Wednesday, June 29, 2011

this is centro-matic

playing "Strahan Has Corralled the Freaks" in Chicago just about 4 1/2 years ago.

they may well be the best band in America and they're playing the Mercury Lounge in New York City tomorrow night.
I will be there and it will likely be the last general admission show I ever attend, which should tell you something about just how good these guys are (even if their excellent drummer/producer/photographer Matt Pence is too Texas cool (a likely paradox, I know) to send me a Facebook friend request).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

new releases: two women, one genre

in the past week (and in one case today) Gillian Welch (The Harrow & The Harvest) and Jolie Holland (Pint of Blood) have released long overdue albums (though Gillian's library fine would definitely be larger than Jolie's).

and while I have no subject relevant, cobweb-covered prose to offer, I can tell you that the last book I ever read was Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN (give it four out of five stars, though Amazon readers trend lower, apparently because their expectations were greater than the book delivered, which doesn't seem to be the book's fault), the last movie I ever saw in a theater was Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris (the New York Times offers a cheat sheet) which, while containing a certain charm (give it three stars out of five), falls far short of even other potentially one-note mid-career work like Zelig and the last movie I ever saw on DVD was The Matrix (yes, I'm saying that I'd never seen The Matrix until this past weekend) which was horrible on so many levels I feel like I'm not in on the joke.

good night, Cleveland!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Corey Smith has a new album

so do Bon Iver and Centro-matic (at the Mercury Lounge on June 30th).

but we're trying to keep with a theme here so let me repeat that Corey Smith has a new album (which I haven't heard, and for this I blame Marty (and not Marty Moose nor Morty from Meatballs)) and I have some old prose on the man which I personally think is worth reading.

and if you're in the NYC area, Corey will be playing an unusually small show at the Mercury Lounge on July 11th.

and that is all (except it's the first official day of summer, the longest day of the year and somebody's wedding anniversary).
just saying.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Madeleine Peyroux has a new album

it's called Standing on the Rooftop and it came out this past Tuesday and the reviews are what you might call mixed (I haven't heard it so don't ask me).

but Will Friedwald writes somewhat positively on behalf of the Wall Street Journal, though he goes back to the whole in the wake of Norah Jones and doesn't she sound like Billie Holiday thing even though he professes to be "reluctant" about doing so.

and while I certainly understand the instinct, it is kind of an old angle if this piece I wrote nearly seven years ago for her "comeback" release of Careless Love (one of the very first features I wrote for the future at the time and past in the present Village Voice music editor Rob Harvilla) is any indication.

now back to interviewing (two scheduled for this afternoon), because that's what I do now.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I really don't want to be shilling for ESPN

I mean, God knows they don't need my help, but . . .

if you're scrambling for a Father's Day gift (or, in my case, a Father-in-Law's Day gift), you could do worse (much worse) than the ESPN 30 for 30 Limited Edition Collector Set from Amazon for $49.99 (it lists for $149.99).

this is an excellent series if your dad (or someone else) is even a marginal sports fan: Michael Jordan's year of minor league baseball in Birmingham (by Bull Durham director Ron Shelton), the rise and fall of SMU football (the death penalty qualifies as a fall, right?), The Legend of Jimmy the Greek, Muhammad (Ali) & Larry (Holmes) by Albert Maysles (one of the Maysles Brothers behind Gimme Shelter and Grey Gardens), June 17th, 1994 (white Bronco is all you need you to know), Four Days in October (for Red Sox fans only), Fernando Nation (Steve Wynn, the guitarist, not the gambling mogul, would really enjoy that one), The Best That Never Was (on Mississippi running back Marcus Dupree) and on and on and on (all the way up to 30) for $49.99 when most individual titles run from between $12.99 and $17.99.

anyway, so there's some wholly inelegant prose, but 30 very well done, hour-long films for $49.99 is a really, really good deal.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

tonight's non-hockey action

placed three heirloom tomato plants firmly in the New York City ground (no goals, two assists)

made a big batch of barbecue pork chops (one goal, no assists)

watched HBO's Bobby Fischer Against the World (no goals, no assists)

listened to Will & the Bushmen's Gawk album for the first time in a long time (no goals, one assist an even longer time ago)

and while all of that was going on, the Bruins beat the Canucks 4-0.
the series is now tied at 2.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

the fine line we walk in an attempt to complain without sounding like we're complaining because, really, we're not complaining

today's episode: jackhammers
(and between me and the jackhammers there are chainsaws, so there are jackhammers and chainsaws and an old man sitting in a chair watching it all, but he's not really bothering me)

and yes, I have to close the windows to hear myself think (not that that's always the wisest course of action) and it's hot and closing the windows makes it hotter but it's not like it's Alabama hot, you know.

and I don't have an interview this morning, so it's not like really important work is being interrupted or overwhelmed.
in fact, Lost in Translation (this version is just $2.99 at Amazon) is on one of the HBO channels and has been since 9:25, and I don't have a problem turning it up really, really loud (though I can, of course, still hear the jackhammers).