Dazed and Bemused

Drunken recollections, boring anecdotes, and obscure references

Thursday, December 30, 2004

What you wouldn't want to hear then anyway

Hola amigos. Been a while since my last update, been tired, or working, or compulsively playing World of Warcraft. I did slip out of work yesterday in time to catch "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou", a film I enjoyed very much. I didn't find it laugh out loud funny except for a few exceptions (Jeff Goldblum has a few good scene-steals), but it was very humorous, and I enjoyed it very much. Some really nice performances, including Willem Dafoe demonstrating that he can do a character part extremely well without chewing the scenery, in fact his performance is so restrained I doubted it was actually him until the closing credits. The soundtrack is absolutely fabulous, featuring not only my favorite Devo song, "Gut Feeling", but some wonderful acoustic versions of classic Bowie songs sung in Portugese by Seu Jorge, who also plays a character in the film who happens to sing and play guitar a lot. The soundtrack omits his version of "Queen Bitch", though Bowie's (also in the film) is on it.

I'm still trying to get my top whatever list to jell, and I'm trying to be firm with myself about not buying albums from other, more organized people's lists. I did buy one more new CD this week, though, "Sunset on Dateland", by Visqueen, since a friend recommended it and there's a rumor they're coming to the Larimer soon. Well worth more than the one listen I've had time for so far.

Female vocalist of 2004 category day here on the iPod. Been listening to Abra Moore, A Girl Called Eddy, Tanya Donelly, and Neko Case, though now that I think of it, the Visqueen album could be in that category, too, so maybe I'll play that next.


Thursday, December 23, 2004

If it's true, a wire runs through, each thing we do

Joyful Festivus everyone. You can send cards here. Feel free to air whatever grievances you have, even if not directed at me.


Saturday, December 18, 2004

There is a rare beauty in the North

Just got back from House of Flying Daggers (Shi mian mai fu), and it is absolutely wonderful. The same director (Zhang Yimou) and writers (Zhang Yimou, Li Feng, and Wang Bin) as Hero (Ying xiong). Better story, and better acting, including one of the most beautiful women in the world in my book, Zhang Ziyi. And either Zhang Yimou is coming up with different fantastic cinematographers, or he's calling the shots there as well, cause this is another gorgeous visual treat.


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Baby, I'm bad news

Lots of new music to listen to this week. Going to try really, really hard to stick to listening to new stuff so I can complete my best of 2004 list before May. However, some quality reviewers have published their's already, and I've picked up some stuff I missed and am really liking so far.

In that Category:
Reigning Sound-Too Much Guitar (Harder edged than I usually go for, but I'm digging it)
Rilo Kiley-More Adventurous (Jenny Lewis' voice makes me happy)
French Kicks-The Trial of the Century (basic "Indie Rock", but a good example of the genre)
The Hold Steady-Almost Killed Me (catchy lyrics performed in a monotone, almost spoken word style, but it works thanks to some great instrumentation)

Stuff Flasshe mentioned recently (though not on a best of):
The Features-Beginning, and Exhibit A (Beginning is ok on first listen, Exhibit A is a snoozer) UPDATE: Listened to Exhibit A again, and I like it much better the second time through.
Starflyer 59-I Am the Portugese Blues (liking this a lot so far)
Dogs Die In Hot Cars-Please Describe Yourself (I Love You Cause I Have To is catchy enough, but I don't feel like I have to listen to the rest again anytime soon)

Going to try this weekend to make a list of all the 2004 albums I have and start trying to rank them. So far, I know Ted Leo is number 1, The Arcade Fire is in the top 5, and The Libertines and TV On The Radio are in there somewhere.


Sunday, December 12, 2004

You got me Howlin', baby

Everyone go download Too Much Guitar from Reigning Sound, or at least (You Got Me) Hummin'. This is kick your face in, balls nasty Rock.


Someone sang me throo-ooo-ooo-ough it

The PLUG award nominations are out, and Ted Leo's "Shake the Sheets" is up for both Album of the Year and Indie Rock Album of the Year, and his "Dirty Old Town" DVD is up for DVD of the year. I actually had 6 out of 7 of the Indie Rock nominees before I read the list, and was able to download the 7th, French Kicks' "The Trial Of The Century", from Emusic. The French Kicks album is not startlingly good on just one listen so far, but we'll see. I'm also not as wild as some about the latest Interpol album, but the other nominees are good choices.

