Friday, September 25, 2009

Mark Your Calendars: Lebowski Fest DC

Very few flicks are as deserving of exalted cult status as is The Big Lebowski. I can say that to me, it's one of the best-written, best-directed, best-acted movies I've ever seen. And while it may be the case that I am far from a movie connisseur, I know a damn good movie when I see it. I've watched it more times than I can count, and often find myself quoting the movie, or thinking of Jeff Bridges whenever I hear the word "Dude." But my obsession with the movie doesn't even come close to that of Scott and Will, founders of Lebowski Fest.

Since its' inception in 2002, Lebowski Fest has grown leaps and bounds. Now the festival takes its act on the road, hitting several cities every year in celebration of one of the all-time biggest cult movies. I've heard tales of epic costumes and warm comraderie among revelers, and The Dude himself even ventured forth to take in Lebowski Fest one year.

And now, my fellow Achievers, we can get in on the action.

I do hope to see you at the 9:30 Club Monday night, for a screening of the movie and live performance by Black Diamond Heavies, and at Strike! Bethesda Tuesday night for an evening of rolling. I don't know about you, but for once, I'm looking forward to Monday.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Whither Festivus: All Tomorrow's Parties 2009

This past weekend, a select group of awesome bands and lucky patrons gathered in the Catskills for a weekend of music, drinking, music, and quite possibly slightly more drinking. You may recall, I was fortunate enough to attend the festivities last September, and my heavens was it sensational. I swore to myself I would attend in 2009, and sure enough the good folks of ATP put together one hell of a lineup. But sadly, this is not a review. The times, they are just too tight to find the cash needed to cough up for ATP09. O, how I wish I could have gone. If you didn't go either, you'll probably wish you had been up there in New York State, too.

Did you see the lineup???

To begin with, the Flaming Lips were curators. Imagine it. The Flaming Lips, in a small, wacky concert hall (with super fabulous shiny houndstooth wallpaper), probably one of the most appropriate locations to ever see them in live. For some, the Lips would have been enough. But wait, there was more. Animal Collective. Iron and Wine. Panda Bear. Crystal Castles. Suicide. Black Dice. Deerhunter. Sufjan Stevens. Dead Meadow. And many more. Two of the bands present are definitely LET favorites: Hopewell and the one and only Super Furry Animals. Having seen both bands several times, I can safely say they both fit the ATP aesthetic to a tee, lovably oddball and endearingly madcap. Hopewell takes more of the dreamy, thoughtfully out-there route, while the Furries constantly go where no man has gone before, pushing sonic limits and having a damn good time doing it. And who doesn't love it when they sing in Welsh?

I'm going to go back to moping about not having gone and working out a budget for next year's festival. I recommend you do the same. But in the meantime, here's some tunage. For those of us who didn't get to partake in the awesome...

mp3: Hopewell - Stranger

mp3: Super Furry Animals - Frisbee

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Say It Ain't So!: The Charlatans AND Maximo Park Cancel US Tours

One of these would be bad enough, but the news is doubly terribly regarding two of my favorite bands from the UK. Both Maximo Park and all-time faves The Charlatans were both scheduled to be in the DC area in late September and early October, respectively.

Neither of those tours will now be happening.

According to the Maximo Park sites, the tour cancellation stems from "personal reasons". A handwritten note offers heartfelt apologies and the promise to (to try) reschedule. Whatever is going on, we at LET wish the boys of Maximo Park the best during whatever circumstances they might be dealing with.

As for The Charlatans, it's much less secretive why they're calling off the tour. The Myspace offers the following explanation:

"
The Charlatans are sorry to announce the cancellation of their forthcoming North American tour. This is due to drummer Jon Brookes' longstanding shoulder complaint. He has been strongly advised by doctors against undertaking 23 concerts in 28 days as this could cause severe damage to ligaments in the affected area. He will start a course of treatment starting in September and in the coming months to rectify the condition.
Once again the band wish to apologise to people who have purchased tickets and those that had made travel arrangements We are as disappointed as you are, due to this unavoidable situation.
Many thanks. "

It's probably best not to mess with one's shoulders, so while I'll definitely be wearing this frown for a little while, I certainly hope the band will be able to reschedule in the near future. It's been nine long years since I last saw them, and that is entirely too long.

No more bad news, please, bands!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

LP Lust: College Football Kickoff Edition

If, like me, you're a college football junkie, this weekend is the start of the most wonderful time of the year. It's the first weekend of the college football season, and so far it's been a good one. I couldn't be happier, as my beloved Crimson Tide defeated the gobblers of Virginia Tech, and should thusly move at least one spot up in the polls. Give 'em Hell, Alabama...

College football aside, though, this is a wonderful time of year anyway. It's the last gasp of summer, shorter days and slightly cooler temps. Fall is almost upon us. It's been many a week since I last did a post on my record collection. And I've been really, really busy. I've been able to bring home a fantastic array of vinyl over the past few weeks, and despite the fact that I am definitely running out of room for records, looking at all the fabulous covers and listening to the great music, I don't regret a single one.

*Cat Stevens: Izitso
*Midnight Cowboy OST
*Stevie Wonder: Songs In The Key of Life
*Stan Getz/Luiz Bonfa: Jazz Samba Encore (Japanese Verve Pressing)
*Mozart: Symphony No. 35/Symphony No. 38 (Gurzenich Symphony Orchestra)
*The Rolling Stones: Got Live if You Want It!
*Some Call It Oompah!: German Beer Drinking Songs
*Bob Brookmeyer: Trombone Jazz Samba
*Charlie Parker: The Verve Years
*Gordon Lightfoot: The Gordon Lightfoot Story (German Import)
*Peter, Paul and Mary: Album
*Banda de Aviacion Espanola: Himnos Nacionales
*John Schneider: Too Good To Stop Now (I love Dukes of Hazzard!)
*Connie Francis: The Very Best of Connie Francis
*Bagpipe Music and Marches of Scotland
*Joan Baez: 5
*Songs of Phi Kappa Psi
*The Norman Luboff Choir: Songs of The South
*Tchaikovsky: Concerto No. 1 (Van Cliburn)
*The Edinburgh Military Tattoo: Military Bands, Pipes and Drums
*The Left Bank Bearcats: The Left Bank Bearcats
*Scotch Party (German Import)
*Maxime Le Forestier: Maxime Le Forestier
*Gene Autry: Gene Autry's Country Music Hall of Fame Album
*Lena Horne: Feelin' Good
*The Great Gatsby OST
*From the River Thames to the Sea of Tranquility...She's Called Virginia
*The Beach Boys: Little Deuce Coupe
*Dolly Parton: Just The Way I Am
*Genesis: The Soul Children
*Isaac Hayes: The Isaac Hayes Movement
*Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream (London Symphony Orchestra)