Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hipcat Recommended Reading...yo boy

* Fewer and fewer people are reading newspapers. According to this article in the Washington Post, national newspaper circulation is down 2.8 percent from last year. Certain papers, the biggest of which is the L.A. Times, have suffered almost a ten percent drop.

* Nothing sells like political controversy, especially when the publicity is free. The Dixie Chicks continue to get loads of free publicity from their simple criticisms of the Bush Administration. The BBC reports that NBC is refusing to air the Chicks new film advertisement because its politically controversial content.

* Charlotte Country Day Football Coach Bob Witman has got to be one of the best in the business. The Charlotte Observer reports that my alma mater won yet another CISAA football title. The headline says it all: "Country Day Rules CISAA."

* It seems that one of these days, saving the planet might actually be a good business decision. NPR discusses the British report on the horrorific economic consquences that unchecked global warming could bring.

* If you really loved Rosa Parks, you'd buy a Chevy. If you truly lamented 9/11, Hurrican Katrina, and the Vietnam War, you'd buy a Chevy. If you were a REAL American, you'd buy a Chevy. Slate discusses the new Chevy Trucks ad campaign.

* Have you heard about the riots in Oaxaca, Mexico? How about the protests in front of the Mexican Consulate in New York City? The Village Voice features an intriguing slide show about the death of a radical American journalist at the hands of riot police in Oaxaca.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Sheriff Diesel

Time Magazine features an entertaining interview with Shaq. In it, he discusses his goal to become Sheriff of Miami:

"I want to be sheriff. I know I can run for sheriff and win because I'm Shaq. But if I win just because I'm Shaq, then my troops won't respect me. But if my troops know I went to the police academy and I go out on warrants and do paperwork, then they'll understand that I'm serious, that I'm really the man."

Is "Hipcat Yo Boy" a Lame Blog Name?

Several trusted advisors have recommended that I change my blog's name. What do you think?

Seriously, all 10 of you who read this e-rag: I'd love some feedback. Register with Blogger to leave a comment, leave a comment on Facebook, or email me if you know my email address.

Any response will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Cardiac Cats Egg Yet Again

The Panthers lost to the Dallas Cowboys, 35-14.

The Cowboys' supposedly "weak" offensive line shut down the Cats' supposedly "unstoppable" pass rush, and Tony Romo, the supposedly "green" quarterback making his first NFL start, continuously picked holes in our supposedly "athletic" secondary.

After jumping out to a 14-point lead, the Panthers gave up 35 unanswered points. At the post-game press conference, Coach John Fox said, "We haven't found a way to finish a game yet. This is probably as poor a fourth-quarter performance as I've been associated with. I apologize to all the people that bought tickets."

In a painful game, the following 3 trends disturbed me most:

1. Too many pass drops and fumbles. I mean, Keyshawn lost a TD pass in the lights. Is this high school?

2. Time of possession. the Cowboys posted a 17 minute TOP advantage. That's over an entire Quarter's worth of time. It's hard for our defense to be effective when they're on the field almost 3 Quarters of the game.

3. Second Half Meltdown. Is it coaching? Where is the 2nd Half adjustment? Why are we the worst 3rd Quarter team in the NFL? What Super Bowl contender gives up 25 points in the 4th Quarter?

We have a Bye Week this week, and good thing too. We need to get our proverbial shit together. Tampa Bay, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and the New York Giants are coming to Charlotte, and the Cats have road games in Washington, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and New Orleans. At the very least, we have to win 5 of 8 just to stay eligible for a Wild Card.

But we have to win 8 in a row if we want to come through on our hype as one of the premier teams in the NFL. Right now, we are anything but.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Hipcat Recommended Listening...yo boy

HCYB burned these albums for his brother. Please don't have him arrested:
The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
The Coup - Pick a Bigger Weapon
Built to Spill - You in Reverse
Cold War Kids - Robbers and Cowards
Widespread Panic - Earth to America

Friday, October 27, 2006

Cook Think

Check out my buddy's great blog/future web resource. It's called Cook Think. Right now, it's in the beginning stages, but once he launches the full site, it promises to be an original and uber-helpful food and cooking resource.

Emma Gibbs Band "Out to the Country" - HCYB's Featured Album

Rock and roll would be nothing without college.

In addition to providing hordes of impressionable angsty youth, colleges are the perfect place for bands to form and find an audience. R.E.M, the Replacements, the Whigs, and myriad other rock bands got their start roaming campuses to play at dives, frats, or any other venue that could furnish big speakers and copious amounts of alcohol.

My favorite college band was the Emma Gibbs Band. At one point in time, a good buddy of mine and I fancied ourselves as Gibbs Heads. We travelled far and wide to hear their joyuous blend of bluegrass, folk rock, and Dylan Dead covers. I mean, we drove from Chapel Hill to Raleigh to see the Winston-Salem quintet play. We followed them home to Winston. We even went to other dudes' frat houses.

