Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Lists (last parts)

OK, here are the last few lists. I haven't had time to edit my writing here so all apologies for poor word choices, strange puncuation and misspellings. Please do your best to enjoy!

Top 5 Movies of 2007
5. In The Shadow of the Moon
4. Milarepa
3. No Country for Old Men
2. Eastern Promises
1. Inland Empire

5. In the Shadow of the Moon. Great documentary with most the living astronauts who flew to the moon. Very positive movie that is still quite intelligent. Outside of the great interviews it's got amazing moon footage that's never been seen before.

4. Milarepa. Fictionalized account of the Tibetan Buddhist priest Milarepa who started out as a black magician. The pacing is very measured (those of you who don't share my love of this style of film making might call it "slow"). It has some computer effects but the film stock, the colors used, and the actors all give a sense of timelessness. Part one of a two part series. Also, got a great invocation scene!

3. No Country for Old Men. I'm sure you've heard of this one. It's amazing to me just how perfectly this film comes across given how far it skews and subverts the "crime movie" genre. Pitch perfect acting and direction. I believe that this movie will continue and inform the way movies are made more than any other film I've seen recently.

2. Eastern Promises. Probably not objectively as good a movie as "No Country" but, for my money I liked it better. I love Cronenberg's obsessive peeks into conspiracy and paranoia and after a slight break (with "History of Violence") it seems he's back firing on all barrels making a marketable mainstream movie that is still pure Cronenberg. The initiation scene is my favorite initiation scene in any movie outside of "Holy Mountain".

1. Inland Empire. First the Cohen Brothers, then Cronenberg and now Lynch - a number of great directors have made strong comebacks this year proving that the directing game is one game that doesn't rely only on the impulsive energy of youth but where artists can mature and grow. Inland Empire, more than any other movie, feels like a filmed dream. I'm not always sure what actually happened in the movie and what I imagined to have happened and I like it that way. There's an aura of creepiness and paranoia that I love and finally it seems that Lynch has overcome his issues with women. Laura Dern rules the movie with a multi-faceted intelligent portrayal and, as a friend of mine pointed out, is truly the lead in the same way Henry in Eraserhead was rather than in the way Laura Palmer was (confusing, untouchable whore, very hard to figure out). Well I'm rambling but fair to say it's a great movie well worth seeing.

Noel and I don't have channels so we only watch via Netflix and the net. Here's a rough list of what we enjoyed. Only 4 because I can't think of anything else current that we dug.

4. Lost
3. Dr. Who
2. Tim and Eric's Awesome Show, Great Job
1. Big Love

We watched a few discs of Heroes but couldn't really connect. Lost we stopped watching because our Mac broke that had the latest episodes downloaded from iTunes but I'm sure we'll come back to it. The characters tend to switch personalities as dictated by the needs of the plot but the overarching story is great mystery.

Dr. Who started kind of patchy but worked itself up to an amazing run. The last 5-6 episodes were classic sci-fi fun. "Blink" is one of the best bits of Dr. Who that I've seen and I've been a fan of the show since I was 6 or 7.

Tim and Eric - great humor taken to a point where it becomes genuine surrealistic art. Brilliant.

Big Love. Wonderfully written and acting. Very consistent writing between episodes with even the fill in writers having a solid understanding of the characters psychology. Probably the best cast I've seen on a show. Very engrossing and personally interesting as I was raised Mormon (though not polygamist) there are a lot of little pieces that I'd all but forgotten about.

I had plans for other lists but time is short and so that's going to have to do it for the year. Enjoy and have a happy new year!!


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Video Classics

Year End List (part two)

OK, so I thought I'd do my top 10 most played songs of 2007 list today. After each track I've listed the number of plays logged in my home iTunes. Please know my computer died in April so really this is a list from May on.

10. Metro Station "Shake It" (35 listens)
9. M.I.A. "Bamboo Banga" (35 listens)
8. Flunk "Sit Down" (36)
7. Rhianna "Shut Up and Drive" (37)
6. M.I.A. "Hussel" (44)
5. Hana "Ayume" (47)
4. South Rakkas Crew "Test Me Nuh" (51)
3. Ceci Bastida "Ya Me Voy" (59)
2. Mala Rodriguez "Por La Noche" (73)
1. M.I.A. "Paper Planes" (98)

Again, this list isn't really my top 10 favorite songs, just most listened. I don't have time right now for commentary. Maybe later. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Best of the Year Lists (Part One)

Seeing as the end of 2007 is fast approaching I had a crazy and utterly unique concept. Why not compile a series of "best of" lists regarding various stuff that was released and happened over the course of 2007? I know, it's a radical idea but I think it might just catch on!

Over the course of the next few days I'll put together a number of lists and then compile them (along with any changes that have to do with things I forgot) on Jan 1 or 2 depending on how tired I am after the 108 sun salutations I'm doing on the 1st.

First up I thought I'd unveil my top 10 albums of 2007. I'm not going to include re-issues as that's a cheat in my mind. This is a bit harder than it used to be as I tend not to buy albums anymore opting for single and piecemeal tracks (yep, say hello to the iTunes age). Also there's a few albums I suspect I'll like but haven't listened to yet (new Radiohead, new Underworld, etc.) Well, without further ado, here goes.

10. Download "FiXer"
9. Britney Spears "Blackout"
8. Saul Williams "The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust"
7. Nine Inch Nails "Year Zero"
6. LCD Soundsystem "Sound of Silver"
5. Sa Dingding "Alive"
4. Mala Rodriguez "Malamarismo"
3. Burial "Mix Up"
2. South Rakkas Crew "Mix Up"
1. M.I.A. "Kala"

And here's the commentary:

Download "FiXer" Good post ambient techno grooves by cEvin (Skinny Puppy) Key and Phil Western. Don't like it quite as well as their last album 2000's "Effector" as the tracks jump around a little too much for my taste.

Britney Spears "Blackout" Great production by Danja (Timbaland lite) makes the album sound like a mutant R&B Faint fronted by a 2020 female robot. People complain that Britney doesn't sound human on this album but that's what makes it so good. A complete analysis of the sexual gender bending politics of the pitch shifted voice in "Freakshow" could fill a small book.

Saul Williams "The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust" Produced by Trent "Nine Inch Nails" Reznor this album is a great hip hop/industrial crossover album that is available free on Williams' site. Sometimes sounds a little too NINny for its own good but there are amazing moments including the cover of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and the creep out zone of "Ritual"

Nine Inch Nails "Year Zero" A real return to form. Tracks like "Capital G" are great pop cuts with others like "Vessel" being as interestingly strange as anything TrentMan has done in ages. It got a lot of play around my place right when it came out though I'll confess it gets put in more sparingly as the year goes on. Pretty sure it'll warrent plenty of future re-visits though.

LCD Soundsystem "Sound of Silver" Like "Year Zero" this got more listens early in the year than late but the humanized electronics are great though sometimes the vocals are a little too post-ironic for their own good. Would probably be lower on the list if it weren't for the amazing and heartfelt track "Someone Great" which genuinely spoke to me after Matt Zaun passed away. One of the most honest songs about the death of a friend that I've heard.

Sa Dingding "Alive" Roger from Magus turned me onto this one. Imperial Chinese vocals with a world techno beat. Lyrics in Chinese, Hindi, Tibetan and self-created languages. The first four cuts are perfection, the rest of the album varies a bit but the first four more than make up for any of the weaker cuts. I'm excited to hear more crossover Chinese music as there's a certain sound in Chinese vocal music that I don't hear anywhere else.

Mala Rodriguez "Malamarismo" Hispanic female hip hop artist. "Por La Noche" got constant play and the album has been revisited numerous times. Mala's voice has a forceful sexy desperation that drives me fucking crazy and the beats are solid and sticky. Probably the sexiest album of the year for me. "Volvere" just came on shuffle play as I write this and it sums up well what makes me love this album so much. Mala's voice layered multiple times (the way she plays off different vocal tracks is great stuff) , mid-tempo stoned groove, lazy horns and an amazing overall vibe.

Burial "Untrue" I'd never heard of dubstep before I heard about this album on Pitchfork and I haven't tracked anything else down in the genre yet, I'm taking my time drinking the album in. It sounds like Rapoon remixing Massive Attack. Great dubby pop voices over the top of spacious beats and melting electronic music and drones. Yummy. Sounds really good listened to all the way through and is great music for night driving, reading and staring out bus windows. "In McDonalds" has been making regular appearances in my yoga mixes these days. Great vibe for savasana.

