A subdivision of ACIDEMIC

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Sweet Sixties Sadness of Parisian Song Sirens

Jane Birkin - as Jane B., with Serge and a dozen suitors (I like to imagine she's singing to ask them all to marry her together in a group wedding). Her awkward, tender gamin attitude and stockings drive me wild. Incomparable! If they're too sunny or teen bopper (like Chantal Goya) I'm not too into them. I like Birkin and Francoise Hardy, and some BB, because they have that gorgeous Gallic mysterieux melancholique.

Here's Jane (above) sounding and looking like her daughter will, and I love how much of a pint-sized gargoyle Serge is, yet he believably gets the hot girls. An inspiration! Switch to Gauloises!

And now our other sweet sad Parisien Siren, Francoise Hardy! Another beauty, perhaps more sad and more haunting!


 If you love her as I do, then this song is probably still your favorite (above). So simple and open for misadventure, yet with that underscoring of being already over before it begins -- perfect for MOONRISE KINGDOM!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Playlist for the last week of Planet Earth

Didn't it rain? It's the last rainy Monday after the last rainy Sunday, and the cold wet wilderness of a new dawn is looming. Maybe nothing will happen, maybe it already has. I'll be in Sedona, AZ, looking for an open vortex I can step into and maybe get whisked magically back to NYC, 'whew' - no place I'd rather be for an apocalypse.

In other words, if you've never faced your own impending death, maybe now's the time. It's good for the soul... as I learned when I had to review Stephen Levine's A Year to Live.  And if you can truly embrace the impermanence of life, and dwell in a place of open-hearted gratitude, then every day is like Xmas day for Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, you're just so grateful and happy to be alive.

So maybe in this mix of sadness and exaltation you can join me on this journey, and then whatever happens this Friday, you'll be ready.  Here's some beginning introductory comments:

And now let the good-byes begin! Lordy! I love this version of the song, and Sister Rosetta sure plays a mean guitar. I dig the stage set-up, like a train station busker writ large upon a rainy track.

Next up is a live in the radio studio version of Smoosh's "The World's Not Bad" -the vocals are a little down in the mix, but this is one of my favorite mopey songs of the past few years and seems to sum up the dying world in a few great lines and moments - the world's not bad - you won't find nothin' here - I felt my body float away out of here.... and of course the girl's youth and innocence makes the drastic changes coming all the more sad and profound. They're more ready to go than most old people still clinging by their fingernails to something they don't even understand.

And of course these guys need no introduction. Just let the deep Icelandic floes of beauty and sadness coast deep past your psychic defenses and explode your heart and mind from the inside out. You'll be glad you did, for only the open hearted and joyously unafraid get taken aloft past the demon dog-guarded gates of paradise.

Lana Del Rey.... I can't help but think she is the dark L.A. angel taking her sweet slow-mo swan dive off the Hollywood sign just for us, just for the last few days of retrospection. See also her videos for "National Anthem," "Born to Die," and "Ride" to get the full moody power of this lady and her found footage editing skills. A fitting eulogy to our country and the vintage clothing conceptuality that lets artists pick the era they want to embody-- even after the planet is ashes she'll still be diving off that cliff back into the eternal amber of those last few minutes before the JFK assassination.

And what better way to sign off than "where it all ends," the Who's mind-blowing highwater mark in rock history, and the final sign off reminder "you are forgiven."

We are all forgiven. Good night, and see you on the other side!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Claire and Angus Sleep No More!

 The new Claire Forlani Dewar's commercial is out, this time it's some weird upper floor empty room with a definite Sleep No More / Macbeth over and undertone. The madwoman in the attic! Are ya thirsty, Angus!

I generally loathe all commercials but these fill me with delight, not only because I used to take full advantage of past Dewar's promotions in the 90s, copious tastings they were, with hot buffet, free Scotch-based drinks, and gift bags stocked with little pints and other cool swag. I'd bring dates and get them drunk for free. They'd think I was crazy, but those little gift pints were great things to remember you stashed on a cold Sunday night back in the cold blue law days when the shakes were upon ye. Hail to the drinkin' man is right! Good for you, Dewar's, going dark and stormy and quite mad where everyone else is chasing aglow camaraderie and rainbow waterfalls, eh Angus? HAhahahahHA