Wednesday, March 31, 2004

The Recher Theater in Towson is a terrible, terrible venue. Parking sucks, the bouncers are meatheads (professional meathead, though), and they sell mini-bottles of water for $2.50 instead of giving away free plastic cups the way every decent club in the world does. Lately they've changed their booking habits; instead of third-rate jam bands and reunited 80s metal scrubs (though they still get a lot of those), we get a whole lot of O.C.-sountrack bands like Phantom Planet, which I suppose is cool. But every time I go there, I wander around for a while wondering what I'm doing there.

Last night, I went to the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club/Rapture/Starlite Desperation show there. Bridget didn't want to go, so I went by myself. I hadn't eaten and it was $16, but I still hurried into the show because I didn't want to miss the Rapture, my sole reason for going. I ended up being early. The Starlite Desperation, who I'd never heard of, was just terrible, one more weak-ass garage-rock band. No one needs that shit. And so until the Rapture came out, I wandered around all miserable, wondering what I was doing there. I didn't know anyone there, I didn't have any food in me, and I wasn't about to buy a $5 beer.

Only a great band can make me happy in a situation like that. The Rapture is a great band. They were outrageously, apocalyptically hot. They're better than any of these dance-punk bands, and I love these dance-punk bands, but they're better. Better than Radio 4, better than Franz Ferdinand, better than !!!, better than Out Hud, better than the Liars (first album Liars). Better than Le Tigre, OK? They're like the last two Primal Scream albums, except with no obnoxious garage-rock influence and not even a little bit annoying. That's how good they are. They bulldoze. They played some unreleased stuff that found a groove even deeper than the one they've been working, and they put new, ridiculous spins on album tracks. "Sister Savior" was all "real" instruments, "I Need Your Love" had a serious Detroit techno reworking, "Open Up Your Heart" sounded like the prom slow-dance jam it was probably intended to be in the first place. Some of my friends showed up, people got down, everything was gravy.

Luke Jenner was wandering around aimlessly in the crowd for a little while after their set, and I talked to him for a minute, making a babbling idiot out of myself while making fun of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club for some reason. I hate talking with famous people; I always make an ass of myself. But he told me that the Rapture might be working with Timbaland. Marinate on that for a minute. That's what we call a dream collaboration. If it comes out, heads will be blown.

Friday, March 26, 2004

For the week of 3/26/04:
Top 10 People

1 - Ian MacKaye. I felt really, really cool on Wednesday when I went to see the second show of Ian's new band the Evens. Apparently Fugazi isn't broken up, but he's doing this thing, a duo with a female drummer who I heard somewhere is his wife but who seems awful young for that. In any case, the drummer is great (can't remember her name), and the songs are quiet compared to Fugazi. They've got this thick but easy bounce to them; it reminded me of Helium more than anything else. And Ian is great onstage; he just comes across as being so personal and fervent, which of course he is. The space was the Mission Space, this tiny art gallery place in downtown B-More. There were maybe 100 people there. Dan Higgs was there with his really young son, so I couldn't help looking around all the time like "Holy shit! It's the guy from Fugazi! And holy shit! It's the guy from Lungfish! In this tiny room with me!"

2 - Dr. Michael A. Newdow. Whether or not "under God" is in the Pledge of Allegiance isn't really a big issue with me, though I think it is sort of messed up. Truth is that I think the Pledge is on some fucked up inundate-the-young shit anyway; I'd prefer it if they just stopped doing that in schools altogether. But this guy gets major props for facing down the probably 80% of the country who would love to kill him and going straight toe-to-toe arguing with Supreme Court justices. And plus, this guy is an emergency room doctor? Who is also a licensed lawyer? Doesn't that qualify you to be a superhero or something?

3 - MF DOOM. The Madvillain album is way better than I would've expected it to be. It's on this really restrained free-associative shit, like something Madlib and Doom pounded out in one evening. That's until you start to notice all the amazing bon mots Doom drops. My favorite: "Lookie here / That's just the way the cookie tear / Prepare to get hurt and mangled like Kurt Angle, rookie year." I mean, it's not like Angle has fallen off or anything, but that rookie year was pretty amazing. The whole storyline with him trying to steal Stephanie away from Triple H? Classic.

4 - Chris Benoit. Speaking of wrestling. I forgot to mention this last week, but the Crippler won the world championship at Wrestlemania and how awesome is that? Dude deserved it like no other. The sheer intensity Benoit brings to everything he does is ridiculous.

