Saturday, November 10, 2007

No Country for Young Men

Beirut's Zach Condon deserves the term "wunderkind," I think. I mean, the guy's 21 years old, and he's without a doubt one of the more talented musicians of his generation (up there with James Murphy, Tunde Adebimpe, and Sufjan Stevens). Just this year he released his sophomore album, The Flying Club Cup, which mostly dispensed with his debut's (Gulag Orkestar) Balkan rumblings for a more unplaceably (*cough*French*cough*) exotic tone, and it suits Zach's Morrissey-with-soul warble far more snugly than the slowed-down-Gogol-Bordello tunes he used to traffic in. He's unimpeachably gifted, and The Flying Club Cup just may serve to cement his place in the indie music pantheon (or at least the folksier end of it).

Watch, and appreciate:

Friday, November 9, 2007

Sprinkle Some Fries on Those Cupcakes

Okay, first off, I realize the Summer of Patton is over, and all the wonderment and awe is dying down a bit, but I still need to sing his praises, so deal with me here.

So, most importantly, Patton Oswalt did it this year. He Did It. He became the best comedian of the early 21st century, his generation's Richard Pryor or Bill Hicks, and he narrowly beat out David Cross for the title. In fact, even Patton's earlier stuff lagged behind David's ( Mr. Show > King of Queens, Shut Up, You Fucking Baby! > Feelin' Kinda Patton), but with this year's Werewolves and Lollipops, Patton wins. He's laid down the best comedy album since, probably, David's Shut Up, and it beats out anything else by his Comedians of Comedy friends by a long-shot (Live In: Nerd Rage anyone?), and don't even get me started on Dane Cook. I'm sure people will argue that Harmful if Swallowed, and Dane Cook with it, are the Stand-Up Watermarks of the Early 21st Century, but these people are stupid. I'll lay it down right here: Dane Cook sucks. Get over it. He's about as original and funny as Family Guy; carrying the metaphor, that would make Patton Futurama, underappreciated by the masses but super beloved and always respected. So Patton's Werewolves and Lollipops is the best comedy album of the decade, at least. It rewards repeated listens in the best way, and as a Pitchfork review pointed out, the jokes and Patton's delivery are so uniquely his own that you don't want to replay bits in your head or repeat them; you want to hear him say them, and so you keep coming back.

In addition to putting out the best comedy album of the decade and diversifying Coachella (that's not paragraph worthy, but it is cool nonetheless and I did get to see him there, so here's a blurb: Patton brought his Comedians of Comedy to Coachella, the first non-musical act there, ever. It was amazing, and I got a Zach Galifianakis t-shirt), Patton voiced main rat Remy in Pixar's Ratatouille, a charming and poignant little kid's movie that adults seemed to prefer over kids (see also: Toy Story, Finding Nemo). Ratatouille was a huge success, everyone loved it, it made lots of money, and it was, probably more importantly, Pixar's return to form. The Incredibles was, let's face it, just okay, and although Cars was better, it was this film that really reaffirmed Pixar's place in the good kid's movie pantheon, and Patton's portrayal was convincing and natural; it seemed real, which is a fairly big deal when you're providing the disembodied voice of an anthropomorphic rat.

So let's keep the Patton love going. We love him. We need him. He's saving comedy, and thus America's sense of humour.

We love you Patton. Never leave us.

There Will Be Blood

Look upon P.T. Anderson's wonders and tremble, ye mighty*

This movie is going to kick your ass, and I'll tell you why. First off, there's the film itself, based on Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel Oil! which is all socialist-y and wonderful, and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, who brought us Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, and Boogie Nights. Then we have the cast; Daniel Day-Lewis, in all his mustachioed glory, as the eccentric, rich oil magnate who wants to turn a piece of unused land into gold, and Paul Dano as the charismatic young preacher man, howling hellfire, trembling in insecurity and unsure of his place against Day-Lewis (and I haven't even seen the movie yet!). If that's not enough, then how about the fact that Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead's guitarist, for the less astute among you) is composing the score?

Basically, this movie can't lose. It just can't. And I'm incredibly excited.

*I need to re-read Ozymandias. Sue me.

These are Blogs

clearly I have caved.
I have, seemingly, left the masses of sane thought to suit up and rocket into the blogosphere.
God help us.

I think I'll start off by sending you all away, to far more competent blogging, courtesy of Marc at, and Kevin at

If you're bloggin' it and you're my friend and I neglected to pimp you, let me know, and I'll happily remedy the situation.

Now go off, while I rummage around for mp3s or something...