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Summer has officially hit NYC. The humidity rolled in and brought designer sunglasses, patterned rompers, organic popsicles & overcrowded outdoor concerts with it. This time inspires the maximum hype-osity, but make sure to take to take your chill pills to keep your balance!

Space Jamz 2012

I've been a bit out of the music loop this past year. As I'm getting older more new stuff sounds like Gosh-Darn-Fangled-Racket!!!-Is-this-slop-what-the-kids-are-listening-to-these-days?!?!-What-is-a-Skrillex?!??

So no “Best of 2011” from me, but these songs/bands make me excited for the new year. Make sure to load this onto your iPod and rock it post-2012-Apocalypse à la Denzel in The Book of Eli.

Uppers & Commers in 2012 from somethingelsa on 8tracks.

 

 

we're practically twins

The ascension of Lady Gaga inspired many fellow pop stars to strive (and mostly fail) in their attempts to mimic the overly ornate and complex. To her fans Gaga preaches a message of self-acceptance, which is a great cause, but is often weakly interpreted as, "what is the craziest thing I can glue on my head when I go to her show?"

Beyoncé's new video "Countdown" offers a successful alternative to the Gaga-fication of the music industry. She provides a simple, fun, colorful and dynamic piece of visual pop candy. While the song is fairly give-or-take as a single, the video for "Countdown" possesses all of the elements of a classic pop video. Bold costumes, engaging choreography and quirky editing, all done with a simpleness and ease that makes all the elements reliable as a whole.

Similarly to Beyoncé iconic "Single Ladies" video I am sure "Countdown" will be a hit among the under-two baby set. Check out this Time's article analyzing the Single Ladies / Dancing Baby craze that happened a few years ago. This new video's close-up shots of Beyoncé's bouncing eyebrows, million dollar smile and exaggerated staccato movements engage with our most basic notions of reliably we develop as children. The cartoon-y quality inspires a combined sense of modern fun and nostalgia.

I especially appreciate how replicable her stylying is for someone without McQueen in their budget. Sure those Prada sun-hats aren't exactly reasonable, but I can probably spring for a black turtleneck and leggings without breaking the bank.

P.S. Here is an awesome mix: Beyonce - Countdown (Reggae Rewind Remix)

funny ha ha

More Podcast! But now with more jokes! These are my Comedy Podcast Recommendations.

The Nerdist
LOLz! It’s that guy from “Singled Out.” Okay now that we got over that, this is a show hosted by stand-up Chris Hardwick and his two sidekicks Jonah Ray and Matt Mira. They bicker like geeky brothers. The shows alternate interview and “hostful” episodes about all things nerd and comedy. 

The Adam Carolla Show 
This is a throwback to the daily morning radio show you loved as a pre-teen, but without the 90s pop hits, time and traffic updates. Carolla is a master complainer and his side-kicks work mainly to bring up more topics for him to rant about. I don’t always agree with Carolla’s political views, but the show is fast and funny and fits perfectly in my morning commute. 

Doug Loves Movies 
Stand-up comedian Doug Benson is known for his stoner humor. This is an audio recording of his weekly live show at the UCB:LA Theater. He usually gets three guests to come on, tangentially talk about movies, then play a movie quiz game he has dubbed “The Leonard Maltin Game.” The audience wins prizes and it gets oddly competitive and therefor hilarious. 

WTF with Marc Maron
Marc Maron’s show is like a comedian twelve step program / therapist session. It starts with a rant and some introspection then moves onto an in-depth interview commonly with an writer, actor or comedian Maron has offended in the past. Maron maintains an informal and friendly if not some what confrontational style. This makes the interviews unique and challenging and elevates the conversation beyond the standard showbiz banter.

Comedy Bang Bang
Comedy writer and producer Scott Aukerman hosts this mother-ship program on his own growing podcast network Earwolf. This comedy show bring together awesome guest for interviews with various improvised characters. This show almost always makes me crazily burst out laughing on the train or at work. Definitely would appeal to people who enjoy absurdest humor and “alternative comedy.”

Sklarbro Country
Identical twin brothers Jason and Randy Sklar host this sports themed comedy, interview and improv show on Earwolf. I am not the biggest sports fan, but I love this show and can follow most of the stories since they cover pop culture. Warning: you might need a moment to adjust to the sound of this show. Since the Sklars talk a mile a minute and their voices sound exactly the same, this show might sound like a man having a Sport Center inspired schizophrenic breakdown at first. 

