Friday, February 27, 2009

Piet Klocke

Fussball Fanatiker Piet Klocke
(photo Getty Images)

Living in America for oh, so many years, I miss out on quite a bit of German pop culture - or at least I'm usually way behind on what's good. So I just learned about comedian Piet Klocke from my brother.

The online version of the German magazine Spiegel published a very funny interview with Piet Klocke today.

And here's a video:

Even if you're an English-only-speaker, you may get a kick out of just how cliché-German this guy appears (that's the other German cliché, not the big blond Nazi one, but the skinny glasses-wearing office guy one) - he's even talking about something to me so very German: pension (in Germany even fly-by-the-seats-of-your-pants artists seem to all have a serious pension plan).

However, if you DO speak German, you'll get how hilarious this guy is!

"Wenn Geld alles ist, was ist dann Nichts?"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Childless Men On...

Matthew Weiss is back on the screen!

It's been too many years, but I still have very fond memories of Matthew Weiss' excellent performance as a drug-dealing personal assistant to Sam Seder's character in the mini series Pilot Season (2004), a sequel to the mockumentary Who's The Caboose? (1997), also starring Sam Seder and Sarah Silverman. For some reason I can't find either on DVD. Is it possible they're not available?

Sam Seder currently hosts a live video show for Air America together with Marc Maron: Breakroom Live with Maron & Seder - airing weekdays at 3pm EST. The show offers comedy sketches, interviews, political and cultural discussions, and you can interact with hosts and guests live.

My favorite segment, not only because Matthew is a dear friend or because I like men without children, is "Childless Men On..." featuring Marc Maron and Matthew Weiss talking about movies, art and... what's next, Matt?

I just love their sense of humor mixed in with interesting insights, their banter back-and-forth and the fact that they're such distinct characters. I'm looking forward to many more.

Check out a few of their short videos:

Childless Men on FILM (Part 1)

Childless Men on FILM (Part 2)

Childless Men on ART

Monday, February 23, 2009

Warning for Travelers: Apartment Scam

Ugh, this is so frustrating. Just found out that friends who are planning to visit New York next week became victims of this apartment rental scam courtesy of... you guessed it... the callous minds of Nigerian scammers. Or at least that's what someone figured out who was almost scammed last week as well.

The scam has been going on for years, but the contact person, apartment address and contact phone numbers keep changing.

The scam involves an offer of an apartment for short-term vacation rental in NYC (or Washington D.C., as I just read about) via a website like Craig's List or even more official vacation rental websites. All the paper work offered looks very legitimate - you can even call the person and talk to them.

Then you're asked to send a deposit via MoneyGram, in itself a regular company (which actually warns against sending money to strangers) to ensure that a key will be left for you with the doorman. Once you send the money, you never hear from the person again.

There's a blog post with very extensive commentaries and lists of all the different identities and numbers used here:

It's too bad that the number and name that were used to scam my friends wasn't listed until the day they lost their money, because when they googled the details they'd been given, they didn't find any links to a scam.

So in case that name, number, address, reference are still being used by the scammer, I'm listing the email with all details below in hope anyone else about to fall for this intricate scam will realize in time that it's fraud.

> Danny Baldwin
> Floor Area:
> * 900 sq ft
> Address:
> * 245 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017, USA
> Theme:
> * family
> * luxury/Vacation
> * business/shopping
> General:
> * towels provided
> * air-conditioning
> * central heating
> * telephone
> * linens provided
> * Washing Machine and Dryer
> The remaining 50% of the rent will be paid when u arrive to the
> Apartment and also the security deposit will be refunded in cash
> when leaving the apartment..
> Get back to me asap if you`d love to Book.. So I can send you the
> Booking Agreement form, and make the Payment to secure this
> Wonderful Apartment for your dates before someone else does...
> More Photos attached and I`m providing you a Contact info of my past
> Tenants from UK, USA and FRANCE....
> 1) DR. Bill Palmer and parents
> St. James, Westminster.
> +447024080616
> 2) MR and MRS Tom Edward and kids
> Paris, France
> 3) Mr Hagman Buckle and friends stayed 2weeks
> Houston, TX
> +1 7137807265
> +1 206-3504484
> 1918 Bronxdale Ave, Bronx, NY 10462

