Tuesday, November 30, 2004

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This cat would drink anything.
Yes, this is a mysterious post of minor significance to only a few.
Also, yes. I spent most of Thanksgiving in sweat pants.

Friend of Steady Mobbin' Sariah has started Meddling Sariah, a place for meddlesome matchmaking, commenting, observing, and advising--or, as I see it, a way to keep Sariah off the streets after school now that the teen center at the library has been closed down. But, f'reals, visit it. Just don't forget to keep reading Steady Mobbin'.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Best Unmerited Seriousness

The New York Times has a good article on my "boss" Lil' Jon today. Probably too good of an article. It's weird to hear crunk discussed so seriously, as if it's legitimate. Believe me, it isn't legitimate.

Do you remember how I posted a link to Drop It Like It's Hot back at the beginning of September? I just wanted to remind you that I did that. That's how much Steady Mobbin' loves you, bringing you today's hits three months ago. Of course, I haven't done anything like that since then.

More Thanksgiving activities: Went and saw "Finding Neverland." If you don't love this movie you don't have even 1/2 of a heart. The Lake was nothing but a bunch of sobbing grown-ups by the time it ended. Me? I won't grow up, never grow up, not I. Also, I went with my Pop to the Cunning Little Vixen. No, Randy and I didn't go to a strip club, it was an opera. About woodland creatures. So there you are.

Coming Soon Steady Mobbin': We Break Into Your Homes and Play With Your Cats. And also, so many people are having birthdays these days. Happy Birthday to all of you, especially those of you that visit the briggie dot blogspot ever.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Best Thanksgiving This Whole Year

Here's some Thanksgiving break stuff that's happened.

1) I was on one of the last planes to make it into Chicago last night. I flew into Midway, rumor has it O'Hare was closed. Actually, Midway was closed for a while, they had us in a holding pattern waiting for the winds to die down so that they could reopen the runways. I guess it's a Thanksgiving miracle I made it here at all. Also, while I was at Newark, my flight was momentarily delayed 4 hours. There's nothing quite like hearing that your 4:30 flight is going to leave at 8:30, and then to hear that it's been moved down from 8:30 to 5:00? I don't even want to know the true story behind that.

2) Last night I got the whole family, (Mom, Dad, Grandma, Owen, Greg, Emily) to sit down and watch Arrested Development with me. I thought we were just going to watch the pilot, but we made it through the whole first disc of episodes. You know you've made yourself a funny sitcom if Grandma is quoting it a day later.

3) Also, something funny Grandma said: "I want that Napoleon Bonaparte movie for Christmas." (She was refering to Napoleon Dynamite, of course, which she had gone to see with her fellow San Marino widows at some point.)

4) We all went and saw National Treasure today. Inoffensive yet completely generic, they could have just called it "Caper Movie!"

5) BUT I did finally see the Revenge of the Sith trailer with it. Making me probably the last person in the world, but man, what a beauty. It's going to be such a best movie of 2005, I just know it.

Monday, November 22, 2004

"Best New Music"? Yeah, no kidding.

Maybe you read Pitchfork yesterday and saw that (via a nearly unreadable review) they gave the M.I.A. mixtape "Piracy Funds Terrorism" an 8.5 and stamped it with their covetable "Best New Music" decree that they give out every now and then. Well, I can only agree with the Pitchforkers on one thing here, "Piracy Funds Terrorism" certainly merits the "Best New Music" tag, but the record is more of a 12-out-of-10 than an 8.5.

Simply put, M.I.A.'s mixtape (so blessed by its association with Hollertronix . . . who, aside from being extremely capable DJs also have about the best name there is) is an example of a record that sounds exactly like I want my music to sound. Heavy, crunchy, gutsy, I haven't been so immediately pleased by a record since "Fever to Tell." I mean, seriously, look at this girl:

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Is there any conceivable way that her music isn't going to be awesome? Clearly the girl can work the crowd like it's Fall 2003 and her name's Howard Dean. (Yes, you're right, I stole those pictures.) If anyone is going to make Sri Lankan Dancehall/Hip-Hop hot, it's gonna be her. On "Piracy Funds Terrorism", M.I.A. does her thing while appropriating elements of some of the more popular rap (What Happened to that Boy?, Big Pimpin', Pass that Dutch, etc.) and dancehall (Heads High, Limb by Limb[!!]) hits of the last few years and it's no crime because she keeps it so tight--I know, I know, I, Brigham Barnes, have no authority to write "and it's no crime because she keeps it so tight" but that's just the only way I can put it. One of the most noteworthy things about the mixtape is that the last, hmm, third of the record is pretty much all Brazilian funk. It's probably the first time I've heard such a difficult to like sort of urban music sound so legitimate. If you like your music to be awesome and for cool people, you should try to get your hands on this not-entirely-legal CD. Especially if you're Broek, because, believe me, Broek, you'd dig this thing. If you don't already have it.

More stolen photos, cuz I can't resist:
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I once saw pictures of M.I.A. that were she was partying even hard than in these, but I can't remember where.


Christo is going to wrap up Central Park in February. Now that's something to look forward to.

Best Sign School Has Taken Over

So, I've got 4 tickets to the "secret" U2 show tomorrow in DUMBO. But you're supposed to get there at 2:30, and I have Corporations at 2. We're going to be starting to talk about Insider Trading. I really think my sense of duty to the studies is going to win out over my desire to see a band that I've never been super interested in play songs I've never heard from a new album that I'll probably never listen to . . . but even I can tell I'm passing on a memorable experience by doing so. Like, that'd make a good blog post, "Best Secret U2 Concert Ever." Who knows what will happen. Stay tuned.

Oh, and those other 3 tickets? Not spoken for, but I need to be there. If you want some of your own, contact me, I'll tell you how to get them. It wasn't that hard at all.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Best Post for your Computer to Hate

Sorry, so many photos, I couldn't resist.

Saturday night we all went to KCDC in Brooklyn
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It was me
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And Lexia
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And Robin
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We went there to watch Josh skate
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I'd long wanted to see Josh skate
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And I wasn't disappointed
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At all
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Other people were skating there too. Like this guy
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And this guy
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I believe this girl's name was Wendy. She totally ate it out there.
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I haven't seen someone so excited to have cut up their lip before
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But here's the crazy thing, in the same building as the skate shop was . . .
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A heavy-metal hipster aquarium
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They were blasting the music in there and there were all these aquariums
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On my way home I discovered graffiti genius Neckface had tagged my hood. Awesome!
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And there were these little troublemakers hanging out in the kid's store
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Friday, November 19, 2004

Best Durn Thursday

On Monday I had my final argument for the Moot Court Competition. While educational, fulfilling, and at times exhilarating, the entire ordeal left me feeling . . . well, I suppose most people would say that it left them feeling “like a good, stiff drink.” Me, if left me feeling like a “good, juicy steak.” Unfortunately, sometimes you don’t have the time to grab a steak right when you want one, and I had to put off my steak-grabbing until Thursday night.

But what a night for steak-grabbing it proved to be!

While dear old New York features several steakhouses I’m aching to visit (Peter Luger and the Strip House, in particular) I decided to go out to Dumont in Williamsburg. I first heard of Dumont months ago and had long longed to visit it. Noticing two different steaks on their menu, I figured Thursday the perfect chance to try the place out.

Situated on Union Ave between Metropolitan and whatever (it’s not like I walked to the other end of the block when I didn’t have to) Dumont isn’t much to look at from the outside, especially with its shuttered windows, you wouldn’t even notice it if it weren’t for its, uhm, great big green neon side. Inside, Dumont isn’t too much to look at either. Dim, smallish, almost dingy, really, it’d probably be a little discouraging to walk into if all the tables weren’t packed with people enjoying delicious looking food. By dumb luck we got our table right away, but I was surprised to find it so busy on a Thursday night at 7 . . . I guess Thursday nights are as reasonable a time as any for a restaurant to busy, but I now know better than to expect to be able to show up and sit there at 8pm on a Friday.

Enough of the set-up, let me talk about food:

Appetizer: Had the crab cake. It was the type of delicious that you notice the second it touches your lips, and an exciting indicator of what was to come for the rest of the evening. An appetite-zer, indeed, or whatever. The cake itself was an “A” on its own, but it was served on a really piquant green salsa (yes, I feel I need to use the word “piquant” here) perfectly offset by creamy avocado on top—the entire result? One of them “party in my mouth” sort of experiences. I could’ve eaten like five of them or something.

Dinner: Yeah, so, I got their NY strip with fries and peppercorn sauce. Just perfect. Exactly what I wanted. The fries were insanely crisp and tasty. Just so perfect. If I remember right, I ordered it straight-up medium and that’s what I got, an absolutely medium steak (usually I go medium-well, but Thursday night I just I felt a little pinker than usual)

Dessert: Split their “evening special” pumpkin cheesecake and “normal” (yet equally special) fallen chocolate cake. The cheesecake was really delicious, I had been a little worried about how pumpkiny it’d be, as I’m really just nuts about normal old cheesecake, but the flavor situation was under control, and, as stated above, really delicious. The fallen chocolate cake was also magnificent, one of those little pieces of gooey-hot chocolate cake served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream like you can get at lots of restaurants these days, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

It was one of those meals where you just talk about how good the food is the whole time and start making plans to come back before you’re even done with the appetizer. I’m looking forward to returning as soon as possible (as it’s right off the Lorimar stop on the L, it’s no trick getting there). I’d really like to try something a little more flavorful than steak for my dinner next time, not that there was anything at all wrong with my steak.

In summation: Dumont. So much the best meal I’ve had at a restaurant in a long time. I think I need to mention that both of the place’s chefs cooked at Gramercy Tavern. I haven’t been to Gramercy Tavern (yet), but I know it’s important to mention when a restaurant has something to do with the Gramercy Tavern. Oh, and the waitstaff? Chill, cool, and capable. My favorite kind.

Completely Unrelated Do you know what song is just the joint? "Fire" by Joe Buddens. Most repeat-worthy track I've heard since "Toxic." I wouldn't even know this song existed if it weren't for the party scene in Mean Girls.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Best Unrelated Bits of "Information"

1) On Saturday I babysat a bunch of kids all afternoon with a bunch of other babysitters. When the first mom showed up with her 18 month old this is the first thing she said: "This is Jill*, she has the worst yeast infection right now." And then she started handing me all these tubes and ointments. So that was great.

