Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blessings #13

The Black Keys - El Camino (2012)

No band today seems to embody the heart of Rock n Roll than The Black Keys. They have taken the world by storm, yes. They have played live with Johnny Depp, yes. They are stylish and dapper young men, yes. They are gifts that make us feel good, yes. Their sound is timeless, hearkening back to the roots of electric guitar blues. They create a melodic groove that harmonizes and crunches with distortion. It's a blessed blend of music that sounds like a bunch of covers from the seventies but they are also incredibly original. The one thing that I keep coming back to when I listen is that they just know how to play music with such precision and splendor that I slip down into the artistry of it all. This album has become a staple for me and pretty much epitomizes the year 2012. It was difficult and rocky and beautiful and massive. It was a turbulent time filled with turbulent personalities and it will affect us all for years to come.

Alamar - Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio (2009)

Some movies are so small but have such a big heart that they overwhelm the senses in a way that a big studio blockbuster will never fulfill. "Alamar" is that movie. Such a blessing! When I was thinking about the theme for my countdown for the year, I came up with the idea of blessings. We are given so many wonderful expressions of art that we are blessed by the presence of such beauty. I'm sure that this movie was in the back of my mind when I came up with that theme. A humble tale of a father who is spending one last moment with his son before he moves away to another continent with his mother. The father lives a simple life out on the Banco Chinchorro, the largest coral reef in Mexico, earning a modest living by catching various sea life in the reef and passing it along until it probably ends up on the tables of our restaurants here in San Diego. He teaches the boy the way of life out on the ocean, so that he might carry some of that with him to his new destination. It's a heart warming film that has so much to say without saying hardly any of it with words. There's very little dialogue as the camera follows these two souls who will be forever linked. I simply love visual displays such as this and believe that is the true purpose of filmmaking. Yes, we can be entertained and there's nothing wrong with a fast-pacing story with a magnificent plot but to bring poetry into the lives of human beings elevates us into a higher realm and allows our spirits to evolve. That is the magic of art and Alamar is a perfect example of how to do it with film.

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