Captain America (2011)

2 comments

The summer of comics continues.  I enjoyed X-Men and Thor for what they were, and I decided to hold off on Green Lantern as the previews didn’t show anything that I needed to pay to see.

I can’t say that the previews for Captain America did, either.  But they didn’t turn me away, and it is summer, and I have kids who like going to movies… or at least Cherry ICEE’s.  So, off we went.

I read Captain America comics as a kid sporadically.  He didn’t feel like a Superhero because he didn’t stick to walls, run like a Flash, see things with an internal radar, or fly.  So why spend 25 cents when there’s other comics with people who do?

If the movie does anything well, it introduced me to the origin of the character.  If I knew, I had forgotten.   I liked the movie, but even during it, I had the feeling that I had seen all of this before.  Like what?

Raiders of the Lost Ark:  Nazis like items of immense mystical power.  The Ark of the covenant didn’t quite work out for them in Raiders, and the Tesseract similarly draws Red Skull here.

Star Wars: You perhaps remember Stormtroopers who shoot from the hip and hit everywhere but on target.  Here, they trade in their bleached whites for black gear and lasers that Stormtroopers can only wish they had, but fail against GI’s with regular machine guns.  It’s sad, really.

Return of the Jedi: Remember when Luke and Leia are weaving through the forest of Endor on speeders, being chased by aimless Stormtroopers?  Captain America is a bit more grounded, but it’s all the same.

The Lord of the Rings/Benjamin Button: Computer Generated Imaging makes Capt. America scrawny at the beginning, just as hobbit actors were shortened and Brad Pitt aged.  It’s done really, really well, though.

Avatar: Colonel Miles Quaritch was as one dimensional as a “villain” can be, basically bad for no other reason than he’s just bad.  Red Skull?  He definitely looks the part, and Hugo Weaving excels at portraying characters with no range (Agent Smith in Matrix, Elrod in Lord of the Rings – I’d point out that this is a script issue, he excels in V for Vendetta).  Still, even James Bond movies do a better job at fleshing out megalomaniacs.

The Mask:  Jim Carrey speaks humor.  Not so with Red Skull.

X-Men: First Class: This movie succeeded in part by capturing the Cold War era so vividly.  Here, we’re thrown back to World War II.

Captain Skyhawk and the World of Tomorrow:  And speaking of WWII, stylistically, the effects in Captain America resonate with this film, gorgeous in its comic panel visualizations, resonant in its fascist imagery, and disappointingly brief in its romantic touches.

Gee, what else is there not to like?  Marvel Comics is supposed to excel at giving their characters real lives, a sense of soap operas in their lives.  We understand that Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) wants to fight in the war, but when it’s all said and done, even the doctor who juices him from wimp to beefcake admits he’s a good guy.  Red Skull, bad.  Captain America, good. 

Remember, I liked the movie.  So, what is there to like?

Well, Peggy Carter, for one.  Not quite a girlfriend, the sharpshooter breathes life into every “I’m just a good guy” scene she enters.  We’re never told exactly who she is and why she’s there, but we’re glad she is.

Marvel Exec Producer Stan Lee has had cameo roles in most if not all of the Marvel films.  His delivery here is perfect.

Tommy Lee Jones.  I didn’t pay attention to who was in the movie, but when you need an authoritative or military presence, yes.  He’s your guy.File:Captainamerica1.jpg

Superhero movies, both for character development and necessity, focus on the origin of the character’s powers.  Captain America takes a playful look at the US War Bond sales efforts, a clever blend with the origins of the comic book, rather than hero. 

Yes, yes, there’s much that’s been seen elsewhere.  Since when did Hollywood start creating something original?  This movie was better than I expected, neatly telling a narrative amidst captivating fight scenes (in particular, a shield as an offensive weapon) and excellent special effects.  Red Skull, if anything, is a villain you want to see get his due.  The problem is, I’d like to see more of him.  As Captain America will shortly be enlisted in the modern era Avengers movie next summer (to the writers’ credit using the same plot device that he had originally been aged from WWII to the 1960’s in the comics), I think we’ve seen the last of Red Skull.  Credit also should be given for giving more than just a tease of the Avengers after the final credits have rolled.

Check your brain at the door and just be entertained.  Hey, it’s a comic book.

3 of 5 STARS

2 comments :

Post a Comment

Origin of the South Carolina Flag

No comments

It’s that time of year when enthusiasm abounds amongst college football fans as every team is undefeated and pointed towards wins over their rivals, conference championships, and bowl victories. If nothing else, it’s a thoughtful projection beyond the sports doldrums of summer. Preseason magazines and fan websites fill the void.

