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    Check it Out: Fourmile Canyon Revival Write-Up

    This past weekend, the Fourmile Canyon Revival benefit concert was held to raise funds to help those affected by the September wildfire that burned down over 6000 square acres in Fourmile County. Our own Jonny Metts happened to be there, and wrote a dynamite recap over at With a line-up that included several members of Phish, Leftover Salmon, String Cheese Incident and more, you'd do well to head on over and give it a look-see.


    Take the Crosstawk Listener Poll, Get a New Series Before Anyone Else

    Hey there, folks!

    All of us here at Crosstawk are extremely proud of our content, but we'd like to know what you think! Taking the time to fill out this little questionnaire will only benefit you, as it'll make us much more in tune with what interests you and which areas of the website you like the most. And as it says above, anyone who participates will get exclusive access to a new Crosstawk series before the general audience. Just make sure you include your name and email address in the form so that you can send you the episode.

    Thank you for your time,

    The Crosstawk Team



    Discover Music Project: Episode 2

    This week on Discover Music Project, Jonny and Mike return to turn the tables on the coversation. The first DMP was all about Jonny's favorite band, Phish, but it's time for Mike to educate Mr. Metts all about the finer points of Florida's own Less Than Jake. With tons of different tracks to listen to, you're in for a great crash course in the band's discography. Here's the set list:


    1. Look What Happened (The Last Time)
    2. The Science of Selling Yourself Short
    3. Nervous in the Alley
    4. My Very Own Flag
    5. Never Going Back to New Jersey
    6. P.S. Shock the World
    7. Devil in my DNA
    8. The Brightest Bulb has Burned Out / Screws Fall Out
    9. City of Gainesville
    10. The State of Florida
    11. Gainesville Rock City
    12. Rehasher - "Lift!"


    If you've got any suggestions for future episodes of Discover Music Project, send 'em on over to While you're at it, make sure you're subscribed to the Crosstawk feed at iTunes, and once you are, go on ahead and rate/review us. You can also follow us on Twitter (@crosstawk) to get the latest news in what's going on with our various shows.

    Having said all of that, see you on Friday for Box Office Poison!

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    Crosstawk Presents: A Look at DJ Hero 2

    Hey folks, and welcome to the first episode of Crosstawk Presents. CP's basically going to be a catch-all for projects that don't really fit into one of our dedicated series. Think of them as a collection of one-offs.

    This recording was actually done while I was in San Francisco last month attending an Activision event for DJ Hero 2. I was actually there for, and though my detailed impressions can be found there, we didn't end up using this audio. So I figured I might as well release it for you guys!

    It's a bit on the short side, but seeing as how Crosstawk was going to be taking the week off anyway, I thought you might enjoy it. If you'd like to read the aforementioned impressions, they can be found here:

    As always, be sure to rate and review us on iTunes, follow us on Twitter (@crosstawk) and send in all of your emails to! With all of that said, see you next week when Box Office Poison returns!

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    Check it Out: The Following Special Presentation

    If you're a big fan of Thoroughly Manly Musicals (and you should be), then you've got to check out one of Stan's other projects over at, entitled The Following Special Presentation. In his debut episode, Stan's recapping (and thrashing) "Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?" Starring Tori Spelling as the girl asking her mother if she can sleep with danger, you can probably make a safe assumption that there's a lot to make fun of there.

    The good folks over at AB were also kind enough to link over to our site, so it only seems fair to do the same. It seems like it'll be a great new video series, so do yourself a favor and check it out.


    Five Super Tips for Zack Snyder

    So news hit the internet yesterday that Zack Snyder's going to be the director for Warner Bros. and Chris Nolan's Superman reboot. Written by David S. Goyer, the film's probably due out around Christmas 2012, so we're still a long way out, but if there was ever a time to give Mr. Snyder some tips as he gets into gear, it's now.

    1. Do what you do best and mine the material. Snyder did the impossible when he somehow turned a 12-issue magnum opus into a comprehensible 3-hour movie with Watchmen. Say what you will about the film, but it was held up for decades in development hell because it was un-filmable in any sort of respectful manner. At the end of the day, it was an amazing achievement just getting it done.

    With that in mind, the best way to proceed with a new Superman flick is to look back on the 70+ years of material and see what can fit a 2-hour movie. If it's a re-telling of the origin you're after, look no further than Mark Waid and Lenil Yu's Birthright story, which chronicles a young Clark Kent from his humble beginnings in Smallville to his passion for journalism that leads him to Metropolis (and face to face with Lex Luthor). It hits all of the classic Superman beats, but doesn't abandon any sense of modernity.

    Personally, though, I think it's best to move away from the origin story. Everyone knows it already, so why not just skip it altogether and get right to the good stuff? With some re-tooling, Geoff Johns' recent Brainiac arc in Action Comics is prime for the plucking. In it, Superman learns of an evil alien who "collects" civilizations, and we learn that he's actually got a piece of Krypton from before it exploded. The story presents a villain who's not only tied in to the Kryptonian mythos but is also a physical threat to Superman. Thankfully, this would also render the use of kryptonite unnecessary.

    You might scoff and say that the Brainiac story is too sci-fi-based to be mainstream, but again, with some slight tweaks, it'd work just fine. Obviously you'd have to axe Supergirl from the story, but she's not really vital anyway. The crystals in the Fortress of Solitude would provide any exposition necessary about who Brainiac is.  As for Brainiac himself, he's hardly Darkseid - he's an easy make-up job, and it'd be interesting to set up the dichotomy between the peaceful alien visitor (Superman) and the cosmic conqueror (Brainiac).

    The rumor is that the villain is going to be General Zod, and while he's a valid choice for an antagonist, I'd rather not see him, mostly because…

    2. The Richard Donner movies happened. It's time to move on. Look, I love the first two Superman movies. They're fantastic and I'll always look back on them fondly. But, seriously, just let it go. Ilya Salkind tried to continue it with Superman III and Quest for Peace, and it died there. Bryan Singer attempted to bring it back from the dead with Returns, and it just didn't work. Ultimately, you have to realize that the Donner movies aren't sacred cows. It's okay to start from scratch.

    My worry with this is that DC Entertainment's current Chief Creative Officer is the aforementioned Geoff Johns. Now, Johns is an excellent writer, and he's got a great sensibility when it comes to streamlining floundering characters, but he also got his start in Hollywood by being Richard Donner's assistant before switching over to the world of comics. And as CCO, one of his duties is to oversee adaptations in other media. With Nolan as a producer, I doubt he'll have anything close to absolute power, but I hope he'll realize what I've outlined above, and that it's best to forge ahead without worrying about fitting it into 30-year old film continuity.

    There was one thing that Singer did absolutely right with Returns. Which brings me to my next point…

    3. Keep Brandon Routh. As much as Returns' fell flat, the one shining beacon was Superman himself. It's extremely difficult to find an actor who can pull off blue tights and a cheesy haircut, but Routh did an amazing job portraying the majestic wonder of the Man of Steel while still conveying the meekness and insecurity of Clark Kent. He also managed to look like Superman without looking like a bodybuilder.

    Also, from a business point of view, his career didn't exactly go up, up and away. Word is Warner Bros. wants to get this done cheap, and I can't imagine he'll be asking for much. Lose Kate Bosworth and the rest of the Daily Planet cast, but seriously, you struck gold with Routh. Don't toss that just to distance yourself from Returns.

    4. Superman isn't Batman. Go big, blue and bombastic or go home. Nolan's done an amazing job with Batman by rooting him in reality and keeping things somewhat practical. With him as a producer and David S. Goyer as the screenwriter, it might seem like a good idea to try to apply the same formula to Superman. Look, there's no easy to way to say it so I'll just say it.

    Fuck that shit.

    Superman is Superman because he's idealistic and fantastical and everything that people wish they could be but could never really attain. Batman works as a gritty character because he has his roots in pulpy street-level stories. He works in dark, dank alleys. Superman should be up in the sky.

    5. Get John Williams to do the score. This is a no-brainer, and it's probably already locked in, but seriously. The man made this. He's the guy.

    So having said all of the above, I wish Zack Snyder the best of luck. Superman means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and he's arguably the hardest character to bring to the screen correctly, but he's also a flying dude who wears his underwear on the outside of his pants and has a giant crystal castle out in the arctic. Above all else, Superman should be fun.


    Karl Teaches Kontinuity: Episode 2

    KTK returns in its second episode to make sense of those strange, strange comic books!

    On this episode, Karl is joined by his older, Golden Age-ier brother, Gustavo Castaneda as they get deeper into the Silver Age and how it all came crashing down, from the death of Gwen Stacy to Crisis on Infinite Earths.

    When you're done listening, be sure to explore and read Karl's review of The Social Network, subscribe to Crosstawk's brand new Twitter feed and get a great new episode of Thoroughly Manly Musicals. And when you're done there, head on over to iTunes, rate and review us, and bring it all home with an email to We want to know what you think, so get off your butt and tell us!

    With that said, we'll see you next week, folks!

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    Film Review: The Social Network

    There's a lot to like about The Social Network. David Fincher's a proven director with a track record of beautiful photography and an eye for interesting subject material. Aaron Sorkin's about as close to a sure thing you can get in the world of screenwriting with films like A Few Good Men and the incredibly underrated Charlie Wilson's War under his belt, not to mention being the creator and show-runner for The West Wing. Some people don't like Jesse Eisenberg, but personally, I think he's one of the most talented actors under 30 working today. Throw in a score by Trent Reznor and you've a bag of Instant Oscar Buzz. Set for 90 seconds, then wait 45 seconds while it cools. Feeds two.

    So why does this movie feel somewhat lacking?

    Honestly, I think it comes down to the haphazard depiction of Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook and focal point of the film's story about a young genius who'll cut anyone down on his way to glory. That isn't to say that I think it's slanderous or that the people involved with this picture have any obligation to telling the story accurately (this isn't a documentary - liberties are taken to enhance the drama and I'm fine with that). I'm talking about Mark Zuckerberg the character.

