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Friday, April 8, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

As I ponder what exactly will happen with our inept government, and my plans for DC this weekend it is more clear to me I need guilty pleasures.  The thought of being stuck with an 8 year old in a foreign city yelling at me for the shutdown (because naturally I would be to blame) has me scared to death.  Have Ipad will travel.  And when the time grinds to a halt you can be darn sure I will be looking for escape.  And I may look to these outlets...

Music:
Alberta Cross is a New York based band which has its roots somewhere between folk and rock.   Ah, who am I kidding...  I know one song.  But it is a good one.  "Old Man Chicago" is that guitar driven, melodic song.  And judging by the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XX87iAul1w0) these guys have the look of a band that could either stand the test the time or crash and burn a la Duane Allman.

Mute Math is a band that has been on my radar for some time.  Problem is I have largely ignored them.  Even though I am several years late to the party, I urge you to give "Typical" a listen/look should you have not heard/seen it prior (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XX87iAul1w0.)   The song has a gritty and raucous vibe and vocalist Paul Meany's voice is powerful and effective.  OK, I understand they were Grammy nominated 4 years ago and appeared on "Twilight" soundtracks...  but better to have acknowledged than continued to ignore, right???

Finally, I am beyond intrigued with The Decemberists new album "The King is Dead."  Having seen them a few years back I have been awaiting this release for some time.  I went to the Montclair show knowing very little about them.  Without question I was floored with lead singer/writer Colin Meloy.  I had not expected these Portland, OR hippies to have any personality.  Boy was I wrong.  Meloy commands the stage and sings/plays with heart and conviction.  That is not to slight the rest of the band.  They are a tight, fun and extremely talented group.  I hate that they all play several different instruments (read: jealous.)

I have some friends who hate them and call me a tool for buying into it.  That is fine.  They can give me all the grief they like.   Maybe I have a soft spot for former English majors who can crowbar dirigible into a pop song.  And these are the same friends who try to convince me Thom Yorke and Radiohead are more important than The Beatles.  Can't we all just get along?  See them live and then decide.  Ok, I have said my peace.    Now listen/watch this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpnAb2KJ8n0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fczvWSANXdo&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK3Ce9md96g
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5H8DwJI0uA&feature=related

TV:
Mildred Pierce, HBO.   Maybe it is because I have always liked Kate Winslet.  Maybe because I think the production design and care to detail is flawless.  Maybe because I am a sucker for good, old fashioned drama.  Whatever the case may be this mini-series is working for me.  Dark and gloomy mixed with depression and angst...  how can you go wrong??  And Winslet looks more and more like a man after each viewing.  No matter.  I am hooked.  And I was beyond ready to hate it.  Tood Haynes, the auteur, had never done anything before that I liked.  "Far from Heaven," his most notable film to date, was a snore fest.  His other works are a hodgepodge of near successes and out and out flops.  Here however, he seems very much at ease.  His amazing cast certainly helps.  Guy Pearce, Melissa Leo and even Mare Winningham, seemingly back from the dead, are all superb.  Be prepared for huge downers though.  They are everywhere you look.  Dead children:  check.  Dead relationships: check.  And we are barely half way in.  There will be no comparisons to the Joan Crawford original film either.  This is a totally new experience.  And with all the scripted garbage being shown on the networks, (um, Grey's Anatomy singing episode???) this is a welcome piece of thoughtful, complex entertainment.

The Masters, CBS.
Subtract the mentions of azaleas and soft piano music if you can.  When all removed what you have is golf's premier event.  And, hopefully, high drama on Sunday.  As it stands right now I am pulling for Rory McElroy v Tiger Woods in 2 nights.  And I get all the Tiger haters.  He is and has been an abrasive, unrepentant manchild for several years.  Know what?  He is still the game's most amazing talent, and draw.  To see those two men battle around Amen Corner would be the Spring's best sporting event by far.  It is entirely to soon to care about Yankees/Red Sox.  No one with a cerebellum cares about the Daytona 500.  We all saw what happened with Butler Monday night.  Golf needs Tiger in the mix to make it more relevant.  It has added fuel now that soooo many people hate him.  It is the same reason we watched the 80's Pistons...  or 70's Raiders...  or Mike Tyson...  Villains make great television.   You can bet when I am shut out of museums on Sunday evening in DC I will scramble to get to a TV set.  Because no matter what the temperature reads, when Jim Nantz is waxing poetic about green jackets and Butler Cabins, Spring has arrived.

Enjoy the weekend all.  I know I will, regardless.

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