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Friday, January 8, 2010

Word of the Day!

surrepititious [suhr-uhp-tish-uhs; suh-rep-]
1. Done, made, or gotten by stealth.
2. Acting with or marked by stealth.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies

If this post means anything to you then you probably already know about this, but I still had to mention something. Editors Edward P. Comentale and Aaron Jaffe recently released a collection of academic essays about the Coen Brothers' cult masterpiece The Big Lebowski titled The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies. A book almost three years in the making, the editors recieved almost 200 essays and whittled the work down to 21 concise, intelligent essays about the importance of this work in modern cinema and postmodernism. This is a must have for any Lebowski fans.

You can read a great review of the book from the New York Times here.

You can purchase the book here.

Word of the Day!

panacea [pan- a-see-uh]
A remedy for all diseases, problems, or evils; a universal medicine; a cure-all

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

With The Beatles

Three months after recording and releasing Please Please Me The Beatles were back in the recording studio working on a new record, what would eventually be titled With The Beatles. The title, I suppose, is meant to inspire a connection with the audience (at the time a whole lot of screaming pre-teen and teenaged girls) but as I listened through this uneven collection of originals and cover songs it seemed to me that the title is almost like a musical mad lib. The title could have just as easily been A Journey Through The Last Few Years of Pop Music…With The Beatles, or A Forced Follow-up to Their Smash Hit Debut…With The Beatles, either one being appropriate.

Please Please Me

“One, two, three, four!” That’s how one of the most notorious debuts in rock history begins, with a simple count-in. Yet its exuberance and the perfection of the tracks that follow make Please Please Me a must have for all music collectors, even 45 years later.

Recorded in a single day after the song “Please Please Me” became a smash hit in the UK, the album Please Please Me is a mash-up of cover songs and Lennon/McCartney originals that somehow never seems to lose its cohesiveness despite the wealth of songwriters on the record*. By this point in early 1963, though the United States had yet to even hear of them, The Beatles were a seasoned and extraordinarily tight Rock and Roll group that had been spending every night at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England honing their skillful pop dexterity.

Word of the Day!

Zeitgeist [tsyt-guyst; zyt-guyst]
Often capitalized: The spirit of the time; the general intellectual and moral state or temper characteristic of any period of time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2666: A Journey Into the Heart of Literary Madness

I am a glutton for literary punishment. Not only did I spend my summer reading the beast that is Infinite Jest, but I am going to spend my winter reading Robert Bolano's massive tome, 2666. Again, I will be reading this with my friends over at Infinite Summer* and I am looking forward to delving into this modern masterpiece with those brilliant minds. I welcome as many of you as possible to join me as I journey into the heart of literary madness once again.

I will try to post occasionally on my journey if I get the time...or understand enough about this book to say anything of import.

You can purchase 2666 here if you're interested.

*This is, of course, assuming the Infinite Summer peeps get their act together and update the website. I'm reading this book regardless but it would be awesome to read it with a group.

Word of the Day!

eschew [es-choo]
-transitive verb
To shun; to avoid (as something wrong or distasteful).

Monday, January 4, 2010

prattle on, rick.

When I first moved to Nashville*, about four years ago, the first musician I met was a singer-songwriter named Patrick Rickelton. I immediately knew he was something special because, like me, he had a rather coincidental love for both the band Sigur Ros and for double-tracking his vocals on demo recordings**. For a few months the two of us met infrequently but when I started to get musicians together for an indie rock band I was forming I knew that he would be a perfect fit, so I asked him to join the group.

What emerged from these first meetings was one of the most fruitful musical pairings I've ever had. For nearly two years Patrick and I, along with Evan James, Michael Green, and Matt Goetz, played around Nashville as the band Greenland. We recorded a 7-song self-titled EP and made two music videos, the first of which, for my song "The Way It Is", won the Youtube Underground Contest and won us all tickets to NYC to meet with record companies and eat lots of free food.

Word of the Day!

ennui [on-wee]
A feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction arising from lack of interest; boredom.