Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Hold Steady!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


So, alright, it's my birthday, hepcats!
Every year since 1992 (my, um, eight birthday?), I've listened to this one song at 12:01 am on 28 January (shout out to our European readers - 5 per cent at last count!).
So, this is my gift to you. Now you get to hear it too. And see it, through the magic of internet!

So now all you have to do is come back here every year, search for this post, and it will be like WE ARE WATCHING THIS VIDEO TOGETHER. Except I'll probably be passed out in a pool of vomit and scotch. So get here early!

Still working on The Most Awesome Thing ever, but in the meantime we're going to put another movie in the Crappy Movie Compendium. Look forward to that, hepcats. It is your destiny.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Wassup Hepcats!
So I've mentioned earlier that one of the highlights of the last year was being approved as a commenter on Deadspin. I know I know, sad, right. But if you enjoy sports + comedy + obscure allusions, and if you are here I bet you like two of the three, the Deadspin comments section should be right up your alley.
I don't have a star yet, so I guess I'm the Bobby Moynihan to the Will Fortes there. Which is kind of depressing to think of that way.
Anyway, here are some choice comment threads today from a story that featured an email from a dude who was pissed about one author's liberal slant, and another fully in favor of a whites only basketball league.

The 1st email:

I get it, you hate conservatives. I get it, you think we are all greedy, inbred, bible thumping troglodytes who want to kill off gays, whales and everyone who is darker then Bronson Pinochette (we are all secret fans of his wholesomely delightful Cousin Balky character). Thanks for sharing that opinion. It is a very novel and courageous stance to take in your field of employment. But please, every now and then, just shut the fuck up and tell me a biting and humorous story about Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods banging every $10K per hour hooker in Vegas without referencing George W. Bush or Sarah Palin.

The comments:

I'd certainly remember making a doozy of a Freudian slip like "Bronson Pinochette."

It was a simple mistake, Craggs. I think he was referring to the time you referenced Who's the Boss? star, Suhartony Danza.  

@MattinglysSideburns: Holy Crap. Young commenters, pay attention -- This is how you do it.  


You are on fire today.  

@Phintastic: Can someone explain it for the rest of us? I even tried Google :(

@IamScarletSimmons: He's referring to (former) Indonesian President Suharto.

/Read a book.

@Step aside, Son: I got that, but who's Tony Danza?  

@IamScarletSimmons: Suharto was an Indonesian president who initiated and oversaw a genocide of his own people.

@IamScarletSimmons: He was an actor who oversaw the genocide of Danny Pintauro's budding career. Reply

@MattinglysSideburns: +1.

Surprisingly, Alyssa Milano was not involved. Reply

@Step aside, Son:

+ 1 closet to later come out of Reply

@MarkKelsosMigraine: Is it possible to retire from the show if you're just a bat boy? Reply
The 2nd email:

I am with you 1 hundred per cent.............then maybe they can have 99 per cent black's.............sitting in the stand's watching them play...................NOT...............98 per cent black's are playing now............with 99 per cent...........stupid white people paying they're outrageous salary's........while they bitch and moan..........and all they want is a white wife............form the league..........I'll assure you, you'll draw a crowd...........I guarantee you I will be there.....................good luck...............steve in florida

The comments:

MarkKelsosMigraine 01/22/10

..while they bitch and moan..........and all they want is a white wife............form the league..........I'll assure you, you'll draw a crowd

This was written by the bastard son of Samuel Beckett and Phyllis Schlafly.

@MarkKelsosMigraine: You should have seen the version he wrote like James Joyce:

"I am with you 1 hundred per cent yes then maybe they can have 99 per cent black's yes and how sitting in the stand's watching them play yes and NOT then he asked me would 98 per cent black's are playing now yes and stupid white people paying they're outrageous salary's yes and while they bitch and moan yes I said yes and all they want is a white wife. Yes." Reply

@Weed Against Speed: I liked the Raymond Carver version as well.
"I am with you 1 hundred per cent. I smoked. Maybe 99 per cent black's in the stands, drinking coffee. Stupid white people. They smoked. All they want is a white wife. The car drove off."  

