Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wonder Twins: Detroit Rocker Chicks Take on Arena Rock at Public Pool

This week's Metro Times has another installment of The Wonder Twins. We went to a tiny gallery in Hamtramck and watched ladies musically geek out over arena rock. Considering our love for (um, well mostly D'Anne's love for) hair metal and (ok, both our love for) things so uncool they're cool again, it's no surprise that we very much enjoyed this. And I am excited to see what the little art space called Public Pool has in store for Hamtramck. I am hoping more interesting events like this - and that those interesting events continue the trend of having awesome coolies. The cookies in the picture were available at the event courtesy of Pinwheel Bakery. It's like having a wrestler in your mouth. Yup.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bollywood Time: Yaarana

For this edition of Bollywood time, we take a look at a classic. But the word "classic" here only refers to the fact the film is old, not its status as a film. In fact, Yaarana (1981) was not a very good movie! Even as much leeway as I give my beloved Bollywood, this film made very little sense. Yaarana tells the story of two boyhood friends who are as close as brothers, until one of them (Bishan) is sent away to go to school in the big city while the other (Kishan) stays a poor country bumpkin. Bishan is all, "I'll totally stay in touch and we'll see each other soon!" But then the next scene is all "several years later" and now they're adults. Bishan shows up and basically says, "I missed you so much long lost friend! Then they go hang gliding, and Bishan tries to convince Kishan to come live in the big city with him which leaves Kishan torn.

Then a little later on in the film, the rich kid's uncle is like, "Hey, remember when 18 years ago I begged the family's forgiveness when I got out of prison so you'd let me live here? Well, I've been robbing you blind slowly this whole time and now the family has no money! You've been financially punk'd!" So what do you do when you realize that your family has been swindled by an evil ex con relative? Well, if you're Bishan, you literally mortgage everything your family has left in order to... pay to send your best friend Kishan to music school so he can become an
international star! What? You had a better idea? The movie ends with... a boat full of children being hijacked and Bishan in the loony bin! As it should right? Logical progression!

On the plus side, this film stars Amitabh Bachchan, who's one of the biggest movie stars of all time. Do you remember in
Slumdog Millionaire, when the little boy jumps into the human waste pit just to have the chance to get his favorite actor's autograph? That actor was Amitabh Bachchan. And even though this movie wasn't awesome, I have to give the man a break. Bachchan starred in 11 films in the year 1981 alone. Chances are good a few of those are not great, right? For comparison, Burt Reynolds was only in three movies that year and Harrison Ford was only in one. American actors are wimps! But there are sometimes diamonds in the rough, and watching Yaarana was worth it for one big reason.

This video clip is of Kishan's first major public performance, which for some reason a huge enough deal to fill some sort of arena and require the participation of upwards of two dozen dancers. Though I highly encourage you to watch the whole clip (I sat through all 138 minutes of this movie, the least you can do is watch 4 and a half of 'em) it's at 2:38 that the magic truly happens. The Lite-Brite suit:

Is your day totally made? Aren't you happy that I'm nuts enough to watch these movies and find you these things? You are welcome.

Songs: C Not that great. But because of the Lite-Brite suit, I'll give 'em a C.
Dance Numbers: B-
This score is also very skewed by the Lite-Brite Suit factor
Wardrobe: B
But basically just because of the Lite-Brite suit
Overall Plot: D-
Not even the Lite-Brite suit can save the plot of this film

Yaarana: D
(saved from an F by... the Lite-Brite suit)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sweet Apple "Do You Remember?" video is my life

I have a feeling this might be exactly how my day will go today. Which really, is fine with me if that means I get to play tennis with J Mascis.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Arranged Marriage - Dearly Beloved

Arranged Marriage is the name of father/son duo Brad and Scott Allen. They play music together and are not actually married. But, you know that kind of stuff would happen if we let the gays marry - slippery slope! Their first record, Dearly Beloved is hot off the presses, and it is good. You can totally hear their respective influences melting together on each track - like taking a Golden Smog and a Van Morrison record and melting them in the oven.* For way more info, read Chris Handyside's fantastic article on the band in this week's Metro Times.

