29 April 2008

That Great Song from the AT&T "Flower" Commercial

You know that great, insanely catchy song from the AT&T "Flower" commercial (with the phones coming out of the flowers)?

Apparently it's "Daydreamin'" by Lupe Fiasco featuring Jill Scott.

Here is the song:

And, as you might imagine, the insanely catchy hook is actually a sample. It's taken from the song "Daydream in Blue" by I Monster.

Here is the original song:



Okay, so I was wrong.

According to Wikipedia:

"Daydream" or "Daydream (I fell asleep amid the flowers)" is a song originally composed and recorded in 1968 by the Belgian band Wallace Collection.

Apparently, it's been sampled, then that sample has been re-sampled, and so and so forth.

Anyway, both the Lupe Fiasco and I Monster versions are pretty good, no?


Wikipedia Entry About Daydream

26 April 2008

Catchy Song in Catchy Commercial

Check out this great Heineken Premium Light commercial with the insanely catchy pop tune.

The song is "It's Love" by Chris Knox.


25 April 2008

Coa-dancin' at Coachella

The Black Kids have two left-handed guitarists, and two keyboardists.

And, they know how to play some of that old rock n' roll and make you dance.

Plus, it was so very nice of them to wait for us before launching into their best song "I Don't Wanna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance."
Coachella Goes Nuts




Les Savy Fav.

Somehow, underneath the concrete-thick layers of corporate cool-conformity, Coachella found its anarchic hearty with the gonzo performance by Les Savy Fav.

There was stripping, shouting, walking in the crowd towing miles of cables, tongue-kissing celebrities, riding groupies, and so much more.

Just when I thought I was out, Coachella pulls me back in!

Long live Les Savy Fav!
Coachillin' at Coachella

It's 1448 PST.

We're at Coachella.

It's hot.

It's crowded.

But, every year I say: "Never again," and every year I have to admit that it's kinda fun.

American Bang got things off to a great, rockin' start and Rogue Wave redeemed themselves with two fantastic songs to end their set (they even took a request).

Next up: Les Savy Fav.

23 April 2008

when you left to Paris I replaced you with a cat and named it after you

Courtesy of Sam Brown of explodingdog.

Oooh, another good one, especially because we are going to Paris and we have a cat.

Wait, I'm coming back after The Better Half.

Oh dear, does that mean I'm going to be replaced because, let's face it, I am eminently replaceable?

Great, just great...



My sister-in-law Anne gave me this awesome Wacky Web Sites Page-A-Day calendar because she knew that I was, um, less than fully challenged at work.

Truth be told it's been a hectic time work-wise of late, so I have yet to check the site that pops up on my calendar every day.

However, I finally checked one out today, and it was a very cool site!

Apparently some guy called Sam Brown at explodingdog will make a drawing based on any title you send him.

There are a lot of them, but one caught my eye:

"The Drugs Didn't Work"

Funny, no?


Page-A-Day Wacky Web Sites

22 April 2008

Karaoke at Roger's Exciting Tattle Tale Room

Okay, while I do enjoy a bit of karaoke now and then, I know that among the many talents I don't have, singing is high on that list.

I have to admit I was a wee bit skeptical when I first entered the bar known as Roger's Exciting Tattle Tale Room. I mean, when you save "dive bar" in Los Angeles, you don't really mean a dive bar...but this was a dive bar!

The regulars were unfriendly and wary and the bartender was not terribly attentive.

However, people warmed up to us once the evening wore on. The male regulars, especially, were very friendly with The Better Half and her pals Ruthie and Rosemary (a.k.a. The Three Rs). I think I was called an Arab sheikh at some point, and someone offered me a free drink.

Scotty blew us away with an incredible rendition of a Journey song...the girls were very enthusiastic and me...well...I had a lot to drink!

All in all, a fun night.

The Three Rs perform "Love is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar:

Scotty performs "Lights" by Journey:

And, finally, that's me ripping off a piece of "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers:


LA Weekly Review

Best Band, Ever...Vampire Weekend!

All right, it's true, I was the oldest one at the El Rey a couple of weeks ag...and if it weren't for The Better Half's troubling obsession with these four very young lads from Columbia University I probably wouldn't have gone.

But, boy was I glad I did.

Vampire Weekend rocked the house! I was a bit skeptical about them transferring their twee sound to a live venue, but they kept the essence of the album intact, and added in a bunch of live variation to keep it really interesting. The four of them are actually really good musicians, and they are a tight, focused unit. I was really surprised by some of the harder-edged stuff they added into the songs.

Here it is, my earth-shattering critical analysis of Vampire Weekend: If a good Wes Anderson movie was a band, it would be Vampire Weekend.

They did 2 - 3 new songs, one of them was about California. The songs were a little bit more experimental than what they have on the current album, so it'll be interesting to see if they go out on a limb with their second CD.

We saw Danny Masterson (Hyde from That 70s Show) with a hot blonde almost 6 inches taller than him.
I also ran into Jonah Hill (the fat kid from Superbad) in the men's room. I shouted out "Hey, it's Lil' Seth Rogen"and he did not seem pleased, at all. If it weren't for the fact that we were in a public restroom, and people were watching, and he outweighed me by a good 100 lbs, I would have taken him...out!

Next time Jonah, you'd better watch it kid!

Here are a couple of videos from the show:

New Song 1

New Song 2

Oxford Comma (My favorite song)

A Very Sweet Shout-Out From the Band


Vampire Weekend Website
El Rey Theatre

16 April 2008

Britain's Got Talent...For Making You Cry

Hot on the heels of Paul Potts, the mobile-phone-salesman-turned-opera-star, comes 13-year-old Andrew Johnston.

The poor boy had been bullied for his singing but that didn't stop him from getting up on stage and belting it out, bringing everyone to tears.


Here's Andrew:

Here's Paul:


News.com.au Story

12 April 2008

See, Michael Bay is Awesome!

Say what you will about Michael Bay, at the very least he embraces the very thing he knows people make fun of him for.

Check out the awesome Verizon FiOS commercial he did (courtesy of my USC classmate Dave Marmor, a self-avowed Bay-hater...c'mon Dave, haven't you seen Bad Boys...and The Rock...and Transformers?!).

All Those YouTube Videos from South Park

Okay, so I started watching South Park again and I stumbled upon the episode Canada on Strike.

Thanks to awesome YouTube user xclusivefilms, here is the list of all the YouTube videos featured in the episode.


''Laughing Baby''
''Chocolate Rain''
''Afro Ninja''
''Star Wars Kid''
''Tron Guy''
''Numa Numa''
"Leave Britney Alone"
''Sneezing Panda''
''Dramatic Gopher''
''Asian Backstreet Boys''

08 April 2008

Ian Bagg is a Funny Man!

The Better Half and I just got back from The Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach and were very impressed by warm-up act Ian Bagg (much better than the putative headliner).

Great delivery, very sarcastic, dynamic stage presence and fantastic interplay with the audience. If you get the chance you must see him live, you must!

Apparently there was a large group from local employer Raytheon and boy were they a tough bunch. I wouldn't want to work with those guys!

Here is a video of the man in action.


Ian Bagg Official Site
A Pulitzer-Winning Photo

Adrees Latif of Reuters took this photo of a fatally wounded Japanese videographer during the crackdown of the protests in Burma.

This stunning photograph justifiably won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography.



NYT Article
Not a Pulitzer-Winning Photo

But a cool one nonetheless.

Taken by Omar Sobhani for Reuters, reproduced by The New York Times.

An Afghani woman strolling by the shops in Kabul.


NYT Photos
Ooooh, So That Was the Guy

When The Better Half and I went to see Russell Peter at the NOKIA Theatre LA LIVE there was this somewhat familiar chap sitting near us that everyone was taking pictures with (and which eventually lead to a memorable exchange between an exasperated tweenager and her poor mother sitting behind us).

Apparently, the guy was "Iranian comedian" (sorry that's how he's been identified on the net) Maz Jobrani.

So there you go.

Big deal? Well let's just say that one-time Gwen Stefani paramour, and once-and-future No Doubt member Tony Kanal was skulking around, but no one was coming over to get a picture with him. And dude, No Doubt used to be big.

Here's a video of Maz.


Maz Jobrani Official Website
Kansas Wins!

Okay, I admit, I didn't really have a strong rooting interest in this game.

I didn't do the ubiquitous bracket, and it's not like growing up in India and Qatar allowed me great insight into American colleges and universities playing professional sports with amateur athletes (I'm still trying to figure that out).

I don't like the Memphis coach John Calipari and I have no strong feelings one way or the other towards the Kansas coach Bill Self .

But I got home with a few seconds remaining in the game, and with Kansas down (though they had almost clawed all the way back from a 9-point deficit with about 2 minutes remaining). At this point I would usually turn the game off, but then Kansas stole the ball, and the next thing you, boom! A 3-pointer with something like 2 seconds left to tie the game, and then overtime and then...

Kansas wins!

Good for them.


NYT Story

Good for Torii Hunter

I have always liked Torii Hunter and didn't care that the Anaheim Angels (yup, that's what I will always call them - dude Orange County is not Los Angeles - I know from experience) seemed to overpay for him.

And then tonight, against the Cleveland Indians, he hits a home run in the eight inning to put his team ahead by one run.

And, then, he hits a grand slam at the bottom of the ninth to win the game once and for all.

Good for him!

I'm still calling them them the Anaheim Angels.


MLB.com Story

Great Director Jules Dassin Dies

This happened a few days ago, great director Jules Dassin passed away at the grand old age of 96.

I had once thought that Dassin was French given that his most famous films were made in France. He was, in fact, American and had been blacklisted during the McCarthy era.

Unable to find work anywhere (in Hollywood and Europe - he was stopped twice from making movies in Europe after he left the US) he was finally given a last chance to make a movie of the novel Du rififi chez les hommes in France.

This, of course, turned into Rififi, the greatest heist film, ever!

