Often times, when I’m thinking a lot about something, I let my mind wander in search of patterns, rankings and categories of that thing. I’ll start creating lists like, “What was the best Batman utility belt?” and “Which Robin had the best hair?” Since I’ve been on a major Stones kick, my focus has been on them, so my brain has been working over time to justify my obsession, coming up with weird categories which simply allow me to listen to the music I’ve got memorized down to the measure over and over again.
So here’s the first of what may be many lists: My 16 Favorite Rolling Stones Songs (listed chronologically).
- Play With Fire
- 19th Nervous Breakdown
- Ruby Tuesday
- She’s a Rainbow
- 19th Nervous Breakdown
- Jumpin’ Jack Flash
- Gimme Shelter
- Midnight Rambler (live, almost any of them)
- Monkey Man
- You Can’t Always Get What You Want (live, “The Brussels Affair”)
- Honky Tonk Women
- Dead Flowers
- Beast of Burden
- Plundered My Soul
While playing these songs again in this proximity, I noticed a few things: Continue reading ‘My Favorite Stones Songs’
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Tags: 19th nervous breakdown, beast of burden, beggars banquet, bitch, dead flowers, Exile on Main St., favorite songs, Gimme Shelter, happy, honky tonk women, Jumpin' Jack Flash, let it bleed, midnight rambler, monkey man, play with fire, plundered my soul, rolling stones, satisfaction, she's a rainbow, Some Girls, sticky fingers, Stones, winter, you can't always get what you want
Actually 15, but it feels like there were 999,985 more swimming around in my head after I saw them on opening night of the “50 and Counting” tour. Here we go:
1.) I Love the Rolling Stones.
2.) AAAAAAAAAAAHH!! And every other sound normally associated with teenage girls. Continue reading ‘About a Million Random Thoughts on the Rolling Stones Concert’
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I wrote a grumpy letter, and you get to read it, too. Because this is the internet, and exhibitionism rules.
April 22, 2013
c/0 Scriptnotes Podcast
1255 Internet Way
America, CA 43ZZ2
Dear Mr. Mazin,
I’m writing in regards to your generalizing slur against the taste of Chicagoans, Midwesterners and any unfortunates who dare disagree with your opinion.
On a recent episode of the “Scriptnotes” podcast, you stated — as if a fact — that Chicago was the home of “no good pizza.” You called it “disgusting,” and “not pizza at all.” You went on to say how the people from Chicago make you angry because they are “proud of their terrible pizza,” and that you wished they would “just not be proud of it.”
Upon hearing this, my jaw dropped for two reasons: 1.) it seemed you have never eaten at Lou Malnati’s, and 2.) your stance appears to be based entirely on regional, hometown bias. You grew up in New York, so it’s only natural for you to grow up loving the flavor and style of New York style pizza (“New York pizza is pizza”). I don’t begrudge you this preference, but when you go to strange lengths to insult the quality of Chicago-style pizza and imply that those who claim to love it are only pretending because they actually know they are backing an inferior pizza, your comment feels ignorant at the least, and condescending at worst.
We Midwesterners have grown up with an inferiority complex perpetuated by our national media which seems to prefer all things East Coast. Yankees-Red Sox games take precedent over Cubs-Cardinals, New York constantly refers to ITSELF as the greatest city in the country/world/universe, while those poor states between the coasts are mitigated to mere “flyover” status. So maybe you can understand why I might be defensive when it comes to this kind of thing.
I’m certainly not trying to convince you to love something you don’t like, or to turn your back on your roots. What I would try to do is ask that you not wield your opinion like some sort of fact club, bashing things into a mold which suits your tastes, because you are clearly biased. Your argument feels as objective as a person from Greece declaring, “Greek is the greatest language in the world, and anyone from France who says they love their language is lying.”
I realize you’ve stated in the past about how you don’t care about these kinds of comments. I also realize this letter makes me sound like a crazy old man. But I couldn’t stay quiet. I’d like you to realize that your opinion does matter and your words can hurt, especially when they accuse people of lying about their own taste and feelings. Besides, NYC already has Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, the Yankees, the Ramones, Letterman and about a million other things going for it that Chicago and the Midwest doesn’t. Isn’t that enough without crapping on our stuff, too?
As a friendly tip, I offer this: a friend of mine (and former New Yorker) says he’s found the most authentic New York style pizza in Los Angeles to be Tomato Pie, in Silverlake. Supposedly the reason it tastes so authentic is because they import the water from New York, which is both crazy and kind of brilliant.
Phillip Mottaz ~ Listener
EDITED TO ADD: Mr. Mazin read this and here’s his response: “Chicago is a great city. Its pizza is crap. When we’re all dead, ad the God of Pizza judges us, you’ll know.”
So, at least he’s consistent.
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Tags: craig mazin, import water, john august, lou malnati's pizza, new york style, pizza, script notes, silverlake, thin crust, tomato pie
1.) My Wife is Smarter Than Me. There is a neat thing the band is doing this time around, offering a “cheap” $85 lottery ticket. These tickets could only be bought in pairs with the location of the seats being hidden from the purchaser. You were to find out where you were sitting the night of the show, and it could be anywhere from the nosebleeds to the front row. This appealed to me for two reasons, the first and foremost being that this was the cheapest ticket. The second being the “winning the lottery” angle. It was exciting, and I started day dreaming about who I would take as my guest. I already had two friends going, so if we all got these $85 lottery tickets, then we would have one extra.
But when I prepared to buy the tickets (at 10:00am precisely on April 15), I saw no link to the $85 tickets. No option for them at all. Only the standard seating.
What I came to find out after talking with my wife (who through friendly curiosity also went online around that time) was that the $85 tickets were offered through RollingStones.com and not through Ticketmaster’s site. The site where I was looking. Continue reading ‘Stones Tickets Purchased’
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Tags: 50, 50 and counting, 50 and counting tour, concert, jagger, mick jagger, richards, rolling stones, Ron Wood, ronnie wood, Stones, the rolling stones, tour
These are very official.
In my years as a writer, I’ve been part of a number of writing groups, classes and productions where staged readings are a normal, productive part of the process. Most recently I’ve been part of Deadline Junkies, and one of the benefits of that group is the stable of talented, working actors who lend their skills to the writers in exchange for I don’t know what… a chance to exercise their acting muscles. Mostly I think they’re just nice people.
But how do you, the writer, go about casting a script for a room full of writers? Glad you asked, me. I have some rules I tend to follow:
1.) Cold Reads are Honest Reads. I know some writers hand out the pages a few days in advance. I don’t do this… mostly because I’m usually working right up to the deadline. But the benefit of my procrastination is that I get a more honest read from actors who just picked it up for the first time. Just like a potential reader for the finished screenplay. The hope is that the actors will find more errors in the moment if they don’t have time to prepare themselves. This is helpful to YOU, the writer, because the point of staged readings is not to have a great performance. It’s to put your script up raw in front of critical eyes in order to receive constructive feedback.
2.) Don’t Direct. An extension of the above. As a writing major at Knox College, my playwriting classes offered stage readings after our plays were finished. Your play got a director who could cast it and perform it on a stage with the caveat that the writer could have ZERO input in the production. This was to replicate the real-life situation where, if you sold the play, you weren’t going to accompany every copy to every theater to tell them, “No, say it THIS way.” This way the writer lived and died by the words he or she had written. For screenplays, I try to just hand out the scripts with no more than a short character description, and that is often already in the script already. Maybe it’s the improviser in me, but I am a believer in the let-’er-rip philosophy of performance. Take time in the writing, and then throw it out in the wild and see how it does. Continue reading ‘Rules for Staged Readings’
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Tags: cold reads, deadline junkies, edit, feed back, feedback, galesburg, good, good read, groups, knox, knox college, note, noted, notes, playwriting, screenwriting, scripts, writers groups, writing, writing groups