GAK picked up on TV on The Radio back in 2003, digging their “Young Liars” ep heavily and trying to spread the love. He doled out the track “Satellite” on his side of our Dirty Monkey Bugspray Fun 2003 best-of double disc cd (I probably still have a copy or two kicking around if anyone missed it). I can’t say I was as enamored as he was… at first. But “Satellite” eventually stuck in my craw, and with GAK’s hot anticipation of this, their first full-length “Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes”, I too was soon clamoring for more. Not only wasn’t I disappointed, but the album solidified the band’s awesomeness even further. The opening track, the grinding, deep-horn heavy “The Wrong Way” get in through your ear and slowly starts creeping through your body, that reverberating bass creating a tingly warm sensation.
“Staring at the Sun”, which follows, is comparatively sparse, a rich, but downplayed background of sounds seems almost disparate from the layering of vocals, creating a strange sensation of an a Capella group with musical accompaniment (yes, I know). The entire album really focuses on the Tunde Adebimpe’s smooth voice often backed with Kyp Malone’s falsetto, the two jockeying back and forth and heavily layering, often doubling back upon one another, really creating an impressive depth to every song. The music, though far from shoddy by any means, really resides in the background. It’s sonic experimental, fuzzing out guitars with loops and beats, and a wide variety of instruments pitching in for variety. Though “Dreams” isn’t my favourite track, it’s probably the most impressive example of the power of TVotR’s sound, while “Ambulance”, a true a Capella track, is shiver inducing in it’s beauty and charm.
For some reason, I’ve missed out on the follow up albums - Return to Cookie Mountain (2006), and Dear Science (2008) - something I keep meaning to rectify, because this is just some impressive sounds.
In a high-school science class we were conducting some sort of discussion about genetics and the issue of mid-digit hair on fingers came up. I don’t remember if I was abnormal amongst the census group (ie. the class) but I do have this dominant trait of having hair on the mid-section of 7 out of 8 fingers (thumbs obviously don’t have a mid digit). Ever since i became aware of it though, I’ve been pulling out those hairs, to the point now where it’s kind of an unconscious habit, or even a bit of a tick, and really doesn’t have anything to do at this stage about being self-conscious about it. Problem is I’ll occasionally cause ingrown hairs and have to dig them out, which is kind of a game in its own right, but it can get ugly.
I’ve tried to minimize my red meat ingestion to once a week. I’ll have steak and hamburger once a month, perhaps some montreal smoked meat or a stew or a roast another time during the month. Our neighbourhood grocer (ie. not our neighbourhood Loblaws), Alfredo’s, has a pretty awesome butcher’s desk, and our steak tonight was, for $8 no less, some of the best store-bought stake I’ve ever eaten. With a light seasoning of salt, garlic salt and pepper, these thick, tender slabs of red beef bbq’d up nicely and went down even nicer.
The “recycling triangle”, the three arrows surrounding a number (1-6 generally) doesn’t actually have anything to do with recycling. The recycling arrows are, essentially, public domain, unregulated, and the plastics industry have adopted it as their own, using the arrows, the triangle and the number to, in a sense, mislead people into thinking that their products are much more environmentally considerate than they really are. The reality is, pretty much only PET 1 and 2 are actually recycled. Even in Toronto, where they accept everything, it’s all basically sorted at the plant and the bulk of it winds up in landfills anyway.
Vegetable-based plastics, biodegradable, were already being made at the turn of the 20th century. Henry Ford was a big proponent of veg-based plastics, but it was the war effort in WWII that saw petroleum-based plastics take hold in the manufacturing industry and other uses post-war became natural. The horrors of WWII continue to reveal themselves in stranger and scarier ways.
The reason I even knew the man’s name was this, still the top contender for my all time favourite video, even if my Bjork fanaticism has long since waned [Youtube states that the music wasn't cleared by WMG so the audio from the video was yanked... but the imagery stands on its own]:
I bought “The Works of Director Michel Gondry” (along with “The Works of Director Spike Jonze”) when Palm issued their first releases in the “The Works” series back in 2003. At that point Gondry (and Jonze) had made a name for himself in film, but the music video work could not be ignored, especially given the level of… perhaps not genius, but ingenuity in every video. I had only watched the videos previously. I didn’t know what else I was missing.
The DVD, two sides (as opposed to two discs) splits Gondry’s work into two eras (’03-’96, ‘95-’87), and provides two extensive documentary features about the director, his mentality, his family, his influences as well as interviews with the artists who have worked with him, and his family.
Though I won’t say Gondry’s cinematic output is impeccable cinema, each film he’s done (Be Kind, Rewind; The Science of Sleep; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; and Human Nature) have shown his visual inventiveness. He’s firmly entrenched in practical effects, a child who has never given up crafts, making digital effects feel cold and soulless in comparison. Gondry is a man motivated by his childhood dreams, fantasies and nightmares, a man unleashed, allowed free reign to do what he wants, and the majesty of it all is he manages to achieve his vision in a way that few others are capable of.
Apparently he’s directed one of the second season episodes of the Flight of the Conchords, which has me chomping the bit even harder to watch the new season.