Thursday, March 31, 2011
Last Friday, I also got the chance to chat with Tunde, Kyp, and Jaleel about the new TV on the Radio album. The story appeared today. They specifically requested that I not say: "You can hear the sunshine in their voices on the new album." Instead, we talked about recording down the street from Charlie Sheen's house, living in a housing complex with retired porn stars, and having people constantly think they were homeless.
On a day when Central Jersey was flooded, I forded two streets-turned-rivers in central Paterson to get to the Feelies practice space in neighboring Haledon. I was an audience of one as the band played two new songs and then tore into "Original Love" from Crazy Rhythms. I wrote about my afternoon in Glenn Mercer's basement here.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
My obsession with Japanese culture runs deep, but having never been to the Land of the Rising Sun, I am at a loss for words at this moment. So instead, I will share Amy Andronicus's recent tumblr post about her time spent in Japan and what she gleaned about the culture during that brief window of opportunity. I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon in the Titus Andronicus van for a story on the group and we bonded over the unlikely subject of suffering debilitating head injuries. But judging by her insight here, it seems that her head is feeling better.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
For most of 2011, I've been obsessed with an obscure album cut from Fleetwood Mac, 1973's "Hypnotized." It's gone on every mix made thus far, and led me to pick up an album that I had always avoided because of its woeful album art, Mystery to Me.
So it's a no-brainer on my playlist for cruising around California. Stops off at records shops lead to more Fleetwood Mac 45s (like this one), but what's been uncanny for me is the sudden appearance of record players in all of my friends' homes. Arriving at our friends' house in San Diego, the LP that was in mid-spin was Fleetwood Mac's massive double album, Tusk.
And pulling up to a friend's house in El Segundo, the sleeve atop his record player is...Rumours. The next day, staying at another friend's house in Hollywood, he had a copy of Christine McVie's The Legendary Christine Perfect Album near the top of the stacks. All of which gives me the impression that by law, Californians must listen to Fleetwood Mac.
Saturday, March 05, 2011
A friend recently asked me for some advice on filmmaker Nicolas Roeg. For those that don't know, I'm quite the fan of the man's work and yet, when I suggested starting with the bewildering Performance and just running through 1979's Bad Timing, I hiccuped when it came to recommending his 1976 film, The Man Who Fell to Earth. Even though I remember bits of it from my youth (giving me a preternatural fear of riding in elevators and getting nosebleeds), even as I obsessed over Roeg's oeuvre, this film always left me cold.
Before handing over that block of DVDs, I gave it another chance, starting with the Walter Tevis book first. As I read it, I marveled how different it was from the film. Until I watched the film and realized that it stayed rather faithful to what was on the page (save for casting the lithe Candy Clark in the role of an obese fiftysomething ginhead).
Part of the problem with the film is the nasty cut the studio imposed on the finished film, making an already abstracted story all the more difficult. Or as one commentary puts it, "a mystery with all the clues cut out."Knowing the story helped get over the lumps, but while I still remain lukewarm on the film, there's an astute observation made by Bowie in the commentary about his alien listening to the otherworldly voice of Roy Orbison with all of his televisions on at full blast. With those thick black frames and his black attire housing that tremulous, lonesome, singular voice in a human form, it's an inspired soundtrack choice. And it no doubt resonated with another director, David Lynch, who seems to always reach for Orbison's oeuvre when the scene calls for disquiet, estrangement, and otherworldliness.