My old USC colleague Dave Marmor turned me on to this film a while ago, and I totally loved it (even though it had been so hyped up over the years).

Coincidentally, The Better Half added this to her Netflix queue after I sent her an article talking about heist movies in the wake of the surprising quasi-success of The Bank Job (fun movie - a must for Jason Statham fans everywhere!). We ended up watching it the other day, and it was even better the second time around.

The most famous thing about the movie is that 40-some-minute wordless heist itself. In spite of the obvious dated-ness (is that a word?) of the movie (it was 1954 after all) that sequence was as nerve-wracking and realistic as anything you are apt to see these days.

Dassin made other well-regarded movies (coincidentally, one of them was Night and the City with the recently-deceased Richard Widmark) that cemented his place in the pantheon, adding to his legacy is the courage he showed in the face of the abhorrent blacklist.

Rest in peace.

Essential Movies

Brute Force [1947]
Naked City [1948]
Night and the City [1950]
Rififi [1954]
He Who Must Die [1958]
Never on Sunday [1960]
Topkapi [1964]


NYT Obituary
LAT Obituary

Charlton Heston Dies

Charlton Heston, Epic Film Star, Dies at 83

The great movie star Charlton Heston died a couple of days ago.

Heston was never a great actor, but he was a great star.

He will always be remembered for the epics that made him a star in the first place, the late-career resurgence he experienced with his series of sci-fi films in the 1970s, and then finally, his role as a committed advocate of the NRA.

He was derided for his conservative politics towards the end of his life, and some of the things he did as an NRA president did raise some eyebrows, but forgotten in all this were the facts that he marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. before it was fashionable to do so and stood by the embattled great directors Orson Welles and Sam Peckinpah when the studios strongly encouraged him not to.

I remember the first time I saw Ben-Hur. They were having a revival screening in Calcutta and Dadu (my grandfather) made my uncle Abhijit Mama take me to it. It was great fun. Abhijit Mama drove fast on his motorcycle through the congested streets of Calcutta (he made sure I had a helmet), we went to one of those grand, old fashioned movie theatres (the kind they just don't make any more), enjoyed the movie (with a much-needed intermission in the middle, but no legendary little red car during that famous chariot race scene), grabbed some street food and went home. It was a grand movie, enjoyed in some truly grand settings. I will always remember that evening.

Heston became a bit of a caricature later in life, and apparently he had some fun with that himself. Good for him, you can never take yourself too seriously.

He leaves with some indelible performances in some of the best/best-remembered movies of our time.

Rest in peace.

Essential Movies

The Greatest Show on Earth [1952]
The Naked Jungle [1954]
The Ten Commandments [1956]
Touch of Evil [1958]
Ben-Hur [1959]
El Cid [1961]
55 Days at Peking [1963]
The Agony and the Ecstasy [1965]
Major Dundee [1965]
Khartoum [1966]
Planet of the Apes [1968]
The Omega Man [1971]
Soylent Green [1973]
The Three Musketeers [1973]
Airport ‘75 [1974]
Earthquake [1974]
Town and Country [2001]


NYT Appreciation
Variety Obituary

Democracy in Action!

The Olympic torch relay ran into a bit of bother in Paris yesterday. Looks like the Chinese government may not be able to white-wash the recent crackdown in Tibet.

Of course, as evidenced by what happened in Burma recently, nothing long-term is going to come of it, but it's always good to see the Common Man having an effect on the government forces much bigger than us...I mean them...bigger than them...


NYT Story

West Indian Cricket

Don't look now, but West Indies, yes I said West Indies, emphatically defeated Sri Lanka in the second Test to level the series.

What made this even more impressive was how thorough a hiding they had received in the first Test and how everyone, and I mean everyone, had given them up for dead.

This is the kind of fighting spirit India should learn from.


Cricinfo Match Bulletin

Indian Cricket: ...Then the Agony

So, after the glorious records set by the Indian batsmen in the first Test against South Africa what did India go and do in the second Test?

Why, score all of 76 runs in the first innings of course.

76...the whole team...76!

And India suffered a humiliating innings-and-90-run defeat as a result.

So it goes my friend, so it goes...


Cricinfo Match Bulletin

Indian Cricket: First the Ecstasy...

Okay, so it was the kind of boring, monotonous, ultimately inconsequential home Test that the Indians have long been accused of using to pad their allegedly inflated stats (as much as I like to trash the Aussies, their individual statistics are usually meaningful, and lead to winning matches; not too many Brian Lara type 400-runs in hopelessly drawn Tests on their resume), but since it was two people I like, I will choose to believe they meant something.

First, there was Virender Sehwag back in glorious form, blasting the fastest triple century in Test history against South Africa on a flat, dusty pitch in Chennai. Perhaps even more impressive was his unprecedented feat of having turned 10 successive Test centuries into scores of 150+!

Then, there was Rahul Dravid becoming only the sixth person in history to cross the 10,000 Test run barrier (three of the six are Indian - yay!).

Good things to have happened to two of my favorite Indian cricketers.


Cricinfo Sehwag Story
Cricinfo Dravid Story