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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2006-10-03 - 11:27 p.m.

Did you know that Lynn Anderson has a rose named after her? and it's "finely edged with sassy pink."

I had just three downloads left on Emusic, so I've only officially heard the first three songs off the new Hold Steady album. I'd heard a few different people compare it to Springsteen, so I was prepared for some arena rockin', but man this goes beyond homage and crosses over into the land of Rich Little impersonation.

I mean, it's good, and exciting, and full of combustible guitars, but I'm a little distracted by how much Craig is aping the Boss here.

I'm reading Know it All, a funny book about one man's attempt to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. I'd recommend it to anyone who has ever picked up a dictionary or encyclopedia and found themselves 30 minutes later with a passel of new vocabulary words and a vague memory of what they were looking up in the first place.

Tonight was the last showing of Army of Shadows, and it ain't yet Netflixable, but definitely worth seeking out when it comes out on video or makes its way back to your town.

The story of a small group of Resistance workers in Nazi-occupied France, it is understated and yet artful--sometimes almost surreal--and deeply moral. Even some reluctant Nazis seem to wince a little when they say "Heil Hitler," and when traitors to the resistance movement need to be killed, they are executed matter-of-factly but with great, visible regret on the faces of the loyal.

Simone Signoret plays a remarkable character, introduced in the latter part of the film, who makes you care not just for her, but for all these fellas surrounding her who seem grim and opaque til she comes along and brings out their chivalrous side.

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