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Showing posts from February, 2012

New Celeb Stuff: Steve Jobs Spirit

There is a new Celeb Stuff posted, and this one goes out to the still-strong running focus on the life and career of Steve Jobs. The Business Channels can't get enough of this. QATFYG: Who wants to come over and watch "Pirates of Silicon Valley" and then drink "Mountain Dew?"

St. Vincent And A Fan; Or Why You Should Just Give In and LOVE HER

St. Vincent has really moved on from being "sort of weird" to "absolutely adorable in an earnest and plucky way" for me. Maybe not plucky; nah plucky is too Katie Couric. Nonetheless, she's really...hmm. Enchanting in a way! And she comes across in an earnest, unpretentious way vein. At least on the internets .  Recently, as within the past 24 hours, St. Vincent somehow injured a fan while stagediving. Annie Clark, being a decent person, reached out to this British, resilient fan via Twitter.  I wish I could show you those tweets; I can't show you those tweets (that being the second time I've typed that today).  Check them out yourself- they're so cute and like...seriously I just want to have coffee with her someday. DRINK COFFEE WITH ME, ANNIE!  I'm leaving tomorrow for Arizona. Wish me luck...I am really jaded on these sort of moves, but I'm hoping any potential positive outweighs the negative and I make it through this okay!

"Be Useful" : Orphanges of India

Last week there were two posts on India/Bollywood at The UC. They came out as fun and entertaining for me; however, there are many dimensions to India that one must not and cannot forget. For example, India is a nation with over one billion people, and at present, 60% of India lives below the line of poverty, creating one of the widest gaps between rich classes and poor classes known to man. With a nation that has such an enormous and massive poverty index, more and more kids fall into category labels such as “orphaned” or “abandoned.” Many orphanages in Africa are gaining more and more spotlight attention such as through Angelina Jolie, Madonna’s appearance in Malawi and with films such as “Angels in the Dust,” yet when it comes to mainstream attention India receives far less on the public media circuit than Africa and China. So many dimensions exist in this populous and complicated nation, and therefore there are so many approaches. There are people like Ranjith from the Balagurukula

New Metric album en route

Metric's newest album, Synthetica , will be out to the world on June 12, 2012. this is a big deal. look at that date. again:  this is a big deal. it's been 3 YEARS since the last album, Fantasies . Fantasies  was perfect. So there's a lot riding on this one! Here is what HBIC Emily Haines has to say about this new feat: SYNTHETICA is about insomnia, fucking up, fashion, all the devices and gadgets attached to our brains, getting wasted, watching people die in other countries, watching people die in your own country, dancing your ass off, questioning the cops, poetic justice, standing up for yourself, sex, the apocalypse, doing some stupid shit and totally regretting it but then telling everyone it made you stronger, leaving town as a solution to unsolvable problems, owning your actions and owning your time.

sup oscars!

I watched the annual Oscars in bits and pieces, flashes really. Like I was on a bus for a while then I was waiting for a cab then I was eating dinner but before that I was on said cab. So it was a lot going on, all at once. Things That Happened - The Artist  sort of swept, playing hand-in-hand with Hugo. Honestly, I don't give a shit about Hugo . I rather watch Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close  followed by ALL THE DOCUMENTARIES, FOREIGN FILMS AND LIVE ACTION SHORTS before I sit down to watch Hugo . - Meryl Streep won. I'm a little sad by this, to be real with you. Part of me was pulling very hard for Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe. Oh well. I guess there are names some actresses in Hollywood know they will always lose against:  Kate Winslet and Meryl Streep. - The dude from the Artist  got best actor. Okay, great. But I still think Clooney or Pitt (aka MY BROS) could have easily gotten it instead. - God, did Billy Crystal suck that much, or had I not ta

Music Will Live and Die in the Physical Form

It is no secret that the advent of the album format changed our concept of what music is. Sure, beforehand there were plenty of catchy singles being put out on 45s, but in retrospective those artists' works seem oddly insubstantive.* As much as I love many, many songs by Chuck Berry and The Coasters, greatest hits collections sound phony and shallow. The very nature of the music is such that each song is meant to be listened to individually. Collections are mismatched, without meandering or progression, no too-preachy-for-the-radio tracks, none that are sparse, hookless and delve deeply into introspection. Now, with iTunes, iPod, the digital age and the digital craze, Rolling Stone magazine is predicting the eventual death of the physical form. Physical sales for the first time have been topped by pay downloads, opening the stage once more to singles-only oriented artists. Rolling Stone laments the co-incidental demise of record stores.** Truly, much can be said about flippin

