Dracula and One Hit Wonders

February 28, 2010 at 7:10 pm (Random Ramblings)

Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap  

I’ve been listening to Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap non-stop since I watched 500 Days of Summer a few weeks ago (if you haven’t seen that movie yet you must, so funny).  So I finally decided to buy their album Conditions and…..I don’t know…..I don’t love it.  I mean I LOVE that song but the album, not so much, I’ve only listened to it twice so I’m trying to reserve judgement and I may decide it’s better after a few more listens but that song got me right away, I was expecting more from the album.  It’s not bad really, it is decent background music when I’m doing the Sunday crossword but I wasn’t expecting background music.  That song is so stirring I just thought the album would have more like that, instead it’s all just a little meh.   I hate when that happens.  I hate when I’m expecting so much from an album and it doesn’t deliver.  Not that every song needs to be amazing – they can’t all be 30 Seconds to Mars but I guess I’ve been on a roll lately where most of the albums I’ve bought in the last few months have lived up to my expectations.   

Not that this is the first time it’s happened, take Being Here by The Stills  

That song has been out for almost 2 years and I still listen to it on a regular basis, it’s awesome!  But that album, I didn’t like it.  Very disappointing.  Or Bitches in Tokyo by Stars  

Great song right?  The rest of the album sounded nothing like that song.  One more…. Dig by Incubus – this song is like 4 years old and I still love it and I thought that album would be amazing.  It wasn’t.   

It’s so frustrating, not to mention expensive.  No wonder people download so much when it’s really the best way to only pay for music you actually like.  I mean it’s one thing when you kinda like a song and you want to check out the band to see what they’re about, but it’s so disappointing when you LOVE a song and are convinced the album MUST be amazing and then it falls flat.  I guess that’s why I get so excited when I buy an album based on hearing a song or two and that song isn’t even my favorite one on the album – I think that is the best thing ever!  So thank you Billy Talent, 30STM, Linkin Park, Keane, USS, Mew, Death Cab, Neverending White Lights, Ashes Divide, My Chemical Romance, Muse, Shiny Toy Guns, Silversun Pickups, Madina Lake, Kill Hannah, Metric, White Lies and any other band that I have bought an album from the past few years based on a song or two and ended up loving the whole thing!  You restore my faith. 

So I got a last minute invite to see Dracula at Casa Loma this weekend and it was……..interesting.  The play takes place in various rooms in Casa Loma so the audience has to get up and move around with the actors which was a neat concept and sometimes you’re standing or sitting right beside them while they perform.  It was put on by the Brant Theatre Workshops and I hate to say it but the acting was a little low budget, not bad exactly, just weird.  Actually I take that back, the girl who played Mina was trying to do an accent through most of it and it was…..not good.  She was trying to be English I think, sometimes sounded a little Irish but mostly just sounded and looked like she didn’t have proper use of her mouth and jaw.  It was so distracting.  I get that you want to try to be authentic with the accent but if you can’t pull it off it just makes things worse.  I’m surprised none of the other actors have told her to cut it out.  It was pretty bad and was cracking me up a little, but I’m also immature when it comes to having people acting 2 feet from me so I was having trouble keeping the giggling under control as it was, especially because it was so low budget.  At one point the crew guy ran across the front of the “stage” – that caused some giggles.  Soon after I whispered to my friend that I wasn’t going to be able to keep it together much longer.  Mostly I enjoyed being in the castle and seeing the different rooms because it’s a long time since I’ve been there.  It was a little strange being there at night with most of the lights off and I was not a fan of the basement swimming pool area – super creepy.  There’s a weird energy in there for sure.  I found the story hard to follow even though it is based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula .  I’m going to have to watch that movie again because it turns out I really don’t remember it very well.  But I will tell you one thing, that Count Dracula is no Edward Cullen!  And I’m not talking about the lame Edward from the movie, I mean the REAL one, from the book.  THAT is a vampire! 

Casa Loma

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Congratulations Jenn Heil!

February 14, 2010 at 5:07 pm (Random Ramblings)

Okay I have been watching the Olympics pretty much since they started and this is driving me crazy today.  To the broadcasters:  can we please stop talking about how we did NOT get the first gold medal on Canadian soil yet and focus on the fact that Jenn Heil WON a silver medal!!!  The FIRST Canadian medal of the games and our only one so far!!!  Seriously!  It’s so irritating, this poor girl had an amazing run, won the silver medal and instead of celebrating Canada’s first and only medal all they can talk about is how the home soil gold medal still eludes us and how she didn’t get gold.

