Sunday, December 16, 2012

Frank Politics! Three steps to ending gun violence...

If I became president the first three things I would do are enact the following edicts...

1. Every school (public and university) must spend at least twice as much on mental health services as they do on sport programs.

2. Convert at least half of the churches in the US to mental health facilities.

3. Make all guns illegal. Citizens can exchange their firearms for tasers, baseball bats, pepper spray or other non lethal defense.

Did I miss any? Please continue the list in the comments.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Musical Advent Calendar Day Seven - Beachwood Sparks : Tarnished Gold

After an excruciating eleven year hiatus Beachwood Sparks return to the always barren psychedelic country indie pop scene. I know there are many "roots rock" or "alterna-country" or "shit kicking pop dust bowl ballad" type bands out there but no other contemporary band captures the feeling of the Sweetheart era Byrds like Sparks. They don't just emulate but build upon the style, stripping away the linear storytelling of later era Byrds and infusing it with early Byrds songwriting.  So glad to see them back.

Musical Advent Calendar Day Six - Magnetic Fields : Love at the Bottom of the Sea

Big surprise the new Magnetic Fields album is amazing.  Unlike Distortion and Realism which each musically tackled their respective titularity, Love gets back to the sythn/acoustic swap of their earlier work. More of the same? Yes, but no one writes a song like Stephen Merritt and the world continues to become a lonelier place. We need all the bitter sarcasm we can get.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Musical Advent Calendar Day Five: Air : Le Voyage Dans La Lune

An amazing score to the restored version of the 1902 French film. The music here is more reminiscent of  the duo's earlier work (Premiers Symptomes) than their work on The Virgin Suicides or anything else lately. It is nice to hear them get back to their moon roots. Oh yeah and the chick from Beach House comes in at the end. Such a good album. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Musical Advent Calendar Day Four: Aaron Freeman : Marvelous Clouds

If you grew up in Austin during the nineties and smoked cigarettes with the cool kids behind HEB then you were undoubtedly a Ween fan. I took music way too seriously in high school so I often scoffed at the silly duo and their drug fueled, scatter brained psychedelic pop. It was still devastating to hear  that they finally broke up  this year. Aaron Freeman aka Gene Ween went and got sobered up, broke up the band and released  this beautiful collection of songs originally recorded by 60's poet/troubadour Rod McKeun. This collection lacks the tongue in cheek approach one might expect from the author of such songs as Spinal Meningitis (got me down) and Bananas & Blow. These tunes all have a cathartic feel to them and were obviously chosen with great care. They dabble in the abstract and poetic, but the souls of the songs are all perfectly articulated by Aaron's interpretation. He sounds like a man who has been through some shit but has not given up on music. Most of my friends who still listen to Ween seem to hate this album, labeling it as a soft rock snooze fest. They can piss up a rope cause this album is fantastic.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Musical Advent Calendar Day Three: Daniel Johnston : Space Ducks

This year the famously unstable and genius Daniel Johnston quietly released what might his greatest collection to date. Perhaps the fact the album is an official soundtrack to Daniel's comic of the same name left some critics smirking at the cover art instead of actually listening to the album. The title tracks does in fact deal with Space Ducks and their quest to free Austin of all of the creepy people, but the rest of the album is classic weirdo heartache. What is so special about this album it that we not only get to hear Johnston's classic piano/guitar/vocal warble delivery of his heart pulverizing tunes but also we are treated to current artist rendering his words as their own. Lavender Diamond's track 'Moment of Laughter' and Elanor Friedberg's 'Come Down' are both tear jerking and remind us just how great of songwriter Johnston is.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Musical Advent Calendar Day Two: Gravenhurst : The Ghost in Daylight

Gravenhurst has one big pot that he uses to create a delectable musical stew fit for the Fall months. Throw in a bit of Nick Drake, a pinch of Massive Attack, a hearty dose of The Clientele and voila you have one of the hardest albums of the year to pin down. At it's core The Ghost in Daylight is a grand British folk album, but unlike most that tackle the genre he is unafraid to mix it up stylistically. Haunting and brooding but never pretentious. At least not by my standards which I'll admit are pretty loose. The sprawling second track The Prize wins it's own prize as one of my favorite tracks of the year. If you are a fan of Elliot Smith but wish he would have experimented with some different genres this album is for you.

Musical Advent Calendar Day One: Peaking Lights : Lucifer

Peaking Light's follow up to  last years 936 follows in the same low key dub formula that made their debut so well received. Each song is a slow burn, a dubby bus ride through a smokey back alley in search of a club you will never find. Great stuff to relax out to. With all the blog hype 936 relieved I am not sure why this release did not receive equal praise. That's the fickle indie music 'press' for you, always ready to move on to the next thing.

