Thursday, September 30, 2004

Polyphonic Spree descends upon DC.

I have been tipped to something that probably a good number of you already knew about, so, allow me to bask in the illusion. Apparently, tomorrow at 6:00pm outside the Kennedy Center on what is being called the South Plaza Stage, Tim DeLaughter and his Polyphonic Spree will be inculcating us for free in the ways of Spreedle-de-deedle-dy. Is this DeLaughter's overt challenge to Leonard Slatkin? Will the spree draw the wrong kind of attention from the Secuity Zeppelin? And what's Mark Halperin's angle? One thing's for sure, once this show is over, it'll be impossible to get a table at Chen's. I mean, there's like, 30 people in this band! Come and stand around in pure bafflement.

Redskins--Week the Third

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I had a bad feeling that Travis, or FedUpField as he prefers to be called would need a cooling off period after Monday night's self-torture and strenuous exercise.

The Gibbs carries a mighty weight, too much for us mere mortals to bear. We live and die with the Gibbs, through the Gibbs. So it was palpable, the weight of expectation, and the scent of myth and ancient tilts from the time before hung heavy in the air.

Gibbs. And Parcells--the nemesis, the devourer of worlds and despoiler of win-loss credentials. Now the nemesis had teamed up with the Cowboys. Cosmic entities. Opponent with a capital O.

These are the games that must be gotten up for. And yet, Laverneous Coles, with the dropsies. The Offensive Line, calling to mind a row of timid, balsa wood folding chairs. The defensive line, seven Mississippi-eight Mississippi...Pinterian gaps of time for Vincent Testeverde to assault our senses with the sight of him entering the Rejuvenation Machine, like Warner did come before him. Why does the Rejuvenation Machine travel in our wake, benefitting the opposition, as if it were winched to the Bandwagon of yesteryear.

And Richie Anderson...selling that southpaw fake. Terry Glenn, once called a woman by Parcells, redeeming himself with a catch of ballerina-esque beauty.

And to be sure: pass interference call, bogus. A fumble, rightfully ours. An illicit grab in our own end zone, depriving us of a critical TD. All played a part. All hidden indicators. Sure, we can say we were robbed.

But quoth the Washington Post: "21-18." The truth makes a mockery of itself.

One and two. But we ask of the Gibbs. Carry us down the road. Do not abandon us here. The Gibbs only knows what the future holds. Brace yourself: Cleveland upcoming.

DC has spoken: The Grays

DCist readers have overwhelmingly supported the name "The Grays" as the new team mascot. The DCeiver says: Kudos to you, DCist readers!

What a fantastic choice! Eschewing the government-centric names that get bandied about in favor of something grown outside of the world our Federal guests have created, The Grays is evoctive of something much more homey and populist. (I am old enough to have supported the Washington Diplomats soccer team, a sad, sad choice of names. Go Dips! The mighty Dips! Watch out, because the Dips are coming! You see what I am saying? (I once attempted to increase the use of The 'Mats as an alternative, until Paul Westerburg called me and told me I was infringing on his cultural copyright.))

I think MLB would be wise to take up the cause of The Grays. For starters, it would evoke the Negro League team of yesteryear, and the MLB would be well-served to honor the history of the Negro Leagues--a history rife with great ballplayers and fantastic stories. It would be a great way for the MLB to honor baseball's past and rededicate its future. Also, Washington's troubled racial history has played itself out in the world of sports. Students of Redskins lore know that the road from "Fight for old Dixie" to "Fight for old D.C." was a hard-travelled one--from the use of the team as a Civil Rights wedge to the present day, where everyone in town rallies around the 'Skins.

But my favorite thing about The Grays is that it calls to mind the X-Files episode called "The Unnatural" which starred Jesse L. Martin (of Law and Order fame) as a member of the Washington Grays who was, in fact a "Gray" alien in disguise.

All this talk of baseball...full disclosure: I am not much of a baseball fan anymore. The Grays...that could get me interested again. Funny thing is this: I was not much of an Orioles supporter because they play in the American League, and I have always contended that the American League, by dint of using the DH, is pure bullshit. Perversely, I have historically supported the Saint Louis Cardinals--for reasons passing understanding.

One thing though: I think that the team should be called the DC Grays.

September 2004--A Month of DCeption in Retrospect

Well, we've reached the end of September here at The DCeiver. We've been through an interesting period of time in the DC Metro Area, we've learned a lot, and, speaking for myself, I feel that the contribution this blog has made has been satisfyingly scant. You all helped to make this month even better than the one before it, and special shout outs have to go out to people that have kicked us some lovin'--like the DCist and their intricate network of blogs, as well as the good folks at DCSOB, Seeking Irony, Weird Curves, DC Metro Action, Washington Interns Gone Bad, Here's a Hint, The Real World:DC and the Skunkeye Consumer Guide. And to Capital Weather: you're site is like porn to the Wife of Deceiver. Put THAT blurb on your dustcover! I'm sure I've left a few folks out, but big-ups to all who dwell in and around the most ironic city on earth.

Here's what we did this month:

  • The WMATA Citizen Corps: allowing Metro's problems to be solved by those most baffled by them in the first place.
  • Vincent Gallo--for those that dismiss him as a mere default humor source for Gawker, beware! His BROWN BUNNY has teeth!
  • The Passion of the Gibbs--Crap! I never wrote anything for the Dallas game. Look for that later today. Anyhoo, we?re off and hurting!
  • The Cheesecake Factory--I never thought you'd be a mosqueteer because this Chowhound reject is so passé!
  • Lauriol Plaza--The most overpraised restaurant in the area, but mentioning it in your blog always seems to bring in the eyeballs.
  • Marion Barry returns. The day we all realized that September 2004 was going to be a time to remember.
  • Here's a Hint comes alive, but agrees to an interview with me, which should make the savvy reader question HaH's judgement.
  • Greg Ceton...great recipes, anyway.
  • Baseball returns to the District! Let the long regional nightmare begin!
  • And this post was apparently so offensive that at least one splendidly irrational person decided I basically had no right to live!
October awaits! Imagine the opportunities that await for me to drop in references to Mark Halperin's Sky Copter!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

DCeptette--Keep watching the skies edition.

  1. What do you need to know about the Security Zeppelin seen pacing the skies over DC? First: the rumors are true--Mark Halperin's Sky Copter has been grounded until further notice. Next: It was in fact funded by a McArthur Evil Genius Grant. Last: It was previously used in Afghanistan and Iraq, so you have some idea of the massive and unholy success that travels in its wake. (CNN)
  2. David Catania, following through on his promise to remind us every couple of days about his dissatisfaction with the Bush administration, announces he is now an independent. If you can't beat them, stand around grousing with Jim Jeffords and Bernie Sanders. (DCist)
  3. The slots campaign seems to be finally dead in the water as the DC Court of Appeals upheld the election board's decision to throw out the petitions that would have created a ballot referendum. Enthusiasts of gambling on slots now have only one recourse: buy Jenna Bush a sloe gin fizz, and see where the night takes you. (Post)
  4. Out in Band Camp, the Town of Herndon has been dealing with the problem of the borderline white-supremacists who rant and rave every time someone suggests something that would benefit a member of the growing Latino community. Finally, some positive news, as uber-cunt and defender of lazy white trash layabouts Ann V. Null was publicly censured. Good. (Post)
  5. Tom DeLay is pissed after Doubleday sends him a free copy of Kitty Kelley's new book: "She is a junior-high gossipmonger whose writing should be passed in notes during study hall, not printed in books by the same company that published Rudyard Kipling, Booker T. Washington, and Anne Frank." Experts agree however, that it is unlikely DeLay ever read anything by Kipling, Washington, or Frank, because, "readers of those authors usually tend to grow up to be something other than a contentious jackass." (Leiby)
  6. And in the Department of Synergy: Computer malefaction and authorial exhaustion halted production of this week's The Diner. We hope to have everything sorted out by next Wednesday. In the meantime, look tomorrow toward Blue In the Face for our pre-debate features, and check out the continuing nonsense from the robots, our insertion of other quarterbacks into the Mike Vick Experience, and, as always, your Daily Briefing.

Colin Quinn's stock sinks, former DC-area resident on the rise?

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CNN is reporting that Tough Crowd could be soon banished off into the hinterland of the permanent hiatus. One of the possible replacements is a showbiz satire with David Spade and Hugh Fink that is going to be produced by Pariah Productions Gavin Polone and Vivian Cannon.

Cannon grew up here in the DC area--in Band Camp, to be precise--where she attended McLean High School and later UVA, where The Deceiver was lucky enough to spend hours under her tutelage in the ways of snark. So, she is one of the people you can blame for the person I've become.

Cannon is depicted above unleashing some fierce-ass Krav Maga on former Daily Show correspondent Brian Unger, who interviewed her on the subject as a part of NPR's Day-to-Day show. This is an odd coincidence, since the other candidate competing after Quinn's post TDSwJS time slot guessed it--Brian Unger. Given her martial arts prowess, however, I'm giving the odds to Cannon.

Get thee to DCist, and name the team!

DCist is soliciting folks to pony up the best possible team name for the Artists Formerly Known As the Montreal Expos. Get over there and give 'em your two cents.

For our part, we think we should be the DC Bitches, only because I want to chuckle when I hear the play-by-play announcer say: "With five seventh inning runs, DC reliever Chad Cordero has been nicely set up by the bitches."

Actually, I really prefer the team be called "The Cora Masters Experience."

Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have Baseball

Hey, DC baseball fans! All six of you! Great news! The sorry ass Montreal Expos are officially on the way here to join the disappointing Redskins, the tirelessly mediocre Capitals, the despised by God Wizards/Bullets, the unwatched Mystics, and the semi-decent-from-time-to-time-but-there's-no-way-Adu-belongs-stealing-minutes-from-Eskandarian-I-mean-holy-god-can-I-get-a-witness DC United.

There will be announcements galore, followed by pronouncements that bore, then the requisite op-eds from Posties like Wilbon that will attempt to put this in a perspective that none of us share, and then the speculation over a name.

By the way: follow the United and call this team the "DC" something. As opposed to the Washington something. After all, the folks out in Band Camp and points west didn't win it, and Arlingtonians didn't want it. Plus, who wants to share with Bethesda? I think that if this baseball team is going to have the morale boosting effect people want it to, to have the pride enhancing effect people hope for, it should be branded "DC". "Washington" tends to remind people of the political interlopers who clog our civic arteries like so much butter (and by "butter" I mean "total assholes").

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Report on the unexpected polarization caused by the last entry.

Wow. There was quite a reaction to Snark Captain and the New Media of Tomorrow. I'm going to trust that DCist, who clearly got it, mostly led many other people who were destined to clearly get it to come and clearly get it. Some of you didn't get it, and didn't seem to care, and then there was a subset of people that didn't get it but nevertheless responded with wit and aplomb. But sadly, there was that other, subset that took their not getting it to extreme levels of unmanaged irkdom. Even now, I imagine they are headed up to Farragut West with pitchforks and torches. Or, rather, pitchfork and torch.

Wow. Wow. That's all I can say! "Snark Captain and the New Media of Tomorrow" was written in the only possible way it could be written. It was, quite literally a reimagining of what was going on in the picture. Ever played that game where you recaption a photograph?

You'd think naming your blog The DCeiver would be a kind of up-front way of managing expectations. Anyhoo, I dedicate Nellie McKay's "Sari" to a few of you. Keep working for a Constitutional amendment that will make the occasional frustration you receive reading blogs a federal crime.

Snark Captain and the New Media of Tomorrow

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If you haven't seen the cover of New York Times Magazine yet, there it is. The cover depicts Ana Marie Cox using the sparkly lights of her Dell Inspiron to momentarily stun and befuddle the onrushing R.W. Apple and Jack Germond, who, despite having just come from eating several roasted minotaurs, find themselves ravenous for a Wonkette amuse bouche. As the bright lights of the pretty laptop combine with the Minotaur meat clogging Apple and Germond's sinuses, the quick thinking Cox is able to blog her way to safety by reaching Mark Halperin on his Blackberry, who immediately dispatches the Noted Now SkyCopter to rescue Cox and bring her back to his 18th and Swann NW hideaway, where she spends the evening guzzling mojitos and ranking on Jodi Wilgoren's wardrobe.

At least, that's how it goes in the treatment I faxed to Drew Barrymore's production company.

Monday, September 27, 2004

The Ceton Cookbook.

Since we're talking about the weird tangents between Me, The Declaration, Greg Ceton and Here's a Hint, I thought I'd check out this weeks Suck-o-Tash, and yep, it basically looks like a store-bought product placement for The Black Cat. Here's how it cooks itself up:

  1. Begin with one massive over-estimation of Lungfish's popularity
  2. Stir in local cultural reference (Topper Shutt)
  3. Namedrop three bands that everyone in attendance would have probably traded up to see, given the chance (T. Rex, White Stripes, JSBX)
  4. Reduce in a hastily constructed metaphor sauce (I'm supposed to imagine melodies "climbing and falling against each other" but notes that "rub against each other; "weaving a musical blanket" is from the My First Book of Greil Marcus).
  5. Serve with grandiose statement of the obvious "ultimately these fuckers write pop songs." (What? Seriously? You mean they don't write fricking sonatas? These songs aren't twelve-tone experimental compositions with recitatives?)
Now. In all fairness, he does hype a show at Galaxy Hut (Travis Morrison--and I'd be willing to bet that he was sitting inside the Black Cat when he found out about the show), and, as usual, the recipe included with the order is fantastic sounding. And, it should be noted that Suckotash is a damn sight more readable than What Goes ON--a column that reminds me of what Chuck Klosterman might be like if he had his sense of humor stomped out of his body by robots from a very lame future. But Suckotash and Ceton could really benefit from a bit of a walkabout, a self-dropkick into a new setting, something...because right now 'Tash is readable but there's almost nothing essential about it (except, of course, for the recipes, which I save).


Now Here's a Hint and I differ on the subject of inDCent Exposure. Here's a Hint says it's just above Craigslist in content quality. I say, that's defamation. Craigslist is many thousands of leagues above inDCent Exposure. In fact, I think I can say definitely that inDCent Exposure is the one website/webresource whose content actually fails to improve upon a monitor that's been busted with a cricket bat.

DC Baseball threatens to displace gay community. How the gay community can threaten back.

