Sunday, February 26, 2006

Oscar Spasms

As a fan of film, I dig the Oscars. In my heart I don't think there should be "competition" in art, but the Oscars are fun. I remember being totally into them as a kid and getting totally pissed when something I liked didn't win. I remember CHARIOTS OF FIRE and GAHNDI beat movies I really, really liked (although I can't remember which ones) and I was furious.

We always have a big Oscar party and we chip in $5 and pick the winners. Whoever gets the most wins the pot. But here's the thing....

I start out thinking about my Oscar picks and my first instincts are always the best. Then I start over analysing the whole thing. For instance...BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN is going to clean up. It's a fact. BUT...I keep hearing this rumbling that CRASH may sneak in there and take a few things. God, I hope not. But still, I start flip flopping in my mind. I know BBM is a better movie and it's become a cultral phenom. Plus, I hate CRASH. But...everyone loves CRASH. Everyone also loved BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN. If I had my druthers, I'd vote for MUNICH because it's the best movie of the year. But it doesn't stand a chance. I learned long ago not to vote with your heart, you're sure to lose if you do that.

And so it begins. I have started psyching myself out and will continue to do so throughout the week. Why do I do this to myself? I should just go write my picks down right now and be done with it. But then my mom will copy them and I'll never win. Ugh.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bob Stinson

It's hard for me to believe that Bob Stinson, founding guitarist of The Replacements, died 10 years ago today. He's probably my all-time favorite guitarist and has long been a hero of mine for the simple fact that he was so talented and also so screwed up he squandered it all. Or did he? He simply was who he was and I love that guy. I've been a big Replacements fan for a long time and it was Bob's insane guitar work that brought me in. Later I got hooked on Westerbergs lyrics, but it was Bob who got me first.

He was a funny, bnoxious, loser, winner, drunk sweetheart and I wish I could've seen him play. In rememberance of one of my true heroes, here's a eulogy delivered at Bob Stinson's funeral. See you at that swingin' party down the line, Bob....

Here is his eulogy, as delivered by Jim Walsh of the St. Paul Pioneer
Press at his funeral at the McDivitt-Hauge funeral home on February 22,


Words fail me, as they have failed most of us over the past few days.
Yesterday, Carleen asked me if I had known Bob very well. I couldn't
rightfully say that I did in the traditional sense of the term. For
that reason, I was a little reticent when Anita asked me to deliver
this eulogy. But like everyone here, and another multitude who aren't,
I know Bob's spirit very well.

And it is a spirit, as I have discovered, that is next to impossible
to hold in a room, pin down on a piece of paper, or capture with a
couple of stories. At first, I didn't have my own words, so I stole
someone else's. This is from "On The Road" by Jack Kerouac:

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to
live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same
time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn,
burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders
across the stars, and in the middle you see the blue center light pop,
and everybody goes, 'Awwwww.'"

That was Bob. That is Bob. And you know what I mean, because we all
have our Bob stories. They're etched in our faces, planted in our
hearts, like seeds we never thought would ever bloom into anything much
more than memory. Of course, now we know better. This week, all the
seeds blossomed into vines, and tangled permanently around our hearts.
This week, we learned a lot about Bob, a lot about ourselves, and just
how much we will miss this fabulous yellow roman candle.

Bob stories. Over the past few days, I've had the privilege of hearing
quite a few told and retold. It was like a wonderful game of dominoes
that elicited as many tears as laughs. Everybody recounting tales about
Bob's wit, his loving gentleness, his sense of humor, his appetite for

And, as a matter of fact, there have been an inordinate amount of
stories about just his appetite.

Anita remembers when Bob was five years old. The family had moved from
Minnesota to San Diego, and Bob and Lonnie made a practice of taking
the 25 cents Anita would give them for the church basket, and buy
cherry pies. Clearly, it was a pattern that would play itself out in
adulthood, or when Dog's Breath, and later the Replacements, started
up, Anita remembers feeding the entire band, and often a slew of their
friends, after they'd practiced at the houses on 36th and Bryant and
22nd and Dupont. Bob would always eat his fair share. With the
Replacements, his penchant for eating fast food in the van earned him
the nickname of Bob "To Go" Stinson. As the rest of the guys would sit
in the restaurant, Bob would go in, get his food, come back and sit
alone in the van until he was ready to eat. Two hours would pass,
sometimes, before he'd dig in. Peter always figured it was because he
liked to eat his food at room temperature.

One of my earliest food memories of Bob is 15 years ago, when the
'Mats were making "Sorry Ma" over at Blackberry Way. Steve Fjelstad and
Peter were in the control room, and had just finished a take, and they
were getting ready to do another. Suddenly, Bob was nowhere to be
found. Then just as suddenly, he was back. Before anyone could say,
"Where's Bob?" he had snuck out of the studio, raced to Burger King
which was a good two blocks away and returned. He set up his Whopper,
fries, and Coke on his amp and was ready to go.

One of the last times I saw him, we sat at a bar and I bought Bob and
Mike Leonard some drinks. Bob caressed the menu, rolled his eyes with
that coy look he'd give you, but he never asked, because that wasn't
his style. He just looked at me out of the corner of those mischievous
winking eyes until I melted, caved in, and bought him a cheeseburger
and fries.

Bob stories. It seems like we've been telling them for most of our
lives, and I have a very good feeling that it is a tradition that will
not end after today. Carleen remembers his love for skipping stones,
fishing, walking around the lakes and by the railroad tracks, and as a
father who loved Joey with the fierce, all-encompassing passion of a
papa bear. Tommy remembers his as a great brother, the two of them
running around the house as kids, flicking the sides of each other's
heads with their fingers until it felt like their ears were going to
fall off.

Chris remembers the day Bob physically grabbed then 12-year-old Tommy,
who was running around with his friends, by the shoulders, and dragged
him into a Dog's Breath practice. Like any good big brother, he talked
the other guys into letting the kid play with the bigger kids. Paul
remembers Bob's special genius, his ability to rail against the stuffed
shirts, the status quo with aplomb. Paul calls it, "creative insanity."

My memory is of him walking, always walking down Hennepin, around the
lakes, down Lyndale, clutching that omnipresent brown bag of his. I
swear I saw him last night around midnight on 22nd and Hennepin I even
did a double take and I wouldn't be surprised if it was him. Last
night. That's when it hit me: the streets of this town are going to be
a lot quieter, and a hell of a lot less fun, without our Spanky roaming
them. Patrolling them.

Bob stories. The ones that probably stick in most of our heads are the
ones that have to do with his guitar. It all started on Christmas in
1969, when Anita bought Bob his first guitar, an acoustic one. He took
to it right away. By then, the family had moved from San Diego to West
Palm Beach, Florida, where Bob played softball, joined Cub Scouts, and
continued a love for the water that had started in California. Anita
remembers the time he took a summer job mowing lawns, and, after a
rainfall, tore up a customer's lawn on a riding mower. Clearly,
landscaping was not his forte.

Around the same time, he learned how to play guitar, and he made some
very good friends through it. When Bob's grandfather died in 1973,
Anita moved the family back to Minnesota, to the house on 36th and
Bryant. Bob was 15 at the time, and the move was rough on him. He found
solace, and learned to express what he couldn't verbalize, through his

For the first couple years after moving to Minneapolis, Bob was
unhappy until he found friends, again with his music. First time Christ
ever saw him, Bob was bumming around the neighborhood on a girl's bike.
He had long hair, like his hero, Steve Howe [of Yes], and was sitting
on the curb smoking a cigarette, sneaking a listen to Christ playing
guitar and drums up in the bedroom. They eventually hooked up, formed
Dog's Breath, and later the Replacements. The rest, as Anita says, "was

Throughout his life, the guitar was Bob's main mode of expression. And
even though he will be remembered most as founder of the Replacements,
the fact is, he got just as much joy playing in Static Taxi, as the
collage attests, the Bleeding Hearts, and the numerous other bands he
played with over the past few years. He brought the same
no-holds-barred approach to all o fit. He did not play for fame or
wealth. He played simply because, as he once said, "I have a gas
playing the guitar."

That was abundantly clear, just from watching or listening to him. He
became an inspiration to hundreds of thousands of guitarists out there,
but there never has been and never will be another guitar player like
this one.

I'm sorry to have to bring everybody down ever more, but I have to
report that I saw the Eagles last night. Bob was there, too during
"Rocky Mountain Way." But I'm here today to say that there are
countless quote musicians out there like the ilk of the Eagles rich,
famous, practiced, accomplished, clean, stylish who don't, in the
entire membership or body of work, have the artistry, abandon,
instinct, ability, guts, humor, or feel that Smokin' Bob Stinson had in
his little finger.

There are a million Eagles out there, but there was only one Bob

More than any guitar player I have ever seen or heard, Bob had an
uncanny ability to actually fuse his personality with his guitar, and
express himself through it. His leads made you actually crawl inside
him they were funny, intense, sad, and joyful, all at once.

Chris talks about when the 'Mats would do "Rock Around the Clock" at
100 miles an hour, and about how much he loves it when the lead came,
and Bob would, unfailingly, nail t to the floor. There are countless
other such moments you could name: the other worldly magic "Go" and
"Johnny's Gonna Die," the manic force of "Dose Of Thunder," the goofy
insanity of "Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out," the barely controlled chaos
of "Customer," and on and on and on.

Along with his playing, of course, there was Bob's special panache he
rough to the stage. I remember that magnificent face, scrunched up like
he had a secret. I remember his falsetto on "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,
Yeah" and "Little G.T.O." I remember him ripped off a lead he'd be
particularly proud of, flicking his wrist like "waiter, my check," then
patting himself on the back, all in one motion.

And, of course, there was the wardrobe. The gorgeous, and always
tasteful, dresses. The Hefty garbage bags. The overalls. The Prince
"1999" t-shirt. The little jean jacket. The genie get-up that prompted
Chris to start calling him "Sim Salabim." One night at Duffy's, my big
brother and I rolled a garbage can up on stage. It came to rest
perfectly, next to Paul. Bob pulled it back by the drum riser and
climbed in it as the band spun into "Rattlesnake" or something.

Halfway through, the thing tipped over in slow motion, and Bob and the
entire contents beer bottles, food wrappers, everything- spilled out
all over the stage. I remember being worried about Bob for a second,
but he kept playing, never missed a beat, and popped up, indestructible
as ever. And when he did, we all saw that he'd lost his skirt and that
he was buck naked underneath.

To this day, I have never laughed harder or had a single moment so
fill me with the pure wonder and liberational power of rock n' roll.
That power was evident off stage as well. Paul talks about the last
time he saw Bob. They were both walking on the same block, at different
ends of the street, and they met in the middle. They hadn't seen each
other in a while, but they talked about guitars, music, and Tommy like
no time at all had passed.

Others have said the same thing. Bob was one of those guys you had an
ongoing conversation with. It always seemed like you picked up where
you left off with him, even though you weren't even quite sure if he
remembered you, or if you had mattered to him. But then he'd amaze you
with some remembrance, or a lost nugget that he wanted to tell you that
he'd filed away in that wonderful spin art mind of his.

Slim remember Bob as a teacher; the most uncompetitive, giving
musician he's ever met. Lori Barbero remembers the last time she saw
Bob. He was tugging on her shirt at the Uptown, urgently, peskily,
until she finally turned around and gave him a hug. He didn't want
anything else. That was all. That's all he wanted to give, and to get.
A hug. In some of their last encounters with Bob, Peter and Jim Boquist
had similar experiences: After a typically all-over-the-map Bob
conversation, he surprised them both with a hasty, out-of-the-blue,
"Love ya, man."

Yesterday, Anita got a letter from one of Bob's many fans. "I'm not
sure guys like Bob know what they mean to people who love their music,"
he wrote. "For me, Bob's guitar playing always made me feel like I
should keep moving in life, no matter how much the odds seemed stacked
against me. I grew up with Bob as one of my heroes. He will always be
one of my heroes, somebody I'll tell my kids about someday."

I think that pretty much sums it up for all of us. Late Monday night
as I was gathering my thoughts to write this, my little brother called
me up on the phone, and he was sobbing. He articulated some things that
I had been feeling; that Bob's death was more than the passing of a
tremendous musician, a wonderful father, son, brother, friend, husband,
grandson, or uncle. He said that a little bit of all of us had died
with him.

I suppose that's what people say whenever someone dies, but everyone
here knows exactly how true it is. The weird thing of it is, my little
brother had never even seen Bob play. Still, he felt it. He felt the
connection. He felt the spirit. He felt the loss.

And at the end of the day, that may have been Bob's greatest
contribution: through his guitar, through his magnanimous good nature,
he made people feel like they were his closest friend. Better yet, he
made us feel like we were in on that secret little joke that hid behind
his omnipresent grin.

There are people in this room that I haven't seen, or seen together,
for a very long time. Leave it to Bob to get us all together for one
more swingin' party. HE would've thought the suits and ties and pomp
and circumstance were silly, he would have wondered where the beer was,
and he would have been embarrassed by all the attention and the tears.
And what his passing means I can't begin to explain, but as Robert
Frost said: "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about
life: It goes on."

And Bob goes on. On the phone the other night, through his tears, my
little brother told me that his band played "Sixteen Blue" at the
Cabooze last week, and that when he went to Slim's gig Saturday night
at the 400 Bar, Slim played one of his newer songs, "Big Star Big," and
sang, "I wanna be a big star like Bob Stinson." At this, my little
brother and I were both getting pretty choked up, so we started to say
goodbye. As we were about to hang up, I heard myself say something that
I haven't said to him in a very long time:

"Love ya, man."

In the past few days, you've probably said something like that to
someone you haven't said that to in a very long time. Rock n' roll
doesn't always lend itself to such blatant sentimentality, but this
week we have all been provided with a chance to get a little closer to
each other, and a lot of unspoken feelings have been spoken. WE have
been reminded that people are precious, that the bonds that we have
made through this slippery thing called rock music are not dismissible,
or intangible, or imaginary, or Other. They are real. For that, for all
of that and so much more, we have Bob to thank.

So thank you, Bob. Thank you for bringing us, all of us, together not
just for a day, today, but for yesterday, all the yesterdays, and
tomorrow. Thank you for touching us, for linking us, for helping us to
recognize all the phony bullshit, all the stuff that doesn't matter,
that the world throws our way. Thank you for cutting through the crap,
always. Thank you for making us feel like we were part of something,
like it was us against the world, and you were the third base coach,
wildly waving us all in. Jumping up and down. In a dress.

Most of all, thank you for allowing us to glimpse, ever so briefly,
your irrepressible, childlike spirit. Thank you for allowing us,
forcing us, to acknowledge the very natural connection between
hopelessness and happiness. Thank you for this glorious gift. Thank
you, you fabulous yellow roman candle, for lighting our fuse. May it
never burn out.


We miss you, Bob.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Welcome to the Blog, Bloggy McBlogenstein

Over at Film Threat we gots BLOG FEVAH...and the only cure, as you may have guessed, is MORE BLOGS!! So Mark has added links to all us FT writers blogs and other blogs as well so I'm expecting a lil more traffic over here. But, we'll see.

If you're new to my blog....hi. Hope you feel like hanging around. Go to Petaluma Filmsand check out my projects and feel free to buy some cool crap in my merch section. If you've been here awhile, the same goes for you.

Also, sorry for the lack of updates, but nothing much is new. We just got Comcast digital cable with ON-DEMAND so that's basically what I've been doing for the past few days. More on that later...(hint: God is definitely a man!)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Over on Pete's Blog, he started a funny little internet game and tagged me to play along. I usually can't do these things because I end up beating myself up over what should be in, what I put in and changed my mind about, what I'm (evidently) full of shit about, etc. But I played anyway. At the end, I'll pass the buck and probably to the 3-4 people who read this blog and comment people have been warned.

Four Jobs I've Had:
Shoe Salesman
Pizza (and beer!) Delivery
Film Courier

Four Concerts I've Never Seen but would like to have:
1. The Replacements...preferably on the "Let it Be" or "Hootenanny" tour
2. The Beatles at Candlestick Park
3. The Who at the Cow Palace (When Keith Moon passed out and they had an open audition for a drummer to play the rest of the set)
4. Slobberbone's last show

Four People I'd like to meet:
Jeff Tweedy
Stanley Kubrick
Sarah Silverman
Michael Savage (I'd love to smash his face in)

Four Movies I have Memorized + a few:
Say Anything (chicks dig me)
Kicking and Screaming (Baumbach, not Ferrel)
That Thing You Do!
Reality Bites
The Apartment
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

Jesus....I have an odd affection for girlie movies...

Four Sites I go to everyday(too lazy to link em):
Film Threat

Four TV Shows that were cancelled because because I liked them:
Twin Peaks
Northern Exposure
Six Feet Under
Love Monkey...oh, wait...

Four Places I want to visit before I die:
New York City (during baseball or football season preferably)
Paris, TX (just kidding, France)

Four People I'm now tagging

Neil Harvey (he may be a closeted genius)
Mary Colleen (she reads my blog and is usually pretty funny...usually)
Trent (because he won't do it)
Erica (because she's about to have a whole lotta free time)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Weird Sunday Night

Really, really weird in fact. here's what happened...

I had a class all weekend long. 9-6...Saturday and Sunday. Brutal. However, I didn't have to work today so that was nice. As such, I wanted to finally watch BUBBLE and decided to get some beer to enjoy with the film. I walked down to 7-11 and got some liquid refreshment and some snacks. As I started walking back home (a mere 3 blocks) I crossed the street into a gas station. Sitting there in the middle of the parking lot was this teeny, tiny BMX bike. It was like, 2 and 1/2 feet tall. I looked around and saw no one so I started wheeling it around, checking it out. It had 2 flat tires.

I heard someone across the street and looked up to see this cracked out looking dude in a Cosby sweater. He's just staring at me. I go, "Hey man, is this your bike?" He looks at me and doesn't say anything. Finally he kind of shrugs and says "No." Then he starts to walk away and looks up in a tree next to him, stops and says, "is this your clock?" There was a white clock just sitting in this tree. I say, "nope....not my clock." At that point, I was waiting for David Lynch to cue the dancing midget. Since it didn't come, I started walking home.

It's been super nice here weather wise and last night was no exception. So I decided to sit in the small park next to the church half a block from my house and drink a beer in the cool evening. I sat down at one bench then realized I was facing oncoming traffic and with my luck of late, I was sure a cop would stop and harrass me. So I moved. As I sat there chilling out, I see a guy walking a dog down the street. As he gets closer, I realize he's blind. He walks by where I'm sitting and I immediately wonder if he can sense me there and whether or not I should say hello or something. I admit to feeling awkward around the blind. I mean, is it rude not to say hi or will saying hi scare the living shit out of them because they didn't see you sitting there. He walked away so I just let it go. Then a minute later, he came back.

Again, I didn't want to scare him but as I watched him, his cane got tangled in his dog's leash. He like....stopped, the dog kept going and snagged his cane. Then they did this crazy dance and the dog was like "dude, help me help you. It was sad...yet admittedly comical. I waited for him to get untangled and finally, quietly said "Hi." He said Hi back and asked for directions. I gave them to him and went back to my beer.

