Monday, October 24, 2005

So I haven't been doing much lately. I really need to get back to that, find a job and work it, do this schoolwork (I have decided officially that my class is bad and a waste of time) which accrues. I need to write. I need things to write about. I need more art to inspire. I need all that shit.

I downloaded some new music- Page France's first record, after finding two songs off the upcoming record on mp3 blogs. This album, which I play now, is much more emo than I generally tolerate. Or, more accurately, it's more soundtrack-indie than most bands I like. More delicate, and vocals and lyrics add up to "kind of a pussy" rather than the "kind of a weirdo" that I prefer. The one mp3 blog mentioned Death Cab as well as Neutral Milk Hotel. This first album plays up the former more than the later stuff. Moments? Yeah maybe a few.

Something else that has its moments: Three Kings, which I watched today.

Goodnight America.

Friday, October 21, 2005

I watched Orson Welles' F For Fake tonight. For those keeping a tally, the only bad Orson Welles movie I have ever seen is The Magnificent Ambersons. (which might've been ruined because of the people I was watching it with, the fact that I saw a video that might've been pan-and-scan, or the infamous studio cuts.) This remains the case. F For Fake is pretty great.

To articulate slightly further: It's kind of a documentary but it's completely insane.

It does what I kind of want to do with my writing and (this is shameful) even my talking/interaction. This kind of just kicking your ass with its intelligence. Not beating you over the head with the intelligence, not being pretentious about it, but just wielding it like it's a fucking weapon to achieve results. Those results being to charm you, which seems like it should be antithetical to the whole violence speak. But, no. I don't think so.

It's about magic, filmmaking, acting, art, and forgery. It's also about how Orson Welles is a bad-ass who even in his old age was able to have relationships with attractive women.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

So I am late to the game on Nina Nastasia. Found out via Spoilt Victorian Child mp3 blog, as part of a John Peel tribute. Albini liked her so much she gave him the record, and then I heard a song from a Peel session he engineered. This song, Beautiful Day, it's a good one. And John Peel was indeed, as that Steve fellow says, a hell of a man.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

So, one thing about DVDs that kind of sucks is that if they are subtitled and you are bored, you can't just have the subtitles on and watch it at twice the speed if you read fast. This is because the subtitles are syncronized with the audio, not the video. And with this fact, another aspect of Douglas Coupland's writing, one of the few things I held onto, ages poorly.

Speaking of books, did I ever mention here about how The Unbearable Lightness Of Being pretty much blows? And by pretty much, I mean I recommend you don't read it. Like if someone told you it was good, just ignore them and read The Book Of Laughter And Forgetting instead. That one is not only shorter, it's also about much more. Also, the asides that are kind of philosophical actually have a point, and amount to something. They're a part of the book, because so much of the book reads like asides and digressions. With The Unbearable Lightness Of Being, that stuff is just a part of the book's voice, and so the stuff that's said (like "metaphors are dangerous, because a single metaphor can give birth to love") not only doesn't mean anything (seriously, did that line I paraphrased affect you or strike you as true in any way?) but makes the book as pretentious as its title. I read that book awhile ago. I'm kind of reading books now, but the stuff I'm reading isn't really especially compelling so I'm kind of not.

Speaking of books, there's a top 100 English language novels written since 1923 up at and maybe it'll be in the magazine. It's a good list, I would say, although it's incredibly nerdy. Not only is Watchmen on it, the lone "graphic novel" (they're also called comics) but so's The Lord Of The Rings, Phillip K. Dick's Ubik, William Gibson, and Neal Stephenson. (None of these I've read, actually.) This is in addition to such stuff as 1984, Slaughterhouse Five, and A Clockwork Orange. It's a good list- both Pynchon novels I've read make it, as does Catch-22 and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Also Lolita. Flann O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds made it, which I haven't read, but should.

Here's the link, actually, so I don't just name all the stuff I've either read or just like that's on there:

It's a really nerdy list. So, I'm happy with it, it reflects my tastes better than most. But it's not necessarily the list I'd read... It does a good job taking my tastes and the canon and making it all seem seamless. There's books on there I should read. (The Sot-Weed Factor- I should read more Barth just as a rule because I liked The End Of The Road.) (Maybe I should read Infinite Jest- I've heard like one bad thing, and that was from someone talking about someone else who'd read it, not their actual reaction. The "year of the Depends undergarment" thing doesn't make me laugh. And I think David Foster Wallace looks kind of an ass in photos, but that's true for most, if not all, authors.)

Oh, and Ulysses doesn't make it, which is funny because it's something I've got a bookmark in the middle (not the very middle... closer to the beginning than the actual middle) and don't know when I'll finish because I'm not feeling it.

EDIT: It actually didn't make it because it came out in 1922. That's funny for other reasons.

In other news, I watched Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior, a movie where people get kicked and blown up and physically fucked up in all kinds of ways, and thought it was awesome. I fast-forwarded through most of the beginning. (Without reading any subtitles, as established earlier.) It's really good. You know what's not good? Oldboy. That's not kung-fu, but it's Korean and supposedly fucked-up but no, it's just total bullshit.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Finished another short story, "Reviewing The Dailies." "Erica Bleeds" I have decided is also finished. So that's it for short stories. The focus should now be on novels, but I'm sure short stories will come up when I become discouraged or think my form needs more work. "Reviewing The Dailies" is my stab at being experimental, and I don't know if it worked. I should really submit it, I'm thinking to Seattle's Golden Handcuffs Review.

