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FIERCE ANTICIPATION: The Maegan Poland Edition

a substitute blogumn by Maegan Poland

A few years ago I tripped over Ryan Dixon on my way back from an overpriced, organic coffee shop in Santa Monica.  He was literally in the gutter clutching a briefcase full of nonsensical rants about wormholes and a copy of an Edgar Allan Poe biography.  I dropped him off at a nearby Scientology center, but our friendship had just begun.  I’m pleased to note that Ryan no longer resides in sewage-laden gutters, but he does tote around a mysterious suitcase no doubt full of his theories on parallel dimensions.  I recently discovered an email from Ryan that landed in my SPAM filter.  It all seemed rather manic, but he did mention a galactic frontier and asked me to look after his pet (a fire-bellied toad) and his blog (so here we are).


Die Antwoord:  The U.S. Show

dieantwoordThe South African hip-hop sensation Die Antwoord (Afrikaans for “The Answer”) that hit the “interwebs” with a viral vengeance in February is now crashing parties stateside.  Their video “Enter the Ninja” features Ninja (aka Waddy Jones and Max Normal), Yo-Landi Vi$$er (the pretty girl with the ugly mullet), and Leon Botha (D.J., friend, and progeria survivor).  I think the dollar signs in Yo-Landi’s name are part of their silly shtick, but one can’t tell with this group.  That’s the mystery that keeps the chatter going about Die Antwoord.  Are they serious?  Are they an elaborate farce like Ali G?  I think the truth lies somewhere in between.

The Silly

Ninja has a fairy tattooed on his arm.  The other arm shows a cartoon embracing its disproportionately erect male member.  Another tattoo reads, “How can an angel break my heart?”  I want to believe that Ninja was thinking of Toni Braxton lyrics when he chose these roughly inked words.  If you watch “Zef Side”, you’ll witness intentional comedy during a close up of Ninja’s gyrating crotch that features an entranced Yo-Landi nodding along in the background.  Speaking of Yo-Landi, that statement mullet is part of the group’s absurd calculated image.  Her Facebook page claims that she has published three romance novels “which are all doing very well.”

The Serious

According to The BlaBla Blog, Ninja (Watkin Tudor Jones) has fronted various mixed-media hip hop acts for years, and Yo-Landi is his wife.  Leon Botha is a Cape Town-based artist and DJ.  As a guest DJ in the video, he admittedly adds to the surreal aesthetic, but he also lends some inspirational weight to lyrics that are at times tongue-in-cheek.  Perusal of the band’s website reveals thickly accented songs with graphic references.  “Beat Boy” in particular is bound to offend droves of people.  I, myself, was stunned by the crude specificity of a dirty fantasy.  As they say, any publicity is good publicity.  I suspect the inevitable media freak-out will go as planned.  This is catchy stuff.  Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em, millions of hits on YouTube testify that these guys know how to entertain.  My guess?  They know what they are doing.

Die Antwoord finally announced on their website ( that they would be surprising LA and NYC with shows any day now.  For the past couple weeks I have googled and twittered in hopes of finding a show announcement and achieving the most admittedly and shamefully hipster of bragging rights.  In accordance with Murphy’s Law, the one day I fail to check those darn interwebs, it happens.  Die Antwoord played on March 10 at Cinespace.  Well, sort of.  I had expected an enviable night of outlandish, so-bad-it’s-good spectacle.  The Alt Report ( reveals that Ninja performed sans Yo-landi.  The resulting buzz seems lackluster.  What would Die Antwoord be without the bizarre sex appeal that comes from a schoolgirl getup and Zef Fresh badassery?  Here’s hoping the LA and NYC shows are not yet over and that the fugly-haired nymphette shall return in all her foul-mouthed glory.  Keep checking those interwebs.  I know I will. Check out the video for “Enter the Ninja” below.



Flying Pig Truck

flying-pig-truck-laYet another addition to the Los Angeles gourmet food truck craze is the Flying Pig Truck.

I kinda wanna try this out because word on the street is that the pork belly is amazing.  Pork belly has a lot of fat.  When fat dissolves on your tongue, your brain goes nuts and sends chemical messengers that tell your cells, “Feel tingly and happy, my friends.”  This is true and very scientific.  Plus, I’ve been watching Anthony Bourdain chip away at crispy pig skin for years, and I’m ready for some instant piggy gratification.

I kinda don’t want to get gourmet pork belly and whatever other amuse bouche from a truck.  Call me crazy, but half of the appeal of a great meal is luxuriating over the flavors as you relax and sip wine with witty friends that tempt you to choke on culinary excellence.



Remember Me

RememberMe_posterNow granted, it’s a little arrogant listing the reasons I won’t see a film when I, well, haven’t seen the film.  As soon as I saw the trailer for Remember Me, I remember thinking, What is this trailer hiding? All I could decipher is that there’s lots of melodrama.  There may be an ulterior motive for Robert Pattinson dating Emilie de Ravin, as we discover he has bad history with her dad who happens to be a cop.  And just like his previous role as Edward, Robert’s current role requires that his clichéd self-loathing attract a willing Florence Nightingale type.  The implication behind the bruising smooches, haunting music, and somber voiceover was that tragedy would soon ensue.

Thanks to Ben Kenigsberg’s review in TIME OUT, I now know my gut instincts were spot on.  That tricky trailer was as deceitful as I feared.  This entire romantic drama is set in 2001… in New York…and 9/11 is a ticking clock meant to gratuitously milk the drama out of an otherwise straightforward melodrama.  I must reiterate:  I have not seen the film so I cannot first-hand disparage the filmmakers.   But second-hand, Nick Pinkerton of the Village Voice says Remember Me is “more tacky and preposterous than the worst blockbuster phone-in.”

My final reason for reluctance in viewing this piece of cinema is that people will assume I’m going to see Edward Cullen.  I’d rather wait for New Moon to come out on Netflix, so that I can quietly carry the DVD from my mailbox to my apartment in an unmarked envelope.