Thursday, October 26, 2006

Is Borat the next Topaz movie outing?

No great new thoughts to add (besides didn't we just get finished with our 8-month interoffice hype of "Snakes on a Muthaf#@*ing Plane") but I'm darn excited about this movie.

Here is a print recap/preview from one of our target media publications - Digital Media Wire's Buzz Watch: Borat Wants To Meet "Fearless Anti-Jew Warrior" Mel Gibson.

In the meantime, here's the obligatory link to YouTube: Night of Too Many Stars benefit for Autism.

Actually the funnier video is Borat's appearance (check out the video boards) as England blow another European match with an amazing own goal.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Flaming Lips: Saving the World, One Balloon at a Time

I meant to post something right after this concert- back on September 10, but better late than never:

Saw the Flaming Lips at the Bank of America Pavilion in Boston, and without question it was the best concert I have ever seen. Simply put, it was the most fun, joyful concert a person could expect. Evidence?

Item 1: As the Lips hit the stage, about 2 dozen giant green balloons hit the audience. A brilliant strategy for audience participation, it kept us up on our feet throughout the entire concert. Later, 3 even more gigantic white balloons joined their cousins in the crowd.

Item 2: Appearing alongside the stage, were about a dozen Santas stage left, and a dozen or so aliens stage right, all dancing throughout the concert. But of course-- here is a photo diary of one of the Santas from that show.

Item 3: Confetti guns? Check. Confetti cannons? Check. Brightly painted amps and keyboards? Check. Stobe lights and megaphones? Check. Giant foam hands and sing-along puppets? Check-check. All cheap but marvelous effects.

Item 4: Stage hands dressed in black to be inconspicuous? No way-- we got Captain America, Superman, Space Ghost, and Wonder Woman (singer Wayne Coyne's wife, I believe) taking pictures on stage.

Item 5: "Happy Birthday, Emily" sung by Wayne Coyne and crowd to one of the Santa/Aliens or one of their friends- -not quite sure there, but wouldn't you want a band to sing Happy Birthday to you from the stage?

Wayne Coyne, Steven Drozd, and Michael Ivins put on a most entertaining show, all under the philosophy espoused by Coyne that music itself can't change the world, but maybe a lot of people thinking, doing, saying the same thing at the same time can make a small difference, if only in their own lives.

A remarkable thing about the Flaming Lips is that they have been around for nearly 25 years, but their concerts revolve almost exclusively around their last 3 albums. This is not an oldies band reliving grunge-era glory (though "She Don't Use Jelly" remains a concert staple), but a vital band making their best music now. Thus, we got to hear highlights from: "The Soft Bulletin" (the opening "Race for the Prize" and the first encore, "A Spoonful Weighs a Ton," accompanied by Teletubbies on video); "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" (title songs and "do You Realize" finale); and several selction from the new album "At War With the Mystics."

I would love to hear the band's take on some of their mid-90's tunes, but no complaints here.

All in all? The Feel-Good Hit of the Summer.

A note about my long-gestating admiration of the Flaming Lips-- I had heard them here and there for years ("Jelly," "Bad Days" in a Batman movie soundtrack, and "Christmas at the Zoo" in particular), and always loved their bent, crazy sound, even when I was busy being a jazz snob.
But I didn't really get into them until "Yoshimi.." a few years ago, and I was hooked but good.

Interesting side note: Steven Burns, seen every day for years in my house as "Steve" from Blue's Clues, was knocked out by the 1999 "Soft Bulletin" album, so much so that the Lips' producer and band members produced an album for him, and he will make an appearance in the long-in-production Flaming Lips film, "Christmas on Mars" (info here, click on "Film" tab).

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