Monday, December 29, 2008

Caren Explains an Epiphany of Video Game Proportions

Only in Nintendo does the plumber get the princess.

Caren Explains El Bulli, Of Montreal and the Art of Selling Out

World famous chef Ferran Adria visited my marketing class at the end of the semester. The class centered on a case written about his restaurant, El Bulli, which has been recognized as the best restaurant in the world and also the hardest to get a reservation at... only 6,500 people per year have the pleasure of dining there, despite 1-2 million reservation requests.

The crux of the case is that El Bulli does not make money. In fact, it hasn't been profitable since 2000. At 250 euros per meal (30 small dishes/drinks/desserts), Adria could certainly charge more money... but doesn't.

In this way, Adria said he is free to create without having to cater to customers wants. Instead, he has attempted to "buy his freedom" by selling El Bulli cookbooks. He also tried his hand at innovating fast food and potato chips for Lay's (but abandoned those ventures, as they didn't seem to fit).

Business loses to art in this case... dramatically and daringly. Within the case, Adria also refers to a quote by Jacques Maximin: "to create is not to copy."

I had the opportunity to ask Adria about this in class, more specifically, how we (as people trying to copy his recipes out of the El Bulli cookbooks) could learn to be creative. He said the secret is not to want to be #1. If you want to be creative but want to be the best, you will drive yourself mad. If I understood correctly, he said that this is the reason there are so many depressed artist types... the people who fret because they will never be Picasso... but of course they will never be Picasso -- there was only one Picasso, and he didn't certainly didn't aspire to be "PICASSO!"

This tug-of-war between business and art made me think specifically about Of Montreal's song "Wraith Pinned to Mist and Other Games"...

... for an Outback Steakhouse commercial:

OM frontman Kevin Barnes wrote an insightful rock'n'roller essay about the decision last year. Here's a little of what he had to say...

Why commercialize yourself? In the art industry, it's extremely difficult to be successful without turning yourself into a cartoon. Even Hunter S. Thompson knew this. God knows Duchamp and Warhol knew it. Some artists are turned into cartoons and others do it themselves. I prefer to do it myself.

Read the full interview on Stereogum's archive site.

Interesting to think of two very innovative, creative artists, each with a different view of their work and its marketing.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Caren Explains Fleet Foxes

Sorry, "Deer" bands of the world... my favorite "animal" band of the year is the freewheeling Seattle outfit known as Fleet Foxes.

Fleet Foxes made the album that My Morning Jacket should have made; instead, My Morning Jacket made the album that Prince should have made... thus it follows:

Fleet Foxes : My Morning Jacket :: My Morning Jacket : Prince

Here is a new "Take-Away Show" of Fleet Foxes by Vincent Moon/La Blogotheque... it is quite lovely, and can be downloaded for Quicktime, DivX or iPod... I love the way the music echoes throughout the Grand Palais.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Caren Explains "Mad Men"

I only watch four TV shows regularly:
- The Office
- Gossip Girl (don't judge)

And it's been a long time since a TV show made me cry... last season during LOST, perhaps, when Desmond and Penny finally reconnect in the past-present-future?

But alas, the season finally of Mad Men was so powerful that I was tearing up. If you haven't seen it before, it's a dark, serious and phenomenal portrait of an advertising agency in the early 1960s, and the complicated lives of the employees. It rightfully won the Emmy for "Best Drama" this year.

The scene that moved me this week was when Penny makes a confession to her colleague (and one-time affair) Pete:

"One day you're there, and then all of a sudden, there's less of you. And you wonder where that part went -- if it's living somewhere outside of you? And you keep thinking maybe you'll get it back... and then you realize it's just gone."

Here's an insider video about Episode 1 of Season 2

And also, an SNL bit from when Mad Men's lead actor, Jon Hamm, hosted this week...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Caren Explains Songs to Study To

As Midterm 2 of 5 approaches, I'm finding myself increasingly reliant on my iPod and noise-canceling headphones to keep me in the zone. Turns out the iPod is good company and has even helped me with my coursework...

