I dunno why these sprung to mind tonight, but they're both cherished memories from being a teenager. Both are from 1994, the same year my Mother passed away, and both are extremely funny. (I used to tape things on VHS tapes and go back and watch them over and over again. TV shows, comedy specials, cartoons...it was waaaaaaay before you knew that they'd just turn around and sell this shit to you all over again on DVD.)

This first clips is of Madonna on Letterman. If you haven't ever seen this, you're missing out on one of the best moments in talk show history. She's on for nearly 20 minutes, refusing to leave, cursing like a sailor, making lots and lots of sex jokes, insulting Dave...it's the best thing I ever remember about watching The Late Show.

The next segment is broken up into 2 clips, but man, this interview stuck in my brain for years. I loved how nervous Chris Farley was...how humble and shy and sweaty he was to be sitting next to David Letterman. I love when he slams his hand down on the chair and goes, "I'm on his show!!!" I thought to myself, "I'd do the very same thing if I were ever on there." Right down to telling stories about my family and using lots of self-depricating humor.

This is when the interview gets soooooo good. Him talking about his dad is exactly how my own father was. And the way Farley makes Letterman laugh, almost coughing...so best.




You don't have to be a video game nerd to know all about the Grand Theft Auto series. "It's that game where you kill cops, right?!" Sure is. It's also the poster child for everything wrong with America. Oh, and it's incredibly fun. You can do anything in this game. Run over people, lead the cops on a high speed chase, or, you know, actually play the storyline. It plays out like an episode of The Sopranos with twists and turns, and plenty of dead bodies. Plus, this was the first GTA for the "next gen" systems, so the graphics finally caught up to the point where the characters don't look like they're The Penguin from Batman comics, with their webbed-claw hands.


Patapon could have easily been the stupidest game of the year. It's a sidescroller where instead of hitting buttons to attack and defend, you perfectly play "beats" as they march to the drums of war. Depending on the pattern you're playing, they'll react accordingly and either attack or hold up their shields. So it's basically a music game disguised as an action platformer. Oh, and did I forget to mention that the Patapons themselves are totally adorable?! I'd follow them into battle any day.


For a PSP game, this sucker is a beautiful masterpiece. The amount of graphics, speed, intense battles, and awe-inspiring gameplay they managed to pack into a handheld is something to marvel at. This game had been played out on the PS2 before this installment, and Chains of Olympus doesn't feel like a cheap knock-off...instead it competes with the best of what the prior games offered us. If you have a PSP, you owe it to yourself to play this game!


Already an award-winning masterpiece from the XBOX 360 last year, us PS3 owners finally got a chance to dive into the depths of Rapture and discover what the fuss was all about. Turns out, this game was huge helping of fucking fantastic with a sprinkle of "guilty conscience" decision making on the side. You're asked to kill these "Little Sisters" (or save them) throughout the game, and your choices determine which outcome awaits you. It's the rare treat of a first-person-shooter with a heart and soul. One that begs to be appreciated.


If this game hadn't just came out last week, I'd probably rank it much higher. The animations in this game are so fluid, you'll swear you're watching a Japanese anime instead of playing a video game. A simple, yet thrilling adventure of great heights and incredible feats. You'll run along walls, climb up the sides of buildings, perch over railings, and swing amongst polls. All with the help of a woman sidekick that never lets you die...ever. That's the strength of this game. It feels it nice and relaxing and allows you to enjoy the experience, instead of worrying about what's coming up next.

5. ROCK BAND 2 (PS3)

The ultimate party game, hands down. Nothing is awesomer than rocking out with 3 friends to "Livin' On A Prayer!" Which is a blessing and a curse. Playing by yourself isn't nearly as fun (is it ever?!) and since Molly sings while I play drums, our band is usually on hiatus. But Rock Band 2 brings all the fun from the first one, allows you to bring over all your old songs, (and the hundred or so you've downloaded from their weekly updates) and gives you new challenges and skills to keep you busy for at least the next year. (...or at least until Rock Band: The Beatles comes out!!)


