OK, no, seriously -- Is This Sweet?

This may be the most random (but somehow maybe possibly great?) super-group of all time:
According to Billboard.com, there's a new band that exists on earth called Tinted Windows featuring former Smashing Pumpkin James Iha, Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos, handsome Hanson brother Taylor, and Fountains of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger.


Apparently, the band have already recorded their debut album in New York and are set to make their big time live splash at Billboard's SXSW showcase March 20 in Austin.
Maybe it's just that I'm exceedingly happy to see news involving an ex-Smashing Pumpkin that doesn't make me want to stab Billy Corgan in the face, but I see reason to be cautiously optimistic about this.

--James Iha -- despite looking like a stoned asian space alien -- was always cool.
--Cheap Trick is Cheap Trick
--Taylor Hanson is a cutie. And he did that cover of Radiohead's "Optimistic" once.
--Fountains of Wayne -- I've been informed by multiple sources -- are not nearly as reprehensible as "Stacy's Mom" once had me believe.

PS: What is it about bizarre super-groups that causes them to choose the shittiest, most generic names names ever? I mean, Tinted Windows is bad... but what about Velvet Revolver? Or the time the dudes in a band called fucking Rage Against The Machine couldn't come up with anything better than Audioslave?

PPS: For Brandon.


I'm Not Impressed: Getting angry at "getting" Dylan.

I've spent the last week or so digesting the Film I'm Not There, a self-proclaimed biopic of Bob Dylan. I've approached from several standpoints. A 'meta' reading, wherein this film is as much a commentary on the ability to capture a life as it is about Dylan. A view through director Todd Haynes' ideal of the refractionary reflection on a life. I've even brushed up on my Dylan, thinking that maybe I just didn't "get it" enough. Perhaps if I listened to a few records and read a Wikipedia page or two, the entirety of this film would open itself to me. A sweet delicious onion. I am inevitably left however, with my immediate feeling upon finishing the film.

This movie is a giant, steaming pile of shit.

I'd like to defend this statement first by saying that I'm not against having several actors play a single role, or even portray several different roles intended, when in combination, to represent a larger whole. American Splendor? Love it. I'm also not against super-meta bullshit. I love super-meta bullshit. Day for Night? Great. Last Action Hero? Yes, please. What I cannot stand, what I will not tolerate, is this guy.
This jerk (Arthur Rimbaud [Ben Wishaw]) is, in one character, the sum of my hatred for this abysmal film school thesis project. This character's only purpose seems to be to answer questions in a manner that is equal parts glib and obtuse. If one thing annoys me [and several things do], it's some prick trying to be as cool as Bob Dylan [or Elvis Costello, or Lou Reed, or insert good musician who has inspired assholery]. Shut this prick up, and cut back to one of the three story lines I didn't mind so much.

The two super-close Dylan characters, Jack Rollins [Christian Bale] and Jude Quinn [Cate Blanchett], and the biopic-self-referencing [because Haynes' can't get enough of that] Robbie Clark [Heath Ledger]. Though I have problems here as well.

Much of Jack and Judes' part in this is pulled from actual Dylan footage. First up, Christian Bale. I really only remember him dropping the N-bomb. Did Dylan drop the N-bomb? Anyway, much of it is shot-for-shot from news footage, etc. Clever. The scene where he plays "Hattie Carol" for a bunch of hillbillies is pretty sweet though. His Pastor John thing is a terrible reach for refractionary biography. Hey, Dylan became super Christian for a while, what if this character becomes super Christian? Brilliant! And the actors name is Christian. Meta-Brilliant!

As for Cate Blanchett, if I wanted to watch Don't Look Back, I damn well would have watched Don't Look Back. Though the send-up to Hard Days' Night was a good bit of fun. Otherwise, watching Blanchett is like watching Gus Van Sant's shot-for-shot remake of Psycho. Sure she can do a great amphetamine-era Dylan, but why? At least they didn't add an unnecessary masturbation sequence.

Heath Ledger, semi-Freewheelin' to messy divorce Dylan. Fine. An actor who plays an actor who played Jack Rollins, a fictional version of a facet of Bob Dylan, played by a different actor. We get it, synthesizing a life for the screen requires synthesis. Move on.

As for the Woody Guthrie [Marcus Carl Franklin] character. If anything comes close to the biopic I expected, it was this guy. Little black kid representing Dylan's early influences, rambling nature, and the social need to "sing about [his] own time." Not terribly amazing, but good enough. Had more things been like this, maybe a little more thought out, I would have thought it adequate. Then they brought in Richard Gere.

What the hell? Why is this happening on the screen? Why is Richard Gere Billy the Kid? Call back to Riddle, MO, fine. Call back to the guitar case, fine. Is that a black guy with an American flag painted on his face? Is that the My Morning Jacket guy with his face painted white? Is that a Giraffe? That's a giraffe. Come on. If I wasn't thinking this collection of Kubrik-tracking-rip-off shots was awful, I'm way over the edge now.
The nail in the coffin for me was Haynes' own view of this film. "The minute you try to grab hold of Dylan, he's no longer where he was. He's like a flame: If you try to hold him in your hand you'll surely get burned." This whole film is an exercise for Todd to show us how much he "gets Dylan." He's every cultural studies student with a leather jacket with a picture of Lou Reed on the back that says "My Week Beats Your Year." I'm spoon fed enough pretentious film crap to say "Enough." I don't care if hardcore Dylan fans love finding all the little obscure tie-ins. It's one artsy prick's attempt to show just how cool he is. Haynes said, "I didn't want to make a movie that was about anything. I wanted to make a movie that is something." Well it is something.

It's a shitty movie.

The Contest

From Britney.com:

"Welcome to the Britney Global Fan Fiction Contest

Step right up, step right up!

Now’s your chance to be Ring Master of the Circus and have your most creative Britney-inspired fiction story turned into an official digital music video!

That's right — your story could be used to create an official Britney Spears digital music video, seen all over the world! Compete against Britney fans from across the globe with your creative writing, imagination and passion for Britney. Only one fan will be the ultimate winner, so good luck!"

I challenge you, Epic Mailers, to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And you, loyal Epic Mail reader, I challenge you to participate as well. Gene Simmons already participated, and his result was spectacular.

Read the rules, and get to writing!!


2 4 prez day

Nice job, Luke. I counter with this:

4 prez day

oh and eddie... learn how to embed a link.


No, it's not a YouTube video. But close.




Can CDO make another damn video so we have something to talk about?

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