21 August 2009

Dear Movies To Fall Asleep To,

Some people fall asleep with a night light. Some people fall asleep to music. Some people fall asleep with earplugs. Some people fall asleep to the city noise in the streets below.

And some people really like to fall asleep to movies.

That's us.

It has to be the right movie, though. You have to combine a soothing soundtrack (generally no pop music), a relatively slow pace, relaxing dialogue, and subtle mood changes. Old film stock tends to help too because the picture won't be as bright or flashy. The sound quality of older films are generally more even as well: There often won't be a lot of sudden loud moments that might jar you from your slumber.

So, Movies To Fall Asleep To, here is your Top 3 best movies for pre-snoozing and - ultimately - snoozing:

3. Field Of Dreams: Here's a good one. A nice late-80s movie (1989). Warm film stock. And - of course - there's James Earl Jones and his soothing voice talking about baseball and America. What a comforting, sleep-inducing moment.

2. The Godfather: Here's an absolute classic that you can snooze to. This three-hour epic has a very steady pace, a relatively sparse soundtrack, and a lot of talking. This is sure to lull people to sleep.

1. The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring: Here is another epic that could quite possibly be one of the best films for snoozing especially much of scenes of the Shire early in the film. Soothing music (see/listen to the YouTube clip below), Gandalf's soothing voice, rich pastoral scenes. You'll be sleeping in no time and you'll miss all that loud action at the end.

So, there you are Movies To Fall Asleep To. Of course, the trouble is that often times we associate these movies with sleep and it's nearly impossible to watch them "for reals" without falling asleep.

Oh well. Keep up the good work and keep us snoozing!


Honorable Mention: It's not really a movie but Planet Earth as narrated by Sir David Attenborough is fantastic to fall asleep to.

What are your favorite movies to fall asleep to?

19 August 2009

Dear Brett Favre,

Congratulations on coming out of retirement (again) and signing with the Minnesota Vikings.

You truly are a master of many things, Mr. Favre.

Let us list some of things you've mastered over time:
  • Touchdowns.
  • Interceptions.
  • Bringing youthful passion to the game of football at your age.
  • Exciting come-from-behind victories.
  • Retiring.
  • Tearfully convincing us you'll never play again.
  • Coming out of retirement.
  • Helping your fellow man.
That's right, Brett, you are also a master of helping your fellow man.

No, we're not talking about your foundation or the charities you support.

We're talking about the asses you've saved from public embarrassment because of your constant domination of national sports news cycles.

Ass #1: Rick Pitino
The national championship winning college basketball coach, husband and father of five had sex with a woman in a Louisville, KY restaurant and then paid $3,000.00 for an abortion and then this woman tries to extort Pitino for $10 million.

This scandal would've still been front and center but you saved that ass, Favre!

Ass #2: Josh Hamilton
You know the story, Brett. Major League Baseball player Josh Hamilton famously came back from drug and alcohol addiction to get back into baseball and become a two-time MLB All-Star.

Then he relapsed.

Embarrassing pictures were recently posted online of the married Josh Hamilton carousing with women not named Mrs. Hamilton.

But guess what, Brett? You saved him from the intense public scrutiny regarding his sobriety.

Ass #3: Michael Vick
Everyone knows this story.

Vick tortured and killed dogs, served his time in jail, went bankrupt, and then the controversial quarterback was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. This was THE story of the off-season.

But now Vick can practice in relative peace while the news cameras descend upon Viking training camp.

You saved that ass, Brett!

Big Ben Roethlisberger is breathing a sigh of relief too.

Brett, you have spent many seasons carrying entire football teams on your back with your inspirational play. Now you've also carried Pitino, Hamilton and Vick!

We think they owe you, Brett.

Big time.

We're thinking you hit 'em up for a nice dinner, maybe convince 'em to get you a Komodo Dragon that you can eat for dinner, maybe have 'em help you move in to your apartment in Minneapolis, or - better yet - have 'em buy you some cool-looking (but questionably-built) product for your apartment from the new Sharper Image web site (coming soon)!


PS: Or maybe a Retiring ... For Dummies book.

Is there anyone worse at retiring than Brett Favre? Michael Jordan, maybe? How about Star Wars? Or maybe The Who. They hoped they died before they got old. I want to say The Rolling Stones ... But I feel like they never claimed they were ever going to retire.

Also, my dear friend Woody compares Brett Favre to his high school girlfriend. It's funny 'cause it's true. Check it out here!

18 August 2009

Dear Paul Reubens,


The Pee-wee Herman Show, starring Paul Reubens, has announced an extension of its engagement at the Music Box @ Fonda in Hollywood. The production will begin previews November 8, with an opening on November 19, and a new closing date of December 20.

The stage production will be a "re-imagined" version of the show, and will feature Pee-wee regulars, including Miss Yvonne, Mailman Mike, Cowboy Curtis, and Jambi the Genie.
[Theater Mania]
Just no more pulling out your pee wee in public, ok? Cuz no one wants to see that shit.

XoXo - Feel free to recreate Blow for your next project.


N.B. This open letter submitted by TCFS

Ed. Note: When all else fails - like a career - just go with what you know.

17 August 2009

Dear Beck,

Here you are pushing forty and you're still doing cool shit like Record Club.

You take a group of your friends (including actor Giovanni Ribisi, producer-extraordinaire Nigel Godrich, and Icelandic musician Thorunn Magnusdottir), hang out and record most of the tracks from the classic Velvet Underground album: The Velvet Underground & Nico

Here's a great cover of "Run, Run, Run":

You see, Beck, the thing with successfully recording a cover song is to bring a fresh take to the original song without completely destroying it but at the same time without just simply re-recording the tune.

And with a highly influential and classic album like The Velvet Underground & Nico, you've got to get it just right.

And it works.

Beck, you and the rest of the Record Club bring a fresh and vibrant spin to these classic late-'60s songs. The keyboards are a fabulous modern touch to the music. And no offense against Maureen Tucker's solid but a-bit-too-simple drumming skills on the original record, but it's nice to hear some good fills, pace and excitement in the drumming on these casual recordings.

And that's another reason why these recordings shine, Beck.

The songs feel casual, relaxed, light, fun.

This isn't over-produced. You didn't over-complicate things. There is a real energetic, no-pressure vibe to these songs, like it was a group of music-lovers hanging out and recording tunes.

As you intended. And as it should be.

Well done, Beck! We hope to hear more soon.


Be sure to check out the Record Club covers of these Velvet Underground songs. "Sunday Morning" is fantastic, "All Tomorrow's Parties" is just as beautiful as the original, "Heroin" is amazingly frantic, "Waiting For My Man" is -- Well, you get the idea, they're all great covers. Give it a go! Groovy!