Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Your Room - FAQ

I've been getting a lot of questions about these Your Room shorts, so here's a list of those most frequently asked:

When were these things made?

Sophomore year at college, so 2004-2005ish.

Why are they being released now?

Because YouTube has made it possible.

Are these shorts scripted?

No, we don't really know what we're ever doing or when Paul will start rolling the camera. We have to be ready and so does the room.

I don't get it.

What is there to get?

These things have proven to be pretty popular based on the feedback I've been getting, so maybe we'll start a new production run soon. Thanks everyone!

Thursday, August 17, 2006


I can't sleep and I'm pretty sure I won't even remember posting this at 2:14 AM PDT. I tried counting sheep but that turned out to be more difficult than I thought. Couldn't find a single one. So then I tried imagining each sheep, but this became difficult when I started to assign each sheep an individuated (is that a word?) personality. Like one sheep was kind of shy, another was grieving over the state of world affairs, and another thought it was Daniel Day-Lewis. Then there was the whole issue of the physics involved in sheep jumping over my bed. So now I'm here telling you all about it. Alright, that should be enough to get me to fall asl 43wqu9 nn,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Your Room - Episode 2

Your Room continues....with candy and ramen!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Cheers, Everybody!

David Copperfield Discovers Fountain of Youth

I never thought it would happen.

"I've discovered a true phenomenon," he told Reuters in a telephone interview. "You can take dead leaves, they come in contact with the water, they become full of life again. ... Bugs or insects that are near death, come in contact with the water, they'll fly away. It's an amazing thing, very, very exciting."
I'm sure we all have our questions, but I'm going to skip some of the more obvious ones and jump to this: "bugs or insects near death?" How did he just "happen" to find bugs or insects near death? There's no denying it: Copperfield ordered a hit or two. I can just see the 50 year-old Copperfield outside on his hands and knees picking up ants and throwing a crowbar to a leg or six. I hope PETA gets on this and raises some sincere, loving, tender hell.

But really, what is Copperfield up to? It's an amazing thing. Very, very exciting. Kind of. We'll see (we won't).

Indie Snobbery: Turning It Up

contributed by Kyle Curran

“Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable, or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?”

-Rob Gordon High Fidelity

Indie music snobs unite!...or don’t actually. Indie snobs are essentially so hip to particular music scenes that to see At the Drive-In back together and the second Mars Volta album erased from existence, Ted Leo play an acoustic session with a resurrected Elliott Smith (that’s two l’s and two t’s by the way, n00bs), Weezer rehire Matt Sharp and fire Rick Rubin as producer, or to have Ben Gibbard ditch Death Cab completely and switch to keyboard forever would blow their minds. But to the point: I was forced hired by my brother (the guy who let a stuffed bear run the website for a week) to write a bit on indie music snobbery. By all standards, I could (will) definitely lose all credibility in the indie world for even taking on such a project or even identifying certain artists as “indie” in the first place.

Let’s be honest though. We all have some idea of what indie is, and most people with half a brain (and maybe those on a decent drug regiment) can tell you it’s not a genre. The word indie implicitly means Artist X is on an independent label or at the very minimum, a subsidiary of a label on the verge of being major. However, this definition tends to also include artists who USED to be on an independent label (hence the reason we have what some people call “sell-outs”). So there you have it. Or do you? Of course not.

Rule #1 You’re never legit enough.

No matter what you know or think you know about listening to good music (yes, you have to know how to properly listen to music- see Rule #5 part ii.), you never know enough artists or enough about them (this includes origins, side projects of all- if any- members, career highs and lows, familiarity with all albums, or how to properly discuss an artist or particular album). For example, you can’t bring up Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots without first appreciating the older, rawly psychedelic Flaming Lips sound and eventually identifying The Soft Bulletin as their strongest release to date. (Note: FLips is NOT an appropriate way to abbreviate their name)

Rule #2 Objectivity before personal preference always

Unless you’re wasted- you could probably get away screaming “Sweet Jane” before admitting it represents The Velvet Underground’s degression into more pop-oriented music than their arguably unrivaled early experimental efforts (Beatles excluded, of course- we all know they’re brilliant). Granted, Lou Reed appropriately titled the album it appears on Loaded.

Rule #3 Always be critical, you’ll find better music this way and become more legit.

See www.pitchforkmedia.com

Rule #4 Test your peers’ music knowledge by playing them things they clearly won’t know.

This is easy for an indie snob. Play Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone? (The Unicorns…you knew that, right?) If your peers do, you just completely embarrassed yourself. Be careful.

Rule #5 Listen to the music properly

i. Make sure it’s loud enough, use headphones if you need to (some only use headphones).
ii. Make sure you can enjoy it- don’t be distracted and miss crucial subtleties in the music.
iii. Get in the habit of listening and evaluating whole albums, not songs UNLESS it’s a single released independently of or prior to the release of an album.

If you can get these 5 rules down, you’re well on your way to being an indie music snob- only that’s an oxymoron if you’ve learned anything from this. Lastly, if all else fails, remember to listen to what you like. Unless I say it sucks. OK, back to the new Belle and Sebastian.

**If you’re ever in a jam, Sonic Youth and anything on the Saddle Creek and Matador labels will make you sound legit**

Kyle is a guest writer to Caught on the Bound. The artists presented in this article were chosen as examples that most people could probably relate to. Otherwise, he would have made sure you'd never heard of them.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Your Room - Episode 1

Made public for the first time, Caught on the Bound is proud to present the first of several "Your Room" episodes filmed some time ago. Directed and filmed by Paul Nguyen, the show takes place at the University of Notre Dame. Patrick Donnelly and yours falsely star. Enjoy if you can!

Single-day Visitor Record Broken

Mildly exciting news trickles out of the Caught on the Bound Newswire this evening (kind of lukewarm news I suppose). The single-day record for unique visitors to the site was set earlier this evening when the 42nd such person found his or her way onto the site. Apparently, a link from Albino Blacksheep is sending all kinds of people this way for the AIM Profile Field Guide recently put up. So if you just came from that way, welcome. I would normally put an exclamation point after the "welcome" but I'm feeling particularly grim this evening.

The Guide is not supposed to be funny. It is gravely serious. Like a tombstone. Or the Bible. The Bible could have used more light-hearted moments. More Jesus pranks. He had all the power to do it and the closest he got was turning water into wine and, by extension, nice people into drunks. Walking on water was a good one too. "Hey! Come over here! Follow in my footsteps!" SPLASH.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

AIM Profile Field Guide - Revised and Expanded 2006 Edition

Two summers ago, I began what would become one of my stupidest ideas: creating a "field guide" of sorts to aid AIM users in the understanding of their peers' AIM profiles. Well here we go, an updated and revised edition to give you the edge you need in 2006:

AIM Profile Field Guide

Unless you live under a rock, you probably have AIM. Most people also have an AIM profile. They tend to fall into the following categories:

The Straight Info Profile

Characteristics: Gives you name, address, contact info, email address, etc....no foolin' around

Example: John Jones
432 Super Main Street
Funkytown, ZN 44544
Office: 44-3455
Mother-in-law's Home: 435-5653
Dog's Name: Fido X
Amount of Money I'm Earning Compared to You: More

Analysis: This profile favors the "get down to business" people. They're not on AIM to play games. They're on to be ON and when they're UP they want to make sure you stay DOWN. Until they sign OFF.

The Calendar Profile

Characteristics: A calendar of the user's life, often detailing trivial things such as when to walk the dog, birthdays of relatives, how many times the left incisor has been brushed on Thursdays, travel plans including walks up the street and supermarket runs, etc. Frequently includes the date of some vague concert or big event coming up that you most likely won't be attending with him/her. The appropriate response is to feel envious or even bitter.

