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Film & TV

June 30, 2004;/h3>

{     City of God     }    

cityofgod.jpg I’ll be honest with you. When it comes to cinema, I don’t impress easy. My friends will back me up on this. Simply put, I can be a real prick. I don't care if everyone on the entire planet agrees that a movie is good, odds are that I'll still be standing there, arms crossed, bitching about something or other. At times I sympathize with those who have ventured to the theater with me, their good times quickly soured as I ruin their experience with sarcastic comments, bullshit criticisms, and rude gesturing (not to mention my secret weapon, the obnoxiously-loud sigh). I can’t help it. I’m a movie snob (which is a more polite way of saying, “I’m kind of an asshole”). So when I tell you that I’ve been recommending this movie for over a year now, you shouldn’t take that lightly. And now, with the long-delayed DVD release finally being upon us, I can finally shut the fuck up about how good this movie is and get back to being grumpy. Let’s do this.

     » The Official City of God Website

Twelves

June 29, 2004;/h3>

{     12 things to just get that big honking list off the front page     }    

so yeah - that was my bad. here are 12 things i can't live without.

1) my iPod
2) oxygen
3) baby laughter - i eat that shit like candy!
4) add medication
5) my yakpak medium tech flapdoozy
6) the ultimate hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy
7) fight club special edition dvd
8) my debit card
9) pie
10) mountain dew
11) mountain dew livewire (they need to keep this shit on year-round)
12) office 2003 and its AWESOME spam filter

Music

{     Venomous Concept - Retroactive Abortion     }    

I had about 20 minutes of review for this album completed when my browser (the sublime Mozilla Firefox 0.9.1) decided to install a plugin and close all of my open windows without asking me first. Needless to say, I was angry. But not nearly as angry as I was listening to this album for the first time. Driving home, I found myself approaching 100 mph, foaming at the mouth and wishing there was a midget handy so that I could beat the holy hell out of him.

     » Get kicked in the fucking grill at the band's site

     » Buy it...

Toys

{     Super 7 Magazine and Retail Store     }    

Having built a considerable reputation based on quality, content and style in just five issues, Super 7 has become the English language authority on high-end collectible toys from the Asian market and beyond. It's also a damn good read- full of original artwork inspired by toy culture, photos of obscure pieces you'd be lucky to ever otherwise lay eyes on, and writing that gets to the root of what has become a powerful and universal love for all things toy. Each issue is crammed full of eye candy, as well as special offers for limited edition Super 7-only runs of designer toys. And if Super 7 magazine is to toy addicts what crack cocaine is to crackheads, than the recently opened Super 7 Store is like some kind of new SuperCrack, guaranteed to wipe out your wallet and destroy your mind by offering you tons of things that you just have to have. Toy-fiends lined up at 1630 Post St. in San Francisco this past Friday for the Grand Opening, filling their need for a collectible-vinyl fix and sneaking a peek at Super 7's new Neo Kaiju project which has enlisted the aid of artists such as Gary Baseman and Tim Biskup (who were in-store to help kick things off) to redesign the classic giant monsters of yore.

     » Subscribe to Super 7 today! (or just buy the ultra-cool Mechabot)
     » Visit Super 7 Store online!

By Adam in Toys
Film & TV

{     Super Size Me     }    

_Super Size Me_ is a horror show. Oh sure, it may be dressed up like a documentary. It may be billed as another David and Goliath tale of a lone filmmaker against a cold, unfeeling corporation. It may make you reconsider that Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese meal, and it will certainly give your vegan friends even more ammunition for their anti-meat rants. Yet the experience of watching _Super Size Me_ is almost equal parts George Romero as it is Michael Moore. For pure visceral terror, and I do mean that literally, _Super Size Me_ is on par with the goriest zombie-fest.

