Monday, June 28, 2010

Avocados. They are good on things.

Holly was going to start clipping our cat’s nails…until she stumbled upon this picture of this terrified fat cat getting its nails clipped. And this is from a site that thinks home-clipping is a good idea.

catclipping -----------------------------

What is the worst/best thing in the world? Late night naps. You know what I mean. It’s when you have, say, worked hard all day long and you reach that level of exhaustion at 6:30 PM. Then you give in and sweet slumber until 8:30 PM. It’s refreshing and delightful. Until you are up until 1 AM…

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Avocados. They are good on things.

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Fruit Bats present a song called “When U Love Somebody”, which I think would work real well as the opening sequence of a Michael Cera movie.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

New Music Review - “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)”

twilight

★★

I have no shame in writing this review. Let me make that clear from the start. I will not hate Twilight just because it is, well, Twilight. Regardless, the soundtrack has nothing to do with how much time the movies spend showing Edward sparkle or Bella biting her bottom lip. In fact, historically the soundtracks have been very strong, and the soundtrack to New Moon even came in at #4 on my top albums of 2009 after it featured extremely strong tracks from Thom Yorke, Bon Iver, and Grizzly Bear. Even the slightly weaker debut soundtrack to the initial movie featured great tracks from Paramore, Blue Foundation, and Black Ghosts. I remember watching New Moon, which I detested as a movie overall, and realizing the only parts of the movie I enjoyed were those that featured the great songs from its soundtrack.

The soundtrack to Twilight: Eclipse continues a tradition of strong soundtracks, though overall it does not compare to its predecessor. Here the songs are mostly good but lack the strength of singular tracks like the Grizzly Bear/Beach House collaboration “Slow Life” or Lykke Li’s haunting “Possibility”. Star power this album still has though, featuring tracks from Muse, The Bravery, Vampire Weekend, and Band of Horses. What this album does well, though, is crank out songs with consistency, which the first soundtrack did not.

The album’s opener challenges for the best of the bunch. When Metric’s “Eclipse (All Yours)” soars into the chorus on the back of Broken Social Scene’s Emily Haines’ voice, it makes for a perfect start. What could be a promising back-to-back duo of Muse and The Bravery, though, proves disappointing. Muse falls into their predictable trap and pattern here, belting into an overdramatic song comparing love to a neutron star collision, or something like that. The Bravery follow it up with “Ours”, which unfortunately sounds like it was a castoff from their album.

Things do start looking up, fortunately. When the deep voice of Florence and the Machine sweeps into the snare-drum pounding “Heavy in Your Arms” it’s hard not to get into it. And when Sia unleashes her string-laced and soft piano gem “My Love”, we’ve had the best two-song combo on the album, and both from unexpected places. And once the album endures the disappointing threesome of Fanfarlo, The Black Keys, and The Dead Weather (which is really a bummer, considering Jack White is the albums best musician), it’s all smooth sailing to the finish. Beck and Bat Lashes combine on a great 80’s-ish track “Let’s Get Lost”. Vampire Weekend write what is, in my opinion, their best song yet, mandolin and all. “Jonathan Low” is proof to me on what kind of potential Vampire Weekend have in them, since apparently everyone but me is enamored with them. Unkle’s “With You in My Head” and Eastern Conference Champions’ “A Million Miles an Hour” provide two solid tracks from two generally unknown bands, though Eastern Conference Champions could probably avoid completely imitating Radiohead. Band of Horses, who seem incapable of writing a bad song, contribute the wistful “Life on Earth” while Cee Lo Green of Gnarls Barkley fame scores an odd gem on “What Part of Forever”.

Often overlooked in Twilight too, is how great the score is, whether that be Carter Burwell (No Country for Old Men, Fargo), Alexandre Desplat (Girl With the Pearl Earring, The Queen, Fantastic Mr. Fox), and now Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings, The Departed, Gangs of New York). The soundtrack, like those before it, features one track from Howard Shore, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing to introduce tweens to some good classical compositions, even if they are called “Jacob’s Song”.

I don’t know if Twilight: Eclipse will place on my year’s end Top 10 or not since this has been such a strong music year. But the sound track is perfectly good, albeit lacking in superstar tracks. However, it’s consistently heavy on good songs by good artists, and it’s a welcome addition to my collection.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Last Time I Do Such and Such

So I’ve always been a sentimental, nostalgic kind of guy. I even get sentimental about odd kinds of things, whether it be my last time driving past Lucky Peak, last time eating at a certain restaurant, last time mowing my lawn, etc. It’s kind of sweet and kind of annoying I suppose. When done properly it can be whimsical and thoughtful. For instance: “Wow, this is the last time we’re going to eat at our special spot guys. It’s been a good run.” But when done improperly it can go something like this: “Wow, this is last time I’m buying cranberry sauce at WalMart.”

21 days left in Idaho.

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Song recommendation of the day comes from Vampire Weekend. It’s called “Jonathan Low”. Yes, as the art below indicates, it comes from the Twilight soundtrack, which have historically been much better than the movies. I’ll have a review on the whole album up pretty soon.

Monday, June 21, 2010

This Changes EVERYTHING!!!

Does anyone even use Yahoo! anymore? It’s been my frontpage for a long time, although I’d still rather search with Bing and Google. Call it comfort if you will. I’m like the old guy that goes to the same place every day and order the same thing when it comes to internet frontpages. One thing Yahoo! is good at is the random little tidbits of knowledge they post, like “25 Things Not to Say During an Interview” or “5 Best Ranch Dressings”. But when I found this one, it changed my life:

“Should You Pre-rinse Your Dishes Before Loading the Dishwasher?”

The answer? No, you should not. Wait, what? Then why do I always do it??? Why does Holly always do it? Why does my mom always do it? Why does Holly’s mom always do it?

Experts unanimously agree that you should NOT pre-rinse your dishes before loading the dishwasher.

Why not? Because your dishes will not get any cleaner if you rinse them before loading your dishwasher. Pre-rinsing is therefore a complete waste of time, water, energy, and money.

Oh. My. Goodness. I LOVE time, water is DELICIOUS, energy costs MONEY, and money can BUY THINGS. And buy not pre-rinsing my dishes I can increase my surplus in all these things?

My life has forever changed.

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I’ve been watching a little World Cup action despite not being a big soccer fan. But the World Cup is kind of like the Olympics, where you can at least pull for your country despite not caring about the sport. I mean, seriously, when else do you watch bobsledding with such intensity. I have a few problems with soccer. For one, it’s like hockey without the hitting, and I don’t think hockey is that great in the first place. Second, why don’t they tell you how much extra time is left? That’s just dumb. Third, I don’t get offsides, which is why I like this video so much.

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One of the bigger stupid things out there is cell phones on planes and the insistence that everyone power down because it "could interfere with the instruments in the cockpit”. The first clue you should get that this isn’t true is the fact that they trust you to do it yourself and don’t ever check to make sure they are off. If it really interfered with the instrumentation in the cockpit you can be pretty certain you would have to put your cell phone in a little bin or something, not keep it securely on in your pocket. I’ve done some internet research, including here, here, and here. The truth, in sum:

The airlines fear "crowd control" problems if cell phones are allowed in flights. They believe cell phone calls might promote rude behavior and conflict between passengers, which flight attendants would have to deal with. The airlines also benefit in general from passengers remaining ignorant about what's happening on the ground during flights, including personal problems, terrorist attacks, plane crashes and other information that might upset passengers.

One way to deal with callers bothering noncallers would be to designate sections of each flight where calling is allowed -- like a "smoking section." But the ban is easier.

The airlines’ answer is that not enough conclusive testing has been done. But of course, without any motivation, why would they test?

I’m not advocating that you keep your cell phone switched on when you’re flying, but I am advocating that you roll your eyes when they make the request.

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Song of the day is “Five Little Rooms” by Menomena.

 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Of Pretentiousness and BP, For What It’s Worth

I’m trying to be better these days. I promise. As my complete dive into the world of music has developed since around 2003 I’ve often announced with pride that I am a “indie music snob”, as if pretentiousness was something to be proud of. You know what the real problem with pretentiousness is? It’s a slippery slope, and there is always always someone more pretentious than you are. The minute you tell someone how much better The Fray is than Miley Cyrus, someone else tells you how much better Snow Patrol is than The Fray. And Snow Patrol isn’t nearly as experimental as Muse. But Muse? Oh they are basically just Radiohead and Queen copycats, say the critics. And once you think it’s okay to praise Radiohead someone will come out and tell you how overrated they are and turn you onto Animal Collective. Here lies the rub: it never ends. Someone is always ready to out-snob you. If you’re trying to stay uber-cool in the critical world you eventually end up listening to people who lock themselves away in attics making moaning sounds, experimenting with 13th century instruments, and dabbling in animal noises. Pitchfork is the worst. They out-snob the snobs so quickly one gets the sense that they could write their review before the album comes out based on popularity level.

