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Archive for November, 2008|Monthly archive page

Learning to Love You More

In Art on November 30, 2008 at 11:40 am

mirandajulyNo One Belongs Here More Than You is a brilliant 224-page compilation of short stories by Miranda July, which won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story award in September of 2007.  I was enthralled page by page with the witty, organic language and the instability of character which made each story so thought provokingly relatable.  After finishing the collection in one sitting I had to find out more about this author who could write with such raw sophistication.  

Miranda July is not only an accomplished writer, she produced an award winning 2005 film, Me and You and Everyone We Know, recored an EP and two full length albums with Kill Rock Stars in the late 90’s, and with two other friends founded an online arts community Learning to Love You More.  Established in 2002 this site provides assignments for amateur artists to submit in order to be part of a communal arts project. Some assignments include make the saddest song, draw a picture of the back of your friend’s head, and make an encouraging banner.  Miranda July feels that the most affecting art exists when “it’s so imperfect you know it’s true.”

 

SMACK

In Literature on November 29, 2008 at 9:46 am

 

51jypdggy6lRecently I picked up Melvin Burgess’ 1996 Carnegie Medal and Guardian Award winning novel Smack and was, yet again, emotionally affected. Two young teenagers run away from home and find shelter in a squat in Bristol, England with a couple who also happen to be heroine addicts.  Soon they are both hooked as well.  What starts as a venture of freedom turns into a struggle to hold onto something concrete. 

Originally printed in the UK under the title Junk, Melvin Burgess depicts the progressive fall into addiction candidly using the voices of ten different characters, opening up the bigger picture without alluding to the author’s point of view.  Scrounge up those old high-school summer reading lists and make sure to check this one off.  Better late than never.

Broken English

In Screen on November 28, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Magnolia Pictures presents Zoe Cassevettes’ 2007 film debut Broken English, the delicate and absorbing, raw and honest story of a New York woman in her thirties stuck in a job she lacks heart for and tristful over the pursuit of love. The viewer empathizes with the harsh realities of a career oriented world where lovelessness remains a common theme. Parker Posey was incredibly casted in the leading role of Nora Wilder.  We see a different side to her, one other than the dry humored comedic gal. She embodies this character and portrays it with frankness and genuine morality.  At a co-workers party Nora meets Julien (Melvil Poupand), a frenchman who spends a weekend with her.

The title, Broken English,  describes not only the slight language barrier between the two but also the being of Nora herself as a discontented American. I loved it in a I “hope I’m not completely alone at 35, but what if I am alone at 35, then I’m not alone being the only one alone, and maybe I’ll meet a sexy french man, but most likely I won’t meet a sexy french man, and so I’m just going to take a spontaneous trip to Paris” kind of way.

Amazing Baby

In Music on November 28, 2008 at 11:59 am

amazing-baby

 Amazing Baby was started last Jan. with former band members from Diamond Nights, Lions and Tigers, Nebula, Heavy Hands, and Stylophone.  Their noise is indie rock all the way, if David Bowie were dead this Brooklyn based band could resurrect him with their tunes. The band’s single Pump Your Breaks was sitting at number 2 in Spin’s August 2008 issue one of the “Songs You Must Download Now.”  As it turns out you can download the Amazing Baby’s entire debut album for free on their website.

Do your stretches, and get ready for some dance inducing, fist pumping music, Amazing Baby plays at The Mercury Lounge Saturday, November 29th with Tigercity, you do not want to miss this show.

Morris Louis

In Art on November 27, 2008 at 11:13 am

Morris LouisThe pieces from this abstract expressionist painter can brighten up any room.  Morris Louis used acrylic oil paints to create vibrant, linear, eye catching compositions.  The images are psychedelic, symmetrical, colorful, and always up for interpretation.  All of Morris’ work comes out of the late 1950’s early 1960’s. 

Morris Louismorris_louis_painting