     » Official website

Twelves

June 28, 2004;/h3>

{     12 favorite video game moments     }    

i hate to narrow it down to 12 but, being a list of twelves, i will have to keep my entry within the parameters set forth by my forebearers.

so, in no particular order though the list does go Arcade/Console/PC, here they are:

1) getting the pretzel on Pac-Man at a Godfather's Pizza on one of the sitdown tables that you could put food on.

2) getting a hole in one on Golden Tee.

3) zombie dogs crashing through the window in Resident Evil - I almost pissed myself.

4) realizing that a game could touch emotions when Aeris died in Final Fantasy 7. i spent the rest of the game buffing up Cloud with Materia combos so i could kick the shit out of Sephiroth without pressing a button (it's possible).

5) sneaking up behind a Chinese embassy guard in Splinter Cell, holding my gun to his head, knocking him out then shooting him when he hit the ground....WHILE HIS PARTNER WAS ASLEEP IN THE OTHER COT!

6) finally hitting that fucker in the tornado in Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and being able to control the typhoon thingees.

7) finding the secret warp zones in Super Mario Brothers and watching my brother get so pissed because i wouldn't tell him how to do it.

8) picking up a hooker, regaining my "health," letting her out of the car, running her over with said car and taking back my money in Grand Theft Auto.

9) charging up a hill outside of Stalingrad, watching my comrades getting eaten up from the front by German 44s and from behind by their own officers with nothing but a clip of ammo in my hand in Call of Duty.

10) omaha beach, 64 players, battlefield 1942, 'nuff said.

11) my first slo-mo "Bullet Time" kill in Max Payne - diving across a doorway and tattooing some goon with an Uzi - I'd played half the game without using it and I have no idea why.

12) picking the monkey in Black and White and teaching him to be bad just so I could "spank my monkey."

Music

{     Ani Difranco - Educated Guess     }    

I gradumicated from high school in June of 1994, a year earlier than expected by my family and two years later than I would've liked. I started school at Florida State University in September of 1994 and, somewhere between a Frente concert and pissing my best friend off so bad that she hasn't spoken to me in 10 years, I stumbled across Ani DiFranco. This was back in the time when she was making angry, lesbian-oriented music and, when I plopped her first five albums on the counter of my local used CD store, the grrl behind the counter, dreadlocks akimbo, gave me a look that would've curdled milk. What was I, a six foot, 300 lb "frat" guy with long hair tied back in a ponytail doing buying HER Ani? To be honest, trying to get laid but, in my quest for booty, I fell in love with her music and it's simplicity.

     » Righteous Babe Records

     » Buy it...

Music

{     The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow     }    

This is my first attempt at a review so be gentle. After reading all of the reviews on the "uber-hip" stuff that everyone is getting, I was afraid to review this album because, frankly, it's garnered alot of attention for being the "next, big thing." To be honest, that's a completely valid description of how I came into purchasing this album. It was a combination of browsing the Sub Pop website and watching a video late one night on MTV that featured Communist penguins and talk of pulling teeth from pimps of gore. "Self," I thought, "You love pulling teeth from pimps of gore so go buy this album." I clicked "Download Now" on iTunes and the rest is a history full of upbeat pop melodies and harmonies mixed with bittersweet, almost depressing, lyrics.

     » The Shins at Sub Pop Records

     » Buy it...

Home & Beauty

June 25, 2004;/h3>

{     Pleasure Plus Condoms     }    

Trust me, I'm as surprised to be writing this as you are to be reading it. We've all heard the "Ribbed for her pleasure" claims, and the "As sensitive as wearing no condom at all" hype for years now. If you've bothered to experiment with different condom styles, you know that the difference between them is minimal, if there's any difference at all- despite the boastful advertising and wacky design concepts. Forget all that bullshit. This is the real deal. Pleasure Plus uses a unique "baggy" design at the condom's tip to give you some extra love-rubbin'. This results in a sensation that is as pleasurable as it is unique- feeling a bit like a combination between riding bareback and a tickly humjob, all focused on the sensitive underside of your man-thing. As an added bonus- the bunched up latex pushes your partner's love-button with every thrust, so you're both feeling it on another level. The loose and baggy tip may have your Archie looking more like Jughead, but don't be put off by the strange appearance these jimmy-hats lend. The proof is in the pudding. Also, the 12-pack comes exquisitely packaged in a sleek brushed-aluminum hardcase that keeps them from getting flattened, worn-out and torn in your wallet or back pocket.

