Saturday, May 21, 2005

Pop Culture Roundup

I wish I could sit here and be able to talk about Episode III, but I won't see it until tomorrow. Meantime, I have seen a movie this week. I caught S.W.A.T. on television the other day, which is basically a whole bunch of guns going off and Colin Farrel does some stuff. A foreign kingpin needs to be transported, offers $100,000,000 (pinky to lips) to whomever can bust him out, and there are lots of car crashes and chase scenes and bombs and you can skip this if you want.

I finished Beloved last night. I felt myself getting bogged down by some of the more poetic chapters, but all in all it was a good story. A black woman is tormented by the death of one of her children, whom she killed during an uncontrollable fit while a slave in Georgia. Such torment takes its toll not only on her, but on her family. I recommend it, if for no other reason than the flashbacks to the characters' days as slaves. Some parts are difficult to read emotionally and even more difficult to imagine if you've never been there, but the point is to convey such difficulty to those who never have (and never will) experience what some of these characters did.

A few more listens yield a more positive take on DMB's latest, Stand Up. It is much more polished than everything done before Everyday and even has a few Everyday-sounding moments (I think I even hear synths during a few songs). The band's trademark is the absence of most things electric, but the moments in which they do materialize are not overbearing. Dreamgirl, American Baby, Hello Again, and Louisiana Bayou provide some bright spots with Beuford's light hands driving the beat. The violin and saxophone are more infused to the whole of the songs and opportunities for them to break out individually are few. It may take a bit to warm up to the band's latest effort, but give it time. Hardcore fans will end up liking it, casual fans might like it, and anti-fans (who in my experience don't like the band more for their fans than the music) won't, but that's typical.

Around the web, Dave, the writer of The Grace Pages, has added a new blog to his repertoire, The (Will and) Grace Pages. Don't bother going there if all you're gonna do is harrass him.