Wednesday , November 11, 2009
nogoodforme ix: Favorite Cookies!
LAURA JANE CONTEMPLATES THE RELATIVE BANALITY OF OREOS
I try to do most of my eating at places where you can buy a certain number of things and then they give you a free one. It's so validating when they hole-punch the little picture of the cup of coffee into your coffee card. It permits you to exclaim-think, "I'm a financially responsible super-saver!" And then, you get to live that magical day when you wake up smiling and remember: today is the day I get "my free one"! On the day I got my free slice of cake at Future Bakery, I impulsively ordered Oreo cheesecake, because it made logical sense to me that I should go to town ("Decadence Town") with my free one. Bad call, Laura Jane. The first thing that sucked about "my free one" was that the dude cut me the most bullshit slice of cake I've ever seen in my life. Miserly. The second thing that sucked about "my free one" was that it sucked. Except for the Oreo on top! It had been aeons since I'd last eaten an Oreo- what a mistake! Oreos are simply delicious. There are few things in this world more revolting to me than drinking a straight glass of milk, unless there are Oreos involved. This must mean something huge about the deliciousness of Oreos. What's more- Oreos are in crosswords a lot! (Laura Jane)
GIRL SCOUT THIN MINTS
I forget whose idea it was to do cookies for this edition of nogoodformeix, but at first I was like, "Huh?" Because I'm not a baked goods kind of girl, except for brownies, and my favorite sweets are either lemon drops, Sour Patch Kids or anything gooey, creamy and/or cold. But give me a box of Thin Mints and it takes me right back to my own Girl Scout days. I miss Girl Scouts! I get all corny when I remember going to camp, sewing on my badges, saying the Girl Scout promise and law, getting my uniform....awwwwwwwww. I'm like a puddle of mush right now, but luckily it's Girl Scout cookie season in about a month for me soon. I plan to order as many boxes that can fit into my freezer and eat them in about a week. (Kat)
URBAN HERBIVORE CHOCOLATE CHIPS (BECAUSE THE WORD "CHUNKS" IS GROSS)
If you are interested in stalking me, a good locale to stake out would be Urban Herbivore, the greatest restaurant on the planet. I don't go to Urban Herbivore every day, but I do go there most days, and the days I don't are definitely haunted by its absence. I treat Urban Herbivore like it's my own home; I go there with wet hair constantly. Here are some notes on Urban Herbivore cookies I scribbled down while wildly stoned last night: "The barbecue tofu tastes like Zoodles. But the cookies. Dude. The COOKIES! Literally best cookies ever? Hearty. Banana bread-esque! The way the chocolate melts. These bad boys were like born to be dipped in coffee. Write write-up as if stoned?" (Laura Jane)
THE RASPBERRY ROSE MACARONS I ATE THE DAY I WENT TO SEE MARIE ANTOINETTE
"Oh will she shut up about the goddamn raspberry rose macarons already?!!!" you all cry in unison. Okay, yeah, sure, but first let me say for the last time ever that going to Boule and buying a little blue box of raspberry rose macarons and then taking them to the theater to see Marie Antoinette was one of the three smartest things I've ever done. A few other "smart cookie" moments of mine from recent years: the afternoon last summer when I skipped work and took my buddy from outta town to Venice for I Love You, Man fish tacos and we got a plate of warm sugar-dusted chocolate chip cookies for dessert; the morning three falls ago when I'd just had the best date evs and my friend and I went to the Downbeat Cafe for a "dish session" and split one of their ginormous peanut butter cookies; anything involving Uncle Eddie's Vegan Cookies, especially the oatmeal raisin; the time I went to the rollerderby for a bachelorette party and got a Nutty Bavarian Love Biscuit from the Freshly Baked stand and then gave lots of people Freshly Baked cookies for Christmas. And I think that's it. (Liz)
MY MOM'S CHOCOLATE PUDDING COOKIES
My mom used to make these cookies called Chocolate Pudding Cookies; they had chocolate pudding in them, or maybe just chocolate pudding mix. Sometimes she'd send me back to school with a whole tin and I'd share with my friends, because once in a blue moon I'm good at sharing. One night sophomore year I went down to my friend's room with the tin of Chocolate Pudding Cookies and she had a boy over, some total dreamboat who had the best bluejeans and used to do this real debonair thing of putting girls' cigarettes in their mouth for them when they asked to bum a smoke. (Trust me: it was COOL NOT SLEAZY.) So I gave a cookie to the boy and he took a bite, declared it too rich, then put the rest in the ashtray and ashed on it. It's probably the worst thing I've ever seen anybody do. (Liz)
STARBUCKS POLAR BEAR COOKIES REDUX
There is no law stating that you can't write about Starbucks polar bear cookies twice in one week. Less than one week. I am inspired by Starbucks polar bear cookies. I am inspired by Starbucks. I want to write an essay called "If The Beatles Were Starbucks," and have it be the best thing I've ever written. But anyway, yeah, Starbucks polar bear cookies are my jam. Today I was eating one, and I thought to myself, "It's going to be so terrible when winter's over and I don't get to eat Starbucks polar bear cookies anymore!" I can safely say that this was the first time I've ever thought the sentence "It's going to be so terrible when winter's over." It's going to be such a trip come November 2010 when I eat a Starbucks polar bear cookie for the first time in like ever, and feel an insane rush of nostalgia for November 2009. I triple-dog-dare every single person reading this to go eat a Starbucks polar bear cookie today. DO IT!!! (Laura Jane)
I Google-imaged "starbucks polar bear" and this was one of the results it gave me. I decided I wanted a picture of a baby polar bear on my blog more than I wanted a picture of an ugly cookie that you probably see every day at Starbucks anyway, so: YOU'RE WELCOME
KEEBLER SOFT BATCH COOKIES
This was my favorite childhood cookie. My sisters and I used to gobble them up, and my mom had to hide them from us like they were crack. 'Cause that's what they were: kid crack. During my first year of film school, i.e., the craziest shit-crazy crazy year of my life, I got nostalgic for them, ate a quarter of a package and became sad because they were just not the same as I remembered! (I went through this with Cheetos Corn Puffs as well.) I guess being the cynosure of my entire childhood is just too much weight for a humble cookie to carry. Man, life can be so depressing! (Kat)
THE KIND YOU COULD GET AT MY HIGH SCHOOL CAFETERIA
