Saturday, January 31, 2009

Actors talking with actors

Over at Newsweek, they've transcribed a lengthy six-way interview between Brad Pitt, Frank Langella, Mickey Rourke, Anne Hathaway, Sally Hawkins and Robert Downey Jr. where the actors—all nominated for Oscars this year—talk about their craft and share some insight into their films.

It's a really interesting read, though it seems like Brad Pitt is trying to hard. (Dude, you're not a comedian; quit it!) I also wish Sally Hawkins had talked a little bit more, even though I hated her movie.

My favorite part is the very end, where Langella says this:

Well, our time is up. We can now let you all go.
I'd like to say, for the record, I'm the oldest male at the table, and the only one who didn't get up to go to the bathroom.
I love curmudgeonly old assholes.

Link to the Newsweek story.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dennis Wilson – Pacific Ocean Blue

A while back, The Vanguard received a copy of the re-release of Dennis Wilson's 1977 album Pacific Ocean Blue, and to my surprise, I found out that the erstwhile Beach Boy drummer had created an album that I actually really enjoyed. Maybe those surf bums had more than one eccentric genius?

Blue has great symphonic pop hooks, and his imperfect but endearing vocal stylings really hold the whole thing together. And it's appropriately titled too—this shit sounds like the relaxing ocean. To bad he died, I would have liked to hear more of this.

Here's a track:

The reissue also contains an entire unreleased album, Bambu, that's pretty damn good as well, all packaged in a deluxe, 2xCD edition.

Sorry for the late pass, but if'n you like the Beach Boys, check this out.

(mini) Grindhouse Trailer Fest

To accompany Anita' kick-ass piece on Portland's Grindhouse Film Festival, here's a couple of trailers for the film that the festival will be showing this weekend.

Both films play at the Hollywood Theater this Saturday, starting at 7:30 p.m. Check out the print edition for the full story on the Film Fest and the obsessive mind behind it.



New term: Saddlebacking

New from Dan Savage:

"Saddlebacking: sad•dle•back•ing \ˈsa-dəl-ˈba-kiŋ\ vb [fr. Saddleback Church] (2009): the phenomenon of Christian teens engaging in unprotected anal sex in order to preserve their virginities

After attending the Purity Ball, Heather and Bill saddlebacked all night because she’s saving herself for marriage. Unfortunately her parents found out because they got santorum all over the sheets."

Visit here:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Pooper" Bowl-5 sports movies more interesting than the Super Bowl

As we all know, sports suck. They're loud, sweaty and involve people who I still harbor resentment towards for being cooler than me in high school.

However, do you know what anti-sucks? Sports movies!!

Whereas actual sports rarely involve touching character arcs, broad lessons about racial diversity and charming/mysteriously talented animals, sports movies have all these things in droves.

With this in mind, here are five movies about sports to watch this weekend. All of them are guaranteed to be better than actual sports.

1. "Air Bud: Golden Receiver"

Obviously, if people were meant to play sports then we'd look half as cute in pads and little leather helmets as does this Golden Retriever. We do not, the Golden Retriever wins.

2. "The Puppy Bowl"

The Puppy Bowl is probably one of my favorite things in the entire freaking world. Since discovering this bizarre annual event some three years ago, I have spent the majority of my mental capabilities trying to find out just what in hell is going on with this thing.

First the basics: The Puppy Bowl is a feature that Animal Planet broadcasts every Super Bowl Sunday wherein a series of puppies are placed in a football-field shaped play pen and allowed to fall all over each other as they please. And that's pretty much it. Oh, and it just keeps going like this for about 12 FREAKING HOURS.

No commercials, no attempts at explaining what in the hell is going on; just puppies, rolling around, for 12 hours straight.

Needless to say, this raises all kind of pressing questions: How does one win a Puppy Bowl? What does a puppy have to do to qualify in the Puppy Bowl? Does the kitten halftime show represent some kind of bizarre inter-species rascism? Is this actually TV programming or just some kind of a conceptual Dadaist mindfuck from the higher-ups at Animal Planet?

Seriously, watch this shit. It is like nothing you have ever seen.

3. "Rudy"

Recommended for fans of plot arcs so broad they can be seen from space. Oh, and fans of Lord of the Rings because there's nothing like seeing Samwise Gamgee do what he does best: mope and become marginally talented at football.

