Monthly Archives: March 2010

Is HBO Headed Back to “Making Water … Cooler” status?

About six years ago, HBO ran advertisements playing off the riff that great television shows make for great watercooler talk. The commercial capitalized on what was inspiring the love, a thanks for the “intelligent dialogue” and “intricately constructed plotlines.” At the time, “Sopranos” was hitting a high note, “Six Feet Under” introduced the humor in the death industry, “The Wire” was two years in to examining the seedy side of Baltimore and “Deadwood” was about to reintroduce co#@!%*~r (and a string of other cursewords) to the television lexicon, and the cable channel was on top of the television drama world.

But once the aforementioned series ended, HBO drama fell into a slight decline. Sure, they’ve had a few hits, some like “Rome” and “Carnival.” “True Blood” has drawn viewers enamored with anything vampire and the solidly written “Big Love” has brought polygamy to the masses. But top of the world isn’t quite where HBO has been perched as other cable channels also found that good writing and acting really can draw viewers. HBO was no longer consuming my television time and I wondered: what ever happened to the writers for “The Sopranos” and “The Wire”?

But this weekend, as I watched the first part of the miniseries “The Pacific” (a follow-up to “Band of Brothers,” or more accurately watched the trailers for future HBO series, I got my answer. I literally squealed.

This fall, “Boardwalk Empire” brings back writers Terence Winter and Steve Kornacki of “Sopranos” fame. The show’s pilot is directed by Martin Scorcese, who apparently will have some creative hand in future episodes, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The series is set in Atlantic City during the Prohibition era. Here’s the trailer, which doesn’t offer much info, but it’s got a lot of guns, alcohol and Steve Buscemi:

Coming even sooner (in April) is “Treme“, a series following several fictional musicians in post-Katrina New Orleans. “Wire” writer David Simon and consulting producer Eric Overmyer are part of this project. Here’s the even less enlightening (but pretty) trailer:

What’s the deal with Japan’s need to kill all the water dwelling mammals?

Lately I have been watching a lot of (for lack of a better word)”big topic” documentaries, “Food Inc.” “No Impact Man“, “King Corn“, and most recently “The Cove.” Surprisingly enough they deal with similar topics and themes: cover ups, food, and a great deal of deliberation on ethics to list a few.


The Cove, similar to the Discovery reality show “Whale Wars,”The Cove sheds light on Japans need to pick on a and slaughter another intelligent water dwelling mammals. The Mammal? Dolphins. You know Flipper. The Doc is even lead by activist Richard O’Barry, flippers trainer. Whale Wars sheds light on the slaughter of whales, The Cove shows us the slaughter of dolphins, what’s next Japan? Unicorns? Is nothing sacred?

I recommend this film to any and everyone, a bit of a warning though, what you see is very gruesome, not for the faint of heart. But that’s the point right? This was not the best documentary I have ever seen, but the topic was very important and informative and for that I give it an easy 4 stars out of five. This film should be mandatory high school viewing.

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-Barry

My Sasquatch Top Ten

Barry’s top 10 Bands to see.

MGMT

Definitely one of my favorite bands out there right now. Not particularly because of their debut album Oracular Spectacular (which sounds like a Terry Gilliam movie tittle btw) but because of their Time ti Pretend EP that I bought later. Uber lo-fi power pop, that at times reminds me of the old school innovators the Silver Apples. I havent been able to catch these guys live yet and if you check their website, they dont have many future dates posted, so catch them while you can.

Download Destrokk from – Time To Pretend EP

Band of Horses

These Seattle locals sound beautiful on record and live, caught them last year at bumbershoot and they were an experience that was only enhanced by the evenings sunset. I want these guys to play Funeral at my funeral.

Download – No One’s Gonna Love You

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Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Former Ima Robot Singer trades in the synths for psychedelics and storytelling. “After breaking up with his girlfriend, moving out of his house, and joining Alcoholics Anonymous, Ebert began work on a story about a messianic figure named Edward Sharpe. According to Ebert, Sharpe “was sent down to Earth to kinda heal and save mankind…but he kept getting distracted by girls and falling in love.” Its quirky and fun and the bantering back in forth between Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos. Easily one of the best debut albums to come out in a while.

Download some of their songs free>

Broken Social Scene

Fell in love with this band after seeing the movie Half Nelson. These guys are not afraid to fail and their songs succeed because of it.  They also have this great video where they bought the crowd a drink for “Luck Ones” video.

Why?

Awseome hipster non black dudes rapping and spouting rad poetry that tend to lean toward the obscure and sometimes vulgar.
Nuff said.
I recommend :The Hollows>

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Yacht

Powerpop drum heavy dance group from the northwest. Catchy and kinda ridiculous, but you’ll be humming the tunes in your head for days.

Download some of their tunes>

Miike Snow

These guys know how to write hit pop songs. Some of these guys have produced and written songs with “Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Kelis and won a Grammy for Best dance recording for the track “Toxic” by Britney Spears” Fun synth heavy and ready to make you get your freak on. Seeing them live, you will most definitely spill your drink in their dance pit.

Download some of their tunes>

Passion Pit

Saw these guys at last years Sasquitch. The mix was horrible and at the time I hadn’t heard their music, since then I gave them a chance and bought their tunes. Catchy rad powerpop music. I just hope they sound good live this time around.

Download some of their tunes>

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Fresh Espresso

Seattles own powerpop/hiphop group. Composer/producer P Smoov  of Mad Rad with MC Rik Rude.

Check out the Diamond pistols remix by local boys The File Jerks>

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Past Lives

Seattle boys featuring ex Blood Brothers: Jordan Blilie, Morgan Henderson and Mark Gajadhar. Always a great show, just bought their new record on vinyl, I recommend you do as well.

Check out their tunes>