Pound Sign

New York City, pop culture, art and nightlife. Because nobody else is blogging about those things.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Come on down!

As a co-producer I have many exciting projects coming up in the next two months, and more space here will be devoted to the ins and outs of independent producing, as that was always intended to be part of what this blog is all about! But right now I'm very happy to put something on your calendars for next month that isn't my show, I just get to show up and have fun, and so should you! The second Thursday of every month, the lovely and talented Anita Cookie presents Anita's Underground Game Show, a nudity and booze-spiked version of The Price is Right! Located in the cozy basement environs of the Under St. Mark's Theater (be warned the entrance on St. Mark's is easy to miss, in a speakeasy kind of way), the show includes Anita's homegrown versions of the classic pricing games (even Plinko!), played for alcohol, free tickets to other shows and even her delectable baked goods. And every month, Anita has a special guest, her Drinking Buddy! They help keep the night moving along and display some hidden talent as part of the show (these have ranged in past months from ukelele playing to puppetry to, well, naked hula-hooping.). And in March, the drinking buddy is yours truly! So, for just 10 bucks (email me for the special price code) on March 13th at 10:30, you can see me, my secret talent (I'm not telling) and a really fun show.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Check out today's Gothamist

And then come to tonight's show! Clams and I are today's Gothamist interview, about Smells Like Tease Spirit and all sorts of other fun New York stuff, check it out here!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Admittedy, the set is still exactly the same.

Last night while flipping around waiting for our dinner delivery we landed on a primetime special Price is Right, the first chance I've had to experience the new, Drew Carey-hosted version. And let me just say: no. No no no. He's terrible. And this is not the game show purist, it should have ended with Bob part of me talking (well, not completely.). He's just a terrible game show host, period! And, I have a theory that the contestants are no longer randomly picked from the eligible audience, I think they have agents out, like a tent preacher's minions searching for the easily faked healings in the crowd, to find the most insanely excitable people to come on down. In the half hour we witnessed, one gentleman did cart wheels across the stage, another guy almost rolled all the way down the aisle in his headlong flight to the end of his row, and a middle-aged woman clutched her chest and almost passed out from such over-excitement that they had to stop the clock on her guessing game and let her take a second. It's like they passed out meth. Don't believe me? See for yourself on this clip from the Monday show! It's madness.

When we were in LA three years ago we had tickets, and we didn't get our hungover asses out of bed in time to drive to Studio City for the 7:00 AM call time, so we missed out opportunity for classic Bob Barker contestant's row glory. Seize the day, people, you never know when an 83-year-old man may just up and retire, out of the blue.

And then you had to go all the way back to Glass Joe.

Look at this picture. If you're, oh, about 34, which I turned on Wednesday, and you're a guy (not to stereotype, but, hey.), that image conjures up some painful memories, doesn't it? Like, perhaps the first sense of true, brutal, raging, before-memory-cards frustration that you'd ever experienced in your cushy young life? Yeah. It pretty much just took him two punches (admittedly, a fairly accurate representation of reality), a wink, and a positive aphorism about getting back on the horse, and you were done. I can still hear that keening wail that came with tiny Mac flying off the screen, mouth guard flying. This image actually came from a list of the most impossible old-school video games but I think this says it all. Best part: I never owned this cartridge, I rented it at the video store, weekend after weekend. Sad.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008


Jen and I have been having a lot of fun with the "I drink your milkshake" meme. Very glad to have seen the movie so I know what the fuck everybody's talking about. And in the film, it is SO effective, especially as it comes roaring to the conclusion and that incredible final line. Totally looking for an excuse to use milkshake in conversation that won't get me punched. It's just so satisfying! And I'd better hurry too, because the Oscars are this Sunday and since there are bound to be, oh, 5-12 jokes about it on the air that night, it will be well played out. In fact, Corporate Casual raises an excellent point about that.

In a cab a few nights back we were musing that the meme could have been "Bastard in a basket! Bastard in a basket!" but perhaps that's just too brutal. It would make an excellent name for a punk band, however.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Nineties music history

The promotional video onslaught continues, check it out! And you might just learn something, too.

Come on down and hoist one

As I noted last year this time, today is the birthday of one Mr. John Charles Daly, host for 17 years of the original What's My Line? ALso born this day, exactly 60 years later, was me. I'll be downtown at tonight's show at the Slipper Room, celebrating that fact, if you'd care to join me.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Movin' on up! Several blocks.

This holiday weekend marks a big, exciting transition for us as producers: after a year and a half at the Parkside Lounge, next month What's My Line? Live in NYC! moves to new digs at Lucky Cheng's! While Lucky Cheng's is famous as New York's premiere drag club--it's the one the guide books send you to--the venue is adding a new stage in its lush, cozy, kitschy space, to be dubbed the Fortune Cookie Cabaret, which will add a range of new kinds of shows to the repertoire. The new stage will be filled with shows nearly every night of the week; we became part of the big transition sparked by Rififi's iminent closing, as the long-running Thursday night burlesque show there, Starshine Burlesque, led the way up 1st Avenue to Lucky Cheng's. Now, we'll be part of a family of independently-produced shows, including Starshine (which we'll lead into on the third Thursday night of every month), a new variety show led by What's My Line's favorite magician, Albert Cadabra, and more to come. Most of the new shows share a 10:00 start time, but What's My Line is inherently an 8:00 show; we'll stay an early show, and instead of being on the cabaret stage, What's My Line will occupy an intimate, retro tiki lounge with a separate bar below the main dining room--with a second back door leading into Lucky Cheng's sister bar, Waikiki Wally's. Meanwhile, on the first Tuesday of every month at 10:00, starting in April, Clams and I will co-produce a new show, bringing together gameshow greatest hits from every era!

The downtown nightlife landscape continues to shift, and the new family of shows at Lucky Cheng's, the result of collaborative efforts by a group of independent producers and bookers, is an exciting move for everybody.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Insert own "get a first life" joke here. Or you know what, they've all been said already.

Yesterday I was posting pictures on flickr and discovered that a number of the pictures of me with various burlesque performers had been commented on by a guy I don't know. And in response to that gentleman, yes, I am in fact very lucky, thank you, and no, in fact I do not wish it was you instead of me in those pictures. Anyway, I naturally clicked on his profile and discovered that every single picture in his account, page after page, were shots of the people on the dance floor. Of the nightclub he owns. In Second Life.

I may have a birthday coming up next week, but this has nothing to do with me getting old. Believe me, I grew up understanding how one can give up an entire afternoon-hell, an entire day, or, let's be honest, weekend--to a video game. But this one...I mean, at least in World of Warcraft you get to hack up ogres and cast spells and shit. I totally get the appeal. Second Life is just...I don't know, you know what? This is too curmudgeonly even for me. It's because it's Sunday afternoon and I'm a little hung over. Because I went out and DID SOMETHING WITH ACTUAL REAL HUMAN BEINGS! Ok, that's enough.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Next stop: the nineties

Despite being on a rainy, gross February night, What's My Line? had our biggest crowd in the show's history on Wednesday, you can check out some pictures on Flickr if you're so inclined. Also, we started the 2008 season with a fabulous mystery guest, Mo Rocca, and the debut of the What's My Line? Live in NYC! theme music, by one Mr. Jeremy Newman!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Kicking off a hot week in the bitter cold

Last night's co-hosting of Sweet and Nasty Burlesque was fantastic, though a little bittersweet as the countdown to Rififi's closing appears inevitable at this point. Transitions are afoot for many of the shows that call the place home, but the landscape of the downtown alternative comedy and burlesque communities will soon be very different. But our night was fabulous and after the show we got a great (slightly NSFW) shot of everyone, including visiting Seattle star Indigo Blue!

Next stop, What's My Line? on Wednesday, which is going to kick off our 2008 season with a bang! Be there!

Friday, February 08, 2008

What are you doing this weekend?

It's gonna be chilly. Come warm up with us on Sunday night!


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Everybody make sure your renter's insurance is up to date.

Strange way to start any day: watching the local news update during the Today Show, and seeing the live onsite reporter standing a block and a half from where you're standing in your apartment, in front of the blackened, burned-out hulks of the news shop and gourmet food store where you shop all the time, because they burned down that morning.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Instead of another post about politics

The beginning of the Smells Like Tease Spirit promo video onslaught

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Oh, and it's Mardi Gras. Say, how's New Orleans doing these days? It's totally fine, right?

I was fully expecting the 6 train to be jammed with screaming Giants fans in blue face paint, brandishing foam fingers, heading down to the tickertape (shredded documents?) parade this morning. But I was surprised to find just the usual jam of vaguely sullen commuters like myself. Is everybody taking the 2 train to Big Blue Town? And of course the parade takes a route through, I learned today, a section of Lower Manhattan called the "Canyon of Heroes." Presumably, it's only called that on days when there are tickertape parades. Maybe they should change that; you'd feel pretty fucking triumphant grabbing your coffee and heading into your office every day in the Canyon of Heroes.

And there's too much going on all at once today, since this Super Tuesday (22 states, 16 primaries, 7 caucuses, 3,156 delegates, 152 page refreshments of Talkingpointsmemo by me.) represents the first New York primary in almost 20 years that's actually up for grabs. So, I don't care who you vote for, I refuse to offer my opinion and try to sway you, just go practice your right to vote! For whoever!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Manhattan needs a Z

My friend Lauren has launched a new bloggy project this week, the NYC Challenge. Determined to broaden her horizons she's going to explore every neighborhood in the City in alphabetical order, starting with, well, Alphabet City. Now we can all join her from the very beginning of what promises to be a very witty excursion.