Monday, October 30, 2006

The Wire 4.7 - Unto Others

A really nice middle of the season episode this week. I love Omar's "ethics". I liked watching Kima doing good police work on the Braddock case. Lester would be proud of her.
Interesting politics now that Carcetti is on the track to becoming mayor. I really liked his meeting with Royce. Deputy Rawls is going to be disappointed now that Carcetti has seen Daniels in action.
On the street, Bubbles struggle to keep Sherrod on track took a sad turn. I did like Cutty's decision to devote more time with his kids.
Baltimore insider stuff: I liked the Natty Boh sign in the background when Carcetti is on his ridealong.

The Decemberists at 9:30 Club

I went tonight to the 9:30 Club to see The Decemberists play a sold out show.
Opening was an LA band, Lavender Diamond. The lead singer told the audience she grew up in Maryland and had gone to see shows at the old 9:30 club, so she was excited and a bit nervous. Her voice was shaky at first, but once she got into her set, she was pretty fun to listen, too, mainly due to her enthusiasm and her scattered onstage dialogue.
I really like that on the Decemberists' new record The Crane Wife, they take an art rock kind of sound. The band really seemed to enjoy playing the new songs live, and they played one of the best sets I've seen from any band this year. I was surprised by the number of female fans at the show. Alright!
I think the fact that so many of their songs are like sea shanties that people really enjoy singing along to their songs.
I loved their stage set with the red lanterns and the nice Asian backdrop. Kind of missed Petra on backup vocals, but the new member, Lisa was still pretty good. Colin Meloy also told a joke onstage with the drummer.
Colin: "Have you tried coffee with chicoree?"
John (drummer): "No, but I've done blow with Kenny G."
Big belly laugh ensues.
They also did a cool cover of "Divide and Conquer" by Husker Du.
Tomorrow night's Decemberists show is going to be on NPR.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Lady Sovereign at the 9:30 Club

Last night, went down to the 9:30 Club to see UK's Lady Sovereign play.
She was tiny! Also, she looked like she was twelve. It was really fun seeing her live though. Clearly, she enjoys the booze, but her rapping was still pretty damn good.
The openers were some crap dance punk wannabes Young Love. The lead singer was a pretty boy who clearly only held his guitar to look cool, not to contribute any music worth a poo. Awful, but considering the music business, and the response of the kids at the show, they're gonna be huge. Sucked.
Lady Sovereign was messing around on the balcony before her set, pouring drinks onto her crew while they were doing the changeover. Onstage, she has a lot of charisma for such a tiny gal. She did a fun cover of the Sex Pistols' "Pretty Vacant", and she got someone dressed as a banana from the audience onstage and karate kicked him. She also dissed on Bush. Oddly enough, the only Bush supporters in the audience were Young Love fans.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Battlestar Galactica 3.5 - Collaborators

I love Galactica! This week was no different. Cool episode.
Poor Jammer didn't deserve to be sucked out the launch tube. The characters, particularly Tigh and Kara, were so emotional and angry in the aftermath of the Cylon occupation. Nice analogy to our current situation with Presidential ordered tribunals to try the collaborators. The shades of grey. . .the shades of grey.
By the way, Lucy Lawless is way hotter now than when she was Xena. What gives?
I loved how Baltar is the weasel to the end. He's so great.

Kushi Tan is 1 Year Old

A year ago, I started my meanderings in the blogosphere. It's pretty darn fun. Thanks to anyone who cares to read my crap.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Battlestar Galactica 3.4 - Exodus, Pt. 2

Holy cow! Pegasus is gone!! Tigh killing his own wife!!
What a huge episode - the battle to liberate New Caprica was exhilirating. I knew Lee would come back to help his father, but the cost. . .
Leoden is a dumbass, but I love the end to Kara and Kasey's story. Pretty messed up.
Also, Hera being found by Baltar and then going over to D'anna splits the storyline to the cylons as well as the humans. Nice!

