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Entries in eastbound and down (4)

Monday
Nov082010

In Which Once Jesus Leaves The Building He's Out Of Mexico For Good

Chapter Nothing: The Epilogue

by MOLLY LAMBERT

So I don't know about you, but I thought the Eastbound & Down finale was perfect. People seemed wary of this episode because the penultimate one was already so perfect it seemed mere folly to try topping it. But that's what Kenny Powers is all about; the dramatic gesture, the needlessly flamboyant exit, topping your own prior self-top.

I may have teared up slightly when we found out the baby was Kenny's. I didn't see it coming because I am very good at not jumping ahead in plots. I know everyone else figured it out the moment we saw April was pregnant, but I am kind of an idiot. Or maybe I just didn't want to think about it! Like Joan Holloway's baby being Roger's!

I don't understand anyone who didn't enjoy this season of Eastbound & Down. You will all miss Mexico secretly forever, just like Kenny. Comparisons to season 2 of The Wire are apt. Maybe it is my own personal affection for Mexico borne out of growing up in Southern California but I thought it was just as good as last season. I had no problem adjusting to the new setting and new set of characters. I miss them already. 

The best way around the sophomore slump is a curveball. And after your debut you're always a sophomore. Somebody will declare you over every time you come out. Like as much as I wish the new Kanye album were all Workout Plans I respect that his creative journey zigzags. Although seriously cool it with the guest appearances Ye. And stop trying so hard to impress the elite rich white art world. They're not worth it at all. 

Michael Peña's performance in this season of Eastbound & Down is my favorite thing of all time ever lately. His performance in Observe & Report is also a fucking tour de force, as is Danny McBride's cameo in that film. Several people whose opinions I really respect told me they hated Observe & Report, but they were ALL TOTALLY WRONG. One person who liked it a lot was Quentin Tarantino, another person is Molly Lambert.

jody hill and seth rogenI think Observe & Report is awesome. I think Seth Rogen is not totally right for the part, which seems tailor-made for Danny McBride, but that actually makes him way scarier because Rogen is so believable as a normal repressed guy who's kind of a wingnut. I think Anna Faris gives the best supporting performance in her already stellar career of supporting performances. I could write a sonnet about Jody Hill's direction.

I guess I love Jody Hill's direction so much because it's exactly what I aim for as a writer: sloppy enough that it looks like you're barely trying, but then the sloppiness is actually totally practiced and honed and purposeful. I like Jody Hill's Eastbound episodes a little more than David Gordon Green's precisely because they just fit my own aesthetic so deeply, which I kind of feel is Eastbound & Down's true aesthetic.

David Gordon Green is just more interested in traditional visual composition and nice shots and framing and other film school shit, and Jody Hill is decidedly not and always nails the tone perfectly. Tonal inconsistency is its own kind of tone. Some of the funniest things from the first season involved the complete personality shift in Principal Cutler. Fuck consistency. Fuck a direct route. Take the long way home

I am still thinking about the Mad Men finale weeks later. Mostly I am still thinking about Megan, but that is the effect she seems to have on people. I know I didn't spend this much time thinking about Mad Men after last year's finale, where Don marched into a shitty bachelor hotel on a downtown New York City set in the rain. I don't even know if it was really raining or if that is just my imagination embellishing things.

But this year's finale I have felt compelled to watch again since the moment I saw it, although for whatever sado-masochistic pleasure-delaying reason I haven't watched it yet. Maybe because it will remind me again that Mad Men is over (and now so is Eastbound) and I need to find other things to enjoy in the world in the seasonal interim and I know nothing I replace them with will compare to my two truest televisual loves.

At least there's still 30 Rock, for the time being. And in a just world Parks & Recreation will come back soon. I would like Liz Lemon's next boyfriend to be McNulty. Can you make that happen world, since you have been so decent about granting my innermost wishes lately? God already greenlit a third season of Eastbound & Down, so I'll catch you motherfuckers on the flip next year in Myrtle Beach. I'M FUCKING AUDI.

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She is a writer living in Los Angeles. She tumbls but not all that much, twitters all the fucking time, and is our nation's foremost producer of fuego.

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Download a Kenny Powers mixtape today:

STRIKE 1: Spring Training

STRIKE 2: Regular Season

STRIKE 3: World Series

BALL 4: Extra Innings

STRIKE 5: MEXICAN BASEBALL


Monday
Oct252010

In Which We Take It Even Further South With Eastbound & Down

Kenny Powers' Girlfriend Fucking Remix

by MOLLY LAMBERT

Welcome to the working week motherfuckers! I bet you miss my Mad Men recaps/Mad Men/Don Draper already (I know I do). Lucky for yall my internal clock is set to turn you out on Sunday nights, so after watching Eastbound & Down I finished the long-awaited next volume in my Kenny Powers mix series. The disclaimer as per usual is that it's not a compilation of the songs in the show, just a companion piece. Not trying to outdo Wayne Kramer's perfect soundtrack, just compliment it with more jams.

The fifth installment of DJ FUCK YALL's world-renowned Kenny Powers mix series pays tribute to Kenny Powers' Hispanic adventure with some of Mexico's finest psych-rock, hard rock, metal, garage, tribal guarachero, one of the sloppiest funk grooves ever, and a Peruvian cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Feast on this, hombres.

DJ FUCK YALL PRESENTS...KENNY POWERS STRIKE 5: MEXICAN BASEBALL

Lost In My World - Los Dug Dugs

Now - Los Spiders

On The Midnight Bus - El Amor

Ciudad Perdida - La Revolución de Emiliano Zapata

Los Novios - Los Unicos

La Ultima Vez - Los Ovnis

Do Whatever You Want - Toncho Pilatos

A New Man - Kaleidoscope

Nasty Sex - La Revolución de Emiliano Zapata

Squeeze It Tight - Cosa Nostra

Woman In Black - Chango

Susie Q. - Los Yorks

Resurreccion - Luzbel

Maquinas De Lujuria - Chac Mool

Mi Burrito (Mexican Institute Of Sound mix) - CuCu Diamantes

Kibosé - María y José

Palmaz Arriba - Erick Rincon

alternate download link

In case you live under a rock and missed the first 4 volumes of the Kenny Powers mix:

STRIKE 1: Spring Training

STRIKE 2: Regular Season

STRIKE 3: World Series

(tracklistings/alternate download links for Strike 1 - Strike 3)

BALL 4: Extra Innings

(tracklisting/alternate download link for Ball 4)

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording and the finest pitcher in the major leagues, the minor leagues, and any other fucking leagues you want to challenge her to play in. She also tumbls and twitters

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Monday
Sep272010

In Which I Never Was Much Of A Romantic Couldn't Take The Intimacy

Don't Worry About The Government

by MOLLY LAMBERT

What is the difference between success and failure? Time (and ideally, talent). What is the difference between Don Draper and Kenny Powers? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Although it turns out Kenny P has a way healthier ability to self examine than Don D does. Would that we all had a Dick Whitman or Stevie The Cockfighter to blame all our indiscretions and bad decisions and moments of most extreme weakness on.

Seriously though, Eastbound & Down came back and it was so thematically similar to Mad Men that I'm still not a hundred percent sure which one featured its protagonist jerking off to a faculty photo in a yearbook. Volume 5 of my Eastbound & Down mix is coming (fucking) soon so keep watching this space. Hope you like rock flute!

If Don does end up making a break for it to escape his problems now that he's been forced to deal with them again, let's hope he makes a run for the border and ends up cockfighting with Kenny like a couple of cable TV character hobos. When the going gets tough, just bail on your life! There's no way that could possibly not work out for the best! Sorry Don, there's no witness protection program for assholes!

Cool panic attack Don. I am well versed in anxiety attacks. That is my dark secret, and I just revealed it on a blog, for all the world to see! Interview me now Department Of Defense I have nothing to hide! I haven't actually had a panic attack in a few years since I decided to buckle down and deal with it, but believe me I tried to avoid it for as long as humanly possible. Even Kenny Powers knows that avoidance never works.

Don's shirt-rippping panic attack was also a backdoor audition for Jon Hamm for the role of every superhero ever, which uh, THE PART IS ALL YOURS. Whatever superhero Jon Hamm likes, let him play it. Actually, superhero movies generally suck, so maybe let's keep him away from the embarrassing hair and costume styling that has already befallen his ex-wife Bets. Please cast Vincent Kartheiser as a supervillain though.

What has been this season's best costume? Joan's pajamas and glasses ensemble? Trudy's sexy mod pregnancy lingerie? Lane's steak belt? Peggy's birthday suit? Don Draper's blowjob face? Don's BJ face looks like this : D and this week we found out about its evil other half, Don's "please stop trying to make me be emotionally intimate with you" face, which it turns out looks exactly like this sideways face emoticon : /

Dr. Faye's romantic plotline with Don embodies the other theme of this season, that people tell us who they really are and we ignore them. First impressions are usually telling, but we still get disappointed when people's actions live up to our immediate preconceptions. Finding out you were right the first time is hardly satisfying.

Joan was T.C.B., Taking Care of 'Bortions. Peggy was nowhere to be found, most likely because she would have died by death from eye-rolling if she had witnessed any of the old boys' shenanigans. The oldest boy of all, Lane Pryce's evil British father, pimp caned the fuck out of Lane for his impropriety. Lane, progressive that he is or wants to be, still could not shake it off by the end. I cheered when he semi-promoted Joan. 

Roger is getting old, yall. It's not just his increasing public tenderness towards Joan, which is starting to border on embarrassing. A child of privilege, he is headed into the senior home kicking and screaming. You can't be at the height of your powers forever Rog, sad but true. There's an inevitable decline. Just be glad you didn't peak earlier.

Also embarrassing, Don's boner for Megan the secretary. No Don, don't do it! Danger danger! I know she's brunette but she's an idiot child like Roger's anorexic wife! It's Dr. Faye you want! People are so easily fooled by hair color. As a ginger it's not like I ever really had a choice in life about whether I wanted to be perceived as feisty.

I like how they're trying out a different new stylistic device every week, and then abandoning them. It's super sixties cool of them, because it's very French New Wave. This week was Roger dropping the f-bomb, and sort of breaking the Mad Men 4th wall in that drawing attention to sound editing draws attention to means of production. Do you think it'll be uncensored on the DVD? Can we get an all Roger voiceover season?

Keeping with the sado-masochistic theme of the season Donald Draper took what seemed like a big step towards opening up by telling Dr. Faye his real deal, and then put up a big psychic blockade between them the next day. Is that what keeps Don's relationship flames burning? His own inner mysteriousness? Is Matt Weiner determined to punish us, the masochistic viewer, for wanting to see Don emotionally mature?

As Tess Lynch, the author of 500 Days Of Hat put it: "Don can't love because he's not real. Only Dick is real. He can only love when he ACCEPTS Dick. He gets panic attacks when he's confronting it so he ran, because he can only stay Don as long as he's with someone who reflects Don back to Don! Especially since Faye is so insightful, it's like she can strip him away and when she does he throws up like, REJECTING HIS INSIDES."

Man did I ever think those Beatles tickets weren't gonna come through. I'll bet Sally's favorite Beatle is John Lennon because he is brooding and handsome and tortured and a genius and a hilarious dick and seems like he could secretly become a feminist if the right Japanese fluxus artist were to come along and teach him how to love again.

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She tumbls and twitters.

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"The Fight" - Sia (mp3)

"Clap Your Hands" - Sia (mp3)

"You've Changed" - Sia (mp3)