andersonenvy

Album Review: "Joshua Tree" by U2

Forget everything you know about U2. Forget Bono holding up his American flag jacket on TIME magazine. Forget the ipod commercials. Forget the 90's altogether. But DO ask yourself WHY is U2 everywhere I look? Why are they seemingly the most annoying band in the land? Simple: They made a true masterpiece in the 80's, and, since have been copying that album over and over again. Each new U2 album is another bad impression of The Joshua Tree

I, for one, still like the band. The difference between U2, Dylan, and The Stones is that U2 still makes decent music. Sure, many are simply pop songs for the radio & The Grammy's, but the band is beyond the point of artistic integrity (been there, done that) or "selling out" (how can the richest band in the world hardly care anymore?). However, I do understand why people hate them.

Besides the current era, the mid-80's was probably the worldwide lowest point in music history. Sure, there were some decent, smaller albums, but most everything in the mainstream was synthy, recycled, big-haired vomit on a cassette. The Joshua tree was pure beauty in an age of pure ugliness. And, even though it didn't save music by any means, it did change the way mainstream music was dealt with. Many bands, real bands, were now on the radio once again. OK, yes, this did lead to the success of many hated acts such as REM and Coldplay (aka Levy), but back then traces of U2's sound could easily be found in The Pixies and Springsteen and later The Pumpkins and Radiohead.

The album itself opens with 3 songs you already know by heart. These 3 songs are what changed mainstream radio. A guy named 'Bono' from Ireland was now singing at your prom. Amidst these pop songs, though, is U2 setting up their poetic themes of life and death (wet and dry) through allegory. In any case, what makes the album truly great are the songs and themes that follow.

The Joshua Tree doesn't truly take-off until the 4th track "Bullet in the Blue Sky", a song about the U.S. arming of rebels in El Salvador, which can be easily be applied to any "skirmish" a dominant country gets involved in. An interesting listen when considering the war in Iraq, and still my favorite political song to date.

The band then continues to hint at the paradoxical oppression of the U.S. by using American folk and blues to influence the next 4 tracks. Closing your eyes while listening will instantly associate The American frontier with hard themes such as heroin addiction and ironic higher-power montage. The one flaw of the album, Red Hill Mining Town, was placed on the album instead of The Sweetest Thing (re-released in 2000). However, I sometimes think that including Red Hill instead of another billboard singles hit might have driven their point home even further.

The album finally closes with U2 being themselves, at their best. Slowing things down to bring out the genius of The Edge's new-found-sound, they drive home the flood-meets-desert theme in One Tree Hill, ending with the beautiful "Oh Great Ocean..." gospel verse. Bono's confidence goes nowhere as U2 re-invents the wheel again during Exit, and they bring in their entire arsenal of themes and influences since the first track of the album.




In classic U2 fashion, they end slowly but leave hope. Mothers of the Disappeared leaves us with an anthem to The Mothers of the May Square, associating these women to the band and ourselves.

This was the first album (tape) I ever owned, and to this day on of my favorites. If you are a U2 hater (and many are), consider this album coming from a time when Bono wasn't on the cover of any magazines, but, semi-underground, was just as active in stopping violence through politics as he is today. U2 performed at Live Aid 20 years before The Gap's red t-shirts. U2 were just four drunk guys from Dublin who dressed as such, instead of wearing flashy costumes. No ipods, no sunglasses, no devil horns, The Joshua Tree is U2's best work. Did they let it get to their heads? You decide.
andersonenvy

Media Doesn't Matter - Media Matters tries to bash Bush

Tue, May 30, 2006

Media Matters cites tabloid



FIGHT BACK!


Contact Information

Media Matters

(202) 756-4100

email link

1625 Massachusetts Ave.
NW Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
Summary: Despite their claim to be an organization that is "dedicated to monitoring and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media", Media Matters used a tabloid article to bash Bush.

In yet another feeble attempt to make something out of nothing, the abomination of an organization Media Matters posted an article citing the Globe tabloid running a cover "story":"BUSH MARRIAGE BREAKUP! EXCLUSIVE! SEPARATE LIVES IN THE WHITE HOUSE."


Media Matters claimed to have posted this item because they hope The New York Times will run the story, although they also stated that they do not endorse the decision by media figures to take their cues from tabloids.


Media Matters also provided bullets to point out the personal problems that the Bush family is supposedly going through, aimlessly bringing attention to a fake tabloid story which no one cares about.



—K.A.
andersonenvy

Movie Review: Bonnie & Clyde

The only movie more people lie about seeing than Casablanca: This classic road trip is chock full of your fun-loving antics copied in several lesser progeny. Farmhouse shootouts, quaintly quipping bank robbers and backwoods folks hootin' and hollerin' shows the DNA of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Dukes of Hazzard, more recently O Brother Where
Art Thou
, Natural Born Killers and, most famously several Hanna-Barbara cartoons.

Is this movie more than just a good time? Yes, it tries and mostly succedes in undressing its rambuncious stars and showing a vulnerable underbelly, flawed and hiding behind their exciting adventures.

Now let's start looking at point values:

Good times points - 6. The jokes are soft and limp - nothing laugh-out-loud funny, with the exception Gene Wilder who has a brief cameo. The shootouts do not have the beef that a modern Hollywood shoot out has but they have some good quick moments, ramming cars and the getaways are tense. Bonnie unloading a tommy-gun out a cottage window at the coppers was a great moment.


Depth points - 8. As the adventure of the Barrow Gang slowly degrades itself, you definitely feel it is more than getting shot up and running out of ammo. As the times get tough, you get to watch as they de-evolve into children, calling for their momma and trying to pray a God they had lost. The jolly nbanjo and fiddle keep playing, but you don't get the impression they can hear it anymore. When they are betrayed by one of their number, there are some brave performance moments for most of the characters.

Full-Movie points - 5. Sure Bonnie and Clyde has some good scenes and good moments, but that's what it has - good parts. It definitely has a repetitive element to it. Robbing, driving, staying the night somewhere. Nothing but a few nkey parts really stands out to it. As far as a great movie, it takes a break sometimes. A good example is at the beginning they have some excellent camera work, cutting around Bonnie's room as she sits in the termoil of her boring life. Never again do you see any of that play or creativity nin the camera work - they just seem to want to show you what they can do sometimes.

Slam-a-Jam points - 6. By far the most important points - Slam-a-Jam points are awarded through the pleasure Slam-a-Jam derives from the film. Good parts that I will remember, surrounded by the typical Dukes of Hazzard, which they could have done better. What probably elevated them from a 5 to a 6 was the presence of Gene Wilder. I would doubt myself if I tried to give a Gene Wilder movie less than a 6.

Average them together and you get a 6.2. Not bad.

andersonenvy

Media Doesn't Matter - Media Matters attacks Cavuto for no reason

Sat,May 6, 2006

Media Matters attacked Cavuto for interviewing a Playmate



FIGHT BACK!


Contact Information

Media Matters

(202) 756-4100

email link

1625 Massachusetts Ave.
NW Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
Summary: Media Matters attacked host Neil Cavuto for interviewing a Playboy Playmate on the May 4 edition of Your World, but failed to mention that Olbermann interviewed a porn star that very same day.

In yet another example of their liberal bias, Media Matters attacked Cavuto for interviewing Playboy model Kara Monaco, accusing Cavuto of repeatedly disguising his news program in an attempt to feature "nude or scantily clad women." However, Media Matters failed to note that Keith Olbermann had interviewed porn star Mary Carey on his liberal agenda driven show, Countdown, that very same day.

Media Matters also falsely claimed that "There was no discussion of how Monaco, as the new face of Playboy, would be representing the company." However, as their own transcript pointed out, Monaco stated in the interview that she would be travelling and representing the company as their ambassador over the next year.

From the May 4 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:


CAVUTO: Kara, what do you do with this? I mean, after -- you're Playmate of the Year. I mean, where do you go? What do you want to do?

MONACO: I am just going to spend the next year traveling and representing the company as their -- as Playboy's ambassador for the next year.

—K.A.
andersonenvy

Media Doesn't Matter - Media Matters attacks O'Reilly for no reason

Thu, Apr 20, 2006

Media Matters attacked O'Reilly for stating that alleged Duke rape victim "put herself in jeopardy" but failed to note that she actually did.



FIGHT BACK!


Contact Information

Media Matters

(202) 756-4100

email link

1625 Massachusetts Ave.
NW Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
Summary: Bill O'Reilly asserted that the woman who alleged she was raped at a party attended by members of the Duke University lacrosse team "put herself in jeopardy."

Media Matters attacked Bill O'Reilly for stating that the woman who alleged she was raped at a party attended by members of the Duke University lacrosse team "put herself in jeopardy." However, Media Matters failed to note that dancing nude in front of a group of over 40 intoxicated men is, by definition, a dangerous act.

From the April 19 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Duke University officials knew the lacrosse team often crossed the line, drinking and acting out in immature ways. The coach was warned last year to rein the players in. Apparently, he did not or could not. The coach has now resigned.

One of the players charged, Collin Finnerty, may be a violent guy. Last November, he was allegedly involved in an assault on a man in Washington, D.C., for absolutely no reason. And he entered a diversionary program.
Fighting, drinking to excess, and generally ignoring social boundaries always leads to bad, unintended consequences. Always.

Likewise, a 27-year-old woman put herself in jeopardy. She has two young kids to support and no fathers in sight. So, in order to earn money, she chooses to go to strange places and disrobe in front of strange men. Do the math.

"Talking Points" is not accusing anyone of anything, or making any judgments at all. What I just told you is on the record -- fact. The lacrosse team operated in a loose fashion. The alleged victim had little control over her environment.

—K.A.
andersonenvy

Media Doesn't Matter - Media Matters attacks Savage for no reason

Thu, Apr 19, 2006

Media Matters criticized Savage's hateful statements, but failed to mention Savage's right to freedom of speech.



FIGHT BACK!


Contact Information

Media Matters

(202) 756-4100

email link

1625 Massachusetts Ave.
NW Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
Summary: Michael Savage called a drunken stripper a "drunken slut stripping whore."

Media Matters criticized radio talk show host Michael Savage for describing a drunken stipper as a "slut" and a "whore", but failed to note that Savage is not a journalist, has no degree in journalism, and was exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech.

Just days prior, Media Matters criticized Savage for referring to the African American stripper as a "dirty, venomous black stripper" and for calling supremacists with brown skin "brown supremacists".

From the April 17 edition of Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation:

SAVAGE: Now, we got the Durham dirt-bag case. The Durham dirt-bag case disgusts me to my core. Here, you have a drunken slut stripping whore accusing men of raping her when there is absolutely no evidence of such a rape other than what comes out of that filthy mouth of hers. And what really gets to me, here, is not only the piling on by the vermin in the media -- the spineless eunuchs in the media who are taking the side of an unknown accuser without ever having to ask her one question. What kind of system do we have that anyone can scream rape and not have to show her face, not answer to the public. And, yet, those she accuses are suddenly guilty until they're proven innocent. This is all the product of the out-of-control lesbian feminist movement.

—K.A.
andersonenvy

Media Doesn't Matter - Media Matters attacks Rumsfeld for no reason

Thu, Apr 18, 2006

Media Matters attacked Rumsfeld for appearing on Rush Limbaugh, despite the fact that we live in a free society.



FIGHT BACK!


Contact Information

Media Matters

(202) 756-4100

email link

1625 Massachusetts Ave.
NW Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
Summary: In an attempt to post anything they could about the call for Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's resignation, Media Matters attacked him for simply appearing on a radio talk show.

