Matthew Friedberger does a great Dennis Hopper in this video for the Fiery Furnaces’ “Even in the Rain”, which is basically an annotated video version of the making of Easy Rider. The benign track comes from I’m Going Away, and check after the jump to see some dates for their intercontinental tour.
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Can we take one second here and remember life before Tivo? In some ways, things were much simpler. If a show was on and you wanted to watch it, you watched it. If you wanted to watch it later, you stuck a tape in your VCR and maybe, if you were really, really serious about things like this, you learned how to program it (although most people just hit record and hoped for the best). Sure, there were some advanced features toward the end (and I’ll be honest—at one time I had four TVs in four different rooms with four VCRs attached to them… a story for another day), but for the most part, life was simpler.
However, now we have Tivo. And Tivo is no longer a new and strange entity—my mother has Tivo—so I am not going to waste time listing the many ways in which life with Tivo is superior to the barbarism of the VCR era. Tivo not only does away with the need for physical tapes, but it also provides various methods to categorize the shows that you have recorded. You can categorize by series, by genre, by channel, by date… but that is just not quite enough. What I propose is a system that gets at the real categories of items on my Tivo. Because when I click on my Tivo menu and look at my list of shows, here is what I see…
The shelves of Borders, Barnes and Noble, Waterstones, Chapters and the virtual ones of Amazon are stocked to the gills with cookbooks of every stripe and persuasion. Honestly, it can be quite overwhelming, even for the foodie. The greatest thing about Gourmet Today is the focus on pure fundamentals from drinks and appetizers through to main courses and desserts. This book doesn’t feature gimmicks or high tech wizardry, it focuses on the classics in a modern context. So you can learn to concoct the perfect Gin Rickey before serving up a beautiful Wiener Schnitzel (as I did recently) or crawfish etouffee for dinner and bangers and mash for breakfast. It has many world cuisine classics and it’s perfectly edited to provide the real cook with practical information about what she needs in her repertoire. These are all easily achievable recipes for the home cook with a good sense of flavor and taste. Better yet, buy the book and you can also get a free one-year subscription to the highly regarded Bon Appetit magazine. Now that makes for a good gift that’s quite unlike so many others.
Ubisoft’s relaunch of the Prince of Persia series puts other efforts to re-envision the platformer, like Mirror’s Edge, to shame.
The effort here is to provide a fantastic experience, not at all intellectual but one driven by velocity and the player’s own gut. The Prince seems to follow his own basic compulsions as we have come to understand them over the course of the story. This game is extremely successful at providing a sense of immersion in the skills that being the Prince should emphasize.
The new Prince is a vagabond and anti-hero whose motivations to save the world seem driven by self interest and, perhaps, more an interest in Elika than her kingdom. Ubisoft does a nice job in maintaining the integrity of that character by allowing the narrative momentum to achieve its natural outcome in the close of what otherwise would be a simplistic fairy tale.
The gift that keeps giving indeed. The Scene It? franchise has delivered once again with The Simpsons and Star Trek Deluxe Editions. The Simpsons edition is a game made for the family with trivia questions ranging from general (“What instrument does Lisa play?”) to specific (“What’s the name of Springfield’s movie theatre?”)—making it perfect for teams. The interactive DVD adds to the fun the fun with clips from all 20 seasons, allowing new and old fans of Bart and his family to compete together. The Star Trek edition is also comprehensive with trivia pulled from all five television series and 10 movies. Fans of Enterprise and The Next Generation will enjoy the clips and games found on the interactive DVD. The creators of these games paid close attention to detail providing thoughtful show tokens to move around the board. Simpson aficionados will appreciate show icons such as the Springfield power plant, the three-eyed fish and family TV. As for the Star Trek edition, Trekkies will get a kick out of moving the franchise’s famous ships around the galaxy – the Enterprise, the Enterprise D, the Defiant and the Voyager. Either of these games would make a notable gift for the host/ess of this season’s best party. Just make sure the recipient is truly a fan, otherwise those tokens won’t move at all.