Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Even though those Heavy Metal Shop hoodies are ridiculously overpriced, I like the fact that so many bands still sport them.
Sleigh Bells - Rill Rill from momandpopmusic on Vimeo.

Friday, November 18, 2011


I don't think anyone can comprehend how excited I am to see this movie. I just want Thanksgiving dinner to be over so I can be sitting in the theater already.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


So, Collapse.

We started practicing again last weekend. We didn't want to try and get a practice space since we didn't know if we were going to keep playing beyond this show, so we had to look for an alternative. We found one.

Clint's boss is letting us practice in their shop. They build custom covers for boats and have room for us to set up and even extra space so we can leave our shit there. That's the best part, because I didn't want to have to pack up my cabinet every time we practiced.

The only problem is that we don't have a lot of equipment. Well, I do. No one else does.

Clint is missing half his drum hardware and his throne. He's using a chair from an old boat they had lying around. We have no P.A. so Richard is yelling through a road cone—which works surprisingly well. Adam doesn't have a bass amp at all, so he stands around and plays along with his bass not plugged in to anything. Nathan sold his head, so he's using a 12" practice amp turned up as loud as it will go. I still have all my stuff, so I just stand on the 4-wheeler that's next to my cabinet to make myself taller.

The good news is that we already know 5 songs.

Whatever works, right?


Pixar is still batting a thousand in my eyes (maybe because I've never seen CARS or CARS 2, and deliberately so) and their next movie looks like they're going to keep it up.

Pretty happy they finally found a way to have a female protagonist, too. Changes things up a bit.


If anyone ever says they're not really a fan of Saul Bass is either lying or an idiot.

In honor of the new book Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design, a really cool website called Art of the Title (which I've mentioned before) has put together a little video of a bunch of his best title designs for movies. Really, really good stuff.

And if you don't know who Saul Bass is, read up on him a bit. Then you'll know where your favorite artists steal most of their stuff from.

And if anyone is looking for Christmas presents for me, the book mentioned above is a great place to start.



It was the Sundance darling with the new IT girl of indie film—Elizabeth Olsen. It's haunting, riveting, disturbing, brilliant and 85% fantastic.

The last 15% percent is where I had a huge problem. I'm all for ambiguity and "art" films, but Jesus Christ  filmmakers, finish your fucking stories. If you're going to make me sit there for an hour and half, get me interested in these characters and invested in their lives at least have the decency to give me a little bit of closure. That's all I want and I don't feel that's too much to ask for.

I really, really liked this movie. Olsen did a fantastic job and John Hawkes, as the cult leader Patrick, has been great in pretty much everything he's ever been in, I was invested in what was going on and I didn't look at my phone to check the time through the whole thing. Those are all things that add up to a great cinematic experience for me.

But at the end of the movie, when the screen went black and the credits started rolling, I did mutter ever so quietly to myself "Are you fucking kidding me?"

I didn't need an explosive finale or anything like that but, like I said before, a little bit of closure would be nice.

Aside from that, first time writer/director Sean Durkin made a hell of a debut. He's able to switch back and forth between past and present convincingly, and Olsen kills it the entire time. I did want to know more about why she joined the cult in the first place, what exactly Patrick's end goal is, because as far as I can tell, it wasn't a religious cult. There are lots of unanswered questions on that front, which I was okay with. That was fine.

It's just that I think Durkin wanted the ending to be far more powerful than it was. It was so close to being great but right at the very end all the air went out when it shouldn't have.

So close.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Sometimes I need a little push—a little something to get me going on this blog. Granted, I'm doing way better than I was couple months ago, but I still only update a couple of times a week. The list I have next to my computer is starting to get longer again, so that's good, but I also wanted to throw out a new weekly feature.

Just like the title implies, it's called MY FRIENDS OVER YOU (and yes, it is named after the incredibly catchy, sort of cheesy guilty pleasure song by New Found Glory).

Every monday, I'm going to pick one of my friends that has a blog (and I have a lot) that I routinely check and enjoy and talk about how much I like them and why you should look at their stuff, too.

So, shall we?

This is my friend Colby. We met somewhere around the turn of the century (I've always wanted to use that phrase) and we quickly bonded over awesome things like veganism, Rage Against the Machine and our love of surface piercing. Okay, that last one is a total lie, but Colby is a fine piercer. He worked at Good Times Tattoo for a long, long time and managed a short lived vegan coffee shop down by Gateway called Under the Bridge (because he was/still is way in to Red Hot Chili Peppers, but he'll never admit it). He even came on tour with Cherem for a week, but then had to get back home to make sure everything at the coffee shop was okay.

