Crap: Thy Name Be Prog

I'm a huge fan of the Onion's AV Club features. This week, you should check out Prog's Worst Album Covers. They do not disappoint. Above is ELP's Tarkus, a brilliantly awful representation. But they're all terrible in a way that can only be described as... proggy.

The one album I have on this list, King Crimson's "In The Court Of The Crimson King," totally deserves inclusion. That album cover creeped me out for years.


100-word Project Runway recap: Episode 9

Well, the field's finally been narrowed a bit. We're down to seven. Here's this week's challenge:

Opening. Mindless Victorya keeps calling Sweet P "Kit." Ricky thinks the judges hate him.

This week's sponsor Levi's wants the designers to make a denim look. Whoopie. It’s a dull challenge, so everyone picks at everyone's quirks: Christian is cocky, Chris talks to himself, Victorya cheats. The usual. It gets pretty catty which is great, because, again, there's not much to this challenge.

No more immunity! It’s dumb anyway. The judges love Rami, Christian, and - surprisingly - Ricky (who cries) and Sweet P. And their outfits were good! Not so much Jillian and Victorya. Ricky pulls off the upset. The judges see right through Victy's lazily made dress and she gets the ax. Feels good.

Next week: Six designers? Yeesh, let's give Sweet P, Ricky and Chris one more chance to step things up and go to Fashion Week already!


Writer's Strike Blues?

I'm sure you've all been wondering "How has Ronson been dealing with this writer's strike?" I know, I hear you loud and clear and, believe me, it's been tough. The last show I had in my DVR, (why?) E.R. (which I suspect has long been without writers anyway) finally crapped out it's last new episode. But here are a few things that have been keeping me occupied in the meantime:

Reality TV
It's true, I've dabbled in some reality TV, though I still hate most of it. Project Runway is still obviously on my TV rotation, but I also found myself intrigued by Survivorman (above), after watching a marathon with my dad over the Christmas holiday. I think we both agree that the appeal of the show is actually that Les Stroud (aka Survivorman) is not always all that good at surviving, which we feel adds more of an authenticity to the show. I've never seen the guy catch a fish (after hours and hours and hours of trying), he's always complaining about how he has to film himself climbing rocks and, by the end of the seven days, he's pretty crabby, irritable and even a little stir crazy, which always makes for great TV.

Currently, I've almost polished off the latest volume of my favorite anthology, the Da Capo Best Music Writing series. I've read nearly every year (I discovered it in 2003, went back and read 2000-2002, and have only since skipped the tumultuous 2005 edition "edited" by J.T. LeRoy). You might think, "Oh sure, big music snob likes to read about his favorite albums/artists of the year," but it's not like that at all. Most of the appeal is its variation. One minute you might be reading about an in-depth profile on James Brown, the next, rappers in Israel, then a profile on Joanna Newsom, which is infinitely more interesting than listening to a Joanna Newsom CD. Even if I'm not familiar with the subject (and a lot of times it's for the best), it makes for an interesting read and is highly worth checking out...

Now that I've loaded a whole lotta of my old CDs onto my iTunes hard drive (see my a couple posts below for that) I've been able to focus on some new stuff, like Cat Power's new covers album Jukebox (above), and the critically-loved Person Pitch from Panda Bear, which is actually pretty good, especially if you like loop-crazy, Pet Sounds-style pop. As for older stuff, I'd suggest checking out former Temptations lead singer Eddie Kendricks' solo stuff. At this point, I'd probably prefer listening to a few hours of music and reading instead of enduring American Idol all week...

Well, it's Oscar season, so I suppose it's time to see a few of those. After checking out Kelly's list, I realized I'm pretty behind at this point too (though I can check Juno off my list. Whew!).

If the strike goes on much longer, I figure I'll grow a strike beard and braid it or something. See? There's always plenty to do!


Taking down your Christmas tree: 3 easy tips

1) Try not to wait 23 days before completing this task.

2) Try to avoid doing whatever I did here:
And Detail:

Supplemental tip: Invest in hardwood floors. Getting pine needles out of carpet is a real pain in the ass.

3) Listening to Christmas music while performing this task should obviously be avoided, but also try to stay away from the music of Leonard Cohen, specifically the song "Famous Blue Raincoat." Talk about a downer.

Thanks for learning!


100-word Project Runway recap: Episode 8

More Project Runway? Delightful. Let's go:

Opening. Ricky's glad Kevin got eliminated and not him. This inspires confidence?

