Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rock-n-Roll Is The New Porngraph(ers)

The New Pornographers came to town.

And I was there.

It was absolutely amazing.

I originally wanted to write a show review, but then I read the River Front Times show review and just got upset. It’s no fun reading something that overanalyzes every aspect and choice of a concert, while nitpicking at every wrong detail of a show. It definitely seems like the writer didn’t go there to have a good time, but just to judge the show (which actually is justifiably considering that’s what a review is, but still, no fun to read).

I went to the show for one simple reason: I love The New Pornographers. I went out of love, not to judge. And I had no qualms whatsoever with the show. I LOVED THE SHOW. I DON’T KNOW WHY EVERYONE IS SO DAMN CRITICAL. STOP BEING PITY BITCHES DAMNIT.

I digress.

I’m a bitter fan boy.

Lessons to be learned from the show:

Bejar crooning with Newman and Case being msuical 
The rotating front line of vocalists Neko Case, A.C. Newman, Dan Bejar, and Kathryn Calder mixed and weaved through each song with such uncanny harmony and accord it made them look like one big family: Newman as the father and frontman extraordinaire, Neko Case as the disgruntled Mom that can just fucking croon like none other, Bejar as the weird, awesome uncle that only shows up on Christmas, and Calder as the new blood trying desperately to prove herself. And she does. She totally does. Every singer brings something fresh to each song and watching them mix and sing the night away can mostly just be described as ecstasy. Pure ecstasy.

Bejar was my absolute favorite part of the evening. Crazy hair, skinny pants and the most unusually pleasing voice in music. Bejar would just wonder off and on stage for each song that needed him, completely chill with a beer in one hand, while wrapping the other around the microphone, knocking each song he sang completely out the park. Myriad Harbor has never sounded so sincere. He also took the lead on the final encore song of Testament to You in Verse. Best encore I’ll probably ever experience.

Neko proved that she’s the best and what she does and Calder was just a joyous ball of energy.

Best Concert I’ve ever been to.

I leave you with this:

Joel Samson Berntsen (Testament To You In Verse - The New Pornographers)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Get Him to the Greek Review

Based on trailers and TV spots, Get Him to the Greek seems like the kind of movie trying to cash in on the popularity of The Hangover. However, this is NOT THE CASE. Sex and drugs and alcohol all play a role, but the movie is alot tamer, and alot funnier than most well-educated and intelligent people would have thought (hey that's you!).

Basically the movie goes like this: the music industry is failing and Sergio Roma (Sean "P Diddy" Combs) needs to make some quick bank, so Arron Green (Jonah Hill) pitches the idea of having washed out, but classic "rock star" Aldous Snow  (Russel Brand) put on a reunion concert at The Greek. P Diddy eventually gets down with the idea and decides to have Green excute the plan since he pitched it, which means Green needs to somehow manage to get an alcoholic, drug-induced rock star from London to the states in time to play the show. Sounds boring and stereotypical right? Hold on...

Russel Brand sort of always seemed like a self-absorbed rock-star douche, which probably partially explains most people's reluctance to see the film, but he's really just another one of Jason Segel's fragile, touching characters. Sure, he was the self-absorbed rock-star douche in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but that comes with the territory of portraying the paramour of a relationship that an entire movie is based around. Lucky for Brand, the length of Get Him to the Greek enables the viewer to actually get to know the "rock-star" Aldous Snow. Brand's actually fairly successful in playing a touching, washed out guy who's really just taken too many drugs to drown out the chaos of a wrecked life (which as cliche as that may sound on paper, Brand actually holds substance once the audience realizes that Aldous Snow is extremely self-aware and more mature than all the other characters in the movie).  

Moving away right along from one perceived douchebag to another, let's talk about Jonah Hill! He's not playing the usual scumbag, dirtbag, douchebag character he usually portrays in almost all of his other movies. He's a mid-level, music geek who who doesn't really have any control over anything or anyone around him. And he actually pulls it off adequately. Whoa!

Elisabeth Moss (The West Wing, Mad Men) also has a major role as Jonah Hill's nurse girlfriend and she's just wonderful as always. Just look at her...

Isn't she cute and adorable? And she acts that way too. *sigh*

Finally, let's get back to that P Diddy fellow: P Diddy is actually hilarious (ex: mindfucking and floating head). He is actually truly hilarious. Most of the funniest parts in the entire movie involve him. And everyone just thought he could only be his terrible fake, corporate pushing rapper self. Shame on you (yes, I'm talking to you Jim Mahfood --No disrespect though man-- your art is dope, as is your satire).

(I can say dope if I want to) 

Anyway, Get Him to the Greek pretty much just surprises everyone by showing that Jonah Hill can act, Russel Brand isn't a complete douche, and P Diddy can actually be funny. Take that preconceived notions! Don't judge a book by it's cover and all that jazz (except for Elizabeth Moss -- totally judge her by her cover).

Joel Samson Berntsen (Hjartað hamast (bamm bamm bamm) [The Heart Pounds (Boom Boom Boom)] - Sigur Rós )