The News: Welcome Back (again) Edition

5 03 2009

Crack wouldn’t be good for the book so welcome back. 

we apologize for the inconsistency.


We’ll resume real posts in the near future. In the meantime, visit our best buds Soldier On Dear Friend at their myspace and tune in for record reviews of the black lips, wavves, the  dark was the night comp and james yorkston.


Enjoy these ridiculous videos..



The West Wing Vs. The Real World

29 01 2009

Did Eli Attie knowingly predict the future? The real world parallels between this past election and the fictional election on the final season of The West Wing are nothing short of fascinating. The long-shot Democratic challenger upsets the long favored rival and wins the national election against a moderate Republican. The campaign that refuses to use negativity, instead choosing to project a message of hope and change to record numbers of devotees. The list goes on and on and is below. A side note, both Eli Attie and Jimmy Smits have said in prior interviews, that they drew influence and inspiration from Barack Obama. 

Now, a week into the Obama administration and outside of the realm of The West Wing, it’s time to reflect. 

(from the nyt) Santos is a coalition-building Congressional newcomer who feels frustrated by the polarization of Washington. A telegenic and popular fortysomething with two young children, Santos enters the presidential race and eventually beats established candidates in a long primary campaign.

Sound familiar?


A short list of similar plot lines:


-The Young non-white candidate (Santos) is running against the  maverick-y moderate west coast conservative (Vinick) in the national election.

-Both candidates are senators, an oddity because senators aren’t exactly ideal presidential candidates. 

-Arnold Vinick, the Republican candidate, picks an unheard of and extremely conservative Governor from an unimportant state to be his running mate. Ray Sullivan, the Governor of West Virginia is Vinick’s running mate on the show and his real-life counterpart is/was Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska.


-Vinick and Mccain aren’t trusted by the conservative base for several of their core beliefs. They also share shaky religious views and don’t attend church regularly to allow for more time for mavericky things.

-John Mccain, like Arnold Vinick, is a veteran west coast Senator. 

-The Vice Presidential Candidate on the Democratic ticket, Leo Mcgarry, is a much more experienced “Washington Insider” in comparison to the top of the ticket. Joe Biden fits the same mold as the twenty year political veteran, running along side the Junior Senator.

-A long primary season sees the longshot, Matthew Santos, beat out several more experienced and likely candidates. Both Hoynes and Russell end up loosing in similar fashion to Clinton, Richardson and Edwards. 

-Mike Huckabee=Don Butler

-The real world and fictional Democratic campaigns utilize buzz-word messages of Hope and Change.


-Following the election, both real world and fictional president-elect(s), pick their rival to be their Secretary of State in the form of Hillary Clinton and Arnold Vinick.

Like Obama, Santos faced questions early on about his lack of experience in an executive position. 

-The Democratic conventions were both marred by a split base of delegates.

-Matthew Santos began his political career as a community organizer in Houston like Obama did in Chicago.

– Matthew Santos and Barack Obama both enjoy Bob Dylan’s music.

-The fictional nuclear crisis ends up playing a major role in the voter’s decision of who to vote for in a similar fashion to the current, real-world economic climate. One could also compare the fictional situation in Kazakhstan to the situation in The Middle East. 

-One of the first things that Barack Obama set out to do in office was to change the way that lobbyists worked with the Federal Government. On the show, Matthew Santos wanted his first act in office to be eliminating lobbyists from government all together. 

-Oh and the line by John Mccain in the debate, “This Pen” appeared in a similar fashion three years prior on the West Wing’s live debate episode. You can watch both clips below.

November 6, 2005: The West Wing’s Arnold Vinick: (skip to 3:55)

September 27th, 2008: John Mccain

And what debates should be:


-In closing, you could make several more comparisons between real-life politicians/family members and their West Wing Counterparts.

-First Lady Abbey Bartlett was an accomplished medical professional who gave up regular practice to assume her National role. Likewise, Michelle Obama is a highly educated lawyer whose previous employers include Sidley Austin and The University of Chicago. She later left her positions to join Barack on the road.

david-axelrod1– Bruno Gianelli could be compared to David Axlerod/Plouffe. All three political operatives share keen abilities and talents that are highly publicized. However, Axlerod and Plouffe don’t change sides… Bruno’s character was loosely based on Clinton strategist Dick Morris. He’s only slightly more attractive than David Axlerod.

-Like John Edwards, John Hoynes was involved in an affair that went public. John Hoynes was the Vice President under Josiah Bartlett while John Edwards was the Vice Presidential nominee for the unsuccessful Kerry/Edwards ticket. They’re both handsome men as well.

