Friday, May 25, 2007

Summer Reading: Casino Royale

Casino Royale ~ Ian Fleming
Bond's first appearance, he comes off here as a cold misogynistic asshole babbling about the "sweet tang of rape," untempered by any hint of the slightly goofy pun-inflicted chauvinistic Bond we get in the films up til Daniel Craig. Bond must defeat the baddie Le Chiffre in high-stakes gambling to prevent him from paying off some very important debts, and in the process gets smacked around and nearly blown up, comes face-to-face with Commies, and saves the free world. The beginning is a little choppy and slow, but things begin to pick up with the first explosion, and the action is fairly relentless after that. Also nonstop is the ride on the Bond Rollercoaster of Love, which after riding along a trippy dippy view of the ladies that is characterized by James hating on them then suddenly not minding them (hard to keep up with!), climaxes inexplicably with dreams of marriage that swan dive straight into a more logical frame of mind that allows the novel to end with what might be one of my favorite ending lines, if only for the perfect coldness that the reader can't quite endorse but can allow.

The film runs the same course of the book, with a bit more punch, and takes about as long to watch as the book does to read. I'd like to read Dr No, which I recently decided was my favorite Bond film.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

All about Norrington

Ok. Hopefully I'll go get to see the new Pirates film tomorrow or on Sunday (work on Saturday- if some fool with a camera jumps you at Dodger Stadium, interrupting your cheering for the Cubs, and asks to takes your picture, that might be me). The LA Times review suggests that it will be like the last movie- long n boring CGI sequences with way too many plots, the most boring of which will involve Will Turner. So why am I going to go see this film? Not Johnny Depp-- funny as Capn Jack Sparrow is, the novelty is wearing off. Certainly not Orlando Bloom aka Orlando Boring. Not Keira Knightley, who, because she is a decent actress and nothing more, is only as good as the role is (her role has been improving, and was at times quite amusing in the last film). Nooo sir- it's all for Norrington! Yes! The British baddie who turned up suddenly in the second film all grubby and dirty and angry and badass and got to be the other interesting part in the crazy and fun swordfight at the end. Ooh. Which reminds me- I think he's in this one. . .

Uh, so the point of that was, found a link for the score for the new film, by Hans Zimmer, so-- yeah, it probably sounds just like Pirates 1 and 2 and anything else that Klaus Badelt has ever done, which means it sounds like Gladiator (don't get me wrong, I adore the Gladiator soundtrack, Holst rip-off and all), which means it sounds like every other score the talented Mr Zimmer has made , except for, perhaps, this one (actually, I have no idea about that one. Never saw it.)

So, grab the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End OST!

And I hafta say, I went to Disneyland last summer and went on the ride, and saw that they had indeed stuck scary Johnny Depp animatronic thingies throughout the ride. Appalling. I grew up in SoCal, so I grew up on free trips to Disneyland first with my violin group and then with my school orchestra, so I am absolutely sick of the place, but this is just like when they turned the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House into the Tarzan Jungle of Fun or whatever it's called. A dumb move.

Little Amber Bottles

After a million years of waiting, I've got my hands on a copy of Blanche's sophomore album, and I probably won't get a chance to listen to it tonight, but I'll upload it now for everybody who is as impatient as me. Little Amber Bottles will be released in the UK on June 18th, but due to the death of their previous label, it still has no US release date. Blanche has their chin-up, though, saying that "we can only assume [that this situation] is because of the extremely complicated level of its terrificness." Let me know what you think of it! I didn't fall in love with the EP the way I did with their last album, and I know it's good for bands to evolve, but here's the hoping that Blanche maintains their spooky Americana and doesn't go the way of, say, "Icky Thump" (I didn't like it. I'm sorry. I love the White Stripes but this song just drags and is nothing new or outstanding, but at the same time isn't classic or based around tried and true excellency.)

Little Amber Bottles - Blanche
[buy it]

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Emilie Simon, Live

The awesomely awesome Ken from the very literate. intelligent, and interesting Giant Robots Make Me Nervous, Sometimes, introduced me to Emilie Simon, and I consequently spent two paper-writing all-nighters in the library listening to her album The Flower Book, the songs of which are like queer, pin-prickly fairy tales. Quite enchanting.

