Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Now blogging elsewhere...

Monday, February 06, 2006

Super Bowl Verdict

I thought this would be an interesting game. Maybe it's the 2 weeks of uber-hype. Sorry to say but Super Bowl XL was nothing more than a Super Bowl mini. It was a weak game. It wasn't some great defensive battle. It just seemed like offensive ineptitude. This is the best the NFL had to offer?

I can think of 25 better games this season. And don't even get me started on the most boring overpriced commercial spots in history. I did drive somewhere during halftime but I can't imagine that a bunch of hip-shaking skeletons doing a mini set with a bunch of fireworks did much to improve the overall experience of the game.

Congrats to the Steelers. Every team is now undefeated. John Madden is old.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Battle of the 2006 Festivals: Bonnaroo lays the smacketh down Coachella

What do you get when you mix the best live band on the planet, jam bands, and some of the hipper bands on the indie rock scene? Bonnaroo 2006? The yearly trek for many to Tennessee this year might be a bit different.

Some of the usual suspects will be attending like parts of Grateful Dead and Phish as well as Medeski, Martin, & Wood and Rusted Root. Music critic darlings like Bright Eyes, Clap Your Hands Say Yea, The Magic Numbers, Devendra Banhardt, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, and Death Cab For Cutie will be performing as well.

If this all sounds nice but not enough to tip the scales for you, the promoters had one more trick up their sleeves. The ace in the hole. Radiohead, one of if not the greatest musical act on the planet is headlining with no other performances announced as of yet except for a Chicago park show that never happened due the necessity of that venue being used as a practice space for the symphony. Beck and My Morning Jacket are also confirmed. As for ageless rock icon like wonders, Tom Petty and Elvis Costello will also be attending with their respective bands.

Personally, I would be excited to see Cat Power, Seu Jorge (the sir who covers Bowie tunes in Portuguese in The Life Aquatic), Dungen (who were amazing in an abridged set when I saw them previously."), Gomez (a long time favorite), and Andrew Bird. Besides other obvious choices like Radiohead who I pretty flew to Coachella in 2004 just to see perform.

It's all very enticing. They've even decreased the number of tickets to be sold to prevent overcrowding. Herb Alert of The Vandelles wonders if "there will be a separate camping ground for the hippies?" It's a valid point. The juxtaposition is almost enough to sell anyone to make the trek. Personally, I'm on the fence but leaning against it because of the impending ticket price, somewhere between $150-$250 plus camping fees, the travel and the intense heat that seems to torture festival attendees.

Besides these facts, I've seen almost every band on this list that I'd want to see. But there are three acts trying to push me on the other side of that fence: Blues Traveler, G Love ANNNNND the Special Sauce and the truly ageless wonder Bonnie Raitt. Guess Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers weren't available.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Elvis Costello & the Imposters
Bonnie Raitt
Death Cab for Cutie
Bright Eyes
Ben Folds
G. Love & Special Sauce
My Morning Jacket
Cat Power
Blues Traveler
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
Dresden Dolls
Son Volt
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Rusted Root
Devendra Banhart Band
Mike Doughty
The Magic Numbers
Seu Jorge
Andrew Bird
Steel Train
-this is not a complete list, just the most notable to me.

On the other hand, there is the usually reliable greatness of Coachella which seems absent. Rumors were a Smashing Pumpkins reunion that hasn't materialised to this point. Last year Coachella marked reunions for the real Gang of Four, Bauhaus, plus Nine Inch Nails getting back on the road and many other. But what jam bands are to Bonnaroo, DJs are to Coachella. And to me, they are both pretty wasteful. But to those who are interested,you will be seeing Daft Punk and Paul Oakenfold headline the glow stick tent.

Coachella has a lot of crossovers from Bonnaroo: My Morning Jacket, Cat Power, Clap Your Hands, Devendra, Dungen, The Magic Numbers, Seu Jorge and of course Damian Marley. Sigur Ros is going to be there. Major plus. Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand make up the primary UK contingent. Also a nice plus. There are also some nice secondary bands like Mogwai, Animal Collective, TV on the Radio, Wolf Parade, The Walkmen, The Juan Mclean, Metric and Deerhoof.

These are all excellent arists but look at the "What the Fuck List?" semi-headliners. The Yea Yea Yeas are OK, but when they become this super draw. I heard tickets fro their small club show in NYC were going for like $300. When did this happen? Don't even get me started on Sleater Kinney or the Scissor Sisters. Coheed and Cambria just plain sucks. And Common. What is Common doing there? There is a hip hop tent but another boooooooooo. Ditto for Matisyahu, the king of Hasidic reggae.

And then there are the headliners Depeche Mode and Tool. They are both enjoyable acts but are the weakest headlines in this fest's illustrious history I must say. In 2004, I saw Radiohead The Pixies, The Cure, Flaming Lips, Air, Belle and Sebastian, BRMC, Bright Eyes, and Kraftwerk among others. Those are worthy headliners and secondary bands. Depeche Mode and Tool are overrated and not worth whatever the price tag is going to be.

Besdies all this, for every band you want to see antoher band you want to see is guaranteed to overalp, you will never see more than 60% of the bands you actually want to see. And even if you're committed to see them all, then you'll see ten minuteds of eacha nd miss ten minutes running to another stage. Then get heat stroke. And be tired out halfway through day one and sit under a tent with a 4 dollar bottle of water and a sunburn.

Coachella is also more travel for me personally from the East Coast so it must be that much better to sway me and it always has. It is also in the middle of the Palm Desert which while beautifully is unbelievably hot. My comrade on the last trip had his Alarm Clock freeze at 125 from the heat at 9 AM inside of our tent. Coachella has a better overall lineup in quality terms but Radiohead sways the excellence total over to side of Bonnaroo. Honestly, I probably won't make it to either. I just hope for Coachella goers sake that they have a surprise waiting in the wings at the top of the heap for reputation's sake. And I hope Radiohead makes an East Coast stop for my sake.

Related Links:
Bonnaroo Site
Coachella Site

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Chuck Klosterman - First "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs", now Super Bowl XL

He's written for Spin, and collected esssays but now Chuck Klosterman has entered a different arena. He's blogging for ESPN this week at the Super Bowl and he seems to be having quite a bit of fun.

Here's a few prime clips:

"A few minutes ago, Jerome Bettis was asked this question: "OK, Bus -- let's say the clock is ticking down and the Steelers are ahead. You are about to win the Super Bowl. Tears are running down your face, and the game is almost over. What is going through your mind?" Now, how is this a reasonable query? I'm mean, it's not that easy to describe how you feel when you're actually experiencing life in the present tense; how is Bettis supposed to describe the emotive sensation of a futuristic alternative reality? Does this guy think Bettis is Philip K. Dick? And how does he know Jerome is necessarily going to start weeping (and -- if he does -- wouldn't that suggest Jerome's mental state will be completely self-evident)?"

And here's Mr. Klosterman on athlete's constant discussion of lack of respect:

"I suspect athletes complain about disrespect for the same reason bank-tellers tell you to have a nice day: It just (a.) kills time and (b.) sounds normal, mostly because no one is ever listening. "

Check out the blog here.

I know where I'll be getting my Super Bowl coverage this week.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Have you seen this man?

Have you seen this man? If you have be very afraid. He is Guts. If you respond to any of his questions, you will never get away. Or get a word in.

He loves the New Jersey Nets, Steel Train, high school sporting events, emotionally torturing his children, mustaches, and long naps outside of 24 hour Laundromats. If you see him, please contact the authorities, then put your head down and run because he is very slow.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

R.I.P. Christopher Penn & Reservoir Dogs

On Monday, I bought a copy of Reservoir Dogs at Best Buy. I had it on VHS but felt the need to get the DVD.

I watched it that evening. It took me back to that first time I saw it in the early 90's. I was 12ish. It was surreal. It was bloody. Curses were flung. It was the film that invigorated music use during films. Who was rocking Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With You" before that infamous song? It jumpstarted careers: Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, and that old video clerk Quentin Tarantino.

But the actor who played the glue in this film has now passed. The ultimate sleazy middleman Nice Guy Eddie is gone.

Christopher Penn was first noticed as Kevin Bacon's sidekick in Footloose and will probably be recognized more often as Sean Penn's huskier brother but Mr. Penn had some excellent performances himself. He just lurked in the backdrop more often then not.

He didn't go down to Katrina, gun in hand, and help people in a rusty boat that eventually sank. He may never have been nominated for multitudes of Oscars but he was the glue of one of my personal favorite films and seemed like a nice enough guy.

Two little Reservoir tidbits from IMDB:

  • Tarantino originally wrote the role of Mr. Pink(played by Steve Buscemi) for himself.
  • The word fuck is used 252 times.
And to quote one of those uses by Mr. Penn: "Okay, first things fuckin' last! "

Christopher Penn was 40 years old.

The Commitments - Best Irish Film Ever?

Saw The Commitments last night for the first time. People have raved about this movie to me for years. It's a nice film, pretty funny. But's more That Thing You Do! than Trainspotting - Director's Cut (Collector's Edition).

It's not even the best Irish movie I've seen this year. That honor goes to Bloody Sunday, the gritty drama that retells the horrific historical event that U2 sang about and still does. Alot. (It is their best song after all). The film is intense, gut-wrenching and moving, much in opposition ot the song. Do yourself a favor and rent or buy Bloody Sunday ASAP. You won't be disappointed.

The film does lumber a bit but perfectly portrays the two sides of the battle and builds up to the pentultimate moment of tragedy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Paul Thomas Anderson's Next Project & The Latest Unbelievable Beatles-related Auction

Paul Thomas Anderson, director of Boogie Nights & Magnolia, has chosen a follow up to the awkward brilliance of Punch Drunk Love.

According to Reuters: "Daniel Day-Lewis is set to play a pioneering Texas oil prospector in "There Will Be Blood," a sprawling period piece that filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson has spent several years writing...loosely based on Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel 'Oil!' "

With a $25 million budget, Daniel Day Lewis on board and Paul Thomas Anderson's genius, the Syrianna of 2006 is now in pre-production. I wouldn't wait in line for Star Wars but I might wait in a small line for this one. Someplace where it's warm since this movie has a Dec. 25, limited rollout, Oscar bait all over it.

I have to say, I'm biased I did spend 24 hours straight taking notes on Magnolia, watching it 8 times in a row.

You have $2 million extra dollars laying around because my birthday is coming up in a month and I know what I want.

Lookie here. According to the BBC:"John Lennon's original draft of lyrics to the groundbreaking Beatles song A Day in the Life has gone on sale... The manuscript, being sold in New York in a sealed-bid auction ending 7 March, is expected to fetch about $2m (£1.13m), auction house Bonhams said."

Oh and if you are looking for an xbox, tommorrow is a big day. You might wanna check out
the Xbox Locator.

Full Articles:
Daniel Day-Lewis puts 'Blood' on track
Lennon original lyrics for sale