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3/28/2003 10:25:12 AM

I saw Lost in La Mancha last night, a documentary account of visionary filmmaker Terry Gilliam’s ill-fated first stab at realizing his decade-old script for The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. La Mancha is at once comical and devastating, since it is clear that if Gilliam’s Quixote is ever finished, it will be an astounding picture, but the production is plagued by every problem imaginable (and unimaginable). From a creative perspective, this must be the most poignant example I’ve seen of Murphy’s Law at work. Gilliam hasn’t given up yet, though, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that he can pull it off.

In other film news, the 12th Philadelphia Film Festival (formerly the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema) kicks off next week. I put together a schedule of screenings and events I’m going to try to attend and I’d love to have some company, so if you see anything on the list that looks interesting, e-mail me and maybe we can meet up.

3/23/2003 10:41:28 AM

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I have purchased my first tube of moustache wax and commenced my self-education on using it for styling the old soup strainer, which is beginning to reach the desired Bill the Butcher proportions (or as close as I’m gonna come, anyway). My hope is to keep it out of my mouth when I’m eating, and, more importantly, to eventually gain membership in the Handlebar Club, whose members I have determined to be among the coolest people alive.

3/21/2003 02:26:21 PM

I was chastised by e-mail this morning for having remained mostly silent on the topic of the war on Iraq. Be assured, in the unlikely event I am transformed into a political pundit, I will gladly let fly with a multitude of uninformed opinions right here on this site. Until then, though, check out how HOT I am.

3/17/2003 07:26:21 PM

Lightning Bolt’s Wonderful Rainbow refuses to detach itself from my playlist, and has come dangerously close to bullying the rest of the playlist’s discs into silence. I very much like the other music currently in rotation—such as Isis’ Oceanic and Aereogramme’s Sleep and Release—but have thus far permitted Wonderful Rainbow its thoughtless self-indulgence because it is so damn good that its wild cries for attention simply cannot be ignored. The album is no less grating than its predecessor, 2001’s Ride the Skies, but while the band previously ignored conventional song structure and only flirted with melody, Lightning Bolt now cautiously employs elements of both, without compromising the frenetic and unbelievably dense sound that is their trademark. The drums still sound as though they’re helmed by a six-armed cloud of caffiene. The bass still shatters iron. The listener’s ears are still persuaded to give blood. But somehow, Lightning Bolt’s thoroughly obnoxious racket is now…catchy. 2003 will be a great year if somebody puts out a better album than this.

As I write this, Dubya prepares to address the nation in less than an hour, which forces me to wonder if gushing over a record isn’t a bit trivial considering the innumerable death certificates that will be signed tonight by our president’s circular verbiage. What can I say? It’s a great record.

3/14/2003 09:13:36 AM

History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.
—Dr. Wilbur Daffodil-11 Swain, aka Kurt D. Vonnegut, Jr.

3/5/2003 07:36:06 PM

Interpol and The Raveonettes played the Troc last night. I was quite pleasantly surprised by the feedback-drenched Raveonettes, who sounded kind of like a garage-y Jesus & Mary Chain. I think I shall purchase their record. Interpol turned in another stoic performance devoid of spectacle, which is not to say I did not enjoy it. I admit my attention wandered at times (I often wondered, for example, how bored the superfluous keyboard player must be night after night), but certain songs of theirs are so much more affecting live than on record (“Obstacle 1,” “The New,” and “Specialist,” to name a few) that they snap the show back into focus and remind me why I’m there: because this band is truly magnificent. In a weird arena-rock twist ending to the night, I took home the bass pick after it hit me right between the eyes.

Now get out of here and go see my good friend Jason Santa Maria’s new personal site, which I absent-mindedly forgot to mention yesterday when it went live. He spent lots of time designing and building it and it shows, so get cracking.

3/4/2003 09:32:28 AM

I waited in line for an hour last night in 20° weather to see Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the first of what is supposed to be many R5 shows at the Starlight Ballroom on 9th St.

The Black Dice opened up. Apparently they decided at some point to take a very different direction from the crazy noisecore stuff I’ve heard. Samplers and effects pedals and loops, oh my! There are lots of people out there making interesting music with similarly convoluted gadgetry setups. Not these guys. They had their moments, but those moments were too infrequent. Or maybe I was just irate because I still couldn’t feel my feet.

Godspeed’s small army of musicians sounded fucking amazing, beginning by droning and pounding through about 2/3 of Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven. Though they still sounded good after segueing to the newer material, it just didn’t do as much for me, because the new album doesn’t knock my socks off the way its predecessors do. Still, freezing cold and all, and though the show was better the last time I saw them, it was a totally worthwhile experience. And I hear the violinist Sophie wants to make out with me. I guess I’ll have to let her.

3/3/2003 09:20:18 AM

I have accepted a job in the design department at TLA Video. After nearly fifteen months of unemployment, getting paid to get out of the house will be lovely. And since I got the offer while in the midst of—and will be starting immediately following—a short-notice freelance gig, my excess of free time has vanished very suddenly, forcing me to adjust on the fly. I think this will be a good thing too. Since my duties will include work for the company’s Adult catalog, the effect this job will have on my portfolio remains to be seen, which my mother finds less humorous than I do.

The bad with the good: I just remembered that the Taken by Design exhibition that I missed while I was in Chicago last year has been at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the last couple of months. Naturally, it closed yesterday.

Also, last night, during an impulse trip to Boston Market of all places, my car’s mileage rose above 66,666 miles and I forgot my camera. Dammit dammit dammit. Today’s date is (sort of) half the Number of the Beast, and I just had to have some chicken last night. Sheesh. I just know some mystical shit would’ve happened.

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