[ Saturday, January 24, 2004 ]
Quick update on MYSTIC RIVER.
Believe the hype. Along with RETURN OF THE KING, it's the best film of the year, and for entirely different reasons. The acting is flawless (with Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon and Marcia Gay Harden all giving career performances), the plotline is labyrinthine and surprising, and the overall effect is devastatingly memorable. Like a great Shakesperean/Greek tragedy, otherwise decent characters are undone by deep flaws, and the characters end up in disarray. See it.
On the box right now: Talking Heads, HEREIN LIES THE RUB. More bootleg, this from a Milwaukee show in 1984, circa Stop Making Sense.
Dove With Claws [7:53 PM]
God, I love used CDs. Yesterday, at one of my fave record stores in the world, I plundered the used rack for four discs, the total for which came to 19 bucks. I've since listened to all of them (except a Run-DMC best-of, which is great by default), and they're all winners. Four good-to-great records for under 20 dollars. Hot damn! (By the way, for my many fans who track my movements with pinpoint precision, the other three were a hip-hop compilation from producer Mark Ronson, and two albums by Kim Richey, an alt-country singer/songwriter in the Nanci Griffith/Caitlyn Cary vein.)
I've become aware that there's been some problems with leaving comments, both on my blog and others. I'll monitor the situation to see what's up, and change if change is needed.
Finally gonna get a chance to see the film MYSTIC RIVER this afternoon, an apparently great piece of work that I've yet missed out on. Looking forward to it big-time.
I'll be back in Madison Tuesday night, for a couple days. (Big stuff in the works that will be discussed in due time). After I go to Madison, I'm goin to NEW HAMPSHIRE...and SOUTH CAROLINA...and NEW MEXICO...and OHIO...and NORTH DAKOTA...and MARYLAND...and MICHIGAN....YEEEEEEEEEEAHHHHH!
Sorry, I couldn't resist.
On the box right now: Mark Ronson, HERE COMES THE FUZZ. (I bought it for unreleased tracks by Nappy Roots/Anthony Hamilton, and Mos Def. They're great, and just about everything else on it is too.)
Dove With Claws [8:59 AM]
[ Wednesday, January 21, 2004 ]
Yesterday I was listening to maybe the greatest of Chuck Berry albums, ST. LOUIS TO LIVERPOOL, and in one song ("Go Bobby Soxer") he referred to said bobby soxer as dancing like "a whimsical fish." To think that maybe the greatest of all rock and roll lyricists can get away with a junior-high-lit-journal clunker of a metaphor like that. God bless him...
On the box right now: Los Lobos, LIVE AT POZO SALOON. More from your friendly neighborhood bootlegger, this time a scorching recent live set from la alma del barrio.
Dove With Claws [7:47 AM]
[ Monday, January 19, 2004 ]
John Kerry won the Iowa caucus, with Edwards a strong second (as in only 3-4% behind Kerry) and Dean a disappointingly distant third. If Dean doesn't win New Hampshire, where he once led by 30 points but now seems vulnerable to both Clark and Kerry, his goose is cooked. This is pretty unbelievable, considering the state of the primaries' hierarchy even a month ago, though history should've taught us (particularly those of us who care to pay attention, a group I like to believe I belong to occasionally) that flame-outs are more common in presidential politics than they are on the pop charts.
Speaking of the pop charts, and of an election the American people actually care about, AMERICAN IDOL started again tonight. Me and Mr. C
watched the first episode - one of three this week - at his place; the show gets progressively more boring as the truly god-awful contestants get weeded out, so these first few audition episodes are the real gold. The group tonight was filled with the kind of complete disasters that makes perverse motherfuckers like me laugh out loud with shadenfreude-nal glee.
Today is also Martin Luther King Day, and - on this day when we are to remember the most important, and most misunderstood, of civil rights leaders - hopefully the occasion will provoke in us an understanding of the broadly radical agenda which King professed towards the end of his life, one of economic equality and an end to an unjust war that bears more than one resemblance to our current fiasco. Even though, as my friend and great writer/teacher Tim Tyson
says, King has become something of a "black Santa Claus" to most Americans, keeping a grips on the revolutionary fervor which the great man came to embody is the most important thing we can do on this day.
On the box right now: Cry Cry Cry, CRY CRY CRY. (A pow-wow of three neo-folkies doing some well-chosen covers.)
Dove With Claws [9:19 PM]