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Twelves

November 29, 2004;/h3>

{     GTA San Andreas - The Lost Radio Stations Part 3     }    

K-SFT You won't believe how soft Rock can be!

Nelson - (I Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection
Extreme - More Than Words
Bon Jovi - Bad Medecine
Mr. Big - To Be With You
The Heights - How Do You Talk To An Angel
Ugly Kid Joe - Everything About You
Poison - Something To Believe In
Jesus Jones - Right Here, Right Now
Alannah Myles - Black Velvet
Spin Doctors - Pocket Full of Kryptonite
Deep Blue Something - Breakfast at Tiffany's
Hootie and the Blowfish - I Only Wanna Be With You

In a feeble attempt to hold onto it's dwindling audience, hair-metal got even more pussified in the early 90's, delivering us saccharine ballads and limp-wristed harmonies that fell far short of anything anyone would ever call ROCK. Sadly, this was just the start of much worse things to come- as Hootie and the Blowfish so amply proved.

By Adam in Twelves
Reading

November 23, 2004;/h3>

{     Men's Adventure Magazines in Postwar America - TASCHEN     }    

This TASCHEN-published collection of pulp men's magazine artwork hits harder than a jaw-shattering left hook. Full of ripe misogyny, polarizing political stereotypes and a double-helping of delicious sexploitation, this exquisitely bound and formatted coffee-table book collects 500+ pages of the finest sweat-mag illustrations from the 50's, 60's and 70's. Equally lurid and titilating, the tome also serves to contextualize and elucidate the work through a series of informative essays and an interview with Norm Eastman, one of the genre's foremost artists. What emerges is an understanding of the artwork as a sort of hyperbolic point-of-purchase advertisement- the stories contained in these magazines rarely matched in tone or content the outrageous cover art used to sell them. In a testosterone-heavy paralell to women's romance novels, what was really being sold was a fantasy, an illusion of power, of struggle, and of victory. Seeing the work assembled so expertly here, you can easily view it as the collective id of an era- the desire for unbridled passion, violence and heroism made garishly manifest. Intervening decades of political correctness have only brought these themes into sharper relief.

     » Buy it.
     » TASCHEN
     » maxallancollins.com

Twelves

{     GTA San Andreas - The Lost Radio Stations Part 2     }    

K-GEY Guaranteed not to offend, or enlighten!

EMF- Unbelieveable
Seal - Crazy
New Kids On The Block - Hangin' Tough
Ace of Base - The Sign
Milli Vanilli - Baby, Don't Forget My Number
Taylor Dane - Shelter
Londonbeat - I've Been Thinkin' About You
Go West - King of Wishful Thinking
Roxette - You've Got the Look
Technotronic - Pump Up The Jam
Timmy T - One More Try
Real McCoy - Another Night
Amy Grant - Baby Baby
Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up
Jane Child - Don't Want to Fall in Love
Paula Abdul - Opposites Attract
Fine Young Cannibals - Good Thing
OMC - How Bizzare
Right Said Fred - I'm Too Sexy
Martika - Toy Soldiers
Michael W. Smith - My Place In This World
Los Del Rio - The Macarena
2 Unlimited - Get Ready For This
PM Dawn - Set Adrift on Memory Bliss


Here's a double dose of shitty 90's pop from the decade that almost single-handedly ruined music. Witness the birth of the modern boy band, the rise of bland and inoffensive soccer-mom pop, and the Milli Vanilli phenomenon. The Clear Channel empire was built on such stuff....

Music

November 18, 2004;/h3>

{     The Cinema Eye - Some Nerve     }    

Here's my PROFESSIONAL ROCK CRITIC REVIEW, in a sentence: Furious, smart and wonderfully melodious; The Cinema Eye deliver a quality dose of uniquely satisfying post-prog punky no-wave on their first full-length album- Some Nerve. Now that I've gotten that out of my system, let me tell you how much I dig this album, without sounding like I have a modern rock dictionary shoved up my ass. Singer Mollie Wells' vocals rule my heart and mind. There's a cloying sweetness to her delivery, coating the bitter pill of distance, neglect and alienation addressed within the song lyrics. She manages to be both wanton and abject, and her style is a welcome change from the confessional sentimentality of the prevailing rock band female-lead-singer stereotype. Her vocals complement perfectly the complex rhythms and time-changes of the various song structures, serving as the melodic bridge between rapid-fire drumming, chattering synth and blaring yet intricate guitar-work.