*For some reason, I've changed the baby's name to protect its identity.

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2) Do you know who rocks? Slayer rocks. I write this as a 27 year old. I had friends who started listening to Slayer when we were 13, at the oldest. 14 years later, I'm listening to "Seasons in the Abyss" for the first time . . . and It. Is. Awesome. Especially the song "Skeletons of Society." Finally, I'm starting to get metal.

By the way, that's the cover of "Seasons in the Abyss." It's not Jill*, or anything.

3) I like Blue 9 Burger. Best Double-Cheeseburger in the city. But the Burger Joint is still my favorite single-patty cheeseburger. I've read plenty of comments comparing Blue 9 to In-N-Out, but as someone who didn't grow up in California and feels he must talk about In-N-Out all the time, I have no comment to make on this.

4) Here's what I have to say about the television: The new show, Lost? It was good the first few times, but I don't have it in me to keep watching it. The new season of South Park? So far, not so hot. The first episode of this season of the Simpsons (not counting the Halloween Special)? Surprisingly good, I had been ready for this to be the season that the show was clearly not good anymore. They're 1/1 right now. The second episode of the second season of Arrested Development? Pretty great. The new season of Amazing Race? So many boneheads, it's incredible.

All of a sudden it seems like I watch a lot of TV. Would you like me to tell you about the Paramount/Viacom merger instead? Or maybe the moot court competition?

If I don't think of something intelligent to put on this blog soon my head is going to shrink down to nothingness.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Best Couple at the Dance

I can't remember where I downloaded this from.
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I can only imagine it was a magical night for the two of them.

(This is my new strategy for when I haven't anything to blog about: post photos I find on my computer. I first did this last week with that whole deal about Tiger.)

Sunday, November 14, 2004

"Baby, Baby, You're Really the Best"

This is my Interpol show review post.

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First of all, that is so not my own photo of the concert. It's not even a photo of the concert that I was at.

Second of all, I definitely like Interpol a whole, whole lot. But even I notice that their lyrics . . . sometimes their lyrics are a little ridiculous, especially when coupled with Mr. Paul Banks' sort of robotic delivery. For example, this line from "Say Hello to the Angels": "Your hair is so pretty and red/Baby, baby you're really the best." Perhaps it's irony? Pop-trivialities transplanted into hard and heavy art-rock? But, then again, I like it when he sings "You are the only person who's completely certain there's nothing here to be into" in PDA, or when he suddenly says "Oh look it stopped snowing" in Roland.

When I saw Interpol last year (on the night of the Cubs' final game before not going to the World Series) they had just put out one album, so they didn't have too many songs to play . . . yet they still didn't play one of my favorite songs from Turn on the Bright Lights, "Obstacle 2." So, going into Friday night's show, I was pretty sure I wouldn't be hearing "Obstacle 2" (and I was right, they didn't play it) but I also correctly predicted that if Interpol didn't play my favorite Turn on the Bright Lights song, then they wouldn't be playing my favorite Antics song, "C'mere"--and I was right, again. I suppose I love being right.

Here's the "review" I wrote of the show for the NYU Law School newspaper:

Any night of the week, New York City offers a dizzying array of options for diversion. Should you have the time to take it up on any of these options, it’s easy to be left wondering if you picked the right way to pass the evening. Is this the right bar to be hanging out at? Is this the best restaurant to be eating at? Am I watching the right limited-run foreign film tonight? One often wishes for some profound indicator that they’re spending their free time in the best way possible.

While I didn’t feel I needed much reassurance to know I was at the right concert when I caught Interpol’s second of two sold-out shows at the Hammerstein Ballroom Friday night, I found reaffirmation in my choice when I noticed David Bowie (disguised in a fake mustache—I kid you not) enjoying the show just to my right. When you’re at the same rock concert as David Bowie, it seems a safe bet to say that there’s not a better show to be at in the city.

Not that Interpol needs a rock legend to validate their skill. Just as N*Sync came to dethrone the Backstreet Boys as Boy Band Kings, and Enrique Iglesias overtook Ricky Martin in the battle to be the heart-throbbingest of Latin Heartthrobs, it seems safe to say that Interpol is showing signs of having overtaken the Strokes as the band to be remembered from the recent New York City scene resurgence. Playing songs from their debut album, Turn on the Bright Lights, and their solid follow-up, Antics, Interpol kept their fans rocking through a twelve song set and two encores.

Since Interpol are known for their dark and stylish look with its accompanying cooler-than-thou-yet-gloomy mood, it may come as a surprise to people used to listening to the band through the subdued medium of headphones how hard and loud the band is live. While the band remains nearly motionless during performances (save for bassist Carlos D.’s strutting about stage), they produce a magnificently loud, crowd shaking noise. This was especially apparent when the band performed its “hit singles” “PDA” and “Slow Hands” and in its first-set closer, “Roland,” which ended in such a harsh wave of reverb that, for a moment, I thought I might be knocked over by the sound.

But it’s not to say that Interpol is incapable of being dark or moody live. The evening was begun with the organ-based Antics opener “No Exit” and closed with “Untitled”, the first track off of Turn on the Bright Lights (what parallelism!), both songs rendered especially moody and transporting by the Hammerstein’s stage lighting.

The concert’s crowd (aside from Mr. Bowie) was diverse collection of people who’s dress and behavior belied the neighborhoods they’d be returning to at the end of the evening—from Williamsburg hipsters playing it cool around the edges of the main floor to Upper East Side girls dancing in the balconies—it all served as an indicator that Interpol is branching out beyond their flavor-of-the-month early adopters without changing their sound to pander to popular tastes. If things keep going like this for the band, they’ll only continue to increase in popularity and release a style of music that is distinctively their own and remain the band to see when they’re in town.

Since I took the trouble to write it down while I was at the show, here's the evening's set list:
Next Exit/Say Hello To The Angels/Narc/Public Pervert/Evil/NYC/Hands Away/Slow Hands/Not Even Jail/Obstacle 1/Roland
Encore: Leif Erikson/PDA Second Encore: Untitled

Yeah, not only are some of their lyrics dumb, but most of their song titles are pretty odd, too.

Not Best

Ol' Dirty Bastard (of the Wu-Tang Clan) dropped dead in a recording studio tonight. ("Tonight" is Saturday night) I know Steady Mobbin' isn't a news source, but there are some things I can't knee-jerk react post to. Here's the news story. It's been a while since we've had a posthumous rap album release, so good thing ODB had been working on a record for over a year.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Best Minor Prank

Yesterday someone hacked into something and made the signs at the West 4th Street Subway say "Pretty Girls Don't Ride the Subway." That's funny. Gothamist has the "complete" story. (With a picture)

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Best Couple of Things I Didn't Realize Until Now

Hey, here's some fun facts about November 11th that you might not know . . . or remember.

1) Apparently it's Veterans Day. Huh. Imagine that.

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2) Also, it's Kurt Vonnegut's birthday. My man is 82, and a veteran himself. Here's an article about him from his birthday three years ago (The first line? "He should be dead by now.") I'll confess I haven't read all of it yet, but I'm guessing it's good--it's about him teaching at Smith College, or something. The most interesting item? Apparently he is working on another novel after all, or at least he was three years ago. And here's a link to a post from earlier in the Steady Mobbin' days (back in June!) that has to do with Mr. Vonnegut("has to do"="is about").

Here are some great Kurt quotes, not that there aren't a million more:

"What is flirtatiousness but an argument that life must go on and on and on?"
"My soul knows my meat is doing bad things, and is embarrassed. But my meat just keeps right on doing bad, dumb things."
(all right you pervs, that's from Bluebeard, where the protagonist, an abstract expressionist, views human beings as neon tube souls trapped in corrupt bodies of meat)
"Belief is nearly the whole of the Universe, whether based on truth or not."
"If you really want to hurt your parents and you don't have nerve enough to be homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts."
"History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again."
"The two prime movers in the Universe are Time and Luck."
"Roses are red and ready for plucking
You're sixteen and ready for high school."
"Pretend to be good always, and even God will be fooled."
"Every passing hour brings the Solar System forty-three thousand miles closer to Globular Cluster M13 in Hercules -- and still there are some misfits who insist that there is no such thing as progress."
"Take Care of the People, and God Almighty Will Take Care of Himself."--(That, right there, is the universe of Vonnegut's philosophy summed up in 13 words)
"Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae."
"One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us."
"There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don’t know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president."
"Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative."
"Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything."
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be."
"Men are jerks. Women are psychotic."
"Ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones."
"People don't come to church for preachments, of course, but to daydream about God"
"The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest."

Sorry, I got a little carried away there--just a little googling and cutting and pasting and there I was. Still, I couldn't find a favorite quote, this one about authors always having beautiful wives. I'll find it over Thanksgiving.

Seriously, if any of you haven't read Cat's Cradle yet, get to it. And then read the rest. Here's a fun fact: while my dad talked a lot about Ice 9 as I was growing up, it took a recommendation from John Wedoff to get me started on the works of KVJ. Seriously.

I saw Kurt speak earlier this year. All I want to do is grow up into man as old and as cranky and wise as him who can keep a room desperate for his every word as he did. Telling stories, wearing sweaters. What a life. God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Best Photo I Found Last Night

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This is a picture of my old roommate Tiger from when he graduated from the University of Utah. Tiger was an awesome, awesome roommate. I lived with him, no, he lived with me in the fall of 1998. I had two Korean roommates that year, Ken and Tiger. They seemed to be good pals, but they had their differences: Ken was more polite, agreeable one and Tiger was the more argumentative, opinionated one . . . thusly, Tiger was the more awesome one. An example of their different personalities: when Ken and Tiger were going to move out of the apartment, my roommate Matt and I made them T-shirts with our pictures on them, so that Ken and Tiger would always remember us (I think the shirts said “I Love Brigham and Matt” or “Official Member of the Brigham and Matt Fan Club”). Ken graciously thanked us for his and put it on, Tiger seemed to think the shirt was some sort of joke and kept trying to give it back to us. Also, Tiger and Matt would get in the biggest fights over the temperature in the apartment . . . Tiger always found it to be too cold, but I think that was mostly because Tiger was always hanging out in his gym uniform.

