Archive for November, 2010

#3: ZooBorns

Posted: November 22, 2010 in Sheer Adorableness

Okay, I have to make this relatively short because my posse has assigned me the formidable task of reading all 7 Harry Potter books before we go see the latest movie. Luckily, this is one of those cases where pictures speak louder than words. Behold:

Loud enough for ya? If you don’t think that’s completely frackin adorable, get the hell out of my house because today, dear friends, we’re talking about zooborns.com; the totally awesome brainchild of artist/photographer Chris Eastland and self-proclaimed “lifelong animal nerd” Andrew Bleiman. The two created the site in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation efforts by showcasing newborn baby zoo animals from all over the world. Now, there are a lot of places on the internet to find cute baby animals, but this one is special because the little educational blurbs and undertones of social activism make it interesting. It entertains the aww reflex while speaking to the inner nerd. Also, funny-looking animals are SO much more awesome than normal-looking animals!

I submit as evidence this baby marmoset:

and this baby baboon:

and this baby otter:

The website gives you the option of looking through the animals chronologically, by zoo or by species. I recommend going through the species alphabetically. I’m not even halfway through yet – you can’t go through too many too fast or you’ll overload on cuteness – but so far I have to give highest cuteness marks to the leopard kittens:

followed closely by my new favorite animal, the fennec fox:

In addition to the website, Chris and Andrew have also published two ZooBorns books, a portion of the profits of which go to support the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, or AZA. And hey, the holidays are right around the corner…

SO, in conclusion, ZooBorns = TOTALLY AWESOME.

Also:

SHWABAM!

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#2: Garfunkel and Oates

Posted: November 18, 2010 in Funny Stuff

You know when you see a penny on the ground and you think “Ooh, score!” and go to pick it up and underneath it is something REALLY awesome, like a small dinosaur robot wearing a teeny-tiny Boyz II Men t-shirt? Well, that is essentially what just happened to me. I was getting ready to write this second entry of awesomeness on a new Fox show called Raising Hope (which is totally awesome, by the way, and I plan to get back to it eventually) but in the course of my research I found myself gravitating toward clips of the completely adorable Ms. Kate Micucci as Shelly, the (formerly) snaggle-toothed day care worker who takes care of baby Hope:

You might know Kate better from her turn on Scrubs as ‘The Gooch’; Ted’s supercute soulmate from the last season (let’s just pretend that weird 9th season thing didn’t count, okay?):

You also might know her from the recent Kristen Bell romcom When In Rome. I don’t know, I never saw it, looked to me like another case of the recent pop culture epidemic known as good-actors-making-bad-movies-itis. So anyway, I started wondering, who is this Kate Micucci character? Where did she come from? What is she all about? And oh my god you guys. Are you ready for this? Kate Micucci was an art major in college with a focus on puppet-making. She has since been a clown, a sandcastle-building instructor and spent some time watering banana and pineapple plants in Hawaii. Oh yeah, and she’s also a comedian and musician (and kazoo enthisiast to boot!). Kate Micucci, ladies and gentlemen: now featured in the dictionary under BAMF.

By now you’re probably thinking “Wow! Kate Micucci is TOTALLY AWESOME! What could possibly be better?” Well let me tell you what’s better: the musical-comedy DUO of Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome, also known as Garfunkel and Oates!

Before this I didn’t know Riki by name, but I immediately recognized her from various memorable and hilarious roles on such totally awesome shows as Buffy, Pushing Daisies, The Big Bang Theory, and the woefully-short-lived-but-totally-awesome Girltrash! The Webseries (which OH MY GOD, apparently is being made into a movie. SHWHAAAAT??).

Garfunkel and Oates formed in 2007 and they’ve since done a whole lot of performing and been featured all over the place, so much so that I actually can’t believe I’m only finding them now! They released an EP last year called Music Songs (album cover featured above) and this EP as well as the single for their song Present Face are available for download on iTunes. The EP is also available for purchase on their website; garfunkelandoates.com, along with some other sweet merch, including a selection of G&O kazoos that, I’m not going to lie, I kind of wish I owned in every color.

