the listenerd

optimized for maximum incontinence

Category: entertainment

Links for October 24, 2011: Blessed are the cheesmakers

*School: I’m still a little sheepish about the fact that I do not have a single advanced degree. The Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Academy may help me change that. I’m thinking of doing my thesis on how using mayonnaise on a grilled cheese sandwich is an affront to god. And Jesus.

*Photgraphs: Katy Perry visits Occupy Wall Street (not nude). Apparently, Gaius Baltar is the only celebrity who cares to attend Occupy Wall Street in the nude? Also, apparently OWS has a theme song now, from Bill Fox, no less.

*Music: Oink: A Concept Album. (That’s not the real album title, just what it should have been named.) The real thing is One Pig by Matthew Herbert, and it’s an album made from sounds captured during the short, sad life of one little porker. [notcot]

*Testing: Can you match some fictional rock bands with the books in which they appeared? I did not do well. Probably because I am a dropout of the Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Academy. (Important note: I have not even been accepted into the Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Academy.)

*Books: Chicks With Guns. Paper and glue, the good, old-fashioned publishing industry, is our final bastion of intellectualism. [minusmanhattan]

*Business: Netflix and Groupon continue in their head-to-head battle to see who can fail more spectacularly.

*Glam: Rémy Tassou’s disco ball made out of cellphones has really inspired me. In fact, I am planting one thousand disposable razors in my frontyard right now, in an effort to make a “lawn beard.” Yes, a lawn beard MADE OUT OF RAZORS. [unconsumption]

*Mashups: Kanye’d by the bell. A tumblr. I assume inspired by LOLcats and heavy alcohol consumption.

*Local: Read on as The Deets blogger Ed Kohler continues his campaign against public financing of a new Vikings stadium. Worse than paying for a 21,000 car Arden Hills parking lot, I received an unwanted Yellow Pages on my stoop this week. In a plastic bag, no less.

*Twitter: Here are some tweets I like.

*Today’s links: F.

Links for October 10, 2011: Neurotypicality be damned

*For rent: The world’s largest shopping mall, the New South China Mall, currently has a 2% occupancy rate. (Maybe this is an opportunity for an Occupy The World’s Largest Shopping Mall movement? Need + Need = Virtuous Circle? Of Need? Let’s do this.)

*Games: Someone should start a game that allows people to bet on who will make the next egregious business misstep, Netflix or Groupon. A Futures Failures Market.

*Photos: The daily Occupy Wall Street photo: Kanye West (not nude).

*Money: Incomes in the U.S. have fallen more since the recession “ended” than they did during the recession. Workers are in a vice.

*Midgets: Some people who have made a bunch of recipes for foods from the “Game of Thrones” books have scored themselves a cookbook deal. [coudal]

*Animations: I normally hate Slate’s manipulative, knee-jerk contrarian headlines, and hence link infrequently to that site. However, the animation of the 2012 Republican campaign as a horse race is very good. Also, after hearing about how Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast was very good for a LONG time, I finally allowed myself to listen to it. And it’s very good. Ugh.

*Music: First of all, I did not know that Toby Keith had a song called “Red Solo Cup.” Second of all, I did not know that the red solo cup is currently being redesigned. FACTS.


*Please note: Neurotypicality be damned. Can anyone tell me what a caddis fly pupa looks like?

*Today’s links: F.

Links for October 7, 2011: Inspirational “content” to be “consumed”

*Blogs: For a site entirely about donkeys, this blog sure has a stupid name. (Anything other than “That Ass” is a stupid name in this situation.)

*Video: Designer Mike Thompson has invented a WiFi dowsing rod. What I think could be interesting is a subject-agnostic dowsing rod with built-in location sensitive software and either a voice input or a small keyboard, so you could change what you wanted to dowse depending on your mood and needs. For instance, a rest room. Or a drink. (Not necessarily in that order.) [notcot]

*Digits: You had me at 16-fingered robot, 16-fingered robot (or spokesperson for said). I should mention that this robot washes your hair. Remind me to someday tell you about the head massage I long ago received in China from a young lady who had just barely finished picking her nose. It’s utterly disgusting.

*Local: For anyone who has ever driven up Interstate 35, north of the Twin Cities, I present you with this image. (Link contains 1990s pop culture innuendo and grainy, tilted photograph.)

*Obits: My brilliant former colleague Jeff Yang wrote about “The Zen of Steve Jobs” in his new column for the Wall Street Journal, Tao Jones. I found this Onion piece insightful, as well. Link contains the F word. (You know; fuck.)

