Music To My Ears: ‘The Can’t Get Enough Of’ Selections -Pt. 1

30 01 2007

I’m sure you have your own ‘Can’t Get Enough Of’ selections. You know the ones that grab you and don’t want to leave you, the ones you keep playing and playing and playing and still can’t get enough of? Don’t fucking deny it, you have them too.

Let’s start with the latest one. Couple of mornings ago. I wake up to go to work. I usually turn on NY1 to check the weather. On my cable box it’s channel 60. 61 is VH1. I usually quickly go over to 61 to see what’s playing. I don’t have a remote so I have to reach out and use the plus and minus on the box, next to my bed. Channel 59 is static. Not much surfing possible there, you see. So…The Fray’s ‘How To Save A Life’ comes on. The piano intro and Mark Pellington’s name was enough to fuck me. I knew right away that I wouldn’t be able to function properly until I listen to this song to death (no pun intended). Yes, the same Mark Pellington who brought us Pearl Jam’s ‘Jeremy.’ As I’m writing now, the piano intro is on a loop inside my head. It will keep playing while I sleep, tomorrow when I am on the train, and tomorrow night when I sit back here again to write something else.

Please don’t write me and tell me I have a rare musical disease bordering mental collapse or something. Anyway, let me start with 3 such songs.

The Fray’s ‘How To Save A Life’

I stumbled into the following almost the same way as ‘How To Save…” NY1 weather…why not check out VH1…boom…pants down…music fucking for the next few days.

Five for Fighting’s ‘The Riddle’

Procol Harum’s ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’ happened to me in 1995. It was at a Language of Film class (Prof. Lindley Hanlon – Brooklyn College – if you must know). She screened ‘New York Stories‘ for the class and the Scorsese film started with this song. You can guess the rest.

Procol Harum’s ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’

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Just Consumed

26 01 2007

I plan to make this a regular until I don’t feel like it anymore. Click on any image for details. SNAP will take care of preview.

MOVIES:

takemyeyes.jpg affairlove.jpg sophiescholl.jpg

What they have in common:

  • Foreign Language (duh!) (Spanish, French, and German)
  • Great acting (esp. ‘Affair’)

What I liked about them:

  • Clear storyline
  • Characters
  • Subtitles ‘disappeared’ after the first few minutes.

Extra: Sergi Lopez (‘Affair’) is a brilliant actor. He is in Pan’s Labyrinth and Dirty Pretty Things.

BOOKS:

wickedson.jpg wounded2.jpg

The Wicked Son: I’ll read anything by David Mamet.

Wounded: My last short film dealt with the effect of war on a soldier, so the title grabbed me at the library.

TELEVISION:

extras.jpg Extras on HBO

MUSIC:

12songs.jpg van.jpg

12 Songs: Load it up on your computer/iPod and listen to it from beginning to end. Intimate, stripped, tight, and bare. At first didn’t do much for me, but I keep going back to it.

Magic Time: Van Morrison is Van Morrison. ‘Stranded’ is a beautiful, beautiful song!

AUDIO:

Sit With Me – A short radio piece on PRX about 12-year old Cameron Ledoux who talks to his father about the elder’s depression.

DRINKS:

Had a bit of a cold, so a trip to the local health food store introduced me to

gypsycold.jpg





On Dakota Fanning and HOUNDDOG

25 01 2007

All of a sudden the rest of the world has become a better parent than Dakota Fanning’s. The movie didn’t ‘rape’ her. You’re all doing it to her and her family now. Congratulations and fuck you!





Bling for Blogs

18 01 2007

I couldn’t come up with a better title so I rephrased the NY Times article about bling-ing your blogs with widgets and such. If you think widgets are cool features only Mac users can enjoy, you’ve not been doing your research. Check out the Opera browser, which I’d stumbled into some months ago and had fallen in lust over its cool features, namely the ability to have widgets for your PC or Mac (desktop or web) and availability of many, many skins for the browser itself. Since then Opera has upgraded to version 9.1 and has added more bells.

You’ll just have to test drive the browser to see what Opera has to offer you. Once you’ve downloaded and installed your Opera, you can create widgets out of your favorite blog or site’s RSS feeds. Now look on the sidebar of this blog. Do you see the Widgetize this blog icon? If you click on that, my blog will automatically be added as a widget on your Opera browser. It’s pretty cool!

The article mentions another site, Widgetbox, which I’ve tried out, but haven’t explored. I’ve, however used Springwidgets (Feedburner users probably know of this already), and have embedded my other blogs on my MySpace profile page. So let’s say you have several networking sites and you’d like to promote your events or blog entries, you embed your widgetized RSS feed and anyone randomly dropping by any of your sites will get to see the latest post. Creating your own with Springwidgets is very simple. You type in your RSS feed, specify size of widget and it generates codes for you to copy/paste.

So no one assumed, I hope, that Yahoo! would just sit there and let the widget craze drive by. They too have stacked up a huge widget gallery for both Mac and Windows. Have a Java supported mobile phone? Niet problem…Widsets has made widgets for you too.

You can thank me later for ruining your work hours, after hours, and all hours playing with the widgets. LOST fans might like this particular widget. Wanna impress your boss when he sees you snooping around widget sites? Tell him/her that you were looking for an update of this widget to maximize package tracking efficiency. If this bullshit works, then you’ll have a fruitful career at the company. Congrats!





Call 911, TV Is Dying!

16 01 2007

I was watching the commercials last night with the Golden Globe breaks in between. Talk about mutual masturbation and meat auction that screams “I’ll suck your dick for a holler.” Almost every face that popped up on screen looked so desperate and eager for approval and kudos that I started to feel embarrassed for them. Some of them clearly didn’t want to be there but were so it would give them exposure and help the movies/TV shows sell. And what happens? I switched off before some ‘genius’ editor tried to fool me into thinking Warren Beatty somehow deserves a Lifetime award by randomly flashing clips from a body of work of…10 films. Why does Hollywood Foreign Press needs to kiss his ass, again? Chances are, you haven’t watched the show in the first place – or maybe you have to ogle at Jennifer Love Hewitt’s cleavage, or Helen Mirren’s. Each year the cleavage depth seems to go deeper and deeper. Next time I lose my remote, I know where to check. Chances are you were watching ’24.’ Chances are you like the empty space your TV used to occupy to place your laptop and control your entertainment. ‘I don’t own a TV’ used to be accompanied with a tear rolling down the cheeks of poor people, but it’s becoming a statement of luxury and pride.

Tell me, what part of Internet democracy some of you still find confusing? The eyes, the peacocks, the alphabets, and the wild animals are clutching on to the last few straws, but they still dominate and violate you writers, actors, directors, producers etc etc. With so many means of production and distribution, why do you need Hollywood’s permission or money to create and share your work? Why do you still gloss your lips so shiny that Hollywood needs a towel to wipe its behind. Networks: you can move to HD (when?), keep cancelling shows you should’ve never agreed to pay for in the first place, dance with the stars, mock average citizens on air, or pretend you really like YouTube. You know your end is near. Find your burial ground now because it will get crowded with the likes of you. You do know who’ll follow to the graveyards with you, don’t you: the Guilds, the Unions, the Associations, the Leagues? Yes, they’ll be next and they feel it too. Why am I smiling too much as I write this? Ask anyone with a computer and a high-speed Internet connection and a zero tolerance for your bullshit.

I should tell you that I had a different title for this post, a different angle and a really lame theme to follow it. But I kind of lost it after writing the first 14 words. I’ll never work in your town again? If I gave a fuck, my friend, I’d be devastated to hear that. 🙂





Tap That Axe! How Some Guitar Players Do It.

11 01 2007

If you’re used to watching them being played the ‘right’ way, these videos will make you look at the guitar differently. Guitarists go beyond missionary style with their beloved axe and throw in some slaps, elbows, and knuckles to get them to sing the sweet sounds of joy. That’s love.

Justin King

Erik Mongrain

Andy McKee

Bob Brozman

Adam Fulara

Stanley Jordan

BONUS:

Another Erik Mongrain





Google’s Docs: Collaborate: Writers: Students

10 01 2007

If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out this fairly new feature from Google, now is when you should. Docs feature is a lot like the Editor on blogs, WordPress as well, that lets you write, collaborate, and publish documents with more freedom than MSWord, although you are able to upload and edit an MS Word document or save a new document created on Docs as one. Neat, I’d say.
‘Collaborate’ is perhaps the best feature I like, as of now – students and writers will love this too – where a document can be worked on simultaneously from two locations. Let’s say the inseparable, albeit fictional, screenwriting duo Dick Johnson and Gina Twatsworth were in fact by the Atlantic ocean, but had Gmail accounts, they’d have no problem writing their latest Helen Mirren action script ‘My Master’s Lost His Fiddle-stick‘ together. No, Google Docs does not have a screenwriting software, yet, but stop for a second and tell me what “soft” ware Billy Wilder or Rod Serling had used besides their fingers. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before plug-ins for screenwriting are available for the masses with a Gmail account. Oooh, Final Draft would love that, wouldn’t they? But how would Johnson and Vulva communicate with one another? Umm…Google Talk? Skype? iChat?

Writing, saving and sharing documents can be a huge hassle with desktop-based word processors; perhaps that is so just in my case. With Google Docs you can share, email or save in various formats such as Word, RTF, OpenOffice, HTML (zipped), and, best of all, PDF. You can also have RSS feeds for your documents, upload to your blog, and do many more cool things I do not have the patience to go through. You can find more here. And some more at the Docs Blog.

I won’t get into Spreadsheets, but am sure there’s a lot you can do with it that doesn’t require you to wear a visor. If you’re creative enough, and I’m sure you are, you will find out ways to integrate Google’s Calendar, Toolbar, Blogger, Video, Picasa, and SketchUp in your daily, creative life. Let me just say, and I will repeat it on my next post, I promise, that it’s not what’s being offered right now that excites me, it’s what possibilities there are for future innovations that gives me multiple orgasms. There, I’ve said it.

Now you can ignore this post, ignore Google’s cool offerings, click the ‘Next’ button and read about how someone’s cat can recite The Waste Land by spelling out letters doing back flips. It’s your life after all.

But I should warn you, that cat is a fucking liar!