Monday, June 27, 2005

Gullybye

Lord, sometimes I wish life could just, well, get screwed - right now I barely have the time to roll my eyes back in reverie when I listen to this, which is maybe my second favourite S&C track ever (the first is so goshdarn sublime I'm being all rockist about it and waiting til some landmark event occurs before I post it - like, say, my being alive by the end of the week). This floats by like a warm breeze on a grey day - those electric piano keyboard notes hanging in the air, near-weightless, are somehow more deeply placid than most officially sanctioned wordless gauzy ambient woosh. And I love 'day in the life' verses - "I woke up early" always brings to mind fond memories of "Life's a Bitch" (btw, Govt. Names, whose verse is that one?). I can't much afford to have lost the 24 minutes of my life that's elapsed since this starting playing (on its fifth repeat now), but I feel oddly refreshed.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Mirror Ballin'

Christina Milian ft. Twista - For Real

Disco with just a teasing hint of hop, this is the kind of the purity that I'm thinking of when people invoke "pure pop" (as opposed to, say, Death Cab for Cutie) - manufactured, sure, whatever, but also manicured, sleek, graceful, and largely perfect. Y'know, the songs that soundtrack prom nights: the ones with an undeniable, near-universal functionality. There's that same unmistakable core ache that's at the heart of all great dance music - we had our problems but still, that chirpy chipmunk diva vocal punctuating the thump-chikka-thump propulsion (is it Kanye? if so, his name goes off "Chilled" instantly)(and "Diamonds" is hot too btw). Twista isn't extraneous for a moment here, so perfectly locked into the groove, just dropping syllables into the swirl.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Make Movies Anyway

How to do a lousy job of attempting to make meaningful your largely shallow film by dressing it up in the 'knowing' techniques of postmodern pastiche and meta-commentary: The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. Wow, since when did having a bunch of (awkwardly) shifting surfaces give anyone license to throw symbolic devices at the audience like a teenage delinquent hurling rocks at passing automobiles? So you're trying to tell us that Mssr. Sellers feels that he's lacking a real self underneath the Clouseaus and the birdy num nums? How about a mirror with... no reflection! Better yet, how about putting us in a movie soundstage within a movie soundstage and having Geoffrey Rush just tell us that his character is an "empty vessel"! Is Sellers enamoured with the girl-attracting powers of glistening automobiles? Just replace the shiny cars with shiny girls! Is there an incestuous undercurrent in Peter's relationship with his mother? Make it an overcurrent! Put them in the same bed with the lights off! And since you're taking these enormous, potentially audience-alienating liberties, throw in some other ideas and see if they work (they don't): use 'authentic' 35mm pathe footage, throw in some needlessly herky-jerky 'real life' handicam shots, cast Stanley Tucci as Stanley Kubrick!

And how are we to believe that there's no real Sellers anyway? The Peter we're presented is an insecure, needy, selfish, womanizing fuckup (who's comedic gift seems both secondary and slippery) - real enough to do real damage to real lives (so we don't buy it when Rush assumes the role of every important castmember in some ultimate display of Sellers solipsism). And when he consults celebrity psychic Nathan Lane, the ease and obviousness of his manipulation just makes him looks uncharacteristically stupid, and even the most caustic movie viewer fails to identify. They could've made light of many of these problems by not insisting on some kernel of tortured-self Meaning - a play of differences isn't much fun when nobody's laughing.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Bought It, Used It, Broke It, Fixed It.

Yeah, I know, you think you've got us pegged: all abuzz with finger-on-pulse exclusives, reckless copyright disdain and newfound blogland recognition for a couple of enthusiastic weeks, and then the inevitable, exhausted decline. Well, yeah. But life's been a little nuts in Nobleland lately (enough to preclude filesharing), and Kaiser can't be expected to deliver piercing cultural analysis every other day! So hold tight, and we'll get through this together.

But for now you hypothetical doubters can quieten down, here's a scorcher: dance maximalists Basement Jaxx meet dance lazyists Daft Punk, and Technologic gets harder, better, faster, stronger. Less open to the accusations of needless excess that some insisted weighed down Kish Kash, there's a single-mindedness (Kontrol?) to this that we perhaps haven't heard in a non-club-mix Jaxx track since "Yo-Yo". And they've still got trixx enough to make our ears prick up: a boxing bell barely saves a Nintendo busy being beaten within an inch of its life, and we get thrown a wake-up "Hey!" when we're in danger of being phasered out of our interest. Now bring on the VEE TAH LICK treatment, and I'll stop spreading the "Human After All" contract-breaking conspiracy theories.