Divining a New Book of Greek Mythology for the Mormon Crowd, Day 184 Gold-Plated Zeus Hats in The Year of Fire, Fire, Fire!

Divining a New Book of Greek Mythology for the Mormon Crowd, Day 184 Gold-Plated Zeus Hats in The Year of Fire, Fire, Fire!

1. Take New Fangled Java-Rich Online Quiz to Find Out Which Match Game Cast Member I Most Resemble. (Brett Somers)

2. “Take a Right at the Hardee’s, Go about a Mile, Then Left and Fall Down the Rabbit Hole Until You Crash Through The Looking-Glass. Take a Pill, Crouch to Enter the Tiny Door and You’re There, Wonderland.” –Bad Driving Directions to Wonderland.

3. Reminiscing About My Favorite 1970’s Single Panel Comic Strip Featuring Crudely Drawn Morbidly Obese Naked Children, Diabetes Is…
…Never Knowing if Your Slip-On Shoes Are on the Right Feet.
…Always Tingling with Spidey Sense.
…Flopping Like a Pancake in Bed.
…Never Truly Enjoying Ice Cream.

Elvis Costello’s 1979-80 TV Season on the High Fidelity and Armed Forces Network, An Ongoing Series.

A Show for Each Song on Armed Forces. The Song and the Show’s Theme Song are One and the Same. Pt. 2

“Senior Service” (Competition) — It’s not your Dad’s Death of A Salesman. Twenty octogenarians vie to be the last one standing for the only bellboy job at a gorgeous seaside resort in South Carolina. Master of Acrimony Elvis MacManus guides the elderly through over 300 ‘Life and Death’ events. Who will win and who will die in the sweltering SC sun? Events include bar-tending, ‘Spot the Colored,’ line waiting, ‘Junior Dissatisfaction,’ extended breathing, swamp wrestling, and head-rolling.
Executive Producer David Mamet promises, “There will be NO third place.” Timothy Van Patten co-stars as The Headhunter.
“Senior Service” — It’s a death that’s worse than fate.
Sponsored by Schrade Knives and Belleville Mortuary. Tuesdays at 9 on your local Dixieland Independent Stations and The High Fidelity Network.

Still Exorcising the Elvis demon.

The Squared Ouroboros, D’99 in The Frungs.

The Squared Ouroboros, D’99 in The Frungs.

1. “Hey Everybody, Sure Is Hot, Huh?” –Tomorrow’s Mandatory Weather Small Talk Phrase That Pays.

2. Opposite Sex Day. Make of That What You Will.

3. “What Stereotypes Really Love is Cash, Cash, Cash.”-Jay Z and Some New Country Singer’s New Song.

—The Frungs—
Available at Runza and Now in Theaters.

Day ’86 The Year of Fun

Ear Worms for Your Head Hole. Day ’86 in The Year of Fun:

1. Third World Super Bowl ‘Winner’ T-Shirt Day.

2. Recombine DNA To Be More Amphibian.

3. Dancing For Architecture Class, 8pm.

Not Failing Miserably at Everything is the New One Big Score.

The Future Today: The way divorce will be handled in the future between man and woman, man and man, and woman and woman.

Abraxas by Santana (1970) ** and Headhunter (2011) ***1/2

Abraxas by Santana (1970) ** First Full Listen

I hate George Lopez. He’s not funny. He shoots for the lowest common denominator, easiest jokes. He took a kidney from his wife and then divorced her. He’s the Mexican Jay Leno. Except, he’s also appointed himself America’s Hispanic Comedic Voice. C’mon Latino’s, shoot higher.

And that’s how I feel about Santana. They’re the George Lopez of music. Just because you’ve been around forever, doesn’t make you the king. Oye Como Oy Vey!

I saw Santana at Saturday in the Park. Let’s be more specific, I was in the same outdoor area with Santana. They were lifeless, bland, unengaging and played all that Mexican themed jam rock. So, five songs, forty-five minutes. No impression. I think some people play Santana the way some elevators play music. Outdoor BBQ music for an under attended cook-out. Background.

Abraxas is mostly instrumental in that jam rock way. Jam rock combines, to me, the worst elements of rock with the worst elements of jazz into a song that won’t end. Add the some hispanic spice. Now, it doesn’t end with bongos, because if you’re Santana, everybody in the zillion piece band gets some kind of solo in every song. Every song besides the two hits and two others are an instrumental. With solos. Did I say instrumental, I meant to spell ‘filler.’

Jam Rock takes what should sound like freedom, man, freedom of sound and calculates it down to an everybody gets to play aesthetic. Math rock has less math. The few live tracks at the end of the CD bear this out. They sound like note for note bad remixes of the same overlong songs from earlier in the album. C’mon, in the 18 years since it’s original release and the reissue, you couldn’t find a decent version of Black Magic Woman? Not very rock and roll. Not at all jamming.

The only passable songs are the two hits you know and Hope Your Feeling Better.

Oh, and Carlos Santana, the hat is looking played out. Take it off.

Do It: Stroganoff. It’s good.

Avoid It: Rancid Stroganoff. It’s rancid.

The Tweeter: Did you know grammarians Strunck and White would team up to rape babies and cheat at cards? Not true, but certainly nicer than their real accomplishment. #thatstupisstylebook

The Facing Book: Horrible pun based on picture in post. Repeat.

Bonus Movie Review:

Headhunters (2011) ***1/2 First Viewing

Art thieves make good movie anti-heroes. Yea, they’re bad guys, but who can be that mad at them? They’re stealing from the one percent. Boo, the one percent, go Robin Hood on his ass. Also, to most, art prices seem to be not only inflated, but arbitrary. The targets are seen as shallow status seekers or richer than God with the ego to match. Plus, there’s the whole sexy cat burglar aspect. I think that’s why there’s been more Art heist movies than actual art heists.

Roger is an art thief motivated by the oldest of motivations, the ridiculously hot girlfriend he’s trying to keep. Rogers’s pretty up-front about it, he’s short and not the best looking (think a Swedish Steve Buscemi which is is still pretty good looking, just not for Sweden) and he’s overcompensating.

By day, he’s a CEO headhunter for tech corporations and by other part of the day he’s an art thief. He uses the information he gleams in the recruitment process to find wealthy art owners and how to steal from the. He’s extremely competent at both jobs and likable because he knows his flaws.

Then he meets Jamie Lannister. Ok, the handsome actor who plays Jamie Lannister on Game of Thrones. Still, Jamie Lannister. While it’s a cliché of heist movies to ‘have that one last big heist,’ Roger sets up that his goal was always, one big heist and out.

After the first third set up, the movie switches into full forward focused motion, like a shark. Roger gets put into some pretty intense situations and uses his wits to get out of them, believably. For action movies, I have a rule similar to the three stupid moves rule of horror movies, the action hero can benefit from “dumb luck” three times, then he’s out. I counted only one time I thought the hero got dumb lucky, everything else fell into the realm of plausibility and some of it was just downright clever, which is always the hope.

Shaun suggested this Swedish movie to me and it’s a great movie if you’re a fan of the “Things go badly” heist movies, which I am. And don’t be put off by it being a foreign movie with subtitles. There’s a lean American sensibility of the best American heist films in Headhunters. Certainly, if this was in English, it’s make a tidy profit in the USA. I hope it doesn’t get remade. Bigger (more explosions, car chases, etc) would not be better. The movie is intense precisely because it’s not big and dumb. The twists aren’t random or outrageous or crazy, but used to increase the tension and the immediacy of Rogers’s problems.

There’s zero gristle. Everything that is shown is used and not always the way you would expect. It’s crisp and easy to follow with a lead you can root for and damn, are those Swedes a handsome bunch. Although Steve Buscemi would be an ok choice for an American Roger. And Jamie fuckin’ Lannister.

Things I learned from Headhunters:
—If Jamie Lannister wants a job, get him that job.
—Be careful of moles when shaving your head with an old disposable razor. Okay, I knew that, but it’s an ongoing fear.
—Swedes got no problem with nudity which is awesome.
—The main character has a great answer to the question, “What were the worst ten minutes of your life?”

