11 December 2007

"We've come to the ennnd of the roadddd"

Not here at this blog, though, no matter what the dead week might imply. Sorry about that. Christmas season + work + emergency "woot canal" (TM CJ Cregg) + resulting cold/sinus infection has left me too busy to sleep, much less form words into sentences in any language other than Blinky, which is my default language state (One blink for yes, two for no, three for "what the hell am I doing awake?" It's not a complex vocabulary, no, but its rules are static and exacting.). But after my friend Mere took me to task for my Blog of Silence, I decided to write about one of the reasons that I'm so sick: her boyfriend Matt's 27th birthday celebration.

See, my friend Matt's birthday is on the day after Christmas and he usually gets sort of a bum deal: those people who are still in town to celebrate are too drugged with tryptophan (we do turkey in the erin e household just in case any Jews want to stop by and argue the merits of menorahs over christmas trees) or, in many cases, xanax due to family vacations, to come out and party with him. So this year he decided to have his party a few weeks early in order to maximize both party attendance and present haul. He and Mere rented out the clubhouse in their building (the historic Rice Hotel - look it up! Site of Kennedy's second-to-last meal!) and got a karaoke machine and we all proceeded to Party Down.

Now, as a rule, I do not sing. This isn't a self-esteem issue; rather, I have too much compassion for my fellow man to assault his ears with my barncat-screeching-voice. It's just not right to subject a person to that sort of pain. Maybe Dubya should send me down to Gitmo - my voice lifted in song is, like, 100x more enhanced an interrogation technique than waterboarding. But maybe I was feeling particularly sadist last Saturday evening, because I joined my friends and got up and sang a lot. So much so, in fact, that we managed to make the party go till 4am before any of us looked at the clock. That, coupled with sore limbs from too much dancing, equals a successful party in my book. The birthday boy seemed really happy with all his gifts and everyone got along famously. So, because pictures speak 1000 words in non-Blinky language, here you go:

This is Matt. He is a fan of many late-70s dances, but mostly The Running Man.

Everyone sang a lot. Here are Ray, Mere and Jerry. I can't remember what they were singing, because I was already drunk at that point.

Jerry took out his violin and added to the festivities.

Daniel rocked the shit out of something.

As did Jill.

This is Ray's Hat. It was beloved by many. He got it at Wal-Mart! I probably shouldn't give that secret away if I'm ever to find a similar one.

You guys, karaoke is srsly hardcore.

You can see the rest of the set here.

xx erin e

03 December 2007

Music Monday: Black Tie Dynasty

So Erin asked me to please pimp a deserving American band in today's space; a difficult request, considering that I usually only deign to listen to bands with British accents. You might be forgiven for thinking that the band I've chosen, Black Tie Dynasty, also comes from the U.K., what with their synth-laden tracks heavily referencing '80s New Wave, but instead they hail from my hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. I've seen these guys perform twice - once at a grocery store (no kidding), and once at an outdoor music festival, and both times they brought everyone to their feet with their darkly danceable tunes. Think of them as The Killers before Brandon Flowers grew that moustache. Black Tie Dynasty's debut CD, Movements, is out now. Check out their tracks on their MySpace, and watch the video for "Once Around" below.

01 December 2007

My Favorite Actors Who Are Not Dead, Part One.

This is the first of several posts that will hopefully bring your attention to some kickass actors. I've decided to focus on actors who have not snuffed it yet.

Why? Dunno, perhaps if not, I'd talk incessantly about John Cazale , who is probably my favorite actor ever, and who only appeared in five films (which were ALL nominated for best picture, by the way) before he died of bone cancer at age 42.

And he was freaking brilliant in EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. When I discovered his work (years after he'd died, because I was, like, 10 or something when he passed away), I mourned the fact that this is all we get from him, five perfect performances.

Anyway, I'm supposed to be talking about actors who are not dead. So.

Paddy Considine

WHY: Because he can go from funny to frightening in .2 seconds. Because he's a chameleon who, even though his appearance doesn't change much from role to role (apart from a haircut and/or occasional facial hair), completely inhabits his characters to the point where you can't imagine he doesn't talk like, walk like, behave like that in real life. Because he's one of the few actors who can break my heart watching him.

WATCH: Dead Man's Shoes, 24 Hour Party People (small role, but man, is he ferocious. My first exposure to Paddy, and I totally crushed on him after seeing this movie.), A Room for Romeo Brass, In America, Hot Fuzz (small role again, but the funniest person in the room in all his scenes. I'm not biased either, the DVD cast commentary proves it. The rest of the actors worship him, including SimonPegg, thankyouverymuch.)