Posts Tagged movies

I don’t think Buddy Holly’s much of a waiter.

31 December 2012

You remember in 1994 when John Travolta appeared as hip gangster hitman “Vincent Vega” in Pulp Fiction?  Remember how it revitalized his career, bringing him back to the spotlight and letting us begin to believe him as something more than a pretty face who could dance?  Suddenly, he was able to pass as dark, quirky, and potentially even a badass in the right light (see Get Shorty, Face/Off, Michael, etc.).  It took something special though.  Not just the role, but the overall vibe of the movie.  It took the class and edge that directors like Tarantino, Wes Anderson, and the Coen Brothers bring to their features.  It’s not like Travolta didn’t have it in him all along — clearly he did.  But he needed the right opportunity.

Inspired by a conversation earlier this evening, I present my picks for actors that I believe deserve a John-Travolta-in-Pulp-Fiction style career resurgence.  Someone give these guys a chance to reinvent themselves and return to the spotlight!  I believe they’ve got it in them!

  1. Paul Hogan
    Yes, Crocodile Dundee himself.  I realize that maybe he was more of a 1980’s curiosity and one-trick pony, but he was charming as hell.  And though he must be way up there now (in his 70’s?), I feel like he’s got potential as a charming but menacing Bond villain or mob boss.  Someone get on that.  Time’s a-wastin’!
  2. Erik Estrada
    My love for Erik Estrada can be traced back to CHiPs and was in fact the subject of my very first blog post on MySpace many years ago.  I was briefly hopeful of a resurgence when he appeared in that great Butthole Surfers video in ’96.  Thought maybe he was getting hip again, but no such luck.  I just fucking love this guy.  He should be in every movie.
  3. Emilio Estevez
    Man, remember Breakfast Club and Young Guns?  This guy had just as much charisma as his brother or anyone else in the so-called “Brat Pack.”  There’s no reason Tom Cruise should be starring in these blockbusters year after year while we don’t hear a peep from Emilio.
  4.  Ralph Macchio
    Perhaps “quirky badass” isn’t the direction to go here, but still, there must be something more we could be doing with Ralph Macchio.  It’s not like all his mega-appeal just suddenly dried up after the Karate Kid trilogy.  Couldn’t he find a place in a mob story or something?
  5. Robyn Lively
    Well since we’re talking about Karate Kid, ever since part 3 I’ve wanted to see more of Robyn Lively.  That’s all.
  6. Michael Keaton
    After Batman and Beetlejuice and several others through the early 90’s, he was all over the place.  Since then, it’s been all small parts or at least he’s been off my radar.  He’s totally ripe for a comeback, and as a real psycho too.  He used to do that well, and I bet he’d make an excellent brooding villain, assassin, or something of that ilk.
  7. Tim Curry
    He seems to be doing fine, but I think he’s vastly underutilized.  Look at Legend or It or Rocky Horror.  Aside from being one of my favorite actors, he has a natural creepiness that could be put to such great use.  I feel he’s being wasted on kids stuff these days, though that may well be by choice.
  8.  Jeff Goldblum
    I know he’s been getting some work on television, and it’s not like Jurassic Park was that long ago, but still… Jeff Goldblum has a thing that only he does.  The same way Christopher Walken has a thing.  This thing Jeff’s got, well I’d like to see more of it.
  9. Clancy Brown
    Most memorable to me as the vicious Kurgan in The Highlander, his unusual look and sound have lent their talents to bit parts over the years, but I feel like he could really break out if given a central role — maybe paradoxically as an anti-hero — in a more serious film.  Why not?  The Highlander also introduced us to Chrisopher Lambert, who deserves honorable mention on this list.  Besides Highlander and Greystoke, I don’t really know his work.  But he was very entertaining in those.  Bring him back too, please!
  10. Tony Ganios
    I always relate to him as my first greaser role model through playing match-chewing “Perry” in The Wanderers, but he also appeared in the Porky’s movies and a few others.  I understand he’s retired from acting, and that’s too bad.  He had (and has?) more potential than we ever got to see him use.

Surely I’m forgetting some great actors and actresses, but these are the ones that occurred to me immediately.  Any other suggestions?

You got some ‘splaining to do, Lucy.

18 May 2011

Well friends… I see that it’s been about two months since my last post.  You might be wondering what gives. I could tell you that I’ve been super busy with work and two bands and shows happening and more coming.  And all the while, my house is a mess and has needed to be cleaned for weeks.  And that’s all true.  But you’d think I could have found some time to sit for an hour and write this in a span of two whole months.  And yet, I didn’t.  Have I lost my zest for blogging?  It could very well be.  Whatever it was that used to drive me to want to document my current events and be clever… somehow it’s not driving me anymore.  I could have filled a dozen blogs with all that’s happened lately.  Instead, you’ll get the short, short version.  And I will have forgotten some things by now.  I feel like I should be sad that this thing might be winding down.  Maybe temporarily, maybe forever.  But it’s just not sustainable.  Should I expect to have time to blog every week the rest of my life?  And if I don’t, will my memories fade away because I didn’t record them?  And will my progeny someday read this and be disappointed that the blog starts to fall apart here?  I don’t know.  But I guess I ought to just go with my instincts, and right now my instincts are telling me to hit the high points but not spend too much time on it.  Let’s see how that approach works out for us…

So last time, I mentioned that I was about to embark on digitizing my music collection.  Well I’m off and running, and it’s going even better than I hoped.  Sure, it’s taking a lot of time and will probably take several more months.  And sure, this pursuit has put a halt on my MySpace archiving project.  But it’s what I’m motivated to do at the moment, so I’m going with it.  Apparently the legality/morality of keeping a digital copy and selling the original is up for debate, so with that in mind, of course I’m only selling the things I’m not keeping a digital copy of. And I keep an eye out on Amazon to see what’s out of print and going for a high price, and I’m keeping that stuff for now. But hypothetically if everything else were to go to Amoeba, an estimated 30% of my collection I’ve gone through so far would have hypothetically netted about $750 in store credit!  Using what credit I actually have gotten, I’ve picked up (often used) CDs and artists I’d been waiting on.  My OCD about CD collecting often kept me from buying collections that were not definitive on their own, but with my new digital approach, I have no problem what collection(s) the songs came from, as for all my purposes, they all live in the same digital bucket.  And having it all digital and organized and at my fingertips is bringing me way more in touch with my collection.  I’m listening to stuff I forgot I had.  This whole thing is a win/win… win/win/win/win…

Despite my busy schedule lately, I have managed to squeeze in some time with friends.  Back to the Haight with Shel like the good old days.  There’s a Dr. Marten’s store there now that sells all manner of Docs… gold, white, powder blue.  If they were something non-leather, I’d be broke from all the shoes I’d have bought there.  Even caught some movies (Insidious scared the piss out of me for days!).  And I’ve managed to hit a few Smiths nights, a Haight Street Hop, and Booze, Broads, & Hotrods.  That’s actually not a bad list.  Now mellow out, watch this, and realize the we’re really all just clinging to a speck of dust floating through the cosmos…

I’ve been to a couple of great shows lately.  OMD with a bunch of good friends, and then Paul Simon at The Fillmore with mom.  The latter was a pretty special show as you might imagine.  I got the tix at face value the day they went on sale (thanks to Sus), but they were fetching upwards of $500 each on Craig’s List.  It was nice to be able to go to a show with mom.  Reminded me of doing that when I was little.  I think my first concert ever was Don Henley with her on the “End Of The Innocence” tour.  Coming up soon is Bootsy Collins at The Fillmore, and Reverend Horton Heat at The Independent.  2011 has been good for shows so far.

And it hasn’t been bad for TCB lately either.  There was a wild night playing that Smiths night at Milk Bar in San Francisco.  Though it’s a smaller place and the rain was pouring, we got a nice big crowd of die-hards who helped make the night one of our best in recent memory.  Some good greenroom stories, too.  Sacramento was fun as usual, and our Petaluma debut was interesting.  That night, I heard about how Tenacious D once opened for Super Diamond, and a young Jack Black was all over the band talking about his Neil Diamond obsession.  Not long after, Saving Silverman came out, which prominently features a fictional Neil Diamond tribute band.  Gee, I wonder where that idea came from…  Then this last weekend was a Modesto debut (the highlight of which had to be the DJ starting a song through the PA during one of our songs; not between songs, and not our first or last song… but right in the middle of a song right in the middle of our set).  Then it was Fresnope, and though the show was rocking, the next day brought me a double whammy of 1) Claim Jumper being closed permanently and 2) my car getting hit by a U-Haul just before leaving town.  But hell, I’m alive, aren’t I?  Guess things aren’t that bad.

