Goddammit! Where the hell does Kottke find this stuff? If I was able to find as much great stuff as Kottke did every day, I would be able to blog professionally like he does. Anyways, Michael Pollan is a genius. This is a phenomenal article. Enjoy.
I was alerted to the fact that there is to be a new remake of Argento’s Technicolor masterpiece. It is to be helmed by David Gordon Green, of Pineapple Express fame, and is to star Natalie Portman.
Listen, you Hollywood fucks: This is one of my favorite movies. The color palette is absolutely phenomenal. This is one of the five best horror movies ever made, and you had better not fuck it up, or I will burn your fakey, plastic city down to the unstable ground you built it upon. Fuck with my Argento classics at your own peril.
Reblogged from Kottke (I know, I know). This is phenomenal. Check out Haughey’s ideas about healthcare. This is one of the most prescient things I have heard this election season, and something I had never thought about. Maybe I CAN make it without going straight through to get my doctorate after all!
…what I’m doing after this degree, but, more and more everyday, it looks like I am going to do it in Boston. I love the Midwest, but I need something different for a few years, at least.
I’m not sure, at this point, if immediately continuing with academia is a bad idea (it’s probably actually a pretty good one), but as much as I want to be “Dr. Olvera” by the time I’m 25, I’m afraid I’m missing out on something if I just go right from being in school to teaching school. I might need a couple of years to try my own thing: see if this composition thing works or not, maybe finally pursue my silly rock star dreams before I have to get a real job, maybe just not be in school for a couple years and live for a while. I think that Boston is a good place to do all of this.
And, since I know I eventually want to get back IN to academia, Boston’s a pretty good place to be. I mean, aside from the MILLION colleges that are there, I’m close enough to NYC to make a move there seem within the realm of possibility, if not easier altogether.
Dammit it is SO STOCK that I would get a crafty impulse for like ONCE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE and then the Internet has an entire BLOG devoted to it. Come to think of it, knowing The Internet as well as I do, there’s probably Barack Obama Pumpkin Porn somewhere too. I don’t even want to think about what that entails.
is absolutely the best holiday. Today, I did the following: wore a scarf, jacket, and hat (please note the Oxford Comma usage OOOH IT FEELS GOOD), went to TWO farmer’s markets, where we bought gigantic pumpkins and apple cider (and marveled at other delicious foodstuffs), thought up the best Halloween costume ever, listened to a sweet Halloween mix (everything from Rob Zombie to the actual band Zombi), and carved one of four pumpkins to be carved (Pumpkin change we can believe in). This has been a stupendous day.
Still to come: pictures of Maddy’s Night of the Living Dead Karen Cooper Pumpkin (LIVING DEAD GIRRRRRLLLLL), my Obamarama Pumpkin, a video of Zombi playing (because I love Zombi), and the big reveal of the BEST HALLOWEEN COSTUME EVER.
However, Vampire Weekend sucks, and just because they use Futura doesn’t make it any better. Seriously, why listen to watered down white-boy afro-pop when Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra is doing the real deal right here in America? Just sayin.
I caught this first on Kottke, but I read Mark Simonson’s blog pretty frequently, so I’m blogging about this all by myself instead of crassly reblogging it. This is a great dissection of the typeface used on Mad Men: Simonson is on top of his shit, and makes some GREAT catches here, proving, undeniably, that Mark Simonson is the font king. Also, big ups to Futura all over the place (not that you EVER see it here wink wink).
Is really hard to hate when he keeps making stuff that is so damn good. The open wound that was his Bonnaroo fiasco (yes, the one that gave the world “Squidbrains”) is still fresh in my mind, but, nevertheless, he is the BEST kind of celebrity crazy, and he’s a tireless output of quality pop R&B. As long as he keeps hanging out with Daft Punk and making phat beats, I can tolerate him being so megalomaniacal that he doesn’t even apologize to his fans for being four hours late getting on stage. I don’t have to go to his concerts.
On our new (awesome) tv, I am once again struck by how awful modern film scoring is. In the defense of modern film scoring, Hans Zimmer, Klaus Badelt, and James Newton Howard are three of the very worst, but the fact that these are also three of the biggest names in Hollywood film scoring makes me want to vomit. Even as a musician and composer, I am inclined, almost immediately, to suggest that, were I to make a film, I would absolutely license music instead of having original score written (this is, coincidentally, the same argument I employ w/r/t having a DJ at my wedding instead of a wedding band).
Zimmer’s scores, in particular, are some of the most banal, cringe-inducing compositions I have ever heard. I can break down a Zimmer score for you right now: an orchestral string section (a boring medium in and of itself), French Horns, Timpani, Bass Drum, and Field Drum. Soak everything in reverb, occasionally employ mounted bass drums for that “tribal” feel (I hate nothing more than using the word “tribal” as euphemism for “non-white”), score all parts in unison lines over the occasional rhythmic ostinato, and you have a Zimmer/Badelt/Newton Howard score. It makes me sick.
Even today’s film scoring visionaries (Jeff Beal, Thomas Newman, Elliot Goldenthal) are subject to the same hackneyed constraints. These three all work in the same manner: some combination of Western Orchestral, Western Folk, and Non-Western instruments (ALWAYS tabla), playing a sparsely scored and minimalist-derived theme without any of the inventiveness or gradual process that makes minimalism so fantastic.
Speaking of minimalism: not so long ago, it seemed that there was light at the end of the tunnel for film scoring. Philip Glass’s scores are always excellent, as are Clint Mansell’s and Jonny Greenwood’s. But are THREE composers, all of whom backed into film scoring, enough to save a dying medium? Greenwood didn’t even compose most of the score for There Will Be Blood; what isn’t his is Bartok’s or Part’s. The most brilliantly “scored” movie in recent memory, Children Of Men, was all licensed recording of Xenakis and Penderecki. While it wasn’t the same licensed pap that usually makes it into action films (Saliva, The Shins, et al.), it’s licensed nonetheless, and I think Xenakis would turn over in his grave at the notion of his music being retroactively assigned a programmatic element.
What happened to people like Morricone or Hermann, who, without any other compositional avenues, crafted brilliant scores SPECIFICALLY FOR film? Why won’t people take this seriously anymore? Is it too much to ask that music for film not be strictly programmatic, but occasionally moving and evocative of mood rather than merely filler for times where FX dominates and there isn’t any dialogue?
I’ve decided that I need to be writing every day in order to keep my literature chops strong. The Tumblr blog is certainly a step in the right direction, but I need something more substantial. Does anyone out there have a list of writing prompts? I’m not usually the type to use them, but I REALLY need to write, and writing my own “Random Rules”/”Popless” column every day will get old sooner or later.
All Achewood press is good press, but this is better than most. GOD I want some Achewood stuff. I might buy 50 dollars worth tomorrow just to get the free shirt. Because this is America, and that’s what we do.