Twitter Explained… to your Grandparents

July 22nd, 2009

So Kevin Spacey was on Letterman last night, and during part of his interview tried to explain Twitter to Dave. No luck:

The same thing happens when my parents try to explain the Internet or Cell Phones to my grandparents.  Smiles and nods, but no real comprehension.

Oh Dave.  You’re so cute when you’re old and grumpy.

The Art of the Trailer

July 17th, 2009

IFC has collected what they call the 50 Greatest Trailers of All Time.  If nothing else, it’s a great way to waste some time on a Friday.  I didn’t even know some of these trailers existed.

I don’t know that I agree with them, certainly (Pulp Fiction should be way higher on that list, and it’s surprising to see that none of  Danny Boyle’s films are on there.  Nor is Forest Gump).  But is that what all Top ## lists are for?  To start a conversation?

This is one of my favorite movies. And yes, they cut an excellent trailer for it:

What’s clear in looking at the list and watching a few of the trailers is that there is a real art to making a good trailer.  If you know what you’re doing, in just two minutes you can really tease your audience into wanting to see your entire two hour film.

On a related matter, if you haven’t seen them yet there are some excellent (and hilarious) re-cuttings of trailers floating around on the internet that make the film look like it belongs in a completely different genre.  My favorites are The Shining cut to look like a romantic comedy, Garden State as a suspense thriller and Brokeback to the Future.

Thanks VSL

More Beck!!

July 14th, 2009

Wow.  Beck is seriously becoming the hardest working man in show business.

In addition to his Record Club and Planned Obsolescence (more here), he’s posted a great conversation with Tom Waits about growing up in LA in his Irrelevant Topics section.  That, in and of itself, is amazing — hearing two very strange characters wax nostalgic about what Los Angeles used to be (as well as generally philosophizing about the nature of existence.  as one might expect them to).

Not to be outdone by himself, Beck has also started recording an all-acoustic version of his sonically rich 2008 release, Modern Guilt (mastered by the mind-blowing Danger Mouse — about whom I should have posted something by now).  I think the deal is that he’s recording songs in order — track by track.  Be sure to check back often to catch the full album.  For now, here’s Orphans:

Modern Guilt Acoustic “Orphans” from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

Happy Thursday

July 2nd, 2009


enjoy the holiday weekend :)

via FFFFound

Planned Obsolescence

June 30th, 2009

Beck has been busy!  Last week he launched Record Club, where he and a bunch of celebrity friends gather at his place and record covers.

This week, he released a DJ Mix called Planned Obsolescence which is available for free streaming!  I’ve been listening to it to the past hour or so and it’s pretty funky.  Kind of reminiscent of Brainfreeze (which is in no way a dig) — but with Beck at the wheel instead of DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist.


Check it out!

The Roots

June 26th, 2009

Love him or hate him, Jimmy Fallon picked an amazing back-up band.  It remains unclear to me how someone talked The Roots into being a house band for Fallon (a regular paycheck?), but these guys are certainly not slouching riding a slow train to retirement.

Check out last night’s performance of the funk/soul/hip-hop single ‘How I Got Over’ from their new album, due out in October:

Thanks for the tip, stereogum.

More Microsoft Ad Campaign Missteps

June 22nd, 2009

Oh Microsoft.  You have so much money.  Why is it all of your ad campaigns make you look like a grumpy old dinosaur, a complete dick or a bad politician?


Of course this all started with the ill-fated Seinfeld campaign which made the mistake of putting Bill Gates in front of a camera for comedic effect.  The commercials made me wonder, “Why would I trust these guys’ opinions about computers? They seem really out of touch.”

Then there was the “I’m a PC” campaign which banked on the underwhelming selling point of “Look! Macs might be cool but some people also use PCs.”

Then there was the mildly misleading “Laptop Hunters” campaign to show that PCs are cheaper than Macs.  And that, given $1000 and a script, a paid actor would choose an inferior PC over a Mac.  You can read about it here and here and (my personal favorite) here, where a filmmaker chooses to edit video on a PC.  Interesting choice.  And as always, all of these ads were made on Macs.

But you were just getting warmed up!

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