LISTENING

I post this series every week (but not last week, oops! what did i even do that week?) and pick one thing I listened to that I found really good or interesting. Sometimes it’s an artist, band, or album that I’ve been listening to on repeat. Sometimes it’s a podcast episode I think others should listen to because it’s well-done or important. The truth is, each week I could pick the same band because each week I listen to this band constantly: Nirvana.

I love Nirvana. I first heard them in elementary or middle school probably, and thought they were “meh.” Sophomore year of college I was a radio DJ and someone called in requesting Nirvana. We only had one of their albums in the station’s CD library: Bleach. The caller requested “Big Cheese,” so we played it and immediately I was like “whoa, this is Nirvana?” because it sounds so different from the staples you hear on the radio (“Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “In Bloom,” “Heart-Shaped Box“). Anyway, I downloaded Bleach and fell in love with its grittier, grungier sound at a time in my life where I felt like I needed grit. And so then as I listened to more of their stuff I started to connect with the lyrics and Kurt‘s aesthetic so much more than I could’ve when I first heard their tracks.

Fave track: There can be no favorite. Am I feeling angry? “Mr. Moustache.” Am I feeling depressed? “Where Did You Sleep Last Night,” a Leadbelly cover. Am I feeling upbeat? “Been a Son.” A track for every possible scenario. There are only a few songs in their discography that I don’t like, but I think I would grow to like them if I didn’t skip them when I listen on shuffle.

 

WATCHING

EVERYTHING. As November 1st loomed, I tried to watch as many of the films on Netflix that were expiring before the deadline. I did not get to them all. I watched Fela Kuti: Music Is The Weapon (Flori, 1982); How To Steal A Million (Wyler, 1966); The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (Anderson, 2005); Year of the Dog (White, 2007); and The Piano Teacher (Haneke, 2001). The documentary on Fela Kuti was an interesting perspective because it was made in the 80s while he was still alive, as opposed to other retrospective documentaries. How To Steal A Million was a fun, cute movie. The interplay between Peter O’Toole and Audrey Hepburn is entertaining and funny, even if the narrative is unsurprising. Julianne Moore stars in The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, based on a true story. Moore is always wonderful, so even if the story of a housewife charged with taking care of and financially supporting 10 kids with jingle-writing sweepstakes winnings while her husband (Woody Harrelson) drinks away all their money seems nothing special, Julianne Moore elevates the film to captivating. Year of the Dog stars Molly Shannon in a dramedy role. I kept comparing it to some of Kristen Wiig‘s recent stuff since it seems like this film was a chance for Shannon to break into more dramatic roles, but it didn’t have the same urgency and punch as Wiig films like The Skeleton Twins or Hateship, Loveship. Not sure if that’s because of Shannon’s acting or the writer/director Mike White‘s script and direction. Either way, it wasn’t bad, just wasn’t good. Lastly, The Piano Teacher. I was like, what the f**k? I’d seen The White Ribbon before and didn’t remember that being super creepy and weird, but The Piano Teacher was so creepy and weird and draining. I had plans to also watch Haneke’s Funny Games, but after The Piano Teacher, I thought it best to pass on the Haneke stuff for a while, lest I go crazy.

 

READING

Because I was watching so much, I did very little reading. I’m sad about that. I’m wondering what I should read next after finishing Candide. I’m choosing between Beloved (Toni Morrison), The Blacks: A Clown Show (Jean Genet), or maybe do one of the few nonfiction book I’ve got on my bookshelf. We’ll see…

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