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September 2008 Archives

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HOW BACON IS LIKE R.E.M.

Blogger Michael Nagrant has an amusing post over at Serious Eats about the soul-crushing overpopularity of bacon. In the old days, having a bacon fetish was an endearing eccentricity reserved for affable kooks like Dan Philips of the Grateful Palate.

As Nagrant explains, “About 10 years ago because of cholesterol concerns and all that, the love for [bacon] was a bit underground. It was like loving Murmur-era, ‘Radio Free Europe,’ Athens, Georgia, R.E.M. But during the last five years or so, the love for bacon became a gluttonous free-for-all. It was like when the album Out of Time came out, and damn if you didn’t lose your religion regarding Michael Stipe. These days bacon’s covered in chocolate and it’s deep-fried. Bacon’s bigger than the Jonas Brothers. Hell, it is the Jonas Brothers of food products.

September 18, 2008 More Food Snobbery »

BRIAN WILSON ENDORSES MCCAIN

Rare is the Brian Wilson interview in which the old Beach Boy speaks in anything but banalities about God, the surf, the sun, Phil Spector, the Four Freshmen, and “the music in my head.” But Ben Marshall somehow got more out of Wilson in his brief interview in the October issue of Uncut.

Pressed to name his favorite rap song, Wilson pretty much disowns the genre, saying “I don’t need to listen to music that brings me down with negative thoughts. I prefer to listen to music that makes me happy.” (Let’s get him some old-school Digital Underground!)

Asked what qualities he inherited from each parent, he says “Well, my mother gave me love. My father gave me big, hot balls... He’s tell me to write No. 1 hits, and I did.” (For more on Murry Wilson, watch this.)

And when polled about his presidential preference, Wilson responds, “McCain. John McCain. He has a good smile. He is a good man, I think.”

September 16, 2008 More Rock Snobbery »

“YACHT ROCK” AUTEUR TO SCREEN IN NYC

David Kamp writes...

In 2005, I fell in love with a no-budget Web series called Yacht Rock, which debuted on the Channel 101 site and purported to tell the stories of such smooth-pop titans of the late ’70s and early ’80s as Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, the Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, and Hall & Oates.

In no time, Yacht Rock became, in short order, an underground phenomenon, an overground phenomenon, a New York Times-approved neologism, and a Web meme with its own Wikipedia entry. McDonald and Steely Dan, good sports, even paid tribute to the Web series by doing an encore to a show wearing captain’s hats.

I’ve become e-mail-friendly with Yacht Rock’s creative force, JD Ryznar, who alerts me that he is road-showing Yacht Rock and will be screening its webisodes this Sunday evening, September 14, at an East Village saloon called Professor Thom’s. I plan on being there and finally meeting JD in person.

I might add that Ryznar, a droll Polish-American from Muskegon, Michigan, has a wonderful verité series running on YouTube now called Visits with JD Ryznar, in which fellow Channel 101 “stars” join him at his wood-paneled pad in greater L.A. and more or less eat, drink, talk, and vegetate. Probably 75 percent of the pleasure I take in this show is predicated on already knowing these guys from Channel 101, but, aside from that, Visits is actually a sweet, authentic, and occasionally touching (seriously!) glimpse into the lives and friendships of creative but physically inactive white guys in their late twenties and thirties.

September 11, 2008 More Rock Snobbery »

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