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February 28, 2009

Yes, Seriously.


Bullets, Bombs, and Babes, "This Ain't No Hula!"

As Rumproast commenter t4toby summarizes, this scene from 1987's Hard Ticket to Hawaii has it all:

Skateboarding, off-center ponytails, blowup dolls, pectoralis muscles, rocket launchers, ROCKET LAUNCHERS!!!, gratuitous violence, totally unnecessary second rocket launch attack on aforementioned blowup doll...I challenge you to come up with a better action sequence!

Evidently, B-movie director Andy Sedaris (not to be confused with David Sedaris) directed a handful of these things in a series known as Bullets, Bombs, and Babes:

Sidaris was best known for his Bullets, Bombs, and Babes series of B-movies produced between 1985 and 1998. These films featured a rotating "stock company" of actors mostly made up of Playboy Playmates and Penthouse "Pets", including Julie Strain, Dona Speir, Hope Marie Carlton, Cynthia Brimhall, Roberta Vasquez, Julie K. Smith, Shae Marks, and Wendy Hamilton. Several of his films were done wholly or largely in Shreveport using many local actors or actors with local ties.
Needless to say, we need to watch the entire series ASAP. Check out the amazing trailer to Hard Ticket to Hawaii after the jump. You gotta love a movie with the catchphrase "This Ain't No Hula!" [hat tip Rumproast]

and then, there's this:

The Most Improbable Soulja Boy Video Mashup Ever

I didn't think there was anything that could make this song good, but somehow the incongruousness of a tap-dancing David Hasselhoff look-alike and his perky crew paired with Soulja Boy's suggestion to "Superman that ho" makes this combo so uncomfortably amazing I can't stop watching it. If only their dance studio was in Williamsburg! I would totes take that class. [Hat tip: Everything is Terrible]

February 27, 2009

Big In, uh, Shanghai


If you know me, you know that I'm a big slut for a good magazine layout. But with prices of specialty &/or foreign mags running at around $15 a pop, websites for Chinese hipster inspired print such as M-Style scratch the itch just as well. Over at the Shanghaiist, they seem to agree:

Hipsters get a lot of flack in the U.S. and Europe for fetishizing elements of fringe movements and regurgitating them into something completely sterile and inauthentic - all of the style and none of the substance, so to speak.

And yet (for us, at least) the cheap beer and great music is a welcome escape from the whisky-and-green-tea, Eurotrash house, everybody clad in some skimpy shade of black scene that's dominated Shanghai so far.

Bombarded with the now long dead pop culture trends of yesterday's East, some Hong Kong-goes-Brooklyn gems passed under the radar. These kids might as well be living in my building, no? But we've always been fans of the Asian aesthetic. I mean, McDonald's is giving away Hello Kitty watches in their Happy Meals nowadays (which I know one FREEburg writer is super excited about). It's no wonder Michel Gondry loves him some Eastern city lights....

(Exciting news & a peek at Gondry's newest, Tokyo!, after the jump)

This collaborative three-way will be opening March 6th in NYC. Two-thirds of the equation will be doing introductions and Q&As all weekend. Check it!

Antennas of the Race: Psychic Ills vs. Excepter

Ezra Pound once referred to the artist as the “antennae of the race.” He insinuated that the artist was able to sense a cultural zeitgeist, critique and present it to an audience prior to it becoming ubiquitous. More importantly, their ability to expose these cultural happenings is an integral contribution to keeping society in check. Antennas of the Race is a series of conversations between two creative camps –visual, music, or otherwise—that share a common relationship. They are intended to provide a more revealing look at each’s process and attitude toward creativity.

For the inaugural conversation, we have two experimental music groups: Excepter and Psychic Ills. Known for providing captivating (and sometimes unconventional) live performances as well as challenging records, each group has navigated the competitive New York music scene and come to define the richness of its palette.

Further illustrating their bond, Psychic Ills and Excepter will play a show together at 92YTribeca tomorrow. The show begins at 8pm. In addition, Psychic Ills recently released Mirror Eye on the Social Registry.


FW: Many people in the experimental music scene seem to marry the visuals with a musical aesthetic; you may see this on multiple levels: during a performance or the end product of a record. How do you feel about being apart of this movement?

Excepter: We like to put on a performance and we go out of our way to make videos, so yeah, we’re definitely into the visual. Dance is to music like gesture is to speech; it gives the audience another way to understand what we’re getting across.

We would caution against identifying our visual bent as being part of a movement or scene. If anything, we stand against the influence of the 90s indie stance, which was very anti-image. If there is a common bond between bands, it’s usually a love of records from before our time.

Psychic Ills: There are a lot of bands--there's probably a lot of 'scenes'. We just do our thing. We're not so aware of these qualifiers, but we're into a lot of things music and non-music related.

