New Vid!

February 26, 2009 at 6:06 pm (Movies, Music)

This one from Hauschka’s consistently excellent and occasionally sublime record comes this video of “Friebad”. What starts as unimpressive animation (don’t worry, the director doesn’t spend nearly as much time to paint his anthropomorphic cartoons as profoundly sad!) soon becomes a swirl of texture very appropriate to the music.

Hauschka has spent a lot of his musical career imbuing melody and harmony with textures in the preparation of instruments, most notably the piano. The song retains this playfulness in textures, and when the visual signification of the music emerges from its humble, emotive beginnings, it again leaves its texture on the sightscape in an astounding melange of color and melody. Hauschka’s lush instrumentation receives proper praise after colors and animals swarm the two musicians.

And this doesn’t even talk about the prfound syncretism that harmony brings later when the giant bubbling mass beings to soar in the air! An astounding video with a clear sense of style and formalistic play.

The video can be found here: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/download/149419-pitchforktv-hauschka-freibad-video-premiere

The entire trilogy’s available here: http://pitchfork.tv/special-presentation/the-hauschka-trilogy, and is worth checking out.

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New Music

February 12, 2009 at 12:53 am (Lilac Inferno, Music)

*I just realized how to turn off comment moderation, so now I won’t look like a stingy hermit about whatever anyone comment on my blog! Amazing!

Like a couple of you guys know, I moonlight (except during full moons when I become a werewolf and eat evildoers) as an electronic musician, and I have an mp3 from my band (Lilac Inferno) to show. It’s really out of place on anything we might do in the near future, and was a song we recorded right after we finished all the songs that found their way onto our first EP. (Sadly only available by me or one of my two compatriots physically handing you a copy right now, but we’re looking into making it available for digital download). (edit: now it’s available for download in wav or mp3 form! Check it out!).

It contains elements from the Beach Boys song “Had to Prove” so don’t tell Brian Wilson about it! But if anyone who owns the rights to that song objects to any of the sampled material, just email me at xyphap@gmail.com and I’ll either take down the song or remove the samples from it, promise! Jackson Floyd plays guitar, I (XyphaP) make with the laptop blips and bloops.

It can be downloaded here: http://www.mediafire.com/?mymvdgmnziw

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Linkblogging, linkblogging. It’s like news, but without journalistic integrity or objective events to report on.

February 11, 2009 at 5:09 pm (1, Comic Books)

I direct all my readers (you’re there, right!?!) over to Jog’s review of the latest Alan Moore Epic.

It sounds like a formal ball to untangle more than the blunt thematic push of the first couple volumes, but it doesn’t read as exhaustingly as the Black Dossier, and looks to be a solid addition to the LoEG saga in style if not in ideology, the latter of which Jog discusses at the end of his review, when talking about two characters, Orlando and Raffle.

First is the politics inherent in Moore’s portrayal of Orlando, a person occupying both genders who (in Jog’s words) can only seem to fit in a stereotypical dichotomy of male as combative and female as effete. He makes some pretty serious assertions that Alan Moore is (un?)consciously reductive of homosexual mindsets as found in his representation of Orlando, who is “set up in Black Dossier as torn between the sensuality of his feminine nature and the warlike thrill seeking of his masculine side; a little pat in the dichotomy, but sure. Unfortunately, the Orlando glimpsed in this comic is always male, and little more than a chatty, sashaying fop who — surprise!! — turns out to be hell in a fight at the end.

It’s remarkably close to stereotype, and even then only one part of a generally tee-heeing approach to male homosexuality that chafes against Moore’s oft-voiced yen for social justice and liberated eros. I eventually got to the point where I wondered if Moore deliberately omitted mentioning the averred gay subtext of Raffles’ character (perhaps so the League wouldn’t seem too gay) or just expected us all to know that already, and thus left it unstated amidst complaints of Orlando being a “he-she.’

I’ll get back to Orlando, but Jog pretty much describes Moore’s poor representation right there. I knew nothing of Raffle’s character before this, but the character after whom Raffle was modeled was George Ives, who was a progressive gay rights campaigner in the early 20th century, much before it became a national issue of the United States. Moore, who culls arcane bits of knowledge and tradition of fictional characters, the author whose art requires books of annotations, doesn’t seem to mention anywhere of Raffle’s homosexual sub text, especially when Raffle’s creator went to great lengths to provide it with some?

At least, I’m just going by Wikipedia, that other compendium of another’s interpretations of pop culture. When describing Georges Ives as the role model of Raffles, Wiki mentions that Ives is a discrete gay, even though a lot of Ives’ actual wikipedia page has most of its actual information involving his orientation. Raffle, however, did not read Ives’ histories of sexuality very well: although Hornung “may not have understood this sexual side of Ives’ character”, Raffles “enjoys a remarkably intimate relationship with his sidekick Bunny Manders.” At least if Hornung’s representation of Raffles lacked substance, he did not deny that part of the man. Alan Moore, however, seems to distort this lack of knowledge to a stylistic extreme, not even referencing an intimate relationship with a sidekick. The question on my mind is whether or not Moore is saving the reference for a later issue in the series.

It doesn’t seem too likely. (edit: 7:39 PM: especially since I just remembered that the series takes place over three teams and three time periods! *ulp*)

In an opportunity to demonstrate an advanced (or at least experienced) knowledge of gender, he sees a transvestite as bipolar, as agressively effete and feminine except when manliness is required in a life and death situation? This is an almost insulting paradigm applied to gender, and this comes from the author of Lost Girls, whose book practically begs to have eros unrepressed, cannot bring the same liberation outside of the bedroom? He determines his character’s identities by their deviant sexuality?

With a simple view on gender often comes an even more dangerous view on orientation, but it’s not like Moore does worse than rudely omit here.

I should mention that I’m most looking forward to actually reading the issue, though!

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