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Monday, April 27, 2009

OMG

I have the taste of a 13 year-old girl. Sorry.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rorschach....


Is short.

Morning after pill...

AKA 2 tylenol, electrolyte enhanced water and emergen-c. I'm back!

I managed to get a buzz going despite the fact that beer cost $7 for a 12 ounce cup-Yikes.

The Warfield's a pretty neat venue, set up kind of like the ATL, with different levels of tables down towards the stage. The standing room was only in the back and sides, so we erred by showing up too late to grab a seat but the view was fine.

JP gets points for having one of the better concert souvenirs I've seen: personalized fly swatters. Funny.

John Prine

Beer-soaked impressions:

John Prine is old. And he's showing it. Frankly, I spent the first 30 minutes of the show trying to recall his latest medical news, and why he was looking so frail.

In an interesting twist, JP went straight into some of his most pathos-laden tear-jerkers. I mean, the guy was not trying to pump anyone up.

But JP sounded amazing over his slow pieces. His band was jigsaw-perfect and the guitarist shined (shone?) stronger than the lauded opener.

Referring to the now eternal standard for aging country pioneers (minus a few) , John Prine is beginning to evoke Johnny Cash's 'American' agelessness.

But John couldn't quite keep up with his own fast songs. 'Please Don't Bury Me' - an all time favorite - felt pared down. Not bad, just lacking the panache I was expecting.

It all picked up when John picked up his Stratocaster, adding a little dirt and some needed noise to cover the clinks of plastic cups in the beer corner.

But that brings me to John's greatest asset: He is a a storyteller extraordinaire. He is one of the wittiest satirists of the last 30 years.

His songs are stories; oozing with sarcasm, dripping with underdog pragmatism. Prine's songs transcend the desperate era of their birth to reflect mirror-like on the present. The guy is almost a sci-fi writer- a totem of logical practicality in the face of adversity. (R.I.P. J.G. Ballard, y'all)

It's impossible not to be charmed by his intra-song rapport, no matter how practiced his bit may be. And for this reason I'm feeling a little blessed tonight.

Here's a favorite he didn't play tonight-- but it's about how he looked.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Road Trip!! (pt. II)

One of the best songs of the 90s and my road trip anthem...

Road Trip!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Wish...

VX Blog

VX (Video Experience, doi!) has begun a collective blog for employees to write about movies. And for everyone else to comment and debate. Go there and check it out for all the latest news and discussion from your favorite source of all things cinematic!

www.vxflix.blogspot.com

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Worst Songs You Know

In honor of having just watched the best One Hit Wonders of the 80's on VH1, I decided it was time for another list o' my own.

Because God blessed us with the most beautiful days of the year so far whilst burdening me with the worst allergies ever, I am going to share my misery with this atrocious agenda:

The worst songs of the 90s.

Well, probably more accurately, the worst songs of the late 90s, which is the era wherein I came to appreciate music. It's also focusing more or less on rock-- so the macarena and thong song get exempted here. And I'm leaving Limp Bizkit off cuz it's too easy.

I'm also going to withhold the titles because I'm feeling especially cruel (update, youtube shows the titles of the embedded ones. Oh well, the rest are links. So ha.)-- You'll have to watch them for a few seconds to see what I'm talking about.

And I'm sure I forgot something, so comment away!

Without further ado:

The worst songs of the 90s

12. Kind of catchy, and not a bad video, but...

11. I bought this album..



10. Stupid band name...



9. In their defense, I think it's supposed to be bad...



8. This song just won't die. Or maybe it's just that I live in a college town...

7. The beginning is really the worst...

6. So bad and so f-ing overplayed...



5. I don't know...

4. Haha...



3. It was hard to choose just one from these guys, but I think this takes the cake...

2. WTF?



1. It was a hard road: the #1 worst song of the decade...


I hope we're still friends...

Friday, April 17, 2009

California Movie Locations: Nevada Edition

So I'm bending the rules here, but It's been a while since I talked about filming locations. I discovered this one while at work tonight.

Rhyolite, Nevada: Home of --not surprisingly-- quite a few movie scenes, most of them too obscure to mention. Rhyolite's a ghost town east of Death Valley. It's beautifully austere, or vice-versa, and I can see why it's ideal for filmmakers.

I visited Rhyolite last year while traveling to Las Vegas with my Dad, so it's coincidental that it should come up tonight while watching Six-String Samurai. One of the first scenes in 6SS is shot in the old Cook Bank building, which I immediately recognized from my trip. If you've seen the film, it's the bar where "Buddy" meets the Red Elvises and fights the bowling ball gang.

It's all a bit ironic because I hadn't seen 6SS since about 2000, but in the last three weeks I've come across people watching it all over the place. If you haven't seen it, it's worth a watch. It passes the Grantowitz test of apocalyptic fiction.

Rhyolite was also featured in The Island, but as I recall, that didn't pass the Grantowitz test. More Michael Bay landfill fodder, but I might watch it in the store now so I can see the Rhyolite bits.