Sure enough 5 minutes later a cop pulled up and interrogated me. I told him my wife and I had got into an argument (not entirely untrue) and I just needed to get out of the house for a while. He was extremely nice and commended me for leaving an angry situation. He then made me throw away my beer. I should note here that this happened a scant 10 feet from where I got my ticket for riding a bike without a headlight a few months back. Anyway, he was cool and didn't write me up. I went home and put on BUBBLE...watched 20 mins of it and woke up at 4 a.m.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Jeff Tweedy at the Fillmore, Part deux

Last nights show was pretty much superior to Wednesday nights show. I mean, I loved em both, but last night was just....better. For starters, Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche is one of the most amazing musicians I've ever seen. Notice I said musician, not "drummer." The guy is on another level. Another planet. His set was him on an interesting drum kit playing to some loops. Then he got creative. He would pull this surgical tubing through his snare (I think) and capture the sound, then loop it. He did that with several unique sounding objects. About 1/2 way through his set he jumped up and opened like....25 little boxes behind his kit. Inside the boxes were crickets that started chirping when they saw the light. He used that as a backdrop for some really cool Asian influenced drumming. All in all, it was mesmerizing. Then out came Jeff...

I won't post his whole set list because most people have no clue what I'm talking about with 3/4's of those songs. Highlights were...."She's a Jar" (which he played second, such a great, great song), "Black Eye (an Uncle Tupelo classic everyone loves but I never really dug...until last night), "Spiders (Kidsmoke)" (which is a cool song on album, but played acoustically is hardly recognizable....I think it's better), "How to Fight Loneliness" followed by "Someday Soon," "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" (again, when played solo acoustic, you really see how basic, yet stunning it is), "California Stars" (amazing! It was my wife and I's first dance song at our wedding so I called her and let her hear it) and "GUN!" "Gun" for me is a song that when I hear it, I'm immediately transported to a place in my life. Strangely, I love "Gun" yet it marked one of the crappiest times in my life. I was living 20 miles away from Petaluma and waking up everyday at 3:30 a.m. to get there for a job at UPS. I was in a relationship that was failing faster than Steve Martin's career and living in a tiny room with friends I never got to see. Yet "Gun" and moreso, Uncle Tupleo's "Still Feel Gone" kept me going every morning.

Jeff also came out with Glenn and played a great mini-set. Those 2 are great together. And, as much as I love JT, something's going on between them. If he comes out in 10 years and says he and Glenn have been Brokebacking it, you heard it here first. All kidding aside, they just seem to genuinely enjoy each other's company musically and otherwise. During "Heavy Metal Drummer" Jeff kept trying to get Glenn to twirl his sticks and he wouldn't do it....until Jeff looked away. then he'd do it and everyone would go crazy. Classic. Then Jeff made my month complete by stepping to the edge of the stage and playing "New Madrid" acapella without a PA. It. Was. Amazing.

I guess I can get on with my life now, but a not-so-mysterious package just arrived that may preclude that. Pictures to follow.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Jeff Tweedy at the Fillmore....Night One

As was to be expected, last night was amazing. I have to say crowd I've seen at a show in a long time. There was virtually NO talking and if people started yammering, they got shooshed. Way to go San Francisco! I put some pics above of the upstairs room at the Fillmore. It's so cool there. Just hundreds of posters from the olden, golden days of rock. Seeing posters for shows that cost $5 and had like.....The Band, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Chuck Berry and (usually) Wavy Gravy on Can you imagine? The music bizz is so whacked out now a show comparable to that would be like, 10 bands for $100 at an outdoor place where you can't see shit.