For Clemson fans, no site is better than www.tigernet.com, an argumentative but informative place for reports and opinions. Regular blogger Mickey Plyler posted an idea from someone who proposed building two bronze statues of the State palmetto tree, one to be placed Clemson and the other at USC (The Columbia, SC university, not to be confused with the respected USC located in California). The winner of the annual rivalry game would “play for the moon,” a bronze adornment to crown the tree at the winner’s campus. I like the idea. Plyler comments that many believe that the moon on the South Carolina flag is actually a gorget, originating from military uniforms during the Revolutionary war.

Not a moon?  What’s going on here?

I grew up in South Carolina, and I’ve always known the flag to depict the official State tree and a crescent moon. The flag has reached iconic status, having been emblazoned on shirts, car decals, tourism ads, and everything else with tangible economic benefit. Some adaptations are inspiring;

Untitled-1

And some are ignoble.

Untitled-2

Still, it’s a palm tree and moon. And so the search for truth begins. Well, news to me, the South Carolina flag isn’t even officially adopted by the State:

http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2011/jan/28/sc-celebrates-flag-history-may-suggest-change/

History, sometimes, is interesting. Who knew?

Well, here’s another opinion on the flag’s history:

http://blog.rehava.com/south-carolina-state-flags

As it turns out, a lot of people have opinions, some of which are documented quite ably:

http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/us-sc_cr.html

Yes, you skimmed that quickly, didn’t you? And, finally, here’s a shorter restatement:

http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2007/jul/11/what_heck_doodad_our_state_flag/

Longtime South Carolina historian Dr. Marvin Cann notes in private correspondence that “because the Palmetto tree was so associated with the defense of Fort Moultrie and the successful resistance to the British attack, I feel pretty sure the “moon” was also inspired by Colonel Moultrie’s regimental uniform, the cap pin. In it’s modern appearance, I suspect Dr. Salley intended to make it a first quarter moon to symbolize the new South Carolina.”  If I’m reading my historian correctly, it’s a gorget and a moon.

As Dr. Cann is a retired but still teaching professor, I’ll attribute my opinion within the context of the term “University,” which in a literal sense brings unity to the many disciplines in its charge. As such, I’ll first reach to literature and theology to round out the uncertain legacy of historians and columnists. As the accumulated length of related speculations approaches book length, I put forward that the literary device of foreshadowing is in play. As the refinement of its design has been carried out over centuries, there is, obviously, no human author that could write this work. Rather, I’ll suggest that it points towards a divine author who has scripted, as yet, an unfulfilled revelation.  We’re seen the hints; we’re waiting for the final “aha!” moment. 

As depicted, the crescent was originally oriented vertically before being angled to its present appearance. Its preordained final appearance will require further reorientation, but what is to come is not a secret. It’s already visible to those with minds which think and eyes which see.

Numerology and architecture are involved as well. 65-39-4, for those with the gift of understanding, is meaningful. As is 1940, the year in which architecture students happened to design (evolution is not in play) what has since been the face of the Clemson class ring.

ring

Note how the moon has been turned to a C, encompassing the beloved palm, symbolically a solid and resilient defensive core. It is to this end that the State flag is determined, as guided in time by God’s benevolent plan. And it’s for this purpose under His dominion that Clemson dominates USC.

No comments :

Post a Comment

My Morning Jacket – Circuital

No comments

From the opening gong and electronic fanfare of “Victory Dance,” My Morning Jacket announces their reported “return to form” with both humor and a silky, powering keyboard riff.   That’s well enough, but there were a couple charms to their last outing, Evil Ways, which otherwise was an experiment gone wrong. Would the good vibe continue?

The 2nd track, “Circuital,” is a resounding success. Jim James’ trademark reverb-laden vocals grow from a musically sparse intro, then steps up to a few Townshend-like windmill power chords, then grooves into a lively bass driven intermediate section, and pounds into a guitar driven rocker before returning to its beginning acoustic tones.

“The Day is Coming” slows down the pace to a pleasant, almost pop tune that might become one of those favorite “deep track” cuts.  That’s a fine start.  Great albums, in my opinion, vary in tone, topic, instrumentation, etc.  A classic example would be The Beatles’ Revolver, which includes pop, rock, funk, trippy, and elements of country and Eastern, all while sounding like… The Beatles.

