Monthly Archives: June 2007

Legitimacy, conferred.

Well, it’s official: Miss Crooks has been reviewed by the Paper of Record, and favorably at that, despite the “No Hepburn” headline. Way to go, Kid!

Spider-Man: Threat or Menace?

Years ago, when I interned for a not-great, not-metropolitan newspaper, a guy tried to hold up a bank wearing a Bob Dole mask.


This crook was far more inspired. It’s not Spidey’s first act of larceny, either.

Bloody, Bold, and Resolute. Also, naked.


Daniel Eichner is MacBeth and Kathleen Akerley is his persuasive lady.

Behold my DCist review of the Washington Shakespeare Company’s all-nude production of MacBeth.

So. We’ll — and this is not the regal “we,” but rather the “we” that denotes “Klimek and those among his confederates who be not wussy bitches” — all be out the night of Tuesday, July 3 to see those cars who are also robots.

But meanwhile, there’s another, less hirsute, even more powerful echo of my childhood rippling through the public consciousness this week, thanks mostly due to a ubiquitous ad campaign for which Rupert Murdoch has paid a dear price. We’re 19 years and three films on from John McTiernan’s uber-tense, class-conscious, sharply edited original — the film that no less an authority than Entertainment Weekly recently named as the Greatest Action Film of All Time, and certainly it’s in the top five — but it’s link to the imagination that thrived inside my chubby, awkward 12-year-old body in 1988 remains intact. Then as now, that imagination yearned to kill slumming members of the Royal Shakespeare Company while eulogizing them thusly: “Yippe Kay Yay, Motherfuckers!”

Bruce puts on manly readiness for Die Hard, Part the Fourth.

The PG-13 rating gives me pause. The phrase “directed by Len Wiseman” gives me pause. The presence of Justin “I’m a Mac” Long . . . well, I sort of like him, actually. His performance as Queerbait in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story showed him to be a mature, insightful actor of surprising nuance, who could also catch a crescent wrench to the nutsack and take it like a man. And so, my fellow Americans, we are faced with a sober choice: Live Free? Or Die Hard?

Or, uh, Live Free or Die Hard? (It’s the summer movie wherein a car fights a helicopter and a jet fights a truck — but they don’t turn into robots!)


The midnight sneaks are actually tonight. But if we go to see that free screening of Barbarella at the Hirshorn Thursday night at eight, a 10:30 show at Gallery Place of this tone poem to revolution, male pattern baldness, and airborne vehicular manslaughter would be just about perfect. Come on, Guys! Hanoi Jane meets John McClane! As a watershed cultural event, it will be second only to this:

What say ye, Friends? Can I get a witness?

Outtamind (outtasite).

Saw Wilco play Merriweather last night. A fine time, at least as much due to the company as to the music. I’ve seen Wilco at least four times in the last seven years, with at least three different lineups, and my impression is always the same: They’re a great band, but seeing them perform live is not essential to the task of getting them the way it is for most musicians that I love. They never dissapoint. They just never blow me away. And that continues to surprise me, because, the snoozy Sky Blue Sky aside, Jeff Tweedy is a fine a songwriter as anyone of his generation. (He’s also quick as a rattlesnake with a left jab, and with an explanation, too.)

And he always believes in what he’s doing, which is an admirable thing. Last night’s 25-song set included only five from the 20th century; only two from before 1999’s summerteeth. The band played two-thirds of Sky Blue Sky and surprisingly, just as much of yankee hotel foxtrot (seven of 11), which is what they were touring the last time I saw them, probably in 2002. (The fact that my usually-infallible concert memory is hazy where Wilco gigs are concerned is telling in itself.) The Sky Blue Sky tracks seem to get a pretty favorable crowd response (and even the folks on the lawn, where I was, stood for the entire show), so maybe the vox populi does not share my tepid record for the album Tweedy said he made so his wife would could hear him sing a few nice songs for a change.

The set, since I bothered to write it down:

01 A Shot in the Arm
02 Side with the Seeds
03 You Are My Face
04 I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
05 Kamera
06 Handshake Drugs
07 Via Chicago
08 Shake It Off
09 War on War
10 Sky Blue Sky
11 Impossible Germany
12 Jesus, Etc.
13 Hate It Here
14 Walken
15 I’m the Man Who Loves You
16 Hummingbird
17 California Stars
18 Poor Places
19 Spiders (Kidsmoke)
20 Heavy Metal Drummer
21 The Late Greats
22 I’m Always in Love
23 Outtamind (outtasite)
24 I’m a Wheel
25 What Light

I’ve no idea why Tweedy decided to leave things on that odd note. It was 10:55, and the band had gone on at quarter ’til nine, but I’m guessing Merriweather’s curfew is 11 p.m., which would have left time for one more. I thought he’d close with “Sunken Treasure,” but I was hoping for a wack-ass cover (“Don’t Fear the Reaper,” anyone?) if not a complete curveball like, say, “Remember the Mountain Bed.” But noooooooooooooooooooo.

News of the Day. Yesterday.

Thanks, Billboard! Your June 20th edition spilleth over with plenty!

They’ve got details of the copious bonus material that will make the inevitable 30th Anniversary Edition of Elvis Costello’s My Aim Is True a necessary purchase even for people like me, who have already bought it twice. (If you started on him in ’77 instead of ’98, like I did, you’ve surely paid for it more times than that.) Also, there’s a free iTunes podcast series chopping up a long interview with the Imposter about the first 10 years of his career. I assume it isn’t the 1995 interview by Peter Dogget that comprised the bonus interview disc from the first time these albums were reissued — in 1994-5 by Rykodisc. This, of course, was followed by the Rhino reissues (featuring different liner notes by Elvis than the first reissue series and even more bonus music), and then the current reissue series which gives you bupkis in terms of extras.

They’re also breaking down Prince’s imminent Los Angeles residency: He’ll play seven gigs (with the usual unannounced after-shows expected) to 200 people per show, for the novel price of $312.10 (general admission standing) or *cough* $3121 (oyster bar included). Meanwhile, he’s already pretty much done with the titular inspiration for the pricing scheme: A little more than a year after the release of 3121, his new record, Planet Earth, will be released July 24th.

Best of all, Ted Nugent is about to release a new record . . . called Love Grenade. Sez the Nuge: “We come from the old school of shitkicker, R&B-driven, grinding guitar lovemaster.” Indeed.

Best. Movie. Song. Ever!

Not by a long shot, actually — the song blows. But I love the idea: a film-by-film recap of the last 19 years in the Die Hard-a-verse, set to verse. So now there’s something besides the title that’s cool about the forthcoming Live Free or Die Hard. Too bad this inexplicably pussified PG-13 version of Die Hard is likely to make 1990’s Renny (Deep Blue Sea) Harlin-helmed Die Hard 2: Die Harder look like The French Connection by comparison.