@GuidedByVodka: The Carver was a rip-off of Hemingway. And it was 75% Gordon Lish, anyway. Looking through my library, I come upon the Hemingway original:

""I am with you 1 hundred per cent. I smoked. Maybe 99 per cent black's in the stands, drinking coffee. Stupid white people. They smoked. All they want is a white wife. The car drove off. In the rain."  

@Charisma: +1 J.D. Salinger  

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Comedy is Funny!

Wassup Hepcats!
So we're big fans of the comedy here at AH. We do enjoy the laffs.
Sunday night I had the pleasure of viewing Aziz Ansari's new comedy/laffs special, "Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening". I watched the Secret Stash version that aired later on Comedy Central, so as not to miss any dick jokes that were integral to the plot.
I must tell you, hepcats, I haven't laughed that hard in quite a while. I as afraid I was gonna wake up Mrs. Hepster and the twinnies. Here's a clip (hint: click on the thing that says "video"):

It got me to thinking about other comedy specials I've enjoyed in recent years.
What follows is in no way definitive, just some talented individuals who brought the ha-ha's with a great degree of regularity.

In the order I thought of them:


First caught him on a Comedy Central half hour special on at 10 in the morning during The Bad Time (i.e. 2003-4). I loved it, and it takes a lot to make me laugh at 10 in the morning. I know we tend to lionize the dead in this day and age, but this guy really was special. Comparisons to Steven Wright aren't too far off, but Hedberg was little more out there.

A FAVORITE JOKE/BIT: Last week I helped my friend stay put. It's a lot easier'n helpin' 'em move. I just went over to his house and made sure that he did not start to load shit into a truck.

Mike Birbiglia - Celebrity Golf Tournament

Joke of the Day
Stand-Up Comedy
Free Online Games

Birbiglia is one of those comedians who "tells stories" instead of "making jokes". In spite of this, he's still really fucking funny. He's on "This American Life" a lot, which is good, because he makes up for the fact that they forgot that David Sedaris hasn't been funny in 10 years.

A FAVORITE JOKE/BIT: "I know, I'm in the future also" is hard to top. I've been trying to rip that off in regular conversation for years. I also love this: When I go to bed at night, it's like a different human being that enters my body for the night shift. I call my guy Sleepy Carl -- that's my guy. And he's a terrible employee, but he's a great dude. He's always slobbering on my pillow and muttering about Vietnam, but then he'll try to talk me out of waking up with his great plans. He'll be like, 'Why would you go out there when you could stay here and ride on a ferris wheel made of pizza?'

He's like a big movie star and stuff now, but for us comedy nerds Patton will always be the guy who turned us on to "Death Bed: The Bed That Eats People".

A FAVORITE JOKE/BIT:  I'm not gonna print the whole thing here, it doesn't translate well to print. But it involves the phrase "I"m gonna fill your hoo-hah with goof juice", and is the best commentary on corporate television hypocrisy ever.
Oh, fine, here:

That's all for now, Hepcats, we'll have to do this again.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Aging Hepster: Song Detective!

Wassup Hepcats,
Like most of you, I was going to sleep last night and I saw that "Watchmen" was about to start on HBO. "Watchmen" has somehow entered into the pantheon of movies that I can always put on, and kinda get sucked into. Or fall asleep to.
So I switch over, and it hasn't started yet, cuz "Big Love" is running late or maybe I was just early because goblins took my watch (according to one of the twinnies). Anyway, "Big Love" is on. Is ending. And this song is playing as Chloe Sevingny is crying, and then the credits, and hepcats, I fucking FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS SONG. It sounded like Arcade Fire had a baby with MGMT or some other lame "had a baby with" mixture (which is really annoying, and I hate when people do it, because there are like 7 people in Arcade Fire and two in MGMT and WHO'S HAVING THE BABY?) (also hate when people describe something as "on acid". You've never done acid, just stop it).
I didn't know who it was, or anything about it, and the forums at AdTunes, where I would normally go to find something like this out, had nothing.
So I put on my Aging Hepster: Song Detective! hat! AND!
Found it!

Only took like twenty minutes and wearing the FUCK out of my DVR. So now we're all happy and I fell asleep during "Watchmen", but before Malin Ackerman got naked.

If you have a question for Aging Hepster: Song Detective!, email us at There is no charge for this valuable service.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Thank you, hepcats!

