A cool sign outside a bowling alley down the street from us.
Also, don't forget to comment on yesterday's post to enter yourself in the drawing.
Wait. Where was I? Oh yeah... 500th post. Momentous and whatnot.
I started this blog back in 2005 after starting and then abandoning a previous blog, NeRD, aka: Nerdblogger. I'm not going to say that I was there first, on the forefront of the blog trend but, well... I was. I am cooler than you. Sorry. It was supposed to be a chance for me to flex some atrophied journalistic muscles with serious reviews of art, film, music and comics (I had a manifesto and everything) but I packed it in after it crumbled under the weight of its own expectations.
A year or so later, I started this blog as a place to, as I told my friend Chris, "pimp stuff I love," as well as write the kind of stuff that makes me giggle. And here we are, 500 posts later and thankfully, not a lot has changed. I have a lot more readers (including you lurkers out there) than I did two years ago and I must admit, I'm glad you're out there. While an audience is not a necessity, it's always nice to know that the post you spent time on is being enjoyed.
So for you, dear reader, I handcrafted this little gem:
Unfortunately, like the last Highlander (cue Queen theme music) there can be only one, so you'll have to duke it out, cage-match-style. Also, you must promise to gloat about it once you receive it. Turn the internets green with teh envyz. That is all I ask. I am a simple man. Just comment on this post and you'll be entered in the drawing. See, easy? Let the duking begin.
So thanks for sticking with me for the last 500. Here's to the next 500. You can count on more of the usual: mummies, vampires, kung fu, Shatner, spaceships and M.O.D.O.K.; movies and music and books and art and comics and rants. Free stuff and shout-outs and Knight Rider and things that are awesomely awesome.
And robots. Lots and lots of robots.
So I kind of psyched myself out a couple of posts back (you caught me, Ben), with that whole "momentous occasion" talk. But I wanted to do something cool, something special to celebrate the occasion of my 500th post. I mean, I have always had an incredibly hard time sticking with any sort of diary, so to have posted 500 times in just over two years is fairly epic. And, all cheesiness aside, I couldn't have done it without my readers. Y'all's my dawgs.
So, I racked my brains, hosted intense focus groups, make all kinds of chartsengraffs, ate some cookies and after careful deliberation, (And by "deliberation" I mean: I read all of my comic books from the week which included not one, but two issues of the Immortal Iron Fist - issue #9 and Annual #1! Huzzah! - and watched a lot of new TV shows.. more on that later... maybe) I arrived at a very calculated, level-headed and wholly unexpected solution... to make a mixtape.
I know, really original, but Mike posted this over at Mixtapery and I thought I'd take the challenge. So, blame him. It's all his fault.
I now have one, that's right just one, copy of Alphabet Town, a double-disc, A-Z mixtape. This is some Super Special Limited Edition business, kids. For reals. We start with the Flaming Lips' epic "the Abandoned Hospital Ship" and end up at Pavement's "Zürich Is Stained," hitting all stops in-between. A slight warning, though: it may rock one's socks right off and blow one's mind completely. You have been warned.
To put your name in the drawering, comment on tomorrow's momentous 500th post (this is a wonderful opportunity for you to delurkify, all you wallflowers out there. Come on. We won't bite. Okay, maybe Allen will, but his shots are current. a-wink-wink ;) ). I'll draw a winner on Monday, so you will have the weekend to comment. As that hillbilly comedian says: "You should get her finished." Or something like that. You know, the one that wears the flannel shirts with the cut-off arms and looks like he smells like body odor, exhaust fumes and Slim Jims? Yeah, that one.
Until tomorrow: peace in the Middle East, my homies. Keep it real.
So, Michael Clayton. Looks interesting and Clooney's always worth watching. Rumor has it that he wanted to direct this one, but deferred to Tony Gilroy, who wrote the screenplays for the Bourne trilogy (I still need to see Ultimatum, and I do mean "need" as in "you need water to survive," "need."). I will say this though, Tilda Swinton, not a very convincing American. Rental, maybe?
By the way, this is post # 498. Dude.
