We are Sir David of Brent

Previously on Adam Riff™ (July 30, 2001):
The first thing you notice about Philadelphia is the smell. The city has a distinct smell, like Chinatown, any Chinatown. Think pungent fish.

That post is mortifying to read nowadays.

Anyhow, seeing as how I'm stuck on the east coast, might as well further explore its foreign lands.

If I had planned better, I could have competed in Friday's Wing Bowl, but a 12-hour restaurant crawl will suffice.

My body is ready.


Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout
But there is no Ke$ha in Riffville – DJ Cohen has struck out.

Alas, the boys at Rad Deth (and Alex Smithee) created this wonderful cover for naught:

Unlesssss…someone else named Ben wants to compile a 2012 year-end mix. AnyBenny?

For some time now, I've been developing a Super Bowl halftime show for Kanye West in my head. One version featured a Dropout Bear hologram performing the first verse of "All of the Lights" before shoop da whoop-ing into thin air.

The current version:

Concept: Michael Jackson's videography.

As Super Bowl halftime show stage design can't involve a background, the stage is a gigantic rectangular LED display. The LED display is the stage. Participants perform (stand) on the LED display.

1. "Power"
MJ video inspiration: "Remember the Time"

LED display video – Iman to Eddie Murphy: Can my pharaoh find some way to entertain his queen?

A man in a hooded robe walks on stage. Song begins. Kanye disrobes. He's dressed like Michael in the "Remember the Time" video and supported by women who are dressed Egyptian-y. "I'm living in the 21st century…"

2. "Stronger"
MJ video inspiration: "Scream"

Already wearing black pants, Kanye quickly throws off the chain mail and skirt he's wearing, and throws on a black shirt before his first verse begins (30 seconds). He performs with white/grayscale futuristic video graphics underneath him.

overhead shot of Kanye briefly lying on stage

3. "No Church in the Wild" (sans Jay-Z verse)
MJ video inspiration: "Smooth Criminal" / "Billie Jean"

"Stronger" segues into "No Church in the Wild." Kanye exits the stage to change. Frank Ocean performs the chorus and his verse dressed in a white suit and fedora. He anti-gravity leans during the decrescendo in his verse ("Your love is my scripture").

Kanye returns for his verse dressed as Michael in the "Billie Jean" video. The LED display lights up as he moves like the "Billie Jean" sidewalk.

4. "Niggas in Paris"
MJ video inspiration: "Thriller" / "Bad" / "Black or White"

Kanye exits the stage to change. Jay-Z performs his verse wearing a red "Thriller" jacket, supported by a drumline made up as zombies. Kanye returns at the first chorus wearing a "Bad" jacket, supported by a second drumline dressed as gang members.

"I'm definitely in my zone zone zone…" The show concludes with Kanye morphing into a black panther on the LED display and sauntering into a dark alley.

Bqhatevwr and Evwr Amen

WELP, looks like I'm stuck in New York City by myself for the most part through spring. [grumbling] Anyone need a pub quiz team member?

WrestleMania is in NY/NJ this year. Wrestlemania XXIX will be the fourth WrestleMania during which I just happen to be in the area (WM XIX in Seattle, WM 21 in Los Angeles, WM 22 in Chicago).

Mystery, the pick-up artist, dresses up as Nancy Drew.

"What are you supposed to be?"
"I'm a Nancy Drew Mystery!"

Mystery, the pick-up artist, covers himself in toasted meringue.

"I'm Mystery Alaska!"

Shame that The Undertaker can't appear in this.

Things that have fought zombies, according to IMDb:
Abraham Lincoln
Pro Wrestlers
Boy Scouts
Urban Scumbags
Wizards and Vampires (together)
Nickelodeon's Doug

Adam Riff™ Clip of the Week

4. Godfather homage (Modern Family, S04E13)

Honourable Mention

Stray Observations

  • "Wilco? Aren't they for, like, dads with receding hairlines and shit?"
    "C'mon. Wilco is the beacon of anti-commercialism."
    "Yeah, because no one wants to buy their whiny music. They gotta give it away for free." (Shameless, S03E02)
  • "But we are illegal immigrants. How can you underbid us?" (Shameless, S03E02)
  • "The only way to make money when you're poor is to steal it or scam it." (Shameless, S03E02)
  • "Sweet Dreams" by Marilyn Manson? (The Following, S01E01)
  • Swell cinematography (Utopia, S01E02)
  • A superhero modeled after the fallen World Trade Center towers? (Face Off, S04E02)
  • Julius Pepperwood (New Girl, S02E14)
  • "The carrot didn't work. That means it's time for the stick." (Justified, S04E03)
  • "You don't worry about how long you gonna live. You worry about how slow you gonna die." (Justified, S04E03)

It was someone's job to create this (Justified, S04E03)

"Buckethead" cameo (Suburgatory, S02E10)

(Archer, S04E02)


Julius Pepperwood: Zombie Detective

"Of all the X-Men you could be… Iceman?"
"He doesn't feel cold – or heat! Temperate living, any time, any place!"

Iceman moves to the American west coast to attend UCLA and becomes a founding member of The Champions of Los Angeles. [source]

There was an Avengers: LA?!

The Fifty State Initiative, often referred to as simply The Initiative, is a fictional governmental plan that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics, in particular those related to The Avengers. Its purpose is to provide a superhero team in every state of the United States after the conclusion of the 2006-2007 "Civil War" storyline.

Marvel Zombies 3 in its first issue centered on the team in Florida defending the Marvel Universe from zombie invasion. [source]

Avengers: Miami!

Though The Initiative covers all 50 states, only 25 currently have heroes/teams assigned.

Marvel abandoned The Initiative in favour of Christmas comics.

"Age of Adz"
Hopper travels back in time to kill BitTorrent, but accidentally kills his own father, TiVo, creating a dystopian alternative timeline in which Adz rule the world.

How has the Internet not uncovered ZODIAC MOTHERFUCKER's identity yet?

You'd think he was Rosa Parks or something.

I want to like their shirts, but the slogans are just terrible. It's like they were crowdsourced on Twitter.

Jon: "Keep Calm and Erie On." #MichiganAwesomeShirtSlogans
Adam: So bad. So so bad.

Smooth Move, Ferguson

"Beyoncé's Super Bowl halftime show is gonna break Twitter."
"Unless, you know, the Super Bowl does first."
"Pfff! Beyoncé dwarfs football."

My buddy [redacted] is trying to finagle Super Bowl media access so he can see Beyoncé's halftime show in person.

"You know it's just 12 minutes, right?"

An e-mail I was cc'd on:

As I said in our meeting, I'd be more than happy to write/help produce a Beyonce-themed post for Superbowl weekend, provided that [redacted] can cover the travel cost to New Orleans on Feb. 3rd weekend and get me a press pass to the event. I can live-tweet the performance for your Twitter feed.

Blog-wise, I'm envisioning writing a 2,000-word (maybe a little shorter or longer) on Beyonce the performer. I'll bet that she will give *the* most memorable half-time show in recent memory. The woman is like a walking red bull, the combination of Tina Turner, Diana Ross and Barbra Streisand for the YouTube/Twitter/Tumblr era, Broadway meets hip hop, the only female pop star with genuine swag. She wasn't just born to be on stage–she is the stage.


You'd think she was Rosa Parks or something.

Jon: Blimey. I lost my chapstick again.
Jon: Idea: Chain chapstick, like a chain wallet.
Jon: Idea: A chapstick that magnetically attaches to the temple arms of your glasses.
Rory: What about people with plastic frames?
Jon: Uhh…Velcro?
Rory: Idea: You get a cosmetic tracheotomy and store your chapstick in the resulting stoma.

Make it stop.

Why even play on "keep calm…"? Why not just say "puck the Penguins"? And shouldn't it be "puck the Fenguins"?

Matt: Almost all NHL teams have a Puck the (insert rival team here) shirt.
Jon: But "Puck the Flyers" is confusing.
Jon: Fuck the Plames?

She lost a womb but gained a penis

CBS will dip into the Dead Whitney Houston ratings pool one more time, for this year's Grammy Awards broadcast, airing a special on "what happened this year" music-wise. And, of course, the biggest thing to happen "this year" was Houston. [source]

So that's a whole year of the Grammys capitalizing on Whitney Houston's death, from Jennifer Hudson's tribute to Whitney Houston at last February's Grammy Awards, to the special "We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute to Whitney Houston" last November, to Whitney Houston's story for this February's Grammy Awards.

You'd think she was Rosa Parks or something, and not, you know, a crackhead with pipes.

By my count, that's seven times (at least) that CBS/Viacom will have dipped into the Dead Whitney Houston ratings pool. Most recently, VH1's "Divas" special in December paid tribute to her dance hits, 10 months after she died.

Aside: Remember when the Video Music Awards paid tribute to Amy freakin' Winehouse? LULZ.

In other news, Smash Mouth wrote a cookbook:

SMH. They might as well be walking on the sun.

Ahh…1997. Year of the terrible second singles.

Smash Mouth – "Why Can't We Be Friends"
Third Eye Blind – "Graduate"
Marcy Playground – "St. Joe on the School Bus"
Sugar Ray – "RPM"

Name a more jarring follow-up than "RPM" to "Fly."

Rory: "The Reason" to "Out of Control" – Hoobastank?

The meme reaches its logical conclusion.

I wonder how many of the people perpetuating this "keep calm and carry on" nonsense would actually keep calm and carry on during a hostile invasion. Bet the same people like the idea of low-flow showerheads.

Adam Riff™ Clip of the Week

3. Cold Open (Utopia, S01E01)

Honourable Mention

  • Torture Scene (Utopia, S01E01)
  • Nick's awkward dancing and attempt to pitch a fake diabetic fit (New Girl, S02E13)
  • Wheels Ontario (Kroll Show, S01E01)
  • Van Montage (Legit, S01E01)

Stray Observations

  • Most Creative Shoe-Horning of a "The Wire" Alum Guest Appearance (Bob's Burgers, S03E11)
  • "The isty bitsy stripper climbed up the brassy pole. Down came her legs and wrapped around my soul." (Bob's Burgers, S03E11)
  • "We shall overcome, motherfucker." (Shameless, S03E01)
  • "19. Thank you, Sheila." (Shameless, S03E01)
  • "I'm seeing a lot of split ends." (New Girl, S02E13)
  • "There's more to A Father's Love than just semen." (New Girl, S02E13)
  • "I had all these sari-related sexual scenarios – Monsoon Bedding…" (New Girl, S02E13)
  • "We enlist in the navy, we quickly rise through the ranks, and then we can take her to the naval officer's ball." (New Girl, S02E13)
  • "I have a more refined, dry, British sense of humour, à la the funniest movie of all time, Austin Powers." (Workaholics, S03E11)
  • Adam DeVine as The Love Guru. "Mariska Hagarty!" (Workaholics, S03E11)

(Workaholics, S03E11)

  • (Way to Go, S01E01) What's this show about? "Two brothers and their friend attempt to improve their lot in life by setting up an assisted-suicide business"
  • Stefan: Eagleton's hottest bar is Essence (Parks and Recreation, S05E10)
  • Things I never thought I'd type: Miles Plumlee cameo (Parks and Recreation, S05E10)
  • Bob's Burgers cross-over (Archer, S04E01)
  • They dumped "The Cave" by Mumford and Sons at the last minute for "Carry On" by fun. (Legit, S01E01)
  • Pitchfork Kids! (Portlandia, S03E05)


A new vacancy in our humanity

The Sundance Film Festival begins today, and Slamdance tomorrow. Our official selections:

Toy's House
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Supporting Cast: Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie

Three unhappy teenage boys flee to the wilderness where they build a makeshift house and live off the land as masters of their own destiny. Or at least that's the plan.