When Ken and Tiger first moved into the apartment their English wasn’t so good. For example, during one get to know you talk, we spent about 20 minutes trying to figure out if Tiger had seen the 5th Element or not. He owned the video, and said that it was a good movie, but kept telling us he hadn’t seen it. We tried to break the examination down into yes/no questions, but that didn’t get us very far. Seriously. Asking the question “Have you seen the 5th Element?” only produced more confusion. Also, we couldn’t ever figure out what school Ken and Tiger went to, because sometimes they’d need rides to BYU, and sometimes they’d need rides to UVSC (the local junior college). So, when I received pictures of Tiger’s graduation from the University of Utah, it seemed to make perfect sense.

Tiger got lots of phonecalls from people that didn’t speak English. From this I learned to do phonetic impersonations of Korean phone call conversations. I can’t even begin to think of how to type what it seemed they were saying.

We didn’t hang out with Tiger outside of the apartment very much, but once we went to the Training Table, and he seemed to have a good time. And once I had lunch with him at Fuddrucker’s after he had moved out of the apartment, and he gave me a pin with a little Korean kid on it. Oh, also, we went to the James Bond movie with Denise Richards in it. Even Tiger could tell it was lousy. Last time I saw Ken or Tiger was at the Gateway Mall in Salt Lake, they were at the Brookstone trying out the vibrating chairs. It was a joyous chance reunion.

I miss old Tiger. I can only imagine what he’s up to these days. If you (reader) ever see me, you should ask me to tell you Tiger stories, because I’ve got lots of them, and I tell them with enthusiasm.

Also I think I just saw Ashley Olsen, but it's so hard to tell. All these tiny ratty-haired blondes running around with gigantic sunglasses on, she could be any one of them.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Hmmm. Best?

Here's the poster for next summer's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Movie. You know, the one starring Johnny Depp, directed by Tim Burton. The kids at Hot Topic are going to love this thing. I've blogged about it (the movie, not the poster) before, back on July 5. Get this: Christopher Lee is playing Willy Wonka's Dad? Word is the teaser for this thing'll be attached to the Polar Express . . . but right now I'm not feeling so good about trailers that are supposed to be attached to new movies. Man, Big Fish was such a good movie, it'll be nice to see Tim Burton cutting loose and making something really wild.

Once again, dedicated to Jen Gurney.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Best Little Weekend Wrap-Up I'll Write Tonight

So, here's my weekend. The interesting parts, at least.

Friday Yeah, I cleaned my apartment real good. Yeah, I did all my laundry. Yeah, I returned some pants and did some homework. But Friday night was Incredibles night, and that's all that mattered. Fueled by a delicious White Castle dinner I was able to secure the best seats in the house and despite the fact that (for some reason) the Episode III trailer wasn't attached to our print, the Incredibles did not disappoint. This movie might just make all the money in the universe. There was so much to like about it, but what comes to mind right now as being awful great was 1) The Design. It's with much pride that I say it looked like they ripped off most of their 50's/60's Modern cues from my Grandma's own furniture collection. Beautiful. 2) I really liked when Dash had to run, and those razor-copters were after him. That was great. Also, there was this guy sitting near me that kept laughing at all the not very funny parts and burping, too. He was funny. And I can only say that because I wasn't sitting right right by him. So, yeah. If you haven't, go see it. It's full of good stuff.

Saturday Studying and stuff all day. Saw Nicole Richie in front of Jerry's on Prince. Some might ask where all my celebrity sightings have been lately--mostly I've just been seeing people I've seen before around again. I've seen Nicole around before, and a little while ago I saw Famke Janssen walking her dog, for like the third time.

But the big thing about Saturday was that in the PM I went to Hoboken to see the Futureheads at Maxwell's with Genevieve. You know what? Hoboken looks just like San Diego. Seriously. They both have a Sam Goody and everything. Just don't tell San Diego that I said that, I'm sure it'd be mad.

The Futureheads proved to be plenty good. Very Franz Ferdinandy sounding, except all four of them sang--which you don't get often, you know, the whole band singing. They played 17 songs in less than an hour, just the kind of show I like. The Futureheads have a bit of buzz going on right now, so they might be headed for a next-big-thing deal, or they might just wind up another band that was supposed to be the next-big-thing.

Here's a picture of two of the guys rockin' out:

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The band had really great onstage banter, like the clever stuff the Beatles said in "Help!" And I'm sure that Genevieve wants you to know that the Futureheads had a roadie, and that she found him to be a good looking fellow. Judge for yourself:

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After the show Genevieve and I found ourselves walking down a quiet Hoboken street alongside a member of the Futureheads that we'll call "the tall one." Genevieve asked him a question or two about the roadie, and he answered with some clever North England expression, then ran off into a park and peed on a tree. True story.

Man. What a vain and foolish thing Steady Mobbin' is.

Sunday In the evening I went and had a fine dinner at Joe's house. Once dinner was over, the lights were turned down low, the mirror ball was turned on, and sweet music ("Total Eclipse of the Heart") filled the room. Awkward slow dancing ensued. Here we've got a "what's going on here?" no-flash account of the dancing and a "Oh, that's what's going on" flash version.

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Friday, November 05, 2004

Best Unpublished Concert Review of the Week

Here’s the “review” I wrote for the school paper of the Walkmen concert I went to last week. Turns out there wasn’t enough room in the paper for this article (probably because of the 900+ words I wrote on the Incredibles and Iron Giant that we did punish) so this is the first this review has ever been available to “the public.”

I think it comes off as overly negative, that was my “angle”, I guess. To their credit, the Walkmen were rather tight and performed rather well . . . I really, really like their drummer. There was just something off about the show, and the whole short first set/three encores deal was a part of what was very wrong about the show—along with all the screaming their singer did. Seriously, he screamed so much (Heavenly Martini “Jack the Ripper” style, if that means anything to you) and after every song he gestured to the sound guy to turn his vocals up. Trust me dude, we heard you, you didn’t need to keep turning it up.

There was this Concert that I Went To
by Brigham Barnes

Rock band the Walkmen dared their audience to ask “When is an encore not really an encore?” Friday night at Webster Hall show. Despite a strong repertoire to draw songs from, the band dashed through a rather lackluster 45 minute set where the band’s lead singer sure screamed a lot more than I remember him needing to on any of their albums, topping the night off with succinct renditions of their biggest “hits”, “We’ve Been Had” and “the Rat” before calling it a night. The band left the stage momentarily, the audience remained in relative silence waiting for the obligatory encore, and I can only imagine that the following scene took place behind stage:

Walkman One: “Hey, what time is it?”
Walkman Two: “Let me look at my watch . . . aw, no way! It’s 10:30!”
Walkman Three: “A rock concert can’t end at 10:30, can it?”
Walkman One: “No! We’d better get out there and play some more songs.”

And so the band returned to the stage to play about four more songs, ending their set with a cover of the Cramps’ “Green Fuzz,” probably the only song of the evening to make me go “Hey, that’s kind of cool.” Then the band left the stage, probably a little happier with themselves for having taken up a more reasonable amount of our time. At this time, most of the audience started to leave, but oddly, the house lights didn’t come up. To the experienced concert-goer, this can only mean one thing. Backstage, the Walkmen were having a conversation something like this:

Walkman One: “All right! Now we’ve officially played for an hour!”
Walkman Two: “Man, those kids loved us out there!”
Walkman Three: “Well, there’s only one thing we can do now . . . “
Walkman One: “Yes, time for our real encore!!”

And so the Walkmen returned to the stage—the sight of this causes the departing crowd to rush back into the concert hall. Walkman One says “Here’s an old song from our first album” or something like that and they play a song where he mostly screams, if I remember correctly. It was more along the lines of something you endure. When the song ended, Walkman One says “So that’s what you get for your twenty bucks” or something like that, you know, to make us aware of how much money we had spent on some seriously underwhelming rock and roll.

So the crowd starts to depart again, even if the house lights haven’t come up and no one has started to take any instruments down, I make it all the way to the lobby before I can hear that the band is playing another encore. I imagine a conversation like this had occurred:

Walkman One: “Well, our encore seemed to go real well. The fans love it when we play our old stuff.”
Walkman Two: “Uhm, you’re talking about the song we just played, right? Not the mini-set we played before it, right?”
Walkman One: “Yeah, that’s right.”
Walkman Three: “You know, since everyone liked us so much, why don’t we play . . .”
Walkman One: “A third, or second encore (depending on how you look at it)? All right!!”

And so the Walkmen took to the stage once more, but I was in the lobby and “missed it.” Word got to me that the band announced that they were tying their personal record for “most encores” – I’m just glad I was blocks away from Webster Hall before I could find out if they had broken their record for most encores or not.

Since I don't have anywhere else to say this, let me say it here: Monday night I went and saw this movie, "800 Bullets", from Spain. It came out in 2002 and played at a few festivals or whatever but was never picked up for general US distribution. I read numerous reviews by film geeks losing their minds over this thing, so when I heard it was playing for a week here in NYC at the Clearview Cinema Latino, I went to check it out. Turns out I was about the only person interested in it, because I was the lone ticket buyer for the 9 PM showing. Sort of a very odd feeling, watching a movie all by yourself in a giant theater. Even worse, there was only one screen at the whole place, so basically the entire staff had to stay (as late as they should have stayed) because of me. Movie was pretty good, for a movie about a Spanish boy who runs away from home to meet his stuntman Grandfather, but it had that odd feel of a movie meant to be popular in another country--(this is in no way a legitimate criticism)--most of the jokes and the twists of the movie just weren't made for Americans, even snobby foreign film fan Americans. This movie isn't a "foreign film" in the sophisticated sense of the word, it's just a popular movie of another country. A solid 3 stars, but you aren't missing anything if you never see it. Of note: the Spanish in this movie? Some of the foulest language I've heard in any film. Kept me cracking up.

And why don't I cram a third "review" in here. Last night I rented Pieces of April, the movie from last year about hipster Katie Holmes making Thanksgiving Dinner for her whole family. I liked it plenty. What it had going for it is that it told the story it had to tell, tossed in only one or two subplots, and didn't try to do any more than that. A nice enough little movie with some really funny moments and a bit of heart. No complaints.

Tambien Dejame decir "Hola!" a La Familia Santo Roble. You guys are making this place blow up. You know what, let me say "Hola" to all the Moms, Dads, Brothers, and Sisters of my friends who visit Steady Mobbin' in general. It is true. I am as cool as I seem.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Best Pun of the Week (a.k.a. "I Love it When You Call Me Beard Papa")

Brigham Barnes here, reporting on what have to be about the two hottest things right now. First, feeding the missionaries. It's just gotten so popular lately, it's like, you're simply not cool if you're not inviting the missionaries over for food--be it home cooked or delivered. As I gave the work a shot myself only, uhm, seven or eight years ago (how did that happen?) it warms my heart to see so many eager to fill their bellies.

Secondly, everyone who is anyone is talking about Beard Papa, the Japanese cream-puff sensation that is sweeping the nation . . . and by "sweeping the nation" I mean, there are like 3 Beard Papa stores in New York City now. These white and yellow havens of pastry goodness sell only one thing: Beard Papa creampuffs. And as far as creampuffs go, they're pretty good. Not like I've eaten many disgusting creampuffs in my day. And why is it called Beard Papa? Well, their logo is some guy that looks like Ernest Hemingway wearing a yellow hat and smoking a pipe. That must have something to do with it. Learn more at the official Beard Papa website.

Last night these two out of control sensations came together on Christopher Street in an apartment above Ty's Bar. Look carefully and you'll see Beard Papa hard at work in these photos, but they aren't really total in-your-face "we love creampuffs!" sorts of photos.

Electroclash Karisa and Kristin Mills and a box of Beard Papas. Genius award goes to KLH for quipping "I love it when you call me Beard Papa" (Don't get it? Click.)
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Me, the Elders, and some Beard Papa action.
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Seriously, though. It's like I'll blog about anything.

Steady Mobbin' Internacional

You read my blog. I read my site meter. And according to my site meter, in this past week I've been getting visits from IP addresses that call the "Central European Time Zone", "Nome Time" (New Zealand), and earlier there was one from China or something, but I can't seem to find it right now. So, anyway, many posts ago when I first got my site meter I promised a prize for my first international visitors. (It'd be helpful if I hyperlinked to that post, maybe later, it was about a month ago) So, my foreign friends, if you like prizes, let me know. Also, for all you Big Brother types who might be freaking out right now, don't. I can't tell who is reading my page, the meter just tells me what IPs are passing through my little domain. Besides, it's not like I haven't shared anything about myself with you.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Best Attempt at Trying to Explain Why I Love Something

Here's what I wrote for the law school paper this week on the Incredibles and the Iron Giant. The main idea here is: The Incredibles will undoubtedly be awesome because Brad Bird is making it, and he made the Iron Giant, and the Iron Giant is best. If you want to read that idea over and over again, please, have at these 900 or so words.

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The Incredibles and the Iron Giant

You really don’t need much more of a reason to see “The Incredibles” (opening this Friday) other than that it’s a Pixar film. By now, we’ve all pretty much caught on that Pixar = Definitely Going to Be Great. “The Incredibles” distinguishes itself from the other Pixar films (The Toy Stories, A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo) in that it’s the first Pixar movie to star people . . . well, computer animated people, but people none the less. Add on top of this that these people are superheroes and, hey, it’s bound to be good right? (Law School Bonus: The film begins with all the superheroes being forced out of business because of all the litigation they’re getting dragged into because of the destruction that comes hand-in-hand with superheroing). Aside from the premise of the film and the production company involved, I can think of two extremely good reasons to see this movie as soon as possible.

First off, the trailer for the next Star Wars movie (Episode III: Revenge of the Sith) is going to be premiering with the film and, for those of us who’s faith in Star Wars wasn’t mortally wounded by “The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones”, this is something to be very excited for, an added bonus to the awesomeness that the Incredibles promises.

The other (and far better) reason to see the Incredibles? It was written and directed by Brad Bird. Well, one could say “Brad Bird is a writer and director of animated features who hasn’t had a movie come out for five years” or one could say “Brad Bird wrote and directed “The Iron Giant”” Now, from what I’ve experienced, mentioning the Iron Giant provokes one of two responses, either an “The Iron Giant, what’s that?” or “The Iron Giant?! That was a great movie!” If your response to mentioning the Iron Giant would fall with the latter, then you have no more to read--the man behind the Iron Giant is the man behind the Incredibles, now get to a theater. If your response would be included with the former category, please, continue reading if you like to read about great movies.

Released by Warner Brothers Animation in 1999 with next to no marketing to support it, the Iron Giant is easily the best animated film about a boy and his giant robot and arguably the best animated movie ever made. I know that’s quite the claim to make, but I don’t make it lightly. While I would just suggest (insist, in fact) that you just rent the movie to see how great it is, that’s not good journalism, so let me try to explain.

