• The Passion of the Weiss
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  • Something is wrong here, something is terribly wrong
  • There ain't no life for me on land
  • The greatest #8: The Dreaming
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  • Home of the cheesesteak, the beef piled sky high
  • Blogiversary #2
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  • The Greatest #6: Veedon Fleece
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  • Up high and ugly: Xiu Xiu MP3s
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    Location: Brooklyn, NY

    The MP3s available here are for sampling purposes. Please support the artists by buying their albums and going to their shows. If you are the artist or label rep and don't want an MP3 featured, let me know. Links will otherwise stay live for about two weeks before they vanish into the ether.

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    Monday, July 31, 2006

    I will grab you by the ears: The Mountain Goats MP3s

    When I saw the Mountain Goats live for the first time last month, I was a little taken aback. Minus the fainting, the crowd could've been imported from a New Kids on the Block show circa 1989. There were girlish screams throughout, mass singalongs, constant and desperate requests for favorite songs (all of which were from the lo-fi era). It'll be interesting to see how that audience will respond to Get Lonely, which is even softer and more introspective than the already hushed Sunset Tree. My guess: with more screaming.

    * MP3: "Wild Sage" - The Mountain Goats from Get Lonely
    * MP3: "New Monster Avenue" - The Mountain Goats from Get Lonely [Buy it]
    * Band website: The Mountain Goats

    * Upcoming tourdates:

    September 2006
    (all dates w/ Christine Fellows)
    14 - Minneapolis, MN, Triple Rock Social Club
    15 - Ames, IA, The Maintenance Shop
    16 - Chicago, IL, The Empty Bottle
    19 - Toronto, ON, Lee's Palace
    20 - Pittsburgh, PA, The Andy Warhol Museum
    21 - Athens, OH, The Union
    26 - Cambridge, MA, The Middle East
    28 - Washington, DC, The Black Cat
    30 - New York, NY, The Bowery Ballroom
    October 2006

    1 - New York, NY, The Bowery Ballroom

    Sunday, July 30, 2006

    The ten best shows of the 21st century

    10) Curb Your Enthusiasm - Is it heretical to say that I like Curb more than Seinfeld? I don't care because I'm saying it anyway. Season Five's penultimate episode "The Ski Lift" was the funniest thing I've seen in about fourteen years and the rest of the shows are also pretty... pretty... pretty... pretty... pretty good.

    9) Battlestar Galactica - I usually wouldn't watch sci-fi on a dare, but add a twist (e.g. Firefly) and I'm likely to give it a chance. So if you're like me, just imagine Battlestar as a provocative and brilliant war drama that just happens to also be set on a spaceship in the future.

    8) The Shield - Michael Chiklis's rogue cop Vic Mackey usually gets the attention, onscreen and off, but I'm more intrigued by the people caught in the crossfire - Dutch, Claudette, Shane, Lem, Acevada, Corrine. It's always riveting and often disturbing to watch them maneuver a world where good and evil only come in gradations.

    7) The Simpsons - Bitch and whine all you want about how The Simpsons hasn't been good since Season [insert single-digit number here]. Even if it's not hitting the Everest peaks of, say, Seasons Five and Six, the show still runs laps of clever around almost anything else on the air, animated or otherwise.

    6) Lost - I'm not proud to admit it, but I've spent entire days reading message board threads debating the possible meanings of Jack's tattoos or whether Vincent the dog is secretly evil. It's no surprise though. Other than The X-Files and Twin Peaks, no show has ever been as steeped in mystery, mythology and speculation. Add in the flashbacks, the war of faith and science, and the characters' hidden connections, and you have a show that's truly singular.

    5) The Sopranos - There's not much I can say about it that some adoring critic hasn't written already. Still, what makes The Sopranos so enjoyable for me is that it simultaneously celebrates the Mob lifestyle while postmodernly critiquing pop culture's obsession with it. By alternating between bloody hits and analysis with Dr. Melfi, we get to have our cannoli and eat it too.

    4) The Office (BBC Version) - Sure, they have teeth like smashed windows and monstrosities like blood pudding, but can you argue with a nation that's produced Gang of Four, Ali G, The Prisoner, Monty Python, the Streets, Ken Loach, the Smiths, and of course David Brent, unequivocally the greatest character to storm TV since Homer Simpson?

    3) The Daily Show - Can you believe now there was a time when people wondered if The Daily Show could survive Jon Stewart taking over for Craig Kilborne? Survive? Craig Kilborne? As it turned out, Kilborne was just a smarmy Pete Best while Jon Stewart proved to be all four of the Beatles combined.

    2) Arrested Development - Take a moment to consider just a few of the topics Arrested Development broached to painfully hilarious effect: corporate corruption, Korean adoption, mental retardation, closet cases, cousin-love, boyfights, never-nudes, a seal eating Buster's hand, a sword cutting off Gob's fingers, the Blue Man Group, alcoholism and Christian evangelism. Now go send Fox another vicious letter.

    1) The Wire - The Wire may well be my favorite program in television history. Creator David Simon has the eye of a documentarian and the scope of an epic novelist, tackling the rough streets of Baltimore with intelligence and subtlety to spare. From backalley junkies to backroom councilmen, the show anatomizes the complexities of crime and the challenges of being "good police." Even on HBO, it's amazing that it's survived so long.

    Friday, July 28, 2006

    Long time coming: The Roots MP3s

    I've been eagerly anticipating Game Theory all year. Besides being one of the best hip hop groups ever, the Roots crew diligently tries to push parameters and perimeters with every release. Sometimes, that results in greatness like Things Fall Apart or Phrenology, and sometimes, that results in less-than-greatness like (you know what's coming) The Tipping Point. After my first listen to the new album, I'm happy to say that it seems Game Theory will tilt closer to the former category. In other good news, Malik is back among the ranks and their tenure at Def Jam doesn't seem to have affected their sound a bit.

    * MP3: "In the Music" - The Roots from Game Theory
    * MP3: "Baby" - The Roots from Game Theory [Buy it]
    * Band website:
    The Roots

    Thursday, July 27, 2006

    Turn it up (loud): Oneida MP3s

    Can't something be done for Oneida at this point? They're on their tenth year of always eclectic, excellent, intelligent indie rock, covering more ground in the process than a NASA shuttle. And yet any time they release an album, approximately eighteen people in America get really excited. When it's as good, as diverse and as trippy as Happy New Year, that's pretty much edging on criminal. Maybe a certain website should just put them in its Best New Music section so the eighteen of us can move on to complaining how Oneida used to be so much better back in the day.

    * MP3: "History's Great Navigators" - Oneida from Happy New Year
    * MP3: "Up With People" - Oneida from Happy New Year [Buy it]
    * Band website: Enemy Hogs

    State of the art #2

    (via CityRag)

    It's impossible to escape what's going on in Israel and Lebanon right now, which is probably a good thing. But at the same time, it still feels largely anonymous. All the recurring footage of wreckage and debris, of hordes of displaced citizens, of people swearing that they're on the right side of the conflict. But two artists in Lebanon, 30-year-old Mazen Kerbaj and his mother, 75-year-old Laure Ghoyareb, are showing the war on new terms, registering their protests in the ink of the Internet.

    Here is a sample of Mazen's work:

    Here is a sample of Laure's work:

    Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    Review #2: The Air Force by Xiu Xiu

    The Air Force - Xiu Xiu

    Dare I say that Xiu Xiu's The Air Force is its most accessible album to date? Or even its most pleasant(!?) listen yet? Of course, accessibility is relative and there's still no danger of Zack Braff looking sad to Jamie Stewart's damaged wail. No, this is simply freaky-avant-blip-rock-band- from-the-Bay-Area-accessible, but when it sounds this good and flows this well, you won’t even object to the occasional choruses.

    There are a few other welcome additions to the Xiu Xiu palette. First, we have multi-instrumentalist Caralee McElroy stepping up to the mic on "Hello From Eau Claire." Keeping the transgressive spirit alive, she gives voice to a heartbroken man (and, it seems, drag queen) trying to declare his independence. There's also a creepy spoken-word assault expanding on the groundwork of "Support Our Troops OH!" and an instrumental that sounds like a manic Japanese tea ceremony ("Wig Master" and "Saint Pedro Glue Stick" respectively). Finally, we even have some actual live drumming courtesy of Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier, who also produced the album.

    Otherwise, The Air Force hews pretty close to Xiu Xiu's earlier efforts, which I mean as a real compliment. There's the usual array of violated hearts and bruised bodies, the tension between lightheartedness and gut-socking pain, the thin line between love and sadomasochism. And of course, it comes loaded with bizarre images and elusive connections (I like to pretend that "Boy Soprano" is an ode to Robert Iler), just as assuredly as the electronics are still dense, weird and unrelenting.

    Standout tracks include "Buzz Saw," a Gaitskill-style love story and "Bishop, CA," one of the rare instances where the political trumps the personal. (According to Wikipedia, the reason Stewart chose the album title was to have the U.S. Armed Forces waste money on Google ads reaching his fans instead of potential enlistees.) After a few listens, the album really comes together though, perhaps better than anything previous and definitely better than the still-difficult Knife Play. Leave it to Xiu Xiu to even take a dirty word like accessible and make it sound this beautiful. 8.5/10

    * MP3: "Buzz Saw" - Xiu Xiu from The Air Force [Buy it]

    Tuesday, July 25, 2006

    State of the art #1

    (via PCL LinkDump)

    San Francisco has more homeless people per capita than any other U.S. city, a statistic that doesn't tell you all that much. But Tom Stone has managed to humanize the data, to put faces and even stories to the abstract struggle with his Poverty series. It's a staggering collection, not only for the visible effects of homelessness on the subjects but also for the breadth and depth of all the people he includes. Here is a small sample:

    Video Tuesday #1

    "Lullaby For The Taken"
    Kimya Dawson
    (Via John Darnielle's Last Train To Jakarta)

    "The Subway Home"
    Casiotone for the Painfully Alone

    "God's Away On Business"
    Tom Waits

    "The Operator"
    Barbara Morgenstern

    "Your Great Journey"
    The Handsome Family

    "Rock Bottom Riser"

    Monday, July 24, 2006

    Eight ideas for personal film festivals

    Have you ever found yourself with six hours to kill and an overabundance of popcorn? Of course you have; it's an all-too-common situation. Your first response then is probably to grab the nearest three DVDs on your shelf and hope for the best. But if there's even a remote threat you'll end up screening Kangaroo Jack, I'd recommend staging one of these mini-film festivals instead.

    Ratcatcher, Trainspotting, Sweet Sixteen
    Perpetually in England's shadow, Scotland often doesn't get the attention it deserves. This unfortunately extends to its film scene as well, although Trainspotting and Ewan McGregor have helped to change that somewhat. Still, there are a lot of smaller gems that are just as potent and poetic about Scotland's young and underclass, like Ken Loach's Sweet Sixteen and Lynne Ramsay's Ratcatcher.

    Topsy-Turvy, Waiting For Guffman, OT: Our Town
    Although Hamlet pithily observed, "The play's the thing," I think the unabridged version went more like "The play's the thing that will take over your life, create complications you never could've imagined, threaten to not be ready by opening night, and forge and destroy relationships in equal measure, all for the brief enjoyment of an audience's applause." These three movies understand that all too well.

    Back To The Future, 2046, 12 Monkeys
    In these movies, time travel may represent regret, tenuous memories, the impact of choices, etc., but it's just also fucking cool. I don't think there's anyone out there who hasn't genuinely considered buying a DeLorean and getting up to eighty-eight miles per hour just to see what would happen.

    Blue (1993), The Blue Angel, Blue Velvet
    Blue seems to be the perfect word for these movies, both for their pervading sadness and sexuality. It's also literally the color of so many images in Kieslowski's and Lynch's works. And if that's still not enough, there's probably a Blue's Clues rerun on Nickelodeon you can catch afterward.

    Together (2000), Insomnia (1997), The Celebration
    Scandanavia seemed fairly placid and pretty when I traveled through it last year, but the region's movies suggest there's a lot of ugliness and strife lurking under the surface. Disagreeable Socialists, killers chasing killers, and sordid child abuse are just some of the reasons to call your travel agent now.

