Thursday, January 29, 2009

Another Transpacific shout out.

OMGoodness, I had to share this absolutely charming little stop-motion video from the forth-coming album The Opposite Side of the Sea. I am gobsmacked. It reminds me a lot of Michel Gondry, in the best non-Be Kind Rewind sense. Way to go, creative!

Her Morning Elegance
Directed by: Oren Lavie, Yuval & Merav Nathan
Photography: Eyal Landesman
Featuring: Shir Shomron

To find more things to delight your eyes, ears and hearts, stop by and visit the kids at the transpacific sketch project, even though there has been a shocking lack of posts recently from Jooj and Thelms. Perhaps it is because they are in foreign lands changing the world. I want more Burmese hip hop, Thelma!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lost in Translation or: Why I could never be a TV critic.

I don't speak Spanish, but this does not stop me from enjoying the occasional telenovelas, or movie they happen to play on Univision. (I once saw the last ten minutes of El Padrecito, and giggled so much I could hardly stand it. There was a priest, obviously, trying to force a drunk mule to do something. Suffice it to say, hilarity ensued. I should see if that is on netflix so I could watch more than the last ten minutes...) Tonight while I was at the gym the two tvs closest to me had The Food Network and Univision going. While Alton Brown is delightful, having to read subtitles in order to understand what was going on seemed like a super lame idea, (especially since he was dressed up as a cowboy) compared to re-reading my new Vogue. But on Univision, a telenovela called Cuidado con el angel was on, this I could give a shot. Now again, I don't speak Spanish, so what I'm about to report could be completely fabricated, but between the images and a few context clues from the closed captioning, this is what I gleaned...

Marichuy grew up in an orphanage, but her parents are still alive. She married Juan Miguel, who thought he was a widower, but now his wife is known to be alive and is in prison (I'm pretty sure that was his wife he was visiting, but I couldn't figure out why she was in there, but in any case, she is alive) and the marriage between Marichuy and Juan Miguel is nullified, despite the fact that she is pregnant with his child. (Oh snap.) But at some point, Marichuy figured out that Juan Miguel was the same man who attacked her when she was living on the streets years ago, making her lose all faith in men, and they had a falling out - probably after she got pregnant.

Juan Miguel is hanging out with yet another girl, but aside from her pretending to walk with a limp for half of their walk down the sidewalk, and seeing him make fun of her eating an ice cream cone, I can't tell you what was going on there.

Marichuy happened to need a house, and coincidentally moved in with her biological parents and a another girl they took in, believing to be their daughter. Now, there's some real convoluted mess here because I think one of them, either Marichuy or the other girl, is thinking they are the reincarnation of her grandmother. Maybe that's where the "con el angel" part of the title comes from?

All the while, there is some guy holed up out in the sticks with an injured leg, and an old guy taking care of him. One of these guys, though I'm not sure which, was called "El Leopardo" who I am pretty sure was in love with Marichuy, but she's still hung up on Juan Miguel.

As an aside, the injured guy and his care taker were the best part of this show. All tense looks between them, and then a climactic shot of the injured guy trying to stand for the first time in a long while. And of course, he falls as soon as the old guy lets go. I don't know what they were saying, but they had a really long conversation with the injured guy on the floor for like three scenes. He looked like a turtle on its back. DELIGHTFUL.

I'm just really concerned for Marichuy. Will she figure out that her parents are her parents? Will she find love? Will she be able to forgive the man she loves for anonymously attacking her years before? Will she take El Leopardo's offer of marriage for the sake of her baby? Inquiring minds want to know (but not enough to seek out this show).

I think language barriers are fun.

----I couldn't find the mule scene, but here is 2 minutes of El Padrecito where you can witness really bad facial hair, and really bad pretend organing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Soapbox: Country Music

I suppose it is because I'm at a stage where I meet lots of new people every week, but I tend to be carrying on small talk in very high quantities. Music always seems to come up in these small talk sessions because it is generally a safe subject. I have heard the phrase "I listen to everything but country music" dozens of times, and I have to say, it irritates me every time. (I've also heard "...everything but hip hop", but for the purpose of argument, I will focus only on country.)

First and foremost, this statement is always a lie. I'm sure these people are unlike Marie Osmond, in that they are not a little bit country (they also probably hate porcelain dolls, which is something I can fully support) but I doubt that they are listening to EVERYTHING. Everything would mean film scores, show tunes, Chinese opera, Carnatic music, Sidney Bechet, Olivier Messiaen, and well, everything else. I am not buying that someone who can branch outside of the solfège syllables all the way to Chinese opera cannot tolerate country music. So when these people are saying "I listen to everything but country" what I hear is, "I listen to pop and alternative rock."

