|Some new dates up, stage left. Couple of stray pieces of writing:|
On Busdriver and Von Südenfed (the Mouse on Mars/Mark E. Smith collab that I decided to treat as an indie-rap record).
Straight-up academic book review of Julian Dodd's Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology (Oxford U.P.). Those uninterested in analytic phil. may not have the patience for this. In brief: admirable in its careful dismantling of untenable metaphysical views, but less than satisfying in its defense of a highly acontextualist aesthetic view. (You would be wrong to think that the latter is presently the rec'd view in the field.)
If you're in 2007-in-review mode, you might pause over this report on the year's singles by Tris McCall, a Jersey rocker/critic about whom I don't know as much as I'd like. Tart, compressed, up on his hip-hop, and evenhanded in its puncturing of indie and popist pretensions alike (often both at once; the entry for Rilo Kiley is hilariously accurate). He sometimes reads like a meaner Christgau, though writing for his own site allows him to be more expansive when he chooses. You won't agree w/ everything (M.I.A. is "Buffy Saint-Marie with a boombox"!), and I actually now think it's false that once a song appears in a commercial it's "forever tethered to the production wagon" (see Of Montreal/Outback Steakhouse rant/open letter), but much of this is terrific: page down to his take on Sean Kingston's "Beautiful Girls," a song that I listened to a lot last year but never figured out how to discuss.
Best movie seen recently: Daisy Kenyon (1947, Otto Preminger), a calmly-paced, elaborately-lit, morally non-simplistic soaper that somehow makes the romantic relations normal to melodrama seem like strange, incomprehensible rituals. You'd call it a Joan Crawford vehicle, except she is a vehicle, a conduit for every manner of male incomprehension. Yes, it could be watched for its camp value (particularly a scene involving increasingly close shots of a ringing phone), but there's more to it than that. Also contains some remarkable (though perhaps too-noticeably so) music by David Raskin. Worst: Never A Dull Moment (1950, George Stevens), a later and lesser The Egg and I w/ a very similar performance Fred MacMurray, halfway down the long slide from Double Indemnity to The Absent-Minded Professor, and Irene Dunne (in her second-to-last film before one of the most judiciously timed retirements in Hollywood history) doing the Claudette Colbert job. Of mild interest as an adaptation of a memoir by songwriter Kay Swift, now mostly remembered for "Can't We Be Friends," and for divorcing her first husband on the expectation that George Gershwin was about to propose to her, which he didn't. The three Swift tunes in the film are just ok, certainly not better than Friedrich Hollaender's underscore.
As for I'm Not There; I don't know, seeing Joey Burns and John Convertino show up on screen took me out of the movie, and I never got back in. Couldn't Haynes have done something less expected in the Richard Gere sections than toss together a bunch of imagery derived from the cover of The Basement Tapes? And is Bobby Seale supposed to wrong about "Ballad of a Thin Man" just because Bob Dylan was thinking of some mere personal slight when he wrote it?
Even my revenge fantasies end in compromise.
free music, discography, etc. here
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- the spraycan wars