Friday, August 29, 2008

New Beginnings, etc etc

Oh shit, the summer's over! Today is my last day at Flavorpill. I'm pretty bummed that the internship is's been a great summer, and everyone involved there is totally awesome to work with. They gave me some great fact-checking experience and the opportunity to write about some things I actually, y'know, like. Plus, parties and perks and good lunches, oh my! I'm still going to write for them, but for the most part I am moving on to bigger and better The Huffington Post! You read correctly, folks, I start as a paid (!) blogging intern this Wednesday. That's both exciting and terrifying, and I wouldn't have made it there without my current internship. Thanks guys!

Here's some of the last few pieces I wrote while still an intern: Frances, Brooklyn Cyclones, Arms

My Senior thesis proposal is also due this Thursday. So...six days to get back in that rhythm? Life's about to get crazy. Well, crazier.

Final Fantasy - The Butcher

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Getting Smarter Never Felt So Lame

The Pratt freshmen are here for orientation week. It's great to make fun of them from a distance and see how ridiculously they dress. To be fair, here's a picture of me the night before I left for college, and boy did I look retarded! I now use that ugly t-shirt when I go to the gym. What's really sad, though, is realizing that you'll never be as reckless as you were when you first got to college. Sleeping in until noon, drinking like, every night, poor judgment with girls, eating White Castle without worry for stomach pains - never again! I saw three shows and did irreversible damage to my liver that week. Barring a serious slide into lonliness and alcoholism, I'll never be that idiotic again. As much as I might miss doing reckless things without consequences, I wouldn't want to do it again. In retrospect, I guess I'm just glad I didn't dress like a lot of this year's assholes. Prattlers, good luck on the best and worst week of your life.

Ida Maria - Morning Light

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Anywhere But Hartford

It seems like every other month Sharon and I talk about leaving New York. Partially, it's about money, but I guess it's about being fulfilled or something. Sharon usually suggests her home of Buffalo, where rent is dirt cheap (I'm looking more into Rhode Island, pictured above with both a beautiful skyline and a glamorous garbage can). Apparently, we're not alone in this line of thinking. New York actually wrote a story about moving away from the city and taking advantage of a decrepit city...Buffalo specifically! It is the type of place we will all live in once the suburbs become a wasteland.
It's hard for me to not consider moving ASAP when I read a story like that. I don't consider myself tied to this city. I'd never move back to Connecticut, which is a terrible place for a child in need of stimulation to grow up. Moving here was about finding myself (vomit) and learning what I'm comfortable with, how much bullshit I can handle and persevere through. I've come to a point in my life where I know who I am as a person, and this self-aware Stuff White People Like cliche can pack his bicycle and novel ideas to any city with a few restaurants and cheap rent. Is a non-corny, worthwhile life still livable outside of New York/Chicago/LA? It is once we stop letting geography inform who we are...but I probably won't know for sure myself for a few more years. Your vice grip can only last so long, New York!

David Byrne and Brian Eno - Home

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Slaves! Slaves! Slaves!

You know what's worse than selling out? Graduating college and fighting for an underpaying job in an incestuous industry! Editorial assistant jobs and post-grad unpaid internships must land a step above Wal-Mart Greeter and a step below high school janitor in terms of awfulness. I'll take a steady income and write on the side before I dig my own grave. I wish I could say I miss my pre-Pratt romantic ideas of New York writers, but I guess that was even worse. Fuck it, I'm going to Rhode Island for the weekend. This post will be brought to you by Converse once they decide I'm worth paying.

Liars - Pure Unevil

Monday, August 18, 2008

It's Monday and I'd Rather be Writing Fiction

Instead I'm answering phones and watching this over and over.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Last Night Almost Did Him In

There were three bands from the L Magazine's Class of '07 feature that I ended up listening to: Vampire Weekend, White Rabbits, and Frances. While the two former artists shot to indie superstardom (VW) and middling indie purgatory (WR), Frances kept a low profile for the past year. However, they were probably the band that intrigued me the most when I first heard them. The only song of theirs that resembled a complete product was "Lighthouse", but it was a hell of a song. There were shades of bands like Neutral Milk Hotel and Half-Handed Cloud, as well as a fair share of Columbia bookishness. Well I've played the crap out of "Lighthouse", I kept waiting for more.
Well, the other day I got my needy little paws on the band's debut album, All the While, and it's just as stunning as I hoped it would be. With lush orchestrations and a sense of wonder and earnestness, this could easily end up on my "best of '08" list. Songs like "Cousin" and "Telephone" fulfill the promise I heard in that first demo. As for "Lighthouse" itself, it's been fleshed out with a crisper, cleaner productions and a fleshed out sound that loses none of the original greatness. The band opened that secret Rogue Wave show last weekend, and they're opening for the Walkmen this week. Keep an eye out for them, because they're going to be huge if there's any fairness in this indie landscape!

Frances - Lighthouse (Revised)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

They Denied Me During The Seventh Inning Stretch, Though

There's this awkward period between ages 13 and 20 where baseball games are pretty much the most boring thing ever. Then you turn 21 and alcohol happens. My first experience with this came last night at a Brooklyn Cyclones game. The occasion: they were playing the Batavia Muckdogs, my girlfriend's hometown team. Like Batavia itself, they're pretty horrible! The cheap Brooklyn brews were great and all, but the best part was having a retarded side show at the top and bottom of every inning. Racing hot dog suits, human hamster wheels, and a RECYCLING COMPETITION. Also, a large portion of the crowd did the Cha Cha in the bottom of the fifth. No, it didn't go away when you graduated high school, apparently. Everything at Keyspan Park is the best kind of obnoxious. I even won a victory ball! If you've only got a passing interest in baseball, you might as well go here and spend half of what you would at a Yankees game. Sports! Two days in a row! I should post about books or something.

The Blow - Parantheses

Monday, August 11, 2008

I Like 'Splosions

You know, I really wasn't looking forward to the Olympics at all until I saw pictures of the opening ceremony. Does anyone else remember when Boyz II Men was supposed to be a main draw in 1996? Yikes. Hooray for fireworks and laser light shows! I found myself fascinated by rowing water polo over the weekend. Never thought I'd say that.
This of course meant the rarity of checking out Deadspin's weekend coverage. This weekend was guest-edited by Sarah Schorno. I officially nominate her to be an actual Deadspin editor. The site's felt less like required reading since Leitch left (expected), but Schorno just might be the perfect successor to make the site interesting again. What was great about Leitch's writing was that there was only a hint of snark, some straightforward reporting, and some sort of intelligent analytical insight. Not only does Schorno provide this amply, but she'd finally give Deadspin a, y'know, female writer (not that it should matter). She has every quality Leitch has, and unlike some of the site's writers (and some of the Deadspinoffs), she's not trying too hard to maintain the "Deadspin voice" or litter the page with insider jokes. Is that really so hard? Heck, it makes me wish she'd do more as a Huffington Post blogger.
More than anything this past weekend just showed that the weekday lineup might not be working out. While some of Daulerio's posts are interesting and insightful (like his Olympic opening post), a lot of them just seem gimmicky and perpetually fascinated with the sports media and its general misogyny than general Deadspinny coverage. Chandler always felt like a nice supplement to Leitch's coverage, but his voice sort of feels drowned out currently.
Meanwhile, Clay Travis seems to have found a niche even more marginalized than hockey bloggers. His posts generally cover some form of harmless (and occasionally fun) fratboy humor. And college football. A lot of college football. Sure, he's probably a nice enough dude in real life that I wouldn't get too annoyed by at a sports bar, but come on now, that can't carry a top-notch sports blog. Really, everyone should have been calling for his blood after reading his introductory post. Point is, all of these people could have a place in a Schorno-helmed Deadspin. Sure, Leitch managed to do this as a two-man (later three) operation, but he also posted with the vigor of a thousand Richard Lawsons. Let the new Deadspin begin!

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson - Buriedfed

Thursday, August 7, 2008

You've Got Taste, What a Waste


Well, the French Kicks played mostly songs from their new album last night. Coincidentally, their new album sucks pretty hard! That review sort of hangs itself by comparing it to old REM and U2 albums (which are boring). Basically, whatever seemed bland and mundane on their first three albums (half the songs) was increased to take over the show. While Two Thousand played to their strengths, Swimming did the opposite. We spent some time away from the crowd and lounging around before leaving early. On our way to the train we could make out the faint sounds of "One More Time". Damn it! Dave Hill fared better, berating children and showing a video featuring a young Aziz Ansari and uh...cheetah breast milk?

I've been reading more blogs than usual today to avoid real work. I wish I could read a book at work or something because I can feel my brain turning to mush and getting desperate for some intellectual stimulation! *punches self in face* Hey I'm posting an Okkervil River song even though I feel bad about that time Will Sheff told his fans not to do it. Did you know he used to work for Audiogalaxy? Am I the only one that remembers Audiogalaxy? Or Scour? I'm starting to feel e-old.

Okkervil River - Singer-Songwriter

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Douche Chills!

So, is writing like Tucker Max an easy way to make money? Sometimes when I got bored in high school I used to talk like that to the table of WoW-playing nerds I sat with since I was a lonely boy that liked the Decemberists too much and not Dave Matthews. I didn't even get laid and I could talk like a know-it-all asshole! Basically, I bossed around the only people in school worse with women than I was. The weird part? They kind of liked it. A few weeks ago I was introducing some friends in Avon to Stuff White People Like and one of these same nerds from my past asked me if I read Tucker Max, calling him the "funniest dude on the internet". Sigh. Maybe I have a future in ghostwriting?

In other news:
-I wrote about Liza Minelli.
-I'm seeing a minor league baseball game this Monday...shudder. The opponent is from Sharon's home town! Also, it's totally "Bark in the Park" day. I'm going to try to bring a dog I walk. Nothing creepy about that, right?
-While fact-checking a semi-related listing at work last week I found out about a free show happening tonight in the Brooklyn Bridge Park with the French Kicks and Tiny Masters of Today. One of the two times I've seen the Kicks was a free outdoor campus show my freshman year. Guess sounding exactly the same on every song is great in an outdoor setting!
French Kicks - Also Ran

Monday, August 4, 2008

Nothing Good Will Come of This

Previously, I said that going home was starting to feel like vacation. Well, after a month and a half away I made another trek that pretty much entailed drinking when my body couldn't even handle it with my best friend Jordan (he's a soldier, son!). Anyway, I've realized that I haven't really had a vacation, or been out of the city for more then three days at a time. It's starting to show...constantly feeling overwhelmed, hating work more and more. School starts in less than a month! Shit. Too lazy to even blog. Right now, I'm trying to go somewhere, you know, vacation-y. It's looking like either Cape Cod with my family for a weekend (which they can't even confirm they're doing), a day trip to Rhode Island while visiting home, or a trip to Fire Island in Long Island. No verdict has been reached. Let's hope I can figure something out before labor day!

Where did you go on vacation this summer? Anywhere short and nearby?

Metronomy - Radio Ladio

You're Not Doing Your Part, Jerks!

See, this blog has been snoozeville since my laptop went kaput, and probably before that, what with all the half-assed navel-gazing. My MacBook (complete with shitty speakers!) may have been purchased last week, but YOU were supposed to pick up the slack for me in the mean time. You're supposed to make me money via user-generated content! That's how the internet works. I can't make a profit if you readers and trollers aren't going to do my work for me. I demand at least five witticisms and photoshops relating to the Montauk Monster on my desk by the end of the day! Or the morning I guess. I'll take what I can get! Excuse me while I light a cigar with an old 'zine I published (high five for paperless content!).

Kelley Polar - Entropy Reigns (In The Celestial City)