Friday, August 17, 2012

1981 horror masterpiece Possession at the Texas Theater this weekend

Still riding high off the success of the first annual Oak Cliff Festival, The Texas Theater further asserts itself as one of the premiere indie theaters in the US. Albeit I haven't crossed state lines in over twenty years due to outstanding warrants across 37 of the lower 48, I can't imagine one much cooler. 

Here is the little blurb I wrote during my Halloween recommendation post, let's see if there is anything to add...  

" The story plays out like a traditional infidelity drama until the beautiful Isabelle Adjani begins a sexually charged epileptic fit amid daytime traffic. As her finger nails begin to bleed and the milk like vomit propels from her mouth you know the "other man" might be working with a little something extra. Driven by a scenery chewing performance by Sam Neil as a family man whose wife, played impeccably by Adjani, may or may not be having an affair with an other worldy demon.Great psychological drama with some old fashioned monster movie scares as well. The creature in the film was designed by the same team that created E.T. Go figure."

Yeah I think that will do it. Try to do all you can to make it out. The movie was never released on DVD in the US. The only way I saw it was by picking it up by accident, thinking I was renting Polanski's Repulsion. I was pretty stoned. I am glad I was because this has become one of my favorites over the years. The perfect mix of Virginia Woolf, Rosemary's baby, Giallo and judo chops to the chest. 

Here is a link to buy tickets. I will be at all the screenings. Just look for the short hairy man in a trench coat and ankle monitor. The trailer below kinda has spoilers so don't watch it if you want to be surprised by things.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Midnight Video

Are you alone at midnight? Me too. Eternally. How about we watch something together. Yes, that sounds lovely.

This is mega-producer/engineer, singer/songwriter and one time Sonic Youth member Jim o'Rourke singing what seems to be a traditional Japanese song. Jim love the Japanese. This is evident in his album art work and his choices for his Bacarach covers album. I remember at one point he said he was going to direct a film after being inspired by Richard Linklater. Don't know what ever came of that.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Live Blogging from the Academy Awards

6:52: The anticipation is killing me.

This kept me entertained during the Grammy's so let's do it again. I will be updating during commercial breaks through out the ceremony with my thoughts on the winners, losers and tackily dressed. So in preparation here are my Oscar predictions...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Live Blogging from The Dumbass Grammys

This will be the first time I have ever watched the Grammy's because really who gives a shit. I am pretty bored though so I am going to watch it and tell you what I think of what's going on.

10:20 - Can't believe this isn't over yet.

9:52 - Surprise Lil Wayne during horrible Chris Brown performance. Now Foo Fighters are playing. This is supposed to be a tribute to current dance music? I am so confused and annoyed. I wonder how many lattes Dave has had tonight. I thought this was an awards ceremony? There have been like five awards handed out. I can't believe I am missing Walking Dead for this.

9:35 - Bon Iver what about thanking GOD? He wanted you to win best new artist buddy give him his props. Not a big fan of Iver but glad for the win over Scrillex. Real best new artist...

9:16 - Oh man I love Glenn Campbell. There is some weird hipster country pop band performing Gentle on My Mind. These people are really weird looking. I am so sick of watching this show but I am going to keep going because I love communicating with you.

9:10 - Just got done watching Adele perform and it was pretty good. I like her voice more than Amy Winehouse's. So what will it take to hook Adele up with Mark Ronson. That would be pretty tight. Something else that I learned from the 60 Minutes piece is that her new love is 13 years her senior. He also doesn't feel the need to tuck his shirt in at the Grammys.

8:59 - But I would take Taylor Swift over Carrie which I feel even worst about. Modern country is so terrible and all the men have open chested shirts which is grossing me out. Need another beer.

8:56 - I feel guilty for finding Katy Perry so sexually attractive. I would take Carrie Brownstein over her any day though.

8:52 - Adele takes Best Song of the year. Mom's across the world rejoice. What should have won...

8:43 - Taylor Swift evidently just now jumping on the "O Brother Where Out There?" bandwagon. She seems like a positive influence for little girls now that Miley Cyrus has revealed herself as a heathen.

8:33 - Paul McCartney going the Bruce Springsteen route and singing a new song no one cares about. Sounds nice I guess.

8:21 - Maroon 5 and Foster the People. TERRIBLE. Beach Boys songs. GREAT. Mike Love is such a piece of shit but it sure is nice to Brian looking so healthy. RIP Dennis.

8:15 - Foo Fighters win best Rock Performance which is fine I guess. They were up against other rock powerhouses like Mumford & Sons and Coldplay. Oh boy Beach Boys are up next this might be sad.

8:10 - Well this Chipolte commercial is probably way better than anything else that will be on the show.

8:02 - Rhianna and Coldplay performing now. It was tolerable when it was just Rhianna but then Chris Martin ruined it. What do you think Brian Eno does with all his money?

7:56 - Whitney Houston name check count - 3

7:47 - Jack Black just went on about how Foo Fighters still have indie cred. OK. This is the best thing that Foo Fighters have done in the past ten years.

7:37 - Best rap award went to Jay Jizzy and Kanye West, don't like either of them! Should have one: It's a tie! Shabazz Pallaces - Swerve...The Reaping of all that is Worthwhile and Kreayshawn - Gucci Gucci.

Kelly Clarkson and some dumb cowboy sang, it was terrible.

7:32 - Applebee's commercial making me hungry.

7:24 - Adele just won an award. I am pretty cool with that after watching her interview on 60 Minutes, she seems like a pretty cool chick. It was revealed that  she worked at Rough Trade Records after winning the Grammy last year to help her music or whatever. Pretty cool.

Chris Brown is performing right now. A great moment for women abusers everywhere. Alright I'll check in at the next commercial break.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Last Minute Golden Globe Predections

Awards about to start, let's see how I do. Red indicates a winner and green indicates who I think should win. If there is only a red it means I think it should/will win or I don't give a shit. I am working on a 2011 movie wrap up post to let you know the great stuff that didn't get any recognition tonight.

MOVIES BEST PICTURE: DRAMA (horrible selection this year)
“The Descendants”
“The Help”
“The Ides of March”
“War Horse”

“The Artist”
“Midnight in Paris”
“My Week With Marilyn”

Woody Allen (“Midnight in Paris”)
George Clooney (“The Ides of March”)
Michel Hazanavicius (“The Artist”)
Alexander Payne (“The Descendants”)
Martin Scorsese (“Hugo”)

George Clooney (“The Descendants”)
Leonardo Dicaprio (“J. Edgar”)
Michael Fassbender (“Shame”)
Ryan Gosling (“The Ides of March”)
Brad Pitt (“Moneyball”) 

Glenn Close (“Albert Nobbs”)
Viola Davis (“The Help”)
Rooney Mara (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”)
Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”)
Tilda Swinton (“We Need to Talk About Kevin”) 

Jodie Foster (“Carnage”)
Charlize Theron (“Young Adult”)
Kristen Wiig (“Bridesmaids”)
Michelle Williams (“My Week With Marilyn”)
Kate Winslet (“Carnage”)

Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”)
Brendan Gleeson (“The Guard”)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“50/50”)
Ryan Gosling (“Crazy, Stupid, Love”)
Owen Wilson (“Midnight in Paris”)

Berenice Bejo (“The Artist”)
Jessica Chastain (“The Help”)
Janet McTeer (“Albert Nobbs”)
Octavia Spencer (“The Help”)
Shailene Woodley (“The Descendants”)

Kenneth Branagh (“My Week With Marilyn”)
Albert Brooks (“Drive”)
Jonah Hill (“Moneyball”)
Viggo Mortensen (“A Dangerous Method”)
Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”) 

“The Adventures of Tintin”
“Arthur Christmas”
“Cars 2”
“Puss in Boots”

“The Flowers Of War” (China)
“In The Land of Blood and Honey” (USA)
“The Kid With a Bike” (Belgium)
”A Separation” (Iran)
“The Skin I Live In” (Spain)

”The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“The Ides of March”
“Midnight in Paris”

Laura Dern (“Enlightened”)
Zooey Deschanel (“New Girl”)
Tina Fey (“30 Rock”)
Laura Linney (“The Big C”)
Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”) 

Claire Danes (“Homeland”)
Mireille Enos (“The Killing”)
Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”)
Madeleine Stowe (“Revenge”)
Callie Thorne (“Necessary Roughness”)

Peter Dinklange (“Game of Thrones”)
Paul Giamatti (“Too Big to Fail”)
Guy Pearce (“Mildred Pierce”)
Tim Robbins (“Cinema Verite”)
Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family”)

Jessica Lange (“American Horror Story”)
Kelly Macdonald (“Boardwalk Empire”)
Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)")
SofiaVegara (“Modern Family”)
Evan Rachel Wood (“Mildred Pierce”) 

Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”)
David Duchovny (“Californication”)
Johnny Galecki (“The Big Bang Theory”)
Thomas Jane (“Hung”)
Matt LeBlanc (“Episodes”)

“Modern Family”
“New Girl”

“American Horror Story”
“Boardwalk Empire”
“Game of Thrones”

“Cinema Verite”
“Downton Abbey”
“The Hour”
“Mildred Pierce”
“Too Big to Fail”