Friday, December 29, 2006

THE VIDEO OF THE YEAR

I've enjoyed many videos on YouTube this year, from Japanese TV commercials to tarsiers to bad hair metal to homo-erotic edits of scenes from Star Trek, but this one is my favorite of the year. It's a nerdy cornucopia of elf ears, diaphanous scarves, spells, plastic swords, rainbow leggings, cheap Casio keyboards, and twenty-sided dice. Sort of like the visual equivalent of filking, but much more fun. It fills me with a forbidden longing to play Dungeons & Dragons. Strangely enough, I first saw this at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as part of an exhibit on artists using the music video form. The group responsible for it is called My Barbarian.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Metal and Blythe-- two great tastes that go great together.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I, FOR ONE, WELCOME OUR NEW PORCINE OVERLORDS . . .


I read an article in the New Yorker (1) last year about the growing threat of feral hogs. Apparently they have become a major nuisance in most of the US, destroying native habitat and species, even uprooting irrigation pipes. Plus, they are so wily and tough that only an expert hunter with at least 4 dogs can defeat one.

Now, I learn that wild hogs may have caused the most recent outbreak of e. coli. It's clear what's going on -- the pigs are trying to kill us! Trichinosis just wasn't doing the job. With all the bacon I've eaten, I'll be the first up against the wall after the piggy revolution (here is where my sweetie Dr. Somneblex thoughtfully points out that he's given up pork).

Coincidentally, I was just reading Oryx and Crake , which features the protagonist being attacked by genetically-altered super-pigs. Clearly, a pig-related horror movie is going to go into production any minute now. A good title would be Hogzilla, after the legendary beast which stalked the woods of Alapaha, Georgia, as seen in this video.



(1)
HOGS WILD.
Authors: Frazier, Ian
Source: New Yorker; 12/12/2005, Vol. 81 Issue 40, p71-83, 12p, 1c
Document Type: Article

Geographic Terms: UNITED States
Abstract: The article traces the history that explains the increasing number of hogs in the U.S. since the 1970s. Hogs are domesticated animals that can survive in the wild and can reproduce quickly and abundantly. In the U.S., the wild hogs descended from ones that escaped from Polynesian Islanders who first brought pigs to the Hawaiian Islands in 750 A.D. During circa 1890, sportsmen with money then imported Eurasian wild boars to stock hunting preserves.
Full Text Word Count: 9704
ISSN: 0028-792X
Accession Number: 19108770
Persistent link to this record: http://0-search.ebscohost.com.alpha.stpaul.lib.mn.us:80/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=19108770&site=ehost-live
Database MasterFILE Premier

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

IN WHICH FAME GOES TO MY HEAD . . .

Well, Jfro fans, I'm finally a published authoress, albeit in a narrow technical sense. You see there's this music zine called Chunklet, which is sort of a mutant child of Spy and Your Flesh that satirizes the indie rock scene. A few years ago, my friend Susan wrote an article for them on the big 2002 All Tomorrow's Parties concert in LA, but they edited it too much and she withdrew it. I started reading it, and it was pretty funny. They had a little blurb saying that the next 2 issues were about overrated records and asking for reader contributions. I jumped at the chance to trash my least-favorite musical genre, sensitive-singer-songwriter-twanging-on-an-acoustic-guitar-crap, and they ending up publishing my nasty little screed. Now there's a book version of those issues, The Overrated Book. I'm sure it will sell like hotcakes, just like all the other zine compilations. Remember the Thrift Score book? Retro Hell from Ben is Dead? The Best of Temp Slave? Unless I gave them to you for Christmas, probably not.

