2006 so far

Tuesday, October 31, 2006
1. T.I. - King
2. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
3. My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade
4. Rhymefest - Blue Collar
5. Jon Auer - Songs From The Year Of Our Demise
6. Field Mob - Light Poles And Pine Trees
7. DJ Khaled - Listennn...The Album
8. Nels Cline - New Monaster: A View Into The Music Of Andrew Hill
9. The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
10. Two Dollar Guitar - The Wear And Tear Of Fear: A Lover’s Discourse
11. Shareefa - Point Of No Return
12. Lil Wayne/DJ Drama - Dedication 2
13. Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
14. “Weird Al” Yankovic - Straight Outta Lynwood
15. Asobi Seksu - Citrus
16. Donald Fagen - Morph The Cat
17. Ray Cash - Cash On Delivery
18. Jaheim - Ghetto Classics
19. Remy Ma - There’s Something About Remy
20. Junior Private Detective - Erase

1. T.I. - "What You Know"
2. DJ Khaled f/ Paul Wall, Lil Wayne, Fat Joe, Rick Ross and Pitbull - "Holla At Me Baby"
3. Foo Fighters - "No Way Back"
4. Evanescence - “Call Me When You’re Sober”
5. Justin Timberlake f/ T.I. - “My Love”
6. Rich Boy - “Throw Some D’s”
7. Omarion - “Entourage”
8. Lil Wayne and Baby - “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy”
9. Muse - “Knights of Cydonia”
10. Ray Cash f/ Scarface - "Bumpin' My Music"
11. Chamillionaire f/ Krayzie Bone - "Ridin'"
12. “Weird Al” Yankovic - “White And Nerdy”
13. Pussycat Dolls f/ Snoop Dogg - "Buttons"
14. Ciara - “Promise”
15. Fergie - "London Bridge"
16. India Arie f/ Akon - "I Am Not My Hair"
17. Pink - "Who Knew"
18. Beyonce - “Irreplaceable”
19. Lil Wayne - "Hustler Musik"
20. Ne-Yo - "When You're Mad"
21. Young Dro - “Rubberband Banks”
22. Beyonce - “Ring The Alarm”
23. Remy Ma - "Conceited"
24. New Found Glory - “It’s Not Your Fault”
25. Jamie Foxx f/ Ludacris - "Unpredictable"
26. Johnta Austin - “Turn It Up”
27. Monica - “A Dozen Roses”
28. Janet Jackson f/ Khia - “So Excited”
29. Pussycat Dolls f/ Will.I.Am - "Beep"
30. Ciara f/ Chamillionaire - “Get Up”
31. Kelly Clarkson - "Walk Away"
32. Young Buck - “I Know You Want Me”
33. Pink - “U + Ur Hand”
34. Beyonce f/ Slim Thug and Bun B - "Check On It"
35. Tool - “Vicarious”
36. Papa Roach - “To Be Loved”
37. Jessica Simpson - “Public Affair”
38. Dre f/ Keyshia Cole - “Be Somebody”
39. Robin Thicke - “Lost Without You”
40. Vanessa Hudgens - “Come Back To Me”
41. Frankie J f/ Mannie Fresh and Chamillionaire - “That Girl”
42. Jagged Edge - “Stunnas”
43. Jesse McCartney - “Right Where You Want Me”
44. Paris Hilton - “Nothing In This World”
45. The Killers - “When you Were Young”
46. Lupe Fiasco - "Kick Push"
47. Twista f/ Pitbull - "Hit The Floor"
48. Keyshia Cole - "Love"
49. B.G. f/ Mannie Fresh - "Move Around"
50. All-American Rejects - "Move Along"

At this piont just about every year, it gets down to crunchtime where I start feeling like no matter how many albums I've heard this year, it's hard to really feel like I've heard enough that was really that good. And in less than a month some deadlines for critic's polls will be creeping up, and I'll be scrambling to hear more and come up with a list I'm less apologetic or hesitant about. This time it's particularly exacerbated by the fact that I've been broke and jobless for most of the year, and just started working again, so in the next week or two I'll finally have expendable income to spend on as many CD's as I want and will catch up on some of the 'bigger'/more obvious albums that I feel like I need to hear, since I've spent most of the year writing about somewhat obscure and unpopular stuff and keeping close tabs on pet artists. I'll probably do what I did last year and post the 'final' list here as late in December as possible. Singles are a lot easier to list, as far as finding stuff I like. The hard part is the short term memory of the singles market, and my fickle tastes, which mean that a song I loved in the Spring that wasn't such a big hit that I still hear it once a week has just kind of slipped out of my mind by default. Although I think I'm better about remembering stuff from the first half of the year than a lot of people. But for the time being, not much new since August.


Netflix Diary

Monday, October 30, 2006
1. Saw
I guess I'm kinda late on the one since the 3rd movie in the series just came out, but I never really paid attention enough to hear any spoilers. Pretty good, and I have a tolerance for gore so it didn't seem too over-the-top for me. Kind of refreshing to see Cary Elwes in something other than a wacky Medieval farce for once, too.

2. Princess Mononoke
J.G. liked this a lot, but I just only barely got into it. I've never really had much interest in anime, and I think my inability to connect with even the most acclaimed crossover stuff dubbed in English has pretty much confirmed that I'm never really going to bother with the whole genre, aside from the occasional intentionally funny stuff like Lupin The 3rd. I think while watching this I realized that movies like this, even with voices dubbed by Hollywood actors, are never going to have voice acting as great as what you get on, say, big Disney or Pixar movies, because they've still got to keep up with the speed and rhythm of the original Japanese dialogue, which in general seems to be spoken very quickly, at least in anime or maybe even in general as a language. So the actors never get to really sink their teeth into some quality comic timing or a good emotional reading when the scene calls for it. Gillian Anderson in particulary sounded ridiculously rushed.

3. The Incredibles
Yeah, like I was just saying, as opposed to something like this. I haven't seen all the Pixar flicks and most of them I haven't seen a while but I think in time this could become my favorite.

4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
I'm a big fan of the 1971 version, and I was kind of dreading this one from the outset and thought the trailers looked terrible. I shouldn't have underestimated Burton & Depp's ability to find the right pitch for their own kind of subtle sense of humor to fit the material, though, I laughed way more than I expected to and it kind of won me over. The first half is way stronger than the end, though.

Saturday, October 28, 2006
Josh pointed something out to me today that I don't think a single person seems to have noted in the past couple days that the internet has obsessed over the Lil Wayne/Baby kiss photo: the picture is clearly from the set of that Birdman video with Diddy from like 4 years ago. Not that it really matters, but people are acting like they have proof that it was taken yesterday. I think TQ's in the picture and he hasn't been down with Cash Money for years, and Wayne back then barely even resembles what he looks like now. It's kind of amazing that, considering that people are analyzing it for evidence of Photoshop trickery and treating it like the fucking Zapruder film, noone even bothered to note that.


Thursday, October 26, 2006
Two Dollar Guitar - "The Wear And Tear Of Fear" (mp3)

