A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


First up, I need to apologize for being behind on Criterion Confessions this week. Computer problems have slowed me down. Not in the sense that I couldn't type, but you know how things go wrong and you go into this black hole of trying to fix them? If you're me, you then end up breaking it more until some fine folks who are smarter than you come along and help you get out of the mess you made. Thanks to Robert and Brian for getting me back on semi-solid ground.


* A Serious Man, the new Coen Bros. mind blower. I know everyone has seen the trailer, but I am including it above just because it's one of the best ever. And best of all? It tells you NOTHING!

* No Impact Man, a documentary about Colin Beavan and his family, who tried an experiment of living off only sustainable resources for a full year.

No Impact Man opens at Cinema 21 in Portland this weekend, and Beavan will make a return appearance to The Colbert Report tonight. (You see some of his first appearance in the movie.)


* Fados, Carlos Saura's performance documentary on a particular style of songcraft from Portugal. Lots of songs, very little information.

* Lightning Strikes Twice, King Vidor's mild melodrama about women who fall for the wrong men.

* Management, in which Steve Zahn stalks Jennifer Aniston and they call it a "romantic comedy." Both terms are almost entirely wrong, though there are glimmers of quality.

Current Soundtrack: The Monarques' self-titled EP - available for free download here

Okay, it's free, so you can't go wrong, right? This is some fantastic '60s style pop as filtered through '90s Britpop. The lead singer, as it turns out, is one of my favorite bartenders. In Portland, you never know what that guy pouring your drinks or serving your dinner, renting you that DVD or selling you those comics, does when he isn't standing behind a bar or counter. Turns out Josh Spacek is the leader of a really cool band. His voice reminds me some of Louis Eliot from Rialto, but without that "they just scraped my tonsils" grit. The music has all the right influences, you hear snatches of a lot of great things, but there are so many bits and bobs you can't nail down any particular source. The songs are really well carved. Listen to how easygoing "You Can't Break My Heart" is for the first two-and-a-half minutes, and then how it goes all Dexys in the last 30 seconds. On their MySpace page, they list their only influence as Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Edward Holland. Say no more!

The Monarques are the first band in this video. They then come back at about 2:25

Bladen County Records Showcase at MFNW from bangsandblurry on Vimeo.

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All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

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