Monday, February 15, 2010

Reflection Pond #8

Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009)

I'm officially on the Animal Collective bandwagon. I don't know if it was simply a matter of time or if the band has evolved to the point that they have finally reached my aural hemisphere. Maybe my stubbornness has finally begun to fade because it was a good eight years ago that a friend of mine touted the benefits of the AC experience (though his wife often made crude gestures behind his back when this topic animated him). For me, they were always a mess of noise, which isn't necessarily bad because the noise was definitely unique and aggressively experimental but I couldn't stomach it. Immerse yourself, was the advice I was often given but even in the primal confines of my own headphones the space of time overcame the sound until I forgot what came to drown me. It wasn't until I heard the song Summertime Clothes that I began to understand Animal Collective's autistic wonder. Loops blending in rhythms blasted with infinity, Merriweather Post Pavilion has become an opus for the new lost generation, those of today who don't find comfort in the shape of our world. Animal Collective's massive joy pulls us back into orbit and helps find focus amongst the cacophony of tortured anguish inherent in the cloudy abyss that threatens armageddon. Meditation is a powerful tool to overcome the clutch of apathy and these songs have the hypnotic effect of enlightenment if you allow them to swallow you whole.

The Limits Of Control - Jim Jarmusch (2009)

This movie is weird, supremely beautifully weird. What an amazing flow of images that stun the senses, imaginative and divine. It took us five days to watch this and by the end we had completely forgotten exactly how it began. So we went back and watched the beginning again and were blown away by the symmetry of it all. The narrative follows a mysterious stranger who must navigate a constant exchange of information through shifting locales. His mission is obviously of extreme importance and it meanders through the underbelly of everyday life. Eventually he ends up in a room with Bill Murray (a Jarmusch regular) discussing the way the world works, Murray representing the elite corporate element of life and our mystery man representing the opposing forces of imagination. It's an exploratory metaphor for the genius of the creative spirit overcoming the hindering, debilitating and numbing aspects of our materialistic experience. Shot through a repetitive and deliberate pacing, Jarmusch begs you to follow through with determination when it feels like your life will never go beyond the mundane quotidian banality of it all. There is a reward in the end if you want to find it...just be patient and use your imagination.

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