Thursday, June 28, 2007

Jesus of Cool

A short interview with one of the greatest music producers and writers of great pop songs, Nick Lowe, over at the Onion AV Club.

I especially enjoyed his assessment of Punks who pretended to be bad musicians.
Well The Damned were really good, and Elvis was Elvis. Ian Dury and The Blockheads were really, really great. You know, the actual punk music, I didn't care for at all. I thought it was all rubbish, really. It was the attitude, the way that things were being shaken up, that excited me more. I still liked people who were good, you know? Who could actually play. Even though The Damned were a punk group, they played great. As did Elvis, and as did Ian. They were the ones who interested me. Not some of those daft punkers, especially the ones who had people who were actually pretty good musicians sort of pretending to play badly. That was just so stupid, and missed the point completely, I thought. So it was the people who were true to themselves, I think, that were the exciting ones.
Cruel to be kind, indeed.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ah, synesthesia

The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco is presenting Brian Eno's 77 Million Paintings. A kaleidoscope like installation of evolutionary art by the ambient one.

Eno says of this show, "They are living an independent life, and they keep doing things that still surprise me. I've watched this program now for thousands of hours, because I have it running in my studio, normally, when I'm working there, and occasionally I'll look up and I'll see something really completely unlike anything I've ever seen before and think, 'Bloody hell!' I know all of the elements in the piece, of course, because I made them all, so you would think that I wouldn't be particularly surprised by any of the combinations of them, but I'm very surprised, actually."

More can be read at

77 Million Paintings: Flat-screen installation by Brian Eno. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Sunday show at 7 p.m. is for members of the Long Now Foundation) at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum, 701 Mission St., San Francisco. Tickets $20-$25. Call (415) 978-2787 or visit

Friday, June 08, 2007

Smell the Glove

via Tom Tomorrow, Amex has co-opted Spinal Tap's Gimme Some Money (actually the Thamesmen). It seems that only two responses are in order and both have already been taken; "excuse me while I choke on someone else's vomit", and "have these people no sense of irony?"

Thursday, June 07, 2007

And Venus Was Her Name

Recent Netflix viewing has been quite tasty. The Good Shepherd, De Niro's history of the CIA as seen through the eyes of Matt Damon, though lengthy and a bit dry, held my interest throughout. The Queen, starring Helen Mirren in a stellar performance. Pan's Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro's dark fairytale about the Spanish Civil War. These are just a few of the highlights of my recent viewing. All recommended to varying degrees, depending on your tolerance for violence and British royals.

The last DVD I viewed was Peter O'Toole in his Oscar nominated performance as an aging actor who falls in love with a young girl in the film Venus. It is one of those character driven British films that you don't see very often any more. Not much happens and it takes its time in doing it, but it is such a pleasure to watch a great actor like O'Toole, who is still at the top of his game, do that thing that he does best.

The scenes between O'Toole and Vanessa Redgrave as his estranged wife, are worth the price of admission. Lordy, these people can act. And how refreshing it is to see.