Friday, August 29, 2008

Win, Place, or Show: Fart, Fall, Or Comb-Over

Win, Place, Or Show: Fart, Fall, or Comb-Over

I don't know about you, but I sure could use a good laugh these days. Amid all the current political drama (Did Hillary endorse Obama ... enough?) and the daily economic woes we all face (fuck over-draft fees!), more and more frequently I find myself looking for the humor in life (beyond Heidi Montag's music videos).

So, in our first installment of Win, Place, or Show, we here at PianoFight offer you three things that are always guaranteed a good laugh. Now, you may not find one as funny as the other so that's why we've used the time honored rating system of Win, Place, or Show. This is how it works: we offer three items or subjects to be rated, give a description of the three and then place them in the appropriate category . It's just that easy! So, without further ado, here we go.


Show: The Comb-Over - Have you ever seen someone with a comb-over and NOT laughed? To see the glare of a sweaty bald head shine through a strategically placed thin layer of hair always get a good chuckle out of me. Recognize this guy?



Place: The Fall - The Greman's call it Schadenfreude [Shad-n-froi-dah], the satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else's misfortune. Now, I'm not talking about watching a retarded blind old lady fall out of her wheelchair in the middle of the crosswalk of as busy city street on a rainy day. Wait, that can be funny over time, but I'm talking about the super cool guy walking down the street in his Armani suit and dark Prada sunglasses that misjudged the height of the curb and fell flat on his ridiculously tanned face. The only thing that could make that funnier is if that guy had a comb-over (then farted while he was lying teary-eyed and helpless on the ground).

Win: The Fart - Always funny! For me, there is no circumstance in which a fart is not funny. I remember sitting in church when I was a kid and being overwhelmed by the raunchiest, eye tearing stench you could imagine. When I came to, and the sting in my eyes subsided, I looked around me to see who the perpetrator was. I was sure it was that guy in the Armani suit with the comb-over donning that post-flatulence smile reserved only for those times when you know you let out a foul smelling, silent-but-deadly bomb. Negative. To my amazement that guy was nowhere to be found. Instead I found that I was surrounded by a league of teary eyed, silver haired old ladies in flowered hats acting like they were paying attention to the service...including my own grandmother. Now, I never found out who the culprit was, because as you know little old ladies hide their farts better than anyone, but it goes to show you that no matter the circumstance a well placed fart is always good for a laugh.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ikea Pummels Molson (musically)

Canada, your time is up. No longer are you the premiere indie music factory that was churning out pitchfork darlings like Broken Social Scene, Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade.

You had your time in the spotlight, now it’s time to go back to your beer drinking, hockey playing and "eh" saying and make room for Sweden. Yes Sweden, those crazy Scandinavians are finally getting the recognition they deserve — and it has been a long time coming … ABBA anyone? Not to mention it's about damn time they start making up for Ikea.

Admittedly I’m a little late to recognize this trend of music, The SF Guardian has already dubbed the Swedish indie sound “impossibly lovely”, and while there are certainly light airy, candy melodies that accompany this brand of music, they are not entirely one dimensional.

The Knife’s most recent album (2006) was much darker than its predecessors with ghostly synths and creepy modulated female vocals. So how much longer will we be treated to talents like Peter Bjorn and John, Jose Gonzales (who I’m going to see at Yoshi’s in Sept), The Knife, Sally Shapiro and Lykke Li?

Or is some other country, like Turkey, already busy cultivating the next sound, the next artist that will assault our ears and the year-end top ten lists, the next melody that our brains will not allow us to forget. Who will be the next country to step in to the spotlight and push Sweden (the Canada of old) to the side? (OK, I seriously doubt it's actually going to be Turkey - I mean seriously, Turkey?)

Who the Fuck Signs Your Paycheck: Jake Tapper

The descent of journalism into the proverbial toilet is beyond depressing. The aspect I find most infuriating is when a "reporter" does ZERO actual reporting, then calls it journalism. This time, it's our old friend at ABC, the senior national correspondent on I-clearly-never-went-to-journalism-school-or-even-read-a-fucking-paper-before-joining-these-other-network-idiots, Jake Tapper.



In a mere two days, Mr. Tapper racked up two blog posts and a video piece that, confounding all reason and logic, actually aired on actual television and were actually posted on an actual website while actually being labeled as "news".

The first was about the McCain camp taking shots at Obama by using a hypothetical situation posed by President Clinton. First, Mr. Tapper quotes the Clinton hypothetical. Then, Mr. Tapper quotes the McCain camp. And that's it. Here's the McCain camp quote:

“John McCain has a record of taking stands against his party and accomplishing the bipartisan change Americans need," says McCain spox Tucker Bounds.


