Friday, January 14, 2011

Pop Culture Roundup

I'm still reading Apparition and Late Fictions. Lynch clearly bases his stories somewhat on his experiences as a mortician and funeral director. I think that such a profession, like ministry, affords one a lot of time to ruminate on the human experience, the nature of relationships and emotions and actions. I guess I find him a kindred spirit in that way. His stories are very good. I have a ways to go still, but have been enjoying them. They're not the happiest, though. So you've been warned.

I watched The Town this week, starring Ben Affleck and Jeremy Renner as bank robbers who've lived their entire lives in Charlestown, an apparently notorious neighborhood in Boston. After pulling off a job, they realize that the assistant bank manager that they'd briefly abducted lives right in the neighborhood and may end up recognizing them. So Affleck's character tails her and eventually befriends her in order to see whether they're really in trouble that way. Of course, he ends up falling in love with her, and that greatly complicates things. Affleck also directed, and he captured the feel of the city and set the mood very well. There was a certain hopelessness to some of the characters, like they could never be or do anything other than what they knew. Not the happiest movie, but a very good one.

The new Decemberists album, The King is Dead, comes out this Tuesday. The first single, "Down By the Water," has been available on iTunes for a couple weeks now, and I've been playing it quite often in anticipation. While I enjoyed their last two albums, I'm glad that they seem to be getting back to simpler concepts instead of trying for yet another theme album. At least, that's my assumption. And I'm sure I'll have a full review next Friday.

You remember Brant Hansen, right? He used to write hilarious and also pointed commentary about the church at Letters from Kamp Krusty. Well, he's had a blog on the website for his radio show for some time now, and he's basically doing what he used to do at Kamp Krusty over there now, simply titled Brant's Blog. So it's now on the blogroll.

Here are The Decemberists playing another song from their new album, called "Rise to Me:"