ON VACATION: Electric Forest Festival, MI

If you’re having trouble reaching me this Wednesday until Monday, it’s because I’m in the woods. I’m driving up to Michigan for the four-day music festival, Electric Forest. This is the first time I’ll be camping at a music festival; I’m pretty excited to have this opportunity to get away with a few of my favorite people and see some great bands and DJs.

ON VACATION: Electric Forest Festival

My phone will mostly be off save once a day to check for messages and maybe upload some photos to Instagram.

Happy summer!

[Photo by Cal Millner]

Let’s hear some women talk

Let me take a moment to explain in my own words something that is very important to me.

Blue is the Warmest Color movie still

I just saw the new X-Men (Days of Future Past). Out of all the comicbook-to-film series, I think I’ve enjoyed the X-Men the most. These mutant stories weave political, scientific, and psychological themes with eye-popping muscles and badassery. I won’t give away any spoilers about the latest installment, but there was an impressionable balance of special effects and dialogue… between and about men. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the movie, but Days of Future Past is a prime example of the normative failure of Hollywood to show women interacting with each other on screen.
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A few album ratings – Spring 2014

********* 9
The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream (March 2014, neo-psychedelia)

********* 9
Rosanne Cash – The River & the Thread (January 2014, Americana)

********* 9
Nils Frahm – Spaces (November 2013, ambient)

********* 9
Bonobo – LateNightTales (November 2013, electric)

********* 9
Warren Haynes – Live at Bonnaroo [June 15, 2003] (June 2004, acoustic rock)

********* 9
Dada – American Highway Flower (September 1994, alt rock)

******** 8
Tycho – Awake (March 2014, ambient pop)

******** 8
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – The Lion the Beast and the Beat (June 2012, rock)

******** 8
Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté – Ali and Toumani (February 2010, Mande folk/Songhai)

******* 7
Beacon – The Way We Separate (April 2013, indietronica)

******* 7
Katharina Franck – Zeitlupenkino (2002, singer/songwriter)
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Zeppelin update: Spotify, reissues, and session samples

Without fail, every year there are bits of Led Zeppelin news to share. In December, they finally released their catalog to Spotify. In January, Jimmy Page claimed he would start releasing remastered albums this year. This week, you can listen to sample practice recordings made during Physical Graffiti sessions.

Rough mixes from Physical Graffiti sessions
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Favorite films seen in 2013

Gravity, Philomena, Metropolis, A Room With a View…. These are a few films and TV shows from my list of 2013 films (released in Louisville) or the list of older films that I had never seen before (14 of which are streaming on Netflix). Last year, I summarized my IMDb films of 2012. This year, in October, I created my own custom spreadsheet of movies.

Films I've seen, released in 2013

Title
Type
My
Avg.
#Ratings
42Feat.107.640140
47 RoninFeat.86.620906
A Good Day to Die HardFeat.85.4117907
American Hustle *Feat.87.784115
Amour *Feat.107.848394
Bettie Page Reveals AllDocu.87124
Birdemic 2: The ResurrectionFeat.42.4733
Blue Is the Warmest Color *Feat.98.119519
Blue Jasmine *Feat.77.545292
Charles Bradley: Soul of AmericaFeat.107.6260
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (S2)Series88.3840
¡Cuatro!Docu.88.855
Craig Ferguson: I'm Here to HelpFeat.87.1163
Drinking BuddiesFeat.86.222027
ElysiumFeat.76.7172790
EpicFeat.76.748706
Frances Ha *Feat.97.616883
Fruitvale StationFeat.97.619434
Gravity *Feat.108.3252724
History of the Eagles Part OneDocu.97.8485
Louis C.K.: Oh My God TV Special78.2002284
Much Ado About NothingFeat.77.48153
MudFeat.77.560915
Only God ForgivesFeat.85.849964
Oz the Great and PowerfulFeat.86.5130601
Phil Spector TV Movie86.33016
Philomena *Feat.107.98090
Picasso Baby: A Performance Art FilmDocu.97.740
Prisoners Feat.78.1147084
QuartetFeat.96.89748
Red Bull Stratos - Mission to the Edge of SpaceDocu.8n/an/a
Room 237Docu.76.49200
Secret Project RevolutionShort98.344
Side by SideDocu.97.77346
Star Trek Into DarknessFeat.97.9253676
The ConjuringFeat.107.6151753
The Grandmaster Feat.76.613019
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Feat.88.2199498
The Hunt *Feat.98.365737
The Impossible *Feat.97.6100341
The Last Ice MerchantDoc. Short87.525
The Place Beyond the PinesFeat.87.4115809
This Is the EndFeat.96.9172296
Top of the Lake *Series97.67068
TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away from KeyboardDocu.97.78516
Upstream ColorFeat.76.9010284
We're the MillersFeat.87.1150504
Whatever This Is.Series88.625
World War ZFeat.97.1261490
Zero Dark Thirty *Feat.87.5153985
Films released in the Louisville area in 2013 that I've seen. IMDb ratings ("Avg." column) based on Jan. 27, 2014 numbers.
* Nominated for Golden Globe
Nominated for Academy Award
Nominated for Emmy Award

