Monday, August 22, 2005

The Great Ed Shepp Movie Weekend

Well my roommate is back from his European expedition, and guess what, gbeepners? Apparently Europe is all it's cracked up to be! So I have decided that I simply must see this amazing land. So aiight, who will put me up when I make the Great Ed Shepp European Vacation? I promise I'll make a CD or something out of it and immortalize you in that. Or something. So far I'm looking for places to stay in the following countries: Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway (preferably Trondheim in June, cux I really want to see that midnight sun thing, and from what I can tell from, you have it there) and the UK. So basically I'm looking for places everywhere. When am I looking to go? I dunno, sometime in the future. Whenever I have the cash and the spots, I guess! Beep! So that's my call for European couches! Who will answer the call? Who will step up? (I'm so tempted to quote Peaches here, but I shall refrain.)

This weekend was the movie weekend. Friday after my show I went straightaway home and had a date with myself. Which basically meant that I just got some champagne, shrimp & strawberries and watched movies, laughing and laughing whenever the phone rang, because I knew I wasn't picking that up. (OK, the phone never rang.) Anyway, I watched Danger: Diabolik! Now, did I LERV this movie? Hellz yes, I lerved this movie! It was too awesome for words, or at least for English words, so here are some European words: Supermenagerie!!! Superturbooberaffengeil!!! Au dela de la riviere!! And those mean, respectively: "super-menagerie" [French], "super-turbo-exciting to monkeys" [German], and "just around the riverbend" [French], the lattermost coming from a French version of the Pocahontas soundtrack. The film was just amazing--campy, fashionable, etc. It evoked in my mind a little bit of Barbarella and a little Alphaville, but in English. I highly recommend it, and I've decided that I totally want to be Diabolik (pronounced die-uh-bol-ik, not dee-ah-boh-leek, like I originally though). I mean, just look at that cool mask he wears!

I also watched Polyester, which was a typical John Waters movie, except shorter than I expected. I even watched it with the Smell-O-Vision, which, I have to say, didn't add all that much to it. It was funny. I'd watch it again. I still prefer Desperate Living, though. Maybe Polyester just needed more Mink Stole. Hell, what movie couldn't benefit from more Mink Stole??!

Then I saw Pretty Persuasion with my friend Andy on Saturday. It wasn't bad. I guess I would put it in the same league as Heathers, Jawbreaker and Mean Girls (of course, Heathers being head-and-shoulders above all those). Interestingly, the story started out very funny but toward the end took a turn for the melodrazmatical. I would've preferred that it stayed on the black comedy tip throughout. There are some really good lines, though, all of which escape me at the moment. But most are too un-PC to mention anyway (probably why they were so good). In the end I thought the movie was OK, but not the best I've seen in the genre. I found it too hard to believe that the lead girl would be able to concoct the scheme she did and have everything fall into place like that; I also found it hard to believe that someone who could pull that off would ever feel bad about it. Clearly someone so cold-hearted would be a sociopath and wouldn't exhibit the feelings (without anyone watching) that she did at the end. I don't think I gave anything away there.

Then I watched Barcelona on DVD afterward. I have to say it was really, really funny. And not dumb funny either. And you wouldn't believe Mira Sorvino's performance in it either--you completely forget who she is, she blends into her character so well. I highly recommend this film. After that movie ended, I watched a bit of Dune on TV. You have to admit that Kyle Maclachlan was really a looker back in the day. But never more beautiful than when he played opposite Nomi Malone in the modern classic Showgirls.

And that's the beep for now, gneppleroos!

Ed Shepp

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Here's an announcement for you beepners out there: If you come across Vice magazine on your daily purtrails, pick up a copy (it's free) and check out the music reviews in the back. You'll see my CD, Five, reviewed there, and it got 10 out of 10 from reviewer Nella Kram on p. 124. Yay!!!! Other reviewed artists include Xiu Xiu, Gravy Train, Royskopp, Fat Joe and Common (so I'm in good company ingweeb). In case you can't pick up a copy of the magazine, I'm reproducing the review in its entirety here, complete with a close-up of it from my scan:

When I play Ed Shepp for people, they usually shoot me death looks and then call me up later just to say, "I was thinking about that Ed Shepp guy you played for me and you may think he's an artist, but you know what? He isn't!" And then, a week later, they call me back asking to borrow the CD. Much ilke Sun Ra, Ed Shepp has claimed to be from another time and space, from which he records and makes his CDs according to his own specifications (like Stockhausen), which contain schizophrenic-like channeled voices and "songs" that so are bombastically sick in ways you never thought "sick" could sound. Mark my words, this Shepp kid is going places.

