Thursday, November 30, 2006

Fun Montreal Signage

Sorry for the paucity of posts recently. Holidays, home-closings, and road trips.
Here are some signs from Montreal.

Couche Tard- basically 7-11 for Quebec- also a good mix tape by Spank Rock and The BBC guys.

No ice cream or cameras!?!

The Wire 4.11 - A New Day

Damn, a great episode of the Wire this week. Omar's power play was brilliant- he's the Lester Freamon of the street. It was also awesome to see Lester back at Major Crimes with his subpoenas back in play.
My favorite scene was when McNulty and Bodie were eating together- it really hearkened back to seasons 1 to 3- nice moment.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Montreal's Ballet

I was in Montreal this past weekend. While most of the big things were my meals there (see the food blog), I could not resist the wonderful "Danse Contact" clubs. This was my favorite, hands down.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Battlestar Galactica 3.8 - "Hero"

Wow wow - a Six, D'anna, and Baltar 3-way!
Glad to have Tigh and Adama together again. The cylon plan- wonder if Baltar had a hand in it?

Joanna Newsom at the Black Cat

Last night, I was lucky to go to a sold out Black Cat to see Joanna Newsom play.
I've been a huge fan of hers since her first record, The Milk Eyed Mender, came out a couple years ago. My friends are split between those that love her music, and those that find her voice too annoying to bear. I understand their complaint, but I feel her voice perfectly matches her music and songs.
Her new record Ys just came out this week to great reviews. It's got amazing arrangements by Van Dyke Parks as well as recording by Steve Albini and mastering by Jim O'Rourke.
Last night started with Joanna Newsom coming onstage by herself. She did "Bridges and Balloons", "The Book of Right On", and a traditional Scottish song. Her harp playing was beautiful. I liked how she mentioned she had a callus that was particularly squeaky that night.
After warming up, she brought her band onstage: a guitarist who also played the banjo and a Russian guitar; a barefoot drummer who used mostly mallets and brushes; a musician who played accordion, jaw harp, and the saw; and a backup singer who also played the glockenspiel.
The whole group then played the Ys album in its entirety. They modified the orchestral arrangements for the smaller group- like a chamber music version of the album. The show was amazing. I was pretty astounded at Joanna Newsom's virtuosity on the harp and her ability to sing and play so intensely for a whole concert like she did.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Team Karen

EW posted about these t-shirts you can get to pick sides for the Jim-Pam-Karen triangle. I gotta say I'm all for Karen. More sassy and stylish than Pam, and also Rashida Jones played a bully to the geeks on Freaks and Geeks.
Last night's episode was great. The merger, the interaction between Ed Helms and Steve Carell, Dwight vs. Andy, and STANLEY!

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Wire 4.9 - Know Your Place

When people are dispatched on The Sopranos, you get mostly a sense of glee at their ends. In the Wire, there is a great gloom and sadness over the life lost.
Nice episode- more of a downer this week with our heroes facing off against the systems in place (school board, city politics, the game, even parents in the case of Michael). I was actually near the Ruth's Chris Steak House last week for the Musical Box show. I remember Sunmonkey and I talking about their buttered steak.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Fanboys Trailer

The trailer for Fanboys is now online. It looks nerd-tastic- reminding me of the salad days before episode I-III when loving Star Wars was awesome.
How hot is Kristen Bell in a slave Leia outfit!
The trailers got appearances by William Shatner and Seth Rogen, and IMDB has Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, and Ray Park in the credits.
I wonder if the film will show the guys' disappointment in their journey when they learn episode I sucks!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Battlestar Galactica 3.7 - "A Measure of Salvation"

Cool episode, but it seemed to move pretty fast.
Tricia Helfer was sooo hot!
The thing about the fetal antibodies isn't really right technically, but who cares.
Still also impressed with Lee's gastric bypass weight loss.

The Musical Box

Wednesday night, I went with Sunmonkey and the Fraz Bear to see The Musical Box play at the Rams Head in Baltimore.
They are a tribute band that recreates impeccable the shows by Genesis when Peter Gabriel was the lead singer. We saw them perform the Foxtrot Tour set, which, as a fan of early Genesis, was pretty damn awesome.
The audience: 30 to 50 year old men in Rush and Styz t-shirts talking about King Crimson and Ratdog, only occasional wives or girlfriends.
It was pretty fun to hear everyone sing along - particular lines: "the soil, the soil.. ." and "we rock you, rock you little snake".