Challenge. OK, stay with me: It starts out as "design a avant garde style to match your model's hairstyle." Then they work in teams. Then they need to add a second "ready-to-wear" version. It's a nonsense challenge to create stress and make everyone hate each other. Success! Rami/Sweet P team fights the most with Sweet P crying to their model. Awkward city! Everyone else plans side scheme to send their partner up the river if necessary...

Judges. Rough one. Christian & Chris win. Chris knows his Avant. The worst designers (Ricky & Sweet Pea) get a pass and Kit gets the boot. So much for being a team leader. I thought she had a chance.

Next week: Who cares! It's time to text the name of your favorite contestant to Project-Runway-Mania.org.net! I'm pretty sure that will work. Is it weird that I don't have a favorite? Off the top of my head, I can't pick someone that I've really liked this season. Lil Orphan Marion maybe, but he had the benefit of only being on two episodes...thoughts?


Oh, that Lisa.

I knew it! Actually, I hadn't been paying much attention these past 505 years. I was pretty sure it was Leonardo in a wig...


Time suck

Hey, it's been awhile. Again.

Well, here's the thing. I finally decided I needed to bulk up my iTunes, and the only way to properly do that was to get an external hardrive. So, thanks to a sale (thanks, Target!) and a gift card (thanks, Mom!) I was able to pick up this 500 GB beast for around 80 bucks. I've dubbed it "HAL" due to its creepy resemblance to the 2001: A Space Odyssey computer and its brain that might be too big for its own good.

That was the easy part. Now comes the process of copying as many tunes as I can into this thing without having it explode. First, it was the 6,000 songs from my iPod. Next, the 2,000+ songs I've had scattered on other computers across this great state. And now, at last, I've begun to copy songs from CDs I've loved over the past, oh, 15 years or so, most of which I haven't heard in a few years. So, yeah, it's taking awhile.

At the time of this writing I've copied around 8,309 songs (21.7 days of music). The drive can supposedly hold up to 125,000 songs – so technically I've barely made a dent. While it's a lot of fun to revisit some bands I haven't heard in forever (Sunny Day Real Estate, Massive Attack, Jurassic 5, Built To Spill, The Flaming Lips), I'd be the first to admit that this project has been more work than I imagined. I'm cutting myself off at the 10,000-song mark and then I'll begin the lengthy process of rejoining society. See you then!


100-word Project Runway recap: Episode 7

Welcome back to Ronsonville, or Project Runway Central as it is now appears to be known. Heads up, here it comes:

Opening. Rami thinks he’ll win it all. Victorya misses Elisa's craziness.

Challenge. Design a prom dress for some Jersey girls. Models = out in the cold again. Christian bitches about his poor victim - er, model. Actually, his Super Sweet 16 wannabe takes him down a notch, which is delicious. Oh and Ricky cries (as usual).

Judges. In a crazy upside-down backward runway, Victy and Sweet P end up on top, Christian and Kevin are the losers. Victy wins because the world would implode if Sweet P won. Christian cringes awaiting his fate, but it's Kevin who offed. See ya Kevin, thanks for making a Heidi Klum joke to remind us one last time that you're straight.

Next week: Rami and Sweet P: Together at last! These two will certainly make beautiful fashion together. Or someone will end up crying. Whichevs. Also: Victorya blathers on about immunity as if she's become God or something. Oh wait, that was this episode. Sorry 'bout that.


100-word Project Runway recap: Episode 6

And just like that we're back to Project Runway recaps. Seems like two weeks just flew by. I'm not feeling too wordy today so this should be easy:

Opening. Kevin is soooo alone (and straight).

Challenge. After meeting the world's most wooden-speaking Hershey's rep in Times Square, the designers have five minutes to grab a bunch of Hershey's crap and make an outfit by the end of the day. Everyone does pretty well with three obvious exceptions (Elisa, Sweet P, Victorya). Oh, and we learn than Elisa has had a serious head injury. Yowsa.

Judges. Rami wins. Early contender for the Top 3? Jillian snags second place for a Twizzler dress that almost falls apart. In the world's most obvious elimination ever, Elisa gets the boot (but Sweet P better step it up). Bye, Elisa – we’ll miss your crazy babbling.

Next week: Shocking secrets pour out of the rest of the designers: Chris once had to off a drag queen, Jillian went to clown college (actually not that shocking), Kevin is not straight and Rami is actually three people. It's just nonstop surprises this season!