fjb, local currency: solo 1992-1998 (fayettenam)

the human hearts, civics (tight ship)

the human hearts on myspace

nothing painted blue, taste the flavor (shrimper)

info on older band and solo work; I have no idea who compiled the scarily complete discographies


Enjoyed this streaming 3-song "single" [28] by Baltimore's Gary B & The Notions. Their erstwhile leader released a good deal of solo material as Your Imaginary Friend a while back, but the band-band plays a deeply unfashionable gtr-pop-rock (RIYL Rage to Live and The Silos), with considerably more care lavished on chord progressions and arrangement subtleties than the norm -- the sort of thing indie audiences as currently constituted are unlikely to treat with much respect because of its strong resemblance to actual rock and roll. Lead gtrist Tim Sullivan is an excellent foil throughout, esp. on the contrasting pre-chorus of "Amy," but the pick of the litter is "I Get Up," which begins as a paean to "hot sex in the summertime" w/ a debt to #1 Record but moves into emotionally shiftier territory: "How I'm married to's not black and white." More that likely that the HH's will play a show or two w/ these fellows down the road.

Saw [29] The Gleaners and I (2000, Agnes Varda), kinda the lisablog of cine-essays. I'm hardly bringing the news to anybody by recommending this, but I couldn't be more impressed with Varda's combination of seriousness of purpose with lightness of tone, or of apparently offhanded technique ("the dance of the lens cap") with pinpoint control of visual rhythm. Happen to be watching, in bursts, a DVR-D of Mr. Varda's [30] Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967, Jacques Demy), which is not sung-through like the better-known Les Parapluies de Chairbourg, but more Donen-besotted. I've never read up on the relationship between these two filmmakers; the only obvious connection between these two films is their concern w/ France beyond Paris. The Demy makes we want to get another crack at Model Shop (1969), a European-tries-to-figure-out-Southern California movie that is as outlandish and occasionally ugly as Zabriskie Point, perhaps in a less faded print than the one that showed up at LACMA several years ago. (Tangentially, I'm disappointed that I didn't manage to get to recent screenings of the latest French semi-musical oddity, La France (2007, Serge Bozon) apparently set in WWI w/ ye-ye "numbers."

Saw [31] The Dark Knight (2008, Christopher Nolan). I can only nod in agreement with those who say that Heath Ledger's performance is the damndest thing. The canny bit of the conception, as opposed to what he did with it, is the character's presentation of conflicting "origin stories"; this loon won't even observe that convention. Bale's mask and Eckhart's gore do most of their acting for them, Caine and Freeman seem to have pricetags attached, but the only performance that's actively bad is Maggie Gyllenhaal, trying too hard to do something with nothing. About other aspects, I could hardly care less -- I'm just not the audience for extensive blockbuster destructiveness and velocity, and the idea that this movie says anything about terrorism, except that its agents are incomprehensible, is insulting. I suppose some of the "moral dilemmas" in the movie might do for the trolley problem and its ilk what The Matrix did for brain-in-a-vat skepticism.