Circuital in some ways speaks to the same variety.  Whether it works is a matter of opinion.  “Wonderful (The Way I Feel)” moves to ballad territory, but to my ears is too saccharine to remain a favorite, but solid nonetheless. “Outta My System” is well constructed, but a lyric about drugs and auto theft, combined with pedal steel (it’s not a country song, subject matter notwithstanding) detract from what is, at the core, a good track and a well sung song. If that is a bit off putting, “Holdin On to Black Metal” is bound to be divisive; you either like it or you do not.  The song is actually a joke, commenting on young adults who fail to move beyond the dark subgenre of heavy metal music, all the while sung in a high falsetto amidst dripping Motown funk. Sure, there’s an initial laugh if you get the joke, but the horns tire quickly, and the background singers can’t disguise an absence of soul.

“First Light” kicks off with a first rate guitar riff, then settles in for a reverb keyboard groove that is also fine, but that guitar riff deserves more.  The faux brass also detracts.  “You Wanna Freak Out” throws a sonic bone to Z, regarded by many as the band’s finest album and features some fine fuzzed guitar.  

“Slow Slow Tune” plays as advertised, another simple ballad elevated by a “less is more” guitar and James’ singing.  The phrase “gotta radiate the gold” remains enigmatic within its context.  The final song, “Movin’ Away” is perhaps the most earnest of what seems, in its entirety, an earnest collection of songs. 

Moving away, crazy destiny
I'll always be an alarmist
Who'll jump at a chance
Anything for romance!
I hope I'll always be what you want

Moving away
Those I'll miss
Those I won't
But I hope your heart will be where my home is

A new life to create
A new life to create

Don't know quite why
But I was feeling unsatisfied
I had to get out now
Try to find it

Possessed by your love
Under the influence
And though there's a new life line
I won't forget the one I left behind

A new life to create
A new life to create
A new little life

The simplicity accompaniment of the piano through much of the song allows James the opportunity to share his vocal gifts, mired here in the bittersweet.

Overall, this is a surprisingly good CD, yet it’s also one that I know I won’t play often.  The best moments are really good and the variety appeals, but I’m more likely to hit my favorites rather than play through it.

Suggested Songs:  “Victory Dance,” “Circuital,” “Movin’ Away”

4 of 5 STARS

 


No comments :

Post a Comment

Christmas in July

No comments

“Christmas in July” can mean several things.  It could be that someone receives something rather grand as a surprise or as the result of a fortunate turn of events, yet not the result of a deliberate gift though wistfully regarded as such. 

Or, it could be that a movie aficionado recalls a 1940 movie by that very name… it would have to be an extreme movie aficionado.  (Thanks, Google).

Or it could be a cynical observation on the commercial marketplace further eroding the sanctity of a what a few still regard as a holy day by pimping “Christmas” sales in July. 

And so there I was, in July of 1991, shopping for a card to send to my wife while I was out of town for a week.  Upon entering the store, I was fairly bewildered at a sizable exhibit of Christmas ornaments.  Married 4 years and with a child on the way, I was already disillusioned with the overt hijacking of Christmas by capitalism.  Thus in self-righteous condemnation, I approached the counter to check out when, “Hello, what’s this?” stopped me in my tracks.

As a Star Trek fan since childhood, I’ll only briefly mention that every cool looking toy of the USS Enterprise was tragically inadequate due to poor proportions.  The main hull was too big, the warp drives too long, the sensor array to cartoonish, or whatever.  And here, after all those years, was a pretty darn spiffy replica…  Sold.  Thanks, Hallmark!

That particular ornament quickly became a collector’s item, valued up to $300 at one point. I hang it on our Christmas tree each year, a reminder of something of which I’m very fond, or, if you will, even something that has enriched my life.

Soon after this past Christmas, my daughter and I were in the car when the conversation turned somehow to her thoughts on decorating her own Christmas tree when she’s out on her own.  Colored tree lights were a given.  She’s rebelled against our white lights for years, to no avail.  Otherwise… she had no firm ideas, but it was something that had stirred her thoughts.

We have far too many ornaments, some of them acquired soon after we were married to quickly occupy space on our tree.  Others were more carefully selected over the years, or were created by our kids or were given by friends and family.

There’s simply not room for all of them, so the sorting process of each of us picking our favorites has caused the tree to evolve each year. After all, tree decorating is a family activity.  As we were about to pack the tree, it struck me how much our tree has become representative of a short history of pop culture, at least, during our lives.  The themes, or lack of themes, that people use to decorate their trees are always interesting, and I’m quite satisfied with the way ours is trending.

We only vaguely remember that Hallmark’s ornaments go on sale in July, but we’re always interested to see what they have to offer.  The subject matter varies, they’re well crafted… and they’re fairly expensive.  But, a trend has been that if we like, it sells out. 

Well, it’s July, and here we are.

And a small sampling:

IMG_1598

National Lampoon’s Vacation, Rudolf, the Grinch, Tom & Jerry, the Peanuts gang, A Christmas Story, Frosty, Scooby Doo…  And there’s others now and more to come in later months, all of which can be viewed in their (free) catalog.

My HipstaPrint 0

Planning ahead for this very blog, I took some pictures last Christmas before packing everything away (hover over the pictures for comments):

IMG_1174

IMG_1173

IMG_1179

IMG_1178

IMG_1177

IMG_1175

IMG_1176

IMG_1172

This year’s additions?  Well… for myself:

IMG_1604

And for my daughter, to adorn her future trees, there is the limited edition “Release Day” Harry Potter snitch.  She’s a happy kid.  Oops.  Young adult.

IMG_1613

No comments :

Post a Comment

Harry Potter–The Deathly Hollows Pt. 2

No comments

My family and I attended the midnight opening of the final chapter to the Harry Potter series.  Of course, this was an event.  The movie slot sold out days prior, the crowds were large, all hands were on deck at the concessions stand, teens were dressed in their Harry or Hermoine costumes… it’s been a long time coming.

For me, the enthusiasm that my kids (age 17 and 19) had for the midnight showing was bittersweet.  They’re young adults now, and moments in which they act at least a little like kids are few.  It was worth taking a day of vacation for the pleasure of a family event.

A movie with “Part 2” in its title similarly chapters a transition with life with Harry Potter and whatever the next “big thing” becomes.  But my kids grew up with Harry Potter, and I’m happy that it’s become part of the fabric of their youth.  “HP-TDH Part 2” is about moving on just as much as it is a conclusion.

Harry Potter – Deathly Hallows Part 1 I found to be an engaging movie about the development and  maturing of its central characters, as well as the artful way in which it was depicted. Rowling’s final book simply had too much content to fit into one movie, and while Part Two builds to the long awaited climax, the characters are already developed; the audience knows the final steps until He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named meets his necessary end.  It’s just the visualization that awaits.  Or is it?

This isn’t just Part Two of a two-part movie.  The characters have grown over the last seven movies (or the last 6 and 2/3rds books).  But at its core, this final chapter is about Harry Potter.  It’s not about Hermoine, Ron Weasley, Dumbledore, Snape, or even Voldemort.  They’re all given their moments, certain to please fans with moments of humor, the culmination of developing relationships, redemption, or just desserts.

But what Harry will we see?  Will he be the uncertain, often overwhelmed chosen one?  Will there be more “woe is me” whining, the “gee-whiz” novelty of magical experience, the frustrated angst of not knowing what to do, or the insecurity of fighting a seemingly unending uphill battle?  Finally, Harry Potter is all grown up.  His bravery has never been questioned.  But here, he’s decisively heroic rather than a fortunate or accidental victor over circumstance.  I don’t know that Daniel Radcliff was the best choice to play Harry Potter.  But, he’s the Harry Potter we got, and in the final two chapters he pretty well owns the role.

Some might wonder if the plethora of special effects overshadow the plot.  No.  They’re expected more in this film than any since the first introduction to the world of wizarding, and they deliver.  We watched the 3D version, which added flavor without overplaying the experience, though the 3D glasses tended to sap the color out of this darkly toned movie.

And then there’s Hogwarts, featured enough in this chapter to be considered a main character.  Its rooms are familiar, it’s profile well sketched, its fictional existence likely as dreamt over as Santa Claus.   Here, it’s destruction is saddening, and reconstruction of its remains are left to the imagination.   But as Neville Longbottom’s “Braveheart” moment illustrates, the school is its people, and Hogwarts, and all its fans, are proud at the end.

4 of 5 STARS

No comments :

Post a Comment

A Survivor Candidate

No comments

I have a friend.  He’s my best friend, actually.  I’ve known him for ages.  He loves TV.  And, more specifically, he loves reality TV.  Every time I visit, I can’t help but think he should make a quick video and send it to Survivor for consideration as a contestant.  Sure, he’s competitive.  He’s a good observer of people.  He focuses on goals, and he’s tactical in the way that he goes about it.

