Monday Morning Commute: Roman Serpent

You have arrived at the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE — OL’s weekly celebration of fending off bad-vibes with fuzzy-feelings. I’m going to show you which bits of mindrot I’ll be ingesting in the hopes of adding some essence to my existence. After peeking at my goodies, you’re encouraged to hit up the comments section and lay out the modes of escapism you’ll be employing in the upcoming days.

In other words, it’s a game of show-and-tell.

Let’s do this.



Thinkin’ ’bout/Bronson

I recently watched Bronson, the 2008 flick based on Britain’s most dangerous prisoner. As depicted in this movie, the story of this man’s life is truly fantastic – the dude has spent more time in prison than out of it, actually trying to get incarcerated when released. Charlie Bronson, born Michael Gordon Peterson, is madness incarnate, an individual whose penchant for violence is coupled with artistic talent, whose few silver linings have no hope of escaping their black clouds.

Motherfucker’s insane.

What makes Bronson work, however, is the marriage of Tom Hardy’s performance and Nicolas Winding Refn’s direction.

I enjoyed Hardy in Inception and look forward to seeing his Bane in Dark Knight Rises, but now I have nothing but the utmost respect for him as an actor. Tom Hardy walks both the boundary of insanity perfectly, sometimes offering gut-busting one-liners and other times busting guts with a flurry of fists. Without exaggeration, this is one of the best performances I’ve ever seen.

With that being said, what I enjoyed most about this movie are all of Refn’s directorial choices. This movie is a visual-treat in every way: cinematography, angles, the whole shebang. Refn also deftly intersperses direct-address monologues with the narrative, some of which are cast as vaudevillian acts. It’s sick.

While Drive, the flick that earned Refn Best Director at Cannes 2011, had been on my radar, it’s now in the dominion of “eagerly anticipating.”


Palm Hittin’ My Forehead/ADRENALINE MOB

Last September, Mike Portnoy left Dream Theater, the ever-faithful wife with whom he had created a beautiful family. Then at the end of 2010, in a move that shocked no one, Avenged Sevenfold informed Portnoy that his tenure as guest-drummer was up.  This is like when the hot college co-ed tells the middle-aged creeper she’s been banging because he has a BMW and takes her to restaurants other than Applebee’s that she’s not going to marry him. Sorry!

This left Portnoy without figurative wife, mistress, or other prospects.

But for months now he’s been teasing the metal world, telling us that ADRENALINE MOB is going to be something special. How could it not? It’s got Russell Allen, the singer from Symphony X, that metal band that Dream Theater fans always try and give up on. On guitar is Mike Orlando, from…um…Youtube? Oh, but then there’s also a dude from Fozzy on guitar and some bassist-duder.

After listening to the streaming EP, I think I’ve got a solid relationship-analogy for ADRENALINE MOB. Portnoy has been hyping this group relentlessly, using adjectives like SLAMMIN! and STRAIGHT-AHEAD! This is exactly like when your friend starts bragging about his new girlfriend, telling anyone that will listen that she’s smoking hot, an absolute tiger in the sack, and totally-more-cooler than his ex. But when you finally get to meet this new lady, you realize she’s far from babe-a-licious. Sure, she’s younger than your buddy’s ex, but what’s with the belly shirt? Can she open her eyes with that much mascara? Why the fuck does she laugh like that, is she soft in the head?

The bleeding heart in me feels bad for Mike Portnoy. The dude walked away from the most influential progressive metal band of all time in the hopes of staying with a huge mainstream-metal act, only to be dejected. But rightfully so. To be one of the most respected drummers of his generation, yet without a musical home – it had to have been depressing as all fuck.

But now, his greatest hope is a cookie-cutter, paint-by-numbers act whose eventual success will prove once and for all that the music industry is anything but a meritocracy. I want to like this project, but it’s hard to care about barroom-rock when September sees the release of new Opeth, Dream Theater, Mastodon, and Primus.

Ah well!


Wondering/What Kind of Dining Set Defines Me as a Person?

So it looks like I’ll be moving at the beginning of September. Which is sweet. However, my new roommate and I are going to have to take a trip to IKEA to buy a whole bunch of crazy crap. Furniture. Lamps. Uh…a blender? I’m not really sure.

In any case, I find the prospect of outfitting a new residence both exciting and daunting. On the one hand, it sucks to have to A) figure out what we need to get and B) toss away a whole pile of money for new shit. On the other hand, the interior designer in my has a field-day with this type of shit.


So that’s my week.

Not too weak, if I say so myself.

What’re your next few days look like?