Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Shadow Play

As much as I enjoyed seeing Nancy Pelosi hover over Baby Bush's right shoulder, as much as I frothed at the mouth witnessing The Prez forced to tone down the dog and pony show known as the State of the Union address in the reluctant name of statesmanship, as much as I fully realize that this cretinous, insipid, venal dumbo know as Our Leader purty much delivered a speech to a room brimming over with skepticism and lame duck resignation, speaking as if he had a batch of 2006 ballots crammed down his larynx, it still didn't register anymore on the fun-o-meter than watching yet another Happy Days rerun. His bottom line intention is still 20,000 plus more U.S. Troops and another 1 billion in aid, more shady Homeland security abuses and a never ending battle over immigration, all of it causing me to awake this morning with a strong desire to pour a pristine dollop of tequila into my morning breakfast cereal. Except, I don't eat no cereal.

Monday, January 22, 2007

There is no joy in Mudville (or Wrentham)

All through the real New England, not the picture post card one of quiet ponds, sandy beaches, and picturesque main streets, but the one of a seemingly endless array of Dunkin'Donuts franchises with foggy windows and all Portuguese-American employees, three tenement houses with backyards the size of postage stamps, piss ugly strip malls overflowing with fetid fast food emporiums, Asian buffets and discount box stores; all through that New England, hearts are heavy, stomachs are churning and heads are pounding under a clammy alcoholic haze--The Pats choked and the perennial chokers the Colts brought it home. From a substantial half time lead to a tiny 3 point lead with 2:17 left the game shoulda, coulda been in the veteran hands of the Patriots who somehow, just COULDN'T"T CLOSE THE DEAL. It's simple, no excuses, no bemoaning the absence of Rodney Harrison or fixating on some ref's call, when the air finally escaped from that fugly dome Coach Hoodychek had found no magic, Tommy Sawyer Brady didn't do his Joe Montana imitation, and Teddy Bear Bruschi's boys couldn't hold 'em one last time, so Pasty Peyton and Nice Guy Dungy are movin' on, and working class New England (of all Boston sports franchises, The Pat's are easily the most blue collar)is stuck with settling for another medium regular and a soggy jelly stick.As Dan Shaughnessy reports in this morning's Globe, Red Sox pitchers and catchers report February 16th my pallies.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Reasons to Be Cheerful, Part 7

1. Pats play smarter and tougher than the Chargers and, despite throwing three picks, Tommy Sawyer Brady brings it on home, the rookie kicker comes through, and the ultimate teamguy Troy Brown makes one of the pivotal plays by causing a Chargers fumble right after they made a fourth down interception and poor soul Schottenheimer gave us the Marty Ball we were hoping for, going for it in the 1st quarter on fourth and 11 from the Pats 30, getting ignored by the Refs we-he tried to call a time out right before Faulk went in for the trick 2 point conversion, and neglecting to take one more shot at the sidelines and a closer field goal attempt as time ran out. Bring on the Colts, with Brady/Bill Russell ready to take it to Peyton/Wilt the Stilt one more time.
2. Excellent piece in the ProJo about Dickie Reed and his hearing struggles. Dickie always been something of an anomaly in the local rock biz--A totally smart and nice guy seemingly devoid of ego and lacking the excess gene that normally seems to be part and parcel of a musician's make-up. Like most people who hover around the scene I've heard Dickie play countless times in countless settings and he's never failed to move me--the guy's got whiteboy soul and he taps into that Dylanesque Old Weird America every time he caresses the keys. (Hadda laugh at poor Marky Cutler, who comes across strong in the article, but lost out to Dizzy Gillespie in the photo department twice, with Marky Mark displaying some of the more photogenic hands and fingers I've seen in quite some time.) Acknowledgement should also be paid to Rick Massimo, who's is more than delivering as the Pro Jo's music writer, deftly utilizing his own eclectic (and wide-ranging) tastes, his insider's view of the local music world, and, maybe best of all, demonstrating a bright, witty, and erudite writing style that goes beyond some of the ProJo's typical standards. He's easily the best hire since the legendary Tony Lioce (sorry Mike Boehm), and one only wishes the ProJo would let him reign wide and free a little more frequently.
3. Watched some of the Pat's game with the one and only Bob Giusti, who's never found a sport he knew anything about, even now, at the tender age of 50. Bob himself was be the first to acknowledge this (right after he's done telling ya about how he was there at The Beatles' break-up, or helped The Ramones carve out their first power chord, or lectured Prince about going back to the funk), and watching any kinda sports event with him is akin to watching a cricket match with Mike Tyson or a sandlot baseball game with Helen Mirren. Yet despite this (because of it?) Bob can't help but keep a running commentary on all those on-field happenings, never once getting the sports parlance quite right, and most of the time unaware of who's on first or what's on second. Its annoying sure, but patently hilarious, and Bob, I'll tell you right now, that if we put our heads together, there's a dynamite stand-up routine there, waiting to be hatched.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Everybody is somebody sometime

