Friday, June 22, 2007

"Which is Why I'm Such a Good Natural Percussionist"

You cannot escape George Michael Bluth (Michael Cera).

He co-stars in a movie coming out this Summer, Superbad. But more amazing is this.


He is the lead singer in what is already Kelly K's favorite band, The Long Goodbye. Here's their myspace page. If I had a myspace account, I'd look at the pictures. The songs are just adorable, just like George Michael.

MP3(s) of the Week: Dual Edition

To make up for last week's travesty (I can't tell you how many emails I got complaining) of not giving an mp3 of the week (ok, I can tell you: zero) DMS shall make up for it with TWO mp3s this week.

The first is from the patron saint of DMS. Yes, Sufjan Stevens (again). Though he gets bonus points for this week for being hoaxed. Someone went on Purevolume and wrote that his next album will be about Oregon, entitled Oregon With The Wind and even went so far to put up a fake (and rather awful) song entitled "Portland, or Breathing Underwater."

Since then, the Purevolume page has been corrected by Sufjan's label. But in honor of the hoax, let me present to you an as of yet unreleased song that he plays live, "Majesty Snowbird." In typical Sufjan fashion, it's beautiful, sprawling, layered, and long.

Sufjan Stevens - "Majesty Snowbird (live)"



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The other mp3 this week is in honor of the ACL Fest selling out of 3-day passes, while DMS twiddled their thumbs, putting off buying passes until, alas, it is too late. And we're not sure we'll be paying for a one-day pass either ($80). We might just take the year off, actually go in to work (what a concept) that Friday, and just try to catch an aftershow or two.

The National is a buzz band that by the time ACL hits us, will have probably been on Letterman, or at least Conan, if they haven't been already. Allegedly they put on incredible live shows. That's good, because, while I like the songs that I've heard (hence the mp3 this week), I find them a bit droll in the studio. No matter. Here's "Fake Empire."

The National - "Fake Empire"

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Another Beautiful Internet Moment - Craigslist

I think I need to trademark these: Beautiful Internet Moments. BIMs? Hmmm. Taking suggestions for better names.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite posts on craigslist that I've found:

A Beautiful Moment for the Internet

Example #378,482 of how Google has changed the way we live, mostly for the better.

So I recieved a call today for Mrs. Supercomputer who was sleeping off a long night of work. After I informed the (obviously) telemarketing/scamming caller that she was unavailable, the caller informed me that Mrs. Supercomputer had won a prize through their company! Wow! And she didn't even have to enter! I asked for a number to call her back on. The caller gave me the number 1-800-710-0986.

Since I was sitting at my computer I just plopped that very number as you see it into Google. The results? Right here.

So I asked the caller if Mrs. Supercomputer had won a Cadillac. The caller couldn't tell me what she had won but asked why did I think it was a Cadillac. I told her of the Google search results and she assured me that it was not a scam. That "Vacation Resort Management" was a real live business. So we talked for a while to decide if it really was a business. In the end I just had to disagree with the caller, suggesting the company wasn't quite as up front as they could have been. Then I asked to be removed from their directory. I figured I'd given this "business" enough of our time.

Just thought I'd share that. It's not that I needed Google. But it was kind of fun.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Week That Was

Dear Dear Mr. Supercomputer readership,

We would like to apologize for the recent lack in posting (8 days since my amazing last post, which if you Google "lolsports," it's #1). No, the Cavs swift demise from the NBA Finals isn't to blame. No, the overwhelming swarm of readership after being linked from Deadspin, causing the site to crash isn't to blame. There are no excuses, particularly neglecting the MP3 of the Week.

So, a few announcements before we get back into the regular swing of things:

  • After the sudden surge in excitement at the DMS household, if not a surge in comments, expect "lolsports" to become a regular installment here. I know Mrs. Supercomputer is excited about that one. Also, feel free to email me any of your lolsports to gmkrall[at]gmail[dot]com.
  • Expect more "Career Adventures!" in the future.
  • DMS is going to hit the road with a trip to Los Angeles soon. Any suggestions for things to do or tips on how to not get shot are welcomed.
That's it for now. Back to regular insight and analysis tomorrow, maybe tonight with the help of a friend:

Friday, June 08, 2007

MP3 of the Week: "Death in the Family" Edition

This week, the DMS household lost a cherished member. I suppose it's the cycle of life that we just had a new member added to our family; now we are without one who's been here for years.

The tree didn't give us apples. And the tree-removers didn't really leave a stump for us to sit on. So I guess it really wasn't much of a "giving" tree. More like, "a tree." But I still go out and talk to it sometimes. The neighbors think I'm crazy.

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Aside from having perhaps the best referential band name ever, Ari and Uzi seem to have a good thing going. They sound kind of like Death Cab for Cutie, but with the Postal Service's frontman. You can get more of Ari and Uzi from their website or myspace. Here's "Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz" which has a good dose of Godspeed You Black Emperor! to it. A+ in my book.

Ari and Uzi - "Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz"

Thursday, June 07, 2007

My TCE



On the eve of Game One of the Cavs/Spurs championship series, this is one of the better things I've read, summing up TCE, by Mansfield Lucas. Here are a couple snippets.

About then, a few of us started to accept the inevitable. We defined something called the Cleveland sports experience, or The Cleveland Experience ™, for short. Abbreviated as the now infamous “TCE”, we believe it is the work of a malevolent spirit, Jobu, immortalized by Pedro Serrano in “Major League” , by far the best of a trio of Cleveland-centric 1990’s movies that included “Howard The Duck” (The Ted Stepien of movies) and “The Light of Day” (the Chucky Brown of movies). Give Jobu enough rum and he allows you hope. But it is never enough. If you replaced all the brewskis imbibed at the nickel beer night riot with rum, Jobu would not be sated. Jobu is like the mythical Lucy holding the football for The Cleveland Fan who is Charlie Brown waiting to kick it. We always believe that Lucy will hold that ball and allow us to kick it. But we know Jobu plays tricks and moves it every time, and every damn time we run through the failed kick full speed and fall flat on our backs, breaking our hearts and sacroiliacs. The forces of darkness will always defeat Cleveland Fan and mire us in TCE. After all, we are a band of blood brothers bound by:

  • The (real) Catch
  • Jim Chones’ broken foot in The Miracle of Richfield Cavs’ run (thought I’d forgotten? Shame on you).
  • Red Right 88
  • The Drive
  • The Fumble
  • The Shot
  • The Injuries
  • The Betrayal
  • The Mesa
  • The Drop aka the sunlight in Grady’s eyes
  • The Guran-Sheed bad ball bounces of last season

It isn’t a pretty picture. I get visibly piqued when they think they know. Boston fan used to whine about the Red Sox through two Celtics dynasties, a Stanley Cup, and multiple recent Super Bowls. Up yers Chowds. Pain? What do you know of pain? Gimme 6 Bill Buckers and a dozen Bucky Dents for the Celtics’ ’84 title win alone. Cubs’ fan? You cheesy poseurs. You get MJ, a Sox title, and the 46 defense. A pox on you, HBO, as well. I got your goat right here. I can go on and on about whining fans of single teams in other cities that co-habitate with championship franchises and how hypocritical they all are. Buffalo fan gets a pass. Y’all’s teams suck. Bad. San Diego fan gets no love as they live in America’s most beautiful city. But both y’all have only had two franchises for most of this time frame, having only had cups of coffee with the same NBA franchise.

The national media and commentators bring these incidents up in isolation sometimes. Occasionally, a few who lived among us connect the dots as Steve Kerr did last week. But they don’t know. They can’t know. They haven’t lived the whole TCE.

.......

Let’s put this in the proper perspective. Watching LeBron James do what he did that Thursday night in Detroit in Game 5 against that media hyped “great” defensive team wasn’t a spectacular basketball performance. It transcended that. It wasn’t even really about athletics. What he did was reach a level of human perfection that is not even considered to exist in the realm of the possible. What he did was legendary, mythical. We weren’t watching Bron on the court, we were watching Achilles on the plains outside the walls of Troy. We were watching Michelangelo paint the ceiling. We were listening to Lincoln say a few words to consecrate the final resting place of thousands of young men in south central Pennsylvania. We were watching greatness and perfection that should not exist in the reality of our human condition. It was beyond any reasonable expectation to achieve, beyond even our ability to witness with credibility. And yet we were all witnesses.

And he topped it in game six.

When LeBron James subjugated his own accomplishments for those of the team the next game, he somehow he managed to step up even from his personal perfection the previous game. When he gives yet another post game interview where he comes off as level headed, confident but not cocky, well-spoken but with real perspective, you marvel at all he’s accomplished and the man he’s become given the challenges of both his immense obstacles and great blessings that seem to otherwise shape the maladjusted young men who seem to disproportionately represent today’s professional athletic superstars. LeBron James is as differentiated by his character as much as by his talents and accomplishments. I am so proud he’s one of us.

