Archive: April, 2009
How do you say? Ah, yes! Twee as fuck. From what I gather from this trailer, stoner girl Jody from Knocked Up (Charlene Yi) doesn't believe in love, goes on a journey to document why she doesn't believe in love but then falls in love with real life BF Michael Cera in the process. The movie was shrouded in mystery for its Sundance debut, and even then reception wasn't stellar. Still, you gotta love the cast (Seth Rogen! Martin Starr! That little girl who wants to go on a date to Applebees!) and it's a promising idea ' although the mockumentary thing has been done and the meta-ness of it all is troubling. The trailer points to a treacly mess. What do you guys think?
This edition of the 1-Upper really only applies if you're 25 and over and you had a Tandy computer in your basement. Otherwise, you'll probably have no idea what I'm talking about.
Finally, someone made one of my dreams come true and put a bunch of the old Sierra text-based adventure games online to play for free. Sarien.net hosts Flash-based versions of the first Space Quest, Police Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry games, but they've done something a bit strange ... As you play, you'll see what other people - who are playing at the same time - are doing, resulting in a whole bunch of Roger Wilcos and Larry Laffers appearing on screen along with yours. You'll see the weird commands they input ("look around," "talk to bum," "take a crap") and they'll see yours, creating this weird multiplayer hint system.
It's a great bit of nostalgia, and it reminds me of when my dad used to take the Oldsmobile up to Radio Shack to get the newest game. But that daydream was totally shattered when another player kept running around and typing in all caps "OMG IT BURNS!!!! IT BURNS!!!" for no reason.
Go play here.
Full disclosure: I'm a cycling nerd. So it's quite possible I find the trailer for this forthcoming documentary from director Chusy Haney-Jardine on U.S. cyclist "Big George" Hincapie much more interesting than you do.
Yeah, no, they're not really downloadable, but you can use the web to order a shirt that will be mailed to you(!). Fluxblog's a pioneer like that. It was the very first mp3 blog, after all. Meaning, as Tom Scharpling likes to point out, Fluxblog is single-handedly responsible for destroying the music industry. Founder Matt Perpetua says these shirts are a necessity, since he's a freelance writer with no health insurance. (Hmm, there used to be a lot more money out there when there was a music business.) So buy a shirt. They're nice looking and the $$ will help Fluxblog going and ensure no musician will ever get rich from doing what they love. Just like the rest of us.
It's like bicycle parkour.
|Photo | John Vettese|
My mind isn't blown. Not yet, anyway. Not like last year's press conference where Jesse Lundy and Rich Kardon from Point Entertainment told us Espers would spend a Saturday night in August on a giant outdoor stage in Schwenksville, channeling Pentangle and melting the faces of a placid, polite Philadelphia Folk Festival crowd.
When concert time rolled around, Greg Weeks and friends absolutely delivered, signifying daring, bold new things for a festival that simply must adapt and attract a younger crowd in order to survive. That process continues this year - though not to such an extreme degree.
To recap what Lundy and Kardon discussed at this afternoon's press conference: Iron and Wine was obviously the big reveal of the moment for Folk Fest '09 (Aug. 14 - Aug. 16, Old Pool Farm), even if it wasn't a huge surprise. Lundy tried to get Sam Beam on last year's lineup, but the South Carolina troubeardour's tour schedule prevented it...thankfully, his schedule this year is more open. "It's a perfect match, a perfect example of the direction we need to go in," Lundy says. Last time I saw Beam was at The Khyber in '03. Wonder how different he'll come across in front of a field of 5,000.
Other exciting inclusions include Virginville, Berks County's gothic Americana dudes Frog Holler ' who have an avid supporter in CP Editor Brian Howard ' as well as the lovely dreamy Marissa Nadler. Erstwhile local guy Langhorne Slim can be a bit MOR on an off night, but when the dude is on, he delivers; and The Low Anthem, well, they're freakin mood-swingy psychopaths. Sure, the trumpet and clarinet on that YouTube vid linked at left is all pretty and gentle, but have you heard this "Horizon is a Beltway" song? The hell?!
So yes, there's absolutely good stuff in here, with possibly more remaining to come. Two more headliners will be announced on June 7, and at least one of them will play Thursday night's campground concert that doubles as a taping for WXPN's Live at the World Cafe with David Dye.
"This year is really a chance to build on what we began last year," Kardon says. "Not losing the roots of what made the festival what it is, but still bringing in new and different acts that are more on the cutting edge."
At the same time, there's not the punch-in-the-face jolt of a band like Espers, who is very much on this edge Kardon speaks of, who perhaps was somewhat alienating to reserved festival-goers who want to just want to see Judy Collins sing for the 37-thousandth time1...but who were absolutely relevant in terms of studied folk tradition and musical preservationism.
