Boy, is it hot, and it isn’t even the worst of it yet.  Heat wave in NYC…

Last Saturday, saw “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.”  If you’re a Johnny Depp fan, you’ll be delighted.  Personally, I thought that Stellan Saarsgaard, Bill Nighy and Jonathan Price, as talented actors (of non-action/special effects movies), would’ve deserved some more scenes (or, in Nighy’s case, scenes where the CGI tentacles wouldn’t have to mar his face).   The movie had action, more action, and lots of action.  Can be annoying.  And quite long.  (2:30).  And, it’ll be a year before we get the resolution (the sequel will presumably answer all questions).  Ah, well.

Summer reading:

The Final Solution, by Michael Chabon.   A novella wherein the retired Sherlock Holmes is confronted by the second World War and the Holocaust.  The mysterious numbers, a sad boy, and the England that will never be the same again.  I liked the writing and the richness.

The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni.  An early Italian historical novel.  The betrothed 16th century Italian couple.  An Italy in conflict.  Plague.  Famine.  War.  Many meandering pages (if you read early English novels – Moll Flanders, or others of the 18th Century), you’ll have felt like you’ve seen it before, but this is a book that apparently influenced Italian literature since.   It’s okay reading.

Back to feeling broiled…

Today — the Musical

Today’s Asian American Films included the Music Video Contest, which was a collection of videos made by APA’s this past year. My favorite was the Chemical Brothers (video at YouTube), which cleverly integrates a Sunday afternoon Shaolin chop-socky movie.

In between was a food interlude at Souen, a macrobiotic place down the street. It’s been there 30 years, and it still provides skillful food. We had our benchmark Chirachi-zuchi dish, which consisted of eel, salmon, and chopped tuna on a bed of brown rice and an assortment of veggies. The best part was the Japanese pickles that were used to keep up the salmon teepee in the center of the plate – so crisp and refreshing!

Afterwards, it was Colma – the Musical. The Musical Motion Picture genre makes a comeback – it’s something like a cross between Rent and Grease, set in the town of Colma, which is to San Francisco as Elizabeth is to New York – across a bay, sparsely inhabited, and full of cemetaries. The lead trio spend their post-high school lives figuring out whether they want to stay home to make their lives or to go on elsewhere. The music is catchy and infectious. There were a few technical problems by the theater when we saw it, so catch it when it comes out generally this September.

The night was capped off at the afterparty at Parkside Lounge with the Riding Motors Records Magic Mic Experience. The concept: original flavor karaoke — instead of bouncing balls and random bit actors strolling along beaches, you have a complete 10 – member superband backing you up. Need a horn section – they got it. Bongos – check. I played backup singer on Weezer’s Say It Aint So, and it’s really a completely different experience – so much of a thrill! The song list is only about 50 songs, but that is more than enough for an evening of wild entertainment. If you ever have the chance, grab the mic.