May 29, 2006

Killing Birds With Stones

So I missed Top Ten Thursday and Sunday's Album of the Week. As the saying goes I'm going to kill two birds with one stone. Okay, so I'm going to use a couple of stones, but one post.

This week I read a few articles that accuse The Red Hot Chili Peppers of stealing the sound for "Dani California" from Tom Petty's "Last Dance of Mary Jane." Though no major news outlets are reporting it, there are several places it's showing up. To settle the controversy, I introduce you to The Jayhawks. Gary Louris and Mark Olson formed the Jayhawks in 1985 in Minnesota. Several of their albums received high praise from critics and other musicians, but they lacked the commercial appeal of other acts that made it big in the late 80's early 90's. This week's album of the week is actually albums of the week. Inspired a bit by the Petty/Pepper controversy but more so by an email conversation with TMF. Here's your albums of the week.

The Jayhawks, Hollywood Town Hall (1992)
The Jayhawks, Sound of Lies (1997)

Listen to this sampling of "Waiting for the Sun" by the Jayhawks from Hollywood Town Hall and tell me who stole from who.

Here's Tom Petty's "Last Dance of Mary Jane" from his 1993 greatest hits album.

Here's "Dani California" off of Stadium Arcadium.

Here's a mix that a DJ made to point out the similarity.

Let the record show that the Jayhawks released "Waiting for the Sun" prior to Petty's Dance.

Hollywood Town Hall on iTunes.
Sound of Lies on iTunes.
Blue Earth on iTunes.
Tomorrow the Green Grass on iTunes.

Top Ten Thursday on Memorial Day

Good Memorial Day to you.

I spent some time watching "Band of Brothers" to commemorate. This inspired me to come up with the top ten WWII movies.

10. Enemy at the Gates
9. Das Boot
8. The Bridge on the River Kwai
7. Thin Red Line
6. Patton
5. Bridge Too Far
4. Sands of Iwo Jima
3. The Longest Day
2. Band of Brothers
1. Saving Private Ryan

Also, here are my top ten WWII related non-soldier films.

10. The English Patient
9. Since You Went Away
8. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade/Raiders of the Lost Ark
7. Hope and Glory
6. Schindler's List
5. Hanover Street
4. The Best Years of Our Lives
3. The Great Escape
2. Life is Beautiful
1. Empire of the Sun

May 27, 2006

Poll

As you can see, I've put a poll question at the top. Please endulge me and vote for the way you get music. I'm curious.

Only crickets on the "favorite book not made into a movie" question. Maybe I need to improve my content.

May 25, 2006

Well Done, ABC!!


I won't divulge any thing from the season finale of Lost last night, other than it was amazing and didn't disappoint. What I will comment on though is how fantastic it was for ABC to arrange for a 3.2 earthquake to hit nearby where I live at 10:38 just in time for some timely suspense to be on the screen. Good call, ABC, reminded me of Matinee for a second as the walls shook...true surround sound. Here are some books that make appearances in the series...so here's your summer reading list.


May 24, 2006

Wednesday Q & A...but first...

...I pose this question to you, average reader:

With The Da Vinci Code being released as a film last week, what is your favorite book you've read that hasn't been made into a movie yet? Answer in the comments for all to see.

Q: What are you going to do once Lost is done for the summer?

A: Well, we'll get an idea about that at 11pm tonight. I have become rather TV addicted over the last few months, but with Survivor, The Amazing Race, Lost, 24, The Office and Scrubs all coming to a close for the summer, it's time to enjoy the warm California evenings. I've been working on getting a job, so I'll be working and will definately take advantage of the summer tours and lots of fishing.

Q: How much did the gas price increase affect your budget for your trip?

A: Well, the project was put on hold, but if I was leaving on June 1, the cost would go from the $ .52 a mile to $ .56, which may not seem like a big deal, but over the 11-12,000 miles plotted on the map, it turns out to be about $500 extra.

Q: First INXS, then Matthew Ryan, now Pam from the Office, are you becoming a celebrity hound?

A: I don't know that I'd ever become a celebrity hound, though I'm not really sure what that means. As I try to expand the MKinMotion universe with a possible podcast, contests, music, etc, you better believe that I'll try to bring celebrities on board in some way. Look at the Joseph Podcast, their show went through the roof when they interviewed Angela Martin and then Jenna Fischer from the Office. If you listen to the first few shows, you just hear these two goofy guys talking about girls and the Braves. Celebrity is power today.

So put your favorite book that hasn't been made into a movie yet into the comments and continue to send your questions in via email at MKinMotion(at)gmail(dot)com.

May 23, 2006

New Music Tuesday: 5.23.06

A little bit of a retro theme to this weeks featured new releases.

Def Leppard released an album of cover tunes. They pay their tribute to the 70's rock that they helped put out of business with their hair and their "hey hey" drum machine. On Yeah!, Def Leppard tackle Bowie, Blondie, and Badfinger. Among others, they also try to do justice to T. Rex's "20th Century Boy" and The Faces' "Stay With Me."