Films I’ve seen, pre-2013 release

Of the older films I’ve seen this year, here are the highlights. I’ve notated the ones that are streaming (at time of publication) on Netflix. I was motivated to watch a lot of these after reviewing the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, particularly if they passed the Bechdel Test.

  • 49 Up (2005, docu., Netflix)
  • A Room with a View (1985, Netflix)
  • A Trip to the Moon (Watched both the original 1902 b&w version, and newly restored 2012 Blu-ray hand-colored version with Air soundtrack)
  • Amreeka (2009)
  • Blue (2012, new YouTube series)
  • Breaking the Waves (1996)
  • Carrington (1995)
  • Children of Paradise (1945)
  • Chimpanzee (2012, docu.)
  • Coldplay Live 2012 (Netflix)
  • Control Room (2004, docu., Netflix)
  • Cosmic Voyage (1996)
  • Crumb (1994, docu.)
  • Dancer in the Dark (2000)
  • Electric Shadows (2004, Netflix)
  • Enter the Void (2009, Netflix)
  • Forks Over Knives (2011, docu., Netflix)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
  • Kick-Ass (2010)
  • Leonie (2010)
  • M (1931)
  • Man With a Movie Camera (1929, docu., Netflix)
  • Metropolis (1927, purchased 2010 “complete” Blu-ray with newly found footage; also streaming Netflix)
  • Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1980)
  • My Brilliant Career (1979, Netflix)
  • My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
  • Night and Fog (1955, docu.)
  • Nostalgia for the Light (2010, docu.)
  • Pearl Jam Twenty (2011, docu., Netflix)
  • Porco Rosso (1992)
  • Princess Mononoke (1997)
  • Senna (2010, docu., Netflix)
  • Seven Chances (1925, Netflix)
  • The General (1926, Netflix)
  • The Holy Mountain (1973)
  • The House Is Black (1963, docu.)
  • The Killer (1989)
  • The Pixar Story (2007, docu.)

Best Albums of 2013

My second annual list. This is mostly personal preference, but with an ear to recommend both popular and obscure (mostly rock and jazz) albums to other music lovers.

9-best-albums-2013

Top Picks

  • Bombino – Nomad (Tishoumaren, blues rock; April)
  • Charles Bradley – Victim of Love (Soul, April)
  • Daft Punk – Random Access Memories (Nu-disco, May)
  • Gregory Porter – Liquid Spirit (Vocal jazz, September)
  • Janelle Monáe – The Electric Lady (R&B funk, September)
  • Jim James – Regions of Light and Sound of God (Neo-psychedelia, February)
  • Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork (Hard rock, June)
  • Tegan and Sara – Heartthrob (Electropop, January)

Second Billing

Most of these are artists I had never heard of or given a second listen before 2013. Good music is alive and well. Read the rest of this entry »