January 28, 2008
January 26, 2008
Uganda is having it's National Music Festival and filmmakers Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine follow three members of a refugee camp school as they train for and compete in the competition. They are the only team coming out of the war zone to compete.
Beauty: The film is insanely beautiful. All aspects from the dance, the colors, the landscapes of Uganda and the sounds. The visuals, stories, and sounds help to create images that don't leave your consciousness very quickly.
Insight: Whether the team won anything or not, the subject was found in the bush of Uganda and pursued. It shows incredible insight into the heart of the story; these amazing kids who won't let the terrible hand they've been dealt in life to affect their attitudes and their outlook. The selfless adults that work with these children are also so amazing.
Unspoken Call to Action: Never in the film do they try to tell us something. The innocently show us a story unfold and let us react. There is no celebrity who tells you how you can help these children. There's no connection to an organization to donate money to. There is no call to action. The filmmakers leave it to you to draw your own conclusions. Many people will be able to watch this movie without letting themselves be changed by the story or the exposure to the world, many other people will hear the unspoken call to make a difference in their world.I can't comment on the next project from Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine, but I trust their vision, insight and ability to expose the world to us in the form of Documentary film. I'll be rooting for them come Oscar time. It will be released on DVD officially on April 15.
January 20, 2008
Whether you "get it" or not, there is so much value in experiencing art in a museum or gallery setting and I highly recommend SFMOMA. Just don't loose your parking garage ticket.
If you live in a town that has an art museum or a modern art museum, do yourself a favor and don't take it for granted.
January 14, 2008
- My Return to College
- My Ride Along with Anchorage Police Department (this might be the most requested I've ever had)
- My thoughts on MOMA (I may just have to add a blurb about tiger attacks)
- My thoughts on The Beat Museum
- The state of College Football
- Odd similarities between air travel and laundromats
And in light of adding #1 to an already busy schedule, I'll have to pencil these in over the next week. If you've got any last minute requests for me to add to the list, you can comment or email.
January 9, 2008
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope...”
- Robert F. Kennedy
There have been times in the world’s history where great men and women have stepped into these roles with the sole motivation to make a difference and change the world as much as they could. Names like Benjamin Franklin, Mother Teresa, Susan B. Anthony, Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Desmond Tutu, and many other people throughout time. None of them were Presidents or Kings or
As I watch coverage of the 2008 election, I think of all the quality people who are seeking the highest office in
Immediately I think of people like Al Gore, Bill Gates, Bono, even George Clooney. They seem to be using what influence they have whether it is money, celebrity or political clout to take on their issues. Al Gore has been outspoken in his crusade to improve our environment, you may not agree with everything he says, but you can respect his effort. Bono has been outspoken against many things in his career, but lately his focus has been on AIDS, hunger and poverty in
January 4, 2008
Again, no particular order and in no way inclusive:
Spoon - You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
I'm From Barcelona - We're From Barcelona
M.I.A. - Paper Planes
The National - Fake Empire
Travis - My Eyes (youtube)
Josh Ritter - (tie) Right Moves & Rumors
Feist - (tie) 1,2,3,4 & My Moon, My Man (youtube) & (youtube)
Okkervil River - Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe
Bloc Party - I Still Remember
Derek Webb - I Wanna Marry You All Over Again
Coconut Records - West Coast
Dan Wilson - Easy Silence (originally written by Wilson for the Dixie Chicks, but wonderfully done by him)
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)
Ryan Adams - Halloweenhead
Eddie Vedder - Hard Sun
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - 100 Days, 100 Nights
Kings of Leon - On Call
Elvis Perkins - Emile's Vietnam in the Sky
The Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running
Josh Rouse - Hollywood Bass Player
Andrew Bird - Imitosis
Wilco - Impossible Germany
The New Pornographers - Myriad Harbour
Paul McCartney - Dance Tonight (youtube, still not a horn playing prairie dog)
Peter Bjorn & John - Young Folks (youtube) For the record, this is my ringtone
The Shins - Sleeping Lessons
[In honor of Heather from I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS] The Swimmers - Heaven (not available on iTunes, but on their myspace page)
That same post about Josh Ritter included a quick two sentence review of Nicki Chambly (now Bluhm). I recently noticed some traffic coming from NickiChambly.fuzz.com and followed the link back to the press tab of her profile where that article is listed. Thanks Nicki, and/or your people.
Sometimes I feel like I'm the only fan of Matthew Ryan because I never see him getting press despite being amazing, engaged with his fans, and critically heralded. Well, this morning while reading through my feeds, I came to an article about his home recordings Dissent from the Living Room and Hopeless to Hopeful being posted. The first thing Riche ever trusted the internet enough to buy online was Dissent and I remember being really impressed with the fact that Matthew Ryan would number and sign each copy (and I was impressed that my copy of These are Field Recordings was also signed). Since then I've become a huge fan, but Hopeless has always eluded me. So I followed the link and downloaded it. As Heather discussed in the interview above, sometimes artists are supportive and sometimes they're apprehensive about having their stuff posted for free. Here's what Matthew Ryan posted on his MySpace page about the albums being posted:
"After I left A&M Records I started working on my 4track. This was only a handful of years ago, the internet was just getting warmer. I'm still not sure how Napster took off with all that dial-up going on. But I started releasing some DIYs on my soon to be relaunched website (matthewryanonline.com). Dissent From The Living Room and Hopeless To Hopeful are very raw home-recordings. Some of these songs went on to be part of future records when they were "properly" recorded. So, I was burning the discs and making the artwork and trying to keep up. I didn't think I sell more than 40 or 50 CDs. It was amazing, because it was the first time I realized we were all out here looking for each other. There were humans across all those wires. The truth is, these DIY records were the first time that I made any real income from releases. The submarine word of mouth was very inspiring. And it was a very large part of why I'm still doing this. They went on to sell so well and consistently that I took them down because I couldn't keep up. And I genuinely felt bad when CDs took to long to arrive or, and I'll admit it now, I sometimes forgot to mail them!
So if you don't have these, go on ahead and grab them. I'm glad they're available at this blogspot. Plus, I don't have to grab scissors and lick stamps.
Share the link with anyone you know that might be looking for these songs."