c o l u m b i n a

"by her keen and active wit, she [ is ] able to hold her own in every situation and emerge with ease and dignity from the most involved intrigues." ~ Duchartre

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

ben folds concert

Ben Folds rocks in concert, y'all.

His set-list from the Mann Center (Philadelphia, PA) on 9/6/08:
1. Zak and Sara
2. Smoke
3. All U Can Eat
4. Effington*
5. Landed
6. Kylie From Connecticut*
7. Jesusland
8. Gracie
9. Ascent of Stan
10. Fred Jones, Part 2
11. One Down
12. Last Polka
13. Not the Same
14. Steven's Last Night in Town
15. Narcolepsy
Encore: The Luckiest

* New Songs

It really takes the songs to a whole new level with the orchestra backing. I was a little saddened that he didn't play "Lullabye" but I'll live. The new songs were gorgeous, and I have a total new appreciation for the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

Not bad for a concert in the middle of hurricane rains.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Summer Music Mix

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

Happy Labor Day! Another summer bites the dust, and it's time to re-shuffle the cds in my car for fall. Some songs that have been entertaining me this summer:

1. "Jogging Gorgeous Summer" by Islands. Thanks to Music for Kids Who Can't Read Good for this rec.

2. "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes. Yeah, it's cheesy. (Though they used it in the car chase scene for Wanted. How bizarre is that?)

3. "I Want Candy" by Bow Wow Wow. Child of the 80s, that's my only excuse.

4. "The Underdog" by Spoon. Don't need a reason to love Spoon.

5. "Mistress Mabel" by The Fratellis. Lurve them, lurve the song. Why can't they release in the UK and the US simultaneously?? Coldplay can manage it, dammit.

6. "Pull Shapes" by The Pipettes. When I form my girl band, we're going to sound like the Pipettes: fierce.

7. "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" by She & Him. Zooey Deschanel rocks.

8. "Girls in Their Summer Clothes" by Bruce Springsteen. Don't mess with Jersey.

9. "Lullabye" by Ben Folds. Seeing him in concert in 4 days!!!!

10. "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz. Mellow tropical song that sounds like summer.

Monday, February 11, 2008

award season

time to get back in the habit of this blogging thing again.

very unlike myself, I watched both the Grammys and the BAFTAs last night. Can I just say, BAFTAs? Meh. Such a let down. I hate award seasons when you know exactly who's going to win, what they're going to say when they get to the podium, and which clips they'll flash and music they'll play before and after they get there. It probably would help quite a lot if I didn't have such latent hostility towards "Atonement"* or actually had seen "No Country for Old Men" or "There Will Be Blood" but I refuse to suffer through them just to make my award show viewing more palatable.

But the Grammys. Was that ever just a big bowl of crazy? From Amy Winehouse's I-Have-To-Pee Post Rehab Shuffle Dance to the feather duster lacquered to Rihanna, to the insane pairing of Kid Rock with Keely Smith, to Carrie Underwood's curiously expressionless face (Botox?), to the bizarre tributes to Gershwin with a clearly addled Lan-Lan, to the unexpected win of Herbie Hancock, to the reemergence of 69-year-old Tina Turner, who's face has aged but who's body hasn't... it's a wonder I don't make a habit of watching the show. But from the "WTF Are They Doing Now... Is That a Set Piece or a Person?" point of view, it's all good. Can't wait til next year.

*Look, I read the book. It's a nice book, with many pretty turns of phrase throughout. But it drags. And drags. And drags. And SPOILER ALERT all the prettiness is a pack of lies anyway. The whole thing is so forced - like paper cut outs to illustrate a philosophical debate. I suppose I am just part of the backlash. To my credit, I hear a commercial about how this movie is the most wonderful, moving, spiritual experience you can ever have or ever hope to have Every. Five. Minutes. So I think that excuses quite a bit.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Movie Meme

AFI's top 100 movies. Bold the ones you have seen. Strike out the ones you couldn't finish. * the ones you have seen more than once.