Emma Gibbs Band's first two records were solid, but the band just couldn't sound as good on record as they could on stage. Yes, the 4-song EP Patchwork was outstanding - just too short. And despite Seven Even's handful of great tunes, the songs were gems amongst filler.

It was not until Out to the Country was released that EGB truly made their statement. I don't even know where to begin.

Let's start with the songs. With the classical threads of true roots narrative, "Out to the Country's" lyrics weave together love and fatigue and life on the road. With harmonica, mandolin, and fiddle, the music winks at Appalachia Dixie stomp while worshipping at the rock Americana altar of one Jerome John "Jerry" Garcia. Songs like "Black Road," "Motor Up and Running," and the title track are snapshots of late 90's spin on early 70's bliss.

But just as important as the songs is the star power on the record. John Keane produced "Out to the Country." You heard me - the same John Keane who produced Uncle Tupelo's best album, the same John Keane who produced most of R.E.M.'s albums, and the same John Keane who produced all but one of Widespread Panic's albums. Adding to the sweetness was David Blackmon's trainwreck fiddle. You ever feel like crying when you hear the fiddle solo on "The Take Out?" Yeah, that's David Blackmon.

Although the original members of the Emma Gibbs Band went their separate ways, a different version of EGB continued to tour up until several years ago. I've lost touch with them, but a basic Google Search indicates that no incarnation of the band is playing at all. I heard they went and did crazy things like get married, go to graduate school, and find real jobs.

Life on the road, like college, can only take you so far. Life gets in the way, or something. Thank God for iPods.

**Click here to listen to the whole "Out to the Country" album.

**Click here to read a classic interview with EGB guitarists Drew Cannon and Richard Upchurch.

Cold War Kids

Show Season, can't stop won't stop.

The Cold War Kids blew the roof off DC9 last night with their LA blend of gospel punk. It was electric.

I wasn't going to go to this show. I mean, you gotta draw the line somewhere, right? Wrong. Peer pressure is a bitch.

Luckily, I had three cups of loose change on my dresser just itching to be dumped into one of those CoinStar Machines. Wednesday night, I walked in to the local Harris Teeter with an ass pile of change, and I walked out with enough cash for a show. At least it's not heroin.

Fiscal irresponsibility and absent backbone notwithstanding, I made the right decision. To see a band on the verge of hugeness play a dive bar cranny is what indie fandom is all about. The Cold War Kids rocked - that's all you gotta say.

The first song might have been the best. Singer Nathan Willet slumped over the mic like a blanket, moaning Son House gospel while Matt Maust thumped a spare bass at field holler tempo. The set picked up from there for an hour and half of bluesy punk wailing.

By far, the highlight was Willet's voice. I tell you what buddy, that man can sang. Whether shrieking Black Crows ballads or rasping Detroit scuzz, his voice muscled its way into indie rock lore.

Do yourself a favor - check these guys out if you haven't already. They're here to stay.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hipcat Recommended Links...yo boy

*Yahoo! News reports that "The Wave" celebrates its 25th birthday this year.

*The Village Voice discusses the troubled legacy of hip hop music by documenting a sexual harrassment case at The Source, a leading hip hop periodical.

*The BBC reports that Starbucks is preparing for a showdown with Ethiopian coffee farmers over fair trade, patents, and economic incentives.

*The Washington Post reports that Exxon Mobil's $10.5 billion quarterly profits are "the second-largest quarterly profit ever recorded by a publicly traded U.S. company."

*Slate analyzes the new Hewlett Packard ad campaign that feature such stars as Jay Z and Pharell.

*BigYawn.net is an interesting resource for the local DC music scene.

* This advertisement from the Tennessee Senate Race has been labelled "racially insensitive. Do you agree?

Are Bloggers' Journalists?

This NPR article about a jailed blogger raises an interesting question: are bloggers journalists?

On a separate note, link here to learn how YouTube is affecting advertisements in the 2007 Congressional Election.

Anarchists Think They're Soooooooo Cool

NPR features this great article about Josh Wolf, a blogger who is in jail for refusing to surrender video footage of a protest he filmed in San Francisco.

According to NPR, Wolf identifies himself as "an artist, an activist, an anarchist and an archivist."

Anarchist? Far out.

Speaking of anarchists, the Far Left has targeted the hipster market these days. I'm fascinated by the way left-wing groups spread their message amongst college kids, indie rockers, and fans of "conscious" hip hop.

Here are some groups, publications, and a historian that have caught my attention:

AdBusters - a publication that you can find in the checkout line at Whole Foods
Internationalist Books - a bookstore on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, NC
Crimethinc - its publications are regularly featured at Internationalist Books
We Are Everywhere - a "global anticapitalist movement." I bought one of their books at the Black Cat in DC.
Bound Together - an anarchist bookstore in Haight Ashbury, across the street from Ben and Jerry's and down the road from the Gap.
Earth Liberation Front - an eco-terrorism group supported by Built to Spill and romanticized in several Rolling Stone articles
Left Hand Books - a bookstore on Pearl Street, the main drag for pedestrian tourist shoppers in Boulder, Colorado
Busboys and Poets - a bookstore in the middle of a bar, cafe, and peformance space in the middle of a gentrifying section of DC.
Howard Zinn - an avowed anarchist and rock star historian whose celebrity status is approaching Michael Moore's and Noam Chomsky's

This One Is The Best

Move over Marilyn. Debbie Harry is Andy Warhol's best subject.

