Thursday, May 31, 2007

Miller Time

It seems Koreans are krazy about Michael Scofield, aka 서코필, pka Wentworth Miller. Sure, as far as acting goes he has only one emotive style (I am hypnotizing you with my sexy, squinty stare; I am talk-whispering; take off your pants), but it works, so why tamper with success? It takes a certain kind of man to pull off that look -- when I try it the biggest question I get is "Are you drunk or something?" and, occasionally, "Did you lose a contact?"

Wentworth Miller is a sensation: he's a Bean Pole model for cryin' out loud; and if you don't think Koreans' attitudes vis a vis tattoos has seen a drastic paradigm shift since Prison Break started airing on the penninsula, ask a teenager. I'm firmly convinced that Miller could singlehandedly -- single-eyesedly? -- spark a sexual revolution in the ROK. If this indeed happens, call me the Malcolm Gladwell of tracing Korean cultural tipping points. If it doesn't, just call me Angel of the morning, baby.

And while the summer of Scofield would be nice and all, what I really want is for Miller to hear his true calling. Arousing the Korean populace from its ancient sexual slumber is one thing, but what I really wish is for Miller to assume his birthright: becoming the next great gunslinger.

The Hollywood western needs a motherfucking revival, and who better to kickstart a movement* than Mikey-Sco? Are you telling me cat wouldn't be the dopest six-gun shooter since Clint Eastwood? Nobody'll replace Clint, but Miller's the closest thing we've got as far as steely-eyed toughguys go. Sure, he's a little too pretty and a little less weathered than The Man With No Name, but give him time.

I'll be patient. Johnny Depp, Clint Eastwood, even Patrick Fucking Dempsey: they all needed a little aging afore their true cinematic viewing comfort could be achieved. Right now, Miller is a new leather couch: nice to look at, but a little tough to sleep on. Give him a few years, though, and he'll do something marvelous. I haven't been this excited about a rookie since I saw Skeet Ulrich in Scream.

Perhaps I should shut the fuck up now.

* My apologies to Ex-Lax

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sore Thumb Soliloquy

I know, with ninety-nine percent certainty, that I will never again buy another comic book. Much like as an elementary school student I believed I would play with action figures my whole life, my adolescent self would have scoffed at that proclamation; but during my teens my once veracious love of funny books waxed and waned, then waned some more, until I finally, in my early twenties, stopped dropping by my local comics store every week. Now all I have are fond memories of the fantastic adventures of men and women with secret identities. And to be perfectly honest, dammit, I even have a soft spot in my heart for poly-bagged, silver-embossed, glow-in-the dark (etc.) gimmicks. And to be perfectly, perfectly honest, I even miss the constipated visages of Rob Liefeld's tooth pick-legged monstrosities.

But there comes a point in a man's life when he must put behind him the fancies of his youth, move on to bigger and more important interests. Like religiously watching VH1 countdown shows and pretending to be a relevant writer on a blog nobody reads.

Similarly, these days I find myself on the precipice of another bold step towards abandonning something which has provided me with endless hours of enjoyment and asked so little in return*: video games. Jesus, impotence can't be too far ahead, can it?

Let's get one thing straight: this is by no means insinuating that game playing in one's adulthood belies a lack of ambition or maturity. Unless you're past your twenties and still trying to defeat the Macho Man in Punch Out!, I mean. In that case, you should have done the world a favor and become a human test subject for drug companies a long time ago.

I actually admire hardcore gamers. They seem to be having so much fun. Not to say that I don't still experience an occasional sense of euphoria, but receiving a 15% off cupon for women's leggings at E-Mart is markedly unexciting compared to finishing Shinobi on a single life.

Many moons ago -- or so it seems -- a wise man gave me Marvel Ultimate Alliance for the PS2. Comic book characters and gaming, dig it! What's not to like, right? Shit sounded better than peanut butter and chocolate, tuna and mayo; but when I sat down to experience what I believed would be an orgasm of fanboy Fantasia, a weird thing happened. I felt as though I were stepping foot in a foreign land, my fingers betraying me like Judas, my geek libido making an about face.

Like Dirk Diggler coked up and masturbating furiously in Boogie Nights, I desperately tried to make it work -- but I soon realized that my enthusiasm for gameplay was NEVER GOING TO COME. Back.

Two weeks ago, a colleague passed on to me a copy of Metal Gear Solid 3, a game which I've anticipated playing for, I guess, 4 years. And as much as I want to feel that fire again, the very thought of immersing myself once more into a relationship...sorry, 3-dimensional virtual escapism...scares the hell out of me. I never half step, because I'm not a half stepper. Do it or screw it.

As is my nature, I'll give it a shot. Maybe I'll rekindle the flames of a misspent, Sega Genesis-fueled, youth. Maybe I'll go someplace where you can never find me.

Maybe I'll finish it in 3 hours and spend the rest of the day completing a short story about a bicycle-eating dead girl.

Or, just maybe, I'll walk away with my fond memories intact, no regrets.

Because when I was in third grade I beat Mike Tyson. And everything which came afterwards was meaningless in comparison.

Game. Over.

* No, not porn. At least not yet.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Jealous Ones Envy

Before we begin, a quote:

"I'm about to serve you in a minute/like rice on the table/'cause I'm able like Mabel/to skip, slip, dip, stagger/and still remain stable"

-- Ace, Masta, "Go Where I Send Thee"

(Which, in layman's terms, means the brief leave of absence is o-v-e-r. Any leftovers, Ma?)


It must be pretty sweet to be TMH right about now. Sweeter, I mean. Pretty soon, cat'll have two future -- knock on mahogany -- Hall of Famers playing within 3 hours of each other. The 2006/2007 NBA season and playoffs might've been a fetid sack of yak turd, but fuck it, I'm SO hype at the prospect of Pacific Northwestern b-ball dominance that I can forgive the Bill Simmons that was this year in professional hoops*. Now the area is gonna be known for harvesting another kind of dope. May your first children be masculine children, Luca Brasi style, PNW.

Sorry to sound like a flustered little girl, but gosh! how the hell did this happen? I won't look a gift horse in its grill, because with every fiber of my soul I wished all season long that the Memphis Fucking Grizzlies would get neither Oden nor Durant**, but the Blaze and The Emerald City? I'm making up a new word: justice.

Justice. I made that word up. From the era of a Dapper Dan texture. It's cool like a Lark super menthol. Domo.

(Aside: Can the NBA please restructure the L WWE Raw/Smackdown style, where competitive teams or players -- see: Pistons, Detroit; Wade, Dwyane; Mascot, Raptors -- from the Eastern Conference are called up to play with the big boys only if they can show and prove they can hang with the REAL league? This deserves its own post, actually, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Vince Carter would absolutely flourish in NBA Division 2 ball. If he weren't a female, I mean.)

To ease it up and bring it back, the obvious Portland pick is Oden, Durant for president -- Kevin Duckworth and Rashard Lewis weep. But let's suppose the reverse occurs. Still good, money. Still good.

