Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Harry Potter Trailer

I found this on BBC's website.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

G. Lovin' It

Absolutely nothing against the gentleman and his music, but everytime Jack Johnson has a hit record, I ask: "Why is this guy universally known and selling platinum and not G. Love & Special Sauce?" (Oh I know, everyone has someone they have that question about of their own.) After all, G. aka Baby G. aka Garrett Dutton and his band did turn Jack loose upon the world when they recorded "Rodeo Clowns." Now they're on Johnson's Brushfire Records with a new one I've spent today with and like most GL & SS albums, it's sweet, sweet stuff.

48 Hour Film Project at the Belcourt - Tonight!

Once again the Belcourt Theatre plays host to Nashville's entries in the 48 Hour Film Project tonight and Wednesday. Here's how it works: on a Friday night, film-makers are given a prop, a line of dialog, a character and a genre and Sunday night, they turn in a short utilizing their guidelines. Here's a trailer submitted by Mike Tarrolly:

Wanna guess the prop?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Keep on Trying

There's a new search engine getting some publicity, From BBC online:
Instead of just looking at the number and quality of links to and from a webpage as Google's technology does, Cuil attempts to understand more about the information on a page and the terms people use to search. Results are displayed in a magazine format rather than a list.

The company is also trying to set itself apart from Google by not retaining any information about what people search for.

Fair enough. But. I tried it this morning, with a search on "WRLT."** Our site was the first link listed, and the next everything else was from sites that filch Wiki information and republish with advertising.

Here's why I really don't like it:

Compared to:

Can there be any doubt which engine is superior? Hmmm?

** I have no idea who that guy is.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Oh Dear, I've Changed My Mind

I think I like this one better.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It Took a Couple of Plays

When I put Paul Weller's new album 22 Dreams in, my first reaction to the first song was "Ack! Cat Stevens!"

Got past it. He plays my fave song (this week) from the CD after the interview in this clip:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Heroes, Hollywood Style

Someone viewing Christopher Nolan’s well-earned second stab (this time with co-screenplay author, brother Jonathan) at the Batman franchise looking for a big, dark, violent action-thriller doesn’t need to own a copy of the Principia Discordia — unless or maybe especially if that person is a movie reviewer who sets out to be unimpressed. Perhaps it's because I do own a copy that, in spite of my own penchant for being unimpressed, I found The Dark Knight both entertaining and rewarding. More about the negative criticisms later, because they are making the news or at least the ‘sphere.

The film opens with a bank heist perpetrated by a bunch of clowns; their ringleader brilliantly set up the job in such a way that each of the robbers would kill off one of his cohorts in daisy chain fashion, until the mastermind slips away as the sole beneficiary. And that’s only one of the many grand entrances made by the villain, Heath Ledger’s much-talked about Joker. Joker, it is eventually laid out, is an agent of chaos.

The basic plot: the mob is upset that Batman is making life difficult for them and wants him gone. An underworld upstart in clown make-up, with a penchant for destruction, offers to do the job — for a price. In addition to the money, for his own satisfaction what he wants more than anything is to see Batman unmasked. Throughout the film, Joker will present moral dilemmas for most of the film’s major characters and even more of the many minor ones.

Batman’s team, meanwhile, is joined by a new player on the scene: Harvey Dent, an incorruptible idealist dedicated to bringing down the above-mentioned mob, headed by Eric Roberts. In addition to their fight against Evil Bad Men, Dent and Batman alter-ego Bruce Wayne share a romantic interest in Rachel Dawes, this time portrayed by Maggie Gyllenhaal in a take that’s so sexed up compared to Katie Holmes’ version 1.0 that it’s no wonder Rachel makes the choice she does about 2/3 in.

Heath Ledger’s Joker is mesmerizing. The haphazardly-applied lipstick mirrors his random body movements and dialog; everything he does and says seems to have been pulled out of his ass. It’s a truly terrifying Joker owing nothing to Cesar Romero and Jack Nicholsons' wicked uncles. He's far more the creepy cousin who never comes out of the attic, showing glimpses of a whiny loser lurking underneath rationalized malevolence. A psychopathic destroyer and liar, however, does not an anarchist, make. Not necessarily. This is where the brothers Nolan fail, but at least they fail on the side of glory.

Although on the surface it seems the film is a meditation on good and evil, the corrupt and the incorruptible, The Dark Knight is appreciated more fully as a dialog on the varying forces of control and chaos, with a side trip about the importance of letting people have their legends and myths.

On the side of negative control are mob interests and their underworld economy; in the corner for benevolent control are the representatives of the good people of Gotham City (or at least their less corrupt representatives, anyway), with Harvey Dent as white knight and Gary Oldman, in what may be the most subtle performance of his entire career, reprising his role as Lt. Gordon. Gordon's the fulcrum between Dent's heroism and Batman's despair; like Morgan Freeman's Lucius Fox, he's a good guy who's cynical enough to get things done. On the side of chaos, supposedly, we have Batman and Joker.

There's the sole flaw: Joker isn’t really a chaos agent. In his own way, Joker is as dedicated to control and displays of power as Harvey Dent and the double-headed coin he tosses as a way of deciding his own next move. It's not Joker but Batman who represents the force of anarchistic, destructive chaos. He blows up what needs to be blown up and lets others do the rebuilding. This leaves no agent of constructive chaos, unless you consider Batman's alter-ego Bruce Wayne - but Nolan only shows us a hint of this. In the greater scheme, all this isn't that huge a thing because, really, how many people regularly try to work their way through control/chaos constructs outside of a few nerdy Discordians?

There’s been some brouhaha on the interwebs; the few critics who’ve given thumbs down and thrown squishy tomatoes at The Dark Knight complain about a few things: its relentless bleakness and violence; it’s too talky on the headier aspects, entering into pretentious Matrix-like territory. Some even suggest that it veers into apologia for George Bush and the War on Terror, perhaps thanks to a certain eavesdropping situation. Finally there are some complaints about action sequences being choppy.


There’s also talk of a posthumous Oscar for Ledger; the odds of any film actor so embodying such a riveting a character between now and December, let alone in a supporting role, are crazy low. With the death factor, though the outpouring expression of loss that accompanied his OD may have seemed over-exaggerated at the time, compared to his short career span and seemingly low box-office appeal (mainstream media would have you think Bubba isn’t going anywhere near the theatre for every next flick made by the Brokeback guy), what was so heartbreaking about his death was not just the personal tragedy, but losing someone with his ability to take such heavy risks as an artist and bring in the publicity machine to create audiences for movies that dared to inspire, and be inspired by, expression that went far beyond making things that go ‘boom.’

Friday, July 11, 2008

I Fear No Tomato

I interviewed Jeff Themm recently and started airing the segments today. Jeff has taken some heat from people who, I think, see the Farmers Market as more of a Farmers' Flea Market than the Euro-style open-air market he and others would like to see it become, and that he's been charged to turn it into. Anyway, we were talking tomatoes and he urged me to check out Barnes produce, saying they had some twenty varieties of heirlooms. I didn't count, but he was probably close and they're selling for $2.50 per pound — well under what you'd see in a store. They're going to be gazpacho very soon.

p.s. — when I heard they were adding cilantro and fresh peppers to the Salmonella scare, I went straight to La Hacienda for lunch, Thursday. Just sayin' ...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lisa Loeb Interview

In three parts:

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Everything Old Is New Again Dept

Before Mr. Edison helped invent the recording industry, music artists - like their peers in other disciplines - needed to find wealthy individuals to support their work in the field. The artist helped the patron look good to the community and gave them some form of immortality in their works, and the patron gave the artist financial support while both opened societal doors for each other.

On a small scale the patronage system has been part of the modern music industry via product endorsements for instruments, going back to at least the 1970s, in my memory, but it was small beans compared to the money that was being made through album sales and merchandising. In the 1990s, the phenomena of house concerts put patronage back in individuals hands and gave a lift to struggling singer-songwriters ignored by the mainstream commercial outlets.

Now, the company that gave us the Soap Opera (for which I am admittedly thankful) is getting into the business.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Lisa Loab Video Coming

Lisa was in the studio this morning for chat and tunes. Look for footage early this evening or tomorrow afternoon.

Nashville's First A-List Baby

Nicole Kidman lost her bump this morning, AP reports.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

And Most Importantly

Here's the list of CDs I stopped at Grimey's to buy and take with me for the rental car, and the order in which ...

Battles - Mirrored
Black Diamond Heavies - A Touch of Someone Else's Class
My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus, Dig
The Wedding Present - El Rey

Next Time, I'm Just Heading to Cancun

You know how stressful it can be, sometimes, to vacation with family? I just had one of those.

That said, there are some pleasures to growing up redneck. You get to swim in places like this:

Or hang out here:

Or tool down this:

Good to be back in Nashville.