Friday, September 24, 2010

Neil Young - Le Noise

Neil is back. Not that he ever really went anywhere, but I have been waiting to hear something like this from him for a long time. The folky melancholy is still present in some of the tunes, however here they carry an extra edge. Also on this CD we hear something that has been missing for a decade or so, heavy, angry grunge guitar. Neil touches on his familiar love songs, political commentaries and cries for social justice. But what is new or revisted here is that I feel that I am listening to retro Neil post CNSY and his legendary solo stuff that preceeded that.
I wonder who we have to thank for this bit of time travel? It would have to be Daniel Lanois. As a producer he has had flashes of genius and usually brings with him a distinctive sound and overall atmosphere to the finished project. He has had a reputation for avant guard studio methods and fondness for vintage instrument sound. In Le Noise I sense something is different with Neil yet I don't hear Lanois exactly either. What I did hear though, I like. If its been a while since you bought a Neil CD, this is the one you will need to pick-up to renew your faith that the old man can still rock.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Louis CK and His new Show 'Louis'

When it comes to stand-up comedy this guy is currently the best out there. Although well respected for his television late night writing he has always flown low on the radar. He has written for David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Dana Carvey and Chris Rock. He even wrote a very popular but critically forsaken movie for Chris Rock, Pootie Tang. His acting career looked promising but he has only ever managed small roles and his HBO series 'Lucky Louie' was cancelled after only one season. I am really hoping that his new series 'Louis' on FX will be seen and heard. Its a spooky mix of dry uncomfortable comedy and occasional serious drama. I've liked it from the start and hope that it can branch beyond FX, as I fear that it is unfortunately doomed as not enough people can see it in this forum.
My purpose in commenting here is a call out to all readers to please try and see this show. If you cannot subscribe to FX then rent or buy the first season on DVD when it comes out. This series is a combination of (mostly original) stand-up and some events that have apparently happened to Louis CK in his life. I am amazed how he writes these seemingly mundane events into entertaining 20-30 minute stories.
My other reason for highlighting this series to to point out that not only is Louis CK a comic genius, I am beginning to be convinced that he has the potential to be a seriously good dramatic actor. If you don't believe me, watch the ninth episode 'Bully'. There is some serious acting and writing showcases in this episode. I might even go as far to say that it might be the most dramatic half-hour that I have seen on the tube in years.
Check it out.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Expendables

Certain things in life are expendable. This movie.

Certain things are not expendable. Your time.

This movie was utter garbage and a waste of time. Stay clear.