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Archive for November, 2009

Americon Idols

November 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert. HBO.

For the first time in a very long time, millions of Americans are talking about something on TV that’s really, really good.

Bruce Springsteen, Tom Morello, Jeff Beck, Aretha Franklin, John Fogerty, Stevie Wonder, Sting, U2, Mick Jagger, Lou Reed, Metallica, Ray Davies, John Legend, Ozzie Osborne, Art Garfunkel, CSNY, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Paul Simon.  Jann Wenner, Cameron Crowe.

Categories: Music Tags: ,

Ghost of Tom Joad

November 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Sometimes you throw on an album – preferably one that hasn’t had much rotation in a while – that perfectly matches your mood in that exact space of life.  It’s a rare occurrence, no doubt.  With so many passing moments in life, and so many albums out there in the ether, to fit that cosmic puzzle piece is truly a sublime slice of humanity.  Right now, with the darkness of winter looming, I can’t find another album more appropriate than Springsteen’s ‘Ghost of Tom Joad.’  I highly recommend giving this an evening listen at some point in the near future.  It’s always good to remind yourself that the Boss isn’t always bombast and revelry.

Categories: Music Tags: ,

Recognize these?

November 17, 2009 Leave a comment

You should.  Finally completed in 1964 by architect Bertrand Goldberg, the Marina City towers were originally planned as a mixed use/residential community on Chicago’s State street.  Try a different angle.

Categories: Uncategorized

Iron and Wine w/ Calexico – In the Reins

November 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Of all the albums in my collection, this one sits atop a very sacred category: the growers.  Time erodes most albums, leaving them thoroughly discovered, and thus lacking most of their original luster.  In the Reins, on the other hand, continues to expand with each listen.  And by the way, I’ve always supported the opera interlude!

Categories: About Me, Music Tags: ,

A Pleasant Surprise

November 16, 2009 Leave a comment

I just started my day by reading an email from my dad informing me, completely out of the blue, that we would be seeing Bela Fleck and the Flecktones on Wednesday at this place… (disregard the ‘our location’ tag)

I’ve seen these guys once before, at Bonnaroo, but always felt that the true Flecktones experience had to be in a venue a bit more in tune with their virtuosity.  Yea, not a bad way to start my first week as a 24-year old.

Categories: Music

Before the Recession pt. 3

November 13, 2009 Leave a comment

This man was an inescapable part of the cultural zeitgeist.  Thinking back, wouldn’t you rather have this gentle, little dude than Sarah Palin?  Times were simple.  Life was good.

Categories: Recession Tags:

Refund

November 13, 2009 Leave a comment

You know those movies that are so bad you wish you could get your money back?  I know we’ve all seen plenty, and I think we can all agree that they usually leave you with a feeling of anger, resentment, and possibly nausea.  Well, last night I saw the shit pile to top all shit piles.  2012 is, without any doubt in my mind, the worst movie I’ve ever seen.  You won’t see me review movies much on this site.  Music is my forte, and even though there are a million jerk offs writing on both mediums, I’m just not into movies enough to feel as if my opinion qualifies.  Unless, of course, I see something so beautiful or, in this case, utterly repulsive that remaining quiet would be a disservice to the 3-4 poor suckers who read this blog.

Look, I was ready to walk out 30 minutes in.  I wish I could say that I’m thankful to my friends for keeping me in the seat, but the truth is I’m really not.  The whole time I’m sitting there, I’m thinking, “what an absolute waste!”  2012 could have rocked.  I’m hardly one of these guys who’s above a disaster flick.  I still enjoy Armageddon as mush as I did when I was in middle school, and 2012 should have surpassed it.  The cast is just as solid, and the subject matter is a) way more ostensibly appealing, and b) tailor made for the uber-budget disaster flicks director Roland Emmerich likes to make (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow).  Unfortunately, 2012 is simply one of these haphazard projects that was probably doomed from the start.

For starters, while the CGI was undeniably impressive, there were definitely whole sections that seemed no more impressive than the intro graphics in a good video game.  Come on, Hollywood.  You must be able to do better.  For Christ sakes, don’t tell me James Cameron can create god-knows-what kind of mayhem in Avatar, and you guys can’t be discerning enough to spot some shoddy sections.  Isn’t that what the money’s for?  Furthermore, and this is not exaggeration, I have never seen a movie chock full of more cliches.  And not just disaster flick cliches.  I’m talking about the most trite dramatic touches from any genre.  These are more-than-capable actors, and while I’m sure they were compensated handsomely, I couldn’t help but feel bad for Cusack, Glover, and Ejiofor throughout 3/4 of the flick.

As if the whole fucked reality of 2012 isn’t upsetting enough, I had to sit here this morning and read a 4-star review from The Washington Post.  To all you readers of this, admittedly illustrious, paper: don’t drink the cool-aid.  The author of the review posits that 2012 is a disaster film ‘without peer,’ and while I see his point that there is nary another movie whose plot is as ambitious, that doesn’t mean it’s a success.  His arguments about the competent level of the acting is plain laughable.  And of course, the one scene whose effects he complements, is, in my opinion, the most glaring toss-off throughout.  Believe me, there are some effects that are undeniably awe inspiring (particularly the volcano scene), but… well, I think you’ll just have to see for yourself.

Wait, no, please don’t see this movie.  If anything, just do something else, anything else, for 158 minutes, and wait for this hell pit to hit DVD.  In my opinion, 2012 would have been much better off as a straight-to-DVD cult flick, resoundingly adopted by stoners with HD TV’s.  Living rooms with bongs and beer bottles strewn about are actually much better locales for this dud, than a theatre with people trapped by the guilt of dropping $10 in fucked economic times.  Finally, I’m certainly not someone above admitting I was wrong.  There are definitely instances in which, further down the road, I see the error in my ways.  But in this case, I’ve never been more sure that I’m on the ball.

Categories: Film Tags: ,