Despite all the great Blondie pictures I posted yesterday, this one is my absolute favorite. If I wasn't being born in 1979, I would have been in New York City. Modern Art met New Wave, Punk Rock, the Birth of Hip Hop - and the zeitgeist of Contempory Hip, as we know it, began.

Alcohol:Ham :: Taxis:Burger

Today's Washington Post features an article about certain Muslim cab drivers in Minnesota who refuse to pick up airport passengers with alcohol in their bags.

I wonder how they feel about carrying passengers with alcohol in their bellies? Isn't that the reason taxis were invented?

Read the article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/25/AR2006102501727.html

PS: The Post says, "About three-quarters of the 900 taxi drivers who serve the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport are Somali Muslims." How interesting.

Call Me a Cynic, But Seriously, F*ck Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh is a former criminal and a recovering drug addict. But that doesn't stop him from labeling other people "shameless."

According to Limbaugh, Michael J. Fox's symptoms from Parkinson's Disease are not real enough. On his radio show the other day, Rush said, "[Fox] is exaggerating the effects of the disease...He's moving all around and shaking and it's purely an act. . . . This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn't take his medication or he's acting."

Lest we forget, Rush Limbaugh did take his medication. Of course, his medication involved copious amounts of black market Oxycontin to feed his opiate addiction.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

New Debbie Harry Biopic: Another Good Excuse to Google Image Hot Pictures of Blondie

The blogosphere is full of rumors that Kirsten Dunst will play Debbie Harry in a new movie about Blondie. Ummmmm, yes please.

Drag Queens, High Heels, and a Fabulous Footrace: Just Another Night in the Nation's Capitol

The annual Dupont Drag Race went down last night on 17th Street. Hundreds of fabulous "ladies" caught the Halloween spirit a couple of days early. Thousands of stiffs like myself came out to watch.

Ostensibly, the event's focus was a 3-block footrace with men dressed in drag running in high heels (only cheaters wear pumps). However, the race constituted only a small portion of the fun. Among the highlights:

*Two queens dressed as Condi Rice, complete with boots, scowls, and secret service agents. Inevitably, they crossed paths and staged a mock showdown. (Another queen had secret service escorts, but we couldn't tell if she -errr, he- was supposed to be Hilary Clinton or Princess Di.)

*Another trio dressed as JonBenet Ramsay, John Mark Karr, and JonBenet's black-clad dead mother. JonBenet weighed at least 200 lbs and sported a scraggly beard. John Mark Karr looked eerily like the real thing.

*Still another queen dressed as the Mayor of DC. No, wait - that was the real mayoral candidate Adrian Fenty. Who woulda thunk it? The first time I ever laid eyes on the Mayor of DC was at a drag queen parade. Only in DC (or maybe San Fran, NYC, New Orleans, or Miami).

(I shot a lot of good video footage, so look forward to some YouTube links later this week or early next week. Until then, check out the Drag Race website: http://www.boldnewlook.com/screamsuite.html)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Get Ready, Folks

The election is 2 weeks away. A Nancy Pelosi-led House will raise the squawk-level to new heights. The next 2 years will have us yearning for the peace and quiet of Gingrich versus Clinton.

Let's Not Get Carried Away

Richard Cohen's column about Barack Obama in the Washington Post makes a great point. However, I don't know if I agree.

I, like so many other idealistic disciples of the American Promise, am in love with Barack Obama. He lives on the Southside of Chicago. His father is from Kenya. He is not Hilary Clinton.

Nevertheless, I'm starting to get a little nervous about all the exposure he's receiving. In only 2 weeks, he announced that he might run for president, he appeared on "Oprah," and his toothy grin filled the cover of Time Magazine. There's no such thing as bad publicity, but there is such thing as overexposure.

Let's not ruin something that's already close to being too good to be true. For all of his promise, we don't know much about his leadership because he hasn't had the opportunity to show it yet.

Barack, Democrats, Idealists: let's take it doooown a notch. Patience is a virtue.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Jake Flakes, Panthers Egg

Fourth Quarter. 3rd and Goal. Down 3 points. Touchdown would be nice. Field goal is a must. At the very least, hold on to the damn ball.

Simple, right?

Wrong. Interception. Bengals win.

The fate of the Carolina Panthers rises and falls with the performance of Jake Delhomme. This time, he egged us.

In all fairness to Jake, the Panthers indomitable defense gave up 243 yards in the second half, and the Cats lost a heartbreaker to the Cincinatti Bengals, 17-14. Yet, despite the second-half defensive meltdown, the Panthers were in a position to win or, at least, push the game into overtime. Instead, Delhomme threw a costly interception in the endzone to end the game.

It should be easy to shrug this one off. It was a road game. We'd already won 4 in a row. An AFC loss doesn't mean much as far as the playoffs are concerned. But still....this loss hurts.

Read about it at: http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/sports/football/nfl/carolina_panthers/15823766.htm

Tape Babies

Scotch tape makes great urban art....

Do you see the Carousel Horse in the above photo?

The artist is Mark Jenkins.

Check out his website here.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Wayne Coyne Hamster Ball

Check out this YouTube clip of Wayne Coyne in a Hamster Ball. The best part about it is the girl on stage dressed in a Santa suit with a confetti gun. I know her. That's so rad.

"The Dumbest Thing Since Dirt"

Links for your reading pleasure.....

*In: YouTube. Out: NBC. In: "news content-production centers." Out: traditional media. Social networking, internet video, and online information services have forced NBC to shake things up. According to The Washington Post, the network will slash 700 jobs, cut significant television programming, and move most of its content to the internet.

*In: John Bunting. Out: John Bunting. The rumor mill says Tar Heels' football coach Bunting considered resigning before the end of the season. The Raleigh News and Observer said the rumor was false. Conventional wisdom says it doesn't really matter - Bunting's gone at the end of the season, anyway.

*Tar Heel basketball season is right around the corner. Here's a great article about the competition between Bobby Frasor and Tywon Lawson for the starting point guard spot. Roy Williams says that the report that places Lawson in the Top 10 point guards in the nation is "the dumbest thing I've seen since dirt."

*Election day is 19 days away. Breitbart.com says the GOP are resorting to fear-mongering. Slate says Karl Rove's reputation as a master-strategizer could be overblown. The Washington Post says that the Republicans are preparing for the worst.

*God bless the Grateful Dead. Go to hell hippies. Prefixmag.com hits the nail on the head with their analysis of the Dead's classic album "American Beauty."

The Greatest Rock and Roll Band - No Check That - The Greatest Music Makers Ever to Walk the Face of the Earth

Show Season, Best One Yet.

Wilco. 930 Club. A blog post seems Liliputian by comparison, but I'll give it a shot.

Like any good Phish head, I checked all the previous setlists from the current tour. And, as per usual, every night looked pretty much identical. I mean, they've been playing the same set list for 3 years now. My excitement went from an 11 to a 9.

But, as per usual, the band blew me away. Who cares if they play the same songs? They're incredible f*ing songs. Check out the setlist here.

The highlights for me were: "Shot in the Arm" (after 3 warm-ups, this song was a punch in the face), "Impossible Germany" (a new song with lyrics "Impossible Germany, Unlikely Japan."), "Airline to Heaven" (Jeff Tweedy. Woody Guthrie. God. Acoustic Guitar. Goosebumps.), "Let's Not Get Carried Away" (another new one where Tweedy screams, Kotche solos, and Wilco goes hardcore), "Kingpin" (How can I....WHOOO!), and "Misunderstood" (helluva closer from Being There. According to WilcoBase, they said "Nothing" 78 times.)

It was a glorious night at that old warehouse on 9th and V. It's amazing what a great band can do at a great venue. I love this city.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ladies and gentlemen, WIIIIIILCOOOOO!

Jeff Tweedy punched a fan in the face last night. Typical. I hope he brings that kind of energy to the 930 Club tomorrow night.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sloopy Hang On

Sloop on this:

*"Hang on Sloopy" surpassed "Hey Ya" as the best wedding song ever this weekend.

*October is Sloopy Month. For the entire month of October in 1965, The McCoys' hit "Hang on Sloopy" was #1 on the charts.

*"Sloopy" is Dorothy Sloop, a 1960s jazz and pop singer from Steubenville, Ohio.

*"Hang on Sloopy" is the official rock song of Ohio. Ohio is the only state with an official rock song. Click on this link to read the 1985 Ohio General Assembly Resolution that made "Hang on Sloopy" the official rock song of Ohio.

*Not surprisingly, Wikipedia's entry for "Hang on Sloopy" is much longer than it's entry for the band that sings "Hang on Sloopy."

*Sloopy lives in a very bad part of town
and everybody yeah, tries to put my sloopy down
Sloopy I don't care, what your daddy do
Cuz you know sloopy, girl, I'm in love with you

Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on

Sloopy wears a red dress, yeah
As old as the hills
but when sloopy wears that red dress,
yeah you know it gives me the chills

Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on

Monday, October 16, 2006

Nefarious Schemes and Other Great Ideas

Did you know that Tony Blair was in on the assassination of Princess Diana? Did you know that Bill and Hilary Clinton have major financial ties to the Gambino Crime Family?

Learn more about these and other great conspiracy theories here.

Who Goes to Antarctica?

A friend of mine's boyfriend is in Antarctica studying seals. Check out his blog at Dan is Cold.

