Sunday, July 31, 2005

Wedding Crashers?

Since when do people make soundtracks like this for a movie like Wedding Crashers:

1. The Sound of Settling - Death Cab For Cutie
2. Love Underground - Robbers On High Street
3. Aside - The Weakerthans
4. (Splash) Turn Twist - Jimmy Eat World
5. Sister Jack - Spoon
6. I Hope Tomorrow Is Like Today - Guster
7. In The Summertime - Mungo Jerry
8. This Modern love - Bloc Party
9. Rock 'N Roll - The Sounds
10. Mr. Ambulance Driver - The Flaming Lips
11. Circus - The Sights
12. Cinnamon - The Long Winters
13. More Adventurous - Rilo Kiley
14. Shout (Matter Music Remix) - The Isley Brothers
15. Hava Nagilah - Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson & The Klezmer Juice Band


What is he up to?

Broken Flowers, starring Bill Murray, and directed by
Jim Jarmusch (Coffee and Cigarettes) opens nationally
August 5th. It won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes in


Jim Jarmusch, like John Sayles, like Robert Altman, is
a solo helmsman in an age of cruise ships. He makes
his movies one at a time, proceeding from his own
musings and inspirations, indifferent to "the carrots
they dangle in Hollywood." ... When a new Jarmusch
film opens, there is a stirring in those circles where
people really care about good movies. He makes the
kinds of movies where Steve Buscemi is not considered
a character actor.


Do you rehearse the scene?

"I never talk to actors as a group. Only one at a
time. I talk to them about being their characters.
Never, ever, about the meaning of the scene. I don't
want the actors overladen with research, so they grow

"I love to rehearse when the actors want to, but I
never rehearse scenes in the script."



Thursday, July 28, 2005

Franz Ferdinand.

Wed. July 27th, Hard Rock Live, Orlando, FL.

I arrive following a tired drive from Melbourne, having foolishly taken only two hours of sleep the night before, and before I enter Hard Rock, I have a sudden flourish: was this the right day for the concert? I was pretty sure it was Wednesday... I glanced at my watch and it had the 26th as the date. I was pretty sure I didn't reset my watch properly. I didn't see the concert advertised on the electronic banner on the front of the venue. I pulled out my cell phone and checked: July 27. Okay. I'm okay.

I step in the place at 8 p.m. and wander around for a while. I ask a security guard if there is an opening band. She doesn't believe so. I entered the main area and was immediately surpised at the overwhelming numbers of young teenagers. It wasn't packed yet, but the front half of the main floor was cluttered with youth in Interpol and Pixies tee shirts, standing in semi-circles and talking loudly about various youthful activities. I peered up at the stage and inspected the band's equipment as I do at every concert, and noticed the background had changed a bit from last week. No second tom on the drumset... wait, no first tom either. Just floor tom, hmmm.

During the course of the next hour I looked at the merch table ($25 for a shirt? I was sure the Franz wouldn't be good enough to rationalize buying one), spotted people who looked like other people I didn't really know but weren't really them, saw some guy smoking inside, saw what I assumed to be an early-thirties Britpop hipster wearing big hair, black jacket, white shirt, black slacks, and some kickin' cowboy boots, and watched the place fill up until every space I could(n't) see up to the back walls was filled with people. During this time, I stopped myself from checking my watch and got my hopes up when the guitar tech came out and tuned the guitars. I thought that meant it was getting to be about that time.

He tuned each guitar no less than four times in the course of 40 minutes.

After some asinine moments where MTV had the crowd cheering to recorded versions of "Dark of the Matinee" and "Take Me Out", the band took the stage to tremendous cheers. They were all wearing properly fitting black slacks with belts, and had different coloured shirts on- Kapranos with his red button up silky shirt, bass player in black (fitted his mood- he was the least excited looking one of the bunch), second guitarist in a humorous green plaid polo, and the drummer wearing a dull yellow tee shirt- and all had shiny black dressy shoes.

They opened with Michael. I was a bit surpised at the choice, but immediately noticed that they were taking it a bit faster than the recording. These guys are wonderful performers- they took everything faster, put interesting digressions into a couple of the arrangements, and were having a great time- the two guitarists would meet up and walk out close to the crowd on the runway, posing and hitting riffs... man, those riffs. Every time I heard a song, it made me appreciate their album a little bit more. They played nearly every song on it (with a strange exception of "Cheating on you") and even played five new songs. What they said would be their next single was kind of goofy. The new stuff sounded like revamped versions of the old songs. Throughout the course of the concert, I realized how many of their verses and songs ended with "Yeeeaaah" and how really cool it was.

Anyway, these guys... yeaeeeah. I was so into it, I was even fooled when the singer said "Okay, it's time to play a golden oldie". I thought "that's strange... they're Scottish!" and then they immediately bang out those opening E's to "Take Me Out" and everyone there just starts freaking out. The singer even had some interesting banter (from what I heard of it over the drunk women screaming as loud as possible right next to me).