Seriously, that's the end of the post. I don't know how many times this needs to be bashed over the head of our dipshit incompetent press - THERE IS MORE TO JOURNALISM THAN PARROTING QUOTES FROM EITHER SIDE.

Actual journalists do provide quotes, but they then FOLLOW UP THOSE QUOTES WITH FACTS. It is your job, Mr. Tapper, to decipher whether or not what someone is saying is in fact true.

For example, a nice fact to follow McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds' quote would be something along the lines of:

While Mr. McCain has taken positions in opposition to those of his party in the past, namely on immigration and campaign finance reform, in the last few years he has leaned much farther right and even reversed his position on a number of issues, falling in lock step with Republican leadership on issues including but not limited to, immigration, the Bush tax cuts, torture, abortion, right wing evangelicals, and even his signature issue, campaign finance reform. Furthermore, in 2007 Mr. McCain voted with President 95% of the time, and 100% of the time in 2008.


That's what is referred to as "research", Mr. Tapper.

Beyond that, Mr. Tapper has a post out today about the McCain camp poking fun at Sen. Obama for using Greek columns as a set for his nomination acceptance speech tonight at the DNC, and reports that the Obama camp says this is "another idiotic phony issues trumped up the the GOP". Which is absolutely correct considering Bush had columns at his acceptance speech in 2004, and this, and the fact that DEMOCRACY WAS INVENTED IN GREECE INSIDE LARGE BUILDING HELD UP BY FUCKING COLUMNS. But Tapper still feels the burning need to report on it.

And finally, Mr. Tapper put together a video piece about how Mr. Obama is a better speaker with a teleprompter than without. Really? No fucking shit. I'd like to see you punditizing without a teleprompter Tapper. I imagine it would go something like, "Hi, I'm ABC's Jake Tapper, and I would love to speak clearly and fluently about high minded American ideals on freedom and democracy but I am far too busy gargling donkey balls to do so."

It is astonishing that someone finds it appropriate to continue signing Mr. Tapper's pay checks.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Blue Balls: Theater Bay Area

Theatre Bay Area Member [sic] Can Win Comps to Spring Awakening


What?!?! AAAAAHHHHHHH! Oh joyous heavenly day!

Comp tickets will be given away to Theatre Bay Area members via an emails [sic] lottery.


Wait, you mean I can win tickets AND a lottery!?!?!? AAAAAAHHHHHH! No way!

If you receive an email that you have won tickets they must be picked up at a location to be announced in your confirmation email.


Oh. My. God. It's SOOO secretive! It's like if I win I get to ACT like James Bond! AAAAAAAHHHHHHH! Yahtzee!

Please also cut-and-paste this text into the email: "I am 100% sure I can use these tickets. I understand that if I receive an e-mail [sic] that I have won tickets, I will need to pick them up at the SF location to be specified in my confirmation email, between 11am and 7pm Friday (Sept 5), between 10am and 7pm Saturday (Sept 6) or between 10am and 3pm Sunday (Sept 7). At no time are tickets available for pickup at the theatre's box office."


Are you serious!?!?!? They're even going to tell me what to say to claim my tickets?!?! Can I add into that email that TBA is the most awesomest ticket giving musical happy joy place ever?!?!?! Can I do that? AAAAAAHHHHH! Woot!

Unclaimed tickets will result in your exclusion from future lotteries.


Thank God!!!!! All those people who don't appreciate the offer of FREE tickets to such a SOUL ALTERING musical and neglect to claim their gifts from Jesus in the required time designations should NEVER be allowed to participate in anything again ever! AAAAAAAAHHHHHH! Fwobbles!


Please, no phone calls about this offer!


... But how will I know when and where to claim my tickets? :(

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Latino, a Phillipino and a Korean Walk Into A Theater

It’s not until a Latino, a Phillipino and a Korean are all standing before you in a black box theatre in the heart of LA, that you realize the racism in Hollywood. And don’t tell me “But there was that movie Crash! — and it like totally won an Oscar!”. No, I don’t buy it.

First of all, that’s a movie that was talking about racism, not a movie that simply exemplified diversity in casting. Second, it constantly bashed you over the head with the message “Racism Bad. Equality Good”. And, third, the Asian community was completely underrepresented.

In fact, I was just reading an article on the Latina actress, Eva Mendez, in Interview magazine, where she was asked if it’s hard being a Latin woman in Hollywood. She answered, not really, that she felt more sorry for the Asian actors who are practically non-existent in the grand scheme of the entertainment world - except of course for "Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift".

So, back to the black box. The show was called “New Traditions” and the group, hereandnow Theatre Company. It was a breath of fresh air. The ensemble-driven show consisted of 15 original and wildly entertaining pieces with an emphasis on telling stories of all cultures and backgrounds. And yet it managed to avoid the sometimes-inevitable cheese factor when showing ethnic and cultural diversity. From a piece entitled “The Woodcutter” based on an old Korean folktale, to a piece entitled “Again” where a young Japanese girl is misunderstood by her na├»ve and bullying English-speaking classmates.

Cut to yesterday, when I spent the majority of my time on set for my first commercial, where, yes, everyone was white. Blonde-haired, blue-eyed white. Everyone, but me. It was so glaringly obvious, especially coming off the high from working with such a wonderful and diverse group of actors in a truly inspiring show. Now, I’m not saying we need someone from Mexico, China and Korea for every commercial, tv show or play. (Or even that these things need to inspire you every time). But it would sure be nice to see it more than we do. Or, at least realize that we’re missing out.

CNN's Leslie Sanchez Vomits All Over Cocktail Dress

Last night the Democratic National Convention kicked off in a dazzling spectacle of blah blah blah ... beyond speeches from Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama, the whole thing was pretty ridiculous (see: woman with hat):



The two speeches, by Ole Teddy and Mrs. Obama, were great. Kennedy just being there was great. And Mrs. Obama gave a classy, passionate and personal account of her truly American story. At least, that's what MOST people thought.

However the dickheads at CNN are still around for a reason - presumably to provide me content for this blog - and one in particular, Leslie Sanchez, manages to elevate douchebaggery to whole new level.

One of the brilliant features CNN has for "analysis" is a Report Card, where the best political team on television gets together and weighs in on the most pressing issues of the day in 40 words or less and a letter grade. Here's Leslie Sanchez:

"Grade: B -- Is it the dress or what's in it? Michelle Obama covered the key milestones but the image of her in a cocktail dress left us wondering."


Before I go about smashing my keyboard through my monitor, I will first show you a pic of Mrs. Obama from last night, just in case you missed it:



While I'd love to assume Ms. Sanchez's "analysis" is simply the result of the fact that all women are catty bitches who secretly hate each other, this is not actually true - case in point, other CNN women grading the speech gave it great marks.

I am therefor left to assume that Leslie Sanchez is simply a fucking shallow useless dipshit. Last night Michelle Obama told a heartfelt story of a working class upbringing, where parents put everything they had into their kids, and those kids recognized this and went about doing their damnedest to succeed in school and their subsequent professional lives. This is the American Dream, the American Story, and the American Opportunity.

And when given an opportunity to discuss the profound opportunities that are only available in this great country, Leslie fucking Sanchez chose to crap on Mrs. Obama's fashion choice.

So in honor of Ms. Sanchez's high minded remarks, I'm going to give my own report card on her performance: F, for fucking utter lack of insight or intelligence into anything other than being a hollow shell of a human being.

PS - Michelle Obama looked fucking great. She is a fox. Unlike Leslie Sanchez, who is a shriveled old brain dead hag:

Monday, August 25, 2008

Stop Being Dicks: PianoFight

We, at PianoFight, have a confession to make -- we are dicks. So we decided to make ourselves the subject of our recurring column, Stop Being Dicks.

8 emails throughout the morning regarding a film competition we are setting up resulted in this email:



From: dan@pianofight.com
Date: Wed, Aug 13, 2008 2:52 pm
To: eric@pianofight.com, rob@pianofight.com
Cc: xxxxxxx@pianofight.com, xxxx@pianofight.com, xxxxxx@pianofight.com
Subject: So it seems we've let the beast out of it's cage....

...and it's good, but it needs to be disciplined. I'll try and be brief mainly because (as Rob pointed out by sending me a picture, which I've attached) I don't want to sound like I'm complaining. But to a certain extent, it's because I have to focus on
my DAY JOB for a good portion of the hours of 9 to 5 and I simply do not have the time to explain all of my feelings (see attached).

