20 · The Music Issue

Urban Kvetch: Opening Credits in Short Films

Opening Credits in Short Films Listen Scorsese, next time you plan to devote three minutes of your short to an opening title sequence designed by your cousin the “amazing graphic artist,” please invite me to your screening three minutes later. ‘Cause I don’t give a shit which of your friends was the gaffer in your...

Urban Kvetch: Bad Kissers

Bad Kissers By the time you’re a grown-up, you should know what you’re doing with your lips and your tongue and your hands and your body when you’re kissing someone. And if you’re not popular and have had hardly any interaction with the opposite sex, well, then you’ve had a lot of time to think...

Urban Kvetch: Airplane Touch Screens

Airplane Touch Screens Who’s the genius that came up with the idea of touch screens on the back of airline seats? On top of the empty stomach I have from not being fed and the anxiety I’m feeling from only carrying three pairs of underwear to avoid baggage fees, now I get to deal with...

Urban Kvetch: Uncle Solly’s Death

Uncle Solly’s Death You know what? Uncle Solly didn’t “just know” to expire the Friday before Presidents DAy weekend so that your second cousins from Rancho Palos Verde, California, would be able to make it to the funeral. He died when he did because a blood clot formed in a narrowed artery, blocking the flow...

Urban Kvetch: Scooped-Out Bagels

Scooped-Out Bagels If God meant for us to scoop out the insides of our bagels, he wouldn’t have designed the bagel with a hole in it already. IF you’re really concerned that you’re going to get fat from eating a whole bagel, why don’t you just eat half and save the rest for later? Seriously,...

Erik Parker

Stationed in front of a large canvas, holding the tiniest brush I’ve ever seen, one of Erik Parker’s studio assistants paints neon yellow saliva dripping from the mouth of an ornate, psychologically disturbed head. The paintings filling the room all exhibit a similar amount of detail, each so elaborate and patterned that they look complete....

Eric Yahnker

Eric Yahnker’s left forearm is permanently marked by what he calls his “Heebraham” tattoo—a portrait of Abraham Lincoln with a Star of David resting just below the beard. “Whenever a gentile asks me what it takes to convert to Judaism, I slip them a VHS copy of The Eddie Cantor Story and say, ‘It was...

Warm Lobster Salad

We Are the Fury’s percussionist Stephan Lublin quit touring with the band to work with a new kind of drumstick; he now attends culinary school in Paris and blogs at MySpace.com/TheFoodComa. Here’s one of his favorite recipes: Warm Lobster Salad Ingredients: 1 Live lobster (about 1 1/2 lbs.) 2 tbsp. Butter 1 Diced medium onion...

Adult Nights

Seth Pitman, Wild Light’s keyboardist and backup vocalist, tells me the story of the highly noticeable Star of David dangling around his neck. “An Israeli soldier gave me the necklace, and I’ve worn it pretty much every day since then.” The accessory means a great deal to Pitman, he explains, because it was acquired in...

Bound but Not Gagged

“Ellen or Rosie and I have nothing in common; they’re old-school joke tellers,” says Sandra Bernhard. “My act is more akin to burlesque-rock ‘n’ roll-cabaret. If I don’t get my audience turned on, then I’m not doing my job as a great artist. I look up to Mick Jagger, Chrissie Hynde, Dusty Springfield, Stevie Nicks,...

The Future is a Memory

When DEVO appeared on ’80s sitcom, Square Pegs (which starred Sarah Jessica Parker), they whipped everyone—from the censors to the actresses—into a frenzy. On the episode, the band headlines a “New Wave Bat Mitzvah.” Tame stuff, but behind the scenes—safe from the gaze of its teeny-boppin’ following—it was pretty wild. “The girls were out of...

Jerry Heller

Jerry Heller is the business mastermind behind the second great paradigm shift in modern pop music. In 1967, it was the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band that defined the rock music era. In 1988, Jerry Heller’s N.W.A. ushered in the age of gangsta rap. Jerry is responsible for bringing Elton John, Pink...