*Author’s note: You have my solemn promise that I will never, on this blog, post any “content” that I intend for people to “consume.” That would be rude.

*Today’s links: F. Give me one month to get back into fighting trim. One month. (Also, I should lose about 15 pounds.)

Links for 3.24.10: 82 Tips for Better Abs and More Glorious Auroras

*Music: Wait. A music item? On the listenerd? Isn’t this a blog that has lost its way? Hasn’t it become more an exploration in mind mapping than it is an obsessive, in-depth devotion to a tiny niche that the beautiful pundits prescribe? YES. However, here is “The Gaudy Side of Town,” a single by GAYNGS courtesy of The Current. Also, you could track down the super dirty smooth jazz mini-video for this song, if that’s the way your mind operates. [chuckles]

*The Loo: The Sexual Politics of Toilets – “The great toilet divide, like so much else in the land of liberty, comes down to money and class.”

*Networking: PSFK finds some business cards that ARE turntables from Cardonizer.

*Eating: This site will allow you to track your recent McRib sightings. [harper’s]

*Writing: The best headline I have read in a week – “Dog Testicle Tickle Party.”

*Food: Local gastronomes! We have purchased a half-share from the Wisconsin CSA known as Eener’s Farm. I imagine that decades from now, this will seem amusing, like an avocado refrigerator. HOWEVER. I need to now learn how to make soup. Local gastronomes! How much do you love this shirt? (You should look at it.)

*Links: I don’t link to Idolator anymore. Do I? I don’t link to a lot of things. Don’t take it to mean anything. Unless you can figure out what it means.

*Today’s links: F. I don’t know what glorious auroras are.

What is Google’s place in literature?

Or Flickr’s? Or Twitter’s? Or (shudder) Facebook’s? Or any company currently functioning as media?

A month or two ago, I linked to something called “Mr. Plimpton’s Revenge,” a literary essay that takes the form of a Google Map. Novel! (It wasn’t a novel; it was just an essay. I was, there, simply remarking on how novel it was.)

A couple weeks ago in my feed reader, I noticed a few more items: One is something called Sumedicina, a “data fiction project” that takes the form of a Flickr photo set. It’s a story told through infographics, communicated by means of the popular photo-sharing site.

Another project I ran across is from 3 Quarks Daily; it’s a mini-experiment that turns Google Voice transcripts (which, if you haven’t used Google Voice, are not entirely accurate, and rarely make full sense) into poetry by formatting them and annotating them as such.

(A fourth, less experimental, though very enjoyable, recent example of this literature mashing is Coudal’s Verse By Voice project. Coudal asked people to dial in and leave a recitation of their favorite poem in a voicemail. The recordings are fun to listen to, and include poems by O’Hara, Berry, Stevens, Muldoon, Ted Hughes.)

Of course, the flavors of techno-mediated literature vary. Putting a story on a Google Map, like Plimpton’s Revenge does, takes full advantage of a useful – and, importantly, populist – new interface to get a plot across.

In the case of Sumedicina, the media’s less central. Flickr is mostly just an effective distribution channel. Sumedicina’s at heart a visual story, and could be recreated easily on paper. The infographic format is something, though, that’s succeeded online and is, if not native to the channel, at least a smart and easily understood unit of communication online.

Finally, with Google Voice Poetry, the mediation is more extreme. The technology isn’t just the distribution channel or the interface, it’s the interpreter. (That’s a trope not uncommon to poetry; as seen in avant garde poetry movments such as flarf, spoetry and l=a=n=g=u=a=g=e poetry.)

On Mad Men and the modern masculine Madonna/whore complex

Like a lot of people I know, I’ve watched Mad Men this season with increasing pleasure and increasing expectation. While the first season seemed notable primarily as an aesthetic statement – fashioning the finely tuned otherworld of the 60s, while simultaneously barfing up unfortunately clumsy stumbles in plot and pacing – season two clicked into place for me. And as season three opened, I found myself anticipating the series much as I have previous favorites such as Deadwood and The Wire.

One of the most interesting threads of the series – a thread that’s been touched upon in the first couple of seasons, but was driven home especially powerfully in episode two of this third season – is what I call (mostly for lack of a better term, but also because it sounds kind of awesome) the modern masculine Madonna/whore complex.