4. "Rollerball"

Another thing that sucks about "real" sports? No one dies (well, most of the time anyway). Not so in 1975's "Rollerball"! In this movie the world's sexiest man play's the world's most dangerous sport in an ultra-corporatist future where all is not as it seems. Also, there are pistols that make trees explode.

5. "Baseketball"

Did you know Ernest Borgnine was in this? Not that I don't love me the perpetual thirteen year-old-ness of Matt and Trey, but Ernest Borgnine? Doing dick jokes with hotdogs? I mean the man has an Academy Award, he's a hallmark or his generation and-oh what's that? Breasts? Wait, what was I saying?

Department of Eagles at the Doug Fir

The Doug Fir was packed last night for the Department of Eagles, Brooklyn's classical and experimentally minded pop group helmed by a few members of Grizzly Bear. The Cave Singers got the night started, Seattle's latest bearded alt-americana group as drenched in reverb. I can't really say I got into them, for beyond the lead singer's vocal affectations,an invisible bass player (do i smell a loop?) and one-trick-pony songwriting style, I can think of at least two other alt-beard-reverb-rock groups from the Puget Sound I'd rather listen to (i.e. Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes).

No matter, the Department of Eagles certainly held it down. Not an offshoot or side project of Grizzly Bear, DoE actually started years earlier, but was sidelined by Grizzly Bear's runaway success. Front man Daniel Rossen has certainly made good use of his time in getting this band back on track, they were as tight and expansive as on their new album, In Ear Park. In other words, despite the lack of one or two other singers (the vocals on the album were padded by the rest of GB, giving it that ethereal, 'this is God's house' sound), all the texture on record was at the show. Rossen opened and closed the show solo, the first song with the banjo, a really wonderfully plucked rendition of In Ear Park.

Phantom Other was the song that really had me blown away, with other founding member Fred Nicholaus playing the samples like it was the last sampler on earth. Not that live shows ought to always sound like their studio recorded counterparts, but I was pretty blown away at them recreating that song almost exactly as it is on the record, and without any lame bass or ambient loops.

The only looping that was done was a Battles style vocal loop from Rossen, which was amazing. On his final solo song, a brand new won, apparently, he made a vocal loop of about 4 layers and played on top of that. Really amazing.

Jeff Guay

John Updike, 1932 - 2009

Acclaimed American writer John Updike, best known for his Rabbit series, died Tuesday morning of lung cancer. The two time Pulitzer Prize winning author was 76 years old. 

"In fiction," Updike writes in a 2005 essay contributed to NPR's This I Believe series, "imaginary people become realer to us than any named celebrity glimpsed in a series of rumored events, whose causes and subtler ramifications must remain in the dark."

To read or hear Updike read the entirety of his essay, go to Testing the Limits of What I Know and Feel at the National Public Radio website. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chia Jerry: the seeds of life

This past Christmas our esteemed production manager, Jason Chastain, received a chia pet, modeled to the shape of the popular cartoon character Garfield. Seeing as the Vanguard offices are located deep in the basement of Smith Memorial Student Union, where not but mold does grow and not but rats do dwell, the production staff has embarked on the Herculean of saga enlivening our workspace through the cultivation of a chia pet. This is the story of that chia pet.

Day 2: The Seeds of Life

While the staff of the Vanguard was off whiling away its weekend at various debaucheries, Chia Jerry was busy growing the gooey paste atop his head into a crown of resplendent/creepy flora.

As the seed paste was applied liberally to all dimensions of Chia Jerry's head, the growth of the chia plant itself has taken on an interestingly warped design. The sheer oddity of this sight has been amplified by a curved mirror that has been placed behind Chia Jerry's head in what one can only assume was a fit of Jerry's emerging vanity.

Certain staff members (read: me) have commented that Chia Jerry looks like an Aztec ruin, overgrown with vines after years' exposure to the elements. Heaven only knows what mysteries the next day will bring...

Well, this is weird: Fucked Up on Fox News

If you weren't aware, Fucked Up rules.

The Toronto hardcore band has released dozens of records, and last year's great The Chemistry of Common Life was in my top 10 of the year.

What they're doing on Fox News, which isn't exactly known as a paragon of the punk rock aesthetic, is unclear, but here's the very surprising video evidence:

(From: brooklynvegan)

Chia Jerry: the saga begins

This past Christmas our esteemed production manager, Jason Chastain, received a chia pet, modeled to the shape of the popular cartoon character Garfield. Seeing as the Vanguard offices are located deep in the basement of Smith Memorial Student Union, where not but mold does grow and not but rats do dwell, the production staff has embarked on the Herculean of saga enlivening our workspace through the cultivation of a chia pet. This is the story of that chia pet.