1. Citizen Kane (1941)
2. The Godfather (1964) *
3. Casablanca (1942) *
Is there any movie greater than this? Really, 1 and 2? I mean, I love me some Orson Welles, and I know how the boys feel about the mob, but seriously, how can you beat one of the greatest ensemble casts, with one of the greatest scripts? (I totally blame Paul Henried. The wet blanket. More screentime for Claude Rains! /rant)
4. Raging Bull (1980)
5. Singin’ in the Rain (1952) *
6. Gone with the Wind (1939)
7. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

8. Schindler’s List (1993)
9. Vertigo (1958)
I know, I know. And it's Hitchcock, and I love Hitchcock. But I simply couldn't find the love in my cold, cold heart.
10. The Wizard of Oz (1939) *
11. City Lights (1931)
12. The Searchers (1956)
13. Star Wars (1977) *
14. Psycho (1960)

15. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
16. 2001 : A Space Odyssey (1968) I tried, Hal. I made it through 2010, though.
17. The Graduate (1967)
18. The General (1927) Why do they even bother? I mean, has anyone besides the people who stayed awake through film classes ever even HEARD of these silent "gems" that get toddled out for award shows? (And I even j'adored #11. But one must make an exception for Chaplin's greatest work. I think. /hotair)
19. On the Waterfront (1954)
20. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
21. Chinatown (1974) *
Love. Love. Love.
22. Some Like It Hot (1959)
23. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
24. E.T. The Extraterrestrial (1982)
25. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

26. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
27. High Noon (1952)
28. All About Eve (1950)
29. Double Indemnity (1944)
30. Apocalypse Now (1979)
31. The Maltese Falcon (1941) *
32. The Godfather Part II (1974)

33. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
34. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
35. Annie Hall (1977)

36. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
37. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
38. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
39. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
40. The Sound of Music (1965) *

41. King Kong (1933)
42. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
43. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
44. The Philadelphia Story (1940) * It is "yar."
45. Shane (1953)
46. It Happened One Night (1934)
47.A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
48. Rear Window (1954)*

49. Intolerance (1916)
50. Lord of the Rings : The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) *
51. West Side Story (1961)

52. Taxi Driver (1976)
53. Deer Hunter, The (1978)
54. M*A*S*H (1970)

55. North by Northwest (1959) * Have I mentioned how badly I want to be Eve Kendall when I grow up? (Hell, now. I want to be Eve Kendall now. No waiting. Eve Kendall, with the red boat neck dress, with Cary Grant on a train, and "I never discuss love on an empty stomach.")
56. Jaws (1975) *
57. Rocky (1976)

58. The Gold Rush (1925) Does it count if I've seen Johnny Depp and Robin Williams re-create the potato dance scene in two other movies?
59. Nashville (1975)
60. Duck Soup (1933)
61. Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
62. American Graffiti (1973)
63. Cabaret (1972)

64. Network (1976)
65. The African Queen (1951)
66. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) *
Spielberg, why can't you do this anymore? And don't even talk to me about Indy 4. You are so dead to me with that nonsense.
67. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
68. Unforgiven (1992)
69. Tootsie (1982)
70. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
71. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
72. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) *
73. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)*
74. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) *
75. In the Heat of the Night (1967)*
76. Forrest Gump (1994) *
This is not repeat viewing by choice. This is repeat viewing by the wrath of cable scheduling. An accident. I swear. Unlike...
77. All the President’s Men (1976) * ... which is *so* repeat viewing-by-choice.
78. Modern Times (1936)
79. The Wild Bunch (1969)
80. The Apartment (1960)
81. Spartacus (1960)

82. Sunrise (1927)
83. Titanic (1997) Yes, but I still have cavities. Thank you, James Cameron, for inflicting that on the world. I hope you're happy.
84. Easy Rider (1969)
85. A Night at the Opera (1935) What? I like the Marx Brothers.
86. Platoon (1986)
87. 12 Angry Men (1957)
88. Bringing Up Baby (1938) * There are not enough asterisks for how much I love that movie. So, infinite asterisks to go here.
89. The Sixth Sense (1999) *
90. Swing Time (1936)
91. Sophie’s Choice (1982)
92. Goodfellas (1990)
93. The French Connection (1971)

94. Pulp Fiction (1994) *
95. The Last Picture Show (1971) You know, for all the hype about Bogdonovich, I've never seen one of his movies. Huh.
96. Do the Right Thing (1989)
97. Blade Runner (1982)
98. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
99. Toy Story (1995) *
100. Ben-Hur (1959)

Notice all the glaring exceptions from that list? Whither "Breakfast at Tiffany's"? Wherefore not "To Catch a Thief"? Le sigh.

Tag, you're it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

one book meme

via Colleen Gleason's blog, which was only found through shared love of Vicky Bliss. I might just have to read her books now.

one book... that changed your life

It may be slightly silly (okay, very silly) but The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog by Elizabeth Peters. Not an earth-shattering read, a very simple yet terribly entertaining installment of the Amelia Peabody series. However, let me explain about the life-changing bit.

I read a lot of historical fiction as a young girl. Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart trilogy. Everything Agatha Christie ever wrote. I don't think I will ever know how many times I read The True Adventures of Charlotte Doyle by Avi, but for someone like me who is so ridiculously fastidious about her books, that is one abused paperback that sits on my shelves. Then, in fifth grade, foolish me decided to tackle the historical books in the recommended summer booklist and plucked Kipling's Kim off the library shelves.

That's right. Kim. I still have nightmares. I can't even remember what the hell the book was about; I just have nightmares about how the book couldn't, wouldn't, didn't EVER end, and that interminable first sentence about that damn cannon. And I made a little promise to myself: no more books that weren't set in modern day.

I kept that promise for quite a while. I had bought that first Peters book in an airport bookstore, in a hurry, intrigued because it was in the mystery section and had hieroglyphics on the cover. And then I read the first couple pages and realized I had been duped. A period piece, and quoting Keats in the first two pages! It got lost amongst my bookshelves until it somehow got thrown in my suitcase on my first excursion to Europe the summer before I started ninth grade. Trapped on the plane home with no other options, it got read.

And I was hooked forever on Elizabeth Peters. (I'm going to be buried with that book, I think. Or maybe Night Train to Memphis, I really haven't decided. But either one would make a better companion for my afterlife than a Bible, really.) And the majority of the books in my library are once again predominately historicals. So well done, Ms. Mertz. That's all your fault.

one book... that you've read more than once

How about almost every book on my extensive set of bookshelves? I will say, my most impressive re-read IMHO is Tom Jones by Henry Fielding. That was an undertaking the first time around, but I did pick up on much more of the wit of it the second time around.

one book... that you'd want on a desert island

I hate that question. Choose? Between my BOOKS?

In the words of the great Irish comedian Ardal O'Hanlon, paraphrased from memory... "An interviewer once asked me if I was stranded on a desert island, which two books I'd bring with me. I didn't like the threat implied in the question, so I told her that the first book I'd bring would be a big, plastic, inflatable book, and the second would be How to Make Oars Out of Sand."

one book... that made you laugh

Every last one of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books. My mother wants to be Grandma Mazur when she grows old.

one book... that made you cry

I'm a notorious stoic when it comes to my entertainment choices, but I will admit that I wept very freely and couldn't breathe properly for large portions of Checkmate by Dorothy Dunnett. I still can't read certain scenes without getting slightly worked up... "But I am her daughter" indeed.

one book... that you wish you had written

Harry Potter so I'd be richer than the Queen? Seriously, however, I think that Dorothy Sayers must have died happy to have created such a perfect book as Gaudy Night. I never would be able to come close to that kind of excellence, but such a thoughtful and entertaining book would certainly be something of which to be exceedingly proud.

one book... that you wish had never been written

The Da Vinci Code. Just awful, and so inspiring of other hacks.

one book... that you are currently reading

David Liss' The Coffee Trader.

one book... that you've been meaning to read

Anna Karenina, The Woman in White, The Other Boleyn Girl, Lanark, and many, many others.