Sunday, May 15, 2005

I went comment recommendations for 9 out of 10 of my free iTunes, and it would've been 10 if I hadn't been listening to the doo-wop station on Launchcast and realized it was absurd that I don't own a copy of "Heartaches" by The Marcels. So now I do. As for the others:

1. Don't Drop the Baby, The Judybats: As promised, it's an amusing little ditty. I know I've heard of this band, and I want to say that it was about 12 years ago when I did. But I'm not sure why.

2. Science vs. Romance, Rilo Kiley: Possibly my favorite of the recommendations. It seems as though they have ties to The Postal Service and Death Cab For Cutie, so I'm not surprised I like them.

3. Bitches Ain't Shit, Ben Folds: I have nothing to add here.

4. Devils and Dust, Bruce Springsteen: Apparently every album is Nebraska now for Springsteen, and the fun, pop side has largely gone away. I'm fine with that, I like both, but the dark side is probably The Boss's truer side.

5. Charm Attack, Leona Naess: This is a soulful song that reminds me of the best of Sheryl Crow, with a little bit of an '80s pop melody.

6. Under The Sun, Big Kenny: I really like Space's "Spiders" album (best known for "Female of the Species"), and this is a slightly countrified version of the music on it.

7. Crystal Frontier, Calexico: For anyone whose favorite band is Flogging Molly, it's hard to argue with ethnic sound mixed into American rock. Here it's a Mexican sound with horns and Latin guitar. I'm not into Latin-sounding music generally, but the Arizona-Mex-ish thing works for me here, just like it does for me with The Refreshments.

8. Rhapsody, Alejandro Escovedo: This is a slightly twangier sound from the Wilco and Uncle Tupelo songs I like. I didn't love it on the first listen, but it's growing on me.

9. The Lonely, British Sea Power: Solid alterna-pop song, with a Casio keyboard serving the 51-card deck role from "Flowers on the Wall".

All in all, its a really nice set of songs that more than fulfilled my goal of finding interesting new music (or new to me, anyway).

On the movie front, Mr. Nacho recently completed the AFI Top 100, and in the process reminded me that regardless of what you think about the project, it's a great reminder list for finding old movies to watch. So in the last several days, I've knocked off Shane and The Best Years of Our Lives. They're both deserving classics; I'm tempted to call the latter The Best Decades of Our Lives because it just goes on and on and on, but it does a thorough job of telling the stories of three different veterans adjusting to post-war life. I was surprised by how dark it was at times, and by the ending, which seemed to suggest a divorced man getting re-hitched to someone else, which I thought was strictly verbotten under the Hays Code. I could name any number of Westerns I like better than Shane, but they're mostly the later era of revisionist anti-Westerns (starting with The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and then later films like The Wild Bunch and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid). I haven't seen many straightforward Westerns, but Shane is a solid one.

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