19 February 2007

The Most Dangerous Man in the World

So Atomic Man is finished. You can see a crappy low-resolution version in the post below, or you can go to YouTube and type in Atomic Man. Either way. Did it come out exactly the way I wanted it to? Nah. Am I happy with it? Mostly.

Hot on the heels of Atomic Man comes "The Most Dangerous Man in the World." Who is a woman. And she's really nice. We shot for about seven or eight hours today, and got the entire thing filmed. All two and a half minutes of it. The important thing is that it is done. I had assistance from the lovely Kate in securing talent, and the filming went pretty smoothly.

Really. The actors I worked with took things seriously, and if you could see what we were doing, you'd know that was a feat. It makes me want to make movies, if I can have the good fortune to work with talent like this.

The Most Dangerous Man Alive, and her buddy

Stay tuned. I'm editing tomorrow, and it should be finished in a few days.

18 February 2007

08 February 2007

5 Songs

So I've stolen this idea from the Onion. Five songs from my iPod, set to shuffle. No cheating. The first five that show up, no matter how embarassing.

1. Nick Drake, "The Thoughts of Mary Jane," Five Leaves Left (1969)-- Not bad for the first one. Big fan of Drake's stuff. He dies the post ironic of deaths. An overdose of anti-depressants. He was 26. Drake left behind some of the best pop music from all time. I almost wrote down 'folk,' but when I think of folk music, I think of one person with a guitar. Drake's music is frequently backed up by strings, almost MOR strings, but he somehow makes it work. A giant influence on the indie pop scene.

2. Lemon Jelly, "Homage to Pantagonia," The Yellow EP (1999)-- I don't know much about Lemon Jelly. They seem to make the kind of music that you hear in the background of sushi restaurants, but of that genre, they aren't too bad. My friend Dan is a fan, and gave me some of their music. I like this song in particular because it vaguely reminds me of 60's cocktail music and Bond films.

3. Big Star, "Femme Fatale," Third/Sister Lovers (1975)-- A great cover of the Velvet Underground song by one of my favorite bands. Big Star (if you don't know) was one of the innovators of power pop, taking rock music and fusing it with Beatles-inspired pop. Replacement fans take note: Not only is Big Star one of their major influences, but the song "Alex Chilton" is about their lead singer.

4. Laibach, "Long and Winding Road," Let It Be (1988)-- Another cover song. Laibach has been the inspiration for each of my cover song shows on Chicago Radio 1. They are a Slovenian art collective that takes Western pop music and recasts it as fascist industrial music. They took the entire Beatles' "Let It Be" album and did this to it. I've got all sorts of crazy covers from them. They took "Long and Winding Road" and turned it into some stomping military sounding song. Weird.

5. Mobius Band, "City vs Country," City Vs Country (2005)-- Haven't listened to this in a while. A great EP from a band that I know absolutely nothing about. Sort of like an electronicy indie pop group, although this song is light on the electronics. Worth checking out if you like the Postal Service.

06 February 2007

It's Snowing Outside

Generally, if it's snowing, you'd think that it was cold. That's what is in our mindset: Snow=mittens, scarves, wooly caps, hot chocolate, roaring fires, etc. Perhaps it's only the Christmas industry run amuck, or perhaps it's in our collective unconscious mind, all of us that hail ethnically from colder climates.

But it isn't cold. it's 8 degrees out. And that's warm, this week. Yesterday, the wind chill was down to something like -16. That's cold. No, allow me to reiterate. That's COLD. If you have been unfortunate (I'll explain) enough to never have experienced cold like that, well allow me to explain.

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First off, if you live in one of these climates, you understand the importance of layers. Wearing a warm coat is vital, of course, but it is only one step. There needs to be at least a layer or two of sweaters/fleeces that you can ad to or subtract as the need may arise.

Scarves are a necessity. Hats as well. No one tries to walk around without a hat, 'cause not only is that silly, it's stupid. You lose much of your body heat from your head.


When it's this cold, the moment you step outside, your nosehair freezes. That's a disconcerting feeling. It's possible that if you are bundled up properly, and the wind isn't blowing, you won't notice how cold it is, unles your nosehairs freeze. That's the true thermostat, I believe.

If the wind starts a blowing, then you will know if you've properly bundled up. Improper layering will expose you for the fool that you are, and the wind will cut into your cuffs, under the bottom of the coat. No scarf? Down the neck it goes. Very unpleasant.

Why would anyone view this as beneficial? Why shouldn't we all move to California, where youth is eternal and the weather unchanging?

There is a sense of community here. We're all in this together, is the general feeling, and I would be willing to be that the incidence of violent crime against strangers is lower when it is this cold. You see, the first feeling you get when you see other people is empathy. 'Damn, he looks cold. Poor guy." "Jesus, that's the coat she's wearing?" "Hang on, busdriver! Someone else is running for the bus! Don't strand them out in the cold!"

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Other people feel the same for you, too.

I value that. There's a reason that people in the Midwest are known for their friendliness. It's because we're all in this together, all of us waiters, cops, construction workers, bankers, aldermen, IT people.

During the winter, we're all equals.

Another Sleepless night

I'm finally about ready to go to bed. I've been sitting here at this demon machine, slowly trading my soul for the possibility of another laugh, or another tear (generally more of the latter). My roommate has let the kitten out, and she's sitting in my lap, mewing and looking generally cute. It's 4:14, and I'm still awake.

I didn't do my radio show tonight. I need the keys to the studio, but Chris has them. I suppose that I could have uploaded some sort of show on to the server, but I just could get the effort up. At least I did something useful tonight: one load of laundry. After that, it was being bored at video games, being bored at the television, and being bored at the computer. I could have tried being bored at reading, but that didn't occur to me until it was too late.

Normally, if I have a night off, I tend to wander the city. Not so tongiht. Currently, the temperature is 0 degrees, but it feels like -10 (thanks, weather.com!). I'm not going anywhere in that.

At some point, I feel like I will find a voice for this blog, and turn it into compelling reading. Tonight isn't that time. Maybe tomorrow?