Lately I’ve been trying to get better and separate myself from this crowd, although I certainly enjoy much of the music this crowd loves. I have a mission when I write reviews. I want to open people up to new music that’s good and that they maybe haven’t heard before. If it’s mainstream, then that’s fine. If it’s off the beaten path, that’s fine. Good is good and I’ll try anything. Certainly I have some predispositions. But all this really means is that I generally like some genres and styles better. What I like is actually decently simple: I like things that are unique and bring something different to the table. I like albums that are cohesive and don’t sound so similar song by song that you can’t remember any of the songs when you’re done. I respect talent, meaning I prefer it when the artist knows how to sing, writes their own songs, and plays their own songs. As I’ve written before you shouldn’t have to try to “seem sincere”, you should just be sincere.

But you know the beauty of it all? Sometimes preferences and rules don’t matter. I like Lifehouse, and have for years. I like Michael W. Smith. I like Linkin Park most of the time. I have some Eminem. I like Breaking Benjiman. I like All-American Rejects, Paramore, and Fall Out Boy. None of these bands even gets reviewed by a lot of critics. And you know what, go ahead and like Nickelback. Go ahead and like OneRepublic. I liked music like that once too, and I’ve slowly grown away from them as I saw what else was out there. And I’m beginning to understand that no one is going to be open to new bands or ideas if they’re being criticized for liking what they like. Sometimes it’s frustrating when people like only the 40 songs the radio plays, but that’s how the biz works. Sometimes it’s frustrating to hear “but I’ve never even heard of them” as a complaint when that’s kinda the point. But I’m trying to get better. I’m trying not make fun of peoples’ music taste. I started at Goo Goo Dolls, moved to Good Charlotte, took a trip with Eve 6, discovered Snow Patrol and Keane, got into Coldplay and The Verve, discovered The Shins and Band of Horses. Now it’s Spoon, Grizzly Bear, and The Hold Steady. But I started with Goo Goo Dolls and Good Charlotte, so who am I to think I’m so dang cool.

Like what you like people. Just be ready to like something more. Finding new stuff can be so much fun. And you don’t have to hate your old stuff to do it.

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British Petroleum. It’s interesting to watch as people reach for something or someone to blame in every situation. Step back and you’ll see it all. Blame BP, they’re the polluters! Blame Obama, what a terrible response! Blame Bush, it’s his era of “greed” that set this up! But you know what, what happened has happened. It’s done. And when you’re business is drilling for oil in the middle of an ocean, something will eventually go wrong. This isn’t the only industry where risk is inherent. Doesn’t every airline know eventually someone will crash the plane? Doesn’t every mining company know that mines can collapse? The response can often be to just blame “society” or “greed” as if we can just do this be done with it. And it may be true. “Society” wants to drive cars. It wants to go somewhere fast. It wants to do it cheap. And no matter how much everyone wants to feel like they believe the environment is more important than their car, the honest truth is that most people accept the risk of a once a century oil spill if it means we get where we need to go when we need to go there. If regulations start sweeping in to cut offshore drilling and gas prices hit $5, people will start clamoring for offshore drilling again. That’s reality. I, for one, will not boycott BP. Someone on that oil well jacked up. But I’m not going to do some sort of self-righteous boycott of BP just because it was their company that owned the oil well that blew up. You weren’t boycotting Exxon still were you? Boycotting BP is just an attempt to lay some blame and move on. Unless you’re willing to just boycott oil (and you aren’t), then it’s fruitless. If I’m next to a BP and need gas I won’t think twice, no matter how much I think the oil spill sucks. And let’s be clear, this isn’t Obama’s fault or Bush’s fault either. They sit in an office hundreds or thousands of miles away. The fact that they are so helpless to help should just say something about government’s inability to fix large scale issues like this. Instead of wondering where the president is that can fix all these things, why not just stop expecting that it’s the presidents job to “fix” every accident and natural disaster?