To be fair, the '09 Philly Folk Festival roster isn't exactly "usual suspects" to the degree of some of its competing festivals (why do people even bother traveling to Falcon Ridge anymore?). However, it seems that they played it a bit safer this year as compared to last: Tom Rush is something of a circuit mainstay, and it's jarring to see Justin Townes Earle so fast on the heels of his pop Steve's performance in '08. The Works Progress Administration is a great band name for a folk act, but since they're a collaboration between people from Toad The Wet Sprocket and Nickel Creek, I can't imagine they'll stray too far from the path. Ditto for Del McCoury, Wissahickon Chicken Shack and Enter the Haggis.
On the homegrown end, Chris Kasper and Adrien Reju are fine and good, but I think this will be the third Folk Fest in a row featuring their husky/mellow collaborativeness. They did perform a wonderfully harmonized "Killing The Blues" with Zach Djanikian to intro the press conference, though, so big ups for that; all three will comprise the Saturday Afternoon Philly Local stage with Boris Garcia, who closed the conference with a take on "Shady Grove" that was hardly as good as Doc Watson's.
Other not-quite-disappointments: last year, Greg Weeks curated an afternoon stage, a fantastic idea I hoped would return with one of this year's artists. No such luck: Lundy said he tried to bring in Will Oldham as curator this year(coincidental, as Oldham is curating an exhibit at Center City's Fleisher/Ollman gallery this summer), but as with Sam Beam last year, timing was not right. However, Oldham's interest could bode well for Folk Fest '10.
I digress. Point is: there is absolutely excitement in this year's lineup, but not as much as there could be. Perhaps the real "wow" factor remains in one of the two TBA headliners (who will be "huge, massive," per PFF's Lisa Schwartz).
Lundy noted several times during the conference that crossover with the famed Newport Folk Festival is high; the big names up thataway that don't already appear on Philly's lineup are Pete Seeger, Neko Case and The Decemberists.2
Let's assume we could have our pick of those Newport people a few states to the south. While Neko would certainly be nice, she's a bit too conventional for what the programmers need to do this year. My money is on this year's Philadelphia Folk Festival being rounded out by the traditions of 90-year-old Mr. Seeger juxtaposing the ostentations of 34-year-old Mr. Meloy, creating the blend of roots and daring that the festival strives for.
Says Lundy: "We can show people that contemporary music is folk music, and vice versa."
2 Other smaller Newport artists that don't crossover to this lineup include Fleet Foxes, Josh Ritter and Gillian Welch, all of whom would be welcome inclusions.
The weekly what's-what.
Monday: Philly natives Agent Moosehead serve up a set of jams that sort of sound like a sophisticated, jazzy remix of Super Mario Bros. At the World Live Caf' Downstairs. With Bodega, The Last Emperor, Cheers Elephant, Si Senorita, Wineskin and Andy of the Future. Doors at 7:30 p.m., tickets are $15.
Tuesday: Badass rock from the Left Coast, The Bronx heats things up in the basement at First Unitarian. With Aneurysm Rats, Dirty Tactics & Sinatrah. Doors at 8 p.m., tickets are $12.
Wednesday: Super fun indie pop at Kung Fu Necktie. Catch the Headlights live before your friends do, but try not to swoon too much during their set. (And check the video above.) With Love Language & Robes. Doors at 8 p.m., tickets are $10.
Thursday: Psychedelic new wave, straight from Canada. Montreal outfit Black Feelings headline Danger Danger with a bunch of other bands. With Myles Brosco, Boom Snake, the Invisible Hand & My Mind. Doors at 8:30 p.m., tickets are $5-10.
Friday: Chris Conley's still emo. Trek out to Allentown and cheer him up so he won't cry while he's at Crocodile Rock. Saves the Day with Alkaline Trio & Death In the Park. Doors at 6:30 p.m., tickets are $19-22.
Saturday: Happy songs for happy people compliments of Mogwai. At the Troc. With Twilight Sad. Doors at 8 p.m., tickets are $20-22.
Sunday: Amandah Romick and Bells Bells Bells open for Psychedelic Horseshit. At Johnny Brenda's. With Quintron and Miss Pussycat. Doors at 9 p.m., tickets are $12.
1 a.m.'2 a.m.
I'll see you in hell, Tony Almeida.
Featuring: A staring contest, the world's biggest shotgun, a shocking twist and the greatest Public Service Announcement ever recorded. Also, three-time Hart Memorial Trophy finalist Elisha Cuthbert reprises her role as Kim Bauer.
