Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Reviews and Such for
the Month of September

A few days ago, a friend asked
me to name some of the titles I
had reviewed most recently,
so I sent him a short list. In
case anyone else is interested,
I've posted the full list for Sep-
tember below. Currently, I write reviews for Amazon (CDs and DVDs) and Resonance (CDs). I've been writing for Amazon since 2000, whereas I started writing for Resonance this month. I've also written for the All Music Guide, Cinema Seattle's Reel News, The Northwest Film Forum (10th anniversary book), The Queen Anne News, The Seattle International Film Festival (program guide), Siffblog, Tablet, and Trouser Press. For the most part, these are music, film, and TV reviews, although I also reviewed graphic novels for Tablet (R.I.P.).

Amazon: Nada Surf - The Weight is a Gift, The Detroit Cobras - Baby, Saturday Night Live - The Best of John Belushi, The Out-
- The Complete Novel
[two-DVD set], Over the Edge, The Pretender - The Complete Second Season [four-disc set], Bratz - Rock Angelz, Ned and Stacey - The Complete First Season [three-disc set], Havoc, Happy Endings, and The Amazing Race - The First Season [four-disc set]. (My second reality show review after The Apprentice...hey, it beats working for a living.)

Northwest Film Forum: Short piece on Douglas Sirk. (In 2003,
I wrote a 3,000-word essay for Reel News about Sirk's influence on today's filmmakers). I also provided research assistance for
the new book and am thanked in it (twice!), which is cool.

Reel News: I didn't provide any writing, but I edited several ar-
ticles for the next issue, including former SIFF director Helen Lov-
eridge's take on a trip to Australia ("Helen Goes Down Under").

Resonance: Animal Collective - Feels, the Skygreen
Leopards - Jehovah Surrender EP, and New England Roses -
Face Time with Son
(debut with Le Tigre's J.D. Samson).

Siffblog: NWFF's Super Hits, Vol. 10 series and two short
about their Down by Law benefit screening and
SIFF's David Cronenberg series. (Incidentally, I just saw A
History of Violence
. Viggo Mortensen has never been better.)

Random thoughts: Both The Weight is a Gift and Death Cab for
Cutie's major label debut, Plans, were produced by Death Cab's
Chris Walla. The Weight is a Gift is the better album. (It's more fun,
at any rate.) The Best of John Belushi doesn't include Belushi's in-
famous duet with Joe Cocker. Anyone who thought Thomas Haden
Church's performance in Sideways was without precedent in his
career has never seen Ned and Stacey (or Flying Blind, for that
matter). He's great. And I guess he's finally getting his due as he'll
be playing the villain in Spider-Man III. Of the two Matt Dillon
movies, Over the Edge is the best. Even the commentary is better
(although commentary on The Outsiders is good and there are
more extras). Feels is one of the best albums of the year. It's shor-
ter and less song-oriented than 2004's unfortunately named Sung
(although I suppose it beats Smog's Dongs of Sevotion), but
works better as an album (in the 1960s/'70s sense of the word).
And lastly, Havoc is the incredibly disappointing straight-to-vi-
deo collaboration between Oscar-winning screenwriter Stephen
Gaghan (Traffic) and Oscar-winning director Barbara Kopple (A-
merican Dream
). It's like a cross between crazy/beautiful and
, and stars Anne Hathaway (The Princess Diaries) in a
performance that's definitely brave, but not necessarily good.

Endnote: Image from Fat Cat Records.

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