Sep 28, 2007

Bruce on the Today Show

Bruce Springsteen has a new album coming out next week. He's given one song away for free already, and I'd be surprised if he didn't do other interesting promotions with the album. But what's even more amazing is that he played for a NYC crowd for the Today Show this morning, a typical venue for commercial acts, but not heavyweights like Bruce. We wondered what he was thinking - was he selling out too much in his old age?

He started the set with "The Promised Land" - an old song with oodles more depth than you can imagine a twenty-something mustering nowadays. And then he talked for a little while, making what seemed to be small talk with Matt Lauer and company. He said that the feel he was going for with the album was a throwback in musical style to the great pop singles of the 50s and 60s - he name checked California and Pet Sounds in particular. But then he said that the album was also about subverting the music with lyrics that come at the audience on topics they weren't expecting - more current things about what's happening now.

And then, before he intro'd a song, when he had his own mic, he proceeded to say (I'm paraphrasing here): "This album is about things we love about America - you know, cheeseburgers, french fries, the Yankees beating the Red Sox, the Bill of Rights..." Wait a minute, say what?! Yeah, he said the Bill of Rights. And the crowd didn't cheer as much for that as they did for cheeseburgers, but he didn't seem to skip a beat.

He said then, "in the past six years, we've had illegal wiretaps, suspension of habeas corpus, the abandonment of the great city of New Orleans, and thousands of our young men and women dying in this war." It was unreal. He basically listed out a whole set of reasons why this administration and the status quo have to go. The crowd didn't get it, but he wasn't talking only to his die-hard fans in the audience or watching at home. He was talking to the largest audience he'll ever get to speak to directly. I don't know what the viewership of the Today show is, but if people kept it on and didn't just say "oh this guy" and switch the channel, maybe some of them said "hell yeah!" and will get involved or plug into his message. There was a reason for this move, and I'm incredibly impressed that he used his cache as a rockstar to get a microphone in a way most politicians wouldn't.

Magic drops on Tuesday, and we're seeing him for two nights on the tour. We couldn't be happier. Unless you have more tickets to share.

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Hello Hiro!

Okay - so I'm finally getting around to watching Heroes, Season 1 (yeah, that's where I've been) and halfway through the season, there are a few things I'm feeling:

1) Masi Oka is awesome. I don't know if he's won anything yet for his role, but he's one of the best "heroes" on this format of show that I've ever rooted for. I want to meet the guy, both in character and out. Kudos to him for breathing life into a dynamic set of characteristics.

2) What the hell is up with all the desi weirdness? They have the names wrong, the father isn't even being played by a South Asian actor (what, you can't put an older South Asian man on TV, but sanjay gupta and the growing team of young men is somehow okay?), and the scenes that are supposed to be in Madras are *wacky*. I mean, there are a lot of non-South Asians in whatever "unsafe" neighborhood they're in to meet the dream boy. I can't even get into the things that are all wrong, but it's very distracting from the show itself. Not to mention the voice-overs from "Mohinder Suresh."

If I have to watch another "drama" with a voice-over narrator, I'm going to kick something. I mean, is it really necessary to give us this much exposition at the beginning and end of the hour? Do you really think that the viewing audience is that stupid? Are you really "tying it all together" for us? Has America become so stupid and ADD that we need someone to walk us through a plot that's less straight forward than the most basic reality TV show?

I guess for this, I have to give props to LOST. They may be infuriating, but the shows are damn good, and I'm still confused as hell after 2 seasons, and I wouldn't actually mind watching the series again a few times. Heroes is fun, but it's more of a distraction right now. And I still have the feeling that this story has been told before, or at least, we've gone through the genesis storyline through Unbreakable

M. Night got slammed for that film - I wonder what he thinks of this whole Heroes phenomenon. It was really his idea.  What's next, Many Ladies in the Gym Pool?

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Sep 19, 2007

Immigration Voice (Pt. 0.5)

I have a lot to say about this issue, but no time to write about it until at least a couple of weeks from now.  For now, I just wanted to ask the leadership at "Immigration Voice" (i.e. We Only Care About Ourselves) - for all your bluster about "we're skilled immigrants and we're more important than those unskilled others"... did you ever stop to think where all the flowers for the garlands you've sent to the Department of Homeland Security's various immigration offices, and all the roses you carried with you on your "rally" yesterday, actually came from? 

Did you stop to think for a second that your sending those flowers sends messages of sheer privilege, cluelessness, and irony all in one swift blow?  The rhetoric about "illegals" is overblown and not helping you to find allies anywhere - but it's funny how clueless you really are about the other messages you're sending. To equate yourself with so-called Gandhian protest is also ridiculous - your vitriol and animosity towards undocumented migrants who don't have your education is clearly a kind of violence.  You may want to check your anger at the door before you get more lofty ideas about your "peaceful protest." You may want to fire your media consultant, too.

Not to mention that the flowers you'd sent in that little misguided action of yours didn't even make it to the offices  you were somehow hoping they'd affect, but rather went to soldiers who've returned from the neverending wars in the Middle East?  Way to send a message of support to the troops.  Maybe you should have gone the extra step, joined some of the anti-war stuff happening in Washington this week, and actually did something that mattered with your advocacy for a change.

Although I have to say - the "it's all about me and let the rest go to the dogs" attitude is perhaps the most American trait you could espouse.  So good job getting that message out there clearly.

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Sep 5, 2007

Iron M.I.A.den

Okay, so things have been a bit silent here for a spell, enit? I haven't had a chance to breath, and don't anticipate one until after this month has nearly been spent. That said, life remains good, I'm flying a bit, and enjoying the new workload. Working to find that rhythm.

Speaking of, I got the new M.I.A. in the mail today, haven't listened to it, but was immediately dumbstruck by the girl's choice of font on the back of the CD case. I mean, this summer, I was surprised to see a little icon that she or someone else came up with that basically took up the whole metallica logo and played with it a bit. I'll post it up here if I can later.

It was a bit of a trip, but I was shocked to see her turn it around and use the Maiden font in her track listing on Kala. I don't know what she's pulling here, but someone has a metal hat on, and it's driving me crazy! It's like little hints that she's dropping around for folks to pick up - I guess it would be more likely in the U.K. where the lines between the genres (or at least what's acceptable as top 40 music) are not so clearly defined by the record companies as they are in the good ol' US. But if anyone's heard that she's a metal head, that would be really interesting. Actually, come to think of it, I think I read something in which she was talking about Sabbath (may have been a back-o-Rolling Stone, "what are you listening to" kind of section).

So I shouldn't be so surprised. but it's cool when the hybridity of music tastes actually includes a bit of my own crazy multi-hued, mega-decibel faves.

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