Monday, March 31, 2008

A Whole Bunch Of Things

It's tough for me to admit defeat, but I must. For the last couple weeks, I've been making video previews of Weekend for the Register Web site. So has Television Editor Joe Amarante. Frankly, mine have been much better than his, until this week.

Take a look at these two videos, and you'll agree that Joe's is funnier. Watch both because they are funny. Here's mine. Now, here's Joe's.

Now it's war. I will win next week. Mark my words, I will win.

Anyway, on to other things. I went to three different concerts Friday. I don't think I've ever done three shows in one night. I started off seeing James Velvet and the Ivory Bills at New England Brewing. Then I went to The Space to see Jonny Rogers. And, lastly, I hit up Cafe Nine and saw Sarah Borges. All three shows were really good, really. That just proves you can see many shows in one night, I guess.

I don't know how this affects Poison's summer tour. I guess Rikki Rockett is innocent until proven guilty, but this is a dude who spells his name "Rikki" and once made an album called "Open Up And Say ... Ahh!"

When I was a kid, my grandparents used to watch reruns of "Quincy" all the time. So Jack Klugman should get some more money. At least that's what I believe. As long as the show stays off the air.

That's about it for now. It's Opening Day and I'm excited. We'll talk tomorrow. Hope you had a good weekend.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Me And Film

At 4 p.m. tomorrow, I'll be part of an event at Quinnipiac University that will look at trends in film. Here's the release:

The School of Communications will host "The Film Industry: Today and Tomorrow" from 4-5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, in the Mancheski Executive Seminar Room in the Lender School of Business Center.

The panel discussion, which is part of the School of Communications Media Futures Series, will cover emerging and future trends in the film industry. Panelists include:
  • Pat Ferrucci, entertainment editor for the New Haven Register.
  • George Norfleet, film division director for the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.
  • Christopher Ward, Connecticut-based film and TV writer and director, and adjunct professor in the School of Communications.
  • Greg Johnson, professional in residence in the School of Communications and executive producer of the film "The Squid and the Whale." The film won prizes for dramatic screenwriting and directing at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for best original screenplay.
  • David Donnelly, dean of the School of Communications, will moderate.

The event is free and open to the public. So if you have an interest in film and where movies might be heading, this should be an interesting 90 minutes. And, hey, at worst you'll get to meet Greg Johnson, who produced "The Squid and the Whale," my favorite movie of 2005. Really.

That's it. Talk tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ladies And Gentlemen

Here's the 2008 American League MVP.

I Am Up, Really

I can remember the odd time here and there when I've had to get up at some point after 6 a.m. but before 7 a.m. But I can't remember the last time I've been up before 6 a.m. Heck, I played poker and then went to Cody's Friday night and didn't get in bed until 5:30 a.m. Now here I am, up and out of bed and it's 5:50.

Actually, now that I think about it, the last time I was up before 6 was when I took a vacation to Orlando in January of 2006. That was a great trip, but I wish I wasn't remembering it for that reason right now. I'm tired.

As many of you must now know, I'm up because we are technically about 15 minutes away from Opening Day. Yep, the Boston Red Sox face the Oakland A's in Japan today and tomorrow. Both games start at 6 a.m. My friends Jay, Harris and Helen are supposed to be joining me this morning, but if they didn't show up, I wouldn't be what we'd call surprised. Hell, I woke up 10 minutes ago and tried to walk over to Manna to get a coffee. Manna isn't open yet. That scares me.

As I watch the A's get introduced, I realize there are tons of old Red Sox on the team. I'm babbling now.

Let's see: Is there any other news?

Well, Fox, which never cancels anything, said goodbye to Parker Posey. The show, which has a stupid name that I refuse to even write, was created by the woman who did the "Gilmore Girls." You'd think she'd get more than three episodes ...
Is this news? Shouldn't it have happened like two years ago? Man.

Poor Pammy, another marriage is over.

Smashing Pumpkins is suing Virgin Records. Now, I'm not a litigious person, but if I were Virgin, I'd sue Billy Corgan for making crappy music lately.

Counting Crows, Play editor Jeff Petrin's favorite band, comes to the Dodge Music Center Aug. 15. The only problem? Well, Maroon 5 is also performing. That makes me feel funny inside.

Well, the first pitch of 2008 just happened, so I'm going to stop writing now. Dustin Pedroia just singled! Go Red Sox.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

So here we are. It's Good Friday. You know, you're not supposed to eat meat today. I've yet to eat any, but I have a feeling I will later. When I was in college, the school really enforced this by not letting any cafeteria or restaurant on campus serve meat. I hated this. I used to order takeout from off-campus. Anyway, I don't know why I'm rambling, but, you know me ... I guess I just really want a cheeseburger and will have one later.

Here's this week's video preview of Weekend. Someone commented about how I have to not let the cameraman have much input. I have to be honest: All the props and dumb things are my idea. I have an odd sense of humor, which I plan to explore through these videos. That's too much fun for me to ignore.

And speaking of the cameraman, Nick Scalia, who used to write for Play and now works in our online department, wrote a really good column on my favorite movie of all time, "Bottle Rocket." That's Owen Wilson (with brother Luke and Ines) in a scene from the movie above. Nick also has a blog, Cinematic for the People, that is always a good read. I'm sure the column will be posted on there soon.

So the big news this weekend, besides Jesus' rising, is the NCAA tourney. I'm sure we all have our brackets filled out and in. When I was in high school and college, I used to win pools all the time, totally on luck because I never watched college basketball. I think this is the key: The more you know, the worse off you are. Seriously. Oh, and I hope UConn loses today. Sorry.

I'm a Beach Boys fan, but the more you read about Mike Love, the more you just can't stand him. The guy seriously loves to sue people.

After all the heartbreak I've experienced through the Patriots, I'm so happy that the Celtics rule. Yep, they are the best team in the NBA right now. But, as we all know, that doesn't mean much tomorrow.

Here's an interesting read from The New Republic, one of my favorite magazines. Take a look.

Lastly, I am not looking forward to waking up at 6 a.m. on Tuesday for Opening Day. Yep, that's when the Red Sox open the 2008 season. One of my favorite days of the year is Opening Day. For the last few, I leave work early and head over to my friend Jay's place and we just watch like four straight games. We'll still do that this year, but the Sox will have played a couple official games by then. And I'll still be trying to get over waking up early two days in a row.
So I gotta go now. There's a string of "Law & Orders" that haven't seen on. Then it's off to the movies. I love the movies.
Have a good rest of Good Friday.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sad Day In Film

Well, it seems Anthony Minghella is dead at 54. He's the filmmaker behind "The Talented Mr. Ripley," "The English Patient" and much more. It's a loss. Back with more later.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I Love This Song ...

... So you should listen to it. The Weakerthans come to the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on April 11, and Pearl Street in Northampton April 12. I'll be at one of those shows; you should be too.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Too Good Not To Post Here

Saturday Night Post

So here I am at the office on this wonderful Saturday evening, waiting to get out and play ping pong and drink beverages. But I get to work a Saturday once about every three months, so here I am.
I did, at least, go to the taco truck on Long Wharf before coming here. My friends and I simply love the taco truck. I seriously can't recommend hitting one up for lunch one sunny afternoon.

But now I'm here working, so why not make the most of this time by posting a blog entry? Right? I mean, doesn't that just make sense?

Here's my video preview of this week's Weekend. For some reason, we thought not looking directly at the camera might be a good idea, but, alas, it wasn't. So next week I'll look at the camera again. I smile more on this one; a common complaint on the last one was that I didn't smile enough. You happy? You know who you are.

Thursday night's Play birthday party was really great. All four bands delivered fine, fine performances. The only bad part is that when I left Toad's, my car was not there. Yep, I was towed. Why was I towed? For one outstanding parking ticket that I was formally protesting. I guess it doesn't matter that you formally protest a ticket the right way. The people in the office where you pay your ticket told me I shouldn't have been towed. Does that mean anything when you need your car back? Nope. So, needless to say, I'm not a big fan of the city's towing practices. In fact, I think it's a sham. The Advocate wrote a good story on the city's towing fun a while back. Read it here.

My old school canned its basketball coach today. I think this is a good move. Tim Welsh (that's him above) has had some good teams over the last 10 years, and yet can never win an important game. Ever. Even with Ryan Gomes.

It looks like Opening Day could work out after all. Woo-hoo.

My spies at SXWS told me that Dawn Landes' set late last week was simply incredible. Make sure to check her out. She's so good. Read my review of her new CD here.

Who doesn't love this dude?

If anyone's looking to join a fantasy baseball league with me, e-mail me. My friends and I are trying to make our annual league have more than just seven or so teams. It'll be fun. This will be my second or third year playing fantasy baseball, and I'm not sure if I like it yet. But I love baseball.

I'll end this by saying I'm so happy that the great Lou Diamond Phillips has begun to post on this here blog. I'm honored. Lou is the greatest American actor to ever play Ritchie Valens. The way he pretended to sing "La Bamba" in the great, great movie of the same name gives me chills. Thanks Lou!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Some Stories Are Too Perfect

All I can say is ... um? Take a gander at this.

Parades, Concerts, Movies, Etc.

So what you're looking at is a photo of me and my friends Helen and Shayne standing with Mr. Toad at the St. Patrick's Day Parade Sunday. I saw the little guy walking by, and I just couldn't let him go without capturing the moment. My friends had to get in the photo also.

Anyway, to quickly recap the parade: I'm just not so sure it's for me. I mean, I like to drink, but I don't need an excuse to do it. The whole thing felt like it was 17 hours long. And, in my opinion, it's really ridiculous to say that it celebrates Irish culture. I mean, yeah, it sort of it does. But walk the streets: It's really an excuse for people off all cultures to get drunk in public. That's it. Oh, it also lets folks in groups that wear uniforms get a chance to wear those snazzy outfits in public.

If you're like me and stay up late, catch R.E.M. perform from SXSW at around 1 a.m. tonight. The band's will surely play a bunch of its upcoming record. The show will be Web cast on NPR tonight. Check it out.

As many of you probably know, Billy Crystal is joining the Yankees. Sorry, I just don't think this separates the gap between the Yanks and the Red Sox. Go Red Sox.

If your iPod sparks, return it immediately. Do not pass Go. Do not collect your $200. Just get your damn contraption back to the store and away from kiddies. OK?

Mary Ann from "Gilligan's Island" likes to spark it up, apparently. She lives in Idaho. I mean, could she possibly cause anybody harm smoking pot in Idaho? I'm not sure. I'll have to ask my friend Brandon. He's from Idaho.

The biggest, bestest tour of the year is not coming our way, sadly. I'm thinking about taking a trip to Ithaca for it, though. Anyone want to carpool?

And lastly, it's finally time for "Funny Games." Now I'm not sure if the movie's great or not (reviews have been pretty good), but when I saw this trailer a few months ago, I thought it was such a cool preview. Anyway, the flick opens Friday. So, here's that trailer:

Monday, March 10, 2008

Video Fun

So we here at the Register are doing a lot of video work now. You can hit our Web site and check out all kinds of different video stories that augment the print paper and also preview the daily newspaper.

As of last week, I'm helping with this through a video preview of the week's Weekend section. You can check out my preview of the March 7 issue here.

Joe Amarante will also be doing these, previewing his Weekend column. You can see his last one here.

So, go watch and look for these every Thursday on the site. That's it. I'll write more soon.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Hope You Remembered To ...

Set your clocks ahead. It's daylight savings time! Now, I hate losing an hour, especially since I stayed up pretty late last night and saw the time change, but I love gaining an hour of sunlight.

With that said, I'm only in the office for a short time today because I'll be heading to the St. Patrick's Day Parade. It's named after me.

Los Lobos at the Shubert was a killer show last night. That's a tight band that knows its way around a stage. Here's a funny, funny story from the concert:

During the last song, the group let a lot of the women in the front rows get on the stage. There was a bit of a drum solo during the tune and it was coming from Los Lobos' touring drummer. Singer David Hidalgo wanted to call attention to the young drummer, who's name is something like Johnny Cougar. So with all of these mostly middle-aged women dancing on stage, Hidalgo yells something like, "And we got Cougar!" My friend Jay and I decided if we had beers to spit out, they would have been on the people in front of us. Too good.

Anyway, that's it on this end. I've been listening to a ton of Bob Mould lately, so I'll leave you with this Sugar video:

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Well, It's Been A While

Man, jury duty can mess with a guy. I had to perform my civic duty earlier in the week and it totally killed my schedule. I was way too busy to update this here blog. But, the week's over so here I am. Not dead. Just tired.

Anyway, so jury duty is a waste of time that could be organized a lot better. I was in Derby (why Derby?) from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and did nothing, absolutely nothing. I just sat in a room waiting for them to call me ... and they never did. Then I was told I could go home. Oh, I did watch a video that repeated what I learned in fifth-grade social studies class about the three parts of government. Good stuff.

While sitting in the room, I read the Register like 15 times through. There was a column on the editorial page written by a filmmaker Raul daSilva. Please, please, please go find Tuesday's Register and read this column. I'm sure the 74-year-old local is a nice enough guy, but this piece is one of the worst things I've ever read, all built around an idea that is blatantly wrong: That less people are going to the movies these days. This an easily provable falsity. It got me mad. How can anyone be a filmmaker and call the Coen brothers "twits"? I could write 10,000 words on how bad this column is, but I'll let you guys find it and enjoy it. The guy is simply out of touch, which I'll probably be when I'm 74, too.

What else? Well, my good buddy Brandon Kinne told me I need to have some Dale's Pale Ale, so I bought some over at The Wine Thief, which is steps away from my apartment on Whitney. I'm very excited to try it.

I don't think I have much else today. My brain's fried. Enjoy the parade tomorrow. I've actually never been, so I'm going to remedy that tomorrow.