In International Organizations, Sometimes You're In and Sometimes You're Out...

...and it looks like ole Hugo Chavez is out. The Washington Post reports that Guatemala received more votes than Chavez's Venezuela in the first of four rounds of voting for the new Latin American representative to serve on the United Nations Security Council. However, because Guatemala did not earn a majority of votes, a replacement nominee win the seat. Maybe someone cool that we don't even know about yet.

TV on the Radio

Show Season, I've lost count.

If commitment to the DC music scene could be measured in credit card debt and sleep deprivation, I'd be a contender for Man of the Year.

I couldn't miss last night's TV on the Radio show at the 930 Club, even though it started absurdly late. Most of it was neither bad nor great, but several songs stood out. The unrecognized opener was huge, and "Wolf Like Me," "Young Liars," and "Staring at the Sun" were all excellent. The rest - eh.

The highlight of the night was lead singer Tunde Adebimpe . He's 3 parts David Bowie, 1 part Mick Jagger, and 6 parts holy highnote gospel - sans religion. With a spastic left arm and pointer finger, Tunde transformed the stage into a secular pulpit. Man, what a voice.

And, of course, Kyp Malone looks as hip in person as he does in all those photos released by the hype-machine. Man, what a beard-afro-scarf combo. Do you think he can go anywhere without people checking him out?

A Legend in the Making

With Julius Peppers' 47th and 48th sacks on Sunday, he broke the Panthers' Franchise record. for career sacks.

A Statement Win

The Panthers' typical slow start is but a distant memory now, and thanks to Jake Delhomme's performance yesterday in the Cats 23-21 win over the Ravens, the future looks pretty damn promising. All week, my Panthers email discussion group analyzed Delhomme's progress thus far. Who needs NFL Countdown when you have email and a group of unproductive friends in cubicle-dom? Here's what we had to say about Jake before his beasty, career-high game:

"I think the next three games, and the rest of the season for that matter, will depend on whether or not Jake lives up to his hype as one of the NFL's best QBs. He's been okay so far. Okay won't cut it in Baltimore and Cinncinatti."

"He is not going to live up to that hype. One of the best all timeplayoff QB's maybe, but definitely not one of the NFL's best all time. If our O Line can keep him protected, he can make good decisions and getthe ball to our playmakers...which makes him look damn good because Steve, Key, and Foster are ballers. However, with no protection he is exposed as an average quarterback."

"I'm pretty pleased he has only thrown one pick thus far. Granted, we really haven't played anyone, but if he can keep up the 4 to 1 ratio, it would be awesome. Jake always needs a few weeks into the season to get going, then he catches fire. See 2k4."

"He's not even top 5 this year."

"McNabb, the Mannings, Brady, Palmer, Brees, Brad Johnson, and Grossman all come to mind as better QB’s. That is just off the top of my head. I am sure there are probably a few more."

"Brad Johnson?"

"I am pleased as well. I just like Jake for what he is. A guy who can get the ball into our playmakers hands, has command and respect of the team, and a guy who loves a challenge."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Times Change, That's the Way It Is: Tupac, Dylan, and Run DMC

If I were still teaching high school, I'd take my little boombox to class today, play these three songs, and discuss the myths and realities of the American experience:

Changes - Tupac
The Times They Are A'Changing - Bob Dylan
It's Like That - Run DMC

To Deny Genocide is a Crime - Literally

I wish this law would apply to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Sudanese government. The BBC reports that the French Parliament passed a law declaring it a crime to deny that Turkey committed genocide in Armenia after World War I. Don't tell the Turkish government that - they still deny it ever happened. Understandably, this new law will have serious effects on French-Turkish relations, especially as they apply to Turkey's bid to join the European Union.

UN Heads Up

Three big events will take place at the United Nations over the next several weeks. Keep an eye on these stories:

1. The election of a new Secretary General. Goodbye Kofi Anan, hello Ban Ki-Moon?

2. The election of new rotating Security Council member countries. According to this Economist article, Hugo Chavez is lobbying hard to represent Latin America by "refounding" the UN to "radically oppose the violent pressure that the empire exercises in the world." He's already visited over 24 countries and spent close to $50 billion on aid and debt purchases in Cuba, Argentina, Bolivia, and - yes - low income areas in the United States. He's also talking about building oil refineries in Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Jamaica, Syria, Uruguay, and Vietnam. I guess that's what you can do when you have vast oil wealth. However, Hugo's still a dog. At least 35% of his own Venezuelan population lives below the poverty line, his nationalized oil company is desperately short on liquidity and capable leadership, and Venezuela still exports most of its oil to the US. Yes, the very same devil empire that Hugo vows to bring down pays for most of Hugo's outlandish endeavors. Boycott Citgo, y'all.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. China, Russia, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and most of the African Union and Arab League support him. Most of Western Europe, all of North America, Peru, and Ecuador all support the candidacy of Guatemala. If this division prevents a majority vote, then the alternative candidacies of Costa Rica, Uruguay, or the Dominican Republic.

