Free Wurst Tickets!

Contest time!

I just got five pairs of tickets to the Poconos’ Wurst Festival at Shawnee Mountain, good for EITHER July 17 or 18 (not a two-day pass). Let’s make this easy — just e-mail me with your name, age, residence and daytime contact info and you’re entered.

You can get a good idea of the weekend and what’s in store if you go:

The usual PopRox contest rules apply: 

–One entry per person, per e-mail address.

–If you message PopRox on Facebook or Twitter, your entry counts twice.

–Deadline to enter is Wednesday at 10 a.m. I’ll be drawing shortly thereafter.

–You have to be able to come down to the Pocono Record to get them sometime between Wednesday and next Friday.

–It’s been long enough that I don’t care if you’ve won PopRox contest before, anyone can enter.

–Please know that you can go if you enter. I don’t want to deal with calling someone only to hear them say, “Oh, I forgot my sister’s friend’s cousin’s wedding is that day!” Believe me, it’s happened.

Other than that, we’re going with a super-sized PopRox today, so buckle up.

take a look at the only person able to sell out a show at musikfest so far this year.

take a look at the only person able to sell out a show at musikfest so far this year.

Good story in the Wall Street Journal this morning about the decline of the concert industry. This has been coming for years, it’s just coming to a head this summer, and with good reason. When we went through the local summer concert slate back in May, it was pretty obvious this wasn’t going to be a good summer concert season because there just wasn’t much to get excited about. We’ve already been affected by some of the cancellations because of a random “illness” — Kings of Leon canceled at Montage for a vocal cord issue, but at least the band rescheduled. I’m not surprised at all that The Eagles aren’t selling. How many times can we see them before we don’t give a flying fudge anymore? It’s not like they have this religious cult following like U2, Springsteen, Dave Matthews or The Dead that makes people follow them around. I have no idea how much of The Eagles’ tour was supposed to be over by now, but there is only one tour date available on LiveNation.com. In October. In Louisville. The concert industry is getting to be no different than the record business — not everyone can do it. It takes a certain kind of band/artist to draw interest in today’s market, and most bands just can’t do it. It will be interesting to see how Musikfest fares next month in light of all this. Right now, the only sold out show they have is … Selena Gomez. So there’s that.

Wow. Just … wow. At this point, I couldn’t be more pumped up for Inception if it was preceded by Tiffani-Amber Thiessen’s porn debut. I don’t know how my expectations could possibly be met at this point, with reviewers — well-credentialed reviewers, no less — basically saying sliced bread doesn’t have anything on Inception. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Chris Nolan has paid off the entire movie-reviewing industry. The worst part is I don’t see an open weekend in my schedule until the end of August — which means I’ll probably be having the same reaction when it comes out on DVD in mid-December. Now is the time I usually punch myself in the head for getting old. It’s always a good time watching the trailer, probably the best one of the summer:

Don’t be crazy enough to think a new James Bond movie won’t be made within the next five years. There’s a better chance of Kyle Chandler getting an Emmy nomination for Friday Night Lights … huh. Gotta stop using that one. Anyway, there will be a new James Bond coming at some point — it’s just probably going to look a lot different than the planned one would have when it hit theaters next year but now has been canceled officially. Sam Mendes probably won’t be around to direct, the story will be changed and who even knows if Daniel Craig will even still be around. Even though supposedly they’re still attached. Mendes is probably out of his contract already, and Craig probably has a clause to get out of the character if the franchise ever changed studios. Someone will come along and rescue the James Bond franchise and make another one by 2015, guaranteed. It just might not be as cool as this one was shaping up to be.

Halfway through the movie year already? Yeesh. I haven’t seen one thing I’d classify as a sure-fire, no-doubt entrant into my top 20 for the year (Shutter Island hasn’t been in my local Blockbuster for going on three weeks now). So yeah, so far, this movie year blows chunks. Usually by now there are about five wide-release movies you can classify as “very good.” That just hasn’t happened this year. At all. There have been some promising indies, but even those are really few and far between and aren’t exactly making anyone run to the Pocono Community Theater. I don’t look at anything on that list and say, “Crap, I wish I could have gotten to the theater to see that.” Here’s to hoping for a better second half of 2010.

the line between denis leary and tommy gavin gets thinner every week

the line between denis leary and tommy gavin gets thinner every week

Of all the people in TV, one of the hardest people for me to separate character from real life is Denis Leary as Tommy Gavin. If I ever met Denis Leary, I envision asking him how Colleen is, whether his marriage with Janet is working and asking him why he hasn’t punched Sheila square between the eyes by now. Then he would proceed to punch me square between the eyes. So when it comes to him doing interviews about Rescue Me, it’s hard not to envision Tommy Gavin talking. It’s a good thing, it means he’s invested in the character and it’s a perfect match for him. As for the show, I think ending it around the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 is 100 percent right. For better or worse, Sept. 11 been such a humongous part of the show that it should play a role in how the show ends. Whether it’s being stuffed down our throats when we had just started to get over it, or whether it’s been subtly, tastefully alluded to without us even realizing it, 9/11 is a character in Rescue Me. It’s hard to see it any other way.

