September 2009

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I typically hate Wes Anderson’s films. They’re too full of detached hipster chic for me. That being said, the trailers for his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox look really, really interesting. The animation looks amazing, the story looks interesting, and there are a few cool visual flourishes. I’m starting to actually look forward to Wes Anderson movie, and I never thought I would say that.

The Fantastic Mr. Fox hits theaters November 25th.

Most of the time I choose Random Covers that are good, that either give a new and interesting twist to the original or even improve on it. But every once in a while it’s good to feature a cover that’s just a train wreck from start to finish. This one falls squarely into that category. It’s what appears to be a Russian naval choir singing “Let it Be”. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Russians are freakin’ cool.

via BoingBoing

This is just bizarre: Spider-Man doing the Lindy Hop. Two wacky high school kids, who are phenomenal dancers, dress up like Spidey and Mary Jane, and do whatever the swing equivalent of rocking out would be. Pretty damn impressive. But still odd. I’m really wondering where he found Spidey-esque dancing shoes…

I really don’t like the recent trend of remaking classic horror movies. There’s nothing wrong with the originals, so let’s just leave them alone. That being said, the teaser trailer for the upcoming remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street actually looks pretty good. It looks like it stays true to the spirit of the original, and Jackie Earle Haley seems like a perfect fit for Freddy Krueger.

On the other hand, it’s produced by Michael “Explosions Give Me a Hard On” Bay, and the director, Samuel Bayer, seems to have only done music videos before. So it could really, really suck. Check out the trailer and let me know what you think:

A Nightmare on Elm Street comes to theaters April 30th, 2010.

Conner Oberst, Jim James, M. Ward, and Mike Mogis are Monsters of Folk
If ever a band has been misnamed, it’s Monsters of Folk. It’s members aren’t monsters, but rather accomplished musicians who are highly regarded by their peers. M. Ward has a successful solo career and has released a successful album with Zooey Deschanel, along with producing a slew of great albums. Jim James’ band My Morning Jacket is one of the darlings of the indie scene. And Connor Oberst and Mike Mogis are part of the best band from Nebraska, Bright Eyes. None of their bands could truly be considered folk, and when they get together the music they play has elements of folk, but has enough elements of country, blues, and rock that folk purists wouldn’t claim it. None of this should be interpreted as a slight against the band. Rather it’s a cry to look past the label and listen to the music, because even those who don’t appreciate folk will find something to like with this band.
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The Flaming Lips are preparing to release their latest album Embryonic on October 13th. They’ve released the video for “I Can Be a Frog”, and it’s a good match of a simple song with a simple video.

Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, is out on tour with Andrew Bird promoting her most recent album Actor. Her latest video is for “Marrow”, a song that juxtaposes sparse verses with noisy choruses. The video reflects this this pretty well, and manages to look really good in the process.

Apparently George Clooney has been busy. His movie The Men Who Stare at Goats comes to theaters November 6th. The following week he’ll be back on big screens in Up in the Air, the latest movie from Jason Reitman, the director of Juno and Thank You For Smoking. Clooney plays a downsizing expert who spends his life on the road. Just as he approaches 10 million frequent flyer miles his life hits some snags. None of this really comes through in the trailer, though you shouldn’t take that as an indictment of the trailer itself. It’s actually really good. It just doesn’t focus on plot. Check it out:

Up in the Air lands in theaters November 13th.

It’s the convergence of amazing things: The Beatles, ukuleles, Jonathan Coulton. All mixed together with a title stolen from gross-out porn. Fantastic.

So here’s the story: Last year Jonathan Coulton suggested that his two feuding ukulele ladies get together and perform a song on one uke, with one strumming and the other fretting. There were two problems with this idea. First, the two ladies, Molly Lewis (aka SweetAfton23) and Kristen Shorts, were on different coasts. Second, they hate each other. Or not. Maybe it was just the first one. Who knows with these things? Anyway, they finally got together and did The Beatles’ “We Can Work it Out”. As they say in the business, wackiness ensues. I hope you’re happy JoCo.

Jay Leno, not funnyThis couldn’t make me happier: Jay Leno’s new 10:00pm show is tanking. Like “worst ratings on the big four networks” tanking. Fan-fucking-tastic. The early returns on NBC’s experiment with a comedic talk show in a timeslot usually reserved for dramas couldn’t be worse, and I love it. Go ahead and can this debacle and bring back all 12 Law and Orders.

George “Bad Idea” Lucas and Steven Spielberg are working on a script for a fifth Indiana Jones movie, and apparently they’re leaving the door open for Sean Connery’s return as Dr. Henry Jones. Ugh. Just let it go already. The fourth one was godawful. What’s the story for the fifth one? Indy and dad track down bigfoot?

The Broken West, one of the most promising young bands out there, has broken up. Very disappointing. Their first album, I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On, was great, and the followup Now or Heaven was very good. So it’s sad to see them go. Lead singer is going solo, so hopefully we’ll keep getting good music.

Finally, on a more positive note, Quentin Tarantino’s best movie is now his most successful. Inglourious Basterds has now made more money than his previous box office winner, Pulp Fiction. Bravo QT.

Cage the Elephant
With a touch of Arctic Monkeys, a cool name, and a out of control live show, there’s a lot to like about Cage the Elephant. The Kentucky natives make high-energy, high-intensity rock ‘n roll that’s difficult to describe but easy to enjoy. The five-piece band fuses rock, funk, blues, and punk into something that makes you dance while still managing to tell a story. Their self-titled debut album hit stores last year, and almost immediately the band became a hit in the UK. But they didn’t take off in the US until their first single came out:
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