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Olbermann Has Facial Hair

I am a fan of Keith Olbermann. With every disgruntled parting with a company, it gets harder for me to like him. His rationalization of his “difficult” reputation during a recent Larry King interview amuses me solely for one reason: Olbermann has grown facial hair.

Added bonus, when Larry fidgets with his nose knowing he is on camera.

Here’s hoping Olbermann has a nice long run with his next gig–with the MLB Network (he’s actually worked for MLB for several years, but not on air).

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Oliver Stone & Larry King Discuss Plants

In a manner of speaking, what follows is Larry King and Oliver Stone chatting about plants, so to speak. This Larry King interview snippet with Oliver Stone is almost as good as the Marlon Brando interview.

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I Rarely Do Baseball Here

But today’s Atlanta Braves win (which was more of a Miami Marlins loss), can best be summed up with this tweet.

It amazes me, that as documented here, “Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson … allowed a career-high seven walks and seven stolen bases in five innings, but gave up just one run in a 7-1 win Wednesday afternoon at Marlins Park.”

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Josh Mertz on Batz

Tomorrow will mark the final performance of Batz at 11:30pm in Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street, Manhattan). As noted by the release announcing the performances (Batz’s first 2012 performance was last Friday, June 13, at Joe’s Pub): “Batz takes the premise of Elevator Repair Service’s theatrical event Gatz and substitutes classic Batman stories for The Great Gatsby, resulting in a fast-paced, hilarious take on Batman, Robin, and their Rogues Gallery that celebrates the imaginative, social and transformative power of comics…Created, written and directed by downtown comedy and theater veterans Josh Mertz and Erik Bowie, Batz features an all-star cast of indie theater stalwarts and up-and-comers, including Lynn Berg, Melissa Delancey, Kathleen Foster, Matthew Foster, Matt Gray, Bob Laine, Dan Maccarone, Josh Mertz, and Harrison Unger.” To find out more about the project, Josh Mertz was kind enough to do an email interview. Interested in seeing the show? As noted in the release: “Tickets ($15) can be purchased online at, where customers are able to select their seat from an interactive seat map when purchasing, by phone at 212-967-7555, or in person at The Public Theater Box Office (1 PM to 6 PM) located at 425 Lafayette Street, NYC.” my thanks to Mertz for his time. [Please note the above video clip is from the Summer 2011 Comic Book Theater Festival]

Tim O’Shea: For the uninformed like myself, what is Gatz (which served as the inspiration for Batz)?

Josh Mertz: Gatz is a show by NY Theater Company Elevator Repair Service, in which an office worker finds a copy of the The Great Gatsby and begins reading it aloud. His co-workers join him in acting out the characters from the novel, and every word of it is read over the course of a 6-hour theatrical experience. It’s one of the most inventive and engrossing things I’ve ever seen onstage, and has played two sold-out runs at the Public. It’s both an intense exploration of a great American novel and a metaphor for the experience getting lost in a book.

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Rediscovered Gem: 1991 Crowded House

I will always remember watching this Crowded House performance of Chocolate Cake (on David Letterman’s 1991 show) when it initially aired, solely because Tim Finn (in his lounge lizard persona) grabbed himself at the end of the performance.

God, I just love the intentional garishness of the Finn Brothers’ pants on this performance (Neil in green, Tim in blue). Also, odd to see those old tall CD display boxes.

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Faulkner Detectives on Its New EP, The Modern Handshake

Faulkner Detectives: The Modern Handshake

In late May, the New York City-based indie-rock quartet Faulkner Detectives released its new EP, The Modern Handshake. To mark its release the quartet–which consists of Elizabeth Keenan-Penagos on bass; Vanessa Lopez on drums;  Alex Segura on guitar/vocals; and Meg Wilhoite on keys/vocals–was kind enough to participate in a brief email interview. (Full disclosure, Alex and I are old pals, since the days I wrote for The Great Curve [the comics blog precursor to  Blog@Newsarama {now Robot 6}]). Once you’ve enjoyed the interview, be sure to follow the band’s advice: “You can get it pretty much anywhere digitally — iTunesAmazoneMusicCDBabyBandCamp, stream on Spotify – and if you’re a fan of holding records in your hands, like us,you can also get hard copies via Livid Records!” My thanks to Faulkner Detectives for their time and thoughts.

Tim: A lot of folks play in bands, but not every band are organized enough to release an EP. Why do each of you think you collaborate so effectively and what were some of the biggest challenges to getting this EP together?

ELIZABETH: As a band, we’re a good mesh of personalities. I think it says a lot that both Meg and Alex have been my roommates in the past, and I’m still happy to be in a band with them!

For me personally, the biggest challenge getting the EP together is that I hate recording. I was a music major in college, so I have a long history of recording. But I’m a perfectionist, and I hear every mistake, which can be frustrating if you only have a short time to record.

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So, I Am Back

That last Eurythmics post (or getting that video up) has been in my head for a month. But life got in the way. I hope you missed me, as I missed the blog. Sorry for the absence.


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Where I Have Been?

The day job is keeping me incredibly busy. I have not abandoned the blog. Promise.

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Paying Tribute to Levon Helm As He Enters Final Cancer Stages

Today, Levon Helm’s daughter and wife (Amy and Sandy) posted the following message on his website:

Dear Friends,
Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer. Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey.

Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration… he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage…

We appreciate all the love and support and concern.

To celebrate him as he is still with us, I share a couple of things.

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She Committed Suicide & She Was Talented: Make a Sylvia Plath Comparison?

Last week, Slate’s Heather Murphy wrote a piece examining the Francesca Woodman Retrospective at the Guggenheim.

I love photography, I love any examination of it in the mainstream. Woodman was a photographer who happened to take her life at the age of 22. A tragic loss–and a career ended far too young, admittedly.

But I winced when I saw the headline “Is Francesca Woodman the Sylvia Plath of Photography?” I am trying to find another word, but the word that keeps popping in my head is “offended”. Just because you are talented and recognized for a talent in public (two elements which Plath and Woodman share) does not mean that the choice of suicide makes Woodman the Plath of her chosen art. The comparison is not only lazy, it insults both creative talents.

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