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Afghan Star: Kabul’s American Idol
08.25.2009
06:10 pm
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While I never came down with Idol fever (I do, though, still dream of being a contestant—c’mon, Simon, that was, like, Sex Beat?), my hat’s off to the incredibly brave people who, in sheer defiance of Muslim law, try out for and compete in Afghan Star.  After watching the below trailer for the upcoming documentary on the show, I’m not sure what, if anything, the final prize amounts to.  I’m not sure it matters.  After 30 years of the Taliban—and despite numerous death threats—these kids simply want to sing.

 
From Reuters: New US Deaths Make 2009 Afghan War’s Deadliest

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.25.2009
06:10 pm
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David Tennant and Russell T. Davies
08.24.2009
03:01 pm
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Richard Metzger interviews outgoing Timelord David Tennant and former Doctor Who executive producer Russell T. Davies at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, CA for Boing Boing Video.


“I’m one of those guys who downloads Doctor Who and Torchwood within seconds of them hitting the torrent trackers. Just a few hours after they air in the UK, I’m watching them in Los Angeles. My wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas last year and I said “A new Doctor Who episode, but I’m getting that already.” That’s how much I love the show (She’s a fan too, but drew the line at me using the TARDIS landing for my ring tone).

“So it was great fun for me to meet Russell and David. A real treat. They’re both friendly, charismatic guys who who were really easy to interview. They clearly enjoy each others company and there was a nice, loose banter between them that I think will be fun for the fans to watch here. They’ve got their double act down pat, let’s just say.

“This interview took place at an interesting moment in time for both men as they’ve only just left behind their respective starring roles in one of the biggest television successes in the world today. As difficult as that may sound, you can only imagine how much pressure is off them after four years of practically non-stop work. I think it shows in this interview, as they’re both very relaxed and jovial. David had just come from Comic Con where he was treated with fan adulation bordering on Beatlemania and Russell is starting a new phase of his life here in Los Angeles. The week we shot this he was just coming off the double whammy career high of Torchwood practically *taking over* British television for an entire week with his brilliant Children of Earth mini-series (read my review here) and then seeing it launch BBC America’s new HD service with a resounding success right afterward here. How lucky Hollywood is to have Britain’s answer to Rod Serling in such close proximity these days and I’m sure it won’t be long before we’re reading in Variety what David Tennant will do next. He’s an interesting actor and a lot of big people will want to work with him, so expect that it will be something worth watching! Like I say, I think it’s an interesting glimpse into a transitional time for both David and Russell and these were the questions that I wanted to ask them, not as a journalist on assignment, but as a big Doctor Who fan (“David, isn’t leaving Doctor Who like Sean Connery quitting James Bond?”), so I hope other Who fans around the world will enjoy this as much as I did.”

READ ON
Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.24.2009
03:01 pm
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Great Moments in Child Brainwashing: “NARC” for NES
08.22.2009
03:39 pm
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If you hate druggies, you’ll love NARC. It’s about the best 8-bit Nintendo game ever, and when it came out in 1988, I bet Nancy Reagan was so happy she had a twinkling tear in her left eye and ate a cream puff as a little self-reward for the day. In this awesome game, you can team up with a friend to portray two narcotics officers who “take it to the streets” and kill the shit out of every drug user and drug dealer they can get their hands on. It’s gritty, real-life, practically the 8-bit “The Wire.” Its villains are ultra-realistic portrayals of the heartbreak of urban living, as if they could be taken straight from the blood-splashed newspaper headlines of today. Among the “people” you eliminate for their wretched, spineless crimes against society are fiends such as:

?

Posted by Jason Louv
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08.22.2009
03:39 pm
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William Burroughs Book Covers at Pop Art Machine
08.21.2009
12:56 am
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I love Pop Art Machine. It’s the perfect way to make amazing low cost art to hang on your walls. Pop Art Machine has high resolution files of millions of images that you can download and print as posters or on canvas, tee-shirts, whatever you want to do, really. And it’s free.

Go there and poke around, see what you find. Earlier today I searched for William Burroughs and found several cool galleries of his book covers from around the world, like this Japanese cover of My Education. You could print this as big as a movie poster and the resolution would still be crisp and clear.

Pop Art Machine

William Burroughs book covers at Pop Art Machine

Naked Lunch cover archive

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.21.2009
12:56 am
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The Odd World of Professional Starcraft Players
08.20.2009
07:04 pm
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If you are a nerd, and under the age of 30, you know what Starcraft is. You have wasted countless hours of your life playing it, because it is one of the best video games ever created, and, along with Blizzard’s other titles Diablo and World of Warcraft, has probably disposed of more youthful potential than anything this side of the public school system. It’s a strategy game in which players portray one of three races?

Posted by Jason Louv
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08.20.2009
07:04 pm
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Alain De Botton: Writer In Residence, Heathrow
08.20.2009
05:15 pm
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Lending further merit to my sense that the shape of things to come will have “Ballardian” contours, London’s Heathrow Airport has just established Alain De Botton as its first “writer in residence.”  Leaving aside such notions as to how De Botton’s supposed to “reside” in an airport (he’s sleeping in an adjacent Sofitel), the author of The Art of Travel and How Proust Can Change Your Life starts his day like any other writer—at a desk, typing at his laptop.

De Botton’s desk just happens to be, though, in the middle of Terminal 5, and his typing appears in real time on a screen behind him.  What’s he writing about?  De Botton’s book title says it all: A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary.  If you think this smells like a stunt, you’re right.  As Dan Glover, from Heathrow’s PR agency, says,

the campaign sought to stimulate ?

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.20.2009
05:15 pm
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The Beatles: The Video Game (And Trailer)
08.19.2009
01:39 pm
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While my video game muscles have long since atrophied (I was always more a pinball man), and I reach for my Revolver only rarely these days, I read every word of the NYT’s While My Guitar Gently Beeps, which describes the enormous effort that went into pulling off The Beatles: Rock Band.  Beyond its account, though, of welcome, surviving Beatles-Yoko Ono-Giles Martin d?ɬ

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.19.2009
01:39 pm
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Versailles Philharmonic Quintet: Japanese Heavy Metal in Drag
08.17.2009
07:50 pm
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From Wikipedia: “Versailles (known as Versailles Philharmonic Quintet in the United States) is a Japanese metal band formed in 2007. It is composed of several notable figures in the “visual kei” scene. Versailles’ key characteristics are their Renaissance-esque costumes, dueling guitar sounds and heavy but melodic arrangements.”

Take a gander at these guys! Versailles’ shredding guitarist, Hizaki, is a fetching tranny fan favorite who can put Eddie Van Halen to shame (at least in the hair and make-up departments):


Here’s one more music video by Versailles. This one is called The Revenant Choir:

 

Facebook fan page of Japanese Metal Princess Hizaki

Thank you John Bertram!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.17.2009
07:50 pm
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Dylan Dog: To American Horror What Italian Vogue is to American Vogue
08.16.2009
06:21 pm
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Supernatural investigators are a time-honored tradition in genre fiction. Sherlock Holmes, Randolph Carter, Carnacki the Ghost-Finder, Kolchak the Night-Stalker, Harry D’Amour, Harry Dresden, John Constantine, Fox Mulder. It’s as important of an archetype as, say, the cowboy.

Which explains why, as with cowboys, Italy has appropriated the tradition and made it vaguely more gay and better-dressed, specifically with Dylan Dog. I saw these comics for the first time in Rome in 2004, in Archie’s Digest-format, where they stack them at newsstands along with, well, the cowboy comics. The eponymous character is a macho detective in a black blazer and open-collared red shirt, with a sidekick who is, um, Groucho Marx. Literally. Why, I have no clue. (Also, his boss is named “Inspector Bloch” in an homage to Robert Bloch, Lovecraft protegee and author of Psycho.) All of the stories are pastiches of American movies or fiction, usually with more violence and boobs.

It all works well enough that apparently Hollywood is counter-appropriating it and making a film version, called “Dead of Night,” with Brandon Routh, directed by, um… the guy who did Snakes on a Plane. Actually, that might fit perfectly, now that I think about it…. Fun!

Posted by Jason Louv
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08.16.2009
06:21 pm
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Tim and Eric: We’re All Riding In Our Minivan
08.16.2009
12:06 pm
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Here’s some old guy synthpop madness courtesy of Tim and Eric.  Kraftwerk’s got nothin’ on these dudes!


Minivan Highway EL Remix

Tim and Eric

Thanks Gord Fynes!

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.16.2009
12:06 pm
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