Thursday, April 19, 2007

My Opinion On A Variety Of Important Topics

1. Congratulations to this year's Pulitzer Prize winners, including free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman. "Coleman's music was not among the 140 music nominees. Pulitzer panelists used their prerogative to skirt traditional rules by purchasing the CD and nominating the 77-year-old jazz master. This is the first time a recording has won the music Pulitzer, and a first for purely improvised music." And, L.A. Weekly's excellent food critic Jonathan Gold became the first food critic to win a pulitzer! What's so cool about this is that Gold doesn't just write about fancy, high-end restaurants. Most of his reviews are of taco trucks, noodle stands, burger joints and generally cheap street food, which is the stuff that makes L.A. such a great place to live. And hey, today he's got a review of Eagle Rock's own hipster burger joint, Oinkster.

2. The Death of Kurt Vonnegut. Like everyone else, I got into his stuff in high school, along with Tom Robbins and Joseph Heller. I remember the first time I did shrooms, I had been reading Cat's Cradle, so I thought I'd try reading a little of it. The sentence I read said something like, "You can't go around acting like that and expect Uncle Sam to be your father chicken." That kept me busy for about 15 minutes.

Prior to that time, I hadn't really been a big reader, but I had a little pile of scifi and fantasy books I had read in middle school. I was looking through them one day and was surprised to find that The Sirens of Titans, which I'd read years before I got into Vonnegut, was a Vonnegut book! Even later, I bought a pile of Vonnegut books at a flea market (as one does--I still have some I haven't even read yet, like Jailbird) and picked up the short story collection Welcome to the Monkeyhouse. As I read one of the stories, I realized that I had read it in a textbook in 6th grade.

My favorites: Breakfast of Champions, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater and Slaughterhouse Five, although I've liked pretty much all of his stuff I've read.

3. Thinking a little more about Death Proof. I really like what he was trying to do with this, and it does feel spontaneous and loose, and really captures the feeling of girls on a night out (it feels a lot like Dazed and Confused, actually), but the dialogue doesn't really stick with you like most of his previous work has, and I don't really feel like the characters came to life. They seemed real, but like real people I don't know. I'm talking about the first half here. The second half really felt alive for me through the whole episode. I felt like I knew those girls. My only possible complaint regarding the second half where there's these long bits of dialogue that you know from the beginning where it's going, but you have to go through the whole formality of the conversation to get there, you know? Like when Zoe and Kim are arguing over whether to do the ship's mast or whatever it was. That kind of thing's always been in Tarantino movies, but I'm getting less patient with it. Still a great movie, though. If it's a disapointment, it's on the level of Let It Be. The Beatles album, not the Replacements album.

4. Hot Fuzz!!!! Tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!

5. Brute Force. This showed on TCM last night. Totally kick ass prison break film noir starring Burt Lancaster. But the real star is Hume Cronyn as the evil fucking warden. I just couldn't believe how much ass this movie kicked.

And Flix has been showing Riot on the Sunset Strip lately. It's basically a two-hour Dragnet episode. Definitely no Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, but it's got The Standells, and they're way cooler than The Strawberry Alarm Clock. There is an amazing scene of a girl on acid breaking into an interpretive go-go dance, that I swear goes on for 20 minutes.

6. The reason I haven't written much about the trip is because Bobbie's mother is sick's just kind of emotional and all. But I will say that Buster Bluth was our fellow passenger on the plane ride out there, with his very cute baby. That bears mentioning, right? Saturday was the best day, because we ate breakfast at Ma Gooch's in Cleveland, GA (seriously, if you ever find yourself in Cleveland, which I doubt most people who read this ever will, but if you do, go to Ma Gooch and get you some country ham and eggs and biscuits and gravy. The biscuits are friggin' HUGE!) and a nostalgic lunch at The Grill in Athens. The bathrooms at the grill brought back a lot of memories, few of them pleasent.

7. Been listening to a lot of Drive-By Truckers, especially during the trip. I had gotten The Dirty South off of emusic in March, and it's just such a kick-ass rock album. It's just amazing. Then I got A Blessing and a Curse just before leaving on the trip, and that's a great companion to Dirty South. It's mellower and sadder, and the songs are more personal and introspective, and in some cases the lyrics fit uncomfortably well with what was going on out there, but still rocks like a mutha. And while I was in Athens, I picked up Southern Rock Opera from Wuxtry, which I don't like as much as the last two, but it's still pretty great.

8. Also downloaded Party Music by The Coup. Man, that is good shit.

9. Caught The Muthers at The New Beverly--another installment of Tarantino's grindhouse festival. A very entertaining flick about 4 black chicks breaking out of a prison farm in The Philipines. And two of them are pirates. Possibly the best women's prison kung fu blaxploitation pirate movie I've ever seen. They showed trailers for four Mad Max/Road Warrior rip-offs in a row. I mean, all four of these movies had copied the Mad Max aesthetic down to the last detail. They all looked identical, and they all looked awful. It was fun watching their trailers, though. Let me see if I can remember all the titles: Dune Warriors, Desert Warrior, Equalizer 3000 and Stryker! The last title drew huge laughs from the portion of the audience fluent in gay porn.

10. Dave Chappelle did six hours and seven minutes at The Laugh Factory! And apparantly had the audience with him the whole time. That's just astounding. That's some fuckin' Allman Bros. shit.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drove by Oinkster the other day and felt compelled to try it sometime on its moniker alone. Good stuff re: Gold. He deserves it.

Need to buy: Brute Force and Vonnegut. I hate being the kinda guy to get into someone cuz they're dead, but a fool's gotta learn his shit sometime.

BTW - Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! on TCM this week!

Give my best to Bobbie, Chris.

4/23/2007 5:47 PM  
Blogger The Kenosha Kid said...

There is an amazing scene of a girl on acid breaking into an interpretive go-go dance, that I swear goes on for 20 minutes.

Mimsy Farmer, daughter of Frances Farmer! And the Strawberry Alarm Clock kicks ass on the Standells. Check out "Psych Out" if you don't believe me!

5/10/2007 7:23 PM  

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