Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Make-Out with Violence

I may be late to the party on this, but today I got word that one of my all-time favorite movies, local indie film Make-out with Violence, would finally be available on DVD. The movie will be available for purchase this October.

Made by Nashville area Deagol Brothers, the film is basically a two-hour music video. That is a good thing because the soundtrack, mostly written and performed by Nashville band the Non-Commissioned Officers, is one of my favorite local records.

And the movie does what so many high budget films unsuccessfully try to do: span multiple genres. It is alternately funny, arty, and, being a horror film, freaky as hell. It also captures that vague, uncertain dreamy feeling of the summer after high school graduation.

The soundtrack has been in rotation for me for over a year and the film will no doubt be added to our collection the day it releases.

You can rent it on Netflix, but I suggest buying a copy by clicking here, if you trust my taste.

Below, two of my favorite songs. The first video is a little rough, but I truly love the song, Frozen Tongue. The second video has better quality, also a great tune.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Last night I barely slept

Last night, I barely slept and tonight I may not sleep again. I feel surrounded by doubters and skeptics. The words don't come as easily as the pent-up emotions. My broken-down car that was my lifeblood for seven years was taken off life support and died. Acquaintances have moved in where friends once lived. The let-loose evening is wound-up tight and out of reach. Our drinking buddies have had their guest bedroom revamped into a rock-n-roll nursery. Every ache and pain snaps me straight to attention, "is it time?!" We can no longer bust out of town for the weekend just because. That's what this pregnancy is like. I've never been happier.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

NBA Free Agency

So, being a diehard Chicago Bulls fan, naturally the surreal experience that has been the first week of NBA free agency is driving me crazy.

As recently as last year, I was hoping the Bulls' gameplan to lure a premier free agent would land at least Chris Bosh. I never thought of Bosh as a guy who could carry his own team, but I figured he was a good fit and a great consolation prize since LeBron James and Dwayne Wade seemed unattainable.

But then the playoffs ended and the Cavaliers laid an egg, all of a sudden making James seem within reach. Since then the Bulls have gone from favorites to land James, according to a New York Times story, to having virtually no odds, according to prognosticators like Ric Bucher. ESPN has made handicapping the free agency game an ongoing feature on its less and less relevant website. Long story short, most NBA reporters no longer give the Bulls very good odds to land James or any of the top free agents.

On one hand, I want to take this turn of events in stride since top players SHOULD want to return to their own teams. But on the other, the Bulls have let some good players get away and straight up given others away as part of a master plan to clear cap space. Despite letting Ben Gordon, John Salmons, Tyrus Thomas and Kirk Hinrich go, they've still managed to maintain a core of young players, including budding superstar Derrick Rose.

It doesn't make sense that a guy like James or Wade wouldn't want to play in Chicago. World-class city. International brand. Best chance to win championships.

But as Bucher eloquently tweeted many times, and with a bit of glee if you ask me, these guys aren't inclined to leave $30 million -- the amount they can get by first signing with their own teams -- on the table. Although this excuses a long tradition of pro athletes who have done just that in exchange for a shot at a championship, I am willing to accept this logic even more today. That's because news is breaking that LeBron is going to announce his free agency decision during a live special on ESPN.

And this proves once and for all that this decision is not about championships. It's about the glare of the ESPN cameras and the multi-million-dollar drone of their many interchangeable talking heads. Didn't Michael Jordan announce to the media that he was coming back with a two-worded fax that read, plainly, "I'm back."

Sure, Michael's return to the Bulls had a flare to it, but it was also understated and even ominous.

By putting himself at the center of the media's three-ring circus, LeBron is making this whole ordeal about him, not winning championships. As a Bulls fan, I'm disappointed, if ultimately unsurprised. But if LeBron returns to Cleveland, and if Wade and Bosh piggyback each other and sign with the Heat, I'll still be a proud Bulls fan. They've got the foundation for a great team in place, and as far as I can tell none of Chicago's best players need their own ESPN special to prove that.

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 4 fireworks

Last night, Ali and I went to Franklin to watch the fireworks display. As we drove down Franklin Pike, we saw a stream of tail lights in front of us, reminiscent of the closing scene in Field of Dreams when everybody apparently flocked to the Iowa cornfield to watch spirits play baseball.

We wanted to avoid getting sucked into the suburban black hole, so we veered off course and parked along the side of a road a few miles away from the park where the fireworks show would take place. The scene that ensued was something straight out of my childhood, when my Dad would take us to watch the fireworks at Valpo High School. A faint aroma of marijuana and cheap whiskey appeared every time the breeze churned up. An older couple came ridiculously over-prepared for the show with lawn chairs, a cooler stocked full over more soda than any two people could ever drink in a night and a professional camera set up on a tripod to capture the memories. Behind us, two 10-year-old kids sang Bon Jovi songs, while their parents huddled together and displayed their patriotism by muttering something vaguely hostile about the president actually having been born in Indonesia.

From the crowd that gradually surrounded us, I could hear parents boasting to their children that Franklin had the top rated fireworks displays in the country. Who does these rankings anyway? Every town I've ever lived in has laid claim to having the best July 4th fireworks shows. So either, Valparaiso, Bloomington, Indianapolis, Chicago, Nashville and Franklin have the best six fireworks shows in the country, or every American town makes the same bogus claim just so everybody feels extra special.

As it turns out, the show itself was special, despite the teenagers who drove up and down the highway honking their horns, and despite the couple four blankets down that inexplicably brought a jukebox to provide for the entire crowd a Daughtry/Nickelback/GaGa soundtrack that no one asked for.

The grand finale. The most revered component of every fireworks show, when the pyro-crazy local fire department gets to light about 100 massive fireworks at once, providing a full-on assault of booms, and smoke, and colorful explosions, and smoldering debris thumping down dangerously close to the crowd. At the end, everyone clapped, made an accounting of our many mosquito bites, and then headed back to our cars to dodge drunk drivers during our patriotic drive back home.

In the coming years, we will have a son of our own to take to the Franklin fireworks display. The best in the entire country.