Of course, you should be reading the Black Table
every day. But, believe it or not, we're not the only good site out there.
Here are some sites by Official Black Table Friends worth lathering
up and taking a luxurious bubble bath in.
Before we get to the friends, we'd be remiss if we didn't
remind you about Jim Cooke, the creative director of the Black Table,
the man responsible for the design of the site and the entire aesthetic
we have going here. He has a Web site at:
How good is Jim Cooke? Just dive right in and check out his paintings.
Our personal faves include the old timey baseball scenes, the Shakespeare
in Love picture and the portrait of the cowboy in front of the barn. What
else can we say? He does weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. The guy rules.
And while we're at it:
Devin Clark does most of the art you see. Those little throwaway icons
you never once stop to consider someone spent years and years slaving
in Photoshop for? That's him. A pity we're wasting this dude's abilities.
Holmes is flat out talented. From radio, to the video, to Arsensio Mr.
Clark's website is the bomb sack.
Okay, on to the rest!
Home to the wit and wisdom of Choire Sicha, this New York-based media
blog is the kind of thing you check seventeen times a day to see what
the latest is on Paris Hilton's pubic region and Kurt Andersen's slow
fade back into the world of serious journalism. Sharp celebrity gossip
and media whispers? Sign us up.
These arent just the fine folks who published managing
editor Will Leitchs book; they also have a thriving site of their
own, updated regularly with some of the Webs best writers. Fun Fact:
If you meet an Arriviste Press staffer, they are contractually obligated
to shotgun a beer with you.
The bestpectacled, bloggerati hottie Blaise K. shows us an healthy
view of her life, her bedroom and her musical tastes.
All kinds of wacky stuff here, from comic book reviews to serious discussions
of the limitations and inherent faults of independent publishing. These
guys are smart and literary, which means half the time we cant understand
what theyre talking about. Were too busy watching Spice.
Bostons own lovely diarist, the infamous Jennie Smash is
less a confessionist than a lively wit. She sees things differently than
most people, sometimes weird, sometimes scary, always smart and really,
really funny. Plus, she keeps it real, man. But careful: Dont make
her angry or she turns green and her clothes rip off. Actually, thats
not too bad, if you can deal with the green part.
The Lower East Side guy. Everything youd ever want to know
about the area surrounding The Black Table headquarters at Camp Bowery.
Wed love to see Lockhart do a blog about Kansas sometimes.
Michael Swasey is the host of The Swasey Show on Bostons
WFNX radio. His regular guests include celebrities, a plumber who reads
Bukowski poems and certain dopey columnists from The Black Table. He also
once killed a man for blowing his nose into his shirt, which we agree
What else can we say about these guys? Theyre McSweeneys
before it got fat and bloated, The Onion before they moved to New York
(except, um, in New York, of course) and, best of all, theyre
just working class dudes who happen to be pants-down funny. Of course,
to us, everything is pants-down funny.
Elizabeth Spiers is a full blown phenomenon at this point, skewering the
world of celebrity with her observations, then char-broiling them with
her wit. She's like a celebrity shish kabab machine and this is why The
Black Table loves her so deeply. Formerly the voice of Gawker, Ms. Spiers
is now under the New York Magazine umbrella, which keeps her rent paid
and her clothing dry.
Brian keeps a diary of his fantastic exploits in the city, but this little
spot isn't some self-referential nightmare of in-jokes and self-absorption.
No, no. Brian's funny and when he takes pictures of his friends -- many
of which are in popular rock bands, write for popular magazines and seem
like popular people -- these pictures feature nekkidness.
Lindsay Robertson writes for The Black Table, but she's also gone mercenary
with a crack mercenary outfit of her own, spinning an entire colorful
patchwork universe out of the cool crap you overlook. Very sharp writing
and certainly worth the look-see when you're not here.
Jim Norton and the folks at Flak have been doing their thing so well for
so long, it's easy to take them for granted. Don't. Fun, irreverent stuff
that is always solidly based in logic, smarts and a likable mix of journalism
and quality copy. We wish they'd change the font, though.
OK, we dont know where the hell these guys came from, but theyre
really quite cool. Smart, balanced commentary (with occasional journalism),
and they seem like nice folks. When youre done reading the BT each
day, this is your next logical destination.
We find these guys so cute. How cute are they? On their "Contact
Us" page, they say, "We love feedback; that's why we always
play facing our amps." That just keeps making us giggle. This crew
are like McSweeney's smacked with the silly stick. We like that.
Two cute Midwestern ladies, Jennie Dorris and Mary Gustafson, take the
personal essay site to charming, earnest new levels. And they're cute.
We don't mean to objectify them - they certainly have their act more together
than we do, and the site is the rare one that gets better every week --
but they are cute.
Rafat Ali, former editor of the Silicon Alley Reporter, knows everything
about paid content sites (apparently, there are some). His website, updated
daily, is an absolute must for anyone in the media biz, or anyone who
just wants to know why Salon is going out of business.
The first place to recognize the brilliance of Johan More, but certainly
not the last.
Intelligent people writing dense, packed stuff that is sometimes over
our head, but that's because we're not very smart. Editor Whitney Pastorek
has some real talented folks writing for her, and they're updated weekly,
which isn't as good as daily, but it's close.
Bob Sassone. The man. The legend. He now has a blog and original content
from Bruce Campbell, Joe Bob Briggs and Mike Nelson. Sassone is the TV
man. He was once even on an episode of Wings.
Eclectic, madly inventive music site. This is what radio is supposed to
be like. Make sure to check out Jim Bear's "The Nexus."
Sharp, L.A.-based criticism site with an unfortunate Andy Rooney impersonator
weighing them down. Editors Russell Brown and Tim Grierson aren't gay
lovers, but they probably should be.
Jami Attenberg is a writer based in the East Village who used to rock
out at Ironminds and now has a book available at SoNewMedia.com.
We're fairly certain she could kick all our asses, so we don't want any
We don't know what they're putting in the water over there in Chicago,
but something's making the young and abundantly chested Claire
Zulkey come up with a consistently hilarious diary ever damned day. We
HEART Claire Zulkey. Make sure to check out her ongoing George Foreman