Adam Balbo – Fix

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San Francisco’s Adam Balbo is at his best when he’s making a particular kind of fun of himself, mocking his own lyrical and metaphoric choices as he considers the greater “purpose” of singer/songwriters. Also standout are his more silly songs where he takes a stream-of-consciousness look at random bits of life, which could be thought of as poignant for their suggestions of modern detachment, but are also just funny. Fix is low-fi basement folk through and through, with Balbo strumming casually as his lyrics take the helm, his low, world-weary drawl and the randomness it spews being the main attraction. Nineteen songs long with most under two minutes, there’s no time for celebration or wallowing; the snippets bounce quickly from emotions to proclamations to dinner.

“Obligatory Highway Analogy” mocks the over-used image of the open road, announcing “The highway is the analogy I will employ to sing about love and other stuff,” because “an old reliable comparison works for me.” He sings in a sort of deadpan, accepting tone, easing into a place where love songs are cliché, but we still must suffer through loss and the various associated emotions. “Debating A Time Metaphor” is a similarly introspective look at the way songs attempt to be “deep,” where he speaks between the chorus of “Time in a bottle will get stale/drink it before the expiration date passes,” pondering his use of those words. The lines alone would seem like they were trying too hard, whereas his musings such as “Why do you have to sing and stylize figurative language?” as he wrestles with his word choice are funny rather than painful. And then there’s “Convenient Dinner,” where he describes the process of making macaroni and cheese, relating to its fakeness as the song floats through amusing descriptions. Bilbo is entertaining because he wonders why we write songs, thus lifting his universal subjects and considerations from mundanity.

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Troma’s “Poultrygeist” was a question on Millionaire!

Poultrygeist

So as some of you know, I, Laura was once a lowly intern at Troma Entertainment. This fine independent film production company is responsible for such gems as The Toxic Avenger, Tromeo and Juliet, and Class of Nuke Em High. I had an awesome time working there and am a loyal fan of Lloyd Kaufman, President and all-around overlord of all things Troma.

So you can imagine how pleased I was when Troma’s latest brilliant release, Poultrygeist (which, for the record, I watched the whole way through and enjoyed, as much as such a film can be enjoyed) was used as the subject for a question in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Granted, it was one of the softball questions, designed to weed out the dumbasses (although I have to wonder how some of these imbiciles make it past the admissions process when some really smart people come on and say they’d auditioned succesfully 16 times before getting on or something).

They asked what the villains in the film were…the obvious answer was Zombie Chickens, and the guy said his brother would kick his ass if he didn’t know this, which at first led me to hope that his brother worked for Troma or something, but it was just that his brother wanted the contestant to write a zombie movie so that the bro could star in it and become a big action star. Weird. Anyway, it was still awesome.

The Top 10 OCD Characters

What is it about mental disorders that so entrances the public? We love our flawed heroes, that’s for sure, and these are just a few examples of defective protagonists that we all know and love. I now present the top ten obsessive-compulsive characters in entertainment.

1. Bob Wiley, What About Bob (1991)

What About Bob

2. Adrian Monk, Monk (TV, 2002- )
Monk

3. Melvin Udall, As Good As It Gets (1997)

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4. Felix Unger, The Odd Couple (1968 (film)/1970-1975 (series))

Odd Couple

5. Jerry Seinfeld, Seinfeld (1989-1998)

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6. Dennis “Spider” Cleg, Spider (2002)

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7. Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000- )

Larry David

8. Monty Burns as Howard Hughes, The Simpsons (1993)

Casino Burns

9. Sherlock Holmes, Various Incarnations (1887- )

Sherlock Holmes

10. Howie Mandel, Deal or No Deal (2005- )…not technically a character, but still.

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Prince’s appearance on Tavis Smiley tonight (pictures!)

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I just wanted to share with you the meeting of two great minds that was Prince‘s interview on Tavis Smiley tonight. Prince didn’t say much in particular, except for mentioning how he likes sports like basketball, which just made me think of Dave Chappelle‘s brilliant sketch. And he mentioned how important it was that people who work with him are into “the scripture,” which made me like him less. Then they played one of his new songs, which made me like him even less. But don’t worry, one night, or even one decade, can’t spoil the magic that is The Artist.

Anyway, the important part was Prince’s outfit. Fabulous as ever! And the fact that he still looks about the same age he was thirty years ago. The Artist formerly known as Benjamin Button. Speaking of which, that name-changing crap is so tired. I’m so glad he got some sense back and returned to being Just Prince. That symbol is way too hard to type, and, needless to say, “The Artist” was just dumb.

Whatever. Here are some more pictures of Prince doing his thing on Tavis Smiley’s fine show. Please forgive the shitty quality.

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Two of our favorite new beverage-related websites

We’re always on the lookout for cool new sites with booze-related content, and these are two that have caught our eye, partly because we know the dudes who write them (full disclosure and all that).

If you live in the New York area, we heartily recommend A Muddled Thought. This site not only provides readers with original reports from new and soon-to-open bars in the city, but also includes menus, photos, recipes, and interviews with noted mixologists.

Another cool site is bombevi, which profiles one beverage at a time, slowly building a database of drinks. It doesn’t just review alcoholic beverages, but anything and everything you can drink through a straw. Great reading for people like us who love trying new packaged products, especially ones that look funny.

Check ’em out!

The Brad Pitt emotional library from Benjamin Button is giving me ideas

So I read that when Brad Pitt was making The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, he posed for what the filmmakers called a “Brad Pitt emotional library.” Basically they just photographed him and recorded his face from every angle with every expression.

I was thinking that this would be perfect for making virtual Brad Pitt porn! Imagine, you could make the 3D Brad do anything you want, and it would look semi-authentic. Is this photo library something David Fincher would be willing to donate to a worthy cause, like say, Liz and Laura?