Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Waits for Words

After reading my last blog entry, my Beautiful Wife pointed out that we saw even another movie last week while in Dallas: Wordplay. Wordplay is a documentary about crosswords and the people who do them. The movie hinged on a tournament for crossworders which is held annually to determine the world crossword champion. But, the "characters" in Wordplay weren't quite as colorful as those depicted in the slightly superior Scrabble movie, Word Wars, so the whole documentary came off as not quite as entertaining. Still, it was quite good at times and contained entertaining sequences with celebrity crossworders ranging from Jon Stewart to Bill Clinton. And, a very interesting sequence where they detail how crosswords get made.

Since being home, I've been catching up on new music that has been released on Rhapsody, and have found a couple a great new CDs. The first is Tom Waits' Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards.

I've been a fan of Tom Waits for some time, but have never been as fanatical as some of my friends. Still, listening to this three disk collections of rarities and B-sides makes me feel like a pig wallowing in Tom Waits’ slop... in all the best ways. Tom is still the only singer who can deliver a line like "shake your fist and your poo-poo part" and make it sounds completely bad-ass.

I've also been listening to Swan Lake's Beast Moans. Swan Lake is the new Canadian "super-group" made up of Dan Bejar (New Pornographers, Destroyer), Spencer Krug (Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown) and Carey Mercer (Frog Eyes... which, ok, I've never heard of before). Canada just seems to be loaded with talents musicians and bands these days (the previously mentioned bands, Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, etc). And, in addition, they seem to be fond of playing musical chairs, and forming new groups at the drop of a hat. I'm not complaining, though.

A couple of other quick notes: After my last Blog entry, my brother (the infamous Gypsy Rockstar) pointed out Max Berry's blog. Max Berry is the writer of the novel Jennifer Government, and while he tends to paint in broad brush strokes, his rants are pretty entertaining. For example, his comments on someone getting a corporate logo tattoo:

I offer into evidence the choice of Peter McBride, who is the proud new owner of a Polo pony logo just above his left nipple.

Now, I don’t want to come right out and say that Pete is the low point of human civilization—I mean, there was Hitler. But looking at that photo… gee, it’s a tough call.

Also fellow Tater Boarder, Because, pointed out this awe-some design blog: Coolhunter.net. Every entry is filled with something conceptually cool or visually compelling. Like this:

(Don't worry, that woman is actually a decal on the ground. It's an ad promoting CPR. Scary. But cool.)

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