Limerick #104

I don’t much enjoy bobbing for fruit,
Though some do it with a skill acute,
An apple wastes room,
I’d much rather consume,
More sweets than my brain can compute.

Limerick #103

Halloween is a day fine and dandy,
Some dress scary and some much more randy,
Tho it don’t have the perk,
Of a day off of work,
All I care about is the free candy.

The White House is covering up vital Global Warming information

This is ridiculous. The White House has censored an official report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which outlines the ways in which climate change will be impacting public health in the near future. They removed the references to specific medical conditions that will result from worldwide climate change, ranging from mental health issues to cholera.

The government would clearly prefer that we simply wait until it’s already too late to start dealing with the reality of what’s going on in the world. Again, this is ridiculous.

Read on:
White House edits CDC climate testimony

Laura’s Spooky Halloween Movie Countdown

Halloween Masks smaller

Yes, the time has come again to curl up with your favorite guy or ghoul (hahahahahaha… sorry), tear open a fresh five-pound bag of candy (or three!) and watch something that scares the shit out of you. Happy Halloween, fair readers!

10. Dead Alive/Braindead (Peter Jackson, 1992)

This classic horror-comedy still represents Peter Jackson’s best work, in my opinion.

9. Invaders from Mars (Tobe Hooper, 1986)

For one thing, I love Karen Black. For another, I grew up loving this movie, so I am more or less blind to how cheesy it is. It still stands as a nice metaphor for peer pressure, though — “Come on kid, go over the hill, everyone’s doing it!” Still creepy after all these years.

8. Cabin Fever (Eli Roth, 2002)

It’s not a perfect film, but there is such a handmade quality about this movie — you can tell Eli Roth put love into it. Plus, “Professor of being a dog” will never stop being funny, never!

7. Freddy Vs. Jason (Ronny Yu, 2003)

Yeah, it’s a pure marketing movie, an honest-to-goodness piece of crap that’s badly made and even more badly written. But it’s the perfect Halloween two-for-one, and I would even argue that this movie falls into the so-bad-it’s-good category. Just barely. Oh, and I rooted for Freddy, all the way.

6. Final Destination (James Wong, 2000)

The third movie wasn’t all that, and the second one was a little convoluted, despite its awesome opening car crash, so I’d say your best bet is good old Final Destination. For clever scares and attractive young actors, you needn’t look any further, plus it’s by the guys who did the best X-Files episodes, and I like to support them whenever possible.

5. Dellamorte Dellamore/Cemetery Man (Michele Soavi, 1994)

This Italian film features a strange mixture of comedy, horror and melodrama, with a good dash of surrealism to round it all out. It stars Rupert Everett in the best role of his life, as a jaded undertaker. Definitely worth seeing.

4. Jeepers Creepers (Victor Salva, 2001)

I love this series, I don’t care what anybody says. Yeah, OK, the director is a pedophile, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a good artist. People forgave Woody Allen. Sometimes the films take themselves a little too seriously, but there are plenty of thrills to make up for it, and the scripts are very well written, by horror standards.

3. Deep Red (Dario Argento, 1975)

I’m a big Dario Argento fan, and I could make a whole Halloween countdown using just his movies, but Deep Red is probably my favorite. His movies can be a little off-putting at first, because they’re not realistic, they’re exaggerated and colorful and bizarre, but once you get used to his style, you keep coming back for more. Best horror director ever.

2. 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle, 2002)

This is still one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen, and not just because of the scenes that make me jump. The post-apocalyptic nightmare aspect is what really makes this movie follow you around for days and nervous nights. The best scary movies are all about the mood, that “safety and comfort and society are only an illusion” realization that makes you think about your own life and how vulnerable it is.

1. The Nightmare Before Christmas (Henry Selick, 1993)

What says Halloween more than a movie that opens with a song called “This is Halloween”? Answer: nothing.

Liz goes to San Francisco!

Dear friends, fans, haters, and enemies, I’d just like to let you know that I’m off tonight for the awesome shores of San Francisco for a very special vacation. I’ll also be driving a fancy automobile to Portland for a few days. I hope to celebrate many, many stereotypes such as crooked streets, sourdough bread, and mountains of hippies. I’ll be back in a little over a week with pictures and show reviews!


New Pornographers

How is Neko Case so amazingly awesome? I suppose her power as a head-turning artist lives in the simple combination of kindly cuteness and of course, her stunning voice. Although Kathryn Calder, who sings when Neko can’t make it, certainly does a fine job, it’s really something excellent to see a New Pornographers show with Neko present. It’s also something to have Dan Bejar there, since he rarely tours with the group and only he can give that special zip to the songs he’s penned as part of the band. Both busy musicians made it there for the two Webster Hall shows, setting these dates significantly apart from their free show on the 4th of July earlier this year. And so, out came the whole band last night in their Canadian hugeness, vibrantly offering up many, many favorites, and also a large sampling of new numbers off Challengers, their latest album. The crowd was ecstatic indeed (well I mean, how could you not jump around to these tunes?), and in experiencing many of the newer songs live for the first time, it seemed to me that the NP’s fans are excitedly embracing the latest material. Such a reception was an excellent thing to see, because while Challengers may not be as outwardly energetic and elated as previous albums, it definitely contains other winning features which were only made more clear in this live setting. My heart opened up a little bit more for album number four after seeing this show.

While Carl Newman, Neko, Kathryn, and the others proudly charged through the long set of many numbers, it was funny to see Bejar sauntering on and off stage for his songs only. Not that I’d expect him to stick around and bang the tambourine or something during the other songs, but it was certainly hilarious to see him distractedly shuffle on out at random points during the set. He seemed to occupy a different space than the other members of the band, perhaps one exemplified by the contrasting beverages they consumed during the performance. Carl innocently sipped from a can of Coke in between songs, while Bejar seemed to have a magical, never-emptying beer, presumably refreshed during each of his stints off stage. He’s livin’ the life, I tell ya. During “Testament to Youth in Verse,” with its gorgeous rounds of “No no no…etc.,” he showcased this amazing orange-shaped rhythm thingy. The object made the maraca-esque sound we’ve all come to expect from rhythm eggs, but I’ll be damned if it didn’t look almost exactly like the juicy fruit it was crafted after. Weird, huh? I said to my friend, I said “That thing is amazing. It has the power to both rock and refresh me.”

After all this delightful fun, the NP’s showered the audience with not one but two encores. The last song of the first gave the gift of guest performer Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes fame, which I totally wasn’t expecting. A random occurrence perhaps, but interesting nonetheless. He was cute and visibly excited to be there as they powered through “I Held Her In My Arms.” Sadly, though not surprisingly, this and all the bonus numbers had to contend with the booty shakin’ nightclub action that was beginning to take over Webster Hall’s seedy basement at the time. Between songs it felt like perhaps a small earthquake was underway, and Neko asked the audience why we’d come here when we could be dancing the night away down there. What a jokester. The answer to this farcical question is obviously that we’d rather rock out to their fine musical talents than get inappropriately rubbed against by fellows we’ve never meet before. Dance clubs are funny.