Whaaa? Frequently, the divide between Men and Boys on the show is stark, sometimes to the point of absurdity. The Men (capped here for your pleasure) populating the show are rare. Don embodies Mad Men‘s Man – decisive, no-nonsense, deep and dark. But most of all, he’s a creature whose motivations are informed by forces outside our lines of sight. He’s the ur-dad coming home reeking of scotch and God-knows-what, his mood unpredictable, though obviously of an origin intuitively understood to spring from experiences of exhilarating strangeness.

Other Men pop in and out – in episode 3, Draper meets Conrad Hilton, and one commenter on the NYT‘s ArtsBeat blog makes remarks in accord with the sentiments above: “Gives us some real men to challenge Don and give him a run for his money… 60s NYC was not all lily livered wonder-bread boys…there were dark brooding sharks lurking at every turn….”

The Men (there are others in addition to Draper, but they flicker in and out of our view) are backdropped by a sea of Boys, none so indicative – perfectly cast and executed – as Peggy’s french fry–chowing bar-side pickup from episode 3 this season. A facsimile of Pete Campbell, the dude is no Pops and all pest. He’s your little brother: uncouth, unprepared, and he doesn’t even know what half the words you say mean. In the Sterling-Cooper office, the Boys are a pack of puppies. They pal around, eat the clients’ sandwiches, blow deadlines and smoke weed when they should be on duty.

Their worst sin, though, that which makes them dismissible – and therefore ultimately contemptible – in the eyes of the series? They’re open books.

Links for 6.22.09: Sleevefacing time, beer pouches, Sufjan Stevens…

This is all Jell-O.

This is all Jell-O.

*I’m going to try to be more discerning about posting. It probably won’t last long. My mind is a perpetual ice cube, the internet an uncoolable ocean.

*Photos: This flickr photo pool called “Looking Into the Past” is like sleevefacing with time itself. If you know what I’m saying. (If you do not know what I’m saying: One takes a photograph of an old picture in the place where it was originally snapped, thus overlaying an image of the past on the real present to create a new melding of the two.) [buzzfeed]

*Animation: This tumblr of animated gifs has me feeling all gooey. My brain says no, but my body says yes. Then seizures, followed by a prolonged period of medication, loss of job and healthcare benefits and precipitous mental decline. Wow, that took an abrupt left turn. Ouch. [mediaeater]

*Metaverse: “No hugs and no sleep” – a story of being homeless in the Sims. “Alice’s teddy is more than her only possession in the world. It’s the only thing that’s ever hugged her.” This is like some sort of beautiful, unnecessary reverse-engineered graphic novel machinima. [waxy]

*Old times: Tim O’Reilly talks about his Classical Education. (I majored in history, studying ancient Rome and Greece extensively, and I’m basically worthless these days. COUNTERPOINT. AND CHECKMATE.)

I do, however, like this clip: “I believe that I’ve consistently been able to spot emerging trends because I don’t think with what psychologist Eugene Gendlin called “received knowledge,” but in a process that begins with a raw data stream that over time tells me its own story.” [short shrift]

*Quotes: “I saw Sufjan Stevens last year, and I was like, how is his singing that good?” -Trent Reznor in Newsweek [fluxtumblr]

*Beverages: I love beer. I love pouches. I have created a pouch on my body that’s made primarily of beer. Do you see where I’m going with this? No? Well, look at this beer in a pouch and then try to answer. (Hint: Beer pouches.)

*Vizzies: Peruse this infographic depicting murders in New York. Well executed, gray lady. Well executed. (I had to say that, under penalty of death. OK, I’m exaggerating.) [harper’s]

*Apple: This Daring Fireball post about the Wall Street Journal’s sourcing in a recent story that broke the news of Steve Jobs’ liver transplant is not sexy, but it is meticulous and well written and deserving of some sort of acknowledgement.

*Video: I won’t give it its own post since it made the rounds extensively last week, but this video of John Hodgman speaking at the Radio and TV Correspondents’ Dinner is amusing. [everyone]

*Please note: I might start reading books again. That is a warning. To all of you.

Video: ‘Between Two Ferns’ with Natalie Portman

Not as good as the Jon Hamm fern interview. But there’s a nude dog in it. And some deadpanning.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Video: SABERSEGGING – Light Sabers + Segways

The video can be seen here if my idiocy proves out. [lyrical_miracle]

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Video: Ken Nordine’s “Maybe the Moment”

Like I said, anything Mr. Nordine posts. The man could record himself picking his own nose and I would put it up here. As long as there were voiceover. And it was somewhat surreal.

Games: QWERTY ROCK and Diamond Dave Edition Assteroidz

Two music-related flash amusements that will probably make you feel good; the first is a takeoff on the arcade classic asteroids, and the second turns your computer keyboard into plucky neon musical instruments from the 1980s..

Diamond Dave Edition Assteroidz [kate]

QWERTY ROCK [mefi] (My name is Josh and I’m on Dvorak. It’s been 8 years since my last QWERTY.)

Attention: the listenerd podcast ZERO

Hello! And welcome once again. You have doubtless arrived here by accident. And for that, I’m very sorry. But onward.

I have spoken previously of recording a podcast for this blog, not to diversify my digital presence in an attempt, ultimately, to monetize my proprietary content and/or otherwise leverage brand awareness, but instead as an exercise in shining my own shoes.

But enough about that.

I feel that I should report that Attempt One at Podcast Zero was a bust, with the droning of my own vinegar-toned voice becoming so annoying to test listeners, we were forced not only to destroy all copies, but also to smash the Flip video camera that captured the ill-conceived moment with a 10-lb hammer.

This defeat, however, only energized me. And that’s where we are today. Here. Now. Where I unveil my aspiration. I believe my first podcast for the listenerd should begin as an interview with singer/songwriter Sam Beam. (Note: I do not know Mr. Beam, nor have I tried to contact him.)

What I would like to do (and we are talking about a 40,000-foot view here) is to interview Mr. Beam, teasing out the comedy stylings I know are buried deep within him (as they are buried within all of us). I would then, with the magic of EDITING, BEGIN podcast zero (that’s a code name) speaking to a marvelously quippy Mr. Beam, then end it with 20 minutes of Iron & Wine’s music, culminating in the song “Naked as We Came” cross-fading to the sound of me weeping uncontrollably into a napkin.

If you’re out there, Sam, ping me! Let’s make this happen! NOT KIDDING! [thx to rob t.]

12.14.08: Famous musical muses, Musclephone, Wear Your Music…

*Muses: Meet the people who inspired such songs as Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side,” as well as “Layla” and “Suzanne.” If you haven’t met them already. [mefi]

*Fashion: Spendy guitar strings from Wear Your Music combine cause consumption with the reuse ethos of the sustainability movement. Famous musicians donate their guitar strings, which get made into bracelets and sold to fans. The money goes to charity. Spendy, but a decent idea. (Looks like you can get an Avril bracelet for $150!) [treehugger]

*Songs: BuzzFeed puts together a playlist of earworms.

*Dessert: Chocolate Grace Jones. Thank you, Kanye.

*Lip dubbing: Offer up your best lip synching to the musical stylings of “Flight of the Conchords.” I have been told that I have a similarity in features to the ugly one. [urlesque]

*Fitness: The GettaGrip Musclephone is a cellphone with hand exercisers built in on either side of it. God, I hope this is the kind of shit I see a ton of at the Consumer Electronics Show. [textually]

*Twitter: Read this and this and this. Now do you understand what I’m talking about?

Links for 11.24.08: Blender dips, ROCK posters, Lizard People guy emerges…

*Look!: This Flickr set of rock posters will smash your face. Then, as you recover, it will smash your neck and upper shoulders. It’s that cool. [coudal]

*Questions of music and models: The Fray will debut one of their new tunes on a 1-minute trailer for the upcoming season of Lost. [murketing]

*Rumors: Blender is being liquidated. Who isn’t?

*Rumors: Venture Beat passes on the news that iLike, the Facebook application and social music service that everyone tolerates, is looking for a buyer. Who isn’t?

*Rumors: If anyone is looking to help liquidate – or, in other words buy, – the listenerd, you know EXACTLY where you can go! (To the About section, sub-section – “contactual obligations.” Or call my cell. Or IM me. Even if it’s red or invisible-looking.)

*Charts: Metal Sucks has consolidated Rolling Stone‘s list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time down to just the metal men. RONNY DIO tops the list.

*Drawing: Old Navy sells Charley Harper shit now? I make pot roast from a 50s/60s cookbook that Harper illustrated sometimes. What can I say? It’s an effing recession.

*Sound FX: Put this up next to the sad trombone and the drum roll in your single-serving site arsenal. [april]

*Voting: If you have been wondering who voted for Lizard People in the Minnesota Senate race, the man has stepped forward. And he looks just like you’d expect him to look.