Anyway, enough waxing's the set list....I cribbed it off, the super Wilco fansite:

Sunken Treasure
Remember The Mountain Bed
Muzzle of Bees
(Was I) In Your Dreams
Bob Dylan's 49th Beard
Please Tell My Brother
*Amoeba Records story*
The Ruling Class
Pieholden Suite
new song-Is That The Thanks I Get?
I Can't Keep From Talking
Passenger Side
Airline to Heaven (w/Nels Cline on dobro)
At My Window Sad and Lonely (w/Nels)
A Shot in the Arm
Far, Far Away (w/Glenn Kotche on drums)
Laminated Cat/Not For The Season (w/Glenn)
Heavy Metal Drummer (w/Glenn)
I'm The Man Who Loves You (w/Glenn)
In A Future Age (w/Nels and Glenn)
*happy birthday to Matt (the guitar tech)*
War on War (w/Nels and Glenn)
Acuff-Rose (performed at the edge of the stage, without the PA system)
That last one was amazing. It was so quiet Jeff sang the whole song and when he was done, the place just erupted. Jeff told some great stories, was funny and engaging. Nels Cline opened (I missed him as I wolfed down some $12 nachos and a $3 coke upstairs) and then he came out and played some songs. Glenn Kotche also played and Jeff seemed alot more comfy having him onstage. All in all, a great night. I was going to take some pix of the man onstage, but they would've looked crappy. I can't wait for tonight!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Jeff Tweedy Or...How I stopped Worrying and Learned How To Die

YES!!! I just got a Wilco reference AND a Kubrick AND a Peter Sellers reference all in one headline! I rock! I'm downright GIDDY cuz Jeff Tweedy comes to town tomorrow and Thursday for TWO SOLD OUT SHOWS AT THE FILLMORE!!! I could not be more excited. I saw him solo a few years back and it was just awesome and reports from this solo tour have been nothing short of glowing. I am bummed I have to duck out of my screenwriting class early tomorrow, but it's Jeff FUCKING Tweedy! Since Billy Wilder died, Tweedy is my only living idol...and Paul Westerberg...and maybe Cameron Crowe. But still. Tomorrow. And Thursday. Jeff tweedy at the Fillmore for 2 sold out shows. OOoooh! I'll even get a kick-ass free poster of the show! Woo-hoo!

Story in progress.......

Monday, February 06, 2006

Funny Monday Stuff...

Happy Monday everyone! Here are 2 things to brighten your day...

1. While at Sundance, me and the boys decided that Steve Martin must be stopped. Thus, I created an "Open Letter to Steve Martin" over on the Film Threat blogs located here. I think it's funny anyway.

2. Last year, Eric from Film Threat got a DVD of the "Found Footage Film Festival." It's all these insane videos that people have found at thrift stores, in basements and on old VHS tapes. They put em all together and then the films tour the country. Well, our favorite is "Jack Rebney, the Angry Man" and boy, is he PISSED. Eric gave me a DVD of the whole fest, but his part is still the best....even better than the Wendy's new employees rap or the Mr. T love yourself video.

I google searched Jack Rebney and found the video online and you simply have to watch it. It's NOT SAFE FOR's about 90% swearing. It's the outtakes of Mr. Rebney trying to make an RV infomercial. Watch it here. You won't be sorry.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

But I'm trying to be supportive!

So since my usual routine of getting off work and going immediately to Dempseys has been temporarily derailed, I had to find some other things to waste my money on. I was looking forward all week to buying Steven Soderbergh's movie BUBBLE because I really dig him and it's the movie that they're releasing on DVD, in theaters and on PPV, all at once. It's an interesting idea and I support new ways of getting small movies to the people. So on my way to work I stopped at Best Buy, no BUBBLE. The doofus there said it doesn't come out until next month which is BS because you can buy it on Best Buy's website now.

After work I went to a local retailer...Backdoor Music (formerly much cooler and formerly Backdoor Disc and Tape) and my buddy there said that they were supposed to have it, but that the shipment is all screwed up on their (the distribution) end. Fine. F-it. I'll rent it. Incidentally, I did pick up Rockpile's (Jim Edmunds and Nick Lowe) only album, a KILLER retrospective CD of "The Animals" and the new "Cat Power" album, THE GREATEST. Gotta spend that money! Might burn a hole in my pocket.

