Monthly Archives: August 2008

Radiohead @ The Hollywood Bowl

After all the drama associated with scoring the tickets back in April, Christine and I finally saw Radiohead in concert at the Hollywood Bowl this week. Hooray!

The band was in town for a two night stay at the Bowl and we saw the Monday night show (8/25), which according to the vastly different set lists I saw for both nights, seems to have been the better of the two shows.

For not only did the band play almost all the songs from their haunting new album “In Rainbows”, but they also did a beautiful, stripped-down cover of the Neil Young classic “Tell Me Why” from his “After The Gold Rush” album. Thom Yorke’s voice on that song was straight up beautiful. Really amazing!

And better yet, the band also dug deep into their vast library of tunes to play some of our favorite songs from “Kid A”, “Amnesiac”, “Hail To The Thief”, “The Bends” and even, to the delight of the crowd, one of their best-loved albums, the band’s seminal “OK Computer”.

Man alive, when those opening chords of “Karma Police” filtered through the Bowl during their final encore, you could probably hear the audience screaming from space. That place went insane!

Also surprising was a stirring rendition of the song “Cymbal Rush” from Thom Yorke’s underrated solo venture “The Eraser”. I thought it was cool that the rest of the band let him play one of his own songs during the first encore, and the fact that he flubbed up on the piano and actually had to start again was very funny and totally endearing. Yorke actually told the crowd to “Shhh” so he could remember how the song went…hilarious!

And though the music was absolutely transcendent, the things the band did with lights and video screens was out-of-this-world amazing. I seriously doubt Christine and I will ever see a show that beautiful, I mean, those lights onstage were just gorgeous.

I’m not sure how they worked the light magic, but the stage was draped with these kind of chandelier-like tubes (they might have been glass) that lit up, changed color and even simulated rain.

As you can see from the pictures — which appear here “on loan” from fellow Radiohead fan Amy who took them at the band’s Tampa show in May, thank, Amy! — the set was almost too beautiful to look at. Truly dazzling…

And cooler still was the way the band used the Bowl’s groovy new video screens. Rather than simply filming the performance, they actually split the screens into quarters with each section highlighting a different band member playing live.

Even more amazing was the fact that there were virtually no cameras visible onstage. So, I don’t know what kind of crazy hidden camera tricks they were working, but that shit was super cool. And just when you’d get used to the arrangement of the screens on the monitors, they would change up and rotate, collide, even overlap. I joked with Christine that it was enough to give you a seizure…but wow, what a way to go!

And though some of the jackholes seated near us were a little loud and totally annoying — one poserish ho bag spoke in a fake English accent all night…grrr! — the sweet scent of some fairly primo weed wafting through the multicolor air all around us more than made up for them.

All in all, a pretty amazing night under the stars with Radiohead…wow…

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Revenge of the Taco Trucks!

Woke up to some amazingly good news this morning. It seems that the ludicrous Taco Truck law we have mentioned more than a few times in these pages was overturned yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court by taco-loving Judge Dennis Aichroth. Olé!!

Actually, not sure if Judge Aichroth enjoys some spicy street taco action or not, but whatever he eats, he knows a stupid, deeply flawed ordinance when he sees one. And more importantly, Aichroth knows what we and our amigos at  SaveOurTacoTrucks.org have been saying for months now: “Carne Asada is not a crime”. Damn straight!

Aichroth declared in his ruling that the law effectively banning taco trucks was “arbitrary”, “too ambiguous to be enforced” and best of all, that “this attempt to restrict the operation of catering trucks…is a pretext for creating a ‘naked restraint of trade’ and, as such, must be declared invalid”.

So, while Supervisor Gloria Molina — the self-loathing Latina behind this inane law — stews over her appeal options, the rest of us will be celebrating in the streets tonight with a round or two of delicious street tacos!

Que viva la Superior Court!

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“The House Bunny”

I know there might be some haters out there who think this movie looks kinda lame, but let me tell ya, “The House Bunny” is one of the funniest, sweetest comedies I’ve seen in years. A candy-colored gem of a movie headlined by Anna Faris in a truly star-making role, “Bunny” is so funny that you actually miss some of the dialog from laughing so hard. Really!

And with a script this witty and fun, you don’t want to miss a word. I kid you not, amigos, you will be howling with laughter at some of this stuff.

And though some critics have slammed it as a female “Revenge of the Nerds”, as a serious fan of good college comedies, I actually think that is a huge compliment. For like “Nerds”, there is a sweetness beneath the laughs here that really elevates the material way beyond the typical frat/sorority house comedy.

Written by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith — the team that brought us “Legally Blonde” and the vastly underrated “10 Things I Hate About You” — and produced by Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison shingle, the movie is such giddy fun that the minute it ended, we wanted to see it again.

Seriously, I haven’t felt that way about a mainstream Hollywood comedy since “Knocked Up”. And though I waited a few days to buy that when it came out, I promise you, I will be first in line at Target when “Bunny” hits DVD!

Channeling Marilyn Monroe at the peak of her comedic skills, Anna Faris is not only hysterical, but also, like Marilyn in her best roles, almost heartbreakingly sweet. Playing a former Playmate tossed out of the Playboy Mansion on the day after her 27th birthday, Faris finds new meaning and her true calling by helping a group of misfit girls save their crumbling sorority house.

I know that sounds like a pretty basic premise, but, trust me, “Bunny” — mostly due to Faris’ sparkling presence — is anything but ordinary. And though she has lit up the screen with some kick-ass comedic performances in the past, this is the kind of role that will make Anna Faris a household name.

And with Reese Witherspoon long having moved on to boring, more so-called “serious” fare, the possibilities for our girl Faris are endless! So, go, Anna!

Of course, as fantastic as Faris is, the movie wouldn’t be complete without the amazing supporting cast, all of whom shine here. Colin Hanks, Christopher McDonald and Beverly D’Angelo (as the aptly named Ms. Hagstrom) all seriously rock, but the sorority girls at the loser house that Faris champions are incredible.

I had never seen Emma Stone and Kat Dennings in a movie before, but they are both spectacular. And I think the biggest surprise for me wasn’t that Rumer Willis can act — because she really can, and she is hilarious! — but that “American Idol” finalist Katherine McPhee can too.

Playing the pregnant sorority girl constantly eating from a jar of peanut butter, McPhee is a natural comedienne. The scene of her squeegeeing her pregnant belly at the car wash is already a classic, and watching her sing a horribly off-key karaoke version of “Like A Virgin” in a bar will have any longtime “Idol” fan rolling on the floor with laughter.

I should also let you know, that I absolutely loathed McPhee on “Idol” and was prepared to do the same here, but she won me over in a big way. I guess you could say that I finally caught the McPheever! Go, Katherine!

Oh, and speaking of singers…Tyson Ritter, lead singer of one of my favorite guilt-pleasure bands, The All-American Rejects, was also surprisingly good. Anyone who has ever seen one of their music videos knows that this dude has charisma, but the fact that he can back up that charm with some pretty decent acting chops is a pleasant surprise. And the goofy chemistry he shares with Stone in their scenes together is perfect. Really fun stuff!

So, if you’re looking for some sweet, frothy Hollywood comedy done right, check out “The House Bunny”. Who knows, if you see the movie in Burbank, we just might be sitting next to you…yep, it’s that good.

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Beijing Olympics: Week Three!

Everybody keeps saying that the Summer Olympics ended on Sunday, but according to our Tivo, Christine and I still have almost 48-hours worth of Olympics yet to watch. Weird…huh?

Well, the way I see it, until we finish plowing through the many moons of Olympic coverage we have stored up, the Games of the 29th Olympiad are very much alive and well in Burbank, amigos!

Now, before we get back to watching those rocking Synchronized Swimming and Modern Pentathalon finals, Christine and I just wanted to take a moment to wish that nice Michael Phelps boy well.

Man, we sure hope he wins all those swimming medals he came to Beijing for! Go for the gold, Phelpsy!

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A text message from Obama…

I don’t know why everyone’s all complaining that they didn’t their text messages from Barack Obama the other night when he chose Senator Joe Biden as a running mate. I mean, yeah, the story hit the internet fast and everything, but Christine and I got our text message from Obama just fine. See…

Ah, well, I guess he just loves us more. In any case, can’t wait to get our cool Obama-Biden bumper stickers! And though I still think an Obama-Clinton ticket would kick ass, we both actually dug much of what Biden had to say in the democratic debates earlier this year and his selection makes a lot of sense.

Plus, Biden has the all-important tragic backstory that wins us over every time. Biden’s first wife and infant daughter died in a car accident on their way to celebrate his first Senate win many years ago, and Biden was actually sworn in at the hospital bedsides of his two surviving sons. Wow…if we’d known that sad-ass story, we probably would have voted for him in the primary!

Seriously, that’s political backstory gold, baby. Man, I sure hope McCain likes the view from his seven houses, because something tells me he’s gonna be spending a lot of time in them come 2009.

Anyway, here’s hoping our guys have a rocking time at the Democratic National Convention in Denver this week. Christine and I loved that town almost as much as Nashville. Oh, and Barack, if you and Joe need any recommendations on where to eat or drink in Denver, text us, dude. We’ll totally hook you guys up. L8ter!

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“American Mall” song on Rock Band!

Heard the other day — from my non-gaming friend Ginger, of all people! — that the video game Rock Band is releasing some new downloadable songs to the Xbox 360 this week. And while the bands involved are both very cool — Duran Duran and Devo! — the biggest news in this household is that the other downloadable song is going to be “Get Your Rock On” from “The American Mall” soundtrack! Cool, huh?

Of course, I don’t own Rock Band (yet!) and we have a Wii, not an Xbox, so even if we did have Rock Band, we’d still have to wait a while to play the song. But how totally cool that MTV is releasing the song on Rock Band at all…yay!

I’m assuming Ginger heard about this latest development through one of her many visits to Duran Duran fansites and not from a sudden interest in hard-core gaming, but either way, thanks for the heads up, amiga! You rock!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go buy an Xbox and sneak it into the house before Christine gets home from work…

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“American Mall” t-shirts @ Sears

I know I already told you about the Arrive Lounge website a billion times, but actually had the chance to check out some of “The American Mall” t-shirts in person the other day at Sears, and despite the fact that they didn’t have my size (or my brothers) they still seriously rocked!

As expected, the women’s clothing selections are much more varied than the men’s, but my only complaint with the girl clothes was they didn’t have cool “The American Mall” labels inside. I don’t remember who made their clothing, but half of the fun of buying this stuff is that is has the name of the movie inside it, right? So, why not buy the stuff with cool labels?

Anyway, the two styles of men’s t-shirts they had at our Sears were a white version of the Weinerland shirt than Ben rocks so memorably in the movie and a black t-shirt with red guitars and the words “Get Your Rock On” splashed all rockerishly across the front of it.

Luckily I already have a Weinerland t-shirt that I scored at the post-premiere party at the Cabana Club, so I’m covered. But if you’re interested in scoring some of this cool swag for yourselves, you best get on down to Sears soon, because this week’s circular was all bout “The American Mall”, and from what I could tell, that stuff was moving fast.

And if after maxing out your credit cards at Sears, you’re still in the market for more cool “The American Mall” merch, check out the Seen On MTV shop at: MTV.com. They have some different t-shirts, purses, military style caps, beanies, and even a kick-ass 2009 wall calendar! So, check it out!

And no, I don’t get a penny from any of this stuff, I’m just a nerdy fanboy trying to steer you in the right direction, mall-wise…so, enjoy!

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