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11/30/2005

5Ö 4Ö 3Ö
I havenít hear a peep from anyone with any grand New Yearís Eve ideas. We had considering going to Mai Kai Restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale, but the cost is a bit high. Unless thereís something spec-damn-tacular and affordable, weíre not venturing north Ďcause we canít take the cold even in Hotlanta, but thereís gotta be something going on in the South. Help!

OBIT
Got this from degenerate GT, care of degenerate SG:
END OF AN ERA: For those who haven't dined at Trader Vic's in Chicago at the Palmer House Hilton -- you better hurry. The legendary Polynesian-themed eatery is serving its last Singapore Sling and closing its doors forever New Year's Eve. In its heyday, the restaurant was a favorite watering hole frequented by honeymooning newlyweds and Hollywood stars alike. The Chicago outpost of the worldwide chain of South Seas Island eateries -- famed for inventing the mai-tai cocktail -- opened in 1957.

FILM FLAM
I caught a preview of Mrs. Henderson Presents last week, a British film featuring Judy Dench as the upperclass, genteel widow, Mrs. Henderson. She buys a theater between the two wars (that's WWI and II for you kids, not Desert Storm and Desert Storm II, The American Empire Strikes Back) and hires Vivian Van Damm, played by Bob Hoskins, to run the place. Soon they find the traditional fare isn't brining in the crowds so they add a bit of skin. OK, more than a bit - all of it. Before there was burlesque there were tableauxs, nude women posing as paintings, sculptures and other titilating backdrops while clothed people danced and sang around them. As passe as that sounds in the era of full nude stripping and internet porn, it was controversial in it's day. It's really the relationship and interactions between Judy Dench and Bob Hoskins that keep your attention, despite WWII coming on with the blitz raining fire and chaos around the theater. It has a distinctly British "keep a stiff upper lip" quality about it and is very moving.
It would have been even more moving had not the soundtrack from the neighboring theater begun oozing through the doors halfway through the film. During the most heartwrenching sequence one of the main characters is killed, to the tune of Kool & the Gang's Celebrate, thanks to insufficient soundproofing at Phipp's.
The film comes out in December and it's worth seeing, though you'll probably have to find an art house theater in which to enjoy it.

Last night we saw a preview of First Decent, a snowboarding documentary that reminded me of those Endless Summer documentaries from the 60ís more than clip shows on ESPN or the X-Games. It does a nice job of providing a retrospective of the sportís history and development, but the adventure the boarders go on in Alaska in the present day is a bit weak. You can catch better clip shows on FuelTV just about any day of the week. But it was nice on the big screen (SW said it wouldíve been even better on IMAX) and there were a couple of absolutely breathtaking and/or gripping moments. Not bad, but probably not worth paying for unless youíre really into the sport.


EAR PLUGS
Crap. Iíve been a Drive By Truckers fan for longer than I care to remember, so I hate to say it - the DBT show at The Tabernacle this past Saturday was just not any fun. Iíve grumbled about the sound quality at The Tabernacle before (last DBT show, for example.) Standing in the middle of the room on the floor level, the vocals are indiscernible and the three guitar attack turns into so much white noise. But it wasnít just the sound system turning their tunes into mush. The guys picked too many tunes from their collection that had a similar sound in the first place. Halfway through the show I was honestly bored. I tried to join other degenerates in the downstairs nicotine junky lounge but the room was so dense with smoke my eyes burned. My clothes reeked the next day from just standing in there for a few minutes. It was obvious the other degenerates would rather smoke than watch the show and pretty soon I got tired of paying too much for beer in a cold venue with lousy sound and no place to sit, save a rare seat in the balcony where the sound quality is better but so loud you couldnít hear yourself scream. Yeah, Iím getting old, but I still like it loud - as long as itís loud and clear. When the nicotine junkies didnít return I swam through the smog downstairs and found I wasnít the only one whoíd had enough. We were home in front of the TV by midnight, with no regrets for having left early.

That said, I got this review from degenerate SG:
It picked up a bit towards the end, but they seemed like they had a little too much access to intoxicants pre-show...
Could have been better, but fun overall.
seems to me Jason Isdell is one of the stronger members of the band these days.

We also got this in response to last episode, from degenerate SK:
Nice commentary about karaoke, but is it karaoke with a live backing band?
They didn't call it that 2 years ago at the Cash show at Lenny's.
Nice commentary about Fall, too. Thin(ner?) guys like me shed heat rapidly;
faster when it's damp. I can bundle up for a calm, sunny day at 25. A dismal,
damp day at 45 sucks all the heat out of me.
Said Fall excuse + inertia has kept me away from many shows for the past few
months. I did make it to Luigi's CD release at the EARL 10/28. Excellent show!
Good crowd, but not so large that there wasn't room to dance. They bought the
crowd a round of shots. It was totally unnecessary (I was going to buy the CD
anyway) and contraindicated for a restrained beer drinker with miles to go. I
had been discussing Neil Young with musician friends earlier that evening.
Imagine my joy when Luigi + a guest guitarist came out for encore and mounted a
3-axe assault with "Cinnamon Girl."


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