The Fall – Fall Heads Roll


At last a new Fall album! American label Narnack picked the group up and for the first time the U.S. release appears before the British. I don’t know if it’s the American engineers, but this album plain out rocks more than any album the group has done. (The last one, the UK “Real New Fall Album” had absolutely no bass on it). I mean, on “What About Us,” when the bass kicks in, the Fall sound seriously heavy and hard, man. Woo! The album opener “Ride Away” is one of the weakest on the album, though–absolutely mystifying why they chose this to start with. (Although, as with most dull Fall songs, there’s one redeeming feature. For “Ride Away” its when Mark E. Smith says “Hey hey” as if he’s just realized he’s in a dumb song.

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Latest Book Column – Library Thing and more…

From this Sunday’s News-Press:
Hot Young Thing: No, fans, I’m not talking about me, I’m talking about LibraryThing! If you like the Web and have a huge library of books, this may be the socializing software for you. Designed by Tim Spaulding, LibraryThing allows you to replicate your home library online. Once up, you can see people who share your tastes, post reviews, browse your collection and those of others, chat with people, and all sorts of things.
Before, I was about to catalog my collection with database software that would have resided on my computer only. But with LibraryThing I get the same functionality and the interconnectivity of the Web.

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The Aviator

aviator.jpgDir. Martin Scorcese
Or Why Should I Care About Rich People with Mental Illness?

Martin Scorcese’s Oscar-nominated, Oscar-designed biopic of Howard Hughes, sticks to what Hollywood thinks “works” in such a film, while it tries occasionally to undermine its self-achievement, feelgood ending. But mostly it reminded me that I don’t really like biopics, and I don’t really care too much about the woes of billionaires, and there is something empty at the heart of the film and its Hughes’ character. Geoffrey O’Brien made a big hoohah in Film Comment about this time last year about the film, praising it for exactly that: the reclusive, germ phobic Hughes won’t conform to the demands on the sort of narrative the story sets out. Well, that’s a bit “meta” as criticism, I suppose.

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Turn of the Screw – Theater Review

My review of Saturday night’s performance of “Turn of the Screw” in Ventura just got published in ye olde NewsPress.
James’ classic ghost story chills

For many of us who have encountered Henry James’ “The Turn of the Screw,” it most probably was in senior-year English.
And for many of us, it was plodding, full of long, long digressive sentences that feel like the main verb has upped and left, tired of waiting.
Yet, in many ways, the story’s influence continues to be felt a full century after its initial publication. Alejandro Amen‡bar’s film “The Others” kept the main elements, but remixed them into a modern ghost story. The two-player adaptation at the Rubicon Theatre reintroduces this tale of madness, sifting out the story from the prose. It leaves the ambiguity of the original intact even as it introduces several more levels of unanswered questions.

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I think we are at last good to go

Yeh, so, uh, how long did that take? Four days, people. Four days to get up on a new server, reconfigure my database and my email.
At one point I was running two help desk chats at the same time with two different companies (ipowerweb, my host, and spamarrest, my spam blocker) while being on the phone to Verizon Online (my ISP). Major frustrations included:
1) Not having a reliable FTP program–or server, I dunno. It would drop the upload connection every couple of minutes, making transferring 250mb of info (not a lot, I know) take something like 4 hours.
2)Not understanding that, though my settings stayed the same, I would still have to erase all my accounts and reload them. This took a while to figure out.
3)Following the tutorials for backing up and re-importing a MySQL database to the letter, then finding an error message on upload. “Line 2048: Error: Unclosed quote” or some such malarkey. Holy crap! Ipowerweb techies of the highest level had to step in and figure it out.
4) Worrying that I missed four days of important, business-related email. Seriously.

Moving Servers!

You might not even notice (I hope not), but I am going to move servers on to take advantage of their new admin software VDeck. Mostly this means for you people that my email may bounce back to you. If so, you can always send it to my gmail (if you know me, you know this address…). In the meantime, here’s a photo of a kitten performing opera.