During their encore with "40 ft.," which they rocked to the max, they introduced each other. And the singer pointed at people with his guitar. Like it was a gun. Ahhh, ha. Then, they went right into "Darts of pleasure," an awesome, awesome, awesome closer. The last refrain of "Ich heisse super fantastische" was the ONLY time during the course of the concert that the bass player used the mic set up for him. They were all (even the drummer, who sang backup on a lot of the songs) just sweetly shouting it with that huge backing sound they had. Man.

This is the part where I try to pick up their first EP from Amazon and wonder whether I should spring for the full-length release that has those bonus songs on it.

Oh yeah, and I bought a shirt.

Monday, July 25, 2005

How am I not myself?

There is way too much media to consume. There are certainly too many people I respect recommending a seemingly endless wave of movies, books, video games, and oh, yeah, albums (not to mention discovering new bands, or seeing bands in concert... sheesh-- I'll catch up with that back in Tallahassee). But even with the free time of summer and the support of a full-time grunt job, I find myself dragging along at the same sluggish pace in attempts to explore this vast territory. And I haven't kept up at all with any news, reports, scientific discoveries, or psychological experiments going on.


Sometimes at work, when I'm bored, I think of ways I would describe what I'm working on, as if I were training someone new.


But sometimes I really just enjoy listening to an album dozens of times over for days on end. And revisiting old albums I haven't listened to in a while (Denison Marrs' World Renown for Romance at the moment) is a joy unmatched by hearing new bands with new material.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The End of the Affair

11:00 AM: I cheerfully leave work early, as planned, in anticipation of an afternoon nap and the night ahead in Orlando, seeing Weezer.
5:00 PM: After a healthy sleep, I am in the midst of listening through Weezer albums in preparation of the concert. I have a sudden tiny burst of inspiration and, after a dry spell of writing, start playing a pretty cool riff and singing half melodramatic, half cheesy lines ("I've fallen into disrepair/ Living in the soft contours of your hair") and half wanting to spend more time to try and make a song.
6:35 PM: We (Matt, Kathleen, and myself) are on the road, listening to my reissue of the Blue Album. I read a few pages from Graham Greene's The End of the Affair (a marvelous book), and think of all the b-sides and non-album songs that Weezer could, but would not play.
8:00 PM: We enter Hard Rock Live just as the opening band, The Fray, take the stage. I am partially surprised, because I had read that doors opened at 7:30 and the show starts at 9:00.
8:11 PM: I recognize The Fray as trying to play off Coldplay and Keane. With a middle-of-the-road approach to keyboard-oriented adult soft rock, The Fray does not leave me angry or disappointed ($12.50 to see Weezer alone, I thought, was worth it), nor does it make me want to seek out more. Looking into the singer's faded black U2 shirt, I try hard to leave no memories of the band with me, wanting, as with others such as Calla and Mommy and Daddy, to strike this band from my mental concert roster.
8:30 PM: I am surpised at The Fray's short set. Although I didn't really like them, I almost felt as if they deserved to have more time to try to win me over.
9:00 PM: For the past half hour, I check my watch every five minutes and compulsively bob my head to the strange jazz-type music playing in the background while people set up the stage. The crowd cheers at any step that brings them closer to seeing Weezer: guitar techs tuning, changes in lighting, and (understandably) the mounting of the "flying" =w= to the ceiling. Even radio personality "Buckethead" got a few cheers, for some reason.
9:12 PM: After a horrid speech by Buckethead and a period of fake Weezer cheering (this event was taped for a future airing on MTV) to get crowd shots, the group finally entered the venue, to the Disney theme song. Rivers looked as expected, with a strange brown-collared shirt with '80s blue-striped sweater combination. Scott was looking like a frat guy. Brian wasn't out of the ordinary. Pat had grown his hair to the length seen on the front of the Green Album.
9:15 PM: Matt gives me a disappointed look as the band opens with a single from the Green album, "Photograph". Later he explained that he wasn't familiar with it, and thought it was Make Believe material (which, if you hadn't sensed it, is generally disliked by us).

Weezer disappointed.

I got a suspicion when Rivers said "This is an MTV special, so you might see us posing more than normal" that it might not turn out that well. I've just checked the band's website, and saw that MTV tapings are usually limited to a one-hour set, so I don't hold it against them that it wasn't long. I don't know if it was because of the taping or not, but they played everything according to the books: same, exact, recorded tempos, only one or two deviations from the arrangements, same, exact guitar solos. As I listened through the four songs from Make Believe, it slowly dawned on me that I really didn't like them. I had wanted to like that record, listening to it a couple of times, but, aside from a few moments, I just can't force myself to embrace it. And hearing him sing "Perfect Situation" right after El Scorcho- it was just worlds apart. The softened tones, a noticeable difference in his vocal delivery. Disappointing.

