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Posts Tagged ‘Mythbusters

San Diego Comic-Con 2010 – Saturday Programming Preview

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San Diego Comic-Con International is next week, July 22-25.

One last shameless beg: I’m hoping to do some live blogging of the panels I attend, but need a netbook in order to pull it off. If you have a hookup, please drop me a line. Time is running out!

I don’t know who I’m kidding when it comes to Saturday: though I have some panels I’d like to see that are scattered around, I’m going to be camped in Hall H all day. The lineup looks solid. In fact, there’s only a hole or two (I’m looking at you, Resident Evil:Afterlife). Count this as my official vote for the SDCC programming folks to act on the perpetual rumor that they’re going to limit Hall H to a couple of days every year. While we’re voting, please make one on Thursday, when crowds are more manageable. And get me a free pony while you’re at it.

Sometime between now and next Wednesday, I’ll sit down and figure out exactly what I’ll be attending. Here are the highlights:

Saturday, July 24 (Happy Pioneer Day!)

10:00-11:00 Mad about MAD!— Room 7AB

11:15-12:15 The Event: World-Premiere Pilot Screening and Q&A with Cast and Producers— this has quite a large chunk of the cast expected to be there.

11:15-12:15 Spotlight on Gerard Way— Room 6DE – Lead singer of My Chemical Romance. Squee, I say.

11:45-1:15 Warner Bros.: Green Lantern, Sucker Punch, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows— Hall H – we couldn’t have gotten rid of half of yesterday’s Hall H programming and let Green Lantern and Harry Potter each have their own panel?

12:00-1:00 The Venture Bros.— Indigo Ballroom, San Diego Hilton Bayfront

12:30-1:45 Quick Draw!— Room 6BCF

1:30-2:15 The Simpsons— Ballroom 20

1:30-2:30 Behind the Scenes with Sid & Marty Krofft: A Look at the Past, Present and Future— Room 24ABC

1:30-2:30 Overture: Let Me In— Hall H

1:45-3:15 Cartoon Voices I— Room 6BCF – the first of Mark Evanier‘s two-part animation voices extravaganza during the convention. If you aren’t a Hall H type and enjoy animation at all, this is where you should be. Mark does a great job of keeping things running, and gathers together the most talented group of actors whose names you likely don’t recognize. Not only are they gathered up, but Mark puts them through their paces. I can’t recommend this panel highly enough. It’s companion panel is on Sunday morning and, since I’ll be holding down the fort in Hall H on Saturday, I’ll be going to the sequel.

2:00-3:00 The Guild— Indigo Ballroom, San Diego Hilton Bayfront

2:30-3:30 Partners in Image Comics— Robert Kirkman and Todd McFarlane in the same panel. I’m really sorry to miss this one.

3:30-5:00 Warehouse 13 and Eureka— Room 6BCF

4:00-4:45 Screen Gems: Resident Evil: Afterlife— Hall H – I swear this is a retread of last year’s panel. And last year, there was 3D content. It’s hard to imagine what exactly needs to be said a full year later, since there was a decent amount of footage last time, if memory serves.

4:30-5:30 Spotlight on J. Michael Straczynski— Room 6A – even though the project has passed into the hands of a new writer, I’d still like to hear what JMS has to say about the state of World War Z. He’s always entertaining.

4:30-5:30 Disney Epic Mickey— Room 9

4:45-5:45 Universal: Paul and Cowboys & Aliens— Hall H

5:00-6:00 G4: Attack of the Show— Indigo Ballroom, San Diego Hilton Bayfront

5:30-6:30 Why So Critical? Celebrating 25 Years of Film Threat— Room 24ABC

5:30-6:30 Avatar Press and Max Brooks— Room 26AB

6:00-7:00 Marvel Studios: Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger— Hall H – Whedon’s in town for another panel, so one wonders if we might get some news on The Avengers.

7:15-8:15 MythBusters— Room 6BCF

7:15-8:45 Kevin Smith— Hall H – casting news for his upcoming political horror movie Red State have been promised.

