Author Archives: ninjagarden

Les Moonves controls the internet.

CBS CEO, Leslie Mooonves, might contol the internet, or at least Google and Wikipedia…which are basically the internet.  This seems minor, BUT Mooonves’s Wikipedia page only lists his current spouse, Julie Chen, in his profile box.  (I thought all pages list past and presnt spouses.)  It kind of gets a little more interesting.  His ex-wife, Nancy Wiesenfeld Moonves, appears to have been completely wiped off of Google.  Seriously, try to Google/Google Image her.  All that will come up are pictures of Julie Chen.  Where are the tabloid reports?   How is someone that was married to the CEO of CBS for over 20 years wiped off of the internet?

-ninjagarden

Lady Gaga 1/10 Rosemont Theater

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rachelsodyssey/

There was a lot a lot of drama that happened before the show.  Originally, the show was supposed to take place at the downtown Chicago Theatre.  It was a mad, panicked scramble to get tickets, but, somehow, I managed to get four through Ticketmaster the minute they went on sale.  Anyway, said tickets were actually pretty decent (main floor, part way back) and the dudes and I were pretty excited.  Then, calamity ensued, as the show was abruptly moved to the far off suburbs at the Rosemont Theatre.  Ugh.  Instead of transferring tickets to comparable seats, Ticketmaster gave pre-existing ticket holders a password to a pre-sale, a pre-sale with ONLY obstructed-view seats.  Cool.  So, everyone was super pissed and the papers and blogs wrote about it, and all of Chicago (and Detroit) pretty much thinks Lady Gaga is a huge douche (see: forum; wait, i mean see: forum drama). 

Okay, so a lot of people wrote on her website’s forum about this travesty, and pretty much she decided that she loves censorship, so she pulled the plug on the forum a day or two before she came to Chicago.  That’s cool. 

But anyway, me and the dudes grudgingly went to the concert and sat in our seats, which were four rows from the back row of the balcony.  Thanks, Ticketmaster and Lady Gaga!  Anyway, the opening acts were kind of annoying and it’s kind of sad this is what they came up with to replace Kid Cudi after it was decided that he’s too much of a liability.  The first act struck me as super NYC (maybe because they kept saying stuff like m’fing NYC or something along those lines), but Semi Precious Weapons is a glam-rock, scream-y, not-that-great band that also played with Lady Gaga in 2006 to a crowd of 12.  The second opening act, Jason Derülo, has the song that “heavily samples” Imogen Heap.  His act seemed a little conceited (side note: I read that he requested a lot of crazy shit, like smoke and lights, but such things were denied for him.).  I didn’t like how he plucked a girl from the audience and sang to her and said to her in front of the whole audience how she’ll always be his baby or something like that. 

Anyway…after enduring the poor choices for opening acts, Lady Gaga appeared, or I mean her thirty-foot image on a giant, sheer screen.  It was actually one of the better hype-y opening art things I’ve seen at a concert.  She eventually appeared behind the screen, and eventually the screen was lifted.  She performed most of her songs from her two albums and played for 1 hour and 45 minutes.  Compared to the other tour nights, she supposedly cut the Sunday performance by 2 songs, but this is just according to 2 hipster dudes at the train stop.  As expected, there was a lot of choreographed dancing, and about 5 costume changes.  She also shot a gun at the audience.  Y’know cause she wanted to tell everyone how much she doesn’t care if you don’t like her.  She talked a lot to fill the gaps of her small catalog.  Mostly, she talked about how much she loves her “little monsters” and how much she hates money.  Her talking voice struck me as very slightly British sounding, but also very pleasant.  It wasn’t the best thing in the world, but I had  fun and enjoyed the fact that she didn’t lip sync her performance.

Side note:  the Rosemont Theatre doesn’t know how to organize transportation.  There were 10 cabs after the concert got out and no more appeared, because I guess they didn’t catch on after the first two days that hundreds of people would be wanting to go home.  After waiting outside for 15 minutes, we found one cab and asked him to drive us to the train, but he told us that we could just walk since 1.5 miles in the literally below zero weather isn’t that far, and that he only wanted to take people all the way to the city.  At least my roommate told the driver to go f himself.  I liked walking that far and then watching 4 northbound trains go by while waiting another 15-20 minutes for a southbound train.  Did this really long review actually have anything to do with the concert?  I guess I’ll add that she didn’t wear the Alexander McQueen 10’ armadillo shoes.  Setlist (someone should correct this if it’s wrong):

Tim Burton @ MoMA

This is old news, as the exhibition runs Nov 22 – Apr 26, but I didn’t know about it until today.  The exhibition has drawings, paintings and even its own website (http://moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2009/timburton/index.php).  Looks pretty neat.