3. The termination of the UN administration in Kosovo. Since the cease-fire in the late 1990s, the UN has been administering post-war Kosovo, trying to broker a settlement between Serbia and the ethnic Albanian residents of Kosovo. As it stands now, Kosovo is technically still part of Serbia. However, ethnic Albanians want total independence. Basically, it's still a mess over there - albeit a diplomatic rather than military mess. Pay attention to what happens as the UN lessens its role in the area.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Letter from Your General Practitioner

by Bradford Walker

Tap, tap.

The results of the test came back. Despite your best efforts, you’re no different from the others. You're a pretty good person and all, don't get us wrong! And you're definitely interesting (when you willingly converse), but, really, you’re just another pawn in the game...just like them. It's about as simple as that.

Honestly though, it’s a really noble thing that you're going for: you know, being introspective and "conscious of your world" and all that. It’s definitely helped out over the years, and some of the ideas that you regurgitate are really very sweet. That whole "of the people" not "of the chain restaurant" or"of the strip-mall" is great. I mean, we all like mom and pops. (Hi Mom!).

But, you see, you're not really helping much.We've been watching, and we noticed that if something costs more than$20, you buy it from an online discounter just like everyone else. (Well, almost everyone else. Not the technologically challenged. And also not the uneducated plebeians that you try to support - they're still going to WAL-MART! Poor saps.)

But isn’t Wal-Mart just an Amazon sans shipping charges? Unfortunately it seems that you're just shopping at Wal-Mart's long-lost tech-savvy twin. We don't have any evidence to back this statement up - but we don't think that mom and pop run your online retailer of choice either. And we hate to state the obvious, but you buy your music from Apple (NASDAQ: APPL - Market Cap: $64B) and you don't even own it in physical form ferchrisake.

Yeah, now we're sure - you're just a consumer who thinks too much.

We realize this may come as a bit of a shock, so we recommend that you go home and take in a little O.C. or an episode of American Idol. That should make you conversant in the issues "of the people." Oh, but wait, you already watch both of those shows - don't you?

Hmmm...just go take two of your roommate’s Adderall and call me never.

"Breakfast is Seen as Having Lots of Growth Potential"

- The Washington Post reports that kids can't write cursive anymore - they're too busy learning how to type.

- Slate features an esoteric look at how modern novels struggle to represent life where computer networks create virtual relationships and quasi-realities.

- The Economist reports that fast food companies are thriving in America. Americans now spend 48% of their food budget eating out, up from 25% in 1955. According to a San Francisco analyst, the years 2005 and 2006 have been "without a doubt the most active restaurant Mergers and Acquisitions environment we've ever seen." Goldman Sachs took Burger King public. Chipotle's IPO was one of the most-watched of the year. Krystal Burger is courting buyers. McDonald's and Wendy's share prices are at 6-year highs. Dunkin Donuts and Burger King just added omlettes to their menus. According to the Economist, "Breakfast is seen as having lots of growth potential."

- The Village Voice discusses the Hold Steady, current holders of indie rock's Heavyweight Hype Belt.

- The New York Times reports on the US-Libya partnership to provide a laptop computer for every Libyan child.

- The BBC reports that the "active ingredient in marijuana may stall decline from Alzheimer's disease."

Built to Spill - Observations

They talk about Mumia and sound like Phish...what am I supposed to make of that?

After 2 nights of Built to Spill at the 930 Club, I'm up and I'm down.

On the up side, this band moves me. You in Reverse was my first exposure to them, so I'm a newbie for sure. However, Doug Martsch's lyrics stir my thoughts like few others, and the band's sound absolutely rips. Their orchestration combines all the rhythm, guitar solos, tension, release, REM, Phish, and blissful jam melodic pop that I could ever ask for. I was raised on this kind of rock and roll. In my mind, this is how it all should sound.

But for every up, there is a down. And, man, Built to Spill sure brings it down.

I discussed in a previous post the sheer absurdity of the eco-terrorist agitprop they dropped during the first show. I said something about how I never wanted to see anything like that again. Well - apparently Built to Spill doesn't read Hipcat Yo Boy, because they pulled the same stunt again last night. This time, however, they took it to a new level of excrement.

Towards the end of the set, Doug Martsch breaks into the ultra-catchy hook of "Conventional Wisdom." Suddenly, he pulls the cord from his guitar and storms off stage, leaving the feedback to pierce our eardrums. Then, the burly sideman slide guitarist approaches the microphone and spews something akin to the following:

"You guys remember when Martin Luther King and Bob Dylan used to lead all those protests in this city? That was pretty cool - but really only for your parents. Tell your parents thanks for that, because you guys don't do anything anymore. I mean, where are are the protests today? Who is the Martin Luther King or Bob Dylan of today?"

Then, answering his own question, he says:

"Let's see - Hugo Chavez. Mumia Abu Jamal. Zapatista. Do you guys even know who they are?"