I listened through the older songs (Undone, Say it ain't so, Buddy Holly, Surfwax America) half-heartedly (El Scorcho I thoroughly enjoyed), partly because they were unchanged (except for notable changes that were undesirable- palm muting on Buddy Holly?!?) from the recordings, partly because I could sense a lack of emotion, partly because, at that moment, the band I had held at #1 for a few years was slowly slipping rank. I had supported their last two records, I had held out hope for album #5. Then, after I dismissed that, I still held that they had a live show.

The kicker was when they came out after twelve minutes, saying that they had to play "Beverly Hills" again.

Driving home (at 10:30 PM), looking at the moon, listening to The Decemberists' Picaresque, and talking to Matt about literary endeavors, I truly felt this was a significant turning point. All of the shows in Tallahassee have spoiled me: even if they aren't good bands, they usually have the energy to back it up. Just as Matt expressed, I too wished for a little "slop" in Weezer's playing-- a section that didn't gel, a solo note that wasn't hit, or was hit poorly, a flaw that I could hold on to like that disturbing cracked note in "Butterfly" at the end of Pinkerton. Ahh, Pinkerton. With all of the choices nowadays, I don't think I can concern myself any longer with current Weezer. With The Decemberists and Spoons of our era making Picaresques and Gimme Fictions, ...

1:00 AM: After a late-night indulgence at Steak n' Shake, I listen once again to Interpol's Turn on the Bright Lights and read a bit more from The End of the Affair.

Sunday, July 17, 2005



I get to write an article on The Decemberists coming to Tallahassee (The Beta Bar).

The interview will go as follows:

Me: "Colin Meloy, why are you so awesome?"
CM: "..."
Me: "I read about your EP of Morrissey covers. Seriously, why are you so awesome?"

I checked out some Graham Greene and Joseph Heller from the li-bary. I bought Interpol (Turn on the Bright Lights), "NYC" is sick- you think it's in 4/4 then those drums come in with the 3/8s and he keeps switching times in his singing; also bought LCD Soundsystem. I'm going to see Weezer and then Franz Ferdinand. I took a day off this week (Weds). Frickin' sweet.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


In the email I received from ticketmaster about my upcoming event (Weezer on Tuesday), in the corner, there was a list of upcoming acts. Down near the bottom was "Franz Ferdinand Wed July 27th". Since it was kind of late at night, the ticket server was under routine maintenance and I was fearful that the internet sale had sold out, since it had started at noon yesterday. Alas, I was able to secure a ticket.


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Music News.

Oleander's "Why I'm here," which I heard on the radio for the first time today, stands as the most rip-offish secondhand Nirvana I've ever smelt. All present and future popular modern rock bands please note:

Stop copying Nirvana.

It's okay to start by playing covers and taking a bit of style from a group, but, although I find myself against calling out bands for ripping things from other bands, in this instance, and whereever else I find it hypocritically convenient for me, I shall preach it (Decemberist's "We Both Go Down Together" [still strong, though] = REM's "Losing My Religion," Drake Equation's "Bittersweet" (I think) = Green Day's "Brain Stew," Creed = Stone Temple Pilots + Pearl Jam). Etc.

Oh yeah, and (thanks Matt) The Decemberists are coming to Tallahassee in the late Septemberish...!

That's nearly as exciting as Tuesday's Weezer concert. I know they won't play it, by my personal, wishful thinking, request would be "Across the Sea".

Sunday, July 10, 2005

J. Cusack & J. Strummer

"You can never go home again, Oatman; but I guess you can shop there."
--Gross Pointe Blank

I got this great film on DVD at Wal-mart for only $7.50. I think it has a lot of replay value. Although it's not as continuously funny as The Big Lebowski, I admire its style; dialogue, acting, direction, soundtrack, all phenomenal. And of course there's that clever pun in the title. I caught four to five new things when I watched it for the fourth time last night. And, it has John Cusack. And, he co-produced and co-wrote it. And, Joe Strummer did the original score to the movie.

Speaking of Joe Strummer, last week I was in Best Buy and saw the reissue of the 101ers (his band before The Clash) that I had read about, and I decided to get it, although I was worried it would turn out like the demos for London Calling (i.e. not worth it). Turns out it's really cool. Old timey rock and roll and some cool glimpses into the future of his career. Then, this week I picked up Global A Go-Go, one of his albums with the Mescaleros. Man, it is good. Just, so good. Coincidentally, I went to see Mr. and Mrs. Smith the day after I bought the album, and one of the songs ("Mondo Bongo") was totally featured in it! Sweet.

I'm so absorbed, I'm thinking of making bumper stickers that say "Listen to Joe Strummer" to rival the ones I see on campus of "Read Chomsky". Heh, that would be cool.

Maybe, "Watch Cusack".

Anyway, my work at Target now is a lot better than working on the sales floor, even considering that I go in at 5 am every weekday now. At least it's a steady schedule. (9 days till Weezer.)

"This tune is going out to Marconi,
To all corners of the globe,
THere is no hut in the serengeti,
Where my wave lengths do not probe."
--"Global A Go-Go"