UC Store: Yeah, I C the Store

As Always, Don't forget to check out Store. For this: and other gems ;) The Best of The Useless Critic...So Far A book of humor and entertainment from aspiring, pop-culture driven, media-loving writers. Available Now. Take a Look for Free. CLICK HERE

An Interview With A Writer

Holly Jacobs has won the hearts and minds of her readers with her often Erie-centric romance novels...throughout the country and all over the world.  COFFEE AND DOGS! And Holly! Erie? Yeah. I am not making a goofy typo for once. ERIE.   So who is Holly Jacobs? What drives her? Why is Erie considered a romantic place (by, uh, Amazon, at least) and what is her role in that ? You, reader, are about to find out! So what are you working on currently? Holly:   I’m working on a new trilogy for Harlequin SuperRomance. It’s not due to be released until May, Jun and July of 2013. (Yes, that’s a long way off...but when you’re writing three books to be released back-to-back you need ample lead time.) It’s a wedding trilogy, tentatively titled, Something Borrowed, Something Blue and Something Perfect . It’s set in the fictional Valley Ridge, New York, a small town between the very real North East, PA and Ripley, New York. It’s set in the midst of the very real Lake Erie Wine Region. A

Just because I still love them both for various reasons.

So, in my search for the late, greatly lamented interview wherein Kurt Loder pwns Jewel for her incorrect use of words, I found this little gem from way back when, back when Madonna was less Cryptkeeper-esque and when Courtney Love was alive. RIP COURTNEY....wait, what? ALIVE, YOU SAY?!

Kurt's almost open letter to one Ani Difranco

It's been a while, I know. Truth be told, I've been sitting on this review of Ani's new album, Which Side Are You On? in order to let my rage subside. You'll see what I mean. Remember the 90s? More specifically, the women musicians of the 90s. Remember how there was this cultural movement where record labels and fans in general embraced the idea of girls with guitars (or keyboards, or what have you) who sang songs about sex and love and loss and inequality and politics?  I went to this in '99! Good times! I’m asking these questions because I feel those days are far behind us. And Ani Difranco proves it with her latest offering, Which Side Are You On? So many of my beloved rock goddesses—Ani, Liz Phair, Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan—have produced some music that just doesn’t do it for me ( Night of Hunters was surprisingly good, however). Ah, the good ol' days. Ani, I’ve loved you ever since Not a Pretty Girl , it literally change

Meanwhile, in Syria....

I have to admit, first of all, I have been half-paying attention to the escalating situation in Syria. A lot of foreign affairs are far beyond my grasp (for whatever reason, I'm a reasonably intelligent girl) so I just don't even try to follow them. I are American. I shop at Wal-Mart sometimes (sometimes).  But it's been getting enough exposure on the news- whatever news pond I choose to drink from*,  that it's really become impossible for me to ignore. And it should be impossible for you- or anyone checking this website from whatever cushy pad they happen to be in- to ignore, as well. YES, gas prices are going up. YES, Whitney Houston is very dead ( :/ ). Yes, every Republican candidate is....WELL LET'S NOT OPEN THAT CAN OF WARMS (Sarah Palin:  why aren't you running? you were, at best, gently alarming...or naturally amusing!) But Syria has as every right to be as important as any of these topics, possibly even moreso. In a nutshell:  as has been happ

A video you must see/a request to my other writers!

a.) this deals with nothing else...I am just glad that Cougartown is back on the air. I missed this goofy, bizarre, somewhat trashy TV show. Courtney Cox:  you are doing what Demi Moore never could! b.) You must watch this video: Rachel Bloom:  I love you. ( the star  another video which is "I Was a Mermaid But Now I'm a Pop Star.") c.) back before Newsweek  started to deep throat deer testicles, they had this awesome feature every year around Oscar time where all the stars would sit around (nominated for awards, that is) and shoot the breeze about films and whatnot. I WAS THINKING THAT WE (Useless Critic folk, namely me and Al and possibly Kurt) could do a similar feature. or anyone else that is interested. instead of stars those, it's us. HAHAHA I FOOLED YOU, DIDN'T I? it would probably have to be emails bouncing back and forth, though, because I'ma taking care of important things Thursday - Sunday before I leave for Mountain Time. 

