27 Aug 2009

Kids In The What?

The Hall. The who? Kids In The Hall was a Canadian comedy sketch series that Channel Four showed in early 1990s.

For a guy growing up in a small town in the North of Scotland KITH was a revelation. Only a handful of folk at school watched it and then only a few of them got it and laughed. I thought it was amazing and felt like what it must have been like to see Monty Python back in day. Really random, subversive and infantile.

Anyway I was reading on EZTV that they have a new show in production and given the lack of quality comedy out there (yeah, Entourage I'm looking at you) its something to foward to. So to celebrate this news here is some classic Kids In The Hall:

My favourite sketch. Still cracks me up.


F**k You Ikea



This a scene from their movie Brain Candy.


25 Aug 2009

Try A Lil' Self-Depreciation

Always like to think I am at the head of the queue to laugh at myself and so check out this video . It's some sort of banned or something but watching it I saved my biggest laugh for myself. Watch up to 2 mins 16-22 secs. I am that Simpsons Fan.

24 Aug 2009

Stolen Beats

Back in the day. A not very nice day. I kinda got burgled. Not really a tradtional burglary, more of a....well don't want to talk about it as it happened during a bad time and not in mood to bring those emotions back.

But as part of the burglary I had a load of CDs nicked. I have replaced most of them over time whilst others I have not been in rush to replace. Recently on a shopping trip in Torrent Town I stumbled across an album I had almost forgotten about. A Word of Science: The First and Final Chapter was the debut album by Nightmares On Wax and released on Warp.

I had remembered really enjoying a few of the tracks but on listening to it again the whole album really hold ups. A mixture of Hip Hop beats & lyracism, downtempo breaks and early 1990s house attitude its good to listen to something that has not been produced by a brain surgeon but rather a happy-go-lucky jam doughnut maker.

I would reccommend Nightmares On Wax's next two albums, Smokers Delight and Carboot Soul, but in the last 10 years the output has been limited and at a lesser quality. The last album I heard sounded like a blow-dried version of Zero 7. Urgh!!

I did see them in...trying to remember....1999 or 2000 in G2 in Glasgow and it was an alright gig. They had a lovely red two seat couch which George Evelyn sat and chatted to the audience but it was only ok. BTW I know I say 'they' and that Nightmares...is more of 'he' but with so many collaborators its seems better to pluralise.

Anyway here is the albyum closer from Word Of Science. A real get up'n'jump tune to get you singin along. Its a flac file so hope you can play it. Peace.

Nightmares On Wax - How Ya Doin'

21 Aug 2009

Move Over Cantona. I Love Nymark

Trond Nymark to be exact. Was watching the athletics tonight, waiting for The King Of Queens to start and saw highlights of the walking race. Coming in a proud second and wearing at what first seemed a gorilla costume was Norwegian, Trond Nymark.

However, it was no costume but in fact the man's own untrimmed, lush, wavy, sheltering and sweat laden body, shoulder and back hair. As a hairy man it felt empowering to see a athlete so at ease with his ape heritage. Now if you excuse me I am off to braid my fat-back-hair.

Trond Nymark's Web Page

20 Aug 2009

Justice Not Vengence

Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was found guilty, under Scottish law and through the evidence available at his trial, for the murder of victims of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie. Today under Scottish law he was given a compassionate release and allowed to return home to Libya to die. He has three months to live.

I have been following this closely over the last few weeks, as well as having an obvious interst in the Lockerbie. I welcome that in this age of media reaction and pandering to so-called mobs, that a decision, in face of hostility from the American government and opportunist politicains, has been made to show mercy and compassion.

For me a justice system should be about exactly that. Justice. It allows us to show what separates us from the perpetrators of crime. We hear all the time that we must not allow terrorists to change our values because they hate them. And this is a perfect example of where we draw a line in the sand and say "You murder. You hate. We show justice. We show compassion."

There are obviously a lot of different opinions on this. There does appear a cultural divide between Scotland and America (and seeing the media tonight, a North-South divide jealous at Scotland's time on the world stage) but the point is that this should not be about one side having the louder voice, its about humanity and the what this costs.

The hysteria will pass and what will be left are the many questions that remain over the tragedy. Questions that relatives of those hurt or killed deserve. We have to remember that there was equal anger when prisoners were released on Northern Ireland, when the PLO was allowed into the Middle East peace process, when America and Britain re-opened lucrative trade links with Libya. The list could go on and the involvement of the American government in them and their comments today shows the usual Washington hypocrsy.

So I think this is a positive day for Scotland. Sad memories have resurfaced, emotions have boiled up but essentially there has been shown a real alternative to revenge and a role for compassion at a time when blaming and vilifying are the easy route.

19 Aug 2009

Has Entourage Jumped The Shark?: Update

Yes. Official.

14 Aug 2009

Holiday Tales, Part Two: Viva La France

Day Deux was all about France and its cinema.

First up was Audrey Tautou in Coco Before Chanel. I initially quite up for seeing this but the trailer filled me with dread. it looked like a brutal merchant-ivory type melodrama about pony riding gentry. But I liked it. Tautou is superb as Coco Chanel. There are only a few glimpses of devilish Amelie as she portrays the disciplined Chanel's struggle to find her path in life.

After dinner and ice cream it was time for Round Deux and French gangster epic Mesrine - Killer Instinct. Starring Vincent Cassel this was a film I was quite excited about. A gangster flick with the flash of Scorcese but brains of Truffaut. While Cassel was excellent and the story was a full of possibilities, I was a little disappointed. It felt a little rushed. Surprisingly there was limited scope for the character's motives. And trailerd criminal mastermind came across as a bit hapless. I now this is a four film cut in two but it feels like there must be much more left on the cutting room floor. Nevertheless I look forward to the next installment.

Holiday Tales, Part One: Edinburgh

A week off for me and Lady Pontiac. And here's how it went.

Monday saw our first ever trip to see shows at the Edinburgh Festival. Now I do not really like Edinburgh. I blame a broken nose, getting started on too many times, its poshness, the mctartan tourism and the public school accents everywhere.

Well I braved that and we went to see Rich Hall's Campfire Stories, The A-Team Musical and the stand up of Janeane Garofalo.

Rich Hall, aided by Shatbass lookalike Mike Wilmot and Tim Williams, provided exactly what we expected. Weird and whimsical tales from the riverbank in equally gravilly tones.

Next up was the DIY A-team musical. A small cast in small room with no air conditioning sang and danced there way through an episode of the show, which of course meant that all shows were covered given the shows never changing format. It was ok. A little too tongue in cheek at times and a couple of scenes that were just plain padding. But it was fun and the girl playing the blonde-in-distress was very very funny and out-shone the A-Team.

Finally we went to see Janeane Garofalo. Much criticised by some we thought she was good. While huge belly laughs were at a minimum, her chaotic style and various nonsensical detours meant there were plenty of jokes about America, Scotland, the world and herself. She even made jokes at her expense about her recent abortive performance at the Latitude festival where she walked off after 10 mins. Well she did the full hour and clearly could have went on and on, or atleast as long as her medication allowed.

So a good day one of the holiday. One lesson for edinburgh: Air Conditioning that works would be great.

9 Aug 2009

Five Memorable Thoughts On John Hughes

A bit delayed I know but wanted to expand on my previous post which was posted in the heat of the moment and I wanted to say something about the imact of the american film-makers impact on me.

5) The Class War
Pretty In Pink, Some Kind Of Wonderful and The Breakfast Club all give a uniquely Hollywood vision of class in America. You are either a chino and white linen wearing rich kid with big bouncy hair and mansion or some sort street scum dreaming of escaping an almost disney-fusion of text book lower class problems.

4) Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy
Humm-ana-humm-ana-hey!!!! That's the sort of ladies I would like to take to a Huey Lewis & The News concert.

3) Not Scottish
All John Hughes' films are fundamentally American. And that made them so appealing. America was and always will be some sort of promised land which for young boy growing up in Scotland meant they were a real escape to a world of plenty, pretty girls and excitement.

2) Snow Blindness
Can anyone remember a black character that talks in a John Hughes film? They are an almost exclusively white art medium, unless you include the patrons of the jazz bar in Weird Science. Fair enough there is a great joke in Ferris Bueller when he asks a garage attendant if he speaks English. His answer is along the lines of "Of course I do, what country do you think I am in?" Not making a big deal here just an interesting example of how so much American culture in the 1980s, such as MTV, failed to notice that not all people are WASP's.

1)Every Second Of Planes, Trains And Automobiles
Candy and Martin were never better. One the great comedies of all time. Nuff said.

And therefore I leave my brief memories of Hughes with two tracks from the Planes... Enjoy.

Emmylou Harris - Back In Baby's Arms

Sillicon Teens - Red River Rock

6 Aug 2009

They're Not Pillows!!!

John Hughes, the man behind 16 Candles, Pretty In Pink, Some Kind Of Wonderful, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Uncle Buck and Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, has died.

More to follow but tomorrow I will try and build up the courage to ask out a head cheerleader in honour of this sad occasion.

5 Aug 2009

God Damn Sucking Suck Tuck

I created Pontiac Dream to help release some of the creative and randomn thoughts I have to consistently crush each day in my mind-numbing office job where I basically do the thinking for a bunch of ignorant morans who wander through life in a bubble of self-satisfaction that they are free floating cogs in a machine which will run forever and make sure they never have to look and see the world.

Today was bad.

However Pontiac does the job when it puts its mind to it. Came across these New York dudes on one of the blog journeys the other night. Javelin sound pretty damn good. Check out their podcats here and I am sure you will fall in love with their own take on the electronic-sample-cum-brianwilsonwonderworld-via-ninjawarpism.

1 Aug 2009

Has Entourage Jumped The Shark?

I would consider myself a pretty loyal viewer of tv shows. Once I decide I like something I stick with it through any hard times through a mixture of potential for recovery and appreciation of previous effort.

I stayed with Sopranos after chaotic season six (that was easy though). Buffy after the equally rqually random season six. Northern Exposure throughout its car wreck season six.....hold on a minute do you see a pattern. Season 6 syndrome anybody?

Just entering its own season 6 is Entourage. This unusually un-HBO HBO hit was magnificient for its first four seasons. Despite the questionable acting ability of many of its participants, its tales of an upcoming Hollywood star and his entourage pulled in great cameos, made Jeremy Piven a legend and dished out big big laughs. It has been like the alter-ego of Sex In The City minus the self-therapy and introspection.

But after three episodes of season six I think I am ready to say Entourage has 'jumped the shark'. For a full breakdown of 'jumping the shark' check out an informative wiki page here and enjoy the original clip at the bottom of the post (fonzie + water-skiing + leather jacket + stock shark footage = shark jumping hilarity). But basically 'jumping the shark' refers to a tv show passing it peak and/or looking slightly ridiculous.

So why do I think E, Vince, Turtle and Drama have got their speedos on. Its not that each episode is samey. Thats part of its charm. E & Vince head off to deal with career issues, Drama & Turtle clown around. Ari shouts, Lloyd follows. And for four and half seasons that worked perfectly. What also helped were nice story themes and arcs going from Queens Boulevard to Aquaman and the desparate chase for Medellin.

But for me in season five thing started going wrong. Season four finished with the guys broke after Medllin flops at Cannes. Season five has each one wandering through each episode towards episode ending which rather than gift wrapped were drowned in cement. For example Turtle did nothing for most of season five leading me to start a short campaign to Save Turtle. The writers heard me and did give him someone to do. Too ittle to late. For a season that was meant to be about an actin career in crisis it felt a too much like a show in crisis.

What really killed me was that after a season five (which had all the hallmarks of confusion that cursed the season sixes mentioned above) it nearly had a brave, exciting and original ending. The Entourage was split between competing careers paths, hopes and directions. With only one minute remaining it looked like season six was going to the anti-entourage...but they blew it in way that smelled of creative cowardice and test screening scores.

Now three episodes into season six and yes, there are giggles and girls. Booze and boobs. But it feels like rehashed season two episodes. Drama is now a little tiring. Turtle is superfluous. Vince could not be anymore dull, E is E and Ari shouts, Lloyd follows.

I will keep watching it. Happy Days kept going for a 100 more episodes after fonzie jumped the shark. Not sure if Entourage can do that but out of loyalty I will see where the boys go. But if I miss an episode not sure how upset I will be?