South Rakkas Crew "Mix Up" This is a blast of pure joy thrown in a blender with a banana. Squelchy, gameboy rocking, maximalistic dancehall reggae freakout music that makes me smile even when I'm in a bad mood. A short album but every track is a keeper. "Test Me Nuh" is so goddamn good that there ought to be a law. Superfast vocals with a heavy beat that sounds like it came out of "Beers Steers Queers" era Revolting Cocks and then a saxaphone riff that is a revelation to me. Not a lot of press on this one but after enjoying the Crew's remixes of Beck and MIA I bought it on a whim and was floored.

MIA "Kala" OK, so the album is as consistant as "Arular" but damn, when it's good it is so fucking good that I want to scream out. "Paper Planes" is my song of the year (that list to come), the very african approach taken towards drums in tracks like "Hussel" "Birdflu" and "Boys" is unlike anything I've heard before, Maya's vocals are excellent fun and MIA continues to have a lot of fun playing with outside perception towards her both in the album and in the press. Afrikan Boy's rap in "Hussel" is fantastic and the remix of "Paper Planes" with him and Rye Rye kicks ass too. Oh yeah "The Turn" featuring production by DJ Blaqstarr is a stoned out of its gouard masterpiece (though "World Town" which samples Blaqstarr doesn't fare so well and is a constant skipper in my book). I realize this review is pure fanboy gushing but the album deserves it.

Like a Very Slow MTV

MTV at the rate of 5 videos a week.

Fanvid for "Music is Math". Very spacious.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Reason for the Season

We've all seen mention about the "Reason for the Season" and putting "Christ" back in "Christmas" so I got to thinking about this. Now "Christ back in Christmas" makes some sense linguistically but the "Reason for the season" despite having a rhyme scheme and fitting more easily into contemporary Christian song lyrics, doesn't make the same sort of sense.

If Jesus is the reason for the season and the season we're entering right when Christmas comes around is winter (which starts 12/21) then it follows that Jesus must be the reason for winter, the season rather than Christmas the holiday inside the season. Inititally, this may seem a rather strange thing for his followers to lay claim to but maybe, upon further examination this makes perfect sense.

Winter is the time when everything is dead and cold so suddenly our gentle Jesus is recast as a lord of death. Now if Jesus is a cold god of death that might make Satan a hot god of life. It does fit with the concept that Hell, the bad place, is known first and foremost for its heat. Are those who are heavenbound going to find need for heavenly parkas to go with their harps and wings? Perhaps it also introduces a reason for the evangelicals to fight Global Warming. Global Warming is the devil's way of trying to exert his hot control over Jesus' glorious cold globe. Revelations! End days are close! More signs! Peter Popoff should open a ministry at the North Pole so as to be closer to the source.

So remember, the next time you complain about the cold weather, you're really complaining about Jesus. Those of you who vacation to warmer climates beware, you're running from God! When you complain about someone being cold or icy you're complaining about them being Godly. Truly, a god fearing person must re-evaluate a great deal once they've discovered this new truth.

So here's to the second coming - it'll be an ice age for sure!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Ill with a capitalized "i" looks the same as the Roman Numeral III (or at least it did in the font I used to enter the text)

I really dislike being ill for as long as I have been. It's been at least three years since I've been sick for this many days in a row (we're on day 9 right now) and I find it flat out unacceptable. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of say in the matter. I'm drinking a ton of liquids but unfortunately I haven't really been able to sleep nearly as much as I'd like. I teach a class in the a.m. but took the rest of the morning off from the firm so hopefully I'll get an extra few hours in that way. Damn it, if I'm not better by the weekend I will be thoroughly steamed.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Mary Xymuss

Just got back from Eau Claire. Snowy out and the roads pretty nasty and it took about twice as long to get home as usual. It's better than having a non-snowy Christmas. Noel drove the entire way as was more relaxing for her that way.

Had a very nice Christmas. Saw my mom, dad and stepmom. Went to see "The Golden Compas" with my mom which was fun despite it turning me away from the truth and righteousness of Jesus Christ just like I'd been warned it would. Noel got me extra good gifts! Definitely a good holiday. We celebrate with Noel's family this coming Friday. That'll be fun.

