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Holy Moly!

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  1. Holy Moly!

    Moonlight

    I think that this actually is sort of a very small film, rendered in very big ways. The emotional drama is intimate. I think the piece Jeff notices about Chiron lacking much characterization is important, I saw it as a feature, not a bug. It's the same way a Jacob Lawrence painting doesn't really allow you to see anyone's face. Or like the narrator in Ellison's Invisible Man. (Some of the shots reminded me a little of Lawrence's approach to light and contrast too).
  2. The film collapsed under its own weight. I didn't mind the visual stylization; it worked more often than it didn't. I did mind that 95% of the dialogue seemed to be whispered/mumbled and the other 5% screamed. What's the point of Shakespeare if you're not going to enunciate?
  3. Director Patrick Wang has a new film in 2015, an official selection at Cannes & SXSW but it doesn't have a theatrical distributor in the US. One of the many things I love about this film is the respect for young people's intelligence in the depiction of the child, Chip. I spend a lot of time around kids and they're almost always smarter in real life than in movies. This was a welcome exception.
  4. Like most humans, I missed this one when it came out. Roger Ebert did not! It's a truly incredible film, showing a side of the American South that we don't usually see. It's an "issue" movie without politics. If you have a netflix disc plan, you can see it that way. But the Blu-ray is worth it!
  5. Oh, to be clear, I wasn't offended! I just think that both narratives offered by Friedersdorf: "the radicals lost" vs "traditional marriage survived until gays came along" seem tied to a curiously dated, limited notion of radicalism. Marriage is about "the good life" but I think what "marriage as sacrament" points to about the good life is pretty out of step with the vision of the good life offered to us by consumer society. "What marriage offers - and what fidelity is meant to protect - is the possibility of moments when what we have chosen and what we desire are the same. Such a convergence obviously cannot be continuous. No relationship can continue very long at its highest emotional pitch. But fidelity prepares us for the return of these moments, which give us the highest joy we can know; that of union, communion, atonement (in the root sense of at-one-ment)..." This is basically the opposite of consumer capitalism. Hence, marriage is inherently, radically anticapitalist.
  6. Two years into my completely gay marriage, I agree with NBooth that same-sex marriage is not a radical change in sexual morality. But I certainly don't feel that it's a capitulation to bourgeois norms. Quite the opposite: marriage to me has always been radical, and that's what attracted me to it. (The same is true of heterosexual marriage, of course.)
  7. Really cool piece on NPR: http://n.pr/1DNpr8n
  8. Nedelle's always been a treasure! Her earlier work (as "Nedelle") was more acoustic singer-songwriter, but with strong 60s pop currents. Her project Cryptacize (with Chris Cohen, ex-deerhoof) was a strange and glorious band that put out 2 fine records on Asthmatic Kitty, before they broke up romantically and professionally and then each made a record that's transparently about the breakup.
  9. Incidentally, I have been listening nonstop to "Advice From Paradise", the lovely, breezy breakup album by Nedelle Torrisi, who appears on this album and has been in Sufjan's cheerleading squad/backing band on a couple tours. Somewhere between Control-era Janet Jackson and Laura Nyro, between Spandau Ballet and Ronnie Spector sonically, but sort of like a Neko Case record, in that it really blossoms into technicolor and shows its full power on about the fifth listen when you can get your head around how the song structures twist and turn. This is music for people like me who love pop music for its ability to tap pure, primary color emotions, but also like to be surprised.
  10. Oh, I wrote an op-ed on this for Pitchfork, incidentally: pitchfork.com/thepitch/604-op-ed-why-independent-music-fans-need-real-net-neutrality/ It's fun to win on a policy issue! It happens so rarely.
  11. I was not aware of this, but Sufjan played Cyndi Lauper's annual LGBT youth charity benefit last December, which again, says nothing about the guy personally (except that he's charitable-minded, huzzah!) but does demonstrate that the boundaries of what's possible for an american artist with a large Christian following continue to expand.
