Saturday, November 27, 2010

Electric Fury

"We’ll hold hands and then we’ll watch the sunrise
From the bottom of the sea"

"Be water, my friend"

One sang about a room full of mirrors. The other one fought in a room full of mirrors. They were both born on November 27. Pretty cool, right?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

What should have been a gentle, relaxing (if hungover) Post-Thanksgiving Friday turned dark and depressing: I watched "L'Age D'Or" followed by "Waltz with Bashir". Both are great films, but today was clearly the wrong day to subject the aching brain to ruminations on morality, politics, wars, massacres and that rather strange lesson on scorpions.

The other films sitting in the queue wouldn't have worked either: Bresson's "Au hasard Balthazar", Fincher's "Zodiac" and Samuel Fuller's "Shock Corridor". Though "a helpless donkey, a serial killer and a patient in a psychiatry ward" is just crying to be spun into a joke or an epic poem or something.

What happened to watching cartoons on weekends?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

From The Ministry of Insults

"Perhaps it’s just a matter of economy, but it’s jarring when the screen says, “You idiot,” and the actress says, in English, “You sexy son of a bitch!”
(From a NYT review of a Bollywood movie)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Deep Greens And Blues Are The Colors I Choose"

"If patients are disinclined to take a tablet they consider bitter or sour or because they simply do not like the color, then a change of aesthetics might be needed."
There's a reason the "little yellow pill" (Mother's little helper) is yellow in color and not, say, blue or brown: colors affect the efficacy of the drug.

My lack of faith in cherry-red cough syrup now makes sense.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It Does, Occasionally

I finally got to watching "It Might Get Loud". (A.O. Scott's review)

While I was not blown away by it as I was expecting, some scenes certainly elevated the rest of the documentary: Jimmy Page plugging in his Les Paul, hammering out the intro riff to "Whole lotta love" as U2's The Edge* (twenty four years later, I'm still not sure if it is "The Edge" or "the Edge"?) and Jack White look on with an expression conveying glee, envy and holy-shit-is-this-real. Apparently, you could be a big rock star with a billion dollars in your bank account but all that is reduced to nothing in front of Jimmy Page's riff. (I've always wondered if Beethoven walks around heaven giving all other musicians a terrible complex?)

But interestingly, in the second scene that caught my attention, Page picks out a record** - Link Wray's "Rumble" - and this time we see him dissolve into smiles and air guitar (even James Patrick Page plays air guitar!) listening to Link Wray and goes crazy over that killer vibrato.

Even the Gods have their Gods.

* The Edge's question to Jimmy Page about his work as a sessions musician in the mid-1960s could be spun into an entire film. In a most matter-of-fact tone, Page answered the question saying he did play for the Kinks. Too bad The Edge didn't follow up with "did you also play on The Who's "I can't explain"?

** Assuming it was a shot of his house in the film, the man has a mean collection of 45s and LPs.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Act You've Known For All These Years...

...will soon on be iTunes.

I'm going to play my age card here: so does this mean a whole generation of kids will listen to songs from, say, "With the Beatles" without holding that classic b-w picture in their hands? Don't they lose something important in the bargain?

Would you want to listen to Side-B of Abbey Road out of sequence? Is it even possible to explore White Album without downloading "Wild Honey Pie" or "Revolution 9"?

Next week, I'm going to talk about how telegraphy and Morse code are corrupting our youngsters.

UPDATE: A great bit of insight via a post in Techcrunch about why this news matters:

"So why do we care? Because this is one of the last times you’re going to see the recording industry in a position of power. It’s like seeing a majestic Dodo in action for one last time. The obstinacy that has led to doing things the same way since the 50s (there are likely LPs that have been in print that long, being sold the same way, like produce) at last is running out of steam."

I like that phrase, "majestic Dodo". It gives this news item a proper place in a narrative that started some 50 years ago.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

21 Years

(Ah, the ego. News of her release got me thinking about my own life and how I've aged 21 years since she went to prison.)

Image from the BBC's website.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Failchemist

"I am not saying that W.Allen,Bergman,Antonioni,Goddard are bad directors. I am saying that they make #boringmovies" - a tweet by writer Paulo Coelho.

That opinion is coming from a very distinguished author and philosopher and therefore must be true.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Macaron, Woody, Bagel

Macaron or cupcakes? Godard or Woody? Baguette or bagel?

Paris Vs NYC is a blog that compares, graphically, some of the best-known features of the two great cities. The concept and artwork are simply delightful.

(Via MeFi)

Monday, November 01, 2010