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Archive for the ‘Michael Cera’ Category

CV1_TNY_11_25_13Viva.inddSOUNDTRACK: RHEOSTATICS-Bathurst Street Theatre, Toronto, ON (October 7, 1994).

07Oct1994This show was broadcast on the radio, and indeed, this is an encore broadcast that you can download from Rheostatics Live.

Anyhow, it begins with people raving about the Rheos on the radio.  And then the band kicks in.  The set is 45 minutes, although I assume the original must have been longer.  Why?  most of their shows are longer and this feels like it might have some cuts for commercials and whatnot.

They play ten songs, and it’s alike a highlight reel of their earlier music: “Take Me in Your Hand,” “King of the Past,” “Queer,” “California Dreamline,” “Soul Glue,” “Claire,” “Northern Wish.”  But it’s also got its far share of goofiness: some improvs and the resolutely silly “Full Moon Over Russia” and “Alomar” (which sounds really tight here).  It’s a great set and a great introduction to early Rheos live music.

[READ: January 29, 2014] “My Man Jeremy”

Everyone mostly knows Cera as an actor (who I’ll see in anything).  But he’s also a writer.  His previous piece in McSweeney’s was very funny.  And so is this one.  Although now the two published things I’ve read by him were both about being an actor, so maybe its time to broaden the range a bit.

Anyhow, this is basically a set up about text messaging.  He opens by explaining that people ask him is he has any funny stories about texting (this part is in italics).  Then he tells us this tale about Jeremy.  The text messages are written straightforward, with interjected comments by Cera as he “studies” the exchange.

It begins with a text from an unknown number “Sup you coming to this thing?”

Michael writes back.  “Hi oops I don’t know this number.  I’m Michael, who is this?”

Now, this isn’t especially funny, but it did make me smile to think that anyone would respond to a wrong number this way.  At any rate…. (more…)

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wholphinThis is a periodical I haven’t mentioned before.  Wholphin is a “DVD Magazine of Rare and Unseen Short Films.”  So yes, the reason I hadn’t mentioned it is because it is a DVD and not a book.  However, as I have been watching Vols 1-8 over the last few months, I have noticed that a few writerly names keep cropping up in the credits.  Plus, it’s got that whole McSweeney’s connection.

So lets look at some of the folks who have turned up on these videos:

  • Spike Jonze with an amazing documentary about Al Gore (that will make you weep all over again about the 2000 election).
  • Miranda July with a short film.
  • David O. Russell (with a post-Three Kings documentary).
  • Bob Odenkirk has several entries on several DVDs
  • A short film by Taika Waititi who did the crazy New Zealand film Eagle vs Shark.
  • There’s a Japanese version of Bewitched with bonus subtitles by Daniel Handler (among others).
  • Daniel Handler also “revoices” a short film Darling Darling starring Michael Cera and a horse-headed man. (John Cleese does another “revoicing”).
  • Michael Chabon’s short story “House Hunting” adapted as a film (starring Paul Rudd and Zooey Deschanel).
  • Evany Thomas (and others) rescripted the subtitles to Schastlivy Vmeste the Russian Married…With Children.  And hers is extremely enjoyable.  She gives up on the show about ten minutes in and then just starts riffing on all manner of things.  I laughed harder at this than I had any right to.
  • “New Boy” is adapted from a Roddy Doyle short story.
  • “Love You More” an adaptation of the short story “Peter Shelly” by Patrick Marber.
  • “The Discipline of De” is adapted from a William S. Burroughs short story.

There is also (from Vol #1) my favorite short deliciousfilm possibly ever by Scott Prendergast called “The Delicious” which you can watch, and I encourage you to, here.

Although “Stairway at St. Paul” is also awesome, and that’s available here.)

There’s also “Heavy Metal Jr.” a great documentary of a metal band made up of pre-teens–available here.

Oh wait, and there’s an amazing documentary about Rubik’s Cube that will blow your mind (if you haven’t played with a cube in a decade), called “Piece by Piece.”

Oh yeah, and “Sour Death Balls” is hilarious and available here.

Even though these films are available online, it would be best to purchase the DVDs from here at http://www.wholphindvd.com.  There’s even a Best of, which features most of the films I mentioned above.  In fact, you should just subscribe, because that will guarantee that they keep releasing these gems on video.

In addition to the random assortment above there are international animations, short nature films, 45 minutes movies, and everything in between.  It’s a wonderful way to see short films that you never knew existed.

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30SOUNDTRACK: THE FLAMING LIPS-Fight Test EP (2003).

fightThe test begins NOW!

With the success of Yoshimi, the Lips put out a couple of multitrack EPs.  The first one was for “Fight Test.”  In addition to the title track, this EP features three great covers: “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” is a slow acoustic guitar/timpani version of the infectious Kylie Minogue hit.  Despite its slowness, the “La La La” part is still catchy!  Next is a cover of the Beck song “The Golden Age.”  It’s also an acoustic guitar version.  Finally is a cover of Radiohead’s “Knives Out.”  It’s not quite as manic as the Radiohead version but it’s still very good.

The next three tracks include a 9 minute dance remix of “Do You Realize??” which is fun enough, if you like that sort of thing.  “The Strange Design of Conscience” sounds like it could have been an outtake from Yoshimi.  It fits in quite well with the music and themes of the CD.  “Thank You Jack White (For the Fiber Optic Jesus That You Gave Me)” is a 3 and a half minute folk song relating the (presumably true) tale of a plastic Jesus that Jack White gave to Wayne.

It must be fun to be able to write a thank you song that thousands of people will hear.

Lots of times EPs aren’t really worth the time, but this is a very good one.  The covers are a lot of fun, and you’ll be La La Laing right along with Wayne.

[READ: February 24, 2009] McSweeney’s 30

This issue of McSweeney’s hearkens back to their initial three issues: a white paperback with words in a graphic design on the cover. The cover design is an homage to Obama’s presidency, and has some thoughtful as well as funny lines on it (You Can Take That Canadian Flag Sticker Off Your Backpack Now). It was also printed in Iceland once again (in a nice bid to help Iceland’s economy, which is actually worse than ours) by Oddi Printing.

The contents of the issue are also pretty straightforward: eleven short stories and some occasional art by Jason Polan which ties into the stories. (more…)

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