Conan: High Budget Low Brow Gold

January 22, 2010

Though I’m sad Conan O’Brien will not be carrying on the legacy of The Tonight Show, I feel partly vindicated that once O’Brien knew he would be off the air, he lightened up again, and his ratings soared.

If feels the new time-slot (ney, audience) forced him to be more buttoned up, less silly/absurd, which really is what made Coco the beloved goofball that he is.

Seeing a new clip this week reminded me of how far Conan had come from his self-admitted low budget late night gig.  Take for example, Whale Week, a week’s worth of skits from mid-era Conan in which they incorporated a giant whale costume because it was too expensive to use once:

Look how far we’ve come.  Earlier this week Conan claimed to be planning unfunny but very expensive skits, including this alleged $1.5 million prank of dressing the most expensive car in the world up as a mouse, while playing a rare Rolling Stones original recording.  Hilarious.

Check out the video here (as NBC has pulled it from their website).  First of all, it’s funny.  Second of all, it’s expensive (though prolly not $1.5 mil expensive, as you can borrow a car of the lot for the free pub).  Thirdly, it’s funny-cuz-it’s-weird Old School Conan.  The skit seems to reference his old absurdist one-offs I always loved (isn’t that right, Cactus Chef playing ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ on the Flute?).

Oh, Cony-cone-cone.  We still love you.  Can’t wait to see where you’ll wind up next.  Cabin Boy 2?

Best Albums of the last 12 months or so… Flight of the Conchords

May 18, 2009

Nearly June.  The year is 5/12ths over. Here’s one of 12 I enjoyed over the last 12 or some months…

Flight of the Conchords – Flight of the Conchords

(#5 of 12 in no particular order)

Like David Brent playing a pretty good acoustic guitar — there’s something intimidating about musicians that have chops but then choose to make fun of what they do.  Performing as a comedian/musician is a fickle thing… play original work and people may not know you’re joking, play too close to something else and you’re written off as a parody artist, or even worse, an impressionist.  FotC somehow manage to walk the funnyrope.

Songs that were rawer (but still hilarious) on their HBO show take on a new life on the LP — they clean up nice.  Specifically, you have to love the spotless production and prominent funk bass that now comes through beautifully on both “Ladies of the World,” and “The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)”.

Two Wheel Empire

December 19, 2008

I’m not sure how I feel about this.  Visually, this is really cool, stuff…  agressive city biking, but there’s not that many “tricks” so much as it is not getting killed in traffic — which, I guess, in itself is a pretty nifty trick.  It’s evident that hanging onto the sides of cars and trucks (skitchin’?) is all the rage, which places urban bike culture about 20 years behind urban skate culture…  Marty McFly would be like “‘pshaw, been there, done that.” 

I’m also a proponent of riding your bike in the city as opposed to cars.  It makes sense for SO many reasons, but, as a rider of a city bike, some of the stuff they do in this video is the reason why drivers hate bikers so much.  Just saying.  Cutting off pedestrians, weaving against traffic, etc, this is why some motorists honk/swear/cut you off.    Additionally, as many drivers correctly suspect, a big incentive of riding in the city IS pissing off cars.  It’s true, and I hate to generalize, but it seems that the bikers in this video are those sort of “He’s totally in my face” type bike enthusiasts.

Regardless… a pretty cool video.  Never have I been more concerned about the safety of the CAMERAMAN than the performer… in a way, the videographer in these type of films deserves a ton of credit, and maybe a generous healthcare plan.

volcano! Rumblings

October 1, 2008

To follow up on my previous volcano! post, the Chicago boys will be leaving The States for a massive euro tour later this month, but will be doing an in-store at Reckless Records in Wicker Park this Sunday (10/5), at 4pm… the free set should perfectly complement the Bears Victory Afterglow this weekend promises.

Vocalist/Guitarist Aaron With facebooks:

last US volcano[!] show for 2 months – this Sunday 10/5

Mon 11:42pm
hey everybody….one last show before the European tour – this Sunday 10/5 at Reckless Records at 1532 N. Milwaukee Ave. Early show – starts at 4pm. would be great to see you. because otherwise its gonna be really awkward just us blasting away some awkward record store clerks.

The tragedy being, this band was BUILT as a fine-tuned Awkward Record Store Clerk machine!  In addition, if you’re curious how Aaron The Facebooking Headsinger looks without pants… curiosity: satisfied!

Once again, via facebook:

new volcano! video

Monday, September 15, 2008 at 10:03pm
hello friends

volcano! has a new music video up on our facebook page
its also up on our volcano! YouTube Channel (

this video, as you will plainly see, consists of me running around a park in the rain in underwear and singing. that’s the jist. plus some super powers.

the video is for our new single “Africa Just Wants to Have Fun” off our new LP “Paperwork”….it was volunteer directed by our awesome friends Pat Meegan & Peter Galassi

we’ll have some new live video up on the channel as well very soon

hope you like it


If you’re curious, the Leaf label page has their Fall Tour itinerary posted, where they’ll even do some shows with Xiu Xiu, Daniel Higgs, and Why?… a good ecclectic buncha bands:

Wed 15 Oct 2008: Debaser, Malmö, SWEDEN
Thu 16 Oct 2008: Pusterviksbaren, Gothenburg, SWEDEN
Fri 17 Oct 2008: Revolver, Oslo, NORWAY
Sat 18 Oct 2008: Debaser Slussen, Stockholm, SWEDEN
Sun 19 Oct 2008: Loppen, Copenhagen, DENMARK (with Xiu Xiu)
Tue 21 Oct 2008: Lido, Berlin, GERMANY (with Xiu Xiu)
Wed 22 Oct 2008: Asta Kneipe, Rosenheim, GERMANY
Fri 24 Oct 2008: Ortosonico, Giussago, ITALY
Sat 25 Oct 2008: Interzona, Verona, ITALY
Wed 29 Oct 2008: La Fleche D’Or, Pairs, FRANCE
Thu 30 Oct 2008: Soy Festival, Nantes, FRANCE
Fri 31 Oct 2008: UBU, Rennes, FRANCE (with Fuck Buttons)
Mon 3 Nov 2008: Paradiso (upstairs), Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS
Tue 4 Nov 2008: De Kreun, Kortrijk, BELGIUM (with Daniel Higgs)
Wed 5 Nov 2008: Botanique, Brussels, BELGIUM (with Why?)
Fri 7 Nov 2008: The Fox & Firkin, London, UK
Sat 8 Nov 2008: Korova, Liverpool, UK
Sun 9 Nov 2008: The Roadhouse, Manchester, UK
Mon 10 Nov 2008: The Arches, Glasgow, UK
Tue 11 Nov 2008: The Tunnels, Aberdeen, UK
Thu 13 Nov 2008: Bodega Social Club, Nottingham, UK
Fri 14 Nov 2008: SWN Festival, Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, UK
Sat 15 Nov 2008: The Gander, Bournemouth, UK
Sun 16 Nov 2008: Portland Arms, Cambridge, UK
Mon 17 Nov 2008: Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, London, UK
Tue 18 Nov 2008: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK
Wed 19 Nov 2008: Whelans (upstairs), Dublin, IRELAND
Thu 20 Nov 2008: Roisin Dubh, Galway, IRELAND