These pictures, from artdaily.org, are some of my favorites, but more information can be found at moma.org.

-ninjagarden

Top 10 Dogs

Nope, not dawgs, just dogs.  Plain and simple.  These dogs rule:

10.  Giant Dog!

9.  Fat Dog!

8. Bulldog!

7.  Sleeping Dog!

6.  Old English Sheep Dog!

5.  Alpacas!  Oops, this isn’t a dog, but they win always.

4.  Pug!

3.  Shar Pei!

2.  Puppies!

1.  Champ!

I guess this had nothing to do with it being the end of 2009.   And being partial to a particular breed is kinda sick, but oh well. These dogs still rule.

-ninjagarden

York Peppermint Pattie Commercial

I think it’s safe to say that everyone on this website, or at least the authors, has a taste for nostalgia. After eating a peppermint pattie, I started thinking about this commercial today from the late 80s. It’s pretty great. Just thought I’d share.

Lollapalooza 2009: Day 3

chocolate-chip-cookies

cookies

doggie-cookies

Cookies!!!!  yeah, I’m too tired and I think my eye is dying…and there aren’t many bands playing that I want to see.  So, I stayed home and made cookies.

AP

Lollapalooza 2009: Day 2

I think I survived Day 2.  Here’s what I saw:

Santigold: Easily the best performance of the day.  It was the last day of her tour, and everything was polished to a tee.  She had probably the best atitude/morale I’ve seen so far and seemed geniuinely excited/thankful to be playing Lolla.  Annd, her vocals sounded the complete opposite of someone that is on the last day of tour.  Pretty amazing, expecially considering the strange vocals she does.  Santigold had two dancers with her, each one standing on either side of her on the stage.  The dancers wore matching gold and black costumes and did choreographed robotic/show choir/military type moves during her set.  So, dance party ensued.

Her setlist isn’t up yet, but she played all of her bigger songs from Santogold, including “I’m a Lady,” “Anne,” “Unstoppable,” “Lights Out,” and “Creator.”  She also played a cover of the Cure’s “Killing an Arab.”

Animal Collective: I’m not very familiar with this indie weird-noise band, but I do enjoy the song that has the iPod-ish music video.  I wasn’t incredibly impressed and we couldn’t see anything, other than the art-school looking animations they played on the jumbotron.

The video isn’t very good, but it kind of gives you idea of what it was like.

Tool: The headliner for Saturday is another band I’m not wild about, but I stayed long enough to see them play “Stinkfist” and to admire their 80-foot tall pentagram and skull.  Tool is one of those bands that has really cultish fans that sing along to every song and wear Tool shirts to Tool concerts.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: They played at the same time as Tool and were the last-minute replacement for the Beastie Boys.  I wandered to the other end of the park after thirty minutes of Tool (so like 2 Tool songs) to see them play.  As much as I like this band, I was a little disappointed, even with the last-minuteness in mind.  Karen’s outfits weren’t half as wild as I was hoping and thought she was known for.  Her outfits were 1) a slightly native looking flag drapped over her shoulders 2) a boring floral dress that could have been worn by any girl there 3) her leather jacket that she seems to love.  Also, she had to stop two separate songs because she “forgot the lyrics.”  One of those songs was “maps.”  Seriously, that’s one of her major songs with the easiest lyrics.  Maybe she was nervous or drunk or who knows?

1. Runaway
2. Phenomena (Listed as “Phenom (Beastie Break)” on setlist )
3. Heads Will Roll
4. Pin
5. Dull Life
6. Gold Lion
7. Cheated Hearts
8. Skeletons
9. Hysteric
10. Soft Shock
11. Honeybear
12. Zero
13. Turn Into
14. Maps (acoustic)
15. Y Control
16. Date With the Night

Bands I wish I could have seen on Day 2, but couldn’t cause it’s a huge, hot, crowded fest: TV on the Radio, Atmosphere, Diplo.  Today, my eye is bothering me and the heat is worse than yesterday.  And, there aren’t really any bands I’m dying to see, so I probably won’t be there as long.

