MTV's Hype label for months and months now, and a good portion of it is flat-out gorgeous, the kind of stuff music supervisors on television dramas spend their days praying to the gods for.

Here's Walk Away.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Bob & Chez Show After Party 1.13.12

It’s our first After Party podcast; We dive in with gratuitous amounts of profanity; Deadwood is American Shakespeare; The new and very awful Van Halen song; David Lee Roth has a punch-me face; Gary Busey is a psychopath; Reality shows are staged and stupid; Forms of ‘stupid’ that are actually funny; The Ceiling Fan Idiot; Forever Lazy; Masturbating in an MRI tube; and more.

Join the party here.

The Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show 1.13.12

Mitt Romney is the Presumptive Nominee; The Weakness of Romney; Romney is Not Like President Obama; We Continue to Tweak Ron Paul Supporters; Bob on Television; The Politics of Envy; The First Lady of Progressivism; Wall Street in the White House; and much more. Brought to you by Bubble Genius.

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Listening Post

Their last album was freaking outstanding and their next one arrives in March.

Here's the first single from it -- the new song from Civil Twilight.

This is Fire Escape.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Quote of the Month

"Oh, Lord. Oh, Lord — what are we just a bunch of numbskulls out here in the heartland of America?"

-- Sarah Palin, last night on Hannity

It's just too easy. Anyone? Anyone wanna step up on this?

Listening Post

Yeah, I know -- I'm way behind the curve on these guys, but in my defense I had a thing.

Here's an emotional nuclear warhead from the Civil Wars.

This is Poison & Wine.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Quote of the Day, Jr.

"Do you believe that Mitt Romney has a big penis?"

-- Prank caller to New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Wayne MacDonald during an interview on C-Span

First of all, no, I'm not one of those people who believes that politics, and in particular the political media, in our country should be treated with veneration and dignity -- far from it these days. So, yes, this is hilarious and shows the whole damn circus that is the Republican race for the White House the respect it deserves.

Second, who knows the kind of powers Mitt's magic underwear have. It's entirely possible he's huge. Although he'd still only be using it to fuck the working class.

Upper-Class Tweet of the Year

In case you don't get the joke, here you go. As for the reference in the title of this post -- I can't help you with that if you don't already know.

Quote of the Day

"CNN, why don't you just stick to what you do best? And as soon as we figure that out, we'll let you know what it is."

-- Jon Stewart, mocking CNN's new morning show and one segment in particular in which the hosts cold call someone at 5:30AM to wake him or her up

I want to like CNN. I really do. I especially want to be happy for Ashleigh Banfield, being that I worked closely with her, like her, and think she deserves an anchor slot. But as with everything involving that network, my good will takes a swan dive off the top of the Time Warner Center as soon as I subject myself to about ten minutes of the actual programming. It really is like the executives sit around a conference table and get high before dreaming up this nonsense -- that's the only explanation I can come up with for most of it.

Listening Post

It's obviously early in the year, but this clip could wind up eventually becoming one of the better music videos of 2012. It features Jake Fogelnest of Sirius XM U -- the network's indie channel -- and three very enthusiastic fans of Real Estate.

Here's Easy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Quote of the Day, Jr.

"Understand it's going to be a brutal bloodbath because this is such an important election cycle."

-- Florida Congressman, Tea Party darling and raving psychopath Allen West on the eventual fate of Barack Obama come November

Is there anything this asshole can say that isn't steeped in violent imagery? Look, I get that it's a comment that would normally be little more than benign, given that people use that particular metaphor all the time -- but this is Allen West we're talking about. The man honestly can't open his mouth without some horseshit-masculine, Peckinpah-esque reference to barbarism tumbling out onto the floor.

By the way, sorry for the low output lately. Got a lot of projects going on right now and still trying to get a handle on how I'm gonna keep things running at East Coast speed now that I'm out west. Things will get back to normal soon enough.

Bond Finger

Yeah. This made me laugh out loud a good four or five times.

Quote of the Day

"I want to report a rape. I feel as if my body -- or, at least my body of work -- has been violated by the movie, The Artist."

-- The first line of an ad in Variety taken out by Kim Novak in which the star of Vertigo complains that the recent, nearly silent film The Artist samples a line from Bernard Hermann's score for the Hitchcock classic

See, this is why Garbo made the wise choice to disappear from public life: She knew that eventually all aging starlets wind up looking like ridiculous, self-important caricatures who just need to shut the hell up for their own good, lest they end up sullying their legacies by melodramatically accusing movie producers of "rape."

Listening Post

I was going to post the new Van Halen single, Tattoo, this morning because I still have fond memories of the band and of Diamond Dave. But then I heard it and it's quite possibly the worst song in the history of recorded music.

So, hey, there's always this catchy little track from Fun.

Here's We Are Young.

Monday, January 09, 2012

All Things Shining

Sometimes things don't work out the way we planned. And sometimes that's a very good thing.

I came out to Los Angeles with the intention of putting in a couple of months of freelance work, then turning around and heading back to Miami. That was the plan. It's not anymore. Since arriving two weeks ago, the work and the opportunity have piled up exponentially, friends old and new have embraced my older-and-slightly-wiser ass, and I've felt a burst of energy and momentum that I haven't known in years. Bottom line: What started a couple of months ago with finally finding my footing after years of pain and depression has evolved into, believe it or not, a little happiness and honest-to-God optimism.

I've needed to get a life for quite a while -- and damn if I didn't find one in the last place I ever expected.

So that's it. I'm staying in California.

Anybody wants to know how I am, I can finally answer: I'm good.

Listening Post

God how I love this little band.

I honestly can't think of a better way to start the week than with music from the Weepies.

This is Can't Go Back Now.

