Friday, February 29, 2008

Sorry Lebanon, Pt II

To follow up on Trisha's Beirut post, I thought I'd mention another band that's stealing the glory from the middle eastern nation of Lebanon.

A friend of mine back in Manchester is the drummer for Go Lebanon, an indie rock band fascinated with Hezbollah and all other things Lebanese. They're not bad, and Charlie the drummer is a wicked drinking buddy.

Update: Jim Terr turned me on to this silly little home video of Beirut's Zach Condon partying at a camping ground in Las Vegas.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sorry Lebanon

Just a few hours ago a little birdy told me that Beirut is going to be making a little Santa Fe appearance in the spring. Stay tuned to SFR for more details as things get set in stone.

Beirut's success has been pretty amazing to watch. A lot of young folks in town remember Zach's days at Santa Fe High, selling ice cream at the Haagan Daz and as a CSF student. Out of the blue he and his band became indie scene stars and he wasn't just the kid from down the street anymore. Friends from far away places started talking about Beirut.

These days if you google the word Beirut the band's Web site is the first thing to come up. Then the wiki page on "the capital, largest city and chief seaport of Lebanon." Guess the two million people who live in a city in the Middle East don't compare to the power of a deep voice and a dance-y world music beat.

A couple of the guys who play in this band I've known casually for a long time. I can't imagine how amazing it is for them. Nick Petree used to play drums for a friend's band and I remember their first show, when the bassist was so excited that their drummer looked great in eyeliner. And Paul Collins has been known for his outgoing personality for years. The kid's got some amazing skills and he's the kind of guy you can't help remember meeting. He's always bubbling over with excitement in that endearing kind of way that even though it's hard to keep up with him you want desperately to do it.

So sorry Beirut, Lebanon, your distinctions as a 5000 year old city, the birthplace of Keanu Reeves and one of the most diverse religious populations in the world is just going to have to have to take a backseat to some Santa Fe kids who are living the dream.

Echoing to the choir

Over on SFR's YouTube channel, our intern, Madason, has posted a short little video interview with bookseller Brian from Collected Works about a few books worth reading.

He recommends some always-ripe-for-reading classics, Dostoevsky and Plato, and for the latter, he explains how The Republic* might be over-emphasized at his alma mater, St. Johns.

For contemporary fiction, he picks Richard Powers' The Echo Maker, a book that I rescued from the reader-pile a month or so back.

A few years ago, I fished Powers' previous novel, The Time of Our Singing, from the bargain bin of a campus medical bookstore. I'd never read him, but a lot of my friends swore by the richness of his prose, especially in Gold Bug Variations, again, which I never read.

Time turned out to be a symphonic epic of physics, classical singing, interracial love and the mixed-race experience. Three years later, this refrain from the novel still sits at the front of my mind: The bird and the fish can fall in love. But where they gonna build their nest?

Damn, it was a fine book. One I know I've recommended.

I've been having trouble digging into The Echo Maker. I've got a short attention span these days and not a whole lot of room in my life for leisurely reading . But I think I trust this Brian's taste. I'll keep at it.

* There are a few dozen sites online where you can download The Republic for free. Here's one version.


So, every Thursday morning, I talk with KBAC morning host Honey Harris about the issue of SFR on the street. This week (and, perhaps, from now on), we videotaped it (Thanks Teri Nolan) and then I attempted to edit it in imovie. Heavy emphasis on "attempted." But, hey, I was kind of busy and distracted. I'll improve: I promise.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

This week in comics

Chris Diestileus, manager at True Believers on Cerrillos, recommends some reads that will make your life worth living! (OK, that was an exaggeration, but they're cool). Oh, and Captain America is good for the first time, Diestileus explains.
- Madason Gray

P.S. Also on sale at True Believers: SFR "Daddy Needs a Drink" columnist Rob Wilder's son London has released a series of collectible superhero cards. Isn't this adorable?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

just add an eye patch and a parrot...

My bold plans for the weekend were horribly derailed by...myself. Whee. Two, maybe three songs into the We Drew Lightning set over at High Mayhem my already bothering me knee went out full force and two very kindly friends walked (aka practically carried) me to my car, drove me home and let me pass out.

Good times. So my blogging in the near future will, no doubt, be about all the fine flicks I've watched on DVD. Yup, it's doctors appointments and a bitchin' neoprene knee brace for me for awhile.

Much thanks to my kick ass former coworker here at the Reporter, Nathan Dinsdale for the couch he donated to the office, which is the only way I'm able to get anything done today. Also mad Reporter props go out to staff writers Dave Maass and David Alire-Garcia for hooking me up with internet over here in news land and for bringing me back lunch.

On the plus side of being hurt it's hard to get outside so the cigarette intake has been minimal.

Onto the DVDs. Last night it was The Boxer, a Daniel Day-Lewis/Jim Sheridan flick about a just released from prison boxer/former IRA terrorist. Good stuff. Day-Lewis is amazing, as always. Apparently he spent two years training for the part. Though the movie was nominated for 3 Golden Globes it seems to be pretty under the radar, especially in comparison to Sheridan's other flicks (My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, In America and, um, the 50 cent movie Get Rich or Die Trying--Sheridan is definitely at his best telling Irish stories).

Monday, February 18, 2008

It's nothing to do with Santa Fe...

...but it's just so damn good.

Adriano Celentano & R.CarrĂ  "Prisencolinensinainciusol" 1974

"Unforgettable modern clip, probably the hugest and most famous dance composition in italian Tv history! Note: Adriano sings with chest naked!"
- From the YouTube description.

(Props to D. Segal at OCW)

Friday, February 15, 2008

give a little love

While many people are probably thrilled that Valentine's Day is over I'm a little sad. Not because of the sappy romance side of things, but because I love candy and V-Day is the time of year when all that nasty yellow, green and purple candy is replaced with the colors we dig for all year long--red and pink! Not to mention those really gross candy hearts that I just can't seem to get enough of. Sugar, corn syrup and artificial flavors, yum!

But it's over. Keep out of the seasonal aisle of Albertsons for a day though will you? I'm gettin' stocked up on the cheap this weekend.

Tonight there's a triple threat of art over at High Mayhem. The super sassy party photos of Alexis Brown kick off the night. Brown's got a great eye and some colorful friends. I can't wait to see who the shots are of! Then We Drew Lightning, a little psychadelic rock and Health, this crazy dance, experiemental, punk, noise band from LA. Health came through last year and I remember enjoying myself thoroughly.

Then tomorrow it's off to CSF for Large and Small Rooms. Somehow I keep missing this band and am determined NOT to do so this time around. Fortunately, if I do happen to drop the ball they've got a few more shows coming up.

On the V-Day candy note: I will not be stocking up on tootsie pops. Yuck. The outer candy is so good. The tootsie part, not so much.

Also: I fucking love Al Green. If I have 1/10th his cool I'm doing pretty good.

Tonight the Gender Offenders are doing a special post V-Day show. I've seen the group before, they're always a lot of fun. (Read more in the Reporter, I wrote about this a little more elegantly! And more on Health/We Drew Lightning and a couple of other cool events that I'm going to have to duck out on. Go! They'll be great. I would, but I gotta get my sleep.)

Video Library Recommends....

This weekend Lisa Harris and Emily Montoya of the Video Library on Marcy Street recommend some documentaries you may or may not have heard of. In Manufactured Landscapes (2007), photographer Edward Burtynsky travels the world, capturing images of beauty inside vast landscapes of destruction. Also out on DVD is The King of Kong (2007), a film following two competitive Donkey Kong players as they battle for the world record. Other Video Library picks include, Baraka and Koyaanisqatsi. Enjoy! (Madason Gray)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Beneath the top hat

If you're ever at the cinematheque and find you can't focus on whatever french new wave film they're screening,

....because the guy directly in front of you is too damned disconcerting with his home-cut mullet,

....the kind only seen in the bleachers at Wrestlemania,

...then, moviegoer, you've spotted the Santa Fe Reporter's film critic,

....Emiliano Garcia-Sarnoff.

I'll let The Screener explain it himself.

bad blogger!

So, I've been doing a heckuva job not blogging lately. Not because there's nothing going on, but because there's been a lot and it's been busy. Plus the old internet here at the Reporter office has been on the fritz which means that online time has been precious and busy.

