Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Naomi Watts' brain has been replaced by my parents' dead kitten, Leo, and she is peeking out from underneath Naomi's checkered fedora. The Queen's golf tournament is going badly, and this obnoxious man keeps telling me that I need to quit smoking. Somehow all my cigarettes have been smooshed into the bottom of one, and it's raining. My friends have been drinking, and their beer bottles are lined up in the nook of the tree by the 8th hole. The water trap is a lake, and I have to take a rowboat over to meet them. Still we have garbage detail, and the obnoxious man won't stop hounding me. The Queen seems to be afraid to take a good swing, and her flaming red ballgown is hindering her abilities. I told her to swing away, but she just smiles wanly and continues her little hacks. I'm back in the boat on the lake, and now I need a drink. All the beer is gone. What in the hell happened to Naomi's brain? We're very concerned.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mos, Michel, and Fats Waller

This movie Be Kind, Rewind, it was not without it's faults. The writing was a little flat at times, and the Jack Black Schtick has gotten a little stale if you ask me. The whole thing kind of reels on it's way through the early narrative movement, but once it finds its feet, it hits the grounding running with a cheshire grin that never left my face from that moment on. The first sweded film begins the wonderful lo-fi, mash-up hilarity. The happy amusement just compounds as the process becomes more communal and inclusive, and still this movie has so much to say that is meaningful in the national discourse about modernity, race, capitalism, community. It is wonderful to be able to laugh and feel the warm glow of goodness exemplified. It is a joyful presence in the world that this film brings.
Gondry's imaginatively brilliant production design makes this film a new brand of movie experience, and he brings us into a kind of film-making process that would make Cocteau proud. He encloses us in a world of smiling bizarrity that is so unique to his films but which has been realized in the most strikingly profound way here. The sets and his characteristically bizarrely simplistic special effects are the main characters here, and yet they complement and underscore the actors without overpowering them. The blend is so well met that you just delight in the whole thing.
I must also say something about the performances of Melonie Diaz and Mos Def. Certainly Mos's Mike is an extension of his work as Ford Prefect much in the same way that Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow was an extension of his work as HST, but Def actually builds on his earlier characterization and gives it a new depth, whereas Depp seems to turn his Hunter character into a caricature. This is quite the feat for such an unseasoned actor in a movie that without his grounding might easily have spun out of control. The balance of poignancy and inanity was very delicate with this piece, and it is his work that makes that balancing act so incredibly, heartwarmingly fulfilling.
Melonie Diaz's Alma plays counterpoint to Mike's brilliance and nervousness and Jerry's over the top hamming in such a way that it really does provide a kind of alacrity to the film that is also crucial in building toward the necessary balance. She gives her character such humour, charm, steadfastness, and warmth. It is just an exquisite performance, and is another piece of the mad, mad puzzle that was this wonderful film.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Taken By Trees and British printmaking

There's a exhibition at the MFA right now called Rythms of Modern Life: British Prints 1914-1939 which sounds right up my alley. Since Taken By Trees is playing there tonight, I think I'm gonna hit them up here in a minute. I haven't seen any music or been to a museum for what seems like eons, so that'll be good, and The Drive-By Truckers are coming through town in a couple of months, which'll kick arse. I seem to have lapsed into a rather dulling style here today, and just don't have much aching sensibility about getting out of it. Hopefully art and music can help.

Friday, February 22, 2008

miscellany and a snow day

So I've been slogging through this week. Just going through the motions pretty much. It's a tough spot, but these things happen. It can't always be magical fabulosicity, but it's just a comedown sometimes.
I started watching the first season of Friday Night Lights for no apparent reason, and I was pretty impressed. The show should by all accounting suck. It's a take off on a successful movie that starts with a ridiculously cliched storyline. The star quarterback gets paralyzed in the first game of the season, and the shy back-up comes on to throw a hail-mary, game-winning pass. The writing is passable, but not mindstoppingly great. What makes this show is the incredible acting. The whole cast turn in some flooring stuff. They really make the material live so palpably. This is also enabled by the cinema verite style of filming, which has become a cornerstone of the ongoing television renaissance, and the production design. They really get past a spotty premise with the grace of gritty performances.