Whatever you do today, make it count, folks. It's not so bad out there.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Saturday Morning Cartoons

It's been a long time since I've posted one of these, and since I'm staying right behind the Hollywood Bowl, this clip seems particularly fitting.

From 1949, here's Bugs Bunny in Long-Haired Hare.

Friday, January 06, 2012

The Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show 1.6.12

We Launch on Washington, DC Radio; Rick Santorum’s Racist Remarks; The Cult of Ron Paul; Newt Gingrich Is a Whiny Diaper Baby; The Southern Strategy is Back; Who’s Really on Welfare; CNN’s Ridiculous Coverage; Mitt Romney Off Prompter; and much more Brought to you by Bubble Genius.

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Listening Post

Hey, kids -- it's Cut Copy's Need You Now.

Happy Friday.

That's all I got.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Folks, the Republican Party has been in a mad rush to its extreme white wing, and Rick Santorum has been there waiting the whole time."

-- Al Sharpton on MSNBC

A lot of hay is already being made of this comment, with people asking whether he actually meant to say "white" or if it was simply a gaffe. And by people I mean the three households nationwide who watch Al Sharpton's show and the internet media who make money and score page views by blowing up any dumb thing anyone says on television into an earth-shattering controversy.

Did Sharpton really mean to say "white wing?" Well, on the one hand he's conditioned himself to see blatant racism everywhere he looks, so it wouldn't be a surprise if he naturally ran his views on Santorum through that prism -- nor would it be a shock if the racism center of his brain simply misfired, Tourettes-like, because it had been a while since he'd said anything racially incendiary or just plain blamed whitey for something. On the other hand, I don't get the idea that Sharpton's mind is stratified enough to be capable of dynamic repression, so I'm not sure a Freudian Slip is even possible. Chances are he just fucked up the word "right" because he's a buffoon who can't go two minutes without tripping over his own tongue.

Current Main Event

It's tough to take anything Hamilton Nolan says seriously simply because every time I see his byline in Gawker I'm immediately reminded that he looks like the product of about six generations of brothers and sisters having sex with each other.

Still, his take this morning on the bitter feud brewing between -- wait for it -- Keith Olbermann and (insert employer here) Current TV is pretty dead-on, at least insofar as it offers a warning to anyone else inexplicably considering bringing the toxic cloud that is Olbermann into his or her workplace.

Once again, Keith is engaged in a very public fight with his bosses and once again it's everyone's fault but Keith's. At this point, hiring Olbermann is like dating me: Yeah, it's got its occasional moments of brilliance and bliss, but there's just too much well-documented history for you to want to seriously consider it. As they say, 50,000,000 Elvis fans can't be wrong.

Gawker: "Keith Olbermann: Not Worth It" by Hamilton Nolan/1.5.12

Listening Post

When it comes to dance music, even confectionery pop dance music, they simply do it better overseas. Whether it's Sweden's Robyn or this very cool and shockingly talented girl from England, Katy B, it just feels like dance artists outside the U.S. try harder, reach farther outside pop's comfort zone, and take their game a little more seriously.

Case in point: The Katy B album was honestly one of the best things released last year.

Here's Broken Record.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Good Lord, again with the social media screen? This is the third hit and I still don’t understand what the hell this thing shows."

-- Anderson Cooper, last night on CNN, who seemed to be the only one who understood the absurdity of both the predictably over-the-top technology used by the network during its Iowa caucus coverage and the fact that anybody was staying up past 1:30AM to cover a relatively meaningless event anyway

Listening Post

Yet another decent way to start off 2012 -- with new music from Our Lady Peace.

Here's their new single, Heavyweight.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

We Will, We Will Stone You

This is fascinating stuff. And by fascinating I mean thoroughly disturbing and not the least bit surprising.

Michele Humes: Global Ad Campaigns Diverge to Chilling Effect/1.3.12

No Rest for the Working

Just a heads up that although it may be a new year, I've got a massive project still on my desk leftover from 2011 -- and the deadline for it is fast approaching.

In other words, it's gonna be slow around here for the next couple of days.

Sorry, kids.

Listening Post

Swedish trio Miike Snow's debut album was one of my favorite records of 2009. Now they're back with a brand new single, and it certainly won't disappoint anyone who loved their last effort.

Can't say there's a whole lot to this video, but the song's great.

This is Devil's Work.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Air Heads

Now that Cesca has gone ahead and made it public, I can follow suit: our little podcast, The Bubble Genius Bob and Chez Show, is coming to a radio near you for 2012. Well, it is if you happen to live in the DC area.

Yesterday a new progressive talk channel, WPWC 1480 AM, launched in the DC market and as it ramps up it'll feature the likes of Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller, David Shuster, Sam Seder, Lizz Winstead and Cliff Schechter (also Ed Schultz, but I hear he comes with a year-long pass to the all-you-can-eat buffet at Sizzler as a package deal, so you kind of have to include him). Among these illustrious voices, you can throw in Bob and me, since our show will be part of the line-up, airing Sundays from 3PM-4PM.

Obviously this means I'll have to curb my foul language, which won't be easy. That's why I'm now wearing a shock collar around my genitals that activates whenever I swear. Hopefully this will act as a kind of aversion therapy; it's not one of the uses described in the back of the magazine I got it from, but I'm improvising.

Anyway, consider this our first step toward terrestrial radio domination. You've been warned.

By the way, the line of groupies forms to the left.

Listening Post

This is one of those songs I've continued to go back to over the past decade or so. Never really get tired of it.

Here's Travis -- Side.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Listening Post

As is tradition around here on this day -- it's Death Cab for Cutie's New Year.

Hope everyone had a great night -- and not too painful a morning.

Good luck to all of us in the coming year.

By the way, it's 75 and gorgeous in Los Angeles this morning. Not a bad way to kick off 2012.