Impressions: Portishead’s Third…

The new Portishead has dropped.  Is it good?  Yes, my people, it is good.  But it is different, and maybe not what you expect.  It sort of reminds me of Radiohead’s new album, In Rainbow.  Not the sound, really, but the artist’s approach to the work.  Portishead could have just done exactly what they did eleven years ago, and we all would have been fine.  Instead, it is almost like their music, their very aesthetic has been asleep for years, and then quietly awaken.  All the songs are strange, but powerful.  Her vocals are deep and rich, almost like she could fall asleep in mid song, or walk off and forget why she even bothered trying.  She’s not bored as much as she is just above us.  She is giving us a gift, that’s how her singing feels.  This album is a most-def buy, even though have the world go it by nefarious means.  The music is the most important thing, so it sort of kind of doesn’t matter how you got it.  I bought this album two hours ago and I’ve listened to it three times already.  That should tell you something right there….

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Annihilation: Conquest

And its done. The original Annihilation was simply amazing. All consuming and brilliant. I’ve read over it twice and the ramifications are still rippling through the Marvel Universe. I love how Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have revised the cosmic Marvel to make sense and be interesting. Annihilation: Conquest was anywhere near as good as the first one. The only reason it was even conceived was to bring back Adam Warlock, and to amp up the interest of Starlord. It is worth a read, but don’t expect to be amazed. They fight a giant robot at the end. Yeah. I know.

Nightlife: Top Ten…

You can see this live on Starnewsonline.com or the Thursday paper…

By whose authority can I judge and critique our nightlife scene?  My bar tab last weekend was sixty-five dollars over the course of three hours. That’s my authority.  If I bought you a beer when I was drunk, you’re welcome.

Ten.  Bars would aim specifically for specific cliental.  This isn’t segregation and it isn’t a form of economic racism.  It is good business sense.  Bars are loosing money by not catering to a certain segment of the population, mostly older people.  I’m tired of hitting on twenty-one year olds, and I’m sick of fifty-five year olds hitting on me.  The idea of “Latino” or “Black” clubs disgust me.  But there aren’t many places for single professionals.  There are too many for trendy post-teens.

Nine.  Bars need to stop using those stupid “iTunes” jukeboxes.  Really.  Just stop it.  You know those jukeboxes that are hooked up to the internet?  And you can pick any song on the planet.  Stop it.  Those are the stupidest things I’ve ever seen.  One way a bar builds its character, its personality, is by having a cool jukebox.  Making a decision isn’t hard.  Put good CDs in the thing.  I shouldn’t have to suffer because some jerk wants to hear every Grateful Dead song ever written while he drinks his Bud Light.  Who ever invited internet jukeboxes needs to be punished.  With rocks. Continue reading

The Reads: Pilgrims Upon the Earth…

Brad Land’s first book was sparse on descriptions, allowing his memoir to have that strange weight of simply being real and dipped completely in scene.  His novel, Pilgrims Upon the Earth, is very thick with words, ripe with them actually.  As you read this book, about a young man who loses his mother and a lover early, it is very much like you are pushing through his words, pushing through his descriptions.  He does give you the gift of very short chapters.  Some are a few pages long.  Others are just a paragraph. It feels like Mr. Land wrote the whole draft first, thick and raw.  Then edited and revised backwards, giving the gift of short chapters so you never feel like you are tackling something unbearable.  I love reading this book.  It is nothing like my writing, and feels and reads like Mr. Land is coming into his own with fiction.  I highly recommend it.

Nightlife: Happy Days…

This is a reprint of one of my columns.  You can see them fresh every thursday in the paper or catch it right here.

I hate people.  For example.

I was at one of my favorite bars a few weeks ago, trying to drink to the point where I couldn’t remember my full name.  No, nothing is wrong.  I’m just stressed out.  And sometimes you need to sit and sip on straight whiskey.  But these three beautiful women come up and stand next to me at the bar, bumping into me with no idea of saying I’m sorry.

“Should I get a shot?”  one of them asks.  “I really want a shot.  Will you guys get a shot with me?  We should get shots together.  What kind of shots should we get?”

“I don’t want a shot,” one of the other girls says.  “We shouldn’t get a shot.”

“But I really want a shot!” the lead girl says.  “We should get shots together! Come on! Let’s get shots!”

At this point, my eyes have rolled to the deepest parts of my skull.  I can only take so much. Continue reading

The Movies: Superman/Doomsday

The Death of Superman story is a great one, and one that deserves the attention of any movie that would have it.  Superman Returns would have been a billion times better if it took that actually slate, instead of pretty much making the same movie as the original.  This animated film, featuring some talented voice acting and wonderful effects, is good.  But, it is missing something.  The power of the original Doomsday battle in the comic is that it lasted so long, and that the fight was epic.  In this animated version, its a bit short.  Plus, there is this whole “clone” thing that the movie deals with, that sort of goes south of the original idea.  What is working is the voice acting of Anne Heche.  She does an amazing job in this movie.  Simply amazing.  I don’t even like the idea of crying, but there was a moment.  A very small moment.  I almost shed a tear.  Really powerful stuff.  Don’t go into this thinking something it isn’t.  But it is a great movie, none-the-less.

The Mov

So, I just put in an HDMI cable for my AV connection. You probably have no idea what that means. But I do. It means that my DVDs are up-converted to 1080i goodness. I popped in HERO with Jet Li to test the beauty. I forgot how amazing that movie is. Sure, some of the combat is a bit boring, almost like they are walking in place. But the Kung-Fu is sort of a back drop. This movie is beautiful. It looks amazing and sounds brilliant. I wish we got more amazing Eastern movies over here in the states. American movies look almost boring by comparison. Sure, I’m not a movie expert. But I am an awesome expert. Oh, snap!