Thursday, March 26, 2009

TEDx USC: The Bavard Hall Reception

After all that inspiration, motivation, and thought-provoking it was time to partayy! (Or at least, get something more substantial to eat than cookies and coffee.)


TEDx attendees (and staff) hob-knob and eat hors d'oeuvres, drink free wine and beer, and do some triadic networking...

Others look at the dazzling exhibits, like the eight-player tabletop retro arcade game unit, or ...

... Moldover's Synchomasher!

After scarfing down some egg rolls, mini-pizza things and a glass of wine, I explored a bit and mingled. Thanked various people who had made the event possible, shook hands with Junoon, and thanked Moldover himself for getting me in.

Looking forward to next year!

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posted by Brian at 9:19 PM 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Bootie LA with surprise cameo from B-52's lead singer

I went to my second Bootie LA event last night. Last time around, the venue had a packed upstairs for dancing and a somewhat chill downstairs. Both played mash-ups, though the downstairs ones were particularly bold combinations (Tom Jones "It's not unusual to be loved by anyone" over Blondie's "The Tide is High", The Muppets Mahna Mahna over several different tunes, etc.) while the upstairs stuck to more straightforward, though still novel arrangements including one with Salt N Pepa's "Push It" on top of Grease's "Tell me More". The crowds at these things seem to be diverse, not your typical "L.A." crowd. At the last one, I saw people dressed as Vikings and pirates, something you'd expect at a Comic Con party, not an L.A. club.

Last night's was at a larger venue, the Echoplex. The dancing area was still a dense sea of people, but there were more places to sit or even dance further away from the main area. Unfortunately though, I wasn't quite as impressed with the musical selection this time. (I think that's most of the fun at these Bootie L.A events -- the "Oh wow" of recognition when you hear two songs you know being thrown together and having it work.) Still, there were some highlights:
  • Yaz's Situation vs. Foreigner's Urgent
  • Nirvana's Come As You Are vs. a 70s funk groove
  • Toni Basil's Mickey vs. Material Girl vs. Quiet Riot's Cum On Feel the Noise
  • DJ Dangermouse's 99 Problems vs. Nena's 99 Luftballoons
  • Diana Ross's Upside Down vs. Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Right Round
  • Fergie's Fergilicious vs Salt N' Pepa's Supersonic vs Push It
Sometime later, the DJ got up and introduced a special guest: Fred Schneider of the B-52s! So I swam through the sea of people to shake his hand.

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posted by Brian at 5:03 PM 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The Polar Express? Well It Had a Great Cast & Crew Party At Least

I was invited to the premiere party/screening of The Polar Express, and since scheduling did not allow me to attend the celebration of my movie, Spider-man 2, I figured they owed me a great party.

The party was fabulous. However, the movie is a bunch of great sets, snow, train noise, and unblinking humanoid-like things moving around. Far too many of them that are acted, or I should say, read aloud and pantomimed by, Tom Hanks. Story-wise, there isn't much. A boy, who can't blink and who seems to have suffered from a bad botox treatment, wakes up and reluctantly (?) jumps onto a train full of really weird kids going to the North Pole. There he meets a black girl with malformed lips, a boy with glasses who sounds just like Eugene from Grease, and a poor boy who sings about Christmas in a fairly syrupy way.

Because riding a train is not much of a story, there's the onflict of losing a ticket, arbitrarily being on the top of the locomotive when not necessary, some obstacles like ice, caribou, and two incompetent engineer weirdos losing control of the train. There's a creepy hobo (Tom Hanks) who I guess is supposed to be an angel to save passengers from falling off this vehicular safety hazard, but why? He tells our boy to believe what he sees. We eventually arrive at the North Pole to discover Santa's Village is a largely abandoned Dickens-like factory with (I kid you not) Christmas Muzak, conveyor belts ripped straight out of Toy Story II (and Monster's Inc), a creepy Brazil-like control room, and a town square full of elves that looked at home in City of Lost Children. The unnamed "hero boy" decides he believes in Santa just moments before he steps up to him (this, despite being surrounded by elves and having gone through Santa's workshop). Yay. That's enough for him to beat out the black girl and the poor boy for the chance to ride Santa's sleigh. And for us to witness the horrific site of Steve Tyler (as elf) riding a unicycle.

It would seem the only way to tolerate this movie is via the 3-D IMAX version, but I'm just not up for it again.

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posted by Brian at 1:15 PM 0 comments links to this post