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.

Absurdly awesome videos

April 19, 2012

Two videos which share a common theme of absurdity and awesomeness. Absurdly awesome? Awesomely absurd? You decide.

Exhibit A: Ridiculous/dumb/terrible things happening in super slo-mo. As in, 2500 frames per second slo-mo. It never ceases to amaze me how super slow motion can turn just about anything, no matter how gross or messy, into a captivating and beautiful spectacle. My favorite is the rocket-powered clothes drying rack. Why didn’t I ever think of that? Seriously though, this is one that simply MUST be seen in full HD, so set that shit on 1080p, pop it on fullscreen, and sit back. (Via Devour)

Exhibit B: The new video for Diarrhea Planet’s “Warm Ridin’.” This is a band that is not afraid of over-the-top absurdity or awesomeness, and this video is all of the above. Complete with rooftops, bare chests, flaming guitars, American flags, and jumping jacks. These dudes know how to party. If you haven’t checked out their debut album on Infinity Cat yet, go fix that right now. And if you can’t get around the name, you’re just missing the point altogether.

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*

A Few Good Shows: 1/13/12

January 13, 2012

Before you do anything else, go watch the trailer for Wes Anderson’s new film Moonrise Kingdom, if you haven’t already. It looks decidedly Wes Anderson. I can’t wait to see it on a big screen.

This weekend offers a lot more than last in terms of good shows to see in Nashville. Check it:

FRIDAY:

D. Striker, Ri¢hie, Birdcloud, and Mystery Twins @ The Basement. 9pm $5

The Paperhead, D. Watusi, Feral Beat @ Dino’s. 9pm FREE

SATURDAY:

The Features, Evan P. Donohue, Kingston Springs @ Mercy Lounge. 9pm SOLD OUT

John Langworthy, Fly Golden Eagle, Majestico, Chrome Pony @ fooBar. 9pm $???

Useless Eaters, D. Watusi, El Fossil, Spanish Candles @ The Other Basement. 8pm $3

SUNDAY:

Crybaby, Fox Fun, King Karl, White Pages @ The End. 9pm $5

Have a great weekend!!

Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ SXSW 2009

I’ve been a solid fan of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart ever since they burst onto the scene in late 2008/early 2009. I was pretty amazed when I read this article on Stereogum reporting that they’ve finished up their 2nd full-length with none other than Flood behind the faders. Knowing that a producer who was behind such huge massive sounds as U2, Depeche Mode, Smashing Pumpkins, etc… was working with POBPAH initially scared the hell out of me. Adam Gold of the Nashville Scene/Cream once told me “they rock about as hard as a cupcake” referring to POBPAH. And honestly that’s a pretty accurate statement, but I’m actually fond of several “cupcake” bands, so that is (in some ways) a very good thing in my mind. Such a “big sound” production style would certainly spell doom for the tenderness and teenage awkwardness that is part of the reason I loved their debut album so much. At least that was my initial reaction. The quotes in the article, however, quelled most of my pessimism about this second album. Quotes like “the loud parts are louder and the quieter parts are quieter — with a lot more variation between the two” really make me feel like Flood didn’t just come crashing through the walls and lay down the law while POBPAH cowered in the corner. The band actually developed a “good push-and-pull with him” and believes that he actually learned as much from them as they did from him. To me, a big part of what made their debut so good was the way it was mixed, and most specifically the guitar sounds. Honestly there were a few moments where I found myself wanting the guitar parts to come through a little clearer; that they were a little too awash in fuzz and re-verb. So when I read that they were going for “a guitar sound that hit you in the chest.” I’m all about that. So with slight hesitation, I look forward to hearing this new album. As I’ve said all along, I really think this band has some staying power.

A few random other notes:

Congrats to everyone involved with Make-Out With Violence, the locally shot and produced feature film is now officially out on DVD and On Demand. I mentioned before they’d finally found a distribution home with Factory 25, but now you can actually go order a copy for yourself. Go forth and buy! These dudes sunk a lot of their own cash into this movie and worked tirelessly for years- they deserve it! (Via Nashville Cream)

Just watch this amazing feat of choreography and lighting that happened in NYC for the Target 2010 fall fashion spectacular. Mind=blown. (Via Vitalic Noise)

Locally made/produced indie film Make-out With Violence will finally get a DVD release this fall via the distributor Factory 25. Order your copy now at their website, or at the very least put it in your netflix queue. I took some on-set still photos on one of their underwater shoot days waaaay back in 2005 and have been friends with the filmmakers ever since. This is a truly remarkable film, given the budgetary circumstances and relative inexperience of the cast. The directors were able to draw some impressive performances out of them, and the editing, lighting, and cinematography are all top-notch. Most impressive, however, is the soundtrack. Written and performed mostly by Jordan and Eric Lehning (a few songs were by a band called the Glib), the songs fit the story perfectly. The soundtrack is great just as an album by itself. If you haven’t seen the Non-Commissioned Officers (the band created to perform the songs live to raise money for the movie) yet, you are really missing out and should remedy that problem as soon as possible. Congrats on getting the DVD release, guys! PS: You can catch a special screening of the movie TONIGHT at the Belcourt Theater as part of the Halloween in July Film Festival!

Now for some stuff to do this weekend.

FRIDAY:

Max & the Wild Things CD release party @ The End, with The Roses, The Grayces, and The Pipeline. 9pm, $5

The Ettes @ 12th & Porter, with Kink Ador and Mother Father. 9pm $??

SATURDAY:

I’ll be at the Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp showcase at Siegel High School. (This year they had to move it out of MTSU’s Tucker Theater due to renovations.) Seriously, come support this awesome youth music camp, and also enter the always-awesome raffle they’ll have going at the door (this year they have a vintage Gretch guitar valued at $750). Doors open at 6 and the show starts at 7, so get there early!

SUNDAY:

Deer Tick w/ Dead Confederate and Pujol @ Exit/In. This will be a good one! 9pm, $10

Have a great weekend!

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)

Official performers of the Makeout With Violence Soundtrack and first 2010 Road to Bonnaroo winners The Non-Commissioned Officers did 3 songs for the awesome Lake Fever Sessions. They’re up now, so go have a watch. It’s reaaaal good.

I’m officially even more excited about the upcoming movie Predators, produced by Robert Rodriguez/directed by Nimrod Antal, now that I’ve seen the 2-minute clip on the official website. It’s not a trailer (apparently that’s hitting the web this Thur.), but it does have some footage and commentary from Mr. Rodriguez himself. The fact that they’re well aware they’d never top the tough-guy role of Arnold in the first one is heartening, and is the main reason I’m actually looking forward to it. Apparently SXSW Film had a special feature/sneak-peek party for the film last night:

I’m officially older than the internet, because the first .com celebrated its 25th birthday today. In 1985 Symbolics Computer Company registered the first official .com domain. (Via Live Science)

According to my bandmate Seth my hypothetical bloghouse/power pop side project should be called + (pronounced Cross). In a blog post on Nashville Cream about side projects he mentions several hilarious hypothetical Nashville side projects…

With that I submit that this may be my last blog post until after SXSW. We’re heading down tomorrow night, and unless I discover something that absolutely must be blogged, you probably won’t hear from me until at least the 22nd, probably more like the 23rd or 24th. Who knows, maybe I’ll find a spare minute to post a few random pics while I’m down there, but it’s not likely. Be sure to keep up with the Cream for my pics and updates from Adam Gold, Seth Graves, and Patrick Rodgers.

And, never forget:

Wes Anderson/weekend stuff

January 15, 2010

First, you must watch this delightful stop-motion award acceptance speech from Wes Anderson. It will improve your day drastically:

(Via Clusterflock)

Now, for what’s going down this weekend….

TONIGHT: I will be at the End taking pics of Jemina Pearl/The Ettes/Daniel Pujol. Also of interest- FREE Glam Rock cover night at Mercy Lounge, featuring members of Superdrag, the Shazam, Matt Friction, Dave Paulson, and more. Also- Natural Child cassette release show @ Springwater, with Diarrhea Planet, Daniel Pujol (guess he’s playing 2 shows tonight?), State Champion, and Giving Up.

SATURDAY: My So-Called Band, Guilty Pleasures, Long Players, Weekend Jimmy & the Easy Party @ Mercy Lounge, FREE. It’s the kickoff to Mercy’s 7-year anniversary bash, featuring 7 FREE shows. (But since the Glam rock night is free too… I guess they’re technically having 8 free shows in a row.) More on that in future posts.

Last but not least, two awesome local independent businesses, Halcyon Bike Shop and Grimey’s New & Preloved Music,  have been nominated for the “To Love a Local Business” competition at Intuit, the company that markets QuickBooks. It’s a competition for a series of $5,000 grants and one $35,000 grant. I’d be more than happy to see either of these businesses get the grant(s). Vote for Halcyon or vote for Grimey’s. I don’t care which you vote for, just VOTE.

Back with some science

December 30, 2009

The holidays obviously consumed my life to the point that I haven’t posted in over a week. Sorry ’bout that. I also haven’t shared any good sciencey tidbits in a while, so here you go:

I recently saw James Cameron’s latest epic Avatar. I won’t get too involved with reviewing the film as I’m no film critic by any means, but I will say this- it’s beautiful. The animation is astounding and most notably, the landscape is gorgeous. The dialogue and storyline is utterly pathetic. It’s basically the same story as Last of the Mohicans, Fern Gully, or Dances With Wolves, only this time it’s injected into a sci-fi mold. That being said, I always can enjoy that story to some degree no matter how many times it gets retold and rehashed. What is pretty cool about the movie is the science behind it. There will always be a big gap between “movie physics” and reality, but the over-arching idea of a habitable moon similar to Earth orbiting a gas giant similar to our own Jupiter in different star system is entirely plausible. The fact that the moon’s atmosphere is toxic to humans makes it slightly more realistic, along with the reduced gravity resulting in the native animal life being mostly large compared to that of Earth. Space.com has more on the science of Avatar’s Pandora.

Image via Universe Today

I’ve mentioned on here before that NASA and the European Space Agency have teamed up for the next decade or so of Mars exploration. The exact timeline and details of that effort are now beginning to come into focus, thanks to the recent discovery of a constantly replenished quantity of methane in Mars’ atmosphere The first step will be a new orbiting observatory launched in 2016 that is specifically equipped to further explore the possible sources of this methane, and map out exactly where it’s the strongest. Also on this first mission will be small lander designed to test the parachute/thruster landing system that will be used on the future missions involving the “real” landers/rovers. Those rover/lander missions will be launched in 2018, and will be specifically designed to search for signs of life. Recent developments in the theories about the possible source of the methane have started to lean more towards microbial life, probably living under the surface. That’s very exciting. More on this at Universe Today.

What kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t have some sort of “year-in-review” post? Unfortunately I haven’t had the time to come up with anything myself, but here are a couple of 2009 recap posts from other science blogs that you might find interesting:

Live Science: 9 stories we love, and hated, in 2009.

Space.com: The 9 top spaceflight stories of 2009.

Some of probably already know this, but I’m currently in the process of moving. Megan and I are renting a small house near Germantown, and though the house will be awesome once we get settled in, the timing really sucked. I can’t think of a worse possible time to be moving than during the holidays. So posting here will probably be limited until next week.