All of their music and a selection of spectacular music videos are featured on Riki’s YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/rikilind. I would highly recommend checking them out there first, because hello, they’re a musical-COMEDY duo, you’ve got to watch them perform! Also, they’re supercute. You should probably just watch everything on there, I have, but I’ll give you my 5 favorites to start with:

***oooh, I nearly forgot the dislaimer: as adorable as these ladies are, the vast majority of their material is NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN! Adult language and content abounds!***

1)Running With Chicken (Based on the movie Precious based on the novel Push by Sapphire).

Warning: this video contains keytar and the special effects might actually blow your mind.

2)This Party Took a Turn for the Douche. (If nothing else, you must at least skip to 2:28. And then 3:50.)

Word to your face. And your mother.

3)Sex With Ducks. By their own explanation this song is “in response to a Pat Robertson quote that legalizing gay marriage would lead to legalizing sex with ducks.”

4)Weed Card. Hilarious and educational!

5)Present Face. The song is so awesome it almost overshadows the sheer volume of totally awesome people in the video.

okay, I know I said 5, but I just couldn’t leave this next one off:

6) Pregnant Women are Smug. Oh yes, they went there.

So there you have it again, Garfunkel and Oates: TOTALLY AWESOME.

Shwabam!

#1: The Rosie Burgess Trio

Posted: November 13, 2010 in Music

Alright, time to kick this shit off! First on our list of things that are totally awesome: (drumroll pleeeeease!)

The Rosie Burgess Trio!

From left to right: Sam Lohs (drums, vocals, ukuleles) Rosie Burgess (guitars, vocals, harmonica, ukuleles) and Sophie Kinston (electric violin)

Now, I don’t blind date – never have, not my style – but I imagine that the process I go through looking for new music is not unlike the blind dating process, and whenever I find really great new music, I always make a mental note so that one day down the line – when we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary or making a toast at our kids wedding – we can reminisce about that first time we met. The Rosie Burgess Trio and I met on a cold November day. I was sitting in a coffee shop with my posse; the grad student in English lit and the freelance film director. To my right the former is wading through obnoxiously dense analytical writing in an effort to make sense of some classic (read: convoluted and boring) poetry, while across the table, the later is editing a film script while attempting to write an email in Italian. I’ve decided that I am on a mission to find some totally awesome new music. I keep a long list of names of artists who I’ve read about or who have been recommended to me and from time to time I pull that list out and start trying them out, one by one. So here I am in a speed dating frenzy, and most of these folks across the table from me are just kind of bleh. I mean a few are nice but not really my type, one is really instrumentally attractive but the voice is so irritating it’s actually comical, and one is super attractive with a really pleasant voice, but the lyrics are so cliche and uninspired it just ruins it. And then there was Rosie.

I clicked on the first song on the playlist, which happened to be Best Dress off of their 2008 album Wait for the World. The first 13 seconds feature a delicious instrumental intro complete with gorgeous, quirky instrumentation and the kind of sweet syncopated beat that makes you want to start dancing in your car even if you’ve never heard the song before. So, the 14 second mark rolls around and the singing is about to start, and let me tell you, I got nervous. I’m sitting here across from these ladies and I really want to like them and I’m just thinking PLEASE don’t let the vocals ruin it… and you know what? The vocals are really nice. And guess what else? The lyrics are pretty great too. Oh and wait, what’s that on top of everything else? Adorable Australian Accents?? This is looking like the start of a beautiful relationship.

I went on to listen to everything else on their MySpace page while perusing their page and you know what’s cool about them? EVERYTHING. First of all, they’re big animal rights activists, which, as a vegan for going on 9 years now, I think is pretty cool. And even if I weren’t a vegan, I like when a band stands for something, it makes me want to support them by buying their album. Also their list of musical influences includes a lot of my all-time favorites, like Dar Williams, Ani Difranco, Damien Rice, Barenaked Ladies, and The Be Good Tanyas.

Then I plug them into YouTube and find this super adorable music video for Stackhat:

Wait, you mean you don’t know what a Stackhat is? How embarrassing for you. They were only like, the trendiest bike helmets ever in Australia in the 80’s…

So anyway, there you are, the Rosie Burgess Trio. TOTALLY AWESOME. I hope you’ll check ’em out and maybe support them and buy their album, or go see them in concert if you live in Australia!

Shwabam!