November 16, 2014

148 Reboot

If I don't make a playlist in a long time, I like to catch up by making two at once...

  1. Bach Minuet In G (Bonus Track) | Willie Nelson
  2. Red Tide | Neko Case
  3. Subdivisions | Rush
  4. Dumb | Nirvana
  5. Counting Stars | OneRepublic
  6. Summerfling | k.d. lang FUN FACT: Ace session drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. plays on this track and is a co-writer; I know him better as Paul McCartney's touring drummer since 2001.
  7. Black Lagoon | Dave Edmunds; my son's favorite rock song!
  8. Belay | The Never Land Pirate Band; my favorite children's song, it sounds like the members of every defunct 1990s ska band took refuge in Neverland.
  9. Rox In The Box | The Decemberists
  10. Coming of Age | Foster The People has perfectly captured that late 80s sound I love oh so much.
  11. Mystify | I kinda forgot this INXS song until I heard it again in 2014. The album KICK was very big way back when.
  12. Underground | Ben Folds Five
  13. Foolin' | Def Leppard
  14. Wave Of Mutilation [live on the BBC] | Pixies
  15. Walls (Circus) | Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  16. Charmer | Aimee Mann
  17. Suedehead | Morrissey
  18. A Little Bit Of Everything | Dawes; is this a Jackson Browne soundalike parody, or a real song? When I heard their first single "If I Needed Someone", I joked that the lead singer sounded like Daryl Hall. I guess he's just a chameleon?
  19. Say It Isn't So | Everyone knows the Outfield's hit single "Your Love" ("Janie's on a vacation far away...") but this was the other single from that LP. I heard it while waiting for my car to be fixed at the Honda dealership.
  20. Given To Fly | Pearl Jam
  21. Feel It All Around | Washed Out (the theme song to Portlandia)

November 15, 2014

147 Rebirth

After nearly a year off, I've finally bought a new computer and resurrected my iTunes! I finished this playlist sometime in November.

  1. "Down Yonder" Willie Nelson; from Red Headed Stranger [1975]
  2. "The Way You Make Me Feel" Michael Jackson; from Bad [1987]
  3. "Stages" ZZ Top; from Afterburner [1985] Purists would say this album is where ZZ Top capitalized on their breakthrough success on Eliminator [1983] by totally selling out. Afterburner completely departs from their formula with thick synthesizers, drum machines, and pedestrian pop-rock songs like "Rough Boy" and "Stages".
  4. "Sirens" Pearl Jam; from Lightning Bolt [2013] lovely song from Mike McCready.
  5. "Done" The Band Perry; from Pioneer [2013] I discovered this song in the Target commercial/music video that aired during the 2014 Super Bowl. Yes, I am cutting edge.
  6. "Dare" Gorillaz; from Demon Days [2005]
  7. "The National Anthem" Radiohead; from Kid A [2008]
  8. "Twilight World (Superb, Superb Mix)" Swing Out Sister; from It's Better To Travel [1987]
  9. "Beautiful Way" Beck; from Midnite Vultures [1999]
  10. "Crazytown" Aimee Mann; from Charmer [2012]
  11. "New" Paul McCartney; from New [2013] I love the silly a capella coda- song fragment codas that don't really match the rest of the song have been a McCartney trademark since the "Aloha" coda on "Hello Goodbye".
  12. "You Can't Do Me" Madeleine Peyroux; from Bare Bones [2009]
  13. "Gone" John Hiatt; from Crossing Muddy Waters [2000] You don't want to cross Muddy Waters - he will seek VENGEANCE!
  14. "Dance, Dance, Dance" Steve Miller Band; from Fly Like An Eagle [1976]
  15. "We Are Each Other" The Beautiful South; from 0898 [1992]
  16. "Turn It Around" Lucius; from Wildewoman [2013] aka "Wrong End Of The Telescope"
  17. "Don't Carry It All" The Decemberists; from The King Is Dead [2011] Every once in awhile you find a band whose lead singer has the exact same singing register as you.
  18. "A Long December"  Counting Crows Live At The Hammerstein Ballroom NYC [1997] Adam Duritz is one of those singers who doesn't like to sing the melody of his hit songs in concert. He sings the song, but varies the melody, presumably out of boredom.
  19. "Bandera" Willie Nelson; from Red Headed Stranger [1975]


November 7, 2014

Interstellar

Director Christopher Nolan is in a sweet spot where he has unlimited resources to make his movies and he has grand ambitions and epic vision to match. Other directors are given hundreds of millions of dollars, only seek to blow shit up in an amazing way, and possibly make us tear up a little at the end. That's the limit of their ambition.

Interstellar is not based on an old movie, an old TV show, or a comic book.
It's not a "reboot" of an existing franchise.
There are no weapons, two explosions, one car chase, and one brief and deeply lame wrestling match.
There will be no sequels.
So it pains me to criticize the movie.

I am deeply conflicted to say bad things about the only movie I've ever seen that so thoroughly explores the nuts and bolts of real "hard" science fiction.
How many movies can you name that deal with relativity, hibernation, air braking, slingshot trajectories, and both kinds of holes (black and worm?) I love that stuff!
The spaceships, and the wormhole travel, and the alien worlds all look just different enough from Earth to be both believable and eerie at the same time.
This is not a "saving the world" movie where saving the world means pressing a red button with 1 second remaining. This is a "find another world for humanity to live on, and do it quickly before we all asphyxiate and starve to death."
I appreciate the harsh truth of a mission to find another planet to colonize on a mission with zero margin for error, but the problem is, Nolan also wants to make a movie about fathers and children, the survival instinct, and the duty parents have to their children. His goal is to stitch that powerful parental instinct and stitch it together with saving all of mankind, not just his daughter, and there he falls short.
There is fat that could be trimmed. Long sequences early in the movie could be cut out. After they revive an earlier scientist/explorer, I'm not sure why his character, or the events surrounding him, are even in the movie?
Maybe this is an artifact of two brothers writing the screenplay. Sometimes a shorter movie is a better movie. Interstellar is 11 minutes short of 3 hours.
I have truly enjoyed three of his movies (Batman Begins, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight) and liked but not loved four others (Insomnia, Memento, Inception, and Dark Knight Rises) and I will continue to hold him to a high standard.
My Stub Hubby grade: A-minus

Notes: The 35mm film print looked AMAZING. I have been mostly indifferent to digital projection, but upon watching a movie meticulously made on 35mm, I can really appreciate the deep dark colors, especially in a space movie. There have been complaints about the "muddy" sound mix, and I can attest that there were several scenes where I could not follow all the dialog, but I think Nolan knows this and writes accordingly. Early in the movie Matthew McConaughey and his kids spot an "Indian drone" flying over their midwest cornfields, hack into its guidance system, and take it for themselves. Which kind of Indians are they? Why are they spying on cornfields? What the heck is going on here? I don't know, but it doesn't really matter- I know plenty enough to understand the movie.
Somerville Theater Screen 1 With Adam