Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jeff Coffin Mu'tet

Last Thursday, I got the crazy idea to drive over to Black Mountain, NC for a concert. Granted, my presence at a musical performance is not all that extraordinary. But this time it was a 2 & 1/2 hour drive one way to the west to Black Mountain, a lengthy concert, the 2 & 1/2 hour drive one way back to Greensboro, then a little thing called "work"at 8am the following morning. Ah screw it...ROCK AND ROLL!!!

The performer? The Jeff Coffin Mu'tet. Who is Jeff Coffin you ask? His website is here. He plays horn for Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and I was introduced to him via the two Dave Matthews Band concerts I attended this past spring where he filled in on horns.

The venue? Pisgah Brewing Co. A quirky brewery set inside an industrial park. The bar is no nonsense, cash only. Plenty of Pisgah taps along with a smattering of guest taps. L-shaped bar with seats for about 20 or so. Oktoberfest, Red Devil, Porter, Solstice all made their way down my gullet throughout the course of the evening's festivities. And at $3.00 for a pint (or $5 for a higher gravity offering) it was easy on the wallet too. All organic brewing here. Means they have to be creative in their concoctions as not all ingredients they might want to use are certified organic. But what they do have at their disposal for ingredients turn into some phenomenal beer...as the medals on the wall would suggest.

The performance was outstanding. The garage doors were open, a fire was roaring in the center of the picnic tables outside, the beer was flowing, the hippies were out, and some funky jazz was permeating your essence and making your feet tap and your head bob. A late, late night that offered me 3 & 1/2 hours of sleep before work, but that's what a barrel of coffee is for. FUN!!!

Sorry the videos are so dark, but I'm sure you can get the idea with the music...


I'm a little behind on some of my entertainment "goings on", and for that gentle reader (all three of you) I wholeheartedly apologize. Took in some late night brain candy last week after work. Hit the pool hall (won just 1 out of 3) then a 11:30pm screening of guilty pleasure and comically bloody Zombieland.

The trailer:

Humanity is in ruins. Zombies now run rampant feasting on the living (or the recently deceased) for their sustenance. A few hearty humans have survived the traumatic turn of events and band together for survival and, well, the fun of zombie killing. Names mean nothing in this post-apocalyptic world, so to not to get too close, our heroes are known by their destinations: Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, etc. Just trying to make their way through and survive, they battle trust issues along their travels.

Frankly, a fun movie. Woody Harrelson is terrific. Jesse Eisenberg is great with his "how to" list of survival guide tips. A special guest star gives a jolt of comedic flair giving the cameo of all cameos. A solid Matinee.

Now limber up, perform some cardio, and find yourself a Twinkie.

Pretty Hate Machine

Twenty years ago today: October 20, 1989. NIN releases "Pretty Hate Machine". I am mesmerized. Life and concert-going as I know it changes drastically. From the old Cleveland Agora to my final show in Charlotte this year, NIN has been a mainstay. Trent Reznor may have gone off in a different direction after the "Wave Goodbye" tour, but the creation he spawned will live forever for me.

1. Head Like a Hole

2. Terrible Lie

3. Down In It

4. Sanctified

5. Something I Can Never Have

6. Kinda I Want To

7. Sin

8. That's What I Get

9. The Only Time

10. Ringfinger

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Silversun Pickups in Charlotte

Saturday night and yet another concert. This time around it was to see the Silversun Pickups. The setting was the GORGEOUS Fillmore down in Charlotte. Photos of the venue are on Facebook here. Just beautiful. Chandeliers, tiered platforms to maximize your view of the stage, bars all around the perimeter. Just beautiful.

Local Charlotte band Sugar Glyder took the stage at 9:00pm. Nice. The lead singer sounded like a meld of Geddy Lee of Rush and Tommy Shaw of Styx. I liked 'em.

Next? Australian duo An Horse on stage at 10:00pm. A woman singer on guitar and a man on drums. Pounding rhythms from just two performers. She reminded me of Tanya Donelly of Belly. Again, I liked 'em.

Then, at 11:00pm, the main event: Silversun Pickups. Loud, grungey, reverb, noise, melodic, quiet, screaming, pulsing bass, violent drumming. WOW. Just such an invigorating show. At 1:00am I was in the Jeep, and at 2:20am I was home to let the dogs outside. This morning I awoke quite sluggish and with a hefty case of tinnitus. An incredible evening. Great show!!!

And to follow along with the lines of my many crushes, in the mold of the girl bass player, I go from (still) adoring Kim of the Pixies to adoring Nikki of SSPU. Ahhhh....

And I already have the glasses and beard like the SSPU keyboardist, so now I just need to get me a hat to complete the enemble.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

An Evening with David Sedaris...in Greensboro

Row F, orchestra center, on the aisle...sweet seats for yet another of my groupie-esque arrivals at a David Sedaris reading. Yes. It's true. I am willing to spend gobs of money to listen, as he says, "to a middle-aged man read out loud."

David was in a particularly good mood tonight. Not sure if it was because he was back home to native North Carolina with family in the audience or what. But I've seen him in Raleigh, in Winston-Salem, in Charlotte, and those time he wasn't nearly as giggly and jovial as he was tonight. It was a treat to see him so happy.

A few short stories, a few diary entries, a bit of Q&A, it was your usual Sedaris evening. The first story was a new one concerning health care and demanding to "take my country back" with the wit of a right-leaning teabagger who is blindly convinced by her left-leaning son to wear not a sombrero with teabags dangling (that would be a tacit acceptance of illegals) but rather a conical hat with the term A.S.S.H.O.L.E. upon it. You know, A.S.S.H.O.L.E. "A Savvy Senior Hoping Obama Loses Everything". Started off the evening juuuuust right. And this time all the stories and essays and commentary stretched out to about two hours. I LOVED IT.

Here's a classic essay "Jesus Shaves" just to give you a taste of what I heard for two hours tonight, smiling every minute:

Garry Trudeau

Doonesbury in a Time of War.

Wednesday night was the first lecture in the 2009-10 Guilford College Bryan Series The American Experience. Doonesbury cartoonist and satirist Garry B. Trudeau was the speaker. The topic was his coverage of various wars from Vietnam to the present with main character D.B. and his multiple stints and tours in the military. For background and context of his strips, Trudeau makes it a point to go behind the scenes and immerse himself in the story. Trips to Kuwait, Walter Reed Army Hospital, etc. help give the story relevance. If memory doesn't fail me, it was a longer talk than previous ones. Full of historical Doonesbury strips on the screen to augment his talk and give a timeline. Vietnam, Grenada, the Cold War, Iraq I, September 11, Iraq II: all were topics of social commentary in 4 panels in the newspaper. An interesting lecture from an otherwise quiet and publicly mysterious satirist.

Here's a clip posted on the Bryan Series Facebook page (yes, even a lecture series has a Facebook page):

Trudeau_blogGarry Trudeau—Wed., Oct. 7, 2009, 7:30 p.m.

Garry Trudeau created the cartoon Doonesbury (in 1970), now syndicated to almost 1,400 newspapers worldwide. In 1975, he became the first comic strip artist to win a Pulitzer at the time, since it is traditionally awarded to editorial-page cartoonists. He was also a Pulitzer finalist in 1990. He was nominated for an Oscar in 1977 in the category of Animated Short Film. Trudeau has been called “far and away the most influential editorial cartoonist of our time.” He is married to the former broadcaster Jane Pauley and maintains a low personal profile.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Last Wednesday's movie extravaganza ended with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Three movies (tried to make it four) in one day. A wonderfully satisfying day.

The trailer:

I didn't see the 3-D version, just the regular. Sometimes those 3-D glasses give me a headache, so the regular version it was. A fantastical film of a young inventor whose concoctions didn't quiiiiite turn out well. Until,.....

Living on an island in the Atlantic, the Swallow Falls community lives off the sardine trade. A sardine cannery, fishing tackle, everything related to sardines keeps the island vibrant. Until the sardine demand plummets, leaving the town to subsist on their wares that won't sell. And suddenly the gray skies seem grayer, and the sardines become a drudgery to consume.

The savior is our young inventor, whose first successful invention turns water into food. And once the first cheeseburger rainstorm occurs, the island turns itself around. And of course, once a good thing happens, people want more. The mayor sees a cash cow and demands more and more. Can the invention handle the demand? What happens when people get all that they ask for? Can the proverbial day be saved?

I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Really. Full Price for me.


This past Wednesday was mega-movie day. After Extract and lunch at Natty Greene's, the 2nd film of the day was 9.

The trailer:

An animated film concerning a post-apocolyptic world where machines have overtaken humans and nine little patchwork creations scurry about with their attempt to survive. A seemingly mix of The Terminator, Star Wars, and The Lord of the Rings.

Fascinating animation and a heavy story. What more would you expect when the name Tim Burton is involved? It had a dark story, but the similarities to Frodo (along with his voice) and the whole "I'm going to stay uber-positive during these dark times and we're gonna DO IT!" was a bit out of place for me. The visuals were stunning, the other parts not so much. Entertaining, yet I felt it could have been heavier and would have more to tell.



Had a day off Wednesday. I have been having a shitty work schedule lately, carving into my free time and my more enjoyable activities. So, to compensate, Wednesday saw a whopping three films viewed. THREE! It was to be four, but my dinner plans were skewed and it ran into the final 9:35pm showing of Movie #4. So three it was.

The trailer, including the final few seconds of it that just makes me laugh so hard I physically choke:

Mike Judge goes from Office Space to Extract. The boss as fool in 1999 to the boss as empathetic character in 2009. A potpourri of everyman (and woman) in the workplace environment, with Jason Bateman the approachable owner of a food flavoring extract company. Storylines not about the fantastically obtuse, but "regular" people. For example: the small business built from the ground up. Not a huge auto manufacturer, not an enormous plant, but a small town company where the CEO knows the names of everyone on the floor while they make and package a passion....food flavoring. The wife whose sweatpants equate to a chastity belt. The dreadfully dull chatterbox of a neighbor. The town's big name personal injury lawyer who's a big name because he advertises on bus benches.

Your everyday small town life, until a beautiful drifter rolls into town and turns everything on its head. The hardest part for me was to separate the voice. Mila Kunis does the voice of homely Meg on Family Guy, and it was difficult to see beauty with THAT VOICE come out.

This being said, it was struggling to make a Matinee score. HBO would probably suffice, but I'm feeling generous and will go for Matinee.