Dec. 13th, 2007

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Last year I fell in a short but intense love with the movie Garden State. I loved the mood, colors, the language, the ideas, and the odd natural-ness that it evoked. I briefly lauded Zack Braff as an unsung genius, before his head got so big and he wasn't so much fun to love. His writing ability was spot on in this movie, and I was caught by the look and feel, my eyes and mind immediately felt at home in that place and time. The characters were people that I went to school with, and even though I have never been to Jersey, I lived in the neighborhood. I drank beer with those people, popped and dropped some drugs with them at parties, and swam in my underwear(at the time briefs) with them.

One thing that I always unconsciously pay close attention with a film is the soundtrack, and will influence my like or dislike of a director as much as camera work, or lighting, or use of the word fuck. I'm not speaking of those enormous, sweeping, John Williams or Ennio Morricone single-writer scores, but the orgasmic miasma of music in films like Say Anything, Breakfast Club, Elizabethtown, Rush, and Garden State. If I am as aurally stimulated as optically, then I can be a fan forever. John Hughes, Cameron Crowe, Lili Zanuck, directors who really take stock of the effect a single song in a film can have on the viewer have kept me watching.

Back to Garden State: The end credit music was what made my head explode. "Let Go" was the song playing from the end into the fade-out into the credits, and I cried when I first heard it. Just an awesome song, in the classic sense of the word. I was struck, just having a spiritual experience with it. The artist is Frou Frou, a collaborative effort from Imogen Heap and producer/songwriter Guy Sigsworth. I immediately went to find and acquire the album, Details. Such a lush album, every song made me cry in one way or another. In a time when so much music just suck these days, so much so that I had retreated to the 70's listening to Pink Floyd, Rush, Utopia, Allman Brothers, etc, this was such an infusion of life for me. I shared this artist with [livejournal.com profile] dv8dgrrl and made her cry to, so I felt justified in my tears of musical joy.

I was saddened to find that there was only the one album by Frou Frou, but I was absolutely delighted to find that Imogen Heap has been struggling and flowering in her own solo career for years! In the same flow as Ani Difranco and Sophie B. Hawkins, she's been one of those songwriters that has gone the route of self producing an promoting her albums, having been frustrated and burned with large record companies, with great success. I am listening to "Speak for Yourself" at the moment for the 8th time, and I only got the album yesterday. She's great for dancing, trancing, sex, and certainly for spinning. I also found a great DJ Tiesto mix of her song, "Hide and Seek" that almost perfectly counterpoints her vocoded a capella with a thumping dance beat. Check out her site at http://www.imogenheap.com/ . She rocks.

Other artists that I have lauded to others about recently:
Sphongle: This is a great ambient sort of music, whether dance, trance, sex, long car rides, or just jumping up and down. Mixed up beats and themes. Great for spinning.

Jason Falkner: He was the guitarist for 90's group The Jellyfish, his solo career has moved beyond what was already a complex musical style. He does all the recording AND plays all the instruments himself, doing an exquisite job.

The Jellyfish: Blendings of Beatles, Beach Boys, and Queen make for a really interesting time with this band. Sadly, they only released two albums, Bellybutton and Split Milk, but they are a must listen to.

The Who: I have only recently come into getting any of their albums, and I have been hearing their music on the radio since birth. I have missed out on a lot of really good stuff by them; the one song that I can't stop listening to right now REALLY loud is "Eminence Front".

Toad the Wet Sprocket: Great band that never really got it's due, in my opinion. I have always been a sucker for good harmonies, and these guys make some really nice ones. The lyrics are deeper than you'd think, talking about issues that affect old and young, all the while wrapping it up in a really good melody.

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