Saturday, September 30, 2006

Massive Attack at the 9:30 Club

Last night, I went down the the 9:30 Club for a soldout show by British band Massive Attack. I've been a fan of theirs since the 90's. They are the quintessential trip-hop band. They played a lot of their hits from all their records. Despite the absence of Daddy G, 3D did most of the singing duties.
They also had along singers Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins) and reggae great Horace Andy. The music was entrancing, with the Dub bass sounds pounding all over the club. It was a pretty diverse audience, too, due to the show being in DC with people clearly from the UK, Spain, Russia, and other countries. I was really glad to have seen to band for the first time.

Stoop Storytelling - School Daze

Thursday night, I went to the Creative Alliance to see Stoop Storytelling. It's a program where local Baltimoreans from various walks of life have 7 minutes to tell a story based upon a certain theme. Turns out, I went to high school with one of the show's curators, Laura Wexler (right above).
The theme this evening was School Daze: Stories about Education and Miseducation. Featured storytellers included Montel Williams' brother Herman, NPR producer Tracy Wahl, poet-manicurist Jael Freedman, and Baltimore City teacher Cranston Dize. Some stories were funny, others were sad. Three audience members also were able to come onstage to tell stories of their own.
Opening up the show was Caleb Stine and the Brakemen- a roots/country band that did a couple of Townes Van Zandt covers. I think I saw the bassist at a Tranquil Music night.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

New Veronica Mars Online!

So, I caught the first episode of the 3rd season of Veronica Mars online. It looks promising. Our girl's in college now and there are already a few interesting storylines appearing on campus. Nerd adrenaline rose with Veronica's BSG reference! The episode airs on the new CW network next week.

Battlestar Galactica: The Resistance Webisodes

It's a good fall season for TiVo! Next week starts season 3 of Battlestar Galactica, and I recently found out that Sci-fi is running a 10 part series on their website of events taking place just before the season premiere. It focuses around Tigh and Tyrol planning a resistance movement on the Cylon occupied planet.

Also check out Trey Parker and Matt Stone giving props to BSG at the Peabody awards, and Trey expressing his love for Starbuck. As Jon Stewart put it, "Somebody's blog just blew up."

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Hiro Show?

Part of being my nerd self is to check out all things genre, so I checked out NBC's new show Heroes tonight.
First off, dumb opening crawl, then an even dumber opening narration. Why both?
A lot of people have been calling the Asian character Hiro as the breakout of the show, but I still feel that his story is a little bland. I think a Japanese character trying to breakout and become an individual was already done by Gedde Watanabe in the Gung Ho TV series in the 80's. Do Americans still genuinely believe that Japanese are so homogenous and have an ant colony mentality? Come on.
I'll probably give this show a couple more episodes.

The Wire 4.3 - Home Rooms

Time for my weekly Wire gush-fest. Really interesting episode setting up a few ambitious arcs for the season: Kima and Lester going to homicide, Bunny getting another chance to make a difference but this time at the middle school, and manuevering by Prop Joe and the New Day Co-op as well as Omar to threaten Marlo.
By the way, Beatrice looked really hot!
The Baltimore connection this week was actor Doug Roberts who plays State's Attorney Demper (left below). I went to junior high and high school with his daughter.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Jackass Number Two!!

I loved this movie. It is pure ingenius hilarity. Knoxville is probably the most insane member of the group, and for most disgusting is a tie with Pontius and England - each eats something that should not be eaten.
The leech in the eyeball is what Dali and Bunuel originally intended in Un Chien Andalou.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Work Hazards

Woo hoo. I might have been exposed to Influenza type A at work, with the slim possibility of the avian strain (the identification is still pending). Look what I get to take. I hate the panic around it, but I guess better safe than miss work or worse.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Nouvelle Vague at La Maison Francaise

So I returned tonight to the French Embassy in DC for yet another show- this time it was to see Nouvelle Vague play. Oddly enough, Camille, who I saw last time here, sang "Too Drunk to Fuck", "Making Plans for Nigel" and "The Guns of Brixton" on their first record.
Opening up was LA band, The Submarines. Their music was nice pop music using laptop and guitars. It reminded me some of Postal Service. Blake, the woman, had a beautiful voice. I wasn't sure if the crowd was really getting into them unfortunately, but I plan to check out their album. On reading about them, I found they have a Threadless contest going judged by the band- cool!
I had seen Nouvelle Vague when they toured in support of their last record at the World Cafe in Philly. You can see some pics here.
This time, the same singers were there, Melanie Pain and Phoebe Killdeer, but the band had changed a little. They still had Olivier Libaux on guitar and the same drummer, but instead of Marc Collin on keyboards, they added a bass player and accordionist Wendy McNeill.
This lineup changed was nice- it made their sound more acoustic and filled out. They did songs from both albums- my favorites from the new record were "Confusion", "Sweet and Tender Hooligan", and "Human Fly". They led the crowd in a singalong to "Too Drunk to Fuck" - and yet again at this venue, I was in contact with the band as Melanie Pain touched palms with me.
Oh, and one more thing, the accordionist was sooo hot! She looked great pumping that accordion as well as just dancing around when she wasn't playing. Yowsa! Licking pants had told me about her when he saw them play in Portland on this tour.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Guilty Pleasure Flashback

