Friday, February 27, 2009

The Ravishers debut at the Doug Fir

Last night was the premier of local Portland group The Ravishers at the Doug Fir. Or at least the premier of the band performing under their new name, formerly hailing as Dominic Castillo and the Rock Savants. For more information regarding their name change, and other info, check out their interview in The Vanguard.

The Ravishers, are a sigh of relief from quite a few bland performances I’ve seen. They put on a great show. Whether you were following them from the Rock Savant days, or just being introduced, all spectators were exceptionally entertained.

Each member has a personality on stage that melds well together. Beyond having fun, it really did just seem that they were in their element, a vibe forwarded onto the audience. The Ravishers seem to have a handle on the show while working the stage, and just go with the flow. In the end, their performance was much like their music, keeping it simple so that the song can catch you up with it.

And that was really their greatest selling point. While The Ravishers appear fun, easy going and comfortable, it is their music that sets the foundation for a live show. A trait many live bands can learn from. There is nothing more annoying than a band that loves to jerk-off to themselves on stage, with forced poses, half-tolerable sound experimentation and awkward banter with the crowd.

With their own approach of indie-rock dabbling in the pop realm, they remind you of Phantom Planet’s early energy, and gives you the feel of bands such as the Lemonheads or a pinch Elvis Costello, that predate the gimmicky trend of indie-alternative riding the radio waves today.

There should be more shows to follow, so leave your dorm, house or back-alley cardboard box to support a local band that is one to watch, and won’t leave you disappointed.

Though bearing their former name of the Rock Savants, this video is of The Ravishers performing their song "Keep You Around."

Drop it in the sauce bottle up the sauce

Mike Doughty just debuted his music video for "Put it Down" off his latest album Golden Delicious over at IFC. I like the low-fi aspects and the part where he tries jamming with the sirens. It's nice to see some personality in a music video these days.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We're being hailed, Captain!

This LED-studded tunnel is being billed by Gizmodo as "the closest you'll ever get to light speed." I beg to differ: My "Flying through Space" screensaver set on high was WAY more light-speed realistic than ambling through a glowy tunnel. All the same, it's pretty awesome.

Villareal "Multiverse" National Gallery of Art, Washington DC from Walter Patrick Smith on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pimp my bum: Fox News strikes again

I don't know why it keeps happening but Fox News is becoming increasingly well represented on Mindloop.

Why is this, you ask? Well I'll tell you, it's because they keep doing batshit insane things like running full features on such fascinating American institutions as "Pimp This Bum."

This seriously sounds like a Saturday Night Live sketch. But it's not, it's one of America's foremost news institutions. Wow.

Check it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

James Iha starts middle-aged teen rock band (aka "huh?")

How's this for truly bizarre career decisions:

James Iha (late of A Perfect Circle and The Smashing Pumpkins) has started a band called Tinted Windows that apparently consists of himself and several other 30/40-somethings dressing like they raided the Jonas Brothers' dressing room and slamming out power pop of a style so aggregious that it might make Miley Cyrus blush (Hannah Montana, on the other hand, would remain quite composed.)

Seriously though, Tinted Windows sounds an awful lot like something you'd hear on Radio Disney.

Is this an actual band or some kind of bizarre meta-joke?

No one seems to know, but given the group's presentation it seems like this one is for real.

Whether that is the case or not, you can be sure as shit that I'll be lip-synching these hypnotically catchy tunes into a shampoo bottle for at least the next few months.

Seriously, what the frak is going on here?

What is Matthew McConaughey doing...

 this photo?

Why does he look so confused (even more so than usual)? And what in god's name is that stuff on his abs? Toothpaste? Silly string? House paint?

WTF Matt? W. T. F.

Ra Ra Riot does Portland

Barsuk Records is notoriously picky about which acts they'll let into their miniscule stable so it's fair to assume that if a band can get into that most exclusive of clubs they've probably got something going for them.

Although Ra Ra Riot at first seemed to defy this trend (they're good but they're not great) the group has been steadily growing on me. They manage to make a string section sound chipper rather than melodramatic and it is hard to argue with those hooks once they really sink in.

Check them out at the Doug Fir tomorrow night for a more thorough investigation.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fainting goats

I have never seen anything as hilarious as this.

The Best Oscar preview yet

In this week, the one before the Oscars, many a publication have taken to rehashing and discussing the nominated films, mostly revealing nothing new or exciting. (We get it, "Slumdog Millionaire" is likely to be a big winner.)

But n+1, a literary mag out of New York, took a different approach. They pretty much hate everything, it seems, only not really. That's a worldview I can get behind.

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

In a series of bad dreams, Brad Pitt combines with Forrest Gump, E.T., Oliver from The Brady Bunch, the baby from Eraserhead, Tom Waits album covers, Dr. Zhivago, Dick Cheney/Donald Rumsfeld, on and on, like robot locusts eating the inside of the movie theater in three hours."

Link: n+1 magazine

Monday, February 16, 2009

Joaquin's Mockumentary?

First we were shocked at Joaquin Phoenix's announcement that he was leaving the acting business. Then we were further confused as we learned he was calling it quits in order to put his passion for music into high gear, hip-hop music to be exact.

Oh, then came the videos. First the Las Vegas shots of him floundering about on stage, eventually falling off. Then his charismatic presence on Letterman caught all of our attention. It seems Phoenix is pushing the weirdness factor a bit more the further he goes.

Though word on the street is that we all might be victims of a well played hoax. You see Phoenix's brother-in-law Casey Affleck anounced his directorial debut recently for a documentary he was filming. The subject of said documentary, you guessed it, Phoenix's hip-hop career. A few hollywood lightbulbs went on over the heads of critics, bloggers and other folks who generally don't have much of a life. Could Phoenix's crazy antics be at the expense of a mockumentary in the making? I guess we will all just have to wait and see.

So what do you think? Has Joaquin Phoenix boarded the crazy train or are we all falling for perhaps one of the greatest jokes in hollywood history?

Friday the 13th - Rent it but it still may not be worth the $4

“We’re all just daddy issues and douche bags. Can’t we all just be one happy cliché?”

You said it token stoner dude.

I saw Friday the 13th last weekend on Friday the 14. Yeah that’s right, my lady is awesome. However, as most would expect, the film did not meet up to any of even the smallest of expectations, and produced a series of crimes that horror movie fans will be bringing the gavel down upon.

The film strays so far from the original’s feel, only borrowing the concept of a scary guy in a hockey mask, that fans of the original will be disappointed as it fails to hold up to its 1980 counterpart. All in all, this remake is a mix of first two Friday the 13ths. For those who are in-the-know, they should be able to spot a few nostalgic moments such as Jason’s bag mask as well as others.

But the sprinkling of nostalgia doesn’t carry the film through an array of poor film-making choices. Granted, the initial flick helped to establish some time honored horror movie clichés, but the remake takes these clichés to an embarrassing level, where there is no decent script, twists or turns, or inventive characters. Granted it is hard to pull off a remake, especially when it is of a well-loved franchise, but this remake gave me the feeling that they didn’t even try to create anything successful and banked on the curiosity of fans to garner ticket sales (big surprise).

The movie comes stock with all the drugs, sex and token characters as any other film. So much that it removes any of the original’s feel, yet still leaves the viewer with a sense that they have seen this all before, in the hundreds of horror movies to come since the original in 1980. You don’t have to make some novel work of art, but at least put some creative and innovative thought into it, especially while handling the re-imaging of a delicate classic.

Lastly, on a personal level, the star of the film, Jared Padelecki, appears to be quite a tall drink of water, and not only do you got him on a little Royal Enfield motorcycle, you dubbed over the bike, making it sound like a beefed up Harley. Come on! Couldn’t you just fork up the dough and got the guy on a Triumph? Padelecki looks like a circus clown on a scooter.

