Friday, September 29, 2006

Causes of Celebration

- It's Friday! Woohoo! And it's a long weekend. Rock! True, I have the day off on Monday for a not-so-happy Jewish Holiday (Yom Kippur), but I still got the day off and I'm thrilled.

- New Decemberists' record leaked to the Internet!! The Crane Wife so far sounds like a mishmash of all previous Decemberists goodness but without the random poppy sheen of Picaresque. Looks like another A+ from my good friends from Portland. (PS, guys, your website is in desperate need of a re-design. Seriously. Get on that.) (hey, while I'm making unprompted requests, how bout a South Florida show ?? Pretty please?)

- Visit from my Dad. He's a good guy going through a tough period. Hopefully some time in the sun, and the cool shade of my balcony, will unburden his heart.

- And finally, love. Love is the ultimate cause of celebration. I have my love. Her name is Shawn. Things are not always so easy for us, what with life and money and damn persistent plumbing problems, but we try our best to be happy. Sometimes we both act crazy and we make each other even more crazy, but more often, we find the peace and the solace in each other's presence that is lacking elsewhere. I've learned that relationships are harder than I ever imagined or even guessed, but in the end, they're worth it.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

SG-1 Will Live Forever!

Woohoo! News:

Rumors Surface of SG-1 TV-Movies

Stargate SG-1 undoubtedly has a future after SCI FI channel cancelled the long-running series last month -- but what kind of future is it? A feature film? An eleventh season with another broadcaster? IGN reports this week that, according to unnamed cast members, the studio is currently planning to create a series of SG-1 TV movies.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

One of Those Posts with Lots of Links

This Pitchfork review of My Morning Jacket's brilliant double live-album, Okonokos, is extremely lacking. There's some interesting flourishes here and there, but the scope and grandeur of the album is not protrayed through the review and the writer seems to think MMJ is just another band with just another album. They could not be more wrong. This is an instant classic album - a rarity in the overly crowded market of the day - and an affirmation of sucess from a band that has transcended all genre and classifcation lines, beyond indie rock, beyond alt-country, and into mainstream consciosuness.

Maybe I'm a little biased. I saw MMJ at Lallapoolza recently and it was a truly transformative moment. I reconnected with some dormat ROCK portion of myself and, through the band, found a new apprecation of all music. This is an almost magical feat and they pulled it off effortlessly, in about an hour's time. Ever since that show, I have been listening to Okonokos almost non-stop and in its chords and lulls and highs, that same magical spark is reignited again and again.

And the magic will not stop! A film is coming out of the performance, from the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco (where I saw an equally transcendent performances by Mogwai back in the day). That film should be an incredible blast of a perfomance, apparently it's edited and directed very well. I can't wait!!

But, that's not out for another month. (*takes a breathe, relaxes). For the moment, I'm focusing on the album. It's coming out this week and a lot of other reviewers 'round the web have captured the spirit of the album a lot better than pitchfork. Some links and excerpts:

From their hometown paper, the Louisville Courier-Journal:

"Okonokos" is a true concert experience, its many transcendent moments sharing space with happily wrecked solos and the occasional splintered high note from singer Jim James. This is not a complaint. This is what live music is all about: a shared, human experience, imperfections and all. We're living in the moment here.

From Miami New Times: (huh? okay!)

The best live albums bring something new to songs that have been heard only in a studio incarnation, new performances that transcend the recorded versions and connect with striking immediacy. By that standard, Okonokos, My Morning Jacket's first concert set, is a stunning success.

From PopMatters:

Okonokos‘s structure is perfect for a live album—when the songs trip off into another world, they soon rock brightly back to life, often within the same song. The songs are stretched out, but without losing any of their impact. In fact, the impact of every hook, note, and solo is only accentuated. The band hammers each note exactly right, with absolute toughness but also sensitivity, so it isn’t bombastic but still kicks hard. James’ voice soars but also turns ragged, as the music flies light but also punches the audience in the face. An extra dose of intensity is added to songs, to keep the feeling of surprise, and those intense moments the audience is expecting—like on “One Big Holiday”, their most overtly rocking song—are delivered even better than promised.

From Barnes & (see what I mean by mainstream sucess?)

Even before their breakthrough, It Still Moves [and best album - elad] My Morning Jacket had built a buzz as a great live act: With their long hair swinging in circles, their penchant for dramatic shifts in dynamics, and their indulgence in epic guitar solos, the Louisville, Kentucky, band created an impressive spectacle.

Now, I can't say that My Morning Jacket will appeal to everyone. They have a sort of homespun rock sound that touches on Southern twang, indie exuberance, and even more traditional pop structures to their shorter songs, but there's something, definitely something, that makes this band appeal to more than just one target audience. They have a truly American sound bringing to mind long drives through empty highways or endless landscapes of mountains, valleys, or stripmalls all crowned by the same lazy clouds. That indescribable Americanness is part of what inspires and excites me about them. But at the end of the day, they're just a rock band. Maybe the last great rock band. Or maybe just the best.

Monday, September 18, 2006

An Open Letter

Dear Ruth Gotian of the Kinneret Day School Almuni Assocation,

I don't care.


Elad Haber

Friday, September 15, 2006

Sometimes, the world feels very small.

Man, where did this week go? Where did this summer go?!

I feel like it's been such a blur. A good blur, but a blur nonetheless. Alaska was incredible, seemed to be a calm nap before a busy evening. Before I knew what was happenning, Israel was at war and workload suddenly increased a thousand-fold. My calm summer where I was suppose to get back to my roots of writing and reading and relaxing was gobolled up, never to be heard from again.

And this week the offical "craziness" begins at work, with more and more work and responsibility and overtime (that demon of good and bad all moshed together).

Shawn and I are in a new apartment. Two weeks later and close to settling in. It's a wonderful place, full of good vibes, in an even wonderfuler (that should so be a word) location. It's going to be great to watch this neighborhood develop. Although it looks like our building might start looking like a messy construction project soon.

Everything hasn't been perfect, tho. I feel like I work constantly and yet am still undeniably broke. The stress of all that (work, brokeness, moving) has eaten away at my ability to relax and ponder, writing-wise. I'm picking away at this one little piece of story I got, very very slowly. One of these days, it may be something readable and good. Been a while since I had one of those. Wish me luck!

Thankfully, there has been some very good news lately, in the regards to live music in the area. That one thing I'm always complaining about? Yeah, well, someone wants me to shut the fuck up, cause there's four band incredible bands coming in the next two months to enterain me, personally. Gonna be great.