That said, a lot of the show’s contestants fit that modus operandi.  Their weakness, though, is often their lack of energy and clear-mindedness due to lack of food.  And this is where he has an advantage, trained since the day he left home 30+ years ago. 

Imagine, if you will, a traditional two story, colonial style house in nice suburban middle class neighborhood.  It has a two car garage, a back porch, and a nicely maintained yard.  Without listing the rooms, which are ample for his needs, there is, of course, a kitchen, which, other than his TV, has the most to do with this post.  It’s a fine kitchen and appears barely used, possibly a priority for him in case he should some day decide to sell it.  

Let’s take a peek. 

First, the fridge, where all those perishable meats, fruits and vegetables go.

photo2

Well, dang it. Did some mystery person raid it just before I got there.  Alas, no.  This is statistically within +/- 5% of his typical stock during his 5 years of residence.  

Let’s see… Grape juice and orangish juice.  That’s a good start to a morning.  Does it go well with the Slimfast on the lower shelf?  I think not.  Maybe it’s an either/or game time decision.   

Continuing on, we have Gatorade, Mountain dew, Pepsi, and… Pepsi.   After that rousing breakfast, I guess he needs a caffeine boost.  But then, to the –5% consideration, there isn’t a whole lot of drinks there.  So, maybe he drinks a lot of water instead?

Oh, dear.  The counter stocks tell their own story.

photo1

Well, okay then.  The freezer was empty, so let’s check the pantry.

photo

Ah, Chef Boyardee to the rescue!  Why waste time preparing food when you can just dump a can and nuke it?  Extra points for variety, with both Spaghetti & Meatballs and Ravioli available for alternating days.   Throw in some salt… and more salt… okay.  And a little Swiss Miss for a cold night?  Can’t fault that.  The barbeque sauce, however… hmm.  If Chef Boyardee didn’t think it was needed, why would he?  The dish at the top, I admit, subtracts from a clearly observable trend.  I’m thinking it must have been a white elephant gift.

Now, let’s apply this to Survivor.

1)  It doesn’t take much, whether measured by quality or quantity, to keep him fed.  That’s critically important.

2) Given a general lack of pots/pans/dishes, it’s very possible that he’s content eating directly from a can.   Therefore, while his tribe is without fire, he should be benefit from larger portions while others come to understand that there’s nothing else around.  I happen to know that he prefers his meat, obviously a rarity, served rare.  That works well as meats could be served at island temperature, 85-90 degrees.  Maybe he would win salt in a challenge.

3) Is Slimfast “breakfast?”  I don’t know.  But I would think that if he drank an extra portion of water, it would satisfy for just as long.  His day, compared to his starved contestants, would be off and running.  That said, the first day or two may be challenging as his system determines whether it can cope with water that has not been carbonated, mixed with chocolate powder, or flavored with chemicals.  For a month… I think he can.

4) It’s sad that so many contestants complain, complain, complain…  I’d have to think that he would have quite an advantage based on a core diet of canned processed food.  He obviously doesn’t demand his protein in a variety of forms, and vegetables?  Please.  Let the others fret over their lack of sprouts and guacamole.  He’s made it this long without any of that nonsense.    While they’re thinking about their stomachs, he’ll be playing with their minds.

He’s survived.  Why not Survivor?

(Note: The contents of this post are not recommended for physicians, dieticians, kids searching for role models, or any food-centric activist group. However, he is available for paid endorsements by Pepsi Corporation and is open to entreaties by attractive females of slightly lesser age who feel the need to care for an adult pet.  As a friend some miles away, I can only feed him sporadically).

No comments :

Post a Comment

Elvira

1 comment

I’ve been keeping track of this year’s forthcoming DragonCon guest list, and Elvira was included.  For some reason I was surprised by this, but I shouldn’t be.  DragonCon is very reliable for bringing in sci-fi/horror/TV pop icons. 

Back in the 1980’s, Elvira was hard to miss, first on TV, then everywhere else as her popularity exploded.  I never watched the dreadful horror movies that she hosted, but she had good, campy humor, and she enjoyed quite a bit more than 15 minutes of fame.

Well, as it turns out, Elvira (at the age of 59… a well-preserved age of 59 that is), is back.  On TV.  On the internet.  And, at DragonCon.  I don’t know that I would have planned to see her, but the woman underneath the hair is Cassandra Peterson, and I have to say that the below clip was very entertaining.  Count me in!