The Iron Giant is set in Maine during the duck and cover days of 1957 when all of America, particularly the coastal town where the movie takes place, is worried about Sputnik, the Russians, and the Bomb. The film’s main character, Hogarth Hughes, is the lonesome and awkward son of Annie Hughes (voiced by Jennifer Aniston, really), a Korean-War widow who works at the local diner. Hogarth’s the sort of kid who just can’t make friends at school whose Mom won’t let him get a pet, so he turns to science fiction movies and comic books for the friendship and entertainment he’s missing in real life. One night, while home alone, Hogarth discovers that his house’s antenna has been eaten . . . further investigation into what happened to the antenna leads Hogarth to discover, well, a gigantic robot (that would be the titular “Iron Giant”, voiced by Vin Diesel, really) living in the woods near his home.

The ensuing story involves Hogarth befriending the giant robot, trying to figure out where he came from, and engaging in E.T.-ish antics to hide the Iron Giant from his mother and from Kent Mansley, a G-man who has come to Hogarth’s town to investigate reported giant robot sightings (what, you expect a giant robot to show up in the town and Hogarth’s going to be the only person who notices?) Lessons are learned, thrills are had, laughter occurs, etc. etc.

While my plot synopsis might not win everyone over, you’re sure to find that watching the Iron Giant is no struggle. Like all great films (animated or live action) the Iron Giant has a soul which slowly wins you over as the characters become more and more real and their story more and more captivating. The film’s final act is thrilling, heart-stopping, and thoroughly unforgettable and I simply cannot recommend a movie more than I recommend the Iron Giant. It’s a shame that Warner Brothers never gave this movie much of a chance when it was released, it’s easy to imagine this film eventually earning the universal praise and recognition it deserves.

In light of how magnificently well Mr. Bird handled a film about a giant robot, I can’t wait to see what he manages to do with a movie about a family of superheroes. While I can’t imagine the Incredibles possessing the same amount of pathos as the Iron Giant (I’m being serious here), I’d loved to be proven wrong—this week there isn’t a movie I couldn’t be looking forward to more than the Incredibles, and there isn’t a movie I could recommend renting more than I recommend the Iron Giant.

What I didn't know when I was writing that article is that the Iron Giant Special Edition DVD is finally coming out on November 16! 8 Deleted Scenes? Oh man, that's cool.
And here's another reason that the Incredibles will be great: Sarah Vowell is voicing one of the characters, very interesting.
The Onion AV Club has a great interview with Brad Bird this week. You really ought to be read it. His consultant job on the Simpsons and everything sounds like about the greatest job there is in the universe.
Oh geeze I totally almost forgot. Like about a month and a half ago a very genius inside source at Warner Brothers sent me an original Iron Giant theatrical poster. It was pretty much the "Viva Tacos!" of September 2004. It's the same as the image up top and patiently awaits a proper framing--it deserves nothing else.

Best "What?!" of the Day

So, yeah, it's election day and I just received my big surprise for the day, and it has nothing to do with John Kerry or George Bush. I get these emails from Ticketmaster all the time with subjects like: "Don't Miss: Pedro the Lion Next Wednesday" that I tend to delete right away. Today I got a "Don't Miss: Modest Mouse next Tuesday" -- usually I'd delete such a thing, but I clicked it only to discover that Modest Mouse's opening band? The Buff Medways, a.k.a. Billy Childish's latest band who, as far as I know (and, on topics like this, I know pretty far) have never played in the US before. And while, in my book, the more traditional rock of the Medways has nothing on Thee Headcoats or Thee Mighty Caesars -- I find myself very close to buying tickets to a Modest Mouse concert. This is a lot like the time I went to see Dido because Travis was opening (whatever happened to Travis, anyway? I guess Coldplay went totally N*Sync on their Backstreet Boy). Still, I don't know Modest Mouse well, but I do know that they're better than Dido.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Best Consolidation of Weekend Into One Post

I spent all of last week posting about the weekend. Not going to do that again this week. Here, in one single post, is what happened this weekend. Wait, I take it back, later this week I'm going to post about the Walkmen show I went to last Friday. Okay, here, in one single post, is everything that happened over the weekend, not counting the Walkmen, which I'll post about later.

Saturday got off to an exciting start when I got a call from good old Sommer saying she was in the city and wanted to eat sushi. I only just recently found out that Sommer was living in New Haven, and I was doubly surprised to find her in my city. So we ate at the fabulously affordable West Side Sushi and talked about what we'd do the next time she was in town. Also, I met her roommate, Natalie, who took this photo of Sommer and I.

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Later on I went to my first Halloween party of the night, a party for kids in Brooklyn that Patricia and Laura were throwing. There I discovered that little kids who I don't know make me really nervous. Who'd've guessed?

Margie and some cool kid:

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Patricia and Cassandra, no little kids:

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Then it was time for the "grown up" Halloween party. Hmm. Yawn. Just a little. But a good effort was made by all parties involved. Here's your pre-party shot of Joe as Cowboy, Karisa as Mother Karisa, Me as Butt-rocker, and Sariah as Holly Golightly.

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Out on the street we catch a glimpse of master thief Keri in town from DC for troublemaking and heartbreaking.

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Up at the party I take some pictures, but not many. For example, here we see SJ as TMNT:

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Bryant, Don, and Brooke:

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Jason as the Joker, wait, no, Spider-Man:

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Ryan and Ammon:

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Yeah, it would've been hard to stretch that over more than one day. What'd you expect? This isn't polaroidscene. (Quite possibly my greatest understatement ever)