Monday, May 3, 2010

Question of the day: Yelling at passersby

Reposted from FF

Here's the scenario: You're a kid, lined up on the side of the Rainbow Ballroom waiting for your favorite band when you see a well-intentioned commuter riding by on his bicycle.

Q: Is it OK to yell as he (the rider) passes, informing him (sarcastically) of how cool he (the rider) is to be riding with no handlebars?

Some things to consider: A.) He (the rider) is me, and I am riding with no handlebars. B.) It's noon, and you're in line to see your favorite band.

Q, pt. 2: If you do yell, is it OK for the rider (me) to turn around and ask what the f that's about? I did not.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

No. 10

I dreamed you.
And I woke warm and smiling, with vague recollections of joy.
I know that dreams are just the mind's way of dealing with all the shit we've got spinning up there, and that you might not have been you. You might have been me, reflected there, in your eyes, your voice, your touch. Or, you might have be someone else entirely.
But it felt like you.
Even after, while I drank coffee and read, in the morning silence of this place, it lingered.
The dream.

I used to be a writer

Started reading Nabokov's "Mary." It's a cheap old paperback from the 1970's that maybe I bought for $.50 at some used bookstore, though I don't remember that. It also seems like I started the book once upon a time, but never finished it. Only none of it seems familiar so far, so maybe I made that up too.

I wish I had the scholastic vocabulary to explain what it is I like about Nabokov's writing. But I don't. I just know that somehow it inspires me. Which maybe is enough.

I used to be a writer, you know? OK, technically, I still am. Professionally, at any rate, it is what I do. But mostly I forget. I go through the motions, because that's what pays the bills. And sometimes what comes out ain't too bad, maybe even good.

Anyway, reading Nabokov reminds me that I love writing. I love reading. It reminds me of the me in college who spent hours in the library or sitting under a tree somewhere devouring book after book--the me who used to write something everyday.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Concert Review: Affliction $5 Christmas Concert

Traveled down to Long Beach this weekend for The Affliction $5 Christmas Concert.

I was sold on the lineup: TSOL, Suicidal Tendencies, Pennywise and Danzig. The fact that it was only $5 (fifteen with the ticketmaster fees, f' you very much ticketmaster) cemented the deal.

TSOL: TSOL makes me think of that movie Suburbia, the one from the 80s, where the girl is out on the dance floor and the guy comes up and says, 'I think I want to fuck your brains out.' Maybe someone once told me that TSOL was in that movie and it stuck? I don't know. Anyway, the band plays phase-one punk that's full of new-wave tints. There were some sound issues that could have been based on the fact the arena wasn't quite full yet, but overall the set was good.

Suicidal Tendencies: Judging from the crowd around their merch booth (and on stage at the end of their set) this was a Suicidal Tendencies show. Where TSOL kept things new-wavey, ST brought the hardcore, running fast and mean through songs like Subliminal, I Saw Your Mommy and I shot Reagan. They did not play Institutionalized. They did play Send me Your Money. What I learned from their set: A.) I know way more ST songs than I thought. B.) There are a bunch of yolked-ass mean-looking mother fuckers who love this band.

Pennywise: I'll be honest here and say I know next to nothing about Pennywise. That's not to say they aren't great. They just were never a part of my punk-rock education. They play melodic jocko-punk that's full of f'-the-authority rage. It's sing-along mosh-pit music and they do as well as I've ever seen.

Danzig: Danzig can do no wrong. That's the long and short of it. He's got the voice and the swagger and the attitude and he kills it every time. He's like an eviler, awesomer version of Elvis. That's the easy comparison, what wit the voice and all, but it's true. Danzig needs to get himself a running Vegas show. Highlights of the set: It's the break down the middle of Bringer of Death and Danzig is crouched down at the front of the stage and the crowd is screaming and he says: 'You know this song is about killing people? Lots and lots of people.' Also: Olivia Thirlby was rocking out, headbanger style, right next to me. I can't imagine it was actually her. But it looked enough like her to throw me off.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Movie review: The Box

Richard Kelly makes a kind of cinematic train wreck is impossible to look away from. I felt it the first time I saw Donnie Darko. So much so that I saw the movie opening night and then again the next afternoon.

The feeling was more pronounced with Southland Tales, a film so randomly bat-shit crazy it should have been unwatchable. But there I was after 144 minutes wondering what the f' I had just seen. I may have even asked it out loud.

The Box is neither of those movies. It lacks all of their redeeming qualities (the randomness of Southland Tales and the hipness of Darko). This is a long-play version of a Twilight Zone episode. It's a moral question (would you trade a human life of $1 million) played against the backdrop of a silent alien invasion.

That's the take away at any rate. Kelly adds other subtleties (the wife with the gimpy foot, the churning water as transportation portal), but they're mostly overlooked.

Still, something about this film transfixed me. Even as I was watching, knowing that it was long and a bit boring, I wanted more. Which ultimately makes the movie, what? Good, in it's own weird way?

High points:

* Kelly nailed the 1970s look, down to the nauseating orange and brown kitchen wallpaper.

* A guest spot from Britta from the funniest show on Television.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Movie Review: The Men Who Stare At Goats

The Men Who Stare at Goats

Without actually seeing this movie, it has a lot going for it. Like A.) a pretty great cast of moustachioed men, including Ewan McGregor and Geogre Clooney. And B.) a great premise.

So it's dissapointing that movie falls flat.

Spoiler alert: It's only marginally about remote veiwing, and the only one who stares at a goat is Clooney at it's for less than five seconds. Seriously.

Mostly, it was another movie trying to capitalize on the ambiguities of modern warfare (which Clooney did way better in Three Kings). Sure, there were some funny moments (it is a comedy afterall) and it was mostly a pleasant enough way to spend an hour and a half (as opposed to watching Saw VI), but it just seemed so ... blah. Generic and wasted and kind of a waste.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This man...

Take a minute right now and go visit this man's Web site. I stumbled upon it this morning and was totally mesmerized by it for a good fifteen minutes. I have not dreamed this man. But I find the idea of it totally intriguing. Plus, the pictures are just creepy.