Friday, June 30, 2006

Band of Horses

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I wanted to write a few quick words about a band that I am very excited about. From Seattle (their sound gave it away instantly), Band of Horses was born in 2004 but just released their major label album, Everything All the Time, in late March. They recently played the Pitchfork Music Festival with one of my favorite bands, Destroyer, and live reviews for this band are always stellar. Looks like I missed their Atlanta show on 6/22 at the Earl. Sounding like My Morning Jacket, Flaming Lips and Built to Spill, Band of Horses is getting quite a lot of buzz as of late. The Funeral, which they just released a horribly bad video for, is my favorite song on the album so far. It starts off like a lullaby and progresses to a tirade of pure emotion and pain. Yum. Look out for them, thank me when you end up loving them, etc.


Trash Talk

Pete Doherty is quite possibly the dumbest human being alive. The lead singer of Babyshambles, who are surprisingly good, Doherty got arrested for possession just moments after being in court for another possession charge. Chill out, dude.

Nick and Jessica's divorce is final today. I'm sure Dane Cook is thrilled. Dane, I know the girl is hot but does she make you laugh? A part of me died when I found out you might be banging her.

Star Jones is off of the View. The network said that she was not testing well and that is why her contract was not renewed. Star alleges that Rosie O' Donnell got her kicked off and is replacing her, not Meredith. I'm just happy I don't have to look at Star Jones disproportionate head any more.

Pamela Anderson went across the pond to protest against fur by posting naked in the Stella McCartney storefront. Little known fact: I adore this woman. But PETA using sex as a way to draw attention to themselves seems off to me. And I'm still mad for what they did recently to Beyonce. Two PETA people posed as winners of a VH1 contest and joined HER for dinner in NYC, where they began to show her videos of minks being tortured and killed among other gregarious animal cruelty acts. Bad taste, PETA.

Josh Duhamel and Tommy Lee apparently got into a literal pissing contest Tuesday night at an LA club. Tommy Lee was draining the snake and Josh was doing the pee pee dance waiting for him. Witnesses claim that Josh said something rude through the door which prompted a thorough ass-beating by Tommy. There must be some sort of bladder problem with Duhamel and his lovely girlfriend, Fergie, who peed her pants onstage a few weeks back.

I didn't think Britney's hair could look worse than it did in her recent Matt Lauer interview, but this new black goth thing she has going is disgusting. She's on the cover of August's Harper's Bazaar naked. Obviously Britney has a moron for a publicist.


The Song That Changed My Life

I am sure that all of you remember the one song that hooked you, that made you stop dead in your tracks and kicked you in the gut so hard that you were never the same. The song that changed my life was not lyrically moving nor rhythmically challenging. On the contrary, it was a simple, snotty punk song by NOFX that set me on the path to who I am today. I remember the day that Jay Carver, my high school crush and the pastor's son, picked me up for school because our parents had set some deal that he was not extremely pleased with. I was ecstatic; he was probably embarassed to be driving this confused and awkward sophmore when he could be picking up his girlfriend or someone that he might actually be able to make a pass at without puking. Proximity was his enemy and my savior.

So, on that fateful day, I sat in the passenger seat of his car while Jay sped to school blasting NOFX. The first licks of Moron Brothers screeched past my ears and something happened to me. I had never heard music like this, I had been listening to the radio mostly and had recently become infatuated with Janis Joplin. I couldn't get the song out of my head. It followed me around school that day and lurked until the next day, when Jay picked me up again. I gathered the courage to actually speak and ask him what the song was that had been playing the previous day, and if he could play it again. It was better the second time around.

Segue to the prom a few months later, which Bobby Miller escorted me to. Bobby ditched me early on, realizing that I was not exactly interested in him after I pushed his face away from mine when he tried to kiss me in his station wagon. I was hiding in the shadows and trying to disappear when the school's token punk rocker approached me, for reasons I'm still not sure of. Fate, perhaps? I asked him if he liked NOFX. He looked at me with such astonishment that I had to laugh. The rest of the night, Pete Shrom shared with me his favorite bands and songs. Pete would end up being my personal punk Ghandi, teaching me the ways of this music and introducing me to the Punk Rock Bible, Maximum Rock N' Roll.

