Saturday, January 31, 2009

Evening Buzz: Zooey Deschanel and Burger Beds and Dresses

Saturday, January 31, 2009
Ingrid Bergman wants you to join her in lighting up the collective pop culture cigarette. Here is your Evening Buzzzz!

Well, first off, Fox has picked up the remaining Narnia movies since Disney copped out. I'm glad C.S. Lewis's books are being adapted to film and not TV, 'cause we all know how Fox treats its best shows (*cough* Arrested Development *cough*cough*).

Are you a big fan of He-Man? Yeah, I'm not gay either. But apparently Warner Brothers, Joel Silver, and John Stevenson are teaming up to remake "Masters of the Universe". Actually, I suppose it's not bad timing, as Skeletor is being nominated for an Oscar this year.

You should watch the trailer for "500 Days of Summer", an indie film starring Joseph Gordan Leavitt and Zooey Deschanel. I liked Leavitt a lot in "Brick", and I'm straight-up in love with Zooey Deschanel. I've loved her ever since her bit in "Elf", and she's just wowed me more and more in each new flick (not to mention her musical work with the brilliant M. Ward, especially her band She & Him!). Apparently, 500 Days of Summer has blown everyone away at Sundance. Yay!

Here's some more good news: Neil Jordan is gonna direct a live-action movie adaption of Neil Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book" (a ghostly retelling of The Jungle Book). I have to say, Neil Gaiman is winning me over; I'm coming around to his Sandman comic books, Coraline is shaping up to be really good, and now this.

Amy Poehler's new government sitcom finally has a name -- "Public Service". This will be one to watch; besides the presence of the ever-funny Poehler, it's from the creators of the Office, and will also feature Aziz Ansari and Rashida Jones (of Office fame). Public Service airs in April.

UPDATE: It's called "Parks and Recreations", and the pilot was BAD. Here's hoping the show gets a looooooot better.

And finally, here is a fun, provocative, and even -- dare I say it? -- yuuummmyy dress. Hint: It's a HAMBURGER dress. This is the best thing to happen to hamburger-themed non-hamburger products since The Hamburger Bed!
Read, Kindly Light...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Top Movie Villains of All Time???

Friday, January 30, 2009

Who are your favorite villains of the silver screen? Who do you think are the most classic? The most evil? The ones that carry the biggest presence? The most terrifying, the most twisted, the most sadistic?

I want to know your opinion. Vote in the comments, and I'll update my list and eventually rank them. There's no rule about genre. Be the film a gangster flick, a detective thriller, western, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, drama, or even kids' cartoon, its villains are up for grabs. But note: I WILL NOT accept antiheroes or mere antagonists. The entries must truly be VILLAINS, and that means evil characters with whom the audience cannot sympathize.

Update: Well, I've racked my brain. Here are my current contributions, from the Devil to Disney villains, and everything in between.

The Joker (The Dark Knight)
Hannibal Lector (Silence of the Lambs, etc.)
Keyzer Soze (The Usual Suspects)
Sauron (Fellowship of the Ring, etc.)
Darth Vader (Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi [before the end!])
Voldemort (Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone, Etc.)
Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)
Freddy Krueger (Nightmare On Elm St.)
Lord Caldlow (The Prestige)
Detective Stansfield (The Professional)
Bricktop (Snatch)
Frank (Once Upon A Time In The West)
Arthur Burns (The Proposition)
Sheriff Cooley/The Devil (O Brother, Where Art Thou?)
Count Tyrone Rugen/The Six-Fingered Man (The Princess Bride)
Bill (Kill Bill)
Ernst Stavro Blofeld/Dr. Evil (From Russia With Love / Austin Powers, etc.)
Mr. Blonde (Reservoir Dogs)
John Doe (Seven)
Jigsaw (Saw)
The Judge (The Natural)
Mr. Glass (Unreakable)
Scar (The Lion King)

So, who makes it on your list?
Read, Kindly Light...

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Thursday, January 29, 2009
I just wanted to make up for lost time. Prepare to OD on DT!

Ben Kweller

Dawn Landes

Horse Feathers

A.A. Bondy


The Snake The Cross The Crown

Frank Smith

Well, as always, dear readers, happy sounds :-)
Read, Kindly Light...