Here's my Christmas present for you, my very special Mr. Mississippi readers, enjoy!

Monday, December 24, 2007

5:30 comes in an a.m. variety? Who knew?

Wow, it's early. 5:30 am. A few years ago I didn't know that 5:30 came in any variety other than pm. I'm writing this from the St. Paul Corepower. I teach a 6:15today and with all the snow I left extra early. Turns out TC snow removal was better than I expected and the drive didn't take any longer than usual so I have a little time to burn before the first students trickle in. So I've got a little Sa Dingding cranked in the background as I heat up the room and blog away.

Noel and I are heading out to Eau Claire around 3 today to see my mom. We'll get together with my dad and stepmom late tomorrow afternoon if they get back in time. If so it'll be the first Christmas where I've seen my dad for some 14 or 15 years... I'm definitely looking forward to Christmas this year. I usually have a certain amount of dread but that dread is from very old days as I've had great Christmases for quite a few years running.

Finally, just in case you're wondering what Sa Dingding is, here you go:

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Supercar! Supercar! Supercar!

No grand thoughts today just updates and chit chat

6:45 am

Great night last night, Nick is in town from LA and so I got to hang out with him and a very specific most excellent group of friends that I only ever see when he's around. Ate at Kinh Doh and then went to the very cheesy and yet surprisingly relaxed (in that there was no one there) Restaurant Miami. It's worth the visit just to see the fabled "Scarface Lounge" and to see that the tables have telephones so that you can call other tables to hit on people. Wow. Seriously, wow. "Hey baby, youse lookin' pretty hot drinkin' your Scarface movie quote named beverage, youse wants to come over and maybe do it?" None of that for me but I did drink virgin drinks and talked movies and music and all the good stuff. Really a great time - a super nice group of people.

Of course I talked myself hoarse but this morning I feel better than the last few mornings. No fever, my voice is fine but I am a bit phlegm-y in the throat. Oh well, once again the prize was more than worth the price (you get the idea I'm proud of that phrase, cuz I am).

I teach a couple of classes today and a few tomorrow but otherwise have nothing on my plate, which is fun. I'm enjoying the holidays much more this year than I have in ages. I wonder how much of that has to do with the fact that we've got snow on the ground? I love the snow.

Very best,


Saturday, December 22, 2007

This makes me happy

Here's my favorite and most listened to song of '07, it's my current ringtone and everytime I hear it I feel a lift. Hurray for M.I.A.

Mirror Numbers and the Year's Exhale

6:30 am (ish)

Throat hurts today too. Last night went to the holiday party at Corepower and talked and danced and laughed until I was rather hoarse and talking like "granddad". This morning I feel the after effects and that's OK. It sucks but it's OK, the prize was worth the price as I had a lovely time last night.

So the shortest daylight day of the year has come and gone. 12 21 is the only true mirror date of the year meaning it's the only double double digit month / day that are the mirror of each other. It's also the shortest daylight day of the year. On a personal level it was the last day of work at the law firm I work at before the four day holiday weekend and that anticipation in the air created an interesting collective vibe.

If we view the year as one enormous breath and light as the air that goes in through the world's lungs then yesterday was the emptiest the lungs get before a new breath begins. Due to my yoga teaching and the importance of breath in yoga I tend to view everything as a metaphor for breath.

New light, new breath, new experience. It will be dawn soon.

Be good to each other.



Friday, December 21, 2007

David the Gnome

Sent from a friend, among certain circles I use a Gnome-related nom de plume. I think this video shows my long lost brother.

One Man's Journey Through a Deadly Addiction

6 am. I've had a cold moving through me since Tuesday. Mornings and nights are the worst when it comes to sickness. This morning it's moved into my throat. I tell everyone that I'm just getting over the sickness, it's one of those verbal tricks I do to get over the stupid thing faster. Usually works pretty well too, I don't get sick very often at all these days. Of course this one comes after a period of not having as steady of an exercise and yoga practice for about a week so that could be why it's hanging on longer.

Of course, I'm concerned that conceptualizing the reason for the length increases the length of the illness. This is the sort of thought loop that I get in when I'm feverish. OK, just took a few aspirin so that should help to break the fever.