Scritti Politti at the North Star Bar

Last night, I went up to Philly to the North Star Bar to see Scritti Politti on their first US tour ever. Prior to this year, the Welsh band had not played live since 1980!
The main reason is that they just released a brand new record called "White Bread, Black Beer" which is really worth checking out.
Lead singer Green Gartside still sounds great- his high voice still holds up after all these years. Also, compared to the aging New Wave people in the crowd, he looks pretty good for his age- the guy is 50!
The backup band consisted mostly of younger musicians and a particularly lovely bassist Alyssa. What was cool was that when he played his older hits like "Wood Beez (Pray like Aretha Franklin)" and "The Sweetest Girl", he played them faithfully to the original sound, even having the drummer move to a synth drum kit.
I also had no idea he as such a hip hop fan as well; he did a cover of Jeru the Damaja's "Come Clean". My favorite songs were from the most recent record though- in particular "Snow in the Sun", "The Boom Boom Bap", and "Dr. Abernathy".

Monday, November 06, 2006

Jennifer Carpenter on Showtime's Dexter

I gotta admit that Showtime's doing better than HBO in finding new shows. Weeds 2nd season was fun to watch especially when Zooey Deschanel showed up, and now there's Dexter. (this compared to Lucky Louie (not funny), Dane Cook's Tourgasm (unwatchable), Rome and Big Love (only good for nudity and violence))
Dexter's about a forensic blood spatter specialist who moonlights as a serial killer who targets other killers and bad guys as his victims. Six Feet Under's Michael C. Hall is the lead and he's really good. The show also has Julie Benz (Darla from Angel/Buffy) as his damaged girlfriend. However, the real breakout is Jennifer Carpenter. She plays Dexter's kid sister who is trying to move up the ranks of the Miami PD. Her character has a mix of sass with some confidence issues, and darn it if her awkwardness isn't cute. Plus the woman must only weigh like 100 lbs. Jennifer's breakout role was in The Exorcism of Emily Rose, plus she was in White Chicks.
The good news is that Dexter has already been picked up for it's second season.

The Wire 4.8 - "Corner Boys"

I love that the police on The Wire hang out drinking and singing along to The Pogues. I also enjoyed hearing Chris and Snoop using the identification of Baltimore club music to weed out the New York City interlopers.
The scene where Carcetti shadows Homicide was hilarious, too.
There were a few "breakups" - Bunk and McNulty, and Burrell and Rawls. I also suspect Prop Joe might have some ulterior motive in ordering the New York bodies into the open- perhaps setting up Marlo.
The reference to education being a dangerous issue to elections reflects on the current gubernatorial race in Maryland with Baltimore's Mayor O'Malley, the inspiration for the Carcetti character, really getting dinged by the Republican incumbent Ehrlich for his failure to improve the education system in the city.
Mr. Handjerker out.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Battlestar Galactica 3.6 - Torn

I like the dual "arenas" of storylines happening on the show now.
Baltar and the cylons are great. I love Gaius' penchance for "self-preservation" as Gaeta put it. The basestar hallway looked like a redressed Galactica hallway, but the whole idea of projection was smart.
My favorite points - naked Boomer cylon tai-chi and the return of Starbuck's short hair.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Hot Chip with Born Ruffians & Shy Child at Sonar

How did Baltimore land the opening night of Hot Chip's US tour? I've been looking forward to seeing this band for some time, and last night they played at Sonar downtown.
The openers were Born Ruffians, a trio from Toronto. I knew absolutely nothing about them, but after their set, I bought their cd. They were pretty impressive. The drummer was tight, and I liked their post-punk sound mixed with yelling, singing in the round, and funny lyrics about being a young single guy. The crowd was hesitant to approach the stage for some reason.
The second act was Shy Child from Brooklyn. I wasn't so hot for them. They seemed to have a small following, but the combination of the same electro roland keyboard sound and drums with melody-lacking songs became boring when each song pretty much sounded the same. Thankfully, they added a sax player at the end to mix it up. The lead singer made faces like Robert DeNiro when jamming on his keyboard-tar. I would have liked to have heard any variation from their sound- anything. . .
Hot Chip were fantastic!
Alas, they were short on 5th member Felix who would have been on the drum machines, but luckily, they had with them Pat, the drummer from Les Savy Fav and LCD Soundsystem. A DFA connection no doubt.
The members all switched off on synthesizers, guitars, percussion, and vocals. The set was really fun, and the crowd was really getting into them- dancing all around. I do prefer their more downtempo songs, "And I was a Boy From School" and "Colours".
At one point, they broke out into a few bars of New Order's "Temptation"- that was pretty nice.
I like the fact that they are clearly nerds. No surprise that Alexis, the lead singer (who reminds me of my friend Saff) was wearing a DEVO shirt and green glasses. Joe, the chubby guy playing next to Alexis was wearing a Marvel Comics t-shirt.