If you want to read the whole article, go here. I won't lie though, apart from a stretch in the late eighties / early nineties when they were my favorite team around playing my favorite, the Cavs were third fiddle to me, behind the Browns and Indians. That was mostly a result from the general malaise associated with the Bulls winning championship after championship, the level of play in the NBA declining rapidly with the advent of high-schoolers making the jump, and a Mike Fratello coached Cavs team that consistently put forth 67-72 scores, epitomizing how unwatchable the NBA had become. All this, plus a players lockout led to professional basketball's downsizing in my ranking of sports teams. Still though, I will be rooting no less hard for the Cavs to knock off the heavily favored Spurs, starting tonight. Can the Cavs win? Sure. This team can run with anyone. It's not a particularly good team, LeBron aside, but their defensive style can grind it out with anyone. Will they win? Gun to my head, I'd go with "no." But a lot of that is probably conditioning from years of rooting for Cleveland.

So screw convention. Screw conditioning. Screw Bruce Bowen and his jump kicking ways. Cavs in six!

We are all witnesses.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My Qualm With One Particular Episode of Season Five of Scrubs

I love Scrubs. In fact, with Arrested Development no longer with us. It's the only non-PBS show I watch. Recently the Supercomputer household got Season Five of Scrubs on DVD. It's fantastic. Possibly my favorite season yet. However, there is one episode who's central plot makes the episode simply unwatchable. And because it's the first episode of one of the DVD discs, it's taints the entire disc, namely episodes 10 through 18.

The central plot to this horrendous episode is this:
"Her Story II." J.D. is dating Julie, played by Mandy Moore (no, that's not the annoying part), held over from the previous episode in which they had purchased a half-acre of land. In this episode however, J.D. begins to get annoyed because instead of laughing, Julie says, "that's so funny." She doesn't laugh, she just says, "that's so funny." J.D. is frustrated over this character trait that he agonizes about breaking up with Julie, who is, otherwise, perfect.

There are three things that I hate so much about this plot, I can't watch the episode.


1. It's the exact same plot as a Seinfeld episode! From episode #611, "The Switch:"

SANDY: So did you like the movie?

JERRY: Yeah, it was OK. Frankenstein didn't seem quite right to me.

I missed the sport jacket.

SANDY: (nods silently)

JERRY: Not that it was that nice of a jacket. I mean it didn't fit him

that well. To me there's just something about a monster in a blazer.

It shows at least he's making an effort.

SANDY: (nods silently) That's funny.

Later, in Jerry's apartment with Elaine...

JERRY: It was unbelievable. You're right the jokes kept bouncing off her

like superman.

ELAINE: See, what did I tell ya?

JERRY: And even when she did like something, she doesn't laugh. She

says, "That's funny." ... That's funny!

Scrubs ripped the plot right off! How could a sitcom (on NBC no less) do this (much less get called to task for it)? I mean, doesn't every sitcom writer aspire to be Larry David? Does Larry David watch Scrubs and if so, did he give NBC a ring? Did no one catch this? Is anybody listening to me??

This alone is an egregious enough offense to ruin the episode. But the whole "that's so funny" thing irks me for two other reasons as well.

2. No one does that. And if someone did, they wouldn't have any friends and they would eventually end up changing their habits. Too, it doesn't jibe with Julie's character at all. But that's totally irrelevant because, they fucking stole it from Seinfeld!

3. If someone were to do that, it would be totally acceptable to break up with them. Really, it would be. Eating your peas one at a time? That's probably not sufficient grounds. But not laughing? You can't be with someone who doesn't ever laugh (if such a person existed). That would suck. If Mrs. Supercomputer didn't laugh at my awesome jokes, I would have broken it off right away, all other qualities be damned.

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All this is truly unfortunate, because it is an excellent season overall. And truth be told, the rest of the episode isn't half bad. But why did they have to pick a minuscule character trait straight from a Seinfeld episode and try to repackage it as original? They could have come up with any annoying character trait: warts, high pitched nose-blowing, winking issues. They could have even acknowledged that it was the exact same plot as a Seinfeld episode with a witty joke. Scrubs does stuff like that.

But no, they ripped off a silly central character trait and didn't credit the source. I'm going to Amazon them a copy of the MLA handbook so they know how to properly credit the original authors.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

My Night

You've heard of "drunk dialing," right? We'll, I'd like to introduce you to "drunk blogging."

Once Baby Supercomputer was asleep, with Mrs. Supercomputer at work, my night consisted of the following:

Totino's Pizza Rolls. Don't judge me. You love them too. I had about 20 of them. Although, they need to stick with just the Pepperoni. This "Supreme" crap just scares me.

