Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Song of the Day: "Nothing but Trouble"

Phantogram will be here this weekend, part of the revised MusicfestNW format. I'm sure you'll be stunned to discover that I'm not going.

Stunned... sorry.

Still, great album.

Song: "Nothing but Trouble"
Artist: Phantogram

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

R.I.P. Robin Williams

You probably know all about Robin Williams's apparent suicide yesterday, a result of depression and struggles with addiction. Memories of his work are flooding social media so I'm going to limit my post to just 1 of his works, the 1998 movie What Dreams May Come.

It's a passionate story about love and the afterlife, and coincidentally suicide plays an important element to the story. Williams and Annabella Sciorra (a pairing that breaks my 10-year rule, but does so before I created it) star, along with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Max Von Sydow. When I saw it in the theater I was effusive about the movie's greatness. A compelling story that's well acted, but far more than that is the visual elegance of the movie. Shot on Fuji Velvia film (a film with vivid color reproduction used largely for landscape photography) and with mesmerizing visuals (nominated for Best Art Direction, losing to Shakespeare in Love [I'm pretty sure I was rooting for Elizabeth]) and effects (it won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, beating the piece of shit Armageddon and Mighty Joe Young which I never saw).

It manages an ecumenical vision of heaven and hell without getting mired in specifics. I haven't seen it in 16 years but I proclaimed the movie a new classic back when I was writing movie reviews in emails (none of which I still have but all of which were awesome, trust me). I probably overstated that but I stand by my assertion that the movie is great.

My runner-up to encapsulate Williams's career is Aladdin.  But you've probably seen that one.

Williams had 5 Grammys, 2 Emmys and an Oscar.

Rest in peace dude.

Song of the Day: "American Dream Plan B"

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers from Hypnotic Eye, their thirteenth studio album. It debuted at number 1 and received solid reviews, so why didn't I know it existed until last week?

Song: "American Dream Plan B"
Artist: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Song of the Day: "Sparrows Will Sing"

Marianne Faithfull's voice is the perfect hybrid of stately and ballsy. She should cover some Leonard Cohen.

Or maybe Tom Waits.

Regardless, this was written by Roger Waters (the album also has tracks from Nick Cave... hmm).

Song: "Sparrows Will Sing"
Artist: Marianne Faithfull