Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sam's Top 50 Songs of 2009

50. I Was A King - Norman Bleik

49. Violens - Already Oslo (Lilys vs. Rod Coles Remix)

48. Slim Thug - Thug

47. Friendly Fires - I'm Good I'm Gone (Lykke Li cover)

46. Black Lips - The Drop I Hold feat. GZA

45. Crystal Antlers - Andrew

44. Lady Gaga - Paparazzi

43. Passion Pit - Sleepyhead

42. Jamie Foxx - Blame It

Richie Cunningham in yet another music video.

41. Phoenix - Fences (Friendly Fires Remix)

40. Make The Girl Dance - Baby Baby Baby

39. Young Money - Every Girl

38. U2 - Magnificent (Fred Falke Remix)

37. Annie - Anthonio (Berlin Breakdown Version)

36. Coldplay - Lost+ (with Jay-Z) (Live At the 51st Grammy Awards)

Purely for what has to be the first golf clap reception Jay-Z has ever received.

35. Crocodiles - Summer Of Hate

34. Regina Spektor - Blue Lips

33. Priors - What You Need (Extended)

32. VEGA - No Reasons

31. Clipse - I'm Good (Remix Feat. Rick Ross)

30. Voxtrot - Trepanation Party

29. LeToya - Regret (Feat. Ludacris)

28. Florence And The Machine - Cosmic Love

27. Sally Shapiro - Miracle

26. The-Dream – Rockin’ That Shit

25. Little Boots - New In Town

24. U.S.E. - All The World

23. St. Vincent – Marrow

I enjoy watching Annie Clark play guitar.

22. Modernaire - Faites Vos Jeux

21. Lily Allen - The Fear

20. Taylor Swift - You Belong With Me

19. The Cribs - We Were Aborted

18. Au Revoir Simone - All Or Nothing

17. Dirty Projectors + David Byrne - Knotty Pine

16. Drake – Best I Ever Had

15. Kid Cudi - Make Her Say (Feat. Kanye West & Common)

Visually my favorite music video this year.

14. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Heads Will Roll

13. St. Vincent - The Party

12. Maxwell - Pretty Wings

11. Gossip - Heavy Cross (Fred Falke Remix)

10. Phoenix - Lisztomania

A song about the difficulties of writing a hit song, which became a hit song that sounds so effortless.

9. The Cribs - We Share The Same Skies

8. Annie - I Don't Like Your Band

7. Jay-Z - Empire State Of Mind (Feat. Alicia Keys)

6. The Streets - Trust Me

The best UK garage hit released for free via twitter.

5. Raekwon - New Wu (Ft. Ghostface Killah & Method Man)

New Wu. Not in the sense that it's any different than the Wu-Tang of old we all know and love, rather it's the joy of experiencing the Wu-Tang Clan for the first time, all over again.

4. Annie - Songs Remind Me Of You

3. Girls - Lust For Life

2. St. Vincent - The Strangers

1. Phoenix - 1901

All the fundamental elements of my favorite songs this year jammed into electro/power-pop perfection.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sam's 9 Albums of 2009

#9. Au Revoir Simone - Still Night, Still Light

#8. Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II

#7. Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You

#6. The Cribs - Ignore The Ignorant

#5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!

#4. Girls - Album
#3. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

#2. St. Vincent - Actor

#1. Annie - Don't Stop / All Night EP

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Favorite Albums of the Decade

My friend Peter asked me to make this list so I thought I might as well do it up right and put it on charz2k since I haven't posted here in forevs.

This is weird. The "oughties" are ending. It's been a weird little decade for me. I guess I'm a child of the nineties. But the thing is, I'm an adult of the years 2000-2009. For the most part God's made it easy on me (if God actually controls any of this shit). But I've dealt with my fair share of adversity. I was a teenage punk rocker and that certainly doesn't make high school any easier. I've lost touch with many friends. I've given and received a broken heart. But I don't fucking care. If I could do it all over again I would. I'm a better, more mature person for it...I've learned a lot about myself...about my nature and the natures of others. And I've loved music all the while.

I've got good music memories of this decade. I've fallen in love to this music, I've fallen out of love to this music. I guess some of those memories are painful too...

Full disclosure: actually even through this decade I've mostly listened to music that was made before I was born!

Another actually: I always say things like this: "Yeah X is okay, but why wouldn't you listen to Y?" So, yeah this decade's music was okay...but I'd rather listen to things from 1979.

Before I continue let's get this out of the way (lots of caveats here, I know) - I don't think these are the best albums of the decade. Notice the lack of Kid A. These are my favorite albums of the decade. These are the albums that mean the most to me. Well, they're the albums that mean the most to me... that I could think of last night...I'm probably missing some and some probably don't deserve to be on here and this list is subject to change and I could put some more obscure things on here butyouwouldn'tknowthoseanyway so yes!

Heeeeeere we go! from last to first

15. Black Lips - Let It Bloom

Nothing too poignant about this thing for's just really good and slimy. It's just some dudes from the South making 60's type garage punk. They bleed on stage, they make out with each other, they get naked. I listened to this album a bunch and it was a cool, little revelation to me. It's like a new Nugget. It's fun. Derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! I think I wanna' get fffffudged up tonight because I just finished my finals......I have to be at work early tomorrow but...maybe we'll get Thai food for lunch...I think I get paid tomorrow...tomorrow could be a good day.