While I was in this phase of my life, I came up with the brilliant idea of staging elaborate Friendship Ceremonies with my best girlfriends- sort of like the time Carrie Bradshaw married herself so that Tatum O'Neal would buy her new shoes, only less lame. I pitched this idea to my great pal Jenny, and we decided that our Friendship Ceremony would involve smoking a ton of weed, taking public transit to our old high school, and eating "caf cookies" at our high school cafeteria. Since graduating, Jenny and I have yet to hang out with once without lamenting the inadequacy of post-caf cookies existence. Caf cookies were necessarily chocolate-chip, and cost either sixty cents or two for a dollar. But the best way to eat them was to share four with one of your babes, off a translucent paper napkin soaked through with cookie-grease. Caf cookies were amazing because they were dough. They were slightly, slightly cooked around the edges, but the middles were straight dough. When you stacked up four of them, they would mush together in the center. They were so sloppy and hard to eat, but who really cares about these things when you are stoned and sixteen and at school? I didn't. I still don't. Caf cookies= "literally best cookies ever." (Laura Jane)
THE LIFETHYME NATURAL MARKET VEGAN RASPBERRY TOOLBOOTH COOKIE LAURA SENT ME IN THE MAIL TWO SUMMERS AGO
Have you ever gotten a cookie in the mail? Not like a whole package of cookies that you ordered from somewhere, but just one big beautiful cookie sealed up in an envelope also holding the power animal pin your fellow nogoodforme-ers so adorably snagged for you on a jaunt to Sodafine? I have, I have! And it's bliss. It's weird cuz I remember exactly what the cookie tasted like but not in a way I could ever describe to you: It's just a feeling, a golden groovy feeling. What happened was I checked my mail on the way to a party, ate a bit of the Lifethyme Natural Market Vegan Raspberry Toolbooth Cookie, put the cookie in my bag, went to the party, got pretty stoned maybe, and then came home and ate more cookie and wrote this big thing about how "each of us has a 'spiritual age' that exists separately from our actual biological age" and how "once you're able to work out what your true spiritual age might be, you should be allowed to exist at that age through all eternity and infinitely possess the same intensity of awakeness/aliveness that was with you in your most awake/alive year." Which is almost the same as when Paul McCartney got stoned for the first time and decided "THERE ARE SEVEN LEVELS," maybe. Anyway, here's a another photo of Paul McCartney, this time with the Cookie Monster and some dude named Charlie whose Flickr I ganked the pic from. Sorry, Charlie! (Liz)
Tags: boys, caf cookies, Carrie Bradshaw, Cookie Monster, cookies, drugz, food, free shit rules, Friendship Ceremonies, Marie Antoinette, marijuana, moms, Oreos, Paul McCartney, polar bear cookies, polar bears, rollerderby, Starbucks, Venice Beach, Zoodles
Thursday , October 22, 2009
nogoodforme ix: All-Time Favorite Onscreen Performances
Jane Fonda as Bree Daniels in Klute
Sometimes I think I wanted to be a director because I love working with genuinely talented actors and actresses -- such is the respect, awe, and sheer love that I feel when collaborating with a cast on a project. So it's no surprise that I am huge fan of many stratospherically talented actresses and could rattle of a huge, huge list of favorite performances and performers: Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Liv Ullmann, Monica Vitti, Giulietta Masina, Ruth Gordon, Romy Schneider, Jennifer Connelly, Kate Winslet, Emily Blunt, blah blah blah. The point is that the list is huge and very considered; I've seen a ton of movies, probably more than most people, and I've always paid very close attention to performances, having spent a lot of time performing and studying acting myself. (Two years of Meisner, thank you very much.) And so it's kind of the real deal for me when I say that I think Jane Fonda's performance in Klute is one of those jaw-dropping, haunting, mesmerizing things, a real tour-de-force that elevates a decent, serviceable thriller into something transcendent and indelible -- she's that fucking awesome. She plays call girl Bree Daniels, who's trying to quit "the life" yet being stalked by a deranged killer at the same time. Forget hooker with a heart of gold -- it's more a heart of darkness with Bree, who Fonda plays with equal amounts of nervy sexuality, raw vulnerability, steely intelligence and a million other amazing true, honest things. I could write whole papers on Klute and its reflection of anxieties about the "new woman" and feminism, its subversion of the thriller genre, and its genius use of sound, but really, the thing that hits you viscerally about Klute is Bree. (I also find the young Donald Sutherland to be oddly hot in that "tall, rangy wolfman" kind of way, but maybe that's just me.) Just do yourself a favor and take two hours of your life, rent it/watch it instantly on Netflix or something, and watch one of the most complex female characters ever committed to celluloid. The following clip (from 3:07 to about 6:02) is my favorite Bree moment in Klute. Here, she blows off steam at a club frequented by her former pimp after discovering a former colleague in a flophouse, addicted to heroin and totally strung out. But forget what's going on in the story -- just watch how every single moment is so fucking specific and precise. She goes from needy to posturing to self-loathing to intoxicated to defiant to just plain tired and lost, commanding an entire three minutes without a line of dialogue. A-fucking-mazing. (Kat)
David Bowie as Andy Warhol in Basquiat
As my buddy Wapner pointed out a very long time ago, the coolest thing about David Bowie's performance in Basquiat is you're never ever aware that it's David Bowie. He's not the man who sang the song "Andy Warhol"; he's the man the song "Andy Warhol" was sung about, or something. The fact that a human being as glittering-golden-grandiose as David Bowie can just disappear into a role like that makes my head fall off a little, and it feels kinda neat. The second best Movie Warhol, by the way, is Crispin Glover in The Doors, the third is the dude in I Shot Andy Warhol, and the fourth is the otherwise-awesome Guy Pearce in that fucking hateful Factory Girl. Right? (Liz)
The "Saddle River's in New York, Saddle River's in New Jersey" debate from Basquiat:
Tom Cruise as Brian Flanagan in Cocktail
People give Tom Cruise a really hard time for being a crazy person, but personally, I find Tom Cruise's focused and ebullient brand of psychosis rather beguiling. This dude is so awesome!!! He's a couch-jumper! He's Suri's Daddy! Why is his relationship with Katie "The #1 Celebrity I Get Told I Look Like" Holmes so disconcerting? It's such an elegant sham! Is he secretly gay? What is he using The Church of Scientology to distract himself from? He's so handsome, yet entirely non-sexy! That taut little body! Those piercing blue eyes, ablaze with the fires of his poorly-veiled lunacy! Thank God, or "auditing", or "ARC/KRC Triangles" for Thomas Cruise Mapother IV. I love Cocktail for its furious lameness. It epitomizes the concept of "So Bad It's Good." I love all the retarded Coughlin's Laws, its use of "Kokomo" by the Beach Boys, how Brian Flanagan's obvious alcoholism is never acknowledged once (Is this because he is Irish? Why are Irish people allowed to drink more than the rest of us? It's so unfair!), but mostly I love Cocktail because Tom's such a little goddamned DYNAMO in it! He reminds me of a positively-charged ion, and it's funny now to imagine a Universe wherein popular culture "bought" Tom Cruise as a steel-balled, lady-killing sex maniac, instead of just a normal maniac. I always wonder why they didn't name it Cocktails & Dreams; it seems to make a lot more sense. I guess because it probably sounded too gay to dude test audiences. (Laura Jane)
Samantha Morton in a lot of things, especially Jesus' Son and Sweet and Lowdown
I'm really bummed that I can't put my most favorite onscreen Samantha Morton moment on here 'cause it's just not on YouTube or Google or Vimeo anywhere. It's from the dreamy, surrealistic shaggy-dog movie Jesus' Son, where Billy Crudup plays a drugged up fuckhead named Fuckhead and Samantha Morton is his girlfriend Michelle, equally drugged up and fucked up. For a character that didn't really exist in the original source material, she's pretty fantastic, and my favorite moment of all-time is when she boogies down to Tommy Roe's "Sweet Pea" and basically makes FH fall totally in love with her. Alas, it's not meant to be, so I'll just have to be content to show you a moment from my second favorite Samantha Morton performance, from Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown where she plays the mute laundress Hattie. Yeah, roll your eyes, it's Woody Allen and he's got fucked-up issues with women -- he's such a goddamn misogynist sometimes. But Morton manages to infuse a kind of thankless role with the type of charm and emotional translucence that makes you wish you could've discovered her during the days of silent cinema. (Kat)
I love this moment -- it's so simple but so rich, 'cause she's totally falling in love with him:
Benicio Del Toro as Fenster in The Usual Suspects
About eight or nine years ago I was painfully but beautifully in love with Benicio Del Toro and talked about him all the time, which I think might've really annoyed my boyfriend. My favorite is his role as Jean-Michel's BFF in Basquiat, especially when he says "John Henry was a steel-driving man!" at 1:45 of this clip, and also the part when he tries to kiss Claire Forlani on the stairs. My second favorite is Fenster, mostly because of the funny talky thing and how he's always putting on lip balm. I also really dig the way he walks down the street, in what's probably the most hotly choreographed arrest scene ever shot. God, he's so great! Why isn't he in every (good) movie ever made, instead of hardly ever being in any movies at all? Another thing I'm confused about is why we're not dating, as I'd think we'd make a hell of a team. So if you know Benicio Del Toro, please tell him I'm in love with him again, and that his second favorite record (Darkness on the Edge of Town by Bruce Springsteen) is probably my 32nd favorite record - which is so close, in the grand scheme of things - and that basically we're just soul twins. I know I sound like I'm joking but, really and truly, I'm about as serious as a heart attack. (Liz)
My soul twin:
Ringo Starr as Ringo Starr in A Hard Day's Night
Ringo Starr may be the Beatle I love the least, but he's also the Beatle I like the most, something I have in common with every other Beatle. Ringo looks like a basset hound. If he was my boyfriend, I would nickname him "Hushpuppy", or maybe "Sad-Eyed Ringo of the Lowlands." But Ringo Starr could never be my boyfriend, because, as was established many moons ago, Ringo Starr is a non-sexy non-genius, and I only date sexy geniuses.
I generally neglect "writing about Ringo" in favor of "writing about the other three," but this is only because there is no conflict surrounding Ringo, and it's boring to write about something that doesn't have a "versus" to compound it (according to my ex-boyfriend, who goes to Harvard, this is "dialectics", maybe). "Ringo Starr lucked into being in the Beatles! He is less talented than John, Paul and George!" is a hackneyed point to make, as is "Ringo's 'walking around dejectedly' scene is the best scene in Hard Day's Night." While I do agree that Ringo totally steals A Hard Day's Night, it is SO not because he walks around dejectedly. That part of A Hard Day's Night is boring. If I wanted to watch someone walk around dejectedly, I could just watch myself walk around dejectedly, or a stranger. I look to the Beatles for escapism, not "a reflection of my everyday life." In my opinion, Ringo's "theft" of AHDN occurs at precisely 4:19 into the video below, when Paul McCartney asks "He's a human being, isn't he?"and Ringo responds, "Well, if he's your grandfather who knows HUHHHEUHAEHHAHHEH."
Crispin Glover in a lot of things, but especially River's Edge
The stock response to Crispin Glover is to say, "HE'S SO CREEPY!" Which he is, I suppose, but that doesn't stop me from absolutely fucking loving him every time I see him onscreen. He's just an oddball, able to twist the simplest gesture or phrase into an epic of eccentricity in the best way possible. I loved him as Creepy Thin Man in the Charlie's Angels movies 'cause he cut such a fine line in a suit (and, by the way, he also made a rather odd Andy Warhol in The Doors), but I think my favorite Crispin performance of all time was as Layne in cult classic River's Edge, one of my most favorite 80s movies ever. He's just so awesomely demented as the kinda ineffectual yet oddly passionate ringleader of a group of heshers dealing with the ramifications of a dead body. I mean, just watch him in this and don't tell me he's hilarious, especially when he gets into his whole Reagan Youth moment. (Kat)
Flea as Nihilist #2 in The Big Lebowski
Here's the part where I admit I'm completely at sixes and sevens on how to do this post. It's the toughest thing I've ever had to write for nogoodforme, and everything here is a lie, as I have zero clue as to what my favorite movie performances might be. Truly my number-one is probably Heath Ledger in Lords of Dogtown but I'm sort of "Heath Ledger in Lords of Dogtown"-ed out when it comes to nogoodforme.com. So mostly I'm just picking Flea in The Big Lebowski because (1) Flea is My Favorite Person Whom I Don't Actually Know, (2) the nihilists are obviously the best thing about that movie, and (3) it's funny to think about the time I drank way too many Red Bull & vodkas in Vegas and then flopped all around the MGM Grand at 3 in the morning, tripping over my own red shoes and saying "LINGONBERRY PAHNCAKE!" over and over in between ranting about the patriarchy. Lordy me, it's so good not to be 28 anymore. (Liz)
HL singing "Maggie May" toward the end of Lords of Dogtown, maybe my favorite movie moment evs. What a beauty he was.