I wanted to mention Bob, that I really enjoyed your "Hardest and Littlest Man" entry from a few back. I think you are definitely in the "spirit" of this new-fangled medium. And you know the medium is the massage. Or the message. OR maybe both 'cause I swear I saw copies with both titles and it wasn't just the drugs.
I know I am behind the curve, pop-culture wise, but my big brother always sends me a novel or two for Xmas. This year it was "King Dork". I used to do a lotta fiction, now it's rare - this was the first book in a very long time that kept me up way past beddybytime. Thoroughly enjoyable, much of the cynical, proto-teen wit and willfull alienation being all too recognizable.
I think in some ways, we are still 12, or maybe 16, probably 18 for me 'cause that's when I started having something that could be called sex. This childishness, er I mean childlike quality is what makes us so simultaneously charming and irritating.

On the same delayed-loop pop-culture note - I actually watched "The L Word" for the first time. I've only tuned through it in the past but since all of female Hollywood is now doing cameos I got curious. It seems way too complex for me with too many similarly clad thin women and lots of mellowdramamine but they have plenty of titillating girl on girl action so I highly recommend it.
Ok, I'm done reading for the night so I gonna go back to posing for my CD cover.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Where Is Everybody?

Well; I think after the initial Christmas rush, we have left some of the usual e-mail crew in the dust with this ingenious blog forum. Personally, I love it. It reminds me of when my friends and I were compelled to publish our own weekly rag call the North Providence Press (NPP). We were twelve. We would have eaten this technology alive! Maybe Scott, you should remind people by e-mail that we're posting over here. O.K., I'm going back to my book.

Friday, January 5, 2007

..back to the future of music

Ok, this is unrelated to the most recent posts and only vaguely related to the pre-Xmas thread about bands we used to love/hate and how that can all change over time and with accumulated wisdom.
I got an iPod for Xmas and as an aside to all of you culture vulture geeks; where's yours? It is the ultimate classifying and organizing implement. With a little time and effort you have a serious music library at hand at all times and you get to re-organize bands, artists, songs, compilations, and playlists endlessly. Oh what fun.
So I'm looking to consolidate my Brian Eno music on the iPod and I only have the Fripp and Eno "No Pussyfooting" and the Eno Byrne "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts" on cassette. My diminutive LP collection was abandoned in Chicago those many years ago. I decide to download from iTunes for the convenience factor but I can't find "No Pussyfooting". I start looking around for it and find it nowhere. Out of print? I find it listed on Amazon; used, selling for $35 to $99. Used, baby.

The first time I heard "No Pussyfooting" was in Chicago. My first social contact in my Film Tech I class invited me to his apartment and between Old Gold Filters we smoked little hand rolled mind-altering cigarettes. I guess it could have been the drugs but I still remember feeling as if the Universe had shifted and exposed a brand new dimension to us. I could not have foreseen that 20 and 30 minute long "songs" called "Heavenly Music Corporation” and "Swastika Girls" would be considered collectible 30 years hence. All that early Eno stuff still grabs me as I guess it grabbed a host of artists and especially musicians since they all started hiring Eno to produce.
Anyways, do any of you music aficionados have the inside dope on plans to reissue "No Pussyfooting"?
I'll be busy with the cassette machine for a while...............

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Experimenting once again

I entered these as a comment but they don't come up as hyperlinks. So I'll try as a new post..

'76 Oscar nominees....

You can hit on other years. The 70's were Hollywood's best years.

Some 45's...

And some Beatles clips....

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Box Office Bingo

Checking through the Box Office Boomtown List of 2006 is a little scary, as it's a listing that quite accurately reflects a disheartening lack of Hollywood creative imagination, demonstrating that the money-makers were largely animated, sequels of some sort, or lifted from the colorful pages of comic books,... not that there's anything wrong with any of that. But, still. (1) Pirates of the Carribean:Dead Man's Chest---Second-helping of a Hollywood Family Serial. (2)Cars---Pixar animation, a fill length cartoon. (3)X-Men:The Last Stand--3rd installment of a hollywood serial and a Comic Book Movie. (4)The DaVinci Code---Hollywood Big League Potboiler, Best Seller-Into-Movie,Ron Howard Prestige Film. (5) Superman Returns--Prequel to a Hollywood serial and a Comic Book Movie. (6)Ice Age:The Meltdown---Part 2 of a Hollywood Cartoon Serial. (7)Happy Feet---Full length cartoon. (8)Over the Hedge--Full length cartoon. (9)Talladega Nights:The Ballad of Ricky Bobby---Contempo Comedy, Will Ferrel Pic. (10)Casino Royale---upteenth helping of a Hollywood Serial, with upteenth new Bond in place. Not much there that highlights the writerly or directorial aspects of Hollywood filmmaking, is there? Let's go back a decade and quickly peruse the same list. 1996:(1) Independence Day--Big-budget Hollywood Disaster Movie. (2)Twister---Big-budgetHollywood Disaster/Action Flic.(3) Mission Impossible---Tom Cruise Pic, TV-Into-Movie Pic, Big-budget Action Flic.(4)Jerry Maquire---Tom Cruise Pic, Romantic Comedy, Critical Fave with truly Original Screenplay. (5) Ransom----Mel Gibson Pic, Ron Howard Prestige Film, Big-budget Hollywood Pyschological Action Flic.(6)101 Dalmations---Live action remake of Disney full length cartoon. (7) The Rock---Big budget Hollywood Action Flic,Nic Cage Pic. (8)The Nutty Professor---Eddie Murphy Pic, Family Comedy, Remake of Classic Hollywood Comedy.(9)The Birdcage---Family Comedy remade from stage musical that was remade from a Frenchy Movie Comedy. (10)A Time To Kill---Hollywood Potboiler, Best Seller-Into-Movie, John Grisham Pic. Surprisingly ther ain't that much happening there either, other than a whambam collection of actioneers, although it is a year largely devoid of sequels and big timey cartoons. Back it up another ten years. 1986: (1)Top Gun---Tom Cruise Pic, Big-budget Hollywood Action Flic. (2)Crocodile Dundee---Aussie Paul Hogan achieves his 15 minutes. (3) Platoon---Truly Original Screenplay, Critical Fave-Rave,Oliver Stone's Hollywood flag-setting effort. (4) The Karate Kid Part II---Hollywood Serial Movie, part II. (5)Star Trek IV:The Voyage Home---Big-budget Sci-Fi, Hollywood Serial Movie. (6) Back to School---Contempo Comedy, Rodney Dangerfield Pic(hard to believe that actually once meant something at the box office). (7) Aliens---Second time around Sci-Fi Serial, James Cameron plunges his own flag into Hollywood ground. (8) The Golden Child---Eddie Murphy Pic, Family Comedy. (9) Ruthless People--Contempo Comedy with truly Original Comic Screenplay. (10)Ferris Bueller's Day Off---Teen Comedy, John Hughes Pic (remember when that meant something at the box office?)A year dominated by comedies, most of which were at least original, one all time corn-fest (Top Gun) and two actual keepers--Aliens and Platoon. Neither 1996 or 1986 makes much of a case for smarter, better movie years, and somehow I was not able to get the results for 1976 so the brief study must end there. It goes without saying the box office bingo isn't Oscar bling-bling, yet it undeniably illustrates what real people actually go out to see in any given year. Can any of you free-thinking movie mavens put yer shakey finger on that three-decade movie board?