New to the Library: “Year of the Monkey” Osso & Sufjan Stevens; arr. Michael Atkinson

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/90/Run_Rabbit_Run_cover.jpg/220px-Run_Rabbit_Run_cover.jpgI got this track to add to a mix cd for my mom, a year-of-the-monkey herself. I’m not sure that I love it, but it -is- good.

It is stark and bewildering. In many ways, a complete contrast to their “Year of the Dragon” (me : D). Although it begins bright and a bit shy, most of the track is filled with dissonant chords, phrases that start and stop, and seemingly none on repeat. This finally works its way into a huge swelling bridge that overwhelms the senses. It then takes a huge gasp for breath and pushes harder into the swirl of discomfort. After which, the bridge promptly breaks down into jangling that is even more disorienting than the beginning of the song. It is very much the kind of compositional arch you might find in a running-confused-through-the-forest type film scene.

Overall, I find it quite beautiful in a jabbing, dangerous sort of way. Definitely worth a taste.

3.5/5

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New to the Library: “Year of the Monkey” Osso & Sufjan Stevens; arr. Michael Atkinson

On Repeat: “Bury Me With It” Modest Mouse

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CffYry0WsAEpVyG.jpgThis song very rapidly and unexpectedly became my anthem for around the clock–walking to work, working, walking home, showering, and knowing me–singing it in my dreams. I never seek out Modest Mouse songs, they just sort of *find me* when I need them the most.

I think, in part, it was really the only appropriate theme song for my approaching-return-of-saturn apprehension. In general the lyrics are basically like, “if life isn’t gonna be a damn ball, then I’m fucking going down with it” hammered throughout with the “PLEASE bury me with it!” This was clicking really well with my nostalgic review of my 20’s–what was really rad that I don’t want to lose? What do I never want to experience ever, ever again? All underlined by Isaac Brock’s exasperated delivery of “I just don’t need none of that Mad Max bullshit.”

In terms of composition, the track has a lot of “regular visitors” from the Modest Mouse sound–not a bad thing. This quality helps you “feel like home” in many of their songs. I do love the little repeated bass licks in this track. It really helps keep it all moving forward. It’s also really fun to listen to how the drums and bass sort of flow in and out of each other–it’s very subtle, but is cool to focus on through a listen.

All in all, this is a great jam. In the same breath, I don’t know that I’d offer this as a first Modest Mouse song to a new listener. It’s sort of like your rowdy, drunk friend. They are a blast to hang out with, but it might be a little awkward to introduce them to a stranger before they sober up.

4/5

On Repeat: “Bury Me With It” Modest Mouse

On Repeat: “BTSTU” Jai Paul

https://i1.wp.com/www.localsuicide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Jai-Paul-debut-album-white-background.pngThis song is so damn hypnotic. I considered not giving it a second shout out, since I’ve already reviewed it as new music–which, itself, was really just a redirect to the awesome Pfork review. BUT. It is really that fucking good.

I was already in love with it when I decided to make the purchase, and it has really blossomed into a steady obsession and is in the regular “pretend I’m a rock star in the shower” rotation. It has this slurry dubstep bass that just pulls at the raw part in my soul. This alone is enough to suck me into the jam time and again, but on top of that it has this beautiful sonic counterpoint of his soft, angelic melody floating through the verses–so that just as you are about to drift off into some falsetto induced reverie, you get hit with this deep, sludgy pounding that wakes you right the fuck up.

It really is a magic track. If you STILL haven’t listened, please. do. You won’t regret it, I promise. : D

5/5

On Repeat: “BTSTU” Jai Paul

New to the Library: “Spanish Death Song” The Builders and the Butchers

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/8Ql4hVJzLB0/maxresdefault.jpgAlthough this is new to my digital library, it is not new to the marriage-merge CD library. But! This creates a nice opportunity to give a shout out to a great little song that helped me through some shit times in Eugene, OR. For whatever reason, the first few tracks of this album (The Builders and the Butchers) became my daily post-Safeway-hell go to. Maybe it’s the nostalgia for the god-awful swine flu that I had in 2009…we’ll never know.

The vocal melody on this track is hypnotic.  But I think even more than that, the percussion on this and several other songs on this album is what drives the addiction. They use many different percussive instruments throughout “Spanish Death Song” and it really gives you the feel of being in a live music circle. Which to come full circle, is not that far from the block-surrounding-the-Kiva vibe of downtown Eugene. If you’re into faux-gypsy-indie-clap-alongs, check this one out. : D

4/5

 

 

New to the Library: “Spanish Death Song” The Builders and the Butchers

On Repeat: “Bottom” Tool; “Right Here in My Arms” H.I.M.

https://i2.wp.com/i35.servimg.com/u/f35/18/41/48/62/rs-18710.jpgThis is a hilarious double header. I must say I haven’t been particularly nostalgic for my Sophomore year of high school of late, and yet my music obsessions this month would state otherwise. I have always been way more into Tool than H.I.M., so getting stuck on one of their songs isn’t too surprising. But! There are still a handful of H.I.M. songs that will make my heart go pitter-patter because that voice!! So perhaps this is just the tail end of this summer’s obsession with the “deep” boys of my collection. *shrug*

First up is “Bottom” by Tool. I have never been an enormous fan of Undertow. Is it momentous for 90’s rock/metal? Absolutely. It’s just not my favorite Tool flavor–with the https://i.pinimg.com/736x/30/0f/75/300f757c11b0feba8d5163d72c617713--maynard-james-keenan-james-darcy.jpgexception of “Bottom.” I just cannot help singing along when he screams that first “dead inside.” (As a comical side effect of ripping this album from a friend, I had no idea the spoken part was Henry Rollins until…like this month. So I’ve always been really confused at why Maynard always sounds like such a dipdip in interviews when he sounds so manly here XD …I guess now I know.) Other than Maynard’s gorgeously powerful delivery of this song, I think another drive for my high play count was my recent reading of the lyrics, which I had never bothered to look into before. Frankly, I feel like they perfectly encompass the shitty angst of one’s late twenties. So perhaps I *couldn’t* have enjoyed this song fully until you know…shit started adding up at the bottom. lalala (As a second aside, if you have NEVER LISTENED TO TOOL for the love of God don’t let this be your first song lol. And if it must be, because now you’re curious… just realize that this song came out in ’93…so as cheesy as it may sound to our 2017 ears, it was very, very ahead of it’s time in many respects.)

https://metalshockfinland.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/villevalo.jpg?w=197&h=197Speaking of cheesy, guilty pleasures–H.I.M. Prepare thine guyliner. Can we just…for a minute…*goth drools* I have been very surprised to find that despite not being a 15 year old goth kid anymore, I still love the shit out of H.I.M. songs and I still find Ville Vallo’s pale, druggy-skinny, are-you-actually-a-vampire look really attractive. Honestly, I don’t think I have anything musically interesting to say about this song. They have chuggy, catchy rock/metal(ish) songs, but it’s really just Ville’s voice that carries them into something worth listening to over and over. So if you haven’t had the glorious pleasure of listening to “Right Here in My Arms” before (lol), go check out the video for it. You get to hear this https://i.pinimg.com/originals/bb/7e/60/bb7e60ebfa3929062074095603ad8eb5.jpggreat little jam and see Ville Vallo and the gang in peak goth-stardom sexiness (and pretend he’s singing to you : P).

All in all, there just aren’t that many guys who can go deep, ya know?? I like to appreciate the ones who do. BYE.

On Repeat: “Bottom” Tool; “Right Here in My Arms” H.I.M.

Film Review: “Dunkirk”

https://i1.wp.com/www.indiewire.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/screen-shot-2017-03-29-at-7-06-42-pm.pngAlright, so Netflix once pigeonholed one of my movie tastes as “Cerebral World War II Dramas.” Needless to say, I was embarrassingly awoken to this macabre obsession I have. So when I say this was the good side of “eh,” I maybe have some cred? lol

The cinematography was well done and I did appreciate that part of seeing it in theatres. What I did not fucking appreciate because *problems* were the extremely loud pops and booms of weaponry and explosions throughout the film. And the movie is well done so THAT you are startled. Some people like this; it just makes me angry and anxious. For that reason alone, I probably would have enjoyed it more at home without the BOOMBOOM of the big speakers.

The acting was decent to tolerable. I have to admit I got really distracted once the Last Kingdom douche bag was introduced in the plot. I had a really hard time divorcing him from that other role.

Overall if you’re one of those people that really likes WWII movies/documentaries, this is probably a cool flick to watch to add to all of those other granular details you’ve picked up over the years. If you’re not a WWII nerd and you’re not into actiony, drowny, no really like so many people die movies–you can probably skip it.

3.5/5

Film Review: “Dunkirk”

Film Review: The Dark Tower *SPOILERS*

https://i2.wp.com/cdn.collider.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/the-dark-tower-matthew-mcconaughey-idris-elba.jpgJust so we’re really clear, there are SPOILERS in this review–for the books and the movie. Normally I try to write un-spoiler reviews, but I wouldn’t have much meat to discuss with this movie if I couldn’t discuss its contents and the books side by side. So for those of you who don’t want it ruined (books or movie), I give the movie 4/5.

This adaptation had very mixed reviews, to the point that I was a little scared to go see it. I love The Dark Tower series and have been really looking forward to this film because THE DARK TOWER *sigh* and IDRIS ELBA *double sigh*…but here are my speculations on why the bad reviews may have been bad:

  • The reviewer is so obsessed with The Dark Tower that they can’t comprehend any adaptation that does not faithfully follow the path of the books.
  • The reviewer knows little about The Dark Tower and is overwhelmed by the somewhat bizarre plot and is missing all of the nuanced details that are jam-packed into this film.

For the rest of you TDT fans who left the movie going “huh?” consider this interpretation as a salve for your fandom wounds: The key to this interpretation (and lack of some very prominent main characters) is that partway through the man in black makes a comment along the lines of “this time around the wheel.” Because this movie is not the time around the wheel described in the book series. This is some version after he steps through the door at the top. And as my husband keeps proudly pointing out, HE HAS THE HORN! XD Now I’ve never been a fan of the (in my opinion bullshit) here we go ’round again ending to the books, but at least here it makes sense.

And on a way less nerdy note! The visual working of this post-apocalypse dying-tech world was great!! Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey played their rolls perfectly. Jake was well cast. At the end of the day, if they weren’t going to make 7-8 movies out of this I think this is the best way they could have put that plot into 1.  Why they felt they couldn’t make 8 is weird to me, but that’s a rant for another day I suppose. I will say that the special effects are not so glorious that you have to see them in theatres. If you’re more of a RedBoxer, that will be just fine for this one. : )

 

Film Review: The Dark Tower *SPOILERS*