Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Reflection Pond #13

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Phoenix has been a dominant force in our hemisphere over the past decade. First they hit us with United, a stellar pop debut that was a cross cultural mish-mash of fun music. Then came Alphabetical, one of my favorite albums, a mixture of funky pop songs that graced our ears with a blissful bounce. In 2006 we were granted with an old-fashioned album of rock-n-roll called It's Never Been Like That, not the best offering but loved by critics around the globe. Now we have Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, an aspiring album to be sure, mixing between Alphabetical and It's Never Been Like That, we find a band that is pushing all the right buttons. Pleasant pop songs that weave through the atmosphere with a sound that is all their own, Phoenix will be considered one of the great bands of our generation. I know that I have a certain criteria when I search for new music, mostly meandering away from mainstream culture and hoping to find the fringe voice that is genuine. Phoenix has somehow found a way to cling to edge of popular culture but somehow continue to remain true to their own heart. It's a confident attitude that you can hear in their music and hopefully they move forward with the same defining spirit.

House Of Eliott - Jean Marsh & Eileen Atkins (1991-1994)

Okay, so part of our Netflix experience has been sifting through the occasional teevee series that we hear is worth the effort. Since we don't have access to any shows at all, beyond the DVD delivery service or something online that gives us direct viewing, it's difficult for us to spend the time with television programs that take years of our lives. Yet, every now and then we'll hear about something that shouldn't be missed and divest the time to figure out whether or not it really is worth it. House Of Eliott was definitely worth it. A BBC show that ran for three seasons in the early nineties, it has all of the elements of pure boredom, yet manages to elevate above the fray with a beautiful creative spirit. Two young women at the turn of the twentieth century suddenly find themselves in a precarious situation after their father passes away. He didn't leave them with the means to continue to live within the upper tier of society even though that was how they were raised for their entire lives. But they do have something that is more powerful than anything that might cause them damage. They have their incredible love and devotion for each other, and an indomitable spirit to strive forward and make something for themselves. Soon they embark on a career in fashion and with Bea's (older sister) business sense and Evie's (younger sister) creativity and both with enough courage to stand against even the most domineering force, mainly being men in some way or other, they thrive and quickly become the talk of the town. Written with endearing characters and intriguing story lines, it was refreshing to watch a series that truly reveled in the remarkable aspects of these two women, fleshed out and honest in how they make their mark in this world. Rarely do we get that perspective in any sort of cinematic entertainment these days.

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