Y'all made yesterday our biggest day since AH started. I haven't checked Google Analytics yet, but I'm guessing only like 20 percent of you were looking for pix of naked ladies. And some of you even clicked on ads!* Awesome!

*Really, though, you can do that. It's allowed. You can still retain your indie cred, I ain't tellin nobody.

In response, I'll give you a sneak peek of the list I'm working on, which I keep telling you is GONNA BLOW YR MIND, even though it will probably generate 1/3 of the hits anything with "best of" gets. But I'm excited.


Make of that what you will. 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Top 100 Albums of the Aughties: 25 - 1

Wassup hepcats!

OK, kids, it's been real. And now, as promised, we gonna end this "Best of the Aughties" lunacy, so that we may get back to quantifying our enjoyment of things in different and entertaining ways. Also, with lists!

In the recent past: 50 - 26.

And now!

25. Give Up (2003)
The Postal Service
Best jam: "Nothing Better"

And yes, Owl City totally ripped them off, so can we stop talking about that? YOU'RE LETTING THE TERRORISTS WIN.

24. Satellite Rides (2001)
Old 97's
Best jam: "Buick City Complex"

Fun fact: I'm a good speller, hepcats, really good. Terrible typist, but good speller. But I couldn't spell "satellite" without spellcheck if I had an elephant gun pointed at my testes.

23. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (2007)
Best jam: "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb"

Worst album title ever? Maybe. This album makes me think of the phrase "tasty licks" for some reason. I'm gonna have to start saying "tasty licks" more. Not in that way, sickos.

22. Welcome Interstate Managers (2003)
Fountains of Wayne
Best jam: "A Bright Future in Sales"

I was living in Austin when they were filming "Office Space", working room service at a hotel with a TGI Friday's. The rumor was they were going to film some scenes for this Jennifer Aniston movie in our restaurant. Well, they ended up using the OTHER Friday's, across town. Which means Jennifer Aniston never met me and fell madly in love, which, let's face it, sucks for her. I would have paid more attention to her than to Twitter, I can tell you that right now.
Which is to say this album reminds me of "Office Space".

21. More Adventurous (2004)
Rilo Kiley
Best jam: "Portions for Foxes"

I miss lyric sheets. I was reading the lyrics to this album the first time I listened to the CD (remember, guys?), and when I got to the end of "Does He Love You?" I almost spit out beer and had to go back to the beginning. I know you can find lyrics online and stuff now, but whatever. This was a change for the worse.

20. The Airing of Grievances (2009)
Titus Andronicus
Best jam: "Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, NJ"

"My Time Outside the Womb" is good, too.We need some noise, once in a while.

19. Vampire Weekend (2008)
Vampire Weekend
Best jam: "Walcott"

The lead singer of Vampire Weekend looks like a Disney cartoon. He's got Disney eyes. I think that's mostly the reason for the backlash against this band: Disney eyes.

18. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)
Flaming Lips
Best jam: "Fight Test"

My friend really hates the Scientologists, and somehow now he's gotten the Flaming Lips mixed up in that whole thing. I forget what the reason was, I was kinda drunk when we were talking about it, but I think it something to do with them being friends with Beck. See, what I forgot to say at the time is that the Lips and Beck are in a feud. They are feuding. So I declare The Flaming Lips innocent of any Scientology related crimes.

17. Is This It (2001)
The Strokes
Best jam: "Barely Legal"

This album came out when I was 25, living in an apartment just off Hollywood Blvd, single for the first time since I was a teenager. We'd walk to the corner to go to Goldfinger's, or cross the street to hit Boardner's, go to Beauty Bar or Star Shoes if we were feeling trendy. Sometimes just walk around and wander into a seedy strip club or two. It will always remind me of youthful debauchery. And cocaine.

16. The Crane Wife (2006)
The Decemberists
Best jam: "The Crane Wife 1 & 2"

I think I've mentioned this before, but concept albums are always disappointing. You read about it and it sounds cool, but when you listen to it, you would have no idea it was a concept album without that prior knowledge, and like three songs mention someone named "Icarus" or something lame like that. But this is a good one. Plus the cover cracks me up.

