18 June 2007

Tool Time

Saw Tool in Evansville last night. A damn fine show.

Set list:
46 & 2
Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann)
Rosetta Stoned
Wings for Marie Part 1
10,000 Days (Wings for Marie Part2)

Lots of extended material. During "Lateralus," members of opening act Melt Banana joined Tool for an instrumental freakout.

Slight problems: Maynard James Keenan's vocals were low in the mix, but for all I know, that may have been intentional -- he's not your standard metal band frontman. Also, this being Evansville, there were plenty of rednecks, hillbillies and other assorted white trash in the audience. My favorite was the one who started moshing during the slow, understated part of "Wings for Marie," which is a song about the death of Keenan's mother.

14 June 2007

The Only Thing I'm Neutral On

What American accent do you have? (Best version so far)


("Midland" is not necessarily the same thing as "Midwest") The default, lowest-common-denominator American accent that newscasters try to imitate. Since it's a neutral accent, just because you have a Midland accent doesn't mean you're from the Midland.

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11 June 2007

Don't Stop Believin'

I was wrong about The Sopranos.

...or WAS I?

The show ended on a typically open-ended, ambiguous note, par for the course, as anyone who watches the show should know. Of course the interwebs were ablaze with numerous postings, articles and suchlike. Many of these armchair producers were whining and crying that they didn't get a "real ending," that it "denied them closure." Fuck them. If they want neat, pat endings, they should stick with Entourage. Real life doesn't end in a nice, neat bundle. Threads dangle, sometimes forever. I realize we watch fiction precisely because it's the rare place where everything can come to a ciomplete ending, but I think these folks would have been even more disappointed if David Chase had brought every single plot element back in for a contrived ending.

I was just happy that Phil Leotardo got shot, and then had his head run over by an SUV. That was all the closure I needed.

09 June 2007

You Don't Need a Gynecologist to Know Which Way the Wind Blows

The Sopranos ends tomorrow night.

I don't know if The Sopranos is the best TV show ever, but it is certainly ONE of the best shows ever. When the show debuted way back when, it was accompanied by a wave of hype which, frankly, turned me off, and coupled with the fact that at the time we didn't have HBO, I didn't watch the first season as it aired. But HBO reran the series and my curiosity got the best of me so I had a friend with digital cable tape the first season for me (thanks again, Jimmie!) and I was hooked. I'm not made of stone, people.

In fact, Vitamin Jen and I liked it so much, we upgraded to digital cable just so we could watch The Sopranos as each episode aired. And despite the fact that the show's creators got a little arrogant, taking upwards of 18 months off between seasons, I am and always will be a fan of the show.

Meaning that when he final episode airs tomorrow at 9 p.m., well, since I'lll probably be slugging down some bourbon, or at least a Woodpecker, all through the broadcast, there may be tears when those final credits roll.

Here's my speculation as to what's gonna go down:

Due to the show's overall tone and based on previous story arcs, I am among those who thinks that Tony Soprano will be killed in the final episode. My theory is that Paulie Walnuts has been working with Phil Leotardo on the sly and that he will be the one who plugs Big T. Remember that Paulie was kissing up to Johnny Sack several seasons ago, so we know that he has considered jumping ship before, and in last week's episode, Sil and Bobby told Paulie they were gonna whack Phil at Phil's goomar's house, and then Phil magically never shows up and the goomar's father got whacked instead. Phil's absence was explained as Phil having left town immediately after ordering the hits on Tony, Sil and Bobby, but this was just speculation on Tony and Sil's part. And in that vein, when we saw Phil's lieutenant Butchie discussing the three killings (Tony, Sil and Bobby), one of the crew asked if they were gonna whack Paulie. Butchie said no -- protecting their inside man? One final tidbit: It has been widely reported, since the series began, that Tony Sirico, the actor who plays Paulie Walnuts, agreed to take the role on the condition that his character never "turn rat," and I've seen these anecdoyes circualting again in press accounts of the show's finale. I think that's a big ol' red herrring. I think when he said "turn rat," Sirico just meant that his character would never go to the Feds -- I think it's entirely reasonable that Paulie would join a new crew if he thought it was in his best interests.

Based on all of the above, that's what I think is going to go down. But then, predicting what's going to happen on The Sopranos is not an easy thing to do, which is one of the reasons why the show is so beloved by its fans. And why it will be missed.