Okay, so check this out. After this here post, I will have posted a grand total of 497 times. Or, if you're all into Roman numerals that's CDXCVII. In three more posts I will be at 500, or, D. This is epic. Like unto Gilgamesh. Look it up. It's in a book or something.
I have no clue how I will celebrate this momentous occasion, but I will say this: it will be the stuff of legends. Aesop himself will rise from the grave and spin mad tales about this post that will also have some sort of moral. You know, for the kids. It will be the kind of legend that former civilizations built religions around like some guy turning into a swan or a bull and getting his freak on with a mortal lay-day. It will be like the legends of old where the one guy gets all lost in the maze and the minotaur tries to get him and he flies off but gets too close to the sun and falls onto an island and has to hide under a sheepskin from some blinded cyclops while sirens sing and meanwhile dudes are totally trying to lay the mack down on his old lady back home.
Or something like that.
Bottom line: it will be the nadir of my blog posting thus far. A veritable zenith, if you will. It will be fairly boss.
Or I will just post 500 pictures of M.O.D.O.K. Either way, everyone wins.
Seriously though, how should I celebrate? I thought about giving something away, but doesn't that seem a little... backward? It's like my blog birthday. You don't give presents on your birthday, you get presents, right? But who would give me presents? And what would I give people, anyway? Old socks? Cool stickers? A drawering of some sort? I thought about making a list of 500 things but man... that's a lot of things. I also thought of listing my top 500 posts, but... well that would be all of them, wouldn't it? Maybe 500 haikus? 500 words on why I think kung fu is teh radness? 500 reasons why Star Wars is better than Star Trek?
Do you see my dilemma? It is of ( wait for it ) immense proportions. So I pose the question to you, beloved internets: What would you like to see for my 500th post?
There's not a lot of angles for vampire movies anymore, but this, this is pretty dang clever. I have a certain degree of trepidation when it comes to movies of well-made comics (they always fall short, whether it's egregiously so, as in League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen - yeesh that was dreadful, wasn't it? - or just slightly so, as I'm sure is the case with V For Vendetta, which I can now see since I just finished the book, which is... yeah, pretty good stuff), but I think I'd at least Rent 30 Days Of Night. What do you think?
There's a lot of talk of "the geeks inheriting the earth." Well, if that's the case, I guess I'd better get cracking on carving out my little geek kingdom. Let's bust this zeitgeist, shall we?
I don't know if anybody else noticed, but there's more than a few nerdy concepts being pitched at your eyeballs this coming television season. We've got the CW throwing in their hat with Reaper about a 20-something who is also... ( wait for it... wait for it ) ... working for the Devil, CBS is offering Moonlight (not to be confused with Moonlighting) a show about a cop who is also ... ( wait for it... wait for it ) ... a vampire, and Fox's offering, New Amsterdam, about a cop who is also... ( wait for it... wait for it ) ... immortal.
NBC, home of Heroes has two especially geeky shows (and I'm not including Chuck which is annoying me already), the reboot of Bionic Woman and the Quantum Leap knock-off Journeyman that stars that one British actor trying really hard to not sound British.
And that's not even counting the returning shows: Smallville, Heroes, Jericho (or is it canceled again?), BSG (for its fourth and final season... which I think is a smart move) and, eventually, we will get back the beloved Lost, which rocketh my world mightily.
So, have I made my point, that, to quote the poet:"It's hip to be square"? Yes? Good.
So, what does this mean for little old me? Well, I'm cashing in. I mean, it's time that a lifetime of Star Wars, comic books and science-fiction novels paid off, right? So, I submit to you, dear reader, Shows I Am Pitching When I Stop Being Lazy™:
* He's a mechanic who is also a ghost! He is Mr. Ghostwrench!
* He is an accountant who can shoot lasers from his eyes! What's up, L.E.D.C.P.A.!?
* He is a bum doctor who can see the future! Meet The Prognosticating Proctologist!
* He is a lawyer who is also a werewolf! His partner is also a lawyer and also a werewolf! What are the odds!? Say hello to Wolfman & Wolfman, Attorneys at Night!
* She is a schoolteacher who fights zombies! She is Ms. Buttkicker!
* He is a computer engineer who is also skilled in the martial arts! Give it up for Karate Nerd!
