Monday, January 07, 2008

M&M #21

Menomena – Friend & Foe (2007)

Menomena is one of those funky bands that straddle the spectrum. They don't have one exact sound that you expect to get every time you pop in their album. You hear a song and you think to yourself, “Man, this is really weird.” or “Man, this is such a great rock sound that you don't hear too often anymore?” or “Is that Menomena, why does his voice sound so different?” And the compliments just keep rising toward the clouds as the songs keep drowning your ears. Then you find out that they are this freewheelin threesome that shares singing duties, swaps instruments and simply just want to make good music and have fun, and you think, “That makes perfect sense.” This was a nice west coast (Portland, Oregon-so much good stuff in Portland!) offering for the year.

Science Of Sleep – Michel Gondry (2006)

Coming off the masterful film 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind', I was willing to watch any movie that Michel Gondry had to offer. So my anticipation was extremely high, especially considering that he made this movie with Gael Garcia Bernal who is one of the most dynamic people in film today. Then I started to watch it. I didn't know how to respond at first. I expected it to be strange (because when is Gondry normal?) but this was completely off-kilter and though Bernal gave a wonderful performance, his insecure genius dreamer was somewhat unsettling. I wanted to root for the guy but how can I feel good about a character that constantly sabotages his own dreams? Ultimately I grew more accustomed to the style and really cherished all of the homemade low-tech special effects. And I started to notice that as I watched these recognizable stars perform in Gondry's universe, I realized that these are the types of films that I always look for. The complete antithesis to mainstream hollywood studio schlock.

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