A survival horror title played on an abandoned space ship instead of scary houses or creepy villages. Sounds, okay, I guess. But boy, did I underestimate this game. It's easily the creepiest, most intense, gory, and disgusting game of the year! Sure it rips off 15 different sci-fi movies and the main character never speaks, but the visuals and the sound mixing create an incredibly believable world...that you pray you'll never actually visit. Since the spaceship is entirely made of metal, you'll hear things scrape and bump hundreds of feet away from you. It's an odd thing to get giddy about, but the sound in this game is outstanding! Oh, and the monsters you're fighting are basically the remains of your fellow crew mutated with Aliens. They use the dead bodies as a host and stretch the skin to create horrid images that seriously resemble that of car wreck victims. (which the producers of the game studied to recreate the grotesque designs. How'd you like THAT job?!)


A $9.99 downloadable game off the Playstation Network came >this< close to being the best game of the year. It's got simple, easy-to-master controls and the graphics of old screensavers...but man, if you're not careful, it'll steal your heart. Well, the early levels anyway. For what seems like a carefee, relaxed, laid-back experience, becomes quite challenging about half-way through. The simple notion of jumping from one plant to the next, while spinning into the lil' round things that release more pollen, gets trickier with each and every new level. In fact, I never actually beat the damn thing. But man, I sure had a smile on my face each and every time I played it.

2. DE BLOB (Wii)

Again, the entire time I played this game, a smile graced my face. From ear to ear. It's rare that I play my Wii, and even rarer to play something that isn't a collection of mini-games. De Blob was overlooked and will probably not end up on many "Best of 2008" lists, but dammit, it's amazing! The premise is a simple one. All of the color in the various cities has been removed and you play as a blob who is able to mix and match red, blue, and yellow to create whatever colors the citizens desire. You repaint everything...and I mean everything! Trees come back to life when you brush up against them. Buildings require you to touch each and every wall, jump from one level to the next, in order to let the citizens come back out into the world. You have to play it to understand the joy this game brings. Because it somehow touches into your childhood and how much fun you had coloring away on a white piece of paper, leaving your mark on the world, creating art and having fun.


Good Lord. There cannot be a better video game this year...possibly this decade. A simple 2-D sidescroller, Little Big Planet becomes so much more after you've beaten the 50 levels that come with the game. One way to look at this game as one giant tutorial for all the tools they give you throughout the levels. Because there's an entire new experience awaiting you once you get done "playing" and start "creating." And even if you don't want to create a damn thing, there's plenty of people creating levels online every single minute...all over the world! This game has charm, a wow-factor, and makes you feel excited to see what new things are around the corner. This is the reason video games are becoming more and more of a mainstream success story. You can play it alone, with friends, create new levels, challenge your friends online, search the various worlds online like some sort of Youtube system where you get ranked and the cream of the crop rises to the top. This is the future of video games, and I'm glad innovation and creativity is alive and well.



The way some people refuse to believe facts.

Anti-Obama Bloggers Challenge Birthplace
That was the headline a couple days ago on the front page of The Kansas City Star.

And man, it sure makes me feel better about these "challenges" when the websites look so 1996 and uber-professional. I mean, it's gots the Bald Eagle!!! And a flagz!! What more "proof" do you need?

Even the always (never) reliable WorldNetDaily is in on the action! They need your help raising money to get a TV ad on the air.

Slate does a good job laying out both the facts (psssssssst...he actually was born in Hawaii!) and the reasons this story won't die anytime soon.

It'd be even funnier if it were so damn sad.



I know, it's early, there's still an entire month left before 2009...but glancing at Amazon's "New Release" list, I can't see anything coming out between now and the end of the month that would change my mind. (Other than a Cat Power vinyl EP...grrrr...)

Unlike movies, (which I hope to actually get done THIS YEAR) the music industry doesn't wait until the last possible second to release the best it has to offer. So without further ado, here's my picks for the Top 10 Albums of 2008:

10. SHE & HIM * VOLUME: 1

I've loved Zooey Deschanel's voice ever since she sang "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with Leon Redbone on the ELF soundtrack. M. Ward, I actually passed off as just another singer-songwriter who's friends with Jack Johnson. But together, they created one of the sweetest, most romantic melodies of the year. Try and not get goosebumps while listening to "You Really Gotta Hold On Me." It's impossible.


Still randy off singing "No Pussy Blues" from his Grinderman days, Nick Cave brought his Bad Seeds along on a wild and adventurous ride following Lazarus's tale of coming back to life. Songs like, "Lie Down Here (And Be My Girl)" and "We Call Upon The Author" demand your full attention, or else there will be consequences.


This album would probably be ranked higher if it didn't just come out a couple weeks ago. I've listened to it repeatedly ever since I bought it, and love most of the tracks. A few here and there wander off too far for my taste, but given enough time, I probably would have fallen in love with them all. Give "Life is Long" a spin and see if you dig it as much as I do.


I'm a sucker for 50's type sock-hop music. You give me a backbeat, and I'm all yours. Toss in the members of Green Day and a sense of fun and nonsense, and I'm swooning. This record just encompassed the fact that you can sell millions of albums, win plenty of Grammy awards, and still make a silly, pointless album. They are so carefree and loose on here, and songs like "Mother Mary" just echo the call that more bands should try this.


Yes, he's that old guy who sang the Toy Story song. He's also one of the sharpest wits out there and can write a sad love song that can rip your heart out straight from your chest. Oh, and he's damn funny. Basically, he's insanely awesome and you should feel like a total asshole for assuming he's lame. Even Amazon doesn't respect him enough to make his album picture regular size. Go listen to "A Few Words in Defense of Our Country" and educate yourself...fool.


Everyone knows I'm a huge Bob Dylan fan. Especially late Dylan. Sure, "Blood on the Tracks" is a classic, but "Time Out of Mind" is the best for me. Lucky for me, this collection of out-takes and B-sides focus mostly off that album and ones thereafter. It's two discs of bliss, (if you're a Dylan fan, obviously. Molly would define it as "torture.") and songs like "Red River Shore" are so good, you wonder how they ended up on the cutting room floor.


Much like the David Byrne & Brian Eno album, this one is probably suffering from the time it was released. But in this one's case, it's the fact that it's nearly a year old now. Don't get me wrong, it was one of the few albums to match the humongous hype surrounding it, but it's kind of slid a lil' bit in recent months. I love it like it's the 2nd child I'll never have. The other three albums before it are mighty awesome and wonderful...and Vampire Weekend is good too. Just in a different way.


A side project from the drummer of The Strokes and the guitarist from Los Hermanos, Little Joy is probably my biggest surprise of the year. It caught me off-guard and completely stole my heart. A cross between The Velvet Underground (with Nico!) and sipping fruity drinks on the beach, this album will make you smile. Period. It's simple, romantic, and short enough that each listen leaves you longing for more. What more could you ask for from a record? Listen to "Don't Watch Me Dancing" and remember what it feels like to get swept off your feet.


The circumstances surrounding the recording of this album are tragic and weigh heavy on the sound they were able to achieve. Their drummer drown in the ocean following a concert in Massachusetts, and as a band, they had to make the difficult decision of continuing on without him. With only an EP under their belt, The Rhumb Line is actually their debut, and it's simply remarkable. They create a rich sound with stings, dual vocals, and just incredibly catchy pop melodies. This album is top notch and all around a treat for your senses. It took me to the East Coast, even though I've never been to New England. See where songs like, "St. Peter's Day Festival" take you.


Easily the best album of the year. I made that statement when I bought it, and throughout the entire year, nothing was able to beat it. It's glorious, it's epic, it's outstanding in scope and purpose. Elbow set out to make a masterpiece and they delivered. Each and every song sets the bar higher. This is truly the reason people come up with "Albums of the Year." To showcase something that slides in under the radar. Something that captures the essence of why we all adore music so much. Songs like "One Day Like This" prove that this band is no fluke, and that this record deserves all the praise it can get.