     » Buy Pleasure Plus from Condom Country (free lube w/ every order!)
     » Read all about them on the Pleasure Plus homepage

Interviews

June 24, 2004;/h3>

{     Interview : B+     }    

B+ IS hip-hop. The images that flow from his camera onto the album covers of your favorite DJs and MCs are as timeless as the records contained within them. Endtroducing. Black on Both Sides. Quality Control. This is classic material. Start looking at those liner notes for the name Brian Cross. Dr. Octagon. Innercity Griots. Brainfreeze. If he's not on the cover, B+ is blowin' up the sleeve. With a career as brilliant as it is prolific, his photo work is a big reason people still buy records.

B+'s latest creation is a documentary called Keepintime, which recently saw its highly-anticipated release on DVD. Keepintime is basically a meeting of the minds. Cross basically takes four of the most influential drummers of all time (James Gadson, Paul Humphrey, Earl Palmer, and Roy Porter), sticks them in a room with some of the world's top DJs (Babu, J-Rocc, and Cut Chemist) and films what happens, like some ol' War of the Worlds, Superfriends versus Legion of Doom-type shit. Science is dropped. Heads are flown. History is made. By the time its all over, you're left wondering why there's isn't more stuff like this out there. At least the DVD comes with a remix CD (with Motorcycle John himself, DJ Shadow) to ease your pain and provide musical accompaniment as you're left to ponder the universe.

I recently had the privilege of interviewing B+ about Keepintime, Tokyo Hotel Rooms, and the Smithsonian.

Interviews

{     Interview : Junko Mizuno     }    

Viewing Junko Mizuno's work is like getting your ass kicked five different ways. At first you think it's fuzzy and adorable, kind of like Precious Moments meets typical anime mascot cuteness- then you notice the blood, the nudity, the black magic. Junko's girls don't just pull at your heart-strings, they pull out your guts. This is what would happen if all those cute, mute icons that little girls are supposed to love and emulate suddenly woke up and went on a murderous, self-empowered rampage. Realizing their sexuality, their physical power and their individuality, they carve a path for themselves right through your expectations. What results is the perfect mixture of not-quite-right and deliciously wrong.

Interviews

{     Interview : Braveland     }    

There was a time when the world was largely unknown to man, when forays into the wild were fraught with peril, and men's imaginations met dancing shadows to form all manner of indescribable beasts. Despite the ongoing effort to sanitize our world, there still remain those untamed places and stories of things that shouldn't exist- whether they be on the ocean floor, in the darkest wood or beyond the blackness of the night sky. These myths form the tableau from which Dave Bravenec draws inspiration for Braveland Design, transmuting cryptozoology into designer fashion. His use of earthy colors and the simple pictoglyphic rendering of his subjects taps into something raw and universal, forcing a gut-level reaction to his designs. He's a true pioneer, turning pulp-adventure concepts into wearable art- forging into new territory while others languish in the torpor of more banal, safe and established designs. Welcome to Braveland...

Electronics & Gadgets

June 23, 2004;/h3>

{     Sennheiser HD500 "Fusion" Headphones (and more)     }    

For some reason lately, I keep buying headphones. Lots of them. I have way more than I need at this point, and although several of them are wonderful, I still haven't found the perfect pair. For some reason this has become very important to me lately, and it seems I'm on a constant search for the ultimate under-$100 pair of cans. It all began when I found a good deal on, and bought, a pair of Sony MDR-V700's for around $100. They were awesome: hardcore construction, sounded great, kinda heavy, but solid, and looked fresh- but the thing was, they crushed my ears. Bad. After an hour of wear, my ears ached in a bad way, so those beautiful pieces of work, although maybe perfect for many other people, had to be sold. Then my laptop musician buddy bought a pair of Sennheiser HD-280's (around $90) because of their notorious monitor usage, and although they sounded good when I tried them out, they crushed my skull 5 times more so than my old V700's. My next pair bought, for full disclosure, was a set of Aiwa HP-X223's (now discontinued) on eBay for under $10. Now for the money these are the best set I have bought so far, but how can they not be worth $10? They sound a little weak, and some of the plastic seems a little thin and may not last years, but for use with my iPod at work, these bitches are fly. They have a cool little 'mute' button, a long cord, and the sound is better than any other set of comparably priced 'phones you'll find.

     » Read and ask questions about headphones in the Head-Fi forums.
     » But rare and import cans at AudioCubes.com
     » Have a teched-out, info-overload, headphone wet dream at Headroom

     » Buy it...

Reading

June 21, 2004;/h3>

{     Got Your Nose by Ragnar     }    

Childhood is full of unspeakable horrors, and this "game" was one of them for me. Usually perpetrated by a meaner older brother or cousin, perhaps even by your dirty uncle or your mean old dad- the game involves tricking a youngster into believing that you have severed and removed their nose. This has traditionally only been fun for the person pulling the trick, but writer/illustrator Ragnar has taken the concept and made it fun for everyone with this little publication. This is no traditional children's book, however. The brilliant art-deco abstract backgrounds and thick-lined characters call to mind a very stylized cartoon or underground comic, and the dark humor further separates this one from the pack. Got Your Nose is a classic in the making. It's a work of art masquerading as a children's storybook, and there's nothing not to love about it; whether you're 3, 23, or 53.

     » Buy it from Last Gasp Online
     » Ragnar's littlecartoons.com
     » Baby Tattoo Books

Art

June 17, 2004;/h3>

{     Hello Bard     }    

Residing under the catagory of "Implausibly cool swag that is so damn cheap that if you don't buy it you're a complete granny," you will find the work of Bard Hole Standal. Dude is a graphic designer and illustrator come straight outta Norway (so he's automatically goth) and currently cooling his oh-so-evil heels in the streets of London. Bard sells a wide variety of devil-worshipin' type art on his site, like stuffed toys, badges, and the soon-to-be-released book titled "How to Gain Inner Peace Through Total World Domination," but the do-not-miss item I'm here to tell you about right now is the print currently being offered titled 'White Man's Burden.'

     » Get evil with Bard

By Garrett in Art
Reading

{     1-Up MegaZine     }    

1-Up is a "MegaZine," not exactly a magazine, but certainly much more substantial and meaningful than the xeroxed little bundles of hate you find cluttering the counter of your local record store. The focus of 1-Up is video games, but you won't find any mention of polygons or processors here. You won't necessarily find any reviews or gaming news here either. 1-Up recognizes that video games are so much more than mere diversion or highly profitable industry. They are a cultural phenomenon, and appeal to a much more diverse group of people than the white teenaged males most game journalism aims squarely to reach. 1-Up is now perfect bound (as of issue 3) and weighs in at a hefty 100 pages. Filling those 100 pages are intelligent, "smacktalk" free writing and gorgeous original artwork, occasionally in comic form. Artistic contributors include kozyndan, Martin Cendreda, Souther Salazar, John Pham, and Saelee Oh. Issue 3 also comes packaged with a trading card featuring an original street fighting character designed by one of these artists. I got the two-headed beast Kozunden drawn by husband-and-wife team kozyndan. His blood type is O and his fighting style is cat fighting.

     » Visit the 1-Up MegaZine homepage for more information and to order back issues.

