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Friday, April 29, 2011

Guilty Pleasures Super Size Edition

As I have successfully avoided any and all Royal Wedding coverage today, I find it is time to give thanks.  Thanks for the rains stopping so I can coach softball game 2 tonight.  Thanks for Joy Formidable at Webster Hall following the game.  Thanks I am able to take time on a Friday morning to write.  And to those who are reading... thanks much.

Might as well start with the band I am seeing tonight.  As with many of the acts I have seen live recently I am going in fairly blind.  Save for a few tracks I have heard on the radio and the videos below, all I know is they have a female lead singer (Ritzy Bryan), hail from Wales, and rock pretty hard.  Borrowing a line from some post I read: "think Arcade Fire meets Karen O(from Yeah Yeah Yeahs.)"  I have not been to Webster Hall in forever and am rather looking forward to it.   Take the introduction along with me and get to know this upstart from across the pond.  I mean, it's a little hot to see a woman singing and playing guitar, no?  OK, unless it's Amy Grant... .

Since I gave Karen O a shout out, think it is high time she/they get some love.  Formed over 10 years in and around NYC, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs might be what Joy Formidable wants to be when they grow up: another power trio with a strong female leader.  Keyboardist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase comprise the other members.  Three albums in, and some solo projects along the way (namely Karen O's work on the morbid "Where the Wild Things Are" soundtrack) this band continues to rock on.  "Heads Will Roll," from their 2009 album "It's Blitz." is one of my favorite songs, and videos, of the past 5 years.  Take a look and judge for yourself.

The Canadian band, The New Pornographers, have paid their dues and had some critical and commercial successes since they formed in the late 90s.  Amazingly, I like them for their music and not band name.  Besides, I tend to like old pornography.  Since I am trying to jump off the Arcade Fire bandwagon...  (although it is difficult because "The Suburbs" is a terrific album) let us now heap praise on other Canadian acts (Neil Young and Barenaked Ladies please wait your turn.)   Another large piece band with great hooks and harmonies, New Pornographers are very much worthy of your attention.  A brief sampling:

White Lies, cut from the same cloth as Interpol and Editors, has a catchy little tune, "Bigger than Us" making the alt charts these days.  Another English import with a brooding baritone lead singer (Harry McVeigh) the song and sound will be familiar.  And that is not a bad thing.  These guys are a relativelty young band paying their dues.  Judging by the live version I have linked here, they can play.  My hope is they will keep it up.



There are a few benefits to having an only child.  Specifically, it is very good having one that is independent and nearing 4th grade.  Tomorrow night she has a sleepover party for one of her friends.  5:30 pm to 10:30am on Sunday.  Translation:  free babysitter.  The evening is set up for dinner and a movie.  Not quite.

Our local theatre has 4 screens.  3 of them are showing kids films (all awful!!!)  The adult fare is "Water for Elephants."  Without reading reviews, which I have, this film NEVER interested me.  The title itself turns me away, not to mention Twilight guy and mis-cast Reese Witherspoon.  And isn't it about time for Witherspoon to do the whole dark, mentally unstable leading lady??  She needs to refer to Angelina Jolie ("Girl Interuppted), Halle Barre ("Monster's Ball) and Hilary Swank ("Boys Don't Cry") for career advice.  It has been a long time since "Legally Blond."  Oscar likes damaged women, not sappy romantic dramas.  Unless she is channeling her inner Valerie Bertinelli/Lisa Hartman Black and looking to seque into Lifetime dramas.

My search for films out of town was no better.  "Fast Five?"  Seriously???  There are now (5) five films devoted to Vin Diesel, cars, and what the hell else???  I think I would rather watch George Clooney talk about Darfur. 

"Scream 4?"  C'mon now???  If you film David Arquette and Courtney Cox in therapy I could buy in.  Their real life seems far more scarier than whatever Wes Craven can imagine these days.  And I like Wes Craven. 

Even the art theatre has let me down...  "Jane Eyre???!!!"  How many times has this story been re-imagined?  I hated it when I pretended to read it in English Lit years ago. 

Is there an original thought in Hollywood these days??  I understand this is typically slow time for film leading to the big (read: overblown and overhyped) summer movie season.  This Spring however, seems especially dull.

Guess I will catch up on the latest dvd releases.  Least I will save $50.


New York Mets losses:

Even after their 6 game winning streak, started at my Astros' expense, I still cannot get enough Mets misery.  Filled with a team of lazy, inept underachievers and a payroll big enough to compete, their descent into baseball futilty brings a huge grin to my face.  It is no secret I have hated them since Ray Knight, Doc Gooden, and Lenny Dykstra broke my heart in 1986.  It is also true I would prefer watching them lose than watch my team win.  Now, with the fallout from owner Fred Wilpon's ties to Bernie Madoff putting them in financial chaos, the Earth seems to be back on its axis. 

I can ignore the killer tornadoes, fruitless wars, economic uncertainties, President's birth records, and Fairy Tale Weddings as long as the Mets fall further into the abyss.  And after a 4-3 loss to the lowly Nationals last night I can release a little grin.  Friday tastes a bit better.

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