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DVD: Ghost Hunters International Season One: Part 1

I used to watch Ghost Hunters on the Syfy Channel. I used to be completely entertained by the blue-collar, average-Joe investigators, New England accents, and healthy dose of skepticism that the show brought to the world of paranormal investigations. True, they never seemed to actually catch anything that they supposedly “saw” on camera, although they enthusiastically told the audience that they felt and noticed various things, from actual apparitions to chilly feelings. Still, Grant and Jason brought an authenticity and veracity to their methods.

Then I watched the South Park episode that brutally mocked the show. Thirty minutes later, my world was shattered. Ghost Hunters is actually a pretty boring show which gives you, if you are at all interested in ghosts, very little proof as to whether hauntings actually exist. Yes, their main point is to disprove, or debunk as the like to say, not prove. But when they do encounter something they consider to be paranormal, I need more than hearing some bro say he feels icky to go on.

Ghost Hunters International began a few years ago as an offshoot of Ghost Hunters. Basically, several members of the original Ghost Hunters team and a few newbies head out to various European haunt spots, using the same infrared cameras, EVP recorders, and electro-magnetic readers that Grant and Jason use on the mother show. And what do they find? Not a whole lot. That is to say, they tell us they see, hear, and feel a bunch of different phenomenon (“I could have sworn I heard…” “Did you just see that?” No.), but we, the viewers somehow manage to not share any of those experiences. Maybe the cameramen are to blame, but I doubt it.

Robb Demarest leads the team, with his scary-intense eyes bugging out of his head as he performs the initial walk-throughs of castles in Scotland, Germany, and Italy. Barry Fitzgerald, an Irishman, is his sort of second-in-command, another self-serious believer. Donna La Croix is way more charming, a recognizable face from the early years of Ghost Hunters. The most entertaining investigator, though, is probably Brian Harnois, a complete bonehead with even less courage than intelligence.

I’m not doubting the existence of ghosts, necessarily, although I think 99.9 percent of paranormal experiences are hoaxes or mistakes. But both Ghost Hunters and GHI do little to prove (and only slightly more to disprove) the existence of the paranormal. I’m still waiting for a good ghost show, but unfortunately this ain’t it.

Ghost Hunters International Season One: Part 1 is out now on DVD from Image Entertainment.

MP3: Neon Indian – “Terminally Chill”

Neon Indian makes music that sounds like soft ’70s rock performed by Kraftwerk. It warbles and bleeps along, but never pummels you in the face – which is cool, unless you’re into face pummeling. Don’t be ashamed if you are.

Take a listen here.

Psychic Chasms comes out 10/13 on Lefse.

Tour dates:

09-09 Denton, TX – Rubber Gloves
09-11 Springfield, MO – The Outland Ballroom
09-13 Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheater (Monolith Festival)
10-02 Austin, TX – Emo’s (Austin City Limits afterparty)
10-16 Tallahassee, FL – Club Down Under
10-17 Jacksonville, FL – TSI
10-18 Atlanta, GA – The Earl
10-17 Washington, DC – Rock N Roll Hotel
10-20 Philadelphia, PA – The Barbery
10-24 New York, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
10-25 Hartford, CT – La Paloma Sabanera
10-27 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
10-28 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
10-29 Bloomington, IN – The Bishop
10-30 Madison, WI – University of Wisconsin (Der Rathskeller)
10-31 Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
11-07 Austin, TX – Fun Fun Fun Festival
11-08 Lubbock, TX – Bash Riprock’s
11-11 Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
11-12 Boise, ID – Neurolux
11-13 Guadalajara, Mexico – Lemon Beat
11-14 Mexico City, Mexico – Pasaje América
11-15 Seattle, WA – Nectar Lounge
11-16 Vancouver, British Columbia – Shine Nightclub
11-19 San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Stop
11-20 Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex
11-21 Tuscon, AZ – Club Congress

Face pummeling:

Home Brew 1: Maple Honey Porter

Thanks to Brooklyn Brew Shop, I attempted my first batch of home brew a few weeks ago. The beer will be ready later this week, so I can’t say that I didn’t completely fuck it up, but it was fun nonetheless. The folks over at BBS sell their wares at the Brooklyn Flea, and answer any email questions you may have while you are brewing quite promptly! I’m almost ready to start my next batch, an Irish red ale. Here are some pics from the first, though.

Siphoning the beer into a pot.

Siphoning is hard. And messy.

Final step: bottling. Now, we wait.

Tour Dates: Basement Jaxx

The anticipation for Basement Jaxx’s new album, Scars (due out this October), is building up like layers of sultry summer sweat. Yeah, it’s hot in New York right now. It will most certainly be much cooler when the Jaxx embark upon a short North American tour this fall. The dates:

10.30.09 – San Francisco, CA – Cow Palace (Live 105 event)
10.31.09 – Los Angeles, CA – HARD Haunted Mansion party
11.03.09 – Toronto, ON – Century Room
11.06.09 – Chicago, IL – Congress Theatre
11.7.09 – New York, NY – Santos Party House


Tour Dates: Sunset Rubdown

Riding the well-deserved accolades of their recent album, Dragonslayer, Sunset Rubdown will be touring much of Europe and some of the U.S. this fall. The dates:

9/02/09 Groningen, Netherlands – Vera
9/03/09 Malmo, Sweden – Debaser
9/04/09 Goteborg, Sweden – Parken
9/05/09 Stockholm, Sweden – Strand
9/06/09 Copenhagen, Denmark – Loppen
9/07/09 Hamburg, Germany – Knust
9/08/09 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso
9/10/09 Glasgow, UK – Stereo
9/11/09 Belfast, UK – Spring and Airbrake
9/12/09 Dublin, Ireland – Crawdaddy
9/13/09 Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
9/14/09 Manchester, UK – The Deaf Institute
9/15/09 London, UK – Garage
9/16/09 Cardiff, UK – The Glode
9/18/09 Leffinge, Belgium – Leffingeleuren
9/19/09 Brussels, Belgium – Botanique
9/20/09 Berlin, Germany – Magnet Club
9/21/09 Leipzig, Germany – Ut Connewitz
9/22/09 Munchen, Germany – 59:1
9/23/09 Vienna, Austria – B72
9/24/09 Zagreb, Croatia – KSET
9/25/09 Ljublijana, Slovenia – Menza Pri Koritu
9/26/09 Pisa, Italy – Caracol
9/27/09 Carpi, Italy – Mattatoio
9/30/09 Lille, France – L’Aeronef
10/01/09 Paris, France – Point FMR

10/16/09 New York, NY – Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom
10/17/09 Baltimore, MD – Sonar
10/18/09 Columbus, OH – The Summit
10/19/09 Chicago, IL – Logan Square Auditorium
10/20/09 Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon
10/21/09 St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway Nightclub
10/22/09 Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
10/24/09 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
10/26/09 San Francisco, CA – Slim’s
10/27/09 West Hollywood, CA – The Troubadour

Pickles: British Pub Eggs

I love pickled eggs. I was trying to decide if I should do some beet-infused eggs this time around, but then I came across a recipe for British pub eggs, using malt vinegar. These should be sweet and spicy, thanks to the addition of jalapeno, allspice, and cinnamon. I’ll know for sure in two weeks.

Vinegar and spices simmering.

eggs n beer
Hard-boiled eggs and beer.

adding vinegar
Adding the vinegar.

pickled eggs


RIP Baatin

Slum Village member Baatin was found dead in his home. While the cause of death remains unknown, the reality of the loss of another talented member of the Detroit hip-hop community is all too discernible. We’ll miss you, Baatin.