Interviews

June 15, 2004;/h3>

{     Interview : Karen Ingram     }    

Karen Ingram is an illustrator, designer, and animator currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to being a news editor for such acclaimed art and design centered websites as K10k and Designiskinky, Karen maintains several of her own online web spaces thru which she showcases her work in it's many mediums. Browsing her professional portfolio, you'll see work which has been featured in countless magazines, as well as done for companies such as MTV, Virgin, Absolut Vodka, and Spike TV.

Karen has developed a soothing and unique style of illustration which bleeds sophisticated style. A look that would be just as at home in Wallpaper magazine as it would in Vibe or even Thrasher, it is a beautiful blend of classically detailed textbook illustration and the type of summer sunshine whimsy that you might find sketched in the back of an 8 year-old girl's diary.

Get to know a little about Karen Ingram!

Clothing

June 14, 2004;/h3>

{     Rocketbuster Boots     }    

As a little buckaroo I never owned a cowboy hat and playing cowboys and indians never was my game, but in the backwoods of Kentucky I rode on a horse as often as I rode in a car and when I played outside, I had miles of woods to call my own. I was a city boy at heart, raised in the sticks, and when I slipped on my shoes on my way out to play, I never wore anything but a pair of beat up Chucks. Now some twenty years later, if you look in the back of my closet you'll find a ratty old pair of used cowboy boots that I bought at Goodwill ages ago, still waiting for their first step outside my front door, ready to kick some shit down at any okay coral I can find my way into. Thing is, cowboy boots can only be worn by certain people, just the same as a biker jacket only looks right on some, and a blingin' chain would just look silly rocked by your mom. I am not that certain people. Cowboy boots look straight up dumb on me, and I know this… …but you bet your sweet ass I would rock a pair of Rocketbusters every damn weekday and Sunday, only letting 'em cool on Saturday so I can rub oil into their grooves and shine 'em up for Sunday.

     » Visit Rocketbuster online now...

Twelves

{     Before they were COBRA...     }    

12. Major Bludd (Mercenary, Terrorist and Poet)
11. Crystal Ball (Seventh Son of a Seventh Son)
10. Tomax and Xamot (Swiss Bankers and Corporate Lawyers)
9. Raptor (Tax Consultant)
8. Dreadnok Buzzer (Sociologist)
7. Croc Master (Alligator Wrestler and Burglar Alarm Salesman)
6. Zartan (Ventriloquist, Stage Magician)
5. Storm Shadow (Grand Master of the Arashikage Ninja Clan)
4. Dr. Mindbender (Orthodontist)
3. Baroness (Euro-Trash, Student Radical)
2. Destro (Scottish Royalty)
1. Cobra Commander (Used Car Salesman)


Thanks to yojoe.com for archiving all the old school action-figure file cards.

Music

June 12, 2004;/h3>

{     Ultramagnetic MC's - Critical Beatdown (Deluxe Version)     }    

critical.jpg I was feeling good about the state of music the other day, until I realized that the majority of my purchases as of late have been new versions of old albums I already had... then I just felt like a chump. While Hollywood continues to unnecessarily remake old classic films, the music industry has zeroed-in on a slightly-less annoying trend: revamping your favorite old albums with a few extra tracks and a fancy booklet to make you buy it again. I don't know which label exec is responsible for picking which albums get this "deluxe" treatment, but whoever it is, they're doing a good job and I hate them for it. If any album ever deserved this royal treatment, it is Ultramagnetic's "Critical Beatdown", which is easily one of the most influential and overlooked hip-hop albums of all time. Ever wonder about Kool Keith's egotistical claims of inventing every form of microphone mathematics known to mankind? Well, with Critical Beatdown, he just about did. Equally as influential on the production side, however, is Ced Gee, whose SP-1200 chops are a vital part of hip-hop's foundation. Add in the legendary talents of the uncredited production puppet master Paul C, the more-than-adequate Moe Luv and the enigmatic Jarobi-esque TR Love, and Ultramagnetic's classic debut is born. If you don't know, consider this your late pass.

     » Buy it...

