Advertisements

 

Django_Unchained_PosterWelcome to 2013. The world didn’t end and we’re all right back in this together. Back to the grind. Everyone loves to grind, right?

I really don’t have a lot to say at this point, as I’m still getting myself out of vacation mode and back into grind mode, but I will say this quickly: GO SEE DJANGO UNCHAINED. This film is one of Quentin Tarantino’s masterpieces. It has all the trademarks of his greatest films. In many ways it echoes Inglorious Basterds, but I enjoyed it even more for some reason. Tarantino takes the satisfaction of watching the revenge of an oppressed class of people and weaves it into the framework of a classic spaghetti western. The result is as satiating as a big juicy hamburger loaded with all your favorite toppings. Yum.

Advertisements
Curiosity's amazing self-portrait from a few weeks ago. Credit: NASA/JPL

Curiosity’s amazing self-portrait from a few weeks ago. Credit: NASA/JPL

It’s been a very crazy week, and I know this may be old news already for some of you, but I had to post about NASA’s announcement on the Curiosity mission findings that caused such an uproar on the internet a few weeks back. For a detailed explanation of what was found and what it means, check out this article on Universe Today. In short, this was the first time all of Curiosity’s instruments had been used in concert together, and the consistency of the results was exciting. It pointed to organic compounds in the Martian soil, but they can’t say for sure that the Carbon in those compounds is of Martian origin. First they have to determine if the Carbon is actually from Mars, and not a contaminant from earth air trapped in the instruments, then they have to determine whether the Carbon is from a biological or non-biological source. There are lots of possibilities that must be ruled out before we will know for sure what’s in the soil, and where it came from. At the announcement, Curiosity Project Scientist John Grotzinger is quoted as saying, “We’re doing science at the speed of science. But we live in a world that’s sort of at the pace of Instagrams. The enthusiasm that we had, that I had, that our whole team has about what’s going on here, I think it was just misunderstood.” That was after he was questioned about the wild speculation that resulted from his comments in an NPR story about a possible “Earth-shaking” discovery by Curiosity. I just love that a NASA scientist compared the speed of science to the “pace of Instagrams.” Instagram and Science! In the same sentence! That must mean science is hip, right? RIGHT?

In other NASA-related news, it was announced on Tuesday that NASA will build and launch in 2020 another Mars rover very similar to Curiosity. While that may not be the most exciting thing to hear, it shows that NASA is building confidence in its abilities to do mind-blowing things like land a nuclear-powered, car-sized roving science lab on another planet with a rocket-powered sky crane. The more we learn about Mars, the closer we get to putting a man there. Who knows, maybe a prime objective of this new mission will be to actually look for signs of past or current life. No mission to Mars yet has actually had that as an objective. For more on this new mission read this article on New Scientist.

While these next two items aren’t necessarily science-y, they are quite awesome:

Two major things to mention (or re-iterate, since you may have already seen this):

Photographer/filmmaker Joey Ciccoline has been hard at work on a very cool-looking short film titled 88:88 and my pal Matt Pusti aka Makeup and Vanity Set did the soundtrack. Awesome in every possible way. Here’s the trailer:

You can also download the trailer and free mp3 of “The Cross” at the MAVS bandcamp. There will be a full soundtrack album released in the future as well.

Uncle Skeleton released another (the third and final) teaser single from their upcoming album All Too Human. “The Well-Tempered Albi” is available for free download on their bandcamp, along with remixes from DPAUL, Makeup and Vanity Set, and Shaboi, as well as 2 unreleased b-sides.

What a treat to have all of these great projects originating right here in Nashville. *warm fuzzies*

New sElf song!

May 19, 2010

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the band sElf, and the mastermind behind the project, Matt Mahaffey. That’s why I’m jumping up and down with joy that he’s finally released a new track, “Could You Love Me Now?”. Matt announced the update through the sElf myspace, facebook, and twitter today. This song is a light, fun, minimal production and bring to mind warm summer mornings. In other words, perfect for right now, so go buy it on Amazon NOW. (Screw iTunes and their DRM files!) Seriously, this is the most exciting day in many, many years for sElf fans. Somewhere down the road, hopefully sooner than later, there will be a new album as well. Matt also did a video for this new song, which will premier on MTVU on June 10th.

Another thing that made me very happy today was hearing that one of our favorite New Zealand pop culture imports, Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords, is working on not one, but TWO new movies. The first is a comedy in which he co-stars with Steve Carell called Dinner for Schmucks. The other is… drum roll…. Men In Black III. Yes, Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and Jemaine Clement all together on the screen, and Clement plays the villian, nonetheless! Sign me up! (Via Kottke.org)

Photo by Steve Cross, with editing by Jeremy Ferguson and Tristen

Nashville own indie singer/songwriter darling Tristen is featured today on Paste’s “Best of What’s Next.” Check it out here. Tristen has been doing quite a bit of touring recently as a solo act accompanied by cellist/vocalist Larissa Maestro. Her debut album will be out soon. She’s releasing it herself last I heard. Way to go Tristen!

