Oberhofer | Local 506 on 8 March 2014

One of my random phone pics that turned out a lovely blur

One of my random phone pics that turned out a lovely blur

o0Oo0Oo0000000O goes the tornado Oberhofer. Why tornado? Well, it is the only adjective that can describe Oberhofer’s live performance. Let me paint you a picture.

Drummer and bassist pounds dark clouds into frame. The guitars raise the winds. Xylophone strikes sporadic lighting across the landscape. Brian Oberhofer voices rings all beautifully into a storm. You are just memorized by the peaceful storm. Then, a tornado comes out of nowhere signaled by Brian’s wild spinning. Oberhofer just letting out pure sweet power. As quickly it comes, the tornado ascends into the clouds. Oberhofer goes back to a peaceful storm.

These moments of perfect surprise lined the entire Oberhofer set. During a song, guitar wireless connected Brian walks out the back door. A few seconds pass in which everyone is thinking, is he going to come in from the front door? Suddenly, Brian comes quickly walking into the front strumming his guitar. As cheesy as it sounds, it was quite incredible.

Or during the last song, Brian yells out names of each band member a bids us all a goodnight. A decent crowd barely claps, some shoot one more song, Oberhofer agrees, Brian says “we forgot to play this one”, and proceed to belt out their big hit oOoO. But this time when Brian yells out names, Oberhofer leaves the stage.

For $10 ticket, I would have paid $30. So, I made up the difference by buying a Time Capsules II LP which is fantastic in itself. Now, I can listen to their storm pop whenever my little heart desires. Bravo Oberhofer, I look forward to our next encounter.

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The Shipping News | Spacey and Hallström doing it right

Yup, rocks and house is all I need!  photo courtesy by

Yup, rocks and house is all I need! photo courtesy by www.theguardian.com

Jesus h christ, how in the hell did I miss The Shipping News movie? Let me add, how did the world miss this movie? The movie had a reported box office of $11.4 million (RottenTomatoes.com) while the budget was $35 million (IMDB.com).

I was 22 when it was released on January 2002. Lets just say I wasn’t the most productive person, but I always made room for movies. You must choose wisely for tickets are expensive for the movie theater. So, my time was prob taken by the following movies:

  • Ocean’s Eleven
  • The Royal Tenenbaums
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • A Beautiful Mind
  • Black Hawk Down
  • The Count of Monte Cristo

On top of the competition; The Shipping News had bad reviews from The Rolling Stone, US Today, New York Times, etc (currently 55% on RottenTomatoes.com). Now we know why this one fell through the cracks. Why did it take till March 2014 to finally see this movie?

Well, this little video streaming site Netflix calculated that I would give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. After some investigating, I found that Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale) directed an incredible star studded cast (Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore, Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett). Play button goes click.

The very timid Quoyle (Kevin Spacey) loses the horrible wife/parents. To make a fresh start, Quoyle decides to accompany his aunt to their ancestral home in Newfoundland. He just has no idea how much his life will change.

Hallström beautifuly directs the superb Kevin Spacey on the portrayal of a man overcoming many challenging situations throughout his life. Laced throughout the story, supporting characters slowly surface their own pain. No matter how hard it gets, you can see Hallström’s rainbow in the distance. You just got to keep on truckin’

P.S.  I think Julianne Moore was too sexy for her role.

Title:  The Shipping News

Genre:  Drama Romance

Rating:  R

Length:  111 minutes

Year Released:  2002

Viewed Through:  Netflix Streaming

Mutual Benefit | Local 506 on 4 February 2014

Mutual Benefit

Mutual Benefit

On February 4th 2014, I cruised to the great Local 506 in Chapel Hill, NC. Mutual Benefit headlines my first concert of the year. There couldn’t have been a better start to my concert year.

Welcomed by a modest crowd, the small stage was filled by Jordan Lee (singer/guitar/keyboard), his sister Whitney Lee (backup vocals/keyboard), bassist, guitarist, violinist, and percussionist. Each flower petal of sound perfectly fanned out surrounding Jordan’s delicate voice creating a beautiful fantasy pop flower. I found myself being overwhelmed into a closed eyed swaying trance.

If his music wasn’t enough, Jordan’s witty humor was just icing on the cake. Throughout the concert, he would whisper sweet nothings such as “thank you for your enthusiasm.” drawing many sporadic giggles.

Mutual Benefit was like floating down a river on a warm sunny day. Just what I needed after a long day at the office.

Another Zero in the System | Thats One Badass Gangsta Film

Is that a Saturn?  Image by James R G

Is that a Saturn?

Who doesn’t like a good ole gangsta film?  Slang dialogue shot from the HIP packing a GAT held by an aggressive gangsta.  You have to appreciate something that paints a picture of the unfortunate life of many.  When these movies are done well, you really appreciate your own luck.

Earl Coleman (Mike Simmons) loses his sister to drugs while in prison.  From that moment on, he condemns his ex gangsta life style.  The thugs are still in town, and Earl must live his clean life surrounded by filth.

Tim McCann must be an OG cause he writes/directs/films/produces/edits a very raw unfiltered view of the hood.  The up close and personal camera work really adds a layer of intensity that allows you to actually feel the tension of the scene.  By performing 5 of the key roles, McCann saves a portion of this small budget to bring on some fantastic  talent.  In particular, Mike Simmons genuinely delivers a righteous individual fighting to control his sanity.

Help this team out; spark a jay, sit back, and enjoy this undiscovered film.

Title:  Another Zero in the System

Genre:  Crime Drama

Rating:  R

Length:  84 minutes

Year Released:  2013

Viewed Through:  Netflix Streaming

I love beautiful art

I want a robot.  -photo courtesy of collider.com

I want a robot. -photo courtesy of collider.com

So, I’m flipping through the Netflix queue and see this movie Robot & Frank. I vaguely remember reading about it in the past. Immediately after reading the summary, I start the movie. I mean what modern geek would not watch a movie about a retired cat-burglar that is forced to have a robot care giver. God damn if this movie isn’t the most heart warming funny AI story.

After end scene fades into credits, I’m a satisfied relaxed from a fantastic story. Then, this sweet music just springs up. The sick beat drops setting the pace to this holy chorus of lasers. I literally got off my couch, held my praise hands in the air, and started to make body waves. Its just an unbelievable track:

I come to find out the song is written and performed by Francis and the Lights. Nope, I got nothing. So, I started researching this group. Their soundcloud page keeps my mind on the path of more discovery. Not just be cause of the infectious tracks (reminds me of Prince and Jamiroquai jammed together), but due to the lack of comments on their tracks from random admirers. Could it be that this is an unknown artist.  I just couldn’t believe that I have never heard of this group that has opened for Drake, played Jimmy Kimmel, etc. Then, I read this one SoundCloud comment:

LewisLace
Beautiful. Saw the concert video and there truely isn’t another group that can match your stage presence.

I immediately searched for videos finding this one:

Their performance at The White Room in Troy, NY. Let me tell you, it is one epic show. I’m definitely attending a future concert the next time they are in North Carolina.

This blew the dust off an old thought from a previous movie. I just love moments of hearing pure gold from a movie. Moments where I’m watching a scene, the music queues, and it moves me. Please leave a comment on one of your last experiences such as mine.