I've got a little time before I go to work so let me tell you a little story about my life:

On 3/21/06 I drank my last drink (cue numerous "What a pussy, can't take his drink" responses). Immediately after I found I had a lot of time on my hands that had previously been filled with bars and booze. The first thing I did to fill this vast empty space was to immerse myself in comicbooks. I'd read comics from childhood through my early 20's. I'd have 6 month periods of heavy interest every 3-4 years but I hadn't regularly collected these luscious four color dreams for a long time. Near the end of my time in the band Avenpitch I started reading them again but I dove deeper once I quit drinking.

Comics were a nice a quick read and they could be collected so I could focus a lot of the extra time and energy pouring over them. I'd spend a lot of time on reading reviews, articles and interviews about comics.

After a month and a half of hardcore focus, I started regular yoga classes and running, both of which mutated my life. I kept reading comics regularly but they weren't front and center. Honestly, even the best comics fall flat when they're the focus of your life and I wasn't reading the best comics. Lots of DC superhero stuff. Batman, Superman and the Green Lantern.

After about two years I quit buying any superhero stuff (if you're keeping a mental timeline, remember that I'd started buying in Avenpitch daze back in '05), though I gained an interest in Japanese comics. But that interest didn't come with any corresponding need to scour the net for manga fan communities. Most manga/anime communities are filled with teenagers and extremely dull to wade through. I obsess easily but I'm not a masochist.

However that may not be totally true because I've still been going on to and reading their interviews, reviews and previews. Worst of all I've been reading the comments about the articles which are truly painful - 7th layer of hell sort of painful. It's not like I have an over-abundance of time but it's so easy just to pop in. I'm hoping that this here blog will help to ween me off the beast.

I didn't go to the site any during the day yesterday but, God Help Me (tm), I did do a quick glance when Noel and I got back from "No Country For Old Men". Just a quick glance at the headlines, nothing that'll hurt me, right? Right?!?!

Please tune in here to find out more about one man's journey through a deadly addiction to stupid-ass comic talk.

7am - that's a wrap.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Depraved Lust for Fame Fuels Orgy of Verbiage

So, I've gone and got a blog huh... Well, the rent's cheap and there's not a lot of maintenance required, so why not? I've toyed with the idea over at Myspace but that turned into more of a surrealist poetry/comedy blog than a proper "here's what's going on in my life" sort of affair. After reading a lot of hoopala about Diablo Cody (who used to live across the parking lot from me and Noel back in our SLP daze), I got to thinking about the whole blog sensation. Of course I'm five years late to the trend and I'm not a stripper so the glaring spotlight of fame will probably miss me but who needs fame?

Who needs fame? Certainly not the legions of doom who inhabit the stages of run down rock clubs nor, least of all the Myspace cases who've found their fifteen minutes in a virtual Pokemon "collect 'em all" style orgy of friend requests and definitely not me. I’m nothing like those fame obsessed losers who populate “reality” TV shows who’ll do anything to get their face slapped on the boob tube.

Oh well, I'd better come clean - I've absolutely got a vigorous lust for fame. It's been a major motivating factor of my life. It's exciting to watch the constant struggle between how much I want fame and how much I'm willing to give up for it. It's my own personal tug of war match between the lily-white angel perched on my right shoulder and the crimson red 'lil devil on the left.

As I get older and more locked into my comfort it becomes harder to gamble it all but I still make my bids for limelight though they're a lot less "life and death" these days. I have this sneaking suspicion that I'll be happy about the same percentage of time whether or not I have magazine editors wanting to interview me.

So yeah, the fame lust is still there but it doesn't control me. I think that a blog might be a healthy way to have fun with the idea and maybe bleed a little of the juice out of it while I'm at it. Plus I'll get to babble about music I'm listening to, movies I'm watching, yoga flows I'm working on and all that sort of hoo-ha, which is also fun.

That’s enough from me for now. It's great to have you along for the ride!

Be good to each other.

David Not David

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

First Post!

Hello and welcome to the very first post of my brand new blog - Mr. Mississippi, I'm your host David Not David. Soon these pages will be filled with sparkling entries showing off my wit and wisdom, in the meantime please enjoy the empty space.