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Updated: 2009-01-07T20:13:42.133-05:00


Moving On Up (Ish)


If you're swinging by to check the haps on a blog that hasn't been regularly updated in, well, two plus years, your Uncle Grambo has got some good news for you. I've been setting up shop over at for the past month and some change. I migrated all of the 2006-2007 WordPress content that got hacked by the commie Russian Turkish pinko bastages, and also brought some of my Defamer highlights over as well. I'm working on getting a redirect in place so you don't have to change your (old as hell) bookmarks, but for now, you can check the haps simply by clicking below: whatevs (dot org) Alrighty then!

Working On It


Hey peeps. Since I have some free time on my hands, I'm going to be putting some work into resurrecting this site. I will be working on bringing back all of the content that got hacked by those Turkish Russian commie pinko bastages over the coming days and weeks, as well as giving this site a fresh new look. Stay tuned, yo.



does this work?

Dudes and Dudettes


(image) What up, playas? Just a quick note to check in and let you know that I have NOT abandoned you, the loving and adoring denizens of the FOW Nation. Rather, your Uncle Grambo has been spending his free time (and disposable income) working on a whatevs (dot org) redesign that I'm hoping will be live by week's end. Nothing too radical, but I am switching blog providers (bye bye, Blogger, bye bye) and making a number of tweaks that I'm hoping you'll find to be value adds. I've been posting daily -- it was one of my resolutions -- so it's only a matter of time before my trademark witticisms become public fodder once again.

Until then, my friends, I leave you naked and vulnerable with nothing but the wise words of Sarah McLachlan to shield you from the blustery chill outdoors. "Hold on, hold on to yourself / `Cause this is gonna hurt like hell."
Your Uncle Grambo

PS - Durst's new look ... revealed! What up, Graybeard McGillicudy!?!

The Grahammys 2K7: Best Singles


A little history lesson for you, the faithful followers that make up The FOW Nation. Sometime back during the Clinton presidency, a few spores were borne that eventually germinated to become the universally renowned web log that is You see, back in those days, things called IRC and chain emails were all the rage. It was during this time that your Uncle Grambo took advantage of the available technology at my disposal to began sending out year-end recap emails to family, friends and perturbed co-workers from my desk in the hallowed halls of Borders Group Incorporated. Creatively dubbed "The Grahammys" (for reasons that should be obvs), they began with a simple list of my Top 10 films of 1995. From there, the lists grew almost exponentially with every passing year into something more intricate, more delicate, and more best (some would argue more tedious). Anyway, I did these lists for a number of years and people seemed to enjoy them (they can all be found on the Archive Page). But, for the last few years, a deadly combination of being REALLY busy and REALLY lazy procluded me from taking the time to educate you -- the tired, huddled masses -- with my worldly worldview. Fortch for us all, I carved out time over the past few weekends to return The Grahammys to their rightful place of glory and unswerving besteverness. So, with that said, please enjoy... THE GRAHAMMY AWARDS 2K7 TOP 20 SINGLES OF 2K6!!! 20) "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken", Camera Obscura — Twee as FUCK! [vid] 19) "My Love", Justin Timberlake feat. T.I. — Everything that Pitchfork said, only without so much drooling. [vid] 18) "Don't Listen To The Radio", The Vines — But definitely listen to this song! [vid] 17) "24 Hours", The Sounds — Anyone still carrying a torch for the fashionably retro `80s movement (which includes this blogga) best d/l this song on the quick. Not sure why the label never released this as a single, it was the best song on what amounted to be a really strong record. 16) "Move Along", All American Rejects — While they'll never be as cool as The Devil's Rejects, I bet they write better pop songs. Insanely hummable! [vid] 15) "Monster Hospital", Metric — Bam chicka bam chicka boom boom boom shallack shallack boom shallack shallack boom. Bam chicka bam chicka boom boom boom shallack shallack boom. Obvs! [vid] 14) "One Man Wrecking Machine", Guster — This song shares a thematic and spiritual kinship with Bob Seger's seminal "Against The Wind", except there's a twist. While Seger famously wishes "he didn't know now what he didn't know then", Ryan Miller begins the song wanting quite the opposite. Where the song goes from there is what makes this one a classic. [vid] 13) "The Charging Sky", Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins — When you've got the foxiest voice on wax, even a song leaden with damning criticism of our nation's cultural, religious and political state of affairs sounds undeniably heaven sent. So gorge. [live on kimmel] 12) "Crooked Teeth", Death Cab For Cutie — I've always kinda been in the camp that thought DCFC were boring pussbags. Their performance on SNL earlier this year changed my mind. Who knew they could actually sorta rock? [live on snl] 11) "Bring On The Quiet Nights", The Prime Ministers — Rare is the song that makes an evening home on the couch sound more appealing than seeing the latest buzz band in a smoke-filled room. But then again, this is the niche that The Prime Ministers have always dominated. Celebrating the pleasures of domesticity ... so necessary. [exclusive mp3 courtesy of B.B. Fett, myspace] 10) "Skip To The End", The Futureheads — For whatever reason, the well of Blog Love dried up for these chaps this year. Shame, because this record -- buoyed by this bouyant first single -- was way better than their first. [vid] 9) "Cheated Hearts", The Yeah Yeah[...]

