Saturday, May 23, 2009

Just a few drawings

Back in the saddle

Hello everyone, here's a messy list of reviews for you all to enjoy, or hate, or ignore.

In Film:

The summer movie season is well underway, and well underwhelming. Once again I came into the season excited for the onslaught of action romps laid out before me but so far it’s been a drag. Wolverine? What a drag. This move is so poorly written, directed and produced it is hardly worth even reviewing. I had hopes. Well, actually I figured it would suck, but I hoped I was wrong. You might ask why I bothered to go see it if I had no hope…well, thing is I’ll go see anything, hell I saw Crank 2 (2 Molos) in part because the first Crank was such an entertaining surprise- point is that you just never know. And, I hell even mediocre movies can be entertaining for a couple hours. Back to Wolverine. Perhaps the most annoying aspect, other than the presence of Ryan Renolds, what this idea that young wolverine had bones that shot out of his hands instead of metal claws…it’s just so cheesy I can’t even bother explaining it. Every possible interesting character in the film is only given about 3 scenes. The only hope for the film at all is when Xavier shows up at the end, promising a future of better stories and character development. 1.5 Molos

Okay, so that was not much of a review, but you know what, I’m leaving it.

Everyone loves the new Startrek. I was mildly entertained until I had to leave on a work emergency about 2/3 of the way into the film. I stuck around long enough to enjoy the presence of the big 3, with Bones and Spock clearly stealing the show from Kirk. And I greatly appreciated the scene where Kirk is getting it on with the green lady. Remember Eddie Murphy’s joke about Kirk being off “fucking the green bitch?” In any case, okay, it’s entertaining. Decent. I like how they market the film as “a Startrek” for everyone. AS IF the old Startrek movies were not suitable for general audiences? Really? Any who, it’s a hell of a lot better than Wolverine, but at the same time, doesn’t it feel like they could have made it just so much more serious? It aint no Wrath of Khan. Reason? The bad guy has no charisma. A tentative 3 Molos. I still need to see the ending, maybe the good guys don’t pull it off?

What ever happened to cook, scary, and well written bad guy characters in action movies? And another thing, both Wolverine and Startrek are PG or PG 13 (what’s the difference?). Oh how I long for a good big, huge Rated R summer action movie. I guess all my hopes lie in Inglorious Bastards. They certainly don’t lie in Terminator Salvation. Hey remember Terminator 2. And Terminator for that matter? Both rated R.

In music:

I admit it, I’m getting out of touch. I probably don’t listen to KEXP enough anymore. But I can tell you that the new Pink Mountaintops is excellent! It’s my favorite of the Pink Mountaintops records, and I might even enjoy it more than the first full length Black Mountain record (both projects are headed by Vancouver’s Stephen McBean). It’s a good, poppy clean album of love songs, with a few surprises. The stunning Jessie Sykes makes an appearance. Pink Mountaintops Outside Love 3.5 Molos

Jeremy Enigk released a new solo record called OK Bear. Enigk is an artist. He has had a fascinating musical career to date and while I don’t always get behind some of his past ambiguous godly lyrics, they have always been deeply veiled and his voice is the real story, not so much the actual words he is singing. The emotion of the words, not the specifics…he’s a poet really, just listen to Guitar and Video Games from Sunny Day Real Estate…However, especially with OK Bear, it’s the words that come to the forefront. The words and simpler melodies, backed by subtly complex orchestration. It’s a really good album, with some delightful songs. Not as musically adventurous as his first solo record, the seminal Return of the Frog Queen, but the songwriting is more mature and well adult. And aren’t we all getting older? 4 Molos

My monthly whim purchase is an album by King Khan and the Shrines called What is?!. The sticker said something about it being punk soul garage rock and I think that is right on. It’s a good, fun, summer romp. Reminds me of listening to a Black Keys album. If you are in the right mood you will just eat it up. I bet they put on a great live show. 3 Molos

Speaking of live shows, I saw Honeydove play their first live concert in their hometown of Seattle at Chop Suey and they were really good. Very tight, and impressive, especially considering they only have a handful of songs right now. Kate Tucker has a lovely rock voice and I am excited to see how the songwriting goes and what they come up with for an album in a couple months. I think this project has a lot more potential than Kate’s previous band, Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden, which fell too directly into innocuous pop rock. Good luck guys!

In the Arts:

Go see The Puppet Show at the Frye, but don’t touch any of the puppets or I will beat you down. Really, though, the show is great, there are some stellar pieces by a few big names, Kara Walker, William Kentridge, and Denis Oppenheim stand out. There are several interesting videos that I haven’t watched yet, and a number of duds, but the show is fascinating and entertaining. It is NOT for children. The way the space has been transformed is worth the trip, although perhaps I find that more interesting because I spend 40 hours a week in there. 3 Molos.

Open Satellite has work by the artist Seth Kinmont on display right now if you dare venture to the eastside. Seth has created, in his residency at OS, a full size electric carriage. I believe he intends to actually drive this horseless carriage on city streets but I am not certain. It’s quite something, this carriage. I’m not sure that there is a heck of a lot behind it other than, wouldn’t this be a cool thing to build? I didn’t learn that much about the quiet artist, but apparently he makes a lot of electric “art cars”, which, I presume, all have certain connotations designed to get one thinking about alternative transportation. Reminds me of these junk rafts being built of recycled plastic bottles and such and sailed out to the great garbage piles in the sea to raise awareness. Does this electric carriage raise awareness? I think it would if for sure if it I saw it driving down the streets of Bellevue, instead of being locked inside of the wonderful clean, huge space that is Open Satellite. The drawings and construction materials in the space (which were used as he built the thing in that space-OS is a residency program) felt like filler. I do suggest checking out Open Satellite, they have a lot of interesting shows and a gorgeous space-go to a reception and enjoy free Manny’s! Seth K- 2.5 Molos