Thursday, February 05, 2009

Music, Movies, Books and TV

I think that covers all of my media bases!

Music: I've gotten a couple of CDs recently which I am enjoying very much:

Uncle Tupelo, No Depression: This is Uncle Tupelo's first album and they sound like a really, really good bar band, a good solid fusion of country and punk (and which I think founded the genre "Alt Country"), coming down somewhat more in favor of the country. It is great fun and makes driving very enjoyable. Jeff Tweedy went on to found Wilco and Jeff Ferrar founded Sun Volt. Apparently it was quite the messy breakup -- you gotta love musician egos!

Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago: This album wound up on several Best Of 2008 lists, but I resisted it for awhile. The premise sounds awfully bleak: singer songwriter retreats to a cabin in North Wisconsin during the winter to recuperate from a year of heartbreak and major illness and winds up recording an album. The result is not nearly as sorrowful as you might think, it is lovely and it sounds like winter. Not the grinding winter of now, the curl up on the couch, in front of a fire with a cat (or a calm dog), wrapped in a quilt, drinking something warm and reading your favorite book kind of winter. Warm, healing, and comforting.

Movies: Also two recent movies. We finally saw Juno. Twice. I'd heard good things, and was not disappointed. I appreciated, in particular, Juno's relationship with her stepmother (played by the great Allison Janney). It is a small thing, but I'm pretty sensitive to how stepmothers are portrayed -- I have one, who I like a lot -- and this movie got the relationship (at least as I experienced it) really well.

Darjeeling Limited has been on HBO recently. It's directed by Wes Anderson who did The Royal Tannenbaums, which I did not much care for. It is odd, sweet, funny and heartbreaking. Tannenbaums seemed quirky for its own sake, but it works here.

Books: It turns out, going to a bookstore while bored is a lot like going to a grocery store while hungry. I came away with The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson, which I have not started yet, and I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley, which I am in the middle of (very funny). If you were paying attention (not that you would be), I am now in the middle of three books, which is not a good idea. The other two are Consider the Lobster and Traffic. It seems I am in a non-fiction phase.

TV: I don't really have much to say about this, except that DirecTV (our satellite provider) will be showing all seven seasons of Trailer Park Boys on Thursdays at 10:00. This show is wrong is so many ways (in one episode a father and his 10 year old daughter try to give up smoking. Hilarity ensues), but really damn funny. It stupid, wrong, foul mouthed comedy is your thing, I highly recommend you check it out. If not, stay far far away from this.


Sharon said...

Thanks for the tip on Darjeeling Limited. I just put a copy on hold. I have the Royal Tenanbaums at home but I may turn it back in. Maybe once is enough after all.

Helen said...

I thought the Royal Tannenbaums was stupid and annoying so I'm glad somebody else is unenthusiastic about it. Maybe I'll try Darjeeling.

It's probably best if I don't say anything about stepmothers, but AJ is great. I loved the dad too: always good to see Dr Emil Skoda looking a bit happier. Have you seen him in Burn After Reading yet? Fab.

I've just finished the Thunderbolt Kid and although it isn't as funny as some of his books, there were three bits where I laughed so hard the bed shook.

Sharon said...

Just watched Darjeeling Limited - really enjoyed it and realize that I'd like to see Juno again. Thanks.