And if you have fallen victim of such a scam, you may enjoy listening to the segment "Hanging in Chad" of This American Life's episode "Enforcers", which tells the story of several scam baiters exercising their revenge on scammers by conning them. Those conning the con artists have a forum HERE if you want to follow their exploits further.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mailbox Locator

photo by found

I was just wondering when exactly the second nearest mailbox gets emptied (the closest definitely has that evil 7am schedule) and thought: wouldn't it be amazing if there was a way to search mailboxes online...

And there it was: Mailbox Locator!

With pick-up times and integrated google maps. Just enter your zip code. If you click around a bit you can also find a map of your neighborhood that shows all the nearest mailboxes and post offices at once.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mostly Maxx Klaxon

After a very musical two-week span including live shows (Lykke Li, The Submarines, Los Campesinos!, The Duke Spirit and everyone who played with them), going on a road trip to Pennsylvania's Tinicum Guitar Barn with Thimo Sander to track down an old SG Junior guitar, focusing on finding more, placing and tweaking the music in All's Well and Fair (thanks Thimo, Jason and Karl for all the new stuff!)*, finally putting together my "Favorites of 2008" CDs and receiving John's "Arguably The Best of 2008" CDs, my bold random recommendation goes to Maxx Klaxon, who I finally got to see perform his Authoritarian Idol show.

Maxx Klaxon creates very entertaining and innovative performances involving electronic music, interactive videos, political commentary and well, the Maxx Klaxon persona.

Check out his version of the communist anthem "Die Internationale": Internationale 2000

And keep an eye out for one of his live performances...

Maxx Klaxon Website
Maxx Klaxon MySpace

* I'm trying to lock in all the music for All's Well and Fair this week but am still open to new tracks. Mainly right now I'm looking for somewhat mellower indie/garage/punk/guitar with female vocals and always instrumental pieces of the same direction. If you got something, be in touch fast.

Friday, February 13, 2009

GHWP Mailing List

We have a new mailing list for all things Good Hard Working People is doing. We'll be sending out emails rather infrequently. If you're interested in receiving those emails, please sign up here:

To receive the
latest updates from Good Hard Working People,
please join our mailing list:

* required


And if you think, we know you well enough and already have you on our list, but you didn't get an email from us in January, check your spam filter. Apparently a lot of emails slipped by like that.

By the way, the subscription to the post on this blog and a subscription to our mailing list are not the same.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Screening at Film Festival in Alabama

We are very excited to announce that All God's Children will be screening at the George Lindsay UNA Film Festival in Florence, Alabama. Our documentary will show on Friday, March 6th at 3:30pm in the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library at 218 North Wood Avenue.

I'm planning to attend the screening and still trying to figure out if to check out Nashville or Memphis on this trip South...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Favorite Songs of 2008

The challenges of putting together one CD of the favorite songs from the previous year...

There's not enough room to contain all the great son
gs: Okay, so this year there'll be two CDs.

Picking your favorite song by a band wh
en you love four songs equally as much. Also make it two or just blindly pick with your gut and not worry that it's always the big hit and not the obscure B-side.

The official release isn't until 2009 but it's been circulating online since 2008 (Lily Allen): put it on there.

The official CD came out in 2008 but the EP was out in 2007 (Black Kids) when it already played all the time: won't make the list.

It's confusing exactly when the song was released here, in Europe, on an EP or re-release or whatever (MGMT): why not - may
be no one knows better.

Discovered and played it endlessly in 2008, but that song definitely did come out in 2007 (Okkervil River): wish it could've worked out - find a different song almost as favored.

tumbled across the irresistible Lykke Li vs. Kings of Leon mash-up of "Knocked Up" after the "Favorites of 2008" CDs were already made: just add the song and make a new disc of 2008 Down.