Friday, February 25, 2011

bright-eyed

music: Bright Eyes - Jejune Stars

Bright Eyes - Jejune Stars (Letterman, 2/24)


(I love Conor's beat-like attitude about clothes. I've seen that shirt on him... how many times now? ;))

+ Conor Oberst and his Bright Eyes at Dazed Digital
+ Catching Up With... Bright Eyes at Paste

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

While I was asleep...

music: Bright Eyes - Shell Games

...this magic little thing made its way on the Internets:



The end of the video is rather twin-peaks-y, I think.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Conor!

music: Bright Eyes - Approximate Sunlight

Photo by Autumn De Wilde

Happy Birthday, Conor! And happy The People's Key release day!

(I'll take this opportunity to share a couple of things which, for reasons that elude me, I haven't shared yet.)

*****

A few months ago I read Franzen's Freedom, and reading it during the hype was quite exciting. The book was already enjoyable and coming across a paragraph about Bright Eyes was an even more joyous treat. And then I turned the page and I was in awe: more paragraphs about Bright Eyes! Ah... it was quite the emotional reading experience that one.

I can't help but wonder if Franzen is a Bright Eyes fan. And Conor must know about these pages by now, but has he actually read Freedom?

Also: did this concert actually took place? Conor has played a few times at the 9:30 Club with Bright Eyes, but I doubt the account in the book is based on an actual concert, first of all because I don't think Conor has ever been on stage wearing a tuxedo hehe. (You can still listen to Bright Eyes' concert at the 9:30 Club from 2005 at NPR - that was the earliest 9:30 concert I was able to find.)



[click on the images to view large]

*****

The wonderful performance of Monsters of Folk at Austin City Limits 2010:


Watch the full episode. See more Austin City Limits.

+ details

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Teen fantasies & guilty pleasures

music: Bright Eyes - Jejune Stars

Confession: I used to watch telenovelas. At first, because they were a novelty, and later I guess they had become a guilty pleasure I couldn't shake off. But in my defense, I'd have to say that after some time I wasn't really watching them anymore. I was listening to them. I liked the sound of the language and I would just leave the tv on acasă for hours. (I couldn't do my homework without a soundtrack - be it music or tv - which, I won't lie, was a distraction and fueled my oh so awful procrastination habit.) I don't exactly have the nerve to say that I know Spanish because I feel that would be insulting to the ppl who have actually studied it, but I understand it pretty well (if I watch a movie in Spanish I won't necessarily need subtitles), and that's all thanks to these telenovelas. So, I like to think that watching them wasn't a complete waste of time. However, re:watching Locura de amor on YouTube at 5 a.m... now that's a huuuge waste of time.

And since I seem to be taking a special pleasure in publicly embarrassing myself I'll confess that I still watch a lot of teen movies and tv series. Moreover, I've been reading YA novels. As much as I hate to admit it, I need teen fiction because my own high school years were so dull and uneventful. Through fiction I can time travel and fantasize about a more exciting teen life. And when I say "exciting" I'm not talking about drinking, smoking, doing drugs, having sex and all that rock'n'roll. No. That has never interested me. I prefer my emptiness to that type of emptiness. I just wish that I would have grown emotionally and intellectually during those years, that I would have at least been able to articulate my "teenage angst", and find a creative outlet, and just do sth. Anything. I sometimes watch movies with these quirky high school kids (Ghost World, for e.g.), and I'm so jealous (imagine that: jealous of fictional teenagers!) and I get so angry at myself. Fine: I didn't like school, I had lost my trust in ppl and couldn't/wouldn't even try to make new friends, but for pete's sake! I should have found sth to do because anything would have been better than school-home-school, and just sitting in my room doing nothing during vacations, and all that numbness. At 14-15 I gave up on life and I don't know if I'm ever able to revive myself...

Ay, la irreversibilidad del tiempo! *sigh*

Getting back to my telenovelas: I can't watch them anymore simply because they're too boring. (Besides, I like to think that my taste in pop culture has considerably improved.) But these teen telenovelas seem to be the exception. In my first year of college I was still watching the Mexican Rebelde even though I had seen the Argentinian version. Since then I haven't seen any other telenovelas, though. So imagine my surprise when a few days ago I noticed there's a rerun of Locura de amor on acasă and realized that I'm not completely over my telenovelas phase. At first, I watched like 5 min. of it, and then kept on zapping. The next morning at about 5 a.m. I was zapping again, Locura... was on, and this time I watched the episode till the end, and found myself wanting to see more. Well, I told myself that since I was gonna waste my time with this, I'd better watch it on YouTube so that I can skip the scenes that don't interest me and so that I don't have to sit through the commercial breaks.

The hardest thing to admit to myself is the reason for which I'm watching again this particular telenovela. As you can imagine, the story is one of impossible love and all that tra la la - Natalia is a student at a boarding school and Enrique is the new psychology teacher, they fall in love with each other and everything is muy, muy cursi. Now, I have conflicting feelings when it comes to this type of fictional teenager-adult relationships. I had my fair share of fantasies about teachers, but actually acting on them was never an option - and not just because I would have embarrassed myself; I was very much aware of the fact that they were exactly that: just fantasies (not to mention that I hated being that type of girl). But to be honest, when I hear about real teenager-adult relationships I get pretty angry. During the recent Polanski episode sm said sth like "well, we all know how precocious teenagers are these days", the implication being that you can't blame a man for letting himself seduced by an underage girl. Are you freaking kidding me?! That's the biggest bs I've heard. (Not to mention the fact that Polanski's is clearly a rape case. The girl was 13, for pete's sake!) There are plenty of teenagers who will fantasize about being initiated by sm older because it would be an interesting element in their biography, but that shouldn't be used as an excuse by adults. Anything beyond a platonic relationship between a teenager and an adult is inexcusable. Period. As much as I like Nabokov's Lolita, I'm afraid this book and the similar works of fiction that followed have given way to a too relaxed attitude about this issue. There's a dialogue in the first season of In Treatment when Sophie talks about her relationship with her coach, and I love what Paul tells her: (I don't remember the exact quote, or what episode that was, so I'll just paraphrase it) he was the adult, he had the responsibility in that situation and what happened between them was not her fault.

If I were to speak from a media critic's pov, I'd say that Locura de amor (as well as other teen movies/ tv series/ books) offers an interesting perspective on the whole kids-adults dynamics. The adults here are corrupt, absent or clueless, and these kids have to figure things out for themselves. Yeah... that would be an interesting analysis. I doubt I'll have the patience to write one, though (maybe I'll write one about Skins - that would actually make sense as opposed to writing about an old telenovela no one cares about).

[Considering the extremely uneventful last few months, I guess this was bound to happen, i.e. me blogging about telenovelas. f(^_^)]

Saturday, February 5, 2011

5 feb.

music: Bright Eyes - Ladder Song


L'Illusionniste (Sylvain Chomet, 2010)

1. yummy stuff: dried plums + walnut pretzel
2. I've finally seen L'Illusionniste

+ watch the surviving 36 min. of Tarantino's first film, My Best Friend's Birthday
+ watch Sundance shorts
+ a lovely piece on Conor Oberst: The Eavesdropper of Omaha (via @gabipiturlea) (This is probably the deepest and most detailed text about Conor's process of creation that I have read so far.)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Synchronized similarities

music: Cursive - The Recluse

Yesterday I forgot to mention when I came across Mi amigo invisible. (I do realize that my usual ramblings about how and when I come across things are not interesting, but this time I think it's somewhat noteworthy.)

The exact same day I started reading Andrew Cowan's Pig I came across a still from Mi amigo invisible, which is featured in the latest issue of Wholphin. So, that pink t-shirt that says "the little pink pig" was the whole reason for which I wanted to see the short.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Short / Corto

music: Bright Eyes - Singularity

In January, I intended to watch 67 movies, and in the end I only saw 30. (T_T) Okay, 32 if I count the shorts.

[the list]

One of those two shorts is The Cat Piano, wonderfully narrated by Nick Cave. Caution: if you are a cat person, you might find the following story disturbing. And I'm not even joking - that cat piano is a cruel, cruel invention!

The Cat Piano (Ari Gibson & Eddie White, 2009)


The other short is Mi amigo invisible, which is so funny and so sweet. The part where he dances to Mr. Roboto is priceless.

Mi amigo invisible (Pablo Larcuen, 2010)


This month I want to watch 60 movies. And the first one that I'm gonna see is Love Is the Devil.

Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (John Maybury, 1998)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I wish I were at that listening party...

music: Bright Eyes - The People's Key

I wish I were at that listening party...

*****

Bright Eyes: YouTube Intro


Do check out Bright Eyes' YouTube playlist - they've picked out some really good videos.

Conor [about the full album stream]: "We'd prefer it if you listened to only 10 seconds of each song before deciding what you think of it, and then if you see a comment make sure to viciously attack it and contradict it even if you agree with it." ;)) It's no secret that Conor doesn't like social media and this so-called communication via the Internets, but he's cool for agreeing to play the game, isn't he?

This little joke about social media reminded me of some other stuff he said in interviews, and I realized that sometimes, his attitude about concert crowds, fans and/or critics might come across as quite cynical or even snarky. And if this were any other musician, I would probably stop buying his records and I wouldn't even recommend his music to other people (how hipstery of me, right? :). But Conor... I don't know, there's sth special about his music and he could say whatever and I wouldn't be mad at him. Besides, fandom is a pretty irrational thing, so I can understand why he doesn't understand it. Anyways...

*****

This listening party, i.e. the video for the full album stream makes me regret tremendously that I suck at socializing because I'd so love to host listening parties - especially considering the fact that I have a few albums on vinyl, and it would be nice if every now and then I had sm with whom I could listen to them. Speaking of vinyl: I'm thinking about ordering The People's Key on vinyl from Music Box. I've never ordered anything from Amazon basically because their system confuses me, and ordering it directly from Saddle Creek would mean a shipping fee that I cannot afford. Not to mention the fact that the Romanian Postal Service cannot be trusted when it comes to international orders. The only problem would be that if Music Box doesn't add The People's Key on vinyl to their catalog, I'll have to send them an email and ask if they can get it for me. And the last time I did that they sent me the Monsters of Folk CD, even though I had told them very clearly that I wanted that album on vinyl. Either way, it's gonna be a while till I can get my hands on a physical copy of The People's Key.

After the jump, a ton of screen caps (only 12, actually *grin*) taken from the video of the listening party (mostly, of Conor showing things and making funny faces hehe). Clearly, I have way too much free time on my hands. f(^_^) And just one more thing: the simple fact that Conor framed an article in which he was called Just A Dylan Wannabe makes me love him even more. (^_^)