I'm not sure where to begin. Martin Luther King was from Alabama, not DC, and I'm pretty sure he and Bob Dylan collaborated about as much as Dylan played on the National Mall, which is to say, never. And, you ask, where are the protestors of today? Good question. Back in the 1960s, a lot of them came to DC from Oregon, California, and Washington - the havens of your so-called eco-terrorists. Looks like romanticing property destruction has replaced organized protesting as the favorite way for Western drop outs to stick it to the Man. And, before you ask me if I know who Mumia, Hugo, and Zapatista are, why don't you stop getting your information from head shop T-shirts, stop reading Rage Against the Machine's recommended reading list, and start paying attention to how the real world works, you f*ing poseur.

I tell you what, man..those Built to Spill shows were some of the best I've ever seen. Too bad the band members are a buncha jerks.

And by the way, Zapatista is a movement, not a person. Ignorance + Soapbox = Vomit.

Built to Spill - Lyrics

From "Conventional Wisdom:"
They dont know they're wrong
But you know that they never can see that
Thats what makes them strong
that they know that we'll never see

Some things never change
Something's gotta change that
Some things you can't explain
Like why were all embracing conventional wisdom

in a world that's just so unconventional

From "Goin' Against Your Mind:"
When I was a kid I saw a light
Floating high above the trees one night
Thought ‘twas an alien
Turned out to be just god

Calm Before the Storm

Keyshawn is our difference maker. He scored the only offensive TD in the Cats' 20-12 win over Cleveland, and he's the team leader in receptions (27), receiving yards (373), and TDs (2 receiving, 1 rushing).

Good thing, too. The next 3 weeks promise to be hellacious for the Cats. With D'Angelo Williams out indefinitely with an ankle sprain, consecutive road games at Baltimore and Cincinatti (#6 and #9 in ESPN's Power Rankings, respectively), and a home game against Dallas, the Cats are going to need all the offensive firepower they can muster.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Built to Spill

Show Season, Back on Track.

A buddy of mine once drove from DC to Denver to see Built to Spill. After seeing them at the 930 Club last night, I can see why. This band is classic rock in the making. With a great falsetto voice and road-tested guitar chops, lead singer Doug Martsch is the truth. His lyrics are even better:

From Goin' Against Your Mind: "People feel that we don't understand/what it takes to want to be a man/I don't care much for that/I don't know why."

From Traces: "I know it's hard sometimes for you to tell/where you end and where the world begins./You do your best to avoid assimilation/I guess that's the best you can do."

The finale, however, was a disaster. Using a combination of live music and a pre-recorded video feed, the band waxed political on us. And what was their cause celebre? Eco-terrorism. Not pro-environment. Not anti-development. But pro-eco-terror.

Holy Left Coast. Holy soapbox. Holy I never - ever - want to see anything like that again.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Happy Columbus Day Y'all

Today, the federal government and banks across the country commemorate the rape and pillage of the American Indian. Best holiday wishes from Columbus, Andrew Jackson, and Jack Abramoff - may your destinies always be manifest!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Latta Represents

“I want to be a leader...I want to be the leader for this team. And I’ll take what goes with that. I’ll take all the blame for anything. Put it on my shoulders. I can handle that."

Read the full article here.

The Mellow Superstar

There are two things about this photo that I love. (A) Check out Fox in the background. (B) Check out how the Juice is carrying the ball. He ain't no running back - but he sure does love to have that rock in his hands.

Here's a good Charlotte.com article about Julius. Actually, it's not even an article. It's just a bunch of quotes about how "unbelievable" or "incredible" or "phenomenal" Peppers is.

New Media Strategies

Today's Washington Post features an article about what the newspaper calls the "New Media." It offers an intriguing analysis of the effect that blogs, talk radio, and new, openly-biased television and print media are having on the political process. Bill Clinton deplores it. Dick Cheney loves it. I think its info-tainment.

The Mark Foley fisasco encapsulates it all. Count all the new media involved in it: Foley is busted sending dirty emails and IM's to pages. ABC.com breaks the story. Most people first see the report on various blogs (well, at least I did). Bloggers like Matt Drudge keep the story going around the clock. Liberal bloggers start calling for the resignation of Republican leader Dennis Hastert. Hastert appears on Rush Limbaugh's show and other conservative radio programs to defend himself and decry the witch hunt led by all the liberal bloggers.

This, my friends, is our zeitgeist.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hipcat Recommended Reading...yo boy

It seems pretty lame to have a blog filled mostly with links to other sources. But original thought and creativity are elusive virtues, both time consuming and demanding. Who's got time for that?

Nevertheless, this Slate article about Bill O'Reilly is fantastic - not only for its parody of the blowhard, but also for its statements about social class, snobbery, and self-image in American culture.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Turtles, Cartoons, and 1950s Fear-Mongering

Does the above picture scare you? Well, try watching this YouTube video . It's a cartoon from the Civil Defense Administration, released in the 1950s to protect schoolchildren from an atomic bomb. It's so cute. I'm glad I wasn't a kid back then. It's no wonder our parents are so scared. (Just kidding, Mom.) Props (again) to Rolling Stone for uncovering this gem.