1 comment :

Post a Comment

Death Cab for Cutie – Codes and Keys

1 comment

Death Cab for Cutie remains a pleasant listen for me.  I’ve been listening to their new CD, Codes and Keys, off and on for several weeks.  My initial opinion was that it was more of the same (despite a preference for keyboards over guitars this outing), then I liked it quite a bit.  Now, it’s back to just okay and I know why.

There’s something new here, but nowhere nearly enough.  One wonders if Death Cab will ever take a chance a la Wilco with its addition of Nels Cline… push the boundaries a bit.  The sameness is no surprise.  Writer/singer Ben Gibbard has two speeds of singing – a normal parsed delivery, and a slightly faster parsed delivery.  He’s got a good, well articulated voice, but over the course of 7 releases, yeah.  It sounds the same.

Guitarist/keyboardist/producer Chris Walla has a penchant for experimental  sounds, which are generally electronic adornments to the basic strums of each song.  These vary the tone appreciably and at times elevate a song to a different place, but there’s still a sameness to it.  Production values are clean and sonically sparse, which is necessary to give Gibbard room to make plain his lyrics.  However, the starker instrumentation leaves the only warmth in the recording to Gibbard’s voice, which is largely observational rather than involved.

The first song, “Home is a Fire,” grows to a warm spot over time, an interesting song about slow change in relationships.  The title track loses focus lyrically despite some great phrases.  “Some Boys” is an annoyance.  I’m a guy, and a chorus of “Some boys…” just doesn’t appeal, and though it’s a curious dig at whichever rock stars use and lose girls, it’s bite is lost in music without a punch.

“You are a Tourist” features a refreshing electric guitar lead and seems to be the primary inclusion for keeping the coffers full.  “Underneath the Sycamore” is perhaps the only song that reaches to the excellence that fans expect from Gibbard, but a story of escape from life’s difficulties via a car wreck isn’t likely to invite frequent rotation.

“Monday Morning” is more positive and catchy, but “Portable Television” suffers from good phrases with lack of overall focus.  “Doors Unlocked and Open” has an enjoyable lengthy instrumental intro, but the slightly trippy lyrics do not offer much substance.  In fact, the collection here falls short of the the writing standards that fans have come to expect from Gibbard.

Not that the lyrics do not shine in places.  The key songs are “Unobstructed Views,” “St. Peter’s Cathedral,” and “Stay Young Go Dancing.”  Gibbard has always been adept at writing about troubled relationships.  Recently married, a difference is apparent in a “love is all you need” theme across these songs.  “Unobstructed views” is the clearest:

There’s no eye in the sky

Just our love

No unobstructed views, no perfect truths

Just our love

The elevation of love to the divine isn’t a new concept, but Gibbard moves beyond that to the negation of “the God concept,” a curious tact in what otherwise reads as a love song.  “St. Peter’s Cathedral” lyrically attempts more equanimity to the divine.

St. Peter’s Cathedral built of granite but ever fearful of the answer

When the candle in the tunnel is flickering in sputters and fading faster

It’s only then that you will know what lies above or down below

Or if these fictions only prove how much you’ve really got to lose

At St. Peter’s Cathedral there is stained glass, there’s a steeple that is reaching

Up towards the heaves such ambition never failing to amaze me

It’s either quite a master plan or just chemicals that help us understand

That when our hearts stop ticking this is the end

There’s nothing past this.

There are hints here of which way Gibbard leans, but, to the band’s credit, the music supports the argument.  The song begins in a typical DC4C measured tone, but towards the end it builds to a crescendo as Gibbard’s refrain of “There’s nothing past this” becomes a mantra.  It’s very well done.  That said, I find it curious that a musical exaltation would point towards “there’s nothing past this” rather than toward some outworking of a future hope, call it whatever you like.

The final song, “Stay Young Go Dancing” is surprisingly refreshing, with a return to the warmth of an acoustic guitar, an audible reminder of how the tone differs on the rest of the CD.  Musically and lyrically, this song rests as a statement of what life is all about… when your view is that there is, indeed, nothing past this life.

And I’m swallowed in sound as it echoes through me

I’m renewed

Oh how I feel alive

And through winter’s advancing

We’ll stay young and go dancing

Suggested Tracks: “Home is a Fire,” “You are a Tourist,” “Unobstructed Views,” “Stay Young Go Dancing”

3 of 5 STARS

 

 

1 comment :

Post a Comment