Also, Cherry 2000 was filmed in Rhyolite which definitely passes the Grantowitz test with honorary Barabarella wasteland babe honors.

Here's Rhyolite in Six-String Samurai:


And here's me and my Dad in the same spot:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Come to the Devil's Lounge....

Video Games I Rocked as a Kid: Flashback

Flashback was introduced to me by my friend Ben. I think we both downloaded it off of the old school "smuggler" bbs (original pirates). This game was epically difficult for me at the age that I was playing it (probably 11 or 12).

I'm not sure I ever finished it but my brother said he recently replayed it and got to the ending. It was the kind of game where one shot killed you, so in the difficult parts it became more strategy than action.

Most distinct about Flashback was the graphics and art design. The fluidity of the character movements was unheard of for its time, and the unique moves like crouching, rolling and firing your weapon still look good.



The art design was great too, the levels varied from cyberpunk cities to alien jungles to goopy caves, and the cut scenes had a cool 70's sci-fi style. Here's the intro to the game:



This was a very influential game for me and that first level video brings back great memories.

Delphine Games, which was a French company, released a sequel to Flashback which I never played, though apparently it wasn't particularly popular. Delphine planned to release a third sequel but the company went bankrupt.

Awesome Video Game Art


Here's a site where a bunch of artists have re-thought video game cover art in the style of The Criterion Collection Movie covers.... Some of them are really good. Not much info on a lot of them though leading we to wonder which person designed each (cuz there are some obvious standouts) and what game some of them are supposed to be.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Guilty Pleasures: Actors Edition

















I can't get into most superstar actors. I can't get beyond their real life persona. Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Denzel Washington are just too damn recognizable.

But once in a while an actor strikes you in the heart with an arrow that is inescapable.

Nicolas Cage is the best worst actor in Hollywood. He makes it really hard for me to like him, but his Adaptations, Con Airs and Face/offs shine beyond his 8mm and Wickermans.

National Treasure is good - nay - it is awesome. There, I said it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bogish Persintintisms



Do you believe in fate? Are our lives predestined? If you knew what lay ahead would you take action to change it?

For a long time, science fiction was regarded as an ignoble layman's art. The analytics of prediction, educated postulation and social commentary were regarded as a child's medium.

We've seen this disregard again with comics, rock n' roll and other mediums. So why are people so resistant to change?

They fear what fate has dictated- the central theme of Philip K. Dick's "Galactic Pot Healer."

Some back story: I picked up this book about a year ago at an estate sale. This is a bizarre, but practical event wherein a deceased person's home is treated as a department store. You walk from room to room picking out items you'd like to keep and pay at the register on the way out. I came out with a badass pair of sheepskin slippers and a hardcover of "Galactic Pot Healer."

GPH is not a 21st century marijuana manifesto. It's one of PKD's lesser known works regarding a skilled ceramicist whose profession catches the attention of a deistic being from a distant galaxy who recruits a team of experts to resurrect a religious totem on its home planet. Sound confusing?

PKD's strength as a scifi writer comes from his natural ability to tell a story in personal and visual terms. His writing is proletariat. His stories, however, are surreal, fantastic and complex as shit.

I found GPH to be concise. Fatalism is one of the most visited themes in science fiction. Fatalism, in fact, was the precursor to time travel. Without concern over decision, we wouldn't debate outcome.

And here you are now. The events are set in motion.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Arcata Theatre Lounge-- First Impressions

Went to one of the ATL's soft openings this week, and I was duly impressed. The interior looks terrific. It's got high airy ceilings (complete with those giant nipple vents I remember from childhood) painted like cloudy blue skies, reminiscent of the Venetian in Las Vegas.

The layout of the viewing area is great. Matthew and I sat at the bar the whole time (surprise) and we could see the stage perfectly, even over the people sitting at a table on the same level. There are three tiers of seating, and it's all small tables and chairs. A pretty expansive looking dance floor as well, though I didn't get a close look.

Absynth Quintet, who continue to defy any sort of definition (I think I'm going to go with neo-string-proto-lounge) sounded really good. The sound was impressive. The venue really has acoustics going for them.

I would guess there were about 150-200 people there and it was very comfortable. With a capacity of nearly 600, I could see it being a bit much, but I do think the layout is much friendlier than, say, any other venue in the area.

Pints were 3.75 which is pretty standard for micros, though domestics might be cheaper. No pitchers, and no booze. Oh well.

Matthew bought buffalo wings for 5 bucks and they were on par with PG or SRB wings, in my opinion. I saw popcorn and all sorts of other snacks going by as well.

Matthew was particularly impressed by the bathrooms, but he may have been more intimately familiar with them than I. They were clean!

Overall it looked crisp and clean, delivered on the audio front (visual, I have yet to determine), was comfortable and affordable. I got a good vibe and high hopes for the future.

Unfortunately, not everyone had such positive things to say... But I can't blame her.

Worth checking out:

Starving Weirdos & others Apr. 9

www.arcatatheater.com

Side note: Theatre or theater? Well, the website is theater but everywhere else I've read it lists it as theatre.... and arcatatheatre.com redirects anyway...