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Monthly Archives: March 2009

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i’m in love with this record. the hazards of love it’s a great step forward for a band that could have easily rested on it laurels and produced the same folky indie record again and again. it is great to see a band grow in ways that challenge themselves (i’m looking at you animal collective). what the decemberists have created is a fantastic rock opera about a tragically mythic love story. the sound of the album is basically folk with some metal, blues and proggy guitar elements. it is that mixture that makes this album so admirable. they hinted at this sound on their albums the crane wife and the tain. the only parts of the album that i have a problem with are the female singers bits. they sing in a style that i’m just not a big fan of, they are growing on me though. i haven’t read many reviews of the hazards of love, although the ones i have seen seem to not really get it. i think that in today’s singles based culture people are getting lazy with their listening. this is an album you have to commit listening to, no skipping around. certainly no listening to on shuffle, that would be a horrible experience. the misunderstanding of this album is unfortunate. the hazards of love is a tremendous epic and the decemberists should be proud, i’m sure they are.

since there haven’t been any videos for this album, here is link to my friend alex’s rip of the npr podcast where they performed the entire album live at sxsw.

dsi

the nintendo dsi comes out on around april 5th, just in time for my birthday. it has an improved screen, a web browser and for still unclear reasons two cameras. there are other enhancements, i’m not really that interested in an sd card slot or music storage. truth be told the main reason i want it is because i’m a huge nerd when it comes to nintendo products.

our cable was finally shut off today and here are a couple of things that we’ll miss. some of them we are definably better off without.

pop culture clip shows – the soup, the dish, best week ever

chelsea lately

msnbc – rachel maddow, keith olbermann

the daily show and colbert report

most bravo shows- project runway, top chef, real housewives of atlanta, etc

mad men

torchwood

and of course the countless other crappy shows we get sucked into, which is the main reason we got rid of cable.

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xiu xiu is definably in my top ten favorite bands. the lead singer, and up until a couple years ago it’s sole permanent member, jamie stewart is a genius of painfully beautiful songwriting and composing. when he announced that he was starting a subscription only monthly releases, i signed up right away. i even paid a little extra so i could get chocolates, and an extra disc,  made by him. the first disc arrived last week.

he had said the discs will be “ambient, experimental, and minimalist works”, and the is exactly what it is. there are three pieces on this volume. two of them percussion based, and explore the aspects of negative sound. the sound is battling the silence, and the silence is the focus. the warping of percussion is a great way to play with tension. the nineteen minute centerpiece is a synthesizer work in three movements. at times delicate and harsh, the balance of the two is something that jamie makes seem so easy.

i haven’t gotten the chocolate yet, i’ll be sure to tell you about it when i do.

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dollhouse is joss whedon’s newest show, we are six episodes into it now and it seems to be coming together nicely. dollhouse tells the story of an underground firm that rents out programmable humans, or dolls, to the rich and well connected. the first crop of episodes were far from perfect, full of choppy editing and sometimes laughably bad acting.  thankfully they had compelling stories and huge potential.  from what i’ve read about the show last night’s episode was the first that fox let joss have total control over and it showed. from the beginning the episode had joss’s signature flow, humor and style. he excels at carrying multiple storylines, one or two season long and one that is wrapped up by the end of each episode. the episodic story is usually focus around what the doll is hired for, and the two (so far) season long story arcs are about an fbi agent investigating the existance of the dollhouse and the more interesting story of a dangerous rogue doll.

hopefully fox sticks with the show for a while and doesn’t cancel it, they have already doomed it with a friday night time slot. i end up watching it online most of the time. i have faith that the show can only improve.

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the other night i again took advantage of portland center stages’s $10 dollar last minute tickets to see how to disappear completely and never be found by Fin Kennedy. i was initially attracted to it because of it’s similarity to a radiohead song title and the reviews made it sound promising. the play is a riveting and angsty portrait of a man stumbling through life after his mother dies. after building up a debt with a drug dealer and getting fired from his job he attempts to escape and develop a new life. the results are not surprising, but handled in a way that the audience was on edge and nervous.  the staging done with a minimal creative set involving three walls with pull out sections and lighting that was mainly geometric shapes projected on the walls and floor added to the dissonance that you could feel was going on in the head of the lost and desperate man. you could feel the uneasiness in the crowd as we left the theater.

in ways this was the worst timing for me to see a play like this, luckily the play was so engaging, well acted and oddly theraputic that it probably helped me.