Friday, September 26, 2014

I've been posting a lot of videos here lately, so why stop now?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I'm Kate Mara's height. Does that mean I'm eligible to join these two ladies as a tiny detective? Because I love them both and this is completely awesome.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I could watch this over and over and over.

What else is going on?

1. I watch Survivor (my friend Matt and I sometimes joke that we're the only two people who still watch it, but there are really lots of Survivor fans!). This season is shaping up to be very promising. John Rocker is on this season! I was at that famous, crazy game at Shea Stadium where Rocker pitched after getting himself in hot water after some comments he made. I'm a huge Braves fan, so I was there at Shea Stadium wearing my Braves jersey, surrounded by many very, very angry Mets fans. It was intense. The Braves won and I was happy. Anyway, I spent a lot of time watching Rocker pitch for the Braves, and although I'm not a fan of his and don't support any of those inappropriate comments he made, I want him to stick around for a long time this season because I think he makes for good television. If anything, he'll be an awesome villain. I love the Blood vs. Water theme, so this will be a good season.

(If you're not familiar with Rocker, he pissed off a lot of New Yorkers by making some totally inappropriate comments, including the following statement about New Yorkers, and Mets fans were out for blood at that game I attended): 
"Imagine having to take the 7 Train to the ballpark looking like you're riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It's depressing..."

2. Theater: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is absolutely brilliant. I cannot say enough good things about it. This production won seven Olivier Awards (it transferred from the West End), and I expect it to do very well at the Tony Awards as well. I was a huge fan of the book when it came out, and this script is a wonderful adaptation. The staging is incredibly inventive, and Alexander Sharp is giving a tour-de-force performance. Go see this if you can.

3. I went to see The Black Keys this week thanks to my brother, who gave me tickets for my birthday. I'm not a huge fan of theirs (I've seen them live before and wasn't blown away), but for this concert I got a spot on the rail and was glad to see them from such a good spot in the (massive) Barclays Center.

4. Some fun stuff is coming up. On Saturday I'm going to the Global Citizen Festival for the third year in a row. This year features Jay Z, No Doubt, Carrie Underwood, The Roots, fun., and Tiesto. Honestly, I'm probably most excited to see fun.. On Sunday I'm doing the Tunnel to Towers 5K (I will probably be walking much of it).

5. In other reality TV comments, watch the season premiere of The Amazing Race on Friday and you might see me. The starting line was in Times Square (at about 3:30am), and I was there. I met Phil! I love Phil.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Counting Crows have been on CBS This Morning the past two days. Yesterday was the interview, and it was one of the better recent interviews with Adam (there have been some stupid ones in the past couple of weeks; people need to learn to ask better questions). In fact, this one is a very good interview. It's short, so you can quickly watch it above. I love the quick snippets of older videos (he looks so different!), and I always admire when he talks about his dissociative disorder; I think it's really brave of him. Today they played "Scarecrow" and "Omaha" on the show. I love both live, though it's strange seeing "Omaha" without the audience participation; in concert, Adam always enlists the audience to help sing the chorus.
By the way, their new album Somewhere Under Wonderland has been getting fabulous reviews (from actual music critics who are much less biased than I am). It is so, so good. If you haven't checked it out yet, you should.
Is it weird that I'm so crazy about a fifty year old man? I already have a couple friends who make fun of me for it quite a bit, but I can't help it. He's just so brilliant and wonderful.

In other music thoughts, here's an interesting article about U2. I don't like how it oversimplifies many of the songs (for example, "One" is about a whole lot more than what Mr. Rothman says; it's about Bono's relationship with his father, it's about German reunification, it's about the band members' relationships with each other...I could keep going). I also think the Christian messages in U2's music are much more overt than this article suggests. But anyway, it's worth a read.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Another quick show review, because it features one of the best performances I have ever seen:

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
I am so thrilled that I was able to return to this show. I saw it with Neil Patrick Harris (in the role for which he won a Tony Award) and absolutely loved it, but I was excited to go back and see Andrew Rannells take on Hedwig. I was completely blown away. I preferred Mr. Rannells' acting to NPH's, particularly in the quieter, more emotional moments. I suppose it helped that I had a fabulous orchestra seat this time, whereas I had a seat in the balcony for NPH so I couldn't read his facial expressions very clearly.  I also think Rannells is the better singer. I loved everything about his performance; he really made me feel for the character more deeply than I did before. His Hedwig is incredibly vulnerable, whereas NPH's Hedwig seemed a bit more hardened. Andrew Rannells giving one of the best stage performances I have ever seen, so if you have a chance to see him in the role (he's only in it for two months and has one month to go), GO. I can't tell you how incredible he is.

Here's a link to Andrew on the Tonight Show talking about the role while in rehearsals,

here's Andrew singing "The Origin of Love" (probably my favorite song from Hedwig and the Angry Inch) a few years ago:

and another short interview with him about the show:

Friday, September 12, 2014

I don't think I've posted theater reviews for the shows I saw this summer.

This Is Our Youth
It got a rave from Ben Brantley in the New York Times, and I enjoyed it very much. I love love love Kieran Culkin. I saw him off-Broadway a long time ago in After Ashley (alongside Anna Paquin), and I'm a fan of his film work as well. He was one of the main reasons I wanted to see this show, and he didn't disappoint. He plays a narcissist and commands the stage when he inhabits it. He's also very funny. Michael Cera is perfectly cast as Warren, and you can't help but feel the character's suffering as he bumbles his way through the play. Tavi Gevinson is lovely as Jessica. I love this quote about Kenneth Lonergan's play from Mr. Brantley's review:

"What he captures so beautifully, in this work that made his name as a playwright, is the sense of being lost, formless and on your own that descends as adolescence comes to an end and every feeling seems to contradict itself. And he translates that emotional chaos into dialogue that is as tellingly rhythmic as that of David Mamet but that sounds a lot more spontaneous....
And Mr. Cera, Mr. Culkin and Ms. Gevinson imprint highly legible and individual signatures onto their characters, in ways that extend into every inch of their postures. Whether they’re dancing or hurtling toward one another like comets sprung from their orbits, or tossing a football (and wrecking the joint in the process), these kids are achingly self-conscious in deliciously distinctive style. The characters, I mean, not the people playing them."

I love the play and this production of it. 

You Can't Take It With You
This play is a beautiful portrait of a crazy family. James Earl Jones is the patriarch, and it's always thrilling to see him onstage; he has such a commanding presence. Kristine Nielsen was the highlight for me; she's absolutely hilarious as the mother in the household (I still haven't gotten over how funny she was in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike). Annaleigh Ashford maintains such a high level of energy as she dances through the entire show (seriously), and she's also very funny. Rose Byrne does an admirable job playing the straight man in a family of wacky characters. The set is gorgeous, the ensemble is fabulous, the play is lovely...this was such an entertaining experience at the theater. My only complaint is that I wish the kittens were in it more! I love this (from the show's website): 

I'm sure I'm missing some shows, but these two are the most recent ones that I've loved. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Whaaaatttt?!?!?!?!?! U2 fans have been waiting for what feels like forever for Songs of Innocence to be released. It was supposed to be released six months ago, which obviously didn't happen, and we kept waiting and waiting for some news. A release date was never announced, so we've been stuck in this state of limbo for months and months. And then today U2 dropped the bomb that they were releasing the album. TODAY. For free. On iTunes. Again, I say, whaaaatttt?!?!?! Obviously U2 fans are going nuts.

I've listened to the whole thing a few times through and my first impression is that this is a really, really good album. It's definitely their best since All That You Can't Leave Behind. My favorite song is "The Troubles;" it's gorgeously haunting.

Neil McCormick wrote a fabulous, detailed review that's worth reading. I agree that the Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) tracks are the best and most intriguing, and I hope that partnership continues.

Bono also wrote a letter to accompany the release.

Obviously I need to listen to the album quite a few more times to solidify my thoughts, but right now I'm incredibly happy, and I can't wait to hear these songs live. Go listen. Just open up iTunes, because the album is already in your library, whether you wanted it there or not.

I'm being super spoiled this month, because two of my favorite bands both released brilliant albums within a week of each other.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Happy Birthday to me. (More soon.)