Might as well review some of the ‘media’ we’ve checked out, read, digested, watched, and otherwise tried to some what avoid half heartily…
“24” – We watch because it’s so outrageous… we watch because it’s so much fun to watch… We watch because there’s nothing more fun than saying “Jack Bauer vs the US Government” in our best SuperFan voice. Good season… better than last year just because we have no clue where it’s going or what’s going to happen.
“SportsCenter” – It’s at the point where it’s unwatchable. Brutal anchors. Brutal ‘segments’ and the same five stories over and over again. We may be the only person not sick of Barry Bonds, but they’ve beat that into the ground. Just a horrible show that doesn’t even show highlights at this point… just talking heads with nothing to say but stroking their egos and telling us that throwing bats at umpires is a bat thing. No freakin’ way! And I can’t wait for these heads to mouth off about how they hate soccer next month when the World Cup starts up… completely missing the point that THE WORLD CUP IS ONE OF THE THREE GREAT SPORTING EVENTS OUT THERE. So this should be a fun summer of me even watching less ESPN, which is unbelievable when you think about it. ESPN, go back to what you were good at or else someone (NBC?) will start another 24 hour news station.
(Random thoughts on the NFL Draft this weekend…. if the Texans had passed on Bush for say, A.J. Hawk, would someone have written a column playing the race card and the decision by the Houston team may have been driven by racism by now?... The Texans passing on Bush is one of the dumbest moves in the history of sport; if you’re not going to take him… then trade the #1 pick because someone will take him #1! Then you get more draft picks; pick up a guy like D’Brickashaw or Hawk or even Williams at #2 or #4, and go from there… just beyond stupid… I sort of like the Bears draft in the “I can’t wait to watch 10-6 games!” sort of way).
“Gilmore Girls” – We know, we shouldn’t like this show and it’s hurting our street cred, but we’ve admitted our enjoyment of the Gilmore Girls before. We’ve watched so much of it over the last year (thanks to DVDs and being unemployed) that we fell in love with how well written, acted, and funny the show is. This season (season six) leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s been ‘good enough’ despite some piss poor story lines that have gone no where (Luke’s kid) and Lorelei acting like anyone but Lorelei (nothing annoys VFLOAB more than characters suddenly not acting like themselves because THIS NEVER HAPPENS IN REAL LIFE unless the person in real life starts doing lots of drugs or starts dating someone out of their league). What is more concerning to us is the fact that Rory (Alexis Bledel; who apparently is really named Kim according to ex-GF#2); has mailed in this season. It’s at the point where she’s not even acting; just collecting pay cheques (we love the UK at the moment because we were hit up by the Guardian last week).
NHL Playoff Hockey – Just a fantastic sport and brings amazing games to the table day in and day out. You can never go wrong with playoff hockey. We love it here at VFLOAB even when the Hawks and Caps don’t make it… that’s right we root for the Canadian teams and we don’t feel guilty about it since most of the players on the US based teams are Canadian. And its hockey, you have to root for the Canadian teams (well maybe not the Leafs). Hockey goes with Canada, Minnesota, New England, Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia... that’s it. But a great game this playoff hockey.
NBA Playoffs – Once again… it’s been a bunch of duds so far. And we’ve seen at least a half of every series BUT the Jersey/Indiana and Dallas/Memphis series. We’ve seen most of three of the four Bulls/Heat series (best series so far btw, two teams that know how to play basketball) and too much of the very overrated Wiz/Cavs series… they don’t even try to play defense in this series. Very disappointing playoffs thus far if you ask us. The Bulls and Heat is the only series that’s interesting and well played (though the Kings/Spurs series isn’t that bad) and the rest of the playoffs has been plagued with what’s wrong with the NBA… isolation, isolation, and more isolation to go along with letting players not playing basketball (seriously we’re about two years away from dribbling being optional… it’s disgusting). But we have hope. The Mavs and Clippers moved on yesterday and odds are the Lakers will too (Phil Jackson just took over Greatest Coach in the History of the NBA with his complete 180 on the Suns). Let’s figure the Spurs finish off the Kings… the West has two great teams and Kobe. That should be fun. Out East… the Bulls/Heat winner will learn a lot about themselves by the time it’s all said and done. Figuring the winner plays the Nets… don’t be surprised to see the Bulls (if they can beat the Heat) in the Eastern Conference Finals. Meanwhile the Pistons should roll all over either the Wiz and Cavs… but of course watch the Cavs and Wiz just because Arenas and LeBron are two of the eight best players in the game. BTW LeBRON IS ONLY 21 IN CASE YOU FORGOT. Amazing.
We haven’t seen anything in the theater… but just so you know, “Top Gun”, “Good Will Hunting” and “The Royal Tenenbaums” are all really good on DVD.
