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Friday, November 9th, 2007

"That's One Doodle That Can't Be Un-Did, Homeskillet"

So I caught a preview screening of Juno Wednesday night, the new film from Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking) and starring rising Canadian stars Ellen Page (X-Men 3) and Michael Cera (Superbad). A big hit at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September, it’s a totally charming little comedy about a teen who gets pregnant and opts to give the baby up for adoption to an uber-yuppie couple played by Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner (and no, before you ask, Bateman and Cera don’t have any scenes together but the phrase “pop-pop” is used, so that’s something).

While hilarity doesn’t really ensue, slapstick this ain’t, the film is quite hilarious thanks to Page’s performance as the terrifically sharp and sassy title character – people are already talking Oscar nod. Though second-billed in a remarkably strong cast, Cera doesn’t really get a lot to do besides… well, be Michael Cera. Someone cast this kid in an action flick or something. The language and dialogue in the film is absolutely golden, with plenty of intelligence, quirkiness and quotability but deftly avoiding sounding too precious or unnatural. The same goes for the direction, which has touches of Wes Anderson-ish surrealness but, again, Reitman doesn’t allow those flights of fancy to overpower things and the film’s feet stay firmly planted in reality or as much reality as Hollywood allows. While the story is a little thin at points and particularly towards the final acts – I wish I was able to get from confusion to clarity that easily when I was 16 – the warmth and overall likability of the whole thing more than compensates. One of the most straight-up enjoyable films I’ve seen in ages.

It gets a limited release on December 14 but there’s advance screenings all over Canada and the US before then, which you can see for free by RSVP-ing here. There had originally been a couple more Toronto screenings listed but they no longer appear to be on the list. Alas. I totally would have gone again (and maybe gotten another Dancing Elk Condors t-shirt).

Trailer: Juno

Wireless Bollinger talks to Kevin Drew about the solo life and the future of the Broken Social Scene brand. Drew and the Scene are at the Kool Haus on December 8.

The Arizona Wildcat and Inside Bay Area get all mooney over Stars. They’re at the Phoenix November 26 through 29.

John Vanderslice explains the inspiration behind the title of his new album Emerald City to Harp.

Asobi Seksu talks to Drowned In Sound about their creative process.

Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips talks to The Star-Telegram on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of their magnum opus, Zaireeka.

So you thought that the 2007 concert calendar was all done? Not quite. The Fiery Furnaces have decided that week-long road trip in December sounds like a good idea and will be stopping in at the Phoenix on December 12. The new album is Widow City and Event Guide and The Washington Square News talk to Matt Friedberger about the record.

More interesting to me is what will almost certainly be the final show of the year on December 29 at the Drake Underground featuring the self-proclaimed “loudest band in New York”, A Place To Bury Strangers. I’ve heard more about them (Best New Music-ed, make their own guitar pedals, were shut down by the NYPD) than from them but the stuff on their MySpace sounds kind of like the Automatic-era Jesus & Mary Chain mashed up with the less pop side of New Order, maybe some Depeche Mode thrown in for flavour (“needs more dour”). I don’t doubt that they have intent to injure when it comes to volume so if you’re planning on checking this one out, ask Santa for earplugs.

MP3: A Place To Bury Strangers – “To Fix The Gash In Your Head”

And finally, The Dreseden Dolls are at the Phoenix on January 4.

By : Frank Yang at 8:35 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Scott says:

    I saw A Place To Bury Strangers (one half of former rising shoegaze stars Skywave, for those keeping score) a few months back when they played at Sneaky Dee’s – one of the best (and LOUDEST – they live up to the name… there’s a reason their pedals are called Death By Audio)… HIGHLY recommended for any shoegaze/JAMC-style fans out there. One of my top albums of the year (culled from two of the best eps of last year [smirk]).

    For those interested – keep an eye open, there’s talk that the other half of Skywave (Ceremony) may be hitting Toronto in the early part of next year (though that’s partly speculation based on promises of a North American tour as opposed to just a US one).

    Just an FYI for those interested…

  2. Thierry says:

    I guess I was at the same Juno screening as you were – and loved the movie (though it is true that the final act is a tad rushed – the movie could’ve lasted another 10-15 and I wouldn’t have minded a bit).

    I’ll make sure to avoid wearing the Dancing Elk Condors t-shirt when we’re both going to the same show.

  3. Álvaro Miranda says:

    Where can i get tickets for A Place to Bury Strangers?

    I can’t believe that they’re playing in such small joint, it has been impossible to get that record on vinyl, they pressed 1000 copies, and 150 being reserved for important costumer!!!, that sounds like Williamsburg elitist b.s to me……..thanks goodness for e-music!,
    any info whom besides importantrecords.com has it on vinyl?

  4. Scott says:

    On vinyl? No idea… but it’s not hard to get on CD if you want…

    I think http://www.importantrecords… (the label itself) sells copies, and I don’t see why they wouldn’t export you a copy to Canada…

    As for small venue… it’s easier to fill a small room with their smoke machines… maybe that’s why LOL!

  5. Scott says:

    (the link for APTBS is for the vinyl label, not the CD… I’d say check ’em out…)

  6. Steven Matrick says:

    The Cd is available here:

    http://brainwashed.com/comm

    There have been 4000 copies made thus far so any rumors of elitist Williamsburg bs are strictly false.