Tuesday, February 2, 2010

When the Sun Goes Down by Arctic Monkeys

"She doesn't do major credit cards / I doubt she does reciepts / It's all not quite legitimate"

Today's thing I like is a song from Arctic Monkeys' debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. Maybe someday I'll get to how much I like that album as a whole, but today it's all about the album's second single, "When the Sun Goes Down". Why do I like this song?

Here's five reasons:

The Accent.

One of the first things you'll notice of any Arctic Monkeys song is Alex Turner's distinctive Sheffield accent. "When the Sun Goes Down" is a prime example of how good his accent can make a song. If I hear someone else singing this song, it just doesn't sound right unless they're imitating that awesome British accent.

The Guitar Riff.

All good Arctic Monkeys songs have a distinctive guitar riff, and this song is no exception. It's catchy as hell, and you'll have a hard time getting it out of your head.

The Buildup.

For the first minute, all you get is a single guitar playing chords and softly sung vocals and for the first minute, you can tell something loud is going to happen. There's something about that moment that the band comes in that makes it one of the most memorable moments in any recent rock song.

It References the Police.

"He told Roxanne to put on her red light"

I like the Police, and that line makes me like this song even more. It's simple and probably dumb, but I don't care.

The Music Video.

It's tightly directed, somewhat frenetic, and does a great job of visually complementing the story that the lyrics tell. In case you haven't seen it, here it is:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

e.e. cummings

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."

Today's thing that I like is a person, namely e.e. cummings, a successful 20th century poet and playwright. Why do I like e.e. cummings?

Well here's five reasons:

No Capital Letters.

This guy is so fucking awesome that he decided his name doesn't even need capital letters. Why? Fuck you, he doesn't have to tell you.

Freeform Structure.

Each of cummings' poems features a unique structure, and often has to be read aloud to get the full effect of the meaning. Some poems have words broken up into random pieces, and letters pushed out three lines away from anything else in the poem. He threw structure and punctuation into the wind at a time when that just wasn't done.

He Believed in Love.

It sounds dumb, but it's true. Even back in the days when e.e. cummings was actually around, that's something to respect.

His Plays Are Weird.

His first play featured characters called "Him" and "Me", and he told people not to try and understand it, but to let the play try to understand you. What does that mean? I don't know, but it's fucking awesome. His last play was even weirder, a story about Santa Claus trading places with Death that ends with learning the power of love.

His Poems Are Uplifting.

Think poetry and most people think of poems conveying negative emotions. e.e. cummings writes of true love, enjoying life, and some of it is even bitingly sarcastic. It's definitely a nice change from the work of Edgar Allan Poe or Emily Dickinson.

In conclusion, e.e. cummings was a revolutionary writer and an all-around awesome person, and I like him.

The Strokes' "Is This It"

"And all together it went well / We made pretend we were best friends"

Today's thing I like is The Strokes' 2001 debut album: Is This It Which is an awesome, awesome rock album that everyone should hear. Why?

Well here's five reasons:

It's Simple.

Calling something simple can sometimes be a bad thing. (I.E. Ghost Rider was a simple movie for simple people.) Sometimes, however, it can be the best thing. (I.E. Is This It succeeds with it's simple song construction by relying on catchy tunes and hooks.) Sure, the songs are basic in construction, but it just fucking works. Case in point: The song "Barely Legal". If you've heard that song before, I can guarantee you that you're hearing the opening guitar riff in your head right now.

It's Upbeat.

This is another simple concept that makes this album fantastic. In the last decade or two, so much heavy-handed, deep, and depressing music has come out that it's easy to get lost in the downbeat emotions of musicians. Is This It hearkens back to a time when rock music made you feel good, and made you get up and dance. This is not the way rock always has to be, but sometimes I need a break from stuff like "Karma Police" and "Hurt".

The Vocals.

You don't have to agree, but to me there's something both soulful and approachable about Julian Casablanca's voice. He manages to create and maintain his own style, and the music still appeals to a vast audience.

It's a Rock Album.

It's not Alternative. It's not pop. It's not proto-garage punk or anything else. It's just good, standard rock and roll music. This is probably the first album that I can say that about since back when AC/DC was really good.

The Album Art.

Nothing says rock and roll like a hot chick's ass on the cover of your album. Even if you get the American album art, it's still pretty damn cool looking.

In conclusion, Is This It is a well crafted and catchy rock album, and I like it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Donnie Darko

"Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?"

Today's thing that I like: Donnie Darko. In fact, it's possibly my favorite movie of all time. Why? Because it's the only coming of age film that also ties in time travel and a six foot tall prophetic man in a bunny suit. Sounds crazy, you say?

Fuck yes it is.

Need more reasons to like this movie? Here's five:

It Requires Multiple Viewings to Understand.

This is not the kind of movie you can take in entirely in one viewing. So much happens and so little of it makes sense at first that it will probably leave you disturbed and confused. But by the third time you watch it, you'll feel everything in the movie fall into place, and man will it feel good.

It's Weird.

Look at that rabbit to the left. Look at it. It's pretty goddamn weird, isn't it? The whole movie is like that. Plus, you get to stare at Frank the Rabbit's lovely mask quite often as well.

The Smurf Speech.

Watch that video and when you're done, tell me with a straight face you don't want to see more of this movie.

Donnie and Gretchen.

The greatest thing about the dialogue between Donnie and his love interest, Gretchen, is that it's all so damn easy to relate to. In the midst of the dark sci-fi chaos of the rest of the movie, there's these awkward moments between the two that everyone goes through, and I love it for that.

The Soundtrack.

The highlight of this film's soundtrack is, of course, the cover of "Mad World" by Gary Jules which you should hear regardless of whether or not you like the movie. Here that is in case you haven't heard it.

The rest of the soundtrack pieces together a perfect vision of the late 80s through awesome post punk and pop music like Echo & the Bunnymen, Joy Division, and INXS.

So in conclusion, Donnie Darko is a well written genre-bending trimuph, and I like it.
Entertainment Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory