Archive for February, 2009

U2 NLOTH Haiku Review: “White as Snow”
February 28, 2009

Benjamin made a promise to review every track off No Line on the Horizon, one a day, leading up to the official release on March 3.  Whoopsies!  Unfortunately, he can’t write about music for a damn as he studied film; it’s all “chiming Edge guitar” this and “propulsive rhythm by Larry and Adam” that, blah blah BLECH.  Instead, he’s embraced the new-found experimentation that U2 has clearly found: why review when you can haiku?  So put on your crazy boots, ‘cos here comes the next round:

Given how joyfully upbeat the bulk of No Line on the Horizon is, “White as Snow” is kinda like an unexpected sadness kick to the face.  It’s ethereal and quite lovely, but it’s bound to give you a case of the frowns.  Grab your Prozac and take it to your happy place, y’all, ‘cos here we go:

was-haiku

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’d best be off to the set of the video for “Laid” with my bag full of Heath bars.  I’ll be back tomorrow with “Breathe.”

As always, you can stream No Line on the Horizon on U2’s Myspace, so you can hear of which I haiku.

The Bestest: The Video for “Laid” Was Apparently Filmed Inside My Head
February 28, 2009

I’d never really picked-up on the band James, but I always knew their song “Laid” as that pop song I liked that was in the trailer for American Pie.  Then today I was perusing wikipedia to see what other bands Brian Eno has produced, and a Manchester band by the name of James was mentioned.  If U2 and Coldplay hold any sort of proof positive, it’s that Brian Eno is the Worcestershire sauce for UK rock: he makes them just taste better.  So imagine my surprise when I came upon this little candy-colored, acid-laced cupcake of nostalgic awesomeness:

I’m quite glad that I never saw this video before today because I’m pretty sure I would’ve just been confused, but now it’s just a checklist of things that I love, including but not limited to:

  • Jacques Demy-esque pastels
  • Fancifully energetic frontmen
  • Dolly zooms (aka the Vertigo zoom; see 0:26 and 1:14 in the video)
  • 50s kitsch set decoration, costuming, and general aesthetic ambience
  • Subtitles in a music video
  • Gender roles
  • Drag

Then there’s this shot, which might be the most formally brilliant shot.  Ever:

(more…)

U2 NLOTH Haiku Review: “Fez–Being Born”
February 27, 2009

Benjamin made a promise to review every track off No Line on the Horizon, one a day, leading up to the official release on March 3.  Whoopsies!  Unfortunately, he can’t write about music for a damn as he studied film; it’s all “chiming Edge guitar” this and “propulsive rhythm by Larry and Adam” that, blah blah BLECH.  Instead, he’s embraced the new-found experimentation that U2 has clearly found: why review when you can haiku?  So put on your crazy boots, ‘cos here comes the next round:

So, until earlier today, I didn’t know what the lyrics were to “Fez–Being Born.”  So I looked them up.

BAD IDEA!

I’ll admit that it’s a personal thing, but I find the physical act of birth completely horrific.  Yes, the birth of a life is a beautiful thing; and no, this is not about some homo-based fear of lady parts.  I’ve heard too many stories of what can happen to women during the act of birth to think it could ever be pleasant.  And I’ve also seen Romance, which is a fascinating exploration and dissection of female sexuality that ends with a bona-fide child birth, which simply visualizes my previous assumption.  Understanding the lyrics to this song is, in a certain way then, kinda like having a relapse with post-traumatic stress syndrome.

fez-haiku

That all being said, I still love the song.  I’ll just pretend that I still don’t understand the lyrics so as to not drop to the floor of a subway train in apoplectic shock when I hit the second verse.  In such a scenario, everybody wins.

‘Til then, I won’t even talk numbers.  This album is almost over 😦  Next up is “White as Snow.”

As always, you can stream No Line on the Horizon on U2’s Myspace, so you can hear of which I haiku.

U2 NLOTH Haiku Review: “Stand Up Comedy”
February 26, 2009

Benjamin made a promise to review every track off No Line on the Horizon, one a day, leading up to the official release on March 3.  Whoopsies!  Unfortunately, he can’t write about music for a damn as he studied film; it’s all “chiming Edge guitar” this and “propulsive rhythm by Larry and Adam” that, blah blah BLECH.  Instead, he’s embraced the new-found experimentation that U2 has clearly found: why review when you can haiku?  So put on your crazy boots, ‘cos here comes the next round:

As we enter the seventh (almost) consecutive day in this little blogging experiment, I’m beginning to think I’m losing my mind.  I cannot stop thinking about greasy fast food.  At all.  The greasier, the better.  I keep thinking about the goopy, melted cheese in the Cosi tuna melt and the perfect pickles in the McDonald’s double-cheeseburger.  And then there’s the Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit, that little piece of heaven you can eat.  I need a  grease fix so bad that I could just drink a cup of gravy right now!  Is this what overexposure to haiku does to you?  I mean, look at how bad this has gotten:

stand-up-haiku

Obviously too much haiku makes you pregnant, ‘cos I’ve got a craving that is OUT OF CONTROL.  I just hope it’s not twins.

Tomorrow we move on to “Fez-Being Born.”  Four more to go, y’all!

As always, you can stream No Line on the Horizon on U2’s Myspace, so you can hear of which I haiku.

I Guess I’m Excited About Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark?
February 26, 2009

Apparently some people I know have me pegged as being particularly excited about this lil’ piece of news:

293spidermanbonoedgelc022409

Hrmmm, I wonder why?  Could it be because I’m a nerd, or is it that to say that I like U2 is a gross understatement.  Who knows?  Whatever the reason, the sentiment was appreciated, but also:

I already knew that!  My nerdiness is lightning-quick like that, and if you really think I’m not going to be refreshing the official Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark website multiple times daily in eager anticipation of breaking news and/or ticket sales, then you obviously don’t know me or my obsessive tendencies in the slightest.

That doesn’t mean I’m not skeptical though.

(more…)

U2 “NLOTH” Haiku Review: “Get On Your Boots”
February 25, 2009

Benjamin made a promise to review every track off No Line on the Horizon, one a day, leading up to the official release on March 3.  Whoopsies!  Unfortunately, he can’t write about music for a damn as he studied film; it’s all “chiming Edge guitar” this and “propulsive rhythm by Larry and Adam” that, blah blah BLECH.  Instead, he’s embraced the new-found experimentation that U2 has clearly found: why review when you can haiku?  So put on your crazy boots, ‘cos here comes the next round:

A sad day has come upon us!  I’m over halfway done with this little exercise insanity/tedium.  Before you know it, the whole album will be reviewed and there won’t be any more haikus (show some respect and try not to look so damn happy!).  Shall I stop now (please?) so we never have to face the inevitable?  No?  Fine!  Get your hankies ready because the end is now in sight:

goyb-haiku

Le sadness.  Only five more left.  Next up is “Stand Up Comedy.”

As always, you can stream No Line on the Horizon on U2’s Myspace, so you can hear of which I haiku.

Holy Moses, Rena Riffel is the Truffaut of Actresses-Who-Play-Strippers/Hookers-Turned-Directors!
February 25, 2009

So yesterday, while I was searching for clips from Showgirls to include in my post about Slumdog Millionaire (isn’t that just always the case?), I stumbled upon this:

Sweet mercy!  What sort of batshit insanity is this?

In case you didn’t know, Rena Riffel has a small role in Showgirls as Penny/Hope, the new girl at the Cheetah.  She’s rather amazing in her own right, but Trasharella looks as though it’ll totally take the amazing cake.   

I normally tend to avoid deliberate camp because it always lacks the unaware charms of unintentional camp.  From Plan 9 from Outer Space to I Know Who Killed Me, great camp comes entirely from its sincerity in trying to be something other than terrible; anybody can intentionally make a bad movie, but only a certain crazed brand of genius still finds beauty in the cinematic train wrecks they’re masterminding.  Judging from the trailer, Trasharella appears to be channeling that genius in spades.

This is, after all, a movie that contains musical numbers, magic lipstick, and a vampire being killed by a woman brandishing a Barbie crucifix.  Awful or astounding?  

I’m going with astounding.  Simply astounding. 

I think we all know what has to be done.  I.  Can’t.  Wait.

This Picture is How I Feel This Morning
February 25, 2009

clue-aghast

Did you hear they’re remaking Clue?  According to ComingSoon.net, they are!  I’m so glad that Hollywood has their fingers on the pulse of what audiences really want.   Who has any interest in a brilliant comic-mystery-cult-classic when we can get “a global thriller and transmedia event that uses deductive reasoning as its storytelling engine” instead?  I’m not entirely certain what the hell a “transmedia event” even qualifies as, but it sure sounds great, right?  

Wrong.  Absolutely wrong.