She Fell In Love With The Drummer - And He Was 4 Years Old

I'm experiencing technical difficulties with posting YouTube videos directly to my blog. However, this video is not to be missed. The star, a 4-year old, is the future Dave Grohl. Props to Sinister Joe for alerting me to the original post on Rolling Stone. (Actually, the original post was on YouTube. Man, blogging complicates the process of citing your sources.)

Maybe the Religious Right Is On To Something

Rolling Stone has always pushed the envelope, especially with their annual "Hot List" issue. Although the above 2003 Brittany Spears shot is pretty dicey, check out this year's cover. In addition to featuring Fergie the Black Eyed Pea in predictably skimpy swim wear, the cover also advertises "Hot Sex!!," "The World's Best Pot," and "Taking Back Congress: 10 Key Races." Moms, preachers, and Fergie's dad are freaking out across the country.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Would You Pay This Yanni $1 Billion?

This is Mark Zuckerberg. He started Facebook. He is a rich yanni.

Yahoo! and several other major media corporations are interested in buying Facebook for a sum that could reach $1 Billion. You heard me: One. Billion. Dollars.

This amount seems absurd on its own, but it's even more ridiculous when you consider that Zuckerberg is 25 years old. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard drop-out proudly admits that he doesn't get to work until after 10 AM. And when his girlfriend is in town visiting for the weekend, Zuckerberg refuses to schedule meetings...even when companies want to pay him a billion dollars.

I guess I should admit that I'm a huge Facebook fan. It's my second favorite website. Here are some links to what the Washington Post, Slate, and Time have to say about Facebook.

Hugo Chavez, Again

I don't know who is more entertaining - Hugo Chavez or Borat. Of course, Hugo's a little bit scarier, but he's just as capable of inspiring a laugh as the Kazakh journalist is.

Here's an interview with Hugo from the Progressive. In it, he says, "Here the empire is finished, and I believe that before the end of this century, it will be finished in the rest of the world. We will see the burial of the empire of the eagle."

Here's a link to an Economist article about Latin American leadership. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil, is losing ground to Chavez as the prominent voice of Latin America.

Keep an eye on Chavez, for sure. He's trying to land a spot on the UN Security Council, which is up for re-organization fairly soon. Russia, China, and a host of Latin American countries have already pledged to endorse his, I mean Venezuela's candidacy.

And by the way, Citgo is owned by the Venezuelan government which means it's owned by Hugo Chavez. Boycott anyone?

And by the way also, that's a picture of Cindy Sheehan up there. I'd compare her to Jane Fonda, but at least Hanoi Jane was good looking.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Classic Will Ferrell

I can't post the video, but here's the YouTube link. Classic.

New Robert Frost Poem

NPR.com reports that a graduate student in the English department of UVA discovered an unknown Robert Frost poem inscribed on the inside of a rare book.

NPR writes, "In this poem from 1918, Frost reflects on the fighting in Europe during World War I. At the direction of the Frost estate, only the first two stanzas appear here:

'War Thoughts at Home'

On the backside of the house
Where it wears no paint to the weather
And so shows most its age,
Suddenly blue jays rage
And flash in blue feather.

It is late in an afternoon
More grey with snow to fall
Than white with fallen snow
When it is blue jay and crow
Or no bird at all."


1. Check out this great Marge Simpson resource.

2. The Post features an article about a former inmate getting involved with a youth literacy program called YoungMenRead book club.

3. Election 2006 is a month away. Here's some right-wing and left-wing chatter for your info-tainment.

4. These are some of my interests:
- Cholula
- primary sources
- Pitchfork
- Allagash, Heineken, and Pabst Blue Ribbon
- broccoli and spinach
- Slate
- The Onion
- Busboys and Poets
- St. Ex
- Ernest Hemingway
- cheese

I'm Suffering from Borat-onia

Yak-sha-mesh...I can't get enough of this guy. Check out these two classic clips. Wah-wah-wee-wah.

Mitch Hedberg

Mitch Hedberg has to be one of the most underrated comedians of the past 10 years. I wish he was still alive. His Wikipedia page is awesome - especially the highlights of his jokes. So is this perfectly titled article: "The Rise and Fall of Comedy's Kurt Cobain."

Cardiac Cats Back on Track, Peppers Still Beasty

All's well with the world. The Cats hung on the beat the Ain'ts today 21-18. Three-way tie for first place in the NFC South. Julius Peppers is quickly suprassing Rasheed Wallace and Raymond Felton as my favorite Tar Heel of all time.

The season's at its Quarter Mark. MVPS thus far:
1. John Kasay
2. Julius Peppers
3. Keyshawn Johnson

HCYB intends to be in the stadium when Cleveland comes to town next week.