I've kept those memories with me for a decade because they were defining moments for me. This music gave me a purpose and a voice. I started to write and express the opinions that I had always kept inside of me. This music taught me that it was okay to ask "Why" and that being off beat would get someone to notice you.

-Joolie Poison

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Lucky Louie

Three episodes in and I'm not sure what to make of Lucky Louie the newest comedy offering from HBO that comes on right after the powerhouse that is Entourage. I never really paid attention to Louis CK until I saw a stand up special from him on HBO about 2 years ago and I was instantly a fan. Louis' routine centers around some very embarassing aspects of his life; getting hookers and being sent to a retarded summer camp as a child and is at time's hysterical.

I can say that I admire his bravery in trying to bring back a Roseanne style sitcom, one that appears to portray real, middle class people in a completely unique style by filming in front of a live studio audience but sprinkling in profanity to "talk like people talk." But I'm not certain that it actually works. At first I thought it was kind of jarring to see your typical sitcom family spouting out f-bombs and talking opening about jerking off, perhaps it was the laughter of the studio audience that made me uncomfortable? Then I took it further and started to think that the material just isn't that strong. Sure I laugh, but I'm not sure I like the characters and isn't that the strength of any good sitcom? Jim Norton stands out when he shows up as a pot dealer, but he has one small scene per episode and that's not enough.

One of the more interesting aspects of the show is that the wife is played by the woman who voices Bobby Hill on King of the Hill, Pamela Adlon. At times you can really hear Bobby's voice coming from her and it's just plain odd. And don't get me started about the tease of nudity that flashes up before the show starts. In two of the three episodes shown, the nudity warning was specific to men's genitals which admittedly funny was just kind of unnecessary in a sitcom. Even one on HBO.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Time Without Consequence

Alexi Murdoch

Time Without Consequence
Alexi Murdoch

Orange Sky is a song that I heard once and it got stuck in my brain. I have never watched The OC, so I can safely say that is not where I first heard Alexi Murdoch's haunting tale of depression over lost love. And although I did see Ladder 49, I cannot recall hearing the song play in the movie despite the information that I have that tells me it was on the soundtrack to the Travolta fireman flick. Where I heard the song for the first time is not as important as how it rattled me. And rattle me it did.

The search was on to find a download of any and all Alexi Murdoch. Surprisingly enough, all I could gather was that this Englishman only had pressed a Four Songs EP on which was Orange Sky. It was on this solid EP that I came across perhaps a better song than Orange Sky in Song For You, one of those tracks you wish you had written or the staple of mixtapes to all those girls you have secret crushes on to show your sensitivity and depth.

Time Without Consequence, Alexi's long awaited full length debut is finally here to feed the beast and I'm happy to say he is not looking to disappoint those of us who have sought out what we could for the last 2 years. Three of the tracks from Four Songs made the cut, both Orange and Song in addition to Blue Mind, and for that reason alone I implore you to buy this record. Alexi keeps his Nick Drake impression firmly in check but comes across more like Badly Drawn Boy singing Iron and Wine songs on many of these tracks. Sad melodies, ethereal soundscapes, that inescapable accent drenching every word; Alexi delivers one of the more mood setting albums to come out in a while. The charm is that this record could fit nicely during a quiet dinner at home between new lovers as much as it could as the soundtrack to a good old fashion crying session by those who are unlucky in love. If you fit into either category, seek this one out.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

America's Got Talent?

If America does have talent, why on Earth did it not find it's way onto this show? I'm not certain enlisting judges with marginal talent is the secret to success to start. David Hasselhoff? Brandy? Some cantankerous British dude no one has heard of? These clowns make Regis Philbin seem regal as this host of this mess. I knew I was in trouble when the first contestant was a guy who was just on Howard Stern two months ago, famous for snapping his fingers to music.

