This Is Excellent

If any of you bastards are into Audible books, this one is a must. I bought it a couple of years ago, making my second pass now. Riveting.

David Sedaris tells all in a book that is, literally, a lifetime in the making.

For forty years, David Sedaris has kept a diary in which he records everything that captures his attention-overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers. These observations are the source code for his finest work, and through them he has honed his cunning, surprising sentences.

Now, Sedaris shares his private writings with the world. Theft by Finding, the first of two volumes, is the story of how a drug-abusing dropout with a weakness for the International House of Pancakes and a chronic inability to hold down a real job became one of the funniest people on the planet.

Written with a sharp eye and ear for the bizarre, the beautiful, and the uncomfortable, and with a generosity of spirit that even a misanthropic sense of humor can’t fully disguise, Theft By Finding proves that Sedaris is one of our great modern observers. It’s a potent reminder that when you’re as perceptive and curious as Sedaris, there’s no such thing as a boring day.

Making Doc Martens

Nerdiest post yet? Maybe. I didn’t realize how close this company came to going under in the aughts. You’ll pay more for “Made in England” – about 50% more, in fact – but you’ll know where the money went when you slip ’em on. I’m wearing a pair RIGHT NOW.

We visited Dr. Martens’ only UK factory on Cobbs Lane in Wollaston, Northamptonshire. This is where Dr. Martens makes its iconic “Made in England” collection. The factory employs 50 workers that make about 100,000 pairs of boots per year, which is only one percent of what the brand makes as a whole!

Union Row

THIS IS HUGE! An epic, historic game-changer for Memphis, one requiring all the stars to align for a project of this magnitude to even be considered. According to The Daily Memphian

Supporters believe Union Row, the massive, $950-million office, retail and residential project in downtown Memphis’s blighted east edge will be a catalyst for enormous additional investment.

“That’s a Cinderella story,” Mark Billingsley said in December after he and fellow Shelby County Commissioners voted to pump $100 million into the project.

Developers contend Union Row will create 4,300 jobs and generate $16 million in annual property, sales and hotel taxes. If all phases are completed, the project will be among the largest, if not the largest “mixed-use’’ real estate development in Memphis history.

The project will be built in stages. Phase One, with a construction price tag of about $512 million, represents about half of the overall $950-million venture.

Developers spent $25 million this year — much of it with cash — snatching up an array of parcels where Phase One will rise: Collectively, a 10.8-acre site roughly bounded by Union on the north, Danny Thomas on the east, Beale on the south and Fourth on the west.

Developer J. Kevin Adams believes Union Row will reshape downtown.

“This is the gateway to our downtown,’’ he told a gathering in April at East Memphis’ Crescent Club. “And it’s been blighted for a long time.’’

The site is in decay. Vacant or overgrown lots surrounded by razor wire line the streets amid bits of broken glass. Now out-of-place businesses have agreed to move, including auto repair shop Powerhouse Motors and Lit Restaurant Supply, housed in a repurposed car dealership first opened in 1935.

Demolition is set to begin in October or late fall.

Full article here.

Insane Bollywood VFX

Physics, schmysics. But impressive as hell once you see the work involved.

The Crew sits down once again to react to some of Bollywood’s zestiest CGi moments: What makes a visual effect bad? What makes one great?

Hornsey Road?

A new stage show produced by Beatle expert Mark Lewisohn sheds some light on a story we thought we knew. From The Guardian

They’ve wrapped up the recording of Abbey Road, which would turn out to be their last studio album, and are awaiting its release in two weeks’ time. Ringo Starr is in hospital, undergoing tests for an intestinal complaint. In his absence, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison convene at Apple’s HQ in Savile Row. John has brought a portable tape recorder. He puts it on the table, switches it on and says: “Ringo – you can’t be here, but this is so you can hear what we’re discussing.”

What they talk about is the plan to make another album – and perhaps a single for release in time for Christmas, a commercial strategy going back to the earliest days of Beatlemania. “It’s a revelation,” Lewisohn says. “The books have always told us that they knew Abbey Road was their last album and they wanted to go out on an artistic high. But no – they’re discussing the next album. And you think that John is the one who wanted to break them up but, when you hear this, he isn’t. Doesn’t that rewrite pretty much everything we thought we knew?”

Full article here, including a link to tour dates for a show I would kill to see.

Good Girl Says Dirty Things

Surprise! Liz Phair has a new memoir coming out in October called Horror Stories. In the meantime, here’s a fan-fucking-tastic Vulture interview.

So when your indie record Guyville became a phenomenon, was that difficult?

Yes. If I’d only had success in the indie world, my music would have been contextualized more accurately. They would have understood a little more of the art project behind it. Rather than thinking that I was literally saying I wanted to be your blow-job queen, you know?

Once you’re in a wider world, and People magazine picks it up, the nuance is gone. And of course, Matador was like, “Keep going! We’re doing great!”

Full article here.

Get In My Eyes

In space no one can hear you squeal like a little girl.

Take an in depth voyage into the sci-fi masterpiece ALIEN with the visionary filmmakers who created it. See how one of the most terrifying movies of all time burst to life 40 years ago, inspired by ancient mythology and our universal fears.

Available in some theaters and OnDemand starting October 4!