     » The Cinema Eye at Tag Team media
     » Sound Virus Records

Toys

November 17, 2004;/h3>

{     Ouch! Twin Toys - Ron Rege Jr.     }    

You can grab these three sweet pieces of vinyl absolutely free! In what is one of the most devilishly clever enticements in promotional history, Tylenol has sponsored the production and give-away of these toys as part of its Ouch! campaign, supporting artists and atheletes "...who embrace their pain in order to achieve something extraodinary." Designed by Ron Rege Jr., the Twins and their nemesis The Agitator are based on a series of comics drawn for Ouch!, and the figures are being produced by Critterbox; one of the most well-respected and revered manufacturers of high-end art-toys. Each figure comes packaged in a cylindrical casing that features original illustrations by Ron, and have been produced in limited numbers. Only 500 Agitators and 1,500 of each twin have been cranked out, so you're going to have to act fast to nail yours down. Here's where things get a bit tricky- You'll first need to track down a special coupon, available in one of the publications listed below, or (eventually) available for download from the Ouch! website. Then you have to take the coupon to a participating retailer (see below) sometime between November 26th and January 6th (though I'm doubting supply will last that long) to cash in. I know it's a bit of effort, but if I may be permitted a Tylenol-sponsored pun- no pain, no gain.

     » Ouch! official website
     » Ron Rege Jr.
     » Critterbox

Twelves

{     GTA San Andreas - The Lost Radio Stations Part 1     }    

K-RAP Bringing you all of the hits... and none of the flava!

MC Hammer - Can't Touch This
Kriss Kross - Jump
Gerardo - Rico Suave
Color Me Badd - I Wanna Sex You Up
Snap - The Power
Snow - Informer
Tag Team - Whoomp! There It Is
Another Bad Creation - Chillin' at the Playground
Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch - Good Vibrations
Naughty by Nature - O.P.P.
Vanilla Ice - Ice, Ice, Baby
69 Boys - Tootsee Roll

Even though GTA San Andreas is reminding me that not ALL music sucked in the 90's, I thought this would be a perfect time to review some of the truly awful sounds that decade brought us. The 1990's were home to some of the worst moments in music history, and our culture (and my brain) have been permanently scarred by the foulest, catchiest, most insipid pop-crap tunes ever recorded. Let's never forget these musical mistakes, lest we be doomed to repeat them.

Music

{     Ol' Dirty Bastard - Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version     }    

odb_.jpg This weekend we suffered the loss of one of music’s precious few original voices. To say that Russell Jones aka Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s death comes as a complete shock would be stretching the truth a little. While it seemed a bit more surprising when you consider the low-profile, Roc-endorsed lifestyle ODB had been keeping since his release from prison last year, the fact is that we’ve been putting up with Ol’ Dirty’s crazy shit for years.

     » The ODB Online Memorial

Music

November 15, 2004;/h3>

{     Adem - Homesongs     }    

I was tinkering around in the garage the other day, and I accidentally zapped myself with this shrink-ray I'd been working on. I know, it was really stupid of me not to put the safety on, but what are you gonna do? I decided to make the best of it... I climbed through a knothole in the baseboard, and found myself standing in the space between walls, made cavernous by my tiny size. My eyes soon adjusted to the soft orange glow of the light leaking through cracks in the wall above, and I realized rather suddenly that I wasn't alone. Several hundred bugs and spiders were politely milling about amongst a number of low-slung tables constructed of wood scrap and mud. A burly centipede wearing a bowler hat stood behind a bar that ran the length of the space, serving up tiny mugs of dewy brew with a hundred busy arms. A fat and obviously drunken spider adjusted his bowtie before sauntering over to a table full of pretty young earwigs, stumbling upon his own feet in the process and spilling most of his mug of ale. I watched as a stately grasshopper chuckled at the spider's misfortune, and stepped back into a shadow before any of them had noticed me. Slugs schmoozed with beetles, mosquitos mingled with grubworms and a randy cockroach felt up a giggling silverfish. I watched in awe as the insects cavorted and drank themselves silly, until at last a hush fell over the crowd. A curtain of spidersilk was drawn to reveal a group of handsome crickets perched atop a stage made of matchboxes at the far end of the chamber. They all clutched miniature instruments, and the tall one with the soulful eyes sat down at a stool in the stage's center, holding a small acoustic guitar in his hands. He cleared his throat and strummed a few chords, then began to play. The other cricket musicians fell in behind him. The songs that emerged were equally bleak and bright, and for every dark cloud that was conjured by the somewhat dirgey crooning, a brilliant silver lining was also revealed. It all sounded so personal and intimate, I sometimes felt as though the lead cricket were singing only to me, that perhaps he could see me in the shadows and that he knew of my shrunken plight- but a glance around the makeshift Bug Bar let me know that the sentiment he extolled was near-universal. A sea of rapt wet eyes met every new tune, and I even caught the gruff centipede bartender wiping away a stray tear with the corner of a spotty dishrag as soft notes trickled down from the stage. The sound of mini-banjos, flutes and mandolins joined the sound of mini-guitars, auto-harps and tiny organs, as wee drums and xylophones kept the beat. They played with the deliberate pacing of a folkish orchestra; each layer of instrumentation adding to the next, never so loud as to overpower or make indistinguishable the melody before it or the one rising beneath it. The room was soon swirling in a hook-laden acoustic symphony, crackling with toe-tapping energy as heart-strings and guitar strings were simultaneously plucked. The lead cricket sang in a lilting rasp, every throaty whisper and hum held firmly to the center of his song, becoming the heart of every tune. It was some of the most unlikely and beautiful music I'd ever heard, and I struggle now to find a way to explain it's effect upon me. Sadly, as the band was finishing their set, I felt the effects of the shrink-ray wearing off. I struggled quickly through the knothole and back out into the garage, growing exponentially larger and reaching my full heighth in a matter of moments. I realized as I grew how little we hear, because we're just too big to bother listening....

     » Domino Records
     » Adem Official Website

Clothing

November 14, 2004;/h3>

{     I See France - Site Relaunch and New Product Designs     }    

I See France is sporting a whole new look to coincide with the release of two new product designs by Mr. Ryan Halvorsen- Ski Love (seen here) and Real Beauty (check the links). Proving that underthings need not be boring, these new products offer the high level of quality and uniqueness of design that are central to the I See France philosophy. And they're devastatingly adorable to boot. Screened on sweatshop-free American Apparel clothing, each design features a matching panty and cami/tank-top, and can be purchased as a set or individually. There's something indelibly fresh about I See France, demure and sexy all at once. Their designs are miles away from the cookie-cutter lingerie mainstream- kinda smart, definitely hip and always in good taste. This is underwear you can finally feel good about giving to your special lady friend. She'll know you were really thinking of her when you picked it out, it's personal and intimate without being in any way trashy. You won't have to beg her to try it on for you, but good luck getting her to take it off.

     » ISeeFrance.net

By Adam in Clothing
Twelves

November 8, 2004;/h3>

{     A few of Sean Fitzgerald Laishley's favorite things...     }    

Now that the election is over, it's time to drown our sorrows in the things we love, and bide our time for four more years. Our Punchgut Studio print winner offered up these items to take solace in-


1. The Dirty Three - "Whatever You Love, You Are"
2. The Sopranos, seasons one-four
3. The Lord of the Rings films (I know the books are better. I have them on my "to do" list.)
4. Tortoise - "TNT"
5. Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps
6. Candy Corn
7. Cranium - the board game
8. Tad William's "Otherland" series
9. "Gun, with Occasional Music" by Jonathan Lethen
10. X-Files, seasons one-four
11. A little game by the name of Grand Theft Auto
12. Sparklehorse - "It's a Wonderful Life"


Thanks to Sean and all those who wrote in with "Favorites" lists in the Punchgut contest! Music, literature art, film and camaraderie may be the only things that get us through the tough times ahead. That is, if the Patriot Act doesn't outlaw them first.

Art

{     Paper Bullets: A War of Words - The Gallery at Intersection for the Arts     }    

Understanding propaganda has never been more important, especially to those of us living in America who've so recently been the victim of one of the most successful propaganda campaigns ever perpetrated, in the name of a Presidential election. Paper Bullets: A War of Words mulls over the history of images used to dramatically influence various populaces, with a unique catalog of historic propaganda pieces married to several modern takes on the iconography that continues to sway us. Intersection for the Arts have been offering workshops and presentations on the subject, and even included an actual fly-by letter-drop on the city of San Francisco to kick the show off.

     » Gallery at Intersection for the Arts
     » ChristineWong.org

By Adam in Art
Music

November 7, 2004;/h3>

{     Paradise Boys - The Young and the Guest List     }    

The Dance-punk genre has been riding high on hipster favor for a few years now, getting by on style over substance and coasting on "so hot right now" fumes. Seeing beyond the fad, Paradise Boys have crafted The Young and the Guest List, an album that transcends and redefines the genre by eschewing the faux-earnestness of their contemporaries, in favor of something dance-rock has been missing all along- a sense of humor. They have put together a very tight and inescapably catchy package of synth-driven rock for all the good-lookin' boys and girls to get down to, and they've kept it very clever with a wink and a nod. Most dance-oriented music leaves me feeling a bit like a drooling and shuffling re-re, as though I were the butt of some trendy joke, but there's something rather smart and tongue-in-cheek going on with Paradise Boys. Perhaps it's the over-the-top sexiness affected in the band's presentation, or the smART-punk groove that melds daft electro with keen disco riffs- this isn't your average rump-shaker: It's a slice of post-ironic dance-rock at it's finest. The kind of thing that's equally at home in a massive dance club as it is on your little old iPod, that calls to mind The Talking Heads as easily as it does The Pet Shop Boys, the sort of album that celebrates it's unabashed love of pop music intelligently AND accessibly.

     » Paradise Boys homepage

Toys

November 4, 2004;/h3>

{     Super Mario Bros. Stage Figure     }    

*edit 20Nov04: better late than never? It looks like "jlist":http://www.jlist.com/PRODUCT/MY472 has these as a set for a decent price. Had I know how hard it would be to get these, I'd have bought a whole bunch more. . . * It's Christmas Eve 1986. My family has always opened our gifts the night before Christmas. I don't particularly know the reason, but that's the way we've always done it. I've worked through the pile of smaller gifts and amassed a horde of Transformers, G.I. Joe, and LEGO bricks. One package remains unmolested. One largish rectangular box. I know precisely what is inside. A year's worth of persuasion, reassurances, and out-and-out begging have led to this moment. The tension on my father's face is palpable. I can tell he's just as excited as I to rip through the colorful wrapping paper and unleash the wonderment that lurks inside that box.

     » Mario Stage Figure at Play Asia, sadly currently out of stock
     » Mario Magnet Figure at Play Asia, currently in stock

Reading

November 2, 2004;/h3>

{     The Mezonic Agenda: Hacking the Presidency - by Dr. Herbert Thompson and Spyros Nomikos     }    

At best, fiction not only entertains- it educates. Portions of The Mezonic Agenda: Hacking the Presidency (published by O'Reilly) act as a crash course in the history, complications and pitfalls of electronic voting. In what is perhaps one of the most interesting meta-media-mash-ups I've ever witnessed, The Mezonic Agenda also includes a CD that allows you to "hack-along" with the developing plot threads, becoming familiar with the applications discussed in the text in a wholly unprecedented way. This interactivity serves to greatly enhance the very taut political-thriller/government-conspiracy storyline that develops. And the story behind The Mezonic Agenda has never been more topical or real-world frightening. If you voted electronically yesterday, you may be shocked to discover just how easily that vote could have been tampered with. Though the characters, corporations and government agencies discussed in the novel are largely fictional, the way The Mezonic Agenda breaks out the balance of power in the current Information Age is anything but. You're able to see in a very real way, whether you use the interactive software included or not, how a handful of people with the correct knowledge and proper support can effectively determine the fate of the entire world. On the morning of Nov. 2, as I write this, it's all a bit too bone-chillingly real.

     » The Mezonic Agenda: Hacking the Presidency
     » More of Nomikos' essay at O'Reilly

By Adam in Reading
Twelves

November 1, 2004;/h3>

{     12 probable last-minute Bush endorsements     }    

- Utah Mountain Militiamen
- Paintball Warriors Coalition of New Hampshire
- Union of Concerned Polygamists
- White Power! Weekly
- Playgroup Moms' Society of Dalton, Georgia
- Assertiveness Training class at Glendale Adult Learning facility
- Supreme Tax Service, Inc.
- Repressed Bible Freaks of America
- The Podunk Weekly Messenger & Classifieds
- Gun Luv Club
- Texas Oil Billionaires' League
- Young American Campus Blowhards

- Written by Vikki Warner


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