Archive for Phenomena

The Jason Molina Alarm

Jason Molina

Jason Molina, the leader and architect of the bands Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co., has been on my mind a lot since news of his death emerged on March 18. He died a few days before that during a protracted hiatus from recording and touring. In 2011, fans, friends and peers helped raise money to support Molina’s long and ultimately unsuccessful recovery from alcoholism. I wish I had known then, and I wish I had contributed. I also wish I’d known how much his songs would possess me over the last month and a half, because I might have held off revisiting them for a while. As it stands, 45 days after Molina’s death, I cannot silence them.
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The Veronica Mars Kickstarter Problem, and Ours

Oh, to be Rob Thomas this morning.

Six years after the writer/producer’s cult-darling TV series Veronica Mars was canceled by network executives at the CW, Thomas’ attempt to reboot the series as a feature film has become a historic success at the crowdsourcing website Kickstarter. In just 11 hours on Wednesday, the movie project reached its $2 million funding goal, prompting Thomas and the show’s star Kristen Bell to issue their gratitude on Twitter and Kickstarter. As of 9 a.m. PDT, the Veronica Mars film had pulled in $2,672,000 from just more than 44,000 backers, with 29 days still remaining before the campaign ends.

Now comes the real work. And not the pre-production, either, nor the filmmaking, nor the imminent power struggles at a Warner Bros. front office that has given Thomas its blessing to pass the hat to fans while showing a steadfast aversion to spend any more of its own money on the Veronica Mars property.

Now come the rewards.
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Pitbull and Bud Light: A Horror Show in 9 Screencaps

A well-known principle of mathematics tells us that a negative quantity multiplied by another negative quantity results in a positive quantity. When applied to advertising, however, the principle proves slightly more complicated. Take for example the relationship between "rapper" Pitbull and "beer" product Bud Light, which recently yielded a TV commercial of such grave, aggressive inauthenticity that one can only wince for all involved — even for Pitbull himself, behind whose sunglasses, if you look carefully, you can make out the gleam of plump, bulb-like tears. But repeated viewings and forensic breakdowns of the spot actually transmute the quantities, giving us marvelous new insight into their stupidity.
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