Monday, June 30, 2008

Take A Gander At 'Bike-Mare'

So this was my favorite film at Ideat Village's Film Festival. Keep in mind, this has a few cuss words, so kiddies, don't watch.

It's Been A While

We can now officially put Arts & Ideas and Ideat Village 2008 into caskets. That makes me happier than anything you can ever imagine. I am a happy, happy boy. So let's not talk about either of those fests for another year. Deal?

OK, so moving on. Pearl Jam at the Dodge Friday. Here's the setlist: Can’t Keep, Breakerfall, Last Exit, Gods’ Dice, All Night, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Sad, Brain Of J., Big Wave, In Hiding, Not For You (Modern Girl), Daughter(Another Brick In The Wall), Why Go, Jeremy, Gone, Immortality, Porch. Encore 1: Garden, Better Man, Even Flow, Comatose, Leash, Blood (Atomic Dog). Encore 2: Smile, Do The Evolution, Alive, Fuckin’ Up, Yellow Ledbetter (Little Wing).

Also, since I haven't updated in a while, let me say that Maria Taylor at The Space last week was really good. And Steely Dan was OK at The Chevy, too. Someone came and asked my friend Jay and I if we wanted "heady nuggs." I didn't know what that meant, but I don't think she was offering Chicken McNuggets, which I definitely wanted.

At that same Steely Dan concert, we also met a new friend. Super Skunk is a dude who goes from concert to concert selling his, um, glass products. While we did not buy anything from him, he did ask us which concerts he should go to move inventory. He was 30, and had a binder with Jambase's concert listings printed out inside. His mom made this for him. When we got out of the show, which Super Skunk did not attend, he had taken a chair out of Jay's pickup and was sitting there waiting for us, and for people, so he could make sales. It was something. Seriously. I wish everyone could meet Super Skunk.

"WALL-E" topped the box office over the weekend, even beating Angelina Jolie. Now that the festivals are over, I plan to actually see some movies soon. I may actually see "WALL-E," which will be the first Pixar flick I've seen.

This is a sad story.

Um, I don't know what to say about this one. My wardrobe of jeans and a T-shirt probably wouldn't go over so well in Paris, I guess. Maybe I could sparkles on my T-shirt? You know, Be-dazzle the crap out of it?

Now this is good news. I can't wait to see an "Arrested Development" movie. If only they'd do the same for "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiam" I could die happy.

That's all I got for now. Couple big games tonight. First of all, Jack's Bar and Grill looks to become 5-3 when we begin the second half of the season tonight. I'm very excited. Also, the Red Sox play the Rays tonight in a battle for AL East supremacy. Who would have thunk that I'd type that in late June?

Oh, and I forgot. One more thing: Mark Nussbaum can't drive a car because he doesn't have a license. I don't know why. You'll have to ask him.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ideats Make Movies

Here's a video documenting the making of my favorite movie from last night's Ideat Village Film Festival. "Bike-Mare" was written by Dan Nicely and directed by Eric Schrader. Enjoy, because I had fun at the event last night, in the Booktrader courtyard. Outside. Movies. Beer. Mmm.

Also, keep in mind you have a choice tonight: Go see Fish at Toad's Place or Johnathan Rice and Maria Taylor at The Space.

If you go see Fish, that means you're seeing the tour I've dubbed: Old Neo Prog, the Oxymoron Show because you know, old and neo. If you see Rice and Taylor, you're seeing the Who's Bleeping Who Tour because, you know, Rice is famous for dating Jenny Lewis and Taylor for Conor Oberst.

Your choice?

An update: We took the first half of a doubleheader last night at softball, but lost the second game. All in all, a pretty decent night. Read more in Friday's Weekend.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday Madness

OK, so let's start with a chat about my weekly videos. A couple of you have asked me here on the site, and others by e-mail about where they've gone. I have a not-so-informed answer. You're not looking in the right place.