He's now been kind enough to provide a live set from 2003, so hopefully he doesn't mind that I share the link, which you can access in his comment, here. I'm grabbing it right now (this connection here is crappp so it's taking awhile), and I can't wait to give it a listen.

So a big thank you to Ken!

New Social D!

"Far Behind" which will be included on the upcoming Greatest Hits album slated for a June 26 release, started getting airplay on May 15th, and the band has been playing it around, including in this video, which was taken at the KROQ Weenie Roast. As much as I hate KROQ shows, and as much as KROQ jocks annoy me (the one on the file is Stryker, who is actually one of the few likable and friendly ones who knows when to shut up, unlike the chick who took over his timeslot recently who does not know when to SHUT UP), I swoon over anything and everything Social D, especially Mr Mike Ness ("Michael Ness," as you'll hear Stryker refer to him, and I'm pretty sure he always calls him that) so, here's the Weenie Roast video, and the only file of the song I could find. Sorry about the radio jockey chatter.

Far Behind mp3, recorded by someone off of KROQ, thanks to that wonderful someone

&, here's the "News" item from the Social D website.
SOCIAL DISTORTION TO RELEASE GREATEST HITS JUNE 26 - Social Distortion are set to release their FIRST EVER career spanning collection on June 26. Time Bomb Recordings will release the Greatest Hits on CD and limited edition vinyl. Classic songs from every classic album are represented in this definitive retrospective (track-listing below). From the early So-Cal punk track “Mommy's Little Monster,” that put them on the map, on through to 2004's radio hit “Reach For The Sky.” Covering Social Distortion's three decade long career, Greatest Hits showcases the best in band leader Mike Ness' heart-on-the-sleeve songwriting. Their classic cover of Johnny Cash's “Ring Of Fire” is included as well.

Far Behind,” is the hard charging new song recorded just for this collection and is the album's lead single - hitting the airwaves May 15. The band will tour worldwide in support of the Greatest Hits album. More dates to be announced through 2007.

Greatest Hits track-listing:
Another State Of Mind
Mommy's Little Monster
Prison Bound
Story Of My Life
Ball And Chain
Ring Of Fire
Bad Luck
When The Angels Sing
I Was Wrong
Reach For The Sky
Far Behind (new song)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Delicious Links from McCrank's!

(First, hope y'all like the new graphic. The name is still "Noise Annoys," but including the "Say" was like our "Viva." It made me go and check, and, yup- the douchebag who grabbed before me still has it. The text that used to be up is gone, but if you look at the links, you'll see that it's actually some cranky dude who hates noise. Still, I've grown quite fond of this address.)

Anyway, to business! And that is that McCrank's Juke has some fantastic stuff posted! Including Tim's solo album! And as soon as I've got my laptop back on the internet (some logistical problems right now), I am snatching it like whoa.

Tim Armstrong's A Poet's Life [2007]

Check out the "Into Action" music video here. Much typical-Tim-filtered-the-images-again fun to be had. I'm super psyched. I'm also glad to be back in LA where people say things like "super psyched." Or at least, I think they do.

The Clash = From London to Jamaica also @ McCrank's

From London to Jamaica Clash bootleg, recorded in 1982 and of amazing quality, is one of those things they call "must-haves." If you don't have it, grab it!


And lastly, the Coachella* Rage Against the Machine audio. Make sure to check this one out- it's pretty historic.

If you grab any of these files, be sure to thank the awesome people at McCrank's for their hard work!!
*As an aside, I don't know if I mentioned my disapproval of the chosen location for a RAtM reunion, ie. at the Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival for the privileged. I am, unfortunately, pretty anti-Coachella, a sentiment exacerbated by the kids at school in NEW YORK who fly out to CA to see the show on their 3 day passes !!! Which is to say-- who is going to these things. I was very, very surprised when I heard the news. I know Rage is a music group, not a political group, but all the same, it's hard to Rage Against the Machine at Coachella. I'm not talking about "selling out"; I think such a notion is absurd, especially when people bitch about it- they are more concerned with image than the music. In fact, here at Noise Annoys, you will never hear complaints about "selling out." Still, I think they could have chosen a better place to make a bigger bang, and with their star power, they could have reunited at the fucken White House, I bet. Urgh- even the Smiths wouldn't reunite for Coachella. But even though Morrissey now has a moral leg up on our lovely Zach (just for not being at Coachella), I heard they put on quite the show, and I am certain that they will make up for this with a show for like. . . I dunno, lettuce farmers.

Monday, May 14, 2007


The Beckhams may be moving to LA, but somebody's tryin' to burn this town before they make it here.

Still traumatized by the recent New York to LA move that she will hafta do again next year, Bridget will return within the next two days with music, updates, and more fun than the bounce house at the Olsen twins' 4th birthday party.

In the meantime, to make up for all the Catholic jokes, here is a religiously diversifying element.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Final Final, or, When you ride Alone, you ride with HITLER

I'm down to my last final tomorrow (huzzah), for the Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union. Things aren't going well. I've been trying to put together this study guide for the last week. It's going like this- ARGH. I've got about 55 terms to do a who/what/when/where/why/how for each.
The IDs will be selected from the list below.As was the case for the midterm, you should be able to identify the item (who, what, when, where?) and to write approximately four to six sentences to put the item in context and comment on the importance of this item for elucidating a larger theme in Soviet history.
It's taking forever, veryveryvery tedious. The worst part is elucidating the larger theme. It just gets silly after awhile. Fantastic class though, very interesting, and the readings were also very good, even the obligatory women's one. I'd recommend just in general Kotkin's Armageddon Averted, which looks at why the entrenched elite didn't take out the USSR with a bang. Casual writing style, kinda mean to old people, funny picture captions. Also, Sakwa's book is a great (spun) compilation of primary sources. I just hate when classes you like and are genuinely interested in become a chore. Like right now. Finals are a whole different beast, this breed of stress that you never encounter anywhere else. Argh. I'm not actually turning into Stalin nor entertaining such delusions of grandeur, but my brain is melting like a nuclear. . . uh, meltdown. Yeah I'm gettin all Three Mile Island up in here, bitches. I'm up in the dorm's "skylounge" which, yes, you do take a turbolift to get to, or your jetpack, and these dumb freshmen who must be finished with finals are running through screeching. Urgh. Argh.

Speaking of which, I love propaganda art, so I thought I'd share my two current favorites.

The Future is Unwritten Trailer

Well since I've been living in a cave-dorm room I missed that this was happening. The sordid story of finding out about it sadly involves sending me that ridiculous "We Recommend" email I keep getting, this time featuring the soundtrack for this Temple documentary. Still haven't seen "Let's Rock Again," by the way. Urgh. Um, hmmm. Errr. (This is my brain on the Soviet Union. Vydvizhentsywhatnow?) Soundtrack is whatever. Wouldn't buy it ever but would love to have Rachid Taha's "Rock the Casbah," which I used in a paper I wrote last year for an amazing class on Islam. The paper was about the ideological suggestions in "Rock the Casbah," quite a bit of fun to write. Anyway, here's the trailer, if only cos it makes you want to run outside, tag "THE CLASH" on some brick wall and run away giggling like a middle school kid and then go, Uh, why'd I do that? (And of course go Gaaaaah over Joe.) I'm wondering at the speed of this documentary being released. The man died less than six years ago. It's interesting how fast things are done nowadays (in my crotchety old man voice).

Though I love the cover seeing as how it's one of my favorite pictures of Mr Strummer. I do not, however, like the oh-he's-on-typewriter-let's-use-Courier title. Not classy. Why didn't they use the plastic-embossed-whatever-font they have in the trailer?

Gimme Gimme More

Here's, from the Fat Chords X-Mas Bonus, Me First doing Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans." The City of New Orleans is a train that runs from Chicago to New Orleans. Service was canceled south of Memphis after Katrina but has since resumed.
The City of New Orleans began life as the daytime companion train to the all-Pullman car Panama Limited that also traveled the IC's mailine from New Orleans, Louisiana to Chicago, Illinois. The daytime train was significantly cheaper. This train was a major part of the large migration of African Americans from the U.S. South during the early 20th century, as it was one of the cheaper transportation options available (wikipedia).
Regarding the song-
City of New Orleans is a folk song written by Steve Goodman. Goodman got the idea while traveling on the eponymous train on a visit to his wife's family's house. He performed the song for Arlo Guthrie in the Quiet Knight, a bar in Chicago, and Guthrie agreed to add it to his repertoire. The song proved a hit for Guthrie in 1972, and is now more closely associated with him despite that Goodman performed it until his death in 1984 (wikipedia).
Original Lyrics

My favorite part is "And the sons of engineers/Ride their father's magic carpet made of steam" cos I'm a sap (and it weds the technical fascination with trains with the childhood romanticism of trains); I also like "I'm your native son." It's a nice, nostalgic description of an overnight train ride. Which seemed to me when I went from NYC to FLA to tend towards obnoxiously fluctuating temperature and a bad back, but still worth it. We ended up sleeping in the dining car so we could lay down, then got woken up at 5am by some woman who told us we had to clear out cos people were gonna wanna start eating. . .

I'll try to get a copy of the original, but my source is currently trying to write a paper on some Spanish explorer and doesn't seem up for harassment right now.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

All done!

Ok, all 13 episodes should be up-n-running. You can access all thirteen episodes here. I hope you enjoyed them!

Star Wars: The Original Radio Drama, Episode 13, "Force and Counter Force"

As the Rebels launch their foolhardy attack on the Death Star, Admiral Motti tries to convince Grand Moff Tarkin that, as the space station’s commander, he holds enough power to challenge even the Emperor - and despite a warning that Motti’s suggestion is treasonous, Tarkin seems emboldened by the idea, enough that he declines the option of readying his personal escape craft. Vader personally leads the Imperial TIE fighter pilots to take on the approaching Rebel force ship-to-ship. The Empire’s crack pilots whittle the Rebels down to just a handful of ships. It will take only one Rebel fighter to reach the target ventilation shaft, fire a computer-guided torpedo into it, and destroy the Death Star - and before he knows it, Luke Skywalker is that sole Rebel, and Darth Vader makes it his personal mission to eliminate him (x).

Star Wars: The Original Radio Drama, Episode 12, "The Case for Rebellion"

The Millennium Falcon arrives at the Rebel base on the fourth moon of Yavin - a base which now has mere hours to prepare for an attack by the Death Star. Luke, still mourning Ben’s death, volunteers for a Rebel attack on the huge space station - something Han feels is a suicide mission, especially given Luke’s lack of combat flying experience. For his part, Han intends to cash in his many favors and get out of the Yavin system before the Empire starts destroying planets, and his bluntness startles his newfound comrades. Luke tries to explain that the Empire will clamp down on all trade, legal or otherwise, but Han is sure that he and Chewie can survive, and after reaping his reward, blasts off for safer havens (x).

Star Wars: The Original Radio Drama, Episode 11, "The Jedi Nexus"

C-3PO and R2-D2 talk their way out of Imperial capture and try to find a safe place to plug into the Death Star and avert certain doom for Luke and the others. Meanwhile, just as Ben Kenobi has sensed his presence, Darth Vader has sensed Ben’s - and sets out to meet him face-to-face. Luke, Han, Leia and Chewie manage to escape death in the trash compactor, but immediately encounter stormtroopers while they try to return to the Falcon. What they don’t know is that a duel looms ahead which will rob Luke of his mentor, but give him a chance to escape with Leia (x).

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes Love Their Country

California pop punk cover supergroup does country music, including Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and the Dixie Chicks. Throughout their albums they use the intros to other punk songs; the most notable here is "On the Road Again" starting with "Astro Zombies." Lots of fun. The benefit is that if you already like the original, MF&tGGs are providing a fun cover that is listenable on its own. If you're not a fan of the original, you've got it through an entirely new lens, and you can now enjoy it.

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

Friday, May 04, 2007

Guilty Pleasures 101

Uh, ha ha.

So darn catchy and danceable. & he looks like such an ass in this picture, I had to include it.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Star Wars: The Original Radio Drama, Episode 10, "The Luke Skywalker Initiative"

Ben, Luke, Han, Chewbacca and the droids hide themselves in the Millennium Falcon’s concealed smuggling compartments - and amazingly, they survive, despite Threepio’s built-in disinclination to stop talking, which nearly gives them away. Through the Force, Ben Kenobi senses a presence aboard the Death Star, and insists that he must go on alone to face it and to disrupt the tractor beam that would end any escape attempts. He leaves Luke, Han, Chewie and the droids to cool their heels in a secure area, but when R2-D2 plugs into the Death Star’s computers and locates Princess Leia on board, Luke changes the plan. After some cajoling, Han and Chewbacca accompany him on a daring raid of the Death Star’s detention block, freeing the Princess - and then plunging into more trouble in a makeshift escape into a trash compactor (x).
Oh, and hurry on over and tell Jim what you're listening to. He did this last time and it was quite fun. I'm like that nosy neighbor in the 50s sitcom. I'm probably always washing dishes or cooking or beating the kids, too. Something like this.

Movie Review in Pictures: Invincible

This is the official movie cover/poster.

This is what it should be.

(I feel bad for all of them. PS- my spelling n grammar break down in Paint. Sorry.)

Classes! Done! Finals! oh shit.

Alright! Classes are done. Celebrated appropriately (sorry, crude, but links are there to showcase the quality disintegration and price decline), though at one point fell asleep (had 2 hours of sleep that night, but got those darn papers finished) and when I woke up, there were like five people playing dominoes and arguing heatedly over the supremacy of backgammon. . . huhwhatnow?

Around 5 dumb boy 1 and I went to print something for dumb boy 2's audition the next day. 2 unreasonably never offered to come with us and grab the printed stuff, so dumb boy 1 got to walk back and deliver it, and I guess he yelled at everyone in his room that if they didn't clean up, they'd get it. . . &c. (I heard this the next day when he was like, If they didn't clean my room, they'll get it. Fist shaking and whatnot. They had.) I feel a little sorry for the people (they all looked like Barnard girls) in the printing room at the library because imagine that you've been up all night finishing this paper and now it's 5 am and you just want to kill yourself and now there's this drunk angry fella with a wifebeater and tattoos hitting the printer (which wasn't working, good lord what a surprise). I was too tired to try to be the soothing voice of reason, so instead I was taking a nap by the computer. Notably, the printers weren't working on Monday morning in my building when I had to print 3 papers, and the elevator wasn't working yesterday. Har har, what a funny prank, school. My window doesn't stay open either, and this is the second one, the other one cracked.

Yesterday we had a crazy storm (I got caught in it whilst looking for Mexican food; we got to the place and they were having a health inspection- in a good way- so I'll hafta check it out some other time, apparently it's real Mexican food, CaliMex, not like. . . whatever they usually serve here). The great part was this amazingly clear, forked lighting just absolutely splitting up the sky. Crappy part was the whole wet thing. It would be really nice if it rained now cos I'm stuck inside. I have the blinds shut as much as possible. I should play "Storm Noises" on loop. Cos it ain't good weather lest you're out in it! (The biggest problem is that isn't a bit true.)

Watched Mystery Train (good) and Invincible (awful, no joke, and halfway through, dumb boy 1 decided to look up the main character's historical inspiration on wikipedia and then we knew the ending cos it turned out he dies of blood poisoning while performing a feat of strength involving some Polish peasant's rusty nail. Not while fighting off hordes off Nazis with machine guns and the Ark of the Covenant while screaming "I Am Samsooonn. I'll be back." Cos, I mean, that's where the movie was TOTALLY going.) and ended up with fake Chinese food for dinner.

Haha, ok, just image Googled "Ark of the Covenant" and check this out-- the Ark of the Covenant jewelry box. If I order it, it had better come in a cunning little wooden crate with a burnt off swastika, okay?

PS- check out Ken's fantastic review of Mystery Train here.

Star Wars: The Original Radio Drama, Episode 9, "Rogues, Rebels and Robots

En route to Alderaan in the Millennium Falcon, Ben begins Luke’s training in the ways of the Force, starting with basic lightsaber technique and awareness of the Force. Despite Han’s teasing, Luke practices until he’s able to fend off the attacks of a remote drone while blinded by the blast shield of a flight helmet. But this small victory is short lived as Ben senses something terrible, a cataclysmic disruption of the Force. When the Falcon comes out of hyperspace, Han finds he’s arrived not at Alderaan, but in a dense asteroid field - and despite the fact that the ship has arrived at the right coordinates, there’s no planet to be found. A lone Imperial TIE fighter appears, and Han gives chase - unaware that the pursuit will lead him into the jaws of the Death Star itself (x).
Get your unreasonably yet awesomely huge New Hope screencaps here. Draft a plan for world peace, write a symphony, and take out the trash while they load!

Check it- Luke's hero pose. Waaah.

I just put some Tarkin picture up for my background, replacing the very sexy Paul Simonon, cos some day's you just feel evil. Especially now that the sun just rose.

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