I’m gonna come out and say it — most years there’s at least one wonderful record I hear but cannot explain satisfactorily. In 2018, it’s Minor Empire, Uprooted (World Trip).
But pick up that CD for sure.
Was at an event with media-design crazies who work all day online, who were explaining their methods and motions to a crowd of about 40 UX fascinateds. The panelists mentioned Medium a number of times (with notes about its shortcomings as a source of information). So I told my whole story about Medium and my “How I Capture Rapture” piece and how they stopped paying people.
Did I say who I was? No.
Did I name this blog? No.
Sure hope this is (Old) Beauty Mud.
One of the most satisfying surprises you can get from a music collection is pulling out a release you haven’t played for, well, a lot longer than you might have imagined, and though it’s highly respected in general and you know you like it, there’s a beauty and depth you haven’t noticed before. The album fits with you and times better than ever.
I’ve been on a quest to identify records that generate deep, intelligent peace (gosh, I wonder why). While it’s too old to put in a new review, I have to give my blog prize to
The Pearl by Harold Budd/Brian Eno (with Daniel Lanois), Editions EG, 1984.
You stay alert and want to follow all the way through the 42 minutes. Really does take you on a trip, scene to scene, second to second. Sensuous as much as smart, kinetic as much as still.
It was a joy to labor with you on the long-gone dream of the music-magazine internet.
(This guy was an insanely easy edit, btw. Just fun conversations and you have a perfectly clear, vivid and balanced essay at the end.)
This time it looks permanent. Would be tough to convey to someone in their 20s how much freedom and excitement alternative newspapers once delivered weekly. The Boston Phoenix was my main operation, of course, but I considered the Voice my second home.
Then again, the building has been crumbling for a long time. My best memories of the Voice now feel distant. And one of the last is bitter — I was suddenly not invited to participate in the annual Pazz and Jop Poll, for reasons I have never been able to find out (I certainly didn’t stop writing about music).
But I’d rather focus on the fond recollections. Getting my copy in the mail, finding my article and admiring the wild and way-out illustrations Joe Levy would occasionally commission for my reviews. Good times.
Watched twice on HD TV.
It’s been a bit overpraised, though you can sure understand why reviewers would be grateful for a horror movie that wasn’t screaming in your ear and slapping you in the face relentlessly. Nevertheless, Get Out or Arrival it is not.
I say it would make a dandy Saturday matinee at my Dad’s old movie theaters. First-rate Creature Feature. What most bugged me the initial watch is that I detected no clue where these superpredators came from. Can’t just come out of the Monster Hole. And because they’re beasts with no technology, it’s impossible to imagine them invading from UFOs.
Second time through I noticed a headline I had missed in the Dad’s War Room: “METEORITE HITS MEXICO.” The idea being that these monstrosities could be hibernating inside a smallish Asteroid, which would explain why there are not so many of them.
the opening sequence, which is perfectly paced, terrifying, believable and unforgettable.
the scenes with the grain silo, which center on one of my favorite little-known deadly dangers of the things and reveal that the predators are hard and strong enough to rip right through metal.
the clever climax which showers posthumous honor on Dad and shows Mom has unlimited courage. Once again, I believe it was A.E. Van Vogt who came up with the idea that a particularly deadly quality of an alien being would be its ability to remain perfectly silent and still and then attack with supernatural speed.
Millicent Simmonds is going to be a superstar. I was in her power after the first five minutes.