Monthly Archives: January 2010

Blue and Green

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Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington in costume.

My apologies if my memory’s a little shaky: I was supposed to write this post about three weeks ago, but procrastinated. Its subject can be deduced from the image above.

Some Hollywood insiders forecast Avatar‘s total gross to surpass 2.5 billion USD. The film recently overtook Titanic in nominal box office receipts, although Avatar is not expected to match Titanic in the awards department; a science-fiction movie is rarely showered with statues. Cameron is the only (Hollywood?) director to have two billion-dollar movies in his filmography, and perhaps one of the few directors to regularly have film budgets over 200 million USD. Not bad for the Canadian former truck driver. Continue reading

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Three for Thursday

Three for Thursday returns with one serious video, one video of people being too serious for their own good and one video so far from serious that it features a Nazi zombie.

Califone – Funeral Singers (Tunnelvision)

Califone is a Chicago-based indie and post-rock band. Despite being around for a decade or so (in various guises from solo project to rotating who’s who), the band only recently passed through my radar when I picked up a promotional MP3 of this track. “Funeral Singers,” is the first release off Califone’s new album, All my Friends are Funeral Singers which is a soundtrack to a film by the same name which has been entered into the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Califone’s current tour has them playing double shows in each city – one night of rock and one night of live accompaniment to the film. I hope I can find time to listen to some more, since I’m considering I seeing them when they run through their hometown in March. This track is a live version from Pitchfork.tv’s Tunnelvision. Continue reading

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Keep Walking: A Johnnie Walker Tasting

Johnnie Walker Blends

Johnnie Walker Blends

A few nights ago, some friends and I gathered for what we hope will become a regular institution:  whisky tasting. For our inaugural tasting, we decided on a comparison of Johnnie Walker blended Scotch (Black, Green, Gold and Blue Labels). It was an interesting first choice I think, playing more for safety and for name recognition than for something more exotic. The group, however, was quite diverse including known scotch lovers and haters as well as whisky newbies, and everyone (I think/hope) found something enjoyable. Continue reading

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Filed under Drinks, Spirits, Tasting Notes

A Supposedly Fun Book I’ll Probably Have to Read Again

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

I first encountered the writings of David Foster Wallace through tennis, an interest that has grown over the last two years. Wallace was a ranked junior tennis player in the Midwest, and an overall jock in his younger days. He wrote an excellent piece, “Roger Federer as Religious Experience“, for the New York Times Magazine in August 2006, a season during which Federer compiled a 90-5 match record and won twelve titles. I enjoyed his conversational style of writing, and I found some of his observations, like the description of the kinetic beauty in sport as originating with “human beings’ reconciliation with the fact of having a body”, to be particularly insightful. Continue reading

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Filed under Books, Sports, Tennis

From Athens to Chicago: Southeast Engine

Southeast Engine

Southeast Engine

2009 was a busy concert year for me. I saw 19 concerts and two 3-day festivals for a total of over 70 different artists (a half dozen of which I saw a second or third time before the year’s end). By contrast, I saw one concert in 2008 and a scant few my entire life before that.  It is perhaps fitting then that my inaugural 2010 rock outing was to see the first proper rock band I ever saw, the Athens, Ohio indie/folk outlet Southeast Engine which I grew to love during my years at Ohio University. The group led a night of Americana rock at Schubas Tavern with support from Peoria native Jared Bartman and Chicago band Chaperone. Continue reading

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Filed under Concerts, Music