Speaking of music, a random bitch I’ve had on my mind lately.  Anyone know what’s up with the trend of musicians naming themselves with numbers?  I don’t know who the first one to do it was, but that was probably clever at the time.  But everyone who came after… I mean, how lame is that?  After the first guy, it totally loses its cleverness and instead looks like an unoriginal gimmick.   John 5, Adam 12, Nick 13.  At least come up with a clever one like “Claude 9.”  You’re welcome.

The quote of the week comes from Virgil, as we watched Davy Jones on Pirates Of The Caribbean in a Fresno hotel last weekend:

“As an Asian, I want to eat his face.”

Idea: Throw me the idol, I’ll throw you the whip!

11 March 2011

It may not surprise you to know that there are some big Indiana Jones fans out there, and one of them has quite a collection of props going.  Among them is a series of replicas of the Aztec idol from Raiders Of The Lost Ark.

I’ll just say it.  I want one of these idols (and a stand) for my desk at work.  Now ideally, I’d have a dark office at the end of a long hall to go with it, but sadly, I do not.  I just think it would be funny to have that on my desk all the time, but then never really acknowledge it.  You know, talk to people as if there weren’t this giant golden fertility idol sitting there.  Offer them no explanation for it.  I guess I don’t really have enough foot traffic of new people though to put it to good use, and most of the folks at my work probably wouldn’t get it anyway.  Which is too bad, because what a great prank it would be to come in one morning to find it replaced with a sack of sand.

Listening to: Martin Denny – “The Exciting Sounds Of Martin Denny: Exotica I & II

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Just Keeping The Population Down

17 September 2010

Have I mentioned how much I love love love the fog?  San Francisco’s Indian summer fog has arrived, and not a moment too soon.  It’s half the reason I live where I live.

Damn, Gina… I haven’t posted anything on here in over a month!  What can I say?  I go through spells of not having anything interesting to share (assuming I ever do).  It’s not that I haven’t been busy.  If anything, maybe too busy.  I figured I ought to at least check in with you, though.

Been to a bunch of great shows and events the last month or two.  Crowded House at the Warfield, The Blasters, Reverend Horton Heat’s 25th anniversary show at The Fillmore (filmed for a DVD), Wicked with Shel, Conan O’Brien live, disco dancing in stretchy gold bell-bottoms and white platforms, and Phantom Of The Paradise (spawning a minor obsession).  Had a couple of fun TCB shows in San Jose and Sacramento, where we got to debut “The Draize Train” and I got to go all guitar hero.  Got on a go-kart for the first time in over a decade, which was way more fun than I expected.  Got hit with a nasty computer virus (which I’m normally ultra-vigilant about).  There may have been more exciting events of note.  What am I forgetting?

Oh, and I finally finished watching the full Brisco County, Jr. series I remember from my youth.  Such a good show!  Such a tragedy it was only around one season (1993/94).  A quirky, sci-fi western with the incomparable Bruce Campbell, the late Julius Carry (a.k.a. Sho’nuff), and the delicious Kelly Rutherford… all written by the guy who went on to produce “Lost.”  I’m not a big DVD watcher, so this was an accomplishment for me.  Let me know if you want to borrow it.  ūüėČ

Coming up, I’ve got a few weddings to go to, including one this weekend.  Friends which also happen to be exes.  By this time next month, the clear majority of my exes will be married, if the hitched don’t already make up the majority.  It’s too depressing to do the math, but I’m pretty sure.  They’re all breeding too, or will be soon.  Good for them.  I won’t lie… it does make me feel behind the curve a bit.  I am now older than my dad was when I myself, the youngest, was born.  I’m used to feeling, frankly, more mature than most people my age (which could be horsefeathers, but hey, it’s how I feel).  Settling down is the one area where I sometimes wonder if I’m missing out on something essential.  I know there’s no “right” answer or path I have to take in life, but did I somehow fall behind my peers here?  Do they all know something I don’t know?  Or is it vice versa?  Much to ponder.

In lighter news, I’m also going to clean out my storage unit once and for all this weekend.  That means a pile of dusty crap on my living room floor for a few weeks while I sort it all out, but I think I’ve at least got a plan now.  If you have little ones who might be in the market for free toys from the 80’s and early 90’s, be sure to let me know.  It’s almost all gonna be up for giveaway.

Lots of stuff on the horizon.  TCB has a few shows in central CA in October, starting out on the tropical shores of Bakersfield (10/15) and ending in giddy Fresno (10/16).  By then, I should have my new signature guitar picks in use, woo hoo!  Then November will mark TCB’s 5th anniversary!  There’s a good chance we’ll be doing something in SF to celebrate that, so stay tuned.  I think I’ll need to write something about that, you know, looking back on the last five years and all.  And if all that weren’t enough, I’ve started playing with a few different original bands — one on the Smiths side of things, the other a rockabilly band — so we’ll see where those go.

OK, I think we’re sufficiently caught up.  Onward and upward…

Watching:The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.

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Idea: 3-D Chic

14 June 2010

OK, so I meant to write this a couple months ago, and so now it’s not exactly “current,” but oh well…

So with the popularity of Avatar (and the 3-D craze it’s brought with it), I thought maybe it was time to let this little idea go.  The already ill-conceived remake of my childhood fave Clash Of The Titans was the first casualty of Hollywood embarrassingly falling all over itself to try to cash in.  You’re probably aware that they actually delayed the Clash remake’s release so that they could go back and make it 3-D as an afterthought.  Cringe!  There are so many things wrong with that statement, I can’t even keep it all in my head.  Amid all the bad reviews I heard, none summed it up so well as Bob Mondello’s review on NPR — which is worth a quick read/listen.  I still have fond memories of that old red/cyan 3-D effect (which in my case is most closely tied to some 3-D Jaws trading cards Dad got me at a flea market when I was little).  But in those days, that was what 3-D meant.  And then I guess eventually we had Captain EO, but hey, that was 4-D!

Anyway, so here’s my idea.  Every greaser crew needs to have one guy who wears 3-D glasses all the time.  I make that judgment based on whatever combination of 50’s movies and TV shows has amalgamated in my head over the years.  But seriously, you know the guy.  If he has any lines at all, he’s usually the joker of the group.  Probably a ginger.  When someone asks him what’s with the glasses, he replies he’s trying to see his whole life in 3-D (genius right?).  Yeah, you know the one.  I realize this sounds a little crazy, but I mean, rockabilly fashion often goes over the top.  I myself have a letterman’s jacket, and I’ve seen plenty of (admittedly unfortunate) poodle skirts and even a few satin Pink Ladies jackets.  So yeah, it’s out there, but it’s not out of the question.  I’m just saying I need one of these guys for my crew.  And those little white paper glasses are as cheap as can be!  Something tells me I’m gonna have a hard time talking anyone into this though.

But I have hope!  You see, 3-D televisions are already hitting the market, hot on the heels of the Avatar trend, and viewers have to wear the 3-D glasses for them to work.  We’re talking about people sitting around at home, wearing special glasses to watch TV.  Now I myself cannot imagine wearing special TV glasses at home, but then I guess they used to think no one would ever pay for cable, and look how that turned out.  I suppose if nothing else, it pushes the technology forward and gets us closer to some future innovation that I might actually be into (like a holodeck).  But I digress.  My point is that in time I’m sure some company will start selling retro-looking-but-fully-functional 3-D glasses for 3-D televisions, and when that happens, my hope is that someone will wear them all the time for me.  Volunteers?

Listening to: The Cure – “Disintegration

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We’re like crystal — we break easy.

15 February 2010

I tell ya, aches and pains just come too easily these days.  My friends tell me “welcome to your 30’s.”  It’s really astounding how little physical exertion can cause me to be sore all over for a day or two.  It’s pretty much a given the day after playing a show, for instance.   Even walking around in a hilly neighborhood.  It used to be that I thought well if I’m sore then at least I’m building some muscle.  But something tells me that’s not what’s going on here.  At least not anymore.

It was a fun weekend!  We spent an afternoon at a John Hughes movie marathon at the Castro Theater.  It was actually really interesting to watch Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club in a theater and listen to the collective cheers and sighs.  Clearly, there was a lot of love in that room.  I think it was also settled once and for all that I’m so much more Jake Ryan than Farmer Ted.  At some point, we found our way into a sex shop where I finally picked up the bear flag sticker I’ve been looking for for years.  Then later in the evening we caught Balls’ Dead Souls show in Menlo Park.  Yes, Menlo Park.  Also made it out to the Tonga Room for the first time ever, and it was incredible!  Reminded me of Don The Beachcomber’s in San Jose, which my dad took me to once when I was little.  (That particular location eventually became a gay bar, then burned down, then was paved over for a freeway on-ramp.)  Anyhoo, the Tonga Room and the Fairmont in general were pretty spectacular.  And of all people, we saw Joe Montana dining and dancing.  Go figure!

If you’re around this week, Seattle’s Love Vigilantes will be at Popscene on Thursday night (2/18).  Aside from the fact that they currently include TCB‘s Nick and Paul in their ranks, there’s a good chance I’ll be making a brief guest appearance as fake Johnny Marr for a song or two!

One of the first shows I ever went to as an adult was when I went and saw The Knack at Slim’s.  They had the number one hit of the year I was born, you know… not to mention one of the biggest hooks of all time.  I remember laughing my ass off when someone tried to hand the lead singer (Doug Fieger) a joint, and he flipped out, threw it back, and went into a tirade about how drugs were for losers.  Not exactly your typical rock star behavior, but I loved it.  R.I.P. Doug!

Speaking of hooks, I’ve had this guitar riff in my head for days.  I wish I wrote it, but I’m almost positive it’s from a song… and for the life of me, I can’t remember which song.  It’s killing me!  For this sort of thing, it’ll usually come to me in a day or two (along with a huge sense of relief), but no luck so far.  I’ve been listening to The Black Angels, Rage Against The Machine, The White Stripes, Led Zeppelin, anyone who might be responsible for this crushing riff in my head.  In trying to figure out where it came from, as I said, I’ve found myself listening to The Black Angels again.  They sound like The Doors and Joy Division got together to cover Led Zeppelin’s “When The Levee Breaks.”  And that’s a recipe for success.

Listening to: The Black Angels – “Passover

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You have no power over me.

8 February 2010

I was giving some thought the other day to why there were so many fantasy movies in the 80’s.  And seriously, there were a ton, do you remember?  It seemed like that’s most of what I watched in those days.  Just a steady stream of Jim Henson puppets and hand-drawn post-production lighting effects.  I guess we still have fantasy movies today.  The Harry Potters and the Lords Of Rings and all that.  Somehow though it doesn’t feel the same.  Today it’s darker, or maybe just more sterile.  They’re big and flashy, but they don’t capture that wonder the way they used to.  Too much CGI, and not enough Muppet.  Or maybe I’m just old.  (Some are better than others, of course.  I think the Hellboy movies did a decent job of getting a little of that wonder and mystery.)

How or why were fantasy flicks so huge just for that era?  I didn’t really come up with any answers, but it did inspire me to list all the ones I had considered.  So here it is, my top 10 fantasy movies of the 80’s…