Oh well, at least we’ll always have Madeline Khan…

U2 NLOTH Haiku Review: “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight”
February 24, 2009

Benjamin made a promise to review every track off No Line on the Horizon, one a day, leading up to the official release on March 3.  Whoopsies!  Unfortunately, he can’t write about music for a damn as he studied film; it’s all “chiming Edge guitar” this and “propulsive rhythm by Larry and Adam” that, blah blah BLECH.  Instead, he’s embraced the new-found experimentation that U2 has clearly found: why review when you can haiku?  So put on your crazy boots, ‘cos here comes the next round:

I don’t know if it’s the fact that I got more than four hours of sleep last night, or maybe the fact that I got to write about Showgirls earlier today (it’s probably the latter, not the former; thinking about 10 seconds of Showgirls for me is twenty minutes of kitten videos on Youtube for grandmas: it’s a happy place), but I’m in a much better mood than yesterday.  It seems as though the gay-man-equivalent of catnip (aka, Showgirls) has rendered Cranky McCrankerson docile and content.  Thaaank goodness.  

So, yeah, let’s drop this new haiku like Nomi dropped her crack addiction:

crazy-haiku

Almost halfway done!  Hot toddy!  Next up is “Get On Your Boots.”

As always, you can stream No Line on the Horizon on U2’s Myspace, so you can hear of which I haiku.

A.R. Rahman is One Step Closer to Becoming the Cuba Gooding Jr. of Best Song Oscar Winners
February 24, 2009

I may be profoundly unimpressed with the ridiculous Slumdog Millionaire sweep (Best Editing?  Really?), but I’m not such a crotchety bitch that I can’t recognize credit where credit is due, and I can fully admit that the end of Slumdog is innocuous and sweet:

There’s also something kinda creepy in a cultural-fetishization/imperialization sort of way, what with a movie about growing up in the slums of Mumbai being written and directed by two white men from the UK, but whatever.  I’d be inclined to complain about how, if the Academy really felt so inclined to give Slumdog a Best Song win, they could’ve at least picked the better song, but “Jai Ho” is perfectly fine, the Oscars are over, and we can all move on with our lives, right?

WRONG.  

Look at what I found on iTunes today:

(more…)

U2 NLOTH Haiku Review: “Unknown Caller”
February 23, 2009

Benjamin made a promise to review every track off No Line on the Horizon, one a day, leading up to the official release on March 3.  Whoopsies!  Unfortunately, he can’t write about music for a damn as he studied film; it’s all “chiming Edge guitar” this and “propulsive rhythm by Larry and Adam” that, blah blah BLECH.  Instead, he’s embraced the new-found experimentation that U2 has clearly found: why review when you can haiku?  So put on your crazy boots, ‘cos here comes the next round:

I don’t know if it’s the lack of sleep (because Oscar parties in Washington Heights when you have to still travel back home to Brooklyn will do that to you) or what, but these damn haikus are wearing me out.  Curses to my blog promise!  Ugh.  Let’s get this done with:

u-c-haiku

Whatever.  I’m clearly Blogster the Grouch right now.  Let’s all go to bed.  G’night.

Tomorrow is “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight.”

As always, you can stream No Line on the Horizon on U2’s Myspace, so you can hear of which I haiku.

Oscar Clip Roundup: Does The UK Success of Mamma Mia! REALLY Indicate the Return of the Musical?
February 23, 2009

Last night’s Oscars had some truly wonderful moments.  And then there was that whole damn Slumdog Millionaire sweep.  Blech.

But there were some wonderful moments!  Like how cute was it when Kate Winslet’s dad whistled to her?  

Answer: the cutest!  Added to that, her speech felt wonderfully unrehearsed and genuine.

Or when Penelope Cruz won supporting actress for her feisty turn in Vicky Cristina Barcelona?  How great was that?

Awwww, she thanked Almodovar!  That’s more adorable than a dozen terrier puppies in my book!

And really, how gay–in all the best, most politically-forward-thinking ways possible–was this year’s Oscars?  Consider exhibit A:

Oh, and of course, exhibit B:

So gay.  I found both Dustin Lance Black’s and Sean Penn’s wins (along with their speeches) to be two of the moist poignant and affirming moments of the evening, blissful reminders that art and politics need not remain separate spheres of discourse; each can enrich the other, and together they capture something truly transcendental.  

Also, their speeches made me cry, but really, what doesn’t?  Making me cry is less of a litmus test for greatness so much as a litmus test for ensuring I still have a pulse.   

Anyways!

There was one moment that truly stuck out for me in this year’s ceremony, and that was this one.  Be sure to watch it all, because it will make you re-evaluate your current understanding of the world:

(more…)

U2 NLOTH Haiku Review: “Moment of Surrender”
February 23, 2009

Benjamin made a promise to review every track off No Line on the Horizon, one a day, leading up to the official release on March 3.  Whoopsies!  Unfortunately, he can’t write about music for a damn as he studied film; it’s all “chiming Edge guitar” this and “propulsive rhythm by Larry and Adam” that, blah blah BLECH.  Instead, he’s embraced the new-found experimentation that U2 has clearly found: why review when you can haiku?  So put on your crazy boots, ‘cos here comes the next round:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I’m still playing catch-up with this foolish project.  So sue me.  The Oscars were yesterday, which meant I had to spend my day making banana nut muffins and doing oodles of laundry.  Seriously, my room was mere days away from warranting hazmat suits for guests.  Don’t believe me?  This is my room:

swamp-room2

Well, minus Swamp Thing and Heather Locklear.  My room simply isn’t lucky enough to house the cast of the 80s-camp goodness that is The Return of Swamp Thing.  Then again, is any room that lucky?  No, I think not.

But I digress.

Here’s the next installment of our haiku review.  If it were 2008, I’d make some timely joke about drinking it up like a milkshake, because Daniel Day Lewis was winning at the Oscars  for There Will Be Blood.  Alas, better (a year) late than never.  So drink it up!  Drink up the haiku-shake:

(more…)

U2 NLOTH Haiku Review: “Magnificent”
February 21, 2009

Benjamin made a promise to review every track off No Line on the Horizon, one a day, leading up to the official release on March 3.  Whoopsies!  Unfortunately, he can’t write about music for a damn as he studied film; it’s all “chiming Edge guitar” this and “propulsive rhythm by Larry and Adam” that, blah blah BLECH.  Instead, he’s embraced the new-found experimentation that U2 has clearly found: why review when you can haiku?  So put on your crazy boots, ‘cos here comes the next round:

Two reviews in one day?  Isn’t this supposed to be daily?” you ask.  

“Tacky, insolent reader,” I reply, “I was too busy writing about blue genitals on Friday.  Recognize the priorities!  Today is catch-up day, and tomorrow we’ll return to our regularly scheduled program.”

“Fair is fair,” you respond.  As you should.

The new haiku review drops NOW:

magnificent-haiku

Whew!  Another down.  I think I may be getting the hang of this.  Haikus are fun (and by fun, I should say that they’re a lazy man’s review)!  Only nine more left!  We can do this!  Hold onto your haiku hats, ‘cos tomorrow gets another!

Oh, and as always, you can stream No Line on the Horizon on U2’s Myspace, so you can hear of which I haiku.

Joan in Her Humoresque Glasses Will Make Your Weekend (Lifetime)
February 21, 2009

Did you think I was lying when I said Joan wears the hell out of her glasses in Humoresque?  I’m sure you didn’t, but in case you’ve gotta be all Doubting Thomas about it, here’s certifiable, undeniable proof.  Behold!  Joan in glasses:

joanglasses11

I TOLD YOU!  That’s some seriously glasses classiness.  I mean, Joan’s bringing her patented Crawford Klassiness (Crawford Klassiness: So much class we had to spell is with a “k”) to the table in this movie.  I totally covet those glasses.  

And, OH!, how she accessorizes!

(more…)

No Line on the Horizon Track-by-Track Review: “No Line on the Horizon”
February 21, 2009

So apparently the “No Line on the Horizon” I heard before was totally a b-side.  Whoopsiedaisy!  That must’ve been the “punk-y Pixies/Buzzcocks homage” version that Q Magazine mentioned some time ago.  All the better.  Anything unexpected shall always surprise.  And “No Line on the Horizon” surprises in spades.  And by surprises, I mean this song is awesomely ridiculous.  Check out U2’s Myspace page if you don’t believe me; they’re streaming that ridiculousness.

So in honor of all the ridiculousness and surprises No Line on the Horizon seems to be holding, I’ve decided to do these track-by-track reviews as haikus, because that’s also surprising and ridiculous (and I also don’t know how to properly discuss music worth a damn; I studied film, lay off me!).

So here we go, y’all:

nloth-haiku

Well that was fun (?).  And ludicrous.  And an exercise in absolute nonsense.  And there’s still 10 more to go.  Ruh-roh.  Looks like this is going to be a bumpy ride on the crazy train…

Next up: “Magnificent.”

Watchmen is About to Make Our (Non-Existing) Wildest Blue-Wiener Dreams Come True
February 20, 2009

Last summer, the teaser trailer for Watchmen was attached to The Dark Knight and nerds the world over collectively rejoiced (orgasmed).  Here, in case you forgot:

I’ll freely admit that it got me excited, but not in that way.  I’ve never read Watchmen, so I’ve no profound attachment to the source material or deeply preconceived set of expectations.  Instead, I just think it’s pretty.  Added to that, I’m waiting for “visionary” (HA!  such lies!) director Zack Snyder to make penance for 300; Dawn of the Dead showed promise, so I thoroughly believe that Watchmen may be his redemption due to its distinct lack of being associated with Frank Miller.  At least we know that Watchmen won’t be ridiculously misogynistic and homophobic (maybe?).  Oh, and let’s not forget that Frank Miller is absolutely the worst.  That’s a tangential thought, but one worth repeating until we all remember.