Day 1: The Seedening

Today the seeds were applied liberally to Chia Jerry. Though the box suggests placing them on the backside of the chia pet, Jason decided to think outside the box (HA!) and slather the seeds onto all sides of Chia Jerry's bulbous head.

During the slathering, a staff member (read: me) commented that the chia seed paste looked remarkably similar to dinosaur snot, as portrayed in the movie Jurassic Park. Thus life does spring from the grossest looking places.

There has been no noticable growth as of yet but expectations are high for the lush greenery that is about to spring from Chia Jerry's head and turn the production cubicle into a latter day eden.

Monday, January 26, 2009

George Clooney returning to ER for final episode!!

NBC. April 2nd. Be there or forever ensure my wrath.

The Secret White House Record Collection

It turns out moving into the White House has a few perks (who knew?)—and Rolling Stone has little story about the history of the big house's record library.

It goes pretty much how you would expect: It started off boring with Nixon, improved under Carter (Sex Pistols! Neil Young!) and Grandpa Reagan got confused and moved them to the basement.

Will Obama update the collection? I hope so. He is, after all, the hip-hop President. (My first additions: Rakim's "Paid in Full," Nas' "Illmatic" and Wu-Tang Clan's "Enter the Wu-Tang.")

What do you think? What records need to be in the White House library?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Name your price: Cadence Weapon's new album

The most recent artist to jump onboard the digital music release with a "name your price" style of purchase is Cadence Weapon. His new album is more of a mixtape but it features, according to Cadence Weapon's website "exclusive new Cadence Weapon tracks, remixes and collaborations." And yes that means you can pay nothing.
The album is 20 tracks, and is called Separation Anxiety. Previous bands to have used the "name your price" purchase method have been Radiohead (for In Rainbows) and Nine Inch Nails (for The Slip). And while Separation Anxiety isn't exactly an album, hell, at least it's free (if you so choose) and since when do you pass up free music?

Download Separation Anxiety here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

"Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" Mini-Review

If your a fan of the Underworld franchise, then you'll probably enjoy this flick, a prequel to the first two films Underworld and Underworld: Evolution. If not, don't bother.
I've only ever seen the first Underworld, and I probably would have avoided this one except tickets were free. But, it seems that the most important elements of the film were covered in a brief flashback sequence in the first film (although with a different actress).
I'll be honest, I fell asleep during Rise of the Lycans, only awoken by werewolves (lycans, whatever) and vampires tearing each other new assholes.
Unfortunately, no matter how good CGI gets, werewolves continue to look weird and kind of lame. 
By the way, contrary to what you might think, Kate Beckinsale is not in this film (not that it matters), the girl in all the previews just really looks like her. 
On a final note, what is Michael Sheen still doing acting in movies like this? After playing Tony Blair in The Queen, the late Portland State alumn Art Honeyman in Music Within, and David Frost in the Oscar nominated Frost/Nixon, why is he still playing Lucian the Lycan?
I give this movie 1.5 stars for brevity, and only waking me up occasionally while I napped.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sapient makes pretty

For fans of Sandpeople (who are hear almost within range of outnumbering the group members themselves) there can be few greater joys than hearing a good solo project from the group.

Thankfully, Sapient is the driving force behind a damned good solo project that should be lauded frequently and vocally.


6 cups, 1 box

All I want to know is, when is this going to be available at the student store? (And yes, this is a real product that you can buy with dollars.)

Oscar Nominations!

In announcing things that don't really matter news, the Acadamy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences released the 2009 Oscar nominees today, and they pretty much went exactly as expected.