Reading through the last 7 or 8 emails between Rob and Eric conjures up an image of a group of people standing around, puking on eachother. Or rather, two people puking on themselves, eachother and a couple of people sitting quietly beneath them, listening but not being able to talk over the puking sounds. Seriously, it's kind of ridiculous to hurl lists of things into people's inboxes, re-package it, hurl it back, CC everybody and call it productive. You're not even really listening to eachother. Most of the questions are answered twice and even if they are, there ar rebuttals. This is what I think MEETINGS are for. I think EMAIL is for communicating, updating, and informing others in a group about individual progress or group progress if not all the group was there at a meeting.

In my opinion, too much gets lost when you just puke out a bunch of crap into people's inboxes, especially if they can't respond. While the few that are able to respond during a pre-designated "time for day job" are figuring things out in a relatively bungled and blundering process (read you're guys's emails again, your strings often contain answers to your own questions), the group (and the project development) is missing out on key input from those who can't email during the day with the same regularity.

If there's specific details that need to be worked out(i.e. date/time, lineup, name suggestions, etc.), by all means puke all over eachother. But we're not there yet, we're still in the theoretical with Film Fight and email is not the most efficient way of getting out of theoretical in our current company-state (i.e while we all have other jobs). I'd invite everybody to read this email chain and come to a different conclusion. Then let's meet and talk about it.

And now, please see attached.

Dan


And, the Diplomatic Response:


From: eric@pianofight.com
Date: Wed, Aug 13, 2008 3:24 pm
To: dan@pianofight.com, rob@pianofight.com
Cc: xxxxxxx@pianofight.com, xxxx@pianofight.com, xxxxxx@pianofight.com
Subject: So it seems we've let the beast out of it's cage....

What??? It was my intention to keep everyone informed on how the meeting went last night. Highlight the topics discussed and have a back and forth dialogue to iron out the kinks so we can move forward and get this thing up and running by the end of September. I didn't think it would be taken as puke in your inbox. This was an attempt to keep you as informed as possible as to the progress and get feedback to make sure we're on the right track. Sometimes that takes a detailed email. I am fully aware of what MEETINGS are for and I THINK I know what email is for but if you want to expand on those two topics as well as you expanded on puking on each other then I think I can carve out a few more hours during my DAY JOB to read it and possibly respond. Now, if email is not the most effective was of getting these ideas out then how will you find the time during your DAY JOB to get back to us? Or, why don't you come up with a detailed plan explaining exactly what you want us to do and we can just send you back a checked checklist of things we accomplished during OUR not so busy day jobs.

Next, and I apologize if this email crap stinks up your inbox of wafer thin emails that don't come with attachments like the one you sent earlier promising a picture of Rob no doubt puking on some overly theoretical email, I think we got a few things accomplished today and got some clarity on how to move forward. No, Dan, we all aren't blessed with your superior organization and communication skills and swamped down by our day jobs choking us so that we can't PUKE out emails but... by some stroke of heavenly intervention I still was able to get us $500 today from Creative Marketing Concepts with no strings attached. I almost didn't think I could make it happen due to my novice communication and bargaining skills but I managed to spit out the proposal between dry heaves and he agreed. I'm sure you could have gotten $5000 but I had to run to the bathroom and puke on my iPhone.

Lastly, take the attachment that you didn't attach in your rebuttal email, an email that ironically provided no more insight as to the direction of this endeavor, and shove it up your ass! I've got to run the the bathroom and puke again!

Love ya Bro! We're meeting next week.


So, to sum up: PianoFight, stop being dicks.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Stop Being Dicks: Anti-Shit-Talkers

If you're like me (and I know you are), the last time you watched a swim meet was 4 years ago out of the corner of your drunken eye at a bar playing the last Olympics in Sydney. Since then all the swimming you've seen are freaked out surfers and scuba dive victims during "Shark Week" on the Discovery Channel. So to all the Johnny-Come-Lately, "I love watching swimming on T.V." douchbags, stop being dicks to the French Men's Olympic 4x100 meter freestyle swim team.

Last week after declaring, "The American's? We will smash them. That's what we came here for," the French Men's 4x100 meter freestyle Olympic team subsequently lost to the American's in what is now being hailed as the best Olympic swimming race ever.

The American's were slight underdogs going into the event behind a French team that has dominated this event for the past two years (thanks Rowdy Gaines!). Now you'd think that if you're favored in an Olympic event that you'd keep your thinly mustachioed mouth shut, and let everyone else do the shit talking for you, but the French team did nothing of the sort.

Despite the American's having the fastest swimmer in the world on their team, the already-won-six-gold-medals-in-these-Games-and-it's-only-day-2 Michael Phelps, the French simply couldn't keep the shit talking under their beret.

