Thursday, September 30, 2010

Weaving through Russian traffic on a crotch rocket

I haven't done it myself, but I have to imagine this is what it's like. Make sure you watch it full screen for the full effect. This was posted by RichardW, so if you like it, check out his blog for some more death-defying shit seen from the daredevil's perspective.

I always wanted to ride a motorcycle, but I'm not sure I have the skills. Two of my friends had/have their own bikes and haven't died yet, but the closest I've come to riding a motorcycle was my friend's scooter as a teenager. He had just gotten it and was in love with the little thing when I visited his parents' house one time. I told him I didn't know how to ride one, but he insisted I try it out on the driveway. I carefully sat astride the "beast," turned it on, and promptly crashed it into a tree about three yards away.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Iron Maiden - Cross Eyed Mary

I have a special appreciation for cover versions. There's something about hearing an old song in a new light or seeing how one of your favorite bands re-interperets another. Here, Iron Maiden pays tribute to one of their forebears, Jethro Tull. The song was a B-side from the Piece of Mind era and got significant radio airplay. In fact, it was many Americans' first exposure to Maiden. It was popular enough that promoters begged the band to release it as a single, but they declined, not wanting to give the wrong impression of the band just for some quick success. This was probably the smart move as Maiden would go on to be well respected without much radio support and better known for their own compositions like The Trooper and Two Minutes to Midnight. A quarter-centurty on, most people don't even know about this cover.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The superhero/mayor who talks to machines and saved one of the Twin Towers

Having already touched on horror movies and live music, it's time for a post about one of my other great loves- comic books. Lately, I've been reading Ex Machina and I've devoured it in the same manner as Transmet and Y: The Last Man, which is to say I've read 50 or so issues in a handful of days. While it shares a lot of what must be BKV trademarks (geeky white protagonist forced into heroism by fate/chance, dreadlocked black friend who acts as contentious partner/conscience, high concept story with personal touches nicely handled by co-creator artist, politics more liberal on balance than the author likes to think, obvious usage of "faggot" and "nigger" in a "Do as I say" sort of way, etc), I prefer it so far to the much better-known Y. Then again, my biggest problem with Y was the "60 Years Later" coda and I'm still a few issues away from the end of Ex Machina. Will BKV squander all the good will he built up over 49 issues like he did before or will I finally let myself love unconditionally the work of this man who shares so much with me (early thirties, bald, in love with the sound of his own voice)? STAY FUCKING TUNED!

EDIT: Just finished issue 50. Same fuck you coda final issue bullshit as Y. And that's my reaction- WHY.

(Full disclosure: There isn't much sex in Ex Machina at all and the girl with the heart shaped window to her decolletage doesn't show up until a good 30-40 issues in. It doesn't even reflect the themes or the look of the series very well at all- just something to catch your eye.).

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Radiohead - Live From The Basement & "15 Step" at The Grammys

Here's a full hour of live Radiohead. The setlist is primarily derived from In Rainbows. It's not a bad CD, but I don't like it as much as the OK Computer/Kid A/Amnesiac triumvirate. That makes "Optimistic" at 34:50 the highlight for me. Even still, it's pretty cool to see one of the biggest bands in the world perform in what looks like an actual basement studio. Maybe seeing it in this venue will improve my impression of the album.

Radiohead - 15 Step (Grammy 2009)
Uploaded by marcuspessoa. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

Even if you're not a fan of "15 Step," you'll want to check out Thom Yorke, Johnny Greenwood, and the USC drumline performing it at the Grammys. The energy in this performance allowed me to finally appreciate the song. Radiohead seem to be above awards shows, espcially ones that take place in LA. But performing with some college-age Californians, Thom seems to be enjoying himself, even swaggering a bit on stage instead of just doing that weird headbobbing thing of his.

Drinking, commenting, and how not to do either correctly

I only need to drink on an empty stomach a couple times a year to remind myself what an awful idea it is. Can't sleep, feel nauseous. If I encourage only one person to eat a cookie or a piece of bread before they go out for a drink with their friends, then it was worth posting this.

Also, I can't seem to comment on any of my followed blogs. There's an option to "Sign In" at the top right of every blog, but clicking it only takes me to my Blogger home screen. Under the comment box, there's a choice of accounts with which to post, but selecting Google Account (not my name, just Google Account) does nothing. I can type a comment and it just disappears if I click Post or Preview. What gives? Until I work this out, you'll just have to take it on faith that I actually read and enjoy your blogs. I might even do a "Best Of" post that links to some of my favorite entries if I can't get this resolved.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Some of my favorite horror movie posters

Inaugural Post

So here we are. The first post of a new blog. Seems like as good a time as any to tell you I'll be posting a wide array of reviews, thoughts, and stuff I like here. Eventually a pattern will emerge and maybe, just maybe, you'll find something worth reading. At the very least, I'll be able to practice my writing skills while you refine considerable your reading skills. It's like we're partners!