Proudly Recommending Sufjan Stevens – The Avalanche

Highly recommend Sufjan and he’s going on tour this fall so check him out if you can. Saw him last fall and bought my tickets to see him again. I haven’t been reading as much as I was, but I am still listening to music. I’ve posted a couple things about Sufjan before and I am very excited about his latest release. These were the outakes of his last cd, Illinois. Further evidence that he is not only an amazing songwriter but an incredible arranger.

Is this Creepshow Catastrophe Biblical? by Elizabeth Palmberg

I haven’t actually read any of the Left Behind books (and God-willing, never will) but this article cracked me up.

Ryan Adams at the Starland Ballroom

Saw Ryan Adams at the Starland Ballroom in Jersey. Weird place.

I can’t help but like Ryan. He’s too good. Yeah, he’s cranky, rambles a lot, and knows he’s a rock star, I like his music, what can I do?

The last show I saw was him at the Electric Factory in ’05. He was frustrated with the buzz coming out of the speakers (or was it the AC as he would inquire for an awkwardly long time). Then he yelled at the talkers in the balcony for a while, start the song, stop, yell some more, stop, play, yell, whatever. Then he walked off.

This time, no worries.
Great set with the Cardinals, played for well over an hour and half, maybe close to 2, I don’t know. Realize a good deal is rambling about whatever but great music. He sounded great.

They played for an hour or so, took a break, came back with a set of 5 more, wished us good night, then the house lights came on. This not being our first concert, it’s 11:30, he’d been playing for a while, we started leaving. They coming running out, yelling to turn off the lights again, and flippping out on the sound boothe. Then he says, “We went out for a smoke and you shut it all down. It’s like working at Books a Mllion and after taking a break, you come back in and discover they took all the books away …” Well, all analgoies break under scrutiny but whatever.

Superman Returns


Saw Superman on 3D IMAX last night. Only certain action scenes are in 3D. It was cool for a big action movie and it’s in the same place as the multi-plex. However, not sure it’s worth the drive for those who might live a distace from an IMAX.

Anyway, I have to say, I enjoyed the movie. Scale 1-10, I give it a 7.5. It’s really the first Superman movie I like. (Superman 2 was ok.)

First, the superficialites:
Special effects were great.
Costume was great.
Story was pretty good. A little long, story took a while to develop. Wasn’t really crazy about the whole crystal problem but I guess all the other plots were used up.
I’ll have to do a little more thinking about it but it turned out better than I expected, though not worth $300 million – but it does save the franchise.

Casting – I liked the actors and the characters they played but agreed with others that if this is set between Superman 2 and 3, that Clark and Louis should have been played by actors who look older. (then again, it doesn’t help that Christopher Reeves was like 40 when he did Superman 2.)
Speaking of which – Thought that Brandon Rouse was a great successor to Reeves. He spoke just like him.

Lex Luther is a tough character to play – I happen to like Kevin Spacey, so I’m supporting the performance but I don’t think we saw anything new in the Luther character.

But of course Superman is a tough character to play too.
There is no self-conflict within him, which is what makes Batman and even Spiderman so interesting (especially Batman. which I think this movie would have been better received if it didn’t have to follow Batman Begins.) But Superman is portrayed as the Christ-figure with such strong emphasis – I was surprised.
After seeing it, one of my close friends said they should rename it to “The Passion of Superman”. Loved that.
This is what makes Superman so different from the other heroes. He is good – very, very good. (although no lie – while waiting to leave the theater, I overheard parts of a father-son birds-bees discussion bc Superman and Louis aren’t quite married but had a kid so the son, who was about 7 or so, was a little confused. Which brings up the point, did that need to be in there?). Anyway, Superman’s goodness is what one of the main things that I like about his character.

It feels impossible NOT to compare heroes with each other. It may not be fair, but whatever.
Spiderman is perhaps my favorite superhero but he is confused – there is no confusion with Superman.
Batman is angry, he fights crime to avenge his family tragedy and bring justice. Superman does so because he sees this as a calling. Another Christ-like attribute.
In fact, the movie, rings over and over. Even when Superman is dying/coma-state, it’s a female nurse that discovers the room is empty. In the dvd, I’m going to see if her name tag reads Mary.

The voice-overs of Superman’s father,Jor El (from Marlon Brando’s 1978 recording), “I’m sending them my only son”. Again, too many to mention.

Normally, I am not sure if that would have sold me. Like at the end of Matrix Revolutions, Neo’s arms are outstretched. That didn’t to it for me. But this is the first time I think I actually cared about the character of Superman. Ok, second, because I felt for him in Superman 2 when he got beat up at the restaurant (after he let go of his powers). Anyway, I think Bryan Singer may have done it again and he may have resurrected Superman’s career.

We're Here

The move went really well.
A small scratch on a bookshelf was about the extent of the damage. That’s unprecedented for me.

We’re really happy to be here in North Jersey. It’s north Bergen County, we are minutes away from the New York border and about half hour from Manhattan. It’s such a nice part of Jersey, I can’t believe it. Yeah, Jersey has a nice part.

Anyway, thrilled that my Yankees are two trains away. (Going at the end of the month.)

Well enough about the move. I hope to get to other things here.
Thanks for hanging in.

Moving Day Eve

Well, well, the day is finally coming.
We have a couple of last minute things to pack up, say goodbye to a couple of friends, and then unpack a lot of boxes. I don’t hate moving, but I do get frustrated with not knowing where anything is. That’s only temporary though.

Not helping my in motivation in packing is my new Macbook. So far I like it but I haven’t done much aside from check my email, install my palm treo software, kodak pic. software, and change the background. The only frustration I’ve had so far is the habit of double-clicking or clicking on the touchpad. Someone told me they thought that can be changed but that’s the least of my needs. So although it took a while, Best Buy came through. I ended up getting this Macbook for $20 because the value of my previous laptop that they could not fix was credited to me. It’s nice when the customer gets a break once in while.

One day, I’ll be back blogging about stuff. Thanks for stopping by and dropping a comment – I do appreciate it.

Packing, Cleanaing, Moving and Selling …

It’s crazy but good. We are moving this Thursday.

Sunday, we are having an open house. It will be the only chance we have to show our place with the furniture still in it but that’s ok, we’re optimistic that it will work out.

In the meantime, we need to get rid of some furniture, buy some, pack, clean, see our friends, going to a wedding tomorrow, – a lot happening. Although it’s a little too much, we are very excited.

Also I should be receiving my Macbook this week as well.

Happy 4th to Everyone

Happy 4th to Everyone