Monday, March 21, 2005

I'm listening to the new Hold Steady, and it's great, scraped knees and Gideon bibles and broken teeth and broken bottles refracted through Meat Loaf pianos and George Thorogood choogling. Reading the lyric sheet is an excercise in frustration, in understanding that you just can't write like this guy; if the first album was Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle reimagined as an epic of Russian literature, this is the best novel Denis Johnson never wrote (unless he wrote it and I didn't read it). And so I'm thinking, how powerful a critic am I? Can I blow this band up like the Arcade Fire? Because that's what I want to do.

I'd been looking forward to hearing A Gun Called Tension's album just because "Gold Fronts" is such a great, majestic, dizzy single; the dumbass lyrics should've tipped me off. The album sounds something like what might happen if Mark E. Smith had heard a bunch of circa-99 Rawkus stuff and decided that he wanted to be a rapper. This is a bad thing. "More imagination than Dali's ghost / I kick metaphors through the goalposts" - does anyone think these are acceptable lyrics?

The Ring 2 is the best movie I've seen all year, even if all that means is that it's better than Be Cool. But really, critics and Julianne need to stop hating; it's good. The scary-jump moments work, the ooky creepy something-bad-is-about-to-happen scenes work, everything works. The movie does its job, even when the douchebag behind me was talking on his phone all through the damn thing, Star-Spangled Banner ringtone going off every ten minutes, speakerphone sometimes on (not even joking).