Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Film Review - Kevin Smith's RED STATE (2011)

On 3/28/2011, I had the opportunity to see Kevin Smith's upcoming film RED STATE at the Paramount Theater in Austin, Texas. For the purposes of full disclosure, I'm a giant Kevin Smith fan. I've loved every one of his movies including the much maligned Jersey Girl. (The Sweeney Todd scene still warms the heart.) I will do my best to write this review honestly and without major spoilers.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Album Review: Late Night Tales- Midlake

When I first heard about a new Midlake album, I just thought it was, a new Midlake album. I was definitely not aware of all the previous late night tales’ compilations released. After doing my research, I found out that it’s a pretty cool family of collections that have been released in the past. Artists like The Flaming Lips, Arctic Monkeys, and Four Tet have picked out some of their favorite music that has inspired them & made it into a set. So, the songs the artists pick become a sort of magical “late night” mixtape. Also, the artists that put together the album do their own cover version of a song, and there are some spoken words as an ending to every album.

Album Review: Britney Spears- Femme Fatale

So after my first listen (which was just me sitting around and not in a dancing-in-my-underwear kind of mood), first thoughts were “congrats Brit, you've succeeded to sound like every other Ke$ha and Fergie song out there”, with lots of auto-tuned cheesy lyrics and dance-fueled techno/dubstep pop. It's definitely unlike anything she's put out. But I’ve changed my mind, and I actually like it (which I’m a bit ashamed to say). But as of lately, my music choices have begun to include cheesy pop as it makes me want to whip my hair back and forth (it’s my new thing). Britney’s new record is one of the best I’ve heard from this new wave of pop music.

Monday, March 28, 2011

For Your Consideration: GREAT EXPECTATIONS (1998)

If you want stupid teenagers (as I was, once upon a time) to relate to classics, go with stories that stupid teenagers can relate to: the ones with love and unrequited love. 'Cause that's all high school was, right? The great stories about love is why Great Expectations and The Great Gatsby and Romeo and Juliet have stayed with me since high school. It's why Moby Dick did not. (Even now, I'm just not interested in whaling... I mean, I get the metaphor, but... meh.) It's been 10 years since I first and last read Great Expectations and despite a quick wikipedia refresher, I remember very little about the book. But, the central story stays with me.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Office - “Garage Sale” Recap! (Spoilers)

JACK: Howdy folks. Today, Lauren and I will be recapping and reviewing one of the really great episodes of tv this season: The Office’s “Garage Sale.” Very weird that they didn’t save this for the finale or even May sweeps.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Terrible Song from My Youth- Jessica Simpson's "I Want to Love You Forever"

People forget that before she was a dim, reality tv personality and before she was in a few movies... and before John Mayer described her as "sexual napalm" (which is the greatest nickname ever), Jessica Simpson was a pop singer.  Her songs were fairly "meh" if memory serves, but she was pretty talented as far as her voice went.  This voice was, to put it mildly, present on her debut single...

"I Want to Love You Forever"

I remember watching this video/hearing this song in awe... Not because it was good.  No, I was in awe because 1) she was the hottest of the crop of blonde pop singers, 2) her mouth opened seductively/ comically wide, and 3) THE SONG JUST... KEEPS... GOING.

Marry, Boff, Kill - Captain Planet Edition

So, the original plan was to have a Golden Girls edition, but the more I tried to explain my choices (Marry Betty White, Boff Rue McClanahan, Kill Bea Arthur), I seemed to be getting closer to burning in hell... and really, the explanation is the fun part for me. So, this time around, we're gonna analyze another group of cartoon characters...

The Planeteers

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

sxsw '11 jolly good times (with pics!)

Sluggish Sunday is what I'll call it-the day SXSW is officially over and everybody is as lazy as a floppy piece of cheese, and the city can finally rest (excluding the clean-up crews, who I have extreme gratitude for). But last Sunday, my fun all started when me and some friends found the Pepsi Max lot on the corner of 3rd & San Jacinto which was giving away free booze and games all day (and for the rest of the week)! It was a nice relaxing way to start the week off before Wednesday, when we'd all start running around town like lunatics, chasing our favorite bands.

Catching Sleigh Bells again at SXSW for the second year in a row, I was even more  pumped and anxious to see Alexis & Derek rock out in their jam fest of heavy bass and noisy pop.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pete Droge - "Small Time Blues"

"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." -Lester Bangs, Almost Famous

I spent some time with Almost Famous this weekend. I remember that I only discovered it maybe 8 years ago after hearing Dave Grohl's silly rendition of "Tiny Dancer." And yeah, that scene on the bus really is pretty magical.

There is very little about this movie that isn't brilliant. The dialogue, the characters, the casting, the story, the song selection... All of it is just perfectly put together. And though I've never been a rock god, or a band aid, or an aspiring rock writer, I can identify with the characters more so than any movie in recent memory... because they're so real.

With this particular viewing, I seemed to pay a lot attention to the music... and there's a scene in which Penny Lane and William Miller (the Enemy) are walking through the Riot House, and the Enemy happens upon a duet. In the movie, you can only hear six seconds of it before the scene changes, but it's a gorgeous six seconds.

So, thanks to my super-advanced research skills (google and youtube), I found the song in its entirety. It and the artist who performs it, Pete Droge, are kind of an anomaly because they aren't from the movie's time period. Yet it fits perfectly.

Fast fact: After more "research," I found out that that scene was a tribute to Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Terrible Song from My Youth: Next - "Too Close"

So, we post a lot songs and things that we like... So, I've decided that one of my recurring segments is to post a song from my youth that is just plain terrible.  To kick things off...

Next - "Too Close"

I'd never watched the video before, but I did for this blog... And I wanna point out that the radio edit didn't start with this epic line..."I wonder if she can tell I'm hard right now."  ...WOW... Why can't she?

I remember this song came out when I was in 8th grade which is funny because at that age, half the kids knew what the song was about and half didn't.   I honestly can't recall which half I was in.  I just remember not getting why people liked this song.  And how did this get approval for the 8th grade Valentine's Dance?

'Cause it's gross.  I'm no prude or anything.  (Hell, after listening to this, I cleansed my pallet with a NIN's "Closer.")   The first comment on the youtube page summed it up perfectly... "This song is about boners."  And, ya know... I'm not saying that all boners are gross... but unwanted boners are pretty terrible.  I'll go on record and say that.  Unwanted boners are terrible.   I think it was F. Scott Fitzgerald that said, "Show me an unwanted boner, and I'll write you a tragedy."  Don't get me wrong.  Like all males, I've had an unwanted boner in my time... but I didn't feel the need to write a song about it.

And one of the motherf*ckers looks like Wayne Brady.  Ya know what isn't sexy?  A skeevy Wayne Brady.  She tells Wayne Brady to step back because she feels "a little (She called it little!) poke coming through... from you."   And then he's all like, "Naw, I'm trying but I can't."  I listen to this song, and I feel like I'm gonna need to make a police report or give my statement or something.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Marry, Boff, Kill- Scooby Doo Edition

Today, I'm introducing a segment (a brain exercise, if you will) made famous by an episode of 30 Rock called Marry, Boff, Kill. That is, we take a group of people, and I argue who we ought to marry, boff (the nice word for f*ck) and who we would kill.

Today's episode... The Scooby Doo Detective Agency.

Kill- Scrappy Doo. Easy. Has there ever been a more annoying cartoon dog? Scrappy Doo was a jerk with a giant head.

Marry- Daphne Blake. Conventional wisdom may be to boff the cute redhead and marry the smart chick, but lemme explain. She's easily the hottest cartoon human in cartoon human history, but she's gotta be cool as shit, too. I mean, how does the hottest chick in town end up hanging with the nerdy girl, a stoner and his dog, the dog's lame-ass nephew, and whatever the f*ck Fred is? Answer: she likes to solve mysteries (philanthropic!) dressed like a hippy flight attendant. Also, if you ever aspired to run for public office, doesn't she seem like the perfect trophy wife? She's a red-headed, liberal Cindy McCain.

Boff- Velma F'*cking Dinkley... (God, they even made her last name terrible.) Yall know she'd be a freak, right? And we're not talking about the Linda Cardellini version from the movies. We're talking about the animated, gremlin-faced, Silent Bob-looking version with the perfectly round head (though I'd forgotten that the animators at least gave her a skirt to remind us that she actually is a girl). How much would it suck to be Velma? She solves mysteries but the stoner's talking dog gets all the credit... (Granted, Scooby IS a talking dog, and that's impressive.) She's always the third wheel when they split up to look for clues, and she does all the work while Daphne and Fred do their thing. And the really smart ones usually have that really dark streak. If only to get that attention that she actually deserves, I bet Velma would be crazy receptive to even the most depraved acts.... Truly disgusting stuff with food, dogs, ghosts, costumes, bondage, old man Smithers, old man Jenkins, and the Harlem Globetrotters... And I bet she wouldn't be a mean later. She'd be all like, "Jinkies, Jack, why are you crying? That wasn't terrible at all!"

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The White Stripes- "White Moon" from Under Great White Northern Lights

Soooo... Despite being a burly, heterosexual man, I'm pretty gay for Jack White. When news broke that the White Stripes were officially done, I was sad to say the least. The following performance was the last song from their tour documentary, Under Great White Northern Lights. Though they would go on to do one more public performance on the farewell episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien (one that felt kind of awkward, really), I like to think of this is as their last song together.

We can only speculate as to why Meg was bawling her eyes out. I don't think it matters. There is so much intimacy and emotion and soul there... so much story that we just aren't meant to know. And for a band that played everything (except the music) so close to the chest, it seems only fitting that it ended on such a mysterious note.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Red Riding Hood (not your grandma’s version)

By now, you've heard about the new film out Friday (3/11) "Red Riding Hood" which is a dark and twisted take on the children's tale.

Head over to Disco Naïveté to hear the dark and haunting song by Fever Ray that will be featured in the movie, it's called "The Wolf", and it's what this lady does best.

Also the trailer for the movie below:

Fat Tuesday y'all

I'm from Louisiana, so today is a big day: king cakes, parades, and lots of ladies flashing their goodies. So Austin, celebrate by grabbing an Abita beer and some of those ridiculous beads with your favorite sports team on them and then flash your own goodies! (just kidding, Austin isn't that cool). But seriously, wear some green, purple, and/gold to show your Louisiana spirit & don't let your feet stop moving! (because nobody gets down like we do)

Monday, March 7, 2011


So, ya know how the first 10 minutes of Up! were the most wonderfully depressing moments in modern cinema? This kinda makes up for it.

That's right, some dude built the house from Up! For the full story and more badass pictures...

And if you don't want the full story, I'll sum it up... Some dude from National Geographic built a 16x16ft house and made it float with the help of 300 helium-filled weather balloons for the new National Geographic series, How Hard Can it Be? (Because, apparently no one over there has ever played "That's what she said.")
This idea was inspired by the hit movie where some dude met his future wife at a young age, and they lived happily for a long time despite not being able to have children or do anything they wanted to do... and then she died leaving him a broken, bitter old man waiting for the sweet release of death while building developers try to seize his land and the only home he has ever known... And then, in some sort of demented state, the man hallucinates an escape from this terrible world by tying a bunch of balloons to the house he shared with his dead lover.... And then he abducts an Asian boy scout... Oh, spoiler alert... my bad.

Ellie Goulding- "Lights" (Bassnectar remix)

Ellie has done a few covers here and there over the past year including "Roscoe" (Midlake's Fleetwood Mac-y tune) & Rihanna's "Only Girl" that Ellie completely strips down, adds on some killer strings & makes it a song in it's own. Now, Ellie is one of my absolute new favs. Her songs are free-spirited and effortless on her part. The original "Lights" is beautiful enough but the Bassnectar remix is killer. AT 1:15, the bass drops and the once soft tune turns into a beat-crazed /electronic infusion of a dance hit that Bassnectar is known for.

"Lights" (the album) comes out 3/8/2011.