When you think of talent, and the spectrum is wide open, what comes to mind? Probably singing, or maybe dancing, right? Well considering Fox has two shows already on the air fully exploiting the common man (and woman)'s abilities in these two areas, this concoction has to tread lightly in those fields for fear of seeming like American Idol light or So, You Really, Really, Really Think You Can Dance? Certainly the singers and dancers are peppered in there, but they aren't the emphasis. After two hours of this program I would have to assume the biggest talent any American has outside of the song and dance act is apparently juggling. Juggling swords, balls, bigger balls, anything really. I lost count after the third riveting juggling routine, but I'm sure the final tally would reveal that every third competitor was juggling something to music.

Is this the direction we want our mindless, reality television shows to head? Part of me would actually love to see Regis Philbin hand over 1 million dollars to America's Greatest Juggler. Can you imagine?


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Into the Wild

Turning a book into a movie can be tough (Dune, I, Robot, Time Machine), but it can also be rewarding if the integrity of the written work remains intact, see High Fidelity, Bridget Jones Diary or the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I saw today that a great book, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, is now in the hands of the very capable director Sean Penn. Yes, Sean Penn is a talented actor, but is also an accomplished director who every five years or so takes on a new project. The Crossing Guard and The Pledge are movies that move slowly and involve you with a central male character, a pedigree that makes Penn the perfect candidate for this adaptation.

If you don't know the book Into the Wild, I highly suggest you grab this quick read and discover the amazing story of a gifted, college graduate who gave up everything, walked into Alaskan wild and starved to death four months later. The diaries left behind by Christopher McCandless tell the story of a conflicted child of privledge who shuns his parents wealth and bares enough resentment against his father to warrant a visual exploration in the capable hands of Penn. The cast sounds extremely promising with the talented Emile Hirsch, fantastic in The Dangerous Lives of Alter Boys and getting buzz for the soon to be release Alpha Dog, in the lead role up against Oscar winner William Hurt as McCandless' father Walt. Pepper in some supporting roles, most likely mere walk ons considering the solitude of the book, by Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener and Marcia Gay Harden and you have the makings of a strong piece of work.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Nacho Libre: Caca or Estupendo?

Joolie says:
Poor Jack Black. First he has to carry the comedy weight in School of Rock, and now he has to do it all over again with Nacho Libre. Can someone give this guy the movie he deserves? Napoleon Dynamite this movie was not, and honestly that was what I was looking for. I wanted the countless phrases that I could replay in my head over and over. I wanted Tina the llama and kay-sa-dillas. Jack Black was the only funny person in this movie, and while he is one of the most hilarious "slap-stick" comics around, he just couldn't save this disaster.

The awkward silences are there, which seem to be a gimmick for the Hess duo, who co-wrote this movie. While this incited laughs in Dynamite, here it just makes you feel wierd. The sidekick, "The Skeleton", humored me with his entrances and exits, but not much else. I really don't know why the nun was even in this movie. We really could have done without her, and you're left wondering if she was Nacho's love interest or maternal replacment for his dead mother.

My feeling during the movie was that the actors received a shoddy script and decided that by making faces and acting silly, they would be able to make the movie funny. Black brings all his cards to the table . We get a couple silly songs with hilarious hand gestures, subtle hilarities that bust your gut, and use of his girth to get a laugh, among others. He plays his character with such uproarious bravado that you have no choice but to chuckle.

See the movie if you think Jack Black is funny. If you don't think Jack Black is funny, there is definitely something wrong with you. I'm sure that this movie will do well in the Box Office, but I really don't think that it will enjoy the longevity that Napoleon Dynamite has been blessed with.

Scooter says:
Nacho Libre is so not estinky despite what Ms. Poison has to say. Jared Hess again works his magic in making absolute dorks do what they do best, be unflatteringly themselves for our enjoyment. Nacho, much like it's predecessor Napolean Dynamite, puts character in front of story line and allows us to enter a magical world where everyone just looks humurously fugly. Not that there isn't a story here, orphaned boy grows up in monastery, becomes a monk with a heart of gold yet yearns to be a Luche Libre superstar; it's just that the story becomes less important as the movie plays on. Instead what will keep you laughing and invested is the magnificent performance from Jack Black, toning himself down and fully committing to this lunacy with such an earnest approach.