Secondly, country music has been influenced by and has influenced every other kind of American music. I am not sure how people can write off an entire genre of music, especially one that gave the world Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Ryan Adams and Chris Gains (86 that last one). I am also not sure how people can write off the musical expression of an entire culture. So when these people are saying "I listen to everything but country" what I hear is, "I am closed-minded." Come on, dip a toe in!

(At this point, I'd like to give a shout out to country for employing some of the coolest instruments around - steel guitars, dobros or banjos anyone? Sure there's rarely a theremin on the track, but come on.
What's that? You don't think banjos are cool?

Seriously? Do have to make a case for steel guitars too?

If you don't like Dire Straits, Steve Martin or the Muppets, well I just don't know where to take this conversation.)

(And although I could write about this all night... but no one would read it) Lastly, I feel like it is such a negative way of communicating not only musical tastes, but an outlook on life. These people, probably subconsciously, are being defined by what they hate. I don't care what people listen to. If you feel like it, go buy all of the Creed or Kenny G cds you want, but next time, let's try to say "I chiefly listen to bad post-grunge bands" or "I dig pseudo jazz soprano saxophonists A LOT!"

By no means am I a country girl, but there is room in my life for all sorts of songs. I am not asking you to like, or listen to country, although there are some super great countrified songs out there, (Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, along with all of the old school singers - sans Conway Twitty who is more than a little creepy - like Dolly, Garth, Trisha, Merle, the list goes on and on) but if you are someone who says, "I listen to everything but..." please, consider that there is more than one way to mow the music lawn.

“Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it." -- Confucius

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Better Late...

I found this little art piece on a playground a couple of months ago, and meant to scan it and put it on here on Christmas. I found it in my scanner today. Oops.

It is simultaneously hilarious and sad.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Holy Cute!

I'm sure that all of you who care already know, but the amazing Zooey Deschanel is on the cover of DOMINO! this month. They are featuring her music room (which you can see here)- it is not my favorite interior ever, but a few of the pieces are very covetable, and I do love the color of the fabric on the walls and the crisp white moulding. Although I feel like I would shoot myself in the foot before I would try to make all of that welting. JEESH!

Another thing, that all of you who care already know, Zooey and Ben Gibbard are engaged. I am definitely hoping for some collaborations, preferably in the Postal Service vein. How cute are they?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My New Hero.

Oh my gosh. I love This American Life. I love Ira Glass. This morning, I heard an amazing story by Elna Baker. I LOVE ELNA BAKER! I don't want to give anything away, but it involves her working at FAO Schwarz doing Lee Middleton doll adoptions. It is delightful. You can listen to it here along with a couple other stories.

And this amazing video:

I cannot wait until her book is published this year.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sylvester's awkward shorts and tan lines.

After telling Becky she needed to watch the German soccer players dance and watching The In-Laws with Peter Falk and Alan Arkin, (where there is the best dinner dialogue ever, involving tsetse flies, the size of eagles, with beaks that make off with small children, called José Grecos de Muertos,"Flamenco dancers of death," or the Guacamole act of 1917, GENIUS!) I thought of that scene from It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World where Sylvester, the inimitable Dick Shawn dances like a crazy person. What? You haven't seen It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World? Well don't worry, I found a little bit of it for you.

Yes. That just happened.

And P.S. If Ethel Merman were calling me, I wouldn't answer either.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

TAG! You're it.

I've succumbed.

10 very random facts about myself

1. I have never successfully completed a Rubik's Cube, though I have tried more than once.
2. My initial obsession with French New Wave was sparked by my fascination with Anna Karina, then came my complete adoration of the movement.

3. I still subscribe to TeenVogue.
4. I detest dried flowers and always have fresh flowers in my room.
5. I pride myself in making good mix cds, but secretly don't really care if other people don't appreciate them.

6. I am obsessed with all things black and winter white.
7. I feel performance anxiety when attempting to parallel park with others in my car, but I can do it remarkably well when I am alone.
8. I love watching Lacrosse, but every time I've attempted to play I've gotten hit in the head with the ball.
9. I collect typewriters and old film and still cameras. (And consequently felt like a tool when I read the December Urban Outfitters' catalog)
10. I am becoming more of who I want to be every day.

(if you want to play along on your blog, consider yourself tagged!)