Friday, July 23, 2010

Pop Culture Roundup

I've been reading A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace this week, and I can't really get into it. Brian Cook from MGoBlog has sung DFW's praises several times, so I figured I'd pick up this collection of his essays. I have enjoyed a few of them. There's an essay on his playing tennis growing up, and how he was able to beat people not with superior talent, but by knowing the conditions of the weather and irregularities of the outdoor courts where he played. There's another of his experiences while attending the Illinois State Fair, which is highly amusing. Then, however, there are others: an essay about American addition to TV that 1) is highly and annoyingly dated by the shows he references, and 2) goes around and around on the same point for way too long, and a highly technical essay on poststructuralist interpretation. So he's really been hit and miss with me. This is my first encounter with his writing; I'd love to hear from any DFW fans out there about other works of his I might enjoy more.

We continue through the third season of True Blood, which I still am liking more than either prior season so far. They've exchanged some of the wackiness for some darker stuff. One of the new characters is a vampire named Franklin Mott, played by James Frain. He becomes pretty much obsessed with Tara (my least favorite regular character, BTW), and Frain plays him as so sadistic in that creepy/uncomfortable "it's because I love you" sort of way. I kept asking myself where I've seen Frain before, and I finally looked it up and saw that he was in the movie versions of both The Count of Monte Cristo and Titus Andronicus (except the movie is just called Titus).

My bass guitar teacher has been having me work on a Pat Metheny song the past week or more. It's the first time I've really ever listened to him. The bassist is Jaco Pastorius, who's been called "the Jimi Hendrix of bass" before. The song is "Bright Size Life," and it's both awesome and, for a mediocre-at-best bass player listening to Pastorius' stuff, highly intimidating:

Here's another Michigan hype video. The other one was more understated before exploding. This one's just all up in your grill, yo: