I can’t believe I never told you about Henryk Gorecki. His Symphony Number 3 is devastatingly haunting and beautiful. Once you hear it, you’ll probably remember hearing it before. It’s one of those pieces of music they use in movies (like Fearless and Wit) in the epiphany scene, when it all becomes clear.
My friend Sean introduced me to it in High School, and now I listen to it when I need to mellow out, or am feeling like there’s nowhere else to turn. Dawn Upshaw’s pained soprano, the strings in the background – it just makes life worth living again. Go get the version with Dawn Upshaw as the soloist. There are others out there, but none of them match the beauty of that one.
I’m fighting a wicked sinus infection, so I rented a bunch of movies. Last night, we watched MonkeyBone and most of Requiem for a Dream (talk about a mood shift). MonkeyBone was funny, and the feel of the movie was just perfect. Brendan Fraser is a good actor! Go figure… I had no idea. He pulled it off and was pretty believable in the the whole thing. Downtown had some of the coolest looking characters and sets I’ve seen since Beetlejuice. The stop-motion monkey was great, and the Minotaur bartender was great. Definitely worth renting.
On to the drug movie… This is one depressing flick. Unlike Traffic‘s semi-hopeful recovery ending (sorry if you haven’t see it yet), Dream‘s ending left no room for hope, no light at the end of the tunnel. It showed the darkness at the bottom of the well of addiction. It’s a great film. Ellen Burstyn was robbed, absolutely robbed. She shows the journey in unflinching reality. It was amazing to see her go from lonely widow to strung out junkie. Even Jared Leto was good! Marlon Wayans was good! This is not a movie to watch if you want to feel good about yourself. If you have a kid who likes to play with pot or drink on the weekends, this is the movie to sit them down in front of. The beginning’s sexy and shows people having a good time, and then shows what happens when they lose control and the drugs take over. Not pretty, but I think it was very honest.
Speaking of Jared Leto, I ALSO watched American Psycho. I liked it, but I don’t think I got all of it. Was he really crazy? Did he really kill Paul Allen and the stripper, and holy crap, everyone else? Or was it all in his head? Was he a closet lunatic like the rest of us, keeping our rage and pain under the surface, finding outlets in video games or fantasies? Did his fantasy life come a little too close to the surface? Was that last scene him gaining control over his secret life? Ok… if anyone can explain it to me, please do. Also did anyone else think the “Have to meet Cliff Huckstable at the Four Seasons” line was terribly funny?
So, I found this cool indy station today from Santa Monica (didn’t GO to Santa Monica – thank you Internet!). It got me thinking about my favorite station in Tucson, KXCI. Which then reminded me: DC radio sucks. I can’t find ONE eclectic, goofy, eccentric radio station here. WETA is good for NPR, and JFK is good if you like funny fat white guys. But, there’s no COMMUNITY radio station here that I can find.
KXCI was (and I’m sure still is) awesome. Saturday nights was reserved for the Blues until 11, and then it was live Dead bootlegs until 6 am. There’s nothing better to listen to when driving home on Tucson streets on a cool summer night after a great party. Sundays were great, because everyone got a chance. There was the Irish hour, which was them immediately followed by African music. Weekdays were even better, because you never knew what you were going to get. My favorite set included Ring of Fire according to Social Distortion, and then three versions of Amazing Grace, interpreted to a techno beat, straight-up shaker gospel, and then on accordions (the last being my favorite… yeee-haw).
Back to DC’s poor situation… Does one exist? Is there independent radio in the nation’s capitol? Or is one of the biggest markets in the country doomed to live the rest of its days with pre-packaged corporate sludge coming over the airwaves? Well, is it?