Monday, 22 March 2010

"My god, it's full of stars..."

How long before this gets remixed a thousand ways?

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Disappointed in Apple's "Magic"

So Apple calls its iPad is a "magical" new device.


How disappointing.

What I really liked about Apple was that they seemed to work harder on their products - they thought harder about the user experience, they made more of an effort to integrate hardware and software. All of those intangibles added up to products that were easier and more fun to use. Their entire ad campaign for a long time was based on the word "think." And from what I've read, Steve Jobs is an absolute demon to work for.

So what happened with the iPad? Did Jobs and his engineers just sprinkle pixie dust on some iPhones and call it a day?

I doubt it. But I also know that no company pays more attention to its branding than Apple. The use of "magic" was not an accident. So what gives?

I admit I'm puzzled.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Five more more more movies (for you know who)

Character Studies: Sexy Beast. I'm not sure I want to be any of these people, but they sure do lead some interesting lives.

Great Places to Visit: After Hours. "Different rules apply when it's this late."

Funny as Hell: Dr. Strangelove. "You can't fight in here, this is the War Room!"

Awesome Ultra-Violence: Eastern Promises. Now I'm going to cut off his fingers...You may want to leave room."

Movies to Listen to: Gosford Park. "It must be so disappointing...when something you know, just flops like that."

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Five more more movies

A few more ideas. Hope you're checking back.

Character Studies: Raging Bull. This could go anywhere, esp. in the Ultra-violence category. But not the Funny as Hell category.

Great Places to Visit: Diner. Also a contender for Funny as Hell. It's here for the vibe.

Funny as Hell: Tin Men. "You bolted outta nowhere!" (I should note that Tin Men was effectively a sequel to Diner.)

Awesome Ultra-violence: A History of Violence. There's not a lot of violence in this per se, but the way Cronenberg treats it makes it last for a long, long time.

Movies to Listen ToManhattan.  "Between the two of us I was not the immoral, psychotic promiscuous one. I hope I didn't leave out anything."

Dinner for the ages

Dinner for the ages

Recipe for the main here.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

States of American States

Tony had the vernissage for his American States show at Exposure Gallery tonight.


Man, I love that word.


Anyway, seeing as Tony's written that his work down in various American States is as much about his state of mind as what's on the license plates, thought I'd write this post in kind:
  • Lonely: The people in these shots are often on their own. Even when they're not, they suggest no connection to the people around them. His shots of empty spaces - places where people used to live, work and play but no longer do - are even lonelier.
  • Surreal: The people in these shots are often dwarfed by signs, trucks, guns, and other objects. They wait for a resolution that will never come, like characters in a Samuel Beckett play who aren't in on the joke.
  • Happy: They served beer at this event.
  • Thankful: A portion of the proceeds from the sales of these pictures will go to the Ottawa Mission.
  • Impressed: Exposure Gallery is on the 2nd floor of Thyme and Again and is available for small corporate gatherings and receptions. They cater. 
  • Excited: Westboro's galleries have started a monthly art walk. They call it "First Thursday." Every month from 5 to 9 PM they open their doors. Take a stroll, be amazed.
  • Inspired: On the way back to the car I took this picture of the world's loneliest lamp.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Conflicted about Charlotte

So I picked up the latest by sexy chanteuse Charlotte Gainsbourg and so far I'm liking it a lot. She plays mix and match with genres, textures, tempos and languages and pretty much holds your attention throughout the entire disc.

That's the problem.

See, most of the songs were written by Beck and he plays on a lot of the tracks. I used to like Beck a lot. I found tracks like Milk & Honey and The New Pollution to be instantly compelling in an "of the moment" way.

That's the problem.

See, none of Beck's songs have any staying power. I remember reading a review that said his music was all based on mediated experience (drawn from TV and such), not actual experience. He picks up the detritus of our media-soaked age and recycles it into catchy tunes.

That's the problem.

The AV Club called her stuff "easy listening for the cool kids" and I can see where they're coming from. Heaven can Wait has a jangle-pop bounce that would do Feist proud. Voyage has that kind of non-threateningly exotic fair-trade coffee vibe to it that reminds me I'm a good person for caring about cheetas and global warming and stuff without actually having to do anything about either. Both she and Beck pick textures and tempos like they were offerings at a buffet.

Am I going to like this disc in a month? A week? Will I love it intensely or consign it to the "Oh yeah, I forgot I owned that" pile?

Only time will tell.

And that's the problem.

 In the meantime, here are some pictures of Charlotte. I know there's one aspect of the matter I'm not conflicted about at all.

How would you describe it?

Such thundrous butterscotch?
Butterscotch thunder?

take yer pick.