The Polaroid film format & camera aren’t quite dead yet. As we all know, the film production was abandoned, but was recently revived again. Now a new line of re-designed cameras will be hitting the market later this year. Thank GOD. This will still be a niche market, but nostalgia is becoming more and more of a hot commodity, so I see no reason why this Polaroid resurgence won’t continue. (Via Gorilla vs Bear)

Also of photographic interest- American Pixels is a project wherein Joerg Colberg processes his photographs with a weird compression algorithm called ajpeg that doesn’t focus on preserving image quality, but on creating these rather surreal images. (Via Kottke.org)

Today will be short and sweet. I mainly just wanted to point out a couple of Nashville bands/artists who got some major blog love today:

First up, You Ain’t No Picasso posted a demo of a new song by Caitlin Rose along with a short account of their interactions at Monolith. The track is “Song for Rabbits” and I suggest you nab it while you’re there. It’s a great song in 6/8 that has very little of the country twang present in most of her songs released thus far, and shows her ability to adapt her voice to just about any style and feel.

Secondly, our own Turbo Fruits got a mention and track posted over at RCRD LBL. Too bad that I’ll be in Portland, OR the weekend they come through Nashville on tour with Monotonix at Exit/In. I’m also looking forward to hearing the rest of the album. Two more free tracks can be found at their bandcamp.

I love beer. In the past 3 years or so I’ve also developed a much more discerning taste in beers as well. That’s why I’ve started brewing it myself. Rarely do I come across a beer that I really just want to tell the whole world about. But this past Saturday Megan and I hopped over to 12th South Taproom for some brews, and I decided to try New Belgium’s seasonal Hoptober. I was smitten. Since New Belgium has just recently started shipping their beer to this area I haven’t tried many of their styles, but that’s going to change. I absolutely love this beer! It’s not near as caramel-y as a normal Marzen/Oktoberfest but the malts are still very present and give it a medium body. The story here, though, is the quintuplet of hops used. Despite being a definite “hoppy” beer, Hoptoberfest only has an IBU of 40, so most would not classify it as an extremely “bitter” beer such as an IPA or Imperial Stout. The bitterness is very pleasant and sits lightly on your tongue while the aroma hops really shine through. Go grab a 6-pack- they’re at most grocery stores. But the best experience is on tap, in opinion. The smell and taste of this beer combine to basically give you a mouthgasm.

On completely different note, I’m glad to see that the Predator franchise has a new film coming down the pipe next year. Robert Rodriguez did a script for a sequel to the original Predator movie that never was used and now 15 years later, with some minor revisions, it’s finally being used. The film will be directed by Nimrod Antal. Of all the creatures/monsters I’ve seen, none will ever top The Predator. This thing has the ugliest, most terrifying face I’ve ever seen and I fucking love it. BAD. ASS. It’s pure mindless, testosterone-driven entertainment. Total guilty pleasure. And according to i09, this is just “the ‘shoot ’em up, chase and fight’ movie that belongs in the Predator franchise.” YES. I mean, just look at this thing:

predatorAdorable, isn’t it?

You’ve probably already seen this by now, but the astronauts on the International Space Station had to prepare for a possible emergency evacuation yesterday as a piece of space junk flew with 3 miles of the station. It was all over by the time it hit news headlines. It did not hit, thankfully, and everything is back to normal. Apparently the debris was about 5 inches, and traveling at over 20,000 mph, and was part of spent satellite rocket motor, not a piece of the two satellites that collided a few weeks ago. The crew has a Russian Soyuz capsule constantly attached to the station that they can use as a lifeboat should they need to evacuate the ISS.

Well-known music blog Largehearted Boy mentions Nashville’s own The Non-Commissioned Officers today, and has a link to download their free EP, which is part of the soundtrack to the locally-made film Makeout With Violence, which has 3 showings at SXSW this year. (None of which I can make, unfortunately…)

Another cool link via Largehearted Boy is the Top 10 Most Overlooked Band members on Spike.com. This is probably the only thing I’ll ever read on that website, as it’s mostly geared towards douchebag bros.

It’s friday. The weekend is upon us. Here’s where I’ll be:

Tonight: King Khan & the Shrines at Exit/In. I saw KK with BBQ show back in Nov. and it was amazing. Can’t wait to see him with “big” band. There’s also a lot of other shit going down tonight. Too much to mention here.

Saturday: Superdrag album release for Industry Giants at Exit/In. The 90’s powerpopsters are back in full effect, original lineup and all!

Sunday: I’m DJing (as DJ Burgers) at the Rock Swap in East Nashville. I’m doing the “after party” segment starting at 6pm after the official events/bands are over.

Advertisements