Man, after watching a great pilot for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (where I liked Matthew Perry for the first time in years!), I was reminded of the more innocent days of the the WB network's show Jack & Jill.
The show was genuinely a guilty pleasure for me fueled primarily by lust for Amanda Peet and a less smokey Jaime Pressly.
Now look where the cast has ended up:
Simon Rex- hilarious in the Scary Movies
Sarah Paulson- short stint on Deadwood and now also on Studio 60
Amanda Peet- awesome on Studio 60
Justin Kirk- great in Showtime's Weeds
Jaime Pressly- priceless on My Name is Earl
. . . alas- where are you Ivan Sergei. . .

Roger Waters and Pigs on the Wing

All the conservative blogs are abuzz with a balloon pig that Roger Waters floated above the audience during his recent concerts.
It's pretty funny reading how people are shocked and outraged about his opinions. People are also sniping him about how he got the election day date wrong. (He's British- so what!) Others just complain that David Gilmour was the heart of Pink Floyd anyways. (which is pretty stupid to say- it's like saying Keith, not Mick was the main guy in the Stones)
Besides, if people had actually listened to Animals, The Wall, and Radio Kaos - you would know Waters' politics already. It really is no surprise at all. . . That's it- this isn't a political blog.

If you didn't care, What happened to me
And I didn't care, For you
We would zig-zag our way through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain
Wondering which of the buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing

The Wire 4.2 - Soft Eyes

Episode 2 of the 4th season of The Wire was pretty interesting. The political manuevering was one thing in regards to the mayoral race, but the most fascinating moment was when the teacher told Prez, "You need soft eyes."
Since this was the episode's title, I tried to look and see what she meant. The only reference I could find was an educational essay on how teachers are more effective when they teach with "soft eyes", meaning from their inner selves in order to maintain their identity and integrity in the classroom. The process approaches education as an intellectial, emotional, and spiritual method. What does this mean?
There were several scenes of "education" in this episode- Bubs and Sherrod, the boxing club, the school, the target practice- all interesting.
My familiar location of the episode was the Fells point pier where Herc met with Major Valchek. It's up the street from my fav local record store, The Sound Garden.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Forester v1.2 by Leafcutter John

I'm a fan of electronic musician Leafcutter John, and I found a piece of software for Mac users called Forester v1.2 which you can download for free at The Wire's website. With it, you create a musical "forest" using a CD in the drive- basically small samples that you can then proceed to wander and explore, creating some really cool sounds. I first did it with Brian Eno's Before and After Science with some cool sounding results.

ADDENDUM: Ooh, I just discovered Forester v1.3 on his website that allows you to record your "forests". Cool!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Supporting the Peeps on Survivor: Cook Islands

The new "controversial" Survivor season kicked off last night. It's controversial because teams are divided amongst races - the white team (Rago), the African-american team (Hiki), the hispanic team (Aitu), and the Asian-american team (Puka). The worry is about stereotypes being reinforced even though the teams thought they would be dispelled. However, the Asian team won the puzzle in the challenge, and the African-american team fared poorly in the water part of the challenge. Uh-oh.
Puka did win- yay my peeps. Personally I liked Cao Bui, the older FOB ("fresh off the boat") Vietnamese guy. The American born members of the team should pay attention to his potential "old country" wisdom.
Hot reality girl award goes to Parvati (?) on the Rago tribe. I think the name is Indian (asian) so props to this foxy boxer. Her profile says she did boxing for Perfect 10 - a class operation.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Newly Remastered Star Trek?

I think some people I know would like this. It's pretty funny.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

M. Ward at the Metro

As if I hadn't seen enough bands play in Chicago, Friday night, Karl and I went to the Metro across from Wrigley Field to see M. Ward play. I have only heard his first records, but he was pretty damn good. He is touring with a full band now with 2 drummers! He sounded great, and he gave a shout out to the T&G festival.

Quasi and Enon at the Touch and Go 25th Anniversary Festival

I only saw a couple bands on the rainy Sunday of the festival.
We first saw Quasi, a duo from Portland. This was my first time seeing them, and I thought they were pretty good. Janet Weiss is a the dreamy indie gal, and I liked Sam Coomes organ sound. It sounded good with a bassist playing with the band as well. Their sound definitely precedes groups like Mates of State.
DC band Monorchid (1 testicle) played but they cut their set short after blowing 2 bass amps.
The last band I saw was Enon. Their sound kinda sucked until we manuevered back a little. It was a little disappointing.
My touch with indie fame - the band crashed at my home in Vegas a couple years ago and we listened to Blue Skied and Clear(Morr).

