Tag Archive | reviews

Marc Andreessen is a Conehead

Bloomberg really chose this as the featured image for its interview with VC legend Marc Andreessen? Was this done via photoshop to suggest his brain is so sharp? Does he have some kind of growth? Did he fall out of bed that morning and land on his head? Dropped as a baby? Is it Halloween every day over in that crazy fantasyland of Silicon Valley?

I couldn’t get past this crazy lead image in order to read the big reveal.

hate to be one of those font assholes, but…

BusinessWeek did a special profile on Apple CEO Tim Cook and generously let us in on their cover page decisionmaking. It’s a cool feature to include, clues the reader into how much work goes into a final magazine cover.

(via BusinessWeek’s Cover Trail: Tim Cook’s Apple)

So I really hate to be one of those font assholes, but really…what kind of final font selection results in this??

As LC put it, “is this a cupcake cookbook?”

bring da ruckus

ain't nothin' to f-k with

wu-tang clan @ the congress

wu-tang hand sign at right: check plus.

not to be confused with =w= sign

rivers' =w= sign execution: check plus.

fans’ hand sign execution: mixed.

lazy fingers? check minus

left circle: lazy! "throw your hands in air and wave 'em like you just don't care" is a lyric! not a lifestyle. check minus. right circle: that is how it is done. check plus. i also note it appears you have sold your left pinky. check plus plus.

i know this is all very confusing, but if there is one takeaway, know that you should never do this:

yikes!

but seriously, who’s watching the throne.

kanye west and jay-z, watch the throne tour @ the united center, thursday, 12/1. i don’t review shows anymore, so here are just some thoughts.

nosebleed seats at $123 a pop — my most expensive ticket ever — featured an excellent view within the section, but still. i can’t imagine what the floor seats cost, and i wonder who the target audience is. the 1%? corporations and timeshares? are these guys performing for their fans, the 1% of their fans? this tour is raking in more than $1 mm a night apparently.

too much as been written about kanye’s megalomania, so i have few additional comments. he is 100% batshit crazy, and i’m happy i had the chance to once again affirm i guess. he is getting nuttier more years and more $$$, but that’s obviously feeding into his ability as an artist and performer so i kind of love it. all of it, self-aggrandizing and all. the one letdown was the painful conclusion that mr. west is clearly a studio artist. his songs are super-produced, arguably overproduced, with layers and layers of instruments and guest vocals that don’t translate well without live backing during a live show. the epic, headphone-worthy, “all of the lights” (and really everything off my dark twisted fantasy) came across much flatter than i had hoped. see exhibits below.

“all of the lights” recorded:

live in chi (thanks, whoever posted this so quickly):

throughout the show, the giant monitors caught kanye or jay-z candidly, “at rest”, while the other was performing. king kanye looked alternately like, “i am gonna stab you with scissors” or “these leatherette tights that chicks wear are so hot! i mean, they look hot, but also they don’t breathe! must stop sweating. but my manager told me this is what it takes to win grammys. my self worth is 100% dependent on grammys! GRAMMY GRAMMY GRAMMY! i love grammys, not people!”

best part of the candid shots had to be catching jay-z occasionally smiling. juxtaposed with crazy kanye, he otherwise comes across as something of a stoic. is he bored? is he into it? is he over it? is he ashamed of the fact that he is wearing a short-sleeved leather hoodie? is it made with the excess fabric from kanye’s kilt? is he upset that kanye made him do a costume change so that kanye’s fourth outfit didn’t seem like too much?

jay-z, on all of that, just comes across as calm, controlled, possibly even calculating. hard to tell. i find jay-z fascinating, and it stems partly from the fact that he is relatively unattractive, yet has had a wild amount of success through a variety of sounds and styles. seriously. the ugly factor has proven a decent a lagging indicator of actual talent in the entertainment industry, right? steve buscemi? thom yorke? to make it to the top and stay there, you’re either beautiful, talented, or on occasion, you’re both. he proved impressive at the show, and i wish i could have seen more. kanye dominated the setlist at probably 65% of the split (understandable, given this is his hometown), but i saw enough, for as always after a good show, i ran home and bought new tunes. so mr. “i’m not a businessman, i’m a business, man” smiling here and there was kinda nice, a relief, suggesting he maybe wanted to be up there for two and a half hours even if he weren’t pocketing a cool million in revenue to do so.

jay-z – public service announcement

that’s the other thing: 2.5 hours. without a break or a lull really, 2.5 hours of performing deserves some real props. 2.5 hours of keeping most of the crowd moving and engaged is not easy and made it clear these gentlemen are hit machines. impressive stamina too. i haven’t heard that long a performance since the cure (circa 1999? i’m old). granted it was back-and-forth between the two artists throughout, but it was still well thought-out and executed. except for the end.

the good thing about having seeing night2 when a big tour does two nights in a city? reviews of night1 up already, complete with setlist. some people don’t like spoilers, but i don’t mind them. if it’s a good show, i unfailingly become so captivated by the show / film that i forget the spoiler. i will go into titanic knowing the ship sinks, but i’ll forget you told me that once the film’s on. um not a great example — i was waiting for that damn sink to ship for approximately two hours.

on the other hand, if the show lags in any way, my mind will wander and it will wander to the spoiler alert. and worse, now in the age of smartphones, i will call up the setlist to see precisely what’s coming. in this instance, the advance setlist helped me out not once, but twice.

  1. headsup that ‘ye & z hit the stage would hit the stage more than two hours after the stated start time. poor fools who didn’t cheat by reading the review.
  2. headsup on what the encore would be, key to timing my exit. the chicago tribune reported the encore would be:

40. N— in Paris

41. N— in Paris

42. N— in Paris

43. N— in Paris

44. N— in Paris

45. N— in Paris

46. N— in Paris

47. N— in Paris

yes, you read that correctly. EIGHT TIMES. it’s not even a good song. i lasted until drill #7. yet as DW pointed out, amazingly most of the crowd was still into it then. DH asked me at some point during the show, “do you think [kanye and jay-z] are the type of artists who perform high or totally drunk?” and i think i replied, “to play that encore eight times? night after night? they have to be.”

but on second thought, i don’t know that that they were…instead, the crowd may have been.

and just because it never gets old: crystal castle reviews k.west

much ado about nothing

when i was younger, my dad had a curious rule about tv: no tv on school nights — except during dinner. yup, close family, great communicators, this is why i don’t talk much. so anyway, because we ate dinner rather religiously at 6:30pm, all my pop culture larnin’ was limited to — first and foremost — world news with peter jennings, followed by whatever i chose until dinner time ended — i even remember eating exceptionally slowly to see the end of episodes. when i was feeling generous, i let my sister choose and we watched jeopardy (and kept score) or mystery! (and i passed out, faceplant into rice bowl). but most of the time, the clicker landed on WB11 or fox 5, where i found the sitcoms in syndication that all the cool kids at school talked about.

i learned all about the soup nazi, cowabunga, and the rachel at least a year late, but it made no matter. the mindless stuff had my sister and me cackling — and importantly, eating at a remedial pace.  however, it was observed that my dad never so much as cracked a smile (mom was busy daydreaming about peter jennings, scribbing on napkins “mrs jennings” in different script styles and “PJ + [her maiden initials],” hiding it when my dad glanced over).

so i asked one day how he, a fellow human being, could somehow watch seinfeld and not laugh. rather unexpectedly, he exploded with, “much ado about nothing!!!!” and launched into a rant about how the show goes on and on about nothing and that he’d rather tune out and be left to his own very important thoughts. like father like daughter, what can i say. i certainly can’t deny that situational comedy violates his highest priority of an unclouded mind, given the sample of his parenting below.

in an email to my sister after she bought her semi-automatic car, he managed to wax philosophical…

[Dear Clutch Rider Daughter]:

Stay in semiautomatic. It saves the sweat. It is really annoying to drive in manual mode. Every 10 miles up or down one has to change the gear! On congested city streets and crowded highways, with constant stop and go, pickup and slowdown, one’s right hand will be tired in no time. Besides, too busy with gear shifting reduces one’s alert on the coming traffic condition.

Modern automatic transmission has improved gas mileage quite a lot. There is absolute no advantage in using a manual one. The one who still insists is a bull with a twisted vanity.

In an ever more complex society one uses better and better tools to handle the conventional cores, so that one has time left to concentrate on the new ones. And it is how well one can handle the new ones that one is called a hero.

Dad

in case you are wondering…yes, he speaks like this in 3D, too. does everything about me make sense now?

however, i can deny that i prioritize an unclouded mind. i’m all about clouding. i love clouds. above the clouds, how do you catch a cloud and pin it down, a walk in the clouds starring keanu reeves which is so much better than anyone would expect even keanu’s mom, i uploaded all the music on this mac to the cloud on friday when i learned i get free gigs on amazon music, the thrill of cloud printing, looking out a plane window in flight when i was too old to be wondering, i even foolishly asked my mom (of mrs would-be jennings fame):

me: can those clouds out there support me? could i walk on them [with keanu]?

mom: no way, jose!

me: what about a paper clip?

mom [putting down her peter jennings biography to scrunch her brows together and pout her upper lip a bit before replying]: maybe.

have you ever tossed a paper clip out the window of a plane mid-flight? yeah, didn’t think so. she’s right and you know it.

all this to say, why yes. yes, you’re right! all below and this entire blog are unapologetically about nothing. carry on.

—–

email from LW to me, subject: this is the end

I just got a budget template, from our Finance dept in D.C. (the nation’s capital), created entirely in Comic Sans.

R.I.P. Western Civ.

—–

me: is that guy wearing a paisley shirt?

MD: he must be an international student.

—–

spotted at paper hearts on division: midwest gangsignz

now teach me that

—–

creeping up behind me in the quiet study lounge, talking me about the best time to meet for this week’s case write-up, casually eyeing my open browser windows of a facebook page on jack link’s beef jerky, a google shopping search for “flannel shirt” “plaid” “free shipping”, urbandictionary search for gross!dontclickthis!, grooveshark, MS allowed, “it’s okay. makes me feel better about my productivity.”

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