Next Up: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Aftermath (1994), The 400 Blows (1959), or Africa Brasil by Jorge Ben (1976).

Sufjan Stevens All Delighted People EP

It’s the weekend after an extremely hard week mentally. I ain’t gonna lie, suddenly being off anti-depressants sucks. I have to get to the doctor for a renewal and it’s a long weekend with only next Monday as my first opportunity for a visit. The drugs didn’t make me ‘happy,’ but just kept the bottom from dropping out, kept the no-damn-reason black days away. And the black days just came two days ago. Is it a placebo, real or what? I don’t know. The emotions scramble my ability to tell. So, emotions also suck. They lie and distort your perceptions. They’re what’s telling you God is real, that the devil is real. That every stray thought should be megaphoned. They make the innocent seem nefarious. Basically, they add evidence that often doesn’t exist to reality.
So, I have to fight the black moods the old fashioned way, with distractions, with focused breathing and walks and with music. It’s effin’ exhausting. My head feels like a kite on a string, removed from my neuropathy-ridden body and my brain has bees crawling over it’s surface. All tiny feet and strange buzzing.
A few years ago, I swear Wilco’s A Ghost is Born saved my life, before pharmacology.

Some old Bob Dylan, some Luna covers and the new Arcade Fire helped me normalize today. I was going to review the new Arcade Fire (spoiler-alert, I liked it better than Neon Bible), but decided I wanted to listen to it a few more times before weighing in.
So, an EP then. That’ll be quick. What, the new Sufjan Steven’s EP is an hour long? Jeez…
I like Sufjan. I listened to Illinois a bunch of times, love the song Chicago, but now really only skip to the songs I really like in his catalog. I’ve listened to his other albums only a couple of times, including that over-long Christmas album. I own them all thanks to emusic.
I wished I liked Sufjan more. I just can’t relate to him like I can the similar sounding Clem Snide or M Ward or Yo La Tengo. I can put on most any Clem Snide album at any time and it’s always late fall and I’m comforted and wistful like an old sweater. There’s irony and sad beauty. I think that’s how Sufjan wants me to feel.
I certainly enjoy the breathy immediacy of his vocals and the banjo and some of the horn flourishes. There’s just a weird New Christian vibe to the albums that strike me as hipstery. The language of his isn’t pretentious, but if there’s a country bordering pretentious, Sufjan has a passport there. He visits. I don’t think he’s cynical and he’s certainly singing from the heart. It’s just his heart’s glasses are on an old prescription. It’s unfocused. I know that doesn’t make much sense.
All the cool kids love his albums, but I haven’t found a reason why they do. Not my generation I guess. I’m rambling on like a Sufjan Stevens EP…

Okay, the new EP. (A pet peeve of mine are music reviews that never really get around to the music they’re supposedly reviewing and damned if I didn’t just do that.) Most of the songs are pretty long in the psychedelic folk-rock fashion. The problem is that they don’t really sustain any momentum. The exceptions are the second version of All Delighted People and the last half of the 17 minute EP closer, Djohariah, that one actually strikes close to Yo La Tengo long song territory. The main song, lyrically, is an homage to Simon and Garfunkel, using the first half of many of their famous couplets. I like that.
There’s plenty of small, fascinating sections in each of the songs, but the don’t gain any momentum. It’s like Sufjan got distracted with one idea, didn’t really develop it or call it back and decided to move on. It’s song ADHD. That can work for a skilled cut and paste artist like Beck, but not for someone who is trying to musically tell a story each song. Illinois worked because Sufjan was focused on the story-telling, here the fracturing hurts the cohesiveness. The sum of the parts don’t create a bigger whole. Maybe I’d like the album better if it was 35 two minute songs instead of 8 seven minute songs.
Will I listen to it again? I’ve listened to it twice through, pretty focused, but I think for me to listen again, it’ll be the two songs I really like or as back ground noise.

That’s better than my track record with that other Cool Kids artist, Devandra Bernhardt. Sufjan, with this EP is edging toward Devandra Bernhardt territory. So, it’ll be a Cool Kids favorite, but man have I tried to get into DB.
That’s something that I’d definitely need pharmacology’s help to do.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad