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Showing posts from June, 2008

Never forget

Reading through the A.V. Club 's inventory of twenty-one hilariously hyperbolic pro-America songs, I can't help but remember when a number of these songs came out. I think it's important for people to remember that our nation was extremely sensitive post-9/11, but it's also important to remember how crazy a very vocal segment of the population thought as well. Probably the most eye-rolling I did a few years ago was when people were calling the oldies radio station I worked at to never play the Dixie Chicks on the air. Keep in mind, this was an oldies station. Not a country oldies station or a station that played contemporary songs. After watching Shut Up and Sing , I have reason to believe the people who called were lemmings led by a special interest group who thought a scorched-earth approach would work. Yeah, that really worked. Couple those calls with the few I received saying we should never play Creedence Clearwater Revival because John Fogerty criticized Geor

Evil Urges

Crunch time with editing means less time for blogging. For now, some random musings: --The August issue of Revolver is now on stands everywhere. I think Brian will agree with me on this: no matter how small the mention, getting the word out about our books is a plus. -- Hot Fuzz has made such a powerful effect on me since I saw it a year ago. The most recent example of its effect is that I hope to watch Bad Boys , Bad Boys II , and Point Break soon. Yes, seriously. For this weekend, I have Silent Rage at home. Yes, it's Chuck Norris essentially against a Michael Myers-like character. Maybe Richard would like a review of this for his site . . . --Darn it, why do I want to drop everything I'm reading for pleasure so I can read Goodbye 20th Century , David Browne's book on Sonic Youth? --The more I listen to My Morning Jacket's Evil Urges , the more I like it, including "Highly Suspicious." --I'm glad to see Nathan praise probably the funniest an

We're all waving flags

Deadline for final edits approaches, so I'll keep this brief. Here's the official video for one of the best songs I've heard all year. (Here's a bonus live clip from Later . . . with Jools Holland .) I can't but imagine the Doves covering the Flaming Lips' "Race for the Prize" when I hear this song.

I saw it on the shelf and it looked cool

Earlier this year, while waiting for Nick to show up at my house for our Southland Tales screening, I decided to peruse the rather bare bones Southland Tales DVD. I had seen the half-hour featurette on the movie and enjoyed it, but a curious side of me wanted to check out the many trailers included. Putting myself through trailers for direct-to-rental movies like the April Fool's Day remake , I cringed at most of them. Who would watch this kind of stuff? Now that I think of it, I wonder, do I know anybody that watches direct-to-rental movies? Besides through Nathan's Dispatches from Direct to DVD Purgatory monthly column and Richard's Doomed Moviethon , that's it, as far as I know. What compels someone to watch a movie like American Psycho 2 or Cruel Intentions 3 or I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer ? Is there some form of strange entertainment or hope for finding a pearl? To clarify, I'm talking movies that were made on the cheap, maybe had a ch

Hook 'em while they're young

Last Monday morning before 5am, I caught the tail end of a news report on George Carlin. The reporter used the past tense and I immediately thought he had passed away. Scouring the Internet immediately, I found out the story was about the Mark Twain award. This morning, I got the word that he passed away yesterday. Truly sad news to start the week. I'm not very familiar with Carlin's standup material besides the "seven words" and "stuff" bits. Rather, I'm more familiar with his roles in Dogma , Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back , and Jersey Girl . I placed a couple of his standup DVDs on my Netflix queue last week. Now I want to add more.

Campfire Tales

Some of the movies I've rented in the last few months come courtesy of the one and only, Trailers from Hell . Since I'm a fan of a number of the featured directors on there, I'm inclined to check out some of their favorite movies. Some movies I checked out were really great ( Vanishing Point ) while some were so-so (the original Haunting ). Still, it's a great site to find out about cult classics beyond some of the most well-known cult classics. As of late, I've checked out a few movies Eli Roth and Edgar Wright have commented on. In particular, because of Roth, I hope to sit through the pure train wreck that is Exoricst II: The Heretic . But before I get to that, I plan on seeing a movie he references in his commentary for Three On a Meathook : Abby . A film whose distributor was sued by Warner Bros. because of its similarity to the original Exorcist , Abby: The Story of a Woman Possessed is a blaxploitation horror flick. Since I've never seen a movie like

Revolver interview (full)

Aaron was kind enough to post the entire Revolver interview he conducted with me and Brian for our books. Here's a repost of my portion of the interview: Q: I read the foreword, but for those who haven't and don't know you, what was your motivation for writing POST ? A: My motivation came from a fear that people would forget, or worse, make light of, post-hardcore/emo-core/emo's "lost years" between being an underground thing and a mainstream commodity. I remember reading an interview with Michael Azerrad about why he wrote Our Band Could be Your Life . One of the major inspirations came when he watched Time Life's multi-part The History of Rock 'N Roll documentary. The narrative jumped from the Sex Pistols to Nirvana, completely skipping the '80s underground. Instead of complaining about it, he wrote a book on the '80s underground. Sensing something similar was already happening with a style of music that had a major impact on me in t

Agony & Irony

Riddle me this: when a skateboarder gets his own custom made shoe, people consider that a sign that the skater has "made it." But when a pop-punk band has a custom made shoe, it's a pure sell-out, credibility-killer. Why is that? The reason why I bring this up is because of this story. The gist: Alkaline Trio worked with Nike to create a custom made shoe. Why is this so troubling to certain fans of the band (and those who think being "honest" is leaving anonymous message board comments)? Maybe because many still think all things that look and sound like punk rock adheres to a strict code of ethics. And if that code is broken, there's hell to pay. As somebody who never really got up in arms about a punk band signing with a major label (and still doesn't), I'm more puzzled by those who do get up in arms about stuff like this. Isn't this a band that plays music and we like this band because we like their music? Yeah, I know there's all sorts

While the rest of them dudes were getting their kicks

Over the weekend, I finally got around to playing something that has brought much joy to people that own it and pure annoyance to those who have it set up in their job's breakroom: Rock Band . Yes, the one and only game (so far) that allows you to play not only guitar, but sing and play drums to original songs. As much as I had trepidation towards this game, along with Guitar Hero , I figured out why I like playing these games even though playing real instruments in a real band is far more rewarding. Like a lot of drummers, I learned to play the drums by tapping along to songs I listened to. Be it my index and middle fingers hitting my thumb on the beat, my foot tapping the floor to the beat, or just flat-out air-drumming to thin air, this was my preferred method over traditional drum lessons. With Rock Band , it's a step up from tapping along and a great way to introduce people to play actual drums. The configuration of the drumpad is rather odd though: hitting the hi-hat an

Mini-book update

Some interesting tidbits about Post to share today: --The book is a little over 300 pages in book form. --This is not the exact price, but the price next to the barcode is $21.95. --I have until June 26th to turn the book's final revisions. No release date yet. --There is nice mention of the book in the August issue of Revolver .

What's a nubian?

For the last few weeks, certain bits of dialogue from Chasing Amy have randomly come into my head. I don't know why, but lines about Archie and Jughead, the other three being figments of your imagination, and hiring Charles Schulz have come up during making the bed, getting the mail, and brushing my teeth. This all led me to pop in my DVD copy of the movie and watch a few scenes a couple of nights ago. I had not watched the entire movie in at least four years and had not opened my copy of the Clerks / Chasing Amy scriptbook in at least seven years. Somehow, while watching the Hooper X comic-con rant, every single line blurted out of me as I watched. Not just the words themselves, but the inflections and pauses. I couldn't believe this, but then again, I watched this clip dozens of times over and over again when I went nuts for Kevin's films back in college. I'm sure VCR hounds and theater-goers will frown upon hearing this, but as somebody that really got into movie

I didn't know that you liked lemonade. Lemonade!

