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September 30, 2007

Review: LeBron James on SNL

[Cliche Threat Level Red] I haven't watched Saturday Night Live in years, but [Cliche Threat Level Yellow] I have a personal rule that anytime someone from Summit County hosts the show I have to watch.  So, I sat through the 90 minutes out of obligation.  And you know what, it wasn't too bad.

I, for one, enjoyed Kanye West's performances, though I admit I missed the first two-thirds of his second song because I turned to ESPN in fear that I might miss a moment of Lou Holtz on College Football Final, which, come to think of it, would actually be funnier than most of what I saw on SNL.  Anyways, if I make the basic assumption that SNL isn't any good anymore, LeBron did well.  Things started off really really slow, but I did like the Solid Gold sketch, and the guidance counselor thing at the very end was funny as well.  Those two, plus the Kanye West awards show sketch, go in my top three for the night, a top three that essentially serves as the list of amusing bits from the show.

So, three cheers for LeBron (and, if you're reading this King James, here's hoping you've figured out a way to score 48 in every game in the '08 playoffs and finals, 'cause I'm kinda scared that Devin Brown and Cedric Simmons aren't going to get us over the hump).

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September 19, 2007

So long, farewell . . .

Owl-eyed (is that hyphenated?) readers will note that it's been a little over a month since the nearly-venerable (pretty sure that's hyphenated) Ian W. wrote anything on here.  That's 'cause he's gracefully bowed out of the micro-indie record biz.  A few weeks ago he headed out west to engage in the hallowed study of semiotics.  Because he "could not make up for distance" (to quote Malkmus) and because he wants to devote his full, undivided attention to Mr. Charles Peirce, et al., it will be necessary for him to completely wash his hands of NBR.

What all this means is that I'm now in the uncomfortable position of having to write stuff in the third person about myself.  Maybe this is the right time to finally see about finding a NBR intern.

Anyway, I hope everyone joins me in wishing Mr. Wying a fond adieu and best of luck heading forward.  Ian's specifically instructed me to leave you all with one last bit of prose:

Keep buying records, and don't bother Googling me, because "Ian Wying" isn't really my name, suckers.

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September 17, 2007

Guess that answers that question . . .

Back in the day (a whole four or five months ago) when I would make the trek to Sawmill Lanes for my weekly bowling league, I'd often get sick of Bethel Road, so I would take the "shortcut" past the OSU Airport.

I'd always wonder who uses the airport, given its sorta inconvenient location (unless you're a Fox and Hounds or Governour's Square resident).  Well, today I got my answer:  Jack Hanna.  And his mongoose.  And leopard.  And flamingo.

I love Jack, but I also love the visual of him, clad in his zoo kahki shorts, walking down quiet West Case Road to the fire station at 12:30 a.m. to call in the calvary.  All of this begs the question as to how they would close the terminal when Jack Hanna was due to arrive, but I'll never pretend to understand how airports work.

Perhaps the biggest shocker is that Hanna is 60.  I would've guessed he was closer to 50, but I guess I have been watching animals whiz on him on the Letterman show for about 15 years now.

Next time you run into me, ask me about the time I received the ultimate Columbus honor: getting to ride the Jack Hanna COTA bus.

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September 16, 2007


Gotta give a shout to my Brownies -- few things remedy a Week 1 dismantling at the hands of the Steelers better than a shootout victory over the "dreaded" Bungles.  Sunday was definitely the best day in Brownsland since April.  While I'm still trying not to feel dirty rooting for Jamal Lewis, I'm happy to see guys like Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards live up to their high draft-pick status (keep in mind that Winslow's been doing it for a while, though -- his gutty 2006 season is one of the all-time underrated seasons by a tight end).

Since I was at my parents' house (and the Steelers take priority and get the broadcast nod in York, PA), my dad and I went up to Steelton to watch the game with the Central Pennsylvania Browns Backers.  While the website is wholly unspectacular and a bit outdated, the CPBB group is another example of why Browns fans are the best in the NFL.  We've had one winning season in the last eight years and we get blown out on opening day by our rivals, yet we still fill a room in a bar 330 miles from Cleveland.  With all due respect to the alleged "Who Dey Nation" no one deserved a victory today more than the displaced "people of Cleveland who've suffered for so many years" (to steal a line from D.C. Berman).

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September 07, 2007

That Dylan movie . . .

A brief mention of the new Dylan film, I'm Not There, ran on the Plain Dealer's website today.  Clint O'Connor says the "film that is part mockumentary, part stream of consciousness, and all Dylan (fact, fiction, legend)" is one that all Dylan fans "absolutely must see."  He also writes that Cate Blanchett's portrayal of 1965-era Dylan takes over the film in a good way.  The clip that's been on YouTube for a few months is inconclusive on that score, so I'll take Clint's word on it, but I do know that I'm not really digging David Cross's portrayal of Ginsberg (though perhaps I'm still harboring a bit of anti-David Cross bias because his character in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was annoying).

Pitchfork also ran a Dylan-related piece today, this one on some remix (and accompanying music video) of "Most Likely You Go Your Way And I'll Go Mine" that's not worth linking to.  All of this Dylan "news" today did, however, prompt me to spring for a ticket to the Dylan/Elvis Costello show in Columbus next month (speaking of which, hopefully the OSU/Kent State game is at noon that day, or there's going to be a big cluster-youknowwhat on campus). 

I also finally viewed the trailer of I'm Not There, which actually looks really tight:

I can't wait to see what kind of spin Batman puts on Dylan.  Plus the soundtrack has gotta be killer, right?  After all, it's supposed to include Stephen Malkmus, Yo La Tengo, various configurations of Sonic Youth, Cat Power, (Ohio's own) the Black Keys, and lots of "others."  Maybe the best "inspired by ___" rock movie since Last Days? I dunno, but I'm psyched to see the film.

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