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Posts Tagged ‘Music’

The Magnetic Fields

I just heard a song from their new album Distortion on an NPR show called “Fair Game“.   I had a few of their songs before my “infamous” hard drive crash, but had since forgotten them and this peek into their new music was intruiguing.  I really liked the few songs I heard on their myspace page (the only thing myspace is good for anyway…music). 

In other news – we’re still trying to get everything packed up.  I can’t believe how much stuff we’ve accumulated and how hard it can be to throw things away.  Things from my childhood, things from high school, college…it’s not that I am wrapped up in feeling that my life has been defined by material things.  Rather, the boxes of papers, photos, buttons and other odds and ends, somehow bring back all of my memories in a rush that is bittersweet and oh-so-pleasant.  Nostalgia is a melencholy emotion but one that I could never do without and in a strange way love to experience.  (So long as it’s not tinged with TOO much regret.) 

On the other hand, things that once seemed so important are now dismissed and tossed away with barely a glance and a flick of the hand which my husband knows to mean ‘bye-bye’. 

I constantly struggle with the desires to keep and to toss.  To retain and to purge.  It’s almost as if I’m afraif that letting go of those things means to accept losing those memories.  To fully close those chapters of my life, never to open the box again, squeal with joy and tenderly pull out the small momentos that remind me of long lost times and long lost people…is not something I can do easily. 

I think we all long for things past – Fitzgerald may have said it best in This Side of Paradise that we do not wish to regain our innocence.  We wish to lose it again.  I love that book and I love the idea, because going back to my old things gives me a chance to retravel the paths of my life from where I was to where I am. 

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Mr Pitiful by Matt Costa

It begins with an infectious, circus-like few bars that and turns into an all out infectious, original sounding tune.  It’s one of those songs that gets stuck in your head and whether you know it or not, you’re bouncing along by the end.  His music, from what I’ve heard, has this great southern twang and jazzy feel all the while still paying homage to the indie.

Check it out on his MySpace – http://www.myspace.com/mattcostamusic

His voice reminds me of someone else, but I can’t think who. Any ideas?

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Bands

Band of Horses is a group I’d really like to hear more of.  I recently heard a couple songs by them and found their music hypnotic and entrancing (if that’s a word).  Ethereal at time and totally soothing.   I’ve got to run to work now, but I also really need to hear the new Radiohead.  I’ve only hear You’re All I Need on the radio and want to hear more. 

Anyone else heard the new Radiohead album?  Thoughts?

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Knowing Your Destination

Directions of “take this exit then go right – then left” are NOT good directions to take if you are directionally challenged like myself.  Also, forgetting your cell phone at home when you might get lost.  This is also a bad thing.  Don’t do it.

Today’s reccomendation is to know the exact address of your destination so when you stop for direction you don’t have to tell them you’re stupid as well as lost.

Also – DEATH CAB for CUTIE!  A new album in May.  Check out their older stuff.  I especially like the songs Photobooth & Title & Registration, but you really can’t go wrong with them.  If you’re in for something else indie, try WILCO

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After finishing this sequel to Caleb Carr’s The Alienist, I started thinking. In both novels,  characters lose loved ones suddenly and prematurely. I found myself tearing up (on the inside only, of course) and wondering why themes of loss “appeal” to me; loss of love, innocence, childhood. 

Maybe it’s an Asian thing.  I was adopted and raised by Americans from birth, but perhaps my genetics are calling out to me.  After all, I swear that 9 out of 10 Asian movies end with some massive self-sacrifice or irreplaceable loss, and very rarely does the guy ever really “get” the girl without one of them dying.  Maybe it’s a basic human fascination; think Shakespearean tragedy, soap operas, even popular music themes.

I call it “The Wonder Year’s” feeling.  Whenever I watched that show as a kid, I felt something that I couldn’t place, even during happy episodes. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote “I don’t to repeat my innocence.  I want the pleasure of losing it again” in This Side of Paradise.

Looking back, I realize it was a melancholy and nostalgia; the growing pains of growing up. However, it only appeals to me when given closure. What really resonates with me is seeing something productive come out of the pain.  I don’t want it all to be for nothing, and maybe that’s why I keep watching movies that make me sad and reading books that make me cry.  I want…perhaps need…to see instances of people who are bruised, dirty, and limping, but gaining strength from the good that was and by letting it make you better and remembering it forever , making it the happiness that is.

All that said, here are a “few” recommendations

Movies:
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape                                         
Leon, the Professional
Edward Scissorhands
Million Dollar Baby
The Cure
Blood Diamond
Life is Beautiful
Fried Green Tomatoes
Forrest Gump
The Green Mile

Books:
Blankets by Craig Thompson
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
This Side of Paradise
When the Legends Die
Bridge to Terabithia
To Kill a Mockingbird
Water for Elephants

Music:
Plans by Death Cab for Cutie
Crane Wife by The Decemberists

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Jose Gonzalez

If you’re looking for something eclectic, but still polished and catchy in its own indie way, look into Jose Gonzalez.

 

The Argentine, raised in Sweden, has really melded the best of both musical worlds.  Gonzalez’ music is austere but never cold.  His songs feature a rich, rhythmic acoustic guitar skeleton augmented with soft, intimate vocals. Interestingly, Jose began his musical career in a bands influenced by hardcore punk.  His debut album was released in 2003 and this year came out with a new album – In Our Nature – featuring a cover of Teardrop by Massive Attack, the song made famous as the opening theme, amid his own original works.

  

I can’t get enough of this guy!  While I sometimes suffer from musical ADD, Gonzalez’ songs never get old for me.  It’s mellow enough to use as background music, but with enough texture and original melody to actively listen to.

 

Also, he has great music videos…

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Good Bands

   

One word.  Q-U-A-L-I-T-Y…

(more…)

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