15. Neon Bible (2007)
The Arcade Fire
Best jam: "(Antichrist Television Blues)"

My friend gave this album a two word review: "Impossibly good". I always think of that when I listen to it. And then think about Win Butler stealing some guy's basketball. And it makes me sad. It's still really good, but the frontman's basketball stealing ways may have cost it a spot in the top ten. Justice!

14. Elephant (2003)
The White Stripes
Best jam: "The Hardest Button to Button"

People slag on Meg White's drumming. I'm gonna be honest here, hepcats, I consider myself a knowledgeable music fan, but I wouldn't know a good drummer if it bit me on the heinie. Which would be weird if that happened, right? Dave Grohl is supposedly good.

13. Fever To Tell (2003)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Best jam: "Maps"

Yeah Yeah Yeahs is a really good name for a band. I used to keep a list of good band names, just in case. I feel like I had Yeah Yeah Yeahs on there at some point. Right after The Cool Monkey Heads, I think.

12. The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter (2007)
Josh Ritter
Best jam: "To the Dogs or Whoever"

This album here, I liked a fair amount when I bought it. I would listen to it every now and then, once a week or so. Normal for an album I like a fair amount, once a week or so for approximately six weeks. But this one I never...really..stopped. I realized like 4 months in that I had it pretty much memorized. That fucker snuck up on me!

11. Pneumonia (2001)
Best jam: "Mirror, Mirror"

I bought this CD (remember, guys?) from Amazon (those were the days, right, guys?) the same day I bought "Satellite Rides", which if you recall was number 24 on our list. Good day for Timmy, in terms of purchasing music!

10. Lifted, or, The Story Is In The Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground (2002)
Bright Eyes
Best jam: "Let's Not Shit Ourselves (To Love and to Be Loved)"

Now THIS one, I hated when I first listened to it. I thought it was pretentious, unlistenable. I think I was pretty broke or something and couldn't afford records at the time, though, so it kinda stuck in my Discman (retro!), and then I was listening to it while reading the lyrics, and then I was listening to it all the time, and that, my friends, is how you become Artist of the Decade. You make sure your fans are too broke to buy anyone else's records.

9. Feed the Animals (2008)
Girl Talk
Best jam: Not really applicable to this record here, I guess you could say The Whole Thing

Finally, an album that combines 2 of my passions, DJ culture and hard core hip-hop! Naw, you know that's jokes, hepcats, but all you have to know about this is that at one point Jay-Z is rapping over "Paranoid Android". It it sounds FUCKING SWEET.

8. Transatlanticism (2003)
Death Cab for Cutie
Best jam: "Tranatlanticism"

Or, Music to Recover From a Near Death Experience To. Probably the low point in my life (so far!), recuperating from getting hit by a fucking truck, winter settling in, back in New England. This made it a little easier.

7. Twin Cinema (2005)
The New Pornographers
Best jam: "Sing Me Spanish Techno"

I think to really enjoy this record fully, you need a summer day and a convertible. And good speakers, because if you're on the highway in a convertible, it can be hard to really hear anything. And your hair gets all messed up. Plus sometimes, even on a hot day, it can make you kinda chilly. Don't take your convertible on the highway, I guess is what I'm saying here.

6. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)
Best jam: "Jesus, Etc."

Ha ha! Fuck you, Warner Music Group! Bet you never thought this album would make it into a Best of the Decade review in a format you hadn't heard of in 2001!

5. Middle Cyclone (2009)
Neko Case
Best jam: "People Got a Lotta Nerve"

Not really a concept album, but there is a definite theme. And that theme is: don't fuck with nature, Jack. Badass. "Red Tide" makes me kinda queasy, though. Sea life and stuff, gross, right? Barnacles make me throw up sort of.

4. Gold (2001)
Ryan Adams
Best jam: "Harder Now That It's Over"

I didn't have to look up what year this one came out. Those planes hit those buildings, and we were all looking for meaning in things, and the first single off the album had just been released and it was "New York, New York". And we music snobs, we don't like people finding out about our people, we don't want them to succeed, not really, but this time we were okay with it. And it never really happened, but I think most people liked the song. And Ryan Adams went back to being the guy we would see at 7-11 in the middle of the night, looking at pictures of himself in magazines. (I mean that affectionately, it was AWESOME seeing that. I totally would do the same thing if I were ever in Entertainment Weekly.)

