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Archive for the ‘Ellie Kemper’ Category

internetSOUNDTRACK王蓉Rollin-小雞小雞(Chick Chick) [RONG “ROLLIN” WANG-“Chick Chick”]. (2014)

chickchickDon’t call it a novelty! You must watch it.

Is it a kid’s song?  I have no idea.  But it is mesmerizing.  I have now watched it about a half a dozen times and somehow it gets better each time.  Not as awesome as Babymetal (who are Japanese), but awesome in a wholly different (Chinese) way.

So far it only has 8 million views, the number must be increased!

[READ: November 15, 2014] The Best of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

Although I have been a fan of McSweeney’s from the very beginning, I have never faithfully read their online Internet Tendency.  Of course I have read the often circulated ones, and a few years ago I said I would read the old posts from the beginning (I didn’t).  Now I discover that in the years since I said that, the Internet Tendency has 283 pages of archives (with something like 30 entries per page).  Get moving on that.

Having these best pieces in a book form is nice, as is anything with “It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers” printed on the cover.  Since I haven’t read all 8,000 entries, I can’t say what qualifies as the best.  Although I have to wonder if some of these were picked more for their contributors than their actually bestness.  (Take a look at some of the heavy hitters represented below).  Regardless of how these were chosen, it is an excellent collection of funny stuff.

When I finish reading all of the online pieces (in about two years), I will have more authority to say if these 50 are the best, but in the meantime, I’m just going to enjoy this very funny selection. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: SONSEED-“Jesus is a Friend of Mine” (1983).

My friend Nick sent me a link to this song.  And he said that it would  have been the theme song to his radio show back in college.  (We went to a Jesuit school, so it could be taken seriously as well).  Of course, knowing him, he absolutely would have played it as his intro music.

Anyhow, I listened to it and enjoyed the video in the spirit of gentle mockery that it was sent.  But I found myself listening to it quit a lot and I have concluded that I now enjoy it irony-free.  And how can that be?

Well, first off, Christian rock generally sucks.  In addition to many other reasons, it’s often played with a style that is inappropriate to the message.   And Gawd, forget the bombast of arena Christian rock bands (who shall remain nameless).

What I like about this song is that a) the musicians are really good. It’s a live song (I assume–they wouldn’t lip synch on  Christian TV show would they?) and they are tight.  Also, the music (ska!) is upbeat, just like the message.  Finally, while lyrically not very clever (most of the lyrics are pretty laughable), they are sincere and not aiming too high.

And, I hate to say, it’s catchy as hell (although I suppose you have to like ska to like it).

Evidently, I’m not the only one to be transfixed by this strange group (and, it seems I’m at least two years late to the party, as there is already a great deal of chatter (and even controversy) about this video).  So, let me be the umpteenth person to post it on his blog.

[READ: September 2, 2010] McSweeney’s 35

This new issue shocked me because I noticed that it was printed in Canada, not Iceland. I’m not sure when this switch occurred, but I feel somewhat saddened for the Icelandic press!

The cover is a (softcover) foldout (with two flaps).  The front shows two people crossing a street, but even more shocking than the Canada thing is the cover itself…something I didn’t notice until I left it out in the car.  The black of the cover (see above) is actually heat sensitive.  When it gets warm, it reveals a secret underworld to the picture.  Very very cool!  I was really confused when I picked up the book and it was no longer black but green with fishes swimming around, and I couldn’t imagine why I ever thought it was black.  Pretty sneaky, sis.

This issue features a newly revised letter column (although “letter” is a subjective term here).  There are four longer stories, and the rest of the book has two sections.  The first is comprised of an awesome photo series of lunch bags (which I will attempt to emulate for my kids when they begin school).  The second is “a Portfolio of Stories from Norway.”  The Norwegian Stories are great, and really show the strength of literature coming from the country. (more…)

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jokeSOUNDTRACK: FRIGHTENED RABBIT-Midnight Organ Fight (2008).

rabbitMy friend Jarrett introduced me to this band.  He rather casually called it his favorite album of the year, so I figured it was worth checking out.

Frightened Rabbit are a group from Scotland, and they play a sort of disaffected folk.  Although that’s not a wholly accurate description because they do kick in the drums and louder guitars.  So, yeah, they don’t sound anything like Belle and Sebastian.  This is complemented by the lyrics which are somewhat bitter or aching.

And speaking of lyrics, the first song that I wanted to sing along with most was “Keep Yourself Warm” and then I realized that the chorus is “It takes more than fucking someone to keep yourself warm.”  There’s also a very pointed use of the mother of all C words, in another song, too.  And I’ve had that song in my head for about three days now.  But I absolutely cannot sing the song at work or at home, or, well, anywhere except in the car when I ‘m by myself.

This all leads me to wonder, Do bands save their best songs to fill with curses or am I just 8 years old and I listen to the song with curses the most?

The one thing that has troubled me about the record is that at times the singer can sound like the guy from the Counting Crows.  And the Counting Crows are probably the band I hate the most in the universe.  But I just focus on the Scottish burr which lessens the Durwitz effect, and then I can enjoy the disc again.

[READ: Summer 2008] The McSweeney’s Joke Book of Book Jokes

This is a collection of humorous vignettes that are, if not about books exactly, certainly literary in nature.  If you like your humor to be bookish, then this is a great, funny collection.  It starts with the cover itself, as it is printed backwards and upside down w(the cover above is actually on the back).

Many of these pieces are very short (some are a page, even some more are just a few sentences.)  Plus, there are so many pieces that I’m not willing to write all that much, just a one-line summary (that I will try to make funny without giving away the punchline).

I thought about indicating in some way which ones I liked best or some kind of rating system, but that just seems extensive and cruel.

Most of these pieces came from McSweeny’s online, and I’m sure many of the pieces are still available there, but I’m not going to do all the work for you.  And it’s funny how many jokes there are about: James Joyce, Kafka, Homer and children’s books!

Oh, and authors: I started to include all of your names in my Categories, and then it just got too overwhelming.  But if you want to be added, just drop me a note!

Click here for the egress: (more…)

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