Thursday, February 26, 2009

Current Obsessions

Stagnant again, but hey, I don't get paid to write in this thing so whatever! Here's a new post of things that I am currently jonesin' on.

This is a three way dance of random but my current musical obsessions are Melvin's Houdini from 1993, anything involving the voice of Antony Hegarty (his latest record The Crying Light and his turn on the disco infused dance-floor goodness of Hercules & Love Affair) and Animal Collective's track "My Girls" from Merriweather Post Pavilion. From sludge to dance floor to melancholy to avante garde. That's where my head is at. Here is a selection of each.

Melvins - "Lizzy"

Antony & The Johnsons - "Epilepsy is Dancing"

Hercules & Love Affair - "You Belong"

Animal Collective - "My Girls"

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Oscars

This year, I plan on Twittering it up for the Oscars, making comments that 4 people will read. Regardless, I don't have as much invested this year as I did last year (what, with Michael Clayton, There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men all being nominated for best film not to mention a bajillion other awesome movies that got nods for acting and such.) 2008 was a relatively weak year but there were some gems here and there. Here is the list of nominees. In bold are the picks that I believe should win. In italics are what I predict the Academy will go with. In bold and italics are if they are one in the same. I am only doing the most important categories as I don't really care who wins something like, say, costume design.

I think this years show should be good and I am very intrigued by Hugh Jackman hosting. That should be interesting to say the least. The major beef I have is with the best song being raped to a medley of songs that are all cut short. Regardless, a newly un-pregnant M.I.A. is set to perform. That should be pretty kickass.
Richard Jenkins "The Visitor
Frank Langella "Frost/Nixon"
Sean Penn "Milk"
Brad Pitt "Benjamin Button"
Mickey Rourke "The Wrestler"

The Academy is most likely going to give it to Sean Penn, but for my dollar, Rourke's return to showing that he's got what it takes to really deliver his heart on his sleeve is just breathtaking. It may be better than even Daniel Day Lewis' performance from last year.

Josh Brolin "Milk"
Robert Downey Jr. "Tropic Thunder"
Philip Seymour Hoffman "Doubt"
Heath Ledger "The Dark Knight"
Michael Shannon "Revolutionary Road"

This is a no brainer. In fact, if anyone else were to win, riots would ensue. It's not because of Ledger's passing. It's because his portrayal of The Joker is just plain outstanding. It demands your attention even when he is not on the screen. The fates have written this one, but luckily it's also definitely the most deserving of all of these contestants.

Anne Hathaway "Rachel Getting Married"
Angelina Jolie "Changeling"
Melissa Leo "Frozen River"
Meryl Streep "Doubt"
Kate Winslet "The Reader"

Winslet has been snubbed left and right and for once, I think she deserves to be overlookded. Not because she isn't great, but because Anne Hathaway really hit a home run here. I would love a dark horse victory here, but as Winslet said on the show Extras, you can't win an Oscar until you do a Holocaust movie.

Amy Adams "Doubt"
Penelope Cruz "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
Viola Davis "Doubt"
Taraji P. Henson "Benjamin Button"
Marisa Tomei "The Wrestler"

I have not seen enough in this category, I admit. In fact, a lot of these catagories I missed essential films, but alas. I only am picking Cruz because she deserved it for Volver. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure Viola Davis will win this.
Kung-Fu Panda

Pixar always reigns supreme.

David Fincher "Benjamin Button"
Ron Howard "Frost/Nixon"
Gus Van Sant "Milk"
Stephen Daldry "The Reader"
Danny Boyle "Slumdog Millionaire"

This is definitely going to be a Slumdog kinda year. It's def legit too. Danny Boyle's kinetic style deserves praise.

Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

It's probably the happiest movie up here and in a year of financial demise, it's something that speaks to the audiences. That alone makes this a lock. I swear to Jesus I will punch a donkey if Button wins.

Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

To be honest, these movies aren't the best script wise. Nothing really that intense. But Slumdog is bound for glory.