The DCeiver has heard the news today that if the slim hope that is DC Baseball comes to pass, a proposed stadium may well be constructed in such a way that it displaces a number of landmarks dear to DC's gay community, including Nation--which is also beloved by estrogen-enhanced straight males who listen to emo.

Whatever happens w/r/t DC Baseball is either going to be a long, drawn out melodrama or it's going to come together very quickly. My best advice--gamble on it coming together quickly and get out in front of the news as fast as you can.

Here's how. To my knowledge, while we have gay clubs and gay restaurants and gay vacation locales and gay neighborhoods in America, we do not yet have a gay ballpark. I suppose Pac Bell Park (or whatever they call it now) comes the closest, but even there it's largely shared among the gay community, the bondage community, steroid enthusiasts, former residents of Hong Kong and the remnants of the Jeff Kent Memorial Anger Management Collective and Chowder Society Unlimited.

DC has an interesting advantage over other baseball towns in that our gay community is not only creative and active, but it intersects with some of the most wealthy and well-connected and powerful gay activists in the country. So I think the gay community in DC should organize, flash money clips, and announce their intention to turn DC's professional baseball concern into the pre-eminent gay-themed sporting team and arena complex in the world.

In other words, from the ashes of one Nation, let a hundred Nation's sprout forth--from every upper deck section, from every luxury box, behind every dugout. Baseball--with its pitchers, its catchers, its bullpens, its seventh-inning-stretches, its batters charging the mound, its pop-ups, its fly balls, its double plays, its fielder's choices, its inside-the-park-home-runs, its rosin bags, its squeeze plays and its sacrifice bunts--has been clearly ready and waiting for the moment to come whereupon America's pastime takes on its destiny--full-blown fabulousness.

EXCLUSIVE: The DCeiver penetrates the mystery that is Los Angeles.

While festivizing in the Poconos at the wedding of Chris Hanson and Trish Krusman, The DCeiver was reunited with one of his favorite folks, formerly of DC, Craig Housenick. C-House now resides in L.A., where in short order (and we're trying not to jinx anything) may become one of the five tallest screenwriters in town. Amid wedding cheer, The DCeiver had the chance to get to the bottom of the L.A. experience.

DCEIVER: So, Craig. I'm going to toss out a description of my impression of everyday life in Los Angeles that I've gleaned through tireless research. Tell me if I have this correct.


DCEIVER: Okay. So, you're in L.A. It's a typical day, things are going typically well. Maybe you're working, or you're out at night. It doesn't matter. Anyway, you're doing what you're doing, and everything's going well, and then, without warning, one of those actor kids from The O.C. shows up, and everything gets all fucked up. Is this basically it?

HOUSENICK: Yeah, that's pretty much how it works.

DCist enthusiasts: please be patient.

If you are looking for your morning dose of DCist, you've probably been greeted by the Internet Screens of Error. Do not fear. Michael Grass of DCist reached me via email today and says that Gothamist is performing a scheduled server switcheroo that could keep DCist offline through the morning. DCist will see you, and you will see DCist, just as soon as this maintenance activity is over.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Deceptette: Such a dirty shame edition

  1. Outrageous. Major League Baseball finally figures out how to shut the pustulent wretch Peter Angelos up: shove MORE money down his blab hole! The next time the MLB has to go to Angelos, watch for him to demand: "More babies! Dripping with placenta! Must devour the newly born! Bwaaa-haaa-haaa! (Post)
  2. DCist says Brunell will probably not play against 'Boys. Memo to Patrick Ramsey: you are going to get blitzed, early and often. They'll probably jump you in the parking lot. (DCist)
  3. U.S. Goverment jizzes all over themselves trying to get a glimpse of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, who are currently raising money for Ataxia-Telegensti...uh, Ataxia-Teleconnectida..., Ataxia...ummm--currently fucking each other. That's it. Currently fucking each other. (Names and Faces)
  4. What's that you say? Metro riders are currently experiencing some agita? I hadn't heard! (Post, late to the party as usual)
  5. Fans of the Washington Capitals rejoice! The hockey season will be happening--virtually, on G4TechTV starting October 13. All the fun of watching actual hockey games, without any worry that Ted Leonsis will try to beat the crap out of you. (G4TV)
  6. Baby, it's been too long. John Waters is back and sweetie, he is Sal-LAY-SHUSS! (Defamer/A Dirty Shame)
  7. And, in the Department of Synergy, check out Blue in the Face each day for the Blue in the Face Daily Briefing--and also see such features as: the poem that was used to convince musician Paul Hashemi to keep a backwards L on his website, our soft-hitting cross-country tour of voter opinion, the pissy 'tude from the I Hate The Blue In The Face Blog Bot, and, coming later today...Porter Goss: why he's gonna make everything much better! (Blue in the Face)
  8. There is no 8.

Calling all Enthusiasts!

The Deceiver heads out of town this weekend, for a weekend in the Poconos and the wedding of Chris Hanson--executive assistant to the stars and Trish Krusman--maker of Cialis. But that doesn't mean there isn't plenty for you lot to do while we are gone.

Alt-Country fans are going where there's no depression this weekend. We got the Drive-By Truckers at the 9:30 Club tonight, with Allison Moorer, the Tarbox Ramblers tonight and tomorrow at IOTA, with the 5 O'Clock Shadows, and the Old 97s back at 9:30 on Sunday. And if you are looking to add some dessert to this roots-rock feast, Tift Merritt will be back at IOTA on Thursday the 30th (so will the Deceiver).

Just because we're going to see a chanteuse named Tift doesn't mean we've lost any devotion for Our Favorite Band In Washington DC, Exit Clov. They are at the Black Cat on the 30th. A tipster, by the way, tells me that Emily and Susan Hsu are fans of frequenting the Common Grounds Coffee House in Clarendon, which is one of the locations you can pick up a pre-show voucher that'll get you a copy of their EP Starfish. Fans can also get their voucher at Melody Records in Dupont Circle.

Some of the names are different. Some of the names are slightly different. A couple of the names are the same. One of the names is Chris Cooley. But no matter. Monday Night Football is here with the MOTHER of all rivalries: Washington versus Dallas, here in historic Raljon, Maryland, at the Jack, where men are men, Hogs are Dirtbags, and pedestrians will be detained on sight. The best offense in the NFL (Dallas) goes up against the best defense in the NFL (Washington). Yes. That's true. It's only been two weeks, but I can say that, dammit, so I will. Dallas is a Gibbsian double-nemesis, as they are coached by Bill Parcells, who frequently bedeviled the younger Gibbs. Fans should take note--if we can't get up for THIS game, it's gonna be a long season.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

The most dangerous place in the world is between a Marylander and their liquor.

We at The Deceiver are usually pretty acute, we concentrate hard, we keep our feelers extended. But often a piece just breezes right over our head, flitting on gossamer wings to the back recesses of our mind, until it eventually dies and produces a stink so rank that we finally--with a jolt--notice.

For some time now, DCist has been reporting on PG County and its desire to have liquor stores close at midnight, as opposed to 2 or 2:30am. I must confess, for me this was like I was Santa's Little Helper in that episode of the Simpsons where he gets dog training, and you hear what characters are saying from his perspective: "Blah-MWAH blah blah-blah mwah-blah, blah mwah LICK YOUR OWN BALLS blah mwah-blah blah-mwah." Only today did something vital about this story sink in, and that was: Holy ASS-SHIT! Liquor stores in PG are open until 2AM? For Christ's sake, why?

