Just watched this documentary. Only a handful of artists meet a tragic end like this, where their fame endures long after their talent burns out. My old boss at TLA Video, Adrian Hickman, used to play Nilsson often at the store. I didn’t have an ear for it then, but listening to his voice completely blew me away. Nilsson wasn’t just a great pop singer/songwriter; the guy was an auteur like Orson Welles, crafting a work so dense and poetic only to have it undo him.
My favorite part of the documentary? Seeing Nilsson at the height of his fame, partying with the Beatles and Elton John. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photo montage as thrilling, laughing maniacally at photos that would make fans of The Hangover blanch. Watching interviews with guys like Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks gave me a sense that Nilsson wasn’t just some maudlin pop singer, but a guy who was living every moment to the fullest. Equally important, he set lofty goals and achieved them. He did it all. He did it fast.
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but artists like Harry Nilsson appeal to me more now, just as I find myself appreciating veteran ballplayers who are still giving it a go long after they’ve been written off by conventional wisdom. Makes you wonder how any artist made it through the ’70s alive. Didn’t matter if you were punk or posh, chances are you were doing things that did considerable harm to your person.
Come clean and admit your favorite ’70s rockers here. And, yes, you can like the Adverts and X‑Ray Spex and still be totally smitten with Elton John.
Discovery Channel really knows their demographic. “Deadliest Catch” may have run aground, but leave it to those geniuses to hit upon a subject nearer and dearer to me: craft beer. The kicker? Throw Dogfish Head beer guru Sam Calagione into the mix and you’re bound to attract an audience of literally dozens of beer geeks from around the U.S. A hit!
My main question is why didn’t I know about “Brew Masters” before catching a commercial during a Tottenham-Arsenal match on ESPN2? I’m not even that much of a soccer fan. And I follow @dogfishbeer on Twitter! Serendipity!
Not sure that I’ll be able to watch when it airs as it shares a time slot with a little show called “Boardwalk Empire,” but you better believe I’ll be DVR-ing it like a boss to watch Monday night while Helen checks out “Gossip Girl.”
UPDATE: I may have spoken to soon. Read this funny post over at A Good Beer Blog for the details. “Cake Boss” of beer sounds apt. Could be a turkey, but I still have love for local craft brewers. Go Sam!
Helen and I have had a hell of a time watching movies lately. Between work and raising a very active 17-month-old baby, it’s hard to watch anything more than a few sitcoms before passing out on the couch. We rallied last night to watch a full-length feature for the first time in months and watched the international hit, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. What better way to celebrating scaling back on our Netflix subscription than by streaming a movie, right?
You’ll have to forgive me for not reading the books, but when my Danish host mom recommended them to Helen and me back when we visited them in ’09, I had a hunch they’d be here soon. It’s a gruesome story poorly told; Helen, who has read the book, explained that they really took liberties with it and I can’t rightly say it was for the best, but where it doesn’t succeed as an adaptation, it works as a thriller.
Lisbeth Salander reads like a more emotionally tormented Jason Bourne, with even less insight into her troubled past. She’s a fascinating character who’s absolutely captivating onscreen. The main problem with the movie is that the story can’t seem to get out of its own way at times. The hamfisted director hammers home in every possible frame just how atrocious and psychotic these crimes are, as if the audience hadn’t ascertained that already. Hopefully that improves in future installments.
My biggest worry about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? That people will overstate the influence of the Swedish Nazi Party. The Swedes have their faults, but being Nazi sympathizers isn’t one of them.