November 11th, 2007

Heroes/Private Practice

We finally caught up with Heroes and Private Practice last night.

Some observations:

1. Private Practice has the same writers and producers as Grey's Anatomy. So, why is it so much better than Grey's? Part of it, I think, is that it helps that they don't have Meredith. But that can't be the entire explanation. Maybe they are just tired of the Grey's characters.

2. While really good, Private Practice is far from perfect. The running subplot that the shrink is crazier than her patients is getting old.

3. How long until Addison bangs the midwife/surfer/receptionist dude?

4. I bet the holistic health guy and the woman who runs the hospital will hook up eventually.

5. I hope they move George's wife from Grey's to this show when he finally dumps her.

6. Heroes sure took a long time getting into the grove this season, didn't it?

7. That said, the last two episodes have been much, much better. I felt like the initial episodes didn't know where they wanted to go and lacked any sort of surprises.

8. Why did they stretch out the Hiro/Sark thing in Japan for so long. It was painfully obvious from the second episode of the season that Sark was going to end up being the big bad guy in the present. Everything after that was just padding designed, I guess, to make some people "shocked" that Sark was kicking around in present time.

9. Please don't make it become "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World" again.

10. I can't wait to see what happens on tonight's episode.

CSI:The Game

Rome Girl has been addicted to CSI:The Game for Playstation for the past two days. It's an interesting game, but also far, far more explicit than most.

"Yes!, I found the sperm," I heard her exclaim at one point while playing it. Later, when I was watching her play you actually get to see people smoke meth.

You have to do everything a criminologist would, including swap for vaginal fluids and all three of the crimes she's worked on so far have had explicit discussions of sex as part of the overall plot.

It's daring in a way that isn't shocking and makes it all interesting.

Still, I can't wait until Guitar Hero 3 comes out.

The Real Deal

When Rome Girl saw Patti Smith in concert a couple of weeks ago it was a transformative experience. What shocked her was that I'd played tons of Patti Smith songs for her over the years and so had other friends of hers and she had always been bored by her music.

Then, she saw Patti in concert. Now, she's such a fan that she's even printed up pictures of Patti and taped them up behind her computer for inspiration. And this is a woman who, in general, doesn't like rock and roll at all.

"It's just so weird," she said to me the other night. "It makes me have to rethink the way I look at music."

"That," I replied, "is what happens when you see The Real Deal."

"But," she asked. "What is the Real Deal?"

"You know it when you see it," I said. "And you never forget it."

The Real Deal dates back to when I spent a few years reviewing rock and roll concerts for Gannett. You'd see the same other reviewers at shows and you'd all end up talking. Together we came up with the concept and it is this:

Most commercial music is fun, but stops there, at fun. You like the records and then get off on jumping up and down and singing along at the shows. But, it's only fun if you are into the songs and/or like that genre of music.

The Real Deal is different. It's a rare thing. Some people are so transcendently good that it makes no difference whether you know the songs or the artist or even want to be at the show. When you see these people perform your heart races and you are swept up into something beyond what seems to be there on the surface. When you see the Real Deal it doesn't matter if you don' like the musical genre. You'll get swept up in it.

The problem is that The Real Deal almost never translates to recordings - so you have no way of knowing it until you see it. And nine times out of 10 the people who sound like the real deal on CD or Vinyl end up not being the real deal when you see them.

But holy mother of fuck when you see The Real Deal it blows your mind.

The downside is that when you see it it skews you. People who have only seen the artist play on television (which doesn't translate The Real Deal very well) or heard the records will never understand your passion for these people.

I first encountered The Real Deal - though I didn't have a term for it at the time - when I was about 12 and my dad was reviewing concerts He dragged me to, of all people, Vic Damone. You can imagine how unenthusiastic I was at going. But.... the dude delivered the goods and sold me even though I hate, hate hate that type of music.

This is why I so steadfastly defend Axl Rose even though he's a world class bullshit artist. When I saw Guns N Roses in concert it was very, very clear that he's The Real Deal. For all his insanity, showing up for gigs late and just being a general asshole the motherfucker will take you to another world when you see him live.

So tell me, when have you seen The Real Deal and how did you know it when you saw it?

Montpeller Bars - Vert Anglais New Cocktail List

This week the Vert Anglais, the best new bar in Montpellier, is unveiling their new cocktail menu. They are going to be very reasonably priced and all are made with "top shelf" booze - i.e. not the crap booze you get in most Montpellier bars.

They were nice enough to give me a sneak peak at the list and I've decided to share it with you!

Vodka or Gin Martini - with your choice of an assortment of premium gins and vodkas

Espresso Martini


Lady Marmalade

Apple Pie Martini

Pineapple and Cardomon Martini

Blody Mary


Tarte Aux Pommes


Lynchburg Lemonade

Long Island Ice Tea

White Russian

Pretty Boy Floyd

Cuba Libre



Ti Punch

I Am Not Making This Up

This is an item in today's Sunday London Times (I'm looking at the paper itself and can't find the link.)

A film research organization a little while ago somehow determined that the most commonly quoted line in movie history is Arnold Schwarzenegger saying "I'll be back."

So, at a news conference someone asked the governor if he had any reaction to this.

"Frankly my dear," he said. "I don't give a damn."