And I can't help imagining Randle Patrick McMurphy smiling.

Somewhere, sometime, TMH is singing Na-na-na-na-na-Na-na-na-na-na-na-na.

The 2007 NBA Draft Lottery: Psychedelic Kimochi of the Year.

Plant the seeds and watch them grow.

It is true. The makings of you.

* But not, however, the inevitible snore fest of another Spurs/Pistons Finals. Please, God, anything but THAT.

** The Celtics not as much, because, as much as I disparage The Sports Guy, he definitely deserves basketball bliss; and I feel sorry as a Parker Brothers board game (or is it Milton Bradley? I need K-Hot to straighten me out***) for that worthy.

*** No double entendre.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The PK Report: Nancy Lang Gets Naked*

My learned friend, William G, once penned a frequent little ditty called the Bill Report. The Bill Report is no more, but I'm jacking the format for a week in review. I know William G wont mind, because we're old school like that [see picture, WG on the left]. The mosaic is a homage to his infamy and, well, Japanese pornography censors asked me to do it. Think about it.

If you haven't checked out Bang Barstal by now, then you best do so before it's too late.

Long live the Bill Report.

1. Did you know that Psychedelic Kimchi gets more referrals from 'Chloe Sevigny Blow Job' and 'Nancy Lang' than anything else? Well, now you do. Speaking o' which, I decided to hit up that search engine thing to check out where we placed on such searches. I promptly found some ... erm ... additional images of our patron babe, Ms Lang. Let me just say, I had no idea.


2. I'm predicting that this little video on Youtube will be the next netizen drama bomb. [You're not missing anything].

I can only hope it turns out as well as this: Lions vs Buffalo vs Crocodiles. Do yourself a god damned favour and watch the above video in its entirety.

3. Thank Christ the NBA lottery resulted in two non-tanking teams getting the rights to Oden and Durant. As a 90s NBA fan, the prospect of a reborn Sonics and Blazers axis makes me all warm and fuzzy. Again, I'm old school. I might even crank out Ten and stop washing my hair.

On the flipside, what the Cs and Memphis did during the regular season was an insult to the game. Ultimately, justice was served, because in life and in fantasy, one should never test the hoop gods.

4. On the subject of tanking, I think I finally get it: Isiah is tanking the Knicks in order to have the best chance in the 2010-11 NBA draft. Degree of difficulty? A solid 10.1. Hell, I'm pretty sure we don't even have a first round pick that year. That's how you run a team, folks.

Right into the ground.

5. The Spark/Wade paradigm just gets spookier. Check the date of the last Spark post and then the Heat injury report:

Too close for me.

6. In other hoops news, it looks as though we're headed to another exhilarating Pistons/Spurs final, which should be the hoops equivalent of lawn bowls. Aside: do lawnbowlers have NBA-esque groupies? I can just imagine an old fella spitting: 'Man, check out homegirl with the purple rinse. I've heard she has two prosthetic hips and a pair of deflated spalding game balls that'll make you drool... moreso'.


The one burning question I have with the NBA finals is whether Chris Webber will be allowed on the floor during crunch time. Can you imagine if Webber were to call a non-existent timeout that cost the Pistons the championship? I'd like to see David Blaine explain that shit.

7. The Lost season finale was unbelievable. The sequence of events beginning with Hugo in the Combi was flatout champagne television. [Spoiler] And showing the future from the first scene was just genius. [/Spoiler] I no longer care if they are making it up as they go along. Good times.

8. Not sure if you caught it in your part of the world, but the 'Search for the Next Pussycat Doll' was, in its own unique way, also champagne television.

TSFTNPCD [acronym, boys] was clearly the product of a bunch of coked-up TV executives saying 'Fuck it. Let's just stop pretending and make a show about hot young women in skimpy clothing and make them undertake lapdance competitions'. They even threw in singing and catfights to make it unmissable for the female audience (ie. free pass, gents). Honestly, it was the finest TV triumph since TV execs on the Simpsons dreamed up 'Police Cops'.

9. To spit some lit, I recently finished 'Black Swan Green' by David Mitchell, and while it doesn't hold a candle to Cloud Atlas, it's a fine read nonetheless. I'm now on The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano. It's all poetry, sex and south american women - sold. And if you're still sleeping on 'The Road', it has now been Pulitzered and Oprahed.

10. Some Kimochi for your ears: Ayame Misake.

Enough said. Zel out.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Mystery Whiteboy

I don't usually watch House MD. It's not that I don't like the program. It's just that Heroes is shown at the same time and... well... Heroes is about superheroes. House MD is about a crotchety old guy. If I want to look at bitter old men, I'll open my eyes when I'm commuting to work.

Heroes has it all: flying, invisibility, poor role models, cheerleaders and the inevitable destruction of New York. It's like being a Knicks fan, just in 60 minute increments.

What House does have going for it is Robert Sean Leonard. Now before you think that I have gone all Alan Jones/Ted Haggard on you, let me explain. You see, I owe Robert Sean Leonard my life.

He doesn't know this, of course, but it's true. He didn't stop me from being hit by the trans-Siberian in 1995 or help me get into rehab during my crack cocaine phase in 1987. Lord knows I needed him, but he wasn't there. But you know what? It's okay. Because I'm about as good at holding grudges as Ali Ismail Abbas. [Seventh circle, coming right up.]

I owe Robert Sean Leonard my life because of Dead Poets Society. DPS (acronym, folks) is a wonderful film for impressionable young literary minds. It certainly helped galvanise my love of prose. As a youngster, it made me see lit as legitimate and cool. And I don't mean cool like Milhouse, I mean cool like Whitman and Neruda.

At 13, I read a great deal, but always in secret. See, when I was 13, reading was for homos. So I became a closet case. I read under the covers with a torch, in the toilet with the door locked, in a makeshift cubby at the park. I loved reading, I just didn't want anyone to know about it. The upside was a hobby unhindered. The downside was that my mother thought I had become a chronic masturbator. She would prove to be right, just three years too early.

I can't recall when I actually first saw DSP, but I do recall that it made me stand up on my desk, proclaim "O Captain, my Captain" and masturbate gayly in public. I mean this, of course, in a metaphorical sense.

DPS isn't without faults. I concede that it is single-handedly responsible for ensuring that every high school speech has the groaner 'carpe diem' locked and loaded, but that's okay. Because it gave you, dear reader, this blog. And in that celestial game of pong, that makes us 1:1.

But that's not why I owe Robert Sean Leonard my life.

My wife happens to be from one of the more homogeneous cultures on God's grey earth. And I'm not fucking around when I say homogeneous. We're talking about the people who invented an impenetrable ship named the Geobukseon and pride themselves in having a pure 5000 year old lineage. Coreans are the freemasons of Asia. No one on the outside knows how to join. I'm sure they even have a secret handshake and wear strange undergarments. [Move on.]

With that as a context, let's go back. Back to the autumn of 2000, where I met an amazing girl from an impenetrable pure blood line. Let's look at the operative word a little more closely:

im·pen·e·tra·ble (ĭm-pĕn'ĭ-trə-bəl). adj.
1. Impossible to penetrate or enter.

Understand that my wife isn't your garden variety stone head. She's good quality. When I first met the lass, I knew that the odds of my successfully courting her were obviously not good, even for a man of my considerable penetrative skills.

As you are no doubt aware from the extensive Wikipedia page on my personal history, I managed to secure my fair lady with nary a finger waved in resistance. For reasons I could never quite explain - until now.

Whilst watching Heroes the other night, I channel surfed over to House MD. Whereupon the missus caught sight of Dr James Wilson (aka Robert Sean Leonard).

"Ohmo, I love him" she sighed.

I asked her why.

She then relayed a tale of a naive young girl who watched a movie named Dead Poets Society. She told me she fell in love with the character Neil Perry (Leonard) because he was so intelligent, fair-skinned and sensitive. She explained there was one scene where she actually gasped at his beauty. She said she never forgot how that movie made her feel.

I sat there for a moment. Usually I'd be a little pissed hearing her talk about some other guy so glowingly. Hell, if I'd made similar remarks to her about Jessica Alba, I'd be shitting into a bag for the rest of my life.

But I was fine. Instead, it dawned on me that I'd solved a riddle. I could actually pinpoint the precise moment that the universe shifted in my favour. If she had never seen Leonard in DPS, she may never have glanced at this curious whiteboy that was now her husband. In all likelihood she would have ended up with some Samsung salaryman named Bum Suk and never travelled to my distant shore.

I explained my little epiphany to her. She told me I was stupid. She paused for a moment and then asked if Bum Suk was rich.

And then she smiled, like she does.

So, here's to you, Robert.

I owe you.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Everything is Eventual

29 years, months, weeks, days, hours or seconds -- once that period of waiting is at an end, the rest is, as they say, history; and suddenly a fourteen-year bid in the bing is kin to the day your local comic book store gets its new issues. When it finally sinks in that the wait really is over, it doesn't matter the case. Because waiting sucked, and tomorrow you won't have to wait any longer.

As much as I want to be the extra-prolific master of ceremonies of yesteryear, I've been waiting forever for tomorrow. I mean that literally. And I have to

(don't say it, don't say it)

step away from the control tower, at least for the next few weeks. Get busy living or get busy blogging style.

Fear not, this isn't Psychedelic Hiatus V3.0: I'll continue to kick around The Fortress of Solitude on the daily (because I'm vain like that, and not a day goes by when I don't read my own ish and think, "Damn, I put your favorite blogger's favorite blogger to shame"), but there are other worlds than this, Constant Retard, and I'm finna put as much -- nay, more -- love into them as I have here. I mean that colloquially.

In the mean, don't wait for me. Because the more you anticipate, the more you suffer. I should know.

I'll be back before you know it.

I've always wanted to be an astronaut.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Psychedelic Kimochi (aka "Mom, there's nothing interesting on the Internet!")

Okay, okay...since I've been under a lot of pressure from work,

(I've been getting drunk a lot and starting fights with random passersby)

I haven't had time to a) compose a log* of today's exciting Game 4 between the Suns and the San Antoniobanderas Suckerpunches (Ill Mare, baby! By the way, why isn't Steve Nash's name mentioned more often these days when it comes to the game's premier clutch players? MF is dependable like sanitary undergarments), b) write up a review of Babel (an amazing flick that falls apart in its final act; I want nihlism, dammit! That bad boy was set up to be a crushing nutpunch of tragedy, yet winds up having a happy-ending-that-isn't-really-that-happy-nor-too-bittersweet. I like my films like I like my tea: hot and steamy, or cold and icy. Fuck that lukewarm shit. If I invest nearly two and a half hours of my valuable time** preparing for an emotional high or low, I tend to feel a little ripped off when all I get is the cinematic equivalent of a silent fart. I'm sorry, I know the story's conclusion is more or less realistic and doesn't rely on cheap sentimentality or pathos, but if I wanted to prepare myself for a would-be tragedy which turns out to be somewhat the opposite and contains a subdued sense of hope, I'd watch Oprah interview burn victims who've become concert pianists. The film's biggest problem: there is no real antagonist, and indeed the theme seems to be that the events which transpire are nobody's fault but Fate's. Maybe that's innovative, but for me it was far from interesting. Have Cate Blanchett die; Have the cops shoot to death the two brothers and their father; have the two Caucasian kids die in the desert and their housekeeper expire from dehydration; have the housekeeper's nephew get hit head on by an eighteen-wheeler while on the run from po-po; have the deaf/mute Japanese girl take a dive, ELO-style, from her highrise; end the film with a close-up of her anguished father realizing all the destruction his innocent gift hath wrought. THAT would have been one motherfucking heartwrenching film experience, boy. I must say, I did appreciate the nudity, though.), and c) call back the Matron Saint of PK regarding a follow-up interview; but if you're anything like Idealjetsam (nee Mr. T; the theme for May -- both prayed for and, in some cases, granted -- has been one of returns, and it's nice to see homeboy's handle back in ack; it's like when The Artist Formerly Known As dropped that effed-up symbol and came back as Prince. Matter of fact, it's EXACTLY like that. And if you don't think I'm going to start referring to dude as The Purple Playboy, you don't know me very well.), points A and B matter about as much as a Uwe Boll movie, so, Great White Spark, stop stalling and show me the goods.

(If you read all that without pause, Constant Retard, I'm buying you a double-scoop chocolate chip mint ice cream. With guitars!)

Truthfully, though (alright! be patient a little longer, okay!?), I HAVE been concocting something in the few days between posts: a short story that I may or may not toss up here. Depends upon whether I can strike the right balance between touching somberness, bizarre humor, and a lingering aftertaste of eternal hope. Right now we're in the fetal stage, and I'm not that hype about it, but I'm confident that if I spend more time on it -- rather than fruitlessly composing brick paragraphs with the sole intention of confusing what little readership I have left, say -- I can pull it off. After all, I'm Tiberious aka Sparkles. And you're not.

Hey, isn't it weird that a post which was supposed to excuse myself for mailing it in has taken up the better part of an hour? Shit, I gotta get back to "work."

If there's a metaphor here (and with me there always is; you're just too slow to figure it out), it's that waiting is the hardest part. Enjoy the loveliness of Harumi Nemoto. If, however, you failed to read the above, and simply scrolled down to look at her chest rock-wells***, well sir, may you get shot on a bus in Morocco and eventually survive. I'm wrathful/beneficent like that.

But I can't make any promises that your illegal-immigrant housekeeper won't get deported.

* Of the intangible variety

** (snicker)

*** That's awful, I know. But throw the noodle at the wall and see if it sticks, right?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Kryptonian Kimochi (Psychataxia)

Well, it looks as if another festive Masta Ace Day has come to a conclusion and, frankly, I feel that this year's celebration may go down in history as the greatest ever. The Ace Parade in downtown 'Chon was exemplary, to say the very least, and the annual deflowering ceremony left me anxious to wind down the evening with the sound of vitality. I also decided to watch some television.

Having said that, I just finished watching National Lampoon's Pledge This! To be quite honest, I can't accurately describe just how awful the film was. Imagine taking a dump, flushing the brown bastard, and then finding out that the chunk of choco-delight produced, directed, and starred in a film. I'd rather see that film. Fuck, I don't know what I had been thinking, soiling such a wonderful holiday with this piece of jaozym*. On the other hand, a different movie station was playing Nightmare on Elm Street, part five - The Dream Child, so basically I had chosen to go with something unseen. Freddy's attempt to return via the dreams of a young woman's unborn child is too classy for me, at this point in my life.

Here's a picture, to help you grasp the plot of Paris Hilton's masterwork.

(If you want a synopsis, stare at the picture for about ten minutes, go headbutt a mirror, and then leave a comment. I'll get back to you.)

In hindsight, I must have been more intoxicated than I expected to be, or perhaps I was lured in by the sporadic appearance of large-breasted, naked women (or both). No, okay, look, I was really watching it because I've a penchant for spry, nubile young women. Not really young, mind you, as such things are reserved for the once-in-a-millennium idealjetsam post, but definitely outside the realm of the mature quail.

Which brings us to Sarah Carter.This entelechy has suffered through several bogus productions, but that just implies that she makes poor choices** (Pledge This!, DOA, being a member of the Canadian Debate Team, etc.), and we've all done that***. Hopefully, her upcoming role in Skinwalkers will rectify past errors. If all else fails, she'll at least look a bit more like my ideal woman. (See below.)

Speaking of ideal women, as a lad I had a big crush on Helen Slater aka Supergirl (I think that's why I'm a sucker for vivacious blondes, and luscious magicians), and Sarah Carter kinda reminds me of Kara Zor-El. Sparkles probably thought that my first picture was merely a homage to two of the greatest performers in cinematic history, but alas, I'm simply a drunkard reminiscing about a romanticized past (namely, my affair with Peter O'Toole, but also about Helen Slater, who has successfully spurned me sixteen times). I truly believe that a shard of my boyhood innocence was lost upon discovery that Helen Slater had borne her breasts in a film. I won't say which film, because I'm a gentleman, but rest assured that it can easily be uncovered by any enterprising individual. It also scarred me for life****.

What had I been talking about? Something akin to an ideal woman, I suppose. (Enlarged canines, splattered by blood, and a feral disposition.) You know my number, Carter, and it's time to make the call.


* Jaozym

** That she makes poor choices implies that I may have a shot with blow me!

*** I worked at a Wendy's during college, and you read this post. We're about even.

**** It disrupted my sense of perception, but not nearly as much as the head-changing Mombi did.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

You Can't Stop the Power of the Ace in Your Eye

I've touched upon this before. Here's the Reed Richards version (because I got home this morning, drunk as a lord, and listened to Go Where I Send Thee half a dozen times before falling asleep*):

I dig Masta Ace so much that, occasionally, I'll spell it Ase as tribute. If this were 1993, I'd be sitting in art class, trying in vain to sculp a fucked-up earthenware ashtray, arguing to everyone in proximity that Slaughtahouse is the most underappreciated hip-hop album of all time, Ace an unheralded genius. Much has changed since then (I got laid a few times, for one; praise Allah), but, still, Ace remains overlooked to all but a few cellar dwelling purists. If this were ball -- and, really, what isn't? -- Ace would be Robert Horry: never having a prime, yet staying consistent spanning his entire career, and always coming through in the clutch.

Not a career retrospective, I simply want to reminisce over the Masta. As I've previously mentioned on this

(testament of sublime prose)

blog, if someone had told me 17 years ago that Masta Ace would have the most consistent -- if not the most commercially lucrative -- career of any Juice Crew member, I would have told him he was crazy. Then I woulda thrown a Sega Genesis controller at his face.

Yet Ace never released a subpar effort (Big Daddy Kane's A Taste of Chocolate and Prince of Darkness, anyone?) or, to quote Mike Tyson, faded into Bolivian like Kool G Rap. He's never been mainstream, but he's never been far from the collective true head consciousness. And it can be argued that he's only gotten better in the veteran stage of his career. A Long Hot Summer, if indeed his final release, was on some Jordan buzzer beater in the '98 Finals shit -- the crowning achievement of one of the greatest, most innovative MCs to ever bless a mic. (Let's pretend we live in a world where Jordan's ill-conceived and conceited comeback to play for the Washington Wizards never happened, shall we? I like that world. They have grilled-kimchi-flavored potato chips there.)

Anyway, I am officially declaring May 13th Masta Ace Day. There's no other special day on this date as far as I know, so why not**? Do yourself a favor and peep the following vids. And if you're particularly resourceful, try to download the hard-as-fuck to locate Go Where I Send Thee, a track I will proclaim is unequivocally one of the top 5 hip-hop songs of all time. Word to Bill Simmons: I will not argue this.

Saturday Night Live:


Me & the Biz:

(Ayo, Lincoln wasn't Cuban. That line will forever crack me up.)

And The Crooklyn Dodgers:

* Also inspired by Baron Davis's ill 360-degrees layup yesterday. In the pantheon of amazing shots, that ranks not far behind Jeff Malone's falling-out-of-bounds 3 pointer and

(K-Hot, read no further)

Leo getting capped in The Departed. Simply stunning.

** How long, I wonder, until my mother officially disowns me.

Two Birds...

Well, a former posting of the lovely Miss Lin Chiling was zapped due to some legal nonsense wherein I seemed to have stolen a picture from...blah, blah, legal-blahdie-copyright-blah-BLAH. So, to stone two fouls with one roll, I would like to compensate for Taka-shi's recent Kimochi Katashtrophe and preface a new IJ post with a little of the old flavor:

idealjetsam kimochi

That' s better. But, to tender a true dooble, here's some more of (as I like to say to all my homies at Asia Finest, hollah!!) the other white meat:

idealjetsam kimochi

The older-than-all-of-those-centerfolds-we-used-to-look-at-when-we-were-adolescents-so-chillax-that-holier-than-thou-vibe, the lovely, and the entirely devoted to me, not any other PK staff writer, Miss Kwon, BoA in her latest venture, endorsing Nike. I now know what Buddha got me for his birthday.

* You're-a gonna wanna click on that BoA pic, gents. Just do it.

** Don't get me wrong, I am still the High Evolutionary: This is proof of my admiration for the pinnacle of human evolution.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Psychedelic Kimochi

Self-explanatory. I was rooting for the Warriors (by the way, 2007 'offs B Diddy = 2006 'offs Gilbert Arenas Re: free throws), but D Fish coming up clutch in the final moments of Game 2 was, for those who know the story, SO motherfucking Psychedelic Kimochi/Kimchi that I can't front.

