29 February 2008
Netflix Notes: 29 February 2008
28 February 2008
So, what I learned over at YouTube is that there aren't very many decent Vampire Weekend videos...In fact, this is the best of the bunch, which mostly include shaky gig footage of "Mansard Roof" from various shows...
The other thing I learned is that the band sounds a bit thin and uncertain in the live environment, which I guess I chalk up to being youngish and new. Still an excellent album, though.
24 February 2008
My 2008 Oscar Ballot
No Country For Old Men
There Will Be Blood
George Clooney: Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis: There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp: Sweeney Todd
Tommy Lee Jones: In The Valley Of Elah
Viggo Mortensen: Eastern Promises
Cate Blanchett: Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie: Away From Her
Marion Cotillard: La Vie en Rose
Laura Linney: The Savages
Ellen Page: Juno
Best Supporting Actor:
Casey Affleck: The Assassination Of Jesse James
Javier Bardem: No Country For Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman: Charlie Wilson's War
Hal Holbrook: Into The Wild
Tom Wilkinson: Michael Clayton
Best Supporting Actress:
Cate Blanchett: I'm Not There
Ruby Dee: American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan: Atonement
Amy Ryan: Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton: Michael Clayton
Paul Thomas Anderson: There Will Be Blood
Ethan & Joel Coen: No Country For Old Men
Tony Gilroy: Michael Clayton
Jason Reitman: Juno
Julian Schnabel: The Diving Bell & The Butterfly
Best Original Screenplay:
Brad Bird: Ratatouille
Diablo Cody: Juno
Tony Gilroy: Michael Clayton
Tamara Jenkins: The Savages
Nancy Oliver: Lars & The Real Girl
Best Adapted Screenplay:
Paul Thomas Anderson: There Will Be Blood
Ethan & Joel Coen: No Country For Old Men
Christopher Hampton: Atonement
Ronald Harwood: The Diving Bell & The Butterfly
Sarah Polley: Away From Her
Best Animated Feature:
Best Foreign Language Film:
The Counterfeiters [Austria]
Best Documentary Feature:
No End In Sight
Operation Homecoming: Writing The Wartime Experience
Taxi To The Dark Side
The Assassination Of Jesse James
The Diving Bell & The Butterfly
No Country For Old Men
There Will Be Blood
23 February 2008
Something 4 The Weekend # 57
13 February 2008
Finally, A Mitch Maneuver
This is the late, great Mitch Hedberg, doing a tasty 5 minutes on The Late Show with David Letterman. I believe my first exposure to Hedberg was thanks to Letterman.
The thing I liked most about Mitch, is the fact that he suffered from an almost debilitating stage fright, and yet he battled through it the best he could...The drugs certainly figured into it, but it takes a very certain bravery to tell jokes in front of a live audience, nevermind national network television. A bravery beyond cocaine.
Look at his shaky hand. Imagine the fear behind those shades.
We miss you, Mitch.
Waitin' Around To Maneuver Sideways
This is the late, great Townes Van Zandt, performing the first song he ever wrote, "Waitin' Around To Die"...For many TVZ fans, this is their favorite song of his...Me too, depending on my mood...Sometimes "To Live Is To Fly" is my favorite of his...Here's Guy Clark and his version of the song, cuz as good a performer as TVZ was, other artists have tended to have better commercial success with his songs.
Waiting For The Sideways Maneuver
Back in the mid-'80's, I sang and played things in an Art Punk band called Mumniti.
In the early days we did a few cover tunes, as most young bands are wont to do...One of those tunes was "Waitin' For The Man" by The Velvet Underground. We played the song slower and heavier than the original, but damn if I didn't sing it off legit, doing the best Lou Reed imitation that I could muster. In hindsight, I regret taking the way-too-easy way out...I regret only slightly less, playing a harmonica through a distortion pedal and a Marshall amp on this song, but only slightly less...
Hollywood Death Mask
One Moment In The Annals Of Evil
12 February 2008
All Aboard The Beardwagon!!!!!
Whether it is the scruff worn by assorted characters on LOST (which is a function of being on a deserted island moreso than a choice), the short-lived "strike beards" adorning the faces of David Letterman and Conan O'Brien, or the manly beards worn by various members of the New England Patriots (a function of superstition and cold fucking weather), this story's premise is that manly facial hair has made a comeback in our country.
Of course, being the iconoclast that I am, an iconoclast who has worn either a goattee or full-on beard since the age of 15 (1981 for those of you keeping tabs), I call "bullshit" on this entire trend, if only because most of these folks who have adopted facial hair are only doing so because they got a whiff of that same trend in the air, and want to be a meaningless part of it all.
Letterman and O'Brien both shaved theirs off within a week of returning to the airwaves, thus proving that neither truly had solidarity with the WGA, nor the cajones to keep the beard for merely aesthetic reasons, despite the fact that both talkshow hosts looked rather handsome in their bearded splendor.