Excepter: It’s tough for intra-band influence in the experimental scene. By nature, underground music is on the outer edge of the business in general. If anybody has conceits of being a professional artist, there are limited resources and you will be forced to compete for money. You can see how resentment can run high in these situations.

Psychic Ills: It doesn't seem so much like there is one type of thing happening, just a lot of people with similar zip codes.

Excepter: Yeah if you ever want feel out of place, play your label showcase! It’s great people have eclectic tastes these days, but then again, everyone’s a critic --it can make for some awkward experiences both onstage and back.

What I think is interesting for each of our groups and why we get along is that we come from different backgrounds. There are multiple motivations for how each of us came to the play this music. Both Clare [Excepter] and Liz [Psychic Ills] come from dance performance backgrounds; Jimmy [Psychic Ills] and Lala [Excepter] come from the classical music world; bunch of film majors in the band. What’s been so freeing is making work that is uncompromising –at the price of giving up being commercially successful.


FW: What do you think, then, about the sense of community in the digital age? Do you think it fosters more freedom and access or further provides this wall of isolation?

Excepter: It has and it hasn’t. On one hand it broadens and intensifies the level of communication, which in turn creates a sense of community. On the other hand, it broadens and intensifies the level of criticism, which isn’t so great for freedom of creativity.

Psychic Ills: Its probably does both. Technology is always interesting. People are always gonna take of leave certain elements of it--y'know use what works for them.

FW: How do you feel about New York being so financially tough on artists/musicians?

Excepter: It’s a tightrope walk of how to build a body of work that lasts while supporting ourselves.

Psychic Ills: Musician or not, most people are just trying to survive. Sometimes you've gotta go to the $1 pizza spot. But, there's something good about how it kicks you in the ass every so often and reminds you that you're alive. I don’t think it’s going to change.

Big Terrific Moves


Last night was Big Terrific's last show at Sound Fix because the lounge is totally closing. For over a year the N. 11th St. venue served as a mainstay of free comedy and music in Williamsburg, and Big Terrific was the weekly keystone thanks to common appearances by acts like Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, and Eugene Mirman. It was basically the closest you could get to "Adult Swim Live" without blowing $75 on the "Cartoon Network on Ice Tour 2009." All that past tense, so depressing. Good news after the jump!

Good news is that Big Terrific hosts Max Silvestri and Gabe & Jenny are moving the act to Cameo, which is even closer to the train. And to Wednesdays, so now Wednesday can be your new Thursday, and Thursday can be just another lame weekday instead of riding Friday's coattails to the top. New Big Terrific shows start on March 11th @ Cameo, and tomorrow is Marissa Nadler playing Sound Fix's last in-store show.

Rachel Ray Gets Dry-Humped, Grabs Some Ass At SXSW Preview Party

image c/o (hat tip, Krista)

First the keffiyah, and now this.

Perky homemaker Rachel Ray, best known for annoying millions with her quasi-robotic joie de vivre on Everyday with Rachel Ray, is throwing what may be the coolest party of next month's SXSW. Confirmed bands for her little soiree include the Hold Steady, the Thermals, Ra Ra Riot, Semi Precious Weapons, and the New York Dolls. The menu (available on the event's website) looks appropriately awesome in its own right, offering such southwestern themed dishes as seven-layer sliders and smoky chipotle and black bean chilaquiles. Between this and unholy resurrection of Taylor Hanson, 2009's SXSW is shaping up to be the most wholesome yet.

And to add yet another layer of weirdness to the whole affair, Page Six reports that Ray stormed the stage during her SXSW preview party at Santos Party House on Wednesday (yes, there was a preview party), jokingly tried to steal the boots off of Semi Precious Weapons frontman Justin Tranter, and, as the picture above attests, engaged in some serious glam rock ass-groping. From PageSix:

"Not only is lead singer Justin Tranter the most attractive person I've seen, but I also want his high-heeled boots!" Then she jokingly tried to steal Tranter's boots while grabbing his rear end several times.
Check her out getting dry-humped by Tranter after the jump. What happened to America's wholesome culinary sweetheart? As a tipster relates:
I was at the show and my favorite part was how Justin kept referring to
her as "Rachel mother f***ing Ray"

She is actually kinda awesome....which is weird.


February 26, 2009

10 Year Old Brit Chick Is Way Cooler Than You

Known solely as Solveig -- or by her nickname Sol, which often graces her masterpieces -- this adolescent artist is making the graffiti community do a serious double take. And if you were to come across her work on the street, her bright, solid colors and cute, childish subjects would make you look twice too.

