Surprises

At first, I dismissed the second item in this set of entertainment briefs with a haughty “Oh well, it’s from the British press” and looked for the word “reportedly,” but then I noticed it was a pull-quote from FHM*, which means it’s probably nothing more than wishful thinking on Ms. Jameson’s part. But:

Porn star Jenna Jameson has named Scarlett Johansson as the actor she wants to see play her in a forthcoming biopic. Jameson, whose book, How To Make Love Like A Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale, is being made into a film, told FHM magazine: “We’re looking hopefully at Scarlett Johansson. She’s my choice. I think she’s beautiful.”

Lord knows I’ve also been looking hopefully at Scarlett Johansson, but honestly, I think I’ve got as much chance as Jenna does at *ahem* working with her. Then again, I didn’t believe she was recording an album of Tom Waits covers, so what do I know?

* * *

After receiving a press release from this site that laughingly claimed to promote a show with “Chicago’s top bands,” Tankboy and I started discussing musical prejudices today. Specifically, being able to predict with near-certainty whether or not a band will suck by looking at its name. He pointed out that “indie bands pick crap names just to mess with people, while suburbanite-style bands do it because they think the names are actually cool.” True enough, most days.

But then we checked out a band called Real Lunch that sent us a pitch e-mail. I thought it sounded like some weird unintentional combo of that post-mortem Beatles song and the William Burroughs novel, which I later discovered was intentional. A bad omen, that. Plus, they’re from the ‘burbs, still in college, and their frame-heavy website sports a ridiculous bio and a picture of their drummer’s bare ass. All of that was enough to dismiss them out of hand.

And yet …

Their bio (such as it is) mentions Ben Folds and Squeeze and the influences are so obvious, I wonder if it’s as calculated as their name. No matter. There’s also a heavy 70s AM radio vibe going on here as well, particularly in the solo that ends “In The Flood.” It’s immediately accessible music that hits all my New Wave love buttons, which may mean they’re terrible and I’m just a sucker for music that was popular when I was eight years old. Perhaps they’re just masters at catchy hooks that hide otherwise pedestrian music. Like putting truffle oil on regular potato chips to make them seem like more of a culinary achievement than they are. I don’t think that’s the case with these guys, but even if it is, that’s still an achievement.

So again … what do I know?

mp3 – Real Lunch “She Can’t Dance

* Look, I realize FHM isn’t exactly a paragon of reporting virtue, but I don’t think they’re in the business of making up quotes. Rewriting the laws of physics and anatomy through air-brushing on the other hand …

Thoughts on the Bears’ 2007 divisional playoff game (last five minutes of regulation)

So in the last five minutes of the game, the Bears – heretofore not playing stellar ball – look as if they’ve blown a first down and Fox cuts to a commercial. They return to explain that, in fact, said first down was not blown after officials brought out the chains and a couple plays later the game is tied at 24-24 with 4:24 left to play. Joe Buck then reminds viewers that the television series “24” premieres tonight on Fox.

Coincidence?

Speaking of sports commentators, Klosterman on the second acts of desperate men.

Also, what’s with the T.G.I.Friday’s “three-course menu.” You choose an appetizer, an entree and a dessert. Isn’t that just called … eating?

What were the conversations like at the pitch meeting for that Hummer commercial set to the music of Badly Drawn Boy? “Hmm. Dreamy, atmospheric pop and breathy male vocals. Yes, I believe this perfectly encapsulates the image we want for our vehicle. And not near as expensive as Coldplay!”

Sufjan Stevens and the life of a music buyer


Today the Sufjan Stevens record Illinois was released. For a couple of hours. Then it was pulled. Reasons why are sketchy but most are assuming it was due to DC Comics’ displeasure over the inclusion of Superman on the cover. (The image isn’t without reason: one of the best tracks on the album is “The Man From Metropolis Breaks Our Hearts.” Like most of the songs on the album, it’s not so much about the title but about what the title suggests (the idea that “only a strong man can be a lover”)).

I’d downloaded the album several weeks ago so I hadn’t rushed out to buy it. When the news came down that it was pulled, I felt a twinge. I WANTED that cover art. Was it going to be a collector’s item that was worth something someday? Maybe. But that wasn’t why I wanted it. Mostly, it was because it was a rarity. Something cool.

I wondered if others felt that way. How many people who’d been downloading music off of iTunes had that same feeling? The desire to have hard media in their hands?

I’ve been collecting CDs for a while now. I’m somewhere around 800 (not as many as some. but more than most and enough to make the point). Lately, I’ve been buying more music off of iTunes. And I’ve missed that physical representation of my habit, my vice. The continued proof in the physical world that says “I dig music.”

I made some peace with not having liner notes and pictures to go with my favorite CDs a while back when I bought the new Ben Folds album, Songs For Silverman. It’s a great album but I haven’t really bonded with it because I don’t have the association of flipping through the CD booklet as I’m listening to the words and music. Lately, I’ve been forgetting I have certain albums in my iPod. I have deep emotional associations with some of the albums in my collection. But I’m not really developing those with newer albums. For lack of a better phrase, they’re getting lost in the shuffle.

I don’t play sports. I don’t collect stamps or coins or anything else. I don’t even collect comics–though I do read them. I don’t collect music either. I listen to it. Alot.

Like some people who have fine art in their homes, I have lots of CDs. It says something about me. I want people to be able to come to my house and look at my CDs and say “Oh you have that Sufjan Stevens album with the Superman cover. That’s hard to get. You must be really into music.”

Yeah, actually. I am.