Friday, February 13, 2009

Pop Culture Roundup

It must just be a time for me to re-read things. I've had good intentions all week about re-reading Process Theology, which I'm sure I'll finally get around to doing before too much longer. I've been thinking about the nature of God a lot lately, and this book really helped the last time around. There's a separate blog post in there as well.

I watched Rock Star this past week, starring Mark Wahlberg as a guy from Seattle who sings in a tribute band for his favorite hair-metal band, Steel Dragon. He's obsessed with getting every detail of their imitation exactly right to the point that it eventually alienates him from his bandmates. Fortunately, about the same time the real Steel Dragon somehow discovers him and asks him to be their new lead singer. There's the usual "seduced by the lifestyle" thing, and then the eventual "realize the business is marginally about the music" thing, and so then he becomes a coffeehouse grunge rocker because it's "more him." I enjoyed it more than this synopsis lets on: the theme is being true to yourself, which is no less obvious than when Wahlberg's character stops wanting to emulate his favorite band. The genre is a bit formulaic, though: you know we'll get around to the lifestyle seduction bit followed by the revelation of what he's become bit. But I did think it was a fun ride...the tribute band angle was a nice change.

Flight of the Conchords was really low-key this week. Jim Gaffigan had a guest role as Murray's friend, as Murray wanted to upgrade Bret and Jemaine to friend status. He had a graph to illustrate where they were and everything. Murray's over-organization is a fun part of the show, but I wasn't feeling the story arc in general. I think it was because Gaffigan is usually more goofy than this, and this character didn't allow him to be that. There was a funny bit where Bret was forced into apologizing to Mel for something he did to her in a dream that she had.

This week I've been listening to a band from the Akron/Canton area called the Jeffrey Allens. Yeah. The Jeffrey Allens. They're a punk/ska band that actually just broke up. But they're the Jeffrey Allens. So they're pretty awesome.

From around the web, here's Radiohead performing at the Grammys with the USC marching band: