Thursday, March 15, 2007

New Stuff, Bad Stuff, Good Stuff

Tonight was an interesting evening in Pop Culture Land.

(1) The debut of "Andy Barker, P.I." on NBC. What could be better than a show not just exec produced but also WRITTEN by Conan O'Brien AND starring former Conan sidekick Andy Richter? Well, pretty much ANYTHING. What a HUUUUUUGE disappointment, especially since I'd been hearing good buzz about the show. But everything was formulaic, the jokes were super thin, and the potential is baaaad. After the show, the exec producers did a live blog on the NBC website -- and when I stopped by, it was comment after comment about how awful the show was. I'm not a huuuge fan of "30 Rock," but this show makes me miss it.

(2) The debut of the new Jeff Goldblum show on NBC. What could be more irritating than Jeff Goldblum -- perhaps the hammiest actor on the planet -- as a detective who hallucinates conversations with murder victims? Well, pretty much ANYTHING. I was NOT expecting this show to be good. Hell, I wasn't even expecting to WATCH it. But it came on after the Richter thing... I was bored... and by the second commercial break, I was captivated. GREAT writing, MILES better than I had expected. Future episodes might be suckfests, but I'm intrigued enough to keep watchin'.

(3) Phil Hare on Colbert. I knew there was a reason I voted for the guy. Classy move, a fun and funny distraction, and it's good to know at least one local politico isn't above making fun of himself a little bit.

(4) If you want to see something TRULY brilliant, check out the videos on this page: When one of my favorite bands, Of Montreal, played Chicago almost a decade ago, they brought with them a band "assigned" to open for them on a recent Japanese tour. That band was ELEKIBASS. And that night, Elekibass stole the show out from under Of Montreal. Imagine a cross between "Sgt. Pepper"-era Beatles and the soundtrack of the Muppet Movie, all performed by a Japanese band with a VERY thin grasp of the English language who had never stepped foot on American soil before. Between every song, the band would pull out cameras, take pics of the crowd, and yell things like, "We Elekibass LOVE you to rock!" In short, it was one of the most brilliant things I'd ever seen. And, while Elekibass remain virtual unknowns in the States AND in Japan, I've followed their career with interest (or as much interest as you can develop while trying to surf Japanese websites.) When the band mounted a small U.S. tour on their own a few years ago, I was instrumental in bringing them to Ribco... and while the crowd that night was thin, people STILL come up and tell me how much fun they had that night.

Anyways, this past month, almost a decade after it first happened, Of Montreal brought Elekibass back over from Japan to open for a few shows in the Deep South. And this time, Elekibass came over with video cameras in tow and filmed a boatload of short movies of performances & life on the road. It's one of the coolest things I've seen in a loooong while and perfectly captures what made me fall in love with the group... to get to their videos (and yes, the site's in Japanese, just start clickin' on the thumbnails and you'll figure it out.)


David Mastio said...

Thought you might enjoy

The GUCC said...

Dude, you voted for Phil Hare because he was the guy running against the Republican.

They could put a pile of horse shit on the ballot under "democrat" in Rock Island County and put the pile of horse shit up against Bill Clinton, and the horse shit would win.

It was a good move on his part to go on the show. Too bad he said it was wrong to help the slave escape by way of the underground railroad.