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Ending it all with a new song from Spoon called “Who Makes Your Money”

Monday, June 14, 2010

New Music Review: The New Pornographers - “Together”

np ★★

You wanna know my main issue with The New Pornographers? Do ya? Well, I’ll tell ya. It’s that they named themselves The New Pornographers. Yes, now when I review their album my mother can shriek that I’m listening to devil music. And to further drive home the problems with their name, I turn to Bing image search, where my search for their album art alerted me that I would have to turn off the family friendly filter to continue my search. So thank you Canadian indie folk rock band The New Pornographers, for making me explain you every time you come up. “Wanna hear a new song, person x?” “Sure do! Who’s it by?” “The New Pornographers". “Oh…that doesn’t sound like my style”. Sigh. Truth is, they probably planned this.

Much like their Canadian counterparts (and subjects of previous review) Broken Social Scene, The New Pornographers are a Canadian indie supergroup, though their focus is a little more folksy than rocky. Most the time, at least. Their side projects include the solo work of A.C. Newman and Neko Case and the groups Destroyer and Zumpano. Previous albums have been consistently solid in nature, although usually lacking in overwhelming flair. Their best potential has been flashed in songs like “Use It”, “Myriad Harbour”, and “Challengers”. Passion for The New Pornographers, for me at least, shifts depending on who is singing. The band and the album don’t have a cohesive feel so much as they alternate between Dan Bejar, Neko Case, and A.C. Newman taking the helm. When Newman sings, I usually am a fan. Case as well, but not to the same extent. Bejar, on the other hand, has to form a special song for me to look past his voice (he did this on “Myriad Harbour” and does it again on “Silver Jenny Dollar” here).

When The New Pornographers write a great song though it is often the epitome of sunny pop bliss, and this occurs on the string and oh-oh-oh laced “Moves” and the rousing, rock-y “Your Hands (Together)”, the albums two best tracks. The biggest disappointment on the album is Neko Case, who’s dependability is relegated to only a few tracks, and only “Crash Years” approaches a level of recommendation. The piano loveliness of “Valkyrie in a Roller Disco” does it’s best to combine the elements of all members, and its the most wistful of the bunch. The album concludes with “We End Up Together”, perhaps the perfect theme song for a band whose members seems to be great on their own but even better together. “The best wishes on both ends extended/Ma ma ma ma, we end up together” they sing. It’s the perfect sentimental end to a perfectly solid album from a perfectly solid band, no matter how bad they are at choosing a band name.

New Music Review: Broken Social Scene - “Forgiveness Rock Record”

bss ★★★1/2

Broken Social Scene brings together an amazing assortment of musicians. Wikipedia says the band has had as many as 19 members at one time. In fact the side projects of the primary members have, in some circles, surpassed the prominence of the original group. Indeed, few who watch television haven’t heard of Feist and the Apple iPod theme song “1,2,3,4”. In addition alt rock band Metric and indie group Stars (who released the wonderful “In Our Bedroom After the War” a couple years back) make up two of the other many side projects. On Forgiveness Rock Record the band is reunited, often with fantastic results. Overall the album lacks a completely cohesive feel, and at 14 songs I’m faced to realize that either the album lacks the ability to completely hold my attention or I just haven’t given it enough listens or time to digest. I wouldn’t write the review if I didn’t believe it was the former more than the latter.

The album begins with one of the strongest tracks, the sonically deep and nearly seven minute long “World Sick”. The chirping guitars, subtle electronics, and swarming chorus are a perfect start to the album. I imagine the song will find it’s way onto a lot of year end critical lists, my own included. “Chase Scene” is nearly as long and darker in nature. The ominous strings and distorted electronics provide a pulsating backdrop for an endlessly interesting tune. The album’s strong start continues with “Texico Bitches”, with the vocals strained and little distant as they bemoan capitalistic greed (“Texico bitches why do you steal?”).

After this, though, the album delves a little into inconsistency. Certainly the electronically focused “All in All” and “Sweetest Kill”, which feature primarily female vocals, provide a much needed change of pace and atmospheric feel. I can attest that “Sweetest Kill” was even better live, and found it to be the best song they played this summer. “Art House Director'” is forgettable, and for all the wistful nature in “Highway Slipper Jam”, it’s just not a repeat listener. They do find more success in “Ungrateful Little Father”, which heaps the instrumentation on but never skips a beat.

