Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson is Dead.

I was at the Associated Press today when I overheard the people in the newsroom: "Michael Jackson is sick.  Isn't he supposed to do a tour in July?"  Fifteen minutes later, on CNN: "Breaking news: Michael Jackson hospitalized."  Fifteen minutes later, on the street: "Michael Jackson died."  It was strange to see how news breaks.  It was stranger that no one seemed to care that Farrah Fawcett also died today.  There is hope though:
It's not unreasonable to assume Michael Jackson could return.  Keep an eye on your floorboards!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ed McMahon is Dead.

And the question remains: Who will give out those huge Publishers Clearing House checks?  But more importantly, how awesome is this?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Phoenix in New York

French rockers Phoenix played Terminal 5 last night.  Trying to remember particular bits of the concert is a little difficult, somewhat influenced by the assholes behind me, but more so by the blast of raucous energy that is a Phoenix show.  It's like attempting to recall a specific orgasm.  I had heard they were a good live band, but they were so much better than I could have imagined.  The performance was only 1 hour and 16 minutes, which would normally leave me feeling gypped by any other band.  This was not the case.  It was positively scary how good they were.
Every song was a sugary salvo of sonic perfection.  "Run Run Run" was a personal favorite, culminating in a hard rock double-guitar attack.  The whole experience was heightened by the epic lighting design.
I still don't understand why some girl in the crowd kept holding up a Mexican flag, but oh well.  I will see Phoenix again, and hopefully they'll play "Second to None."

PHOENIX – 06.19.09 – TERMINAL 5
Lisztomania / Long Distance Call / Consolation Prizes / Lasso / Napoleon Says / Funky Squaredance / Rally / Girlfriend / Armistice / Love Like a Sunset pt. I / Love Like a Sunset pt. II / Run Run Run / Too Young / Sometimes in the Fall / Rome
If I Ever Feel Better / 1901

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Emily Haines is Sexy. (Part 2)

I saw Metric last night at Terminal 5.  I have a new favorite frontperson and her name is Emily Haines.  Back in January, I downloaded the audio of Metric's Live at Metropolis DVD without having seen the video.  Just listening to it, I could hear in Emily's voice how much fun she was having.  I decided I had to see them, and last night, the time finally came.  The sub-par sound of the venue couldn't stop Haines from ripping it up.  She bounced around the stage like a caffeinated kangaroo, headbanged as she rocked out the keyboard, did some semi-choreographed moves with a tambourine, and sang her fucking heart out.  The show was a brief 1 hour and 23 minutes, but if it went any longer, Emily probably wouldn't have survived.  That's how much she puts into her performance.  And did I mention she's hot too?
The set was heavy on tracks from their latest album, Fantasies.  While every song was great, the highlight for me was probably "Stadium Love."  The song closes Fantasies, and its lyrics have always puzzled me.  Emily prefaced the song with an explanation of a post-apocalyptic dream she had in which the earth's animals were forced to do battle with each other, while the humans watched and feasted on giant cheeseburgers.  The only way to make everything better was with massive amounts of love, enough to fill a stadium.  Puzzle solved.
The encore ended with a slowed-down, stripped-down version of "Live It Out," which you can watch here.

METRIC – 06.17.09 – TERMINAL 5


Twilight Galaxy / Help I’m Alive / Satellite Mind / Handshakes / Gold Guns Girls / Gimme Sympathy / Sick Muse / Empty / Front Row / Dead Disco / Stadium Love


Monster Hospital / Live It Out

Sunday, June 14, 2009

You Can't Pause the Rock!

What do you do when you need to play Rock Band in a film, but need to avoid making too much noise?  Why, tape bread to the drum kit of course.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

And You May Ask Yourself...

Where is the mega-post about Los Angeles?  Not here yet.  I got a new phone after I went, so I need to get the pictures I took with my old one transferred over first.  Instead, how about David Byrne opening the 31st season of Celebrate Brooklyn! at Prospect Park Bandshell?

