Stephen’s Statements A little bit of everything from Stephen Duncan Jr, a Software Developer in Portland, Oregon

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Say Anything

I meant to post about this a long time ago, but when Blogger discontinued publishing via FTP, I hit some snags trying to create a new setup for my blog and website. If you see this, then I guess I’ve got it working now; the blog is hosted by Google, and the non-blog parts of the site are served up from an EC2 server at Amazon.

Back to what I meant to post about so very long ago: Say Anything’s new self-titled album came out November 2009. It’s an excellent album. I was going to link to a track-by-track explanation of the songs that Max Bemis provided in an interview with AltPress, but apparently it’s dropped off the internet. Instead, I guess I’ll just say: check out the album.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Brand New Eyes

I recently bought three albums: Paramore’s “Brand New Eyes”, Rise Against’s “Appeal To Reason”, and Kings of Leon’s “Only By The Night”. So far, “Brand New Eyes” is the one grabbing my attention with several good songs and some variety of style. And, as always with Paramore, Hayley Williams’ voice is amazing.

After “Ignorance”, the angry song getting play on radio (angry songs are always fun to get into and sing along with), “Brick By Boring Brick” is my next favorite on the album. After listening the song and going over the lyrics on Friday night, we watched Dollhouse, and the ending of the show reminded me strongly of one verse:

Well, if it's not real
You can't hold it in your hand
You can't feel it with your heart
And I won't believe it
But if it's true
You can see it with your eyes
Oh, even in the dark
And that's where I want to be, yeah

While it doesn’t match the song overall (on Dollhouse, it wasn’t Sierra’s choice to be in a “relationship” that wasn’t real), the match up of Sierra recognizing her love for Victor even without any memory of him and “if it’s true, you can see it with your eyes, oh, even in the dark” connected to me. Especially as Diane and I had been discussing how much to read into the “even in the dark” part of the song (balancing the fantasy/escapism the song is against vs “true/real” dreams/faith).

We watched Gran Torino last night, which was better than I thought it would be. Now I’m looking forward to watching a football match (Arsenal v West Ham) and a football game (Dallas Cowboys v Atlanta Falcons) today.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Nothing Better: New Favorite Song

Nothing Better, by The Postal Service, is my new current favorite song. It's a great back-and-forth-between-a-boy-and-a-girl duet. My favorite part is this rebuttal by the girl:

I feel I must interject here You're getting carried away Feeling sorry for yourself With these revisions And gaps in history

So let me help you remember. I've made charts and graphs that should finally make it clear I've prepared a lecture On why I have to leave

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pandora: Music Discovery

Want help finding music that you'll like? Pandora is a system for doing that based on musical analysis of songs. You put in an artist or song, and it creates a "station" based on that artist or song, playing similar songs. For now it's free during preview, so sign up to try it out.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Movie Blogging: Music and Movies

I've got quite a back-log of TiVo'd movies to blog about. We started to watch Funny Face, but turned it off quickly, reinforcing the conclusion that I really don't like musicals. In fact, I can only think of two musicals off-hand that I've enjoyed. The first is The Wizard of Oz, though I think it's more in-spite-of it's being a musical. The second is the absolutely brilliant South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut. In fact, my fondness of South Park is almost entirely due to this movie: I'm not nearly that big a fan of the TV show.

More recently, I watched a couple of supposed "classic" films that I don't really get the reasons for the acclaim. First up: The Untouchables. I thought this movie was simply awful. It was a movie that didn't quite know what it wanted to be. Plus, Kevin Costner was more wooden than a log-cabin. But most awful of all was the music. Not only did it never seem to fit the current mood in the movie, but it was unpleasant to listen to at the same time. It's a lot easier to forgive ill-fitting beautiful music. Sean Connery was pretty good, but the poor script that couldn't decide if it was story, character, or action based dampened his performance.

Last night we watched The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Diane didn't like it all, and quit watching part way through. I, on the other hand, stuck through it mostly for the quality of the music. The score for this movie was extraordinarily well done, and kept me watching the full two-and-a-half hours. This just goes to show how movie music can make all the difference. Though the acting was better here than in the Untouchables as well.