Thursday, January 29, 2009

Adam and Eve Were Jews!


New Favorite Band Alert!



I have no idea why it took me so long to get into the Silver Jews!

I have no idea why such revelations ever surprise me! There is simply too much music to ever possibly keep up with!

So shame on anyone who knew about these guys and didn't bring them to my attention!

SHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME!!!

PS Holy Shit! Magnet's website has been revamped and is completely and totally amazing!!!

I can't stop using exclamation points!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bookish Pursuits


It's been awhile since I've wrapped my head around a book that interested me sufficiently to finish. In the past two years I've started and put away at least 6 books that just didn't move me; they interested me, but I'd get to a point where I'd just say, "Yeah, but who cares," and put it back on the shelf.

The last one I finished recently was Cormac McCarthy's The Road, which while incredibly bleak and depressing, was so gripping and masterfully-crafted that I didn't dare put it down. It is a new era Canticle For Liebowitz, which is equally bleak and depressing; but moves a bit more slowly and is best digested in smaller increments since it spans centuries of "human life."

Tired of half-reading semi-boring books, and finding myself in the middle of a bookstore while my honey was on a reference-material mission, I set about seeking new fodder that may be able to hold my attention. I came home with three titles that I think will foot the bill, two rock memoirs and one novel: Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield, Things the Grandchildren Should Know, by Mark Oliver Everett and Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.



I started with Mix Tape because it's the shortest; and because it sounded cool. I was always a fan of "The Sheffield Report" back in the day; it was my easily my favorite contribution to Rolling Stone.

I didn't even read the back cover; it was on the employee picks section, so I figured it was worth a shot. I'm still halfway through, but that's because I haven't dedicated any real time to it. And it's such an intimate tale that I feel to give anything but my full attention would be disrespectful.

Had I read the back cover, I would have realized how important this story is to its author. I thought it was going to be a feel-good story of the contribution of the mix tape is to romance; I was only half right. By page 14 I was bawling my eyes out.

It was then I realized that this guy wrote it about not only his wife, but his late wife. A woman he loved so completely and purely, and who died far before her prime. His recollection of her memory through pop music will equally make you laugh, break your heart and give you hope.



Next up is the Eels' (a.k.a. Mark Oliver Everett) memoir, Grandchildren. I expect it to be less upbeat and hopeful, but still a good read. The man fascinates me; his music and lyrics always have, but it wasn't until I saw Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives on NOVA Science Now that I began to understand the big picture behind his ironic view of human interaction.

I have a real soft spot for artists of all kind who can point out the wry irony of the world's complete and total loss of humanity, yet all the while embody a complete sense of blind hope regardless. Probably because that sums me up to a Tee.



So it should be no surprise that the final selection is a work of fiction of the humorous/ironic variety, Jest.

It's humongous. 981 9" pages lined in dense 9 point script with less than 1" margins ... plus 96 pages of notes. In fact, I'm not sure if it's going to be completely amazing or a complete and total waste of money. But I got it anyway, because I'd heard he was hilarious, and because for some reason the novel reminded me simultaneously of three of my favorite authors -- Tom Robbins, Christopher Moore and Douglas Adams.

And because I could have sworn I'd recently heard that he'd just died. I was right. Offed himself in September. Genius? I think I'll be the judge of that.

Hopefully these will be enough to get me through this frozen-solid winter. They had better; the entertainment budget is running low, and I have rekkids to buy!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Learning to Speak the Language


I hate anti-drug ads.

Now I understand and agree with the importance of instilling good values in children, trying as hard to keep them pure as humanly possible; but as we all well know, eventually all the gospel-preaching is going to fall on deaf ears. Experimentation is pretty much inevitable.

To date, I've seen only one anti-drug ad that reaches its audience in a realistic way. For the most part, teens and adults alike laugh these incredibly cheesy messages off (just search YouTube for "abovetheinfluence" and see what comments have been posted); and who from the 80s doesn't remember giggling at the famous emotionally-charged line, "I learned it from watching you, Dad!".

Which is why I like this new ad by abovetheinfluence.com. Instead of a creepy talking Beagle or a girl melted upon herself, it uses irony to relay its message. Which I think is far more effective for a smart-assed teen audience.



That, or this is a true sign that I'm getting old.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Beauty and the Beast




Need I say more?

Alone, I don't care for her willowy whisper; but I can't ever seem to get enough of Lanegan's scratchy wrasp, so it's like the heavens parting on a cloudy day when these two voices meet.

This dynamic duo is at it again with a fresh batch of melancholia for us all to enjoy, and just in time for SAD season. It's out now, and Isobel has some tracks on her MySpace, so dig in!

www.myspace.com/isobelcampbell

Monday, January 12, 2009

GLOWER!


Every time SNL has a sketch I want to post on here, it's not available on their website.

Neil Patrick Harris hosted this past Saturday, and while the writing remains hit-and-miss and certain cast members need to just go away (I'm looking at you, Kenan Thompson, Bobby Moynihan and Casey Wilson), there was a a solidly riotous guest-host performance which was supplemented by bevy of good material this past week.

Here's one of them:



But by far and away, the best sketch all night was the orchestrated version of the Doogie Howser, MD theme song played by the entire cast; with Neil at the keys. It was comedy GOLD. And yet, is not available to view online. Grrrrr...

Oh, and Kristen Wiig is my TV girlfriend. Seriously, I wish we were best friends. She's the funniest comedic actress the show's seen since Gilda. Now, now Fey-sketeers, I said actress. Fey still is the funniest female comedy writer, ever.