Archive for the ‘That 70’s Show’ Category



trabantI learned about Trabant from the magazine pictured to the left.  It came with McSweeney’s issue #15 and is completely in Icelandic.  Trabant are apparently a pretty huge band in Iceland, and they have a  lot of songs on YouTube.  And many of their songs are very different sounding so I’m not entirely sure what kind of band they actually are.

This song begins with strange clicks and sound effects and then a big throbbing bass.  There’s kind of a funky keyboard background and then a slightly off kilter riff.

Then the big guitars kick in and the vocals (which are “if you want a love song”) don’t start until about two minutes in.  There’s a break in the middle where the band starts changing Ma Mo Ma Mo Maria and then the singer starts free associating over some wild guitar riffing and more sound effects.  It’s a really weird song and I have no idea if this is representative of the band (they did make a video for it so it can’t just be a throwaway, right?).

I’m really intrigued by these guys, and I’m going to have to look for more.

[READ: May 18, 2013] McSweeeny’s bits.

4Over the course of my reading the McSweeney’s issues, there were bits and pieces that I missed for one reason or another.  I tried to be complete, but sometimes it wasn’t easy.  So, with the publication of The Art of McSweeney’s I have now been able to read two things that I missed earlier.  And the third is something I didn’t exactly read, although I tried.

Just as issue 1 had a short story by Dave Eggers on its spine! issue #4 (the box of books) had a brief piece by Ben Greenman ringing the contents list of said box.  I never noticed it before (indeed I may not have ever read the back of the box before, shame on me).  But anyhow, in very tiny print is “More Notes on Revising Last Night’s Dream” by Ben Greenman.   And in this brief piece (which is several bullet pointed items–although arranged as a line rather than bullets) there are several ideas about last night’s dream which include “Egg on breakfast plate need not bloom into flowers” and “Cut out part in which Leslie Nielsen meets Trotsky–silly.”  And, of course, “More Invisibility.”  This is the kind of short silly thing that the first issues published which have more or less been relegated to the McSweeney’s website now.  And while I feel the website is a better place for it (and I need to go read the website more), these silly things are certainly missed.


The second missed item is also found thanks to The Art of McSweeney’s.  I mentioned in my review of Issue #20 that the story on the cover was completely covered by art.  And I wondered why and I wondered if you could find the whole text anywhere.  Well, in The Art of McSweeney’s they print the original cover!

I was delighted by this because it did two things–it explained how the cover was made (the 3D art was not “added on,” rather the white section under the art was “Compressed” which is how it came out 3D.  Very cool.  There’s also a brief breakdown of costs of the issue.  But the bulk of the cover story is about how the author (Eggers, I assume) broke up a fight in New York City.  A man and his family are walking down the street when a lady bumped into their little girl.  The man freaks out because she didn’t apologize and he gets right up in the lady’s face (really, dude?).  Eggers is on the phone arranging to meet someone when he says he has to get involved.  So he tells the guy to chill out.  Things quiet down a bit, but then the woman starts screaming “You got knocked up!”  And that’s when Eggers takes a look at her and realizes that she is homeless and crazy and not ever going to apologize.  But the screaming gets the mother involved in the fight which starts up again.  Things finally settle down with the family acknowledging that the lady doesn’t understand anything.  And they all depart.  It’s probably the most exciting editor’s note of them all, and yet it was covered up.

15My guess is, from what I know about Eggers, that story may have seemed too self-serving to include   Or maybe it was just fun to cover up words with a picture.

The final item comes from Issue #15.  It is a small magazine called Séð og Heyrt (Seen and Heard).  It is a real weekly magazine, although I’m not sure if our version is complete (I assume it’s not since it’s only 16 pages, but who knows how much tabloid you can fill each week in Iceland).  It is a pretty typical scandal magazine  For some insight into this magazine, check out this post on I love Icelandic Music.

I can’t even begin to guess what half of the articles are about as the pictures are mostly crazy.  There seems to be something about an Idol show, there’s a female body builder, something about some wholesome looking people who may be called Icelandic Pearls.  And then the centerfold is called Rokkorgia, which should be easily translated. It features half naked pictures of the guys from Trabant.  The next page has Love Guru in strange positions with his lady friend and a big headline Bingo I Beinni.  The back page has an ad for Krit Paradis Eyjahafsins which appears to be a nice resort.  What a fun, odd addition to the Icelandic Issue of McSweeney’s.

Then as I was glancing through I caught something that said That 70s Show.  And sure enough, it was a preview of a new episode tonight (is it dubbed into Icelandic??).  So even though I played around with translating bits and pieces of the magazine, this was the only one I did fully.  So in Icelandic (excluding some accents)

I kvold hefjast syningar a nyrri syrpu um unglingana i Wisconsin.  Jackie þarf ad velja a milli Hyde of Kelso.  Red er að ba ser eftir hjartaafall og Eric er með samviskubit yfir þvi að vera að fara i burtu i haskola.  þokkadísin Estella Warren leikur gestahlutverk i þaettinum

Which Google tells me means:

Tonight begins exhibiting a new series about a teenager in Wisconsin. Jackie has to choose between Hyde of Kelso. Red is ba after a heart function and Eric is guilty not be going away to college. charm diesel Estella Warren plays a role in the show.

Cool huh?  What a strange thing to find in a magazine that was not meant for me.  But I’m glad I read it because now I know all about Trabant!

For ease of searching, I include, well, I’m only including the magazine, because there’s way too much otherwise: Sed og Heyrt.

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tobo3SOUNDTRACK: iMOGEN HEAP-Speak for Yourself (2005).

heapI really liked Heap’s first album i Megaphone, but I didn’t really think to much about her after that.  Sometime last year I heard a track she was in with Frou Frou, which I liked.  So I thought I’d get this album which was highly regarded.

The problem with it is that I have listened to it a bunch of times, often several times in a row and it really just never sticks with me.  I keep relistening to see if it ever does but it’s just a kind of nebulous dancey pop.  Heap has an interesting voice–she can hit major highs, but she can also do a raspy voice that is unusual and intriguing.  But I suppose the problem is that there’s so much going on that she is effectively lost in the sound.

The standout track is “Hide and Seek” but that’s because her voice is manipulated by a vocoder, making her sound like a machine. It’s a very cool effect, especially when she hits a very high note, but it can’t really be a good sign that the most memorable track on the album is the one where you sound like a machine.

This is not to say that the album is bad–there are a number of interesting moments on it, unfortunately there aren’t a lot of great songs.  When I was looking this disc up to see other comments about it, I see that it was very highly regarded in the dance genre.  And maybe given those parameters I should revise somewhat as well.  As dance music this is more interesting than your average four on the floor stuff.  I can see how it led to the duet of Frou Frou.  And yet, compared to i Megaphone, I fear that it’s a lot less exciting.

[READ: January 12, 2013] The Dangerous Animals Club

I don’t often read autobiographies or memoirs.  I really never even look for them.  But I was waiting online at the library and this book jumped out at me.  I don’t really know why.  The title is kind of interesting and catchy.  And the author’s named seemed, if not familiar, then at least compelling in a very-long-and-Polish-or-Russian way.  So I started flipping through it.  And it sounded interesting.

But who the hell is Stephen Tobolowsky?  Well, if you have seen just about any movie or TV show, you have seen him.  He has been in a ton of things.  He was in Groundhog Day, he was in Heroes, he is in Glee, he was in The Mindy Project briefly.  Community? yup.  The New Adventures of Old Christine?  you bet.  Deadwood for a lot of the show.  That 70’s Show for one episode.  He was in the unaired pilot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  He was even in a 1976 movie called Keep My Grave Open!

So who is he?   (more…)

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I usually try to do a TV post once a season, just to remind myself of what I watched.  For some reason I didn’t write one in the beginning of the year, so I’m catching up now with season enders and mid-season replacements.  And yes I am pointedly writing this just after finding out that several shows (four of them brand new) that I enjoyed quite a bit were cancelled for good.

So I’ll start with the shows that we watched (or tried to watch) that have been cancelled. (more…)

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The new Fall TV season is pretty much underway.  It brings back a lot of old favorites, as well as a few new series that we’re going to check out. (more…)

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I love coincidences. They freak me out a little bit and make me go woah! Now, I’m not the kind of guy to read into coincidences, I don’t think they are portents, or omens or harbingers of things good or evil. I just think they are cool. Now, I’m not talking about seeing some actress whom you haven’t thought of for ages suddenly appearing on two different magazine covers, because that’s just saturation marketing (and when you see the article, you realize that they have a new movie out). Nor am I thinking–I just bought the new Band of Horses CD months after it came out and I’ve been listening to it a lot and then I hear a song from it on an episode of Chuck–because they’re both new and it’s just a semi-popular song on a semi-popular show. Mild coincidence at best. I’m talking about the fact that in the circle of friends that my wife and I have developed since the birth of our son, two of their kids are named Ryan (admittedly a fairly popular name) and three of the five husbands are named Rob. And even weirder, they each go by a different variant: Rob, Robb and Robert.

Several months ago I had a string of coincidences that were so freaky I had to write them down. Which I did. And then they stopped. Well, now I’ve had two cool ones in two days, so I’m going to star jotting them down as well. Admittedly, the previous ones were much cooler, and if I can find where I wrote them I’ll include them too. But for now, I’ll start with these two neat ones.

We were watching The Rick Mercer Report (March 15, 2008 episode) where he goes on a tour bus and interviews Anne Murray, Canada’s songbird. Not that weird since they are both Canadian and it is a Canadian show. It was a little odd that they were in Florida, but whatever. Then the following night we were watching That 70s Show on DVD. We were watching the 5th season (from 2002), and Eric talks about having to sell his records for cash. But they didn’t buy his Anne Murray record, and she is Canada’s Songbird. Woah, weird. Especially as, despite the Songbird’s popularity, she’s not exactly a common punchline!

But even weirder was that moments after the show ended, and before turning off the lights I was flipping through the brand new April 2008 issue of Radar. There’s a piece about preteen bands. One of them is called Tiny Masters of Today. Which is weird and all, but as it happens, that was the name of the band in the book that I just started today Rock Star Superstar (from 2004). So, clearly, they read the book and named themselves after that band. But how weird that I would happen upon them both in the same day??

Harbinger? Not at all. But still pretty cool.

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