The hiatus has been put......on hiatus...

So sorry for the long and unannounced break; that's what school does to you.
I will be back to my usual daytrotting, popculturecigarettebuzzing, and general tom foolery.

thank you.
Read, Kindly Light...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Six-String Samurai: the Coolest B Movie Ever

Friday, January 16, 2009

Imagine a movie that is part Red Dawn, part Mad Max / Road Warrior, part Kill Bill (definitely the all-style-no-substance Volume 1), part Wizard of Oz, part The Seventh Seal (or Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, if you prefer), and part tribute/satire to rockabilly music and the 50's.

Put it all together and what do you get?
(I'll tell you after the jump.)

I will not be coy. This movie has many, many problems, but most of them can be attributed to the B movie budget of the production. The dialogue is terrible, and the delivery is worse. The special effects are obviously limited, though the film-makers do a lot with what they've got. The biggest single problem is the overuse of the orphan sidekick character, who started out as just another bit of comedy, but eventually progressed to become a predictably and disgustingly sentimental prop on the scale of Tiny Tim. Let me put it this way: he mostly speaks in whiny shouts like "aAaaaAah!" and "oOooaah!"

However, the CORE IDEA of the story and the world in which it exists is amazing, and one can forget some of the poor details when one looks at the beauty and imagination in the grand scope of the film. What is this amazing story? Well, let me let the film do the talking; it speaks for itself. Here are the words from the prologue that scrolled over black:
In 1957 the bomb dropped, and Russia took over what was America.

The last bastion of freedom became a place called Lost Vegas, and Elvis was crowned King.

After forty rockin' years, the King is dead.

Every guitar-picking, sword-swinging opportunist, including Death himself, hears the call echoing across the wastelands.

Vegas needs a new King.

Who is the Six-String Samurai? His name is 'Buddy' in Holly; he looks the same, dresses the same, plays the same sort of music, and even wears those signature geek-chic glasses.

So, most of the movie then is Buddy wandering around the wastelands, dueling to the death a bunch of people lamer than he, including a trio of strong-arm bowlers, a car-roving band of crazed cannibals, silent killer astronauts, a bizarre cult that worships an all-powerful "Windmill God", an inept battalion of left-over Soviet soldiers, and finally, DEATH himself. That's right. Death himself is the true villain of this movie, and Death wields a katana and plays a mean guitar. Of course, Death obviously plays death metal. In fact, he kinda looks like a Nazgul version of Ozzy Osbourne as the tophat-wearing Prince of Darkness.

On top of all this, many of the characters speak in ridiculously dated vernacular, constantly saying such slang as "Swell!" and sometimes arguing the merits of different 50's automobiles, and the entire soundtrack consists mostly of songs from the cooky on-screen Russian band, the 'Red Elvises'. Also, Six-String Samurai won Best Cinematography and Best Editing at Slamdance in 1998, and it shows. Best of all, this movie knows its a B-movie, and knows its cheesy, and is willing to poke fun at itself. It has no pretensions. It is very up-front. "Hey this a movie about samurai rock stars that kill each other to become King of Vegas/Oz." Who wouldn't wanna watch THAT???

Basically....if you have seen aaaany B-movies at all, I cannot recommend Six-String Samurai enough. In fact, if you have watched aaaany B Movies at all, you have a categorical imperative to watch this film. At the very least, you should watch it on Instant Netflix and just skip everything but Buddy Holly slaying all the weird troop of posers. You could maybe even skip that, so long as you watch the end when the Six-String Samurai duels with Death, who raises his sword and charges him while shouting the line "Bend before the ways of Heavy Metal!"


P.S. This is definitely the best line from the movie...
Ward Cleaver: You ever try a pink golf ball, Wally? Why, the wind shear alone on a pink golf ball can take the head off a 90-pound midget at over 300 yards.

Read, Kindly Light...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Can you write 10 songs in 4 weeks???

Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I'm gonna try.