The thing about art made (or in this case, directed) by people you know is… what if it sucks?

Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez

In the first ever film adaptation of David Sedaris' work, a cocky young man travels to Oregon to work on an apple farm. Out of his element, he finds his lifestyle and notions being picked apart by everyone who crosses his path.

I would've guessed "SantaLand Diaries" as the first of Sedaris' work to be adapted, not some essay in Naked.

Alvarez previously directed Easier With Practice, based on a GQ article by Davy Rothbart (This American Life, Found).

Next: A Chuck Klosterman piece?

Upstream Color
Director: Shane Carruth

Kris is derailed from her life when she is drugged by a small-time thief. But something bigger is going on. She is unknowingly drawn into the life cycle of a presence that permeates the microscopic world, moving to nematodes, plant life, livestock, and back again. Along the way, she finds another being—a familiar, who is equally consumed by the larger force. The two search urgently for a place of safety within each other as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of their wrecked lives.

Carruth's follow-up to Primer. 'nough said.

Interior. Leather Bar.
Director: James Franco

The 1980 film Cruising, starring Al Pacino as an undercover cop investigating a murder in the New York City gay, leather, bar scene, was plagued with controversy, and its director was forced by the Motion Picture Association of America to cut 40 minutes of sexually explicit material. Those 40 minutes have never been screened publicly. James Franco set out to re-imagine what might have transpired in those lost scenes.

James Franco re-imagines deleted scenes from Cruising? James Franco re-imagines deleted scenes from Cruising.

Director: Evan Jackson Leong

Leong began filming this documentary before Jeremy Lin became a household name.

Director: David Andalman

In mid-1990's America, we follow the tragic sex life of Jolie Jolson, a wannabe thug (and great-great-grandson of legendary vaudevillian Al Jolson) in suburban DC as he strives to become something he can never be – black.

Director: Park Chan-Wook
Screenwriter: Wentworth Miller

From the director of Oldboy and the star of Fox's Prison Break!

Director: Ben Wheatley
Producer: Edgar Wright

A nerdish holidaying couple semi-inadvertently embark on a killing spree.

Among other descriptions we've seen:

"a Mike Leigh-directed version of Natural Born Killers"

"Terrence Malick's Badlands transposed to the English Midlands by Shane Meadows"

"James Gunn directing a feature-length spin-off of the British Office"

Lead actors Steve Oram and Alice Lowe also penned the screenplay.

The Look of Love
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Screenwriter: Matt Greenhalgh (Control – the Ian Curtis biopic)

The true story of British adult entrepreneur Paul Raymond. Seeing mediocrity in the smutty sex parlors of London, Raymond unveils his first "gentlemen's club" in 1958 and gradually builds an empire of clubs and erotic magazines that brings him vast wealth while affronting British sexual mores. It also brings a litany of obscenity charges, a failed marriage, troubled children, and personal tragedy.

Starting in black and white, the film's aesthetic transforms over time, mirroring the cinema styles of each period (with a soundtrack that follows suit).

Michael Winterbottom directing Steve Coogan (see: 24 Hour Party People, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, The Trip) has yet to disappoint us.

Battery Man
Directors: Dusan Saponja, Dusan Cavic

Slavisa Pajkic, aka Biba Struja (Electric Biba) is capable of conducting electricity and he can consciously control its power while discharging it. Battery Man follows the inner and outer journey of a rural superhero in his attempt to discover what exactly happens in his body, but also to enter the Guinness Book of Records before he loses his power.

gook kid, bad p.S.A.t

Chris Rock:

I honestly believe you should have a mortgage to buy a gun. No one with a mortgage has ever gone on a killing spree. That's a serious thought! A mortgage is a real background check. They don't just give mortgages out, you know! If you go to jail for 30 years, you still have to pay your fucking mortgage. [source]

The problem isn't violence on TV. World was way more violent before television. Killing Indians? What show were they watching? [source]

Isn't correlating entertainment and real world violence a rejection of evolution – a rejection of humans being inherently savage creatures?

Awards shows should be themed like frat parties. Challenge stylists to devise outfits that fit a theme but still stand out.

NBC recycled its marketing for Awake for a similar programme in the same time slot.

BBC: How do we top Rob bloody Dyrdek?

Television Programme Idea: The Fresh Princess of West Philadelphia, starring Willow Smith – a reboot à la Girl Meets World. Will sends his daughter to live with his mom in west Philadelphia.

In west Los Angeles born and raised
On Rodeo where I spent most of my days

I got one DUI and my dad got scared
And said "You're moving in with my mom in Woodland Terr"

Adam Riff™ Clip of the Week

2. Leg Hair + Terminator 2 (Bob's Burgers, S03E10)

Honourable Mention

Stray Observations

  • Gilbert Gottfied faces elimination for making peanut butter sandwiches, makes a peanut butter sandwich in the elimination round (Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, S02E01)
  • There's an entire "Happy Endings" episode with Elisha Cuthbert at Rom-Com-Con that I kinda wanna see (Happy Endings, S03E08)
  • "When did we all turn on Mayer?" (Happy Endings, S03E08)
  • "Smash Mouth she ain't." (Happy Endings, S03E09)
  • "I guess no one will ever love me. Now I know how webisodes feel." (Happy Endings, S03E09)
  • "You were so light and charming. You were like Pixar Winston." (New Girl, S02E12)
  • "You run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. You run into assholes all day, you're the asshole." (Justified, S04E01)
  • "Never too early for a Dr. Pepper." (Justified, S04E01)
  • "Every night is New Year's for Billy Dee…" (Modern Family, S04E11)

(Suburgatory, S02E09)

(Banshee, S01E01)


Chinese Democracy

Alright, if I tinker with this any longer, I'll need to be institutionalised.

I am chuffed (or was) to present Recall Me Maybe, Adam Riff™'s audio nightcap to 2012, our ninth such annual mix. I hope you enjoy it, flaws and all.

Thanks to Jon Wilcox for still indulging my cover art ideas and persnickety edits after all these years.

Throwing back to our earliest audio nightcaps, a fair amount of the 2012 mix is stuff we have never before shared on Adam Riff™.

Spoiler alert!

We spent $23 to obtain two songs. Can you guess which ones?

Additional thanks to Adam Robot, Michael, Matthew, and Benjamin for sundry contributions.


see also:

Creeper Status Master Lurk

While browsing the weekly circular for Lucky Supermarkets, I saw this:

Red velvet all in my chain
Red velvet all in my ring
Red velvet all in my watch

Not pictured: A coupon for 1 free mango with a $15 purchase.


Rory: Do you have anything to eat that's not red velvet?
Jon: Uhh… You like mangoes?

Your arms are just too short to box with God

Previously on Adam Riff™:

In 2013, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will achieve a rare "Jude Law":

Snitch (February 22)
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (March 29)
Pain and Gain (April 26)
The Fast and the Furious 6 (May 24)

No release date yet for Empire State (late June?).


Snitch (February 22)
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (March 29)
Pain and Gain (April 26)
The Fast and the Furious 6 (May 24)
Empire State (June 10)

And this summer, The Rock will host a reality show on TNT.

Almost six movies and a season.

My Monday afternoon:

Steven: i bet you money, ANYONE else you ask, will know where that line is from
Steven: "look what you did you little jerk"
Jon: that could be from any film
Steven: I KNOW, but the cool part is, people will immediately know what it is
Steven: 10 out of 10 people have guessed it
Steven: cept you
Steven: 10 outta 11

Drew: home alone?
Jon: dammit
Drew: what else would it be from?
Jon: problem child?