Amedeo Turturro as Young Richie Tenenbaum in The Royal Tenenbaums
This pick is based entirely upon cuteness. Amedeo Turturro as Young Richie Tenenbaum is my "Dream Son." I want to raise him, hold him, and teach him to love his enemies. He's just the sweetest little buddy in the world! My favourite Young Richie Tenenbaum moments are: 1) When Royal is telling the children about the divorce and he squinty-eyedly whimpers, "Do you still love us?"; 2) His peppy delivery of the line "Hi, Eli!" (right before he & Margot escape to the African Wing of the Archives Whatevy); 3) When he drums on his drumkit, and; 4) When he is smiling and awkwardly throwing money at the dogfight. Thanks to the max adorability of Amedeo "John Turturro's Son" Turturro in this film, I will probably force my future children to always be wearing sweatbands. If Young Richie Tenenbaum, or Amedeo Turturro, or both, was my Actual Son, I would nickname him "Dandelion Chicken Wing," cuz that's what he looks like! (Laura Jane)
Tags: alcoholism, Amedeo Turturro, Andy Warhol, Benicio Del Toro, Crispin Glover, Flea, Heath Ledger, Jane Fonda, Laura loves the Beatles, love, max adorability, nihilism, Richie Tenenbaum, Ringo Starr, Samantha Morton, soul twins, The Church of Scientology, Tom Cruise, Vegas
Thursday , September 24, 2009
nogoodforme ix: Our Favorite Records of the 2000s (So Far)
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Tags: animals, babes, Beyonce, Brody Jenner, Casanova cucumbers, Chuck Bass, Citroens, darkness, dudes, Eleanor Friedberger, Elizabeth Barker, femininity, feminism, Friedberger, heart, Holy Ghost Language School, Jay-Z, John Frusciante, Julian Casablancas, Laura Jane Faulds, Mary Timony, Metaphors Synaesthesia, my spiritual boyfriends, Patti Smith, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sweden, The Fiery Furnaces, the importance of being earnest, the Knife, The Strokes, the Walkmen
Wednesday , September 16, 2009
nogoodforme ix: Our Favorite Albums of the 1990s
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Tags: astrology, babes, bed, Blur, Bono, Britpop, Damon Albarn, Depeche Mode, Eddie Vedder, Experimental Jet Set Trash and No Star Day, firsts, Friedberger, gateway drugs, high school, introverted-exuberant, John Frusciante, Kurt Cobain, Laura loves the Beatles, Laura loves the Kinks, Life After Kurt, Lync, moon lullabies, New York City, Nirvana, Patti Smith, PJ Harvey, Psychic Hearts, recess, records as planets, Red Hot Chili Peppers, sex, Sonic Youth, Star Wars, the Lemonheads, The Spice Girls, Thurston Moore, U2, Violator, Winter Women/Holy Ghost Language School, Zac Efron
Thursday , September 10, 2009
nogoodforme ix: Our Favorite Albums of the 1980s
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Tags: 60s psych, Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, Adam "MCA" Yauch, bubbles, codename: Pollyanna Jerkface, De La Soul, Dukes of Stratosphear, fake psych, Flea, Guns N' Roses, Jane's Addiction. Satanicism, John Lennon, Madonna, Mike D, onion rings, Prince, Rites of Spring, the 1980s, The Beastie Boys, The Pixies
Monday , August 31, 2009
nogoodforme ix: Our Favorite Albums of the 1970s
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Tags: bad babysitters, Bruce Springsteen, cars, Cheap Trick, confidence, high school, Iggy Pop, Imagine, John Lennon, Joy Division, Laura Loves the Beatles, Lisa Crystal Carver, nastiness, Neil Young, New York City, Pacific Coast Highway, Patti Smith, Paul McCartney, RAM, smoking weed, Television, The Stooges, three-legged dogs
Thursday , August 20, 2009
nogoodforme ix: Our Favorite Albums of the 1960s
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Tags: 60s psych, Better Than The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Count Five, dudes, funerals, heaven, hotheads, Jan & Dean, Laura loves the Kinks, Mick Jagger, Micky Dolenz, Neil Young, Ray Davies is a genius, Rolling Stones, spiritual decapitation, The Beatles, the most magnificent assholes in all the world, The Nice
Wednesday , July 8, 2009
nogoodforme ix: Cartoon Characters We'd Totally Make Out With
I. HOWL FROM HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE
The thing that's awesome about Howl (in the English language dubbed vision, at least) is that he is improbably given a deep, brooding rock star of a voice by Christian Bale. If Howl didn't have this voice, he'd be too much of a fop for my taste, but luckily he's got Christian Bale's voice, so it all works out for me. Christian Bale could probably voice the cartoon character of an anemic rat and I'd find it kinda hot -- that's how awesome Christian Bale's voice is. (Kat)
Howl gets upset when you mess with his hair. "I see no point in living if I can't be beautiful"!!!:
II. JESSE GRASS, OR MAYBE OTTO MANN
A "Simpsons" refresher: Jesse Grass is the hippie boy in the "Lisa the Tree Hugger" episode from season 12, the one who's a Level 5 Vegan and thus doesn't eat "anything that casts a shadow." Jesse's a dreamboat and talks just like Pacey from "Dawson's Creek," but I'm not sure we'd have much fun together beyond going out for jackfruit tacos at Pure Luck. Also, there's a 98 percent chance that in real life Jesse Grass dresses just like the stereotypical stoner dude LJ was just making fun of, or maybe even like Ras Trent. Probably I'd get along way better with Otto, who'd never make me drink gross vegan beer like Sierra Nevada. Or, even hotter: the "Simpsons" version of Jim Jarmusch. (Liz)
III. JUGHEAD JONES
As I discussed the other day, I need a dude who can motherfucking eat. I don't date dudes who drink Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, Diet Dr. Pepper, or Cherry Coke Zero. I date dudes who drink beer, and milk. Jughead Jones is more than just a "healthy eater." Jughead is a "binge eater." In most cases, this would probably strike me as flawed, but, in the case of my boy JJ, it seems posi. It's sexy how he stores gorgonzola cheese in his bass drum- how wily! I usually shy away from dating drummers, because, in Two Thousand and "Drummers Aren't Like Charlie Watts Anymore, Laura Jane!" Nine, they often swing it too close to Tommy Lee territory for comfort. But Jughead is a slacker-y, "the drummer of The Zombies, maybe" sort of drummer. Plus, if you've ever heard "Jingle Jangle" by The Archies, you can attest to the fact that Jughead is very talented. The only shit part of the killerly awesome "cartoon doggie love affair on low-quality LSD"-themed vid for it is that Jughead's only it it for like one second. Why is Jughead "expendable" to the animators of the "Jingle Jangle" music video? Jerks. (Laura Jane)