Then, while we were still on tour, he packed his shit up and moved to New York City—and that's where he's been since summer of 2006. Well, mostly. He likes to take off a lot to random countries and wander around until he runs out of money and has to go back to piercing famous actors and beautiful models that come through New York Adorned.

He also has a weird obsession with the number 108. He sees it everywhere. So naturally, after we saw THE RING years ago, we were hanging out at his apartment and while he was in the bathroom, I set the sleep timer on his TV so that it would turn on at 1:08 AM to a channel that he didn't get. It was hilarious.

But anyway, he's a great dude and you should really be checking his blog on a pretty regular basis. It's got good stuff.

108 Manifestations - J. Colby Smith.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I'm a film nerd. Always have been and always will be. I used to spend at least an hour a day combing through various movie websites/blogs taking in as much as I could.

I don't do it so much anymore, because I'm at a point where I'd much rather the movie speak for itself and be what it is rather than what it could have been.

One of the few posts I still get somewhat excited for each year is the release of THE BLACK LIST. Usually put out in late November or early December, THE BLACK LIST was started in 2006 by a young exec at Leo DiCaprio's production company. He e-mailed a bunch of his peers and asked that they send him their favorite scripts that might be in development but definitely aren't in production. It started with around 100 people and now sits at around 250 and each year, everyone's suggestions get tallied up and they release a list of them. There's never a set number of how many are on the list, because each year more and more entries are on it, but the most popular ones are always the highest.

I always had a love/hate relationship with the list, but never for any very personal reasons. It's just that I'd see what was on the list, see what it was about and get equal parts happy and bummed. Happy because it would be a great idea with (apparently) a really clever, well written script. Sad because everyone in Hollywood was too busy trying to get a sequel or a remake off the ground to take any chances on really good scripts.

Then, a couple years ago, movies that were on the black list started getting made and coming out. That's when my opinion of THE BLACK LIST started to change. I used to think it would be an amazing movie, but that wasn't always the case.

Sure, there were a few that lived up to the hype, but a lot more that made you wonder how they made it on the list in the first place.

Here's a few movies that debuted on the black list and then came out in theaters a little while later.


Good stuff, right? Not great stuff, but (mostly) all movies I've seen and liked. The problem is that for every good movie on that list, there's another movie that was on it that I didn't like at all. Like these.


See that last one? TOWER HEIST? Well, I saw that movie a few days ago and felt that before I dive in to writing about it, I had to give a little background.

THE BLACK LIST still has some good stuff on it (actually a lot more than I thought) but it's probably close to a 50/50 split on the good versus the bad.

But there are some really bad finished products.

For instance...


I wanted this movie to be good. I really did. It had a script that was on The Black List, it's a heist movie (written by the guy that wrote OCEAN'S 11, which explains a few things), it has Matthew Broderick in it and it also has Eddie Murphy. That last part was huge for me. With the exception of the SHREK movies (which kind of don't count), Murphy hasn't made a watchable movie since BOWFINGER way back in 1999.

And listen, I'll defend BOWFINGER until the end of time. That movie is hilarious and fantastic.

But back to Murphy. He's one of the best comedians of all time but he hasn't wanted to do anything other than shitty kids movies for the past decade and a half. Way back when Quentin Tarantino was talking about writing INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, he made a point of saying he was writing a part for Eddie Murphy. Then, the script changed and I have no idea if there was a part for him in the finished version, if he was offered one and turned it down or anything else. But that's beside the point. He was in TOWER HEIST and from the trailers, it looked like he might be back. So yeah, I wanted it to be good.

Well, wanted and expected are two different things.

Brett Ratner is the director of TOWER HEIST, so my actual expectations were very, very low. But still a guy can hope, right?

Bottom line is that TOWER HEIST is terrible. I thought Todd Phillips was a lazy filmmaker, but I totally forgot about Brett Ratner.

TOWER HEIST could have been a great movie, but Ratner just doesn't care about making it great. He cares about getting it done, hanging out with famous people in New York City and get paid millions of dollars to dick around with a camera and funny guys for a few months. But he definitely doesn't care about doing things right or, god forbid, making sure that parts of the plot make sense.

Because that's the real problem with TOWER HEIST: It doesn't make any fucking sense. There are huge issues with the basic premise that could have been worked out. It might have taken a few more passes at the script, but they could have found a clever way to make it all work. But they didn't.

That's why I'm not sure why it ended up on the Black List. Did Ratner and his crew change it so much that they just left huge chunks out figuring that no one would notice or care?