Huey Lewis released a greatest hits album this week. If you grew up in the 80's like I did, you will appreciate some of the gems on this one. Yes, he, like my friend Eric Clapton, has already released a greatest hits album. This one has all the greats on it. You've got your "Heart of Rock n' Roll," your "Hip to Be Square," and of course "The Power of Love." And if your mind hasn't already taken you back to pegged pants and poofy mullets, he's also included some of my personal favorites in "Jacob's Ladder," "Back in Time," and "Doing it All For My Baby." I wish timeless were a word I could use to describe Huey Lewis' music, but it drips with 80's cheese...nacho cheese, pump cheese, accessible cheddar cheese.

So, apparently John Carter Cash was digging through the House of Cash studios and stumbled upon some tapes of his dad of previously unreleased work. It sounds very much like what he and Rick Rubin accomplished with the American Recordings. Some covers, some traditional songs all stripped down to just the man in black and his guitar. Johnny Cash recorded this material between 1972 and 1982. Personal File reflects a premonition of where his career would go in 20-30 years later.



May 22, 2006

Want a Free Paste Magazine?


That's right. A free issue of Paste Magazine. This includes a Paste CD Sampler and a DVD of a few short films and some music videos. All for free.

What's the catch?

There is no catch. Unless you consider that it's the issue that is currently on news stands a catch.

If you are interested in learning more about Paste Magazine and want to take part in the free issue offer, email me your name and mailing address by Friday 5/22, sorry this is olny available for U.S. addresses.

email: mkinmotion(at)gmail(dot)com

Eric Clapton: Grumpy Old Man

Maybe it's that disappointment finally settling in from his collaboration with Babyface or he just realized that he's no longer with Sheryl Crow, but Eric Clapton has become the grumpy old man of Rock and Roll. The 61 year old legend, was quoted in the British newspaper The Times, as putting Coldplay, U2 and Simon Cowell in the same category; award show attenders. My favorite part is when he says, "I think what it shows is how incredibly detached all the current stuff is from its roots. What worries me about what's going on now is that people don't know where it's all come from, and I don't suppose they're that interested." I'm sure he's forgetting how far from his roots he was when he recorded the Pilgrim album. Or perhaps he equates doing such projects as Rod Stewart's cover version of "Blue Moon" as getting back to his roots. After all, to show us he's in touch with the roots of blues, he did cut that album with B.B. King and that Robert Johnson cover album. What the world needs is more Greatest Hits CDs from Eric Claptop, afterall, he's only made 5, right? Okay, enough about Eric Clapton, read for yourself.

ht: cara @ scatter o' light

May 21, 2006

Album of the Week

A lot of posts in rapid succession, so I hope you're taking the time to read further and further down.
This week's album of the week comes from Moscow, Idaho's own Josh Ritter. Lots of Josh's have made some great records over the last few years, Rouse, Kelley, Radin and Ritter come to mind.

Josh Ritter's musical career has flown under the radar a bit. His talent can't be hidden once he is exposed. The Animal Years is a great place to start your love of Josh Ritter's music. It's got a little bit of everything. Sweet sweet sounds and some upbeat songs that could fit in with Paul Simon's Graceland. His influences are Springsteen, Dylan and the greats. I'm posting a song from The Animal Years below as well as links to a two part interview with Josh done by Paste Magazine. Subscribe to Paste Magazine or their podcast. Also you can buy plenty of Josh Ritter's music on iTunes, Amazon, and Paste Music. My pre-Animal Years favorites are Kathleen, California, You Don't Make it Easy Babe, and Wings. Enjoy.


Josh Ritter's Girl in the War

Paste Magazine interview Part 1, Part 2

Suspension of Disbelief

I've been thinking alot about actors lately. You can't read the news without reading the latest about what actors and actresses are up to in their personal lives. Lately with the Tom Cruise saga with Katie Holmes, Brooke Shields, and South Park or Russell Crowe's antics, it seems to become harder and harder to be sucked into a movie and accept the character rather than the actor portraying the character. I think the greatest actor at becoming a character to the point that we don't see him on the big screen, but rather his character, is Tom Hanks. I've been a huge fan of Tom Hanks since 1987's Dragnet. Yes, I remember his films before that; Splash, The Money Pit, Bachelor Party, and Nothing in Common, but Dragnet is where it started for me. After Pep Streebeck, Hanks went on to play a few of my favorite characters in succession. In 1988 he played Josh Baskin and in 1989 he played Ray Peterson. Hanks then went through a rough patch that might have killed many actors' careers, Joe Versus the Volcano, Turner & Hooch, and Bonfire of the Vanities. Then came more of the Hanksian magical characters, Jimmy "There's No Crying in Baseball" Dugan. Sleepless in Seattle showed up shortly after and then the string began...Philadelphia's Andrew Beckett, Forrest Gump, Jim Lovell, heck even Woody. Captain John Miller, a school teacher who became a hero on D-Day. Then a few of my favorites, prison guard Paul Edgecomb, Fed-Ex employee Chuck Noland, mob goon Michael Sullivan, the FBI's Carl Hanratty, and Krakozhian traveller Victor Navorski. Tom Hanks is in an elite class of actors that have the chops to trick the audience into believing they are who they are portraying on the screen for 2 hours. I'm thinking Hanks is due for another 'burbs type movie, though.