3. Boys and Girls In America (2006)
The Hold Steady
Best jam: "Massive Nights"

Tinkly piano, tasty licks (yes!), and enough "whoa-oh-oh"s to choke a water buffalo, plus lyrics that combine smart and funny like nobody since Warren Zevon. This is good.

2. White Blood Cells (2001)
The White Stripes
Best jam: "Fell In Love With a Girl"

The runner up for Artist of the Decade, as well. Even though the drummer is (apparently) sub-par. I first heard the White Stripes on a mixtape (seriously, cassette - we're old!) from a girl I don't remember. The rest of the tape was okay, but I kept coming back the "Hotel Yorba". Which meant rewinding a whole bunch. We romanticize the past, hepcats, but the past sucked, mostly. Except for lyric sheets.

1. I'm Wide Awake It's Morning (2005)
Bright Eyes
Best jam: "Lua"

I almost feel instead of this nonsense I've been putting in these capsules, for this I should just include all the lyrics to this record, along with a note saying "And the music is gorgeous, too". But that would require a whole lot of copying and pasting. Formatting of some sort may be involved. So you can look them up if you want. But this is my favorite, from "Lua": "I know you have a heavy heart, I can feel it when we kiss/ So many men stronger than me have thrown their backs out trying to lift it/ But me I'm not a gamble/ you can count on me to split/ the love I sell you in the evening by the morning won't exist."

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Top 100 Albums of the Aughties: 50-26

Wassup again, hepcats!

OK, let's run through this, so we can get to the good stuff.

In the distant past: 75 - 51.

50. Two Suns (2009)

Bat for Lashes

Best jam: "Daniel"

49. Antics (2004)


Best jam: "Evil"

48. Stay Positive (2008)

The Hold Steady

Best jam: "Slapped Actress"

47. Digital Ash in a Digital Urn (2005)

Bright Eyes

Best jam: "Take It Easy (Love Nothing)"

46. Plans (2005)

Death Cab for Cutie

Best jam: "I Will Follow You Into the Dark"

45. The Black Parade (2006)

My Chemical Romance

Best jam: "Welcome to the Black Parade"

44. Fold Your Hands, Child, You Walk Like A Peasant (2000)

Belle and Sebastian

Best jam: "I Fought in a War"

43. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009)


Best jam: "Lisztomania"

42. Fleet Foxes (2008)

Fleet Foxes

Best jam: "White Winter Hymnal"

41. Re-Arrange Us (2008)

Mates of State

Best jam: "The Re-arranger"

40. Costello Music (2006)

The Fratellis

Best jam: "Chelsea Dagger"

39. The Rising (2002)

Bruce Springsteen

Best jam: "The Rising"

38. Franz Ferdinand (2004)

Franz Ferdinand

Best jam: "Take Me Out"

37. Separation Sunday (2005)

The Hold Steady

Best jam: "How a Resurrection Really Feels"

36. Heartbreaker  (2000)

Ryan Adams

Best jam: "Come Pick Me Up"

35. Hot Fuss (2004)

The Killers

Best jam: "Mr. Brightside"

34. Illinois (2005)

Sufjan Stevens

Best jam: "John Wayne Gacy, Jr." (I almost feel this song is too disturbing to call a "jam", but we're too far along to change the nomenclature now. Really good song, though.)

33. The Greatest (2006)

Cat Power

Best jam: "The Greatest"

32. Volume One (2008)

She And Him

Best Jam: "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?"

31. Kid A (2000)


Best jam: "The National Anthem"

30. Fortress 'Round My Heart (2009)

Ida Maria

Best jam: "Oh My God"

29. New Wave (2007)

Against Me!

Best jam: "Thrash Unreal"

28. Rooney (2003)


Best jam: "Sorry Sorry"

27. Oracular Spectacular (2008)


Best jam: "Kids"

26. The Sunset Tree (2005)

The Mountain Goats

Best jam: "This Year"

We'll finish this up tomorrow, hepcats. And then we'll start the Good Stuff.
(unless I decide to do some Best of 2009 lists. Do you want me to do that? Cuz I totally would if you want me to. I'm that kind of eblogger.)