Monday, October 24, 2005

The Guardian sits down with Matt, Eleanor, and their grandmother to discuss the new Fiery Furnaces album, Rehearsing My Choir, available 10/25. FF have always been a "love' em or hate 'em" type of band and if you've seen my profile, you know where I stand. And predictably, the early reviews are a bit harsh and I expect the hostility to continue in ernest. I've had a copy of Rehearsing My Choir for a few weeks now (signed by Matt and Eleanor even!), so I've had a fair amount of time to absorb the autobiographical ramblings of one Olga Sarantos. I'm fairly open-minded to musical experimentation and indulgence if it hits me just right, but even as a loyal FF fan, I am having some serious difficulties getting into this one. A fascinating concept album or a failed novelty? Pure genius or complete gibberish? I'm leaning towards the latter. It may grow on me as these things tend to do...if only it didn't feel like such a chore to listen to.
If anyone else out there has a listen, I'd be curious to hear your reaction.

So we had tickets to the New Pornographers show this past Saturday night. It was sure to be a fantastic set and my wife was very excited to see one of her true favorites, Neko Case. But damnit if the show wasn't canceled at the last minute!! Apparently, the same was true of the Friday night show in Madison. No idea what happened...the band's website reassures us that the shows are merely postponed. Disappointment, nonetheless.

But there's always our freaky-folky friend Devendra Banhart. He won't let us down!! I have a couple of friends who claim Mr. Banhart is a bit too keen on the subject of children, and my wife is positive he's the love child of Charlie for me, I couldn't care less if either were true. I love the guy and I'm looking forward to seeing him tomorrow night at the Fine Line. I'll give an update on the show later this week.

Monday, October 17, 2005

In case you haven't noticed, I like lists. From time to time, I'll post one here. Granted, your typical "Best of" lists are arrogant in their elitist standards, painfully obvious by what they include, and frustrating as hell by what they exclude, but damnit if they aren't fun! And so, I offer a list as published by a little known periodical, Time Magazine's 100 Best English-language Novels since 1923.
Since I can tell you're into it, go here for more lists of varied legitmacy, all nicely organized in one site: Lists of Bests

You too can experience musical bliss, minus the heat stroke (see Oct 12 posting). Our friend Largehearted Boy compiles many of the 2005 ACL Music Festival performances available for downloading.

At risk of alienating the NASCAR fans visiting my blog, enjoy some light reading on the racial politics of one of America's most beloved sports.

Just about every October, I stubbornly watch every inning of every MLB playoff game, and this year I can't get enough of the A.J. Pierzynski show. For those of you who share in my odd enjoyment of a most dubious playoff hero, this is the site for you. Don't get me wrong, I honestly like the former Twins catcher...but, are you kidding me?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Various musicians queue up their own eccentric playlists, courtesy of The Independent.

What will Dubya do without Karl Rove pulling the strings?

Is anyone out there even remotely excited about James Bond? If there was ever a franchise that deserved a major facelift (and I don't mean just another suave Brit), it would have to be this one. It is a shame Quentin Tarantino's offer to direct the next Bond film was turned down by producers. Or how about David Fincher, David O. Russell, Fernando Meirelles...anyone even remotely stylish or original. It would be just the kick-in-the-ass the ridiculously irrelevant character of James Bond could have used.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Check out this trailer for the feel-good movie of the year, The Shining.

Is it election time already? Read up on the early presidential front-runner.

Every once in a while, I will be compelled to post pictures of my two kids, Jellybean and Stanley. They love to pose for the camera and I love to show 'em off. Get used to it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Scorching weather and music: ACL Fest 2005

It has been two weeks, but I'm still coming down from my buzz after the 2005 Austin City Limits Music Festival. The heat was intense and the air toxic, but it didn't slow us down. Standouts included the Arcade Fire who put on an amazing show in 108 degree heat. I also caught the Fire at 1st Ave. (THANK YOU, Jay Flyer!) upon returning to town and I'm now convinced this gang of well-dressed Canadians are easily the best live act touring this year. Tweedy and Wilco showed up in typical top form. The Fiery Furnaces (see pic of Eleanor and Matt plus random crowd shot), Lucinda Williams, Built to Spill, M83, Thievery Corp, Bloc Party, the list goes on. This fest is getting better (and hotter) each year and offers a perfect excuse to go back home to Austin.