Friday, September 09, 2005
It's painful when a four-day work week ends up feeling twice as long. Even more painful when Friday finally arrives... and you've been scheduled to work a 'special' shift on Saturday starting at 6AM. Ouch. So while everyone else is all smiles and ready for the weekend, I'm grumpy 'cuz mine feels so far away.
If you were paying attention, you may remember I said I was gonna be on vacation in picturesque Newport, Rhode Island last week. Alas, it was not to be. The closer our departure date got, the worse the forecast became... days of threatening thunderstorms and oppressive humidity would not have made for a very beach-worthy week, a time we wanted to spend outside wandering the coastline, relaxing outdoors, and soaking in some much needed daytime sun.
So we bagged it. Because we could. The bed & breakfast we were going to stay at let us postpone to a later date, and there was plenty for me to do at work anyways. Unfortunately for me, because it was so last minute, my brain was all too ready for the break... so struggling through was that much tougher. Was worn out thanks to the lingering cold-flu-mutated-into-a-sinus-infection thing, glad that at least I wasn't sick during a vacation.
So I'm back to full health, all medded up, but certainly not fully rested. I'm gonna need some time away from this place. And soon.
But enough complaining and aimless wishing, lemme just get to some linkage...
As a longtime Idaho fan, it goes without saying that I'm very glad to discover a new album about to arrive. It's called 'The Lone Gunman', and it's out on October 3rd... in Sweden. Or October 4th... in France. How about the U.S.? We'll have to wait until October 25th, when it'll be co-released by Idaho-guy Jeff Martin's own label and Retrophonic.
These sound samples at Dotshop sound fantastic. Check out the Talitres label site for a full tracklisting. According to Martin, at 17 tracks it's the longest Idaho record yet. Aces.
A new Idaho track called 'Live Today' also appears on the Something Must Break compilation, which coincidentally gets released on this very day. Order it here for just $7 plus shipping. For a sample of Idaho's contribution, head here. It's worth noting that a song called 'Live Today Again' will appear on the upcoming full-length, so we'll see if it's a reworked or extended version of the compilation track.
You'll be able to hear even more Martin-composed music this fall, although you'll have to watch some untested television to do it. He's scoring a new NBC drama called Inconceivable, which stars Angie Harmon and Ming-Na. It's set in a fertility clinic, and debuts on Sept. 23rd. This marks his second bit of TV work in as many seasons, following last years short-lived ABC series The Days.
Also in the works: A new Pedro The Lion album. After the (very slight) disappointment of their last disc, I'm really looking forward to the next one, especially after listening to the electric and acoustic demos of the new song 'The Devil Is Beating His Wife' over at their page on Purevolume. Nice to hear that their work on electronic side-project Headphones might result in some tasteful keyboard use, and I'm loving TW Walsh's backing vocals on that track.
P.T.L. is also auctioning off a package full of stuff, which includes items some TW solo stuff and some Headphones merch. All the proceeds from this collection of CDs, LPs, Singles, Posters, Shirts, and rare promotional items will go to hurricane relief. Go here for the ebay auction. Bidding is currently at $355, and there's five days to go.
Walter Schreifels' Walking Concert has redesigned and relaunched their website.
Thanks to The Great Leap Forward, I learned that there's a blog for the 33 1/3 series of album-centric books published by Continuum. Of special interest is this post that lists the complete numerical order of the series, including news on what's in the works. So far I've only read Joe Pernice's Meat is Murder contribution and Chris Ott's Unknown Pleasures book, but I'm really hankering to check out the Murmur, OK Computer, and Velvet Underground editions. There's a ton I'm interested in on the upcoming list, too, like London Calling, Doolittle, Paul's Boutique, Stone Roses, Daydream Nation, and Bee Thousand. What I've been most excited for, though, is the book covering My Bloody Valentine's Loveless, and I was worried it had been cancelled until I saw the footnote that says 'And floating in the ether, as ever, is Loveless, by Mike McGonigal'. Let's hope that sucker stops floating and hits the ground at some point.
Another cool, although slightly frustrating, list, is this one that shows the books that might have been, but were aborted for various reasons. Fleetwood Mac's Tusk by The Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merrit?! Dylan's The Basement Tapes by Galaxie 500's Damon Krukowski?! If only.
I'm not much of a Modest Mouse fan. While I appreciate their music, I'm not at all into Isaac Brock's voice. Just not my cuppa, unfortunately. So the completely bizarre news that Red House Painters & Sun Kil Moon main-man Mark Kozelek is releasing an entire album of Modest Mouse covers is actually pretty intriguing to me. While I'm sure the arrangements will be majorly mutated, I know for sure I'm gonna like Koz's voice over 'em more than Brock's. So even though I'd much rather see a whole new album of Kozelek originals, I'll gladly take this little detour with him.
New Stereolab! Always a good thing. Their three brand new singles (with two new tracks on each) are officially released on Monday, and you'll be able to get all six songs as digital downloads. But for those, like me, who actually need something to hold in your hand, you can now order them from the UK thanks to the wonderful (and wonderfully run) Alma Road Mail Order. Here's some direct links:
Streamy goodness: You can now stream the entirety of The Sixth Great Lake's wonderful Sunday Bridge record, which was released earlier this year on vinyl. They're still looking for someone to put it out on cd, but in the meantime, stream away thanks to Apollo Audio. And tell your label-owning friends they've got some signing to do.
So, um, what the hell is the point of a Cars reunion when Ric Ocasek says 'hell no!', and Ben Orr is, um, dead? Answer: None. None point.
Run away, Mr. Rundgren, run away.
Too Much Rock added a full-on review to the photos and video of their recent Smog / Feathers / Charlene posting. Yeah, ok, I'm sure I looked a little 'stiff' at the keyboard. I would have been much more relaxed if I actually, uh, played keyboards. That'd definitely help. Gimme time, gimme time.
I felt like Ferris Bueller up there... 'Never had one lesson!'.
Speaking of Charlene, don't look for me behind the drums at the next show, when they'll be opening for John Vanderslice up at Dartmouth College next Friday. Scheduling conflicts are sadly keeping me away. I will, however, be playing with The Broken River Prophet a week later, when they hit the Mirror Image Film Festival in Pawtucket, RI on Sept. 23rd.
For those in the Boston area, do yourself a favor and go check out The BRP tonight, Friday the 9th, at PA's Lounge in Somerville. I'm not just saying that because I'm one of their rotating players... I'm a genuine fan and I'll be there right in front (despite my having to get up tomorrow morning at 5am... ugh). They're playing first at 9:30, before Polaris Mine and Nice & Easy, so arrive early.
Speaking of Boston-area show reviews, I'm constantly in awe of my friend and neighbor Steve, who sees more local shows than anyone I know who's not a bartender or soundperson, and writes up a review every time. Seriously, he goes out every other night. I have no idea where he gets his energy, but just reading his write-ups makes me tired.
A new Boston-area podcast: MAhysteria, hosted by husband-and-wife team of Paul and Janine.
Another podcast for ya: Twilight Singers bassist Scott Ford interviews fellow Twilighter (and former Afghan Whigs frontman) Greg Dulli about his just released album Amber Headlights, going track by track for stories behind the songs. I picked the disc up on Tuesday, and it's completely rocking me.
If, like me, you're a fan of George RR Martin's brilliant A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series, and are eagerly awaiting the November arrival of the fourth book, A Feast For Crows, you might want to check out The Quest of Thrones. It's a little online quest/game/scavenger hunt that starts soon and runs for five weeks. Sign-ups end a week from today, and prizes will be awarded when it's done. Sounds like a cool enough (and geeky enough) way to kill some online time while we wait for the next book.
Another book to look forward to: Author and comic writer Greg Rucka has finished his second Queen & Country novel, titled Private Wars, and it'll be out on October 25th. I loved the first one, A Gentleman's Game (which itself sprung from the excellent Q&C comic series), so I'm hoping the second is just as solid.
The fall TV season is upon us, so here's a list of debut dates so you don't miss anything.
Fall also heralds the arrival of two major geek-out events: The Wizard World Boston comic convention from Sept. 20th to Oct. 2nd, and the huge Star Wars exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science starting on October 27th.
Now, my days of comic convention attendance are far behind me, but there are a few creator-types at the WWB that tempt me to wander by. I'm a big admirer of artists John Cassaday, David Mack, and Tim Sale, so it'd be kinda cool to see 'em. Now, I must admit, the Buffy fan in me does have a slight urge to gaze upon Robia 'Jenny Calendar' LaMorte and Eliza 'Faith' Dushku... but I don't think I'm quite that geeky. (and besides, we already met Faith, so, um, yeah). Ok, so maybe I am geeky enough.
And even though the bungled prequels have all but extinguished my Star Wars love, I'll still end up checking out the Museum of Science exhibit... for the same reason I was compelled to watch Episode III... the 12 year old simply cannot resist. The pre-adolescent programming is too damn strong. Tickets are on sale now.
As you can probably see in one of my flickr photos up there on the right, Amie and I got to see sketch-comedy goofball Michael Showalter do a little Q&A after a screening of his new film The Baxter. The film was pretty good, and although it's got a much different tone from his sketch comedy stuff on Stella & The State, it's well worth seeing if you're a fan of slightly-skewed romantic comedy.
A 'baxter' is defined in the movie as 'the other guy', the neglected schlub always loses out in every love story to the romantic lead. Y'know, that guy who gets left at the altar, like pipe-smoking Carl Smith in The Graduate. Showalter wrote and directed the film, and also plays the titular Baxter, Eliot. The rest of the cast is full of familiar faces like the 40 Year-Old Virgin's hilarious Elizabeth Banks, always-good Peter Dinklage, fellow Stella-men David Wain & Michael Ian Black, a break-dancing Justin Theroux (playing nemesis 'Bradley'), and the damn funny Paul Rudd. The standout, though? Michelle Williams plays just about the cutest love interest I've seen in years. Seriously, I never thought she was exactly unattractive on Dawson's Creek (although she did stand in the shadow of Kate Cruise), but I challenge you to see this film and not be complete smitten with the character of Cecil Mills. Talk about crush-worthy. Yow.
I recorded and transcribed the post-screening Q&A with Showalter, but sharing it here is a tricky thing... I've taken out the parts that directly relate to the plot of the movie (for those who are planning on seeing it when it arrives in your town), and I've left in all the aborted sentences and 'like' droppings that pepper the answers. It's hard to capture the intention of the spoken word, especially Showalter's sarcasm and general light-heartedness. Try to keep it in mind when reading along. Oh, and by the way, admission to this screening was totally free, so maybe that's why some of the questions ended up being so, um, how do I put this mildly?... retarded.
MS: Hi everyone, I�m Michael Showalter (much clapping). I wrote, and directed, and starred in the movie that you are now watching the credits of. Thank you for coming, and if you want to leave, please feel free... I won�t take it personally. But you are gonna miss some very illuminating conversation points by me... (laughs)Alright, I'm just about outta here... and back again tomorrow morning. Grumble, grumble.
"I neeeed to sleeeep, whyyy woooon't yooouuu let me..."
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
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