Thursday, April 26, 2007

I lost my moral compass!!!

Jack Valenti was rated R for Really Dead today. The hairy Mr. Burns up there is the reason most of the movies you see aren't nearly as good as they could be. Check this to see why.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Nathan Fillion... The 21st Century Ted Mcginley: Or Why Do I Even Bother Watching New Shows?

Son of a bitch....
I had a post all ready to review my favorite new show "Drive" on Fox. It is fun, a mix of Lost and Cannonball Run, and reminiscent of the old family action shows of the early 80's like Dukes of Hazzard and Knight Rider.

Well after 3 nights (4 episodes) Fox Yanked it. So much for the old college try. Who to blame? The American public for not watching? The inabilty of the Nielsens to account for tivo, ipod, and well... viewers? The fact that the producers tried to pass off a mile long stretch of Southern California highway as the east coast? (Florida looks nothing like Georgia, and they all have a little something called trees)
Noooo I'm going to blame Nathan Fillion. And I am going to dub him the Ted McGinley of the 00's. As you may know Mr. McGinley is considered something of a curse on the entertainment landscape. The personification of Jumping The Shark, when he arrived on a show, it pretty much signaled that program's doom.
Well as much as I love Nathan Fillion, he's good lookin, talented, has "it", he can't carry a program or a movie to and sort of decent success. Firefly, Slither, Serenity, Drive, all should've been moderate hits.... Hell he even popped up on Lost right before that began to take a little nose dive (great episode last night though). I don't know what advice I can give to someone who is seemingly cursed, other than maybe you should dig your feet into the warm sand that is Basic Cable, let someone on Spike, SciFi or FX give you your own show because for gods sake, STAY OFF ENSEMBLES.


Ooooh Cheeky... It's the Slander Panda!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Great, now there will never be a decent movie.

I guess he's never been the same since Bucky died.

suddenly.... the wheels are in frickin motion.

Now that I'm older you look back at people you knew in high school and say, "Oh my god, they must have been gay!!! That explains everything!" Or now you meet a guy who may be a friend's boyfriend and he makes no bones about being into musicals, or Grey's Anatomy, or he mentions he really misses Sex And The City, and you roll your eyes and say to yourself, "for his sake and hers I hope he figures it out soon."
That being said I want to reinforce that I am 100% pure grade A+ dudeness. I can't really stand most broadway musicals, I am not homophobic (that shows I am not gay right? I mean I have gay friends, but they aren't like super close friends, but you get it.), and I love slaying ladybits. So never mind that I found this bit of news out from Perez Hilton, and that it pretty much negates all the above statements...


Um yeah, totally. Now for the uninformed this seems like pointless jibber jabber, but please understand that in the history of fucked up, crazy ass films that miss the mark so badly that they bullseye another target this one takes the cake. From the Producer who brought you The Matrix and Lethal Weapon, and the Director of Outfoxed comes a musical with songs by ELO. I know... How could it be bad?! In my mind it happened like this... Joel Silver was a producer on The Warriors and asked it's star Michael Beck if he wanted to make another movie. Michael said,
"Sure man, The Warriors was a great experience and a badass movie, I'm totally down for another one... what's this one about?"
"It's called Xanadu"
"Oh cool man, what's it, about ancient warriors, Kubla Kahn, all that stuff?"
"Close... It's a musical about a Greek muse who inspires an man who repaints album covers for records stores to open a roller rink. And there's gonna be an animated sequence"
"We'll shoot in in L.A. and be high on blow the whole time"

And thus Xanadu is born. I could keep going, but you really should experience it yourself. You probably won't be able to sit through the whole thing in one sitting, but when you do finish it, it will be your favorite movie.
So after The Producers, Hairspray, and any other number of great movies that get farted out and gayed up on Broadway there is no way they could ruin this. Who's with me!?

some wonderful Xanadu stuff.

love the Japanese (not the one above)
I was still in LA, and really sorry I missed this.

Friday, April 20, 2007

This week Poet/Hip Hopper Saul Williams (who I thought was from DC, but apparently not) wrote an open letter to Oprah after her show on Hip Hop. I didn't see all of it, I don't know everything he's talking about other than it looks like its the same shit that all the other scared confused old people talk about whenever a youth culture movement becomes prevalent whether it is Hip Hop now, or Rock & Roll in the 50's or Jazz in the 30's. This ____ is dangerous to society. Whatever. Ask an Iraqi child walking down the street whether they care if Don Imus or Dr Dre says Ho, Bitch or Nigga(er), but ask them quick before they're kidnapped or killed.
My beef is with the main Black Crusader (Tracy Jordan I've got you) herself. I think she can do great work, I think she can inspire people. I also think she's a hippocrite. I say this not blindly, as working on a talk show for several years, every day at 3pm all tv's in the office turned to channel 7 to watch (and ultimately rip off) what she was doing. Sometimes I enjoyed it, but mainly it was so difficult to watch her smugly slither her way through topics, shunning any possible view but her own. At least on The View that nut ball Hassleback gets to speak a little. So here is my very short letter to Oprah

Dear Oprah,
How is a young man supposed to distingush between a woman in a video having cash thrown at her ass in a bathing suit, and with Kirstie Alley, a paid spokeswoman for Jenny Craig (are women supposed to lose weight, or be happy with who they are, thats another thing), coming on to your show and prancing around in a bikini? How do you reconcile your supposed charitable nature with the fact that you own 9 homes (At my last count) , one of which you paid 50 million dollars for, 30 million over the appraised price because it just wasn't for sale. How do you tell women and men (James Frey I'm looking at you) to be honest and open with themselves and others while seemingly living a closeted gay lifestyle. How can you say you opened a school in South Africa rather than America because you feel kids in America wouldn't say they wanted an education over an iPod or shoes, implying that American children are overly materialistic, and then do an hour long program devoted to how you couldn't buy several thousand dollar handbags at Hermes after they closed? Please understand that you put forth many confliciting images on your program, which some less kind people may use to call you a hipocrite. No me though. I understand that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, and that you live in several houses made of diamonds so throw whatever the hell you want.
With loving kindess..... Paul Dean Garrison Hogan


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Slander Panda!!!!

Today we premier our first report from The Slander Panda. Born and raised in captivity in the West Hollywood Zoo, in a cage decorated by Bobby Trendy (it's horribly our of fashion and he hates it) he hears all and sees all from the celebrities and industry big shots that frequent the zoo with their families. Families of course are foreign born children and dogs under 10 pounds. Once a week he escapes and goes to Bear night at The Abbey. While out he gets us our weekly dish on all the sneaky hush hush off the record truths crawling under the gilded rug of Tinsel Town, before going back to his plush cage.

So Now I present.... The Slander Panda!!! It's all 100% true, and verified, so eat it lawers! Try and sue a marsupial.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Buy This.


Being Awesome is not a Crime.

This is the first of hopefully many mix tapes I hope to bring to you on Pretension. I have a couple of turntables and a mixer, and yes a microphone, although I rarely use that as I find white people speaking in DJ sets, no matter how cool, always sound like wedding DJ's. I am no master driver of the wheels of steel, but I can hold my own with music selection and general kick assedness. Now I really love spinning old Jazz, Funk, and Psyche/Prog stuff, but I love all music. So I hope to share with you a sampling of all of it.

So rather than make an iTunes mix which is impersonal, easy, and expected I hooked up my mixer to a Mac and started spinning. This was true linear editing. Like a mix tape, if you wanted to change anything at the beginning, tough noogies, you're out of luck. So I had been planning on making some mix that would wow you with my knowledge of Deep Funk, or rare psyche albums that would drop some serious grooves into your soul... but then my friend sent me this article. It is Rolling Stone's list of 25 Greatest Guilty Pleasure Bands. It includes ELO, Rush, Bon Jovi, America, Hall & Oates, and a ton of other great albeit "un-hip" bands. I am assuming lists like this are part of Rolling Stone's and Jan Wenner's attempt at "Hipifying" their dinosaur of a publication. The first part of that was clearly by displaying that they can be cynical, uninformed, youthful shitheads to just like those kids bloggin on the internet. They did that with that abhorrent reality show. The 2nd part is clearly to marginalize the historical bands that built Rolling Stone.

This is what's wrong with indie kids today, and kids in general. No understanding of musical history. Or history period. You don't get Arcade Fire's big sound without the sweeping grandure of ELO. You don't get Gym Class Hero's (the Fall Out Boy of hip-hop) without Supertramp. And you don't get anywhere in music by shutting out or shitting on any band without experiencing it for yourself. I did that for a while, it got me nowhere. Is there bad music out there? Oh yeah. Are there bad bands on that list? My god yes. Would I mock someone and think less of them for listening to it? Possibly, but thats only because I can be a jackass. But in reality if it works for you, love it, dig it, play it, dance to it, whatever.

That's why this past Saturday afternoon when I was gearing up to attempt to record a hipster set of tunes I was messing around with some of my less cool records and I was playing a 10cc song I hadn't heard in forever. I thought of this list from the day before, started the song over again, hit record, and threw on tunes for the next 54 minutes that I would be proud to burst out of my car at high volume. There are some skips, a couple shitty fades, and the sound blows out on some songs, but hey... when were mix tapes, real mix tapes, ever perfect.

So put this on and remember... You Have Nothing To Feel Guilty For

oh yeah, and I did a little cover art for it too.


That's a Hell of a Hat That Your Wearing

I have some fun movie reviews and all that shit coming later today or tomorrow, but I just want to take a second and toss in my two cents about this Virginia Tech thing.

When 9-11 happened, we stopped air travel for a while. When we thought that terrorists would bomb planes with bottles of water, lotions, perfume and the like... we banned them from planes. If a car or dog food is hazardous, they do a recall. So I can only assume that when a man goes in and kills 33 people with a couple of handguns that they'll probably ban that as well. In fact I will go so far as to say that they first presidential candidate that stands up in the next couple of days and doesn't spew forth the clich├ęd rhetoric of sorrow, God, and sadness but rather stands on the senate floor, or at a podium in Middletown, America and looks straight at the camera angry as hell and says that we have to get rid of guns... I'll vote for them. I keep seeing the news people try to draw comparisons between all the mass murders of the past 50 years. They are lonley, men, depressed, reclusive, lack empathy, blah blah blah... They also all carried guns. I doubt this Korean guy could've run into these rooms and stabbed 30 people to death. I don't think that you could throw baseball bats from a clock tower in Texas and take off someone's head. So unless you want to ban lonley people, putting the internet out of business, or ban men, which would do wonders for my social life, you're going to have to ban Guns.

And a letter to the media.
This is a tragedy, treat it appropriately, give it coverage, give it respect, and realize in the future that last week you gave the same amount of coverage for a crazy old man that insulted a basketball team that never would've heard his insults if you hadn't made a story out of it. I hope this give you some frame of reference. Cenile Racists and Baby Daddy's aren't worthy of 24 hour news coverage. And drawing blood from a stone doesn't count as coverage either. Thanks.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Books and Binocs

I thought I'd put a little post up here with a couple reviews. I made it a goal of mine to start reading more. And since there is only one more Harry Potter book out there I felt it was time to stop buying all my books out of the back of the Weekly Reader. In all fairness I think I've read more books in the past couple months than I did in the past couple years. What can I say I like TV, and movies. I'm also pretty sure that all bookstores in LA only sell books about screenwriting and how to make it in the biz. (Here's a hint, if you're buying those books...give up.) But now that I'm in Seattle, which I found out was named after the only native american tribe with a written language. Coincidentally their word for book was also the same for coffee. Fascinating stuff. Here is a quick rundown of a couple...

The Forever War: Joe Haldeman

Wow. This thing is the liberal Starship Troopers. This book tells the tale of a man involved in the genesis of an intergalactic war between earth and an alien race. Through the use of wormholes and travel nearing the speed of light he falls prey to relativity and although he will be gone for only a handful of months, every time he returns to earth decades have past. A true work of science fiction, not fantasy, as Haldeman does his best to cram it with amazing theoretical science and sociology. From several month long deceleration periods to avoid crush G's to the rise of Homosexuality as population control. Go get it, you will not be disapointed and you will be amazed that someone hasn't taken this and horribly mangled it on the way to the big screen. Although if Alfonso Cuaron wanted to make a companion piece to Children of Men, this would be it.

World War Z - Max Brooks
If you are remotely interested in any of the following; Zombies, The Apocalypse, War, Sociology, Big Business Corruption, Mangled Foreign Policy, Hubris, Hope, Human Will, Military History, Medical Mysteries, Celebrity News and a ton of other stuff, pick up this book. It is a comprehensive look at the history of a world changing event, from how it happened, why it could of been avoided, how it could have been handled differently, and dozens of other perspectives from the most public to the picayune. It is really a book filled with many different Zombie movies. Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later, Resident Evil would be mere chapters in this book. This book also goes further and bigger than any movie has (or probably could). All of it written in a non-exploitive, inquisitive and caring way. Please read.

I also have seen that the audio book for this looks all kinds of amazing, with voice talents for each story told from Rob Reiner to Henry Rollins. I may have to get it.

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

I chose this illustration rather than the book cover because it was what first made me want to read this book. Its a terrific description of the novel. Reading up on this book online I see two views. One describes it as a novel about a Father and Son running from cannibals in a post apocolyptic world. This makes it sound like an action novel, it's not. The other view is that I see it's in Oprah's book club, which makes it seem like its going to be more a soft touchy feely kind of read, it's not. Set several years after a more or less unexplained catastrophy it is the tale of a Father and Son clinging to life on a road searching for something better. The catastrophy (most likely nuclear) has left the world barren, and these two search for food that doesn't talk. Not so with much of the other remaining population.
Told in a poetic style, with little punctuation aside from periods it conveys the silence of a dead world. Not light Sunday reading, but a fascinating and touching story of hope.

For any fans of the show Jericho, this is what the 10th season should look like if they don't puss out and make the world get better.

There are other books, but for now this will do. Go get them, enjoy them. Next I'm going to finally start reading Dune. I've seen the movies enough times.


Finally, as a quick little note. I have started taking pictures from my window here in Seattle with my digital camera through binoculars as a zoom lens. I like the results.

Friday, April 06, 2007

New, In Stores...

Well one store anyway.
I am proud to say that after some searching and the beginning process of learning the fantastically irritating process of selling I have gotten some of Rushin Teen's gear into a store. If you are in the Seattle or PacNW area go to Fancy on 2nd ave in downtown to see (and buy) some shirts. I want to thank Sally there for taking me in. Its a cool big step for me and very exciting. Also check out their sister store Schmancy a couple doors down for some really sweet Vinyl Toys. They're helping us continue our strange addiction...

I also have to say that we love our new apartment. The place is huge, almost too big, but we're not complaining. We find ourselves hanging out in the 2nd Bedroom/Office just because its a smaller room and we're more used to it. I have a feeling we'll get the hang of the space. We'll have to have a party soon. Like we know anyone.

Here's some pics of the place. The one up top is our view.. No big deal.

check it.