Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pop Culture Round-up

Now that football season is ending, I find myself with an extra 8 hours on the weekends in which to enjoy my many interests. Well, all 3 of them: music, movies and reading. I finally caught the flick Once and really enjoyed it. As a musician I've always wanted to see a movie that could actually evoke what it's like to play music. And I'm almost always disappointed. It's always so damn phony. Once is the first movie in a long, long time to get it right. Sure, there are a few moments that stretch believability, but overall they nailed it. I think the key element here is that they cast real musicians in the movie and had them write and sing their own songs. It worked in Altman's Nashville and it works here. Great stuff.

I also enjoyed Cloverfield. Although the MySpace soap opera plotline with the young cast was pretty tiresome, they were at least nice to look at. And really, the special effects more than made up for it. And the concept is brilliant - film a Godzilla movie from the viewpoint of the victim. No hero scientists or military men to save the day or even explain what is going on. There was clearly some eerie moments evocative of 9/11, but I didn't find it nearly as offensive as a Rudy Giuliani speech.

Got some new music, too. Finally heard the Silversun Pickups record, which I got from a friend at work. Sort of an indie-rock Smashing Pumpkins thing going on, with a bit of Voxtrot to boot. I really dig the new MGMT record, which is produced by Dave Fridman, the guy behind those great Flaming Lips records. And I downloaded the new Vampire Weekend record from iTunes today. Yet another bloggy buzz band, but their indie rock take on Graceland (or "Upper West Side Soweto" as they call it) is pretty sweet.

Finally, I've been enjoying watching the AMC series Mad Men for the first time. This is a show Crustodio really should be watching instead of endless hours of golf. And of course, the Wire is just as good as ever. I will be sad to see it end. Oh, and I rented one episode of Unsolved Mysteries;)

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