We are going to soon be going through a Web site relaunch or something like that, so we're not using the "New Haven Video Network" anymore. So if you're looking for my video the last two weeks, you won't find it there. I'm not sure why. You can find it by reading my column online. So my newest one is here. I'll be the first to admit that this isn't exactly user-friendly, but it should be over soon and I'll make sure to keep posting it on here. Sorry for the confusion. It took me like three days to find the one from June 13.

As many of you know already I'm sure, George Carlin died early this morning. I was born a few years too late to really live through the time when the comedian made his most lasting marks on pop culture. But I have heard most of his albums, read a couple of his books and really, really enjoyed his roles in both "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" and "Dogma." We should all miss him. Heck, even that mediocre television show he had in the mid '90s was pretty good.

Mike Myers' box-office mojo clearly ain't what it used to be. "The Love Guru" flopped at the box office last weekend. "Get Smart," however, did not, even though I wish it did.

In the July 3 Weekend, I'll write up something about the entirety of festival time, but let's just say, for now, that one fest has handled itself better than the other according to everyone I meet on the street.

With that said, every event I hit up this weekend was really good, both for A&I and Ideat. I may be a little biased, but let's say that I truly loved Friday night's Safety Meeting Showcase. Amazing, really. Rain, good music, a rainbow, some cans of goodness ... I could go on.

Daniel Johnston at Toad's went really well. It was a weird crowd, one that featured a lot of patronizing and condescending people. And that sucked. But the show, well, that was good. I really enjoyed the gig, which was the first time I've seen the performer live.

Amy Winehouse smoke too much crack, and now she's has to clean up her lifestyle. I truly, really hope I'm wrong, but If Winehouse died tomorrow, would anybody be surprised? This woman is walking disaster, one with a lot of talent, too.

If this isn't the funniest story you've heard in a while, well, tell me what is. I mean, the only way this could have been better is if it was a gang of headband-wearing, naked bongo players.

This is just kind of messed up, I think. Look, I'm not sure if it's weird or not, actually, but it makes me feel funny, so it must be. Odd, odd, odd.

If you missed Shearwater this week, well, take a look:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Words Can't Describe ...

I could write a couple words about the Celtics, but let's have Kevin Garnett do it. Way too funny ...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday Means Video Fun

Here's last week's video. It took me a while to find it and post it. I'm a sorry boy. Go Celtics.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday Missives

OK, so it's Monday, we're right in the middle of Arts & Ideas, Ideat Village, the NBA Finals, interleague play and so much more. Needless to say, we have a lot to discuss. I'm going to hit topics in a timely fashion. Sound good? Well, let's get going.

"The Incredible Hulk" topped the box office over the weekend. This wasn't a big surprise, but prognosticators were a bit startled by how much the action flick took in. It seems most folks thought the Green Machine would do about $35 million, but the Ed Norton vehicle actually pulled in over $54 million. Because of the flick's Cinemascore, it looks like it might have legs, which means we'll see a sequel in a couple years. Personally, I haven't caught the movie yet, but I plan to, and I think the Hulk is a franchise that should be around, not dead.

When I got in to work this morning and checked my e-mail, I found about 20 messages from folks really upset about the way Arts & Ideas handled the Saturday Mavis Staples concert. I was in Massachusetts celebrating my friend and softball teammate Shayne Harrel's graduation. So, yeah, while the new Dr. Harrel and I and friends got a bit drunk, the festival completely messed up with Mavis. They should have just made the decision to hold the show inside, but no ... they waited, waited and waited, and then just canceled the gig. And, of course, the fest did a horrible job letting concertgoers know what was going on. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

The Celtics couldn't pull off a big win last night, but that was somewhat expected. I might be getting a little ahead of myself here, but this means that the team can win the championship in Boston. No title has been won in the city of Boston since the Celtics won the 1986 championship. That makes for an interesting story.

As for the NBA, I think this column really aptly describes the finals so far. Read on.

