Monday, July 28, 2008

And the Swedish Chef only won twice...

Two reviews for a Monday - not a bad way to start the week. Locally, I went to the Capitol Hill Block Party on Saturday. The CHBP is your standard issue cool city outdoor fest in the summertime. 5 stages, none of which are denial or grief. My primary draw was The Hold Steady, who regular readers will recognize as one of my faves. But I gotta say, I'm sadly kinda over them after Saturday. They're still a great show. Fun anthems. Goofy, engaging band members who can play the crap out of a song. Especially the lead singer, Craig Finn. Who, by the way, I randomly saw walking down a bordering street 5 hours before his band's set began, looking like a dentist heading to Starbucks in the same shirt he wore on stage. I worked the crowd like a zen master to get a great vantage point for their set - back a half-dozen rows of people, front and center. They played basically everything everyone wanted to hear with glossy verve. But the thing that threw me was fully half of the people surrounding me and an equally well-schooled friend were obviously teenagers. I'm not saying that to be a grumpy old man. It's just that I can't imagine a 16-year-old kid with a $300 digital camera has any idea what they are talking about when it comes to careening, albeit hook-filled, audaciousness. My rating - a surprisingly bored B-minus.

One thing that isn't boring at all is the hunky new star of HBO's killer summer mini-series, "Generation Kill". His name is Alexander Skarsgard (son of the actor Stellan). He plays Sergeant Brady Colbert, based on a real soldier thanks to the reporting of Evan Wright who was embedded with his Marine unit. Skarsgard is actually Swedish (voted the five-time Sexiest Swede of the Year, beating my crown by an astonishing four). Yet his American accent is flawless. He will be a HUGE star. "Generation Kill" was written and produced by the same geniuses that did the same with "The Wire". Thus far we're 3 episodes into a 7 episode run. My interim rating - B-plus with an upward trajectory. Watch it. Even with the wall-to-wall military lingo, there's something special going on there.

Don't know what to say about last night's premiere of the second season of "Mad Men". I oozed praise constantly for the first season. But after this first date, I'm not thinking I'll go all the way this time.

Hope your own summer isn't spent in the desert scandalously shooting camels. Rock on.

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