Saturday, January 01, 2005


Absolute Friends is classic late career le Carre'. The master creates back stories like nobody else and the climax and denouement here play off the worst post-9/11 paranoid fantasies and fears of we lefties. Le Carre' has been quite outspoken in his opposition to our government's neo-con white-man's burden inspired activities and he nevers fails to keep his novels timely and relevant.

Was (not was) hit the stage at Slim's as a seven-piece outfit (bass, drums, keyboard, sax, guitar, flute/harmonica, and Sweet Pea Atkinson on vocals) Thursday night in their first San Francisco appearance in fifteen years and established that they are still the authority on classic soul. The Detroit-based band opened with the Temps' Papa Was a Rolling Stone and played for about an hour and a half, including Walk the Dinosaur, Dad I'm in Jail, and 11 MPH (Abe Zapp Ruder version). It was disappointing that the lyrics were lost in the mix, since this is one of the wittiest bands around, but Sweet Pea's voice, a combination of honey and sandpaper, added lustfully to the overall sound of the band.

Ocean's Twelve is funny, fast-paced, and clever; a good way to spend a rainy afternoon. And, yeah, Catherine Zeta-Jones. One hole (okay a giant one) in the plot, but I didn't think about it much until after I'd left the theater.

Happy New Year.
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