5 - Chips. This is not a knock at Dawn of the Dead, but Chips the dog is easily my favorite character in the movie. This is more to say that I love dogs than I didn't like the characters.

6 - Kazu Mokino. The new Blonde Redhead album Misery is a Butterfly is going to require a lot of listens to really sink in, but so far I really like it. The band has moved on from Certain Damaged Lemons, completely dropping any attachment to their old noise band roots and gone full-on for a tense, florid, ornate goth thing, kind of like Pornography-era Cure. I heartily approve.

7 - Murs. I went and saw the Def Jux tour last night, and it went something like this: C-Rayz Walz = boring, Perceptionists = generally entertaining (Mr. Lif was really good and Akrobatik was nothing special, but their freestyle session was bananas), RJD2 = you tell me because no way in hell am I actually going to sit and watch a DJ, Murs = total entertainer. He has charm to spare, but he still works hard. I'm not really sold on Murs 3:16; it seems kind of lackluster to me. But Murs onstage is very, very different from Murs on record. The absolute weirdest part of the night happened when the DJ/keyboard player stepped out from behind his stuff to do "Risky Buisness" and put on glasses to do the Humpty Hump part. And it was like "why is that DJ impersonating Shock G? Oh wait! That is Shock G!" I have no idea how the guy who led the Digital Underground and discovered Tupac ended up as Murs' DJ; it was like watching a live episode of VH-1's Where Are They Now. I had to leave when Shock started playing terrible jazz-fusion keyboard solos in front of a room full of apathetic white fratboys. It was just too weird.

8 - Atom Goren. I got my first promo record in a million years last week (thanks, Jessica!), and it's the live album of the absolute last Atom and his Package show. I saw Atom a whole lot in Syracuse because he played there constantly and no one ever plays there, but also because he's got this great self-effacing charm and also great, enormously catchy synth melodies. His Redefining Music is one of the most slept-on albums of the decade thus far, though last year's Attention Blah Blah Blah was an absolute piece of shit and a great indication that it was time for him to hang it up. His real reason for quitting, though, was that his wife became pregnant and he was diagnosed with diabetes and so he figured he'd better get a job with some health insurance, which made me feel even more warm feelings toward Atom than I had before. I don't like live albums (a greatest-hits type of thing would've been better), and I probably won't listen to this more than a couple of times, but I feel nothing but affection for Atom.

9 - Uncle Junior. I never much liked Junior, but this past Sunday's Sopranos made the character really strong and touching. The scenes between Tony and Junior were the best things about this season so far.

10 - Dave Chapelle. I'm truly very sorry, Farnsworth Bentley, but I will never ever be able to look at you again without thinking of Chapelle's impression of you and busting out laughing.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Forget anything you may have heard about Dawn of the Dead; it's amazing. The first ten minutes create the most unsettling, haunting picture of absolute chaos I've ever seen in a movie theater. The rest of the movie is just relentless and punishing; as soon as you even start to get to like a character, that character is dead, and then that character is a zombie. We'll get an occasional reprieve as the characters relax in the mall and then all of a sudden the peace will rupture again and something unspeakably horrible will happen. Dawn of the Dead is a modern horror classic, period. The reviews I've read have really been getting on my nerves. Elvis Mitchell of the New York Times in particular comes across as a flip, smarmy idiot, way more concerned with making cheap jokes at the expese of the millions of people who went on to see this movie opening weekend. It's not a pointless splatterfest, it's not lowest-common-denominator, and it's not a soulless piece of Hollywood hackery. It is an absolutely startling piece of work. The original Dawn of the Dead is one of my favorite movies of all time, and though this one isn't as fun to watch (you don't get much of the sense of the survivors' glee as they run rampant on the abandoned mall), it's much scarier. And it seems unfair to pit the characters in the new movie against these hopped-up super-zombies when the first movie's characters only had to deal with your traditional slow-moving idiot zombies. But I keep reading about the wicked social satire of the first movie, and I just don't see it. It's not wicked social satire to show mindless zombies wandering around a mall trying to walk up a down escalator. It's a cheap joke, and the movie is no worse without it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Isn't conservative punk already sort of a redundant phrase, at least aesthetically? The existence of a cadre of pro-Bush punks shouldn't be too much of a surprise to anyone with a passing familiarity with the punk scene, a group with more idiots per capita than anything this side of a Promise Keepers meeting. If you're still bumping Vandals records, you're probably not really all that in tune with reality. Indie rock may be generally lame, but at least the form has evolved somewhat over the last 15 years. California-style punk can still sometimes be glorious (the last Rancid album), but pop-punk shows nowadays are sad places to be, everyone wearing t-shirts of bands that broke up when they weren't born yet. I've been to the Warped Tour, and it isn't pretty. So (with apologies to Fat Mike), it really isn't a shock that a scene thick with conservative assholes might turn out to have a few politicized conservative assholes.

Friday, March 19, 2004

For the week of 3/19/04:

Top 10 People

1 - Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. How awesome is Spain? After disregarding the wishes of its electorate for at least a year, the reigning party has the gall to blame the Basques for Spain's horrible terrorist attack even when they knew otherwise. A couple of days later, they're out and the Socialists are in. I really hope American citizens can demonstrate as firm a grasp of democracy in November.

2 - Carrie Brownstein. I have a lot of favorite bands: Fugazi, Rancid, Jay-Z, Grand Buffet, the sadly broken up Dismemberment Plan. (Yes, I just called Jay-Z a band. No, I don't know why.) But I only have one favorite favorite band, and that's Sleater-Kinney. Last time Sleater-Kinney played Baltimore, I had tickets, but I missed it because I had to be in St. Louis for my grandfather's funeral. So I was way amped to find out they'd be playing B-More again next month (Recher Theater, April 21). And I have no more grandfathers, so I have no reason to miss this one. I picked Carrie because she's my favorite.

3 - Johnny Depp. Secret Window was a really bad movie, but Johnny Depp can do a whole lot to make a bad movie bearable. I kind of enjoyed Secret Window up until its ridiculous ending, and that's absolutely a testament to Depp's charisma. Almost everything that was good about that movie was his doing, and I'm almost certain that all the character's great little tics (the clicking jaw, the manic faces) were his ideas. If I were a Hollywood hack looking for a way to make my shitty movie a little bit better, he's the first guy I'd call.

4 - Sasha Frere-Jones. SFJ on Timbaland in the Village Voice is some of the best music writing I've come across this year. And now he's all up in the New Yorker. Seriously, there may be no better American music writer working today; I'm way jealous.

5 - Xzibit. X has had some great moments in his music career ("What U See is What U Get", "What's the Difference", that Reflection Eternal track with Rah Digga). But then he had that stupid song where he was a ninja or something in the video, and his track on the 8 Mile soundtrack was pretty terrible as well. So I'm really happy that he's found a new niche for himself on MTV. He's a perfect choice to host Pimp My Ride; he's funny, he enjoys it, he seems to have a real, unforced rapport with the people on the show. I didn't think I'd like the show at all, but it's perfect brain-dead viewing, and X is the best thing it has going for it. (Side note: what was up with that one guy trying to put a river in the car because the girl's name was Nile? That shit was stupid.)

6 - Kanye West. He's platinum now! And he's the first dude on Rocafella to go platinum other than Jay, Cam, and DJ Clue (which is like what? Who bought those shitty Clue albums?). College Dropout is also the best album Rocafella's released that wasn't by Jay-Z, so Kanye deserves it. I just hope Beanie doesn't get jealous and beat his ass.

7 - Charles S. Dutton. Baltimore represent! This guy is from Baltimore, he's a great actor, he's done heavy prison time for manslaughter, and everything he does on TV turns to gold (Roc, The Corner, that time he was on Oz). So why has he never been in a good movie? Secret Window is just the latest in an embarrassingly long line of horrendous movies he's been in: Crocodile Dundee 2, Alien 3, that Meg Ryan boxing movie that looked terrible. I think I kinda liked Surviving the Game when I was 12, but all I really remember is that it came out at the same time as Hard Target and had the exact same plot. Wait, I'm checking IMDB ... He was in Menace II Society? And Seven? I don't remember that! I should probably see Get on the Bus, huh?

8 - Marianna Ritchey. I'm not used to being moved when I read blogs, but her entry about life's great little moments (Regarding: Little Moments of Nirvana, March 16) made me want to hug my mom, my girlfriend, and my dog immediately.

9 - Jacquise from The Real World. I like this guy. He's funny. He's also the only castmember this year who isn't crazy, drunk, intensely judgmental, or some unholy combination thereof.