Interesting tidbit: Over the past four years Jared Padelecki and Jensen Ackles have come into homes across America each week via the television show Supernatural. To be honest, I do like the show and how each episode is like a mini horror movie. I was therefore intrigued when both actors would be coming to the big screen this year. Coincidentally, both actors were cast in remakes of classic ‘80s horror movies, My Bloody Valentine and Friday the 13th. And not only that, though Ackle’s Bloody Valentine remake came out first, Padelicki’s remake came out on Valentine’s Day! Whoa …

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Yes kid, this is real life

Remember David, the kid who's dad filmed him post-dentist visit? Here he is 20 years later, after his divorce.

God bless the UCB.

Portland Cello Project signs to Kill Rock Stars

Wow, the story of the Portland Cello Project just keeps getting more and more outlandish.

First, the collection of classical music nerds starts getting street cred by playing with local indie artists, then they become a completely unlikely musical force in their own right and now they are (to my knowledge) the first "band" of their kind to sign to Kill Rock Stars. It's unlikely, to be sure, but the Cello Project's entire history has been anything but predictable up to this point and I can't think of a more deservedly talented group to join the roster of one of the region's finest labels.

With the forces of Slim Moon and the coolest classical music ensemble in the known world combined the sky is the limit.

Builders and The Butchers with The Portland Cello Project: "Bottom of the Lake" from Douglas Jenkins on Vimeo.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Michael Cera Loses His Shit

Although almost certainly a joke (considering the brief title of the movie at the end), this video is of Michael Cera on the set of his new movie Youth In Revolt, flipping his shit over something or other. It's quite convincing, but is likely just viral marketing capitalizing on Christian Bale's recent freak out on the set of Terminator (mp3).

Let's not forget this isn't the first time Michael Cera has done the fake freak-out. He joked around on the set of Knocked Up with Katherine Heigl. For more Michael Cera hilarity, I recommend his hilarious Impossible is the Opposite of Possible.

"The International" Mini-Review

The International tells the story of Clive Owen's INTERPOL Agent Salinger. Like all of Clive Owen's characters, Salinger has a perpetual 5 o'clock shadow and looks like he wears his suits to bed. Salinger is on a mission to take down the IBBC (the International Bank of Business and Credit).
And we don't need this movie to tell us, but we know, big multi-national banks are eeevil. The IBBC is behind all sorts of nasty dealings and anybody with any concrete information to move against them winds up dead. 
It's rather fortuitous that this film hit theaters now. I imagine it was probably produced before last year's financial fuck-all and it's ending is surprisingly realistic with respect to what ultimately becomes of the bank. Anybody looking for a searing end where the IBBC goes up in flames will be disappointed, the ending is far more in line with what would actually happen.
But that's not to say that villains don't get what's coming to them. The International surprised me. The movies released between January 1st and May 1st tend to be where studios either dump films they know are schlock or use the time as a testing ground for potential franchises. The International is actually not bad. It's not great, but it's a decent thriller and while not super-realistic, it does have it's moments, divulging disturbing truths about the way of the financial sector.
Three stars for a decent thriller plot without too much unnecessary fluff.

"Coraline" Red Carpet Video

Vanguard links:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman, real or staged?

Watch the video, then weigh in your opinion on whether or not you think Joaquin's behavior on David Letterman's show was authentic or a Kaufmanesque stunt.

If you've ever thought of messing with the squirrels at PSU...


OK, this squirrel isn't from Portland, but DAMN. She's got some moves.

Click the picture for all the images.

More awesome weird shit

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Inglorious Basterds trailer arriveth

Quentin Tarantino's World War II splatterfest finally sees the light of day. You may now begin lauding it or eviscerating it based on your opinion of Quentin Tarantino.

The words "hack" and "genius" had better appear at least once in the comments for this one.

Debra Gwartney: the full interview

Sarah Hutchins' interview with Deborah Gwartney in today's Vanguard was interesting and (unfortunately) too long for our print edition so here's the full version in all its literary glory.-Editor

Running away was decriminalized in 1974 in the United States.