"Why, oh why, would you talk shit right before the race," you might ask. You'd be setting yourself up for failure. For ridicule. For utter shame. Well, believe it or not, I totally agree with the French team.

You see, I'm a glass-half-full kind of guy, and the idea of setting yourself up for failure never occurs to me. When I do my shit talking, I'm setting myself up for success. Ask yourself, how great would it have been for the French to win the race after all the pre-race, shit-talking drama? To be able to bask in the glory of not only winning the event but also being able to say "I told you so" after declaring "We will smash you," and at the same time dashing the American's hopes for Michael Phelps to be the only person in Olympic history to win 8 gold medals in one Olympic Games. The victory would have been twice as glorious.

Unfortunately for the French, they lost, but that doesn't make them losers in my book. To have the balls to declare your victory before it actually happens is the stuff dreams are made of. Billiard players do it all the time, in fact they're required to call their shots before they hit the ball. Before Michael Jordan made his famous last second shot to win his sixth NBA Championship, he told his defender during the in-bound play, "This is going to sting." You know the rest of the story.

It takes huge balls to declare your victory before it happens, but I believe in manifesting your own destiny. You see, if you win, the victory is twice as sweet. You came, you saw, you obnoxiously talked shit, and you won. But if you lose, no one cares and no one remembers. Who won the silver medal in the 200 meter freestyle event in the 1972 Olympics behind Mark Spitz? Exactly! So why not take the risk? Everyone will be so enamored with the winners that they'll forget all about your stupid remarks. It's a win-win situation.

So stop being dicks to the guys willing to call their shots. For once those cheese eating surrender monkey Frenchies showed some balls. Unfortunately their balls were handed back to them by the Americans, and now we can forget about them for another four years.

Monday, August 18, 2008

That's What She Said

All right, it's not what it sounds like but it is about a quote, for this picture:


Baby Seal's final thought: "Yay! Fetch!"


Feel free to add your own quote in the comments ...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

An Open Letter to the Band Formerly Known As Ona





Dear Ona,

You are a bunch of ass clowns. Now, I feel I can say that as we have worked together fairly extensively - for the readers who don't know, Ona was featured in one of the first plays I produced . The band played four songs throughout the show, Dave helped write the script and direct, and starred opposite Shane and myself - not to mention Bear freestyled the overtures and interlude score on his guitar, and Shane took drums one night leaving Omar to cover base and vocals while I marveled dumbfoundedly and forgot all my lines.

So, now that you're caught up Dear Reader, I feel that I can adequately explain why the members of the now defunct Ona are a bunch of shit eating cock faced douchey floppadoogoolus turd sniffing ass clowns.

That might have been a bit harsh, but basically, I'm right. Back in February my production company was shooting our first short film "Video Girl" (no it's not a porno) and we needed a song for the bad ass, super awesome, zoom in on the super hero as she looks out over the city she must now defend ending.

After lengthy discussion with the director Jenn Dorn and pouring over everything from moody yet kick ass rock song to slightly more kick ass yet oddly less moody rock song, it hit me - Ona, Skin and Bones. Perfect. So I immediately call Dave to see if it's all right to use it.

Me: Davelles!
Dave: Roberticus!
Me: Can I use Skin and Bones in a movie?
Dave: Ona broke up.


I could not believe this. The last I heard Ona has just completed recording their new album. I decided to do the mature thing.

Me: WHAT THE FUCK DAVE?!?!? YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS! YOU ARE A BUNCH OF ASS CLOWNS!!


Now, if you are as astute as I believe you to be Dear Reader, you might be thinking, "Wasn't that in February? Isn't it now almost August? Why the hell did this douchecock take so long to write this brilliant appeal to Ona's finer sensibilities?"

Because I just heard the new album (playing now) and it is exceptional.*

So, now that I have called Ona a plethora of silly names, I am able to make another call, for the intention of this finely crafted entreaty is not to convince Ona to reunite. Rather, it is to show those hose peckers (one for the road!) that parting ways was an abundantly stupid idea. The call I am going to make is a simple one, and one that I hope, Dear Reader, you will answer.

If you want Ona to get back together, and tour the fuck out of their new kick ass album, stand up, be heard, show your support and sign this petition by leavin a motherfuckin a comment.

Sincerely,

The Guy Who Thinks Ona Are Douchecocks Until they Reunite

* - Track playing is an unmastered version of "With All Due Respect", recorded around Thanksgiving 2007, at Baker Studios, on Vancouver Island, B.C., and leaked to me by industry insider and nine-time US Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps.