Sunday, May 17, 2009


We've been home for a week now. I'm just trying to get into some kind of daily routine. I'll let you know when I've found it. One of the best parts about being home is getting to watch movies, read books and overall relax. That said, I thought I'd share some of the entertainments I've been occupying myself with recently.
No shithead, I'm not talking about the Medea Goes to Jail drag queen guy. Though if you're into that sort of thing, by all means, good for you. This is a film of Euripides's' classic Greek tragedy directed by Lars Von Trier based on a script written by legendary Danish filmmaker Carl Dreyer. Maybe those names mean nothing to you. That's fine. Through some strange feat I ended up majoring in screenwriting in college and writing a mini-thesis on this Lars Von Trier guy. The name of the course was "Contemporary Scandinavian Cinema". And they say college doesn't prepare you for the real world. I digress...
Being made in 1988 for Danish TV, I was a little put off by this costume tragedy at first. However, after reading some back story about it on wikipedia, I was quickly drawn into this tale of that most sunniest of themes, infanticide. Woman's Scorn, hell hath no fury, etc. etc. This is probably the OG telling of that story. Apparently this is very hard to come by in the States. I got it from Netflix. And if this makes you think I'm a pretentious d-bag, I'll have you know I watched 2 full discs of "Girls Next Door" last night at my girlfriends insistence. As Meatloaf sang, "I would do anything for love..." You know the rest. Check this out.

I DVR'd this one a few months ago, but I just got around to watching it Tuesday. Based on the novel by Chuck "Fightclub" Pahluniakadingdong and starring the always dependable Sam Rockwell, I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Not many movies can jump from absurd comedy to serious drama. I feel like they could have done more with this comically but I liked it none the less. Every body's a critic. There's some genuinely funny scenes in this movie. The whole holy foreskin plot point is a movie unto itself.

Derek played a few songs in the van and I liked what I heard so I picked up their debut album. 4 or 5 songs on here I really like. I read a few reviews but they all seemed to miss the point that at the core, these songs are doo-wop songs with digital delay all over the guitars, and Arctic Monkeys type rambling work-a-day world lyrics. The whole albums not great, sadly but there definitely one of the better sounds I've heard this year. Of course the sticker on the CD had an NME quote that said "The best band in Britain". But I'll let that slide as our first press bio has us being called "pop geniuses", which I hope we are, but maybe we should wait till the 2nd album for that one. Ha ha! Check out "Daddy's Gone" or "Go Square Go".

I also bought the new DOVES album, "Kingdom of Rust" but I've only listened to it once so far so I can't really comment. I like all their other albums so I imagine I'll enjoy this too. To what degree, I don't know yet.

I picked up ELTON JOHN'S GREATEST HITS in the used bin. It's the one with him in the white suit on the cover. This one means a lot to me. Everyone always thinks I'm joking when I say my favorite song of all time is "Rocket Man". Well, dear reader, I'm not. A little back story...
When I was just a young shitkicker my uncle got me a tape of this album on a road trip to some regional landmark. I had a little mini tape player and I jammed this all the way home. My older brother hated/hates Sir Elton and let his feelings be known. My uncle, of the fun loving variety, told me to keep playing "Rocket Man" again and again to my brother's absolute horror. I think it was the 10th time that poetic line was crooned: "Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kid, in fact it's cold as hell". I had fallen in love. I still know all the words.

Finally, we're letting our hair down this coming Friday, May 22nd at the Brillobox in Pittsburgh and playing a short 3 song set of Smiths/Morrissey covers. We're definitely doing "Panic" and probably "Please Please Let Me Get What I Want". I'm very excited about this as The Smiths are one of my favorite bands. In fact I'm in the middle of reading "Morrissy/Marr: The Severed Alliance". If you're a Smiths fan, I'd strongly urge you to check it out.

Today I also bought a book I've been meaning to pick up for literally years: Howard Zinn's "A People's History of America". It's in the on deck circle, swinging a bat with the donut on.

So as you can see, I'm working hard/hardly working. We're also gearing up to start recording again and for this we're all incredibly excited. In the meantime, I gotta go. I've got some pining, miserable English lyrics to learn.

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