Michael Musto’s Felix Awards

Posted in Pop Culture on December 24th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Speaking of the Village VOICE, regular columnist Michael Musto reveals his 2003 Felix Awards, and they are worth the read!

Opus Comes Home

Posted in Pop Culture on November 22nd 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Opus is in the house. After a ten-year hiatus, Berkeley Breathed has returned Opus to the weekend colour comics page. Life is sweet.

:: E-mails and hackers have become the subject of cartoonists, as have music file swappers.

Weird and Wacky Stuff

Posted in Film, Music, Observations, Pop Culture, Television on November 6th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: I saw The Matrix Revolutions today. It is fun to watch and confusing as hell. The effects are at times overpowering, and the dialogue as offbeat and odd as in the other two movies. There is not as much martial arts this time around, and yes, the story does resolve itself. At least twice in the movie I wanted the reel to stop, rewind, and play again so I could try to understand what just happened. I did notice that most of the people in the audience were guys in baseball caps, and when they were in groups of two or more, all sat with an empty seat between each of them.

:: A report and review of The Beatles’ forthcoming, Let It Be…Naked, from the Globe and Mail’s James Adams.

:: I was not surprised to learn that NBC canned Coupling after four episodes (although the website says it’s returning in December.) Despite the fact that the scripts were almost word-for-word equal to the originals used in the British series, the Americans couldn’t seem to capture the Brits’ sensibilities, timing and delivery.

:: Microsoft has created a $5 million US fund to help track and convict virus creators.

:: Napster announced a deal on Thursday with Penn State University, in which students are given access to music funded by student fees, thereby reducing the number of illegal downloads. However, some of the students are criticizing the deal, saying it is an inappropriate use of their student fees.
Read more »

‘Looney Tunes’ DVD ticks off buyers

Posted in Pop Culture on October 29th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Yesterday’s release of The Looney Tunes Golden Collection, a 4-DVD set of 56 Warner Bros cartoons featuring Bugs, Daffy, Foghorn, Elmer, and the rest of the gang, has upset some die-hard fans because of the intentional exclusion of some of the all-time classics, such as What’s Opera, Doc? , and One Froggy Evening. This title is on my wish list, but I have no idea when I’ll get it. Read a review of the collection here and here.

Beanie Baby Rant

Posted in Pop Culture, Television on October 25th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: This is one of the funniest eBay entries I’ve ever read. This poor fellow’s ex-wife left him with a few Beanie Babies, and he wanted to get rid of them to buy a few tools. Be sure to read down through the entry – it’s a laugher! (From: Karlin.)

:: The Florida Marlins won the World Series, beating the NYYankees four games to two, preventing them from winning their 27th WS, and giving Ivan Rodriguez his first championship in thirteen seasons in MLB. Will Steinbrenner open the vaults and sign more power hitters and rock solid starters? Has baseball become way too predictable? While a Red Sox/Cubs WS would have capitivated the sporting world, this series was rather dull. I missed most of it, despite baseball being my favorite sport to watch on the tube. I cannot shed one tear for the Yankees.

:: I might have to buy this one. Triumph, The Insult Comic Dog, is releasing an album, Come Poop With Me. If you haven’t seen any of Triumph’s videos, check a few out at the Conan O’Brien site. Be sure to check the excerpts from Triumph at the Star Wars premiere, and his interview with Bon Jovi. (Unfortunately, the full videos are not available on the site).

Frank DiGiacomo writes about the forthcoming release, and of Triumph’s creator, the protean Robert Smigel, in the New York Observer. Among many projects, Smigel is the creator of TV Funhouse, the cartoons featured every few weeks on SNL. Come Poop With Me is produced by Jimmy Vivino, the guitarist in O’Brien’s band, The Max Weinberg Seven, and a member of The Fab Faux, who I saw perform in NYC last June. (Via: Derryl.)

:: My right shoulder is in considerable pain again. I don’t know what’s going on. I’ll see a sports physician on Monday about my left tennis elbow condition, and ask him about my right shoulder as well.

Loose Ends

Posted in In The News, Music, Pop Culture on October 8th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Regarding Neil Postman, I was a day ahead of the news of his passing reaching at least one major internet site. The NYTimes published a lengthy obit today. Surprisingly, there is still no mention of his death on the NYU site.

:: Last August, I made mention of ManPop, a rock festival held in Winnipeg in what I thought was 1971. My friend in Minneapolis, Garth Danielson, sent a link to the 1970 Led Zeppelin tour list, and under August 29th, is the Man Pop Festival. So ManPop was in 1970, not 1971. Thanks for the correction, G.

:: I’ve made small progress with my workouts and nutrition program. I’ve tipped the scales down about four pounds since I turned up the intensity of the workouts a couple weeks ago, while continuing close monitoring of my food intake on a number of levels.

:: Remember Tears for Fears, and how they wanted to rule the world and shout, shout, let it all out? Principal members Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal are have reunited recently, after 13 years. After Smith left in 1990, Orzabal kept the name of band going, releasing a couple of albums in the 1990s under the TFF banner, but ostensibly those were solo albums. The band has signed with Arista to release a new album in Spring, 2004. The album will be called Everybody Loves A Happy Ending. (And this really isn’t new news: here’s an interview with Orzabal from July 15, 2003, that mentions the reunion (requires Real Player). More details here as well.

:: Among the many interviews given by Al Franken, here’s an interesting one conducted by Steven Waldman, EiC of Beliefnet, a multi-faith web site of no particular religious affiliation. (From: Derryl.)