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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

001Collective Is Where It's At!



“We dream of an age where artists don't create out of greed, but out of love; a golden age of the arts not seen by any time in history. Sales and promotion don't generate income, fans do. And artists who climb a human pyramid to live in luxury are finding that they have an ever dwindling number of fans to step over.”

This is a passage from the site’s Declaration of Independence. 001 Collective’s purpose is to build a community of artists and non-artists that share music and more. The music is free, but by using BitTorrents instead of straight downloading a community is developing.

When people started downloading music I was ardently against it because most people (in my mind) who downloaded music did not give back or contribute in any way. These songs became disposable objects and, “Who cares where they come from as long as I am entertained.” In many ways this belief still holds true, but by using BitTorrents and creating a forum and a blog, people can share their own music and music of people that the really love; everyone gives and takes for equal measure. They also have links to all the artists sites to buy the hardcopies if you still love the gift of handmade art and liner notes.

And there are so many good artists on here already; Tinyfolk, The Lonesome Architects, Existential Hero (sorry, had to plug!), Dustin and the Furniture, and more coming everyday!

I don’t believe mainstream music is dead or even close to dying, but the distribution methods are so outdated that it is too hard to connect with those artists releasing their cds at Best Buy.

Since I’ve joined the 001Collective I really now believe that this is the best future for musicians like myself and you folks out there.

Link:
001Collective: Your new family is waiting

Mp3s:
The Lonesome Architects-"Echolocation"
Tinyfolk-"Do Animals Get Lonely Late At Night?"
Existential Hero-"A Terrible Postmodern Experiment

Mp3 of the Week: “All You Get From Love Is A Love Song” by The Carpenters



The Carpenters were a brother & sister duo from the late 70s/early 80s who made a name for themselves doing soft-rock/easy listening music. Karen Carpenter, the lead singer, had an extremely unique voice that carried listeners, “smoothly into the 80s”. Unlike many popular groups at the time, The Carpenters were considered very wholesome. However, everything was not right with Karen and she was the first person to die of Anorexia Nervosa. I first discovered The Carpenters music after watching Todd Haynes first film, Superstar The Karen Carpenter Story (1987). It is a startling and tragic look at the life of a beautiful woman destroyed by familial and social pressures.

“All You Get From Love Is A Love Song” was the first single off their 1977 album Passage and is a phenomenally clever and sad song disguised as a pop hit. I mean just look at the hook; “Oh it's a dirty old shame/When all you get from love is a love song/That's got you layin' up nights/Just waitin' for the music to start//It's such a dirty old shame/When you got to take the blame for a love song/Because the best love songs are written/With a broken heart.” I believe most writers and creative types in general can relate to this on an instinctive level and this song is so rewarding, but so dark. It is as if Kurt Vonnegut himself couldn’t come up with something so perfect.

Mp3:
The Carpenters-“All You Get From Love Is A Love Song”

Music Video:


Links:
The Carpenters on wikipedia
The Entire short film, Superstar The Karen Carpenter Story

Friday, December 21, 2007

Desmond Reed: The Baby-Sitters Club EP (2007)



I realize now that Desmond Reed was only getting started when he released the Guinea Pigs EP a few months ago. His newest release on cass_et_tape_records, The Baby-Sitters Club EP still features just Desmond and a guitar, but the hooks have never been so sweet and the lyrics so genuine. The first song “The Baby-Sitters Club” finds Desmond more thankful professing his love for this new circle of friends, even calling them on the phone because he has too much homework! “When I Met Michelle” is perfect. I feel like I could have written a song like this when I first got a girlfriend. Never has someone captured so sublimely the excitement of a nerdy kid's first gal like when Desmond sings, “But I’m not the type of guy that immediately tries/ I look before I leap/ but then don’t leap because I’m shy/ and that’s why/ I was terrified/ back when I met Michelle.” He even refers to his favorite super heroes regarding their relationship (I did a Lord of the Rings comparison with my first relationship). “When I Met Michelle” is my song and probably some of you out there will claim it too. “Cabin Fever” is so hilariously self-deprecating that it makes Kevin Smith look like Charles Foster Kane. He knows it too. How can we not laugh, yet relate to lines like, “I hope nobody asks me what’s up/ I won’t have anything to say/ except to say I pretty much suck.” Desmond Reed’s The Baby-Sitters Club EP is another quick shot of lo-fi bedroom pop that’ll win you over with its genuine hooks and big heart.

Desmond Reed-"When I Met Michelle"

Desmond Reed on myspace
The cass_et_tape_records site
Buy The Baby-Sitters Club EP Here!
My review of the Guinea Pigs EP

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Those Nine Months Go By Fast With Juno (2007)



As if we didn’t know, but I sadly must admit; the Indie aesthetic is in. It isn’t because I follow Pitchfork on a leash or because I have my heart in living the thrift store life, I just didn’t think that what the “indie” kids were doing was unified enough to be marketed. Oh boy was I wrong. Juno, directed by Jason Reitman isn’t the first film dressed in the "Indie" aesthetic, but it certainly is the pinnacle of it. There are some that were widely successful, Napoleon Dynamite, Little Miss Sunshine (A terrible, terrible film); and there were some that were not so successful, The Science of Sleep, Eagle Vs. Shark. The latter two I feel were too honest to be popular in an age were being a nerd is romanticized and sold like any other product. So where does Juno stand? Well it’s somewhere in the middle and that’s fine with me. I could accuse it of trying too hard to be witty and clever, but I was laughing with every comment made by the fantastic Ellen Page playing the fiery pregnant teen Juno. I could also say that it throws out obscure, but not so obscure references left and right from B-movie horror to the best “Indie” precursors like Sonic Youth and The Moldy Peaches, but I don’t write for Pitchfork or My Little Ghost Friend (haha I’m kidding VA). What I’m getting at is Juno has enough heart to win over the most cynical hipsters. Michael Cera’s performance as the semi-nerd impregnator Paulie Bleeker really hit home for me and his somewhat muted but important role really sold me on this film as more than just another product in the new Urban Outfitter’s nation. I kind of regret having to reference this film so much to current popular culture; but Juno is too inextricably tied to the mainstreaming of "Indie" to ignore that fact. . Luckily when people watch this film ten years from now and all of "Indie" is old and passé they’ll find that it’s purely warm, witty and genuine.



Links:
Juno on IMDB

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Two Hobbit Films, Watch Out!

Looks like it may actually happen. It seems as if New Line and Peter Jackson have settled their differences and New Line and MGM worked out an agreement.


I've always wanted an excuse to use this picture

The Press Release:

ACADEMY AWARD-WINNER PETER JACKSON AND NEW LINE CINEMA JOIN WITH MGM TO PRODUCE “THE HOBBIT,” EAGERLY-ANTICIPATED FANTASY ADVENTURE EPIC

NEW LINE AND MGM TO CO-PRODUCE AND SHARE WORLDWIDE DISTRIBUTION RIGHTS

PETER JACKSON AND FRAN WALSH TO EXECUTIVE PRODUCE TWO FILMS BASED ON “THE HOBBIT”

Los Angeles, CA (Tuesday, December 18, 2007) Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson; Harry Sloan, Chairman and CEO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM); Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs of New Line Cinema have jointly announced today that they have entered into the following series of agreements:

* MGM and New Line will co-finance and co-distribute two films, “The Hobbit” and a sequel to “The Hobbit.” New Line will distribute in North America and MGM will distribute internationally.

* Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will serve as Executive Producers of two films based on “The Hobbit.” New Line will manage the production of the films, which will be shot simultaneously.

* Peter Jackson and New Line have settled all litigation relating to the “Lord of the Rings” (LOTR) Trilogy.

