Sunday, May 11, 2008

Blue Canary In The Outlet By The Light Switch

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • Finally caught up on some Netflix DVDs that had been sitting around for a while.
    • Eastern Promises is a lot better than I had expected. I was looking for it to be pretty weird, but it's much more of a mainstream plot. Mortensen is very good and there's a nice twist or two.
    • Watched Gigantic: A Tale Of Two Johns, a 2002 documentary on They Might Be Giants. I think most people consider The Pixies to be the band that led the way for alternative music, with R.E.M. being the band that took alt rock mainstream, but don't sleep on TMBG. They've been around almost as long and they were actually the first indie band to get play on MTV. One of the great parts of the documentary is the dramatic reading of song lyrics by people like Andy Richter and Harry Shearer.
    • "Deal Or No Deal", while fascinating mathematically, can be annoying at times, but I could never stand to watch it if it was always like the Phillipino version. "Solid Gold" didn't have as much dancing.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • I like knowing inside information, especially when it comes to the presidential race. It makes me very happy.
    • If you watched "Real Time with Bill Maher" over the last few months, you know and like Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone. He's one funny, hateful guy. In this piece for the magazine (and his new book), he went undercover to a camp run by John Hagee's church to find out more about that brand of Evangelicals. I'll give fair warning that if you consider yourself an Evangelical, you may be more than a little bit offended. Of course, you might not be, if you consider yourself an Evangelical and you're reading my very Jewish/pro-Obama/pro-gay rights blog.
    • Do you think there are other situations out there where people live in a town on the border between two states and feel like they're leaving the country to go into the other state? Made a deep foray today into Fairfax County, VA and it was like another world. I know that most Marylanders feel the same (and vice versa, for the Virginians?). Do you think that people living in Kansas City, MO go into the Kansas side and everything feels a little different?
  • Your List Sucks! -- Top 5 Favorite Alternative Rock Albums (I'm not counting certain grunge albums, because they're a bit more rock than alt)
    • 5. Automatic for the People, R.E.M. (1992) -- R.E.M. has a ton of great albums, obviously, but I'll go with this one almost exclusively because "Nightswimming" is my favorite of their songs. This one also sports "Everybody Hurts" and "Man on the Moon" as the other big radio singles.
    • 4. Rage Against The Machine, Rage Against The Machine (1992) -- Maybe they count as heavy metal, but I'm putting them for myself as alternative because they sounded so different from everything that came before, thanks mostly to Tom Morello's guitar genius. Their brand of pure explosive anger at the government has become a bit more popular over the past eight years. Sidenote: 1991/1992 was a great time for albums. Just off-hand, I can think of the above two, plus Nevermind, Ten, The Chronic, Metallica, Blood Sugar Sex Magic (released on the same day as Nevermind), and Achtung Baby.
    • 3. Ben Folds Five, Ben Folds Five (1995) -- I'm a huge Ben Folds fan, but I think this has to be my favorite one of his albums. It's so raw, from the first driving notes of "Jackson Cannery" to the alt-anthem "Underground". My single favorite Ben Folds moment ever was from when he first toured after the band broke up. At a show in Baltimore, he took requests for a solo portion and people yelled for "Boxing", the last song on this album. He couldn't remember all of the words, so it turned into him playing while everyone sang. Goosebumps.
    • 2. Flood, They Might Be Giants (1990) -- I dare you to put this in when you're in your car and not listen to it at least twice through. It has the huge hits like "Birdhouse in Your Soul", "Particle Man", and, of course, the Jimmy Kennedy-cover, "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)". It also has 16 other tracks that you can't get out of your head.
    • 1. Gordon, Barenaked Ladies (1992) -- Oh yeah, this one came out in 1992 also. I don't think I need to defend or explain this being at the top of the list.


Marissa said...

Ummm...we live in Fairfax County. Is the other world that we have more or less best buys, starbucks, or everything else that is the same but different than in Maryland?

Marissa said...

Oh - P.S. - I was actually kind of disappointed in Eastern Promises. It wasn't a bad movie at all, and it was definitely interesting, but in my excitement for a serious Russian mafia movie, I was kind of hoping for more. It was the first time I kind of wanted a movie of that kind to actually be longer - I felt like there was stuff I was missing.

What I want to know is, why are the best full-frontal nudity fight scenes always about people from the former Soviet Union?

Josh said...

I don't know, I think it's something about how far the sprawl goes. The suburbs in MD extend out a bit, but not as much.

As for Eastern Promises, that was Elisha's exact comment, that she wished it was longer.

angie said...

Umm, I have friends who consider where I live out in the boonies, and I'm pretty sure you live further outside the Beltway than I do.

So, you were in Fairfax County again, huh? Back down GW Parkway way? Funny, my phone never rang! :-P

I'm not Evangelical, but I am Christian, and I couldn't even get past the first page of that article. Not that I was necessarily OFFENDED by anything on the first page, but it was just overwhelmingly obvious that the writer was all kinds of biased going into the situation, so I can only imagine what he was able to find to play into his views.

Josh said...

Not down your way this time, in Chantilly and Sterling.

As I think about it, part of it may be that it seems like more of Virginia is inside the Beltway than Maryland, especially when you get down towards Rte. 50 or Little River, so it makes the sprawl seem bigger.

Shtetl Fabulous said...

Taking these comments in a happier, less controversial direction - I give you props for your alt rock album picks. I too am partial to "Man on the Moon" and "Birdhouse in Your Soul."