14. Nobunny - Love Visions

This was a recommendation from Eloy. His girlfriend is the drummer in Vivian Girls. He and I talked for hours after the Vivian Girls show down here in Houston. I remember the band that went on before Vivian Girls was like this goofy sub-Yoko Ono avant-garde from Houston. It was like No Wave Industrial noise but it was pretentious and uninteresting. The vocalist would say things like "Godddd! Fuuuuck!" into the microphone. I understand and appreciate shock value and dissonance as well as the next guy but give me a damn break.

Anyway, after talking to the Vivian Girls for a while I told Eloy I thought the opening band was terrible. "And I like DNA and Swans!" I added. He agreed and he expressed his love for DNA and Swans too. From that point we discovered we liked the exact same music. Oh man it was nerdy...we shared music recommendations all night! He also recommended a bunch of good punk bands I had (somehow) never heard before...oooohh and Hunx and His Punx who also just fucking kill it.

We said we'd keep in touch via Myspace but now I don't remember my password! Anyway, thanks Eloy!

Also one of the dudes in Ariel Pink asked me if I had any Fentanyl (I didn't because I'm not an 80-year-old lady with a broken hip and I will do a lot of shit but I'd rather stay away from heroin for fuck's sake so I'm not going to have recreational-use Fentanyl) ; this marked the second time some band guy had asked me for drugs.

13. Girls - Album

I know this is an album from this year. Maybe it won't have staying power, but as of now, I don't care. It's so emotionally raw and well-written. Are those journalist cliches? You should check out the songwriter's biography's ffffucked up! My favorite album of 2009 by miles. Worthy of the hype.

12. William Basinski - The Disintegration Loops

This guy is from Houston, I think. He makes loops and, as the story goes, he was converting old loops to an updated format when the tapes started to disintegrate. Did I mention he was doing this from atop his NYC apartment's roof as the World Trade Center collapsed. If you listen to the loops you can hear elements slowly fade out almost imperceptibly. There's a metaphor here, huh? RIP World Trade were the Qatsiest buildings I've ever seen.

11. J Dilla - Donuts

This shit is just ill. Jay killed himself later so there's a bunch of beautiful subtext to these tracks.

10. Electrelane - The Power Out

Awesome all-girl modern post-punk sound. Every song is immensely interesting and the collection of songs works wonderfully as an album. Eric and I always note that you can almost hear the guitar solos plucked out note by calculated note. This, we decided, is the result of a girl playing guitar. I'd rather hear these guitar things than Eric Fucking Crapton I'll tell you that! Eric Clapton, eat a bowl of dicks.

9. Super Furry Animals - Rings Around the World

I wish I had a gold tooth. Maybe when I'm 47 I can get one. Then when I die my skull will look like it's the skull of a bad ass. I mean it will be the skull of a bad ass...but without the gold toof how can you tell?

8. Belle and Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress

My introduction to this band. I listened to it when I was going through a bad breakup. For that reason it still plucks my heart straaangs. Damn that girl on the she hot or what?! Someone find her name for me. Don't let those stupid customers get you down, girl!

Mike Piazza is gay. There, I answered it for you. My dad used to love him (Piazza) but he's a big Dodgers fan and we're Italian and we Italians automatically love all famous Italians.

7. The Libertines - Up The Bracket

Punk fucking energy. It's got some artsy intelligence to it also which immediately bumps it up to post-punk status. They play the songs like they're falling down the stairs...Mark E. Smith's stairs. They're falling down Fall stairs.

6. Jim Noir - Tower of Love

Awesome songs on an awesome album composed by one man and a computer. It's not all faggy like other albums recorded by those methods. It's lush, poppy, self-deprecating and amazing. His other album, the eponymous one, is also straight up awesome. I remember watching the World Cup and they played "Eanie Meanie" from this album on a commercial. My brother and I were like "OK, Jim Noir's rich now!"

5. Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury

"You can tell me 'bout your day/ I'll pretend I'm listenin'/ And you ain't gotta' love me just be convincin'"

"I philosophize about glocks and keys/ niggas call me young, black Socrates"

"The news called it crack/ I called it Diet Coke"

This shit is like angry but it's reigned-in anger. It's all done through clenched teeth. It's intelligent rap about selling coke. Look at those lines...they're clever...about selling coke!

4. Adam Green - Friends of Mine

Sometimes I think I'm the only person in the world who likes this album. What's wrong with you bitches? Every song is catchy. All the lyrics are like randomly-compiled poetry. It's like "found art" in audio form with lyrics just cobbled together. Each song has a strong, yet obscured emotion at its heart.

3. Superdrag - In The Valley of Dying Stars

Honestly, this could easily be my number one. It probably means more to me than any of these other albums. This was the musical love of my life for a while. This is the album I bought when I saw them for the first time. I was expecting to be underwhelmed as I listened to old punk almost exclusively at that point, but I was blown away. I used to drop my high school girlfriend off at her house at like 3am and then I'd just drive around for an extra thirty minutes before going home so I could listen to this album.

2. The Exploding Hearts - Guitar Romantic

Derivative, yeah. But it's just punk you pussy. It's supposed to sound like that. I could never communicate how much I love this album. I'm sure I could employ some subitaneous reasoning and produce some sort of almost rational statement (inasmuch as an emotion statement can be considered rational) explaining my feelings for this album. But, I don't want to think about this too much. It's not an album that invites you to think. Just enjoy it! It's just everything you could ever want in a punk album. There, I said something! Happy now?! Why did this band die? Why is fucking Nickelback not dead yet? Why do I have an antagonistic relationship with the reader of this article?