Toys

June 11, 2004;/h3>

{     FAFI Girls Capsule Toys     }    

I had to move these figures off my desk because they kept... and I know this is going to sound crazy, but... they kept... flirting... with me. Yeah, that's impossible and a little bit creepy and a whole lot weird, but I think it's just what FAFI intended when she designed these characters, and whoever sculpted them captured it brilliantly. The smoldering, half-closed eyes. The imploring looks cast over delicate shoulders. The full-on stares they give you, all with that self-assured confidence at their sexuality. It's too much. If you doubt me, order these figures. Or just go to FAFI's website and stare at some of her artwork for a few minutes. Now tell me you don't feel flirted with. These are gashapon (capsule toys) and are sold out of big bubble-gum-style machines in Japan. They measure about 3 inches tall, and each girl comes with a nice mini-poster and a base to which they can be mounted. You'll have your favorite, whether it's the scintillating Rollergirl or the militant yet adorable Chica, though you'll probably want them all. They just look better when they're all grouped together. See if you don't find yourself flirting back.

     » Order indvidually from KidRobot for $5.95 (scroll to bottom of page)
     » Order the set from Ningyoushi's Workshop for $28
     » Fafi.net

Reviews

June 10, 2004;/h3>

{     Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA)     }    

Though press releases peg Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga as an RPG(role-playing game) it has less in common with the Dragon Quests and Final Fantasies of the world than it does with its side-scrolling forebears. Yes, you walk amongst an isometric map screen, speak to NPC(non-player characters)s, collect items, and battle enemies on a menu-based fighting screen. Yes, you can buy and sell items that restore health and status or raise your stats, and become stronger after gathering experience points. Mario & Luigi contains most of the game elements that characterize console RPGs but the simple fact is this game does not play like the RPGs it fashions itself as.

     » Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga is brought to you by Nintendo, obviously.

     » Buy it...

Twelves

June 9, 2004;/h3>

{     Twelve names by which The Devil is known     }    

1. The Devil
2. Satan
3. Lucifer
4. The Serpent
5. Beelzebub
6. Diabolos
7. Old Scratch
8. Old Nick
9. Old Splitfoot
10. Mephistopheles
11. Apollyon
12. George W. Bush

Music

June 8, 2004;/h3>

{     Masta Killa "No Said Date"     }    

After what seems to have been 23 years of repeatedly disappointing Wu-Tang releases (a string so bad that it has rendered the Wu "rep" almost entirely worthless) and snapping at the heels of a 75% release from Ghostface that rocked my ass on the first listen and then quickly slid down the most slippery of slopes, comes a release from a lesser known Wu, Masta Killa. I'm not a rap encyclopedia like others 'round these parts, so the guy is new to me. Hell, it could have been another ODB alias for all I knew.

     » Buy it...

Music

{     David Cross It's Not Funny     }    

It’s too easy to just praise this album. And what fucking good would it do anyway? Cross is a doomed man, cursed with more insight and wit than should ever be granted a single human being. It makes him enemies, (Scot Stapp of nu-grunge wanksters Creed) and loses him friends (Howard Dean apologized for Cross’s performance at a fundraising rally). He’s been accused by the New York Post of touting racial epithets, and his own audience boos him. So you’ll understand if I don’t waste my time trying to change anybody’s mind. The truth is, most people just don’t get it. And they won’t. This isn’t some “smarter/hipper than thou” assertion on my part, it’s simply a fact. Just as Cross’s comedy is not an attempt to cater to some intellectually elite Manhattanite mentality (as has been claimed), it is also not meant for anyone whose idea of great stand-up comedy includes either the word “Jeff” or the word “Foxworthy”. Part Jello Biafra and part Lenny Bruce, David Cross is proving to be just as reviled, and just as pointedly hilarious- his mixture of political commentary and sacrilicious iconoclasm crosses every line and violates all standards. The fact that he dares to call it “comedy”, and the fact that (some) people are laughing, is probably the only thing that has kept him out of jail since Bush took office. It’s Not Funny includes a bit where Cross breaks down the Paris Hilton/Nicole Richie reality TV series The Simple Life, and a commercial for time-saving “Electric Scissors” viewed while watching said program as a shining example of how Americans typically choose to exercise the liberty and freedom we’re supposedly at war to protect. We waste it on bullshit. In drawing this conclusion, David Cross proves that freedom and liberty have never been better exercised than they are in the hands of... David Cross.

     » Buy this and other David Cross recordings from Sub Pop Records

Reading

June 7, 2004;/h3>

{     GUM 2     }    

Holeeee Sheeeeeit. When this little chunk of graphic design goodness arrived in the post I picked up the heavier than expected package and as I slowly began to open 'er up, I got my first peek at the cover and quickly realized just how impressive an item I was about to unveil. The box for this, the second "issue" of GUM, rattled when tilted from side to side, but it was supposed to just be a magazine. It was thick like a brick, but was supposed to just be a magazine. It was heavy and dense, not unlike picking up a very-much-asleep puppy, but yet again, it was just supposed to be a magazine. Well, after I first saw that cover I began my first understandings of what GUM was, or rather what it wasn't. What I realized was that GUM is not just a magazine, not at all. Very far from it. GUM is an experience. It's a curiosity. It's a friggin' accomplishment. It's a tight little box of love, crafted by the hands of masters whom bleed thick blue creativity from each papercut suffered. It's a solid little chunk'a, chunk'a absolutely shit-hot design, all precision cut and stuffed to the brim with bonuses and goodies, leaving room for little more than astonishment.

     » Getcha GUM numero 2 right hee'a!

Reading

{     Candy Freak by Steve Almond     }    

As someone who trick-or-treated until the age of 19 (free candy = worth public humiliation), I thought I was the queen of candy. The truth is, I am a candy pansy. I know nothing about candy. I should be dunked in Lik-m-aid and run up the chocolate flagpole. Only now do I see that there are others out there, many others, who are hardcore candy thinkers. These people do not eat candy bars, they bask in them, extracting heady highs from analyzing the way the chocolate ripples just so on this bar, the way the peanuts sit unevenly on that bar. They do not let a single bite go unloved. And when the sad day comes that their favorite bar is rudely discontinued, never to be enjoyed again, they mourn with passion, often needing sugary therapy to get through such tough times. Steve Almond is one of these people, a candy freak by his own definition. He has consumed a piece of candy every day of his life. He stock-piles three to seven pounds of candy in his house at all times. But, although he doesn't like to share his candy, Almond isn't selfish. With this book, he's done a service for his freak brethren. He has given over an inhuman amount of his time to contemplating, with much delicacy, not only candy bar tastes, aesthetics, and textures, but candy brands, packaging, ingredients, historical variations, and manufacturing techniques. And if you are a candy freak like him, or if you just aspire towards candy freak greatness, you will want a big, gooey chunk of his knowledge.

     » Steve Almond's site, with Candy Freak info and link to buy

Clothing

June 6, 2004;/h3>

{     Threadless T-shirts     }    

threadless2.gif In the everlasting search for the freshest t-shirt that nobody else is gonna have, you've dug deep into the mustiest of the vintage shops, scoured the donation dumpsters of the thrift stores, and hit all the cool, but usual local digs, and lastly, jesus knows you've spent many an hour clicking from one website to another looking at all those ha-ha funny slogans. "Ain't nothing but a Goth thing" indeed. Oh yes, many times you have succeeded, you scored the pristeen Bowie tee for $2, you ordered the newest wave shirt with all the jiggy lines from that website you can't pronounce, and you paid $36.98 for one embroidered tee that was made the year you were born (yes, true, it is quite nice). All these options are great and world-renowned for their treasure-scoring bounties, but there's another option that you might not know about for getting your fix of limited run tees, complete with for-real fresh graphics, and no stinky dirtyboy stains. Lad, just move your scrawny ass to Threadless.com for the bestest shirts at the cheaperest prices you're gonna find this side of the sun. I know it sounds like a new-age waterbed store commercial, but this place is love. I've ordered several shirts off these guys at the couch-scraping price of $15 each, and still I catch myself thinking about doing laundry waaaay too soon so I don't have to wear anything else.

     » Go buy some threads!

Music

{     A.C. Newman "Slow Wonder"     }    

Isn't it wonderful how some of the most beautiful songs in the world seem to always be the most simple? The kind of song that you can't get out of your head, but at the same time you swear it was always there? The kind that make you smile a little wider and walk with a little more rhythm, but kind of irk you a teeny bit because you swear you could have written it first, but you didn't (because it really is a really smart and very layered ditty, that's just so well made you don't even notice)? I love that stuff, whether it's a new guilty pleasure g-string shaker from one of the Beyimberlakeney Spearson's, a fresh sugar-joint "street jam" from this week's Lil'Juvenellusher, or one of the indie-rock approved cubic-zirconium gemstones from the well-hair-cutted "The" band d'jour.

     » Official site

     » Buy it...

By Garrett in Music
Art

June 3, 2004;/h3>

{     Wear It With Pride - Hand Drawn Badges by Jon Burgerman     }    

The Bad Boys of Badge have trumped themselves with this- upping the ante on their limited edition designs by offering one-of-a-kind drawings from the hand of Jon Burgerman himself, pressed into pin format for the delight of button-wearers and art collectors everywhere. If you’re already familiar with the level of quality and the distinguished taste of Wear It With Pride, then you may have some idea of what to expect here, though nothing will prepare you for how damn cool these things are once you actually get them in your hot little hands. If you haven’t yet had the chance to peruse the wares of WIWP, this is the perfect time to acquaint yourself. They’ve made a name for themselves by taking the works of emerging artists and applying them to the badge format, resulting in some of the coolest wearables around. The designs are unique to WIWP, and since they take submissions from anyone there is an incredible range and variety of designs to choose from. Whether your taste is ultra-mod or cartoon-chic, you’ll find something that fits your style and is just begging to be pinned to your shoulder bag, hat, jacket, forehead, t-shirt, backpack or nipple. Jon Burgerman’s characters are uniquely suited for the collectible pin treatment, and each one has its own personality- enhanced by the raw pen-and-ink on butcher-paper look of each badge. Mounted on a signed scrap of paperboard, you may find yourself torn as to whether you want to wear it out or display it under glass. Luckily at $5.50 each, you can afford to do both, though I wouldn’t wait around to place your order. WIWP has only a handful of these left.

     » Wear It With Pride!
     » Buy Jon Burgerman Badges

Art

June 2, 2004;/h3>

{     Unframed Magazine     }    

Collectively, we're at a stage in our cultural development unlike any other. We've left the ironic 90's behind and are (to some degree) experiencing a moment of sincere aesthetic appreciation. Fine Art, a creature long the captive of the culturally elite, is no longer confined to the gallery and it bleeds over onto the street, into our lives and back into the hands of the people. Unframed is a chronicling of that occurence, an encapsulization of artists and artwork that have found an audience despite not having traveled the established routes to recognition and appreciation. 8 artists are given 10 pages each, and may fill them as they see fit. Some use the format to create a kind of art that can only exist on the page, while others use their space to showcase paintings, drawings, photos and sketches that might have found no other venue. What results is not quite a gallery book and not quite an art magazine, but a mixture of the two- and in many ways- an entirely new medium. Here's the roster for issue one, available now- Mike Giant, Albert Reyes, Ron English, Dora Drimalas, Dave Schubert, Jordan Isip, Denis Kennedy and Stash.

     » Unframed Magazine home page (purchase Issue 1 here)
     » Unframed Gallery Show and Launch Party


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