Monday, November 25, 2002

My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult show -- November 23, 2002

The first opening act was VooDou. They seemed cool. They were sort of a mix of 80s goth and electronic sounds. The lead singer is a chick and I want to be her. She looked so cool, wearing an outfit very similar to the type I will be buying once I lose about 20 pounds (short skirt, torn fishnets, 20-hole docs). The bass player and one of the guitarists (both guys) were wearing long dresses. They were cool. The only problems were that for the first few songs the lead singer's mic wasn't loud enough so you could barely hear her, and she didn't have the best stage presence in the world. But they have only been together for like 3 years, so that will probably come along.

Second opening act was Cherrie Blue. Um. Okay. She only had one musician with her, a bass player. That and a DJ, the same DJ used by VooDou, so I don't know who he belonged to actually. The music wasn't all that bad provded you couldn't actually see her. She had a good voice, but ugh I couldn't watch her. She looked almost like Madonna in her blond ambition tour with the really long fake blond ponytail and the black clothes (alhtough her clothes covered more and she was wearing these hidious beige platform shoes) and her dancing was so this weird Hindo-voguing type stuff. Very odd. And there were like 2 tables on stage with people sitting watching the show from the stage. Very odd. Music not bad...but show not good.

Then My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult came out. Wow! They can really put on a show. How old are they now? The lead singer is so cool looking and just fun to watch. They did "Days of Swine and Roses", which I wasn't sure if they would do because they recoreded it with KMFDM. They probably got the biggest reaction for the song "Sex on Wheels". Unfortunately I don't know the set list because, while I'm familiar with a lot of their songs, I don't know most of the titles. Sorry! But they were really good. If you are into them, I would suggest seeing them live.

Monday, November 11, 2002

The Seven Samurai
I saw "The Seven Samurai" on the big screen at a theater that shows a lot of classic films. This was a great movie. The story was good. It had a lot of elements. The acting was good.

In case you aren't familiar with the story, "The Magnificent Seven" is based on this film. "The Seven Samurai" is set in Japan in the late 1500s. A small village is being terrorized by bandits, and they want to hire samurai to help them defend their village after the barley harvest. Most of the movie is the recruitment of the samurai and the battle with the bandits.

Only problem with the movie is it's length. 3 1/2 hours. While this wouldn't have been bad if I were watching it from the comfort of my own home or in a theater with big cushy seats, I was in an old theater with seats that are quite uncomfortable after the 90-minute mark. The length isn't bad film-wise, just comfort wise. This is a great film.

This is only the second Akira Kurosawa film I have seen. "Rashamon" is the other. Based on these two I look forward to seeing more of his films.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Bloody Sunday
I saw this movie yesterday afternoon. I love the way this movie was made. It was shot using handheld cameras, so it was rough in places. It looked much more like a documentary than a film, in that sometimes views were obstructed and such.

As for the film itself, since I don't know a lot of the history about what happened that day. I'm not sure how well the film captured that. But it was very, very sad. I can't even begin to imagine living in Derry at that time. I had to try really hard not to sob loudly during certain scenes, as I didn't want to disturb others in the theater. You definitely don't feel good after watching this movie.

I thought the acting was great. I really liked James Nesbitt as Ivan Cooper. There is a scene in the hospital where you don't really hear him say anything. Everything you need to know about his emotions is on his face.

I think it's a shame this movie doesn't have a wider distribution. Right now only one theater in the Chicago area is showing it. Very few people I know have heard of it. Indeed, while I was at the theater, 8 Mile was sold out at the same time, but there were probably less than 20 people watching Bloody Sunday.

Friday, November 08, 2002

Protesters Protesters Everywhere

As you may have heard, the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialog is going on in Chicago right now, and there are a lot of protesters here.

After work on Thursdays I go to work downtown on a research project for which I get internship credit for school. Afterward I walk to Tim's work. It's about a couple of miles, I think. Anyway, it's exercise.

So I'm walking down Michigan Avenue to get to Tim's work, and all is normal. Then after a couple of blocks, I notice some cops standing around. Then, a block or so later, I notice there aren't many pedestrians around anymore. Shortly thereafter, I see that there are no cars passing me on the street, and Michigan Avenue is always jammed that time of day. That normally busy part of the city seemed almost deserted. I walked down the block a bit more, and there were police standing shoulder to shoulder in front of a building that is basically a shopping center. It looked like they weren't letting anyone in or out. Couldn't figure that one out. Then I see police lining the street in some sections. There are helicopters in the air, just hovering overhead. By this time there are almost no pedestrians around me, and I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. So I called my mom and asked what was going on. She was watching the news and said the protesters were marching down the street, and that time were probably about a half mile from where I was. As I kept walking the police presence was getting stronger, and they were wearing riot gear. It was the first time I ever saw Chicago police wearing riot gear, and it was a bit freaky. They have these new riot gear uniforms, all black. Looks like something you would see in a movie.

I get to the Chicago river, and when I got there I could see the protesters coming. They were marching, almost parade-style, in the middle of the street. Had I known that's how the protest was going to be, I wouldn't have walked down Michigan Avenue. They were peaceful, just shouting and holding signs. Their destination (which I didn't know at the time) was a plaza on Michigan Avenue just north of the river, which was basically just across the street from where I was when I saw them.

I crossed the river to continue going south to Tim's work, but I couldn't cross. The police weren't letting people cross the street there. I was stuck. One one woman tried to cross the street, a riot gear-clad cop just stopped her by putting his shield up. There were police standing across the street sholder to shoulder holding clubs, all standing in the same position. It was scary looking.

The protesters who were marching were escorted on either side by police in riot gear (they made a lot of noise when they walked with all the protective gear they were wearing) and mounted police.

I tried turning around and going back over the river, so that maybe I could go over a few blocks and continue south on a street without protesters. But before I could get to the next intersection there were more police in riot gear blocking the sidewalk. Luckily, since Michigan Avenue is a raised street, there was a stairway to ground level and other streets that I could take that I had forgotten about. Otherwise I would have been trapped, not able to go north or south.

It's good the Chicago police were prepared. I'm sure they were there both for the protection of the protesters themselves, as well as to prevent them from getting out of hand. But my city looked like it was under martial law, and that was scary. When I was walking down the street, when there was hardly anyone there but police, I almost felt like a criminal just for being there.

Monday, November 04, 2002

On Saturday night Tim and I went to see Art Garfunkel in concert. He was sharing the stage with Buddy Mondlock and Maia Sharp. They are both folk-like singers. During the first half of the set Buddy and Maia did a few of their solo songs. Then all three came out and sang a song together. They recently released an album as a trio. After a brief intermission, Art Garfunkel came out. He did a few songs on his own, including some Simon & Garfunkel songs, and also did songs with Buddy and Maia.

The concert was great! All three performers are very talented, and they had excellent musicians with them. The three of them sound great together. Whoever had the idea to put these three together is a genious. Their voices compliment each other so well. My favorite song by the trio is called "The Thread". It's a song that they wrote based on a poem that Art Garfunkel has written before. It connects streets in NY with decades. It was a great song. Every song was great.

You can hear some of the songs at and

Friday, November 01, 2002

Hawks Rally for a Late Win
Good for them. So far this season I have not watched one full hockey game. Not one. How pathetic is that? For the last week I have been working overtime and not watching television when I get home. That's an excuse for one week. What about the rest? I'm going through withdrawl. I was supposed to go to the home opener until *someone* bailed on me. I'm looking forward to the Hawks' long road trip at the end of November. Perhaps I will actually get to see some games!