Thursday, September 30, 2010

Random Nonsense

So the guest list at my wedding is going to be around 60 people. Uh oh, wait, my ma might've just gotten the vapours reading that, so let me clarify, my HYPOTHETICAL wedding will have 60 people representing my side. (Team Mark, as it were.) My roommate and I were discussing the politics of wedding invites since she's Greek and thus might end up having to invite more or less the entirety of London's Greek community to her eventual ceremony. As a result, I got curious and whipped up a short list of who'd be coming to my wedding if I got married tomorrow.

Now, the 60 figure is still just a ballpark. It doesn't factor in all of the plus-ones (though I automatically included a few spouses, significant others that I know would come with invited guests) nor does it count people who might invite me to a wedding in the near-future. Like, if they invite me, I'm pretty much obligated to invite them, right? It would be a real dickhead move to stiff them on the rebound. That's not the feeling I want to generate on my wedding day. It's also a good way to get freeloading self invited to future weddings; if I invite people to mine, they'll be shamed into inviting me too! Since they know that if I'm not invited...(ominous music) I'll crash.

When you add in all the other plus-ones and randoms, it boosts my total to probably around 85-90 overall. And that's not even counting who my future hypothetical wife might invite. So yeah, this is suddenly looking like a 200-person affair. Maybe I should marry one of my current friends just to keep the guest list in check. Nothing says romance like basing a marriage on church capacity.


As we learned from Damon Lindelof's Twitter feed, the Japanese re-title of Jersey Shore is "The New Jersey Life Of Macaroni Rascals." Is 'Macaroni Rascals' my new fantasy football team name? Yes. Yes it is.

While we're on the topic of the Shore, I present....The Jersey Circus.


Once again, I sat out the Toronto International Film Festival, a streak so absurd that I almost feel obligated to keep it going. At the very least, I need another TIFF near-miss so I can replace my way overtold experience of standing in the rush line for 'Synecdoche, New York' two years ago.

I did, however, check out the Bell Lightbox, the festival's new signature theatre and artsy hub in the middle of downtown Toronto. The Lightbox is holding free screenings of several classic films to celebrate its opening, and so I took in a screening of Charlie Chaplin's legendary "City Lights" last weekend.

It speaks to Chaplin's genius that a near-80-year-old silent movie still packed in a sizable crowd on a Saturday morning and also kept them laughing throughout. The Tramp may just be the most perfectly conceived character in pop culture history. He's a complete blend of slapstick, sight gags, and subtleties of character that couldn't be appreciated if he had 1000 words of dialogue. It's hard to top the scene of Chaplin chasing down a cigar butt in his (borrowed) Rolls-Royce, stopping it to push over a homeless guy who's bent over to pick the cigar up, and then angrily chewing the homeless guy out as he hops back in his Rolls and drives away. The Lightbox probably missed a promotional chance by not hiring one of Toronto's many homeless to stand in front of the building so exiting theatregoers could recreate the scene. The "Bell City Lights Bum-Shovin' Experience" (title pending) could've been a real unique feature. Rob Ford would've been first in line.


Weezer's upcoming tour will be a Blue Album/Pinkerton tribute tour of two nights in every city, where they'll play one of the albums in their entirety one night, and then the other album the next night. The working title is the "We've Given Up Tour," or at least basically that's what it feels like. Yeah, everyone knows that Weezer hasn't put out anything good since those two records 14 years (!) ago, but to have the band more or less confirm it is just a bit sad. Also, Weezer are trying to wring fans out of an extra concert ticket since there's no way they couldn't play both discs combined in the same show. Their Blue Album and Pinkerton combined were around 80 minutes. Just do it all in one night, Cuomo. I might even buy a ticket if both records are played in the same night, and if my friend Dan agrees to provide running commentary during the Pinkerton songs.

It must suck to have a band that you love officially mark its irrelevance. I've been lucky thus far with my favourite acts. U2 has toed the line with its very greatest-hits heavy 360 Tour, but at least they're also playing new and unreleased songs on tour for the first time in literally decades, which is a fresh decision. Bruce Springsteen's last two records were a little too adult-contemporary for my taste*, but I think everyone thinks the Boss has a late-career Bob Dylan-esque album or two still in him. Pearl Jam's last record was only okay, but they made themselves irrelevant on purpose years ago.

That said, I feel like an old man just talking about musicians as 'relevant' for their music. Lady Gaga gets her relevance by dressing like a side of beef. Katy Perry gets her relevance for dressing in a low-cut Elmo shirt on Saturday Night Live. Kanye West apparently went through a year of career purgatory for interrupting a speech. Using albums or songs as touchstones seems as quaint as a Chaplin silent film.

* = In the grand tradition of Bruce's Human Touch and Lucky Town albums, I feel like 'Magic' and 'Working On A Dream' could've had the best 10-12 songs culled between the two discs to make one really solid record.


Three more notes on staying relevant: this great New York Times profile of William Shatner, featuring this awesomely poignant line from the Shat: "Retire! Retire! You mean go fishing in Montana? What does that mean: you hated the whole life you lived?"

Also, and this time returning to musical relevance, we have a Pitchfork list! Man, talk about an institution that's just slowly had the cool drained from it like piss through a catheter. Anyway, here's their mostly-okay list of the top 50 music videos of the 1990's. Not to spoil, but Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze are all over this thing like a dirty shirt and the #1 choice is a real letdown. Being Pitchfork, of course they couldn't make an obvious (or correct) pick.

Again with musical (and music video) relevance, here's OK Go's newest video. OK Go made the decision years ago to keep themselves in the public eye by seemingly devoting all of their attention to making fantastic music videos. It's a keen move. This song, for instance, stinks, but hey, I'm still linking to it like a sucker. Puppies!!!!!!11111 Also, I'm a bit disappointed that the guy in OK Go who I thought looked like me no longer seems to look like me. I swear, this guy (the bald one who's not the singer) was a dead ringer for me about a decade ago, but over time he's slowly turning into Titus Welliver. Did they get a new band member? Or just actually hire Titus Welliver?

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