Also, go to their record release show! It is happening this Saturday at the Majestic Cafe. Solitary States and the Cold Wave are also playing. It's free, which gives you plenty of dollars left over to buy a copy of the record.

*I mean, if you could like, then play back this melted record. Which you probably shouldn't attempt. It WILL screw up your record player. I don't want to be responsible for that.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bollywood Time: Chak De! India

Loosely translated, Chak De! India means, "Go for it, India!" This is an appropriate name for a sports-related film, yes? I don't personally watch a lot of sports movies. The first three that come to my mind are Hoosiers (my dad's favorite film), A League Of Their Own (lesbians are bound by law to own a copy of this on DVD), and Bend It Like Beckham (which most Americans probably don't count as a true "sports movie" seeing it's foreign and about soccer/football). But Chak De! India (2007) is about hockey. More specifically, field hockey. Even more specifically, women's field hockey and national pride. So kind of like A League Of Their Own meets Bend It Like Beckham. If you want to be racist and sexist about it.

In this movie we learn that bringing together the best female hockey players from all the corners of India means finding a rag-tag bunch of girls who are mean to each other and cannot work as a team because "how can you expect me to play with junglees?" But then their new coach Kabir Khan (played by Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan and totally the Tom Hanks character in this film - except not a drunk. And he actually wants to coach the team. But he does have a similar facial hair) is convinced if he can get them to play as a true team and for the sake of national pride, he can make them winners!

But after working them so hard in practice and not putting up with their drama, tensions come to a head and the team tries to get rid of him! But instead of being like, "Fine! You are all mean and selfish and have bad attitudes, I don't need this!" he says, "Hey, I'm going to take the rest of the staff out to lunch to say goodbye. Players, you can totally come too - no obligation." And then they all go to McDonalds. At McDonald's the girls team up to beat the ever living shit out of a throng of dudes who were making crude comments to some of the players and basically destroy the famous and popular fast food chain in the process. It is a good thing their success wasn't contingent on a McDonald's sponsorship. But now the women are totally unified and ready to play as a team! On to the world championships! Chak De! India!

Even though I have never seen The Mighty Ducks, I assume this story line is pretty close to the same? Here's the trailer:

Songs: C (The songs were acceptable, but nothing that really wowed me)
Dance Numbers: D (There really weren't any dance numbers to speak of. Unless you like, consider playing sports a "dance" because you are lame. There WAS a good, "We're traveling the world for the very first time!" montage set to music and the giant McDonald's fight scene was well choreographed.)
Wardrobe: C (Shahrukh Khan looks great, even in sweats being a coach. Most of the rest of the movie featured uniforms.)
Overall Plot: A (Jamie said this film perfectly followed the underdog-team-sports-movie plot line. And apparently in these types of movies, this is very important! And I totally teared up when they won everything! So I guess the formula works.)

Chak De! India: C

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bands that start with Q and bands that start with X

After you're done shopping for very desirable record music formats for Record Store Day, you'll probably need a nap. Or if you're one of those Earth loving hippies, you may choose to go outside and "enjoy the sunshine" or whatever it is people who play Frisbee golf do. But that evening, you might find yourself faced with the same decision I've been struggling with: Should you go see the band that starts with Q or the band that starts with X?

At the Magic Stick: Quasi Quasi's new record American Gong is supposed to be amazing. I have actually not heard it yet because I recently found my old Blackstreet "No Diggity" cassingle which as you understand has put me a little behind on keeping up with new releases. And Janet Weiss is in Quasi. Janet Weiss. It's hard to even think about skipping this show for that fact alone. As an added bonus Merge recording artists Let's Wrestle are opening. They are from England, and their brand new record is called In the Court of Wrestling Let's. Which is adorable. Even better, it's good! If you go to this show, you should buy me a copy of one or both of these records. Just to be nice.

