Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Boink! TV

Found this clip via Pitchfork Media. It's Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney (R.I.P.) with the always funny Fred Armisen of Saturday Night Live as Saddam Hussein. Great cabe access spoof as they talk about gear, t-shirts and selling out. Fred's accent for Saddam was a great choice. By the way, if he's ever doing a stand up show, by al means go see it. He played a rock club in Nashville a few years ago and was gut-bustingly funny.

When I worked at the Squint label Fred "hosted" an epk we did for the band Chevelle that is still a favorite. He has that fearless quality about his comedy that allows him to push the limits but still come off as a good guy. Enjoy

Monday, August 14, 2006

Gateway to taxidermy

This past Saturday we took our daughter Sydney to the creepiest place on earth ... the Build-A-Bear Workshop. We've been battling for months and months to get her to finally give up her pacifier, and for an unknown reason, the process of shoving a metal tube into a soft, furry cotton-poly carcass and pressure-blowing it to capacity it with fiber-fill was just the incentive for her to shed the thing. I'm half-convinced that the "Find A Bear ID Program" is some sort of stuffed animal relocation program. And so we ventured out to a newly redesigned (and carpeted?!) mall in the 'burbs to meet her friend Shatiqua (who turned 9 the same day) for a combination "passy" exorcism and birthday celebration.

As we entered the mall I spied a friend's family in the hazy glow of the food court and ventured over to say hello, delaying entry to the land of cute corpses. As we approached I noticed foreshadowing of events to come, as the entire space around my driend was filled with the white and blue "house" boxes that signal the yielding to the commercial prowess of the build-a-bear empire.

After a short exchange of pleasantries we both faced the elephant in the room: build-a-bear is a gateway to taxidermy ...or mortuary arts. Now, I have nothing against those professions - someone needs to provide the service. Heck, one of my sisters dated a mortician for quite some time (he was the one who let me have my first taste of beer at age six)... mmmmm, beeeer. But I digress.

Syd and Shatiqua picked matching pink bears and each dressed them stylishly. And without seeing the stuffing process I'd have to admitthat the bear is, indeed, cute, cuddly and soft as can be. The bins full of the skins, however, are disconcerting, and while the cuteness of the animals can distract, the rows opposite them of unclothed, anorexic dolls awaiting a fiber-filled gorging were dowright ghoulish.

From there we went to the stuffing station (at some point I'll get the video from my phone up on YouTube and re-post this). The animals are quickly and mercilessly impaled onto a metal tube that fires the stuffing inside every nook & cranny of the animal. Operating the machine was what I gathered to be a completely disinterested high schooler who rattled off what must have been the pre-approved, official build-a-bear corporate narration of the process, including the instructions on how to prepare the bear's heart for insertion with the proper qualities ("rub the heart on your head so your bear will be smart. rub the heart on your tummy so it will never go hungry..."), delivered in deadpan, emotionless pattter.

We eventually escaped the money-grabbing workshop and made our way to a great pizza place. Syd has been playing with the bear non-stop, and while we still have arguments abut her pacifier, I know now that if she slips back to passy-land I just have to mention the build-a-bear process and how it can relate to her, and she falls back in line. Maybe it wasn't such a bad thing after all.....

Talk about marketing to a specific person

I LOVE the ad campaign for the Mini-Cooper. Whether it's the cool and inventive print ad, or this time-sucking and thoroughly engaging viral toy, these people know how to brand.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Another hilariousand awesome home made clip from OK Go. This video has given the band's year-old album a whole new burst of life and has been viewed online more than 2 million times.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I knew Springfield was really in the UK

This Real Life Simpsons Intro is explanation enough for the usefulness of YouTube.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Cafe Coco, Guiness & God

As I type I'm in an always-open coffee house in Nashville reading a Salon.com interview with Dr. Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project and an evangelical Christian, U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" is playing on the stereo. Guiness #2 is slowly being drained. It is a wonderful moment.