The Daily Charlie

Ramblings About What I Think Is Important

Monday, November 08, 2004

Lets talk about a couple of things that are incredible.

The Incredibles, the new Pixar movie.
Created by Brad Bird, the writer-director of "The Iron Giant," one of the greatest animated movies of all time, the story revolves around a family of far too sincerely glum superheroes trying hard to live normal suburban lives at a time when frivolous lawsuits have made saving the world cost-prohibitive.

But out of their spandex, they're just a bunch of sitcom clichés. Bob Parr (secretly super-strong do-gooder Mr. Incredible, voiced with idealistic comic-book resonance by Craig T. Nelson of Coach fame) is an irresponsible dad who tries to keep secrets and stupid mistakes from his (literally) stretched-in-every direction wife, Helen (a.k.a. Elastigirl, voiced with adoring irony by Holly Hunter). Their kids are, of course, a hyperactive 8-year-old named Dash, who can run 100 mph, and mopey teenage Violet (NPR radio's droll Sarah Vowell), blessed with a gift many junior high girls would kill for -- invisibility.

Down in the dumps about his unsatisfying job as an insurance adjuster, Bob welcomes an offer from a mysterious stranger with a secret volcano-island lair (and matching James Bond-like theme music) to resume superhero-ing on the sly. He gets a new costume cut to accommodate his middle-age paunch (by a hilarious midget Coco Chanel of super-garb), sneaks away from home under the guise of a business trips, and soon discovers his benefactor is a face from the past -- and he's up to no good.

Terribly clever in many small ways (the Parrs' neighborhood is straight out of a 1960s Looney Tunes short) but terribly overreaching in many others (several action scenes are conspicuously calculated to tie-in with a video game that went on sale Tuesday), "The Incredibles" is at its best when poking fun at the genre that inspired it. "You sly dog, you got me monologing!" chuckles glib villain Syndrome (the perfectly voice-cast Jason Lee) after stopping himself from revealing his nefarious plan to the hero.

All in all it’s a very good movie. Don’t let my overanalyzing of it keep you from seeing it. I might just see it again. In fact, I’ve never been disappointed with a Pixar movie.

The Eagles
Ok, we lost. That’s OK. I also lost who I backed for President, but I have to believe that the better competitor won. I accept the defeat and hope we can learn from our faults and come back even stronger.
6-1. not bad. Best start I’ve ever witnessed with this team, and I’ve been bleeding Green since I had season tickets since I was alittle kid at Veteran’s Stadium. I sat through the Kotite years. I’ve seen White and Cunningham in their prime. I’ve been covered in beer and snow before I was old enough to realize the passion Philly fans have for this team. –T.o. is an asshole, but he’s our asshole. Only we can say that. Anybody else, and you’ll see an ugly Philadelphian’s even uglier side. But you mess with McNabb and you’ll see my ugly SU pride top it all.– This has to be our year! I don’t see it happening again for a loooong time. So close 3 years in a row. Common.

Halo 2
Now I’m not a big video game fan, but I know a lot of people who have been waiting for some time to play this. I’ve actually heard that people are taking off of work tomorrow so they can play it all day (the game comes out tonight at midnight)
Now, I like to play video games, but if I don’t have time to dedicate to one I get easily bored. My roommate just got GTA San Andreas and I am really bored with the story line and doing the same thing over and over again until I see a new type of head blow up.

Halo 2, to me, is like 007. it’s an incredible game and the graphics are amazing, but I guess I burned myself out on video games a long time back. I was the first one on my block to have a Nintendo and Genisis. My father actually made a bet with me and my brother that he would buy us a new game whenever we beat a game, because he thought the games were impossible. We quickly proved him wrong, as well as his wallet.
Mitch Hedburg’s comedy is at the Tower Theater Sat. Nov 20
Here’s a sample of his work:
I was at this casino minding my own business, and this guy came up to me and said, "You're gonna have to move, you're blocking a fire exit." As though if there was a fire, I wasn't gonna run. If you're flammible and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit.

• My sister wanted to be an actress, but she never made it. She does live in a trailer. She got half way. She's an actress, she just never gets called to the set.

• Sometimes I fall asleep at night with my clothes on. I'm going to have all my clothes made out of blankets.

• I type a 101 words a minute. But it's in my own language.

ELEFANT is playing the north Star Sun. Nov 21
I’m really into this band right now. You can hear some of their stuff when you visit their site.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS are the latest artists to compile their ‘UNDER THE INFLUENCE’ compilation. Each of the band have picked three songs for the album, set for release on January 31. Tracks featured on the album include Joey Beltram’s ‘Energy Flash’, Dawn Penn’s ‘You Don’t Love Me (No No No)’ as well as songs by Beach Boys, Undertones, MC5 and Underworld.
The full tracklisting is:
* The Beach Boys - 'Feel Flows' (Bunf)
* Datblygu - 'Casserole Efeillaid' (Gruff)
* The Undertones - 'My Perfect Cousin' (Bunf)
* The MC5 - 'Kick Out The Jams' (Guto)
* Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - 'Christina' (Gruff)
* Sly & The Family Stone - 'Family Affair' (Daf)
* Humanoid - 'Stakker Humanoid' (Cian)
* Underworld - 'Rez' (Daf)
* Bizet - 'Pearl Fishers' (Cian)
* ELO - 'Telephone Line' (Daf)
* Dennis Wilson and Rumbo - 'Lady' (Guto)
* Meic Stevens - 'Ghost Town' (Gruff)
* Dawn Penn - 'You Don't Love Me (No No No)' (Guto)
* Joey Beltram - 'Energy Flash' (Cian)
* Hardfloor - 'Acperience' (Bunf)
Previous artists to make an ‘Under The Influence’ compilation include Morrissey, Ian Brown and Paul Weller. (via NME)

Daily Discussion
The Arcade Fire: funeral
I was having a long conversation with a good friend today about that thing in music that's always a step ahead of words. At best I could say it's that little spark in a song that stimulates the flow of neurotransmitters to the emotional centers of the brain, which sets off feelings and memories and colors, acts as catalyst for actions, reactions, catharsis. The oil that greases life. While we were spinning this thread of conversation I was listening to The Arcade Fire's 'Funeral'. Appropriate does not begin to describe. I hear certain comparisons in their work. Maybe where The Walkmen took the grandiosity of Joshua Tree-era U2 and ran into a more intense place with it, The Arcade Fire took the same thing and scaled it down, made it humble and suburban but no less potent. An incomplete analogy. Throwing in some of David Bowie's best work and gluing the whole mess together with the most subtle parts of Modest Mouse's energy and modernity comes close. But it's still not enough. But that's music. The best of it is always a step ahead of words. The closest I can get to what this album is about is a starry night in a suburban neighborhood and some friends spending their last night on earth together around a space heater. If that conveys a feeling then this album will do things for you. I think I crafted the image out of the song titles; there are four numbered "Neighborhood" sketches, as well as "Un Année sans Lumiere" (French for 'an evening without light'). The album carries a torch through somber desperation and soaring choruses, filled with strings and hope; it starts and finishes strong, and though it is strongest when there are no discernable traces of their influence, it still remains great through and through. This review is a gusher, but this kind of emotional warmth is worth a little gush and a lack of vocabulary. It's not going to change music, but it could well be the soundtrack to times that change you.

  • Medeski, Martin and Wood: Best of (1991-1996) (Album Download)

  • Miles Davis with John Coltrane: Miles & Coltrane (Album Download)