Saturday, October 14, 2006

Me Movie Meme

News coming Monday, but first, via Gwenda, a meme.

So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool . . .

All right, grab your Gummi Bears and your giant sodas . . .

Opening Credits:
"Angel Band" - Flatt & Scruggs
I prefer the Ralph Stanley version, but this one isn't bad either. Sets sort of a somber tone, though.

O bear me away on your snowy wings to my immortal home . . .

Waking Up:
"Hold Fast to the Right" - June Carter Cash (w/Johnny)
You can hear their age on this one, but it's pretty nonetheless. Apparently I've been born into a religious-type household.

Hold fast to the right, hold fast to the right
Wherever your footsteps may roam
Forsake not the way of a salvation, my boy
That you learned from your mother at home

First Day At School:
"Plan of the Man" - The M's
My roommate Marianne played cello on a bunch of tracks on this record, but not this one. It's a cool song, sort of retro-harmonic-hipster-mod-Yellow Submarine stuff. Fairly appropriate lyrical content for the beginnings of state-sponsored indoctrination.

Falling In Love:
"Kissimmee Kid" - Old and In the Way
Vassar Clements on fiddle--you can't go wrong with that. I guess we'd be falling in love at a barndance? Instrumental, so no point looking for meaning in words.

Fight Song:
"Owensboro" - Natalie Merchant

Well, I lived in a town
Way down south
By the name of Owensboro
And I worked in a mill
With the rest of the "trash"
As we're often called
As you know

Class warfare? Lovers from opposite sides of the tracks? Alas, Mercutio!

Breaking Up:
"Cocaine Lil" - The Mekons
Ah, yes, this is the part where I choose my nose candy over true love. Stupid me.

Did you ever hear about Cocaine Lil?
She lived in Cocaine Town on a cocaine hill
She had a cocaine dog and a cocaine cat
They fought all night with the cocaine rat
She had cocaine hair on her cocaine head
She had a cocaine dress that was poppy red . . .

You get the idea.

"Shambelle" - The Police
Another instrumental. What does it mean, if I never actually went to a prom? This song has sort of an aimless feel. Maybe it means we got lost on the way. If you know what I mean. Not that I do.

Life is Good:
"Letterbox" - They Might Be Giants
There pretty much is no band that better sums up "life is good."

If I had a pair of eyes on the back of my head for each time
You forgot to take out all the things you forgot to talk about when you took a bite out of my spine,
I would have a lot of eyes on the other side, wouldn't I? Wouldn't that just be fine.

Mental Breakdown:
"Maria Elisa" - Cordero
My Spanish isn't good enough to really know what this song's about, but it sounds a little spooky and head-spanky. So, could be.

"Lost Cause" - Beck
A sad Beck song. Poor Beck! Don't be so sad. Not bad for a road trip montage, though.

Your sorry eyes, they cut through bone.
They make it hard to leave you alone.
Leave you here wearing your wounds
Waving your guns at somebody new.

"The Mary Martin Show" - The New Pornographers
And why do we need a flashback, if this is my life story? Weak storytelling! Good song, though.

With your cameras in action, with your network connections, it's go.

Getting Back Together:
"Scream Like a Baby" - David Bowie
Not my fave Bowie, I have to say. In fact if this was playing when I got back together with someone I might think it a bad omen.

"I'm So Tired" - The Beatles
Hee. Curse Sir Walter Raleigh!

Paying the Dues:
"Blitzkrieg Bop" - The Ramones
Oh yeah. Perfect.

The Night Before The War:
"Word Up" - Cameo
Ha! I downloaded this one just for the way Blackmon says "Ooow!" I dunno, maybe you had to have been there. In the '80s, I mean. Do your dance, do your dance . . .

Final Battle:
"Holy Hour" - the Cure
Not very martial. Is there such a thing as emo fighting?

I kneel and wait in silence
As one by one the people slip away
Into the night
The quiet and empty bodies
Kiss the ground before they pray
Kiss the ground
and slip away . . .

Moment of Triumph:
"Strangered In the Night" - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
This is turning out to be a very strange film. Nothing triumphant about a song about racial violence . . .

Death Scene:
"Golden Years" - David Bowie
Better Bowie, and more appropriate.

Dont let me hear you say life's taking you nowhere

Funeral Song:
"Back to Back" - The Replacements
Oddly, I like this for this use, although it's not even close to my fave 'Mats song.