May 20, 2006

Top Ten Thursday: Saturday Edition

Due to specific request, here is Top Ten Thursday the stand-up comedian edition. I'm going to go ahead and disqualify some people right off the bat to avoid controversy. Off the list are: Conan O'Brien, Jim Carrey, Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams, Cosby, SNL players Spade, Miller, Sandler, Carvey, Myers, Steve Martin, Martin Short. Most of these comedians enhanced their comedy by doing other things, you may think that Seifeld disqualifies Jerry, but his stand up made his other projects better. Special thanks to The Mad Fishicist for requesting this.

10. Denis Leary
9. Eddie Izzard
8. Gallagher (Playing in Valdez next week, TMF, so it's all about you)
7. Chris Rock
6. Sarah Silverman
5. Steven Wright
4. Mitch Hedberg
3. Jim Gaffigan
2. Richard Pryor
1. Jerry Seinfeld Sorry Carrot Top, you didn't make my list.

Template: Part 2

My template is crap. Is anyone out there able to help me? I just don't want to use a Blogger standard template.

May 19, 2006

John Carpenter Rocks!

That's right, you heard it here first...of course, you shouldn't take my word for it, you should, however, take Jenna Fischer's word for it. Here is the note I received in the mail today along with a John Carpenter DVD. MKinMotion and Jenna Fischer born 367 days and 2500 miles apart. Just don't ask me how she wrote this in the future. And may I officially kick off the buzz for Blades of Glory and Quebec here at MKinMotion.

Presidential Trivia Results

I had 6 entries in the first MKinMotion trivia contest. First, here are the answers.

1. What was Eleanor Roosevelt's maiden name?
Eleanor Roosevelt's maiden name was Roosevelt. She and FDR were 5th cousins.

2. How many Vice Presidents went on to be elected President?
5 (George H.W. Bush, Richard Nixon, Martin Van Buren, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams)

3. How many Vice Presidents are alive today?
5 (Al Gore, Dan Quayle, George H.W. Bush, Walter Mondale, Gerald Ford)

4. How many Presidents served two terms and kept the same Vice President the entire time?
6 (Clinton/Gore, Reagan/Bush, Eisenhower/Nixon, Wilson/Marshall, Monroe/Tompkins, Washington/Jefferson [FDR kept John Garner for his first 2 terms, but went on to have two more VPs in his third term])

5. What is the highest number of living Presidents at one time?
5 3 different times ([1861, Van Buren/Tyler/Fillmore/Pierce/Buchanan], [1994, Bush/Reagan/Carter/Ford/Nixon], [2004, Clinton/Bush/Reagan/Carter/Ford])

6. Who has had the longest post-Presidential period?
Herbert Hoover lived for 31 years after he left office. Gerald Ford is currently in his 29th year after leaving office.

7. How many Presidents never held an elected office prior to becoming President?
5 (Zachary Taylor, Ulysses Grant, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, William Howard Taft)

8. How many Presidents were never elected President or Vice President?
1, Gerald Ford was appointed Vice President by Richard Nixon upon the resignation of Spiro Agnew and then succeeded the Presidency on Nixon's resignation. He ran for re-election in 1976, but lost to Jimmy Carter.

9. How many Presidents were elected while bachelors? How many remained bachelors while in office?
2 Bachelors (Grover Cleveland, James Buchanan), Cleveland married while in office.

10. How many Presidents were elected to a different public office after their term as President was complete?
2 John Quincy Adams was elected to the House of Representatives and Andrew Johnson was elected to the Senate (the same senate that impeached him)

BonusOpinion Question: If it were up to you, who would be the 5th Presidential face on Mt. Rushmore? And why.

No one really got into any detail of why, but there were two votes for FDR, two votes for Reagan, one for Polk, and one for Clinton.

The person with the most correct answers was Jody with 7 correct, Lonnie got 5 right. Neither of these are people I know. Just found the questions and sent in answers. Do you want to be a part of the next trivia contest? Stay tuned for another set of questions.

May 18, 2006

A Day For Mountains

Any recognition of this majestic looking mountain? Nicknamed American Mt. Fuji, Mount St. Helens. Prior to this day in 1980, Mt. St. Helens stood 9677 feet tall. If you missed the news, St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980. Though I was only 5 at the time, I remember wearing masks, shoveling ash like snow, driving up on Cooper Mountain (before all the housing developments) and watching the steam rise. Now many years later, I remember the 57 people killed in the eruption and the countless other lives changed forever. Here's a modern picture for contrast purposes.

Mountains are interesting. Last summer I had the chance to fly in a small plane around and land on the side of Denali in Alaska. In a famous MKinMotion moment, I didn't charge the battery to my camera the night before and ran out of battery before I had a chance to get too many pictures. Luckily my traveling companion snapped the bottom two pictures (the bottom one, you might recognize me making small talk with the pilot), so I could have proof Denali and I existed. If you're not familiar, Denali is the native name attributed to Mt. McKinley. There is no way you can see Denali, even from a distance and not be overwhelmed with it's size. The glacier in the picture below is as deep as the Grand Canyon.



May 17, 2006

Template

I blew up my template. I'm working on it, so it won't look like this for long.

Three Minutes

Tonight is another must see episode of Lost. If you have questions about Lost or want to discuss, feel free to email me. I've purposely (is it just me or does that word look really strange?) avoided discussion of the show on here, because there are some international readers that are behind in the game and I still want to give you non-watchers a chance to get caught up without spoilers.

There have been some great guesses and comedic responses to the Presidential trivia. Keep 'em coming.

May 16, 2006

Interesting Presidential Trivia Questions

With The West Wing coming to an end on Sunday, and me forgetting to mention it in my TV post, I give you these questions.

Answer as many as you can, the winner wins pride over other readers. The first person to complete the most correct questions will be declared the winner and the answers will be given Friday.

(Submit your answers via email)

1. What was Eleanor Roosevelt's maiden name?

2. How many Vice Presidents went on to be elected President?

3. How many Vice Presidents are alive today?

4. How many Presidents served two terms and kept the same Vice President the entire time?

5. What is the highest number of living Presidents at one time?

6. Who has had the longest post-Presidential period?

7. How many Presidents never held an elected office prior to becoming President?

8. How many Presidents were never elected President or Vice President?

9. How many Presidents were elected while bachelors? How many remained bachelors while in office?

10. How many Presidents were elected to a different public office after their term as President was complete?

Bonus
Opinion Question: If it were up to you, who would be the 5th Presidential face on Mt. Rushmore? And why.

Miscellaneous Television Topics

Why spell out Miscellaneous? Why spell out television? The answer to both? Symetry. How many words have I mispelled so far?

Some TV notes.

The Office
Can you believe how they left us hanging in the season finale of The Office? I won't give anything away if you haven't watched it, but I was a little shocked and then all week it's been in my head. Am I obsessing too much over a TV show, a sitcom even? Maybe, but maybe it hit a little close to home. Maybe I am Dwight Schrute... Maybe I am Michael Scott... Maybe I am Jim Halpert... Maybe I am David Brent... Maybe I'm Gareth Keenan...
Anyway, I think the American version of The Office has fully diverged from the UK original. It's about time. I do enjoy the UK version, but only 14 episodes were made, so it's not like anyone is butchering Monty Python or Fawlty Towers, though a Doctor Who series could be intriguing. I find it hard to stomach people's opinion that the show is bad because it's a rip off. Ricky Gervais (David Brent and UK creator) and Stephen Merchant (co-creator) are involved with the American Office. Steve Carell is unquestionably one of the biggest draws of the show, and Rainn Wilson is unquestionably the comic quirkiness of the show, but I think the amazing work that John Krasinski (Jim), Jenna Fischer (Pam), B.J. Novak (Ryan), Angela Kinsey (Angela), and Brian Baumgartner (Kevin) do is often overlooked. If you can watch any episode and not think that John Krasinski is the secret star of the show, watch it again. If you did happen to miss the Season Finale "Casino Night" you can purchase it on iTunes for less than a cup of coffee.

Survivor (Don't read this if you care and don't want to know who won)
I'm pretty disappointed in the ending of Survivor. As I mentioned in a previous post, I haven't watch the show since the third "season" but somehow got hooked on this year. I was rooting for Terry to pull it out, because he was definately the best competitor and strategist for the hand he was dealt. I'm only satisfied with the outcome because I'm glad Danielle, who never really played the game, didn't win. I thought she had a great opportunity when Austin and Terry invited her into their plan, but she gave it up.

The Amazing Race
Also, as I've mentioned before, I've never watched Amazing Race before, but this season dragged me in at the second episode and I've been watching ever since. I think it's pretty fascinating and I'm happy to see these final 3 teams compete for the finale. "The Hippies" in the show have an inspiring outlook on life and the game despite the way they've been treated by the others.

Lost
Oh my. I will spare you any theories on the show, because I know there are people who haven't caught up to the latest episode yet. This show continues to blow my mind. It's perhaps the best action/drama/adventure/mystery series ever on television...there I go spelling it out again, but admit it; it sounds better than TV. If you don't know already, you can watch the latest episode on ABC.com for free. Just click launch and chose Lost. You're also able to watch other ABC shows, too. It's a pretty slick in browser player with an incredibly well done compression and there is no lag or buffering hangups. You have to endure a couple of commercials, but all in all, it's pretty sweet.

I just rewatched "?" because I had a few questions floating in my head. Questions answered; I continue with my theories...but with even more ?'s than before. Lost is also available on iTunes, where you can download every episode to catch up with this phenomenon.

New Music Tuesday: May 16

Tim Easton released Ammunition today. Easton is a singer songwriter that I've admired for about a year now. He's on lots of lists of great modern songwriters...including my list. Ammunition is available on iTunes and Amazon.

The Raconteurs are a "supergroup" composed most famously of Jack White of the White Stripes. Brendan Benson also contributes songwriting duties, and Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler from the Greenhornes fill out the line up. The record has been buzzed about for months with lots of tracks leaked. I like the sound, I like the album. Plenty of guitar rock. Broken Boy Soldiers is available on iTunes and Amazon.

T Bone Burnett, mentioned in my Bono tangent, has released both the Greatest Hits record and his new album The True False Identity. I've heard enough of both of these albums to highly recommend them to you. And speaking of Bono, have you caught his World Cup commercials? Both The True False Identity and Twenty Twenty are available on iTunes and Amazon.
Twenty Twenty - The Essential T Bone Burnett [iTunes] [Amazon]
The True False Identity [iTunes] [Amazon]

Mason Jennings released Boneclouds today. Some of you may be interested in Mason Jennings because of his connection to Jack Johnson. Although, there are some similarities in the friends' music, Mason Jennings has a sound of his own. Boneclouds is a brilliant set of songs. I highly recommend checking it out. You can probably say this by heart now, but Boneclouds is available on iTunes and Amazon.

Other new releases: the legendary Charlie Musselwhite released Delta Hardware.

May 15, 2006

Kaboom


Kaboom is a free concert produced by KFOG, a local SF radio station. Last year, KFOG lined up Kathleen Edwards, Jon Butler Trio and The Wallflowers. In 2004, The Waifs, Robert Randolph and Train. This year, somewhat local Jackie Greene opened for KT Tunstall followed by Los Lonely Boys. All three were good. I've never been a big fan of Los Lonely Boys, but they put on a great show. KT was fantastic, but you all knew I'd say that. It was followed by an amazing fireworks display. Growing up, during the Independence Day barrage, we were all told that the biggest fireworks display west of the Mississippi is in Fort Vancouver. That may be the case on the 4th of July, but I've never seen a bigger or better fireworks display than Saturday night. It was choreographed to music and I literally got chills when City of Blinding Lights played to fireworks trailing down through the evening sky. Not bad for a free event. 250,000 people agreed.

Here's video of the amazing fireworks show.

Tip, Trick and Tool #2

I mentioned Skype a few posts ago when I announced I was looking for a podcast partner. I could hear some of you say audibly when you read the post, "What is this thing you call Skype?"
Well, Skype is a form of VOIP or internet phone. It's free software and it's free to contact other Skype users. All you need is a microphone and headphones. Right now Skype is running a promo until the end of the year that allows you to make calls to phones (cell phones or land lines) in the US or Canada. You can set Skype up to have a phone number that people call, but that costs some money. Basically it's like IM but with your voice. Check it out. And add me to your Skype...user name MKinMotion, of course.
Skype

While we're talking VOIP, if you are interested in Vonage service, let me know and I'll get you a coupon. If you don't know what Vonage is, it's just like a landline, but better. All you need is a broadband internet connection, which judging by my traffic reports, you've got that covered. You receive a box that functions as your Vonage converter as well as a pretty sweet router. Unlike your current landline, though, there is a web based interface that lets you set up Voice Mail (it will send you the mp3 of the voice mail in your email the second it's deposited), Call Forwarding is standard, and the web interface includes a call log, so you can check who's calling from work or any other remote place. You can assign yourself any number Vonage has access to, so if you want to assign yourself a St. Paul, Minnesota number but you live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, you can. You can also pay a little extra and get a toll free number too. So, like I said if you want a coupon for a free month of Vonage, send me an email.

MKinMotion(at)gmail(dot)com

I guess if you want a gmail account, also, I can send you an invitation.

Album of the Week


A day late on the Album of the Week.

This week's album comes from Sufjan Stevens. Lots of buzz about Sufjan...mainly because he is an incredible talent. His religious themes are a turn off to some, a turn on to others, and unrecognizable to a lot. The themes are subtle enough that some of the only thoughts that go through your head are "This stuff is amazing." I was walking last week up a hill and then along the ridge at the top of the hill and then back down and had Illinoise/Illinois playing on my iPod. The songs were like cuts on a soundtrack of a movie about my struggle to climb, the majesty of the view and the thrill of descent. You have to know an album is incredible if mere outtakes of the album released on a separate album are being considered one of the best albums of 2006. So take my word for it, you deserve to have Illinoise/Illinois in your collection...perhaps on your iPod, your movie will take you to fantastic places.

iTunes

May 11, 2006

Top Ten Thursday: Monster Movies

As many of you know, I'm a big fan of The Office. Both the British version and the American version. Well, anyone who's been to my myspace page, you know that in my "Top 8" is Pam. Yes, it's a myspace page that is operated by Jenna Fischer, the actress who plays Pam (the receptionist, for those of you living under a rock...and, if you're living under a rock, see if my Boba Fett action figure is under there, I put him under a rock when I was a kid and never found him again...I think about him just about anytime someone uses the living under a rock metaphor). Back to Pam. She had a blog post today mentioning that she and her husband (James Gunn) go to Hollywood functions and get giftbags of Swag (Stuff We All Get). She listed a bunch of things she was going to part with and all you had to do to get it was comment on her blog post. I spotted a John Carpenter DVD on the list so I commented and I got it. She will be sending it to me with a personal note on Dunder-Mifflin letterhead. Very cool. If you don't know already, her husband, James Gunn wrote the screenplay for the remake of Dawn of the Dead. He also wrote and directed Slither that may or may not still be in a theater near you. So this week's top ten list is monster movies.

10.Underworld (2003) Vampires vs. Werewolves...what's wrong with that?