Slacker CMF Announces Headline Show by Australia's Hilltop Hoods

SLACKER CANADIAN MUSIC FEST ANNOUNCES HEADLINE SHOW BY AUSTRALIA'S HILLTOP HOODS. NEW HILLTOP HOODS ALBUM “DRINKING FROM THE SUN” IN STORES MARCH 20, 2012 TORONTO - February 21, 2012 - Australia's giants of hip hop, HILLTOP HOODS, have announced they will perform a headline show at the Opera House in Toronhttpto on Thursday, March 22 as part of SLACKER CANADIAN MUSIC FEST. Tickets for the show are $16.50 in advance. Pre-sale begins tomorrow Wednesday February 22 at CanadianMusicFest.Com . Tickets go on sale via Ticketmaster on Friday February 24. Hilltop Hoods highly anticipated album “Drinking From The Sun” will be released in Canada via Universal Music on March 20, 2012. The album features the soon to be Double Platinum Australian single “I Love It” (featuring SIA), as well as guest appearances by Black Thought (The Roots), Chali 2na (Jurassic 5), Classified (Canada), Lotek (UK) and Solo (Horrorshow). Hilltop Hoods will tour Canada through the end of March and early April.

Read Harriett Holmes

So a former guest writer for The UC, Harriett A. Holmes who wrote some rather clever words on Kanye West for us, has now launched her own blog. Her stuff is very well-written, and it is also Down-to-Earth, and it is also British. What I love the most is she incorporates so much English jargon and vernacular into her writing. Always fun to read, so if you need to step across the pond and see another English creation of words in the works... ...You will probably like Click Here for Direct Link QATFYG: Who wants to name a Modern English writer they love?

Dale Watson 'The Sun Sessions'

As of late I have been ordering a fair amount of CDs on Most of them are Neil Young albums, and I am sure my reviews of those will be much anticipated. However, another treasure that I bought on a Whim is Dale Watson's Sun Sessions . As the story goes, Watson was supposed to play a show in Memphis which was cancelled due to mishap, mismanagement or miscommunication. As a result, he called up Sun Studios and booked the date to record. What he produced? Cash-twinged rockabilly of the highest order. Every song on Sun Sessions sounds like a Johnny Cash radio single. They're all very brief, and therefore so is the album. Some of the song topics seem trivial, bizarre, maybe even facetious, but it works. It's a fun album, and well worth it, even though you can't get a $5.00 copy on eBay to save your life. Blow the ten if you are into it. Modern music is soulless. Lent is coming. Repent. P.S. Nader, I don't know how you take such glamorous photos of

New "Be Useful" : The Game that Saves Lives

In many ways, information technology seems as if it is always trying to make life simpler. For example, 100 years ago we had to write letters back and forth to our friends who were in different villages. Now, we can just send Facebook messages in a fraction of a second. The internet is constantly allowing us to simplify and expand every single one of our actions. Can it also help starving children? Of course….and of course, you can too. Free Rice has been around for years, but it is a cause that should never lay to rest. You can visit, and there you can practice or show off your excellent skills in vocabulary and trivia, and at the same time you can contribute to improving child nutrition. 1. You play their games. 2. For each correct answer you give, you will have donated 10 grains of rice. Free Rice is so impressive because it not only allows for improvement in areas of nutrition and child health, it also raises awareness for some of the most critical and sensitive cause

A Useless Open Letter: Parminder Nagra

Dear Parminder Nagra, Hey, what’s cooking? Well, I guess yesterday we learned that there is a hotter Indian than you on the face of the Earth named Rani Mukerji. I hope that you are not offended because we all know your secret anyway. You are British. After all, you did pretend to make out with Keira Knightly once. Anyway, enough of those wet dreams, the real reason I am writing to you is, my friend Brittany finds you really cute. Even I have to confess, I'd take you over John Stamos. In fact, she said you were hotter than all the actresses of Bollywood. She may have just been trying to get me to shut up, but who cares? Someone called you the hottest Indian person alive! Isn’t that worth celebrating? Congrats to you. Furthermore, I believe I read on Wikipedia that you are married, and I am not the biggest fan of hot actresses getting married, so if you ever happen to have a mental break in life and give up acting and run away with strangers you meet on the internet, I’ve got a Geo

Some night music!