Even the stupid cow (I don’t know who it was but I know I hate her) who interviewed Jenn after her run was all ‘tell me about the disappointment’, ‘is this hard to deal with’ and Jenn herself had to say ‘you know I wanted the gold for sure but I WON THE SILVER MEDAL.  I’m really proud of myself and my coach is proud of me and this medal is for Canada and I’m proud to be Canadian right now’.  And still the interviewer is talking in this very subdued voice like this is the worst thing that ever happened.  Ugh! 

At least Brian Williams had the sense when they cut back to him in the studio to mention that Jenn made a good point, that she didn’t lose the gold, she won the silver.  She had a great run and made no major mistakes, it’s just that Hannah Kearney’s run was better.  It’s not like she cracked under the pressure and blew it, she just wasn’t the winner.   It’s too bad she has to keep pointing that out to everyone herself and that she can’t just be celebrated for her accomplishment. 

So, Congratulations Jenn Heil!  I’m proud of you!!! 

p.s.  I hate the Olympics without Ron MacLean, can’t they just make it a rule that no matter what network gets the rights to the Olympics, that Ron MacLean takes part in the coverage, no matter what.  He rules!!!

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Olympics Opening Ceremony

February 13, 2010 at 3:50 pm (Random Ramblings)

Playlist:  Muse – Absolution, if you don’t have this album you need to get it, now.  I’ll wait….

Time is Running Out

Hysteria

Endlessly

So that was the Olympics Opening Ceremony, hmmm, I thought it was in a word – dull.  I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of the opening ceremonies in general, I find them a little drawn out and overly dramatic and everything takes sooooo long.  I prefer a little more action and a little less people wandering around the frozen tundra for 10 minutes.  I get why they chose the concept of how Canada developed and they wanted to honour the First Nations but geez, couldn’t they have found a more exciting way to do it.  All I kept thinking was, this is Canada, the home of Cirque Du Soleil, why didn’t anyone think to hire them to do the opening ceremonies.  Seriously, tell them the concept and what you want to do and let them go to town with it.  I mean if Cirque can put on a show about bugs that had me on the edge of my seat and completely mesmerized surely they could have done something amazing about Canada’s history for the friggin Olympics.  I don’t know Canada, I think we missed the boat on this one.  Not that it was all bad, here are my random thoughts on the whole thing.

  • I enjoyed the fiddlers and tap dancers.  It was nice to see Ashley MacIsaac again because he’s been residing in the Where are they now? files for a while, or maybe I just haven’t been paying attention.  Last I heard he was well on his way towards becoming a train wreck. 
  • I do think it’s cool when we have dramatic ceremonies like this that we have The Mounties because they really do look kind of regal.
  • I LOVE Bryan Adams!!!  Nelly Furtado…not so much.  But Bryan rocks!!  My very first concert was Bryan Adams at Maple Leaf Gardens back in 1992 and although I haven’t cared much for any of the music he’s released in the last 15 years, the minute I hear Heaven I am 13-years old again at a grade 8 dance. 
  • Did k.d. lang have a sex change?  I mean she always looked a little man-ish but when they first showed her I was like, when did she turn into Alec Baldwin?  Although I will say that her singing Hallelujah was one of the highlights of the whole thing.  I LOVE that song!  Written by Leonard Cohen (Canadian) and every time I hear it now I remember when Bon Jovi did a cover of it at their concert in 2007  and when Jon Bon Jovi was introducing it he said that growing up he always hoped to one day write a really great song that would transcend everything and go on for ever and then he said “this is the song I wish I had written” and proceeded to do a kick-ass cover of it.  My favorite version is still Jeff Buckley’s.
  • I liked Shane Koyczan’s poem We Are More.
  • Wayne Gretzky lighting the torch – awesome!
  • The torch malfunctioning and not being fully erected, even more awesome.  Epic fail!  I wonder whose head will roll for that one.  Also awesome, the camera zooming in on Steve Nash’s WTF face while they were waiting for the stupid thing to come out of the floor.
  • Sarah McLachlin’s song and the dance that went with it were good and I thought the celebration of the Rockies with the people on roller blades and the people hanging from the wires on skis and snowboards was okay but again, imagine what Cirque would have done for that!
  • I was not crazy about the version of O Canada that Nikki Yanofsky sang, I don’t know if it was the whole winter wonderland theme getting to me but it reminded me of a Christmas version or something.  Didn’t it sound like something that you would hear at Christmas?  Great voice though.