Take my recent review of LEAD class, for example... if I were evaluating my one-on-one working relationship with the iPod, I would observe that it is a relationship in which I am "managing down" most all of the time, telling the iPod what to play, when to play it, and for how long. I recognize this is a "power imbalance," though, and occasionally I give up my power in the relationship and let the iPod pick the songs on Shuffle. Of course, since I've pre-screened all the music on the iPod, it's a pretty stereotypical selection and there are not many "origins of difference."

I guess the conclusion of this case, though, is that I'm pretty controlling.

Here's some songs that are giving me solace. Good luck to everyone else who is studying for something this week.

(This is being imported from a blog; if the playlist doesn't show up on Facebook, go to the original note to stream the full length songs)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Caren Explains Jamie and Janelle

Tonight I get to see two of the fine performers featured on Paste Issue 46's cover: Janelle Monae and Jamie Lidell...

I talk about both artists a lot, and with good reason. Check out Janelle's new video here to see what all the buzz is about. One of the best shows I've ever seen, and I'm sure tonight's show will make me very homesick for Atlanta and everyone there.

And here is Jamie Lidell's video for "Another Day"

I wish I had less homework so I could see more shows... sad times.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Caren Explains "Tables and Chairs"

Today I revisited Andrew Bird's magnificient album, The Mysterious Production of Eggs and was once again struck by the lyrics of "Tables and Chairs."

If we can call them friends
Then we can call them on their telephones.
And they won't pretend that they're too busy
Or that they're not alone.
And if we can call them friends then we can call
Holler at them down these hallowed halls
Just don't let the human factor
Fail to be a factor at all

Don't, don't you worry, about the atmosphere
Or any sudden pressure change.
'Cause I know that it's starting
To get warm in here
And things are starting to get strange.

And did you, did you see how
All of our friends were there
And they're drinking roses from the can?
And how, how I wish I,
I had talked to them,
And I wish they fit into the plan.

And we were tired of being mild.
We were so tired of being mild.
And we were tired...

I know we're going to meet some day
In the crumbled financial institutions of this land.
There will be tables and chairs
There'll be pony rides and dancing bears
There'll even be a band.
'Cause listen, after the fall
There will be no more countries
No currencies at all.
We're gonna live on our wits
We're gonna throw away survival kits,
Trade butterfly-knives for Adderall
And that's not all.
Ooh-ooh, there will be snacks, there will.
There will be snacks
There will be snacks.

And we were tired of being mild.
We were so tired of being mild.
And we were (we were so) tired...

So don't you,
Don't you worry
About the atmosphere.

Speaking of "the crumbled financial institutions of this land"... I am glad to be at business school right now. Thomas Friedman has an interesting take on the financial crisis and proposed government bailout in The New York Times today. Something to ponder, particularly the state of the American Dream.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

My Yearbook Photos: 1952 - 2000

Rachael had a lovely, Betty-esque looking photo posted in her Facebook picture slot... and I discovered it was made using Yearbook Yourself.

So I gave it a whirl... and now, ask you... since I just started at a new school and want to make a good impression with strangers, which photo should be my Facebook picture? I want to be taken seriously, after all...






1966 (I got contacts!):


1970 (staying clear of hippy-influence...)









Sunday, September 07, 2008

Caren Explains Election Fatigue

After being exposed to 18+ months of extensive election coverage, I am suffering from Election Fatigue (side effects make include anxiousness, exhaustion, upset stomach and judgmental behavior... voters suffering from Election Fatigue are advised against drinking Kool-Aid).

It's just too much. Everywhere I turn, BAM! ELECTION!

I get it, okay? It's historic, it's important, it's personal... but things are getting out of control, as you can see below...

So let's take a breather and have a laugh with JibJab, while the candidates cover Bob Dylan... how bout it, kids?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Caren Explains the Songs You're Hearing During the Olympics

Things I Enjoy About the Olympics:
- That the gymnasts wear scrunchies...?
- Watching water polo!
- The commercials

And there are a lot of commercials to choose from... I've been surprised by how many of my favorite musicians have sold their music to commercials and TV promos [Ed: Notice I did not say "sold out"... I like to differentiate myself from hipsters who hate commercialism yet ironically embrace it].

Look at all the songs I've heard just this week!

"Sincerely Jane" by Janelle Monae, used in the Season 2 promo for "Lipstick Jungle" on NBC

"Crane Wife 3" by The Decemberists, used in a VISA commercial?? (clearly not a memorable commercial)

"Scar That Never Heals" by Jeremy Fisher, used in a VW Autobahn commercial

Hem featured in another Liberty Mutual ad

"The Story" by Brandi Carlile, used in a GM commercial

"Lazy Eye," Silversun Pickups, used in Chevy Malibu commercial

What other songs have you heard?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Caren Explains Her Break-Up With Her MacBook

I'm really depressed today.

I just broke-up with my MacBook. It was a short but intense relationship. We had a great weekend together -- setting up the wireless network, making playlists in iTunes, building photo albums, sitting together in the coffee shop...

But our relationship was doomed from the start. The relationship wasn't supported by my school, nor my cellphone, which only connects with PCs.

Yet we were so compatible! My friends thought so, too! When we were together, everything made sense... drag-and-drop, toggling between windows, photo editing... it was all so easy.

I stubbornly tried to fight everyone who said we couldn't be together. I partitioned the hard drive to run Windows simultaneously with Mac OS, but it was no use... I was putting too much pressure on Mac until it just broke down... seriously: the hardware broke.

Mac and I fought all this morning until I was in tears. I called Apple Care for support while Mac made a wailing, siren-like sound. I went to the Apple Store in hopes of reconciliation, but when I heard that Mac had in fact suffered a break down, I couldn't commit.

I miss you already, Mac. I know it's too soon to say that, but I do... and I know, deep down, that you were right to make this happen. But one day, when I'm done with school, I hope we can get back together... until then, I'll have to distract myself and see what else is on the market...

I hope you miss me, too.

Mark (a Mac user) made me this mix to help me through.

The Break-Up
1. "Let It Die," Feist
2. "If Loving You Is Wrong," O.B. McClinton
3. "Crown of Love," The Arcade Fire
4. "For Emma," Bon Iver
5. "Trials," Damien Jurado
6. "The Funeral," Band of Horses
7. "Lord, I'm Discouraged," The Hold Steady
8. "Last Goodbye," Jeff Buckley
9. "You Let Me Down," Billie Holiday
10. "Where Is My Love," Cat Power
11. "I'm So Lonesome (I Could Cry)," Atlas Sound
12. "No Expectations," The Rolling Stones
13. "Too Late," M83
14. "Fading Lights Are Fading Reign Rebuilder [Tail Out]," Set Fire to Flames
15. "Paris Night Diana," David Brent

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Caren Explains IKEA as a Relationship Test

A trip to IKEA should really be a requirement in all budding relationships -- a litmus test, if you will. Maybe ministers can add it to the list of things involved in pre-marital counseling classes.

I say this because you can learn a lot about a person based on how he or she tackles this Swedish Fun-House of Furnishings. Deciding how you want to live in 263 sq feet of space will reveal quite a bit about your...

- Patience
- Imagination
- Taste (or lack thereof)
- Spending habits
- Organizational skills

The true test, though, will be when the couple gets home and tries to assemble furniture called Utby and Malm using IKEA's cartoonish instructions, wooden pegs and strange screws.

Unfortunately this test should really be administered at the beginning of a relationship, but a new boyfriend or girlfriend to take you to IKEA might freak them out, kind of like this someecard:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Caren Explains Stalkerbook's Predictive Power

I just loaded Facebook and got this notice in my "News Feed":

JANE DOE just joined Facebook.
You both went to the same university. If you know JANE DOE, perhaps you should add JANE as a friend.

Creepy, right?

But, see, Facebook already knows that I know Jane Doe because of its algorhythms and such... it knows that we have 35 friends in common and had the same major, so the likelihood that we know each other is quite high. More so than creepy, this is just Facebook trying to be sneaky... kind of like a romantic comedy plot line where OUTGOING GIRL is trying to set up SHY GAL with HOT GUY...


OUTGOING FRIEND and SHY GAL arrive at the party. SHY GIRL looks around nervously. She has been stalking HOT GUY but has never talked to him. OUTGOING GIRL assures her that he is at the party and that she will introduce them.

SHY GAL - Are you sure about this? What if I say something stupid!

OUTGOING GIRL - Relax! You'll be fine. Just go with it.

OUTGOING GIRL approaches HOT GUY, who is standing at the bar. SHY GAL stay a close distance behind.

OUTGOING GIRL (to HOT GUY) - Hey, what's up? I'm surprised you're here and not at the game.

HOT GUY - I'm TiVo'ing it. (to BARTENDER) Amstel Light!

OUTGOING GIRL - I don't know anything about football... but my friend, SHY GAL, keeps trying to get me to watch. Do you know her?

HOT GUY - Who?

OUTGOING GIRL (to SHY GAL) - Hey! Come here! (to HOT GUY) This is my friend, SHY GAL.


HOT GUY - Hey. We've got a class together right?

SHY GAL - Yeah, I think it's "The Science & Myth of Baseball in the Early 20th Century"

HOT GUY - Oh, right.

You get the picture.

So I wonder... at what point will Facebook be able to make other deductions about my life?


MARY is online. You live at the same address as Mary. Perhaps you and Mary are roommates.

LAUREN is sad that her Kitty is sick. You took care of Kitty while Lauren was in France. If you care about her, perhaps you should give Lauren a hug.

4 of your friends went from "In a Relationship" to "Single." Perhaps you should set them up so they aren't so heartbroken.

8 of your friends are attending the event "BAR EXAM" this month. If you want to be a good friend, perhaps you should send them free drinks using our HAPPY HOUR application!

and my favorite...

JOHN DOE added "Nickelback" to his "Favorite Music". Perhaps you should un-friend JOHN DOE.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Caren Explains Her Pre-School Homework

Now that I'm done traveling, I'm jobless and waiting for school to start. My own private purgatory... maybe "holding pattern" is more appropriate, though Rachael calls it the "River of Tears."

To keep from going stir-crazy I've been staying out of the house and instead rotating from one coffee shop to the other... this is mostly so that the baristas don't realize how much I'm taking advantage of their free Internet and refills policies.

I go to these coffee shops so I can complete some pre-school, pre-orientation homework. So far there are two key takeaways from this series of math "tutorials":

1) I feel smarter already.
2) I want to slam my head against a wall.

The makers of these tutorials have a sense of humor, though. Occasionally there is funny clip-art animations, like the one below, which is apparently illustrates the consequences of over-staffing a hotel and having idle bellhops (take note, Dad!):

Welcome to the next two years of my life!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Caren Explains Her World Travels

(Me at Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware)

I've been traveling for 19 days now and have visited 18 cities and two countries... this includes Becky and Marc's awesome wedding!! This has been exhausting, stimulating, and exhilarating. In the process, the boulder on my shoulder has become the pebble in my shoe... in other words, I'm getting better by the day, coping with what I'm confronted with.

The best thing I've done these past weeks was to visit the town where my great grandfather was born, in Ireland. I spent a rainy day holed up in Ireland's National Library, going thru microfiche records, and found that most of that family's lineage originated in Millstreet, Co. Cork. So Lauren and I went there and found evidence of my ancestry... street signs, tombstones, familiar faces.... It was so touching. We went to Saturday night Mass at the church where my great granddad was baptized and I felt so humbled and happy. Some things transcend time and trends.

Where will I go next? Take a guess! Delaware and Ireland are not allowed as guesses!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Caren Explains Her Old Journal

Thursday was my last day at Paste.

It feels strange to even write that. Four years come and gone so quickly, with so much having transpired in between. (I'll have to write another post-Paste blog later when I'm not on a dial-up connection)

While I was cleaning out my file cabinet I found an old journal -- the one I kept in the summer and fall of 2003, during my mission work in North Dakota, my internship at MTV, and my semester abroad in London. I went from an Indian reservation to Times Square to a shoebox-sized flat in London, all within a 3 month timespan. As someone who abhors change, this phase of my life proved to be the most challenging and terrifying, and consequently, the most defining and rewarding one.

When I reread the journal it was surreal. In some ways, I think I was more profound and self-aware at 20 than I am now. But then I'll come across a passage where I clearly had no faith in my future or in God's will or in myself, and think, 'How could you be so naive to think things wouldn't work out?'

And they did work out, brilliantly. I got to have my dream job -- the one I described in an undergraduate college application. I also met incredible, hard-working people along the way and am now blessed with lifelong friends. There were also times when I was pushed to my intellectual and emotional limits, but am now stronger for it. I have seen the dark underbelly of entrepreneurship, the importance of "corporate responsibility" in mega-companies, and how hard it is to be an adult... how hard it is to care so much.