Mr. Me Too


[pic via Radar] So, yeah, I guess you've all heard by now that Time Magazine has awarded "You" (meaning, like, YOU!) with its coveted Lebowski Achiever Person Of The Year honor. Predictably, the announcement resulted in a chorus of widespread chortling from the snarkalicious, media-obsessed denizens of The Blogosphere™. Of particular interest was the vociferousness with which those eager beavers over at Radar pounced on the news; you'll find no arguments here that Time copped out by not just deciding to run with the YouTube dudes as their choice, but your Uncle Grambo isn't really sure said decision warranted three individual critiques in just over 24 hours. But after taking some time to digest and process this curious editorial call, a realization dawned on me: I'm not out of order, Radar's not out of order, it's the whole freaking system that's out of order! The system of which your Uncle Grambo speaks is the reprehensible dictate that (I believe) Nick Denton originally ordered that demanded the bloggers in his stable file X number of posts per day ... or else. Once word of this proclamation leaked, other media companies quickly followed suit (after all, media companies are nothing if not obsessed with keeping up with the Joneses). And while I'm all for keeping content fresh (in theory, if not in actual practice), don't we all agree that seeing 30+ posts per day on our favorite sites is overkill? The residual effect that this mandate has had on The Blogosphere™ is palpable; we've long since passed the mythical point where quality and quantity were able to live harmoniously together. Nowadays, the immensely talented folks at places at Radar and Gawker are slaves to the grind who serve the in the stead of the Almighty Page View rather than their readership. Which is not to say that these folks don't do exceptional work; that's the farthest thing from the truth. But using the Radar example above, readers suffer by having to wade through three disjointed ruminations rather than one truly kickass post. Know what I'm sayin? The worst part, my friends, is this. Now that Pandora has opened this box, your Uncle Grambo is afraid that there don't appear to be any opportunities for us to turn back the clock. "Am I going to stop reading these blogs?" Unlikely, but that's not what's really important. The key issue, which effects both the editorial and business operation sides of the blog bizness, is this: "Am I, as a reader, going to pay as much attention to the site?" In this reader's opinion, that question has already been answered.[...]

SNL Season 32 ... REVEALED!


Like most folks who spend a good portion of their weekdays patrolling The Internerd™ for scoopage, your Uncle Grambo is a frequent visitor to the Two Mile Zone. Over the last six months and change, the stalkerazzi-centric site has done blowed up with their exhaustive coverage of the white-hot Los Angeles celebrescene, primarily focusing on those who orbit around Paris and Brit Brit and the like. And while I suppose it's no surprise that The Trousersnake is still a popular fixture for the US Weekly set, I gotta admit it was weird to see TMZ covering the SNL Beat yesterday afternoon and revealing spoiler buzz (sorry Jen-Bo, looks like JT won't be bringing "SexyBack"). But the real issue at hand for you, the loyal FOWs, is this: why settle for AOL sponsored weaksauce when you know that Nummer has got that primo habanero for dat ass? Kick back and enjoy some pre-show comments from the man, the myth, the legend that is Nummer... NUMMER'S PRE-SHOW COMMENTS Episode 9: Justin Timberlake (12/16/06) When JT did double duty as host and musical guest back in 2003, (then reported that SNL director Beth McCarthy-Miller went on record as saying "Justin Timberlake was one of the best hosts ever. Expect him to host again in the future." Just over three years later, Miller's premonition has come true. The '03 episode may not have been flawless, but you can't deny there wasn't a certain energy to it. This was largely due to most of the show being written around Justin's main strength: singing. Not only did Timberlake get three musical segments ("Rock Your Body", "Seniorita" and "Cry Me A River"), but most of the sketches were excuses for him to sing as well. Case in point, "Benny's vs. Omletteville", "Timberlake and Kermit" and even to a lesser extent, "Barry Gibb Talk Show", all had musical numbers for JT to run wild with. As a result, JT was always in his comfort zone and came across as a very capable host. How will JT fare in 2006? Since he's pushing not only a CD, but a movie as well, I'm guessing there won't be as much singing. This shouldn't be a bad thing, Bening's episode showed somewhat of an upswing in sketch writing, so hopefully Justin will get some strong material to have fun with. I'm also betting the farm Jimmy Fallon will show up to resurrect Barry Gibb. Bottom line, after the Matthew Fox/Tenacious D (ED NOTE: Review coming soon!) show somewhat tanked, I'm guessing this will be the best of the December 2006 episodes. Bonus clip. just reset a classic YouTube clip of Timberlake and Fallon's legendary "Barry Gibb Talk Show" skit. Nice. [...]