We're standin' back to back
We're livin' back to back
You're holdin' back to back
And now I'm gonna hold me
Back to back to back to back to back

End Credits:
"MONSTER ROCK" - Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra
Amen! Nothing better than spastic rhythms, wailing horns, and unintelligible (to me, anyway) Japanese lyrics to close out an epic film.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Blathering on About Books and Comics and Stuff

My cold is on the comeback trail, my back is killing me, and they're predicting snow for tonight. Nonetheless here I am posting through the anguish.

I just have to throw this out there: I don't know what semiotics is. Does it matter? Should I ask someone to explain it?

I must confess that I think at times that Howard Who? is a bit light (nothing against light stories, seeing as how I, um, write them), but "Mary Margaret Road-Grader" and "Man-Mountain Gentian" are both amazing stories and worth the price of the collection on their own.

If you love comics, you should check out the latest issue of Solo featuring Brendan McCarthy. Warren Ellis posted some pages to ScansDaily and DAMN. That's weird (and good) shit. The issue has even crazier stuff. But man, I don't think anything can ever top his take on the Flash.

Also good on the comics tip; Brian K. Vaughn and Niko Henrichon's Pride of Baghdad--fucking gorgeous art and a heartbreaking story that's political, yes, but not in a fist-hammering-table sort of way. It's political in the way that all stories about people (OK, lions) are political. It made me sniffly.

In case it wasn't clear, I really liked "The Science of Sleep." Go see it.

I'm still enjoying "Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip," but it is a messy show. Much messier than "Sports Night" was, at least. (I was never a "West Wing" afficionado.) Too many characters, and the water is pretty muddy as to where the show's real focus is. Is it political? Is it about entertainment? Is it about society, or relationships, or humor (I hope not), or business, or advertising, or copyright, or sports, or celebrities, or what? It can be about all those things, sure; but not, I don't think, in the same episode. Also, it must be said that while I love Matthew Perry on the show and I think that the Harriet Hayes character is underrated and funny, I neither buy nor care about the romantic tension between them. The sketch bits are generally not that funny, although I don't necessarily think they have to be. But that "cold open" set to the number from "Pirates of Penzance"? Not good. Also Amanda Peet still sucks.

Last night I watched the "30 Rock" premiere (it's online; go here--but be warned that I had some minor hiccups with playback) and I can only say Eh. It started out promising enough, and Alec Baldwin is hilarious, but as the half hour dragged on it began to feel like the premise was already losing its appeal. Tracy Morgan is funny for about two minutes. I don't feel the need to make an effort to catch this one.

In fact, although I had a whole bunch of stuff on my list of new shows to check out, "Studio 60" is the only new show that's grabbed my interest. "Vanished" was crap--seriously, crap--as was "Justice." (Sorry, Eamonn, I tried.) "Kidnapped" was well-done but uninteresting, and "Heroes" hasn't grabbed me. I was looking forward to "Ugly Betty" but the fact that it's on opposite "Earl" and "The Office" means that, realistically, I may never see it.

That makes my TV watching for the week just 3 hours: "Studio 60," "Veronica Mars," and "Earl"/"The Office." (BTW, if you're a fan of "The Office" (it's not as good as the British version, no, but it's become a great show) you NEED to go here and sign up to get a call from Dwight.) "Veronica" is still the best show on television, and I probably wouldn't even bother with a TV if it weren't on. If it gets cancelled, I may just get rid of the thing. Well, then it would be hard to watch DVDs. But I'll figure something out.

Ow. Seriously.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Beware of the Milky Pirate!

Things That Are Ugly

Jane Austen omnibus edition
Originally uploaded by Snurri.
1. As promised, the cover to the Jane Austen omnibus that I'm reading. Created for the Prissy Aunt Book Club.

2. The Twins in the playoffs. Wow, that didn't take long, did it? Ouch. I think, if it hadn't been for the epic struggle of the season, with the Bang of the first-place payoff coming right at the end, the sweep might not have been such a stunner. It doesn't take a thing away from the season they had, though. And let's not lose sight of what's really important; the fucking Yankees have been eliminated. Go Detroit!

"The Science of Sleep"

My review is up at Strange Horizons; go here.

Thanks to Niall for asking me to review it. Nice to have something I could really sink my teeth into.