Frinklin's Almost Completely Unnecessary Non-Baseball Blog

Jun. 23, 2008 at 2:32am

Saturday Night Floater Show

Saturday night at Hell's Kitchen, the Frinklins, Frietai, and Izenmania joined AP and the legions of his fellow Floater cultists. This was my first trip to the Kitchen, and my first exposure to Floater.

Trip The Light Fantastic
Unexpected to say the least, Trip the Light Fantastic features two guitarists, bass and drums with a smattering of keyboards but no vocals.TTLF brings a blaring, brittle punk-funk sensibility to almost prog-rockish extended musical passages. Think early Chili Peppers if they tried to play Interstellar Overdrive several times over and you get the idea.TTLF is an intense, almost somber band, with only bassist Joseph Yohann showing much emotion, and that might be too much, as his playing seems to get sloppier the more he leaps around. Trip The Light Fantastic seems a band more to the admired than enjoyed, as the approach they've taken is resolutely anti-commercial. Yeah, the market for instrumental alt-rock issmalller then you might think. The band might also consider turning down their amps a bit in concert, the work on their website is far more intricate and detailed than what comes through on stage.

Mos Generator
The first thing I noticed about this band was that these guys look like they could have opened for Ten Years After around 1970. This piqued my interest, as I have an abiding love for bluesy proto-metal bands like Deep Purple, Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult, extending even to crap like Blue Cheer and Frijid Pink. Yes those are real bands that had real hits. I clearly need help. Mos Generator does too, as they are seriously on my wavelength. They busted out monster riffs and melodic hooks like they were meant for the AM radio on a 1971 Camaro. Mos Generator is no postmodernist band, mixing seventies touches with ironic detatchment, they really mean it. Other than slight nods to thrash, they act like heavy rock stopped about 1976, and sing songs about the Gods of Olympus. And that is why Jesus loves them.

Hell, Blue Cheer shows up on their MySpace friends list. How can I resist?

Most indie bands don't stick around for 15 years, but Floater has. A genre-bending power trio with a small but seriously devoted fanbase, a case can be made for Floater belonging not the grunge scene of the northwest, but as harbinger of such postmodern prog rock darlings like the late, lamented At The Drive-In and TV on the Radio. Opening with the brooding, brilliant "Ghost in the Making" the band powered through their set on almost pure intensity. The connection with the band and the audience was palpable, especially during the sing-along, shoulda-been-a-bigger-hit "Sad Ballad of Danny Boy". Bassist-vocalist Robert Wynia, guitarist Dave Amadador and drummer Peter Cornette are all accomplished players, but all three focus on the song, eschewing showy, senseless solos. Amador especially, is at times an astonishing guitarist, capable of both heavy riff and blazing lead lines. The emotion in Floater songs is obvious, sometimes even overwrought, but that matted little to an audience clearly filled with established fans. The only complaint? The band left without an encore and little explanation as to why. The crowd clearly wanted more.

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Jun. 22, 2008 at 11:54pm

George Carlin 1937-2008

Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits.

Thank You and Goodnight

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Jun. 20, 2008 at 10:58pm

The New Obama Seal

Look, I'm totally in the tank for Barack Obama. I'm voting for him, even changed my registration to Democrat so I could participate in the caucus this year, I've donated money to his campaign, the whole deal.

But I have to say, this damned thing has got to go.

Seriously? How self-important can he look?

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Jun. 3, 2008 at 2:49pm

Bacon In A Can!

Yes, let me reiterate: Bacon in a can. Who's up for canned bacon?

Looks delicious, don't it?

Mmmmmm... Keeps it's shape and everything. One last thing about Bacon in a Can? It has a shelf life of over 10 years. Just think you can get a can of bacon, keep in on the shelf and in 2018 look at it and say, "Boy, I'd best eat this can of bacon, it might expire soon."

10 years! I think I see a FeedTacoma taste test coming soon. Lets all buy some!

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Jun. 2, 2008 at 4:22pm

Cobra Snake For A Necktie

Bo Diddley died this morning. How important was Bo Diddley? None of what we consider pop music, be it rap, rock, punk or metal would even exist today were it not for the "Bo Diddley beat". His most famous songs, "Hey Bo Diddley" and "Who Do You Love" included, are all about one thing: how goddamn cool it is to be Bo Diddley. Listen close, and you realize he's right.

Two versions of "Who Do You Love":

First, the original Checker single.

Then, a new recording for the movie La Bamba. This one is so hot it threatens to melt the walls.

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May. 24, 2008 at 3:16am

Movie Preview Review #2

The Tacoma blogosphere made another movie outing. This time it was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The verdict: fun, but don't think too hard. On to the important stuff, the previews.

Step Brothers: Wait, Will Ferrell playing an emotionally stunted man-child? Wow, he's really pushing himself, isn't he? John C. Reilly as his equally stunted sidekick? Wherever have I heard this before? Ferrell - in his 235th movie of the last 18 months - and Reilly, so childlike as to seem retarded, play live-at-homes in their late thirties who become stepbrothers. They start as rivals, and eventually become best friends. Really though, the plot to this is pretty much beside the point. What will make this movie are the gags, and in this trailer they look pretty damned funny. The job interview bit, where Reilly sits directly behind Farrell is Dada comedy as its best. This is a Must See Unless You Loath Will Ferrell. And yes, I am well aware this is cheating. This was not a real preview, but a segment of the preshow infotainment.

Australia: Baz Lurhmann's first film since Moulin Rouge, Australia stars Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman. Beyond that, I got nothing. This trailer is gorgeously shot but borderline incomprehensible. There are shots of Japanese Zeros, so World War II seems play a part. Plus there are some vaguely wild west moments, so this could be an historical epic about Australia. I'm sure I could find this out by Googling it, but that seems to totally defeat the purpose of the trailer in the first place. This is a Christmas release, so we have a long way to go. Call this For Baz Junkies Only.

Hancock: This was the first actual trailer I've seen for Will Smith's troubled superhero movie and quite frankly, it left me cold. I have a personal aversion to non-comic book superheros, so there is that to consider, but the Hancock just doesn't seem very good. The premise is good enough: the world's only superhero is a lazy, drunken lout. He solves crimes and helps people, but does it so lazily and recklessly he does as much harm as good. Eventually he hooks up with a PR guy, rehabs his image and saves the world. So why don't I want to see this? The trailer seems surly and mean-spirited, including a rather grotesque scene where Hancock shoves a man's head up his ass. Sounds fun huh? No, Just No.

The Dark Knight: The same trailer seen before Iron Man. And we know how much I enjoyed that.

Kung-Fu Panda: Kung-Fu is always cool. Jack Black is often cool. Dreamworks animation is sometimes cool. Talking animals are seldom cool. This is not the right direction to be traveling. Kung-Fu Panda looks watchable, but in an instantly-forgotten-kind-of-way. Video, Unless The Kids Love The Funny Violence.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army
: I had no idea this was successful enough to garner a sequel. While director Guillermo del Toro has added some serious Pan's Labyrinth-isms to this second movie based on Mike Mignola's demon-hero, it looks pretty much the same. And that works. Hellboy II promises big fun, wisecracking demons, creepy fish-men and a pryokinetic Selma Blair. What more could you ask for in a summer movie? Oh, a coherent plot and non-ridiculous villains? You ask for too much. See, But Not In Any Real Rush. Warning: Rating automatically flips to Must See for any of the following: Goths, Comic Book Geeks, People Who Love Demons With Overly Large Hands.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Here we go. This is the preview that strikes a cord, much more than the silliness of Step Brothers or the grim intensity of The Dark Knight. Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button follows the titular character as he ages in reverse, having been born as an elderly man. Brad Pitt stars, which could be perfect as Pitt has always been a character actor trapped in a leading man's body. Cate Blanchett is utterly radiant as his lover and the aging make up (a potentially huge problem) looks spot-on. Must See And Watch It Win Oscars.

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May. 14, 2008 at 1:50am

Emerald City Comic Con Review: Part 1

I went to the Emerald City Comic Con this past weekend. I bought a ton of junk. And I feel the neurotic need to tell you about it.

Wondermark: A web-comic now beginning to be collected on paper, Wondermark was probably written just for me. Creator Dave Malki takes Victorian-era public-domain images, adds some throughly modern snark and throws in a pinch of pure weirdness. I picked up all three of the books. The best of which The Annotated Wondermark: The First Anthology Collection of the Celebrated Comic Strip is well, exactly that: a collection of the first 100 webstrips. The other two, Treachery: An All-New Wondermark Adventure, and Dispatches from Wondermark Manor are shorter, more experimental pieces. Neither are as enjoyable as the collection, but all three are worth checking out.

Noble Causes Archives #1/Gemini #1: Jay Faerber has a real knack for finding the superhero stories that haven't been told. Dynamo 5, perhaps his most successful book, follows the five illegitimate children of the late Captain Dynamo, his Superman stand-in. Since I already own that, I was on the hunt for his newest (Gemini) and his first (Noble Causes). I picked up both and was lucky enough to have Jay sign them. The Noble Causes Archives is a rather massive book (600 + pages) collecting about half of the series. It's black and white instead of the original color, but that is a minor quibble considering the sheer bargain. The series has been plagued with multiple artist switches and there is never a set look, but the idea (normal girl marries into a dynastic superhero family) and execution is good enough that you won't notice. The Archives volume 2 comes out later this summer.

Gemini is another high-concept superhero. Ever since Clark Kent first slipped on his first pair of glasses, the "secret identity" has been a staple of the genre. Gemini takes it one farther. Dan Johnson has no idea he's secretly a superhero, being remotely controlled by a secretive government agency. It's only the first issue, but Faerber sets the mood well, and focuses less on the titular character  - who is, by definition a bit of a cypher -  and instead settles in on one of his handlers. The art is good, though it suffers from some mid-90's Image excesses at times.

The best part? Jay qualifies as a local, working (and blogging) just across the bridge in Gig Harbor.

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May. 4, 2008 at 2:46am

Movie Preview Review

I - and about a quarter of the Tacoma blogosphere - went and saw Iron Man on Saturday night. The early verdict? Completely awesome, with a full review to come. First we take a look at the previews, since that's half the fun of the movies, isn't it?

 The Happening: Someone needs to tell M. Night Shyamalan to stop. Since the masterful The Sixth Sense his movies have each been about as half as good at the previous. Judging by the preview, this might not even be that good. Edging perilously close to self-parody, this looks to be a portentous, pretentious mess. Mark Wahlberg sports the same open-mouthed slightly-stunned, slightly-stupid expression, the adorable Zooey Deschenal looks completely out of place and the laughable voiceover practically promises yet another twist! Mark this movie Avoid So Much You Pretend It Doesn't Exist.

 Speed Racer: I would like to point out that the Wachowskis haven't directed an actual good movie since the original Matrix, and that was nearly a decade ago. This looks like it might be a moderate return to form. Adapting the beloved and seriously goofy mid-60's anime, Speed Racer sports a great cast - Christina Ricci looks like she was born to play Trixie - and a stunning, candy-coated look. It might not be for everyone though, as my wife put it, the action scenes are so over-the-top it looks like "epilepsy on film." This trailer is not quite Must See, but scores a solid See Because You're A Geek and Sort Of Have To.

The Love Guru: Viewing this trailer made me think of two things. The first is that this Mike Myers vehicle might have made a very funny SNL skit, and secondly that this film looks dated right out of the box. It sure seems that much of this forced and unfunny comedy could be a new Austin Powers movie, but Myers got bored with the goofy English accent and decided to try a goofy Indian one instead. Add the gorgeous but decidedly stiff Jessica Alba as a love interest, and this movie screams For Mike Myers Groupies Only.

 You Don't Mess With Zohan: You know, every so often (say Punch Drunk Love or the lousy but earnest Reign Over Me), Adam Sandler shows he has actual, tangible talent. Then he goes and makes crap like I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and this steaming shitpile. Sandler, sporting a terrible accent and bad facial hair - Ooooh, edgy! - plays an Israeli secret agent who goes to America to become a hairdresser. Add the consistently awful Rob Schneider as a Palestinian cabbie and some unfunny Boratisms, and you have another Avoid So Much You Pretend It Doesn't Exist.

 The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian: I must preface this by saying I never, ever read any of the Narnia books as a kid. I made it about 10 pages into The Silver Chair, gave up to go on playing with my Transformers and never made it back. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe was okay in a not quite good enough to be LOTR kinda way, and this looks much the same. This movie gets a Meh.

The Dark Knight: I was slightly disappointed in this. There was only about 17 "FUCK THAT LOOKS COOL" moments. This is a Must See, Leave The Kids To Fend For Themselves.

 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: The buzz on this has been a bit shaky, and the trailer confirms that. The Good: Harrison Ford with hat, whip and one-liners intact, the return of Marian Ravenwood, Cate Blanchett hamming it up. The Bad: No Sean Connery, too much Shia LeBeauf, and the unshakable sense that there might not be any reason for this movie. Still, this rates a Must See, Because Indiana Jones is Always Cool.

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May. 1, 2008 at 10:10pm

Flyp Out

Okay, seeing as just about everybody on the Feed is involved with the web, I thought I'd pose this question: What do we think about Flyp?. For those who haven't seen it yet, it's a webmagazine that uses Flash to replicate the magazine experience. You click through and get a nifty page turning effect.

I like it, though I don't think it anything revolutionary. It's still going to depend on the actual content, and like many around here I prefer my interwebs clean and unadorned.

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May. 1, 2008 at 7:21pm

The Unnecessary Blog

I'd just like it known I was pressured into this. I guess it could be worse, my friends could be pressuring me into trying heroin or jumping off bridges. I'm done this before. I currently blog about the Tacoma Rainiers here and also pitch in at Bleeding Blue and Teal. I also have a oft-ignored political blog called Electoral College Dropouts. It should be Blogging Dropouts since neither I nor my blogpartner has written anything in weeks. Plus I started out at this blog, then moved on to this one. Add my newly started twitter account and that would be six blogs in the span of about four years.

I really need to find a new hobby.

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