In the movie department, I'm psyched to go see Be Kind, Rewind this weekend. I'm such a fan of Michel Gondry. His stuff with Charlie Kaufman is top-notch. I do feel like his style was maybe a little off for Human Nature, and I would have liked to see what Kaufman would have done with it. The story goes that Gondry came up with the kernel of the idea for Eternal Sunshine and gave it to Kaufman, who was writing Adaptation at the time. Kaufman had already written Human Nature and wanted to direct it himself at some later date. Gondry apparently convinced Charlie to let him direct it, and the rest is history. Gondry's brand of fairytaleism just seems to work against this film, but Sunshine is, of course, just great and so luminous. Anyway, on a related note, it will be interesting to see Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut with Synecdoche, NY hopefully coming soon to a theatre near me. I see in IMDB that it's in post-production, so we'll keep our fingers crossed that it gets out there. It sounds wild, but anyway. I can't wait to go see Be Kind tomorrow. I am such a fan of Mos Def. His performance in Monster's Ball was some understated brilliance all the way. Obviously, the Hitchhiker stuff was great too. He really walks away with that film.
Anyway, here is a slight description of the film from Wesley Morris's review in the Boston Globe today. "If Bill Cosby and Jerry Lewis had made a Richard Pryor-Gene Wilder comedy by Hasbro, it'd go something like this. I'll have 'Bustin' Loose,' super-sweded, please." How awesome does that sound.

So, I can't decide if I should go see Super Furry Animals or Victoria Bergsman tomorrow night. Both intrigue me, and I would kinda' like to see what shows at the MFA are like, but I would also like to rock out a little bit. We'll see.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I wanted to get a quick revision of previous statements about Ian McEwan's novel, Saturday. I wasn't by any stretch overly critical of the book, but I had laid some faint praise on him in comparision to Umberto Eco's The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana. As I've now moved farther along in both books, I see that McEwan's is better than I first grasped, and Eco has made just a minor misstep.
While I was quite drawn in by the surreality that Eco started with, he quickly shifts away from that style for good reason. He's creating a transition for a man who is coming back to consciousness after a heartattack, and it's well done to be sure. The one point I have is that he moves too quickly and a little stiltedly away from the characters surrounding Yambo's life (our hero) to the meat of the book, which is his sifting through the books and music from his childhood as he tries to regain his lost memory. It's a wonderful idea, but the conceit of it comes out with the drastic shift away from anyone but the relics of his lost past. Otherwise, the book is so far marvelously conceived, and it is such a brilliant narrative thruline. Following him try and discern what of these magazines, books, music, etc. was he drawn to and when and how is really good stuff, so I'm just talking about the slightest of bumps in the road here.
As to McEwan and Saturday, I now see clearer what he was doing, which makes the book vastly more intriguing and captivating. His style is to contrast the mundanity of this man's life on this one particular day with really deep insights that get flung off at random times in a very prosaic way. His style reflects these shifts but in a naturally fluid way, so you just get blindsided by these really perceptive moments. It has hints of Hemingway; how he used to just floor you with this offhanded comment about how people are that was so true and penetrating. Stylistically they have very different approaches, but this one little thing that is so crucial to the power of both their writings is really becoming evident in McEwan in a way that wasn't when I first wrote about him.