1. The Strokes - Is This It?

I can't believe I'm choosing the same #1 as NME. Their list is terrible. In hindsight, I simply enjoyed this album more than I enjoyed any other album of the decade. I listened to this all the time back in the day. I chose the UK album art because it has a butt on it.

Let's try harder next decade!

with much much love,


Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The other night when we went to Valhalla, I thought that having a campus bar would have been a great addition to my four years at Wash U. We'd talked about trekking over to Rice to check this place out for a while, but now that summer's gone and the weather is reasonably cool at night, the mile-and-a-half walk was much more pleasant that it would have been had we not delayed. Why, weather aside, did we wait so long? First off, this place only takes cash and we never have any. Secondly, when you live in a modern American city in the southern part of the country, you get accustomed to, if nothing else, easy parking. Valhalla being on Rice University's campus, free and easy parking were not guaranteed. And, since we knew we'd rather walk than deal with what would at worst be a mildly confusing search for a parking space we could use without getting towed, we kept putting it off in favor of places with known easy parking, or bars that were within close walking distance.

Last Friday night, however, was different. We set out to get some beers, but with no plan in mind, our indecisiveness was becoming frustrating as we named places that we were tired of, had beer that was too expensive, or were otherwise uncool or unworthy. A few steps onto the sidewalk, and Danny stops. I stop.




"Oh shit"

So we went to Valhalla. The poorly-marked and hard-to-find subterranean watering hole at Rice where you can get a Lone Star for $0.95 or an Arrogant Bastard for $2.00. Were we dreaming? This place was surreal. The lighting was weird. The bartenders were a mix of middle-aged alumni and late-20's graduate students. The clientele looked like they all came from Wash U's Engineering school (forgive my stereotyping). A patron was even having a conversation with the bartender about chemistry...something about acids and bases. And it was pretty fantastic.

Valhalla made me wonder what Wash U would have been like if The Rat had been operational beyond freshman year. Could it have been a great place to have a few beers and some good conversation without leaving campus? Surely it wasn't always as bad as the night Thurtene tried to revive the place with the lure of some stupid free shot glasses that you had to dance like an idiot to get. I always liked the layout of The Rat, and resented replacement of the bar with Subway. Fuck Subway.

All told we spent a total of $23 between us to get pretty drunk on beer that wasn't bottom-tier. I can deal with the Rice nerds (after all, I dealt with Wash U nerds for four years), and since there's no undergraduate Business school, the douchebag contingent is surprisingly low. No bro is going to wander all the way into the center of Rice U for a few beers when Little Woodrow's, Baker St. and Bronx Bar are in the nearby Village. Valhalla, we'll be back.

Bears - 1.3; cash only,
Anti-bears: 4.0; cheap, no tools, good atmosphere, "earned" beer if you walk

RANT: Worst ad ever

It literally throws me into a fit of rage.

And while I'm ranting, worst movie concept ever???

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, July 27, 2009

What, a Jimmy Fallon link??

For the SBTB fans, for which I know there are several:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Don't Let Me Down

You've had a bad week. Your girlfriend left you two days back and your boss is a "reet cont." Your job in London is robbing you of your soul and the maintenance man has ignored your three requests to change your bloody light. On top of all that some twat just gave you gaff as you were leaving your flat to go off to work. Your friend in the adjacent office comes through your door in a rush and says "mate, come outside!"

You see and hear the Beatles on a nearby rooftop. Life is so worth living.

Don't let me down.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Stros suck.

St. Louis Cardinals 17 8 .680 -- 10-3 7-5 7-2 8-5 2-1 Lost 1 7-3
Cincinnati Reds 12 10 .545 3.5 4-7 8-3 2-4 10-6 0-0 Won 2 5-5
Chicago Cubs 12 11 .522 4.0 6-5 6-6 2-1 8-7 2-3 Won 2 4-6
Milwaukee Brewers 12 11 .522 4.0 6-5 6-6 3-3 7-5 2-3 Lost 1 8-2
Pittsburgh Pirates 11 11 .500 4.5 6-4 5-7 5-1 4-9 2-1 Lost 4 5-5
Houston Astros 9 14 .391 7.0 5-8 4-6 0-1 7-12 2-1 Lost 2 5-5

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I miss you Lizzy

"I could live on a drag of your cigarette"

I forgot to do this before but five years ago on April 20 Lizzy Mercier Descloux died from cancer in her native France. I love Lizzy so much and her albums Press Color from 1979 and Mambo Nassau from 1981 are two of my all time favorites. She started with a really great no wave band called Rosa Yemen and she was friends with Richard Hell and Patti Smith and stuff. Her music is post-punk-worldbeat style with a pretty, delicate French twist. Her accent just nails me. She seemed to have such a joie de vivre that I just need to hear every once in a while. She makes my life better. Did I already say that I'm so in love with her? I wish I could've met her before she left. She and I would have been so happy together. Now she's gone and I'm just going to cry for a week or so.

Abyssinia Lizzy...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Only Ones - Another Girl, Another Planet

Another song about heroin.

I always flirt with death, I look ill but I don't care about it.

Sounds like someone's in loooove! This song's about heroin...I was thinking the other day... Is the love a man feels for a drug any less valid than the more traditional love a man feels for a woman? You could be quick to judge someone for taking heroin but the feeling and the need the dude feels for it cannot be denied right? It's odd but there are so many similarities in each situation. Think about it. Something can only hurt you after you learn to love it. Irony of ironies. This, of course, applies to love for another person as well.

K that's all I gotz for ya.

Peace ya'll

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Why does Woody Harrelson rule?

Because of his reaction in response to allegations of assaulting a paparazzi photographer:

"I wrapped a movie called 'Zombieland,' in which I was constantly under assault by zombies, then flew to New York, still very much in character. With my daughter at the airport I was startled by a paparazzo, who I quite understandably mistook for a zombie"


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

March Rad-ness

So although it’s April, and Garz hates basketball, March Madness is undeniably still under way. But here at Charz2k, do we care who wins the NCAA title? No. What we care about is what sitcom is the most “90s.” The 90s was undeniably the golden era of the situational comedy, and it’s time to settle this question, tournament style. The selection committee has placed 32 sitcoms in 4 brackets: NBC Must See TV, “Lessons Learned,” Black, and Other 90s Classics. The competition was stiff, but without further ado, the competitors, with their seeding:

Must See TV Bracket:

1. Seinfeld
2. Friends
3. Mad About You
4. Wings
5. Caroline in the City
6. Just Shoot Me
7. Suddenly Susan
8. Veronica’s Closet

Lessons Learned Bracket:

1. Saved by the Bell
2. Full House
3. Step by Step
4. Home Improvement
5. Boy Meets World
6. Dinosaurs
7. California Dreams
8. Hang Time

Black Bracket:

1. The Fresh Price of Bel-Air
2. Family Matters
3. Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper
4. Martin
5. A Different World
6. The Wayans Brothers
7. Living Single
8. Malcolm and Eddie

Other 90s Classics Bracket:

1. Rosanne
2. Frasier
3. Blossom
4. The Nanny
5. Grace Under Fire
6. Married With Children
7. News Radio
8. Herman’s Head

As always, there were some bubble shows that just missed the cut. The bubble consisted of:

Ellen (pfft)
Parker Louis Can’t Lose (classic, but got inspiration from 80s movie)
Perfect Strangers (too much of series in 80s)
Salute your Shorts (I didn’t have cable as a child)
Clarissa Explains it All (see above reason)

The tournament is single elimination. Let Round 1 Commence!

Must See TV Region:

1. Seinfeld vs 8. Veronica's Closet
WINNER: Seinfeld!
2. Friends vs 7. Suddenly Susan
WINNER: Friends!
3. Mad About You vs 6. Just Shoot Me
WINNER: Mad About You!
4. Wings vs 5 Caroline in the City

RECAP: No need to go into detail on any of these. The first round of the Must See bracket was not very "must see-" no surprises here.

Lessons Learned Region:

1. Saved by the Bell vs 8. Hang Time
WINNER: Saved by the Bell! Hang Time is pretty damn 90s, but this Peter Engel knock off cannot compete with the original. I can still sing the theme song to Hang Time in my head though... which is surprising, since I have literally not thought about this series once in the last 9 years.
2. Full House vs 7. California Dreams
WINNER: Full House! California Dreams is in the same league as Hang Time, trying to go up against an elite 90s powerhouse. Uncle Jesse rocks harder than the entire California Dreams band- 'nuff said.
3. Step by Step vs 6. Dinosaurs
WINNER: Step by Step! In the closest match of the tourney so far, Step by Step nudges out Dinosaurs by... a step. Patrick Duffy and Susanne Summers vs "I'm the baby, gotta love me!" Wow, so much 90s in this match up, for an early round match.
4. Home Improvement vs Boy Meets World
WINNER: Home Improvement! This one starts close, but Tim, Al, and the gang easily pull ahead late. 3 letters: J T T.

RECAP: An exciting round of action, although no upsets yet.

Black Region:

1. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air vs 8. Malcolm and Eddie
WINNER: The Fresh Prince! Malcolm and Eddie was a pity selection, inspired by Garz. Uncle Phil throws them both out of the house at the same time.
2. Family Matters vs 7. Living Single
WINNER: Family Matters! A show about women friends can't possibly win in this tourney.
3. Hangin' with Mr. Cooper vs 6. The Wayans Brothers
WINNER: Coop! The Wayans are so 90s, but I'd rather Hang with Mark Curry.
4. Martin vs 5. A Different World
WINNER: Marrrrrtttiiin! I never much cared for a Different World. Martin wins easily.

RECAP: No surprises... on to the final first round match ups!

90s Classics Region:

1. Rosanne vs 8. Herman's Head
WINNER: Rosanne! Herman's head put forth a noble effort, but it was going up against a freight train in Rosanne.
2. Frasier vs 7. News Radio
WINNER: News Radio! In the biggest first round upset of the tournament, News Radio takes down the long-running and popular Frasier! How did this happen??! 2 names: Andy Dick and Phil Hartman... now THEY are 90s!
3. Blossom vs 6. Married... With Children
WINNER: Blossom! Woah!
4. The Nanny vs 5. Grace Under Fire
WINNER: Grace Under Fire! We probably remember Fran Drescher most vividly, but Grace Under Fire was just so formulaicly 90s.