Said Peter Jackson, “I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to put our differences behind us, so that we may begin a new chapter with our old friends at New Line. ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is a legacy we proudly share with Bob and Michael, and together, we share that legacy with millions of loyal fans all over the world. We are delighted to continue our journey through Middle Earth. I also want to thank Harry Sloan and our new friends at MGM for helping us find the common ground necessary to continue that journey.”

“Peter Jackson has proven himself as the filmmaker who can bring the extraordinary imagination of Tolkien to life and we full heartedly agree with the fans worldwide who know he should be making ‘The Hobbit,’” said Sloan, MGM’s Chairman and CEO. “Now that we are all in agreement on ‘The Hobbit,’ we can focus on assembling the production team that will capture this phenomenal tale on film.”

Bob Shaye, New Line Co-Chairman and Co-CEO comments, “We are very pleased we have been able to resolve our differences, and that Peter and Fran will be actively and creatively involved with ‘The Hobbit’ movies. We know they will bring the same passion, care and talent to these films that they so ably accomplished with ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy.”

“Peter is a visionary filmmaker, and he broke new ground with ‘The Lord of the Rings,’” notes Michael Lynne, New Line Co-Chairman and Co-CEO. “We’re delighted he’s back for ‘The Hobbit’ films and that the Tolkien saga will continue with his imprint. We greatly appreciate the efforts of Harry Sloan, who has been instrumental in helping us reach our new accord.”

The two “Hobbit” films – “The Hobbit” and its sequel – are scheduled to be shot simultaneously, with pre-production beginning as soon as possible. Principal photography is tentatively set for a 2009 start, with the intention of “The Hobbit” release slated for 2010 and its sequel the following year, in 2011.

The Oscar-winning, critically-acclaimed LOTR Trilogy grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide at the box-office. In 2003, “Return of the King” swept the Academy Awards, winning all of the eleven categories in which it was nominated, including Best Picture – the first ever Best Picture win for a fantasy film. The Trilogy’s production was also unprecedented at the time.

For more information about “The Hobbit” films, please visit http://community.thehobbitsite.com.

About New Line Cinema Corporation:

Celebrating its 40th anniversary year, New Line Cinema is the most successful independent film company in the world. Its mission is to produce innovative, popular and profitable entertainment in the best creative environment. In addition to the production, marketing and distribution of theatrical motion pictures, the fully-integrated studio has divisions devoted to home entertainment, television, music, theater, merchandising and an international unit. In 2005, New Line partnered with HBO to form Picturehouse, a new theatrical distribution company to release independent films. A pioneer in franchise filmmaking, New Line’s Oscar-winning The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the most successful film franchises in history. New Line is a division of Time Warner, Inc. (TWX).

About Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., through its operating subsidiaries, is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music and licensed merchandise. The company owns the world’s largest library of modern films, comprising around 4,100 titles. Operating units include Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., Ventanazul, MGM Television Entertainment Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Domestic Networks LLC, MGM Distribution Co, MGM International Television Distribution In, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment LLC, MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Worldwide Digital Media, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in international TV channels reaching nearly 120 countries. MGM ownership is as follows: Providence Equity Partners (29%), TPG (21%), Sony Corporation of America (20%), Comcast (20%), DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (7%) and Quadrangle Group (3%). For more information, visit www.mgm.com.

About Peter Jackson/Wingnut Films:

Peter Jackson is one of the world’s most successful filmmakers. His monumental achievement co-writing, co-producing and directing The Lord of the Rings trilogy (with fellow Academy Award winners and frequent collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens) earned a total of 30 Academy Award nominations and 17 Academy Awards. Jackson and Walsh received their first Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay for their acclaimed film Heavenly Creatures. Jackson, through his New Zealand-based Wingnut Films banner, also was responsible for the globally successful 2005 remake of King Kong which earned over $500 million worldwide and 3 Academy Awards. Currently, Jackson is directing an adaptation of The Lovely Bones, from the acclaimed best-selling novel by Alice Sebold. He is also developing a trilogy of films with Steven Spielberg based on Tintin, the world renowned comic book series by Herge.