    At first I wasn't sure why I had a problem with the character, but ultimately, it's the distinct lack of pathos and character development. The Mark that opens the film is largely the same one that closes it, which would be fine were the story not centered on his relationship with Eduardo Saverin, Facebook's original CFO and Zuckerberg's best friend at Harvard, played by future Spider-Man Andrew Garfield. The more Facebook prospers, the more we see Mark and Eduardo become adversaries - we watch as their friendship deteriorates from its supposed heights in college to opposing each other in legal battles interspersed throughout the film.

    The problem here is that it's never really that clear why they were friends to begin with. Eduardo is portrayed as incredibly likable and sincere, if a little naive, while Mark hops from trashing his ex-girlfriend on the internet to screwing over business partners, all the while projecting a constant barrage of snide and condescending remarks.  Their relationship is something we're told about, but it's never something that's seen, which really lessens the emotional impact of their eventual parting of the ways.

    The closest thing Zuckerberg has to motivation in this movie is being the wounded nerd who never got over a girl, which is a point tangentially referred to two or three times during The Social Network's 2+ hour runtime. Otherwise, his reasons for doing what he's doing seem to be either random or orchestrated by Sean Parker, the founder of Napster who sees Facebook for being the billion-dollar idea that it is and hitches a ride. The story plays out around him, but we as an audience never get the feeling that he's driving it forward. While Eisenberg turns in a much more watchable and compelling performance, it's this same lack of pathos that made Brad Pitt so forgettable in Benjamin Button.

    What makes it all so obvious is that the rest of the supporting cast seems much more fleshed out. Andrew Garfield does a spectacular job bringing Eduardo to life, and we see him go from being cautiously on top of the world to finding himself way over his head to seeing all of his dreams snatched away from him. Justin Timberlake is absolutely electric as Sean Parker - he's incredibly charismatic, and he steals just about every scene he's in. Even Armie Hammer, who plays the dual role of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss,  has a more clear character arc than Zuckerberg.

    Having said that, I'd like to go into more of what I did like about The Social Network. Sorkin's dialogue is as snappy as ever, and Fincher's cuts from the past at Harvard to the present in legal hearings keeps the pace quick - 120 minutes fly right by. As I mentioned above, Garfield and Timberlake both turned in spectacular performances, and in the case of the former, I wouldn't be surprised if he received an Acadamy Award nom for Best Supporting Actor. And while I obviously had problems with the character himself, Jesse Eisenberg plays the part of a distracted, elitist intellectual absurdly well.

    I'd also be a fool not to mention the atmosphere that Fincher's able to wrap the film in, from the freezing and distinctly New England Harvard to the carefree Palo Alto to the rainy days of the legal proceedings. Reznor's score provides tons of moody ambiance, which lends a lot of intensity that wouldn't have otherwise been present.

    I really did like The Social Network. It's a brisk film, and a compelling one while you're watching it. Unfortunately, the issues with Mark Zuckerberg as a character prevent it from staying with you after you're finished, keeping it out of that upper echelon, but it's still easily recommendable.


    Thoroughly Manly Musicals: Jesus Christ Superstar

    If you heard last week's episode of Box Office Poison, you know that Stan's got a lot to say about Norman Jewison's 70s rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar. Well, he's back this week with a brand new Thoroughly Manly Musical. Give it a watch and send your thoughts over via the comments section and by emailing us at!



    Introducing: Discover Music Project

    From the mind of Jonathan Metts comes's newest addition: Discover Music Project. In it, Jonny and Co. will discuss music that at least one person on the show isn't terribly familiar with. The hope is that, by playing the very best from that genre/band, they (as well as you, the listener) will expand their musical horizons.

    In this debut episode, Jonny's showing off one of his personal favorites, Phish, to Box Office Poison and Rough Draught's own Mike Sklens. You might have a lot of preconcieved notions about Phish (and their dirty hippy fans), but I think you'll be plenty surprised with how much there is to like. Here's the set list:

    1. Julius (Hoist)

    2. Light (Joy)

    3. Frankenstein (Live, Miami 2003)

    4. Dirt (Farmhouse)

    5. Down With Disease (Live, Miami 2003)


    Trey Anastasio & Friends - "Eyes of the World" (Comes a Time)

    Also, here are a few links pertaining to things discussed in the show:

    - Beavis and Butthead Phish Crossover:

    - Endless Boundaries:

    - Phish Live in Miami in December 2009:,523/Phish-mp3-flac-download-12-28-2009-American-Airlines-Arena-Miami-FL.html

    - The Encore's Tribute Concert:

    As always, send all of your questions, suggestions and concerns to As Jonny notes towards the end, we're absolutely looking for your input on future episodes, so get writing! Also be sure to head on over to iTunes and rate/review us, as it's the best way to get the word out.

    Jonny and Mike did a fantastic job here, so I know you'll enjoy the episode. Come back next week when Karl Teaches Kontinuity returns!

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