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Showing posts from May, 2010

D'oh (TV on DVD edition)

I have no one to blame but myself for this, but I learned a hard lesson today about being a fan of a TV show when it goes onto DVD. In a post on Ain't It Cool, some details emerged about those who were curious about what happened after the events in "The End." And if you really want to see a never-before-seen epilogue, you'll have to have $200 to see it on the "Complete Collection" DVD set, dropping in August. It was then that I realized I should have waited until LOST was finished before ever buying the show on DVD. (Cue the sad trombone slide.) I have my reasons for why I bought every season at a time. I got into the show shortly into the second season. I was impatient with renting each disc from the first season on DVD from Netflix, so I just said to hell with it and bought the whole first season using a gift card I received for Christmas that year. Because of watching the whole first season in one swoop, I was completely up to speed on the second s

In-N-Out

Ever since I saw The Big Lebowski , I've wondered about the greatness of In-N-Out Burger. Long a place to eat in California and Arizona, it is coming to Texas (to a location that's less than 40 minutes from my house). I'd love to go there when it opens (opening date not yet announced) but I'm not someone who wants withstand long lines to eat there on its opening day. I'm willing to wait. There was a time when I ate hamburgers at least once a week. These days, due to various reasons, I eat hamburgers maybe three times a year. I can't say no to hamburgers over a grill at a friend's house or family get-together, but I have no problem skipping over Burger King and McDonald's for a quick meal. Burgers are just not a part of my regular diet, plain and simple. In my time of living in Dallas, I've tasted the wonderfulness that is Snuffer's, but only three times. There are plenty of great burger places around town and In-N-Out will be a wonderful addit

After "The End"

Now that I've watched "The End,"I'd like to share some of my thoughts, but I'd like to keep this short and concise. Was this a show worth spending six years devoted to, with watching episodes again and again, reading up on possible future episodes, listening to podcasts, listening to commentary tracks, reading interviews, and so on? Absolutely. I went through a lot of emotional transition during the course of six seasons, and the show was quite helpful in understanding that transition. Sure, there are plenty of questions left, but I don't think the show would be a good show had it not left things up to the viewer to answer. Is this a show I'd recommend? Unless you don't like TV shows that move you, challenge you, reward you, and frustrate you, then no. This is not a show for someone who just wants a simple story told every week and the following week is almost like a blank slate. Has seeing the finale made me think less of the show as a series?

Staff Trax and AVA

This week's edition of Staff Trax spotlights my newfound love of David Garza's music. Also, I interviewed Adam Willard from Angels & Airwaves a few weeks ago and this is the end result.

The Descent Part 2: Why?

When I finished watching The Descent a couple of years ago, I was not screaming for a sequel. Since producers listen more to box office receipts and DVD rentals and sales than fans' desires, The Descent: Part 2 was made. Director Neil Marshall was involved as an executive producer on the sequel, but then again, Bob Clark was a producer on the awful Black Christmas remake. (Alas, Danny Boyle was a producer on 28 Weeks Later and that miraculously worked incredibly well.) If I hoped that Part 2 was going to be as great as 28 Weeks Later , that hope diminished quite quickly. If anything, Part 2 will be as well remembered as Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 . Why I chose to subject myself to this movie was for Richard's European horror movie book. Since I praised the hell out of the original Descent , I felt obligated to at least watch its sequel. I have no regrets in watching this movie, but I have a lot of reservations about ever watching it again. My love of the original has

Date with IKEA

Yesterday, I finally went to the Epcot Center of home shopping, IKEA. Yes, the much-praised, extremely large place for all sorts of home things that's been in Frisco for years. Why did it take so long for me? I finally had a reason to go. But years ago, I was afraid I would have to be dragged to this store, along with Bed, Bath and Beyond, all in the name of being in a relationship. Thankfully, I was able to find those fears unfounded. I had no fear of going and actually had a great time. As an early birthday gift, three friends of Diana's offered to buy her a few things from the store. I wanted to come along, first and foremost, and I had no problem with spending two hours walking around. After looking around the top floor with all sorts of room set-ups, we grabbed a cart while perusing the bottom floor. As the four women in my company looked at what they could get for Diana's new apartment, I noticed quite a few men in my situation: pushing a cart slowly around. W

Staff Trax and OK Go

Some good news: the next few months will be quite busy for me with the Observer. In addition to Staff Trax, I have a couple of features in the works. For now, there's this week's edition of Staff Trax and my article on OK Go.