Here they are (with some links to Vanguard reviews):


The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire


Richard Jenkins - The Visitor
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn - Milk
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler


Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Melissa Leo - Frozen River
Meryl Streep - Doubt
Kate Winslet - The Reader


Josh Brolin - Milk
Robert Downey Jr - Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road


Amy Adams - Doubt
Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis - Doubt
Taraji P Henson - The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler


David Fincher - The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant - Milk
Stephen Daldry - The Reader
Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire


The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany)
The Class (France)
Departures (Japan)
Revanche (Austria)
Waltz With Bashir (Israel)


Eric Roth and Robin Swicord - The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button;
John Patrick Shanley - Doubt
Peter Morgan - Frost/Nixon
David Hare - The Reader
Simon Beaufoy - Slumdog Millionaire


Courtney Hunt - Frozen River
Mike Leigh - Happy-Go-Lucky
Martin McDonagh - In Bruges
Dustin Lance Black - Milk
Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon and Pete Docter - WALL-E


Kung Fu Panda


The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road


The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire


The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire


The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Slumdog Millionaire


The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button - Alexandre Desplat
Defiance - James Newton Howard
Milk - Danny Elfman
Slumdog Millionaire - AR Rahman
WALL-E - Thomas Newman


Down To Earth from WALL-E - Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman
Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire - AR Rahman and Gulzar
O Saya from Slumdog Millionaire - AR Rahman and Maya Arulpragasam


The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road.


The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
Encounters At The End Of The World
The Garden
Man on Wire
Trouble the Water


The Conscience of Nhem En
The Final Inch
Smile Pinki
The Witness - From The Balcony Of Room 306


The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire


The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army


La Maison en Petits Cubes
Lavatory - Lovestory
This Way Up


Auf Der Strecke (On the Line)
Manon On The Asphalt
New Boy
The Pig
Spielzeugland (Toyland)


The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Weights that wear tights and shout at you (encouragingly)

Members of Gymbox in Bank, central London, can choose to lift any of five differently sized "human weights".

Wearing Lycra catsuits which label their weight, they sit on specially adapted machines and shout words of encouragement.

The "dumbbells" include two dwarfs – 32-year-old Arti Shah, who weighs just 4.5 stones (30kg) and 64-year-old Mike Edwards, who weighs 8 stones (55kg).

At the other end of the scale for those with stronger muscles is 24 stones (155kg) Matt Barnard, 37.

Gymbox owner Richard Hilton said: "A lot of our members felt that lifting metal weights was boring and not especially motivating.

"They said that they had no idea what they were lifting."

Full story at the Telegraph

Miley Cyrus colonizes another cultural outlet

Since the target demographic of this blog is tweens (obviously) I feel obligated to report on the imminent Miley Cyrus movie that is coming dangerously close to a release date.

According to the trailer, "Hannah Montana: The Movie" will involve the following elements (in no particular order): Tyra Banks, cows, a blonde wig, shoe fighting, agrarianism, soul patches, product placement, and shame.

To see these things in their glorious and horrifying element take a look at the (unfortunately un-embedable) trailer.

I'm already prepping my lawsuit for their shameless aping of my fan fiction.

Prop 8 The Musical

I know this is about a month old but, in light of Obama's moving inauguration speech about turning the country around, I thought this was an appropriate post for anyone that hasn't already seen this video.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bodhi at PDX Pop Now!

In celebration of Alex's profile of local "relocated garage punks" Bodhi, here's a quick video of a performance at PDX Pop NOW! from a couple years ago.

Now guitar smashing (unfortunately) but there's definitely some latent violence in the air so you're welcome to use your imagination.

Monday, January 19, 2009

"The Change is In" from Fernando

Check out Rich's excellent piece on Fernando in today's issue of the Vanguard for the full story and in the meantime here's a few words from the man himself:

Banana Keeper saves civilization

I was fooling around today on Starfucker's myspace (one of the many activities I enjoy whilst pretending to work) when I was suddenly struck by a mysterious picture sitting just below the "Sounds Like" heading. What was this strangely phallic object? Why, it was the miraculous invention known as the Banana Keeper!

Apparently banana protection is a problem for the general public as there are multiple variations on this bizarre product ranging from the goofy to the overtly dildo-esque.

No longer will our bananas be subject to inopportune bruising. No longer will my repressed homosexuality have to be manifest itself through repeated viewings of Bromance. The age of the Banana Keeper is upon us!

More Mad Men!!

Fortunately for fans of period drama/blatant sexism, Mad Men will be returning to AMC this summer helmed by series creator Matthew Weiner.

Until very recently the question of whether or not he would return was up in the air as the mastermind behind the Sterling Cooper-verse apparently demanded a hefty seven figure income to stay on with the show. Thankfully, some form of a deal has been reached which will include that seven figure paycheck and is also reported to entail a movie development deal with Lionsgate (fingers crossed on that one).

In the mean time I can sit back and let my dorktastic excitement for season 3 slowly build to fever pitch.

Speaking of blatant sexism:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Notorious=multiple stab wounds

Apparently the Biggie Smalls biopic Notorious (read Ed's excellent review here) is in fact so terrible that it's causing random acts of violence.

So far the movie and its various after parties have chocked up a body count of five via both shootings and multiple stabbings. Here is where I'd normally deride the movie going public for being overly impressionable but then again I did start doing meth after watching Walk the Line so I don't really have room talk.

Full story from TMZ

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Welcome to the Tender Loving Empire

Tender Loving Empire
has to be the cuddliest imperial organization on the planet. World's Greatest Ghosts? Huggable! Jared Mees and the Grown Children? Childlike! Finn Riggins? Sleepover worthy!

Tonight Mees (cofounder of the Tender Loving Empire label/printing press/screen printer's/just about everything else) headlines an excellent trio of TLE's best and brightest. Check it out, by the end of the show you'll probably be involved with TLE in some capacity and adding to their vast colonial territory of creative 20-somethings.

Jared Mees & The Grown Children - "Tallest Building In Hell" Live from Erik Stanfill on Vimeo.

WAVVES of mutilation

And to think, as recently as two weeks ago I would have insisted that nothing beneficial to the human race would ever come out of San Diego. Now, low and behold, Nathan Daniel Williams comes slinking out of the suburban jungle to prove me wrong.

Williams (more commonly referred to as WAVVES) has one hell of a talent for hooks washed out to the "so lo-fi it's almost dial up noise" apex. Don't believe me? Observe (this shitty video that actually captures the band's sound pretty well):

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bodies of Water

This band has been growing on me all week. I first saw this video premier several days ago and though I still find it somewhat hoaky the song backing it up is solid gold.

Check em out.

Lenka livens up Portland

Music and drinks on a Tuesday night? Hell yeah.

Gabe Dixon from Nashville's The Gabe Dixon Band opened for Lenka at the Doug Fir Lounge at 9:00 PM.

The songstress and her band played for about an hour. Her breathy, pitch-perfect voice sounds amazing when she's singing her cute lyrics. Her music sounds fun, poppy and alternative.

But when she talks? It was worth showing just to hear her marvelous Australian accent. She claims that Portland is her favorite city and she'd love to move here. Some enthusiastic crowd members suggested that she could live with them. Lenka would be a great addition to the Portland music scene but for now we'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

An Overlapsation Situation

This guy has a really good excuse, man.

Bush ruins television

Apparently George W. Bush is adding another entry to his list of "American Institutions I Have Ruined or Otherwise Sullied" by pre-empting a hee-larious episode of NBC's Kath and Kim for his gawd awful farewell address.

Farewell indeed you humorless bastard.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pet Furniture! EEEEEE!!

Today in adorable/batshit insane closet industries:

Pet furniture!

I defy anyway to find an object that isn't made more adorable by reducing it in size and putting a basset hound on it. Apparently there are a number of companies dedicated to recreations of people furnishings for animals and their imitations are surprisingly spot on.

It makes me a little bit resentful to think that someone's great dane is enjoying better home furnishing than me but the sheer cuteness of it probably covers the gap.

Amazon's discount bin

For those who still like to sometimes contribute to the coffers of the music industry, is having a 'Top Albums of 2008' $5 sale.

For the win! Esquire on MTV's Bromance

Since witnessing the awesome trainwreck that is the new MTV reality show Bromance, more appropriately titled Douchebag Seeking Douchebag, I've been preparing to unleash a hateful screed bemoaning the recent slate of basic-cable reality show males.

That's still in the works. (Also of note: VH1's Tool Acadamy.)

For now, I direct you to Esquire's Blog of Lists, which perfectly eviscerates the horrible, horrible Bromance.

A telling quote:

"bro•mance \bro-'man(t)s\ n : (1) the complicated love and affection shared by two straight males, often exhibited through physical acts such as wrestling, playing sports, and half-hugging. Ex: "Shut up, Monica! Chandler and I share a bromance that you'll never understand!"

vb : (1) The act of going to unusual lengths in order to woo a male friend. Ex: "Jeff from accounting hasn't accepted my friend request, so my plan is to bromance him with some Knicks tickets."

proper n : (1) MTV's new reality television show starring The Hills alumnus Brody Jenner as a d-bag man searching for a fellow d-bag man to join his posse of friends, through a process involving intimate chats and outrageous physical challenges, the likes of which manage to achieve a level of unintentional homoeroticism not reached since the Grecian Olympic era of girded loins."

Sick of the Twilight hype?

Funny, so are we! Thank the gods of funny that such a thing as Twilight High School Musical (a parody) exists, and it's actually pretty good.

Thanks to @unigo for the link.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Josh Greenfield's "Cutting Through the Knot" is the type of book that gives self-publishing a bad name.

Greenfield's book wouldn't be quite so bad... if it had a plot. Instead, it's a mind numbing 156 page ramble.

The synopsis on the back of the book reads:
"A humorous coming of age story, told in conversational first person voice, recounting a young man's adventures in overcoming mental illness."
Doesn't sound too bad, right? Wrong.

I've read freshman creative writing stories written better than this piece. Pages and pages of misspellings, grammar errors and unformulated paragraphs are not funny. They're distracting.

Greenfield begins the book by giving a summary of the book. He finishes the paragraph with,
"It makes for a good story if I can tell it right."
I'm not convinced. Any book that likens being "manic depressive" and "O.C.D." as having two scoops of ice cream, one vanilla and the other butter pecan, should stay safely buried in a computer's hard drive until it's had several massive revisions.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Win tickets to Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

Thanks to the largess of Cartoon Network’s foremost pair of comedic Dadaists, the Vanguard is offering 10 (!) free pairs of tickets to Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! show this Tuesday (Jan. 13) at the Crystal Ballroom.

To win two of these ticket just send an email to with a description of what you would do given a green-screen and an otherwise unoccupied afternoon

The 10 most interesting/frightening responses will win a pair of free tickets to Tuesday’s show, which is sure to be every bit as awesome and terrifying as the duo’s regular Adult Swim spots.

Up Okkervil River

I've sort of lost track of Okkervil River over their last couple albums and this makes me regret it/confirm my previous convictions.

The balls to the wall emoting that originally attracted me to Will Sheff and the boys is still there but at the same time I feel like it hasn't gone in many interesting directions.

Does some own The Stand Ins? Is it worth the price of admission?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Harry Potter gets watered down

Via MTV:

“Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince” seems to be on a crash course to disappointing the Harry Potter fanbase. First, there were usual rumblings about changes to the story and characters, and then came the awful decision to delay “Half-Blood Prince by more than a year.

Now, Rope of Silicon reveals that the movie has finally been given the rating by the MPAA — and it has earned a rather soft rating of PG. As fans know, the books continue to grow darker as Voldemort’s power grows, and there are scenes of intense violence in “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince."

I think my geeky/creepy fandom of the Harry Potter series has increased in direct proportion to the "darkness" of J.K. Rowling's content. Therefore, it's really disappointing to see what could have been one of the most brutal and disturbing films of the series get stripped of its potential to revel in the emotion gray spaces in which it (impressively) started to venture.

Of course these predictions could prove to be horribly off the mark but the fact that the studio behind this film would even shoot for a PG rating puts me on edge.

Sigh. If this is in any way due to the influence of "Twilight" I am going to launch an official war on the tweens/lonely older women of America.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Gimmick: Artistic or Lazy?

At this point I think we can all agree that M. Ward is more or less a good thing. However, the promotional hoo-ha for his latest album (one Hold Time) is raising some interesting questions, most specifically the question of whether it is subtly ARTISTIC or just kind of LAZY?

In what may be an ongoing gimmick I pose this question to you regarding the following video:

So, whaddaya think?

More Pineapple, more Express

Was this movie funny? Everyone seems to think so but this clip disagrees apparently.

Now I know where Christmas trees go when they die...

...Into the bellies of tusked beasts.

From National Geographic:

"January 4, 2007—Holiday leftovers aren't just for humans. Elephant calf Thabo-Umasai at Germany's Zoo Dresden joined camels, deer, and sheep in a traditional new-year feast of Christmas trees yesterday. "Elephants around the country will enjoy a delicious lunch today consisting of about five Christmas trees each," Ragnar Kuehne of Zoo Berlin told the Reuters news service on January 3 (Germany map).

Unlike the pie, pudding, and honeyed ham that may be haunting your fridge, though, pine trees' unique oils may actually help some animals' digestion, Kuehne said."

(Hat tip goes to Slog).

Monday, January 5, 2009

Jaydiohead, wherein that one band mashes up with that one rapper*

*To surprisingly positive effect.

A link for the pleasurebots: