Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Why seeing U2 live is for suckers

I'm one of the 96,000+ descending upon Pasadena's Rose Bowl this weekend to see U2 in a sold out concert (or at least the small dots that I will assume are U2 from my seat). However, while you can't beat the energy of a live crowd, the best view may be had by all the people not at the show.

This show will be streamed live via YouTube. You can view the video making the announcement here:

The show was already being filmed for an upcoming DVD release, so it ended up being an opportunity for the organizers to take the show to the Web. It's one of their last concerts of the year, with more to come in 2010.

It's a smart move, as they weren't going to be able to sell any more tickets for the event. I do wonder, if this type of live event online becomes a growing trend, if it could cut into any live performance revenues, which have become even more important as the record industry collapses. Still, as mentioned before, it's hard to compete with the experience of a live concert, the fan moment of being in the same venue as a favorite musician, and sharing your passion with a mass of people.


Remembering pro wrestling manager Captain Lou Albano

Pro wrestling manager Captain Lou Albano died this morning. There've been some untimely deaths in the wrestling industry, but Albano lived a rather full life, dying at age 76.

Albano is one of the personalities that crossed over into mainstream pop culture in the 1980s alongside Hulk Hogan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage. I'm someone who's watched pro wrestling over the years, and while I didn't get into it until later on, I knew who Captain Lou Albano was.

Albano gained his greatest fame and perhaps most lasting legacy by appearing in a number of Cyndi Lauper's music videos, such as "Girls Just Want To Have Fun," "She Bop," "Time After Time," and "Goonies 'R' Good Enough" (below):

Those music video appearances made him a big part of the early days of MTV (back when they still played videos all day), and MTV News covered Albano's death.


Coming soon: 'Fully conservative' Bible translation

There's a project on Conservapedia (a conservative version of Wikipedia) to create a "fully conservative translation" of the Bible.

It's a bit puzzling coming from the same side of the aisle that promotes strict constructionism with the Constitution and that went hand in hand with the Christian fundamentalist movement. Both conservative and liberal religious commentators seem to agree that this is a bad idea.

Still, is it that much of a stretch to see this idea at the same time more from all parts of the political spectrum are seeking sources that reaffirm what they already believe? People already read news sources that reflect their political beliefs and seek out blogs that act as an echo chamber, so isn't politicizing spiritual texts a logical extension of this trend?

(Hat tip: Paul Krugman)


Google explains what a browser is

We talked earlier this week about how it's easy to get lost in cool new technology while forgetting the basics.

Well, Google apparently agrees, as they started a new initiative to explain what a Web browser is. They did a series of man on the street interviews asking people what a browser is, and less than 8 percent of those interviewed knew the answer.

Google then produced this excellent 1 minute video to explain the concept of a browser:

They also produced an accompanying Web site, WhatBrowser.org. I marveled at the need for these things in 2009, but it's a great reminder that I think applies to a lot of things in life: keep it simple. You need these building blocks in place to be able to do bigger, greater things. Not everyone else will always understand things the same way you do.