Friday, February 22, 2013

Media blog Aug 04, 2007 1:00AM PST

Not a mustached shovelboy, but a magical boy from the mind of a previously impoverished would-be savior of American literacy.... if kids read other books.. but they don't~ And of course I'm talking about Harry Potter (the mustached shoveler is John Stossel, whose book TNT thought I was reading). Yes, I like the Potter series. No I'm not as wild about it as midnight campers (waited until the next Tues. for my copy actually) but I am damn glad I didn't read spoilers. Speaking of which aren't the internet trolls slamming Harry Potter fans a bit ironic? I mean at least a few of the Potter fans are young enough for it to be acceptable they live with their parents, y'know? Sorta like nerd vs nerd with a shitload of red faces no matter how the battle goes. As for the actual book like most Potters recently it takes a bit to get going in the ocassional chapters but unlike in Half-Blood Prince even the slowest of chapters have some amazing action or unforeseen (but smack-over-the-head hinted at) plot twist. While I was admittedly surprised by the ending I hadn't ruled out the possibility and wasn't completely unexpecting of it, but one thing happened I knew from the start: she may not have left room for interesting sequels but the door is wiiiide open for spinoffs. Anyway it's an obvious must-buy for obvious reasons so really this was just an excuse for me to slam internet trolls. On to Lucky Number Sleven~ I had this movie recommended to me by a friend who compared it to Boondock Saints (a movie I plan to see maybe even as soon as tomorrow since we have it I just need to ask my older bro where it is) and said he loved so I saw it at Blockbuster and actually ended up having what I was supposed to pay for seperately on my mom's BB card turn out to be a free movie! (Brokeness doesn't keep us from renting enough for these rewards... don't ask). Even more luck followed in the week which I'll get to later. Synopsis: Two crime bosses in NYC (Morgan Freeman and a Rabbi who is also a gangster) hire seemingly unlucky Slevin for jobs against the rival territories at the same time when his identity is mistaken for someone named Nick. Meanwhile, Lucy Liu who plays a worker at the local morgue lives across from Nick (who Sleven chose to visit at entirely the wrong time) and becomes romantically interested in Sleven. Cops pursuing both rival crime lords are intrigued by the entry of this unknown Sleven in their crime scene as well as the rumored return of an assasin named Good Cat. Anyway it's a great little gritty dark comedy/mystery movie with pitch-perfect acting from Josh Hartnet and Lucy Liu(whose romance was surprisingly believable and endearing... and no Lucy doesn't get naked unfortunately), and of course every other role is just as flawless so Kansas City shuffle your way to at least a rental. A lack of diversity and some vocal work I don't like can't stop the fun of sneaking past security en masse, funnyguy Big Dave, unsuspected marguiritas, headbanging, nearly naked and/or naked women, streakers, seas of moshpits and raised lighters, and infintely raised fists, evil horns and... crutches!~ I'm talking of course about this year's free-admission Ozzfest. Hidden fees include $20 parking which we avoided, $40 t-shirts that I didn't buy especially when others went for $15, and $4 20 oz water bottles which unfortunately was an entirely unavoidable (and possibly life-saving given the heat) purchase. I arrived with my older brother (who got the tix) and some of the girls he was about to give a couple of the extra tix to. These girls were funny (as were some of the attendants: overhearing us, "Beer 30?! Girl you missed Beer 30 about 3 hours ago, it's almost 10AM!") but as everyone in this group was older than me it was also akward so I was glad to find some friends from school when we arrived to see Nile~ Who taught me the meaning of death metal: as in I will never understand the meaning of death metal. Now there's a pretty glowing review of them on ultimate-guitar's front page (it'll be there the whole weekend if you wanna see my comment) but I just didn't get into it. The vocals were so far to the point of gutteral that I couldn't understand a single damn word, which wouldn't have bothered me if I could actualy differentiate between their songs. I'm sure it's perfect mosh music for others but for me to move my ass I need at least a hint of melody which I don't feel was delivered. Didn't like their song on the sampler CD either Final Judgement: I have nothing against them but at the same time just not my brand of metal at all. I did like the Bostonian accented Big Dave who told a couple jokes and welcomed the next band. My friend says he talked to that guy. I liked that guy. Seemed like a really cool guy. Sold shirts at the I love Vagina stand that guy Ankla~ came on directly afterwards and I must say their beat mixed with mosh-worthy speed immediately cheered me up as to how I felt about the fest and what I could expect to come. The lead singer had a beadshaker and there was even a bongo player! Needless to say I absolutely loved their live set and even though I still couldn't make out the lyrics I could definitely differentiate between their beat-oriented brand metal. Final Judgement: Not the best band at the fest, but they certainly lifted my spirits quite high after Nile's set. The lead singer who had a distinct accent and came from Los Angeles was talking about how he didn't want metal music to die, and right after a set that half made me dissent with that I couldn't have agreed more if not simply cause I'd like to see him make it. In an odd turn of events their song on the sampler CD didn't sound as good as their live set. I'll take it as a good thing just because :) And then we all had lawn tickets for the main stage... but said to hell with that and climbed over onto the seated section when the miniscule security wasn't looking (which was often; understaffing is great which I never thought I'd saying after an unexpected five day workweek at my part-time job) until we almost advanced to the midsection. The first band up to hit the mainstage was also my favorite of the night: Lordi~ is a Finnish and melodic metal band that dresses like Power Rangers villians and sings if I understood their clearly-audible-to-those-paying-attention lyrics correctly about not liking Satan? At Ozzfest? I say ballsy and imo cool. After their firweorks and stage antics-filled set it was somewhat hard to apreciate the following bands that just played, especially when Lordi's actual music was what I'd been craving all day: melodic, understandable, solo-filled music with keyboards for good measure. Some jackass was calling for their resignation from the stage but my mind said fuck you dude while lawn sectioners screaming "Lordi!" said it for me. Final Judgement:I told my friend when they were done "I'm buying that album" to which he said yeah they're good but not as heavy as some of the other bands that day. Well I say their melody and stage presence did volumes more for me than just heaviness. The best live act I've seen so far (to put this in perspective though to be fair, this was my first big concert going experience really). I still feel they deserved a much better reaction than they got.. if only those metalheads around me weren't so obsessed with being heavy. Ah well. "Bringing Back the Balls To Rock" sounded just as great live as it did on the sampler (better even) and "Hard Rock Halleluia" was a great closer to a set of nothing but greatness. Static X~ was, at first, making me understand my friend's heavier bands comment. Later on though I realized it wasn't as much the music (which did help, don't get me wrong) so much as the crowd being open enough to this sound that I could bang my head, jump and react without being the only one (if only I was closer to Lordi, where people were doing that when they were on). Unfortunately all their songs eventually started sounding the same and the vocals got on my nerves. The Hustler girls that came out on stage were a nice touch. Final Judgement: I was more pumped at this point but the crowd reaction I feel was somewhat more responsible than the actual tunes after the first few songs. The guy streaking buck naked in the lawn section was funny. Also this was the point my friend was asked for a coke fix by some older guy but instead came back with multicolored drinks that I thought were slushy's but nope: a 16 year old scored himself a marguirita (his cousin working there might've helped). Lamb of God~ Now I'm not the biggest LoG fan either but their connection with the crowd was so great I ended up enjoying myself immensely anyway. At their request a sea of lighters filled the night sky from front to back. And, in one of the best moments of the fest all of those in the seated section stood on their seats just to watch the enormous moshpit that engulfed the middle of the lawn area, pumping fists and horns at the crazies on the lawn as if some ultra-fun religious annointing ritual. They dedicated their song "Redneck" to the memory of local musician Dimebag (Pantera) and I loved the song and the dedication went over extremely well with the now elated crowd. The crowd's love for the band was no doubt also helped by their mentioning of humble begginings in our own Deep Ellum making "one of our favorite places to play" seem infinitely more sincere. Final Judgement: They could've played just about anything and I'd have still enjoyed it just because of what they managed to get out of the crowd. It at least rivaled Ozzy's reception even. Ozzy~ A few too many slow songs, Ozzy's voice cracking, and guitarist Zakk Wylde's odd distortion and overblown amp were all notable tech problems but hearing thousands of people singing the chorus to "Crazy Train" so loudly you could only just make out Ozzy's voice made up for it a good tenfold or so. Also Zakk Wylde did a very long solo in which he did about everything Hendrix, from playing behind the back, then with his teeth until finally going into a metal version of the Star Spangled Banner solo. Also at this point no one with a lighter wasn't waving it around and the effect was pretty damn exciting. Final Judgement: The man played against doctor's orders with a blood clot in his head, was responsible (along with Jagermeister and Monster who my brother said Hatebreed thought did more than half the record companies ever did) for giving me a free concert festival that usually gets up to $150 for general admission, an he played Crazy Train. To hell with voice problems, (which he apologized several times for) I love that man.

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