Monday, June 26, 2006

3-Chord Monday #26-27
I didn't post one last week, so here's a Pride Weekend Rock Block:

Husker Du - Eight Miles High
Sleater-Kinney - The Drama You've Been Craving

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Movie Log 2006 #46-49
this has been sitting in draft for a while:
Call Northside 777 - Jimmy Stewart is a crusading Chicago Times (later merged with the Sun) reporter trying to spring an alleged cop-killer. This was based on a true story, and its authenticity made it slow and less successful, I thought. But it was shot on location in Illinois, which was nice.

An Inconvenient Truth - Yeah, you know what it's about, and have already formed an opinion whether you've seen it or not. I think I'm more interested in your excuses/halfbaked theories for not wanting to see it. Odds are the film debunks most of them, so really "I'm already part of the choir" is the only valid excuse.

Who Killed the Electric Car? - yeah, yeah, Stonecutters, aren't you funny. This was a doc about the ill-fated EV-1, which GM launched, then killed despite the cars being wildly popular with the few people actually allowed to possess one. GM set the project up to fail from the start -- from naming the concept car the "Impact" to talking as many people as possible out of leasing them, to delaying shipments, to finally seizing all the cars (they were all leased) from people willing to drive them forever, and crushing them in the desert -- all the while lobbying to get California to roll back the emissions mandate which prompted the project. In the most telling scene, a mechanic shows you all the service parts in an internal combustion engine which were not part of an EV-1-- This dead golden goose was the reason dealerships wanted no part of the car. And meanwhile, Toyota and Honda ate Ford and GM's lunch on hybrids, while gas is in the $3 range. And no wonder the American automakers are in the crapper.

Choose Me Kirsti says long ago she read a Cosmo-ish article where a guy clamed this was his "can't miss" third-date video rental. Hmmm, yeah, I'm not seeing it; not any more. Must have been a long time ago, because it's very hard to get past the 80s-stylings. This was an interesting mess, anyway. Remove things like the unironic Flock of Seagulls hairdo and you're in Hal Hartley territory. It's been a long time since Keith Carradine -- hell, any Carradine -- could carry a romantic lead role, but he does. Rae Dawn Chong is awful; was she ever good in anything not involving cavewoman bodypaint? The poor man's Susan Sarandon, Lesley-Anne Warren, pulls off a final scene reminiscent of The Graduate that's all worth it.

Monday, June 19, 2006

go Oilers
This first video has two things worth seeing: Don Cherry's suit (at about 2:30), and at 8:00, when "O Canada" picks up. This is what happens when your national anthem is easy to sing and isn't about a dumb war that few people know about:

The next video is the classic Canadian cartoon "The Sweater."

Saturday, June 17, 2006

"They alll deserrrve to die..."
AICN (via Variety) reports that Tim Burton is finally getting around to shooting Sweeney Todd. Johnny Depp is to star; no complaints there, although whether he can sing remains to be seen.

On the other hand, this being Burton, I fully expect him to trash all the Sondheim songs and have Elfman dash off more of his recycled score crap. Oh, and wedge in an unnecessary subplot about someone's father.

Monday, June 12, 2006

blackbirds not included
I baked a pie tonight. Completely from scratch, with a pastry crust. We went a little crazy at the farmer's market Saturday, it being our first trip this year. I saw the strawberries, saw the rhubarb sitting right next to them; figured I'd give it a whirl. I like to bake, and might have done this before but I didn't have a rolling pin, of all things. So I went out that afternoon and picked up one that's fancier than I'll ever need. Our knives may be crap, our Tupperware is all old sour cream and take-out containers, but my rolling pin...freaking awesome.

The big pain in the ass was the crust, of course. The kitchen was a little too cluttered to roll comfortably, and there was a slight sticking problem with the top crust. While it was baking, I told myself so *that's* why pre-made crusts are so ubiquitous. But it turned out to be worth it. It's not going to win any beauty contests, but the crust came out nice and flaky, I daresay nicer than any of the family recipes. It's the standard Joy of Cooking recipe. Five ingredients.

So now I guess the big baking hurdle left to clear is bread, of the non-breadmaker kind. I'm in no hurry.
3-Chord Monday #25
Here's a song I should have used last week, what with the 6/6 nonsense. Over at the music tournament, I've been slagging Nine Inch Nails lately. I think Reznor is basically ripping off JG Thirlwell, AKA Foetus. He was doing the one-guy-in-studio, angsty/evil/tortured industrial thing long before Trent got a deal, and their vocal styles are similar, I think.

Foetus - "Satan Place"
I haven't posted notes on my Out of 5 selections in...well, since the site relaunched. The picks have been mostly self-explanatory, I guess. This week's topic, "Pink," was pretty tough if you didn't want to use a song with pink the the title. Little Peggy March is more famous for her ode to stalking, "I Will Follow Him." Her other song, "I Wish I Were a Princess," evokes a stereotypical 50s teen room, painted in pepto-bismol, stuffed animals covering the bed. I don't think the word "pink" apppears in the song, yet it's the pinkest song I can think of.

Friday, June 9, 2006

get some free music
So Leah and I have been running this silly indie rock song tournament for a few months now. We're almost into the round of 32, and to add some voters and cut down on abstentions, we're going to offer all of the 32 songs still in the running as two big zipfiles. Of course the irony of this is we've already weeded out most of the more interesting obscurities, so what remains are things people are most likely to have. Still, free music.

The downloads should be available Monday. in the meantime, you can go there and influence the song selection by voting in the remaining round of 64.
right on
Watch Jon Stewart dismantle Bill Bennett on same-sex marriage. Too bad the audience won't shut up:

Monday, June 5, 2006

3-Chord Monday #24
An amusing cover...
7 Seconds - 99 Red Balloons