I'm not getting any royalties for this, just the warm glow of fame. However, if you wish me to sign page 123 of your copy, I'm sure a reasonable fee can be arranged.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I'm very behind with my movie mini-reviews. Here's the ones for September.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

THE MISFITS RULE, THE HOLD STEADY DROOLS


I'm reading the excellent book American Hardcore , the basis for the film of the same name, when it suddenly dawns on me why the Hold Steady annoy me so much: they are the evil antithesis of the Misfits! If Craig Finn and Glenn Danzig were put in a room together, the world as we know it would end. The Misfits played loud, hard and fast, with an singer of unusual range and power in an Elvis/Jim Morrison mold, plus they could write a damn catchy tune. The Hold Steady plays middle-of-the-road Springsteeny roots-rock with a singer whose toneless hectoring would only work nearly drowned out by loud, fast guitars. If there's a catchy tune in there somewhere, I haven't heard it yet. Oh, but their lyrics are brilliant, you say? Well, Craig Finn can write a book, then. I like music for the MUSIC, that's why it's called MUSIC. If I wanted clever lyrics with half-assed musical accompaniment, I'd . . . wait, I never want that.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

deuce7show1


deuce7show1
Originally uploaded by ash966.
Dr. S. and I went to a cool show for the graffiti artist Deuce Seven at the Soo Vac gallery. It was crowded with hipsters, so I may have to go back another time to look at the art in depth.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Flickr People


flickr people
Originally uploaded by LinderRox.
Last weekend Dr. S. and I went on a photowalk with the Twin Cities Flickr group. We got a lot of good shots of Lowertown, the river, and Cathedral Hill. Good times!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

PUNK ROCK READING LIST

My friend Kathy and I just saw the excellent American Hardcore and we were talking about good books on the subject of punk rock. Here are some of my favorites:




I also need to see Decline of Western Civilization, Part 1 again, but it's not on DVD yet. For shame!


Monday, October 23, 2006

When I am an old woman . . .

So, there's this group called the Red Hat Society , and they are all about women over 50 getting together and having fun. I'm all for that, but most of the things they do don't interest me. So when I get that age, I plan to start my own Red Beret Anarchist Knitting Society with my friends. Here are some things we might do:

1) Go to Balls or some other cabaret or open-mic night, and do some weird performance art thing. I'll wear a really bizarre outfit, too.

2) Go to a punk rock show and stand at the very front. Moshers wouldn't dare slam into a bunch of old ladies, would they? It'd have to be early evening, though, I already have trouble staying up 'till one AM.

3) Karaoke of New Wave hits of the '80s.

4) Do some graffiti. No one would arrest a bunch of old ladies for expressing themselves with spray paint and stickers. Or, we could combine street art and knitting like the gals of Knitta , thus avoiding accusations of permanently damaging public property.
Link
5) Have Spencer Tunick photograph us all nude except for berets.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

radgeezinsane


radgeezinsane
Originally uploaded by ash966.
I have an irrational desire to win one of the photo contests that this Twin Cities Flickr group I'm in has. This month's topic was fall foliage, which I'm not really into, but it was nice last Sunday, so Dr. S. and I took a walk and I was able to combine the topic of fall with my interest in street art.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bearded Monkey


bearded monkey
Originally uploaded by ash966.
It was a lovely Indian summer day in St. Paul, so we went to the Como Zoo.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

oxbreakfast


oxbreakfast
Originally uploaded by ash966.
Dr S. and I had a lovely day walking down Nicollet Avenue and having brunch at the Bad Waitress with our new friend, Black Ox.

Friday, September 29, 2006

The movies of the month for August are finally up. Sorry for the delay, folks.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sorry for the delay in posts, Jfro fans, I did a number on my back and couldn't even stand to sit at a computer for several days. I do plan to get to the August mini movie reviews eventually. Until then please enjoy this not-safe-for-work video that explores Spock and Kirk's pent-up desire for each other to the strains of "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails. Pure genius!

PS. Tetris is now available for the iPod. Yay!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Too few rock bands provide us with medieval-barbarian-related entertainment these days. The Sword is bent on remedying this lack.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

sleepinglemurs


sleepinglemurs
Originally uploaded by ash966.
Dr. S. and I had a lovely day at the Minnesota Zoo last week.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

andreasnoticboard


andreasnoticboard
Originally uploaded by ash966.
Andrea's Notice Board.

Thanks to this web site, I generated my own personal "On Notice Board" of things that chap my ass.

Thanks to Michael Stephens for the heads-up.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Magazines

Oh, how I love magazines. I get excited when they come in the mail. There's just something about flipping through a big pile of magazines that makes me happy (I always make an initial run-through to see what I have in store for me before getting into the articles). They are great for riding the bus, for reading in bed, for long hot baths, for during the commercials, and forwhen you are too tired or sick to concentrate on a novel. I don't drive and I prefer to listen to music in the morning or when doing chores around the house, so magazines serve the purpose that NPR does for other people (No, I don't listen to NPR unless I'm in someone else's car. Don't tell anyone, or my Masters of Library Science degree might be revoked).

I was starting to feel like my subscriptions were getting out of hand, though, and that I might have to join Maga-holics Anonymous and admit my powerlessness over my addiction to magazines, so I bit the bullet and cancelled my subscription to the Village Voice. It was hard, but it has been getting pretty fluffy since New Times bought it, and besides I can get the movie and art reviews on-line via RSS for free.

Here are my current magazine subscriptions and why I subscribe:

Asian Cult Cinema (quarterly)
The granddaddy of all Asian filmzines, this is where I was first exposed to such wonders as Lone Wolf and Cub, Sleepy Eyes of Death, Branded To Kill, Kung Fu Zombie, Ong-Bak, Oldboy and much more.
Bitch (quarterly)
Bitching about pop culture is what I do and what this mag does, so we're made for each other. Plus, they love 70-80s young adult novels and the kickass feminist werewolf movie Ginger Snaps.
Bust (bimonthly)
Just because you want to read a girly magazine now and then, doesn't mean you want to feel as brainless as Paris Hilton. Any magazine that puts Peaches on the cover needs to be supported.
Giant Robot (bimonthly)
I don't know why two Asian guys from LA have the same taste in movies, art, music, toys, and even furniture design as me, they just do. This is where I first saw Uglydolls, starting me on a path to art toy obsession.
Jade Screen (quarterly)
This is the only glossy I know of that is almost entirely about martial arts films, mostly from Hong Kong, so I feel I should give them some hard-earned money in exchange for feeding my obsession. They're British, so they have a different view of things, and they have actual contacts in the HK film industry, so they give you more of a feel for it than just some guy in Omaha's web site.
Juxtapoz (monthly)
You know those people who subscribe to Playboy for the articles? Well, I admit it, I just get Jux for the purty pictures. But how else would I know what art galleries to visit and what artists to check out? Also, I can cut out pictures and use them for craft projects and CD covers (for the non-profit amusement of my friends and family, of course).
Macaddict (month)
This magazine has saved me money and hassle with Apple tips-and-tricks and led me to some good products and shareware. Macworld is OK, but Macaddict has a badass additude and a sense of humor.
Nation (weekly)
Every bleeding-heart needs some support in these terrible times. Actually, it's more like a weekly dose of heart-squeezing anger at the injustice in the world, which is good for me but about all I can take. I don't know how people who listen to talk radio do it.
New York Review of Books (biweekly)
With all the fiction and magazines and comic books I read, there is only a limited time for (non-movie-related) non-fiction. The great thing about NYROB is you learn a little about a lot of topics you might not want to read a whole book about, so your friends and people you meet at parties think you're insanely smart and well-read. NYROB, people. The tiny, chic, fake eyeglasses of the magazine world!
New Yorker (weekly)
More articles that will convince your friends you're smart. RSS feeds are fine and all, but sometimes you need a general-interest magazine so you get sucked into reading about some topic you normally wouldn't seek out, just because it's so well-written. Let me tell you about wild hogs, artisanal tofu, Planet X and Jean-Paul Sartre's love life!
Psychotronic (irregular/3 times per year)
Where else would I hear about all the vampire, biker, sexploitation, low-budget-sci-fi, werewolf, juvenile delinquent, monster, rocksploitation and zombie movies available? Even the interviews with unsung geniuses and bitter, washed-up has-beens are entertaining.
Readymade (bimonthly)
For people who like to make stuff but don't want to be all Martha Stewart about it.
Shojo Beat (monthly)
This is more of a comic anthology than a magazine, but it is sold in the magazine section of B & N and has a few articles. It reminds me of reading Frederick Schodt's Manga Manga years ago and wishing some cool girls' manga would show up in the US. Well, now it's here, and it's worth it for the very punk Nana alone.
Wizard Anime Insider (monthly)
I've had a hard time finding out about new manga and anime since Animerica folded, so I'm giving this new magazine a try.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Here's the movies of the month for July.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Nancy Pearl vs. the Sea Monster

Well, I've starting taking a few toy photos for the Secret Life of Toys Flickr Pool, but I never thought of using my Librarian Action Figure. The creator says she was inspired by my Read Posters Pool to create her own group. Cool! Maybe I can get everyone at work to bring in their Librarian Action Figures and we can have a photo shoot.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Art Weekend

It was a busy weekend. Me and Dr. S. and our friend Wee Ninja went to Mr. Aimes-One's show at J. Hunter, then the Art Car Parade and a brief visit to the B-Girl Be show at Intermedia. Oh, and I caught Wee Ninja lurking in the bushes near my house.

I'm sure you're all watching Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo after reading my review, but if not, part five has giant robots!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Check out Dr. Somneblex' blog for his post on technology and artistic expression, plus my comment.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Last weekend my sweetie and I did a photo-crawl for street art by the railway tracks near 94 and 280 and between the Lake and Hiawatha and 38th and Hiawatha light rail stations, with a stop at one of my favorite local stores, Ax-Man. Here are some of the photos I took.

Next project: some toy photos for The Secret Life of Toys Photo Pool.

soloface

Friday, July 07, 2006

Once a month there will be a new feature on this blog, Jfro's Movies of the Month, listing the movies I've enjoyed watching the past 30 days. Here is the list for June. I won't have time to review them all myself, so there will be links to reviews for at least the non-Hollywood-blockbuster type movies.

Thanks to Cary for the idea. Now you have my books, my links, my photos, and my movies, a veritable cornucopia of Jfro-liciousness.

Monday, July 03, 2006

I'm just getting into LibraryThing. It's social networking for book geeks, so it's surprising it took me so long. Here's my catalog. I'm also linking to it on my web page and over on the left here. I don't feel that I have to limit it to books I actually own, so I'm including books that I got from the library and excluding useful but boring books that reside at my home. I think it will be especially useful for remembering what books I've read in the past year that I could recommend to or buy for friends and family. There isn't a specific place to put in year it was read, but I could add that info. I might also find some titles I want to read by looking at who else has read books in my catalog.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

My sweetie and I did a street art crawl on Lyndale Ave. S. Here are the pictures.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Hellbound has an insightful post on her blog about email forwards, to which I posted a comment. Will these people never learn?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Since I heard about there being a library in the Second Life virtual reality environment, I sent my avatar, Jfro Gyoza, to visit. I had fun visiting, but my poor spacial sense made it hard to move around. Maybe I have a strabismus and my stereo vision is defective. I can never see those Magic Eye thingies, either. Probably, though, I just need a new computer and a trackball mouse or game controller. Who knew that my lack of interest in 3rd-person video games could become a handicap, if this is the learning model of the future anyway.

Michael Stephens' OPAL presentation, SL cam

Virtual reality isn't just for gathering together with a wizard, a troll, and an elf to kill a dragon anymore, now you can take library science workshops there.

Friday, June 02, 2006

We do need another hero, gosh-darnit

While new Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman movies are all well and good, they are indeed iconic figures that can be revisited and viewed from a different angle and blah-de-blah, Hollywood has yet to do much more than scrape the surface of comic-book superhero possibilities.

I'm hoping that the rumors of a Namor: the Submariner movie are true. Now there's a conflicted character--half-man, half-fishguy, he vacillates between helping humans and beating them down for disrespecting his watery home. All this global warming fooforah must be making him awfully pissed.

The main trouble is that non-comic fans might laugh at the little wings on his ankles which somehow allow him to fly, not to mention the fact that he goes around in nothing but a swimsuit all of the time. But hey, they changed the X-Men's costumes, they can give him a new one, and maybe some gills and a few scales so he looks more amphibian. I'd drop the whole flying thing and concentrate on magical cgi underwater stuff. If I were a big Hollywood director, I'd steal the look of the anime Blue Submarine No. 6, just like the Wachowski brothers did with Ghost in the Shell.


