Tuesday, October 16, 2012

More Things to See and Do

So I'm working a lot lately.  Glad of it, don't get me wrong, but it has cut severely into blogging time.  You may have noticed...  Anyway, been meaning to put together another post sharing with you some of the nifty gems I've found online and elsewhere. So here's another handful of goodies - the things that I've been seeing, hearing, reading and doing lately, and think you should too:

Bitchin' Kitchen
Being a typical guy, two of my favorite things in the world are beautiful women and delicious food.  A beautiful woman who can cook delicious food is, therefore, an awesome thing in my book.  If she's funny and has a bit of a sarcastic edge to boot, well, that's downright....um, what's the word I'm looking for here?...ah yes: bitchin'!  Coming across as equal parts Riff Randall and Julia Child, and armed with the most unusual accent you'll hear all day (Italian/French-Canadian, for the record), Nadia Giosia made the leap from web show to big-time network TV with her program Nadia G.'s Bitchin' Kitchen, an amalgamation of cooking, comedy and rock 'n' roll that has become must-see TV around these parts.  With an outstanding supporting cast that includes the forever henpecked Panos the Fish and Meat Guy, The Spice Agent (whose name Nadia keeps on a handy recording so she doesn't have to attempt to pronounce it), and the slightly creepy Hans, as well as an assortment of her own Italian-slang interjections and catch-phrases, Nadia's kitchen is a damn cool place to hang out. Let's plate this dish.

Daym Drops
Speaking of folks who bring the food and the funny, that list must include Daym Drops.  With his YouTube series of Super Official reviews (canudigitbaby?), Daym has become something of an online sensation and, in a just world, will be next in line to make the jump to the mainstream.  He's a modern-day food critic, but he is no nose-in-the-air epicurean snob reviewing haute-cuisine in four-star restaurants. No, Daym Drops is a regular joe like you and me, reviewing drive-through fast food from the point of view of a guy who loves the stuff and knows he ought to be eating healthier but damn, it's just so good!  I discovered Daym through his hysterical review of Five Guys Burgers (which has since been brilliantly songified by The Gregory Brothers); if you haven't discovered Daym Drops yet, it's a good place for you to start as well:

Cake & Polka Parade
Do you like odd? I mean really, truly odd? Do you enjoy the looks of bewilderment and horror on your friends' faces when you play a Residents album for them? Do you pine for the days when every other album was recorded entirely on a Moog synthesizer? Are you fond of singing along loudly with Wild Man Fisher? Then friends, the Cake and Polka Parade podcast is right up your alley!  Your host, Fatty Jubbo, takes you on audio tours of the twisted obscurata of the music world.  Like a dour Doctor Demento he curates some of the most wonderfully weird music that is likely to reach your ears any time soon, with enough of a knowing wink to keep the balance just this side of the sane/insane line.  Courtesy of the good folks at WFMU.  Go on, give it a listen!

I am, as you know, a proponent of grassroots indy music distribution.  Which is why I have become a huge fan of Noisetrade, a site dedicated to bringing together those who create music and those who love it, without thought one given to music as a product or - shudder - a business.  Artists can sign up and upload their music, and fans can browse and download what they like, all at no charge.  The theory is that fans will share the music they find that they like (the opportunity is there to share each download via Facebook, Twitter or email), the artists will reach new fans who otherwise might never have found them, or might not have spent the money to take a chance on an unknown entity, and everybody wins.  Fans can also "tip" artists they like - up to $100 if so inclined.  I've discovered a few fantastic artists through Noisetrade already, some of which I'll be sharing with you in an upcoming Now Hear This post.  Spend some time at Noisetrade and see what goodies you find!

Troma Films is the purposefully shlocky, intentionally low-budget production house that brought us such classics as The Toxic Avenger, Class Of Nuke 'Em High, and Surf Nazis Must Die!  Now they have set up a YouTube channel stocked with over 150 flicks from as far back as the 1930s, some of which are Troma Films creations, but all of which could have been.  From classics like White Zombie, The Ape, and Africa Screams to more recent titles like Rabid Grannies, Space Zombie Bingo, and Blood Boobs And Beast, there is hours of viewing enjoyment.  Gather the family and pop the corn...

Top Documentary Films
Truth is, so they say, often stranger than fiction. which is why a good documentary can capture my attention and fully drag me in, especially given the right subject matter.  I was therefore overjoyed to find Top Documentary Films, a website that hosts a veritable treasure trove of free-to-watch documentaries that can be viewed online. The documentaries there range from 30-minute amateur YouTube shorts to full-production theater-quality films, and cover just about any topic you can imagine from 9/11 conspiracy theories to scientific discovery to serial killer profiles to historical reenactments - and beyond! It can all be found here, and you can spend hours watching before you even realize it.  Bookmark it!
Real Actors Read Yelp
High on the list of Things I Wish I Had Thought Of is this series of videos from a group calling themselves Gotta Kid To Feed Productions.  Real Actors Read Yelp is exactly that:  professional actors from film, TV, and Broadway giving dramatic life to the words of actual reviews taken from social user review site Yelp.com.  Yes, it's an old concept (those my age and older will recall the great Steve Allen reading real letters to newspaper editors with great feeling and gusto), but it's done well.  The actors are chosen well, and are skilled enough to mix overwraught scene-chewing with truly touching moments of emotional focus, allowing you to feel the reviews viscerally. Or something like that. 

Now that should be plenty of fun to keep you entertained for awhile, I would be truly interested in your feedback, and maybe your suggestions of things to see and do.  Speak up, friends! And, as always, enjoy!
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