Who Charted?
Although this show has a pretty gross title it’s actually one of the nicest and friendliest shows on the Earwolf Network. Hosts comedians Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack and a Very Special Guest countdown of the latest charts in movies, music and more. The guest interviews are silly and outlined by a personal chart that is “This Is Your Life” reminiscent.  

Friday Night Comedy 
This feed is actually two different topical BBC radio 4 comedy shows that alternate every few weeks. “The Now Show” hosted by Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis is a totally British style variety show with political and pop culture satirical commentary, songs, plays, etc. “The News Quiz” hosted by Sandi Toksvig is similar to the quiz style of Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me. Be warned: Both are super British. Like Jokes about local Educational Ministers British. That British. 

The Lavender Hour 
Comedians / lovahs Natasha Leggero and Duncan Trussell record this totally strange, often technically lacking, but somehow captivating show. They tend to rant about the problems with modern day consumerist culture and are very open about their spiritual aspirations. So this can be inspirational or completely tedious. 

The Ricky Gervais Podcast
Ricky “The Podfather” Gervais along with Stephen “SMERCH” Merchant and Karl “He Has a Head Like a Fucking Orange” Pilkington boosted the worldwide popularity of the podcast medium. Their show started first as a radio show on XFM, then as a series of free podcasts for the Guardian and then it was a series of paid-per-episode audiobooks. The show is pretty much on hiatus, but this feed hosts some of the older free content.

But Spotify Doesn't Work on the Subway!

Podcasts! They're all the rage these days. Although the quantity has always been abundant, the quality has grown leaps and bounds recently. Most people know you can download popular radio shows like This American Life and Radiolab as podcasts, but there is much more to discover beyond NPR land. I'm an old school OCDer who needs a constant stream of media stimulation, so I've built quite the collection of subscriptions over the years. Here are some my vetted General Podcasts suggestions for you!  Below are links and descriptions. (Comedy Podcast list to follow).

The Moth
Stories told live, on stage, without notes, relating to various diverse themes and topics. Sometimes when I first listen I am put off by a speakers voice or accent, but if I put aside my prejudices and keep listing I am almost always amazed and glad I gave it a chance. These curated stories are always heartfelt and worth the quick listen.

Savage Love
Weekly sex, love and relationship advice for callers who leave messages asking for help from writer Dan Savage. Although you might think you wouldn’t relate to, say... a dolphin/pie fetishist, give it a try. You will find that the truths in Savages' opinions tend to be universal and really helpful.

Sound Opinions
Two old Chicago music reviewers talk about the current status of the music industry, review the latest releases and occasionally do interviews and musical historical recaps. They cover a huge range in musical styles and do a good job of keeping me up to date. I appreciate Jim DeRogatis’ championing of women musicians, but I tend to agree more with Greg Kot’s tastes.

WireTap
A peak into Montreal based ultra-neurotic writer Jonathan Goldstein’s consciousness. He plays a version of himself, a put upon radio presenter surrounded by a rotating cast of narcissistic characters who are constantly planning wacky Canadian hijinks. I love this show, but you have to spread it out and water it down like a bullion cube. A little goes a long way.

The Sound of Young America
Jesse Thorne is a relativity young broadcaster with a old man deep voice. Sometimes he  does the super hipster thing of trying to be an anti-hipster i.e. overly sincere, but as he’s matured his interview have gotten better. He picks a fun roster of guest. Usually writers, comedians and musicians.

Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review
This BBC radio show tends to be over an hour long and I love every minute of it. The caveat of course being that I'm an anglophile. Simon Mayo is the “straight man” radio presenter and Kermode is the impassioned rant friendly pompadour-ed film reviewer. It’s smart and entertaining. Hello Jason Issacs!

The Great Mix CD Madness of 2004

While digging through my old hard drive looking for older art to post on this site, I found these mix CDs I made for three friends in 2004. Apparently I was so proud of the final product, both mix and artwork, that I scanned them to keep them memory of such an musical achivement...forever! I am glad that I did. My almost 10 year old LACIE drive is proving to be quite the time capsule.