Thursday, September 30, 2004

Random musical thoughts.

  • Guess what: SMiLE is actually good. Really good, maybe classic. I need to listen to it a few more times, let it settle, but I'm really floored 'cause this album shouldn't be this excellent.
    When my friend Mark played me scraps from the original/aborted version, I loved the idea of this mythic, lost work of art that exists only as shards of harmonies, bits of melodies and lots of fevered speculation. When I heard that Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks were getting back together to finish the album this year, I was apprehensive. When I learned that they were throwing out everything that had been recorded in the '60s and were starting fresh, I was convinced that the result was going to be total shite. Wrong. It's brilliant-- it's the radiating pocket-symphony that we'd been promised. It sounds like a ground-breaking album from the '60s-- but richer and not at all stale. Brian's vocals, while not perfect, are surprisingly strong (Dude can still hit some notes) and he surrounded himself with a supremely talented group of musicians and singers. Most impressive is the way the album flows and how painstakingly thought-out it is.
    Here's to Brian: for getting out of the sand-box, past the "columnated ruins domino" echo-chamber, and back into the sun.

  • I'm not really digging on the new Elvis Costello. I really want to, all the pre-release buzz sounded great, but the album just isn't doing it for me. I love certain musical moments (Stevie busting into West Side Story on "Button My Lip"), but lyrically and vocally Elvis is all over the place and in the end... shrug. And it kills me, 'cause I know the dude can still deliver (see also: When I Was Cruel), I guess I just need to accept the fact that to get to the good, we're going to have to wade through crap (see also: North).

  • Full confession: I kind of like Marilyn Manson. When I was in high school, I hated that fucker a lot. I was annoyed with the "Sweet Dreams" cover and the broken Goth-Barbie doll look. But when he morphed into that white he-she that sang weird Bowie-esque songs, I suddenly got the the joke and found myself kind of liking the crazy (God of) fuck. I mean, c'mon, he goes to Salt Lake City and sings a song with a chorus that goes "I won't be a slave / to a God that doesn't exist," all the while he's wearing a body suit that gives him big white boobies... what's not to like? This is a long way of saying: I bought Manson's new disc, Lest We Forget: The Greatest Hits, and it's really fun-- all retarded-death kitsch, faux high school angst and silly pop-metal. I'm sorry, the guy makes me laugh. (Does that make me sick?) I dare you to look at this picture--in all its over-the-top-theatrics and desperation to shock--and not laugh:

    See? Funny, knowing and slightly scary. I know, I know-- then why not listen to Weird Al and/or Slipknot and/or Gwar? Well, 'cause I think the Manson writes better shitty songs. I don't like the drugs (but the drugs like me), indeed.

  • Another confession: I wanted to like the new Gwen Stefani record. When I saw the list of producers she was working with--The Neptunes, Dallas Austin, New Order, Nellee Hooper, William Orbit, Andre 3000, Missy Elliott--I figured there'd be plenty of hot pop-shit to cherry-pick off of iTunes. First sign of impending doom: she named the album Love Angel Music Baby (it spells LAMB!). Second sign of impending doom: the first single, "What You Waiting For," dropped. Boy does it suck ass. Ripping the melody off Weezer's "Hash Pipe" and setting it to sub-P!nk disco is not hott.

  • But you know what is hott? That opening drum loop to the new Destiny's Child song. I have a hard time caring about the typically weak verses (Note to Beyone: hire a lyricist.), but that drumline opening? Sick. (Side note: I just noticed that those smug fucks over at Pitchfork dig on the opening of the song too. I guess I'm in good company. I guess.)


Yesterday I blogged about Rex Reed and his pissy "What's with kids these days" film commentary. I wanted to point out that he is also a thief, but couldn't find the proper link.
Problem solved.
When he's not hating on the Andersons and Mr. Lynch, Rex Reed is shoplifitng Peggy Lee and Mel Torme CDs.

Website of the day.

Josh's boyf would be proud:

(Hat tip to the Thigh Master.)

Oh Demme.

This is not promising:
"Demme not only feted Corman, but also called out his three favorite movies of the year so far: 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' Neil Young's 'Greendale' and 'Napoleon Dynamite.'"

Huckabees tracklist.

Not sure what's what (in terms of score, songs, etc) aside from "Knock Yourself Out" is the (new) song heard in the trailer and "Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way" is an excellent Jon Brion standard that he's been playing for years.

Knock Yourself Out
Strange Bath
Didn't Think It Would Turn out Bad
Over Our Heads
You Learn
Later Monday
Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way
Huckabees Jingle (50's Version)
Revolving Door
JB's Blues
True To Yourself
Didn't Think It Would Turn Out Bad (String Quartet Version)
Strangest Times
Get What It's About
Monday (End Credits)

Ms. Diaz makes the case for Pier.

Drudge has the scoop on Cammy's appearance on Oprah. Says she:
"If you think that rape should be legal, then don't vote."

Er, yeah Cam! Vote!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Pic of the day.

Cassie Carpenter plus an AK47. Need I say more? Yes: look out, bytchz.

Does this mean Harry is going to be at Largo?

Ain't it Cool News' Mr. Beaks has a man-crush on Jon Brion.

Douchebag of the day award.