There are a few good things about the movie though, and that's every second of the maybe 25 minutes that Murphy is actually in the movie. Yep. You read that right. He's in the movie for maybe 25 minutes of the entire running time.

I was going to make a very spoiler-filled list of everything that didn't make sense in the movie, but Eric D. Snider already did that, which kind of saves me the trouble.

I'm going to say that TOWER HEIST was about 1/4 good, kinda funny and somewhat entertaining. It had all the ingredients to be great, but Ratner was just too lazy to actually do it.

Don't see it. It'll be one of those movies that's on FX or TBS or TNT 8 times a year in the near future. You can DVR it and fast forward through everything that doesn't have Eddie Murphy in it. Then you might actually think it's half decent.


This might be the best unofficial music video of all time.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Fun, Fun, Fun Fest happened over the weekend in Texas. I would have loved to go, except for the fact that I hate both fests and Texas.

A lot of cool bands played, which would have been fun to see, but more importantly, Danzig played. Kind of.

Danzig, much like Metallica, has only gone downhill over the past few years. Once upon a time, he was a metal god that could do no wrong and before that, he was a punk rock icon. But that was a long time ago, before things like this happened and things like this happened.

Now, he's just a cranky old man who stands around awkwardly in bad videos for even worse songs. He could also give J-Lo a run for her money in the diva department.

Over at Punknews.org, they've taken the liberty of putting together Fun, Fun, Fun Fest organizer Graham Williams' rundown of his Day with Danzig this past Friday.
Glenn flies in this morning and says he has a cold, and doesn't feel like playing the show. He demands French onion soup and vitamins brought to his hotel suite. He wants to soup now and wants it hot. We get it.
Glenn says it's freezing in Austin and he can't go on. Says it's going to be 28 degrees tonight and he won't perform (keep in mind, it's currently 71 and sunny with a night forecast of maybe 50+). He says we have to move the show/festival inside if we want him to play (obviously, that's not possible).
We rent stage heaters (no other bands, public enemy, mcd, passion pit, etc need or want heaters on stage... It's warm up there and not cold out) for glenn per demand, as well as bring in an onsite doctor to make him happy and be there if his cold doesn't go away.
Glenn arrives at 7:45 (half hour before showtime, they go on at 8:15 exactly and have a 90 min set. Park curfew by the city/police is 10pm sharp). When he arrives, he says he's not going to play. Says he doesn't like how the banners are hung on stage, and doesn't like the lighting or stage size (all this was advanced in email and phone, well in advance, and the band/crew loaded in mid day, and were happy with it, and said it would work. Stage wasn't small at all). He wouldn't leave his trailer to go look at the stage, though, so the lighting company drew up specs for him to look at, of the stage lighting 50 feet from his trailer, and brought it to him to look over and prove him wrong.
In the meantime, Glenn's bodyguard gets pushy (literally) with Murder City Devils' manager, and tells them they can't have their friends watch MCD from stage, and wants them to cut their set. Kicks them off stage and gets physical with the band and staff. Oh, also Danzig says he's just as big as Slayer, and Slayer is playing a bigger stage on sunday, and that's bullshit and wants to play the same stage slayer is playing... or won't play. Makes him look bad.
It's now 8:15 and time for them to go on. The band is ready, corpse make up's done, guitars tuned. Glenn says he's not playing, and that it's too cold outside. He said big stages should have windscreen, so wind can't blow on him from the side. The stage managers then go and gets tarps, and tarp the entire side of the stage so no wind will hit him.
It's now 8:40. we explain that it's cutting into the set, and he's going to have cut the 90 min set if he doesn't play soon, as park curfew is 10. He says he doesn't feel like playing. Says "I got a deathbug. If i go on stage and get sick, I'll die. I'm not getting sicker for this show" (NOTE: He totally looks and seems fine... No coughing, no paleness, no vomiting, just some balding and a gut, from what i can tell). We get the Dr and he says he can do a b12 shot or anything he needs if he feels bad. Danzig says he only treats illnesses naturally, so won't do that. We finally get him to agree to play and have already informed his crew that it's only 60 mins (9pm at this point) and they start cutting some songs from the set list, so they can still do Misfits, but obviously didn't cut enough.
They went on almost an hour late due to the HANDS DOWN biggest rock star moment we've ever dealt with, and then he tries to start a riot and blames the fest, the city, the cops and everyone, but himself.Goes backstage and tries to fight a few people, and gets in the van and leaves.
Sounds like an awesome time, right? Even Slayer had to get in a few jabs at him. Now, of course, this is only one side to the story, but if anyone doesn't believe it, they've never had a run-in with Danzig before. I believe it. I've also had a run-in with Danzig before and can tell you firsthand that he is, indeed, a god damn son of a bitch.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Engaged, Pre-engaged (don't ask) and Engaged/Expecting Father. Time flies when you're having fun.