The album has some fantastic moments (particularly “World Sick” and “Sweetest Kill”). There’s a sense after I finish this album that a ten song album may have been a better direction, provided they axed the appropriate songs. But someone looking for great indie rock won’t be disappointed here. When this many talented people get together, you can only hope for results this good in this many places.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

New Music Review: Band of Horses - “Infinite Arms”

infinite-arms ★★ 

I’ve never met a person who didn’t like “Funeral”, Band of Horses’ soaring hello to the world of music on their opening album. At the time I regarded Band of Horses as just a pretty good band with a great song. That changed when sophomore album Cease to Begin was released, and two years later and about, roughly, 247 listens later, I have the band squarely in my top five, including ranking the album the as the #4 album of the decade. In fact, the album contained four of my coveted five-star songs, most of any single album in my entire collection. Just try and follow that up!

Band of Horses follow it up more than admirably, though I’ll admit to giving it a few extra listens and a little extra time for reviewing just because the first time through I was waiting for every song to be epic. Album opener “Factory” might be the best song on the album, starting with a lovely set of strings never heard before on a Band of Horses album and featuring wistful imagery (“the elevator in the hotel lobby has a lazy door”). “Factory” gives way to much more toe-tapping “Compliments”, where you can here Band of Horses’ country influences in full force. The forlorn-yet-accepting tone of “Laredo” is a song about self-evaluation and getting one’s head straight just by getting away. The album takes a bit of a dip with the softer “Blue Beard”, which starts promising, but awkwardly transitions into the final verse.

The album gets back on track with it’s best three song compilations, the successive “On My Way Back Home”, “Infinite Arms”, and “Dilly”. “On My Way Back Home” sounds eerily similar to “Sloop John B” by The Beach Boys as it slowly builds up. The song is somber and reflective as lead singer Ben Bridwell listens to “all my favorite songs” while “pissing my life away in the form of song”. Only Bridwell can pull off mopey lyrics like that and just seem reflective. “Infinite Arms” is as pensive as songs get, with Bridwell reflecting on a lover lost or gone far away. “When my thoughts drift to you…” he sings, and when he sings it becomes the album’s best moment. Pep is added back in with “Dilly”, though the theme of loss still remains. One thing to notice here is a little piano, and instrument not often featured in Band of Horses songs. But it’s a welcome addition. “For Annabelle”’s southern front porch style could have fit nicely on Cease to Begin, but it’s no slouch on this album either. The song is folksy and imagery laden (“walk home with you…in a barren field for us to cut through”) and is one of the stars of the show here.

A search for a coalescent theme in this album is not difficult. Most songs deal with the sadness of losing someone close, the struggle to adapt to the new situation, what to do next, and wandering from one place to the next without a real home. In “Factory” Bridwell sings of his stuff being strewn across hotel rooms, and in “NW Apt.” he fondly recollects an old apartment. The album is not without hope, though. On the closer, “Neighbor”, he hopefully realizes that “there’s a light on the front porch for someone”.

This album doesn’t quite approach the standards that Cease to Begin set forth, but it is superior to their debut album “Everything all the Time”. Any album that contains “Factory”, “Infinite Arms”, “Dilly”, and “For Annabelle” is worthy of a listen. And thus this album falls squarely in the middle of their discography. When we get to the end of the year I imagine it will also fall squarely in the middle of my annual top ten album. No, not the top, but certainly on the list. Band of Horses show here that they may not know how to make a bad album.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My Top 50 Movies of All Time

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some, and I imagine that rankings like these probably change all the time, but my siblings recently attempted/are attempting to list their top 50 movies of all time. Here’s what I put together:

50. Garden State - Quirky Natalie Portman introduces the world to The Shins. "They'll change your life".

49. On the Waterfront - Leaves little doubt that Marlon Brando is one of the best actors of all time.

48. Into the Wild - Turns any pretentious hippie who thinks they know what the movie is about on their head.

47. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Nurse Ratched = most normal villain ever

46. Mean Girls - "You're gonna wanna touch each other. And if you do, you will catch Chlamydia. And die."

45. Dodgeball - "If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball". Also, best cameo ever (Lance Armstrong).

44. Star Wars (Original trilogy) - Han Solo might be the best character created.

43. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - "Four eyes four eyes, you need glasses to see!"

42. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Such a beautiful, trippy movie. Art film at its best.

41. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - Perfectly acted. And I had no idea it would be that funny.

40. Finding Nemo - Would have been higher, but it didn't have staying power. Mostly because Dori is only funny the first time.

39. North by Northwest - Hitchcock's best work. And Cary Grant is awesome.

38. Babe - Pure, innocent joy.

37. Minority Report - Superbly acted and thought out. I love movies like this that make you think.

36. Napoleon Dynamite - I'm not arguing that this is a "good" movie, but I can't leave off the most quoted movie of all time.

35. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl - Ridiculously good time. Perfect PG-13 Disney action.

34. Star Trek: First Contact - James Cromwell makes this one.

33. X2: X-Men United - Best sequel ever? It is according to my list.

32. Beauty and the Beast - Belle is the best Disney chick ever.

31. A Few Good Men - Of all the overrated scenes in movie, the "you can't handle the truth" scene is not one of them.

30. Little Miss Sunshine - "So you stopped talking because of Friedrich Nietzsche?"

29. Crazy Heart - Newest addition. A must see. So sincere and touching. Jeff Bridges blew me away.

28. Back to the Future - Between the mom-and-son and dance hall scenes, this movie had some classic parts.

27. Apollo 13 - I still get chills during the heat shield scene. The movie use silence so effectively.

26. Love Actually - So awesome on so many levels.

25. Forrest Gump - The movie has given us so many classic lines that it's entrenched itself in daily dialogue.

24. Collateral - Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx show that two great actors can sit in a taxi a whole movie and be amazing.

23. Coraline - Who would have thought it? And no one saw it.

22. Shawshank Redemption - Morgan Freeman and the guy who ran the library are so perfect in this one.

21. Shrek - Had that perfect combo of heart and hilarity. Second only to Toy Story in this department.

20. Juno - You know a movie is funny when you watch it alone and die laughing.

19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - There have been a few good HP's, but this one was so good it made the Top 20.

18. Moulin Rouge - Between the cinematography and the music this is one of the most entrancing movies ever.

17. Batman Begins - The best super hero movie of all time. Christian Bale was perfect, and Michael Caine was born for Alfred.

16. Galaxy Quest - Crewman #6 on an away mission the best comedy scene ever?

15. Rudy - Still get chills when he runs on the field for the first time.

14. Casablanca - There's nothing overrated here. Brilliantly acted suspenseful drama. The dueling anthems is classic film.

13. Oceans 11 - Some stellar ensemble casting, hilarious writing, and still a great story.

12. Big Fish - This film just takes me to another world. My favorite Tim Burton movie, and I pretty much like every Tim Burton movie.

11. The Prestige - I'm pretty good at predictions, but this one got me. Superbly acted in every way.

10. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington - Losing faith in politicians is not new. Jimmy Stewart restores some hope.

9. About a Boy - My go-to movie recommendation, because apparently no one ever saw this one.

8. Princess Bride - Absolute comic gold. One of the most quotable movies the world has seen.

7. It's a Wonderful Life - The acting, the heart, the message...it's the perfect holiday movie.

6. Saving Private Ryan -  Full Metal Jacket has the best boot camp scene, but this is the best war movie ever made.

5. 12 Angry Men - What fascinates me about this movie is that it takes place in one room and creates such intense drama.

4. Field of Dreams - "Dad....do you wanna have a catch?" *sniff*

3. Say Anything - So sincere and well-written. Just when you think the movie is comedy it reminds you that life is not all laughs.

2. Toy Story - Pixar has managed to never make a bad movie, yet still can't top the original.

1. Lord of the Rings Trilogy - So epic that it is hard to even compare it to other movies

Honorable mentions: Crash, Se7en, Up, Rat Race, Goodfellas, Walk the Line, Hunt for Red October, Iron Man, Slumdog Millionaire, Pride and Prejudice, The Patriot, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, The Sandlot, The Sting, Bourne Identity, Tin Cup, What About Bob?, Canadian Bacon, A Beautiful Mind, The Matrix, The Departed, Kill Bill, Finding Neverland, Ray, Gattaca, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, Emporer's New Groove, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Sneakers, Memento, Donnie Darko, Passion of the Christ, Mission Impossible, and School of Rock.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I Have a Cat

His name is Jalapeno. He plays Mass Effect 2 with me on the X-Box. He seems as interested as I do.