Analysis: Often a severe case of Too Much Information, sometimes proves useful for remembering oft-forgotten birthdays or anniversaries (like the 3 week anniversary of your sister's first kiss with her second boyfriend)

The Seasonal Splendor Profile

Characteristics: Touts the joys of whatever season it is

Example: "SUMMER ROX BABAY!!!"

Analysis: Overreaction mostly, but after seeing so many people declaring that sUmMER rOX! it's hard to not reach the same conclusion.

The Shout-Out Profile

Characteristics: Shout-outs to "peeps", "boyz", "girlz", "Brothers in Christ", your mom, your sweetie pie, etc.

Analysis: Most notable in this type of profile are not the shout-outs themselves, but the nouns used to describe the recepients. So many shout-outs for those little sugar-coated marshmallow birds...Additionally, many people involved in relationships put something "subtle" in their profile like this: "4/12/01 :-)" which is supposed to be the date that things started "getting heavy" I suppose. I've also seen texted out roses, bits of song lyric, etc. Most effective appears to be the straightfoward: "Jenny is MY LIFE" or "YOU ARE THE BEST"

The Quote Profile

Characteristics: Filled with lots of cool quotes from famous people or even better, people you just know from life

Analysis: Sometimes unoriginal, sometimes only funny as an inside joke, but sometimes it's just what you need.

The Song Lyrics Profile

Characteristics: Song lyrics, sometimes with certain words highlighted, emphasized

Analysis: Often cryptic and nonesensical. A good stand-by if the profile has been getting lame of recent (see mine for example of lame profile). Full lyric posting can be disastrous though.

The Shameless Plug Profile

Characteristics: Persuades people to do something or go see something

Analysis: Might guilt you into attending something you would otherwise skip, but also a good way of finding out what friends think is important in their lives. Support them! Ignore them! This knowledge is POWER.

The One-Word Profile

Characteristics: One....well, nevermind

Analysis: Short, simple, perfect.

The "No Information Provided" Profile

Characteristics: Only that mysterious message

Analysis: Some people don't need profiles. Some people just shouldn't have them if they do. Here's a happy medium.

The Text Symbol

Characteristics: Take on a variety of forms, including hands making the "OK" sign, squirrels, buses, often for a cause: "Put this in your profile if you or someone you know has missed the bus" followed by a Wingdings-like representation of said mass vehicular transport

Analysis: Kind of like wearing a pin on your lapel or getting a temporary tattoo. All of your friends will go "ooooh!" and then tell you to finally get rid of it two weeks later.

The "What does this have to do with anything?" Profile

Characteristics: Sometimes people put stuff in their profiles that, well, just don't make much sense, as Forrest Gump would sometimes say. Perhaps the person has mistakenly believed that a specific reaction they had to something or an interest they have will have mass appeal (example) or that some "had to be there" quote is really funny when typed out and left on the profile for weeks when really, it isn't very funny at all. In fact, you kind of want that damn quote to go away. Now.

Analysis: I think the "Characteristics" section of this entry was sufficiently biased enough to warrant no further information in this analysis.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Brawny Gig

I've always thought that the Brawny paper towel guy had a great gig. You have to wonder how he even got into paper towels. From this Brawny-provided picture, it looks as though some clues to his past are given. Brawny Man is a woodsy sort of dude, signalled by his flannel shirt. Perhaps a lumberjack? VCR repairman? Hairdresser? He clearly has access to a shower or gentle stream to wash and slick back that hair. The most compelling portion of this picture has to be Brawny Man's friends to the left. What an apathetic bunch this is.

Doris the Deer is dumbfounded at how she ended up hanging out with a dude who looks just like a hunter in the middle of the forest, while Mr. Grizz up there is already bored out of his mind and plotting the imminent demise of that wilderness village to the right. His discontent and readily apparent disgust at mankind's encroachment on his natural home is revealed in his grim gaze. Why eat Doris when he can strike back at the real enemies? Speaking of Doris, she looks like she just watched the first scene of Bambi and is slowly putting it all together: "hmmm, he looks like a hunter...hunters kill deer...I'm....in trouble?"

Rocky Raccoon lost interest in this whole photo shoot about five minutes ago and is already looking for garbage to eat. The soaring creature above is either a dragonfly leper or Edgar the Eagle. Either way, he wants nothing to do with Brawny Man and his poker gang.

I wonder if Brawny Man is standing in front of his academy trying to attract students. I'm sure some kids are walking by it, taking a look at the sign, taking a look at Brawny Man, then glancing at the assortment of enraged and disaffected fauna, and saying, "man, I should just keep walking."

In conclusion, I don't know how Brawny Man got this gig or what direction his life is taking, but I hope it's something beyond ultra quilted absorption. For more Brawny Man commentary, click here.

All Dove Goes to Heaven

This afternoon, shortly after I had commenced what had all the signs of a promising shower, I realized that the usual bar of soap that normally occupied the little rack specifically made for it had vanished. I'm sure you've noticed this too. At a certain point, a bar of soap will become so thin and flimsy that it will be impossible to use. Shortly thereafter, it will also be impossible to see after it vanishes sometime between your last shower and the beginning of your current one.

I stared at the shower floor foot tread wondering if the final few traces of my previous bar of Dove could have been blasted away and melted by the initial burst of hot water. Did I misplace it? Maybe. What if I had never been using soap at all for years and had hallucinated shower after soapy shower?! My bar of soap was washed away. The future of this shower was cast into serious doubt: would this be a mere rinse?

Nope. I found a box of Dove on the bathroom counter. Except this was no ordinary Dove! This Dove was herbally-infused with green tea and cucumber. The soap was appropriately a vivid shade of vomit green. Green tea and cucumber? What was I about to do? Rub a sushi box lunch all over my body? It didn't get any better when I checked the shampoo/conditioner in a fit of panic, wondering what horrors awaited me there. Suave. Waterfall Mist. This felt like a good combination. Solid water action that was going to fall on me with a refreshing mist to puncuate my bathing sentence.

The shampoo bottle immediately slipped out of my hand and landed on my foot. As I tended to the task of picking it back up, I saw something along the edge of the shower floor. A little bit of white soap. I watched as the particle got smaller and smaller before finally swirling down the drain. My Dove was dead. My shower began.

What a ridiculous post.

First thing tomorrow I'm switching to Irish Spring. The kind of green I like.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Leave Your Mind Behind

Time to get transdimensional

Panda Takes the Cake - World Looks On in Adoration

The giant panda Xin Xin ate some birthday cake yesterday while one lucky guy in the background had the distinction of being accidentally photographed along with the cuddly bamboo-muncher. Xin Xin and I were both born on August 6th (2005 for Xin Xin, 1984 for me). Interestingly, Xin Xin's gender is a mystery. The AP blurb accompanying the photo refers to the panda as "it" or "its birthday." Well, I decided to go where the Associated Press dare not go. That's right. I looked it up.

A quick jaunt over to Wikipedia's page on pandas revealed that Xin Xin is a female. Other popular panda names include Ya Ya, Shuan Shuan, Gao Gao, Mei Mei, Le Le, Ling Ling, Kou Kou and Harold. Bye Bye!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Researchers Find Link Between Sex and Sexy Music

Well, I found it too. It has something to do with the way they put "sexy" before the word "music."

I can totally understand what they're talking about. When I first heard "I Want To Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles, I was overcome with uncontrollable urges to hold hands. Any hands. It didn't even matter. I was hand indiscriminate. I would have held the hand of an amoeba if it had one. Inhibitions were lowered! Moral degradation was imminent! Fortunately, I was able to listen to some more wholesome music before I slipped into a graveyard spiral of ethical ambiguity and destroyed values.

On a more serious note (maybe like a B-flat), I do understand the importance of monitoring what kids listen to and watch. Can we just come to less obvious conclusions in these studies?

Will you still need me? Will you still feed me?

Through the combined experiences of turning 22 yesterday and seeing a frightening infomercial involving scooters, I've noticed a few things about the elderly, particularly eldery couples, that amused me. Have you ever noticed this tendency for an older couple to be fully represented by the woman? Like, "Oh! We like Tom Brokaw!" while the husband just kind of stands there silently. Is this because he fully agrees with his wife's sentiment or could it be that any will to counter her opinion was crushed and extinguished long ago after years of tired struggle? I have no idea! But it's a common strategy for older couples, both on television (in the form of commercials, infomercials, and sitcoms) and in real life. Where are all the boistrous older married men? My guess is that the silent older men have it figured out. If they just shut up, their chances of receiving food increase greatly.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Email of the Day

"I noticed your tagline at the top of the page is now 'New look, same great taste.' Where is this new look? Am I just not seeing it? Also, how do you taste a website?"

To answer that question, I'm going to need some help from the audience. Alright, now everybody on the left side, I want you to stand up and look as reddish-orangy as you can! OK, good, good! Now right side, let's show the left side how it's done! Great! Now keep that up, but I want you to turn blue, like a royal blue.

See, that's what Caught on the Bound was about to switch over to last night. The marketing department even came up with the incredibly original tagline "New look, same great taste!" but I ultimately vetoed it after I saw it on a soft drink commercial. The revised edition that I personally created is "New look, same great taste." I decided to cool it down a bit and make a more subtle declaration.

As for how you taste a website, I have this to say: very carefully.

Thanks for the email. It's no Jack Canfield, but I'll take it.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Press Conference - August 4, 2006

Today's press conference is brought to you by the diphthong "ou." Putting the "ow" in "house" since the time of Middle English when it was "hous."

Fire torpedoes!

"Did you have to look up the spelling of the word 'diphthong?'"

Yes. Next question, over there please.

"Did Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul actually leave that message in the CotB guestbook?"

We have no way of confirming whether or not it's actually him, but there is an established precedent. Back in January, a Business 2.0 writer logged a private guestbook entry to me clarifying the publisher of their 100 Dumbest Moments in Business (or something like that), which appeared on CNN Money. Michelle Kwan has yet to contact us about her frequent mentions on the site. OK, you with the stylish hat back there.

"Hi there. It seems that a lot of the posts on the site are randomly selected pop culture items. Is there a reason the site skews in this direction?"

Not at all. By the way, I'd like to take this time to remind you that Duncan now offers the ProYo. The rim-weighted, take-apart ProYo features a patented replaceable wooden axle sleeve and interchangeable graphic sidecaps for maximum performance and enjoyability. Remember, if it's not a Duncan, it's not a yo-yo.

"Right...when you come out of that trance look you're giving us right now, can you shed some light on why we even have these press conferences?"

No, but I can barn some dark on it. The real question is why any of you bother to come to them. Yes, the gentleman in the skirt back there.

"Woman. My question: where's Simon?"

He's in Boise, Idaho for an internship.

"No, I mean, where is he on the site?"

Here, there, and everywhere I should think. Hurry! We have so much time and so little to do! Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. *whistles for the Oompa-Loompas*

Friday, August 04, 2006

Going for a Dip

Remember Fun Dip? (see also: fourth grade crack) I always thought this pouched Pixy Stix-like powder pretty much got me through the toughest elementary school days. In fact, it even got me through a few middle school days, too. Sometimes, when the pressures of being a nerd got too intense, I ripped open the cherry and dipped the sweet white stick. In high school, there was at least one occasion where I dipped a few pouches before a test to give me that "edge."

This stuff was ridiculous: a stick made entirely of sugar being dipped into a pouch of flavored sugar. What so many kids like me never figured out was that you can go to the supermarket and get a huge bag of sugar for cheap (and you can even skip the stick). I guess the stick was what made Fun Dip worth what was supposed to be my lunch money. In third grade, there was a kid in my class named Jerome who would bring one of these pouches everyday. I'll bet he's in rehab now, but still chews on a stick once in a while. You know, just to remember what it felt like.

This has to be the stupidest post yet. Oh wait, look below.

The Post That Never Was