Leg Game


Although her gams have got the internuts goin' crazy right now, someone best remind McPheever that the reason that America fell in love with her in the first place was her killer Rack-N-Back combo. It's also important to remember that one of the lynchpins of her PR strategy to promote her upcoming jawn is that she's (allegedly) conquered her eating disorder -- while there's no doubt that she's lookin' healthy in these pics, she's definitely dropped some ellbees (and a cup size) since May. Developing... Those of you out there starvin' for PHC, hope you enjoy some of these hittins. Bullet stizz. Bovs. Speaking of Idol, ABC wisely decided to avoid that juggernaut and moved the start time of "Lost" back from 9pm to 10pm when the show re-launches in Februrary. Zarf or Mary Cheney? [via BWE] Your Uncle Grambo has maintained a firm anti-XBox stance ever since the system launched. My bias mainly stems from the fact that I'm way too old at this point to learn how to use another type of controller. But man oh man, with each passing day it gets harder and harder to resist the appeal of XBox 360. Particularily after watching the trailers for "Halo 3" and "Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions" ... giggity! For those of you who enjoy reading about a nice bottle of vino almost as much as drinking one, I highly recommend checking out both Pitchfork Wine and WineDaddy. It is the holidays, after all, and damned if un bouteille de vin doesn't make for an excellent present. Not only will both of these sites provide you with some tasty choices, but they've both got a unique POV going for them. So be sure and give em a bookmark, stat. [first link via DataWhat?] Chuckles Klosterman on whether or not Muhammed Ali invented rap music. Your Uncle Grambo won't cop to even knowing who this Giada person is, but I know that Peabs is gonna enjoy this Giada pizza party. Extra bovs! And, in closing, I'm glad that the Silversun Pickups decided to officially release "Lazy Eye" as the second (third?) single from their excellent album "Carnavas" ... this one has been on high rotaish ever since KEXP first debuted it earlier this year. Take a look at both the video (shot at The Shortstop, Silver Lake Echo Park steez) and their raucous performance on Letterman last Friday night. Buzzpatrol. [...]

Guh Guh Guh Yaaayahh!



"His name is Dr. Rockso. He's the Rock and Roll Clown. He does cocaine. I'm afraid that's all we know."

Call your Uncle Grambo slow on the uptake if you must, but it's only been a few short weeks since I first discovered the altogetherly crazed cartoon "Metalocalypse" (Sunday nights @ midnight on The Cartoon Network). And by crazed, I mean CRAZED. Like, SO CRAZED that it makes "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" look like The Smurfs. Exaggerating I am not.

For the uninitiated, the plot of "Metalocalypse" revolves around the exploits of a part-American/part-Scandanavian death metal band called Dethklok, a band that just so happens to be the most popular band in the universe. So popular, in fact, that an Illuminati-esque group called The Tribunal has set a covert plot in motion to destroy them -- at least that's what I have garnered from the handful of eps I've made my way through on YouTube so far. Plot points aside, the most compelling thing about this show is the degree of Don't Give A Frak Fearlessness on display in each and every episode.

Take, for instance, the utterly insane music video for "I'm Just A Rock And Roll Clown" by Dr. Rockso (hit up the embedded video at the bottom of this post, go to 2:57 and let it run from there). I can only assume that the dudes who run Adult Swim have some compromising photos of the S&P folks over there at the Cartoon Network, because that's the ONLY explanation as to how this shazzers EVER got on air. In a word, SOBEST! Do yourself a favor and Season Pass this on yo DVR ASAP. Marzipan.

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Urban Meyer Wiener


(image) Don't know what's in your pantry at the moment, but your Uncle Grambo's mini-fridge is overflowing with sour grapes and spilt milk. Short of the top-heavy Nigella Lawson unexpectedly showing up topless at my apartment and turning these ingredients into some sort of Spanish Fly sexsmoothie, I'm not sure that I can make limoncellos out of the lemons that the BCS handed Wolverine Fan when they inexplicably awarded the Florida Gators with the #2 spot in the final regular season poll. My beef is not with the BCS system -- let's face it, everyone is disadvantaged equally by its flaws -- my beef is with the voters and the bogus rationale they used to justify a decision that was CLEARLY based on emotion, not facts.

Let's call a spade a spade for a second -- a bunch of Southern-fried SEC hicks let their absolute power corrupt them absolutely. Not surprising, considering that the biggest decision they usually get to make is whether they should prepare catfish or roadkill for the big family dinner on Sunday nights. Even Lloyd Carr, who has been positively Mother Theresa-esque in the wake of this epic ass-raping, agrees. "When you look at the voting on the Harris poll, there's four votes on there where people vote us fourth," Carr told Midget Al-Bomb last night. "So I think clearly there was an effort to manipulate the system and that is really, really disappointing. I can understand if somebody wants to vote Florida 2 and us 3. But I think the Harris poll clearly they have some credibility issues." Uh, ya think?!?

(image) But hey, what's done is done. Here's the deal, Michigan fan. Sure, we got hosed. And sure, it's gonna sting like a bitch when Ohio State murders Florida's face on January 8 for the national championship. And sure, Shawn Crable sealed our fate when he unnecessarily roughed up Troy Smith in the fourth quarter of The Game That Shall Not Be Named back on November 18th. But come January 1 when we take the field in Pasadena, you can bet that Lloyd will have his team focused like a muthafucka, ready to exact revenge for the jolting loss to the Trojans back in 2K4. With any luck, the dulcet tones of Keith Jackson will be accompaning Michigan's first Rose Bowl victory since 1998. Whoa nellie, INDEED!