There's a phrase that's been ringing in the back of my head lately, anytime I'm writing about a band whose old stuff I was crazy about, something that Harvell wrote in the Tool review that launched a thousand angry letters: "I find myself in the awkward position of trying to sell you on the merits of a deeply uncool band by telling you to go buy their last album instead." Substitute "obscure" for "uncool," but other than that, a perfect description of my struggle with, say, reviewing the new Two Dollar Guitar album for Stylus (of which the above is the title track and probably the best song therein). When I wrote a big post about TDG on here earlier this year, I had no idea that the new album was only 6 months away (my exact words were "I'm not holding my breath"), so in a way I'm just happy it exists. But in another, more accurate way, I wish Foljahn had recorded the album with a backing band. It may be a grower yet, but yeah, buy Burned And Buried or Weak Beats And Lame-Ass Rhymes instead. But they just announced a mess of tour dates (on TDG's MySpace), with Steve Shelley on drums and everything. I'm excited by the prospect of power trio versions of the new songs, even though the nearest date is in Arlington and I don't know if I'll bother to make that drive. I kind of feel like my days of interstate commuting for concerts are over.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006
hotelopera: for the longest time I've been trying to figure out who Tego Calderon's voice reminds me of
hotelopera: and the other day i decided that it's Ernest Borgnine
fmc: hahahah
fmc: tego calderon: the real old man in the club
hotelopera: i'm serious! it's uncanny!
fmc: i cant recall tego off hand. but i'll be on thelook out for it
hotelopera: yeah just try to listen for it sometime
fmc: word hopefully ill be in a club and drunk and i'll yell ITS BORGNINE CALDERON!
hotelopera: Results 1 - 3 of about 244 for "ernest borgnine" "tego calderon". (0.47 seconds)
fmc: hahahha
fmc: webpages are dedicated to it!
hotelopera: well i've realized that if you plug any 2 completely unrelated celebrities into Google, you're bound to get at least a couple things
hotelopera: Results 1 - 10 of about 497 for "bronson pinchot" "tyrese gibson". (0.51 seconds)
fmc: i totally KNEW they had a thing for each other! i called it!
hotelopera: Results 1 - 10 of about 7,650 for "andrew dice clay" "gangsta boo". (0.40 seconds)
hotelopera: Results 1 - 10 of about 892 for "willie nelson" "judd nelson". (0.18 seconds)
hotelopera: i could do this for hours


In My Stereo

Tuesday, October 24, 2006
My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade
Supa DJ Big L - The Reality - Season 1
Stay Gettin' - Operation: Come Up
Imperial Records presents... - Operation: Shutdown
Yung Huslas - Strickly Business Volume 1
Bigg Patch - Golden Boy Volume 2
Billo "The Hoodrockstar" - Daily Grind Vol. 2: "We Got Another One"
Lil Shank - CD Sampler
Ogun - The Movement
Golden Seal - The Official Brown Sugar Mixtape

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Thursday, October 19, 2006
"Weird Al" Yankovic - "Trapped In The Drive-Thru" (mp3)

I might feel some obligation to show solidarity with other weird guys named Al, but Straight Outta Lynwood deserves my mostly positive Stylus review. I am pretty pissed that the DualDisc won't play on my computer, though. This is one of the only songs I already had on my hard drive, but it isn't really my favorite (that would be "Confessions Part III").

Monday, October 16, 2006
Nels Cline - "Yokada Yokada / The Rumproller" (mp3)

This is the 2nd time in the past few days that I've posted some Nels Cline music, after that big Carla Bozulich post, but my review of his new album, New Monastery: A View Into The Music Of Andrew Hill, is up on Stylus today. I'm not familiar at all with the source material, but it's definitely becoming one of my favorite albums by Nels as a bandleader, largely because of the instrumentation. I love all the clarinet and accordian, it kind of gives this track and a couple others something of a klezmer vibe. I saw Andrea Parkins perform at High Zero a few years back and have been in love with the whole idea of experimental accordian music ever since. Thanks to Jeff for sending me the advance copy of a few weeks ago, might be the last freebie I get out of his job at the crumbling Tower Records HQ.

TV Diary

Sunday, October 15, 2006
1. 30 Rock
After a few weeks of Studio 60 hype to the point that 30 Rock's ads play off the fact that it's "the other new show" about a late night sketch comedy show, it was kind of nice to finally see 30 Rock premiere this week. I wasn't really expecting much, but I must've forgot that Alec Baldwin is probably my favorite SNL serial host. His character kind of reminds me of Jimmy James from Newsradio, which is an extremely positive comparison to draw. Also nice to see Tracy Morgan doing something that plays to his strengths after his crappy attempt at a family sitcom, although his character in this (despite being named Tracy Morgan) is more of an embattled/crazy movie star comic like Martin Lawrence or Eddie Murphy than Tracy playing himself or a typical SNL character. The polite was good, but I could see it going either way from here, really consistently funny or just weak.

2. Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip
Already there's some talk of cancellation after the precipitous drop in ratings since the pilot, which means Studio 60 may very well fall victim to the same self-fulfilling prophecy as Sports Night, a show-within-a-show in which ratings are a problem in both fiction and reality. I can't see them not giving it at least a full season or two to fail or find an audience, though. The show's not perfect, but I'd be pretty annoyed if it got killed by being programmed opposite the worst C.S.I. show. It wasn't until the 3rd episode that they really focused on the actual act of putting together a comedy show, and was the first time that it really felt like a workable model for how most future episodes can go. At least, I hope it's more of that and less of the love triangle stuff. I've read a lot of complaints about certain aspects (like the comedy bits they show not being that funny, which I agree could use some work), and about certain cast members, particularly Amanda Peet (who I've never liked in anything but has completely won me over in this, partly because it's not too different a character from Felicity Huffman in Sports Night) and Sarah Paulson. Her character, Harriet, definitely seems like an unfortunate strawperson for a lot of fairly boring "liberal Hollywood vs. religious right" plotlines, but I've started to kind of warm to the character (as both a believable comedic talent and a believable romantic foil for Matthew Perry), and someone as uptight and religious as her being on a show like that isn't that implausible, considering that's basically what Victoria Jackson was. My one big complaint about the episods since the pilot

3. Saturday Night Live
Meanwhile, the real SNL is just kind of plodding along (although the inevitable Studio 60/30 Rock joke in the Dane Cook episode was pretty good). I know that SNL kind of has this cycle where at the beginning of the season, some of the established cast members move on and at first you think that nobody good is left and the new people all suck and eventually you realize things weren't so bad, But it's pretty hard to be optimistic about this season, considering that Tina Fey is gone, as are the massively underrated Chris Parnell and Horatio Sanz, who always seemed to be a season or two away from stardom. I mean, shit, Parnell was one of the two people responsible for last year's most popular sketch, Lazy Sunday, and they still canned him (assuming he didn't leave)? WTF. The craziest shit, though, is that Darrell Hammond is still around for his 12th season. Is that a new record for a cast member? I mean, they constantly did jokes about how Tim Meadows had been there forever and even he left after 10 seasons, Hammond's presence doesn't even seem to be remarked upon. I guess they just know they're not going to get a better celeb impressionist and are holding onto him, probably the same reason Will Forte's still around, they need a Bush. I don't think there's even anyone new so far this season, the cast is actually down to under a dozen people for the first time in a while. I generally like the new people that came in last year, particularly Kristen Wiig, even if none of them have really made their mark quite yet. The first couple episodes were weak as far as I saw, but at this point I'm not even going to lie to myself and say I'll stop watching.

Friday, October 13, 2006
best of Carla Bozulich mix

disc 1: original works

1. The Geraldine Fibbers - "The Small Song"
2. Carla Bozulich - "Here Comes Another One" [demo] (mp3)
3. Ethyl Meatplow - "Ripened Peach"
4. Scarnella - "The Most Useless Thing" (mp3)
5. Carla Bozulich - "Lonesome Roads"
6. The Geraldine Fibbers - "Seven Or In 10"
7. The Geraldine Fibbers - "234" (mp3)
8. The Night Porter - "Monkeys"
9. Scarnella - "Dandelions"
10. Carla Bozulich - "Blue Boys"
11. Mike Watt - "Sidemouse Advice"
12. Ches Smith/Carla Bozulich - "Elements Ascending"
13. Two Dollar Guitar - "Bozo Shoes"
14. The Geraldine Fibbers - "Richard" (mp3)
15. Scarnella - "Untitled New Song"
16. Carla Bozulich with John Talaga - "1014C"
17. Carla Bozulich - "Prince Of The World" (mp3)
18. The Geraldine Fibbers - "Lilybelle"
19. The Geraldine Fibbers - "The Smaller Song"

