aside from the story interrupted with boxes and the article about poker this book is a solid read. it introduced me to susan orlean and mark bowden. i got to reread the great the story of lois weisberg by malcolm gladwell. ira glass put together a great book.
stephin merritt is a songwriter i can always count on. aside from some of the future bible heroes songs, i pretty much think most of what he touches turns to gold. for all his varied projects he usually follows a simple song structure, with the majority of his songs about love. his main band, the magnetic fields, have just released their ninth album.
distortion brings the magnetic fields back to the lo-fi sound of their first few albums, almost like they are trying to relive childhood with all that they know now. much like radiohead with the much more successful in rainbows. not that i am saying that distortionis bad, i’m just getting my problems with it out of the way. the distortion goes beyond the title and haunts the whole album. while i love the fuzzed out indie rock of the charm of the highway strip and holiday, i have gotten used to the more polished sounds the recent albums. so the fuzzy sound and the mixing of the album give it more a b-sides compilation feel. and the flow seems a little wonky, i realize that in today track obsessed society the sound of the “album” may not seem that important, but i am an old fashioned kind of guy. i kind of wonder if if they even listened to it as a whole. they proudly state “no synths” in the booklet, i have to say that i miss them, just a little.
onto the good part. stephin’s songwriting is still clever and his wordplay is still top notch. there are even several songs that don’t seem to be about love, at least not in the obvious sense. “california girls” is about a jealous plot to kill “it” girls, and “the nun’s litany” tells the story of one nun’s ideas of what is more exciting than being a nun. in typical merritt style we also get songs about drinking to forget old loves (“too drunk to dream”) and bi-sexual zombies in haiti (“zombie boy”). the standout tracks for me are “mr. mistletoe”, “please stop dancing”, and “till the bitter end” which are all about lost love or being alone.
distortion is never going to beat get lost for the top magnetic fields album in my heart, i have a feeling it might grow on me.
damn top model marathons, they are always on. we have seen all the seasons multiple times, yet we can’t stop watching them. we have the same problem with project runway marathons. why are these endlessly watchable?
i know it has something to do with tyra being a litte bit crazy.
and occasionally you get people like jade.
i have expressed my love of M.I.A.’s version of “jimmy” many times to a lot of people. i seem to be entering a disco phase. i’ve known it was a cover of an old bollywood song but had no luck tracking the original down. well, thanks to pitchfork here it is.
here is the M.I.A. version.
and since i also love of montreal here is their version. sadly not in video form.
i really didn’t intend for this to turn into a youtube blog, but what can you do.
“Persepolis” finally opened here in portland. although i have never read the graphic novels that the film is based on, i have been looking forward to seeing it. i wasn’t let down. the film was touching, funny, sad and educational. and the animation style is simple and beautiful.
miss kathy griffin never fails to make me laugh. her stand up, which is really more like monologues than jokes, and her reality show are always hilarious. i’m glad she is finally getting more attention, but sad that i will never see her in a small venue ever again.
these clips are from “allegedly” one of her best shows.
her emmy speech.
i have a love/hate relationship with olive garden. in my younger days i have had many fun meals enjoying their salad and breadsticks. i tend to like going to chain restaurants occasionally, it’s kind of like a sickness. olive garden commercials always make me laugh with the happy italian families talking about how great it is to be at olive garden. really what always gets me about olive garden is what they name their dishes. the “chicken con broccoli” has been and ongoing joke with me for years. why use the ‘con’?
now i present the lasagna rollatini!
this has already provide me with hours of enjoyment. do they think that cannelloni is too exotic?