At MOCAD: Xiu Xiu So why would I NOT be at the Magic Stick tomorrow night? Xiu Xiu. They're not everybody's cup of tea, but I've grown to love them. And underneath the din and the creepiness I can totally hear Morrissey's influence. Which makes me beholden to Xiu Xiu. And I've missed them twice now. Once because of a horrible flu, and once because a lesbian senior citizen told me I'd be fool to go. Additionally, Glass Rock is opening, and though I know nothing about them, not that long ago this guy tipped me off about Soft Location. Apparently Glass Rock features Kathy 'Soft Location' Leisen. I'll be there by myself. Clutching a copy Dear God, I Hate Myself to my chest. Rock n' roll.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What do you mean you "forgot" to do your taxes and now you have to scramble and get them done tonight? Who is that stupid?

Wonder Twins: Drive-By Truckers & Langhorne Slim

This week's Metro Times features a new installment of the Wonder Twins... This time around we check out Drive-By Truckers and Langhorne Slim at St. Andrew's Hall. A special thank you to Kirk at Motor City Blog for his help in getting us into the show. A rare example of somebody just being "nice to be nice." An act I thought was a myth. You know, like that whole Marilyn Manson removing some of his ribs so he could blow himself thing.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bollywood Time: Ghajini

For those who don't already know, I love Bollywood movies. And not like in the, "Oh, isn't it so funny and ironic to like Bollywood? I'm so interesting and quirky!" But in a very earnest and nerdy way. For those of you (there may be one or two of you) interested in some basic info about Bollywood, read up on that here and here. Because I don't really have the time or inclination to go into all that.

Here's the thing: If you like things that are fantastic, you should really check out Bollywood. But by fantastic, I mean both, "Hey, that's fantastic." and the actual definition of the word: "Conceived or seemingly conceived by unrestrained fancy." Your typical Bollywood movie is all about unrestrained fancy: it will be about three hours long, cram in every single genre and feature more than one giant song and dance number. Sound awesome? It totally is. Sound terrible? That's fine - to each his own. But please remember you own Speed on DVD. You have no right to judge.

For the first installment of Bollywood Time, I bring you Ghajini (2008). Did you ever see Memento? Sure you did. Ghajini is the Bollywood version of that film. So imagine Memento, but with a love story, some light comedy and several song and dance numbers to go along with the whole memory loss/revenge seeking/action-packed fight scenes. Here's the trailer:

Whew. Super intense, right? This is one of the best Bollywood movies I've seen, and I easily give it the full Pillow Fights seal of approval. There are four main things that I judge my Bollywood movies on - songs, dance numbers, wardrobe and (last but not least) overall plot. From the following clip, you can easily see that Ghajini gets an A in the first three categories:

Am I right? Those suspenders alone were worth an A. If Bollywood is something you have any interest in, Ghajini is a really great place to start. Put that shit on your Netflix.

Songs: A- (Sometimes things get lost in translation. For instance, I don't really think he was trying to say, "I'm going to spew forth my pearls of life" during the love ballad. I mean, in Bollywood, it's a big deal if the characters kiss.)
Dance Numbers: A
Wardrobe: A+ (extra credit for Amir Khan's rolled-up-shirt-sleeve-business look)
Overall Plot: A

Ghajini: A

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Drive-By Truckers with Foghorn Leghorn tonight!

Tonight will take us to St. Andrew's Hall to see the Drive-By Truckers with Langhorne Slim. Though every time I think of or say Langhorne Slim I picture Foghorn Leghorn. Today somebody said to me, "Wasn't he that racist rooster?" To which I say "It would be isn't he." (cartoon character = immortal) and also, "He's racist?" I will have to profess ignorance here - if there were racist over or undertones during those old Looney Tunes cartoons, they went over my head as a child. But then again, so did Three's Company.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Red Light Love Night

Well, a lot of you are going to make the trek to Ann Arbor to see Broken Social Scene tonight. But let's face it - they're just going to sound like a lot of people on stage all playing at the same time, right?* So I'm sticking close to home and going to see Those Darlins at the Magic Stick. They're playing with Deer Tick, a band lots of people I know think are just great. I think somebody from that band is romantically involved with somebody from Those Darlins. Which is good, because that means there's less of a chance that my girlfriend will run off with one of the Darlin girls. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is opening the show. If you have not seen them yet, they're really good and have impeccable fashion taste.

* UPDATE: Word on the Twitter is the BSS show is CANCELLED due to ILLNESS?! You kind of have no choice but to come see Those Darlins now.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

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