So here are five good reasons why.

5. Late hours allowed Maryland students to maximize their profit potential pahhandling for change.

4. Staggering around drunk was a key means by which Marylanders prevented John Muhammed from drawing a bead on them.

3. PG County residents lack critical technology in the area of "liquor cabinetry", a means by which the rest of the United States stores tasty spirits in their own homes for private consumption at any time of day.

2. After the cops mace you and put your bonfire out, you need something to chase away the demons of inferiority.

1. All these boats aren't going to christen themselves!

[thanks to paul hashemi]

I'm very disappointed in you, Washington

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It's abundantly clear that Washington, DC has a population richly dense with Those Who Take Themselves Way Too Seriously. In most communities, when the Powers The Be tell the snowbound: "Non-essential personnel may stay home", they get the message, leave their bunny slippers on, turn on Guiding Light and drink ranch dressing right from the bottle--like rational people. In DC, we spelunk through snow drifts to work because Christ, man, SOMEONE COULD DIE(!!) if I'm not there by nine to disseminate our strat memos!

The Deceiver accepts these flawed persons, cherishes them, cares for them, holds them close to his bosom. But there are limits to my tolerance of the over-serious, and they were reached this morning when I went onto Votergasm and discovered that there are currently only two Votergasm parties planned for the national capital area!

And one of them is in Greenbelt.

Now, this isn't to say that Votergasm is catching on like wildfire, because it hasn't, but it seems crazy that DC might miss this unique opportunity to stop playing she-bop with their political frustrations and instead make a "joint resolution" with someone on election night. Imagine how refreshed we'll all feel the day after! Imagine how excited all the Hill staffer-boys are going to be after they learn that hot sex doesn't always have to end with them making a check out to Jessica Cutler.

As DC luminary John Riggins once said: "Loosen, you're too tight!" Take these words to heart, DC, and this November, let Independence Avenue run thick and sticky with the effluvia of mass Votergasm. Has Wonkette taught us nothing?

Potemkin sovereign on L street

Based upon the way the limo was decked out with the Iraqi flag, it looks like CIA asset Ayad Allawi is heading east toward his date with the US Congress. Allawi will be speaking today before the Congress, as well as selling Iraq's pretend rose garden from the actual one. If this were a political blog, we'd probably point out how funny it was that despite having poked fun at John Kerry for the support he's garnered from "foreign leader", Bush is depending on Allawi--a fake foreign leader who can't even invite you to visit his country without making it sound like a hazardous dare--to smooth over the current hell-mire Iraq has become in order to assuage the fears of voters. But this isn't a political blog. I'm sure Allawi hopes we get baseball, and is looking forward to trying the eggplant fatteh at Local 16.

Vincent Gallo responds to accusation that his accursed movie is the reason Visions is closing.

When reached for comment, and pointedly asked after being made aware of the situation at Visions, "This is how you repay us?" Gallo had this to say about the loss of our indie theatre:

"Great news, thanks."

Great news?? Thanks?! Are you fucking kidding me? He's not outraged that one of the few places enterprising enough to carry one of his films is keeling over and going under--a contortion most likely brought on by The Brown Bunny? He's flip and blithe about the loss of an underground cinematheque? This is the guy who had to cut close to thirty minutes of aimless meandering in order to ensure that his movie stood a chance of improving upon the sight of a blank screen, and all he can muster is "Great news, thanks?"

Asshole. Developing...

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Not to put too much pressure on you, HaH, but...

As one anonymous blogger begins a new journey, another one ends. We get belated news that The Minor Fall, The Major Lift--spirit guide and comfort source to many a blogger, is hanging it up for now. And, if you are to believe Ultragrrrl, TMFTML is also her uber-hot pal Leigh.

Again, HaH...not to put too much pressure on you...

The Seven Deadly Questions--one on one with Here's a Hint

The inaugural Seven Deadly Questions features the Anonymous Blogger known as Here's a Hint. HaH jumped into the blogosphere earlier this year with a contentious, opinionated blog that rattled the cages and egos of local rock musicians. As HaH's revamped, revised, and totally tweaked revision of that blog goes live this week, The Deceiver (one of the few people who actually knows who HaH is, by the way) and HaH meet over email to discuss the basics: "what" the scene and "why" the blog.


THE DECEIVER: I'll begin with an objection: The DCeiver isn't THAT political. You'll see--we do no policy wonking, no water carrying, no strategizing, no pool reports. We have stolen plenty of ideas from Wonkette, but we're trying to keep away from that whole mien.

HERE'S A HINT: I guess that's true, maybe I just caught two articles that seemed political on the front page or something (you also have to remember that for me, two political posts == 'poliltical' :). I feel like the link to your site should have *some* sort of warning, though :) Any ideas?

No. Now, the first and most obvious question: How do you sum up the state of DC's Music Scene?

Since starting up my rants, my definition of "DC music scene" has been in flux. You once got me thinking that it was larger than just "what local bands are playing tonight". Commentors on my blog have pointed out my view vs the "go-go vs. punk vs. scene".

For the sake of argument, I am not, and won't be concerned with jazz/blues, cover bands, hip-hop (and all it's spinoffs). I'm mostly interested in rock music, in that broad 'Barnes and Noble" type way and I'm mostly concerned with local music. I think DC attracts plenty of good regional and national acts.

When I sum up the scene, I ask "How many local bands are playing any given week at the top-shelf clubs (which I define to be 930, the Black Cat Mainstage and possibly Iota)? How many articles in the CityPaper discuss local music or local bands? How many times do you hear local music on the radio (outside of locals-only shows)?" Look at the Black Cat Mainstage calendar: every night should be booked in my opinion. Locals should play every night there's not a "bigger" show.

Any one of these things could be explained away, but taken together, it says to me that DC Local Music is not percieved to be an exciting destination on both sides of the coin. And having been to my fair share of local shows, I would tend to agree.

A universalist would have to say that within the subcultures of blues, jazz, go-go, and bluegrass, there's tons of musical life in Washington. But, let's face it, it's rock and hip-hop/R&B that command the most attention from touts, so, let's take the rock up. You are definitely not the first to harshly describe the DC music scene. Michael Azzerad, writing about DC in OUR BAND COULD BE YOUR LIFE, takes careful pains to call DC "sterile" and "uncool." The CITY PAPER is also a historical naysayer: we had an article a couple years ago harshing on the scene whose author seemed to want a "Sunset Strip"/Ell Lay type of scene here...and there's the yearly article from CP that attacks the legacy of Fugazi (it's like an initiation rite). I'd even be happy to admit that our two chief rock exports have been emo-hardcore on the Rites of Spring/Fugazi axis and the pointillist pop stylings of the world of TeenBeat and Simple Machines.

So, what's missing? Are we doomed by demographics? Are we just too serious minded? Too insider-oriented to form an underground? Or do we simply lack competent musicians, talented musicians, professional musicians?

I guess one could say "government workers == dullards w/ no creativity or desire for culture", but I reject that, simply because, real or not, it's an excuse and it provides no course of action for someone wanting to succeed (other than moving away :)

What I'd like to know is what is it REALLY like "everywhere else"? I know that New York is an anamoly, but what about Philly, Boston, Cleveland, Albany, Charlotte, etc? Are those the types of places to find great live music, or do they each have their own explanation?

And, does the scene elevate the band or is it the other way around? Would Minor Threat have escaped obscurity no matter what the odds, or did they need some shoulders to stand on?

What's missing are those shoulders. Good Charlotte probably isn't going to inspire a lot of creativity, but I can say, at least for myself, when I DO see a good band, I think "what can I do to be better than them?" It's that race-to-be-better, to take a good idea and make
it great (or at least try), that can be a fuel for creativity. And when I see other musicians lauding some shitty band who can barely play and writes 10 of the same song, I have to think that that may be a source of the problem; weak shoulders.

So now we get to one of those sources of irritation we've both slagged in the past, the scene resources--the critics and the blogs and especially the message boards. I've criticized AMS before--and I always feel bad doing so because the guy who runs it, Mike Holden, is a first-class guy who, left to his own devices and absent the overall gladhanding and self-buggery that goes on there would have had AMS be a top-flight resource for area musicians. In your opinion, what's dragging these "shoulders" down, and can anything be done about it?

Well, I think there's a vicious circle that one can get into. If you are best friends with, say, Rotoscope, and you go to their shows, and see them posting on the internet, you tend to think that they are "going somewhere", and that becomes your yardstick: "If I could just be as good as Rotoscope". All the while, you don't stop to realize that they are, for all intents an purposes, a brand new band who doesn't have their sound and hasn't written their best material. But if you see them as the goal, it isn't hard to reach.

Not to really pick on them, because they are competent musicians and a tight unit, but the point is, message boards and "mini scenes" narrow your view and keep you from raising the bar. It sucks because the bands at the top of their game aren't feeling the pressure, and everyone else just plays out when they can get through 40 minutes of material. I just went through this exercise with my band. The singer thought if we could get through a song, we were ready to gig. The sad thing is, in this town we could get a show no problem.

And maybe the problem is there's too many resources for musicians. Not 10 years ago, no one was using the Internet for this stuff. It was all word of mouth. Making a shitty demo was expensive. Getting a show was hard. Maybe we need to return to that? I don't know. That would mean I'd have to become a much better writer and meet deadlines
and schedules and shit, so I can't say I'm not enjoying the freedom that this stuff gives us.

Maybe it is just too easy to be a legend in your own mind these days. Go back to that Azzerad book--the way he describes the early days of each of those's not very glamorous. It's sweat and cold and hunger and stink and grinding poverty.

I'm using your mention of Rotoscope as a segue that you'll understand but I can't explain without getting close to piercing your anonymity, but do you think that too many musicians around here are just whores for the adulation?

Well sure, but at some level, isn't that why one gets on stage? A friend of mine said to me once "All consciousness is ego consciousness", and it's pretty true, and I don't think that's so bad. As long as you keep it in perspective. And it was that (lack of) perspective that finally broke me. To see these people play and suck each other's dicks, all while being splendidly mediocre, was just amazing to me. All it takes is to see one national act at the 930 club to realize how far a lot of people have to go.

I think it's very easy to go from acoustic guitar in your bedroom, to being on a (somewhat) real stage with your friends cheering for you, and with no heavy hitters "showing us how it's done", you think that's it. You think "me + songs + stage + cheers == success".

I think what I've realized and what I never used to (and what a lot of bands don't seem to believe) is that making a name for yourself, a career, takes HUGE amounts of work. You read about Metallica squatting in a rat-infested shithole while recording what many consider to be the best thrash album of all time, and I think "Fuck, I love making music, but I've got to eat; I would never be able to do that". Maybe you don't have be the starving artist, but it just goes to show you what some people will do to succeed. Who's doing that here?

A mutual friend of ours told me that his band rehearsed for a YEAR before playing out. Another friend of mine said his band rehearsed for 18 months. Someone who does that is motivated by more than just having their friends say how awesome they are on AMS.

So, let's get down to the new site. What will the new Here's A Hint site offer the music scene? Can it turn things around, or are you not setting your sights that high?

Before even starting the original blog, I had wanted to put my computer skillz to work to create a portal related to local music. Obviously, there's a lot of that stuff around, but none of it is ever up-to-date, or the people running it just include everything. When
you include everything it's the same as including nothing. A lot of sites are also geared towards band members and not music-lovers. I think Big Yawn has a great approach with talking about national-level indie rock, but tying it into local music on occasion.

The blog itself was a way to document my personal decision regarding local music and how I changed in my approach to it. There's barely anything written on DC local music at all, and when there is, it's usually a promotional type piece like you'd see in OnTap or lots of musicians saying "Yeah, Run Silent Run Deep are really going places!" on some messageboard. Yet, there's still this notion that the DC music scene sucks. I wanted to single out the bands I don't think are good and point out why and say "if you think the scene sucks, be better than these bands and that'll be a start" rather than joining the chorus that complains about Local Lix or whatever.

So, the new site is a combination of the two. My hope is that if I can keep the content up to date, relevant, and somewhat exclusive, it will be a good thing for the "scene". So, this next year will be a big experiment to see if I can do it. Can I keep the bile flowing as well as provide something useful to "the scene"?

How do your respond to all the complaints surrounding your desire to remain anonymous?

I originally was going to just put up the site and write content and see how it went. But, I realized that to make it interesting, and honest, I would have to say that some bands just plain sucked, and no matter how much I sugar-coated things, people might not like a) that I didn't like their band and b) that I wasn't "supporting the scene" and being negative. So, I figured that, anonymously, I wouldn't have that problem. Plus, I wouldn't want my band or friends to have to deal with my opinions.

So, given that I felt the strong need to voice said opinions, yet not want to have to edit them for political correctness, doing it anonymously seemed the only way to go.

I think at this point, the complainers about my anonymity have gone away and people are just accepting my rants for what they are: one person's (detailed and long-winded) opinion. Plus, I think I've written enough stuff that people would rather debate the points of my arguments than who I am.

Some may say I'm not "man" enough or that I'm some chickenshit computer dork hiding behind a keyboard. I guess that's true, but it doesn't change the fact that I've seen some really shitty DC bands.

All right: last question. Imagine you've been put in charge of the City Paper and the City Paper's website. Can you think of any action you could take or decision you could make that could possibly result in the City Paper's coverage of music sucking more than it does already?

Yeah, get rid of Pop Quiz, Greg Ceton and Mark Jennings, who are the only people/things related to local music on there. Maybe jack up the ad rates so only 930 could afford to list their shows?

Now, if Ceton and Jennings have long-term contracts, I would order them to increase the indie snobbery and massive name-dropping they use in their columns (if that's possible), to make them even less accessible to the average person.

And maybe a monthly anti-Fugazi/Dischord column?

I think that's already covered.

[Here's a Hint's new blog can be found at the conveniently located]

DCeptette: Out on the edge of darkness edition.