IV. NOT JON ARBUCKLE!
Seriously! Ever dated someone Jon Arbuckle-esque? It's the pits! Self-righteously bitter guys who can't get out of their own miserable way are soooo bad for you, maybe just as toxic as the aggro-whiny breed of dude we discussed a while back. (Hint: In non-cartoon life, Jon Arbuckle-esque boys are likely to resemble Steve Buscemi in Ghost World, at least in demeanor. Should you ever spot one, turn on your pretty heels and run far away! Do not stick around to chat about his stupid boring record collection!) One good thing about Jon Arbuckle being such a loser, though, is that now we get to have Garfield Minus Garfield. A few of my favorite Lasagna-Cat-less comics: (Liz)
V. O'MALLEY THE ALLEY CAT
Because my spirit animal is a cat, I am allowed to think cats are sexy, I think. I like O'Malley the Alley Cat because, if he were a dude, he'd drink beer and milk, and smell like motor oil. He would build mopeds in his bedroom. And if I were a cat, we'd meow at each other, and then mate. Things are so simple for cats. Oh, how I wish I were a cat! Everybody wants to be a cat- or I do, at least- because a cat's the only cat who knows where it's at. I so picked the right spirit animal. (Laura "The Feline Beat" Jane Faulds)
VI. PRINCIPAL SEYMOUR "ARMIN TAMZARIAN" SKINNER (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS!!!)
Dear Writers of Mad Men: Dudes. I know you Tricky Dicks totally ripped the whole "Don Draper is secretly Dick Richards" storyline from the episode of The Simpsons when we find out that Seymour Skinner is secretly Armin Tamzarian. Nice try, dumbasses.
Nobody really knows this about me, because it's weird, and I hide it from them, but- I think Principal Skinner is really hot, and has a slamming personality. He's complicated. Also, he's named "Seymour," so I subconsciously feel as though he's the The Simpsons equivalent of JD Salinger's Seymour Glass- tortured, and misunderstood. While on the subject of "Characters from The Simpsons Laura Jane Would Make Out With," I just want to add, for the record- Jimbo Jones. (LJ)
VII. ROWLF FROM "MUPPET BABIES"
That's not really true; I actually don't want to make out with a dog who's also a baby. But I think me and grown-up Rowlf would make such a perfect pair: We'd host these chill yet fabulous dinner parties at which - after a yummy dessert of Baked Alaska - my dear dog-hubby would wander over to the piano and treat our guests to his rendition of "Cottleston Pie," but in a very non-show-off-y kind of way. Rowlf's a catch cuz he's kind of the same as Timothy Hutton in Beautiful Girls, a scraggly, smoky-voiced piano man who's a little sad around the eyes but always quick with a joke. I said before that Rowlf is my "spirit Muppet," but now I'm amending that to "soul twin," as Brenda's psycho mom on "Six Feet Under" might say. (Liz)
Non-cartoon Rowlf singing "Cottleston Pie":
VIII. SETO KAIBA FROM "YU-GI-OH!"
Don't ask me what the point of "Yu-Gi-Oh!" is. I don't know. And I can't figure it out; the whole Yu-Gi-Oh!/Pokemon/Digimon complex is absolutely impenetrable to me, no matter how many times my nine-year old nephew has tried to explain it. Seto Kaiba is apparently the show's anti-hero, a bad guy with a soft spot for his adopted brother or something like that. In the three episodes of "Yu-Gi-Oh!" I have managed to watch in my lifetime, I thought he was pretty hot for a cartoon. I really like his hair and he's kind of rude and sardonic, which always gets me. My standards are pretty low for cartoons, I guess. (Kat)
Kaiba drops it like it's hot and throws down -- nobody messes with his lil' bro:
IX. TREVOR GOODCHILD FROM "AEON FLUX"
I really wanted to put a character from Heavy Metal, that crazy animaed cult film from 1981 that I am slightly obsessed with lately. Heavy Metal is super-pervy, with lots of naked chicks, sex, drugs, and general dude-flavored nutsiness, but it's got a soundtrack to kill over. But THERE ARE NO HOT DUDES in "Heavy Metal," which definitely knocks it down a few notches for me. (That's so the problem with a lot of dude-flavored nutsiness -- I can roll with all kinds of stupid if they'd just throw the hot-blooded ladies a bone or two.) Instead, I'll just namecheck for the umpteenth time my favorite animated anything of all time, "Aeon Flux," which is dark and pervy but in a very cool, feminist way. I can't tell if Trevor Goodchild, the main antagonist/lover, would be hot in real life, because show creator Peter Chung tends to draw everyone like a crazy Egon Schiele sketch on acid. Trevor Goodchild sounds hot, though, and he is the supreme leader of his government, which is kinda hot as well. (Kat)
And here is the trailer for Heavy Metal. Your life is really incomplete until you see it:
Tags: Aeon Flux, cats, dogs, dude-flavored nutsiness, Heavy Metal the movie, Muppet Babies, Muppets, perviness, spirit Muppets, the aggro-whiny phenomenon, The Archies, The Simpsons, vegan beer, Yu-Gi-Oh!
Tuesday , June 23, 2009
nogoodforme IX: Best Movie Soundtracks Ever
Probably doesn't count, cuz all the songs were written for the musical, but I don't care! Grease has "Greased Lightning," and therefore is the greatest soundtrack in motion-picture history. That's song's #5 or #6 on my list of Stuff I'm Always Psyched to Hear; when LJ referenced it in her hydromatic post on Revolver last week, it was enough for me to jump up on the hood of my Honda Civic, do some karate moves, and then light my cigarette with a blow torch. It's weird that they don't bleep out "pussy wagon" when Grease plays on TNT. (Liz)
Dear Kenickie: Stop being so hot, you're destroying me. xo Liz
I love David Lynch more than I do coffee, pie, or saddle shoes, but it was David Lynch that made me love these things in the first place. David Lynch movies are so singular and otherworldly; what I love about them is that they're about the strange miasmas lurking underneath placid surfaces. That, and they're bat-shit crazy, outrageously loony and audaciously, uniquely bizarre. Lost Highway is not my favorite film by Lynch. (I think Mulholland Drive might be my favorite, Blue Velvet his greatest and I have a special place in my heart for, um, Wild At Heart, which is my idea of a real relationship movie.) But for any card-carrying Bringer of Darkness, the goth/punk industrial soundtrack of Lost Highway is ten kinds of genius. Of course, Lynch always works with composer Angelo Badalamenti; the Lynch/Badalamenti collabo is genuinely one of the greatest in cinema. But in Lost Highway, the soundscape opens up to include selections from the usual suspects of a certain darkly glam-influenced ilk: David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein, Barry Adamson, etc. Normally most of these people are bands that I am indifferent towards (with the exception of Trent Reznor's Twitter.) But put together on one soundtrack to one hella fucked-up movie - it totally works, especially when next to the gorgeous transports of Badalamenti's work and one beautiful Antonio Carlos Jobim track. This soundtrack is the one time I ever really understood Marilyn Manson musically (he does a pretty wicked cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell On You.") I still don't fully get the movie, but you don't "get" Lynch - you kind of just go with it. (Except with Inland Empire...I have to admit that film eluded me.) (Kat)
This whole of Lost Highway is an extended OMG/WTF, and Robert Blake FREAKS me the fuck out (he makes his appearance about 1:30 minutes in and it's all "!!!!!!!!"):
This is my favorite movie that no one else has really seen, directed by the brilliant, genius Scottish filmmaker Lynne Ramsay, who also did the equally amazing Ratcatcher. Starring Samantha Morton as the titular supermarket clerk living in the isolated Scottish highlands, Morvern discovers her boyfriend has committed suicide on Christmas Eve, leaving her with the world's least insightful suicide note, a mixtape, money for his funeral, his unpublished novel and instructions on what to do with it. What she does after all this is not really the point--the film is less about plot and more about grief, isolation and a strange sort of spiritual transcendence, which takes Morvern from the drunken bars of Scotland to the Ecstasy-fueled club culture in Ibiza to the countryside of Spain in a visual tour-de-force. Throughout all the drugs, sex and near hallucinogenic experiences, Morvern obsessively listens to her boyfriend's mix tapes, which are a keen, canny mix of Can, Velvet Underground, Broadcast, Aphex Twin, Lee "Scratch" Perry and other leftfield musos. I left the theatre after seeing Morvern Callar pretty stunned by the combination of such awesome music paired with Ramsay's searing images, and the result is the highest compliment I could give a filmmaker: I can't hear some of these songs without seeing the scenes from Morvern Callar in my head, so intertwined they are now in my imagination. In my case this is a good thing, Morvern Callar being one of the most mysteriously beautiful, mystical, soulful movies about a girl that has ever existed. (Kat)
The final scene of Morvern Callar, set to the Mamas and Papas:
Natural Born Killers
Oh, Reznorface, you really outdid yourself on this one. I don't even like half the tracks on this record, but Natural Born Killers still wins because: (a) it was the first album to let 16-year-old me know that there's a world of Patti Smith beyond "Because the Night," (b) "Sex Is Violent" is maybe the first-ever mash-up, made from the scariest pieces of "Ted, Just Admit It" by Jane's Addiction and Diamanda Galas's cover of "I Put a Spell on You," and (c) even though that pasting-snippets-of-film-dialogue-throughout-the-soundtrack thing started a kinda-annoying trend, it's done really brilliantly here. (Liz)
I also think it's cool that the soundtrack's got this scene with Juliette Lewis singing "Born Bad":
Pretty in Pink
To be clear: I've been sick of OMD's "If You Leave" for about 20 years now, and if I never hear it again, it'll be too soon. Also: "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" was used so much more geniusly in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. That only leaves eight songs, but one of them's that Psychedelic Furs jam, which counts two dozens times over cuz it's so damn perfect. But I still wish the soundtrack were a bit longer, mostly so I could have that fantastic New Order song that plays while Molly Ringwald's making her terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad prom dress. When I went home for Easter this year, that track ("Thieves Like Us") played on the airport P.A. right before I boarded my flight, and then my plane's name was "Blue Monday." It was New Order day! Why don't I own any New Order records? (Liz)
Another song I wish was on the PIP soundtrack is "Positively Lost Me" by The Rave-Ups:
Purple Rain is kind of the insane movie that only the 80s could have produced: it's pretty sexist and trashy, and yet kind of amazing in its audacious Prince-ness. I can't quite articulate what Prince-ness is; I can only tell you that it involves being kind of an innovative egomaniac genius that nevertheless gets away with it because he's pervy and fun at the same time. Prince always means well, even if you don't understand him, which is why you kind of get over Apollonia being such a lame character in Purple Rain. I mean, how can you take any movie seriously that has Morris Day and the Time as your main antagonist? For reals! It is SO FUN to get trashed and sing along to this movie, and if you ever, ever get a chance to see Purple Rain at a midnight screening, do it. It will kind of change your life. This soundtrack has my third-favorite and fourth-favorite Prince songs of all time, "Take Me With U" and "Darling Nikki" respectively. In a bit of nogoodforme trivia, Purple Rain was the first tape I ever bought on my own, and I still think it's one of the greatest albums in rock history. (Kat)
Can you take these dudes seriously as an antagonist? I think not:
I kind of was banking on Liz doing the Singles soundtrack so I could put down The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, which are two radically different soundtracks for two radically different films. Directed by Jacques Demy, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a melancholy musical starring Catherine Deneuve in which every single line is sung; the movie looks like a candy confection but its heart is sad and blue. Singles, of course, is the total Seattle grungefest, so epochal in its snapshot of a musical culture that I would daresay that the soundtrack has probably outlived the film in terms of greatness; the only thing missing on it is Nirvana, but other than that, it's almost a historical document. I'm sure there are more sophisticated uses of Screaming Trees and Pearl Jam found on film soundtracks, but there were none that were ever so zeitgeist-y or "all killer, no filler"--there's not a bum cut on here. You could put this in a time capsule and have aliens listen to it four eons later, and they would totally get what grunge was about. And then they would be perpetually humming "Dyslexic Heart" in whatever alien dialect they spoke in for about a year till they drove themselves crazy. (Kat)
The video for Alice in Chains' "Would?":
And just for fun, the opening credits to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, one of my favorite movies ever:
It's so hard to keep track of all the many phases my undying David Bowie obsession's gone through: First there was the "My Mom Bought Me a Serious Moonlight Tour T-Shirt; As Such, I Am Way Cooler Than Everyone Else" (age five), and most recently we had "Oh My Gosh, David Bowie Was So Funny on Extras, Let's Watch the YouTube clip 87 Times in a Row" (age 29). But probably the most all-consuming, brain-invading, soul-melting, life-changing Bowie phase coincided with the VHS release of Velvet Goldmine, which I maybe viewed thrice-weekly from the summer of '99 to the following springtime. Of course, there's no Bowie on the soundtrack, but there's my favorite Lou Reed song, my second favorite Brian Eno song, my third favorite Roxy Music song, my fourth favorite T. Rex song, and lots of sexy covers by the Venus in Furs (a stupidly named supergroup starring Thom Yorke). For more foxy Bowie-related soundtrackage, see Labyrinth and the "Bowie" episode of Flight of the Conchords. (Liz)
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, video star:
Wings of Desire
I actually think that the Ry Cooder soundtrack to Paris, Texas wins the "Most Amazing Score of a Wim Wenders Film" award, but I'm putting Wings of Desire down here, simply because it has such sentimental value for me, a value so strong that not even making a lame Nicholas Cage version of it would spoil things. I saw Wings of Desire at a time in my life when I started realizing films could do more than just record stories for entertainment - that film could be about poetry, rock, and sex, that it could be as intellectual or visceral as you wanted it to be. Seeing Wings of Desire (along with Breathless and La Jetee) as a seventeen-year old was kind of important to me in becoming a filmmaker and deciding to eschew normal adult life in order to pursue it. It also was responsible for me listening to "From Her to Eternity" for the first time and thus beginning a Nick Cave obsession that has lasted me for decades. (He is so beautiful in this movie, it's unreal.) There's a visceral version of it here, alongside Cave's "The Carny," as well as a stunning track from Crime and the City Solution. It sits next to Bruno Ganz's lovely readings of the Peter Handke poem that figures heavily in the film, as well as the beautiful strings-dominated instrumentation of Jurgen Kneiper. This is a genuine film score, one that evokes the somber, melancholy beauty of the film and yet manages to shimmer well on its own. (Kat)
Nick Cave in "Wings of Desire" (check out those beautiful camera movements at the beginning of the scene):
Tags: Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, aliens, David Bowie, David Lynch, Flight of the Conchords, Grease, grunge, Lynne Ramsay, Molly Ringwald, Morvern Callar, New Order, Nick Cave, Pretty in Pink, Prince, Purple Rain, Singles, The Smiths, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Trent Reznor, Wim Wenders, Wings of Desire
Tuesday , May 26, 2009
nogoodforme ix: In Which We Each Name Our Top 3 Desert-Island Records
Depeche Mode, Violator
I'm lucky - I already devoted a whole "We're Obsessed" entry to why Violator is my ultimate desert island record of all time, so you can just read that for all the reasons why this would be on that island with me. I still stand by it all; it remains the most multi-purpose album I own, I listen to it still and never tire of it, and I probably never will. Although I'm sure I would test this last assumption to the limit if I had to listen to it a bazillion times, being stuck on a desert island and all. (Kat)
Lync, These Are Not Fall Colors
The music of Lync is actually the most anti-tropical music imaginable. With its angular guitar jangle and kind of helter-skelter rhythms, it's much more suited to the dreary, misty climes of the Pacific Northwest. I would bring this with me on a desert island, though, because it's one of my favorite records of all time and I would miss it too much not to have it with me. Plus, I could listen to this, close my eyes and pretend it indeed was cloudy and rainy like the Pacific Northwest -- which, as a girl who kind of hates summer, I would need to do as a psychological coping mechanism against annoyingly, relentlessly island-like weather. (Kat)
Madonna, The Immaculate Collection
I would not be remotely the person I am today if I hadn't exposed myself to massive amounts of early Madonna in my formative girlhood years. The idea of not having "Lucky Star" available as a listening option would be like being out of touch with my inner child - simply unthinkable and not a lot of fun. This would prevent me from getting too nutsy whilst on this desert island sojourn; it would help keep things bouncy and light and nonhomicidal. I could use my desert island time to reenact the "Cherish" video as well, complete with hot dude mermen as my boy toys. Hmmm...where is this island again? (Kat)
David Bowie, The Best of David Bowie 1969-1974
Selected for three reasons: (1) It's got 20 songs, and I love 18 of them. Eighteen tracks will keep you busy for a while. Plus, there's probably no other record that's got 18 songs I might never tire of hearing as long as I live. (2) I've loved David Bowie since I was a wee lass, and I'm sure that reflecting on your blessedly Bowie-centric girlhood is a pretty solid way to pass the time in the midst of desert-island exile. (3) The Best of David Bowie 1969-1974 was a really important album to me in spring 2000, a really cloud-nine time full of so much lovely love and many cones of burnt sugar from Christina's Ice Cream. As a result, The Best of David Bowie 1969-1974 sort of tastes like burnt sugar ice cream, so maybe that'll satisfy my sweets cravings when I'm going through aspartame withdrawal or whatever. (Liz)
The Mixtape I Made for My Second-Ever Trip to L.A.
Oh, I'm cheating! Sorry. But it's special. In March 2003 I took a scary bus to Hollywood and spent one day stomping around the city in big black boots till, quite literally, my feet bled. At night I sat on the edge of a bathtub in some sketchy Best Western, soaked my ugly toes, drank Strawberry Hill Boone's Farm from the bottle, read fashion magazines, and played my special mixtape on my walkman. I know it had "A Perfect Day Elise" by PJ Harvey and a B-side from a single off of By The Way by Red Hot Chili Peppers and "My Michelle" by Guns N' Roses and "Johny Hit and Run Pauline" by X and, most importantly, "The Right Thing to Do" by Carly Simon. I also know that, listening to that last one, I promised myself I'd move to L.A. very soon come hell or high water - and then five months later I did, and it was so good. Now I really miss that stupid bathtub, and the boots I tossed into an airport trash can right before my redeye back to Boston. I hereby deem them my two favorite past-life artifacts. (Liz)
Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II
This one's about nostalgia too - like, doing Led Zeppelin lip-sync contests in my cousins' bedroom on Saturday-night sleepovers - but it's also there to fill the sleazy-makeout-song void ("Heartbreaker"), the creepy tripped-out love ballad void ("What Is And What Should Never Be"), and the heart-slugging epic void ("Thank You"). And since I totally failed to bring along any Mary Timony or Helium along with me, I guess "Ramble On" will have to fill the Lord of the Rings void - which kind of makes me sad, but I feel like maybe Mary T. would approve. (Liz)
The Beatles, The Beatles (The White Album)
Picking The White Album is crafty, shrewd and brilliant. Congratulations! You have found a loophole in the Desert Island Record-Picking Sweepstakes! As a double album, it's a great bang for your desert island buck. Any double album will do, but probably The White Album is your best bet, since it is the best album by the best band. The White Album has everything a stranded-on-a-desert-island person could possibly need: tranquility ("Dear Prudence," "I Will," "Long, Long, Long"), stompiness ("Back in the USSR," "Helter Skelter"), lopey liltiness ("Happiness is a Warm Gun," "Sexy Sadie"), embarrassing Paul McCartney shit ("Honey Pie," "Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da"), manic depression ("Yer Blues"), and total garbage ("While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Blackbird"). One of my least favourite things to do, in life, is argue with people about how The White Album should have been condensed into one LP. If you are reading this, and hold that opinion, fine- just please don't talk to me about it. It stresses me out, pushes all my buttons, and, if it were true, would massively inconvenience my desert-island self. The White Album is perfect in its rambling, long-winded imperfection; to err is so damned human that even the Beatles erred! (LJ)
Faust, Faust IV
Today, it is a bit cooler out than it has been lately. I've been outside five times so far, and I've overheard about 1,000,000 wussies whimpering about how "cold" it is. Uh, don't you babies remember what freaking January felt like?!?! My point is: just because something sucks a little bit, it doesn't mean it sucks a lot. Today's weather is shittier than yesterday's, but it's still amazing compared to the six months of hell we recently endured. Similarly, being stranded on a desert island sucks compared to being a famous writer married to the dude of my dreams and living in a haunted mansion in Savannah, but it's still objectively way better than working a shit job, being broke all the time, and having Season 5 of LOST be over. Lying on a beach, eating fresh mangoes, and listening to Faust IV every day? SIGN ME UP. Faust IV is chill, silly, enlightening, and urbane. I will never get sick of Faust IV. Also, I already relate to the lyrics of "It's A Bit Of A Pain" a lot, but once I'm on the island, they will most certainly take on greater resonance:
"It's a bit of a pain/To be where I am (STRANDED ALONE ON A DESERT ISLAND, AWAY FROM MY LOVED ONES, WHO PROBABLY IMAGINE ME DEAD)/But it's alright/But it's alright/By me (BECAUSE IT'S A SHIT OF A LOT EASIER THAN HAVING TO DO ALL THE BORING BUREAUCRATIC BULLSHIT I HAD TO DO IN PRE-DESERT ISLAND LIFE THAT I HATED)" Enjoy: (LJ)
Disc 1 of the Nuggets Boxed Set
This one was a toss-up for me. It was hard to decide if I wanted Disc 1 of Nuggets, or Disc 4.
Disc 1 includes such psychey garagey classicks as: The Standells, "Dirty Water"; The Barbarians, "Moulty"; The 13th Floor Elevators, "You're Gonna Miss Me"; Count Five, "Psychotic Reaction"; Sagittarius, "My World Fell Down"
Disc 4 includes: The Barbarians, "Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?"; Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs, "Woolly Bully"; The Strangeloves, "I Want Candy"; Paul Revere & the Raiders "Just Like Me"; The Kingsmen, "Louie, Louie"
As much as imagining myself living without "Louie, Louie" is petrifying and uncomfortable, I know I could tough it out if I put my mind to it. But a life without "Psychotic Reaction"? Simply unthinkable. Not worth living. If I chose Disc 4, I would inevitably hang myself. But if I had Disc 1 under my belt, I'd be swimming with dolphins, making ahi ceviche, building the treehouse of my dreams, and dancing like a maniac to "Psychotic Reaction" in paradise until death did me part. Enjoy: (LJ)
Tags: 60s garage, 60s psych, ahi ceviche, aspartame, babies, Boone's Farm, Boston, Carly Simon, David Bowie, Depeche Mode, desert island conjecturing, Faust, Guns N' Roses, L.A. rules, Laura Loves the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, loopholes, lopey liltiness, Louie Louie, Lync, Madonna, Mary Timony, mixtapes, Pacific Northwest, past-life artifacts, Paul McCartney, PJ Harvey, Psychotic Reaction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Savannah, suicide, The Perils of a Psychotic Reaction-free Life, to err is human, treehouses, weather, wussies