Remember in Good Will Hunting when Minnie Driver’s dog won at the track? And Will tried to talk to her a little bit, but she couldn’t concentrate until she finally said, “I’m still glowing from my win!” That’s how I felt all day whenever I thought about Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton getting acting Emmy nominations for their parts on Friday Night Lights. I’m still glowing. I have nothing to do with the show. They’ve never given me a dime. My life wouldn’t change one bit if Friday Night Lights disappeared tomorrow. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel a remarkable amount of pride when a show I’ve been watching from the jump, a show that has toiled in relative obscurity and been supported by small, rabid fan base, finally gets at least a portion of the recognition it deserves. Congrats.

Is it just me or has there been a weird amount of press coming out this week on The Social Network? First, the second trailer debuted Thursday. Then we heard about Trent Reznor writing the soundtrack. Now there’s another newsworthy event — the movie is going to open the New York Film Festival on Sept. 24. That would put it in an interesting position, opening the film festival on the same day that Wall Street 2 opens around the country. Has there ever been a battle for Way of Life in cinema before? It’s the perfect contrast of the 80s versus the present day, since the 80s decade is officially trying to take over the world and all. Even weirder, it’s being brought to us by two 90s holdovers, director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin (whether he’s being repped by Andrew Klein or not).

Even I’m not ready to go this far, dissecting the newest cast photo of Mad Men to try and see if there are any plot secrets being accidentally let out. C’mon people. We’re about two weeks away from the season 4 premiere now. We can wait to find out something as silly as “Why is Ken in the cast picture?” especially when it’s probably something as simple as the show keeping an eye on what’s going on at what’s left of Sterling-Cooper.

You might think it’s too early to start wondering whether X-Men: First Class is doomed or not. Not ’round these parts it isn’t — and it sure seems like there is trouble on the way. They’ve got less than 11 months to write, cast, film and edit one of the biggest pieces of the 20th Century Fox universe. The cast announced this week isn’t exactly awe-inspiring. Not only is it time to start worrying, but it’s almost time to start panicking like in Airplane 2! when the passengers found out they were out of coffee.

I’ve been heavily invested in some DVD catch-up the last couple weeks, including Sherlock Holmes. I wanted to do one long column about everything I’ve been catching up, but it’s just too late for that. So I’ll just say I was somewhat disappointed in Holmes. This wasn’t the guy I grew up reading, for sure. I spent 65 percent of the movie whispering to remind myself over and over, “It’s a re-imaging, not an adaptation … it’s a re-imaging, not an adaptation.” Plus, I could have cut a good half-hour from it and no one would have known the difference. I’m happy the British didn’t pitch a fit about an American playing Holmes, but I kinda wish it was a different American. As great as Robert Downey Jr. has been over the last three years, this wasn’t one to hang on the fridge.

I was pretty hard on Glee and the end of its first season in June for using songs that “belonged” to other movies or TV shows. Then I started thinking: How are they supposed to know what songs are off limits? First off, here’s the definition of belong — songs that are so strongly associated with other movies already that you can’t possibly watch them anywhere else and not think of the first movie/TV show that used it. So I’m working on the first PopRox project, “100 Songs that Have Been Used Already, So Don’t Use Them Again.” Instead of just bitch and moan about it, I decided to come up with a list so that when Glee comes back on next year and uses Leavin’ on a Jet Plane — almost a guarantee when someone goes to college — I can say, “No, no, no, you can’t use it because Ben Whofleck already did it in Armageddon.”

And I’ll come up with 99 more. I’ve got about 70 right now. Feel free to e-mail me with the link or leave it in the comments if you have a suggestion.

On two conditions:

1. It can’t be an original soundtrack song. We’re talking about previously recorded songs that show up in a movie. Like, OMD’s If You Leave from Pretty in Pink doesn’t qualify. But Ducky crooning Try a Little Tenderness does. Another John Hughes example — Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds doesn’t qualify because it was recorded specifically for the Breakfast Club soundtrack. But the group’s whistling rendition of the Colonel Boogey March is. Original soundtrack songs already belong to that movie, that’s understood.

2. We’re dealing only in movies. I would have loved to have gone through a vast array of TV episodes, wrestling entrance songs and commercials, but I just don’t have the time for that. No one should ever use Nights on Broadway by the Bee Gees again after Saturday Night Live parodied it for the theme to the Barry Gibb Talk Show.

But I just don’t have the wherewithal to go through every TV episode and find songs that can’t be used again. Let’s just say all previously recorded TV theme songs — like C’mon, C’mon by the Von Bondies …

… and Superhero by Jane’s Addiction …

— are off the table.

Like I said, I’ve got about 70 already, a list that includes the big ones already (Tiny Dancer, Bohemian Rhapsody, etc.). It’s best to send me ones that you think I might be missing. If you manage to send me one I haven’t thought of, I’ll make sure to credit you when I run down the list. I might be able to find a prize for what I think is the best submission, too.

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