weekend is here, and with it come the usual joys of friends,
family, food and football. Man, there is no better way to spend
this holiday than in a food and liquor-induced stupor while
pretending you actually care about a Cowboys vs. Redskins game.
Hold on here, the Cowboys play the Redskins on Thanksgiving?
Hmm, I’m sure this is just a coincidence.
Thanksgiving also means that it’s the official beginning
of the holiday film season, and with nothing, and I MEAN NOTHING,
happening in town this weekend you just might be tempted to
take in a flick or two. Here are your options.
Since we live in a town with a modest population, our film
choices are slim and often geared to the largest and, therefore
most generic, audiences. In spite of, or because of, that fact
we find ourselves this weekend with two Adam Sandler movies
from which to pick. The first, “Punch Drunk Love”
seems harmless and likable enough. The other one, “Eight
Crazy Nights,” scares the hell out of me. Last month I
said in a very public forum that I thought Sandler’s movies
were great. However, based on the trailers for “Eight
Crazy Nights,” I may never watch “Happy Gilmore”
or “The Wedding Singer” again. It is often said
that the best parts of a movie are given away by the preview,
and if that’s the case with this cartoon, then there’s
not a funny line in the whole movie.
Also opening in time for the holiday weekend is Steven Soderbergh’s
latest effort, “Solaris.” It is a film about, and
I’m taking this straight from the official Web site, “love,
redemption, second chances and a space mission gone terribly
wrong.” Plus, it stars the ultra-hunky George Clooney.
George Clooney and failed space missions? It’s a must
see! I joke but Solaris will probably kill at the box office,
and therein lies my beef.
During summer and the winter holidays, Hollywood bombards us
with crap that wouldn’t last a week in March. My favorite
is a movie that hasn’t yet made it to Durango. It’s
called “Extreme Ops,” and it’s about a group
of twentysomethings who fight off a gang of international terrorists
while snowboarding, rock climbing and doing other extreme sports.
Really now, someone ought to be slapped.
My advice to the would be film go-er, as long as you’ve
already seen Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine”
playing at the Abbey Theatre twice nightly, is to call some
friends, get some beer and rent “Caddyshack” or
“Strange Brew.” It’ll be safe to go back to
the movies in a month or so.
My research for this column often carries me to the darkest
reaches of the Southwest in search of top-shelf entertainment
options for you the reader. This week found me digging around
Albuquerque for fun live music and boy, did I find a couple
of gems. On Sunday, Dec. 1, legendary surf guitarist Dick Dale,
whose fans are called “Dick Heads,” will perform
at the Launch Pad. Best known for the song “Miserlou,”
which was featured on the “Pulp Fiction” soundtrack,
Dale has been churning out lively surf guitar for more than
40 years. Some even say he invented the surf style. If you are
in Albuquerque on the 1st, do not miss this show.
Technically, this next event isn’t until next week, but
you’ll need the extra time to gather friends and make
hotel accommodations. Neil Diamond is at the Tingley Coliseum
on Dec. 5. This man has forgotten more hits than Matchbox Twenty
will ever pretend to know. Tickets are in the $35 to $60 range
– a bit steep, but remember, this is the guy who wrote
“Daydream Believer” and “Red, Red Wine.”
If you can’t make this show, I’ve heard he’s
playing the Pepsi Center in Denver on New Years Eve.
This Week’s Sign The End Is Near: Troubled professional
golfer John Daly released an album this week called “My
Life.” It features acoustic folk songs with lyrics that
use the game of golf as a metaphor for life. Meanwhile, Shania
Twain’s new release goes platinum faster than any other
album since the advent of Soundscan. Even the name of her record
is unoriginal – both Peter Gabriel and R.E.M have releases
called UP. All of this goes on while a band like the Blasters
remains under the radar for 20 years.
This Week’s Album That Should Be in Everybody’s
Collection: “The Blasters: Trouble Bound.” The Blasters
began playing and recording great R & B-influenced rockabilly
in the early ’80s and released a few of that decade’s
best records. In the spring of this year, the band reunited
and played a small number of shows in southern California. “Trouble
Bound” is the result of those shows, and if it weren’t
for the copyright date on the sleeve, I wouldn’t know
the band is 20 years older. All the songs are played with the
same exuberance and abandon as back in the day. Fans will find
all the old favorites (“American Music,” “Marie,
Marie,” “So Long Baby, Goodbye”) plus some
not heard before surprises (Jr. Parker’s, “Crying
For My Baby,” for example). This is an album that conveys
the energy of the live show without the boring drum solos or
audience sing-alongs that often plague live efforts. “Trouble
Bound” is available at www.hightone.com. It would be a
wonderful world if bands like The Blasters were breaking sales
records, and Shania Twain was hawking her wares on a website
Shania Twain. Am I missing something? email@example.com