Saturday, August 23, 2008

Media Blitz

Finished "The Turnaround," the new George Pelecanos book this week. It was similar to some of his more recent stuff, in that it focused more on the consequences of a violent act in the past rather than his more cinematic earlier stuff that usually ended up in "Wild Bunch" like shoot outs between one or two protaganists and a gang of evil-doers. Actually, "Turnaround" seems to be almost a reaction to those books, in that you can feel the tension mount, and you just know there's gonna be a big showdown at the end, but it ends up swerving. As usual, the focus is on blue collar DC, with questions of what it means to be a man and father. And yeah, you're gonna get dialogue where dudes debate basketball, music and muscle cars. Don't know if Pelecanos is intentionally getting away from his pulpier crime stuff, but as always, he's a good read.

I should also be getting "I Got the Feelin' James Brown in the '60s" soon, which is a 3 DVD set of awesomeness. It includes a documentary explaining how James Brown stopped a riot through a televised concert, which I think I saw on VH1 in between comedians making jokes about Strawberry Shortcake and Swatch Watches. The other discs include the concert as well as assorted odds and ends of awesomeness, including stuff from the TAMI show, which you really oughta go youtube right now, as it includes my favorite stage move ever, where he passes out and has a dude drape a cape over him and try to pull him off stage until he re-energizes, throws the cape off and starts dancing again.

Also watched a double DVD of a Stooges concert from 2005 or so for review. While the concert was as good as you'd expect, the bonus features are kick-ass, with interviews with the band (excluding Mike Watt and that saxophone guy, both of which would be interesting) and an hour long retrospective which has just about every Iggy Pop clip from the '70s on, including talk shows with David Bowie. Pretty awesome to see how charming and charismatic Iggy can be talking in contrast to his craziness on stage.

Let's see, also managed to watch half of the last season of "The Wire" before my wife hijacked the Netflix queue and ordered the collected works of her boyfriend Johnny Depp. There's one storyline that seems out of character and too risky even for a character known for taking risks, but otherwise the show is as strong as ever, especially in the way it portrays day-to-day work, something not really seen that much in most entertainment. This season focuses on the media, and the newsroom scenes remind me of my limited newsroom experience, especially how there'd be the one guy who was like a living AP manual who you'd always hope to impress. I also love how the highest compliment the police give each other is "he's good police."

Other than that, just waiting for the rain to stop so I can finally get outside and ride my bike. This is the longest I've been off since I started in May (four days and counting) and I can feel myself getting fatter.

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