7:30-8:30 World Premiere of Legend of Neil, Season 3— Room 7AB

8:00-9:00 Troma Troma Troma— Room 8

8:30-10:30 With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story— Room 6BCF

8:30-9:30 World Premiere of The House That Drips Blood on Alex: An Evening With Tommy Wiseau— Room 7AB

10:00-12:00 Kevin Smith presents Cop Out in “Maximum Comedy Mode”— Indigo Ballroom, San Diego Hilton Bayfront – say what you will about Mssr. Smith, he does have a good handle on what a live crowd wants, and probably realizes that it isn’t to merely watch a DVD of his last movie with him. I suspect there will be surprises here.

Pat Metheny

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May 4, 2010
Kingsbury Hall

I was only passingly familiar with Pat Metheny’s work prior to Tuesday night’s concert. I will fully admit that music is a part of the aesthetic life that I’ve really not paid very much attention to, and jazz doubly so. I have plenty of favorite musicians and music that I listen to, but I’m certainly not well educated when it comes to music, nor am I particularly knowledgeable about different kinds of music. After a very entertaining evening, I can certainly attest to Metheny being a consummate storyteller armed with emotionally evocative work.

Here is the story I heard:

My name is Pat Metheny.
I am a guitar virtuoso.
I can, as I stand here on stage, think of a more complex musical idea than you could devise if I gave you six weeks, a slide rule, and unfettered access to Beethoven’s brain.
I find my creativity sometimes going into areas that you would find confusing.
At worst, you’d wonder if there is anything there but noise.
I understand every note, every nuance, and every theme.

I have a band.
It is full of the most talented jazz musicians I can find.
Sometimes I find my job frustrating.
I explain the nuances of a particular sound I want from my wind section.
All I get are blank stares.
“I want you to fill up a series of glass jars and play them like they were moonshine jugs” couldn’t be more clear.
Granted, I’m talking to a Julliard graduate.
I find this very frustrating.

Other times, I ask my vibraphone player to play 14 notes simultaneously.
He responds that he only has a limited number of hands to hold mallets with.
I suggest that we might want to surgically attach new limbs to allow him to do this more efficiently.
He looks at me like I’m crazy.

All the while, my imagination runs, spitting out a phrase, or a theme, or three notes and begging me to play them.
I refuse to tolerate the frustration anymore.
I am, after all, a cool and laid-back jazz musician in my heart.

One day, I’m considering the merits psychically dominating my drummer so his playing will be more precise.
It occurrs to me that all I really need to do is implant a metronome in his frontal lobe.
If I sat there with the tempo control in my hand, I could make him play exactly what I wanted.

So, rather than conduct human experimentation and possibly ruin a perfectly good drummer, I did the next best thing.
I took a cue from my grandfather’s old player piano.
I made a player orchestra instead.

The Orchestrion Tour, I’m told, is quite different from Metheny’s usual live performances. That isn’t terribly surprising, since one would think that a musician touring with a stage that looks like Grant Imahara designed it would get more media attention. For me, being a non-gearhead and yet loving an overwrought technological fix for a simple problem as much as any other red-blooded American male, it may well be a visual that is even more exciting than a stage full of accomplished musicians. Given the amount of time I willingly spend with technology, it certainly is a more familiar and comfortable one.

There are comparisons to be made here to James Cameron’s latest work. Though he trips over himself to deny that the 3D animation in Avatar isn’t meant to propose the end of human actors’ involvement with films, it’s hard not to see that as a possible endgame, especially given what a notorious control freak Cameron can be. While I doubt Metheny is actually planning to abandon working with his band any time soon, I have to admit that the complexities of his Creation are such that, after hearing the music he has already composed for it, as well as that improvised at the concert, I’m left wondering what a year or two of non-stop devotion to the Orchestrion might yield.

Written by ireviewsomething

May 6, 2010 at 1:39pm

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