IMG_2371

He climbed on my laptop computer when playing LCD Soundsystem’s “Dance Yrself Clean”, most likely because he has good music taste and was wondering where those amazing sounds came from.

He likes to lay on the couch for long periods of time. I like to lay on the couch for long periods of time. He likes my laptop. I like my laptop. He thinks it’s mean that Holly makes him stay in the back room when we leave the house. I think it’s mean when Holly makes him stay in that room too. He likes chasing his fish toy. I like catching fish as well.

I like to blog. I let him step on the computer so he could blog this: “ewwwwwwwwwwwc```````q”

I’m very impressed. Not only did he type, but he managed to change the font color and do inset quotes. I’m not kidding.

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This here is “Crystalized” by The xx:

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Random Blog Time! Of Car Trouble, Carnitas, Amy Adams, and Things That Mildly Bother Me

Presenting a list of things that have happened concerning my cars in very recent history:

1) Rodeo – Right front window’s electronic power control stops working. Attempts to fix left window down. Duct tape utilized to fix.

IMG_2084

2) Rodeo – Father borrows car to move sister’s items out of apartment. Back window shatters.

3) Saturn – Starts refusing to start intermittently. Battery replaced. Seems to be fine.

4) Rodeo – Dash light renders speedometer unreadable at night. Replacement successful, but attempts to replace knocks off plastic cover that shows what gear you’re in. Scotch tape/ingenuity enable a fix.

IMG_2086 

5) Saturn – Despite battery replacement car decides not to start at Walmart on day of Sasquatch Festival departure. Car taken to shop. Fix pending.

6) Rodeo – Rodeo experiences power drain. Could not jump. Car currently sitting in driveway awaiting tow. Fix pending.

End result – No cars!!!!!

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If I make it through tomorrow without going to the taco truck for carnitas tacos then it will break an impressive streak of weekends. Not having a car will deter, but not necessarily prevent.

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Currently watching “Doubt”….Amy Adams is adorable.

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On the heels of the “Five Things I Don’t Like” post, I bring you the “Five Things That Bother Me in a Very Minor Way”:

1) That when you eat the ice after a soda there’s always one little piece of ice that gets stuck at the bottom and lingers there.

2) Washing crusted cheese off of plates

3) Clarinets

4) Nuts in brownies

5) When people leave stickers on their hats

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Finally, a song recommendation by way of Band of Horses. This one is called “For Annabelle”.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Okay, Last Sasquatch Post….It’s the Sasquatch Recap! In List Form!

Well, home sweet home. Mountain Home, Idaho. Cool.

I came home today with a body that has consumed too much fast food in one weekend, a lawn that had reached Vacation Length, and eyes and ears that were overwhelmed by how much awesomeness they saw/heard in three days.

Some lists to recap the awesomeness!

Top Five Overall Performances

  1. The Hold Steady – Best show I’ve ever been to
  2. Band of Horses – Almost couldn’t have picked a better set list
  3. LCD Soundsystem – Favorite song was a special moment
  4. Temper Trap – Wait, what? They actually gave me goosebumps
  5. Massive Attack – That’s how you put on a SHOW

Honorable Mentions: My Morning Jacket, Local Natives, and MGMT

Most Surprising Performances

  1. Temper Trap – I thought they’d be “ok”, not “awesome”
  2. Miike Snow – Glad a swung by!
  3. Deadmau5 – Weird weird weird, but in a cool way
  4. MGMT – Heard they had a bad live reputation…I heard wrong
  5. Pavement – For being epically awful

Biggest Disappointments

  1. Freelance Whales’ sound issues held back show
  2. Missed The National while The Hold Steady played
  3. Minus the Bear was just okay
  4. Didn’t see The xx at all because I went to the wrong stage
  5. That I wasted 20 minutes of my life on Pavement

Top Five Songs

  1. The Hold Steady – “Stay Positive”
  2. LCD Soundsystem - “All My Friends”
  3. Band of Horses - “Detlef Schrempf”
  4. Temper Trap- “Sweet Disposition”
  5. MGMT - “Time to Pretend”

Honorable Mentions: “Sequestered in Memphis” by The Hold Steady, “No One’'s Gonna Love You”/”Funeral”/”Ode to LRC” by Band of Horses, “Generator ^ Second Floor” by Freelance Whales, “Kids” by MGMT, “Sleepyhead” by Passion Pit, "Teardrop” by Massive Attack, “Off the Record” by My Morning Jacket, “Airplane” by Local Natives, “Put Your Hands Together” by The New Pornographers, “Sylvia” by Miike Snow, and “What In It For?” by Avi Buffalo.

And, Finally, The Top Ten Photos

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(Holly and I meet the lead singer and drummer of Band of Horses and take an accidentally cool sepia shot)

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(Not only did I get to meet The National lead singer, but I told him that I appreciated his new album making my commute better in May)

IMG_2162(Action shot taken during “Stay Positive” by The Hold Steady. We call it my “demon face”)  

IMG_2154  (My dream comes true seeing The Hold Steady from this close)

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(Holly and I show how exhausted we are after the late My Morning Jacket show)

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(Holly finds a guy with a burger shirt, and realized the burger had no pickles and thus needed hers)

IMG_2166(The sun sets behind Vampire Weekend) 

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(Finding the lead singer of Local Natives chilling in the lawn)

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(You should have seen the excitement when Unicorn on a Stick Girl found Guy With a Unicorn Hankie)

 IMG_2274   (Sweet action shot of the Temper Trap lead singer pulling out some drums)

And, finally, a lovely group shot. Because the best times are wonderful times with family and friends:

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Sasquatch Daily Blog: Day 3!

So here I am in a terrible hotel in Kennewick, WA, typing out my last blog with the help of the one thing this hotel DOES have: wireless internet. It also has the smell of onions. Yes, onions. I am so sorry for taking my wife here.

So we handled day 3 a little bit differently since we were exhausted and didn’t have any bands I slightly cared about till 1:05 and none I really cared about till 1:55. So instead we headed out to grab lunch/breakfast at this nice little place called the Yellow Church Cafe:

IMG_2263Oh, wait, never mind, nothing looked good on the menu and there was a wait, so this is us shrugging it off:

IMG_2265  We did get there in time to catch a little of potentially-good-in-the-future band Tame Impala, but the real treat was watching the surprisingly amazing Temper Trap, whose great song “Sweet Disposition” you can hear here.

We basically only had a short break between Temper Trap and doing an epic 5 hour long standing spree, and we spent that time standing in line to meet Band of Horses and get some autographs. I got my Band of Horses shirt autographed and got to tell them that “Detlef Schrempf" is the best pensive night driving song of all time, which the drummer found amusing. We also took this amazing picture with the lead singer and drummer:

IMG_2285 Then began the epicness. Basically we were attempting to see Passion Pit, She & Him, Band of Horses, and MGMT in a row, and the only “sitting” was if you just parked on the ground in the main stage area. My feet still hurt from last night and probably will for a while.

Passion Pit did a great job and played all my favorite songs, including five-star “Sleepyhead”. They also had a gigantic inflatable whale start making the rounds like a beach ball. The lead singer encouraged this, telling the crowd not to let the whale out of his sight, and he even brought it on stage.

She & Him is fronted by actress-extraordinaire and uber-cutie Zooey Deschanelzooey-deschanel-pink-01, who you may know from Almost Famous, Elf, The Happening, Hitckhiker’s Guide to the Galazy, 500 Days of Summer, of Yes Man. She is also a talented singer. And I also have a crush on her. I didn’t get any amazing pictures, but here’s at least one that I took myself.

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She & Him led right into Band of Horses, which is my favorite band to be playing at Sasquatch. They have five five-stars to their credit, and I’ll be darned if they didn’t play four of them. Made me ever so happy.

IMG_2309 IMG_2318 IMG_2324 The one with me in it is showing how excited I was to hear “No One’s Gonna Love You”, which was the first vocal song to play at my wedding reception.

The final band of the day was MGMT, who put on an awesome show. The crowd was intense…even dangerous. Luckily Holly already booked it to the back. These crowds aren’t that bad for the 6’4” guy, but I always have to rescue a few little girls who get in over their heads. Oh, also, I caught a monkey!

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I’ll post an entire recap and the facebook photo album later when I get home, but just as we gave out gold coins to awesome people like this guy, I give you an internet-based gold coin for your loyal readership!

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