Saturday, March 20, 2010
Among other notes, Klosterman learns (as we knew in June 2005) that Stephen Malkmus is a fantasy sports junkie, Malkmus answers Isaac's December 2007 question on what the hell's up with his lyrics ("Even though we don't have classic, Bob Dylan lyrics, I think they have a tone that holds up better and is less cringeworthy than most other lyric writing. I don't think any of my lyrics are literal. The way somebody's voice sounds is much more important than how meaningful the words are."), and discusses whether having Slanted and Enchanted called "brilliant" changed the way he thought of it:
"Of course it does, in a way. But no matter how much positive feedback you get, it's never enough," Malkmus says. "I'm not a particularly needy person, but it always seems like every review could be better. With a record like Slanted and Enchanted, that was so much a timing thing, along with the fact that its flaws are a big part of what makes it good. It's not like some Radiohead record, where the whole thing is good. Our records aren't good in that way. Our records are more attitude and style, sort of in a punk way. We're good in the same way the Strokes are good. I think Slanted and Enchanted probably is the best record we made, only because it's less self-conscious and has an unrepeatable energy about it."Below the fold, watch vintage footage of Pavement on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno from 1994, and decide for yourself: "Was Malkmus acting consciously weird given the clash between his band's indie aesthetic and the surroundings, or was he just completely high?" Also, Pavement meets Beavis and Butthead:
Friday, March 19, 2010
Complaints about your busted brackets may be lodged here.
added: The Gus Johnson Soundboard.
The genius of Mamet’s play is that it’s about honor without honor. It follows beleaguered salesmen who by trade have to manipulate people and lie to them in order to get through the day. And it’s a credit to Mamet that they have our sympathy from the start, so much so that we’re rooting for them to pull one over on their innocent clients just to get their names on the sales board. In fact, I’m guessing it may not be until the play or movie is over that viewers become conscious of how much time their heroes spend lying in the name of business. That’s because we know the rules of capitalism, too: Get them to sign on the line which is dotted. Whatever small measure of honor can be extracted from this life—and the men in Glengarry Glen Ross do have codes, and are essentially decent, thieves though they may be—is precious but transcendent, because it’s all that separates them from the executive despots and their sadistic sales contests.Favorite line/scene/aspect other than the Baldwin speech? I'll always remember this film fondly for being the first to make me aware of Kevin Spacey, being so impressed by how he held his own against some pretty titanic actors.
That only Pacino was even nominated for an Oscar (Supporting) can be attributed to how tough a year it was in the categories -- Hackman (Unforgiven), Jaye Davidson (The Crying Game) and Nicholson (A Few Good Men) in supporting along with, um, David Paymer (Mr. Saturday Night); with Pacino himself winning for lead (Scent of a Woman, sigh) over Denzel Washington (Malcolm X), Steven Rea (The Crying Game), Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven) and Robert Downey Jr. (Chaplin).
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Draft: ESPN, live, Thursday April 1, 2010, 9pm EDTPlease let us know if you're interested and we will arbitrarily decide who we can accommodate.
Format: Weekly head-to-head matchups, one point for win in each category.
Scoring Categories: 5x5 -- OBP, HR, RBI, R, SB // W, K, SV, ERA, WHIP. Owners must have a minimum 5 GS weekly to qualify for points.
Previous champions: Dan Fienberg (2008), J. Bowman (2009).
The WSJ has more on this and other efforts to modernize Passover.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Don't take my word for it, though. Seek out some Big Star and I guarantee you will be enchanted. "September Gurls" is a great place to start, though you might prefer "In the Street" (aka the theme from "That '70s Show," albeit as covered by Cheap Trick). Or even better yet, let Sound Opinions' Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot guide you through Big Star's albums in this episode of their show from last fall.
Great interview. Also includes Demme's love of Upper Darby's Tower Theater, where the concert was filmed, and his work on an animated adaptation of Dave Eggers' Zeitoun.
Q: The cameras linger on Young's face, and his hands. You made a movie about Neil Young's face.
A: Does everybody talk about guitar face, or is that just my wife? No one gives guitar face like Neil Young. And piano face! And I love him for that. He doesn't care what he looks like. Zero ego. This is actually something he said to me: "I don't have a bad side, because I don't have a good side."
She had been preparing her speech for some time now, he could see that, so he spoke first, to unbalance her. "I know," he said.
Her eyes narrowed. "I just can't count on you," she said.
"Christ, I know," he sighed.
She measured her words, paying them out slowly. "You said you'd be different."
He rolled his eyes.
A moment later, she glanced at him -- undetected, she thought -- as he left. Now it's a pattern, she thought. Three in a row.
And then she was lonely and bitter for the rest of her sad, small life.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
ETA: After the jump: surprisingly few unfair criticisms!
