Thursday, September 16, 2010

songs of the year so far

I've been listening to a lot of British garage rock recently, but I just wanted to share some of my favorite songs of the year so far. Some of them aren't from 2010--I just discovered them this year. So, enjoy.

Little Lion Man by Mumford & Sons
The High Road by Broken Bells
Light of the Morning by Band of Skulls
Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine (I like it better than Dog Days Are Over, has overtones of Bjork)
Mas Que Nada by Sergio Mendes feat. the Black-Eyed Peas
Laredo by Band of Horses
Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys (I really only like her part, but it's still great)
Kings and Queens by 30 Seconds to Mars (I got the video right after Christmas of '09, so it counts; This is War is also pretty great)
How You Like Me Now by The Heavy
Sweet Disposition by the Temper Trap

I've also continued to love Duffy, Muse(mostly), MGMT, Phoenix, and Weezer (despite myself).

What about y'all? What are you listening to?

Friday, September 10, 2010

I had the craziest dreams last night. We had these donkeys on a cart, and they came to this bridge that hadn't been built yet, but if you had some interns suddenly appear by their side, the donkeys were too worried about what that meant to notice there was no bridge and were able to walk through the air to the other side. As were, oddly, the interns, as if the donkeys were capable of changing reality. Amazing. Also, the place I was in was actually at the edge of the earth and you could step from earth into space for a moment. Your foot would go numb briefly, but it wasn't dangerous. Some scientists has been commissioned to study the exact edge of the earth, which was made up of special, unusual substances. Finally, I watched a great rift occur, which just consisted of a line of earth shooting upwards in great puffs through this village/vineyard area.
Other stuff happened, but that's all I remembered when I woke up. I tend to have fairly repetitive dreams, so this was a whole new thing that does not appear to have been much influenced by anything I've watched or read lately. Bizarre.

Monday, September 6, 2010

in praise of miniseries

I love a good miniseries. There are not many miniseries in any given year, and most of the ones we do get are on premium cable channels or come from overseas, so I often don't get to see them until they come out on DVD. What's fantastic about them is that you never EVER have to worry about it being canceled midway or that the writers don't know what they're doing. Most of the time, miniseries are based on books too, typically classics, which is an added benefit for people who care about things like plot. And if you haven't read the book and you enjoy the miniseries, you can go read the book. I just bought Pillars of the Earth for that exact reason.

The other great thing about miniseries is that they often get top actors who might shy away from doing a regular series with an uncertain run.

Here's a list of some of the miniseries I have seen and enjoyed:

Pillars of the Earth (naturally)
Little Dorrit (I'm halfway through it right now, but so far so good)
Syfy's Alice (particularly Andrew Lee Potts)
Band of Brothers
The 10th Kingdom (very cheesy, but enjoyable)
Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth!)
Emma (the Romola Garai one)
State of Play
Angels in America
Dune and Children of Dune
Elizabeth I (I'm 99% sure I watched this in grad school and liked it, but it's hard to keep track of all the Elizabeth stuff that has come out during my lifetime)
I think I also liked parts of Mists of Avalon.

The Stand was bizarre, and most of Syfy's miniseries are, well, best not to talk about them too much.
I also don't remember thinking too highly of the '98 miniseries Merlin.

I don't count Planet Earth, though that was incredible, because it's more a doc series.

There are plenty I haven't seen that I want to, like The Pacific, Roots (want to read the book first), Tsunami: The Aftermath, John Adams, The Thorn Birds, Gideon's Daughter, Brideshead Revisited, Jane Eyre (2009) and so forth.

Anyone have any suggestions or recs?
And, yes, I would love to write a miniseries some day.
In summing up, I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. I don't. Would you take two negative messages?
-- Woody Allen