Monday, June 27th, 2011

Eating Out At Four Of TV's Best-Known Restaurants

Holsten’s in Bloomfield, New Jersey ("The Sopranos") In the final episode of "The Sopranos," the family meets up at Holsten’s in Bloomfield, New Jersey, to eat (among other things) onion rings that are, according to Tony Soprano, “the best in da state.” Last year, for my birthday and shortly after my girlfriend Nadia and I finished watching the show—a time during which we lived and breathed all things Johnny Cakes and Ralphie—we rented a car and drove from Brooklyn to Jersey, with the simple goal of sliding into the same booth that Tony, Carmela and A.J. once shared.


A Who's Who of Sitcom Theme Song Composers

Whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, evening TV… and the following Theme Song Composers? (I'm only choosing people who are still alive, because, well, the “Where Are They Now?” wouldn’t be much fun if the person’s dead.) Here's a rundown of the people who wrote and recorded the songs that kicked off everything from "Full House" to "Seinfeld" to "Clarissa Explains It All."


America’s First Sitcom and Other Forgotten Comedies on DuMont, the Lost Network

NBC, ABC, and CBS. We remember these as the first television networks, the ones that gave us I Love Lucy, The Abbott and Costello Show, and Your Show of Shows. But there was another network that came before ABC and CBS, one that nearly originated before NBC: the long-forgotten, long-extinct DuMont Television Network.

In 1931, Dr. Albert B. DuMont founded DuMont Laboratories in the basement of his Cedar Grove, New Jersey apartment, and by 1933, he had essentially created radar, to be used by the United States military, and by the end of the decade, he and his team produced the first all-electronic television set, thanks to the development [...]


Cannibals Seeking Same: A Visit To The Online World Of Flesh-Eaters

While it was shut down with a Denial of Service attack by the German authorities in late 2002, the website for the Cannibal Café can still be viewed online thanks to the Wayback Machine. Nine years is an eternity when it comes to the Internet and, suspended there in history, the website is a time capsule of early website-design features and flourishes, down to a .gif of dripping blood and the flashing "WARNING" sign. Its forum messages also carry the whiff of a different era; written at a time when people, unaware and unafraid of consequences, were more open with their identities online.

On the Café's forums [...]


How to Handle Jeff Mangum’s All Tomorrow's Parties Set This Fall

• Remember that you’re seeing the first full-length concert in over a decade from the man behind one of the greatest albums of the '90s (if not the greatest) at the greatest music festival in the country. So, be happy.

• But not too happy. After all, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and, to a lesser extent, On Avery Island, are great albums that coincide nicely with feelings of depression. Meaning, it’s totally okay to cry, which a lot of people did during Mangum’s performance at the Chris Knox benefit at Le Poisson Rouge last year. Again, sobbing, totally acceptable, but what’s not acceptable, and I [...]


False Nostalgia: How VH1 Ruined the Taste of a Generation

In the period between when VH1 stopped airing music videos but before they became the home for such quality infotainment as "Glam God with Vivica A. Fox" and "Celebrity Fit Club," they were best-known for two series: "Behind the Music" and "I Love the 80s," and that show's light-history spawn.

On December 16, 2002, VH1 aired the first segment: "I Love 1980." This American interpretation of the BBC show (which itself started with "I Love the 70s"), had segments on Airplane!, The Empire Strikes Back (isn’t it weird that those two films came out in the same year?), “Rapper’s Delight,” and Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, among other pop culture [...]