Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Slow News Month For Minutiae

I've been real busy, and I'm going to be even busier over the next month or so.  You're probably not going to hear much from me until late July, on account of a series of small vacations.  I'll do my best.  Anyway, here's what I think about movies and music of late

What a weird movie.  You can tell it comes from the Napoleon Dynamite people; Jared Hess has an unmistakable style, love it or hate it.  In this case, I knew what I was in for (unlike ND, which took some getting used to) and ate it up right away.  They had me from the moment Jack Black snarfed his beans.  What's weirdest about it is that there's absolutely no story, and no real development of said non-story... yet the conclusion moved me.  You're gonna see the movie and be like "are you fucking kidding?  You got emotional while watching THAT?!?"  But I was.  Hey, I'm as stumped as you are.  I ate some dirt... I ate some grass... I used some leaves... to wipe my tears...

Passable, but devoid of heart and charm.  Everyone's going through the motions.  Definitely the least essential of the series, despite having so much potential with Angel, Beast, Juggernaut and company.  When the "surprise" twists are the highlight of the movie, you have problems.  Not much more to say than that.

Spoon - Kill the Moonlight
Excellent stuff.  I'm glad I get to go back through their older albums, slowly but surely, and appreciate their attention to detail even more.  Makes me all the more disappointing that they're not famous, because they're so good at what they do.  It's not even that challenging, really... no more than, say, Cracker.  And Cracker was famous.

Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
I like it, but like any "collection" (as opposed to "album") it suffers from a lack of flow and inconsistency, and hasn't got anything to offer people who haven't chugged the Sufjan Kool-Aid yet.  It's a lot more hit-and-miss than Sufjan's proper albums; I'm glad the majority of this stuff wasn't released on Come On Feel The Illinoise.  But even Bad Sufjan is worth a listen at this point.  It's stunning to think that he can have such depth of composition on the toss-aside crap he never releases.

Snow Patrol - Eyes Open (redux)
OK, fine.  I still believe it's not an essential album, not in the same universe as Final Straw (obviously), and not complex or deep by any stretch of the imagination.  I still maintain that any number of bands could have made this exact same album and it would have been just fine.  But it's not as bad as I made it out to be.  I'm kind of partial to the next-to-last track, as it builds momentum and finally lets it loose.  I like it.  It's fine.  It just doesn't have that special thing that makes it important in and of itself... you still have to reach back and be like "well I liked Final Straw and I like the band, so I'll like this."  No thanks.  If I lay here... if I just lay here... will you lay with me and... listen to Final Straw instead?

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