It's been a fun weekend, in between going into the office both days (I'm there now, in fact). Friday night I was going to go bowling with some folks from the Larimer, but when we met up at the alley we decided not to wait an hour and a half for a lane. Instead we went to a Yuppieish bar in the Highlands called the Coral Room, where much liquor was enjoyed by all and sundry. About 11, a live DJ came in, and was spinning some good tracks, and we all danced, which I had really been missing. I must admit it makes it a lot easier for me to get out on the floor when there are some bad male dancers already out there, since even though I'm huge, I really can dance.

Last Night I went to Benders for a Skatepunk/Indie Rock fashion show, which was really a blast. Not really my usual kind of thing, but I knew some of the models and the organizer, and they'd all been asking everyone to show up and support the event. Must have worked, since the place was packed, and it's a big room. They had a really fun act going when I came, couple of guys in Argyle sweater vests and fake German accents doing some pretty good Krautrock. Unfortunately I missed getting their name, though they may be a spin-off of Mr. Pacman. Then it was over to the Larimer for sets from Black Lamb and Skulls, a couple of good local Hard Rock bands. Black Lamb was notable for their lead singer, who moved like a cross between Mick Jagger and Iggy Pop, but seem to be completely unself-conscious about it. Skulls wore the obligatory Skull makeup and black skeleton costumes, but were very tight, and a big crowd favorite, since at least half the songs featured audience members on the choruses.


Friday, December 10, 2004

I Have Lost Something

Been giving this album a lot of play lately. I've had it for months, gave it a couple cursory listens, then pretty much ignored it until a few days ago. Gave it another chance after loading it to my iPod, and am enjoying it more with each listen.

Had the office Christmas party yesterday, which was quite the adventure. Left the office at 1:00 for a limo ride (my first) to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes. The Rockettes were great, and were on stage enough that I resisted the temptation to gouge out my eyes during the other portions, which were the kind of sickenly saccharine skits and songs I've always associated with the stereotypical 50s suburban nuclear family. After a few minutes to get our stomaches to stop heaving, it was back in the limo to a fancy steak place, Elway's, for one of the best steaks I've ever had. Not sure I'd sit through the performance again for a repeat of the meal, but it'd be a close decision. I told everyone next year I was picking the entertainment and we were all going clubbing.


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

There's a party in my mind...And I hope it never stops

Just a short one today. Super busy at work, and my nights are filled with the sound of the CD drive spinning at max as it rips my CD collection to iPod. Taking a trip in the Wayback machine today, with the fruits of last night's labor. X, The Pixies, Pylon. I have distinct memories of really listening to all those bands for the first time.


Sunday, December 05, 2004

I'll Put It To You Plain And Bluntly

As I listen to Ted Leo's "Shake the Sheets" on my brand new iPod, I realize that if I choose to define the best album of 2004 as the one I'd most miss never hearing again, this is it.

Which is not to take anything away from the Arcade Fire, I saw their show last night and it was most awesome. I was especially tickled by the lead singer's attire, which reminded me most of The Plimsouls, circa "Valley Girl" scenes. Funeral is a great CD, and it may move up yet, but as I write this, Ted rules all.

One of the things I love about the iPod so far is the ability to say, "Listen to this". Much more powerful than relying on my unsupported word. I still need to buy some accessories, especially a skin. I'm also leaning toward an FM transmitter, since that would not only allow me to play it easily through my existing car stereo, but simplify integrating it to not only my home stereo, but the stereos of anyone else I happen to visit or get a ride from. I'm enough of a music snob to want to push my tastes on others, even in their own homes, and I'm not likely to lose that desire. With the years, though, I've learned to accept when others really don't want their horizons broadened, no matter how cool I may personally think something is.


Friday, December 03, 2004

Give Me Some Time, I'm Living In Twilight

So tonight is the big Arcade Fire show. I've been listening to their song samples all week, and am really looking forward to it. It's a sell-out, and stupid me didn't buy a ticket in time, but I've been assured by high levels of management at the LL that I'll be allowed in if I'm there early enough. As well they should, considering the kind of bar bills I rack up there. I've tried calling the folks I met last week who first suggested going, and left two messages with no response. I have no clue if they're still going, still want to hang with me if they are, or would need me to buy door admissions for them, but c'est la vie. I'll have a good time regardless, and trying to save space for them would probably be brutal, since it sounds like the club's going to be seriously over official capacity.


Thursday, December 02, 2004

I Go Out Of My Head

Got my Christmas bonus today, and the first thing my brain did was translate it into the number of EMusic booster packs it would buy. I think I need professional help. Either that or more time to listen to the music I already have.