Noche Flamenca

"If we do not relate the brutality, repression, hunger, fear, menace, inferiority, resistance, and secrecy, then we shall not find the reality of cante is a storm of exasperation and grief." --Felix Grande

Instead of actually sleeping last night I went to see a performance of Flamenco music and dancing at the Cutler Majestic. It was quite the spectacle. I've been saying for some time that I wanted to see some kind of performative dance, and I finally got that chance last night. Ye gods and little fishes, what mind-blowing intensity these cats got to. I was overwhelmed by the emotionality of the experience and left to wander the Boston Common in catastrophic windforce not noticing at all because of that wildly beauteous music and dance culture that is known as Flamenco.
They started the performance with a reinterpretation of Henrik Ibsen's play The Lady From The Sea which amazingly encapsulated the difficulties of marriage and sentimental lost love in song and dance. The piece starts with Soledad Barrio, who founded Noche Flamenca with her husband Martin Santangelo, alone on the stage moving only to the sounds of the ocean with prisms of color sweeping across her body. Her movements are much like the sea itself, flowing and powerful. Soon the rest of the troupe joins her, and then there is the drabness of married life, the draw of a lover appearing out of the recesses of the past, and the choice all made live in movement and song.
While the company is made up of three dancers and they generally held the spotlight, the guitarists and singers are just as central to the performance. The frenetic fingerpicking style that is Flamenco guitar work, is just unstoppably awe-inspiring. Miguel Perez Garcia's guitar solo toward the middle of the performance was the unquestionable work of a master craftsman, and his ruthless trilling fingerwork overlaid with such a longingly sad melodic line was something to behold.
And the singing, oh there are no adjectives to describe the tones of ulullating sadness that Manuel Gago and Emilio Florido achieve. The tragic melancholy these men achieve with the mere sound of their voices was heartbreaking work of staggering genius, to cop a line from Dave Eggers (minus the ironic intention). At one point, just before Barrio's solo in the second act I could have sworn I was in Morocco listening to the Muezzin's call to prayer just for the briefest instant. It was all so moving I almost died. Admittedly, I'm highly susceptible to such things, but still...It was all so much beauty.
Just a quick word on the dancing because I'm getting way too formal here; the Flamenco dance style is focused mostly on the use of stomping as a way to create the rythm of the music with flourishes of the hands to accompany, and it was quite something to witness the hypersonic doubletime they achieved simply by stamping around. It was truely wild, and Soledad Barrio was the most. She achieves a synchronicity of flourish and stomp that just blew me away. I can't say enough about how all the way rad these cats are. The audience filled with the shouts of 'ole' throughout, and it was well deserved.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Just a little bit farther

I just had to write some more about Wong kar-Wai because his work is so utterly brilliant that it literally hurts. He has so brought poetic realism into the modern age. The writing from all his movies has an ephemeral quality to it but with undercurrents of the crush of reality and hopeless love. It really reminds me of Jacques Prevert's work on Les Enfants du Paradis, which is itself the quintessentially poetically real film and also just freakin' amazing. The story and conversations from Chungking Express bring longing and lovelorn waiting to astonishing life in a way that makes you ache for the kind of almost missed connection that Tony Leung and Faye Wong might almost maybe have found, and how mind-blowing is Leung in all his Kar-Waian characterizations. From the sadly discarded lover in Happy Together to the hip 60ies style man about town in 2046, he is always spot on wonderful to watch. You always root for him.
I should also say something about Ziyi Zhang who is also brilliantly sibilant in 2046, but just clearly an incredible emerging talent. If you compare her work in 46 to her portrayal of Sayuri in Memoirs of a Geisha, you see such a sweeping range that you can imagine this woman being capable of just about anything. She is quickly becoming a peer of my all time favorite actress Gena Rowlands, which in my mind is the highest complement I could bestow.
But Kar-Wai, his films enfold each other in that way that the best filmmakers can do: reliving and breathing new life into the concepts and feelings that are closest to their hearts without retreading or becoming repetitive. And how freakin' fantasmo is it that he has a character from one of his earlier films return several films later to talk about how her life has changed and been affected by that earlier experience of love lost. That to me is the mark of a genius. You see it most comparitively apt in the work of David Lynch, and these two are on equal grounds with that ability. Kar-Wai also takes the many of the cinematic ideas of Goddard and the new wave and brings them to bear in a way that is wholly inventive and to my mind much more effective and affecting. His use of jump cuts in In the Mood for Love far surpasses anything Goddard could even concieve of doing. Admittedly I don't have much love for the pretensious genius of Goddard, but I really believe that Kar-Wai brings a much defter touch to the process of alienation that Goddard was striving for and to a much more devestating effect. While there is certainly different intentions and purposes involved and an argument can be made for a more qualitative usefulness in Goddard's possible intentions, I think that Kar-Wai builds from a Confucian approach that personalizes the meanings of social interaction in a way that could be a foundational element in the creation of a better way to live in the world with the people we meet and exist with. Okay, so I got out there a little bit and may not be making too much sense at this stage, but I just think the geniusity of this man is worth shouting from the hilltops. Release My Blueberry Nights for the love of all that's holy, please (so,I see over at the IMDB that a limited release is set for April of this year. Thank the heavens for small favors and hope to be within the limit of this release because I personally gaurantee you won't want yr money or yr time back).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

entropic forces always tugging @ my brainstem

The inevitability of entropy in social life, is it so? I like to think that we can make some forward progression, the infinite chain of being and all that, but sometimes it just feels like we're constantly pulled back into the mireishness of our early mistakes, if we were so inclined to make such. Maybe it's not a generalizable problem; maybe it's just me. It's the sluffle schuffle, one step forward and two steps back, clap yr hands, and don't have no heart attack. Oh, yeah, oh yeah. Uggamamoggamagoomalalipalistaliapatopitopita, eh?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Days of Being Wild

Wong Kar-Wai may just be the most brilliant filmmaker in existence's long tirade. That may be just an insignificantly tiny stretch of the truth, but I think the oh so incredibly mild exaggeration is well worth the man that auteured my all time top favorite film for the moment 2046. No, I don't really play favorites, as I said once or twice, but if I did, I would probably go with this. His films are jarring collisions of poetic realism, hard-boiled style pulp characters, and that brutal unrequitedness that accompanies all of Kar-Wai's manifestations of love. Perhaps it's the shear amount of time and work that his characters have to put into their love if they want it to bear fruit that I adore about his films, and the fact that even then most times it doesn't work out all happily ever after. Yet his films still all leave me with a sense of the absolute value of love even when they don't end Cinderella style. His beautiful lilting writing brings great blissful worry to my mind, and I'm always left in a wistfully beatific state through my thorough indulgence in the modern cinema's great poet.
The lushness of the Kar-Wai/Chris Doyle color pallete is also one of the ongoing happinesses of the cinematic experience. Watching the shift from the muted luxuriance of the early films to the fierce elegance of their current work has been a true discovery of the heart for me. That In the Mood for Love might be the most masterful use of color ever is only mildly over the top hyperbole. It's just so freaking beautiful, it makes me well up with tears of joy. All the way, ride!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Overlooked in the race for rankings

As I've said I think the end of the year listing and ranking process for film and music is more than just a little pedantic and silly, but whatever. People are going to do what they're going to do regardless of how my non-entity self feels about the whole thing. It just occurred to me though that there were two really solid movies that came out last year that deserved to be on at least one list. If they aren't on any other, which would be a crime, they're gonna be on my list of two movies in no specific order that I really liked and felt were overlooked by the people who matter aka everyone other than me. Well, I do matter to myself, so I guess that's not really true. Whatever, you get the general rambling idea.

Numero uno: Romance and Cigarettes.

How people can go on about how wonderful that shiite of a remake Hairspray was and not think this musical was way, way better, I can't even fathom. Just because this movie doesn't end with the happiest of happy endings, doesn't mean it's not a feel good movie. The spirit of silliness that inhabits this film is in some ways mythic, dare I say it. It was an amazing fable about the travails of modern life, in a kind of comedic counter-point to Black Snake Moan, which I'm fairly sure also came out toward the beginning of the year and has also been overlooked in the rush to give out awards to all the same people and movies. I don't begrudge those people who win and get all the media attention, but I do wish the mainstream media would pay attention to off the radar stuff that may seem complicated to release or defies simple categorization. I'll admit that Moan was a tough one, but I would bet substantial money that Romance & Cigarettes could have turned a monster profit if the distributers would have gotten in on the game instead of being completely afraid of original material that isn't surrounded by the so-called buzz.