PS - I can't resist: I bet Vince Carter didn't sleep much last night.

PPS - Mehmet Okur squashing Dee Brown's neck was some scary shit. Thankfully, Brown's injury looked A LOT worse than it really was.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

You know what you can do with that cake?

I woke up early on my born day. I'm 29. It's depressing. And you can bet your sweet ass my physical frame didn't celebrate it 'cause I made it*. It's been a while since I stopped celebrating the ninth of May -- I think I stopped when I turned 8 -- because, like trying to talk to a corpse, it's boring, and there's no point. Why would I be genuinely happy that I'm one digit closer to close the curtains time? Nowadays, I look forward to this day as much as I look forward to a trip to the dentist. Or E-Mart.

For whom the bell tolls and all that, I'm one step closer to senility, cancer (please, God, spare my testicles), vehicular manslaughter (that's where my money's resting), heart disease (if I had a heart, I mean), a stroke (not Julian Casablancas), drowning, being burned alive in an apartment fire, choking on a sandwich (which, actually, would be quite poetic; word to Mama Cass) -- take your pick. Certainly, I realize that EVERY day represents my eventual progression toward causeless martyrdom/the ether/Madison Square Garden, but I'm not reminded of it most days. I could really do without cheery 7AM wake-up calls on the most depressing day of the year, thank you very much.

(Now, perhaps, my numbers-loathing post from yesterday -- oh! to be 28 again -- makes a little more sense.)

Fear not, Constant Retards: this probably reads more maudlin than I honestly feel. If you want to see unadulturated kvetching and doomsaying, check back a year from now and watch sparks really fly (off the hinges). The Big Three-Oh looms. Hopefully, I'll have mellowed in my old age.

PS - I received no presents today. And that's fine by me, because what do you give the man who has everything? But I'd like to think that Presentus (the Greek god of gift giving) took pity on me this afternoon and threw me this ribbon-tied parcel:

Raekwon's upcoming album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2, it has been confirmed, contains the song The Brass, produced by the RZA and featuring Ghostface Killah and...John Frusciante.

(God bless you, Presentus.)

* I think I'm coming down with the flu, but it could be psycho(delickimchi)somatic.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Barry Bonds will soon break Hank Aaron's record of 755 career homeruns. He currently stands at 744. The Golden State Warriors became the third 8th seeded team to defeat a first seed in the first round of the NBA Playoffs -- and the first to do it since the league initiated the seven game opening round format four years ago -- when they defeated the Dallas Mavericks 111-86 on May 3rd, 2007 to clinch the series 4 games to 2. The Boston Red Sox, after 86 years of what appeared to be perpetual heartbreaks (and the curse of some fat drunk bigot), finally, in 2004, again won the world series, their first since 1918. Tiger Woods became the youngest Masters winner (and the first winner of African or Asian descent), when in April, 1998, he won his first golf major by a record 12-stroke margin. Vince Carter wears a size 13 shoe and has a 2-inch long penis.

I could go on, but for your sake and mine, let's stop there. Truthfully, I'm dizzy after having just typed that opening paragraph, and I'm not even drunk (yet).

Numbers make my brain hurt. Not a dull pain, either -- they MAKE MY BRAIN EXCRETE BLOOD AND CAUSE MY BOWELS TO COIL (and vice-versa). To be perfectly honest, they scare me, too. Not in the same way manual labor and pregnancy tests do, but almost. If I'm ever found dead and lifeless* in an alley somewhere, blame Brand Nubian's One For All, track 11, and the Pythagorean theorem.

I realize that numbers play an important part in our lives, of course. After all, where would I be without Whodini's 5 Minutes of Funk, or the measurements of every Playboy Playmate since Jami Ferrel (36" - 22" - 35", by the way)? Nowhere, that's where.

But numbers in sports, to paraphrase Parrish Smith, are out of control. Fuck Elias. Fuck fantasy sports. They've turned us into nerds, man! Statistics in baseball are cool and all (they're a fun way to kill time between the 65 years it takes your average MLB hurler to throw a pitch), but I could really care less to learn that Eddie Griffin is the first 6-foot-10 forward to crash an SUV while masturbating to porn after posting a double-double the night prior, or that the Pistons' recent win over the Bulls is only the sixth time a team has beaten its opponent by more than 20 points in consecutive games to open a series. Who cares!? To paraphrase Heywood in The Shawshank Redemption, doesn't fuckin' matter what the score was, [the Bulls] are dead.

And it's not only on sports fans that new-millenial statistics mayhem has had an effect. Case in point: Andrei Kirilenko. If it weren't bad enough that the 6' 9" Russian chose his jersey number so that it, preceded by his initials, would reference an assault rifle, the motherfucker has made a (so-far disappointing) career out of trying to cram box scores and stat sheets full of impressive numbers that haven't helped his team in any meaningful way (look at his role on this year's resurgent Jazz and tell me I'm wrong). But perhaps the most blatant example of numbers infiltrating sports proficiency is the decades-long decline of the point guard, a holy -- perhaps the holiest -- position whose hallowed ranks these days, among active players, includes fewer men than I have appendages.

Do me a favor, Constant Retards: the next time you enter a room and a game is on, and you ask someone in the room what the score is, check yourself. Ask "Who's winning?" and we're cool; and if the score is close and your friend/spouse/parol officer answers something like "The Devils are up a goal with a minute to play," that's OK, too; but if it's early in the second quarter** and you hear "The Spurs are up 32-27. Duncan is 4-for-7 and Tony Parker just got hit with a technical -- his second in seven games against the Suns -- and there's 8:47 on the clock!" beat him to death with a lummi stick.

Pl3a5e, 5t0p th3 madn355.

(My heartfelt apology to my mother, the math teacher. Mom, I'm sorry if I disappointed you, but between you and me, any number after 3 can go to hell. One love.)

* Laugh with me if you got that nugget of redundancy. If you didn't, go do your taxes or something.

** I realize there's some leniency here for football, but only if it's a playoff game.

Monday, May 07, 2007

It's the New Style

We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sloth and the Ley Line Talker

I haven't been up to snuff as of late. It took me a few days to catch Spiderman 3 (not that it mattered, really), I'm behind at my job (insert joke about the silliness of considering my position as a job here), I woke up too late for the Mayweather/De La Hoya bout, couldn't thwart the diabolic schemes of one Mola Ram, and I have yet to watch the Departed (because I'm a hipster like that, cheesy E.).

Forgive me, cruel world, for my lethargic depravity. For a while, I was caught up in an emotional tug-of-war, as I couldn't decide upon the superiority of the inhuman versus the preternatural. Sure, they're both winners, but really, which is the bigger winner? This is just the tip of my decidedly intellectual woes; as one could -just as- easily become lost in the mire of 'What about Supergirl/Power Girl, or Spider-Woman/Arachne?' Fuck, my head is already spinning, so let's not complicate things any further. I dwell within an ivory tower, sure, but it was built upon the dreams of a prepubescent, maize-raised lad. (So, to rephrase, it's easier to topple than 'Hurricane' Peter McNeely and, thus, be gentle with me.)

Speaking of dreams, one of mine was shattered just earlier today. I had been giving some serious thought to the notion of comparing the vaunted members of the PK braintrust to superheroes, specifically Superman and the related Supermen of the Death of Superman story arc, but that notion was demolished by my better half; the elusive, reclusive progenitor of Psychedelic Kimchi. Sure, he's better looking than me, and smarter, and better with the ladies, and more affluent, and has better taste in music, but that doesn't change the fact that he pulled some Scanners action on me. Just last week I had asked him to stop that shit, and he had promised not to set anyone (else) on fire, but I should have known that anything else was fair game. Basically, my entire plan has gone to shit, faster than you can say 'gone to shit.'

In light of such events, I have decided to go ahead with my aforementioned, half-assed plan, albeit slightly modified. Despite the best advice offered by Stevie Nicks, I shall not keep these crystal(ized) visions to myself. The difference? Supervillains, baby. Some folks may contend that it's been done before, but then again, so has my mom*.

Sparkles is Ultron. You can knock him down, tear his body apart, steal his cash, smoke his stash, engage him in a frivolous lawsuit, demand Canadian citizenship from him, and smash his genitals with Mjölnir. It doesn't matter; he'll be back from the grave. You may as well get used to it, just like you should get used to the fact that he's infiltrated Dallas with several Sparklebots, each intent upon the destruction of that fair city.

TMH is the Mandarin. Yeah, TMH isn't Chinese, but so what? The guy has more bling than Flavor Flav, snags more pelt than Prince, and routinely benefits from ancient, stolen technology.

Kmart is the Hobgoblin. Let's set the record straight: at times, he comes across as a cheap imitation of something upscale (dare I say it, a doppelganger), flies around like he's a PCP addict 'trying' to walk through a wall, babbles incoherently on a regular basis, possesses a shabby wardrobe, and is occasionally inhabited by a demon of vacillating intellect. Nonetheless, he can throw a mean pumpkin-bomb, and has been known to work some magic with that elongated tongue of his.

Denz is Mister Sinister. Don't let his suave demeanor fool you. Beneath his veneer of civility, the man is a calculating, maniacal genius. The beauty of his posts belie his intent, which is to destroy the framework of modern society. Believe it. He is wonderfully, nay, poetically (you guessed it) sinister, and if your surname happens to be Summers, then only God can help you.

Mr. T is the High Evolutionary. You won't see him (post) often, but rest assured he's hard at work, laboring to bring humanity to a higher state of being, by force if need be. The world is often unaware of his greatness, and what awaits, but that doesn't mean he isn't thinking about you. He's an oft misunderstood brainiac, enshrouded by an insatiable desire to elevate the masses. He also has a fetish for Korean songstresses.

That's the conclusion of my hodgepodge. Sort of. Didn't care for it? Blame Sparkles, and telepathic defilement.

Jessica Drew's Boyfriend

* People think we're joking about that 'brother from another mother' line, but it brings me to tears regularly.

Building Steam With a Grain of Salt

A few thoughts on the Mayweather/De La Hoya bout: it's a good thing for the sport of boxing that I'm not a fight judge, because I had De La Hoya as the clear winner. Mayweather had the hardest hit of the fight, but Oscar controlled it, and he appeared, to me, to be the victor. Sure, Mayweather landed a higher percentage of his punches, but Oscar's had more of an impact. Then again, I drank an ungodly amount of beer and whisky last night and had a supreme hangover; so take my opinion with a grain of salt...I don't know what made me laugh harder, Floyd Jr approaching the ring wearing a sombrerro while 50 Cent rapped next to him, or Floyd Sr's amazing 'do. Let's say Floyd Sr's hair by split decision. Last year we had Kareem's jacket; this year we have Floyd Sr's hair. I love the month of May...Leo DiCaprio was sporting the same Chicago White Sox hat he wore in The Departed. I still don't understand how a character from Boston wears a White Sox cap, by the way [Edit: DiCaprio of course wore a Red Sox hat in The Departed. I'm buggin']...All in all, a good fight. Definitely not the best I've seen in my lifetime (that honor of course goes to Drago/Balboa), but entertaining nonetheless. The back-and-forth flurries of punches thrown by both men at the end of the 12th round definitely left me wanting more.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I should be a snackfood inventor. Anyone who's ever had the pleasure of being in my company over the past few years has no doubt heard my idea that grilled-kimchi-flavored potato chips would be an absolute hit with the Korean populace. We have kimchi chocolate but no kimchi chips? A mad, mad world we are living in, friends and neighbors.

Here's what I don't get: The Golden State Warriors are the feel good team of this year's playoffs, so why is it that hopping on their bandwagon is a bad thing? Had they played this well the entire season, I'd have been a fan all along. My Canadian citizenship aside, the reason I love watching the Suns is because they play so marvelously. What, I'm supposed to just sit back and not acknowledge greatness? If Golden State can somehow keep up the momentum, I'll be right there rooting for them. Because I admire their brand of basketball. If they get knocked out next round by Utah...well, then I'll move on with my life, no regrets. I'm sure there's a fidelity/prostitution solicitation analogy in there somewhere, but I'm too lazy to make the connection. By the way, this year's 'offs are full of so many disappointing moments: no Gilbert Arenas; T-Mac failing, again, to make it to the second round; the reigning champs getting swept; Dirk choking this point, I wouldn't be surprised if the Orange Roundie makes a comeback. We are living in the presence of the Bizarro World NBA. Prediction: the Nets win it all and Wince Carter is named Finals MVP. Which would be a giant kick to the gonads for yours truly, but also fittingly appropriate.

Psychedelic Kimochi: to return soon. It's just that, as I told my shipmates earlier this week, I've been away from the Internet so long I've forgotten what women look like. Give me some time and I'll be straight (pun acknowledged). Suggestions welcome.

Denz: cooking up some marvelous shit to get your mouth watered.

Smoking: hazardous to one's health. I really gotta cut down. While you're here, I understand that there is a large number of men who fetishize women smoking. One would think that a country such as Korea, where women are rarely seen smoking in public, would contain a significant percentage of such men, non? I want a study conducted, not now but right now.

Speaking of fetishes: Floyd Mayweather Sr wearing Kareem's jacket. A man can dream, can't he?

Christopher Nolan films: only fun upon initial viewing. I'm convinced that anyone who willingly watches Memento and/or The Prestige multiple times has severe mental problems. Then again, I could watch M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs an infinite number of times (lyrics? Somebody want lyrics?), so take my opinion with a grain of sodium chloride.

Psychedelic Super-H(er)oes:

TMH as "Grey Hulk" (brains and brawn)

Kmart as "US Agent" (eerie resemblance)

denz as "Hawkeye" (cool like dat)

Mr. T as "Quicksilver" (because The Flash is DC, and PK ain't havin' it)

(pictured far right)

And The Little Spark Who Could as "Northstar" (because, um, I'm from Canada*?)

In-jokes: not very amusing to laymen.

*Puck acknowledged.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Midnight Run (Review)

I like to consider myself somewhat of a cinephile, however there are a few classics, I'm ashamed to admit, I've never had the pleasure of viewing, for one reason or another. So it was that, last night while waiting in line for a 12-inch tuna sub at Subway, I mentioned to the diminutive old woman behind me that I had yet to see Midnight Run. The look on her face said it all, and I knew, to avoid further social alienation, I must viddy the film ASAP. Because I'm a motherfucking conformist like that.

But here's the problem: video stores in Korea are slowly going the way of the dinosaur (which is to say that they are dying and being buried deep underground to become fossil fuel which will one day power our flying cars. So it appears Nostradamus was right.), and I had no way of locating this modern classic.

Enter the Internet. Did you know that, with a little ingenuity and elbow grease, Hollywood feature films are readily available for download, for free? I know, I was as shocked as you no doubt are now.

Anyway, onto the review proper. Midnight Run stars Robert DeNiro as Joe Buck, a naive country bumpkin determined to make his way in a metropolis of opportunity, New York City. There's a reason for Buck's exodus, however director Ron Howard never fully explores it, only giving us hints. Perhaps reading the original novel -- a collaboration between the late Robert Ludlum and the later Phillip K. Dick -- would shed some light, but, to quote Renton in The Transporter, why would I want to do that?

Much like Isiah Thomas and Randy Johnson, Buck has a hard time getting adjusted to success in The Big Apple; that is, until he meets Billy "Ratso" Hayes, played here magnificently by Charles Grodin. The two quickly form a bond, and Ratso, also down on his luck and looking to turn things around, suggests that they try smuggling drugs out of Turkey. Ratso, it is revealed, owes a Las Vegas mobster 15 million dollars, his drug smuggling scheme a last resort, and one which makes perfect sense to the corn-fed Joe Buck.

(DeNiro's "I only get airsick on boats" line during the duo's flight to Turkey ranks among cinema's biggest laugh-out-loud moments, by the way.)

But the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray, and soon Buck and Ratso find themselves arrested and sentenced to serve 4 years in a Turkish prison. The pair try to make lemonade of lemons by soliciting sex from their fellow cell mates (Buck as the gigalo, Ratso his pimp), but when Buck discovers Ratso has been selling secrets to prison officials in exchange for Gummi Bears, Buck bites off his tongue and is subsequently sent to the prison's insane asylum (look closely for Danny DeVito, in his first film role, as one of the asylum's patients).

Buck then lays out plans to excape the prison's hellish torture -- the ward's head nurse refuses to allow the 1988 World Series to be watched by the inmates -- and after taking six correctional officers hostage manages to flee to the prison wall, where he is airlifted to safety by Flava Flav and the S1Ws. His conscience, however, forces him to command pilot James Bomb (played to perfection by James Earl Jones) to turn back and rescue Ratso.

By this time tears were streaming down my cheeks, I'm not ashamed to admit. Buck's reunion with Ratso is singlehandedly the most touching moment I've ever witnessed on-screen, and I've seen Maxwell Caulfield in The Boys Next Door hit an old woman in the head with a carelessly thrown beer bottle, so that's saying something.

Ratso, suffering from tetanus but afraid to admit the fact, wets himself during the flight, and Buck forces the chopper to land on the roof of a McDonald's so that Ratso might clean himself up and Buck can get a Filet-O-Fish with hummus. Shortly after their departure, Buck discovers that Ratso, whom he had believed to be asleep, has in fact passed away. The film ends with a shot of DeNiro forlornly holding the dead Charles Grodin in his arms as the helicopter crosses the border from Turkey to Canada. Fade to black.

I'm at a loss for words. Really, what can one say about such a beautiful portrayal of love, loyalty, and sacrfice? Nothing, that's what. To say more would demean, nay, soil, the profound exquisitness of Ritchie Cunningham's sublime prose poem of a film.

But I would remiss if I didn't mention that the basketball -- and schadenfreude -- gods have looked down kindly upon my youthful visage. Having last year's two Finals teams knocked out in the first round is poetic in a Tupac/Biggie sort of way. Let Chaos -- and Baron Davis's bee-beard -- reign supreme! Because when life hands you lemons, make fun of Mark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

What do...

...yours truly, Roger Ebert, Johnny Marr, and a real estate agent from Richmond, Virginia have in common?

We all represent much-anticipated comebacks (bring back the fucking Fry Guys and I'm straight).

Obviously this latest bit of reportage is HUGE FUCKING NEWS, as evidenced by the fact that Yahoo! is running with it on their main page:

(Copy and paste, bitches. Cuz that's what I firmly believe the Internet needs: less convenience.)

In closing, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that no one will ever, ever fill Gordon Jump's shoes. You may very well appear to fix a mean fridge, Mr. Jackson, but try guesting on Diff'rent Strokes and portraying a creepy old dude who molests Arnold's friend, Dudley, and then we'll talk.

NB - photo "borrowed" from the Hamilton Spectator's website, whose newsprint edition's front page, I'm not shy to tell you (again), a young Spark graced circa April 1990.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Modest Mouse: We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (Review)

I can't pretend to know much about Modest Mouse, but when, last week, while reading a Bill Simmons (who has significantly hooked himself up to the juvenation machine, btw) chat transcript he mentioned their new album features the return of Johnny Marr, quite possibly my favorite rock guitarist of all time, I had to pick it up. So last Saturday, while in Hongdae to cop the new El-P joint, I picked up We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, too. Naturally, I dedicated the whole of my weekend absorbing the sublimity of El's sophomore masterpiece (and getting as drunk as Dudley Moore in Arthur), but on Monday I gave WWDBTSES a whirl. Meh was my initial reaction, but after a few more listens it really started to grow on me. It's a grower, for sure. It's definitely a grower.

Jesus, it's so good to hear Marr do what he does best. The old chap hasn't lost a step. I have no doubt that were he and Morrissey reunited they'd churn out an absolute winner. As it is, this Modest Mouse album is none too shabby a consolation prize. None too shabby at all.

Welcome back, Johnny.

1) March Into the Sea

It ain't hard to tell that lead singer Isaac Brock has been influenced by Pixies frontman Frank Black (with a dash of Mick Jagger and a sprinkling of The Cure's Robert Smith). "If food needed pleasing you'd suck all the seasoning off. Suck it off!" OK, then. Is that a hurdy gurdy I hear? I do believe it is.

2) Dashboard

A no-brainer as far as a single goes. Make no mistake, that's Johnny Marr on guitar. His strumming is absolutely goosebump-inducing. A pretty, pretty song.

3) Fire It Up

I can picture a lot of college kids getting high to this. College kids are so predictable. It sounds like something Jack Johnson might do. If Jack Johnson were good, I mean. Nice!

4) Florida

The title of this song alone makes it difficult for me to write about. Thankfully, this isn't a huge fucking disappointment like...OK, I've calmed down. More signature Marr. This is as good an opportunity as any to mention that a few years ago Rolling Stone magazine compiled a list of the top 100 rock guitarists of all time, and Johnny Marr was nowhere to be found. Ben Fong-Torres must be spinning in his grave.

5) Parting of the Sensory

Brock whisper-sings, then loses his shit. In a good way. A somber, beautiful track. "Aw, fuck it I guess I lost." With all the album's nautical allusions, is it safe to call this a concept album? "Someday you will die somehow and something's gonna steal your carbon," Brock chants. Talk about missed opportunities. Replace "carbon" with "coffin" and you have an easy layup. I should be a goddamned lyrics consultant.

6) Missed the Boat

If I had a car, this album would be the perfect road trip soundtrack. Like Dashboard lite -- until, that is, the extraordinary chorus hits.

7) We've Got Everything

No other song on the album sounds more Smiths-esque or 80's throwback. By the way, what can we call that moment when you're listening to an album for the umpteenth time and you suddenly realize "Hey, this is actually REALLY good!" ? And what causes us to be ignorant of greatness in the first place? Can it be quantified? They should teach this stuff in university classes. Perhaps they do.

8) Fly Trapped in a Jar

How's this for topical: the song opens with what sounds like a fly buzzing, the profundity of which completely blows my fucking mind! One of the album's more Pixies-ish moments. Brock starts off singing like he's got a bastard of a hangover. Still, he manages to sound nice, which is more than I can say for my occasional late-night noraebang sessions. I absolutely murdered Wonderwall a few weeks back. Murdered it more, I mean. At the 2-minute mark the song metamorphoses into a jumpy, jive track. Marr's guitar noodling has me moving my head like a fucked up metronome.

9) Education

The bass here simply fucking rules. Then Marr's guitar kicks in with melodic cuteness. Is it sacrelige to suggest that the duo of Marr and Brock rivals Marr and Morrissey? Probably. I'm sayin', though. For me, hearing Johnny play this well is akin to Scottie Pippen returning to basketball at forty and making the All-Star team. I'm smiling like Ray Liotta getting his brain eaten in Hannibal right now.

10) Little Motel

A slow-tempo ballad. "'Cause that's what I'm waitin' for." Pretty. Nostalgia one-oh-fucking-one. If you have a girl, put this track on and let sparks fly. (I watch too many Cameron Crowe films.)

11) Steam Engenius

Have I mentioned that the guitars on this album are completely and utterly outstanding? Brock (or someone) gets his Karen O on with some choice "whoo-hoo, whoo-hoo"s. The funkiness of this song excuses its corny title. Furthermore, like Mr. T, the entire album's greatness excuses the band's god-awful name. And then some.

12) Spitting Venom

Masta Killa guest stars on this one. Just kidding (had you for a sec there, didn't I?). An eight-and-a-half-minute epic, it begins with a rythmic acoustic guitar, which Brock follows like Princess Yorda does Ico (can I get a soul clap?). When the electric guitar hits, you're gonna fall in love. Dare I compare this to How Soon is Now? I dare. Then, horns! I'm a sucker for horns. Ico had horns (OK, I'll stop now). My mind is blown. More blown, I mean.

13) People as Places as People

My favorite song on the album, and quite possibly one of my favorite songs of all time. No joke. If this isn't used in a film within the next five years I'll eat my Hush Puppies (I don't own Hush Puppies). John Hughes should start making movies again. I'm just sayin'.

14) Invisible

Like Mariano Rivera, the perfect closer (I can't believe I just typed that, either). Here's a prayer: please, God, don't let this be the only Modest Mouse album Johnny Marr appears on. Stick around for a while, John. I've got Playstation and Doritos. If you want I'll show you my brother's cache of smut mags. Don't go, Johnny. Don't go.

Conclusion: This exceeded my expectations a hundredfold. What a fantastic album. Johnny fucking Marr lives!

(And those other guys ain't too bad, neither)

5/5 *_*

Welcome Back, Roger

A couple of weeks ago, a good friend of mine* asked me who my role models are, and I had to think long and hard. After 20 or so minutes**, I replied that, while I likely have hundreds of people whom I consider influential to my life and whom I look up to, the only name I could come up with was KRS ONE*** (he's my generation's Muhammed Ali, as far as braggadocio goes).

Later, mulling over the question, I realized I had failed to mention the man who has most influenced my writing: Roger Ebert. More than any other writer -- including Sommerset Maugham, Stephen King, and Zerna Sharp -- Ebert is the one who made me WANT to write for a living (still working on it). Our styles are night and day: his oft dry wit in stark contrast to my usually crude, expletive-ridden**** wool gathering; but Ebert is versatile, able to, from review to review, wear a different hat, whether in-depth and thoughtful, anecdotal, or straight up insulting. That's what I admire most about him, and it's how I decided to develop my own style. Much like KRS, Ebert is often accused of being contradictory; and while both, perhaps, sometimes are, they're geniuses at proving that's never the case.

Furthermore, like Ali and KRS, Roger Ebert is the greatest ever in his field, and in his case it's not even close. To extend the analogy, Ebert's movie analyses are similar to Tiger Woods's golf domination: he has no worthy competitors. While he's been out of commision I've found myself reading other reviewers and thinking "Ebert coulda freaked it better." It's like when Jordan retired. Yes, he gave Speed 2 a positive review; yes, he gave A Clockwork Orange a negative one; But we all have our off days, right? I'm convinced, given the opportunity, Rog might make me believe Speed 2 is a good film, A Clockwork Orange a terrible one. He's persuasive as hell, and, after all, isn't that every film critic's role?

It has been a difficult year for Roger. Last June his cancer resurfaced, and since then, due to surgery complications, he's had it very rough. But there's no crying in basketball and film critique, and the man forged on the best he could. Admirable, considering he was hospitalized and bed-ridden for almost a year, yet managed to, at every opportunity, do what he loves, do his job. He didn't have to, nor was he expected to. He wanted to. The big C hurt him in many ways, but it could never harm his passion.

He recently returned to the public eye (reminds me of someone) to attend his 9th-annual Overlooked Film Festival*****. Testicles like boulders, this man has. And while he still can't talk, his presence alone spoke for itself, Eye of the fucking Tiger style.

So here's to Roger Ebert, a true role model. I hope he gets his speech back soon; I hope he gets his prolificness back sooner. 'Cause, while Richard Roeper is cute and all, Roger Ebert is sexy.

You still got it, Rog.

*The old guy who collects plastic bottles outside my apartment, if it matters.

** Patience is a virtue, old man.

*** Him, and the guy who first ventured to mix tuna and mayo.

**** Asterisk-strewn.

***** Rog, you gotta include BTinLC next year. Either that or Stallone in Lock Up.