The New York Times Magazinethis past Sunday featured a great piece on one of my fave filmmakers, Whit Stillman. I love that he writes at Dunkin’ Donuts. Here is the trailer for his upcoming film, “Damsels in Distress”, which stars Greta Gerwig, Adam Brody, and Aubrey Plaza.
Monthly Archives: March 2012
Last night’s sold out Fiona Apple show at the great and intimate Lincoln Hall was everything I wanted it to be. After a stressful experience trying to buy tickets for tonight’s show from the venue’s website, I was delighted to scoop up a pair when a second show was announced early last week. I am a long-time Fiona devotee, and my anticipation grew all week and culminated with me singing along to “Paper Bag” on repeat after a long Friday of watching NCAA Tournament upsets.
Ms. Apple scurried onto the candlelit stage at 8:45. She looked TINY with huge eyes and a long ponytail. Classic. She gulped tea throughout a performance that was at times manic—in that perfect Fiona Apple way. She alternated between strained dance moves, piano playing, giggling, and languishing over the top of the piano. She sang every song with intensity in her beautiful, slightly raspy, voice. I love me a tortured artist. I love the whole girl-alone-in-her-bedroom-singing-along-to-a-song-about-unrequited-love vibe. Fiona treated the crowd to a perfect selection of hits: “Criminal”, “Fast as You Can”, “Sleep to Dream”, “Extraordinary Machine”, and “Paper Bag”. And the set included songs from her upcoming album, “The Idler Wheel…”. I was excited to hear the new tunes—even though this is a comeback tour, and all the other girls in the audience with me also seemed to have histories with the hits. This wasn’t like being at a Duran Duran show when they introduce a new song. There was no mass exodus to the bathrooms. The new tracks sounded cool. One even included her playing some old sink pipes. At 9:36, Pete and I were back out on Lincoln Avenue, walking past people drinking Shamrock Shakes at McDonalds. Short and sweet.
I just added Fiona Apple, and her beau Jonathan Ames, to my favorite celebrity couples dinner party list. They can sit next to Bjork and Matthew Barney.
I’m often asked (not really) what record I would take with me if I’m ever stranded on a desert island and the answer I give is always the same: Big Star’s #1 Record/Radio City. Technically, it’s 2 records but I rarely get called out on that fact. The compilation is a must own for any fan of power pop. Unfortunately, there is only 1 surviving member of Big Star so the reunion is highly unlikely. But fortunately, there is a new documentary about Big Star that was presented at this year’s SXSW Music Festival in Austin that will ensure the bands rightful place among the greatest of all time. A few days ago I came across this video of Choir! Choir! Choir! performing Big Star’s beautiful song “Thirteen” and just had to share. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
If you are a music fan and have spent any time online this week you undoubtedly have seen many of the dispatches from SXSW. I actually ended one of my recent conversations about the music festival by saying “hashtag SXSW.” Highlights for me included watching Bruce Springsteen’s Keynote Address and seeing the return of the enchanting Fiona Apple. But besides seeing some of the big stars at SXSW, I always enjoy following the many great Chicago bands that are playing at the festival. One of my favorite local records of 2011 was Want More by JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound. They are playing a show at Metro on Friday, April 27th with Gold Motel and you can now check out their terrific set from SXSW (Skip Ahead to 4:22:15) below:
And Gapers Block has an excellent SXSW Tour Diary from JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound. You can find that here.
March Madness 2012 marks my first NCAA tournament bracket experience. I have watched the tourney for years–most notably in 1991 when Coach K took his Duke Blue Devils to the end, and the dreamy Christian Laettner was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. And I love basketball and competition in general (check back when the tennis season revs up this summer). But this is the first year I’ve officially filled out a bracket and entered a few online pools.
I was motivated to take the plunge by Pete’s March Madness madness. And after splitting Golden Globe and Academy Awards ballot bets, the tie had to be broken. Plus, knowing we would be watching the games, I felt filling out a bracket and having teams to root for would help me enjoy them more. And I don’t have a horse in this race, as The School of The Art Institute’s Flying Picassos did not make the cut.
When making my picks, I went with my head and my heart. I have chosen what I refer to as Ashley Judd’s Kentucky Wildcats to go all the way. Ashley Judd goes to all the games (wearing dresses from Anthropologie, no doubt), and I love her. And this isn’t such a crazy choice. I did a bit of research to pepper my bracket with stable, smart choices. And I choose others based on my affiliations: Duke – the aforementioned history; Notre Dame – my love of Regis; VCU – just like Barack, gotta love that Shaka Smart; Memphis – Derrick Rose; Temple – Bill Cosby. Begrudgingly, I picked Texas (don’t tell my dad) and Baylor – so I guess Texas pride won out over a lifetime of Texas Tech Red Raider loyalty. I made some changes when Fab Melo was suspended from Syracuse. Finally, I went with my gut on an underdog. See ya next year, Long Beach State? After I cemented my picks, I realized I forgot to see which teams had the cutest players. Darn it!
My Final Four is set with Kentucky, Long Beach State (yeah), Florida St., and Kentucky. Wish me luck!
(Photo circa 1994. I’m wearing some tough Charles Barkley hi-tops.)
I’m extremely excited that Community finally returns to NBC tonight. It has been so long since we have heard from the folks at Greendale that Dean Pelton wrote a movie and won an Academy Award while they were away. Plus, I won’t have to rely on The Soup for my weekly Joel McHale fix. In honor of the return of Community, here are some of the best Community related items that I’ve come across in the last couple of days. And don’t forget to watch tonight!
Community Relationships Chart.
Fan-Made Hiatus Tributes.
25 Facts About The Cast of Community.
Dean Pelton Costumes.
Community Easter Eggs.
Community: Arrested Development Style:
Community Returns Trailer:
Community: Prometheus Trailer:
Community Law & Order:
And a classic: The Best of Troy & Abed: