Manic Music Monday: Get Your Summer Swank On

Yes, it’s officially the sweatiest time of year. Hooray.

I made a short playlist of some tunes I’ll be rocking out to these next few weeks, which include some old tunes (Nina Simone, The Beach Boys, Queen) and some newbies (Chet Faker, The Growlers, Mac Demarco). You can check it out here:

Or just rock out to this song because it’ll definitely put you in a “school’s out, let’s go swim at the pool and eat ice cream while our bodies can still digest dairy” type of feeling.

Manic Music Monday: Daniel Johnston Will Find You in the End

One of my favorite movies is a foreign film from Argentina called Medianeras. It’s about two city dwellers living in adjacent buildings who go unnoticed by one another, but ultimately are “looking” for one another when it comes to finding “the one”. There’s a whole play on Where’s Waldo and some metaphoric crap involving mannequins. But my favorite scene is one in which the song “True Love Will Find You In The End” by Daniel Johnston plays on the radio while the two characters are listening at the same time.

I know the cult following of Daniel Johnston’s music, but can’t really jump on that bandwagon. I do appreciate the surprising simplicity of his songs and lyrics, but can’t really get into it. However, the warble of his voice reflects the uncertainty of the lyrics:

“This is a promise with a catch
Only if you’re looking can it find you
‘Cause true love is searching too
But how can it recognize you
Unless you step out into the light?”

Whenever I’m feeling a little heart-sore or hopeless, this song cheers me up quite a bit. And if you’re also feeling a bit that way, I hope true love finds you in the end too.

 

Manic Music Monday: 13 Year Old Conor Oberst Wrote the Most Amazing Love Song

No, you read that right. At 13 years old, Conor Oberst wrote a love song with lyrics like:

And my planet is safe for now
Space invaders is getting closer
And my spaceship’s not sure how to fight them
To fight them without you
To fight them, to fight them without you

Upon hearing this song, I think I giggled for the entire four and a half minutes. There is so much puberty in this song, I think at 1:11, you pretty much hear his balls descend. This is my fucking everything right now.

The Abortion Rom-Com You’ve Been Waiting For! Just In Time For Summer!

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Last night, I saw a movie called Obvious Child, starring Jenny Slate, the voice from those Marcel the Shell shorts. Slate stars as a young New York stand up comic who get’s knocked up after having a one night fling with some MBA type. She then decides to get an abortion and awkward rom-com hilarity ensues! Hooray! Here are some of my thoughts:

1. I’m getting tired of the aDORKable trope

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“Oh I’m awkward and never say the right things always at inappropriate times and I have no filter, but I have amazing expensive clothes even though I work for minimum wage at a hipster bookstore and a funny voice, SO ROOT FOR ME because I’m so relatable! And now here’s the part where I dance in my underwear because I’m so carefree and young!”
Sigh. I’m sick of this kind of girl. That’s all.
However, Slate does bring a sort of lost, helplessness to the character that makes the “manic pixie” pill a little easier to swallow.

2. Like Girls, but longer.

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I don’t want to seem like I’m shitting all over this movie because I’m not. I liked it, the same way that I like watching Girls every Sunday. It’s made for millenials, complete with female characters saying things like “I’m having an emotional crisis” and talking themselves down while staring into a bathroom mirror during a dinner date. So many feelings!!
But unlike your typical Abortion Rom-Com (love that aisle in the video store), instead of having the baby daddy come in at the last second to encourage her to have a kid and work through it, they come to the very real decision that bringing a child into the world with someone you know NOTHING about might not be the smartest decision.

3. I couldn’t stop staring at Gaby Hoffman’s eyebrows.

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4. David Cross has a very memorable scene in the movie. I won’t give it away but I will say that it involves a woman’s floral camisole and me saying “wow, that is a lot of shoulder hair.” If that doesn’t whet your appetite, well then… you are probably a normal person.

Anyway, Obvious Child hits theaters June 6th! Go check it out for yourself

Inside the Fiberglass Head of Frank Sidebottom

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Frank is a movie about a guy (one of the Weasley brothers from Harry Potter) who joins an experimental jam band fronted by a singer (Fassbender) who never takes off this fake cartoon head.  Here were some of my thoughts while I was watching it:

1. Shut the front door, this Frank guy was FO’ REAL?

The real guy inside the head

The real guy inside the head

Turns out that this movie is loosely based on actual events. One of the writers was hired as the temporary keyboardist for Frank Sidebottom’s band, which is exactly where the movie begins. Chris Sievey was the lead singer of a Brit punk band called The Freshies and the creator of the character of Frank Sidebottom which he performed as in the 80’s. You don’t say!

2. I’ve never seen Maggie Gyllenhaal play someone who was normal.

And it wasn’t going to change tonight while watching Frank. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays a band member who is caught up in the enigma that is her big-headed band leader, and feels threatened by the new keyboardist brought along to record their new album. She’s great… I get it… but sometimes watching someone like her makes me tired. She’s so intense and feel feelings so hardcore… we get it, Maggie. You do that part well. Maybe stretch your acting chops a bit and play someone on the other end of the spectrum. I obviously have not seen you in White House Down, so maybe that was you downplaying the high strung artsy type? I dunno.

3. I’d still fuck Frank Fassbender.

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Yeah I said it. Just because he has a fake head on the entire time, don’t think that didn’t stop me from objectifying Michael Fassbender. He has great hands and the longest fingers. His neck is great too, great sexy clavicle. He wears a lot of tank tops in this movie, and occasionally there’s a nip-slip, ladies. He also has a great Mr. Roger’s sweater collection… THAT HE WEARS WITH A GIGANTIC HEAD. What am I thinking? Ugh, but then he speaks German in a scene and then it’s like “Ich möchte Ihre gefälschte Kopf küssen, Fassbender!”

4. Oh wait, I actually kinda like this song.

After a while, you kind of forget about the head thing and realize that this movie is about the dynamics of a band trying to record an album under the cult-like leadership of their lead singer. I’m not saying he’s L. Ron Hubbard, but the band members definitely vie for his attention and respect his “genius” when it comes to creating music. They’re isolated somewhere in the woods in Ireland, making their own instruments, recording weird sounds… but the music actually worked in a weird “I listen to a lot of synth pop and Gary Numan” kind of way. I might actually hunt down the soundtrack if it ever comes out. Also, the actual score juxtaposes the band’s style of music. A lot of xylophone, tamborine… I think maybe there was a kazoo in there. Anyway, the music alone is worth checking out. And all the actors are actually performing live to the camera in the movie… so… that’s kinda rad.

5. Guys, Michael Fassbender can sing.

I’m not shitting you. He has a really good voice. It’s like a cross of… well here, you judge for yourself.

 

Manic Music Mondays: There Is Such Thing As “Beat Deafness”?

I can’t dance. Plain and simple. So when I see people that have a lot of hand/eye/booty/feet coordination, I’m always in awe.

Oh trust me, I’ve tried. I took a good three years of modern dance in college (not by choice. It was part of the curriculum.) And that was a good three years of flailing around in my most awkward state of life, still trying to figure out how my elbows and knees worked. I even once took a hip hop class, only to sit out the majority of it, while I watched 6-year-old Filipino girls pop-n-lock their way past me.
So as a music lover, I’m conflicted in how to enjoy music because it does move me (figuratively and literally). But in my enjoyment of a good song, I end up looking like a person with epilepsy (no offense to people with epilepsy… you guys are AMAZING dancers.) Apparently it’s a real problem called “Beat Deafness” and you can read all about it here at this NBC link.

Here are some music videos that have some awesome dance moves in it. Yes, I’ve attempted to do some of them and no, they were never anywhere outside my bedroom,

This one blows my god damn mind:

Remember Fatima? She used to be the choreographer to all the pop stars in the late 90’s? She choreographed Haim in this video and I love it.

In dance class, we learned about “Pedestrian Movement”, which means dance made of sort of everyday movements that everyone can do, regardless of your training. Yeah, so when I was at the airport and tried to recreate this video, I realized that these are not pedestrian movements. And people really hate when you try to walk backwards on these things.

This is just a great video.

Manic Music Monday: That Song Is Dope(-amine)!

When it comes to science, I don’t think that part of my brain ever fully developed. Seriously, I think I still have a soft spot in my skull where your brain is supposed to do things like “compute” and “measure” and… “figure shit out using numbers”. But I did enjoy this video about how and why we enjoy and seek out good tunes. It’s sort of scientific, leaning towards the biology side of the spectrum.

Kids, stay off drugs. Instead, listen to the Manic Mondays playlist on my Spotify profile. Share music with me and maybe the next Music Monday will be dedicated to your tune!