Saturday, June 17, 2017

Musical Theater Therapy: "Nothing"

From A Chorus Line.

Song of the Day: "White Man's World"

Holy shit, Jason Isbell! This, exactly this, instead of Lee Greenwood or Toby Keith. Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson.

Song: "White Man's World"
Artist: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Few Things About Guardians of the Galaxy 2: Electric Boogaloo

I often enthuse wildly about Marvel's casting when I write about the MCU movies. Kurt Russell as Ego, yes. We also see Karen Gillan shine. And Michael Rooker really shine. And Chris Platt with his shirt off.

I give the movie a B because giving it a B- seems really negative of me. There's a lot of fun to be had in the movie, but there is a whole boatload of stupid in there too.  So a B seems fair.

Seeing Sean Gunn in GotG movies is as consistently amusing/confusing to me as seeing Cobie Smulders in Avengers movies. At some point Ego was explaining his time on Earth to Peter Quill and said something about "that's how I met your mother" which, I'm sorry, that had to be intentional. Good for them.

Oh, Sean Gunn's brother is the writer/director of GotG.

Stan Lee and the Watchers: yes!

The wacky jump special effects, no.

Once upon a time, like 25+ years ago, Becky, Chris and I were discussing the term a ghey/homersexual/lezbean should call his/her significant other. It was a time when husband/wife weren't appropriate because they weren't that then. And boyfriend/girlfriend, it was decided, were too juvenile to use for a significant, life-partner-y person. And I don't think we had the term life partner in our vocabulary back then. It was one a classic Chris Wilson moment when he decided that a committed life-long partner should be a Hasselhoff. Which makes the fact that someone says something about someone else being a third person's Hasselhoff that much more profound and/or funny. James Gunn had been listening in on our decades old conversation.

The soundtrack to the first GotG was fantastic and won a Grammy. The soundtrack to this movie is fantastic and may win another Grammy. However... 2 songs that are used exceptionally well in the movie are undermined by other pop culture entities getting to them first: Cat Stevens's "Father and Son" and Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain". I'm struggling to recall where "Father and Son" recently crossed my path and made me sad as hell; "The Chain" was used beautifully in the "Walter Taffet" episode of The Americans (which is a current TV show that I am actually current on).

I'm glad they include Mantis and will have Adam Warlock in future films. I really really really think Moondragon needs to be in the mix. For fuck's sake, she's fought Thanos a bunch. Ugh.

Marvel must atone for that costume
Also, if you're immortal, but you can be killed, you're not actually immortal. Just saying. That a Celestial is taken down, in part, via sidearms really undermines the power he has (or should have based on established mythology). This was a minor annoyance in Wonder Woman as well (and will be especially annoying is Ares comes back in a future movie). It's possible to rationalize Quill vs. Ego as a battle between 2 equals with the assistance from the rest of the Guardians tipping the battle in his favor, but I've come up with that retroactively.

Also also, for fuck's sake, can we please significantly reduce the amount of shooting portrayed on film since no one seems to be able to hit anyone with their various weapons. Nebula strafing Gamora... it's like she went to Stormtrooper shooting school.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: movies can imagine a myriad of creatures and atmospheres, but a tree is a tree is a tree in every movie. Their leaves are always green and they have brown bark. Movie tress are actually less diverse than actual trees.

Musical Theater Therapy: "Close Every Door"

From Dreamcoat (which is short for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat).

Song of the Day: "Just for Tonight"

Phoebe Hunt manages to sound both innocent and world-wise at the same time. Not an easy feat.

Song: "Just for Tonight"
Artist: Phoebe Hunt

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Song of the Day: "Forces of Decay"

This morning I thought to look for some new country artists and the results of that thought lead to the following observations:
  • White people: people decry contemporary country music as lacking authenticity or quality or charm or whatever. "Why is this considered country music?" It's not the first time a generation's music has been regarded poorly by older people. But what's been clear to me for a while is that country music is more than just a radio format, it's a way of life that marketers need to exploit and also only country music fans love their mamas. That's just a fact. "Hispanics and Blacks don't have faith or care about their families or even cook meals at home. Only white Real Americans value those things."
  • "Why is this considered country music?" very often has this answer: "because there are no black people involved with this song." I know, typical Jew York City elite liberal seeing racism where obviously none exists. "Note Charley Pride. Note Mickey Guyton. Note Darius Rucker. There has always been a black person in country music."--Bristol Herald Courier  Look closely at that sentence. There has always been a black person (singular) in country music. Just the one. "Try as we might we can't keep all of them out."
  • The clearest example of this not particularly veiled racism comes via the reception of these 2 performances: Sugarland covering "Irreplaceable" with Beyonce at the American Music Awards and the Dixie Chicks covering "Daddy Lessons" with Beyonce at the Country Music Awards. "You're confusing our continued pattern of finding everything black people do as objectionable even when we have no problem when white people do it, with racism. It's not racist, it's just a coincidence."
Which is a super circuitous way of getting to the band Rogue + Jaye (note the stylized use of "+" in the name) who Rolling Stone describes as sounding like "Belle and Sebastian's 'Sleep the Clock Around' recorded not in Glasgow but Laurel Canyon; if Sara Watkins made a duets album with Ben Gibbard, produced by Josh Ritter" to which I will also add "and they're both white*."

Song: "Forces of Decay"
Artist: Rogue + Jaye

* Note: while both Rogue and Jaye of Rogue + Jaye are white, I do not mean to suggest that they are in any way part of the subtle and not-so subtle racism that permeates every aspect of the country music lifestyle.

Musical Theater Therapy: "Nobody"

From Bandstand.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Song of the Day: "Swish Swish"

I'm really late on this Katy Perry/Nicki Minaj single. It's apparently a whole thing between someone I kinda like, songwriting-wise, and Perry. Minaj continues her zig-zagging between favorable and unfavorable points of esteem with me. This is not one of her high points.

I'm only sharing the song because the proto-90s club beat that kicks in at 1:00 is the fucking bomb!

Song: "Swish Swish"
Artist: Katy Perry/Nicki Minaj

Musical Theater Therapy: "Face to Face"

From War Paint; regularly therapy here.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Song of the Day: "Drawn"

De La Soul's And the Anonymous Nobody album was borne of improv sessions, many of which included collaborators like this track featuring Swedish EDM band Little Dragon. It's rich and lovely, just like me.

Song: "Drawn"
Artist: De La Soul/Little Dragon