Disruptive Juxtaposition

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Dead white men

They have plenty to say that's interesting. But not, please, on Saturday night, Bakhtin. And you, Habermas, go, I dunno, catch a Puccini opera.

Listening to Elliott Smith and missing him, although I've never met him.

Also check out Man or Astro-Man? for some space-based surf rock. I sure have.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Post-postmodernism Sighting #1

from A.O. Scott's May 6th review of "Crash" in The New York Times:

"What kind of movie is "Crash"? It belongs to a genre that has been flourishing in recent years - at least in the esteem of critics - but that still lacks a name. A provisional list of examples might include "Monster's Ball," "House of Sand and Fog" and "21 Grams." In each of these films, as in "Crash," Americans from radically different backgrounds are brought together by a grim serendipity that forces them, or at least the audience, to acknowledge their essential connectedness."

Thoughts on the Banjo #1

This is an instrument that depends on the brevity of its twang. You pluck it and you've got silence on your hands way sooner than you do with a guitar string. Something to do with the tension of its strings, I should imagine; I haven't played a banjo yet. But this shortness-of-tone creates a variety of effects; in your Iron & Wine-type somber folk songs, the banjo mimics the sickness of soul that is the song's whole reason for being. But in your Delieverance (one must contend with Deliverance when waxing on the banjo) -style "Dueling Banjos", or any other kind of bluegrass ecstasy, this quality of the banjo means that / lends itself to a technique of constant play. With little or no suspension of the note - pluck a string and get v. v. little resonance - a b. player must cascade through notes very quickly indeed to achieve the desired joie d'vivre.