Wars and Windmills

27 August 2007

A Smattering of Nerd


Handy. (*snicker*)


Why Prozac should come in a kryptonite gelcap.

The crossing of Gillilllll's universe and mine.

23 August 2007

Shake Up Your Bones

I have been feeling pangs of nostalgia recently, your patience is requested. Not too long ago, the only music that mattered in my world was generated solely from a Martin guitar owned by a South African. Now he plays a Taylor and I haven’t really listened to him in quite a while. But still, there are times when I crave an hour or two where Under the Table and Dreaming, Live at Luther College, or Crash is playing. Lie in our Graves is still, and will ever be, a pantheon of quality.

Like a genealogical tree, all of my current preferences can be traced back to the popular sounds of Dave Matthews. He held my cochleas in a vice grip, nearly nothing could penetrate the Acoustic Curtain he had established there. It took Sam Beam and The Shins' New Slang (2002: the anteBraffian era) to bring the wall a-tumbling-down, showing me there was more offered...much more. But still, remains of the wall are evident and acoustic guitar based music is inextricably in my blood. His intimate, stripped down sessions featuring two Martins and either Tim Reynolds or Trey Anastasio will always be lauded and welcomed.

I owe the man more than hours of listening enjoyment, it was his excellent chord progressions (Crush, Tripping Billies, the Stone), singular strumming patterns (Two Step, Rapunzel, Satellite), and poetic lyrics (Christmas Song, Cry Freedom, Pig) that were the primary reasons I strove to learn to play the guitar.

So though his silvery sound doesn't frequent my speakers like it used to, I will always remember two things: Dave is a hell of a musician and I am grateful for it. Hats off to the maestro.

06 August 2007

The Immutability of Wes Anderson

I think movies labeled "Comedy" are a bit of a misnomer. The amount of comedy, in my experience and with rare but welcomed exception, actually in a Comedy is drastically, yet predictably, less than what occurs. This fundamental problem in that particular genre is why I rarely rush to see such movies, or see them at all. Besides, the few moments of actual humor will more than likely be quoted to me boisterously by Nate or they will all have been neatly condensed into one little blip of hilarity, often called a "trailer". These methods are far cheaper than actually having to rent the movie and leave more time for Guitar Hero. RAWK.

So while Wes' films are absurdly funny, I don't think his films can be encapsulated into one specific genre. They offer a more constant level of humor than mere comedies, yet still show pointed glimpses into humanity that are often seen only in the most dramatic of movies. The trailer of Anderson's latest venture, The Darjeeling Limited, has hit the web and theaters and offers a glimpse into what I am talking about. "What's wrong with you?"..."Let me think about that". I dare Blades of Glory or its ilk to tackle existentialism so poetically and do so without losing the any of the understated humor and while provoking thought. Double-dog dare.

Those movies do have their place however, and do offer a quick laugh, smile, or, if you're Joe, eye-roll. But if there is a choice (and we fought wars so there would be), I choose to spend my time and funds elsewhere. Needless to say, yet say I shall, I have been looking forward to a new Wes Anderson film for quite some time. He movies constantly deliver, and that constancy is as rare as I like my steak. If nothing else I am gifted with gorgeously detailed widescreen shots accompanied soulfully by either the brilliant score of Mark Mothersbaugh or an eclectic song so befitting the scene it would seem to have been written especially for that purpose. Refer, if you will, to the mashing of two Kink's songs in The Darjeeling Limited trailer: This Time Tomorrow and Strangers.

Wes' ability to make us laugh, think, and wonder isn't necessarily a fresh trick. We see the same thing with films like The Graduate which also seamlessly blended music, cinematography, and script. But, when heavily saturated with empty servings of canned comedy, it is gratifying to sup at a table set with nothing but impeccable entrées, all of which are deep-fried or nougat-filled.

03 August 2007

Middle Earthlings

Rare are the friends who you can don smeared face paint, rubber weapons, and carpet/fur with while tramping around the forest looking for all kinds of tom-foolery.

Perhaps this green faced fella will realize this one day and smile back on the good times (that is unless his face sticks that way). I pity the doomed creature or village that chances across their path.

(I do wish we could see the chainmail clad redhead in the back.)