  12. It does seem super personal. Acoustic guitars tend to signify "personal/confessional" modes even when it's not true, but putting your parents on the cover of the record is pretty next level.
  13. Yeah, I honestly thought he was just messing with people's expectations on the last record with the homoromanticism, but...while he could still be writing in character, he's not letting up. Also: this exists.
  14. Long-awaited (over a decade) album from acclaimed songwriter/producer/engineer Chad Clark (Dismemberment Plan/Fugazi/etc) & co is coming out soon. It was recorded in a black box theater in a museum in front of audien (before PJ Harvey did this). It took 10 years in part because Chad was struck with a very rare viral cardiac infection and is very lucky to be alive. The whole record is sort of about that, and sort of about empathy and also about a bunch of other things. First single is "DOG WITH RABBIT IN MOUTH UNHARMED" and features Colin Stetson (crazy woodwind guy you've heard on Tom Waits & Arcade Fire records) and Zeena Parkins (harpist you know from Bjork collaboration). It's a song about Chad's dying dog, written from the dog's perspective. You can hear it here: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/artsdesk/music/2015/03/11/listen-to-dog-with-rabbit-in-mouth-unharmed-the-first-track-from-beauty-pills-new-album/ Open with an aerial shot of a Maxfield Parrish dusk Godrays spilling along the way The vet is Chinese and lovely Her "there's nothing more we can do" face is very kind She'll show you today You don't have to look too close to see what time is doing to me Walk in the favorite forest Cool air sweeping us forward The free things of nature What's more to ask? I bolt ahead to the clearing Come and meet me there Something to show you I'm sure you will laugh You don't have to look too close to see what time is doing to me You'll find that money is noise This --- us, together! --- is wealth The body's just cosines and vectors Love is the real health We walk in circles and lie down
  15. Spencer's drumming on this is amazing. You'd have no idea he was 3 or 4 when the vocals & guitar were laid down.
  16. The Glow Pt 2 by The Microphones uses a bad breakup as a springboard for some big existential question stuff. A great record for one's early twenties! The Graceful Fallen Mango is a solo record by Dave Longstreth of Dirty Projectors before he put a band together, it's about breaking up with his high school girlfriend. I think he was maybe 18 or 19 when he made it. About half of Joanna Newsom's Ys seems to be about a breakup. And about half of Mirah's "C'mon Miracle".
  17. Liz is so cool; I'm delighted if a little baffled to see her audience growing.
  18. i was a little baffled to learn that Brendan Canty directed the video! edit: it is a different Brendan Canty! Weird that we have two-music-directing Brendan Cantys now.
  19. Which is the one Tchad Blake-produced song? I see his involvement in several, usually as a mixer, but never as producer. You're right, Blake just mixed it. "The Troubles". I don't see any other credits for him on the record though? I don't understand having Danger Mouse produce a record and then going so bland and glossy with the mixes. But I felt the same way about not keeping Eno/Lanois around for the mixes on the last LP.
  20. I did finally reset my iTunes password to get the record, and the one Tchad Blake-produced song on the album was the only one that grabbed me sonically. The rest felt annoyingly MOR. Not Danger Mouse's finest moment, nor U2's, I'm afraid.
  21. What Lanois solo record would you recommend I start with?
  22. If you want opinions from a detractor, I'm your man! Also, how did I miss this? https://marshill.com/2013/01/15/mars-hill-music-is-partnering-with-tooth-nail Similar problems with accounting at both institutions.
  23. I wrote this long piece of "industry analysis" for my job. I don't talk about the record, though, because I can't remember my iTunes password to download it.
  24. The author means "evangelicals," right? Or if he doesn't, he and the friends he's talking about are probably evangelicals, yes? I don't think evangelicals are necessarily prone to worse taste than anyone else, but the question that he's wrestling with is primarily an evangelical one rooted in the specific cultural history of evangelicalism, and it would probably be helpful to be more cognizant of this, yes?
  25. And it's not a dead issue. News from June:
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