disc 2: interpretive works

1. Mike Watt - "Tuff Gnarl" [Sonic Youth] (mp3)
2. Scarnella - "Hot Pants (She Got To Use What She Got To Get What She Wants)" [James Brown]
3. Ethyl Meatplow - "Close To You" [Bacharach & David]
4. Carla Bozulich - "On The Nickel" [Tom Waits]
5. Scarnella - "I Thought About You" [Johnny Mercer]
6. The Geraldine Fibbers - "Jolene" [Dolly Parton]
7. The Geraldine Fibbers - "If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me" [George Jones] (mp3)
8. The Geraldine Fibbers - "He Stopped Loving Her Today" [George Jones]
9. The Geraldine Fibbers - "The Grand Tour" [George Jones]
10. The Geraldine Fibbers - "Hands On The Wheel" [Jerry Jeff/Billy Callery] (mp3)
11. Carla Bozulich featuring Willie Nelson - "Can I Sleep In Your Arms?" [Jeannie Seely]
12. The Geraldine Fibbers - "Pills" [New York Dolls]
13. The Scott Amendola Band - "Masters Of War" [Bob Dylan]
14. Carla Bozulich - "Pissing" [Low]
15. The Geraldine Fibbers - "Yoo Doo Right" [Can] (mp3)
16. Carla Bozulich - "Running Dry (Requiem For The Rockets)" [Neil Young]
17. Scarnella - "Times Square" [Marianne Faithful] (mp3)

Carla Bozulich has been probably one of my favorite rock singers since the very first time I heard her, on Mike Watt's Ball-Hog Or Tugboat?, and later searched out her band, an insane goth-noise-country combo called The Geraldine Fibbers. Since then, I've followed all her different projects pretty obsessively, including her pre-Fibbers industrial shock rock band, Ethyl Meatplow (although I've never heard her early bands, Neon Veins and Invisible Chains, and am not sure if they even have any records around anymore). The Fibbers got dropped from their label after their 2nd album, Butch, and broke up, but guitarist Nels Cline, who joined the Fibbers towards the end, remained her primary collaborator for about a decade (he plays on almost half of the above tracks). She also played in his band Destroy All Nels Cline, but I'm focusing more on her work as a vocalist with these mixes. Carla and Nels formed the duo project Scarnella released one self-titled album on Smells Like Records in 1998, and played gigs under that name for at least 6 years after that without releasing anything else (the untitled new song is from a 2004 show).

It seems like Carla Bozulich was on the verge of something big for a long time but decided to stay on the fringes. She played in an early lineup of Hole, and from what I hear, was supposedly asked to be the singer of Garbage before Shirley Manson, and was offered a solo career deal, and turned down those opportunities to form the Fibbers, whose incredible first album Lost Somewhere Between The Earth And My Home got a lot of hype from SPIN and some other publications, but they generally remained a cult band. After the Fibbers and Scarnella, Carla seemed to start and stop with a lot of different projects. "Here Comes Another One" is a demo for a solo project from around then (with Nels and Harold Barefood Sanders III from Ethyl Meatplow backing her up) that was not that different from the Fibbers, but I guess that never panned out (as you can hear at the end of the track, it was played by Nels when a guest on Mike Watt's radio show, but never officially released), and is one of the last overtly rock things I've heard her do, as .

It's kind of embarrassing to admit that a 90's alt-rock band was my gateway to classic country music, but the Fibbers' covers are totally the reason I love George Jones and Willie Nelson now. I also still kind of resent The White Stripes for usurping the Fibbers as the most famous Sympathy For The Record Industry band to have covered "Jolene." The Fibbers' version of "Hands On The Wheel" made me a fan of Willie's Red Headed Stranger well before Carla released a cover of the entire album in 2003. Around the same time, she released a compilation track, "Lonesome Roads," which showed that she was still writing country songs and might do more original material in that vein. But then there was another compilation track, "Blue Boys," which was on a weird electronic tip. And then there are some noisy collaborations with Ches Smith and John Talaga on Carla's MySpace page, as well as one from her new rock band, The Night Porter, which supposedly has an album coming out next year.

There's been some talk in the past year of a personal and professional split between Carla and Nels Cline, which for a while I assumed was just a result of his joining Wilco and having less time to work on her projects, but now I'm not sure. I hope they aren't done collaborating, though, as I think they've both made a lot of their best music together. Carla released her first solo album of (mostly) original material this year, Evangelista, with folks from Godspeed! You Black Emperor backing her up, and it's a lot of the dramatic horror movie strings and static and ranting preachers type stuff that they do, and I haven't really listened to it much ("Prince Of The World" is just about the only pretty song on there). For a lot of the album she just sounds unhinged, screaming over minimal noise with no percussion, which reminds me of my least favorite Scarnella song, "Death By Northwest," more than anything else. I have slowly warmed up to some of it, though (particularly "Evangelista II" and the cover of "Pissing"), but I didn't even bother to catch her on the tour this year playing that material, and I'm kind of waiting for her to move onto something else.

Carla's official site has a bunch of mp3's of some of my favorite music she's made ("Lilybelle," "Ripened Peach," "Masters Of War"), so I posted some other stuff I like with these mixes. It's more of an examination of the huge variety of projects and different genres she's worked in, than a mix of purely my favorite stuff she's done (which would probably be 80% Fibbers songs). The disc of original material isn't necessarily stuff she wrote (since she didn't really have a hand in writing the Mike Watt or Two Dollar Guitar tracks), just stuff that wasn't a cover, where she sang on the original or definitive recording. "Yoo Doo Right" is amazing and completely eclipses the original for me (although I was probably never really going to like Can anyway), as is "Tuff Gnarl" (although I really love Sonic Youth). "234" isn't really one of the Fibbers' best songs, but it's kind of rare and only appeared on a European vinyl pressing of Butch (along with an alternate version of "Claudine"). If anyone wants a copy of the discs, let me know, there's a lot of good rare/unreleased stuff on here that I mainly got from lurking on the official Geraldine Fibbers e-mail list. The version of "Times Square" up there is a live recording that someone from the list recorded, and I think is way better than the version on Carla's I'm Gonna Stop Killing EP. Might be one of my favorite versions of any song ever.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Well, the season is almost half over now, and it's been a few episodes since I talked about The Wire. Even with one of the big storylines, Carcetti's run for mayor, more or less resolved as of the episode running this Sunday and On Demand now (no spoiler alert, because was there ever any doubt that he'd win, given how closely the show followed him?), I'm really on the edge of my seat for the next developments with more or less every other character. Specifically, what'll happen to Marlo, Omar, and Bubbles, three guys who always seemed to be treading on thin ice, a million reasons why tragedy should befall them eventually. One thing I like is that when Omar finally does get arrested for something, it's a murder he didn't commit, after being set up by Marlo. Through the whole series, The Wire seems to have valued Omar for being a cold-blooded killer who also happens to have a heart and lives by a strict code. It seemed like as long as he stuck to his code, he'd be alright, so someone had to cheat to bring him down.

In fact, I think arguably one of The Wire's greatest accomplishments is that the charactars that are the most likeable often aren't admirable or sympathetic, and vice versa. A lot of fictional characters, especially on TV, tend to telegraph how you're supposed to feel about them: bad guys are mean or stupid or ugly, good guys are funny and smart and good looking. Bad things happen to good people and you feel sorry for them, and you wait for the bad guys to get taken down a peg. Instead, you've got characters who on the surface, you're ready to root against, but find yourself rooting for. Bubbles is a junkie and a snitch, in today's urban culture two of the most despicable things you can be, and yet he might be the most beloved character of the series. Even someone like Rawls, who might be the closest thing to a consistent villain the series has, has his moments.

Cex wrote a thing on his blog recently about cop shows, lumping The Wire in with them in possibly unintentional defiance of David Simon's insistence that it strives to never be just a "cop show." Rjyan's rant comes off pretty reactionary to me, like he's just mad that a supposedly 'authentic' show is staffed by professionals who commandeer blocks for filming and mess up local traffic. As for his charge that the show is guilty of fearmongering, making you afraid of and hateful of criminals and poor people, I call bullshit, but if he's only seen the first season then his opinion is slightly more understandable. I thought the most unrealistic part of this season was the idea that Baltimore radio would be playing "Crunk Muzik" by Jim Jones in 2006, but the week after that episode aired I heard the song on 92Q.

