August 29, 2005

My New Favorite Show

"Slings and Arrows," a Canadian show first done in 2003, has recently been playing on the Sundance Channel. And I love it. Not just because I love theatre but because it has all the stuff a good TV show should have: humor, drama, great characters, quoteable dialogue, flashbacks and delicious conflicts. Two of the cast members I knew right away. Mark McKinney of "Kids in the Hall", SNL and "The Saddest Music in the World" and Rachel McAdams of "Mean Girls," "The Notebook" and, now in theaters, "Red Eye." But everyone in the cast is spectacular. I recommend seeing if you can rent this on DVD from Netflix or somewhere right away. I don't want to be the only one I know that watches it. It's too good.

SLINGS AND ARROWS is based in the fictional town of New Burbage where legendary theatrical madman Geoffrey Tennant (Paul Gross) returns to the New Burbage Theatre Festival, the site of his greatest triumph and most humiliating failure, to assume the Artistic Directorship after the sudden death of his mentor, Oliver Welles.

August 12, 2005

Hears That Music Entry

Here is the music post I promised. But first, a disclaimer:

I don't care if you like what I like. I don't care if you heard one of these bands live way back before anyone else or if your group of friends with ironic t-shirts listened to them years ago and don't think they're cool anymore. I don't even care if you just plain think the band sucks. And the reason for this is that music is too important on a personal level for me to care what anyone else thinks about what I enjoy.

My recent philosophy is that if you find a band (no matter how you go about it) and end up loving that band's song or CD or whatever then that is perfectly cool. Who cares if it has recently fallen out of the hipster library or if it's 5, 20, 37 or 61 years old? If the tune speaks to you, it speaks to you. So screw everyone else.

Having said all that, here is a list of my recent favorite songs. Maybe there is something here that can put a smile on your face:

1. "Chicago," Sufjan Stevens (Illinois) - My current favorite song. The album this is off of is brilliant. I've listened to it at least 20 times since I bought it. My iTunes says I've listened to this song 38 times since the beginning of July.

2. "Over And Over Again (Lost And Found)," Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (Self-titled) - I couldn't decide between this song or "Upon This Tidal Wave Of Young Blood" from the same CD. If anyone decides to reasearch any of these, I'd say this one is a bit more accessible at first. The whole CD is addictive.

3. "Heartbeat," Annie (Anniemal) - You may think I'm kidding but I'm not. This album is really good and nice to workout to. It's not stupid pop or overly pushy or grating like some other blonde girl musicians.

4. "Wraith Pinned To The Mist And Other Games," Of Montreal (The Sunlandic Twins) - Wonderful and crazy. Like if Polyphonic Spree, Flaming Lips, and the 70s had a really awesome musical baby.

5. "Get Off," The Dandy Warhols (Tales From Urban Bohemia) - An "older" song but I've been listening to it and loving it lately. Then it just popped up on this show I've been watching on BBC America called "Teachers." Very gratifying when that happens.

6. "Fortress," Pinback (Summer In Abaddon) - Just a good, simple and melodic tune.

7. "Song For Nico," The Warlocks (Rise and Fall) - I saw these guys live before I really appreciated their music. I wish I could go back in time.

8. "Happyment," Komeda (What Makes It Go?) - Pure joy in the form of a song. Starts with whistling and gets better and better.

9. "Ohio," Damien Jurado (On My Way To Absence) - For those who just love harmonica and guitar. He has maybe one of the best voices in "folk" music today.

10. "Living Room," Tegan and Sara (If It Was You) - I saw and loved their video for this song on an MTV2 show called Subterranean a few years ago and then forgot about them. It's a set of twin sisters and they sound like a more lively punked out version of The Indigo Girls. To me.

11. "Legs of Bees," Fruit Bats (Spelled In Bones) - You should see them live if possible. Their last two CDs have been very quiet and dreamy and well-balanced with plain good songs. Check out "Earthquake of '73" as well.

12. "How 'Bout I Love You More?" Mull Historical Society (This Is Hope) - Just a great, great, happy, fun, great song.

13. "Fire Fire," M.I.A. (Arular) - She is hott and her songs just do something to me. Not just party music if you listen closely. (I also listen as loud as I can possibly stand it.)

14. "The Way That He Sings," My Morning Jacket (At Dawn) - On the "favorite song" list in my head since I first heard it a few years back. Never leaves my rotation. The album cover I have shown is from their last CD called "It Sill Moves." That one has one of my favorite songs of all time on it called "Golden." But I've given it a rest lately. You shouldn't.

15. "Here Comes Your Man," Pixies (Doolittle) - Same with this one. GOSH it's so damn good. I don't care if it's "their most popular" song or any of that crap.

16. "Sunset Soon Forgotten," Iron and Wine (Our Endless Numbered Days) - Makes me think of a perfect June night. Like I should be taking an evening walk by a river with a girl and ice cream for some reason.

17. "17 Years," Ratatat (Self-titled) - Sounds distinctly German to me. But it isn't. Go figure. This one is here for those who just want a song that has loads of loud harmonizing guitars and synths. No vocals here.

18. "War On Sound," Moonbabies (War On Sound) - Apparently I'm drawn to Scandanavian bands. I stumbled across this song purely by accident and am forever glad I did.

19. "I Summon You," Spoon (Gimmie Fiction) - If this song doesn't make you want to bob your head or tap your feet then you are dead inside.

20. "Micro Melodies," The Album Leaf (The Red Tour EP) - Builds and builds and builds. I keep finding new things in it each time I hear it.

August 1, 2005

Wall of Name

This is a featured post that you will need to check back on from time to time. In my line of work, I get to see many names that make me smile and sometimes laugh out loud. Here, for you to peruse, are some of my favorites with comments when I feel like it.

Fun/Funny names:

Deloris Muffitch - Quite a crabby lady. Har.
Rusty Boring - I'd love it if he was the life of the party.
Mamie Mellerson - Rolls off the tongue. Sounds like something you'd put on toast or use in a theatre warm up exercise. Wait, is this the same person who made some marvelous marmalade? She really exists.
Janice McMannus - A name that rhymes.
Penny Miracle - Born in the Depression?
Gary Smellie - Yum.
Aaron Dumm - He even spelled his las name wrong.
Debbie Heimann - I guess, technically, it had to be named after someone. Like Suzanne Vagina. Or Testicle Anderson.
Jit N. Bangchang - "Sometimes I jit and think about life, and sometimes I just jit n. bangchang."
Oral Packer - No comment.