    Straw Dogs, A History of Violence, Caché
    Although I've never seen the comparison made, I'm convinced that A History of Violence is, in part, a conscious revision of Straw Dogs. So many of the same elements are there, just slightly upended in the later movie. And then there's Caché, which also coincidentally explores so much of the same territory: the seemingly ordinary family terrorized by "undesirable" outsiders, the breach of the home, the patriarch driven to action and violence. Somewhere in there, there's a dissertation waiting to be written.

    Breathless, Last Tango In Paris, Before Sunset
    With the gorgeous old-world architecture and postcard vistas, it doesn't take much to make Paris seem romantic. But beyond these movies' scenery are the romances themselves, thorny and tragic, complex and thrilling. In short, everything love can be, regardless of whether you're on the Seine or on your couch.

    Hoop Dreams, When We Were Kings, Murderball
    Sure, it's nail-biting to wonder if Emilio Estevez can lead his ragtag team of misfits to victory in The Mighty Ducks, but sports documentaries add a whole other layer of suspense. Away from the contrivances of fiction, the wins feel more profound and the losses even more so.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006

    Mixtape for my sweetheart, the drunk #4

    1) "Beauty" - Edan
    2) "Oliver Square" - Cadence Weapon
    3) "You Never Knew" - Hieroglyphics
    4) "And This is For..." - Murs
    5) "Take Me" - Jean Grae
    6) "Life or Death" - Busdriver
    7) "Destruction of a Guard" - DJ Muggs vs. GZA
    8) "Dead In Motion" - Anti-Pop Consortium
    9) "Astronomy (8th Light)" - Black Star
    10) "Battle For Asgard" - Cannibal Ox
    11) "Hype Talk" - Dizzee Rascal
    12) "Blue Flowers" - Dr. Octagon
    13) "Escape Artist" - Sage Francis
    14) "Last Good Sleep" - Company Flow
    15) "The Point of No Return" - Immortal Technique

    Tuesday, July 11, 2006

    The five best lead performances of the 21st century

    5) Sean Penn in Mystic River - I happened to sneak into Mystic River right after seeing 21 Grams. I'm glad I did. While I found Sean Penn's acting in the latter impressive, the script was so ridiculous, I couldn't buy into it. On the other hand, his grief and rage were so commanding in Mystic River, I couldn't look away.

    4) Naomi Watts in Mulholland Drive - Wow. What a way to leap onto the radar out of nowhere. Remember that soap opera audition scene? Where the innocent ingenue suddenly metamorphoses into a creature of pure lust? Did I already say wow? Can I say it again?

    3) Nicole Kidman in Dogville - Before The Stepford Wives, before Bewitched, before marrying yet another loser, Nicole Kidman was still kind of interesting. In one of her riskiest moves, she plays the martyr to a corrupted town, displaying a masterful arc of strength and vulnerability. And for Lars Von Trier no less. But since she wasn't wearing a fake nose, I guess no one noticed.

    2) Adrien Brody in The Pianist - Existential in his suffering, Brody's Wladyslaw Szpilman was heroic by not being a hero. Rather than tell us about his pain, he just survived any way he could, while the devastating tolls writ themselves on Brody's thinning face and every one of his stricken actions.

    1) Sibel Kekelli in Head-On - Is there an emotion that Kekelli doesn't register with searing depth in this movie? She's psychotic, she's suicidal, she's romantic, she's resurrected, she's overwhelmed. And that's just in Head-On's first twenty minutes.

    Review #1: The Trials of Van Occupanther by Midlake

    The Trials of Van Occupanther - Midlake
    (Bella Union)

    Turn off the lights and kill your TV. Come back to a simpler time of makeshift shelters and rationed supplies, where land was still largely untouched. That’s the world of Van Occupanther, a lonely 19th century scientist with a romantic streak. It may sound like a setting more suited for Thoreau than a band from Denton, Texas. But then Midlake isn’t your typical band and The Trials of Van Occupanther isn’t your typical album.
    "Have you ever wanted to be overrun by bandits,/ to hand all over of your things and start over new?"

    Stepping back from their quirkier, keyboard-driven debut, Banman and Silvercork, Midlake has indeed started over new. Their sound is sparser and slower now, with pianos and guitars leading the way. '70s rock has become a big influence, while psychedelic, folk and country grace notes add to the mix. But what comes through most importantly is the music’s sweetness. Uncluttered and delicate, the melodies shine through time after time. They're ideal traveling companions for Tim Smith’s vocals, evoking the pastoral themes that Smith is singing of.

    "Bring me a day full of honest work/ and a roof that never leaks/ I'll be satisfied"

    Smith's deliveries are, simply put, beautiful. They're sincere and expressive whether he’s singing about his character surviving the winter or perennial heartbreak. They're impressive even when he's singing about mundane things like gathering firewood and laboring. On the few occasions when he gets to fully display his capacity, like the near-operatic opening to "Branches," the results are obvious highlights. Among the first six songs though, there's practically an embarrassment of highlights to choose from.

    "And after a while, you can’t keep up/ so you start to lag behind"

    Unfortunately, that last quote might be the most telling. In the legacy of so many frontloaded records, Midlake makes the mistake of a weakened second half. The arrangements generally don’t sound as fresh. "In This Camp" feels twice as long as earlier songs of the same length. The two closing songs are disappointingly anticlimactic, considering all of the pinnacles achieved on Side A. And most distracting and out of place are the electronic flourishes on "We Gathered In Spring." They always pull me out of the song, as I keep expecting it to segue into "Come Sail Away."

    Despite these late flaws, The Trials of Van Occupanther remains a largely stunning listen. Unlike most of its trendier contemporaries, it bravely sets out on its own hermitic trail. More often than not, it also delivers the gorgeous territories it's seeking. 7.5/10

    Download "Roscoe" and stream "Van Occupanther" and "We Gathered In Spring" here

    Video for The Trials of Van Occupanther's lead single "Young Bride"

    Saturday, July 08, 2006

    Found photo gallery #4

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    Midterms: The seven best singles of 2006 so far

    7) "Funny Little Frog" by Belle and Sebastian
    Petrarch may have been the greatest poet of unrequited love, but even he's no match for the fun beats, handclaps and kooky slant rhymes that Stuart Murdoch lays down here.

    6) "One Crowded Hour" by Augie March
    English majors of the world, unite. Glenn Richards and I are tied together by our impractical degrees, but he's out proving the value of his education with so many dazzling puns and sharp turns of phrases. Whereas I'm happy just to rock the tan questions in Trivial Pursuit.

    "Don't Feel Right" by The Roots
    Ever since 2002, I've had serious and very vocal doubts that the Roots would be able to top Phrenology. I'm still stubbornly dubious, but if they somehow manage to put out an entire album that's as powerful as this song, they may stun me yet.

    4) "We Share Our Mother's Health" by The Knife
    My test for great music is often this simple: would it scare my mother? Well, rest assured that this single could terrify my whole family. That is, of course, if they're not too busy piling onto the dancefloor.

    3) "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken" by Camera Obscura

    When you write a response to a heartbreaking song (Lloyd Cole's "Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken?"), you set the bar pretty high for yourself. When you leap over that bar and throw in the organ for devastating effect, you officially earn my love.

    2) "When You Wasn't Famous" by The Streets

    If Eminem and Charles Dickens had a baby and got it coked up and forced it to watch Access Hollywood Clockwork Orange-style, it probably would've written this song. Thankfully, we just got Mike Skinner to do it.

    1) "Live With Me" by Massive Attack
    Some songs take ten listens before they win my approval. Others impress me from the first spin. But all it took for "Live With Me" was the first few seconds when Terry Callier croons "ooooooooo-ooooooh." Right then, it became clear that this was soul music with actual soul, an ode to longing, need and desire so rich that stands up to the best in Massive Attack's beautiful catalogue.

    Tuesday, July 04, 2006

    Midterms: The seven best albums of 2006 so far

    7) Passover by The Black Angels
    Yes, Austin's Black Angels may sound derivative at times, but when that sound is a passionate hybrid of Velvet Underground, Joy Division and Spaceman 3, it hardly seems like a negative. Their twin obsessions of the '60s and war also make this debut well worth obsessing over.

    6) We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions by Bruce Springsteen
    What could've turned out like a homework assignment is more like a Fourth of July barbecue, not to mention Springsteen's most rousing moment in ages. Whether he's singing about destroyed homes or lost wages, wounded soldiers or ex-cons, Bruce puts the soul in Seeger and heart in the heartland.

    5) Moo, You Bloody Choir by Augie March
    With experimentation and weirdness dominating the indie scene, Augie March's straightforwardness sounds almost subversive. But it's their dedication to songcraft and the gorgeous melodies it produces time after time that really sets them apart from the crowd.

    4) Fox Confessor Brings The Flood by Neko Case
    My friend Scott once told Neko after a concert, "You do country the way it's meant to be done." If by that he meant having an exquisite voice, writing enchantingly cryptic lyrics and delivering your best and most tightly crafted album to date, then I concur with Scott.

    3) The Life Pursuit by Belle and Sebastian

    Pop is the new Trojan Horse. As long as you get people dancing, they can easily miss all the complex ideas about religion, outcasts, depression and redemption you're sneaking through the gates. Sing enough about sunshine and they might not even notice that you're storming in with your smartest work since If You're Feeling Sinister.

    2) 'Sno Angel Like You
    by Howe Gelb
    I've never
    been a fan of stores segregating music by genre, and apparently Giant Sand frontman Howe Gelb has my back on the issue. His new album is such an effortless union of country, folk, rock and gospel (supplied by lively Canadian choir Voices of Praise) that the only label it rightly fits into is "classic."

    1) Shut Up I Am Dreaming by Sunset Rubdown

    I know it's too early and unconstitutional because he's Canadian, but I'm saying it anyway: Spencer Krug for President. Here is a man who can find the time to be in Frog Eyes, Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown and Swan Lake. Here is a man who crumples hearts with every swipe of the pen and every inscrutable note, whose couplet "And if I fall into the drink/I will say your name before I sink" wouldn't vacate my brain for weeks. If Spencer keeps this incredible winning streak going, Kim Jong-Il won't stand a chance.


    * Largehearted Boy's Halftime Report
    * Chromewaves's Mid-term Report
    * From Blown Speakers' The Year In Music...So Far
    * Good Hodgkins' Seven essential albums from the first half of 2006
    * Obscure Sound's The (Halfway Point) Top Ten Albums of 2006

    Sunday, July 02, 2006

    The twenty best Simpsons episodes of all time

    20) "The Last Temptation of Homer"
    Season Five - December 9, 1993
    Choice Moment: Homer serenades Marge in the Capitol City hotel room
    Choice Quote: Homer (cursing his similarities to attractive co-worker Mindy): "Foul temptress. I'll bet she thinks Ziggy's gotten too preachy too!"
    19) "Homerpalooza"
    Season Seven - May 19, 1996
    Choice Moment: The Simpsons theme as covered by Sonic Youth
    Choice Quote: Announcer (introducing Homer's human cannonball act): "And now, Springfield, this is the moment that you've been waiting for: the man who embodies everything about rock 'n roll... except the music."
    18) "Brush With Greatness"
    Season Two - April 11, 1991
    Choice Moment: The Simpsons' visit to Mt. Splashmore
    Choice Quote: Art critic (commenting on Marge's painting of a naked Burns): "He's bad, but he'll die. So I like it."
    "Kiss Kiss Bang Bangalore"
    Season Seventeen - April 9, 2006
    Choice Moment: The Indian dancing montage
    Choice Quote: Comic Book Guy (at the Stargate SG-1 convention): "Richard Dean Anderson, of the four Star franchises: Wars, Trek, Gate and Search, Gate is easily my third favorite."
    16) "Selma’s Choice"
    Season Four - January 21, 1993
    Choice Moment: Homer's obsession with his hoagie
    Choice Quote: Lisa (after drinking the water on the Little Land of Duff ride): "I AM the Lizard Queen!"
    15) "A Fish Called Selma"
    Season Seven - March 24, 1996
    Choice Moment: Troy McClure's comeback musical Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get Off
    Choice Quote: Server (offended by Selma's smoking): "Please don't smoke in our restaurant; we don't serve contemporary Californian cuisine in your lungs."
    14) "New Kid on the Block"
    Season Four - November 12, 1992
    Choice Moment: Bart pictures Laura ripping out his heart
    Choice Quote: Lionel Hutz (when Homer tries to sue an all-you-can-eat restaurant for leaving him hungry): "I don't use the word hero very often, but you are the greatest hero in American history."
    13) "A Streetcar Named Marge"
    Season Four - October 1, 1992
    Choice Moment: Marge's violent rehearsal with Ned
    Choice Quote: The cast of Oh Streetcar!: "If you want to go to hell, you should take a trip/ To the Sodom and Gomorrah of the Mississip"
    12) "Itchy and Scratchy Land"
    Season Six - October 2, 1994
    Choice Moment: The Simpsons fight off the Itchy and Scratchy robots with camera flashes
    Choice Quote: Mother (addressing another Bort in the gift shop): "No, my son is also named Bort."
    11) "Marge vs. the Monorail"
    Season Four - January 14, 1993
    Choice Moment: Lyle Lanley's monorail song
    Choice Quote: Sebastian Cobb (realizing that he and Marge are too late to stop the runaway monorail): "I shouldn't have stopped for that haircut. Sorry."
    10) "You Only Move Twice"
    Season Eight - November 3, 1996
    Choice Moment: Homer quitting the Globex corporation as the Army troops infiltrate
    Choice Quote: Gordy (explaining why he's in a remedial class): "I moved here from Canada, and they think I'm slow, eh?"
    9) "A Star Is Burns"
    Season Six - March 5, 1995
    Choice Moment: Barney's film festival entry Pukahontas
    Choice Quote: Hans Moleman (responding to whether the audience was yelling Boo! or Boo-urns): "I was saying Boo-urns."
    8) "Lisa The Vegetarian"
    Season Seven - October 15, 1995
    Choice Moment: The film shown in Lisa's class, Meat and You: Partners in Freedom
    Choice Quote: Homer (trying to justify eating the catapulted "pig de resistance"): "It’s just a little airborne, it’s still good, it’s still good!"
    7) "The City of New York v. Homer Simpson"
    Season Nine - September 24, 1997
    Choice Moment: Homer has to go to the bathroom at the World Trade Plaza
    Choice Quote: Marge (watching Kickin' It, a musical about the Betty Ford Center): "You know, when I was a little girl I always dreamed of being in a Broadway audience."
    6) "Behind the Laughter"
    Season Eleven - May 20, 2000
    Choice Moment: A look at the Simpsons' solo projects
    Choice Quote: Narrator (revealing the story behind the Simpsons' rise to fame): "But reckless spending and interracial homoeroticism were just Volume 1 of the Encyclopedia Self-Destructica."
    5) "Homer The Great"
    Season Six - January 8, 1995
    Choice Moment: The Stonecutters song
    Choice Quote: Number One (explaining the last step of Homer's initiation): "And now, the final ordeal: the Paddling of the Swollen Ass... With Paddles."
    4) "Lisa On Ice"
    Season Six - November 13, 1994
    Choice Moment: Lisa imagines her future on Monster Island
    Choice Quote: Homer (after learning that Lisa's and Bart's hockey teams are playing each other): "I want to see you both fighting for your parents' love! [flicks light on and off] Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!"
    3) "Homer Badman"
    Season Six - November 27, 1994
    Choice Moment: The film Homer S.: Portrait of an Assgrabber starring Dennis Franz
    Choice Quote: Kent Brockman (narrating live coverage of the Simpson house): "Remember, by the way, to tune in at 8:00 for highlights of today's vigil, including when the garbageman came and when Marge Simpson put the cat out... possibly because it was harassed, we don't know."
    "Brother From The Same Planet"
    Season Four - February 4, 1993
    Choice Moment: Bigger Brother Tom and Homer battle for Bart's love at the aquarium
    Choice Quote: Homer (declaring his love for his Little Brother Pepi): "I love you too, Pepsi."
    "Cape Feare"
    Season Five - October 7, 1993
    Choice Moment: Sideshow Bob's infamous rake sequence
    Choice Quote: Agent (unsuccessfully testing Homer's ability to recognize his new identity): "Hello, Mr. Thompson..."

    (With thanks to
    The Simpsons Archive)