SNL Season 32 ... REVEALED!


Retirement. Some say more appealing in concept than in practice. Fortunately for us, the lure of an SNL episode anchored by Matthew Fox and Tenacious D has brought the world-renowned H-Bomb out of her self-imposed retirement (albeit temporarily) and back into her rightful place as the First Lady of SNL Knowledge. So much buzz! While your Uncle Grambo has both fingers and toes crossed that we'll get to see some sort of "Lost" sketch to rival the great Kyle MacLachlan "Twin Peaks" sketch from 1990, please enjoy the pre-show comments from the dynamic duo of Nummer and H-Bomb. Marzipan. NUMMERH-BOMB Episode 7: Matthew Fox / Tenacious D (12/2/06) Matthew Fox and Tenacious D. SNL doesn't get more must see than this. On a non-SNL sidebar, does anyone agree that both Fox's "Lost" and Tenacious D are sort of at a crossroad here in late 2006? Its almost like the latest season of "Lost" and The D's new movie/soundtrack have polarized both of their audiences. In the "Lost" camp, you've got Season 3 (currently on hiatus) and the trade pubs love pointing out that 23 million viewers watched the 2nd season premiere while roughly 18.8 million watched this year's. Drop-off on a show like this is to be expected and of course, there are still millions who dissect every second, but even some of die-hard fans seem to be questioning the show's direction. If the non-stop episodes starting in February give more questions than answers, how many people will still care about Hurley's latest flashbacks in 2008? 2009? On the Tenacious D side, you've got "The Pick of Destiny" who's opening weekend box office of $5.2 million failed to land it within the Top 10. Now I didn't expect this film to break box office records, but I figured it would pull in something similar to the $10 million opening "Clerks II" did back in July. I mean, we're talking a very similar cult-like audience here right? Bottom line is that the film and soundtrack, while still fairly enjoyable, are not as sharp as the Tenacious D HBO series or the 2001 debut album (which basically recycled most of the HBO material). Oh well. That said, Fox is still great on Lost and all of The D's past SNL appearances have been wonderful. Let's hope The D plays with a full band made up of the Anti-Christ, Colonel Sanders and Charlie Chaplin like they did during their current tour's stop in Detroit last weekend. Matthew Fox. Ooohh baby. I couldn't be happier with this week's choice for SNL host. For me, "Lost" is hands down the best TV on the tube at present, and that is due largely in part to the delectable Mr. Fox. True, he may not be known for his wide array of live sketch acting and, yes, he did play the unfortunately annoying role of Charlie Salinger on "Party of Five", but Matthew Fox seems to have that sarcastic edge that I think will lend itself well to comedic material. Plus, he's totally hot, y'all. Even though this will unbelievably be their first time as the official musical guest, Tenacious D is by no means a no stranger to the SNL scene. With Jack Black already boasting an impressive three times as host, plus several cameos and special guest spots by both Black and Kyle Gass, this "rock your socks off" duo are practically SNL family. I'm not sure if I would still classify them as the "greatest band in the world," but Jables and KG will no doubt deliver some great tunes off of their latest album, "The Pick of Destiny," and, if we're lucky, a couple of sketch appearances as well. Spelling Bee, anyone? [...]

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things - Q42K6


Each and every day, your Uncle Grambo receives approximately 270 emails from readers asking me for advice on they should spend their free time. Since I have far better things to do than reply to the emails of common people like you, I have amassed this list of hottness as a means to keep you, my adoring fanbase, satiated with sexiness from now until at least Friday morning. So, without further ado... BEST! Reason To Embrace Your Inner Geek: "Battlestar Galactica" — I'll admit it. When I saw that the stars of "Battlestar Galactica" made the cover of EW back in September, I was fairly convinced that the editors there had lost their collective marbles. After all, it's not like the Sci Fi Network is known for being a paragon of quality television. But ultimately, the deep reservoir of trust that EW has built with this blogga over the years convinced me to give the show a whirl. And in doing so, I've been nothing short of bowled over. Really good tv is hard to come by, so I suggest you netflix that sh*t like PRONTO. Frak yeah! BEST! Way To Vicariously Share A Parliament: Metro Times Smoke Break — He may not have the killer curves of FreeWillow17, but that doesn't mean that Johnny Loftus hasn't lapped every other vlogger out there with the undeniably compelling Smoke Break series. It's like Pitchfork by way of Dogme 95 to the power of BEST, only it rules way harder than that. Watch for the cameo appearance by the People Mover (Fishbones!) in Episode 2 ... brills. RELATED: Loftus on Robyn ... ROBYN!!! BEST! Riot Inducing Catchphrase: "You can suck my balls" — This one's a few weeks old, but still a doozy. Remember The Malice At The Palace? Of course you do. Turns out the whole thing started when Ron Artest uttered the aforementioned phrase to Big Ben. While this can't quite top the best diss of all tizz ("Fuck You, You Fucking Fuck", obvs), it's got all kinds of Heatseeker Impact buzz going for it. BEST! New Media Buzzword: Hyper-Programmed Verticals — While your Uncle Grambo has intentionally kept my new assignment(s) at MTVN on the hush hush QT (Sid Hudgeons stizz), this press release that got picked up by Variety and The Hollywood Reporter (among other outlets) gets to the core of it. Developing... BEST! Under The Radar Scenestress Hottie: Z. Berg — If the marketing execs at The Gap had any sense, they would've picked the luscious lead singer of The Like to be the face of their "Peace Love The Gap" ad campaign instead of the hagtastic Maria Bello. I mean, even without proper makeup or lighting, those cheekbones and those striking eyes just SCREAM model. And I know this isn't saying that much, but you know that homegirl has got the goods when she straight up schools La Lohan when seen side-by-side. No doubt about it, Z. Berg has got it. And by "it", I mean this -- Star. Quality. [thanks to Douglas Reinhardt for keepin an eye out, yo] [...]

The Size Of Basketballs



Not sure if the legendary Phoenix Gorilla is still employed, but you can bet that his pinkslip was mailed the very MOMENT that SI photographer Greg Nelson discovered the Houston Rockets cheerleaders' airborne-porn halftime show. Gives new meaning to the phrase "taking it to the rack", dunnit?


As If Tomorrow's Game Needed Any More Significance



It is not possible to overstate the significance of the Bo Schembechler era. Say what you will about his bowl game shortcomings, but the fact of the matter is this: not only did Bo's fiery leadership reestablish the prominence of the Michigan program in the wake of rough seas that made up Bump Elliott's tenure, but his coaching style, passion and personal will are the cornerstones that support the very IDEA that we all know as Michigan football.

Bo Schembechler. 1929-2006. Rest in peace.

SNL Season 32 ... REVEALED!



"Do you model? Well you should. Cause in my mind you're modeling for me right now. Click. I just took your picture in my mind. Guess what? You're topless ... and bottomless."Alec Baldwin as Rick Cortman on last week's SNL

Alec Baldwin. For my money, he's the undisputed king of SNL. Always has been, always will be. But then again, I'm not the official Coney Counter around these parts; that's Nummer's role. So, in a Friday double dip of hottness, be sure and check out both Nummer's thoughts on last week's Alec Baldwin / Christina Aguilera episode, as well as his Pre-Show Comments on this week's Ludacris episode.

Episode 6: Ludacris (11/18/06)

After the coney-licious Baldwin episode last week, Christopher Brian Bridges (aka Ludacris) has an extremely tough act to follow. This will mark the third time Ludacris has paid SNL a visit. The first was a quick cameo during Lindsay Lohan's first show back in 2004, and the second was as musical guest during that wonderful Paul Giamatti episode in January 2005. His two musical segments in the later episode, one of which featured Sum 41, were better than most hip hop/rap guests we'd seen up to that point, so I left the episode pleasantly surprised. Now he's back with a new album to peddle and a few movies on the horizon. I can see the episode going either way, so let's hope for the best.

Quick note: other rappers that have pulled double duty in the past, most recently Queen Latifah on 10/9/04, have had a tough time balancing out so much screen time. I'm almost wondering if this will be one of those episodes where the host doesn't feature prominently in most sketches. Anyone remember when Kate Winslet hosted a few years back and only showed up in three sketches? I wouldn't be surprised to see this happen again so Ludacris can expend more energy during the musical segments. Grew Up a Screw Up indeed.

Brother, Can You Spare A Xanax?



Can. Barely. Type. Because. Of. The. Nervousness. That. Is. Coursing. Through. My. Veins.

It. Doesn't. Get. Any. Bigger. Than. This.

Holy. Crapballs.

I can say that, without any hesitation, that this upcoming Saturday will be the single-most important Saturday that your Uncle Grambo has experienced in the thirty-two plus years that I've been stomping `cross this mortal coil (with an apology to those of you whose weddings I've attended on Saturdays past). When my beloved Wolverines storm the Horseshoe of C-Bus at 3:30pm EST, it will be the first time in HISTORY that this storied rivalry will feature a match-up of the #1 and #2 teams in the country. What's at stake? Uh, try EVERYTHING! My happiness. My well-being. My life.

While I would never EVER take the risk of angering the gods by venturing a prediction as to who will reign burrito supreme after Saturday's grudgefest, I will guarantee you this — regardless of the outcome, your Uncle Grambo will have a quick cry before going out to get plowed on Saturday night. Here's hoping that the tears will be borne of happiness and not despair. Word? Word.


One last thing. I wasn't kidding about that Xanax. Sans meds, there's gonna be no possible way I can remain even keel during this game. Hook a brotha up with a scrip, yo!

Why Is This Man (Sorta) Smiling?



Because the release of the Britney Sex Tape means mucho dinero will be flowing into Nick's pocketo ... duhvs! Anyone want to set an over/under for how long the non-celebrity focused niche sites in his portfolio can resist the siren's song?

More in a bit...

Is Very Nice


You gotta hand it to the marketing and PR honchos at Twentieth Century Fox. When news broke last week that the studio had dramatically scaled back the number of theaters that "Borat" would debut in during its opening weekend (apparently due to "soft awareness" in the heartland), the announcement reeked of damage control. But now, with the benefit of hindsight, it appears more and more evident that what at first glance appeared to be a buzz-deflating tactic has actually worked to INCREASE the country's appetite for Kazahkstan's favorite least favorite son. Hey America, it's time to look yourself in the mirror and admit that you just got Jedi Mind Tricked nine ways from Sunday. Before your Uncle Grambo really gets into this, I've got to get something out of the way -- thanks a generous invite courtesy of Dutch, I was lucky enough to see an advance screening of "Borat" about two months ago (along with The Grizz, Tizz and The Senator). And believe you me, it's an absolute must-see. As in, a must-see THIS WEEKEND. The overwhelmingly positive critical hype is not only 100% justified, but also makes up for the entire guild's perplexingly frustrating collective critical fumble on "Little Miss Sunshine" ... if you don't see this movie by Thanksgiving, you're officially dead to me. No excuses. So anyway, back to my original thesis. It's apparent to this observer that Fox managed to get their hands on the playbook that the guys at New Line used to promote "SOaP" earlier this summer, only they were smart enough to use it as a manual of What NOT to do. They knew that in order for "Borat" to live, they needed to convince the media that it was going to die. By seemingly tempering expectations with the dreaded "soft awareness" tag, the PR geniuses at Fox were actually able to take advantage of the inflated sense of intellectual superiority present in many of the most influential tastemakers in the media. Because this film plays INCREDIBLY well to people who perceive themselves to be "in on the joke" (just read some of the reviews and you'll see what I mean), the media's doing anything and everything they can to help get the word out on this film. I think that very few people would EVER cop to this, but by using their influencing to get people in the heartland to see this movie, I truly believe that some media types are using this opportunity to poke a sharp stick in the ribs of people in the "fly-over" states (hey hicks, take a good look at what you're REALLY like!). Regardless of whether you buy into this or not, the fact of the matter is that we've all just witnessed a 10 day media whirlwind that's seemingly got everyone talking Borat. All that aside, here's the primary reason that someone at Fox is deserving of a big, fat raise. Despite the fact that Sacha Baron Best Ever is neither a politician nor a bona fide celebrity (put him on the cover of Star and it would sell even worse than "How Kate Tamed Owen!"), somehow he's managed to dominate the headlines all week long. All the more surprising, he's done this in a pre-election week that also saw a seismically intense blast decimate the celebrity landscape (courtesy of the Reese / Ryan meltdown). Face facts, folks ... we all just got our ankles broken courtesy of Fox's truly killer crossover. And for that, I say buzz.[...]

Long Live The New Flesh!


Photo Credit: Leaf Blazer? Check. Glasses? Check. Shaggy moptop? Check. A body type best described as "husky"? Check. What flannel was to grunge, this look is to today's personality challenged indie rockers. Kind of makes you think that Gerard might be onto something... It's CMJ week here in New York, which means that it's near impossible to throw a rock in the LES or Crooklyn without hitting at least one member of a moderately-talented indie rock band. Don't get me wrong, now ... I'm not condoning the throwing of rocks. I'm just sayin', that's all. Anyhoo, on Tuesday night while mooks were busy beating up The Horrors in the Meatpacking District, your Uncle Grambo and The Senator were fortunate enough to be at The Knitting Factory catching a rare acoustic performance featuring Nina and Peter of The Cardigans (thanks entirely to the good graces of Scott Stereogum, who got us on the list). While Stereogum's got a review posted that's both comprehensive and entertaining, I would be remiss if I didn't at least mention how fucking awesome it was to be in the crowd for this show. I think there was something about the physical intimacy of the space (capacity 250ish) that inspired a level of palpable emotional intimacy between the performers and crowd the likes of which I haven't felt since I saw Tori Amos at Hill Auditorium back in `94. When Nina sang "I need you, you want me / But I don't know how to connect, so I disconnect" (from "Communication") to the hushed audience, everyone there knew that they were seeing something special. Scott was good enough to capture some video footage of "I Need Some Fine Wine"; enjoy it, yo. Although there's a general sense of apathetic malaise surrounding the upcoming release of "The Fountain", the fact of the matter is that I will always remain an enthusiastic investor in the Darren Aronofsky brand. If you share any of the same feelings, you'll want to check out this profile from the latest issue of Wired. While there's nary a soul who could make an argument that John L. Smith should NOT have been shitcanned from his post as head football coach in Spartyville, your Uncle Grambo can't help but feeling like the awkward timing of the announcement hurts the program more than it helps it. Unless their goal was to destroy any remnants of team unity and fan morale that may have still existed after last week's soul-crushing loss to the Hoosiers, I'm not sure what U President Anna Simon and AD Ron Mason could possibly have hoped to gain by making this announcement on November 1 instead of January 1. I mean, it's not like the Spartys are going to turn this into an "us against them" situation and win the rest for the proverbial Gipper. Rather, with the makeup and temperament of the current squad, it's more likely that the program will start imploding from the inside out like Barry Convex in "Videodrome" (kinda NSFW) ... long live the new flesh! On a sorta-related note, you may have noticed that, up until very recently, whatevs (dot org) pretty much ignored any and all things having to do with YouTube. While the rest of The Internerd™ embraced embedded video long ago, your Uncle Grambo was wallowing in a bit of a technological mire. You see, back in Tower 400 of the Ren Cen, the IT department put a complete Manute Bol BLOCK on YouTube (not to mention all other forms of streaming media). Which means that anytime I attempted to visit a site that featured embedded video, I was instead presented with a vast expanse of blankness. You can imagine how[...]

SNL Season 32 ... REVEALED


We can be honest here for a second, can't we? Good. With that in mind, your Uncle Grambo would like to cop to the fact that the posting schedule you see here on has been ... how shall we put this ... less than consistent over the last year (some say last TWO years). Chalk it up to being busy, chalk it up to being lazy, chalk it up to major life style changes; all of the above certainly apply. But throughout these peaks and valleys, there has been one shining beacon of consistency and excellence that has kept the bellies of you, the loyal FOWs, warm and full of PHC — the exemplary SNL pre- and post-show reviews written by Nummer and H-Bomb. For the last four seasons, the dynamic duo (pictured with Lorne above) wrote the most entertaining, comprehensive and thoughtful SNL coverage available on The Internerd™. Don't just take my word for it; the duo have been recognized as authorities on the subject by both The NY Times (in a January 2005 article) and The Village Voice (in a companion piece to Rachel Sklar's cover story out today). Rather than resorting to brainlessly and relentlessly bashing the show (as most critics tend to do), their work ventured down the road less travelled in that both their praise and criticism came from a deep respect and admiration for the show's legacy. This is but one of the reasons that your Uncle Grambo has been proud to feature their content here on whatevs (dot org). But just as "Saturday Night Live" has made some changes to its cast in its 32nd year, there will be some changes to the way that whatevs (dot org) covers SNL in our fifth year of coverage. I regret to announce that our beloved colleague H-Bomb has made the difficult decision to retire from active weekly SNL duty; your Uncle Grambo is still hoping that I can finagle her into occasionally contributing her fantastic insight from time-to-time. I'd like to thank her for her contributions over the years; her work will certainly be missed. That said, I'm thrilled to announce that Nummer (whose overall knowledge of SNL is bested only by Lorne himself) has decided to continue to preview and recap every new episode of "SNL"! As you will see in the reviews of this season's first four episodes below, the style simultaneously feels both fresh AND familiar. We're also tossing around some ideas about how we can expand the content and the role that both he and "SNL" plays here on whatevs (dot org); stay tuned. Without further ado, I proudly present Nummer's reviews and recaps of the first four episodes of this year's SNL ... REVEALED! EPISODE 1: Dane Cook / The Killers (9/30/06) EPISODE 2: Jamie Pressly / Corinne Bailey Rae (10/6/06) EPISODE 3: John C. Reilly / My Chemical Romance (10/21/06) EPISODE 4: Hugh Laurie / Beck (10/28/06) [...]

Smell My Feet


It's no real secret that your Uncle Grambo pretty much abhors everything that has to do with Halloween, save two things: bite-sized Milky Ways and truly inventive death scenes from horror movies. While the former can be found in abundance at any corner store, the latter has been in short supply these days. With indistinguishable dreck helmed by the likes of Alexandre Aja, Marcus Nispel and Jonathan Liebesman saturating the cineplexes, I'm still baffled as to why a full-fledged Dario Argento renaissance hasn't taken root.

While I could EASILY spend nine or ten paragraphs extolling the genius of Argento's mid `70s work, I'll spare you the diatribe (at least for now). Instead, I'll leave you to spend the next four minutes absorbing a clip from 1977's "Suspiria". Because any self-respecting horrorphile will quickly cop to the fact that this is, without a doubt, THE all-time best death scene in the history of cinema, your Uncle Grambo thought that this would be an appropriate way to wish all y'all out there a Happy Halloween!

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Appointment Surfing


Your Uncle Grambo wants to take you back. WAAAAY back. Back to the days before terms like DVR and VOD liberated television audiences from the shackles forced upon them by network programming executives. Back when those interested in being active participants in the pop culture discourse had to make sure their arses were planted firmly on their couches in order to catch that evening's hot teevee shows. Back then, media mavens had a specific term for programs that resonated so strongly with audiences that they would cancel all of their other plans in order to be at home in front of the tube when the show aired. That term was called "appointment viewing." Now pardon me if I'm getting into Jeff Jarvis territory here, but yesterday your Uncle Grambo was struck with a thought. While the concept of "appointment viewing" may be on the outs in the medium of television, if you tweak this basic premise ever-so-slightly, you could revolutionize the way that people interact with The Blogosphere™. I call it APPOINTMENT SURFING™. Here's what I'm thinking. While very few people outside of the nerdiest of nerds understand what RSS is and how it can be leveraged to make web surfing more efficient, EVERYONE understands the basic idea of tuning into a television or radio station at a specific time in order to experience a specific piece of content. Using the seldom referenced transitive property, if forward-thinking individuals in The Blogosphere™ were began both 1) promoting and 2) delivering features at a given time each and every day, you could begin to develop a schedule where WAVES of traffic "tuned in" to your blog to get information that they're looking for. Focus for a second on blogs that feature 12 or more blog posts a day; some of these posts are based on breaking news and others of which are based around standard features. Using Gawker as an example, you can easily envision a schedule like this: "Gossip Roundup" goes up at 10am, "Media Bubble" at noon, "Blogorrhea" at 2pm, and "Remainders" at 4pm. You can see where I’m going with this. Over time, assuming the content merited it, web surfers would begin to develop behavior patterns inline with these schedules. And as anyone who has ever taken a marketing class could attest, behavior patterns of desirable individuals that are tied to fixed schedules can easily be sold. Hell, that idea is at the very core of the business model of network television! If enterprising blog maestros come to realize this, that's when the money will start rolling in (If I may paraphrase Che in "Evita"). And yes, you read that correctly, I just referenced "Evita" in a mini-treatise about digital media. Weird! So yeah, I admit it. This is hardly a revolutionary concept. That said, this may just be one of those ideas that is just so god damn obvious that no one ever thought to label it this way before. A cursory search of the term "appointment surfing™" on Google reveals that no one has really ever used this specific terminology in this capacity before. So I guess that makes your Uncle Grambo a pioneer of sorts. Which can only mean one thing ... I got one up on Jeff Jarvis! Appointment surfing™. Remember, you heard it here first.[...]

Two Weeks Notice (Give Or Take A Week)



First things first. If you've never experienced what it's like to stand outside CBGB's shouting obscenities* at shifty Hot Topic clad punk rockin' jagoffs with America's number one TiVo devotee (that would be JP McKrengels, pictured at right above), let me just say that the only word to describe it is scrumtrillescent. You should have been there. Really. But since you weren't, just bask in the scrumtrillescence that digital camera(s) were able to preserve.

Now that we've established the historical resonance of the image above, your Uncle Grambo has some news to share with you and yours. After thirty-two magical years of local residency, I will soon be leaving behind the fruited plains of Detroit Rock City for the hipster-infested dystopia of the Big/Rotten Apple (which term you employ depends on your opinion of the ouevre of Lloyd Banks). Armed only with my depleted savings account, an array of digital video discs starring Amanda Bynes and a pocketful of mousetraps, I will be making my way eastward next week to begin a new career with a ragtag band of scallywags who call themselves Video Hits One. I have not yet been told how I will earn my keep, but I do know this — looks like the two summers during college I spent landscaping are finally going to payoff ... WHAMMY!

Which is to say that, over the next few weeks, the frequency with which I post PHC may dip even further below the woefully anemic rate that I have established over the last month or two (some say the last two years). Once the St. Lawrence River bound ferry I have commandeered hits the Eastern River of New Amsterdam, I will do my darndest to begin reestablishing the rapport with my readership and filling all y'all in on the details of my stead. Until then, howevs, let this serve as a preemptive warning that you should find your bad self a nice glass of sasparilla to sip on while the tumbling tumbleweeds begin to accumulate around this here Uniform Resource Locator. Fear not, your Uncle Grambo will continue to utilize this medium to make announcements and proclamations (like, say, GO TIGERS!) about my whereabouts and who I may or may not be boning. Believe you me that all will be revealed in good time, Houdini (not Whodini) stizz.

That is all. I'm out. Lates.

*No actual obscenities were shouted.




When it comes to official entrances into the popular lexicon, your Uncle Grambo is pretty sure that it doesn't get any more thrilling than hearing STEVE CARELL (!!!) utter the word "whatevs" on national television. Thanks to the miracle of Closed Captioning for the Hearing Impaired, I was able to capture and preserve the moment for prosperity's sake (as well as my curriculum vitae). Big ups to the show's writers, Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (who will also be helming the Untitled Movie), for making my boyhood dreams come true. Your check is in the mail.

And I would be remiss if I didn't take a few seconds to humbly apologize for being so neglectful over the last few weeks. Just trust me when I say that there are very good reasons that this break has occured, reasons which I will be able to fill all y'all in on in due time. As in, tomorrrow.

Hang tight, kids. Thanks for your patience.

Your Uncle Grambo

Gatorade Showers Bring January Flowers


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Could! Not! Be! More! Elated! Nothing warms the ole cockles like a good ole fashioned blowout victory versus Notre Durst in the shadow of Touchdown Jeebus. It's difficult to put into words how proud your Uncle Grambo is of the performance that the Wolverines turned in this afternoon -- I haven't this kind of fire in their eyes since, deep breath, Pasadena in January of 1998. Don't get me wrong, I'm not comparing this team to the near-mythical national championship run that occured exactly ten years ago, but I'll cop to being overwhelmed by the sheer joy and gosh darn heartwarming feeling that rolls over me when the cameras capture Coach Carr actually SMILING. Big ups to the entire program for rolling into South Bend this afternoon and, in front of a national audience, reestablishing the street cred of the Michigan Football Program ... here's hoping they can take this incredible burst of momentum and make the most of it through the next nine games of the season. GO BLUE!