If you pick up any indie music magazine, such as Alternative Press, you will see that the full-on beard has become as ubiquitous as those annoying fucking haircuts where the bangs hang prominently over half the face among the Emo/Metalcore set.
Listen, I don't know if I have a relevant point to this particular rant of mine, except to be self-serving (ouch, I think I broke my arm patting myself on the back)...Like I said, I've been wearing facial hair for 25+ years now, and it bothers me to see it become fashionable, rather than just "cool" all the time. So let me say this here - beards, or any sort of facial hair, is cool, all the time, until the end of time.
I had a chemistry teacher in high school, and we used to make fun of his fashion sense, to which he replied, "Fashion trends cycle through every 10-15 years, so I figure at least once per decade I'm back in style."
This is how I feel about facial hair. The '60's counterculture adopted the beard, only to trim it back to the moustache through much of the 1970's. The 1980's were all about the clean-shaven look (except for a brief stubbly moment thanks to MIAMI VICE), until Grunge made the goattee the hirsute choice of douchebags everywhere, many of them the member of a fraternity. And now, here we are, apparently celebrating the beard.
Personally, I think anyone (that includes you, ladies) capable of growing facial hair has a DUTY of doing so. Clean-shaven faces are for pre-pubescent boys and supermodels.
Those of you who know me, know my feelings about all of this already. My love of facial hair is probably best expressed through Doug Fudge, P.I., one of the characters from my comic strip who happens to make and sell all manner of outrageous beards and moustaches for the discerning person who wants to be incognito...
This current "trend", if it really is one, will be dead by summer...No, it will be dead by April. People are fucking cattle, for the most part, and as soon as this hype wears down, most will return to being cleanshaven bores afraid to cut against the grain, so to speak. To them, I say "good riddance" because they're just not cool enough to rock out with their beard out to begin with.
Oh, and my own theory as to why the beard has become popular as of late? I believe we're trying to identify with the "enemy", which right now is fundamentalist Muslims. Yeah, chew on THAT for awhile!
09 February 2008
White Lines Sideways Maneuver
Since SONY owns the bulk of Johnny Cash's back catalog, it's no surprise that there doesn't seem to be any videos of The Man In Black performing "Cocaine Blues" on YouTube...Of course, I didn't get very far in my search when stuff like this turned up...
Jr. Johnny Cash doing a chunk of the self-same song, and dontcha know, drug-fueled psychopathy begins at home...And hey, it sounds like dad took a toot himself, off-camera.
08 February 2008
Something 4 The Weekend # 56
So, here we are, a month or so later, and finally I pulled the trigger on some yucks.
Mitch Hedberg: Strategic Grill Locations: "Pancakes" [mp3]
But the thing is, tonight I first uploaded a Townes Van Zandt tune, "Cocaine Blues", because I had been listening to alot of TVZ this past week at work...But as luck or fate would have it, my eyes happened upon the Mitch Hedberg folder on my harddrive, and I thought about the fact that Hedberg died of a drug overdose in 2005. Specifically, cocaine and heroin, a combo better known as "speedballs".
Speedballing is a wicked, often lethal combination. First the cocaine hits you, raising the pulse, but that drug quickly wears off, leaving the effects of the heroin trailing in it's wake, which lowers yr heart rate, which is typically when yr respiratory system fails, and yr body is found the next morning in a trashed room of a Motel 6.
Townes Van Zandt didn't die of a drug overdose, though he did battle alcoholism most of his adult life. Instead, he died of a blood clot in one of his lungs following hip surgery. He was 53.
VU's guitarist, Sterling Morrison, died of Lymphoma in 1995.
Despite a deep and dark history of drug abuse, Lou Reed is still with us, as is John Cale and Mo Tucker.
So, anyways, I don't really intend that this S4TW be some sort of downer. Mitch Hedberg was a damn funny guy, Townes Van Zandt was a damn fine songwriter and a damn compelling performer, and The Velvet Underground were a damn excellent band.
Three damn fine lumpen for the price of one.
Hotcha Damn! Hank
07 February 2008
Completely Non-Sideways Dope Smoking Maneuver
Here's Gail and Dale from The Lawrence Welk Show, singing that stoner nugget from Brewer & Shipley, "One Toke Over The Line". And hey, it would appear Myron Floren maybe had one too many tokes himself before introducing the duo...
I saw this featured over at Boing Boing, so credit where credit is due. Thanks, BB!
The 50p Music Video Sideways Maneuver
I'm going to assume that TVAM was/is a British chat show, but there's no doubt in my mind that this particular segment dates from 1985 or thereabout, because ya got Thomas Dolby sitting there next to Downtown Julie Brown, before she made her way stateside to MTV...Bust mostly because the song "Change" was released in 1985.