BIg Black at the Touch and Go 25th Anniversary Festival

It was a pleasure seeing Big Black play even though they only played 4 songs. The lineup was Albini, Santiago Durango, and Jeff Pezzati (Naked Raygun), the Bulldozer & Racer X lineup.
They started by setting off a pack of firecrackers, and went into "Cables". They also played "Dead Billy", "Pigeon Kill", and closed with an awesome version of "Racer X". Albini was very gracious to Touch and Go, and said it was only for the label than the band got back together - saying it was "much cooler in the 80's". He also stated that the mainstream music press often ignores all music between the "Sex Pistols and Nirvana".
They were followed by Shellac, but they seemed anticlimactic to the BB set. We listened to them from further back and then we went home.

Scratch Acid at the Touch and Go 25th Anniversary Festival

We blew off the Didjits reunion for some amazing pizza at Piece, but we returned for the Scratch Acid set.
David Yow has still not lost a beat- he continues to be a filthy filthy man. The rhythm section was fantastic, but the weak link was definitely the guitarist. He is no Denison. Kinda sloppy.
Other bloggers who saw Scratch Acid seem to be lauding them as amazing, but they are not as tight a band as Jesus Lizard was. I found out from Saff that the CD release of their album was mastered from an LP because they lost the original tapes.
Unfortunately, no Yow cock sightings.

Killdozer at the Touch and Go 25th Anniversary Festival

One of the highlights had to be the reunited Killdozer set. They were hilarious.
First, they asked what city they were in, and then they called the crowd a bunch of Fibs ("fucking Illinois bastards").
During "King of Sex", a penis balloon was tossed over the crowd. Touch and Go was definitely all about pissed off midwestern rock in the 80's and 90's, and Killdozer's reunion really represented the label's core sound then.
I was with Karl and Kris during the set - living the Wisconsin pride!

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Wire 4.1 - Boys of Summer

I am really happy about all the critical praise circling around the start of the fourth season of The Wire. Steven King wrote up an essay on the show in EW. Even Patton Oswalt has plugged the show on his site. I started following the show when I lived in Vegas. At first, with the accents and scenes, it reminded me of home. Now that I am back in Baltimore, the local issues are more significant, but I think the show's themes still carry a more universal commentary on America.
The first episode finally premiered last night, and it's like it never left. The new storylines with the children and the school system looks to be really interesting. I was already moved by events around the kid, Randy- who unwillingly gets involved in the game despite his attempts to stay legit on the streets- he only sells candy and chips on the street.

I met one of the kids a few weeks back at the season 3 dvd release. He told me he was a car thief on the show.
My other favorite moments: the briefings of the teachers and the police, Carver and Brodie on the corner, McNulty and Bunk talking about old times, and the ominous line of vacant rowhomes at the end.
As a local, I recognized the parking lot where Fruit is shot as the lot under I-83 near Saratoga, and of course, where Carcetti spends his time brooding at the end is right up a few blocks in my Federal Hill neighborhood.

The Ex at the Touch and Go 25th Anniversary Festival

I've been a big fan of The Ex for many years, and this was my first time seeing them play in person. They were great. The guitarist was bleeding on his guitar strings during the set, but his intensity never let up. They played a Hungarian song they used to play with the late Tom Cora. They were a nice addition to this festival- more arty than a lot of the bands.

Pegboy at the Touch and Go 25th Anniversary Festival

Chicago band Pegboy played after Uzeda. The lead singer complained that he never made a cent from the band. I'm not surprised. I ate lunch during their set.

Uzeda at the Touch and Go 25th Anniversary Festival

Saturday at the Touch and Go kicked off with the Sicilian band Uzeda. They were pretty darn fun to watch- imagine a heavy PJ Harvey fronting Jesus Lizard in Italy. A good start to day 2.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Supersystem at Touch and Go 25th Anniversary Festival

The second act of day 1 of the festival were disco punkers Supersystem. The kids like the hipster dance music.
I didn't stay for the remaining acts, mainly because I had seen !!! and Ted Leo in the last 6 months. Saturday was going to be the big day anyways.

The Shipping News at the Touch and Go 25th Anniversary Festival

The first band of the festival was The Shipping News. I hadn't heard them before, but I knew one of the guys was from June of '44. Nice indie rock to start the show.

Blogging from the Touch and Go Festival

I am in Chicago for the Touch and Go Records 25th Anniversary - Hideout Block Party. It has been a great series of concerts this weekend. Unfortunately, my flash card for my digital camera got hosed, so I don't have any pics right now. I will recover them as soon as I can, but I will write about it anyways. (lifting pics from Flickr in the interim)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Go Janelle on Big Brother All-Stars

So a lot of people I know call Big Brother a Big Bother, but this season's All-Stars is finally starting to payoff as of last night's elimination episode.

Season 6 cutey Janelle finally wised up to the manipulation that Season 2 cohorts, Dr. Will and Mike Boogie AKA Chilltown, were playing, and she finally eliminated the good doctor. The looks of shock on Boogie's face were what reality shows are all about. Awesome, only one more week.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Back from Labor Day

Despite Ernesto dampening Friday and Saturday down at the ocean, it was still a fun labor day. I got enough tickets playing skee ball to get this duck whistle.
To all my friends, check out my new link to Calvin Vebber- the newborn son of my good friends Dan & Lisa in LA. Congrats to them.