Tuesday, November 29th, 2005
Life On Mars?
Is it wrong that while watching Spielberg’s remake of War Of The Worlds, I was cheering for the aliens? Maybe not to conquer to world, but surely to make raspberry jam of Tom Cruise and his horribly annoying brood before falling victim to the avian flu? Technically, the film was excellent – and I wouldn’t expect anything less from Spielberg. The aliens were menacing, the special effects fantastic, the suspenseful moments, um, suspenseful… but I didn’t really like this film. The main problem is that Spielberg chooses to show the alien invasion from the POV of one family, and it’s an incredibly annoying family. It’s very hard to believe that anyone faced with something as apocalyptic as an alien invasion would still find time to be all, “you never had time for me, dad!” petulant. Give me a break. Also kinda dumb – aliens doing house-to-house inspections for survivors and rooting through Tim Robbins’ porn collection.
Spielberg also continues his streak of weak endings, even though he sticks to the original explanation for the aliens’ demise. He manages to make the idea of the aliens being done in by bacteria seem incredibly trite and a cop-out, even though I think that Wells’ solution was pretty damn clever. Maybe it’s just the presence of Tom Cruise. There’s something about that guy and aliens. And don’t even get me started on the utter absurdity of the final scene… I’ve never read the original novel, nor heard the radio play or even seen the original movie so I have no comments about the 2005 edition in the greater historical context, though I definitely preferred Alan Moore’s League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen take on the story.
Those touring machines in The Magnolia Electric Co will be coming back to town on March 25 of next year. The venue is still TBA, but Lee’s Palace – where they played this past August – seems like a good bet.
Andrew Kenny of American Analog Set talks setlists, labels and making out with Junkmedia. I’ve been trying to find a picture of the “iPod != turntable” t-shirts they’ve been selling on tour, but to no avail. I bought one the other week in Toronto and think it’s great, since I’m quite fond of both my iPod and my turntable.
Speaking of which, The Guardian has a piece on the remarkable resurgance of vinyl sales in the UK. Seeing sales numbers like those attributed to Paul Weller’s latest album (55% CD, 38% LP) are pretty astounding, and the general upswing in record sales are attributed in large part to the indie rock demographic. Yay, us. I got my turntable properly set up this weekend and fitted with a Grado Red cart. It sounds superb.
Yes, this is shaping up to be a bit of a slow week. Sorry.
np – Sparklehorse / Good Morning Spider