Challenge 1

My first challenge is up at the The Den, but in case you're not going there I thought I'd post it here as well. You should definitely check it out though - mechanized My Little Ponies are invading.

Attn: Jona, Mike, Steve

Re: Ultimate Blogger 3

Keyword: Bigger

Hello Jona, Mike, and Steve. Let us be the first to congratulate you on the success of Ultimate Blogger. It is a truly beautiful thing. We cried. No, really, These are real tears - but not of sorrow. No. These are the tears of purest joy.

The competition has captured the imagination of the average person on the street. As you are probably well aware, the average person on the street is THE target market for most advertisers. Now that Ultimate Blogger 2 is well under way, the question on most people's lips is, "Where will they go from here?" Well, we're here to provide the answer, and the answer is UP.

Why choose us? We think our reality show track record speaks for itself. Remember "What Happens When We Touch You There?" That was our idea. How about "So You Want to Marry a Cripple?" That wasn't our idea. Because that's just in bad taste. You need to draw a line somewhere.

So when we were asked to brainstorm on Ultimate Blogger 3 one idea immediately jumped to the forefront. Are you ready for this? You're not ready. We can tell. Wait - now you're ready. Check this:

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Ultimate Blogger 3: Blog Brother

That's right - we get the contestants into a loft in Portland and watch their every move, broadcast right here on the World Wide Web. Our tech guys insist there's a technology called "web cams", and by using these "web cams" you can broadcast in real time online. And apparently it's really popular with teenage boys who, we don't need to tell you, are THE target in the target market.

The key is in capturing their imagination, and we know we can do that with the inherent drama of 12 bloggers all living together. Don't believe us? Peep this sample video homestyles!

View this clip on Vimeo

Now imagine that for 24 hours straight. Internet reality show gold!

But the real moneymaker for any successful show is the cross-marketing. We're talking pencil cases, mouse pads, commemorative plaques. But that's not all. We're currently in talks with...no. This is too hot for you. It will scorch you completely.

Oh what the hell: We're currently in talks with James Blunt--that's right, THE James Blunt--to rework his hit single into a theme for the show. BOOYAH! We had our crack team of in-house musicians work up this ditty - we know you'll agree it's a winner:

Ultimate Blogger 3 Theme - Your Blog is Beautiful

Time is of the essence boys. We can make millions. Get back to us.


Thomas Bartholomew Wong
Gin + Juice Productions
"Number one with a bullet baby! Are you picking up what we're laying down?"

Let's get it on

Ultimate Blogger 2 is a go. I'm already nervous. Firstly, when you click on my picture it takes you to a series of quotes that make me sound a bit like a numbtard. Unfortunately they are in fact quotes from an article by my good friend Vanessa. Alas.

Secondly, I fear alliances are being made all over the place, and I am too lacking in guile to really make a stab at trying for one. Sigh. I am destined for the voting off.

Thirdly, dear readers, please go the site and comment. I need the love. Or at least, the nominal interest.


The decade so truly over

Now that we're well into '06 I feel it's the appropriate time to take a glance back at the decade which will no doubt define me - the 90's. While the ghost of Kurt Cobain looms large over the era, I can't help but feel that his shadow overwhelms the many other significant musical contributions from that time. Let's get into the Wayback Machine and take a trip down my memory lane.

Collective Soul

Wrongly considered a poor man's Bon Jovi, who were themselves a poor man's Aerosmith, and often snubbed in favour of The Gin Blossoms (who?) or Better Than Ezra (what?), Collective Soul are probably my guiltiest of pleasures. I mean, I know their songs are unrelenting crap - incredibly mundane guitar chords, Hallmark-worthy lyrics, and a propensity for rocking back and forth while singing - but I don't care. Collective Soul's greatest crime was probably in being Creed before it was hugely popular to suck like Creed.

While most 90's revivalist stations and albums choose their debut record Shine, or the Empire Record's anthem Gel, I prefer Smashing Young Man for its wonderfully tame riff that somehow requires three guitars.

Collective Soul - Smashing Young Man

Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock

I first heard this song at a grade eight dance that was apparently intended to ease my transition into high school. Instead it gave me an ulcer. Dancing? To hip hop? I naturally went out and bought the album the next day. It wasn't until many years later that I realized the sheer genius of this song; a few days ago I found the excellent jam sampled in the chorus.

Rob Base w/ DJ EZ Rock - It Takes Two

Lyn Collins - Think About It

Naughty By Nature

Using a Michael Jackson song to rhyme about genitalia is totally inspired. It's like using an R. Kelly song to...rhyme about puppy love. At the time this song was released I was knee-deep in Pearl Jam and had no idea what this "urban" music was on about. Oh, how I know now. Down with OPP indeed, young squires.

Naughty By Nature - OPP

Mr. Big

Oh man. How much do I love this song? HOW MUCH DO I LOVE THIS SONG. This song is every grade 8 and 9 dance rolled into one big ending. Every grade 8 and 9 dance where I did not once dance. Bad hair! Bad sweaters! Pin-rolled jeans! LA Gear!

Mr. Big - To Be With You

This song I do not love as much, but the above applies.

Alias - More Than Words Can Say

Not to be confused with Extreme - More Than Words, the most over-exposed song ever to come from a half-assed hard rock group. (Who am I kidding, I love that one too.)

Take That

On Friday night, in a little restaurant in Gastown, the members of Banana Bread, aka Whitey and the Chinks, had its inaugural performance. There was Adam (the "bad" one), Drew (the "athletic" one), and Thom (the wuss). Backed by a full 40 watts of molar grinding power, they ripped through a stunning rendition of Take That's Back for Good, giving new meaning to the words "What are those people doing?"

All of this was in honour of Charlie's bday. So Charlie, this one's for you.

Take That - Back for Good


More ultimate blogger

So the comp is straight up survivor style, with voting and immunity and a trip to an island (oh if only). Check out last year's challenges and entries. The winner makes Naked Richard from Season 1 seem like a hack.

Representing Deutschland

These ads for the Volkswagen GTI are, in a word, chawesome. Oh snap indeed.


I'm a possible finalist for The Ultimate Blogger 2. (Yes, this kind of thing matters to me. Suck on it.) They are narrowing from 20 to the final 12, and if chosen the contest starts on Monday. I'll keep you posted.


KT Tunstall

Most people who know me know that I have a bit of Scottish blood in the ol' DNA. Fewer people know that my mom is half-Scottish, half-Chinese. I say this by way of introduction to KT Tunstall, current Brit sensation, who is part Chinese and was born in Scotland.

I'm not sure how I feel about her music, but I do know this - the girl can put on a show. This video furthers my desire for a looping/sample board.


Gold Digger on the Gitter

What do you do when you procrastinate? Watch TV? Read a book? Get really, really drunk? Probably.

When I'm trying to procrastinate I like to pick up my guitar and write really bad songs. I don't purposely set out to write badly, but that's usually the end result.

Today I found myself thinking of one of my favourite songs, Kanye West's Gold Digger. And then, because I really didn't want to read Federalism, I started to see what it would sound like if I played some chords and sang the lyrics.

And then I recorded it.

If you decide to listen to it a word of warning - the joke kind of runs out after the first 30 seconds. Also, there is no joke. I mean every word of this song sincerely.

Gold Digger (Acoustic Remix) - Thomas Bartholomew Wong


Cock Rock Disco

Jason Forrest makes music under the name Donna Summer and hosts a website called Cock Rock Disco. That alone gets him a mention on this blog. (Really simple existence can get you mentioned here. Who am I kidding...)

However, he also happens to make some pretty kick ass music with hand claps and drum rolls and fiery guitar solos:

Jason Forrest - War Photographer

By itself, the song is brilliant. Add an animated video featuring Vikings who battle with seventies-style guitar pyrotechnics, and where the secret weapon is cowbell funk, and you've reached the kind of genius that would cure cancer. CURE CANCER PEOPLE.
(Did I mention the ships transform into robots? THEY DO.)

Thanks to You Ain't No Picasso for the info.


Taste the Softness

With facts like these, why wouldn't you smoke?


John Mayer pees sitting down

A while ago I wrote about John Mayer, and how he should stop making music. I wondered why such a seemingly funny and talented guy wrote such crappy, boring music. When I heard he had his own TV show I expected the worst: an audience of pre-pubescent girls sitting on the floor in a semi-circle while Mayer sat on a stool and played acoustic versions of his songs.

Thank god I was wrong.

John Mayer Has a TV Show is instead a very funny series of sketches featuring the freakishly tall singer. And thanks to the glory that is You Tube, I've now seen the funniest.

In this one John gets dressed up in a bear costume and harasses fans waiting to see him in concert.

And here he runs a focus group of fairly witless teenage girls. Best part: When he tells them Richard Marx writes most of his songs.


Heavy Rotation

Someone asked me for a copy of a playlist from my iPod, and since I uploaded it to Megupload I thought I'd make it available here. It's a collection of the songs that I've been listening to the most over the last few months, minus a few to make the file less than 250MB.

Heavy Playlist (megaupload)


You have the votes we have the popular sentiment

The Thrills - Not For All the Love in the World

Music Blogs Part Deux

First of all, I am Fuel, You Are Friends is quite clearly written by Heather Browne, a young woman. Sorry Heather.

Dreams of Horses

Something about the writing in this blog doesn't jive with me, but the music picks are muey bueno.

Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands

This is Chad's blog. He's from Seattle. It's good.

Do Copenhagen

Great top banner. Eclectic taste.

Green Pea-ness

Wins the award for most words per entry. Seriously, every song is accompanied by an essay length rumination that is actually worth reading. So a step up from this blog in every way.

i guess i'm floating

Nice layout. (You can tell I'm running out of things to say. It's not that each blog isn't worthy in and of itself, but rather that I look at so many I stop distinguishing between them).

An Aquarium Drunkard

Generally regarded to be one of the earliest and one of the best. Currently hosting a lot of Dylan covers.

My Old Kentucky Blog

One of the first I heard about but not one I check very often. Skews towards the honky in the tonky.

chinese restaurant in the forest*

Chinese is always better.

Oh Snap!

White people do this...

When Dave Chappelle went AWOL and headed to South Africa or Zaire or wherever he went to rest his incredibly funny mind, a million frat boys simultaneously fell into silence - not out of respect, but because without Chappelle they had absolutely nothing to say.

So when I heard that Chappelle was alive and well and organizing a block party which would reunite the Fugees, well I knew I had to get to Brooklyn. Unfortunately, I am not rich, beeyatch.

Fortunately Chappelle invited uber-director Michel Gondry to accompany him, and the resulting footage is now a film. Check the trailer here:

and my favourite Chappelle sketch:

Kill the pig

Ryan has joined the ranks of law students writing for The Tyee (a position previously only occupied by...uh...me.) He's contributing essays on television, and his first missive is up today. Go give it a read and bump up that hit counter:

Lord of the Million Dollar Prize by Ryan Austin