Archive for March, 2008

Mon 31 Mar 2008 12:00 pm   //   Posted in: Mixes, Music, The suburbs

Top 10 underrated 90s songs

Friday night, 1994. Somewhere in the Baltimore suburbs, a 14-year-old kid is lying on his back in the dark, listening to WHFS’s “Top 11 at 11” on his Sanyo walkman.

Inspired by Sheena Beaston, here are my top 10 most underrated songs of the 90s. For no particular reason, I’ve limited my choices to modern rock songs.

Listen to the whole playlist at Muxtape (this link will not work forever).

* * *

10. The Men – Church Of Logic, Sin, & Love (1992)
Anybody remember The Men? I love the lyric about Kennedy in Life magazine.

9. R.E.M. – Strange Currencies (1994)
Michael Stipe channeling Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone.” This was from R.E.M.’s Monster CD.

8. Drugstore – El Presidente (1998)
That’s Thom Yorke from Radiohead on vocals. I got this song on a CMJ sampler, but it was on Drugstore’s White Magic for Lovers CD, apparently.

7. Son Volt – Windfall (1995)
I didn’t discover this song until I went through an alt-country phase in college. From the Trace CD.

6. Oasis – Don’t Look Back In Anger (1995)
From What’s the Story Morning Glory? I once heard a guy playing this song in the subway and it sounded great.

5. Midnight Oil – Blue Sky Mine (1990)
The better of Midnight Oil’s two radio hits. (The other was “Beds Are Burning.”) From Blue Sky Mining.

4. Local H – All the Kids Are Right (1998)
A band apologizes to its fans for a poor concert. It’s an anti-rock song! From the CD Pack Up the Cats.

3. Superdrag – Sucked Out (1996)
Great hook. “Look at me, I can write a melody, but I can’t expect a soul to care.” From Regretfully Yours.

2. Elastica – Car Song (1995)
Elastica songs were so short, they were often the only thing that fit at the end of a mix tape.

1. Freedy Johnston – Bad Reputation (1994)
Listen to Freedy Johnston’s sublime self-confidence: “Don’t you think I’ve heard the talk? Nobody’s gonna tell me who to love.” From This Perfect World.

Mon 31 Mar 2008 10:49 am   //   Posted in: Misc

Welcome back

Jeremy returns to blogging!

Sun 30 Mar 2008 11:44 pm   //   Posted in: Movies, Review

Iraq war still waiting for its movie

Sooner or later, somebody’s going to make a great movie about the Iraq war. Stop-Loss, which I saw this afternoon, isn’t quite it. (Spoilers to follow.)


Sat 29 Mar 2008 8:15 pm   //   Posted in: Failure

A Pontiac for people who want to be laughed at

Don’t ask how, but I ended up at the New York International Auto Show this afternoon with some friends. I’m not a car buff. I haven’t owned a car since 2003. But I’m kind of interested in the machinery of branding, industrial design and politics that produces the cars we drive. (Related post.)

Most cars are boring. But once in a while, a car appears that’s fascinating because it’s unbelievably bad. You stare and wonder how an act of pure bungling ever made it off the drawing board, much less onto an assembly line.

I think I found one. Behold, the worst car at the car show:

Pontiac G8 Ute sport truck pickup

This picture has not been Photoshopped. It’s actually a real car: the 2010 Pontiac G8 sport truck. Blueprint: Take the front half of an uninspired, plastic-grilled General Motors sedan. Saw off the back and replace it with a pickup bed.

It’s an El Camino for the new millennium. Did someone ask for this?

Fri 28 Mar 2008 7:34 am   //   Posted in: Dinosaurs, Food & drink

Dinosaurs vs. butterflies


My friend Renée was visiting yesterday from Indianapolis, so I took off work and we did the museum thing. We hit the Met and the Natural History Museum both in the same day, including the butterfly garden temporarily on view at Natural History. Renée is a dinosaur buff, so after seeing the dinos at Natural History we went uptown to Dinosaur BBQ for dinner with some friends.

To kill an hour between when the museum closed and when we had to be at Dinosaur, we stopped for tea at Alice’s Tea Room on W 73rd. The tea and scones were excellent, but the place takes the Alice-in-Wonderland thing a little too far. Renée called the glittery butterflies painted on the walls “too girly.”

Dinosaurs vs. butterflies: Dinosaurs win!

(Photo above: Renée Petrina)

Thu 27 Mar 2008 11:46 am   //   Posted in: Right now

Mobile phone update

Daryl Lang’s day off.


Thu 27 Mar 2008 9:25 am   //   Posted in: In the news, Music

You think you’re having a bad day?

…At least you didn’t defame Diddy: LA Times apologizes over article on rapper

You never want to have to publish an apology like that. I feel slightly nauseated just reading it.

The Smoking Gun: “The Times appears to have been hoaxed by an imprisoned con man and accomplished document forger.”

Thu 27 Mar 2008 8:00 am   //   Posted in: Brooklyn, Photos

We can be/eat heroes

Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company

Hero shop, Downtown Brooklyn

Top: Fifth Avenue, Park Slope. Bottom: Livingston Street, Downtown Brooklyn.

Wed 26 Mar 2008 2:34 pm   //   Posted in: In the news

Cancer news

1. My college friend Liz, who has been fighting lung cancer for the past year, received some good news this week: A PET scan showed “marked improvement” in her lungs. You can follow Liz’s amazing story on her blog.

Also please consider supporting the Lance Armstrong Foundation by contributing on Liz’s behalf to the Livestrong Challenge (click here).

2. From today’s New York Times: Cigarette Company Paid for Lung Cancer Study. Previously legit-seeming research is exposed as having been funded by a tobacco company. The newspaper uncovered this credibility-shredding conflict of interest in a review of tax documents. How much more of this goes on that we don’t find out about?

Wed 26 Mar 2008 8:00 am   //   Posted in: In the news, Typography

Obama potpourri


– How deliciously crisp is that font on the Obama signs? It’s called Gotham, and it was first commissioned for GQ magazine. Designers Tobias Frere-Jones and Jonathan Hoefler were inspired by the lettering on the Port Authority bus terminal. Here’s a short video about Gotham.

– When Barack Obama gave his “A More Perfect Union” speech a week ago, I decided not to write anything about it. Enough had been said already, plus I was still digesting it. It was a really important speech that set a new standard for how informed, concerned Americans should talk about race relations. But as time passes, it doesn’t seem especially historic. I doubt it will help Obama become president. As we’re seeing, the final leg of the Democratic primary process is more about delegate wrangling than about any serious policy disagreements.

– PDNPulse: President Clinton And Rev. Wright

– The Onion: Black Guy Asks Nation For Change.

(Photo above by the Obama campaign.)