Monday, May 30, 2005

Amusin' Fuse-In!

Example

I have the same problem Memorial Day Weekend every year, so many things to do, so little time! There's the ton of yardwork, my daughter's birthday, family gatherings, the St. Mary's Polish Festival and the Detroit Electronic Music Fest (entitled Fuse-In this year). My solution, work like a madman to pack it all in, so that maybe I get a few hours to myself to spend at Hart Plaza taking in the beautiful sights and sounds. I was able to make it to Fuse-In Saturday night to catch a nice DJ set by John Tejada and an awesome live set by Aril Brikha. Despite what some may say, I didn't mind paying the $10 to get in. The performers this year were great, everything was very well planned, and paying the $10 cut back on some of the free loaders that don't really appreciate the music.
The best part about the weekend was XM Radio's the Move broadcasting the mainstage all weekend long. What I wasn't able to see live I was able to listen to, and let me tell you, Underground Resistance's live set was amazing just hearing, I can only imagine how awesome it was to see it -- maybe next year...

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Book Review: High Fidelity

High Fidelity was one of my favorite movies so I promised myself one day I would read the book. I finally got around to doing that this past week and found myself enjoying the book as much as the movie. Nic Hornby's High Fidelity, is different from the movie in that it is set in England and Rob, the narrator, appears not to be quite as angry and outspoken as John Cusak portrayed him. He's profoundly addicted to music, making lists, reminiscing about the women of his past, and Laura, the woman of his present that he just can't seem to make up his mind about. However, Laura's made up her mind about Rob and leaves him until he figures out how to grow up. Rob doesn't want to grow up because he likes his life of little responsiblity and even better, no real emotions. Rob's not grown up enough to admit that last bit, but throughout the book he realizes how shallow his life is by not opening up beyond sputtering out his pop music intellect.
With my own love for music and pop culture, I found myself realting to many things Rob says. I have my own lists -- Top 3 bands, Gary Numan, The Wedding Present and Nick Cave. Top 3 Marvel Hereos -- The Fantastic Four, Dr. Strange and Daredevil. And, believe me I could go on. Nic Hornby does an excellent job having Rob recount moments and feelings in his life that I could swear I have also lived. Rob's many myths of romance, including married life being spent with a woman in lingerie, eloquently expressing her love, are the myths most of us men would like to believe, but eventually learn the truth.
Nic Hornby manages to pull the ending of the book together perfectly, as Rob comes to terms with his romantic fantasies as exactly that, fantasies. The ending of the book is more subtle than the movie but just as effective. Rob figures out there's more to people than the sum of their music collection and a lasting relationship is worth the risk of hurt and loss. I've got a few more Hornby books on my shelf so expect some more of these.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

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I haven't posted in a few days because I've been away for work -- in sunny L.A. While there I was able to do a few things on my own. My best time was spent seeing the Sweet and Tender Hooligans at the Troubadour. The Smiths were my favorite band as a teenager, but I never got to see them perform. I wasn't as much as a Morrissey solo fan, I saw him live and was pretty disappointed. Over the last couple years, my friends in LA would tell me the next best thing to seeing the Smiths live was seeing S&TH's. Man, they were so right!
The word I've been using to describe the night to anybody who will listen is evangelical! S&TH's were just brilliant, not just capturing The Smiths and Morrissey at their best, but, adding a bit of their own elements along the way. Bring on the Section Quartet to perfrom with them during a number of the songs added a touch of class and extra impact. My favorite song of the night was "I Know It's Over" the strings were beautiful, the singing was spot on and the emotional impact was enough to bring the singer to tears. Throughout the night, flowers were pelted about, everyone in the audience sang along and at the end we all wished Morrissey a very Happy Birthday.

Monday, May 16, 2005



Did you know Giant is my favorite US magazine? (Uncut is my fave.) It's like the thinking(well, not really) man's Maxim. I like Giant because they aim towards the geek in me, then add playful bits on pretty actresses that I don't have to feel like having to hide in the bathroom to read. The June/July issue features Katie Holmes (wise up, Tom Cruise is not for you), 233 things to love about Star Wars, Sci-Fi game creators, and the tons of reviews and great tid bits that are always included. The 6 issue subscription is only $7.97!

I mentioned the other day I would review NIN's With Teeth, but I read Morgan Marx's review posted to 411mania.com, and found it pretty much sums up not only my thoughts on With Teeth, but also the previous NIN titles.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Easy Way

The goal of my blog is to tell you about stuff that I find interesting in hopes that whomever is reading finds it intriguing enough to investigate further, or, already has a formed opinion on the subject they would like to share. Success to me is hearing back from somebody who bought/obtained something I hyped up here.
I think it's a worthy goal because it worked so well on me yesterday -- I picked up and immediately read the gripping comic, Easy Way because of the excellent recent Comicology podcast, check out the podcast.

I recently finished reading Edward Lee's Flesh Gothic. If you're not familiar with Edward Lee he writes very eroticly-charged splatter-core, which I thought I grew away from. But, after reading Lee's latest gore fest, I can say there is an unwholesome part of me that still enjoys the shock and thrill ride that only Lee can give. Flesh Gothic is the story of a mansion in Florida where a ritualistic slaughter took place. Well, clairvoyants and a reporter are called in to investigate and uncover the very depths of what a truly depraved psycho can sink too. I don't normally care for "haunted house" reads, but Flesh Gothic manages to the keep the story fresh by not focusing on the house but the inhabitants, both living and dead.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Time

If I told you I'm listening to a reggae dub cover of Pink Floyd's classic Time and it's undeniably awesome, would you even believe me? If not, head on over to E-music and check it out for yourself. In fact, the Easy Star All Stars cover the entire Dark Side of the Moon quite well. E-music is still my favorite music downloading site. Hell, just yesterday I downloaded the Arcade Fire's Funeral, and some of Dinosaur Jr's Bug.

I'm a little ticked off about this new PlaysforSure concept, which is a new Microsoft standard that guarantees your music, videos etc. play on your portable player. The problem is it's only available on a few recently released players. I just got my iRiver IFP-895 last week, and I already love it, but it isn't PFS approved. What am I gonna do? Easy, keep using E-music.

I have the new Nine Inch Nails With Teeth, I haven't listened to it enough to form a reliable opinion. Which could be my way of saying I'm not digging it like I thought I would. I really like the lead off track All the Love in the World, just not sure about what follows. I'll check back on it.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Just a few short items today:

I like Nic Cage, I've liked a lot of his roles, but I'll tell you what I don't like, Nic Cage playing Ghost Rider! Com'on according to IMDB, Nic is 40, and he looks it. A little hair dye, (and some extra hair) just isn't going to do it. I know Nic digs comics, and likes Ghost Rider, but couldn't he have opted for the role Johnny Blaze's father? The fact that Ghost Rider is directed by Mark Steven Johnson after his oh-so-boring Daredevil doesn't help either. How many strikes do these guys get?

Don't forget this weekend is Free Comic Book Day, so head on out to your favorite comic shop, or discover one. Comics keep the mind and body young. Just ask Nic Cage.

And, this week's hidden horror of the week.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Book Review: Bikini Planet -- David Garnett

Since Hitchhikers Guide just opened up in movie theaters, I thought I would run a review I did while on vacation some weeks back:
Bikini Planet -- David Garnett
In the quest for mindless entertainment, few titles serve as well as Bikini Planet. And mindless entertainment it is, as Garnett, in his first novel, slings the reader on a journey into the future with square Las Vegas rookie cop, Wayne Norton. He travels into the future via the well-worn but always sturdy plot device of being awaken from suspended animation. How he got placed into his cyrogenic sleep chamber is an interesting set-up story of Las Vegas mobsters double crossing one another with Norton caught in the middle of the crossfire. When he is awakened into the far, far-flung future the world is completely different and makes little sense to Norton. So, rather than explain what is going on, Garnett tells the story from Norton's very confused point of view. People, aliens and places enter his life among bizzare circumstances that are never satisfactorily explained. Luckily, the storyline of Norton joining GalitiCop and then shuttled off to the vacation paradise of Hideaway is told with catchy dialog exchanges and wit.
Similar in sytle, to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Bikini Planet is full of humor but lacks both the depth and naughtiness one might be hoping to get from the title. In fact, the "Bikini Planet" does not enter the story until well after three-quarters through. Other subtraction points include several contrived scenes conveinently placed to carry the story. One example, Norton's girlfriend, Kiru just happens to have the ability to open any door. Another subtraction point, is having characters in the story that don't really serve a point. B.P. has several of these. With a book this loopy, these flaws could be overlooked if the story were as amusing and deftly written as, say a good Simpsons episode. And again, like a Simpsons episode, if B.P. were more a novella that I read in one sitting by the pool, sipping down a beer, I would have been served a fine time. Unfortunately, B.P. is over-extended as a novel, absorbing about 3 days of my leisure time. For that kind of time I want to be moved, shaken and stirred, not stuck with a half-smirk afixed to my face like I've got some strange facial disorder. As the Strokes put it in one of their best songs "Take it or leave it."

Monday, May 02, 2005

I've been experimenting with listening to podcasts the past couple of weeks. There are so many out there! I have to admit the first few I checked were duds. I have a lot of respect for those putting the work into producing a podcast, but some of them (and I'm not going to mention names) are pretty lame. However, I will on occasion give a shout out to some podcasts I enjoy:
DigitalDetroitRadio is a cool podcast that features great indie music and some pretty funny stories that I can relate to, since they sound like they happen in my very own neighborhood.

RadioClash Plays mostly Mashups, but they're really good ones! And the narrator (don't remember his name) has some good commentary on music and life in general.

And like Skeet on Mischa I, too, was pretty upset George Bush bum-rushed my fave teen drama, the OC. Imagine my dismay, last night, the night I watch my taped shows to see George's ugly mug, and not Mischa's big-freakin' animesque eyes.