Jack is an actor that I think owns the comedy genre, a smarter funny man than your Ben Stillers and Will Ferrells. But I will be honest when I say that I was worried about him jumping into the Jon Heder shoes as the new quirky foil in Nacho. Could Jack tone it down and just be quirky instead of his usual boistrous and snarky self? Happily, my pleasure with the film came almost singularly from Jack's performance. Sure, his sidekick "The Skeleton" certainly was entertaining, but it's Jack that carries this movie on his back just like he did in School of Rock. If elements of Nacho seem familiar to School of Rock (the interaction of Nacho and the orphans, the big finale) it's most likely because Mike White, who wrote SOR, collaborated on Nacho with Mr. and Mrs. Hess on this script.

The film is rich in toilet humor, but never goes over the top like you see in most commercial comedies these days. The sincerity of Nacho diffuses many of the laugh out loud scenes rather quickly, but I will say that only a few out of every 100 viewers will probably even laugh at many of the gags. Why? Well, the simple answer is that most people need the over the top scenes to cue them to laugh. We are a nation of imbicles for the most part and much like Napolean Dynamite and my favorite comedy of all time, Wes Andersen's Bottle Rocket, this movie will most likely live on as a cult classic instead of a box office success.

The best advice I could give you fair reader is to think of it in the simplest terms possible. Did you like Napolean Dynamite's style, off beat humor, visuals? If so, then you will not be disappointed. If you thought Napolean was too "out there" and incredibly stupid, then steer clear of Nacho Libre.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Classic Rock

Going to high school in the 80's at an all boys school I was surrounded by a ton of guys who creamed themselves over albums like New Jersey by Bon Jovi and Hysteria by Def Leppard. A smaller subsection of guys used to harass me when I was a lunch time DJ on the small campus radio station to play Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd records instead of the popular hair metal of the time. Myself, I wasn't partial to either genre and instead was rocking Love and Rockets and The Cure in my walkman to and from school on the bus. Growing up my father educated me on Motown and my step father schooled me on early Elton John and Cat Stevens, so I successfully avoided having to hear much "classic rock" like Zepplin and Floyd. Only when I played the cuts requested during lunch did I get a chance to listen to these classic artists and sadly I had zero appreciation for them at the time.

In fact I made my mind up early on in my teens that classic rock was for burnouts and stoners and therefore it must suck balls. I carried this attitude throughout my college years as well, opting to get into grunge and alternative instead. My awareness for classic rock was there, as I'm obsessive about knowing something about everything, but I wasn't a fan of anything from the 70's that wasn't acoustic in nature. Why then, in 2006, am I obsessed with the classic rock influenced masterpiece by Wolfmother? Although I haven't researched Wolfmother's influences, it's hard not to hear some early Aerosmith, Led Zepplin and even some Jethro Tull vibes meshing with Andrew Stockdale's very Jack White tinged vocals. It's rare for me to find an album that upon first listen shakes my musical foundation, let's say Appetite for Destruction or Joshua Tree, but I'd say it's even stranger for this album to move me similarly and be so overtly classic rockish. (Stand out tracks included White Unicorn, Mind's Eye and the current radio gem Woman.)


The album explodes on your stereo right out of the gate with Dimension, which ironically enough was the opening song used on Dane Cook's HBO show Tourgasm that debuted this past weekend, and doesn't quit bouncing around a self created universe until the final strains for Vagabond wisp from your ears. My reaction to hearing this record was to immediately re-play it and give it another go. It's just that good.

Perhaps the release of the Criteria Collection edition of Dazed and Confused couldn't by timed any more fitting since I'm jamming to some classic rock influenced music already with Wolfmother. Is there a better movie made that a) depicts high school and b) uses Foghat and Rick Derringer so fittingly? Okay, well perhaps Fast Times or Breakfast Club did a better job at portraying high school, but those movies had budgets.