Monitors

After playing in bands for a couple of years in high school, only then did I find out what a stage monitor was. All these years later, I'm still thankful for stage monitors, especially since two of the three Pull Tabs shows did not have them. Until I played a show with a monitor, I just watched the guitarist and noticed where his left hand was and when he stepped on his distortion pedal. Since I could faintly hear his singing voice, I had to go off of body language. That's how many songs were written in a big, echo-y garage, so if I ever sounded like I was off that's why. I don't forget that experience and never take monitors for granted. I've played shows where there were monitors, but I couldn't really hear anything. If I had to narrow down what was most important, the bass guitar and second microphone would not make the list. Let me just hear the lead singer and the rhythm guitar and I'm good. There's another example of how important playing in ban

Unpacking

As laborious as packing for a move can be, I think there's a lot of fun with unpacking. Since I look forward to that, it keeps me sane with the (seemingly) never-ending nature of packing. With my last few moves, the first and foremost thing I want to unpack is my DVD and CD collection. Over the weekend, I helped Diana move into a new place and what was the first thing I unpacked? Why, her CDs and DVDs, of course! I already knew we had pretty congruent musical tastes, but there's a lot of joy I have going through somebody's collection. It's the kind of stuff that sparks conversations. And it often leads to finding more music that you never really knew before. Sure, I eventually get to unpacking things like kitchen supplies, books, clothes, and bathroom supplies, but there is an immense joy in putting CDs and DVDs on shelves in alphabetical order. Maybe that's very indicative of my desires and passions, but if there's one thing that must go first, that's th

As real as it gets

As luck would have it, I got to see my first UFC pay-per-view on Saturday night. I've seen the UFC many times before on Spike and have spent many hours playing UFC Unleashed 2009 on my PlayStation 3. I even downloaded the 2010 edition on Friday. While at a get-together at a sports bar with work friends, it just so happened that the Machida-Rua 2 bout was scheduled. And it looked like I was going to be there most of the night since our table had a whopping 22 people. In turn, I saw it all: from Kimbo Slice's slams to Paul Daley's suckerpunch to the thrilling victory by Shogun Rua. So I think it's now to safe to say out in public that I am a fan of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Just admitting to this kinda comes with a bit of defensiveness. I know it's a violent sport. I know it's a very masculine sport. I'm aware of the unintended homoeroticism. And I'm aware of how popular the sport is with nerds who could never be in shape for fight. I'm q

Embarrassment (music library edition)

Following up yesterday's post about Bobby Patterson, I realized once again that I had something that I didn't know I had: a Bobby Patterson tune, covered by Golden Smog. Bobby has mentioned before that Golden Smog covered "She Don't Have to See You," but until today, I thought it was just as a one-off live cover. Nope: the supergroup with members from Wilco, the Jayhawks, and Soul Asylum recorded a version for their debut album, Down By the Old Mainstream . I've owned Down By the Old Mainstream for years, but truth to be told, I have only listened to a couple of songs off of it twice. Sometimes records grab me and sometimes they sit on my shelf for years. Now I think it's time to dust this one off. And it's not like this issue will stop now that I'm building my online library. A few years ago, I really took to that Sara Bareilles song, "Love Song." Thankfully, before I purchased it on iTunes, I realized that I had already downloaded

Why can't we be lovers?

This week's edition of Staff Trax sheds some light on the job I do when I'm not writing about music. For the next few months, I report traffic on an AM station called Soul 73. I still produce the traffic data for the DFW market, but for a handful of reports in the midday, I also report traffic on the radio. Like how I found out about Northern Soul all-nighters and their soundtrack, I took to the music found on the station quite naturally. I wasn't forced to listen to the music; I just got a taste and wanted to hear more. There's such a vast quality of R&B and soul music from the sixties and seventies that I have just begun to dig into. Thankfully, there are box sets out that can shed more light. Hell, there are entire box sets devoted to Motown singles year-by-year. Even if a lot of Northern Soul is considered sped-up, Motown knock-offs, there's something so wonderful about hearing music with a pep in its step and grabbing melody in only four chords. And it&

Never Sleep Again

Despite Richard's enjoyment of it, I have no major interest in seeing Sam Bayer's 2010 version of A Nightmare on Elm Street . Even though I have a coupon to see the movie for dirt cheap, I'm not looking into available showtimes this week. Something about a remake that essentially recycles the original film shot-for-shot and explains all backstory not found in the original (and is not Rob Zombie's take on Halloween ) just doesn't interest me. But there's an upswing for me: a desire to watch the original film again. I did not see any Nightmare On Elm Street movies until I was a freshman in college, but I knew who Freddy Krueger was well before then. I couldn't avoid seeing him in commercials, be it for another Nightmare sequel or for FrightFest at Astroworld. I knew what he looked like and was quite often scared of him. That's what a good franchise horror villain should do, right? Aside from Wes Craven's New Nightmare , I have not seen any of seq

Is it plausible?

Something I keep in mind as I write When We Were the Kids is the idea of plausibility. This is a fictional story, but almost all of the events happened in real life. For the remaining percentage that never happened to me or anyone I knew, I ask myself, "Is this plausible?" For example, a few weeks ago, I came up with an idea for a outside show that takes place in a perfect environment for a metal band. I won't say where this was, but since most of this DIY rock scene is about playing nontraditional venues, it's the kind of place you could brag about years later. The deal is, this never happened in my time and it never happened to someone I knew. But if I explain the plausibility, there's no danger of this becoming pure fantasy, right? Another example: I wrote this down earlier today after an experience I had Saturday night seemed to mesh with something I experienced a few years ago at a local show. Something seems weird and kinda funny when I hear rednecks wit