If you’re in the NYC area, and not doing anything 10/18, come see funny guy Ricky Gervais and the Office (Christmas) Special at the Museum Of Television & Radio! Event details, via my entry on Upcoming.org – which I really need to start using again.
Without making an allusion to Animal House, as is the norm when talking about any sort of probation, I’m happy to announce that I am officially off of the standard three-month work probation that WCMC enforces on all new employees. As a reward, I now get my dental insurance, and can actually take time off, should I feel the need. Things are going fairly well, though. I was told I am “customer oriented”, which I guess means that I’m not the sort of geek who tries to avoid people. I’m really enjoying the atmosphere, especially now that the hell that was August is over and most of my projects are stable. Along both of these lines, I’m finally relaxing and starting to get social with people I work with. I’ve always found it most important to be able to get along well the people you’re working with; if you can’t shoot the shit with people, then you’re always going to be on guard and tense. So if you’re one of the handful of people I’ve been joking around with – usually distinguished by me smiling – and you’re reading this, thanks. It’s good to feel welcome. On a completely different note: If loving this mashup is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
I’ve discovered that vodka sauce instead of regular tomato sauce makes any pizza 10X better. Pasta on the same pizza, as is the tradition for vodka sauce pies, is useless. Just get it with the sauce.
It’s like there’s some sort of weird cosmic force that is tying all the things I love together. Cheers to the cast and crew of Arrested Development for winning three Emmy’s – Best Comedy, Best Writing For A Comedy, and Best Directing In A Comedy.
In addition to the earlier post about the extremely good state of music these days, I also have to touch on cinema. This summer may have been a little lackluster, but there have been more than enough small scale surprises to make for mostly pleasant moviegoing. One such instance of this opens in the US this Friday, and its name is Shaun Of The Dead. A self-described “romzomcom” – romantic/zombie/comedy – the movie is far from your typical zombie film. While perusing the DVD (huzzah for having an import-capable DVD player, and cheers to Suw for making a convincing case for purchasing it), I realized the key reason I ended up enjoying it. It’s not merely a farcical zombie parody movie – in fact, it’s far from parody. Depending on how you want to look at it, it’s a comedy, OR a zombie movie, OR a romantic movie – and of course, you can take it as a combination of the three. It is quite British, but also accessible if you’re not a British culture whore. There’s so many little homages to classic horror movies (the opening theme is the same as the one from the original Dawn Of The Dead) and nice subtle touches that it’s obvious SotD was made by people who really enjoy making movies, and that makes it a treat to watch. So check it out this Friday – it deserves to be #1 at the Box Office after all the crap from this past month. Bring some friends. And afterwards, read this interview from The Movie Blog with Edgar, Simon, and Nick afterwards so you know what they’re going to be working on next.
Last year, I was intending to write a top 10 list of albums for the year. I failed miserably, after realizing that there really weren’t ten albums I could firmly say I liked. But 2004 seems to be a different ball game: The Streets released a follow up album to Original Pirate Material that actually gave scientific proof that UK hip-hop is not a joke. Then Dizzee Rascal did him one better. The Prodigy released their long awaited fourth album and shockingly, it wasn’t an album full of tripe like Fat Of The Land was. Green Day have a new album coming out, and from what I’ve heard, it may be their best album to date. Saying that about Green Day will probably draw “That’s not saying much” comments, but it’s honestly a solid album. Phoenix released their debut album, and it’s a nearly flawless mix of soft alt-rock and electronic. Bjork put out Medulla, which turned out to be much more than just a gimmick album. m-flo not only released their best album to date, Astromantic, but also a remix album thereof, Astromantic Charm School. DJ Shadow released a mix DVD/CD of his own work. It’s like a greatest hits album, only better. Orbital released their final album, which was much better than I could have anticipated after their last two. Diverse Systems, the #1 name in Bemani remixes, released D7, a three-CD megacollection of new remixes. They are almost all truly a fantastic. MC Chris, Richard Cheese, and David Cross all had new albums drop. There’s nothing wrong with any of them, outside the obvious insanely-funny thing. Utada Hikaru, who has seemingly lost her lost name while coming across the Pacific, is getting a US push and album release. She deserves it. Fantastic Plastic Machine has churned out four excellent mix albums this year alone. They Might Be Giants tossed out a marvelous album in The Spine, easily my favorite of their albums. And perhaps most importantly, The Kleptones have demanded my attention and received it, with two excellent mashup albums; Yoshimi Battles The Hip Hop Robots (Flaming Lips based) and the just released A Night At The Hip Hopera (Queen based, from what I’ve listened to thus far). Fuck “The Grey Album”, this is what mashing up is all about. The year’s still got three months left. How cool is that?