It's probably too early to be giving out this award, but the following bit of "film crit" prompted it. (Oh and I use the term "film crit" loosely when when dealing with Rex Reed.) I didn't read the whole piece (I haven't seen Huckabees so I don't want it ruined), but this passage gives you an idea about Rex Reed's brilliance:

And so I ♥ Huckabees may not be the worst movie ever made, depending on how you feel about such hollow, juvenile and superficial trash as Brewster McCloud, Hudson Hawk, Punch-Drunk Love, Mulholland Drive, The Royal Tenenbaums, Lost Highway, Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses and … well, as they said in Hollywood during the McCarthy witch hunts, "the list goes on."

The egomaniacal young director-producer-writer David O. Russell is a member of the new group of anarchists that includes Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Spike Jonze, freaky Todd Solondz and the dismally overrated non-writer Charlie Kaufman, who wins critical praise for writing incoherent movies about why he can’t write coherent movies. (Some critics also include Alexander Payne, which is a true insult; in my opinion, he can do one thing none of these other jerks knows how to do—make narrative movies about real people that tell profound stories for a broader and more sophisticated audience. He is miles ahead of the others, and movies like Election, About Schmidt and his forthcoming masterpiece Sideways prove it.)

What can you say to that? He compared Tenenbaums and Mullholland and Punch-Drunk to Hudson Hawk and House of 1000 Corpses... Whatevs dot org to that.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

2 + 2 = 5.

1) AIR (with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra) live (9/26/04).
I know, I wrote about it already, I just need to point it out again. I'd waited so long to see AIR live and to see them in that venue, in such a special context... it made my week.

2) The Star Wars Trilogy DVD set.
I will always hate the "Jedi Rocks" sequence and much of the fussy CGI additions, but I've made my peace with the "special editions." I'm just thrilled to finally have these movies--looking the best they ever have, sounding fantastic--on DVD. Plus that Empire of Dreams doc is excellent. (Highlight: getting to watch footage of Darth Vader speak before they dubbed in James Earl Jones.)

3) Checking another Master of Cinema off the list.

Somehow, I made it through four years of film school without seeing films from, among others, Fellini, Kurosawa, Bergman, Ozu, Fassbinder, Tarkovsky, Bunuel, Godard, Truffaut, Lang, Powell & Pressburger, and on and on. (Yes, I could have been more pro-active in my renting habits, but seriously, I think I could have used a screening of Ikuru instead of Witness.)
Anyway, the point of this is: I have taken great joy in digging in and exploring these insanely brilliant filmmakers on my own. This past weekend I saw Shadows-- the first Cassavetes film I'd ever seen. At first, I found myself fighting his sloppy/raw aesthetic but by the time Tony started hitting on Lelia, I was in awe and ready to start gorging on Cassavetes' work.

4) SMiLE.

No, it's not made up of the old Beach Boy outtakes. No, Brian is not in the prime of his talent. But at long last the album has been completed and it's finally available. And that's reason enough to celebrate.

5) Pitchfork's slam of Eminem's "Just Lose It."
They call him a troglodyte. Huh huh.

Monday, September 27, 2004

No spin watch.

Admission: I love pointing out that Bill O'Reilly is a douche-bag full of spin. I can't help it. I try to ignore that smug bastard, but I can't. That said, check this out:
The Thigh Master pointed me to this article on Mike Wallace interviewing Bill. In it, O'Reilly whines about how he's misunderstood and he has such an unfair rep and how he's researched it and in six years of the O'Reilly Factor he's only told six guests to shut up. Six. ("Three times in anger and three times just, 'Ahhh, he didn't want to shut up about things.'")
Of course, Jack Shafer has written about O'Reilly's penchant for telling guests to shut up over at Slate. Shafer managed to documnet approximately thirty instances of O'Reilly uttering that magical phrase. I think one or two of the documented "shut ups" weren't on air and some are stretches, but O'Reilly's figure sounds an awful lot like a bunch of spin. Oh O'Reilly, you thought you were going to pull one over on me. Think again, biatch. And scene.

Thank you, Sasha.

Finally, someone called her out:

Ben Greenman/The New Yorker: What's the worst thing on the charts?

Sasha Frere-Jones: I am not terribly happy when I hear Alicia Keys sing.

I'm not sure that I would say Ms. Keys is the worst singer on the charts... hardly. But she is so sickeningly overrated it's insane (the comparisons to Stevie Wonder and/or Prince and/or Sly and/or Joni and/or Carole King, etc. need to stop) and no one seems to call her on it.
Now if we could just get Sasha over his obsession with Gretchen Wilson (sorry Josh) and Usher.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Ce soir-la.

Just got back from the AIR with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra show. Some highlights:
  • "La Femme D'Argent" as the opening song. A nearly full moon hanging over the Bowl, AIR playing almost all of the song alone, then the Orchestra suddenly coming to life in the end. Goose bumps.

  • "Remember" being played entirely by the Orchestra. All swirling strings and woodwinds, with the guys doing the vocoder vocals.

  • "Alone In Kyoto" and "Highschool Lover": predominantly synth film music rearranged for a full Orchestra. More goose bumps.

  • "Don't Be Light": that '50s-sci-fi-movie-music sample is tossed out and recreated live. With Jason Faulkner freaking out on fuzzed-out bass and Beck on spoken word duties.

    Pretty f-ing classic in my book.

