STLCurmudgeon's Blog
Popular Culture & Life In The Big City

Jan
24

JANUARY

Well it is new year. Been crap so far. Sorting out bills and looking for work. That sums it up.

I hope 2012 is decent but based on the rhetoric coming from politicians I fear not. I also have a feeling that the economy is crawling along but it is not really kick starting yet.

I’ve been writing some stuff for The Beacon which is pretty great. it’s a local online newspaper that serves as a viable alternative to our crappy St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Patch has a new editor who I am hoping is nice. I also am still doing some foraging for new assignments from other sources.

As far as TV goes I am watching some new shows, Alcatraz, Person of Interest and 2 Broke Girls. I also managed to get Showtime free for 3 months so we’ll see what crap they have. I am still catching up on The Hour and Whitechapel and I really need to see the new season of Sherlock/

MOVIES

So many people have asked for my favortie movies of the year. I finally organized them in alphabetical order.

The Artist
Descendants
Drive
Hugo
Sugmarine
Midnight In Paris
Moneyball
My Week With Marilyn
A Seperation
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

I really loved The Artist. I also liked Hugo. but I was thrilled ot ahve such a great year for movies about movies with The Artiat, Hugo and My Week With Marilyn.

SHAME

Image

I saw Shame at the film Festival here in November. It is pretty dreary and the acting is really good in it. Michael Fassbinder is terrific in it and shows off his schlong a lot. he’s a sex addict. This movie does not shed sex addicts in a very good light. But it is still really powerful.

APPLIANCE NEWS

Murray, my old refrigerator is kaput. It kept freezing everything in it. I thought it was the thermostat but alas I was wrong. I called my landlord to fix it and then my landlord graciously bought a new one. Wow. I was totally not expecting that.

Apparently it is easier to get a new one then fix an old one. I have been giving myself fits trying t name this one and finally settled on Jarvis.

I still need a new DVD player and maybe a laptop and a new TV. Crap.

This refrigerator looks exactly like the old one but it is a G.E. Damn right it’s made in America,

I feel sad that my old fridge is being recycled for scrap. I was hoping Indian Jones could hide in it.

MUSIC

I just got the Kid Savant record but have not heard it yet. I plan on getting to it later today.

I am excited about the new Air record.

Pulp is back but won’t play near me so I guess I am screwed.

There is also a new Blur record coming out which will be very odd to hear as well.

I just found out that LMFAO are related to the Gordy family. Scary.

I am still sad about Etta James. Man she could sing.

SUPER BOWL

I could really care less aoubt the Super Bowl this year but I think I am pulling for the Giants since Eli Manning seems nice and I hate the Pats. Brady seems

like a dick and the Pats cheated when they beat the Rams all those years ago.  I am happy to see Tim Tebow is not in the game sinc ethat guy is f’n a pain in the ass. I mean really.

But the best part of the game will be the commercials. I also think it will be great to see Madonna at halftime. I think her big ‘comeback’ starts there.

STAR WARS

I have no desire to see The Phantom Menace in 3D. If you are going to fix the movie George then maybe you could make it good this time. It’s so terrible. now it is terrible in 3D.

TITANIC

It’s back in 3D too. Really. I hate that f’n Celine Dion song. If it makes a comeback there’ll be a rumble.

It’s the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster. I recommend reading aubt it rather then watching a crap movie about it.

Well I think I am out of steam for this entry. Got so much other stuff to do. Urgh!

Jan
24

I Want My MTV

I Want My MTV

Dec
31

2012

So I apologize for taking forever to update this.

2011 was one of those years where it seemed like I was constantly on the go. I still have no full time job but thankfully I’ve gotten some freelance writing gigs and other work to keep me afloat. It’s been a knuckle under and just get it done kind of year.

I do like the freedom I have with this situation though. I get to see more daytime press screenings for films and I can plan my writing daily while I send out resumes and network. Sometimes I can even watch ‘Three’s Company.’

I have to say that temp agencies suck. They are just revolving doors of suck that really do not help much. They don’t really seems to see you as more then a number.

The Go Network in St. Louis ahs been pretty good and I’ve met some interesting people who are also out of work. I should not complain since I have a roof over my head, people who love me and a PT job that gives me about 30 hours a week. ut this economy has beeen something. I heard about the Depression from my grandmother and father who were affected by it, but this recession thingy just eats the souls of lesser men. Basically you have to roll up your sleeves, be inventive, hustle and work to make it. To that end I have been lucky and I am thankful.

My radio show won an award this year, Best STL Rock Show, from The Riverfront Times. It was pretty cool and unexpected but I can’t parlez it into a paying or syndicated gig. Drat. I’ve been doing Juxtaposition for 16 years and I really like it. I am so lucky to have a show on KDHX.

I did get to Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, Atlanta and Jacksonville this year, mostly for business or family stuff.  I liked Denver. It’s a walkable city and the art museum is really good. They also have a nice downtown area. Jacksonville is nice and I got to see the Atlantic on a cold blustery day. But it was awesome.

I also saw the sun go down over the Pacific when I was in Santa Monica which was pretty great. While in LA I did all the tourist Hollywood stuff and went to Amoeba Records which was badass.

I loved Los Feliz which was pretty walkable and nice. I recommend Skylight Books to visitors. I took the subway through Watts which was interesting to see. LACMA and The Getty were f’in incredible!

I was in Phoenix as well and took time to see The Grand Canyon which was as amazing as I expected it to be. Phoenix itself is kind of crowded and annoying. Although Alice Cooper has a sports bar there. The Phoenix Art Museum is filled with a lot of Western American Art which I hadn’t seen before.

I really love Chicago and am itching to go back! I could go on for hours about Chicago.

I wish I had more interesting stuff to say about 2011 except I worked my ass off most of the time.  If I go into more detail it’ll be like The Grapes of Wrath all over again. Sigh.

In appliance news the refrigerator keeps freezing the last 2 racks of stuff which sucks. I also need to get a new DVD player at some point.

Well Happy New Year!

Frankly I am hoping 2012 doesn’t suck as much!

Jul
11

Awake, Kansas, Stevie Wonder, Colorado

I hate insomnia. I also hate it when I wake up with a headache that won’t stop! So I am taking advantage of the time and clearing out my inbox, pulling trash and weeding through loads of useless paper notes. Fun reading huh?

The big news in St. Louis is that it is frakkin hot. The humidity and heat index sucks and it feels like you are getting punched in the face every time you walk outside.

I’ll blog about movies and records in my next blog since it will take a long time and I don’t want to be on for long.

I had 2 DJ gigs this weekend within 24 hours and I think my internal clock is not shot to hell for a few days.

I need to learn how to pace myself but with these things but I need the money. Although sometimes I have to ask myself if it is all worth it since people tend to have bizarre musical tastes that not even I can fathom. Like, why would anyone want to hear ‘Dancing On The Ceiling’ by Lionel Ritchie? Really,  you want that much embarrassment? Can’t you wait until you get home?

Someone hated Stevie Wonder last night and said he was ‘too much soul.’ Really, he’s Stevei f’in Wonder! Your precious Drake would be nowhere w/o Stevie F’in Wonder.

And another thing, why must people in the Midwest hear REO Speedwagon, Journey and Kansas all the time? They obviously own these records at home. Can’t they wait a few hours before groovin out to ‘Dust In the Wind’ in the privacy of their own home?

If you want to solve the debt ceiling crisis lock Congress shut, like they do for Papal conclaves, and make them hear every f’in Kansas record until they sort it out.

I had a nice trip to Colorado last week but was terrified by Fort Collins since the town has been overrun by hippies. If  given a choie between a zombie invasion or a hippie one, I’d take the undead every time.

The only record store in Ft. Collins was in a headshop and the smell of hippie drove me out.

Now to be fair I did eventually find Old Town which was ok and mostly free of hippies. To my delight I found a speakeasy with a great jazz band and drinks. There were other good bars too and loads of nice foodie joints. I found the Old Firehouse Bookstore which was really nice as well.

http://oldfirehousebooks.com/

In general, the people there were nice, except the hippies. Fort Collins is where Colorado State is and they had a decent college radio station. Despite all of this I enjoyed the company of friends and had a great time. I loved my friends’ wedding which was just awesome. Nothing deletes the buzzkill of hippies like drinks out with good company.

Denver was very nice. I crammed a lot into a day and a half.  The city was clean and easy to get around. It has more to offer with architecture then I expected.

My room at the Best Western had a nice long steel beam across a semi-vaulted ceiling. I thought Ian Curtis would love it. I thought to myself that they should put ‘great for death by hanging’ in the travel brochures in the lobby. They had a continental with a microwavable Jimmy Dean Pancakes and sausage on a stick. It looked really sick.

The Denver Art Museum (http://denverartmuseum.org/home) was pretty cool but they lopped the American & European art together based on subject matter.

The Tattered Cover bookstore was incredible. http://www.tatteredcover.com

I went to see the Rockies play and loved Coors Field. It’s a really nice ballpark. The sight lines are great. it’s what a downtown ballpark should be.

The Rockies themselves, the mountains that is, are breathtaking.

Sam’s 3 Diner on Curtis has the best Gyro omelet ever. The Moonlight Diner by the airport is also pretty good. They make a mean mushroom burger and I am told they have great grilled cheese.

http://samsno3.com/get-here/

http://www.moonlightdinerdenver.com/modules/wfchannel/

Wax Trax Records had lots of vinyl & some cool CDs. But it was nothing like what I expected.

The airport in Denver is pretty amazing and spacious and easy to get around.

I took a shuttle from Denver to Fort Collins. It was like being on a Wagon Train.

The Molly Brown House was also really interesting.

Back to jibberish….

DC is relaunching their titles from the beginning as a reboot. Lame.

Shia LeBouf cannot act.

The new Nick Cave reissues are wonderful.

Appliance news: I know not how or where but there is a constant sound of running water in my apartment building. Most likely for the chuckleheads upstairs. It’s the sound that happens when a toilet doesn’t shut off  after its tank fills or something like that. It is pretty loud and annoying.

There are new chairs for the pack porch. They are comfy and nice. Now I can melt in comfort. A new patio table is next. I like reading on the patio but not in this furnace!

I guess I shall try and muster the energy to go back to sleep. It is early. I love hearing the birds chirp outside my window. I need to get up early and get a jump on my day of quasi unemployment!

 

 

 

 

May
22

Urgh!

I am not sure how, when or where, but I have hurt my knee & am I am pretty scared. Mainly because I was off my feet for most of 2010 and I don’t want to go through that again.

I have a Doctor friend who tells me not to panic and an my orthopedist said the same thing, but I still worry since I am a complete moron w/ such things.

So I am staying off my feet for the next few days and just hoping it all gets well.

Apparently a tweak, strain or sprain has the same feel of something more sinister. But two doctors have told me they saw no visible structural damage. Knock on wood.

I worry too much. I am an ass.

In brighter news it has stopped raining for the last few days. I don’t mind rain but we’ve just had so much of late it has been annoying.

It is almost 4 a.m. and I am up and full of trepidation and worry and stupidity. I am happy that the Cardinals won today. I am happy to have people who care about me and I am happy to have a roof over my head. Still, it would be nice to finally get ahead and get on with things. It has been a frustrating 16 months!

With regard to movies, Thor was better then I expected. I saw a Dutch film called Winter In Wartime that I liked a lot. I am hoping to see some other films soon. I am not sure what to think of Green Lantern. I want it to be good, but it looks kind of over special effecty in the trailers.

I am trying to read more and write more, watch my diet and be a better person. But then this knee thing comes along and I am bitter and grumpy again! Urgh!

I should take up knitting. A friend of mine’s wife suggested it and I just may do it.

I saw The National & Arcade Fire last month. It was a pretty good concert even though it was in an arena. I had not seen the Arcade Fire before and was eager to check them out.

No big concerts on my horizon this month, but Pains of Being Pure At Heart is coming here in August.

I love the new PJ Harvey album, Let England Shake. It is really solid. I also like, Belong by the aforementioned Pains of Being Pure At Heart.

I guess that is enough for now. I am pretty knackered.

Jan
22

Work & Non Work

I did not sleep well last night. Maybe it was the cold. Maybe it was because I looked around at the new cinema fare at the multiplex and cowered. Maybe it was because of the monster that lives under my bed.

