Archive for October, 2008


Summon your Eagle Powers!!

October 29, 2008

I just have to say one more time how much I enjoyed Nacho Libre. It’s got that same kid-clever vibe that Harriet the Spy and television show Pete and Pete had. Which I guess is no surprise because all were Nickelodeon-branded productions.

If you’re a snobby movie viewer who is going to be turned off at the dumbness of Mexican characters inexplicably talking to each other in heavily accented English, don’t watch this. You won’t enjoy it.

If, on the other hand, you allow yourself to enjoy the inspired stupidity of it all, you’ll find that this movie is as heartwarming as it is silly. All kids and adults will enjoy it, but here is absolutely no way you can miss Nacho if you have pre-teen boys at home. It’s perfect for them.

Nacho is the most quoted film in my home right now. In fact, young Nicholas is dressing up as a Mexican luchador for halloween–just as soon as I get him some stretchy pants to go with his mask and cape.

If you can appreciate the silly, rent this movie. If you have kids at home, rent this movie. If you like Jack Black, rent this movie.



October 27, 2008

I don’t know if you know this, but apparently there’s an election happening next Tuesday.

I am sticking to the prediction I made many months ago: Obama wins the presidency and does so with at least a 5% margin of the popular vote. He’ll also flip a so-called “red state”–probably Virginia.


Music history

October 21, 2008

When I first discovered music at the age of 11 or 12 I listened to:

  • AC/DC, Back in Black, 1980. (And this was my first live concert, too. I saw them at the LA Sports Arena in 1980. I was blown away.)
  • Pat Benatar, Crimes of Passion, 1980.
  • Journey, Escape, 1981. (Used to listen to this with my friend Brian on his cassette boombox.)
  • Triumph, Allied Forces, 1981
  • Led Zeppelin IV, 1971. (I had this on 8 track. Enough said.)

A couple of years later I moved on to:

  • Ozzy Osbourne, Diary of a Madman, 1981. (Worst. Album cover. Ever. Although I gazed at it with near-orgasmic rapture when I was a kid. I don’t think the album holds up to well these days, even though you can still catch some of this stuff on the radio. On the bright side, however, Randy Rhodes still sounds incredible on many of these tracks. Dig the solos in “Over the Mountain.” Amazing.)
  • Iron Maiden, Killers, 1981. (We’re angry, we’re loud, and we kind of like the gothic horror movie esthetic.)
  • Rush, Moving Pictures, 1981.

    Judas Priest, Screaming for Vengeance, 1982. (Terrific guitar riffs and an amazing vocalist. Did they have a bass player, though? Nobody seems to remember.)

As an older teenager, I branched out into:

  • The Police, Synchronicity, 1983
  • Paul Simon, Graceland, 1986
  • Todd Rundgren, The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect, 1983
  • Peter Gabriel, So, 1986. (What an incredible album. Today, though, I find Gabriel’s songs to be so painfully intimate that I can’t stand to listen to it. Weird.)

As I entered adulthood:

  • Sting, Dream of the Blue Turtles, 1985
  • Edie Brickel & The New Bohemians, Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars, 1988. (I think I’m the only person alive who didn’t know she was Paul Simon’s wife. Terrific album, though.)
  • Indigo Girls, Nomads Indians Saints, 1990. (This stuff woke me up to how positively sublime folk music could be. Emily and Amy are really good, and they’ve been so good for so long that I’m always a little startled when I meet people who don’t know about them.)
  • David Arkenstone, In the Wake of the Wind, 1991. I saw this guy at Summerfest where an acquaintance of mine was hired to play percussion for him. Think of this stuff as instrumental Enya with a twist of fantasy literature.)
  • Sarah McLachlan, Surfacing, 1997
  • U2, Rattle and Hum, 1998. (The first CD I think I ever owned.)

In my mid 30s my interest in new music (and my newfound ability to discover it via the internet) led me to:

  • Frou Frou, Details, 2002.
  • Psapp, Tiger My Friend, 2004
  • Delerium, Poem, 2000
  • Toby Lightman, Little Things, 2004
  • Venus Hum, Big Beautiful Sky, 2003
  • Bjork, Greatest Hits, 2002
  • Butterfly Boucher, Flutterby, 2003
  • MIA, Arular, 2005
  • Cibo Matto, Stereo Type A, 1999

I’m back!

October 21, 2008

Not only am I back from my honeymoon in Mexico, my blog is back from…wherever it’s been!

Apparently it was just a networking problem and not a serious malfunction of the server or software. Meanwhile, take a look at this photo.

I’ll start posting in earnest shortly!