The RPM challenge

UPDATE: Whoops. Well, *I* failed. How 'bout you?
Read, Kindly Light...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ben Taylor at Futureappletree Studio 1

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Ben Taylor gives off some of the same vibrations that his father started giving off back in the late 60s and early seventies – there’s no avoiding that in his voice – but he lends more of the sea salt laze that must make up the other percentage of people calling the Vineyard home that wasn’t already accounted for by water. It’s a committed, but lackadaisical flair for being able to keep things in perspective and to keep the blood pressure at all-time lows. Here he sings about America, a country that he grew up seeing from one angle and has since discovered in all its warts, shadiness and overriding splendor on his own, in a way that Simon & Garfunkel sang about it, while adding to the description (mostly a love in spite of the black eyes and sour reports) a carefree tonality that’s vaguely of a reggae feel, where the drinks are helping.
---Sean Moeller, founder of Daytrotter

Welcome back, dear readers. Today's Daily Dose of Daytrotter gives us Ben Taylor, who certainly has music in his blood, as he is the son of James Taylor and Carly Simon. His voice sounds a lot like his dad's; to compare his music to to that of other contemporary artists, I think Ben's sounds like Jack Johnson and Ben Harper finally had a baby after touring so long together, and that baby grew up loving James Taylor and Carly Simon and so he changed his name to Ben Taylor....I understand if you didn't follow that; neither did I. The important thing to understand is that Ben Taylor makes amazing music, and if that's not enough, he writes great lyrics to boot. Any guy who makes an album called "The Legend of Kung Folk, Pt. 1: the Biting Kiss" is a guy I want to listen to. "Kung Folk" is the coolest silly album phrase I've heard in a while. Ben crafts fun and meaningful songs that stand up to the acid test of constant (and I mean constant) loop replays. He can even keep you very entertained just by telling a hilarious anecdote, or reading a short poem (a surprisingly good poem!).

My favorites from his Daytrotter session are "Wrong", "Turn On The Lights", and "Wicked Way", though "America", "After It's Over It's Over", and his untitled "Poem" are all great too.

Ben Taylor's Daytrotter Session
Ben Taylor - Turn on the Lights
Ben Taylor - Wrong
Ben Taylor - Wicked Way
Ben Taylor - America
Ben Taylor - After It's Over It's Over
Ben Taylor - Poem

Buh-bye. As always, happy sounds.
Read, Kindly Light...

you know what really SUCKS...?

.....................VAMPIRES, that's what. Literally. They will suck your blood. They. Will. Suck. Your. Blood. They will suck it up. Dare I say, they will drink your milkshake.

So, I hate vampires. Seriously. I hate vampires. Every single one of them. I HATE vampires! I have not seen a vampire movie in I-don't-know-how-long, and yet in the past few months they have continued to show up in violent, graphic nightmares to get me and everyone I love, the evil bastards. I HATE vampires!

Oh, I know what you're thinking... "But vampires are so cool. Vampires are sexy!"
(My reply after da jump.)

Um, yeah, they're sexy...until they're about tear out your jugular,

and eat your soul (and then theres' that whole afore-mentioned blood-sucking thing). Dear readers, take note: the whole reason why they're sexy is because they wanna get close to you and bite you. Vampires only have one thing on their minds. Bloooooooood. You see, our current pop culture has deceived us. Our media want you to think that vampires are dark, sexy, freaky, spooky superheroes. I'm sorry to break it to you, but there's no such thing as a gothic/vampire/bat superhero.

Ok. That kind of backfired on me. But notice, Batman does not bite people's necks. Batman does not suck people's blood. And Batman certainly does not listen to emo crap like My Chemical Romance. He's way too cool to do something lame like that.

The sad thing is, our current pop culture has progressed beyond even the Underworld-era vampire as the sexy, cool superhuman; this type of vampire has been replaced with one far more repulsive...

That's right. In addition to whiny, melodramatic teenagers wanting to be vampires, we now have VAMPIRES TRYING TO BE WHINY, MELODRAMATIC TEENAGERS! These vampires are so far removed from Count Dracula that "the harmful effects of sunlight" don't burn these vampires, don't kill them, don't turn them into bats. No. No. The magical harmful effects of sunlight make these vampires...

...............................Yes, you read that correctly. They sparkle in the sunlight. OooOoOooOooOooOoOOOOOoOooOOOOooh!! Scary. And. Glittery. That's just what we need -- glittery, glitzy vampires.

What we need now is a new vampire movie that is completely old-school, totally non-new. The last thing we need is to "reinvent" vampires; that's how we went wrong in the first place. We've reinvented them eleven times over, and humanized them to a fault. What we need is something like a more modern retelling of Nosferatu; what we need is a classic Dracula-flick with an updated setting. The vampire need not be Dracula himself necessarily, but he ought to be modeled after that seductive but terrifying gentlemanly archetype.

Also, I'm so sick and tired of every single vampire movie featuring the most arrogant vampires explaining to the silly humans that every single bit of oral tradition handed down about vampires is wrong, that somehow all the oldest and best-known tales about these monsters are pure superstition. When's the last time you saw someone try and kill a vampire with a good old-fashioned stake, or ward him off with holy water, garlic, or a crucifix? We need to return to these archetypal sorts of tried-and-true props and motifs. Because God knows, no one (thirteen-year-old girls aside) wants to see another dumb teenage vampire angst movie.

P.S. Vampires are real, very, very real, and very, very scary. They are ABSOLUTE evil! The hierarchy of evil is Satan/Morgoth/Sauron, Maleficent, the Joker (ala Dark Knight), the Sith, the Nazgul, Count Dracula, Keyser Soze, Hannibal Lector, and vampires in general. That's why this post is so vitally important. We humans (and we werewolves) must win the war against the blood-suckers. I'll explain all about werewolves in another post.

Read, Kindly Light...

from the Local Corner

HERE is a very interesting article on Fort Worth's music scene--its past, present, and future.

Apparently there's such a thing as "Radio Shack de Mexico". And now we OWN IT. *Devilish laugh, followed by awkward cough*

Well, I've only eaten there a few times, but it was a pretty fun place while it lasted. The Downtown La Madeleine is closing for good.

Six Flags will soon be serving booze, unless TABC does something TABC-ish. I swear, those guys are d**ks. (note: I only called them "docks". Really.)

Some Fort Worth artist got some reward or other. His stuff's not half bad, considering how modern it is.

Finally, here's an amazing gallery of local artsy photos. Here are my favorites:

...and this one just blew me away.

Til next stay classy, Fort Worth!
Read, Kindly Light...

Early Morning Buzz: Gran Torino, Flight of the Conchords, and DAY MAN!

Clark Gable getting a buzz. Am I classy, or am I classy?

I Watch Stuff has the latest box office results. It is kind of amazing that 'Gran Torino' won over films like 'Bride Wars' and 'Marley & Me'. Maybe audiences have finally discovered the indescribable beauty that is Clint Eastwood singing.

Speaking of singing (and jokes), the AV Club has just had an exclusive interview with Brett and Jermaine of Flight of the Conchords fame. They're discussing Season 2 of their hit show, and pretty much just how amazingly awesome they always are.

Speaking of amazingly awesome (and funny songs), here is a youtube video of an Of Montreal concert in which the band covers "Day Man" from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia! Music For Kids Who Can't Read Good has the original MP3s as well as Of Montreal's live cover.

(this made my day)

And finally, speaking of music videos (and Music For Kids Who Don't Read Good), Music For Ants also has a great list of "the top Music Videos of 2008". Some are cool, some are funny, and most are weird.

Alright. That's it. Thanks for choosing Cowtown & Coolage, the finest in pop culture tobacco.
Read, Kindly Light...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Late Night Buzz: Golden Globes, Heroes, and Simpsons

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tolkien, quite possibly the coolest geek ever, is smoking. And happy. You should be both. Take a drag; here's a little late night buzzzz!

The esteemed writer at I Watch Stuff always tells it like it is, and right now it is Who Won the Golden Globes.

Bryan Fuller is apparently the one man who can resurrect Heroes. (mostly because Pushing Daisies is already dead, ironically enough...)

Wait a second. Seth Rogen is going to star in a Simpsons episode about the Comic Book Guy? Oh. Whoops. Eww. Sorry about that. Sorry about the smell. I think my geek glands just flared up.

And last, and certainly least, Barack Obama will star in an issue of Spider-Man. CHANGE! HOPE! CHANGE! HOPE! COMIC BOOKS!
My thoughts on the matter:

Sorry, that's all I got for right now. Go get your own pop culture cigarettes.
Read, Kindly Light...

Fleet Foxes at Futurappletree Studio 1

You might already be gone, to where they’ll take you. It’s not about the if, it’s about the when of it all. Just take it all in and appreciate the things that Robin Pecknold can show you with his choir of accomplices. It’s nothing short of breathtaking for those who make music the way that Fleet Foxes make it are not guided by anything other than invisible hands, attached to the longest arms imaginable, which connect to the ground at some point, but that junction and those directions are completely mysterious. They cannot be traced back to any known heart and that just adds more to the sensational dizziness.
---Sean Moeller, founder of Daytrotter

I'll come right out and say it: I swear I had heard Fleet Foxes and enjoyed them long before they started turning up near the top on every dang hip blogger's "Best Of 2008" list. I had even written the opening of a new screenplay to one of their songs. I swear! Thus I must confess, this little post is not merely for your reading/listening pleasure; I do have something of a hidden agenda. I am establishing the fact that I love the Fleet Foxes' debut album right here and right now (before there is, say, a prominent iPod commercial featuring their song 'White Winter Hymnal').

Now that all of that is out of the way, you should listen to this band's music immediately. I won't bother describing what it sounds like; there are two dozen beautiful descriptions from bloggers far more talented than I. The best description was from a certain infamously harsh online reviewer, who referred to their sound (derogatorily!) as "The Shins doing covers of 'O Brother! Where Art Thou?' songs." That just made me love them more.

Fleet Foxes: Free Music From Daytrotter
Fleet Foxes - Drops In The River
Fleet Foxes - Sun It Rises
Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal
Fleet Foxes - Sun Giant
Read, Kindly Light...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Matt Cliff: "YOU CAN DANCE!"

Saturday, January 10, 2009
These were the words he shouted in the middle of one of the first guitar solos last night. This was the rallying cry that would be raised again and again.

Sadly I can't---dance, that is.

But if I could, Matt, I promise I would've absolutely danced the pants off of everybody else. Instead, last night I was the awkward guy standing in the middle with everybody and nobody, smoking, then sitting in the dead center of the room, right on the floor, smoking (even more awkwardly). But even so I still salute the fact that you gave all of us awkward indie music-goers the go-ahead, the freedom, the--I dare say--carte blanche, to dance. It might not sound all that important, but it is.

A little background info: I went to see Matt Cliff and Friends play at the Aardvark last night. They were supposed to play the 11:00 slot, but they arrived to find out they were headlining at midnight, which is lucky, because I only got there around 11:59. Man am I glad I didn't miss them.

Whenever you go to any show, the knee-jerk reaction of "I gotta look cool, gotta look cool; I can't look lame for these perfect strangers!!!" inevitably kicks in, but the intensity of this feeling/behavior depends upon many different factors: how many friends accompany you, how well you know the venue, how well you know the band, etc., etc. Luckily, I'd been to the Aardvark multiple times, and I'd seen Matt Cliff play once before and gotten to chat with him a few times. However, this time I had to go alone 'cause I had invited too few friends too late. Thus the need to be "super-uber-mega--ultra-COOL(-and-NOT-LAME!)" was in full gear at the start. But Matt Cliff and Friends, though they certainly rock the house, still exude a care-free low-key mellowness that is blessedly infectious.

So, once they started playing such old favorites as "Shine On Through" and "Captain", some of us danced, more of us sang along, still more tapped their feet and swayed...and yes, a sad few still stood stiffly, drinking their beer and staring awkwardly. But at least there were some who danced, despite the old rule that "Indie Don't Dance."

Therefore, although I didn't 'bust a move', I'm happy to say how quickly I came out of my shell and just enjoyed the music, doing the best I could with clapping, rocking back and forth, and tap-tap-tapping with my foot. So, to repeat: "You CAN dance! You Can! You can DANCE!" But if you don't, if you just sing along, or mouth the words, or sway side-to-side, or tap your feet, or clap your hands, or even just stand there, there had still better be a dumb grin of appreciation on your face, and a few "Whoot!"'s and "Yeah!"'s better escape your lips. 'Cause Matt Cliff and Friends are here for you!

Read, Kindly Light...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Tonight: Matt Cliff at the Aardvark

Friday, January 9, 2009

I'm going out tonight to The Aardvark to see Matt Cliff and...some other I'm-sure-they're-cool-ish bands play.

So, wanna come with?

Read, Kindly Light...

Afternoon Buzz: Steve Martin, Anne Hathaway, Sex Panther

Oh Audrey. Why can't you explain to this generation why smoking is good for you?

In 15 or so words: Steven. Martin. Plays. Banjo. Makes. Bluegrass. Album. It's. Called. "The Crow". Coming. Out. Jan. 27.
In one word: BADASS!

Heroes, everyone's favorite love-to-hate TV show, is supoooooosedly gonna stop sucking and get better soon. We'll see about that. (Hint: Don't get your hopes up. It's prob'ly not.)

I'll bet you 100 bucks right now that Anne Hathaway is gonna win a Golden Globe this year. Hands down, man. Oh wait. That's right. She already has. Congratulations, Miss Hathaway.

Here's a pretty simple but pretty cool poster for the upcoming Transformers sequel. Personally, I wish it were for a movie about a dark scary dragon with scary red eyes. The dragon's name is REVENGE!

Who doesn't love SXSW? Well, they've just posted up a list of some of the bands they're showcasing this year. I wish I could go...

Does this ring a bell? "Sixty percent of the time, it works everytime!" That's a real product now. Really. Wow.

Read, Kindly Light...

The Maccabees at Futureappletree Studio 1

Do young men still woo young women by tossing small pebbles at the panes of room windows, soft enough to be detected by the sleeper in the identified room, but silent to all those throughout the rest of the home? Do these pebbles peck off of the glass and carom at 45-degree angles, falling to the flooring of a hanging balcony that recalls settings from important scenes in the plays of Shakespeare? Do young men spend their time gathering sweaty palms still, lying awake making nights worrisome with doubt and unrequited love that almost makes them burst like a water balloon? Do they picture themselves climbing up trellises to take their fair maidens into their arms and really just love them truly, not in the sticky, commercialized, lustful way that you see in the big pictures and on the little screens? If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, or I believe so, then The Maccabees could be the rightful chroniclers of these uncorrupted feelings of innocent love – the kind that Meredith Wilson wrote and Judy Garland sang about.
---Sean Moeller, founder of Daytrotter

The artist we're looking at today is Orlando Bloom, the head singer of the Maccabees. I guess I've been in something of a mellow mood the past few days, because these songs, like Alela Diane's, are calm and acoustic; the music itself is quiet, almost hushed, but the words to which the music conforms are nothing short of the boyish heartstrings-on-your-sleeves realization that "I'm in love, but I don't know exactly what that means or what do about it."

Also, I've recently decided I'm a sucker for British accents; I think it's part of being here at the College of St. Thomas More--you can't come unless you are capable of becoming an anglophile. So then, let's indulge in a little anglophilia and a little star-gazing and boyish crushes, and let's listen to Orlando Bloom of the Maccabees try and lull us into love. (First I strongly suggest you read Sean's full review below; it is spot on, and has a lot to say about the different types of loves sung of in songs.)

The Maccabees' Daytrotter Session
The Maccabees - Welcome to Daytrotter
The Maccabees - First Love
The Maccabees - Good Ol' Bill
The Maccabees - Precious Time
The Maccabees - Toothpaste Kisses
Read, Kindly Light...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Activate Instant Netflix Queue. Engage!

Thursday, January 8, 2009
The last good thing I watched on Instant Netflix was "Winter Passing", with Zooey Deschanel, Ed Harris, and Will Ferrell. I saw that sometime last week. Since then I have seen half-way-through a half dozen terrible films. Now, here's what's currently gracing my Instant Queue:

"Red Lights (Feux Rouges)"

"Game 6"

"Zero Effect"

"Morvern Callar"

"Twelve and Holding"

I've only seen Zero Effect before. I expect to absolutely hate half of the others, and absolutely love the other half. I'll get back to you once I've finished watching them.

UPDATE: Or not. :P
Read, Kindly Light...

Evening Buzz: Iron Man 2, Jim Carry, Bosque Brown...

Time for a little late evening buzz.

Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell are in talks to play the villains Whiplash and Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2.

Since when is Jim Carry the right guy to play Scrooge? And why are we letting the dude who directed Beowulf(*involuntary gag*) get within twenty feet of A Christmas Carol?

The blog "Music For Kids Who Don't Read Good" has some nice best of '08 lists. Here are their picks for tv shows, albums, and songs. Some of the goodies mentioned therein: Fleet Foxes, Of Montreal, Mountain Goats, Headlights, Vampire Weekend, Sun Kil Moon, Fringe, 30 Rock, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Lost.

And lastly, coming from the local corner, here is's interview with Texas folk/country singer/songwriter Bosque Browne. Her new album, Baby, comes out in March!
Read, Kindly Light...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Afternoon Buzz: Judd Apatow, Joss Whedon, Dr. Who...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Looks like Audrey is ready for her afternoon buzz. Are YOU?

Here's the first look at Judd Apatow's upcoming comedy "Year One", which features Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, Jack Black, Oliver Platt, David Cross, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, among others. Well, sound great; I'm always up for an Apatow flick. My only concern is the fact that Jack Black (who, while admittedly being capable of giving funny performances, is also a d*****bag) is gleefully hopeful that the movie will offend many people's religious sentiments. Pfft.

Joss Whedon has been interviewed by Brian Ford Sullivan about his new show "Dollhouse." I've been a big fan of Joss Whedon ever since I saw Firefly and Serenity (though I've never really seen Buffy), and I'm very excited to see Dollhouse; however, there have supposedly been a lot of problems with its production. Joss says in the interview that the original pilot script was scrapped in favor of another--even though the original has already gone to film! Here's hoping it all works out for the best.

If you know me at all, you'll realize that at times I can be ridiculously snobby and artsy-fartsy when it comes to my preference for eclectic indie music and quirky, bizarre indie movies, especially those ill-named indie "dramedies". Thus I am very excited to see the upcoming indie "dramedy" 'Sunshine Cleaning'. Here's a brand new bland poster for it. So, the question is, does Alan Arkin now only make quirky indie dramedies that focus on a struggling dysfunctional family, an odd kid, and have "Sunshine" as the prominent, catchy word in the title? One can only hope.

Simon Pegg and Robert Weide have seriously told fans in the US *NOT* to buy the DVD of their movie "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People". Wanna know why?

In anticipation of Matt Smith becoming the 11th Dr. Who, Wired has written up a piece recounting the litany of the ten other Time Lords and their famed history.

Apparently, this Australian commercial was the "most complained about commercial of 2008". I'm with the Geekologist on this one; it could have been a looooot worse, considering the genre of the product it's advertising.

This one's good for a laugh, or at least a mild chuckle. It's a captioned screenshot from Christian Bale's new Terminator movie.

Oh, Bollywood. You're so silly. You're such a cute and silly baby Bollywood, Bollywood. Why are you trying to remake Back to the Future?

Huh. A movie about a team of midgets playing basketball with Dennis Rodman as Dennis Rodman...why didn't I think of that? Oh, that's right. It's because I still have a soul. Score 1 for Tyler; Satan, dwarfs, and Dennis Rodman, 0.

And finally, if you're caught wearing a Hawaiian shirt within the next few days, someone might think it's a sign of your grief.

Read, Kindly Light...

Alela Diane at Futureappletree Studio 1

OK then, before we get started, a little introduction:
"Daytrotter" is a recording studio and a website site run by Sean Moeller in Rock Island, Illinois. Hundreds and hundreds of up-and-coming indie bands of all shapes, sizes, and sounds flock here to record new songs and new versions of old songs. Every day Daytrotter receives a new band which will record 4 songs; every week there are 7 new bands and 28 new songs. On the Daytrotter website, you can download literally thousands and thousands of songs LEGALLY and FOR FREE! I myself have already added nearly seven hundred songs to my iTunes library.
Let me explain how cool this all is to you in another way -- Whitney Mattheson of Pop Candy placed Sean Moeller, the founder of Daytrotter, at # 77 on her "Top 100 People of 2008" list!

Now, in the website's own words:
What Daytrotter is attempting to do is to not kid around with you and tell you that we found something that you never knew existed. We are going to contribute to the musical landscape, not just toss it around like a used book or a stolen pick-up line. We’re going to give you something that you truly have never heard. We are not giving you songs from someone you love’s record album, thereby stealing from someone you love. We’re giving you exclusive, re-worked, alternate versions of old songs and unreleased tracks by some of your favorite bands and by a lot of your next favorite bands. (...)
These fine people – as they’re traveling through America’s heartland – take two hours out of their travels between shows to stop in for a Daytrotter Session at Futureappletree Studio One in downtown Rock Island, Ill. The name of the city is not ironic. They use borrowed instruments, play with their touring mates, utilize an often unkempt toilet, eat some food and then cram back into their vans for the last half of the drive. What they leave behind is a pile of ashes, sometimes a forgotten stocking hat and four absolutely collectible songs that often impart on whomever listens to them the true intensity that these musicians put into their art, sometimes with more clarity than they do when they have months to tinker with overdubs and experiments. These songs are them as they are on that particular day, on that particular tour – dirty and alive. We want you to make this your new home as it is ours. We promise that you will love it here. (...)
The Daytrotter recordings are made with minimal mic’ing, through discrete preamps and with some limiting to the mixing console, where they are printed to 1/4” analog tape running at 15 inches per second (usually BASF 468). The analog master is later transferred to a computer and converted to MP3.
There is no set formula or pattern to the recordings, no specific mic setup, etc. They are all live, no overdubs, straight to tape. What you hear is what happened in the room that day.
{about Daytrotter}

Now that that little intro's out of the way, let's commence with the first installment of Your Dayly Dose Of Daytrotter, featuring Alela Diane! I highly recommend her; she is a folk singer/songwriter who uses simple, understated intstrumentation to better emphasize her beautifully lilting and haunting voice and her full-wrought lyrics. My favorite song on the first session is "White As Diamonds"; on the second my favorites are "Age Old Blue" and "Oh My Mama", which I think are her best songs to date.

Here's Alela Diane's 1st Daytrotter Session (May 11, 2007)
Alela Diane - Welcome to Daytrotter
Alela Diane - My Brambles
Alela Diane - The Rifle
Alela Diane - To Be Still
Alela Diane - White As Diamonds

Alela Diane's 2nd Daytrotter Session (September 27, 2007)
Alela Diane - Welcome (again) to Daytrotter
Alela Diane - Age Old Blue
Alela Diane - Dry Grass and Shadows
Alela Diane - Oh My Mama!
Alela Diane - The Alder Trees

Ciao, folks. Happy Sounds.
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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Afternoon Buzz: Spiderman the Musical?!?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Alright, Bogart. Start puffing away. Here's your afternoon buzz:

Apparently, some deranged big-shot producer was so happy with the success of Peter Parker's jazzy goofiness in Spider-Man 3 that he thought it would be a GOOD IDEA to produce a broadway musical version of the webhead's many escapades. Here are my thoughts:

But wait, it gets even better; this musical is being written by none other than U2's **THE EDGE** (with some help from that famous Robin-Williams-look-a-like).Wow. I think Bono should host a reality talent show on national television in which the American public gets to choose who plays our web-slinging hero. They can call it "So You Think You Can Do Whatever A Spider Can?"! Aaaanyway, you can read all about this upcoming masterpiece right here.

In other somewhat buzz-worthy news:

Here's a piece by the New York Times on
some of the new female members of the SNL cast. Yay. Now if they could only get some good writers, or Justin Timberlake to quit his music career and join them as a fulltime cast member...
Here's the official word on when Quentin Tarantino's
INGLORIOUS BASTERDS will hit theaters.(!!!)

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Activate First Post. Engage!

Welcome to Cowtown & Coolage, a distinctively fortworthian blog about pop culture, indie culture, geek culture, and of course, the culture, i.e. real culture. Since this is my very first first post, I'll try and keep it ehm...brief.


Ok. I got nothing. That was brief enough.

~Tyler Awesome Coolage~

Note: Yes, this is an actual photograph of myself. As can obviously be seen, Christian Bale is a me-wannabe.
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