Anyway, I did some job search and resume stuff late last night before watching some television.

I am really trying to get back out there but the pickings as they say, are slim.

Lately I’ve been writing more which is great since I had a horrid writer’s block for most of last year.

I am not a really good writer but I try to write my thoughts in a coherent matter.

I am doing some writing for patch.com which has bene really nice since I can write outside my comfort zone of books, movies, film etc… It has made me want to write about different stuff then I normally do. I guess I am looking to grow up as a writer.

I also am trying to read more. I have began to cull my insanely weird book, CD and DVD collections. I just have too many things that are becoming clutter.  After awhile you have to say enough. Just because you got something for free does not mean you need to keep it.

I got lucky this week in that I picked up more hours at the bookstore. This is awesome since I actually enjoy talking to customers about books, even if they buy stuff I am not familiar with.

Thankfully we do not sell the Snooki book. Why did trees die for the Snooki book?

I work tomorrow which means I will miss some of the football games. Bummer. I think both of these games, Steelers/Jets & Packers/Bears will be great fun to watch. I don’t mind the Steelers’ fans with their Terrible Towels, it’s the weird cheese hats that scare me. Just a little.

Earlier this week I went to a meet and greet for ‘Professionals.’ Next time I think of going to one of these kill me. I mean they have good intentions and everything but no one really mingles and mixes at these things. Unless they are single and want to score. I was bummed because it was really hard to meet people and network. I think the ‘professional’ ones obviously looked down at me. I don’t know why there is just such a weird barrier to overcome at these things. Lord knows I am sociable.

I sat next to some girls who have a talk show on internet radio. They were really organized and had interesting programming ideas and stuff. But they had wretched taste in music.

I bet if you conducted a study someone could find a correlation between taste in bad music and cultural literacy.

Jan
22

2010 Films Part. 2

I retooled my 2010 film piece for the great empire of Needcoffee.com.

Apparantly it has been stumbled upon over 2000 times. Wow. I do not know who you all are but thanks!

http://www.needcoffee.com/2011/01/02/rob-levy-movies-2010/

Jan
21

TRON:Legacy

I was really looking forward to seeing Tron. However once I actually saw it I was really disappointed.

I really liked the effects. The new light cycles and the digital world special effects are terrific and groundbreaking. I think it will have a huge effect on digital filmmaking in the future. The effects that made actors look younger was ok, but left the actors with a sort of rubber looking face. For example, the young Jeff Bridges looks jus a little bit off.

I also liked the score by Daft Punk. I thought there score really did the film justice and framed the scenes well. They did a nice job with handling orchestration as well.

A few things let me down. First the plot was really thin and almost undetectable. Second, the acting was not the best. Michael Sheen was way over the top, but his Bowie-isms were pretty funny. Jeff Bridges had this thing where he kept sliding into The Dude which was really distracting. Garret Hedlund was kind of weak. I think he’s a better actor that what we see here. Still he mugs at the camera a lot. Third, it runs allmost 10 minutes too long and never tightens up some plot holes.

I went into Tron: Legacy with an open mind. I wanted it to be a rewarding SF romp. What it really is could be described as a popcorn movie. A simple romp of fun at the movies where you don’t think much and just roll with it (like The Matrix films). However, since Tron was a more cerebral SF film it made you expect more from this.

The other thing is that Tron’s actually role in the digital world is never really spelled out. At one point he is hunting the Flynns and Quora. Then he stops. I want to think that this is becuase some stuff got edited and not the fault of a bad script.

In general Tron: Legacy, although a bit long,  is a fun romp of geeked out effects and suspension of disbelief. However, I am scared to know that two more films are coming in the Tron series.

Jan
21

Penguin Prison Interview

I interviewed Penguin Prison this week.

http://kdhx.org/music/music-news/remix-deluxe-an-interview-with-penguin-prison

Jan
07

Films of 2010

I did a little writing for the KDHX blog on the year in film for 2010. there were a lot of films that I saw and narrowing them down was a hassle!

http://kdhx.org/blog/2011/01/04/juxtapositions-best-movies-of-2010/