Hands down though, Dazed and Confused showcased enough talented young actors that the budget to create a sequel would cost $40 million in salaries alone for it's stars. Although Jason London and Wiley Wiggens have not amounted to much and served as the central characters in this gem, the supporting players are either heavy weights like Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Milla Jovovich (as far as sci-fi, scanitly clad, ass kickers go)or are working class television and indie movie stars like Adam Goldberg (Saving Private Ryan), Cole Hauser (Pitch Black), Parker Posey, Anthony Rapp (Rent) and Rory Cochrane (former CSI Miami). The film not only launched some of these careers, but the success of That 70's Show owes plenty to the existence of Richard Linklater's classic and just finished up it's 8 year run on Fox a few weeks back. And I would also point out that post-Dazed and Confused it was okay to put on some classic rock at a keg party from time to time thanks to the success of the film's soundtrack. (The soundtrack did better than the movie did back in 1993 which says something about the preference of classic rock over good movies in this country.)

Thankfully though, a sequel is not something that this movie needs as it is a cult classic and what do we do with cult classics these days? We remake them. One never knows if that will happen, but I bet if they did the soundtrack would stay identical as it plays such an integral part of painting this picture of the last day of high school in the late 70's. I guess what I am trying to say is that both the music and the movie stand the test of time, and the release of the Criteria Collection version of Dazed and Confused is worth every penny.


Bye Bye Britney

Britney Spears has no shame. Wearing an outfit I wouldn’t even let my UPS guy see, Britney poured her heart out to Matt Lauer on Thursday night. First of all, who the hell gave Matt this shit interview? He didn’t even ask any hard-hitting questions; he just sat there biting his tongue (I’d be a fucking mute after that interview) while Brit lied her face off about her marriage and fended off questions about her son and her new pregnancy. The guy just got financially ass-raped by Katie Couric and then he’s sent on this assignment. With no socks on. Was this a rush job? Ouch. I really would have enjoyed watching Barbara Walters interview her because she talks funny.

At some point, Britney began to take on the shape of the Michelin Man. Her neck has disappeared and she looks like a huge dough ball. The girl needs a better posture and a fucking brush to tame that weave. It was just hideous. Hell if I was Kevin, I would move to the basement, too. Screw the Freshman Fifteen, it’s more like the K-Fed Forty. He bull-dozed through Shar and he has now dethroned the Pop Princess. It really is sad.

Basically, because of her celebrity status, we have been given front row tickets to a white trash marriage. Like Britney says in the interview, “We’re country.” I know, Britney. I live in the heart of Dixie and I have come to understand the true meaning of “country.” Visits from Child Protective Services, check. Using a child seat every way but the right way, check. Absent husband who is anywhere but where you need him to be, check. I could go on, but I’m lazy, so I won’t.

There really was no “meat” to the interview. I didn’t learn anything I didn’t know already from my daily dose of celeb gossip. She pretended not to know the headlines of Star or US Weekly, but I bet she has every one of those next to her shitter at home. Cause that’s “country.”

Here is my advice to Britney. Start exercising, stop dropping your baby, and try to save your marriage. Yes, I think she should save it. She started it, and before she ends it, she should try to make it work. Honestly, though, I think she has become too inept to handle a relationship or even motherhood. She grew up too fast and now she is standing in the middle of a train wreck. And we’re all craning our necks, because what’s better than watching someone crash and burn. -JP

Friday, June 16, 2006

Mission Statement

There is no reason not to start a blog about music, television, celebrity, films. Everyone else has one, so we decided we would start one. We consider ourselves two strokes of genius but that may be slightly arrogant. So let's just say we are two best buds of opposite sexes who absorb as much entertainment as our minds can take. She likes metal, I like brit pop. She likes trashy gossip mags, I like reality TV. She likes horror movies, I like porn. And we both like to get high, try to figure out how to work the DVD player and eventually become enraptured in documentaries about sea life.

Our goal is to start out Mom and Pop style just musing about all things pop culture and entertainment. Reviews, rants, ravings and bullshit like that. The moniker Poison Scooter is not only a blending our our pseudo-celebrity names, it's also our clothing company. We decided to expand the brand and test new waters, hence this very site. Hope you enjoy it...