So that's nine short stories, although some are very short indeed- I mostly don't count that thing, Rubberband Summer, I posted it on this blog awhile back, but I'm counting it now to make nine, even though it's crazy short, and I could order them into a book if I wanted to. I decided the arbitrary device would be the age of the narrators/main characters, and that ended up working fairly well.

I also have school work to deal with. Hm. Not so much a fan of that. Also, I should get a job, as I'm shit poor. Nothing new there. This is why I don't post so much. Well, that and I've been posting more on message boards and whatnot, as I find that a good outlet for nerd ramblings of those whose own lives aren't really amounting to anything.

Monday, October 03, 2005

So last year I made this end of year mix CD, one part best-of to two parts encoding the memories of the year into a soundtrack. I started working on a 2005 playlist, and it's hard. Because I liked a lot of music, and it's fairly disparate, but I want to work in a lot. And a decent amount went down this year, I suppose. It's not done yet, and many of the things are minor, or if they're not minor, they're not things that effected me personally. It's not like that at the end of 2003 when I ran around with This Boy Is Exhausted stuck in my head.

I know it's going to start off with The Mountain Goats' This Year (the version off the vinyl edition of The Sunset Tree). And there's probably going to be this song off the new Dirty Three album that Cat Power sings on, because of hurricane allusions.

I should maybe do the thing with editing and segueing the songs into each other with fades and stuff. I should maybe not even be working on it yet. I want to put The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah on there but it has its own segue built into the end, into the next song on the album.

It's already over an hour long.

Maybe the reason the music's been good is the same reason the mix is hard to make, because of the multitude of feelings and mood contained within single songs: Every song feels like a segue, except for the occasional thing like the Dirty Three/Cat Power collaboration. This really works for albums though. But on mixes, even the stuff where the segue from track to track is smooth, the constant varying mood gets weird after a few tracks.

Yeah, Mountain Goats into A-Frames into Dirty Three doesn't work.

The only song I'm married to is Need New Body's Poppa B. I could maybe make two mixes. That might end up being what I do, that way I can repeat the same band.

Right now I'm listening to The Hold Steady's Cattle And The Creeping Things, going into the Silver Jews, How Can I Love You If You Won't Lie Down. I almost put Don't Let Me Explode on a mix for my mom, and maybe if I did two, that could go into the Dirty Three/Cat Power thing.

I will keep you posted. Two mixes... Yes, for I contain multitudes.

EDIT: Actually I think it's coming together. As one mix. I might ditch A-Frames (Flies), or Psychic Paramount (Para5), or Black Dice (Street Dude), or switch the Animal Collective song at the end (currently, Banshee Beat) for another that accomplishes the same ends. Right now I'm leaning toward maybe ditching the Psychic Paramount, as it's maybe a bit too long for something that one-note, although it's an awesome note, it might not be the most mix CD friendly one. (It's a note of pure loud rock propulsion through the future, and yes highly recommended.)

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Just saw this movie Mind Game, downloaded off Bittorrent. It is completely amazing. Japanese animation, but good. And not good like Miyazaki is good.

Like... I liked The Triplets Of Belleville way more than I like anime. And that might be a better reference point. I don't know, I think it's beyond any kind of nation or nerdiness, and it just kicks out the animation jams something fierce.

The style is forever changing, although the story's mostly linear. And the story, the writing, it's great. It amounts to something special. There's a bit of the weird Japanese attitudes towards sex, and a perverted old man, but that's really the extent of it. Not nerdy in the least. FLCL's got some genre imagery with the robots and whatever, and Dead Leaves has this annoying fucking voice and is really just this vehicle for violence- It's awesome but this is better. And the style is never big eyes. Well, on occasion. That's not the main style, it's just sometimes engaged in for the sake of expressionism. It's really something special and great and HIGHLY recommended. It just started screening in New York apparently, although it was completed in 2004. It is awesome and pushes things forward on like fifteen different levels all while being this populist piece of entertainment.

Not just for anime nerds or kids who want to be japanese.

I asked for high fives DURING the movie, and double high fives afterwards.

It's really great. The first fifteen minutes or so only hint at the greatness to come. And they only barely hint.

I don't want to say I liked it better than Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind or 3-Iron or even The Triplets Of Belleville, as it's very much it's own thing, but I will say that I loved it wholeheartedly and it's... It's better than other films I liked it more, in that it's more experimental and forward-thinking, although it's still totally a populist piece of entertainment. I was moved close to tears of joy at the end. And throughout the middle, I was... My mouth moved in ways I didn't try to control. I spittled and I laughed in astonishment and I was completely entertained.

I loved it. Alex Tripp loved it. Loren Thor loved it. Evan Hashi loved it. These are all the people I watched it with. You will probably love it. You should definitely see it, on a big screen if possible, especially if you're into things like "movies" and "creativity," alone or together.