Category Archives: Recommendations

Reviews, praise, or otherwise promoted.

Go Read Brian Phillips’ “Your Stupid Rage”

I am here to save your life, and I’m not kidding. This isn’t about the state of discourse on the internet, or nostalgia for some imaginary pastoral of 1950s civility, or making sure I don’t get yelled at in blog comments. This is about you, and how you are going to live in the world. I mean how you’re going to live as a sports fan, but let there be no limit to the revelation: I mean how you’re going to live in every other way, too.

Brian Phillips’ screed on rage in soccer is one of those pieces I would love to force everyone I know to read. It’s through-and-through wonderful, and touches on the disturbing trend of how politics have become a sport, how internet culture has infected everything, and how miserable it is to let rage consume you.

Not to spoil the end, but this is too beautiful to not quote:

> The secret is to care, I mean really care, about something other than your club. That thing can be the game itself, or the truth, or just being a reasonable person. You can care about something other than your club and still be totallysupercommitted to your club. It doesn’t mean not supporting your team through thick and thin; it just means being able to tell the difference between thick and thin, and not thinking that your favorite forum, or your group of like-minded supporters, is so important that it throws reality on the wrong end of a greater-than sign. It means doing this for fun, and not for revenge or for a sense of deep-down defining identity, even if you’re a crazy tattooed ultra. You can be a crazy tattooed ultra and still be fine, for that matter. You just can’t be an idiot.

RBNY 2011 Home Games Of Note

The 2011 MLS schedule is now out.

I brought a number of friends out to Red Bull Arena last year, and they all enjoyed the experience. For those who were thinking of making the trek out to Harrison for one of the seventeen home matches, here are the ones that are likely to be the most interesting.

## March 19 – Red Bulls v Seattle Sounders

The home opener will undoubtedly have the most in the way of fireworks and general excitement. It will be the first time to see what our starting eleven looks like, and to see how the team has gelled during the pre-season. (Signs are looking good, thus far.)

## April 16 – Red Bulls v San Jose Earthquakes

Last year, the RBNY MLS Cup dreams were shattered by a heartbreaking 3-1 loss at home in the second leg of the quarterfinals, enough to lose on aggregate. This match will be a chance for revenge.

## July 9 – Red Bulls v D.C. United

Perhaps the most heated rivalry in the Eastern Conference, there is no love between the Metro fans and those they refer to as “the Scum”. D.C. finished at the bottom of the league last season, but have been rebuilding as best they can in the off-season. Expect a lot of heat from both supporter sections.

## August 28 – Red Bulls v L.A. Galaxy

It’s easy to point to Landon Donovan and David Beckham (who may no longer be under contract) as reasons to come see the Galaxy, but for the South Ward, the question here will be Juan Pablo Angel. After being let go by the Red Bulls management, he was re-drafted by LA, and this will be his first regular season visit back to RBA. Will he continue to create, or will his age finally catch up with him?

## October 20 – Red Bulls v Philadelphia Union

The home closer will be our second biggest rivals in the I-95 corridor. Expect a loud representation from Philly to show up and make things even more interesting than usual.

If you’re interested in attending, you’ve got a couple of options: full season plans, 10 game plans, 5 game plans, and four-ticket opening day family packages are currently available.

Individual tickets will be available within the coming weeks, as will a two-game package that includes the LA game.

The Final LCD Soundsystem Show Is April 2nd

LCD Soundsystem

“just because of a fuck up with some posters, you’ll probably find out while i sleep down in australia (supposed to be announced on monday) that we’ll be playing madison square garden on april 2nd, and that it’ll be our last show. we’ll be retiring as this live band after that.

we’re playing with liquid liquid, and we’re playing, i think, something like 3 hours of music. stuff we’ve never played along with the music we’ve been playing for years now…. i’m really excited actually. we’ve been getting ourselves ready, and hope to play the best show of our lives.”

Cancel your plans, clear our your schedule, and (if you’re not local) get to NYC. This is happening.

“Taken For Granted”

The AV Club decided to use their Top Gear U.S. review to make a compelling argument as to why the UK version works, and why the US one is unlikely to reach the same level.

My favorite part, though, is this aside from Jeremy Clarkson:

>In a recent 60 Minutes segment, Clarkson confided that he and his mates just take it for granted that one of them will eventually be killed while filming something for the show, but they’ve talked about it and agreed not to make a big deal about it on the air.

The full 60 Minutes piece (which I haven’t watched yet) is available online.

Adventure Time on Flickr

Finn & Jake Fist Bump - Close-up
I have become a huge fan of Pendelton Ward’s amazing animated series “Adventure Time”. Beautifully animated, slightly off-kilter, and always funny – a trifecta of television for me. 8PM Monday nights on Cartoon Network; also available on iTunes.
One of the side reasons I love Adventure Time: Fred Seibert has been uploading practically every scrap of production art from Adventure Time to his Flickr account. Character sheets, backgrounds, animatics, advertising materials, title cards, staff photos, props, even random bits of story notes. It’s tagged, organized, and available under a Creative Commons license.
You should really plow through everything there – it’s fascinating to see this much material available as a show is being created. Here’s some of my favorites:
"What is Life?" Title Card
Adventure Time Treehouse - Bedroom
"Prisoners of Love" Background

The List, Summer 2010 Edition

I am occasionally brow-beaten about my inability to tell people about awesome things that may be coming up. Here, then, is the list of public events I am attending over the summer and early fall.

LCD Soundsystem (w/ Holy Ghost)

May 20th, 8PM
Terminal 5

Fresh off releasing their third album, This Is Happening, James/Pat/Nancy are coming back home for a four day stint of “standing in front of people doing things loudly” at Terminal 5. This will be my first show at Terminal 5, and I have not heard one positive word said about the venue. It will be difficult for this to compare to the Music Hall of Williamsburg show a few months back, but it should do. LCD Soundsystem is fantastic live, and you should make every effort to see them if they’re in your town.

LCD Soundsystem Afterparty

May 21st, 11PM-?
DJ Set Afterparty Thing
Highline Ballroom

Just announced by James yesterday, apparently there is some all-hours-of-the-night thing going on Saturday night where most everyone from LCDSS will be doing DJ sets. $5 tickets meant instabuy.

Late Night w/ Jimmy Fallon

May 27th, 7:30 PM
Panel Discussion
Paley Center for Media

While I am not a frequent watcher of Fallon’s show, he seems to have found his footing relatively well and is churning out bits that are worth watching. Added bonus: the panel moderator will be Brian Williams.

The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television Tour

June 1st, 8PM
Radio City Music Hall

Conan O’Brien returns to NYC, on the same block as NBC. We will be laughing, because crying would be sad.

An Evening With Ted Danson

June 3rd, 6:30 PM
Panel Discussion/Dinner
Paley Center for Media

When we attended the Bored To Death panel late last year, we were blown away by Ted Danson’s sense of humor and general perspective on television. The Paley Center is doing a special event just for him, so we felt like it was unmissable. We are also redeeming our membership benefit to attend the PALEY AFTER DARK dinner afterwards. I believe this means I’m having dinner with Ted Danson. This still hasn’t sunk into my brain yet.

Big Apple BBQ Block Party

June 12th & 13th
Madison Square Park

It’s an annual tradition – and that reminds me, I need to buy my fastpass.

Hot Chip / Hercules & Love Affair / Holy Ghost!

August 4th, 5:30 PM
Central Park Summerstage

Three DFA artists, two of which I love, one fantastic outdoor venue. Hot Chip’s new album is wonderful; I saw Andy Butler from H&LA spin last year but it will be refreshing to see the whole band. Summerstage concerts are some of my favorite concerts of the year – there’s something very relaxing about seeing a band in Central Park.

Electric Zoo

September 4th & 5th
Music Festival
Randall’s Island

My beloved All Points West is seemingly canceled this year. In its stead, we are doubling down on the second edition of Electric Zoo, the electronic-focus music festival which was a fantastic spur-of-the-moment decision for us last year. Performers I care about include Major Lazer, Benny Benassi, John Digweed, Boyz Noise, Diplo, and Flying Lotus. You might also care about The Chemical Brothers, Paul Van Dyk, Richie Hawtin, or Armin Van Buuren. A few more remain to be announced, so the lineup might get even better.

The Pee-wee Herman Show

Stephen Sondheim Theater

Just announced as coming to NYC. There’s no way I’m missing this.

Gaming 2009: PC

Steam hit a new stride this year, causing me to open my wallet thirty-six separate times. I don’t want to count how many games that translates into for just this year – but the total game count on my Steam account is now at a sickening 195 titles. I didn’t start on Steam until late in 2007, so that means I’m averaging a disturbing 1.6 games a week.

Nothing can illustrate what causes this than the current front page of the Steam store. Right now, there’s a midweek sale for Psychonauts – a well received game from 2005, that I do not currently own – for $2. I am trying to write this post and *not* take the 30 seconds it would take to purchase it.

Steam has leveraged, on a slightly broader scale, what has made the iPhone app market so dynamic and prone to impulse purchasing – the ability to quickly drop prices, sometimes up to 90%. When you shave an award winning game down to $2, price conscious gamers will react strongly.

Most of my purchases this year were either games from past years or multiplatform titles, so much of my PC playing has already been covered. There were a few standout titles that haven’t quite shown up anywhere else, as well as some awful ports, so let’s make notes below:

Continue reading Gaming 2009: PC

Gaming 2009: DS/PSP/Xbox 360/Wii

When it comes to my attention span, these consoles lost out in 2009.

The PSP software market, already a bit dry, turned desert-like this year. It was hard to find titles that weren’t reviewed poorly (Gran Turismo Portable) or overpriced to hell (LittleBigPlanet PSP, GTA:Chinatown Wars).

The Wii and DS repeated their performance from last year, with the Wii managing 2 retail purchases but no downloaded titles, and the DS managing one retail purchase.

The 360, which last year managed a whopping 1 retail game purchase, managed to sink to an abysmal 0 retail games and about 4 XBLA purchases. (The 360 continues to get a bit of a free pass since every game on the Multiplatform list is available for it.)

With this poor performance in mind, let’s find some silver lining in an otherwise dreary year.

Continue reading Gaming 2009: DS/PSP/Xbox 360/Wii