Link:
The orginal story on AICN

New Wall-E Trailer Picks Up The Garbage of Teh Intertubez



Oh man, oh man. I've been so excited for this movie and now I'm even more excited. Wall-E comes out June 27th, 2008, but it isn't soon enough.

WALL-E Exclusive Trailer

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Links:
Wall-E on IMDB
Buy N Large

Mp3 of the Week: “S” by Happy Memory Is Not Happy


I love Japan (Tokyo is the greatest city on the planet) and it’s no secret that I love Lo-Fi music so when I discovered May Records I was in heaven. It is a small label run by Shogo from Odawara, Japan. The label is pretty awesome because they distribute artists like Tinyfolk, The Just Joans and IJI in Japan, but they also have their own artists. One of them is Happy Memory Is Not Happy. The song this week “S” is a simple, melancholy pop gem. An intricate drum sample and a slow flute tone pave their way into your mind until it won’t come out again. As much as the Japanese 1 class I took two years ago helped (note: I’ve forgotten it all except "sumimasen") I wish I could understand what he’s saying because it’s a lovely song that won’t leave me anytime soon.

Mp3:
Happy Memory Is Not Happy-"S"

Links:
Happy Memory Is Not Happy on myspace
May Records

Monday, December 17, 2007

YouTube Video of the Week: Potter Puppet Pals in "Wizard Angst"

I haven’t read every Harry Potter book or film, but after watching these shorts by Neil Cicierega I think I will. The shorts come in two mediums, flash animation and actual puppets. The short here, “Wizard Angst” features Harry in the latter half of the series proving that even in the magic world there are trivial things to be emo about. Hilarious, enjoy!



Links:
Potter Puppet Pals site

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Dark Knight Trailer Laughs Manically At Us All



I have never been a big fan of super heroes or super hero films, but when Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins made its way into theaters I was completely entranced. It made me believe that super hero films had more to offer than just entertainment. And of course the ever so amazing Christian Bale assisted my enjoyment of the material. Now The Dark Knight trailer has hit online and with Heath Ledger as The Joker, I cannot wait when it comes out July 18th, 2008.

CLICK HERE

Link:
The Dark Knight on IMDB

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Freezepop: Future Future Future Perfect (2007)



Freezepop is Liz Enthusiasm, the Duke of Pannekoeken, and the Other Sean T. Drinkwater, a synthpop band from Boston, Massachusetts that has been making music for over eight years under the radar except when being featured in video games. Their third full length album Future Future Future Perfect comes out at the height of the popularity of the videogame Guitar Hero in which their song “Less Talk More Rokk” features. I’m going to be a music snob and tell you all that I’ve been listening to them for a long time now, but the popularity of the game will bring them the success they deserve. Future Future Future Perfect contains some of Freezepop’s most tender moments. “Thought Balloon,” is a sweet song that we can all understand. Liz sings, “Sometimes I get so tongue tied/thoughts can weigh me down/my balloon dips closer to the ground/I’m hoping that you catch my drift/give my balloon a little lift.” It is in those moments of utter uncertainty and nervousness that make us know something special is about to happen. If we only have the confidence, “I’ll have my say and then my thought balloon can float away.” The second to last song, “Swimming Pool” ranks up high with “Outer Space” and “Starlight” as one of Freezepop’s most moving moments. Quiet beats slowly build while Liz’s halting voice describes an intimate event that is immediately palpable. There is a false fade out into the deep, but then everything slowly fades back in until the finale echoes out, “Everything is perfect now,” over and over until it’s certain in our mind and heart. Don’t let me forgot that one of the great things about Freezepop is their ability to get you jumpin’ and dancin’. “Brainpower” is a more rock-influenced number and Liz’s voice takes on a more commanding quality while the song does its thing and ends before you’ve even caught your breath. “Do You Like My Wang?” has The Duke on vocals carrying on an innuendo joke about his penis, but placing it in the nerd/geek context using Wang brand computers as the metaphor. Halfway through, the song goes nuts and starts sounding like a techno version of Phantom of The Opera. The Duke is truly a madman. Future Future Future Perfect will certainly be the breakthrough album for Freezepop. It contains a higher quality of production and is a bit darker than before but is no less nerdy, danceable and moving than their previous efforts. Maybe even more so.

Mp3:
Freezpop-“Thought Balloon”

Music Video for "Less Talk More Rokk"


Links:
Freezepop.com
Freezepop on myspace
Legendary Frog, a flash cartoon site where I was first exposed to Freezepop.

The Just Joans: Virgin Lips (2007)



Virgin Lips the new EP from The Just Joans, “self-confessed losers from Motherwell,” lives up to its promise as an ode to teenage angst and longing. The opener “Virgin Lips” is a carnivalistic teasing about a girl trying to prove she’s “loved” someone. When we were youngsters we all desperately tried to think we were mature physically with others and this song embodies the type of anxieties we all had rather humorously. A song like “Lookin’ Like Rain” is a perfect example of something we would write after a break up championing the ironies that we so often look too hard for. This is exemplified by the hook, “She said ‘let’s go for a walk’/Cuz she said that ‘We needed to talk’/ So I said ‘I’ll just get my coat cuz its lookin’ like rain’/ I didn’t know right I was.” The somber piano illuminates the mood, but it also points how melodramatic we were (and can still be). The cover of The Cure’s “Pictures of You” is played beautifully and straight. It’s slower, placing emphasis on the lyrics reflecting how we all take songs and make them about ourselves. Using The Rugrats theme as the basis for “These Boots Are Made For Stalking” is another clever nod to the childish angst we experience growing up especially when we get obsessive about someone (Check out the hilarious and relatable stalking story in the liner notes). The Just Joans Virgin Lips is a humorous and honest homage to all the people whose love lives are not always the most successful. This album exemplifies all the times when we failed in love and that meant the entire world was ending.

Mp3:
The Just Joans-"Lookin' Like Rain"

Music Video for "Lookin' Like Rain"


Links:
The Just Joans on myspace
Wee Pop! Records

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Darlings: Photo EP (2007)



I’m in love with The Darlings. I’ll get that out now. When I first heard the songs off their myspace, the mail couldn’t come fast enough. They are a five-piece band from London lead by Elizabeth Darling and their first release, Photo EP is out now on the ever so amazing Wee Pop! Records. With every CD there is a different picture, so each package is unique! These photos were taken during Elizabeth’s travels and I got picture of women attempting to use a purple tent as a blanket. What will you get? The first song , “Anything You Want” describes someone who gives so much love to another due to the beauty surrounding them. She sings confidently, “And In my head I hear music/And its glorious music/All my love is with me/And we disappear into the sea,” and we float around in that environment blissfully. “Emily” is pure, addictive and hilarious. I haven’t laughed as much listening to song in awhile. Sort-of a revenge at the girl next in line, it’s too funny to be offended by yet wittingly perfect. The ukulele strums along sharply and the strutting bass line carries us through, but its Elizabeth’s lyrics that penetrate the most as she ends on, “He won’t love you baby/he’s got no more love to spend/He tells me you are fine/But I’m better than him at lying.” The last song on the EP is a cover of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long,” but I didn’t even realize until the chorus kicked in. It totally takes a new dimension in the hands of The Darlings. Consisting of Elizabeth’s voice (With some aid on back up vocals) and an insistent and pretty ukulele, this song becomes more intimate, barer and more poignant. The idea of being “shook” hasn’t been this physical since Elvis used it. Probably my favorite release from Wee Pop! Records so far, The Darlings Photo EP will soothe you, make you laugh, smile and shake you until you’re thoroughly hooked.

Mp3:
The Darlings-“Emily”

Links:
The Darlings on myspace
Wee Pop! Records

Little My: Little My’s Third (2007)



Little My is an elusive pop band made up of eight to fifteen people from the UK. When it came time to review this EP (released on Wee Pop! Records) I started stressing out because I didn’t know any of the songs that Little My covered, but then after racing around on the internet for too long I realized it doesn’t really matter. Little My’s new EP Little My’s Third is a collection of four cover songs that are fun and have much to offer regardless if you’ve heard the originals. “Monsterpuss” fits the very awesome cartoon theme the band has going on (Check out their website for all kinds of cute characters). The song is a great energetic opener and I give bonus points for the awesome pan flute. The lyrics are a bit disturbing in a humorous way, but don’t let that prevent you from bouncing around to it. “Heavy Heart” has some awesome vibraphone, xylophone and vocoder action that accent this tender song. Oh and did I mention the hand claps? This band has it all. The one song I had heard the original previously is “New Slang” by The Shins. Little My’s version is of course a bit livelier and gives it a more sing-along quality that the original doesn’t have. Little My's Third provide a strong case for André Bazin’s theory that multiple utterances of the same thing are equal. It is a fun little EP of songs that will have you smiling no matter where they came from.

Mp3:
Little My-"Monsterpuss"

Links:
Little My on myspace
Little My's site that adds to the mystery
Wee Pop! Records
André Bazin on Wikipedia

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bryce Isbell: SELF-TITLED (2007)



I’m divided as to whether or not I want to fall asleep listening to Bryce Isbell’s SELF-TITLED release. On one hand I might have nightmares listening to this surreal landscape that comes mercilessly soaring into your ears, but on the other hand I could be enlightened by its beauty, if I brave the journey. Bryce Isbell is an incredibly prolific musician from Denton, Texas who has probably put out more than four releases this year. SELF-TITLED is self-released (available for free on his Myspace) and again, I stress, be prepared to find yourself in a world where the normal rules of physics no longer apply. The song “Skulls And Other Things We Use To Decorate” starts out with a simple guitar plucking and a hum, slowly absorbing your thoughts in this bleached desert. It’s hot and dusty, but near the end we can hear a whistle far off in the distance. There is a hope for some water, an oasis. “Spirit Songs” is a like a travelogue that starts as a whisper, roars up and then goes insane. Isbell moans incoherently hitting beautiful notes, almost a hymnal, and then the landscape changes. Suddenly, we find ourselves in a swamp, the rain pouring down and voices moaning around us, these ghosts summoning Isbell forth. He cackles and laughs, “ba ba ba-ing” like the best of them, but with a menace. “Telluride, Colorado” is the song that will make me brave sleep with this album. The albums closer sounds as if we are drifting through a vast cave, the harp-like guitar strings bouncing off the walls illuminating the darkness. Isbell’s voice gets almost operatic as the song builds, but it only goes so far before the guitar comes back, folksy, familiar; he is leading us back home safe and sound, but a bit stronger and more in tune with our senses. However, we aren’t out of the woods yet; tree limbs snap all around us before fading back into the night. Words cannot accurately describe SELF-TITLED, even Isbell refuses to say too much, but with the music you’ll drift, race and tumble through a surreal world where anything is possible.

Mp3:
Bryce Isbell-"Spirit Songs"

Links:
Bryce Isbell on myspace

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Speed Racer Trailer Dashes It’s Way Online



I was never a fan of the Speed Racer tv series, but I like Emile Hirsch and I like the Wachowski Brothers. The trailer looks fun and epileptic. Enjoy!



Links:
Speed Racer on IMDB
AICN with Hi-Res Pics from the film

Friday, December 7, 2007

Mp3 of the Week: “330” by Pocketful.