More than anything else about the teaser worth noting, though, was the fact that there was this:

watchmen-bludity

Wait.  What?  Are we looking at full-frontal CGI blue-dity?  Is this some sort of PFLAG-mandated  penance for the 7-foot-tall Xerxes tranny?  Did the CGI Billy Crudup lost his Kibbles ‘n Bits in the explosion and now is the walking equivalent of a blue-energy Ken doll?  I’m not worried about who is watching the Watchmen, people; clearly the real important questions involve these above-mentioned shenanigans, and they demand the important answers!   

Thankfully, Defamer now has the answers.  Well, the first and third, at least.

(more…)

Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me That Joan Crawford’s in the Greatest Movie Ever?
February 19, 2009

She is.  And it’s called Humoresque.  Humoresque is so incredible, in fact, that we can understand its brilliance through a simple mathematic equation, and math is infallible.  To wit:

Joan Crawford melodrama+classical music concert numbers=the greatest movie ever.  Le duh.

To give you an idea as to just how great it is, here’s a still:

humoresque1531

Whoa.  Just whoa.

In case you were confused by this picture,  Humoresque is a melodrama that stars Joan Crawford.  It’s not a comedy, which may come as a surprise given that the title has the word “humor” in it.  Language comprehension is hard like that (unlike math).

Whatever.

(more…)

I Will Review Every No Line on the Horizon Song. Individually. Because I’m Ridiculous.
February 19, 2009

nlothholdon1

Last night, in a fit of unbridled brilliance (insanity), I had a realization: if I tried to say everything I want to say about No Line on the Horizon, I’d be blogging ’til infinity.  I’d lose my job and my friends and stop eating or bathing, and then they’d put me on Intervention, and afterwards I’d say I was clean but really that would be a lie ‘cos I’d be secretly blogging whenever people weren’t looking, and it’d generally be all kinds of awful (for you, not me).

So I decided to compromise.  I’ll ride my crazy train for the next twelve days.  Each day I’ll tackle a song from the album, culminating in a review of the album as a whole on No Line‘s release date.  Then I promise stop talking about talk less about this album.  Until the tour.  Maybe.

Oh, and there’s no need to thank me.  You’re welcome.

Crimminy Crap! No Line on the Horizon Has Been Leaked!
February 18, 2009

No Line on the Horizon leaked today, y’all.  According to @U2:

For the second time this month, an online music store has started prematurely selling No Line on the Horizon. This time, the Universal Music Australia storehas made the entire album available as digital downloads, and fans all over the world are buying it up, putting it on file sharing sites, and sending it to friends. The album’s out there now; no turning back. Update: Universal Australia is no longer selling the album; it was available for about 1-2 hours.

Little did anyone know that NLOTH was also available on the Napster Mobile online store. An @U2 reader found it and bought the album on February 8th; it was available all last week, and finally removed yesterday (Feb. 16). 

I think we all know what I had to do, because I certainly lost all patience and will power about a week ago.  And, well, about all I can say right now is this:

nlothomfg

My head hurts from how many thoughts I’ve spinning around about this fabulousness.  Ever since I became a fan with the release of All That You Can’t Leave Behind (lay off me, I was a late bloomer!), I’ve longed to have the thrill of getting a U2 album that would have the same game-changing feel of excitement that Achtung Baby had for a certain generation of fans.  

Well, that moment has arrived.

Every song on No Line on the Horizon is a hands-down triumph.  Simply put: this one is a beaut.  So much sonic texture to the production!  So Much Album-As-Spectrum-Of-Human-Emotions-In-Our-Current-Moment Deliciousness!  SO MUCH AMAZING!  GAH!!!

See?  I can’t deal with it right now.  My homo-wittiness has disappeared in an ocean of fanboy hyperbole!   I’ve given it three full listens and I’m still an atomically hot mess of unadulterated school-girl giddiness.  I don’t think a frosting-scented Jon Hamm could get me this excited.  I need a cold bath (stiff drink).  I’m going to have to take a few days to properly digest this album, but you’d better believe a lengthy review is coming.  LENGTHY.  You’ve been warned.

U2 is back, bitches.  I hope you’re ready to deal with my ensuing craziness.

Thanks, @U2 for the tip.  You’ve ruined my ability to be a tolerable human being for the next year.

%d bloggers like this: