As we march on into what seems like a futile attempt to keep the old standards alive… here are my “standards” for 2009:
So much great music came out this year, I decided to arrange my top choices in a new way… Here are two, 20-track playlists that I would say are a good distillation of what stood out… and yes, the order does matter.
Bracket, WI – Bon Iver
Fine For Now – Grizzly Bear
Malibu Gas Station – Sonic Youth
My Girls – Animal Collective
Ghost Symbol – Zero 7
See The Leaves – The Flaming Lips
Lover’s Carvings – Bibio
Useful Chamber – Dirty Projectors
Batty Boyz – DOOM
Natures Uplifting Revenge – Prefuse 73
Surprise Stefani – Dan Deacon
DDMMYYYY – Soap&Skin
New Tricks – Great Northern
Star Eyes (I Can’t Catch It) (with David Lynch) – Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse
Amuse Bouche – Fischerspooner
The Fun Powder Plot – Wild Beasts
I’m An Animal – Neko Case
Infinity – The xx
Roses (ft. Georgia Anne Muldrow) – Mos Def
Marrow – St. Vincent
Drown In The Now (ft. Matisyahu) – The Crystal Method
Shock Doctrine (Eskmo Remix) – STS9
La Niña Rica – Bomba Estéreo
Not Your Average Girl (ft. Shareefa) – Ghostface Killah
1901 – Phoenix
On To The Next One (ft. Swizz Beatz) – Jay-Z
Hope You’re Happy (ft. Billy Danze, Nikki Wray & Q-Tip) – Blakroc
Sabali – Amadou & Mariam
Horsey Noisers – Venetian Snares
Jumps The Fence (ft. Connan Mockasin) – The BPA
One Above One – Vitalic
Ghosts N STuff (Nero Remix) (ft. Rob Swire) – Deadmau5
Pulls Me Back – Rhymefest
Evil Deeds – Wu-Tang Clan
TheMark (ft. D-Styles) – Themselves
Escape Me (ft. Cc Sheffield) – Tiësto
Tonight – The Big Pink
Take Me To The Hospital – The Prodigy
Don’t Hold Back, Feel A Little Longer – The Most Serene Republic
… and for film: Top 10
(granted, I missed a lot that sound like they would bump these around):
02. My Son, My Son What Have Ye Done?
03. A Serious Man
04. Where The Wild Things Are
05. Inglorious Basterds
06. Whatever Works
07. Broken Embraces
10. The Informant
Happy New Year!
This is long overdue because I finished it on Nov. 5, but here is the film that I worked on for 3 months while I was in Germany. It’s a story about two friends who learn that not everyone grows up at the same time or in the same way, but that no one gets left behind in true friendship. The assignment was for everyone in the class to come up with a proposal of a story with some visuals and a schedule, present it to a panel of visiting professors, and after a vote 4 stories would be chosen. After we picked the stories, the students who proposed the winning ideas could pick teams and let the school know what resources they would need. I picked two students who luckily worked really well together and didn’t mind forfeiting sleep for 2 months. We spent about 1 month on storyboarding and layout, 2 months on animating, and 2 weeks on sound, editing, and troubleshooting. Nick recorded all of the music, but he also went uncredited for waking me up in the morning when my alarm clock didn’t do the job and making oatmeal and coffee every morning- probably the only real meal I got every day for those three months. On Nov. 6 the school premiered all of our films in a movie theater in Halle, Germany. The school threw a big catered, open bar party- but they might as well have just rented a room full of cots because we were all so tired we could barely keep our eyes open! Back at Conn, with a little determination you could always pull an all nighter and pass in a project with a sliding finish. You’d lose a night of sleep and your brain might short circuit a little the next day, but heck you’d gotten less sleep on party weekends so it didn’t really matter. I wasn’t used to 3 months of all nighters, and suddenly I understood why all of the film majors at Conn looked like zombie-vampires. Anyway, I’ve recovered since then and now I have more time than I know what to do with as I sit at my job-hunting command station (Not unemployed though- as my mother likes to remind me, “Honey you’re not unemployed, you never WERE employed!) I hope you enjoy the short.
This week I saw Herzog’s My Son, My Son What Have Ye Done? I was blown away. It seemed so right… such a perfect step forward, and a great companion piece to his Port of Call – New Orleans, which at times made me wonder why Herzog chose that project.
I asked Herzog, who was in attendance if his films were still ridding him of his nightmares – a direct reference to his quote of years earlier. He answered immediately that he did not have nightmares and that he did not dream. Very funny, Mr. Engimatic. He certainly knows how to maintain the shroud of mystery like all great directors.
Although Herzog deters the viewer from recognizing a specific meaning in his question and answer sessions, My Son does interweave some of the maestro’s most prolific themes and motifs. I highly suggest you see it and pay close attention to the symbols. There is no mistake in his writing. It’s not Dalí and Buñuel just jotting down there ideas. It’s highly calculated… but of course, it gets tough to say something direct when your message is that the quest for meaning is futile… that, like in the jungles of Peru, it’s all chaos.
Last night, I also went to a late screening of Avatar in 3D, which was a visual feast. I just wish they could raise that kind of money for Lars von Trier or Harmony Korine… or Herzog. I didn’t really need to see a re-telling of Dances With Wolves with the same running time, but it certainly made me want to reach out and have sex with blue aliens… what?
If you’re in the mood of getting drunk and watching a movie that will stir things up inside of you… and watch amazing acting: Altman’s A Secret Honor. Actually, it might make a fun (in a deep kinda way) drinking contest.
The Lost Wild Education of the Wild
Whilst talking to my sister and grandmother, the topic of education came up. But more focused on how a majority of the world’s population is suddenly living in cities and what this means to a person’s experience and outlook. Instead of a person growing up and playing in the woods, they are now playing in parks and neighborhoods. Now these can definitely have their benefits, but it also creates a void with any relationship, knowledge, and experience one can have and make when out in the environment.
Oversensitivity and Lack Thereof
I believe this creates a lack of knowledge and care that is translated into a persons adult life. Someone who grew up in a city is less likely to be concerned about whether or not rivers are being polluted, or mountains be stripped for coal. These instead become concepts that people here about, but are less likely to act on. They’ll watch and read about these environmental infringements and think it’s wrong, but won’t feel the sense of loss that someone has when something natural and beautiful that they grew up with is destroyed.
At the same time, I believe the metropolis culture breads a certain oversensitivity, misunderstanding, and fear of the environment. Ask anyone who’s grown up near some woods if they’re scared of coyotes and they’ll probably say no. Ask them again if they’ve caught a frog and they’ll say yes. I can almost guarantee that if you ask someone who grew up in a city these same questions they’ll probably say know and have an overblown reaction to it. Instead of exploring and taking a few risks outdoors people are instead keeping their kids indoors where they play video games and drink soda. Our
Entertainment centers are suddenly transformed indoors and creates a new environment where risks and exploration are shunned, and we learn primarily from a fear-driven mass media culture. This culture of oversensitivity has been theorized to show an increase in allergies and an increase in more resistant strains of bacteria.
There are initiatives to educate people in cities with the outdoors with books like the Dangerous Book for Boys and and upcoming Dangerous Book for Girls, but it is definitely an uphill battle and one that should be looked closer. I believe it will influence policies and opinions greatly in the future