When we last left 24, Jon Voight had successfully forced the President of the United States to call off an airstrike on Starkwood headquarters by shooting her some jpegs of stolen missiles loaded with a bioweapon and aimed at multiple cities on the Eastern seaboard.
Luckily, former Counterterrorist Agent turned Former Corpse Turned Former Traitor To His Country Tony Almeida is still in hiding on Starkwood's base, looking for a way to escape. Tony gets word from the FBI team that the F-18 strike force has been called off by President Pillowface for reasons she refuses to disclose. Is there anything really to be gained by not telling her advisors that crazy ol' Jon Voight is ready to bombard the BosWash Megalopolis with a pathogen strong enough to (eventually) kill Jack Bauer? I think everyone would be a lot more understanding of her choice to back down if she wanted to pass that info along.
Tony breaks out his hi-tech binoculars and spots some mercs filling up a tanker with rocket fuel. This is literal rocket fuel, not the crizz-appy malt liquor of the same name. The fuel is identified as being used only for surface-to-surface missiles, so I guess we can assume it's not Zelftar 143, the destructive rocket fuel responsible for burning down Ye Old Burger Barn in Newbridge, NJ a few years ago. Tony is able to put the pieces together and surmises that Voight must be preparing to load the supermegabioweapon into the missiles, which forced the Prez to call off the dogs.
It's now 1:05 AM and the President is getting snippy with her chief advisors, who aren't as smart as Tony or Jack and would kinda sorta like to know why she called off that airstrike. She won't tell them why, only that Jon Voight is coming for a completely unrelated super secret meeting at the White House that no one is allowed to know anything about, so don't ask her any questions. This, of course, is perfectly reasonable and acceptable behavior several hours after the White House was taken over and the President herself was captured and forced to deliver a surrender speech on YouTube.
Jack and Agent Walker call the Oval Office and Jack officially calls bullroar on the President's stall tactics, letting her know that they have figured out what's going on. Jack points out that Jon Voight is completely insane ' and the character he's playing may be, as well ' and shouldn't be trusted, while the President assures him that this ain't her first rodeo. She thinks this is her only choice, but Jack notes that Tony is still in Starkwood and is willing to go be Bauer-By-Proxy.
Pillowface is aghast, reminding Jack that she ordered Tony be exfiltrated. Jack is unsure whether exfiltrated real word, but pretty much says who cares what you ordered. Pillowface and Jack quickly come to an understanding that Jack is going to die in a few hours, so he might as well disobey orders, wink wink, and let Tony save America, while the President can pretend it was all Jack's idea so his corpse can take the blame.
Voight and Greg do a walk-and-talk, and JV tells his sweaty assistant that he's proud of him for Operation: Fool Tony from two episodes ago. Voight is playing all of Hodges' scenes with Greg as a proud, deranged father figure. Rory Cochrane is playing all of Greg's scenes with Voight as if he's pretty sure Hodges is sizing him up so that he can wear his skin as a flesh suit. Good acting choices on both their parts, I'd say.
Walker calls up Larry Moss to fill him in on the President/Jack formulated plan to pretend to go rogue. Understandably, Renee assumes Larry won't be on board with this, but she's still thinking of boring, spineless Larry from earlier this season. This is the new, cool Larry Moss, who has developed a taste for violence and has gotten some of his confidence back now that he knows Jack is dying and has a limited window to steal Walker away from him. New Larry is totally down with the plan and eager to drop the hammer on those punk mercs who had the gall to aim a gun at Larry F'n Moss. I'm gonna miss you when you're dead, Larry.
Tony ninjas himself over to the fuel truck and quickly gets the drop on two of the mercs who pulled gas station duty. He doesn't kill either guy ' opting to pistolwhip one and have the other lead him downstairs so he can plant some C4 ' which makes me feel better about only giving him a half kill for the guy he kicked in the face last week. Come on, Tony: never immobilize when you can kill. It's BauerLaw.
JV arrives at the Oval Office for his first face-to-pillowface scene with the President. He takes great pleasure in introducing Greg with a supremely backhanded compliment, noting that Greg 'doesn't look remarkable, but he's a genius!' Awesome. JV infodumps that he used to advise former 24-verse President Daniels. Daniels was played by the venerable Powers Boothe, who most impressed me as the villain in Jean-Claude Van Damme's least-lauded masterpiece Sudden Death, where Boothe wanted to kill the Vice President at a Penguins game and threatened to fill JCVD's daughter's mouth with spiders. I feel robbed that we didn't get any Boothe-Voight scene chewing team-ups. Can you imagine that? This puts a lot of pressure on Cherry Jones to hold up her end of this scene as President Pillowface
JV finally lays out his endgame plan: he wants the President to sign some nebulous documents giving Starkwood serious oversight powers into US military moves, essentially making Starkwood a shadow-branch of the government. The two then engage in a high-stakes staring contest, and Pillowface does this really weird, intense squint at Voight for a few seconds at the end of the scene, a play right out of the man's own handbook. Nicely done.
Tony successfully plants his explosives and heads back upstairs with his hostage. He then gets ambushed by the guy he clocked earlier. Serves you right, idiot. This is as good a time as any to let newer viewers know that, prior to this season, Tony was always kind of a sad sack who was never in Jack's league in the field. There was a time in a previous season where he tried to stop Jack from doing some cool, illegal Jack Bauer stuff, and Jack punched him so hard that Tony spent the next few episodes on crutches.
Luckily, Tony's season seven renaissance continues, and he beats the crap out of both mercs. Unfortunately, the fight is caught by security cameras and the nerds in the launch room follow protocol, which dictates immediately launching the missiles given the security breach. One mildly less evil scientist wants to hold off on firing until they get clearance from JV, but Head Evil Bald Scientist from last week tosses him out of the chair and repeatedly jabs the fire button. Tony halfheartedly struggles for a second to pick up his C4 detonator, which fell down a grate, but nobody's buying this so he just says screw it, grabs the things and blows the missiles up. Threat over.
In the distance, Larry Moss sees the explosion and gets himself pumped up to go assault Starkwood. It's Larry Time!
Back at the White House, Pillowface pretends that her pen is out of ink, that she's developed carpal tunnel and that she's forgotten how to spell her name to stall for more time before having to sign the MacGuffin Papers. She's bailed out by her advisor, who calls her aside to let her know that the plan has succeeded. She triumphantly strides back into the Oval Office and reads Voight the riot act, sassily shaking her head back and forth the whole time like she's in the video for Janet Jackson's 'Nasty.' She's enjoying this.
She orders her people to arrest Voight for his crimes against America ' the charges include murder, treason and Baby Geniuses 2 ' and we get a killer shot of JV, eyes wide open, before he tries to lunge at the President. He yells that his only crime was trying to protect his country and points out that there are still six episodes left in this season, so there must be a larger plan that goes up even higher than him. My prediction? Mole People.
Walker lets Jack know that the bioweapon was incinerated in the missile explosion, so that subplot is over. Jack calls up the President and tells him that she'll be grateful for the rest of his life. They have a good laugh because he has only hours to live. Jack tries to make sure Tony gets his props and maybe a pardon, but he suddenly starts to experience rapid memory loss or something. I guess the bioweapon is eating his brain now.
The President demands real-time updates from the CDC on Jack's condition, noting that she doesn't want 'any of that bullshit where we speed up two minutes during the commercials.'
Larry calls up Walker to let them know that they've busted up Starkwood and recovered Tony, who's OK. Larry seems disappointed that he didn't get to engage in any onscreen ultra-violence, but he at least does try to make a pitch to get back in Renee's good graces. Walker gets called away because Jack's daughter Kim has arrived, cutting off Larry's reconciliation attempt. He'll be lucky if that's the only thing that gets cut off now that The Most Dangerous Bauer has arrived. Larry also remembers to apologize to Tony for having to take him into custody, now that the two of them are super-tight bros.
Jack and CDC Director Sunny Macer have a chat about Jack's Imminent Death Syndrome. He previously opted to take medicine to cover up his Death Seizures, but she has to break the bad news that they don't have any drugs that can cover up the fact that your brain is melting. Jack is remarkably cool about that, but not quite so cool when he learns that Walker called up Kim and told him about everything. He freaks out on Renee for going behind his back, but Walker tells him that Kim has actually been trying to get in touch with Jack all day, and I just now vaguely remember that Jack was at a Senate Hearing for treason when this season started. This is easily one of the seven or eight craziest days in Jack Bauer's life.
|Don't call it a Kimback.|
Jack walks down the hall and wipes away the tears in his eyes so as not to look sloppy. Seconds later, he is reunited with his daughter for the first time since Season 5. Jack and Kim have a heartfelt exchange where Jack apologizes for always dying and killing people and having an emotional void in his soul instead of being a normal dad, while Kim apologizes for kind of being a horrible human being for treating her dad like dirt last time she was on the show instead of acknowledging that he's the greatest human being ever, and for dating C. Thomas Howell. They hug, but Jack has a quick death tremor. Then they say 'I love you' to each other about twenty times and Jack kicks her out so she doesn't have to watch him die.
Jack breaks down in tears as she leaves, and Kim being Kim, we're free to assume that five separate terrorist teams arrive to kidnap her, 40 federal agents are killed, three prospective boyfriends have body parts amputated and the rest of the building explodes as she goes.
Back at Starkwood, a merc who we briefly saw earlier at the fuel depot sneaks up on an FBI agent, kills him and tries to steal his ride. Unfortunately for him, one of those ultra-rare, competent field agents finds him and captures him first. This is probably the first time we've been introduced to a seemingly capable extra like this since former 24 utility players like Agent Castle died and Agent Baker got a steady job as Jin on Lost. I do note that this FBI agent is played by the guy who played Captain America from Generation Kill, so maybe this is a new recurring character? He searches the merc and finds one of the bioweapon canisters, but as he radios the situation into Moss, the merc jumps Captain America and shoots him a few times, presumably killing him. So much for that recurring role.
Larry somehow hears this final exchange over the guy's radio. He jumps into the Larrycopter with Tony and uncuffs him with the understanding that, having been through the fires of war together, the two of them are like blood brothers now. Everybody who has survived more than two hours after meeting Jack Bauer feels this way about each other, you know. They fly off to chase the escaped mercenary to give the two of them something to do for the next hour until we find out who the real supervillain is.
Walker and Janeane Garofalo have a quick, pointless scene where they exposit that this merc escaped by shooting two FBI agents. They probably could have just shown us that scene instead. They use satellite technology to track the merc down for Moss, who quickly swoops in with the Larrycopter and corners him in one of scrap yard kind of places where people always have gunfights on this show.
As soon as they land, the merc pops up and blows the chopper pilot away. Larry hops out and exchanges some pistol fire with the merc, who I eventually remember played Denzel's brother in Fallen. The merc has enough of this nonsense and reaches into his stolen vehicle to pull out a huge combat shotgun. Larry is caught off guard by this sudden escalation in firearm size and the merc nails him dead center with two blasts. No! Don't die, Larry!
Larry is on the ground, looking and sounding pretty bad. Tony uses the quick break in gunfire to sidle up and check on him. The merc starts to sneak up behind them with his giant shotgun, but Larry spots him and heroically tries to gargle a warning to his new BFF and Fellow Badass. Tony calmly turns around, sees the merc and' signals for him to back off. What the-?
OH SHIT, YOU GUYS.
Tony turns back to Larry and that America-hating bastard emotionlessly chokes the remaining life out of our man Larry Moss. I have to admit, I didn't see this coming, but it only confirms my suspicions about Tony from that time a few seasons ago when Jack went over to his house and caught that no-good soul-patch enthusiast watching soccer on TV in the middle of the afternoon. Tony takes the bioweapon canister from his merc buddy for inspection aaaaaand we're done.
I'll see you in hell, Tony Almeida. I'll see you in hell.
But wait! Fully aware that they've probably just made most of their viewers incredibly angry with this shocking turn of events, Fox uses the time between the end of the episode and the previews for next week to bring back the 24 environmental PSAs, and they've called out the big guns. Mary Lynn Rajskub returns and does the PSA in character as Chloe, and oh man, you just need to see this, because it is awesome. No one else should ever do any PSAs ever again. Note that they let her break character ever so briefly at the end to remind everyone that, yes, Chloe is just a character that she plays and Rajskub is a comic genius. I've never rated a PSA before, but on a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give this 800,000,000 stars.
- One Larrycopter Pilot
- Captain America
- Two FBI Agents (off-screen)
- Super Patriot and All-Around Cool Guy Larry Moss
Made by a church in Illinois.
- Arts Events
- First Person Fest
- Last Chance
- On the Fringe
- Philly Artists
- The Curator
- Visual Art
- Arts News
- Artist Profile
- Arts Preview
- Street Art
- Been There, Done That
- Big Ups
- LOL With It
- Critical Mass
- Friday Fill-in
- Ice Cubes
- In Memoriam
- Just Do It
- Just Opened
- Art Phag
- Film Fest
- Movie Review
- On set
- 10 Track Mind
- Album Review
- Concert Review
- Local Support
- Now Hear This
- One Track Mind
- Philly Bands
- Somebody Else Was There
- The Showdown
- concert photos
- DJ Nights Blogged
- Night Watch
- Now See This
- Poetic License
- Printed Matter
- What We Heart
- Idol Hands
- Mad Men
- True Blood
- Useless Lost Recaps
- Couch Potato
- Shore Trash
- Turned ONN
- Video Games
- Free Online Game
- PlayStation 2
- The 1-Upper
- Web Junk
- CAGE MATCH
- Free Online Toy
- Weekend Omnibus