Monday, December 04, 2006


My favorite ways to not work (not including writing here and running).

The Black Keys
- Like the White Stripes, a Midwestern two piece with a monochromatic name. Much more raw, much less shticky and just plain awesome.
Quantic Soul Orchestra & Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra
- Two similar brass bands that specialize in funkifying old standards (check Antibalas' version of Hector Lavoe's Che Che Cole). Both are technically proficient without losing that sense of unbridled enthusiasm and spontaneity. Antibalas is much more latin oriented while Quantic leans more to the soul side and both are great.

My Space bands:
Get its own category because their records are not for sale at HMV.
Bravo Silva
- From what I hear they have recently broke up. Too bad. I discovered these guys while surfing the net on a doobie fueled insomnia and was blown away. The next day I listened to them again expecting to be disappointed, as many of my late night epiphanies turn out less than stellar in the unforgiving light of the sun, but was surprised that the band had lost nothing in the intervening hours. I still can't decide whether Strawberry Blonde or City I Love You is my favorite song or theirs.
Moonlight Cruisers
- A relatively unknown college band out of hispanic LA. Lyrics strictly in spanish, which I speak maybe 3 sentences of. Blending the previously unfused sounds of psychobilly with Rigo Tovar style cumbia. Good stuff. Try and get Baila out of your head, took me a week.
LUmi & Scrambled Eggs
Gotta represent for my home town. Lebanon's not all assassinations and protests.

Ever listen to the radio and wish you could pause it, cut out the commercials, fast-forward it or outlaw that "radio DJ voice"? With podcasts you all of that is possible.

Guardian Unlimited Football Weekly - Feed here
Last show started with this line "More glowing reviews than a Piccadilly sushi restaurant."
- I really love soccer. It's probably my favorite sport to watch and to play. Unfortunately I live in the one continent in the world where soccer is a niche sport which fights for TV time with lacrosse, bowling, and darts. So keeping up to date with the goings on in the European super leagues is kind of a chore - who wants to wake up at 8 AM on a Saturday to watch a weekly wrap-up show? That's why I love this show; it's downloaded to my iPod automatically and once a week and for a half hour I'm transported to a roundtable in the Guardian's London office with a bunch of English wise-asses busting each other up while I pick up gems like the reason Ronaldinho hadn't been scoring much at the start of the year was that he was recently single and spent too much time chasing girls in the clubs of Barcelona.

Live from the WB - Feed
- Broadcasting live from the epicenter of North American hipsterdom, Williamsburg Brooklyn. This show reminds me of listening in on the cool kids table in the junior high cafeteria.

Keith and the Girl - Feed
- Another NY borough show, though this from the distinctly unhip Queens (home to the Mets and George Costanza's parents). A morning show for people who hate morning shows. Usually recorded in the wee hours by the nocturnal stand-up comic Keith Malley and his Israeli singer/girlfriend Khemda Khalili it's a nice way to spend your commute. Not for the faint of heart - heavy on the swearing and filth. Funny.

BBC Documentary Archive - Feed
- The BBC is a world treasure (as long as they're not dwelling on the Royal family). This podcast is a collection of their long audio pieces. Really good stuff most of the time. Last week's interviews of people's personal experiences with Saddam Hussein was a particularly good one.

East Village Radio
- Has a full lineup of shows that run the gamut of contemporary music; everything from disco and funk to indie and drone. I'm partial to The Let Out w/ the Fader Crew but there's something here for everyone; Q-Tip guest host Authentic Shit last friday. Listen live or download/subscribe to listen at your convenience. Broadcats from the southern tip of Manhattan.

Video Podcast:
A sitcom spoofing the smugness of above mentioned Williamsburg. Hit and miss but the hits make it worth it. Plus if the girl who plays Courtney was any easier on the eyes she'd be a walking corrective vision procedure.

PBS Frontline
I'm rarely organized enough to sit down in front of a TV at a specific time so being able to catch the world's premier TV news magazine online at nay time is like manna from heaven.

Blogging Beirut
My favorite Beirut site... lots of pics.

Heat by Bill Buford
- the fantasy of every amateur chef (with some nightmares thrown in)
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware
- best graphic novel ever (Maus included)
Pity the Nation by pre-radicalized Robert Fisk
- best Beirut in the eighties book ever (Beirut to Jerusalem included)
See No Evil by Robert Baer
- CIA memoir, the basis for Syriana (a terrible mess of a movie)
The Assassin's Gate by George Packer
- the BEST Iraq book (Fiasco and Cobra II included)