The movie was actually filmed several years ago, but no one would take on distribution. So, after what I assume was years of trying to get his film released, John Turtorro, the film's writer and director, leased a movie house in New York and self-released in one theater. It got solid reviews and was picked up, finally for a run in, what I have to assume was seriously limited release. All I know is it finally came to Boston after years of waiting with anticipation for this film. I had heard about it through the IMDB way back when it was just sketchy details available for the public, and the little red filming, or post-production brackets before the film title. When I finally saw who was in it, I flipped. The cast is immacutely culled for the type of off the wall comedic irony coupled with the Vaudeville and slapstick comic stylings that would be needed to make this kind of material work. All I knew at the time was that it was a musical written and directed by Turtorro, produced by the Coens, and starring Gandolfini, Surandon, Walken, Winslet, Buscemi, Mary-louis Parker, Aida Turtorro, Mandy Moore, Bobby Canavale, and the list goes on with regonizable names all the way down the most minimal speaking parts. All of this can, of course, be gleaned from the IMDB, so I had known years in advance that this film was out there, and had even read a glowing review of how good it was at some festival. The thing had been released in other countries for quite a while before it finally saw the light of day in American moviehouses.

I have no idea what the deal was on that, but it may have been the funniest film I've ever seen. Okay, that's a little hyperbolic, but it was massively funny. In a year that saw Juno birthed to the world with total adorement and deference, this movie should have gotten just a little bit of that glory. What's that? You say that Juno was unquestionably the wittiest film of all time. You may have a point, and you certainly have a valid position from which to argue. I'm not going to argue the point, but I will say that in the first five minutes of R&C we get these gems:
"I am not a whoremaster"
"Your father's on an all beaver diet"
We also get Steve Buscemi fantasing about putting tennis balls in the tennis pro's underwear. So clearly, Juno does not have the lock on slightly inappropriate hilarity. I do believe Diablo Cody would be envious.
Anyway, the film is just supercool. Chris Walken doing a soft shoe in the rain. A full-on drag down fight between Susan Surandon and Kate Winslet. Eddie Izzard as the church organist and spurned lover. There are so many killer moments in this movie. As the old-school beat looking character with whom I had a post-film discussion said: "It just makes you love movies again." Well said, sir.

Numero dos: Control
Okay, this movie was a little tougher on the system. It was not a feel good film. It was bursting with the angst so common to top-notch creative minds. Control is the story of Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division, and (spoiler alert!) it doesn't end well. Maybe one or two people know that, so I'm not giving too much away. This was ground that was somewhat covered in Micheal Winterbottom's Twenty-Four Hour Party People. The difference being this is more focused on just the Joy Division storyline, instead of the whole Factory Records rise and fall. It's all black and white, and it's pretty bleak. Even before we make it to Ian's frustrations trying to reconcile being a father and a burgeoining rockstar, the film gives us angstiness, dulling work routines, dealing with epilepsy, you get the idea. It's slow and unforgiving, but the music is a sickness. This is the reason that I have to give this movie some serious props. The actors do all the playing and singing, and that is what you hear when you see the reconstructions of live performances. I'll say that again in case you didn't get me. There is no overdubbing of the live performances. It's the actual live recordings of the actors playing the instruments and singing Joy Division's songs, and they nail it. That in and of itself is worth a look in my opinion. That and Sam Riley's spot on performance and recreation of Ian's frenetic dance style. It's all pretty intense, and the movie left me feeling brooding and introspective, but with a burning desire to get down to something of value and really break open the creative process. It also left me with a mild distrust of the surrounding world, and I looked sideways at everyone I passed on the street on my way home.