Art Brut and The Spinto Band at Starlight Ballroom

Last night I went up to Philadelphia to see the Art Brut and The Spinto Band play at the Starlight Ballroom, a medium sized club in North Philly. It was a nice space in a slightly sketchy neighborhood.
I've been hearing a lot of good things about The Spinto Band from Wilmington, Delaware, and they truly lived up to the hype. These guys have a hell of a lot of energy- definitely a geek rock-dance punk sound. Really rocking.
Their fan base was rather young and consisted of a lot of girls.
When I saw Art Brut earlier this year at the Ottobar, it was easily one of the best shows I've seen this year.
They were pretty amazing last night as well, and the new songs they played from their upcoming new album were pretty damn good.
Lead singer Eddie Argos was still hilarious onstage- he had this great self deprecating take on music and pop culture. Alas, Argos shaved his awesome mustache.
I love how the audience could singalong to a lot of the songs like "Modern Art", "My Little Brother", "Formed a Band", and "Bang Bang Rock N Roll".

Here's the Art Brut setlist. I liked new songs "St. Pauli" and "Post Soothing Out".

How to Speak, What to Say

My friend, artist Andrew Lampert, presented a performance piece at University of Pennsylvania Thursday night. He was invited as part of a creative writing class which was pretty interesting.
The performance consisted of two film projectors with adjustable speeds, a record used to train parrots to speak played in a record player for the deaf, an IR sensitive toy bird that sang, several colored gels on clotheslines, crutches, and me!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Nobody Bothers Me!

Someone finally found this gem of a local commercial from the DC area. I remember this ad when I watched TV on channel 5 off the aerial antenna!

The Wire 4.5 - Margin of Error

Lester is one more step closer to finding out where Chris and Snoop are hiding Marlo's bodies, through Randy, Prez, Daniels, and Carver.
I loved seeing Namond's mother, a stage mother for a future criminal. She should consider trading down her car, or else her son is going to end up in one of the empty rowhouses.
Omar's got framed! Mcnulty knew Omar wouldn't kill people outside of "the game"- Omar's got ethics in his actions, always has. I was worried he was going to get killed tonight by Marlo's people, but what a relief McNulty let him call Butchie to get help in the form of the plastic knife.
The voting site at the library is the branch right here in my neighborhood of Federal Hill. They also dropped a reference to the Mark Steiner radio show on the local NPR station.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Jenny Lewis at the Watson Twins at the 9:30 Club

I went tonight to the 9:30 club to see Jenny Lewis and the Watson twins for the second time this year. Again, no photos allowed, but NPR has the show online as well a pics.
She played a few new songs I really liked. Her sound is so 70's country rock- like the second coming of Juice Newton. The twins were less creepy tonight - I can definitely tell them apart now. It was a sold out show with lots of short ladies everywhere.
The openers were The Blow - kind of like a female Cex, and Vietnam, guys who had a real classic rock sound.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Battlestar Galactica 3.3 - Exodus Pt.1

Whew, thankfully Roslin, Zarek, and Cally survived the Cylon death squad this week.
The storyline with Hera, Sharon's baby, and D'anna is really going to be huge. Will Sharon jump sides again?
I get the impression that Lee will grow back his testicles and stick with his dad in the assault on the Cylons at New Caprica.
I wonder what Tigh is going to do with Ellen now that her betrayal has come to light. He is pretty crazy right now, but his wife. . .

Also, when did Racetrack get so hot? She looked good making the Brother Cavil suffer with his wounds.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Wire 4.4 - Alliances

This week's Wire felt like a transitional episode to the upcoming events of the season. People are taking sides on all levels of the city from the upcoming election to the street.
Rawls, Prop Joe, and Carcetti's campaign guy Wilson are all manipulating events to their benefits by misinformation or leaking news to other sides.
I seriously hope Omar survives this season, but I worry. I'm also curious who will be the one to leak the info on the rowhouse bodies- possibly Randy?