Wine: Avalon, Cabernet Sauvignon 2004. An entire bottle. Hence the drunk blogging. Goes great with pizza rolls by the by.

Scrubs, Season Five. Maybe it's the Avalon talking, but so far it's probably my favorite season. There's none of that J.D.-Elliott bullcrap and about three to five of those episodes that just leaves you breathless. This includes the episode that spawned my affection for The Fray's "How to Save A Life."

And this:


No, not that Warcraft III CD you see in the right of the screen (and screw you by the way for calling me a dork under your breath). But a 98-82 Cavs victory to put them in the Finals (which might actually be televised!) against the San Antonio Spurs. This is the first time that the Cavs have ever been in the finals. It's the first time the city of Cleveland has been there since 1997 with the Indians (who lost to the Detroit Tigers tonight - good job Detroit!).

It's totally unreal. The Cavs have the best player in the league and are in the Finals. The Spurs will be favored no doubt. They dispatched the Utah Jazz with ease and have probably the second-best player in the league in Tim Duncan, for whom the Cavs have no viable answer. However, this Cavs team is peculiar. They tend to bring other teams down to their level. Yaysports described them as "retarded chameleons," the idea being that they play to whatever talent level they oppose. That's kind of true, but it seems more like they drag good teams down into the mire and muck of a sort of "defensive brand" of basketball. Games are rarely in the 100's. More likely they are in the 80's. Which is fine and dandy with me. Sure, the rest of the world wants to see the Phoenix Suns put up 120 points every night. But winning is style. And the Cavs and Spurs will probably play several close games and the Cavs might win a few. And sure, the Spurs will be and should be the heavy favorites, BUT, remember two things:

1) The Cavs will have the best player on the court, and...

2) ...they are the Retarded Chameleons.

Much more to come, indeed. As for tonight, praise be to LeBron, praise be to Daniel Gibson.

Well Guys, What Do You Think?


It's just so tough to choose.

(I have no idea what any of the above words mean and/or are referring to except "which" and "Vote.")

Friday, June 01, 2007

MP3 of the Week: "Cult v. Band" Edition

The Polyphonic Spree are part band, part commune, part cult. Their new album promises to forge new ground (think more Tripping Daisies than The Beginnings Of...). DMS has heard two songs off of it and we like it. Here's "Mental Cabaret" off their new album, The Fragile Army, which drops June 19th.

The Polyphonic Spree - "Mental Cabaret"

In Lebron We Trust

Last night, Lebron James had one of the most remarkable playoff games of all time. In a double OT victory for the Cavs, Lebron scored the last 25 points for Cleveland, including every single overtime point. That's amazing. Three supporting Cavs had fouled out by the second overtime. What resulted was as follows:


The above shot was the game winner. I count four Pistons in the shot and zero non-deity Cavs.

Now, there's been enough written on the web today to get your Lebron fix so I'll not write too much more.

And the truth is, this series isn't over. Game 6 is in Cleveland. If the Cavs win that, then it's on to the first finals in franchise history.

Here's the thing folks. When Dear Mr. Supercomputer was growing up, everyone's favorite team was the Chicago Bulls. Every one of my damn friends had a Michael Jordan Bulls jersey (OK, I did have a few ambitious friends who thought it would be cool to get a non-Jordan Bulls jersey : BJ Armstrong and such). I had a Team USA Mark Price jersey because I was just that awesome (probably the only non-Larry Bird white player jersey ever sold for ten years).

Anyway, I got so damn sick of the Bulls. Even when they weren't beating the Cavs in the playoffs. Even after they had run the Cavs off of the Map of Relevance, I still couldn't stand them, Jordan especially. He was every-damn-where. And he just kept winning championships. My friends got so accustomed to it, they didn't even bother to gloat anymore.

Now? None of them like the Bulls anymore, most don't even watch the NBA.

It still feels weird to open up the front page of ESPN.com and see a lead story about the Cavs. They were buried in irrelevance for so long, it still doesn't seem right that I could ever watch them on TV. I still never get to watch the Browns and the Indians.

Ash, says I should count my blessings sportswise: the Cleveland Indians have the best record in their division, the Cavs are one win away from being in the finals and they have the best player in the game, and the Browns have the sexiest quarterback around. Me? Let's just say that I'll feel validated if they actually win a championship. In my lifetime.

(P.S. The Cleveland Indians also beat the Detroit Tigers to remain atop 1st place in baseball. There's this whole Cleveland v. Detroit thing shaping up.)