A far as casting is concerned, I think Mark Dascascos has the cheekbones and the aristocratic hauteur fit for a Prince of Atlantis.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Hollywood rips off Asian movies, part 356


I saw a trailer for The Fast and the Furious 3: Tokyo Drift this weekend. It claimed to be the first movie about a type of racing called "drifting". Um, no and no. Par for the course, I know, but I just hope it's not all white-guy-and-his-black-buddy-vs-the-evil-Asians, which is what it looks like. The director is Asian-American, though.

Strangely enough, I'd just seen the Hong Kong version of Initial D last week. I have no interest in cars in real life, but they're fun to watch in movies. I liked the way racing was treated like a martial art, complete with the hero having unknowingly aquired just the skills he needs to win, the worthy noble opponent, and the old drunk guy who seems useless but actually has the talent needed to train the hero. Instead of learning to use special weapons, the hero learns to use a different engine. Plus the great Anthony Wong as an alcoholic widowed tofu-maker!

But it's not just action and horror movies being ripped off from Asia; now they're remaking supernatural romances.

Hollywood is even remaking Oldboy and it's being directed by the same Justin Lin who's doing F&tF3! That is going to be such a disaster.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I went to a workshop on RSS feeds last week, and now my blog is RSS-enabled. Here is the feed URL:

http://ash966.blogspot.com/atom.xml


I tried it in My Yahoo!, Google Reader and Bloglines, so avoid the rush and subscribe now! Also, if anyone has a blog or a Flickr photostream or something that I don't know about, please let me know so I can subscribe to it. It's so much more convenient than going to all the sites individually.


PS. More info on RSS and web feeds here.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

My pictures from the May Day Parade are up on Flickr now. Part of the parade had a book and library theme, I assume to celebrate the opening of the new Minneapolis Library.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Confessions of a Mac addict


Last night I had an erotic dream about the guy who plays a Mac in those new "Get a Mac" ads. Justin Long was good in Dodgeball and Jeepers Creepers, but I'd never thought of him that way before. It must be due to my Apple obsession.

By the way, I liked Jeepers Creepers, but was I the only person who thought it was weirdly homoerotic? JC seemed to prefer the boys, and in one scene you almost thought he was kissing one of them. Maybe the filmmakers wanted to avoid all the women-in-distress scenes endemic to the horror genre, and the tone ran away from them a little.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

There's a stupid Crest Whitening Strips commercial where a woman asks if we can tell whether she would have had a crush on David Cassidy or Ralph Macchio in high school. Now, that's why I think lying about your age is ridiculous. I don't want to study Backstreet Boys fan pages in order to convince people I graduated high school in 1998, it's just too much work. You could pretend you were living in a remote African village or that your intellectual parents prevented you from watching TV even at a friend's house, but we Generation Xer's bond on the basis of shared popular culture, so what would you talk about? Do women still lie about their ages on a regular basis, with the taboo against younger men/older women mostly gone? It's so fifties, like Blanche DuBois hiding in dim light so Mitch won't see that she's older than he thinks in A Streetcar Named Desire. Don't reject her because she's older than you, Mitch! Reject her for her habit of seducing underage boys!

Somewhere I read an interview with Chrissie Hynde where she said she never lies about her age because she likes hearing "But you look so much younger!". I agree, it's much better than lying and getting a raised eyebrow and a "Yeah, right!" look. Anyway, I'm going to go watch some After School Specials on DVD and then look for Dynamite magazine on eBay, so there!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The photos from my NYC trip are up on Flickr now.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Why yes, I do like playing Centipede, thankyouverymuch

I was in one of my videogame-playing moods, the other day (for some reason when I don't feel well enough to concentrate on a book or movie I can still play video games), and the thought came to me: I like to destroy stylized things, but I wouldn't like to kill realistic centipedes, space invaders, blue ghosts, or play with realistic concrete blocks. The stylization makes the game experience better for me, it's not just some nostalgia for 80's arcade games. I enjoy when new versions of these games come with cool cartoony graphics, but I don't understand the importance of a realistic environment in gaming. How does it make the gameplay any better? Games are too realistic now. Look at the Sims. I can't even keep a plant alive, but I'm supposed to make sure a virtual person goes to the bathroom? If I wanted to do that, I wouldn't have "forgotten" to have children.