1. Seinfeld, 2. Friends, 3. Mad About You, 4. Wings
1. Saved by the Bell, 2. Full House, 3. Step by Step, 4. Home Improvement
1. The Fresh Prince, 2. Family Matters, 3. Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, 4. Martin
1. Rosanne, 7. News Radio, 3. Blossom, 5. Grace Under Fire

Round 2!!!

1. Seinfeld vs 4. Wings
WINGS! Wow, what an upset! Seinfeld dethroned! Seinfeld is one of the most influential comedy shows of all time, and does have a 90s feel. So how did it get beaten by Wings??? Watch an episode sometime... you'll see why.

2. Friends vs 3. Mad About You
WINNER: Mad About You! Happy 52nd birthday Paul Reiser! You and Helen Hunt have been deemed more 90s than Ross, Rachel, and the gang. While in Peru recently, I watched both an episode of Friends, and an episode of Mad About You. Mad About You is so fucking 90s it's unbelievable. Nice win!

1. Saved by the Bell vs 4. Home Improvement
WINNER: Saved by the Bell! Two 90s titans collide. I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm so... Scared! Congrats Saved by the Bell. I think you have just possibly established yourself as a tourney favorite. You took down the Tool man without batting an eye. You fucked Wilson the hell up. Look at this image! 90s 90s 90s! Honestly, Home Improvement was beaten on the open credits of SBTB alone. That credit sequence and song screams 1990s!

2. Full House vs 3. Step by Step
WINNER: Step by Step! Many considered Full House a tourney favorite. Michelle, Danny Tanner, Uncle Joey, Uncle Jesse, Kimmy, Stephanie. Wow, how did Full House lose? This match was tight all the way. But never underestimate Patrick Duffy, Susanne Summers, and a family full of stereotypical formulaic characters! And look at that photo... very 90s!

1. The Fresh Prince vs 4. Martin
WINNER: The Fresh Prince! Martin was great, but this is the Prince we're talking about here!

2. Family Matters vs 3. Hangin' with Mr. Cooper
WINNER: Family Matters! Urkel. 'Nuff said.

1. Rosanne vs 5. Grace Under Fire
WINNER: Rosanne!

Grace Under Fire was lucky to make it this far. Rosanne is very 90s. One of the highest rated shows of the 90s. Grace Under Fire... pshh, get outa here.

3. Blossom vs 7. News Radio
WINNER: Blossom!
Look at that cast! Move over Andy Dick, THAT'S what the 90s are about! I could go for a special episode of Blossom right about now!

The Elite Eight:

Mad About You vs Wings
Saved by the Bell vs Step by Step
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air vs Family Matters
Blossom vs Rosanne

Eight fantastic teams remain... how will this finish?! Well, that's up for YOU to decide. I challenge a 2k contributor to finish this tournament! I have my vision of how it ends, but I want to see yours! (and this needs a fresh mind... this was really exhausting)

Good luck, and I can't wait to see who wins the tournament!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Golden Brown

Golden brown texture like sun
Lays me down with my mind she runs
Throughout the night
No need to fight
Never a frown with golden brown

Every time just like the last
On her ship tied to the mast
To distant lands
Takes both my hands
Never a frown with golden brown

Golden brown finer temptress
Through the ages she's heading

From far away
Stays for a day
Never a frown with golden brown

Never a frown
With golden brown
Never a frown
With golden brown

Wow, what a cool song. With that mysterious evil carnival organ and the barely veiled lyrics, The Stranglers wrote this one with a purpose. "Le'es righ' a song 'bout 'eroin 'ey can play on th' radio, eh?", right? It'd take a moron to not figure out what this song is about after about two seconds of vocals. Belt your arm, make a fist, pop in the needle, and watch that tea-toned river of impending immediate and visceral pleasure course its way down the thin clear tube and into your soul. I know you can see it, but can you feel it?

No. Idiot.

I don't mean to be an asshole, and if you've never experienced the substance that could be responsible for inspiring such a perfectly-crafted and poetic pop song, you are forgiven and are not a moron (at least not due to misinterpreting this song).

Those who know me know I do not have an addictive personality, but rarely does a song about a dangerous intoxicant chill me to the core as much as this one does.

And as thinly veiled as the song's lyrical subtext, so is the underlying subject of this review:

That's right! It's a Chick-fil-a chicken biscuit.

"Throughout the night, never a fight, never a frown, with golden brown." There's nothing better than waking up from a nightmare and realizing that once 6:30 rolls around you are on your way to breakfast bliss. Throw a little honey on it for comfort, but make no mistake, this sandwich stands on its own.

And beware the temptation of imitations, as they are a trap by demons to fool the weak.

4.999 anti-bears.
4.5 bears, due to unavailability between 10:30 am and 6:30 am the next day, and all day Sunday.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fantasy Baseball

The draft for the Charz2k Fantasy Baseball League is tomorrow! If you wish to be a part of it, you must sign up as soon as possible. Here are the stats:

The League ID#: 136277
The password is: Chuck Knoblauch
(it's best to just copy and paste)

The draft is tomorrow night at 9:30 CDT! SO SIGN UP!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March Madness

I'm not sure if charz2k still does good old-fashioned concert reviews anymore, but I'll try throwing one out there. This post involves a concert AND a decent roadtrip, hence the March Madness title. I don't like basketball enough to write about it.

