Saturday, December 14, 2002
Norwegian band Cato Salsa Experience (A Good Tip For A Good Time on Emperor Norton) gets a grant from the Norwegian government to tour the US as cultural emissaries
5:39 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
"Some trying to flee burst into flames..."
Now mostly forgotten, the Peshtigo Fire in Wisconsin (October 7, 1871) was one of the worst natural disasters in US history [Asylum Eclectica, "Morbid Fact du Jour -- Oct 27"]
The extensive site at the second link above claims it was the worst, but I can think of one right off the top of my head that had 4 times the deaths: the Galveston hurricane of 1900. Damage-wise I'm not sure.
There may be others as well. But late 19th century Wisconsin was pretty bleak, to say the least.
I recommend both those books highly, BTW.
5:23 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
24 asks a lot of us, or at least of our time, which is one reason why its ratings have never matched its reviews. Here's what I suggest. Watch it on tape, skip the commercials, and thus shrink the running time to about 18 hours. Then fast-forward through the absurd child-abuse plot (where most of the information can be followed visually anyway, even at triple speed) and you're now down to about 14 hours. 14 is a damn good television show. [ink]
11:32 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Nicholson's "strongest work in 20 years"
Looks like the director and writer behind Election and Citizen Ruth have made another winner: About Schmidt (contains some spoilers)
Very loosely based on a novel by Louis Begley, About Schmidt marks the third collaboration between director Payne and screenwriting partner Jim Taylor, whose shared vision of ordinary people keeps getting deeper and more compassionate. Their first film, Citizen Ruth (1996), was a laugh-out-loud satire of abortion activists, pro and con, that put a premium on meanness. They took a huge leap forward with Election, one of the '90s' finest comedies, which tempered its satiric edge with a melancholy that many viewers didn't notice. But the bleakness and poignancy are inescapable in About Schmidt, a character study that has the emotional richness of the great Italian and Eastern European films of the 1960s, in which humor and pathos rode up and down on the seesaw together.
Payne and Taylor are nothing if not funny, and they lace About Schmidt with terrific gags about Hummel figurines, toilet etiquette in a Winnebago, the wallowing-pig slapstick of Schmidt boarding his first waterbed, and their ear for comic speech is pitch perfect ("Heck, a business degree from Drake ought to be worth something"). Once Schmidt starts driving the Nebraska barrens, the movie seemingly takes on the loping looseness of a road picture. But, in fact, everything is carefully structured...
11:27 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
"Still so out of reach"
Site devoted to getting Neil Young's On the Beach reissued [close your eyes]
10:54 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Nice short gush/interview on Far From Heaven, concept-wise
1:58 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Friday, December 13, 2002
R.I.P. Mary Hansen
I blow hot and cold with Stereolab, but I was fond of them. Very sad. Shared my birthday too, I see.
8:11 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
New book intriguing: The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque by Jeffrey Ford
Prophesying with snowflakes? A stunning she-ape? Jeffrey Ford's eccentrically satisfying The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque is the story of Piambo, a middle-aged painter commissioned to paint Mrs. Charbuque's portrait based only on her ridiculous stories and random clues. Piambo can ask questions about her as long as it's not about Mrs. Charbuque's physical characteristics. Samantha, Piambo's girlfriend, suggests: "Ask her about these four things: her lovers, her greatest fear, her greatest desire, and the worst day of her life."
Although the task seems impossible, it represents for Piambo the chance to make enough money to abandon a life of soulless, upper-class portraiture and return to true art. (He only gets paid, however, if he succeeds.) The motives of Mrs. Charbuque are as much a mystery as her appearance.
3:57 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Thursday, December 12, 2002
The new oral history of Saturday Night Live has good dish and a lot more apparently
I thought SNL was funny sometimes, but I was never a fan like a lot of people. Monty Python spoiled me. And I've never really liked what little I've read or heard of Tom Shales.
But even just as an engaging cultural history, I'll probably read this, since it sounds so well done.
11:38 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
"Bach is dead"
I remember getting the Residents' EP Duck Stab when I worked in a record store in the late 70s. They're great, but I never listen to them.
Maybe you should though. They're kind of a national treasure.
10:56 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Roger Dodger looks worth seeing, but I'll wait for the video
10:52 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Illegal Art [Undernews]
A fine example (over 18 only).
10:32 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Here's an diverting list of movies and their related metaphysical references & tarot archetypes
A bit hinky on the details, like Lolita is far from Sellers first film, but interesting nonetheless.
Got this from someone finding my site through search for "Dali & occult".
11:54 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wednesday, December 11, 2002
For charging the canvas readers
Something is wiggy with the blog, only the very last post is showing up. Please bear with me.
12:19 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Some good tips on secure online buying
Though none of the 3 cards that I use are part of the Verify by VISA program, which protects your account if someone hacks the merchant's files.
3:01 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
c|net has their mp3 juke comparison page updated
Looks like the Creative Nomad Jukebox 3 takes the cake -- unless you have a Mac, in which case I don't have to tell you.
The 20GB juke -- especially if you have the faster connections -- seems to make more sense than the DVD player with mp3 disc capabilities now. Unfortunately, you can get a DVD player as low as $50, whereas the Nomad for instance is at least $200, the iPod twice that.
You can also hook up your digi-cam to the Archos juke, and output it to a TV.
1:45 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Monday, December 09, 2002
The edgy charm of cheap hotels [floating wreckage: jettisoned cargo]
2:16 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sunday, December 08, 2002
More evidence Portland OR is becoming a mecca for young creatives [Undernews]
I'm getting a good feeling about Portland.
11:44 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
2 new Bill Hicks albums
One unreleased tracks, one the first in a series of complete live shows.
If you don't know him, you should. I think he was bigger in Britain than here.
Got Susan the Sane Man video for her birthday last month. It's good, but not for newbies. Try the Rant in E Minor CD instead.
If anyone has the HBO Special recorded in England, please let me know.
5:25 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
via close your eyes
The Mobius Band and cye's comments.
A la jolie . . . pas du tout (with Amélie's Audrey Tautou) and original post. A less impressed critic.
and a defense of Seventeen Seconds as the best Cure album. (I wouldn't know, but I'll check it out...Had Disintegration on tape back in the 80s. Never was a big fan.)
5:14 AM - [Link] - Comments ()