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Pass it on: Arcade Fire tix for sale--Wed. Irving Plaza 2/2!! [Feb. 1st, 2005|09:00 pm]
Argh you guys. Long & absurd story but I can't go to the Arcade Fire show at Irving tomorrow night! Please help me sell my two tix. (Sta, I don't have your correct cell! But of course I am handling all of this and I don't want to inconvenience you AT ALL. We'll talk.)
Anyway, I'm selling at face value for the pair which I believe is $43. This is a superhot sold out show that I'm pissed pissed to be missing, and I think it shoudl be easy to get these sold. So, indie rock folk, work your magic, pwease!!!
Go ahead & email me at jusrav@yahoo.com with any leads...
THANKS! And Sta & Zan, mleh! I'll explain soon. Retahded shit.
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Read this, and if you see only one movie this year... [Jan. 20th, 2005|09:44 am]
This interview is neat because it's A) Longer than 160 words B) Currently featured on the hp! But I'm providing a direct link to the article cuz, you know, not everyone is interested in the Hot Guy of the Day feature and stuff. (It's a real magazine tho. A gay Maxim, if you will? Ha)

King of the World: Interview with Dave King

Also, if you only see one Andrew Lloyd Webber musical-turned-film with voguers, crumpers, high-school-level makeup effects, middle-school-level lip-synching and special-ed-level cinematography, Phantom of the Opera is for you! Shout out to automatic_girl for her discerning cinematic taste.
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Current read/sees [Jan. 18th, 2005|01:05 pm]
Recently viewed films:
UPDATE: The Village (thru Netflix)
Yes, it was a lil cruddy, but not quite as bad as some have suggested. Certainly not excruciating like Signs. M. Night's strength certainly ain't with the screenplays. (The camerawork was pretty cool though.) Opie's daughter Bryce is cute but not a very convincing blind chick. I thought the twist (which I won't give away) was that she was a spy only pretending to be a blind tomboy in 19th-century clothing.

Hotel Rwanda
Fascinating and heartbreaking, and a little embarassing that I (and most Americans, right?) knew NOTHING about what happened in Rwanda in 1994. A really bizarre genocide in that it all hinged on such horribly petty stuff--who had the slightly lighter skin, who was treated less shoddily by the Belgians. Don Cheadle is great.

Who knew Mike Nichols had a Neil-LaBute-level of sexual/romantic cynicism to expound upon? (How you can be cynical about anything with Diane Sawyer as your wife is beyond me.) This isn't just sadistic for its own sake, though. It's the rare play-turned-movie that works, with razor-sharp, tightly economic dialogue and a Mobius strip of interconnecting relationships, manipulations and obsessions. Why am I writing all blurby? Anyway, Natalie Portman, I love thee with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns!

Currently reading:
Knee Deep in Wonder by April Reynolds
I'm a sucker for anything that clearly, even shamelessly references Toni Morrison, Zora Neal Hurston and Faulkner. Unfortunately the title has inspired a perennial loop in my head of "We Built This City" by Starship because of the line in the song about being "knee deep in the hoopla." And the only way I can escape that is to think of that OTHER Starship song from the same era, "Sara." Which had a B&W video with Rebecca DeMornay and some ugly brunette chick and a tornado somewhere in the Midwestern plain. Which somehow brings me back to the book, set as it is in rural Arkansas (a place called Stamps, to be exact). And then I think of Grace Slick again, among all those disenfranchised Depression-era African-Americans making the most of their lives through community and church and memory, or whatever.
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Current reads/sees/hears [Jan. 11th, 2005|01:12 pm]
(Trying to keep aforementioned resolution of blogging the books/movies/music of the week/month/whenever I feel like updating. Merci, a_cup_of_tea! Ha.)

Currently reading: Animal Crackers by Hannah Tinti. Last book completed was Brick Lane. In regard to the latter, don't believe the hype! Some really evocative, memorable prose and certainly a fascinating peek into a culture & cultural phenom of which I know little...but the next Zadie Smith? I think not. Some really melodramatic and cliched plot elements.

Currently listening to (thanks to actual CD purchases or stuff I got onto the iPod thru various illicit sources--actually one illicit source, an omnivorous music-fan coworker who hooks me up with MP3 mother loads every now & then):

SMiLE, Brian Wilson
To the Five Boroughs, Beastie Boys (I was dancing & skatting on a treadmill in VT thanks to this)
Showtime, Dizzee Rascal
The College Dropout, Kanye West
The Essential Bangles, The Bangles
Greatest Hits, Paula Abdul
Greatest Hits, Taylor Dayne
All the Great Hits, Diana Ross
UPDATE: The Alchemist of Pop, Joe Meek (awesome early British rock crap I never thought I'd like but did so so much)

The last song I purchased on iTunes was "Independent Women, Part 1," Destiny's Child. Because I already downloaded "Bootylicious" and I needed to compare.

Recently viewed films (in theater or Netflix):
Million Dollar Baby (believe the hype. If I hadn't left my seat I think I might have actually started crying during the credits.)
The Incredibles
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Anchor Man: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (holy crap. funniest movie ever.)

(and we watched some OC, Nip/Tuck, Arrested Development etc)
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Books read in 04 [Jan. 4th, 2005|10:20 am]
Belatedly I am posting (as a matter of record, for myself?) the books I remember reading in 2004. I think there might be a few missing here--that's what happens when you don't keep a log of current reads a la a_cup_of_tea! That is a resolution for 05--at the very least, use blog to record what I'm reading, watching and listening to...Oh, and given the rather skimpy size of this list, I need to read more books and less of the trashy mags I get for free. (Although I say Vanity Fair and New York magazines are both worthwhile, and of course NYTimes.com.)

