Friday, May 18, 2007

Last night we say the Waybacks at the Little Fox Theater.

I've seen the Waybacks live more than any other band that doesn't include friends of mine (see the links in the sidebar). This is probably the 7th or 8th time I've seen them and I've even written about them before.

They are simply a great band. If you have an open mind or a broad musical taste, you should definitely check them out. I haven't been able to come up with a short description but last night we heard acoustic/bluegrass/jazz/country/New Orleans/rock/classical influences in the same concert and sometimes in the same song!

Original member Chojo Jacques left the band a while ago and he has been replaced by fiddle wunderkind Warren Hood. The new version of the band has changed the mix of music that they play - there is less wacky/funny songs and more rock oriented and jam based songs - but they still put on a great show. Hood is a much more technically talented musician than Chojo was and he fits in a little better with the skill level of James Nash, their amazing guitar player/singer.

Great show from one of my favourite bands.

Update: You can download songs from this show here in either FLAC or MP3 format.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Last weekend, we saw Hot Fuzz, the new action film/parody by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, the same team that made the zombie movie/parody Shaun of the Dead.

It's quite good. Wright and Pegg understand that in order to make an effective parody, you first have to create a good example of the original form. In both movies, they do a good job of creating compelling, sympathetic characters and interesting situations that drive the story and provide a framework to hang the jokes from.

Some reviewers have compared this movie to The Naked Gun series but I think that is a bad comparison. The Naked Gun movies provide a very bare frame for slapstick/wacky jokes that come at a breakneck pace. Hot Fuzz's jokes come at much more measured pace and are more character based rather than slapstick or pun based.