“Be Here Now” – Mason Jennings single – If Dave Matthews did this song, it’d be a top five hit and on the radio every waking moment. GRADE: B
“Rabbit Fur Coat” – Jenny Lewis & the Waston Twins – Don’t be fooled for a second… this is all about Jenny Lewis. The Twins give nice back up vocals from time to time, but this is all about the Jen-nay. The album gets off to a kick ass start “Run Devil Run” perfectly leads into “The Big Guns”, it’s just one of those great musical transitions. Speaking of “The Big Guns”, it gets our vote as the best song of 2006 thus far. Just a great song. Midway though it all the album does fade a bit, but not to the point where you want to turn it off. “Handel with Care” is a quality cover that has staying power. And we love Jenny Lewis, her legs, and her voice… therefore we here at VFLOAB recommend you get your hands on this album. GRADE: B+
“Fox Confessor Brings the Flood” – Neko Case – Ms. Case has the best rock voice out there at the moment. From her work with the New Pornographers to this stellar solo effort, she’s just got the goods. If you’re a fan of female vocalists do yourself a favor and pick this up. The album has a whole sentimental, nostalgic, and wise feel to it… maybe its Ms. Case’s vocals, maybe it’s the song writing… few songs jump out at you to the point where you’re waking up with them in your head… but as an album it’s a dame fine effort. We like the opening track “Margaret vs Pauline” but you can’t go wrong with most of the songs off this fine effort. BTW, read this fantastic interview with Neko Case here. GRADE: A-
LIVE at the DAR Wed, 4/26/06 AND “First Impressions of Earth” – The Strokes – First the album… not sure if we reviewed it, but here it goes… look the first song totally blows. But after that? We like “Juicebox”… we know we know… we shouldn’t, but it’s fun. What’s wrong with fun? “Heart in a Cage” (Quicktime) is an instant classic, and “Electricityscape” may even be better. “On the other side” and “Ize of the World” stink as much as you’d think they would. But the rest of the album… it gets an aiight. We like “Red Light” despite it’s some time cheesy lyrics… and by the way… people don’t listen to the Strokes for ‘great’ lyrics… but Julian does toss us a few good ones, but more importantly he’s able to capture moments in time fantastically; no he isn’t the dude from the Artic Monkey’s, but he’s pretty darn good at capturing these moments and feelings… “Last Nite” opens and shuts that case. You can’t say that about most musicians. We’re apologists when it comes to the Strokes, so take this with some sort of note, but we feel we’ve been fair. At the very least get your hands on “Heart in a Cage”. GRADE: B
As for their show last Wednesday at the DAR Constitutional Hall or whatever they call it… it was fun. It’s the second time we’ve seen the Strokes and they put on a good show. We enjoyed the Nation show a bit more because Nation is a much better venue, but it’s sort of funny to think about the Strokes playing within a half mile of the White House. So we had that going for us. We were somewhat disappointed that they didn’t play more off of “Room on Fire” but considering they played pretty much off of “Is This It?” besides “The Modern Age” we can’t complain too much. Another good show from the Strokes, highlighted by Julian going out into the crowd and performing “Reptilia” and of course our main man Fabrizio. GRADE: B+
“Everything All the Time” - Band of Horses – Pitchfork loved this album, so much so that we thought maybe we’d have another Arcade Fire situation on our hands. So we went out and picked it up and… it’s okay. It’s not bad, but it’s not knock your socks off great. It’s probably the album that officially marks the “indie music now has a sound” and it sounds like bands like Band of Horses. “The Great Salt Lake” is the highlight of the album, but the rest is unspectacular and some what uninspiring. In a way this album encompasses everything that the growing “indie sound” is… some what inoffensive, some where between emo and rock, something sort of blah blah and suburban… not bad but rarely amazing. I guess what I’m saying is that this indie sound, that seemingly came out of no where, is like the lounge music of rock.
Just a few of our ‘favorite’ blogs that we’ve been hitting up consistently.
Everythinglori – Yes it’s Lori from the Real World: Back to New York! Yes, we’re not sure why we like this blog half as much as we do… but we like it. She’s moving back to Boston if anyone cares.
The Company Bitch – If you want to hear what a 24 year old female living in Manhattan has to say about life… here’s the place. For a girl, very funny.
That’s On Point – For those who want to be some what entertained while brushing up on the World Cup participants. Personally, we enjoy the veiled references to Connecticut, our third favorite state.
Black Betsy – For those who want to a game by game stathead look at the White Sox.
Johnny Mostil’s Razor – Best White Sox Blog out there.
The Becker-Posner Blog – We should start reading this again… anyway, always a great topic and lively discussion on the events and trends of the moment… written by two University of Chicago professors.
ListGod – Always quality.
Otter’s 43 x 365 – We hit it up every day. Always well written and we love the mystery and subtleness of almost every post.
Well save the books and magazines we’ve been reading for another day… this is long enough. Have good ones.