Archive for February, 2007

So close, so farawhatthehell?

February 20, 2007

I remarked to a friend recently that because of the way the movie business is structured, what with its exclusionary practices and disdain for new talent, I actually feel further from my goals here in LA than I did living in Jersey.

And then LA does something completely out of character. I called a production comapny today…

Me: “Hi, my name’s Roger Taylor. I’m calling to see if you have any freelance script reading jobs available?”

Woman who picks up: “Reading… hang on.”

(I sit on hold for 30 seconds.)

“No, it looks like we have 7 readers already, so we’re pretty well full.”

“Oh. Well thanks for checking.”

“Are you a writer?”

“A writer? Yeah.”

“Do you have anything interesting?”

(clearly stalling) “Um…”

“Call me when you do.”


Okay, seriously? Seriously? I can’t get a simple reading job, I have to struggle and scrape just to get cast as one of 250 extras for some MTV film no one cares about, none of my writer friends can manage to get an agent, but apparently production companies are so starved for material that they’ll ask random schlubs on the phone if they have any good scripts?


Ever been brought to tears by music?

February 19, 2007

I have. 3 times that I can remember. (have i written about this?)

Once by Jeff Buckey’s “Hallelujah,” once by Yo La Tengo’s “Last Days of Disco,” once by Radiohead’s “Motion Picture Soundtrack” (very much in the context of Kid A as an album, coming at the end as it does). Oddly, all in major keys.

Anyone else?

February 18, 2007

As of February 17th, I’ve been a member for a year.  In that time I logged around 8,000 songs.  This is considerably lower than I would have expected, although it works out to nearly 22 songs a day, and I guess that sounds about right.

My most listened-to artist of last year was Yo La Tengo with 259 plays.  This is appropriate because a) they’re one of my favorite bands and b) I discovered them only a couple years ago and have been going through their extensive back catalog, as well as listening to their most recent release.  Interestingly, they’re perhaps the most underrepresented band on the list, since I own all their music on disc not mp3, and while does track CDs when they’re played through the computer, it does not count the inordinate number of hours I spend wandering the streets of LA at night with a Discman in my pocket (or the time I spent driving around aimlessly to music before my car stereo broke).

The Beatles clock in at number 2 with 242 plays.  Again, understandable, since I obtained a great many of their albums this year, and again, they’re a top 5 favorite band.

After that there’s a pretty big drop off to #3, Bob Dylan with 145 plays.  I wouldn’t have expected him to rank quite so high, but he did have a new album I listened to quite a bit, and I also picked up Blood on the Tracks for the first time a few months ago.

After that is Sam Phillips, who I was introduced to by the The Gilmore Girls.  She’s the throaty-voiced woman who sings “la la” a lot in the background over an acoustic guitar.  She ranks so high in great part because I found a bunch of her CDs at the Hunterdon County Library in New Jersey and ripped them all to my computer.  Her earlier psychedelic pop stuff isn’t so great, but her newer low-key albums are fantastic.

Rounding out the top 5 is Elliott Smith, a perpetual favorite who never tops my weekly charts, but usually manages a few plays a week.

Buoyed by the fact that I was still familiarizing myself with their work this year are Elvis Costello, at #9, the pillows at #12, Tom Waits at #27, and Bruce Springsteen at #30.  (Had I signed up a year earlier, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Clash, and The Feelies would have ranked quite a bit higher).

Underrepresented because I tend to walk around (or drive) to faster-paced, shorter songs are David Bowie, Weezer, Radiohead and Violent Femmes.  Mellower acts like Nick Drake and The Shins had the majority of their plays counted.

And because tracks the number of plays, rather than the amount of time listened to, a few artists ended up further down the list than they perhaps ought to have, namely Godspeed You! Black Emperor and a few classical composers (or performers … that’s another thing that’s always a little wonky).

I’m curious to see what the list looks like a year from now.

I have three things in my trunk,

February 16, 2007

and three things only.  They are a spare tire, a frisbee and a whoopee cushion.

stuck downtown

February 13, 2007

Worked on CSI: New York tonight in downtown LA.  They had us park in a ghetto ass parking lot that looked like it was reshaped and gnarled by past earthquakes, and then used as a bathroom by crack addicts.  Everyone else got out okay.  I got a giant purple scrape across my right rear door and a nail through my tire.  I hadn’t changed a flat since I made a video about it for driver’s ed in high school.  Remembered everything okay, but found the factory screwed lugs were on so tight I couldn’t budge them, at least until I gave up and sacrificed my brand new leather shoes that I just bought yesterday by setting the tire iron into place and kicking the hell out of the thing until the lugs loosened.

(for those who don’t know me, I buy about one pair of shoes every two years, so this was a pretty big deal, and I didn’t relish the idea of using them for manual labor… or whatever the foot equivilant of manual is).

I was quite proud of myself when, prior to jacking the car up, I remembered to set something (a cement brick, in this case) behind the diagonally opposite wheel.   That is, until I forgot it was there when I was done and backed up into it.  Because what I needed right then was another flat.  (nothing popped, thankfully).

This town is terrible.

February 11, 2007

So there was this really choice kids desk sitting pretty across the street from my apartment last night. It was smallish (a good size for my desk-deficient room), purple, and covered in yellow writing (presumably from its former child owner) Like something Prince or the Maxx would own. Only the thing was heavy as balls so I couldn’t very well carry it in myself. And my roommates weren’t home. And because it’s LA, my friends in this town all live so far away as to not be able to help with this sort of thing at short notice. (5 miles = 20 minutesish)

Miraculously, it was still there in the morning. And in the afternoon, at 2:30. Finally, one of my roommates awoke at 3 PM and I could haul the desk in. Except by then it was gone.

This town is terrible.


February 6, 2007

If I’m ever rich enough to build my own house, I’m going to install no more than two electrical outlets so I’m forced to prioritize my usage. I can make coffee and charge my phone at the same time, but that means no TV, and no computer. If I watch a DVD, well, that’s two plugs then, isn’t it, so no more electricity otherwise. I haven’t decided how light fixtures fit into this arrangement, but I think I might be able to live a more focused and linear life in my futurehouse.

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School Forever

February 1, 2007

It has come to my attention that Corey Feldman’s masterpiece, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School Forever, has not been released on DVD.  A sequel to the Ramones movie of a similar name, Forever retains one original cast member, two original characters, has nothing whatsoever to do with the Ramones, and doesn’t make a lick of sense.  It’s a classic.

There was a laserdisc release, back when people were simple enough to buy into that sort of thing, but still no DVD.  This needs to be rectified.