So that's the news, gnoozbles! Wheeeeeeeeeeee! :)

And it's a good thing that I have this happy news to share with you, because frankly lately I've been totally freaked out by Peak Oil, and I needed something to distract me from the concept. Is anyone else freaked out by Peak Oil? Or no? If not, tell me why. If so, tell me what you're gonna do. Is the world going to revert to Little House on the Prarie? If so, I hope I own the General Store. Hmm. I thought I had more to say about all that. Imagine!

Back to modern life, specifically the TV Show The Girls Next Door, or whatever it's called. That one about the Playboy girls. It's not bad. One of Hefner's girlfriends looks just like a slightly prettier version of Gwen Stefani. Another is very athletic with crappy-looking hair. (Speaking of hair, there are a LOT of blonds in that house! And really light blonds, too! It's insane.) The other one, though, the older, slightly more abundant one, is the most interesting. I saw this episode where twice she talks about how she's bitter that she hasn't yet been a playmate "and never will be." In one scene she's talking about how she sees some girls come in for testing, but get wasted the day before their shoot, and how she gets schadenfreudlich watching it (no, she doesn't use that word); she even says "because I'm jealous!" And in another scene she talks about how it's always been her dream to be a playmate, and how she tested before, but now she realizes that it will never be. She's crying here. The odd thing about both of those scenes, however, is that she's smiling the whole time she's talking to the camera. Even when she's crying. It's jarring. And cool. And while in theory I really hate that kind of disingenuous smile-all-the-time emotional posturing, it's really disarming to watch her perform it. And I can see why some people like it. Because it would be much easier to deal with someone who's crying in front of you when they're actually smiling and being pleasant. I guess it takes a lot of self-control. Or a lobotomy. I bet it would be pleasant, but I don't have the wherewithal to keep that shizz up. But men aren't expected to, so that's good.

And that's the beep for now. The theme for tomorrow's Ed Shepp Radio Experiment is Cars, and my guest is Sam Hatmaker. Tune in!

Ed Shepp

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Vapid TV Beep.

I watched TV last night. So let's talk about it.

I saw that show Wild On Tara for a little while. (I don't understand what the title means for the life of me.) I knew it was going to be stupid, and I was right. From what I watched, I determined that the whole show is just Tara Reid doing something and then telling everyone what she did, which is what they just saw. And, of course, adding an incisive comment like, 'That was so fun.'

One thing I didn't realize (well, I didn't realize the full extent of it) was that Tara Reid really is Emporer Queen of the Skanks. She's fat-looking and all around gross. And I can't remember what else I was going to say about her. The most interesting scene of the show was when TR and Paris Hilton went dancing. From the show's footage, I can determine that Paris Hilton is an abysmal dancer. Not like an Eileen Benes, but more like a boring office assistant. As for Tara, remember those 'dancing flowers' that people used to buy? Well, that's kinda how Tara looks dancing, except that instead of a flower, it's a cardboard box filled with silicone. That or a gross, really butch lesbian.

After watching that monstrosity for a short while, I flipped to some infomercial with Victoria Principal being interviewed by Mary Hart. Mary Hart looked like a clown, and seeing her like that made me feel bad for her. It's like they had to make her look REALLY crazappy so VP would look better. Mary Hart had garish butter-yellow hair (not unlike some recent incarnations of Nicole Kidman) and weird curls that made her a little frightening; her skin was MUCH fairer than in her ET days (it did not look good with the popcorn head); and in the worst lapse of fashion judgment, she was wearing this rich-in-B-vitamin-urine suit that just tuned the whole ensemble to a very Bozo note. She looked comical and ghastly, like an evil clown. Victoria Principal, of course, looked really good for her age. Whoever dyes HER hair does a really good job. And she looked great throughout the infomerical, except for the part where she took off her makeup for the camera. Her skin looked fine, but with her hair pinned back as it was, her eyebrows looked to be about 2 miles higher on her forehead than they should have been. Kinda like Divine.

But speaking of high-on-the-head, I saw most of another episode of Kathy Griffin's thing, Life on the D-List. She had a li'l segment where people were putting makeup on her for her party. (There must be something about makeup transitions that uglifies people.) And they had her hair pinned back (or maybe it's hair-backpinning), and you could really see, FULL EFFECT, how high her hairline is. It's, like, halfway up her head! I think there's something wrong there, but I'm not sure. Can a woman's hairline be so high normally? Was it that high in Suddenly Susan? Is she balding? And if she is, how is it that she's got that forehead-retreating-south type instead of the crop-getting-thinner all over type? Anyway, she should avoid that look. She really does look like Dracula, and I'm not exaggerating here. But I guess she's OK with it, so good for her, then. (But it's still not a good look. Why not just wear a wig? Her impersonator did, and had better hair.)

And that's the vapid TV beep for now, ganoozles.

Ed Shepp

Monday, August 08, 2005

Live Coffee Under Bacon

I did my Movies show LIVE last Friday! It was exhilarating! I only messed up aggrediously once; the rest of the mistakes (mostly involving levels) were relatively minor. It was pretty fun. I just might do it again sometime!