  1. Bianca Jagger comes to Washington to fight against...toxic mold? Ummmmm...okay! Here's the angle: if you put it in context, toxic mold tax relief=the new estate tax! Somewhere, Grover Norquist is dreaming of spores (Leiby)
  2. Headline of the Week: "Don't court us and then snub us, says angry black caucus." Now, The Hill, "Angry Black Caucus"? That's such a stereotype! (The Hill)
  3. Waterfront baseball stadium proposed for DC team, even as Angelos, Barry, bear down on proposal from both sides. If all goes well, you could soon be the lucky fan courting fish rot disease scooping Maicer Izturis foul-offs out of the Anacostia (Post)
  4. We have maintained for over a decade that the moon-faced folk-pop stylings of Cat Stevens have no place on our airlines. Finally, the Office of Homeland Security agrees, spares Dulles Airport in favor of making it Maine's problem. (Post)
  5. We survived Princess Michael of Kent, then we persevered over Kathleen Battle comes to town. DCers credit awareness, quiet shoes and a concentrated effort to not startle or make direct eye contact with her as the reason we survived. (Post)

David Dreier: All signs point to fabulousness.

Hmmm. Me only half intrigued by all the speculation. But I look at the ladies that Representative Dreier surrounds himself with in his professional life and a pattern seems to emerge. Legislative Director Alisa Do, Legislative Assistant Sarah Cockerill, Legislative Assistant Lindsay Moorhead? Hmmm. I think I'll close my office door, here...and now I'll take those three names and start shouting them out in breathy, ecstatic glee. Okay...there we go--whoops! I just got fired.

Maybe I can get a new job through Dreier's Staff Assistant Jenny Halford.

Hmmmm. Halford...

Why am I thinking of Judas Priest all of a sudden?

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

DCeptette: Monument Avenue breakdown edition

  1. We are in the process of interviewing Here's a Hint. Due to computer malefaction, it's taking longer than we would have liked. In the meantime, check our the new site. (Here's A Hint)
  2. Chris Otten of dcindymedia examines voter turnout numbers through a "lens, darkly." He wonders: "That means 12,796 Democrats didn't bother to vote for [shadow Representative]. A sign of frustration with the fact we don't have Statehood or computer scan malfunction???" No, Chris...look--it's have to under--ohhhhhh, Jesus...Chris, have you ever met the voters of Washington, DC? (indymedia)
  3. What Washington DC calls its "ban" on "guns" will remain in place after Senate Republicans find other, more fun ways to fuck people over. (DCist)
  4. Virginia Veterans rally in Richmond for Bush--a good sign, considering how often they back the team that finishes second. (Snerf!) (Post)
  5. Remember the Zebra Mussels? Well Virginia is about to unleash hell on those motherfuckers. You know, they're, like applying for block grants an' stuff. (Post)
  6. What?! We missed Tesla? (Post)
  7. Princess Michael of Kent comes to DC. No casualties reported. (Leiby)

Final note: The DCeiver would like to thank Friend and Neighbor of Deceiver Elissa Ewalt for scoring tickets for the Pixies at DARCH. Row N! This blogger's gone to heaven!

World's Greatest Douchebags is just not creative enough.

DCist points to a previously-unknown-to-DCeiver paragon of unintentional hilarity and fountain of social self-immolation known as the World's Greatest Players. Oh, my.

Player Leland, graphically depicted here in what looks like a record-setting hamstring pull, alludes to his own sex life by describing himself as a "cicada emerging from 17 years in the larval state" and goes on to describe injuring his left index finger with a cooking knife. So gangsta, n'est-ce pas?

Player Dan, who boasts of "play-action", "single-sex high school", "silver tongue" and his array of hobbies, sends the clear message: "When the lights go down, I'm at McFaddens, but when I go down, color me a member of Velvet Nation."

Player Andrew, who pines for his "broken heart", lays it all out there truthfully: "Sadly, I was smaller than most kids my age." He adds: "It was not due to, but despite of my size that I was able to compete." Awwwww. Keep telling yourself that! And we'll keep calling you, "The Cute One."

The site teases an upcoming story on this Trio of Tallywankers "attempt at stand-up" comedy. If that's as good as the sit-down comedy they are providing me with now, I'll need to get my physician to re-up my percocets.

Monday, September 20, 2004

REDSKINS: Week the Second

Posted by Hello

As it was written by Saint Travis of Raljon in the Gospel of Gibbs.

Thanks to Message Boards and online friends,
Sunday's debacle was just a game.
Not a season-ending nightmare or Spurrier-devolving portent
Though the Post's dour sentiment off puts to beat the band(wagon)

Flags galore. Blown coverages. INT's.
Fumbles from a usually breadbasket lock and key.
Undone somewhat by their aging vet and our Junior looking positively Frosh-like,
Still Gregg's game kept us afloat. Those guys deserve a standing O.

It's not like Coughlin called a better game.
Though Saint Joe made some specious calls himself.
The patchwork OL did its part but couldn't hold up to the onslaught.

Next week, why not light a spark with McCants instead of Gardner, Keep Sean Taylor in a little longer?

Parcells will eat Ramsey alive so please Mark, a speedy return? Just think though: Gibbs v. Tuna again!

Useless thus far: Daniels, Barrow, Gardner, Jimoh.
I still have a terrible taste in my mouth.
But when you predict a team goes 10 and 6 they have to lose 6 games.
So even though you don't think they'll lose...
Oh well, it still sucks ass.Resort to cliche tropes: We always lose the games we shouldn't. Same Ol Same Ol....but it ISN'T!

It's All New, 100% Improved, Gibbs, Baby, Gibbs Slobberknockin Smashmouth Dirtbaggery.

We're still alive, everyone is.
All the naysayers pipe yo ass down.
Gin up for an apocalyptic Monday Night.

If FedEx Field doesn't bounce off its moorings if it doesn't slide around Landover with a tidal burst. Or with sonic booms, fell birds in mid-flight. If the Faithful 90K don't physically devour the girls and shit back into Parcells hands his masticated team, I don't know what.

Another season passed by?
Or just another game.
Won or lost like they all have to be.

I'll be watching.
I'm always watching.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Depressing News: Visions Cinema is Closing. And you can just bet who's to blame

I read on DCist that one of my favorite places in DC, the Visions Cinema and Bistro, is closing. This cuts me to the quick. A fine establishment: good flicks, cold beer, and a great location--tucked in at the elbow joint between Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle, it was a fantastic place to just sit back and watch the evening unfold. The rare kind of nightlife locale where you could have a good takeoff or landing.

And you know who I blame? Vincent Gallo and his evil Brown Bunny, that's who! Could it be a coincidence that this soul-devouring piece of pretension found its way here and is now taking Visions with it? You don't think Brown Bunny can just come to your town and nobody has to pay a price? Nobody has to suffer? When you think of all the pretty boys and girls in the East Village bowing in abeisance to this straggly, staggering auteur like zombies, surely you realize that The Brown Bunny comes with a cost attached to it too great to bear! In the end, even Frank the bunny wasn't strong enough to stop it.

Why, oh why, could it have not played the AFI? We'll be asking that question for a long time.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Best Brief Second of Airtime Ever!

If you blinked, you missed it, but ifyou watch VH1's Best Week Ever, you'll catch a glimpse of a local luminary. The lucky flashed one was MoCo Chief of Police Tom Manger. Manger was once the Chief of Police in Band Camp before the whole DC Metropolitan area got sniperlicious, causing the Eliot Ness of the spree-killer beat, then-MoCo Chief Charles Moose, to decide he was too sexy for some law enforcement and retired to a life of book deals and provider of anti-snipe expertise. That brought Manger away from BC to the Land Beyond Silver Spring.

