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The year in Ryan (2008 edition)

2008! 2008! (over and over again) - Here are 8 of my favorite things from the year that was (or wasn't):

1) I'm From Barcelona @ Maxwell's in Hoboken
Okay, so I saw the 28 piece at McCarren Pool in '07 but seeing Emanuel Lundgren and his Swedish co-horts kind of sort of fit on the ridiculously small stage of Maxwell's (second only the cramped stage at the soon to be defunct Knitting Factory in Tribeca) gave me the same child like euphoria that I had when played with my Peter Venkman and Stay Puft Marshmallow Man toys at my sister's kindergarten graduation back in '88. A set filled with oversleeping, the chicken pox, the other song about paper planes, and my personal entrance theme of the year (and maybe next) Mingus which is seemingly about not really growing up. Balloons, confetti, conga lines, and having Emanuel stand between me and my friend Brian, shurg and go on stage for an encore while the rest of the band was onstage (since it'd be kind of silly to get 20 plus people on and off the stage for a traditional encore) was pretty much the best.

Greatest fan moment of my lifetime - the catch, the defense coming up big in all the key spots, a guy who would later shoot himself in the leg while wear sweatpants coming up with the game winning touch down, Nick Patty and Brian's shitty playoff beards, 18-1, yeah you know the story. A story you might not know is that Brian went to get coffee at the parade and I didn't end up seeing till hours later, then we went uptown, got somesushi for lunch, and felt like fool as chopsticks, nice sushi places, and Giants jerseys don't traditionally mix. Also I kind of felt like a creep by myself after Brian got moved to somewhere else in the Canyon of Heroes but I saw Strahan hold the Lombardi trophy and it was all good.

3) Andy Samburg? Funny?
I finally turned around on Samburg with the Mark Wahlberg talking to animals skit which is up there on my favorite funnies of 08.

4) El Fuego - Better than the Lions (and the Cougars)
I have no business playing flag football (and half of my teammates didn't either) since I spent most of high school trying to avoid PE class (expect for during floor hockey and basketball) but myself and Kenny are oddly competitive and found ourselves spending 60 % of our work weeks trying to figure out how to win at least one game during our two seasons with the Tappen Zee Flag Football league. And guess what? It worked! Granted we had eight on six advantage, won by only a couple of points, and were credited for a loss by the flag football website - I'll always remember the time I actually sacked the sacked the quarterback and The Flame/Fire/Fuego silenced the other teams cheering section and won a game that we probably should have lost (while we lost a lot of the other games we should have won). In regards to the above picture, this is what is probably happening: Marc is making a valid point about one of our team's weaker points, Kenny is pretending to be a robot, and I'm bitching about someone screwing up. So yeah - 1-16 is still better than 0-16 even if it's in the C division of flag football league in the NY Tri State area.

5) My Halloween costume and going to the bank in said costume
I decided to take a risk and dress up as an Olympic wrestler for this year's Halloween. Someone (I'm not naming names but he was Seth Rogen for Halloween) decided to film my visit the ATM (as seen above) but I think I pulled it off the costume and was able to handle my withdrawal of 200 dollars. Not pictured or videotaped - my train ride back home and/or walk home which resulted in a conversation that I'd rather not relive and a discarded cup somewhere on First Street in Yonkers. But I did get a sweet jacket from my friend Jess that I'll eventually wear again because she thought it'd be kind of stupid for me to get a cab/walk home at 4 AM in cut off t shirt and wrestling singlet.

6) The Horse from the of Montreal show
Joking with the fabulous Aboudi brothers about the horse before, during, and after the show might crack the top 15 moment in my life list, just sayin!

7)World Super Hero Registry
The fact that there are real life "super heroes" out there kind of blows my mind when I think about it. With heroes like Captain Jackson, Geist (not to be confused to the family on 30 Rock including Don, Kathy, and son-in law Devin Banks), and the above Super Hero (great name, right?) their existence makes me sleep a little easier at night (or worse come to think of it.)

8) Everything else!
Kevin on Gary Unmarried! Brian's shitty radio show (with not enough Brian)! Forgetting Sarah Marshall! Role Models! My Dog - Lulu! Milk! Tracy Morgan! Lil' Wayne! David Wain! Hipster runoff! Burke's Bar and how they had dollar yeunglings for a minute! Disney World! Being a guest on Dennis' podcast! Baked Potato Soup! Norm Mcdonald! Barack! My friends blogs! HD TV! The Wire! 30 Rock! It's Always Sunny! John Hamm (and Mad Men)! Hating Michael Phelps! Shooting yourselves in the leg while wearing sweatpants! Rusty Aboudi! Flannel Shirts! Grunge Jack! Lost! Tubing in upstate New York! Crow tattoos and heart/skull tattoos! NBA 2K9! Winning the 50/50 at Burkes! Being addicted to the 50/50 like I was Brandon Walsh and it was real gambling! The tragic end of Mike and the Mad Dog! The Dark Knight! Radiohead! Drunk Strangers getting to comfortable with me at shows and me getting the hell out of there! The Hood Internet! Everything else!

My 2009 Giants Playoff Shirt

No it's not the 2007 Super Bowl shirt, my Steve Smith jersey, my throwback old logo shirt, or a 2008 division championship shirt, it's a 1990 Giants Super Bowl Championship shirt featuring William Jeffery Hostetler, Giants back up quarterback who somehow took over the reigns after Phil Simms (pre-kids jacket wearing announcing phase) hurt his ankle and was out for the season, Hoss won the last two games of the season, and took the Giants through the NFC playoffs, and was the winning quarterback of Super Bowl XXV.

Not to compare Simms to Tom Brady and Hoss to Matt Cassel, but it really was a sped up version of it. Imagine if Brady was hurt in December rather than September, and Cassell was thrown into the system, would he be as good as Hoss was? Who knows?

But back to the t shirt, how great is it? Pretty great, pretty great.

Red Headed Drago? He may crush you!

How great is this Rocky IV parody? I think I'm just going to do push ups and watch this video for the rest of the day.
(via the Sports Guy)

And I know it's the same song the Rudolph montage as Christmas time and Rocky IV go hand and hand, but if I'm training during Christmas time, it's Robert Teppers's No Easy Way Out or nothing else. (Maybe Hearts On Fire or Eye Of The Tiger but it's all about Rocky IV)

Christmas Time is here (sung in Charlie Brown's friends' voices)

A few of my favorite giftmas related things...

A nice little twist on what seems to be my Christmas theme this year, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.

On the topic of training montages, Rocky's beard from Rocky IV and the whole idea that Rocky fought Drago on Christmas day in Russia.

The homeless dad from the very special two part episode of Saved By The Bell, Home For Christmas.


The fact that Kevin McAllister in the Home Alone series can't seem to not trust creepy looking strangers. I know that things worked out in the end during both movies as Harry and Marv got locked up, released, went to New York, and locked up again but still I wouldn't want to be hanging around old man Marley and the Bird Lady this time of year.

The Holiday display in the lobby of my office - Please tell me how unicorns, carousels, and the children of the world have to do with this time of year, Mr. Lou Nasti?

Puppies? Check! Santa Costumes? Check! The Rudolph theme? Check! Bad Animation? Check! Adorablness! Check! Merry Christmas guys.

Top 10 Records of 2008

Soonish seems to mean two days or three days in my dictionary so here they are in descending order my totally subjective totally awesome list of the top 10 records of the year two thousand and eight.

10. The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound
Okay if two bands from opposite ends of the Jersey soundscape such as Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band and The Bouncing Souls meet, fell in love, and had a baby - it could be argued that the baby would be Brian Fallon and the rest of The Gaslight Anthem. Following up 2007's Sink or Swim and early 2008's EP entitled Senor & The Queen, the '59 Sound continues in the sing a long, drink-a-long tradition of org-core songs about girls named Maria, Virginia, and a bunch of other girls and of course, the state of New Jersey.
Recommended Jams - Film Noir, Casanova Baby, High Lonesome

9. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III
Let us talk about Lil' Wayne for a minute - He claims to be the greatest rapper alive, to be on par with Jay, Pac, and Biggie, goes off on tangents that you wouldn't see other rappers go off on, has seasons hating on him for no reason, and has the biggest selling album of the year, was 2008 Lil Wayne's year? Yeah I think it was as anyone who name drops Hector Camacho and Macho Man Savage and selling over two milli records in a year is doing pretty well for himself. Weezy also win the award for best album cover of '08, come on just look at it.
Recommended Jams - Let the beat build, Mr. Carter, Mrs. Officer

8. Lykke Li - Youth Novels
And the winner for best Swedish import of 08 is Lykke Li - produced by Peter Bjorn and John's Bjorn, Youth Novels is all over the place about boys, love, crying, dancing, and whatever else in on the mind of 24 year Swede but comes across as rather confident for someone who sounds so confused at times. Also extra point always goes to anyone who uses a megaphone as a microphone in my book.
Recommended Jams - Let it fall, Breaking it up, I'm Good, I'm Gone

7. Titus Andronicus - The Airing of Grievances
Named after a Shakespeare play, New Jersey, Angry, Pissed Off, songs named after the band, a lot of guitars in the live show, beards (or no beards as of late, what else did I forget to say about Titus Androncus? Just such a good record from these guys who I fell in like with when they opened for Los Campesinos in May at Bowery and if you need to know more about them think Conor Oberst's side project of Desaparecidos from earlier in the decade but from New Jersey and way way better.
Recommended Jams - Titus Andronicus, My Time Outside The Wound, Upon Viewing Brueghl's "Landscape With The Fall Of Icarus"

6. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
Okay so there is a debate on when this came out - Justin Vernon techicnaclly self-released it in November of last year but Jagjaguwar put it out in a wider release in February, some places list it for this year, some for last year, I don't care (if you want to be nitpicky - bump everything else up one and place Love Is All's A Hundred Things To Keep Me Up At Night at 10). Anyway, I heard Bon Iver described as bearded boy folk and even though that's a silly label, as a boy with a beard, I like it and will call it what it is good music. Recorded during a three month span in his father's cabin in the woods of northern Wisconsin, For Emma, Forever ago is haunting, cathartic, and depressing at points but like everything on this list it's really really good.
Recommended Jams - Skinny Love, re: Stacks, Blindsided

5. TV On The Radio - Dear Science
TV On The Radio returned after Return To Cookie Mountain with a record that is a little more poppy, a little more slick, and a lot like the times we're living in right now. I raved about Golden Age back in August, and the whole album is on that level or better, good work TV on the Radio, good work.
Recommended Jams - Dancing Choose, Golden Age, Lover's Day

4. Deerhunter - Microcastle/Weird Era Cont.
Deerhunter's Bradford Cox had a really productive year - his side project, Atlas Sound put out a record, Deerhunter recorded Microcastle in Brooklyn for an October release but then it leaked, so Deerhunter went and recorded a whole other record to release with the leaked one, and then Weird Era Cont. got leaked too and drama ensued. But these two records are ambient, shoe gazey, physco-poppy, and even a little doo-woopy, as both records are magnificent on their own and even better together.
Recommended Jams - Nothing Ever Happens, Dot Gain, VHS Dream

3. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
More bearded dudes, more awesomeness on the countdown. Lush harmonies, amazing instrumentation, Fleet Foxes could be described as the perfect band to listen to while floating down a river (which I did this year twice but didn't have a boombox attached to my tube, so no Fleet Foxes for me) but I did seem listen to them while sleepy in the morning on the train a lot this year.
Recommended Jams- White Winter Hymnal
, Quiet Houses, Oliver James

2. Los Campesinos! - How On Now Youngster.../We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed
Okay if Deerhunter can count as two records so can the two Los Campesinos records that were released in February and November of this year. The twee playing Welsh seven piece kind of ape on Pavement among others but at the same time Gareth Campesinos rattles off like a livejournal entry or maybe even a blogspot about angsty things that 20 something Welsch kids blog about. Add to the fact that he sometimes goes all boy/girl back and forth with Alexandra Campesinos and you got two phenomonal records that I go to get my angst on with.
Recommended Jams - Death to Los Campesinos!, We Are All Accelerated Readers, Documented Emotional Breakdown #1, We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed

1. of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping
Maybe it was because of the ridiculous live act but I loved this record as Kevin Barnes is part Bowie, part Prince, part Pysch-Pop, all Georgie Fruit in this record and it's amazing. Flowing from song to song, Barnes crafts a great disco funk glam rock disco hybrid that takes you on a journey and doesn't stop. And yeah I still can't get over the horse from Roseland either.
Recommended Jams - Nonparelil of Favor, Gallery Piece, St. Exquisite's Confessions, Id Engager

The almost best records of 2008

Before I get to my top 10 records of the year but here are a few that almost it but just didn't make the cut.

Ra Ra Riot - The Rhumb Line
Here's the thing about Ra Ra Riot - the songs on EP were kind of re-worked for the full length and they are great and all that. Also I get and don't mind the meaningful-core description (even if HRO is ridiculous joke, it's still one of the best blogs going) that you can tag them with b/c just because they are like a baby version the Arcade Fire doesn't mean it's a bad thing.
Recommended Jams - Can You Tell, Ghost Under Rocks

The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
Bar band blah blah blah, Craig Finn and company do it again with the follow my 2006 record of the year, Boys and Girls in America. With more songs that are kind of loosely connected with the usual themes of parties, broken hearts, more parties, and the new theme of kind of aging gracefully at those parties, Stay Positive continues the Hold Steady's track record of very good to great records. Oh yeah, there's that one song where Craig seems to about a bunch of other THS songs (Hornets Hornets, Massive Nights, Sweet Payne, Most People are DJs, Positive Jams) which is as self referential as Synecdoche, New York but I don't care, I love this band and how they rip off classic rock, talk about the Minnesota Twins, and Craig being more of MC than a singer half the time.
Recommended Jams - Constructive Summer, Magazines

Kayne West - 808's and Heart Break
Sure - Kanye can't sing, he's not T-Pain, it's not the first three records, it's autotune, and I got some texts comparing his SNL performance to bad karaoke but I don't really care for the backlash as Mr West won me over again with his heart on his well dressed sleeve auto crooning record. It's a totally different experience from one of the premiere pop stars of this era and Kenny in his cranky old man ways was also won over by his bad singing last week at his yearly trip with Jingleball with Riha Poo.
f the time.
Recommended Jams - Robocop, Heartless

Girl Talk - Feed the Animals
I talked about Greg Gillis and his possible copyright infringing house party of a record back in June and I kind of lied since there are a couple of records on my half year in lists that had some more staying power but it's still great. In retrospect, maybe I shouldn't have listened to it for about two weeks straight.
Recommended Jams - the whole record straight through

No Age - Nouns
Out of all the fuzzy, kind of low fi bands that came out this year, I'd go with the duo of the LA based guitar/drum duo as my favorite for sure. In the 30 minutes of greatness that it takes to get through Nouns, it's all just non stop fuzzy goodness, kind of that like sweater that you love this time but not really.
Recommended Jams - Sleeper Hold, Here Should Be My Home, Ripped Knees

She & Him - Volume 1
Yeah, Zooey is hot, M Ward is all swoon worthy, and all that but this record is all old time AM radio that ended the discussion in the the actress putting out record war between Zooey and Scarlet Johansson and her Tom Waits cover record that was more like the War of 1812 than Revolutionary War.
Recommended Jams - I Was Made For You, Black Hole

Re-issue that was too great not to talk about

Dennis Wilson - Pacific Ocean Blue
The late drummer of the Beach Boys who was all cool with the Manson family put out a really really really good record in 1979 that was re-issued earlier this year. Words can't do it just and I dunno if you like the Beach Boys and haven't heard this record, find it, listen to it, love it.
Recommended Jams - What's Wrong, Pacific Ocean Blues

Top 10 to follow soonish...

Supporting Friends Vol. 2 - Kevin UnMarried

So a little bit after Labor Day, my friend Kevin upped and headed west to follow the American dream to become a big star out in Hollywood and make trillons of dollars. Things are looking good for Kevin - he ended my fantasy football season, he's living in Venice Beach with his cool roommates who I assume are pro wrestler Sting (one of the few people who I know of from Venice Beach) and Robocop is well, Robocop; and he's gotten out of the shitty music scene of Yonkers, New York. While he doesn't have his own radio show, he was an extra on below average CBS sitcom, Gary Unmarried.

As you can see Kevin shares the screen with television/movie/radio/videogame star, Jay Mohr who is in line to score 3 tickets to see Springsteen to get back at his ex-wife for buying Michael Bolton tickets for her/Jay Mohr's kids first concert. Kevin in the role of "Calvin" (character didn't have a name so I felt the need to give him one) does an exceptional job of carrying the scene - waiting on line, getting his elbow in a shot, and even doing the "BRUUUUCCCEEE" a couple times in unison with his fellow line members.

There were a couple of more scenes but thanks to the magic of DVR, I was able to fast forward through Gary Unmarried but here's the run down from Dennis Holden - Jay Mohr and ex-Mrs. Jay Mohr fight about Bruce v. Michael Bolton, Jay Mohr's kids are upset, and Stan Sitwell devises a plan where the entire Jay Mohr family gets go see the Boss.

At the end of the show, Jay Mohr, ex Mrs. Jay Mohr, Jay Mohr's kids, and Kevin get into the Springsteen show and wait for Bruce and the E Street Band to hit the stage, the lights go down, and you guess it - the Boss hits the stage. But we never see Bruce since rumor has it(no one in specific told me this though) - the budget called for Jay Mohr, Kevin, and Springsteen but they could only afford two out of the three. Bruce wanted 3 million, Kevin was okay doing it for 50 bucks and a vegetarian lunch from craft services.

A couple of things to wrap it up -
1) Kevin is a fan of the Boss but not a huge fan of his, I dunno if he'd wait in line for tickets like his character did.
2) Kevin usually craigslists tickets if they are sold out but maybe things are tough in LA.
3) The last time I went to a show with Kevin, we saw Radiohead in August, and he didn't do the fingers crossed deal that he did on the show. I liked that little bit of acting he did there so kudos Kev.
4) All and all, I watched Gary Unmarried on a DVR and went to CBS for screen caps, so Kevin's appearance drew a couple of viewers to a show that might need more viewers.

PS to Kevin - Why couldn't you have been an extra on 30 Rock, Kevin? It would have been a win-win situation for both of us as it wouldn't have involved Jay Mohr and you could have done your Tracy Morgan impression to the real Tracy Morgan.

Good News/Bad News: Former Deering High Head Coach Edition

Good News/Bad News:

Bad news first, Sacramento Kings Coach, Reggie Thesis was the 6th NBA Coach fired in this young season.

Good News - He can go back to his true love under the pseduoname, Bill Fuller as Head Coach of the Deering High Tornados -

I do think he might have to fight for the job with his star point guard, Julie Conor who was the Derek Rose of fictional Indiana basketball.

Showalter Showalter with Ian Black Ian Black

Stella week on OAB continues with Black on Showalter's Showalter Showalter. For the record, I wish my friends had kids so Uncle Ryan could buy them Michael Ian Black's Chicken Cheeks , so get to work on making babies friends.

Stella @ Nokia Theatre (Night 2)

(picture stoled from David Wain's blog)

5 Things about Michael, Michael, and David last night @ the venue from the future - the Nokia Theatre:

1)I agree with David, Eric Clapton's Tears from Heaven is a party jam.

2)The new short about Showwalter's birtday was a good throw back to the original Stella shorts.

3) Paul Rudd was there, people screamed, Michael Ian Black blogged about it. It must have been what it's like when the Beatles came ashore in the 60s if the Beatles were an actor who played Alicia Silverstone's step brother in Clueless.

4) Black was really overly nice when he was signing things, Afif thinks he was being insincere but I hope he's wrong.

5) After seeing all three of them do stand up on their own (sometimes good, sometimes not so good) and hearing how the Grizzly Bear/National MCing didn't go over that well, I was worried going in. But they were great and re-affirmed their bestness.

BONUS 6th thing -

Black's promo picture from SpyTV that David used during their X-Mas tree slideshow, oh what a career that Michael Black has had.

If I was a Free Fallin' Boy

If I'm a sucker for pop music, I'm more of a sucker of mash ups of two good pop songs... DJ Earworm's mashup of Tom Petty v. Beyonce - If I was a Free Fallin' Boy is CRAZY GOOD you guys, watch it below.

FALL/WINTER of Beyonce y'all, with her uis allways on during NFL games on Sunday's at Burkes.

2nd best music video ever?

I've been saying since like 2nd grade that Guns and Roses' November Rain was the greatest video ever due to it's epic, over the top 8 minutes of solos in the middle of no where, pianos, weddings, funerals, Axls, Slashes, Izzys, top hats, and cold November Rain-ness. But Videogum found themselves' a contender to the crown - Chris Dane Owen's Shine. It best described as Castlevania plus Lord of the Rings minus elves divided by love times guitar solos equals (let your love) shine on me. Just watch it, it's amazing.

Axl, get back together with Slash and plan your response like a 12 minute video for January Sleet or something.

Really? Sportman of the year?

3 things other than his face (REALLY, LOOK AT IT! OBVIOUSLY PHOTOSHOPPED (not very well I might add))

1) Would swimming with the tie on or slightly off really matter? I think I'd rather be swimming with the tie on b/c it would only be flapping in the water in one direction rather than two.

2) On Phelps dating a cocktail waitress in Vegas - 8 gold medals and a waitress, GO PHELPS, living the dream.

3) Why isn't a man named Plaxico the sportsman of the year? What hasn't he done - Fake names? Super Bowl winning touch downs? Missing Practice? Sweatpants? Surving gun wounds?

Note from Plax: Don't eat at Applebees, eating dangerous in the Neighborhood

My favorite parts of the Plax story so far - Plaxico using the fake name of Harris Smith (you can't customize H. Smith # 17 Giants jersey), claiming that the gun shot wound occured at Applebees (which one the Times Square location or the 50th between 7th and 8th?), Post and Daily News pun headlines, King Bloomberg wanting to send Plaxi-Glass away forever, and that the Giants marched along yesterday like nothing happened.