DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" ""> Attack Cat: July 2005

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Comic-Con 2005 - Tenacious D

Okay, it's Tenacious D time, you muthafuckas.

Actually, it's about two weeks after Tenacious D time, you muthafuckas.

The great thing about The D's show at Comic-Con was the fact that, geek that I am, I was already going to be there. Seeing The D was just icing on the cake, gravy on the meatloaf, chocolate sauce on the girlfriend.

As pointed out previously, Hall H was filled to capacity, perhaps beyond, with a generous mix of King Kong and Tenacious D fans. This was easily the biggest audience I've ever seen specifically to see The D -- I'd seen them play the Forum in Los Angeles, but they were the unannounced opener for X and Pearl Jam, so that doesn't really count.

The whole idea of The D at Comic-Con is a bit like the "When Worlds Collide" episode of Seinfeld. I mean, I guess that there's cross over in the audiences, but I never really associated the comic book/sci-fi/horror/fantasy convention world with The D. It's kinda like when there was a Mr. Show panel at the Con a few years ago. I love Mr. Show, but it didn't make a lot of sense that they'd be at Comic-Con. That said, the crowd for their panel was huge, so what do I know?

The show kicked off with a reappearance of Kevin Smith to do the honors of introducing the band. I could tell you what happened, but why not hear all about it from the man himself :

So we're backstage, the house is packed, and the New Line trailer show is coming to an end, signaling the start of the Tenacious D set. I'm given the hand mic and told to go. I ascend the stairs, the happiest boy in the world.

And then trip on the top step and fall flat on my face in front of 6500 people.

Yes, it was embarrassing as fuck - 'cause when a fat man goes down, he goes down hard. But I immediately leapt to my feet, dusted off, and got a thunderous greeting. I joke around for a bit, and then tell the crowd "There are only nine cocks in the world I would suck. There were ten, but I topped Affleck off and crossed his name off the list. These guys I'm gonna bring out are numbers six and five. Give it up for the men of Inspirado... TENACIOUS D."

As I leave the stage, I hug Jack and get stopped by Kyle, who turns his back to the crowd, drops his shorts, and thrusts his dick at me. I mime making the drop, and then rush off stage, through the backstage, and over to the small private seating area on stage right, where I watch the killer performance two chubby guys who're flat-out geniuses drop on the crowd.

Smith falling as he mounted the stage is slightly ironic, in that during his hour earlier in the day, he had mentioned the footage going around a few months back of Kelsey Grammer walking off the edge of a stage during a performance.

The D did not disappoint. They played a set of some stuff old, some stuff new, some stuff borrowed and a lot of shit that was blue. Things I hadn't heard before included "Dude, I Totally Missed You," which I believe is in the new movie, and "The Government Totally Sucks."

Hits from the album included "Wonderboy," "Tribute," "Fuck Her Gently," "Dio" and "Lee," which was accompanied by the eponymous super fan dancing back up.

Possibly my favorite moment was when The D segued into their cover of Queen's Flash Gordon theme , which I believe is titled "Flash" oddly enough. I really enjoy their version, possibly because I have such strong associations from listening to that song as a kid -- I have the 45 stored somewhere -- or maybe it's because that's the first thing that I ever saw The D perform live, which was at the aforementioned X/Pearl Jam show. I just enjoy it because it's so dumb and fun.

For some reason, their cover really works and it almost seems more serious than the original version. At least it seems like The D is taking more care in covering the song than Queen took in writing it in the first place. I've often thought that under different circumstances, Jack Black could have easily been the lead singer of some rock super group, a la Queen. He really does have a fantastic voice, which would so suit him for being the frontman of an arena rock band. Luckily he gets to show off his serious pipes and be a funny bastard at the same time.

Since I've been stroking JB so hard, I want to give a little ink to Kyle too. There's no way that The D would be The D without KG. They're a team and without Rage Kage's killer guitar work and harmonizing with Jack, The D wouldn't be much. He's also every bit as funny as Jack. They are truly a match made in heaven... hail satan.

Back to the Con...

During their set, Jack interrupted the music to show off some of his human beatbox stylings. There's no way I can do justice to this bit, you'll just have to catch them live and hope that he repeats it. It was a ridiculously stupid and hilarious bit of aural comedy and it involves shit and piss.