On June 8th, David Byrne brought his retinue of dancers and musicians to Prospect Park for a stop on his Songs of David Byrne & Brian Eno Tour.  Byrne emerged onstage completely dressed in white, and casually remarked, "Hi.  My name is Dave.  I'll be your waiter this evening."  That was pretty much all of the witty banter that could be heard for the remainder of the night, a disrespectful crowd and sound problems muddling a good portion of the show.  Still quite enjoyable though, even without a large knowledge of Byrne's work.  The choreography made it almost seem like a Broadway production.  Although seated for "Life is Long," Byrne and the band made sure to use swivel chairs to be able to spin to the song.  Oddly enough, my favorite song of the night may have been the first, "Strange Overtones," from his newest album with Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.  "Once in a Lifetime" was pretty amazing, but some sound issues kept it from perfection.  Three encores!  "Burning Down the House," not an Eno song, but a fan favorite, featured the entire band in tutus.  I'm not a huge fan of the song, but it was a great performance.  Check it out if you please.



Strange Overtones / I Zimbra / One Fine Day / Help Me Somebody / Houses in Motion / My Big Nurse / My Big Hands (Fall Through the Cracks) / Heaven / Moonlight in Glory / Life is Long / Crosseyed & Painless / Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On) / Once in a Lifetime / Life During Wartime / I Feel My Stuff


Take Me to the River / The Great Curve


Air / Burning Down the House


Everything That Happens

After the show, I met up with my old roommate and his friends.  As we walked up 5th Ave, a group of people were congregated on the sidewalk at a hangout near Aunt Suzie's.  "Amazing performance, man," I heard someone say, amongst similar compliments.  David Byrne was standing there, graciously accepting the praise.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Emily Haines is Sexy.

Metric have a new album out called Fantasies.  While it's still growing on me (The production's sheen seems unnecessary.), it is still quite good.  Check out this cool video for "Gimme Sympathy."
Pretty neat, right?  Now see how it was made.

I'm seeing them on the 17th.  Hooray!

Outsourcing is a Beautiful Thing, Especially Now!

I hope you get sarcasm.  I don't like to complain about things.  I'd rather think positively all the time.  Which is why I'm not going to elaborate on why you should never use Expedia.  Just don't.  Trust me.

The rest of this is not directly about Expedia, but it is their fault that it has gotten to this.  Long story short: I was told something else, and then I was charged more for my car rental.  I contacted the rental company because Expedia is a fucking useless bunch of thieves and liars.

My email:

I rented a car from Payless from May 19-May 26.  I wanted to check out the car at 8pm on the 19th and return it by 8pm on the 26th.  I was told by the associate (Rebecca) that because I arrived at 5:23 on the 19th, my rental would be for a week from that time.  I was in LA for business and explained that if I had to return the car at 5:23 on the 26th, I would miss a meeting and be at the airport for 4 hours before my flight left.  She told me I could not change my check-out time.

I called Expedia on May 20th and spoke to a representative named Victor.  He called Payless and spoke with a woman named Angelina at the Las Vegas location.  She advised him that I would be refunded fully for my collision coverage ($70.29) and for any extra time I had the car on the 26th, due to the check-out issue.

I returned the car to Payless on May 26 at 6:54pm, resulting in an hour's extra charge with all applicable fees.  I was refunded $40.23, but not for the overdue time that I was told I would be reimbursed for.  I need to have $29.86 (the total for an extra hour and fees) refunded to my credit card for this mistake.  Thank you.

- Dustin Sherman

Response email:

Dear Sherman

Could you please what was the check out issues you had over here? and Also Victor Expedia provided you with the wrong information if you had an issue with Los angeles Location They cannot call Las vegas location, for the late charge i will go ahead and wave that for you because of this inconvenience, which it was total of $19.77



Wow.  Engrish much?  Why is that our country outsources all its customer service departments?  It would seem like dealing with customers is something you'd want done right, considering hmmn, I don't know, the customer is always right.

Maybe it's racist of me to assume that Muneer is in the Philippines or something.  Maybe he's in Los Angeles.  I've never been anti-immigration.  Hey, stupid white people, where would you be without it?

Maybe he was even raised in the USA and was educated in the public school system.  The point is that this guy does not know proper English.  Now, I know in my original email, I ended a sentence with a preposition and could've used a few more commas, but look at Muneer's response comparatively.  Two sentences, one of which doesn't end, that don't make sense, in an effort to get across four sentences of information.  Not to mention that he called me Sherman.

I just wonder how anyone can think we're the greatest country in the world when our default thing to do when something goes wrong is to call someone in another fucking country!  Meanwhile, jobs are being cut left and right because they seem unnecessary.  Well, here's some free advice: Quality customer service representatives, who are fluent in English, are needed.  I don't know anyone who would disagree.