9. Dawn of the Dead (1978) Yes, I rate the remake above the original, but I did have a visceral reaction to the zombies in this one not too long ago.



8. Teen Wolf (1984) What?



8. 28 Days Later (2004) For those of you who don't believe me about Teen Wolf.



7. Dawn of the Dead (2004) A fast zombie is a scary zombie.



6. Evil Dead 2/Army of Darkness (1987/1993) Don't get your soul swallowed.



5. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)



4. Predator (1987) Former Minnesota Governor and current California Governor...is Apollo Creed next?



3. Lost Boys (1987) Jack Bauer as a vampire, who beats that?



2. Shaun of the Dead (2004)



1. Night of the Living Dead (1968)



Honorable Mentions: Vampire's Kiss, Van Helsing, Ghost Busters, The Mummy, Nosferatu, Shadow of the Vampire.

Wednesday Q & A on Thursday

You can take part in Wednesday Q & A by sending your question(s) to MKinMotion(at)gmail(dot)com.

Q: How do you find out about music I've never heard of?

A: There's a revolution going on in the music world. In the old days, you might have heard a DJ on a radio station mention that a band was coming out with a new album or they would play a new song. Now in the digital age, you can keep up with your favorite bands through their websites or through their myspace pages. When I set up my myspace account, I added a bunch of musicians and bands that I like. Wily as music industry people are, sometimes a musician or their agent/manager will cruise through a similar band's myspace page and send out either messages or friend requests saying that you might like us if you like them sort of deal. Another peice of this revolution going on is the mp3 blog. When I was writing reviews of my experience at the Austin City Limits Festival on my blog, I stumbled on a couple of other people who were reviewing the festival. Because of the wonder of RSS, I subscribed to their blog and have "kept in touch" ever since. There are countless mp3 blogs out there, but here are a few of my favorites:

An Aquarium Drunkard (taken from the Wilco lyric)
I am fuel, You are friends (From Pearl Jam's Leash, huge PJ fan, here)
Gorilla vs. Bear
My Old Kentucky
Rock Insider

I also keep up with podcasts from KEXP and KCRW. I've also adopted the idea of not being afraid to listen to new music. If I don't like it, I don't like it, but sometimes I do, and when I do, I tell you about it. I also read Paste Magazine.

Q: Where is Dublin, California?

A: Right here.

Q: Why do you use MKinMotion instead of your name?

A: It's a shread of anonymity. If you Google my last name, it directs to this blog, so deep down there must be a connection. It started with the BLB website circa 2003. Bolokai and Noveau Riche already had nicknames and I didn't. When I started my first blog, I realized that my last name isn't the easiest thing to spell...ok I realized that it wasn't easy to spell the day I first tried to spell it. So it had to be something a little easier to remember. Hopefully, I've been saved in your favorites, so you never have to remember. I have no problem sharing my first name, though...it's Matt, nice to meet you. It also allows me to sometimes write in the third person without standing too Costanzish.

Q: Didn't you used to pitch? Would you walk Barry Bonds?

A: Yes I used to pitch 100 years ago. If I were a Major League pitcher, I would talk with the pitching coach and the manager before the game and see what they thought. If I didn't get the sign to intentionally walk Barry, I would pitch to him, but I might try to throw 2 seamers to the outside corner. In fact, now that I mention it, all my fast balls were 2 seam fastballs...they tail to the right as they approach the plate. I might think twice about pitching to Albert Pujols though...or McGwire in his day. Right handers are harder to fool with junk. Enough baseball...if you want more baseball, head over to One, Two, Three Strikes, my sports blog. It's not just baseball, and if you lived through my brutal College Football gambling posts last fall, you know where you can learn how to lose money come fall.

Don't like the answers? Send your own questions...mkinmotion(at)gmail(dot)com.

May 10, 2006

?

Lost is a must watch tonight. With a title like '?,' will there be more questions or answers tonight? If you haven't started to watch Lost, yet...do yourself a favor and rent the first season and then get caught up with the second season any way you can...the last 4 episodes of the season promise to take us further than we ever hoped to go when that plane ripped apart.

The Wolfman Returneth

Did you know that Halloween is perhaps the biggest holiday in Alaska? Behind only New Year's, Summer Solstice, and Christmas, Halloween is huge. I grew up in Portland where you still look at people dressed up for halloween as a bit strange. I worked at a coffee shop for a couple years in Portland and it always struck me as funny when regulars would show up for their daily specialty coffee beverage dressed as a cowboy or a vampire when I'm used to them in their business casual. Casual Fridays were a whole different ballgame. Anyway, I developed a philosophy that regardless of what you dressed up as for Halloween, if you were an adult, you were dressed like a clown. Something happened in 2004 that changed that idea enough to get me to don makeup and become a wolfman. Riche and I decided that it would be more fun to go big than to not go at all. I still wore my MKinMotion costume to work, but on the Saturday just before Halloween, we got freaky. Both of us are big fans of monster movies, so deciding on costumes wasn't too difficult. He chose to be a zombie...stage 3, if you're familiar with the lingo. And I chose a wolfman. You can't pronounce the soft 'a' in wolfman, though...the pronunciation sounds more like wulfmn...like Wilford Bremly would say it. If you know the legend of wolfmen, you know that they live fairly normal lives and then caught in the middle of their normal evening activities, bust out into a wolf person...there I got the gender sensitive title. Anyway, my character was on vacation somewhere tropical when he wolfed out.

