Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Capote the best film of 2005

I caught the biopic Capote over the weekend. I was floored, and I can't wait to see it again soon.

The acting was incredible, with Philip Seymour Hoffman a shoo-in to land a Best Actor Oscar nomination; unless he has enemies in Hollywood, he'll win it easily, which says a lot considering the other contenders this year.

Capote will also effortlessly garner a Best Picture nomination.

This film was an exercise in character study, allowing the viewer to see how simultaneously manipulative and vulnerable Truman Capote truly was. Catherine Keener was wonderful as Nelle Harper Lee, delivering a quiet but strong performance. The entire supporting cast was on their game, most notably Chris Cooper as Alvin Dewey and especially Clifton Collins Jr. as convicted killer Perry Smith.

In the near future, I will have a full review that hopefully comes close to doing this movie justice.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Duke visit recap

the ubiquitous old school O's hat, cooling out in Durham (say like Will Ferrell's Neil Diamond in storytellers would)

I had a great trip down to Duke University in Durham, NC recently, where I visited my sister. We went out last Wednesday and Thursday nights, and fun was had by all.

Seton Hall vs. Duke 11/16 @ Cameron Indoor Stadium

Wednesday night we took in the Seton Hall/Duke game. I'll be writing some of my observations of the game soon. Duke looked pretty good, destroying Seton Hall 94-40.

Thanks to Emma for hooking us up with really nice tickets.

Kenin/Badfish Show 11/16 @ Cat's Cradle near Chapel Hill, NC

At around halftime of the game we left to check out a Badfish show. Duke band Kenin opened for them, and to be honest, I thought Kenin were a better, more talented band. The dudes in Kenin graduated from Duke around 2000, where most, if not all, were in the same fraternity (what used to be considered the coolest fraternity at Duke - not so much anymore).

I'm not really too into cover bands (Badfish is a technically proficient Sublime cover band), which is why I appreciated Kenin's showmanship and skill (Badfish were also awesome showmen and crushed their instruments with chops and passion).

Kenin has some really good songs, but the unfortunate thing is, those songs are too complex for the average music listener. Kenin will never be hugely commercially successful unless they change their song structures and look, which is what most people call selling out. If they're willing to dedicate another 10 years to what they love, they'll eventually break through either way.

Angus Barn and the Chocolate Crack Dessert

On Thursday night, I took my sis and her roommates out to dinner at my favorite restaurant of all time, Angus Barn. A fancy steak joint, they have a dessert called the Chocolate Chestnut Pie, which I refer to as Chocolate Crack. I didn't mind dropping more than 300 on dinner, which is the closest I've come to spending 100 a person on dinner (you stay classy, red wine). I'm sure I will surpass that number once I move out to Las Vegas.

a short history of Angus Barn

We went out to a local Duke party, and more fun was had by all.

It was great to run into my brohan, The Bease, and chat for a short time.

my Sis (on the right - the resemblance is shocking) and DC Ashley

Research for One of My Books

I'm currently writing two books. I started the research process for one of them on Friday afternoon (the other isn't as much of a source-based work), and it was nice to see that the Duke campus keeps exploding architecturally, as well as facility-wise.

My current plan is to research extensively at the Eisenhower Library at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, then hit up Princeton's library, followed by Harvard, Yale, and then back to Duke. If I manage to get an advance on the book, which is within the realm of possibility, I would also like to include Oxford and the other internationally elite academic libraries around the world.

I'm a raging nerd.

a small wing of the Duke Divinity Library

another stellar (2) show(s): We Are Scientists/Hot Hot Heat and the Oranges Band 11/19 @ Sonar in Baltimore, MD

I'll have a full review, including a couple of the pictures I took, of both shows coming up soon.

Hot Hot Heat are from Canada, and I wasn't terribly familiar with their stuff going into the show, with the exception of their singles, which I've always found catchy and fun.

about the band (from their official website)

Unfortunately, I only caught the very end of We Are Scientists set (I got held up), which was upsetting because I could tell I would have loved them. There were a total of three bands, with the Heat finishing the night in a somewhat jovial, intense, dancing kind of way. They are a part of what I call the Rhythm Guitar Movement. They fucking rocked.

I can only describe Hot Hot Heat's sound as a happier Interpol, or a more serious Franz Ferdinand. Or to be even more accurate, a more talented (but currently less successful in terms of album sales) version of the Killers.

The highlight of the night was the main set closer, a strong "Bandages" with a little confetti explosion. The light show was also cool throughout the evening, as it wasn't too ostentatious nor distracting, but supplemented the music quite well.

The Heat are the kind of band that guys like because they rock, and cute college girls like because they make them dance.

The Oranges Band are a Baltimore, MD based rock band.

After the show, I spoke with the lead singer of the band for a split second. As it it turns out, he graduated from my high school in 1994. Sounding a lot like the Smiths, early R.E.M., early U2, and the Violent Femmes, the Oranges Band put on a great show for a smaller but still solid crowd of about 100 people, which for a 12:30 am show ain't bad.

More blogs about oranges band.

more to come

Friday night poker

poker night with the guys. "hey! it's Ben McDonald from the 1994 Baltimore Orioles!" we played 10/20 mixed rotation into the early hours of the morning, when i snapped this.