Frozen River
In Bruges

After last years atrocity of Juno winning this over a brilliantly scripted movie like Michael Clayton, I am shattered physically and mentally. That being said, I haven't seen most of this but thought that In Bruges was decent. The script isn't really good per se, but hell if Juno can win, this should be a lock! If anything, best original screenplay of the year should really go to The Wrestler but that got snubbed in a lot of places. Regardless, Milk will most likely win and probably deserves to.

Every year my favorite movies never line up with the Oscar Friendly category. Out of my top ten films of the year, only Slumdog is up for the top honors. Regardless, it's the one Hollywood glitz and glamor show I truly enjoy watching. Here's hoping for something mildly enjoyable.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Looking Ahead at 2009: The Year Ahead in Film

Now that my lovefest for the year 2008 is over (no more best of lists left to do) I look forward. Here is a sampling of some things in the near future that I am highly anticipating in the world of film and music. This segment .

Obviously most of the best dramas won't be realized until the third quarter of the year, we will have to take a look at 2009's blockbuster landscape and some of the early dramatic releases. The year seems to be lacking more so than last year, especially in the Blockbuster category. Nevertheless, I am excited to see a movie like X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Three huge reasons why: Danny Huston taking over the role of William Stryker (no offense, Brian Cox), Liev Schrieber stepping in to play Victor Creed and Sabbertooth and Gavin Hood directing (he directed the fantastic Tsotsi a few years back and I am intrigued to see him do a big budget action flick.) Needless to say, this will be a popcorn flick, but with some great support, can be better than any of the previous films in the franchise. It will definitely be better than the Brett Ratner Abortion known as X-3. Although McG sounds like a shitty urban meal at McDonalds, it's actually a rather shitty director taking over the Terminator series. HOWEVER, something tells me that this might just be the project that will be McG's only achievment. Terminator: Salvation might just be decent. Obviously the Christian Bale factor is enough to persuade me to see it, but the post apocalyptic vision that McG has created from the trailer seems very awesome. To be honest, the Terminator series is nothing but glorified popcorn so if this is even mildly enjoyable, and should be at least somewhat better than T3: Rise of the Machines. Maybe not, but I will be there. The crappy blockbuster of the summer, no not Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, but G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra will be worth seeing if not only for the Quaid hilarity factor, but with support from awesome character actor Christopher Eccleston and rising star Joseph Gordon Levitt (as COBRA COMMANDER?!?!) If anything, this will be the drunken movie going experience of the year. The most anticipated blockbuster of the year, you ask? That obviously goes to J.J. Abrams revamp and overhaul of Star Trek. James Bond got it's Oughts update and lord knows that Casino Royale was fantastic. Trek may be even more necessary of a revamp. I am not trekker or trekkie, nor do I know much about the story, but if there was ever a time to get excited for it, it's now. Abrams helming this project is perfect and him bringing his eye for great young actors to portray a young Enterprise crew is noble. The trailer looks awesome. And as much as I probably should look forward to it, I'm not creaming over Watchmen as much as everyone else is. It looks good and all and I am definitely going to see it, but we'll see. I was not impressed with 300 so I'm not really going into a Zakk Snyder movie with much anticipation.

Beyond straight up big budget flicks, the likes of other movie titans are on the horizon. Quentin Tarantino's long awaited Inglorious Basterds finally has a trailer. A strange cast for QT, but I like seeing him do something different. Guarunteed to be ultra violent in the least. He hasn't failed me yet. QT is one director who has yet to make a complete stinker so it should be good. After a few years of basking in the glory of Lord of the Rings and hiding from the suckfest that was King Kong, Peter Jackson will try something different with his adaptation of The Lovely Bones. Peter Jackson doing anything outside of an action flick should be interesting. Daniel Day-Lewis follows up his There Will Be Blood role with the movie Nine, a musical adaptation of Federico Fellini's 8 1/2. This should be interesting. The supporting cast alone is breathtaking with Marion Cotillard, Dame Judi Dench and Sophia Loren among others. A crime drama starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale entitled Public Enemies also stands a chance of being an amazing movie going event. The story of Dillinger gets proper due by Michael Mann. Obviously the #1 anticipated movie of the year is John Hillcoat's delayed adaptation of The Road. I've been fawning over the same production stills for the past six months. Not even a teaser trailer?! Not even 30 seconds of footage? Come on, Weinsteins! You are really breaking my balls. Hillcoat will bring the same grit he did to The Proposition. Lord knows that this gritty style will do justice to the harrowing depiction in the book. It's long-awaited, but should pose to be one of the best films of the year.

Coming soon: 2009 in Music

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


In horrible news for fans of live music, the two evil corporate giants of Ticketmaster and Live Nation have merged into one demon force. Here's the full article.

Although this technically might not pass, just the idea of these two companies combining is stomach turning.

Time to stick to R5, Heydey and the like for my concerts. This sucks, but if any band is playing a Live Nation supported venue, I am going to have to pass on that shit.


Monday, February 02, 2009

Music is my Saviour: Five Rotating Tracks

In another attempt to up the ante of how often I post here, which again has slowed, I will start this weekly ten constantly playing tracks in the house of Poseidon. New and Old together. This will be the precursor to the highly anticipated In the Wake of Poseidon Podcast.

1. Andrew Bird - "Oh No" - Noble Beast - In this stunningly simple yet beautiful ditty, Andrew Bird weaves a perfect pop song. This is the kind of song I love to listen to on a sunny day with the windows down just contemplating the simple nature of life and the goodness of the simpler things. The whistling in the track is what brings this to mind especially. Lyrically the track reminds me of a Brian Eno track with intense wordplay that seems meaningless at first but probably has more going on underneath the interesting rhyme scheme and word choice. Regardless it's folk indie rock that is simple and intricate all at once.

2. Antony & The Johnson - "Her Eyes Are Underneath the Ground" - The Crying Light - Not in a very long time has a song been all at once haunting and sumptuous as the lead off track to Antony & the Johnsons newest record, The Crying Light. Something about Antony Hegarty's voice, which eerily floats above a quiet arrangement like a feather. It's a tear jearking performance unlike any other.

3. The Knife - "Silent Shout" Silent Shout - A pulsating, throbbing jam that is half Kraftwerk, half New Order is a refreshing electronic soundscape. It's not quite a dance floor anthem like the works of Justice or Daft Punk. It's more of a mood piece that climbs up and down the listeners sound pallette and delivers an interesting enviroment. It's a visual song of sorts. I could see watching a meteor shower in the middle of nowhere with this song blasting as the sky lights up with shooting stars. Sadly, I would have to move to a remote location in order to see if this would work, but witnessing the August meteor shower in Greece was breathtaking and this song gives me that feeling in a way.

4. Franz Ferdinand - "Ulysses" - Tonight: Franz Ferdinand - No matter how much their last album couldn't live up the the greatness of the first, I knew one thing that Franz Ferdinand could do--and that is write a kick ass single. Many moons ago, artists were single writers only. Franz embraces that and the new track "Ulysses" is a fantastic record. I finally agree with Pitchfork for once in saying that at first it seems kinda bland with all the "la la la's", but it becomes infectiously addictive and fun by the third listen. The way Franz Ferdinand structures their songs is completely fantastic. I love the chord change during what would be the last chorus making it sound different and dynamic. Oh, and the video looks like Martin Scorsese directed it in 1972.

5. M83 - "Skin of the Night" - Saturdays = Youth - I've had this album for a few months now and I can safely say it deserves the reviews and credits its given (including that of my own in the year end albums and songs.) The more I listen to it, the more this track stands out to me. The vocals of Morgan Kibby soar to new heights the way that Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocetau Twins would be proud of. The dreamy pop anthem is a wave of sound that flickers with life.

Enjoy! This might just become a podcast in the near future!