Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What a Country!

I'm doing some research on the Cold War, and today have been looking into one of its most celebrated figures - the lovable Yakov Smirnoff.

He calls Branson, Missouri home now, but after coming to America in 1977 he made a career out of lampooning those wacky Soviets.

He was on Miller Lite commercials...

And even turned his catch phrase, "What a Country!" into what can only be described as a more ethnically diverse, low-rent "Perfect Strangers."

Now, he has a theater named after him where he performs. What is that show like? From the website.
"There ought to be a caution sign as you enter the Yakov Smirnoff Theatre in Branson, Missouri. It should read “Warning! Hold on to your seat ‘cause this guy is about to blow you away with dynamite comedy!” This ‘guy’ of course is Branson’s Two-Time Comedian of the Year, Yakov Smirnoff, the famous Russian Comedian. He delivers explosive laughter in a show filled with brilliant special effects, dazzling dancing, heartfelt moments, and just plain fun. Yakov’s entire show is packed with comedic tall tales and witty perceptions, funny facts and huge laughs. "

Monday, June 9, 2008

Get Your Learn On

RZA, aka Bobby Digital, (who plays Austin this week) has just launched a hip hop oriented chess site. Here, he plays the New York Times Chess editor and loses. Still, he presents an interesting notion in that chess can be used, "especially in an urban situation," he says, to get young cats to think that extra step. RZA compares it to rhyming an extra bar or pausing before snatching something out of a store. The NYTimes Chess Editor is clearly out of his element.


So, the Chronicle for Higher Education is surely one of Academia's most prestigious, ok, most well-known publications. So I must say I was a bit surprised to see that they had yet to correct a glaring typo in their digital archives. Just goes to show how far ol' Barack has come. Next up, Microsoft's spell check!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

From the Balkans, With Love

Ever since seeing the Ivan Milev Band open for Sharon Jones some months ago, I've become enamored with the klezmar music of Eastern Europe. After doing a bit of searching, I came across POZA's album, "Crazy Balkans."

I can't figure out how to upload songs or torrents on this, but as you may be able to tell by the photo, these are some Wild and Crazy Guys...

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Last Fucking Straw

"So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life."

You have to wait a bit for this to really get going, but it is amazing.