The procession of athletes:

  • I especially love the countries that only have one or two athletes, that must be so cool for them. 
  • I loved watching the people in the back ground, dressed in white who were lining the walkway for the athletes because they had to keep dancing and jumping around with excitement for the whole hour or however long it took.  Not that I can’t dance for an hour but it’s usually fueled a little by alcohol and requires good music.  Anyway, most of them were rocking the classic step touch dance moves which cracked me up.
  • I love when countries come out and I have no idea where these countries are located, places like Moldova and Montenegro.  And when I say I don’t know where they are located, I mean I don’t even know what continent they are on, I know it’s not North America but after that I’m stumped.  I’m terrible at geography though.  I  always want Portugal to be in South America and I have consciously remind myself that it’s not (even though it should be).
  • I love Liechtenstein!  In high school, my friend Matt and I used to have this thing when we were at a party where we would go up to each other and say “Where are we going?”  to which we would both answer “Liechtenstein!”.  Which basically meant we were going to get drunk.  I don’t know how that even started.
  • I love that both China and Japan, along with their own country’s flags, managed to get their hands on some mini Canadian flags, and yet the Canadian team couldn’t seem to get any. 
  • I love Shaun White, I know him more for skateboarding at the X Games then for snowboarding but I still love him, and he was walking with Louie Vito whom I adored on Dancing with the Stars.  I know they’re American but I can love them anyway.
  • Man, that was a chilling when Georgia came out, god, those poor people having to deal with everything.  I can’t even imagine the mix of emotions they must have been feeling.  That must be so hard not only for the Georgian athletes to keep going but for everyone who is competing in luge.  How do you mentally prepare yourself to go flying down that track (which I think is insanity at the best of times) when you know that someone died there?  So sad.

So all in all I think it had some moments but was pretty long and very slow moving.  But, somewhere among the First Nations people dancing, the weird kid flying around the prairies, the people wandering through the arctic tundra and the excruciatingly long transitions between segments I somehow was reminded of this: 

So thanks Olympic Committee – I haven’t seen that in ages.

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Avatar

February 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm (Random Ramblings)

Current playlist:  Mostly 30 Seconds to Mars (still), also these

Jay Malinowski – Santa Monica

 The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition 

I went to see Avatar last night for the second time and once again it was stunning!  I can’t tell you how much I love that movie, it is so visually stirring that I’m a little exhausted by the end of it.  This is probably partly due to the 3D glasses which I’m not used to, I will admit the last 3D movie I saw was Jaws which was……..not good, and needless to say the technology has advanced quite a bit since 1983.   If you haven’t seen it you really should see it in the theatre in 3D to get the full experience.  I mean Avatar, not Jaws. 

Along with the visual artistry of the movie I really love the story.  When I saw it the first time I didn’t know anything about it but I thought it was going to be a typical Sci-Fi movie which I’m generally not that into.  I didn’t realize it’s actually more of a fantasy/fairy tale/action movie.  I enjoyed the one liners in it that make reference the war in Iraq and the stupidity of it all.  I know some people think the message that we’re all connected to each other and the earth and that we’re all just borrowing from the same universal energy while in these bodies is a little too touchy-feely and unrealistic.  But I believe it and I think the sooner we all realize it the better off we’ll be.    

Anyway, great movie and definitely worth seeing, people actually clapped at the end when I saw it the first time.  As for the crying factor, I’ll give it a 5 out of 10, there were tears but I was able to keep it together.

Since I’ve been out of commission for a few weeks I’m going to back track a little and even though I realize the Grammys were 2 weeks ago, if you haven’t seen Pink’s performance from that night you need to watch it.  Because that…… was awesome!!!  I love her!  And I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, to all those useless ‘singers’ who use performance as an excuse to lip-sync their shows,  once again it has been proven if you can sing….you can sing.  Period. 

Love it!!!!!  But I did keep thinking how that must have irritated some of the people in the audience who got dripped on. 

Also from the Grammys.  I want this dress.  That’s all.

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