Throw in a Sax-a-boom solo and you'd have a complete night, yes?

No. After all that KG and JB come out for a encore, playing a medley of songs from The Who's "Tommy." How frickin' sweet is that?

The answer is: Pretty frickin' sweet.

* * *

- The D's official site.

How many push-ups can you do?

Monday, July 25, 2005

Comic-Con 2005 - King Kong

It seems like it's taking an awfully long time to post about the events of just one day, doesn't it?

Well, yes... yes it does, but what're you gonna do?

Onward and upward.

So, there was a King Kong panel on Saturday. The line to get in was gigantic, even a half hour before the panel was supposed to start. The double whammy was that the Kong panel was being followed immediately by a performance by Tenacious D, so fans of both The D and the big ape were crowding into Hall H.

The program didn’t really have any details on the panel other than the promise that Peter Jackson was sending some special stuff just for Comic-Con. It kicked off with a video of Jackson sent from Australia. He greeted everyone at Comic-Con and declared, much as he has on previous Lord of the Rings video presentations, that he would one day make it to the con in person.

He talked about the film and then ran the trailer for anyone who hadn't already seen it online or in the theatres. It may have been right after the trailer, as the lights came up that the three stars of the film, not including Kong, took the stage. Adrien Brody, Naomi Watts and Jack Black made their way onto the stage and braved an onslaught of questions, mainly from barely literate Tenacious D fans. (Not to say that The D and all of their fans are dolts, just the retards who managed to make it to the microphone to ask questions. They just managed to embarrass themselves and every other fanboy in the hall. Assholes.)

L to R: Adrien Brody, Naomi Watts, Jack Black... image quality courtesy of shooting off of a projection screen from an angle in a brightly lit hall with a six year old digital camera.

Besides the glow of Oscar nominated and winning actors on stage, the highlight of the panel was when Jackson rolled a few minutes of ultra-rough footage from Kong. He explained repeatedly that the footage was VERY rough and that he was very nervous showing it, but it seemed to go over quite well with the fans.

The clip was a mixture of animatics, live action against blue screen, 3D animation and some nearly finished shots. It was footage of the end of the T-Rex fight. To amp it up a little for 2005, Jackson has the big ape fighting three T-Rexs. Even as rough as the footage was, it was a great scene. From the Lord of the Rings films we know that Jackson knows how to do big action and he seems to be carrying that torch right through Kong. It was pretty spectacular and as the director noted, if you're familiar with the original movie, you may recognize some of the old Kong's moves.

Through the miracle of the internets, if you're interested in catching a little of what the panel was like, sans Peter Jackson video, check out this collection of clips at iFilm .

- Totally decent officially recognized "fan site" at

- The official site, aquí.

* * *

Seriously, The D's up next.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

"Christ? Fuck 'im"
- Kevin Smith at Comic-Con 2005

A friend has told me that I'd love the An Evening with Kevin Smith DVD and I've never argued with him, I've just never bothered to go out and rent or buy it. After seeing his short, one hour appearance at Comic-Con, I am now very motivated to get this DVD.

Since Clerks, I've been a Kevin Smith fan. Not everything he does is gold. The second half of Chasing Amy is weak sauce and Jersey Girl just kinda sucks.

Regardless of his ability to maintain a level of quality in his films, he's always shined in interviews. He's a quick wit and though most of his speech is peppered - very heavily peppered... like the amount of pepper I put in my ketchup when I'm eating fries peppered - with dick jokes, blow job jokes and jokes which contain the word "fuck," he seems to be a genuinely smart guy.

Big Brother Kevin dwarfs standing-at-the-podium Kevin

He also seems to be the king of extemporaneous speechifying. Although, you'd be hard pressed to say what he does is a speech. It's off the cuff, somewhat vulgar, informative, and very, very funny.

What sort of sad state of affairs is it when the guy whose movies are chock full of dick jokes and shit monsters is a better speaker than the President?

When he's doing one of these live appearances, Smith's greatest asset is his ability to be strong-willed and opinionated as well as incredibly self-effacing. He's the first to say that he's made some shitty movies and that the ones that are good have a hard time finding an audience unless some nutbag religious group was protesting outside.

He gave credit to all of the people who hate his films without ever seeing them for going public to condemn him and his work. He pointed out that it was impossible to get that kind of coverage, on CNN and other similar outlets, without the controversy that his detractors stir up.

There was a micro example of this as he was talking about the Clerks sequel, Clerks II: The Passion of the Clerks. He was pointing out that his film has no relation to the similarly titled Mel Gibson film about Christ getting his ass kicked, except in its title. It's not a parody. He also mentioned that he didn't really like the Gibson's film because he doesn't need to see two hours of Christ getting a beat down. He'd rather see something about all the good things Christ did and said during his life.

How this is controversial, I don't know, but it prompted some idiot to start yelling to Kevin, "Christ died for our sins!"

Kevin agreed and went on to say that he loved Christ and that's why he didn't appreciate Gibson's film. He said something to the affect of, "I know he died for my sins. I love Christ. In fact, I love Christ more than you do, motherfucker!"

Somehow he managed to express his love for his deity and be completely vulgar in the same sentence but came off as completely sincere. I have no love for organized religion and even less for the kind of dolt who'll yell at a guy like Kevin Smith when he's on stage. I would, however, be completely happy to hear Smith talk about religion for as long as he wants because he deals with it in real terms not, not in catch phrases. Though I think his line, "Christ? Fuck 'im," might actually catch on.

He dropped this line when he was talking about his ability to get free publicity based on all the attention he gets from people who hate his movies without seeing them.

Another fine moment came when a nearly brain dead conventioneer asked Kevin a question about Return of the Jedi. I'm not sure why he asked it, but for some reason he wanted Kevin's take on the look on Hayden Christensen's face in the updated version of ROTJ. If you don't know, Lucas has replaced Sebastian Shaw with Christensen as the Anakin ghost at the end of Jedi. Essentially, the guy's question was, "What's up with that look?"

Kevin seemed confused by the question but responded with, "Well, he's only got like three looks, doesn't he?"

It got a huge laugh and ovation from the crowd. Funny that just a year before, Hayden Christensen got a similar huge ovation from the crowd when he came out on stage during the Episode III panel and announcement of the final chapter's title.

Smith also got into a little bit of work he's been doing on Degrassi. Right before he left the stage he introduced Richard Kelly, writer/director of Donnie Darko and the upcoming
Southland Tales, in which Smith will be featured as a legless Iraq War veteran. They screened this bit of animatic (nsfw) for the audience.

I don't think I have or could do justice to the hour with Kevin Smith. It was one of those "had to be there" moments, but I'm guessing you can get a taste of it on the An Evening with Kevin Smith DVD... which I have yet to rent.

* * *

To get it right from the horse's mouth you can read Kevin's take on his day at Comic-Con at

...and yes, The D is yet to come.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Comic-Con 2005 - Aeon Flux

So what were we talking about?

Oh yeah, Superman.

All that was just the beginning of the day. After Superman was Aeon Flux. This movie was not really on my radar, but that doesn't mean I won't check it out.

I remember really enjoying the Aeon Flux segments on MTV's Liquid Television waaay back when. Though maybe I didn't pay close enough attention back then, because it didn't really seem fit for a movie adaptation. Maybe it's because I didn't watch the half hour series, but all I recall is that scantily clad lady with the guns shooting non-stop.

Then there would be tongues. Always with the tongues! There was always this licking and those tongues never looked like they belonged to their owners. They seemed nearly sentient. Mmmmmm... sentient tongues.

So, Charlize Theron will play the title character, sadly not in the same outfit from the animated series. She still looks good in the tight black costumes from the movie.
Miss Theron on the big screen in Hall H

Chalize gets into character

Miss Flux is always in character

I'm going to withhold my take on this movie. It looks like it could go either way. My smarmy description of it would be that it looks like The Matrix meets Logan's Run, both of which I like. You never know.

Do remember, it's Charlize Theron in skintight outfits for 90 minutes. How bad can it be?

* * *

Still coming: Kevin Smith + plenty of dick and Christ jokes.

