Saturday, July 23, 2011

"Battery Kinzie" by Fleet Foxes (live)

Here's the best live version of "Battery Kinzie" by Fleet Foxes that I could find. Unfortunately on most of the audio either you can't hear the drums and piano, or you can't heard Pecknold.

I'm getting pumped for the Bon Iver / Fleet Foxes / The Walkmen mega-show in September. These are some of my favorite bands. Three of my four favorite albums from 2008 are from these three. The Walkmen's Lisbon was in my top three for last year, and Bows and Arrows from 2004 is one of my favorite albums of any year. Bon Iver's latest is probably my favorite album so far this year, and Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes is firmly in the top ten.

I have not managed to see either Bon Iver or Fleet Foxes yet, but the Walkmen played Tempe last year. It was one of the best shows I've ever been to.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Song for Summer

Andrea posted her "summer theme song", which left me thinking what mine could be.

As you see, I have to go with "The Promised Land" by the Boss, courtesy of Jack's summer mix. I don't know that his mix was my favorite of the ones y'all have provided, but I love this song and it seems appropriate to my summer somehow.

[If I picked one from my own mix, it would probably have to be "O You With Your Skirt" by Royal City (BTW, there's a typo in the title of that track on my playlist--it says "shirt")... from Sean's, "Word Iz Life" by Poor Righteous Teachers or "Leaning on You" by the Swingin' Yo-Yo's... from Sam's, "Grounds for Divorce" by Wolf Parade or "Sukie in the Graveyard" by Belle and Sebastian]


Monday, July 18, 2011

An Oral History of Friday Night Lights

I posted Grantland's fantastic article about the show on Facebook and Reader, but, alas, nobody seems to have noticed. So I'm posting it here, because I think it's great. The article and the show are worth your time. Some of my favorite snippets follow.
Berg: [In the original Friday Night Lights movie], Connie Britton's role was sort of Pretty Wife Clapping in the Stands, which is about the shittiest job an actress can have. At least Talia Shire got to own a pet store and go ice-skating with Rocky.

Connie Britton (Tami Taylor): When Pete got in touch with me and said, "We're going to make a Friday Night Lights TV show. Why don't you come play that part?" I was like, "No way!" The only thing worse than playing a nothing part in a movie is [playing it] for years and years on TV.

Berg: She said, "Are you fucking kidding me? You think I'm going to spend 10 years sitting on a hard-wood bleacher getting splinters in my ass and cheering on Kyle Chandler? You're out of your mind." I said, "I promise. We'll create a character. We'll give you a job. We'll give you dimension. We'll give you a real voice."
Reiner: The first scene we did was in a church, and I said, "Let me meet the pastor." We met the pastor, and he was great. So I said, "OK, you're going to be in the show."

Liz Mikel (Corrina Williams): He got up and said a prayer. It was an actual prayer; it wasn't anything scripted.

Reiner: [Showrunner] Jason Katims was there, and he didn't even know we were filming. We were these two Jews from New York so immersed in this Baptist service that we were just glowing. We shot 25 minutes for 45 seconds of footage, but what we were doing is creating an environment that would inform the next five years.
Porter: I played high school football for a pretty solid team. I had three future NFL players on my team.

Spivey: Mr. Jason Street, Scott Porter — that guy can play football.

Porter: And I was in a wheelchair.
Berg: People weren't reacting to the football. It was expensive, but people weren't reacting to it. How many 40-yard bombs can you throw? It was probably the least interesting part of the show. Watching Buddy Garrity try to stay sober and get a JumboTron named after him was much more interesting to me. I don't get a lot of kids coming up to me to say, "Oh, the football rocks." The show will be remembered more as one about a marriage than one about football.
Phillips: I was out at a bar with Kyle Chandler, and this group of girls comes running over saying, "Oh my god!" I was thinking, "Oh, surely they recognize him. He's Coach." Then she says, "You were on Grey's Anatomy!" You've got to be kidding me. He's the lead on the best show on television right now, and this chick is recognizing him from Grey's Anatomy?
Nevins: I watched Taylor Kitsch, who was this guy from Canada who had come down with a pretty thick accent, slowly turn into this hard-living Texas teenager. It was amazing to watch that transformation.

Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich

Some years ago I read Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich, a collection of loosely and oddly connected short stories. It is an astonishing book, beautiful and tragic.

Perhaps a year later I bought a couple books by Erdrich at Bookman's and sat down with anticipation to a slim novel of hers. To my disappointment I found it superficial and given to tired stereotypes--a sentimentalized, better-written version of a Steven Seagal film. Although I am loathe to put down a book without finishing--just as I dislike giving up on an album or person too quickly--I shut the novel after fifty-odd pages.

Though disillusioned, I didn't get rid of the other books by Erdrich that I bought, and this summer I decided to give her writing another chance. I read The Painted Drum, which I am pleased to report is wonderful.

Still, as much as I appreciated it, it was more powerful in making me want to reread her first novel, Love Medicine. As I do so, I'm struck by the power of some her closing lines.

"The snow fell deeper that Easter than it had in forty years, but June walked over it like water and came home."

"She was traveling hard, and death was her light."

"I wanted Sister Leopolda's heart. And here was the thing: sometimes I wanted her heart in love and admiration. Sometimes. And sometimes I wanted her heart to roast on a black stick."

Etc. Read it.