To make my long story end, I will say that when we went out on the town, we managed to catch The Whipsaws. I've mentioned this before, but I know you need a reminder. They're playing the Rock Creek Tavern on Thursday night. If I were in Portland, I'd be dragging you there myself, but I'm not, so you'll have to go on your own. I know, Portland readers are just part of my readers, but the Whipsaws are giving too many cities the privelege of hearing them live. You can however, pick up their CD from Portland based CD Baby. So here's picture proof of a zombie and wolfman brawl and a little taste of the Whipsaws.


The Whipsaws - Hillbilly Heroin

Wednesday, May 10 - Salem, OR - Boon's Treasury
Thursday, May 11 - Hillsboro, OR - Rock Creek Tavern
Friday, May 12 - Portland, OR - The White Eagle Saloon
Saturday, May 13 - Eugene, OR - Sam Bond's Garage

There are some Seattle dates, if you're interested, visit their myspace page. Then, yes Alaskans, they're back in state.

May 9, 2006

New Music Tuesday: Gneilium Simonium

The title is my way of mashing a few of the new releases together. I'll take it step by step and slowly so you can keep up with me.

Gnarls Barkley finally released their well buzzed album St. Elsewhere. I'm still not sold on these guys, but I have to admit the single is very catchy. Here's Crazy to give you an idea. I'm also letting you hear Ray Lamontagne's cover version of Crazy.

Gnarls Barkley - Crazy (Sorry about the 96kbps, but it's a sample afterall)
Ray LaMontagne - Crazy (If you haven't checked out Ray's stuff, you're missing a big peice of life)

Neil Young has been streaming his new album on his web site for a couple of weeks, but it's now out there and available. Living With War, yes as you might imagine, is an anti-war record. I'm posting "Shock and Awe" as a sample.

Neil Young - Shock & Awe

Paul Simon released Surprise, and while I don't have any tracks for you to sample, nor have I heard any of it in entirety, it's Paul Simon, so it's worth checking out.

And last but not least, to end my title, Stadium Arcadium from the Chili Peppers. It's a double album and every song I've heard rocks. If you didn't catch their SNL performance Saturday, I'm very sorry. John Frusciante is incredible.

Gnarls Barkley (iTunes)
Red Hot Chili Peppers (iTunes)
Neil Young (iTunes)
Paul Simon (iTunes)
The Stills (iTunes)
Snow Patrol (iTunes)
Chris Isaak (iTunes)
Jolie Holland (iTunes)

Remember any purchases through this blog help support the project. Amazon links below and the links to albums above go to iTunes. As always, the mp3s posted are for sampling purposes only and are only designed to encourage you to purchase the music. By the way, did you put the title together?




RHCP 468x60

May 7, 2006

Album of the Week

This week's album of the week coincides with the future New Music Tuesday post. No it's not a Red Hot Chili Peppers album. This week's album of the week is the 2003 release from the Stills. Listening to Logic Will Break Your Heart, you might get flashbacks of Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure or the Smiths. It's hip Indie music at its best. The album kicks off with the hit "Lola Stars and Stripes" and closes out with "Yesterday Never Tomorrows." Beyond the catchy lyrics is a band that seems to effortlessly make wonderful music together. You can check out a couple sample tracks below and also a link to their recent podcast on KEXP pimping their album due out this week, which could be even better than Logic.


Still in Love Song (Box.net)
Still In Love Song


Lola Stars and Stripes (Box.net)
Lola Stars and Stripes



KEXP Podcast



May 6, 2006

The New Colossus in the Border Towns

"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


Our nation is struggling through the issue of immigration right now. There are lots of ideas floating around. And while I don't think there's an easy solution to it, I do think there are some decisions that could be made that would improve the situations. The poem above is "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus. It was written and published in a book of writings to raise money for the Statue of Liberty, then later was chosen to be engraved on the statue.

People get pretty fired up about immigration, regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum. It seems not to be a partisan issue, but instead it crosses all geographic, economic, and sociopolitical borders. Rather than examine all the opinions out there for and against immigration reform, I'm simply going to outline my opinion.

I believe immigration is what makes America the country she is today. My great-great-great-great grandparents immigrated from several places across Europe in the 1800's. One of those ancestors came to the U.S. in 1806. Just to put that into perspective, Thomas Jefferson was president and Napoleon was ruling France. He was quickly put into service in the War of 1812.

I believe immigration in the long run and often times in the short run, will make America a stronger country. Jobs seem to be one of the key issues. As long as America wants to develop economically, it must accept the immigrant worker.

There are already millions of immigrants in the U.S. from Central America, South America, the Caribbean, East Asia, Canada, Europe, and many other places.

Am I proposing that San Diego, El Paso, Niagra Falls, Blaine, Miami, Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York become modern day Ellis Islands? To a certain extent, I guess I am. I believe in measured amnesty for illegal immigrants that are already here in the U.S. that have shown themselves to be productive and employable. My biggest problem with illegal immigration is that we don't know who's here. That's the CIA/FBI/NSA's biggest nightmare is that people whose intent it is to hurt or destroy America or Americans are sliding through the fences of Tijuana. While I don't doubt a terrorist's ease at cracking our border, I do think that the well funded terrorists have more sophisticated means...this saying nothing of people who are legal U.S. citizens that wish to hurt America or Americans.

So it ought to be easier to gain U.S. citizenship for those who are here and working. This would force employers in the construction, agriculture and these other immigrant friendly industries to document their books a little better and the hard working honest immigrants would be allowed to contribute to federal, state and local governments by paying taxes on documented wages. It may drive the cost of goods up for all of us, but that just might be the cost of a progressive United States.

In jobs I've had, I've worked with several immigrants, some legal, some illegal. What opened my eyes more than anything in these experiences was how smart and willing to contribute these people are. They work in restaurants or clean schools or help put up and take down tents not because that's all they're qualified for, but because the language barrier prevents them from pursuing the types of jobs they had in their native countries. I've worked with men who were police officers, government officials, programmers, teachers and other well-respected jobs. They give up that in order for the opportunities that the U.S. has but in turn end up sweeping floors or working manual labor because it's hard to grasp a new language as an adult. I know if circumstances were different for me and something forced me to have to learn a new language at my age, I might resign myself to doing a job that didn't require me to interact too much with non-english speakers. I took 3 years of Spanish in high school and I would still struggle on the streets of Oaxaca or Mexicali or Madrid, let alone having to learn such a complex language as English. I try to put myself in the shoes of the immigrant...I'm born and raised on the West Coast of the U.S. and suddenly opportunity lies in China, would I be able to learn Cantonese or would I take a job lifting heavy things in order to avoid conversation?

I'm not telling you how to think or where to land on the immigration field, I'm just asking you to educate yourself and go beyond what your favorite or least favorite politician, comedian or network anchor says and figure out for yourself how it effects you, your town, your country.

I thought about putting a list of organizations that are on both sides of the immigration debate, but a simple Google search will get you what you want. Let me know what you learn.

mkinmotion[at]gmail[dot]com

May 5, 2006

Guacamole: Mashed

On May 5, 1862, General Ignacio Zaragoza and 4500 Mexican men took on 6500 French soldiers in what appeared to be a very lopsided affair in the Battle of Puebla. The Mexicans defeated the French, but lit a fire in the Europeans to send more men. All of this occurred while the United States was in the middle of the Civil War. In fact, one of the key reasons that the French wanted to quickly march in and take over Mexico was they wanted to aid the Confederate States in the Civil War. Not many Americans spent May 5, 1862 drinking Tequila and having Jalapeno eating contests.

As I mentioned before, I missed the new music Tuesday post, so I will take you from The Battle of Puebla Day to Guacamole, which I'm sure you're aware is made with avocados. An easy segue to Pearl Jam's self titled album that was released on Tuesday.

Anyone who knows me, knows Pearl Jam is one of my favorite bands. I've mentioned Ten before in the album cover series. In 1994, Pearl Jam broadcast a concert on the radio. Thanks to Erik, I had a copy of this. I listened to that show so much that I Rattle-and-Hummed it by memorizing every word. Recently I found that very show in MP3 and it brought back all of the excitement of waiting for Vitalogy to be released. It's been just over 12 years since that concert was broadcast and Pearl Jam are now on their 8th studio album. Before Dave Letterman talked every night about having Oprah on his show, he would plead through his cameras for Pearl Jam to come on the show. Well Oprah has been on the show and last night, once again Pearl Jam graced the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theater. After the show was done taping, the band played several songs from the new album as well as a trip back in time. They recorded the show and posted it on the Late Show web site. There are more than two things that make Pearl Jam amazing, but in watching/listening to Pearl Jam, it's clear that my favorite two things about them are the relationship between Mike McCreedy and Stone Gossard's guitars and Eddie Vedder using his voices as an instrument; more than what's coming out of his mouth, it's how it's interacting with the music. So pick up the new album, and check out the other titles that came out this week.




May 4, 2006

Top Ten Thursday: Rolling Stone Covers

Rolling Stone Magazine is about to release their 1000th issue, so in honor of that and to kick off the new Thursday feature, here's the Top Ten Rolling Stone covers...of my life time...

10. December 1975, Jack Nicholson (Pre Laker Fan days)

9. June, 1981 Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones on top of the world)

8. March 1984, The Police (They probably weren't enjoying themselves at this photo shoot)

7. January 2002, George Harrison (tribute to the silent Beatle after his death)

6. June 1994, Counting Crows (This made my year as I was already a huge Crows fan)

5. July 1980, Billy Dee Williams, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford (Dude, she's your sister)

4. April 1992, Nirvana (Two years before Cobain takes his life...love the T-Shirt "Corporate Magazines Still Suck")

3. December 1984, Bruce Springsteen (The Born in the USA era)

2. March 1989, Bono (a great era for Bono dubbed voice of the year, some 17 years later he'd be named Man of the Year by TIME)

1. May 1987, U2 (Yes I'm biased, but I did say my Top Ten, didn't I?)