    Time to sleep.


Huckabees soundtrack update:
"On I Heart Huckabees, musician/composer Jon Brion (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Punch Drunk Love, Magnolia) composes a personal, emotional and uplifting score accentuating the film. The soundtrack also includes five exclusive songs by Brion. His alternative, progressive pop-music approach creates a musical setting synonymous with the film's energy. Full of melody, Brion's music weaves its way into the storyline. "

Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy.

From LA Weekly's coverage of Paris Hilton's book signing at the Santa Clarita Wal-Mart:

Over the next half hour, the room vented itself of its impossible pressure, one autograph at a time. For most, the meeting with a genuine star was all too brief.

“Paris is my idol!” said Lindsey Tillisek, 15, on her way out of the signing line.

“I think she should be queen!” said her friend Katie Quinn, also 15. “If Paris told me to jump off a bridge, I would.”

“I’d do 18 operations just to look like her,” said Tillisek.

“But that could never happen because she’s god.”

“Give us a Paris look,” said a photographer standing nearby.

“That’s impossible,” said Tillisek.

Not everyone was as impressed, including Matt Randall, a punked-out 20-year-old who came with a group of friends. “I came here to buy wife beaters, and because some chick sucked a knob on the Internet, I can’t get them,” said Randall, when asked if he was interested in shelling out $16 for the memoir. “I’m not planning to buy the book. But I’ll get the video.”

Descending into the mysterious depths.

Ebert on Altman's 3 Women.
(if you haven't seen it, [a] do yourself a favor and rent it, it's brilliant and [b] don't read Ebert's essay as it contains some spolers.)

An inspiring, furiously alive life.

Manohla on Cassavetes.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Consider it jumped.

According to the latest Entertainment Weekly, Kevin Smith is joining the cast of Degrassi for a three episode run. Degrassi's been an amazing guilty pleasure for the past four months, but I think I might have to give up Emma and Ashley and Paige and Spinner and Jake Epstein before I allow Durst McNobuzz to fuck the show to Hell. Gee, I hope that time spent in Canada doesn't fuck up The Passion of the Clerks...

Again: get it while you can.

Haven't even heard it yet, but some say that U2's new single, "Vertigo," can be had over m'ya.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Picture of the day.

Thursday, September 23, 2004


It's getting in the way of my career as a blogger.
In my absence, play with this G.I. Joe Lite Brite kit.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Hey, why you gotta drag poor Margot into this?

"CBS' sole source authenticating the forged National Guard documents is Bill Burkett, who's about as sane as Margot Kidder was when they dragged her filthy, toothless butt out of somebody's shrubs a few years back."

--Ann "Ever Quotable" Coulter. Every time I think the world would be better off with the Coulter dead and/or bleeding in a ditch, she makes me laugh out loud (see above). God bless/damn that woman.

Pot / Kettle / Black.

Quoth Karl Rove:
"[John Kerry] seems to have this belief that every time he speaks it's a blank sheet, and he doesn't have to worry about contradictory things he's said in recent days, weeks and months."

And he's totally serious. Sigh.

Get it while you can.

Lovely synthed out M83 remix over m'ya.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Hey freakshows...

The J responds. And kind of introduces herself. Kind of.

Your daily Team America update.

From a Newsweek piece with Trey and Matt :
"Other celebrities get skewered because, well, just because. Matt Damon's puppet turned out 'kind of f---ed-up looking, so we made him retarded.' In the film he can say only one thing: 'Matt Damon.'"

Oh and there's a song called "Pearl Harbor Sucked And I Miss You."


Sk8ter Grrrl.

Avril wants you to know that despite looking like a slutty Fievel Mousekewitz, she can f. your s. up.

Quoth she (in the new Maxim):
"Some chick came up to me and got in my face and said something, so I kicked her in the box and shoved her. I don’t go looking for fights, but if someone comes up to me and pushes me, I’m not going to take it."

Hoorah for, er, kickboxing.


Big ups to the real Napoleon Dynamite (that would be Mr. Elvis Costello) for posting this message on the back of his new CD, next to those heinous FBI anti-piracy warnings: "The artist does not endorse the following warning. The FBI doesn't have his home phone number and he hopes they don't have yours."

2 + 2 = 5.

1) M83 live at the Hollywood Knitting Factory (9/18/2004).

Epic, widescreen music in a tiny, intimate club. Highlight: "Gone"-- all DAT strings 'n' beats and dueling, dissonate guitars that would make Kevin Shields proud.

2) The cast of Criminal.

By the end of the film the wires were showing and the stage machinery was creaking, but that cast just kept gliding with their charm and talent.

3 and 4) The Prodigy's "The Way It Is" (from the album Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned) and Mylo's "In My Arms" (from the album Destroy Rock & Roll).
So sue me, I dig on the new Prodigy album. The album's been getting a drubbing in the press but I love it in all its unoriginal, go-for-the-obvious block-rockin' beats. My favorite track is "The Way It Is" (narrowly beating out the bizarre electro-mook-rawker "Spitfire," featuring one Juliette Lewis [!] on vocals), a sleazy-analogued-out re-working of Michael Jackson's "Thriller." Also in heavy-rotation on the old iPod (and in a similar vein as "The Way It Is") is Mylo's "In My Arms." He tweaks the keyboard riff from "Bette Davis Eyes," loops a vocal sample from the '88 cheese-hit "Waiting for a Star to Fall" by Boy Meets Girl (props to Timbo for his sleuthing skillz in figuring out that sample) and sets the pop-bliss meter to eleven.
(Sample "The Way It Is" on iTunes here; download "In My Arms" while you can over at Fluxblog.)

5) The ArcLight Cinemas, Hollywood.

After watching Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow marred by shitty sound (Thanks, Sherman Oaks Galleria!), it was so nice to go to a movie theater that's OCD about quality control. Perfect sound, projection, seating. They refuse to seat latecomers, serve alcohol, and have a stand of Taschen film books in the lobby. Plus you can always see someone from The O.C. there. Oh and they're next door to Ameoba. I'm beginning to think that it might just be the only place to see movies.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Blog entry of the day.

"But on TEAM AMERICA, I finally got them to write MY titles on the music, so, taking important lines of dialogue from the movie, I had the joy of watching these virtuosic musicians see they were playing a piece of music entitled 'SURPRISE, COCK FAGS!' or 'HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A MAN EAT HIS OWN HEAD?' "

--Marc Shaiman from his Team America blog.

Hey Aaron, I bet you would've loved Nazi Germany too.

The LA Times had a roundtable discussion on the legacy and historical relevance of Birth of a Nation. The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder offered this insight: "If this was 1915, and I had some position of authority, I would have stopped the movie from being seen. I'd have dragged all the filmmakers out in the street and shot them. That's me."

"Just get to the point when you talk to me. / And if a favor gets involved just rub my feet."

  • Start the week out right: another new, leaked Elliott Smith track. (Via Sixeyes.) Oh and check out Sam Phillips covering John Lennon over m'ya.

  • Will Ferrel: how Woody got his groove back.

  • Josh tenderly appraises the work of conservative wunderkind Kyle Williams. While we're on the topic, let me throw out one of Mr. Williams' insightful observations: "Liberalism is a mixture of all-out greed, irresponsibility, ignorance and irrational programs and decisions. Those warped foundations have made their way to government and created a government that is a monster. That monster has all but replaced the role the American people should fill with charity, kindness, hard work and sacrifice." Shouldn't this kid be sneaking alcohol from his parents' liquor cabinet and wanking it to Brit Brit? Instead he's Sean Hannity's mini-me. Hoorah for the future!

  • Martin Short is David Lynch?

  • No tracklisting yet, but it drops October 12.

  • Slate's got the scoop (with documents to boot!) on how Ali G. tricks people into coming on his show.

  • And she raps too! Read a transcription of Britney's, er, hott skillz. (See also: the title of this entry.)

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Quote of the day.

"['Izzo (H.O.V.A.)' by Jay-Z] hit me hard the first time I heard it... When he says 'I used to dribble down in VA,' I feel like he's talking about me."

--Bruce Hornsby on the power of the hip-hop, from his iTunes playlist.

Being a bully for his art.

I love this anecdote.

Brief setup: it's April 2003. Jude Law has dropped out of David O. Russell's I ♥ Huckabees to do a movie for Chrisopher Nolan.

On to the story (by NYTimes' Sharon Waxman):

At a Hollywood party, Mr. Russell, a lean, muscular 46-year-old with dark, lanky hair, runs into Mr. Nolan and — in full view of the party guests — puts him in a headlock. Wrapping his arm around Mr. Nolan's neck, Mr. Russell demands that his fellow director show artistic solidarity and give up his star in order to save "Huckabees." (In the meantime, Mr. Russell has met with Jim Carrey as a possible replacement.) The next day Mr. Law calls Mr. Russell from a boat while crossing the Atlantic and discusses his "Huckabees" role at length, never mentioning Mr. Nolan or his project. The headlock story makes the rounds in Hollywood.

The best thing to happen to Studio City since Jerry's Deli.

It's official: Britney marries in suprise ceremony. (Huzzah for the sanctity of marriage!)

Saturday, September 18, 2004

"You'll never watch your life slide out of view..."

If you haven't had the pleasure of listening to William Shatner's surreal, Ben Folds-produced cover of Pulp's "Common People," get over to
*SIXEYES and do yourself a favor.

Happy Saturday.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Another round of blog challenges.

    I know, I know... I haven't finished my challenge yet. Whatevs, I'm working on it. In the meantime, I'm throwing this out there:

  • Morgan: an entry on the best edited film of the past decade.

  • Josh: an analysis of Kyle Williams' work. (I'm not expecting you to buy his book [see below], his archive of web columns should suffice.)

That's all for now. And a word of warning: if your name is Jessica, you're next.

Somebody was hanging with Peabs when he died.

"In addition to cocaine and crystal meth, the Los Angeles county coroner's report noted the presence of seven other drugs found during [Rick James'] autopsy--specifically Xanax, Valium, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Digoxin, Chlorpheniramine and Vicodin. No single drug was found in quantities that would establish lethal quantities, hence the accidental death ruling. "


The J wants to know five of your cinematic crushes. I don't want to overlap with what Morgan and Tim have already written (Hello, Nat Nat. Hello, Ms. Jade. Hello Katie in your red cowboy boots.) so here are five (not necessarily the top five) recent movie crushes.

1. Ingrid Bergman as Alicia Huberman in Notorious.
If she'd make out with me like she did with Cary Grant, not only would I let her burn the chicken, she could burn the whole house down.

2. Barbara Steele as Gloria Morin in 8 1/2.
When I saw Barbara for the first time--all raw and dirty and boho'd out--I think I said something like "I'd like to have dirty-shoot-up-heroin-beforehand-sex with her." I stand by that statement.

3. Heather Graham as Rollergirl in Boogie Nights.
Career in porn? Coke addiction? Whatevs, it's Rollergirl.

4. Gwyneth Paltrow as Tracy Mills in Seven.
Oh Gwynnie, you were so young and fragile and tender. This was before all the tabloid bullshit and the Oscar and the string of shitty movies and Coldplay and Apple. You were so perfect in 1995. I would make a cheap joke about putting a/my head in a/your box, but your post-Grace Kelly-blonde-WASPy-ice-princess perfection prevents me from doing so.

5. Katie Holmes as Libbets Casey in The Ice Storm.*
Trudging through the freezing cold, Katie in a tight sweater, her parents out of town, an empty townhouse with lots of alcohol and/or drugs... Endless possibilities.

*=Not an overlap as Katie is playing a different part.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Film crit of the day.

Forget Morgan and his treatise on Igby Goes Down (which I like, thank you very much), gimme W.'s straight talk...

From Slate's "reader's guide" to Kitty Kelley's (dubious at best) tome The Family:

"Page 309: At Harvard Business School, which W. attends from 1973 to 1975, a professor screens The Grapes of Wrath. Bush asks him, 'Why are you going to show us that Commie movie?' W.'s take on the film: 'Look. People are poor because they are lazy.'"

I also like this story (but think it's a lie as my grandfather told me the exact same story about a student of his):

"Page 253: At Andover, George W. Bush writes a morose essay about his sister's death. Searching for a synonym for 'tears,' he consults a thesaurus and writes, 'And the lacerates ran down my cheeks.' A teacher labels the paper 'disgraceful.'"

Shofar Shogood.

Work sucks.
Just checking in real quick like:

  • Britney is Fire Marshall Bill? Scott Stereogum's got the proof.

  • Props to Tim for getting me hooked on this site. Killer sharks, knife playing, and inexplicably pleasing pictures like this and this... most excellent.

  • Jon Brion's score to Eternal Sunshine... remixed.

  • Happy new year, hope you like crap: The National Foundation for Jewish Culture is giving out their 4th Annual Jewish Image Awards for Film & Television. The winners? Best Female Character in a Film: Eva Amurri for Saved!. Best Male Character in a Film? Ben Shenkman for Angels in America. Way to go guys, award the annoying goth bitch and the spineless nebbish who bails on his dying boyf. Those are some positive Jewish characters. Durst(owitz).

  • When Bob Met Flav.

  • Happy new year, hope you like the best reality TV show ever: Being Bobby Brown--"The series will chronicle Brown's efforts to clean up his life after his numerous run-ins with the law. Also appearing in the documentary are Brown's wife, singer Whitney Houston, as well as his children from their marriage and previous relationships. Brown's brother Tommy, his personal manager, also is in the series." 10 one hour episodes, yo. The only thing that could top this, is if Bravo convinces Whitney and Bobby to appear on Showbiz Moms and Dads II with little Bobbi Brown.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The life span of rabbits.

The debate over Brown Bunny continues over in the comment section of Poinsonville.

Tommy loves his Gun, God, and Government.

Tom celebrates the expiration of the assault weapon ban. Scaaaary.

An Open Letter to Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Dear Microsoft Internet Explorer,

I hate you guys.
This morning, at the stroke of 10:00, I managed to snag 4 tickets to the upcoming Wilco show at the Wiltern. All I had to do was enter the little anti-scalper code and they were mine. I entered said code--EXACTLY as it appeared--but it refused to register. It told me that the code was wrong. Calmly, I went to another computer in the office, one equipped with Netscape, went through the process again... Oh, but all the tickets were sold out at the point.
Now, this was just a pre-sale, tickets go on sale to the public this weekend, but it really pissed me off. I hold you responsible.

May you all rot in Hell,


Tuesday, September 14, 2004


Bush's agenda could top $3 trillion:

"The expansive agenda President Bush laid out at the Republican National Convention was missing a price tag, but administration figures show the total is likely to be well in excess of $3 trillion over a decade.

A staple of Bush's stump speech is his claim that his Democratic challenger, John F. Kerry, has proposed $2 trillion in long-term spending, a figure the Massachusetts senator's campaign calls exaggerated. But the cost of the new tax breaks and spending outlined by Bush at the GOP convention far eclipses that of the Kerry plan."

2 + 2 = 5

1 and 2) "Hamburg" (one of the 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould [Girard, 1993]) and Beethoven's "Allegro Molto from Sonata No. 13 in E-Flat Major" played by Glenn Gould.
Glenn Gould (as played by Colm Feore) paces his hotel room as a chambermaid cleans it. There's a knock at the door, Gould answers it, accepts a package, opens it and finds one of his new recordings. He slips the vinyl onto the record player and an excerpt from Ludwig Van begins playing. It's unbelievably complex music-- so complex and technical that it's surprising how much emotion radiates from it. The chambermaid stops cleaning and begins zoning out to the music. Gould, fingers in the air, plays along. The maid is getting choked up, tears begin forming in her eyes. And then the music ends. "Dank schoen," the maid whispers. Cut to black.

3) The Inner Circle by T.C. Boyle.

It's odd, I realize that Boyle might just going through the motions on this one (coming-of-age blah blah blah, exploring sexual mores and the nature of love blah blah blah), but the (fictional) exploits of John Milk, research assistant to one Dr. Alfred Kinsey, are hugely entertaining and engrossing.

4) Roger Ebert's review of Muppets Take Manhattan.
One of the perks of the newly opened is the ability to read reviews that date back as far as 1967. This also means I am now able to link to one of my all time favorite pieces of film crit. Yes indeed, read in amazement as a smart, fully functioning adult male composes a letter to Kermit the Frog and publishes it. Oh Ebs.

5) "Champagne Supernova" by Oasis.

Got in my car to drive to lunch today, the radio was on Indie 103.1. Wilco's "She's a Jar" finished and Oasis' "Champagne Supernova" came on. I hadn't heard the song in years, but I found myself cranking it and singing along to every word. Bombastic, lager-soaked pop doesn't get much better than that.

Seth Cohen is a Tri-Lam.

This and that, this and that:

  • McG and Seth Cohen are producing a remake of Revenge of the Nerds. Right. Seth "pitched the idea" on the set ofThe O.C.. More likely he was tripping balls with Summer and McDouche at an ArcLight screening of Napoleon Dynamite and decided he needed to one-up that Mormon. At least, that's what I want to believe.

  • Have you heard that new Matrix-produced Mooney Suzuki song? It sounds like Lenny Kravitz doing Rush. That's not a good thing.

  • Instead of calling her album What You Waiting For?, Gwen Stefani has opted to rename it Love Angel Music Baby. Gwen will tour behind the record when she graduates third grade.

  • Peabs is still on vacation. Still. Lame. I hope he's doing a ton of blow and boving on mad tees, 'else this is all for naught.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Is this for serious?

And I thought the Hitchens/Shmuley Boteach event was surreal. Check this: MAYA ANGELOU AND CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: A CONVERSATION / Tuesday, September 21 at 5:30 p.m.

The topic is the life of Jessica Mitford (I'm confessing ignorance on that one), but that's the weirdest pairing evs.

Monday morning whatnots.

It's Monday.
Here are some odds and ends:

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Spidey? Nope. Catwoman? Nuh-uh.

PL fulfills his challenge and names the greatest comic adaptation evs. (And it's surprising, solid pick.)

Tim presents El Christo and co.

Mission accomplished (and it's really funny and accurate).

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Letter of the day.

Found at a blog called KITTYTEXT:

Dear Classik Rokk Aero ninety4seven,
I'm soaking in hate for you!!! I was listening this morning when at 9 am or whenever you followed up a nugget of classic Bob Silver Bullet Seger with THE GODDAM COUNTING CROWS!!! You think that a loyal Arrow Ninetyfour listener like me wouldn't notice that and call you on it? Counting Crows = Classik Rock? If you really agree with that, then I want to burn all of my Arrow 94.7 T-shirts and vomit all over your lunch today.
Some folks may think that the song "Mr. Jones" is a classic. They are somewhat correct. It's a classic example of a song that doesn't belong on your playlists!!!!! (I got a million of 'em, folks.)
The Counting Crows formed in 1991. The 1990s?!?!?!?! What's next? You gonna drop the needle on the Toadies' "Possum Kingdom," or some hott singles by Sponge and Jesus Jones? How long till you permanently trade out the Allman's "Jessica" with something off Jagged Little Pill?
I don't know if you are aware of this, but every time 94.7 plays a song that is not in the true classic rock canon, a kid gets cancer and dies.
Y'all are jive ass.
See you in hell,
Ross Carmichael 

The director as wanker (literally).

So I finally saw The Brown Bunny.
It's an ugly and useless piece of misogyny from a witless solipsist.
That's all.

(For a full on rage-filled/spoiler-including rant, check out Morgan's takedown.)

It's inevitable.

Three words for this trailer: Mother. F-ing. Brilliant.

Friday, September 10, 2004


Will someone explain this blog to me? (I came across it after clicking on the Navbar.)
It seems to be an oddly formatted blog filled with Anti-Kerry rhetoric, Bible quotes, and lots of shitty patriotic/homoerotic artwork.
I don't get it at all, but it's oddly compelling in a serial killer kind of way.

Critical blurb of the day.

"For 'Apple Pie' and 'Survivor' and 'Crazy,' Mrs. Carter had that R&Bazooka on 'Propel subject skywards like a can of RC Cola left in the sun for a week.' We hear none of the special Beyonsáuce that keeps DC two floors above 3LW and Blaque. So don't call it a comeback."

--Sasha Frere-Jones on Destiny Child's lackluster new single.

Blog Challenge(s).

You guys have no clue.
Currently, I am in the midst of the worst Blah vortex ever created. It's been the single longest, durstest Friday afternoon ever.
Furthermore, the blah vortex has sucked any will or ability to blog from me. Instead, I have decided to throw down the gauntlet once more.
Back in July, I challenged Josh to come up with a list of the best presidents ever. (Josh was totally down. If you haven't seen it, check it here. He's wicked smart and funny.)
In that spirit, here's the next round of blog challenges:

  • Tim: the ten best Jews ever. Go.
  • Tom:an entry on your take on RW15:Philly. I'm just interested in hearing what you thought of the first episode, you being a former insider and all.

OK. That's it for this round of challenges. And just because you didn't see your name this round, don't think you're safe.

  • Pier: an entry on the single greatest cinematic translation of a comic book/graphic novel/whatevs.

  • Oh Farrah.

    It's gotten bad.

    And another....

    The J. joins the fray.

    Thursday, September 09, 2004

    Seniors Rule.

    The Thigh Master found this site-- an amazing collection of the most hideous sr. photos ever. Some of that shit is just brilliant.


    Look: I hate Roger Friedman. I've expressed my hatred of that asshole before (quick recap: he's a bitchy hack on the Miramax payroll who writes a gossip column for Fox News). For some reason I am compelled to swing by his site every week or so.
    Today's scoop?
    Lance Bass is producing a remake of The Great Gatsby starring Chris Carmack (apparently he's on The O.C.-- is he the football jock?) as Gatsby and Paris Hilton as Daisy.
    Please tell me it's all bullshit.
    I really don't doubt that after producing his last cinematic triumph, Lance is trying to get this shit off the ground. But it seems like this is one of those cases where the industry buzzes about it, there's a little pre-production and then it falls apart.
    At least that's what I'm hoping. That or Friedman is totally wrong (again). If Bob/Mia/Francis can't pull it off, I somehow doubt that the O.C. Jock/ astronaut from N Sync/ jewelry designer can.

    Look who started a blog...

    Everybody say hi to Morgan.

    I'm into existentialism, bitch!

    Dave Chapelle is teaming with Michel Gondry. Hott.

    Wednesday, September 08, 2004

    Quote of the day.

    "He's like Holden Caulfield on prozac, minus the insight."

    --A friend of mine on his "troubled" little brother.

    Zissou in QT!

    Finally you can experience Wes Anderson's aquatic goodness in quicktime.

    (Thanks for the heads up, Morgan.)

    Happy Birthday, Chillum.

    No clue if Jill reads the world famous Whine Colored Sea, but I'm sending a shout-out all the same.

    Endorsement of the day.

    Never knew peeps were hyped about this one:

    "I LOVED Final Destination 2 (that opening crash scene RULED) and [Cellular] looks like it's gonna have some awesome vehicular destruction as well (David R. Ellis was also the 2nd unit director that worked on the highway chase scene in The Matrix Reloaded). Can't wait for Friday."

    --Justin from f.u.b.a.r - omg masturbatory heaven.

    Declaration of Independents.

    Clearly A. Payne has been listening to my drunken rants about indie filmmaking and reading the various email wars that I somehow find myself in around the end of the year/Oscar time. How else to explain this essay?

    (Hat tip to the J.)

    Tuesday, September 07, 2004

    Couldn't resist...

    Which Trainspotting Character Are You?

    Quote of the day.

    "I did respond quite logically -- you'll see it's quite logical, right -- with the conclusion that Christ would not vote for Barack Obama."

    --Alan Keyes on how Jesus would vote.

    Vote for us or die.

    This is going to be an ugly eight weeks.

    All that implicit rhetoric about voting for Kerry equals death has been made explicit by the Veep. I knew this shit was going to start flying but I didn't think it would be this early and from an official that high up. Time for KE04 to get their focus on.

    2 + 2 = 5.

    1) The long weekend.
    I did nothing over my three day weekend and I loved it. Well, let me clarify. I watched lots of movies and rarely left my apartment. You see, it was well over 100 degrees all weekend in the fair San Fernando Valley. That means I avoided the out-of-doors at all costs. So I stayed inside, in the a.c. and watch the following movies (in order): The English Patient, Videodrome, Kiss Me Deadly, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ninotchka, Rififi, Black Narcissus, Blue Velvet, Notorious, Persona, and Wonder Boys. Oh and I ate at the Italian restaurant where Robert Blake and fam ate before he killed his wife. The verdict: it was some good eats but it didn't inspire me to kill anyone.

    2) The monologue in Persona.

    I finally saw a Bergman movie. Huzzah for me! Loved it. Esp that monologue. Easily the best sex scene without any sex ever. Bovs.

    3) "Miranda Over the Valley" by Andre Dubus.
    I've never read Dubus until now and I love how lyrical yet unfussy his prose it. And as silly as it is, I love when you're reading a story and you intimately know where it's taking place. (The action in this piece takes place in a dorm on Beacon Street and in a house off of Ventura Blvd. in the San Fernando Valley.)

    4) Wonder Boys as hang-out movie.

    In last year's "Movie Issue" of The New Yorker, Quentin Tarantino spoke about how he wanted Jackie Brown to be a "hang-out movie" on par with Dazed and Confused. While I had never used that term, I knew just what he was alluding to. Those movies that are filled with characters and scenes and moments and locations that you visit periodically because they make you feel good. Wonder Boys is like that with me. As my long weekend faded away, I was nodding off in front of freezing-cold PA with Katie Holmes in her red cowboy boots, dead Poe in the trunk, Oola serving drinks, and Zimmy on the soundtrack. Not a bad way to end the weekend.

    5) Starting off the shortened work week with a drunken e-mail from Josh.
    I was grumpy this morning. Monday mornings-- er, Tuesday mornings are a bitch, especially when you've just gotten into the swing of being a lazy, do-nothing fuck. Then you come to work, click on your email and find this:

    I am drunk.

    Are you?



    "History books that contain no lies are extremely dull."
    --Anatole France, French novelist and Nobel laureate (1844-1924)

    May Yaweh bless J-dawg.

    Appealing to the pastry-buggering aficionados and other Monday morning musings.

    I posted most of these as individual items this morning. It looked cluttered and dumb, so I have condensed that shit for your reading pleasure.

    • Defamer deconstructs the Jersey Girl DVD artwork.

    • Reason #318,204 why I should get TiVo: TiVo and Netflix are joining forces and creating the ultimate tool for slothful/stoner behavior. Me likey.

    • Best before and after pic evs. OK, maybe not evs... But for today.

    • Warner Bros. is fucking with David O. Russell over his mini-doc/companion piece to Three Kings. WB is all "We didn't know it was going to be political." Excuse me? David O. Russell asks you for a couple hundred grand to make this piece on Iraq and the aftermath of the first Gulf War and they didn't think it was going to be political?

    Things I didn't know.

    1) Paparazzi was released this past weekend. Somehow I missed the news that this hotly anticipated slice of psychotic revenge fantasy (produced by--surprise surprise--Mel Gibson) was quietly dumped into theaters over Labor Day weekend.

    2) Paparazzi was directed by Mel Gibson's former hairstylist.

    Monday, September 06, 2004

    Not forgiven.

    ''I'm sorry. You know, the amount of people who have grown up hating me, and it's no fault of mine. I wrote the songs. I didn't ask the stations to play them so much. I remember they were advertising a guaranteed Phil Collins-free weekend in Milwaukee. People all over the world are sticking pins in effigies of me because they hate 'Another Day in Paradise' or 'Sussudio.'''

    --Phil Collins apologizing for being Phil Collins. I can't forgive him... Not after the "I Can't Dance" music video. Oh and they're not only sticking pins in you for the aforementioned songs, but also for:

    • Sending a portion of your concert funds to the PLO.
    • Divorcing your wife by fax.
    • Winning that Oscar over Aimee Mann and the South Park guys.

    For more defensive pissing & moaning from a different (but equally abortoriffic) douchebag, click here.

    Sunday, September 05, 2004

    Sunday Morning.

    Observations from the midpoint of the long weekend.

    Friday, September 03, 2004


    I got a copy of Pauline Kael's crit collection Kiss Kiss Bang Bang out of the library. I was surprised when I opened the book to the title page and found this inscription:

    March 68
    You might
    even like about half
    of it-- at least I
    hope for that much.



    It made my day.

    Thursday, September 02, 2004

    Miller vs. Matthews.

    "Senator Zell Miller sort of reminds us of the retarded guy who thinks he's the quarterback of team when actually he's the towel boy. He's the GOP's mascot, not a player and there's something creepy and condescending in the way Republicans treat him, like they have plans to de-pants him or give him a swirly in the locker room as soon as no one's watching. That was the plot of a Cuba Gooding, Jr. movie or something, right?"

    --Wonkette on the good Sen. Miller. Her take on Miller vs. Matthews is, as expected, great. Read it.

    What would Shmuley Boteach say?

    Would this be considered sacrilegious?

    (As found by the Thigh Master.)


    Thursday morning. Not the long weekend yet. Boo urns to that.
    Some random shit:

    • U2's new new album has a song called "Yahweh" on it. I was going to make some smart ass remark, but will just leave it at that.

    • Speaking of which, a word of advice: it's not a good idea to watch a 30 minute Bill O'Reilly interview with Bono whilst in a fucked up state. My TV's too small to contain that ego death match.

    • Best headline ever: Cup of urine a day keeps ailments at bay.

    • I watched Robert Altman's Images last night. Holy Jesus, was it a mindfuck. Loved it. It's one of his early, little-known films (it was out of print for 20some years) and it's smart and sick and gorgeously crafted. My advice: if you know nothing about it, keep it that way. Don't look it up on the IMDb or some other new-fangled Interweb site, just rent it cold and experience the sickness.

    • Haven't had enough of Zell Miller's insanity? Allow me to present this comment: (Zell to Chris Matthews) “I wish we lived in the day where you could challenge a person to a duel.” Apparently Zell's all pissed at Matthews's interview with the Malkin. Oh Zell. Defending the honor of the Malkin. I wonder if he knows she's one of them coloreds.

    Wednesday, September 01, 2004

    Seven? Why seven?

    "I would like it better if we had a woman president, seven of them, instead of one. ... American Indian, Mexican, Irish, African-American. We need seven women to really represent the United States more from an integrity perspective."

    --Carlos Santana on making the U.S. goverment better.


    Josh pointed out some of Sully's obnoxious/awesome snipes at last night's RNC speakers.
    He forgot to include this portion of the Bill Frist snipe:
    "When you see who really runs the GOP (funny Tom DeLay isn't in prime time, isn't it?), you begin to realize why a cross-dressing ex-mayor, a dissident Californian and an unelected ex-librarian are among its major spokespeople. "