Thursday, January 10, 2008

M&M #20

Blonde Redhead – 23 (2007)

Blonde Redhead has revolved around our little universe for the past few years and their cosmic music and Kazu Makino's wistfully mumbling voice has become a staple in our home. Over the years they've really developed their sound and this year's release is full and rich and nuanced. They have elevated themselves from the simple punk voracious shout to an orchestrated volume of intimacy and primal beauty. The deep layers of instruments and voice and emotion weave their tender organic swirl into your heart and leave a lasting effect on your mind. The day grows and life expands. I heard from someone that this was their last offering as a band and my first reaction was sadness, but it's been a nice ride and if this is their last hurrah, then they have gone out at the top of their game.

The Proposition – John Hillcoat (2005)

This movie is based in rural Australia near the turn of the twentieth century as civilization spreads across the badlands. Captain Stanley, far from his England home, attempts to create a safe environment for the settlers and his wife who's trying to build some semblance of privilege from whence they came. Stanley captures two of the Burns brothers, outlaws who have been creating havoc amongst the settlers. But Stanley needs one of them, Charlie, to find their older brother Arthur, diabolical/mastermind/thief/rapist/murderer/philosopher, they don't make them much worse. So he strikes a deal and sends Charlie into the wilderness and redemption. We've seen these movies before and the reason that they are so enjoyable is because of that thin line between chaos and order which we find on the outlaw plains of the wild west. In an environment like this, it's difficult to see straight and the unburdened sense of lawlessness affects quite a few, even those who are supposedly backed by the law. Written by Nick Cave, it was wonderful to watch this tale unfold in the outback of Australia and learn a little about that country's history.

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