Archive for category Music

Anatomy of a Late Night

New Year's Eve has totally thrown us off schedule. For some time (the formula for which is: NOW - # of years we've had a dog) we've been consistently in bed by 11, 12 on weekend nights, with 1am being a notably late night. Head hit the pillow at 3 again last night and I'm delineating Why for myself so I can find the error

  • 8pm: Watched Tropic Thunder which turned out to be exactly what I thought it was, a decent three-and-a-half star comedy, something that's not so easy to find nowadays. Perhaps the comedy palate has grown more sophisticated since the days of Meatballs, though the trailer we caught beforehand, Van Wilder: Freshman Year, suggests otherwise. Amazing the amount of work shitty comedy writers ("And then her tits pop out!") can still get while more talented writers ("It was a surprise for all when her breasts sprang free of the bespoke bustier she was wearing.") go hungry. Movie opens well with fake trailers, then nose dives for a bit until it sets up the story. Would be worth sitting through for Robert Downey, Jr. alone. Tom Cruise was better than I want to admit.
  • 10pm: Rock Band. As my poor X-Box can attest, I'd jumped off the Rock Band train last fall. I'd gotten good enough to play some on Expert but was still way overmatched by certain songs on Hard (and always songs like "Foreplay/ Longtime" that take half a goddamn hour to point out you're going to fail for the fiftieth time, never some Ramones ditty that's over in 1:58). A light clicked on and I realized "playing" a "game" doesn't involve nearly popping a vessel in your head and throwing things after the age of 5 or so. I was fine with no more Rock Band, there was no hole in my life.

    Then I heard The Gaslight Anthem's new album. After playing it non-stop for a week, the damn drummer(1) hooked me back into Rock Band. Thankfully things have gone a lot better since. Even managed to skid through "Don't Fear the Reaper" last night, failing just late enough to make it to the end.
  • 1am: Bill Burr, Why Do I Do This? via Netflix. Discovered him last week on Comedy Central, causing another late night. The set was so good I was ready to sit through the repeat airing until smarter heads prevailed. I've been obsessivley listening to his old podcast episodes this week. Can't believe he can spitball an hour worth of funny on a weekly basis.
  • 2:30am: This is where things really fell off the track. It started to go wrong in the 1am hour when we re-watched something we'd seen a week before and wound up cracking the emergency PBR 12 pack in the frige, but I could have just shut down the X-Box, finished the beer and gone to bed. Instead I have to page through the Netflix Instant Queue, even though if anything in there was worthy of watching at 3am I'd have watched it already. Nope, a half hour later it's 3am, we're only halfway through the pilot episode of Macgyver, the beer's all gone and I realize the level of tension wasn't high enough to keep anyone but me awake. The possible rocket explosion will have to wait until we have more beer. Actually, to honor the spirit of the show, I should really brew some Pruno in the toilet. How Richard Dean Anderson isn't starring in anything more than my dreams nowadays is a mystery.

Postscript, 8am: dog gets up in bed, throws an absolute shitfit, leaving me wide awake with the better part of 12 beers still coursing through my veins. I think it's some sort of Temperance thing with her, trying to get us off the Devil's Brew.

1. Brush with fame: the drummer went to elementary school with a friend of mine. The amazing part is my friend went to elementary school in New Jersey and still wound up bright.

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The AV Club

has replaced deadspin as the one place where I read the comments. The first 100 or so in the earth-shatteringly important Square Pegs review are terrific. I'm guessing it's as much a function of being close in age to the majority of the posters as it is any great coming together of Internet humorists. I'm basing that assumption on scant evidence: the number of people who remember an 80s show and the fact one of the posters has a nick based on a MC Paul Barman line. Speaking of MPB, he has new tracks out but they didn't do it for me on first listen. Don't take my word for it though; I tend to immediately stop listening whenever someone on the 'net starts a foreskin debate.

Burying the Hatchet

In the interest of patching up, E from the eels has invited the President to a concert (or three). No word from W's lady-in-waiting yet.

SXSW Music Torrent

Literally. Somehow in the course of a year, the online music sampler from SXSW went from 60 songs to 48 hours of songs, so I'd given up hope of finding anything new from this year's SXSW. Fortunately for me, Paul Ford was willing to step in and act as a filter. All via his 6-word limit Twitter feed.

Rock Band Track Production

Interesting to me for the bits they discovered in well-known songs' master tracks:

Even a seminal punk band like the Clash yielded some surprises. Even wonder why the drums sound so good on “I Fought the Law”? Because there’s two drummers on it (or more likely, drummer Topper Headon recorded his part twice)—something that became clear when Brosius picked the mix apart. Thus, the drum parts you play in Rock band are a composite of those two original drum tracks. The Spanish backup vocals that you’re used to hearing on the middle verse of “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” originally ran through the whole song; and the parts are still there on the tapes—You can hear a little more of the Spanish bits on Rock Band than you can on the record

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That Was Quick

Once wins Best Original Song at the Oscars last night (here's the song in the movie) and today the soundtrack is the best overall selling album at Amazon. Cool. I still wish he didn't always go to the falsetto when he needed something extra.

New Pornographers Video

This might be enough for me to forgive them for what they did to me in Rock Band with "Electric Version".

New Mountain Goats Album

Streamed here. Join me in crushing their servers, won't you? That video still weirds me out. At least it's a semi-original spin on the Dylan ripoff.