September 24, 2007


Music Review: Fur and Gold by Bat for Lashes

Not long ago, well actually more like a while ago, I stumbled upon a music video that really blew my mind.

It was through an unusual series of web-navigation that I discovered an emerging band named Bat for Lashes -- starting with looking up FTP software, which led to an interesting links page, and then finding a music video director's page and seeing the video. (and here it is on YouTube.) I was pretty much instantly bewitched by the song and video, and just two days later, while listening to the show Fair Game with Faith Salie I thought I was hearing the tail end of the song, and sure enough it was, and an interview with the band (you can listen to here) ensued. (and by the way, this was the first episode of Fair Play I ever happened to listen to, it's a great show, and Faith wasn't even hosting that particular episode, but I was interested to discover later that she was an actress in a show I really liked that only lasted a season before being canceled. It was called Significant Others, and it was hilarious.) It makes me wonder, how is it possible that looking up FTP software, ends with discovering a band I'll ultimately become obsessed with.

I remember thinking when I first watched the video that it had that same feeling to it as did Donnie Darko, and to my surprise, during the interview on Fair Play with Natasha Kahn, she mentioned that film as a major influence for the mood she was striving for with the song and the music video.

So after all of these creepy coincidences I decided to go out and buy the album. And while I don't think I have credibility for analyzing music (I can barely read it when I'm playing trumpet) I do think that for reasons I'm unable to explain I can recognize a good tune when I hear one. And the album Fur and Gold is awesome in a weird cool subtly creepy way! When I listen to her album I realize that music is such a powerful art form, and I am in awe of those who are so gifted in manipulating it.

The last band I felt this into was Arcade Fire which blew my mind at a concert in Asheville earlier this year.


Movie Review: 3:10 to Yuma

Jeez! It's been a while since I've blogged about anything. Sorry out there to anyone who actually might be reading this thing. I've been a little busy.

About a week ago I went to see 3:10 to Yuma which was incredible.

The film would not be much at all without strong performances by the cast. The story is a very simple morality take, about a man who is more or less forced by the circumstances of his life to assist in transporting a very powerful outlaw to the train that will take him to meet justice. And as might be expected, there are many obstacles awaiting their journey. But the film becomes something more as it breaks down into a personal battle of wills; between one man who is unyielding in his desire to do what is right even when faced with seemingly an unbeatable adversary and having any number of excuses for giving in and taking the easy way out but who carries on regardlessly, and his adversary who is in his own words is “as rotten as hell” but seems to have an uncanny sense of human virtue.

Another aspect that makes this film worth watching is the subtlety in how the story is told. There are really no outlandish gunslinging scenes. This seems to a very reliable non-glorified depiction of life in the rugged west.