Weird that I've never been to the top of the Library until today.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I said it before we saw it and I'll say it again now: I'm always weary of a movie that's been trying to get made for the better part of a decade, because there's a reason it never got off the ground.

THE RUM DIARY is no exception to that thought. I really wanted to like it, but just wasn't able to get excited about it at all. Hunter S. Thompson is one of my favorite writers and Johnny Depp is a fine actor, but too many PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movies and one shitty Tim Burton movie after another have ruined him for me.

This movie just felt like it was never sure what it wanted to be. Should it be a romance? A slapstick comedy? A weird, drug induced adventure? A love story? A political thriller?

Then someone said, "Well, let's put it all in there but not really understand how to balance them all."

And having Johnny Depp reprise the role he played so well in FEAR AND LOATHING seemed like a no-brainer, but no one wanted RUM DIARY to feel like a shitty rehash of FEAR, so they tried everything to make it different, but it just didn't work. It just didn't work for me and I was bored for the better part of two hours.

Probably the best part of THE RUM DIARY is the part that very few people know exist. Back in 2001, a small movie studio called The Shooting Gallery bought the rights to Thompson's book, but never really did anything with it. It seemed like it was one of those things where a studio would buy an option with no intention of actually making the movie just so no one else could. The Shooting Gallery was run by a woman named Holly Sorenson, who before becoming the president of production, had worked notable jobs like bartender at Wrigley Field, personal shopper at Saks Fifth Avenue and personal assistant to Gloria Steinem. All of which reinforce Kevin Smith's claim that in Hollywood you simply fail upwards.

Since nothing was happening with THE RUM DIARY, an enraged Hunter S. Thompson fired off one of his fantastic trademark rants, directed solely at her. And you know it's going to be good when the first line is "Okay, you lazy bitch, I'm getting tired of this waterhead fuckaround."

Read the letter below. Then read the book. Probably skip the movie.


I really like this band.


I love this show. For many more reasons than just these two, but these are two pretty great reasons.


You know what made this year's Halloween different from like the last 6?

I actually dressed up this year. Twice.

Okay, maybe 'dressed up' is a little too strong a word (or two). Usually I'm at work all day on Halloween, and dressing up while serving tables is awkward and not very fun. Also, I usually don't do anything on Halloween weekend because I have to be up at 6:30 in the morning. Mostly though, I think of an awesome costume idea sometime on Saturday and spend 2 hours in the evening trying to put that specific costume together and give up when it's not working.

Last time I actually dressed up was somewhere around 2005. It was a hell of a costume though, as you can see.

Pretty good, right? And that hair ain't too bad either, if I do say so myself.

This year, even though I didn't really have any plans for Halloween, I wanted to make a costume that would be easy to carry around—one that I could just leave in my car and put on if something came up. And I decided on the perfect one—Kuato from TOTAL RECALL. The thing about this costume was that anyone that knew who I was would be really excited, but anyone that didn't would just stare at me blankly. That's what a good costume does. It was pretty easy to make, mostly because it was horribly shoddy.

I did have to tear apart three dolls to make it work, but those cost me a grand total of $1.50 from the thrift store, the chest piece was a whopping $13 and the rubber cement was two bucks. Perfect price for not having anything planned.

Work was a different story. I thought I might get better tips if people saw that I was in the spirit of the holiday, but that wasn't quite the case. I couldn't wear Kuato to work because it was uncomfortable and not very appropriate, so I had to come up with something else. I settled on wearing a jersey and shorts and being an NBA player forced to get a new job. Unfortunately no one got it and most just thought I wore pajamas to work. And tipped like shit because of it.

Oh well. I was proud of myself. Even went to a couple of Hallween parties to celebrate by standing around, silently judging everyone else's costumes. 

It was weird not seeing an overkill of one specific costume like in years past—a la Heath Ledger's Joker. I think the one costume I saw the most of was a Black Swan. But even then, I only saw maybe three (and one White Swan).

Am I wrong? Was there another pop culture costume that people just drove into the ground (discounting zombies)?

All in all, I felt it was a successful weekend and some pretty good costumes on my part.

This was an amazing piece to read, wasn't it.