  1. Labyrinth — One word: Ludo.  Oh, and David Bowie.  But mainly Ludo.
  2. The Neverending Story — Too many great scenes to mention.  Laser-eyed oracles, wolves, luck dragons, racing snails, and a giant sneezing turtle!  And P.S. the mom’s name, once and for all, is “Moonchild.”  How that question haunted me as a kid!
  3. Clash Of The Titans — Claymation at its finest, and Laurence Olivier slumming it.  There is absolutely no need to remake this movie.
  4. Legend — Tim Curry as the best devil ever put to film.  Tom Cruise in his younger days.  A great dark atmosphere, and two soundtracks from Jerry Goldsmith and Tangerine Dream.
  5. Willow— Dwarves, sword fights, a giant two-headed monster, and an entire army being turned into pigs.  Pigs, I said!  You’re all pigs!
  6. Conan The Barbarian — Really either of them will do.  And here they’ll have to represent the legion of “sword and sorcery” films that followed.  The 80’s were practically drowning in them.  By and large, they were terrible (Beastmaster?).  But the two Conan films are untouchable.  The definitive barbarian saga.
  7. Time Bandits — Terry Gilliam seems to have a pretty good handle on fantasy.  Two of his movies are on my list here, and even his more recent stuff like Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas is almost fantasy.
  8. The Dark Crystal — I think I need to watch this again.  My memories of it are hazy, but I know I saw it in the theater.  So I would have been what, three years old?  Yeah, hazy memories.
  9. Return To Oz — Fairuza Balk before she grew up and got hot, a headless witch, and a bunch of creepy henchmen with rollerblades on their feet and hands.  Very nice.
  10. The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen — He rides around on cannonballs.  And Robin Williams plays the man on the moon.

There are many that deserve honorable mention.  The Princess Bride comes to mind, though that was a little more like a romance.  The Goonies, though that was almost in John Hughes territory.  Definite honors to Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, representing the best of the countless post-apocalypse movies that were also so popular in that era.  Maybe Ice Pirates or Dune to touch on the sci-fi trend, like those Ewok made-for-T.V. movies and all that.  That could be a whole separate list!

You could even include the more general adventure movies with fantastical twists,¬†like¬†Innerspace and Howard The Duck.¬† Or cartoon hybrids¬†like Who Framed Roger Rabbit.¬† OMG, remember Pete’s Dragon?¬†¬†I guess technically, that was the 70’s.¬† OK, clearly that are tons more I could have named on this list.¬† What am I forgetting?¬† Dozens, I’m sure.¬† Feel free to share your faves too.¬† It all just goes to show what a golden age the 80’s were for this kinda stuff.¬† Ah, the good old days.¬† Nice reminiscing…

Listening to: Tyrannosaurus Rex – “The Best Of The BBC Recordings

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Don’t Let’s Be Silly

20 January 2010

So, I finally saw Avatar last night.  Imagine Dances With Wolves as played out by the offspring of Nightcrawler and Jar Jar.  It’s a cultural event now, you know.  Like The Matrix, it’s one of those things that’s going to be referenced and parodied for years to come.  You kinda have to see it, if for no other reason than to educate yourself in preparation for all the references you’ll see to it in the future.  I hear it won best drama at the Golden Globes.  I admit, it was better than I expected.  But best drama?  Really?


Couple that with the Democrats poised to lose in Massachusetts*, Kraft poised to buy Cadbury, the ongoing Conan vs. Jay saga, and this week’s torrential rains (I hear Deanna’s building an ark)… the world’s gone crazy.  The end of times may be upon us.

* Obviously, I’m pretty liberal.  But holy shit, Dems.  You’ve had this crushing majority for a year, and what have you done with it?  Goose egg.  What’s the excuse?  Trying to reach across the aisle?  How much reaching did the GOP do over the previous eight years?  What a shame you didn’t take this opportunity to exercise your power to effect real change while you had it.

Listening to: Jobriath – “Lonely Planet Boy

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Lazy Sundae

18 January 2010

Cold Stone to be exact.  It’s no Baskin Robbins, or even Swensen’s.  But it’ll do in a pinch.  And as expected, as soon as I ate it, I wish I hadn’t.

Today we (me, Booty Lou, and the Balls Family) were supposed to be seeing Conan O’Brien live in SF.  This was all planned and in the works well before this latest drama happened with him and late night.  Just when I thought we were going to be in the right place at the right time.  I mean, what are the chances we’d be seeing Conan precisely when the world spotlight is on him (see: David Bianculli)?  Well, slim as it turns out.  Needless to say, he called it off and there was no Conan today.  I don’t blame him.  But I did I hear he got a $30 million check from NBC today.  Good!  Fuck ’em.  Go Conan!

So instead we had dinner in the East Bay, later the aforementioned Cold Stone, and eventually saw Daybreakers which wasn’t bad.  This weekend has also included sushi, Guy Ritchie’s slick Sherlock Holmes with Shel, and an 80’s dance party for charity.  Normally, I’d never do the corny dress up thing, but I’ve been dying for an excuse to peg my jeans, and I so totally did.  And also won a staggering three raffle prizes on only five tickets.  I think Shel must have rigged it.  As the night wore on, the 80’s party dwindled, and the bar turned into the Jersey Shore.  When the fist pumping began, we split.  Anyhoo, the three-day weekend isn’t even over yet!  More big plans for tomorrow…

The music in Sherlock Holmes got me thinking of The Dresden Dolls and what a great experience it was when I first saw them.¬† That got me to thinking about my favorite (or most life-changing?) concerts of my life so far.¬† I know I’ve forgotten a lot, but the say top three that come to mind right off the bat are:

  1. Erasure on the Union Street tour (5/11/06).  Quite possibly the best live show I’ve ever seen.  I mentioned this at the time, but I’d always considered them disposable synth-pop.  Suitable for dancing and not much else.  But this show changed my mind about them completely.  To this day, I listen to that CD regularly.  Two pieces of applicable trivia.  First, this show was at the Herbst Theater which is where I was supposed to see Conan.  Second, the next date on Erasure’s very limited tour was at the Showbox in Seattle, where TCB just played on New Year’s.
  2. Morrissey.  It’s hard to pick the best one.  They were all amazing for different reasons.  I might point to the first time I saw him live, with Jessica in Berkeley (9/14/02) where we cried along to “There Is A Light,” or the Stockton show (4/27/07) where I first got close to the man himself, spoke to him and touched him even… both of these shows recounted here.  And then there was the magic of the Hollywood Bowl show (6/8/07), footage of which was eventually used for the “That’s How People Grow Up” video.  Applicable trivia:  As I was in the front row for that show, my massive head — along with Sus’ and Nick’s — can be clearly seen a few times in the video.  Can you see me?  So many Morrissey memories these past few years, it almost doesn’t seem real.  To think how much my life has changed in the last five or so.
  3. The Dresden Dolls on New Year’s Eve at the Sea Of Dreams (12/31/05).  It may have been a combination of all the weird things I saw that night, the burlesque, the holiday, I don’t know.  It was one of the weirder nights of my adult life.  But what I do know is that I was blown away by their show.  Applicable trivia: I went to Sea Of Dreams again the year after, and it wasn’t nearly as good.  I hear this year though, both Olin as well as Maya (and friends) went.  Go figure!

OK, that’s all for now kiddies.  You may be wondering what happened to that “year in review” I planned on, and that I’ve done for several years.  It may still happen, but I’m just not feeling like taking stock lately.  We’ll see.

Listening to: The Dresden Dolls – “The Dresden Dolls

[amtap amazon:asin=B0001XARKE]

The Lost Weekend

22 November 2009

CONVERSION NOTICE: This is one of 250+ blogs that originally appeared on MySpace. I’ve done my best to represent it with as much historical accuracy as possible, but there are limitations. Read about it in the FAQ.

Current Mood: sick sick

I’d been feeling… I’ll say “weird” since the middle of the week.  Flushed, but with no detectable fever.  I made it through work most of the week, but then Thursday night it started to worsen, and by Friday morning, I was in no shape to go into the office.  I had to stay home.  Frankly, I didn’t feel up to doing much of anything this weekend, and that included leaving the house.  I’m feeling a bit better today, so I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to get back to work tomorrow.  I got the flu shot this year, which as I recall can help prevent or lessen the impact of the flu.  I don’t know what a “mild” flu feels like, since whenever I’ve had a flu in the past, it kicked my ass unequivocally.  But this weekend I had a headache, a stiff neck, moderate fatigue, and a mild fever… with virtually no congestion, sore throat, or cough.  That certainly sounds like a mild version of flu symptoms more than it does a cold, right?  So maybe I did have a mild flu.  A mild swine flu even.  A piglet flu.

But as I said, I was in no shape to lift a finger.  That’s one of the shitty things about being home sick.  You’ve got all that free time to do stuff around the house you’ve been meaning to do, but no energy to actually do any of it.  I haven’t even shaved in days, and I think I have the closest thing I’ve ever had to a beard right now.  So anyway, I ate oatmeal and watched movies.  Whatever happened to be on, really.  This included The Fog (1980), Dead-Alive, all three Pirates Of The Caribbean movies, that Brothers Grimm one, The Pathfinder, and parts of both Troy and Mr. And Mrs. Smith.  Others too that I think I’m forgetting.  I also dusted off and reconnected my old Playstation for about a half hour.  When I finally had the energy to do more than sit, I worked on learning a couple new songs.  And here I am with the energy to type again — lucky you!

Moving on… a general comment to Hollywood: please stop pissing all over my childhood. I understand there is a Clash Of The Titans remake in the works. Never mind the Karate Kid mess of the fact that a golden G.I. Joe opportunity was wasted. I’ve even heard stirrings of a Rocky Horror remake. I’m sure there are countless others in the works too that I don’t even know about. Trying to be more level-headed about it, to be fair, the Clash remake looks like it might not be terrible. I’ll try to approach it with an open mind. (Assuming they do something about that soundtrack.)

As of 2023, the video I had embedded here is apparently gone. It was a trailer for Clash Of The Titans (2010), and it must have had some bad music in it judging by my comment above. Whatever year it is as you’re reading this, I’m sure a Google search will find it for you. Google is still a thing in your time, isn’t it?

Speaking of me being old and crotchety, surely you’ve heard the kids these days say “redonkulous” as an extreme version of “ridiculous.” Well I heard the word “milkdonkulous” on TV last week. And while I know this means that “redonkulous” has jumped the proverbial shark, and the last thing I want to do is be duped by somebody’s lame marketing campaign (least of all the dairy industry), I’d be lying if I said I didn’t secretly love this word “milkdonkulous.” I can’t say why, but it just speaks to me. I’ll do my best to use it judiciously.

I think it’s time that I just face the fact that I’m completely fascinated by the English language.¬† I don’t think that’s a new thing for me exactly, but it’s only been a couple years that I could put a name to it.¬† I realize that I keep ongoing lists of words, phrases, idioms, and quotations that I like.¬† I find myself admiring (and even envying)¬†writers¬†whenever they’re able to perfectly capture and convey an idea so clearly.¬† I’m constantly looking up new words, linguistic concepts¬†(like the retronym) and¬†even the typographical symbols that we so rarely see anymore¬†(like the tombstone or the preposterous asterism).¬† I’m¬†even interested in¬†syntax and grammar.¬† Somewhere along the line, this all became a small hobby of mine, and though it’s exceedingly nerdy, I’d argue it’s not much different (though way more useful) than crossword puzzles and sudoku.¬† I don’t really enjoy those types of puzzles, but I love¬†researching language.¬† Alright?¬† So sign me up for őõőõőõ.

That’s had me thinking recently… did I choose the wrong path?  That whole “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” thing, you know.  I guess knowing what I know now, if I had it to do over again, I would have probably majored in English and music.  Assuming I had the balls not to go the safe route.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved CogSci in school, and I feel it was all very valuable.  But looking at what “work” I truly enjoy these days?  It’s language and music.  But then, it’s my nature to build the safety net first.  Have a backup plan.  That’s why I had the band after I finished school and had a steady job.  I skipped the whole garage band thing, for better or worse.  I made sure I could support my hobbies, rather than rely on my hobbies to support me.  The safe route has its pros and cons I guess.  And then who knows where I’d be now?  Maybe not nearly as happy.  What about you?  Knowing what you know now, would you have done things a little differently?


Coming up this Thursday is This Charming Band’s fifth Thanksgiving Popscene appearance on their Smiths tributary “Meat Is Murder” night, and it also loosely marks our fourth anniversary as a band.  My, how the years fly by (especially evident at Popscene where the crowd stays young and beautiful, but the band gets older every year).  Hope to see you there friends!  And while you’re pondering what to eat on Thanksgiving before the show, and what the future might hold for us all… consider this article.

“It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.”

— Oscar Wilde
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