Friday, April 20, 2007

dear movies, i miss you



LGI's prone to fits of unreasonable enthusiasm; if you ctrl-f enough rest assured you'd find at least every month I see some movie with the greatest x in cinema and that every record/garment/website/produce-aisle item I buy blows my mind.
That said, The Long Goodbye, playing this week at Film Forum, has been one of my favorite movies since I was in high school and not in the Ghost Dog I see-why-I-liked-it but maybe-it-doesn't-quite-hold-up model; I have seen this again, and it still slays just as hard. Those washed-out colors, those Altman asides and details ("el puerto del gato"), and most of all, Elliott Gould as an unshaven Nixon-era Marlowe, as sad as he is sassy.
Recommending an article in the Voice is a little embarrassing, but J. Hoberman's piece on Gould (whose amazing vibe I have discussed elsewhere in this blog) his performance in this film, and, uh, Jews in Hollywood in the '60s and '70s is excellent, but maybe I only think so because it's a goddamned cover story about Elliott Gould.

In other news, is anything showing at Tribeca worth my time and of heaps of cash? I don't even know what all's playing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Is Grunge Next?


This blog post is based on a conversation Ben and I had a few days ago, wherein I proposed that EARLY GRUNGE will be the next postpunk/stoner-rock/freak-folk/noize-influenced black metal/whatever.
Evidence:
-I think maybe grunge happened in fashion? Is that why my style-star erstwhile co-snax-blogger Piper had a lumberjack-style jacket a year or 2 ago?
-In any case it REALLY happened the other day when this hipster in one of my classes rolled into the computer lab in a loose flannel/white tshirt/black leggings/like 30-eye Docs ensemble.
-The next day, Snake Apartment did a Dusted top 10 list of grunge/80s and 90s Pacific NW heavy rock. Looking at it again, I see they reference "grunge revival of '08." Is this facetious? Probably as much as this blog post.
-The next week, Dan Gr.'s song of the week was the Nirvana cover of "Return of the Rat" from a '90s Wipers tribute comp (I confirm: it is good, though I'm not a big fan of the guitar sound. The Hole cover of "Over the Edge," however, is the stuff sad places are made of).
Past evidence includes:
-My former co-dj Hunter jocking the first Soundgarden lp like 2 years ago
-This fall, that guy at Academy Records Annex (you know which guy I mean) rocking the living shit out of Little Baby Buntin' by Killdozer. His enthusiasm for it proved so persuasive that although I didn't buy that record, I bought a CD of their first album the very next day. It's really good. It's called Intellectuals Are the Shoeshine Boys of the Ruling Elite. They cover "Run Through the Jungle."
Possible evidence:
Wipers LP reissues?
-Resurgence in Flipper's popularity and rise of that sort of ugly, nasty sound (cf. Clockcleaner)
-Reunion/rediscovery of Dinosaur Jr.

Ben counters:
-It sucks. Obviously, one can argue this point sort of, but I will say that as much as I like the Melvins, I have always WANTED to like Green River and never succeeded.
-This happened in all of our lifetimes, unlike previous trends. We (well, not me, but some people) already own "seminal grunge" from when it came out.
-Similarly unlike previous trends, the grunge lifestyle cannot really be romanticized. Postpunk has the nice political posturing and graphic design, freak-folk the back-to-the-land and yes-it's-still-offensive Injuns fixation; grunge has SELLING OUT.
-In that vein, grunge, we all know, was strip-mined by major labels post-Nirvana; EVERYONE got signed. Really early stuff and early Sub Pop shit aside, it has as of yet--as far as I know--little record collector cachet. A lot of this music seems to be total dusty 2 for $10 7" bin fodder, which either makes it ripe for the picking and stockpiling, or straight-up worthless, or bad.

SO:
What do we all think?
If yes, will a RIOT GRRL revival happen alongside this? (SLANT 6 4EVAR)
Why in the name of everything holy am I displacing my anxiety and terror and anger about this week in world news (seriously, everything from overseas to at home to my high school's gym getting destroyed by flood [HA]) into this blog post instead of using it to write my gargantuan term paper?

song of the day

Once again, the battlefield is your body
and those who want control have laid down their terms in black & white and red all over they keep the backstreet butchers in business as advertised from a bullhorn and the all knowing man has set up his make-believe graveyard with tiny white crosses for millions of make-believe souls someday I'd like to see a cross set up for a real live human being who bled to death to maintain the sanctity of mary mary & child
scream the bigots who couldn't care less about human life obey their self-righteous lies while your sisters & daughters die all decisions are final your body is forbidden.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

ok ok ok

I'll admit a tendency to dismiss things enjoyed by people I dislike, particularly music-wise. This habit has proven itself as often ill-advised as not. And today, I come before you all (at least the 2 of you to whom I may have broached this topic in the real world) contrite, once again:

So, I downloaded this off some sendspace business and I've listened to it a bunch the last few days. And I realize, not only do I enjoy it a whole lot, but it's undeniably some kind of key that unlocks so much of the music I like already. Most "indie rock" and even some "hardcore" (you know what I mean by that quote un-quote) I like I tend to describe to whatever random as "dark and discordant and shit"--but a decidedly teenage darkness, the kind you imagine as hammering on your skull rather than sort of seeping inwards, best epitomized by that Unwound (xoxox) song wherein Justin starts out sort of moaning and ends up shouting "i tried to search for you..." and extending to Drive Like Jehu or something. "Propulsive," I'd say if I wrote for allmusic.com, or maybe "autumnal?" I accept it now, that Big Black might have invented this and that I have been denying that for too long.
I guess that in my experience, Big Black tended to attract a "too grown up for punk" element--like, kids who listened to whatever raging as kids and matured got into this and then it led them to Sonic Youth and then whoever, minimalist classical music and Deleuze or something; this led me to think "in addition to the obvious 'fuck Steve Albini,' fuck this band beloved by sellouts or poseurs" (also their weird sort of sexism didn't help) and never give them a chance. But whatever times 4. I'm gonna go to Generation tomorrow, where hopefully I can buy this album AND Milo Goes To College (!) and feel that I have fulfilled some unfinished business with my 16-year-old self.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

David Copperfield (for real)/Killer of Sheep


Oh! Sorry, I had to do some work and cut my last post short. The George Cukor David Copperfield, at least the first half, receives the resounding thump of the LGI approval stamp. Pluses: W.C. Fields as Mr. Micawber, the CUTEST winsome big-eyed little thing as petit-David, and basically being the kind of movie little nerds watch through their enormous-framed glasses (bought "to grow into") on PBS on snow days with a big cup of hot Nestle's Quik: looong, generally delightful with some remarkably sad and dark parts (being a girl sucks for most everyone who has to contend with that problem here, although D.'s batty-yet-sensible aunt is our new role model). To be fair, I haven't read the book, but according to those in the know (Ben), most of the dialogue comes straight from its pages. Things get hurried towards the end when it seems like Cukor (a new fave, who wants to watch The Women?!) realized oh crap, after all the charming travails of lil' D., I have about 300 pages to get through about his winsome puppy-obsessed first wife and the slimy dealings of Uriah Heep (not the band), so there's a lot of expository dialogue and such. While definitely no the David Lean Great Expectations, it's worth it.


So, the hype in town these days is the revival of Charles Burnett's long-lost Killer of Sheep at IFC. See it. You have a couple more days (I'm sure it'll be back and then on Criterion but, it's here now!).
I feel a little weird about it, though: I've been reading some would-be motivational "radical librarians" literature lately to try and re-stoke myself on this field (not working, all these bitches seem to do is complain about their jobs and the Man), I've been thinking about the whole by/of/for The People thing--like, yeah, Chris Dodge can talk all he wants about fighting for your library's right to stock Street Spirit or anarcho per- zines but really, patrons want you to have a million copies of The Five People You Meet In Heaven and Zane, right? So, while Killer of Sheep is mos.def. by and of the people, it has ultimately become destined for the educated bouge who can sit back and admire the warmth and closeness of the devastatingly poor Watts community depicted in the film and tsk-tsk the protagonist's alienation from his family, self, whatever because of the murderousness (literally, he works in an abattoir), of his daily routine. The people in the movie would probably find it pretty boring. What I mean to say is: I found it effective, politically, but who cares what I think?
That said, whatever. It's a beautiful movie, replete with what Vern accurately described as countless "disarming moments," like a tiny girl singing along to a soul record at the top of her lungs, an upwards-looking shot of kids leaping across a rooftop, a shot in which a boy bikes forwards from behind the camera into a bunch of girls who beat him up and break his bike, etc. A scene of two men trying to carry an engine down a rickety staircase holds geniune suspense. It seems, to the layperson, a textbook in how to film everyday life compellingly, with equal doses of hilarity and tragedy.

Total side-note: if you saw/enjoyed David Gordon Green's George Washington, realize that pretty much everything good in that movie was jacked from this.

Let me add further that my room presently smells like a mixture of nail polish, coffee, and "peaches and cream" lotion. AMAZING.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Great life events/David Copperfield



This morning (ie. around 1pm), while trotting down to return the 9/11 Commission Report to the public library and obtain some non-bread items from the farmer's market (alas, only onions and apples remained), I reached the intersection of Broadway and Dyckman and, omg times 1000, there was MR. MET standing in the sun-roof of a Mets-logo painted SUV, followed by the drum majorettes of Mother Cabrini High, followed by about 10 Inwood Little League Teams in full uniform, with banners, chanting. Based on team spirit, this will be a good season for Grandpa's Pizza and Dyckman St. UPS, and not so much for Dyckman St. McDonald's. Bummer that I didn't have a camera. Seriously, though, is your neighborhood officially allied with Mets baseball?! NEXT YEAR IS NOW.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

let's get, um, perked up via exercise


(or, if Michael Bluth can do it, so can I)
I guess I am turning this into a legit livejournal-style endeavor now? Today I rode 11 miles from my house to Canal St. to have lunch/hang out with Vern, then pretty much the entire way across town to eat the world's greatest cupcake, then up to Trader Joe's to get some life essentials like 99cent Luna Bars and baby spinach, then over to school where I had planned to spend all day in the computer lab, where I am now. I totally hate it when other people are right, especially bike people, but this ruled and I don't hate this city any more. I don't LIKE it here again yet, but riding your bike in the street (SAFETY FIRST, MOM) is sort of the best thing ever. Also, if you see me slithering on my belly across 14th St. later on, feel free to scoop me up, toss me over your shoulder, and bear me to the subway. My quads feel. . .amazing.