rock'n'roll, country, punk & metal.
bands that combine all four successfully.
design, graphic & interior.
the intersection of philosophy & sociology.
emergent gameplay, of the videogaming variety.
deep fried everything.
making lists, including this one of my life's ambitions, and these of things on my mind at the time.
i took a trip! read about it here.
evidence of my lame yuppie side on my (gasp!) house blog here.
We’re five days in and the festival is already hitting me hard… I’m looking forward to week two, when I can maybe just relax and watch movies until my eyes shrivel up like raisins. Let’s get to the films I’ve seen so far, shall we?
Jacky au royaume des filles This wacky French flick imagines a world in which horses are worshiped, everyone eats gruel from a faucet, and men wear a modified niquab and are subservient to their domineering, masculine wives. While ultimately inconclusive and without a clear message (strange, given its premise), this film is good fun and thought provoking in its own way.
Kite Despite some pacing problems and mushmouthed, garbled acting by supporting characters, I quite enjoyed Kite for its elegant violence and occasional flashes of photographic brilliance. While the story, adapted from a Japanese anime, is somewhat predictable, this is an acceptable popcorn film and I was not disappointed.
Faults This film is a lovely surprise, a slow burning character study that pits the flawless Mary Elizabeth Winstead against the equally excellent Leland Orser in a story about cults and mind control. Gripping and claustrophobic, this out of the ordinary film deserves to be seen.
Boyhood Director Richard Linklater does not disappoint with this hotly anticipated epic. A coming of age tale unlike any other, this film manages to eclipse the cleverness of its premise (the film was shot over 12 years, and follows the main character from age 6 to 18) and become a meditation on the thread that draws life together. Darkly comedic, with Linklater’s signature laconic style, this film manages to hold a mirror up to the viewer’s own life, suscitating tears and laughter alike. Also, it seems everyone missed the glorious Dazed & Confused Easter egg: the convenience store clerk from D&C (David Blackwell) makes a return appearance in Boyhood as… a convenience store clerk!
Life After Beth While there’s something off about this film, with its strange construction and odd pacing, this ultimately works for it, and keeps it from being yet another zombie film. Aubrey Plaza… well, is Aubrey Plaza all over the eponymous Beth (although her performance once fully “transformed” was delightful), but it was Matthew Gray Gubler’s supporting performance as a a scrawny overcompensating wannabe Rambo that amused me the most.
Suburban Gothic Where his previous film Excision was stylized and elegant, Richard Bates Jr.’s follow feature, Suburban Gothic, is looser, weirder and a lot more silly. Designed to mimic children’s soft horror (Are You Afraid of the Dark?) but for adults, this film will find its audience, but it just didn’t work aesthetically for me.
Cybernatural One of the best so far, this film manages to bring both a fresh perspective and a timely topic to a somewhat tired genre, singlehandedly revitalizing the found footage film in an incredibly clever, dynamic way. Shot from a single, unwavering perspective (that of one person’s computer screen), this film manages to be utterly suspenseful and terrifying. Tackling cyberbullying in a pointed, but not moralistic way, this is a film that’s totally for our time, and it deserves a huge audience, and maybe even a few sequels, Paranormal Activity-style. If you love this genre, I cannot recommend this film enough, and I only hope more people will get the chance to see it.
the absolute worst thing you can do to a middle aged white guy is ignore him.
do people in the american south have more trouble counting syllables? this is an honest question.
i have a problem with c___ine.
if you think i mean cocaine, you’d be terribly wrong. the truth is worse, and wildly socially acceptable. keep guessing.
the fantasia film festival starts tomorrow. this year i’m aiming for 44 films in 21 days, which is doable, but unlikely. normally i post a list of all the films i want to see, but in lieu of that, how about a list of those i absolutely don’t want to miss? boyhood, dead snow: red vs. dead (the sequel to the 2009 norwegian favorite about zombie nazis, this time inexplicably featuring martin starr?), metalhead, and yeah, i’ll admit it, guardians of the galaxy… but only because it seems to make intensive and gratuitous use of chris pratt’s abs.
I’ve had a version of this post rattling around in my drafts since my return from yet another industry conference back in April, where the thought above crept into my mind while listening to the panelists speak. At that conference, social media was, once again, touted as the magic potion, the salve for the aches and pains of all levels and facets of the music industry. If you ever needed a reason for why this business deserves to die, all you need to do is watch it try to grasp at every last possible shred of numerical data (Facebook likes, Twitter followers, Soundcloud plays, etc.) in the quest to quantify the unquantifiable.
All this came flooding back to mind yesterday when I read Taylor Swift’s laughable Wall Street Journal article on the future of music. Her opinions are much like asking the prize winning pig at the state fair for its opinions on the meatpacking industry; from where it’s standing, covered in ribbons, it has absolutely no way of knowing. But it will gain intimate, subjective knowledge… one day.
While the entire piece is mostly off base, the section on “Fan Power” echoes my thought above most clearly. The anecdote she gives about the actress who got a role because she had more Twitter followers should strike an icy cold dart of fear into anyone with who appreciates music (or film, or visual art, or literature, or ANYTHING) for its cultural and creative value. Swift packages this reality as a positive, pseudo-democratic process, when what it really boils down to is a pathetic attempt by big business to divine future sales numbers through the shiny crystal globe of social media.
The main problem for them, of course, is that sales have become mostly meaningless. Even I, a long time champion of alternatives like the distribution model, where you pay a flat fee (to, ideally, in my world, an ISP, but in reality to services like Spotify or Google Play Music) in exchange for “all you can eat” music, have been disillusioned by the abysmal revenue sharing models of those services. (A good example is here.) Getting your music in the ears of listeners, even if they procure it in a legitimate way, is no longer a guarantee of wealth and prosperity.
From behind her blue ribbons, however, Swift declares:
"… my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art."
I’m not sure how this will somehow be different than the last 30+ years, but Swift seems to have missed the memo that it’s not really up to the industry to set the price anymore. The people have spoken, and for the most part, they want the price point to be “free”. But that shouldn’t be interpreted to mean that creative and cultural output is being devalued or undervalued. After all, there are more people making things - good, even great things - all over the world, and people are consuming them faster and in greater numbers and ways than ever before. What IS happening, however, is that creative and cultural output is being separated from the economic bottom line, and that will not change anytime soon, no matter how many multimillionaires declare it otherwise. In other words, the BUSINESS part of the music business is dying (good riddance!), but the music part is doing just fine, I think.
"But who’ll make music if they can’t get paid?" Hopefully fewer people, quite frankly, and it’s the people who would ask that question that we need to get rid of. The world is full of those that think they’re gonna get rich in this business because they have talent, including many without. But just as the article by Taylor Swift conflates “the future of music” with “the future of the music industry”, talent and wealth do not automatically go hand in hand.
My prediction? Creative people will continue to do what they do because it’s not a choice for them. I believe everyone can be creative, but there are people who can’t NOT be creative. They have to paint, or sing, or write, or stand in front of or behind a camera or microphone. They have to make something that didn’t exist the day before, often at great personal expense (fiscal, emotional or simply of time). Some of those people will accidentally end up making money from that creativity. Others will learn about business, and put as much creative effort into making money as they do into their art. Others still will create beautiful, wondrous things that will go mostly ignored, forever. This will be the future, just as it was the past, only now that the profit margin has shrunk, one can only hope there will be fewer bottom feeders and bottom liners trying to scoop dimes off their backs.
zero-shinzaki said: Insurance works like this: Car destroyed? if by NPC/Yourself you make call to insurance place, pay fee, car respawns at their lot or your garage. The game will tell you which. If by OTHER PLAYER they pay the fee, you make call, car respawns at their lot or your garage. what you've been noticing is the Personal Vehicle effect. car left behind but is PV? returns to garage when you change PVs. if destroyed but insured, call company, (fee?), car respawned at lot or your garage.
Thanks for this info! So far, I haven’t seemed to need to call… I get a “your car has been destroyed” message, but all my cars are always accounted for in my garage. I think it’s the Personal Vehicle effect, as you mentioned, plus maybe a bug where I keep getting that message from when one of my first (uninsured) cars was destroyed. This seems to be the case because when I call the insurance company, the number is always busy.
Anyways, long story short, the lesson here is, if you like it, then you better put insurance on it…
Anonymous said: I randomly googled my bands name (lie or liar)and the gif you uploaded popped up. Fucking hilarious haha. I thought id let you know I saw it lol. - The Guy That Looks Like That Guy
Huh, I guess I should open my inbox more frequently… Well, Guy That Looks Like That Guy, if you are indeed the real Scott Prisk, then I’m glad you enjoyed it. Kudos to you for taking the whole Metal Sucks thing in stride, btw. Ultimately, it’s about the hits, not the haters.
For those of you just tuning in, the gif in question is here, and is the finest example of pretty-singing-into-terrifying-screaming you’ve seen all day.