I was introduced to GROOVESHARK a few weeks ago, a few happy weeks ago! Since then, my long-adhered-to HYPEMACHINE obsession has been....muckrucked, yeah? well if that word doesn't make any sense, I've gotta recommend you read Ulysses . I think you'd like it.  Here is a song I beat to death with a fish (a trout, no less, trout being my favorite fish) in 2009. I hope you like it; these Swedes are called the Sounds and never want to do an interview with me. I did however hug Maja. For a long time, I got away with not washing that hoodie. I think I left it in my Swedish hostel though. have a good night!  question:  what do you think Jeremy Lin listens to, pre-NBA game?

Rani Mukherjee: New Hottest Woman of Bollywood

Can you believe it’s almost been a year since we wrote “Bollywood Week” here at The UC? Good times: however, I will have to note that the calendar is not the only thing that has changed since 2011. Back then, I declared that Indian actress “Juhi Chawla” was the hottest actress of all Bollywood, even topping the world famous, “Aishwarya Rai.” Aishwarya is one of the favorite actresses of Joe Jonas, so she can still have that crown. Now, I will propose an amendment to the Constitution of India and declare “Rani Mukherjee” the hottest woman of all Bollywood and/or the Indian subcontinent-not counting Sri Lanka. I recently had the pleasure of watching Rani in the powerful film “No One Killed Jessica,” aside from the power of the storyline, Rani was hot. Then, I had more pleasure of watching her in other films, where I cannot pronounce nor spell the titles if I tried. I blame Hindi for being too complicated. Originally, I placed Juhi Chawla at the top of the list because of this enigmatic p

As I was watching the Whitney funeral...

Naturally, I grew progressively more interested in The Bodyguard .  No, it's not that good of a film and I know that. Growing up, I always thought the love story between Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston was kind of cool. They always seemed like such polar opposites, which I guess is how the story works. With Madonna, it would have sucked. With anyone else but Whitney Houston, it would have sucked (more than it did). On an off-note:  it was a fairly good ceremony, wasn't it? And how can you not listen to "I Will Always Love You" and not get chills? BITCH HAD CHOPS. I was riveted by the whole thing until Stevie Wonder showed up. I hope one day he is able to see and cuts his hair. I AM SORRY IT JUST REALLY, REALLY GOT TO ME. Anyway, Kevin Costner did a beautiful job with his eulogy. Really, him, Alicia Keys and Tyler Perry were the ones I thought that were the most...heartwrenching? When Alicia lost it on the piano?!?!? aw, damn.  So I (getting back to the or

A Parks and Rec post from the heart, where it matters

Everyone , I've really fallen out of the Parks and Rec  loop. I guess the last few times I've caught an episode, I've been more or less just not impressed. I mean last year it was on FIRE. this year, the fire has certainly dulled out. Been put out by the piss of Downton Abbey . Also, 30Rock has been nothing but amazing this season. Yes, Liz Lemon is a whiny petulant child, (thanks NPR for ruining that for me!) but whatever it's FUNNY. So that's perhaps overshadowed Leslie and her gang. so when I finally started paying attention again (wince) I discovered that the writers are TRYING TO MAKE ANNE AND TOM A COUPLE. what. what. what. I love Aziz/Tom, don't get me wrong. He's cute, funny, goofy, etc. But his SOLE purpose on the show is comedic relief. Okay, so they have given him dramatic arcs here and there. Nice. Good job, really. But I will never consider Tom a serious dynamic character and I'd really hate to see something started as an earl


TORONTO - February 14, 2012  -  CMW Film Fest 12  returns with its fifth annual installment, taking place  March 21 - 24  in  Toronto . Presented by  Tribute Entertainment , the festival highlights an eclectic mix of movie premieres, special screenings, retro rarities, and limited engagements at three different venues, including the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square (350 King Street West), the NFB Cinema (150 John Street) and The Toronto Underground Cinema (186 Spadina Avenue).   This year's festival features everything from drama to comedy to documentaries to special appearances and Q&As with some of the films' stars, directors and more. Individual tickets can be purchased online at and , at the Tiff Bell Lightbox Box Office daily 10am - 10pm or by calling 416-599-TIFF(8433). Admission is included with a Canadian Music Fest wristband available for purchase at WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21: TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square 7:00 p.m.