Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year, Old Stuff

So, I'm still not inspired by the newer stuff I've heard coming out. But, that's why I've got a library of stuff. I can go back over things again and again, and if they're good, a few more times after that.
So, How about music? Lately I've been listening to two bands I haven't mentioned, or maybe just haven't mentioned a lot. First, there's the God Machine. They're long since gone. The bass player died more than 15 years ago. However, the music they made was a bit out of time anyway. I'm pretty sure they were going for a kind of Sabbath-y take on Alternative, but what they ended up with was music that referenced Jane's Addiction, and Black Sabbath, and some "industrial" sampling, but really prefigured post-rock, or at least post-metal. If you like Grunge, Stoner Rock, and/or post-metal, you probably already have come across the name, so why not check them out. I have the first Record "Scenes from the Second Storey", and a CD single with the song "Home" b/w a cover of "Fever". It's good stuff, and not dated, honestly, even if it's as old as my my son.
Much more recently, as part of my love for dEUS, I got into another band from Belgium called Ghinzu. Ghinzu play much more mainstream music, and I can't get nearly as excited about them as I can about dEUS, but if you could imagine dEUS, with a strong second influence of Muse, you wouldn't be far wrong. At the same time, this past september, the video they released for "Cold Love" is just phenomenal; I can't imagine a band with a more fearsome reputation coming up with something stronger. The release it comes from "Mirror Mirror" is decent, with some great moments, but really just watch that video.
As far as books go, I've been reading some other stuff, but I would like to draw your attention back to Lessig's Free Culture. It's heavily influential to the way I see media going, and worth your time to read.
Finally, for movies, I'm getting back into Alex Cox. I prefer Repo Man, but Walker is still worth watching...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Post Christmas Blues

I feel both good and bad for my son. I feel good for him in that he got a lot of presents for both his birthday and Christmas and he has the support of some good friends, and an extended family, but I feel bad for him because not only does he have the stress of trying to afford the lifestyle he has imagined for himself ( it requires a difficult amount of money to stay in a dorm at a second or third tier Elite private liberal arts College) he puts a lot of reliance upon things. By that, I mean, he's pretty leveraged to get what he needs, but to get what he wants, he's more prone to relying on social and artistic pursuits that are commercial, and hence cost money. So, if you're already over-leveraged, it sucks to have your Xbox crash on you, when one of your best outlets is playing Halo on Xbox Live with your friends. If you've spent too much to own a car, it sucks if you lose your bus pass. You get the idea?
So, it's in that kind of spirit that I've got a little post Christmas blues. I'm crustier than you might imagine. I'm not everybody's "bro", that much is obvious, but, in some ways, I'd be good on the proverbial desert island. If I yearn for something at work, it'd be to be left alone more often. It's not that I hate people, it's that sometimes, I'm best left alone. So, I'm not posting this stuff because I think it'll make me "cool" to someone; Pop Culture is my outlet. This is where I find a good part of my fulfillment in life. So, when there's not a lot of new Pop culture to digest, and incorporate into my little mental desert island, it's a pretty big let down.
I don't mean that people let me down- honestly, I truly love everyone in my life. I mean that the other part of my social fulfillment just ain't all that great, right now. Give me a few weeks, and maybe the new year will bring new treasures....