Saturday, January 26, 2008

Random Thoughts

Dear Kimya Dawson,

I'd never thought I would say this. However, if I have to hear your damned cutesy-wutesy "Juno" song one more time, I might just shoot myself in the face.

Overheard in New York

Man on cell: Don't go near the elevator. There's a pile of doodoo there. I tried to clean it up the best I could, but there's still some there. Be careful. I don't want you to smear it.

New and noted

The Magnetic Fields

The Skinny: Indie-pop misanthrope Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields, deemed by Bob Gould as the "most depressing man in rock," studies his The Jesus and Mary Chain fixation with heaps of prickly distortion, er, as advertised in the album title.

Why You Should Buy It: Merritt exists in his own vacuum-sealed idiom. He told The New York Times, "I cannot name a record by anyone in 2007." As for his rapturous scrutiny of influential Scottish noise-pop band The Jesus and Mary Chain's 1985 debut album Psychocandy? "It's the last album that sounded shockingly new, to me anyway."

Song You'll Love or Hate: The gnashingly frontal lobe assault of album opener, "Three-Way," which basically consists of Mr. Merritt shouting the title over rippling riffs.

Kate Nash
Made of Bricks

The Skinny: Discovered on MySpace by Lily Allen, 20-something Englander Kate Nash makes an album about the struggles of upper-class strife. She sounds like a brainier version of The Spice Girls, for better or worse.

Why You Should Buy It: Nash's cockney Brit accent, flowing pen verses and sly pop cultural shout-outs - hell, she manages to namecheck CSI at one point - are 10 times better than the CHR-pop Hannah Montana dreck infiltrating American top-40. Plus, let's just say that it might be awhile before Amy Winehouse releases another Back to Black.

Song You'll Love or Hate: Produced by Bloc Party producer Paul Epworth, Nash finds lyrical inspiration in the mundane. Her song about mouthwash, titled "Mouthwash," of course, is an exercise in lyrical frugality. The hummable melody will stay in your head for days.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bill Brantley claws the shit out of 'The Little Mermaid'

Ben Brantley's my idol. After much consternation, it goes something like Maureen Dowd, Jesus, Nellie McKay and Bill Brantley.

His recent review of Disney on Broadway's adaptation of The Little Mermaid was chockful of candy-coated zingers.

Best line? "The whole enterprise is soaked in that sparkly garishness that only a very young child — or possibly a tackiness-worshiping drag queen — might find pretty...In like manner, most of the performers approach their characters with the forced jocularity of actors marking time in a theme park until a better job comes along."


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Overheard in New York: The Watersports Edition

Black man singing while peeing at urinal: Oh, Lord, when can I go to heaven? Oh, Lord, when can I go to heaven? [Finishes urinating abruptly.] Thank you, Lord Jesus. Hallelujah!

--Staten Island Ferry

Overheard by TVontheFritz (

Monday, January 07, 2008