10 - David Amsden. Amsden's article from the most recent Believer about the way debut novelists are marketed much more heavily than other novels raised some interesting points. On the one hand, I'd generally rather read a book by someone roughly my age than someone much older; I tend to share sensibilities with people closer to my age. (And White Teeth was way better than The Autograph Man; sorry, dude.) But Amsden is right that the media tends to fixate on weird, irrelevant things about the authors it hypes. I'm certainly not immune to hype, but it's weird how someone like Jonathan Lethem can be so great for so long without anyone noticing; that guy wrote so many amazing novels, but he didn't get hardly any hype until he wrote his autobiographical epic about late-70s Brooklyn that simply refused to be ignored. But anyway, Amsden's article is a fun, smart, accessible read about contemporary literature, and articles like that aren't exactly thick on the ground.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

In heavy rotation this week: the Beta Band's The Three EPs, Beck's Midnite Vultures, and Ghostface Killah's Supreme Clientele. Before this week, I spent months or years without hearing any of these albums. Isn't it great to rediscover something amazing that you'd totally forgotten? These are all unbelievably great records. All three artists have new joints coming out this year, and with the possible exception of Beck I'm jazzed about all of them (still haven't heard Sea Change, but it just everything I read about it just made it seem so lame). Also in heavy rotation and unbelievably great: Lifter Puller's Fiestas and Fiascos. But then I never really forgot about that one.

It would gratify me enormously if Fox would stop preemting The OC with American Idol. Surely they could preemt Malcolm in the Middle or some other weakass show instead.

Simon Reynolds has a lot of fun with an extended, sort of stretched analogy comparing electronic music's failed invasion of America circa 1997 with Nazi Germany's failed invasion of the USSR. Stalin is Timbaland! All this comes after Simon talking about the Kompakt vs. Rephlex show at Volume in New York, which I probably should've tried to go to. How tall is Jess Harvell, exactly? I know he can't fuck with this tallness. To this man, you are not tall unless you can reach a basketball net without jumping. Here's a cheat sheet. Yao Ming = tall. Jay-Z = not tall. Krist Novoselic = tall, I guess. Thurston Moore and Rock from Heltah Skeltah = pretty tall, maybe. The Big Show = tall, but Brock Lesnar = not tall. That guy from the Liars = not tall. Charlize Theron = not tall. Michael Jordan = not tall. Me = tall. (March 17 entry)

Discerning moviegoers are going to have a big decision to make this weekend: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Dawn of the Dead? Gondry or zombies. The correct answer, of course, is both.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

There are very few movies that have gotten into my head the way that Battle Royale has. If you don't know about the movie, it's this Japanese film where the opening titles explain that in the near future the adults of Japan become so afraid of children that they institute this law called the Battle Royale Act, which says that one randomly chosen 9th-grade class will be shipped off to an island, given weapons, and forced to kill each other until there's only one left. The movie starts with a class on a bus trip being unwittingly sent off to the island, and what follows is one of the most appallingly, fascinatingly disturbing movies I've ever seen. It's entralling and sickening. I loved the movie, and I sort of hated myself for loving it. So I've been wanting to see Battle Royale II ever since I heard it existed. Well, I saw it last night, and guess what? It blows. The premise this time is that a group of kids has declared war on all adults and formed a revolutionary organization, so the adults decide to revise the Battle Royale Act and send the group of kids off to kill the kid terrorist group. The movie actually calls its heroes "terrorists", which is not cool at all. And there's this overbearing anti-American slant to the plot, which wouldn't bother me so much if the first scene of the movie didn't show the heroes blowing up a couple of buildings that look a whole lot like the twin towers. Also, the movie is utterly incoherent; half the things that the characters do don't make any sense at all. (If you've seen it, what the fuck is up with the teacher in the rugby uniform at the end of the movie?) And where the first movie is taught and suspenseful, the second is bloated with lots of melodramatic goodbye speeches ("never forget me, Kuze!! I've always loved you!!", etc.), and it seems like it's never going to end. So Battle Royale: good, Battle Royale II: ass.