A few of the more random-sounding books are by authors who I had to interview for work. Even if I didn't love the book (shhhhh) it was neat to talk to someone about their massive literary (or not) endeavors and then read the fruits of their labors (or vicey versy).

Love in the Driest Season by Neely Tucker
Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani
The Ha-Ha by Dave King
The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty
100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Timoleon Vieta Come Home by Dan Rhodes
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
Nickel & Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
The Known World by Edward P. Jones
Grace & Power by Sally Bedell Smith
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(no subject) [Jan. 3rd, 2005|02:53 pm]
Happy Jew Year! I have opted against a holiday food diary (spent 12/24 thru 1/1 blissfully esconced with the in-laws in the hinterlands of VT) because really, who didn't binge like mofos o'er the holidays, right? And resolutions, bah! Those should be made at the beginning of each day.

Anyway, in lieu of nothing, please read this.
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Grievous omissions from my Best of list [Dec. 20th, 2004|09:44 am]
I knew I'd forget stuff!

Kill Bill Vol. 2 Wait, this might have been my absolute favorite of the year? I would like to own Vols 1 & 2 actually.

Air, Talkie Walkie
Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand
(I know, both totally obvious & unoriginal but...)
Phoenix, Alphabetical
(How come NONE of the Lunch Bunch knew about these guys?)

Angels in America
(Yup, again, one takes it as a given, but yeah.)
I can't list Desperate Housewives on my Best of list with a clear conscience. S & I continue to watch with a tepid kind of conviction. We still can't pinpoint exactly why we're not hooked and excited about it. (I suppose we're hooked enough to keep watching but...something is off.)

I need to wrack my brains & try and recall the books I read this year. (Not enough is the short answer--too many freaking magazines in the house. Oh, and the Idiot Box too. But Netflix are edifiying, right?)
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Best of 2004... [Dec. 15th, 2004|10:54 am]
As I thought about compiling my own Best of 2004 lists, I came to realize this past year signified a major paradigm shift in the way I, and millions of people, consume and process pop culture. (WARNING: Painfully obvious and inarticulate analysis ahead!)

Did I buy movie tickets and watch TV in conventional 20th century fashion? Yes. But I saw much, much more material via Netflix. (In truth it's been like this for a few years now.) I was a junkie with riveting addictive, brilliant, groundbreaking TV shows like... Read more...Collapse )

When it comes to movies, sure, I went to the local 'plex, and a few of my faves probably line up with the critics:Read more...Collapse )

...and what about music? Read more...Collapse )
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Totally 80s in Lisbon [Nov. 28th, 2004|12:35 pm]
No, Lisbon actually isn't trapped decades behind in terms of fashion and pop culture like some Soviet bloc nation. There seemed to be more H&Ms there than in NYC, and it generally wasn't difficult to find attractive, well-dressed peeps. Maybe a few more plainly, drably dressed people here & there; they've only been a free democratic country since 1974 when that dictator, Salazar, was overthrown--wait, he wasn't overthrown, I don't think. Maybe he died and then his successor was overthrown? I'm too lazy to check. Plus, it's the most Catholic country in Western Europe, and if you look at it on the map, it is a bit isolated geographically speaking, being on the western edge of the continent. All the same, the above subject line refers to the very odd soundtrack piped into the Metro stations. (Thanks to the World Expo in 98 and the World Cup in 04 and presumably modernization in general, their mass transit system is convenient, reliable and comfy. And the stations themselves are each decorated in a unique arty way with mosaics and stuff and a theme that pertains to that particular area. Our station, right by the bullring, had bulls and matadors and naked ladies depicted in mosaics & statues. Apparently their bullfighting style is more humane and fairly bloodless?)

Despite the ubiquitous countdown to the MTV Europe Awards on always-better-than-American-MTV-Europe with all the modern musicians the kids love nowadays, the Metro stations in Lisbon are all about the 80s. Here are just a few of the songs overheard while waiting (never long!) for a train:
"Drive," The Cars
"Take My Breath Away," Berlin
"Karma Chameleon," Culture Club
"Stay," Shakespeare's Sister (OK, that's early 90s I think)
"It Must Have Been Love," Roxette
"Owner of a Lonely Heart," Yes
"Would I Lie to You, Baby," --dunno the band, I don't mean the Eurythmics song

How bizarre yet awesome is that? I think the NYC subway would be much more pleasant if, like, some Belinda Carlisle was playing on the platform.
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Lisboa food diary [Nov. 28th, 2004|09:24 am]
Thank goodness I took copious notes throughout my week in Lisbon, Portugal. Not so much about the splendid sights and laid-back, warm charm of the place--the monuments to the age of exploration, the Moorish-meets-medieval architecture, the old ladies in all black, the super-friendly old men who made sure we weren't pickpocketed and that our jackets didn't touch the floor of restaurants. No, my notes concerned little more than, of course, THE FOOD. I would argue that food is the best window into the character of any city/country/culture anyway. To haul out a classic cliche, the way to my heart is always through the stomach. Ha this is cheesy. However, fotos are TK! Promise.

Anyway, without further ado here's my Lisbon food diary. My spelling of certain dishes & venues may be slightly off...

Read more...Collapse )
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