For all the major themes and plot developments, though, I'm finding the most joy in the minor characters. I've warmed up to the kids somewhat, but the chance of any of them being my favorite new character of the season has been easily usurped by Norman Wilson, who's already had too many hilarious deadpan lines to think of just one. Sgt. Landsman has had some great great moments this season that have kind of added depth to him beyond the big fat cop who always seems to be looking at porn (which he still is, admittedly). Bunk and Freamon working together is a kick, especially when they're in the bar and Lester wants to talk about work but Bunk can only talk about the plural form of "pussy." I think it was kind of lame that they even did anything to address the sexual tension between Carcetti and Theresa D'Agostino, but she's so hot that I'm also kind of disappointed it didn't go further.

Now that it's confirmed that the show's been renewed for the 5th and final season, I'm kind of breathing easy and just letting this season play out, knowing that in a year or two it'll all be wrapped up. As sickeningly hyperbolic as a lot of the "best show in the history of television" press coverage has been lately, I'm glad they helped get the show renewed one more year. Still, I'm pretty curious how the next season's theme, the media, will play out. They managed to move into the school system this season pretty gracefully, moving Prez and Bunny Colvin into the school plots in plausible ways, and giving some of the kids connections to previously estabished adult characters. But I don't think they could pull that off again, with Herc becoming a Sun reporter or something. They'll have to introduce a lot of new characters. Which begs the question, if McNulty is loosely based on Ed Burns, are we going to get a David Simon character in season 5?

Monday, October 09, 2006
One weekend last month, I spent about a dozen hours binging on as much live experimental music as I could possibly handle, and this week on Stylus is my big-ass writeup of one of my favorite annual events in Baltimore, the High Zero Festival of Experimental Improvised Music.

In My Stereo

Friday, October 06, 2006
"Weird Al" Yankovic - Straight Outta Lynwood
Little Feat - The Best of Little Feat
DNA/DJ Rob/Trae/Yung Joc - Get On My Level 4
Parts Unknown - Hood Therapy
DJ Reggie Reg - Feel Me
Tha Annexx Click - Banga Bill Presents Chapter 16: Tha Return Of Da Blue
Skarr Akbar - The Bidding War Starts Now!
Cutthroat - CD Sampler
Third Kind - Disaster Relief
Height - Height

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I think I had some things to say about The Guardian that didn't fit in my City Paper review, but I can't remember any of them now, other than that I liked it more than I expected to.


Movie Diary

Tuesday, October 03, 2006
1. Little Miss Sunshine
Not seeing the "sleeper hit of the Summer" until Summer is over means by then you're already sick of hearing about it even if you haven't actively read up on it or caught any spoilers. This was pretty alright, though, despite the fact that I'm pretty exhausted by comedies, particularly ones about dysunctional families, that derive most of their humor from "well, at least it can't get any worse -- BUT WAIT!" type scenarios. It helps that I like most of the cast; Carell's character could have been a pretty crass element if he didn't bring the same perfect amout of pathos that he did to 40 Year Old Virgin, and I'm happy to see Kinnear kind of on the comeback trail after a long post-Oscar nod lull. The build up to the girl's routine and the eventual climax were pretty lame, though.

2. A Cool, Dry Place
There was a weird period of about 5 years before Old School where, for some reason, Vince Vaughn did nothing but serious leading man roles and, like, a Jurassic Park sequel, despite the fact that the only reason he got famous was that he was funny in Swingers. This movie is a direct product of that era, and also the even more brief era during which Joey Lauren Adams was cast in movies by anyone other than Kevin Smith. In a way it was kind of a nice sentimental story about parenthood, but almost everything about this movie is a dud, and I'm still not sure why I spent an afternoon watching it.

3. Wedding Crashers
Speaking of which, this might be the funniest Vaughn's been since Swingers. What I really liked about this, though, is that usually when Christopher Walken's slumming in a comedy flick, he gets some really wacky role (Click, Joe Dirt, Blast From The Past), but they let him play it straight and I think it really helped.

4. Red Eye
This kind of reminded me in Cellular in parts, especially toward the end, just in terms of forcing its main character to break a lot of laws and do crazy shit in order to do the right thing, except that movie was really brisk and fun, and this kind of plods and doesn't do much to distract you from the fairly silly premise. Rachel McAdams is pretty hot, though.