Friday, June 29, 2007

through a glass darkly


i started watching films by ingmar bergman back in college with an interest that i think was probably only because of the pseudo-intellectual-cool factor. he is THE director to watch for any young college student a notion that they really appreciate movie-making, is he not? but now that i've seen a handful, and a couple over again (years later), i think i'm beginning to understand just how powerful they are. but as always, they hurt. they are stark, they are excruciating- difficult to watch- possibly because of the bleak but honest spiritual content, possibly because i know their visual beauty is something totally lost and forgotten in movies these days. (maybe simply because they were made in a time period with clothing styles and mannerisms that will never exist again.)
amy and i watched Through A Glass Darkly together last night, and this one sunk in. bergman was the son of a pastor, had a lot of spiritual baggage, and it's obvious, of course. it's about a girl with a schizophrenic disorder, a father who sacrificies his family's well being for the success of his writing career, and a protestant God who seems to be missing. one of the most striking moments to me was a scene in which the main character, having "seen God", describes Him as a horrible stone-faced spider coming through a doorwary and trying to forcibly "enter" her. the movie ends on a slight upswing though, subtly stating that God is somehow love, and where there is love there is God, so God is all around us- but remains largely unresolved and realistic. The idea that our Love for others is God's protection of them is ummm...amazing.
The music in TAGD was very minimal, and mostly cello suites by Bach- meant to give a warm, but isolated feel (according to the movie's commentary). Bergman modeled his use of small casts during this period of his filmmaking after the chamber quartets he had become interested in at the time. They were meant to play off of one another as instruments would in smaller musical ensembles. I loved this feel, and might be why i prefer his later, simpler movies to ones like the Seventh Seal, etc. it's no wonder my music composition prof in college swore that bergman's films had changed his life when they first came out.


"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." - 1 Cor 13:12-13

Thursday, June 28, 2007

je t'aime


i saw this movie last night. i love paris, so it undoubtedly follows that i'd enjoy it. but really, this is a sweet little movie, and i great idea for a project. it's made up of several shorts all by different directors, and none fall short, i think. one thing i noticed was a really quiet "whirring" noise played very softly throughout the whole film, stringing it all together subconsciously. it made me smile when i noticed it. proves that some of the best directors agree that there is function and psychology in something so almost inaudible, in ambient noise. anyway, take your wives, girlfriends, or parents to go see this one.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

audiozue

i've been looking for an itunes related widget for my blog since i started it, and finally came across audiozue today, which i was pretty excited about. however, i've just embedded the code, and, after playing a couple songs, so far all three tracks have incorrect album artwork. worse than that, my first track, with artwork that should look like this

displays some hokey country singer looking guy's ugly mug, and i don't wanna see it. my second try got the band right (wrong album) but doesn't have any existing link in itunes.
is this thing worth the hour i've put into figuring out and embedding it, or will it just get all my music wrong all the time? i might just have to go with the plainest looking tracklist, and save my obsessive compulsive heart from breaking.

the day myspace went krautrock



has anybody else noticed that every music track on myspace sounds like a bunch of buzzy-techno noise, like the soundtrack to a 1960s sci fi movie?
is it my computer? or me, have i finally snapped?

Monday, June 25, 2007

refresh me

i feel a return to simplicity, to seeking a gentle goodness (which is strong, not weak). i want my life to be quiet mornings, music, my dog, my bike, my girl, and my Lord. and looking around for where else i can help others. and then enjoying the fruit in keeping such simple values.

"In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength..."
- isaiah 30:15

Saturday, June 23, 2007

half a review: belong, octobger language



i've been listening to this all morning and last night, and, well it's good. but as much as i love ambient music and am simultaneously confused by the raving reviews tim hecker and belong and the likes have been getting (mostly due to the fact i thought noone was paying attention to this kind of music)---- i have a couple things to say for myself.
there is ambient music, which, i think, really produces something subtle and environmental, like "music for airports". and then there is ambient music as a culmination of a genre, like maybe this "belong" fellow. (the music is very good, don't get me wrong- and i'll get to that later). the thing i love about ambient music is that you are given to listen to nothing so specific that you grow to hate it in 2 weeks of repetitive play. in fact, ambient music only gets better the more you play it. if there are any nuances not heard the first second or third time around, you will discover them eventually if you keep listening.
like i was saying about culminating- i think this might be happening with this type of music, which is an exciting and also a scary thing- because i wouldn't want it to get lost in a sudden wave of arty trendiness.
one trend i've noticed is that young people making ambient music today tend to include alot of trebly, brash, distortion noise into the mix. normally, i love this sort of texture- but usually in a "rock" environment. when i put on an "ambient" record, i don't want it to grate on me. this kind of music isn't for those who wish to "show off" their skills. the world today is full of distortion pedals, laptops, and endless synth combinations- i know distortion is radical for the occasional bliss-out landscape, but really- why every song? there is something about this electronic noise/tone/texture that distances me, makes me feel cold. i don't know why, but i think it's indicativce of the inherent quality of a particularly trebly white noise.

one note, in an ambient piece, holds more importance than a hundred elsewhere. id say my ambient albums with the most repeated plays are those which are soft, warm, and oozy. not post-eno punk rock.
anyway, Belong is very good- however, next time, please give me something warmer, softer, more emotional and reminiscent of maybe an airport, if you need to.

Friday, June 22, 2007

like i said before

tonight laika and i went on a long walk. we ended up at the hyatt and i took her for a ride in the "work van" because i had forgotten my laptop's wall adapter at the crown plaza anyway, so we went to get it. there was something about the van laika hated, because she became very shy and whiny riding in it. the few seconds i left her alone in there while i retreived my stuff just about killed me. she almost jumped out of the van window to follow me. i had to push her back and roll it up quick. after parking the van back at the hyatt, we walked back towards home, through triangle park, she argued with the water fountains, took a crap right on the concrete sidewalk (not so fun), and was wonderful with a gaggle of children who were excited to pet her. she sat sweetly with no jumping up and they laughed at how she licked and tickled their shins. i love this little demon. i thank god i have her in this moment. it's nice to know i'll never really be alone again, no matter what happens.

it's hard to know if anything's right sometimes

Monday, June 18, 2007

show in cinci


I saw the national play at 20th century theater in Cincinnati the other night. they have an album out that is pretty darn good. but more exciting for me, was i got a little slice of home with Talkdemonic as their opener. wonderful band from Portland- i saw them the night i first met and hung out with my now good friends Clay and Tom. i stood there 2 years ago thinking we were going to take over the world. it's funny how things come full circle. seeing them again, so much has changed in the 2 years between concerts, but all for good too. if you haven't heard talkdemonic, and you aren't scared off by their pretty misleading name, go take a listen.

Monday, June 11, 2007

guilty: i'm a horrible sap, and a creepy uncle

it's day 3 with Laika and i already know i'm going to end up one of those annoying people with no real children who only talks about their pet incessantly, assuming first that other people actually care, and anthropomorphizing her to the point of deity with fur.
cause i'm sitting here alone at work waiting for a meeting to get over so i can set up some A/V, picturing laika alone at home in her crate for the first extended period of time. "did she get enough water today?", "maybe she's too hot in there?", "have i been training her right?", "will she start to get anxiety problems if i leave her alone to much?", "will there be poop when i get home?"...
i'm retarded, and i know this will all pass.
but seriously, kudos to all you with human children, and especially more than one. i'd die of a heart attack or hyperventilate with worry.
however, it does make me excited to be a parent someday. laika should be enough for now, though.

here's what my nephew said last week, according to my sister:

"Is Kevin still alone?"

My sister Emily said, "Alone?"

He said,"I mean alive......uhhhh......i mean alone."

"He lives alone."

"oh"

"He's not married and doesn't have kids yet so he lives alone." She explained.

"well maybe you could sell him one of us." He suggested.

(At least a dog is a start)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

laika




after many months of deliberation, well...this happened. i'm thrilled to now own a 4 month old collie mix, adopted from the Lexington Humane Society. Her name is Laika, after the first dog in space. I am in love...

the madison dance

Thursday, June 7, 2007

lexington loves



so yesterday i was biking around lexington doing various things, including record shopping, where i picked up a couple godspeed records on vinyl to make sure my tiny collection gets off to a good start.
and anyway, i started seeing people all over town standing on street corners holding signs that read "FREE HUGS". at one point, i had to wait for a crosswalk light next to a person holding one such sign. i asked her why she was doing that and she said "love. do you want a hug?" i embarrassedly said "ok" and after our little shuffle said "okay, now really, what are you all doing this for?". she said "for love." i smiled as i biked away. no affiliation, no ulterior motivation, just a hug. whoa. it made me think highly of lexington, and better about humans for awhile.

stars of the lid



this album is amazing. i have to admit, my repetitave plays may have something to do with my newly acquired turntable, and the fact that "their refinement of the decline" is my first real own-purchased album on vinyl. But i think circumstances have only fueled flame to fire. i love this album and will, without a doubt, be listening to it in 10 years.

the things i always always come away with, after listening, is that everything here is so understated, so brilliant, but so undefined. i don't think there is better use of subtelty in music anywhere. there are horns, strings, and all kinds of instruments used here, hired, composed, and planned- but none for show, all for texture. listening to this is like being slowly and gently dipped into a pool of sonic righteousness.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

welcome...

...to my efforts. moderate. humble. crappy. as they are.
i'm making the switch from livejournal (old faithful to me in the past) to something i consider a bit more careful- perhaps requiring slightly more diplomacy. and you aren't required to read it since there are no "friends" pages here, so i can say what i want, and you don't have to read it. But you can if you feel so compelled. Wow, this is cool...