Monday, January 3, 2011

Sad Songs Are Nature's Onions

Saturday night I spent online posting passionate (but drunken) opinions on various message boards while listening to a bunch of new music acquisitions, inspired by the double whammy of Somewhere (a song by Amerie) and The Onion A.V. Club's Best Music of 2010 podcast. Got me to finally listen to Janelle Monáe, Kanye West, & Robyn. All good, funky, and fresh. Funny that I've lost my taste for indie rock, which is most of what fills their lists. Podcast & print

Hungover Sunday morning, I caught a bunch of the Mr. Show Marathon on IFC. Basically the back half of Season 4, plus the two Best of Specials (that cover Seasons 1 & 3).* Very impressed. Not sure why it took me so long catch up with this show. Maybe their personas put me off. I'm sometimes slow to adapt to new things, especially if they seem "arch," "ironic," or "post-modern." But I've loved some of their later projects like Tom Goes To the Mayor/Tim & Eric Awesome Show (produced by Bob Odenkirk), and Arrested Development (which I was also late the party to) that featured David Cross. His current Todd Margret show didn't impress me upon a single viewing, but I predict I'll be wrong about that one too. 

Anyway, looking forward to taking in the rest of Mr. Show. It just keeps coming up, the deeper I get into the current "alternative comedy" scene. Added the sets to my Netflix Queue to hear the commentaries (there's one for every episode?). Just heard Paul F. Tompkins speak about his experiences on the show in a 2006 interview from the now defunct AST Radio podcast. Only recently became a fan of PFT, so I didn't know he'd even been a cast member. And as he points out, he was a pudgy MF back then.

The appearance of these 90's shows (Mr. Show, Sanders, Ben Stiller, etc.) on IFC comes at a good time for me, as I was on the verge of canceling my "Preferred" Channel package from Comcast. For Christmas I got a new Samsung HD TV and upgraded my cable to HD service. Was looking to save a few bucks but love having TCM & IFC available. If I could order channels à la carte, I would have only those and skip all the other stuff. 

My Showtime reduced price one-year offer runs out soon and I have considered paying for HBO for it's original programming, but my DVR's still full-up and with my Netflix Queue at over 300 titles, I think I'll pass. Besides, everything good on HBO gets released on DVD eventually doesn't it? The only reason to have it is to "keep up with the conversation," a weird cultural elite thing amongst TV fans. 

So between these new (old) comedy shows running on IFC with Comedy Death Ray features, and seeing some great Turner Classic Movies in Hi-Def (like A Matter of Life & Death and The Great Dictator), I feel I made the right choice. 

Geez, I have to get cracking on my Catalog of 2010 before any more time passes. In less than two weeks, SF Sketchfest starts and my weekends will be full.

*For the record I caught 405, 402, 408, 409, 410, Fantastic Newness, & The Incredible, Fantastical News Report.

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