James Doohan, RIP

Beam me up, Scotty. There's no intelligent life down here!

Gone to the great Jeffries tube in the sky.

Doohan Tribute_560x175
Check out the tribute at

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Comic-Con 2005 - Superman Returns


Okay, it's two days after getting back from San Diego and I'm home before 11pm, so let's do this.

This past weekend, Neal and I headed south for Comic-Con 2005. It was the first two-day sojourn to the nerd haven that is the San Diego Comic-Con International for either of us. (Is it "international" because some attendees will, no doubt, take the short drive down to Tijuana for cheap Kahlua, prescription-free Viagra and to search for the mythological donkey show? Does that make it international?) Calling it a "nerd haven" should in no way make you think that we do not count ourselves among the dorks, nerds, geeks and dweebs who frequent these types of gatherings. Just calling a spade, a spade.

If you've been there before, you know that the dealer room is massive. You have your choice of everything from gold and silver age comics from Marvel and DC, to replica swords, lightsabers and other film props, cheesecake art books, indie emo comics, any of a myriad of off-kilter plush character dolls and action figures, video game demos and ways to archive and store all of the above. It's a like a mega-Walm art for fanboys and nerdygirls. I could easily spend the entire weekend and an entire paycheck or six in the dealer room.

That said, I spent most of my two days in the cavernous and chilly environs of Hall H. This is the big room where all the panels and presentations on upcoming movies were held. I got in there before 10:30am on Saturday and didn't leave until 2pm... and I went back later.

Comic-Con_BSingerThe first event was the presentation on Superman Returns. Director Bryan Singer came in from London for the weekend just to show off a little of his new film to the fans. He talked a bit, did some Q&A, but what everyone wanted to see was a piece of the film and he didn't disappoint. He screened a few minutes of what could be called the first teaser trailer. It gave a good taste of everything from Smallville to Metropolis to the Fortress of Solitude to the man in blue and red himself, hovering above the atmosphere of his adopted planet.

Where I used to be a person who wanted to know everything about a movie before it came out, in our Age of Information, I have to say that now we can easily have access to too much information. So, now I intentionally deprive myself, so that I can go into a movie with fresh eyes. Not that any normal person should know anything about a movie a year before it comes out, I had managed to stay away from hearing any rumors about Superman Returns before this past weekend. I knew Singer was directing and Kate Bosworth was cast as Lois Lane and some guy I didn't know was going to be Clark/Supes/Kal-El and there was a rumor that old footage of Brando as Jor-El was going to be used, but beyond what you could read n Entertainment Weekly, I was pretty much in the dark.

Singer's appearance was very enlightening. He talked about how he had been toying with a script idea for Superman, but thought that it was all for naught because IF the film was finally going to be made, it'd be written and directed by one of the other hundred or so writers and directors who'd been attached to it over the past ten years. Well, about a year ago, he got the chance to pitch his idea, not even considering that it would happen, yet somehow it did. Singer's idea was that Superman Returns would be a sequel to Richard Donner 's Superman the Movie (1978) and Superman II (1980).
Superman has been missing for a few years and then, oddly enough, returns. Clark and Superman have to deal with both Lois Lane and a world that asks if they need Superman anymore. At the same time, Lex Luthor played by Kevin Spacey, is on hand to further F with the Man of Steel. Storywise, that's all I know and it's really all I want to know.

The scenes that Singer screened for the fans didn't give away a lot more and I'm glad for that. The fans loved it enough that he asked if we all wanted to see it again and was met with thunderous applause.

A few of the things that stood out for me:
- We heard it in the "trailer" and Singer confirmed that though they have a new composer scoring the film, they will be using the John Williams' composed main theme from the 1978 film. That's one of my favorite themes and it kind gave me chills to hear it again along with these new images of the Superman universe.

- Also confirmed was that some of Marlon Brando's dialogue as Jor-el that was captured during the filming of Supermen I & II would be used in the new movie.

- Jack Larson, Jimmy Olsen of the George Reeve's Superman movies and TV show makes a cameo as a bartender and according to, Noel -- that's Lois Lane to you and me -- Neill will be making an appearance as well.

