Almost Famous

A Gateway A&E blog for reviews, rants, and other entertainment tidbits.

Friday, July 28, 2006


check it out, beeeyotches.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tearing the Starlite Room apart

Last night, I went to see She Wants Revenge. I've always been impressed with their ability to discuss those dark and violent thoughts that cross all of our minds and are always repressed, so when I talked to Adam Bravin (bass/keyboards) and he offered to get me into the sold-out show, I complied. They're not bad; I've listened to the CD, and although some songs can sound repetitive after a while, hearing them live can definitely make a huge difference, so I was willing to give it a shot. And then I did. And then it was great. Aside from the hassle of not actually being put on the list, no employee of the Starlite Room knowing who Adam was (hello? you guys should know! he's only the headliner!), and having to wait fifteen minutes with a heavy Nikon camera around my neck until this very unfriendly promoter finally let me in, the show was pretty good. I'm not sure who the first band was, but they were decent. Ima Robot was second, and they were questionable at first (mainly because the lead singer was wearing some '80s rapper get-up in all white), but after a few songs, they were undeniably entertaining. Then came She Wants Revenge. They put on a fantastic show; Justin Warfield captivated the audience with intense facial expressions and passionate dance moves, while Adam Bravin worked his magic on the keys and strings. They have experience behind them (Justin used to be a rapper, Adam a DJ), and you could tell that they knew exactly what they were doing. I have a lot more respect for SWR now, despite the fact that all the kids are into them.

Speaking of the kids: I hate all-ages shows (cheeky little hipster-wannabes who take away my alcohol priviledges). Also, I hate the Starlite Room for questioning my authority, and I regret not going to Filthy's with Ima Robot and SWR after the show, even though I was strongly encouraged to by an EMI promoter I ran into. Then again, perhaps it was better to retain my integrity and not label myself as a giddy groupie. Not yet, at least.


The Miniatures: Priceless!

Okay, so it's been quite a while since I last posted (and since anyone has posted, for that matter), so I'm going to go on a blogging spree. First off, I went to see The Miniatures a couple of weeks ago and they were pretty awesome, aside from the fact that Chloe and I were the only ones there (but that's the PowerPlant's fault, not the band's). I took some photos while I was there, so I'll post 'em when I get a chance. Photography=awesome when it comes to concerts, and I encourage all of you little minions to try it out. Anyway, I digress. The Miniatures: quite egotistical, sorta quirky, but great music.

Here's a sampler I thought you would all enjoy. Click on the "Dead Flowers" video. It's priceless!


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Greg MacPherson = sweetheart

Last weekend I chatted with Greg MacPherson, a folk-rock musician whom I think resembles Jack Johnson but with a less "I'm a surfer and I'm just going to become a singer because I can" attitude. Anyway, it was only supposed to be a fifteen-minute interview (mostly because I had to get ready for my brother's commencement ceremony), but it ended up being an hour conversation about Europe and hockey. He was really nice and he invited me to his show, so I went. That was last night.

Music-wise, MacPherson is uniquely unpredictable. Some of his songs are folk, some are rock, some are hard rock; in other words, you never knew what to expect with this guy, which was great. His voice is amazing, and his guitar skills are definitely quite impressive. There was even one point in the show where this drunk guy in the crowd was holding his phone up so the person on the other end could hear, and so Greg took the phone from him and proceeded to use it as a pick and a microphone. Crazyness. Not only that, but his voice was all hoarse from playing fifteen straight shows, and because the audience kept wanting more, he kept playing. He played for two hours straight. He was a crowd pleaser.

After the show, I went up to him to introduce myself. From afar, he looks pretty tough and muscular, but up close, he's so softspoken and shy (and perhaps a tiny bit cute...). He shook my hand and thanked me for coming to his show, and said that he really enjoyed talking to me for an hour. He gets nerves, apparently, and he said that mine was the first interview he felt comfortable doing. Aww! Now I know why Jordan (from Fractal Pattern--I interviewed her, too, once upon a time) told me she was in love with him when I met up with her before his performance.

In conclusion, the new Sidetrack=rad, Greg MacPherson=sweet, Fractal Pattern=awesome, and I think capital punishment should be reopened.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Sweet Jesus!

I am now going to provide you all with a brief excerpt from a band bio I received with a CD I'm reviewing for SEE. I'm not going to say anything more; just read and try not to tear out your eyes.

Word for word:

"There's some confusion over how The Rakes actually came to being. Ask them and they'll talk of a show of solidarity outside a local Weatherspoons, or of fights in the library over who was going to borrow some novel or other. Whatever, it's unlikely that the story will ever become clear. What is becoming clear, however, is the fact that The Rakes are emerging as one of the most significant London bands to emerge in recent years."

BLOODY HELL! This is supposed to be A PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY! OMG! WTF! I mean, who do they think reads this? Obviously not journalists WHO MAKE JOKES ABOUT COMMA SPLICES AND DANGLING MODIFIERS. And believe it or not, this paragraph is only one out of five. I'm not going to bother relating the rest, mostly because it hurts me terribly. In fact, this bio is EMERGING as one of the most retarded things to ever EMERGE before my eyes. HA! HA HA! HAHAHAHA! Ha. Oh.

PS - Here's a picture of the poor souls. I feel embarrassed for their publicist.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Why are dumb movies so damn captivating?

I'm just going to come out and say it: I watched The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants the other day. And when I say "watched," I mean, "I was so fucking immersed in this stupid movie that I blanked out on the world around me and let my dinner burn." I plopped myself down on the couch, and after flipping through numerous other retarded shows, I thought I would pause on the said movie and see what it was all about. However, little did I know that this momentary halt would become a two-hour hiatus. The plot was dumb, the characters were dumb, everything was dumb, but I still couldn't keep myself from watching.

The story revolves around four best friends who find themselves scattered across the globe for a summer. Before they leave on their individual journeys, they come to discover a pair of jeans that "mysteriously and magically fits all four of them," despite their, uh, wide range in pant sizes. They promise to write to each other and send the magic pair of jeans to the next person after their week is up (without washing them, either. Gross). Anyway, they all go through these crises: one girl falls in love with a boy in Greece, but she's not allowed to love him because their grandparents fought about fish back in the day or something; another girl's father is getting remarried; another girl is stuck working at a Wal-Mart wannabe store and somehow becomes friends with a ten-year-old girl with Leukemia; and another girl flirts incessantly and sluttily with this boy at a soccer camp in Mexico, finally gets to sleep with him but then feels "empty inside." These are some pretty malignant life problems, I know, but thanks to the magical pants, everything works out in the end for all four of the girls.

Now, aside from the biting sarcasm that stabs you in the eye when you read my synopsis, this movie sounds really quite dull. But why, oh WHY, do stupid movies drag us in? This is a question I pose to you all, and I hope someone can explain this to me. It's like how Dan wanted to watch 2 Fast 2 Furious with P-Walk looking all thuggish. It's just so fucking captivating, and all I can ask is WHY!

I now open this post to discussion.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

My DaVinci Code quest, followed by a brief review

First of all, I'm back y'all; secondly, why has no one posted in the last three weeks? Come on, people! I'm sure I missed out on some good, wholesome entertainment (besides the Oilers games--SQUEEE GO OILERS!). Anyway, despite my jetlag and uncontrollable glee at the Oilers' win yesterday, I went to see The DaVinci Code with some of my fellow editors. It was a nice treat; you see, I sent out an e-mail to them earlier in the week while I was still in France, asking if I had received any passes to the movie, and if I did, that no one better take them lest they want their reproductive organs ripped out. Knowing my rage about these sorts of things, Paul and Scott decided to test their limits. In the mail, I did, indeed, receive a press kit for The DaVinci Code (which included a little booklet hidden within a rosewood box), but no passes, and since they were all going to see the movie Friday night, they bought me a ticket and made me go on a DaVinci Code quest to find it (the deadline being 6pm for obvious reasons). I had to go through a dozen wonderfully rhymed and cleverly written clues that took me through the thick and thin of the office, until I found the ticket taped to the underside of my desk. It was a welcome back present for me. I was soooo touched!

And now for the movie.

In general, it was exactly like the book. It's always hard to turn such a classic novel into a movie (think Pride and Prejudice or Harry Potter), and in my opinion, they did a fairly good job. Most of the casting was fantastic. Ian McKellen was the perfect person to play Sir Leigh Teabing, Audrey Tatou (Sophie Neveu) was charming, and Paul Bettany (Silas) was creepy but extraordinary. The only person I had a problem with was Tom Hanks (Robert Langdon). He was missing some sort of spark, some sort of charm that really pulls you into his character. Most of the time he blended into the background of things, letting Tatou take the reigns most of the time, even though he's supposed to be the main character. Methinks he should stick to doing horrible movies like Castaway.

Plot-wise, there wasn't much (if anything) left out, but there were a few additions that I think took the edge off the movie. A few corny lines/jokes were thrown in here and there, and they really didn't add any comic relief to the film, only a topping of cheese. It could have been much better if they had avoided the unecessary boo-worthy comments.

So there you have it. The movie was good, exciting, entertaining, on-the-mark, you name it, despite my disappointment in Tom Hanks and all the stupid jokes (plus a few exclusions at the end, which I will not name in case not everyone has read the book). And, in my opinion, since everyone tends to butcher films that are made from books, perhaps I should give it more praise than I am.

Also, here's a picture of me at the end of the real Da Vinci Code quest. Even though my camera was dying, I felt that this photo was necessary.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Humanity!