* She is a businesswoman who is also a vampire! Get ready for Martha Stewart!
* He is an immigration officer... from outerspace! ¡Hola, Illegal Alien!
* I would also remake Knight Rider. Maybe as an action comedy. This one I'm sort of serious about.
And that's just 10 of them off the top of my head. And I'm sick today, so, yeah. I can go for days. Look out TV, you are about to get the awesome dropped on you like never before.
Right after I take a nap.
P.S.: Am I the only one who remembers The Highwayman? That show ruled. Or maybe not. [ sigh ] Probably not.
Alright, this one's a no-brainer: Owen Wilson, Adrian Brody and Jason Schwartzman (by the way, Schwartzman has an album out under the moniker Coconut Records. The album is called Nighttiming and it's pretty dang good.) as estranged brothers crossing India to restore some kind of fraternal bond between them? With Bill Murray in the movie somewhere? And Anjelica Huston? Directed by Wes Anderson? Uh, yeah. I'm there. You had me at "Owen". Plus, I have made a pact: I will see anything that Wes Anderson touches. Because he owns my soul. The guy makes the movies I would make if I made movies. So, Theater all the way, baby.
P.S.: Here's to a speedy recovery, Owen Wilson. Do what you have to do to be happy and health because dang, the world would be worse off without you. Vince Vaughn, on the other hand... well, I'll just stop now.
I stayed home from work today because Candace is having some tooth problems, most likely caused by her ingesting the old man boob sweat candy bar, so... nothing too taxing today. Sorry. Hopefully I will have time tomorrow to show how I can cash in on the slew of nerd TV that is now littering the post-Lost, post-Heroes broadcasting landscape.
Either that or pictures of kittens. You know, the usual.
"But Dylan," you may ask, "What does this Jens Lekman sound like?" Well, dear reader. I'm glad you asked. I have prepared a visual aid for you for just this reason. As you can see below:
If you take the illegitimate black science (It's like black magic... only 100% more scienc-y-ish!) offspring of Morrissey and Jonathan Richman (whose I, Jonathan I consider a "perfect album") and feed it nothing but Swedish Fish, you will get a Jens Lekman (it's sort of like breeding Chocobo's...**).
It's lush, sad and, ultimately funny stuff. I have two of his previous releases, When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog (which comes from the lyric "When I said I wanted to be your dog /
I wasn't coming on to you / I just wanted to lick your face...") and You're So Silent Jens, either of which is worthy of your time. I so wanted to work "Maple Leaves" into my Mixtapery mixtape, but it looks like the tribe has spoken and I will instead showcase my devotion to the boogie.
Next time, Jens. Next time.
* Seriously though, if you decide on the latter, I judge you not. I'm cool like that.
** Nerd reference! Yay!
Michael Caine and Jude Law in Kenneth Branagh's remake of the 1972 film, Sleuth. Man, there was a couple of years there where you couldn't find a movie that Jude Law wasn't in, wasn't there? Anyway, so I will for sure rent the original. This one, maybe Rental but only because of Branagh. Okay and for Caine, too. But not for Jude "Ain't I So Pretty?" Law. That's wher eI draw the line.
I feel so dirty. And yet, so alive... I know you're all disappointed in me, and Dylan, you know better and blah blah blah, but just look at this:
See... gold. So, if you call me on a Tuesday night from 9-10 Eastern Standard Time, you know where I'll be: glued to the freakshow on the CW, baby.
Instant death. You were warned.
The hunting Party starring Richard Gere and Terence Howard in a thriller set in war-torn Bosnia. This has already come out in theaters, so I've obviously not seen it yet. It's directed by the guy who directed Hotel Rwanda which is just an excellent film. Heartbreaking, but excellent.
This one looks pretty good, as well. It's a Rental, I believe. What do you think?
*P.S.: How dumb is that that this trailer was pulled? "Pretty freaking dumb," actually. Dude. It's a movie trailer. Come on. Settle down.
I stayed home from church with Claire, who has developed a nasty smoker-ish cough. Poor thing. She's trying to quit, but they don't make the patch for babies. [sigh]* It was nice to have spent a large portion of the day with her, though, as I have yet to spend a lot of one-on-one time with her. She's a cute little thing and fun to have around. Even when she's sick.
This brings me to today's dilemma. See, I was changing her diaper when I noticed that her outfit had this little hippopotamus on it. On the hippo's head is a bird. I started thinking, "What do hippos eat?" And realized I had no clue. At all. I mean, I know they live in Africa. I know they live in water and I know they are hungry, hungry, but beyond that, I've got nothing. Do they eat fish? Birds? Plants? Natives? Marbles? Bagels? If so, do they toast them? Creme cheese or butter? I have no clue. Basically, I started freaking out.
Then I started thinking about all the stuff I don't know, not only about hippos (which is, apparently, a lot), but about everything else. What's the difference between the Incas and the Mayans? Which ones ate the hearts? Where does the word "flange" come from? What the heck are "tapas"? Who invented the VCR? Who invented toilet paper? Why was that fake-reggae guy Shaggy ever popular? How many licks does it take to get to the middle of a Tootsie Roll lollipop? And why does it matter? What was the big deal about the DaVinci Code? I read it. It was not that good of a book. Why don't people watch the really good shows? Like Arrested Development or 30 Rock or TJ Hooker? Who buys the Dukes Of Hazzard on DVD? Or the Golden Girls for that matter? Seriously. How do chocolate chip cookies taste so good? They're just eggs and stuff. How can I not know so much stuff?
Then I started hyperventilating. Then I ate a ton of Fun Size Snickers and chilled out. Sitting there, creamy chocolate and nougat and delicious peanuts swirling in my mouth, I came to accept that I can't know everything. I made my peace with my mental limitations. Which doesn't preclude me from learning everything I can, it just takes some pressure off.
And by the way, I looked it up, hippos eat grass. But how do they get so fat from grass?
*I am totally kidding. My four-month-old does not smoke. She has a cold.
Okay, so Ross from Friends is directing movies now. Well, at least it's not Fred Savage, right?
The film is Run, Fatboy, Run and the only reason I'm even considering it is because the always-enjoyable Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) is in it. The story's ripped from Adam Sandler's 101 Easy Movie Plots, #47: "The lovable man-child has to run a marathon to get his lady back." (Which falls between "The lovable man-child inherits a cable TV station and tries to get his lady back," and "The lovable man-child has to get elected President to win his lady back")
Unfortunately, there are no zombies, crazed small-town residents or ridiculous explosions, but it looks like it would be a decent way to kill an hour-and-a-half on a Friday night.
It's in the Queue fer sure.
Yes, that is the one and only Art Brut holding my very own poster. I am now officially cooler than you. Don't worry though, I will still talk to you and sit next to you at lunch. Fame won't go to my head. I promise.
* There is nothing "fun" about so-called "Fun Size" candy bars.
* We watched the first disc of Heroes season 1 (which only contained the first two episodes... WTH!?). Uh, does this get better or is it all this mediocre? Okay. We get it. They have superpowers. We've seen X-Men. Is it worth sticking it out and finishing the series or would my time be better spent finishing up Veronica Mars season 2? Freaking Jeph Loeb is ruining the nerd world for me.
* Who would win in a fight between a vampire and a zombie? Think about it. They're both un-dead. Dude. I know, I just blew your mind. You're welcome.
* Operation: Grow This Freaking Beard is in full effect. I'm giving it a one week trial period and then we shall see. I don't think I can match this guy's beard, but I think I am okay with that. I also don't think it will stick after the trial period (it's already starting to bug me), but... we shall see.
* Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull could maybe be the Best. Movie. Title. Ever.
* I don't care what Ravi Shankar says: a little bit of sitar goes a long, long way.
* French fries are proof that there exists a divine being who loves us and wants us to be happy.
* Anybody want to try out Netflix for a month for free? I got this coupon in my e-mail that I can send to you, electronic-like.
* You know what's a funny word: "Coupon." Say it a few times. Funny, right?
* Would you ever eat an elephant steak? I don't think I would.
* Another funny word: "Ointment."
* Of all the animals in the animal kingdom, I would like least to be eaten by a lion. Mainly because they'd be so dang smug about it. Don't lions seem all stuck up? Like they'd finish you off and be all, "Well, I am the King of the Jungle. Hahaha."
* There's this new show on CBS, (which, by the way, has a decent Monday night from 8-9 with How I Met Your Mother backed up with the New Adventures Of Old Christine) called the Big Bang Theory. Have you seen the commercial for this show? It is like anti-comedy. If it came in physical contact with actual comedy, life as we know it would cease to exist. This is Bizarro comedy, made for a cube world where the sky is green and the grass is blue and comedy is unfunny and the president can read.
It should come as no surprise that they also are advertising this show as being from the people who brought the world the comedy sinkhole that is Three & A Half Men, or as I refer to them, "those people who should be drug through the streets for crimes against humanity."
* Why are Fridays are the longest days of the week? Is it some sort of curse put upon the working man by a crazy homeless witch? Harry Potter, help me now!
* If you should ever happen to meet one of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, DO NOT SHAKE THEIR HANDS!!! You don't know where those guys have been.
* Finally, there is such a thing as too many Oreos. Unfortunately.
This comes out this weekend. It's directed by David Cronenberg, who's more well-known for his sci-fi/horror work (The Fly, Scanners) than he is for his most recent genre foray: crime movies starring Viggo Mortensen. (Am I the only one who says his first name like the villain in Ghostbusters 2? I am, aren't I?)
The duo worked together on the critically lauded A History Of Violence (which I haven't seen, but would really like to) and this one, a tale of the Russian mob looks equally terse, grim and bloody. In other words, it's a guy movie. For reals.
I'd Rent It, but I don't think Candace would like it at all.
Are we still liking this feature? Should I spread them out more? Let me know.
But this one looks... freaking awesome.
A quick glance around YouTube garnered no results so I'll have to just link to the official site and you can see it in a higher-quality version. Pretty awesome, right? Looks smartly written and acted, but what should I expect from the guy who gave the world Swingers?
But seriously though, using the Black Sabbath song? Come on. -1 Coolpoint, which still leaves you at 9 out of 10. Don't feel bad. I probably wouldn't have been able to resist either.
Theatre all the way, baby.
Somehow I came across this site, which is either brilliant or bizarre. See for yourself. If pictures of cats with internetspeak captions on them is your idea of a good time (and really, if it isn't, then you are a sad, sad person) then this is the site for you. I don't even like cats and I've been surfing it all morning.
Ben had this trailer up on his blog a while back, and while the cast looks great (I will watch Sam Rockwell in just about anything and I mean that... I sat through The Hitch-hiker's Guide To the Galaxy), I don't know about it. It seems a little Talented Mr. Ripley to me (and that movie creeped me out for days), for some reason.
Still, I'd throw it in the Queue, depending on reviews. Why not?
Pulp awesome from Hellboy creator/artist Mike Mignola and artist Jason Armstrong (whose Ferro City looks pretty sweet, by the way). If you love awesome, you most likely love Hellboy (The comic, that is. The movie was pretty not so good). If you don't love Hellboy then you hate awesome and make kittens cry cuddly little tears of sweet-scented milk.
And if that is the case, dear sir or madam, I don't know if I want to be associated with a kitten-maker-cryer. Good day to you. I SAID GOOD DAY!
I would be lax in my blogging duties if I didn't point out that BRR favorite, Super Furry Animals, aka: "Wales' Favorite Sons," new album, Hey, Venus is out and is pretty incredible. Why these guys aren't humongous rock stars is anybody's guess (I'm blaming the white man and his racist ways), as they've been consistently releasing albums chock full of awesome crazy-Brian-Wilson-on-a-good-acid-trip pop.
I found this clip of them "playing" on a UK morning talk show and while the intro chatter is pretty insipid and they're obviously not playing the song live, the audio's decent quality.
They rule. The album's awesome. Go get it. The end.
Looks interesting. Interesting premise. But I wish that Michel Gondry or Spike Jonze (what is he up to... oh yeah, Where the Wild Things Are! Rock!) were directing it instead of... (check copy of EW) Julie Taymor. I haven't seen Titus, though it looks visually interesting.
It's definitely Rent It.
There. I said it.
"But Dylan," you may say, "I only watch shows where tall pasty talk show hosts are almost stabbed by crazy black guys acting like robots." Well, you're in luck, because 30 Rock has got that in spades. Take a look:
The second season starts Thursday, October 4th at 8pm On NBC. Some washed up comedian from some show that was on for a little while in the 90's is a guest star. Gerald Sonnenfeld or something. Just watch it.
Please don't let them cancel what is arguably the funniest show on television. Because if they do, I vow to whine about it daily on the beloved internets. You have been warned.
Watch it. Tell your friends. Please.
The office that inhabits the bottom floor of our building has this rusted, ornate ironwork on it. I never really noticed it until I was carrying my Polaroid one afternoon (which is one of the benefits of this little project).
Their debut, Bang Bang Rock & Roll was 10 kinds of fun and their follow-up, It's A Bit Complicated is even better. It's even more focused, catchy and witty, while still packing an emotional punch.
And my brother's band is playing a show with them.
I know, it's awesome, right? Bryan managed to wheel and/or deal and secure a slot opening for them at the Beauty Bar in downtown Las Vegas next Thursday (if youre interested and in town, by all means, GO!) and he asked me to make a poster to promote the event.
So I did:
In the world of Eddie Argos, Art Brut's singer (shouter? yelper?), love and music are inseparable, though sometimes at odds. It's A Bit Complicated is full of the kinds of little tics that resonate with anyone who has an unhealthy love for music: breaking from a kiss to turn the radio up, making a mixtape for someone to say what you can't in person, finding solace in your records after a trying time. As the two things, love and music, are tied, the solution became more and more obvious.
Also, I was running out of time.
I have some of these with the wrong address printed on them if anyone wants to purchase one. Let me know and we will work something out.
"Get on the danceloor/It's a direct hit!"
Hmmm. I'm not so sure about this one. John C. Reilly's a funny guy and Jack White as Elvis is a freaking genius move, but the main idea - basically making a spoof of Walk the Line - just feels a little... obvious, I guess? I was hoping for something a little more like a Ron Burgundy or Ricky Bobby, more of a pastiche of the glut of musician biographies over the past few years than a direct rip-off.
I'm also not sure how I feel about Judd Apatow. I loved Freaks & Geeks but I think he's a little too... gross for me. I watched the red band Superbad trailer and it made me feel dirty. I know he's the hot new guy these days for making gross-out comedies with heart, but I can really take him or leave him.
The real draw here for me is Jake Kasdan, whose Zero Effect is one of the overlooked detective movies in the genre, right next to Robert Altman's the Long Goodbye with Elliott Gould as a slouching, slacker-esque Philip Marlowe. Throw 'em in the queue. They're worth it.
The prognosis: I'd Rent It, but I'll read some reviews first.
Here's how it works: I will show a trailer and decide if I would:
a. See It In the Theater
b. Rent It (and actually watch it)
c. Throw It In the Queue (and tell myself I'll watch it some day while it sits there gathering dust alondside the Battle Of Algeirs and Juliet Of the Spirits and the million other Criterion Collection movies I have stuffed in there).
First up, we have Jack Black and Mos Def in Michel Gondry's Be Kind, Rewind. Roll film!
Okay, so it could be a wreck, I'll admit that up front, but at least it will be an interesting wreck. I'm always down with Michel Gondry. The dude rules.
Diagnosis: Theater. (but will probably just Rent It). How about you?
* There are very few things in life that can't be made better by adding a few Oreos.
* I don't care who you are or what deity you pray to, surely you must realize that the Doors are wildly overrated.
* Hey, Starburst: Why even make the yellow ones? Who eats those? Seriously.
* Three words that fill any blue-blooded American boy with joy: Commie. Space. Monkeys. Five words: Commie. Space. Monkeys. With. Jetpacks.
I am totally in love with Kingdom Of Loathing. Basically, it's Final Fantasy put together by drunken nerds with a $5 budget. Here's the Wiki entry. The game is awesome. Let me know if you're thinking about getting into it. We can hang out or something. Kill some bunnies together, maybe?