Tonight, I had a conference call with one of my business partners and his “godson,” who wants to have a music career.

The GS is clueless, and knows he’s clueless. That’s usually half the battle, but the GS kept whining in frustration “I don’t have time to figure this industry out!” The kid is in his mid-20s and should stop being such a baby. All I kept thinking is “Shut up ,you ungrateful twerp! I am not even getting paid for this!”

After 90 minutes, we disconnected and I called my partner to say “wtf.” My partner agreed that the kid does not have what it takes. If he cannot give decisive answers when talking to us, he’ll never be able to make it.

At this point, he’s just chum.


Next Saturday at noon, Alamo South Lamar is hosting a free show of the best Christmas movie ever: Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas.

If I am still in Austin next weekend, I am going.

If you’ve never seen this classic Jim Henson movie, you can buy the dvd on Amazon.

Here’s Alamo’s synopsis:

Christmas is approaching in Frogtown Hollow, and Emmet Otter and his Ma hope to buy gifts for each other. Unfortunately, Emmet doesn’t make enough from the odd jobs he does, and Ma doesn’t make enough as a laundress. They decide to compete in the Frog Town Hollow Talent Contest in order to win money, but Ma will have to hock Emmet’s tool chest to buy a costume, and Emmet will have to put a hole in Ma’s washtub for his band! Kermit the Frog hosts this classic Muppet musical Christmas tale, based on the book by Russell and Lillian Hoban, with original songs from master tunesmith Paul Williams.

Best Christmas movie ever.

During the holidays, my mother often says: “Put on some Christmas music.”

Except she doesn’t really mean it.

She means put on something festive while we cook, or put on something amusing for the guests, or whatever. She has something specific in mind, even if she doesn’t know what it is until she hears what it’s not.

This year, I am out-smarting her. I am over-categorizing everything and doing multiple smart playlists so I can accommodate her on the fly. For example, The Pogues’ “Fairy Tale of New York” is punk/celtic genre and grouped by both holiday and sad. (Any song beginning: “It was Christmas evening in the drunk tank” is sad.)

So many great Christmas songs are also very sad, or at least melancholy. Many of my favorites are World War II-era:”Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “White Christmas. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” can be a jaunty tune, but it’s very, very sad. It was first performed in 1943, and it is very much a war-time song, aside from singing about our “troubles” in each verse, it also gives us the uplifting: “Through the years/We all will be together/If the Fates allow.” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” also from 1943 contans the classic: “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.” Sad.

For Your Listening Pleasure:
The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl, Fairytale of New York
Bing Crosby, I’ll Be Home For Christmas
Luther Vandross, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Death Cab for Cute, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Currently listening to:
The dulcet tones of the broadcasters for Green Bay Packers vs St Louis Rams, while I cook a roasted carrot puréed soup.

A and I went to see I Am Legend last night at Alamo Village (not my favorite theater . . . Alamo South Lamar broke my heart for the second week in a row by failing to show the movie I wanted).

Pre-show included a 70s vintage short film shot by a couple of teenagers called “The Last Omega Man on Earth,” scenes from an episode of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and a variety of Will Smith music videos, including “Summertime” and “Parents Just Don’t Understand.”

We enjoyed the movie, but then we mostly enjoy movies. Our only recent disagreements:
— No Country For Old Men
, which I thought was a great Coen Brothers movie and A thought was not thrilling enough to be a thriller and not “talky” enough to be a philosophical rumination (I would chalk that up to a difference in expectations).
30 Days of Night, which he thought was an enjoyable vampire movie and I thought sucked. Hard. Mostly because the vampires’ backstory was non-existent, so I cared not about them at all.

I Am Legend was not a great movie, but I am glad I saw it and it gave us plenty to talk about. It also cements Will Smith as the greatest movie star alive . . . spoiler-ish: since he carries the entire movie by himself, is crazy, and yet it’s impossible to imagine anyone else being as likable.
A.O. Scott, in his NY Times review, concluded: “There is something graceful and effortless about this performance, which not only shows what it might feel like to be the last man on earth, but also demonstrates what it is to be a movie star.”

A has seen all of the previous adaptations of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, and he re-read the book recently to prepare. As we drove back, he told me he really liked it, but it was very different from the book. After he described all the differences, including spoilers: the fact that there were actual vampires who remembered who they were and spoke to him instead of “zombie-vampires,” mutations, and the development of a vampire society — terrifying!

The only way they could have done a true adaption of the novel would have been in a six-hour BBC miniseries in order to properly capture all of the elements of the story. Still, that’s something I would love to see.

The difficulty in making a movie from a novel is choosing which elements to include and then deciding how to make a coherent story from those few elements. I think they made a terrific movie from I Am Legend, which stands together with an internal logic. That story, though, differs significantly enough from the novel that I will be reading the novel, despite knowing everything that happens.

On its own as a movie, I Am Legend was well worth seeing.

If anyone knows where I can find Jamie T’s Bedouin Soundclash cover, please leave a comment below. Thanks.

If you know me or have ever read this site, you know I collect cover songs — preferably covers of crappy British pop songs by crappy British artists. I am passionate about my collection, as anyone who has ever sat next to me at a Genius Bar knows (when I lost almost my entire collection last fall in the great Mac Book Pro motherboard failure of 2006 and then had to rebuild it. Three times.)

Many of my favorite covers in my collection come from BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, hosted by Jo Whiley. Bands come in, sing a couple of songs acoustically and then sing a cover or two. The covers are amazing: Charlotte Church covering Mario’s “Let Me Love You,” Corinne Bailey Rae covering Editor’s “Munich,” Jamie Cullum covering Pharrell’s “Frontin’,” Lemar covering The Darkness’s “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” Maximo Park covering Proclaimers “500 Miles.” Obviously, I could go on and on.

Unofficial Live Lounge has scores of tracks from 2004 until now including the new Alicia Keys cover of How to Save a Life. It also has two songs that I thought I’d lost forever: Willie Mason’s cover of Grandmaster Flash’s The Message and Franz Ferdinand’s cover of Pulp’s Mis-Shapes.

I would like to think that if my brother started a band, he would name it “Awesome Cool Dudes” and release a completely stupid, and yet, entertaining, track called “Clap Clap.” Then he and his sidekick/”little brother” would torment women by making them dance to it in dive bars all over the LES.

Alas, the band and song already exist, so you can make the fantasy a reality by adding this to your repertoire :
Awesome Cool Dudes, Clap Clap.

Check out Awesome Cool Dudes at their website , where you can download plenty of free music.