Manger was shown--briefly--on BWE pressconferencing about how disatisfied he is about the current state of the laws what ban the assault weapons, which is to say that as of this week, they be none! Hmmmm...we have assault weapons back on the street AND Barry back in office? Sounds like a wacky confluence of events guaranteed to bite us in the ass somewhere down the line, don't it?

Let me tell you, MoCo is in good hands with Chief Manger, don't you worry. The Wife of Deceiver knows Chief Manger and his fantastic wife personally--she and Manger performed in The Lady in the Dark at The American Century Theatre many years ago, before his police career really took off like a rocket (wow...a top cop with Selleck-like good looks, big time press savvy and song and dance talent? Must be the 21st Century!). The Deceiver knows him also, though less well, and we both think he's a fantastic guy. I still remember how calm he was when my wife spilled red wine at his house--he had the 411 on a stain remover that took it up in seconds. Tellingly, when I spilled wine at Chief Ramsey's house a few weeks back, he had me waterboarded and worked over with nightsticks.

Preview of Next Week's Action

Normally we wouldn't take the time totell you what we're going to do, mainly because we aren't too good at advance planning. But, DC blog junkies and music fans should totally take note. Monday, September 20th is the debut of the new Here's a Hint blog, brought to you by the titular anonymous blogger. TheDeceiver has taken a stroll around the site's beta design and have found it to be sufficiently awesome. A totally geeked-up paradise of music-scene bewitchery, brimming with HaH's typically polarizing opinions.

Also, next week, in a bold stroke of synergy that totally impresses the easily impressed like myself, we will be bringing you our first ever installment of the Seven Deadly Questions with the aforementioned Here's a Hint of the Here's a Hint blog. I'll start by asking a couple of hard hitting questions, and then I'll probably trail off and inquire as to which member of Exit Clov smells the nicest. Please tune in for that!

Calling All Enthusiasts!

Ticketmaster Your Ass Off!
Tomorrow morning, get your hands free out, find a comfortable chair, brew up a pot of coffee and put it in one of those hats with the cups and straws on either side, and settle in for a morning of trying to get through to the TicketMonster. We got Pixies at DARCH, the MoveONdotOrg show at MCI (because DC is a vital swing state), and there's probably some crap at Nissan you can settle for if you get the Heisman from TM over one of those shows.

The Time of Your Life
Everyone has an opinion about their favorite American play. Well, TheDeceiver bigtime hearts William Saroyan's The Time of Your Life, packed with personalities you won't soon forget and shot through with a melancholy sweetness that'll wring those salty tears from the most hard-hearted. A masterwork that never fails to inspire, being done by The American Century Theatre. Normally, TACT has the same problem as the Democratic Party--ideological purity and sticking to the high road doesn't mean a lot of winning. I say to TACT, it's great to go to bat for the obscure, but it's better when you put up a real classic every once in a while. This play is a REAL classic. At Gunston Arts.

Have a Drunken FilmFest with the Axis of Stiller
If my memory serves me right, the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse are basically a Ben Stiller and friends repertory house this weekend. So if you're tired of the rain and the Redskins and you just want to bliss out to the cinematic work of Mssrs. Stiller and Vaughn and Ferrell, get down to the ACaD and catch Dodgeball and Anchorman back to back. If you want to add a heaping helping of gastric distress, come early for Super Size Me. They'll toss your ass out when it's time to leave.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Some family business

It's co-branding time again! Here's what's going on over at our big sister site, The Diner:

  • Madison Avenue would like you to sit still while it cums all over your face. Yes, that's right folks, TheDiner Fall TV Preview is here.
  • Simple Machine of Politics: I was sick to death of 2004?s political conversation being centered on the candidates' military service in the 1960?s. Well, now it's centered on mid-century typefaces and 1950?s kerning! Be careful what you wish for.
  • Tis the season for the Nets to retool their line ups so you'll buy more tampons -- but even basic cable is getting in on the act with a whole new roster of Must See Crap. Your guide to what's on cable is right here.
  • Plus, goodies every which where.

Get into it.

Jenna Bush News--mi casa es su tocador

Wonkette is reporting that Jenna Bush and her equally enterprising and ridiculously eviler twin Barbie have used their magical twin brainpower to solve one of the problems that face them: namely, how to get ass-over-teakettle shitfaced at Smith Point and still avoid the embarrassment of staggering back to the White House or passing out at BC04HQ in Arlington.

So, the twins have apparently hatched a plan to rent a crash-pad in Georgetown within rolling-home distance of Smith Point. When I think of all those winter nights I spent under the conic Christmas tree in Francis Scott Key park, undone by MGD, it makes me wish I had thought of this. This isn't the level of shrewdness I expected from someone who, weeks earlier, inexplicably cockblocked Michael Phelps, who's cut like a razor and convered in Olympic bling.

For her part Wonkette seems flummoxed in contemplating how wasted you have to be to not be able to flag a hack--we're just relieved that the Secret Service has enough dignity to refuse to serve as the National Over The Shoulder Walk of Shame Escort.

But I wouldn't want to be the guy who rented this room after the twins. I hope the landlord is getting a big deposit. He'll need it to clean up the Bush daughters', deposits.

Deceptette--Act your age, not your shoe size edition

  1. DC Voters Throw Down. Incumbents shitcanned, Barry resurrected, Sandy Allen apparently had "drugs in her back yard" and didn't share with me. (Post)
  2. TMI Department. UVa Football's Marquis Weeks, on kick return for TD: "That was just instinct. Kind of like running from the cops." (Huh?)
  3. Betsy Rothstein interviews Kristin Gore about Sammy's Hill. Question: Is Rothstein some fifth-grader The Hill obtained from some Pity, Incorporated outreach program? Because these questions are relentlessly non-adult and about as probing as a box of Apple Jacks. Embarrassing. (The Hill)
  4. Welcome to Band Camp. Plotting your poop-laden revenge on Craigslist may be hella unwise, but it's definitely suburban. (Craigslist)
  5. Gordon Peterson axed from Channel 9's Late News; future uncertain. Meanwhile Channel 4's George Michael poised to "bray like a jackal far into eternity," says news director, laughing Satanically. (Post)
  6. Kennedy Center Honorees chosen: Warren Beatty, Ossie Davie, Ruby Dee, Sir Elton, Dame Joan Sutherland, John Williams. A tearful Conrad Bain swallows pride, pins hope on next year. (KenCen)
  7. And, Synergy Department: The wild and crazy world of herpes, John Kerry gradually helps the unemployed, and, later today, a special Rosh Hashanah message from the Bloom sisters. (Blue in the Face)

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

DCist: Give them one hour and they will make you happy

We encourage everyone to head down to Adams Morgan tomorrow to celebrate the official launch of DCist at the Reef. If DCist isn't part of your daily routine, get into it, right now. For those of you who don't know, the "-ist" family of blogs are exceedingly well put together and well run, and are found in four of the Deceiver's favorite cities: DC, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. There's even one in a place called Los Angeles!

If you have an particular affinity for city life, the -ist blogs are essential. This isn't mere reportage and commentary--they are a front-line perspective on the way the streets around you thrum with a life all their own. They negotiate the pitfalls of a big city by reimagining it as a community that can be comprehended. They manage to provide a bracing shift in perspective in a voice that's completely familiar.

And the folks involved are great people as well, so follow the first link and join DCist at their launch happy hour! You know how Oprah gave everyone on her show this past week a car? Well, we hear that DCist is so totally buying everyone at their Happy Hour a Julia's Empanada!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The Bitch is Back! DC Primary results are going PERFECTLY so far.

We at The Deceiver have become so inured to electoral disappointment that the news coming out of tonight's DC Primary is like living in some kind of fantasy world where there are bumper cars and heroin milkshakes and every day is like living inside a Coldplay song all majestic and messianic and everyone's running around naming their kids after fruit.

At this juncture, it looks like the DC Council Clod Twins, Kevin Chavous and Harold Brazil are finally getting tossed to the curb. Oh, frabjous day! Calloo, callay! These two incompetent kneebiters, both of whom at one point had mayoral aspirations that were fortunately thwarted when DC fell in love with a bow-tie wearing, number crunching, kindly and unobtrusive dweeb, have long deserved a little boot in the ass in the general direction of out the door. And they are getting it tonight: both are going down in flames.

With 62% of the precincts reporting, Kwame Brown holds a near insurmountable lead in the Democratic At-Large Primary. Brazil is trailing by 21 percentage points. To give you an idea at what a blowout this is becoming, compare Brazil's support to the unheralded (in all fairness, someone may have heralded him, it's just a figure of speech) Sam Brooks. Brooks is only 17% behind Brazil. Relatively speaking, voters are crazy about the Anybody But Brazil ticket.

In the Ward 7 Primary, Chavous is faring slightly better against Vincent Gray in a crazy six-candidate race. With 54% of the votes counted, Gray is up, 50%-33%. We are hopeful that these trends continue and that Chavous and Brazil are ousted at long last. The only regret we have is that we didn't fund the construction of a large slingshot so as to give this ouster the drama and catharsis it deserves.

But, as much as we giddily grope ourselves at the thought of new blood replacing old dust on the Council, the news that has us most crazy with ecstatic delight is that over in Ward 8, the Man appears to have Come Around! Yes, we are talking about the ultimate in old-school, the man who put the kick back in kickback, set up by bitches but never brought down, the living political reincarnation of Rick James, the Mayor for Life, His Honor Marion Barry is baaaaaack! And back big time! Barry nearly tripled the amount of votes won by the dull and dimwitted Sandy Allen, winning 61% to 23% in a race that wasn't even remotely close.

This means Barry's return to elected office is all but a done deal. The remaining obstacle is 74 year old Ward 8 Republican Shelton Cardell, who won the Republican nomination with all 18 of the Republican votes.

So, things are going to get hella interesting for all of us here in DC-Metro land. And if you think we're stoked at The Deceiver, you have to imagine the orgiastic delight over at The City Paper! This is what they dream of--each generation of City Paper writers wants one thing: a crack at the Barry beat, to walk the same roads as their forebears, to scale the same heights, stare into the same sunlight, peddle the same tired metaphors.

I'll put it like this: you don't have to be a forensic specialist to guess what sticky substance is glistening on a pair of Loose Lips tonight!

Stuff we learn from blogging.

The Deceiver has been at this a very short time, but we've already noticed something amusing. Nothing gets the people running to your website like a Lauriol Plaza mention. The first time we did it, Wonkette opened the floodgates. The second time, the good folks at DCist picked it up (though, to be fair, DCist did not frame their link back as an LP reference).

Of course, we do not even come close to objecting. We're admirers of Ana Marie and DCist. And of course we love the eyeballs. But it makes us wonder: would regular reportage on the comings and goings at Lauriol Plaza be the ticket to big time in the blogosphere? It would be curious--especially considering no one out there has expressed a real fondness for the restaurant (The Deceiver's eaten there all of one time, and our review: "Meh.")

Well, apropos of nothing, then, we'd like to tell our readers that The Fantasy Football Team of the Deceiver, the Lauriol Plaza Leftists, won their Week One match up 126-75, paced by outstanding performances by Donovan McNabb and Ahman Green. The good news is tempered, however, by the news that starting wide receiver Charles Rogers may miss the rest of the year after refracturing his collarbone (poor guy). We'll keep you posted on how the LPL's do as the season progresses.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Deceptette: How come everybody wants to keep it like the Kaiser edition

1. This is the kind of shit the DCeiver was built for! At long last, and according to DCist, DC may finally receive the opportunity to host The Real World DCist is only a teeny bit hesitant in its belief that MTV's purchase of a space across the street from Caribou Coffee in Adams Morgan may be the real thing at long last. Can Dave Attell be far behind? Let the resentment and prankings begin! Remember DC, these out-of-town fucks won't ever need to find a parking space! (Due credit to the lovely DCist)

2. The Washington Post says that officials have successfully intercepted a rigged letter addressed to Governor Mark Warner that was set to burst into flames upon opening. Hmmmmm. We wonder if this has anything to do with the note we received from John Ashcroft thanking us for the Barnes and Noble Gift Certificate? (Post)

3. Michael Kaiser will remain the President of the Kennedy Center until 2011. "After that," says Kaiser, "you little fucks are on your own." (Post)

4. And in the synergy department, our little sister site asks people the hard questions about remembering September 11. And then, gives them a suggestion on how to forget it. (Blue In The Face)

This is a call.

It seemed like only yesterday that The Deceiver was thinking to himself: "My God, Deceiver, these people who regularly spend their weekends at Coyote Ugly and who believe it is this sine qua non of hip nightlife are perhaps the most embarrassing fucking people in this whole city!" Well, they now have competition.

The Deceiver and the Wife of Deceiver were enjoying a beautiful evening of outdoor dining at Mexicali Blues the other night, and, having finished, headed to board the Metro at Clarendon to take the inbound Orange into the city. That's when we were set upon by an awesome gaggle of 5'4" female undergraduates from George Washington University, who had spent the evening at Arlington's latest monstrosity, the Cheesecake Factory.

For those of you keeping score at home, the Cheesecake Factory is a culinary debacle of epic proportions. Gaudy and tacky, the CF typically serves its arterial shock-and-awe entrees in portion sizes that could choke a ravenous wildebeest. The Arlington outpost of this gustatory nightmare has towering minarets, which have led the locals to refer to it as The Cheesecake Mosque. It is in short, an Arlington establishment much like the bafflingly popular Mr. Days, that is only patronized by totally embarrassing people.

The WoD and I stood on the Metro platform, surrounded by this lollipop guild of Mosqueteers, each of them tightly clutching an enormous doggybag of that evening's CF leavings--BRANDED doggybags, mind you, with a stupidly large and yellow CF insignia prominently emblazoned thereon--destined for GWU residence mini-fridges and the cold, hateful breakfast of a hungover Saturday mid-morning. Staring at them, it was hard to escape the rampaging thought: "Sweet Christ! These are quite possibly the most declasse people in the world."

This is a call. You can do better. You don't need the Cheesecake Factory. Even if you are a student. Even if you LIKE the Cheesecake Factory. It is mangy waste, sold to bottom feeders. Ask a friend for help. Read Chowhound. Get a copy of Zagat's if all else fails. The Cheesecake Factory is like Lauriol Plaza for losers. It is the restaurant equivalent of the House Republican haircut, regrettable, avoidable and embarrassing to all involved. You must stop. You must stop right now.