Anyways, this video features Ron and Russell Mael, the two-headed genius behind the band SPARKS, and their appearance on TVAM...Wherein they share their music video for the song "Change"...Made for 50 pence, according to Ron, because they blew their 500k £ advance to record the song itself. Enjoy!
05 February 2008
Uniforms and Rituals
Humility was apparently a big concern in my family, because growing up there were two sayings I used to hear more than any other.
"Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back."
"You think your shit doesn't stink, but your farts give you away."
[insert clever segue here]
The above advertisement was found in Issue 87 of BPM magazine, a magazine dedicated to "music, tech, nightlife and style" according to their subtitle. According to me, the magazine's main interest is style, because this is a mag about electronica music, club culture, and the hipster kids who indulge in in those things, and like most other "scenes", it always seemed to me that fashion/style and one's "rep" or "cred" within any given scene trumps all else. We wear the appropriate fashions, we use the oft-inclusive vocabularies, we dance/react to the chosen music in the approved manner (headbanging, breakdancing, etc), and we glorify our own scene while typically ridiculing all other scenes.
If we don't abide by the uniforms and rituals of our chosen scene, we risk being ostracized by the group (or never gain admittance in the first place). At best, our reputation within the group suffers.
Apparently, within the club culture, making a stink when one makes stinky can damage one's reputation...
I kid, I kid. For all I know this advert also ran in The Source and Kerrang.
(They still publish Kerrang, don't they?)
Anyways, I didn't start this post to rank on club kids and their lifestyle, but rather to simply point out that this is apparently where we now are as a species. Natural bodily functions are now so grotesque to many of us that even the faintest whiff of them (literally) is unacceptable.
This saddens me. It also makes me laugh.
02 February 2008
The Creem Dreem Sideways Maneuver
I wrote about Ms. Ronstadt in a previous HOT POOP post, so I won't really say anything here - you can click on the link and read it for yrself if yr so inclined...More navel-gazing by yours truly, but I've always believed in that sort of music criticism/blogging, a "New Journalism" of sorts, so whatcha gonna do?
No, right now I'm just thinking about the rock'n'roll hotties of my youth, and reminiscing about my days in the Cub Scouts.
01 February 2008
Speaking Of Boy Howdy!
CREEM Magazine used to have a one-page feature every issue called the Star Profile, which was essentially a parody of Dewars print ads, and featured a picture of a different rock star drinking Boy Howdy! brand beer in each issue, accompanied by a short and silly profile of that particular star.
In their January 1975 Star Profile, Creem featured Grace Slick, lead singer of Jefferson Airplane/Starship, standing in a bathroom stall with a can of Boy Howdy at her lips, and her left tit hanging out.
Now, I don't necessarily want to get too sentimental, too maudlin about this, and lord knows you don't really want or need more of my navel-gazing, but I don't believe I'm exaggerating when I say that Grace Slick's left tit changed my life.
I was 9 years old when this particular issue of CREEM hits the newstands, and I dunno if this is hard to believe, but I was reading CREEM at this age, having discovered the magazine in my search for all things KISS, dig?
Nine years old, but Grace Slick's left tit wasn't the first tit I had ever seen in my young life...No, my friends and I had found my dad's Playboy stash, so this was nothing new to me.
Grace Slick's stiff left nipple is the nexus of sex, drugs (Boy Howdy! beer) and rock'n'roll in my own personal consciousness. It is the singular point at which all the hedonistic possibilities of the rock'n'roll lifestyle found definition in young mind. At that moment when I first layed eyes upon Grace Slick's left tit, I absolutely became obsessed with rock music, once and for all time, and it has been the single most important "thing" in my life ever since.
I started collecting records like a mofo (and like my mom), and I tried to become a rockstar myself for a couple of decades, and I drank heavily for a long time, and have experimented with drugs, have enjoyed the groupie dynamic...And I wrote record reviews and essays for my college newsaper, and I've been a DJ at various points in my life, and I do a monthly podcast, and I post a new mp3 every weekend here at HOT POOP, and all of it, the last 30+ years, can be partially (at least) traced directly back to this picture and that moment in 1975.
Oddly enough, I'm more of an "ass man".
Aside from my previous posting of the Sparks' song, "Tits", I was inspired to write this post because Harper Collins just published a rather amazing hardcover coffee table book featuring the best of ye olde CREEM magazine...
It's 270 big colorful pages loaded with tons of amazing photographs, and all the appropriately hilarious and REAL rock'n'roll journalism (Lester Bangs was an enormous influence on my young mind as well), and at $20, it's truly a MUST for any serious fan of rock music and journalism, especially from the '70's and '80's...Check it out...
Something 4 The Weekend # 55
My Delusions On Parade
Of course, here's the reality of the situation...