Thursday, August 30, 2007

Okay, eep wins...

People on LJ communities are all freaking GENIUSES compared to the AICN talkback forum. That is all.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hey, a meme!

From Craig: Comment and I'll give you a letter. Then with that happy little letter, go choose your favorite songs starting with that letter!

I got S, so...

Start Together - Sleater-Kinney - S is a common Scrabble letter and all, but I was surprised at how few of my favorite songs start with S. While the rest of the list is mostly "songs I like that happen to start with S," this is a favorite. When this turns up on the iPod, I will typically listen to the first 40 seconds several times, then play the whole song at least twice.

"17 Days" - Prince - Yes, my favorite Prince song is a B-side, so I was especially happy to hear him play it last time I caught him live.

"Stay Away from Robert Mitchum" - April March - It's hard not to crush on April March. A cute ye-ye revivalist who was also an animator on Ren & Stimpy? What's not to like? So here she is starting catfights at a wax museum.

The above three songs are available in a .zip file here.

See a Little Light - Bob Mould - the first solo blast from everyone's favorite wrestling-storyline writer and Bobby Hill lookalike.

Shake Your Rump - Beastie Boys - For as big an impression License to Ill made, Paul's Boutique remains their best album. I don't know if it was them or the Dust Brothers. The samples were dense and artful, and hip-hop will never sound that way again because the sampling economy has changed.

Statue of Liberty - XTC - One of the great things about YouTube is all the ancient live XTC footage. Too bad about that breakdown.

Secret Agent Man - Devo - Does this even qualify as a cover? I think only the chorus is the same.

Someday - Steve Earle - I first encountered this song as a Shawn Colvin cover. The saddest song on the list, because you know the protagonist never will. (sorry about the video. Bridge to Terabithia...whatever. Could have been some anime crap, so count your blessings).

Sour Times - Portishead - Ah, trip-hop. I liked the stuff out of Bristol better than the Manchester scene. I wonder why...better drugs? The idea that they were making music to get it on to instead of music to dance around like spazzes to?

Sugarcube - Yo La Tengo - I'm lukewarm on the song, but this is one of my favorite videos. The Mr. Show guys can improve pretty much anything.

Step Right Up - Tom Waits - A handful of band has tried to write songs consisting entirely of advertising come-ons, but only Waits got it right.

Safe European Home - The Clash - Give 'Em Enough Rope was considered a sophomore slump, but I always thought it was one of their better albums, and that this was their best leadoff track (yeah, better than "London Calling."

Sunday, August 26, 2007

When you hear the secret word, scream real loud
Today's word is microburst, which is like a tornado except without the fun things such as a few minutes' warning. Our pal Jenni was the only one in her building when one hit their block during last Thursday's crazy storm. It tore the roof off the back of their building, and the resulting water in the walls will render their entire 6-unit condo uninhabitable for at least 4 to 6 months. We spent daylight Saturday at Jenni & Steve's helping pack 150+ boxes of their stuff and moving it to the dry half of their place. I'm still amazed at how much stayed dry. Shelves of books, CDs, and DVDs all survived. Lovely dining-room furniture, rugs, and kitchen appliances are ruined, but they're media people...much of what survived is nigh-irreplaceable.

If you plan on shopping at Amazon any time soon, please consider doing so through Jenni's e-Store link.

And our neighborhood? Moist but otherwise pristine. The construction site next to us was unmolested...nary a brick or scaffolding out of place.

Friday, August 24, 2007

My costume? "Aging Wannabe Hipster."

The Hold Steady and Art Brut, Halloween night! I should start growing the odd facial hair now. Metro's smoke-free at least, so I don't have to take up smoking.
Movie Log 2007: #70-79

The Broadway Melody (1929) - the second-ever Best Picture Oscarwinner, and the first talkie to win. Good Freed & Brown songs (including "You Were Meant For Me," which later found its way into Singin' in the Rain), but limp overall.

Double Dare - Documentary about Zoe Bell (most recently seen in the "Death Proof" half of Grindhouse) coming to the States. She's so on the list. I think she's on Kirsti's list too, which is okay by me.

The Man Who Came To Dinner - Took a while to get going, but was generally hilarious. This should have been one of our high-school plays instead of the bummers we had to drag out. David & Lisa? Good Christ...

Pie in the Sky: The Brigid Berlin Story - I used to be ambivalent about Andy Warhol. Now I actively dislike him. Berlin's photography did look like it could have been interesting, but the film just concentrated on how bugf%^k crazy she is.

Sunshine - Smarter science fiction than I expected.

Stardust - Princess Bride with better stunt casting.

Road House - Great movie, or the greatest movie?

Fuck - Documentary about the F-bomb. In league with The Aristocrats, and maybe slightly better.

Shut Up & Sing - This was a good look at band dynamics and crisis management, though one death threat notwithstanding, I never really bought their plight. So, Home sells 7 million while Taking the Long Way only goes a piddling double platinum? to the Dead Kennedys or Negativland about career suicide. Anyway, I'll see anything Barbara Kopple puts out.

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
- Look, I am into some nerdy shit. There's no way around it. Just look at the post before this one. But anyway, along comes a movie like The King of Kong to put my life in sweet, sweet perspective. It's no cinematic spectacle, but this documentary about people vying for the world-record Donkey Kong high score demands to be seen in a crowded theatre.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The game Redneck Life is just okay, but its sense of humor really carries it. The family-run company publishing the game are now my favorite exhibitors. They're fun to talk to, and pretty much demanded that I give them my email address when I mentioned that I made bacon brittle. So I entered their Spam carving contest at Gen Con. Here's my piece, "Mother and Child Reunion":


I took fifth, probably because of that quick ad lib. I won a roll of bacon tape for my troubles. The woman next to me made this:

Yeah, it's the Venus of Willendorf! Because nothing says ancient fertility goddess like Spam. She came in third, and deservedly so. Here are the winners (not my flickrset). The winning Spamalope was tres cool.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

This should be interesting
I'm finally getting around to seeing Sports Night, having borrowed it from a friend this evening. Seeing as how I know several good friends who swear by the show, I feel like there's a bit riding on this. At the same time, I'm wondering if it's possible to enjoy Sorkin in reverse order. I never saw any Sports Night, saw one or two West Wings and thought it too preachy, but was generally indifferent to it; and loathed Studio 60. I wonder if all the problems are going to be laid too bare, like when I saw Heaven's Gate before Deer Hunter.

PS: Like West Wing? Like Heroes? You should have read or be reading a comic series called Ex Machina.
Good to know...
If things get bad, jobwise, AMC Theatres are apparently calling out to me.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Re: last post -- family and cohorts are okay. To give you an idea of the scope of this event, how important the artery is, and and how the outage screws things up, here are some comparisons. If you're familiar with Boston: Tobin Bridge. A tunnel collapse isn't really a valid comparison, given costs and time to rebuild. Chicago: the Skyway.

As you can see
, there are other ways to get across the river, but also consider that a major shipping lane is clogged up (just upriver is the lock at St. Anthony Falls).

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

There are times when it's nice that most of my friends and family in MN don't have web presences. Then there's now. We were driving to a dinner date when my sister called with the news. Said our moms and Katie's family were okay. Of course AM radio is useless in the Loop, I couldn't get through on the cell, and I knew I'd be getting home too late to make calls.

No messages from up there on our machine. That's probably good, right?