-Press Secretary C.J Cregg’s character was loosely based on Clinton Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers.

tim_matheson-Rahm Emmanuel and Josh Lyman are actually the same person. Josh also happens to have the same name as a character in Doonesbury. There’s a framed comic strip of Doonesbury in Lyman’s office.

And just think, if Extreme Makeover: Home Edition hadn’t taken the same time slot, Matt Santos would be running the fictional United States of America in your living room every week. After another season of The West Wing: The Santos Years, there would be another campaign season in which Rob Lowe returns and runs for President successfully with CJ Cregg as his Vice Presidential nominee.

The News: Snow Edition

27 01 2009

-Wale is back in the studio! DC’s rapper (singular at this point) is apparently working with a star-studded cast of beatmakers including Best Kept Secret, Mark Ronson, Glitch Mob, Cool & Dre, Ryan Leslie, Green Lantern, Sean C and LV. Here’s the kicker, one of the other more notable names working on the album is Dave Sitek, you might know of him, he’s in TV on the Radio. While Sitek has produced albums for numerous artists, he’s never before manned the board for a rapper. Stay tuned for updates.


If anyone would like an intern for their PR company or Recording studio. Look no further. Check the About section for information.

Animal Collective- My Girls


-SNOW! A personal photo from the “porch” of the studio.

Fabakis Playlist: Check it out HERE

or there.

Listen to Soldier On Dear Friend at their Myspace 


p2790_john-elen-High School is bad enough as it is. From the NYT, an article about teenage sex and how the statistics are on the way down. Here 

-DiS goes through Andrew Bird’s latest album, Noble Beast, one track at a time. Here

-Obama’s speechwriter is dating a maxim girl? It’s true. Read more at BYT

-An essay by John Darnielle about his five favorite Mountain Goats characters (this should’ve been posted a long time ago) Here

-Speaking of John Darnielle, he will be embarking on a two-man tour with studio buddy John Vanderslice this spring. As always, it’s best put by the man himself:

“We are going to light out for the Territories in a van with two acoustic guitars, some notebooks, our soundman Brandon and a pouch full of charms against ill omen. We are going to get elemental. We are going to stomp our feet and hammer at the strings until we get what we want from them. We, a couple of guys named John, are going to tour, is what we’re going to do. We’re going to stand alone onstage and play our guitars and sing old songs & new, and then we’ll probably play together. We are going to sit side by side with our acoustic guitars like two out of the five guys on the Five Man Acoustical Jam album, only with fewer Tesla songs. Because the whole point of playing an acoustic guitar is not to unplug. It’s to get raw and draw blood.”


18 – Asheville, NC, the Grey Eagle
20 – Norfolk, VA, the Atticus Theatre
21 – Washington, DC, Sixth and I Synagogue
24 – Northampton, MA, Pearl Street
25 – Somerville, MA, the Sommerville Theatre
27 – New York, NY, the Society for Ethical Culture (part of the Wordless Music series)
29 – Gambier, OH, Kenyon College
30 – Oberlin, OH, Oberlin College
1 – Chicago, IL, Epiphany Episcopal (tickets here)
2 – Champaign, IL, Courtyard Café at University of Illinois
3 – Iowa City, IA, the Mill, Mission Creek Music Festival
4 – Richmond, IN, Earlham College
6 – Bloomington IN, Buskirk-Chumley Theater

Blog-o-Vich: Fabakis Takes on the World of Chess

13 12 2008

A doping scandal rocks the chess world!


Let me begin by saying, the Apple Chess game always beats me. I am not skilled at chess nor at math or playing the violin like other people of my particular descent. I do type fast, and I do have a string of people that I upset on a daily basis. So onto the world of Chess!

The third ranked chess player in the world is in the middle of what seems an unlikely news story. A doping scandal has errupted after Ivanchuck, who was competing at the 2008 Chess Olympiad in Germany, refused to take a urine test. The Ukranian team had just lost by to a lower-seeded American team to keep the Ukranian faithful out of medal contention. 


 The German magazine Der Spiegelrecounts the scene:

“(Ivanchuk) stormed out of the room in the conference center, kicked a concrete pillar in the lobby, pounded a countertop in the cafeteria with his fists and then vanished into the coatroom. Throughout this performance, he was followed by a handful of officials.”

Ivanchuk has won several major tournaments including the New York Open 1988, Corus 1996, Linares 1989, 1991, 1995, Foros 2006/7 and the Montreal International 2007. However, he hasn’t been able to lift up the Ukrainian team to a medal since the 2004 Olympiad in Calvia. 

The News: Records of a Flagpole Skater Edition

10 12 2008

The past few days have been hectic. Yesterday we took the day off and here’s why.


Here’s the news:

A Definition:

6a00d8341d6b4a53ef00e54f3595928834-800wiGrass-web: (1) The new term to describe any web-based movement for a cause including but not limited to gay marriage, animal rights and R. Kelly’s innocence. Taken in part from the term”Grassroots”, this type of movement typically begins with liberal arts students and young up and coming professionals and ends with Republican Senators.  (2) A group of individuals who buy, sell and smoke marijuana, with the intent to live off of the profits and stems. 

-Obama taps Asian. Read On

-From AD, an amazing video of “Ashes of American Flags” by Wilco, live on Austin City Limits. HERE

-From the New Zealand band Surf City, and courtesy of Pitchfork, here’s a link to “Headin Inside”,the single off of their new self-titled EP. Get it HERE 

-From Rolling Stone: The Top 100 Singles of the Year/Top 50 albums. Who knew that RS had such a hard on for Blitzen Trapper? Has anyone heard. And lastly, how could “Single Ladies”, anything by TV on the Radio and Kid Rock beat out “Skinny Love”?  And No, I do not “hate” TV on the Radio. 

Singles of the Year

1 | Beyoncé — “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”

2 | Santogold — “LES Artistes”

3 | MGMT — “Time to Pretend”

4 | Blitzen Trapper — “Furr”

5 | Lil Wayne — “Lollipop”

6 | Beck — “Gamma Ray”

7 | Estelle feat. Kanye West — “American Boy”

8 | My Morning Jacket — “I’m Amazed”

9 | Coldplay — “Viva la Vida”

10 | T.I. — “No Matter What”

11 | Rihanna — “Disturbia”

12 | TV on the Radio — “Golden Age”

13 | Ryan Adams and the Cardinals — “Magick”

14 | The BPA feat. David Byrne and Dizzee
      Rascal — “Toe Jam”

15 | Al Green — “Lay It Down”

16 | Young Jeezy — “My President”

17 | The Killers — “Spaceman”

18 | Kid Rock — “All Summer Long”

19 | Guns n’ Roses — “Better”

20 | Katy Perry — “I Kissed a Girl”

21 | Vampire Weekend — “One (Blake’s Got
      a New Face)”

22 | Jay-Z and T.I. — “Swagga Like Us”

23 | The Black Keys — “I Got Mine”

24 | Lykke Li — “I’m Good, I”m Gone”

25 | Leona Lewis — “Bleeding Heart”

26 | The Rapture — “No Sex for Ben”

27 | The Ting Tings — “Shut Up and Let Me Go”

28 | Kevin Rudolf feat. Lil Wayne — “Let It Rock”

29 | Pink — “So What”

30 | Weezer — “Pork and Beans”

31 | Conor Oberst — “Moab”

32 | N.E.R.D. — “Everyone Nose”

33 | The Raveonettes — “Aly, Walk With Me”

34 | Gnarls Barkley — “Run”

35 | Kaiser Chiefs — “Addicted to Drugs”

36 | Usher feat. Beyoncé and Lil Wayne —
      “Love in this Club, Pt. 2”

37 | Bob Dylan — “Someday Baby”

38 | Jamey Johnson — “High Cost of Living”

39 | The Academy Is… — “About a Girl”

40 | Kings of Leon — “Sex on Fire”

41 | Duffy — “Warwick Avenue”

42 | The Raconteurs — “Salute Your Solution”

43 | Erykah Badu — “The Healer”

44 | Panic at the Disco — “Nine in the Afternoon”

45 | Foals — “Cassius”

46 | Taylor Swift — “Fifteen”

47 | Janelle Monáe — “Many Moons”

48 | John Mellencamp — “Troubled Land”

49 | Jonas Brothers — “Video Girl”

50 | Jackson Browne — “Time the Conqueror”

51 | Ashlee Simpson — “Rule Breaker”

52 | Lee Ann Womack — “Last Call”

53 | AC/DC — “Big Boi”

54 | Cat Power — “I Believe In You”

55 | Sigur Rós — “Gobbledigook”

56 | The Hold Steady — “Constructive Summer”

57 | Charles Hamilton — “Brooklyn Girls”

58 | Jazmine Sullivan — “Bust Your Windows”

59 | Low vs Diamond — “Don’t Forget Sister”

60 | Ne-Yo — “Closer”

61 | Robyn — “Cobrastyle”

62 | The Gaslight Anthem — “The ’59 Sound”

63 | LCD Soundsystem — “Big Ideas”

64 | She and Him — “Why Do You Let
      Me Stay Here”

65 | The Virgins — “Rich Girls”

66 | Jenny Lewis — “Acid Tongue”

67 | M.I.A. — “Shells”

68 | Fall Out Boy — “I Don’t Care

69 | Missy Elliott — “Ching-A-Ling”

70 | Busy Signal — “Tic Toc”

71 | Phantom Planet — “Do the Panic”

72 | Sam Sparro — “Black and Gold”

73 | Ciarra feat. Ludacris — “High Price”

74 | Ra Ra Riot — “Dying is Fine”

75 | Flo Rida feat. T-Pain — “Low”

76 | The Roots — “Rising Down”

77 | Hercules and Love Affair — “Blind”

78 | Love as Laughter — “Holy”

79 | Kid Cudi — “Day ‘N’ Nite”

80 | Mudcrutch — “Crystal River”

81 | The Knux — “Cappuccino”

82 | Santogold and Diplo — “Icarus”

83 | Get ‘Em Mamis — “Cold Summer”

84 | Lil Wayne — “A Milli”

85 | M83 — “Kim & Jessie”

86 | The Rumble Strips — “Cowboy”

87 | Friendly Fires — “Jump in the Pool”

88 | Bon Iver — “Skinny Love”

89 | Old Crow Medicine Show — “Alabama

90 | Busta Rhymes — “Don’t Touch Me
       (Throw da Water on ‘Em)”

91 | O’Neal McKnight — “Check Your Coat”

92 | White Denim — “Shake Shake Shake”

93 | Madonna — “Candy Shop”

94 | Los Campesinos — “Miserabilia”

95 | Lucinda Williams — “Real Love”

96 | Little Joy — “Brand New Start”

97 | Sheryl Crow — “Now That You’re Gone”

98 | Teyana Taylor — “Google Me”

99 | The Enemy — “You’re Not Alone”

100 | — “Yes We Can”

RS Top 50 Albums of the Year

50 No Age-Nouns

49 Hot Chip – Made In The Dark

48 Raphael Saadiq – The Way I See It
47 Of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping
46 The Academy Is… – Fast Times at Barrington High
45 Be Your Own Pet – Get Awkward
44 The Raconteurs – Consolers of the Lonely
43 Nas – Untitled
42 David Byrne and Brian Eno – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
41 AC/DC – Black Ice
40 Jonas Brothers – A Little Bit Longer
39 Taylor Swift – Fearless
38 Ra Ra Riot – The Rhumb Line
37 Nine Inch Nails – The Slip
36 The Hold Steady – Stay Positive
35 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
34 Stephen Malkmus – Real Emotional Trash
33 Ne-Yo – Year Of The Gentleman
32 Jamey Johnson – The Lonesome Song
31 MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
30 Duffy – Rockferry
29 Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
28 The Knux – Remind Me in Three Days…
27 Brian Wilson – That Lucky Old Sun
26 Mudcrutch – Mudcrutch
25 The Magnetic Fields – Distortion
24 Girl Talk – Feed The Animals
23 Conor Oberst – Conor Oberst
22 Jackson Browne – Time the Conquerer
21 Kaiser Chiefs – Off With Their Heads
20 Kings of Leon – Only By The Night
19 Erykah Badu – New Amerykah, Part 1 (4th World War)
18 Lucinda Williams – Little Honey
17 B.B. King – One Kind Favor
16 Randy Newman – Harps and Angels
15 The Black Keys – Attack & Release
14 Ryan Adams And The Cardinals – Cardinology
13 Blitzen Trapper – Furr
12 Guns N’ Roses – Chinese Democracy
11 Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
10 Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
09 Metallica – Death Magnetic
08 Beck – Modern Guilt
07 Coldplay – Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
06 Santogold – Santogold
05 John Mellencamp – Life, Death, Love and Freedom
04 My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges
03 Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III
02 Bob Dylan – Tell Tale Signs:The Bootleg Series Vol. 8
01 TV on the Radio – Dear Science

The Very Best: Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit are The Very Best

5 12 2008

That’s a mouthful. Now that Pitchfork has cleared the air for the month old mixtape collaboration of Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit, everyone can get the album. Bee tee dubs, The album is a free download. Ever wonder what Vampire Weekend would sound like with actual african drums in the background? Or what even more over-production could do to “Paper Planes”? Here’s your chance to find out. At 127 Megabytes, this collaboration is worth your time and erm… money.


