Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Lesson In Drinking

A project that was 8 years in the making.  Originally envisioned as a live action video, eventually evolved into the animated masterpiece below.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Most Underrated Bassist on Long Island

Here is a list of the most underrated bassist on Long Island.  The ranking is from Great to Greatest. 

#11 Dave Rerecich

            This quirky lyricist is seldom recognized for his groove and funk bass skills during his tenure in the band Idiot Squad. Having co-wrote such classics as Let’s Hide from the Mailman and Frankie was a Young Republican he helped propel Idiot Squad into mediocrity.  Rerecich left the music business to focus on developing a better way to milk squirrels. His impact on the Long Island bar scene however subtle will always remain.

#10 Lenny Lobello
            This Queens native and Holy Cross graduate was the one and only bassist in Mr. Seraphim’s unnamed Holy Cross band which played one show after some conduct speech that Mr. G gave to all the students.  Even though he’s retired from the music business that doesn’t mean he never left a mark in the music circle.  Lobello was the inventor of the bass pick.  Nowadays, Lobello is Kevin Sorbo’s stunt double. 

#9 Andrew Cody
            He’s as awesome as awesome comes when it comes to bass playing.  Cody’s bass playing is so awesome that he has never even played in a band.  With all the hype surrounding Cody, he had some big headliners vying for him to tour with them.  Bands like The Spin Doctors, Gin Blossoms, and IntraVenus.  Cody surprised everyone when he declined all top offers in an unsuccessful bid to replace Ginger Spice in the Spice Girls.  He currently sells second hand Urkel Dolls in Sarasota, FL. 

#8 Gary Starr
            This wicked bass player stemmed from Nassau Community College’s Science of Sound and Music Homemade Instrument Band. Starr’s popularity did not last long.   He shined bright as the only man to ever make a 4 string washtub bass.  His fall from grace came when he sold said bass to a 60 year old man for some crack and then killed another man after losing in a heated game of Uno. He’s presently the Secretary of Education.

#7 Anthony Ardezzone
            Ardezzone’s claim to fame stems all the way back to the early days of IntraVenus.  His bass solos were unending and unmatched.  He carried the band for years not just musically but also lyrically and culinarily. Ardezzone’s expertise with an easy bake oven are unparalleled by any other adult male on Long Island.  

#6 Paul Bryant
            Bassist and lead singer for Ocean Blanket, Bryant consistently shocked the crowd with deafening vocal gutturals and slap happy bass chords. His tenure as rhythm may have been short lived but was not forgotten. Bryant has recently won a UFC lightweight championship under the name Professor MoonDreamer.

#5 Kevin Fleischman
            At just 16 years old Kevin Fleischman was the bass prodigy replacing long time IntraVenus bassist Anthony Ardezzone.  Fleischman quickly gained notoriety as a premier talent.  His post IV career landed him in the skater punk band Tony Hawk.  Unfortunately no one in the band could actually skateboard and thus failed to win the favor of Avril Lavigne making them a laughing stock in the tween music scene. Fleischman and Tony Hawk are still going strong though and have currently signed a contract with United Artists Records.

#4 Ben Laffin-Rose
            This eclectic bassist played in every band on Long Island from the hard rock sound of O.S.S. to the hard rock sound of Krystaleen.  Through the 1990s and 2000s if you had a hard rock band in Queens or Nassau County Ben Laffin-Rose was probably your bassist.  He started his career as a Wookie impersonator with dreams of becoming Han Solo.  Laffin-Rose is now a tax attorney for Enron.

#3 Joe “Joeybass” Sagarese
            We’re positive in our logic that Joe “Joeybass” Sagarese never got his due.  The former PositiveLogic bassist would tune his bass strings by using them to strangle terrorist for the C.I.A.  If that wasn’t enough for his rip roaring deep bass punk sound, he also lit his farts on fire before every show to ensure he would not suffer from any rectal itch during a performance.  While Joeybass is still in the music game he’s hopelessly resorted to performing on the corner of Sesame Street, dropping bass lines for tips.  On the bright side Count von Count is managing his money.  

#2 Judd Jaworowski
            The shortest, angriest, and one of the most talented bassist on the list, Jarowowski made being mainstream look anti-corporate.  During his tenure as bassist/writer/back-up vocals for Breakin’ Hundred his stage fame came from the hour long rants against “the establishment” while at the same time promoting conservative family values. Jaworowski is the only bassist to ever telekinetically levitate his own body while doing a bass solo. His small stature might have helped assist in said achievement.

#1 Daniela Viteritti
            Don’t be fooled by the fact that she’s the only lady on the list. As the bassist for Blue Movie, she’s as bad as bad comes.  Viteritti spends her free time clubbing baby seals and eating their meat raw. Other claims to fame are coining the phrase “off the record” and being Nico Viteritti’s sister.  Her future plans for the band are to write a song that promotes peace, love and kicking ass. 

Written By
Joseph Ammendolea
“I Like To Play With Toys” Productions®

Friday, February 15, 2013

Not Every Rose Smells as Sweet

Sunday marked the 55th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Even though the intent of “Music’s Biggest Night” is to honor and recognize the efforts of talented individuals it more or less, like any other awards ceremony, usually comes down to the fashion. This year was no exception. The Grammy’s, in particular, is known for envelope pushing get-ups and controversy. (We ALL remember the infamous green Versace dress donned by Jenny from the Block back in 2000). This is especially apparent in the highly publicized dress code letter sent out before the big event. The “leaked” memo included restrictions on “bare fleshy under curves of the buttocks” and “bare sides or under curvature of the breasts”, this according to The Huffington Post. Was this memo leaked on purpose? Following last year’s sudden drug induced passing of the legendary Whitney Houston (which sent ratings through the roof) was this “leaked memo” a ploy to capture the overwhelming ratings from the previous year? Who knows and frankly who cares? The stars didn’t, that’s for sure!

Take J.Ho (I mean J. Lo) for instance. That green Versace dress mentioned earlier is rumored to be a reason for the memo. So, instead of dressing a little more demure (especially at her age, sexy or not) to avoid controversy, that bitch ended up diving right in! Her barely there black Anthony Vaccarello frock was very reminiscent of another leg barring black dress worn by Angelina Jolie to last year’s Oscar Ceremony. Not only did she purposely piss off the Grammy people (which she played stupid about in interviews) she played her own version of Bitch Stole My Look!...and lost!

Is anyone else thinking Leg Lamp from A Christmas Story?

Jennifer Lopez was not the only female busting Grammy Nuts that evening. Katy Perry, not a stranger to wearing controversial ensembles, was not about to make an exception. Perry’s mint green Gucci gown and big hair was intended to channel a young Priscilla Presley, which no one gave a shit about. Instead everyone (including myself) was instantly mesmerized by Katy’s Golden Globes. In all seriousness how could The Grammy people tell her to cover those things up??? Judging by past costumes and red carpet looks those chesticles have a mind of their own! I say, if you got them, stuff them into a plunging neckline and have at it!

Portia who?!
 Where there’s a few hoes there’s gotta be a garden, right? Dressed in a head to toe floral number by Valentino, the British songstress Adele could have doubled as the scenery for a Wizard of Oz remake (the poppy fields comes to mind). While some applauded Adele for stepping out of her “basic black” motif the floral pattern was the wrong way to go! Shame on her stylist for sending her out in that dress. As if it could get worse she even wore matching floral shoes! The matronly hair, the hideous print and the matchy matchy shoes were a huge miss (emphasis on HUUUGE!)

Adele sporting some vintage 1970s bedroom curtains.

Written by
John S. Saric
“I Like To Play With Toys” Productions®

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Everything I Do I Do It For A Nuclear Emily

Happy Valentine's Day everyone.  Here's a love story for all to enjoy on this day of romance.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

JJ Abrams Dethrones Steven Spielberg as King of the Nerds

As the current creative talent behind Star Trek and Star Wars, not even a hybrid of Joss Whedon and Peter Jackson could usurp his rule.

It was recently announced that JJ Abrams would direct the 2015 Star Wars film, making him the brain child behind the two most successful science fiction franchises. He was thus crowned the undisputed King of the Nerds. The think tank behind such awesome shows as Alias, Lost and.…uh…Felicity…. Abrams’ ventured into the silver screen director’s chair with mediocre alien/monster flicks like Cloverfield (2008) and Super 8 (2011). Abrams didn’t achieve nerd acclaim until he directed a reboot of the Star Trek franchise in 2009. With the success of Star Trek Abrams showed he could take a much loved fan series and treat it with respect while also appealing to a completely new audience.

How did this man fool so many people into thinking liking his movies was not nerdy?

The former King of the Nerds Steven Spielberg is perhaps the only other person to reach such a wide audience while creating nerd oriented films. Spielberg’s rule never had the consensus of the nerd community. This was mostly due to his ability to direct multiple genres and tricking the normal people of the word into thinking he was not a nerd. Abrams can make no such claim.

Bea Arthur leading the rebel alliance in the Star Wars Holiday Special

Anticipation is high with Abrams at the helm of the two largest science fiction franchises in history. When factoring in the phenomenal work he did with Star Trek, there is A New Hope that the Star Wars franchise will be returned to its former glory. Even if he just does a remake of the Star Wars Holiday Special it will still be better than any of George Lucas’ efforts i.e. Special Editions and Episodes I and II.

Hayden Christensen superimposed over Bea Arthur in George Lucas' THX, substandard audio, 3D remastered version of the The Star Wars Holiday Special: Special Edition

Written by
Joseph Ammendolea
“I Like To Play With Toys” Productions®

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Taken: A Divorced Man’s Wet Dream

Liam Neeson trying to figure out how to use his smartphone.

With all the hype surrounding Taken 2 I’ve decided to look back on the wonder of the first film and how it appealed to so many divorced middle aged men. Director Pierre Morel’s action thriller stars Liam Neeson as former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative Bryan Mills who sets about tracking down his daughter Kim after she is kidnapped by human sex traffickers while travelling in France.

The movie spends a good portion of the opening act developing Bryan’s attempts to reconcile the fact that he was a workaholic father who loved but neglected his family. His business just happened to be the super awesome CIA spy gig. He accepts that his wife hates him for being an SOB that worked to make a living and just hopes he can be in his daughter’s life. Of course he’s competing with a rich stepdad that can buy ponies while his measly government pension can only get her karaoke machine. Bryan wants to do everything he can to help his daughter achieve her dream of becoming a super diva. Thus while working as a body guard he saves pop star Sheerah from a knife-wielding assailant. Instead of collecting his usually paycheck he request the pop star coach his daughter on how to sing. But alas his daughter doesn’t care about singing lessons; she wants to travel Europe like the cast of the Jersey Shore.

Bryan is totally against two teenage girls travelling to another country alone, but caves because like most middle aged men with teenage daughters he’s a huge pussy that wants his little girl to love him. His ex-wife Lenore also tosses in the fact that he has no right to be so overprotective after being absent for most of Kim's life. Lenore is clearly made out to be a moron that has no trust in her superspy husband’s understanding of international travel. To ease his mind he gives Kim a new cell phone that can work internationally, no doubt paid for from his government pension. At Los Angeles International Airport, he finds out the girls are actually following U2 during their European tour, something his ex-wife kept from him. Bryan who’s super pissed lets the girls go but gives his ex-wife and ear full about how unhappy it makes him feel.

Fifty year old Maggie Grace playing 17 year old Kim Mills. She still looks younger than the cast of 90210.

While in Paris his daughter’s friend stupidly befriends a stranger which leads to the inevitable kidnapping. Bryan gets the frantic call and immediately goes into CIA mode. Bryan shows up at stepdad Stuart and Lenore's house to flaunt how he was right and they were wrong. While investigating her kidnapping he discovers Kim has probably been taken by a generic Albanian human trafficking ring. The vile villain most divorced middle aged men choose to fight in their fantasies. Bryan travels to Paris and begins to beat the crap out of everyone he meets all in an effort to save his daughter. Generic French people are also the second most hated people on the middle aged American man’s list of people he dreams of beating-up.

Neeson torturing a dude by showing family photos, a practice that has been outlawed by the Geneva Convention. 

Bryan is too late to save Kim’s dumb friend but his virginal daughter can fetch a high price from generic Arab dudes in the underground sex trafficking world and may still be alive. Of course he is betrayed by his French police friend who is in on the scam. It eventually leads to finding his daughter and after killing a bunch more people he saves his daughter and her virginity from the ravages of rich Arab men and brings her home.

They return to the U.S. where she is reunited with her mother and stepfather. Bryan of course does not reunite with his wife because she’s a major bitch and no divorced man wants to be with his ex again but he does earn her respect and pretty much won the argument about the dangers of European travel. It is all divorced men’s dream comes true to earn their ex-wife’s respect and be right about every apprehension they have concerning their children. To ensure the ending has that extra happy ting Bryan also becomes his daughter’s hero a second time when he takes Kim to see Sheerah for her first singing lesson. I guess Bryan doesn’t realize that international pop-stars have to tour Europe to support their albums.

Teen pop stars are the third most disliked people by middle aged American men.

Taken is just a modern day talkie version of Birth of a Nation appealing to people’s thuggish and racist opinions of society. There is no substance, value or class in its depictions of a divorced American family, or Arabian people. It may have captured the uselessness of France and its people accurately but that does not make up for all its other shortcomings as a film.

Written by
Steven Rogers
“I Like To Play With Toys” Productions®