In a last minute attempt to inform their readers about the recent Rumsfeld controversy, Media Matters attacked Donald Rumsfeld for appearing on Rush Limbaugh, using the excuse that Limbaugh had called a woman a "ho" on-air 2 weeks prior. The attack on Rumsfeld was posted even though Limbaugh had immediately apologized for the incident after the commercial break. An incident Media Matters themselves have documented.

Even though the Duke rape investigation has absolutely nothing to do with Rumsfeld, Media Matters used the opportunity to post information about his recent call for resignation by top military brass.

From the April 17 broadcast of ABC's World News Tonight:

LIMBAUGH: What does it feel like to you to go through these ups and downs and to have practically the entire media jump on the case of these six generals demanding your ouster?

RUMSFELD: Well, you know, this too will pass. I think about it, and I must say, there's always two sides to these things, and the sharper the criticism comes, sometimes the sharper the defense comes from people who don't agree with the critics.

—K.A.
andersonenvy

Oldboy Movie Review

written/reviewed by Slam-a-Jam

Once again, Korea proves that they are more than just a suburb of China:




rating: 7.6 out of 10

Korean Cinema sits in the comfortable middle ground between Chinese action and emotional smarm and the cold, visceral, labrynthine movies coming out of Tokyo. Oldboy represents this wonderful balance that even we Americans can appreciate.


The movie starts with a series of inexplicable scenes. You may feel an uneasy deja vu from the sum of Japanese thrillers you've seen and some sneaking suspicion crawls into your brain that you are going to be beating your face into the wall trying to link a bunch of unrelated images and scenes. Don't worry. This puzzle puts itself together beautifully. The plot begins: a drunk man named Dae-su Oh (Min-sik Choi) is kidnapped in the streets of Seoul and imprisoned in a small apartment with only a television as his link to the outside world (if this were a Japanese movie, that would
describe all the characters). After fifteen years, he is released and starts to hunt for the reason why he went through what only Adrien Brodey deserves.


Cinematographer Jeong-hun Jeong and art director Seong-hie Ryu apprently put in some 95 hour weeks through the shooting of this movie and they probably dragged the cast with them. Filled with camera shots difficult enough to qualify old Jeong for some very high quality porn and takes long enough to send Gaspar Noe back to the drawing board. Violent, but not unreasonable, you
might only want to close your eyes in a couple parts, you freaking wussy.
With one of the longest, best shot, single take fight scene since that one
you filmed with your friends on your parents camcorder, you wonder if maybe
all the actors are robots created to do the bidding of their calculating
Korean masters. Which, in and of itself, would be pretty cool.


The
direction, by Chan-wook Park, is smart (smarter than me, anyway) and splays
seemingly simple characters into all the colors of a gay parade. Despite
the ignoble efforts of Dae-su and Woo-jin (Ji-tae Yu), you care about
then. Park shows an acrobatic ability to stretch his characters and your
emotions as well as an understanding of psychology that would seat him
as a Republican campaign advisor if he were a whitey, mi-guk, biznatch
mutha-effer. Bravo.


Choi
portrays solemn desperation very well, but his skill, as well as the rest
of the cast, was his ability to submit to the vision of Park. There were
no superstars here. Just a vast work of art. Unlike The Simpsons,
which is full of superstars and is still quite a hoot! Yu is the consumate
villain puppetmaster. Hye-jeong Kang, who plays the love interest is just
as cute as a puppy. A puppy of deep stirring sensuality.

The
longest single take fight scene in a

cement Korean building in a movie directed

by Chan-wook Park...Ever.



The
presentation was beautiful, earning it a 7.9.

The story
was complex and well-conceived - 7.7.


Acting, very
straight forward, however there was only a few elements that brought the
characters beyond the most base of emotions. Most of these points come
from Yu who has some excellent moments at the end - 6.9.


Slamajam
factor - coming from the quality of the ending, which I loved, and the
mega-fight scene - gets this movie a 8.


Average them
together - 7.6.



andersonenvy

Chipotle Restaurant Review

So yesterday, I finally ate at Chipotle for the first time. Most of my four remaining friends I have can't believe it, but it's true.

I got food poisoning in Monterrey from some sort of fast food mexican joint that I assumed was Chipotle. I got so sick I actually shit my favorite shorts and had to throw them away in a gas station. Needless to say, I haven't been to excited to try Mexican fast food again...

Yet, it came to my attention recently that it wasn't Chipotle that caused me to crap my pants. It was, in fact some other chain restaurant rip-off. So, I decided to give Chipotle a shot.

chipotleFirst thing I noticed was the ease of the whole ordering process. It's set up like a Subway, but with Mexican food instead of vegetables. Not too creative, but serves its purpose. Quick, easy, painless. Just point to what the hell you want on your burrito, and then the guy makes it and folds it nicely. That's how it works.

My friend Mylo informed me that you can get free drinks if you say you are in the military. I usually would just steal soda by asking for a water cup, but considering he had a Marines Reserve ID card, it was a sure thing. Sweet free Dr. Pepper. Not to mention the fair price of just over $5/burrito, an unbeatable deal.

The condiments section was nice. Everything I needed. The only complaint is that there are Coke products instead of Pepsi. Taco Bell has taught me that, although Coke goes best with burgers, Pepsi goes best with burritos. That's just the way it is.

The food: good. Not quite as fat-ass inhalant good as Taco Bell, but a little more authentic-tasting. Which, in my opinion, is a bad thing. But it was still American enough to taste pretty great, and definitely worth the low price.

If Chipotle started selling Pepsi instead of Coke, and added fire sauce as an option, it could easily beat out Taco Bell. But, it is still a great restaurant for thinking outside the bun, and I'm sorry I didn't try it sooner.

andersonenvy

Artist Review: Jerry Allen Brem

I am not really a big fan of ice cream. Never was. So as I quietly ate my Amy's Ice Cream the other morning, I already wasn't in the best mood. Once I saw the art on the walls, I was in a worse mood. Cows. Cows I say. Cows scribbled over random color. Corporate art at its worst.

We made fun of the art for awhile, laughing at the fact that Amy's had actually posted up 3 different works of cow art (seemingly because cows make milk, the main ingredient in ice cream).

We left the place and continued on with the cow jokes all the way home.


Somehow, I found myself at Amy's a few days later getting a burger. As I waited 20 minutes for them to make their "fast food", I began to look a little closer at the ridiculous cow paintings. That was when I saw it. There was a pricetag on these paintings. They were actually for sale! I thought it would be funny to see a $200 price-tag attached, but to my horror, the price tag said $1600. What?!!?!

Now, I don't claim to be the greatest artist in the world, but I could literally draw these same cows when I was in 2nd grade. The color scheme in the background may have taken about a 4th grade skill level in art, but, either way, I didn't try to sell my elementary school paintings for the price of a used Honda. They got magnetized to the refrigerator for a month, not put in a public venue with a price tag.

I had to find out what type of moron would actually attempt to sell this garbage. The price tag said Jerry Allen Brem. My new least favorite artist. I, of course, raced home to look him up online. He must be a famous artist and these cow paintings were just a huge practical joke!

Nope, all his paintings are the same cow, with different colors behind it. When asked why he only paints cows, he responds, "I started painting cows as a way to bring art to my friends.  We lived in an environment without art, a small town with mostly working class folks."

I think a small town with bad taste would be excited to display anything with paints, colors and cowboy crap, but even traditional rednecks shouldbe able to tell the difference between cheesy artistic paintings and complete bullshit.



Obviously, Amy's Ice Cream can't tell the difference. Nor can they tell the difference between cute little kid refrigerator finger paintings, and tasteful, solid art. A am not a-moo-sed.