Friday, October 09, 2009

Lawn Nipples

Inspired by a recent post on The Bloggess, I happened upon some interesting fungi growing outside my front door, and was amused at their uncanny resemblance to a certain body part.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Half-Blood Prince Takes Over

Once again Harry Potter invades my weeknight and deprives me of sleep so I can be one of the first to see the new movie, and once again I am impressed. There is a lot of story to tell, so the movie is long (I didn't get out of the theater until 3am). It also feels a little rushed in parts - there was no opportunity to flesh out the character of Fenrir, or the relationship between Tonks and Lupin. Entirely too much time is spent on Draco and his agonizing as well as his frequent visits to the mysterious cabinet hidden in the Room of Requirement.

The overall mood of the film is dark and foreboding. There is a slow build-up to the climax, so the sad event is less of a shock (in case you have been under a rock and don't know what is coming) than the death of Sirius in the last film. The crowning achievement of this film will be the acting accomplishments of its cast. Almost everyone delivers a completely solid performance and a few of them just hit it out of the park. The younger cast have come so far since the first movie, and although they are meant to carry the film, the major kudos go to the older cast. The most heartbreaking scene goes to Jim Broadbent, with Alan Rickman and Michael Gambon following close behind. I'll be seeing this one again (and again, and again) for sure.

Now to just comment quickly on the fans. I saw almost no children at the premiere, and it was a little funny to see how many adults were in costume. I suppose now the books have been out long enough there are a lot of kids (who are no longer kids) who have grown up with the series, much like we did with Star Wars. One pet peeve I have about these events are the seat hogs, though. I showed up nearly an hour early, and was still stuck in the breakneck seats due to all the parents holding entire rows of seats for their teenage children and all their friends (who enjoy getting up and down about 20 times before the previews start, stepping on your toes each time). Parents, make your grown child save their own damn seats and save yourself the trouble of looking like an absolute jerk.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

MJ Memorial

I was afraid when I heard about the Michael Jackson memorial being televised from the Staples Center that it would turn into another circus act in a line of shameless promotion riding on the coattails of his death, and I committed myself to watch none of it. However, curiousity got the best of me and I tuned into part of it. I suppose in some way he belonged to the world, and this was a way of allowing all the world to take part in saying goodbye. Like so many fallen stars, however - I feel most of the sentiments are too little, too late. A few moments moved me, including Rev. Sharpton's personal comment to Michael's children (and that is the only time I will ever admit being moved by Al Sharpton). I don't think there was a single dry eye when his daughter spoke, and I admire her for being able to emote so intimately in front of a world her father took pains to shield her from. My favorite moment came in the form of my favorite MJ song - one I used to play over and over until my Thriller tape was worn out. I'm glad we were able to send him off with dignity.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Waxing Nostalgic

Lost in the 90's today. Love this one - wish they would have stayed together longer...

And there's nothing quite like classic Sarah:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ladyheat @ Rudyard's

Went out last night to see an old friend play in his band before they depart H-town for LA. Started out at Maria Selma's for some Mexican fare, and had the ceviche (very yummy) and duck flautas, which were basically glorified taquitos, but the mole' sauce was good, and I normally can't stand mole'.

Rudyard's was not completely crowded, but close to it, and they seriously need to do something about their parking situation (unfortunately that applies to MANY places in town as well). It's a total dive, as many good places in town are. The bar was open downstairs with a good crowd on the patio (ah, the weather here in April - you can't beat it!). The bands were playing upstairs, and there was a $12 cover - a bit high I thought, but as it turns out there were three bands instead of two. The first band either did not announce themselves very loudly, or I simply did not catch it, and they weren't advertised to be there so I'm at a loss for identifying them. They had a very eclectic range, with some of the faster songs bordering on a punk sound. When they slowed it down it was somewhat reminicent of '80s Prince and The Cure. They had a very interesting set, to say the least.

Ladyheat took the stage and woke the crowd up. Blake on lead vocals has the punk swagger down perfectly, and didn't miss a beat between hanging from the rafters, writhing on the floor, grinding with the ladies, and playing jump rope with his mic cable. The punk influence on their sound is apparent, but with a modern, more melodic spin much like Jet. They do not disappoint a live crowd, nor do they skimp on audience participation. There is a fantastic energy to their show, and by the end of the first song they had the whole room on their feet.

Because I'm old like that, and because it was a freaking Tuesday night, I didn't stay for all of the Mike Watt set. His influence on the Chili Peppers is widely known, and he had the crowd jumping as I made my way out. I love a night full of good music and good food.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Billy Bob Thornton is a Jerk

For someone who has made an enviable career in the movie business to suddenly jump into music and then pretend to have been a musician all along, this guy takes the cake. There is a fantastic tradition of actors (Keanu Reeves, Jenny Lewis, Russell Crowe, Kevin Bacon, Jared Leto... the list goes on and on) who transition into music and vice versa (Willie Nelson, Jessica Simpson, Dwight Yoakum, Whitney Houston, Harry Connick, etc.). Typically the majority of these individuals don't put up a lot of fuss if their "other" profession is named, since it usually attracts more fans to the other genre. Some act odd about it, hence the most recent debacle of Joaquin Phoenix and his "rap" career, but I've never seen anyone treat an interviewer like this guy did. His acting credentials are mentioned ever so briefly, and then all the questions that follow are music-related. Thornton answers none of them. When it finally becomes obvious the reason he is being so difficult is because his acting was mentioned, the VERY patient interviewer asks if he should not have mentioned it at all, to which Thornton rudely replies yes. He then compares himself twice to Tom Petty, who has a LONG career of music (and who, by the way also ventured into acting - but I don't recall Tom Petty ever being upset at being referred to as a musician rather than an actor). He then makes sure to tell the guy he has recorded five albums. I haven't heard of any of them, have you? I'll tell you what I have heard of - Sling Blade, Armageddon, Monster's Ball, Bad Santa, and the host of other films Thornton has been a part of. To pretend as if that is not what he's known for is to basically thumb his nose at all his fans of his previous work. He may not be a well-known musician, but he certainly has the prima donna attitude of a spoiled Hollywood actor. What a prick.

Link to Thornton Interview on

UPDATE 4/13/09: Billy Bob cancels tour. Karma much?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Eminem Hiatus Over?

New Eminem vid surfaced recently, and it looks as though he spent most of his down time watching reality TV and reading entertainment gossip. The video is funny, and naturally will piss off a few people, but I'm wondering if this new sound is "nerd rap". Watch and decide for yourself.

Link to original story on Jezebel