I'm going to start my own MMORPG, The World of Tikktaaktow. It's just like Tic-Tac-Toe, except it's in 3-D, you can play as over 100 mythological creatures, dress them in the costumes of 500 nations and cultures, you have to play in a horde of 100 people for it to be any fun, and you lose immediately for the first 100 hours you play. I'll make millions, I tell you! Millions!

The funny thing is, the other big hot game lately is poker. What could be more stylized than pieces of paper with crudely-drawn pictures of kings and queens on them? Maybe they'll be a new video version of poker where the kings and queens leap off the cards in 3-D form and pummel your opponent's cards when you win a hand.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Internet 2.0 Weekend

This weekend I got all Internet 2.0. I finished adding all my links to del.icio.us, subscribed to blogs on an RSS feed reader, and started a Flickr pool. The pool is for creative versions of the American Library Associations READ posters, so if you have any, please post them! I'm going to pick the best one and give the winner a free t-shirt and poster from Cafepress.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I'm working on DVDtalk's list of top ten anime of 2005. This is what I've seen so far:

1. Samurai 7. I don't if I'll watch this, frankly. Who needs a remake of a masterpiece like Seven Samurai. There's already a decent Hollywood version, a Japanese schoolkids-versus-bikers version, even an outer space version. Japan! Don't catch Hollywood's unnecessary-remake disease! If you do, what next? Citizen Kane: The Anime? The Godfather: The Anime? Once Upon A Time in the West: The Anime? Actually, the last one might be kind of cool.
2. Ghost in the Shell: SAC (2nd Gig). I've seen the first two DVD's. I loved the first Stand Alone Complex, and this is shaping up to be just as good. In addition to the issues of what it means to be human in a cyber-world, these shows built on the political intrigue that was part of the original comic book, but (understandably) did not feature in the movie.
3.Fullmetal Alchemist. I've seen the first six DVD's. This started out looking like an entertaining kid show, a super-hero story with alchemy replacing super-powers. It gets darker as it goes on and the hero realizes that to achieve his quest, he has sold out to a semi-fascist regime that waged an unnecessary war against darker-skinned people. Even kids' anime is more cynical about power than the most "adult" US TV show dares to be.
4. Planetes. I've seen the first DVD. It reminds me of Patlabor, but with regular-guys-in-outer-space instead of regular-guys-with-giant robots. There's a humanistic spirit that suggests the series could be close in quality to Patlabor as well. Besides, I really liked Quark, which was also about space garbagemen.
5. Samurai Champloo. I've seen the whole series, and all I can say is see it now! See it if you like Samurai, or hip-hop, or grafitti, or goofy humor, or 60's TV series where characters wandered from one place to another getting involved in other people's drama, or Cowboy Bebop, or any combination of the above.
6. Porco Rosso and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. I've seen both of these. Nausicaa was one of my most-anticipated DVD's ever; I almost bought a Chinese bootleg, but I couldn't do that to Miyasaki--sensei. Then it was announced as coming out, but the release date kept getting moved back. Although nothing really could live up to the hype (especially since I'd already read the manga and knew the basic story), it still ranks as one of the best science-fiction movies ever, animated or live-action. The detailed world-building sure makes Star Wars look the the half-assed combo of kung fu movies and 30's movie serials it is. Porco Rosso is pretty good, but not in the same class. The flying scenes are wonderful, but it's probably the only anime (with the possible exception of Black Heaven) geared mostly to middle-aged men who feel they've "sold out". I appreciate it in a somewhat remote way.
7. Appleseed. I've seen this movie. It is basically a remake of the 1988 video series, but that one looked crappy and this one is the best-looking all-cgi anime I've ever seen, so it's definitely worth seeing.
8. Gankutsuou--The Count of Monte Cristo. I've seen the first two DVD's. So far, so incredible. The cgi backgrounds are incredibly lush and fantastic. If you are tired of giant robots, annoying kids, and cute animal sidekicks in anime, this is a refreshing change. There's more intrigue, secret love affairs, and revenge plots in one episode than in a whole season of Masterpiece Theater, but with more gender confusion, aliens and strange machines.
gankutsuou8
9. Gunslinger Girl. I've seen the first DVD. The Japanese ability to mix heartbreak and violence may have reached its apex with this series. I mean, who else would have thought of terminally little girls whose parents can't afford treatment being cured by a secret government agency that also transforms them into cyborg super-assassins. That would be a unique solution for the health care crisis in the US today. Somehow, though, it's tastefully done, with the emphasis on the kids dealing with the problems of their unique situation and their relationships with their "handlers".
10. Area 88. I've seen the first episode on a sampler DVD. It looks OK, but I'm not big on war movies, so I probably won't watch the rest.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

***Warning!****the link below may not be appropriate at work or around small children!

If you remember those old "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, you may enjoy these parodies.

I laughed so hard at #3 on page 5 that I nearly asphyxiated myself.

Friday, March 03, 2006

I just responded to a post in Kathy's Blog about pet peeves.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I just finished reading Guided By Voices: Twenty Years of Hunting Accidents in the Forests of Rock and Roll. It was much more interesting than I thought it would be. I mean, I love GBV dearly, but they don't have a history of acting freaky in public or having torrid love triangles and their drummer didn't lose an arm or anything dramatic like that. In spite of that, the book manages to give us a good portrait of a cult indie-rock band in the 90's. Sometimes it's more instructive to view an industry from the bottom or the middle than the top, like reading about a cult actor in Psychotronic versus a big-star puff piece in Premiere. Those big stars never tell you anything interesting; they have too much to lose. Here's the top three scandalous revelations about GBV from the book:

1. Sometimes, when it looks like Bob is chugging a beer on stage, he's really intentionally spilling most of it down the front of his shirt.

2. The song "Teenage FBI" was inspired by an incident from when Bob was still a teacher. A student caught him picking his nose and told the whole class.

3. GBV did most of their rare bad shows during the "Cobra Verde" period, so I'm glad I didn't see them then.

The one thing the book didn't tell me: What's up with the British accent? It used to freak me out a bit, but I'm used to it now. When British singers sound "American", it doesn't bother me, but the reverse reminds me of bad early Ministry.


Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Here's the list of favorite movies from Mark.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Here's the list of favorite movies from Cary.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Here are lists of favorite movies from Kathy and Tom.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Here's my sweeties list of favorite movies. Please send me your lists!
Favorite Movies

Branded To Kill
Full Contact
Eight Diagram Pole Fighter
Valley Girl
Yojimbo
The Warriors
Shoot the Piano Player
Tetsuo
Ghost in the Shell
Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Bedazzled
Once Upon A Time in the West
Perfect Blue
Eraserhead
Avenging Eagle
Sunset Boulevard
Sweet Smell Of Success
Jackie Brown
The Man in the White Suit
Well, my sweetie finally gave me his list of favorite songs.

It was fun making the list and I got a lot of insight from everybody's else's, not to mention ideas for more songs to listen to. if anyone else wants me to post their list, send it to me.
Kathy gave me the idea for a list of favorite songs, I think she got the idea from Derek. Here is her list of Kathy, Paul, Debi, Derek, Tim, and Mark's favorite songs.
My Favorite Songs

Here's my list. It's not rated, just alphabetical. I didn't include anything from the past year or so because I may get sick of them eventually. These are songs that have stood the test of time for me. Some bands (Sonic Youth, Flaming Lips, Tricky) or genres (stoner rock, math-rock, psychedelia) are more album-oriented, so I might have different choices for best albums. Conversely, genres such as power pop and 60s garage rock are more suited to singles. I think a band can have one great song while the rest of their work is mediocre. Obviously, I don't think there is such a thing as music "everyone" must like or musical "essentials"


Academy Fight Song--Mission Of Burma
The Ace Of Spades--Motorhead
And Then Again--Arcwelder
Another Girl, Another Planet--The Only Ones
Baby Baby--The Vibrators
Baby Come Back--The Equals
Boombastic--Shaggy
Both Ends Burning--Roxy Music
C’est Si Bon--Eartha Kitt
Complicated Fun--The Suicide Commandos
Crazy--Silverfish
Dance--ESG
Digital Love--Daft Punk
Do Anything You Wanna Do--Eddie & The Hot Rods
Don’t Talk To Me About Love--Altered Images
Driving The Dynamite Truck--Breaking Circus
Factory--Walt Mink
Fire--Ohio Players
Gigantic--The Pixies
Girl Don’t Tell Me--Gumball
Girl Of Matches--Thee Headcoats
Good Things--Sleater-Kinney
Gorilla--The Rubinoos
The Good Life--Weezer
Green Eyes--Husker Du
Hanging On The Telephone--Blondie
Have I The Right--The Honeycombs
Homosapien--Pete Shelley
Hot Wire My Heart--Crime
I Can’t Control Myself--The Troggs
I Can ‘t Stand The Rain--Ann Peebles
I Must Have That Man--Billie Holiday
I Need You Around--The Smoking Popes
I Think We’re Alone Now--Lene Lovich
I Wanna Be Sedated--The Ramones
I Want Candy--Bow Wow Wow
I Want You To Want Me--Cheap Trick
I’ll Be Good To You--The Brothers Johnson
I’ll Be Your Mirror--The Velvet Underground & Nico
I’m Loose--The Stooges
The In Crowd--Bryan Ferry
International Coloring Contest--Stereolab
Into The Valley--Skids
Israelites--Desmond Dekker
It’s Shoved--The Melvins
Kerosene--Big Black
Lagartija Nick--Bauhaus
Last Caress--The Misfits
Little Willy--The Sweet
Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun--The Beastie Boys
Love Is The Law--The Suburbs
Love Will Tear Us Apart--Joy Division
Mama Said Knock You Out--LL Cool J
Map Ref. 41n 93w--Wire
Marquee Moon--Television
The More I See You--OMD
My Crotch Does Not Say Go--Frightwig
My Favorite Dress--The Wedding Present
My Valuable Hunting Knife--Guided By Voices
Nausea--X
The New Teller --Jonathan Richman
New York Groove--Ace Frehley
No Matter What--Badfinger
Nub--Jesus Lizard
O Carolina--The Folkes Brothers
Oblivious--Aztec Camera
Oh, How To Do Now--Monks
Oliver’s Army--Elvis Costello
Pata Pata Rock Steady--Patsy & Count Ossie
Pearly Dewdrops’ Drops-The Cocteau Twins
Play For Today--The Cure
Rudie Can’t Fail--The Clash
Saints--The Breeders
Say You--Colourbox
September Gurls--Big Star
Situation--Yaz
So It Goes--Nick Lowe
Starry Eyes--The Records
Suspect Device--Stiff Little Fingers
Take A Chance On Me--ABBA
Teenage Caveman--Beat Happening
Teenage Kicks--The Undertones
Tell Mama--Etta James
Temptation--New Order
Temptation Eyes--The Grass Roots
Tempted--Squeeze
Texas Never Whispers--Pavement
That’s Entertainment--The Jam
This Damn Nation--The Godfathers
Tired Of Being Alone--Al Green
Totally Wired--The Fall
Touch Me I’m Sick--Mudhoney
20th Century Boy--T. Rex
Twist Of Cain--Danzig
Up In A Puff Of Smoke--Polly Brown
Use To Be My Girl--The O’Jays
Vienna--Ultravox
Waiting Room--Fugazi
Walk On By--The Stranglers
What Do I Get?--The Buzzcocks
What We All Want (Live)--Gang Of Four
When U Were Mine--Prince
White Lines (Don’t Do It)--Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel

Sunday, January 01, 2006