R.I.P Tower Records

When I was a kid, Tower Records was the shit. Since I grew up in Baltimore, whenever I was in a city with a Tower, I had to go there to check out all these amazing music releases and imports.
Unfortunately, in recent years, their price points became pretty ridiculously high, and with the internet, it was a lot easier to get the interesting imports at lower prices.
I feel bad for my friends in Vegas- there are no good record stores there anymore- Virgin shut down already, Big B's lost all its good employees, and Zia is so-so.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Brookstone has a Sybian

So Brookstone, home of various "massage" devices and the Tempur-pedic mattress is now selling this new device called the iGallop.
It supposedly strengthens your abs by simulating riding a horse. My first impression was that is was a second-rate Sybian (as seen on Howard Stern).
I tried it out, and I don't think it was designed for men as it caused some minor nut pain.

Paprika and The Host at New York Film Festival

I caught a couple films at the New York Film Festival this year. First was an animated film Paprika from Satoshi Kon (Tokyo Godfathers, Millenium Actress). It is now my favorite of his films. The movie is about a group of scientists who have discovered a machine that projects peoples' dreams in the hope that it can help people who have psychologic issues. However, the story starts when these machines are stolen and are being used to make people go crazy. The film is pretty amazing to watch, especially with several crazy dream sequences brought to life.
The second film I saw was The Host by Boon Joon-Ho (Memories of Murder). It's already a box-office hit in Korea, and I think it's coming out domestically through Magnolia Pictures by the end of the year. The film is a monster movie about a giant salamander-like monster that emerges from the Han River and begins to terrorize the populace. The film focuses around a family who run a food stand near the riverside.
The daughter of the family is captured by the beast, and the family, after a futile attempt to get the government to help them find her are forced to take matter into their own hands. The movie is funny, scary, and emotional.

5th Ave Apple Store

I was up in NYC this weekend, and Saturday afternoon, we stopped by the 5th Ave. Apple Store. The glass cube was cool, but the store was pretty lame- just overcrowded really. A disappointing nerd pilgramage.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Battlestar Galactica 3.1/3.2 - Occupation/Precipice

It's oh so nice to have Battlestar Galactica resuming. After last year's ending, the show has taken an interesting turn now with most of our heroes living on a planet occupied by the cylons.
Last night's 2 episode season opener was pretty great. The webisodes had a tie-in to last night in that they showed how Jammer was seduced to the dark side by the Kevin Spacey cylon and how the suicide bomber lost his wife.
What I loved about the episode: the crazy Kara/Leoben/Casey love child, fat-ass Lee with the body double, the cylon debates with each other and Caprica Six's dispatching before Baltar's submission, Sharon/Boomer coming to the human side, and Roslin and Zarek patching things up before facing the cylon death squads.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I Really Like Jericho!

Ok, so the new TV season is in full swing now. Lost is as frustrating as ever, but I can't turn away. I was hoping The Nine would have been better. Heroes is still sputtering- maybe 1 or 2 more episodes before I give up.
However, after 3 episodes, Jericho might be my favorite new show so far this season. It has an feeling kind of like Invasion did where everything is taking place in a small town and the people are trying to figure out what is happening in the world after what seems to be a nuclear attack on the USA. It already has shootings, several budding romances, possibly 2 love triangles, a coverup of someone's death, and a mystery in the background with the cop from St. Louis.
I also like the cast with Gerald McRaney fresh off a great role in Deadwood as well as the pretty deaf actress Shoshannah Stern from Weeds. Please don't get cancelled.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Wire 4.4 - Refugees

Man, the way the school system is portrayed in The Wire gets more and more screwed up. Last week was a vicious knifing in Prez's math class, but this week really blew my mind. When Cutty is sent out as a "truancy officer" to pick up students once a month in order to meet minimum government funding guidelines - frak'ed up. "Soft eyes" is also mentioned again this time with Bunk teaching Kima the ropes at the homicide division. It looks like the kid Michael's gonna be in the middle of a tug of war for his soul between Marlo, Cutty, and Brodie.