- Much of the production design and styling mirrors the 1978 film, evident in Kal-El's spaceship, the Fortress of Solitude, and Brandon Routh's Clark Kent. His look and his mannerisms bear significant resemblance to Christopher Reeve's version.

- Kate Bosworth looks like, from the very short clips that I saw, she'll be able to hold her own as Lois Lane. I was skeptical when I heard her casting, but seeing her briefly in the role, I'm inclined to give her a chance.

...and not that I doubted him, but Kevin Spacey should make a great Lex Luthor.

Going into the panel, I knew very little about the new Superman. Coming out, I was a kinda bummed that I'd have to wait a year before seeing what looks to be a very good new Superman.

Snazzy little pin for all attendees of the Superman panel

* * *

More to come...

Aeon Flux

Kevin Smith

King Kong and...

The D

oh yeah.. maybe some comic books too.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Comic-Con 2005

[Stay tuned]

[Lots to come]




[The "F" Word]

[That's "fuck" to you and me]

[...and a little something on the Les Shelley's show last night at Tangier]

[Now I gotta get back to work]

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The New The Island

Went to a screening tonight of The Island.

Not the old The Island with Michael Caine,
but rather the new The Island with Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson.

For a Michael Bay film, it doesn't suck nearly as much as you might think it would. There's some totally decent action and he's cast enough good actors that you can suspend your disbelief... up to a point. There is also enough ridiculous stuff, for example, our heroes falling off of a 70 story building and surviving, that you kind want to punch Bay in the throat.

Solid performances by McGregor, Johansson, Steve Buscemi, Sean Bean and the guy who played Neelix on Star Trek: Voyager make this film work. Ewan's usually the bright spot in anything he's in as is Steve Buscemi, who seems like he might be playing Mr. Pink's non-criminal brother... in the future. Some fun action scenes, highlighted by a freeway chase in the Los Angeles of the future, round it out. That freeway chase is not so much a chase as it is a demolition derby. Nice to see the CGI used sparingly and some actual cars gittin' blowed up real good.

Things that are super annoying about this film: How about egregious use of product placement? Within a couple minutes of the start of this film, we see Ewan go to his closet of the future only to find that apparently the only clothes he owns are made by Puma. Redmond, Washington must have dumped a few bucks into Bay's budget, because we also see Xbox is the gaming platform of the future and that all information kiosks are run by MSN. I could easily name off a half dozen other blatant product placements... but that's just what they want me to do, isn't it?

At the end of the day, guys who love the ladies, and I guess the ladies who love the ladies, go to this film for one reason: Scarlett Johansson.

She's one of those stunning beauties that is rare even in the movies. In some ways she reminds me of the young Lauren Bacall circa To Have and Have Not.
Though at 17 years old, Bacall played a far more mature character in that film than Johansson does in The Island (technically her character, Jordan Two Delta, is only four years old), they do seem to be cut from a similar mold. Perhaps a more apt comparison would be Bacall in To Have and Have Not and Johansson in Lost In Translation. They were both about the same age when they shot those films, but I don't think you'd guess it without being told.

They both have absolutely stunning features -- those eyes, those lips, that hair -- but they don't look anything like one another. The one thing they share is that voice. Though one doesn't sound like the other, they both have that slightly deeper and a bit huskier than your average dainty lady voice. They don't have pretty voices, they have sexy voices. Regardless of what they say, it's the way that they say it that carries a promise of untold and unimagined adventures behind closed doors.

Phew... got myself a little worked up there. I guess my point is, if you want to see a film that goes well with popcorn and a soda, check out The Island.

The one with Michael Caine is pretty fun too.

* * *

In other The Island news... Based on the trailers, most movie fans who've seen Logan's Run will think that The Island is just a loose reworking of the 1976 sci-fi classic. Well, you'd be right, to a point, so now check out this piece at The Agony Booth about the similarities between the new The Island and the 1979 TV movie Parts: The Clonus Horror.

Do they think they can fool us by remaking things we've never heard of?

"I'll take 'Things You'll Rarely Find in Hollywood' for $500, Alex."

"A fresh story you haven't seen
before told in an compelling
fashion, featuring interesting &
engaging characters."

"What is 'a new idea'?"

* * *

Tomorrow: Comic-Con

Billy Corgan at The Henry Fonda Theatre, 07/13/05

The more "All Things Change" the more they stay the same.


Billy Corgan on his first "solo" tour, sans Pumpkins or Zwan, put on a great show at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Hollywood tonight. I've been slow to warm to the new album, "The Future Embrace," but the live show put it in a whole new light. Playing live it's a given that everything's louder, but he played everything a bit harder than the way it was captured on the album.

Highlights for me were "All Things Change," "Tolovesomebody" and "The Cameraeye." I really enjoy Billy's vocal work on "The Cameraeye." There's something about the way he sings the "Listen / Listen / Listen to me" line that I find enjoyable. Maybe that's just me.

On the nerdy side, I really liked his backdrop. It was a wall of what appear to be color LCD tiles of 3 to 4 inches square. Most of the graphics were abstract, screen saver-y images, that appeared pixelated as though you were looking at a giant low res computer screen. The super bright colors worked as a contrast to the relatively dark tone of most of his material.

His back-up band was also interesting. The drummer plays all electronic drums, so you get a very synthesized rhythm section. It seems like it should sound very 80s, but it doesn't really. The other two band memebers (and apologies for not knowing everyone's names) worked at consoles that appeared to be keyboards/computer desks. Each console was wrapped in organic-looking metalic sculpture, which immediately brought to mind deadringers_shot9lthe gynecological tools built by Jermey Irons' character(s) in Dead Ringers.

Opening band, Doris Henson was totally enjoyable. Way more upbeat than Billy, they certainly fit the current mold of everything 80s is cool again, though a few of the guys in the band reminded me of icons from or kinda from the 70s. The lead singer could be confused for Topher Grace's Eric Forman on That 70s Show and their trombone player... yeah, I said, "trombone player"... reminded me of a young Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick. The bass player reminded me of one of the IT guys from the job I had at an internet company during the dotcom boom, but that won't mean much to anyone.

The second opener was The Crimea. They were okay, but I think that the audience wasn't with them, because it was getting late on a Wednesday night, everyone wanted to see Billy, and for some reason the Henry Fonda Theatre picked one of the hottest days of the year to save a little money on air conditioning. It was sweltering in there and I think The Crimea suffered for it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

You're my... my thing...


Things I'm currently embarrassed about?

- I watch and enjoy "Average Joe" and "Rock Star: INXS".
- The way our President represents our country to the rest of the world.
- I've been bad about updating this blog.

...not necessarily in that order.

* * *

Karl Rove's going down. He's the rock tied to the rest of the Administration and with any luck he'll drag them all down.

Now that I've written that, I'm kinda sad. It's awful and regrettable that this Presdient has caused me to think that way. I'm a proud American. I love this country, but the way he and his cronies have manhandled the sacred trust of the Presidency has made me want to see them go down... and go down hard.

They've dishonored the office and by extension have dishonored the nation. Someone will have to shampoo the carpets in the Oval Office after these guys move out or rather when they are forceably removed.

Check out Tony's post about the Karl Rove / Valerie Plame / Joe Wilson situation and how it's being covered. It's a great piece of writing.

* * *

Things I've never really been embarassed about?

- I saw INXS , opening for Adam Ant, when they were touring Shabooh Shoobah.
- I met INXS years later, when they were touring Welcome to Wherever You Are, after winning tickets from KROQ.
- Star Wars thirty times in the theatre before 1980.
- Dancing with myself.

* * *

Billy Corgan tomorrow night.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Tsar at Spaceland, 07/08/05

I went to Spaceland last night to see Tsar. They've recently released the excellently titled "Band-Girls-Money".

These kids do two things.

They rock...

...and they roll.

They're skinny dudes in make-up, glitter and torn jeans who straddle an intersection of fences between punk, glam, power pop and no frills rock. All together it's just fun stuff.

If you want to hear from a true blue Tsar fan, read my friend's blog. He went to collge with the guys in the band and he's the one who turned me on to them in the first place.

You could do worse than buying their new album.

* * *

Interview with frontman Jeff Whalen in this week's LA Weekly.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Dear London,


[I started to write something about the bombings in London this morning. Writing about how I felt about it seemed a bit trite, a bit selfish, a bit hollow. Instead, this is what I have to say.]

Dear London,

Remember me? I know we haven't been in touch for a long time. I heard that you're going through a tough time right now. Well, even though we've lost touch over the years, I'm hear to tell you that I'm thinking about you.

Also know that I've got your back. Not just me... actually, we've all got your back. Whatever you need, we'll all be there for you.

These amateurs who did this to you today? Fuck 'em. They're fucking pussies. They might catch you off balance with a sucker punch, but there's no way they're going to knock you out. They wouldn't stand a chance in a real fight.

Don't forget, you're one tough cookie. You survived the Nazi Blitz. You survived the IRA. These punks today are a fucking joke.

Again, let us know what you need. We've got your back.

Yours truly,


Tuesday, July 05, 2005


After seeing Godzilla Final Wars on Sunday,
it was a little off-putting to see this later that day.

Our President

President Bush celebrates Independence Day at the University of Virginia wearing a giant skirt.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out

Everyone knows Petra Haden.

Okay... everyone knows The Who.


If you do know Petra, it's probably from that dog. or The Rentals. She generally plays violin and does some back up singing. She has an amazing voice.

Well, earlier this year Petra released a recording of The Who's 1967 album "The Who Sell Out."

It's an entirely a cappella version of the whole album, but it's not just her singing the lyrics to the songs, she also vocalizes all of the instrument parts as well. She's done a couple other albums where she's displayed her ability to user her voice as an instrument.

I've always liked The Who, but I've never been giant fan. They're great, I know that, but I don't own their entire catalog. I do, however, really enjoy Petra's album. By extension, it's made me appreciate The Who's album all that much more. That's one of the things that a great cover version can do. It can bring new fans to the original piece of music. Petra's version made me think, "Oh yeah... The Who. Let me dig out those albums." Conversely, a stinky cover can really drive people away.

So, the real icing on the cake for this story is that this past Friday, Petra along with a nine woman choir, including Petra's sister Tanya, performed the entire album live at the Ford Amphitheatre, here in L.A. My friend Amy came with me to see this amazing performance by ten women of a recording done by one woman of an album recorded by four men thirty-seven years ago.

From the time they started singing I had a perma-grin. Petra has always performed with this uninhibited glee. Some might come across as goofy or just plain weird doing the same, but she's such a talented singer and musician that she never seems that way. Whether she's keeping time tapping on her leg, giggling at her own jokes or belting out the chorus to "Tomorrow" from Annie between songs at a that dog. show, her joy at performing always seems to outweigh any silliness she might feel.

Where you or I might sound and feel like an idiot singing out our rendition of a guitar lick from one of the world's most famous bands, Petra and the Sell Outs, as she introduced the rest of the chorus, made it work. Some moments (the occasional drum bit or an air-guitared accompaniment to a vocalized Townsend flourish) elicited laughs from the crowd and though it was funny it was also musical and it all worked.

I don't know if Petra & the Sell Outs are scheduled to perform again, but I don't see how they couldn't. I think they'd kill where ever there are people who like music.

[Because I live in L.A. I'll occasionally run across the odd famous person or two. Friday night was no different. At Petra's show Amy and I spied Fred Armisen reading outside the theatre and Jack Black sitting an aisle away. Later on the same night, we saw Andy Dick at Highland Grounds, where Supafloss was playing.

Just for fun, let's play six degrees of separation: Fred Armisen is on Saturday Night Live with Maya Rudolph who was in The Rentals with Petra Haden. Jack Black is half of Tenacious D which featured Dave Grohl playing drums on the album; Grohl leads his band Foo Fighters; Petra has recorded and played live with Foo Fighters. Last connection, I once saw Supafloss open for Tenacious D.]

Oh yeah... Amy said that she'd kick my ass if I didn't start this blog and as appealing as an ass kicking from Amy may seem, I have wanted to start this thing for some time. What better time than when one is under threat of physical violence.

[Adult Swim]

Watch it.


How 'bout...

- The Venture Bros.

- Home Movies
- Sealab 2021
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force

...and because I'm watching it and it makes me laugh.