Friday, December 31, 2010

flaming lips - sleeping on the roof

The Flaming Lips are playing a New Year's Eve show in Oklahoma City tonight. They'll be performing The Soft Bulletin, still my favorite of theirs, in its entirety. If you can't make it, you can watch it here. In the meantime, here's the album's gorgeous closing instrumental. See you in 2011, everybody.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Neko Case - "Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis"

Tom Waits is going to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Kinda unbelievable, in a good way. Since it's Christmastime, it only makes sense that I cue up "Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis" in his honor, right? But I'm gonna cheat a bit and go with my favorite cover of the song, done by the one and only Neko Case.

(Thanks to Jason for the suggestion.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

'country strong' review

Country Strong doesn't lack ambition or heart. As for focus, well .... my review at Screen International explains all.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

'little fockers' review

After watching Meet the Fockers, I was convinced the new Meet the Parents sequel couldn't be worse. I was right -- but, boy, was it close. My Little Fockers review is up at Screen International.

Friday, December 17, 2010

miike snow - silvia

It's the holidays, so let's enjoy a really depressing/beautiful song/video, shall we? You got it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

'yogi bear' review

How forgettable is Yogi Bear? I saw the film more than a week ago and wrote my review at that time -- when the review was published late last night, I could barely remember what I had said about the film. It's not bad -- it's just sorta there. My review is up at Screen International.

Update: Yes, I've seen Yogi Bear Alternate Ending. It is brilliant.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

'the social network' wins best picture for lafca

Starting at around 10:00 this morning, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association cast our votes for the year's best films and performances. Here's the full list of winners and runners-up: I'm pretty pleased with how it all turned out. When I came home from the meeting, my wife said she was really surprised I Am Love didn't end up with a single mention. You know, I sorta am too.

Friday, December 10, 2010

billy joel - an innocent man

Recently, I was sent a copy of Billy Joel's latest greatest-hits package, The Hits. I have a complicated history with this man. My parents played his music pretty religiously when I was a kid -- we wore out a couple of his Greatest Hits tapes on car trips -- but in adulthood I've found that his music hasn't aged well at all. This is not exactly a groundbreaking revelation -- most music critics hate the guy -- but for me it's harder because there are a lot of family memories embedded in his songs.

The Hits is only one disc, and it misses a lot of Joel's actual hits. One song I thought of, that I still like, is "An Innocent Man." Here it is.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

'the tourist' review

I can already sense that I'm going to be the one weirdo who recommends The Tourist. But, hey, I am.

Friday, December 03, 2010

paul simon - the late great johnny ace

As you will hear over and over again, December 8 marks the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's murder. His death brings to mind many Beatles songs, of course, but I also think of Paul Simon's "The Late Great Johnny Ace," which is, in part, about Lennon's death. Here's the first time he played it live, at the Central Park concert with Art Garfunkel in 1981. (It would eventually show up on his Hearts and Bones record in 1983.) Lennon's death wasn't even a year old by this point, which gives the weirdness that happens near the end of the performance an extra level of scariness.