Todd posted a blog about attending a Texas Rangers game last weekend. One part that had me squirming was this: "I bought nachos, peanuts and 2 regular lemonades." No, it's not because he didn't use the Chicago Manual of Style in that sentence. Rather, it's the thought of having nachos and peanuts with lemonade. I could not have these all together. Omitting all the gory details, I had a couple of bouts of acid indigestion in middle school because of lemonade. Mixing powdered donuts with lemonade was not a good mix for breakfast. And it's a mix I've never had since. My choice of drink is always congruent with the food I eat. Water goes with everything (except cereal) and it's what I usually have with breakfast and lunch. Milk usually comes with dinner, and orange juice makes for a nice afternoon drink. Soda is a rarity for these days, except when used in a mixed drink at parties. I have nothing against lemonade, nachos, or peanuts. Just having them a

Insipid faces stare at the jawbox

Over the weekend, I attempted to find a relatively inexpensive copy of the Chicago Manual of Style handbook. I did not find it (I gladly signed up on the official site for a free 30-day trial instead of forking over $55 for a new copy of it in book form), but I did find something incredibly important: a couple of used editions of the book where Jawbox got their name from. The book, Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable , was originally published in 1870, and has been reprinted several times. I had never heard of this book until I asked the members of Jawbox about the band's name. Never really checking the book out in a bookstore, I'm glad I stumbled upon it before the manuscript got mailed off. The reason why I say this is, I thought it was called Brewster's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable . On top of that, a "jawbox" is a sink or a sewer, but it's also slang for a TV. (If you wanna be picky, and depending on how you look at it, a TV is a sink/sewe

Shuffle Songs

Last weekend, I spent a number of hours riding in a van listening to my iPod. Since the last time I listened to a portable music player on a long car ride was ten years ago, that's probably why this notion didn't hit me until then. I recalled many hours listening to my Discman and hoping that I didn't accidentally bump it and make the CD skip. I also hoped that we'd drive on smooth roads for the entire trip. Well, riding around with my iPod last weekend, I didn't have to worry about bumpy roads, songs skipping, or a lack of music to listen to. All the difficulties with the Discman went away thanks to the iPod, right? Then I was reminded of this notion that goes beyond portable, personal music players: when things work in your favor, you can easily take them for granted. When they don't work in your favor, they can feel heavy and impossibly difficult to get past. When you get past them, they don't seem as heavy as they did before. Reeling that vague statem

You're either there or you're not

As much as I love caller ID and voicemail, I think they have complicated my ways of communicating by phone. There seems to be a secondary form of communication to a primary form of communication. Back when all calls were on landlines and there was no caller ID, the answering machine was the only way to leave a message when nobody was able to pick up the phone. Now with all the stuff we have with call waiting, caller ID, and voicemail, getting a returned phonecall seems like a complicated issue. I know that we all have busy lives and cell phones are a wonder for us. That said, there are times where I'm incredibly frustrated with the nature of leaving a message. To leave a message or not, that is the question. In college, a rule of thumb a friend of mine had was, if they don't leave a message, it's not about something that's important. I begged to differ as some people want answers or information that can't wait. For example, what if you were having a medical emerg

Don't You Care?

Grumble alert about a certain phrase I too often see on the Internet: after reading the hit counts on a blog post, interview, or story, the writer decides whether or not anyone "cares" about the writeup. Now I know I've written about my annoyance with people who think nobody cares when nobody posts a comment or sends an e-mail, but this is a slightly different deal. Let me explain my side, as a reader: This afternoon, I saw an Ain't It Cool News post featuring pictures from Paul W.S. Anderson's remake of Death Race 2000 . The post leads to another post , this time on JoBlo, featuring more pictures. I'm a curious person by nature, and since I recently saw the original Death Race 2000 for the first time, I was curious about what the cars look like and who's in the movie. After skimming through the pictures, I moved along to another site I regularly check. Here's the really important part: do I really care about this movie? No, I'm pretty much ag