Movie trailer as a form of art.

I'm not the best with timeliness when it comes to blog posting.  So expect me to dredge up a lot of stuff I've been interested in for a long long time.  This is not of-the-moment stuff.

I love movie trailers in general, and trailers for coming-of-age, relationship-building, indie, and romantic comedies in particular (I tend to shy away from horror and thriller/suspense).  I can watch them over and over and over again, and before I know it I have wasted 1.5 hours instead of doing whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing.

Case in point: a couple years ago I was obsessed with the trailer for Shopgirl.  I only half wanted to watch the movie (I finally netflixed it long did not disappoint, but was not quite as delicious as the trailer).  There was just something so beautifully restrained and lovely about the way this trailer was cut, besides the fact that I love Steve Martin, Claire Danes, and am even a little fond of Jason Schwartzmann.  Tonally--it's pitch-perfect, conveying this spartan emptiness that moves cautiously into shy pleasure, wonder, and then warm human contact.  I love it.


And then, after thinking more about it, I realized the music really shaped my perception of the trailer (hah, what's new, right?).  One of my pet peeves is when a trailer editor uses a song in the trailer that is nowhere to be found on the movie's actual soundtrack.  That's another blog post in itself. 

Anyway, I used my google search prowess to find the songs used: "Consequence" by The Notwist, "First Breath After Coma" by Explosions in the Sky, and "The Sound of Settling" by Death Cab For Cutie.  I'm including the first two mp3s for your listening pleasure =)

Love-Hate this music.

Jason Mraz seems like the douchiest douchebag mofo.  Maybe it's the ever-present smirk, that self-important I'm-so-cool-I'm-ice-cold attitude.  But I can't deny how much I like his new song.  He sings like a bird.

P.S. I take back what I said about the Pierces.  The more I listen to their music, the more I think that it's actually really different, like fresh-different, rather than 'typically different.'  Seems like they are experimenting with a bunch of different styles, and I really like what I'm hearing.


All different in the same way, part 2.

Hipsters, let's talk.

A trip to the campus bookmobile this afternoon (which is totally awesome by the way) led me to believe that indie music is even more infuriating than indie film.  The context: music is one area of consumption/acquisition I severely neglected in recent years (makeup being another one).  I have bought maybe 3 albums and a handful of iTunes mp3s since Napster went down in 2001.  Maybe because exchange of illegally uploaded mp3s had been so gloriously unbridled, not having to pay for music started to feel more like a right than a clandestine act.  And so, I didn't pay, and my only source of music in the past few years has been terrible radio play, pandora/launchcast, and the 2000 or so mp3s I had amassed in that short but wonderful year when Napster and my newfound university-provided broadband intersected.

Today I decided to remedy this sad situation and begin my musical re-education by borrowing, at random, some 10 CDs from the bookmobile.  Some I had heard of somewhere, at some point.  Some I just like the album design/illustration.  All pretty much looked like the kind of 'edgy' stuff that hipsters are so keen on. 

I put the first CD in: The Pierces, Thirteen Tales of Love & Revenge.  Sounded intriguing.  But as I listened to it, I realized it sounded exactly the way I expected it to.  Uber unconventional, so chock-full of its own langorous oddities I half expected it to be featured on an iPod commercial, or maybe on the soundtrack of Zach Braff's next film (don't get me wrong--I loved the Garden State soundtrack).  I mean it's GOOD, most of it is just so typically different.

One of the albums I really hated, Days of Wine & Roses by The Dream Syndicate.  It just made me want to throw my hands up and shake someone.  There is something wrong when music makes you wonder if you hate it because it's bad, or because you are just not cool enough.

But others I liked: Paramore's All We Know is Falling, and The Owls' Daughters and Suns, and parts of The Deadly Syndrome's The Ortolan.  And a lot of the Kings of Leon (which I had read about somewhere).

After so much unbelievable coolness, my ears were bleeding a little and it was such a relief to put in something familiar and so beautifully conventional: Alicia Keys, As I Am.

Developing an acceptably cool taste in music seems like more work than it's worth. Anyway, here are a couple I liked from the stack.

I <3 Music in Spanish. And the Spanish language in general.

Firstly, made a lovely new Pandora Station: Buena Vista Social Club.   Just type in the name of the band for many such smooth latin tunes.  It's great ambient music.  Almost as good as Garry's "In a Sentimental Mood" station with all the coffee-bar jazz.

Also, I know I posted on my old xanga about this song, but thought it merited repeating.  One of my favorite songs by favorite band, Ozomatli, called "Cuando Canto."  It's just so sweet and earnest and hopeful.

In Spanish:

Cuando canto mi cancion inspirar mi gente con una solucion
Cuando desperto en la manana se que tengo el poder para un dia triumfar

Cuando me acuesto en la noche puedo mirar estrellas que me dan esperanza
Cuando sueno en la madrugada ojala que mi trabajo no es temporal

Cuando demuestro mi corazon con mis aciones puedes entender que no soy hombre perfecto, no soy
Pero trato mucho, trato decidir lo mas major para el mundo y lo pongo, lo pongo en una cancion

Cuando canto mi cancion

In English:

When I sing my song I want to inspire my people with a solution
When I wake up in the morning I know that I have the power for any triumph

When I go to bed at night I can see the stars that give me hope
When I dream in the early morning I hope that my work is not temporary

When I show my heart through my actions you can understand that I am not a perfect man, I'm not
But I try to make the best decisions for the world and I put it in a song

When I sing my song

I haven't listened to this since college.

I don't know much about trance, but no matter what your views are on it, love it or hate it, this track probably the greatest trance song EVER.  In the history of mankind.  I have to thank dshim for so pigheadedly insisting that I listen to it in college, because I was hooked ever since.  I lost my mp3 (hidden in some crashed hard drive somewhere, right next to my first IM conversation with Garry), but found it on YouTube.  Thank heaven for the Internets.

It starts to get good around 2:25 or so, but my favorite part starts more like 3:30.  It just makes me want to get all dressed up and get lost in a Beijing club or something.