Lauren Barth under the moniker Pocketful. is a local Santa Barbara native I first saw perform at a show I was also playing at. Her voice will immediately cut you off guard by its “time-travel-like” ability to transport you back to the folk heyday of the 60s without sounding like it’s someone who wishes to imagine they were in the 60s (in other words genuine). She would fit perfectly with the likes of all those old folkies maybe playing a workshop or two at Newport. However, the output of her songs is few and far between, but I was lucky to see that she put up this fine new original “330.” Just minimal acoustic guitar and her playful but confident voice she doesn’t try and make the words too clear, they wash over you instead. The song sits in a haze of distances and memories and the chorus gets more and more satisfying every time it comes around. The song needn’t have a proper ending, like life it just keeps spiraling around and around jettisoning us off through time and space.

Mp3:
Pocketful.-"330"

Links:
Pocketful. on myspace

New Blog Layout! My Film’s Trailer! & Other News


She does the myspace thang in style

So I’m sure you’ve noticed the fancy new layout on the blog. My friend Alex over at foto boto made the layout and the header for me and I love it. You all should pay a visit to her site and check out her photography. She also takes commission work now.

In other news, things will pick up more now that the quarter at school is nearing completion. I have a lot of catching up to do as well as those inevitable “best of” 2007 lists that must be done.

Also!

I am concurrently the cinematographer on a mockumentary I wrote called Chimes Of Gaviota or: I’ve Got The Real Estate Blues. It focuses on several people involved in a local land entanglement issue and how they deal with themselves, the land and each other. It’ll be released in March. Check out the trailer!




Links:
foto boto
CHAOS, CLOCKS AND WATERMELON MEDIA blog for updates on my film

Marc With A C: Normal Bias (2007)



I’ll be honest and say I was a bit intimidated when I received Marc Sirdoreus’s latest album under the moniker Marc With A C. And it’s only because I adore the site that he writes for, RetroLowFi. As a music lover and critic his reviews are very insightful and humorous (I don’t always agree, but its all in good fun). So when it came time to listen to his music I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it would sound like. Thankfully it is warm, passionate, clever and classic. On Marc’s latest record Normal Bias he is in the business of deconstruction. Every song takes common themes (bad dads, rock ‘n’ roll, song writing, old flames, and cathartic experiences, anti-home, etc.) and cleverly deconstructs them with a grand helping of personal experience to really ground this record. It makes the album name Normal Bias even more poignant. The first song, “Classic Country Wasn't Multitracked In '61” hits hard with an insane hook packed in a familiar melody that’ll have you singing along even if didn’t think you could. It showcases quite sarcastically the conflicts and ironies of living, with Marc singing, “X amount of flour doesn’t bake a cake/ less is more especially on repeat/ the music’s kind of sad but that’s a good beat.” I really can’t think of another occasion where the phrase “Life would be so grand” could be uttered so heartily. The song “Dear Son” starts off as a classic “I hate my dad/dad ask for forgiveness” kind of track, but of course instead of revisiting every tortured 90s musician rendition of this theme, Marc twists this into a tragically humorous tale where the father threatens his son with his biker friends, hits on teenage girls using Staind demos and actually finds the nerve to place the blame on his ex-wife and son. This song straddles the border between hilarious and heartbreaking; I’m not sure if it’s real or not, regardless it’s effective. “Happy To Be Alive” is the kind of album closer we all hope for; it’s optimistic, reflective and self-effacing. There is no hint of irony in Marc's voice when he sings, “Right now I’m just happy to be alive,” there are only the ironies of life that exist to humble us and make us grateful for the moments when things are wonderfully clear. Normal Bias is a fantastic album and being a musician and blogger like Marc, I can see the insane passion and love he has in every word he writes and sings. Its overflowing and infectious.

Mp3:
Marc With A C-“Classic Country Wasn't Multitracked In '61”

Links:
Order the album here and learn more about Marc
Marc With A C on myspace
RetroLowFi