Ideat Village began last weekend, and, unlike Arts & Ideas, I've heard no complaints. I can't wait for this weekend's festivities. I'm already excited.

Bonnaroo went down last weekend, too. You know, I've been to almost every major music festival at least once, but I have still not made the trip to Tennessee to see this one. I've just always been a little weary of all the jam bands.

Speaking of Bonnaroo, it sounds like Pearl Jam's three-hour set at the fest was amazing. I can only hope the band performs a similar concert when it comes to Hartford June 27.

And, MIA is retiring?

We're going to end this blog with a note about Tim Russert. He'll be missed. I try to watch "Meet the Press" every week, and it won't be the same without him. I met Russert once, when he spoke at Providence College several years ago. He was speaking at an event sponsored by a group that I was sort of a part of, so I got sit backstage with him while he waited to go on. We talked about baseball. As everything that's been written about him has said, he was a really nice guy. Anyway, that's it. You can watch the full "Meet the Press" tribute to him here.

Wish my 3-2 softball team well tonight. Weather permitting, we look to make it two wins in a row. We'll talk more tomorrow ... or later.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Friday Friday

Well, I don't have much to say except wow. Wow. I'm just happy I didn't stop watching that Celtics game. Amazing.

Our online department went on a field trip yesterday, which explains why my video is not posted yet, so in the meantime, here's this link, which Jon Cooper would love.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday Time

Well, hello, fine people in the blogosphere. I am here with another update to this here blog. But before I get into entertainment, I must mention that my softball team won on Monday, making our record 3-2. I also think that when folks receive e-mails, they should always read the PSs. Sometimes, just sometimes, there's some important information contained in those tiny notes. I should know.

And with that, let's get into the world of entertainment, I world that I like to explore. Of course, the main thing happening in this city in the near future is the International Festival of Arts & Ideas and Ideat Village, which both kick off Saturday. Get ready for two weeks of music, visual arts, theater, dance and everything your little heart can imagine except, of course, I don't know, REM ... a band that I will see with Modest Mouse and The National come Friday at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, Mass.

Tonight, though, the Celtics look to take a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals, something I very much they do.

What else? 43,000 beers is a lot of alcohol. I hope to some day match that total.

"Top Chef," a show that I like but don't watch enough, has a new winner. I haven't seen the finale yet, but am looking forward to catching it during one of the gazillion times it will be re-run this week and next.

Another reason why I love John Cusack ... besides "Better of Dead."

And another reason why I hate M. Night Shyamalon ... besides "The Sixth Sense."

With that, I'm going to head to the Rubicon. Talk later.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Monday Mania

You know, for all the ridiculous things we can credit to Pamela Anderson, left, she does seem to do a whole lot for PETA. She's selling her Viper to help benefit the charity. I remember when Mo Vaughn used to own a Viper and would constantly have "issues" with it when he drove to or from the Foxy Lady in Providence.

So R. Kelly's lawyer scoots around on an electric scooter at the courthouse? Seriously, you have an R&B star who really likes to sleep with tweens, even ones who are related to him, and a defense lawyer flying around on his scooter yelling, "In the morning, we attack"? Really? This is happening? I know the lawyer has a disorder that makes it difficult for him to walk, but that doesn't excuse these battle cries. Or Kelly's penchant for loving his cousins.

I wish Kim Cattrall would just go away. Please. Go away. Now. OK?

"Kung Fu Panda" cleaned up at the box office. Me and cartoons, well, for some reason they just don't go together. I'd like to like cartoons, but I just can't. Sorry.

Um, so "Brokeback Mountain" is going to be an opera? I hope I can write the lyrics. That'd be so much fun. "I never want to leave this tent, for you are my favorite gent." Or, "Please don't go home to Anne Hathaway, you know that you are very much gay." Actually, I just saw another Oscar winner this weekend for the first time in ages, so I also think "Million Dollar Baby" should be an opera. "Punch, punch, punch or you won't afford lunch." And, "Maggie, why do you like your dummy family? I eat pie with very much glee." I can see a Tony or whatever you get for operas in my future. Clearly.

