Archive | December, 2008

Bad Word Pairs #026

“New Age”

Wikipedia defines New Age music as “peaceful music of various styles that is intended to help people feel good while listening.” I define it as “music your friends will make fun of you for liking, but your parents will admire you for liking.”

How do you define it? I guess the issue here is the polarizing connotation with New Age nowadays. There’s really no middle ground. You either love it or hate it. It’s kind of like World Music I guess? Though that just seems like international New Age.

Performers like Yanni get lumped in with musicians like Brian Eno, and it makes it hard to avoid contact, since I loathe one, and love the other (guess which). In any case, New Age is further proof why labels always make it harder to get underneath, to the good bits.

Mayday Mayday, the Pacman Cometh!

Pacquiao vs. Hatton 2009

Lo! Circle your calendars friends, it’s looking like May will mark the first big boxing match of 2009, when Manny Pacquiao takes on the Manchester brawler Ricky Hatton. Bob Aram says it’s a done deal, and when he says it, it hath been written.

It should make for an exciting fight, two good styles, though Hatton had better train for speed, and learn from De la Hoya’s mistakes.

Apparently both of these fighters have grand plans to retire early. Pacquiao wants to finish 2009 and then become president of the Philippines or something (ugh), while Hatton wants to beat Pacquiao and then win a rematch against Mayweather, going out at the top of his game.

The likelihood that either of them will retire when they say? Slim to none. And that would be the best thing we fans would want to see happen.

View the Proof.

Aprés la Pluie

Apres la Pluie

Apres la Pluie

With evident inspiration from director Hayao Miyazaki (Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle) comes an all together unique and amazing short film by five students from the Gobelins school of animation in France. Students, yes, you read that right. Unbelievable.

Set within a stilted village in the sky, a boy is fishing in a puddle with a banana for bait when suddenly, impossibly he gets a bite. He lands a creature far bigger than he could have imagined, and far too big to handle. What follows is a breathtaking sequence of shots, punctuated by an unexpected and abstracted ending.

Apres la Pluie

Apres la Pluie

I loved this film for its awe-filled imagery and simple execution. The painting isn’t half bad either, nor is the animation. Sometimes a story doesn’t require fully fleshed out characters. Sometimes the experience itself is reward enough, and this is one of those cases.

Apres la Pluie

Apres la Pluie

Not much is revealed regarding exactly who did what, but the team who concepted and executed this stunning short includes: Charles-André Lefebvre, Manuel Tanon-Tchi, Louis Tardivier, Sébastien Vovau and Emmanuelle Walker.

Apres la Pluie

Click to View.

And don’t miss these sweet making-of videos…

Quote of the Week #029

“Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; lick it once and you’ll suck forever.” – Brian Wilson

Top 5 Cover Songs of 2008



5. Coldplay (Joe Satriani)
“Viva la Vida”

Since the lawsuit is for plagiarism, I will go on a limb and preemptively call Viva la Vida… a cover of Joe Satriani’s 2004 song “If I Could Fly”. But only to make a joke. Hardy har. I don’t really like either song though, but it made for a good giggle, right?


4. Mark Kozelek (Low)

Surprise surprise. Mark Kozelek on a Liftingfaces Top 5 list. But seriously, this is a good cover, and here’s why: Who would have thought Mark Kozelek would take a song by Low and actually make it happier? Not I.


3. Adem (Aphex Twin)
“To Cure a Weakling Child / Boy/Girl Song”

Aphex Twin’s original “Girl/Boy Song” is one of my favorite songs ever. So I spotted the carnivalesque plucking in Adem’s medley straight away. He managed to make this work, adding in vocals from a different Aphex Twin track. In a word: wonderblissfullness.


2. Calico Horse (Radiohead)

I’m a sucker for taking up-tempo songs and dipping them in molasses (see my number 3 cover), and this is no exception. I’m not as tuned into Calico Horse as a band, but this cover jumped out at me and clung to my black designer sweater like my golden retriever’s tail hair. Ummmm, yeah, okay, moving on.


1. Yael Naim (Britney Spears)

This was a clear winner for me. You’ve probably heard it already, but who cares, listen again…and again and again. It goes to show that underneath the caked on foundation and fake eyelashes and silicone breasts of pop music, there are actually some good songs.