Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Fab Five #19 - Triple-Double-Trouble Super Tuesday Edition

1. Zero 7 - When It Falls (Elektra, Released today)
The new album from Zero 7 is overflowing with heart-swelling warmth and uplifting emotion. Featuring all of the same vocalists from the first record, Simple Things, Zero 7 (Henry Binns & Sam Hardaker) didn't even try to change up the formula from their first one -- and I'm glad of that. Why change? Where would they go? The way Air went offtrack on their second record? No thanks. And yes, they do remind me a lot of Air, with the same analog synths and lush gentle strings coating your eardrums. I'm still not sure that there's a breakout track like "Destiny," though check out the best contenders, "Home" and "Somersault" by clicking here.

2. Lord Of The Rings' "Return Of The King" winning 11 Oscars
The geeks win for a change. Return Of The King definitely deserved it -- a breathtaking cinematic experience, in my opinion -- though obviously the awards were meant for all three films, essentially three parts of one gigantic movie. It was fun seeing all the D&D types up on the stage, looking all awkward and adjusting their glasses. Hell, even Sofia Coppola (who was awarded Best Screenplay almost as a consolation prize because there's no way she would have beaten LOTR's Peter Jackson) was obviously pained just to be up on stage at all. Sure, the show was pretty anticlimactic and I wish there would have been more political rants, dammit, but what can you do.

3. Noise Pop Festival
The 12th annual Noise Pop Festival was going on for much of last week, featuring something like 130 or more predominantly indie bands playing at several different participating venues in San Francisco. Basically, too many shows for one person to go to, but I managed to check out a few: the Unicorns Wednesday night (a lot of fun, very entertaining), the Aluminum Group Thursday night (subdued and sly, enjoyable), and the Decemberists and Earlimart Saturday (sort of indifferent to both bands, though the Decemberists made me feel like I was at Ye Olde Renaissance Faire). Regardless, the opportunity to see so much fresh, independent music in five days (and widespread support from music fans) is the true treasure here.

4. Voting in the Primary today
I believe it's every citizen's right and duty to vote whenever possible and so I'm looking forward to returning to the voting booth and casting my choices (on one of those cool touch screens, no less). I must admit, I'm really torn on several of the ballot measures and proposals this year, so I've spent a few hours poring over various voter guides online, and I still haven't made up my mind about everything. But I'm glad I have the right to make these sorts of decisions that affect myself and the community.

5. The Work of Director Michel Gondry DVD (Palm Pictures)
The highly imaginative French video director is featured in all his surreal glory on this double-sided DVD, including jaw-dropping vids for the White Stripes ("The Hardest Button To Button" clip so rules), Bjork (a big chunk of her stuff), Chemical Brothers, Cibo Matto (the bizarre "Sugar Water"), Massive Attack, Daft Punk's "Around the World," and that old-school one-hit wonder "Lucas With The Lid Off" (I always liked that bad song), among others. Gondry has a very unique style, totally fucking with your head but in a childlike manner.

My Friend Teddy's website Dogster being featured in the SF Chronicle yesterday.
Go Dogster! Here's the story
+2. The new kick-ass Apple store that opened up in downtown SF Saturday.
I'm excited.
+3. The words "Balderdash" and "Moribund"
People need to use them more often in everyday speech. And who doesn't want to exclaim "Balderdash!" to the idiot at the bar yammering on about Bush being a good president. "Bush's moribund presidential campaign is good news!" See how much fun that was.

-1. Locking my keys in my car while in San Jose.
I have a spare key -- too bad it was in Oakland. And that AAA membership offer sitting on my desk? Well, this was one time when being a procrastinator doesn't help. So lame. I sucked.

-2. Spending way too much money to get my car fixed.
But the unfortunate reality is that I need my car to be in tip-top shape to drive to and from the new gig. Damn cars.

-3. The overuse of the word "Pragmatic."
Did you ever notice you often see politicians and journalists use the same words and phrases when popular? Pragmatic, which means "a straightforward practical way of thinking about things or dealing with problems, concerned with results rather than with theories and principles," is the hot new way of saying someone is cautious.

elevate not laminate,

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