A Post-Christmas Recovery Open Thread, Featuring HMSTR

Rodent punks
LGF • Views: 1,136


You could never fully steal the show when you’re followed by the blown-out spectacle of Sun Ra Arkestra’s Tiny Desk Concert. But the opening act kept jumping on the piano and nibbling on the set, literally pulling up the carpet and leaving “presents” on the floor. How could we not have them back? Did I mention they’re hamsters?

Joni and Nash — first names only, please, like Madonna and Cher — are HMSTR. Certainly not the first band to count rodents among its members, but at least they refuse to release a punk album with no punk to be found. “Snow Day” is HMSTR’s first single, a twee-as-all-get-out holiday pop-punk song by virtue of having “snow” in its title. After what sounds like digital snowflakes, the song unleashes a one-minute snowball fight with the fuzziest Tiny Desk destroyers we’ve ever seen.

You can download “Snow Day” from HMSTR’s Bandcamp page. Happy holidays! — LARS GOTRICH

The Most Unusual and Twisted Short Film Since Eraserhead: “Self-Assembly”

So many trigger warnings I can’t even
Arts • Views: 9,810


I just discovered this amazing and unsettling short film by Ray Sullivan on Vimeo, and at first I actually hesitated to post it because it’s … disturbing. In some ways, it’s reminiscent of David Lynch’s weird classic “Eraserhead.” But with more realism and more goo.

Bereaved parents find a monstrous substitute for their dead son.

Directed by Ray Sullivan
Written by Garret Shanley
Based on the comic strip story & characters created by Gar Shanley & Cathal Duggan
Shot on location in Dublin, Ireland.
RED Scarlet-X.


A Totally Wacky Christmas Eve Music Video: Giraffage, “Tell Me”

It’s a dog’s life
Music • Views: 11,234


This is one of the most fun videos I have had the honor of working on, and was happy to be brought on to this project as a writer, director of photography and 3D animator. Here is the popular electronic music artist, Giraffage. The video chronicles the story of four dogs that long for benefits that a life as a human would bring them. Their wish is granted and their dreams seem to be fulfilled… until the reality sinks in that being a human isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Record Label - Fools Gold

Adam Avilla - Writer, Director, Animation
Ethan Indorf - Writer, Director of Photography, Animation
Tillman Frick - Producer
Edward Schmidt IV - Technical Director, Camera Operator
Cali Bondad - Camera Operator
Maya Messoriano - Wardrobe & Styling
Leaf River - AC
Studio provided by Sister Studios
Lighting from Six Gun

Baby Dog- Adam Avila
Business Dog Body/Angry Owner - Sam Miller
Business Executive - James Cotner
Business Hunk - Bud Johnston
Business Long boarder - Francisco Garcia Hristov
Cult Leader - Nicholas Koch
Food Dog Body- Edward Schmidt IV
Love Dog - Audra Woodward
Hippy Girl 1 - Michaela Thyberg
Hippy Girl 2 - Naomi Mansfield
Hippy Girl 3 - Nihal Öztek
Lover - Adrian Elliot
Stylish Woman - Paubi Widjaja
Skin Suit - Leaf River

Lucinda Williams Tears It Up in an NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Something wicked this way comes
Music • Views: 15,742


What a treat to find a new video at NPR’s YouTube channel with the great Lucinda Williams and her amazing band.

She came to the Tiny Desk a little unsure, and left singing “West Memphis” with intensity and passion. Lucinda Williams has a voice like no other, and it shines in these intimate moments.

Williams is on a roll with a new double album, Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone, which is filled with fresh and beautiful songs — all this from a songwriter known for working at a deliberate pace. Hearing her perform these new songs with her brilliant band was a rare and exciting treat. — BOB BOILEN

Set List
” Something Wicked This Way Comes”
” Cold Day In Hell”
” Protection”
” West Memphis”

Producers: Bob Boilen, Maggie Starbard; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Colin Marshall, Maggie Starbard; Assistant Producer: Susan Hale Thomas; photo by Susan Hale Thomas/NPR

Smear Merchant Chuck C. Johnson Uses Brooklyn Cop Killings to Spread Anti-Muslim Hatred

Wingnuts • Views: 19,054

On news of the shooting of two police officers in Brooklyn, right wing smear merchant Chuck C. Johnson immediately launched a full-on hate campaign, culminating in this frenzied piece of sheer bigotry (another “BREAKING EXCLUSIVE,” of course — they all are): BREAKING, EXCLUSIVE: NYPD Cop Killer Worked for Alleged Muslim Terror Front Group - GotNews.

Johnson is trying to take the act of a sociopathic career criminal and turn it into an opportunity to incite hatred against Muslims, and he’s not above using flat-out lies to do it. He quotes his usual far right “source” for these police-related stories:

“His killing of his ex-girlfriend is entirely consistent with an honor killing,” says John Cardillo, a former NYPD police officer who investigated terror cells in New York.

This was posted last night, and I saw several people on Twitter point out to Chuck that it’s simply wrong, but… no correction, of course.

Ismaaiyl Brinsley’s ex-girlfriend was:

  • Not killed; she was seriously wounded but is expected to recover.
  • Absolutely not the victim of an "honor killing."

In fact, Brinsley went to her apartment intending to kill himself, but she talked him out of it — and he repaid her kindness by shooting her.

This was no “honor killing,” not even an attempted “honor killing” — and it had nothing to do with Brinsley’s Muslim faith. It was a spree killing, ending in a suicide.

A horrible crime, made worse by grotesque bottom feeders like Chuck C. Johnson who use it to spread hatred and divisiveness.

UPDATE at 12/23/14 12:50:26 pm by Charles Johnson

And now this despicable low-life is smearing the killer’s mother: BREAKING: NYPD Cop Killer’s Jamaican Mom Praises Polygamy, Hates Capitalism - GotNews.

Rolling Stone Asks Columbia Journalism School to Audit Their UVA Rape Story

Media • Views: 23,440

At the Washington Post, Erik Wemple reports that Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner is seeking the aid of Columbia Journalism School to do an independent audit of their botched story about rape at the University of Virginia: Rolling Stone Farms Out Review of U-Va. Rape Story to Columbia Journalism School.

Rolling Stone magazine has decided to enlist the Columbia Journalism School to audit its handling of a discredited Nov. 19 story about rape on the campus of the University of Virginia, according to a just-released statement from Editor and Publisher Jann S. Wenner, which reads as follows:

In RS 1223, Sabrina Rubin Erdely wrote about a brutal gang rape of a young woman named Jackie at a party in a University of Virginia frat house [“A Rape on Campus”]. Upon its publication, the article generated worldwide attention and praise for shining a light on the way the University of Virginia and many other colleges and universities across the nation have tried to sweep the issue of sexual assault on campus under the rug. Then, two weeks later, The Washington Post and other news outlets began to question Jackie’s account of the evening and the accuracy of Erdely’s reporting. Immediately, we posted a note on our website, disclosing the concerns. We have asked the Columbia Journalism School to conduct an independent review - headed by Dean Steve Coll and Dean of Academic Affairs Sheila Coronel - of the editorial process that led to the publication of this story. As soon as they are finished, we will publish their report.

I noticed our stalker pal Chuck C. Johnson tweeting about this:

OK. I don’t get it. Why is this supposed to be “pathetic?” It sounds like an excellent idea to have an independent review, and who better to do it than a renowned journalism academy? A teaching experience for all involved, if you will.

Seriously, why is this supposed to be a bad thing? It’s usually not difficult to see what wingnuts are getting at when they rant about something, but I’m drawing a blank on this one.

North Korea’s Internet Access Is “Toast”

Denial of service
Technology • Views: 24,937
Image via Shutterstock

Even if the US had something to do with this, the government would probably never admit it, but I think it’s doubtful. North Korea’s network is very small by world standards, and it wouldn’t require a nation state to take it offline with a simple brute force DDoS attack; it seems more like something Anonymous would do: Attack Is Suspected as North Korean Internet Collapses.

Doug Madory, the director of Internet analysis at Dyn Research, an Internet performance management company, said that North Korean Internet access first became unstable late Friday. The situation worsened over the weekend, and by Monday, North Korea’s Internet was completely offline.

“Their networks are under duress,” Mr. Madory said. “This is consistent with a DDoS attack on their routers,” he said, referring to a distributed denial of service attack, in which attackers flood a network with traffic until it collapses under the load.

North Korea does very little commercial or government business over the Internet. The country officially has 1,024 Internet protocol addresses, though the actual number may be somewhat higher. By comparison, the United States has billions of addresses.


CloudFlare, an Internet company based in San Francisco, confirmed Monday that North Korea’s Internet access was “toast.” A large number of connections had been withdrawn, “showing that the North Korean network has gone away,” Matthew Prince, CloudFlare’s founder, wrote in an email.

Although the failure might have been caused by maintenance problems, Mr. Madory and others said that such problems most likely would not have caused such a prolonged, widespread loss.

RIP Joe Cocker

Joe Cocker Has Died After a Battle With Lung Cancer
Music • Views: 24,678

Joe Cocker, so much to say and not words enough to do the man justice. For the most part, I remember him as someone who could barely sing a lick but he always did so with great enthusiasm.

Youtube Video

Youtube Video

Thanks for the music and the great ride, Joe.

More: Joe Cocker Has Died After a Battle With Lung Cancer

Rudy Giuliani on Brooklyn Police Shootings: It’s Obama’s Fault

What the hell is he talking about?
Politics • Views: 25,359

How can you tell Rudy Giuliani is considering another run at the Presidency? When he starts saying really stupid things to appeal to the knuckle-dragging Tea Party base: Obama’s ‘Propaganda’ Pushed People to ‘Hate the Police,’ Giuliani Says.

President Obama has engaged in “propaganda” encouraging people to “hate the police,” former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) charged a day after two city police officers were shot and killed in their patrol car by a man who posted anti-police messages to his social media account.

“We’ve had four months of propaganda starting with the president that everybody should hate the police,” Giuliani said during an appearance on Fox News early Sunday. “The protests are being embraced, the protests are being encouraged. The protests, even the ones that don’t lead to violence, a lot of them lead to violence, all of them lead to a conclusion: The police are bad, the police are racist. That is completely wrong.”

You know, I really don’t remember President Obama ever saying “we should hate the police.” In fact, I don’t remember him saying anything even remotely like that. Maybe this is one of those events that only happened in the bizarre Wingnut Alternate Universe?

In the real world, though, President Obama unconditionally condemned the NYPD killings. Of course.

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 Frank says:

Let's not be too tough on our own ignorance. It's the thing that makes America great.