Download it HERE


Sniveling indie kids…




 Meet Esau Mwamwaya


The News: 750 Million Dollars Edition

5 12 2008

poar01_obama0803-The Short, Disgusting life of the Hummer. Here

-Obama’s fundraising finale. Here

-Prefix Magazine’s Best albums of 2008 list.  Here

-Tough economy forces many US Muslims to delay Hajj. Here

-PrettyMuchAmazing’s Year End List guidelines. Here 

-John Darnielle gets interviewed by The Courier Mail. Here

Grammy Nominations (The Relevant ones)


The Jonas Brothers
Lady Antebellum
Jazmine Sullivan

Coldplay – Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends
Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III
Ne-Yo – Year Of The Gentleman
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Raising Sand
Radiohead – In Rainbows

Alicia Keys and John Mayer – “Lessons Learned”
Madonna, Justin Timberlake, and Timbaland – “4 Minutes”
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – “Rich Woman”
Rihanna and Maroon 5 – “If I Never See Your Face Again”
Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown – “No Air”

Brooks & Dunn – “God Must Be Busy”
Lady Antebellum – “Love Don’t Love Here”
Rascal Flatts – “Every Day”
The Steel Drivers – “Blue Side Of The Mountain”
Sugarland – “Stay”

Big Boi feat. Raekwon & Andre 3000 – “Royal Flush”
T.I. feat. Kanye West & Lil Wayne – “Swagger Like Us”
Lil Wayne feat. Jay-Z – “Mr Carter”
Ludacris feat. T.I. – “Wish You Would”
Young Jeezy feat. Kanye West – “Put On”

Adele – “Chasing Pavements”
Coldplay – “Viva La Vida”
Leona Lewis – “Bleeding Love”
M.I.A. – “Paper Planes” (“I played the cash register on that song” -John Mayer.)
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – “Please Read The Letter”

UPDATE: Some more nominees in categories not announced on TV:

Estelle Feat. Kanye West – “American Boy”
Adele – “Chasing Pavements”
Jason Mraz – “I’m Yours”
Sara Bareilles – “Love Song”
Coldplay – “Viva La Vida”

Bruce Springsteen – “Girls In Their Summer Clothes”
Radiohead – “House Of Cards”
Death Cab For Cutie – “I Will Possess Your Heart”
Kings Of Leon – “Sex On Fire”
Coldplay – “Violet Hill”

Coldplay – “Viva La Vida”
The Eagles – “Waiting In The Weeds”
Gnarls Barkley – “Going On”
Maroon 5 – “Won’t Go Home Without You”
OneRepublic – “Apologize”

Coldplay – Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends
Kid Rock – Rock N Roll Jesus
Kings Of Leon – Only By The Night
Metallica – Death Magnetic
The Raconteurs – Consolers Of The Lonely

Jay-Z – American Gangster
Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III
Lupe Fiasco – The Cool
Nas – Nas
T.I. – Paper Trail

Beck – Modern Guilt
Death Cab For Cutie – Narrow Stairs
Gnarls Barkley – The Odd Couple
My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges
Radiohead – In Rainbows

Daft Punk – “Harder Better Faster Stronger”
Hot Chip – “Ready For The Floor”
Lady Gaga – “Just Dance”
Madonna – “Give It 2 Me”
Rihanna – “Disturbia”
Sam Sparro – “Black & Gold”

Brazilian Girls – New York City
Daft Punk – Alive 2007
Cyndi Lauper – Bring Ya To The Brink
Kylie Minogue – X
Moby – Last Night
Robyn – Robyn

AC/DC – “Rock N Roll Train”
Coldplay – “Violet Hill”
The Eagles – “Long Road Out Of Eden”
Kings Of Leon – “Sex On Fire”
Radiohead – “House Of Cards”

Danger Mouse
Nigel Godrich
Johnny Karkazis
Rick Rubin

Peter Gabriel – “Down To Earth” (From Wall-E)
Carrie Underwood – “Ever Ever After” (From Enchanted)
John Mayer – “Say” (From The Bucket List)
Amy Adams – “That’s How You Know” (From Enchanted)
John C. Reilly – “Walk Hard” (From Walk Hard — The Dewey Cox Story)

Metallica – Death Magnetic
Hawk Nelson – Hawk Nelson…Is My Friend!
No Age – Nouns
Thievery Corporation – Radio Retaliation
The Ditty Bops – Summer Rains

Erykah Badu – “Honey” (Erykah Badu & Mr. Roboto, video directors)
Gnarls Barkley – “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul” (Christopher Milk, video director)
Alicia Keys & Jack White – “Another Way To Die” (PR Brown & MK12, video directors)
Radiohead – “House Of Cards” (James Frost, video director)
Weezer – “Pork And Beans” (Mathew Cullen, video director)