Cross over consternation

So, mostly I'm gonna talk about the Cat Power show from last night over on The Dancing fool, but I did want to just quickly rant about the whole thing a little bit here. I just sent my first ever e-mail to a journalist with a quick semi-constructed outline of my concerns about the lack of dancing in the modern world. Not that it isn't out there, but some of my favorite bands or performers to go see (i.e. anything under the monicker indie-rock, alt-country, etc) are conspicously missing any type of body rockin' on their scene. It really sucks for me, and maybe one or two other people.
I'm not going to get too far into how shitty some of the Village Voice stuff was other than to say even slightly implying that Chan Marshall might be a better performer if she didn't totally have her shit together is pretty low, especially considering were that poor girl has beeen in her life. Whatever, take the performance as it is, and comment on that, but snide remarks about her personal life are highly unnecessary. What is the great fascination with the personal lives of writers and artists anyway? Can't we just take there work on it's merits and leave the rest alone anyway?
Okay, I got farther into that than I had planned, but sometimes the underground crowd can be totally cannabalistic when one of their own actually gets some mainstream success or recognition. Arright, down boy, down. So, let me first say that some of this frustration could be avoided if places like the Orpheum in Boston, which has seats that people have a tendency to overuse in my opinion, might consider having a dancing section. I know that sounds a little silly, but people who don't want to dance get annoyed by us, and those of us who want to dance get seriously impaled on the let's all just watch phenom.
I just don't get it. I really don't. It's one of the few types of entertainment that you can really engage on a spiritual level, and people just sit there like it's a rerun of MASH. Not that you absolutely have to dance to get a spiritual or intense emotional experience from a musical performance, it can be done through passive reception, but come on right, don't we have enough passive amusements in our world and lives. It won't kill you to dance, I promise. Just try it once.
(Sorry I know that's really uptight and pretentious, but it's how I feel)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Let's get together and talk about the modern age

"All of our friends were gathered there with their pets just talking shit about how we're all so upset about the disappearing we watch it melt. It's all the good that won't come out of us, and how eventually our hands will just turn to dust if we keep shaking them, standing here on this frozen lake"-Rilo Kiley: The good That Won't Come out of Us, The Execution of All Things

I am so hooked on this band. I have an unabashed love of the female voice, and Jenny Lewis is tops in that department, so angelic and devastating, but lyrically they just blow me away sometimes. They can really hit it in so many ways: moody, playful, sorrowful, delicate. It's all so danceable and makes for a killer soundtrack for the movie of my life that has been fully enabled by the now part of my person ipod. I'm on my way to owning every album they've recorded.
Admittedly, that's not like saying I'm on my way to owning every Zappa album, a project I gave up on after I had to abandon all my vinyl in Memphis. Someday I'll reclaim them, but for now most of my Zappa and jazz resides with my friend Josh back in the 'phis. It's a bummer because I definitely get Zappa cravings, and with my newfound desire not (that's right NOT) to steal anymore music over the internet, it's hard to keep to my alloted 10 bucks a week music budget and still satisfy my burgeoning cravings for disparate musical fixes. I really do need to get back on the Zappa train. He was just so freakin' ironic way before that was the totally hip thing to do. It makes me laugh and praise.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Bloggfather

So, I've now got seven blogs going, which is insanely manic, but I'm not yet done. I'm gonna get a vblog into the action, which I'm totally psyched about. It's still in the works (i.e. I'm still too broke to buy a, but I'll get there hopefully before the summer. I do like the idea of using multiple formats to bring out different aspects of my personality, but I do think maybe I'm being a little nutzo on the whole thing. Whateva'; kiss the ring and bow to my blogmight. Oh, so silly. I really like to work over ways to combine different words with the word blog. My favorite one so far is bloggiestyle, but this is the first use I've made of it.
Anyway, I've also got a new favorite word, which is ultimately. It was a close race with essentially and the old standbys anyways and regardless, but ultimately (see how final and staid that word can be) none of them have the staying power and utility of ultimately. MMMmmmm, words!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Singing to the strangers; half scaring them to death

Wow, was I massacred last night. I got pretty good and drunk last night, which means about a half dozen cocktails for me (and that means I'm doing pretty durn good with that whole thing). While I'm generally more prone to at least desire moderation and not trumpet drunkenness, I am always in favor of wandering around improvising songs at the top of yr lungs even if it does get you some aberrant looks. I could not stop the lyrics that have been dormant in some recess of my brain for way too long. Now I've written some song lyrics recently, but that's a totally different process than just belting out whatever unadorned wierdness is flitting around those crazy neural cavities o' mine. It was just a lot of fun. I danced like a wildman to Prince, Luna, Joi, and some others, and I roamed the streets with my ipod headphones half on singing newly minted lyrics to those very same songsters' melodies. What fun, what fun, what fun is there in the streets of my mind to lose and calm the winds of rising fear...How for so long can we hold back the storm of emerging intemperance without the attendant hurricane that must follow, eh? So silly.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

From the haze of sleep

I was in the midst of one of those days yesterday when the ideas are coming so fast that it's all I can do to try and hold on and get some of them down on paper. Eventually the importance of sleep becomes preeminent over anything short of rock the casbah style stellar ideation given the fact that I have to be at work @ 4 in the AM, so I manage finally to shut down the old mainframe after many fruitless attempts and get into some sleep. The problem is when you have a day like that it just transitions (for me). I realize three hours later that I'm awake again and in the midst of some really superconscious ideational cycles. It then becomes a thing to try and catalogue any and all the stuff coming down. I woke up, actually I became aware of wisps of jarring conscious ideas seeping into my reality, as I was apparently building a band of characters for a new song cycle that I recall vaguely laying out the outlines for, but now the whole thing is just like it was in a dream, just barely there.
Still there was more material and I spent the first hour at work scribbling little notes to try and get all the ideas down so that I could try and sort through them later. It is a productive yet complicated process using the transition between sleep and wakefulness; A kind of slow burn to consciousness that requires all the faculties of concentration to maintain a connection to the ideas that are churning around in the head. It still always feels like you miss so much.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

I just have to get into a semi-rave about the above titled book by Umberto Eco. This cat has it down. The book is such a great intermix of psychology and story, and the whole thing starts out in this really surreal style that is just the tops. I've just started the book, but so far I'm heavily impressed.
I'm also reading Ian McEwan's Saturday, which also has some good neuropsych stuff as the main character is a neurosurgeon. It's quite good, with a wonderful way about it, but Eco is just blowing my doors off right now, so his solid and commendable writing seems a little formal next to the wild wonderfulness of Eco. Eco just has this amazing faculty for building this great story in a way that's so...unique.
I gotta work solidly on my ability to write about books I'm reading, if I want to get Cross-Referenced modulates really going. I haven't been able to really work that scene yet, but on Monday I'm getting internet access at my home, which I haven't had in years, so I'll be able to work on them in a place where I'm more comfortable than here in the school dungeon or in my parents living room, which was where it all began.

Wandering with my own personal soundtrack

So, I've started to venture out into the world with my headphones locked in, and I have to say, it's not entirely clear to me how all these people are so blase about their now soundtracked world. I just want to bust out dancing and singing all the time, and it's only my fear of people that keeps me vaguely in check. I still do a kind of head nod, skip dance as I walk down the street. I had an idea the other day for a really cool scene for a movie where people slowly start to dance to their ipod's soundtrack, and slowly all these ipoders in amongst a larger group of non-ipod wearers start to dance. It's all to different music so everybodies got their own thing going on. Maybe we hear the music build and overlap as people start their freak. Anyway, it was just a thought.
It also occured to me as I was walking to school this afternoon that where you hear music really effects the way the music seems. I was listening to Rilo Kiley's Take Off's and Landings, and it felt just a little off as I walked down the street, whereas in my house it feels totally right and embracing. It was just the first song, Go Ahead. After that I got into thinking about how creating the soundtrack of my life is such a new and exciting process. I've quickly become inseperable from my ipod now that I have headphones and not those shiitey earbuds. Everything's coming up Milhouse!