Friday, January 31, 2014

MST3K Friday: Super Bowl Edition

In honor if this weekend's Super Bowl, here is a collection of MST3K clips where the guys refer to the Packers.

"High, Little Buddy."

Monday, January 27, 2014

Song of the Week: Far From Any Road

HBO does a good job of picking theme songs for their shows. The Sopranos set the tone, but the ones for Treme and Boardwalk Empire follow in the tradition (I posted Boardwalk's a while back). I'm not sure if I "like" HBO's new show, True Detective, but it's compelling enough to bring be back for the first couple episodes.  They have a good, and fitting, theme song, too, and the music from the rest of the episode is equally strong.

True Detective's theme song is "Far From Any Road", by The Handsome Family.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Recent Books

I haven't posted any recent book reviews, so I'll just blame it on laziness. Here are some quick hits on my recent reads.

The Accidental Creative by, Todd Henry. It's not about ways to be more creative, it's how to be ready to be creative by preparing. There were parts of the book that were annoying, like when he kept plugging his website to go buy a product or when he said "we'll get to that later" when it was already 50 page into the book. The book is mostly a synthesis of other hugely popular methods for organizing, like David Allen's influential Getting Things Done.  There are some good tips in here and I've proposed a couple to my co-workers.

Hell to Pay by, George Pelecanos. This was more Drama City than Right as Rain. I didn't really feel any tension in the story and didn't care about any of the characters. I kept being reminded of Elmore Leonard's Rules for Writing, especially Rule #7: use patois sparingly. A lot of the characters spoke in a "street" dialect that gave the novel some authenticity, but was distracting by how overwhelmingly it was used. Pelecanos has been hit or miss for me, so I'll read him again, but not for a while.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by, Susan Cain. Good examination of how introverts and extroverts view and experience things differently. Dives deeply into The Extrovert Ideal. Built on a ton of recent research, but with enough anecdotes that it doesn't get too dry. A very interesting read.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Song of the Week: A Girl Like You

The Smithereens is a rock band from Cateret, New Jersey. They have a very "college rock" feel. How can you dislike a band that wrote a song that quotes from the great Bogart flick "In A Lonely Place"?

Here is "A Girl Like You":

Friday, January 17, 2014

MST3k Friday: Leech Woman

Here are two clips from Leech Woman. This is one of the movies I haven't seen yet.

"Where does your aunt keep the liquor?" "The liquor? Well, there's never enough to keep..."
"She doesn't want me? What's her deal?"

Monday, January 13, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

MST3K Friday: Future War

"Is this a halfway house for huge guys?"
"Good thing we switched places there."

Monday, January 6, 2014

Song of the Week: Amoreena

Over the Christmas and New Year's break, I watched Dog Day Afternoon. It's a fantastic, gripping movie with great performances by Al Pacino (before he became a parody of himself) and Charles Durning.

There is no soundtrack to the movie, no score, no nothing except Elton John's "Amoreena" playing over the opening credits. The credits (which I suggest you watch here) set the mood of the movie by showing exactly how New York City looked in the 1970's; it's a drab, dirty, depressing place full of crime and poverty. This is the pre-Giuliani and pre-Koch New York. There are some people who complain that New York is now "Disneyfied", but I doubt anyone would want to return to the bankrupt city of the mid-1970's.

While New York was low, Elton John was at or near the height of his creative output. The song "Amoreena" is a great example of how good Elton can be. Here is Elton John with "Amoreena":