I have two ideas that are spectacular, and I'm going to tell them right now. But all rights are reserved, so don't copy them.

First: I want to open a coffeeshop-type place with the following features: super-ultra bright lighting, all daylight-balanced (which has lots of blue); total white decor; transparent coffee or bleached tea or blueberry smoothies--in fact, I think I like the idea of the place just selling everything blueberry }} the whole idea of the place could, in fact, be based on the healthful properties of blueberries. The dominant feature of the place, however, would be the acoustics: I want them to maximize silence and dampen sound in different microenvironments of the place. Like, I would like to have tables set under domes in the ceiling that create "zones of silence," zones in which you can have conversations with the people at your table that don't intrude on other tables (and you don't hear their conversations). There would also be individual seats within their own Zones of Silence where people could read or whatnot. Of course, you probably couldn't create literal silence within these zones, but the point is to reduce the noise created by other people and the city to the absolute minimum. There would, however, be something playing over the stereo system in the coffeeshop, but not loud or distracting music (I detest very loud music in a coffeeshop). I would play very minimal music, maybe even noise music or water sounds, but I would play it softly and only in the background. I think total silence would be far too jarring--people wouldn't want to stay in a place where all they can hear is their tinnitus. So that's an overview of the place. Let's go back to the light for a second, though: it would definitely have to be as bright as possible; it would be nice if it could be 10K lux at most places in the shop, maybe with extra-light boxes at the individual stations. Selling points of light: 1) it puts you in a better mood and makes you more alert 2) it improves sleep patterns 3) it combats winter depression. And because the coffeeshop has so much light, it could sell things like eye formula caps, which contain lutein and bilberry, and whatever else may provide eye support. And bilberry extract could be put into the blueberry products.

One thing I'm unsure about for the coffeeshop is the scent it should have in the air. Whatever it is it should be light, and the air should obviously be purified before adding it. I don't know if blueberry would work, but whatever the scent is, it should work with blueberry or not compete with it. I wouldn't want the place to smell like coffee, but then I wouldn't really want to serve coffee either---maybe caffeinated vitamin water or tea or something. Or at least transparent coffee that would have very litte coffee flavor. Perhaps a transparent aquatic scent would work. Or maybe something green and leafy. Perhaps with a very light, sheer, barely-there floral note. But that's such a small detail.

Second: I was talking with some peeps about waking up in the morning, about how I want one of those sunrise simulator alarm clocks that slowly dims from darkness to full power, and something occurred to me: why not have a coffeemaker that's timed to go off when you want to wake up that makes bacon-and-eggs-flavored-coffee? That way you get the full-on olfactory experience of breakfast (which would get you out of bed), and you also get the full-on gustatory experience when you're drinking your coffee. Honestly, I think that if it could be made properly, bacon&eggs-flavored coffee would be quite good. I think if you're having it with bacon and eggs, you wouldn't even notice the hint of flavoring. That said, flavored coffee in general almost always ends up tasting so bad (it's so acidic; pumpkin-spice-flavored coffee is the only really good one) that this idea might not work. So I tweaked the idea a little: a coffeemaker that goes off when you want to wake up and makes regular coffee, but has a component that you put a cartridge in which creates a separate scent that you experience in tandem with the coffee's aroma. The cartridge could be either: 1) bacon and eggs 2) belgian waffles 3) toast 4) cantaloupe or 5) a combination of the above. There could be 3 or more slots for cartridges. It could be noted that people needn't use the cartridges only for breakfast alarms, and I'd predict that scents like coffee cake and belgian waffles would be popular for general home fragrancing. (You better not be scoffing there! You don't believe that Belgian waffles make an extremely pleasant home fragrance? Check out Crabtree & Evelyn's Patisserie from their Cooks line, or the Grandma's Cookies plug-in from Airwick, both of which smell like Belgian waffles.) (Incidentally, someone tried to shoot down my idea, saying something like, 'Would you want to go around smelling like Belgian waffles all day?' My answer: Obviously, the smell wouldn't be strong enough or heated for long enough to cling to clothing, but even if it were, people 'go around smelling like' Belgian waffles all the time--look at the sales of vanilla-based perfumes like Cake Batter by SmellThis, Vanille/Vanille-Abricot/Vanille-Coco/Vanille-Banane by Sud Pacifique, the Desserts line by Jessica Simpson and countless other gourmand-type fragrances, within which I would dare to include Mugler's Angel, the hallmark of which is its cocoa-vanilla accord. I will also note the reaction many people have when they walk into a yogurt store that reeks of vanilla and cocoa-butter: "I'd LOVE to smell like this every day!" So there!)

There--now aren't those fabulous ideas for products? I'll answer for you: Hellz-to-the-yeah! And that's my beep for now.

Ed Shepp