-ALLISON

Lollapalooza: Day One

I’ve heard a lot of people say things along the lines of “I would die before going to Lollapalooza.” or “The crowds and heat are atrocious!”   Well, even though the latter is definitely true, I still couldn’t not buy a three-day pass.  Here’s my rundown of day one:

Ben Folds: I’m not a huge fan or terribly familiar, but I do have a couple of his albums (Whatever and Ever and Amen and The Unauthorized Biorgraphy of Reinhold Messner).  I didn’t recognize all the songs he played, but hearing hits, such as “Kate” and “Army” was enjoyable.  Grade: B

1 Bitch Went Nutz
2 Effington
3 Landed
4 Bitches ain’t shit
5 Dr. Yang
6 Hiroshima
7 Rockin the Suburbs
8 Kate
9 Narcolepsy
10 You Don’t Know Me
11 Army

Crystal Castles: This band is some indie techno import that I was really excited to see.  Maybe it was the fact that we were standing kind of far back and it was raining and cold, but I wasn’t that impressed.  Overall, the performance seemed uninspired, or inspired by Karen O.  Grade: C-

Thievery Corruption: Ugh, I hate most global sounding stuff that isn’t actually global, and TC was no exception.  Supposedly, one of their songs was played in the movie, Garden State.

Peter, Bjorn and John: This is a band that opened for Depeche Modes and one that I’ve been meaning to check out.  I didn’t get to see much, and I think I’m still going to have to listen to an album or two to understand them.

Nothing to Worry About
Living Thing
It Beats Me Every Time
??
Amsterdam
It Don’t Move Me
Lay It Down
Just the Past
Young Folks
Objects of My Affection
Up Against the Wall

Of Montreal: I’ve seen these guys before.  It was enjoyable like the last time and they do wacky shit, so good show.  Wacky shit examples: girl on cross-like structure; 10-foot long orange hairy arms; bunches of balloons and confetti; weird masks; etc. Grade: B+

1. Nonpareil of Favor
2. Bunny Ain’t No Kind Of Rider
3. Id Engager
4. For Our Elegant Caste
5. Moonage Daydream (David Bowie cover)
6. The Party’s Crashing Us
7. Rapture Rapes the Muses
8. A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger
9. Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games
10. Beware Our Nubile Miscreants
11. Touched Something’s Hollow
12. An Eluardian Instance
13. Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse
14. She’s A Rejecter

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Depeche Mode: Ah, the main band I really wanted to see.  And, it was nothing short of amazing.  DM made use of the jumbotrons by incorporating some goth art (a red, blinking eyeball above a picture of a single crow) and some confusing art (a young black man’s face. then a fat person in a circle running like a hampster wheel.  then an old gandolf-looking man.  let me know if you get this.).  They played for about an hour and forty-five mintues and played a good mix of new and old stuff.  Unfortunately, they did not play my favorite DM song, But Not Tonight.  Oh, well. Another note is that DM could not have played in a more appropriate atmosphere than they did last night: completely overcast sky that threatened rain against the super modern skyscrapers.   Grade: A+

1. In Chains
2. Wrong
3. Hole to Feed
4. Walking In My Shoes
5. It’s No Good
6. A Question of Time
7. Precious Thing
8. Touch Me
9. Home
10. Come Back
11. Policy of Truth
12. In Your Room
13. I Feel You
14. Enjoy the Silence
15. Never Let Me Down Again
(Encore)
16. Stripped
17. Personal Jesus

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I would be okay if Lollapalooza was only one day because it’s 94 degrees out today and I’m already exhausted.  I’m lazy, but if you are really interested in looking at all the set-lists/photos, etc, the Lolla website is pretty handy.  hope i survive the next two days.

-ALLISON P.!

My Favorite Foods: Rainier Cherries

cherries-bowl2-500

This is important news: Rainier cherries are delicious!  Their insides are  juicy, yellow, sweet and probably the best thing I’ve ever tasted.  They were bred in a lab in 1952 and are a cross between Bing and Van cherries.  I read they’re super hard to grow and since they’re a relatively new fruit and probably have a lower production, they can be as much as a dollar a cherry (says Wikipedia)!  Their red and yellow skins are almost as pretty as they are delicious.  Best fruit of the year.  F pomegranates! 

-ninjagarden

This surprises me…

Two of the top articles today on BBC news were related to global warming, but I am still surprised by this.

By Chris Mason
BBC News, Ghent

A Ghent poster promoting "Veggie Day" (image from Ghent city website)

A poster advertising “Veggie Day” shows a sailor rowing an aubergine

The Belgian city of Ghent is about to become the first in the world to go vegetarian at least once a week.

Starting this week there will be a regular weekly meatless day, in which civil servants and elected councillors will opt for vegetarian meals.

Ghent means to recognise the impact of livestock on the environment.

The UN says livestock is responsible for nearly one-fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, hence Ghent’s declaration of a weekly “veggie day”.

Public officials and politicians will be the first to give up meat for a day.

Schoolchildren will follow suit with their own veggiedag in September.

It is hoped the move will cut Ghent’s environmental footprint and help tackle obesity.

Around 90,000 so-called “veggie street maps” are now being printed to help people find the city’s vegetarian eateries.

ninjagarden