Saturday, July 02, 2005

A Few of My Favorite Things

Alright, time to take a breather from zee politics. Here's a list of current favorites, because, why not?

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" Show about a bald, funny Jewish guy who can't seem to come across anyone who isn't hyper-sensitive. To make matters worse, Larry David, the show's star and a native New Yorker is not afraid to offend people who upset him. Half the time, Larry is dealing with people who are too accustomed to getting their own way amidst their comfortable L.A. bubble; the other half, Larry could be a bit nicer.

"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" Stewart's ability to critique the media and politics through clever humor is unmatched on television. Most shows like "Saturday Night Live" or "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" get by on hackneyed, repetetive jokes, but "the Daily Show" manages to make excellent political and media points (like having comedy writers play quintessential TV journalist types) while still maintaining a high standard of hilarity.

"The O.C. (Season One)" Before there were shootings, deaths, lesbian flings, and a less funny Seth Cohen, there was Season One of "The O.C." Since this is now out on DVD, it is very easy to pay homage to a show that was once the best of its kind. For awhile there, it seemed the well-adjusted Cohen family represented an exception to the dysfunction rule.

Awesomely Bad (John's right, sometimes it does exist).
Beauty and the Geek
Alright, it's a shameless show, but nerdy Richard makes it worth the watch.

The Inferno I have no excuse for liking this show where former "Real World" and "Road Rules" guests bank on their last three minutes of fame to fight each other out for money. I was briefly addicted to it right after I was done with finals and had a few free days.


Yves Montand
French-Italian crooner who I've been getting into lately. He was big in the 1950s and 1960s and is kind of the French Frank Sinatra (whose music I also love).

The Cardigans I know, I know one hit wonder, blah blah. In fact, they have several fun and pretty songs like "After All," "Carnival," and "Your New Cuckoo." Plus they have a new album out, which I have yet to hear.

Stereolab I have been really into them for the last year. Their most recent album Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In The Milky Night does not betray their reputation for an interesting, beautiful, ethereal sound. My favorite songs include "Velvet Water," "Cybele's Revelrie," and "Cosmic Country Noir."

The Fiery Furnaces An Indie group of sorts with meaningful pop music. What a concept! They've been called the next White Stripes, plus Eleanor and Matthew are confirmed sister and brother. My favorite song is "Quai Cur."

Sufjan Stevens
His goal is to release an album about every one of the 50 American states. Even though it sounds gimicky, it is a cute idea, and his first album about Michigan was serenely poignant without being too depressing. My favorite song is "Detroit: Lift Up Your Weary Head (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!)." He just came out with a new album about my homestate, Illinois.

Bill Withers Solo artist from the 1970s is famous for "Lean on Me" and "Lovely Day." He has a great, soulful voice which he really puts to use in "Hello Like Before," "I Want to Spend the Night," "Use Me," and "Let Me Be the One You Need." Listening to his music makes me think of 1970s New York in winter.

Awesomely bad
Fifty Cent and the Game's Love it or Hate It I guess I like the rhythm. Don't worry, I'm not a white kid who blasts the song on my radio while wearing one of those idiotic "'G' is for Gangsta" t-shirts from Urban Outfitters.

Representative of everything that I am against

Edy's Dibs Bite-sized chocolate shell surrounding ice cream. The mint ice cream-filled Dibs are superb. Best enjoyed with a glass of Diet Coke, as the combination is heavenly.

Wow Bao America's first bao restaurant (an Asian delicacy kind of like dumplings that are enjoyed as fast food). Light and tasty food to be found in Chicago's Water Tower Place.

Jasmine Tea It seems this isn't the most popular tea around, and that is a shame, because it is definitely the best!

Alright, that's it for my favorites as of right now, but I'm sure I'll always have more.


BlandGrey said...

I have to say that I know little of Bill Withers work except for the fantastic song "Ain't No Sunshine." Incredibly soulful song, with song great acapella-esque moments. Sadly I have to admit that I came by the song through one of my many media addictions: CSI (featured in season one, during a scene with Disco Placid... great name).

Elaine said...

Well I'm glad to hear that CSI has a good soundtrack. The song "Use Me" has been in a couple of films as well, if I recall (it starts "My friends think it's their appointed duty..."). I recommend some of those other songs I listed if you like "Ain't No Sunshine." They're equally as soulful. I feel like Withers is underlooked today, and if I had to compare him to one artist I might choose Marvin Gaye.