Doesn't Belong Here, And Will Not Be Around By The End of Passover: Tim, Aaron, Paige
Could Linger For A While, But Each Seems Too Limited To Win: Didi, Lacey, Andrew
Will Go Even Longer Than Them, And We All Like Him, But He Ain't Winning Either: Big Mike
The Wild Cards With Serious Potential To Fulfill My Theory #2, and Believe Me Alex Lambert Would Have Been Listed Here With A Bullet: Lee, Katie
My Presumptive Final Three: Siobhan, Crystal, The Outlaw Casey James -- with Siobhan winning.
My theory on Crystal Bowersox is essentially that she's Melinda Doolittle 2.0 -- exceptionally poised, talented and ready. Will never screw up, and will always be in the A to B+ range of performances. But her genre isn't quite what the marketplace is seeking, and this competition will reward Siobhan's perceived growth/rise (because of her relative youth) more than Bowersox's every-week maturity and hyper-competence, even though The Pride of Marston Mills is plenty experienced herself.
Now let's see how wrong I can be. (Here's last year's initial tiers from when the competition was down to ten -- but given the change in wild card format we're dealing with similar levels of exposure now. And in 2008 at this very stage, I was very, very wrong.)
added: Alan Sepinwall with his own tier analysis. And Fienberg interviews the twelve. You'll never guess who said, in re "what's your dream theme week," the following: "I want to have a Disney theme week. Me being young, that's kind of a cliche for me to say, but I think it would be awesome to see everybody pick a Disney song and do it."
The man behind the counter quickly responded "Sorry, but I don't repair watches." The tourist was confused. "You don't repair watches? But I saw all the watches and clocks in the window. What is this store?"
"I'm a mohel," the store owner quickly responded, puzzling the tourist even further. "If you are a mohel," he asked, "then why do you have watches hanging in the store front?"
"Well," he explained, "What do you want me to put in the window?"
And that's the story which came to mind when seeing today's Philadelphia Daily News article on "vaginal rejuvenation" surgery and its accompanying illustration.
added, relatedish: Our old friend Alex ("T-Muffle") Balk, on some newfangled tampon ad. (via @anamariecox)
Monday, March 15, 2010
- Alessandria Ambrosio (2 seed) v. Miranda Kerr (15 seed)--A legit shot for a 15/2 upset there, I think.
- Blake Lively (1 seed) v. Heidi Klum (16 seed)--Lively has a tough road for a top seed, given how tough the "region" is, potentially having to beat out 8 seed Minka Kelly, and 4 seed Christina Hendricks as well as Klum just to make it to the Elite 8.
- Christina Hendricks (4 seed) v. January Jones (13 seed)
- Anne Hathaway (8 seed) v. Rachel McAdams (9 seed)--these two have a tough first round matchup, but then face the winner of Megan Fox/Helen Mirren, which could lead to a #1 being bounced early.
- The other two top seeds are Beyonce and Natalie Gulbis.
In other words, Band of Brothers. It's not a comparison the series is resisting. The episode opens with the BoB-style interviews with veterans (after Hanks's From the Earth to the Moon-style voice-over), then cuts into what is either the BoB theme or something identical, with the swelling strings that disappear into a somber french horn riff. But who would want to distance oneself from BoB, a series that deserves its place alongside the greatest seasons of HBO's modern dramas? If the goal of this series were to be 3/4 as good as that one, it would be enough.
And yet, there was at least one surprise -- a view of a Japanese soldier that was none of the three stereotypes one tends to see in war movies (crafty villain; cartoon assassin; noble adversary), performed jarringly naturalistically. So that was nice.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Your thoughts on the bracket are, of course, welcome.
added: Dan Levy has some thoughts on the times and announcing crews, including an underwhelming Gus Johnson subregional and -- shockers -- Jim Nantz getting a Duke game in prime time.
1. In an NYT Mag article on the rise to whatever-she-is-now of Gwynneth's friend The Lovely Katie Lee
“Why people want to watch people cooking and eating on TV — I’m still trying to figure that out,” says Anthony Bourdain, a longtime restaurant chef whose phenomenally successful best seller, “Kitchen Confidential,” became his pivot into information-packed food-travel shows. “In the beginning,” he adds, harking back to Julia Child and even Emeril Lagasse, “some believable ability with food, some kind of credential, was at least implied.” He doesn’t think that’s the case anymore, and says, “Just as teenage girls need nonthreatening teen idols, whether they sing or appear in vampire movies, America clearly needs likable people who appear in the kitchen.”2. When Gabbaland's Toodie isn't feeling well, Dr. Tony makes housecalls with perhaps the greatest line reading since Alec Baldwin intoned about his deity status in Malice. Video below the fold: