Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Two-fer Tuesday

Just like Z-102 ("Austin's home of classic rock", btw) used to do when instead of just "Shakin'" you also got "Take Me Home Tonight", I'm not just gonna give you one winner of a new album, I'm gonna give you two of them.

This first band is the west coast Grizzly Bear (not a recognized breed) from right here in sunny LA called, appropriately, Local Natives. They look like LA too. You've got the super hipster, the guy with a mustache, the guy with a full beard, and a guy who you're not sure what team he plays for. Oh, and a John Oates lookalike. Forgot to mention that.

But they make good tunes and sing like birds. And their album, "Gorilla Manner", got an 8+ on Pitchfork and of course they're never wrong. But geographically, topographically, socially, atmospherically—it sounds a lot like LA looks.

This is "Wide Eyes."

And my old faves from Sweden, the Shout Out Louds, snuck out a pretty nifty new one this week called "Work." It sounds like 1982 top 40 radio got back together and decided to lay down a few new cuts. Most of it, anyway.

Except maybe the song "Walls" that sounds like it just busted out of the joint. And, by god, it's gonna get its life straight this time. All one big building verse built around a killer melody and then a massive triple punch of a chorus. Just phenomenal. Give it about :25 to get going.

Shout Out Louds - Walls from Merge Records on Vimeo.

More to come...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Everyone into the Cold Cave

The economy is clearly turning around 'cause this whole experimental/synth-pop/rock thing has been paying some pretty handsome dividends.

Beats, synths, drony guitars, gothy vocals. They slather it all on ya like jam on a delicious roll!

Cold Cave's album is like the other side, the winter side, the cold and icy side of last summer's Animal Collective total suntan of the brain, "Merriweather Post Pavilion." Proof that just like summer, winter's what you make of it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Last night’s plane ride by the numbers

0 – Number of times the entertainment system worked. I didn’t think it was that big a deal but, judging by the restlessness/aisle-walking/shifting around in seats, apparently I was the only one who prepared for that possibility.

5 – Estimation of the likely number of books/iPods/PSP’s or other long-term entertainment materials brought on board.

5 - Number of times a couple of young teen girls who were seated a few rows ahead of me made this poor old man get up so they could go for a stroll and see there BFF’s.

5 – Number of hours the two guys across the aisle from me talked. Non-stop. I'm not kidding.

4 – Number of times those same guys rang the flight attendant button. To give a little point of reference, I’ve rung that button like zero times ever.

21 – My estimation of the number of teenage girls who were treating the plane like it was a bus on the way to cheerleading regionals. That’s an aisle, ladies. Let’s keep it clear.

1 – Number of times someone puked in the back somewhere. Didn’t see it but smelled it on the way back to the lav.

1 - Speaking of the lav, this is the number of times I went back there and saw a guy just standing. Oh , not waiting or stretching his legs. No, just standing. And facing the wall. Real normal, pal. Reeeeeaaaaal normal.

3 – Number of times some middle-aged guy came to the front of coach and performed what could only be described as some kind of new-agey yoga thingy while facing the entire cabin. Could have been to combat deep-vein thrombosis (ya like that pull?) but he could have done that closer to his seat. Then again, we were flying to LA so you know what you're gonna get. Sadly, he didn’t have a ponytail.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Bad screenplay idea #436

In the wake of an extremely minor fender bender (not her fault), Sandra Bullock becomes hooked on prescription painkillers and loses her job, her family and the comfort of her lush, leafy suburban neighborhood. She spirals further and further down until she lands in a dark underworld of drugs and door-to-door peanut brittle sales on the mean streets of West Memphis (the bad part).

Once there, she's befriended by a crack whore with a heart of gold played by Drew Barrymore (or, as a safety, Kate Hudson) and begins to make peace with her new life, eventually joining up with a regional ACORN office. There she helps rig the voting that eventually leads to Obama's election. Real America goes ape for it. Working title: "The Dark Side."

Bad screenplay idea #437

Because you know Hollywood's obviously gonna wanna franchise that shit, we double down with "The Brightside" (working title).

Picking up a couple of years later, we find Sandra atoning for her misdeeds by feverishly preparing the congregation of The Holy Ascension mega church for the Rapture. She and a resurgent Selma Blair (just being realistic and anticipating the countless contractual headaches with Drew and/or Kate) spend their days doing whatever needs to be done to prepare for the Rapture (research is looking into this). There will probably be a climax involving her being reunited with the guy from "The Blindside", a crying-in-the-rain scene, possibly vampires, Michael Cera, a reanimated Elvis (looking into rights), a car chase, a potential love interest with a 25-pound-heavier Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and it all culminates in a full-on, balls-to-the-wall Rapture scene* featuring everyone's favorite messiah: Jesus (Jim Caviezel?)

Needless to say, it's gonna be awesome.

* Rapture scene is fully dependent on openness of cast to doing full nudity (it's in the Bible, look it up) as well as our CG budget which will obviously be determined by the first film's take—if we can't do the Rapture, perhaps just a really big Tea Party. Same thing.)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Other things besides love that you can't hurry

Making the switch from shoe laces to velcro

Tattoos of multiple consonant names

Susan Lucci daytime Emmy's

Cooking pork products

"Tonight Show" hosting

Healthcare reform

Cubs pennants