Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Three Dead People

Yesterday while I was at Amoeba, Weston called me. His voice sounded urgent: "Dude, Michel Gondry is speaking at the Apple Store tonight." We had already waited in line to see a free screening of There Will Be Blood last week and failed that, so we wanted to get to this event really early. We headed downtown at half past 3 and walked down Market cigarette in hand. We were putting our cigarettes out as the store came into view. From a distance we could see a line of only two girls. I told Weston, "I don't know how comfortable I feel about being the first in line." We ended up waiting for about two hours, but were able to get some pizza by writing on the sidewalk with chalk where we were standing, "Alex and Weston will be back in 20 mins." Probably no less than 100 people came up to us or the girl in the very front to ask what we were standing in line for. We began experimenting with responses: 1. "to buy an iPhone... the 2009 edition," 2. "free iPhones," 3. "to see Mariah Carey," 4. "we actually don't know why," 5. "to see director/screenwriter Weston Green," 6. "what're you in line for?"

Seeing Michel Gondry was pretty exciting. Although I can't attest to being the hugest fan, I could feel the excitement. He was a very inspiring person, and his accent made me very Franconostalgic. Since he was promoting his new film Be Kind Rewind, Mos Def--who coincidentally happened to be in SF as well--also showed up. Mos Def made the crowd laugh the most by adding his "regular guy" persona to the group. The interviewer probably tried too hard to ask "intellectual" questions. And Michel Gondry was very inspiring; I especially was pleased to hear him talk about his gripes with too high production, his inspiration for different music videos and films, and how Kanye West was hard to work with. I loved how at times he would be really into explaining something from his oeuvre and he would get really into it and keep talking as the interviewer tried to intervene. Then, as she finally was allowed to speak, he would stop paying attention for a moment, look down at the ground, and smile, as though in talking about such a project he was reminded of something from his past that made him laugh.


Justice - D.A.N.C.E. (Benny Blanco Mix ft. Mos Def)

Lately I've been doing some intense research on new music, so today I have three songs to write about. Let's start with Sebastien Tellier. His "Ritournelle" for me is one of those perfect songs, but I have been wary about any of his other songs. The original "Sexual Sportswear" is alright, though repetitive and a bit boring. SebastiAn makes it more dance-floor friendly, and without putting too much grinding computer sounds that he seems prone to use (on songs like "Smoking Kills" or his "Ready to Uff" remix).

Sebastien Tellier - Sexual Sportswear (SebastiAn Remix)

Next up we have perhaps DFA's most bizarrely named band, Hercules & Love Affair. Is it the name of two people or is it a mysterious story based on Greek mythology? Well, Brooklyn-based Hercules' songs have a disco-feel, but are mostly heavy. In "Blind," however, they've enlisted the help of Antony Hegarty (of "the Johnsons" fame). Antony, mostly known for his sad, resonating and often twisted songs, gives this track a sort of timelessness. With its bongos, bouncy synths and walking bass, this one definitely deserves some radio play.

Hercules & Love Affair - Blind


And then the best for last; I can't get enough of this one. Judging from his get up My Robot Friend electrifies indie rock and is making Devo cool again. And with the presidential primaries in process right now, the song is doubly poignant: "Everything I say about bad education/ a million broken records have already said."

My Robot Friend - Robot High School

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