Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Reflection Pond #11

Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle (2009)

Bill Callahan is a Zen musician. What does that mean really? I don't know but if there were such a thing then Callahan would be it. Originally showering the masses with wisdom through the guise of Smog, Callahan weaved his magical karmic blend for over a decade. Now he's brought us the second of his solo work and it is a crisp strange blessed event. Both Xtimu and I have sat on the sofa in a mellow fog and devoured this album, wondering about the intricacies of the lyrics and the tenor of his thick voice ravaged by years of song. Eagle slowly built up in appreciation from not being able to understand any of it to complete enlightenment, which is why I call it Zen music. Here's an example: perhaps what turned into one of my favorite songs of the year, Eid Ma Clack Shaw, was originally just something floating in the background until I actually listened to the lyrics. These lines stand out,

I dreamed it was a dream that you were gone
I woke up feeling so ripped by reality
Love is the king of the beast
And when it gets hungry it must kill to eat
Love is the king of the beast
A lion walking down city streets
I fell back asleep sometime later on
And I dreamed the perfect song
It held all the answers like hands laid on
I woke halfway and scribbled it down
And in the morning I read what I wrote
It was hard to read at first but here's what it said
Eid ma clack shaw
Zupoven del ba
Mertepy ven seiner
Cofally ragdah
Show me the way Show me the way Show me the way
To shake a memory

Sometimes the words we are looking for, the tone that will give our lives immense meaning isn't something that we can understand unless we are lost in a dream.

Revolutionary Road - Sam Mendes (2008)

Revolutionary Road is adapted from a book that was written in 1962 and was obviously an indictment of the 50's way of life. I though that it was banned for awhile and that if you had it on your bookshelf then you were considered a communist. I can't seem to find anything regarding that in the history and since it came after McCarthyism, I guess it wasn't directly immersed in the heavy politics of the time. It definitely is a harsh statement against the increasingly corporate environment that was emerging in Amerika during that time and gives you the sense that our capitalistic culture is ultimately soul-crushing. The story is still completely relevant today and as our house of cards comes tumbling down around us, we may find a new avenue toward revolution that was inherent in this film. Another aspect of the story is that it shows in glaring detail the oppression that women faced in the culture at the time and as our current Supreme Court slowly erodes women's rights, the plight of April Wheeler may not be just a distant memory. Directed by Sam Mendes with the lofty and talented Kate Winslett and Leonardo Dicaprio, Revolutionary Road is an extremely good movie. It gets everything right, while creating the exact feel of the era, as well as tapping into the heart-wrenching emotions of the characters. It's lovely to look at but hard to watch, hard to digest as we trudge along in our false sense of security.

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