Electricity & Lust

Links of the Week

Posted in Links of the Week by Sam Unsted on June 19, 2011
  • This AV Club article questioning whether cable TV is still delivering higher quality product than network TV in the US is one I disagree with nearly whole-heartedly, but it does at least make some interesting points about the slight increase in the number of really good network shows at the moment (The Good Wife, Community, Parks and Recreation). The point it appears to side-step though is that there are so, so, sooooo many terrible shows on network TV and the overall hit-rate (in quality terms at least) for the cable shows is way better. Also, the central argument surrounding the quality of network comedy is way off. There are a pile of really good comedies on network TV right now, but the absolute best at the minute, FX’s Louie, is a cable show. Anyway, enough debating. Read for yourself and comment away.
  • Staff at The New York Times Magazine have contributed their own selection of their favourite non-fiction books after The Guardian did the same last week. Probably a little too much to read now but I’m trucking on regardless.
  • I just finished Michael Lewis’ The Big Short and I’m planning on indulging in his Moneyball pretty soon. The trailer for Steven Soderbergh’s adaptation of the latter book, about the sabermetric approach to creating a successful baseball team used by the Oakland As. The film looks decent enough, with a strong cast and a great director behind it, though the screenplay has had runs over from Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian, which is never a great sign. I’m interested though.
  • The Atlantic has a copy of the handwritten draft of the song ‘Dance Music’ by The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle. He then goes on to discuss his songwriting process, which proves particularly interesting given that song comes from their absolute best record, The Sunset Tree.
  • The longlist for the Polaris Music Prize in Canada has also been released. I’m pulling for Tim Hecker and his stunning Ravedeath, 1972, the best album of an already stellar career.
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Every Rose Has It’s Link

Posted in Links by Sam Unsted on May 22, 2008

So everyone’s favourite David is Cook.

Fast, Cheap and Out of Control. A cult classic?

Here’s a clip from Clint’s Changeling/The Exchange.

The Chili Peppers are on hiatus.

Runaways is coming the big screen.

Here’s an early review of Soderbergh’s two-part Che.

Jams for the summer with Sasha Frere-Jones.

Winehouse wins Novellos.

Harp features Nellie McKay.

Jonathan Demme has replaced Scorsese on the upcoming Marley doc.

Diggin

Posted in diggin by Sam Unsted on May 17, 2008

Music: I’m really loving two new records this week. First is No Age’s Nouns, the follow-up to their much-hyped EP compliation Weirdo Rippers. It’s streamlined noise-pop mastery at its best and manages to rattle through its songs fast enough that any sense of pretension or posing never materialises. The other is the amazing Music Hole by a capella chanteuse Camille which expands on the rough-hewn fun of Le Fil and creates a tangible world for her to exist in.
I managed to get hold of two great Jim O’Rourke soundscaping albums (Bad Timing and I’m Happy, I’m Singing, And a 1,2,3,4) and they are proving fantastic for working. As a general rule of thumb, krautrock and motorik electronica are efficient soundtracks for writing. I’m still obsessed with Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago which might be my favourite album of the year so far.
I got to see Sebadoh play Bubble & Scrape live as part of the Don’t Look Back series from ATP and that was some experience. The crowd didn’t quite get the concept fully, constantly requesting during the album portion of the show, but the band were affable and in good spirits so they took it well. For the record, it’s a much better album live.
Elsewhere, the new Scarlett Johannson record has a couple of nice moments but is mostly a slightly misguided folly. Death Cab for Cutie’s follows the trajectory of Plans in being good enough but not really closing in on the brilliance of Photo Album, We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes and their masterpiece, Transatlanticism.
Portishead are reassuringly brilliant and Wolf Parade are spiky but not fully satisfying. I haven’t absorbed My Morning Jacket’s Evil Urges yet but first listen reveals an album falling somewhere between the church-hall grandiosity of the first two and the slinky brilliance of Z.

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Linker’s Crossing

Posted in Links by Sam Unsted on April 30, 2008

JoBlo has some piccys of Jim Carrey in I Love You Phillip Morris.

Roger Ebert has started a blog.

Could Jonah Hill grace the screen in Transformers 2?

Matthew Vaughn is remaking Israeli thriller The Debt.

Entertainment Weekly has a list of the top 21 bad haircuts in movies.

Hugh Jackman is talking Wolverine.

Soderbergh’s Che has been likened to Lawrence of Arabia.

Alex Gibney, the Oscar-winning documentarian of Taxi to the Dark Side fame, is making a doc on Eliot Spitzer.

David Denby reviews Iron Man and Then She Found Me.

The AV Club has a two part summer movie preview. Here and here.