I caught the Black Lips last night in Lawrence, KS, which was obviously a good show. Lawrence is four hours away, so I started out at noon yesterday. There is a local radio station that was awesome in 6th grade but not too grand these days; nevertheless, they do a "Flashback Lunch" hour from 12-1 which is pretty cool and it was a rare time that I got to hear all the old songs that you completely forget but miraculously come right back to your memory. Yesterday's program included Green Day's "Nice Guys Finish Last"; the Breeders' "Last Splash"; Eels' "Novocaine for the Soul"; and Weezer's "My Name is Jonas." It was a good start to the trip.

So the road up to Lawrence is just two lane highway pretty much all the way, which is awesome. I like looking at the country and going through all the little old towns. Check out the sweet courthouse building in Ottawa, KS; I totally pulled a Garz to stop and take a photograph:

Anyways, I got to Lawrence and found a pretty tasty Italian place to eat at, and the waitress knew of a good record store that I hit up before the show, which was at the Bottleneck, a bar/hole-in-the-wall type joint. Simply put, I'm jealous of you guys who will get to see them at SXSW, because we all know how good they are. Things kicked off with "Sea of Blasphemy," which, along with "Fairy Stories," "Buried Alive," and "Juvenile," I think sounds ten times better live than on record. The high points for me were "Short Fuse," which comes across as slightly more "punk" rather than "Nuggets" sounding like on the new album, and of course "Cold Hands," which is arguably their best song. My new favorite live song is "Time of the Scab," which is in Spanish and involves Jared shouting out Spanish phrases right before the guitars kick in with their main lick. I don't know Spanish so when I sing in the car I have to make up my own phrases ("Tostitos!"; "Arriba!"; "El Garzo!"). Other songs that I normally don't like that much, like "Hippie, Hippie, Hoorah," are completely enjoyable live by the time Cole adds all his useless, pointless sound effects and theatrics.

My only bears to give to this show were that I don't think they played as long as they normally would, because they had to get on the road to SXSW, which was kind of a bummer. Other than that, I think they remain my favorite current band. Despite their stage antics, in seeing them twice now I never have felt like they are gimmicky. It would almost seem disingenuous if Cole didn't get on stage wearing a white smock and a buckle-at-the-front pilgrim hat.

Anyways, I started my drive back to Oklahoma this morning, and what seemed to be crackling through the static on my radio right around Coffeyville, KS? Another Flashback Lunch? What luck: the Cult's "She Sells Sanctuary"; Poe's "Angry Johnny"; "Longview" and "Rock the Casbah" were the highlights (in contrast, the first song after the Flashback Lunch was something by the All-American Rejects). 4.5 anti-bears / 2.1 bears (no "Boomerang"?)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

I can remember the first time I played Street Fighter II: My friend Ellis' birthday party back in 4th grade. Eventually we had to implement a "no dhalsim" policy, because back then we could not defeat dhalsim's long limb attacks. The game blew my mind. Street Fighter II was THE game... until next year's birthday party, when Mortal Kombat came out.

Anyways, movies adapted from video games are generally not very good. When I see a movie based on a game, I typically want a high camp-factor, with lots of cartoonish action. Both Mortal Kombat films provided this, as did the classic Street Fighter movie with Jean Claude Van Damme as Guile. But unfortunately, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (SFLCL) did not. Let me state plainly: DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE. I expected a movie with a 0% Rotten Tomatoes Rating to have a "so bad it's funny" element. There was very little funny about this movie. It was just unbearable.

Problem 1: Very little action. For a movie called street fighter, there was maybe one street fight that lasted like 1 minute? Uggh.

Problem 2: Too much plot and charater development. We don't give a shit about that- show us some people beating the crap out of each other! And if you are going that route, at LEAST make it interesting.

Problem 3: A retarded side plot. The movie had two main story lines going on. First there was Chun-Li attempting to find her father. Secondly, there was an INTERPOL cop and a Bangkok cop teamed up trying to bring down Bison. Way too much time was spent on these cops. We don't give a shit about that!

Problem 4: Not enough Street Fighter charaters. There was Chun-Li, Bison, Balrog, and Vega (briefly). That's it. I mean, come on! You were in frickin Thailand, at least have Sagat.

Problem 5: Horrible casting. Bison: Band of Brother's Lt. Buck Compton. He's just some white American dude who doesn't even know martial arts, making the final showdown totally lame. Chun-Li: Smallville's Lana Lane. She's not even fully Chinese! Chun-Li is from China. I know that, because on the game you fight her on the streets of China. She is not half-Chinese, born in San Francisco. Balrog: Michael Clarke Duncan. Okay, this one was a good choice. But I wonder why he got involved in this pile of crap. Stupid INTERPOL cop: American Pie's "Oz." Man, this guy cannot act! He was just painful to watch. And the "chemistry" between him and the Bangkok hot girl cop was so not there.

I did though like that Chun-Li's teacher was the guy who played Liu Kang in the Mortal Kombat movies. Nice crossover. And when Chun-Li fought Bison, she hit him with a bicycle kick- an homage to Liu Kang's signature move, perhaps???

So do not see SFLCL. Please do not see it! See anything else instead. The movie sets up for a sequel, with Liu Kang telling Chun-li that he's heard of a good fighter in Japan named Ryu. God I hope they don't make that movie. Perhaps a better route would be a sitcom with Zangief, Ken, E Honda, and a hilarious nerd sharing a small Brooklyn apartment and chasing girls. I'd watch!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Yes, Dear

Yes, Dear is on TBS right now. Is there one single person who would be flipping through the channels and would think "YES! Yes, Dear is on!"? I guess it's possible, but why put it on a network where they could just as easily show another episode of Seinfeld instead of this crippled warthog of a show?

Yes, Dear should be quarantined on a network that's strictly opt-in, so we wouldn't even have to ponder the ways TBS could better use that time slot. Just think, if they made this network we would have an isolated list of the most worthless members of society that we could use to either eradicate them or turn them into some sort of super weapon that's effective because it annoys the enemy into submission.

If you're interested in subscribing, you'll also have access to all your favorites, including, but not limited to, Still Standing, Grace Under Fire, Mama's Family, Joey, and in a marathon every Friday, According to Jim.

This reminds me of when I came back to Houston once and I had seen some terrible show on the plane that I could only describe as "the worst sitcom I have ever seen." Danny's guess was that it was Still Standing. He was right.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

St. Arnold

This man is the patron saint of brewers. You know all those awesome trappist ales out there? You see the brewing process eliminates all bad pathogens in water. God only knows how the other monks reacted to all the beer at their monastery. God only knows what I'd be without you. Next time you enjoy a delicious beer (let me recommend the scabrously dark St. Bernardus) say a prayer of thanks to old St. Arnold. Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.

St. Anthony

This man was a saint and he was Catholic. He was a friend to all children and he loved animals. St. Anthony loved dogs. In conclusion, if you ever lose something you should pray to St. Anthony.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

February 24th is a Holiday?

Um, someone must be playing a joke on me? Because if I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: Christmas is in December. Yet for some reason when I awoke today, it was like Christmas morning for a kid in February. I was in a gleeful frenzy as I jumped out of bed in my footed pajamas. Today is the day of the new Black Lips release!

What's all this about Christmas though? After all, everyone knows one Black Lips album does not make an entire Christmas. Well, let me finish. When I opened my e-mail up, lo and behold! First, an e-mail about a new Grateful Dead show to be released in April?! Pre-order that! Second, a notice that my comic-book picture Bible shipped in the mail? (Yeh, I had one as a kid and ordered another, those things are cool). Can't wait! It was quite overwhelming, really, to think all these things awaited me on the same morning. But the kicker: it wasn't over! I next read the e-mail from Garz about the charz2k fantasy baseball league! That's like when you think you opened your last gift on Christmas and then realize that you still have the stuff in your stocking left, where your mom wrapped up a package of Mach3 razorblades, Bic ballpoint pens, and Reese's peanut butter trees. The icing on the cake, so to speak!

Well, turning to the Black Lips, I am big on "Album Release Day," meaning I like to wait to actually get the CD the day it comes out. I don't like to download things early or hear all the new tunes on the internet first. It is a rare day that I get to look forward to a new release and am actually able to get it the day it comes out- my feeble memory recalls maybe going to a midnight release of a Dandy Warhols album with Garz, and before that I remember getting STP's third album right when it hit the shelves in 6th grade. So this was a red-letter day even before it turned into Christmas.

Rewind to 2006; the Black Lips were playing Conan (a fortuitous allusion to the post below) and I had taped it so I could watch them, after all, they were a band I hadn't heard yet but one of those that Garz "said was good" which means they might be good. (Keep in mind, I knew Garz to listen to Hilary and Haylie Duff in college). But anyways, I watched the tape and was instantly online ordering all their albums before they even got to the second chorus.

This only increased my excitement for today, so during my two hour break I pop into the record store asking for the CD, only to find they had some delay in shipment and it won't be in until tomorrow. Bear! Well, Ok, I'll sell out and go to Norman's Best Buy. Double Bear! They had a delay, too! What is going on here? Who's trying to rain on my parade on Album Release Day? But as the dude is checking in his computer, I see that the Best Buy in Oklahoma City got a shipment in. Well, I have less than an hour and a half before class now, and OKC is a bit of a ways at least up the highway. What to do? What a prisoner's dilemma! Now I have been called stupid, idiotic, baseless, irrational, and dimwitted many times, and I saw this as my chance to prove myself. Of course I sped up the highway to OKC to get a copy!

I'll conclude that I really like this album. I don't know why a bunch of people seem to be giving it the "good but not great" review, like this album doesn't "break any new ground," but I don't even care much. I feel too old now to be the idealist who keeps looking for the earth-shattering, rock 'n roll saving album, or the new standard in creativity that everyone raves about, because it either isn't going to happen or, when people think they've found it, it'll end up sounding like the Fleet Foxes, in which case spare me. I listened to this thing in-between classes on a CD Walkman, true story.

Look! It's Indiana Jones!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Late Night with Conan O'brien

I just wanted to say a short something about the end of Late Night with Conan O'brien. First of all, the last several episodes are on Hulu, so go watch them! Conan was a mainstay back among "the guys" in the sophomore/junior years at WashU. Since I moved out to DC, I haven't really watched much because he's on so late. But he's definitely been the best talk show host that I can think of in my lifetime. Way better than Leno, Letterman, Kimmel, etc. It'll be nice to have him on at an earlier hour, but I hope that he doesn't tone down his humor to the dumber 11:30 audience.

Good luck in L.A. Conan!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A 2k challenge!

Dear charz2k contributors. I, Charz, am announcing a challenge to you: the Madea Goes to Jail Challenge! If you are able to go to Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail, sit through the entire film, and write a detailed review on the movie and experience, I will personally mail you a check for the cost of the ticket.

Rules: There can be only one winner. You are on your honor. It has to be during opening weekend, and a sketchy theater is preferred although not required. You may also double it up with Fired Up, and get TWO ticket reimbursements... but they must be seen consecutively.

Good luck,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Simpsons Opening Credit Sequence

So I'm sure I'm the only one here who actually watched the most recent Simpsons episode, but I was shocked to find that they had just changed the opening title sequence for the first time ever. The Simpsons is approaching drinking age... maybe it was time for a change? Well the purist in me says no way, you can't change the opening! It's classic! The other side of me says who the hell cares, the current simpsons is the same as classic simpsons in name only. The bottom line is, the opening credits aren't that important- it's about the episode itself. And why was I watching the simpsons? The flu kept me inside all weekend, and my cable was on the fritz. This left Hulu as my entertainment option (and comedy central for some reason which worked, but there's only so much Larry the Cable Guy stand up one can take). So after watching 5 conans (which only has a few eps left), some south park, some family guy, and some its always sunny in philly, I gave in and watched the newest simpsons. As expected, it was better than WashU-era simpsons, but worse than the golden era... that's kinda the calibre to be expected these days, which is a bit sad, but I can at least be entertained, unlike a few years ago when I'd just get enraged.

Anyways, here's the new opening credits:

What do you think?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Looking Forward to Baseball: 2k Interviews A-Rod!

Well, baseball season is less than two months away, and here at 2k, we can hardly wait. To get us ready for opening day, New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez has kindly sat down with us for an exclusive interview.

2k: Hi A-Rod. Thanks for interviewing with us. We don't usually get high profile athletes wanting anything to do with our site.

A-Rod: Hey no problem, no problem. I read your site all the time. I really liked that Renwick Art Gallery piece. When I went there, I got a whole bunch of those Game Fish for my teammates for souvenirs. They love those things.

2k: Yeh, yeh, well, speaking of souvenirs, you know we are excited about getting back to the ballpark this spring for some Major League games. I've never caught a foul ball at a game though. Any suggestions?

A-Rod: Hey man, first thing is that you can't be afraid of the ball. Some of those come flying in there. I recommend maybe
bringing your glove to the game. Sometimes I even take mine out
to third base with me, it really helps. Otherwise I just kind of
squinch my face up and let the left-fielder deal with it. Oh and I
hate it when you catch a foul ball and there's some little kid next to you and everyone makes you feel guilty for not giving it to him.
Don't fall for that kind of stuff.
2k: Thanks A-Rod. I really appreciate that. What I hate, though, is when you get to your seats and there is that big fat crazy fan drinking beer with their shirt off on a hot summer day. What do you do about that?

A-Rod: Dude, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Take your shirt off, too. I think you'll find that they are really friendly in the long run. Just try to relax, have a good time, and I think you can get along with them. Red Sox fans, Cubs fans, and even Astro fans are the most gentle, really, if you just let them be.

2k: Thanks A-Rod. I think I know what you mean. I guess what we're all dying to know next is what your favorite ballpark food is?

A-Rod: Well it's gotta be the hotdog. I'm too lazy to actually go to the concession stand though, and the worst part about it is trying to flag down the vendor walking in the aisles. (2K shows him photo). Oh, yeah, you have a picture! Yeah, see what I mean? I'm hollering at the top of my lungs here and waving my bat, and the hot dog guy still ignores me. Typical New Yorker. John Rocker was right.
2k: The fans really seem to like you though, A-Rod.

A-Rod: Oh yeah. I love them, and they love me. I love to see myself
on the front page every day. I mean they should love me. I was happily taking steroids down in Texas and I gave that all up to come here. Those photographers are sneaky though. They snapped this one right as Giambi was accusing me of getting into his stash.

2k: I can't even imagine. Can't even imagine. How do you deal with the pressures? New York? The Big Apple? Madonna? What a stage. Always in the spotlight. I don't think I could handle it. Charz2k would die for that kind of fanfare. How do you handle it.

A-Rod: I know. And let me be the first to tell you. Baseball isn't all just fun
and games. People think that you are just a big prima donna and you go out there and get paid millions and millions of dollars to play something everyone played in high school while you make working class fans pay $150 for a ticket to the game. But it's not fun and games. I work as hard as anyone at what I do. You try it. I stay focused 162 games a year, and I hang around until the 4th inning of the All-Star Game. You try it and see how it feels. From the moment I walk onto that field for batting practice, you have to be locked in.

2k: Sounds like a tough life, to hear it out of your own mouth. Well, how about those Red Sox? What a rivalry, huh?

A-Rod: Oh I know. They're all queer up there. Remember that
play in the 7th game of the 2004 ALCS, when they came back from three games to none to beat us in the series? Bronson Arroyo was trying to feel me up on the first base line. Most people tried to blame me for cheating by swatting the ball out of his hand, but c'mon, I think we all know how Boston people are.
2k: OK but is that a purse on your arm?

A-Rod: Duh. No wonder charz2k hasn't hit the big time yet.

2k: Well A-Rod, last question. How does the steroid newsbreak affect your legacy as a future hall-of-famer?
A-Rod: It's hard, 2k, it's hard. I mean, what are they going to put on the permanent plaque? Will it be "A-Roid," or "A-R*D"? I am kind of partial to the first one, personally. As for my legacy as a Yankee? It won't matter a bit. I am a ballplayer that produces. They don't call me Mr. July for nothing.

2k: Thank you A-Rod.