So let's roll back in time to three Mondays ago and start with the Eoto show at the Brewing Company. Honestly, I didn't expect much from two guys from the String Cheese Incident on electronics. The traveling hippie thing has never worked for me, but I'll try anything once (read: Rainbow Gathering). Eoto was a touch jam band-y, which was kind of expected, but good. They got a solid crowd on the dance floor and kept it up. I wanted the beats a little faster, but definitely a solid show. The guy on electronics definitely knew his shit and seemed to have control over all the music, with the other guy on drums backing him up, but not adding too much.

I'm sure lots of fun things happened between then and the following Monday but nothing stands out too much, so...jumping ahead.

Snowy Monday night, getting ready to toss some laundry in the machine and slack off with a book or movie when the phone rang. An invitation to Second Street for beer sounded way better than a date with the lint trap so on went the shoes and out the door I went. Showed up for the company and got a surreal experience instead. As soon as I walked in the door I noticed the tie-dyed wall hanging and CD table. Hmmm...Second Street doesn't usually have music on Mondays, but hey. Cool. My friend arrived and we scoped out the situation. Looked a little new agey, but we were game. Expecting a flute or, as my friend put it, some kind of hipster Ricki Lee Jones (which I kept hearing as Joni Mitchell) thing. Nope. Instead we were treated to a beat-boxing librarian who sang a song called "Dr. Bronners makes your hoo-hoo tingle." Okay then. We'd guessed that Celia was from Austin, just trying to make her way back. She was from Oregon, probably the second guess if we'd made one, so my friend and I decided that she was still working her way too or from Austin. Didn't want to confirm this though, as it was a little too much for dinner music.

A couple days later I got to watch Diva, a flick from the '80s that's playing at The Screen this week. It was great. Had a bit of that Hunger look to it--dark, smooth, a little neon lighting here and there. Also a little bit of a contemporary film noir. I don't want to ruin it because it was great. Get in your car and drive to The Screen right now before it goes away.

Through a series of friends I've found myself hooked on the HBO show Flight of the Conchords. Goddamn it's funny. Since I don't have a TV I've been watching the DVD, way better, no commercials!, and am almost finished.

K, so the Internets went down again during this, so there aren't any links for most of this post, but that's why we have google right?

Lots of good things coming up. Another busy week ahead, must try to blog more.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Hundred K

It's not often that a filmmaker edits his own retrospective. Not often, and not all that seemly either. But hey, Jim Terr's YouTube videos topped 100,000 views in 2008, so why shouldn't he self-celebrate? Ego and genius self-perpetuate.

You gotta hand it to Jim. If there's a reason to whip out a camera, a subject out there to be shot, Jim's been there, going there or there right now. Or sitting at home manipulating stock footage into some rudimentary animation.

And when there ain't nothing else to do, hell, he'll just write a song and film himself playing it.

I tease and needle, because that's the vital role he plays in Americana. He's the self-effacing hold-nothing sacred kick-him-in-the-balls sweet ol' folk singer that lives inside all our bleeding liberal pinko deep-down sunnbitch hearts.

In 2008, even the old folks are rockin' YouTube. I present:

"A Hundred Thousand YouTube Views"
From: hymiehymie

OK, so that thing is 8 minutes long. In the first three and a half minutes there's:

a dude swings a bat into a coconut, full force;
a high speed collision;
a mini-Jim jousts on the highway with a Christmas turkey;
a dude with a harmonica freaks out a dog;
I gesture wildly;
an extreme close-up of a fisherman's beard;
and women, women, women.

After that, I don't know. I got bored and moved onto the Yes.We.Can video again.


Congrats, Jim! I wish you five more in a fifth the time it took to reach the first. May these views help you on your way. Well done, sir.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Without a trace of Santa Fe?

The other day I was watching crap cable TV and Without a Trace, you know, that show about the FBI and missing people, came on. This episode had the team tracking a kid who was lured by a pedophile across the country, under the pretenses that he was the kids long-lost biological father. The show culminated in Santa Fe, or at least that's where they said they were. For the life of me, I couldn't determine whether it was indeed our city different.

Here are some shots I took of the screen. Let me know (davem @ sfreporter [dot] com) if you can figure out what park this is.