I don't exactly understand why this headline is on this story, but I have to agree with it: I find salvation with fast food.

And with that, I'm done. Congratulations to the Celtics for taking the second game of the NBA Finals. I am very excited about this. I have no memory of the last time the team won a championship, so this is wonderful. Also, please wish the good ol' Jack's Bar and Grill softball team luck tonight. We are stuck at 2-2, and, of course, we'd like to be better than a .500 team, even if everyone makes the playoffs.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Saturday Somethings

As we wait for the beginning of the Belmont Stakes, an event I'll watch with a bit of interest, just because no horse has won the Triple Crown since I've been on this planet we call Earth, I admit, I'd be a heck of lot more interested if a baseball player was looking to win the Triple Crown for the first time since 1967.

Anyway, this is a weird story. I didn't even know there was a John Lennon statue in Cuba. Apparently, Fidel must have been a big fan of "I am the Walrus."

Let me also mention how damn hot J.D. Drew is right now. I don't mean good-looking; I mean he hits the ball hard every time he's up. This is why the Red Sox signed him.

Apparently, Lynda Carter is wonderful at finding dead bodies.

And I guess that's it. The race is going to start and I want to capture the moment so some day I can tell all of my 1,234 offspring where I was when a horse won a race. But let me mention that this little kid singing "New York New York" looks to be auditioning for the role of "young Clay Aiken" in some future awful Lifetime movie.

Oh, and don't forget: The Breeders are Toad's Place tonight.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday's Fun Day

Well, hello, friends in cyberspace, I'm back with a short update. I once again apologize for being the worst blogger ever. Ever.

Anyway, I don't have the embedding code, so if you want to see my video, just click here. I think it's pretty good.

Also, to answer my good buddy Caldor, who asked a question on the comments section of this here blog, I'm not sure of the answer, but I think I know. While Boston has many venues, I think it lacks one the right size for Okkervil River, which is too big of a band for the Middle East, Paradise and places like that, but too small for the Orpheum, Avalon and Roxy.

I'm probably forgetting a venue, which makes this theory moot, but I have a feeling that's it. Or maybe they just don't want to go too far east? I do know they have a day off between Northampton and New York and, off the record besides to folks reading this blog, some friends of mine tried to book them for around New Haven, and were told the band wanted the day off. Poop. If you want to meet me at the Northampton show Caldor, I'm in.

The Celtics held serve last night, which makes me oh so happy. I didn't see the entire game, but I basically did, and it made me very happy to see the team pull out the win. Now let's just hope Paul Pierce is OK.

This is a sad story if you're me: I love "Survivor," as many of you know. It looks like everything will be OK though. That makes me smile.

Did you know that today is National Doughnut Day? Neither did I, or I would have enjoyed a treat earlier today.

Well, I got nothing else. Enjoy your Friday night, and I'll be back tomorrow. Promise.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Rilo Kiley Leaves Fans Wanting More

By Patrick Ferrucci
Register Entertainment Editor
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — If the persistent rumors about California's Rilo Kiley are true, and that this is the quartet's final tour, then at least the group is going out with the proverbial bang.

Unlike the first leg of Rilo Kiley's "Under the Blacklight" tour, the band was in fine spirits Sunday night at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, joking with the crowd and each other.

But the other big difference from that first leg and this short jaunt was the length of the set. The shows RK performed in Boston and New York less than six months ago topped 90 minutes, before encores, while Sunday night's gig lasted 63 minutes, and only included 14 pre-encore tunes from the band's last three studio discs: 2007's "Under the Blacklight," 2004's "More Adventurous" and 2002's "The Execution of All Things."

While Rilo Kiley's profile has certainly been raised since the release of "More Adventurous," the group's two main songwriter's, multi/instrumentalist and singer Jenny Lewis and guitarist/singer Blake Sennet, have both become almost as popular for their side projects, which include Lewis' work with the Watson Twins and Sennet's two discs with The Elected. This, and the lack of interaction between group members on the first leg of this tour have created persistent rumors that "Blacklight" would be RK's last record.

But if that's true, fans didn't seem to care when the band took the stage just after 10 p.m. and immediately jumped into a three-song spurt from the new record, hitting the rocking "Close Call," the strip-club-ready "The Moneymaker" and the Fleetwood Mac-esque "Dreamworld." With the majority of the crowd on its feet, the band said its hellos and then moved right into the audience favorite "Capturing Moods" from "Execution."

It was the beginning of an evening that saw Rilo Kiley ignore its sophomore album, "Take-Offs and Landings," which the band usually plays a couple tunes from. While clearly pushing "Blacklight," the quartet, which was joined by one multi-instrumentalist this time around, played an almost equal amount from both "Adventurous" and "Execution."

Not one moment was a downer, though, and the crowd was into the show, screaming, clapping and singing along, during the entirety of the set. But when folks are paying upwards of $25 for a seat, you'd think they'd get at least a 90-minute set, something Rilo Kiley usually delivers. Nowhere in the concert were crowd-pleasers like "Pictures of Success," "The Execution of All Things," "Paint's Peeling," "My Slumbering Heart" or "Love and War."

A three-song mini set in the middle of the show featuring just Lewis and Sennet gave the fans a look at back at the beginnings of the band, which the duo formed in the late '90s after leaving their careers as child actors. A fiery encore also sounded great, but why not perform a complete version of "Spectacular Views," instead of only playing it as an outro to "Portions for Foxes"?

But it seems the old show-business adage to always leave them wanting more was in effect, and if Sunday was part of Rilo Kiley's final tour, then there's no doubt it did that, leaving the Northampton crowd on its feet awaiting a second encore that never came.

1. Close Call / 2. The Moneymaker / 3. Dreamworld / 4. Capturing Moods / 5. Breakin' Up / 6. Does He Love You? / 7. Ripchord / 8. The Absence of God / 9. With Arms Outstretched / 10. Hail to Whatever You Found in the Sunlight That Surrounds You / 11. It's a Hit / 12. A Better Son/Daughter / 13. Silver Lining / 14. I Never.

1. Fifteen / 2. Portions For Foxes / 3. Spectacular Views.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sunday Stuff

So here we are: Sunday. It's the end of the weekend for most of you, the beginning of the work week for me. Hope you had a nice weekend.

As I sit here, Bartolo Colon, who looks he ate Manny Ramirez and his 500th home run ball, is pitching his third consecutive good game for the Red Sox. That makes me happy.

Let's see. What's happened this weekend? Well, the Titles CD-release show was even better than expected. Yeah, Titles was as good as usual, playing a really great set. But the real surprise of the show was Etta Place, a New Haven band that only moved here recently.

The fivesome kind of approximated "Transmissions from the Satellite Heart" era Flaming Lips. If you guys read this blog a lot, or read my columns, you know how much I love older Lips stuff. Just love it. And Etta Place is really good. Really good. You'll surely be reading something about them in the paper soon. This is why covering the local music scene makes me happy. Sometimes you find a band that you can truly love.

Tonight I'm heading to Northampton to see Rilo Kiley. I've got it on good authority that the band's show in Providence last night was really good. So, I'm a little more excited than I was before I heard that news.

What I'm really interested in seeing is this week's box-office results. I wonder if "Indy" was able to maintain its perch at the top over "Sex and the City." I have a feeling both flicks make over $50 million, with "Indy" barely squeaking out a win. Guesses in the next hour so before we hear the results?

OK, that's it. Have a good rest of your Sunday and we'll talk tomorrow.