Reading my journal was also strange because I felt so much calmer than my old self, and much more confident and excited for the unknown successes and challenges to come. Not to say that I'm not sad to see these other parts of my life expire. It is devastating.

But one thing I can take away from the past five years, and the journal entries I wrote those years ago, is that things always work out as they are supposed to. I have to remind myself that I only have the little snapshot, when God has the big picture.

And I can't wait to see what develops.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Caren Cleans Her Car

Yesterday I cleaned my car.

This was a huge ordeal but a necessary one, especially after Gigi (my car) got stuck in the mud at 3:15am on Saturday morning in the Bonnaroo parking lot. The next day it was still covered in this thick mud, both on the inside and outside of the car.

You would never guess what I found in the trunk and backseat (both now completely empty) so I'll go ahead and tell you, then we can all have a laugh at my expense...

- 85 CDs in their jewel cases
- 15 pairs of high heels and flip flops (even a pair of Jellies)
- 10 tubes of oil paint
- 7 Christmas cards I meant to mail in 2006
- 4 pairs of scissors
- 3 sweatshirts
- The Audacity of Hope and The World Is Flat
- 1 air filtration unit
- 1 neon green Paula Abdul slap bracelet

... oh, and a Red Cross Emergency Survival kit... though with all of the stuff above, I'm sure I could've played MacGyver and survived on my own, using the slap bracelet as a tourniquet.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Thanks to a nap I'm hangin tough at Bonnaroo for My Morning Jacket's 12am-3am set. There is so much walking and crowd shuffing that the exhaustion will sneak up on you, kinda alike the sunburn stripe I have on my forehead. But this set is energizing! Jim James is covering James Brown, backed by horns and his tight band. Metallica's guitarist sat in for "One Big Holiday" too and shredded it like he wrote the freakin song.

Quite an end to the day, onein which I saw a joyful Glen Hansaard make The Swell Season a festival standout. !!! was fantastic too, with on stage charisma similar to that of Of Montreal. Rilo Kiley also impressed and I realized while taking in their set that "A Better Son/Daughter" might be the soundtrack to my life in recent days (well, maybe just the chorus and not the lyrics about the mother being high all the time). I wonder if I could pull off Jenny Lewis bangs? And learn to play guitar like her? The songs are keyed right for my voice... hmm, maybe I should stick to what I know.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lessons From Bonnaroos Past

I'm currently in Manchester, TN, for my third Bonnaroo experience. Unlike Rachael, my excitement for Bonnaroo does not translate into the kind of anxiety that requires me to curl up in the fetal position or overrun the falafel vendor. That is because I now know that Bonnaroo is a game of survival. To get the most out of it, you have to be prepared. Sunscreen, hand sanitizer, granola bars, sweatshirt for chilly evenings, good attitude, phone charger... read press bios in advance, know the line-up, walk around like you own the place...

Here's a recap of previous experiences.

2005: Helped distributed 8,500 copies of the magazine across the site; walked 132 miles (rough approximation) to get across the site and distribute said magazines. Discovered Sweetwater Beer. Lost phone... this would be the first of many times this happened in my adult life. Saw Iron & Wine for the first time and had a quasi-life-changing experience.

2006: Took a year off. Still shuttering from memories of Bonnaroo 2005 and subsequent exhaustion.

2007: Went for 36 hours but did way too much in those few hours. Camped and discovered a whole new world called Tentaroo where people miraculously wander back to their tents while on substances of various origins. Waited 3 hours to see Flaming Lips and watched people around me pee in the grass to avoid losing their coveted spots in the front of the crowd. Allergy attacks (big attacks). Mistook John Paul Jones of Led Zep for John Bell of Widespread Panic (big mistake).

So that brings us up to speed. Last night I interviewed Lez Zeppelin, which does not make up for my mistaking Led Zeppelin for Widespread Panic, but it's a step in the right direction.

Can't wait to see what this year holds.

Friday, June 06, 2008

J.K. Rowling's Harvard Haters

Photo by Robert Spencer for NPR

Thanks to Katie for bringing me this NPR story about J.K. Rowling's keynote speech at Harvard's commencement.

Can she come back in 2010?!? I would be THRILLED to hear J.K. Rowling speak!

But not everyone shares this enthusiasm...

"I think we could have done better," shrugged computer science major Kevin Bombino. ..."You know, we're Harvard. We're like the most prominent national institution. And I think we should be entitled to … we should be able to get anyone. And in my opinion, we're settling here. "

You know what I think, Kevin? You're like the reason that, like, recruiters are hesitant about hiring graduates of the "most prominent national institution." And I think we should be entitled to slap you. And in my opinion, NPR just did. Snap!

Okay, maybe that's harsh. But yikes! As Jason Mraz once told our office, "Practice graciousness!"

Props to 10-year-old Allister Beeson for this excellent commentary:

"That was a terrible thing to say! They're just a bunch of Muggles!"

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Caren Explains "The Trapeze Swinger"

Last weekend I drove to North Carolina to spend time with the bride-to-be, Becky! It was a long ride (up and back), but luckily I had some good men in the car to keep me company: Ryan, Elliott, Jeremy and Sam (aka Iron & Wine).

Iron & Wine melts my heart. When he played in Atlanta a few weeks ago, he opened with "The Trapeze Swinger," a song I had never heard before. I cannot get over how beautiful and slightly devastating it is, especially live (the album cut -- clocking in at 9 minutes 32 seconds -- is found on the In Good Company soundtrack).

After some sleuthing I was able to track down a crystal-clear recording from the 9:30 Club (in my hometown!) but it can only be streamed through the trusty ol' Hype Machine... regardless, I hope you enjoy it.

LISTEN: Iron and Wine - The Trapeze Swinger
READ: Lyrics

Please, remember me
By the rosebush laughing
With bruises on my chin
The time when
We counted every black car passing
Your house beneath the hill
And up until
Someone caught us in the kitchen
With maps, a mountain range
A piggy bank
A vision too removed to mention...

Read the rest

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Caren Explains What Not to Do As a Parent

People watching is the best free hobby on the market. I love picking up on mannerisms, accents and behaviors.

What I don't love? The growing realization that there are a lot of crazy adults in the world... particularly parents.

Here's what I've learned this week from observing parents:

1. No matter how cute your baby is, it is never acceptable to change his diaper in a restaurant... next to people who are eating food. ("Wow, I got a whiff of that!" you say? Well, so did I... that's why restaurants come equipped with -- wait for it -- bathrooms!)

2. Don't ruin your family vacation by reminding your children how expensive it is... that's a one-way ticket to a post-adolescence guilt complex.

3. Just because your kid is attached to a child leash doesn't mean you can stop watching him... particularly at malls where escalators look like amusement park rides. Better yet, don't attach your kid to a child leash.

4. Don't critique your teenager's looks with an Anthropologie clerk... oh wait, I saw that on SNL (listen for the Decatur, Georgia, reference!)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sex and the City ecard

For all the girls going out tonight to see the movie in groups...

Caren Explains Colour Revolt

Photo by Danny Klimetz

Southeast Performer has posted the cover story I penned on Colour Revolt, the young indie band from Oxford, Mississippi. The June print edition should be out soon.

Give 'em a listen or check out a video from SXSW

It is an abnormally hot day in Austin, Texas. Despite the unforgiving afternoon sun, there is a steady stream of people flowing out to the back patio of the Volume Night Club. Colour Revolt has just finished its set at the Paste + Stereogum DELL Lounge at South By Southwest and its members are milling around in the company of Nada Surf and Destroyer. While his bandmates are talking to friends and fellow musicians, guitarist Jimmy Cajoles is sitting at a high-top table and admits (through a wide smile) that he is “tired as hell"... Read More

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Another some(indie)card

After my recent someecards knock-offs, I decided to cue in some good music and make some(indie)ecards for Paste... the resounding favorite was inspired by Death Cab For Cutie:

These cards have thus inspired a lot of suggestions from friends and coworkers, so I'm working on mocking up some more... if you have a suggestion, please leave it and I'll customize a fauxecard for you.

In the meantime, here's another... file under "Confessions" or "Break-Up"

(Inspired by Leona Lewis - "Bleeding Love")

Friday, May 23, 2008

Caren Explains Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip

At SXSW, Leila and Rachael and I got to catch a performance by Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip at the NME party (this was funny and ironic, because in their UK hit song the hip hop/electronic duo advise, "Thou shalt not read NME").

Here's a video from the streets of SXSW right after the performance:

"Thou Shalt Always Kill" is a rad song, but late reaching the US. Dan Le Sac was handing out "Just a Band" stickers at SXSW and I may have stuck a few on posters of arrogant rock bands around town.

Read the lyrics while you listen.

Thou Shalt Always Kill - Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip
(See original post for the embedded song)

Thou shalt not steal if there is direct victim.
Thou shalt not worship pop idols or follow lost prophets.
Thou shalt not take the names of Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer, Johnny Hartman, Desmond Decker, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix or Syd Barret in vain.
Thou shalt not think that any male over the age of 30 that plays with a child that is not their own is a peadophile… Some people are just nice.
Thou shalt not read NME.
Thall shalt not stop liking a band just because they’ve become popular.
Thou shalt not question Stephen Fry.
Thou shalt not judge a book by it’s cover.
Thou shalt not judge Lethal Weapon by Danny Glover.
Thall shalt not buy Coca-Cola products. Thou shalt not buy Nestle products.
Thou shalt not go into the woods with your boyfriend’s best friend, take drugs and cheat on him.
Thou shalt not fall in love so easily.
Thou shalt not use poetry, art or music to get into girls’ pants. Use it to get into their heads.
Thou shalt not watch Hollyoakes.
Thou shalt not attend an open mic and leave as soon as you're done just because you’ve finished your shitty little poem or song you self-righteous prick.
Thou shalt not return to the same club or bar week in, week out just ’cause you once saw a girl there that you fancied but you’re never gonna fucking talk to.

Thou shalt not put musicians and recording artists on ridiculous pedestals no matter how great they are or were.

The Beatles - Were just a band.
Led Zepplin - Just a band.
The Beach Boys - Just a band.
The Sex Pistols - Just a band.
The Clash - Just a band.
Crass - Just a band.
Minor Threat - Just a band.
The Cure - Just a band.
The Smiths - Just a band.
Nirvana - Just a band.
The Pixies - Just a band.
Oasis - Just a band.
Radiohead - Just a band.
Bloc Party - Just a band.
The Arctic Monkeys - Just a band.
The next big thing - JUST A BAND.

Thou shalt give equal worth to tragedies that occur in non-English speaking countries as to those that occur in English speaking countries.
Thou shalt remember that guns, bitches and bling were never part of the four elements and never will be.

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not pimp my ride.
Thou shalt not scream if you wanna go faster.
Thou shalt not move to the sound of the wickedness.
Thou shalt not make some noise for Detroit.
When I say “Hey” thou shalt not say “Ho”.
When I say “Hip” thou shalt not say “Hop”.
When I say "he say, she say, we say, make some noise" - kill me.
Thou shalt not quote me happy.
Thou shalt not shake it like a polaroid picture.
Thou shalt not wish your girlfriend was a freak like me.
Thou shalt spell the word “Pheonix” P-H-E-O-N-I-X not P-H-O-E-N-I-X, regardless of what the Oxford English Dictionary tells you.
Thou shalt not express your shock at the fact that Sharon got off with Bradley at the club last night by saying “Is it”.
Thou shalt think for yourselves.

And thou shalt always kill.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Leslie Feist liked my joke

Thanks to Rachael for catching that the lovely Feist linked up to my "Breaking News: Feist sued by Seven and Eight" post on her MySpace page! Read it in its entirety at

Then read the comments here... they are hilarious... about 1/3 of the people get it, 1/3 think it's real, and 1/3 think Feist herself wrote it.

I am beyond humbled to be noticed in this vast space called The Internet.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Caren Explains someecards

My recent Paste 7 entry was about the free e-card website someecards... I probably send three a week and receive just as many.

But lately, I haven't found what I've been looking for... nor has my sister... nor have my friends... so I used some existing cards to mockup "somebetterecards"... enjoy.

(File under: Friendship)

(File under: Breakup)

(File under: Cry For Help)

(File under: Confessions)

(File under: Breakup)

... and my personal favorite (especially since I had to go out and find my own clip art this one)...