This is not a widely known fact but one that Portland State Professor Debra Gwartney is only too familiar with. About a decade ago, her two oldest teenage daughters ran away from their home in Eugene. They jumped on freight trains, traveling to Portland, San Francisco and other major cities. They mingled with a subculture formed by other runaway youths living on the street. Live Through This: A Mother’s Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love is Gwartney’s story of how she coped through this period of her life, continued raising her two younger daughters while trying to help her two older daughters and how her family was finally reunited.

Sarah Hutchins: A lot of people are likening your book to David Schef’s A Beautiful Boy. Is either of your daughters, Stephanie or Amanda, thinking about writing a memoir from their perspective?

Debra Gwartney: They’ve talked about it but there’s nothing in the works right now. The whole being part of the book’s publication has made them think about stories in a new way about what they went through. I of course tried really hard not to tell their story. They have their own stories. And I wasn’t there. I didn’t see it. I hope that they write about it. I think that would just be wonderful. It would be way different than Nic Shef’s book (Tweak) just because they had a much different experience. Drugs were involved but it wasn’t such as drug oriented story as his was, which good for him about it for writing it. That was very brave but theirs is more of a traveling story of jumping on trains. I just don’t think that story is told very often. People probably don’t even know that kids jump on trains and travel around the country and I think that there are quite a few of them that do it.

SH: What made you decide to write the memoir?

DG: I didn’t just wake up one day and decide I’m going to write about this. We’d been through this very difficult time and I knew that I wanted to write about it but I didn’t know what shape it was going to be or even what genre. I never seriously thought about writing fiction but it crossed my mind. I wrote just a very small piece about looking for Stephanie, the second daughter, in San Francisco, in the Tenderloin District and it helped me sort out a lot of my own feelings about what had happened. It was good in both the sense that I could practice what I want to do, which is to write nonfiction, and also just confront some of the unsolved emotions around that whole time. So I wrote that piece and I published it in a literary journal called Creative Nonfiction. It got quite a bit of attention and just made me start thinking maybe something bigger is here so then I wrote another piece for Salon and then I wrote another for a journal called Fourth Genre and several other pieces. I wrote a longer piece about the wilderness therapy for The Oregonian. They all just kept adding up so I thought maybe I could start putting them together in a book, which was not anywhere as easy as just compiling them as I thought it would be because then the book had to be shaped and shaped and reshaped and that took years. It’s been a long process but there was never one moment where I thought, “I’m going to write a book.” It just kind of evolved that way.
SH: Did you start writing because it’s therapeutic to write?

DG: I didn’t start writing because it was therapeutic to write but it turned out that it was therapeutic to write. I wrote because I felt like I had a story to tell and I wanted to tell it and see how well I could tell it. I wrote more out of a writer’s aims than a therapy aim but in the end it was helpful.

SH: Do you think that your book will help moms that may be going through something similar?

DG: Well, I hope so. Of course I hope that but I don’t know. I’ve heard from a few people who saw early reader copies that they found it helpful just to see how someone else had gone through it but I didn’t write it for that intention either. I hope that’s something that happens but I didn’t go into it thinking, “I’m going to help other people figure this out” because my story is only my story and their stories are completely different. Hopefully people who read it will feel less alone maybe that’s kind of presumptuous for me to say but it is nice to hear that someone else had a traumatic experience that maybe bears some similarity to yours.

SH: When I went to Powell’s I was surprised to see the book not only in the memoir section but also under parenting.

DG: Yeah, it should be under parenting. I hope it’s under memoirs, too, but it is a book about parenting for sure. I’m glad that they put it there.

SH: How is your relationship with your daughter’s today?

DG: Great. Really good. Very positive. I do think that the actual writing of the book and showing them the different versions as I was writing it really opened up this whole new realm of communication among us. We talked out a lot of things that we hadn’t talked out before. And there are still little pockets of resentment and fear and sadness and all those things but mostly we’re just really good friends now. They’re well into adulthood. They have their own lives and they’re doing very well so it’s just been great. They have their heads together in ways that I think maybe they wouldn’t if they hadn’t had this early experience of tremendous self-reliance. Now they are both, well all four of them, focused and super responsible.

SH: Do you think that they ran away due to the constraints of society?

DG: There were very personal reasons in our family that made them decide to run away. But I do think that they felt that constraint. They talked a lot when they were younger about the rich kids at school who had a lot of privilege and entitlement. It was difficult for them at that middle school and high school setting. There does seem to be a kind of class hierarchy that some kids struggle against and just the mainstream expectations where not a lot of creativity is allowed in. I think that they were revolting against that in some ways. I don’t know if it was conscious for them at the time but they were very angry about it. They were really well read. We talked a lot about politics and human rights and things like that in our household and suddenly they felt that they were the ones being held back from what they wanted to do. It was all very complicated.

SH: What do you think of the subculture of kids living on the street? Do you think that it gives them more independence or is it a tragedy of our society?

DG: I think it’s horrendous. We need to have much better solutions. I just recently read another report about runaway kids and there are 2.8 million teenagers living on the streets. That’s more than Portland’s population living on the streets in the US. That’s not worldwide. There are 2.8 million homeless kids in this country. It just seems like a population that we never talk about, that we never think about. Bush signed a bill in October, not long before he left office, that I have some real problems with because it doesn’t support parents. It more supports runaway youth shelters and education on the streets, which I think is all good, but I also think that we need to start paying attention to bring families back together. Those kids out there on the streets are angry at their parents but a lot of times it’s because they have a curfew or they’re not allowed to drink in the house or they can’t stay out all night, things that parents should be able to say, “Don’t do this.” It’s just too easy for a kid to walk out the door, go downtown and find someone who will teach them how to jump on a train. I’m very concerned about it but I don’t want to become some kind of runaway youth advocate. That’s not what my life’s mission is about but I do hope that it opens up some type of dialogue about it.

SH: How does teaching affect your writing?

DG: Teaching is great for my writing, actually. It takes away time for writing but there’s never been a class where I haven’t learned along with the students. I’m challenged to think about my writing in a different way or I see a kind of technique or style or craft element that I can improve in my own work by talking about it with the class. So, it’s hugely helpful. I read a lot of manuscripts from students and I see a lot of the same problems cropping up over and over and over again so it reminds me to watch for those things in my own work. And I just like talking about writing. It’s a subject that’s very much alive for me.

SH: What are your current writing projects?

I have a big project going but I’ve put it on the back burner while the book’s being published because I’m going to be gone so much on book tour but I’ve been writing a lot of individual essays for magazines. I just want to keep my work out there so I have a bunch of pieces coming out. I wrote an essay for Modern Bride about helping my daughter chose her wedding gown and I have a piece coming out in Hallmark Magazine, which is a women’s magazine and one coming out in Modern Love in The New York Times. But I’ll go back to the other big project that I’m working on in the summer, I hope.

SH: What is the big project?

DG: It’s a memoir more about my growing up years, my youth growing up in Idaho. I don’t really know the shape of it yet but I’ve been working on it for a year or so. Hopefully it will progress. More hard work ahead.

Debra Gwartney will be reading from her book Thursday, February 12, 2009 07:30 PM at Powell's City of Books on Burnside.

-Sarah Hutchins

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Radiohead goes to the Grammys

With regards to the Moose

Dakota Fanning: the Interview

In addition to his top notch interviews with Neil Gaiman and Henry Selick at this past week's premier of Coraline (check out today's Vanguard to read 'em), Jeff Hammond also got to chat with one Dakota Fanning about her role as Coraline's title character and other such shenanigans. Read on...

Vanguard: So when did you initially record your lines for Coraline?

Dakota Fanning (DF): I've been working on this for like five years so I've had a lot of recording sessions.
VG: Did you get to visit the set at all?

DF: I did, yeah it was fascinating to be able to see the models and the clothes that are on the models and the sets, which are so real … they're made out of, I don't know what the material actually is, but it’s different faces and they take them on and off and they move the faces, it's really incredible.

VG: When you were recording your lines, were you given something you could look at to get an idea of what your character was experiencing?

DF: They brought some of the models so I could see what some of the other characters looked like … when I did my first recording session, they hadn't even started filming yet, they were still building everything. So I didn't really have a lot to go off of but it really didn't matter I don't think, because Henry (Selick, Director) is so descriptive…

VG: When you were working in the recording booth, was Henry there the whole time to sort of coach you?

DF: He was there every time and when he couldn't be there he was on the TV in his office … which was so helpful because he is so specific and he knows exactly what he wants, and it's great to have him there to be able to describe that.

VG: Did you get to meet any of the other cast members before hand to talk about the film?

DF: No, never. The only cast member I’ve met is Teri Hatcher and I have never met her at anything to do with Coraline, I met her at a charity event actually.

VG: When you watch films you do, particularly with animation, how easy is it to detach yourself from watching yourself, is it easier with an animated film?

DF: Maybe, yeah. 'Cause you’re not really looking at yourself, you know? For me when I'm watching movies I’m in or my voice is in, I just kind of watch it as a movie and kind of forget that I’m in it sometimes.

VG: Going off on a bit of a tangent, there have been a lot of rumors going around about you being in New Moon. Have they actually offered you the part already?

DF: Yeah, I definitely hope that it does work out, I would love to be a part of it, I'm a huge, huge fan, so I really hope that I get to play Jane so we'll see … definitely looking forward to it working out, so we'll see, I'm sure everyone will know soon.

VG: So you've also got Push coming out tomorrow right?

DF: I do.

VG: So you filmed a lot in Hong Kong?

DF: The whole thing. I was there for almost three months … I loved it, I really could have stayed for a lot longer, I really enjoyed it.
VG: Since you've got Push and Coraline opening tomorrow, that's two big movies on one day, are you more excited for one or the other?

DF: I'm not you know, I think that they're both kind of geared toward different people so I hope that people enjoy both of them. So much work has gone into both of them, a lot longer has been spent on Coraline, but it's ironic that they're coming out on the same day.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The 2009 Grammy Awards

Last night was the 2009 Grammy Awards. Here's a brief list of results. Follow this link to see complete results (featuring awards like Best Surround Sound Album and Best Polka Album) along with nominees and winners.

Record Of The Year
"Please Read The Letter"
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Album Of The Year
Raising Sand
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Song Of The Year
"Viva La Vida"
Written and performed by Coldplay.

Best New Artist

Best Dance Recording
"Harder Better Faster Stronger"
Daft Punk

Best Electronic/Dance Album
Alive 2007
Daft Punk

Best Pop Vocal Album

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Still Unforgettable
Natalie Cole

Best Rock Song
"Girls In Their Summer Clothes"
Written and performed by Bruce Springsteen.

Best Rock Album
Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends

Best Alternative Music Album
In Rainbows

Best R&B Song
"Miss Independent"
Written by Mikkel S. Eriksen, T.E. Hermansen & S. Smith. Performed by Ne-Yo.

Best R&B Album
Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson

Best Contemporary R&B Album
Growing Pains
Mary J. Blige

Best Rap Song
Written by D. Carter, S. Garrett, D. Harrison, J. Scheffer & R. Zamor. Performed by Lil Wayne Featuring Static Major.

Best Rap Album
Tha Carter III
Lil Wayne

Best Country Song
Written by Jennifer Nettles. Performed by Sugarland.

Best Country Album
George Strait

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Vanguard hits the "Coraline" Red Carpet Event

The Vanguard hit the Red Carpet Premiere of Laika's new stop-motion feature film Coraline at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Check out some photos from the premiere, and check the Vanguard on Tuesday for interviews with Neil Gaiman, Dakota Fanning and Henry Selick. Also, check back here next week for video footage from the premiere. (All photos by Marni Cohen)
Left: Coraline Director Henry Selick  Right: Nike Co-founder and Laika owner, Phil Knight
Left: Actress Teri Hatcher voices Coraline's mom  Right: Coraline Author, Neil Gaiman

Above: Lead Animator on Coraline and son of Phil Knight, Travis Knight

Above, from left: Phil Knight, Producer Bill Mechanic and Lead Animator Travis Knight

Above, from left: Actress Teri Hatcher and Director Henry Selick

Above: Author Neil Gaiman is interviewed by KGW NewsChannel 8

Above: Actress Dakota Fanning voices the title character Coraline

Above: Actor Robert Bailey Jr. voices Wybie

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Arcade Fire and Sufjan Stevens!!

For those of you not already drooling over the "Dark Was the Night" compilation here are two excellent reasons to start doing so: "Lenin" by the Arcade Fire and "You are the Blood" by Buck 65 (remixed by Sufjan Stevens).

The Arcade Fire track is classic Arcade Fire and while very good in its own right, it is easily overshadowed by the epic "holy-fucked-ness" of "You are the Blood." Listen to that sucker, Sufjan really let loose his inner editor on this one and the results are beyond epic.

Ticketmaster fucks everyone over (again)

How's this for the latest chapter in Ticketmaster's horrible, shameful legacy (via the ever-lovely AV club):

A bunch of Bruce Springsteen fans tried to buy tickets for an upcoming show at the Meadowlands through the Ticketmaster website. They were taken to a screen that claimed that tickets weren’t available from Ticketmaster, but could be purchased for many times their face value from TicketsNow, a ticket resell outfit currently owned by Ticketmaster. In response to fan outrage, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey is lobbying for the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to look into a possible conflict of interest. For its part, the company said through a spokesman that only a few fans reported problems.

Whether this is a mistake or not (my money's on not) it's just gross of Ticketmaster to contemplate ripping off their customers to such a horrific degree. Having worked for a Ticketmaster outlet in the past I can say with absolute certainty that the company is about as blatantly unethical as you can get (old news, I know) and I'm surprised that both the US people and US government have failed to rise up and depose it at some point in the past.

Maybe this will finally push things in that direction...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The lovely Laura Gibson

You should check out the interview with Laura Gibson in today's issue of the Vanguard. Not only is Ms. Gibson insightful and interesting but there are some excellent revelations about her academic endeavors as well.

In the mean time here are a few videos of Portland's foremost chanteuse:

With Colin Meloy:

All on her lonesome:

and on top of construction equipment (thanks to Live from the Wreckage!):

I want what he's having

Little kid goes to dentist, gets powerful anesthetic for surgery, Dad films him on the way home. Hilarity ensues.

"Is this real life?"

Yes, yes it is little buddy.

(Hat tip: Slog)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

All the ads, none of the football

Not a football fan but still want to watch all the sweet new teasers for this summer's movie lineup. Save yourself the 4 hours and check out some awesome new spots from some of the summer's biggest blockbusters here.

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen - The sequel to the obscenely successful 2007 movie about giant robots.

Star Trek - J.J. Abrams' questionable reboot of the Trek franchise. Although only questionable if you liked Star Trek in the first place, otherwise it looks pretty sweet.

Land of the Lost - A remake of the 1970's children's show starring Will Ferrell playing Will Ferrell.

Year One - A clip from the new Harold Ramis directed, Jack Black and Michael Cera starring story about lazy hunter-gatherers. This clip features David Cross and Paul Rudd as the biblical characters Cain and Abel.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Cobra Commander. 'Nuff said.

Up - Disney/Pixar's new flick. All recycled footage from previous teasers (except for about 5 seconds at the end). Visit this website to watch some irritating clips from what may be Pixar's first ever critical and commercial failure.

Fast and Furious
- In this fourth installment in the successful franchise, Vin Diesel drives your dad's old car under a giant flaming gasoline rig. As Paul Walker tells Diesel in the trailer "a lot has changed." Yeah, well probably not enough to make this movie any good.

Race to Witch Mountain - Something about clairvoyant adolescents and The Rock having to drive them around. Honestly, when I first heard about this movie I thought it was another movie adaptation of a theme park ride (a la Pirates of the Caribbean).