October 2nd, 2007

i am not a stuffed tiger.

hotel chevalier

Back in the world of faster internet connections, I watched "Hotel Chevalier" [itunes] (part one of the Darjeeling Limited) last night. In it, Jason Schwartzman's character uses an iPod. It struck me as the most modern device I've ever seen in a Wes Anderson movie.

(It also features the most naked Natalie Portman ever seen in an American Empirical production, too. So, you know.)
i am not a stuffed tiger.

travel music / beirut

beirut, takeaway show [blogotheque]

Last week, getting ready to leave town and dealing with usual pre-travel anxieties, I listened to the Flying Club Cup a lot. (It's good, but not better than Gulag Orkestar. Which, let's face it, would be difficult to top if only because it seemed to spring out of nowhere.)

In particular, "the Penalty" [mp3] found its way to frequent repeat status. It feels like the perfect distillation of a Beirut song, doesn't it?

Really, though, at your earliest convenience you should click on the link at the top of this post and watch the band performing it in a little Parisian restaurant. The way that they handle my favorite part of the song --- where the rest of the band comes in --- is just about perfect.
i am not a stuffed tiger.

convergences : sigur ros, mostly

still from heima trailer [$]

From this brief review, I can't wait to see Heima, a film about Sigur Rós, in which the band tours Iceland playing small shows in unconventional venues for locals:
"Visually, Heima is stupidly gorgeous; DeBlois shoots like a photographer, hovering, still and steady, before Iceland's wet, lunar landscapes, clearly infatuated with the country's strange and violent countryside. Watching, it's hard to believe it's all real: blonde, fair-skinned children sail blood-red kites, everyone is wearing thick wool sweaters, fresh water runs free and fast through unspoiled valleys, and Sigur Rós slam their guitars in unison, while vocalist Jón Por ("Jónsi") Birgisson howls at the heavens, eyes squeezed shut, shoulders high. [p'fork]

Even better: the release of the documentary will coincide with a new album, a double CD called Hvarf/Heim.


When I started reading F-train a while ago, it was one kind of weblog. Then it went away for about half of a year while Paul Ford made a new website for Harper's and came back late this summer as something that felt completely different. Yesterday's entry, "$5 Chocolate Bar" was about the "Glósóli" video [yt]:
"That's the Sophie's Choice of music videos. What you're seeing in that video is your grandparents going to heaven when they're kids. They escape all of the shit you heard about, like being beaten by the nuns or not being able to afford college, or having to tow a Dodge out of the mud with a mule. There was never that moment when you got the call, when you had to get someone to cover your college radio show, and you end up at some hospice where they leave you in the room alone with him, or her, for a few minutes and you have no idea what to say. Except you see that morphine drip and hear the gurgle in their throat and realize that pain is more complicated than carrying a black leather journal and a variety of colored pens. Twelve years later you're following links and there's some video from Iceland with elves singing and bells and children with perfect skin wearing the latest fashions of 1918, and your dead grandparents start running up that hill together. No polio or cardiac arrest and no car crashes or racism or halitosis. No wonder you're crying." [f-train]
That's a really long quoted section, but I hope it gets you to read the rest of the story, which isn't really about sigur ros or music videos at all.


And, of course, by now you must have heard that Radiohead has a new album called In Rainbows coming out next week. Despite my fondness for nice objects, I'm leaning toward the pay-as-you-like download option instead of the £40 discbox.