So I headed into town and to Hollywood video. Long story short, no BUBBLE! What the hell?? How can you spend tons of cash on this distribution model, PR, news shows and then totally shank the release??? I hate shit like that. I ended up renting MILLIONS (FINALLY! And it's amazing!!), RED EYE (excellent!! Great suspense and one of the most economical, taut and solid scripts I've seen in a long time. And Rachel McAdams is amazing) and THUMBSUCKER which I will watch tomorrow. But dammit, I really want to see BUBBLE!! Why they gotta burst mine?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Freaky House

A while back I stole my friends idea to try and take a picture every day. Well, I've been sort of good about it, but haven't really got anything worth sharing. But today I remembered this freaky old mental hospital that's about a block and a half from the school I work at so I grabbed a quick photo. I'll try and take a better one some other time, but I like the smudgy look. Reminds me of that scene in THE SIXTH SENSE where Toni Collette is looking at pictures on the wall of her son and notices every one has some weird little flash of light in it.

This house is super freaky looking.....way too cool.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Oh, Winona

I am an unabashed fan of Winona Ryder. Part of it comes from the fact that we went to Junior High and High School together, although I vaguely remember seeing her there. Maybe once...maybe. She started taking off as an actress as we entered High School, and I remember being totally amazed that someone from our podunk town could rise to be involved in movies. It all seemed like an impossible journey to me. As I started reading interviews with her, I realized that we both loved THE REPLACEMENTS (the band, not the Keanu Reeves movie).

While everyone else was into MC Hammer or INXS, it was a rarity to find someone who liked the greatest rock and roll band of all time as much as I did, alas...she was gone. As time rolls on I've also discovered that she likes Wilco almost as much as me. For instance, this was taken from an appearance on Conan O'Brien a while back:

Conan: People that can sing, I envy them - and I really can. I can't but I just always think that's the greatest, in a way, the coolest gift.

Winona: It is. I mean, you know Jeff Tweedy, I think he has one of the best voices I have ever heard.

Conan: Well, you bring it up, Wilco is on the show. And you are huge fan of Wilco?

Winona: I'm the most enormous fan of Wilco ever.

*SIGH* My heart just skipped 2 beats.

So I admit I have a bias about her, but I still think she's an outstanding actress. I just don't understand why she gets treated so unfairly because she dates rock stars and got in trouble for stealing. Who the hell cares!? People simply cannot get past these things and they are totally overlooking a really solid actress. People have such a hard-on for Angelina Jolie that they totally overlooked Winona in GIRL INTERRUPTED. Winona carried that movie but Jolie got to be intense and freak out so she got all the attention. That role could not have been done without Winona playing the foil. Plus, she's received 2 Golden Globe noms for "Little Women" and "The Age of Innocence," 2 Oscar nominations for the same AND has worked with almost ALL the best living directors such as Scorsese, Coppola, Jarmusch, Linklater, Burton and Woody Allen. Yet google search her and f-ing "arrested for shoplifting" is the all over the page!

Not only all that, but she's a good person. When Polly Klass was kidnapped and murdered here in Petaluma, Winona came home to help. She didn't do big photo ops, she just wanted to help. She even donated reward money. A few years back my good friend Andy Levine made an awesome movie called THE DAY MY GOD DIED ( about child prostitution in Bombay. Winona narrated it because she believed in the material. Yet we don't hear about that stuff. All we hear are snarky jokes.

I'm only writing about this because I just finished a review of her newest movie THE DARWIN AWARDS Yet again, people are dissing the movie (fine. I loved it, but it is kind of silly) and moreso, bagging on Winona. People want so desperately to see her fail and I just don't get it. Can't we move on and let her be an actress again? When is this prison of judgement going to let her out on paraole? What does she have to do to earn peoples forgiveness???

I'm hoping the picture below will be a step in that direction. It's a still from Richard Linlaters A SCANNER DARKLY and it looks RAD!!! Go Winona! Don't let the assholes get you down!!!