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Monday, November 19, 2012

Saitama Rundown

2-show days: 32 = 64 shows
3-show days: 20 = 60 shows
4-show days:   3 = 12 shows

total days:       55
total shows:            132 shows

bonus count – crapping elephant shows: 45
                       shows without elephants: 4
                       shows with new 'phants : 11
                       new 'phant crapping shows: 0

Monday, November 12, 2012

Missing Minnesota: Babes

There used to be this band in Minneapolis that were not only favorites of the Twin Cities music scene in the 90s, but also still serve as a memory anchor to my early Twin Cities experience.

I first heard Babes in Toyland's "Sweet 69" on "120 Minutes" on MTV back when it used to show music videos. The song was so heavy and gritty and catchy that it still gets stuck in my head on even the worst of days. I first saw them live at Lollapalooza 1993 and was blown away. I would be blown away again once I moved to Minneapolis and started working at First Avenue.

Before the band called it quits and the women went their separate ways they still played a few shows after I had moved up there. What blew me away the second time was not their music, but their actions when they were off stage. Kat, Lori, and Maureen would come down to First Avenue or the 7th Street Entry to see a band they liked and/or to support other friends' bands, or in quite a few cases as it is in the Twin Cities: a friend's other band. They were never self-important and were always gracious customers, utterly respectful to employees and other club-goers alike. They tipped well and always said "Thank you." Their heads and attitudes were never big.

They weren't rock stars; they were Twin Citizens who just happened to have rocking as their career. They were one of the things that remind me of something that is pure Twin Cities.

Friday, November 2, 2012

WAMA: Defending George Lucas

WAMA: Who Asked Me Anyway?

Nobody, that's who. But after a couple of comments I've recently made on friends' Facebook status threads, I thought this could spark a good little thing to add to my blogging efforts, especially when I am admittedly a bit proud of what I wrote. And so when such a situation arises, I shall cut and paste the text I typed and include it in these pages.

I just began two sentences with prepositions – is that driving you nuts?

The topic of this exhibit: George Lucas selling Lucasfilm to Disney for $4 billion. As another individual somewhere on the internet (maybe a friend of a friend – I don't remember) put it, this is not Michael Eisner's Disney. This is a Disney that owns Pixar, but not its heart and soul. This is a Disney that bought Marvel, but under which Marvel's cinematic offerings have been consistently excellent.

Someone commented on a friend's status post about George Lucas "selling out" to Disney, and that started my fingers rolling:

"I don't think "sold out" is correctly applied here. He had already been turning over Lucasfilm to Kathleen Kennedy after _Redtails_ came out, Disney World has been doing Star Wars Days for a few years, not to mention the man had the foresight to retain licensing right to the intellectual property since toy deals from the first movie.

In recent interviews he has repeatedly said that he wouldn't be making any more Star Wars movies, due in part to fans giving him such grief over the results of his recent work. Furthermore, it's perfectly in line with his intent to back out of the major studio/blockbuster system and produce work closer to his personal sensibilities.

To sum up: the man was done and to hold on to the whole kit and kaboodle would make him unhappy. Or he could hand it off at a time when he was more than financially secure and thereby secure even more money to finance his future endeavors while most likely striking a deal that would let Lucasfilm hold a good deal of control much in the way Pixar did and Marvel so far seems to have done. So if he's in a position to pursue his dream on his terms with security and fewer strings attached, how exactly is that selling out? Or are we going along with the idea that success must be coupled with misery and dead weight?"

If George Fricking Lucas gets treated as cavalierly and dismissively as Spike Fricking Lee – another man thankfully able to make movies on his own terms – by Hollywood movers and shakers because he wants to make a movie about Black People, starring Black People, without some Great White Hope/Help magnanimously Making It Possible for Justice to be Done, then you know the system is as screwy as a lot of people say it is. Add that to decades of dealing with the grousing of grown men and women who just can't get the hell over Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks like adults, and I don't blame the man for taking his toys and his money and handing the car keys to someone else.

But who asked me anyway?