Though she works mainly on legal graf sites throughout her hometown of Brighton, Sussex, that hasn't stopped the press from quickly dubbing her the "female Banksy."

...awfully impressive for someone who's still in primary school, if you ask me. More examples of her work after the jump.

She's even had a hand at tattooing, though with all that heavy bling around her neck it's a surprise she was able to hold the gun straight.

images via

Brooklyn Needs A New Slogan


Earlier this evening, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz sent out a tweet, saying, "I need to think up some new slogans for Brooklyn. Does anyone have ideas?" Well, do we? Let's help him out! Throw your best ideas in the comments and we'll publish 'em in a memo to Marty.

update: oh dear. could this be an imposter? Brooklyn Based just wrote: "Just learned from a trusted source that @MartyMarkowitz isn't really Marty. Who's behind it? Fess up!"

update2: my my my the account is now deleted. twitter sez "That page doesn't exist!" what's going on marty man?

Jindal's Response "Disaster For the Republican Party," "Nihilism," "Insane"

Speaking of Obama's budget, we're not usually huge fans of David Brooks, but holy Christ did he nail it here:

We're waiting for a Kenny the Page mash-up [UPDATE: this is close]. Until then, this will do. Leave Bobby Jindal Alone:

Obama's Budget

Here's a link to Obama's new budget, in all its PDF glory. Enjoy!

Been Had Movies

Ya'll remember snap music? 2005 was heady days. The stocks were maximal and the hip hop was minimal cuz Atlanta's ringtone beats ruled every playlist. One of the most successful salesmen of languid, snare-less jams was D4L, whose member, Ju, is currently embroiled in one of the most pointless, enjoyably petty beefs to hit youtube. Starts back in '08 when Ju dropped this video bragging about his ends:

Which, like most releases from the D4L camp since 2006, was pretty much ignored. Turns out that months later Ju would get shit thrown back in his face thanks to the perennial hero of youtube... some dude in his basement:

Thankfully Ju had the good sense to respond because pretty much anything he does is going to be better than "Betcha Can't Do It Like Me," D4L's second (and last).

With that many movies, you know basement dude has the free time to shoot a response, so it's worth keeping an eye on. And in case Ju finds this next time he Googles himself (how else do you fill 14 waking hours being a former member of D4L and been having money?), his new mixtape is called "Mr. 2k9 Swag," so get it from your local Jamaican dude with a table full of bootlegs.

February 25, 2009

Well-Connected Session Drummer Will Do Anything For $75K


You ever heard of Josh Freese? No? Neither had I until I stumbled across this site. Mr. Freese, who plays or has played dums with Nine Inch Nails, Devo, The Vandals, A Perfect Circle, etc. etc. etc. is releasing a solo album called Since 1972 on March 24. And as his site explains, you can "subscribe" to this album for editions that range in price from $7 to $75,000. The $7 is a simple digital download of the record, with things getting gradually more interesting as the price goes up (at the $5K level, for example, Josh offers to "Get drunk together. If you don't drink we can go to my Dads place and hang out under the 'Tuba tree,'" and as part of the $20K package, "Josh writes 2 songs about you and it's made available on iTunes and appears on his next record").

The full $75,000 package warrants quoting in full:

-Signed CD/DVD and digital download -T-shirt -Go on tour with Josh for a few days. -Have Josh write, record and release a 5 song EP about you and your life story. -Take home any of his drumsets (only one but you can choose which one.) -Take shrooms and cruise Hollywood in Danny from TOOL's Lamborgini OR play quarters and then hop on the Ouija board for a while. -Josh will join your band for a shows, record, party with groupies, etc.... -If you don't have a band he'll be your personal assistant for a month (4 day work weeks, 10 am to 4 pm) -Take a limo down to Tijuana and he'll show you how it's done (what that means exactly we can't legally get into here) -If you don't live in Southern California (but are a US resident) he'll come to you and be your personal assistant/cabana boy for 2 weeks. -Take a flying trapeze lesson with Josh and Robin from NIN, go back to Robin's place afterwards and his wife will make you raw lasagna.
Hell, I know it's it a recession, but if I were some shit-out-of-luck golden-parachuted Lehman's douchebag, I might be willing to toss the money at the dude who co-wrote that sonic shitwhale "Chinese Democracy" (check out Freese's Wikipedia page) to be my personal assistant. You know, because asshole bankers are probably the only people who dug "Chinese Democracy" in the first place.

Bep Restaurant: Yes, There's Pho in Williamsburg

photograph by Tam Ngo

Since people have been asking about the mysterious Vietnamese restaurant on the Southside, it's called Bep and it's only open on Mondays. Inside the Simple Cafe. More information in our restaurant guide.

Can't We All Just Blog Along?

European discount airline RyanAir (and it's PR people, apparently) have got their panties in a twist after one blogger's discovery of a supposed free flight bug. Check out the angry staffers comments on Jason Roe's blog:

"It is Ryanair policy not to waste time and energy corresponding with idiot bloggers and Ryanair can confirm that it won't be happening again."

"Lunatic bloggers can have the blog sphere all to themselves as our people are far too busy driving down the cost of air travel"

"...what self respecting developer uses a crappy CMS such as word press anyway AND puts they're mobile ph number online, i suppose even a prank call is better than nothing on a lonely sat evening!!"

Hat tip, Consumerist.

Ticket Giveaway: U2 on Letterman

We've got 2 tickets to next Tuesday's David Letterman show. U2 will be performing. Their new record No Line On The Horizon drops March 3. It's their 12th studio album and if you're the 12th person to email us at mail | at | (with 'U2 Giveaway' in the subject line) the tickets are yours. WE HAVE A WINNER. SORRY

Here's their new single:

The Daily Footprint 02/25/09

Kent Ave



Grub Street coined it. And the New York Times has a great story on the growing culinary movement in Brooklyn:

Gabrielle Langholtz, the editor of Edible Brooklyn, which chronicles the borough’s food scene, said it has grown along with the arrival of what she calls the “new demographic.”

“It’s that guy in the band with the big plastic glasses who’s already asking for grass-fed steak and knows about nibs,” Ms. Langholtz said.

“Ten years ago all of these people hadn’t moved to Brooklyn yet,” she added, comparing Brooklyn today to Berkeley in the 1970s. “There’s a relationship to food that comes with that approach to the universe,” Ms. Langholtz said. “Every person you pass has read Michael Pollan, every person has thought about joining a raw milk club, and if they haven’t made ricotta, they want to.”

Here's the article: Brooklyn’s New Culinary Movement.

Grizzly Bear—Can Somebody Please Find Ed Droste Some Decent Pho?!

Grizzly Bear [left to right]: Christopher Bear, Ed Droste, Daniel Rossen, Chris Taylor

Back in January of 2004, we found a promo CD dropped in our mailbox. There was no postage, just a CD crudely wrapped in thick paper with a note attached from Kanine Records. Their studios were just around the corner on Powers Street, just a few blocks from FREEwilliamsburg. The CD had some nondescript scribbling on the front and was called Horn of Plenty—an exceptionally low-key, moody record with haunting vocals drenched in reverb. It was recorded by some locals who called themselves Grizzly Bear. Horn of Plenty became our soundtrack for the winter.

Soon after receiving the CD, we saw the band play Glass House Gallery. They killed.

Of course, Grizzly Bear became indie A-listers in 2006 with their masterpiece Yellow House, which was on everybody's shortlist for record of the year. Their latest, Veckatimest (their website explains that it's "a small, uninhabited island off the coast of Massachusetts") will be released on May 26. It's among the most anticipated records of the year.

Ed Droste (guitar, vocals) wrote us a few weeks ago, inquiring about the lack of Pho in the neighborhood. He'd heard rumors of a new Vietnamese restaurant opening on the Southside, that we haven't been able to substantiate. (Anyone?) Ed was kind enough to answer a few questions about Brooklyn and Grizzly Bear's upcoming record.

1. How long have you lived in Williamsburg?

If you include Greenpoint (some people do and some people don't) I've lived in the area since 2003. If you don't count Greenpoint, since 2006.

2. Where do you eat & drink? Any favorite local haunts?

Chris Bear's girlfriend works at Marlow and Sons and everyone that works there is so friendly and the food is insanely amazing so I ultimately always end up there. Other than that I've been cooking a lot at home. I would like to publicly say I would KILL for a good Vietnamese Pho joint in the hood, so please somebody open one!!!

3. Is the rest of the band out here?

They are. Chris Bear lives off the Graham stop, myself off Lorimer. Chris Taylor off of Bedford and Dan in Greenpoint.

4. Culturally speaking, what's your take on New York these days?

I love living in New York. It's the one place I've lived where I alway can count on seeing people from around the world and most of my friends visit the city at least once a year. My family (in Boston) can visit easily and I'm just generally at home here. No matter what year it is, there will always be people complaining about how "it used to be" but I've enjoyed living here all 10 years for better and worse.

5. Animal Collective, Wolf Parade, Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, Bret's T-Shirts on Flight of the Conchords.... What's going on with all the animal references?

In retrospect I wish I could just name our band "Omelette" or something random. Are food names played out? I didn't even know Animal Collective when I named the band. And there was no Wolf Parade or Fleet Foxes, at least to my knowledge. The name was based on a joking nickname to an ex, so I though it was funny/appropriate at the time. Oh how cliche it