it's been a busy week, this time at least due to something fun: my niece and her friend have been visiting from boston. they arrived sunday evening, after road-tripping from phoenix to sedona to the grand canyon to las vegas. and they've been here shopping, clubbing, surfing, and hanging out with us and their friends ever since. a couple days ago we did the hollywood thing, and the chinese theater was a big hit. today i met them in hermosa beach for lunch, after which they went to get mani-pedis. they're going out clubbing tonight with friends, and their plane leaves at like 7:30 a.m. tomorrow, so their plan is to stay up all night. ah, youth.
anyway, i had a couple stories in the l.a. times yesterday. one was a feature on buzz band vampire weekend, whose single "a-punk" runs through my mind on a continuous loop sometimes. it's a great tune, and the band's lead singer, ezra koenig, was pleasant enough to talk to for 20 minutes on the phone. but i don't really dig the album as much as many people seem to -- it is good but not brilliant, and sometimes feels more like a science experiment than anything else.
my other piece is a review of the new gnarls barkley album, which i quite liked. the album is called the odd couple, which probably explains the above publicity photo, in which cee-lo appears to be dressed like a bride. ahaha.
the link in the title of this post will take you to the video of the album's first single -- and wouldn't you say that justin timberlake, playing the host of the fake dance show "city vibin'," is pretty much doing a take on don cornelius of soul train fame? interestingly, the times had a piece today (bicycled in from the washington post) about blackface in modern pop culture. justin's not mentioned, but, uh, what would YOU call his turn in this vid?