Friday, January 11, 2008

M&M #19

Wilco – Sky Blue Sky (2007)

Wilco has become one of those amazing american stories. They went from indie amercana darlings to next big thing to pariahs of the studio system to redemption to obscure experimentalists to rehab junkies to a return to their roots. Throughout it all they have evolved into one of the best straight rock ensembles ever. They make music the way that they want to make it and their sound is as genuine as any rock band in the world. When I listen to them I'm reminded why I gravitated toward this type of music in the first place, searching far and wide through bands like the Hoodoo Gurus and REM and Califone and Canyon. This is the sound that I have grown to love over my lifetime and their beautiful jazzy country pop rock will always find a place in my heart.

Little Miss Sunshine – Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris (2006)

Little Miss Sunshine...ah, the indie art-house darling of gonna capture all the awards and your heart. I always wondered why they called a movie filled with big stars and a modest budget and a good script and great promotion an independent movie. It's such a marketing campaign nowadays to connect with the counter-culture aspect of our human nature. Some would say that it all began with 'Pulp Fiction' and the incredible success of the small upstart Miramax production company, but I think that it goes back even further with Quentin Tarantino's first film 'Reservoir Dogs', a movie made with a million dollar budget filled with stars and a great script. Ever since then the film industry hasn't been the same and Tarantino's Oscar nominated follow-up simply reaped the benefits of his earlier success. Now that we have the internet, we can actually go and truly find independent cinema or make our own with no budget whatsoever. Any way that you look at it, Little Miss Sunshine was a good movie with a good story that we can all smirk at with admiration where the actors gave good performances and didn't break the bank in the process...unless you saw it in the movie theaters, of course.

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