Speaking of disappointing follow-ups, how crappy is the new Da Band single? I liked "Bad Boy This, Bad Boy That"; it was simple, and it let the group show off their battle-rap chops, which is about all they have going for them. I know the music is really just a backdrop for the TV show, but does it really make sense for six randomly put together people to do a song about how they want to have sex tonight? It's like they had to have their R&B singer at the center of the next single since she wasn't on the first one. But why is she even there? When you pick out five great-to-decent battle rappers (season one was, like, all battles), don't throw an R&B singer in there with them! Let the rappers rap!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Here is some shit to make your blood run cold. I am one of the few people my age who's lucky enough not to have any debt - I went to college on a tuition exchange scholarship because my dad is a professor, I don't own a car, and I've never had a credit card. I live in dirt-ass-cheap Baltimore. I make enough at my job to keep me in beer and CD's and cable. I'm very thankful that I don't have to go through all this debt bullshit, and I know that puts me in the minority. Please, kids, don't go crazy with the credit cards. Don't let a bunch of shitty old people who own companies get all your papers.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Big ups to the people of Spain for doing what voters are supposed to be doing. They recognized that the people they'd placed in charge of running the country weren't representing their interests, and they overwhelmingly voted to remove them. I really, sincerely hope that Americans in general are smart enough to follow their example.

For the past year or so, Lil Flip has gradually moved toward becoming one of my favorite rappers. He's got this snarky little kid charm to him, like on the remix of Fam-Lay's "Rock N Roll" when he said "play with my money and I'll turn into Oscar the Grouch!" He got this slow, slurred flow like a southern Mase, and he seems perpetually amused with everything he says. He was on "Like a Pimp", which might have won the hotly contested "best song with insanely objectionable lyrics" award for 2003, and he was on "Screwed Up", one of the three songs on the last Ludacris album that didn't suck. (The other two were "Stand Up" and "Hip Hop Quotables", if you're keeping score.) He seemed likely to become a national star, but then he had to fuck around and release a single with no hooks. I like "Game Over" just fine, but dude, a bunch of people chanting your name is not a hook. This is not how you become a star.

Bridget and I went with some friends to see Secret Window this weekend, and that movie is just butt. I liked the movie most of the way through (mostly because of Johnny Depp, who is typically jittery and great), but then the movie hinged on this absolutely weak-ass plot twist that made everything that came before it pointless. It's not as bad as the twist in Identity, but it's close. Also, as soon as you see that Johnny Depp has a dog, it's pretty obvious that the dog is going to die (it happens in the first 15 minutes, so I'm not really giving anything away). It's such a played-out plot engine to have someone kill the hero's dog. It's obvious, and it's cruel, because most of us audience types really, really hate to see dogs get killed in movies. Seriously, dudes. Stop doing that.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Because blogging once a week is the new blogging every day! Tell all your lazy friends! For the week of 3/11(down DOWN!)/04
Top 10 People

1 - Nick Barat. I got linked on Catchdubs? Huh? What? I haven't even told anyone about this blog! Don't like one million people read that? Hi, one million people!

2 - Ben Stiller. Have you seen Starsky & Hutch yet? Holy shit, dude! That movie is wicked funny. It's not even, like, a guilty pleasure or anything. It's just a pleasure. The cast is perfect, and everyone is in absolute top form. Ben Stiller wins because he has a dance-off with Har Mar Superstar that's funny enough for me to forgive Todd Phillips for hiring Har Mar Superstar.

3 - Owen Wilson. Only loses to Ben Stiller because no dance-off. But he's also very, very funny in exactly the way that you want Owen Wilson to be funny.

4 - Travis Morrison. For putting the Vines on blast. Too bad Jet didn't steal his video idea; they're even worse.

5 - Jessica Hopper. For putting lazy music critics like (sometimes) me on blast for using the same stupid terms over and over again. Immediately after reading this, I went to the Cee-Lo review I was working on and deleted the term "genre-defying". Instant results!

6 - The guy from Franz Ferdinand. I have no idea who's in this band, but I really like the album. It's like the Rapture if they were trying to rip off Blur and PiL instead of the Cure and PiL. Which means it's not as good as the Rapture, but it's still good. Update: Upon furter reflection, Franz Ferdinand sounds nothing like PiL. So let's say they're ripping off Blur and the Rapture. Sound good? OK.

7 - Tunde Adebimpe. This top 10 people idea would just fall right apart if I started listing bands instead of people. So this means Tunde gets on the list, since he's the only guy in TV on the Radio who anyone seems to notice. The new album isn't as good as the EP, but I've only listened to it a few times, and I know I'm going to enjoy letting it slowly seep in. It's that kind of album. I really wish I'd been the first person to compare TV on the Radio to Peter Gabriel.

8. T.I. Some girl on the bus yesterday had "Rubber Band Man" as her ringtone. I wanted to kiss her.

9. William Hung. Remember that article in the New York Times where it talked about how Kanye and Pharrell were like the new generation of bad singers making pop hits? And how it even mentioned how neither of them would do well on American Idol? That's true, but this whole Hung thing has be the bizarre apotheosis of this trend, if the trend actually exists. It's like the entire nation has gotten together, and we're either saying "Ha ha, look at that fucking idiot! And he's Chinese too! Ha!" or "Wow, Simon sure was a dick to that guy. He seemed nice." What the heck is going on here? (link courtesy Jeff Chang)

10. Todd Phillips. Look, I really liked Starsky & Hutch, OK? Coming up with ten people is hard.

Me on Twista.

Also, dudes, I don't have a comments section or hit counter or anything because I am computer stupid. So if you read/enjoy this thing, get at me:

Friday, March 05, 2004

For the week of 3/4/04 (I'm going to try to make this a regular thing)
Top 10 People*

1 - John Kerry. I have my reservations; he wasn't my favorite, even when there were only two viable candidates left. But I am fully, totally behind him. You know and I know that things really need to change in this country.

2 - Adrien Tomine. The new Optic Nerve is out, and it's the first in two years. It's part one of a three-part story, and I kinda preferred it when he'd have like three or four stories in one issue, but I really adore everything about Optic Nerve: the artwork, the characters, the dead-on observation of little moments of awkwardness or despair or defensiveness. Tomine is one of the best writers working today, easily.

3 - Seth from The OC. I just really, really like this character. And I like him even better when he's in the background making sharp little comments about the main storyline, the way he was this week.

4 - Cee-Lo Green. I bought Cee-Lo Green is the Soul Machine on Tuesday afternoon, and when I took it home and listened to it it sounded like a total mess, obnoxious future-Prince keyboard washes and squeaky prattling. But then I listened to it on Wednesday morning, and it was great - unforced, gliding melodies with a rough, clanking intensity underlying them. Also, all the best songs are bunched together in the middle (the "Evening News"-"Scrap Metal"-"Glockapella" sequence), and I really like it when albums do that. The record has sounded pretty great since then.

5 - Andre Braugher. Homicide season 4 is out on DVD at the end of the month. More intense glares! More repeated shots of a door slamming! More lines of dialogue with every single syllable emphasized! More of Pembleton tilting his head and sucking his lips! More of the best TV actor, like, ever!

6 - Peja Stojakovic. The Kings are so my favorite basketball team right now. They remind me of those movies where a team of scrappy underdogs comes together because they're mankind's final hope against some unspeakable horror. Except here the horror is either the Spurs or the Lakers; I hate them both. And Peja is totally Bruce Willis in Armageddon. Brad Miller and Bobby Jackson will need to stay healthy, and Chris Webber will need to stop smoking trees for a minute, but I really think Peja might be the dude to end the neverending streak of self-absorbed assholes and incredibly boring robot workhorses winning championships.

7 - Amy Poehler. Now that I'm really thinking about it, she is totally my favorite SNL castmember. That Fallon kid needs to stop appearing in every goddam sketch. Poehler doesn't giggle through her parts; she just looks straight at the camera and says some shit that has you spitting Dorito crumbs.

8 - Lil Jon. He always seemed like a clown in videos, but in the video for Usher's "Yeah" he's a wraith. He slinks through shadows and periodically emerges to flash his fangs at the camera and scream. Dude looks like he might eat Usher. Has anyone ever seen Lil Jon's eyes?

9 - Etan Thomas. The only Washington Wizard worth a damn; it's insane that he isn't a starter. He muscles in, plays hard, and dunks on dudes way bigger than him. I went to college with him, but I never paid any attention to the Syracuse team when I was there, which makes me an idiot. This dude looks and plays like Predator; he's a star.

10 - Mel Gibson. Mel Gibson crazy. Apparently rich crazy people don't really build islands full of deadly robots and dinosaurs and then trap Earth's greatest adventurers on the island to see who survives, as comic books would have us believe. Crazy rich people make slasher movies about Jesus. I haven't seen The Passion yet, but I will.

* This list is going to be all famous people/cultural figures/fictional characters, which is why, like, my girlfriend isn't on it and won't be unless she gets on TV. Sorry Bridget.